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Arsenal Goalkeeper Petr Cech May Retire by the End of the Season

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Arsenal goalkeeper, Petr Cech may retire by the end of the season

Arsenal Goalkeeper Petr Cech has announced that he will retire at the end of the season. The 36-year-old left Chelsea and joined Arsenal in June 2015, where he spent 11 years and enjoyed immense success.

“Having played 15 years in the Premier League and won every single trophy possible, I feel like I have achieved everything I set out to achieve,” Cech said. He added, “I will continue to work hard at Arsenal to hopefully win one more trophy this season.”

Ex-Czech Republic International, who is in his 20th season as a professional player feels that it is the right time to hang his boots, and also the right time to explore what life holds for him as he steps off the pitch.

Petr Cech lifted 13 trophies with ‘The Blues’ including the coveted Champions League and four Premier League titles. He also set a club record of astounding 228 clean sheets in all competitions, beating the previous record of 208 set by the former England international Peter Bonetti.

“For your consummate professionalism, for being the perfect role model, for the 50 clean sheets, for your honesty, your integrity and for your inspiring work with the Arsenal Foundation, we want to say – thank you Petr Cech,” tweeted Arsenal.

“A champion on and off the pitch,” said a message from Chelsea. “Enjoy your retirement.”

Cech’s boots have been majorly filled by Bernd Leno as the first choice keeper. Leno initially started as a reserve, but made his way past Cech- who last contributed in the winning cause over Watford on 29 September.

The drive for success in Cech, however, has still not ended and he expressed that he would love to add another trophy to his cabinet before the season ends. Arsenal are placed fifth in the Premier League, with the leaders, Liverpool, 16 points adrift.

Therefore, the best chance for Arsenal to add another piece of silverware is the FA Cup and Europa League, where they will face Manchester United and BATE Borisov in the next round respectively.

Petr Cech will surely be missed in the Premier League, and as we approach the business end of the tournament, it would also end an era of greatness along with it.

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What’s Magnetizing Saudi to Bid for Manchester United Time and Again?

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Saudi Arabia bids to buy Manchester United, premier league

Rumours about Saudi’s bid of taking over the Premier League Club, Manchester United, keep coming out in the media. Recently, it was reported that Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) offered £3.8bn takeover bid of the club.

However, in a statement on Monday the nation dismissed its plans of taking over the club. The news is “completely untrue,” Saudi information minister Turki Alshabanah wrote on Twitter.

According to the sources, “The club held a meeting with the Public Investment Fund to discuss an advertising sponsorship project, and the Fund listened to the proposals as any investment and did not produce any results,” Turki Alshabanah said.

Despite that it cannot be said for how long can Saudi stick by its guns. Even back in October last year, the Kingdom made an offer to acquire the club, but could not capitalize on the opportunity following the claims of murdering Saudi Journalist, Jamal Khashoggi.

The Need of the Hour

Managing image in the West has been the Kingdom’s topmost priority for a very long time. Even as recently as last week the Journal reported that the nation’s collaboration with the Western media was exposed hoaxing MbS’ reform.

The Crown Prince had reportedly signed a deal with Vice Media, under which the media house was directed to produce documentaries and influence the Western nations.

Manchester United has bagged the coveted Premier League Trophy 13 times, more than any other club in the history, and maybe this is what brings the Saudis to the table. The club is currently owned by Glazer family, who purchased it in 2005 for £790million.

Besides, Saudi’s close aide and long-time ally, UAE, has successfully been spreading their message of positivity all over the world using football as a tool.

This is especially the case because the City’s owner, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al Nahyan, belongs to the royal family of Abu Dhabi. Together with Khaldoon al-Mubark, his youthful executive and advisor to royal family, he holds the key to delegate how the management works.

In fact, UAE doesn’t stop here, the Emirate has found its own City Football Group (CFG) and it owns or co-owns six clubs across four continents. The group, as reported by the Guardian, has contracted more than 240 male professionals, and two dozen women.

The UAE’s bridge to the West is exactly what the Kingdom aims at replicating by trying to reach Manchester United. Therefore, the probability of owning the club to promote the national image is still on the cards for them.

Conversely, Saudi-UAE have raged a war against humanity in Yemen, killing more than 10,000 people. Both nations have also continuously faced the heat over the detention of human right activists, and for barring people to express what’s right. However, big strides in the West aimed at fixing and building reputation is what the two gulf nations have continuously worked on.

