Press Association Clyne, out of contract next summer, is one such target and this week fuelled mounting speculation over a move to Manchester United by talking about his desire to play in the Champions League. Koeman twice won the competition as a player and fully understands Clyne’s ambitions, and therefore the difficulty Saints may face in getting him to stay. “It’s up to the press how they take those kind of comments,” the Dutchman said. “I like to play Champions League as well but that’s the aspiration for every football player and it’s a normal aspiration. If you don’t mention that, there’s something wrong. “We are still in talking with the agent of Clyney, but it’s difficult. I read in the press there’s some interest. “Nobody knocked on the door with an offer for Clyne, but we know (he has) one season on his contract and we want Clyne to stay at the club. “We need understanding for that but nothing else. “We hope one day we will compare to the big ones, but that’s difficult. We know our level, we know our possibilities. An unparalleled summer talent drain led many onlookers to predict a meltdown at St Mary’s, yet they have gone on to defy the odds and produce a remarkable season. Saints are pushing for a top-four finish in the Barclays Premier League with six matches to go, although that success has led the vultures to once again circle overhead. “The club can’t fight against big teams in the Premier League because the money and the possibilities of them are still much higher than we have.” Koeman’s understanding will only last for so long, though, and the Southampton manager wants Clyne’s future sorted before the end of the campaign. “We don’t wait until the end of the season because you know if there is a player who is left one season of his contract then you have to do something,” he said. “Of course we have to do everything to keep the player in the team, but I like to know it as soon as possible – n ot in the last week of the season, but earlier on. “I mentioned April but by the end of April, the first week of May, it’s good to know something about his situation.” Clyne will be hoping to start for Saints at Stoke this weekend, having been dropped to the bench for the win against Hull. Filip Djuricic and Victor Wanyama will be absent for the trip to the Britannia Stadium, as will long-term absentees Fraser Forster, Emmanuel Mayuka and Rodriguez. It is more than a year since the latter last featured for Saints, having ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament in defeat at Manchester City. There is at last some positive news for Rodriguez, though, with the forward set to join up with first-team training for “some parts of the sessions” from next week. “I hope that he can play a part in one of them maybe last one,” Koeman said. “Maybe it will be on one side a tough one (to return in) because it is Man City and he got this injury against them. “That will be nice to end the season but the focus has to be next season and if he is part of one or two games this season it will be great for him, great for the team, great for the club. “He is putting everything in to get back, but we are not in a hurry. If he comes back he has to be 100 per cent and that’s most important.” Rodriguez’s return to fitness will bring with it heightened speculation about his future. Like Clyne and Morgan Schneiderlin, the 25-year-old has been linked with a move away from St Mary’s, with the likes of Tottenham, Manchester City and Liverpool mentioned. But Koeman said: “Of course I expect we don’t sell the player. The player didn’t play in my first season as a manager. “He’s good guy, a positive one and a good player, and maybe that will be the best transfer what we can do for the next season.” Southampton manager Ronald Koeman accepts it will be difficult to keep hold of Nathaniel Clyne this summer, but expects Jay Rodriguez to stay put.
The Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), Milton Weeks, has announced that the Bank will conduct a forensic audit on former Board Members of the troubled First International Bank Liberia Limited (FIBank), now Groupe Nduom Bank (GN Bank).Governor Weeks made the statement yesterday at his Ashumn Street office in Monrovia, when he officially announced the takeover of FIBank by GN Bank, a new bank licensed by the CBL, and owned by the Ghana Growth Fund Company (GGFC). “The Board of Governors of the Central Bank of Liberia, pursuant to the authority vested in the Bank under section 40 (13) of the New Financial Institutions Act of 1999, has approved the purchase of significant portion of the assets and assumption of all the deposits of FIBank, except one large foreign depositor and one large creditor of FIBank by GN Bank Limited,” he said.He said the audit of the Board Members is intended to check whether they were involved in the mismanagement of the bank (FIBank), and to set all the records straight for GN Bank. The CBL boss did not disclose exactly when the expected forensic audit would be done, but warned that CBL would go after those who will be found guilty in the mismanagement of the institution. “If the forensic audit proves, for example, that some members of the former employees or Board of Governors of the former bank are involved, they will face the full weight of the law,” Governor Weeks vowed.“We are warning all commercial banks in the country to follow the CBL requirements. We’ll be very tough in ensuring that these regulations are adhered to under the banking laws,” he added.Governor Weeks also disclosed that GN Bank Limited has brought in a total of US$18.5 million, which the CBL says is adequate to meet the minimum capital requirement to operate a bank in the country.The CBL, as the reorganization authority, acting through PwC (Price Waterhouse and Coopers) as its reorganization firm, will retain the remaining assets and liabilities for later disposition. Information concerning the loans and other assets of the former bank will be communicated to the concerned individuals and entities as soon as practicable, said the CBL boss.According to Weeks, the CBL also agreed with the new shareholders to allow significant Liberian participation in the new ownership of the bank.He, however, assured depositors, creditors and the public that the CBL has taken the necessary actions to ensure the continuous operation of the bank. At the time of FIBank’s closure, Governor Weeks said the ex-bank had a total deposit of approximately US$23 million in about 42,000 accounts. As per the dictates of the new banking arrangement, Governor Weeks said all the employees have now been absorbed by GN Bank Liberia Limited.It may be recalled that in 2013 at least 15 persons at the bank were suspended and investigated in connection with a US$1.2 million fraud, but trusted sources hinted that some of the bank’s executives were linked to the rip-off.In 2011 FIBank, whose books were audited by Voscon Inc. in Liberia, reported an Assets Base of US$6.5 million as at December 31, 2010, and Total Equity Capital of over US$7.6 million, and a Deposit Base of US$10 million.GN is a Ghanaian-American holding company with several subsidiaries. It operates in banking, investment and private equity, insurance, pension, media, real estate and quarry concrete products. The holding company is also involved in education, sports, hospitality, technology among others. It is the largest retail bank in Ghana, with 207 branches throughout the country.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Italy, who last won the World Cup in 2006, are joined in the draw by fellow runners-up Switzerland, Croatia, Denmark, Northern Ireland, Sweden, the Republic of Ireland and Greece.While the Azzurri are the most star-studded of the countries competing in the play-offs, several of their rivals for a place in next year’s finals in Russia also have intriguing tales.Northern Ireland are within touching distance of a first World Cup berth since 1986 after Michael O’Neill’s men maintained the momentum from their successful qualification for Euro 2016.The Republic of Ireland will hope to avoid a repeat of their agonising World Cup play-off defeat against France in 2009, when Thierry Henry’s controversial handball helped eliminate them.Switzerland’s Granit Xhaka celebrates after scoring a goal during their FIFA 2018 World Cup qualifier match against Hungary, at the St. Jakob-Park Stadium in Basel, on October 7, 2017 © AFP/File / Fabrice COFFRINIThe Republic last made the World Cup in 2002, but they survived the play-offs to reach the European Championships in 2012 and 2016.Sweden, World Cup runners-up in 1958, finished behind France in their qualification group and are bidding to reach the finals for the first time since 2006.The eight qualified teams have been divided into two pots based on the world rankings announced by FIFA on Monday.Switzerland (11th), Italy (15th), Croatia (18th) and Denmark (19th) will be in pot one and will play one of the four teams in pot two.The second pot will contain Northern Ireland (23rd), Sweden (25th), Republic of Ireland (26th) and Greece (47th).The draw will take place at FIFA’s Zurich headquarters at 1200 GMT on Tuesday.The first legs will be held between November 9-11 and the second legs between November 12-14.The winner of each tie is decided by the aggregate number of goals each team scores over the two legs, while in the event of a draw on aggregate, the side with more away goals goes through.If there is no deciding factor at the end of normal time, then the tie will go to extra time, with the away-goals rule still applicable at the end of that period.If there is still no winner, then the tie will go to a penalty shoot-out.The ties will determine who qualifies from Europe alongside group winners France, Portugal, Germany, Serbia, Poland, England, Spain, Belgium and Iceland.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Italy’s Antonio Candreva celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during their FIFA 2018 World Cup qualification match against Albania, in Shkoder, on October 9, 2017 © AFP/File / Dimitar DILKOFFLONDON, United Kingdom, Oct 17 – Italy will learn their World Cup play-off fate on Tuesday as the four-time winners join seven other European countries in the draw for the decisive two-legged ties.Gian Piero Ventura’s side have been forced to take their chances in the treacherous play-offs after finishing second in their qualifying group behind Spain.