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EU moves closer to debt action as Italy angles for compromise

ROME/BRUSSELS ( ) – The European Union moved closer on Tuesday to taking disciplinary action over Italy’s growing debt, as authorities in Rome made tentative steps to avert a procedure that could saddle the country with large fines and alienate investors.

Envoys of EU governments agreed that action was warranted, a confidential document seen by showed, confirming the assessment of the European Commission that Italy is in breach of fiscal rules by failing to cut its huge public debt.

The Commission’s outgoing president, Jean-Claude Juncker, said Italy was “moving in an unsound direction” and risked a procedure that could last years.

Italy and the Commission have been at loggerheads on fiscal issues since a euroskeptic coalition government took office in Rome a year ago armed with ambitious spending plans.

However, in a rare show of unity after successive bouts of infighting in recent months, the coalition’s leaders agreed overnight on a willingness to address the EU’s concerns.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said after they met that they would work together to avert the disciplinary action.

“Our shared goal is to avoid the infringement while safeguarding economic growth, employment, as well as tax cuts,” added Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini of the far-right League.

Italy’s debt has risen steadily from a pre-financial crisis low of 104% of domestic output in 2007 and now stands at 132%, second only to Greece’s within the euro zone. The Commission forecast it will rise further to 135% next year.

Brussels also wants Rome to cut its structural deficit, which excludes one-off revenues, to make its debt more sustainable.

Related CoverageItalian deputy PM Di Maio says coalition meeting went well

EU governments agreed the disciplinary procedure would be avoided if Rome made new offers, two European sources said.

‘NO TAX INCREASES’

But, emboldened by the League’s strong showing in last month’s European elections and in local polls, Salvini has made tax cuts a priority and has repeatedly taken aim at Brussels, calling for an overhaul of EU fiscal rules.

He insisted on Tuesday that “there won’t be any budget correction nor tax increases.”

Finance Minister Giovanni Tria, a technocrat, played down the events in Brussels, saying the final decision would lie with the bloc’s finance ministers.

He ag上海夜生活论坛reed a budget correction was not necessary, though one would be implemented if needed, and said Italy’s deficit would be lower than initially forecast due to lower expenditure.

But that may not be enough to stave off EU action.

Brussels will now intensify talks to obtain more fiscal commitments from Rome.

But if no compromise is found, the EU Commission could recommend the opening of the procedure as early as June 26, one official said. EU states would have then to agree to formally launch it in their last meetings before the summer break on July 8-9. The procedure could also lead to unprecedented fines.

To complicate the picture, Rome is also scrambling to avoid a sales-tax increase worth 23 billion euros, which is due to kick in automatically next year unless the money can be found elsewhere.

Both the League and its coalition partner 5-Star Movement have ruled out a sales tax hike, but have yet to spell out how they will cover the gap.

G20 finance chiefs express concern over risks from ‘intensified’ trade conflict

FUKUOKA, Japan ( ) – Group of 20 fi上海夜生活论坛nance leaders on Sunday said that trade and geopolitical tensions have “intensified”, raising risks to improving global growth, but they stopped short of calling for a resolution of a deepening U.S.-China trade conflict.

After fiery negotiations that nearly aborted the issuance of a communique, finance ministers and central bank governors meeting in southern Japan repeated tepid support for a rules-based multilateral trading system.

“Global growth appears to be stabilizing and is generally projected to pick up moderately later this year and into 2020,” the G20 finance leaders said in a communique issued as the meetings in Fukuoka closed.

“However, growth remains low and risks remain tilted to the downside. Most importantly, trade and geopolitical tensions have intensified. We will continue to address these risks and stand ready to take further action.”

It also said that G20 finance leaders had agreed to compile common rules by 2020 to close loopholes used by global tech giants such as Facebook and Google to reduce their corporate taxes.

The communique also contained pledges to increase debt transparency on the part of borrowers and creditors. Another priority is sustainable infrastructure development, an issue brought into sharper focus by concerns that China’s massive Belt and Road infrastructure drive was saddling poor countries with debt they can’t repay.

DROPPED CLAUSE

However, the final language excluded a proposed clause to “recognize the pressing need to resolve trade tensions”, which was dropped from a previous draft debated on Saturday.

The deletion, which G20 sources said came at the insistence of the United States, shows a desire by Washington to avoid encumbrances as it increases tariffs on Chinese goods. The statement also contains no admissions that the deepening U.S.-China trade conflict is hurting global growth.

International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde emphasized that “the first priority should be to resolve the current trade tensions” while working to modernize international trading rules.

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The IMF this week warned that, while growth is still expected to improve this year and next, the U.S.-China tariff war could cut 0.5 percent from global GDP output in 2020, about the size of G20 member South Africa’s economy.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Saturday said he did not see any impact on U.S. growth from the trade conflict and that the government would take steps to protect consumers from higher tariffs.

Mnuchin met People’s Bank of China (PBOC) Governor Yi Gang on Sunday in the first meeting of high-level U.S. officials in a month, but it produced no immediate result. Mnuchin described the meeting as “constructive” and “a candid discussion on trade issues”, but offered no further detail.

