For some reason, there are people out there who think it’s a good idea to fight Mike Tyson.
However, one challenger is now ready to put his money where the former champ’s fist might wind up.
“I think I know what we need to do to make this thing happen,” Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship president David Feldman told Bleacher Report, which reported that the organization is set to offer Mike Tyson more than $20 million to come out of retirement.
The 53-year-old Brooklyn native hasn’t fought in 15 years, but video or recent workouts showing Iron Mike training with the power and speed that once made him the most exciting fighter on Earth has renewed interest in what Tyson might be able to do now.
Tyson concluded one of those videos by throwing a barrage of hooks and uppercuts and saying “I’m back.”
Tyson’s rep told the NobleSport on May 12 that the former champ is staying in shape, but has no matches lined up.
The 5-foot-10, 240-pound bruiser said during an interview with rapper TI last month he might lace up the gloves for a good cause.
The folks at BKFC trying to bait Tyson reportedly said they plan to sweeten their eight-figure offer to Tyson with charitable donations.
A boxing insider tells N.Rs there have been at least four offers from fighters looking to challenge Tyson.
Evander Holyfield, who beat Tyson twice before, said he’d like to get a piece of the fighter who famously bit off his ear in 1997, NobleReporters gather.
The 57-year-old Holyfield told NobleSport Tyson would have to ask for that fight because otherwise, it may look like he’s bullying Iron Mike, who’s 0-2 against him.
Tyson’s spokeswoman said she had no knowledge of an offer from BKFC.
With a hopeful world looking to Germany to see how feasible it is for professional football to return despite the coronavirus, multiple matches took place across several cities in both the first and second tiers of the German league. The pick of the matches was the much anticipated Revierderby, the match between the two biggest clubs in Germany’s Ruhr region, Borrusia Dortmund and Schalke 04.
Teen sensation Erling Braut Haaland continued from where he left off before the enforced break by scoring the first for Dortmund in convincing 4-0 win over Schalke.
The game will mostly be remembered for the surreal circumstances in which it was played, as Germany became the first major league in Europe to resume action behind closed doors.
There was an eerie atmosphere at Dortmund’s iconic Signal Iduna Park stadium, with every shout by players or coaches audible, and social distancing protocol followed by substitutes and during goal celebrations.
Haaland opened the scoring with a trademark cool finish, flicking home Thorgen Hazard’s cross to continue his sensational season, albeit after an enforced break of almost 10 weeks.
Raphael Guerreiro added two more goals and Hazard also found the net as Dortmund went on to claim a comfortable win over their near neighbours and move within a point of leaders Bayern Munich, who play today.
Elite-level football might be back in Europe, but it certainly has a different feel about it than it did two months ago. Strict hygiene protocols saw the Dortmund and Schalke players arrive on multiple buses, use several changing rooms and then enter the pitch by different routes.
Warm-ups were staggered and the coaching staff and substitutes wore masks and were all separated by two metres as they took their place on the sidelines.
Once the balls had been disinfected by the ball-boys, the game began in total silence, only pierced by the referee’s whistle for kick-off, before being played out to the sound of echoed applause or yelled instructions from the dug-outs.
Fans were completely absent from the 80,000-capacity stadium but that did not stop the Dortmund players performing their trademark salute to the empty stands at the final whistle – standing apart rather than holding hands of course.
The backdrop to the game made for a strange spectacle, but it did nothing to disrupt Haaland’s fine form even if it was 70 days on from his last Bundesliga appearance. With the rest of Europe watching on, Dortmund’s 19-year-old Norwegian wonderkid reminded everyone of his precocious talent as he scored one goal, and helped make another.
Haaland’s goal means he now has a total of 37 in club competition for the season – before joining Dortmund he scored 14 goals in Austra’s top division for Red Bull Salzburg, and eight more in the Champions League.
He has now scored 10 goals in his first nine Bundesliga appearances – and 13 in 12 games in all competitions – since his January move from Red Bull Salzburg and his prolific scoring rate shows no sign of slowing up.
Another of Dortmund’s highly-rated young talents, England forward Jadon Sancho, was restricted to an 11-minute cameo off the bench, because of a calf injury.
On-loan Everton full-back Jonjoe Kenny started for Schalke, who brought on Wales winger Rabbi Matondo as one of their five substitutes – two more than usual are permitted under the new regulations for the Bundesliga’s restart.
