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Santi Cazorla joins forces with Barcelona legend Xavi as he heads to Qatari side Al Sadd

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santi cazorla joins forces with barcelona legend xavi as he heads to qatari side al sadd

Qatari side Al Sadd have welcomed Spanish veteran Santi Cazorla to the club, with the former Arsenal star set to be managed by his old international team-mate Xavi. 

The 35-year-old pass master makes the move east after two sublime seasons with Villarreal, having returned home when his Gunners career was cut short by injury. 

Xavi made 82 appearances for Al Sadd after leaving Barcelona as an icon in 2015, becoming their manager in May 2019 after retiring from football. 

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30973542 8540743 image a 45 1595246309403

Santi Cazorla confirmed his move to Qatar side Al Sadd after letting his Villarreal deal expire

The midfielder will link up with former Spain team-mate Xavi when he makes his move east

The midfielder will link up with former Spain team-mate Xavi when he makes his move east

The midfielder will link up with former Spain team-mate Xavi when he makes his move east

Cazorla received a heroes send-off after a superb second spell at Villarreal, where he is an icon

Cazorla received a heroes send-off after a superb second spell at Villarreal, where he is an icon

Cazorla received a heroes send-off after a superb second spell at Villarreal, where he is an icon

Cazorla decided to let his Villarreal run down despite scoring 10 goals, providing 11 assists and making 35 appearances in LaLiga this season at the heart of the Spanish side’s midfield – helping them to a superb fifth place. 

Al Sadd welcomed the midfielder on Twitter, writing: ‘Welcome Santi to our club. Wish you all the best and that we can get many titles together. Thank you very much.’ 

Cazorla will be sadly missed at Villarreal, with the popular midfield magician having been welcomed back with open arms in 2018 after turning professional with the side 17 years ago. 

Xavi and Cazorla will hope to replicate the ex-Barcelona star's success last season in Qatar

Xavi and Cazorla will hope to replicate the ex-Barcelona star's success last season in Qatar

Xavi and Cazorla will hope to replicate the ex-Barcelona star’s success last season in Qatar 

At 35-years-old Cazorla is still a force and will be a huge boost to Al Sadd's future chances

At 35-years-old Cazorla is still a force and will be a huge boost to Al Sadd's future chances

At 35-years-old Cazorla is still a force and will be a huge boost to Al Sadd’s future chances 

The Spaniard was given a heroic send-off on Sunday after a 4-0 victory over Eibar, with veteran captain Bruno Soriano also taking in his last game on an emotional night. 

Cazorla told the club’s website: ‘I feel that this club is inside me. It isn’t a goodbye, it’s a “we’ll meet again”, because Villarrreal CF will always be my home.’ 

The playmakers joined forces in Spain’s Euro 2008 and 2012 triumphs, with Cazorla coming on for the final 24 minutes of the ’08 final as Vicente del Bosque’s side beat Germany 1-0. 

Al Sadd are Qatar Stars League champions but sit third after 17 games ahead of the season resumption this week, with Cazorla’s new club set to face Al Khor on July 25.  

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Wolves vs Man City LIVE: Stream, score, TV channel – De Bruyne penalty fires City into early lead at Molineux

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BLOG Wolves v Man City

WOLVES are looking to continue their excellent record against Manchester City as they make their home bow in this season’s Premier League.

Wanderers completed the double over Pep Guardiola’s men last season with Adama Traore scoring three in the two games.

  • Kick-off: 8.15pm
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  • Non-Sky Sports subscribers can still watch all the action with a Now TV Day Pass

Follow ALL of the latest updates below…

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Abramovich had ‘secret investment’ in non-Chelsea players including one who faced Blues in Champions League tie

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abramovich had secret investment in non chelsea players including one who faced blues in champions league tie

ROMAN ABRAMOVICH reportedly had secret investments in non-Chelsea players including one direct opponent.

BBC News reports the Chelsea owner held rights in players via a company based in the British Virgin Islands.

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich held stakes in players from other clubs

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Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich held stakes in players from other clubsCredit: AFP or licensors

One such player was Peruvian winger Andre Carrillo who starred against The Blues for Sporting Lisbon in 2014.

The information comes from a leak of documents called the FinCEN files, seen by BBC Panorama, which reveal Russian Abramovich is behind off-shore company Leiston Holdings.

The company was actively investing in players through the now banned practice of third-party ownership.



The practice sees investors buy stakes in a player’s future transfer value and was banned in the Premier League in 2008 but was only outlawed internationally five years ago.

