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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.

Under pressure, Fed faces an outlook clouded by trade wars and signs of weakness

WASHINGTON ( ) – U.S. President Donald Trump’s attacks on the Federal Reserve have broken one set of precedents, his talk of stacking the central bank with political allies has strained another, and his on-again off-again tariff threats have made the economic outlook harder than ever to predict.

While the Fed may well find reason to cut interest rates in recent weak job and inflation readings, doing so could also put a safety net under Trump policies that, to the eyes of many policymakers, have to date done more harm than good.

“There is a kind of feed the beast aspect to it,” said former Fed vice chair Alan Blinder. “Among the many things the Fed has to take as given is trade policy. And if in fact trade policy is going to push the economy into a slump, that is a reason to cut interest rates … If the Fed comes in to bail him out you encourage bad behavior.”

Fed Chair Jerome Powell and other officials insist they can only consider what is happening in the economy and the appropriate policy response, and not try to second guess what the administration does or might do.

Trump on Monday renewed his attacks on the Fed, claiming that central bank policy put him at a disadvantage in his trade negotiations with China because that country, with closer political control of its central bank, could devalue its currency or use other tools to offset the tariffs Trump has imposed on Chinese imports.

“Our Fed is very destructive to us… They haven’t listened to me,” Trump said in a CNBC interview. “They’re not my people.”

In fact, Trump elevated Powell to the Fed leadership and appointed three of the other four sitting Fed governors.

Trump has for a year berated the Fed for raising rates and other policy steps that Fed officials say are the best way for keeping the recovery under way. That broke a roughly 30-year run of presidents largely staying away from specific policy recommendations for the Fed, even if they were sometimes generically critical of the central bank.

Earlier this year, Trump threatened a fuller assault by considering the appointment of two highly partisan political allies to the central bank, straying from a tradition of more technocratic appointments.

The surprise announcement in early May of higher tariffs on China and a threatened imposition of levies on Mexican imports added to the minefield the Fed must now navigate.

Though Trump in the end chose not to impose the tariffs on Mexico, the prospect of using an economic lever for the non-economic end of border control showed how in the Trump era policy could shift abruptly for central bankers who try to keep their focus on medium- and longer-term outcomes.

“We take all kinds of things…into account,” St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said last week before Trump called off the Mexican tariffs. “There are some good policies in there. There may be some bad policies in there. But we have to take everything into account.”

NOT IN A BOX

Recent economic data are already complicating the Fed’s job. Policymakers have expected the economy to slow, but also regarded the likely slowing as modest, and not enough to warrant a rate cut.

The story shifted after Trump’s latest trade war salvo.

“I don’t feel backed into a box,” to cut rates, Dallas Federal Reserve bank president Robert Kaplan said last week. But “in the month of April I might have said … I was a little more optimistic that the outlook was firming, and today I will tell you I am more cognizant of risks to the downside. That is a pretty big change in a relatively short amount of time.”

Whether it is enough for the Fed to put a rate cut squarely on the table will become clearer next week. Fed officials will hold their policy meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday, and issue updated rate projections. They will also have to decide whether to maintain their “patient” approach to changing rates from the current range of between 2.25% and 2.5%, or drop that description in a sign that they are open to a move sooner rather than later.

Weak inflation readings like those in a New York Fed report on Monday have already led Bullard to say that a rate reduction was “warranted.” [nL2N23H0PS]

Analysts and markets, though, are split.

Bond markets have been aggressive in pricing in lower rates later this year, and U.S. stocks have rallied hard in the past week on optimism that a rate cut looked more likely, especially after last week’s weak jobs report. Economists at Goldman Sachs and elsewhere, meanwhile, have discounted any pressure from Trump and argue the economic outlook does not yet warrant a rate cut.

Rolling with the punches from political Washington is nothing new. Former Fed chair Ben Bernanke complained when congressional spending caps reduced economic growth just as the U.S. recovery was getting traction and the eurozone was threatening to crack apart.

This problem here is different, though, with the Fed both under political pressure and less certain, week to week, what actions of the White House they may have to take into account.

