Video assistant referees (VAR) set to be used in Premier League next season

Video assistant referees are set to be used in the Premier League next season after clubs agreed in principle to the move. The Premier League will now make a formal request to the International Football Association Board and Fifa. VAR was used at the 2018 World Cup, is in operation in Italy and Germany’s top divisions, and has been utilised in some FA Cup and Carabao Cup games. The Premier League has been carrying out “non-live” trials this season. VAR will also be used in the Champions League from next season. There…

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Borussia Dortmund’s Christian Pulisic open to Premier League move

Christian Pulisic has said he is open to moving to the Premier League, with Chelsea understood to be leading the race to sign the forward from Borussia Dortmund next summer. Pulisic has been linked to several Premier League sides including Liverpool and Tottenham in the past but it is understood that Chelsea have shown most interest in prising him away from the Bundesliga leaders. The 20-year-old – who spent a year in Oxfordshire as a child before moving back to the United States with his family – has so far refused to discuss a…

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James Rodriguez out for several weeks with LCL tear in knee

Bayern Munich midfielder James Rodriguez faces several weeks on the sidelines following a knee injury in training Tuesday. The club said Rodriguez partially tore the Lateral Collateral Ligament in his left knee and requires at least 10 days of rest before undergoing treatment. A timetable for his return is unavailable. Bad news ☹@jamesdrodriguez has suffered a partial LCL tear in his left knee and will be out of action for several weeks 🚑 Get well soon! #MiaSanMia pic.twitter.com/psCkd2Wxd2 — FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) November 14, 2018 The 27-year-old remained in Germany for the international break…

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Fulham sack embattled Jokanovic and hire Ranieri to stop slide

Fulham have sacked manager Slavisa Jokanovic and replaced him with Claudio Ranieri, who guided Leicester to the Premier League title in 2016. Jokanovic makes way with the Cottagers sitting bottom of the Premier League table with five points from 12 matches. Italian Ranieri, 67, has been given a “multi-year” contract by the Londoners. “Making a change without having the right answer or succession plan was not an option,” said Fulham chairman Shahid Khan. Shahid Khan today announced that he has appointed Claudio Ranieri as Manager of Fulham Football Club, replacing…

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Premier League clubs asked for £250,000 towards £5m bonus for outgoing Scudamore

All 20 Premier League clubs have been asked for a £250,000 contribution so that the league’s outgoing executive chairman Richard Scudamore can be given a £5m farewell gift. The clubs were asked for the money before a meeting on Tuesday. It is expected they will agree to Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck’s request. Scudamore, 59, who is reportedly paid £2.5m per season, is stepping down next month after 19 years at the organisation. The league’s UK television rights were valued at around £670m when he joined, and the last deal was worth…

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Former England midfielder Joe Cole announces retirement from football

Former England and Chelsea midfielder Joe Cole has retired at the age of 37. Cole, who came through West Ham’s youth system before spells at Liverpool, Lille, Aston Villa and Coventry City, has played for United Soccer League side Tampa Bay Rowdies since 2016. He scored 10 goals in 56 games for England between 2001 and 2010. “It has been a dream come true. All of it,” said Cole. “I hope the next two decades are as special as my last 20 years as a professional have been.” Cole made…

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Real Madrid confirm Solari appointment as permanent manager

Real Madrid have confirmed Santiago Solari’s appointment as their permanent manager after receiving approval from the Spanish football federation (RFEF). The 42-year-old Argentine has led the team to four wins in four games since replacing Julen Lopetegui at the helm of the European champions two weeks ago. Though the club have yet to confirm the news, Spanish rules prevent an interim coach from staying in charge for longer than 15 days, a period that expires on Monday. With victories over Melilla in the Copa del Rey, Viktoria Plzen in the…

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Sterling should have avoided showboating, says Guardiola

Pep Guardiola admitted Raheem Sterling should have avoided antagonising Manchester United in the final moments of Manchester City’s 3-1 derby win on Sunday. City moved back to the top of the Premier League with victory over their rivals as David Silva, Sergio Aguero and Ilkay Gundogan got on the scoresheet. But a late flashpoint saw Juan Mata take issue with Sterling as he showboated in the final seconds, keeping the ball in the corner and performing stepovers as United players rushed towards him. And while Guardiola was pleased with City’s other tactics that…

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Jose Mourinho claims ‘two friendlies’ helped Manchester City in derby

