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Take Five: Trade winds – World markets themes for the week ahead

( ) – Following are five big themes likely to dominate thinking of investors and traders in the coming week and the stories related to them.

1/WATCH THOSE CURVES

Moody’s warned this week that a trade war could tip the U.S. economy into recession next year. And U.S. President Donald Trump’s latest decision to hike tariff rates on Chinese goods has possibly brought that risk a bit closer. At least the bond market seems to think so — the yield on three-month U.S. Treasury bills is on the cusp of rising above 10-year yields.

A sustained curve inversion, as such a shift is called, would be seen as a sure-fire recession signal; in a normally growing economy, longer-dated borrowing costs are higher than short-term rates.

But the curve has sent a false alarm at least once before and some believe it is doing so again, above all because huge Fed purchases have depressed longer yields. Huge issuance of short-term debt is also likely to have contributed to the flattening.

Which brings us to another question. Given 2019 net borrowing will top $1 trillion, might Washington find itself scrambling to find buyers? Some dismal bond auctions recently have raised the question whether China is paring Treasury purchases — due to the escalating trade spat. Simmering tensions will keep the issue alive.

2/ TALK, TWEET, REPEAT

Industrial output, retail sales, house prices: a batch of data due in coming days was supposed to give investors an idea about how China’s economy was faring against a backdrop of 10% U.S. tariffs and authorities’ stimulus policies.

Fast forward and the stakes have been raised — quite a lot. On Friday, Washington hiked tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25% and Trump, reverting to Twitter, has threatened more. Beijing warned it would retaliate, though it didn’t say how.

Negotiations to try to end a 10-month-old trade war between the world’s biggest economies are continuing, and markets have taken heart from China’s decision to stick with the talks. Another factor is China’s central bank, which assured markets it had “rich” policy tools to cope with external uncertainties. Weak economic data can only cement that resolve.

3/OIL SLICK

The world economy seems to be shifting into a lower gear but Brent crude futures are holding above $70 a barrel, up 30% this year. Barclays sees a climb to $74-$75 in the coming year.

In the short-term too, oil looks well-supported. On the demand side, Chinese imports hit a record in April, possibly due to economic stimulus measures taking effect. And supply has been curtailed by a pipeline contamination issue in Russia and U.S. sanctions that have cut shipments from Venezuela and Iran.

Venezuelan exports have dropped 40% since January and Iran’s exports have more than halved, to one million barrels per day or less. They are expected to slide further in May.

None of these issues will be resolved anytime soon. Iran for one is threatening to retaliate against U.S. sanctions by breaching a nuclear pact signed in 2015. Sanctions have failed to dislodge Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro but they are likely to cut oil exports further in May, after the expiry of an April 28 deadline for U.S. firms to complete existing deals.

4/NO STICKER SHOCK

Few U.S. data series have been as choppy in recent months as retail sales. December’s drop in core sales was the largest in nearly two decades — only to be followed by an equally large swing to the upside in January. Demand for big-ticket items like cars then pushed the March total to the highest in 18 months.

Consumer resilience, emboldened by a strong job market, was a key pillar of support for the U.S. economy in the first quarter. So the April reading will show if that willingness to spend continues into Q2.

estimates point to the first back-to-back rise in retail sales since November. Headline sales are seen up 0.2%.

The report comes soon after Trump imposed new tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports, but it is far too soon to see a meaningful impact from the trade war between the world’s two largest economies. Shoppers will probably not start reacting to sticker shock until the third quarter.

5/ITALIA DEJA VU

Once again it seems there’s good reason to fret over Italy, the euro zone’s third-biggest economy — and one of its most indebted.

Tensions have flared within the ruling coalition over a corruption scandal that cost a junior minister his job. Rome may find itself footing the bill for a bank bailout after BlackRock ditched a proposed rescue of Carige. And finally, the European Commission has warned that Italian finances may deteriorate further. So another showdown with the EU might be looming.

How talks on deficit targets may pan out could become clearer at the May 16 Eurogroup meeting of finance ministers.

Signs of compromise will bring relief to Italian bond markets, where yields have seen their biggest weekly jump in three months with a rise of over 10 basis points. Contrast that to Spain and Portugal, often lumped in with Italy as the euro zone “periphery” — 10-year Spanish yields are at 2-1/2 year troughs while Portuguese yields have touched record lows.

The latest bond se上海夜生活论坛ll-off, which took Italian yields to 2.7%, is small compared to the rout a year ago when yields spiked to 3.4%. But who could be blamed for a sense of deja vu?

