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Lockheed nears $27 billion helicopter deal with Pentagon

( ) – Lockheed Martin Corp is expected to receive Pentagon approval on Thursday to begin production for 200 new heavy cargo helicopters for the U.S. Marines, a Defense Department official said on Tuesday.

The long-expected award for the CH-53K King Stallion will cost $87 million on average ea上海夜生活网ch and $105 million including spare parts and certain service contracts, said Colonel Hank Vanderborght, who heads the program for the Pentagon. The $27 billion program also includes more than $6 billion in research and development costs.

The new helicopter, in development by Lockheed’s Sikorsky helicopter business, can lift 36,000 pounds and would replace the CH-53E Super Stallion, which has operated as the backbone of field logistics for the U.S. Marines since the mid-1980s.

The Pentagon’s Defense Acquisition Board will meet on Thursday and it is expected to approve the beginning of production of the new helicopter, Vanderborght told . A Lockheed Martin representative declined to comment.

The expected approval by the Pentagon’s Defense Acquisition Board would be a major milestone for the largest U.S. defense contractor. Final terms of the production deal still are being finalized, a Defense Department official said.

Lockheed CEO Marillyn Hewson told reporters at the company’s annual media day last week that the 2015 purchase of helicopter maker Sikorsky from United Technologies Corp for $9 billion helped reshape the company.

Investor Ackman opposes United Technologies’ aerospace merger with Raytheon: source

( ) – Billionaire investor William Ackman’s activist hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management LP is opposing United Technologies Corp’s planned $120 billion aerospace merger with defense contractor Raytheon Co, a person familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

The move makes Ackman the first major Wall Street figure to come out against the deal. On Monday, U.S. President Donald Trump expressed concerns over the merger’s impact on competition, though he also said he hoped the deal would happen.

Ackman wrote an email to United Technologies CEO Greg Hayes early on Sunday morning to express his concerns about the proposed deal after reading press reports about it, the source said.

The fund manager, whose firm owns roughly 0.67% of United Technologies, had previously supported the company in its plans to split into three businesses – aerospace, Otis elevators and Carrier air conditioners.

“We are extremely concerned that such a transaction will significantly lower the business quality of pro-forma United Technologies’ aerospace business, and, to make matters worse, will be accomplished through the highly dilutive issuance of large amounts of Un上海夜生活网ited Technologies stock,” Ackman’s email, seen by , said.

A spokesman for Pershing Square declined to comment. Raytheon did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

“We are confident that our shareholders will see the merits of this transaction and the value it brings to them and the company. We will be working diligently in the days and weeks ahead to make sure that the details of the transaction are presented to and fully understood by all shareholders,” United Technologies said in a statement.

The Wall Street Journal first reported on Pershing Square’s opposition to the deal.

Activist hedge fund Third Point LLC also has a stake in United Technologies. Like Pershing Square, it supported the company’s break-up, but its views on the Raytheon deal are not known. A Third Point spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment.

The merger would reshape the competitive landscape by forming a conglomerate which spans commercial aviation and defense procurement. United Technologies provides primarily commercial plane makers with electronics, communications and other equipment, whereas Raytheon mainly supplies the U.S. government with military aircraft and missile equipment.

United Technologies and Raytheon shares have dropped 7% and 4.5% respectively since their deal was announced, as investors expressed disappointment with the low value of synergies the companies announced. Investors also fret that major clients of the companies such as the Pentagon would seek to review their supply chains.

Shareholders of United Technologies and Raytheon would have to approve the deal in separate votes.

Activist hedge funds are increasingly targeting announced deals and are seeking to upend them, often by betting that the acquirer’s stock would go up were it to walk away from the purchase.

Earlier this year, activist hedge fund Starboard Value LP sought to muster opposition against Bristol-Myers Squibb Co’s $74 billion acquisition of biotech Celgene Corp, but abandoned the effort after two leading proxy advisory firms backed the deal.

United Technologies’ deal with Raytheon also faces regulatory hurdles. The U.S. Defense Department and big customers like Boeing Co, Lockheed Martin Corp and Northrop Grumman Corp will have a lot of clout in the antitrust review, and may worry about over-reliance on one company for a big suite of products.

ACKMAN’S CONCERNS

Ackman’s email said that if the company moves forward with the deal, he expects the substantial majority of other shareholders to also line up against it.

The deal with Raytheon would be structured as an all-stock merger of equals because United Technologies, which currently has a market capitalization of $106 billion, would separately spin off Carrier and Otis. United Technologies bulked up in aerospace last year with its $23 billion acquisition of avionics maker Rockwell Collins.

“We cannot comprehend why United Technologies would attempt to effectuate a merger with Raytheon now, when United Technologies’ shares are likely to be materially higher after the business separation is effectuated early next year,” Ackman’s email said.

