FG Unveils Independence Anniversary Programme

No fewer than eight operators of illegal
universities across the country, which have
been closed, are being prosecuted, the
National Universities Commission (NUC) says.
The illegal universities were published in
NUC’s weekly bulletin and made available on
Wednesday in Abuja.
The publication, signed by NUC’s Executive
Secretary, Prof. Julius Okojie, listed the
institutions as National University of Nigeria,
Keffi, Nasarawa State and North Central
University, Otukpo, Benue State.
Others are Christ Alive Christian Seminary and
University, Enugu; Richmond Open University,
Arochukwu; Abia State; West Coast University,
Umuahia; and Saint Clements University, Iyin
Ekiti, Ekiti State.
The list also includes Volta University College,
Aba, Abia State as well as the illegal satellite
campuses of Ambrose Alli University.
“In addition to the closure, the following
`Degree Mills’ are currently undergoing court
actions; the purpose of these actions is to
prosecute the proprietors and recover illegal
fees and charges on subscribers.
“For the avoidance of doubt, anybody who
patronises or obtains any certificate from any
of these illegal institutions does so at his or
her own risk.
“Certificates obtained from these sources will
not be recognised for the purposes of NYSC,
employment and further studies.’’
The bulletin also listed 55 illegal universities
which had not been licenced and were closed
down for violating the Education Act of 2004.
NAN recalls that NUC recently handed over
two alleged fake professors to the police for

So sad-: Man bags life imprisonment for raping pregnant woman in Osun

An Osun State High Court in Ilesa has sentenced
Mr. Kolawole Obafemi to life imprisonment for
raping a pregnant woman.
This was contained in a statement made available
to our correspondent in Osogbo on Wednesday by
the Information Officer of the Osun State, Mr.
Opeyemi Bello.
The statement added that Justice A. B.
Abdulkareem, also ordered that the convict should
be whipped aside the jail term.
The judge convicted Obafemi who was arraigned
on one count preferred against him.
The convict was standing trial for the offence of
rape contrary to section 358 of the criminal Code
Cap 34 vol. II, Laws of Osun State.
The victim had told the court that on September
15, 2007 Obafemi came to her residence at about
7.30pm but she ran away on sighting him.
The statement did not explain the relationship
between the duo nor state why the victim took to
her heel upon sighting the convict.
“The convict pursed and beat up the victim. It
was in the process of beating her that he tore her
clothes having overpowered her.
“He tore her pant and he then had carnal
knowledge of her plucking out her pubic hair and
putting it in her mouth to drink with dry gin. He
also inserted a bottle opener into the victim’s
private part.
“The medical report obtained from LAUTECH
Teaching Hospital Osogbo also confirmed that she
was raped and as at time of incident she was
“The court held that the prosecutor, Mrs. Rachel
Ojimi, a chief state counsel from ministry of
Justice, State of Osun was able to prove the case
beyond reasonable doubt.”
The judge subsequently sentenced Obafemi to life

Nigerian military claims boko haram leader-shekau is no more

Nigeria’s military on Wednesday claimed for the
first time that Boko Haram leader Abubakar
Shekau was dead, as it said troops had killed a
lookalike who had been posing as the militant
Defence spokesman Chris Olukolade told
reporters in Abuja that a heavily bearded Islamist
fighter identified as Mohammed Bashir died
during fighting in the town of Konduga, in Borno
Bashir, who was said to have had several aliases,
had “been acting or posing on videos as the
deceased Abubakar Shekau, the eccentric
character known as leader of the group,” he
The announcement is the first time the military
has said publicly that Shekau was dead after two
previous claims by security sources that he had
died in July 2009 and in late June 2013.
The military did not, however, say how or when
Shekau died.
Earlier this year, the spokeswoman for the
country’s secret police, Marilyn Ogar, said “the
original Shekau is dead” and that the person
appearing in numerous videos was an imposter.
Olukolade said on Wednesday that the actual
identity of Boko Haram’s leader was not relevant.
The name “Shekau” had become a “brand name
for the terrorists,” he told a news conference.
“The Nigerian military remains resolute to serve
justice to anyone who assumes that designation
or title, as well as all the terrorists that seek to
violate the freedom and territory of Nigeria,” he
The United States last year put up a $7 million
reward for Shekau’s capture as part of its
Rewards for Justice programme and designated
him a “global terrorist”.
There has long been speculation in Nigeria and
beyond about whether he was actually still alive.
It has been claimed that he actually died in 2003
and his name has since been used by at least two
They include Boko Haram members called
Abdullahi Damasak, who was succeeded on his
death by a Mustapha Chad, according to sources
close to the group.
Olukolade told the briefing that Bashir had several
identities: “Bashir Mohammed, alias Abubakar
Shekau, alias Abacha Abdullahi Geidam, alias
Damasak, etc.”

