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Shakhtar To Give $25m Of Mudryk Fee To Aid War Victims In Ukraine

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Ukrainian club Shakhtar Donetsk, who completed the sale of Mykhailo Mudryk to Chelsea at the weekend, pledged on Monday to give a sizeable chunk of their fee to victims of the Russian invasion.

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Mudryk will cost the Blues up to 100 million euros with an initial fee of 70 million euros and the remaining 30 million euros in performance-related add-ons.

“I am allocating $25 million (UAH 1 billion) today to help our soldiers, defenders, and their families,” said Shakhtar President Rinat Akhmetov in a statement.

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“The money will be used to cover different needs — from providing medical and prosthetic treatment and psychological support to meeting specific requests.”

Akhmetov’s ‘Heart of Azovstal’ project is named after the steelworks in the port city of Mariupol in south-eastern Ukraine which held out for weeks under sustained attack from Russian forces in the spring of 2022 before surrendering.

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“Their acts of bravery are unparalleled in the modern history,” said Akhmetov.

“It is them, their sacrifice and courage that helped contain the enemy in the first months of the war and let all of us feel the inevitability of the victory of Ukraine now.”

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Akhmetov said he was “happy for Mykhaylo and proud of him” for landing the move to Chelsea.

“I am absolutely confident that the entire Europe will acclaim Mykhaylo’s brilliant and fine play.

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“On the other hand, I have never made it a secret that my dream is to win European trophies.

“This means that players like Mudryk should be invited to our club, to our Ukrainian championship, and we should win European trophies with such players, rather than root for them, even when they play in the world’s top clubs.

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“Unfortunately, it is impossible now, as Ukraine is fighting the horrendous and unjust war waged against us by the Russian Federation. But I am confident that we will win.”

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Antonio Conte to undergo surgery after Tottenham boss became ill

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By Francesca Iwambe

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Antonio Conte could miss a number of games after Premier League club Tottenham announced he will go under the knife having suffered from “severe abdominal pain”

Antonio Conte was suffering from “severe abdominal pain”, Tottenham said.

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Tottenham head coach Antonio Conte is to have his gallbladder removed on Wednesday after suffering from “severe abdominal pain” earlier this morning.

The Italian could be absent for up to a couple of weeks following the surgery and his assistant Cristian Stellini is expected to take charge of Sunday’s Premier League fixture against Manchester City.

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“Antonio recently became unwell with severe abdominal pain,” a Spurs statement said. “Following a diagnosis of cholecystitis, he will be undergoing surgery to remove his gallbladder today (Wednesday) and will return following a period of recuperation. Everyone at the club wishes him well.”

Conte will be determined to return as soon as possible but there is a chance that he will miss the first leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie away to Milan on February 14.

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Chukwueze Among LaLiga’s Prolific Players

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Villarreal forward, Samuel Chukwueze, has been listed among the top five prolific players in LaLiga since 2022

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Chukwueze is one of the five players in the Spanish topflight to have reached double figures for both goals and assists since 2022 in all competitions.

OptaJose, world leader in sports data, revealed this on their official Twitter handle.

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The Nigerian’s inclusion did not come as a surprise following his impressive performance, which was key to Villareal’s return to form after a poor start during the year.

The 23-year-old, a part of the squad that won the Europa League in 2021 after defeating Manchester United in the final, has been very influential for Villarreal this season, scoring eight goals and assisting seven across all competitions this season, and taking his total tally to 10 goals and 10 assists since January 2022 till date.

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Also on the list are Real Madrid’s Brazilian star Vinicius Jr and Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele.

The Los Blancos forward tops the list having scored 21 goals and assisted 14, while Dembele occupies the second position with 10 goals and 18 assists.

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Jose Morales, who recently joined Villarreal from Levante, is third on the list with his 17 goals and 11 assists, with Madrid’s Rodrygo’s 15 goals and 12 assists placing him in fourth of the most prolific LaLiga players’ lists.

In 2022, Super Eagles forward Chukwueze made LaLiga Team of The Week for a record three times, a personal best for the Nigerian.

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So much is Chukwueze’s impressive form that the forward has grown to become one of the Yellow Submarines’ key men and has started in all of the club’s but one last 10 games.

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Transfer deadline: Mikel Arteta tells Arsenal two players to sign

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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has told the club to sign Declan Rice from West Ham United and Brighton’s Moises Caicedo before 11 pm on Tuesday(today).

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The January transfer window ends today, and the Gunners are believed to be working hard to bolster their squad with at least two additions.

The Gunners keep the hope of signing the Ecuador international today despite their first two bids rejected by the Seagulls, who remain keen to keep the midfielder.

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Caicedo has made it clear to his club that he wants to leave, and his preference is to join Arsenal.

The Sun reports that Arteta also wants to sign Rice regardless of whether Arsenal succeeds in bringing in Caicedo today.

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