Besiktas To Make New €5m Bid For MikelBesiktas To Make New €5m Bid For Mikel

Besiktas are set to offer Chelsea €5m for the services of midfielder Mikel Obi, reports in the Turkish media have stated.

The Turkish giants had failed in an earlier bid to sign Mikel but have now returned to make another offer for the Nigerian, and are hopeful of sealing a deal, before the end of the transfer window.

Mikel has played fringe roles in Chelsea in recent seasons, and it doesn’t look like changing this term. The UEFA Champions League winner is yet to play a match for the Blues this season, sitting on the bench for the opening two league games and the Community Shield clash against Arsenal.

The arrival of Serbian Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona has seen Mikel drop lower in the pecking order, with the Nigerian now playing behind Ramires and Kurt Zouma. He is in danger of falling further down the pecking order, if youngster Ruben Loftus-Cheek breaks into the first team.

Besiktas are offering Mikel first team football but a substantial pay cut if he decides to make the move.

Former international Edema Fuludu, who also played professionally in Turkey, said the deal would be good for Mikel, adding that the player should consider regular football ahead of financial benefit.

He said, “His (Mikel’s) pay may not be as good as what he is earning in Chelsea if he joins Besiktas, but it will help his career. Mikel has spent considerable years in Chelsea but he’s not been consistently playing first team football.

“Besiktas play in the Champions League, so they are a big side too. It will help Mikel’s career if he joins them. Several good players have left big clubs to play for smaller clubs and then revive their careers.”

Mikel was earlier offered a lucrative deal to join United Arab Emirates side Al Ain this summer and was also targeted by Besiktas rivals, Fenerbahce, but the Turkish club were scared off by Chelsea’s £10.5m asking price.

The player has also confirmed he wants to stay at Stamford Bridge and see out the remaining two years left on his contract. Blues manager Jose Mourinhosaid he wants him to remain at the club.

Mikel said, “I have two years left on my contract here and want to see them out. I am happy here and we will see what happens. I do want to stay, the manager wants me to stay so I don’t have any issues.”

President’s US Trip Fruitless, Says PDPPresident’s US Trip Fruitless, Says PDP

PRECISELY 59 days after President Muhammadu Buhari assumed power, the opposition Peoples Democratic Party on Sunday listed many ‘sins’ the Federal Government under the President had committed and said Buhari’s government lacked direction.

Among the sins of the Buhari’s government, the PDP said, included alleged failure by the President to achieve anything meaningful during his just-concluded US trip and alleged maltreatment of Patience, wife of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.

At a media briefing in Abuja on Sunday, the PDP’s National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, said events after Buhari’s visit to the US indicated that neither the President nor his party, the All Progressives Congress, had learnt anything from the trip.

Metuh said, “Now that the visit has come and gone, our fear is that nothing whatsoever has been learnt or gained.

“What we continue to receive as a nation have been embarrassing disagreements, accusations and counter-accusations, blames and denials on very important issues due to lack of tact and skill in the management of state matters by the APC-led administration.

“It is disheartening that rather than secure any sort of tangible gain for the fight against terrorism, which has lost steam under the APC watch, with insurgents, who were pushed to the verge of surrender by the Goodluck Jonathan administration, now surging back and spreading into the country, we get nothing but exchanges and disagreements between the Presidency and their American hosts.

“This is not only embarrassing but also a worrisome indication of crass ineptitude in the handling of international affairs on the part of the present administration.”

He urged the government to settle down and face the business of governance and the fight against insurgency with every sense of seriousness, especially given Buhari’s promise in his April 2, 2015 CNN interview to end the scourge two months after his inauguration.

Reacting, the All Progressives Congress, said that the PDP would be unable to provide any worthwhile opposition to the Federal Government if its spokesman continued to issue empty statements.

‘’Today’s statement is the most tortuous yet by the PDP and, honestly, sounds more like a compendium of beer parlour gossips and side talks than a serious criticism of a sitting government,’’ the APC said in a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.

