22 SPORT Wednesday, August 30 2017 | NEW ERA On the move... Arsenal midfielder Alex Oxlade- Chamberlain is close to joining Premier League champions Chelsea for £40m. Photo: Nampa/AFP ‘Chamberlain set for Chelsea move’ England midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is set to join Premier League champions Chelsea from Arsenal, according to British media reports. The two clubs have, according to The Guardian, The Independent and ESPN, agreed a fee for the 24-year-old, who was substituted during the limp 4-0 thrashing by Liverpool on Sunday. The Independent claims Chelsea will part with £35million and further strain the relationship between coach Arsene Wenger and the Arsenal supporters, who have seen little improvement from the team in the early part of the season from that of last term. Wenger had said earlier this month that he wanted Oxlade- Chamberlain – who is with the England squad preparing for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers and is due to discuss personal terms with Chelsea on Tuesday – to stay. “In the last year, he has made huge progress and personally I want him to stay here for a long time,” said Wenger. “I’m convinced he will be the English player that everybody will look at in the next two years.” Arsenal will at least get a fee for Oxlade-Chamberlain, which would not have been the case had he seen out the final year of his contract – the same situation Arsenal find themselves in with German World Cup-winner Mesut Ozil and Chilean star Alexis Sanchez. Wenger, though, has said in the past he is willing for them to see out their contracts and go for nothing. The Frenchman’s acquisitions in the close season have done little to allay fans’ scepticism over his signing of a new contract after they won the FA Cup. Only French striker Alexandre Lacazette, for a club-record £52million, and Bosnian international defender Sead Kolasinac, on a free transfer, have joined in the close season. Chelsea have added, among others, Spanish international striker Alvaro Morata and France midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko, and have the likes of England midfielders Danny Drinkwater and Ross Barkley still in their sights before the transfer window closes on Thursday. – Nampa/AFP Liverpool agree to record Keita deal Guinea international midfielder Naby Keita will join Premier League giants Liverpool next year after the English outfit agreed a reported club record deal of £48 million ( million, 51.9 million euros) with German side RB Leipzig. Liverpool will also reportedly pay an undisclosed premium for the 22-year-old, who scored eight goals in 31 league appearances last term to help Leipzig finish runnersup in the title race. “Liverpool Football Club can confirm they have reached an agreement with RB Leipzig for the future transfer of Naby Keita,” read yesterday’s Liverpool statement. “The Reds have agreed a deal with the German club and the midfielder that will see the 22-year-old move to Anfield on July 1, 2018 following the conclusion of the current season.” Keita, who will be a pivotal figure in Leipzig’s maiden Champions League campaign this term, said his present team remained his immediate priority but he was delighted to be joining such an historic club. “I am delighted that an agreement has been reached which will allow me to join Liverpool Football Club next summer, when I will become part of a project that excites me greatly,” Keita told the Liverpool website. New deal... Liverpool FC completed the signing of RB Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita, who will join the Premier League club on July 1, 2018. Photo: Nampa/AFP “My commitment to RBL remains absolute for the remainder of my time at the club. I have given my all every time I have worn the shirt -– that will be the case until the final whistle, in my final appearance. “Having my future resolved means I can now focus on helping RBL achieve great things this season. Until I join my new club, next summer, I will remain an interested supporter from a distance.” Liverpool’s previous transfer record was the £35 million they paid Newcastle United to sign Andy Carroll in January 2011. An athletic box-to-box midfielder, Keita has been a longstanding target for Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. He began his career with Horoya in his home city of Conakry and spent a season at French second-tier side Istres before joining Red Bull Salzburg in 2014. Salzburg sold him to their German sister club RB Leipzig in June last year. Klopp has signed Egyptian winger Mohamed Salah, Scottish left-back Andy Robertson and English striker Dominic Solanke during the current transfer window. Liverpool’s 4-0 win over Arsenal on Sunday left them second in the Premier League table, two points below Manchester United. – Nampa/AFP Neymar tells Coutinho to reject Barca move Neymar has reportedly urged Philippe Coutinho to stay at Liverpool and snub a move to Barcelona. The Catalan giants are desperately trying to wrap up a deal for the Brazilian before Thursday’s deadline. Liverpool insist he is not for sale but Barca are confident they can convince the Reds to sell and finally land their top target. Philippe Coutinho is currently away on international duty with Brazil and it seems he has been seeking advice from a former Barca player. Neymar only left the Nou Camp this summer in a deal worth £200m to take him to Paris Saint-Germain. The 25-year-old completed a move from Santos to Barca in 2013 and set the world alight with his displays as he won two La Liga titles and the Champions League during his time in Spain. But perhaps surprisingly he apparently feels Coutinho should stay at Liverpool. Brazilian publication Estadao claim Neymar has told Coutinho he won’t regret Liverpool’s decision to keep him away from Barca. Neymar’s conversation with Coutinho comes after Thierry Henry urged Coutinho to follow Luis Suarez’s path to Barca. He feels Coutinho should stay for another season before requesting a transfer. “I will advise him to do what Luis Suarez did,” the former Arsenal striker said. “He wanted to leave we all know, maybe not the same club at the time. But he came back, professional, had an amazing season. I think he strikes me as that type of guy. Maybe he wanted to go, he’s going to come back, Liverpool fans are going to love him, he loves the club” – express.co.uk
Wednesday, August 30 2017 | NEW ERA SPORT 23 Participants to win big at Nedbank Spring Festival Staff Reporter Windhoek This year marks the 19th edition of the popular Spring Festival, which is sponsored by Nedbank Namibia in conjunction with Cycletec, who are the event organisers. Traditionally the event is held on the first Saturday of September to celebrate the arrival of spring, but this year the organisers have decided to kick-start activities on Thursday evening, starting with a tech seminar which builds the hype around the festival’s theme. Friday night will offer a trail run and a MTB ride and live music, as well as a food market presented by Hartlief. Nedbank, sponsoring the event for the 5th consecutive year, and its supporting sponsors also announced a mega N0,000 lucky draw and other new added activities. All registered participants will automatically enter into the lucky draw by virtue of their participation. “The official festival celebrations, which take place on Saturday, 2 September, normally attract runners, walkers, mountain bikers, dog lovers, cross fitters, gymnasts and many other outdoor enthusiasts hitting the popular trails around the Avis dam,” said Nedbank sponsorship manager Jacky Tjivikua. Frank Bombosch, from Cycletec Adventure, added: “With the injection of additional funding and support, we are looking forward to bringing participants an elevated experience. Once again we would like to thank all the sponsors – Nedbank Namibia as title sponsor, Food Lovers Market (Fruit & Veg), Cycletec and Radio Wave for partnering with us. Join us and come make some memories this spring.” Pedal power... Interested participants can still enter online at www.today. com.na. Online entries will close on August 30. Heated battle... This year will mark the 19th edition of the popular Spring Festival. Bank Windhoek NVF Cup starting this weekend Staff Reporter Windhoek Bank Windhoek has announced the renewal of its sponsorship deal with the Namibia Volleyball Federation (NVF), unveiling a new sponsorship worth N,000 to assist NVF host and organise this year’s Bank Windhoek NVF Cup. The tournament will see the best two men and two women teams from each of the country’s six regional volleyball associations competing against each other. The first round of the cup is slated for The Dome in Swakopmund this Saturday. “It will be an action-packed day of volleyball at the coast, with 24 teams (12 women and 12 men) playing from as early as 8am to 20pm in The Dome,” said Hillary Dux Imbuwa, NVF vice-president. The teams will battle it out to try and secure one of six places per league. The Top favourites... The NDF men’s team, which won last year’s edition of the Bank Windhoek NVF Cup, will this year again be expected to be top favourites. second round of the cup will take place at the Katima Mulilo Unam campus on September 16. “This will be a very exciting moment for the volleyball family as it will be the first time in the NVF history to host such a big tournament in Katima Mulilo,” said Imbuwa. The finals of the cup will be on September 30 in Windhoek. This will see the best four teams, per league, fighting to become the Bank Windhoek NVF Cup 2017 champions. Participants and spectators can look forward to rubbing shoulders with some of Namibia’s top volleyball teams, such as the 2016 NVF Cup champions (NDF VC for men and Revivals VC for females) and NVF Doc Tournament champions (Khomas Nampol VC for males and NDF VC for females). “The Namibia Volleyball Federation would like to thank Bank Windhoek for their continued support for this popular annual event. We are also very excited to welcome Erongomed & African Deli and are looking forward to working with them to make the NVF Cup 2017 the best. The aim of the Bank Windhoek NVF Cup 2017 is to showcase our Namibian volleyball teams from all six regional volleyball associations,” said NVF president Gunter Rust.