Arsenal F.C. Completes Signing of Gabriel Jesus from Manchester City

It’s official… Gabriel Jesus is headed to Arsenal.

Arsenal F.C. has completed the signing of the 25-year-old Brazilian professional footballer from Manchester City, both clubs and the player have announced.

Gabriel JesusESPN had previously reported that Arsenal were confident of landing the Brazil international amid rival interest from Tottenham Hotspur.

Arsenal will pay £45 million plus a further £10 million in add-ons to sign the striker, according to sources.

Jesus will wear Arsenal’s No. 9 shirt.

“It’s been a pleasure to play for Manchester City,” Jesus said. “I feel like I am a better player now than when I arrived — and to win 11 trophies has been amazing.

“My four Premier League titles are particularly special for me. I want to thank everyone at City — the manager, my teammates and the fans — for all the support they have given me over the past 5½ years.”

As Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta added, “I’m very excited. The club has done a tremendous job to recruit a player of this stature. I know Gabriel personally very well, and we all know him well from his time in the Premier League and being really successful here.”

“This is a position that’s been on our radar for a long time now, and we have managed to get a player that we all wanted, so I’m really happy.”

Arsenal, who have already signed midfielder Fabio Vieira and United States goalkeeper Matt Turner, are looking to strengthen after missing out on Champions League football.

Arteta’s side were in need of a striker after Alexandre Lacazette returned to Lyon on a free transfer this summer while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang joined Barcelona for free in January.

Jesus, who had only one year remaining on his contract at City, contributed 13 goals and 12 assists in all competitions for the Premier League champions last season, and the 25-year-old can play in all attacking positions.

In total, he scored 95 goals in 236 matches for City.

Cristian Garin Outlasts Alex de Minaur at Wimbledon to Reach First Grand Slam Quarterfinal

Cristian Garin has reached his first Grand Slam quarterfinal…

The 26-year-old Chilean professional tennis player, currently ranked No. 43 in the world, showed amazing tenacity to come from two sets and 3-0 down, including saving two match points, as he beat World No. 24 Alex de Minaur in a hugely entertaining five-set slug fest at Wimbledon on Monday to reach his first grand slam quarterfinal.

Cristian GarinGarin eventually triumphed 2-6, 5-7, 7-6 (3), 6-4 ,7-6 (6) after four hours and 34 minutes of superb tennis that brought a standing ovation from Wimbledon’s packed Number Two Court.

The two men hammered at each other, with only a handful of first-serve winners, but with a crowd-pleasing sprinkling of classy drop shots and volleys in among the relentlessly accurate groundstrokes and lung-busting chasing to reach them.

de Minaur, who does not know the meaning of a lost cause, seemed to be cruising as he took the first two sets and led 3-0 in the third. But Garin showed great spirit to fight back via a tiebreak and then set up a decider.

Garin saved two match points at 4-5 to take the match to the new “first to 10” final-set tiebreak, where he came through to set up a last-eight meeting with Nick Kyrgios.

The win makes Garin just the eighth Chilean male player to reach a Grand Slam quarter-final, and the fourth to do so at Wimbledon after Luis AyalaRicardo Acuna and Fernando Gonzalez. T

“It’s so special,” added Garin. “I’ve been working hard all my life to be in this position. It is a dream for me, Wimbledon. I always said that it is my favorite tournament, I love to be here in London. It’s amazing. It is a dream for me to be in the quarter-finals. I work hard every day to be in those occasions. I will go for it, try to rest and give my best in the next round.”

https://twitter.com/Wimbledon/status/1543973605184241665

Valerie Loureda Signs Multiyear Contract with WWE

It’s a whole new world for Valerie Loureda.

The 23-year-old Cuban American mixed martial artist, wrestler and pro fighter, a top women’s MMA prospect with Bellator, has signed a multiyear contract with World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (WWE), according to ESPN.

Valerie LouredaLoureda plans to move to Orlando from Miami and report to the WWE Performance Center on July 19. She’ll remain under contract with Bellator, the promotion told ESPN in a statement, but now she’ll be a full-time WWE athlete.

