Rugby Australia seal $100m broadcast deal

Rugby Australia has moved into a new era after partnering with Nine Entertainment Co. and its streaming service Stan in a three-year deal that will see Super Rugby on free to air for the first time.

The $100 million deal, which has an option for a further two years, sees RA cut ties with News Corporation’s Foxtel after 25 years.

It’s a massive boost for rugby after RA shed more than 40 per cent of its workforce, plus wage cuts for players, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

From next year, one Super Rugby AU game will be shown live on the Nine Network each Saturday night as well as the competition finals and Wallabies Tests.

Stan Sport, which will launch next year, will stream the remaining Super Rugby AU games, the women’s competition and Super Rugby Aotearoa, plus the Rugby Championship and Wallaroos Tests.

The deal follows the lead of Optus Sport, which televises the English Premier League, and also Foxtel’s Kayo.

However, it is the first to share content between a free-to-air network and its streaming service, which will also become a broadcaster in its own right.

In a massive logistical commitment Stan and RA will team up to cover every Shute Shield club rugby game in NSW and Hospital Challenge Cup in Queensland.

The deal was confirmed on Monday after more than 12 months of negotiations when then RA chief executive Raelene Castle rejected Foxtel’s initial offer, seeking a free-to-air component.

RA interim boss Rob Clarke said Foxtel were in the race and had “every chance to compete” right up until Saturday, but the RA board voted unanimously to go with Nine.

“This is a landmark broadcast arrangement for Rugby Australia that will usher in a new era for our game,” Clarke said.

“It’s a superior deal in cash and contra to our current domestic deal and for the first time in Super Rugby history, free to air television exposure.

“This – for our commercial partners and for our Super Rugby clubs – will be very significant and will help to underpin the economics of the game.”

Clarke said the money wouldn’t be going entirely to the “elite end”, with plans to funnel funds back into grassroots and development pathways.

Stan chief executive Mike Sneesby said the sports channel would be an add-on package to their entertainment offering.

“This deal with Rugby Australia is a first for Australian television; cross platform streaming broadcast distribution delivered through Nine and through Stan under a single partnership,” Sneesby said.

“It’s a partnership where we can combine free to air broadcast with subscription opportunity to maximise the commercialisation of the sport – that’s great for business and great for rugby.”

It’s unclear what other sports Stan can secure for its new service although Sneesby admitted they were on the hunt.

Nine chief executive Hugh Marks said the international aspect of rugby appealed, as well as the growth in the women’s game.

With Nine already televising the NRL, Australian Open tennis and Super Netball, he was confident rugby would be “profitable”.

Marks said there had been discussions with RA about bringing innovation to the broadcast.

“We have got some pretty exciting thoughts and concepts about how we are going to bring some new things to the coverage of rugby,” Marks said.

“I think you will see some pretty exciting developments.”

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Nine, Rugby Australia confirm $100m broadcast deal

The rest of Rugby Australia’s broadcast offering – including all other Super Rugby matches, Super W, the remainder of the Rugby Championship, inbound Tests for other southern hemisphere nations, Wallaroos games, Shute Shield, Hospital Cup, New Zealand’s Mitre 10 and South Africa’s Currie Cup – will be live and ad-free on Stan.

“Rugby Australia is making bold moves in the development of the sport – something that fits perfectly with what we do at Stan,” Stan chief executive Mike Sneesby said.

Streaming service Stan will become the home of Australian rugby under the landmark deal.Credit:Getty

“This partnership with Rugby Australia will see Stan launch its live streaming capability in 2021, as we take Australian sports television into a new era. Through the combined audience reach and engagement across Nine’s television platforms, we are well positioned to bring rugby union to more Australians than ever before.”

The three-year, $100 million deal has a two-year option.


Rugby Australia chief executive Rob Clarke praised the landmark deal.

“The fantasy has become a reality for the Australian rugby community,” Clarke said.

“This is a landmark deal that includes everything in the showbag, and it gives more Australians more access to more rugby than ever before.

“Australian rugby is transforming with an exciting future ahead, and this innovative partnership enables us to fast-track that growth from the grassroots up as well as showcase and promote the game like never before.”

