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  • Manchester United are on the brink of re-signing Paul Pogba from Juventus in a world record £89m deal.

    Manchester United are on the brink of re-signing Paul Pogba from Juventus in a world record £89m deal.

    United will pay 105m euros for Pogba and performance-related bonuses and other costs could see that figure rise.

    The midfielder will have a medical in the next few days with the deal due to be completed in midweek.

    The 23-year-old, who left United for £1.5m in 2012, is set to return for a fee that surpasses Gareth Bale's £85m move to Real Madrid in 2013.

    The Old Trafford club still have to agree personal terms with the France midfielder, although that is expected to be a formality.

    Pogba's imminent medical was announced just over 90 minutes before Sunday's Community Shield, which United won 2-1 against Leicester.

    Boss Jose Mourinho said after the game at Wembley that United is the "perfect" club and the Premier League is the best stage for Pogba.

    "We have everything to give him and we know the reasons why he wants to come to us," added Mourinho.

    "He comes because he knows the club, knows the city, many of the players and wants to be an important part of the project.

    "If you want to be the best player in the world, if you go to Barcelona or Real Madrid you are in trouble because I don't think the other two big guys [Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo] will let you."

    Asked about the size of Pogba's transfer fee, Mourinho said: "I don't think Real were upset when they broke the record with Gareth Bale or Cristiano.

    "I don't think it's a reason to be sad - it's a reason to be proud.

    "Football is crazy and the market has become crazy. What you think this season is crazy, you realise three years later it's not crazy any more.

    "What is expensive and not expensive in football? I don't know any more. I just know he is a big player."

    In four seasons in Turin, Pogba, who helped France reach the Euro 2016 final, won four league titles.

    He is Mourinho's fourth signing at United, after Eric Bailly, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

    It is the first time in 20 years an English club will have paid a world record fee.

    Newcastle United were the last to do so when they spent £15m signing England striker Alan Shearer from Blackburn Rovers.

    Pogba joined United from French club Le Havre in 2009 as a 16-year-old, but made just a handful of appearances before his contract expired in July 2012.

    He has made 178 appearances for Juventus, scoring 34 goals, and helped the club reach the 2015 Champions League final. The Serie A side had offered him a new contract, while Real Madrid were also interested in signing him.

    Pogba's agent, Mino Raiola, also represents striker Ibrahimovic, who signed for United on a free transfer from Paris St-Germain, and midfielder Mkhitaryan, who joined from Borussia Dortmund.

    In August 2011, then United manager Six Alex Ferguson described Pogba as a "young boy" who was "showing great promise".

    He said: "If we hold Pogba back, what's going to happen? He's going to leave. So we have to give him the opportunity to see how he can do in the first team and he's got great ability, plus he's got the physique and athleticism."

    However, later that year, with Paul Scholes retired, Owen Hargreaves leaving and Darren Fletcher injured, Brazilian full-back Rafael was preferred to Pogba in midfield, a decision the Frenchman later said "disgusted" him.

    Scholes came out of retirement aged 37 in January 2012, and Pogba said: "I didn't want to sign a contract as Ferguson didn't play me, even though there were no midfielders there.

    "I was frustrated because he spoke to me a few times and said I was nearly there. When I saw Scholes come back, part of me was really happy as he's a legend, but I knew it was the end of me."

    Pogba left United when his contract expired, with the Red Devils receiving a £1.5m fee as compensation.

    Any other reasons?

    Juventus' Paul Pogba accuses former club Manchester United of "disrespect".
     

    Archive: Man Utd disrespected me - Pogba speaking 2014

    In his second autobiography, Ferguson said he "distrusted" Pogba's agent, Raiola, describing their first meeting as a "fiasco".

    "He and I were like oil and water," said the Scot. "From then on, our goose was cooked because Raiola had been able to ingratiate himself with Paul and his family and the player signed with Juventus."

    Juventus full-back Patrice Evra, who was at United with Pogba, said the club initially "underestimated" his France team-mate.

