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mikel-obiWhile Chelsea are flourishing under Antonio Conte, Nigerian midfielder John Obi Mikel has failed to gain a place in the Italian tactician’s lineup ever since he returned as a bronze medalist from the 2016 Rio Olympics.

PorscheClassy Media reviews five clubs John Obi Mikel may join in January, 2017; see list below:

1. Manchester United

This may sound outrageous, but it could turn into reality. He has played and thrived under Jose Mourinho at Chelsea and the Manchester United midfield is a mess that needs a calming influence. Michael Carrick, whose game is similar to Mikel’s, is the one man who always seems to provide that and of course, he had already signed for them in his youth. Perhaps he is destined to end up with that famous red shirt on his back.

2. Marseille

The French club are keen on the Nigerian star. And it would not be the worst place to end up. They may not quite be able to swing the kind of power and money of old, but Marseille are a traditional club who still enjoy the trappings of aristocracy. It could suit the Nigerian perfectly

3. Juventus

Few clubs can make a firm recovery after losing midfielders of the quality of Paul Pogba and Roberto Pereyra, but Juventus are not just any club. The Old Lady have retooled since losing two of the world’s best midfielders in the summer. But if Mikel were to go there, they would have extra ammunition and even more of a shield for their backline.

4. Fenerbache

The Turkish giants are known for picking up bargains from England and reinventing them. Mikel could enjoy a new lease of life in Turkey where he would definitely see plenty of playing time at one of Europe’s big clubs. Not to mention teaming up with former international teammate Emmanuel Emenike.

5. LA Galaxy

This one is from left field but why not? Mikel loves the United States. He spends his holidays there and would fit right into the Hollywood lifestyle, even if not as a big fish. The Galaxy, where he can dictate play from deep or higher up the pitch, would suit his style.

SPORT

No Masks, No Spit! New Rules For Matches As EPL Resumes On Wednesday

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Players and coaching staff will not be required to wear masks at stadiums when the Premier League restarts.

Players will be encouraged not to spit or clear their noses and not to break social distancing during goal celebrations.

There will be no ball boys or girls – a system of sterilized replacement balls will be used.

Aston Villa v Sheffield United will be the first game when the league returns on 17 June.

In Germany’s Bundesliga players and staff have been required to wear masks at all times, except for during play.

In the Premier League, they will not have to wear masks at all, even in the changing room or on the bench, although the fourth official as well as doctors and physios will have to.

On Thursday the Premier League announced there will be a minute’s silence to remember those who have died with coronavirus before the first matches.

Heart-shaped badges in tribute to frontline NHS staff will also be worn on kits.

Clubs agreed to a range of medical and operational protocols for the restart of the season at a meeting on Thursday.

There will be strict limits on those allowed into stadiums on matchdays and grounds will be split into zones, including the tunnel and pitchside.

In total only 300 people will be in each stadium, with no more than 110 in the ‘red zone’ including players, club staff, and officials.

There will be the deep cleaning of corner flags, goalposts, substitution boards, and match balls before and after each fixture.

Some extra disinfection, such as of the substitution board after it is used, is likely to take place during matches and at half-time, while other work will be carried out during drinks breaks if they are permitted by the league.

The medical protocols stipulate how squads and coaching staff must travel to and from games, observing social distancing.

Clubs will be encouraged to fly on long away trips to limit the use of hotels, and every player and coach will be temperature checked before they arrive at the stadium.

Players will have to hand sanitize when they enter and leave the field of play.

Meanwhile, players are working with the Premier League on a Black Lives Matter tribute but details are yet to be finalized.

Options discussed by players this week included taking a knee, a Black Lives Matter logo on shirts, and players’ names being replaced by the phrase Black Lives Matter.

The Premier League has been suspended since 13 March because of the pandemic.

The fixture schedule for the first three rounds was confirmed on Friday, with 33 of the remaining 92 matches to be shown on free-to-air platforms.

The league will resume on Wednesday when Aston Villa host Sheffield United at 18:00 BST, with Manchester City v Arsenal at 20:15.

Teams returned to contact training at the end of May. In the latest round of testing at Premier League clubs, one person tested positive for COVID-19.

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SPORT

JUST IN: Man United Extend Ighalo’s Loan To January 2021

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Manchester United have extended striker Odion Ighalo’s loan from Shanghai Shenhua until the end of January 2021, the Premier League club said on Monday.

The 30-year-old made an impressive start to life at United, scoring four times in eight games after signing an initial loan deal until May 31 from the Chinese Super League club.

Ighalo’s current deal with Shanghai runs out in December 2022 and he is expected to sign a new contract until the end of 2024, Sky reported.

The Nigerian, who has scored two goals apiece for Man United in the Europa League and FA Cup, will hope to open his account in the Premier League when the season, suspended since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, resumes on June 17.

(Reuters/NAN)

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BREAKING: English Premier League Resumes June 17 With Man City vs Arsenal

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The Premier League season will resume on June 17, it has been confirmed.

Manchester City versus Arsenal will be one of the first matches to be played.

Aston Villa’s home clash with Sheffield United will also be played the same day to mark the return of the English top flight.

A full fixture list will then be played on the weekend of June 19 to 21, with the agreement coming after Premier League clubs met on Thursday to continue discussions over ‘Project Restart.

Details shortly…

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