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    Liverpool Not The Same Without Coutinho – Firmino: Plus Gossip & Transfer Stories

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    Liverpool striker Roberto Firmino says the club is “no longer the same” without his “magical brother” Philippe Coutinho. The Brazilian playmaker, who was the best man at Firmino’s wedding last year, confirmed his £142m move to Barcelona on Monday.

    Coutinho dazzled Anfield and the Premier League for five-years in a Liverpool shirt, but his £150 million move to Barcelona, a move he has called a “dream”, is now complete.

    The 25-year-old will grace the pitch with the world’s greatest player in the eyes of many, and a former team-mate whom he came so close to winning the Premier League title with, Luis Suarez.

    Of course, Coutinho will be a loss to Liverpool and the Premier League for that matter, but Jurgen Klopp now has serious funds at his disposal to strengthen his squad.

    The attacking talent and force Liverpool have under their wing has never been questioned, with Mohamed Salah adding to that significantly this season.

    It is of the opinion of many that the Anfield outfit, who have flirted with Premier League glory in recent years, can be Manchester City’s greatest competitors for the trophy next season with the right additions.

    Naby Keita will join up with Klopp’s men next season (though some media reports claim it may be this month), to bolster the midfield, and with the addition of Virgil Van Dijk, it bodes well for them moving forward.

    There are still areas that can be strengthened in Liverpool’s side though, and Coutinho’s void is perhaps not even top of the pile.

    The goalkeeper position is still one I’m sure Liverpool fans will agree can be improved, as well as defensive frailties that Van Dijk should reduce but not eradicate.

    Without a doubt, there will be another ‘Coutinho’ out there, a player available for a small fee that turns out to be worth millions, but in today’s crazy and competitive market, it’d be a surprise for Klopp to go down that road.

    The quality Coutinho blessed Anfield with will be dearly missed for sure, but when Barcelona come knocking history suggests there is only one outcome.

    When a star player leaves like the Brazilian it is a strange feeling for football supporters, but in the attacking department, Liverpool have magnificent talent, devastating talent on their day.

    The midfield magician will undoubtedly be a success at Barcelona, and whilst not seeing his twinkling toes dazzle past defenders, or not seeing him lace one into the top corner will be a miss for Liverpool, there will certainly be life and success after Coutinho at Anfield.

     

    MORE GOSSIP AND TRANSFER STORIES…..

    Everton have joined the race to sign Arsenal forward Theo Walcott, 28. The Englishman is also wanted by his first club Southampton, with the Gunners set to ask for close to £30m. (Liverpool Echo)

    RB Leipzig could let Guinean midfielder Naby Keita join Liverpool this month. The Reds have already agreed to sign the 22-year-old in the summer for £48m but may be able to take him in January for an additional 15-20m euros payment. (Bild – in German)

    Republic of Ireland boss Martin O’Neill was set to meet with Stoke Cityofficials on Wednesday over the vacant managerial position, with assistant Roy Keane also expected to move if he takes the job. (Irish Independent)

    Guangzhou Evergrande say they will not enter a bidding battle with fellow Chinese Super League side Beijing Guoan for the services of 28-year-old Gabon and Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. (ESPN)

    Tottenham have begun informal discussions with midfielder Dele Alli. The club are said to be confident of agreeing a new deal with the 21-year-old England international. (Daily Mirror)

    Fulham vice-chairman Tony Khan has said the club’s 17-year-old English left-back Ryan Sessegnon will not be sold this month, amid interest from Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur. (Daily Telegraph)

    Manchester United will have to pay up to £27m to sign 22-year-old Belgian midfielder Leander Dendoncker from Anderlecht in January. (Manchester Evening News)

    Crystal Palace could complete the signing of Senegal striker Diafra Sakho, 28, from West Ham by the end of the week. (Daily Mirror)

    Huddersfield have agreed a £14m deal with Norwichto sign winger Alex Pritchard, 24. The Englishman left Tottenham for £8m in the summer of 2016. (Daily Mail)

    West Ham have been told that they will have to pay £15m for Bournemouth and Republic of Ireland midfielder Harry Arter, 28. (Daily Mirror)

    Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos has informed the club he wants to leave, with Liverpool reportedly interested in signing the 21-year-old Spaniard. (Diario Gol – in Spanish)

    Hearts are set to sign Manchester United left-back Demetri Mitchell on loan. The 20-year-old English defender would be the Scottish side’s first signing of the January transfer window. (Edinburgh Evening News)

    Barcelona‘s Gerard Pique has warned Manchester United that fellow defender Samuel Umtiti will stay at the club for “many more years”. The 24-year-old Frenchman has a £55m release clause in his contract. (Metro)

    Meanwhile, the Catalan club are about to sign Palmeiras defender Yerry Mina. The 23-year-old Colombian will sign a five-and-a-half-year contract. (Radio Catalunya – in Spanish) 

    He is set to replace 33-year-old Barca and Argentina defender Javier Mascherano who is expected to join Chinese Super League club Hebei China Fortune. (Goal)

    Germany and Juventus midfielder Sami Khedira, 30, says he is not keen to play in Major League Soccer and wants to stay in Turin when his contract expires in 2019. (Gazzetta dello Sport)

    Millwall have approached Aston Villa about signing 30-year-old defender Tommy Elphick on loan for the rest of the season. Villa manager Steve Bruce has refused to rule out the Englishman leaving the club this month. (Birmingham Mail)

    Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez is expected to reiterate his appeal to owner Mike Ashley and managing director Lee Charnley to get player signings completed before his self-imposed deadline of 20 January. (Newcastle Chronicle)