Oando claims N8.9bn profit after tax

Oando Plc on Tuesday released its results for the
first half of 2014, declaring a profit after tax of
The figure represented a 110 per cent increase on
the N4.271bn it declared in the corresponding
period of 2013.
The indigenous oil and gas producer, which is
listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange and
Johannesburg Stock Exchange,also announced
operating profit of N23.693bn, 145 per cent
higher than the N9.689bn it posted in H1, 2013.
It grew its profit before tax by 103 per cent to
N12.533bn from N6.155bn, while its gross profit
edged up by 68 per cent to N50.506bn from
According to the company, based on its Q2 2014
performance, it is likely to end the year with a
N24bn profit.
Oando Plc also released its audited results for the
financial year ended 31 December 2013 on
Tuesday, which showed that it made a profit after
tax of N1.396bn during the year.
The company explained that its performance in
2013 was impacted significantly by the acquisition
cost and interest on debt facilities in its prolonged
acquisition of ConocoPhillips Nigeria business
Following the release of the results, the
company’s board of directors has proposed to
pay N1 as dividend to its shareholders. It plans to
pay 30 kobo as dividend for 2013 and 70 kobo as
interim dividend.
A statement from the company said the
“impressive results indicate the company is
beginning to reap the rewards of its landmark
$1.5bn acquisition of ConocoPhillips’ entire
Nigerian business, which has transformed its
status into Nigeria’s largest indigenous oil and
gas producer.
“With the acquisition now complete and
immediately cash generative, the company’s
upstream subsidiary, Oando Energy Resources,
has a total hydrocarbon production capacity of
approximately 45,000 boe/d, 2P Reserves of
230.6MMboe and 2C Resources of 547MMboe,
and expects annual revenue of over $600m, and
annual free cash flows of $150m.”
The Group Chief Executive Officer, Oando, Mr.
Wale Tinubu, was quoted as saying that, having
repositioned the company, the goal was to
increase its market share.
He said, “Our strategic refocus on the higher
margin Upstream foresees immense value add for
our stakeholders in the near term. We have
succeeded in repositioning ourselves within the
sector, and through future acquisitions and
innovative efficacy we will seek to up our market
share in sub-Sahara’s Upstream sector within the
next five years to 100,000 boe/d in net
According to the statement, the group has also
made significant progress in extracting value from
its legacy assets, while its midstream business,
Oando Gas and Power, is currently undergoing an
extension of its natural gas distribution network
by 8km from Ijora to the Marina business district
in Lagos state.
This, it said, would position the company to
benefit from the growing demand for gas and
power infrastructure in the country.
In the downstream, the company recently
completed construction of the Apapa Single Point
Mooring (ASPM) Jetty, a first in Africa.
“The project is expected to improve overall
downstream efficiency through cost savings on
imports and the elimination of the current high
cost of lightering and demurrage. The cost saving
across the industry is estimated to be in excess
of $120m,” it said.
The company said its performance in the first half
of 2014 was indicative of its “active strategic
initiatives; upstream investments, midstream
expansion and downstream optimisation.”

Tragic-Three children bodies found

The children were said to have been
found along the road by residents of
the area today.

A gory sight met residents of the
Second East Circular Road in Benin
City when they awoke today,
September 17, 2014 to find the
corpses of three young children
dumped on the road.
The Nation reports that two of the
children, believed to be twins, were
wrapped in clothes and kept inside a
carton under a palm tree while a
third, was dumped at the roadside.
The three corpses were said to be in
various stages of decomposition but
the twins were reportedly farther
gone than the little girl.
Officials of the state Ministry of
Environment are said to have
removed the bodies from the scene.