“I’m an entertainer,” Loureda said “I love glamour. I love production, I love storytelling. And when I saw the WWE, I realized this is everything I’m good at in one place. Not only that, but I saw the opportunity to be the first Cuban American woman to be a WWE superstar.”

Loureda said she attended WrestleMania and immediately fell in love with the glitz and spectacle of WWE, comparing it to the Super Bowl. She had a tryout in late April and early May with WWE and became so addicted with performing in the ring that she didn’t want to leave even though she hadn’t been signed yet. Loureda said she actually called her manager, Abe Kawa of First Round Management, crying.

“I said, ‘Abraham, I know I don’t have a contract, but is there any way I can stay here? I’m losing a week of training,'” Loureda said. “I just want to get better.”

WWE coaches praised Loureda’s ability, according to ESPN, and view her as a high-ceiling talent after her tryout, which included a match. Loureda signed with WWE soon after. She will remain under Bellator contract, though, per promotion president Scott Coker.

“Valerie Loureda is a very young and talented athlete who can accomplish plenty in MMA for years to come, but for now we wish her the best of luck as she pursues her dream of becoming a WWE Superstar,” Coker told ESPN in a statement. “She will remain an active and under contract fighter with Bellator, and we look forward to welcoming her back into the cage in the near future. We take great pride in allowing our athletes to test themselves in additional arenas such as boxing and pro wrestling.”

Up until the last few months, Loureda said she was committed to her MMA career with Bellator. But earlier this year, Loureda’s manager was having a conversation with former UFC executive James Kimball about WWE’s name, image and likeness (NIL) deal with AJ Ferrari, a college wrestler repped by First Round. Kawa brought up Loureda and Kimball, WWE’s senior vice president of global talent strategy & development, was interested.

Kimball suggested Kawa bring Loureda to WrestleMania, but Loureda initially was not interested. She wanted to focus on her MMA career.

“I had to beg her to come out to WrestleMania with me,” Kawa said. “I kept telling her over and over again, just trust me. When you come see this, this is you. I would never take you to something that’s not you. This is everything for you. You will fall in love with it. And she did.”

Loureda said she was sold almost instantly when she arrived at AT&T Stadium in Texas for WrestleMania 38 in early April.

“The moment I stepped into the suite and I saw the WWE organization, the professionalism and the production, I fell in love,” Loureda said. “I had goosebumps like the first time I saw MMA on the TV.”

Loureda, who is 4-1 as a pro fighter and projected to be a future star for Bellator, said her goal is to make NXT television by the end of the year and be on the WWE main roster within one year.

“I have big goals and I’m a little crazy,” Loureda said with a laugh. … “I just know what I’m gonna be able to do in the WWE. There’s no limits. I’m limitless.”

Framber Valdez & Three Houston Astros Relievers Tie MLB Record for Strikeouts in Nine-Inning Game

Framber Valdez has earned a place in Major League Baseball history…

The 28-year-old Dominican professional baseball pitcher and three Houston Astros relievers tied the MLB record for strikeouts in a nine-inning game, as the Astros won 4-2 for a sweep on Sunday of the Los Angeles Angels.

Framber ValdezTwelve different Los Angeles batters came to the plate and all of them struck out at least once. 

Valdez struck out a career-high 13 in six innings, allowing two runs on three hits and five walks. Relievers Hector Neris and Rafael Montero each struck out two in scoreless innings and Ryan Pressly (2-2) fanned three in the ninth.

“It’s something that is very emotional and very exciting for me,” Valdez said through a translator after the game. “It’s very special to be a part of that.”

Astros manager Dusty Baker concurred.

“It’s very impressive. He was throwing strikes,” Baker said referring to Valdez, and when asked about the team total of 20, he simply replied, “Boy, that’s a lot.”

The 20 strikeouts is the most in a nine-inning game in Astros franchise history, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. There had been several occasions where other teams struck out 20, including performances by Max Scherzer, Roger Clemens and Kerry Wood. The Astros’ previous record was 18 in 1964 against Cincinnati.

