Guardiola Returns to Man City After Recovering from Back Operation 

21 February 2023, Saxony, Leipzig: Manchester coach Pep Guardiola speaks at the press conference. (dpa)
21 February 2023, Saxony, Leipzig: Manchester coach Pep Guardiola speaks at the press conference. (dpa)
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Guardiola Returns to Man City After Recovering from Back Operation 

21 February 2023, Saxony, Leipzig: Manchester coach Pep Guardiola speaks at the press conference. (dpa)
21 February 2023, Saxony, Leipzig: Manchester coach Pep Guardiola speaks at the press conference. (dpa)

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has returned to the club after recovering from his recent back operation.

Guardiola is resuming his duties after three weeks away, with City confirming his return on Wednesday.

Assistant coach Juanma Lillo has been in charge since the 52-year-old Guardiola traveled to Spain for the procedure.

In Guardiola’s absence, City beat Sheffield United and Fulham to maintain the 100% start to its Premier League title defense. City’s squad is beginning to gather following the international break.

City returns to Premier League action Saturday at West Ham before its defense of the Champions League begins at home against Red Star Belgrade on Tuesday.



Milik Scrambles in Juventus’ Winner for 1-0 Victory over Previously Unbeaten Lecce in Serie A

 Juventus' Polish forward #14 Arkadiusz Milik (R) celebrates with teammates after winning the Italian Serie A football match Juventus vs Lecce at the “Allianz Stadium” in Turin on September 26, 2023. (AFP)
Juventus' Polish forward #14 Arkadiusz Milik (R) celebrates with teammates after winning the Italian Serie A football match Juventus vs Lecce at the “Allianz Stadium” in Turin on September 26, 2023. (AFP)
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Milik Scrambles in Juventus’ Winner for 1-0 Victory over Previously Unbeaten Lecce in Serie A

 Juventus' Polish forward #14 Arkadiusz Milik (R) celebrates with teammates after winning the Italian Serie A football match Juventus vs Lecce at the “Allianz Stadium” in Turin on September 26, 2023. (AFP)
Juventus' Polish forward #14 Arkadiusz Milik (R) celebrates with teammates after winning the Italian Serie A football match Juventus vs Lecce at the “Allianz Stadium” in Turin on September 26, 2023. (AFP)

Arkadiusz Milik scored for Juventus to beat Lecce 1-0 on Tuesday and deal the visitors their first Serie A loss of the season.

Federico Chiesa missed the only real chance in a forgettable first half for Juventus, which emerged with more vigor after the break.

Milik made the breakthrough in the 57th minute when he emerged at the back post to convert from close range after Adrien Rabiot headed on Weston McKennie’s cross. A VAR check confirmed the Poland striker was onside.

Lecce was one of only two remaining teams along with Inter Milan to remain unbeaten after the opening five rounds, but the visitors lacked the attacking threat to trouble Juve’s well-organized defense.

Nikola Krstović went closest for Lecce when he fired wide in the 76th.

Lecce’s Mohamed Kaba was sent off with a second yellow card for what the referee felt was a dive in injury time. Replays suggested the French forward wasn’t looking for a penalty and simply fell in a tussle for the ball.

Juventus slumped to a 4-2 defeat at struggling Sassuolo on Saturday after making three glaring errors and the home team was careful not to risk giving away any more goals on Tuesday. The win lifted the “Old Lady” to second, two points behind Inter, which hosts Sassuolo on Wednesday.