UPDATE 2-China banks temper April lending as debt worries rise, but all eyes on U.S. trade threat

* April new loans at 1.02 trln yuan vs forecast 1.2 trln yuan

* April M2 money supply up 8.5 pct y/y, in line with forecast

* April TSF at 1.36 trln yuan vs forecast 1.7 trln yuan (Adds analyst quote)

BEIJING, May 9 ( ) – Chinese banks throttled back new lending in April after a record first quarter that sparked fears of more bad loans, but analysts say the central bank will have to keep up policy support for the economy due to escalating trade tensions with the United States.

Global investors are closely watching to see how much more support Beijing injects into the economy to shore up growth. But expectations that it may be moving to a more cautious approach shifted wildly this week after a sudden blowup in U.S.-China ties.

Chinese banks extended 1.02 trillion yuan ($150.16 billion) in net new yuan loans in April, the central bank said on Thursday, well below analysts’ expectations of 1.2 trillion yuan in a poll and March’s surprisingly strong 1.69 trillion yuan.

The credit data was released unexpectedly early, hours ahead of the resumption of last-ditch U.S.-China trade talks and a day ahead of a threatened U.S. tariff increase on Chinese goods. The numbers are usually released between the 10th and 15th of every month.

U.S. President Donald Trump stunned global financial markets on Sunday by announcing the tariff measures, which Beijing later said it will retaliate against. Investors had been betting on news of a trade agreement soon that would relieve pressure on both economies.

While China’s April lending levels have tended to moderate from March in past years, investors had been looking to details of the data for clues on how much more policy easing to expect.

Policy insiders told late last month that China’s central bank is likely to pause to assess economic conditions before making any further moves to ease banks’ reserve requirements, after better-than-expected March growth data reduced the urgency for action.

While the central bank’s easing bias remained unchanged, the sources said it was concerned that pumping too much cash into the economy could reignite bubbles over time, and it wanted to save some of its policy ammunition in case activity deteriorated again.

April’s more modest lending levels suggested Beijing was fine-tuning its policy stance last month, economists at Nomura said in a note.

But they added: “We expect a rebound of money and credit in May.

“The sudden escalation of U.S.-China trade tensions and the recent sharp drop of stock prices could convince Beijing to take further easing measures to bolster confidence and stabilize growth.”

CREDIT GROWTH KEY TO RECOVERY

Thursday’s data also showed that broad M2 money supply in April grew 8.5 percent from a year earlier, in line with market estimates but dipping slightly from March.

Outstanding yuan loans grew 13.5 percent from a year earlier, slightly lower than expectations and March’s 13.7 percent.

Growth of outstanding total social financing (TSF), a broad measure of credit and liquidity in the economy, slowed to 10.4 percent from a year earlier from 10.7 percent in March. TSF growth is a rough gauge of credit conditions.

Total TSF in April fell much more than expected, to 1.36 trillion yuan from 2.86 trillion yuan in March.

Optimism over the outlook for the world’s second-largest economy has improved recently, although preliminary economic data for April showed growth had become more subdued.

But analysts say the Chinese economy is not out of the woods yet, and the chance of reaching a trade deal during Vice Premier Liu He’s visit has declined, adding more uncertainties which might prompt policymakers to take swifter and stronger action.

Top officials have repeatedly vowed not to open the credit floodgates in an economy already saddled with piles of debt – a legacy of massive stimulus during the global financial crisis in 2008-09 and subsequent downturns.

The central bank has cut banks’ reserve requirements five times over the past year,上海夜生活网 and on Monday announced a smaller targeted cut to help cash-strapped smaller firms.

It has also guided money market interest rates lower in various ways, but has not cut benchmark policy rates as it did in the past.

FOREX-Yen surges to 3-month high on fears of U.S. tariffs

* Yen stands tall vs peers as trade woes stoke risk aversion

* Focus on outcome of pivotal US-China talks starting Thursday

* Graphic: World FX rates in 2019 tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh

By Tom Finn

LONDON, May 9 ( ) – The Japanese yen surged to a 3-month high against the dollar on Thursday as investors piled into the safe-haven currency fearing that the U.S.-China trade conflict could escalate.

Two days of trade talks begin in Washington on Thursday and traders are waiting to see whether Chinese and U.S. negotiators can salvage a deal to prevent more U.S. tariff increases.

Currency moves this week in response to a new bout of trade war angst have been fairly muted but Thursday’s jump in the yen – which tends to attract demand in times of political strife and market turmoil – suggested investor nerves are fraying.

The main casualties of the heightened tensions have been the Australian dollar, a proxy for Chinese economic prospects , the U.S. dollar and the offshore Chinese yuan .

The yuan on Thursday fell half a percent to hit a four-month low of 6.838 and was headed for its worst four-day decline in a year.