This year, Ackman’s firm has been one of the hedge fund industry’s best performers delivering gains of nearly 40% in the first four months of the year. This follows a rough patch where he faced big losses on Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc and Herbalife Nutrition Ltd and lost a proxy fight with Automatic Data Processing Inc. He has vowed to make back the money that he lost by reshaping his organization.

U.S. House Speaker Ryan running for re-election: spokeswoman

WASHINGTON ( ) – U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan is running again for the job in the next Congress, a spokeswoman said on Thursday after a media report quoted several unidentified House Republicans as saying they expected him to step down next week.

“He is running,” Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong said.

The Hill cited four House Republicans as saying that they expected Ryan to step aside as Speaker after next Tuesday’s general election.

“Speculation is growing that Paul will not return,” the Hill quoted a “senior GOP lawmaker close to leadership” as saying.

It quoted a member of the Freedom Caucus, a group of conservative Republicans, as saying that if Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton wins, Ryan will get “a good share of the blame” among House members who support Republican candidate Donald Trump.

Ryan last month told fellow Republicans that he would not defend or campaign for Trump and would instead focus on re-electing Republicans to keep the majority in the House.

This angered some Trump supporters in the House, who felt the Wisconsin co上海夜生活论坛ngressman should stand by Trump. One of them, Representative Jim Bridenstine of Oklahoma, tweeted: “if Paul Ryan isn’t for Trump, then I’m not for Paul Ryan.”

But Ryan, who as Speaker is the country’s highest-ranking Republican, has a great deal of support in the Republican caucus, and it is far from clear that his critics would be able to oust him if they tried.

House Republicans, who currently number 246, plan to have closed-door leadership elections in mid-November. Ryan is expected to win their nomination for Speaker at that gathering, but the actual election to the Speaker’s post would not be held until the new Congress convenes in January.

All members of the House, both Republican and Democrat, will vote in the Speaker election and Ryan will need 218 votes – a majority of the House’s 435 members – to win. This could be a challenge if Republicans lose a substantial number of seats in next week’s elections, and if some of those who remain decide to oppose Ryan.

UPDATE 4-ANC set to retain power in South Africa but support slips

* Results in from 64 percent of voting districts

* ANC share of vote could fall to 55-59 percent -analysts

* President Ramaphosa trying to halt slide in ANC support

* Jobs, land and corruption were key issues for voters

* For more stories on the elections: (Adds DA, EFF, analyst comment, updates results)

By Alexander Winning and Onke Ngcuka

PRETORIA, May 9 ( ) – Results from nearly two-thirds of voting districts in South Africa’s election put the African National Congress on course to retain power but heading for its worst performance in a national poll in its 25 years in government.

The former liberation party of Nelson Mandela has not won less than a 60 percent vote share since it swept to power in South Africa’s first all-race election in 1994, marking the end of white minority rule.

As of 1840 GMT on Thursday, ballots in 64 percent of 22,925 voting districts had been counted. The early tallies put the ANC on 57 percent in the parliamentary race, with the main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) on nearly 23 percent and the leftist Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) on nearly 10 percent.

Based on those results, analysts predicted the ANC was set for a vote share of between 55 and 59 percent.

“The ANC result is going to be lower because of voter turnout, which could be the lowest at any parliamentary election since 1994,” political analyst Melanie Verwoerd said. “Turnout has been lower in areas where more black voters live, while the turnout has been higher in the white areas.”

She projected a vote share of 56-57 percent for the ANC.

South Africans voting on Wednesday for a new parliament and nine provincial legislatures had expressed frustration at rampant corruption, high unemployment and racial inequalities that remain deeply entrenched.

“The ANC have taken a hit in the polls — with an estimated near 5 percent loss on 2014 results — due to their failure to address key challenges affecting the South African population,” said Indigo Ellis, Verisk Maplecroft’s Africa analyst.

He cited youth unemployment of 53 percent, among the highest rates in the world.

Analysts have said that a poor showing for the ANC would embolden opponents of President Cyril Ramaphosa and risk a potential challenge to his leadership. The elections are the first test of national sentiment since Ramaphosa replaced scandal-plagued Jacob Zuma as head of state in February 2018.

“As long as the ANC gets more than 55 percent, things will be okay for Ramaphosa inside the ANC,” Verwoerd said.

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, a government agency, also forecast a decline in support, predicting the ANC would get just over 57 percent of the parliamentary vote and about 50 percent in the provincial polls.

Turnout on Wednesday was just over 65 percent, according to the votes processed so far, the Electoral Commission said.

ANC Deputy Secretary General Jessie Duarte said she expected the party’s vote share to grow as results from larger voting districts filtered through.

Mmusi Maimane, the DA leader, said he was content with his party’s performance so far, while EFF’s chairman Dali Mpofu said the results showed the party to be “the only growing big party”.

