The 25-year-old joined Saints on a season-long loan in the summer, having found first-team action hard to come by at Stamford Bridge. Bertrand has been mightily impressive for Ronald Koeman’s high-flying side and now moved for a fee understood to be worth up to £10million, signing a four-and-a-half year deal. Press Association Southampton had also been looking at Feyenoord’s Tonny Vilhena, but a deal failed to materialise. Koeman had not initially planned to bring in anyone other than Werder Bremen’s Eljero Elia, only for mounting injury problems and Jack Cork’s move to Swansea to lead him to act. Saints cashed in on Cork after he rejected a lucrative contract extension, but they managed to hold on to a number of key players. Nathaniel Clyne, Morgan Schneiderlin and Jay Rodriguez were amongst those heavily-linked with a move away, yet they will remain at St Mary’s for the remainder of the campaign. The left-back won the Champions League with Chelsea and has played 27 times in all competitions for top-four contenders Saints this term. Bertrand is joined at St Mary’s by deadline-day acquisition Filip Djuricic, who arrived on loan for the remainder of the campaign earlier in the evening. The 23-year-old attacking midfielder joins Southampton from Portuguese giants Benfica, having ended a loan spell at Mainz in the Bundesliga. Djuricic made 12 appearances in all competitions for the German side before linking up with Serbia team-mate Dusan Tadic, who welcomed the new signing. “He is my good friend and he is a good player,” he said. “He is a number 10 and he knows how to play football. He had a little bit of a difficult period at Mainz, but he is a really good player. “He is 23 years old. At Heerenveen he was really good and then he went to Benfica, where he did not so much. “At Mainz it was similar but he has potential and he has quality.” Southampton have made Ryan Bertrand’s move from Chelsea permanent at the end of what has been a successful transfer window at St Mary’s.
Barcelona remain determined to bring Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar back to Camp Nou and will launch a renewed transfer offensive in the summer window.The Brazilian was involved in a long-running transfer saga this summer, but PSG eventually refused to budge despite Neymar’s clear desire to return to his former club.Nevertheless, he has continued to perform superbly since his return from injury in recent weeks, and according to sources close to the club, Barca are ready to make him their number one priority again. This summer, they also engineered deals for Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann and Ajax midfielder Frenkie de Jong, but will be fully focused on Neymar next time around.It is understood that Barcelona hope to raise around half the likely transfer fee of €222 million (£190m/$246m) through player sales.The figure of €222m was demanded by PSG sporting director Leonardo at the end of last summer, though it remains to be seen whether this number will remain fixed.Neymar will be a year older and with a year less on his contract, though much could depend on his form in the Champions League knockout stages.Signed as the key player in PSG’s bid to lift the European crown, he has frequently found himself unable to feature in their crunch European games. Now, in excellent form, a turnaround in fortunes could see his pricetag rise.Neymar scored 105 goals in 186 appearances for Barca between 2013 and 2017, winning two league titles and the 2015 Champions League before joining PSG in a world-record transfer.A member of the feared ‘MSN’ attack alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, Neymar has since formed a brilliant attacking trident with Kylian Mbappe and both Edinson Cavani and Mauro Icardi.However, Messi is known to be hugely keen for Neymar to return to Barcelona as the Argentine targets a fourth Champions League crown.If the move goes through, it would likely keep Messi happy and boost Barca’s case for a renewed contract for him.It could also have an impact on the future of Mbappe. He seems a clear target for Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid, but PSG would be incredibly reluctant to allow their two biggest stars to leave in the same transfer window.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