“It looks very much like a trade deal is almost off the table and that the U.S. will impose new tariffs on Chinese goods tomorrow. Fears in the market are mostly reflected in yu上海夜网an exchange rates,” said Ulrich Leuchtmann, an FX strategist at Commerzbank.

Unlike previous episodes when the dollar benefited from an increase in trade worries, U.S. President Donald Trump’s latest threat to raise tariffs on Chinese imports have prompted market strategists to focus on the corrosive impact on Washington.

The prospects of an escalation in the conflict has seen the yen gain in recent days.

The currency rose 0.3 percent against the dollar at 109.640 yen, a 3-month high, taking its gains to more than 1 percent so far this month.

According to the latest Commodity Futures Trading Commission data, speculators have further raised their net long dollar bets, including those against the yen.

Trump said on Wednesday that China “broke the deal” reached in talks with the United States, and vowed to not back down on imposing new tariffs unless Beijing “stops cheating our workers”.

Shin Kadota, senior strategist at Barclays in Tokyo, said the yen “owes much of its strength to gains made in the cross currency market. ‘Risk on, risk off’ has been the main market driver and the euro has been stuck in range as a result.”

U.S. internet firms ask Trump to support encryption, ease regulations

WASHINGTON ( ) – U.S. internet companies including Facebook Inc and Amazon Inc have sent President-elect Donald Trump a detailed list of their policy priorities, which includes promoting strong encryption, immigration reform and maintaining liability protections from content that users share on their platforms.

The letter sent on Monday by the Internet Association, a trade group whose 40 members also include Alphabet’s Google, Uber and Twitter, represents an early effort to repair the relationship between the technology sector and Trump, who was almost universally disliked and at times denounced in Silicon Valley during the presidential campaign.

“The internet industry looks forward to engaging in an open and productive dialogue,” reads the letter, signed by Michael Beckerman, president of the Internet Association, and seen by .

Some of the policy goals stated in the letter may align with Trump’s priorities, including easing上海夜生活网 regulation on the sharing economy, lowering taxes on profits made from intellectual property and applying pressure on Europe to not erect too many barriers that restrict U.S. internet companies from growing in that market.

Other goals are likely to clash with Trump, who offered numerous broadsides against the tech sector during his campaign.

They include supporting strong encryption in products against efforts by law enforcement agencies to mandate access to data for criminal investigations, upholding recent reforms to U.S. government surveillance programs that ended the bulk collection of call data by the National Security Agency, and maintaining net neutrality rules that require internet service providers to treat web traffic equally.

The association seeks immigration reform to support more high-skilled workers staying in the United States. Though Trump made tougher immigration policies a central theme of his campaign, he has at times shied away from arguing against more H-1B visas for skilled workers, saying in a March debate he was “softening the position because we need to have talented people in this country.”

While urging support for trade agreements, the letter does not mention the Trans Pacific Partnership, which Trump has repeatedly assailed with claims it was poorly negotiated and would take jobs away from U.S. workers. The technology sector supported the deal, but members of Congress have conceded since the election it is not going to be enacted.

Trump’s often-shifting policy proposals on the campaign trail frequently alarmed tech companies and sometimes elicited public mockery, such as when Trump called for closing off parts of the internet to limit militant Islamist propaganda.

Trump has also urged a boycott of Apple Inc products over the company’s refusal to help the Federal Bureau of Investigation unlock an iPhone associated with last year’s San Bernardino, California, shootings, threatened antitrust action against Amazon, and demanded that tech companies such as Apple manufacture their products in the United States.

In a statement, Beckerman said the internet industry looked forward to working closely with Trump and lawmakers in Congress to “cement the internet’s role as a driver of economic and social progress for future generations.”

In Silicon Valley, some Indian Americans shun Clinton after election row

SAN FRANCISCO ( ) – Hillary Clinton, who has long cultivated the Indian-American community for both funds and votes, is tapping into the excitement around the Silicon Valley visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi this weekend. Next Monday she is holding a presidential campaign fundraiser expected to attract many prominent Californians with ties to India.

    But some Indian-American Democrats from the region have told they won’t be attending the event, in part because they are upset about the way a candidate was treated in a 2014 race for a Silicon Valley congressional seat. Their frustration extends to other Democratic candidates and causes besides Clinton, who wasn’t involved in the race, but ignoring her campaign is a high-profile way to vent.

    Supporters of the candidate, Ro Khanna, an intellectual-property lawyer of South Indian heritage, accuse his opponent, fellow Democrat Mike Honda, of using race-baiting to undermine Khanna. Honda narrowly beat out Khanna, a former trade official in President Barack Obama’s administration, in the election for a seat in the House of Representatives.

