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Alexander Isak: Newcastle close to agreeing club-record £58m deal with Real Sociedad for striker

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Newcastle are in advanced talks with Real Sociedad to sign striker Alexander Isak for a fee in the region of £58m.

Dan Ashworth, Newcastle’s sporting director, and Steve Nickson, the club’s head of recruitment, are in Spain as they look to complete the move.

The deal would represent a club record for Newcastle, eclipsing the £40m they paid Hoffenheim for Joelinton in 2019 and Lyon for Bruno Guimaraes in January.
Isak has been at Real Sociedad since the summer of 2019, when he arrived from Borussia Dortmund, and has scored 44 goals in 132 appearances – including one in the 4-1 La Liga defeat to Barcelona on Sunday.

The 22-year-old also has nine goals in 37 caps for Sweden, the first of which came when he was just 17 and made him his country’s youngest goalscorer.

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If Isak completes his move to St James’ Park, he will become Newcastle’s fourth signing of the summer, following the arrivals of Sven Botman, Matt Targett and Nick Pope, and eighth permanent arrival since the Saudi-backed consortium’s takeover last autumn.

Newcastle are also keen on Watford’s Joao Pedro and are hopeful of signing the forward after making a second offer earlier this week.

The bid is believed to be in the region of £30m, including add-ons.

Everton have also enquired about Pedro’s availability, although they are yet to make Watford an offer of their own.
Watford are considering the proposal from Newcastle, with talks ongoing over the structure of the payments and how achievable the add-ons are. However, the Championship club are under no pressure to sell as Pedro still has three years remaining on his contract.

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Sky Sports News revealed on August 15 that the Hornets rejected a £17.5m bid for the 20-year-old Brazilian, who scored three goals and recorded one assist from 15 starts and 13 sub appearances in the Premier League last season.

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EPL: Bacary Sagna predicts scorelines for Man City vs Utd, Arsenal vs Tottenham fixtures

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Former Arsenal defender, Bacary Sagna, has predicted the scoreline for Manchester City’s Premier League clash against Manchester United.

Sagna also predicted the outcome of Arsenal’s Premier League tie against Tottenham Hotspur.

Man City will host Man United in a Premier League derby at Etihad on Sunday, while Arsenal will take on Tottenham in a London derby at Emirates on Saturday afternoon.

Providing his predictions, Sagna said Man City would beat Man United by three goals to nil, while Arsenal will defeat Tottenham 2-0.

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“I can’t see anyone other than City winning this match. I think City will win 3-0,” Sagna told Lord Ping.

He added, “Arsenal will win. Arsenal 2-0.”

“Listen, make no mistake, this will be a tough game for Arsenal. Tottenham has quality players, dangerous players. Son [Heung-min] has come into a bit of form. [Harry] Kane, we all know what he can do.”

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Volleyball: Offa, Customs win Premier League

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Offa Volleyball Club (male) and the Nigeria Customs Service (female) have emerged the champions of the 2022 Nigeria Volleyball Premier League competition.

In the men’s final match at the indoor hall of the Ondo State Sports Complex, Akure, Offa defeated Nigeria Correctional Service 3-2 (25-16, 23-25, 25-17, 17-25, 15-11), while in the women’s category, Customs emerged champions, beating Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps 3-0 (25-23, 27-25, 25-21) on the final day of the league.

Offa coach, Suleiman Ajeigbe, expressed delight over the victory, saying the trophy would be going to Offa community for the first time.

Ajeigbe also commended his players for properly executing their game plan and playing to instruction.

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He said, “I feel so proud, I feel so excited and I give all glory to God almighty. It has been a very challenging one, but to the glory of God. In the history of the Nigeria Volleyball Premier League, Offa, a local government in Kwara State will be lifting the trophy, this is historical, this has never happened before.

“Offa Volleyball Club came into being to help the youths in my community. I started the club to ensure that every member of my team is Kwara-born, majority of them are born in Offa. It is to the glory of God that I was able to start it, most of my players are playing outside the country now. I started the club in 2010, so it’s been a long time actually.”

Customs coach, Sunny Akapson, said his side’s victory was as a result of hard work, determination and dedication.

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EPL: Glen Johnson predicts result of Arsenal vs Tottenham derby clash

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Former Chelsea star, Glenn Johnson has provided his prediction for Saturday’s North London derby between Arsenal and Tottenham.

Mikel Arteta’s side will receive Antonio Conte’s Spurs at the Emirates on Saturday.

The Gunners would be leapfrogged by Tottenham at the top of the Premier League table if they hand Arteta’s side their second defeat of the season.

Arsenal has won six out of seven of their opening games, losing once to Manchester United.

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Spurs are unbeaten and just a point behind them in third, with Tottenham able to leapfrog their rivals with a victory.

Johnson told SafeBettingSites: “It’s going to be a tough one to call, to be honest.

“Tottenham looks great, Arsenal looks great. Finally, we’ve got two good teams going into the north London derby!.

‘This is their first big test, for both teams. [I’m going] 2-1 to Arsenal.’

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