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Hudson’s Bay chairman puts together $1.3 billion offer for retailer

( ) – Hudson’s Bay Co Executive Chairman Richard Baker said on Monday he had teamed up with other shareholders to offer to take the struggling Canadian department store operator private in a C$1.74 billion ($1.3 billion) cash deal.

The proposal comes as Hudson’s Bay has been shuttering its underperforming shops to cut costs as it competes with discount direct-to-consumer brands and e-commerce behemoths such as Amazon.com Inc.

It opens up Baker to inv上海夜生活论坛estor scrutiny, given that the buyout consortium he put together is made up of shareholders who already own 57% of the company. Hudson’s Bay said it had set up an independent board committee to evaluate the offer, which is subject to a vote by a majority of shareholders not affiliated with Baker’s bid.

“If you don’t go through these processes, you are really vulnerable to a lawsuit alleging that you shoved this down their throats,” said Eric Talley, co-director of the Millstein Center for Global Markets and Corporate Ownership at Columbia Law School in New York.

Shares of Hudson’s Bay rose 45% to close at C$9.25, slightly below the C$9.45 that shareholders will receive under the proposed deal. The offer represents a 48% premium to Friday’s closing share price. At its peak in 2015, the retailer was worth almost $30 per share.

Hudson’s Bay, which owns the Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor retail chains, is the latest challenged retailer to consider going private. Last year, members of Nordstrom Inc’s founding family offered $8.4 billion for the company, but abandoned the bid once that company’s special board committee rejected it.

“While we continue to believe in Hudson Bay’s long-term potential, it has become clear that the significant challenges, risks and uncertainties facing Hudson Bay in the rapidly evolving retail environment are best addressed in a private market setting,” Baker said in a statement.

Baker’s buyout consortium includes Rhone Capital, WeWork Property Advisors, Abu Dhabi Investment Council and Abrams Capital Management.

Hudson’s Bay had said last month it was pursuing strategic alternatives such as a sale or merger for its department store Lord & Taylor.

Management has resisted calls from activist investor Jonathan Litt’s Land and Buildings Investment Management LLC to also sell Saks Fifth Avenue. A source familiar with Land & Buildings’ thinking said the hedge fund considers Baker’s offer significantly inadequate.

Hudson’s Bay also said on Monday it would sell its stake in its real estate joint venture in Germany to Signa Retail Holdings in a deal valued at C$1.5 billion.

Proceeds from its Signa deal will be used to reduce Hudson’s Bay’s debt, making a take-private deal more easy to finance.

Hudson’s Bay real estate could be worth as much as $6.4 billion or $35.24 per share, the company said in 2017. However, that figure included the Lord & Taylor flagship store, which the company sold to WeWork and partner Rhône Capital for $850 million in October 2017, and a Vancouver property owned by the company’s RioCan joint venture, since sold for $675 million.

Land and Buildings and other shareholders have criticized Hudson’s Bay for not doing enough to capitalize on the value of its properties.

EVALUATING OFFER

Investment bank JPMorgan Chase & Co worked with Hudson’s Bay on its deal to sell its stake in its German real estate joint venture, and will also advise the retailer’s special board committee in evaluating Baker’s proposed deal.

The special board committee will oversee the preparation of a formal assessment of the offer by an additional independent valuator, Hudson’s Bay said. Toronto-Dominion Bank is in line to win that role, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Hudson’s Bay, North America’s oldest company, was taken over in 2008 by Richard Baker’s private equity firm NRDC Equity Partners, which already owned Lord & Taylor.

Baker took the company public in 2012, following up with a string of acquisitions, including Saks Fifth Avenue for $2.9 billion, Gilt Groupe for $250 million, and German department store chain Galeria Kaufhof from Metro Group for $3.2 billion.

To bolster the company’s finances while retaining his influence over Hudson’s Bay, Baker sold stakes in the firm in separate transactions to other investors who aligned with him in the board room.

Other department store retailers including Sears Holdings Corp and J C Penney Co Inc have faced financial troubles as more consumers buy online.

Sears Chairman Edward Lampert also orchestrated deals to keep the retailer alive, before it filed for bankruptcy last year. He also became the company’s biggest creditor.

Mexico central bank chief flags concern over ratings setbacks

MEXICO CITY ( ) – Mexico’s government must address concerns flagged by rating agencies over the sustainability of the country’s finances following debt downgrades last week, Mexican Central Bank Governor Alejandro Diaz de Leon said on Tuesday.

Fitch last week cut Mexico’s sovereign credit rating and then became the first major ratings agency to downgrade the debt of state oil company Pemex to “junk” status, in a major setback for President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

Fellow ratings agency Moody’s also lowered its outlook for Mexico to negative, adding to pressure on the peso.

Speaking at a banking conference in Mexico City, Diaz de Leon said the ratings developments were a risk factor for the Mexican economy that needed to be tackled.

“This has happened at times in the past, and it was dealt with, and let’s hope this is the case (now) and that it’s not a major worry going forward,” Diaz de Leon said.

The central bank has repeatedly raised concerns about the risks posed to Mexico’s finances by Pemex, which has financial debts of around $106 billion.

