Salah reveals desire to stay at Liverpool for rest of career

Salah reveals desire to stay at Liverpool for rest of career | Goal.com

Getty

Mohamed Salah has said that he would love to remain at Liverpool for the rest of his career, but added that his future remains out of his hands.

The Egypt international, arguably in the form of his career for Jurgen Klopp, will see his current contract at Anfield expire in June 2023, and is yet to pen an extension.

But while the Reds continue to mull over a prospective package for the striker, Salah has now put the ball in their court by stating that cannot see himself playing against the club in the future.

What has been said?

“If you ask me, I would love to stay until the last day of my football career, but I can’t say much about that – it’s not in my hands,” the forward told Sky Sports News .

“It depends on what the club want, not on me. At the moment I can’t see myself ever playing against Liverpool. That would make me sad.

“It’s hard, I don’t want to talk about it, but it would make me really sad. At the moment I don’t see myself playing against Liverpool but let’s see what will happen in the future.”

The correspondent’s view

Goal’s Liverpool  correspondent Neil Jones reacted to Salah’s interview, saying the pressure is now on the club’s owners to keep the Egyptian.

Over to you then, Fenway Sports Group. Mohamed Salah has just ensured that the pressure on Liverpool’s owners will be ramped up in the coming days and months.

And rightly so. ‘Sign him up’ has been the message from supporters for weeks, as Salah’s Anfield contract edges towards its final 18 months. Now the man himself has put the ball firmly in the club’s court.

The Egyptian, we know, wants a deal which would make him the highest-paid player in Liverpool’s history, but with each masterful performance he delivers, each magnificent goal he scores, the argument becomes stronger.

Give him what he wants, or risk losing one of the club’s best ever players. Salah’s form this season is as good as it has ever been.

He has now publicly stated that he wants to stay on Merseyside, and while Liverpool are understandably wary about breaking their wage structure, his influence on Jurgen Klopp’s team, his status in the game and the potential cost of replacing the 29-year-old, must all be factored into any decision.

In short, can Liverpool afford NOT to give their star man a new deal? Special players demand special treatment, and Mohamed Salah is certainly one of those.

The time to act is now.

Article continues below

The bigger picture

Salah will look to once more rise to the occasion when he leads Liverpool’s attack against Manchester United in the Premier League on Sunday.

The Egypt star has scored 12 goals in 11 games so far this season, netting in all but one of his eight Premier League games in 2021-22.

Further reading

Zamalek 4-0 Tusker (agg. 5-0): Brewers eliminated from Caf Champions League

Zamalek 4-0 Tusker (agg. 5-0): Brewers eliminated from Caf Champions League

The Kenyan champions will now turn their attention to the Caf Confederation Cup aiming at making it to the group stage

Tusker FC have been eliminated from the Caf Champions League after a 4-0 loss to Zamalek at Borg El Arab Stadium on Friday night.

Having lost the first leg by a solitary goal, the Kenyan champions came aiming at defying the odds to advance against the Egyptian giants.

But a brace from Youssef Obama and a goal each from Seifeddine Jaziri and Achraf Bencharki relegated the visitors to the Caf Confederation Cup playoff round.

There they will face one of the winners of the first round of qualifiers in the Confederation Cup for a place in the group stage of Africa’s secondary club competition.

Robert Matano made changes to his team, opting to play with Kalos Kirenge, Charles Momanyi and Eugine Asike in the defence while Joshua Ibrahim, Boniface Muchiri, and Deogratious Ojok were preferred in attack.

The Brewers pushed for an opening goal, but Zamalek were not going to give in easily owing to their experience. Hillary Wanders, uncharacteristically, looked nervous and was booked in the seventh minute for a needless foul.

Three minutes later, the defender, once again, made a rushed challenge to hand the hosts a free-kick in a good position. It was brought in and Matasi missed the ball, which fell to the unmarked Obama who headed into an empty net.

Moments later, Joshua was fouled by Zamalek about 20-yards from goal, Muchiri took the matter into his hands but he failed to deliver and the ball was easily cleared by the hosts.

The East Africans lost possession in the 19th minute, and a swift counter-attack caught the players out of position.

It ended with the ball with Jaziri who converted into an empty net once after Matasi had tried to salvage the situation.

It was the Egyptian champions who had several clear chances to get more goals in the first half, but lack of composure and timely interventions by the visitors saved the situation.

The White Knight started the second half the better side, and it took Matasi’s swift reaction to clear a dangerous ball that had beaten the defenders.

