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Michael Carrick resigns from Manchester United after 15 years at the club

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Michael Carrick leaves Manchester United after 15 years at the club
Manchester United have announced Michael Carrick is leaving the club as first-team coach after spending 15 years at the club.

Carrick joined United from Tottenham for £18.6million in 2006 and won five Premier League titles, the FA Cup, the League Cups, the Champions League, the Europa League and the Club World Cup.

The 40-year-old was promoted to the United coaching staff by Jose Mourinho in 2018, and then retained by Ole Gunnar Solksjaer when Jose Mourinho was sacked.

After Solksjaer was sacked in November, Carrick took caretaker charge of United for three games, presiding over a 2-0 win against Villarreal, a 1-1 draw at Chelsea and the comeback triumph against Arsenal on Thursday, December 2.

Minutes after the final whistle of the uplifting 3-2 victory against Arsenal, United issued a statement confirming Carrick’s departure and that Ralf Rangnick is now the official interim manager.

Carrick said: “My time at this great club will always rank as the best years of my career. When I first signed over 15 years ago, I never in my wildest dreams could have imagined winning so many trophies and I will certainly never forget the fantastic memories both as a player and as a member of the coaching team.

“However, after a lot of thought and deliberation, I have decided that now is the right time for me to leave the club. I want to place on record my thanks to all of the players and a special mention goes to the backroom staff, working long hours with such a great group of people has been a real pleasure and I have made some long-lasting friendships.

“I am, and will always be, a Manchester United fan and will come to as many matches as possible. I would like to wish Ralf, the staff, the players and the fans all the best for the future and I look forward to being in the stands and supporting the boys as a fan.”

United’s football director John Murtough added: “Michael leaves with the sincerest thanks and best wishes of everyone at Manchester United after 15 years of exceptional service to the club as a player and as a coach. While we are sad to see him go, we respect and understand Michael’s decision.

“He will always be known as one of the finest midfielders in the history of Manchester United, and, more recently, as an excellent coach who has worked tirelessly under two managers to help develop the strong squad which Ralf will now take charge of.

“We are grateful for the steady leadership Michael has shown through this period of managerial transition, and, while he is now stepping away from day-to-day involvement, he will always be welcome back as a legend of the club.”

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AFCON: Super Eagles to face Tunisia in next round

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The Super Eagles of Nigeria will square off with Tunisia in the round of 16 stage of the African Cup of Nations following the North African nation finishing one of four best losers at the group stage.

The Carthage Eagles lost 1-0 to Gambia on Thursday night to finish third in Group E on three points, but this was good enough for Tunisia to scramble into the knockout rounds.

Both Eagles met at the bronze medal match at AFCON 2019 in Egypt with Nigeria getting the better of Tunisia 1-0 thanks to Odion Ighalo’s goal.

The teams will face off in Garoua on Sunday at 8 pm.

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NFF to allow Eguavoen remain Super Eagles’ coach

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The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has said Augustine Eguavoen can keep the national team job on a permanent basis if he wants.

The 56-year-old stepped in on an interim basis after Gernot Rohr was sacked in December.

Eguavoen has so far impressed at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, with the Super Eagles winning all their Group D fixtures.

However, he was supposed to hand over to Jose Peseiro after the tournament.

But ESPN reports that the NFF is having second thoughts about that.

“We will have to leave him there, unless he doesn’t want the job,” an NFF source said.

Eguavoen is currently the NFF Technical Director, but the football house would allow him handle both roles.

“What we are even thinking of right now is to give Eguavoen the two jobs. The national team plays about 10 matches a year, so during those times when they are not playing, he can carry on with his other responsibilities.

“Coaching is very touch and go. Right now, he has a stable job being Technical Director where he gets paid by FIFA. To leave that for being a coach where things can change any moment and he can get fired would be very risky.

“That is why we want him to keep the two positions. So, whatever happens, he has shown that he can excel in both and if anything happens with the coaching, he can go back to just being technical director,” the official added.

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Super Eagles will receive N102m if Nigeria wins AFCON– Otedola

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Billionaire businessman Femi Otedola has promised the Super Eagles the equivalent of $250,000 in naira (N102,895,000) if they win the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.

The Eagles will also receive N49,389,600 ($120,000) for the six goals they scored in the group stage of the ongoing continental showpiece, thanks to the Coalition Against COVID-19.

CACOVID, a private sector-led platform established to assist the government in combating Coronavirus in the country, praised the team for their performance at the AFCON and promised to reward the squad with the naira equivalent of $20,000 for each goal scored in the group stage.

The Eagles finished the group stage with six goals, which amounted to $120,000.

According to Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, who represented CACOVID during a visit to the team’s camp in Cameroon, their impressive group stage performance convinced CACOVID to increase the amount for every goal scored to $50,000 in the round of 16.

“I came with a message from the CACOVID. The CACOVID is the coalition of private-sector companies that was set up to fight COVID-19 in Nigeria and they have been happy with the performance of the team,” Emefiele said in a video posted by the Eagles media department on Thursday.

“During the meeting, I had with the captain (Ahmed Musa) and the coach (Austin Eguavoen), I delivered a message from CACOVID and the message is that, for every goal that is scored, the team will receive the naira equivalent of $20,000 so far, you have earned for yourself the naira equivalent of $120,000.

“We held a CACOVID meeting again because everyone is overjoyed for everything you’ve done so far, CACOVID has asked me to raise the ante.

“From the round of 16, for every goal scored, you will earn for yourselves as a team the naira equivalent of $50,000.

“Also, Femi Otedola, who is a member of CACOVID, has asked me to tell you that if you lift the trophy, he has in the bank for you, the naira equivalent of $250,000. This is just the beginning and I can assure you that if you win your round of 16 games, another promise might be made,” Emefiele added.

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