    Just weeks before the election, Honda attacked Khanna in a television ad for supporting “companies that send our jobs overseas.” In the same ad, a shadow briefly appeared on Khanna’s forehead that some Khanna supporters interpreted as a bindi, a red dot worn by many Indians but not by Khanna. 

    Khanna’s supporters point out that in 2012 he published  a book on the importance of U.S. manufacturing jobs, and they say that the shadow was an attempt to spark unease among non-Indians. They say the Democratic Party should have intervened to stop what they saw as unfair attacks.

    Honda spokesman Adam Alberti says Khanna’s financial backers included supporters of outsourcing, and no dot was placed, or is visible, on Khanna’s forehead in the ad in question.

    “The issue of racial baiting is both unfounded and is shallow political theater,” said Alberti, adding that as a Japanese-American who was held in an internment camp as a baby during World War II, Honda is especially committed to racial diversity. In March, Honda co-hosted a networking and fundraising event for “Ready for Clinton,” the organization that sought to draft Clinton to run for president.

    Among those who say they aren’t going to Monday’s Clinton fundraiser, or getting involved in other Democratic campaigns out of concern at Khanna’s treatment, is Rahul Roy, a software entrepreneur. “It hurts,” he says. Roy recently hosted a fundraiser for Khanna, who is  running for the seat again in 2016.

    The Clinton campaign says it is concentrating on the large numbers of Indian Americans that back her. “Hillary Clinton is grateful for the broad support she is receiving across the Indian-American and Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities in California and around the country,” a spokesman said. He did not respond to questions from about the disquiet over the 2014 election.

SOCIAL JUSTICE

    Certainly Clinton has been raising funds in Silicon Valley, where donations to her and an organization raising money on her behalf from area technology employees have totaled $1.07 million through June 30, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

    And some Khanna supporters are raising money for her. Monday’s Clinton fundraiser – which she is due to attend in person – is being hosted in their home by Khanna supporters Kamil Hasan, a venture capitalist, and his wife Talat Hasan, an entrepreneur. Tickets start at $1,000, and it is expected to attract at least 150 donors, according to a person familiar with the event.

    Khanna’s supporters have shown a largesse that any presidential candidate would want to tap into. He has raised $1.25 million through June 30, far more than most congressional candidates, and more than double the $608,上海夜生活000 raised by Honda.

    “Some of the attacks were very xenophobic,” said Naren Gupta, a Khanna donor and co-founder of investment firm Nexus Ventures, who said the party should have stepped in. He stopped short of saying the issue would affect his support for other Democratic candidates. He is not expected at the Hasan fundraiser, according to the person familiar with the event.

Gupta is also co-chairman of the Indo-American Community of the West Coast, which is helping organize Modi’s appearance before a capacity crowd of 18,000 at the SAP Center in San Jose on Sunday.

    Other donors, like Facebook millionaire turned venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya, think Khanna should have hit back harder.

    “You’ve got to be willing to take the gloves off and fight,” said Palihapitya, who donated $2,600 to Khanna in the last race and said he planned to support him again this time. He hasn’t made up his mind about who he might support in the presidential race, he said.

Through spokesman Hari Sevugan, Khanna took credit for bringing many South Asians and technology workers into the political arena for the first time. Now, many of those recruits feel alienated, the spokesman said. Khanna himself didn’t comment directly on the 2014 race or its fallout, but in an email said Indian Americans feel strongly about social justice, and the Democratic Party “needs to do a better job recognizing that.”    

RPT-Only way is down: strong bid for negative-yielding KfW bond amid rates stasis

(Repeats Friday story without changes)

* German banks sells 5 bln euros of bonds at -0.267 pct yield

* Euro zone lenders, foreign central banks among buyers

* Deal paves way for other borrowers to do same

By Abhinav Ramnarayan

LONDON, March 15 ( ) – German development bank KfW’s 5 billion euro debt sale, at one of the most deeply negative yields on record for such a deal, is a clear sign investors are resigned to several more years of low interest rates in the euro zone, bankers and analysts said.

Triple-A-rated KfW, whose debt is guaranteed by the German government and often seen as a proxy for German Bunds, sold 5 billion euros of three-year bonds via a syndicate of banks on Tuesday at a yield of minus 0.267 percent.

Negative yields have been a feature of the euro zone bond market since the European Central Bank began stimulus measures to aid the bloc’s recovery from the debt crisis of 2010-2012.

But the KfW deal is one of very few benchmark-sized transactions to price at such a deeply negative level.

“Nobody really expects rising rates, given the statements by the ECB and (U.S. Federal Reserve) and given the economic data we currently get,” said Petra Wehlert, head of capital markets at KfW. “Investors live with what they get, and they feel comfortable enough to buy into negative rates at the short end (of the yield curve).

