Comment Advertisement Advertisement Metro Sport ReporterSaturday 26 Sep 2020 3:00 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link11.8kShares Lyon set new reduced price for Houssem Aouar as Arsenal close in on deal Aouar is closing in on a move to Arsenal (Picture: AFP via Getty)Lyon have reduced their asking price for Houssem Aouar, with Arsenal closing in on a deal for the French midfielder.The Ligue 1 side will reject Arsenal’s £32million bid but expect Mikel Arteta’s side to return with a new and improved offer. Lyon chiefs initially wanted £55m for the central midfielder but, according to ESPN, have now reduced that figure to between £36-41m, which is not far away from Arsenal’s opening offer.The French outfit have been forced to lower their demands for the playmaker due to the coronavirus pandemic impacting their financial health significantly. ADVERTISEMENTArsenal are desperately trying to offload Lucas Torreira in order to raise the funds required to sign Aouar.AdvertisementAdvertisementHe is keen on a move to the Emirates this summer and will agree to a transfer if the two clubs can thrash out terms. Arteta is keen to land Aouar (Picture: Getty)The 22-year-old impressed in the Champions League last season as Lyon reached the semi-finals and he was part of the side that knocked out Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in the last-eight. Arteta identified him as a priority transfer target early in the summer and Arsenal chiefs have been doing their best to make a deal happen. More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing ArsenalSporting director Edu has been holding talks with his Lyon counterpart Juninho for the past few weeks before submitting an official offer for the midfielder. It now looks as if Arteta will get his man and Aouar is on the verge of a move to the Premier League.Follow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.For more stories like this, check our sport page.
Area Girls And Boys Basketball Scores.Wednesday (12-13)Girls Scores.Batesville 52 Franklin County 40FC JV Won 38-32Jac-Cen-Del 68 North Decatur 44South Ripley 50 Switz. County 34Lawrenceburg 60 Harrison 30Hauser 59 Edinburgh 50Boys Scores.Franklin County 56 Ross 54Lawrenceburg 32 Harrison 31South Decatur 55 Shawe Memorial 35
That is backed up by his statistics since January 1 as he has scored 11 in 16 matches. “I think there have been two clear different periods,” added Martinez. “Coming back from the World Cup was a really tough moment from a physical point of view to get back to his best level. “We worked really hard to get him back to the level and from the last week of December there was a real change for someone like him who relies on his physical capability. “I thought he hit the best level and from that point on we have seen a completely different Romelu: someone who was in control of his movements and then the power and pace was very effective. “He has always been a clinical goalscorer and I think his level has generally been quite impressive.” In four Europa League ties in the knockout stage Lukaku scored seven times, including a hat-trick against Young Boys in Switzerland. With 18 goals in total this season he is Everton’s leading scorer by some considerable margin (Steven Naismith and Kevin Mirallas have nine apiece). Martinez believes Lukaku has shown he can shoulder the burden which comes with his £28million price tag. “What he has done in Europe and what he has done as a young man, taking responsibility for the team, has been very impressive,” he said. “He is only 21 and it is only his second full season in an important role in a team playing a lot of minutes. “Last season he managed to play 20 full games, I expect him to play more than that this season and that will be an incredible step forward to grow and develop. “Since January we have been delighted with his performances but I must admit since the start of the season I have been delighted with his attitude as he has taken responsibility and grown so quickly. “When you see Rom play now you would never say he was 21 years old.” However, Martinez believes he would have a difficult time trying to convince him to take it easy, even if he was inclined to protect his striker from more injuries before the end of the campaign. “I think it would be near-enough impossible to keep Rom away from the football pitch at this stage. It’s not in his nature,” said the Spaniard. “Someone like Rom needs to be on the football pitch. He is only 21 and I don’t think there is any need for that at all. “If I am completely honest I think he has been suffering a lot in the last seven to 10 days that he has been injured and away from the team. “Rom belongs on the pitch, working for the team and scoring goals and becoming important and I don’t think there is a strong case to rest him now. “What we have to make sure is when he gets involved with Belgium in June he gets a proper break and he can recover and regenerate and get ready for next season.” Lukaku struggled to find