Leo Tolstoy: an epic Google doodle for novelist of ‘astonishing scope and vigour’

Artist Roman Muradov’s gallery
represents the major works of the great
Russian novelist on his 186th birthday

‘Immortal lines’ … Google doodle honours Leo
Tags: Leo Tolstoy, Fiction , Fiction in translation,
Google doodle , Internet , more… Search engines
Alison Flood

Leo Tolstoy’s 186th birthday is is being
marked with a Google doodle showing
the great author in cartoon form, deep in
contemplation as he writes one of his
masterpieces by candlelight.
Google, which has previously used its
doodles to honour a wealth of literary
figures from Elizabeth Barrett Browning
to Herman Melville, showed scenes from
various works by the Russian writer in a
slideshow this morning. Tolstoy was born
today in 1828, into an aristocratic family,
on the ancestral estate of Yasnaya
His novel of ill-starred love among the
higher echelons of Russian society, Anna
Karenina, is brought to life by Google
with an image of Anna and Vronsky as
they first meet, or as Tolstoy described it:
“In that brief look Vronsky had time to
notice the suppressed eagerness which
played over her face, and flitted between
the brilliant eyes and the faint smile that
curved her red lips”.
His epic novel, War and Peace, is
illustrated with Pierre Bezukhov, looking
up at the great comet of 1812:
“He gazed joyfully, his eyes moist with
tears, at this bright comet which, having
travelled in its orbit with inconceivable
velocity through immeasurable space,
seemed suddenly – like an arrow piercing
the earth – to remain fixed in a chosen
spot, vigorously holding its tail erect,
shining and displaying its white light
amid countless other scintillating stars,”
wrote Tolstoy. “It seemed to Pierre that
this comet fully responded to what was
passing in his own softened and uplifted
soul, now blossoming into a new life.”
‘The almost full moon against the almost
starless night’ … Vronsky meets Anna Karenina
Artist Roman Muradov has also picked
out scenes from The Death of Ivan Ilyich
for his Google doodle. In a piece written
for the search engine , the illustrator,
who has also recently designed and
illustrated the centennial edition of
James Joyce’s Dubliners for Penguin
Classics, said the tribute to Tolstoy was a
“daunting task”.
“No set of images can sum up a body of
work so astonishing in scope, complexity,
and vigour – its memorable scenes come
to life with seeming effortlessness, fully
realised in the immortal lines and
between them,” he wrote. “Tolstoy’s
lasting influence is a testament to the
power of his art, which will remain
relevant as long as the questions of life
and death occupy our minds, which is to
say – forever.”
Muradov said that the imagery, from a
writer like Tolstoy, is “unique for every
reader”, as the Russian writer’s care with
words allows “the reader’s imagination
to collaborate with the text instead of
passively taking it in”.
“The language of cartooning, likewise, is
the language of reduction; it’s less
descriptive than realistic artwork or film,
and is less likely to replace the reader’s
vision. It seemed fitting to focus on
Tolstoy’s central theme of dualism and to
highlight his stylistic nuances through
the rhythm of the sequences – the almost
full moon against the almost starless
night, the red of Anna’s handbag, Ivan’s
fatal curtains that stand between him
and the light of his spiritual awakening,”
wrote Muradov. “There’s a myriad of
scenes I’d outlined and sketched in the
process, and I wish I could’ve included
some of the lesser-known episodes, like
Vronsky and Anna’s encounter with the
Russian painter in Italy, whose portrait
of Anna is kept in the background of the
narrative for hundreds of pages until it’s
seen again through Levin’s eyes in one
most striking scenes of the book.”
The artist said he hoped his doodle
would “inspire viewers to discover and
revisit these scenes in the way Tolstoy
intended: through reading and rereading
his timeless narratives”.
Tolstoy died in 1910, aged 82.