At the last election in 2014, the ANC won 62 percent of votes, the DA 22 percent and the EFF 6 percent.

Chief Electoral Officer Sy Mamabolo said the Electoral Commission hoped that results from around 90 percent of voting districts would be declared by 10:00 p.m. local time (2000 GMT), with the remaining results to be released on Friday morning.

RAMAPHOSA BAROMETER

Ramaphosa is trying to arrest a slide in support for the ANC, whose image has been tarnished in the last decade by corruption scandals and a weak economy.

Ramaphosa, who became ANC leader in December 2017 after narrowly defeating a faction allied with Zuma, has promised to improve poor public services, create jobs and fight corruption.

But he has been constrained by divisions within his own party, where some Zuma supporters still retain influence and oppose his agenda.

The ANC achi上海夜生活网eved its best parliamentary election result in 2004 under former president Thabo Mbeki, when it won 69 percent of the vote. But its support fell under Zuma, and it lost control of big cities like the commercial capital Johannesburg in local government elections in 2016.

The party now controls eight of the country’s nine provinces, with the DA in power in the Western Cape. Early results showed ANC ahead in Gauteng province, where Johannesburg and the administrative capital Pretoria are located, while the DA led in the Western Cape, home to Cape Town.

Election officials said voting had in general progressed smoothly but that there had been isolated disruptions caused by bad weather, unscheduled power outages or community protests.

Japan’s coincident index suggests economy may be in recession

TOKYO ( ) – Japan’s coincident indicator index declined in March and the government cut its assessment of the economy, a sign it may already be in recession as the U.S.-China trade war and weak external demand hurt activity.

Worries about the economy have grown as Japan’s exports and factory output were hit by China’s economic slowdown and the escalating U.S.-China trade friction, which had disrupted global supply chains.

The index of coincident economic indicators, which consists of a range of data including factory output, employment and retail sales, fell a preliminary 0.9 of a point in March from the previous month, the Cabinet Office said on Monday.

In its view on the index, the government described the economy as “worsening”. That compared with its previous assessment for February when it described the economy at “a turning point towards a downgrade”.

The index for leading economic indicators is compiled using data such as job offers and consumer sentiment and is seen as a forward-looking gauge of the economy. It slipped 0.8 of a point from February.

Clouding the outlook are government plans to raise a sales tax to 10 percent from the current 8 percent in October unless a big shock on the scale of Lehman Brothers’ collapse in 2008 hits the economy.

There is also speculation Prime Minister Shinzo Abe may postpone the sales tax hike as risks to demand grow, having already twice delayed it.

There are concerns the sales tax increase will damage private consumption as it did so when Japan raised the tax to 8 percent from 5 percent in 2014.

Japan releases gross domestic product (GDP) data on May 20, which will give a clearer read on the state of the economy and whether the government will proceed with the tax hike as sc上海夜生活论坛heduled.

The economy likely contracted at an annualized 0.2 percent in January-March as corporate and consumer spending weakened, a poll showed.

Russia’s top banks plot temporary sanctions workaround: sources

MOSCOW ( ) – Leading Russian banks are working on plans to help each other retain at least short-term access to the global financial system in the event that they are hit by fresh U.S. sanctions, sources familiar with the matter told .

Sberbank, VTB, Gazprombank and others are examining how they can provide each other with access to U.S. dollars or other major foreign currencies by using so-called correspondent accounts, the sources said.

Banks access financial services in different jurisdictions and provide cross-border payment services to customers in various currencies through correspondent banking relationships.

The new scheme, which banks started to draft with Russia’s finance ministry and the central bank last year, would be unlikely to work indefinitely but could help avoid a panic if one or several big banks are cut off from dollar transactions.

U.S. lawmakers last year drafted a sanctions bill which proposed cutting off some of Russia’s top banks from the U.S. dollar system, mentioning Sberbank, VTB, Gazprombank, Russian Agriculture Bank, Promsvyazbank, VEB and Bank of Moscow.

This did not come into force and recently another was proposed, without mentioning any specific banks.

But Russian banks still fear they could come under sanctions and so have begun to draft a contingency plan.

“Each important bank has a step-by step plan on what should be done in a given situation. The first month is set out day by day, if not hour by hour,” a senior financial official said.

The central bank and Gazprombank declined to comment. The finance ministry, Sberbank, VTB, Promsvyazbank, VEB and Russian Agriculture Bank did not reply to requests for comment.

The two biggest threats to the banking sector in Russia are being cut off from the SWIFT banking messaging system and losing access to foreign currency, which they usually get from U.S. banks via correspondent accounts.

In the event of being shut out of SWIFT, Russia already has its own system, which it is upgrading.

And for foreign currencies there are a number of options, said the sources, who include a high-ranking state banker, a well-placed industry official, an executive with a large bank and an individual in a foreign bank.

