Rumour Has It: Madrid eye Lewandowski and Pogba as Barca chase Man City's Sterling

By Sports Desk October 16, 2021

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  • Inaki Williams to represent Ghana, Tariq Lamptey to follow Inaki Williams to represent Ghana, Tariq Lamptey to follow

    Athletic Club's Inaki Williams announced he will opt to represent Ghana in international football on Tuesday, having previously played for Spain.

    Born in Bilbao to Ghanaian parents, Williams has made one appearance for La Roja at senior international level but in a friendly, coming on as a substitute against Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2016.

    Also part of Spain's run to the Under-21 Euro 2017 final, Williams' ability to switch allegiance falls under FIFA's eligibility rules change of 2003, when Tim Cahill opted to play for Australia after representing Western Samoa at junior level.

    Posting on social media, the 28-year-old striker believes it is an opportunity to cultivate a deeper connection to his origins.

    "Every step we take forward has its own meaning - a glance into the future which leaves a trace itself," he said. "A legacy. My parents have raised me with values based on humility, respect and love.

    "That's why I feel the moment has come for me to find my origins within myself and with Africa and Ghana which means so much to me and my family."

    At club level, Williams holds the LaLiga record for consecutive appearances at 233 games, after breaking the previous mark of 202 in October.

    Ghana Football Association president Kurt Okraku also tweeted Tariq Lamptey, Stephan Ambrosius, Patric Pfeiffer and Ransford Yeboah are all set to confirm their allegiance to the Black Stars.

    All five diaspora members could bolster Ghana's prospects at this year's World Cup, where they have been grouped with Portugal, Uruguay and South Korea.

  • Pochettino 'proud' of Paris Saint-Germain tenure after making way for Galtier Pochettino 'proud' of Paris Saint-Germain tenure after making way for Galtier

    Mauricio Pochettino expressed his pride at ending his Paris Saint-Germain tenure as a Ligue 1 champion after his departure was confirmed.

    PSG confirmed Pochettino's long-expected exit on Tuesday, appointing former Lille and Nice coach Christophe Galtier as his replacement on a two-year contract.

    Despite PSG winning their 10th Ligue 1 title in dominant fashion last season, the writing appeared to be on the wall for Pochettino since a spectacular collapse in a 3-2 aggregate Champions League defeat to Real Madrid in March.

    That represented PSG's fourth last-16 Champions League elimination in the last six seasons, while the former Tottenham boss also missed out on the Ligue 1 title to Lille – coached by Galtier – in his first half-season in France.

    Since Qatar Sports Investments (QSI) acquired the club in 2011, meanwhile, only Carlo Ancelotti (63.6) has recorded a lower win percentage as PSG boss than Pochettino (65.5).

    But writing on Instagram, Pochettino chose to focus on his successes and expressed his gratitude at being given the chance to lead the club, for whom he made 95 appearances as a player.

    "I want to wish everyone at PSG the very best for the future – the owners, the board, the players, all the staff and the supporters," Pochettino wrote.

    "To Nasser [Al-Khelaifi, PSG president] – I want to say thank you for giving me the opportunity to be part of the PSG family again.

    "We enjoyed some amazing moments and big wins all together and, as a coaching staff, with every experience we always take learnings to advance our evolution for the future.

    "We are proud to finish as league champions at a club that has meant so much to me and my family, from my time here as a player and a captain, and now as a coach."

  • Weghost joins Besiktas on loan from Burnley Weghost joins Besiktas on loan from Burnley

    Wout Weghorst has joined Turkish giants Besiktas on a season-long loan just six months after joining Burnley, in the aftermath of the club's relegation from the Premier League.

    The striker, who has scored three goals in 14 international appearances for the Netherlands, joined Burnley from Wolfsburg in a reported £12million (€14.4m) move in January, as the Clarets battled relegation from the top flight.

    That fight ultimately ended in failure, with Weghorst scoring just twice in 20 appearances for the club.

    While Manchester City legend Vincent Kompany is hoping to lead Burnley to an immediate Premier League return, he will have to do so without the services of Weghorst, who joins a side which finished a disappointing sixth in the Turkish Super Lig last term.

    Burnley confirmed his departure via their social media accounts on Tuesday, wishing the 29-year-old luck at his new club.

    Weghorst will be hoping his move to Istanbul allows him to rediscover his Wolfsburg form: In the 2020-21 season, he scored 20 Bundesliga goals, a tally only bettered by Erling Haaland (27), Andre Silva (28) and Robert Lewandowski (41).

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