The PBOC said in a statement that the two finance officials “exchanged views on global economic and financial situation, G20 issues, as well as topics of mutual interest”.

The Buenos Aires G20 summit in December 2018 marked the start of a five-month trade truce between the United States and China to allow for negotiations to end their intensifying trade war. But those talks hit an impasse last month, prompting both sides to impose higher tariffs on each other’s goods as the conflict nears its first anniversary.

TRUMP-XI SUMMIT

The widening fallout from the U.S.-China trade war has tested the resolve of the group to show a united front as investors worry if policymakers can avert a global recession.

The bickering over trade language has dashed hopes of Japan, which chairs this year’s G20 meetings, to keep trade issues low on the various agendas at the finance leaders’ meeting.

Mnuchin said that U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping would meet at a June 28-29 G20 summit in Osaka, but the meeting has not been confirmed by China.

The planned meeting was said by Mnuchin to have parallels with the two presidents’ Buenos Aires meeting on Dec. 1, when Trump was poised to increase tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods.

Trump took that step in May and will be ready to impose similar 25% tariffs on a remaining $300 billion list of Chinese goods around the time of the Osaka summit.

At the Buenos Aires meeting, the G20 leaders described international trade and investment as “important engines of growth, productivity, innovation, job creation and development. We recognize the contribution that the multilateral trading system has made to that end,” their communique said.

The leaders in that communique called for reform of World Trade Organization rules that they said were falling short of objectives and pledged to review progress at the Japan summit.

TREASURIES-Yield curve flattens after inflation edges higher

NEW YORK, June 11 ( ) – A drop in two-year Treasury prices flattened the yield curve on Tuesday after a Labor Department report showed producer prices increased in May for the second consecutive month, pointing to a steady pick-up in underlying inflation pressures.

Producer prices excluding food, energy and trade services rose 0.4% last month, matching April’s gain, the government said. The so-called core PPI increased 2.3% in the 12 months through May after rising 2.2% in April.

The report appears supportive of the Federal Reserve’s view that recent weak inflation readings are transitory. Fed policymakers are scheduled to meet on June 18-19 against the backdrop of rising trade tensions, slowing U.S. growth and a sharp step-down in hiring in May that have led financial markets to price in at least two interest rate cuts by the end of 2019.

A rate cut, however, is not expected next Wednesday.

An increase in inflation could temper those expectations, because the Fed uses rate hikes to contain gains in inflation. The two-year yield, which reflects market expectations of rate hikes, rose 3.4 basis points to 1.934% in morning trade. That narrowed the spread between two- and 10-year yields, the most common measure of the yield curve, to 22.1 basis points from 23.9 on Monday.

Investors will closely watch the consumer price index report on Wednesday for further evidence of inflation. Expectations for a cut in July have been roughly stable since Monday, last around 66.7%, according to CME Group’s FedWatch tool.

“Really the key data point for this week is going to be CPI. It is a question of whether inflation is transient – every data point is going to be important to make that determination,” said Subadra Rajappa, head of U.S. rates strategy at Societe Generale.

The Treasury Department’s auction of $78 billion of government debt this week, beginning with the sale of $38 billion in three-year government notes on Tuesday, will also be in focus. Increased supply tends to lower prices and lift yields, broadly the trend in Tuesday morning trade.

“The focus is going to be on supply so there might be a little bit of a concession getting built into the market ahead of the auctions,” said Rajappa.

“We’ve seen a tremendous rally in bonds, so given today’s concession I think the three上海夜生活网-year auction should go OK.”

Trump may discuss secretary of state job with critic Romney: source

NEW YORK ( ) – U.S. President-elect Donald Trump planned a Saturday meeting with Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee and fierce Trump critic, and may discuss whether he should be a candidate for secretary of state, a source familiar with the meeting said on Thursday.

Trump already has a lengthy list of potential candidates for the post of top U.S. diplomat, including former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton, U.S. Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, who met Trump on Thursday.

Trump, a former reality TV star, has shown a flair for the dramatic in his deliberations over his Cabinet, saying only he knows who “the finalists” are.

Corker told CNN on Wednesday he was “in the mix” for the position but that Trump might pick someone who was closer to him during the presidential campaign. He met on Thursday in Washington with Vice President-elect Mike Pence.

Trump’s expected meeting with Romney amounts to an olive branch of sorts to one of his sharpest critics. Romney, who in a speech in March called Trump “a phony, a fraud,” urged Republicans to vote for anyone but the New York real estate magnate while the party was picking its presidential nominee.

Trump, in turn, used harsh rhetoric at times during his campaign to dismiss Romney as a failure who blew a chance in 2012 to defeat Democratic President Barack Obama, whom Trump felt was a w上海夜网eak opponent.

The source told that a broad discussion was expected during the meeting and that discussion about the secretary of state position was possible. The source had said earlier his understanding was that the meeting would occur on Sunday.

Asked about the meeting, Trump senior adviser Kellyanne Conway suggested it was still being arranged. “We’re working on it,” she said.

