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Liverpool make major breakthrough in race to sign Nabil Fekir
Liverpool are reportedly the only club Nabil Fekir wants to join (Picture: Getty)

Liverpool have made a significant breakthrough in their pursuit of Lyon star Nabil Fekir, according to the Daily Mirror.

Jurgen Klopp has already secured the services of defensive midfielder Fabinho and his now focused on making France international playmaker Fekir his second major signing of the summer.

The German has identified Fekir as the natural replacement for Philippe Coutinho who joined Barcelona in January, although the 24-year-old is also capable of playing in a more advanced position and could deputise for striker Roberto Firmino.

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The Mirror claim Lyon had been unwilling to enter into serious negotiations before the start of the World Cup but report that Fekir has now made it known that Liverpool are the only club he is willing to join.

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The French clubs president Jean-Michel Aulas is notoriously difficult to negotiate with but the Mirror claims he is now willing to let his star player depart, as long as Liverpool meet his valuation, although the Anfield club are said to be hopeful of agreeing a fee in the region of £50million.

France's Nabil Fekir smiles during his friendly soccer match against Ireland at the Stade de France stadium, in Saint Denis, north of Paris, France, Monday, May, 28, 2018. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
Liverpool are hopeful they can do a deal for Nabil Fekir at around £50m (Picture: AFP)
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Liverpool are also considering activating Xherdan Shaqiris release clause (Picture: Reuters)

Liverpools Sporting Director Michael Edwards will continue to push for an agreement before the World Cup but it is likely now that a deal will not be finalised until Frances involvement in Russia is over.

Klopp is also considering a move for Stoke Citys Xherdan Shaqiri who has a release clause in his contract understood to be set at about £12m-£13.5m that can be activated after the club lost their Premier League status at the end of last season.

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Eden Hazard sends class message to Mohamed Salah ahead of World Cup
Eden Hazard scored in Belgium 3-0 win over Belgium (Picture: Getty)

Eden Hazard hopes his friend Mohamad Salah will recover from injury in time to make a big impact at the World Cup.

The Liverpool forward is a major doubt for the upcoming tournament as a result of the shoulder injury he sustained during last months Champions League final.

Despite Salah insisting he is hopeful of participating in Russia, Egypt coach Hector Cuper admits he is planning on being unable to utilise the 25-year-olds goalscoring talents.

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Hazard scored as Belgium cantered to a comfortable 3-0 win over Egypt in Wednesdays World Cup warm-up friendly in Brussels and hopes his former Chelsea teammate will be able to participate in what will be Egypts first World Cup appearance since 1990.

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Salah is a friend and I wish he will recover before the World Cup, Hazard told On Sports.

Eden Hazard sends class message to Mohamed Salah ahead of World Cup
Romelu Lukaku scored Belgiums opening goal against Egypt (Picture: Getty)
Eden Hazard sends class message to Mohamed Salah ahead of World Cup
Marouane Fellaini rounded off the scoring with a late third (Picture: Getty)

Egypt are a good team. They have many good players and I think they will perform well in the World Cup.

Egypt are a compact team and they are very organised.

Manchester United duo Romelu Lukaku and Marouane Fellaini were also on the scoresheet, the former becoming Belgiums all-time leading scorer with 31 goals, breaking a three-way tie with countrymen Bernard Voorhoof and Paul Van Himst.

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Germany fear Mesut Ozil in danger of missing World Cup opener through injury
Mesut Ozil has not trained for Germany in the last four days (Picture: Getty)

Mesut Ozil has emerged as a serious doubt for his nations opening World Cup match, according to reports in Germany.

The Arsenal star scored in Saturdays 2-1 friendly defeat against Austria and was taken off in the 76th minute, replaced by Julian Draxler.

According to Bild, the 29-year-old has been unable to train for the last four days and is nursing a knee injury which is jeopardising his participation in the upcoming tournament in Russia.

The report claims Ozil was seen clutching his knee following a first half collision with Watfords Sebastian Prodl and was only able to participate in fitness and conditioning work on Wednesday.