    Speaking in 2014, he said: "I went to talk to him and spent two hours with his parents and his brothers to discuss his future, even though I'm just a player.

    "I said, 'Here in Manchester you will become a legend. Be patient'. I tried to tie him up. I even tried to put him in padlocks. But, no, he'd already made his choice."

    How good is Pogba?

    • Former France striker Thierry Henry believes he can go on to become "one of the best in history" while fellow World Cup winner Patrick Vieiradescribed him as an "extraordinary player" and said it was a "mistake" for Manchester City not to sign him from United
    • Ex-United captain Bryan Robson said Pogba reminds him of Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure because "he is very good going forward and scores spectacular goals"
    • United legend Ryan Giggs said Pogba "has got everything"
    • France legend Zinedine Zidane thinks Pogba is a "complete player"
    • Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said in May 2015 that Pogba "needs to stop showboating in midfield" and that he makes "avoidable" mistakes
    • Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger claims Pogba is in a "maturing period" and will not find his best form until the age of 26

    Source : BBC Sport Foot Ball 

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  • jose Mourinho began his reign as Manchester United manager with a trophy as Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored a late header to beat Leicester in the FA Community Shield at Wembley.

    jose Mourinho began his reign as Manchester United manager with a trophy as Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored a late header to beat Leicester in the FA Community Shield at Wembley.

    Jesse Lingard, who scored the final goal of the Louis van Gaal era with the winner in the FA Cup final against Crystal Palace, put United ahead before half-time when he ran 40 yards and beat four men to slot home.

    League champions Leicester replied when Marouane Fellaini's dreadful back-pass let Jamie Vardy in to round David de Gea and score.

    But summer signing Ibrahimovic, 34, typically had the final word with seven minutes to go, rising to meet Antonio Valencia's cross and beat Kasper Schmeichel via the post.

    The outspoken Swede had stated beforehand that the shield would be the first trophy he would be bringing home as a United player, and so it proved for the veteran striker.

    Leicester had brought Mourinho's second stint in charge of Chelsea to an end with a 2-1 defeat at King Power Stadium in December on their way to the title but this was a much happier occasion for the Portuguese.

    Mourinho has even more reason to be cheerful ahead of the start of the new Premier League season next week as United announced before the game that Paul Pogba is set to have a medical before a potential return to Old Trafford for what would be a world record fee.

    Source :- BBc sport Football 

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  • The best lodges and hotels in Ethiopia for tourists

    Kuriftu Resort, Ethiopia

    ← The reason for heading to Bahar Dar, a city of wide, palm tree-lined avenues, is spread out before you at Kuriftu Lodge.

    Ethiopia is the fastest growing economy in Africa. Tourism, especially around the ‘northern circuit’ encompassing Lalibela, Lake Tana, Gondar, the Simien Mountains, Axum and Tigray is markedly on the increase, attracting affluent travellers who are looking for memorable accommodation to complement the complexity and beguiling beauty of the landscape and the people.


    Will they find it? The answer is yes - just. While Aman junkies and luxury safari camp aficionados may not be rushing to stay in the country’s crop of new lodges, anyone who is captivated by the idea of characterful oases created by gutsy individuals in some of the most exceptional locations in the world should read on. Three of the following hotels – Limalimo, Bale Mountain and Gheralta also serve to unlock unforgettable experiences in wilderness settings.

    The lodges outlined below lie on the northern circuit, except for Bale (pronounced Barlay) Mountain, which is south of Addis Ababa and perfect for winding down at the end of the trip. Long drives are necessary at times, but they are part of the pleasure: against an always engrossing, ever-changing, often Biblical landscape, the world drifts by, on foot, in horse-drawn carts, under bright umbrellas, constantly accompanied by livestock. A competent driver is key: in our case, Belete was pure gold, a man who could slip past cattle on a hairpin bend whilst explaining Ethiopian tribal differences and casually pointing out a rare endemic bird with what appeared to be a second pair of eyes.