‘TRUMP WILL MAKE DECISION’

“I think it’s good that the president-elect is meeting with people like Mr. Romney,” U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, one of Trump’s closest confidants and a potential nominee for defense secretary, told reporters at Manhattan’s Trump Tower.

Sessions sounded far from certain Romney would be offered a job.

“There are a lot of talented people that he (Trump) needs good relationships with. And I think Mr. Romney would be quite capable of doing a number of things. But he will be one of those, I am sure, that’s reviewed. Donald Trump will make that decision,” Sessions said.

When Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, opted out of running for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, people close to him suggested that serving as secretary of state might be appealing to him if a Republican won the presidency.

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A steady stream of potential Trump administration hires made their way through the lobby of Trump Tower to meet with either Trump or officials close to him.

All indicated a willingness to serve, such as Jeb Hensarling, a Texas Republican who is chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee. He is a potential treasury secretary in the Trump administration.

“I stand ready to help the president in any capacity possible. I’ve got a great position in public policy today, if he wants to talk to me obviously, about serving somewhere else, we’ll look at serving somewhere else,” he told reporters.

Rhetoric or reality? Arabs struggle to decode Trump’s Mideast rhetoric

DUBAI ( ) – The future leader of the Middle East’s top foreign ally is, in the words of a Saudi prince, an anti-Muslim “disgrace”, openly disdainful of Arab security partnerships, who believes Saudi Arabia would cease to exist for long without the United States.

Donald Trump’s presidential election victory means he is the man Washington’s Arab allies must deal with after his January inauguration, as they seek U.S. help to end wars from Syria to Mosul, manage humanitarian crises and provide jobs for their populations at a time of low oil prices.

Trump’s campaign tirades against Muslim migrants – the target of Prince Alwaleed bin Talal’s comments on Twitter – and against Arab allies who don’t “pay” for U.S. support suggest the relationship could be delicate.

How far Trump the president will differ from Trump the polarizing election candidate is not clear.

Brief, congratulatory messages flowed quickly from Arab allies, including one from Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz, who wished Trump success in “achieving security and stability in the Middle East and the wider world”.

But underneath the protocol, for many Arab rulers and royals Trump’s victory is a source of anxiety. They now face a new America led by Trump who, they fear, could upend a regional order that has prevailed for decades.

Some ordinary Arabs like Trump’s no-nonsense style, and praise what they see as his capacity for tough leadership.

“A strong leader … that is what is needed here in the Middle East and all across the world,” said Ali al-Muhannadi, 57, a Qatari owner of an electrical company, filling his car up at a petrol station in Doha on Wednesday.

Muhannadi saw Trump as a useful ally in confronting the jihadist threat, saying he is “very frank and not like a politician. Islamist radicals are bad for the West and for us too”.

But privately there are concerns about a lack of clarity in Trump’s policies for the world’s most combustible region as it struggles to break free from war while trying to safeguard the free flow of its oil exports.

DISAFFECTED ARAB YOUTH

In particular there are worries that Trump’s hostile rhetoric towards Muslim migrants will play into the hands of Islamic State and al Qaeda, w上海夜生活网hich are eager to recruit disaffected young Arabs to wage war on the regional governments they despise as stooges of Washington.

Gulf Arab leaders want a U.S. president who understands their concerns after eight years of what they regard as diffidence under President Barack Obama, someone who did not provide the kind of personal contact they value.

In particular they want help to push back against Iran, their main rival. But they fear Trump’s public praise for Vladimir Putin will encourage Russia to expand its support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, an ally of Iran and an enemy of most Gulf Arab states.

Apart from a commitment to Israel’s security, a constant in U.S. foreign policy, and an isolationist tone to his comments, much in Trump’s statements about the region remains vague and poorly thought out, diplomats and analysts say.

Opinion is divided about whether Trump’s remarks on the campaign trail will be enacted when in office. Among these is his comment that he would consider halting U.S. purchases of Saudi oil unless Riyadh provides troops to fight Islamic State.

Faisal Al Yafai, a commentator at The National newspaper, said many people thought Trump had used his extravagant comments to win votes and once in office he would mellow.

“I am unconvinced. I think he actually believes his rhetoric. It’s quite worrying that he doesn’t seem to understand how global politics works,” he said. “For example you don’t go around saying ‘if our allies were threatened we wouldn’t intervene, why can’t they build their own nuclear weapons?’”

“That sort of stuff doesn’t help confidence. That collapse of confidence between the U.S. and its allies has a knock-on impact on the economies and in the decisions those countries take on a political level.”

Yafai, whose newspaper is based in the United Arab Emirates, noted Iraqis were putting their lives on the line to regain Mosul, Islamic State’s main stronghold in the country. “That is not just a war for the region, it is a war for the world,” he said.

Others are more sanguine.

A senior Turkish official predicted continued strong relations with the United States and argued that “comments in an election period always have a harder and more hawkish tone than is necessary. But they remain peculiar to the election period.”

