Tony Kroos praises Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp ahead of Champions League final

Liverpool and Real Madrid are set to go head to head this Saturday in the final of the Champions League

Liverpool and Real Madrid are set to go head to head this Saturday in the final of the Champions League and one of Real Madrid’s top midfielder’s Toni Kroos has had nothing but good things to say about Liverpool and their manager ahead of the clash.

’11 animals’

According to the Guardian, Kroos excepts Liverpool to be like ’11 animals’. He also insisted that Liverpool will be tough aggressive opponents. Which is hardly surprising given how dangerous Liverpool’s front three can be.

Kroos continued to praise Liverpool and stated,

“It is a great achievement for Liverpool to reach a final and to have a chance to win the Champions League. In my experience, it is always tough to play his teams, they always have more or less the same style.

“So, I know for sure that it will be a very difficult game for us on Saturday.

“I know how he is able to motivate his teams, he gives them good tactics and I am sure it will be difficult, but I am also sure it is going to be difficult for Liverpool.

“They’ll be 11 animals, all really up for it, we’ll be better on the ball but they’re going to put us under pressure for 90 minutes and will be at 100% or even more.

“We’re expecting an aggressive Liverpool, who have a really quick forward line, but we can stop them.”

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 01: Jurgen Klopp, Manager of Liverpool speaks to Zeljko Buvac, Liverpool assistant manager prior to the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Liverpool at St. James Park on October 1, 2017 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Liverpool’s road to the final

Liverpool topped their Champions’ League group finishing above Sevilla, Spartak Moscow and Maribor.

They would then go on to beat Porto, Manchester City and Roma in the proceeding knockout rounds to earn themselves a place in the final.

With such impressive displays leading up to the final, it is easy to see why Kroos is full of praise for his upcoming opponents.

Real Madrid’s road to the final

Madrid, on the other hand, are looking to lift the trophy for the third year in a row.

Zidane’s men had a much harder group than Liverpool. They faced Spurs, Dortmund and APOEL in Group H. In which they finished second.

They would then go on to beat PSG, Juventus and Bayern Munich in the knockout rounds. Once again, this was arguably a much harder road to the final for Madrid and as a result, they may be slightly more prepared than Liverpool.

 

Related: Liverpool’s Dejan Lovren reveals brilliant note his 12-year-old self wrote, Jurgen Klopp explains why Mohamed Salah won’t leave Liverpool

 

Buhari Has Not Received Passed 2018 Budget From Senate – Minister

SAN FRANCISCO, May 23, (THEWILL) – The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udo Udoma has revealed that the 2018 budget

SAN FRANCISCO, May 23, (THEWILL) – The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udo Udoma has revealed that the 2018 budget which was passed by the two chambers of the National Assembly is yet to be transmitted to President Muhammadu Buhari for assent.

This was revealed on Wednesday by the Minister while responding to inquiries from State House correspondents at the end of the meeting of Federal Executive Council (FEC).

Udoma said a media report credited to him that Buhari would not sign the budget was not true because the President was yet to receive it.

“The President is yet to receive the budget. It is, therefore, impossible to make a statement about the budget that has not been received,” he revealed.

“Once we get it, we will work very quickly on it.

“When it is submitted, I am sure the National Assembly themselves will inform Nigerians.”

THEWILL recalls that both chambers of the National Assembly had on May 16, 2018 approved the budget estimates six months after it was presented by the President on November 7, 2017.

The lawmakers, however, raised the total figure from N8.6 trillion to N9.1 trillion.

Firearms Proliferation – Senators, Security Chiefs In Closed Session

SAN FRANCISCO, May 23, (THEWILL) – Senators and security chiefs led by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin, are

SAN FRANCISCO, May 23, (THEWILL) – Senators and security chiefs led by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin, are meeting behind closed doors over the proliferation of firearms and spate of killings in the country.

The security chiefs including the Director General of the Department of State Service (DSS) Lawal Daura, arrived the chamber around 12.20pm.

The senate president, Bukola Saraki, immediately after the security chiefs were seated announced that the meeting will hold in an executive session.

Journalists, aides and guests in the chamber have been sent out. The doors were closed at 12:30pm.

The Senate had sumoned the service chiefs and heads of security agencies in the country, including the Nigerian Immigration Service and the Nigeria Customs Service, to address the lawmakers.

‎It was, however, learnt that apart from Daura and Olonisakin, other heads of security agencies sent their representatives.