TEMPORARY FIX

The main option relies on at least one major Russian bank avoiding sanctions and being able to retain access to foreign currencies via correspondent accounts with major overseas banks.

Other Russian banks would then set up or upgrade existing correspondent accounts with that bank to shift currency around.

Publicly available documents show VTB has correspondent accounts with Sberbank and VEB, while Russian Agriculture Bank has accounts with VEB, VTB, Gazprombank, Sberbank and a number of other Russian banks.

VEB has such accounts with Sberbank and Gazprombank.

Sberbank, VTB, VEB, Gazprombank and Russian Agriculture Bank have correspondent accounts with the central bank as well.

However the bulk of these accounts are denominated in rubles, with only a handful in U.S. dollars and euros.

“This would (them) allow to move the dollars between themselves bypassing a correspondent account,” the source at a foreign bank said, adding that in order for the back-up to work one bank in the chain would need to have a U.S. dollar correspondent account with a U.S. bank as there would still be a need to make external settlements, necessitating a bridge.

Correspondent accounts would complicate tracking currency transfers between the banks, making them harder for overseas authorities to spot, a former central bank official said.

Such an arrangement would represent a “temporary solution” which might last for three or four months and buy the banks time to find an alternative, while also reassuring customers.

And a spike in currency transactions by the banks which had not been sanctioned and were dealing with the foreign correspondent bank would likely arous上海夜生活e suspicions.

Other options include the central bank providing forex currency to a ‘clean bank’ which in turn would then distribute it to peers via correspondent accounts, sources said.

Alternatively a sanctioned bank could use correspondent accounts directly with the central bank although that would raise the risk of the central bank itself being hit with sanctions and therefore, is unlikely, the sources said.

Simeone admitted that the Copa del Rey exit was his mistake

Diego Simeone, the Atletico Madrid head coach, admitted that the elimination from the Copa del 上海夜网Rey is his responsibility as he made a lot of mistakes and Sevilla deserved to go through after a 5-2 win on aggregate.

Atletico lost the first leg 2-1 after two late goals and they were defeated in the reverse match as well – and Simeone was sent from the sidelines in this bitter 3-1 loss to their rivals. Atletico were eliminated in the group stage of the Champions League by AS Roma and Chelsea and in La Liga, they are 11 points behind the league leaders, Barcelona.

The Argentinian coach spoke about this loss as he said, according to Goal: “The responsibility for this elimination and the Champions League is all mine. There are still four months left in the season and between La Liga and the Europa League, we’ll keep competing like we always have. Our opponent took advantage of their chances. Sevilla finished their chances both here and in the first leg. This made them more comfortable in the tie. We were close to turning the match around in the first half and scoring the equaliser in the second, but [Sevilla goalkeeper Sergio] Rico played well.”Kieran Trippier talks about his decision to leave Tottenham Nedim Maric – The English right-back changed the environment this summer, moving from rainy London to sunny Spain.Trippier is having a good start at Atletico Madrid. After rigorous…

He also added that they wanted to play the finals in their home stadium: “We had dreams of playing the final in our stadium. We’re going to pick ourselves up because this team has always done so. Now we need to think about La Liga. I think Sevilla were better and when that’s the case, you have to congratulate them.”

In the end, Simeone claimed that they will need to learn from their mistakes and start improving: “We need to study what we did wrong and improve from that. We have to fight to finish as high up in La Liga as possible and we also have the Europa League.”

Kane: “My teammates deserve the praise, not me”

Harry Kane, the Tottenham striker, admitted that he asked his teammates for help with breaking Alan Shearer’s record ahead of the match against Southampton and he praised them for doing so.

Alan Shearer’s 22-year old record of 36 goals scored was broken – Harry Kane managed to level it in the match against Burnley and now, he has surpassed him by scoring another hattrick against Southampton and set a new benchmark of 39 goals. To be added, he has also become the world’s top scorer of 2017 by surpassing Lionel Messi by two goals and he admitted that he is very happy for that as he wants to score as many goals as he can.

The Englishman spoke about his feeling after breaking this record as he said, according to Sky Sports: “It was hard not to think about it going into the game being level. As always I wanted to win the game first and foremost, but of course, I wanted to score as a striker. To get that goal early on and get that record was a great feeling and I could enjoy the rest of the game.”Opinion: Martin Odegaard is perfect for the Premier League Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – Given how much he’s been rejected by Real Madrid, we are convinced that Martin Odegaard is per上海夜网fect for the Premier League.Martin Odegaard is finally…

He also added that he can feel how he has improved: “This year I would say physically I have improved, recovery from games, getting ready, we have such a busy schedule. Just making sure I’m ready for each game, eating right, recovering right with ice baths. I feel really good. I feel sharp and at my best.”

