Juventus take Carlos Alcaraz off Southampton’s hands

By Sports Desk January 31, 2024

Juventus have signed Southampton midfielder Carlos Alcaraz on loan for the rest of the season with an option to buy.

The 21-year-old Argentinian has scored four goals in 26 appearances for Saints this season, with Russell Martin’s side third in the Championship as they seek an immediate return to the Premier League.

Southampton director of football Jason Wilcox told the club website: “Allowing Charly to leave on loan was a decision that we have been deliberating on for some time.

“Considering the midfield options we have available to us right now, and Charly’s lack of game time, we wanted to allow him this chance to gain some valuable experience in one of the top leagues in Europe.

“Juventus are a huge club and we are convinced that this move will allow Charly the opportunity to flourish and then come back and be a success at Southampton.”

Massimiliano Allegri’s side sit second in Serie A, one point behind leaders Inter having played a game more.

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  • Kieron Edwards to lead new TTFA administration Kieron Edwards to lead new TTFA administration

    Kieron Edwards has been elected new President of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA).

    Edwards, leading Team Progressive, defeated Colin Wharfe and his Transformation team at the Elective Congress 38-19 on Saturday morning at the Home of Football in Couva.

    The new administration will be the first self-governed TTFA in more than four years. This as William Wallace's administration was removed months after he was elected in November 2019, as FIFA intervened and installed its Normalisation Committee in March 2020, citing financial concerns.

    In keeping with the amended TTFA constitution, members were only asked to vote for a president. Edwards’ entire slate will serve alongside him.

    “Our slate [did] the work and left it in the hand of the membership, and they made the decision,” said Edwards.

    Edwards pointed out that his team will meet on Monday to hit the ground running to move football forward in the twin island republic. His administration comprises Colin Murray, Osmond Downer, and Jameson Rigues as the three vice-presidents, while Alicia Austin, Inspector Andrew Boodhoo, Allan Logan, Ryan Nunes, and Shelton Williams are the ordinary members.

    Looking ahead, Edwards revealed that his administration will review the positions of all TTFA staff including that of general secretary Amiel Mohammed, who was hired by the Robert Hadad -chaired Normalisation Committee.

    “He is the general secretary currently and I will work with him until further notice,” said Edwards.

    “Coaches that are under contract, we will honour those contracts and we will work with them. It is not a situation of moving this one (or that one), it is about giving support and enhancing what we do to ensure that we qualify for tournaments, and we do well in tournaments. That is the objective of the next executive going forward," he added.

    He was gracious too to outgoing Normalisation Committee, which included Nigel Romano and Trevor Nicholas Gomez, as well as members of Wharfe’s slate.

    “It is one TTFA and we will work together with all members and your voice will be heard. It is about inclusion; the Normalisation Committee played a crucial role, and we need to acknowledge the service they did for Trinidad and Tobago," Edwards noted.

    Meanwhile, Wharfe promised to continue doing what he can for football in Trinidad and Tobago.

    “We at Team Transformation accept the result and will continue to work for football in any way that we think possible. I will continue to do my job (as TTPFL CEO) and the new executive will make determinations in terms of what tomorrow would look like,” he said.

  • Juventus’ poor run in Serie A extends to two wins in 11 games with Torino draw Juventus’ poor run in Serie A extends to two wins in 11 games with Torino draw

    Juventus’ poor run in Serie A extended to just two wins in 11 games as they were held to a disappointing 0-0 draw away at city rivals Torino.

    Massimiliano Allegri’s side, who were top of the league when they beat Lecce on January 21 but who now trail leaders Inter Milan by 19 points having played a game more, failed to break down their mid-table opponents as their astonishing collapse in form dragged on into another week.

    It was the third game in four in the league in which they have failed to score and leaves them vulnerable to being caught in the race to qualify for the Champions League, with fifth-place Roma able to cut the gap on them to five points should they win their game in hand.

    Dusan Vlahovic had Juve’s clearest chances of the first half, first when he knocked Federico Chiesa’s cross against a post, then again when he was foiled by Vanja Milinkovic-Savic in the Torino goal.

