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Mourinho paid £15m by Manchester United

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Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho

Manchester United have paid their former gaffer Jose Mourinho £15 million ($19 million) in compensation following his sacking last month, according to British media on Thursday.

The Daily Mail reports that a source close to Mourinho — whose contract was due to run till the end of the 2019/20 campaign with the option of an extra season — has revealed that compensation has been paid.

“There are no issues over Jose’s contract with Manchester United. Everything has been sorted,” the newspaper reports the source as saying.

“Jose is able to take on another job right now, but is in no rush.

“He is very relaxed about it and would be happy to wait until the end of the season if he needs to.”

The Sun reports that United agreed to the payment after his disappointing two-and-a-half-year stint at Old Trafford following a meeting between Mourinho’s agent Jorge Mendes and United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.

The pay-out leaves the 55-year-old Portuguese free to be considered for Madrid if the club decide to dismiss under-pressure coach Santiago Solari.

Mourinho’s time at Real between 2010-2013 — which brought a league title and a Spanish Cup but saw them largely play second fiddle to Barcelona — ended as it did at United and Chelsea, with bad results and discord in the dressing room.

However, Real president Florentino Perez remains a fan and with the club 10 points behind La Liga leaders Barca and outside the Champions League places, Solari is under intense scrutiny.

“There has been no contact, but they did get in touch with Jose after (Julen) Lopetegui was dismissed (in late October),” the Mail reports the source as saying.

“He told them he was the manager of Manchester United and totally committed to the club.”

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Ronaldo accepts prison sentence and €18.8m fine for tax fraud

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Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo has accepted a 23-month prison sentence and an €18.8million fine for tax fraud.

The Juventus star attended a court in Madrid on Tuesday to ratify an agreement already reached with Spanish prosecutors.

The 33-year-old was accused of committing four crimes against the Spanish treasury between 2011 and 2014 while he was playing for Real Madrid.

Ronaldo is alleged to have concealed income earned through image rights by using offshore companies.

The Portugal international told reporters that “everything is perfect” after his short appearance in court, during which he accepted the charges as part of a plea deal with the prosecution.

Under Spanish law, he will not be required to spend any time in jail as it is a first-time offence.

Ronaldo was pictured smiling outside court, accompanied by girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez, having given a thumbs-up to waiting reporters upon arriving before signing some autographs for fans.

The forward, who left Madrid last year to join Juventus in a €112m deal, missed a penalty in his side’s 3-0 Serie A win over Chievo on Monday.

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2019 Access Lagos Marathon Expo begins

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Access Bank Marathon

Access Bank Marathon

Hundreds of runners from all walks of life including important personalities from within and outside the sports industry on Tuesday thronged the Molade Okoya Thomas Hall at the Teslim Balogun Stadium as the 2019 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon Expo got underway.

Marathon Expos are an integral part of big marathon races worldwide with major marathons like New York, Dubai, London, Boston, Chicago, Tokyo, Berlin drawing a lot of vendors and exhibitors annually.

The Expo has also been a regular feature at the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon since debuting four years ago.

At this year’s edition, a lot of companies are participating as they are showcasing their products and services to intending runners at the Lagos Marathon as well as the general public.

Some of the dignitaries at the opening day of the Marathon Expo include the Vice President of the Nigeria Olympic Committee, NOC Chief Solomon Ogba as well the Executive Chairman of the Lagos State Sports Commission Dr Kweku Tandoh.

Honourable Bukola Olopade was also present alongside other celebrities.

According to a statement issued by Olukayode Thomas, Head Communications and Media for the Lagos Marathon, a lot of VIP runners were also present on the opening day of the Marathon Expo.

The Access Bank Lagos City Marathon Expo will be running for the next 10 days.

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Battling Nishikori faces big test against Djokovic

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Kei Nishikori

Kei Nishikori

Kei Nishikori’s fighting spirit could face the ultimate test at the Australian Open on Wednesday when he takes on world number one Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals.

Nishikori overcame Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta in his third five-setter in four rounds on Monday and has spent nearly 14 hours on court at Melbourne, more than any other player.

Djokovic is aware of Nishikori’s battling qualities having lost twice to the Japanese in 17 career meetings, including a defeat in the 2014 U.S. Open semi-finals.

“He’s a talented player. One of the quickest players on the tour, hard worker… I expect a tough one,” Djokovic, who beat Daniil Medvedev in four sets to reach the last eight, said.

“I have lots of respect for him. Every year is different, so every match that you play against each other is different… I expect him obviously to come out, to try something new.”

Djokovic, who took a tumble during his match with Medvedev, was also hampered by a back strain towards the end but shrugged off the problem.

“It was not particularly the fall. It was just a little bit of fatigue, a little bit of back. Nothing major. But there are a couple of things that have surfaced after a match like this,” Djokovic added.

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