“Investors have to manage their cash, and if there is no change in environment, the risk is limited. KfW bonds are a Bund surrogate, and portfolio managers need to buy liquid securities,” she added, while上海夜生活网 acknowledging that demand had exceeded KfW’s expectations.

Comparable examples such as the European Investment Bank’s 5 billion euro three-year deal in January 2016 came at the height of the ECB’s now-terminated asset purchase scheme — and yet the yield on that deal was much higher, at minus 0.147 percent.

The fact that KfW was able to price at such a deeply negative yield even after new asset purchases ceased seems to confirm that investors expect the euro zone economy to flat-line for years to come, and that the ECB will be unable to hike rates meaningfully for the foreseeable future.

FEW ALTERNATIVES

Mark Byrne, a syndicate official at TD Securities, which managed the deal alongside BNP Paribas and JP Morgan, said the ECB’s deposit rate of minus 0.40 percent was a clear incentive for banks to invest in such a bond.

But it was not the only reason for the demand, he said: “Not all investors have access to this (deposit facility) — central banks, asset managers and some non-euro zone banks for example. So you must look at their alternative investments.”

He cited the example of three-year German Bunds, trading around minus 0.53 percent, and three-year French government bonds — with a lower credit rating than KfW — trading at minus 0.376 percent.

“So it makes sense (to buy KfW’s bond) if you are a global central bank that needs to hold euros as part of your portfolio,” Byrne said.

As a result, the two biggest types of investor in KfW’s deal were banks, who took 38 percent of the 5 billion euros sold, and central banks, who took 35 percent.

For banks, the deposit rate is a powerful incentive — paying 26 basis points to hold KfW’s debt could be seen as an improvement on paying 40 bps to hold cash at the ECB. Both count towards the regulatory requirement that lenders hold a proportion of assets in liquid and highly rated instruments.

“The high demand from the banks as a sector overall often has to do with regulatory demand,” said Commerzbank rates strategist Rainer Guntermann. “Most investors also suspect the ECB will take some of the supply in the coming weeks.”

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.

Koch brothers, other 2016 mega donors warm to Carly Fiorina

NEW YORK ( ) – Carly Fiorina has emerged as the Republican candidate of the moment in conservative fundraising circles, drawing the notice of the billionaire Koch brothers and other wealthy donors who could instantly remake her shoestring presidenti上海夜生活al campaign.

Fiorina’s show-stealing performance in a Republican presidential debate last month, and her subsequent surge in the polls, has prompted industrialists Charles and David Koch to take a “serious look” at the former Hewlett-Packard chief executive, according to three sources close to the brothers.

She has now moved to the short list of candidates the Kochs may support with their reported $1 billion war chest, the sources said. Florida Senator Marco Rubio is among those on the coveted list, the sources said.

A spokesman for the Kochs declined to comment

Other politically powerful mega donors are also lining up.

Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens hosted a packed luncheon at a posh Dallas venue for Fiorina in late September, while venture capitalist Tom Perkins is planning a fundraising gala in California in the next few months.

“My money is on her,” said Perkins, who served on HP’s board during Fiorina’s tenure. “I think she could be president.”

As the only woman on stage at the Sept. 16 debate, Fiorina emerged as the most effective candidate in taking on front-runner Donald Trump, chastening the celebrity real estate magnate for his controversial comments about her looks.

“The emails have not stopped” since then, said seasoned California political fundraising consultant Karolyn Dorsee, who is working on behalf of several Republican presidential candidates, including Rubio and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. “Everybody wants her, nationwide, in every single state.”

Even before her rapid rise in the polls – she has vaulted to second place in the key early voting state of New Hampshire – Fiorina had already garnered about $2 million in support from the likes of reclusive hedge fund baron Robert Mercer and former Univision CEO Jerrold Perenchio.

“SHE’S PRETTY VIABLE”

Fiorina’s campaign now appears far less of a long-shot than it did over the summer, when she was struggling with sparse crowds, scant name recognition and a coffer of just $5 million that put her at the bottom of the money race.

Her campaign thus far has been a bare-bones operation, relying on a young, relatively low-paid, skeletal staff as opposed to the sprawling operations built by more well-endowed candidates like Bush.

Support from the Kochs would change her operation overnight.

“We think she’s pretty viable,” said broadcasting billionaire Stanley Hubbard, a member of the Koch brothers’ network of conservative advocacy groups who donates heavily to political candidates.

The Kochs have been keeping a close eye on Fiorina ever since she announced in May, the Koch sources said. They extended an invite to her to speak at their exclusive summit of rich donors at an oceanfront luxury resort in August along with Rubio, Bush, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, and Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

Fiorina, the lowest polling candidate at the gathering, impressed the big money attendees with her mastery of policy detail and heavyweight stage presence. “She’s good in the room,” said one participant at the event, who declined to be named.