Houston pitchers fanned 47 in the series against the Angels.

Carlos Sainz Claims First Career Formula One Victory at British Grand Prix

Carlos Sainz has found the winning formula

The 27-year-old Spanish racing driver has claimed his first Formula One victory ahead of Sergio Perez and Lewis Hamilton at a rollercoaster and action-packed British Grand Prix.

Carlos Sainz,The race, one of the best of the season so far, included a dramatic crash at the start which saw Zhou Guanyu‘s car flipped over tire barrier, protesters forcing their way onto the track on the opening lap and championship leader Max Verstappen dropping down the order with a damaged car.

Sainz’s chances of a first win appeared to have completely disappeared at two different points in the race, first after a big mistake at Becketts and then after he obeyed a team order to let teammate Charles Leclerc through on Lap 32 of 52.

A late Safety Car and race restart 10 laps later provided a perfect opportunity for Sainz to reclaim the lead and scamper away with the win as an unbelievable finish unfolded in the battle for second behind him between Perez, Hamilton and Leclerc.

“Yes! We did it! Yes! Vamos!” Sainz shouted over the radio after crossing the line, securing his first win in 151 F1 attempts.

Home favorite Hamilton had looked in a perfect position to challenge the Ferraris of Leclerc and Sainz for his first victory of the season until that Safety Car deployment and immediately lost position to Perez at the restart.

An epic battle for second and third then unfolded between Perez, Hamilton and Leclerc, featuring multiple position changes and some aggressive driving from all three drivers.

On lap 48, Perez forced Leclerc wide at the final corner, allowing Hamilton up into second. Several corners later, Perez forced Hamilton wide to reclaim the position and the Mercedes driver fell behind Leclerc.

Leclerc turned in some incredible defensive driving to keep Hamilton at bay for as long as he could in the closing stages but in the end could not do anything about the major tyre disadvantage he had been left with at the Safety Car restart.

For Hamilton it was his second visit to the podium in two races and a clear sign of the progress Mercedes has made in recent races.

Leclerc had to settle for fourth position, having lost a rare opportunity to make a bigger dent in Verstappen’s championship lead.

Verstappen finished seventh after holding off Haas’ Mick Schumacher in the run to the finish line.

Verstappen still holds a healthy lead in the championship, 34 points ahead of teammate Perez and 43 ahead of Leclerc.

Sainz’s win moved him ahead of George Russell, who did not finish, and into fourth position in the title fight.

The events of the first 10 seconds of the race set the tone for the dramatic afternoon which followed.

Alfa Romeo rookie Zhou Gaunyu was vaulted into a terrifying barrel roll at Turn 1 which left his car upside down in the tire barrier and prompted a red flag race suspension.

Zhou had been tagged by the Mercedes of George Russell, who in turn had been hit by Pierre Gasly‘s AlphaTauri.

Russell’s race ended in the gravel trap at Turn 1, while Alex Albon was also spun into the wall at Turn 1.

Gasly was later spun around by teammate Yuki Tsunoda.

All those incidents opened up a perfect opportunity for Haas to bounce back from a deflating Saturday which had seen both drivers eliminated in Q1, as Schumacher finally claimed the first F1 points of his career.

An emotional Schumacher apologized to Haas after finishing after swearing over the radio as he celebrated the finish.

Teammate Kevin Magnussen claimed the final points paying position of the afternoon in 10th.

Caroline Garcia Defeats Emma Raducanu to Reach Third Round at Wimbledon

Caroline Garcia is on to the next…

The 28-year-old half-Spanish tennis player ousted Emma Raducanu in the second round of women’s singles play at Wimbledon, beating the British No. 1 and reigning US Open champion 6-3, 6-3 in 86 minutes on Centre Court.

Caroline GarciaGarcia, ranked 55th in the world, gave Raducanu her third second-round loss in a row at this year’s Grand Slams.

Garcia proved to be too much for Raducanu, breaking her serve twice en route to winning the first set. Garcia then broke Raducanu’s serve to make it 3-2 in the second, only for Raducanu to break back in the next game. But the parity did not last long as Garcia broke Raducanu’s serve again in the following game and then held her own to go 5-3 up.