SAUDIS “READY TO TAKE A RISK”

Prince Sultan bin Khaled al Faisal, a former Saudi special forces officer and now senior fellow at the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies in Riyadh, said that in U.S. elections “what they say and what they do are two totally different things”.

“Foreign policy is not made by one man,” he said. “But it’s difficult to pinpoint what his policy actually is.”

Trump’s remarks have been combative, and eye-catching. He has said the United States should be reimbursed by the countries it provides protection for.

Without America, “Saudi Arabia wouldn’t exist for very long,” Trump told the New York Times in March.

Trump’s win drew a cautious welcome in Syria, which has entered its fifth year of war between rebels and Assad’s forces.

In Damascus, Syrian member of parliament Sherif Shehada said U.S. policy could shift Assad’s way. “We must be optimistic, but cautiously optimistic,” Shehada told by telephone.

Trump’s statements on Syria, and his more open-minded stance towards Assad’s ally Russia, have fueled rebel concern about the policy he may adopt on the conflict, in which the Russian air force has been bombing insurgents.

But beyond all that, many officials and observers see another ominous consequence.

Trump’s win has not only delighted Western right-wingers but also jihadists who told supporters the election had revealed the true position of the United States towards Muslims.

“The masks have slipped,” one supporter said on Islamic State websites. “(Trump’s) moronic declarations alone serve us even if his decisions will be under the supervision of the Senate…,” wrote another.

Congress should act on ‘scandalous’ fantasy betting: Reid

WASHINGTON ( ) – The top Democrat in the U.S. Senate called on Congress to examine fantasy-sports betting services on Tuesday after reports that an employee with access to insider information placed bets in the unregulated multi-billion-dollar industry.

“There’s absolutely scandalous conduct taking place through those programs, fantasy sports,” Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid told reporters.

“I think it also should be a warning-shot to everybody that online gaming is a real scary thing and we ought to look at all of it,” said Reid, who is a former Gaming Commission head in Nevada, a hub of the industry.

Reid’s statement raises the prospect of congressional scrutiny and possibly new regulations for websites such as DraftKings and FanDuel that have drawn millions of users who pay a fee to compete for daily prizes by assembling teams that accumulate points based on how the players did in actual games.

Meanwhile, Representative Frank Pallone and Senator Bob Menendez, both New Jersey Democrats, asked the Federal Trade Commission to look into the fantasy scandal.

Both companies confirmed on Monday that a DraftKings employee won $350,000 from a $25 entry fee in an American football contest. According to a trade group, the employee inadvertently released player data – a practice that experts liken to insider-trading.

The two privately held companies say they temporarily banned employees from playing daily fantasy sports.

The House of Representatives could hold hearings this fall, said Pallone, the top Democrat on the Energy and Commerce Committee. The Republican-controlled committee is looking into the issue, a spokesman said.

The issue could draw the attention of conservatives like House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, who has pushed to outlaw other forms of online gambling.

Critics say daily fantasy sports services allow fans to bet with a frequency akin to gambling and led to the rise of the two industry leaders.

So far, fantasy sports services have escaped the restrictions that have outlawed sports betting in most states.

The Fantasy Sports Trade Association has spent $80,000 over the past year to defend its interests in Washington, lobbying records show. The group declined to comment.

Online gambling foes who are pushing for a nationwide ban on casino-style Internet gambling are not yet targeting fantasy sports services. But they may raise th上海夜生活网e DraftKings incident as another example of perils of online betting as they make their case, according to a former congressional aide now working to ban online gambling.

General Electric CEO sets low 2019 profit targets, vows better from 2020

( ) – General Electric Co Chief Executive Larry Culp on Thursday set conservative profit targets for this year and staked his reputation on hitting them and doing better in 2020 and beyond, igniting a rally in the stock.

Culp’s detailed pep talk, which drew praise from Wall Street analysts on a conference call, swiftly reversed an earlier rout in the stock as he stressed GE was serious about its targets after years of missing profit expectations.

The forecast was low largely because GE will be spending $2.5 billion on restructuring this year,上海夜生活论坛 Culp said, adding the investment would pay off after a tough 2019.

“This is what constitutes a ‘reset,’” Culp said, using a word many analysts had longed to hear.

“The market should interpret a high level of conviction (in the forecast) simply because this team, in a public forum, is laying this roadmap out, mindful of the realities of 2019 but I think also optimistic … about the impact of what we’re doing.”

Culp did not soft-pedal the short-term pain. He said 2019 adjusted profit would be 50 cents to 60 cents a share, below analyst estimates of 70 cents, and GE could lose as much as $2 billion in cash from its industrial businesses, putting a number on a warning he issued last week.

The company expects free cash flow at GE Power to remain negative in 2020 before turning positive in 2021.

Investors are looking closely at GE’s cash and earnings after the company lost nearly $23 billion last year.

The outlook is “arguably better than expected,” said Deane Dray, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets.

The company did not make reference to any potential hit to its jet engine unit from the recent global grounding of Boeing Co’s 737 MAX aircraft. GE and partner Safran SA make the engine that powers all 737 MAX planes.