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US tallies 100m early votes as turnout heads to new record

More than 100m Americans cast their ballots before election day, shattering previous records for early voting and putting the country on path to its highest participation rate in more than a century.

The mail-in and early ballot total, tallied on Tuesday by the US Election Project based on data provided by state election authorities, is equivalent to almost 73 per cent of the entire 2016 vote and means far fewer votes were up for grabs as Americans streamed to the polls on election day.

The campaigns of President Donald Trump and his Democratic rival Joe Biden claimed the heavy turnout would help their candidate, with Mr Trump himself telling aides at his campaign headquarters in Northern Virginia that early tallies in Texas and Arizona were “looking really very strong”.

“Winning is easy,” Mr Trump added. “Losing is never easy. Not for me, it’s not.”

Jennifer O’Malley Dillon, Mr Biden’s campaign manager, said the data, which showed more Democrats than Republicans voted early, “really underscores how many pathways we believe we have to victory and how few Trump has”.

As Americans voted, law enforcement authorities and retailers prepared for possible unrest in several big cities. Buildings in Washington DC and other urban centres were boarded up on election day, making the campaign’s end as unusual as the seven months that came before, unfolding in the shadow of a pandemic that has claimed more than 231,000 American lives and resulted in Mr Trump’s own hospitalisation with Covid-19.

In the case of a close contest, the victor is unlikely to be announced on election night given that the crucial industrial states of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin are not expected to complete their ballot counts in time.

Democrats hope that wins in Florida and possibly Texas, which has become a new battleground, will give Mr Biden an early and decisive victory.

But the final result could be delayed by days, or even weeks, if the race is close and Democrats fight expected legal efforts by Mr Trump and Republicans to prevent some mail-in votes from being counted.

The first polls will close at 6pm eastern time in the conservative states of Kentucky and Indiana. But the first signs from the key swing states will start to emerge after 7pm when Georgia and parts of Florida end voting.

Donald Trump warned that electing Joe Biden would imperil the post-pandemic economic recovery at a rally in Scranton, Pennsylvania © AP

In a sign of heightened tensions ahead of an election cast by both sides as one of the most consequential in history, retailers from Target to Tiffany boarded up their stores to prepare for possible violence.

Many other businesses and some government buildings in Washington were also secured, while fencing was erected around the White House.

The fears of turmoil come after Mr Trump made baseless claims about voter fraud that have energised his base and led to accusations from Democrats that he is relying on dirty tricks to win the election. It also follows months of anti-racism protests and a foiled plan to abduct the Democratic governor of Michigan.

On Monday evening the president appeared to suggest his supporters were ready to take to the streets because of a US Supreme Court decision to allow Pennsylvania to extend the deadline for mail-in ballots.

“The Supreme Court decision on voting in Pennsylvania is a very dangerous one. It will allow rampant and unchecked cheating and will undermine our entire systems of laws. It will also induce violence in the streets. Something must be done!” Mr Trump wrote on Twitter.

The post prompted the social media platform to add a disclaimer saying the president’s claim was “disputed” and “might be misleading”.

Mr Trump has refused to commit to a peaceful transition of power and, during his first debate with Mr Biden, even urged a white supremacist group to “stand back and stand by”.

Joe Biden campaigned in Pittsburgh with Lady Gaga, one of several musicians trying to help Democrats boost turnout © AP

On Monday the contenders made their closing arguments, with Mr Trump claiming that his Democratic rival would prevent the economy from recovering after pandemic-related lockdowns, while Mr Biden said Mr Trump should be ousted because of his handling of Covid-19.

“It’s time for Donald Trump to pack his bags and go home,” Mr Biden said in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as he campaigned with Lady Gaga, one of several musicians along with Bruce Springsteen and John Legend who is trying to help the Democrats boost turnout.

Across the state in Scranton, the northeastern Pennsylvania city where Mr Biden was born, Mr Trump slammed his rival during another of his big rallies, which have sparked concern because they run the risk of fuelling the rise in US coronavirus cases.

“We win Pennsylvania, we win it all,” Mr Trump said of the state, which had been a Democratic stronghold since 1992 until he won it narrowly four years ago.