    Though modern life, particularly around rapidly expanding Addis Ababa, is fast gathering pace, what the traveller discovers in Ethiopia is an other-worldliness not found in the rest of Africa, an essentially agrarian, pastoral land, rooted in religion, that feels as if time has, though not forgotten, been put gently to one side.

    Kuriftu Lodge, Lake Tana

    The reason for heading to Bahar Dar, a city of wide, palm tree-lined avenues, is spread out before you at Kuriftu Lodge: serene Lake Tana, source of the Blue Nile, with its monasteries and teeming birdlife. At Kuriftu, much use is made of dark wood, stone and bougainvillea-covered thatch to give an ethnic feel, emphasised by vibrant African artworks. Staff waver between helpful and unengaged. There is Wi-Fi in the lobby and two spa treatments are included in the room price. Rooms are spacious, with four-poster beds and mosaic-tiled bathrooms. You should request one with a lake or pool view at no extra cost: best are numbers 107 to 112. In the morning, if you aren’t taking a boat trip on Lake Tana (it’s worth the two-hour ride to remote and lovely Negre Selassie monastery) be sure to bag one of the sunbeds shaded by straw parasols that surround the stunning curved pool. In the evening, watch the sunset from the lakeside terrace, sacred Ibis wheeling overhead. Double rooms from £140, half board (00 251 582 264868;kurifturesortspa.com).

    Read the full review: Kuriftu Lodge, Lake Tana

    Kuriftu Resort, Ethiopia← At Kuriftu, much use is made of dark wood, stone and bougainvillea-covered thatch.

    Mayleko Lodge, Gondar

    With a low-key entrance in farmland close to Gondar’s airport (no noise; shuttle service), and a group of 20 neat thatched bungalows in a quiet garden, Mayleko Lodge at first seems underwhelming. But once inside, things perk up, for the huts, made of natural, sustainable materials, are simple but chic, with white walls, bamboo ceilings and pretty gauze curtains at four sets of French windows on to a terrace and lawn. And dinner, served in an elevated restaurant with the feel of a Tuscan trattoria, is a real delight: the scholarly, experienced chef knows how to cook Italian food with real flair (and there is nothing at all wrong with Ethiopian Rift Valley red wines, available everywhere, to accompany). The hotel is managed by Netsanet, a former English teacher, and owned by a hotelier from Addis Ababa named Ethiopia after her homeland. One can tell from her hotel that she has style. As well as a pool, there is darts, chess and backgammon to keep you amused. After breakfast (scrambled egg – a menu staple – with a twist), the mighty castles of King Fasilides and his descendants, a thunderous amalgam of Moorish and European, await. Double rooms from £70, including breakfast (00 251 912 202801; maylekolodge.com).

    Read the full review: Mayleko Lodge, Gondar

    Mayleko Lodge, Ethiopia
    ←Mayleko Lodge comprises a group of 20 neat thatched bungalows in a quiet garden.

    Limalimo Lodge, Simien Mountains

    Even Aman junkies might be persuaded. Certainly they would appreciate the handmade Hypnos mattresses that have migrated from the UK to the highest mountain range in Africa, and the fine natural silk and cotton fabrics by Sabahar that dress both the beds and the wall of windows in each suite, not to mention the specially designed uniforms (chic embroidered shifts for the girls) worn by the staff.

    But what really sets Ethiopia’s newest lodge apart from the rest are its strikingly contemporary looks. The 11 bedrooms, set in eight separate buildings with bare earth walls (the North African building technique is a first for Ethiopia) and ‘living’ roofs are soothing, with distant views, but it’s the main building, perched on the very edge of the Simien escarpment, where the svelte and sexy design has changed the face of Ethiopia’s lodges.

