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Chelsea sign Nigeria-born Ugochukwu

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Europa League - Group B - Dynamo Kyiv v Stade Rennes - Marshal Jozef Pilsudski Stadium, Krakow, Poland - October 13, 2022 Stade Rennes' Lesley Ugochukwu in action with Dynamo Kyiv's Denys Garmash REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/File Photo

Chelsea have signed teenage midfielder Lesley Chimuanya  Ugochukwu from Ligue 1 side Stade Rennes on a seven-year contract with an option of another year, the Premier League club said on Tuesday.

Ugochukwu is a  nephew of former Super Eagles’ acentre-back Onyekachi. According to a Reuters’ report, financial details of the deal were not disclosed but British media reported that Chelsea had paid Rennes about 27.5 million euros ($30.15 million) for the 19-year-old.

Ugochukwu, a France under-19 international, was a regular at Rennes last season, helping the club finish fourth in the French top flight and making the Europa League knockout stage.

“We’re delighted Lesley is joining Chelsea. He is an impressive young player who has already made his mark in Ligue 1,” Chelsea co-sporting directors Laurence Stewart and Paul Winstanley told the club website.

“He has a huge amount of potential and we know he is going to continue to develop and improve. We are pleased that he has joined us (on tour) in the U.S. and that he will be able to integrate with the squad quickly.”

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Ugochukwu joined the Rennes youth system aged eight and made his senior debut just after his 17th birthday, becoming the club’s fourth-youngest debutant at the time

-Reuters

 

 

 

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Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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Premier League

Another Nigerian blood replaces Ndidi at Leicester

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Wilfred Ndidi who has just left Leicester City will have another Nigerian blood replacing him.

Leicester has never been without a Nigerian since Ahmed Musa joined in 2016. Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho joined in 2017.

Another Nigerian blood, Caleb Okoli, a centre back, has just been signed from Italian  Serie A side Atalanta on a five-year contract. Born in Itali, Caleb Okoli is Igbo and Yoruba by descent.

The 22-year-old, who spent the last season on loan at Frosinone Calcio, represented Italy at the European Under-21 Championship last year.

“I think now is the right moment (for me) to make a step forward and a very big one. I’m very happy with the choice I made, so I’m very excited to start in the Premier League,” Okoli said in a statement. The clubs did not disclose financial details of the deal.

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Premier League

Ruud van Nistelrooy returns to Man United

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United legend Van Nistelrooy is expected to be announced as one of Erik ten Hag's assistants

Manchester United legend, Ruud van Nistelrooy has been spotted being driven into Carrington, the training ground of Manchester United.

Ruud van Nistelrooy (left) and Rene Hake arrived at Manchester United’s training ground

Reports have it that the Dutchman is set to be appointed as one of Erik ten Hag’s new assistant coaches.

He played for Manchester United from 2001 to 2006.

Now  48, he reportedly turned down job offer from Burnley to return to his old club, having previously led PSV Eindhoven to second place in the Eredivisie and victory in the Dutch Cup.

He is being joined by Rene Hake, 52, who was persuaded to give up his job as Go Ahead Eagles manager despite leading the Deventer-based club into Europe for only the third time in their history.

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Chelsea make improved offer for Victor Osimhen

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Chelsea have increased their efforts to lure long-term target and Super Eagles striker, Victor Osimhen, to Stamford Bridge.

According to TEAMtalk, Chelsea is prepared to include Romelu Lukaku and Cesare Casadei in a deal with Napoli to reduce the cost of acquiring Osimhen.

In December, the 25-year-old forward extended his contract with Napoli following a stellar season, committing to stay at the Diego Maradona Stadium until 2026.

Despite being linked with potential transfers to Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, Arsenal, and other elite teams, recent events have changed the landscape.

Earlier reports claimed Chelsea withdrew due to concerns about his injury history, PSG failed to attract his interest, and Arsenal was unable to afford his release clause. As a result, the Super Eagles star was expected to remain at Napoli.

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However, recent reports confirm that the Blues are willing to proceed with the deal regardless. Lukaku is interested in a switch to join Antonio Conte at Napoli, while Osimhen is keen on a move to the English Premier League.

While there have been no comments from Osimhen’s camp or Chelsea, this summer transfer window is anticipated to be one of the hottest, with Man United, Chelsea, and Arsenal set to lock horns for Osimhen’s signature.

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