Jose Mourinho denies interest in Real Madrid job for a second time

Jose Mourinho has denied any interest in taking over at Real Madrid, stating he wishes to stay as Manchester United manager beyond his current contract, which ends in the summer of 2020. Reports in Spain have claimed Mourinho is seen by Real as a replacement for Julen Lopetegui following the European champions’ disappointing start to the season. They sit seventh in La Liga, four points behind the leaders Barcelona, following Saturday’s 2-1 home defeat to Levante. Yet asked about potentially becoming Real manager for a second time having managed the…

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Usain Bolt offered professional football deal by Maltese champions

Usain Bolt has been offered a two-year contract to play for Maltese club Valletta FC and spearhead their charge to the Champions League. Valletta managing director and CEO Ghasston Slimen told ESPN on Monday that they hope to sign the eight-time Olympic sprint champion in time for him to participate in their Maltese Super Cup match on Dec. 13 against Balzan. “A champion is always welcome and at Valletta FC we believe nothing is impossible,” said Slimen, adding that he hoped Bolt could pave the way for more athletes to…

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Barcelona’s Thomas Vermaelen ruled out for six weeks with hamstring injury

Barcelona defender Thomas Vermaelen is set to miss six weeks of action with a hamstring injury he suffered while on international duty with Belgium, the club has confirmed. The centre-back was forced off during Belgium’s 2-1 win over Switzerland on Friday and now faces yet another spell on the sidelines. The news comes as a blow to Barcelona with Samuel Umtiti also sidelined curently with a knee problem. There have been different reports over the severity of the French defender’s injury, and it’s still unclear when he will return to…

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French authorities investigate whether PSG game against Red Star was fixed

French authorities are investigating whether a Champions League game involving Paris Saint-Germain and Red Star Belgrade was fixed. Both clubs have strongly denied wrongdoing after L’Équipe reported that a Red Star official was suspected of betting €5m (£4.4m) on the team losing by five goals in a match PSG won 6-1. It is understood, Uefa passed on suspicions to the French authorities after the 3 October game at the Parc des Princes in Group C, which also includes Liverpool and Napoli. France’s financial prosecutor’s office confirmed an investigation had been…

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Thierry Henry on manager shortlist to replace Leonardo Jardim at Monaco

Former Arsenal striker Thierry Henry is being considered as a replacement for manager Leonardo Jardim at Monaco. The French club are expected to sack their Portuguese boss, 44, with the team third from bottom in Ligue 1 with six points from nine games. Henry, 41, who is on the shortlist for a similar role at Aston Villa, began his professional career at Monaco and helped them win Ligue 1 in 1997. Jardim led the club to another French title in 2017, their first since 2000. The former Sporting Lisbon manager…

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Valencia apologises after ‘liking’ Instagram post calling for Manchester United to sack their manager

Manchester United captain Antonio Valencia has apologised for inadvertently ‘liking’ an Instagram post calling for manager Jose Mourinho to be sacked. The Red Devils manager came under increasing pressure on Tuesday following a 0-0 draw with Spanish club Valencia at Old Trafford in the Champions League, a result that stretches their winless run to four matches after the draw against Wolves and losses to Derby County and West Ham. Fuel was poured on the fire by the 33-year-old, who liked an Instagram post criticising the manager after the draw, spurring new…

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Keylor Navas admits Real Madrid are missing Ronaldo after shock loss

Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas admitted the La Liga giants are missing Cristiano Ronaldo after their goalless run continued on Tuesday. Madrid suffered a shock 1-0 loss to CSKA Moscow in the Champions League, extending their winless and goalless streaks to three matches. Ronaldo left Madrid for Juventus in July, having scored at an incredible rate at the club, including 44 times last season. While Navas is keen to move on from the Portuguese superstar, he said his team had a big hole to fill following Ronaldo’s departure. “Cristiano left…

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 Why Tottenham can be confident against bad travellers Barcelona

Barcelona’s visit to Wembley to face Spurs is being seen as a tough tie at the wrong time for the home side, up against La Liga league leaders, and having lost in their last euro outing with Inter. Defeats away to Watford, home to fellow Champions League challengers Liverpool, and away at San Siro against Inter, coupled with unconvincing performances in many of their other outings, have resulted in fans being largely disappointed at the start to the campaign, with the sportsbook GiveMeBet among others needing to factor this in to…

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Golden Boy: 40-man shortlist announced with Kylian Mbappe favourite to retain award