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Cardiff City Defends Withholding Sala’s Transfer Fee

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Chairman of Cardiff City, Mehmet Dalman, has said that his club will be “honourable” with Nantes over the £15m transfer for Emiliano Sala and has defended withholding the payment. The statement follows the allegations that Cardiff was shocked after the latter demanded the first installment of Emiliano Sala’s transfer fee.

Dalman confirmed that the French were actually calling for the legal action, but Cardiff were seeking “clarification”. Sala’s body was recovered from the wreckage last week, as the greatest fear of the footballing world came alive.

Cardiff’s chairman also confirmed the club’s manager, Neil Warnock of having a strong connection with the football agents, and that people had “knives out” for Cardiff’s manager.

A plane carrying two passengers, Sala and his pilot David Ibbotso, went missing over the English Channel on January 21. Though Sala’s corpse has been recovered, no confirmation has been made on Ibbotso’s case.

However, a fundraising appeal to carry on the underwater search for the pilot has been set up. Cardiff City owner, Vincent Tan, in the wake of which has donated £50,000.

Confirming the Nantes action, Dalman said: “Of course, if we are contractually obliged to pay them then, of course, we will. We are an honorable club. But if we are not – and there are some anomalies in that – then surely you would expect me as the chairman and guardian of this club’s interests to look into that and hold our position. That is what we are doing.”

“We are still in the process of gathering information and that process will be ongoing. And when we reach a level where we have enough information, I am sure we will sit down with Nantes and move forward,” he added.

Warnock on the other hand complained about a “vendetta” against him. The statement came amid the existing criticism on his links with agent Willie McKay, but Dalman affirmed that he had nothing to answer in the case.

McKay is the same person who arranged the flight that Sala boarded from Nantes, but the agent had no role in handpicking the plane.

Dalman upon asking about Warnock’s relationships with agents said: “I have absolutely no worries about that. We take our relationships from the day he started working at Cardiff. I don’t really want to get involved in any vendettas and mud throwing.”

The statement, however, raised a few questions because two of McKay’s sons had been in Cardiff Academy.

The chairman further wrote off the rumors surrounding Warnock’s resignation over the death of Sala, and said that he considers his future “24 hours a day, seven days a week.” He confirmed, “that discussion has never taken place and I have absolutely no intention of holding that discussion.”

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Cardiff Shocked by Nantes Demand of Emiliano Sala’s Transfer Fee

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Nantes

French club Nantes have left Cardiff City in shock and dismay after the former demanded the first instalment of Emiliano Sala’s transfer fee.

Argentinean forward player, Sala, was on board Piper PA-46 Malibu, which went missing over the English Channel on 21 January. Sala was accompanied by pilot David Ibbotson on board.

A private search, backed by Sala’s family and well wishers who donated money, found the wreckage of the plane on Sunday. By mid of the week, the Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) said a body was also recovered from the wreckage, but did not confirm if the body was of Sala or Ibbotson.

In a statement to CNN, AAIB said, “Following extensive visual examination of the accident site using the remotely operated vehicle (ROV), it was decided to attempt recovery operations. In challenging conditions, the AAIB and its specialist contractors successfully recovered the body previously seen amidst the wreckage.”

On Tuesday, Nantes sent a letter to Cardiff, threatening to take a legal action if the first instalment is not received within 10 days. The letter came five days after Nantes had sent an email to Cardiff to remind the payment terms and to transfer the first of three instalments.

Nantes were entitled to receive the first scheduled payment of Sala’s transfer fee of £15m by now.

For Cardiff establishing all the facts involved in the tragic event is more important as of now. There is no indication that the club is not willing to honour its contractual obligations. The Welsh club is waiting for the investigation to get over.

In an interview with a French newspaper, Mehmet Dalman, Cardiff’s chairman, said that the club has received an invoice of 6m Euros (£5.27m) from Nantes.

Dalman said, “We must show respect to the family. There is the process of recovering the plane.”

Sala signed for Cardiff on 19 January – but never played for the club – two days later, while he was flying back from Nantes after saying goodbye to his former teammates, the tragic accident took place. Reportedly, Cardiff have a player insurance policy of £16m per individual and it is believed that Sala was insured by Cardiff.

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