Chelsea manager, Jose Mourinho has declared that Nigerian midfielder, John Obi Mikel, could be on his way out of the club.
Mikel has been consistently linked with a move away from Chelsea but it seems the arrival of Ivorian marksman, Didier Drogba has finally sounded the death knell on the time of the Nigerian at the club.
The return of Drogba means Chelsea’s anticipated first-team squad has one too many foreign players under Premier League and Champions League rules relating to the home-grown quota.
Clubs can only name 17 foreign players over the age of 21 in their official 25-man squads and Chelsea have 18 overseas stars who are realistically vying for those places.
Authoritative British newspaper, Telegraph, reports that Mourinho has decided that one of Fernando Torres, Peter Cech or Mikel will be asked to leave the club this summer.
“From the group you are expecting us to have as a squad, I have to send one away because we have one extra foreign player.
“So from all these players, if you think all of them have to stay, you are wrong. One of them has to go,” Mourinho said.
Mikel has made over 200 league appearances since joining Chelsea in 2006.read more
Mbachu Emenike has abruptly ended his contract with Finland Cup winners RoPS, months after the contract is supposed to officially end, according to his agent.
After surprisingly dropping down the pecking order for most part of the 2014 season, the left winger and his minders have decided it was best for the player to leave the Keskuskenttä, Rovaniemi for greener pastures.
“Emenike terminated his contract today and is looking more playing time elsewhere. Emenike has made only 2 appearances this season in the starting line-up, scoring twice.
“He netted two goals in a surprise away win against Mariehamn IFK which was played just in between RoPS’ Europa League campaign games against Greece side Asteras Tripolis last week.
“The player is in top form, but not fitting to coaches plans,” Mikko Perälä told allnigeriasoccer.com.
The CEO of TopSpot Limited suggested that Emenike will be heading probably to Malta for the rest of the season or to Sweden where interest has been shown for him.
Mbachu Emenike netted 9 goals in 67 appearances for RoPS, cumulatively in the Veikkausliiga and Ykkonen.read more
West Ham are believed to be in pole position to land the signature of Chelsea winger Victor Moses, according to reports in the English media.
Victor Moses was not allocated a jersey number for the upcoming season, a clear hint he is on his way out of the Stamford Bridge outfit.
The turn of events means the former Crystal Palace sensation must weigh up his options, and make a decision about his future in the coming days.
Apart from West Ham, Victor Moses is being considered by Everton, Newcastle United, Crystal Palace and West Bromwich Albion.
The Hammers manager Sam Allardyce has been chasing his signature for the past five months.
23 – year – old Moses is still under contract at Chelsea until the summer of 2017.read more
AC Milan starlet Favour Aniekan will spend the next one – year on loan at Lithuanian Premier League side, FK Dainava Alytus.
The Rossoneri and FK Dainava have struck a deal that will see the product of Flying Sport Academy continuing his career in the Baltic country.
“I am going on loan to FK Dainava in Lithuania. I have already signed for them; tomorrow I will travel to Lithuania to join my new team,” Favour Aniekan confirmed in an interview.
In the winter transfer market, the attacking midfielder was courted by basement side Monza, the same team former Rossoneri starlet Aliyu Mohammed represented in the 2000 – 2001 season, but nothing came out it.
Favour Aniekan, who was snapped up by AC Milan alongside Henty Ezekiel, is yet to make his official debut for the 18 – time Italian champions.read more
Burnley remain keen on Celtic defender Efe Ambrose, which could in turn block any proposed move away for team-mate Virgil van Dijk.
Clarets boss Sean Dyche is still looking to strengthen and has already signed six new players in preparation for the English Premier League.
Nigerian Ambrose is understood to be one of those on his list of targets – and should he depart it would almost certainly end any chance of his Dutch centre-back colleague leaving.
Meanwhile, Hoops manager Ronny Deila has made it clear he wants goalkeeper Fraser Forster to stay despite Southampton reportedly readying to increase their offer from £7m to closer to £9m.read more
Middlesbrough defender and England U21 international Ben Gibson has said he is excited Nigeria star Kenneth Omeruo has returned to the English Championship side.
Gibson said he is looking forward to renewing the highly-effective partnership he struck with the Nigeria World Cup defender last season.
Omeruo, 20, did well for ‘Boro last season after he joined them on loan from Chelsea in January.
He seemed to gel particularly well with Gibson and in eight consecutive starts alongside each other at centre-back in March and April, they kept four clean sheets.
“I really enjoyed playing with Kenneth, Woody and Dani last season,” said the England U21 international.
“Me and Kenneth had a really good partnership last season so if it us, then hopefully we will carry on in the same vein.
“We are similar ages and good friends.
“We kept in touch even when he was at the World Cup so I just think our styles work well together.
“He’s an aggressive defender in the way that he goes and presses high and I would work around him, we communicate well and it was something that just clicked.
“If the gaffer decides to go that way, then hopefully we will carry on like we did last season.
“It’s the gaffer who picks the team and when all the central defenders are fit, the gaffer will have a headache picking the team, which can only be a good thing.”read more
Coach Stephen Keshi has been offered an improved contract that of seven million Naira a month (over $44,000), according to reports.
Keshi was receiving five million Naira monthly on his contract that ran out after the World Cup and has now demanded he be paid twice that amount.
The coach, who was overlooked for the South Africa post, and the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) are expected to finalise a new deal next week.