Manchester United to complete the signing of Falcao

Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal is set to take his spending to £150million after the club agreed a loan fee for Monaco’s Colombian striker Radamel Falcao in a dramatic climax to transfer deadline day

Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal is set to take his spending to £150million after the club agreed a loan fee for Monaco’s Colombian striker Radamel Falcao in a dramatic climax to transfer deadline day.
United agreed a loan fee of between £5million and £6million for Falcao who was due to fly to Manchester on Monday evening for a medical. The move was also pending an agreement on personal terms, with United also having agreed an option to take the 28-year-old on a permanent basis at the end of the season.
A deal for one of the most sought-after strikers in the game would see United beat both Manchester City and Arsenal to the signature of the forward, who would form a fearsome strike trio with Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney.
Meanwhile, Javier Hernandez has joined Real Madrid on loan with a similar option for the Spanish club to buy the 26-year-old at the end of the season.
United had not been expected to make another major signing after reaching an agreement to sign Daley Blind from Ajax, but the chance to land Falcao has proved too tempting especially with Hernandez and possibly Danny Welbeck leaving Old Trafford.
It would mean another season without Champions League football for Falcao, but that is not something that has concerned him in the past – indeed not since he was with Porto in the 2009-10 season has he played in UEFA’s top club competition.
The player had been looked at by Arsenal and City but both clubs had baulked had the size of the loan fee and his wages.
Meanwhile, United are also expect to confirm the completion of Blind’s move after agreeing a deal for the 24-year-old, who can play in defence or as a defensive midfielder.
The signings add up to a record outlay for the club who have also splashed out £59.7million for Angel di Maria, £27million for Luke Shaw, £15million for Marcos Rojo, £28million for Ander Herrera as well as £13.85million for Blind.
Blind was a key part of Van Gaal’s Holland team during the World Cup.
The player told Fox Sports at the weekend: “I am enormously proud to be at one of the biggest clubs in the world. Everything has happened so suddenly.”
Meanwhile, United are still waiting for Rojo’s visa to come through but that will not affect the Argentina defender’s transfer – the international transfer certificate has been received confirming his move from Sporting Lisbon.
United confirmed that Hernandez has joined Real Madrid on loan for the rest of the season. The Mexico striker moved to United from Chivas de Guadalajara in 2010 and scored 59 goals in 154 appearances.


Posted by Linda Ikeji aEbola: Rivers state Min. of Health ask people who visited hospital where doctor died to come forward


Below is a statement from the Rivers state Ministry of Health calling on all those who visited Samstel Clinic in Rumuokoro, Port Harcourt, in the last few weeks to report to the ministry to get tested. Samstel is the hospital where Dr Ikye Enemoah, who died of Ebola, worked.

Ebola – Port Harcourt Ministry Of Health Release.
“If you visited Samstel Clinic, Rumuokoro, PH, within the last few weeks, you are kindly urged to report to the Rivers State Health Ministry!
“Please search yourself and if this concerns you, please go and get tested immediately.
If you were in this hospital but have left Port Harcourt, please look for where to give up yourself. Everything is being done to curb the spread.
Please do your little part to help. Do not hide family members who you think might be infected.” God bless you as you Obey!

217 people have so far been quarantined in Port Harcourt

Osun State Election


Alhaji Ganiyu Olaoluwa is the chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun State. In this Interview with OLAKUNLE TAIWO, he speaks on issues surrounding the August 9 governorship election in the state, among others. Excerpts:


HOW would you describe the election in the Osun?
The election we had in Osun was a kangaroo one because it was marred by electoral fraud. I can beat my chest that the All Progressives Congress (APC) did not only rig but also collaborated with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials to insult the voting rights of the people of the state. We were able to notice some irregularities and these are being gathered in our attempt to go to the Election Petition Tribunal. To us in the PDP, INEC has only succeeded in conducting the worst election in the history of the country with the Osun election. For the first time, we saw the APC using young girls who are innocent students of Osun secondary schools to cook figures.
The exercise was so fraudulent that the OYES personnel were also coerced into perpetrating electoral mess. Some INEC officials were bought. Imagine NYSC personnel were bribed to sell out. We saw it all. The police did not in anyway help matters at all. Look at the way our members were placed under house arrest and were not allowed to vote. APC hoodlums, armed to the teeth, were at polling centres, chasing away our people and snatching ballot boxes. We have concrete evidence to really substantiate our claims when we get to the Tribunal.
Look at what happened to a whole deputy governor who was arrested in Ward 1 with cash. What was she doing in Ward 1 when she did not belong to that ward? What was her mission there? What was the purpose of the money found on her? We have all our evidences-impeccable facts and figures-to challenge the outcome of the election. We cannot just fold our arms while our future is being stolen. We know what always happens to stolen mandates. When you force figures on the people, some of them somewhere will have to fight back. We will follow the due process of the law and we will ask questions.
But despite your claims, there was massive deployment of security personnel to thwart all the sharp practices like ballot box snatching and other things you mentioned. Also, your party controls these security operatives. How come all these things happened?
Why were the police bribed? Why were INEC officials bribed? Who chased away our agents with guns at polling booths? What kept the Resident Electoral Commission (REC) so late to announce the results? Why the delay? Why the hesitation in the announcement, hours after collation had been completed? What roles did the so-called State Boys play before, during and after the election? Who did they humiliate? All these will be tendered at the Tribunal. The electoral injustice shall be contested. In all, I make bold to say that all my life, ours was the worst election in the political history of Osunand we completely dissociate ourselves, that is, the entire PDP family in Osun, from the fraudulent outcome.
What is your party’s next line of action, apart from going to the tribunal?
When injustice wants to displace justice, the next thing is not to resort to violence but to ensure that the law takes its course. We cannot pretend that all is well in Osun, with the announcement of the result. We know the election was marred by some lapses and hitches and observers can testify to this. In the PDP, we believe in the laws and constitution of the land. We cannot override the constitution. We are respecters of the law and to this end, we are challenging the fraudulent result in the court of law. Whatever interpretation the court gives to our evidence will be welcomed.
But definitely, we cannot keep quiet in the face of 21st century tyranny. This is our state and we cannot condone day light electoral robbery. We shall pursue the fraud to a logical end. We have contacted our lawyers and preparations are ongoing. We will definitely be ably represented at the Tribunal. We have our facts and figures. Just like it is said in Julius Caesar, “we shall meet at Phillipi.”
It was alleged that a particular party gave money to officials of the Department of State Security(DSS)but that the money was rejected. What is your comment on this?
Thank God the DSS is still alive and those who were present at the time the money was taken there are still alive and they are ready to defend their professional ethics, integrity and dignity to the very end. Let us wait until when hearing begins at the tribunal. We should not cry more than the bereaved. We have all our related evidences. They should own up and accept they actually offered the DSS gratification. Why on earth must the DSS be offered anything at all? All they did before, during and after the election was indeed questionable. Money was rolled out in large qunatities. Thanks to the DSS that they rejected the money.
We have some INEC ad-hoc staff and the worst set of people, easily lured with money, were the youth corps members. The APC capitalised on their low income and gave them good money to perpetrate monumental electoral fraud. Let’s just wait. We are coming with facts and figures. We shall meet at the Tribunal.
What effects did the defection of Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola and Senator Isiaka Adeleke have on the election?
You cannot force adults to act against their wish. Both Adeleke and Oyinlola are seasoned politicians who know their onions in the world of politics very well. What they did was not a thing of surprise to me at all. The PDP in Osun was not affected by their departure at all. If you study our political terrain now, it is a season of cross-carpeting. Mallam Nuhu Ribadu initially left the PDP and came back. Our brother, Fani Kayode was there, saw them, their excesses and now he is back with us. Senator Ayo Adeseun in Oyo State is back after leaving. The implication of this is that the PDP is the most accommodating of all the parties in Nigeria today.
I want to assure you that many of those who went to the APC have begun coming back to us and many more will still come. Our doors are widely open. As the biggest and largest party in Africa, we are not in the habit of begging.
On Oyinlola, did he deliver his zone? He was unable to deliver his ward. So, how is he politically relevant? Does this really affirm his popularity? And perhaps Oyinlola has quickly forgotten that the slot he made use of years ago to become the governor was Omisore’s slot. Like I said earlier, their cross carpeting had no effect on the election results at all. We did not miss them an inch.
Toward 2015 general election: what are the chances of PDP in the state?
We are strategising and we are regrouping. The loss at the poll has never deterred us from planning towards 2015. We are planning towards 2015. We are never discouraged. Our plan is to reaffirm to the whole world that we are in charge. By the time the Tribunal restores our stolen mandate, the true PDP will emerge.