The USC men’s basketball team put an end to a nine-game losing streak on Saturday night with a decisive 62-45 victory over the Utah Utes (5-16, 2-7) at the Galen Center. The Trojans improved to 6-16 on the season and picked up their first Pac-12 win in nine attempts.Worth the wait · Sophomore forward Garrett Jackson scored 16 points in Saturday’s win against the Utes. Sophomore guard Maurice Jones chipped in 16 of his own as the Trojans shot 48 percent from the field overall. – Chris Pham | Daily Trojan “The two groups I’m happy for are our players and our fans,” coach Kevin O’Neill said. “I thought our guys did a good job tonight of digging in there.”USC was paced by strong performances from sophomore forward Garrett Jackson and sophomore guard Maurice Jones, who poured in 16 points apiece. Junior guard Greg Allen and freshman guard Byron Wesley added nine points each, and freshman guard Alexis Moore finished with eight points of his own.“We knew we had to get a win,” Jackson said. “We felt like our backs were against the wall.”The Trojans eclipsed 60 points for the seventh time this season, an achievement aided by all-around unselfish play.“We shared the ball; 16 assists is the most we’ve had in a long time,” O’Neill said.See more photos from the game >>Utah had three players finish in double-figures, led by forward Dijon Farr’s 12 points. They struggled to shoot the ball during the contest, though, finishing 18-49 (36.7 percent) and just 3-15 from beyond the arc. Further complicating matters was their passing, as the Utes had five assists compared to 17 turnovers.“I thought our guys did a really good job defensively, forced some early turnovers that led to easy baskets,” O’Neill said.The Trojans jumped out to a 13-2 lead midway through the first half, initially hitting their first four field goal attempts. The hot start was a far cry from USC’s effort against Colorado two days earlier, in which the Buffaloes established an early advantage that they never relinquished.“I’m just happy we won,” Jackson said. “It’s been so frustrating for everyone for so long. I’m just ready to keep building on this.”Putting an end to what had been USC’s longest losing streak in more than 20 years was a major boost for the team.“These guys are happy obviously to win,” O’Neill said. “I’m sure they’re still disappointed that we’ve had the number of losses we’ve had. I think they’re relieved too. I’ll be honest with you, I’m relieved.”Only six of USC’s players are on a scholarship following a season-ending injury to redshirt sophomore forward Dewayne Dedmon, who tore his medial collateral ligament against Colorado. Even with a depleted roster, the Trojans hope to expand on what was their third double-digit victory of the season.“It has definitely been frustrating to see your teammates go down with injuries … but our guys know we can’t fall apart,” Jackson said. “We’ve got to stick together and be there for one another.”Next up for USC is a trip up the West Coast to take on the Washington State Cougars (11-10, 3-6) on Feb. 2 followed by the Washington Huskies (14-7, 7-2) two days later.“We’ve actually played better on the road than we have at home,” O’Neill said. “We’ve not been a good home team energy-wise, we were better tonight. So hopefully we can go up there and play a great basketball game and try to get a win.”
It’s hard to believe it’s taken more than two years, spanning the better part of three seasons.But Saturday at Kinnick Stadium, the Wisconsin football team finally did something it hasn’t in 34 contests dating back to Sept. 15, 2012 against Utah State: it won a close game.Since that 16-14 victory over the Aggies, who, coincidentally, were coached by current UW head coach Gary Andersen at the time, Wisconsin has lost every game decided by seven points or fewer.The Badgers haven’t struggled by any means over the course of the last three seasons. They’ve lost just 11 games in that time, and two of those were bowl games. But of those 11 defeats, all but one of them came by more than a touchdown. The only one that wasn’t within seven points was a 34-24 loss to South Carolina in the Capital One Bowl last January. That’s 11 losses by a combined 58 points.Wisconsin