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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