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West Ham agree €40m deal to sign Alvarez

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West Ham and Ajax have agreed a deal of £32 million for Mexico midfielder Edson Alvarez.

David Moyes’ side is the only Premier League club yet to sign a player this summer, but will seek to complete Alvarez’s transfer in the coming days.

Alvarez, a defensive midfielder, will sign a five-year contract and is considered to be a like-for-like replacement for Rice. The 25-year-old will now fly to London for a medical examination.

West Ham have a new transfer committee this summer, led by Tim Steidten, an ex-Bayer Leverkusen executive hired as technical director. They are still interested in Harry Maguire and Scott McTominay of Manchester United, and further acquisitions are expected before the transfer window closes. Despite Southampton’s staunch stance on their asking price, a new proposal for James Ward-Prowse is likely.

The Hammers will begin their Premier League campaign on August 12 away to Bournemouth at Vitality Stadium.

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Record-breaking Lamine Yamal now worth €1 billion at 16 years of age

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Lamine Yamal is now worth €1 billion (£866m/$1bn) at just 16 years of age, with Barcelona inserting a huge release clause in his new contract.

The talented teenager, who has continued to rewrite the record books at Camp Nou and with the Spain national team, has committed to fresh terms through to 2026. Barca have moved to ensure that they will remain the ones to benefit from Yamal’s undoubted potential.

Barca have said on the club’s official website: “Lamine Yamal has whizzed up through the youth ranks and is regarded as one of the hottest properties to come out of La Masia in recent years.

He was just 15 years, 9 months and 16 days old when he made his league debut against Betis on 29 April 2023, making him the youngest player ever to appear in a competitive fixture for the team. Xavi Hernandez has gradually been using his services more and more, and after joining the squad for its preseason tour, he become the youngest ever starter for FC Barcelona in a game against Cadiz this season, and against Royal Antwerp he became the second youngest player ever to appear in the competition.

And despite his youth, he has already won his first international cap for Spain. In a game against Georgia he not only became the youngest player ever to play for ‘La Roja’, but also the youngest ever goalscorer.”

Yamal is following in some illustrious footsteps after stepping out of the famed La Masia academy system – with fellow graduates including Lionel Messi, Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets, Carles Puyol and Pep Guardiola.

Barca have made a habit of tying hot prospects to deals with mammoth release clauses – having had their fingers burned when Paris Saint-Germain triggered a €222m (£192m/$234m) option on Neymar’s contract back in 2017 – with similar terms having been thrashed out with the likes of Ansu Faiti, Pedri and Gavi.

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Sports Ministry Will Prioritise Funding For All Sports – Minister Enoh

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The Honourable Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh has reiterated that his administration prioritizes the funding of sports in the country, as the Ministry will work with all sports federations to determine focus areas, through budgetary submissions.

The Minister made this known during a briefing with pressmen in Asaba, the host city of the 7th National Youth Games. He stated that his experience in this area, while serving as the Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation (Federal House of Representatives) led him to proactively direct on the necessary steps to take for the proper funding of sports in the country.

“The only way to provide for the proper funding of sports is to look at the number of federations, an itemization of their peculiar activities, and to provide as needed,” Senator Enoh said. “For example, if in 2024, a particular sport will undertake pieces of training, and participate in competitions (both local and international), the only way to solve the incident problem of lack of funds, athletes missing out on competitions because of finances, is to provide for all of these ahead of time,” he added.

“As much as possible, I am going to push for this to be done, because it is the only way that we can properly budget for sports development. The ministry is desirous of making credible progress in this regard,” The Honourable Minister concluded.

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Man United fans fly ‘Glazers Out’ banner over Tampa NFL stadium

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Man United fans fly 'Glazers Out' banner over Tampa NFL stadium

A group of Manchester United supporters based in the United States have flown a banner reading “Glazers Out” over the Raymond James Stadium in Florida.

The banner was seen over the stadium ahead of the Monday Night Football game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers — the NFL franchise owned by the Glazer family, who also own Premier League giants United.

The banner was organised by Manchester United supporters groups based in Pittsburgh and Tampa. Footage of the plane and its message was shared online before the match, which the Eagles won 25-11.

The move is the latest protest against United’s owners by fans who are keen for them to sell the club.

The Glazer family, who have owned United since 2005, announced last November they were considering “all strategic alternatives, including new investment into the club, a sale, or other transactions.”

This led to bids being lodged by prospective buyers, but despite receiving several offers, the Glazer family are still yet to make a final decision on whether to sell their stake in the club.

United have failed to win the Premier League since legendary former manager Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013, with their last Champions League success coming in 2008.

Former Ajax boss Erik ten Hag was appointed as the club’s new head coach last year. United won the Carabao Cup in Ten Hag’s first season in charge and reached the FA Cup final while securing Champions League football with a third-place finish in the league.

However, United have endured a difficult start to the new season, losing three out of their first six Premier League games.

The United manager’s problems have been exacerbated by several off-field issues.

Brazil winger Antony has agreed to a leave of absence from the club in order to address accusations of abuse made by three women, while fellow winger Jadon Sancho is training away from the first team group following a public spat with the Dutch head coach.

Forward Marcus Rashford walked away unhurt after being involved in a car crash following United’s 1-0 win over Burnley on Saturday.

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