In the end, Harry Kane also thanked his teammates for making this possible to him: “I said to the lads before the game to try and set me up and they all did that, so I’ll have to take them out to dinner or something. That third goal today was good, the third goal against Burnley I think that summed up how I play with the tackle and then the touch and finish so there’s been some good goals, but hopefully some better ones in 2018.”

Preview: Sassuolo – Inter

Inter Milan will look to bounce back from their surprise loss to Udinese last weekend, whe上海夜网n they welcome Sassuolo in Serie A.

Flashscore presents the key facts before the match:

It is so tight at the top that one loss brought Inter down the table to third after 17 games (40pts, W12, D4, L1). Their first loss of the season puts them two points behind new leaders Napoli (42pts) and Inter must also be worried about AS Roma below them, who are now just two points behind with a game in hand.

Sassuolo are 15th in SA (17pts, W5, D2, L10) but have been on a revival since Beppe Iachini took control at the end of November. Nine out of their 17 points (53%) came in their last five matches where they picked up 1.8 points per game (compared to season avg. of 1.0 points per game).

The visitors are unbeaten in eight away games (W5, D3) conceding just five goals (avg. of 0.62 per game) while scoring 13 (avg. of 1.62 per game). This is bad news for the hosts who have just one win in eight home games (W1, D2, L5) and their home point tally (five) is better than that of only Genoa (two) and Benevento (one).

Inter’s Mauro Icardi has scored 17 goals so far in 17 games and is looking well on course to join Gonzalo Higuain and Luca Toni as the only strikers since the 1930s to score 30 goals in a SA season. The hosts want their talisman to get their title charge back on track, as they look for their first Scudetto since 2010!Italian football to pay respects to Sassuolo owner Squinzi George Patchias – Sassuolo owner Giorgio Squinzi has died at the age of 76, and a minute’s silence will be observed across Italian football this weekend as…

Sassuolo have failed to score in six of their eight home games (75%) while keeping just two clean sheets (25%). They have scored just three home goals (avg. of 0.38 per game) while conceding ten goals (avg. of 1.25 per game). But, the positive news is that their only win has come in their most recent match!

Sassuolo have won four of their last five (80%) encounters against Inter, with their only loss during this process coming last year at home (1-0). Can Inter repeat that feat?

Missing players

Sassuolo: C. Dell’Orco (knee injury), T. Letschert (knee injury), C. Adjapong (doubtful)

Inter: Z. Vanheusden (knee injury), J. Mario (doubtful).

Guardiola admitted that he didn’t expect his City to play like that

Pep Guardiola, the Manchester City coach, admitted that he is surprised by his side’s form and performances just like everybody else and he didn’t expect this thing to happen before the season has started.

Manchester City managed to win 16 Premier League matches in a row (which is the new record) and in total, they won 17 out of their first 18 league matches of the season. Guardiola’s career best is 20 wins in a row with Bayern Munich and he is about to improve even this record if he will continue like that – but he previously insisted that this record is meaningless if they will not win a trophy.

The former Bayern Munich and Barcelona coach spoke about his feelings about this successful run as he said, according to Goal: “No [I did not expect this], I don’t know [what a good points total would have been]. I’m glad to be where we are. I would have liked to be here at the beginning of the season, but I didn’t expect it. I repeat this is not normal. This is not a situation I am used to.”Opinion: Martin Odegaard is perfect for the Premier League Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – Given how much he’s been rejected by Real Madrid, we are convinced that Martin Odegaard is perfect for the Premier League.Martin Odegaard is finally…

He admitted that he expected the at least a few losses will come: “I expect to lose games and drop more points, but I am glad. We are going to fight to continue to be unbeaten. That is going to happen, we will be beaten. But we are going to fight to be unbeaten.”

In the end, Pep Guardiola insisted that he is certain that they will drop points at some point: “There is no doubt about it because of the way we pla上海夜网y at Leicester, the way we play against Tottenham and Swansea, the players showed me they are still hungry to win another game. We will drop points and then after that, we will see how we react.”

Wenger vs Mourinho

Jose Mourinho accused Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger of lying about Alexandre Lacazette’s fitness before the showdown between the Gunners and Manchester United last weekend

The Red Devils coach claimed the Frenchman wasn’t honest about his striker’s fitness, and Wenger felt like he had to hit back.

It was France international Alexandre Lacazette who wasn’t supposed to feature against United on Saturday, as Wenger had previously stated he wasn’t in the right condition to play. Not only has he played, the striker managed to score.

As the former Lyon star’s presence put pressure on Mourinho’s men, he accused Pep Guardiola of being similarly dishonest when the Manchester City coach said David Silva isn’t ready to play on Sunday.