After years in which U.S. central bankers bemoaned being “th上海夜生活e only game in town” influencing the economy, they may now be nostalgic for those simpler times.

“The Fed has had too much on its plate for a long time,” said Boston College economics professor Peter Ireland. “Powell was taking pains to say ‘trade is trade’ and that is not our business. But he has gotten sucked into it.”

Land & Buildings may seek board seats at Taubman Centers in 2020

NEW YORK ( ) – Activist investment firm Land & Buildings on Tuesday warned that it may seek board seats at shopping mall operator Taubman Centers Inc next year unless performance improves.

Jonathan Litt, who runs the firm and is known for pushing for change at real estate companies, wrote to fellow Taubman shareholders, telling them that he plans to “take any action that we deem necessary to hold this Board and Bobby Taubman accountable.”

Unless there is “meaningful progress in the coming months,” Litt wrote that he plans to wage a proxy contest and nominate directors next year.

Specifically Litt wants Taubman Centers to sell assets in Asia and sell or spin-off “Jewel Box” assets which include properties like the Mall at Short Hills in New Jersey.

Shares in the company, whose market capitalization is roughly $2.6 billion, have fallen 26% in the last 52 weeks as consumer appetites have shifted more to buying online.

“Their best defense against a proxy contest in 2020 is to drive m上海夜生活论坛aterial outperformance by maximizing value for all shareholders,” Litt wrote in the letter.

Litt, whose firm had roughly $577 million in regulatory assets at the end of last year, has been pushing for changes at Taubman since 2016 and won a board seat two years later.

He wrote that he did not stand for re-election this year because “it was clear that the Company did not intend to re-nominate me,” and because he feels that one independent director was not enough to push for the changes he feels are needed.

Next year however shareholders will have a chance to cast ballots on all directors including Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Bobby Taubman. “All directors and specifically, Bobby Taubman, can be held accountable by shareholders for the Company’s atrocious absolute and relative performance for the first time since 2017 at the 2020 Annual Meeting,” the letter said.

News of Litt’s plans was first reported by Bloomberg.

Trump national security aide McFarland may become envoy to Singapore: official

PALM BEACH, Fla. ( ) – President Donald Trump’s deputy national security adviser, K.T. McFarland, is expected to step down and has been offered the position of U.S. ambassador to Singapore, a U.S. officia上海夜生活论坛l said on Sunday.

The move will be seen as a victory for Trump’s national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, who is retooling the national security team he inherited from retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, who resigned as Trump’s first national security adviser in February.

McFarland, 65, is a former national security analyst for Fox News and was one of Trump’s original hires after he won the presidential election on Nov. 8.

The exact date of her departure was unclear, said the U.S. official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

News of her pending departure came less than a week after Trump removed his chief strategist, Steve Bannon, from the National Security Council at McMaster’s urging. Bannon had a seat on the council’s “principals committee,” which included the secretaries of state, defense and other ranking aides. Flynn was forced to resign on Feb. 13 over his contacts with Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak, before Trump took office on Jan. 20.

McFarland’s expected departure will likely elevate the status of Dina Powell, who is deputy national security adviser for strategy. She had served in Republican President George W. Bush’s State Department, and had advised Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, during Trump’s transition to the presidency.

Trump’s White House has been rife with infighting and palace intrigue as the president has struggled to get past some early stumbles.

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.

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.

WRAPUP 2-Canada trade deficit shrinks slightly in March on higher oil exports

(Updates with fresh analysts’ comment)

By David Ljunggren

OTTAWA, May 9 ( ) – Canada’s trade deficit in March shrank slightly to C$3.21 billion ($2.38 billion) but was still the 12th largest on record, Statistics Canada said on Thursday, underscoring the challenges still facing exporters.

Analysts in a poll had forecast a shortfall of C$2.45 billion. Statscan revised February’s deficit sharply upward to C$3.42 billion from an initial C$2.90 billion.

