Football News: Ranieri Reveals Mahrez Injury Boost, Origi Rejected Man Utd and More

 

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Ranieri Reveals Mahrez Injury Boost, Origi Rejected Man Utd and More
Image from: ojogo.pt

1. Mexico to make World Cup bid
Central American nation Mexico is hoping to become the first country to host three World Cups by bidding for the 2026 edition. Decio De Maria, the Mexican football federation president, said on Friday that he will continue the work his predecessor, Justino Compean, did, with the aim of winning hosting rights. "It means a big commitment but most Mexicans will feel very proud to organize a third World Cup," De Maria said. "As soon as the process begins within FIFA, Mexico will be present." Canada and Colombia have also signalled an intent to bid for the event. In 1986 Colombia won the hosting rights, but it was switched to Mexico due to internal unrest in the South American nation. Mexico also hosted it in 1970. It is expected that the US will also enter the bidding race.

2. Benfica winger wants permanent Reading deal
Netherlands winger Ola John is spending the season on loan at Reading from Benfica, and now the 23 year old has told local paper Get Reading that he would like a permanent deal. His contract with the Portugese giants has another season to run after this one finishes, but he is hoping a deal can be done between the two clubs to make him a Reading player for the long term. "I have one year left with Benfica and I don't know what they want. I haven't spoken with them yet. We will do that in the summer and then I'll see what my options are and what Reading can do of course. But I'm happy here. I'm playing now and it's a good club. I like the fans, so anything is possible."



3. Reading pair head out on loan
Reading have sent a couple of their young starlets out on loan to gain experience. Rowan Liburd is a 23 year old forward with 11 goals in 14 appearances in the youth ranks this season, but, at 23, he needs to play at a higher level to make progress. Liburd is now joining Wycombe Wanderers on loan for a month, to continue his stratospheric rise following a four year soccer scholarship in the USA, then returning to the UK to join an Isthmian Premier League side. He was there, at Billericay Town, for just five months, scoring 22 goals in that time, which caught the eye of Championship side Reading who swooped to sign him in the summer. Ainsworth said: "I've seen Reading'’s under-21s play on countless occasions and he's scored virtually every time. He's a big lad who's very quick across the ground and knows where the goal is, and we're very much looking forward to working with him. As with any new player, we have to be careful not to expect too much from him too soon, but he is someone we're confident can give us another dimension up front and I'm sure the fans will warm to him very quickly. I'd like to thank Reading for allowing us to take him on loan and we hope we can help to continue his progress. We have an excellent relationship with them, which has been helped by us hosting their under-21 home fixtures, and there may well be more opportunities in the future for us to give Football League experience to their young talents." 19 year old goalkeeper George Legg has also headed out on a month long loan, this time to Gosport Borough.

4. Ranieri reveals good news over Mahrez
Leicester City fans will be delighted with the news this morning as, on top of extending their lead at the top by two points, the Foxes tricky winger Riyad Mahrez is fine, despite pulling up in the second half of their 1-0 win over Watford holding his hamstring. The Algerian scored the winning goal, but, on attempting a sprint with the ball, pulled up limping and holding his hamstring. With fans fearing the worst after he was replaced, manager Claudio Ranieri has revealed it was not a serious problem. "There's no injury," Ranieri said in his television interview after the game. "Just that he was tired, maybe a little cramp, and then I changed him in just the last minute to give more support to the midfield."



5. 1-2, 1-2, Goal!
Lovely interchange with two one-twos leading to a goal:



6. Toronto add Canadian
Toronto FC have added a new striker, a day before they open their MLS campaign against New York Red Bulls. Canadian U-23 international Molham Babouli has been added to the roster after impressing during pre-season. The 23 year old, born in the United Arab Emirates, becomes Toronto's sixth signing ahead of the 2016 Major League Soccer season. The forward has become just the 12th player to rise through the ranks and sign an MLS contract after graduating through the club's academy. "We are excited to sign Mo to the first team after a strong preseason. He continues to excel with the opportunities placed in front of him," Toronto FC general manager Tim Bezbatchenko said in a club statement. "Mo is the first product of the full player pathway designed at Toronto FC, playing within our academy to signing professionally for TFC II and now the first team. We are very proud of his progression and know he will be a welcomed addition to the first team."



7. Sub sent off for protesting
Renato Sanches, being scouted by half of the English Premier League right now, launches into a bad tackle, studs into the back of the calf of the Benfica opponent, the Sporting player receiving just a yellow. Adrien, on the sidelines, protests and gets a straight red. Sometimes you just wonder what on earth is wrong with referees?


8. Origi admits he rejected Manchester United
Liverpool striker Divock Origi could have joined the Premier League much sooner, after he admitted he rejected the chance to sign for Manchester United when he was 15 years old. The Belgian was then playing for Lille of France's Ligue 1 and decided to stay and finish his academy tuition where he was. "It was just a decision of my heart," Origi said. "At that moment I wanted to be a product of the Lille academy. I had just seen Eden Hazard come through and Lille had players like Gervinho and Joe Cole in the first team, so I thought I would have a good chance of making it there. I still remember coming home from school and my parents asking me to sit down because there was something they wanted to discuss. But, even though the offer was a good one, they told me I could choose. I didn't have anything against Manchester United or any other team, and my dream was always to play in the Premier League one day, but my heart told me the best thing would be to stay at Lille. I had a day or so of thinking it over but in the end I believe I made a good choice." Understandable, if I looked at the first team and saw Joe Cole in it, I would think I had a very good chance of getting in the team too!



9. Ruiz recreates Fulham form
Bryan Ruiz has not lost his touch it seems:


10. FIFA to allow video assistance for refs
FIFA have confirmed they will begin trials with replay assistance for referees with 13 leagues or associations expressing an immediate interest in hosting the tests. The International Football Association Board's annual meeting took place in Cardiff yesterday, and they approved trials to begin not later than the 2017-18 season. Goal line assistance was only introduced four years ago, after then FIFA president Sepp Blatter opposed it, the new president, Gianni Infantino, has shown he is keen to prove he is his own man by backing the introduction of technological aids for the official. "We have taken really a historic decision for football," Infantino said in the Welsh capital Cardiff. "FIFA and IFAB are now leading the debate and not stopping the debate. We have shown we are listening to the fans, the players and to football."

Written by Tris Burke

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