I am not dead!!! – Popular writer, Adebayo Faleti shuts down false report


Anxiety mounted on Monday over the health of veteran poet, writer and author, Alagba Adebayo Faleti following rumoured reports on social media that he had passed on.
Within hours, the rumour had flown as far as possible with thousands of people across the world praying for the repose of his soul.
Street Journal’s findings however revealed that just like the tales of ill health that trailed him months back, the news of Baba Faleti’s death was untrue.
One of his sons confirmed to Street Journal that “Baba is hale and hearty. He is alive and well.” The family later came out to debunk the rumour. Street Journal found out that age is taking its toll on the reverred actor as he now uses a wheelchair to move around occasionally.
Faleti, who had his secondary education at Ibadan Boys’ High School was born to a palace bard in Oyo. He took up a job with the famed WNBC-WNBS decades ago and he was a regular face on the station’s Yoruba news, Iroyin back then.
He has taken part in lots of home videos and television productions.

Youths Attack Policemen In Bauchi For Rescuing Suspected Ritualist

police3 Youths Attack Policemen In Bauchi For Rescuing Suspected Ritualist
Three policemen escaped death by the whiskers on Tuesday, in Unguwar Kofar Dumi area of Bauchi metropolis as angry youths attacked them with sticks and stones for rescuing a suspected ritualist, who they believed charmed a 15-year-old girl.
It was gathered that the suspected ritualist came to the area around 11: 30 am, where he allegedly touched the victim, who was passing by, thereby causing her to collapse instantly.
Malam Bashiru, one of the eye witnesses said when the suspect realised that the girl was unconscious, he attempted to flee but was caught by some youths, who asked him to bring the girl back to normal or else they would kill him.
Bashiru further explained that when the man rebuffed their demand, more youths trooped to the scene with sticks and other weapons with which they started beating him before the community elders intervened.
“When the elders came, they took him to the house of one of them for interrogation where he owned up to charming the girl and performed certain rituals that revived the girl.
“Instead of the elders handing him back to us, they called the police, who came and took him away in their van”, he said.
Malam Adamu Alin Bayi, the ward head of the area confirmed the incident.
He said they intervened to stop the raging youths from taking law into their hands.
– See more at: http://www.naijaloaded.com.ng/2014/08/27/youths-attack-policemen-bauchi-rescuing-suspected-ritualist/#sthash.HnlPo92f.dpuf
Three policemen escaped death by the whiskers on Tuesday, in Unguwar Kofar Dumi area of Bauchi metropolis as angry youths attacked them with sticks and stones for rescuing a suspected ritualist, who they believed charmed a 15-year-old girl.
It was gathered that the suspected ritualist came to the area around 11: 30 am, where he allegedly touched the victim, who was passing by, thereby causing her to collapse instantly.
Malam Bashiru, one of the eye witnesses said when the suspect realised that the girl was unconscious, he attempted to flee but was caught by some youths, who asked him to bring the girl back to normal or else they would kill him.
Bashiru further explained that when the man rebuffed their demand, more youths trooped to the scene with sticks and other weapons with which they started beating him before the community elders intervened.
“When the elders came, they took him to the house of one of them for interrogation where he owned up to charming the girl and performed certain rituals that revived the girl.
“Instead of the elders handing him back to us, they called the police, who came and took him away in their van”, he said.
Malam Adamu Alin Bayi, the ward head of the area confirmed the incident.
He said they intervened to stop the raging youths from taking law into their hands.
– See more at: http://www.naijaloaded.com.ng/2014/08/27/youths-attack-policemen-bauchi-rescuing-suspected-ritualist/#sthash.HnlPo92f.dpuf

United to land Angel di Maria for £60 million transfer record

Ángel di María says goodbye to Real Madrid ahead of proposed £60 millon move to Manchester United
Angel Di Maria(left) with C.Ronaldo(right) in tranning

Manchester United hope to seal a £60 million British record transfer for Ángel di María within the next 48 hours after the Argentine winger confirmed to Carlo Ancelotti, the Real Madrid coach, that he is leaving the European champions.