Bundesliga Gives Insight into New Reality
The German Bundesliga restarted on Saturday and gave a glimpse into what the Premier League and other top leagues may look like if they return. South Korea’s K League kicked off last weekend, while some smaller leagues such as Belarus and Nicaragua have never stopped – but this was the first elite football in over two months because of the coronavirus pandemic.
So what did football in May 2020 – played behind closed doors and with some social distancing – look like?
Temperature checks, several buses and disinfected balls
Teams arrived in several buses so players could socially distance on the journey to the game. Players and staff had all been quarantining in team hotels all week and are being tested for coronavirus regularly. As they left the buses they wore facemasks on their way into the ground. Other people attending the games, including the media, had their temperatures checked.
Fans were banned from matches, with police patrolling to make sure no crowds gathered at the venues. Only 213 people were allowed into the ground – 98 on and around the pitch (like players, coaches and ball boys) and 115 in the stands (such as security, medics and media). Another 109 people (including security and VAR operators) were allowed just outside the stadium.
There were 30 match balls, each of them disinfected by ball boys and left on special spots rather than handing them to players.
Substitutes and coaches wore masks and socially distanced on individual seats on the bench – or in some cases in the front rows of the empty stands behind the benches. RB Leipzig, who drew with Freiburg 1-1, brought in a set of airport stairs so players could get to and from their seats in the stands.
Head coaches were allowed to go without a mask so they could shout instructions to their players. Substitutes took off their masks to warm up, and when players were replaced they were handed a mask before reaching the bench.
Elbow bumps instead of hugs
The actual play itself was no different to normal with tackles flying in and plenty of goals – 16 – across yesterday’s six games. But there was some social distancing on show for goals as many strikes were celebrated without the usual embraces, think elbow bumps instead of hugs.
However, some goals – notably those by Hertha Berlin players in their 3-0 win at Hoffenheim – were just celebrated as normal. Hertha will not be punished as the German league asking players not to embrace is a guideline and not a rule.
With only a few dozen people making noise on the benches, television viewers could hear the players and managers talking, as well as the sound of the ball being kicked – and of the ball hitting the back of the net.
Teams were allowed to use five substitutes in a game – which other leagues will have the option to do when they return. So Schalke, in their 4-0 defeat by Borussia Dortmund, were able to make two substitutions at half-time – and another three after the break.
Applauding empty stands
After the final whistle – to deafening silence – Borussia Dortmund’s players went across to their famous South Bank – usually known as the Yellow Wall which holds 25,000 fans – to applaud and run towards the empty stand to celebrate.
Wolfsburg players kicked boots with the referee and his assistants, rather than the usual handshakes, following their 2-1 victory at Augsburg. Elsewhere, fist bumps and elbow bumps were the name of the game.
Players and managers were interviewed by television reporters with microphones on sticks, keeping to a safe distance, while post-match news conferences were done by video conferencing.
RB Leipzig striker Yussuf Poulsen is interviewed from a safe distance
Did the fans stay away?
One of the reasons Premier League games could be played at neutral venues is to avoid fans congregating outside their own ground during a game. But that did not appear to be an issue in Germany yesterday.
Dortmund police spokesperson Olivier Peiler said: “It’s surprisingly quiet. We had expected and calculated various scenarios, but we didn’t expect that only a few fans would come to the stadium and the city centre.
“Apparently the pleas by the city and police to stay and watch the match at home have worked out. We are very pleased by this in order to avoid infections.”
Not everyone was happy though. Augsburg fans put a banner in an empty stand saying “football gives life – your business is sick” in protest at football continuing during the pandemic.
What did the managers think?
After a goalless draw with Paderborn, Fortuna Dusseldorf manager Uwe Rosler said: “The day was a bit odd. I am an emotional man, I like to take a player in my arms, which I obviously couldn’t do today.”
Dortmund coach Lucien Favre, said: “There is no noise. You shoot at the goal, you make a great pass, you score, and nothing happens. It’s very, very weird.”
Freiburg coach, Christian Streich, told a virtual news conference: “Obviously, it’s sad the fans cannot watch the game, that we can’t meet up and go to the game and play this game together.
