Manchester United draw PSG in Champions League, Liverpool to face Bayern Munich

Manchester United have drawn Paris Saint-Germain in the last 16 of the Champions League, while Liverpool will face Bayern Munich and Tottenham will take on Borussia Dortmund. Manchester City were drawn against Bundesliga side Schalke, meaning three of the four English teams will face German opposition. Cristiano Ronaldo will return to the city of Madrid, with Juventus drawn against Atletico. Holders Real Madrid must overcome Dutch side Ajax, while Barcelona will take on Lyon and Roma will face FC Porto. The first legs of the last-16 ties will be split…

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Luka Modric wins Ballon d’or to end Ronaldo and Messi dominance

Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder Luka Modric won the 2018 Ballon d’Or, becoming the first player other than Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo to claim the award in more than a decade. Modric, 33, won his third successive Champions League in May before helping Croatia to a first World Cup final. Former Brazil and AC Milan forward Kaka, in 2007, was the last player other than Messi or Ronaldo to win it. Ronaldo, who joined Juventus from Real Madrid in the summer, came second. Barcelona forward Messi finished fifth, with…

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Uefa announces introduction of ‘Europa League 2’ from 2021

A third European club competition with the working title ‘Europa League 2’ will be introduced from 2021. One English team will enter the play-offs of the new tournament, while Scottish sides may miss out on Europa League places in a reshuffle. As part of Uefa’s 2021-2024 cycle, the Europa League will be halved in size to 32 teams with an extra play-off round between the group stage and last 16. The new tournament will be played on Thursdays alongside the Europa League. Every country’s champions will still enter the Champions…

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Eden Hazard drops hints at 2019 Chelsea exit

Eden Hazard has dropped his biggest hint yet he could leave Chelsea at the end of the season. The Belgium international has 18 months remaining on his contract and has been linked with both Real Madrid and Paris St Germain and admits a summer departure from Stamford Bridge is possible. Football punters have also been backing his exit with an offer from betdaq, at odds that are surely likely to only get shorter as the summer nears. Hazard himself has played up his interest in joining Real in the past, saying…

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PSG sweat over Neymar and Mbappe fitness ahead of Liverpool clash

Paris St-Germain face an injury crisis after star forwards Neymar and Kylian Mbappe went off injured playing for Brazil and France respectively in Tuesday’s round of international friendlies. Neymar played for only six minutes as Brazil edged out Cameroon in Milton Keynes as he suffered an adductor muscle injury while taking a shot and was replaced by Everton’s Richarlison. Brazil’s team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar said that while a scan was needed to confirm the exact diagnosis, he did not think the injury to Neymar’s adductor muscle would keep him out…

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Germany without Julian Draxler for Netherlands clash

Germany have Julian Draxler will not join their squad for their Nations League game against the Netherlands on Monday in Gelsenkirchen. Draxler had been included by coach Joachim Low but missed their friendly win over Russia as he was granted compassionate leave. Germany’s relegation from League A was confirmed on Friday as Netherlands won 2-0 at home against world champions France. Nations League relegation rounds off an atrocious year for Low’s Germany, who flopped badly at Russia 2018 with a dire World Cup title defence. Nice to have @woodyinho back in team training…

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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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De Gea breaks silence amid Manchester United contract uncertainty

David de Gea has said that his focus remains on his on-field performances amid uncertainty over his Manchester United future. Manager Jose Mourinho admitted that he is not optimistic that the goalkeeper will pen a new deal with the club, with his current contract due to expire at the end of the season. The club retain the right to extending De Gea’s deal automatically by another year but that has not stopped transfer links with Juventus, with reports suggesting they’ll swoop in to sign the Spaniard on a free. Despite…

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10-man Monaco suffer defeat on Henry managerial debut

Thierry Henry suffered defeat in his first match as a head coach when his 10-man Monaco side slumped to a 2-1 loss at Strasbourg on Saturday to drop into the Ligue 1 relegation zone. The principality club have failed to win in 11 games in all competitions since the opening weekend of the French top-flight season, and are only above bottom team Guingamp on goal difference. Monaco, who were runners-up to PSG last season, are now 24 points adrift of the reigning champions after they cruised to a 5-0 thrashing…

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Thierry Henry appointed as Monaco coach on three-year contract