Line chart showing how Trump and Biden are doing in the US national polls

Mr Biden leads Mr Trump by 8.1 points, according to a Financial Times analysis of polling data compiled by RealClearPolitics. He also has the edge in every swing state, except Ohio, Iowa and North Carolina. And he is neck and neck with Mr Trump in Texas, a traditionally Republican state that awards 38 of the 270 electoral college votes needed to win the presidency.

But Mr Biden’s lead in some swing states, including Florida, is within the margin of error, raising concern among some Democrats that Mr Trump could repeat his surprise win of 2016, when some opinion polls underestimated the level of his support among white working-class voters in the rustbelt.

Mr Trump hopes that these “Trump Democrats”, who propelled him to victory four years ago, will support him again. Mr Biden is banking on winning back some of these white men, in addition to securing a higher turnout of black voters than Hillary Clinton managed four years ago while attracting the votes of enough suburban women.

In recent days, Mr Trump has repeated his allegation that the Democrats were trying to steal the election and warned that his lawyers would try to block the counting of absentee votes after election day.

But the president on Monday suffered a twin blow in his attempts to use the courts to influence the outcome, after judges in Nevada and Texas ruled against Republicans in high-profile legal cases concerning the validity of early ballots.

In Pittsburgh, Mr Biden slammed Mr Trump for trying to undermine the legitimacy of mail-in ballots. “I don’t care how hard Donald Trump tries, there is nothing . . . that is going to stop the people of this nation from voting.” 

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100m world champion Christian Coleman handed two-year ban for missed drug tests, will miss Olympics

Men’s 100-metre world champion Christian Coleman was banned for two years on Tuesday and lost his chance to succeed Usain Bolt as the fastest man at the Olympic Games.

Track and field’s Athletics Integrity Unit said it banned the American sprinter for two years, until May 13, 2022, because of three violations of doping control rules.

Coleman missed two visits by sample collection officials and failed to file correct information on another occasion, all in 2019 — the year he won his first world title.

“We see this case as involving behaviour by the athlete as very careless at best, and reckless at worst,” the three-person judging panel said in its published ruling.

Coleman can appeal against his ban at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The 24-year-old had been provisionally suspended from competition since May. Weeks later, details of his three so-called “whereabouts failures” were revealed.

Athletes face a two-year ban if they have three violations in a 12-month period.

A previous similar case against Coleman was dropped weeks before the 2019 world championships in Doha, Qatar.

That cleared him to take gold in the individual 100m and 4x100m relay and established him as favourite to win titles at the Tokyo Olympics, which have been postponed to next year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Jamaican icon Bolt won the marquee 100m dash at the past three Summer Games.

Christian Coleman (second from right), finished behind Justin Gatlin in the 2017 world championships, ahead of Usain Bolt.(Reuters: Matthew Child)

The judges said there was no suggestion Coleman ever took a banned substance.

However, even the panel noted Coleman was in a pool of top-level athletes targeted for no-notice testing since 2016, and “has received anti-doping education for a number of years”.

“The evidence indicated a complete failure to [comply with the rules] by the athlete,” the judges said.

Coleman previously wrote in his blog that his third and decisive whereabouts failure — on December 9 last year — occurred when drug testers showed up at his residence while he was Christmas shopping.

Elite athletes are required to fill out a “whereabouts form” to make it possible for anti-doping authorities to carry out surprise testing outside of competition.

A violation means an athlete either did not fill out forms telling authorities where they could be found, or that they weren’t where they said they would be when testers arrived.

Coleman also got silver in the 100m and relay at the 2017 world championships in London.


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World 100m champion Christian Coleman to miss Olympics after ban

World 100 metres champion Christian Coleman will miss next year’s Tokyo Olympics after being banned for two years for breaching whereabouts rules, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) said.

Coleman, who narrowly escaped a ban last year for missing three doping tests, was provisionally suspended by the AIU in June.

Christian Coleman Credit:AP

The American sprinter had claimed at the time that anti-doping officials had not followed procedure when he missed them after going Christmas shopping on December 9, 2019 at a time when he had said he would be at home.

“We impose on the athlete a period of ineligibility of two years, which will end on May 13, 2022,” the AIU said in a statement on its website on Tuesday (Wednesday AEDT).