Canada, a major crude exporter, has been hit hard in recent years by lower oil prices and higher U.S. energy output, as well as a shift away from producing light trucks. It has posted just two trade surpluses since October 2014.

Exports grew by 3.2 percent with shipments of energy products posting a 7.7 percent gain. Crude oil export volumes, which had fallen by 10.9 percent from November to February, rose by 3.1 percent.

“We’re still not fully dug out of the hole that we put ourselves in the fourth quarter, but at least it’s a nice turn around in the export story,” said Ross Prusakowski, principal economist at Export Development Canada.

Prusakowski said there was modest upside potential for energy prices to increase further in 2019.

Exports of passenger cars and light trucks rebounded by 8.4 percent after dropping in February on lower auto output上海夜网.

Markets were unimpressed and the Canadian dollar held to a near-two-week low of 1.3496 to the U.S. dollar, or 74.10 U.S. cents.

Imports increased by 2.5 percent to a record C$52.26 billion as imports of consumer goods such as clothing, footwear and accessories rose by 6.7 percent. Imports of airliners plunged by 50.7 percent on a slowdown in deliveries of U.S. aircraft.

Stephen Brown, senior Canada economist at Capital Economics, said export volumes looked set to rise further in April.

“We expect trade to make a positive contribution to second-quarter GDP growth,” he said in a note to clients.

Canada’s trade deficit with the world in the first quarter rose to C$10.13 billion, the highest shortfall since the second quarter of 2016.

Canada sent 74.2 percent of all its goods exports to the United States in March. Exports to the United States rose by 1.3 percent while imports shrank by 0.4 percent and as a result, Canada’s bilateral trade surplus grew to C$3.62 billion from C$2.99 billion in February.

Separately, Statscan said new-housing prices were unchanged in March for the seventh month out of eight, with little or no growth in the major markets of Toronto and Vancouver.

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.

Trump knocks off Walker in key state of Iowa: poll

WASHINGTON ( ) – Donald Trump has surged ahead of the pack of Republican presidential candidates in the key state of Iowa, knocking off Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who had been the leading contender there, a poll released on Friday showed.

Walker had been leading among the 17 Republicans seeking the party’s nomination for the November 2016 election in the early voting state of Iowa, which borders Wisconsin.

The Quinnipiac University survey showed 27 percent of likely Republican caucus voters in the Midwestern state backed Trump, the outspoken businessman and television personality who has seen his lead in national public opinion polls grow in recent weeks despite a string of controversial comments.

Another 21 percent said they supported former neurosurgeon Ben Carson and 9 percent backed U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, a favorite of the conservative Tea Party movement.

The university’s July poll found Walker leading among 18 percent of likely participants in the state’s Feb. 1 caucus, followed by Trump and Carson with 10 percent each. In the poll released on Friday, just 3 percent said they would pick Walker.

“With five months until the balloting, anything can happen. But the field has become a two-tiered contest – Donald Trump and Ben Carson ahead and everyone else far behind,” Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll said in a statement.

The results also showed the handicap that Washington experience has become in the minds of potential Republican voters, Brown said.

He added that Carson, who scored better than Trump among those surveyed when it came to honesty, empathy and temperament despite Trump’s edge on leadership, pointing to the ex-surgeon’s potential to gain support when other Republicans drop out of the race.

The findings also highlight the challenge for Walker, who had been leading most Iowa polls earlier in the summer and has in rec上海夜生活论坛ent weeks tried to jump-start his campaign.

Quinnipiac’s survey released on Friday polled 1,038 likely Iowa Republican Caucus participants from Aug. 27 to Sept. 8 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

French growth seen firming as impact of protests wanes: INSEE

PARIS ( ) – French quarterly growth will firm in the first half the year as consumer spending benefits from improving household incomes and recovering business confidence after protests at the end of last year, the INSEE statistics agency said on Tuesday.

The euro zone’s second-biggest economy is set to post growth of 0.4 percent in both the first and second quarters, up from 0.3 percent in the final three months of last year, INSEE forecast in its quarterly economic outlook.