Kylian Mbappe is the favourite to become the first two-time winner of the Golden Boy award after being named among the 40-man shortlist by the Italian newspaper Tuttosport. Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold and Manchester City’s Phil Foden are on the shortlist for the award established in 2003 given to the best young player in Europe under the age of 21, with people putting their new customer betting offers on the Reds defender. Everton midfielder Tom Davies and Manchester United defender Diogo Dalot also make the 40-man shortlist. Full-back Alexander-Arnold, 19, played in Liverpool’s…

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Guardiola emphatically denies Manchester City move for Kylian Mbappe

Pep Guardiola says there is no chance of Manchester City signing Kylian Mbappe from Paris Saint-Germain. City had been linked with a fresh, £200 million move for Mbappe over the weekend. The Premier League side have tried to buy the World Cup winner on two previous occasions; Monaco rejected an approach in the summer of 2016 when he was still largely unknown outside of France, while in 2017 they were beaten to his signature by PSG. In the past week UEFA has reopened an investigation into PSG’s finances, and it was subsequently…

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Manchester United’s Jose Mourinho says some players care more than others

Jose Mourinho insists he still has the support of the players at Manchester United, though he pointedly added that “some care more than others” about recent results and the poor form that has put the manager’s job at risk. United go into their Champions League game with Valencia on Tuesday on the back of successive defeats by Derby and West Ham, and though Mourinho would not reveal whether he has had conversations with the executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward, on the subject he does not believe his days in Manchester are…

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Cristiano Ronaldo’s one-game ban clears him to face Manchester United

Cristiano Ronaldo will be available to face his former club Manchester United in the Champions League next month after being handed a one-match ban by Uefa for his red card against Valencia. The governing body has confirmed the Juventus forward will be suspended for only a single game – against Young Boys in Turin – after its control, ethics and disciplinary board decided not to increase the automatic penalty at a meeting on Thursday. A Uefa statement said: “The CEDB has decided to suspend the Juventus player Cristiano Ronaldo for one Uefa competition match for which…

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UEFA announces introduction of VAR from next season’s Champions League

Video Assistant Referees (VAR) will be used for the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League, as well as for a number of other UEFA competitions. The decision was taken at a meeting of the UEFA Executive Committee at the House of European Football in Nyon on Thursday morning. VAR will be introduced from the play-off stage of next season’s UEFA Champions League. It will be used additionally for the 2019 UEFA Super Cup in Istanbul, as well as for UEFA EURO 2020. UEFA subsequently plans to introduce it in the UEFA Europa…

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Modric breaks Ronaldo-Messi dominance to win top FIFA award

Luka Modric ended Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi’s decade-long domination of football’s individual awards by being crowned FIFA’s best player of the year on Monday. The Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder starred for both club and country as Madrid won a third straight Champions League, and he inspired Croatia to reach the World Cup final for the first time. He beat Ronaldo and Liverpool’s Egyptian forward Mohamed Salah to the prize. Modric’s success means Ronaldo remains tied with Messi having won FIFA’s award in different guises five times each. At 33, Croatia’s run to the final was…

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Ernesto Valverde noncommittal over Barcelona future

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde has admitted he is not sure if he will still be manager of the club next season. Valverde’s contract expires at the end of the current campaign and he confirmed on Saturday he has an option to extend the deal by another year. “I have a contract and I have a possibility to extend it a year more,” Valerde said. “The contract is there but we know what can happen in a season and the season is long. You have to see how the team does.…

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Firmino good enough with one eye, says Mane after PSG win

Sadio Mane said he had urged Liverpool match-winner Roberto Firmino to declare himself fit for the Champions League opener against Paris Saint-Germain, insisting he didn’t “need his eye to play”. Firmino sustained an abrasion to the cornea in his left eye in the weekend win at Tottenham after a clash with Jan Vertonghen and did not train on Sunday or Monday. Even manager Jurgen Klopp admitted he thought the 26-year-old had “no chance” of playing when he saw him on Monday, but Mane was not prepared to give up on his teammate. “I think Bobby doesn’t…

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Champions League: Pochettino accuses media of ‘disrespect’ after Inter loss

Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino angrily accused journalists of disrespecting his players on Tuesday after his team opened their Champions League campaign with a 2-1 loss at Inter Milan. Tottenham were winning 1-0 through Christian Eriksen after a performance Pochettino described as probably their best of the season, only for Mauro Icardi to equalise with an unstoppable 25-metre volley with five minutes left before Matías Vecino headed in a stoppage-time winner following a corner. Pochettino then lost his temper when asked about his decision to rest defenders Kieran Trippier and Toby Alderweireld. “You disrespect the players…