GE shares were up 2.9 percent at $10.31 in afternoon trading, after falling 4 percent in premarket activity shortly after the forecast was released. GE bonds also rose slightly.

“While lowered guidance is not a positive, we think GE’s plan and progress show it’s moving in the right direction,” said Jim Corridore, analyst at CFRA.

Culp also left considerable wiggle room in the forecast by including an unspecified amount of “contingency” money to cover hard-to-predict costs, such as when it will conclude big asset sales and how its power unit will perform.

JPMorgan analyst Stephen Tusa voiced concern that the gap between GE’s cash flow and earnings forecasts was the widest he had seen, which likely will mean analysts’ profit estimates are too high.

Culp said that although GE was taking “a safe conservative posture in this reset year … Rest assured, operationally, we’re running hard.”

Lingard happy with United spirit

The Red Devils managed to secure a draw against Burnley after上海夜生活网 coming back from a 0-2 deficit.

Manchester United striker Jesse Lingard praised his team-mates for not giving up in what appeared to be a rather frustrating day at Old Trafford.

The England international did not feature in the starting XI of the Red Devils in their 2-2 draw with Leicester City, but was brought into play from the bench against the Clarets to help his side seal a point.

Mourinho’s men were 2-0 down at half-time following goals from Ashley Barnes and Steven Defour, but Lingard scored a brace to deny the Clarets the three points at Old Trafford.

However, United’s draw means that Manchester City can create a 15-point gap on top of the league if they manage to beat Newcastle United on Wednesday.Solskjaer “very pleased” after another failure to win George Patchias – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said he was “very pleased,” even though United failed to win yet again.It is now ten games on the road since…

“If we had played for another five or 10 minutes, we would have won the game,” he told MUTV.

“[The message at half-time] was always believe. Never give up. We knew we had another 45 minutes to play so we had to be patient, keep moving the ball, moving Burnley about, and eventually we created two clear-cut chances which we scored from.

“This role, further inside, allows me to be closer to the striker, to get in the box, create more things and obviously have more shots at goal. I thought we could nick it towards the end but obviously time ran out and now we look forward to the next game [against Southampton].

“We always have that fighting spirit, that never-give-up attitude and we’ll see where it gets us.”

Shearer certain Kane can score anywhere

The England international broke a Premier League record as Spurs won 5-2 against Southampton on Boxing Day.

Alan Shearer believes that Tottenham Hotspur forward Harry Kane has what it takes to perform for a time like Barcelona or Real Madrid.

Kane scored a hat-trick on Tueday against the Saints, taking his record to 39 Premier League goals in 2017 and surpassing Alan Shearer’s record.

Kane’s consistent output of solid performance has seen him linked with a number of European giants and Shearer believes that the interest from other clubs might prove a big problem for Spurs, especially if Kane seeks to win trophies.

“Not only has he beaten my calendar-year record in the Premier League, but with his second successive hat-trick he eclipsed Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for goals in all competitions in 2017 for club and country,” Shearer wrote in The Sun .Berbatov: It’s not the right time for Pochettino to move George Patchias – Dimitar Berbatov doesn’t think it’s t上海夜生活论坛he right time for Mauricio Pochettino to leave Tottenham Hotspurs or for him to join the likes of Madrid…

“That is some company to be in but, believe me, he could score goals for Barcelona and Real Madrid as well. There lies the problem for Spurs going forward, of course

“The club will not want to move into their brand new stadium without their biggest star. ‘One of our own’ as the Spurs faithful chant.

“But things have stalled a bit on the pitch after title tilts in the last two seasons, although they have been impressive in the Champions League.”

Meanwhile Kane is on the right track of securing a third consecutive Premier League Golden boot, an achievement only done by Shearer(1994-97) and Thierry Henry(2003-06).

Rivaldo confident Coutinho will thrive in Barcelona

The Reds ace is still heavily linked with a move to Camp Nou.

Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho will be a success in Barcelona, according to former Catalan Rivaldo. The ‘Magician’ from Anfield was a subject of serious speculations over the summer transfer window, and the rumours linking him with the Catalans have once again surfaced the media.

The Catalans will surely have to fork out a big amount of money to secure the Brazilian, but former Brazil international Rivaldo has no second thoughts regarding Coutinho, whom he sees as a perfect fit for the La Liga side.

“I do not know if the signing will be made or not because there is a lot of money involved, but I am convinced that if he comes to Barca, he will succeed because it is easy to succeed here with the quality he has.” Rivaldo said in front of Mundo Deportivo.Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers relishing Liverpool return Andrew Smyth – Brendan Rodgers is relishing Leicester City’s trip to his old club Liverpool, whom he described as a “privilege” to work for during his three-year stint.

“His football will be embraced by the fans of Barca.”

Meanwhile another Brazilian, Paulinho, has proven to be a great ba上海夜生活rgain for Barca, following a surprising move from the Chinese side Guangzhou Evergrande.

“Paulinho is doing a great job.” Rivaldo added.“He is an important player in both Barcelona and the national team.”