Despite efforts by Florentino Pérez, the Real president, to increase Di María’s valuation to £75 million — just £5 million short of the world record fee received by United from Real for Cristiano Ronaldo in June 2009 – United are confident that a deal in the region of £60 million can be struck for the former Benfica player.
With Louis van Gaal, the United manager, determined to make further additions to his squad before the transfer deadline next Monday, the club are expected to pursue moves for the AC Milan midfielder Nigel de Jong and the Ajax defender Daley Blind once Di María has been secured.
Arturo Vidal, the Juventus midfielder, is also a target, but with the Italian champions aiming to resist offers for the Chile international an £8 million move for the former Manchester City midfielder De Jong is regarded by Van Gaal as a contingency plan with the manager acknowledging the need for midfield reinforcements.
Ed Woodward, United’s executive vice-chairman, remains in talks with Pérez over an agreement for Di María, who could fly into Manchester on Monday should there be a breakthrough in negotiations.
However, after watching his team emerge from the Stadium of Light with a point following an uninspiring 1-1 draw against Sunderland, Van Gaal refused to elaborate on the timescale of Di María arriving to bolster his squad.
“When a transfer has been finished, then we can say,” Van Gaal said. “But until then, we have to wait and see. It is not only Di Maria, maybe it is also Vidal and [Lionel] Messi. You cannot always sign everyone you like, but we are a big club.”
Di María’s exit from Real, as good as confirmed earlier this summer by the £63 million signing of the Colombian midfielder James Rodríguez from Monaco, appears inevitable and imminent, however, following Ancelotti’s admission on Sunday that the 26-year-old had visited Real’s Valdebebas training ground to say farewell to his team-mates.
“He has come and has not practised,” Ancelotti said. “It’s not official yet, but he came to say goodbye. We gave thanks for what he has done for this club and wish him luck for the future. It is not official, but it is solved. I have personally had a good relationship with him and did a fantastic job here. It was his decision to leave because the club did everything possible for him to stay by offering everything to him to stay.”
While Real’s decision to sell Di María has been taken by Pérez, the club president is keen to take advantage of United’s desperation to make a statement of intent in the transfer market by pushing up the player’s price tag.
Although a successful move for Di María would take United’s spending since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement to £196 million, the club’s owners, the Glazer family, continue to bear the brunt of supporter disaffection as a result of the perceived lack of investment in the team since their 2005 takeover.
United have made it clear that they have money to spend – a declaration that has only served to inflate the valuations of targets – and Pérez believes he can still entice rival interest from Paris St-Germain and Manchester City in order to create a bidding war and force United to increase their offer.
PSG, restricted by Uefa’s Financial Fair Play penalties, have withdrawn from the race to sign Di María on a permanent basis but retain an interest in completing a loan move.
However, despite suggestions from the Real camp that City had attempted to sign Di María on loan ahead of a permanent move next summer in order to avoid falling foul of their own FFP penalty, the Premier League champions have instead insisted that they have turned down the chance to bid for the player having focused on signing defensive reinforcements this summer.
United are likely to be active in the final week of the transfer window, however, with Di María leading the arrivals and potentially being signed in time to secure a work permit to make his debut at Burnley on Saturday.
Danny Welbeck has been told he can leave Old Trafford, with Javier Hernández, Anderson, Shinji Kagawa and Tom Cleverley also facing uncertain futures at the club.
Marcos Rojo, who completed a £16 million transfer from Sporting Lisbon last week, may be forced to wait until the weekend for his United debut with the Argentine defender unlikely to receive a work permit in time to face MK Dons in the Capital One Cup second-round tie at Stadium:mk on Tuesday.

New iPhone 6 Leak May Give Us Clearest Look At The 4.7-Inch Handset Yet


The iPhone 6 leaks are happening by the minute, it seems, and that’s not going to let up as we approach the expected September launch.

However, the latest pictures are probably the best yet, assuming this is what the phone would look like – and at this point we’re betting that it’s probably not far off.
The shots of an assembled handset were shared by Feld & Volk via Instagram, and show the 4.7-inch handset from a number of different angles. Seeing it from the side gives us a good idea of how thin the handset might be – just 7mm if we’re to believe the hype.
Remember internetters, even if this is 100% legitimate, it’s still not the finished product – Apple’s new iPhone will undoubtedly look a bit more polished and complete in its final form.
But these pictures align with all of the rumours and leaks that have spilled out thus far. It’s got those curved edges, the iPod Touch-esque volume buttons, and the side-mounted power button.
It’s hopefully not long until the iPhone 6 is revealed in all its glory (and possibly with a 5.5-inch version alongside) – September 9 is being touted as the date of Apple’s big press conference.