Garnacho on Target as Man United Beats Crystal Palace 3-0 in League Cup Defense

Football - Carabao Cup - Third Round - Manchester United v Crystal Palace - Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain - September 26, 2023, Manchester United's Casemiro celebrates scoring their second goal. (Reuters)
Football - Carabao Cup - Third Round - Manchester United v Crystal Palace - Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain - September 26, 2023, Manchester United's Casemiro celebrates scoring their second goal. (Reuters)
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Garnacho on Target as Man United Beats Crystal Palace 3-0 in League Cup Defense

Football - Carabao Cup - Third Round - Manchester United v Crystal Palace - Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain - September 26, 2023, Manchester United's Casemiro celebrates scoring their second goal. (Reuters)
Football - Carabao Cup - Third Round - Manchester United v Crystal Palace - Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain - September 26, 2023, Manchester United's Casemiro celebrates scoring their second goal. (Reuters)

Seven months after lifting the trophy, Manchester United made a successful start to its defense of the English League Cup on Tuesday by beating Crystal Palace 3-0.

Alejandro Garnacho and Casemiro fired the holders into a 2-0 first-half lead at Old Trafford and Anthony Martial added a third after the break in the third-round match.

It is now back-to-back wins for Erik ten Hag’s team, which has endured a disappointing start to the season.

The dominant performance against an understrength Palace followed Saturday’s narrow victory at Burnley and will give United fans hope the team has turned its form around.

“The mood is always good, but of course when you are not winning at United there is disappointment, and there is frustration, but the togetherness is always there,” Ten Hag said. “We know we are not now in the position where we want to be. So, we have to build up, we have to catch up and then you have to go from game to game, working on the process and working on the results. Don’t get too far ahead.”

The League Cup ranks fourth among English soccer’s most important trophies. But Ten Hag still savored last season’s success.

Victory against Newcastle in February’s final at Wembley Stadium ended the club’s six-year wait for a trophy and saw Ten Hag deliver silverware in his first season at the club. He went on to also reach the FA Cup final, only to lose to Manchester City, and also guided United back into the Champions League to mark an impressive campaign.

Things have not gone so well this term, with his team losing four out of five games before beating Burnley 1-0.

This latest victory was far more convincing, even if Palace benched regular starters Marc Guehi, Eberechi Eze and Joachim Anderson and was also without forward Odsonne Edouard.

Ten Hag also made changes with Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford and Rasmus Hojlund on the bench and Christian Eriksen absent.

Mason Mount, however, made his first appearance since Aug. 19 after returning from an injury.

Garnacho fired United ahead in the 21st minute after converting Diogo Dalot’s cutback in the box.

His low shot had too much power for Palace goalkeeper Sam Johnstone, who had only just come on as a substitute for the injured Dean Henderson.

Johnstone was tested again moments later when Dalot blasted an effort from an angle, which the keeper blocked.

He was beaten again, however, in the 27th, this time by Casemiro, who headed in Mount’s corner to double United’s lead.

Martial added a third 10 minutes into the second half when firing across goal after meeting Casemiro’s looping ball to the far post.

United plays Palace again in the Premier League on Saturday and the Londoners showed their threat when twice forcing saves from ‘keeper Andre Onana later in the match. But manager Roy Hodgson did not sound confident about securing a different outcome when the teams next meet.

“We are going to have to become a totally different team in the way we approach the game and the way we play the game,” he said.

Cup upsets

Third-division Exeter produced a shock 1-0 win against Luton to knock the Premier League club out of the competition. Luton made 10 changes from the team that picked up its first topflight point of the season against Wolverhampton on Saturday, but the result will still go down as a big upset.

Demetri Mitchell scored the winner in the 83rd, but Exeter had to see out the game with 10 men after he was sent off in the 88th.

Wolverhampton was also eliminated after throwing away a two-goal lead to lose 3-2 at second-division Ipswich. Hwang Hee-Chan and Toti Gomes had seemingly put the visitors on course for the next round after goals inside the first 15 minutes. But Omari Hutchinson, Freddie Ladapo and Jack Taylor sealed a comeback win for Ipswich.

Burnley is still waiting for its first win in the league this season, but it is powering on in the cup after a 4-0 win against Salford City, the fourth division club co-owned by Manchester United greats including David Beckham, Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville.

