Cristiano Ronaldo charged with improper conduct for Atletico celebration

Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo is facing disciplinary action for his celebration after one of the three goals he scored in last week’s 3-0 win over Atlético Madrid in the Champions League. Uefa said the Portuguese would face a hearing on Thursday for “improper conduct” during the last-16 second leg match, where Juventus completed a 3-2 aggregate win. Ronaldo made a similar gesture to Atletico coach Diego Simeone, who celebrated his team’s opening goal in the first leg by turning to the crowd and putting his hands on his trousers. Simeone was fined €20,000 for…

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Monchi returns to Sevilla as sporting director

Monchi has returned to Sevilla for a second spell as the club’s general sporting director, despite reports linking him with a role at Arsenal. Monchi left his role as Roma’s technical director this month following the sacking of Eusebio Di Francesco and his backroom staff. Newspaper reports had claimed he was a contender to replace Sven Mslintat as Arsenal’s head of recruitment due to his existing relationship with Gunners manager Unai Emery, but the Spaniard has chosen to return to La Liga after his two years in Italy. Solo eso….. que…

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Arsenal play Napoli and Chelsea face Slavia Prague in Europa League quarter-finals

Arsenal have been drawn against Napoli, while Chelsea will face Slavia Prague in the Europa League quarter-finals. Villarreal take on fellow Spanish side Valencia with Portuguese team Benfica playing Germany’s Eintracht Frankfurt. The first and second legs will be played on 11 April and 18 April, with the semi-final draw keeping Arsenal and Chelsea apart should they get that far. Arsenal boss Unai Emery is chasing a fourth Europa League title as manager after three successive wins at Sevilla. The Gunners reached the last-eight after overturning a 3-1 deficit to…

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Tottenham face Manchester City in Champions League quarter-finals

Tottenham will play Manchester City in the Champions League quarter-finals, while Manchester United have been drawn against Barcelona. Last year’s beaten finalists Liverpool will play Porto, and Ajax will face Juventus in the other ties. The semi-final draw was also made and Manchester United will meet Liverpool if both win their last-eight ties. The quarter-final first legs take place on 9 April and 10 April. The semi-finals start on 30 April and 1 May. City and United were both drawn away in the first leg of their ties, but they…

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Roma appoint Claudio Ranieri eight days after Fulham sack

Former Leicester and Chelsea boss Claudio Ranieri has been appointed Roma manager until the end of the season. Ranieri, 67, was sacked by Fulham eight days ago after winning three of his 17 games in charge. But the Roma fan – who managed the club between 2009 and 2011 – has been handed a quick return to management, replacing Eusebio di Francesco. “I’m delighted to be coming back home,” Ranieri said on Friday. “When Roma call you, it’s impossible to say no.” OFFICIAL | 📝 | Claudio Ranieri takes charge at #ASRoma More…

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Roma sack Eusebio di Francesco after Porto and Lazio defeats

Roma have sacked head coach Eusebio di Francesco following Champions League last-16 defeat by Porto on Wednesday. The Italian side lost 4-3 on aggregate after an Alex Telles extra-time penalty in Portugal, having led 2-1 from the first leg. Roma are fifth in Serie A and lost 3-0 to city rivals Lazio on Saturday. Di Francesco, 49, took over in June 2017, leading Roma to last year’s Champions League semi-finals, where they were beaten by Liverpool. “On behalf of myself and everyone at AS Roma, I’d like to thank Eusebio for his work and…

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“We miss Cristiano,” Luka Modric admits Real miss Juventus talisman

Real Madrid’s failure to replace Cristiano Ronaldo’s goals has contributed to their struggles this season, says midfielder Luka Modric. Real, chasing a fourth European title in a row, host Ajax in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Tuesday having won 2-1 in Amsterdam. But they come into the game on the back of three consecutive home defeats – including two by Barcelona last week. “Given what he did for us and this club, we miss Cristiano,” said Modric. Ronaldo was top scorer, or joint top scorer,…

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Sami Khedira set to miss a month with heart problem

Juventus midfielder Sami Khedira is expected to be out for about a month after having treatment for an irregular heartbeat. Khedira, 31, had further tests after being ruled out of Wednesday’s Champions League defeat at Atletico Madrid because of atrial arrhythmia. The condition causes an irregular and often abnormally fast heart rate. It can lead to issues including dizziness, shortness of breath and tiredness. The Germany international tweeted: “Everything went perfectly well and I will be able to get back to work after a short rest. Thank you so much for all your…

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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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Inter Milan strip Mauro Icardi of club captaincy

Inter Milan have stripped Mauro Icardi of the club captaincy as the player’s uneasy relationship with the club continues. Goalkeeper Samir Handanovic has been appointed as the new club captain. The Club can confirm that Samir #Handanovic is the new Inter captain.#FCIM — Inter (@Inter_en) February 13, 2019 Confirmation of the news was tweeted by the official club Twitter account on Wednesday, in what is an unexpected turn of events. It comes after a turbulent few months for player and club, with the Argentine striker yet to sign a new…

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Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey agrees massive wage deal to join Juventus in the summer

Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey has agreed a mammoth £400,000 a-week deal with Italian champions Juventus, according to a BBC report. “The 28-year-old has agreed a four-year contract that will see him join the Italian champions as a free agent, ending his 11-year spell with Arsenal. “Ramsey passed a two-part medical in January, having picked Juve following talks with a host of European clubs. “He will be the highest-earning British player ever based on basic salary. “The Wales international’s Arsenal contract expires on 30 June and the Gunners will receive no…

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Napoli’s Marek Hamsik closing in on China move, Ancelotti confirms

Napoli captain Marek Hamsik is on the verge of leaving the club for a Chinese Super League side, according to manager Carlo Ancelotti. Hamsik, who has scored 121 goals for the club, started Saturday’s 3-0 win over Sampdoria. Ancelotti said the club has “great respect” for the Slovak midfielder who has made “history”. “Talks are in progress,” said the Italian. “If he wants a new experience, we are inclined to make it happen.” The 31-year-old joined Napoli from Slovan Bratislava in 2007 and became the club’s leading scorer in December…

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Inter confirm Ivan Perisic transfer request amid Arsenal interest

Ivan Perisic has handed in a transfer request in an attempt to force through a move to Arsenal after Internazionale rejected the Premier League side’s attempt to sign him on loan. The Croatia international has emerged as Unai Emery’s key target for the January transfer window, with Arsenal having already seen an offer turned down to take the 29-year-old on loan until the end of the season with a €40m option to buy. It is believed Inter are minded to allow Perisic leave but only if they can get a permanent deal done this…

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Chelsea complete Gonzalo Higuain loan signing from Juventus

Chelsea have signed Juventus striker Gonzalo Higuain on loan for the remainder of the season with an option to buy him for £31.3m. The Blues also have the option to extend the Argentine’s loan deal until June 2020 for £15.6m. Higuain, 31, spent the first half of the season on loan at AC Milan, scoring eight goals in 22 games. “When the opportunity to join Chelsea presented itself I had to take it,” said Higuain. “It’s a team I’ve always liked that has a lot of history, a wonderful stadium…

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Manolo Gabbiadini to move from Southampton to Sampdoria for £10.8m

Manolo Gabbiadini has agreed to rejoin Sampdoria for £10.8m and so end an unhappy spell at Southampton. The 27-year-old striker will fly to Italy on Thursday before undertaking a medical test in Genoa the following day. Gabbiadini signed for Southampton in January 2017 from Napoli in a £14.6m deal and he made an explosive start at St Mary’s, scoring six times in his first four matches – including two in the EFL Cup final defeat by Manchester United. He would go on to score only six more goals and, after coming on as a late substitute…

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Juventus confirm interest in Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey

Juventus have officially signalled their interest in signing Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey whose contract expires in the summer, and is attracting interest from some of Europe’s top clubs. The midfielder was set to sign a new contract at the club before it was withdrawn amid a cloud of mystery earlier this season. With only six months left on his deal, the 28-year-old is now free to negotiate with foreign clubs under the Bosman ruling. The Juventus sporting director, Fabio Paratici, said of Ramsey: “He’s a great player, we really like…

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Napoli threaten to walk off over alleged racist chanting

Napoli have threatened to walk off the pitch if there is a repeat of the alleged racial abuse that defender Kalidou Koulibaly suffered during their 1-0 defeat to Inter Milan at the San Siro. The Senegal international lost his temper after being booked for a foul on Matteo Politano in the 81st minute and was sent off for applauding the referee’s decision. Ancelotti said Napoli had asked three times for the match to be stopped after Koulibaly was subjected to alleged racist chanting from the stands. Announcements were made on…

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Inter Milan suspend Radja Nainggolan for ‘disciplinary reasons’

Inter Milan have suspended midfielder Radja Nainggolan for ‘disciplinary reasons’, the club confirmed in a statement on Sunday. The 30-year-old, who reportedly arrived late for training on three separate occasions in the last week, has also been fined a substantial sum of money. Nainggolan joined Inter from Roma for €38m in the summer and has since made 11 Serie A appearances for the club, with the latest a 67-minute appearance at Chievo on Saturday in a 1-1 draw. It is unlikelyNainggolan will feature in the Boxing Day fixture against Napoli. Inter are…

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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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Ronaldo challenges Messi to leave Barcelona and La Liga

Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has suggested that Lionel Messi “maybe needs more” after so long at Barcelona and has invited his eternal rival to join him in Serie A. Two talismanic performers who have cemented standings among the all-time greats spent nine years battling for supremacy in Spain prior to a stunning summer transfer window. Ronaldo’s decision to leave Real Madrid for Turin in a £90m deal has left Messi as the standalone five-time Ballon d’Or winner in LaLiga. Ronaldo has called on his great rival to join him in Serie…

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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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UEFA president dismisses possibility of breakaway Super League

Proposed plans for a breakaway European Super League are “fiction” – according to the two most powerful officials in European football. Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin and Andrea Agnelli, the chairman of the influential European Club Association (ECA) which represents over 200 leading teams, say they are “united” – despite recently leaked documents claiming secret talks had been held over the creation of a new elite league. “The Super League will not happen. It is in a way a fiction now or a dream,” said Ceferin. Agnelli, who is also chairman…

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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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