    The bird’s eye view of the mountains from the expansive terrace, with dining tables and firepits, stretch out as far as the eye can see, a fantastical confection of eroded ochre pinnacles – cones, spires, humps, needles – whose shadows shift in the changing light. In response, Addis Ababa-based Italian architect Mario Balducci has created a series of suitably airy, open, uncluttered interior spaces – huge bar/sitting room, dining room, stylish boutique, courtyard. Furnished simply but comfortably in muted, natural colours, they feel cool and chic. You can have a massage, yoga lesson, romantic champagne breakfast in a secluded spot. Staff are all locals, still in training, and despite its looks, the place feels very much part of the landscape and the community. It’s the creation of Shif, a gifted former trekking guide, and Julia, his English wife, who used to be an academic publisher. Their new lodge makes a thrilling base for guided hikes in the Simien National Park, whose dramatic landscape is liberally scattered with troops of adorable, approachable, endlessly watchable Gelada monkeys. Double rooms from £150, all inclusive (00 251 93 168 8062; limalimolodge.com).

    Read the full review: Limalimo Lodge, Simien Mountains

    Limalimo Lodge, Simien Mountains
    ←The bird’s eye view of the mountains from the expansive terrace, with dining tables and firepits, stretch out as far as the eye can see.

    Gheralta Lodge, Tigray

    It’s 10 years since Silvio and Enrica Rizzotti built Gheralta Lodge. Silvio was brought up in Addis Ababa and they acquired this land close to Hawzen, the main base for visiting Tigray’s rock hewn churches, on the day they saw it. Hardly surprising: the spaghetti Western view across the stony plain to the craggy Gheralta Mountains is astounding, though the mysterious churches secreted amongst them are the chief draw.

    It is a place of great charm. Built of stone like everything in Tigray, Gheralta is deliberately simple, African/Italian in style and relaxing. It has a shady terrace with sun loungers, a quiet library, a sitting room that opens on to an internal garden surrounded by billowing white curtains, and a large dining room where a set menu of Italian home cooking is served. Guests feel immediately at home, and the pre-dinner complimentary aperitif gets everyone chatting. Bedrooms are in low stone huts dotted around the plateau. Some have baths, others showers, and they show signs of wear, but even when the door handle comes off in your hands you won’t much mind – at least we didn’t.

    If you are travelling independently, the hotel will collect you from Mekele airport and organize rock church guides. We met an Italian mountaineer who had trained the guides in safety techniques… nice to know as we climbed nervously into harnesses and braved the sheer rock climb to Abuna Yemata Guh, where the white-robed priest was waiting at his wildly improbable church door, reached by a narrow ledge: slip here and you fall 600 feet. Worry not; there are easier rock churches to visit, or you could while away the day on the terrace at Gheralta Lodge, under the clear blue skies and balmy temperatures of Ethiopia’s near perfect climate. Double rooms £75, half board (00 251 11 6632893; gheraltalodgetigrai.com).

    Read the full review: Gheralta Lodge, Tigray

    Gheralta←Built of stone, Gheralta is deliberately simple, African/Italian in style and relaxing.

    Bale Mountain Lodge, Bale Mountains

    It’s an effort to reach, but one you should not fail to make. A six-hour drive to the edge of the Bale Mountains National Park, plus a final 37 miles on dirt roads to its centre, brings you to this oasis of comfort in a unique high-altitude landscape. In an idyllic clearing in the Harenna Forest, with mountain views, stands a collection of stone ‘menyetta-bets’ (bedrooms), a thatched circular living and dining room with cosy sunken fireplace and a sweep of windows, plus further well-hidden chalets, including a romantic treehouse. Each room has a wood burning stove and colourful throws on the beds, with matching curtains. Almost as surprising as good food, a decent gin and tonic and comfortable beds in the Bale Mountains, hitherto not on the tourist route, is finding Yvonne Levene, a true pioneer. She and her husband Guy built the lodge in 2014, and while he works part time in Addis Ababa, she runs their fiefdom with a gentle authority worthy of the London primary school teacher she used to be, forging close ties with the village four miles away.