After several close calls, the Brewers eventually conceded the third goal in the 72nd minute. Bencharki, who scored in the first leg in Nairobi, expertly beat the defenders before slotting the ball past the goalkeeper.

It got worse for the Football Kenya Federation Premier League champions who conceded the fourth two minutes later, courtesy of Obama.

The Kenyans will now return home to start preparations for Africa’s second-tier competition hoping to qualify for the group stage.

Iwobi nowhere near Everton’s starting XI when everybody is fit – Agbonlahor

Iwobi nowhere near Everton’s starting XI when everybody is fit – Agbonlahor | Goal.com

Getty

Former Aston Villa striker Gabriel Agbonlahor said Alex Iwobi is only starting for Everton because of the absence of Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin due to injuries.

The 35-year-old hit out at Iwobi because of his inconsistent performances after the Toffees suffered a 1-0 defeat to West Ham United last Sunday.

During the league match at Goodison Park, the Super Eagle missed a chance to put Everton ahead in the first half before Angelo Ogbonna headed home the only goal that separated the teams in the 74th minute.

This season, the former Arsenal youngster has struggled to make an impact for the Merseyside outfit, registering just one assist in seven Premier League games and his only goal came in a League Cup win over Huddersfield Town in August.

Agbolanhor, in his assessment, described Iwobi as a fluctuating player who is yet to cement his place in Rafael Benitez’s squad.

“Iwobi is going to be Iwobi. He’s always been that player from when he was at Arsenal,” Agbonlahor told Football Insider.

“You look at Iwobi one day and he’s the best player on the pitch. The next game he’ll be the worst player.

“Iwobi is always going to be like that. He’s not going to be one that gets a run of starts in the team.

“Arsenal are happy they sold him for the money that they did.

“At Everton, when everybody’s fit, he’ll be nowhere near that starting team. He’s only playing now because of Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s injuries.

“He’s always going to be up and down as a player.”

Article continues below

It remains to be seen if the Nigeria international will make his fifth league start of the season with Richarlison declared fit and available for their Premier League outing against Watford on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Benitez revealed in his team update that Calvert-Lewin suffered a setback in his recovery from a quadricep injury which could see him miss action for another four or five weeks.

The Toffees are eighth in the league with 14 points after eight matches.

Lamptey: Brighton and Hove Albion manager Potter commends defender ahead of Manchester City showdown

Lamptey: Brighton and Hove Albion manager Potter commends defender ahead of Manchester City showdown | Goal.com

Getty

Brighton and Hove Albion boss Graham Potter has praised Tariq Lamptey’s return to first-team action ahead of Saturday’s Premier League meeting with Manchester City.

Out of top-flight action since December due to injury, the Ghana target completed his return to action with a second-half appearance as the Seagulls held Norwich City to a 0-0 draw in a matchday 8 fixture last Saturday.

He is now in line for his first league start of the season when Brighton go searching for their fifth win of the season against the Citizens.

“Tariq [Lamptey] responded really well [from his appearance against Norwich]. He was excited to be on the pitch, he enjoyed it,” Potter said at the pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday’s big match, as reported by his club’s official website.

“He’s got a lot of work to do, we just need to keep helping him get back to the Tariq Lamptey we all know.”

Before taking to Premier League football on his injury return, Lamptey made his return with 45 minutes of action in a 2-0 win over Swansea City in the League Cup.

In all, he has two appearances to his name so far this term.

“It was very challenging, but we have good physios and the other players, members of staff and everyone around the club have been amazing. They helped me stay positive,” the right-back told his club’s official website.

“It was great to be back on Saturday but now I just have to make sure I keep training well and when I get my chance I will try and take it. I am just looking forward to playing more games.”

Lamptey was in great form for Brighton last season before suffering the season-ending injury in December.

Article continues below

The England-born defender had made 11 league appearances for the club, scoring once and providing three assists.

His fine form has reportedly attracted the interest of bigger clubs including Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Atletico Madrid, and Bayern Munich.

At international level, the England U21 star also did enough to catch the attention of the Ghana Football Association, who moved quickly to offer him a possible senior future with the Black Stars, whom he remains eligible to play for, owing to being born to Ghana parents.

'It's not my time!' – Ronaldo scoffs at Portugal retirement talk as he aims for more titles

‘It’s not my time!’ – Ronaldo scoffs at Portugal retirement talk as he aims for more titles | Goal.com

Getty

Cristiano Ronaldo has shrugged off suggestions that he could retire from international duty with Portugal.