“This is not something that can go on indefinitely. But under these conditions I did not expect a drop in quality because of a lack of fans and we did not see that.”
Hertha Berlin boss Bruno Labbadia defended his side celebrating their goals without social distancing. “The fact is that this is part of football,” he said. “We’ve been tested so many times that we can allow it.
“If you can’t celebrate anymore, the whole thing breaks down. I’m just glad that the team had reason to cheer today.”
How did other people react?
Former Bayern Munich and England midfielder Owen Hargreaves, who was doing BT Sport punditry from his own house, said: “I am missing the fans already. It was so strange, it is going to take some getting used to. “Football without the fans is tough to watch.”
BBC live text reader Jonathan Chilvers said: “Atmosphere at Dortmund vs Schalke reminds me of playing Year 10 basketball in the school sports hall.”
Marty Waddell tweeted: “Nope. Sorry. As much as I love and miss football, that just wasn’t right. And i still miss it just as much (if not more).”
Jurgen Klopp has insisted Liverpool have no need to be at their “all-time best” in order to clinch a first English league title in 30 years. Premier League officials are now aiming to restart the season in mid-June, with Liverpool just two wins away from the title when the campaign was postponed on March 13 because of the coronavirus outbreak.
For so long the dominant force in English football, the Merseysiders have not been crowned domestic champions in the Premier League era, with the last of their league titles coming when they won the old First Division crown in 1990.
But as teams start returning to training, Liverpool manager Klopp has tried to ease any mounting pressure on his runaway leaders who are 25 points clear at the top.
“Football is a game where everyone is pretty much in the same situation we play against another team and we don’t have to be at our all-time best we have to be at our best possible and that’s exactly the same for the other teams,” he told the BBC’s Football Focus programme.
“Whenever we will start we will have had the same time for preparation and our job was always, and always will be, to use the situation you are in. We will be in as good a shape as possible.”
Meanwhile the German boss said he was desperate to return to “normal life” after an unexpected two-month break by getting back to Liverpool’s Melwood training base, where players will initially train in small groups.
“Lockdown has been as good as possible it’s not exactly what I want to do but it’s what we all have to do so we try to make the best of it,” said Klopp.
“We started eight weeks ago and now you feel everyone is desperate to get back to a ‘new’ normal life.
“I have missed the boys the most because we have created a group there not only the boys but all the people at Melwood because we have a really good relationship and we became friends over the last four-and-a-half years.
“We see each other pretty often with Zoom and those things but it’s still not the same and going back to Melwood and doing all the things we usually do is something I really miss.”
Former American world boxing champion Floyd Mayweather says he is not returning to boxing and has also debunked claims he is broke.
Talks that Mayweather could take on Adrian Broner were dismissed by him as he says he does not want to end up dead like his uncle Roger Mayweather, who passed away in March.
But Mayweather admit the chance to make £300million from half an hour fighting Irish former world UFC champion Conor McGregor in the Octagon could see his business acumen kick in.
Mayweather took in a reported £221m from his first clash with McGregor in 2017.
But it is claimed he blew his fortune on bling and parties.
A video emerged of him training hard in the ring sparking rumours of a comeback but in an interview with Fight Hype, he said of a return to boxing: “These are just rumours. I’m retired. I’m finished with boxing. I stay in shape.
“I am not retired from business. Would I fight with McGregor? People make $370million. I make that in one night. I made over $320m twice. It only took me 36 minutes or 28 minutes, something like that.
“If this guy [Broner] wants to fight Floyd I say ‘you guys sell out little arenas and do some little baby moves, not bad, but I’m older and a lot wiser, meaning I don’t want to end up like my uncle Rog. A lot of fighters don’t know when to give up.
“Even the fight with McGregor it was smart on my behalf and smart on his behalf. I can make more money than any other fighter.
“Even if we did it again it’s entertainment and it’s business. I’m not boxing – no boxing at all.
“I’m done, I’m retired and I love my life. I enjoy being retired.
“If I see an opportunity and have a little fun and make $600million – why not.
“If I was to come back why would I fight a fighter that only sells out little cities?
Luka Modric and Martin Odegaard’s futures are linked. What the Croatian midfielder decides to do will be key to the Norwegian’s future at Real Madrid.
Real Madrid and Real Sociedad are calmly awaiting Luka Modric’s decision. Whether he stays at Real Madrid or not will determine whether Martin Odegaard spends a second season on loan at Real Sociedad or not.