Lopez Obrador has vowed to revive the struggling company, pumping extra cash into Pemex to shore it up.

Mexico’s economy contracted by 0.2% quarter-on-quarter in the first three months of the year, and Diaz de Leon said the economic outlook for the coming months was uncertain.

He noted that investment had been sluggish this year but said remittances from abroad were helping to prop up private consumption.

Look上海夜网ing ahead, Diaz de Leon said attracting more investment and improving productivity were among the principal challenges facing Mexico’s policymakers.

Norway clears way for Euronext to secure Oslo Bors in Nasdaq battle

PARIS/OSLO ( ) – Euronext won approval from Norway’s Ministry of Finance to buy up to 100% of Oslo Bors on Monday, effectively ending a five-month battle with Nasdaq for one of the last independent stock market operators in Europe.

While Euronext has already secured a stake of more than 50% in Oslo Bors, Nasdaq had argued that no takeover should be allowed unless a two-thirds stake was obtained in order to ensure that a buyer would have complete control.

Both had offered 158 Norwegian crowns per share for Oslo Bors, valuing it at around 6.8 billion Norwegian crowns ($779 million), but the view of the Norwegian government was crucial.

“Euronext welcomes the ministry’s clearance to acquire up to 100% of Oslo Bors VPS’s capital and looks forward to completing the next steps to close the transaction by the end of June,” its Chief Executive Stephane Boujnah said on Monday.

“We are extremely satisfied the process is carried out in full respect of Norwegian law,” Boujnah told .

Both Euronext, which runs exchanges in Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Lisbon and Dublin, and Nasdaq are looking to expand their portfolios but opportunities are scarce as market operators either already belong to international groups or because their shareholders want to remain independent.

Given technological changes, size has become an important feature as big data allows larger market operators to squeeze costs and reduce transaction fees.

Oslo Bors was one of the last potential target for Euronext in the region where Nasdaq and London Stock Exchange already control several platforms.

Shares in Paris-based Euronext, which is due to release first quarter results this week, traded 1.6% higher at 61 euros.

Nasdaq had won the support of more than a third of Oslo Bors shareholders including the Norwegian market operator’s major shareholders DNB and KLP. The U.S.-based firm had been hoping to block Euronext’s bid.

No such minimum ownership requirement will be imposed however, the Norwegian ministry said in a statement.

DISAPPOINTMENT FOR NASDAQ

Euronext’s CEO said the offer filed by Euronext is open for the shareholders who supported the Nasdaq bid.

He expects them to tender their shares to Euronext now since the offer filed by Nasdaq is unlikely to proceed. “I don’t think Nasdaq intends to be an minority shareholder in Oslo Bors,” Boujnah said.

Nasdaq expressed its disappointment at the decision by the government, and said it would assess its options.

“The decision not to require a two-thirds majority of the shares to be obtained by any person seeking to acquire control of Oslo Bors VPS is disappointing,” Lauri Rosendahl, president of Nasdaq Nordic, said.

Oslo Bors would diversify Euronext’s revenue from shares and derivative trading, given Oslo Bors’ leading position in seafood derivatives as well as oil services and shipping.

Euronext plans to appoint the CEO of Oslo Bors to its managing board, and set up a hub that would supervise all commodities transactions in the Norwegian capital.

“Euronext looks forward to supporting the Norwegian financial and business community, to working constructively with all key 上海夜生活constituents and stakeholders to further drive the success of Oslo Bors VPS,” Boujnah said.

The board of Oslo Bors, which had supported Nasdaq over Euronext, said it would work with the new owner.

“The board of Oslo Bors VPS takes note of the (ministry’s) decision and will work closely with the new majority owner to maintain the company, its business and the employees in the best possible way,” it said in a statement.

($1 = 8.7338 Norwegian crowns)

METALS-Copper drops on weak Chinese data and surge in LME stocks

* GRAPHIC-2019 asset returns: tmsnrt.rs/2jvdmXl (Adds closing prices, updates trade war)

By Zandi Shabalala

LONDON, March 14 ( ) – Copper prices dropped on Thursday as industrial output in top metals consumer China fell to a 17-year low in the first two months of 2019, while LME stocks of the metal used in power and construction rose.

Other Chinese data showed a mixed picture as the jobless rate climbed but property investment strengthened.

Deutsche Bank metals strategist Nick Snowdon said the delivery of copper metal into LME warehouses “has been taken as a signal that we are seeing the softness we saw in China feed into ex-China market”.

“China data also disappointed and pointed to relatively sluggish growth,” Snowdon said.

Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange closed 1.1 percent lower at $6,404 per tonne, its lowest in nearly a week.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Thursday that discussions with China to end a months-long trade war are progressing quickly, though Trump said he could not say whether a final deal would be reached.

There were reports earlier saying a meeting between Washington and Beijing scheduled for later this month could be pushed back to at least April.

Hopes for a resolution of the long-standing trade conflict have helped propel the LME index of six major base metals up nearly 9 percent so far this year.

STOCKS: On-warrant stocks of copper, those not earmarked for delivery, in LME-approved warehouses jumped 34,900 tonnes to 66,325 tonnes. MCUSTX-TOTAL

SPREADS: The premium of cash copper over the three-month LME contract CMCU0-3 eased to $20 a tonne from a discount of $70 last week, indicating worries over tight supply were easing.

