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Why Real Madrid passed on signing Victor Osimhen: Carlo Ancelotti explains

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Why Real Madrid passed on signing Victor Osimhen: Carlo Ancelotti explains

Napoli’s Nigerian striker, Victor Osimhen, was on the verge of joining Real Madrid last summer, but the transfer never came to fruition.

Recently, manager Carlo Ancelotti shed light on the club’s decision, revealing why they chose a different path.

Imagine Osimhen in the iconic all-white jersey of Real Madrid, celebrating a hat-trick at the Bernabeu. Last summer, it was a tempting prospect as the club sought a replacement for Karim Benzema. However, the move was ultimately not pursued.

Osimhen was coming off a remarkable season, having won the Serie A Golden Boot and leading Napoli to their first league title since 1990, when the legendary Diego Maradona was the star. His impressive performance made him a prime target for top clubs across Europe.

In an interview with Radio Serie A, Ancelotti provided insight into why Real Madrid passed on signing Osimhen. “No, we did not sign Victor Osimhen because I think the club thought that Benzema’s absence could be remedied by purchasing Jude Bellingham,” Ancelotti explained.

The decision to sign Bellingham proved to be a masterstroke. The young English midfielder made an immediate impact, guiding Los Blancos to both La Liga and Champions League triumphs in his debut season.

While Osimhen’s potential move to Real Madrid was highly anticipated, the club’s focus on strengthening their midfield with Bellingham paid off.

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Kalu Nweke joins Enyimba from Rangers on a two-year contract

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Kalu Nweke joins Enyimba from Rangers on a two-year contract

Midfielder Kalu Nweke has completed a move to Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) side Enyimba, opting not to extend his contract with reigning champions Rangers.

Nweke has signed a two-year deal with the Aba-based club, joining his former Rangers teammate and captain, Chukwudi Nwodu, who recently made a similar transfer.

Nweke played a pivotal role in Rangers’ title-winning campaign last season, contributing four goals in 29 appearances.

His arrival at Enyimba is anticipated to strengthen the team’s midfield as they prepare for the 2024/25 NPFL season.

This move is a significant boost for Enyimba, who have been actively reinforcing their squad ahead of the new season. Nweke’s creativity and experience are expected to enhance Enyimba’s title aspirations.

Nweke’s transfer is part of a flurry of activity in the NPFL, with notable moves such as Daniel Barnabas to El-Kanemi Warriors and Ifeanyi Anaemena rejoining Remo Stars.

The NPFL season is set to begin on August 31, with teams gearing up for what promises to be an exciting campaign.

In other news, Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has appointed a new captain following Nacho Fernandez’s departure. Meanwhile, former Super Eagles coach Sunday Oliseh has disclosed that the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) had previously advised him against inviting certain players to the national team.

As the NPFL season approaches, fans are eagerly anticipating thrilling matches and a high level of competition.

The introduction of VAR and improved refereeing standards are expected to elevate the league to new heights.

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Akwa United wonderkid nominated for NPFL Player and Rookie of the Season

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Akwa United wonderkid nominated for NPFL Player and Rookie of the Season

Akwa United’s teenage sensation, Sani Suleiman, has garnered significant recognition with nominations for two prestigious awards at the League Bloggers Awards (LBA).

The 17-year-old winger is in contention for both the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) Player of the Season and Rookie of the Season awards.

Suleiman’s impressive performances in the latter half of the season, during which he scored 11 goals in 19 appearances, have made him a strong contender for the Player of the Season award. He faces tough competition from Enyimba’s Chijioke Mbaoma and Remo Stars’ Sodiq Ismail.

Suleiman is the clear favorite in the Rookie of the Season category due to his exceptional debut in the NPFL. However, he must outshine Enyimba’s Daniel Daga and Remo Stars’ Ahmed Akinyele to secure the award.

Suleiman’s outstanding form has also earned him a spot in the NPFL Team of the Season, alongside Remo Stars’ Sikiru Alimi and Enyimba’s Chijioke Mbaoma.

The LBA Gala 2024, set to take place in Lagos on July 19, will celebrate Suleiman’s hard work and dedication to the sport. His performances have caught the eye of former Nigeria coach Finidi George, who considered including him in the squad for the World Cup qualifiers against South Africa and Benin Republic in June 2024.

Suleiman’s rapid rise is a promising development for Nigerian football. His nominations are well-deserved and reflect his immense talent. Looking ahead, Suleiman aims to continue impressing and solidifying his place in the NPFL.

With his speed, skill, and goal-scoring ability, Suleiman has all the attributes to become a top player in the NPFL.

Sani Suleiman’s nominations for the NPFL Player and Rookie of the Season awards are a testament to his dedication and hard work. His remarkable performances have drawn attention from coaches and fans alike, and he is poised to continue making a significant impact in the years to come.

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Former Super Eagles Coach Jose Peseiro Set to Lead Kuwaiti National Team

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Former Super Eagles Coach Jose Peseiro Set to Lead Kuwaiti National Team

Former Super Eagles head coach, Jose Peseiro, is reportedly the top candidate to become the head coach of the Kuwaiti national team, according to the Arab Times.

The Kuwait Football Association is eager to appoint Peseiro to lead the Blue Wave in the critical qualifying round for the FIFA 2026 World Cup.

Peseiro, who stepped down as the Super Eagles head coach at the end of February, has been linked with a potential return to his former role. However, he is also attracting interest from Saudi club Al Riyadh.

The 63-year-old coach brings a wealth of experience, having previously managed national teams like Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. He notably led the Super Eagles to the final of the Africa Cup of Nations, where they finished as runners-up.

Kuwait finds itself in Group B of the World Cup qualifiers, competing against South Korea, Oman, Iraq, Palestine, and Jordan. Peseiro’s experience and strategic acumen would be a significant asset for the Blue Wave as they strive for World Cup qualification.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) has yet to appoint a new coach for the Super Eagles following Peseiro’s departure several months ago. This delay has caused growing impatience among fans, who are eager for the team to be adequately prepared for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

Super Eagles supporters have voiced their concerns over the prolonged search for a new coach, with some criticizing the NFF for not making a swift decision. However, others believe the NFF is being prudent, taking their time to find the right candidate to lead the team forward.

This situation underscores the challenges the NFF faces in selecting a suitable replacement for Peseiro, who performed admirably during his tenure. The new coach will have significant expectations to meet, but with the right choice, the Super Eagles can continue to achieve great success.

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