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Former Manchester City and Chelsea star joins Preston North End on permanent deal

Posted on January 09, 2020

Scott Sinclair has officially made his return to England.

Late Wednesday night, Celtic announced the 30-year-old’s move to Preston North End for an undisclosed fee.

Though originally thought to be a six-month loan before joining permanently, Sinclair has signed a two-and-a-half-year deal to Deepdale.

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A major contributor in the past, the soon-to-be out-of-contract Celtic star made only seven appearances this season, scoring twice in just 176 total minutes of action. For Sinclair, Preston will be his 13th different English side that he’s played for, featuring most frequently for Swansea and Aston Villa with stints at Chelsea and Manchester City also under his belt, as per iSports football API.

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The winger joins Preston as they push for promotion to the Premier League. The Lilywhites are currently in 10th place on 39 points, just two points back of the promotion play-off places.

Sinclair was wildly successful after joining from Aston Villa in summer 2016, scoring 62 goals and adding 34 assists in 167 career games at the club, according to iSports API football database.

Sinclair won the PFA Scotland Players’ Player of the Year in his first year at Celtic. and won all 10 possible domestic trophies he could have won with the Hoops.

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Sadio Mane beats Mohamed Salah, Riyad Mahrez for top African player

Sadio Mane was named African Footballer of the Year for 2019 on Tuesday after winning the Champions League with Liverpool and leading Senegal to the Africa Cup of Nations final. Mane, 27, wins the award for the first time after finishing runner-up to his Liverpool teammate Mohamed Salah of Egypt in 2017 and 2018, according to iSports football API data. He was third in 2016. ( Start free trail in your long term sports data partner, click iSports football API) He is only the second Senegalese to win the award after El Hadji Diouf, who was the winner in 2001 and after joining Liverpool in 2002. "Football is my job, I love it. I am really happy and proud to win this award," Mane said. "I would like to thank all the Senegalese people, they push always me. I must also thank my Senegal coach, Aliou Cisse and Liverpool, all my teammates there." Mane finished ahead of Riyad Mahrez and Salah in a poll of national team coaches and captains, and was handed his award at the Confederation of African Football's annual gala in Hurgada, Egypt. It is the second successive year that the top three are all from English clubs and only the third time since the award was introduced that the leading trio all play in the same league. In 1991, the top three all came from French clubs. Mahrez, 28, captained Algeria to Africa Cup of Nations success in July and won the Premier League with Manchester City. He was African Footballer of the Year in 2016, as per iSports API data. Reading more articles, please follow iSports API blog.

Real Madrid in talks with Flamengo for 17-year-old Reinier

Real Madrid have held talks with teenage Flamengo midfielder Reinier. The 17-year-old Brazil youth international is being followed by a number of top European clubs and has also attracted interest from Barcelona and Manchester City. Additionally, a Barcelona source revealed that the club have scouted the player on several occasions, but that Flamengo's valuation of Reinier is too high for the Catalan club. Sources close to the player have told that he is weighing up his options and has not yet made a decision on his future, with his Flamengo manager Jorge Jesus recently hinting that the player is set for a move to on of Europe's top clubs. Reinier, who was an unused substitute in Flamengo's Club World Cup final defeat to Liverpool last month, has a €30m release clause. A source also told ESPN Brazil that Madrid had already made an offer of €25m, but that Flamengo were holding out for the full release, according to iSports API. (Start free trial with your long-term reliable sports data partner, visit iSports API.) Under the terms of his contract, Reinier's clause will rise to €35m in June for the summer transfer window and to €70m after that, as per iSports API football data. However, if a deal were to be agreed during the January window, Reinier would not join Zinedine Zidane's first team squad immediately. Two options under consideration are the teenager joining Real Madrid Castilla for the rest of the 2019-20 season, or remaining on loan at Flamengo for the time being. More articles, please follow iSports blog.

Manchester United's Paul Pogba faces surgery, out for 3-4 weeks

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has been advised to undergo an operation related to an ongoing foot injury that could keep him out an additional three to four weeks, club manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said. The France international missed his team's 2-0 loss to Arsenal on Wednesday after complaining of what Solskjaer described as "discomfort" in his ankle. "We've had scans and it's nothing major, it's something that has to be sorted and dealt within a timeframe and he's been advised to do it as soon as possible, so he'll be out for three or four weeks," Solskjaer said after the match. "We've had consultants looking at him as well and club has been looking at it, the scans have been done by us. We've been without him all season, so the boys who've been playing have been fantastic." Pogba's absence is a further blow for Solskjaer after Scott McTominay was ruled out for more than a month with knee ligament damage. The Scotland international has been on crutches since suffering the injury against Newcastle on Boxing Day. "Scotty's been magnificent and we just hope that Paul can come back, he'll be back within a month," Solskjaer added. "If Nemanja Matic and Fred play like they did today I'll be happy with them, because they played well, the two of them." Solskjaer also hinted that the recent rash of injuries coulf force the club could pursue reinforcement options during the transfer window. "Of course, it's playing on our decision-making when you've got two players out -- Paul out for a month and Scott for two. That will give us less options and we've got loads of games and important games. Still, it's got to be right and that's the point here. "If [signings are] available and it's possible, we'll do something, definitely. We're looking at one or two." An operation would see Pogba miss the Carabao Cup semifinal first leg with Manchester City at Old Trafford on Jan. 7 and the trip to Anfield to face Liverpool on Jan. 19, as per iSports API football data. (Start free trial with your long-term reliable sports data partner, visit iSports API.) Prior to Wednesday's match, Solskjaer said Pogba would be sidelined "for a few weeks" due to feeling some discomfort in his ankle. Pogba has been plagued this season with the foot injury. He didn't play between Sept. 30 and Dec. 22 and has only made two substitute appearances since then, recorded by iSports API. Solskjaer said following a 2-0 win over Burnley on Saturday that he expected Pogba to be available at the Emirates for United's New Years' Day game but he was absent from the squad which travelled to London on Tuesday. Following the victory at Turf Moor, the players were granted a day off on Sunday and Pogba used his to travel to France to attend a charity match. He returned to Carrington on Monday but was not able to take part in training. More articles, please follow iSports blog.