If dreams come true, United States sprinter Noah Lyles could be the new 100m world record holder before even setting foot in the Tokyo Olympics final.

The 22-year-old American sprinter has been one of a handful of prominent stars to emerge from the pack as up and coming athletes chase the legacy of Jamaica sprint king Usain Bolt.  Despite being universally acknowledged as a tremendous talent and winning his first major title earlier this year, which was the 200m at the Doha World Championships, for now, Lyles remains firmly in the Jamaican's big shadow.

In addition to boasting eight Olympics and 11 World Championship gold medals, it is Bolt who still holds the records for the fastest times ever clocked over both the 100m (9.58) and 200m (19.19).  The American has already at least broken one of Bolt’s records in pursuit.  Earlier this year, the young sprinter broke Bolt’s meet record at the Paris Diamond League.  Lyles clocked 19.65, eclipsing the Jamaican's previous time of 19.73.  With the Olympics on the horizon, the American has much bigger hopes, well bigger dreams in any case.

“I’m very excited for Tokyo. Japan is one of my favourite countries outside the US. I’ve got big plans,” Lyles told Olympic.org.

“I’ve got a dream that I ran 9.41 in the semis at the Olympics,” he added.

The athlete must, of course, secure himself a spot on the United States national team before having a chance to chase his dream.

 

Another day, another rumour about Christian Eriksen.

The soon-to-be free agent Eriksen wants a new challenge after flagging his intent during the previous transfer window.

A move to LaLiga appeals and a Spanish giant from the capital are reportedly ready to pounce.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID EYE ERIKSEN 

AS and Marca claim Real Madrid are ready to make a move for Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen in January.

Eriksen is a free agent at the end of the season, and the Spurs star has been linked to the likes of Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Manchester United and Inter.

However, Madrid are reportedly unwilling to wait until season's end as they look to strengthen their midfield.

ROUND-UP

Inter are eyeing Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic, says FC Inter News. Matic has found himself out of favour under United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and a switch to Serie A could be on the cards for the Serbia international, whose contract expires at the end of the season.

- According to Calciomercato, Serie A champions Juventus are looking to sign Chelsea full-back Emerson Palmieri. The Italy international worked with Maurizio Sarri during the former Chelsea boss' time at Stamford Bridge.

Massimiliano Allegri has handed United a "deadline" for him to be given the job at Old Trafford, says La Gazzetta dello Sport. Solskjaer is under growing pressure, with the Red Devils enduring a difficult season and former Juventus boss Allegri has emerged as a possible replacement.

- Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil fears he has played his last game for the Gunners, according to the Mirror. Ozil has struggled to establish himself since Unai Emery's arrival and the former Germany international has been linked to MLS outfit DC United and Turkish giants Fenerbahce.

- Le10Sport claims former Chile, Sevilla and Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli is on the shortlist to fill the Lyon vacancy following Sylvinho's sacking. Sampaoli is in charge of Brazilian side Santos.

- Gianluca Di Marzio reports Claudio Ranieri is in the mix to take over at Sampdoria, who sacked Eusebio Di Francesco prior to the international break. Ranieri – who sensationally led Leicester City to Premier League glory in 2015-16 – last oversaw Roma on a temporary basis last term. Ex-AC Milan coach Gennaro Gattuso reportedly turned down the job.

- Manchester United are among the admirers of rising Mexico star Sebastian Cordova, reports Record. The 22-year-old America playmaker made his international debut for El Tri last week. The attacking third and midfield are areas of concern for United, who have also been linked to Barcelona's Ivan Rakitic and Juventus striker Mario Mandzukic.

Frank de Boer celebrated his first piece of silverware as Atlanta United head coach after the MLS champions overcame America 3-2 in the Campeones Cup.

Former Inter and Crystal Palace boss De Boer replaced Gerardo Martino, who guided Atlanta to their first MLS title in 2018 before taking charge of Mexico.

De Boer claimed his first title with Atlanta on Wednesday thanks to a second-half comeback at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

In the annual North American clash – pitting the MLS champions against the Liga MX winners after kicking off last year – Atlanta made a dream start courtesy of Emerson Hyndman midweek.

