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Rediff.com  » Sports » Football Briefs: Gabriel Jesus extends Man City stay until 2023

Football Briefs: Gabriel Jesus extends Man City stay until 2023

Last updated on: August 03, 2018 19:42 IST

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Gabriel Jesus

IMAGE: Manchester City's Gabriel Jesus on the substitute bench. Photograph: John Sibley/Reuters

Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus has signed a two-year contract extension which will keep him at the Premier League champions until 2023, the club said on Friday.

The 21-year-old Brazil international has scored 24 goals in 53 matches across all competitions since joining City in January 2017 and helped the club win the league title and League Cup under manager Pep Guardiola last season.

 

"I can say that it was the best decision I've made in my life to come to Manchester City because whilst I'm here I'm improving as a professional and as a person," Jesus told City's website.

"Pep had an important role in my signing, but also the club. City is a huge club and it is getting bigger and bigger so I just want to say thanks for everything."

Jesus, who represented Brazil at this year's World Cup, returned to training with City earlier this week ahead of their Community Shield clash against FA Cup winners Chelsea on Sunday.

Mahrez ready as Guardiola eyes winning start to new season

Manchester City's new signing Riyad Mahrez has shaken off an ankle knock picked up in pre-season and the forward could start Sunday's Community Shield match against Chelsea, manager Pep Guardiola said on Friday.

Mahrez, who joined the Premier League champions on a five-year contract last month, was forced off the pitch after a tough challenge by Bayern Munich defender Chris Richards in their final pre-season clash in the United States.

"Mahrez is good. He had a little bit of pain but he trained day before yesterday. I think so (he can play on Sunday)," Guardiola told a news conference.

Spaniard Guardiola, who guided City to the Premier League and League Cup double last season, will not have the services of forward Raheem Sterling and midfielder Kevin De Bruyne, with both players still not ready following the World Cup in Russia.

"Kevin and Sterling are not here but they will be back after the game on Sunday," Guardiola added. "From Monday we will be back all together and think about what we have to do to keep last season's level."

City are looking to become the first team since their illustrious neighbours Manchester United to defend the top flight title. United achieved that feat a decade ago.

Standing in City's way in their quest to begin the season with a trophy are FA Cup champions Chelsea, who have replaced manager Antonio Conte with compatriot and former Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri.

"I am happy that he (Sarri) is here in the Premier League," Guardiola said. "I will learn a lot to see his team every weekend. I saw three games. He gets it, the team in a short time plays like he wants.

"I think it will be a good game, always Chelsea is a big rival. Antonio was, Maurizio will be too. The style of play will be perfect for English football."

City begin their league campaign with a trip to Arsenal on Aug. 12 while Chelsea travel to Huddersfield Town the previous day.

Argentina name under-17 boss as interim coach

Argentina have named current under-17 coach Lionel Scaloni as interim boss for upcoming friendlies against Guatemala and Colombia.

Scaloni, a former right back who also helped as assistant coach with the national side, replaces Jorge Sampaoli, who stood down last month after a disappointing World Cup in which Argentina were eliminated by France 4-3 in the round of 16.

"The AFA informs that after a meeting of the Executive Committee, Lionel Scaloni will coach the future friendlies along with his assistants Pablo Aimar and Martin Tocalli," the Argentine Football Association (AFA) said in a one-line statement.

The association's president Claudio Tapia told reporters they were going to take their time to appoint a permanent coach.

Argentina have had three different men in charge since Alejandro Sabella resigned in 2014 after taking the team to the final of the World Cup, where they lost to Germany in extra time.

Since then Gerardo Martino, Edgardo Bauza, and Sampaoli have all had spells at the helm but none have won any silverware and Argentina's trophy drought now extends back to 1993, the last time they won the Copa America.

Chelsea's Pedro signs one-year contract extension

Chelsea playmaker Pedro has signed a one-year contract extension to extend his stay at Stamford Bridge until 2020, the Premier League club has said.

The 31-year-old, a World Cup and European Championships winner with Spain, joined Chelsea in 2015 and has since made 131 appearances across all competitions, winning the league title in 2017 and the FA Cup last term.