The economy would have grown 0.4 percent at the end of last year as well if it were not for the impact of the yellow vest anti-government unrest, which INSEE estimated at 0.1 percentage point.

Protests in December saw some of the worst street violence in Paris in decades with rioters rampaging through upmarket neighborhoods, smashing store windows and burning cars.

With the exception of a flare-up last weekend, the violence has largely subsided since President Emmanuel Macron offered concessions in December worth more than 10 billion euros ($11.3 billion) in a package intended to boost the incomes of the poorest workers and pensioners.

INSEE said higher incomes would help consumer spending rebound 0.5 percent in the first quarter after flatlining at the end of last year in the face of the unrest, which forced many stores in central Paris to be boarded up during the peak holiday shopping period.

Business investment was also expected to recover in the first half of the year as confidence firmed albeit not to rates seen before a slowdown at the end of last year.

INSEE saw a limited impact to the French economy from Britain’s departure from the European Union, in theory still planned for the end of the month.

It estimated an orderly Brexit would knock a cumulative 0.3 percent off French growth over several quarters, while the impact could be as much as 0.6 perce上海夜生活论坛nt if London failed to reach a Brexit deal with the EU and tariffs were raised.

That was much less than impact INSEE estimated for Ireland (-1.4 to -4.1 percent) and Germany (-0.5 percent to -0.9 percent), as both countries are closer trade partners with Britain that France.

Joao Mario joins West Ham

The Portuguese international has joined the Hammers until the end of the season.

Inter Milan midfielder Joao Mario has joined West Ham United on a season long loan move, the club from London have confirmed.

The 2016 Euro winner has joined the club at London Stadium and is excited to get started in the Premier League as he spoke to West Ham’s official website:

– I am really happy to be here, – said the new No18. – It’s a really amazing experience to join this amazing team and I am just glad to be here.

– It was a fast move. I have spoken with everyone around the team and, for me, it is exciting to play in the Premier League. I spoke with the coach and for me, I am really happy to be training for an amazing coach, also.

Joao Mario also added that his Portugal team-mate Jose Fonte played a major part in his move to London.West Ham suffer a tough injury blow Nedim Maric – After a promising start of the season, Manuel Pellegrini and West Ham will have to adapt after losing one of their crucial players.This weekend…

– Jose explained to me a little more about the Club and also the song we have, I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles and that, of course, it was really important for me上海夜生活网 to join West Ham!

– It’s a really historic Club with an amazing stadium and amazing players. I am just trying to know a little bit more about the Club every day and now I have some time to know more.

Fellaini spoke about his future at Manchester United

Marouane Fellaini, the Manchester United midfielder, spoke about his future at Manchester United and he revealed that he is “not sure whether he will stay at Old Trafford” if the club will make him another contract offer.

The Belgium international spoke about his situation as his contract is going to expire the upcoming summer and he can possibly leave the club – and he admitted that he has been thinking about this possibility. The 30-year old insisted that he expects another proposal by Manchester United but he doesn’t know yet how is he going to react.

The former Everton player spoke about his opini上海夜生活论坛on on that situation as he said, according to ESPN: “Honestly, I don’t know. I do have something in mind, but I cannot say anything about this yet. If Manchester didn’t want me anymore, they would have told me. They made an offer and they will likely make me another one. Whether I will accept that I am not sure. Those things don’t happen overnight.”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…

He also added that he also talked about it with José Mourinho and he respects his decision: “No, we talked about it. The manager is someone who respects his players’ decisions. This is my 10th season in England. Aside from my first experience at Manchester I only had good moments. Five years at Everton, five years at Manchester. I like the stability. It takes a couple of years before you build relationships. I know everyone by now — that is nice.”

In the end, Marouane Fellaini revealed further facts about his injury: “The inner ligaments were touched. One month later I played again, against Chelsea. But three weeks later, against Brighton, I felt pain again. I decided not to take the risk. I trained again, but not at 100 percent. It wasn’t an easy time, but hey, that’s how it works in football. It could have been worse. Two weeks before Bosnia, there was that attack from [Southampton striker] Shane Long.”

