Pavard Keeps Mum Amid Bayern, Liverpool Rumours

France’s defender Benjamin Pavard gestures at the town hall in his home town of Jeumont, northern France, on July 18, 2018 three days after French players won the Russia 2018 World Cup final football match. FRANCOIS LO PRESTI / AFP

 

World Cup winner Benjamin Pavard said playing Champions League football remains the priority as he mulls leaving his beloved Germany or pushing through a move to Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich.

Pavard’s status skyrocketed in the summer when he scored a superb goal in a 4-3 last-16 win over Argentina that set France on their way to World Cup glory in Russia.

The 22-year-old defender has been at VfB Stuttgart since 2016 but seems unlikely to remain at the struggling side beyond this season, with a big-money move to Bayern among other “concrete offers” on the table.

“I haven’t made promises to any clubs,” Pavard told Sky Germany on Thursday.

“Maybe I will go (to Bayern) but I don’t know what the future has in store for me.

“I’ve never hidden the fact that my ambition is to play in the Champions League.”

Despite reports linking the centre-back to English giants Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur, as well as Napoli, Pavard’s love affair with all things German could see him remain in the Bundesliga.

“I might just stay in Germany, but for the moment I want to focus on Stuttgart. I’m still here, we’re in a difficult situation and I want to help us get out of it,” he added.

“I like the people here and I fit in well…the mentality and the commitment, even at training, we never let up.

“That’s how I like it. My mentality is German, I like this country a lot.”

Stuttgart are currently third-bottom in the Bundesliga having won just three of their 13 games.

AFP

Presidency Claims First Lady Is Not Sick

The Presidency has responded to media report alleging that the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan is sick again and has been flown abroad for medical treatment.

In a statement released by her Special Assistant (Media), Ayo Osinlu, the First Lady travelled to Dubai from where she proceeded to Paris, France, to participate in the 1st Green Women Conference, which took place on March 17, 2013 where she received the 2013 Global Women Leaders’ Award for Peace, not for medical treatment as speculated.

The statement stated further that the first lady travelled to Italy, “from there proceeded to Germany with her holidaying children to see her mother, Mama Sisi, who is currently receiving medical attention and for the children to spend quality time with their grandmother.

“It is unfortunate that again, some media houses have allowed themselves to be used by dedicated mischief makers against the basic tenet of professional journalism, which regards truth as sacred.

“It is notable that Her Excellency has a history of visiting the hospital in Germany even before she became the First Lady, thus making her medical trips routine.

“It is also instructive to state that medical experts have recommended that every human being should undergo medical check-up every six months, even if not suffering ill health.

“Therefore, hospital visitations of our leaders should not become leading media issues or attract disrespectful comments, just as the current circumstances of former President Mandela and other African leaders in similar situations, and even those who died, have not attracted negative comments from their people”.

Media reports had suggested the first lady was ill, again, and travelled abroad for treatment.

The denial by Mrs. Jonathan’s aides may, however, not impress many Nigerians as the presidency had made similar claims last year when the first lady travelled abroad for several weeks.

Despite the repeated denials by the presidency, Mrs. Jonathan later confirmed her illness and treatment for several weeks at a German hospital saying she nearly died.

Google ‘X Phone’ A Wireless Charging Phone?

Google will be unveiling a new smartphone as early as spring of 2013, in conjunction with the Motorola, the mobile phone manufacturer Google acquired in May 2012.

Though its executives didn’t mention it in today’s earnings call, but the device called Google “X Phone,” may come as early as spring 2013.

At this point its existence and capabilities are pure speculation—rumoured features range from a bendable screen and a ceramic case to advanced gesture recognition technology—but whatever it is, it will be the first true “Google phone,” where everything from its hardware to its software will be under Google’s complete control. (Past efforts at creating Google-branded devices, as in Google’s Nexus line of phones and tablets, have always been partnerships with a variety of manufacturers outside Google.)

Twice during today’s earnings call, Google executives emphasized that when the company bought Motorola, Motorola already had a 12 to 18 month “product pipeline” in the works, which Google is still “working through.” Google could have shut down Motorola’s work on existing handsets, but that would have involved bigger short- and long-term losses than the company was apparently willing to take. It also means that all of the devices that Motorola has released since it was acquired were already in the works, and the same is likely to be true until at least spring of this year. (A good example is the Motorola Motogo! phone, which looks like a dated BlackBerry and doesn’t even run Android.)

Rumours have already circulated that Google will reveal a Motorola-built “X Phone” and “X Tablet” at its next developer’s conference, which is scheduled for May 15-17, 2013.

In today’s call, Google CEO Larry Page said that “In today’s multi-screen world, the opportunities are endless… battery life is a huge issue… when you drop your phone it shouldn’t go splat. There’s a real potential to invent new and better experiences.” Page also mentioned phone recharging as a pain point for people. This is speculation, but the obvious interpretation of these comments is that Google is working on—or at least thinking about—phones with extra-long battery life, some kind of novel (perhaps wireless) recharging capability, and a case that won’t break when the phone is dropped. (Which is possibly a reference to earlier rumours about Google’s X Phone using an extra-hard case that incorporates ceramics.)

Robin Van Persie will remain a Gunner – Wenger

Gunners’ manager Arsene Wenger made his stand known to those bidding for his star striker Robin van Persie that the Dutchman is not going anywhere as he is keeping him as he admitted the 28 year old is one of the best strikers in the World.

Italian Serie A Champion, Juventus, EPL champion Manchester City are the top bidders for his signature as Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson joined the bidding race on Friday to have him at Old Trafford, a bid which is believed to around £30 million.

Van Persie’s deal at Emirates Stadium expires next summer and he is presently unsettled at the club due to Manchester United’s joining the bid for his signature.

Van Persie won both Professional Footballers’ Association and Football Writers’ Association player of the year prizes in recognition of his phenomenal 36-goal contribution for Arsenal in the 2011/12 campaign.

Van Persie we learnt will not travel to Asia later today on Arsenal’s pre-season tour, although the Gunners were keen to stress his non-involvement was due to the striker having only trained for four days since returning from holiday.

The saga is shaping up to be a carbon copy of those that saw Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri both sold last summer – something which dragged on towards the tail end of the transfer window.

But Wenger is convinced that Van Persie will continue to give his all for Arsenal – regardless of whether he leaves the club.

But in case Van Persie leaves Arsenal, the clubalready signed two new strikers in Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud but are also said to be lining up Spain star Fernando Llorente.