The 29-year-old is Newcastle’s second signing of the window, following the arrival of Kenedy from Chelsea.
“Slimani is a player with Premier League experience,” said Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez.
“He is a player who can fight with defenders, challenge and score goals. Hopefully he can give us some experience and some different characteristics to the strikers we have at the moment.”
Algeria international Slimani has scored five goals in 17 appearances for the Foxes this season.
Newcastle have scored just 22 goals in 24 Premier League games and they had been linked with moves for Liverpool forward Daniel Sturridge before he joined West Brom and Feyenoord striker Nicolai Jorgensen.
“It’s a great thing for me and for Newcastle,” Slimani said.
“I’m happy to be here. Hopefully I can come here and be able to give them a hand.
“Knowing the power of the fans and crowd here and how great they are, and also speaking to the manager, it gave me the confidence that this was the right choice.”
Slimani scored 51 goals in 96 appearances at Sporting Lisbon and scored twice at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil as Algeria reached the knockout stages for the first time.
AUBURN HILLS, Michigan — New Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin admitted Wednesday that, like the rest of the basketball world, he was surprised he was traded away from the LA Clippers on Monday.
“Shocked is a good way to put it,” Griffin said during his introductory press conference at the Palace of Auburn Hills.
Now that he has come to grips with his new basketball reality, Griffin is excited to get the chance to help lay a foundation for his new team. But after signing a max extension with the Los Angeles Clippers over the summer, he acknowledges that it was tough to find out that he was moving on from the only professional organization he’s ever known.
“Basketball is a business, the NBA is a business and they made a decision,” Griffin told ESPN. “The only thing I just wish I had known or had the opportunity to talk to somebody beforehand. Finding out through Twitter, through other people is a tough way to find out when you’ve been with a franchise for so long. But at the end of the day, basketball is a business and I want to play where a team wants me. And that’s why I’m excited about being here.”
Griffin says he has no regrets about not having a no trade clause included in the deal he signed with the Clippers.
“At the time [I signed] it was around the time where Melo was going through his whole thing in New York with the no trade clause,” Griffin said. “I don’t think it was something that was a real option at the time. Like I said, I want to play for a franchise that wants me to be here and clearly [the Clippers] didn’t so this is what’s most exciting to me.”
Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy believes Griffin will have no problem fitting into the framework of the Pistons’ locker room.
“First of all, guys like that bring instant respect in,” Van Gundy said after Wednesday’s practice. “So everybody in [the locker room] knows what he’s accomplished and how good a player he is so there’s instant respect and just from my little bit talking to him I think he wants to be a guy that gets to know people and comes and plays his game. I don’t think he’s going to on a vocal level try to take over right away. My only point to him is I don’t want that trying to fit in thing to be what he does on the court and I’ve seen that happen to guys. They’re a little reluctant to have the ball in their hands or be too aggressive offensively. Everybody in there knows that’s what he was brought here to do, is to just play his game, that’s why we brought him here.”
Griffin is confident that he will be able to work well with Pistons All-Star big man Andre Drummond. The pair has gotten to know each other over the years during off-season workouts in Los Angeles. They are also both represented by agent Jeff Schwartz. Drummond said after Tuesday’s win over the Cleveland Cavaliers that he was looking forward to building an ’empire’ with Griffin.
“I think we can be very dominant,” Griffin said. “We have to start working together. I’ve been a fan of Andre’s game for a long, long time. When he first came in you could see just how talented he was. Just raw talent. And then watching the maturation over the course of his career has been awesome. Getting to post moves and being able to finish in different ways. He has way more skill than I think he probably gets credit for. I’m not sure what people think of him over here — I know they love him, but I know he’s a better player than I think people even realize and they know he’s a good player.”
After all the years in Los Angeles, Griffin is also confident that he will be able to manage Detroit’s climate just fine.
“I have a winter coat,” Griffin said with a laugh. “We travel all the time. I’m from Oklahoma so we have actual seasons and winters so this is more like home than LA so I’m prepared.”
The Chicago Bulls have decided to shut down Nikola Mirotic until the trade deadline passes as they continue working to find a deal that makes sense for both sides, according to a league source.
The Bulls thought they had a deal done Tuesday that would have sent Mirotic to the New Orleans Pelicans, but Mirotic and his representatives nixed that deal, according to a source, because the $12.5 million team option for the 2018-19 season would not be guaranteed.
The Pelicans and Bulls were trying to finalize a package that included Omer Asik and a future first-round pick going to Chicago, league sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Asik is owed nearly $25 million through the 2019-20 season.
Mirotic signed a two-year deal with the Bulls in August.