A top official who has been part of the contract talks informed that ‘Big Boss’ Keshi has said he wishes to continue as Nigeria coach
“We have had meetings with Keshi and the good news is that he is willing to continue as coach of the Super Eagles,” the top official told AfricanFootball.com
“He is only concerned that most of the fringe benefits in his contract were not provided and demands better treatment from the Federation.
“I think the first step was a success and we will build on it because the (2015 Africa Cup of Nations) qualifiers are not far away.”
The Super Eagles will in early September begin the defence of the AFCON crown they won in South Africa last year.
They are drawn in a qualifying group that has South Africa, Sudan and either Congo or Rwanda.read more
Nigeria World Cup star Mikel Obi will stay on and fight for his Chelsea future in order to acquire a British passport in October, according to reports.
The Chelsea midfielder could have readily taken up offers from clubs like Monaco and Juventus this summer, but for the fact that this could deny him a British passport in October.
“Mikel will be a British citizen by October and that was one of the main considerations why he has opted to stay put at Chelsea at least for the time being,” AfricanFootball.com has quoted a close associate of the player.
“There are offers from clubs like Juventus, Galatasaray and Monaco, but he would rather get his passport before he considers any of them.”
The Nigerian law allows for dual citizenship and so the likes of Tijjani Babangida, Odion Ighalo, Bennedict Akwuegbu and Bartholomew Ogbeche carry two passports.
Mikel could well consider a January exit from Stamford Bridge by the time he gets his passport and by then he is still playing a bit role at ‘The Blues’.
The 27-year-old Mikel joined Chelsea in 2006, winning several major honours including UEFA Champions League and Europa League as well as the English Premier League title.
However, last season he made a total of 36 appearances in all competitions, scoring two goals.
He has a contract with the London club till June 2017.read more
Impeached President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Aminu Maigari is leaving no stone unturned to overturn his ouster from the Glass House.
Maigari, we gathered from a close confidant is bent on reclaiming his mandate during the Extra-ordinary Congress of the NFF, where he hopes that delegates, especially those from the northern section of the country will fault his impeachment process last Thursday by some members of the Executive Committee in Abuja and return him to office.
It was learnt from another reliable insider that Maigari, who is the Bauchi State FA Chairman, has already swung into action by allegedly telling northern delegates that his impeachment was spearheaded by southern elements, who planned on enthroning their own dynasty, a strategy, which we gathered, has been bought hook line and sinker by some FA chairmen and secretaries from the northern region.
“Maigari is not going to give up easily in his fight to overturn his impeachment as he has already reached out to delegates from the north, prompting them to believe that his impeachment was orchestrated by ethnic elements and begging them to overturn it at the next Congress.
This message is gaining grounds amongst these delegates, most of whom feel pity for him and want to help him regain his mandate”, said a reliable source, who spoke to Sports Vanguard on condition of anonymity.
Another pro-Maigari force said last night that Maigari was going to use everything within his resources to get his mandate restored, adding that “ we also need to fight back with our might, which Maigari has promised to make available”.
But as Maigari is strategising ahead of the next Congress, those who orchestrated his impeachment are also plotting to seal his fate once and for all.
An arrowhead FA Chairman from the South-South, told Sports Vanguard last night that there was no way Maigari can get his impeachment upturned at the Congress, adding that Maigari was impeached for genuine reasons and that the impeachment was for the interest of Nigerian football and not on North-South divide.”
“Maigari thinks he can get his impeachment overturned at the Congress by bringing tribal sentiments. We have gone beyond that.”
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was pleased with the performances of 19 year old Anglo Nigerian forward Chuba Akpom despite Arsenal losing 1-0 to New York Red Bulls in their first preseason game.
Akpom the lone striker in Arsenal’s team to the USA for the friendly game was introduced after the first 45 minutes and immediately after the restart fed Abou Diaby who stroked the ball home. However he was adjudged offside.
On 78 minutes, Akpom sprinted through only for goalkeeper Robles to smother the effort.
In spite of the misses Arsene Wenger in his post-match conference praised his effort but admits that Akpom still has a lot to learn.
“Akpom did well but he’s a young boy and he has to learn a lot but he has potential. As long as you don’t score it’s not good but you can play with three No 9s and you don’t score sometimes,” he said.
The only goal came on the half-hour when Bradley Wright-Phillips stabbed home a shot from Thierry Henry’s corner.read more
Nigeria striker Anthony Ujah hit target as his newly promoted German Bundesliga club FC Cologne beat Austrian side Wacker Innsbruck 5-0 in a pre-season friendly Monday.
The 23-year-old Ujah scored his team’s third goal in the 29th minute.
The former Warri Wolves striker netted seven goals in the German second division league last season to ensure Cologne bounced back to the big time after several seasons in the wilderness.
This was all after a difficult time settling down in Germany after his big-money move from Norwegian club Lillestrom to FSV Mainz 05 in June 2011.read more
Super Eagles striker, Brown Ideye is expected to make his debut for West Bromwich Albion later this week, after making his record move to the Hawthorns.
Ideye recently made a surprise switch to the English Premier League outfit from Ukrainian giants Dynamo Kyiv, where he spent the last three seasons.
The 25-year-old who was signed in a club record deal believed to be valued at about £10-million is however yet to make his debut for the club, as the team had already embarked on its US tour when he was signed.
Ideye is however expected to make his debut for the Baggies on August 2, when the team takes on Nottingham Forest in a pre-season friendly, to give the fans of the club a glimpse of its new record signing.
West Brom will then play Port Vale three days later, before facing FC Porto on August 9.
Ideye made 105 competitive appearances during his three-year-stint with Dyanmo Kyiv, scoring 45 goals.read more