Elsewhere, Middlesbrough beat Bradford 2-0 and Port Vale won 2-1 against Sutton United.

Fourth-division Mansfield beat third-division Peterborough 3-1 on penalty kicks after a 2-2 draw in regulation time. Lucas Akins’ penalty to even the score in the 93rd had sent the game to a shootout.


Newcastle Hosts Man City in League Cup. Madrid Looks to Bounce Back against Las Palmas

24 September 2023, United Kingdom, Sheffield: Newcastle United's Bruno Guimaraes celebrates with team-mate Anthony Gordon after scoring his side's seventh goal during the English Premier League match between Sheffield United and Newcastle United at Bramall Lane. (dpa)
24 September 2023, United Kingdom, Sheffield: Newcastle United's Bruno Guimaraes celebrates with team-mate Anthony Gordon after scoring his side's seventh goal during the English Premier League match between Sheffield United and Newcastle United at Bramall Lane. (dpa)
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Newcastle Hosts Man City in League Cup. Madrid Looks to Bounce Back against Las Palmas

24 September 2023, United Kingdom, Sheffield: Newcastle United's Bruno Guimaraes celebrates with team-mate Anthony Gordon after scoring his side's seventh goal during the English Premier League match between Sheffield United and Newcastle United at Bramall Lane. (dpa)
24 September 2023, United Kingdom, Sheffield: Newcastle United's Bruno Guimaraes celebrates with team-mate Anthony Gordon after scoring his side's seventh goal during the English Premier League match between Sheffield United and Newcastle United at Bramall Lane. (dpa)

A look at what’s happening in European soccer on Wednesday:

ENGLAND

Newcastle hosts Manchester City in the third round of the English League Cup on Wednesday. City has made a 100% start to the season, while Newcastle routed Sheffield United 8-0 on Sunday. Newcastle was beaten by Manchester United in last season’s final and is still waiting for its first major trophy since 1969. City won everything but the League Cup last season when it completed a trophy treble of the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup. Other all-Premier League clashes include Aston Villa vs. Everton, Brentford vs. Arsenal and Chelsea vs. Brighton. Liverpool hosts Leicester.

SPAIN

Real Madrid looks to rebound from its first loss of the season when it hosts promoted Las Palmas in the Spanish league. Madrid had won its first five league games before losing 3-1 at city rival Atletico Madrid on Sunday. Vinícius Júnior is expected to make his return after missing the match against Atletico because of a stomach illness. The Brazil forward had been out before that with a hamstring issue. Las Palmas defeated Granada in the previous round for its first win of the season. Girona, which entered the midweek games tied at the top with Barcelona, visits Villarreal looking for its six straight victory. In other matches, Athletic Bilbao hosts Getafe, Rayo Vallecano visits Cadiz and Real Sociedad is at Valencia.

ITALY

Inter Milan will be looking to continue its perfect start to the Serie A season when it hosts Sassuolo. Inter has won all five of its Italian league matches, conceding just one goal in the process. However, it found it harder than perhaps expected before winning 1-0 at bottom club Empoli at the weekend and faces a Sassuolo team full of confidence after a 4-2 victory over Juventus. AC Milan is just three points behind its city rival and hosts Claudio Ranieri’s Cagliari, which is still seeking its first win back in Serie A. Udinese and Salernitana are also winless and play defending champion Napoli and Empoli respectively. Last season’s runner-up Lazio is surprisingly struggling and it hosts Torino, while Atalanta travels to Hellas Verona.

GERMANY

Two-time champion Leipzig begins its German Cup defense at Wehen Wiesbaden, which has lost its last two games and failed to win any of its last four in the second division. Leipzig has made a fine start to season, winning its last four Bundesliga games after an opening defeat at Bayer Leverkusen. Wiesbaden will be hoping the visitors are distracted by their upcoming league game against Bayern Munich on Saturday.


