Metro Sport ReporterWednesday 18 Mar 2020 11:00 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang tried to force January move to Barcelona Aubameyang was close to a move to Barcelona in January (Picture: Getty Images)Arsenal star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s attempts to force a January transfer to Barcelona were shut down by the north London club, according to reports.The Spanish giants tried to recruit the 31-year-old in the winter transfer window given the injury to first-choice forward Luis Suarez.According to Catalan publication Sport, the Gunners denied their top scorer’s request to leave, despite Barcelona having a deal agreed with the striker.The report also states that Aubameyang is now a backup option for the summer transfer window, as Quique Setién’s side favour a move for Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTHowever, if a move for the Argentinian cannot be completed, Barca view the Arsenal forward as a much cheaper alternative. Advertisement Comment Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta will be desperate to keep hold of his star striker (Picture: Getty Images)The Gunners face a battle on their hands to hold onto the Gabon international, as his current contract ends in just 18 months.Talks of an extension are reportedly stalling due to his wage demands of upwards of £300,000 a week.The clinical striker also wants to play Champions League football, which is looking increasingly unlikely with the Gunners’ league position of ninth.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 ArsenalDespite the rumours of his exit, Aubameyang insists he is ‘happy’ at the Emirates Stadium.Speaking to the club’s official website, he said: ‘It means a lot [to play here]. When I was younger I used to watch Arsenal because they always had great players and they won trophies as well. ‘I think it is really a pleasure to be here, I am really happy – that’s my feeling.’Follow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For more stories like this, check our sport page.MORE: How Arsenal squad are staying fit during coronavirus lockdownMORE: Mikel Arteta convinces key Arsenal staff member Gary O’Driscoll to reject Liverpool move Advertisement
Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with Packers“When I first saw it I was like, ‘Oh sh–,’ like everybody else,” James said. “He ripped through his shoe making a routine move that he’s made countless times. Second thing that went through my mind was kind of the same injury that I had on Christmas day. My other side slipped and the other side took the punishment. His left foot slipped and busted out his shoe and his right knee …“I have no comment on what he should do for his future,” James went on, in regard to whether he thought Williamson should forego the remainder of the college season. “If he needed any advice, he could find a way to find me. But it’s not for you guys; it’s not for someone to go sit across the table and say, ‘LeBron said this about this kid.’”Fair enough. But because the kid – perhaps you’ve heard? – officially will be lacing ’em up tonight for the first time as an NBA player today when the New Orleans Pelicans face the San Antonio Spurs (6:30 p.m., ESPN), let’s consider some of what James has said about him.Before Williamson was hurt last February, James made the 35-minute aerial commute to Charlottesville, Virginia, with agent Rich Paul and Lakers teammates Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Rajon Rondo to catch Williamson’s second-ranked Blue Devils defeat the No. 4 Cavaliers.“What strikes me? His agility and his quickness,” James said then to ESPN. “For his size, how strong he is, to be able to move like the way he moves, he’s very impressive. I mean, everybody can see the athleticism. That’s obvious, that’s ridiculous. But the speed and the quickness that he moves (with) at that size is very impressive.” And then last May, on his HBO show “The Shop,” James shared more thoughts on Williamson, whose play and potential has generated buzz fit for The King, earning high praise and the high pressure that come with those regular comparisons.“I’ve watched him a lot over the last year,” James said of Williamson, who was on the verge of leaving college to become the No. 1 overall pick in last summer’s draft. “Obviously I was with everybody (in regard to) him coming out of high school. I was like, ‘OK, all this competition that he’s playing against, these little short-a– white kids, he’s dunking on them, dunking over (them) every single time. Can he play? Can he play, like can he play ball?’“And you know, the one thing that I noticed with his one year at Duke, that his energy was infectious, man,” James said. “Every possession it seemed like he could make a difference on the outcome of the game.”Finally, after the 6-foot-6, 284-pound forward missed the Pelicans’ first 44 games while recovering from a surgically repaired lateral meniscus tear in his right knee, James – whose Lakers face the Knicks today at Madison Square Garden – and the rest of us will start to learn how Williamson’s game translates in the NBA.“I’m always open for guys like that, I know a little bit of what he’s going through,” James said before this season’s opener, soon after the news broke that Williamson would need knee surgery.“If he wants some guidance and tips, I got him. But I’m not gonna do it for you guys.”The Lakers (34-9) are 2-0 this season against a Zion-less Pelicans (17-27) squad. The teams will face each other twice more, on Feb. 25 at Staples Center and March 1 in New Orleans.— Mirjam SwansonEditor’s note: Thanks for reading the Purple & Bold Lakers newsletter. To receive the newsletter in your inbox, sign up here.More readingTour LeBron – The Lakers star showed up to surprise 50 New York teens who’ll benefit from a free yearlong membership to the City Bike program.‘Disrespectful’ – James on debris thrown at his son Bronny during Sierra Canyon’s game on Monday in Springfield, Massachusetts.The worst – The megawatt game that wasn’t Monday – and why.Being a social media cult hero has its drawbacks – Checking in with Alex Caruso, whose popularity boosted him to fourth place in All-Star fan voting among Western Conference guards.You’ve got mail – Kyle Goon shared his expertise on everything you wanted to know about, from Jason Kidd to what the first-place Lakers still might want.Defensive effort – Kyle Kuzma wants to give it.Zion Watch – Remember when James and Anthony Davis sat courtside to see Zion take on the Knicks in Summer League action?It’s official – Dwight Howard will compete in the slam dunk contest. Editor’s note: This is the Wednesday, Jan. 22 edition of the Purple & Bold Lakers newsletter. To receive the newsletter in your inbox, sign up here.A Lakers’ media availability last February delivered another reminder of LeBron James’ role as a superstar – and as a superstar spokesman, the leading voice on matters related to his sport and fellow superstars alike.Because Zion Williamson had just blown through his shoe in the opening minute of Duke’s game against North Carolina the previous night (a frightening, freaky incident that resulted in a Grade 1 mild right knee sprain), James was asked about it.He offered a perspective that day that was honest, empathetic, ultimately professional.