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Lowe’s to hand out another round of bonuses worth $100M – Long Island Business News

Lowe’s Cos. announced Wednesday that it is handing out another round of bonuses to recognize its front-line employees in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A news release from the company said all full-time hourly workers will get $300, and part-time and seasonal employees will receive $150 on Oct. 16. The bonuses total $100 million and will affect hourly workers at Lowe’s stores, distribution centers and store support centers, the company said.

The latest bonus will match the money Lowe’s provided to all hourly associates in March, May, July and August, according to the company.

The retailer joins other companies from Amazon to Kroger to Target that have provided their front-line and warehouse workers bonuses. Some have even offered free access to virtual doctor visits during the pandemic.

With the latest bonuses, Lowe’s will have provided more than $675 million in financial support to its sales associates this year, the news release said.

Also, Lowe’s has committed more than $100 million to support its communities during the pandemic, including $55 million in grants to provide financial relief to rural, minority-owned and women-owned small businesses, according to the news release.

The Mooresville, North Carolina-based chain has more than 2,200 stores and about 300,000 full- and part-time employees. In August it reported that second-quarter sales surged and profits were better than expected as shoppers spent stimulus money — as well as funds formerly spent on travel and entertainment — on do-it-yourself projects around the house.

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Obeid family stood to make $100m from coal deal, court hears

Moses Obeid said his family stood to make $100 million from a coal deal which is now the centre of a criminal trial.Credit:Rhett Wyman

The court heard that Moses and Nicole Obeid moved next door to Peter and Nicki Fitzhenry in Elizabeth Bay in around 2004. “They were delightful people,” said panel beater Mr Fitzhenry. The two families became good friends dining at each other’s houses several times a week.

Mr Fitzhenry told the NSW Supreme Court that Moses’s father Eddie Obeid was looking for a rural retreat. “My dad wants to cook goats and hang around the property,” he said Moses told him.

The Obeids purchased Cherrydale Park, in the Bylong Valley near Mudgee with settlement taking place in November 2007. Moses told his neighbours it was a beautiful property that had been owned by Kerry Packer’s accountant.

Not long after the purchase Moses told Mr Fitzhenry there was coal underneath the property and if it was mined it would be “a life-changing situation, it would be fantastic money wise.”

Moses Obeid suggested that the Fitzhenrys buy the adjoining farm for $3 million because there was a rail line through it which would make it attractive for a mining company. “There was a substantial amount of money to be made out of it,” Mr Fitzhenry recalled Moses telling him.

Mr Fitzhenry said Moses Obeid said if his neighbours bought the adjoining property the Obeids would look after the mortgage payments.

“I understood the whole thing, and I didn’t want any part of it,” Mr Fitzhenry told the court.

Mrs Fitzhenry recalled Moses saying his family stood to make $100 million from the coal underneath Cherrydale Park. “Anyone who invested in the properties nearby would also make a lot of money,” she recalled Moses telling her.

Moses Obeid said there was a minister who notified the Obeids about the coal deposits.


“Who was that minister?” asked Crown prosecutor Rebekah Roger. “Ian Macdonald,” replied Mrs Fitzhenry.

Mr Fitzhenry said that he had seen Ian Macdonald at his neighbours’ house and, on another occasion, controversial former minister Joe Tripodi. On another occasion Eddie Obeid held a meeting with the now Assistant Commissioner Tony Crandell in the Fitzhenrys’ kitchen, Mr Fitzhenry said.

The court ​has ​heard that in May 2008, Macdonald passed on confidential information to the Obeids about coal reserves at Mount Penny and the prospect of it being released for tender. The Obeid family subsequently negotiated a $60 million payout from the successful bidder for the coal exploration licence, of which the Obeids received half.

The trial continues.

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Transfer news LIVE: Gabriel completes Arsenal medical, €100m Havertz to Chelsea agreed, Sancho latest

Welcome to the Evening Standard‘s rolling transfer news and rumours live blog as the summer transfer speculation increases.

The window officially opened last month after the completion of the delayed 2019-2020 Premier League season. Clubs will now be busy tweaking their squads ahead of the new campaign, with the window scheduled to close on October 5.