The crowd continued to get behind Raducanu as she went to serve to stay in the match, but Garcia needed only one match point to book her spot in the second round as she broke Raducanu’s serve for the fifth time.

For Garcia, this triumph means she’s started her Wimbledon single’s campaign with back-to-back victories over British hopefuls, after she needed three sets to get past Yuriko Miyazaki on Monday in the opening round.

Garcia, whose best record at a Slam was her quarterfinal finish in the 2017 French Open, now faces No. 33 seed Shuai Zhang in the third round on Friday.

Fernandinho Signs with Athletico Paranaense in Return to Club Where He Began His Senior Career

Fernandinho is heading home…

The 37-year-old Brazilian professional footballer, a former midfielder for Manchester City, has signed for Brazil Serie A side Athletico Paranaense as he makes a return to the club where he began his senior career.

Fernandinho “Welcome back, Fernandinho,” Athletico wrote on Twitter on Monday after the player signed a two-year deal, according to local media, to return to the club after 17 years.

“We had many proposals, from many different clubs, from Brazil and abroad. But the wisest decision was to come back home and try to do my best here at Athletico,” Fernandinho told reporters at a news conference.

“I am fulfilling a personal desire, a dream of wearing Athletico’s jersey again. To set a mark that I will end my career playing for only three clubs: two in Europe and one in Brazil.”

FernandinhoFernandinho, who helped Man City capture four Premier League titles — including the 2021-22 crown — and six League Cups since joining them from Shakhtar Donetsk in 2013, said in April that he did not plan to remain beyond the season.

Manchester City confirmed the former Brazil international’s departure in May as he was preparing for his last game for them when they took on Aston Villa in their final league match of the season.

https://twitter.com/AthleticoPR/status/1541499117905518593

Kansas City Royals Trade Carlos Santana to Seattle Mariners

Carlos Santana is headed west…

The Kansas City Royals have traded the 36-year-old Dominican-American professional baseball designated hitter and first baseman, nicknamed “Slamtana,” and nearly $4.3 million to the Seattle Mariners for right-handers Wyatt Mills and William Fleming, clearing the way for Kansas City to bring up hot prospect Vinnie Pasquantino.

Carlos SantanaPasquantino was not in the starting lineup against the Texas Rangers on Monday night because of tight travel schedules, but Royals general manager J.J. Picollo and manager Mike Matheny expect his big bat to be in the lineup regularly.

“When I was growing up, I had a dream of playing professional baseball. But I just enjoy playing the game,” said Pasquantino, who was doing his laundry when he learned of his big league call-up. “I still do now, and I’m going to continue to try to do that as we move forward. I just love playing the game.”

The Royals optioned Mills, a 27-year-old relief pitcher, to Triple-A Omaha while designating right-hander Ronald Bolanos for assignment. Fleming, a 23-year-old with starting potential, was assigned to Class-A Quad Cities.

This is the second time Santana has been with Seattle, though the first lasted a mere 10 days. He was acquired along with J.P. Crawford from the Philadelphia Phillies for infielder Jean Segura, right-hander Juan Nicasio, and left-hander James Pazos on December 3, 2018; the Mariners then traded him away as part of a three-team deal with Cleveland and the Tampa Bay Rays.

This time should be different for Santana, who hit 19 homers in 158 games for Kansas City last season but was hitting just .216 with four homers through 52 games this season.

The Mariners were in search of a switch-hitter and an option at first base with leading hitter Ty France on the injured list with an elbow injury.

Santana has been better at the plate over the past month, hitting .357 with a 1.032 OPS in June.

The Mariners will pay $1.5 million of the remainder of Santana’s salary in the second year of a two-year, $17.5 million deal.

With the Royals last in the AL Central at 26-45 heading into their Monday night game against Texas, and Santana nearing the end of his contract, it was prudent for Kansas City to clear the way for Pasquantino to begin his big league career.