The Manchester United manager took his shot at Wenger and Guardiola during a press conference,上海夜生活论坛 when assessing his injured players after their 2-1 Champions League victory over CSKA Moscow on Tuesday.Solskjaer “very pleased” after another failure to win George Patchias – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said he was “very pleased,” even though United failed to win yet again.It is now ten games on the road since…

“The truth is Eric Bailly, no chance for the weekend, Phil Jones a chance, [Marouane] Fellaini a chance, Zlatan [Ibrahimovic] a big chance and [Nemanja] Matic is injured but will play for sure. [Michael] Carrick no chance,” Mourinho said.

“I’m telling the truth, he’s injured but will play for sure. No stories of Lacazette or David Silva. All the truth.”

Once Wenger heard what the Portuguese coach had to say, he couldn’t not comment on the issue, and he replied to Mourinho’s claims during a news conference ahead of Arsenal’s Europa League game against BATE.

“I though he wouldn’t play, yes, but in the end, he could play. What did you want me to do, to leave him at home?” the Frenchman replied.

“I’m always honest and I thought really he wouldn’t play. He had a test on Friday morning and we were not sure he would play. After he tried, and he played. That’s part of football,” Wenger said.

Puel praised Vardy for being a complete player

Claude Puel admitted that he is very happy to have Jamie Vardy in his team as he is a complete player – the Frenchman praised his player before his side’s trip to Newcastle and it will definitely boost his confidence.

The Englishman has scored seven times so far in the Premier League and he will try to add another goal in the upcoming match against Newcastle. Puel won three of his first six matches in charge of his new club but he is still waiting for his first away win – and he wants to get it against experienced Rafel Benitez as his Newcastle have been struggling a bit recently.

When speaking about Jamie Vardy and his contribution, Claude Puel said, according to Sky Sports: “I think Jamie Vardy is the complete player. I would always prefer to have him in my team. He’s enjoying his football, it’s amazing to see. He works hard for the team and always has a positive attitude.”Opinion: Martin Odegaard is perfect for the Premier League Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – Given how much he’s been rejected by Real Madrid, we are convinced that Martin Odegaard is perfect for the Premier League.Martin Odegaard is finally…

He added that it’s always good上海夜网 to have different types of strikers: “If we can help him to score it will be 50 goals, which is a good thing. He is a great player, and now with a lot of experience, maturity in the Premier League he can give a lot to the team. I was surprised to know his qualities. It’s important to have different possibilities for players. Demarai Gray can play on the side, on the wing, behind Jamie and as a striker. He has all the quality.”

Puel, in the end, compared Vardy with Okazaki and Mahrez: “Shinji Okazaki works very hard for the team, and it is a pleasure to watch. Riyad Mahrez has the ability to play in this position too. He has a good understanding with Jamie. It’s important to see in different games, different possibilities.”

Hartson would do anything to coach Wales

As Chris Coleman decided to end his time as the Wales national team manager, the Welsh FA has to look for his replacement – and one of the possibilities could be the former Wales international, John Hartson.

Hartson himself said that he would “walk on broken glass” for the national team of his country but there is another big name in the game – Tony Pulis. As the experienced manager was sacked by West Brom, he seems to be a great option to replace Coleman and even Hartson admitted that Pulis is a perfect candidate for this position.

Hartson was close to getting this job a few years ago as he said, according to BBC: “I was interviewed for the job when Gary Speed, God rest his soul, got it 10 years ago and I’ve been working on every single game (in the media) – I’ve not missed a Welsh game in the last three years. So I know exactly what goes on within the group. I know the system, I know the philosophy and what the boys like working to because I’ve been in there.”Report: Taylor says authorities turn a blind eye to racism George Patchias – Aston Villa and Wales international Neil Taylor believes football authorities are simply turing a blind eye to the racism that is marring football.Taylor s…

He said that he would be willing to take this job but he hasn’t got a big chance of getting it: “They know my passion – they know I’m an extremely proud Welshman and listen, I would walk on broken glass for the job. But at this moment in time, I don’t think I’m coming into their thinking. I think it’s probably a job, at this moment in time, for somebody that they feel with that little bit more experience and the ideal man, in my opinion, would be Tony Pulis.”

But the former attacker insisted that it’s just up to Pulis: “There’ll be several Premier League jobs and whether Tony feels he is capable of continuing at the highest level in the Premier League – whether he feels he has another couple of上海夜生活 jobs in him – before he takes over the national job, I don’t know.”

Preview: Monaco – RB Leipzig

Monaco and RB Leipzig are separated by two points at the bottom of Group G. The French team are last, with two points, while their German opponents are third, with four points after four rounds.

Flashscore present the key facts before the match:

AS Monaco have positive statistics facing teams from Germany in Europe’s premier competition with 7 wins, 2 draws and 2 losses.

When RB Leipzig score in the Champions League (CL) it’s mainly the first half – 4 of their 5 goals in this season’s competition have come in the first 45 minutes and overall they haven’t scored after the 48th minute in any CL match.