CHINA PREMIUMS: China’s Yangshan copper import premium SMM-CUYP-CN rose to $59 from $52.5 registered a week ago, which was a level not seen since April 2017.

CHINA STEEL: China’s daily steel output rose in January and February, as mills in the world’s top producer raised production amid firm steel margins and easier environmental restrictions.

ZINC: Vedanta’s Skorpion zinc refinery in Namibia has suspended operations for five weeks due to lack of raw feed material. The refinery has a capacity of 100,000 tonnes annually.

“This comes with available LME inventories in zinc extremely low, and while demand conditions remain subdued (as evidenced by low physical premiums),上海夜生活论坛 ongoing supply issues may see further aggressive backwardation in the coming weeks,” said BMO Capital Markets analyst Colin Hamilton.

ZINC STOCKS: Headline LME inventories of zinc fell 250 tonnes to 58,700 tonnes, their lowest since October 2007.

OTHER METALS: Aluminium fell 0.2 percent to $1,903 per tonne, zinc shed 0.8 percent to $2,825, lead ceded 0.7 percent to $2,114, tin eased 0.7 percent higher at $21,170 and nickel lost 2.5 percent to $12,880.

Factbox: U.S. Republican 2016 presidential field slips to 16 after Perry quits

( ) – The field of candidates vying to be the Republican Party nominee in the November 2016 U.S. presidential election slipped to 16 after former Texas Governor Rick Perry quit the race last week.

Candidates in the still-crowded field will meet on Wednesday at the next debate, hosted by CNN with 11 of the contenders.

For the latest /Ipsos poll results on the Republican presidential candidates, see: (bit.ly/1EXCTxR)

Here is a list of the remaining Republicans seeking the nomination:

JEB BUSH

The former Florida governor, the son of one president and brother of another, is a favorite among the Republican establishment. Bush, 62, has become a main target of rival Donald Trump and failed to gain traction in the polls, but this month vowed to jump-start his campaign. He has also faced criticism for not distancing himself from the foreign policies of his brother, former President George W. Bush, and for taking moderate positions on issues such as immigration.

BEN CARSON

Retired neurosurgeon Carson, 63, is a favorite of conservative activists who has touted his outsider status and has seen his public support grow. Raised in a poor family by a single mother, Carson rose to be director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. He is the only black candidate running from either major political party.

CHRIS CHRISTIE

The New Jersey governor, 52, has vowed to bridge Washington’s partisan divide. Seen as plain-spoken by supporters and a bully by detractors, Christie’s trademark style has been eclipsed by rival Trump’s own brash rhetoric. While Christie won kudos for his response to Superstorm Sandy in 2012, his support has eroded amid the “Bridgegate” scandal and financial strains in his home state.

TED CRUZ

Cruz, 44, of Texas is the favorite of the party’s conservative Tea Party movement and has appeared with Trump rather than criticize the Republican front-runner as other rivals have done. Some blamed Cruz for the October 2013 government shutdown, and he is seen as leading the charge over the current budget fight. The Princeton- and Harvard-educated son of a Cuban immigrant, Cruz was the first Republican to officially enter the race.

CARLY FIORINA

Once one of the most powerful women in American business, the former Hewlett-Packard Co chief executive has seen her support rise following her performance in the party’s August debate. Fiorina, 60, has positioned herself as an outsider with corporate experience, although she was pushed out of the tech company and later lost her bid for the U.S. Senate. She has criticized the only other woman so far seeking the presidency, Democrat Hillary Clinton.

JIM GILMORE

The former head of the Republican National Committee briefly ran for the party’s 2008 presidential nomination. Gilmore, 65, earlier served one term as the governor of Virginia, a swing state in presidential elections. A former Army intelligence officer, he has also advised former U.S. presidents on counter terrorism response.

LINDSEY GRAHAM

The U.S. senator from South Carolina, a close ally of 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain, is running as a defense hawk and has made criticism of President Barack Obama’s foreign policy the main focus of his campaign. The 59-year-old has been more moderate on other issues such as immigration reform and climate change.

MIKE HUCKABEE

Former Arkansas Governor Huckabee, 59, ran unsuccessfully in 2008 and declined to run in 2012 despite his popularity with influential evangelical leaders and voters. The former host of a popular Fox News television show has focused in public appearances on the plight of working Americans left behind in the economic recovery.

BOBBY JINDAL

Louisiana’s two-term governor was once seen as a rising Republican star, but state budget woes have hurt his popularity at home. Jindal, 44, is close to the bottom of the pack in the polls and came under fire in 2013 for calling his party “stupid.” He is the first person of Indian-American heritage to run for U.S. president.

JOHN KASICH

The 63-year-old Ohio governor represents an important election swing state and could be a potent force in the Republican field. Re-elected to a second term in November, Kasich was the last Republican candidates to enter the race. He announced his bid with a focus on budget issues, race relations and his government experience.

GEORGE PATAKI

The former New York governor, who led the heavily Democratic-leaning state for three terms, could be a moderate voice in a Republican field heavy with conservatives but so far is at the bottom of most polls. Pataki, 70, has not held public office since 2006.

