Manchester United have offered Paul Pogba to Juventus in a proposed swap deal for Douglas Costa, according to reports in Italy.
The French World Cup winner has been instrumental in the Reds’ upturn in form in recent weeks, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side boasting a 100-per-cent record from the Norwegian’s five games in charge.
Pogba netted four goals and provided three assists in that period in a run of form that saw him named United’s player of the month for December.
The 25-year-old, who has been passed fit to play against Tottenham at Wembley on Sunday afternoon, was at odds with former United manager Jose Mourinho for much of the Portuguese’s final 12 months at the club before his dismissal on December 18.
The pair were embroiled in a war of words from the beginning of the campaign, and Pogba was stripped of the club’s vice-captaincy in September after criticizing Mourinho’s negative tactics following the home draw against Wolves.
Many observers believed it to be a case of Mourinho or Pogba at the club and the academy graduate has asserted himself as a vital component of Solskjaer’s reinvigorated side over the past three weeks.
Pogba, who scored twice against both Huddersfield and Bournemouth at the end of last month, was on the receiving end of a horror tackle from Newcastle midfielder Jonjo Shelvey that kept him out of the FA Cup third round victory against Reading.
The former Juventus star trained with United’s first-team during the five-day warm weather camp in Dubai and is set to feature from the outset against Spurs at Wembley as United look to claw back ground on the Premier League’s top four.
But Tuttosport claim that United are prepared to let their most marketable asset leave the club to secure the services of Brazil winger Douglas Costa, 28.
The 5ft 5ins wide man is still to score a goal for club or country this season after 22 appearances.
AFCON 2019: Black Stars Working Hard To Win Trophy : Andre Ayew
Black Stars skipper, Andre Ayew, believes his side are working tirelessly to lift this year’s Africa Cup of Nations trophy in Egypt.
According to Ayew, they believe the only key to being successful at the upcoming continental campaign was through hard work.
The Black Stars have been camping in Dubai as they prepare for the tournament. They will travel to Egypt on Thursday to step up preparations ahead of their first group match against Benin on Tuesday.
“We have been in Dubai for a while now and I can tell you that everyone is working tirelessly to ensure we deliver the AFCON title to Ghanaians.
“Everyone here believes in hard work being the key to success and are focused on working towards that in order to achieve our goals,” he added.
The senior national team last won the tournament in 1982.
Ghana Ranked 3rd Most Peaceful Country In Africa
Ghana came third after Botswana and Malawi respectively in the most peaceful country in Africa in the latest Global Peace Index.
Ghana placed 44th in the world with Iceland leading the overall chart as the most ‘peaceful’ nation on Earth in the 2019 Global Peace Index.
In addition, the world’s overall ‘peacefulness’ has improved for the first time in five years – although only marginally.
Afghanistan was bottom of the list, moving below even Syria, while South Sudan, Yemen and Iraq were all in the bottom five.
The report measures the ‘peacefulness’ of 163 countries with a range of measures including military spending and deaths from conflict and terrorism, as well as an estimated economic cost of violence.
Iceland, often portrayed as an idyllic Nordic paradise, came first in the rankings for the 12th year in a row as researchers praised the country’s falling murder rate and increase in funding to UN peacekeeping.
‘The strong institutions, attitudes and structures of peace that Iceland maintains has bolstered the country’s resilience against small internal shocks,’ they said.
New Zealand came second, as the report’s authors noted the violence of the Christchurch mosque attack but said the country had improved other scores and developed a ‘resilience’ to cope with such disasters.
Portugal was third, and Austria fourth despite an increase in ‘likelihood of violent demonstrations’ after a far-right party joined the government.
Denmark was fifth, with European nations dominating the top of the list.
‘Europe remains the most peaceful region in the world and it recorded a very slight improvement in peacefulness after several years of deterioration,’ the report said.
‘However, despite these improvements, the broader political environment in Europe remains uncertain, and resurgent nationalism and terrorism remain significant threats to peace.’
Brexit was also mentioned, as researchers said the UK ‘continues to struggle with its plan for exiting the European Union’ in what they called a ‘mixed’ year for international relations.
Japan scored highly among leading world powers, coming in as the world’s 9th-most peaceful country.
Germany was 22nd, the United Kingdom 45th and France 60th, while the United States dropped four places to 128th.
The report’s authors cited ‘growing political polarisation’ in America, adding that tensions had grown between Washington and Iran.
‘Confidence in US leadership has fallen the most in the past five years, with people now having more confidence in China than the US on average,’ they noted.
Australia’s score also fell slightly, as researchers said the country had increased its military expenditure and weapons imports.
Russia scored badly, coming 10th from bottom, below North Korea.
Afghanistan was bottom, scoring even worse than Syria, where ISIS was swept out of its last patch of territory earlier this year.
‘Despite the improvement this year, the world remains considerably less peaceful now than a decade ago,’ the report’s authors said.
‘A wide range of factors drove the fall in peacefulness over the past decade including increased terrorist activity, the intensification of conflicts in the Middle East, rising regional tensions in Eastern Europe and northeast Asia, increasing numbers of refugees, and heightened political tensions in Europe and the U.S.,’ they explained.
The slight uptick in peacefulness this year was partly fuelled by a reduction in military spending, the report found.
Seventy-two of the countries studied had reduced their level of military expenditure as a share of GDP.
There were also particular regional improvements, including in North Macedonia which struck an agreement with Greece to settle the long-running name dispute between the countries.
There was also an easing of the conflict in Ukraine, where fewer lives were lost.
Not all countries were included in the rankings, with small European nations such as Luxembourg and Liechtenstein among those left out.
The full list of countries in the 2019 Global Peace Index
2. New Zealand
10. Czech Republic
33. Costa Rica
45. United Kingdom
52. Sierra Leone
53. United Arab Emirates
55. South Korea
62. The Gambia
65. North Macedonia
70. Equatorial Guinea
72. Sri Lanka
81. Bosnia and Herzegovina
84. Dominican Republic
93. Trinidad and Tobago
95. Kyrgyz Republic
98. Papua New Guinea
104. Burkina Faso
107. Cote d’ Ivoire
113. El Salvador
121. Republic of the Congo
127. South Africa
128. United States of America
129. Saudi Arabia
149. North Korea
155. Democratic Republic of the Congo
157. Central African Republic
161. South Sudan
FIFA To Take Total Control Of Soccer In Africa On The Eve Of 2019 AFCON Over Alleged Corruption In CAF
The world football governing body, FIFA has made plans to take over the running of the Confederation of African Football in the wake of corruption scandals surrounding the controlling body for African association football.
The announcement is expected to be made in a press conference in Egypt on Thursday, the eve of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON ) before the hosts, Egypt takes on Zimbabwe on Friday afternoon.
The New York Times reported that the decision was made due to corruption scandal of CAF president Ahmad Ahmad who was briefly arrested for questioning a fortnight ago in France before being released without charge.
There are also a torrent of allegations of wrongdoing, ranging from financial mismanagement to sexual harassment against Ahmad, who has continued to deny the allegations against him and has claimed to be the victim of a smear campaign
“The rule of the temporary FIFA High Commissioner for Africa would be to conduct a root-and-branch review of governance of the confederation, oversee operational management of the organization, and recommend where needed a series of reform efforts, to be agreed with CAF member associations and with FIFA in order to put CAF itself on a modern and sound footing, improve its image and reputation and thus ensure that CAF is better equipped to face future challenges and to grasp future opportunities,” FIFA said in setting up the arrangement, according to an internal document seen by The New York Times.
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