Mirotic has thrived with the Bulls since missing the first 23 games of the season after a scuffle in practice with Bobby Portis left him with facial fractures and a concussion.
Posted by Mike Florio on January 31, 2018, 6:50 PM EST
So why did FOX pony up $550 million per year for the privilege of swiping Thursday Night Football from CBS and NBC? FOX has essentially turned the clock back to 1994.
That’s when FOX first disrupted the CBS-NBC Sunday afternoon hammerlock on the NFL’s broadcast rights, propping up a then-young network best known for The Simpsons and Married With Children, but not much more.
Currently, FOX’s prime-time lineup doesn’t have much programming that moves the national needle. By securing the rights to the midweek package, FOX will now win 11 Thursday nights every season, for each of the next five.
At $550 million annually, FOX definitely will lose money on the deal. But the money overspent on football will be used to promote the rest of the lineup, in the hopes of reviving the network. Whether it works for FOX doesn’t matter; it definitely works for the NFL, which has pumped up by a full $100 million per year the money that it will receive for Thursday Night Football.
Also, with FOX selling off much of its assets to Disney, the money will be easier to raise for TNF — and the motivation to make a big splash becomes even more significant.
This means that Thursday Night Football will be going nowhere for the next five years, and that it likely will continue to be a fixture even beyond 2022, when all of the current three-letter broadcast deals are up for rebid.
Barcelona are reportedly very close to agreeing a deal for Gremio midfielder Arthur, and the club are also said to be open to allowing left-back Lucas Digne to leave in the summer.
Ernesto Valverde’s side have made a €30 million offer for Arthur, although the Brazilian side are said to want €36 million, per Sport’s Joaquim Piera.
Arthur has a €50 million release clause in his contract, but Gremio are willing to negotiate as the midfielder is keen on a move to Camp Nou.
However, the Brazilian will not move to Barcelona until after the FIFA 2018 World Cup at the earliest, and Gremio want him to remain at the club until December.
Arthur has emerged as one of the brightest stars in Brazilian football and is a perfect fit for Barcelona, according to journalist Rafael Hernandez:
Rafael Hernández @RafaelH117
Arthur is a young, highly technical Brazilian that dominated the Libertadores final with passing, smart positioning and control that Barça has lacked since Xavi left. I’m not implying he’s as good as Xavi, but he’s the mold of player needed to make the midfield whole again.
A deal for Arthur certainly looks close, and if Barcelona can get him for a price that is far below his release clause, it would represent a very good deal for the Catalan giants. However, supporters may have to wait to see the 21-year-old in action with it still uncertain as to when he might actually arrive in Spain.
One player who could be on his way out of Camp Nou in the summer is Digne, according to Albert Gracia at Sport.
The left-back wants more regular game time but has not been particularly impressive when filling in for Jordi Alba and could move on.
Digne’s most recent appearance was in the 2-1 La Liga win over Alaves. However, Valverde replaced Digne and Nelson Semedo with his side 1-0 down, changes that helped his side secure a 2-1 win, according to ESPN FC’s Dermot Corrigan:
Dermot Corrigan @dermotmcorrigan
Reffing decisions aside etc, Valverde’s subs at 0-1 down and time running out – change both full-backs, take off record signing on debut – worked really, really well in fairness [again].
Barcelona are interested in bringing in David Alaba from Bayern Munich or could even turn to some of their younger players such as 19-year-old Marc Cucurella or 18-year-old Juan Miranda.
A move for Alaba would be expensive, and with the club having already spent big on Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele, they could turn to youth instead,
Cucurella is a regular in the Barcelona B side and is also on the fringes of the first team. He has yet to feature for the senior side this season but has trained with the team on occcasion, as shown by the club’s official Twitter account:
FC Barcelona B @FCBarcelonaB
💪🔵🔴 Jose Arnaiz, O. Busquets, David Costas, Aleñá & Cucurella have trained with the first team today #fcbarcelona #forçabarça #barçab https://t.co/d6NP7zQbHw
It remains to be seen if Cucurella has done enough to convince Valverde and make the step up to the first team. However, if he did, it would delight supporters to see another player come through the famed La Masia academy and into the first team.
Memphis Grizzlies swingman Tyreke Evans will be held out of the lineup as the team attempts to find a trade partner before the Feb. 8 trade deadline.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported trade talks regarding Evans are beginning to "intensify."
Evans, 28, is in the midst of a bounce-back year in his first season in Memphis. He’s averaging 19.5 points, 5.0 assists and 5.0 rebounds as one of the few bright spots in a lost season for the Grizzlies. Memphis signed Evans to a one-year, $3.2 million contract last July that has become one of the NBA‘s biggest bargains.
This article will be updated to provide more information on this story as it becomes available.
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