RAND PAUL

The first-term Kentucky senator, 52, is following his father, Ron Paul, in seeking the presidency. A libertarian, he has lobbed criticism at Democrats and fellow Republicans alike over the federal debt and personal liberties. He casts himself as an anti-establishment reformer who could win over young and minority voters.

MARCO RUBIO

Rubio, 44, cast his entry into the Republican field as a “generational choice.” The son of Cuban immigrants, the U.S. senator from Florida swept into Congre上海夜网ss in the Tea Party wave of 2010. He has fought to strengthen ties with conservatives after a failed push for comprehensive immigration reform in 2013.

RICK SANTORUM

A favorite of the Christian right, the former Pennsylvania senator, 57, announced his 2016 bid with an eye on economic issues as other contenders also compete for religious conservatives. He has promised to boost the middle class, eliminate the Internal Revenue Service and crack down on illegal immigration.

DONALD TRUMP

The 69-year-old real estate mogul and TV personality has surged in public opinion polls over the summer, leading his closest rival by double digits. Although the outspoken billionaire has come under fire for controversial remarks about immigrants and women, he continues to lead the pack. He recently pledged not to buck the Republican party and run as an independent.

SCOTT WALKER

Walker, 47, had been expected to be the candidate of choice among donors looking for a more conservative option but has fallen into Trump’s shadow. The two-term Wisconsin governor has seen his lead shrink in recent weeks in Iowa, a key state because it votes early in the nominating process.

Preview: Atalanta – Napoli

Napoli’s Serie A ambitions will be put to a stern test this weekend, as they travel to take on their bogey team Atalanta.

Flashscore presents the key facts before the match:

The hosts are yet to reprise the highs of last season, but are slowly capturing their best form. Having qualified for the knockout stages of the Europa League and progressing in the Coppa Italia at the expense of Napoli, Atalanta will look to climb from their seventh position in SA.

Napoli have put all their efforts into SA with the sole aim of toppling Juventus. The Champions League is out of the window now and so is the Coppa Italia, although they would have loved a domestic double! One-point clear at the top in SA looks slender, though, and Napoli know the importance of winning this game.

Atalanta’s home record in SA has been a mixed bag in ten matches (W5, D3, L2), during which they scored 19 goals (avg上海夜生活. of 1.9). Coming into this match, they have lost only once in their last seven SA games (W4, D2, L1).

Napoli are the ‘kings on the road’ this season, dropping points only against Chievo (0-0) in ten fixtures. They have scored 22 goals in these games, conceding just seven. Is that confidence enough to break their least favourite opponent?Tottenham’s Son to Napoli – “Why not” George Patchias – Tottenham Hotspurs Son Heung-min could possibly be interested in a move to Napoli.After recent comments about wanting to leave Spurs at one time, were…

Key battles: With four goals and five assists in SA so far, Atalanta’s Alejandro Gomez has seen his stock rise exponentially. Will he trip the leaders?

He will be up against Napoli’s Dries Mertens whose ten goals and six assists have been influential in his side’s early season run.

Stat attack: Atalanta have lost only once at home in six SA games against Napoli (W3, D2, L1). They lost their last home game against Cagliari and the last time they lost two in a row was in March 2016.

Missing players

Atalanta: M. De Roon (suspension)

Napoli: F. Ghoulam (knee injury), A. Milik (knee injury)

Wenger hopeful on Ozil deal

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed that contract negotiations between midfielder Mesut Ozil and the club are still going but he has been encouraged by the player’s attitude.

The World Cup winner’s contract with Arsenal will expire this summer & despite allowing it to get to the stage where he can now freely negotiate a deal with a club outside of the Premier League, Wenger is hopeful the German see’s his future at the Emirates having witnessed just how focused and committed the player has been.

“We are not close enough to be optimistic, but we are not far enough to be pessimistic,” said Wenger, according to Sky Sports.Moving to Arsenal “a massive change” says Tierney George Patchias – Kiernan Tierney mo上海夜生活ved from Celtic to Arsenal this summer and he says it has been “a massive change.”The move to Arsenal was a protracted…

“He behaves like somebody who is completely focused and ready to commit but after that contract negotiations are what they are.

“We are not close enough to tell you he will do it, I don’t know.”

Ozil is expected to be in the final squad for Germany in this summer’s World Cup tournament in Russia, so it is likely that he will want to sort out his future before then. Keeping him may depend on any new signing Arsenal make in the remaining time left in this January transfer window with Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang being heavily linked to the Emirates.

Silva: “We need to show how good we are”

It has been a very difficult season so far for Watford – after their great start to the campaign, their manager, Marco Silva, was linked with a move to Everton and since then, the performances and results of the team have been getting worse and worse…

The Hornets managed to gain just one point from their last six Premier League matches and this situation can be called a huge crisis after their terrific start to the season. To be added, they will miss their suspended captain Troy Deeney in their upcoming home fixture against Leicester City and Marco Silva urged his players to finally show up and prove their worth.