The Fiorina campaign, and the independent fund-raising Super PAC supporting her, declined comment.

The Kochs, who own America’s second-largest private company, have backed Fiorina in the past, notably when she ran unsuccessfully against incumbent Democrat Barbara Boxer for her California Senate seat in 2010.

At the time, the Kochs had helped mount a campaign for Proposition 23, a ballot measure designed to suspend the state law banning higher carbon emissions that was ultimately defeated. Fiorina also supported the measure. A Koch Industries PAC helped sponsor a Washington fundraiser for Fiorina at the time and gave $10,000 to her campaign.

   As Fiorina’s money problems fade, some high dollar donors who have already contributed are now considering doubling down. Dallas philanthropist Elloine Clark has so far written one $100,000 check to the Super PAC supporting Fiorina. She says she may give more. “I think she’s unflappable,” said Clark. “And she doesn’t react like an adolescent.”   

Preview: Lazio – Chievo

Will it be the Champions League ambitions of Lazio or the survival instincts of Chievo? With it all to play for, this Serie A clash hosted in the capital city has an interesting sub-context.

Flashscore presents the key facts before the match:

The hosts are fourth in SA, taking advantage of a poor recent run by Roma. With the battle for the final CL qualification spot looking set to be between these two eternal rivals, Lazio would be eager to pocket three points against Chievo.

The visitors have picked up just one win since the end of October and are living off their early season form of 15 points from the opening nine games. They now sit 13th in SA and just seven points above the relegation places. If the slide is not halted, do not be surprised if they find themselves amid that battle soon!

The hosts have won their last three home games in all competitions to go with four on the trot at home to teams in the bottom half. They have a very good scoring record (48 goals) behind only Juventus in SA, although they have conceded the most (24 goals) among the top five!

Compare that to Chievo, who have scored just 20 goals in 20 games so far in SA! In addition, their away form is shaky, with no wins in six trips (W0, D2, L4).

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Leading Chievo’s charge will be Roberto Inglese with seven goals. He will look to capitalise on Lazio’s generosity at the back.

Stat attack: Chievo have not scored in their last three away SA games and lost all of them.

These two sides, together with Inter Milan, have scored the most headed goals in SA this season (seven).

Missing players

Lazio: F. Caicedo (leg injury), S. Radu (suspension), D. Di Gennaro (doubtful), F. Marchetti (doubtful), Mauricio (doubtful)

Chievo: L. Castro (knee injury), A. Gamberini (muscle injury), R. Inglese (knee injury), R. Meggiorini (doubtful).

Conte hailed Rooney’s contribution

Antonio Conte, the Chelsea manager, admitted that Wayne Rooney, the captain of his upcoming opponent, is a player who “plays with his soul” and he claimed that the Englishman has got everything to become a successful coach one day.

Rooney managed to find his old form after joining Everton back in summer and Antonio Conte knows that he should be aware of the captain before his Chelsea will face Everton in the upcoming Premier League match. The Italian coach insisted that he considers the 32-year old to be the main attacking threat of the Toffees and his players should be prepared for it.

The former Juventus coach spoke about this player as he said, according to ESPN: “We must pay great attention because Wayne Rooney is an important player, a good player. He is showing his ability. For sure, Rooney is one of the best players of Everton. I think it was a great [move] for him. He’s showing he’s a fantastic player. He’s continued to play in a fantastic way. We must pay great attention because I think Wayne Rooney is a player who, when he plays, plays with his soul. You can see this during the game.”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 made a comment on Rooney’s decision to finish his international career: “We must have great respect for his decision. Only the player understands when the moment is arriving to say ‘stop’ when it comes to playing for the national team. We must have great respect for this decision. It’s not simple to make.”

In the end, Conte insisted that it’s not an easy thing to make such a上海夜生活网 decision: “To stop your career with the national team is not easy. I’m sure his heart is a bit broken by this decision. But, at the same time, we have to respect it because only the player understands when this moment has come.”

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.”

Giggs thinks that United are still the best in Manchester

Ryan Giggs still thinks that Manchester United have to be considered as a bigger and more successful club than Manchester City are – and the Citizens have to start winning trophies to change that fact.

Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City are expected to clinch their first Premier League since 2014 when they managed to gain it under Manuel Pellegrini – since then, they failed to win it again and Giggs thinks that they can’t be considered as the best team in Manchester because of that. Now, there is an eight-point gap between these two and José Mourinho will be looking for closing it in the upcoming fixture.

