Southampton manager Claude Puel dismissed claims that contract talks with defender Jose Fonte may distract his side ahead of Thursday’s pivotal Europa League clash against Hapoel Be’er Sheva.Both sides enter the encounter locked on seven points with the winner earning a place in the last 32 of the competition, but continuous speculation over the future of Southampton’s skipper has featured heavily in the build-up.Speculation heightened on Tuesday when Fonte took to his Instagram account to state that he has been informed by Southampton that he will not be offered a new contract.But Puel insists their attention must stay on their Europa League hopes rather than the personal situation of the Portugal international.“It’s a situation and discussion between the player and the club,” Puel said when asked if the club had begun negotiations over an improved deal.“I cannot give a comment about this. When I see this on newspaper I repeat the most important thing for me is to speak about the team and about the game tomorrow and not just this personal situation, an individual situation.“It’s important always for me to respect the collective. The subject for me is to discuss and to speak about the game, an important game, and about the collective and the team.”Midfielder Steven Davis believes the club are used to dealing with the pressures of his team-mates being linked with moves away from St Mary’s and stated that Fonte’s contract situation has not been brought up in the dressing room.“We are well used to it by now,” said Davis.“In my time here we have sold a lot of players, a lot of big players, and it shows we are doing things the right way.“It can only be taken as a positive that other teams are interested in players. I know we have a lot of quality in the dressing room and I’d be surprised if other teams weren’t looking at us.“We all know what the club means to Jose and what Jose means to the club. He obviously has a personal situation there which has not been discussed in the dressing room.“He’s the same character, he’s doing his best in training every day and pushing the team on and that’ll not change.”Davis featured in the Rangers side that reached the UEFA Cup final in 2008 and drew on his own personal experience to insist that advancing to the next stage of the competition can only benefit the club for the rest of the season.“I look back on that time very fondly,” Davis said. “It was a step too far (for Rangers) but a great experience.“We are in a good position and want to be involved in all competitions after Christmas. “It’s been a positive experience. As players you want to play in every game, but we understand the manager’s brought a philosophy to rotate the team a lot.“They (Hapoel) are obviously a good side and they showed a lot of character to come from two goals behind to beat Inter Milan. They are a team that’s aggressive. They have got a lot of quality and create a number of chances.“But whenever we’re at home we’re confident we can win.”Dusan Tadic may return to action after wearing a face mask in training to protect his broken nose while Matt Targett (hamstring) is the only long-term absentee as Puel has a fully-fit squad to choose from. 1 Jose Fonte will not be offered a new contract
zoom At the start of 2016 the outlook for Chinese iron ore import growth appeared challenging, however, the imports went on to significantly outperform expectations during the year and break the 1 billion tonne mark along the way, according to Clarkson Research.Chinese iron ore import growth performed at a level far higher than many had expected last year. In early 2016, expectations were shaped by both a 2% drop in the country’s steel output and a five year low in Chinese iron ore import growth in 2015, as well as plans for continued cuts to steel capacity.However, Chinese seaborne iron ore imports increased by 7% to a record 1,008 mt, largely stimulated by three key factors.The first key driver of record Chinese iron ore imports in 2016 was a stabilisation in the country’s steel output, following a 2% drop to 804 mt in 2015. The country’s steel output continued to decline in the first half of 2016, given limited domestic demand. While Chinese steel mills increased steel products shipments to foreign markets by 9% y-o-y in the first half of 2016, the 57 mt shipped in the period was insufficient to support overall Chinese steel output growth.Chinese steel products exports also dropped 14% y-o-y to 51 mt in the second half of 2016, following the introduction of tariffs by several importers, but also due to firming Chinese steel demand.A further driver of Chinese iron ore import growth in 2016 was the drop in the country’s domestic iron ore output. Financial pressure on Chinese miners from depressed iron ore prices throughout much of the year contributed to a 6% y-o-y decline in the country’s domestic iron ore output, to a six year low of 1.3 bn tonnes in full year 2016, Clarksons cited NBS data.Finally, Chinese iron ore stockpiling increased sharply in 2016, partly reflecting improved expectations for steel output at Chinese mills as the year progressed. By the start of January 2017, iron ore inventories at 41 Chinese ports reached 114 mt, up 19% from the start of 2016 and the highest level in over two years.“While the sustainability of this stronger growth may be questioned, in 2016 at least, China performed above expectations and overall was the bright spot for seaborne dry bulk trade once again,” Clarkson Research said.
Legendary Italian goalkeeper Dino Zoff believes he understands the secret to Gianluigi Donnarumma’s improved form for Milan this season.The AC Milan shot-stopper appears to have overcome the off-field problems that affected him last season as he has gone on to establish himself as Italy’s No 1.“His secret? It’s simple, he became a man,” Zoff, regarded by many as the Azzurri’s greatest-ever shot-stopper after Gianluigi Buffon, told Football Italia via Corriere della Sera.“He’s more aware now, he’s an adult and he’s learning to manage the stages of his life, which are also phases during a match.Zoff also spoke of the resilience of the keeper suggesting he’s not overwhelmed by mistakes.His saves were evident and crucial in Milan’s last clash against AS Roma which helped the team salvage a 1-1 draw in a cagey encounter.Serie A Betting: Match-day 3 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Considering there is a number of perfect starts so early in the Serie A season, as well as a few surprisingly not-so perfect ones….DONNARUMMA WITH THE AMAZING DOUBLE SAVE! [via: @TVACM] pic.twitter.com/wilekEDyGL— TheMilanBible (@TheMilanBible) February 3, 2019“He doesn’t fall to pieces after making a mistake anymore. The other night he missed a cross, so much so that moments later he made a superlative save.”The Rossoneri are currently ranked the fourth best defence in the Serie A which is partly due to the effort of the teenage goalkeeper.Gattuso’s men are in the race for a Champions League spot and have a chance of clinching a silverware in the Coppa Italia.