The former Hull C上海夜生活论坛ity coach spoke about this difficult situation as he said, according to Sky Sports: “In the Premier League we have to work really hard to achieve good results like we did at the start of the season. Of course, we now have big problems with some players (injuries and suspensions). We knew this could happen with our team and in this moment we need to find the solutions.”Opinion: Martin Odegaard is perfect for the Premier League Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – Given how much he’s been rejected by Real Madrid, we are convinced that Martin Odegaard is perfect for the Premier League.Martin Odegaard is finally…

He also added that he can’t blame just his side’s huge absences: “Not only for us. I think for every team, if you miss four, five players from your starting XI, of course, it’s different. We have 25, 26 players and it’s the moment for everyone to play and to show [their] quality as well.”

In the end, Marco Silva admitted that the mood is not entirely great at the moment: “Of course, nobody is happy in this moment. When you win your face is different to when you didn’t achieve a good result. Like you imagine, in this moment our face in the dressing room is not the best but it’s the football. Our obligation as a team is to keep all together. I believe and I hope and I’m sure we’ll continue all together to change the situation.”

Pochettino believes that Kane is the world’s best striker

Mauricio Pochettino, the Tottenham Hotspur coach, admitted that he considers Harry Kane to be the best striker in the world after he managed to score another hattrick to help his side with beating Southampton 5-2.

The Englishman had scored one hattrick in his side’s previous match against Burnley and he repeated it once again today – and thanks to these six goals, he has become the world’s top-scorer in 2017, surpassing Lionel Messi. And his coach, Pochettino, believes that he is currently the best stri上海夜网ker in the world and he proves it in every single match he has played this season so far.

The former Southampton coach spoke about this achievement as he said, according to Sky Sports: “First of all I want to congratulate Harry Kane, a massive achievement for him, well deserved. And we are all so, so, so, so happy because it’s an amazing thing to celebrate. For me, he’s world class. I think today, (number) one striker in the world, specific position, who’s better than him?”Opinion: Martin Odegaard is perfect for the Premier League Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – Given how much he’s been rejected by Real Madrid, we are convinced that Martin Odegaard is perfect for the Premier League.Martin Odegaard is finally…

He continued by adding that it is well-deserved for the Englan international: “He deserves everything. It’s been nine years between [Cristiano] Ronaldo and [Lionel] Messi, and now Kane’s name is there. It’s a fantastic achievement and I’m so happy for him. I’d like to congratulate him. Well done. It’s not surprising to us because every day we see how he works, the determination, how professional he is and how he takes care of himself.”

In the end, Mauricio Pochettino insisted that Kane is a great example for anybody: “I’ve told everyone that he is a great example for everybody, not just because of his goals. Professional is a massive word, and you need to include everything there inside – he’s a very good example of how a player behaves like a professional.”

Everton big underdogs against Liverpool

Jamie Carragher, the former Liverpool skipper, insisted that his ex-team will be huge favourites in the upcoming derby match against Everton – and after beating Spartak Moscow 7-0, the expectations will be even higher.

Fourth-placed Liverpool scored 12 goals in their last two games and they are back in their best form – and Jamir Carragher insisted that it will be very difficult for Everton to face their biggest rivals right now. The Toffees have got a new coach as Sam Allardyce took over and won his first match in charge 2-0 against Huddersfield – but this fixture will be far more difficult.

The former Reds defender spoke about his former side’s form as he said, according to Sky Sports: “Is there a feel-good factor going into it after what happened in midweek? Any player or manager coming into this city knows how important this game is. As a fan, you are a little bit nervous thinking Sam Allardyce has come in and Everton have picked up a little bit and could it change? But then you come here in midweek and watch how well Liverpool are playing and it has to give you confidence.”Opinion: Martin Odegaard is perfect for the Premier League Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – Given how much he’s been rejected by Real Madrid, we are convinced that Martin Odegaard is perfect for the Premier League.Martin Odegaard is finally…

He added that Sam Allardyce could possibly be an advantage for the guests: “Sam Allardyce will give the Everton supporters and players a bit more belief coming here. But they have been coming here a long time now and been finding it very difficult. He will make them more organised, you know that they had big problems defensively. But I think if Liverpool play the way they have been playing, they will be red-hot favourites. And I think上海夜生活 Sam Allardyce will recognise that.”

In the end, Carragher claimed that the Englishman is very experienced and will know how to play against Liverpool: “He has been to Anfield many times with different teams and the last time he came, he won with Crystal Palace towards the end of last season. So yes, he will probably have a belief that he can come here and win, but Everton will also be well aware of the attacking talent Liverpool have got.”

Preview: Maribor – Sevilla

Maribor’s fate was sealed in their last Champions League (CL) match against Spartak Moscow. They can now not qualify and will finish bottom of Group E. For Sevilla to qualify, they only need a draw or for Spartak Moscow to lose to Liverpool.

Flashscore presents the key facts before the match:

Sevilla’s Argentinian assistant coach, Ernesto Marcucci, will be in charge of this fixture as upsetting news hit the club when head coach Eduardo Berizzo announced that he has been diagnosed with cancer. The club have stated that once treatment has been completed he will return to the club as coach.

Historically the CL has been dominated by Spanish clubs, and it has not been won by any other nation in the last four years. Sevilla come into the competition with a record that Real Madrid are chasing themselves – a hat trick of European trophies (three cups consecutively).