The 24-year-old was picked in the 11th round of the 2019 first-year player draft out of Old Dominion and was generally one of the Royals’ overlooked prospects until the past couple of seasons. Dubbed the “Italian Nightmare” by Hall of Famer George Brett in spring training, Pasquantino was hitting .280 with 18 homers this season at Omaha, and he was among the Triple-A leaders in extra-base hits, runs, homers and slugging percentage.

“I’m excited to be in the clubhouse every day and see what everybody’s about,” said Pasquantino, who joins top prospect Bobby Witt Jr. and catcher MJ Melendez among a wave of rookie position players in Kansas City.

“I’m coming into a clubhouse with some established veterans and I’m excited to learn from those guys,” he said.

Mills had a 4.15 ERA in eight appearances for Seattle this season, along with going 1-0 with a 1.83 ERA in 19⅔ innings for Triple-A Tacoma. Fleming was picked in the 11th round of last year’s first-year player draft out of Wake Forest and was 6-6 with a 4.92 ERA in 14 starts for Class-A Modesto this season.

Bolanos had a 4.42 ERA in eight appearances for Kansas City this season.

Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez Defeats Srisaket Sor Rungvisai to Retain WBC Junior Bantamweight Title

Jesse Bam Rodriguez is keeping his title…

Jesse "Bam" Rodriguez“This is the youngest champ in boxing and he already might be a pound-for-pound great,” said Rodriguez’s promoter, Eddie Hearn. “He’s here for legacy; he’s here to be remembered.”

It was a dazzling display from Rodriguez, who headlined in his hometown for the first time. He used an excellent southpaw jab, beautiful footwork and plenty of angles to keep Rungvisai off-rhythm and at the end of his power shots.

Rungvisai (50-6-1, 43 KOs) owns victories over a pair of future Hall of Famers in their primes — Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez and Juan Francisco Estrada — so it was particularly impressive the way Rodriguez was able to pick off his heavy shots and win every round in dominant fashion.

The plodding 35-year-old from Thailand needs to set his feet to deliver his power shots, but Rodriguez never allowed him to do so. He presented a moving target, and on the rare occasion Rungvisai did close distance, “Bam” turned him around.

“In the third round I felt his power wasn’t the same,” said Rodriguez, who entered the fight rated No. 5 by ESPN at 115 pounds. ” … That’s when I decided to take over. … Having Robert Garcia in my corner is a huge advantage.”

Rodriguez, whose brother Joshua Franco holds a secondary title at 115 pounds, said he could campaign at 112 pounds before returning to the weight class.

“He’s a very underrated fighter and it’s a matter of time until he gets his shot,” Rodriguez said of Franco, who is ESPN’s No. 6 junior bantamweight.

Rungvisai, ESPN’s No. 3 boxer at 115 pounds, lost for just the second time since a 2014 technical decision defeat to Carlos Cuadras. And it was Cuadras whom Rodriguez defeated in February to announce his arrival and pick up his first world title, though Estrada remains the WBC’s franchise champion in the weight class.

Manchester City Agrees to Transfer Gabriel Jesus to Arsenal

Gabriel Jesus is switching sides…

Manchester City and Arsenal have agreed terms over the transfer of the 25-year-old Brazilian professional footballer, according to ESPN.

Gabriel JesusArsenal will pay £45 million plus a further £10m in add-ons for the Brazil international striker with only paperwork and a medical standing in the way of a deal being completed.

The Gunners had already agreed a five-year contract with Jesus.

Arsenal, who have already signed midfielder Fabio Vieira from Porto this summer, are looking to strengthen their squad after missing out on Champions League football.

Jesus, who had only one year remaining on his contract at Man City, scored 13 goals and gave 12 assists in all competitions for the Premier League champions last season and can play in all attacking positions.

He also excels at pressing and counter-pressing, which are key aspects of Mikel Arteta‘s playing style.

Meanwhile, Arsenal continue to pursue a deal for Leeds United winger Raphinha and remain confident of adding him to their ranks.

They are also keen to sign 24-year-old Ajax and Argentina centerback Lisandro Martinez.