After reaching the semi-finals in the last CL campaign, Monaco have failed to shine this season. They haven’t manage to win a single match or score more than 1 goal in the 4 games so far (3 goals in total).

In the last 2 CL matches Monaco have even given away a 1-0 lead, with the opponents turning it into a draw and a defeat, respectively.

Leipzig have lost 5 of 10 competitive away matches this season and have conceded 7 out of 10 goals 上海夜生活论坛in the first half.Koulibaly warns about Genk danger Nedim Maric – The reliable Napoli defender, Kalidou Koulibaly warned his team about Genk’s quality as he’s played for the Belgian side in the past.Napoli opened their…

Despite losing both home matches in the CL, Monaco remain a big threat at home in Ligue 1 (P 6 W5 D1) and have scored 21 scored goals. In 4 of those matches they scored at least 3 goals.

Leipzig have conceded 6 goals in the 1st half of their Bundesliga away matches (4 in the 2nd) and that could be handy for Monaco, as the team has already scored 12 goals in the first 45 minutes of their home matches (9 in the 2nd half) in Ligue 1.

It’s not easy to be leading after 45 minutes against Monaco, as the team were only behind on 3 occasions at half-time this season.

Missing players

Monaco: T. Lemar (shoulder injury), D. Sidibe (injury), L. Badiashille (doubtful)

RB Leipzig: S. Ilsanker (toe injury), F. Coltorti (doubtful).

Guardiola about the Catalonia situation

Guardiola is strongly affected by the situation in Catalonia as it’s his home region and he thinks that it’s “scary” to imprison the Catalan politicians as this huge crisis continues.

Nine ex-minsters from the dissolved Catalan parliament appeared at Spain’s high court on Thursday accused of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds.All, with exception of bailed former Business Minister Santi Vila, were detained, while ousted Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont remains in Belgium and was one of five separatist politicians not to answer the summons in Madrid, according to Goal.

The Manchester City coach made a comment about that: “I wish that the politicians who they have put in prison are released soon. I’m worried because what happened to them could happen to us for giving an opinion, it could happen to anyone. The two Jordis leading the Catalan organisation were put in prison for asking to vote in a legal referendum.”Pep Guardiola opens up about Champions League ambitions Nedim Maric – Manchester City and Pep Guardiola are aiming to conquer Europe after two consecutive domestic league titles.The English champions started the league stumbling with a…

He wants the situation to be solved as soon as possible, obviously: “I think the Spanish go上海夜生活网vernment and the Catalan government should sit and talk and try to agree on a referendum for both sides. Until then it’s a really difficult situation to be solved. These politicians are in prison for fulfilling the electoral programme. They were fulfilling the wish of the Catalan people. Now they and their families are suffering this situation. It can happen to other people, to all of us, just for wanting to vote. That was the main desire of the Catalan people.”

Pep Guardiola just wants everything to be resolved fairly: “I just wish that the situation can be resolved soon and these guys can be released and December 21 that there is an election in Catalonia – a fair election where the people can express their wish with freedom. [The election must ] recover the institutions and [make sure] that the Parliament of Catalonia is again what it was.”

Silva praises amazing De Bruyne

The Belgium international has enjoyed a tremendous start of the season under Pep Guardiola.

Manchester City’s summer signing Bernardo Silva has lauded his team-mate Kevin De Bruyne as ‘one of the best in the world’. The Citizens’ playmaker is in outstanding form since the start of the season, constantly lifting the assist bar with his performances. De Bruyne has been the most assisting footballer in the Premier League since arriving at the Etihad Stadium in 2015. The 26-year-old’s showing on the pitch has been vital for Guardiola’s men, who keep smashing every team they face in England.

Their latest feature was a 7-2 hammering over Stoke City, with De Bruyne once again under the spotlight as he was involved in the majority of City’s goals. His incredible form has not gone unnoticed as Bernardo Silva could not hide his satisfaction with the Belgium international’s form and contribution to the club: “Kevin, is just an amazing player. It’s a pleasure to play alongside these kind of players and he showed us again that he’s one of the best in the world.” the Portuguese striker stated, according to beIN Sports.Neville: Pep Guardiola knows Ma上海夜生活n City aren’t good enough Andrew Smyth – Gary Neville has quashed Pep Guardiola’s claims that Manchester City won’t buy in January as they can’t challenge for trophies without defensive cover.

“It feels great to be part of this team and score my first goal for Manchester City, I’ve very happy for this.

“The team played an amazing game, three well deserved points and now we have to think about the Champions League, because we want another three points there to help us progress.

“To be here and to be able to learn from all these fantastic players, it’s an amazing opportunity, I’m very happy to be here, and I hope I can help the team to achieve the goals.”

Wenger says that Alexis and Ozil could leave in January

The Gunners manager admitted that two of his best player could leave during the winter transfer window.