Metuh’s Fall Was Stage-Managed – Judge Declares

SAN FRANCISCO, May 23, (THEWILL) – Justice Okon Abang of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, on Wednesday, said

SAN FRANCISCO, May 23, (THEWILL) – Justice Okon Abang of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, on Wednesday, said former spokesperson of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh, stage-managed his fall in the court room on Monday to stall his trial.

Justice Abang made the orders while ruling on applications by Metuh’s lawyer, Emeka Etiaba (SAN) and prosecution lawyer, Sylvanus Tahir.

Etiaba had, at the resumed proceedings in the case on Tuesday told the court that although his witnesses were in court and ready to testify, but that his client was absent in view of the incident of the previous day saying his client was on admission at the intensive care unit of the National Hospital, Abuja, where he was allegedly rushed to after he fell in court on Monday.

THEWILL recalls that Metuh, facing a seven-count charge before the court for alleged diversion of N400 million from the office of the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, fell while walking towards the dock on Monday.

When the case resumed, Metuh did not appear in court and his lawyers linked his absence to his health condition and applied for an indefinite adjournment of the trial but the prosecution objected to the application, following which the court adjourned until Wednesday to rule on it.

When the court resumed on Wednesday, Abang declared that the trial should continue, saying there is still no valid evidence before the court for the defendant’s absence declaring that Metuh did not collapse in the court room on Monday but rather fell on his own while walking towards the dock, after ignoring the directives of the court to sit for his trial.

“And while on the floor, he made series of groans which stopped the proceedings making the court room look like an accident scene,” the judge said.

“There was no attempt even by those he came with to raise him, which also delayed the proceeding for 29 minutes.

“However, the court doctor was not in the court to see what transpired, so how did she know there was an emergency?

“And as a court doctor, you are expected to have invitation to attend to emergencies, so who gave her the order and who is she to tell the court that the defendant was in need of medical attention?”

“It is a complete disregard and disobedience to the court and so the defendant has jumped bail, as there is no reasonable application for the defendant’s absence.

“And as such, the trial will continue 24th May 2018 by 1p.m,” he said.

EFCC Arraigns Rivers SSG For Allegedly Receiving N750 Million Diezani Fund

SAN FRANCISCO, May 23, (THEWILL) – The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned the Secretary to the Rivers State

SAN FRANCISCO, May 23, (THEWILL) – The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned the Secretary to the Rivers State Government, Kenneth Kobani before Justice B. Bilikisu of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on a six-count charge bordering on money laundering to the tune of N750 million.

Specifically, Kobani, and a Rivers politician, Samuel Okpoko, were docked for collecting N750 million from the Garrison branch of a new generation bank in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on the eve of the 2015 general elections.

The money is part of the infamous $115 million Diezani Alison- Madueke cash allegedly deployed to bribe several politicians and officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC to influence the outcome of the 2015 presidential election.

Mr Kobani allegedly collected N50 million while Mr Okpoko allegedly collected the remaining N700 million.

Count one of the charge read: “That you Samuel Johnson Okposo on or about the 27th day of March, 2015 in Port Harcourt, within the jurisdiction of this court, did conspire and aid other persons yet to be charged, to acquire and take possession and control of the sum of Seven Hundred Million Naira (N700,000,000.00) from Fidelity Bank location Garrison, Port Harcourt, reasonably knowing and or ought to have known that such fund or property forms part of the proceeds of an unlawful act, and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(a) and punishable under section 15( 3) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 as amended”.

Count two of the charge read: “That you Kenneth Kobani on or about the 27th day of March, 2015 in Port Harcourt, within the jurisdiction of this court, did conspire and aid other persons yet to be charged, to acquire and take possession and control of the sum of Fifty Million Naira (N50, 000,000.00) from Fidelity Bank location Garrison, Port Harcourt, reasonably knowing and or ought to have known that such fund or property forms part of the proceeds of an unlawful act, and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18 (a) and punishable under section 15 ( 3) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 as amended.”

When the charges were read to them, they pleaded “not guilty.”

Prosecution counsel, C.A. Okoli, told the court that he was ready for trial and prayed that the defendants be remanded in prison custody. However, the lead defense counsel, C.A. Okala, sued for the bail of the defendants.

Justice B. Bilikisup, in her ruling, admitted the defendants to bail in the sum of N50 million and a surety each in like sum. She adjourned the matter to June 4 for trial.

