AFP

Manchester United

Mourinho faces Ibrahimovic dilemma for West Brom clash

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Jose Mourinho must decide whether now is the time to recall Zlatan Ibrahimovic to his starting line-up as Manchester United prepare to visit West Brom in the Premier League on Sunday.

The former Paris Saint-Germain striker has played 73 minutes in five substitute appearances since returning from cruciate knee ligament damage against Newcastle in November.

Mourinho ready to cut fringe United players

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Jose Mourinho will allow any unhappy fringe player to leave Manchester United in the January transfer window, which will spark speculation over the futures of the likes of Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Mourinho adopted the same policy in the last winter transfer window when he agreed to requests from Morgan Schneiderlin and Memphis Depay to leave the club to pursue regular first-team football elsewhere.

Guardiola backs flying Man City to keep improving

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola on Friday warned the rest of the Premier League that his runaway leaders still have room to get even better.

City set a new English top-flight record on Wednesday with a 16th successive win as they beat Swansea City 4-0 at the Liberty Stadium.

Guardiola backs flying Man City to keep improving

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola on Friday warned the rest of the Premier League that his runaway leaders still have room to get even better.

City set a new English top-flight record on Wednesday with a 16th successive win as they beat Swansea City 4-0 at the Liberty Stadium.

Man Utd defeat left its mark, admits Wenger

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London (AFP) – Arsene Wenger admitted on Friday that his Arsenal team’s 3-1 defeat by Manchester United a fortnight ago has left his side psychologically scarred in their matches since.

Draws against struggling Southampton and West Ham United have seen Arsenal slip to seventh in the table, a massive 19 points behind leaders Manchester City but only a point outside the Champions League spots.

Manchester United’s Bailly set for ankle surgery

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Jose Mourinho confirmed on Friday that Manchester United defender Eric Bailly will be forced to undergo surgery that will keep him out for up to three months.

Bailly, so dominant in United’s strong start to the campaign, has not played since the start of November after picking up an ankle injury while on international duty with the Ivory Coast.

Manchester United’s Bailly set for ankle surgery

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Jose Mourinho confirmed on Friday that Manchester United defender Eric Bailly will be forced to undergo surgery that will keep him out for up to three months.

Bailly, so dominant in United’s strong start to the campaign, has not played since the start of November after picking up an ankle injury while on international duty with the Ivory Coast.

In Manchester City’s shadow, Premier League top-four scrap begins

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London (AFP) – With Pep Guardiola’s record-breaking Manchester City team galloping away towards the Premier League title, attention is starting to shift to the jostling for Champions League positions.

Manchester United, 11 points below City in second place, and third-place Chelsea are well placed, but beneath them the picture is more fluid.

Schalke’ Tedesco heads crop of young Bundesliga coaches

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Berlin (AFP) – Domenico Tedesco has steered sleeping giants Schalke to second place in the Bundesliga with the 32-year-old part of a crop of young coaches enjoying success in Germany’s top flight.

The Royal Blues of Gelsenkirchen took a gamble at the start of the season by plucking Tedesco from second-division Erzgebirge Aue to revitalise their squad.

Schalke’ Tedesco heads crop of young Bundesliga coaches

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Berlin (AFP) – Domenico Tedesco has steered sleeping giants Schalke to second place in the Bundesliga with the 32-year-old part of a crop of young coaches enjoying success in Germany’s top flight.

The Royal Blues of Gelsenkirchen took a gamble at the start of the season by plucking Tedesco from second-division Erzgebirge Aue to revitalise their squad.

FA asks Mourinho to explain pre-derby comments

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London (AFP) – England’s Football Association has asked Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho to explain comments he made in the build-up to last weekend’s 2-1 derby defeat by Manchester City.

“He has until 6pm (1800 GMT) on Monday 18 December to respond,” an FA spokesperson said on Twitter.

FA asks Mourinho to explain pre-derby comments

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London (AFP) – England’s Football Association has asked Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho to explain comments he made in the build-up to last weekend’s 2-1 derby defeat by Manchester City.

“He has until 6pm (1800 GMT) on Monday 18 December to respond,” an FA spokesperson said on Twitter.

English Premier League

I let the Crystal Palace team down, says Benteke

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London (AFP) – Christian Benteke admitted he let his Crystal Palace team-mates down by missing a penalty he should not by rights have taken in the 2-2 draw with fellow Premier League strugglers Bournemouth last Saturday.

The 27-year-old Belgian international - who is yet to score in 12 appearances this season - should have let Luka Milivojevic take the penalty late in the game as he had already scored from the spot earlier in the game.

Walker needs brains not just brawn, says Guardiola

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Kyle Walker has been told by Pep Guardiola he is physically one of the best full-backs in the world, but needs to improve his football brain to maintain his form into his thirties.

The 27-year-old Manchester City full-back has enjoyed an excellent season since arriving from Tottenham Hotspur in July for a fee that could rise to £52million ($69million) with performance-related bonus clauses.

Walker needs brains not just brawn, says Guardiola

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Kyle Walker has been told by Pep Guardiola he is physically one of the best full-backs in the world, but needs to improve his football brain to maintain his form into his thirties.

The 27-year-old Manchester City full-back has enjoyed an excellent season since arriving from Tottenham Hotspur in July for a fee that could rise to £52million ($69million) with performance-related bonus clauses.

Record-breaker Guardiola relishes Tottenham test

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London (AFP) – Pep Guardiola’s hunger to make history with Manchester City remains undiminished after his side became the first in the history of the English top flight to win 15 successive games.

City reached the milestone with a ruthless 4-0 victory at Swansea City on Wednesday, which preserved their massive 11-point lead at the Premier League summit.

Wenger desperate for win in race for Champions League places

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London (AFP) – Arsene Wenger knows Arsenal cannot afford another slip-up when they face Newcastle at the Emirates Stadium aiming to end a damaging run of three Premier League games without a win.

Wenger’s team played a scoreless draw at West Ham United on Wednesday and is in seventh place going into Saturday’s meeting with Rafael Benitez’s team.

AC Milan

AC Milan faces UEFA financial fair-play penalties

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Lausanne (AFP) – AC Milan face penalties from UEFA after European football’s governing body said on Friday it had failed to strike a deal with the Italian club over its spending.

Seven-time European champions Milan have run up losses of 255 million euros ($300 million) in the last three seasons, way above the 30 million euros permitted by the rules that are designed to stop clubs from over-spending.

Donnarumma row reopens old wounds for AC Milan

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Milan (AFP) – The contract soap opera that engulfed AC Milan and their promising young goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma in the summer has come back to haunt the Serie A giants just as they try to get their faltering season back on track.

Milan, seventh and 11 points off the Champions League places, travel to Verona on Sunday looking to build on two wins in a row in league and cup after a torrid first half to their campaign.

Donnarumma row reopens old wounds for AC Milan

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Milan (AFP) – The contract soap opera that engulfed AC Milan and their promising young goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma in the summer has come back to haunt the Serie A giants just as they try to get their faltering season back on track.

Milan, seventh and 11 points off the Champions League places, travel to Verona on Sunday looking to build on two wins in a row in league and cup after a torrid first half to their campaign.

spartak moscow

Klopp ridicules idea the ‘dark days are back’

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London (AFP) – Jurgen Klopp took issue on Friday with the notion that because Liverpool have drawn their last two games the “dark days are back” in terms of inconsistency.

The 50-year-old German - whose side have drawn successive games against Everton and West Brom which dampened spirits followed a stunning 7-0 Champions League humbling of Spartak Moscow - said his players had not lost their creative spark.

Klopp ridicules idea the ‘dark days are back’

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London (AFP) – Jurgen Klopp took issue on Friday with the notion that because Liverpool have drawn their last two games the “dark days are back” in terms of inconsistency.

The 50-year-old German - whose side have drawn successive games against Everton and West Brom which dampened spirits followed a stunning 7-0 Champions League humbling of Spartak Moscow - said his players had not lost their creative spark.

Swedish midfielder Kim Kallstrom retires

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Stockholm (AFP) – Kim Kallstrom, who won 131 caps for Sweden, announced on Friday that he was hanging up his boots at the age of 35.

The left-sided midfielder had returned to one of his first clubs, Djurgardens, in Stockholm, on a two-year deal before the recently completed Swedish season.

Swedish midfielder Kim Kallstrom retires

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Stockholm (AFP) – Kim Kallstrom, who won 131 caps for Sweden, announced on Friday that he was hanging up his boots at the age of 35.

The left-sided midfielder had returned to one of his first clubs, Djurgardens, in Stockholm, on a two-year deal before the recently completed Swedish season.

Paris Saint Germain

Neymar ready to face Rennes says Emery

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Paris (AFP) – Neymar, who made a three-day trip to Brazil earlier in the week, should be ready to play for Paris Saint-Germain in Ligue 1 this weekend, manager Unai Emery said on Friday.

Neymar flew home to Brazil for three days because of a “family problem” and returned to France on Wednesday.

PSG coach Emery’s house robbed on match night

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Paris (AFP) – Paris Saint-Germain coach Unai Emery’s Paris apartment was burgled on Wednesday evening as his side won a cup tie away at Strasbourg.

The robbery at the top floor flat of a chic Parisian street in the 16th arrondissement was discovered around 11pm by Emery’s wife.

PSG coach Emery’s house robbed on match night

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Paris (AFP) – Paris Saint-Germain coach Unai Emery’s Paris apartment was burgled on Wednesday evening as his side won a cup tie away at Strasbourg.

The robbery at the top floor flat of a chic Parisian street in the 16th arrondissement was discovered around 11pm by Emery’s wife.

Diego Costa

Griezmann will leave Atletico: Simeone

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Paris (AFP) – Atletico Madrid head coach Diego Simeone admitted on Friday that French forward Antoine Griezmann would likely leave the club in the near future.

The 26-year-old was heavily linked with a move in the close season, but with Atletico under a transfer ban, signed a new contract to stay until 2022.

Griezmann will leave Atletico: Simeone

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Paris (AFP) – Atletico Madrid head coach Diego Simeone admitted on Friday that French forward Antoine Griezmann would likely leave the club in the near future.

The 26-year-old was heavily linked with a move in the close season, but with Atletico under a transfer ban, signed a new contract to stay until 2022.

london

British MPs give sports whistleblowers a voice

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London (AFP) – Sports bodies are “massively lacking” when it comes to addressing the concerns of whistleblowers, says a lawmaker who helped expose failings at the Football Association and within British cycling.

Damian Collins, chairman of the Commons digital, culture, media and sports parliamentary committee, told AFP that people often find it necessary to go outside their sport to get their voices heard.

British MPs give sports whistleblowers a voice

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London (AFP) – Sports bodies are “massively lacking” when it comes to addressing the concerns of whistleblowers, says a lawmaker who helped expose failings at the Football Association and within British cycling.

Damian Collins, chairman of the Commons digital, culture, media and sports parliamentary committee, told AFP that people often find it necessary to go outside their sport to get their voices heard.

Marcelo Claure

Beckham’s Miami MLS venture gets go-ahead for additional owners

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Miami (AFP) – English football icon David Beckham has a new trio of partners in his bid to bring a Major League Soccer club to Miami.

The league said Thursday it had approved the addition to Beckham’s ownership group of Jorge and Jose Mas, leaders of telecommunications giant MasTec, and Japanese entrepreneur and SoftBank founder and chief executive Masayoshi Son.

Beckham’s Miami MLS venture gets go-ahead for additional owners

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Miami (AFP) – English football icon David Beckham has a new trio of partners in his bid to bring a Major League Soccer club to Miami.

The league said Thursday it had approved the addition to Beckham’s ownership group of Jorge and Jose Mas, leaders of telecommunications giant MasTec, and Japanese entrepreneur and SoftBank founder and chief executive Masayoshi Son.

Ciro Immobile

Anderson scores first Lazio goal since return in cup win

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Milan (AFP) – Felipe Anderson scored his first goal of the season on Thursday as Lazio cruised into the quarter finals of the Italian Cup after beating Serie B side Cittadella 3-1.

Lazio will face Fiorentina in the quarter finals, which are being played on December 27 and January 3.

Anderson scores first Lazio goal since return in cup win

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Milan (AFP) – Felipe Anderson scored his first goal of the season on Thursday as Lazio cruised into the quarter finals of the Italian Cup after beating Serie B side Cittadella 3-1.

Lazio will face Fiorentina in the quarter finals, which are being played on December 27 and January 3.

Technology

Video referees for French football next season

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Paris (AFP) – French football’s top division Ligue 1 is set for video assistant referees next season after several club chiefs revealed that they had agreed in principle to adopt the technology.

“Video technology will be in Ligue 1 next season,” said the president of Giungamp Bertrand Desplat after Thursday’s general meeting of the French football league (LFP).

Video referees for French football next season

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Paris (AFP) – French football’s top division Ligue 1 is set for video assistant referees next season after several club chiefs revealed that they had agreed in principle to adopt the technology.

“Video technology will be in Ligue 1 next season,” said the president of Giungamp Bertrand Desplat after Thursday’s general meeting of the French football league (LFP).

The Rest

Brazilian football chief Del Nero gets 90-day FIFA ban

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Paris (AFP) – FIFA handed Brazilian football confederation (CBF) president Marco Polo Del Nero a 90-day provisional ban from all football activities on Friday.

The 76-year-old, a former member of the FIFA Council, is the latest prominent South American official to be banned by the sport’s governing body as part of its investigation into a vast corruption scandal.

Juventus women ‘liberating passions’ in Italy

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Turin (Italy) (AFP) – After 120 years, The Old Lady of Turin has finally opened its doors to an elite women’s team, which is shaking up the world of women’s football in Italy.

Since September, Rita Guarino’s Juventus women have swept aside their rivals with eight wins from eight league games so far, including the last two champions Brescia and Fiorentina.

Pulisic makes history as US men’s footballer of the year

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Los Angeles (AFP) – Christian Pulisic won US Soccer’s Male Player of the Year award for 2017 in a landslide, becoming at 19 the youngest footballer to earn the honor.

The Borussia Dortmund midfielder dominated the voting process, getting the nod from 94 percent of those polled.

“It really is a big honor and I just want to thank everyone who voted for me to win US Male Player of the Year,” Pulisic said in a statement on the US Soccer Federation website.