The forward, who has been one of the stronger sparks to a slow start for Manchester United this season, is fast approaching his 37th birthday.

But even as the years clock up, he says he has no intention of stepping back from the international stage, while adding that he believes that United can still claim trophies at Old Trafford this term.

What has been said?

“Why? I think it’s not my time yet,” Ronaldo told Sky Sports News when asked if he was considering international retirement. “It’s not what people want, it’s what I want.

“It’s when I feel that I’m not capable to run, to dribble, to shoot, if the power is gone … but I still have that stuff so I want to continue because I’m still motivated. It’s the main word – [motivated] to do my stuff, to make people happy and my family happy and the fans and myself. I want to put the level even higher.

“You speak about Portugal but in the Champions League I have the most goals, the most wins, assists … everything. But I want to carry on. I like to play football. I feel good to make people happy.”

Ronaldo backs Red Devils to ride transition

Elsewhere, Ronaldo also reflected on United’s turbulent run of form, and has backed his team-mates to pull together and achieve their goals.

“We are in a moment in my opinion that Manchester (United) do a few changes; they buy me, they buy (Raphael) Varane and (Jadon) Sancho,” the veteran further explained.

“The adaptation will take time, even the system of the game that we play, but I think step by step we have to put it in our mind that everything is possible.

“I don’t speak only about my individual stuff, I put the collective in first place. To win things as a collective, it’s more easy to win individual stuff, so I believe that and I still think it’s possible.”

The bigger picture

Ronaldo will hope to help United to victory against the odds this weekend, when they play arguably their biggest game of the campaign against Liverpool.

Article continues below

The Portuguese will cross paths with the Red Devils’ historical rival in a north-west derby that could have a huge effect on the trajectory of the Premier League title race.

International comrade Bruno Fernandes, though, faces a race to be fit for the clash at Old Trafford.

Further reading

LIVE: Arsenal vs Aston Villa

ASTON VILLA STARTING XI (3-4-1-2): Emiliano Martinez; Ezri Konsa Ngoyo, Axel Tuanzebe, Tyrone Mings; Matty Cash, John McGinn, Douglas Luiz, Matt Targett; Emiliano Buendia; Danny Ings, Ollie Watkins.

ARSENAL SUBS: Mohamed Elneny, Gabriel Martinelli, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Martin Odegaard, Bernd Leno, Rob Holding, Sead Kolasinac, Nicolas Pepe, Cedric Soares.

ARSENAL STARTING XI (4-2-3-1): Aaron Ramsdale; Takehiro Tomiyasu, Ben White, Gabriel Magalhaes, Nuno Tavares; Thomas Partey, Albert Sambi Lokonga; Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang; Alexandre Lacazette.

After a poor start to their season, Arsenal have turned things around and are now unbeaten in their last five Premier League games (W3 D2). It was a dramatic finish to their last outing in the competition, as Alexandre Lacazette’s late goal snatched a 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace. There was late drama in Villa’s last match as well, with Wolves coming from behind and scoring a stoppage-time winner to beat them 3-2. They’ve now lost back-to-back league games, with their last win coming against Manchester United at the end of September.

Hello and welcome to live coverage of the Premier League meeting between Arsenal and Aston Villa at the Emirates Stadium!

Who is Yasir Al-Rumayyan? Newcastle United chief's role explained

Who is Yasir Al-Rumayyan? Newcastle United chief’s role explained | Goal.com

Getty

Newcastle United’s £300 million ($408m) takeover means that Magpies fans will be seeing a lot of new faces at St James’ Park during matchdays.

One of the most prominent of these, aside from whichever new transfer signings arrive, is Yasir Al-Rumayyan and he was given a rousing reception by the Toon Army during the first game of the new era.

TV cameras showed him seated next to Amanda Staveley and other figures who worked behind the scenes to get the takeover across the line, but who is he? Goal brings you all you need to know.

Who is Yasir Al-Rumayyan?

Yasir Al-Rumayyan is the Governor of the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) – one of the key players in the Magpies takeover – and was instated as the new chairman of Newcastle United in October 2021.

Educated at King Faisal and Harvard Business School, Al-Rumayyan has been Governor of the PIF since 2017, having previously served as Managing Director since 2015.

As well as being the chairman of Newcastle and Governor of the PIF, he serves on a number of other boards, including Saudi Aramco, the state oil company, Uber, Softbank Group and Reliance Industries.

Al-Rumayyan worked extensively in the banking and investment sector prior to his appointment to the PIF.

What is Yasir Al-Rumayyan’s role at Newcastle United?