The former Manchester United player and legend spoke about the differences between these two as he said, according to Sky Sports: “There are more academy players coming through at United than there are at City. United won two trophies last year, and City haven’t won any for a couple of years. They a上海夜生活re obviously very good, and with the spending power that they have got, every year they get closer, but still, United, with the record that they have got, to go with the top manager and the top players, are still on top, but the gap is closing.”Solskjaer “very pleased” after another failure to win George Patchias – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said he was “very pleased,” even though United failed to win yet again.It is now ten games on the road since…

He continued by adding that City can be considered as a big contender: “With that spending power, and the coach that they have got, they will be very difficult to stop them over the next couple of years because they are playing unbelievable football. But until you win that trophy, you can’t start comparing them to Arsenal’s Invincibles or other teams who have won the Premier League.”

Phil Neville, another TV pundit, mentioned that City are just at the beginning of their journey: “They are still putting those building blocks in place. They are dominating and, at this moment in time, they are the best team, in Europe, they are playing the best football, but you have to measure success on winning trophies. They have a fantastic training ground, an academy that can produce top players, but not in great numbers. These are the sort of things where they need to match United. Winning trophies is how this team will be defined.”

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).

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).

Preview: Liverpool – Southampton

Liverpool are currently 5th in the Premier League table and Jurgen Klopp’s side will be looking to catch up on the top four today when they receive the visit of 13th-placed Southampton.

Flashscore presents the key facts before the match: 

Liverpool welcome Southampton to Anfield for this Premier League (PL) clash, but the visitors face an uphill task as they take on a side that are undefeated in their last 13 home games in all competitions.

Jurgen Klopp must try and reverse his poor record versus Southampton as there is no other side he has faced more in the PL without winning, drawing 3 and losing 1 of his 4 matches against them, with The Saints also knocking The上海夜生活 Reds out of the League Cup last season with a 2-0 aggregate victory in the semi-finals.

It is no secret that Liverpool defend likes strangers at times, shipping 17 goals in their 11 PL matches this season, but they have surprisingly managed to keep a clean sheet in 6 of their last 7 home games in the competition.Top 5 Premier League players in September’s last weekend Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – A fresh Premier League fixture just ended, which means we can talk about the Top 5 best players of September’s last weekend.After a fresh…

Sadio Mane was sent home from international duty this week after being left out of Senegal’s final World Cup qualifier against South Africa with a reported recurrence of an old hamstring injury and is therefore a major doubt to face his former club.

If they avoid defeat in this match, Mauricio Pellegrino’s side can make it 6 consecutive games without loss against Liverpool for the first time in their history, having won 3 and drawn 2 of the last 5 meetings in all competitions.

Missing players

Liverpool: A. Bogdan (knee injury), N. Clyne (muscle injury), D. Ward (back injury), A. Lallana (doubtful)

Southampton: J. Pied (knock), M. Lemina (doubtful).

Son fires Spurs to an important victory over Palace

Pochettino’s men struggled against the last team in the Premier League, but still clinched the three points.

Tottenham Hotspur won against Crystal Palace at Wembley Stadium, but their performance certainly was not their strongest of the season. The heroes for Spurs were Son, who scored in the 64th minute, and their third-choice goalkeeper Gazzaniga, who made a number of vital saves to help his team come out as a winner.

Mauricio Pochettino made five changes to his squad that started against Real Madrid during the week. Gazzaniga started his first game in the Premier League for the first time in 687 days. The other four new faces were Aurier, Rose, Son and Sissoko.

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Tottenham Hotspur were the team that dominated the ball and controlled the game for the greater part of the first half, but they never created a clear chance in front of the goal. The best opportunity was for Dany Rose in the 31st minute when he was left uncovered at the back post, but his shot did not find its target.

Crystal Palace, however,  had the best chance during the first half. In the 36th minute Gazzaniga was forced to produce a brilliant save to prevent his team from conceding a goal after上海夜生活 a header from Dann that was going straight into the bottom corner.

Spurs goalkeeper was tested on a few more occasions by Townsend and Milivojević, but his saves were on point and denied Palace from opening the score.

In the 64th minute Tottenham took the lead through Son Heung-Min who precisely placed the ball into the left corner and wrapped up the final 1:0 in favour of Pochettino’s men.

The goal Son scored on Sunday put him as the the highest scoring Asian in the history of Premier League with 20 goals.

Pepe to Ronaldo: “Come with me at PSG\u201d

The Portuguese centre-back is one of the best friends of Ronaldo in football, as the pair shared the changing room at Bernabeu for close to eight years now.Written by Cosmin Mihalescu. June 19, 2017.

But with Pepe set to leave Santiago Bernabeu this summer, and Ronaldo’s recent tax evasion scandal, the centre-back is looking to take advantage of their friendship and try to persuade his co-national to join him at Paris Saint Germain.

According to the Spanish Press, Pepe sent a clear message to Ronaldo: “Come with me at PSG.” Pepe is known to be very close to make his move official to Paris.

Furthermore, the centre-back insisted: “The club didn’t defend you as they should have done”, touching on Ronaldo’s main complaint in relation to Real Madrid’s handling of his s上海夜生活论坛ituation.Kane: Spurs out of excuses after shock Carabao Cup exit Andrew Smyth – Harry Kane concedes that Tottenham only have themselves to blame following a shock Carabao Cup exit at the hands of Colchester United.

It’s not the first time Pepe is trying to hurt Real Madrid. Being now sure that he will leave in the summer, the Portuguese defender complained publicly about the way he was treated in the last year at Bernabeu, blaming Zidane for the lack of communication.

After having announced his intention to leave Real Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo is now monitored by top clubs in the world. Besides PSG, Manchester United and Bayern Munich are also interested in the Portuguese forward, who has also attracted interest from China.

However, the player himself seems set on a return to Old Trafford, where Jose Mourinho would like to be reunited to his former player. Ronaldo has always said that Manchester United have remained in his heart.

PSG ready to activate Oblak\u2019s \u20ac100m buyout clause

Ligue 1 side h上海夜生活论坛ave been linked with several goalkeepers this summerWritten by – Nikolay Nikolov, June 18, 2017.

Paris Saint-Germain are prepared to trigger the €100 million buyout clause in Jan Oblak’s contract with Atletico, says goal.com.

Slovenia international has been intensely speculated over heading into the summer transfer window. He has been linked with Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal.

However, the club that wants to buy the 24-year-old has to meet Atletico’s demands and that means a record-breaking offer needs to be in place.Kane: Spurs out of excuses after shock Carabao Cup exit Andrew Smyth – Harry Kane concedes that Tottenham only have themselves to blame following a shock Carabao Cup exit at the hands of Colchester United.

At the moment, PSG are the favorites to sign the goalkeeper, as Ligue 1 side possess the financials required for the transfer and the goalkeeper position reinforcement will be their priority this summer. Moreover, Atletico will have to sell players, as they will be under a transfer embargo.

Recently the goalkeeper said: “In football, you never know, even one day before the market closes news come out. But for now, everything points towards me continuing at Atletico. I am happy and I believe that I’ll continue playing here next season.”

Last season, Oblak made 30 appearances for Atletico Madrid in LaLiga where he made 52 saves and kept 15 clean sheets. He has also featured in the Champions League 11 times.

Dolberg not getting ahead of himself

The Danish wonder kid has ruled out a big move at this stage of his career, saying he s上海夜生活网till needs to grow.Written by Cosmin Mihalescu. May 3, 2017.

Kasper Dolberg has recently attracted interest from the biggest teams in Europe and more so from a group of Premier League clubs. But the young Ajax striker is not thinking that much ahead. He prefers to focus on his development and feels that Ajax is the perfect club to grow.

Dolberg’s plans for the season were to grow as much as possible while playing for the second team of Ajax. But the transfer of Milik to Napoli has opened the door to a huge opportunity for the young striker: “My goal [this season] was to play for Ajax’s reserve team, become their best player and maybe get a few matches in the first team. But then Arek Milik went to Napoli and I got the chance.”

And the 19-year-old did not disappoint. He managed to score at his debut, in a match against Greek side PAOK in the Champions League qualifiers: “Then in the first game of the season I played and scored against PAOK in a Champions League qualifier. From that point, I was motivated. The coach gave me confidence to play in the way I’ve always done.”Inter Milan V Lazio: Players to Watch Taimoor Khan – Inter Milan are set to host Lazio at the San Siro on Thursday and the game is definitely going to be an exciting affair…

Dolberg continued his impressive rise and in November last year managed to score a hat-trick against NEC. He has then become the youngest foreign player to score a hat-trick in Eredivisie. Since then, he has added to his goal scoring record and he now has 14 league goals in the current season.

With interest from clubs like Liverpool, Everton, Manchester City and Manchester United, the wonder kid addressed the rumours of a potential transfer: “It’s too big a step to go to City or United now. It’s important to keep on playing, as I don’t know what could happen in the future.”

When asked about his preferences, the young Dane was evasive, trying to avoid closing any doors for the future: “I haven’t got a dream league. When I was young it was Barcelona [that was my favourite team], but once I got older I didn’t have one. In England, I followed Arsenal because of Thierry Henry, but it wasn’t like Arsenal was my favourite.”

Dolberg arrived at Ajax in the summer of 2016 from the Danish Superliga side Silkeborg. The scout who spotted him has previously brought Christian Eriksen and Zlatan Ibrahimovic to the Dutch capital.