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.”

Pogba: We need to win

Paul Pogba tried to motivate his fellow Manchester United players ahead of their derby against local rivals and league leaders Manchester City

The France international will not play in the Red Devils’ important match due to the suspension he picked up against Arsenal. However, Pogba has urged Jose Mourinho’s side to take the game to Pep Guardiola’s men on Sunday, when they meet in the English top-flight.

The United playmaker encouraged his club to throw bodies forward, as they need a win to get closer to their rivals in the league table. He said United must attack during the whole game.

“We need to. To win those games you need to give everything. You need to be there offensively, defensively. Kill the game when you have one chance because they are City and they have quality as well in front and they can kill the game at any time,” Pogba explained.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…

“They are first for good reason because they have been doing great at the start of the season. They keep winning and they didn’t lose one game and obviously mentally they are very strong.”

“I have complete trus上海夜生活t in the team. Even if I am not there, I will be there watching the game giving positive energy and hopefully we are going to win,” he added when asked about United’s chances to win the game.

“I’m very disappointed because I really want to help the team and wanted to be there for this derby because obviously we are playing City and in this moment, we need points and we need to win. It’s an important moment, an important game so, like I say, disappointed.”

“It’s a big derby and the atmosphere is going to be big. We want to win, we need to win as well,” the Frenchman praised the derby.

Preview: Barcelona – Sporting

Sporting’s only chance to qualify from Group D is a win in Barcelona today, coupled with a favorable result in the other match of the group between Olympiakos and Juventus (1x).

Flashscore presents the key facts before the match:

Sporting Lisbon face a 1,250km trip to Barcelona and face a mammoth task in their final group game in this Champions League (CL) campaign. Sporting must win here to stand any chance of qualification from the group. But for them to beat a Barcelona side away from home, who are unbeaten domestically and in the CL so far, whilst also relying on Olympiakos to do a job on Juventus – may be too big of an ask.

Barcelona have already qualified from the group having gained 11 points from their first five fixtures, but do not be mistaken in thinking that they’ll take their foot off of the gas for this one. Ernesto Valverde’s Barcelona have won nine of their last ten at the Nou Camp, and their last defeat in any competition, home or away, was against their rivals Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup.

To add more misery to Sporting’s chances, Barcelona have scored three goals in each of their home group games so far (3-0 vs Juventus, 3-1 vs Olympiakos). Furthermore, they remain unbeaten here in the CL since all the way back in September 2013 – a remarkable 23 CL home games.

Jorge Jesus’ Sporting side have not won in Spain in 11 attempts, drawing three and losing the remaining eight games, and m上海夜网ost recently to Real Madrid last season. Meanwhile, Barcelona are unbeaten vs Portuguese teams in their last 15 games, winning 12 and drawing three – with their last defeat to a Portuguese side being back in ‘87/’88!Niko Kovac urges Bayern Munich to remain ‘humble’ Andrew Smyth – Niko Kovac has called on Bayern Munich to stay focused and humble after thrashing Tottenham 7-2 in the Champions League.

Barcelona have managed five clean sheets in their last six CL outings, yet Sporting have scored 27 goals in their last ten away games, which is just short of three goals per game. The last meeting between the two at the Camp Nou ended with a Barca win and both teams finding the net (3-1).

Lionel Messi is on the brink of making history, he is now just three goals away from his century of CL goals, and he will surely be looking to take the match ball home after the game.

Missing players

Barcelona: O. Dembele (muscle injury), J. Mascherano (muscle injury), Rafinha (knee injury), S. Umtiti (muscle injury), A. Iniesta (doubtful), A. Turan (doubtful)

Sporting: J. Silva (knee injury), S. Doumbia (doubtful).

Bonucci expecting a Milan victory in Serie A derby

The Italian is grateful for his time with the Nerazzurri, but hopes to come out as a victor after the clash between Inter and AC Milan.