has been on the verge of some special victories in that time, too. They did finish 8-6 and 9-4 in 2012 and 2013, respectively, but just think if the Badgers had been able to finish games. They might have won the Rose Bowl in 2013 against Stanford, and they could have had a completely different season last year that maybe would have involved another trip to the Big Ten Championship game. But for a collection of different reasons, the Badgers just couldn’t get over that final hump. They could get close, but those maybes never materialized and close just didn’t cut it.And then there’s this year. The Badgers led 17-7 over LSU at halftime, but gave up 21 points in the second half in what could have been a signature win. Then in Evanston in the first Big Ten game of the season, the Badgers squandered a 259-yard performance from Melvin Gordon and threw away a chance to tie the game in the late going.The Badgers could be, and probably should be, undefeated right now, at least if they were able to win the close games. But instead of talking about a possible playoff berth heading into the final game of the regular season, it’s just about making the Big Ten Championship Game.But the fact that there’s even talk about going to the Big Ten Championship game has a lot to do with finally breaking through in a close game. Sure, Wisconsin still could have moved on to Indianapolis after next weekend, but the scenario would have been much more complicated if they had lost to the Hawkeyes. The two-point victory over Iowa kept UW in control of its own fate, and instead of having to rely on Iowa to lose to Nebraska next weekend along with beating the Gophers, the Badgers can just get a win and move on.Now, for once we can look back at how Wisconsin finally crested the hill rather than sliding back down it. And in doing that, the gaze doesn’t fall in just one direction because Wisconsin is no longer as one-dimensional as it once was.In the season-opening loss to LSU, you might remember that redshirt junior quarterback Tanner McEvoy started and was underwhelming at best with his paltry 50 yards through the air. When Wisconsin lost for the second time, again the quarterbacks cost Wisconsin the game, with redshirt junior Joel Stave throwing three interceptions in his first game back.The quarterbacks have continued to progress to the point of being using interchangeably, but in an important game against Nebraska last week, neither really factored into the outcome.But with Melvin Gordon slowed Saturday, Stave and McEvoy had the game in their hands for the first time since the loss to the Wildcats. And they both came through. Stave added his skill set, while McEvoy complimented the Wisconsin offense with his unique abilities. They did what was expected of them to keep Wisconsin in the game with Gordon struggling to do anything on the ground.That’s what kept Wisconsin in the game, but that’s not what won the game for the Badgers. The win came from McEvoy and Stave doing what they needed to, and then a little bit more. But it wasn’t just the two quarterbacks; Melvin Gordon seized the moment too. He made the most of a 200-yard game on the ground, and transformed into Wisconsin’s top receiver on the second to last drive with two grabs for 45 yards, leading UW to the end zone on what proved to be the winning score.And that’s the piece that had been missing in the 34 games Wisconsin went without winning a game that came down to one possession. It wasn’t necessarily missing a certain type of player like Gordon, Stave or McEvoy. It was related somewhat to not having enough balance, but it wasn’t that much either.It was about making the right play at the right time. That’s what Gordon did when he caught a 35-yard pass on a 3rd-and-12 to move the chains. It’s what Stave did too, when he scrambled for 12 yards to pick up the final first down of the game while absorbing a huge hit in the process. And despite struggling in the second half, it’s also what the defense did when redshirt senior Marcus Trotter and the Badgers denied a 2-point conversion to stay up 19-17 in the fourth quarter.The Badgers made the right plays Saturday to scratch out a hard-earned victory. The same will be required next Saturday when they take on Minnesota.