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Antoine Griezman: I am at the top with Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappe

Antoine Griezmann has said that although he is a different player to Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo, he is “at the top” in football. Atletico Madrid forward Griezmann, a World Cup winner with France, is targeting the Ballon d’Or after the disappointment of not being nominated for FIFA’s The Best award. “There are different ways to look at football,” he told Diario AS. “It’s obvious that I’m a different player to Cristiano, Messi, Neymar or [Kylian] Mbappe. “I’m at the top but I can get better. I want to be the most complete…

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Liverpool’s Firmino facing further tests ahead of PSG opener

Liverpool striker Roberto Firmino is facing further tests to determine his availability for his side’s Champions League fixture against Paris Saint Germain at Anfield on Tuesday. The Brazil attacker was forced to leave the pitch in the latter stages of Liverpool’s 2-1 win against Tottenham at Wembley on Saturday after sustaining a bizarre injury. Spurs centre-back Jan Vertonghen accidentally gouged Firmino’s left eye, as shocking images revealed soon after his departure, which left the 26-year-old hospital bound. “No idea, to be honest. He is much better,” Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said when asked of…

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Pep Guardiola criticises Manchester City sloppiness ahead of Lyon clash

Pep Guardiola has admitted being angry with his Manchester City players despite their convincing 3-0 victory against Fulham at the Etihad Stadium. City were sloppy at times and Guardiola was unhappy at what he perceived as a slip from his side’s usual high standards. He pointed to a second-half Bernardo Silva miss to highlight the point. “The ball got passed to Bernardo and I said: ‘It is impossible that he is going to miss it because of his quality,’” the manager said. “But he missed it and I said: ‘Wow.’ “My reaction…

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Corentin Tolisso suffers knee injury in costly Bayern victory

Bayern Munich have been handed a significant blow as Corentin Tolisso suffered a knee injury during the club’s 3-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday. The World Cup winning midfielder sustained an injury to his right knee in a tackle with Leverkusen’s Kevin Volland shortly before half-time. James Rodriguez replaced Tolisso and scored Bayern’s third goal in the 89th minute, as Kovac’s side made it three wins from as many Bundesliga games. Tolisso was not the only Bayern player injured as right back Rafinha was also forced off with ten…

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Manchester City sweating on Sergio Aguero fitness for Champions League opener

Manchester City could be without the services of Sergio Aguero for their Champions League opener against Lyon on Wednesday after the star striker picked up an ankle injury on Saturday. Aguero hurt his ankle in City’s 3-0 Premier League triumph over Fulham and will now undergo checks by the club’s medical staff according to manager Pep Guardiola. “It was something in the ankle,” Guardiola told the press after the game. “He went up to head a cross and when he fell down, he felt something.” Aguero was replaced by Gabriel…

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Uefa to introduce third club competition alongside Champions League and Europa League

Uefa are set to introduce a third European club competition starting from the 2021/22 season pending the final approval from the executive committee, Uefa competitions committee executive Andrea Agnelli has confirmed. The move has been in the works for some time as Uefa looks to maximise the commercial potential of its top sides while continuing to reward domestic success with continental competition. Agnelli was speaking at the general assembly of the European Clubs Association, a group that represents the interests of the continent’s biggest teams. He said: “Pending approval of the Uefa executive…

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Barcelona’s Luis Suarez opens door for possible Pogba move

Paul Pogba, Manchester United

Luis Suarez has said Paul Pogba would be welcome at Barcelona as the Manchester United midfielder continues to be linked with a move away from Old Trafford. Suarez becomes the second Blaugrana player to state that the Frenchman would be greeted with open arms at Camp Nou following Gerard Pique’s similar statement. Pogba’s relationship with manager Jose Mourinho is said to be fractious, with the World Cup winner reportedly open to a move away from a Manchester side which has struggled in the early stages of the season. As such, Suarez feels that…

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Marcelo dismisses exit speculation and commits future to Real Madrid

Real Madrid defender Marcelo has insisted his future lies with Real Madrid despite continued reports linking him with a move to Juventus. With Cristiano Ronaldo, formerly of Real and good mates with Marcelo, joining the Serie A club, the Brazilian left-back was expected to follow the same path but he has now poured cold water on such speculation. “It’s an element which is hardly worth discussing. I’m very happy at Real Madrid, it’s my home and I’ve got many years left on my contract,” Marcelo told Real Madrid TV . “I’m very happy…

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