NEWCASTLE: Eddie Howe has revealed Bruno Guimaraes does not have a release clause in his Newcastle United deal amid Real Madrid interest.
Reports in Spain over the past few days have suggested Los Blancos would prioritize a move for the Brazilian international if compatriot Casemiro leaves for Manchester United.
And while the former Lyon man would likely have his own interest piqued by the 14-times European champions sniffing around, head coach Howe says United are in no mood to sell a player they only signed themselves in late January.
“No, absolutely not. We’re trying to build a squad here that we feel can take the club forward and be successful over the next few years,” said Howe when asked about a potential sale.
“We want to build that squad and enhance the group, not take away our best players.
“Regarding speculation, I’ve got no problem with that as such. It’s a compliment to Bruno and how well he’s done for us.
“He’s been incredible and he’s only going to get better from this point. He is a very valuable member of our team.”
Howe understands the lure of a club like Real, but hopes Newcastle can help Guimaraes fulfill his lofty footballing ambitions while on Tyneside.
“Every football has different aims and ambitions, and I’m sure Bruno has huge ambitions going forward in his career and I would embrace that because he has the ability to achieve special things,” he said.
“But I think we’ve got to try and give him an opportunity and platform to fulfill those dreams here. That’s going to be important for us.
“I think, in part, it’ll come down to how well we perform and where the team goes in terms of satisfying players that do very well for us over an extended period of time.
“Bruno has just started his journey with us, we desperately want him to grow with the team, we want to make the team stronger and to show his qualities even more. That is our aim.
“He has done so well in a short period of time. Supporters love him, we love him. I think he’s in a good place.”
It is incomings rather than outgoings, in Howe’s eyes, that will likely dominate the final few weeks of the window at St. James’ Park.
Deals for the likes of James Maddison, Moussa Diaby, Lucas Paqueta and Jack Harrison have hit the rocks over the owner club valuation, while talks remain ongoing to land Joao Pedro from Watford, although again, a fee is proving difficult to agree.
Newcastle have scoured the market for players who will not only improve the squad but can also, like Guimaraes, hit the ground running.
Howe continued: “If there was another Bruno, please let us know. They don’t grow on trees, let me tell you.
“That was an incredible piece of business really, not just as the footballer as well. You have to consider the person. He’s a brilliant lad who came here when the club was in a relegation battle with no conditions, no way out, no escape and wanted to fight to keep the club in the Premier League.
“That shows real human qualities and he was all in from day one. That’s reflective of how well he’s done.”
JEDDAH: British boxer Anthony Joshua weighed in more than 10 kilos (22 pounds) heavier than defending champion Oleksandr Usyk on Friday ahead of their “Rage on the Red Sea” world title rematch in Saudi Arabia.
Two-time heavyweight champion Joshua tipped the scales at 110.9 kilos (244.5 pounds) while Ukraine’s Usyk weighed 100.5 kilograms (221.6 pounds), both similar to last year’s fight in London.
Usyk, 19-0 and the favorite after his unanimous decision on Joshua’s home turf, confounded predictions that he had packed on several kilos of muscle to counter the towering Joshua.
The fighters came face-to-face in a 90-second stare-down before shaking hands and posing for the cameras.
“All this stuff, weight, face-off, it doesn’t matter to me. It’s all about the fight,” Joshua said. “I’m just ready for 12 rounds, 100 percent. Anything shorter than that, it’s a bonus.”
Many commentators have written off Joshua after a hesitant showing against the quick and skillful Usyk at London’s Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last September.
But the 6ft 6ins (1.98m) Briton, who is striving to become a three-time world champion, has promised to be more “competitive.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn has suggested Joshua will go for the knock-out.
Saturday’s clash will be the 12th consecutive world title fight for Joshua, the 24-2 former Olympic gold-medallist whose other professional defeat was a shock TKO by Andy Ruiz Jr in June 2019.
Joshua avenged that loss six months later in the “Clash of the Dunes” in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, the first heavyweight world title fight in the Kingdom.
Elsewhere on the undercard, Saudi Arabia’s Ziyad Al-Maayouf will face Mexico’s Jose Alatorre on Saturday, and said earlier this week he has been overwhelmed by the support he has received and feels a little under the pressure with all eyes on him.
And in a moment of history for sport in Saudi Arabia, Somali-born Briton Ramla Ali will fight the Dominican Republic’s Crystal Garcia Nova in the first women’s professional boxing match in the Kingdom.
Also in an action-packed night of boxing, the Rage on the Red Sea undercard includes several other exciting fights, with former WBA and Ring magazine super-middleweight champion Callum Smith and former two-weight world champion Badou Jack both featuring.
* With AFP
SAINT-GERMAIN-EN-LAYE, France: Paris Saint-Germain coach Christophe Galtier said on Friday there is no bad blood between star forward Kylian Mbappe and Neymar.
Neymar insisted on taking the team’s second penalty against Montpellier last Saturday after Mbappe had missed the first.
Mbappe did not celebrate after Neymar converted the spot-kick.
Galtier called the apparent differences between the two an “epiphenomenon,” suggesting the spat was not a symptom of any deeper problem.
“We saw each other quickly the next day to iron out all that, to say what we had to say to each other,” said Galtier told a press conference ahead of Sunday’s Ligue 1 visit to Lille.
