Roberto Firmino doubt for Liverpool clash with Bayern Munich due to virus

Roberto Firmino is a doubt for Liverpool’s Champions League tie against Bayern Munich after missing training on Monday with a virus. Firmino is the fourth Liverpool player to fall ill since the start of the month, following a warm-weather trip to Dubai in January. Liverpool have since taken advantage of their exit from the FA Cup to travel to Marbella, but it has seen Firmino fall ill on their return. Dejan Lovren also missed training and will have a last-minute fitness test on a hamstring injury. Klopp gave an injury…

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Leeds United fined £200,000 by EFL over ‘spygate’

Leeds United have been fined £200,000 by the English Football League for watching opponents train before matches. A member of Leeds’ staff was found acting suspiciously outside Derby’s training ground before the fixture between the two sides on 10 January. Boss Marcelo Bielsa said he had sent a member of staff to watch every team they have played this season train. The EFL found Leeds breached rules over treating teams with “good faith”. Leeds have also received a formal reprimand from the EFL, which is bringing in a rule to…

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FA charge Jurgen Klopp over ‘bias’ West Ham referee comments

Jurgen Klopp has been charged by the Football Association for comments he made about referee Kevin Friend after Liverpool’s Premier League match at West Ham last week. Klopp suggested after the 1-1 draw on Monday, February 4, that Friend’s performance had been affected by an assistant referee’s mistake for Sadio Mane’s goal. Mane’s opener stood despite Reds team-mate James Milner being clearly offside in the build-up. Speaking to Sky Sports, Klopp said: “As a human being, if I know I have made a big mistake in the first half, I don’t want…

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Kevin-Prince Boateng’s home burgled while in action for Barcelona

Kevin-Prince Boateng’s residence in Spain was burgled on Saturday while he was in action for Barcelona in their 1-0 win over Real Valladolid. The Ghanaian midfielder played his first league match for the league leaders as Lionel Messi’s effort from the spot gave the hosts a victory. He was in action for 60 minutes before he was replaced by Luis Suarez as Ernesto Valverde’s men held on to their seven-point lead at the summit of the LaLiga table. Boateng’s league debut, however, was overshadowed by an ugly incident after some thieves barged into his private residence located…

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Manchester United hit with twin blows with Lingard and Martial injuries

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed that Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard will both be out for between two and three weeks due to injury. Both players had to be substituted during Tuesday night’s Champions League defeat to Paris Saint-Germain and neither will be available for Monday’s FA Cup fifth-round clash with Chelsea. But Alexis Sánchez – who reportedly picked up a knock after colliding with the linesman before he even came on the pitch in mid-week – is in contention to play. “I think they [Martial and…

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Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde signs one-year contract extension

Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde has signed a one-year contract extension. The 55-year-old Spaniard also has the option of a further year, which would see him remain in charge until the end of the 2020-21 season. The former Barcelona forward replaced Luis Enrique in May 2017 and won La Liga and the Copa del Rey in his first season in charge. ❗ [LATEST NEWS] Agreement to extend Ernesto Valverde's contract More info 👉 https://t.co/LiAjy53jnP pic.twitter.com/ehuoU4V5ms — FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) February 15, 2019 Barca are currently top of the league on 51…

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Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale faces possible 12-match ban over gesture in derby

Gareth Bale could be banned for up to 12 games over his goal celebration in Real Madrid’s La Liga encounter against rivals Atletico Madrid. The league’s organising body said the Wales forward faces a sanction for a “provocative gesture” made after scoring Real’s third goal and his 100th for the club in the 3-1 victory at the Wanda Metropolitano last week. The incident will be referred to the Spanish soccer federation’s competition committee, who will then decide if Bale should be punished. The statement said Bale “lifted his right arm near…

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Arsenal duo Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey miss out on BATE trip

Arsenal midfielders Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey have not been included in the squad to face BATE Borisov in their Europa League last-32 tie on Thursday. Ozil has returned to full training after recovering from illness but has not travelled to Belarus for the match. Ramsey, who on Monday signed a £400k a week deal to join Juventus in the summer, misses out with a knee injury. 🔜 #UEL Here's our travelling squad for @FCBATE 📋 pic.twitter.com/gsthwX3qNA — Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 13, 2019 Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Granit Xhaka are back after…

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Loftus-Cheek and Alonso to miss Chelsea’s Malmo tie

Chelsea will be without the services of left-back Marcos Alonso and the midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek when they take on Swedish side Malmo in the first leg of their Europa League last 32 tie. Left-back Alonso has been rested by Blues boss Maurizio Sarri with Emerson Palmieri likely to deputise. Midfielder Loftus-Cheek has suffered a recurrence of a back problem. Malmo have not played a competitive game since the Europa League group stage ended in December, as the Swedish league runs from April until November.

