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Football news

Toffees wrap up Mirallas deal

Everton have signed Belgium forward Kevin Mirallas from Olympiakos for an undisclosed fee. The 24-year-old has signed a four-year contract at Goodison Park and passed a medical on Saturday.

His signing was completed too late to feature in today’s clash with Manchester United but he will be unveiled to the home fans at the game.

Mirallas said: “I am very happy because Everton is a big club and for me it’s a good opportunity.”

Mirallas scored 20 goals in Greece last season, having previously played in France for St Etienne and Lille. The forward has won 28 caps for his country, scoring five goals.

Juve raise their offer for Llorente

Juventus will be focusing all their energies in this transfer window on signing Fernando Llorente from Athletic Bilbao.

Reports in the media yesterday said that the Italy champions have raised their offer for the Spain striker to €18 million from the initial €16 million bid which was considered not enough to complete the transfer earlier this month.

However, both bids fall well short of the €36 million escape clause in the player’s contract at Athletic Bilbao who are also likely to lose Javi Martinez to Bayern Munich this summer.

Olinga is La Liga’s youngest scorer

Sixteen-year-old Fabrice Olinga made history on Saturday when he became the youngest ever player to score in La Liga, grabbing the only goal as Malaga clinched a 1-0 victory at promoted Celta Vigo.

The Cameroon-born forward came on as a 58th-minute sub to make his league debut and got the 84th-minute winner as the new season got under way.

At only 16 years and 98 days, Olinga is 191 days younger than Bilbao player Iker Muniain who had held the previous record for youngest scorer.

AFC extends ban on Bin Hammam

The Asian Football Confederation said it had extended the provisional suspension of scandal-tainted former FIFA presidential candidate Mohamed bin Hammam by 20 days.

It comes with the Qatari currently serving a three-month ban from football imposed by the ethics committee of FIFA on July 26 pending the outcome of a probe into AFC finances.

Bin Hammam was last month suspended for 30 days by the AFC following an external audit into the accounts during his time in charge.

The Qatari was handed a lifetime ban last year after being found guilty of bribery by an ethics committee panel during his campaign for FIFA presidency.

Dempsey’s future

Martin Jol criticised the Fulham fans who mocked the absent Clint Dempsey during Saturday’s 5-0 hammering of Norwich.

Dempsey did not feature in the game after he refused to play in the hope that it would accelerate a transfer to Liverpool.

The Cottagers coped admirably without him and the home fans greeted Fulham’s fifth strike by chanting ‘Are you watching Clint Dempsey?’

But Jol feels the 29-year-old deserves more respect from the fans.

Jol said: “I don’t want to hear the fans were chanting against him because he was a terrific player for us. He was the most productive midfield player in the whole league last season.”

Di Matteo hopeful on Lampard talks

Roberto Di Matteo is confident this season will not be Frank Lampard’s Chelsea swansong.

Lampard, 34, is entering the final year of his contract and revealed last week the club had yet to follow up last term’s initial talks about a new deal.

Blues boss Di Matteo was coy about revealing whether he had recommended to the Chelsea board to offer Lampard an extension but asked whether he was hopeful there would be a successful conclusion to any talks, he said: “I am, yes.”

He added: “There are talks with the player. Frank shows his qualities in every game that he plays... so he’s a very influential player within the group as well.”

Pardew shamed by push on linesman

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew admitted he was hanging his head in shame after angrily pushing a linesman during his side’s 2-1 win over Tottenham on Saturday.

Pardew had urged his players to keep their cool on the opening day of the season but all his good intentions went to waste when he was sent to the stands for his angry reaction.

“There’s me telling my players to behave themselves and follow the Olympic spirit and be humble, and they did it except for me,” said Pardew.

“It was a stupid moment – the linesman just happened to be standing right in front of me when I thought the ball was out, and I gave him a little shove. I have apologised and I can’t turn the clock back, so I will have to take my punishment.”

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