Guardiola: “De Bruyne capable of anything”

Pep Guardiola is certain that Kevin De Bruyne is one of the world’s best creative midfielders also because of the fact that he is able to perform on a high level even in the most important matches of the season.

The Spanish coach relies on his Belgian key player ahead of the upcoming derby match against Manchester United and he claimed that De Bruyne can do “absolutely everything” on the pitch and he is certain that he can prove it once again. Guardiola’s side can be 11 points clear if they will manage to win this match and the title would be arguably over 上海夜生活at that point.

The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach spoke about the abilities of De Bruyne as he said, according to Sky Sports: “He can do everything on the pitch. And, in terms of mentality as well, he never hides. The big players you realise in the bad moments, the bad moments in terms of 75 minutes, we are losing, how you react in that situation.”Solskjaer “very pleased” after another failure to win George Patchias – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said he was “very pleased,” even though United failed to win yet again.It is now ten games on the road since…

He added that he is world-class also because he can show up in big moments: “With 4-0 everybody is a top-class player, the important time is when you are in the bad moments. I think he is world class because he can do absolutely everything.”

Guardiola also spoke about whether he will play Agüero or Gabriel Jesus as they both have been in a really good shape recently: “Maybe it is one of the toughest decisions because both are top, both deserve to play. I am so happy with both of them. When you play with two strikers, it is easy to take a decision. Gabriel is the best striker in the world in the high pressing. There is no one with the intensity and reading between the central defenders, attacking the holding midfielders from behind.”

Boateng admits he considered leaving Bayern Munich

The full-back was not happy with his situation at the Allianz Arena.

Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng has opened up about the summer transfer window, saying he was ready to leave the club. However, he is now pleased that Jupp Heynckes has returned to the Bavarians, whose arrival has chan上海夜生活网ged his mind when it comes to a potential departure.

The 29-year-old’s last season campaign was plagued with injuries as he started only 10 games for the Bundesliga champions. The time spent on the sidelines probably affected Ancelotti’s view of the player as Boateng was not a regular starter during important games. This led to the defender’s frustration, which made him consider his options carefully during the close season.

“Maybe because I played not that much with him as coach, he saw me as less because of my injuries,” Boateng told Kicker.Kovac cryptic about plans to stop Kane Nedim Maric – Bayern Munich will travel to North London in order to face Pochettino’s Tottenham in a Champions League derby.Bundesliga looks like it’s never been as…

“I had a conversation with the leaders about how they see me in the summer, I said I was thinking about it (a transfer).”

Yet, the German full-back is happy to see Bayern’s old manager return to the hot seat at Allianz Arena, believing that Heynckes is the right man to bring the club back on the victorious path.

“(Heynckes’) attitude that he wants to give something back to FC Bayern is very positive for us as a team. There are not many managers who have such a keen sense of how to deal with players, their approach, their training, their motivation.”

Conte: I trust my players

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte claimed he trusts his players, as the Blues face a tough schedule with playing every three days

Antonio Conte says it would be “normal” to rotate his Chelsea side for Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Qarabag, Sky Sports reports.

The Italian boss says Chelsea will take nothing for granted against a side that they have defeated 6-0 at home back in September.

The Chelsea coach claimed he will take Saturday’s Premier League game against Liverpool into consideration when he selects the starters against Qarabag.

Conte knows how important a win would be for the Blues, as if they manage to take all 3 points home, Chelsea will secure a spot for themselves in the knockout stages of the Champions League.

“For sure I have to make the best decision for these games, because we are playing every three days. I trust all my players and it is normal to have rotation,” Conte said. Report: Lukaku out of Barcelona game George Patchias – Romelu Lukaku has been ruled out of Inter Milan’s game against Barcelona at the Camp Nou.Inter Milan face Barcelona tomorrow evening at the Camp…

“I have a squad with great maturity and they know very well the importance of the game and we must have great focus to beat a good team,” the Italian praised his players.

Qarabag have performed well in Group C of the Champions League drawing 0-0 and 1-1 against Atletico Madrid.

“They drew twice with Atletic上海夜生活网o and we have great respect for this team,” Conte explained.

“We must be very clear. If someone thinks that we are sure to win, it will not be easy. For us the game against Qarabag is very important, as we don’t want to wait to go through.”

“If we win we go into the next round, it is a really good target for us. To reach this target for us before the game against Atletico will be very important,” the coach claimed.

Antonio Conte also confirmed the return of Eden Hazard for Wednesday’s game, but said Victor Moses and Michy Batshuayi remain out.

Cahill warns Manchester City

Chelsea defender Gary Cahill says Manchester City will have a tough time keeping their form up, and believes Chelsea can still catch the league leaders

The league leaders’ unbeaten start does not scare the centre-back, who is confident his side can reduce the points deficit over the campaign, GOAL reports.

Cahill believes talking about Manchester City as champions so early in the season is premature, and is confident the Blues have enough time to catch up with City once their performance falls.

“They’ve started off full steam ahead and that’s great for them, but we’re not even at Christmas yet, so let’s just hold fire and see how they get on,” the centre-back told Chelsea’s website.