Leonardo Bonucci has looked back on his spell with Inter Milan ahead of the Serie A derby on Sunday. The Italy international completed a shocking move during the summer as he swapped the Nerezzurri with the Rossoneri in a record €40m deal.

Even though Bonucci is thankful for his great time at Inter, he is expecting a win for his new club AC Milan despite a rather shaky start of the season.

“I arrived when I was 17 years old and had two splendid years in their youth academy, where I really improved a lot,” Bonucci told Tencent Sports.

“They are a good side with some great individual talents and chose an important coach in Luciano Spalletti.

“We’ll have to be very wary and give our best. I would take Antonio Candreva and Eder off the Inter squad, as they are my Italy team-mates and they’re two really great guys.Ernesto Valverde praises Lionel Messi’s “fantastic” impact Andrew Smyth – Ernesto Valverde praised a not fully-fit Lionel Messi’s impact as Barcelona came from behind to beat Inter Milan 2-1 on Wednesday.

“I predict a Milan victory, but I won’t tell you [by] how much.”

The Italian also shared a few words regarding his choice to join the Rossoneri, stating that the new challenge at San Siro is what brought him to AC Milan.

“This stadium is the history of football, the most important arena in Italy. Stepping into San Siro always has an effect on you,

“The Rossoneri project is what pushed me to choose this great challenge. I knew there would be difficulties, but I accepted it because I wanted to challenge myself again.

“The objective is to set no limitations in Serie A or the Europa League. Qua上海夜生活网lification for the Champions League must be the minimum target, as Milan have to play in that tournament every year.”

Messi’s hattrick sends Argentina to World Cup

Lionel Messi scored a hattrick in Argentina’s 3-1 victory over Ecuador, that secured the Albiceleste’s World Cup spot.

Argentina went to Ecuador with one clear objective in their mind – a victory that would seal their qualification to the 2018 World Cup. Despite their last matches being far from convincing, the Argentinian fans were putting all of their hopes on the talents of their best footballer – Lion上海夜网el Messi.

And the number 10 did not disappoint. In a crucial match for the football destiny of his country, Messi delivered – and he delivered big time. Having his own personal reasons on top of the country’s hopes to take part in the upcoming World Cup, Messi scored a hat-trick to overturn a match that Ecuador found themselves leading from minute 1.

For Lionel Messi it was one of the last chances to win a World Cup. If Argentina would have missed the presence in Russia, it’s hard to believe that Messi would have had another realistic chance to lift the trophy in 2022, when Barcelona’s player would be 35.

Argentina needed a victory in Ecuador, as well as other results to play in their favour, in order to qualify directly to World Cup. The pre-match statistics were not encouraging for Argentina. The Albiceleste only won once in Quito, where the altitude makes it almost impossible for Ecuador’s opponents to perform at full potential. Also, Argentina failed to score a single goal from open play since November 2016, a less than encouraging statistic going into a decisive World Cup Qualifiers where you need to score.Ernesto Valverde praises Lionel Messi’s “fantastic” impact Andrew Smyth – Ernesto Valverde praised a not fully-fit Lionel Messi’s impact as Barcelona came from behind to beat Inter Milan 2-1 on Wednesday.

Ecuador were decided to make life difficult for Argentina. In fact, they only needed 39 seconds to open the score through Ibarra. However, Messi was not about to give up. And this time, he was not alone. Angel di Maria sent a magical pass in the 12th minute, that found Barcelona’s player in a finishing position. Messi took no chances and finished accurately, levelling the score and keeping the World Cup dream alive.

With the next two goals, Messi proved his commitment to his nation and to the presence at the World Cup. First, in the 20th minute, he chased a loose ball, powering past a defender and sending the ball into the net from a less than comfortable angle. Then, in the 62nd minute, Messi proved his absolute brilliance with a lob that left Ecuador’s goalkeeper, Banguera, stranded.

Messi sealed the 44th hat-trick of his career and perhaps the most important one, in a moment when his country needed him the most. It has to be said that this time, as opposed to the previous few matches for the national team, Messi had help from his teammates. Angel Di Maria, Enzo Perez and Eduardo Salvio all stood out with their performances last night, acknowledging the importance of the moment.

