Toni Kroos ruled out for up to a month with muscle problem

Real Madrid fear midfielder Toni Kroos will miss a month of action after suffering a torn adductor muscle against Real Sociedad. The German international limped out of the closing moments of Sunday’s defeat against La Real and joins a growing injury list at the European champions. “Following tests carried out on our player Toni Kroos today by the Real Madrid Medical Services, he has been diagnosed with a grade 2 tear of the adductor muscle in his left leg,” read a Madrid statement. “His recovery will be monitored.” Next up…

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Barcelona secure Jean-Clair Todibo signing for summer

Barcelona have beat off stiff competition to secure the signature of Jean-Clair Todibo, the club announced. The in-demand Toulouse defender will join the club on a free transfer this summer. Todibo is into the final six months of his contract at the Ligue 1 club and the deal will see him remain in France this campaign before moving to the Camp Nou in July. Last week, El Mundo Deportivo claimed the Blaugrana were in ‘pole position’ to sign the player who has not featured for the Ligue 1 club since November,…

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Pepe makes return to Portuguese football with Porto

FC Porto have confirmed the signing of former Real Madrid defender Pepe on a two-and-a-half year deal following his exit from Besiktas. The central defender has agreed a contract until the summer of 2021 with the Portuguese champions, who are currently in the last 16 of the Champions League. The 35-year-old won two league titles with Porto in a stint between 2004 and 2007, before subsequently joining Madrid, where he won two La Liga crowns and three Champions League titles. Pepe 🔵⚪ Bem-vindo a casa / Welcome home / Bienvenido…

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Egypt beats out South Africa to earn AFCON 2019 hosting rights

Egypt will host the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, the Confederation of African Football (Caf) has announced. Egypt beat South Africa, the only other nation to bid, by 16 votes to one with one abstention at a Caf executive committee vote in Senegal. Original host nation Cameroon was stripped of staging duties in November because of slow preparations. Egypt has just six months to prepare for the expanded 24-team finals, which kick off in June. It will be the fifth time Egypt, which won the tournament when it last hosted…

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Tata Martino named Mexico national team manager

Mexico got its man, announcing on Monday it has hired Gerardo “Tata” Martino to manage the men’s national team. The length of the deal is yet to be announced, though the Mexican federation stated that Martino will be the man to lead El Tri “on the way to Qatar 2022”. Martino takes over a team that has been remarkably consistent in recent history. El Tri have qualified for the last seven World Cups and been eliminated at the round of 16 stage of each of them. That has set off…

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Stoke City sack manager Gary Rowett after eight months in charge

Stoke have sacked manager Gary Rowett after just eight months in charge. The Potters were among the favourites for promotion from the Sky Bet Championship this season but have underwhelmed and currently lie 14th in the table, eight points off the play-off spots. Rowett’s coaching staff have also left the club, leaving Rory Delap, Kevin Russell and Andy Quy to take temporary charge of the first team. A Stoke statement read: “The club would like to thank Gary and his staff for their efforts over the past eight months. “A…

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Arsenal to face Manchester United in FA Cup fourth round

Arsenal have been drawn at home to Manchester United in the FA Cup fourth round. The Gunners have won the competition a record 13 times, while United are 12-time winners. The two sides met in the quarterfinals of the FA Cup in 2015 when Danny Welbeck scored the winner against his former side as Arsenal ran out 2-1 winners at Old Trafford. Non-league Barnet – the lowest-ranked club left in the competition – are at home to Championship side Brentford. League One Gillingham, who knocked out Premier League Cardiff in the third…

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