Sports Updates


By Mariam Ayebare & Agencies


Mario Balotelli went to police and claimed a teenage girl was trying to blackmail him for €100,000 several weeks before she filed a rape complaint against the Brescia player.


Atletico Madrid Player Koke: “We do not fear Anfield or the Anfield Atmosphere, we have been to many hostile grounds and nothing will be different, it is just any other stadium”


Real Madrid are reportedly £100m short of Manchester United’s valuation of midfielder Paul Pogba, which is said to be around £150m.


Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has written back to a 10-year-old Manchester United fan that sent him a letter pleading for the Reds to start losing. “Liverpool are winning too many games. If you win nine more games then you have the best unbeaten run in English football. Being a United fan that is very sad,”


Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s overriding
feeling was a relief after Manchester United drew at Club Brugge, where his side’s poor start was compounded by the challenging conditions and a questionable Europa League match ball.


Bukayo Saka’s stunning breakthrough season continued with another assist in Arsenal’s Europa League win at Olympiacos, with his performance labelled “world-class” by former Gunners striker Robin van Persie.


Rangers boss Steven Gerrard praised Ianis Hagi after watching him live up to the family name with a Europa League magic act.


Kylian Mbappe is not a young man used to being eclipsed. In his young career to date, he already has an impressive list of achievements to his name including the Kopa Trophy, three Ligue 1 titles and the World Cup, having become the first teenager since Pele in 1958 to score twice in the final.


Robin van Persie has called Manchester United January signing Bruno Fernandes a “joy to watch” after his performance during United’s 1-1 draw with Club Brugge in the Europa League.


Andreas Pereira is no Paul Scholes or Roy Keane, says Owen Hargreaves, with the Red Devils told they need better than a “squad player” in the middle of the park if they are to be competitive.


Tottenham Hotspur will reportedly have scouts in attendance for this weekend’s Istanbul derby between Fenerbahce and Galatasaray to watch Ozan Tufan.


Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno applauded Bukayo Saka for his decisive assist in Thursday’s 1-0 Europa League win at Olympiacos, lauding the “outstanding” 18-year-old as Mikel Arteta commended his “courage”.


Former AC Milan and Real Madrid midfielder Kaka rates Steven Gerrard as a better player than both Paul Scholes and Frank Lampard.


Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland is determined to do even better than his father, Alf-Inge Haaland, who played for the likes of Leeds United and Manchester City nearly two decades ago. 


Juventus are interested in signing Chelsea defender Emerson Palmieri during this summer’s transfer window, according to the Italy international’s agent.


Lucas Moura insists Tottenham are good enough to progress past RB Leipzig in the Champions League despite their damaging 1-0 home defeat in their last-16 first leg on Wednesday.


Robin van Persie has labelled Gabriel Martinelli as the Arsenal young player he is most excited about following a series of eye-catching performances.


Erik ten Hag admits he expected more from Ryan Babel after the winger let his frustration get the better of him in Ajax’s 2-0 loss to Getafe in Thursday’s Europa League tie.


Former Manchester United centre-back Jaap Stam has called on Jadon Sancho to reject interest from elsewhere to join the 20-time English champions this summer.


Liverpool have disregarded any claims they are interested in Real Madrid’s chief scout, Juni Calafat.


Former Manchester United defender Patrice Evra has claimed that he urged Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to hand the first-team opportunity to Brandon Williams.


FA staff will have to move out of Wembley at the end of May when Uefa takes control of the stadium for this summer’s European Championships.
Juventus are reportedly prepared to include Aaron Ramsey in any approach for Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba.


Chelsea midfielder Willian has hinted at a move to Tottenham after revealing his close relationship with his ex-manager. 


Lyon striker Moussa Dembele is reportedly determined to secure a move to Manchester United this summer.


Paris St-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi, who has been charged by Swiss prosecutors following an investigation into the awarding of tournament media rights, previously agreed to pay Fifa a substantial settlement fee that led to the world governing body dropping a bribery complaint.