his form in the first half of the season after the World Cup and he had only two goals to his name by mid-October. In 26 appearances up to and including January 1 he scored just seven times, but Martinez believes once he regained full sharpness there was a significant change. Everton manager Roberto Martinez admits he would not be able to ease striker Romelu Lukaku through the remainder of the season even if he wanted to. The Belgium international is set to return from a four-week absence with a hamstring injury this weekend at home to Burnley. Considering the workload the 21-year-old has had over the last 10 months, taking in the World Cup in Brazil and then heading straight into a Premier League and European campaign, there may have been a temptation to let their top scorer have a more restful end to the season with the Toffees having nothing to play for. Press Association
England Golf has launched a new £300 grant to help GolfMark clubs and RangeMark driving ranges with projects to grow junior golf.The money – which must be matched by the club or range – can be used to offer structured coaching sessions with PGA professionals and activities to attract boys and girls and encourage them to progress and stay in the sport.The GolfMark and RangeMark awards are made by England Golf and recognise facilities which are junior and beginner friendly. The grant is available to all facilities which hold an up-to-date award and may be applied for at any time from 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2014. There are currently 630 GolfMark clubs and 37 stand-alone ranges which have been awarded RangeMark .Richard Flint, the England Golf Development Manager, said: “England Golf is committed to supporting and rewarding the hard work of all GolfMark and RangeMark facilities. This grant will help them provide opportunities for young people to get into golf and to encourage them to remain within our sport and become the adult members of the future.”The new grant is just part of England Golf’s commitment to junior golf.In addition to GolfMark and RangeMark, England Golf runs the National Skills Challenge, supported by FootJoy. Over 6000 children from almost 800 clubs are registered for the Challenge which aims to make practice fun for young golfers and help them improve their putting, chipping, pitching, bunker play and the long game. Facilities can register online at any time and receive a variety of free resources, see www.getintogolf.org/skillsThe latest edition of the England Golf Junior Organisers’ Handbook was published earlier this year. This is a complete guide for anyone involved in running a junior section.The network of County Golf Partnerships also offers clubs and ranges support for activities for the over-14s.Information about the new Junior Development Grant has been sent to GolfMark and RangeMark facilities.Image copyright John Thomson 2 Apr 2013 England Golf’s new grant supports juniors
In this image taken from video, Missouri defensive end Michael Sam cries as he talks on a mobile phone at a draft party in San Diego, after he was selected in the seventh round, 249th overall, by the St. Louis Rams in the NFL draft Saturday, May 10, 2014. The Southeastern Conference defensive player of the year last season came out as gay in media interviews this year. (AP Photo/ESPN)NEW YORK (AP) — Michael Sam waited and waited. Hours passed, rounds came and went, and eventually, there were only eight more picks left on the third and final day of the NFL draft.For just a moment, it looked as if his chance of being picked by a pro team and becoming the league’s first openly gay player might take a detour. Or at least be delayed.The call finally came in Saturday from the St. Louis Rams, the team right down the road from where Sam played his college ball at the University of Missouri.Sam was selected in the seventh and final round and admitted it was a frustrating wait. He said teams that passed on him chickened out and he should have been drafted sooner.“From last season alone, I should’ve been in the first three rounds. SEC Defensive Player of the Year, All-American,” Sam said. He stopped short of directly saying his stock dropped in the draft because he came out.“You know what, who knows? Who knows? Only the people who sit in the war room know,” he said. “They saw Michael Sam, day after day they scratched it off the board. That was their loss. But St. Louis kept me on that board. And you know what I feel like I’m a (Jadeveon) Clowney, a first draft pick. I’m proud of where I am now.”Sam came out as gay in media interviews earlier this year. His team and coaches knew his secret and kept it for his final college season. He went on to have the best year of his career: He was the co-defensive player of the year in the nation’s best college football conference and had 11.5 sacks.The pick came after several rounds of suspense. The first round of the day, No. 4 overall, came and went, no Sam. Then the fifth and sixth, and finally, the day was down to