Barcelona’s Winning Streak Ends with 2-2 Draw at Mallorca in Spanish League

 Mallorca's players react at the end of the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Mallorca and Barcelona at the Son Moix stadium in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2023. (AP)
Mallorca's players react at the end of the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Mallorca and Barcelona at the Son Moix stadium in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2023. (AP)
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Barcelona’s Winning Streak Ends with 2-2 Draw at Mallorca in Spanish League

 Mallorca's players react at the end of the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Mallorca and Barcelona at the Son Moix stadium in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2023. (AP)
Mallorca's players react at the end of the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Mallorca and Barcelona at the Son Moix stadium in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2023. (AP)

Barcelona’s five-game winning streak in the Spanish league ended with a 2-2 draw at Mallorca on Tuesday.

Barcelona twice came from behind to salvage the point. It had won five in a row after opening with a draw at Getafe. It also won in its Champions League debut against Antwerp last Tuesday.

The result left the Catalan club in danger of relinquishing the lead when the remaining midweek games are played. It leads Girona by one point and Real Madrid by two points. Girona visits Villarreal on Wednesday, while Madrid hosts promoted Las Palmas.

“We conceded two goals after defensive mistakes and we can’t allow that to happen,” Barcelona coach Xavi said. “It’s a shame, we lost two points because of these mistakes.”

Mallorca, which squandered a few good chances on counterattacks, has just one win so far and is sitting near the relegation zone with six points.

“It was a fair result, we are satisfied,” Mallorca’s Mexican coach Javier Aguirre said. “A victory would have been too much for us today.”

Mallorca was coming off a 5-3 loss at Girona.

The hosts opened the scoring through Vedat Muriqi in the eighth minute before Raphinha equalized in the 41st. Abdon Prats put Mallorca ahead again just before halftime, and Fermin López sealed the draw in the 75th with what was his first league goal for the Catalan club.

Barcelona had a penalty kick awarded in the 66th, but the decision was reversed by video review.

Sevilla wins again

Sevilla scored twice in the first 10 minutes and went on to rout Almeria 5-1 for its second league win of the season.

Youssef En-Nesyri scored in the seventh minute and Dodi Lukebakio in the eighth, then Suso added another in the 38th before Erik Lamela and Kike Salas closed the scoring in the second half.

It was the fifth loss for Almeria, which remains the only team yet to win a match.

Almeria next hosts Granada, while Sevilla visits Barcelona.


Airbnb CEO Urges Parisians to Put Homes up for Rent for Olympics

 Residential apartment buildings are seen near the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, September 26, 2023. (Reuters)
Residential apartment buildings are seen near the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, September 26, 2023. (Reuters)
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Airbnb CEO Urges Parisians to Put Homes up for Rent for Olympics

 Residential apartment buildings are seen near the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, September 26, 2023. (Reuters)
Residential apartment buildings are seen near the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, September 26, 2023. (Reuters)

Airbnb is expecting to host up to half a million people in Paris during the 2024 Olympics and is urging more Parisians to put their homes up for rent, Chief Executive Officer Brian Chesky said on Tuesday.

The more listings there are, the more prices will be contained, Chesky told Reuters, amid fears that prices could rocket and accommodation for the Games next August could become unaffordable for some.

"A lot of people need housing. They don't have enough hotel rooms here in Paris to accommodate everyone," Chesky said.

Paris' tourism office expects some 16 million people to visit the wider Paris region for the Olympics and Paralympics.

"Surveys suggest as many as 20% of people in Paris are interested in hosting. If they put their (homes) on Airbnb and there is enough housing, prices will stay within reason," Chesky said.

"If not enough people put their homes on Airbnb and people don't have enough ... hotels and they can't build more hotels, that's going to increase prices."

Airbnb, which became an Olympic partner in 2019, is dealing with pushback from local authorities across the world amid competition between short-stay holiday rentals and longer term rentals for residents.

Chesky said it would be made clear to hosts that the listings with the best value for money would be given priority for search results.