    The goalkeeper was called on again to deny the visitors, diving at full stretch to keep out a firm low effort from Kenan Yildiz.

    Duvan Zapata thought he had given Torino the lead when he crashed the ball home shortly after half-time, only for his effort to be ruled out for a foul committed by Raoul Bellanova against Juve’s Filip Kostic.

    Antonio Sanabria rose highest to meet Bellanova’s cross midway through the second half, drawing a good save from Wojciech Szczesny as Torino threatened.

    The hosts might have made it a truly disastrous night for Allegri when Karol Linetty’s ball in was turned over the crossbar by Valentino Lazaro, who seemed to make contact with the ball with his neck with the goal gaping.

    It concluded a frustrating encounter for Juve, and came in stark contrast to the comfortable 2-0 win they enjoyed in the derby back in October, when the team were in the early stages of what looked a credible title challenge.

    It leaves Allegri’s side in a fight to ensure they do not miss out on the Champions League for a second consecutive season.

    They still have the possible consolation of the Coppa Italia to aim for, and play the second leg of their semi-final away to Lazio on April 23 looking to defend a 2-0 aggregate lead.

  • Coventry’s play-off hopes all but over after Birmingham loss – Mark Robins Coventry’s play-off hopes all but over after Birmingham loss – Mark Robins

    Coventry manager Mark Robins wrote off his side’s Sky Bet Championship play-off hopes after their 3-0 defeat at relegation-threatened Birmingham.

    An own goal by Bobby Thomas in the 12th minute and strikes from Ivan Sunjic and Jay Stansfield condemned the visitors to a third loss in four games.

    Coupled with Norwich’s 1-0 win at Preston, it left the Sky Blues in eighth place, eight points adrift of the top six with four games left.

    They have an FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United next weekend and next play in the Championship on April 24 when they host Hull.

    “We had to pick points up in three out of the four games we have lost and you can’t do that if you are realistically challenging, so it’s massively disappointing,” said Robins.

    “We have given ourselves a mountain to climb. We could be 12 points adrift (of the top six) by the time we next play (in the league) and Norwich are too good.

    “We didn’t start at all. Initially we had a couple of shots dragged wide, but they were first to the ball in every challenge. Every first contact they seemed to win.

    “It looked like a lethargic performance and people made poor choices and it cost us three goals.

    “They took the lead from an own goal where we didn’t get close enough to the attacker (Keshi Anderson), then for the second one, (goalkeeper) Brad Collins was unsighted.

    “For the third goal we got dragged all over the place because we weren’t talking and that smacks of fatigue.”

    The victory was Birmingham’s biggest win since October – and only their second in 11 games – and it moved them out of the relegation zone after Bristol City denied Huddersfield victory at the death.

    Blues led when Anderson’s cross hit Thomas and deflected in at the near post.

    Sunjic doubled the hosts’ lead with a rasping low drive that caught Collins flat-footed after a corner and Stansfield made it 3-0 when he clipped the ball past Collins following a superb diagonal run behind the defence which was spotted by Tyler Roberts on the left.

    The closest Coventry came to scoring came in the 20th minute when Haji Wright’s lob hit the bar after keeper John Ruddy headed away a clearance.

    Birmingham interim manager Gary Rowett challenged his side to repeat the performance for the next three games to avoid relegation.

    “That was a much better performance and it had a lot more of what we expect and, lo and behold, you get your rewards,” he said.

    “You might not find yourself solid defensively, but you find yourself scoring and creating chances.

    “Some of the senior lads held the others to account in midweek (after a 1-0 home defeat to Cardiff) and everyone has taken that on board, which is what should happen. I thought we showed it.

    “Now we’ve got to replicate that in the last three games.”

    Rowett also praised the positive impact of the 26,811 crowd.

    “It’s been no coincidence we’ve had five full houses this season and won all five games,” he added.

    “If that doesn’t show the power of our fan base, nothing will. They were brilliant – the atmosphere was incredible.

    “It was nice to reward that loyalty with a performance that had a similar edge.”

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