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UK PM frontrunner fends off court case over Brexit campaign bus claim

LONDON ( ) – Judges at London’s High Court on Friday threw out an attempt to prosecute Boris Johnson, the frontrunner to succeed Theresa May as prime minister, for allegedly lying about the financial benefits of Brexit during the 2016 EU referendum campaign.

Last week, a magistrate agreed to issue summonses for Johnson to face charges of misconduct in public office over a claim emblazoned on his bright red “Leave” campaign bus that Britain would be 350 million pounds ($446 million) a week better off outside the EU.

Opponents had argued that the slogan was deliberately misleading and it became symbolic of the divisions caused by the referendum, which saw Britons vote 52-48% to leave the European Union.

Marcus Ball, 29, who described himself as a social enterprise founder, brought the private prosecution against Johnson in February which led to last week’s decision.

But at a judicial review hearing on Friday at the High Court, Johnson’s lawyer Adrian Darbishire said the magistrate had either erred in law or provided the wrong legal test in allowing the case to go ahead.

Darbishire said the only rational conclusion was that the case was politically motivated and therefore without merit.

The High Court judges agreed the summonses should be quashed, saying they would give their reasons at a later date.

The flamboyant Johnson, who did not attend Friday’s hearing, is the favorite among Conservative lawmakers hoping to replace May as party leader and therefore prime minister.

The case could potentially have damaged his bid to replace May, who stepped down as Conservative leader on Friday although she will remain prime minister until a successor is selected.

“POLITICAL PROSECUTION”

Friday’s challenge, brought in the former foreign minister’s full name – Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson – examined whether a politician could be accused of criminal misconduct over statements made during political campaigning.

“Standing on the hustings is not the exercise of state power, and doing something naughty on the hustings is not an abuse of state power,” said Darbishire.

He said it was not for the police or juries to stray into the sphere of political debate and that it was for the electorate to decide on the truth of claims.

Ball’s overt opposition to Brexit and desire to h上海夜生活ave it stopped also showed the case had no legal merit, Darbishire added. “This is realistically, plainly speaking, a political prosecution,” he said.

After the verdict, Ball, who has raised more than 350,000 pounds through crowd-funding to pursue the prosecution, said he would mull whether to appeal, saying his case was not about stopping Brexit.

“I will not give up until I believe that all possible options are exhausted,” he said.

“If you are an elected representative and you are talking about people’s money … it’s not correct for a member of parliament to lie to everybody about that.”

As for the 350 million claim itself, Johnson’s lawyers said he denied acting dishonestly in any way and the figure remained contentious.

“It is still being adhered to today,” Darbishire said.

($1 = 0.7842 pounds)

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.

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.”

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.”   

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.

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.”

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.”

Liverpool chief admits uncertainty over Coutinho’s future

The Brazilian was Barcelona’s top priority over the summer and his recent showings on the pitch will certainly make the Catalans want him even more.

Liverpool chief executive Peter Moore insists that he does not know what will happen to Philippe Coutinho and whether the will still be at Anfield after the January transfer window. The 25-year-old was Barcelona’s target during the summer and reportedly submitted a transfer request to force a move through. However, the Reds’ leadership blocked the move and insisted that the ‘Magician’ is not for sale regardless of the money offered to the club.

However, Moore has now revealed that he does not have a ‘crystal ball’ only to further fuel the speculations regarding Coutinho’s future.

“[On Wednesday] I saw a player delighted to score a hat-trick in front of 54,000 fans. It’s all about Philippe on the pitch right now.” he said, according to Goal.

“As far as I’m concerned the squad in January is what we have. I have no crystal ball.”

However, the Reds official highlighted and lauded the job done by the recruitment team, expressing his delight with the signing of Salah, Chamberlain and Keïta.Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers relishing Liverpool return Andrew Smyth – Brendan Rodgers is relishing Leicester City’s trip to his old club Liverpool, whom he described as a “privilege” to work for during his three-year stint.

“From the perspective of competing, we do thing上海夜网s the Liverpool way,” Moore added.

“The chemistry that we build on the field – it’s not about buying the most expensive player.

“We haven’t been shy [in terms of spending]. Obviously, the Mohamed Salah purchase for many people has been the top acquisition of the season.

“We already have Naby Keïta coming and I think Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is doing a tremendous job.

“The investments are being made. It’s hard to knock what you are seeing on the field right now.

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).

Nemyar tried to have Barcelona excluded from UCL

Neymar left Barcelona this summer for PSG, but his departure did not come in the best terms.

PSG decided to pay the €222m release clause in the Brazilian’s contract and Barcelona were left powerless. The Catalans delayed as much as possible the sending of the relevant documents to France and therefore PSG were not able to register Neymar in time for their first match in Ligue 1.

Furthermore, Barcelona accused PSG of breaching the FFP regulations. However, Neymar hit back and has his own personal war going on with the Catalans. The Brazilian reported Barcelona to UEFA and asked for nothing less than the exclusion of the Catalans from Champions League, according to AS.Opinion: FC Barcelona needed to end the internal war Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – After a victory at Camp Nou, we believe that FC Barcelona did well by ending the internal war between players and the board ASAP.Those…

The 25-year-old formulated a com上海夜生活论坛plaint against his former team, after Barcelona refused to pay the player’s father the €26m loyalty bonus for the extension on his contract until 2021. Neymar’s decision came after multiple consultations with his legal team, but UEFA decided to dismiss the case, deeming the Brazilian’s claims not founded.

According to Mundo Deportivo, Neymar and his father decided to give up their status as socios of the Catalan club, after the decision that came from UEFA.

PSG: The Champions League is very important

Paris Saint-Germain head coach Unai Emery told his players to focus, as they are about to secure a top-spot in their Champions League group

The French side’s manager asked the supporters of PSG to stand up for his men in their efforts of claiming the top-spot in their Champions League group ahead of their clash with Celtic on Wednesday.