"So while hotel prices are going up, I will make sure that Airbnb is more affordable than hotels for the equivalent amount of space when people are travelling for Paris for the Olympics. I think we can do that," he said.


Saudi Minister of Sports Holds Talks with Chinese Counterpart, IOC Vice President 

Saudi Minister of Sports Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki bin Faisal bin Abdulaziz awards the medals to the winners of the race. (SPA)
Saudi Minister of Sports Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki bin Faisal bin Abdulaziz awards the medals to the winners of the race. (SPA)
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Saudi Minister of Sports Holds Talks with Chinese Counterpart, IOC Vice President 

Saudi Minister of Sports Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki bin Faisal bin Abdulaziz awards the medals to the winners of the race. (SPA)
Saudi Minister of Sports Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki bin Faisal bin Abdulaziz awards the medals to the winners of the race. (SPA)

Saudi Minister of Sports and Chairman of the Saudi Olympic and Paralympic Committee Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki bin Faisal bin Abdulaziz held talks in Hangzhou on Monday with China’s Minister of Sports, Chairman of the Chinese Olympic Committee and Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the Hangzhou Asian Games Gao Zhidan.

The officials discussed issues related to the 19th Asian Games Huangzhou 2022 that are underway and ways to boost cooperation to serve athletes and youth in their countries.

Prince Abdulaziz is heading the Saudi delegation participating in the Asian Games.

The talks were attended by Vice President of the Saudi Olympic and Paralympic Committee Prince Fahd bin Jalawi bin Abdulaziz bin Musaed, Chairman of the Saudi Esports Federation Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz, Saudi Ambassador to China Abdulrahman bin Ahmed Al-Harbi, and other officials.

Prince Abdulaziz also held talks with Vice President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Ng Ser Miang.

They tackled the latest developments in international sports and the upcoming Olympic Games, in Paris in 2024 and Los Angeles in 2028.

Later in the evening, Prince Abdulaziz crowned the winners of the 200m freestyle relay race at the Asian Games.


Man United Starts League Cup Defense. Barcelona Visits Mallorca 

Football - Premier League - Burnley v Manchester United - Turf Moor, Burnley, Britain - September 23, 2023 Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes reacts. (Reuters)
Football - Premier League - Burnley v Manchester United - Turf Moor, Burnley, Britain - September 23, 2023 Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes reacts. (Reuters)
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Man United Starts League Cup Defense. Barcelona Visits Mallorca 

Football - Premier League - Burnley v Manchester United - Turf Moor, Burnley, Britain - September 23, 2023 Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes reacts. (Reuters)
Football - Premier League - Burnley v Manchester United - Turf Moor, Burnley, Britain - September 23, 2023 Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes reacts. (Reuters)

A look at what’s happening in European football on Tuesday:

ENGLAND

Defending champion Manchester United looks to avoid another early-season setback when it hosts Crystal Palace in the third round of the League Cup. It’s the only all-Premier League clash among Tuesday’s games, with Wolverhampton visiting Ipswich and Burnley traveling to League Two side Salford City.

United also faces Palace at home in the league on Saturday, and manager Erik ten Hag will have to decide how heavily to rotate for a competition that provided him with his first title at the club last season. United is already nine points behind Premier League leader Manchester City, and the League Cup may be Ten Hag’s best chance for silverware again.

SPAIN

Barcelona visits Mallorca looking to extend its winning streak in the Spanish league to six matches. The defending champion sits at the top of the standings with 16 points, tied with fellow Catalan club Girona, which visits Villarreal on Wednesday. Mallorca has only one win and sits near the relegation zone. Sevilla, behind Mallorca in the table and also with only one win, hosts last-place Almeria, the only team yet to win a league game this season.