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Germany fear Mesut Ozil in danger of missing World Cup opener through injury
Mesut Ozil scored in Germanys 2-1 defeat against Austria last Saturday (Picture: Getty)

Germany World Cup Squad

Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona), Kevin Trapp (Paris St-Germain)

Defenders: Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich), Matthias Ginter (Borussia Monchengladbach), Jonas Hector (Cologne), Mats Hummels (Bayern Munich), Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich), Marvin Plattenhardt (Hertha Berlin), Antonio Rudiger (Chelsea), Niklas Sule (Bayern Munich)

Midfielders: Julian Brandt (Bayer Leverkusen), Julian Draxler (Paris St-Germain), Leon Goretska (Schalke), Ilkay Gundogan (Manchester City), Sami Khedira (Juventus), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Mesut Ozil (Arsenal), Sebastian Rudy (Bayern Munich)

Strikers: Mario Gomez (Stuttgart), Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich), Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund), Timo Werner (RB Leipzig)

Germany play Saudi Arabia in their final warm-up fixture on Friday and Ozil is almost certain to miss out with Ilkay Gundogan or Leon Goretzka likely to deputise.

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Queensland star Cameron Munster admits he was suffering vision problems in his left eye after a head clash in the opening minutes of Wednesday nights Origin game one.

The Melbourne Storm and Maroons five-eighth clashed heads with NSW strongman David Klemmer and was left with a significant swelling on the edge of his left eye which restricted his vision.

Swollen vision: Maroons' Cameron Munster.

Photo: AAP

“Klemmo head-clashed me in the opening five to 10 minutes,” Munster said.

“I had some trouble looking out of my eye at stages there and I cant really make it an excuse but it is something I had problems with at times tonight but that is Origin mate and you just tough through it.

"Hopefully I dont have anything like that in game two.”

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The Maroons struggled to execute their scoring chances in attack, with coach Kevin Walters stating his side lacked “smarts” during the contest.

Munster said his side would bounce back bigger and better in game two.

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Queensland coach Kevin Walters has blamed a lack of smarts for his side's game one loss.

Walters said his side's spine didn't bring enough organisation to the contest and couldnt execute the plays they wanted to run, especially when close to the try line, in a 22-12 defeat.

Maroons coach Kevin Walters attends the post match press conference.

Photo: AAP

"I think we didn't play smart enough to win the game of footy," Walters said.

"Hats off to NSW, they played a great game and we expected that of them but we didn't rise up to the level we wanted to be at from a smarts point of view.

“I thought our effort was what you would expect from a Queensland team and Ive seen lesser efforts rewarded with a win in Origin.”

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When pressed on where his side could play "smarter", Walters said they couldn't execute the plays they had planned to make.

“A few little things we wanted to do in the game with our attack — we just didnt execute properly tonight,” Walters said.

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From beautiful weather to thunderstorms, lightning and howling winds – how the week changed on the Margaret River golf course.

Our Tuesday Veterans had bright blue skies for their game of 9 holes, we saw Terry Haywood come in first place scoring 20pts, then second place was Michael Lawson on 19c/b and third place Peter Clift on 19pts.

Our Wednesday Women played an 18 hole Stableford with the event sponsored by Lazy Susans Kitchen and the curry was amazing.

The winners were Sharon Thompson on 41pts, Linda Whyte second on 40pts and in third was Pamela Hos on 39pts.

Brothers of the Brush (John Ritchie and Mark Tugwood) sponsored our Thursday Mens Scroungers Stableford event.

The guys just got in just before the thunderstorms started but did have to play with howling winds.

Graeme Payne came in first place with 37pts, close behind was Rob Lister on 36pts and Rod Wylde ended in third on 35c/b pts.

Fridays mixed 9 hole was cancelled as the wind, thunder, rain and lightning was too bad to play.

Saturdays Mens Stableford event was Sponsored by Fennessys Holden, the best player of the day went to David Hogg from Nedlands Golf club on 38pts, second went to Daniel Hunt on 35c/b pts and in third was Mark Pope on 35pts.

Our Sunday event sponsored by Margaret River Home Timber and Hardware was the Mixed Foursomes Championships.

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Cape Town – Portuguese full-back Diogo Dalot became Manchester United's second major signing in two days the English giants announced on Wednesday after securing a €22 million move from Porto.

Dalot, 19, has signed "a five-year contract, with an option to extend for a further year", United said in a statement.

Brazilian international midfielder Fred joined United from Shakhtar Donetsk for a reported fee of just over €50 million on Tuesday.