Messi saved the day and took Argentina to the World Cup. But Sampaoli will have a lot of work to do if he wants to achieve any big things in Russia next summer.

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.”

PSG: Mourinho or Allegri to take over

Doesn’t matter how good your team started the season, if you have problems with the world’s most expensive player, that means you could get sacked anytime

Unai Emery’s team has been fantastic this season, as PSG are still unbeaten, having won 16 games while drawing only 2. However, even these stunning numbers could prove less than enough to save the Spaniard’s job in Paris.

There has been a lot of rumours going around about the relationship between the world’s most expensive player Neymar, and the Paris Saint-Germain coach and some say that Emery’s inability to please the Brazilian might cost him a lot.

Despite the former Sevilla coach’s best efforts, he struggles to hide that there is something wrong.

“For me, what happens on the field is the most important thing. All that goes on outside is not the most important. What is important is what happens on the pitch,” Emery protested last week.Ian Wright criticizes Emery for the captain choice Nedim Maric – Manchester United and Arsenal participated in a draw which saw some uninspiring football come to light.Neither Emery of Solskjaer will be pleased with the…

The Spaniard’s job is probably not in immediate danger, as the club’s results are outstanding, but pressure will gather on his shoulders once the Champions League returns in the second half of the season. If PSG fail to reach the round of the last 4, that might be the end of the Emery era.

There are two managers heavily linked with the Ligue 1 leaders. One of them is Jose Mourinho, who is currently the boss of Manchester United, and the other one is Massimiliano Allegri, the head coach of Juventus.

Mourinho is not entirely satisfied with life at Old Trafford, due to a clash of personalities with chairman Ed Woodward, and th上海夜生活网e Special One has already indicated that he can’t see himself at United for a long period of time.

On the other hand, Allegri took Juventus to the Champions League final last season, where they were beaten by Real Madrid. However, he is reportedly a better tactician than Unai Emery is in the eyes of PSG.

If Unai Emery wants to stay the manager in Paris, he needs to keep up the good work and get the expected results for the board.

Cascarino thinks that Morata is “too nice for Chelsea”

The former Chelsea striker, Tony Cascarino, thinks that Alvaro Morata is “too nice” and the Blues are missing “the nastiness of Diego Costa” as they are no longer able to bully their opponents.

Diego Costa managed to score 20 goals in the previous season but after that, Antonio Conte decided to part company with the Spanish forward – and he brought Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid as the replacement. The former Juventus striker has been doing well so far as he scored seven times in 11 matches but Cascarino feels that he is not the right man for the team.

Cascarino spoke about Morata’s contribution as he said, according to Goal: “Alvaro Morata is a big talent but I wonder if Chelsea are missing the nastiness of Diego Costa up front. Morata is such an honest player: [against Roma] he literally picked up Federico Fazio when the Roma 上海夜生活网defender fell to the floor. I can just imagine Costa shoving Fazio aside if he had been in the same position.”Jamie Carragher puts Chelsea over Manchester United and Arsenal Nedim Maric – In an uneventful derby, last night, Manchester United and Arsenal both got point each.Top four-fight this season looks like it’s going to be between…

He thinks that Chelsea are missing a rude attacker like Costa was: “Morata scores plenty of goals and is a fine all-around player but Costa was always on the edge; bullying people, fouling or being fouled. Perhaps Chelsea as a whole have become nicer to play against. I remember I would pick up opponents in the early part of my career but, by the end, I certainly didn’t. I learned that no centre back would do the same for me.”

The former player of the London club also made a comment about the performance of Cesc Fabregas: “Roma’s third goal provided a classic illustration of why Cesc Fabregas should only be part of a midfield pairing when Chelsea are playing against fairly weak opposition — otherwise he should be in a midfield trio. He gave the ball away to Aleksandar Kolarov and then it was as though he had a parachute on as he tracked back to try to make up for his mistake. He has never been the quickest but he seems to have lost half a yard of pace.”