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Arsenal will not stop Saliba from going to the Olympics with France

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Arsenal have agreed to release William Saliba to play for his country, France.

Saliba was on Friday named in France’s squad for this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo

The Arsenal defender, who signed for £27m in 2019 but then went straight out on loan, will now miss out on pre-season with the north London side.

The gold medal match takes place on August 7 in Yokohama, just six days before Mikel Arteta’s side get their Premier League campaign underway against Brentford.

The club policy is that if selected by their country, the player can go.

FIFA extended the age limit rules last April for the men’s tournament as a result of the Games being postponed due to the pandemic, with those who are 24 and under eligible to play to ensure players do not miss out as a result of the year delay.

Each team is still allowed to pick three over-aged players in their squad. Andre-Pierre Gignac, Florian Thauvin and Teji Savanier have been chosen by France as those three for the Games.

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Ronaldo finally reacts to Man United’s embarrassing defeat to Liverpool at Old Trafford

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Cristiano Ronaldo alongside his Manchester United teammates were at the receiving end of a humiliating 5-0 defeat at the hands of Liverpool and Old Trafford.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner played all 90 minutes as the plaudits went to Mohamed Salah who scored a hat-trick .

The 36-year-old scored a brilliant individual effort in the second half but the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) ruled it for an offside.

It was a bad day at the office for United as Jurgen Klopp’s side dominated most part of the game to remain unbeaten in seven meetings against the Red Devils since he became Liverpool manager.

On the other hand, Ronaldo made a motivational post on his Instagram handle apologizing to fans and urged his teammates to move on from the embarrassing defeat.

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Real Madrid triumph in first Clasico of the season

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Real Madrid beat Barcelona in a new-look El Clasico to go top of La Liga and leave Ronald Koeman’s side down in eighth in the table.

It was the first Clasico without Barca icon Lionel Messi or Real legend Sergio Ramos – who both joined Paris St-Germain in the summer – since 2004.

David Alaba started and finished a counter for Real’s first and Lucas Vazquez scored a second in injury time.

Sergio Aguero scored his first Barca goal but it was almost the last kick.

Alaba’s goal was the best of the game. The former Bayern Munich defender won the ball from Barca striker Memphis Depay on the edge of his box before starting a counter-attack.

He finished it off by running onto Rodrygo’s pass before slamming a shot across home keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen into the far corner.

It was his first goal for Real Madrid, who he joined in the summer, on his El Clasico debut.

The final two goals came in injury time with Vazquez tapping in after Marco Asensio’s shot was saved by Ter Stegen.

Substitute Aguero buried Sergino Dest’s cross, in what was only Barcelona’s second shot on target, but the final whistle went seconds later.

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Every Premier League player expected to be at AFCON and games they will miss

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Premier League players expected to be at 2022 AFCON and games they will miss

The Africa Cup of Nations is set to hamper Premier League clubs up and down the country in and around the New Year.

The continental tournament is always held midway through the season and sees established stars head away for a number of weeks.

Around 40 players will depart after the games on Boxing Day with some not returning until the second week of February.

Premier League clubs have contested the laws around players jetting off to represent their nations during the pandemic, but any hopes of keeping their players for the entirety of the Festive period looks slim.

FIFA rules state “players must be released and start travel to their representative team no later than Monday morning the week preceding the week when the relevant final competition starts.”

The African Cup of Nations officially begins on January 9 and concludes on February 6.

Cameroon kick off the tournament against Burkina Faso which means December 27 – 13 days previous – is the date players will be leaving their clubs.

A heavily stocked schedule means team’s with players whose countries go deep into the tournament may miss up to eight games across the Premier League and FA Cup.

There is an apparent grey area, based on certain nations beginning their tournament after the official January 9 start dates.

In those circumstances there is hope that agreements can be met which could see players stay for an extra day or two, which in some cases may be crucial.

Jurgen Klopp will be without the duo for festive games at Leicester and Chelsea – played across the space of five days.

Arsenal, Chelsea, Crystal Palace and Leicester will also lose key players for the duration of the tournament.

The Blues will see Edouard Mendy leave in what is a major blow whilst the likes of Wilfried Zaha, Thomas Partey, Wilfred Ndidi and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will all jet off.

Mikel Arteta will therefore have to endure a game with Manchester City and a north London derby minus some of his leading lights.

The Foxes meanwhile could be without Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho for both their games with Liverpool, such is the proximity of the two fixtures.

Here are Premier league players that will feature in the competition:

Arsenal

Thomas Partey (Ghana)

Mohamed Elneny (Egypt)

Pierre Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon)

Nicolas Pepe (Ivory Coast)

Aston Villa

Mahmoud Trezeguet (Egypt)

Bertrand Traore (Burkina Faso)

Marvelous Nakamba (Zimbabwe)

Brentford

Julian Jeanvier (Guinea)

Frank Onyeka (Nigeria)

Tariqe Fosu-Henry (Ghana)

Brighton

Yves Bissouma (Mali)

Burnley

Maxwel Cornet (Ivory Coast)

Chelsea

Edouard Mendy (Senegal)

Hakim Ziyech (Morocco)

Crystal Palace

Cheikhou Kouyate (Senegal)

Jeffrey Schlupp (Ghana)

Jordan Ayew (Ghana)

Wilfried Zaha (Ivory Coast)

Everton

Jean-Philippe Gbamin (Ivory Coast)

Alex Iwobi (Nigeria)

Leicester City

Daniel Amartey (Ghana)

Nampalys Mendy (Senegal)

Wilfred Ndidi (Nigeria)

Kelechi Iheanacho (Nigeria)

Liverpool

Mohamed Salah (Egypt)

Naby Keita (Guinea)

Sadio Mane (Senegal)

Manchester City

Riyad Mahrez (Algeria)

Manchester United

Eric Bailly (Ivory Coast)

Amad Diallo (Ivory Coast)

Southampton

Moussa Djenepo (Mali)

Mohammed Salisu (Ghana)

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