The crisis provoked by COVID-19 makes the Croatian footballer’s chance of staying increase. And the thing is the market will not see as much spending in recent seasons.
In this way, as long as Modric stays at Real Madrid, Sociedad can breath easy knowing they can enjoy having Martin Odegaard for another season, ‘Marca’ reports.
That said, Real Madrid will not force Modric to take a decision despite the fact he only has one year left on his contract. The Croatian has earned the right to determine what will happen with his future, whether he opts to stay or leave at the Santiago Bernabeu.
The cited source gives several options for the Croatian midfielder. He could stay at Real Madrid and then leave for free in summer 2021 to possibly the MLS.
If Modric opts for a move to AC Milan or Inter Miami, for example, that will see Martin Odegaard brought back by ‘Los Blancos’.
Real Sociedad are hoping the Croatian decides to stay for another year at Real so that they have one of the best young talents in La Liga until at least summer 2021.
Arturo Vidal will have a choice when the transfer market opens. Manchester United have apparently made an offer for him, but the English side know that the Chilean prefers to play in Italy.
The newspaper ‘Express’ informed on Thursday that the Premier League are also dreaming about ‘King’ Arturo. Namely, Manchester United are the side that would be delighted to have the Barca player.
The source said that the Red Devils sent an offer for the Chilean, but they are aware that he would prefer to play for Inter Milan, the club that is best positioned in the race.
‘CalcioMercato’ backed up these rumours, and went further by affirming that United’s offer doesn’t satisfy Vidal, so at Old Trafford, they’ll have to forget about the Chilean international.
In the last few hours, his possible Inter move has gathered more pace. ‘Sport’ said that there are now negotiations with the midfielder and that the great harmony between Inter and Barcelona could be key in the deal.
Vidal is one of the players that has high options of leaving the Camp Nou to free up the wage bill, regain money in the coffers and also because his contract ends in 2021.
Former Manchester United goalkeeper, Mark Bosnich, is confident that Paul Pogba will stay put and bolster the resurgent Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side after fully recovering from injury.
Rumours have had it that the France international could move away from Manchester United and rejoin his former club Juventus or switch to Real Madrid at the end of this season, but Bosnich believes that the midfielder will be a big hit in Solskjaer’s team, especially playing alongside the resourceful Bruno Fernandes.
“If I had to put money on it right now, I think he will stay, I really do,” Bosnich told Stats Perform.
“If you’ve got a player in the dressing room, regardless of whether it’s Paul Pogba or Paul Smith, you let them go in the most amicable way possible.
“There’s no use carrying someone who doesn’t want to be in your club because it affects their performance and it can start toaffect the performances of people around them.”
Bosnich added: “There’s no doubting [Pogba is] a world-class player. I watched him live at the World Cup in 2018 and I thought he was phenomenal.
“With the arrival of Fernandes and the team winning and playing well, it makes a huge difference.
“If he [Pogba] can come back and play to his full potential, that is fantastic news not only for him and Fernandes but for Manchester United and all their supporters.”
On Fernandes signing, Bosnich said: “He’s a superb signing. Anyone who had followed him at Sporting would have seen what a top player he was. Even if you didn’t watch that many games in Portugal, you looked at the stats – his goals and assists.
“I don’t think anyone in their wildest dreams imagined he would settle so quickly. But it’s great for him, great for the club and great for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
“I’m really happy for the player and for the club and really looking forward to them coming back.”
Joao Mario, Joao Félix’s compatriot who plays for Lokomotiv Moscow, publically complained that Atlético Madrid’s style doesn’t allow for the young Portuguese’s talent to be seen in full. “He’d suit another one better, like Barca’s”.
Joao Félix received the public applause of Paulo Assunçao. The ex-Atlético player assured that he had been absolutely right to choose Atletico Madrid after leaving Benfica. His compatriot, Joao Mario, however, didn’t agree at all. He made it clear in declarations to ‘Record’.
“Benfica, who play 80% of the game in an organised attack, for Atlético, and even more with the pressure of the price they paid for him, it is not easy in terms of adaptation. Being in a Barcelona team, for example, although of course, the pressure could be greater, is the style of play that could be more adapted to him”, the Lokomotiv player assured.