‘‘To be in opposition does not mean you have to constitute yourself to a nuisance by rushing to the press with all sorts of hot air statements. It is the quality, rather than the frequency, of your interventions that makes you relevant as an opposition in a democracy,’’ the party said

Metuh meanwhile also criticised the statement made by the President while in the USA, in which he was quoted as saying that he would administer the country on the basis of the voting pattern in the last general elections.

He also said that the business community in Nigeria and across the world noted what he described as the disgraceful treatment allegedly meted out to some Nigerian bankers and captains of industries by Buhari during his US visit.

While agreeing that the President has the right to decide those to be on his entourage on such an important official visit, he nevertheless said that the way Buhari allegedly shamed and walked out Nigerian businessmen had sent a wrong signal to international investors and posed great threats to inflow of direct foreign investments into the country.

“These Nigerian businessmen were rejected by their President only for them to be valued by other Presidents of African nations who led them into a meeting with President Barrack Obama in their own countries on account of their investments in those nations,” he added.

Metuh also said that his party noted the alleged embarrassment caused by the absence of an economic team for healthy and informed discussion at the meeting with officials of the US government.

He said that whereas President Obama came to the meeting with a formidable team of experts and key federal officials, President Buhari had in his entourage some APC governors, who, he said, owe salaries and billions of naira in debts.

This action, he said, robbed the nation the benefits and gains of the discussions.

Metuh said that since the President had insisted on running his government as a sole administrator, making important decisions on national affairs without recourse to relevant statutory arms and organs of government, the PDP was being compelled to demand that the administration publish its expenses since assumption of office in May, in keeping with its much harped stance on transparency.

“We make this demand because since the APC took office, the nation’s financial system in the absence of statutory functionaries has been enmeshed in confusion, controversy and fertile atmosphere for financial sleazes,” he added.

Metuh also alleged that his party was in possession of information that the Presidency acting alone, has gone into discussions with the World Bank for a loan of $2.1 bn for purposes unknown to Nigerians.

He asked, “What is the loan for? What are the terms and who are those working the papers? Who are the people to decide on how the money will be spent? Is it true that the $2.1bn loan is meant to pay back huge contributions for the APC Presidential campaign expenses?

“If truly this government is transparent, it should come out clear on this loan as well as publicise details of its expenditure in the last two months.”

The opposition party’s spokesperson also condemned what he called the recent humiliation of Patience Jonathan at the Port Harcourt airport, where he said the ex-President’s wife was refused access to the protocol lounge based on “an order from Abuja”.

He said this was not the case when Jonathan was in power, during which he said all former Presidents and their spouses had unhindered access to the protocol lounge.

AAG: Mmadu backs Falcons to win goldAAG: Mmadu backs Falcons to win gold

Former Nigeria women’s international, Maureen Mmadu, has said the Super Falcons need to put the disappointment of not qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Games behind them and focus on winning the gold medal at the forthcoming All Africa Games in Congo.

The Falcons missed out on the Olympic qualification ticket for the second consecutive time when they lost 3-2 on aggregate to Equatorial Guinea in their qualifying match.

But Mmadu believes that the team has what it takes to win the gold despite the threats from the other teams.

Nigeria is in Group A of the eight-team competition alongside Congo, Tanzania and Ivory Coast while Cameroon, Ghana, South Africa and Egypt are in the second group.

“It’s sad that Nigeria will not be at the Olympics next year,” Mmadu said.

“But there is nothing we can do now. We just have to work harder and focus on the competition ahead.

“I think we have the players can do the job to us. What they need is to focus on the task at hand and make sure they are not distracted with other things.”

She reiterated her call for a technically sound coach to handle the team as the team lacked in technical areas.

She said, “I watched the World Cup and saw that we have talented players but we need to play fast and collective football when attacking and defending too.

“The players seem to presently play as individuals, which is not good for the team. We also need to read our opponent and work on their weak side too.

“We should also know when to attack as a team and when to defend as a team not defending singly.”