Both Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil are in their last year of contract at Emirates. The Chilean already made it clear that he is not interested in signing a new deal with the club, while negotiations with Ozil have been rather slow.

With a number of big clubs chasing them, it was inevitable that Arsenal will have to make a decision whether to cash in on them in January or to use them for the whole season and lose them for free next summer.Strachan: Arsenal’s Kieran Tierney similar to Virgil van Dijk Andrew Smyth – Gordon Strachan believes Arsenal new signing Kieran Tierney is a similar kin上海夜生活论坛d of defender to Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk.

Manchester City and PSG are thought to be fighting over the signature of Alexis Sanchez, while Mesut Ozil is disputed by Manchester United and Barcelona. However, the German’s agent revealed that negotiations over a new deal with the Gunners ‘are heading in a positive direction’.

Speaking ahead of the upcoming Premier League match against Watford, Arsenal’s manager said about the possibility of the two players to leave the club: “In our situation, we have envisaged every solution. It is possible.”

Further asked about the Ozil’s willingness to remain at the Emirates, the French manager said: “It is my understanding [that he wants to stay]. I hope the situation can be turned around. At the moment, we are not close enough to announce anything.”

Arsenal outcast finally out of the Emirates

Lucas Pérez has finally ended his nightmare spell with the Gunners.

The 28-year-old will join Deportivo La Coruna as he stated he was where he wanted to be after completing a loan move from Arsenal.

The 28-year-old has been looking for a way out throughout the whole summer. While it appeared that Wenger’s side is not willing to accept bids below 15 million pounds for his services, the club from north London finally agreed on a €4m loan deal with no option to buy included.

“I’m where I want to be,” Pérez is quoted as saying by Riazor.org.

“I have a right to decide what is going to happen with my future and what I want to do.

“Arsenal understood that and I’m grateful to them. They understood my situation and the fact that I wanted to return home.Top 5 players to watch in Manchester United vs Arsenal Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – Ahead of the most important Premier League match of the weekend, we got the Top 5 players to watch in Man United vs Arsenal.The…

“Arsenal defended their own interests, they initially didn’t want me to return to Deportivo.

“They have reached agreements with many clubs but I clearly told them that my intention was to join Depor and no other alternative.

“I don’t want to give a number but 上海夜网in the last three or four days I spoke to many sporting directors and coaches. But I reiterated that my wish was to return to Deportivo.”

Thomas Lemar happy despite failed move to England

The France international was wanted by both Liverpool and Arsenal, but Monaco re上海夜生活网jected both sides’ bids.

Thomas Lemar will remain at the French champions AS Monaco after a supposed move to Emirates Stadium failed. The Gunners submitted a £90 million bid for Lemar, but the transfer was called off hours before the end of the close season. Before that Liverpool submitted a number of offers, but they did not really come close to the estimated price of the winger.

Amid the whole saga around him, Lemar gave an interview to Canal+ where the 21-year-old stated he was looking forward to return to Stade Louis II after the international break.

“I am a player of Monaco, I am very happy there.Liverpool could be kicked out of the Carabao Cup Andrew Smyth – Liverpool face a nervous wait to discover their Carabao Cup fate after falling into hot water with the Football League over selecting ineligible players.

“Now I’m going to make a good season with my club, to try to progress and move forward in my career with Monaco.

“I prepared for this game as usual. I do not lose my head, even if there are rumours. I was focused on my game, that’s all that mattered to me.”

AS Monaco have made a flawless start of the season in Ligue 1 despite losing four of their key players – Tiemoue Bakayoko, Benjamin Mendy, Bernardo Silva and Kylian Mbappe, who joined French rivals Paris Saint-Germain.

Galatasaray keen on signing Fellaini

The Belgium international has grown to be a key figure for the Red Devils following his performance last season.

Galatasaray will make an offer for Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini claims the club director Cenk Ergün. The midfielder signed a 12-month extension to his contract in January keeping him at Old Trafford until 2018.

However, he could be set for departure amid interest from Turkish giants Galatasaray.

Galatasaray’s club director Ergün told Ajansspor.

“Fellaini will leave Manchester United and he is now on our radar.Report: Pallister urges United to sign Maddison. George Patchias – Former Manchester United centre-back Gary Pallister has urged his old club to sign James Maddison from Leicester City.Pallister formed the first great defensive partnership…

“There will be surprises, we are in talks with Fellaini.

“We have made an approach, we are close and if we get Fellaini we will end our pursuit of [Villarreal’s Alfred] N’Diaye.

“We need a player like Fellaini who can move around in midfield.”

F上海夜生活ellaini made 47 appearances for United in all competitions last season – the highest number of games in one campaign ever since he came from Everton in 2013. He helped the team win three trophies including the Europa League with a victory over Ajax.