Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 15 August 2020

Football and transfer news: Manchester City sign Ederson and Lionel Messi keen to end career at Barcelona

Ederson becomes the second most expensive goalkeeper and Celtic tickets are in demand.

Manchester City have completed the signing of Brazilian goalkeeper Ederson from Benfica, the Premier League club announced on Thursday.

The announcement came a week after Benfica said they had agreed to sell the 23-year-old to City for €40 million (Dh165m), making him the second most expensive goalkeeper ever.

Ederson will officially become a City player on July 1. City did not disclose the length of his contract.

"I like everything about Manchester City," Ederson said in quotes published on the City website. "This is a great club, they have amazing fans and they play splendid football. I have always had the dream to play in English football and now I’m going to make it true.

"With Pep Guardiola, City are growing more and more. He is putting in place a young team for the future. Those were important factors in making my decision."

In signing Ederson, City manager Guardiola hopes to have put an end to the goalkeeping saga that plagued his first season at Etihad Stadium.

Guardiola allowed Joe Hart to join Torino on loan, but Hart’s replacement, Claudio Bravo, proved inadequate and back-up goalkeeper Willy Caballero ended the campaign as City’s No 1.

Ederson becomes the most expensive goalkeeper since Gianluigi Buffon joined Juventus from Parma for €53m in 2001.

"We are delighted to bring Ederson to Manchester City," City’s director of football Txiki Begiristain said. "He is one of the best young goalkeepers in Europe and he is an important addition to the squad for next season and the coming seasons."

Ederson is City’s second major signing of the close season following the £43 million (Dh204.5m) capture of Portuguese playmaker Bernardo Silva from French champions Monaco.

Caballero, Pablo Zabaleta, Bacary Sagna, Gael Clichy and Jesus Navas have all been allowed to leave as Guardiola reshapes a squad that finished 15 points below champions Chelsea in third place.

Messi wants to remain with Barca

Five-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi has reiterated his desire to see out his career with Barcelona.

The 29-year-old, who moved to Spain aged 13 to join Barca, has won eight league titles and four Uefa Champions League crowns with the Catalan club, and has no plans to go anywhere else.

"It’s what I always dreamed and what I always wanted. I would like to finish my career at Barcelona," Messi said in an interview with ESPN, shown on Barcelona’s website.

Messi’s contract expires next summer, although reports in Spain suggest he is close to agreeing a three-year extension.

Barca finished second in the Primera Liga in the 2016/17 campaign, surrendering their crown to arch-rivals Real Madrid, and were knocked out of the Champions League at the quarter-final stage by Juventus.

Messi, currently away on international duty with Argentina, added: "We would have liked to have achieved more.

"We play to win titles. We want to be in the Champions League final and to win LaLiga. This year it wasn’t to be.

"We tried, but it didn’t happen. We ended up with the Copa del Rey and we hope next season will be better for us as far as titles go."

Shakespeare pens permanent Leicester deal

Craig Shakespeare has signed a three-year contract as manager of Leicester City, the former Premier League champions announced on Thursday.

Shakespeare, 53, was promoted from his role as assistant manager on an interim basis following the shock dismissal of Claudio Ranieri in February.

His appointment sparked a striking upturn in form that saw Leicester secure their Premier League status and reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

"This is a really exciting opportunity for me to continue along this new path in my career and to continue to work with a club and a group of staff I’ve grown extremely close to," Shakespeare said in quotes published on the Leicester website.

"I’m grateful to the owners and the board of directors for their continued faith and support.

"Our preparations for pre-season and the new Premier League campaign have been ongoing for some time.

"But we can now move on with certainty and ensure we are well equipped to compete at the levels now expected of a club like Leicester City."

Gnabry quits Werder Bremen

Werder Bremen midfielder Serge Gnabry is leaving the club after just one season.

The 21-year-old Germany international moved to the Bundesliga from Arsenal in August but has triggered a clause in his contract allowing him to leave the Weser-Stadion.

"After a very good first year for him at Werder, Serge has informed us that he would like to take the next step in his career," managing director Frank Baumann told Werder’s website.

"He will therefore activate a clause in his contract and leave the club at the end of the month."

Celtic break 50,000 mark

Celtic have gone through the 50,000 mark for season tickets sold for the 2017/18 season.

Demand is high following a unique and historic treble-winning season where Brendan Rodgers’ side went unbeaten domestically.

The Parkhead club have won six consecutive Premiership titles and begin their quest for Uefa Champions League football next season in the qualifiers which start in mid-July.

A statement on the club’s official website read: "We are delighted that so many fans want to share in this exciting season and everyone at Celtic would like to sincerely thank our season book holders for their continued commitment to the club.

"As ever, we will be doing all we can to ensure that it is another successful season."

* Agence France-Presse

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Updated: June 16, 2017 05:01 PM



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