In fact, he didn’t even recommend Atlético for himself if he had to choose between the big teams in Europe: “I think Barcelona would be where I’d fit in best, I really like that style of play”.
“Atletico is one of those teams that, seen from the outside, is very well worked out, as if it were an Italian team playing in Spain,” the Portuguese midfielder concluded.
Abdul Sule believes Odion Ighalo could earn a ‘big money move’ in Europe after his Manchester United stint, although the player is reportedly being offered an improved deal to return to Shanghai Shenhua.
Ighalo has joined the English outfit on a temporary deal on the final day of the January transfer window to beef up the attack until the end of the season, a contract which expires on May 31.
The 30-year-old striker, who was a boyhood fan of Machester United, has made an impressive start to life at Old Trafford, scoring four times in eight appearances.
“I see Odion Ighalo earning a big-money move from top European teams when his loan expires at Manchester United,” Sule to Goal.
“I don’t think Man United are keen on retaining him because they seem not to value him enough to put hand him a regular place. He also may not be wanted again when Marcus Rashford is fit.
“I will not advise him to return to China now despite the attractive offer but would urge him to stay in Europe. I won’t be surprised if Chelsea, Manchester City, Real Madrid or Barcelona come for him.
“He has proven that he’s got a lot to offer at the highest level within his short stay at Man United and he can attract big brands and earn more money, playing in any of the top teams in England.
“He can always still return to China later in his career but right now, I think he has what it takes to shine in Europe.”
African wrestling champion, Odunayo Adekuoroye says the Covid-19 pandemic has caused her to miss fighting.
In an interview with Channels Television, the 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medallist who has already qualified for the Tokyo Olympics confirmed the disruption has affected her training programme
“I was looking forward to the Olympics. From the day I qualified, I started preparing with my coach. This pandemic has made things slow because there is little I can do from you.’’
According to Adekuoroye, the work-out she does at home cannot be compared with what she can achieve if she trains at the stadium with the right facilities, her coach and sparring partners.
‘’Wrestling is a combat sport so you need the equipments to get you ready and you also need your teammates for sparring. Everyone is at home so it is difficult to achieve a complete training programme.’’
On the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics to next year, the freestyle wrestler says it doesn’t change her ambition of winning a medal at the games.
‘’Oh I’m 100 percent ready for the games. My ambition of finishing on the podium is still intact and competing in Tokyo will give me an opportunity to prove a point that what I have achieved so far is not fluke.’’
The International Olympic Committee has announced that the Olympic 2020 will now be celebrated from July 23 to August 8, 2021. They also agreed on new dates for the Paralympic Games, which will be celebrated from August 24 until September 5, 2021.
The Nigerian champion is ranked number one in the world in the 57kg category, she understands staying at the top requires a lot of hard work and affirmed she is under no pressure to compete with other top wrestlers in the world.
The President of Fédération Internationale de Football Association, FIFA, Gianni Infantino has said that it would be more than irresponsible to restart competitions too early amid the coronavirus pandemic, stating that no match is worth risking a life for.
Infantino, who made this known on Thursday through Royal Spanish Football Federation, RFEF, said that sports have been brought to a halt due to the COVID-19 outbreak which has killed more than 95,500 people globally.
He said “As our main priority, our principles, the ones we employ in our competitions and also we invite everyone to follow, is that health comes first.
“I cannot stress this enough. No match, no competition, or any league is worth risking any human life for.
“It would be more than irresponsible to resume the competitions if the situation is not 100 percent safe.
”If we have to wait a bit more, we must do it. It is safer to wait a bit more than taking risks.
”Many bodies and leagues all over the world are set to face financial difficulties in the wake of COVID-19, particularly if games are cancelled or played behind closed doors.
“Thanks to the work we have been doing together in FIFA during the last four years, we find ourselves in a very solid financial situation.
“It helps us to consolidate a solid base of important reserves, but our reserves are not FIFA’s money, it is the money of football.
“As football has stopped around the world, we are all facing economic issues in different levels, from the base to professional football.
”Given this, we are already collaborating with you to assess the financial impact to prepare the right answer.”
Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho has accepted he was in the wrong for holding a one-on-one training session with midfielder Tanguy Ndombele in a public park in London.