    By providing accommodation, the couple have unlocked a richly rewarding region. Its three distinct habitats – grassland, plateau and cloud forest – are all filled with a high concentration of wildlife, most of it endemic, much of which we saw, including a black panther slinking through the undergrowth. With the lodge’s expert local guides, we spent a riveting few hours on the stark Senetti Plateau spotting many bird species and the star attraction – the charismatic Ethiopian wolf. At close quarters, we witnessed the most endangered and rare canid in the world demolishing a goofy giant molerat that had just popped out of its hole. Later, we accompanied Jamal, a local beekeeper, as he shinned 20ft up a tree to smoke out his hive and collect the honey, which we ate next morning for breakfast. Double rooms £300, all inclusive, including a daily activity (00 251 9192790802;balemountainlodge.com).

    Read the full review: Bale Mountain Lodge, Bale Mountains

    Bale Mountain Lodge
    ← In an idyllic clearing in the Harenna Forest, with mountain views, stands Bale Mountain Lodge. CREDIT: PICASA

    ESSENTIALS

    How to get there
    Ethiopian Airlines fly daily from Heathrow to Addis Ababa from £505 return, and on to 19 domestic destinations (0800 016 3559;ethiopianairlines.com).


    Getting around
    It is of course possible to travel round Ethiopia using public transport but because of the distances involved between sights it is far preferable, if expensive, to take a tailor made trip with an expert travel company such as Wild Frontiers.

    Where else to stay
    The lodges described here are well-placed for all the major sites on Ethiopia’s ‘northern circuit’ with the exception of Lalibela, famed for its mesmerizing rock churches, and Axum, for its ancient stelae, Here the following unremarkable but acceptable hotels are best.

    Maribela, Lalibela (00251 33 336 0345; hotelmaribela.com; double rooms from £46) with decent rooms, notably helpful staff and balconies overlooking the mountains.

    Sabean Hotel, Axum a just-about acceptable 2012 high rise, clean but with remarkably hard beds (00251 347751224; sabeanhotel.com; double rooms from £35).

    Fiona Duncan travelled with Wild Frontiers (020 7736 3968; wildfrontiers.co.uk) which offers a 14-day tailor-made trip to Ethiopia taking in Axum, Lalibela, the Simien Mountains, Gonder and the Bale Mountains from £3,340 per person based on two sharing, including accommodation with most meals, private chauffeur-driven transfers and guided excursions.

    ---

    Source: Telegraph.co.uk

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  • Six people have been reported killed in the country's Gondar region, and dozens detained during a rally in Addis Ababa.

    At least six people have been reported killed over two days of protests in Ethiopia while dozens were arrested in the capital, Addis Ababa.

    A source told Al Jazeera that four people were killed on Saturday in the northern Gondar region, in addition to two people killed in the area on Friday. Located 700km north of Addis Ababa, Gondar is a region dominated by the ethnic Amharas.  

    Ethiopian authorities would not confirm the death toll.

    The reported deaths come as dozens of ethnic Oromo protesters were arrested in Addis Ababa on Saturday.

    At least 500 Oromo people - protesting against alleged economic inequality and discrimination - gathered amid a heavy police presence on the capital's main Meskel Square.

    The protesters, who shouted slogans such as "we want our freedom" and "free our political prisoners", were dispersed by police using batons. Dozens were arrested.

    A Reuters news agency video of the confrontation showed unarmed protesters being beaten and kicked by police officers, as protesters ran to evade arrest.

    Prime Minister Haile Mariam Dessalegn on Friday announced a ban on demonstrations, which "threaten national unity" and called on police to use all means at their disposal to prevent them.

    The rally was organised by opposition groups from the Oromo, Ethiopia's biggest ethnic group, who have held protests for months against what they say is government discrimination. They have been joined recently by ethnic Amharas, and protests have been reported in other parts of the country.

    The Oromo and Amhara together make up the majority of Ethiopia's population and claim they suffer discrimination in favour of ethnic Tigrayans, who they say occupy the key jobs in the government and security forces.

    Ethiopian authorities told the AFP news agency that at least a dozen people have been killed in clashes with police over territorial disputes in recent weeks.