ITALY

Juventus aims to bounce back from its first defeat of the season with a win over visiting Lecce, which is the only side still undefeated after five games of the Italian league along with Inter Milan. Three glaring errors ensured Juventus slumped to a 4-2 defeat at struggling Sassuolo on Saturday, while Lecce moved a point ahead of the “Old Lady” in Serie A with a 1-0 win at home over Genoa the day before.

GERMANY

After hammering Bochum 7-0 in the Bundesliga at the weekend, Bayern Munich begins its German Cup campaign with a visit to third-division team Preussen Münster. Bayern is bidding to reach the final for the first time since 2020. “It’s clear that we’re the favorite, we’ve nothing to gain,” Bayern coach Thomas Tuchel said Monday. “The opponent has nothing to lose and it’s the typical cup constellation. Still, we’re obligated to win. We want to get to Berlin, we want to be in the final.”

Dutch defender Matthijs de Ligt is out after taking a blow to his knee, but Raphaël Guerreiro could make his first Bayern appearance since switching from Borussia Dortmund in the offseason. Israeli goalkeeper Daniel Peretz is also set to make his Bayern debut.


Injured de Jong Out Until International Break, Says Barca’s Xavi 

Football - LaLiga - FC Barcelona v Celta Vigo - Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys, Barcelona, Spain - September 23, 2023 FC Barcelona's Frenkie de Jong reacts after sustaining an injury. (Reuters)
Football - LaLiga - FC Barcelona v Celta Vigo - Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys, Barcelona, Spain - September 23, 2023 FC Barcelona's Frenkie de Jong reacts after sustaining an injury. (Reuters)
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Injured de Jong Out Until International Break, Says Barca’s Xavi 

Football - LaLiga - FC Barcelona v Celta Vigo - Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys, Barcelona, Spain - September 23, 2023 FC Barcelona's Frenkie de Jong reacts after sustaining an injury. (Reuters)
Football - LaLiga - FC Barcelona v Celta Vigo - Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys, Barcelona, Spain - September 23, 2023 FC Barcelona's Frenkie de Jong reacts after sustaining an injury. (Reuters)

Barcelona's Frenkie de Jong will not return to action until after the next international break at the earliest after picking up an ankle injury at the weekend, manager Xavi said.

The 26-year-old Netherlands midfielder had played every minute of Barcelona's LaLiga matches so far this season before being substituted in the first half against Celta Vigo on Saturday.

"He'll be a significant absence for us," Xavi told reporters on Monday. "Frenkie is fundamental to how we play, especially given the great form he was in.

"About the timeframe of his injury, it's going to depend on him really but we will have to assess how he's feeling after the next international break (in October)."

Barcelona visit Real Mallorca later on Tuesday, followed by a home game against Sevilla and a Champions League group stage away fixture against Porto on Oct. 4. They visit Granada in the league on Oct. 8 before the break.

Xavi said he will have to rotate his squad for upcoming matches, with midfielder Pedri also nursing a thigh injury.

"We will rotate not just for the Champions League, but also for the next LaLiga game," he added. "There will be an average of two or three players rotating every game, that's how we understand we have to prevent injuries."


Croatian Teen Vuskovic to Join Tottenham in 2025

Tottenham's players are applauded by their fans after the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates Stadium in London on September 24, 2023. The game finished 2-2. (AFP)
Tottenham's players are applauded by their fans after the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates Stadium in London on September 24, 2023. The game finished 2-2. (AFP)
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Croatian Teen Vuskovic to Join Tottenham in 2025

Tottenham's players are applauded by their fans after the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates Stadium in London on September 24, 2023. The game finished 2-2. (AFP)
Tottenham's players are applauded by their fans after the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates Stadium in London on September 24, 2023. The game finished 2-2. (AFP)

Tottenham Hotspur said they have reached an agreement to sign defender Luka Vuskovic from Croatia's Hajduk Split, with the 16-year-old to join the Premier League club in 2025.

Vuskovic will join Spurs on a contract running until 2030, the club said on Monday. British media reported the deal was worth around 12 million pounds ($14.64 million).

