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Frenkie de Jong contract ‘creating tension’ in Barcelona squad amid legal action threat

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The contract situation of Frenkie de Jong is reportedly creating tension in the Barcelona dressing room amid ongoing speculation over his future.

It comes amid a protracted saga over the player’s future with both Manchester United and Chelsea pursuing a transfer. Red Devils boss Erik ten Hag recently instructed the Old Trafford club to remain patient on a deal after holding fresh talks with the player but the Blues are thought to be becoming increasingly confident of securing his signature.

While United have an initial fee in place with the Catalan club over a transfer, which would reunite De Jong with his former Ajax boss Ten Hag, no final agreement is yet in place for a move. With negotiations over that transfer now spanning three months, Chelsea have registered an interest in gazumping any deal. Blues chiefs have made contact with Barca and held discussions with De Jong’s representatives and are now strong contenders to sign him from under United’s noses.

One of the key reasons that the move has been so protracted is that De Jong is owed €17million in amortizations and back payments by Barca. That is related to the renewed contract he signed with the club in October 2020, under former president Josep Maria Bartomeu – who, alongside the rest of the board, resigned weeks later.

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De Jong was one of four players to pen new contracts at that time alongside Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, Gerard Pique and Clement Lenglet. Pique has this week accepted a fresh salary reduction with the club while midfielder Sergio Busquets is restructuring his contract. De Jong has rejected the club’s request to accept a wage cut, which AS claims has caused tension in the dressing room.

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Barcelona are reportedly considering taking legal action over De Jong’s contract after asking him to take a pay cut, while also examining the deals of Ter Stegen and Lenglet. The Catalan giants have been unable to register their five new signings and two contract renewals this summer with La Liga and have been told to reduce their financial outgoings.

De Jong is Barca’s highest earning player and is also owed an additional €17million in unpaid wages. The player’s agents Ali Dursun and Hasan Centikaya met with Barca chiefs on Wednesday last week and are urging the Dutch midfielder to push to be paid what monies he is owed.

Andreas Christensen, Franck Kessie, Raphinha, Robert Lewandowski and Jules Kounde have all joined Barca’s ranks this summer, but none will be available for selection until La Liga inform them that their contracts are viable with the club’s financial situation. The same registration issue applies to Ousmane Dembele and Sergi Roberto, who both signed new contracts after their previous deals expired.

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Voodoo new to me – Waldrum

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In the aftermath of the drama that ensued between Nigeria and Cameroon during the penultimate qualifying fixture for the 2024 Olympic games, Super Falcons coach, Randy Waldrum, says voodoo is strange to him.

There was drama at the start of the second half inside the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja on Monday after a Cameroonian player allegedly attempted to plant ‘voodoo’ inside the Falcons goal post.

Falcons’ goalkeeper, Chiamaka Nnadozie, was in fine form as she stopped every shot in her direction to prevent the Indomitable Lionesses from scoring.

However, in the closing minutes of the game, Cameroon sent Annie Enganemben on as they were about to launch a free kick into the Nigerian box with claims that the player was sent on to touch the net in a bid to give Cameroon a saving grace as they were running out of options, and had to resort to diabolical means.

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In a video, the substitute, alongside another striker, were seen trying to run towards the Nigerian goal in an attempt to touch the net, but Asisat Oshoala took it upon herself to prevent that from happening. The drama led to the player being sent off after she hit Nnadozie in the process.

When asked by our reporter about the attempt by the Cameroonians to use voodoo during the game, Waldrum said, “Yes it is true.”

“I have never seen it before but our players wouldn’t let them in our goal to use it.”

The only goal of the two-legged tie came in the early minutes of the first half, with Esther Okoronkwo tapping home from close range after Jennifer Echegini’s clever footwork on the edge of the box.

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Liverpool Win Carabao Cup Title With Late Heroics Thrilling Against Chelsea

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In a thrilling Carabao Cup final clash at Wembley Stadium, Liverpool emerged victorious with late heroics against Chelsea, clinching the coveted title in dramatic fashiion.

The match, highly anticipated by football fans worldwide, showcased the fierce competition between two Premier League giants. Jurgen Klopp’s youthful Liverpool side faced off against Thomas Tuchel’s formidable Chelsea team in a showdown that promised excitement and tension.

Throughout the game, both teams demonstrated their skill and determination, creating numerous scoring opportunities and thrilling moments for the spectators. However, as the clock ticked down towards the end of regular time, the score remained deadlocked in a tense stalemate.

As the match entered extra time, the intensity on the field only intensified, with each side pushing for a decisive breakthrough. It was Liverpool’s star defender, Virgil van Dijk, who ultimately proved to be the hero of the night. In a heart-stopping moment, van Dijk rose above the Chelsea defense to head home a crucial goal deep into extra time.

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The Wembley Stadium erupted with cheers from Liverpool fans as van Dijk’s late header secured the victory and clinched the Carabao Cup title for Klopp’s side. It was a moment of pure jubilation for the Liverpool players, staff, and supporters, marking a memorable triumph in their footballing journey.

The match’s thrilling conclusion highlighted the unpredictable nature of football and the exhilarating drama that unfolds on the grand stage. Liverpool’s triumph with late heroics against Chelsea will be remembered as a testament to their resilience, determination, and unwavering spirit in pursuit of success.

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Boniface named among Bundesliga’s most skilful stars

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Bayer Leverkusen star Victor Boniface has secured a nomination among the most skilful players in the ongoing 2023/24 Bundesliga campaign so far.

After his move from Union SG last July, the Super Eagles striker wasted no time making an impact under the guidance of manager Xabi Alonso.

Boniface’s initial burst in Germany was nothing short of impressive, netting ten goals in 16 league matches.

However, his promising run hit an abrupt halt due to a groin injury, forcing him to miss the 2024 Africa Cup of Nations held in Ivory Coast.

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Despite his current injury setback, the striker’s noteworthy performances have not gone unnoticed.

The spotlight now shines on a particular display of individual brilliance during Leverkusen’s Bundesliga clash against RB Leipzig at the Bay Arena in August 2023.

In that game, Boniface executed a cunning feint, deceiving his marker into anticipating a right-footed shot, only to cleverly pass the ball with his left foot. Although he didn’t find the net, Leverkusen emerged victorious with a 3-2 scoreline.

Boniface shares the skills spotlight with four other notable players: Andrej Kramaric, Jadon Sancho, Felix Nmecha, and Xavi Simons.

To participate in the voting process, fans can visit the Bundesliga’s official website and select their choice among the nominated players.

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At the time of this report, Jadon Sancho leads the polls with an impressive 75% of the votes. Xavi Simons secures the second position with 17%, while Boniface currently holds 5%. Hoffenheim’s Kramaric and Dortmund’s Nmecha trail behind with 1% and 2% of the votes, respectively.

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