Al-Rumayyan is a non-executive chairman at Newcastle, with Amanda Staveley and Jamie Reuben forming a three-person board presiding over the direction of the club going forward.

The Saudi businessman’s other roles are likely to mean that his visits to St James’ Park will be sporadic, but he is known to be a keen sport lover so his presence at games will be no surprise either.

However, Al-Rumayyan has suggested that he and PIF will be more in the background of affairs on Tyneside, devising strategies amid other behind-the-scenes dealings.

“Our job is to look at the bigger picture,” he explained shortly after the takeover of the Premier League club was completed. 

“So we will be working with the rest of the board to set the overall strategy, monitor how that is progressing and determine the changes we need to make.

“You will hear from us less often, but I can assure you that we will always be actively engaged.”

What is Yasir Al-Rumayyan’s net worth?

Details regarding Al-Rumayyan’s net worth are not clear and information regarding the Saudi businessman’s personal wealth are scant online.

Article continues below

A number of sources erroneously conflate Al-Rumayyan’s worth with that of the PIF, which stands at approximately £315 billion ($430 bn).

The PIF, of course, is a sovereign wealth enterprise, whose chairman is Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.

Al-Rumayyan’s role is to help manage the investment of that wealth as part of the country’s 2030 Vision, which seeks to diversify the national economy.

Ex-Man Utd star Evra reveals he was sexually abused as a child

Ex-Man Utd star Evra reveals he was sexually abused as a child | Goal.com

Christopher Lee

Former Manchester United star Patrice Evra has revealed that he was sexually abused in his youth.

The onetime Red Devils and France left-back reveals in his new autobiography that he was assaulted as a 13-year-old by his schoolteacher 

The 40-year-old admitted that he had yet to tell several of his family members and friends – but said that he has come forward now to help other young victims like himself.

What has been said?

“I’ll be honest with you, when I first did the book, I didn’t tell the whole story because I was still ashamed and scared about what people will think,” Evra told The Times.

“Now I want to say it because I don’t want kids to be in my situation and they are ashamed of themselves, thinking they are not brave, because it’s not about being brave, it’s about being mentally ready to talk about it.

“So I just want to make sure kids out there have the courage and do not blame themselves, because I always blamed myself. I’m not shy to say I felt like a coward for many years because I never speak up. It was something heavy in my chest. But I don’t do it for me, I do it for other children.”

Evra reflects on opening up

Elsewhere, the former Monaco man – who acknowledged he was approached by police during his time at the Ligue 1 club, aged 24, to discuss the matter – touched on the impact his revelation had on his mother.

“Of course, she was devastated,” he added. “It was a tough moment for me. I have still to tell a few of my brothers and sisters and close friends.

“I don’t want people to feel pity. It’s a difficult situation. A mother does not expect to hear this from their own child. She felt something [was wrong] and had asked me why I did not want to sleep in the teacher’s house.

“Only now when I am 40 years old do I tell her. The first thing my mum says is, ‘if you don’t sue him, I’ll sue him. If he’s still alive, I’m going to kill him.’

“There is a lot of rage. I know my mum and people from my family will do research and see if they can sue. But I buried this thing so deep I didn’t think about [prosecution].”

Further reading

North Africa vs West Africa: Who's made bigger Premier League contribution?

North Africa vs West Africa: Who’s made bigger Prem contribution? | Goal.com

Goal/Getty

Having matched Didier Drogba’s African record for goals in the Premier League last weekend, Mohamed Salah now looks set to eclipse it when Liverpool travel to Manchester United on Sunday.

If it now seems inevitable, it is for two reasons.

The first is the simple fact of the Egyptian’s form, and the stratospheric level he is now regularly operating at.

Watching Salah now seems like scampering down the stairs on Christmas morning to check under the tree: there are guaranteed to be treats waiting, some measure of wizardry with which to delight and thrill. It is a wondrous state for a player to be in, and even more so when he knows it himself like the 29-year-old clearly does.

The second is that, in scoring on the Reds’ visit to Old Trafford last season, Salah emphatically ended a personal league hoodoo in away matches against the Red Devils. In hindsight, it looks rather silly, but at the time his poor record in the fixture was a major talking point.

That lingering doubt now dispelled, the stage seems set.

Whenever he does hit 105 however, it will be significant in an even broader context than attaining the record.

As far as African imports go, the Premier League has, since inception, tended to provide the perfect stomping ground for West African players.