Sam Allardyce was famously sacked as England manager after just ONE game in 2016 after being caught on video offering advice on how to get around the ban in an undercover sting.

Former Uefa president Michel Platini once described third-party ownership as ‘modern-day slavery’.

The controversy stems from the fact a company can own the ‘economic rights’ of a player and it is in their interest to see them sold as often as possible to cash in.

It first hit the headlines in the Prem after West Ham controversially signed Argentine legends Carlos Teves and Javier Mascherano from Brazilian side Corinthians in 2006.

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Leiston Holdings bought 50% of Carrillo’s ‘economic rights’ in 2011 after loaning Sporting Lisbon around £850,000 to facilitate his move from Alianza Lima.

He then lined up against Chelsea TWICE six years ago.

He played for Sporting Lisbon home and away against the West London side during the group stage of the 2014 Champions League.

In both instances, Abramovich had an interest in 12 players on the pitch.

A spokeswoman for Abramovich highlighted how no rules or regulations were broken.

SPORTS GRAPHIC EXPENSIVE SIGNINGS CHELSEA3

They said: “The fact that transactions may have been confidential, does not mean that they were unlawful or otherwise in breach of then applicable rules or regulations.

“The fact that we are not aware of this issue, confirms that there has been no wrongdoing as no action was taken.”

But others, such as ex-FA chairman Lord Triesman, have questioned whether it was ‘proper’ for an owner to have an interest in opposition players.

Lord Triesman told Panorama: “I don’t think it can possibly be proper for the owner of a football club to own players in other football clubs. That is precisely why third-party ownership is banned.

“It casts suspicion and a shadow right across football. On the documents I’ve seen I would’ve wanted, as chairman of the FA, to investigate them.”

A 282ft superyacht built for billionaire Roman Abramovich filmed crashing into St Maarten bridge

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Liverpool ‘are in regular contact with Kylian Mbappe over move to Anfield from PSG next summer

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liverpool are in regular contact with kylian mbappe over move to anfield from psg next summer

Liverpool are reportedly in regular contact with Kylian Mbappe over a summer move in 2021 – but the Reds face competition from Real Madrid.

Mbappe has two years left on his Paris Saint-Germain contract and there is no indication he will sign a new deal with the French champions any time soon. 

According to French outlet L’Equipe, Jurgen Klopp‘s side are keeping an eye on the forward’s situation with Real also hoping to lure him away from the Ligue 1 side. 

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Liverpool are reportedly in contact with PSG’s Kylian Mbappe over a summer move in 2021

Mbappe has two years left on his Paris Saint-Germain contract and has not signed a new deal

Mbappe has two years left on his Paris Saint-Germain contract and has not signed a new deal

There is no evidence Mbappe wants to leave the French side with Le10 sport reporting that the striker is weighing up his next move but has never considered his PSG switch a stepping stone to bigger things. 

Klopp has previously admitted it would be extremely difficult to pull off a deal for the striker but allegedly made contact with his father, Wilfried, to discuss Mbappe’s future in May.

The World Cup winner is one of the most wanted players in Europe and would not come cheap with many believing it would take a world record fee to prize him away from PSG. 

The World Cup winner is one of the most wanted forwards in Europe but would be costly

The World Cup winner is one of the most wanted forwards in Europe but would be costly

Despite the financial impact of coronavirus distorting the transfer market, Borussia Dortmund have held firm on their £100million valuation of Jadon Sancho and PSG would likely do the same with their star man. 

As reported by Sportsmail, Liverpool did make contact with the representative of Mbappe in the summer of 2017, when the then Monaco star was preparing to make his first big move on the European stage.  

Liverpool spent £65million to bring Thiago Alacantara and Diogo Jota to the club last week but a big money move for Mbappe would be go against the club’s transfer strategy. 

Speaking about the striker in November last year, Klopp admitted: ”(Buying) this calibre of player is difficult. I don’t see any club at the moment who can buy Kylian Mbappe from PSG.

Jurgen Klopp has previously stated there is no chance Liverpool could afford the Frenchman

Jurgen Klopp has previously stated there is no chance Liverpool could afford the Frenchman

‘I don’t see any club, that is how it is. We are involved in the clubs that cannot do it – it is as easy as that.

‘OK, from a sporting point of view, there are not a lot of reasons to not sign him – what a player he is! It is about the money, of course. No chance. Absolutely no chance.’

Zinedine Zidane’s Real may be a more realistic destination for the Frenchman but the LaLiga side have also felt the financial weight of the pandemic.

The club’s president Florentino Perez said there would be no big signings this summer and it remains to be seen whether they would be in a position to make a move for the striker next season. 

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