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho said Manchester City’s preparations for their derby victory were helped by playing in two “friendly” matches during the past week. City returned to the top of the Premier League as goals from David Silva, Sergio Aguero and Ilkay Gundogan earned the champions three points at Etihad Stadium. But Mourinho said the hosts had an advantage as their past two games – home thrashings of Southampton and Shakhtar Donetsk in which they won by an aggregate 12-1 – were significantly more straightforward than his team’s most…

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Arsenal fear Danny Welbeck could be out for long time with injury

Arsenal fear forward Danny Welbeck has suffered a “very big injury” after he was carried off on a stretcher during his side’s Europa League game against Sporting Lisbon on Thursday. It ended goalless at Emirates Stadium as the Gunners secured a place in the last 32, but the match was overshadowed by the 27-year-old England international’s ankle injury. “He is at the hospital. The news is that we are going to wait, but we think it’s a serious injury,” said Arsenal boss Unai Emery. “Every injury is different. This could…

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Cristiano Ronaldo believes Juventus should have easily beaten Man Utd

Cristiano Ronaldo believes former club Manchester United’s performance was not deserving of victory over Juventus on Wednesday. Ronaldo volleyed Juve into the lead in the second half in Turin – his first Champions League goal for his new club. But his sensational strike counted for nothing as United staged a dramatic late turnaround, snatching three points thanks to Juan Mata’s free-kick and an Alex Sandro own goal in the final four minutes. Ronaldo was pleased with the quality of his goal but felt Juventus should have easily beaten his former club.…

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Injured Romelu Lukaku doubtful for Manchester derby

Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku could miss the Manchester derby at the weekend after he was not named in the squad for Wednesday’s trip to Juventus. The 25-year-old Belgian was dropped to the bench for the match against Everton two weeks ago and then missed the win at Bournemouth because of an injury. “He’s injured for tomorrow, I’m not sure for Sunday,” United manager Jose Mourinho said. Lukaku has only scored four goals in 14 matches for United this season. The last of those came in the 2-1 win at…

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Paul Pogba ‘unaffected’ by removal as Manchester United vice captain

Paul Pogba says he has been unaffected by having the Manchester United vice-captaincy stripped from him by manager Jose Mourinho – who he said he plays for with “happiness”. The France World Cup winner, 25, fell out of favour at Old Trafford last season and had his role as deputy taken away in late September. “If he takes the armband away, it doesn’t change anything,” said Pogba. “I just want to play, perform and give my best. It didn’t affect me.” The Frenchman took over the captaincy for opening two…

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Nemanja Matic explains why he will not wear poppy on shirt

Nemanja Matic says he will not wear a poppy on his Manchester United shirt because it reminds him of when his village was bombed when he was 12. The bombing, in 1999, was part of a Nato-led offensive to drive out Serbian forces from Kosovo. Matic was the only United player not wearing a poppy during their 2-1 victory over Bournemouth on Saturday. The Serb, 30, released a statement on Instagram in which he said he respected the right of people to wear poppies. But he said he would again not wear…

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Liverpool’s Xherdan Shaqiri to miss Red Star Belgrade game in Serbia

Liverpool have left Xherdan Shaqiri out of their squad to face Serbian side Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League on Tuesday because they want to “avoid any distractions” that may be caused by the midfielder’s Albanian heritage. Shaqiri, 27, is an ethnic Albanian from Kosovo, where a Serbian crackdown on the Albanian population ended with Nato military intervention in 1999. After scoring for Switzerland against Serbia this summer, he celebrated by making a double-headed eagle gesture, which symbolises the Albanian flag. He was fined £7,632 by Fifa for the celebration, which…

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Wayne Rooney to return to England squad for friendly match against USA

Wayne Rooney is set to come out of international retirement to make a farewell appearance for England against the United States later this month. The 33-year-old – England’s record goalscorer with 53 – has not played for the Three Lions since a 3-0 victory over Scotland in November 2016. But Rooney, who plays for DC United, is expected to earn his 120th cap in the friendly at Wembley on 15 November. The match will be called ‘The Wayne Rooney Foundation international’. The Wembley Arch will be lit up in the…

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Nicklas Bendtner sentenced to 50 days in jail in Denmark for assault

Former Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner has been sentenced to 50 days in jail in Denmark for assaulting a taxi driver. But the 30-year-old Rosenborg player has appealed and has been released until a hearing at a higher court. The incident took place in September, with the City Court of Copenhagen shown CCTV footage in which it appeared Bendtner struck the driver in the face. The Denmark international admitted hitting the taxi driver but said it was because he felt threatened. Bendtner said the driver threw a bottle or a can…

