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NFF’s Poor Relationship With Napoli Behind Osimhen’s Absence At AFCON 2021, Okpara Insists

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Former Nigerian defender, Godwin Okpara has attributed Super Eagles striker, Victor Osimhen’s absence from the ongoing 2021 Africa Cup of Nations as a result of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) poor communication with Napoli.

The Nigerian international was ruled out for three months after surgery, which prevented him from representing Nigeria at the tournament.

However, Osimhen returned to action for the first time in two months, coming on as a substitute for Belgium international Dries Mertens in the 71st-minute.

Reacting to this development, Okpara told Brila FM that the NFF failed to create a good relationship with Napoli and that he could have feature in the Super Eagles last Group D game against Guinea-Bissau on Wednesday.

“It was a blow for us when we had that Osimhen won’t be part of the Nations Cup. And it is also a blow for Nigeria to hear that he’s back playing now.

“This shows that there is no intimate communication between the NFF and the Napoli officials . Had it been that there was good communication, it would have been possible for him to participate at AFCON.”

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I’ve No Plan To Leave Tottenham, Says Conte

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Tottenham Hotspur manager, Antonio Conte, has decided to stay at the club ahead of next season, after guiding them back into the Champions League.

Spurs thrashed Norwich 5-0 on the final day of the Premier League to pip rivals Arsenal to fourth spot.

However, Conte refused to commit his future to the club after that match.

The Italian tactician held talks with managing director Fabio Paratici in Turin on Friday.

It is believed the pair discussed summer transfer targets and Conte has now opted to remain at Tottenham, according to The Telegraph.

Having replaced Nuno Espirito Santo last November, the 52-year-old won 17 of his 28 league games in charge.

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UCL Final: McManaman Tips Real Madrid To Beat Liverpool

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Former Liverpool star, Steve McManaman, has insisted that the club’s management are doing a fantastic job, saying that everything they touch turns to gold at the moment.

McManaman said this while giving his verdict on Liverpool’s UEFA Champions League final against Real Madrid on Saturday night in Paris.

The 50-year-old, who played for Liverpool and Real Madrid in the past, insisted that the Reds are an impossible team to play against when they are on it.

According to him, he wants Liverpool to be successful as they face Real Madrid at the Stade de France.

“I’m in a no-win, no-lose situation,” McManaman told DW. “I have got friends in both camps, and all these years on, Real Madrid still have the same kitman and a lot of the same physios working there.

“So to see these types of people is an incredible thing that you want them to do well.

“But I still work at the Liverpool Academy and I want Liverpool to be successful – that goes without saying.”

He added, “Liverpool are an impossible team to play against when they’re on it – and they’re on it all the time it seems.

“Even in finals that have gone to extra time, they just always seem to find a way. And they haven’t had an easy run this year, drawn into a group with AC Milan, Atletico Madrid and Porto – they steamrolled the group – and then beating the likes of Inter Milan too.

“Klopp has done an exceptional job with the team. I think the staff around Klopp are doing an amazing job. And also the people upstairs who were buying and selling the players – everything they touch seems to turn to gold at this moment.”

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Why Salah, Mane Must Leave Liverpool, Agbonlahor Speaks

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Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah have been told to leave Liverpool if the club fail to meet their demands.

Aston Villa legend, Gabriel Agbonlahor, wonders why Liverpool are finding it difficult to tie up the two African stars while players they are far better than are receiving the same pay at other clubs.

He argued that if Kevin de Bruyne is getting a new deal and higher pay at Manchester City, who are also ready to pay new signing Erling Haaland his fat wages, and even Jadon Sancho at Manchester United then Mane and Salah deserve more.

He told talkSPORT, “They’re going to want their value, Salah and Mane, and if Liverpool aren’t willing to give them that…

“If you don’t, they’ll move on and that’s what Mane’s probably thinking.

“Why should they stay?”

Salah and Mane have scored more than 275 goals for Liverpool between them but are facing an uncertain future at the club with their respective contracts set to expire next summer.

Mane could be set to play his last match for Liverpool in the Champions League final as the 31-year-old has been heavily linked with a summer move to Bayern Munich.

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