“They look fantastic at the moment and we have taken a fair bit of criticism at times this season, but we’ve had three clean sheets on the bounce in the league now, it was a great performance and we’ve got a long way still to go.”Top 5 Premier League players in September’s last weekend Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – A fresh Premier League fixture just ended, which means we can talk about the Top 5 best players of September’s last weekend.After a fresh…

When Cahill was asked about Chelsea’s performance in their 4-0 victory over West Brom this weekend, the defender claimed he was delighted with how they have played.

“I have to admit it was a superb performance from us, from every single player, and collectively we are very happy,” the 31-year-old said.

“I felt we pl上海夜生活ayed some good football, we kept the ball when we needed to and we scored goals. We saw a bit of everything from us, so performance-wise it was very, very good.”

“I’m sure they found it very difficult to play against us, we always seemed to have an option to get out of trouble and there was a lot of composure on the ball, which allowed us to keep it for long periods,” Cahill explained.

Chelsea is now on a four-game winning streak as they are about to face Qarabag away from home in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Pickford sure that his side won’t be relegated

It has been a terrible season so far for the Toffees but their goalkeeper, Jordan Pickford, is confident that they can turn it around and avoid the relegation but they need to focus on themselves and improve.

Everton are currently placed 18th in the Premier League table and they are out of the Europa League after just four matches being played – now, they are about to face Watford at home and it’s going to be a crucial match for them as they need to escape the relegation zone in order to boost their confidence.

The former Sunderland goalkeeper and summer arrival, Jordan Pickford, is sure that his side won’t be relegated as he said, according to Goal: “It’s not been ideal but we are not far away from winning games. We’re not a club that is going to be in the bottom three for long I’d say. It’s just that the luck hasn’t come our way yet. It’s a totally different scenario for myself from last season. I think one win will get us to 13th or something in the league.”Wijnaldum looking to repeat Champions League success Nedim Maric – Liverpool are the reigning winners of the Champions League. However, this isn’t stopping them for aiming to get the glory once again.After a perfect…

And he knows that his side have to start improving to regain the confidence: “Then that one win can become back-to-back wins, and that is where the confidence grows, and it starts Sunday. We have had a bad lot of games. I love playing games week in week out, but it has been a change with the Europa League. That may have affected us. But we can’t be making excuses. We have to just move forward, dig in and get the win.”

The England international believes that his teammates are experienced enough to turn it around: “You have [fellow summer signing Wayne] Rooney, you have a lot of people who have been successful. The senior pros have all been successful in their careers, and that is where they help us. And then that is when the young lads become big characters when上海夜网 they wear their hearts on their sleeves in the games. We won’t be struggling – it will only make us go forward and get the wins that we need.”

Marseille to conduct internal investigation over Evra

Olympique Marseille informed that they will open an internal investigation to establish ‘all responsibilities’ after Patrice Evra hit a French supporter.

Marseille travelled to Portugal for their Europa League match against Guimaraes. During the warm-up, Patrice Evra was involved in a fight with some of the travelling fans, ending up hitting one of上海夜网 them with his foot in the head. Evra was sent-off by the referee and had to watch the game from the stands, although he was expected to start for Marseille.

The club posted a statement on their official website saying: “In any case, a professional player has to remain calm in front of provocative gestures and insults, no matter how unjustified they are.”Can Marseille make it to the Champions League? Taimoor Khan – With a depleted workforce with not a lot of quantity or quality, Olympique de Marseille are bound to struggle this season. After being held…

Patrice Evra became the first player in the history of Europa League to be sent off before the start of the match. Before the incident, some of OM’s fans had a verbal dispute with the player. According to the Portuguese press, French fans tried to enter the pitch to fight Rudi Garcia’s players. After verbal exchanges, Evra reacted violently, hitting one of the fans in the head with his foot. The stewards had to intervene to avoid the escalation of the situation.

Patrice Evra has 81 selections for the France national team, but the 36-year-old has been criticised recently for his performances at Marseille, losing his starting place in the team in favour of Jordan Amavi.

Evra’s gesture reminded of another former Manchester United player, Eric Cantona. In 1995, Cantona hit a Crystal Palace fan during a Premier League match, receiving a nine months suspension from the Englis Football Association.

Mati\u0107 expecting United to challenge for two big trophies

The Serbian is hoping his team will be a contender both for the Premier League and the Champions League.

Nemanja Matić has high hopes for the Red Devils this season. The £40 million summer signing is eyeing on the possibility of challenging for multiple titles following a magnificent start in the Premier League.

Manchester United have had more than a perfect start with 9 points in 3 games, 10 goals scored and 0 goals conceded.

Matić also admits that the Champions League group of United is ‘favourable’ and does not see a reason why the Red Devils would not be able to compete on multiple fronts.

“Winning the Premier League title will be a tough task not just for us but for everyone because there are five or six realistic contenders.” the 29-year-old said as quoted by Goal.Report: Mourinho rejects several offers amid Real Madrid talk Andrew Smyth – Jose Mourinho has reportedly turned down several job offers in Europe as he eyes up a potential shock return to Real Madrid.