Sevilla forward, Wissam Ben Yedder, has scored six goals in the CL and is the competition’s joint second top scorer, behind only Cristiano Ronaldo (eight). In the last fixture against Maribor, Ben Yedder scored a superb hat-trick, and if he repeats that feat he could overtake CR7 as the tournament’s top scorer.

In terms of the H2H, Sevilla have played Maribor in three European fixtures. Maribor have lost all but one, which was back上海夜生活网 in 2014 (the EL) where they managed a 2-2 draw. In the H2H fixtures, Sevilla have won a total of 24 corner kicks (an average of eight per game), Maribor have six – which is a very low average of just two corners per game.Niko Kovac urges Bayern Munich to remain ‘humble’ Andrew Smyth – Niko Kovac has called on Bayern Munich to stay focused and humble after thrashing Tottenham 7-2 in the Champions League.

Maribor have only lost one game at home in their last ten in all competitions which was a 7-0 thrashing by Liverpool in the CL. In those last ten home fixtures, 22 goals were scored for/against, an average of 2.2 goals per game.

Maribor may feel confident coming into the fixture knowing that Sevilla have suffered more losses than wins and only one draw in their last ten away fixtures (W4, D1, L4). A total of 30 goals have been seen in Sevilla’s last ten away fixtures – an average of three goals per game.

Missing players

Maribor: M. Obradovic (injury), A. Rajcevic (injury), D. Sme (injury), L. Zahovic (injury)

Sevilla: D. Carrico (thigh injury), N. Pareja (hip injury), Jose Mena (doubtful), W. Montoya (doubtful).

Shearer slams Liverpool’s title chances

Former England and Newcastle striker Alan Shearer believes that the Reds have way too many problems in the back to challenge for the Premier League trophy.

Liverpool have had an indifferent start of the season, recording only three wins in seven games, and currently sitting seven points adrift of table leaders Manchester United and Manchester City. Just like last season, the Merseyside club is struggling in the back, conceiving easy goals almost every single game. Not only are Liverpool sloppy when it comes to defending, but they are also struggling to materialize on the chances they create, which leaves Shearer convinced that Liverpool are not capable of challenging for the title this season.

The former English striker was questioned which team left him underwhelmed this season and Shearer responded: “Liverpool. Going forward, creating chances, they haven’t scored enough goals.” he said, according to Goal.

“And defensively they’ve been as poor as ever. Nothing has changed from last season.

“I was at the game when they played Newcastle. Same old problems defensively, had a lot of the ball in the first half and should have killed the game off.Crouch: Mane & Salah have a healthy competition for goals Andrew Smyth – Peter Crouch reckons Sadio Mane has doubled his value in recent seasons, and boasts a “healthy competition” with Liverpool team-mate Mohamed Salah for goals.

“One great goal from [Philippe] Coutinho but other than they were poor going forwa上海夜生活rd.

“They’ve got no chance of winning the Premier League playing like that.”

Even though the Reds sealed a top four finish last season, their defensive issues remain unsolved and Shearer believes that Klopp could have done more to prevent that from happening.

“I know they got into the top four last season and got Champions League, which was a success. But one of their problems last season was conceding too many goals. And nothing has changed from last season to this season. [Klopp] constantly rotates the goalkeepers, which cant be helpful for the defenders.”

Preview: Sporting – Olympiakos Piraeus

Sporting are still hoping to reach the knockout stages of Champions League. They are currently third in Group D, three points behind Juventus. At th上海夜网e same time, the Portuguese are three points ahead of their opponents today.

Flashscore presents the key facts before the match:

Sporting CP welcome Greek side Olympiakos to the Estádio José Alvalade for this Champions League (CL) Group D round 5 tie. This group looks to be the so called “group of death” as both of these sides were always up against the odds with Barcelona and Juventus being drawn in the same group.

The hosts have a slight glimmer of hope of qualification if Juventus lose at home and they can capitalise with a victory – this would set up a very tight final gameday in which Sporting must win in order to qualify. However, the Europa League looks like a more likely destination, even though we all know that stranger things have happened in football!

The reverse fixture in Piraeus, Greece, turned out to be a very tasty encounter. A 5-goal thriller in which Sporting came away with the win (3-2). That game was not quite as close as the scoreline suggests, as the Portuguese outfit were already 3 goals to the good by the break, with Felipe Pardo managing to score 2 last-gasp goals for Olympiakos in stoppage time.

Reports coming from Greece described that last game as “one of the worst nights in Olympiakos’ history”. They were simply spectators to a strong Portuguese side who scored 3 goals, hit the woodwork 3 times, and missed 5 one on one opportunities – the red and whites will be looking for redemption tonight in a must-win encounter.Koulibaly warns about Genk danger Nedim Maric – The reliable Napoli defender, Kalidou Koulibaly warned his team about Genk’s quality as he’s played for the Belgian side in the past.Napoli opened their…

Sporting are much less prolific on home soil. They have scored 15 goals in their last 11 home games, in contrast to their record of 25 goals in their last 9 away games. Olympiakos have lost 4 of their last 6 away from home, conceding on average 2 goals per game in this time.