Thierry Henry has been appointed by AS Monaco as the Ligue 1 club’s new head coach, replacing Leonardo Jardim. Henry has signed a three-year contract until 2021 at the club where he began his professional career. The former Arsenal and Barcelona forward will officially begin work on Monday, the club said in a statement. Henry, who won the Ligue 1 title at the Stade Louis II in 1997, told the club’s official website: “In the first place, I thank AS Monaco for giving me the opportunity to coach the team…

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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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Leonardo Jardim leaves Monaco after poor start to Ligue 1 season

Leonardo Jardim has departed his post as Monaco manager by mutual consent after a run of 10 winless games left the French club third-bottom of Ligue 1 and bottom of their Champions League group. The 44-year-old, who joined Monaco in June 2014 and took the club to a league title in 2017, told their website: “I’m grateful and proud to have been AS Monaco coach for more than four years. I’ve always given my very best and worked with passion. We achieved some great victories together and I’ll always keep…

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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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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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Kylian Mbappe loses appeal against 3-match ban

Kylian Mbappe will sit out one further league game for Paris Saint-Germainafter losing an appeal against a three-match suspension on Monday. Mbappe, 19, was handed the sanction for lashing out in retaliation at Teji Savanier during a feisty 4-2 win at Nimes on September 1. Savanier was handed a four-match ban for his role in the incident, a sanction that was also confirmed following appeals by both players, the French Football Federation (FFF) announced. Mbappe, who is being tipped to win the prestigious Ballon d’Or award in December, notably on account of…

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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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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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Chelsea coach continues attack on Tottenham’s Hugo Lloris

Chelsea coach Christophe Lollichon believes those who praise Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris “live in a dream world” as he continued his criticism of the World Cup winner. Lollichon hit out at Lloris last week, claiming that Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Alphonse Areola was far superior. Chelsea’s goalkeeping coach has since reiterated his belief that Lloris is not at the elite level many claim he is. “People live in a dream world when it comes to Lloris a bit too much, but for me Areola is above,” he told Le Figaro. “Against Germany, he…

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Thierry Henry, Bordeaux talks set to break down over disagreements

Thierry Henry could turn down the chance to take his first step into football management after failing to reach an agreement with Ligue 1 side Girondins de Bordeaux, according to reports in France. Henry, 41, had been expected to take over the reins from Gus Poyet a week after the Uruguayan was suspended by the club after his extraordinary criticism of the club’s transfer market conduct particularly the sale of the striker Gaetan Laborde to Montpellier. But RMC in France believe Henry and the club’s future owners American investment fund…

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PSG sign Schalke defender Thilo Kehrer for £33m

Paris Saint-Germain have completed the signing of Thilo Kehrer from Schalke for £33m on a five-year contract. The 21-year-old, who is a Germany U-21 international, will wear the number 4 jersey at the Ligue 1 champions. He told PSG’s official website: “It is with much joy and ambition that I have signed for Paris Saint-Germain. “Everyone in Europe knows how strong and exciting the Paris Saint-Germain project is and I couldn’t think of a better club for me to continue my progression and reach my objectives. ✍️#WillkommenKehrer pic.twitter.com/QisVLl1uHs — Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_inside)…

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Fulham seal sensational Seri swoop for club record fee

Fulham have completed the signing of Jean Michaël Seri from Nice for a club-record fee in the region of £25m, on an initial four-year contract with a further option for one year. The west London club have beaten off stiff competition from several European clubs to sign Seri, who was on the verge of a move to Barcelona last summer. Chelsea, West Ham, Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal were thought to be interested in the Ivory Coast international but Slavisa Jokanovic’s side have acted decisively to make him their first summer…

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Paris St-Germain complete signing of Buffon from Juventus

Paris St-Germain have signed former Juventus and Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon on a free transfer. Buffon, 40, left Juventus at the end of last season, ending a 17-year stay at a club where he played 656 times. The nine-time Serie A winner has signed a one-year deal with the French champions with the option for a further 12 months. “I know what dreams PSG and its fans have in their hearts,” he said. “I am going to bring all my energy, all my experience and all of my thirst to…

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Real Madrid deny transfer agreement for Mbappe with PSG

Real Madrid have denied they have agreed a deal with Paris Saint-Germain to sign striker Kylian Mbappe. Media reports circulating said the Champions League champions had agreed a fee for the teenage sensation who’s currently on national team duty with the French national team at the ongoing World Cup in Russia. “Real Madrid has not made any offers to PSG or the player and regrets the dissemination of this type of information,” a club statement read. “Given the information published in the last hours referring to an alleged agreement between…

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