”But we all know that Manchester United are expected to win every game. As far as the Champions League is concerned, we’ve had a favourable draw and we are hopeful of still being in the competition in the latter stages.

”The 2-1 UEFA Supercup def上海夜生活论坛eat against Champions League holders Real Madrid was a good test of our credentials to slug it out with Europe’s best.

“We were outplayed but that was a one-off while the Champions League is a competition where you face different rivals in every round.”

If Manchester United can keep the form they have shown so far throughout the whole season then Matić and his team-mates are up for a wonderful season in the 2017-18 campaign.

Conte deems Manchester clubs title contenders

The Blues dominated the Premier League last season, but both City and United have been spending big this summer.

The Italian manager believes Guardiola and Mourinho will provide serious competition to Chelsea’s title defense in the upcoming season. Chelsea are back in the Champions League, which means the club will have a hectic schedule and their job will be a lot harder compared to last season.

Both Manchester United and Manchester City have passed the £100m mark during the close-season, meaning the battle for Premier League trophy will be tougher.

During the Blues pre-season tour in Singapore, Conte told reporters:

“It is normal that every big team tries to reinforce their squad by bringing in quality players.” – as quoted by Goal.

“That is what they have done [United and City]. For sure, next season in Premier League will be a huge challenge for us.”

Even though Chelsea have added three new players to their ranks – Morata, Rudiger and Bakayoko – Antonio Conte hinted there might be more players coming to Stamford Bridge:Too early to talk about the Scudetto says Inter’s Godin George Patchias – Inter Milan’s summer signing Diego Godin says it is too early to start talking about the Scudetto.33 year old Uruguayan international arrived in Milan…

“We speak about the way to strengthen the team every day.

“We know which are the positions we need to strengthen.”

Right now, the most import上海夜生活ant thing for Conte is to integrate the new arrivals, as he speaks about Morata:

“He is working very well and is putting himself into every session.

“I think it is very good but it is important for him to have some time to adapt to our system. But I can see the will power in the player to do so.”

Raiola: Ibrahimovic is fine, he\u2019s received so many offers, from the US and beyond

The agent suggested the Swede wants to make a return to Serie A but has other offers as wellWritten by – Nikolay Nikolov, June 19, 2017.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s agent Mino Raiola says the striker would have already been back at AC Milan if Adriano Galliani was still on the board, but the player has many other offers to consider.

Ibrahimovic is a free agent after Manchester United released him, following his recovery from a cruciate ligament injury suffered at the end of last season.

Although the 35-year-old will be out of the pitch for few months, he has already been strongly linked with a move to the US and Italy.

“Ibra is fine, he’s received so many offers, from the US and beyond,” Raiola told Gazzetta Dello Sport.Kane: Spurs out of excuses after shock Carabao Cup exit Andrew Smyth – Harry Kane concedes that Tottenham only have themselves to blame following a shock Carabao Cup exit at the hands of Colchester United.

“He’s certainly not going to Napoli. Milan haven’t asked me about him. With Galliani, he’d already been there,” he added.

Raiola mentioned the situation around Ibrahimovic while talking about the rising dispute between his client Gianluigi Donnarumma and AC Milan, as the 18-year-old goalkeeper told the club he will not renew his上海夜网 contract.

Raiola also mentioned another one of his clients – Blaise Matuidi. According to the experienced agent, Paris Saint-Germain’s star has been on the radar of some big clubs.

“Clubs have asked me about Matuidi, like Inter and Juventus. We’ll see,” he said.

“The Bianconeri pulled out a year ago due to political reasons. Maybe this time,” he added.

Verratti plans to hold talks with PSG over his future

The Italian playmaker is wanted by a number of top clubs in Europe and his agent plans on discussing his future with the Parisian club.Written by Cosmin Mihalescu. May 2, 2017.

Donato di Campli, Verratti’s agent has urged the need of talks with Paris Saint-Germain over the future of th上海夜生活网e club and his client.

Having seen their chances to win Ligue 1 diminishing on the weekend and after yet another disappointing Champions League campaign, the French club now stand to lose one of their best players also.Inter Milan V Lazio: Players to Watch Taimoor Khan – Inter Milan are set to host Lazio at the San Siro on Thursday and the game is definitely going to be an exciting affair…

Although acknowledging that he would need to time his meeting with the club perfectly, considering their current situation, di Campli said that a discussion is inevitable: “I don’t feel like saying anything. A lot of wrong things have been said. I want to keep things calm as PSG aren’t in the happiest of moments. We’ll ask for a meeting with the club to discuss Marco’s future. The club have said that Marco won’t leave so we have to respect the will of the club. But we will make a point of the situation after the Coupe de France final.”

Verratti himself has also claimed that their objectives for the season have not been met, although he considers that the team is growing every year: “If Paris are not champions, we will not have achieved what we had in mind at the start of the season. But I think PSG are always a team that grows, I feel better after this season”, he said.