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Cristiano Ronaldo completes Man Utd medical ahead of return to former club

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Man Utd announced they had reached an agreement with Juventus to re-sign Cristiano Ronaldo on Friday; Premier League club will pay around €15m (£12.87m) plus a further €8m (£6.86m) in add-ons for the Portugal captain, who underwent a medical in Lisbon over the weekend

Cristiano Ronaldo has completed his Manchester United medical as he closes on a return to his former club.

United announced they had reached an agreement with Juventus to re-sign the 36-year-old forward on Friday.

Personal terms have been agreed on a two-year contract, with the required aspects of the deal to be finalised before the deadline on Tuesday night.

The Premier League club will pay around €15m (£12.87m) plus a further €8m (£6.86m) in add-ons for the Portugal captain, who underwent a medical in Lisbon over the weekend.

Ronaldo scored 118 goals in 292 games during his first spell with United between 2003 and 2009.

Ronaldo’s departure from Juventus was confirmed on Friday by boss Massimiliano Allegri, who revealed he was told by the player he had “no intention” of representing the club again.

United’s rivals Manchester City were offered the chance to sign the 36-year-old and considered making a move, but the Premier League champions pulled out of negotiations.

Speaking on Sunday at Wolves where United won 1-0 thanks to Mason Greenwood’s 80th-minute goal, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer welcomed the imminent capture of Ronaldo, telling Sky Sports: “We’re excited by the whole story Cristiano has had at Manchester United.

“Hopefully we can get the paperwork sorted and announce him very soon. He is a winner and a great human being. The players are excited, and l am excited to keep adding to this squad.

“He adds something completely different. It adds more confidence and belief to what we are doing and what we are building.

“We know he is a more experienced player than he was when he was here last time, he has evolved and had an unbelievable career. I’m sure he likes all the talk about ‘he’s too old’. Make it personal and he will show what he can do.”

Solskjaer warned his Manchester United forwards Ronaldo would likely be going straight into the first team.

The Norwegian added: “He is not signing to sit on the bench. He is going to make us a better team.

“We need to get all the paperwork done, hopefully we can get that sorted and we can announce it 100 per cent.

“Then he is away with Portugal, they have three games, his last game is Tuesday (September 7) and then we can get him back to Manchester and involved as soon as possible.”

Former Manchester United captain Roy Keane admitted he had been caught up in the excitement of Ronaldo returning to Old Trafford.

“I think it’s great news for United, the fans, the Premier League. There’s no doubt in my mind he’s still a world-class player.

“We have discussed the pluses and minuses, but I see the hunger and the desire there; it’s not a pay-day for him. He is already worth fortunes.

“We saw at the Euros he won the Golden Boot; he’ll have the incentive of the World Cup. He’s a clever guy. He’s coming back to United to win stuff. I don’t think he’ll be the difference in terms of winning the big trophies – Man Utd still have the same problems with or without Ronaldo, and that’s midfield – but an FA Cup or a League Cup is more than possible.”

United midfield balance still needs fixing

Despite the fanfare of Ronaldo returning to bolster Solskjaer’s squad, question marks remain over the midfield.

Paul Pogba dropped back into midfield against Wolves but his partnership with Fred does not look like a long-term solution, argues Adam Bate.

Bate says “With Cristiano Ronaldo’s return imminent, the competition for those forward positions increases. The temptation to fit Pogba in as one of the two midfielders is understandable. But it feels like a fudge.

“The problem is that the switch brings negatives as well as positives – both of which were evident against Wolves.”

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Black Stars Head Coach CK Akonnor sacked

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The Executive Council of the Ghana Football Association has taken a decision to terminate the appointment of Black Stars Coach Charles Akonnor and his two Assistants with immediate effect.

This follows the receipt of the Technical Report from the Head Coach of the Senior National Team and the report from the Black Stars Management Committee following Ghana’s Group G World Cup qualifying matches against Ethiopia and South Africa.

The Executive Council after considering the two reports have decided to terminate its relationship with the Head Coach C. K Akonnor and the two Assistants.