The leaders of the French top-flight are also leading Group B of the competition, with four out of four wins, being 3-points ahead of biggest rivals Bayern Munich.

PSG were 3-0 winners in the mee上海夜生活ting between the two in September and have already secured their place in the latter stages of the competition, GOAL reports.

If they manage to defeat Celtic on Wednesday, it’s almost sure that they progress as group winners with two matches remaining after the current round.

Unai Emery reminded both the fans and the players of the club to stay focused and do their best to achieve a top finish.Report: Icardi opens PSG account in 0-1 win over Gala George Patchias – Mauro Icardi opened his goal-scoring account for PSG in a 0-1 away victory over Galatasaray.While Thomas Tuchel has begun to integrate Mauro Icardi into…

“For us, the Champions League is very important. We want to tread a path that gives us the best possibilities. Because of this, we are group leaders,” the manager told reporters.

“To keep our position, we need to win here. Bayern have improved [since PSG won 3-0 in Paris].”

“If we win this, we will not be thinking about anybody else. We need to stay focused on taking all three points and continuing to progress,” he added.

“We want fans to be vibrant towards the team and for the players to give their best on the pitch,” Emery asked the team and the fans.

The other game in Group B is Bayern travelling to Belgium to face Anderlecht knowing one point would be enough for them to advance to the next stage of the tournament.

The German side have won 3 out of their 4 games so far, with only one defeat against PSG back in the Carlo Ancelotti era.

Benitez: “The difference was evident”

Following his Newcastle City’s 4-1 loss to Manchester United away from home, Rafael Benitez admitted that the gap between these two teams is simply too big – also because of the money spent on the signings.

Newcastle fell at Old Trafford despite taking the lead through Dwight Gayle and impressing early on, with goals from Anthony Martial, Paul Pogba, Chris Smalling and Romelu Lukaku continuing the hosts’ fine home form, according to Sky Sports. Benitez previously claimed that he was not happy with his side’s summer spendings and he admitted that the difference was not hard to be seen.

The former coach of Real Madrid or Chelsea spoke about this difference as he said: “For sure. This time, you see the difference between money spent. It’s not something we didn’t know, we knew it would make a massive difference between both teams. But I am really pleased with what I saw in the first 30 minutes.”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…

He added that the turnover of the match the equalizer from Martial: “I think it’s a quite simple analysis, a really good first half for 30 minutes, everything was right, we were working hard, we had a clear idea what to do, we did well. And then we conceded a goal, then the second goal made a difference in terms of the mentality. We had the chance of [Isaac] Hayden, later on, but we couldn’t score.”

Rafael Benit上海夜生活ez, in the end, claimed that he is proud of his players for the overall performance and the effort: “The second half was more difficult because of the belief that we had in the first half, to keep this belief until the end, it depended on the goal. And then when we conceded the third goal it was a different game. But I am really pleased and really proud of my players in their first 30 minutes. And after when you pay big money for players, they can make the difference, so you make mistakes, you pay for that because you play against top-class players.”

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.”

Preview: CSKA Moscow – Basel

CSKA and Basel both have three points after the first two rounds and they are currently third and respectively second in Group A.

Flashscore presents the key facts before the match:

CSK上海夜生活A Moscow have won 5 of their last 6 Champions League matches, but only 1 of their last 12 group games, which came in a 2-1 victory away at Benfica last month.

CSKA Moscow goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev has failed to keep a clean sheet in his last 41 group-stage and knockout matches in the Champions League, with his last one coming against Arsenal in November 2006.

CSKA Moscow have scored at least 1 goal in 15 of their last 18 home games in the Champions League, while Basel have failed to score in 7 of their last 11 away games in the competition.

There have been less than 3 goals in 7 of CSKA Moscow’s last 8 home games in the Champions League, while there have been at least 3 goals in 5 of Basel’s last 6 matches at this level.Can Marseille make it to the Champions League? Taimoor Khan – With a depleted workforce with not a lot of quantity or quality, Olympique de Marseille are bound to struggle this season. After being held…

Basel ended their 9-game winless run in the Champions League with a stunning 5-0 victory at home to Benfica in their last outing, largely thanks to an inspired performance from on-loan forward Dimitri Oberlin, who scored a goal in each half on his 20th birthday.

Missing players

CSKA Moscow: A. Dzagoev (achilles tendon injury), V. Berezutski (doubtful), A. Makarov (doubtful)

Basel: R. van Wlofswinkel (injury), G. Vailati (doubtful).

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.

\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.

Alderweireld admits no progress in contract talks

The Belgium international defender remains a Spurs player until 2019, but there is no development on the discussions regarding an extension.

Toby Alderweireld has admitted there is nothing regarding a potential new contract from Tottenham. The Belgium full-back has established himself as a top-quality centre-back during his time in England. Spurs are reportedly interested in extending his contract, but no breakthrough has been made as Alderweireld has to keep waiting on updates from his superiors.

When approached and asked about a potential contract renewal, the 28-year-old told Sky Sports: “No news that I know of so nothing… zero.”

The player also shared that Kyle Walker’s departure was bad news for the whole squad, but they will have to find a way to deal with it.Kane: Transfer window disrupted the Spurs squad Andrew Smyth – Harry Kane believes a key reason behind Tottenham’s early-season crisis is down to all the uncertainty surrounding some players’ fu上海夜网ture in the transfer window.

“Everybody is sad that he left.

“He is one of the best full-backs in the world and unfortunately he goes to another [Premier League] team, but we have to focus ourselves to win the game.”

The Belgium international joined Tottenham from Atletico Madrid in 2015 and has made 80 appearances for the Spurs over the course of two seasons.