"It's important for me to continue with Chelsea, I am comfortable here and want to win new titles and trophies. I want to help the team, score goals, and I repeat, I am really happy," Pedro told the club's website.

The Spaniard previously played for La Liga club Barcelona, where he made more than 300 appearances and collected around 20 titles, including three Champions League triumphs.

Chelsea play league champions Manchester City in the Community Shield on Sunday, six days before travelling to Huddersfield Town for their opening league fixture on Aug. 11.

Japan's Honda eyeing Tokyo 2020

Honda

IMAGE: Japan's Keisuke Honda applauds fans. Photograph: Toru Hanai/Reuters

Keisuke Honda played his last match for the Japan national team at last month's World Cup finals but the former AC Milan midfielder says he wants to add a final flourish to his international career by competing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

The 32-year-old, who scored 37 times in 98 appearances for his country and is the only Japanese player to score at three World Cups, told Abema TV on Thursday he was not ready to hang up his boots just yet.

“I aspire to play in the Tokyo Olympics in two years, and I'm going to keep playing,” he said.

Countries can call upon three players over the age of 23 for the Olympic tournament.

Honda, who featured for Mexican top flight side Pachuca last season, is yet to decide on his next destination, though he has been linked with a move to Australian team Melbourne Victory.

Honda said during the Internet broadcast he was still in negotiations with an unnamed club.

Watford midfielder Doucoure signs new five-year contract

Watford midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure has extended his two-year stay at Vicarage Road by signing a new contract to keep him at the club until 2023, the Premier League side have said.

The 25-year-old Frenchman joined Watford in 2016 and has established himself as a mainstay in central midfield, missing just two of their 41 matches last season and winning the club's Player of the Season award.

"It has become perfectly clear that our ambitions as a club match Abdoulaye's ambitions as a player, and we are looking forward to continuing to work together to reach our goals," Watford chairman and CEO Scott Duxbury told the club's website.

Watford have also recruited five new players and made winger Gerard Delofeu a permanent signing ahead of the new season, which kicks off at home against Brighton and Hove Albion on Aug. 11.

Everton defender Williams joins Stoke on season-long loan

Everton defender Ashley Williams has joined second-tier Championship side Stoke City on a season-long loan, both teams have announced.

The Wales international, who has made 60 league appearances for Everton over the last two seasons, has not played for the Merseyside outfit since March.

"It wasn't a hard decision for me to join Stoke, what with the squad that's already in place here, the quality of the manager and the ambition of the club. It was easy for me," Williams told Stoke website.

Stoke manager Gary Rowett was pleased with Williams' arrival as the West Midlands outfit seek an immediate return to the top tier after being relegated last season.

"Having spoken to Ashley he feels like he has a point to prove and has a real hunger," Rowett said.

The 33-year-old former Swansea City player is Stoke's sixth signing in the current transfer window following the arrivals of Benik Afobe, Peter Etebo, James McClean, Tom Ince and Adam Federici.

Stoke open their Championship campaign against Leeds United on Sunday.

Leicester boss Puel content with squad ahead of transfer deadline

Leicester City manager Claude Puel is satisfied with the balance in the squad and says they are unlikely to make more signings in the current transfer window unless a "valuable" player leaves.

Leicester have added defenders Jonny Evans, Ricardo Pereira, goalkeeper Danny Ward and midfielder James Maddison to their squad and media reports say that the club have also opened contract extension talks with England defender Harry Maguire.

With the transfer deadline less than a week away, Puel is content with his team.

"I think if a valuable player for us has to leave the club of course we will have another player," Puel is quoted as saying by Leicestershire Live. "But at the moment I am happy for the balance of the team.

"Of course I said we have to find the solution for some players (who may leave) but I am happy at the moment.

"If some player for different reasons move, I don't speak about Harry and other valuable players, but we will have a replacement of course."

Leicester will be likely be without Maguire and Jamie Vardy, who have been on international duty at the World Cup, for their starting league fixture at Manchester United on August 10.

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