This is borne out by the rest of the African goalscorer top five – all are native to countries from that one region – but even beyond the forwards, it is footballers from West Africa that have fitted in most readily.

Think the likes of Michael Essien, Yaya Toure, Joseph Yobo, Kolo Toure, Abdoulaye Meite and Mikel John Obi, to name very few.

The reason for this is two-fold – both cultural and economic.

The Premier League has always prided itself on a hard, fast playing style based around physicality. As an idea, this is very much in keeping with the basis of football in West Africa; broadly speaking, North African football has been defined more by its technical aspects (in part due to proximity to Europe), while in East and Southern Africa football is not quite as popular, and lower population densities do not foster the sort of fierce competitive outlook that is found in West Africans.

Similarly, socio-economic factors come into play, especially in contrast to North African nations.

With corruption and a lack of infrastructure undermining local leagues in West Africa, those nations are compelled to export their talent for development.

As a result, there is a clear disparity both in quality and financial muscle between North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa in the club game and, as an extension of this dynamic, less of an imperative on North African players to seek transfers to Europe.

This has fed into an insularity that has to this point limited the footprint of that region in the Premier League. Colonial and migratory patterns have seen players of Algerian, Moroccan and Tunisian descent proliferate in France, but the Premier League has mostly remained under-explored territory.

There have been exceptions of course.

Noureddine Naybet had a brief but well-reviewed stint with Tottenham, Mustapha Hadji became a Coventry icon on the back of five years, Mido’s headstrong ways gave many English managers conniptions for close to a decade and Radhi Jaidi was a crucial part of Sam Allardyce’s muscular Bolton Wanderers outfit in the mid-noughties.

However, these names pale in comparison, both in terms of longevity and success, to some of the stalwarts from West Africa who have graced the Premier League – the list of Nigerians alone almost comfortably outstrips that of all the North African nations put together, and that’s not just in terms of quantity.

Article continues below

The trend is starting to turn, however.

This is especially so in the past half-decade: Riyad Mahrez has won multiple Premier League titles with Leicester City and Manchester City, Ahmed Elmohamady has been a part of the furniture at Aston Villa since 2017 (and at Sunderland and Hull City for even longer) and Mohamed Elneny has been at Arsenal since 2015, claiming multiple FA Cups.

Salah eclipsing Drogba’s record would not only confirm this sea change but would also signpost the Premier League as a prime destination for the next wave of North African footballing talent.

Fernandes a doubt for Man Utd clash with Liverpool, says Solskjaer

Fernandes a doubt for Man Utd clash with Liverpool, says Solskjaer | Goal.com

Getty

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Bruno Fernandes could miss Manchester United’s Premier League match against Liverpool on Sunday.

The 27-year-old midfielder has picked up a knock this week after playing a starring role in United’s 3-2 win against Atalanta in the Champions League.

But Solskjaer is unsure if the Portugal international will be available to feature against the Reds at Old Trafford.

What has been said?

The coach said at a press conference: “It’s still just Friday, the game’s on Sunday, we’ll give everyone time. We might have the whole squad back fit, we might be two or three players down. Today we didn’t have everyone [in training]. Let’s see Sunday.

“Games like Wednesday night are always going bring knocks and bruises and, yeah, we do have two or three carrying knocks from that game. I’ll give everyone time and hope I can pick from a fully fit squad, I might be without two or three. Yes, Bruno might be a doubt. But he’s doing everything he can to be ready.”

Who else could miss the match?

Goal‘s Manchester United correspondent Charlotte Duncker says: “The players who Solskjaer hinted at being doubts are Fernandes, Marcus Rashford and Fred. All three of which you would ordinarily expect to start at Old Trafford on Sunday.

“The Norwegian is always keen to keep injury news and team news close to his chest and regularly responds in press conferences telling journalists he will not reveal his team. Which is why it wouldn’t be a surprise if all three were fit to play against Liverpool.

“Fernandes is a key player and fresh off the back off his man of the match performance on Wednesday will be desperate to feature. Rashford with two goals in two games since returning from injury will also be desperate to start and if he managed to play for a prolonged period with a range of injuries the hope will be that he would be able to shake off a dead leg by Sunday.”

How important has Fernandes been for Man Utd?

Fernandes is United’s joint-top scorer in the Premier League this season with four goals and two assists from eight appearances.

Article continues below

United have taken one point from their last three games in the English top flight, most recently losing 4-2 to Leicester.

Solskjaer’s side currently sit sixth in the table, five points behind leaders Chelsea. Liverpool are second and trail the Blues by a point.

Further reading