just a handful of picks.When Mike Kensil, the NFL’s vice president of game operations, walked to the podium at Radio City Music Hall in the draft’s final minutes to announce the Rams’ second-to-last pick, the crowd got a sense something was up. Very few of the last day picks were announced at the podium. Twitter lit up with suggestions the Rams were about to make news.When Kensil said: “The St. Louis Rams select … Michael Sam…” the fans gave a hearty cheer, chanting “Yes! Yes! Yes!” and “Michael Sam!”Sam was in San Diego watching with friends and family at the home of his agent, Joe Barkett of Empire Athletes. ESPN and the NFL Network had cameras there and showed Sam’s reaction.Sam was on the phone bending over, with his boyfriend hugging him and rubbing his left bicep. When Sam got off the phone, the tears started. He gave his boyfriend a big kiss and a long hug as he cried and his eyes reddened. After, they shared cake — and another kiss.“Thank you to the St. Louis Rams and the whole city of St. Louis. I’m using every once of this to achieve greatness!!” Sam tweeted with a frenzied typo moments after he was picked, with a picture of himself wearing a Rams cap and a pink polo shirt.The 6-foot-2, 255-pound Sam was considered a mid-to-late round pick, far from a sure thing to be drafted. He played defensive end in college, but he’s short for that position in the NFL and slower than most outside linebackers, the position he’ll need to transition to at the professional level.He was taken with the 249th overall pick out of 256. Players from Marist, Maine and McGill University in Canada were selected before Sam.“In the world of diversity we live in now, I’m honored to be a part of this,” Rams coach Jeff Fisher said during an interview on ESPN.FILE – In this Sept. 8, 2012 file photo, Missouri’s Michael Sam (52) runs onto the field along with their teammates before the start of an NCAA college football game against Georgia in Columbia, Mo. Sam was selected in the seventh round, 249th overall, by the St. Louis Rams in the NFL draft Saturday, May 10, 2014. The Southeastern Conference defensive player of the year last season for Missouri came out as gay in media interviews this year. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)President Barack Obama sent his congratulations.Obama calls the selection of Sam “an important step forward.”Obama says that from the playing field to the corporate boardroom, gay and lesbian Americans, quote, “prove every day that you should be judged by what you do and not who you are.”The NFL had no comment on Sam being drafted.The impact of Sam’s selection goes far beyond football. At a time when gay marriage is gaining acceptance among Americans, Sam’s entry into the NFL is a huge step toward the integration of gay men into professional team sports. Pro sports have in many ways lagged behind the rest of society in acceptance.“Michael Sam wouldn’t have been drafted five years ago,” said former Viking punter Chris Kluwe, who has accused Minnesota of cutting him in part because of his vocal support for gay rights.In the last year, NBA veteran Jason Collins has come out publicly as gay, and is now playing for the Brooklyn Nets. Collins said before the Nets’ playoff game against the Heat that he was watching the draft and texted Sam after he was picked.“It’s a great day for Michael and his family and for the NFL,” Collins said.Publicly, most people in and related to the NFL have been supportive of Sam. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has said Sam would be welcome in the league and judged solely on his ability to play. A few wondered whether teams would be reluctant to draft Sam because of all the media attention that would come with it.Fair or not, the NFL — coming off a season in which a bullying scandal involving players on the Miami Dolphins was one of the biggest stories in sports — was looking at a possible public relations hit if Sam was not drafted. He would likely have been signed as a free agent and given a chance to make a team in training camp, but to many it would have looked as if he was being rejected.Now that he’s there, it could be seen as an opportunity for the NFL to show that crass locker room culture is not as prevalent as it might have looked to those who followed the embarrassing Dolphins scandal. But all the reaction to Sam’s news wasn’t positive from the league.Miami safety Don Jones posted a one-word tweet, “Horrible” shortly after Sam was drafted. It was later taken down. The team’s general manager said he was aware, and was disappointed.Wade Davis, a gay former NFL player who is now the executive director of the gay rights advocacy group “You Can Play,” said that Sam only needs to do his job to have an impact beyond the field.“Michael Sam doesn’t have to be a vocal advocate (for gay rights),” Davis said. “His visibility is his advocacy.”___Follow AP College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo at www.Twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP