Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Zlatan Ibrahimovic in talks over AC Milan return

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is in talks over a return to AC Milan but a deal is still a long way off. He played for the club between 2010 and 2012 and is looking for a new club after announcing his departure from LA Galaxy earlier this month.

Milan officials met with Ibrahimovic's agent Mino Raiola on Wednesday and the encounter was said to be cordial.

Sky in Italy say there are hurdles to overcome before Ibrahimovic can return to Serie A, though, and that compromises will need to be made on both sides.

Milan are understood to be willing to offer the 38-year-old an 18-month deal but his wage expectations are believed to be an issue, with the club currently serving a ban from European competition due to Financial Fair Play breaches.

Ibrahimovic, who scored 53 goals in 58 games during his two years with the Galaxy, will decide on his future in the coming weeks.

He scored 56 goals in 85 games during his time with Milan and helped them to the Serie A title in 2011.

As the January transfer window inches ever closer, clubs across the Premier League, Europe and beyond will be identifying potential transfer targets and holding discussions with clubs and agents over future deals.

At this traditionally difficult time to make big moves, the start of the new year looks set to be frantic for a host of top Premier League clubs.

Liverpool Dealt Huge Blow As Mo Salah, Robertson Ruled Out Of Crystal Palace Clash

Liverpool has been dealt a huge blow as both Mohamed Salah and Andy Robertson are both still injured. Both players have been sidelined due to ankle injuries in recent days.

According to Sky Sports, both Salah and Robertson will miss the match against Crystal Palace this weekend.

It is a setback for manager Jurgen Klopp as Liverpool attempt to preserve their eight-point advantage over Leicester City at the top ofthe Premier League.

Salah has been struggling with his ankle since taking a strong challenge from Leicester City midfielder Hamza Choudhury during Liverpool's 2-1 win on October 5.

It forced him to miss their draw with Manchester United at Old Trafford, their only dropped points in the league this season.

And a tackle from Fernandinho during Liverpool's win over Manchester City last time out saw him aggravate the injury.

Salah, who has scored nine goals this season, was seen wearing a protective boot and withdrew from international duty with Egypt.

Robertson, meanwhile, suffered a swollen ankle during the City win and was forced out of Scotland's concluding Euro 2020 qualifiers against Cyprus and Kazakhstan.

Liverpool Next Matches:

Saturday Crystal Palace (A)November 27 Napoli (H) Champions League group stageNovember 30 Brighton (H)December 4 Everton (H)December 7 Bournemouth (A)December 10 Red Bull Salzburg (A)

Injured Man Utd Stars Matic, Shaw, Tuanzebe Return To Training

Manchester United trio of Luke Shaw, Nemanja Matic and Tuanzebe have all returned to first team training. The trio have all been on the sidelines recently, with Shaw's hamstring problem keeping him out since the third game of the season, while Tuanzebe and Matic have not featured in over a month.

They joined a first-team group at the Aon Training Complex on Wednesday, though numbers were still down due to ongoing returns from the international break.

Scott McTominay, who pulled out of the Scotland squad after taking a knock in last week's win over Brighton, did not take part, making fellow midfielder Matic's return all the more important.

Three other rehabilitating players, Eric Bailly, Timothy Fonsu-Mensah (both knee) and Diogo Dalot, were given a separate workout but are not yet ready to rejoin the squad.

Full-back Ashley Young is available at the weekend after suspension.

United have enjoyed an upturn in form in recent weeks, winning five of their last six matches in all competitions.

They recorded home and away wins over Partizan Belgrade to secure their passage into the last 32 of the UEFA Europa League and beat Chelsea 2-1 in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup.

In addition, wins over Norwich City and Brighton - either side of a disappointing 1-0 defeat at Bournemouth - have lifted United to seventh in the Premier League table.

Man United Next Fixtures

Sunday Sheffield United (A)November 28 Astana (A) UEFA Europa League group stageDecember 1 Aston Villa (H)December 4 Tottenham Hotspur (H)

RB Leipzig Edge Closer To Sign Man Utd Target Haaland

The 19-year-old Norwegian striker is a January target for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but the Bundesliga outfit may also be considering a move. RB Leipzig sporting director Markus Kroschel has dropped a massive hint that the Bundesliga title chasers are interested in signing Red Bull Salzburg sensation Erling Braut Haaland.

The 19-year-old Norwegian striker is one of the most wanted men in European football at the moment after a blistering spell of goalscoring form.

He has scored 26 goals in 18 appearances this season, including seven in four in the Champions League, and Goal can confirm that Manchester United are seriously interested in a January transfer swoop.

Given the links between Salzburg and Leipzig, the Bundesliga side would appear to have an advantage in the race for his signature – a battle Kroschel seems to be ready to enter.

"The boy is an outstanding player,” he told Bild.

“Both in the league and the Champions League, he does an excellent job. Of course, we are already looking around for the summer.”

If Haaland were to move to Leipzig, he would be the 18th player to make the switch from Salzburg to Leipzig 2011.

Leipzig has developed a reputation for giving chances to young players, while current star forward Timo Werner is continuously linked with a move to some of Europe’s biggest sides.

Bild also reports that Haaland’s contract could include a release clause of as little as €30 million (£25.7m/$33.2m) for the summer transfer window.

But, with United targeting a January move and the likes of Barcelona and Juventus also heavily linked, Leipzig may well have to jump the gun on the clause to avoid seeing him head elsewhere before it comes into effect.

United may look to send Haaland back on loan to Salzburg for the remainder of the season, which could persuade the Austrian side to accept an offer from Old Trafford – while the Red Devils would also be able to offer considerably higher wages than Leipzig.

The January transfer window is shaping up to be a significant one in the Bundesliga, with United also looking to pull off a transfer for Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho.

The England winger is thought to be ready for a fresh challenge away from Lucien Favre’s side, and a return to the Premier League could be on the cards.

Rohr Visits Sports Minister Dare In Abuja, Commended For Eagles Job

Super Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr paid a courtesy call on Nigeria Minister of Youth and Sports Development Sunday Dare on Wednesday morning in Abuja.

Rohr’s visit to Dare in the minister’s office at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium came few days after the Super Eagles’ perfect start to their 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign.

The Super Eagles defeated the Squirrels of Benin 2-1 at the Akwa Ibom International Stadium, Uyo last week Wednesday and edged out the Crocodiles of Lesotho in their second game on Sunday in Maseru.

“Gernot Rohr, @NGSuperEagles coach, pays a courtesy call on Minister, @SundayDareSD, this morning at the Moshood Abiola Stadium. He thanked Mr. Rohr for the work in the last 3 years, saying “Nigeria is a football loving nation. We love our football & we also love our victories,” reads a tweet on the official Twitter handle of office of the Minister of Youth and Sports development.

The minister according to a release from his office promised to support the coach and the team to succeed even as he expressed deep concerns on the current state of football in Nigeria with an optimistic assertion that things would get better.

“Are we happy about where our football is at the moment? Not exactly but we know there’s an ongoing process that will make this country a better football nation. That process is on and you are part of the process,” Dare stated .

Dare further expressed hope that the Super Eagles would maintain the recent victories against Benin and Lesotho in subsequent matches.

He urged the coach to share experiences with the domestic league coaches.

Mahrez Is Better Than Salah - Gabriel Jesus

Manchester City forward Gabriel Jesus described Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah as a ‘quality’ player while his teammate Riyad Mahrez is ‘an amazing player’.

Jesus assessed the Egypt and Algeria internationals before Brazil’s 3-0 victory over South Korea in Tuesday’s international friendly match in Abu Dhabi.

The 22-year-old has not played with Salah in his career but he is aware of the Egyptian winger’s goalscoring prowess in the Premier League since his return to England in 2017.

Meanwhile, Mahrez ranks as one of the best technical players he has played with and he is full of praise for his contribution at Man City.
“Salah has shown his quality in the last two seasons, he has scored a lot. I don’t train with him, but I know he is quality. I do train with Riyad [Mahrez],” Jesus told the National Sport.

“He is one of the most technical players I have played with; his first touch is amazing. An amazing player that showed the world how good he is at Leicester [City] and is now playing well for us, scoring goals and making assists all the time.”

Salah, scorer of six goals in 11 Premier League games this season, was excused from Egypt’s qualifying games for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations due to an ankle injury last week and is a doubt for Liverpool in Saturday’s trip to Selhurst Park against Crystal Palace.

Mahrez also opted out from Algeria’s second Group H qualifying game against Botswana due to family reasons.

He will be hoping to make his ninth league appearance of the season when Pep Guardiola’s side host Chelsea on Saturday.

NPFL: Plateau United Stay Top After Draw Vs Nasarawa; MFM Hold Warri Wolves and Other Results.

NPFL: Plateau United Stay Top After Draw Vs Nasarawa, MFM Hold Warri Wolves In Lagos

Plateau United maintained top spot in the Nigeria Professional Football League following a 1-1 away draw against Nasarawa United at the Lafia Township Stadium on Wednesday. Anas Yusuf put the hosts ahead three minutes before the break, while Mustapha Ibrahim equalised for Plateau United in the 52nd minute nodding from close range.

Plateau United occupy top spot in the table with 10 points from four games.

Lobi Stars moved to second position after a comfortable 3-0 win against Heartland at the Aper Aku Stadium, Makurdi.

Abdulwasiu Mahmud, Sikiru Alimi and John Lazarus got Lobi Stars goals the hosts in the game.

In Akure, Enyimba suffered their first defeat of the campaign, going down to a 1-0 defeat to Sunshine Stars.

Anthony Omaka netted the winning goal on 10 minutes.

Adeniji Adewole scored deep into stoppage as MFM forced Warri Wolves to a 1-1 draw at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos.

Jigawa Golden Stars piled more misery on former champions Kano Pillars edging out the Sai Mash Gida 1-0 at home.

Yusuf Mohammad netted the decisive strike in the seventh minute.

Pillars are yet to win a game this season with one draw and three defeats from their opening four games.

Akwa United poor start to the season continued after they were held to a 0-0 draw at home by Katsina United.

Mfon Udoh missed a penalty for the Promise Keepers 12 minutes from time.

The Uyo club are still searching for their first win of the season with two draws and two defeats from four games.

At the Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Port Harcourt, Rivers United recorded their first win of the campaign following hard fought a 2-1 win against Rangers.

Bamba Bakry put Rivers United ahead from the spot in the 33rd minute , while substitute Ibrahim Olawoyin equalised for the visitors in the 54th minute.

Malachi Ohawume however scored the winning goal for the home side 16 minutes from time.

Wikki Tourists returned to winning ways after Sunday’s defeat to Plateau United thrashing Delta Force 3-1 at home.

Wikki 3-1 D/Force
MFM 1-1 Wolves
Rivers Utd 2-1 Rangers
Akwa Utd 0-0 Katsina Utd
Lobi 3-0 Heartland
Sunshine Stars 1-0 Enyimba
Nasarawa Utd 1-1 Plateau Utd
Jigawa GS 1-0 Pillars

Adamawa Utd vs Abia Warriors
Akwa Starlets vs FCIU

Wijnaldum Calls Out De Jong For Anti-Racism Celebration

The Liverpool midfielder sent out a powerful message in response to events in his homeland over the Tuesday. Georginio Wijnaldum and team-mate Frenkie de Jong came together to send out an anti-racism message during the Netherlands’ 5-0 Euro 2020 qualifying win over Estonia on Tuesday.

Liverpool midfielder Wijnaldum was the star of the show for Ronald Koeman’s side in Amsterdam, hitting a hat-trick as the Oranje wrapped up their qualification campaign in style.

However, the game was just as significant for his celebration, which sent out a powerful anti-racism message.

After opening the scoring after six minutes, the 29-year-old ran over to the touchline and called over team-mate De Jong.

He then held his forearm next to the Barcelona midfielder’s, pointing out the different skin tone to highlight the fact that football is a game for every race and color.

The celebrations were in response to racist abuse suffered by Excelsior player Ahmad Mendes Moreira in the 3-3 draw with Den Bosch in the Dutch second division on Sunday.

The game was temporarily halted following the abuse, with the Excelsior players leaving the pitch in protest. The Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) has pledged to investigate the incident and punish the perpetrators.

Speaking about the incident earlier this week, Wijnaldum called for tough sanctions for anyone found guilty of racism and said players must be allowed to walk off the pitch and halt the game if they receive any abuse.

"I never expected anything like this to happen in the Netherlands,” he told reporters. “I'm shocked. It did happen, unfortunately, and the way people have talked about the incident hurt me.

"I think we need to see very high fines. I heard that they want to install cameras to find out who the culprits are. The punishments need to be so severe that nobody even thinks of doing something like this ever again.

We want to play football to enjoy ourselves; wee wants to entertain our supporters. We don't want to see things like this happening.”

Bournemouth defender Nathan Ake and 18-year-old debutant Myron Boadu were also on target for the Netherlands at the Johan Cruyff Arena.

Koeman’s side had already secured their place at Euro 2020 following a goalless draw against Northern Ireland in Belfast on Saturday.

Jose Mourinho Has Officially Been Appointed As The Manager of Tottenham Hotspurs

Jose Mourinho has been appointed Tottenham manager after the sacking of Mauricio Pochettino on Tuesday. Former Chelsea and Manchester United boss Mourinho has signed a contract until the end of the 2022-23 season.

"The quality in both the squad and the academy excites me," said the 56-year-old Portuguese. "Working with these players is what has attracted me."

Spurs chairman Daniel Levy said: "In Jose we have one of the most successful managers in football."

Tottenham reached the Champions League final last season under Pochettino, but lost 2-0 to Liverpool in Madrid.

The Argentine, who was appointed in May 2014, did not win a trophy in his time in charge of the north London club, with Spurs' last silverware being the League Cup in 2008.

Levy said Mourinho has "a wealth of experience, can inspire teams and is a great tactician".

"He has won honours at every club he has coached," he added. "We believe he will bring energy and belief to the dressing room."

Mourinho still has a home in London and won three Premier League titles - in 2005, 2006 and 2015 - as well as one FA Cup in two spells at Chelsea.

Having taken over at Manchester United in May 2016, he won the Europa League and Carabao Cup with them in 2017.

Mourinho was sacked by the Old Trafford club in December 2018, with the club 19 points behind league leaders Liverpool, and had not managed another side before joining Spurs.

He has also previously managed Portuguese side Porto, where he won the Champions League in 2004.

At Italian club Inter Milan, Mourinho won a league, cup and Champions League treble in 2010 and was named Fifa's world coach of the year, while he led Spanish team Real Madrid to the La Liga title in 2012.

He takes over a Spurs side that are without a win in their past five games and have slipped to 14th in the Premier League, 20 points behind leaders Liverpool after just 12 matches.

Tottenham Hotspur Supporters' Trust had said "many fans thought Poch had earned the right" to try to turn around the side's form and that "there are questions that must be asked of the board".

Following Mourinho's appointment, it said it had "concerns about how Jose and our club's executive board will work together".

It added: "The club must ensure it does not find itself in the same position in two or three years' time, and we need to hear from the executive board what the long-term thinking behind this appointment is."

Mourinho's first match in charge is a trip to West Ham United on Saturday (12:30 GMT kick-off).

Spurs go to Manchester United on 4 December, and host another of Mourinho's former teams - Chelsea - on 22 December.

Mourinho has turned down a number of managerial opportunities, including in China, Spain and Portugal, since leaving Old Trafford.

Jose Mourinho Huge Salary At Tottenham.

Jose Mourinho has been named the new Tottenham boss today and his salary at the north London club has been Leaked. The former Manchester United boss replaced Mauricio Pochettino at Spurs after Daniel Levy sacked the Argentine.

Mourinho will be in charge for Tottenham’s trip to West Ham on Saturday afternoon in the Premier League’s early kick off.

And according to the Daily Mail, Mourinho will earn almost double Pochettino’s salary at Tottenham.

The Special One will pocket £15m-a-year in north London after penning a three-and-a-half-year contract.

However, despite earning around £290,000-a-week, Mourinho will not be the best paid manager in the Premier League.

His former rival in Manchester - and La Liga - Pep Guardiola takes that honour.

Reports claim the Manchester City boss earns around £20million-a-year - before bonuses.

Guardiola penned a two-year extension in May 2018 to take his current contract until the summer of 2021.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, meanwhile, is said to earn £7m-a-year at Anfield.

However, talks are underway over improved termson a new deal.

Speaking on his appointment, Mourinho said: “I am excited to be joining a club with such a great heritage and such passionate supporters.

“The quality in both the squad and the academy excites me. Working with these players is what has attracted me.”

Man City Set To Offer Raheem Sterling New Huge Pay Contract

Manchester City is set to offer Winger Raheem Sterling a new improved contract deal with a massive pay. The England international, 24, signed a £300,000-a-week extension last November.

He has scored 14 goals in all competitions this season and his recent performances have moved him on to a new level.

He is now widely viewed as one of the world's best and Europe's top clubs - including Real Madrid and Barcelona - have made admiring glances recently with a view to making a move for Sterling as early as next summer.

Sterling's current deal expires in 2023 but City's attempts to tie him down underline his importance to the Premier League champions.

Sterling has played a key role for Pep Guardiola's team and is a pioneer in the fight against racism.

He also adds huge value to City off the field with the forward one of the most marketable and recognisable footballers on the planet.

He was involved in a bust-up with Joe Gomez while on international duty last week.

Sterling apologized to the Liverpool defender and came to Gomez's defence on social media after he was booed by England supporters during the win over Montenegro last Thursday.

Having missed the win over the Montenegrins, Sterling was restored to the side by England manager Gareth Southgate and set up two goals in Monday's 4-0 win over Kosovo.

Meanwhile, City on Tuesday announced record revenues of £535million.

The club released their financial figures for 2018-19, which they say highlight the 11th year of growth under Sheik Mansour.

Floyd Mayweather 'will not return to boxing' amid comeback talk

Floyd Mayweather has dashed hopes of another return from retirement, saying he will not get back in the ring in order to protect his health.

Rumours of lucrative rematches with Manny Pacquiao and Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez have been rife, raising fans' hopes of a comeback for the 12-time world champion.

But Mayweather, who last fought in 2017 when he beat MMA star Conor McGregor, said: "I've got calls to get back into the ring, but my health is my wealth.

"Boxing is a very, very brutal sport. In the last few years a lot of fighters have died inside that squared circle.

"You have got to know when to hang it up. I had a great career."

Mayweather has retired twice in the past, first in 2007 and then again in 2015, but returned to the ring on both occasions.

However, the 42-year-old says his only future fights will be exhibitions, like the one in January which saw him demolish Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa in less than three minutes.

"I'll still travel and do exhibitions," said Mayweather. "I make great money doing exhibitions - between $10 and $30million.

"I think I make more doing that than most fighters make fighting."

Mayweather, who takes an unblemished 50-0 record into retirement, says he is keen to focus on other projects, such as his chain of boxing gyms and his promotion company.

Guiding Wales to Euro 2020 one of the best days of my life - Ryan Giggs

Ryan Giggs hailed Wales' qualification for Euro 2020 as one of the best days of his life after Aaron Ramsey scored twice in a 2-0 win over Hungary.

After losing 1-0 in Budapest in June, hopes of automatic qualification looked slim for Wales but an unbeaten four-game run culminating in this win in Cardiff was enough to squeak Giggs' men to just their third major tournament.

Victory means Giggs, who never got the chance to represent his country at a major international tournament during a decorated playing career, can look forward to leading his side to the European Championships next summer.

"It doesn't get any better," said Giggs, who won 25 major trophies as a Manchester United player.

"It's one of the best days of my life.

"Credit to the lads, coming back from where we were in the summer after two defeats. We showed grit, determination and quality. It's one of the best days of my life.

"We defended really well but we can play better. Overall, two goals and a clean sheet and they didn't really trouble us apart from the save from Wayne Hennessey in the first half.

"This side can do a lot more. There is quality in the squad, not just the XI. Every player has shown their class, some of the lads were on their last legs at the end there.

"To be honest I haven't really thought about what it means personally - there's been a lot of hard work put in and I am blessed with the best staff I could ask for."

Tottenham Star Dele Alli Reacts After Coach Mauricio Pochettino Sacked

Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli is the first player to react since the news was announced about the sacking of Coach Mauricio Pochettino. The Argentine was dismissed after a disappointing start to the season had left the Champions League finalists 14th in the Premier League.

Alli, who was brought to Spurs from MK Dons by Pochettino in 2015, thanked his former manager on social media after news went viral.

“I can’t thank this man enough,” he tweeted two hours after Pochettino’s sacking was announced.

He’s taught me so much and I’m so grateful for everything he’s done for me.

“Good luck and hope to see you again my friend.”
Six months after he led the club to the Champions League final and after five years in charge, Pochettino was relieved of his duties by chairman Daniel Levy.

Pressure had been mounting on the Argentine after winning only three of their opening 12 Premier League games.

Diego Maradona leaves Gimnasia y Esgrima after just two months

Diego Maradona has left his position as coach of Argentine side Gimnasia y Esgrima, bringing a premature end to yet another coaching job.

"This decision hurt me with all my soul," Maradona said in a message posted on Instagram.Maradona, who took over at the club in September, had said he would only continue if club president Gabriel Pellegrino stayed in his role following club elections.

Pellegrino, who announced Maradona's departure on local radio station La Red on Tuesday, withdrew from the race when an electoral pact fell apart.

Maradona took over the club from La Plata, just outside Buenos Aires, charged with helping them avoid relegation.

He lost his first three games in charge and although he has won three of five since then, the team are still third-bottom of the league and in danger of going down.

"I felt that everyone together... were finding the way for Gimnasia to stay in the first division. This was the moment to keep going with the project and look for the necessary reinforcements," Maradona said.

"I hope that whoever comes in to manage the club can continue with the work we started and keep Gimnasia where it belongs. I wish you all the best, with all my heart."

Maradona's departure repeats a well-worn theme in his coaching career. Of the six club sides he has managed, only one job lasted more than a year.

The only team he managed for longer was Al Wasl of the United Arab Emirates, where he remained for 14 months between 2011 and 2012.

His previous club job before returning to Argentina was at Mexican side Dorados de Sinaloa, where he left in June after nine months in charge.

Tottenham Announce Mourinho as New Coach

Tottenham Hotspur have appointed Jose Mourinho as the club's new head coach on a three-year contract until the end of the 2022/23 season.

Spurs sacked manager Mauricio Pochettino on Tuesday following a miserable start to the campaign that has seen last season's Champions League finalists slide down the Premier League table.

Tottenham sit 14th in England's top flight after picking up just three wins from their opening 12 games and were eliminated from the League Cup in September by fourth-tier Colchester United.

Speaking on his appointment, Mourinho said: "I am excited to be joining a club with such a great heritage and such passionate supporters. The quality in both the squad and the academy excites me. Working with these players is what has attracted me."

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Jose Mourinho contender for Tottenham job

Jose Mourinho is a serious contender to replace Mauricio Pochettino as Tottenham manager. Mourinho has been out of work since being sacked by Manchester United in December last year. Pochettino was sacked by Spurs on Tuesday evening.

However, one of the bookies' favourites to replace Pochettino, RB Leipzig head coach Julian Nagelsmann is unlikely to be heading to North London.

Potential suitors are likely to face a struggle to release Nagelsmann from his present deal in Germany.

Bayern Munich and Manchester United have also shown an interest in the 32-year-old in recent months.

Leipzig sit second in the Bundesliga and top of their Champions' League Group and are understood to be unwilling to let Nagelsmann leave, having waited a year for him to join from Hoffenheim before the start of the season.

Leonardo Bonucci Signs New Juventus Contract Until 2024

Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci has signed a new contract extension with the Italian club. Bonucci has played every match for Juventus so far this season and enjoying his time alongside De Ligt in defence.

And now The 32-year-old has reached a new deal to stay at the Serie A club until 2024.

Bonucci sealed a sensational return to Juventus in August 2018 just one season after leaving Turin for rivals AC Milan.

The centre back rejoined the Serie A champions, after moving to Milan, as part of a deal that saw Gonzalo Higuain head the other way.

Bonucci has made 376 appearances for the Serie A giants, in which he has scored 25 goals from defence.

He's won 15 major honours with Juventus since his move nine yearsago, while this season Bonucci has even been trusted with the captain's armband in the absence of injured veteran Giorgio Chiellini.

While Bonucci will be hopeful of adding a ninth Serie A title to his collection this season, Juventus are currently locked in their toughest title fight in years with Antonio Conte's Inter.

The Bianconeri do still have a one-point lead at the top of Serie A, and both sides have a similar fixture schedule in terms of difficulty ahead of the new year.

Mauricio Pochettino sacked by Tottenham

Mauricio Pochettino has been sacked by Tottenham after five years in charge of the club.
He led Spurs to top-four finishes in four of his five seasons in charge, as well as their first Champions League final in the 2018/19 campaign.
However, they have won just five matches this season and chairman Daniel Levy said a change had to be made in the "club's best interests". "We were extremely reluctant to make this change and it is not a decision the board has taken lightly, nor in haste," Levy said.
"Regrettably domestic results at the end of last season and beginning of this season have been extremely disappointing. "It falls to the board to make the difficult decisions - this one made more so given the many memorable moments we have had with Mauricio and his coaching staff - but we do so in the club's best interests.
"Mauricio and his coaching staff will always be part of our history. I have the utmost admiration for the manner in which he dealt with the difficult times away from a home ground whilst we built the new stadium and for the warmth and positivity he brought to us. "I should like to thank him and his coaching staff for all they have contributed. They will always be welcome here.
"We have a talented squad. We need to re-energise and look to deliver a positive season for our supporters."
While Tottenham enjoyed a hugely successful European campaign last season, their domestic form has been poor for most of 2019.

Since a 3-1 win over Leicester on February 10, Spurs have won just six of their 24 Premier League matches. They are currently 14th in the table.
Pochettino's staff - Jesus Perez, Miguel D'Agostino and Antoni Jimenez - have also left the club.

Luis Enrique Returns To Spain Job For Euro 2020 After Five Months Away!

Spain have confirmed that manager Luis Enrique has returned to his role as the national team coach. Enrique resigned from the role five months ago with his daughter, Xana Enrique, was fighting against bone cancer.

She passed away at the end of August, aged 9, with Enrique now returning to his role.

Enrique replaces his long-term assistant Robert Moreno, who had been given a contract until after next summer’s European Championships.

Moreno had walked out of Atletico Madrid's Metropolitano stadium in tears following a 5-0 victory over Romania on Monday.

Spanish Football Federation president Luis Rubiales said: "We want to thank Robert Moreno for his work, he did very well, and we are very happy with what he did.

“But I repeat that Robert Moreno told us he'd spoken with Luis Enrique, who had told him he wanted to return.

“We found out through Moreno that Luis Enrique wanted to be back."

Former Barcelona boss Enrique is not set to take charge of a game until the new year with Spain having safely qualified for Euro 2020.

Ighalo Warns Osimhen Not To Get Carried Away By The Hype

The Shanghai Shenhua forward is impressed by the recent performances of the 20-year-old new star. Former Nigeria striker Odion Ighalo said his constant advice to Victor Osimhen is for him to keep working hard and improving.

Ighalo called time on his international career in July following the Super Eagles' third-place finish at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, where he was also awarded the Golden Boot after scoring five goals in Egypt.

Following his retirement, Osimhen has taken over the no. 9 shirts, and he has been in an outstanding form, which earned the country back-to-back wins in their first two Group L qualifying games for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.

The Lille star helped Nigeria turn around a goal deficit against Benin with his equalizer in their 2-1 victory last Wednesday, before putting up a five-star performance in their 4-2 win over Lesotho where he bagged two goals and two assists on Sunday.

In reacting to the latest heroics, Ighalo, who had a four-year stint with the three-time African champions, has urged the Lille talisman to remain focused and to keep learning.

"I always told him that he has everything it takes to lead this attack, but it all depends on him," Ighalo told ESPN.

"I told him he has to keep working hard, stay humble and always be ready to learn, and above all, not to get carried away with success or hype but just to keep improving."

Meanwhile, Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr is full of praise for Osimhen's progress despite his limited playing time when Ighalo was active in the national team.
"I took him already in my first match, remember.

Everybody was surprised. He was 17 when I selected him in August 2016," Rohr said.

"He was in Germany and unlucky with injury, and then he fought very well to come back.

"And now I have excellent information on him from Lille.

He is progressing, and also I saw him progressing for seven weeks before and during the Afcon. Also, we had Ighalo, so he could not play so much, but then in the last match, he did well, and he showed all the progress he did.

"He is working well. There is no secret.

When you work well, and you have the talent, and you stay humble, you can succeed, and he can even improve because he is still very young."

Sarri Was Right Admits Ronaldo

Portugal ace and Juventus Star Cristiano Ronaldo has admitted he has not been fully fit and Juventus coach Mauricio Sarri did the right thing when taking him off against AC Milan. Ronaldo was taken off during the 1-0 victory over Milan before the international break, and made his feelings perfectly clear as he left the pitch.
There was more controversy to come as the Portuguese ace left the stadium before the match had finished, actions that did not go down well with the Bianconeri.

Speculation has been raging ever since and Sarri explained that the reason he took Ronaldo off was because he was not fully fit and was trying to protect him.
Ronaldo has now backed up his coach and says he was right to take him off against the Rossoneri. “It is true that I have been limited in the past few weeks, I tried to help Juve by playing injured,” Ronaldo admitted. “I don’t like to be subbed off but there aren’t any issues. Sarri? I wasn’t 100% so it’s normal that Sarri wanted to protect me.”

Even so Ronaldo was fully fit to play as Portugal booked their place in the Euro 2020 finals with a 2-0 victory over Luxembourg on Sunday. The forward chipped in with his 99th international goal, and appeared to be firing on all cylinders.
Juve are back in Serie A action when they take on Atalanta, and will be hoping that Ronaldo and the rest of their international stars return unscathed and ready to go as the battle with Inter Milan for the Scudetto hots up.

IAAF Formally Invites Nigeria to Participate in 18th World Athletics Indoor Championships

The International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) has formally invited Nigeria to participate in the 2020 World Athletics Indoor Championships, in Nanjing, China.

The 18th World Athletics Indoor Championships , featuring 26 events, will be staged inside the 13,000 capacity the Nanjing Olympic Sports Center Gymnasium from March 13 to 15 2020.

The letter dated October 18 2019 and sent to the member federations including the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) was signed by the IAAF Chief Executive Officer Jon Ridgeon.

“On behalf of World Athletics, I am pleased to extend the official invitation to all Member
Federations to participate in the World Athletics Indoor Championships to be held in Nanjing, China, from 13 to 15 March 2020,” the letter stated.

“Attached you will find some useful information regarding the Championships, including the
general event and competition programme, travel and accommodation details, the timetable, as well as the entry standards, the qualification period and the allocated quotas.

Nanjing 2020 wildcard holders from the 2019 IAAF World Indoor Tour

“The confirmation letter of our invitation to participate from the Chinese Athletics Association and
the Local Organising Committee is also enclosed.

“Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any queries.”

In World Athletics Indoor Championships entry standard, only two athletes per country, per event are allowed to enter, but a wild card entry allows a nation for a third athlete for an event.

At the 2019 IAAF World Indoor Tour, for instance, 11 athletes got wildcards for the 18th IAAF World Indoor Championships – Nanjing 2020.

EPL Predictions For Week 13 - By Owolabi Marcus

Leicester City stunned Arsenal, Spurs held by the Blades, Liverppol extend lead over Man City to 9 points as the Reds defeated the Noisy neigbours 3-1 at Anfield.
As always, we can only expect more in the English premier league.

Westham vs Tottenham - Away Win
Crystal Palace vs Liverpool - Away Win
Everton vs Norwich - Home Win
Arsenal vs Southampton - BTS
Brighton vs Leicester - BTS
Watford vs Burnley - BTS
Bournemouth vs Wolves - BTS
Man City vs Chelsea - BTS
Shefield United vs Man United - BTS
Aston Villa vs Newcastle - BTS

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Holyfield Warns Joshua Not To Underestimate Ruiz

Boxing legend Evander Holyfield has warned Anthony Joshua not to continue to underestimate Andy Ruiz Jr. ahead of their rematch next month.

Ruiz shocked the boxing world when he stole the Brit’s three world titles in June by giving Joshua his first loss with a seventh round TKO.

Many feel Joshua underestimated the American in their first bout, especially after he dropped him in the first round.

Ruiz, no doubt buoyed by his win over the summer, appears to have lost weight in order to make him quicker around the ring.

And former two-weight undisputed world champion Holyfield, who sparred with Ruiz when he was still a teenager, insists Joshua will have his opponent “in his face” constantly in Saudi Arabia.

“Andy Ruiz Jr. really can fight. He has fast hands and can really hit hard. But don’t nobody seem to know it,” Holyfield told World Boxing News

“Everyone is thinking it’s a fluke (that he beat Anthony Joshua the first time), but the guy showed he can get up from being knocked down. He got took down and got back up to win.”

He added: “You look at Ruiz and he doesn’t look like he can fight at all. Nothing tells you he can fight, but he can fight.

“I knew that he could fight because I sparred with him. At the time, I was 46 and he was 19. I couldn’t believe a 19-year-old could be that good and so aggressive, he would chase me down.

“I’m like, ‘I’m the heavyweight champion of the world, who’s he trying to chase down?’ It was just amazing the confidence that he had and the persistence to cut the ring down even in sparring.

“So, I know that persistently, he will fight that same fight that he fought last time. If he’s (Joshua) not ready to have someone in his face in the whole fight then it could end up the same way again.”

Joshua and Ruiz will meet in the ring on December 7 in Saudi Arabia’s Diriyah Arena.

Manchester United can't expect 'overnight' success - Ed Woodward

Manchester United have a clear plan of how to bring top trophies back to Old Trafford, according to executive vice chairman Ed Woodward, but he has warned supporters not to expect success "overnight".

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has overseen a turbulent start to the season after four wins from 12 Premier League games and despite describing the campaign so far as "mixed", Woodward is confident the club is on the right track as they aim to return to the Champions League and end a six-year title drought.

"We have a clear vision in terms of football philosophy and recruitment," Woodward said as United announced first quarter revenue of £135.4 million -- up £0.4m on last year on year despite missing out on Champions League broadcast payments.

"The significant investments that we have made in recent years in areas such as transfers, recruitment infrastructure, analytics and our academy are already beginning to bear fruit.

"Our ultimate goal is to win trophies, playing fast, fluid, attacking football with a team that fuses graduates from our academy along with world-class acquisitions. We know this will not be achieved overnight, however we have made investments across the club that we believe have set us on the right path.

"Though season-to-date we have had a mixed start to our Premier League campaign, in Europe, we have qualified for the Europa League knockout stages with two games to spare. We have also progressed to the quarterfinals of the League Cup."

Solskjaer's first summer in charge saw the arrival of Harry Maguire, Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka for a combined fee of nearly £150m.

Woodward has hinted United will spend again ahead of next season while sources have told ESPN FC that the club are open to bringing in new players in January if long-term targets become available.

"Over the last few years, we have significantly invested in our recruitment infrastructure to augment our already strong and experienced team who are all working to a clear philosophy," Woodward said.

"This is demonstrated by the signing of Maguire, James and Wan-Bissaka, who have all settled in well.

"We will continue with our strategy to promote the best of the players graduating from our academy together with material investment in the coming summers to strengthen our young squad further and challenge for trophies. "

As well as bedding in three new faces, Solskjaer has also blooded youngsters Mason Greenwood, Angel Gomes, Tahith Chong, James Garner and Brandon Williams.

United are closing in on 4,000 consecutive games with an academy graduate in the matchday squad and fielded the youngest XI in the Premier League this season in the 3-1 win over Birghton.

"We have made significant investments in our academy, across recruitment, facilities and analytics and these investments are now beginning to bear fruit," Woodward added.

"We know our academy is a strong competitive advantage, and is an area that we will continue to invest in, as it is the heart of the club.

"I want to reiterate that our ability to make the investments we need to be successful on the pitch is underpinned by our continued strong financial performance."

Giannis Antetokounmpo wants to be 'one of the best players to ever play'

With the numbers 23 and 33 dangling from the rafters of the United Center, a 19-year-old Giannis Antetokounmpo was in awe of his first experience playing on the road against the Chicago Bulls in December 2013.

"I definitely want to be one of the best players to ever play, but in order for me to do that, I've got to be locked in every night," Antetokounmpo told ESPN on Monday night, as he reflected on that initial trip here. "Because at the end of the day, if you don't win, it doesn't count. All the effort you spent, if you don't win, it really doesn't count."

Antetokounmpo pushed through five offensive fouls and eight turnovers to finish with 33 points and 10 rebounds in the Milwaukee Bucks' 115-101 win over the Bulls.

Through 13 games this season, he already has fouled out three times and has posted at least four fouls in six other games, including Monday's contest. Antetokounmpo's head coach sees it as a lesson to be learned, as the reigning MVP still has the longest active double-double streak (13) in the NBA.

"Thirteen or 14 games in, it seems like an inordinate amount of games he's been in foul trouble. So the good thing is, I do think he's learning to play with it," Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. "We've had to finish at least one or two games without him, if not more, so he's always growing and learning from every experience -- so that's what makes Giannis special."

Despite his foul trouble, Antetokounmpo is putting up a career-best 30.1 points, 14.3 rebounds and 6.5 assists per game this season. His six-game stretch of 35 points and 15 rebounds earlier this month made him only the sixth player to average such a line since the merger, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.

But Antetokounmpo's pursuit of greatness isn't just for a multi-game stretch or even for a season. He is motivated by the Bulls greats and inspired by the legacy they left in the city where they played.

He wants his jersey to someday reach the top of Milwaukee's Fiserv Forum, so he is doing things his way.

"I try to lock in and focus on what I've got to do. But yeah, previous years, like when I saw No. 23 -- and not just 23, when I saw 33 -- that was a guy I used to talk to a lot, Scottie," Antetokounmpo said. "It definitely motivated me. [Chicago is] a great basketball city. It's a city that Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen played in, so I had that extra juice in me.

"But now I'm just going out there and trying to win no matter what so you can just go back home and be happy."

I'm Not Happy Here - Emre Can Opens Up On Juventus Future

Juventus star Emre Can has expressed his frustration due to his lack of playing time at the Serie A club. Can left Liverpool in the summer of 2018 and played regularly to begin with.

But this season, under a new manager in Maurizio Sarri, the German has started only one game for Italian champions Juventus - a 1-0 win over Lecce.

Can has been linked with a move back to the Premier League, particularly with United, who are looking to strengthen their squad in January.

However, the 25-year-old isn’t interested in trying to signal for a move to United. He insists that playing competitive football is the most important thing to be doing at this stage of his career.

"I'm just an ambitious guy who always wants to compete at the highest level, but I'm also learning from this tough time when things are not going the way I was hoping," Can told Kicker.

"I'm not playing games from the start, so I'm not happy, but I will stay strong and keep working on myself.

“I’m often in the gym before or after training, doing extra shifts. I want to be ready.

"A lot can always happen in football.”

Can also spoke of the attitude of some youth players in Italy, but stated that they’re not as dedicated as they should be.

"They have the chance of a lifetime if they are allowed to practice with the professionals,” he added.

"However, some of them sometimes have a body language that almost makes me angry.

“I often go to these players at Juventus, talk to them, try to show them what they can do when they try hard and show themselves. But some don't understand it."

Edinson Cavani Called Out Lionel Messi For A Fight, Messi Was Happy To Go

For the second time in just a few days Lionel Messi had on field 'beef' with the opposition, this time nearly coming to blows with Edinson Cavani.

On Friday Messi told Brazil boss Tite to 'shut his mouth' as Argentina took on their South American rivals at the Superclasico and he managed to wind up Cavani even more on Monday night.

The two men were seen having an intense conversation during Argentina's match against Uruguay with newspaper Ole reporting the PSG forward offered his opponent a fight.

In response the five time Ballon d'Or winner answered, "Whenever you want!"

The incident happened after Cavani had put Uruguay ahead and they remained ahead until half time when the pairs argument continued.

According to the reports Messi's Barca teammate Luis Suarez had to separate the pair in the tunnel at the end of the first 45 minutes.

It all started after a heavy foul on Messi by one of Cavani's national teammates with the two then having an argument after the Barca man's complaints to the referee about the initial challenge.

The incident only served to inspire the 32-year-old though. He assisted Sergio Aguero after the break from a free kick to make it 1-1.

Just five minutes later Cavani made it 2-1 and Argentina looked on the way to a loss in Tel Aviv, Israel, but again Messi stepped up to make the difference.

Martin Caceres handled the ball in injury time and the referee pointed to the spot. Despite his poor penalty record Messi scored the spot-kick to make it 2-2.

Speaking after the match Cavani said, "It was a classic, a match with lots of friction and strong tackles, as we have in South American football.

"Both sides have done good things, we leave with a positive feeling and we try to play football. then it was already a classic, we live it like this."

In the past Messi has been accused of not putting his all in for the national team and working harder for his club team, by the looks of it his passion runs just as high for Argentina.