“We had a very pleasant week at work. Everyone worked well. I enjoyed all the sessions this week and this epiphenomenon disappeared very quickly, that is to say the day after our meeting.”
Galtier said after the game that instructions “had been respected” regarding penalty takers.
“There was a precise order in this game, Kylian as number one and ‘Ney’ as number two.”
Other potential penalty takers include Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos, said Galtier, adding that it was “important for our strikers to score goals, to keep the confidence.”
Against Montpellier, in his first competitive game since opting to stay in Paris rather than join Real Madrid, the 23-year-old Mbappe scored in a 5-2 win but cut a frustrated, unhappy and even isolated figure.
Last season, Mbappe was PSG’s outstanding performer, scoring 39 goals in all competitions, while Neymar struggled.
Yet the 30-year-old Brazilian has seemed rejuvenated this season, scoring five goals in three games.
MANCHESTER, United Kingdom: Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti confirmed on Friday Casemiro is keen to leave the European champions as Manchester United close in on the Brazilian international.
According to the BBC and The Athletic, United are set to pay an initial 60 million euros (£51 million, $61 million) plus a further 10 million euros in add-ons for the 30-year-old.
“I spoke with him this morning. He wants to try a new challenge, a new opportunity and I and the club understand that,” said Ancelotti
“For what Casemiro has done for this club and the person that he is, we have to respect his wishes. Now there are negotiations, nothing is official and he remains a Real Madrid player, but his desire is to leave.
“If that happens and there is an agreement, we have the resources to replace him.”
Casemiro has won three La Liga titles and five Champions Leagues during nine years at Madrid as he formed a formidable midfield trio with Luka Modric and Toni Kroos.
However, his place in Ancelotti’s preferred starting line-up has come under threat by the signing of Aurelien Tchouameni this summer for a fee that could rise to 100 million euros.
United are badly in need of new recruits after a miserable start to Erik ten Hag’s reign has left them bottom of the Premier League for the first time in 30 years.
The Red Devils will reportedly make Casemiro one of the top earners in the Premier League with a four-year deal at Old Trafford along with a club option to extend that contract by an extra season.
A lack of new signings has been one of the issues blamed for embarrassing defeats to Brighton and Brentford with Lisandro Martinez, Christian Eriksen and Tyrell Malacia the only additions to Ten Hag’s squad so far.
Worse could still be to come for United with Liverpool up next at Old Trafford on Monday.
Even if talks progress smoothly in the coming hours, Casemiro will not be registered in time to feature in that match.
ABU DHABI: Saudi MMA fighter Abdulelah Mir Alem has a won a gold medal at the 2022 IMMAF Youth World Championships in Abu Dhabi.
The Saudi fighter defeated Isaac Esparza of the US in the 62 kg category of the tournament taking place at the Jiu-Jitsu Arena in the UAE capital from Aug. 17-20.
After his win, Alem expressed his happiness at claiming Saudi’s first gold of the competition and its first MMA win at international level in that weight category.
Abdulaziz Julaidan, chairman of the Saudi Mixed Martial Arts Federation and head of the Kingdom’s delegation in Abu Dhabi, praised Alem’s achievement and the role that government support for Saudi athletes has played. He highlighted the importance of the continuing programs targeting similar achievements in future competitions.
RIYADH: Newly crowned ABB FIA Formula E World Champion Stoffel Vandoorne has credited the season-opening Diriyah E-Prix double-header races as a key factor in his “incredible” year as he paid tribute to his departing Mercedes-EQ team.
In the all-electric championship’s 100th race, the 30-year-old Belgian clinched his first Formula E title following a second-place finish in Round 16 of the Seoul E-Prix. The result meant he finished 33 points ahead of Jaguar’s Mitch Evans, who had triumphed in Round 15 to keep his hopes for the title alive.
It was the perfect end to Vandoorne’s season, who despite only claiming one race victory, showed consistency in picking up regular points throughout the 16 races which began in January this year at Saudi Arabia’s Diriyah E-Prix.
“I felt every race this year was very important, but to start the season at the Diriyah E-Prix with pole position and to then finish second in the first race was a very good feeling, especially as it came after a very long winter break,” he said.
“To start the season on a high is motivating for everybody, not just for myself but also for the team. It made me realize that we’re back and in good shape.
“We had won the championship the year before and it gave a lot of confidence to everyone within the team that we had the competitive tools to fight for the best results.”
The Seoul E-Prix marked the end of the Formula E chapter for Mercedes-EQ, and although Vandoorne hinted that he is likely to feature in the 2023 season, he expressed his disappointment that he will not be able to race for them again, especially after clinching their second consecutive teams’ world championship title in South Korea.
The ex-Formula One driver said: “It’s a shame, as I would’ve liked to have continued with Mercedes-EQ. When I first joined them, I was thinking of a long-term partnership, but all things have to come to an end, and we have to move on.
“Everyone knew about this decision for a long time, which gave them time to figure out their future plans. I obviously will miss racing for them, both as a team and as a brand. They are one of the biggest motorsport teams in the world and it doesn’t matter what series they enter, they are always winning. It will be a team that I’ll miss.”
Eddie Howe dismisses Bruno Guimaraes to Real Madrid rumors – Arab News