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Kevin De Bruyne fears knee injury will put him out for at least a month

Kevin De Bruyne fears his knee injury may rule him out for at least a month, with the Manchester City player waiting on the results of further tests. The Belgian suffered the problem to his left knee in the 86th minute of Thursday’s 2-0 Carabao Cup win at home to Fulham. This was only De Bruyne’s second start since a three-month absence following ligament damage to his right knee. In January 2016 De Bruyne also seriously injured his right knee and ankle ligaments. If the 27-year-old is out for a sustained period it…

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Usain Bolt leaves Australia’s Central Coast Mariners football club

Usain Bolt’s trial with Australian football club Central Coast Mariners has come to an end. The Jamaican eight-time Olympic sprint champion, 32, joined the A-League side for an “indefinite training period” in August. He scored two goals in his first effort for the Mariners in a friendly, but did not play matches when the season began. Efforts to secure a “commercial solution” to keep Bolt at the club had failed, the Mariners said on Friday. Last month, the Mariners said they had made a contract proposal broken down into “football” and “commercial” terms. However, it…

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Sterling verbally agrees new five-year deal with Manchester City

Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling has verbally agreed a lucrative new five-year contract. Sterling’s current deal expires in 2020 and talks about an extension have been ongoing for several months. Once signed, the contract, thought to be around £300,000-a-week, will make Sterling one of the highest-paid players in the Premier League. The 23-year-old joined City from Liverpool in 2015 in a deal that could cost the Blues £49m. He has benefited hugely from the arrival of Pep Guardiola as manager at Etihad Stadium and scored 18 goals in City’s Premier…

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Buffon to face Lille but Tuchel unsure on Cavani’s return

Gianluigi Buffon will start for Paris Saint-Germain against Lille and the veteran goalkeeper is set to make his Champions League debut for the club, says coach Thomas Tuchel. Buffon is yet to appear in European competition for PSG after joining the Ligue 1 champions from Juventus, with Alphonse Areola taking the gloves for all three matches in Group C. A 2-2 home draw with Napoli last time out left PSG’s Champions League qualification in the balance, Tuchel’s men having taken four points from three games to sit in third place And Tuchel…

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Bayern Munich apply to host the Champions League final again

Bayern Munich will apply to host the 2021 Champions League final at the Allianz Arena. The Bundesliga champions and five-time Champions League winners last hosted the final in 2012, losing to Chelsea on penalties. “I am now allowed to confirm that Bayern Munich, along with the city of Munich, will officially apply to host the 2021 Champions League final,” said chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge in an statement released on Wednesday. “Despite the defeat and enormous disappointment against Chelsea in 2021, we’d still love to have another ‘Home Final’. München bewirbt…

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Arsene Wenger rules out England move as he eyes 2019 return

Arsene Wenger has revealed he will return to management at the beginning of 2019 but would not be drawn on a potential destination although he has ruled out a return to England due to his Arsenal connections. The 69-year-old has been out of the game since leaving Arsenal at the end of last season after 22 years with the Premier League club. The Frenchman has been linked with the vacant coaching position at Real Madrid following the dismissal of Julen Lopetegui, but a move to the Spanish giants looks unlikely…

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Carabao Cup: Arsenal to host Spurs in quarter-finals

Arsenal have been drawn against north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals. The Gunners, last season’s beaten finalists, will host their neighbours at Emirates Stadium during the week starting 17 December. League One Burton Albion, the lowest-ranked team left in the competition, go to Championship side Middlesbrough. Chelsea host Bournemouth, while Leicester or Southampton will play the winner of Manchester City and Fulham. A rearranged date and kick-off time for Leicester’s tie against Southampton at King Power Stadium has yet to be confirmed. The match, originally scheduled…

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World Cup expansion to 48 teams could happen in 2022, says Fifa

The expansion of the World Cup from 32 to 48 teams could be brought forward from 2026 to 2022, says Fifa president Gianni Infantino. The change would require Qatar to share 2022 hosting duties with other countries in the region. The decision has already been taken to expand the tournament in 2026, when it will be held in the USA, Canada and Mexico, and Infantino is now considering doing the same for 2022. “If it is possible, why not?” he said. “We have to see if it is possible, if it…

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