Outgoing president of Mighty Barrole, Eugene NagbeLife is dynamic and when one opportunity is missed another is open and when that happens it must be used to benefit what should have been to build consensus and set matters straight.That is the situation facing the current leadership of the Liberia Basketball Association and stakeholders who are known as the aggrieved. The tussle over the leadership has reached the corridors of the Civil Law Court and every sensible person knows that it will be a long journey.Ok the two groups must now have their day in court and the issue now is this: while they are hammering each other in the court of law, and since the two groups are contesting for many reasons necessary to move basketball forward which is their right to do so, their actions should not prevent the progress of basketball.In simple arithmetic what the Ministry of Youth & Sports and the Liberia National Olympic Committee ought to be thinking about doing and must think about doing is to encourage the formation of an interim administration to get the players and the clubs playing again.It is not in good taste for the game to be held to ransom while the crisis is yet to be settled. Basketball players or the game itself has faced considerable difficulties before, during and after the Ebola crisis.The Ministry of Youth & Sports, I understand is party to the current legal crisis and therefore it will make sense to even leave the ministry out. And if that is the case then the onus is on the LNOC to assemble the rest of the presidents and their clubs put into place an administration to handle the affairs of basketball.It has been stated by some wise men that a nation whose leaders are without vision results to the suffering of the people. The LNOC must urgently call an emergency meeting with the intent to organize an interim administration to supervise the smooth running of the game.While we are all in sympathy with the reasons that Rufus Anderson’s administration and the stakeholders have decided to use legal means to get things straitening up, the game must go on. Yes, let’s play ball.This suggestion comes since the recent injunction is mainly on the forthcoming elections and congress of the LBA leadership and not about the game itself.And while awaiting the outcome of the court proceedings, basketball could move forward, get many of our players, both males and females into action and help the fans back on the court.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
LA HABRA HEIGHTS – An unidentified motorist, who suffered a seizure, drove his car Monday into the front of the city’s multipurpose room, which is located just north of City Hall, sheriff’s officials said. “Units responded just before 1 p.m. to a call that a driver traveling northbound on Hacienda collided into City Hall,” said Sgt. Glen Looney. The man was not seriously injured, but was taken to a nearby hospital, he said. “It’s a mess out here,” said Kelly Julian of the city manager’s office. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champShe said no one was inside the building, located at 1245 Hacienda Road, at the time of the crash. “I don’t know if it’s structurally sound,” Julian said of the building, which serves as the council chambers. The city’s building inspector and code enforcement officials were inspecting the building. She also said the man’s wife, who had been driving behind him, witnessed the accident. Foundation gives $100,000 grant WHITTIER – The B.C. McCabe Foundation has awarded the Intercommunity Child Guidance Center a $100,000 grant to help fund the agency’s planned Infant-Toddler Center that provides social and mental health programs for infants, up to age 3, and their families. “The first 36 months of an infant’s life are critical to establishing healthy parent-child bonds and building high levels of self-esteem that will impact the child for the rest of his or her life,” said Charlene Dimas-Peinado, executive director of the child guidance center, whose agency provides mental health and social services for children and their families. “Nationally, one in five children enters the foster care system before their first birthday,” Dimas-Peinado said. “Therefore, early intervention is key to helping parents provide a healthy, loving environment for their infants.” The infant-toddler center, a partnership with Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital in Whittier, provides an early intervention and prevention program for families with infants at-risk for abuse, neglect or foster care placement. The goal is to decrease the risk by providing services aimed at fulfilling the well-being of the entire family system. Latino group to hold open house WHITTIER – The Hispanic Outreach Taskforce will hold an open house at noon Wednesday at its office, 13215 Penn St., No. 329. For information, call (562)789-0550. Holiday fundraiser slated Thursday WHITTIER – The Rio Hondo branch of the California Veteran Network will hold its first Christmas scholarship fundraiser from 7 to 10 p.m. Thursday at the Red Oak BBQ, 7051 Greenleaf Ave. For information, call John Salcedo, (213) 505-5702. Massage therapy screening scheduled NORWALK – The Norwalk Senior Center, 14040 San Antonio Drive, will hold a massage therapy screening at 10 a.m. Thursday. It will be hosted by Pioneer Medical Group. Screenings will be offered to individuals, age 50 and older, on a first-come, first served basis. For information, call (562)929-5580. Lions to hold Christmas party WHITTIER – The East Whittier Lions Club will hold its annual Christmas party from 7to 9 a.m. Friday at the Whittier Masonic Lodge, 7604 Greenleaf Ave. Admission is $12. It covers breakfast, a puppet show for children and a gift from Santa. For information call Sam Defeo, (714) 571-1899 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org – From staff reports160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!