Barcelona chief speaks out over move for Antoine Griezmann

Remaining coy Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu has spoken out on a move for Atletico Madrid’s star forward Antonine Griezmann. The Frenchman

Remaining coy

Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu has spoken out on a move for Atletico Madrid’s star forward Antonine Griezmann.

The Frenchman has impressed yet again this season and it now looks as though he is set for his big move.

The player was seemingly set to join Manchester United last season but Atletico’s transfer ban forced him to stay.

Now, he is likely to be on the move but this time Barcelona are in the driver’s seat.

Griezmann Atletico Madrid Europa League final

(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Respect

Camp Nou president Josep Bartomeu has spoken out over interested in the player today by explaining that out of respect for their rivals, they will not speak too much about it.

Though, he refused to rule out a move for the player.

“Out of respect for Atletico de Madrid, Griezmann has a contract in force and that is why I should not speak about it,” Bartomeu told Catalunya Radio, as cited by the Daily Mirror. 

“Right now the season is not yet over, we have to keep fighting for titles and until July 1 (when the Spanish transfer window opens) we cannot talk.

“We will begin to talk about how to strengthen a great team that has given us a league title and the Copa del Rey.

“We will see the work that (general manager) Pep Segura, (youth academy head Jose Mari) Bakero and all his team have done with Ernesto Valverde during these months.

“To this date, we are aware that (we have been linked with) many names but we want to respect all the clubs and all the players as much as possible, and it is a World Cup year and names will come before and after that.”

Jurgen Klopp vows to replace Philippe Coutinho this summer

When Philippe Coutinho left Liverpool for Barcelona in January it left a large hole in Liverpool’s midfield which has still

When Philippe Coutinho left Liverpool for Barcelona in January it left a large hole in Liverpool’s midfield which has still yet to be filled.

Klopp, however, in an interview with Robbie Fowler for the Daily Mail has pledged to replace the Brazilian in the summer.

‘We need more quality’

During said interview, Klopp highlighted Liverpool’s midfield as the key area to strengthen.

“You need additions because in the squad, actually, we need more quality,

“What do we do? We brought in Naby Keita already, an outstanding player. We will bring in a couple more players, that will happen. But we had the quality of players already to finish the season higher. 

“Think about the season we played without Adam Lallana and half a season without Philippe Coutinho. Two of the best players in whole Premier League. They didn’t play on the pitch for us. 

“Can you imagine Phil Coutinho still in the team? And we play with the three up front and Phil at No 8 – that would have been nice.’ 

Liverpool also have Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain sidelined through injury and fellow midfielder Emre Can is also likely to leave Anfield this summer with Juventus seemingly his destination.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – APRIL 04: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain of Liverpool celebrates after scoring his sides second goal during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final Leg One match between Liverpool and Manchester City at Anfield on April 4, 2018 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Potential targets

With so many midfielders injured, leaving or left Liverpool this year, it is clear Klopp is talking sense when he said he wanted to add to the midfield.

One potential target for Liverpool looks to be Lyon’s Nabi Fekir.

In 30 Ligue 1 games, last season Fekir bagged an impressive 18 goals and six assists. Bering in mind that Fekir spent much of the 2017/18 season as an attacking midfielder, 18 goals in 30 games is ridiculous.

Fekir can play CAM, left wing, right wing and even centre-forward. So, while Liverpool may have to splash the cash to sign Fekir, he does look like he could be worth it. And he could well be the midfielder Liverpool and Klopp are looking for.

 

Related: Tony Kroos praises Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp ahead of Champions League final, Liverpool’s Dejan Lovren reveals brilliant note his 12-year-old self wrote

 

Ivan Gazidis reveals why Unai Emery was chosen for Arsenal job

Unanimous decision Arsenal chief Ivan Gazidis has revealed exactly why the board decided to appoint former Paris Saint-Germain boss Unai Emery

Unanimous decision

Arsenal chief Ivan Gazidis has revealed exactly why the board decided to appoint former Paris Saint-Germain boss Unai Emery as Arsene Wenger’s successor.

The Spanish boss was confirmed as the new Gunners manager this morning after a statement on the club website.

He comes into the club with a glowing honours list having won 10 trophies in the past five years.

Though, there are still some questions over whether the manager will be able to hit the ground running with this Arsenal side.

(Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

‘Ideal person’

While there are some doubts in the media and among a small section of fans, one person is sure on this managerial decision is Ivan Gazidis.

That is because he has been speaking about the Spanish boss and his appointment today.