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Marek Hamsik brings 12-year Napoli stay to a close with Chinese move

Marek Hamsik has brought his Napoli career to a close after completing a switch to Chinese side Dalian Yifang, the club have confirmed. The move had been in the offing for almost two weeks with Napoli manager Carlo Ancelotti telling reporters Hamsik was close to a move after the 3-0 win over Sampdoria earlier this month. “Un capitano, un esempio, un calciatore e un uomo che Napoli amerà per sempre. E che per sempre resterà nella nostra storia.” 💙 #GrazieCap17ano⁰⁰Leggi il comunicato integrale 👉 https://t.co/UNDAqcdNEh pic.twitter.com/hKDtXXhnC0 — Official SSC Napoli…

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Manchester United reveal £19.6m payoff for José Mourinho and staff

Manchester United paid Jose Mourinho and his staff £19.6m in compensation following his sacking in December. United revealed the figures in their second quarter financial results. Mourinho was sacked after a run of poor results, culminating in a 3-1 defeat by Liverpool, that left them 11 points off fourth place in the Premier League. Caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer won 10 of his first 11 games before Tuesday’s 2-0 Champions League last-16 first-leg defeat by Paris St-Germain. Within the financial results, which were released to the New York Stock Exchange, it said: “Exceptional items for…

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Manchester United hit with UEFA charge over Di Maria bottle incident

Manchester United have been charged by UEFA after a section of their supporters threw objects towards Paris Saint-Germain’s Angel Di Maria in Tuesday’s Champions League clash at Old Trafford. Former United player Di Maria was jeered by the home supporters right from the start of the match, having endured an underwhelming spell at the club in the 2014-15 season. It was his first return to Old Trafford since leaving for France in 2015 and he went on to have a major impact, setting up both PSG goals as they ran out…

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Declan Rice switches international allegiance to England from Ireland

West Ham midfielder Declan Rice has pledged his international future to England. Rice, 20, has won three senior Republic of Ireland caps, all in friendlies, having played for his grandparents’ country since under-16 level. In August the Londoner said he needed time to decide his future, as winning a competitive cap for the Republic would have tied him to the country. pic.twitter.com/L6Du9X8wNd — Declan Rice (@_DeclanRice) February 13, 2019 “This has been an extremely difficult decision,” he said. Rice, who has made 59 appearances for West Ham, has excelled this…

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Inter Milan strip Mauro Icardi of club captaincy

Inter Milan have stripped Mauro Icardi of the club captaincy as the player’s uneasy relationship with the club continues. Goalkeeper Samir Handanovic has been appointed as the new club captain. The Club can confirm that Samir #Handanovic is the new Inter captain.#FCIM — Inter (@Inter_en) February 13, 2019 Confirmation of the news was tweeted by the official club Twitter account on Wednesday, in what is an unexpected turn of events. It comes after a turbulent few months for player and club, with the Argentine striker yet to sign a new…

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Jadon Sancho delays Dortmund’s London flight after forgetting passport

Borussia Dortmund’s flight to London for their Champions League encounter against Tottenham on Wednesday was delayed after England winger Jadon Sancho forgot his passport. The 18-year-old realised his mistake when he arrived at the airport and needed to return home. Dortmund have arrived in England and will train at Wembley on Tuesday before the first leg of the last-16 tie. The 18-year-old has been in better form on the pitch this season, scoring eight goals in 29 appearances. Sancho scored the first as Dortmund drew 3-3 with Hoffenheim on Saturday.

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Jose Mourinho to host Champions League show on Russian channel RT

Manchester United’s ex-manager José Mourinho is to host his own show on Russian TV channel RT, formerly known as Russia Today, the station says. Mourinho, 56, will provide analysis of Champions League games in the fortnightly football programme. “I’m going to talk about football on RT. What else did you think I was going to do?” he says in a promotional video. As the world discusses what’s next for Jose Mourinho, we have the answer…https://t.co/2kGsQ7OSFC #JoseMourinho #ChampionsLeague #Mourinho pic.twitter.com/Utki5qGCg8 — RT Sport (@RTSportNews) February 11, 2019 Mourinho worked as a…

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Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey agrees massive wage deal to join Juventus in the summer

Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey has agreed a mammoth £400,000 a-week deal with Italian champions Juventus, according to a BBC report. “The 28-year-old has agreed a four-year contract that will see him join the Italian champions as a free agent, ending his 11-year spell with Arsenal. “Ramsey passed a two-part medical in January, having picked Juve following talks with a host of European clubs. “He will be the highest-earning British player ever based on basic salary. “The Wales international’s Arsenal contract expires on 30 June and the Gunners will receive no…

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Paul Scholes takes first step into management with Oldham

Paul Scholes has taken his first step into football management after being named manager at Oldham Athletic. The former Manchester United and England midfielder, 44, has signed a one-and-a-half-year contract with the team he supports. He was cleared by the English Football League to take the role, despite holding a 10% stake in Salford City. Here's the news you've been waiting for… Latics Appoint Paul Scholes As New Manager! #oafchttps://t.co/Kc4O6jLvxa — Oldham Athletic AFC (@OfficialOAFC) February 11, 2019 “I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t feel excited about the team,” said Scholes.…

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Emiliano Sala’s body identified by HM Coroner following plane crash

The body recovered from the plane wreckage on the sea bed of the English Channel has been identified as Emiliano Sala. Sala, 28, and pilot David Ibbotson have been missing since the plane they were flying in lost contact with Air Traffic Control on Monday, January 21. The Piper Malibu aircraft was found on the seabed of the English Channel on Sunday morning – and a body was recovered from the wreckage on Wednesday. A Dorset Police statement on Thursday night read: “The body brought to Portland Port today, Thursday 7 February 2019,…

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Phil Jones signs new Manchester United deal until 2023

Phil Jones has signed a new four-and-a-half-year deal at Manchester United that will keep him at the club until 2023. United, who signed Jones from Blackburn in 2011, have the option to extend the centre-back’s contract by a further 12 months. After signing the deal, Jones said: “I am delighted to have signed a new contract. Manchester United has been a big part of my life for eight years and I love everything about this club. “I am excited about the challenges that lie ahead of us as we prepare…

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Unopposed Uefa boss Aleksander Ceferin re-elected on four-year term

Aleksander Ceferin has been re-elected as Uefa president for the next four years, while England’s Football Association chairman Greg Clarke has been voted on to the Fifa Council. Ceferin, 51, was elected unopposed to continue his role in charge of European football’s governing body. Clarke won the vote of Uefa delegates to be admitted to the Fifa Council for a four-year term. He defeated Northern Ireland’s David Martin 37 votes to 18. The decisions were taken by delegates from the 55 member associations at the Uefa Congress in Rome. Aleksander…

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Eden Hazard hints at Real Madrid move yet again

Eden Hazard has once again fuelled rumours of a departure from Chelsea after revealing a “decision” regarding his future had been made, with Real Madrid thought to be his preferred destination. “I know what I am going to do. I have made a decision,” Hazard told the French radio station RMC. The interview was originally recorded two months ago as part of a documentary about his career, but it was only released this week. Speculation over Hazard’s future has been rife with the player admitting in November over a conflict in…

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Barcelona undecided about Messi involvement in El Clasico

Barcelona have named Lionel Messi in the squad to face Real Madrid in Wednesday’s Copa del Rey semi-final first leg, but will “wait until the last moment” to decide if he plays. The Argentine returned to training on Tuesday after suffering a thigh injury in Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Valencia. “It is true that sometimes we have had doubts with players and we have waited until the last moment,” said manager Ernesto Valverde. “It’s the same with Messi.” Wednesday’s tie at the Nou Camp will be the first of three El…

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West Ham launch investigation into alleged racist abuse against Salah

West Ham are investigating after a video emerged of a fan racially abusing Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah during Monday’s 1-1 draw at London Stadium. Egypt striker Salah, 26, was filmed on a mobile phone from a section of home supporters as he was taking a corner. The footage, taken by a fellow fan, shows expletives directed at Salah including about his Muslim religion. In a statement, West Ham said they have “a zero tolerance policy to any form of violent or abusive behaviour”. It continued: “We are an inclusive football club. Anyone…

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Jose Mourinho accepts suspended prison sentence for tax fraud

Jose Mourinho has been given a one-year suspended prison sentence and agreed to pay a €2.2m (£1.9m) fine after admitting tax fraud while he was coach of Real Madrid. The former Manchester United manager appeared at Madrid’s provincial court on Tuesday, where he confirmed a plea deal over charges that he had defrauded the Spanish tax authorities of €3.3m by failing to declare revenues from image rights in 2011 and 2012. Prosecutors had accused Mourinho, 56, of using offshore companies in Ireland, the British Virgin Islands and New Zealand to…

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