Under FIFA rules, Vuskovic must wait until he is 18 before he can arrive in England.

The center back has played 11 times for Hajduk Split since making his senior debut in February, becoming the youngest player to feature in the Croatian top flight at 16 years and two days old.

Vuskovic also has five caps for Croatia's under-17 team.


African Players in Europe: Salah Joins Exclusive Group

 Liverpool's Mohamed Salah scores his side's opening goal from a penalty kick during the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and West Ham at the Anfield stadium in Liverpool, England, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2023. (AP)
Liverpool's Mohamed Salah scores his side's opening goal from a penalty kick during the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and West Ham at the Anfield stadium in Liverpool, England, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2023. (AP)
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African Players in Europe: Salah Joins Exclusive Group

 Liverpool's Mohamed Salah scores his side's opening goal from a penalty kick during the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and West Ham at the Anfield stadium in Liverpool, England, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2023. (AP)
Liverpool's Mohamed Salah scores his side's opening goal from a penalty kick during the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and West Ham at the Anfield stadium in Liverpool, England, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2023. (AP)

Liverpool and Egypt star Mohamed Salah joined an exclusive group when he opened the scoring in a 3-1 Premier League victory over West Ham United at the weekend.

He became only the fifth player to either score or assist a goal in each of his team's first six league games of a season after David Beckham, Thierry Henry, Sergio Aguero and Erling Haaland.

Here, AFP Sport highlights African headline-makers in the major European leagues:

ENGLAND

MOHAMED SALAH (Liverpool)

His fourth goal this season sparked second-placed Liverpool to a 3-1 win over West Ham at Anfield. Salah converted a 16th-minute penalty after he was brought down by Morocco international Nayef Aguerd.

ABDOULAYE DOUCOURE (Everton)

The Mali midfielder's superb strike helped Everton win in the league for the first time this season and climb out of the relegation zone with a 3-1 victory at Brentford. Doucoure struck after just six minutes with a half-volley.

SPAIN

INAKI WILLIAMS (Athletic Bilbao)

The Ghana international broke the deadlock in Athletic's 2-0 La Liga win over Alaves after 18 minutes when he was sent through on goal, after a clever run in behind the defense. The striker missed a fine chance to double his tally when he slashed an effort off-target with his left foot when well placed.

GERMANY

ERIC MAXIM CHOUPO-MOTING (Bayern Munich)

Choupo-Moting opened the scoring after just four minutes in Bayern's 7-0 Bundesliga rout of lowly Bochum. The Cameroon international tapped in for his first goal of the season in his first league start.

VICTOR BONIFACE (Bayer Leverkusen)

Boniface continued his blistering start with Leverkusen, scoring another brace in a 4-1 win over promoted Heidenheim. The Nigerian smashed the ball home to give Bayer an early lead and netted from a second-half penalty.

SERHOU GUIRASSY (Stuttgart)

Guirassy was another African to score twice, as Stuttgart defeated Darmstadt 3-1. The Guinea international struck with a shot and a dink to raise his season total to 10 goals from five matches.

FRANCE

JEREMIE BOGA (Nice)

The France-born Ivory Coast international winger came off the bench to score a stoppage-time Ligue 1 winner for Nice as they beat local rivals Monaco 1-0 away after Folarin Balogun had two penalties saved for the home team. It was the 26-year-old's first goal since a big-money move from Atalanta in the close season.

STEVE MOUNIE (Brest)

The Benin international forward came off the bench to head a late winner as Brest beat struggling Lyon 1-0. The result left the unheralded club from Brittany on top of the table, a point clear of Nice and two ahead of both Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco.

MORGAN GUILAVOGUI (Lens)

Guinea international Guilavogui was another player to star off the bench as he came on as a substitute and grabbed a late winner for Lens against Toulouse. Last season's runners-up came from behind to win 2-1 and claim their first victory of the campaign.