United are aiming to close the gap on Manchester City, who won the Premier League by a record 19 points from their local rivals.

Despite only making his senior Porto debut in February, Dalot has been hailed by United manager Jose Mourinho, who made his name as a coach with Porto, as the best full-back in Europe of his age.

"Diogo is an extremely talented young defender with all the qualities to quickly become a great player for this club," Mourinho said in United's statement.

"He has all the attributes that a full-back needs: physicality, tactical intelligence and technical quality, combined with a Porto Academy mentality which prepares players for the maturity they need at the professional level.

"In his age group, he is the best full-back in Europe and we all believe he has a bright future ahead of him at Manchester United."

Dalot's best position is at right-back, although he has at times deputised at left-back, including in a 0-0 draw away to Liverpool in the second leg of the Portuguese champions' Champions League last 16 tie in March.

Full-back has been a problem position for United with Mourinho using converted wingers Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia, both 32, as regulars in his defence over the past year.

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London – With their Premier League rivals already strengthening for next season, Chelsea risk losing further ground as uncertainty swirls over the future of manager Antonio Conte and even owner Roman Abramovich.

A fifth-place finish just a year after winning the league in Conte's first season in charge meant many expected the FA Cup final to be the Italian's last match in charge, despite beating Manchester United 1-0 to end the season on a high.

However, more than two weeks on, no decision has been made on Conte's future, with speculation that former Paris Saint-Germain boss Laurent Blanc and Maurizio Sarri, who was recently replaced by Carlo Ancelotti at Napoli, have been lined up as possible replacements.

The apparent drift has been linked to a reported delay in the renewal of a British visa for Russian billionaire Abramovich, who has bankrolled Chelsea's success since taking over the club in 2003.

It follows a diplomatic crisis between London and Moscow over the poisoning of a former Russian double agent and calls from some for sanctions that would hurt super-rich Russians sheltering their wealth in London.

Abramovich has been granted Israeli citizenship and taken up residence there, according to Israel's ambassador to Russia.

Chelsea announced last week they had shelved plans for a new 60 000-seater redevelopment of Stamford Bridge due to an "unfavourable investment climate".

Cost-cutting

Since Abramovich's takeover, Chelsea have been England's most successful club, winning five Premier League titles, a first-ever Champions League, the Europa League and five FA Cups in 15 years.

However, where they could once outspend their competition, Chelsea have been gazumped by Manchester City's Abu-Dhabi backed wealth and Manchester United's booming commercial revenues.

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2018-06-06 15:04

Lionel Messi (AP Photo)

Ramallah – Palestinian Football Association chief Jibril Rajoub on Wednesday called the cancellation of an Israel-Argentina football friendly in Jerusalem a "red card" for Israel.

"What happened…is a red card from everybody to the Israelis," he told reporters.

The World Cup warmup match had been scheduled to take place on Saturday.

But its status had been placed in doubt earlier, following protests by Palestinian football authorities who had urged Messi not to take part.

"The Embassy of Israel regrets to communicate the suspension of the match between Israel and Argentina," a statement said, referring to "threats and provocations" against Messi.

Local media had reported earlier Tuesday that the game was set to be scrapped, depriving Messi and his team-mates of a final warm-up game before they open their World Cup campaign in Russia.

Argentine Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie told reporters in Washington on the sidelines of the Organization of American States meeting that he believed Argentina's players had been reluctant to travel to Israel for the game.

"As far as I know, the players of the national team were not willing to play the game," Faurie said before confirmation of the game's cancellation.

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) Josh Longstaff, coach of Erie in the NBA G League and a former assistant with Oklahoma City and New York, will be an assistant coach for the U.S. Basketball World Cup qualifying team.

USA Basketball said Wednesday that Longstaff will join Jeff Van Gundys staff for games on June 28 in Mexico and July 1 in Cuba, as well as second-round games in September.

He replaces Ronald Nored, who recently was hired as a Charlotte Hornets assistant.

Longstaff led the BayHawks to a 28-22 record last season and the Eastern Conference finals. Before that, he spent three seasons with the Knicks after beginning his career with the Thunder from 2010-14.

John Thompson III is the other assistant for the Americans, who are unbeaten under Van Gundy and already have clinched a spot in the second round of qualifying for the 2019 World Cup in China.

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