Mourinho was pictured on social media flaunting government rules by meeting up with the midfielder Tuesday, even though they kept to social distancing guidelines.
Fellow Spurs players Davinson Sanchez and Ryan Sessegnon were spotted running side by side in a separate session, while Serge Aurier filmed himself on Instagram running alongside a friend.
“I accept that my actions were not in line with government protocol and we must only have contact with members of our own household,” said the Portuguese manager.
“It is vital we all play our part and follow government advice in order to support our heroes in the NHS and save lives.”
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said the players and Mourinho should be leading by example.
“My concern is people, particularly children, who might support Spurs or follow football may see these images, pick up a paper, watch the internet and think, well if it’s OK for them, why isn’t it OK for me?” he said.
The Premier League has been suspended since mid-March due to the spread of COVID-19.
The British government has introduced a strict series of measures to prevent the spread of the virus and Tottenham have reminded players of their responsibilities.
The club said last week they would be using the government’s furlough financial assistance programme for non-playing staff, a move that was seen as controversial and attracted a lot of criticism.
Nigeria’s Asisat Oshoala has expressed delight at her emergence in the latest Forbes Africa 30 under 30 list.
Asisat is the only sportswoman from the continent who made it into this exclusive list of young minds said to be projecting Africa in good light to the rest of the world.
Aside from Asisat, three others (males); Lloyd Harris, 23 and Pieter-Steph du Toit, 27 both from South Africa and Nijel Amos, 26, Botswana are the others from the Sports Industry that made the Forbes 30 list.
Apart from being the only sportswoman selected, Asisat is also the youngest from Nigeria, the country with the most-selected individuals.
Across her social media handles on Tuesday, Asisat, who earlier in 2020 won the Confederation of African Football’s (CAF) Women’s Player of the Year for the fourth time, wrote: “Forever Grateful and still, work don’t stop….🙏🏾 #ForbesAfrica 30 under 30 class of 2020.”
Entertainers, DJ Cuppy, 27, Mr Eazi, 28, Patoranking, 29; as well as entrepreneurs Tracy Batta, 29, Olajumoke Oduwole, 29, Swanky Jerry, 28, Davies Okeowo, 29, and Maryam Gwadabe, 29 all saw Nigeria dominating the 2020 Forbes Africa 30 under 30 list.
According to Forbes Africa, over 3,000 nominations were received before rigorously trimming down to the final 30.
“While last year, we had 120 in total, with 30 finalists each in the categories of business, technology, sports and arts, this year, we chose to stay with 30: the best of the best spanning all industries. Our youngest list-maker this year is just 16!” the global publication said.
On his part, Ashok Gupta, Chairman & Founder of Kalyan Group, a diversified business with portfolios in hospitality and agriculture-based in Togo congratulated those selected this year while also advising them to maximize their potentials.
He said, “If you look at the development from youth-owned businesses and those featured on the 30 Under 30 list, you will realize that Africa has amazing potential.”
World Boxing Council chiefs have confirmed that a WBC Champion, Fabiana Bytyqi, is the first boxer with a title to be struck down by the deadly coronavirus – COVID-19.
The world boxing body disclosed that the victim has been confirmed to a be female in possession of the coveted green and gold belt.
“The President of the World Boxing Council, Mauricio Sulaimán, and the entire Boxing Family, send their best wishes for the prompt and full recovery of Fabiana Bytyqi,” they said.
“Fabiana Bytyqi is the first world champion diagnosed with COVID-19 Coronavirus. Fabiana Bytyqi made history by becoming the first boxer from the Czech Republic to win a major world title with victory over Denise Castle in September 2018.
On November 30th, She defeated Mexican Ana Arrazola via UD. Also, successfully defending her championship for the second time.
– Jadon Sancho is linked with a Premier League move this close season. But The Sun reports the Borussia Dortmund star is ready to reject Manchester United if they fail to secure a spot in the Champions League. United were fifth in the Premier League when the season was suspended.
– Mauro Icardi’s future remains uncertain. Corriere dello Sport reports Icardi will leave PSG, where he is on loan from Inter, at the end of the season and Juventus are once again interested.
– With Manchester United again seemingly interested in Matthijs de Ligt, a swap deal could be on the cards. The Sun reports United are ready to swap Paul Pogba – who has been linked with a return to Juventus – for defender De Ligt.