MASON CITY — The Newman girls used a 21-8 third quarter on their way to a 58-44 win over Nashua-Plainfield in Top of Iowa Conference East Division basketball last night, as you heard on AM-1300 KGLO. Lauren Andrews had 16 points and eight rebounds off the bench while Kealan Curley added 15 to lead the Knights.. The Newman boys picked up a 66-63 over the Huskies. Three players scored in double-figures for the Knights, with Sammy Kratz leading the way with 19 points. Noah Hamilton added 14 while James Matthews had 13. Both Newman teams are now 2-2 on the season and will travel to West Fork on Friday. AMES — The first of two nights of Cy-Hawk basketball in Ames begins tonight with the women’s game. The Hawkeyes and coach Lisa Bluder will be in search of their fourth straight win in the series.It will be the last Cy-Hawk game for Mason City native and Hawkeye senior guard Mackenzie Meyer.Iowa State coach Bill Fennelly says rivalry games often feature the unexpected hero.Fennelly on what this series means.You can hear the Iowa-Iowa State game on AM-1300 KGLO starting with the pre-game at 6:45, with the tipoff from Hilton Coliseum slated for 7 o’clock. MASON CITY — NIACC’s head baseball coach Travis Hergert is heading to professional baseball. Hergert has accepted a position as the Philadelphia Phillies’ assistant pitching coordinator. Hergert was 260-146-1 in his seven seasons at the helm of the NIACC baseball program and led the Trojans to three NJCAA Region XI titles, three NJCAA North Plains District titles and three trips to the NJCAA Division II World Series. Hergert took over the NIACC baseball program in 2013 and led the Trojans to the NJCAA Division II World Series in his first season as head coach. The Trojans also qualified for the World Series in 2015 and 2016. Hergert was honored with the 2013, 2015, and 2016 American Baseball Coaches Association/National Junior College Athletic Association Division II North Plains District coach of the year and won the 2-year college coach of the year by the Iowa High School Baseball Coaches Association in 2013, 2015 and 2016. During Hergert’s tenure as head coach, eight players have heard their names called in the MLB Draft. TONIGHT:AM-1300 KGLO — Iowa women at Iowa State — pre-game 6:45, tipoff 7:00 MASON CITY — A day after climbing to the #1 spot in the national rankings, the NIACC men’s basketball team received a national honor as being one of the National Association of Basketball Coaches’ Teams of the Week for the fourth week of the basketball season. According to a release from the organization, the Trojans were selected because of their 11-0 start to the season and climbing to the #1 ranking in the Division II junior college poll this week. The other schools recognized were Ohio State in NCAA Division I, Dallas Baptist in NCAA Division II, The College of Wooster in NCAA Division III, and Indiana Tech in NAIA. BOULDER, COLORADO — Spencer Haldeman stole a pass and raced down the floor for a tiebreaking layup with 49 seconds remaining and Northern Iowa hung on to beat No. 24 Colorado 79-76. Northern Iowa defeated a ranked team for the first time since topping No. 25 Wichita State 53-50 on Feb. 13, 2016. The Panthers had lost their previous seven encounters against ranked opponents. AJ Green and Trae Berhow had 20 points apiece Tuesday night as Northern Iowa improved to 9-1. Colorado fell to 7-2. — girls basketball from last night#13/1A Saint Ansgar 50, #4/2A Osage 49 (OT)Belmond-Klemme 66, Eagle Grove 32#8/1A Bishop Garrigan 88, Lake Mills 28Central Springs 47, North Butler 39Forest City 47, North Union 26New Hampton 54, Charles City 45Riceville 60, Valley Lutheran 6Rockford 65, North Iowa 39West Fork 42, Northwood-Kensett 20West Hancock 77, Garner-Hayfield-Ventura 43 SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Minnesota Twins finalized a $20 million, two-year contract with suspended pitcher Michael Pineda and a $4.25 million, one-year deal with catcher Alex Avila. Pineda went 11-5 with a 4.01 ERA in 146 innings over 26 starts for the Twins in 2019. He was suspended for 60 games by Major League Baseball on Sept. 7 following a positive test for a banned diurectic. He will finish the suspension at the start of next season. Avila spent the past two seasons with Arizona and hit .207 with nine homers and 24 RBIs in 164 at-bats this year. MASON CITY – NIACC freshman Sierra Morrow has been selected as the Iowa Community College Athletic Conference women’s basketball player of the week for the week of Dec. 2-8.Morrow, a 6-foot-2 freshman from Minneapolis, recorded her second career triple/double in the No. 2 Lady Trojans’ 84-81 overtime victory over No. 5 Lincoln Land last Saturday. Morrow recorded a career-high 29 points with a career-best 17 rebounds and 12 blocked shots.For the week, Morrow averaged 20 points, 10 rebounds and 5.6 blocks per game in three NIACC victories.Morrow leads NJCAA Division II with 61 blocks.Morrow was also the league’s player of the week for the week of Nov. 1-10.NIACC (12-0) returns to action Dec. 28 at the Illinois Central Holiday Tournament in Peoria, Ill. — boys basketball from last nightCentral Springs 55, North Butler 47 (OT)Charles City 57, New Hampton 45Eagle Grove 47, Belmond-Klemme 39Forest City 66, North Union 37Garner-Hayfield-Ventura 61, West Hancock 51Riceville 53, Valley Lutheran Cedar Falls 16West Fork 63, Northwood-Kensett 49