The Executive Council has formed a three (3) Member Committee made up of Vice President Mark Addo, Upper East Regional Football Association Chairman, Alhaji Salifu Zida and Dr. Randy Abbey to find a Head Coach and Assistant Coaches for the Black Stars within the next 72 hours.

The Association wishes C.K Akonnor and his Assistants the very best in their future endeavours.

Ghana currently have three (3) points after the two opening matches.

The Black Stars will take on Zimbabwe in the next round of games in October 2021.

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Andy Murray: Emma Raducanu win provides ‘huge opportunity’ for British tennis

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Kent teenager Emma Raducanu took New York by storm, not dropping a set en route to victory as she became the first qualifier in history to claim a grand slam crown; fellow Briton Andy Murray was asked about the 18-year-old after his Rennes Open first-round victory over Yannick Maden

Andy Murray has hailed Emma Raducanu’s “incredible” US Open win and spoken of a “huge opportunity” for British tennis.

Kent teenager Raducanu took New York by storm, not dropping a set en route to victory as she became the first qualifier in history to claim a grand slam crown.

Fellow Briton Murray was asked about the 18-year-old at a press conference on Monday after his Rennes Open first-round victory over Yannick Maden.

The three-time grand slam winner said: “It was incredible what she did there. I think for a lot of the people involved in British tennis, we knew she was extremely good.

“She hadn’t competed much for the last sort of 18 months or so with school and coronavirus and those sorts of things, but I think at Wimbledon (where Raducanu reached the fourth round) everyone sort of got a bit of a glimpse of how good she could be.

“I’ve spent a little bit of time around her on the practice court, but more so in the same building, training close to each other, and watching what she’s doing, and she’s obviously really, really good.

“But what she did in New York was very special, a huge boost for British tennis and gives hopefully the governing bodies an opportunity to capitalise on that and get more and more kids involved in the sport.

“It’s great what she did and a huge opportunity for British tennis now.”

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Antoine Griezmann: Atletico Madrid re-sign French forward on loan from Barcelona

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Antoine Griezmann joined Barcelona from Atletico Madrid in £103m deal two years ago; forward returns to Atletico on a season-long loan; Sky Italy and Barcelona say Atletico have obligation to make deal permanent next summer, but Atletico say they instead have the option to extend the loan

Antoine Griezmann has completed his shock Deadline Day return to Atletico Madrid on loan from Barcelona.

Atletico and Barcelona said there was an option to extend the loan for a further season, with the Catalan club adding the Madrid side also had an obligation to make the deal permanent. Sky in Italy reports this permanent deal would cost £34.4m (€40m).

Atletico were able to move for the 30-year-old after sanctioning Saul Niguez’s departure to Chelsea on an initial loan with an option to buy worth £33.4m (€38.9m) overall.

Diego Simeone was keen to sign a new striker and Griezmann will have no difficulty settling back at Atletico, having worked under the Argentine between 2014 and 2019.

Barcelona stated that Atletico have agreed to pay Griezmann’s wages in full.

AP AIMGE
Image:Saul Niguez joined Chelsea from Atletico Madrid on Deadline Day

The 2018 World Cup-winner joined Barcelona from Atletico on a £103m deal two years ago and scored 35 goals in 102 appearances for the club.

However, he has only won the Copa del Rey during his time at the Nou Camp, and the Catalan giants have been trying to lighten their wage bill this summer due to debts amounting to £1.15billion, as confirmed by club president Joan Laporta earlier in August.

The club’s reported financial struggles meant they were unable to offer Lionel Messi a new contract, prompting his shock exit to Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer.

On Tuesday, the club announced stalwarts Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba have accepted to take a pay cut in order to aid the club’s Financial Fair Play parameters and ensure new signing Sergio Aguero could be formally registered with the Spanish Football League (LFP).

Earlier in the summer, Gerard Pique took a similar decision to allow Memphis Depay and Eric Garcia to be ratified as Barcelona players.

Griezmann originally left Atletico for Barcelona in 2019 at the end of a protracted transfer saga after his £103m (€120m) release clause was paid in full.

A year earlier, he featured in a documentary with Spanish TV station Movistar called “The Decision” which followed him as he opted to stay at Atletico despite interest from Barcelona.

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