– It may not be the only swap deal involving a Manchester club and Juventus. The Sun says Juve are ready to offer Douglas Costa to Manchester City in a bid to land Gabriel Jesus.
– Barcelona were reportedly prepared to use Junior Firpo in a deal to sign Inter star Lautaro Martinez, but the left-back could head elsewhere. Sport reports Napoli are the most recent club to contact Barca over Junior’s availability.
Tottenham Hotspur have deals ready for Chelsea duo Olivier Giroud and Willian, whose contracts will both be up at the end of the current season.
Giroud came close to leaving Chelsea in January over a lack of appearances, and despite an increase in game time, he has still been tipped to walk away, while Willian’s negotiations over a new deal have hit a wall over his pursuit of a three-year contract.
As it stands, both players will walk away from Stamford Bridge at the end of the season, and a source has confirmed to 90min that Spurs have already got contracts ready to offer the duo once they are permitted to do so.
Clubs in England must wait until one month before a contract expiry date before they can approach an impending free agent who is based in England, and Spurs have already planned out their proposals to both Giroud and Willian.
José Mourinho sees the pair as potential shrewd additions to his squad as they would add both experience and quality to his current group of players, and the fact that they would be available for free makes them even more appealing.
Giroud came close to joining Spurs in January as an emergency replacement for the injured Harry Kane, but Chelsea eventually blocked the move. However, Spurs still remain keen and are ready to offer him the multi-year deal which he is looking for.
Mourinho’s need for a new striker was emphasised after Kane went down, with makeshift strikers like Dele Alli and Lucas Moura struggling to fill the void left by the Englishman’s injury.
As for Willian, Spurs believe that he wants to stay in London and are hopeful that they can fend off interest from fellow suitors Arsenal, who have also been alerted to the Brazilian’s desire to stay in the capital.
Willian recently confessed that his priority is to remain in the Premier League, but he also insisted that he would not have a problem with playing overseas if needs be.
NobleSport learnt some of Europe’s biggest clubs are in negotiations with the 31-year-old, but he wants to stay in England and will wait to hear offers from English sides first.
It was Mourinho who first brought Willian to Chelsea in 2013, and the Portuguese tactician is keen to finally reunite with the winger this summer.
Inter striker Lautaro Martínez is focused on joining Barcelona this summer, in a move which could, in turn, see Antoine Griezmann or Mauro Icardi head to the Premier League with Manchester City and Chelsea both on the lookout for a new striker.
Barcelona want a young striker to compete with and eventually replace Luis Suárez, and Martínez has been identified as the ideal candidate, although affording the deal could be problematic.
NobleSport gathered that Martínez is top of Barcelona’s wish list this summer and the 22-year-old’s priority is to seal a move to Camp Nou, regardless of what other options (Chelsea and Man City are also interested) become available.
NobleSport note that Martínez has rejected the chance to extend his contract with Inter in the hope of joining Barcelona, even though that proposal included a higher wage than would be on offer at Camp Nou.
However, La Blaugrana will have to sell some players to balance their books first. Ivan Rakitić, Samuel Umtiti and Ousmane Dembélé could all be pushed towards the exit door, and club officials are also even open to parting ways with Griezmann just one year after his controversial €120m move.
Despite contributing 14 goals and four assists in 37 appearances before play was suspended, the Frenchman has failed to impress on the whole, and Barcelona are now open to parting ways with him to facilitate their move for Martínez.
NobleSport learnt that a move to the Premier League for Griezmann is a possibility, with at least two of England’s richest sides on the lookout for a new forward this summer.
Chelsea and Manchester City are keen to recruit in the position and have both looked closely at Martínez. However, even though they both remain keen, they have been informed that the Argentine wants to join Barcelona, so they are prepared to look elsewhere.
Beyond Martinez and Griezmann, another potential option for the two English sides is fellow Inter striker Icardi, who has enjoyed an impressive campaign out on loan with Paris Saint-Germain this season.
Chelsea and City have been tracking Icardi for a while and have both retained their interest this year, having seen Icardi struggle to hold down a permanent place in Thomas Tuchel’s starting lineup.
PSG do have the chance to sign Icardi permanently this summer, but there are rumblings that they will not exercise that contractual option. In the event that he returns to Inter, Chelsea and City are contemplating launching bids of their own.