Hyndman broke the deadlock after just five minutes, but Mexican giants America hit back via Renato Ibarra eight minutes later in Atlanta.

Ibarra's shot went in off the crossbar, though Atlanta had a golden chance to restore their lead, however Josef Martinez's 41st-minute penalty was kept out by Oscar Jimenez.

Martinez was made to pay for his miss as America's Roger Martinez put the visitors ahead approaching the hour mark.

America's lead was short-lived, however, after Jeff Larentowicz's wonder strike levelled proceedings two minutes later and Martinez made amends for his penalty miss – the Atlanta star converting a 65th-minute spot-kick.

 

 

Ajax have completed the €15million signing of Edson Alvarez from Club America, helping to address the loss of Matthijs de Ligt.

Club captain De Ligt completed his long-awaited move to Serie A champions Juventus last week, with the Italians paying an initial €75m for the 19-year-old.

Ajax have wasted little time in spending some of that money on 21-year-old Mexico international Alvarez, who has signed a deal that will keep him at the club until June 2024.

The Dutch giants, winners of a domestic double last term as well as reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League, have been busy in the transfer market during the close season.

Alvarez follows Quincy Promes, Lisandro Magallan, Lisandro Martinez and Razvan Marin in signing for Erik ten Hag's squad.

Ajax have confirmed they are set to sign Edson Alvarez, the defender's arrival helping to address the loss of Matthijs de Ligt.

Club captain De Ligt completed his long-awaited move to Serie A champions Juventus on Friday, as the Italians paid an initial €75m with the deal including a further €10.5m in add-ons.

Ajax have wasted no time in splashing some of the cash on 21-year-old Mexico international Alvarez, who will come in from America on a five-year deal for a reported €15m fee.

The Dutch giants, who have also lost Frenkie de Jong to Barcelona ahead of the 2019-20 campaign, confirmed central defender Alvarez will arrive subject to a medical.

Ajax, winners of a domestic double last term as well as reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League, said in a statement Alvarez can also play at right-back or in midfield.

Alvarez is the latest new face for Erik ten Hag's side, joining players including Quincy Promes, Lisandro Magallan, Lisandro Martinez and Razvan Marin in signing for the new season.

United States track and field legend Carl Lewis has insisted that it would be foolish not to question the records set by recently retired Jamaican sprint king Usain Bolt but claims it was never anything personal.

The 57-year-old Lewis, a nine-time Olympic gold medallist, sparked a firestorm in 2008 when he suggested that the spectacular feats accomplished by Bolt might have been with the aim of performance-enhancing drugs.  Lewis pointed to major reductions in the sprinter’s times over 100m an event he first competed in, in 2007.  In his youth, Bolt became the first junior sprinter to run the 200m in under twenty seconds.

Lewis’ criticism sparked the ire of fans worldwide, many turning to accused him of envy.  The American’s cynical point of view did not escape Bolt himself who insisted he had lost all respect for the former sprinter. 

In a recent interview on ‘Undeniable with Dan Patrick’, however, Lewis stood by the controversial comments but insists the issue was never personal and spoke to the integrity of the sport.

“My thing was I didn’t accuse anyone of anything but what I said is that you have to question if someone drops that fast like that.  If you don’t then you are crazy or a fool or something, whatever I said,” Lewis said in the interview to be aired on A&T Audience Network.

“My issue with drugs has always been the brand.  Being a sport that people think is on drugs is bad for the brand.  I didn’t trust it (Bolt’s times) so I put it out there.  People asked me, ‘What are you saying?’, I already said what I said and there is nothing to change. I stand by it,” he added.

The 32-year-old Bolt still holds the world records for both the 100m and 200m sprints, blistering marks of 9.58 and 19.19 set in 2009 that have seemed untouchable for the past several years.

“Of course, I questioned that.  It doesn’t mean I’m saying he is on it (drugs) but we should question it…they should question anyone that does that kind of drop.  I didn’t say anywhere that he was on it.  I said we should question it because if you don’t it’s ridiculous.”

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