Olympiakos are yet to win in the competition thus far (D1, L3), but may take inspiration from their stalemate vs the mighty Barcelona. They now must come up with 2 massive performances to retain any hope of European glory this term.

In the prematch presser, Olympiakos coach Takis Lemonis spoke of the team’s determination to qualify for the Europa League and their approach to this game: “Victory is imperative for us, but it’s not imperative to field a hoard of strikers.”

Missing players

Sporting: S. Coates (suspension), S. Doumbia (injury), J. Silva (knee injury)

Olympiakos Piraeus: E. Emenike (injury), E. Ben (doubtful), H. Milic (doubtful).

Mourinho will not lose sleep over missed handshake with Conte

The Blues manager went straight into the pitch after final whistle of the referee.

Manchester United head coach insisted he would not chase Antoni上海夜网o Conte just to shake hands with him after losing the Sunday showdown with 1-0 to Chelsea.

The pair have not been in the best relationship ever since the arrival of the Italian at Stamford Bridge as the Portuguese accused Conte of over-celebrating his team’s goals last season when the Blues dominated the Red Devils with a 4-0 win.

On Sunday, Conte went straight into the pitch at the final whistle, missing a potential handshake with Mourinho, who shook hands with the rest of the Blues’ staff.Jamie Carragher puts Chelsea over Manchester United and Arsenal Nedim Maric – In an uneventful derby, last night, Manchester United and Arsenal both got point each.Top four-fight this season looks like it’s going to be between…

The Portuguese, however, insisted there was no issue between the pair when he was asked about the missed handshake after the game.

“You want me to go and chase him in the middle of the pitch? I was there. I shook hands with the people who were there,” he told reporters after the game, according to Goal.

“I think one of them was his brother, the assistant, so I feel that by shaking the hands of his brother and the other assistants that I did my duty. I cannot go and run to chase him.

“Why should I wait [in the tunnel]? He doesn’t have to wait. There is no problem with it at all. You are always worried with these things… no problem.”

Conte uncertain of Luiz’s future at the club

The defender missed Sunday’s game against Manchester United as he was not even featured in the group for the game.

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte said he did not know if David Luiz has a future at the club after the Brazilian was left out for the Premier League showdown against the Red Devils.

Luiz was replaced by Andreas Christensen for the game against Mourinho’s men, with the full-back not even making it into the bench as 17-year-old Ethan Ampadu was chosen over him.

Despite the absence of David Luiz, Chelsea went on to take the three points thanks to Morata’s header in the 64th minute.Jamie Carragher puts Chelsea over Manchester United and Arsenal Nedim Maric – In an uneventful上海夜生活论坛 derby, last night, Manchester United and Arsenal both got point each.Top four-fight this season looks like it’s going to be between…

Speaking after the game Conte ruled out that there is a problem with Luiz, stating it was only his form that made him leave the Brazilian out of the squad. However, he also added that he has no idea if Luiz has future at the club even though he started during the week in the Blues’ 3-0 loss to AS Roma in the Champions League.

“Luiz’s future? I don’t know. He has to work really hard otherwise he will be on the bench or in the stand,” the manager explained to the BBC after the game. The Italian also added that this could happen to each and every one of his players, should they be out of shape.

Yet, speaking before the game to Sky Sports, Conte stated that the decision was entirely from a tactical point of view: “It is a tactical decision. There is Andreas Christensen in good form and we have Ethan Ampadu who is a good, young player at the club.

“We are conceding many goals so you have to find stability and solidity. We have to be patient with the team and defend in the right way.”

Bolasie wants to make an impact

He was injured for the past 11 months but now, he is back and determined to help Everton with achieving far better results – Yannick Bolasie said that he wants to ‘come back feeling refreshed and hungry’.

The DR Congo i上海夜网nternational still isn’t 100% fit but he is close to making his return – he suffered the injury which has kept him out for the last 11 months in the Toffees 1-1 draw against Manchester United on December 4, 2016, but the player recently shared a video of himself doing ball tricks on social media, according to Goal.

The Everton winger spoke about his injury for the club website as he said: “I tend to distance myself [when I’m injured] but now that I am getting there, I am starting to watch and go to games again and I feel like I am close, and that is the main thing. It’s been almost a year but I don’t think of it like that because in that year I have been given the chance to develop myself and develop things I would have taken for granted before.”Wijnaldum looking to repeat Champions League success Nedim Maric – Liverpool are the reigning winners of the Champions League. However, this isn’t stopping them for aiming to get the glory once again.After a perfect…

He also talked about his feelings: “That has taken up my time and the whole package has come together, so I’m buzzing, really, and happy with where I am at. I want to come back feeling refreshed and hungry. We have quite a few new players, it’s happened to teams in the past, but the boys are working hard to make it right.”

Bolasie is aware of the current situation of his club as he claimed: “With everything that is going on, hopefully, I can come in and give a boost to the team and I am confident that they will be confident when I come in. If the team is confident, then that helps you even more, and that makes it better for me to come back and slot in that little bit easier.”

Valverde defends Piqu\u00e9’s handball

The Catalan boss believes the defender’s handball was simply instinctive.

Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde was adamant that Gerard Piqué acted unconsciously when he reached for the ball with his hand. The full-back was sent off as a result of the handball since he already had a yellow card, but Valverde is certain that the Spaniard’s actions were uninten上海夜生活网tional.

Speaking after the game, as quoted by Football Espana, Valverde stated: “When I watch games on TV, they seem placid, but it’s not the case,”

“We knew they’d get stronger once we went down to 10 men. That’s why we needed to find a second goal, so things would become easier.

“They came to defend and find a goal on the counterattack. With our opponents playing so deep, it was tough to find rhythm. Why take risks if they played deep and we had 10 men?Victor Lindelof’s agent confirms Barcelona interest Andrew Smyth – Victor Lindelof’s agent confirmed that Manchester United blocked a move to Barcelona for his client during the summer transfer window.

“Opponents disappointing? Olympiacos aren’t top [of their League] and came with the idea of surprising us in order to gain mental strength.

“They played a game that suited them, but we came away with very clear ideas.

“Piqué? I haven’t seen the replays, but I’d imagine it was all instinct, with the goal so close to him.”

Barcelona did not stop their perfect run in the Champions League as they now have three wins in three games, leading undisputedly their group in Europe.

Official: PSG sign Mbappe

Paris Saint-Germain have officially announced the transfer of Kylian Mbappe from Monaco.

The most expected transfer of the summer has been finalised. PSG have 上海夜生活论坛signed Kylian Mbappe on a season-long loan with an option-to-buy that would tie the player to Paris until 2022. The move of the 18-year-old has been confirmed by both clubs.

The striker, currently with the France national team, said to the official website of the Parisians:“It is with great joy and pride that I join the Paris Saint-Germain. For any young person from the Paris region, it is often a dream to wear the red and blue jersey and to taste the unique atmosphere of the Parc des Princes.”Drogba tips for Neymar and Mbappe to win Ballon d’Or one day Nedim Maric – One of the best strikers in the Premier League era talked about PSG’s sensational duo and their chances of winning individual awards in the…

“I was seduced by the project of the club, it is one of the most ambitious in Europe. Along with my new teammates, I intend to continue my progression today while helping the team to achieve the very big objectives it has set itself”, Mbappe added.

It remains to be seen how PSG will deal with the FFP and how they will explain to UEFA the deal that has brought Mbappe to Paris, after having already spent €222m for Neymar.

Juventus sign Howedes on loan

Benedikt Howedes has put pen to paper at Juventus and will play for the Italian side for at least one season.

Juventus have confirmed on their official website that they have completed the loan deal of the German central defender from Schalke.

The Bianconeri were looking for a replacement for Leonardo Bonucci, who left for Milan earlier this summer. Their search has now ended with the signing of Howedes on a one year loan deal. The world champion arrived earlier today in Turin and has passed his medical tests before signing the deal.Report: Mourinho rejects several offers amid Real Madrid talk Andrew Smyth – Jose Mou上海夜生活rinho has reportedly turned down several job offers in Europe as he eyes up a potential shock return to Real Madrid.

Juventus will pay €3m to Schalke for the loan of Howedes. The deal also includes an option to buy, which will be automatically activated if the central defender will play 25 competitive matches for Juve. In this case, the Italians will have to pay another €13m plus €3m in bonuses to Schalke.

The 29-year-old will play for the first time in his career for a different club than Schalke. He joined the Gelsenkirchen club as a trainee and advanced through the ranks, making 334 appearances for the club, during which he scored 23 goals and helped the team win the German Cup in 2011.

Howedes has 44 matches for the German national team and played an important part in their World Cup winning campaign in 2014.

\u0130lkay G\u00fcndo\u011fan speaks about his recovery

Manchester City player İlkay Gündoğan says recovering from his injuries has been mentally challenging.

The player admits it has been really difficult to approach his recovery with the right set of mind as he struggles to get fit for Guardiola’s side.

Gündoğan started only nine Premier League games last season due to an injury in December when he tore cruciate knee ligaments.

The 26-year-old is close to full recovery, but admits it has been really difficult for him to keep a positive mindset about his career since he missed both 2014 World Cup and 2016 Euro due to injuries.

“It is heavy mentally to accept that,” Gundogan told BBC Sport.

“It is really hard always to fall and fight your way back. You feel good and feel ready, then you get the next kick.Paiva says Felix would have done better at City or Barca George Patchias – Joao Felix would have become a better player at Manchester City or Barcelona according to former coach Renato Paiva.Renato Paiva was the prodigious Portuguese…

“The worst part is behind me now. I want to feel ready when I am fully back. I want to feel safe and confident. I don’t mind if it is two weeks or six.”

City are one of the favourites for the Premier League title in the forthcoming season, after some heavy spending on the market. However, the midfielder believes last year’s runners-up Tottenham will challenge for the title once again, despite not bringing in any new players.

“We felt that last year as well but it was a completely new experience for all of us. We know the Premier League a bit more now and can’t wait for the season to start.

“Tottenham are a great team. They have the style of foo上海夜生活网tball. They have young English players. Our experience last season shows it is really tough to beat them. They are really uncomfortable to play against.

“I am pretty sure, even if they will not say it loud, the people who know the Premier League know Tottenham are definitely a competitor for the title.