Even with the reported paycut Juventus have announced their players and manager will receive, Ronaldo is still estimated to earn $91m (£74m) from his wage with the Serie A leaders and his multitude of endorsement deals.
As an indication of Ronaldo’s commercial value, last year it was estimated that the superstar earns around $975,000 per sponsored Instagram post – the most of any footballer, and behind only Ariana Grande and Kylie Jenner overall.
Forbes’ article also claims that Ronaldo has donated $1.8m (£1.5m) to hospitals in his native Portugal, but the generosity of the five-time Champions League winner has been misconstrued in recent weeks when it comes to his contribution in the battle against the coronavirus pandemic.
It was falsely reported that Ronaldo had donated his namesake hotels in Portugal to be used as hospitals for COVID-19 patients and that his representatives bought an island where the father of five and his family could self-isolate until it was safe to return to Italy, one of the country’s worst hit by the outbreak.
Earlier in the season, Ronaldo was also thought to have been offered a two-year contract extension at Juventus which was revealed to be incorrectly interpreted by the English press due to a mistranslation from an Italian outlet.
In another unprecedented step necessitated by the coronavirus outbreak, UK TV stations will be able to televise football live at 3pm on Saturdays, after UEFA lifted the ‘blocked hours’ protection for the remainder of the season.
Broadcasters have been banned from televising matches at the traditional kick-off time since the 1950s, initially implemented to encourage amateur players to take part in matches on Saturday afternoons.
It has since become something of a failsafe to encourage fans to attend matches rather than stay home and watch football on the TV. However, as the coronavirus continues to grip the sport, The Times report that blackout has been lifted until the end of the season.
Exclusive- Saturday 3pm blackout lifted for rest of season opening way for matches behind closed doors https://t.co/dbEm88az4U
The newspaper reports that the UEFA regulation banning broadcasters in England, Scotland and Montenegro has been updated, and now reads:
“Taking into account the current exceptional circumstances, UEFA has lifted the ‘blocked hours’ protection granted to the England and Scotland for the remainder of the 2019-20 football season, following requests from the relevant national associations as a result of measures taken in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic.”
It means that Premier League, EFL and SPFL Premiership matches, should the season resume, will have no restrictions on when they are allowed to be televised.
The same applies to the FA Cup and Scottish Cup.
The Premier League’s overriding priority is to aid the health and wellbeing of the nation and our communities. The 2019/20 season will only return when it is safe and appropriate to do so.
Neymar has been revealed as the anonymous donor who gave 5 million Brazilian real (£775,000/$950,000) to charity to fight coronavirus.
The Paris Saint-Germain star split the donation between UNICEF and a benefit fund in his home nation of Brazil to aid in the battle against the Covid-19 pandemic.
Neymar had made the generous gesture without putting his name to it, however, Brazilian television channel SBT revealed that the national team striker had made the donation.
The revelation was made on SBT programme Fofocolizando, which said: “He preferred not to publicly disclose the donation, so we’re telling everyone, because we like to talk when a person does something nice.
“We have this information, we really think it’s a very cool, very positive attitude, and one that serves as an incentive for other sportsmen, for other personalities.”
It comes as teams and players around the world make gestures and donations in the battle against coronavirus, including forgoing large parts of their salaries to either donate to charity or ensure non-playing members of club staff are not laid off, with football postponed around the world to try and stop the virus spreading.
On Thursday, Atletico Madrid players agreed to take a 70 per cent pay cut in order to support the wages of other employees, following the example set by Neymar’s former club Barcelona .
In Germany, Bayern Munich’s Joshua Kimmich says players have “a responsibility” to help , and with team-mate Leon Goretzka has set up a fund called ‘ We Kick Corona ‘, which has already raised more than €3.7m.
In England, pressure has been put on footballers to make similar gestures, with Health Secretary Matt Hancock saying players need to “do their bit”, although this has drawn criticism from figures in the game including Gary Lineker and Gary Neville .
Lineker’s former side Tottenham have been criticised for cutting the salaries of 550 non-playing staff members , despite owner Joe Lewis having a reported net worth of over £4.3 billion ($5.3bn).
However, other players have been praised for their charitable efforts, such as Manchester United and England forward Marcus Rashford who has been helping provide free meals for schoolchildren in the city.