Arsenal have completed the signing of Willian and are set to sign Gabriel Magalhaes, while Chelsea have already brought in the likes of Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner, and are now closing in on Thiago Silva, Kai Havertz and Ben Chilwell.

Manchester City have signed Nathan Ake and Ferran Torres, while champions Liverpool have signed Greek left-back Kostas Tsimikas and are looking at Watford’s Ismaila Sarr. Manchester United continue to work on a deal with Borussia Dortmund for Jadon Sancho – a saga which looks set to run and run – and Tottenham have completed deals Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Joe Hart.

Live Updates


Kolasinac happy to stay at Arsenal

Sead Kolasinac is happy to remain at Arsenal during this transfer window.

Press Association report there have been no talks, offers or negotiations for the defender who is not pushing to leave the Emirates. 


Thiago Silva to Chelsea a ‘done deal’

Thiago Silva to Chelsea is now a ‘done deal’, according to Fabrizio Romano with The Athletic also reporting the Brazilian is set to sign a one-year deal with the option of a further year.

A medical is expected this week. 


More on Gabriel’s Arsenal medical

Gabriel Magalhaes has undergone his medical in London ahead of his move to Arsenal.

The Gunners have agreed to pay around £25million to bring the Lille defender to the Emirates and he has agreed personal terms on a long-term contract, which is thought to be for five years.

Gabriel will have to quarantine for 14 days before training with his new team-mates with current UK guidelines stipulating that arrivals from France must self-isolate due to the threat of Covid-19.

But it is understood the Brazilian was able to undergo a medical at a location in London away from the club’s training ground.  

As well as Arsenal, Napoli made a concrete approach and there was late interest from Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain.

Arsenal have won the race however with Gabriel won over by head coach Mikel Arteta and technical director Edu’s pitch on why he should join their project in north London.


Gabriel ‘completes Arsenal medical’

More Arsenal news – Gabriel Magalhães has completed his medical with the Gunners today, according to Fabrizio Romano, who claims the defender is now ready to sign a contract until June 2025. 


Newcastle sign Hendrick 

Newcastle have completed the signing of Republic of Ireland international Jeff Hendrick from Burnley.

The midfelder has signed a four-year deal with the Magpies.


Maddison signs new four-year deal

James Maddison has signed a new contract with Leicester City, the club have confirmed.

Maddison was among Manchester United’s list of summer transfer targets with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looking to strengthen his side further ahead of the 2020-21 season.

Maddison and Aston Villa skipper Jack Grealish were among the options being considered at Old Trafford.


The 23-year-old has become a firm favourite at Leicester since arriving from Norwich City in a £24million deal in 2018, making 73 appearances across all competitions as a key starter in midfield.

Maddison recently said that he felt like a ‘part of the furniture’ at the King Power Stadium and has now committed his future to the club by signing a new four-year deal.

Speaking to, Maddison said: “I’m so happy to sign a new contract for this Football Club. It’s an incredibly exciting time to be a Leicester City player with so many positive things happening on and off the pitch and I’m delighted to be part of that. What we’ve achieved as a Club this season is a huge step forward for us and I know there’s so much more to come from this team.

“I’ve enjoyed every moment since joining Leicester City. The supporters have been incredible to me and we’ve a fantastic set of players in that dressing room who are determined to show what we’re capable of doing together in both Europe and the Premier League next season.”


New deal for Maddison confirmed

James Maddison has signed a new contract with Leicester, keeping him at the King Power until 2024. 

More to follow


Soares and Mari sign permanent deals

A bit more Arsenal news – The Gunners have this afternoon confirmed the permanent signings of Pablo Mari and Cedric Soares.

That might a little familiar – The Gunners did initially announce the pair were to commit to permanent deals in June but a further statement today says all parties have now agreed to the arrangement ahead of the 2020-21 season.

Mari moved from Brazilian team Flamengo and was restricted to three appearances for Arsenal before sustaining a season-ending ankle injury after the restart of the Premier League season following the coronavirus outbreak.

Soares is a Portugal international who joined from Southampton.


Wolves closing in on Maitland-Niles

Wolves are in pole position to sign Arsenal midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles, writes Simon Collings. 