Fiorentina President Rocco Commisso bemoans “mentality problem” in Italy as he touched on the sore topic of building a new stadium in Florence.


Talks continue between Juventus and Paulo Dybala over the Argentina international’s new contract, The proposed extension is likely to include a hefty wage rise for Dybala


President Jean-Michel Aulas
has confirmed contact between Olympique Lyonnais and Juventus about Houssem Aouar, “I would like to see him at Juve”.


Borussia Dortmund fans are set to get a three-year away ban at Hoffenheim because of offensive banners aimed at the club’s owner. 


Paris Saint-Germain are being linked with both Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri and his predecessor Massimiliano Allegri, as Thomas Tuchel faces an uncertain future.


Manchester City’s two-year Champions League ban should not force the club to sell its best players. That is the opinion of football finance expert Kieran Maguire


Gianluigi Buffon felt Juventus needed a “change” and “hopes” Maurizio Sarri will stay at the Allianz Stadium, “because that will mean we’ll have won something”.


Manchester City
have yet to sell out their most expensive tickets for the Carabao Cup final with Aston Villa on 1 March. 


Bayern Munich head coach Hansi Flick is staying relaxed despite the uncertainty surrounding his future and wants to establish his own “philosophy” after his playing style was compared to that of Pep Guardiola.


Paulo Fonseca concedes Roma are so lacking in confidence that they “didn’t take any risks” in the 1-0 win over Gent, but stood up for Lorenzo Pellegrini after jeers from the crowd.


Tottenham’s Netherlands winger Steven Bergwijn, 22, faces a driving ban after being caught speeding at 91mph in a built-up area in Eindhoven.


Ludogorets coach Pavel Vrba was disappointed with the 2-0 home defeat, but “we were up against Inter, one of the best teams in the Europa League.”


Barcelona and Manchester City will have to pay dearly if they want to sign Milan Skriniar, In order to pry him away from San Siro, only a bid upwards of €90m (£75m/$97m) would tempt the Nerazzurri into a sale.


Getafe boss Jose Bordalas insists Ajax remain the favourites in their Europa League tie despite trailing 2-0 on aggregate after the first leg.


Brazil defender David Luiz, 32, believes Arsenal have the necessary quality in their squad to go on and win the Europa League this season after falling at the final hurdle last year. 


Barcelona sporting director Eric Abidal has acknowledged the club’s internal issues should not be aired in public.


Real Madrid plan to groom Martin Odegaard as the successor to Luka Modric should the Croatia star choose to leave.


Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos is out of contract in the summer of 2021 but the club have not yet called him to renew.


Former Manchester United forward Robin van Persie says Solskjaer needs to win the Europa League with attractive football to appease his critics this season. Van Persie says Jose Mourinho’s Europa League win with United “didn’t feel satisfying” because of the style of play. 


Southampton will try to bring back Adam Lallana to his boyhood club, Lallana came to prominence on the south coast before leaving for Liverpool in 2014. 


Bayern Munich’s German goalkeeper Christian Fruchtl, 20, turned down a move to Liverpool last year because he was not prepared to play a substitute role.


The FA will request to look at Marcus Rashford’s medical reports as doubts grow over his participation in Euro 2020, Rashford has been out of action since January after suffering a stress fracture in his lower back. 


Real Madrid are monitoring highly rated Rennes and France Under-21 midfielder Eduardo Camavinga, 17. 


Victor Moses could not hide his joy after Inter Milan’s 2-0 win over Ludogorets in the Europa League round of 32 on Thursday.


Juventus and Inter are interested in signing Chelsea’s Emerson Palmieri but have yet to make an official bid for the 25-year-old Italy full-back, according to his agent. 


Raheem Sterling says Real Madrid are a “fantastic club” but insists he is “really happy” at Manchester City.


Atletico Madrid’s players were angered by Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp’s complaints after they beat the Reds 1-0 in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 match, and think the German should focus more on his own team’s shortcomings.


Inter are prepared to offer players to Verona as part of a deal for their Albania defender Marash Kumbulla, 20, who has also been linked with Liverpool.

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