“Unai has an outstanding track record of success throughout his career, has developed some of the best young talents in Europe and plays an exciting, progressive style of football that fits Arsenal perfectly,” he explained in a club statement on Wednesday.

“His hard-working and passionate approach and his sense of values on and off the pitch make him the ideal person to take us forward.

“We conducted a confidential, wide-ranging and rigorous search involving extensive background references, data and video analysis, and personal meetings with all the candidates we shortlisted.

“All were interested in the position and we were unanimous in our choice of Unai to drive the next chapter of our history.”

(Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

Arsenal set to sign long-term transfer target from Bayer Leverkusen

The Mirror is today reporting that Arsenal are coming close to signing long-term transfer target Bernd Leno from Bayer Leverkusen.

The Mirror is today reporting that Arsenal are coming close to signing long-term transfer target Bernd Leno from Bayer Leverkusen.

Lukas Hradecky

The reason Bernd Leno to Arsenal looks a lot more likely is because earlier today Bayer Leverkusen were able to sign goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky from Eintracht Frankfurt.

Lukas Hradecky had an excellent season for Eintracht Frankfurt and his excellent shot stopping helped guide them to the DFB-POKAL final were they managed to beat German giants Bayern Munich 3-1.

Leverkusen’s sporting director Rudi Völler stated that,

“We’re very happy to have strengthened our team with an outstanding goalkeeper,

“Lukas Hradecky is an excellent Bundesliga keeper, has international experience and was an absolute leader in Frankfurt.

“He demonstrated his quality impressively in the Cup final.”

However, with Hradecky now at Leverkusen, Leno now looks to be pushed out of his number one spot and given his quality, he will likely want to move on to a new club where he will be a key player again.

The door is open

This leaves Arsenal with a great opportunity to approach their long-term target, Leno.

Arsenal’s head of recruitment Sven Mislintat spotted Leno as a real target some time ago and see’s the German as a replacement for the ageing Petr Cech.

Petr Cech

LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 06: Petr Cech of Arsenal celebrates his teams victory during the The FA Community Shield final between Chelsea and Arsenal at Wembley Stadium on August 6, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

New boss

But Mislintat will now have to convince Arsenal’s new boss Unai Emery that Leno is worth pursuing.

After what seems like an age, Arsenal have finally announced that their new manager and man to replace club legend Arsene Wenger will be Unai Emery.

Now that Emery has officially been named Arsenal boss, there is no doubt he will be keen to start putting his own personal touch on this Arsenal side. So, given the opportunity Arsenal seem to have to sign Leno, he could well be the first signing of the Emery era at Arsenal.

 

Related: Bookies price Tottenham above Arsenal: Unai Emery betting specials & odds, Unai Emery discusses his plans for Arsenal in first press conference

 

Marcel Brands reveals blueprint for Everton revival in first interview

The future is bright New Everton director of football Marcel Brands has detailed his plans to revive the club and

The future is bright

New Everton director of football Marcel Brands has detailed his plans to revive the club and also spoke about the search for a new manager.

The Dutchman is widely considered to be one of the best directors in the game and has impressed with PSV.

Though, his latest challenge will be to take Everton back into the top six after a very poor season.

His first job will be to get the new manager in after Sam Allardyce was sacked, with Marco Silva the favourite.

Though, that he will be up to much more over the next few years at Goodison.

Impressive words

Speaking about his job, it’s safe to say that he will be kept busy.

Brands has explained that the strategy will be long-term and the manager will need to fit the bill, which includes working with young players.

“The priority in the first month is the first team and to be ready for the start of the next Premier League season,” he explained in his first Everton interview. 

“The [overall plan] has to be long-term, though. That’s also the goal I was given in the conversations I had with the Club.

“What the people around the Club will see is new signings but behind-the-scenes there will be a lot of work and, of course, the first thing is a new manager.

“I think it is important that he wants to work in the new philosophy, the new strategy of how we want to work with a Director of Football.

“I think it is important that he creates the environment for the long-term, and I think it is important that he is a modern coach.

“If you think about what Everton’s plans are, I think a modern coach will fit into that profile.

“Then his philosophy and how he wants to play is important. I think it has to be a coach who wants to work with young players.

“I will take care of the long-term strategy but the first job now is to find a manager as soon as possible and straight away go to work with the squad.

(Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)

Wayne Rooney flies out to America for medical ahead of MLS move

One person who is not in the long-term plans of Everton is Wayne Rooney.

That is because the club are set to sell him to an MLS side in the coming days.

Click here to find out more about the imminent move.