The 22-year-old has been linked with a move away from Emirates Stadium this summer in search of more first-team football.

Wolves have now moved to the front of the queue for Maitland-Niles and are the favourites to sign.


Personal terms with the midfielder, who can play at right-back too, will not be an issue as he is ready to move to Molineux.

Maitland-Niles is understood to be excited by the prospect of working under Nuno Espirito Santo and the increased game time on offer.

Wolves need to agree a fee with Arsenal and it is thought that will be in the region of an initial £20million, plus add-ons.

As reported by Standard Sport, Brighton were the first to show an interest in Maitland-Niles earlier this summer before sides in Germany made their presence known too.

North London rivals Tottenham were also linked a shock swoop for the Arsenal academy graduate – but there was never a concrete approach from them.


Everton tracking Tomori

Everton remain interested in a move for Chelsea defender Fikayo timiri, report The Telegraph. 

The 22-year-old has fallen significantly down the pecking order at Chelsea under Frank Lampard, making just 15 Premier League appearances last season. 

With the seemingly imminent signing of Thiago Silva, the centre-back would likely fall further down the list at Stamford Bridge. 


Leeds fail in White chase

Brighton will not sell Ben White for any price this summer, according to Sky Sports. 

After a successful loan spell with Leeds, the newly-promoted Premier League club have bid three times for the centre-back, most recently seeing a £25million bid knocked back. 

Brighton are reportedly determined they will strengthen this summer, however, and see Leeds as a rival for the upcoming season. 

Sky Sports report that Leeds are now resigned to the fact they won’t re-sign White and will now look elsewhere. 


Wolves in advanced talks with Maitland-Niles 

Wolves are in advanced talks with Arsenal over a move for Ainsley Maitland-Niles, report Sky Sports. 

Nuno Espírito Santo is looking to finalise a four-year deal for the veerstaile 22-year-old. 

The Wolves boss is keen to add reinforcements in centreal midfield and at full-back with the Englishman deemed an answer in both departments. 

Despite having three years remaining on his Arsenal deal, Maitland-NNiles is reportedly surplus to requirements and will be allowed to leave for around £20million. 

Wolves are short at right-back with Jonny Otto sidelined for up to nine months after injuring his anterior cruciate against Olympiacos earlier this month. 

Sanogo close to Middlesbrough move

Remember him? Former Arsenal foward Yaya Sanogo is set for a move to Middlesbrough, report Sky Sports. 

Photo: Getty

The 27-year-old left Toulouse last month and is now a free-agent. 

Manager Steven Warnock wanted a move for Kieffer Moore, but is now looking to sign Sanogo after missing out on a deal. 

Sanogo visited the club’s training ground last week ahead of the proposed move. 


Mendy signs two-year Leicester extension 

Nampalys Mendy has signed a two-year contract extension with Leicester, keeping him at the club until 2022. 

Photo: Getty

The 28-year-old signed a short term extension in June to cover the remainder of the Premier League season. 

“The more I’ve seen of him, the more impressed I’ve been,” said Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers.

“To have someone with his experience, quality and maturity is a big boost for us, especially with European football next season.”


Maddison set for contract extension 

James Maddison is set to extend his contract at Leicester, report The Telegraph. 

Photo: Getty

The 23-year-old has been heavily linked with a move away from the King Power Stadium but looks set to pledge his long-term future to the club, extending beyond his current 2023 expiry. 

The midfielder enjoyed a stellar 2019/20 campaign with Leicester, subsequently linked to both Manchester United and Arsenal. 

It appears he’ll be staying with Leicester, however. 


Voller rubbishes latest Havertz to Chelsea talk

Photo: Bongarts via Getty Images

News broke a little while ago that the Blues were apparently on the verge of sealing their latest high-profile transfer for a fee of around €100m.

However, Voller appears to have reacted quickly to reject that speculation.

“That’s nonsense!” he is reported as telling German news agency SID.


Gabriel in London

Gabriel Magalhaes has landed in London, according to Fabrizio Romano.

A private flight from Lille to Luton was being tracked by Arsenal fans this morning. Asked to confirm it was indeed Gabriel arriving in the capital, Romano tweeted: “Yes.”

