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€28m deal: AC Milan to complete Samuel Chukwueze transfer today

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AC Milan will complete the transfer of Super Eagles attacker Samuel Chukwueze from Villarreal in a deal reportedly worth within the range of €28m today.

Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano in the early hours of Tuesday disclosed this while providing an update on Chukwueze’s imminent move from La Liga to Serie A.

“AC Milan will complete Samuel Chukwueze’s deal today, it has been done since Monday for €20m fee plus €8m add-ons to Villarreal,” Romano tweeted.

“Chukwueze will land in Milano around 1pm today. Italian centre-back Matteo Gabbia will join Villarreal on loan from AC Milan in a separate deal.”

Meanwhile, former Nigerian international, Sam Sodje is optimistic that fellow compatriot, Chukwueze can handle the pressure of wearing the colours of Milan.

Villarreal and Milan reached agreement on €28million transfer fee for Chukwueze last week and both clubs exchanged documents to finalise the deal on Monday night.

The 24-year-old is scheduled to undergo medical this week and thereafter put pen to paper on a five-year deal at the San Siro Stadium.

He would be the sixth Nigerian football player to dorn the colours of the red and black side of Milan after Taye Taiwo, Nnamdi Oduamadi, Kingsley Umunegbu, Taribo West and Aliyu Datti.

Speaking in an interview on Tuesday on the move, Sodje said Nigerians should be proud that a player in the national team would be playing for the seven-time UEFA Champions League winner.

The 44-year-old former defender, however, stressed that the forward should gear up for the challenge of playing for one of the best clubs in the world.

“AC Milan for a Super Eagles player is such a big club. We Nigerians should be proud that we have someone playing for AC Milan, such an iconic club and that will definitely bring more attention to the national team,” Sodje said during an interview on Brila FM.

“But let’s be factual, let’s be honest, when you play for a bigger club, the expectation is high, the pressure is high, so it depends on how you can handle it.

“It is not as it used to be. I will give you an example. When you play for a team like Chelsea or Manchester United, it is different from when you play for a team like Fulham, because the big clubs win every game, they go to every game and win every game.

“So he would find it different, it all depends on how he can cope with that, but I am sure he can.”

Chukwueze had the best season of his career so far in the yellow and yellow jersey of Villarreal last season, when he scored 13 goals and bagged 11 assists.

The Nigerian international was promoted to the Yellow Submarine’s senior team in 2018 and has gone on to make 207 appearances in all competitons with 37 goals to his name.

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Transfers

Real Madrid ’99 percent’ certain to land Mbappe, says Liga boss

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Spain’s La Liga chief Javier Tebas believes it is almost certain that superstar striker Kylian Mbappe will be playing for Real Madrid next season, he told French daily L’Equipe in an interview published on Friday.

The 25-year-old France captain told his club Paris Saint-Germain earlier this month that he would leave them at the end of this season.

“Knowing that he is leaving PSG, there is a 99 percent chance that Mbappe will sign for Real. But I don’t know if he has already signed,” the La Liga president Tebas said.

Mbappe has never hidden his admiration since childhood of Real Madrid, who are favourites to land one of world football’s biggest talents.

“It’s big news for Real and for Spanish football. He is one of the best players in the world. From my point of view, (Jude) Bellingham, (Erling) Haaland and Mbappe are the three dominant players on the planet, and two are already at Real Madrid,” said Tebas.

Sources close to the matter say wage negotiations between Real and Mbappe are advanced.

Tebas also praised the way Real Madrid is run.

“Economically, they are very responsive,” he said.

“Currently their financial results are very good and they can spend much more than they do. Real were very prudent financially and prepared for the signing of Mbappe.”

 

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Transfers

Don’t join Arsenal, Henry warns Osimhen

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Barcelona and Arsenal legend, Theirry Henry, has tasked Napoli striker, Victor Osimhen, to be more consistent in scoring but urged the forward not to join Arsenal if he eventually made the move to the English Premier League.

The Frenchman stated this after Osimhen;s goal against Barcelona in Wednesday’s Champions League last-16 first-leg clash in Naples kept the Partenopei in the tie.

The Nigerian striker drew Napoli level at 1-1 with his only attempt on goal in the encounter 15 minutes after Robert Lewandowski broke the deadlock on the hour mark.

The goal was his first in as many games since rejoining Napoli after playing for Nigeria at the Africa Cup of Nations in December.

It was also his sixth in six Champions League games for the Partenopei at the Diego Armando Maradona stadium.

He now sits behind Erling Haaland (12) and Kylian Mbappe (nine) for recent home goals scored in the competition over the last two seasons.

Furthermore, his goal against Barcelona saw him tie Napoli captain, Giovanni Di Lorenzo, and Lorenzo Insigne for goals scored in the Champions League with Napoli, and sits just behind Dries Mertens, who netted 11 in Europe’s premier club competition.

Speaking with CBS Sports Golazo, the French U-21 coach challenged the 25-year-old to prove himself outside of the Italian Serie A where he won the Scudetto and won the Capocannoniere.

“I think he needed the goal today (on Wednesday),” Henry said on the UEFA Champions League show with CBS Sports Golazo.

“At the AFCON, we saw him, he can lead the line, run into the channels, and he has excellent hold-up play.

“How good can he be? He showed last year what he could do and won the African Player of The Year along the way, winning the Scudetto with Napoli and getting to the final with Nigeria.”

Henry, a Champions League winner with Barcelona in 2009, urged the Nigerian to prove himself in other European leagues.

The 25-year-old has been linked with moves to Chelsea and PSG but Henry warned against a switch to Arsenal.

“I’d like to see him now, what he can do in the Premier League or wherever he’s going or Paris Saint-Germain. Not Arsenal, I won’t go there.

“I want to see him take the next step and be more consistent with his output, but to be able to win the title with Napoli the way he did will stay in history forever, so all the best to him in his career.”

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Transfers

GENNARO GATTUSO SACKED BY MARSEILLE AFTER DISMAL START TO 2024, JEAN-LOUIS GASSET STEPS IN

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Gennaro Gattuso was brought in to try and stabilise things a bit at Marseille. However, whilst there were some shoots of encouragement, things have taken a turn for the worse – and with the club languishing outside of the European places, Marseille have made their move to try and salvage their season.

Marseille have fired Gennaro Gattuso after failing to win a league match in 2024, with the south-coast club appointing Jean-Louis Gasset as interim manager.
The developments come after Marseille were beaten 1-0 by Ligue 1 surprise package Brest on Sunday.
Gattuso, 46, was hired by Marseille in September after previous incumbent Marcelinho stepped down just three months into his tenure for personal reasons.

“Olympique de Marseille announces the end of its collaboration with Gennaro Gattuso,” Marseille said in a statement.
“Marseille would like to extend its special thanks to Gennaro and his entire staff for the unfailing commitment and professionalism they have shown on a daily basis, and wishes them all the best for the future.”

Gasset was sacked by the Ivory Coast during their triumphant Africa Cup of Nations campaign.
Gattuso led the club into the play-off round of the Europa League but the club have struggled recently. Their only win in 2024 came in the Coupe de France when they scraped past fifth-tier side US Thionville Lusitanos 1-0. Their last Ligue 1 win came on December 17 against Clermont Foot.
Their poor form has seen them drop to ninth in the table. They are eight points back from Monaco, who occupy the final European spot in fifth, and a further point off Nice who sit in the third Champions League spot.
Gasset will be Marseille’s fifth manager in the past three years with Jorge Sampaoli, Igor Tudor, Marcelinho and now Gattuso struggling to stay long-term on the French south coast.

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