    Local people told AFP there had been rallies and clashes with police in the city of Ambo and Nemekte, in the Oromo region, as well as a calls for protests in Baher Dar in the Amhara region.

    Source: Al Jazeera and agencies

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  • The four Emirates Athletics aiming for GOLD in Rio Olympic Games

    Twelve years ago shooter Sheikh Ahmed bin Hasher became a national hero, after reigning supreme in the double trap and winning gold in 2004 Olympics.

    Today, UAE is looking at its thirteen athletes to recreate history as the Olympic torch will be set ablaze on August 5 in Rio.

    These 13 athletes will compete in multiple events - cycling, swimming, shooting, weightlifting, judo. Before the action kick starts in Rio we take a look at the four Emirati women gunning for gold at world's biggest stage.

    Aisha Al Balooshi, 24-year-old, is UAE's only athlete in the weightlifting category.

    Emirates Weightlifting Federation (EWF) picked up Al Balooshi after the team was handed a spot for the Olympics by the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF).

    She will represent the country in the 58kg weight category on August 8.

    Al Balooshi entered the international arena in 2009 Asian Youth and Junior Championship in Dubai and since then won 13 gold medals, six silvers and four bronzes in various international competitions, including two golds and a silver in Arab Championships in Egypt.

     

    Source : Emirates 24/7

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  • Jeremy Menez lost part of his ears friendly game between new sign club Bordeaux Debut

    New Bordeaux signing Jeremy Menez redefined what it means to have a nightmare debut. 

    Playing in his first match since arriving from AC Milan on Monday, the 29-year-old lost part of his right ear in Wednesday's friendly win against Lorient after a tangle with Didier Ndong. The freak accident occurred just 15 minutes into Menez's debut after Ndong accidentally stood on Menez's head, taking out a chunk of his ear in the process

    Bordeaux confirmed that Menez has already undergone surgery to sew his ear back together. The timetable for his return is not yet known.

     Lorient's Ndong meanwhile apologized for the freak accident on Thursday via a club statement.

     "I apologize fully to Jeremy Menez and to Girondins de Bordeaux after this totally involuntary aspect of the game had unfortunate consequences for the Bordeaux attacker," Ndong said in the club's press release.

     I lend him all my support for the coming days and I hope to see him back on the pitches of Ligue 1 very soon."

    Get well soon, Jeremy. Look at it this way: your Bordeaux career can only get better from here.

     

     

    Source:  FOX SOCCER

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  • Man City Sign Gabriel Jesus fee of £27m($35.9M)

    Man City  have signed Brazilian winger Gabriel Jesus from Palmeiras for a reported fee of £27m ($35.9m) plus add-ons. The 19-year-old, who is considered one of the hottest prospects in world football, has agreed a five-year deal at the Etihad Stadium.

    Jesus will remain at his current club Palmeiras until December 2016, when the Brazilian league season comes to an end. City are reported to have fought off stiff competition from the likes of Barcelona to secure his signature."Manchester City is one of the best clubs in the world so I'm really pleased to sign," the Brazilian told the club's official website. "We have many great talents in the team and a fantastic manager in Pep Guardiola that I can learn so much from.

    I'm looking forward to showing the City fans what I can do and I think we'll have a great future together!"

    Meanwhile, Txiki Begiristain, City's Director of Football, has welcomed the highly-rated youngster to the club, revealing he is relishing the prospect of watching him in action this season.

    "He is one of the most exciting young prospects in world football and plays the game in a spectacular way," the City official said, having completed the transfer ahead of the likes of Barcelona. "We look forward to him making a big impact at Manchester City in January."

    Jesus has netted 26 goals in 67 first-team games for Palmeiras and has been widely praised for his outstanding displays in recent months. Former Brazil and Barcelona striker Ronaldo recently said: "I am betting on two great talents that are still developing but already show a lot of skill: Santos' Gabigol and Palmeiras' Gabriel Jesus. And they haven't even turned 20 yet."

    Source: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/sports

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