The Brazilian has arrived to complete his move to Arsenal. 

The Gunners have agreed to part with around £25million to sign the Brazilian and he has agreed personal terms on a long-term contract, which is thought to be for five years.


Liverpool contract for teen goalkeeper?

Liverpool are considering offering a permanent contract to teenage goalkeeper Javi Cendon.

The Spaniard, who left Villarreal in July, has joined the Reds on their pre-season training camp in Austria this summer.

The 19-year-old has impressed goalkeeping coach John Achterberg thus far and will be further assessed upon returning to Melwood with the first team this week.

And he could earn himself a permanent deal with the club should he continue to shine in training.


Chelsea strike €100m Havertz deal

Chelsea are closing in on the signing of Kai Havertz after striking a €100m deal with Bayer Leverkusen, according to Fabrizio Romano.


The clubs are expected to reach a total agreement in the coming hours before final details can be completed and the transfer concluded.


Arsenal rival Barca for Sarr

Arsenal are ready to rival Barcelona in a bid to sign free agent Malang Sarr.


The defender has left Nice after his contract with the Ligue 1 outfit expired. He refused new terms with the club, sparking a scramble for his signature. 

Barca are monitoring the situation but the Mail reports Arsenal see the 21-year-old as a cost-effective addition in the current climate.

Can’t see the Transfer news LIVE blog? Click here to access our desktop page.

When does the 2020 summer transfer window close?

The window is now open for 10 weeks from July 27.

Following consultation with the EFL, a domestic-only window will be added from 5 October, closing 5pm on 16 October. During this window, Premier League clubs will only be able to trade with EFL clubs (either loans or permanent registrations). No transfers can take place between Premier League clubs in this period.

Chelsea will push ahead with moves for Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz and remain interested in Leicester City’s Ben Chilwell, while Manchester United are also expected to be busy this summer.

Jadon Sancho remains Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s number one target, and a deal should be completed if Man United can negotiate a compromise on the £100m-plus valuation Dortmund has for the England international.

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Haymarket site to test the market with $100m price tag

In the state’s most significant CBD development in over a decade, the design by Fender Katsalidis and SOM is set to transform the western edge of Central Station.

The project to be delivered by Dexus and Frasers Property Australia will complement the City of Sydney’s proposal to create a third new major civic-square.

The design for Central Place Sydney features two commercial towers at 37 and 39 levels and a landmark sculptural building which will activate the precinct that connects Railway Square, Central Station and the community beyond.

At Ultimo, the 1584 sq m property is one of only five freehold “island sites” and comprises the The Ultimo Hotel, a four-star rated boutique hotel operated by Rydges with 95 guest rooms and 10 retail tenancies.

Selling agents Andy Hu, Jordan Lee, Stuart Cox and Nick Lower of Savills Australia said buyers have the option of continuing management with Rydges Hotels or taking it with vacant possession.

Mr Cox, Savills’ director of residential site sales, said the chance of one of these island sites coming to market is extremely rare in Sydney, especially in the southern CBD.

“It offers not only a redevelopment or repositioning of The Ultimo Hotel but the ability to provide an additional 13 storeys above what is already present, in addition to re-leasing the retail tenancies as expiries arise or strata subdivide the retail space and sell off individually,” Mr Cox said.

The building was converted to the current hotel and retail/commercial uses in 1988 and subsequently underwent a $10 million renovation in 2016. There are redevelopment opportunities for the asset.


Mr Hu and Mr Lee – the joint state heads, Asia Markets at Savills Australia – believe local investors and developers are being just as aggressive as their offshore counterparts for these types of assets as the Sydney market is so supply stricken for quality assets.

“Over the years, The Ultimo Hotel has garnered a lot of interest in the mid-tier market with domestic and international investors and we are confident even during the pandemic that there will be further local and offshore interest, as the opportunity to acquire prestigious sites such as this are not readily available,” Mr Hu and Mr Jordan said.

Mr Lower, state director – NSW, metro & regional sales at Savills Australia, said the southern end of the Sydney CBD is well established with surrounding developments including a mixture of heritage style commercial buildings with ground floor retail and accommodation and mixed-use residential apartment and accommodation developments.

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