    Wolves plan to make the loan deal for Porto’s 26-year-old French centre-half Willy Boly a permanent one should they win promotion this season. (Express & Star, Wolverhampton)

    Real Madrid have made an approach to Eden Hazard’s representatives as they plan a bid for the 27-year-old Chelsea and Belgium playmaker. (Radio Montecarlo, via Mail)

    Manchester City are to open preliminary talks with England’s Raheem Sterling, 23, regarding a new contract – and could make the winger one of the club’s highest-paid players. (Guardian)

    Manchester United are interested in Paris St-Germain’s Lucas Moura but have not yet made a bid for the 25-year-old Brazil winger. (Sky Sports)

    Manchester City have offered Arsenal £20m for striker Alexis Sanchez, 29, with the Chile forward understood to have agreed terms on a £250,000-a-week contract. (Guardian)

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    NEWS

    She Cranes Star Nuba Reveals Why She Decided To Play For Uganda Not South Sudan; Why She Regrets Giving Birth Early…

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    She Cranes player Mary Nuba

    Born in South Sudan but grew in Uganda, that’s the story of the She Cranes goal shooter Mary Nuba Cholhok who was voted as the best shooter in the just concluded Fast5 Series tournament which was held in New Zealand.

    Uganda emerged in fifth position in the tournament. theGrapevine had a chance to talk to Nuba before she went back to England for her professional career.

    Grapevine: Why did you decide to play for Uganda and not for your native country South Sudan?

    Nuba: South Sudan is still lagging behind in Netball and I’m getting old, that’s why I decided to play for Uganda’s She Cranes.

    Grapevine: What challenges have you faced so far in your career?

    Nuba: Thinking about my five-year baby who stays in Uganda yet I’m in England playing for my professional club.

    Grapevine: Then what about your husband [the baby’s father] ?

    Nuba: I’m not married, though I gave birth.

    Mary Nuba was awarded Fans player of the Fast5 Series tournament

    Grapevine: How did you manage giving birth and playing Netball?

    Nuba: I realized that later that I made a mistake of getting pregnant. But I stood on my feet, forgot all the past and decided to move on with my child and my career.

    Grapevine: How do you manage those good performances?

    Nuba: I work very hard ever day in order to achieve my goals.

    Grapevine: Where do you see She Cranes in four years to come?

    Nuba: I see She Cranes winning the Netball World cup because we have good players who are still young.

    Grapevine: Tell us about the best game in your career?

    Nuba: When we defeated South Africa in the Common Wealth games in Birmingham.

    Grapevine: Who’s your role model in the game of Netball?

    Nuba: Peace Proscovia because of the way she managed to lift her life from a poor background. She is now superstar in the game.

     

     

    By Juma Ali

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    MIRACLE: All She Cranes Players Return After Incidents Of Players Disappearing While On Duty Abroad…

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    She Cranes players and one of the start player Goal Shooter Mary Cholhok Nuba

    It was a miracle this time around after all the She Cranes players returned from New Zealand.

    It has been a habit for some Netball players to escape when the team travels for international tournaments.

    Just last month, two She Cranes players; Nakanyike Shakira, who was a Police Player and Rose Namutebi, who was a KCCA Player, disappeared in UK, during She Cranes international friendlies.

    The disappearance of these two players followed the disappearance of centre Player, Halimah Nakachwa, who disappeared in UK, in 2017 during another international friendly in UK.

    However, this time around, all the nine players who went for the first five series tournament in New Zealand, where She Cranes emerged fifth, after wining three games and losing three games, all returned with the team.

    National players disappearing while on duty abroad is also a habit in other sports disciplines like; boxing, table tennis, Rugby among others.

     

    By Juma Ali

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    It’s Time For Golola To Rest: I’m Going To Punch Him Into Retirement – General Fungu Vows…

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    Moses Golola (L) and General Fungu (R)

    General Hamza Fungu has vowed to fight Moses Golola and send him into retirement come 26th December. 2022.

    Fungu said this during the launch at Akamwesi gardens today.

    Uganda’s middle weight kick boxing champion, Golola Moses is set to face his former trainer, General Hamza Fungu on bixing day at Akamwesi shopping mail gardens.

    Golola, who is known for his many words said that he has beaten many fighters who were better than Fungu, “now look at this piglet, I’m going to show him why I’m called Golola Moses ‘of Uganda ‘  and I call upon Ugandans to come and be witnesses on that day.”

    Though Golola said that he signed a contract which allows both fighters to fight until one gets tired, officials in charge of organizing the show said they will fight K-1 style for five rounds.

    Grapevine had a chance to sit down with Golola’s challenger General Fungu and and this is what he had to say;

    theGrapevine: How are you prepared for this fight?

    Fungu: I’m well prepared but they have also given us enough time. So, I’m going to prepare more.

    theGrapevine: Why, among fighters did you choose Golola?

    Fungu: I have been asking to fight Golola for the last five years but he has been dodging me. He one time asked for 20,000 dollars to fight me.

    theGrapevine: Why do you think he accepted this time around?

    Fungu: I think this time, he has been given a lot of money.

    theGrapevine: Which tactics are you going to use to defeat Golola?

    Fungu : Golola has words but I have the tactics which will defeat Golola.

    theGrapevine: Many people have come out to challenge Golola but he finally wins?

    Fungu : He has been favoured many times.

    theGrapevine: Is it true that the contract you signed for the fight allows you to fight until one of you gets tired?

    Fungu : The contract is a disadvantage to Golola not me because I was born a fighter.

    theGrapevine: What next after this fight?

    Fungu : After this fight, I will fight three more three bouts and retire.

     

    By Juma Ali

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