James Maddison and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have won recalls to the England squad for this month's Euro 2020 qualifiers.

Leicester City playmaker Maddison was called up by Gareth Southgate in October but withdrew from the squad due to illness, and there was then some controversy when he was pictured in a casino during England's 2-1 defeat to the Czech Republic in Prague.

However, his fine club form has seen him handed another chance to make his senior Three Lions debut, while Oxlade-Chamberlain also returns after impressing for Liverpool in recent weeks.

Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi has also been brought back into the senior fold, having featured for the Under-21s last month.

There is no room for Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish, while Tottenham's Dele Alli and Manchester United's Jesse Lingard have failed to win back their places.

Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount is included despite concern about an ankle injury, while Manchester City centre-back John Stones also returns.

England face Montenegro at Wembley on November 14 needing only a point to secure their place at the Euro 2020 finals.

Southgate's men then take on Kosovo in their final Group A match on November 17.

 

Valencia have confirmed general director Mateu Alemany is to leave the club following a meeting with club owner Peter Lim in Singapore.

Alemany and the club agreed to terminate his contract last week and he has now said goodbye to Lim ahead of his formal departure.

"Valencia wish to publicly express gratitude to Mateu Alemany for his enormous dedication, effort and achievements throughout his time at the entity, and wish him all the best in his professional career," the club said in a statement.

While the news has not come as a surprise, it raises further questions of Lim's management of Valencia after a turbulent few months.

Marcelino's two-year reign as head coach was controversially ended by Lim in September, with the tactician claiming he was sacked for winning the Copa del Rey last season instead of focusing on securing a top-four finish, which they also achieved.

Several Valencia players were outraged at the decision and the squad refused to take part in post-match media duties after the 5-2 defeat by Barcelona in new coach Albert Celades' first game in charge.

Alemany was reported to have been Marcelino's main backer among the club's hierarchy, having hired him in 2017 and then supported him when under pressure last season.

The decision to dismiss Marcelino appeared to leave Alemany's position looking untenable, particularly given suggestions in local media that he was not consulted about the hiring of Celades.

Valencia, who have won only four of 12 LaLiga matches this season, sit 13th in the table.

Niko Kovac left his role as Bayern Munich coach on good enough terms with the players that any of them would be able to meet up with him for a coffee, according to captain Manuel Neuer.

Kovac had been under pressure for much of the early stages of the 2019-20 season due to underwhelming results and controversy surrounding his sparing use of fan favourite Thomas Muller.

The final straw came in Saturday's 5-1 humiliation at the Croatian's former employers Eintracht Frankfurt, with club chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge later revealing "an open and serious conversation" the following day brought the hierarchy to the conclusion a change was needed.

Assistant coach Hansi Flick was placed in temporary charge and he presided over a 2-0 Champions League win at home to Olympiacos on Wednesday.

Despite Kovac's dismissal, Neuer insists none of the players hold any ill will towards the man who guided the club to a Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal double in his only full campaign at the helm.

"I take my hat off to Niko and Robbie [Robert Kovac, former first-team coach and Niko's brother] as they have said goodbye," Neuer told reporters.

"I think that every player, if he meets Robbie or Niko, can look them in the eyes and drink a coffee together.

"It [the farewell] was emotional, of course, because we had a great time together. We wish him all the best. If we had played successfully, this would not have happened."

Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been heavily linked with the job after Ralf Rangnick and Erik ten Hag distanced themselves from it.

Kylian Mbappe continues to be linked with a move away from Paris Saint-Germain and Liverpool are seemingly well in the race.

Mbappe, 20, has starred for PSG since arriving in 2017, but is reportedly a target for LaLiga giants Real Madrid.

However, Champions League winners Liverpool could also make a move for the France international forward.

 

TOP STORY – LIVERPOOL INTERESTED IN MBAPPE

Liverpool are set to battle Real Madrid for Mbappe, according to El Desmarque.

The report says the Premier League leaders have the funds to sign Mbappe after a quiet transfer window ahead of the 2019-20 season.

Mbappe remains the main target for Madrid despite being contracted at PSG until 2022.

 

ROUND-UP

- Bayern Munich are looking for a coach to replace Niko Kovac and Arsene Wenger may, or may not, be a target. Bild reports the Bundesliga giants have spoken to the former Arsenal manager, while The Athletic says Bayern do not want Wenger.

- There could also be a coaching change coming at Barcelona. LaLiga's champions look set to part ways with Ernesto Valverde at the end of the season, with Marca reporting Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman is the top target to take over at Camp Nou.

- Back at Anfield and Liverpool could be lining up a move for Genk midfielder Sander Berge. Norwegian newspaper VG claims Jurgen Klopp told Berge he was a "very interesting player" after Liverpool's 2-1 Champions League win over Genk on Tuesday.

- Napoli are well off the pace in Serie A and it could see Carlo Ancelotti make a January exit. FOX Sports reports Boca Juniors are interested in the Italian tactician.

- Chelsea look set to make changes to their squad in January. The Premier League side are open to listening to offers for Olivier Giroud and Pedro in early 2020, according to The Telegraph.

- Amid a lack of playing time, Nemanja Matic is considering a Manchester United exit in January, according to the Manchester Evening News. Matic has made just two Premier League starts for United this season.

Arsene Wenger would talk to Bayern Munich if they were interested in appointing him as head coach, although he insists there has not yet been any contact with the German club.

Bayern are looking for a new boss following the sacking of Niko Kovac, with Hansi Flick taking charge of the 2-0 Champions League win over Olympiacos on Wednesday.

Wenger, out of work since leaving Arsenal in 2018, would appear to be one potential candidate, with reports indicating he could be appointed until the end of the season.

Speaking in his role as a pundit for beIN SPORTS, the 70-year-old revealed he had come close to taking the job in the past and could not rule out the move.

"I'd never refuse to talk to Bayern Munich because I have known the people who lead the club for 30 years," he said.

"I was nearly going to Bayern a long, long time ago. At the moment, that's all I can say. At the moment, I haven't talked to them at all."

Asked if talks could follow, Wenger replied: "I don't know. We haven't talked to each other and I don't know."

He added: "I want to just do what I like now. I've not decided yet if I will go back [to coach] on the pitch or not. I'm quite happy with what I'm doing but I miss the pitch as well.

"It's a difficult decision for me at the moment. I will make that decision in the coming days or in the coming weeks."

Wenger coached in his native France, with Nancy and Monaco, and then in Japan, with Nagoya Grampus, before a 22-year stay at Arsenal from 1996.

The Frenchman won three Premier League titles, enjoying a rivalry with Alex Ferguson's Manchester United, but struggled to repeat this success following the club's move to Emirates Stadium.

Wenger departed at the end of the 2017-18 season to be replaced by Unai Emery.

Hansi Flick has no interest in what the future holds for him at Bayern Munich beyond the international break.

Caretaker boss Flick saw Bayern coast to a convincing, if uninspiring, 2-0 win over Olympiacos in his first match since stepping in to replace Niko Kovac, who was dismissed following a 5-1 hammering at the hands of Eintracht Frankfurt at the weekend.

Arsene Wenger, Jose Mourinho, Erik ten Hag and Ralf Rangnick have all been linked with the full-time vacancy.

Flick, though, says his own situation is not important and his focus is purely on preparing Bayern for a huge Klassiker clash with Borussia Dortmund on Saturday.

"That does not interest me at all, what happens after Saturday," he said about his role in quotes reported by TZ.

"I enjoy it because the team works brilliantly. That's why we are preparing well or Saturday."

Bayern's victory secured their progression to the last 16 with Robert Lewandowski and Ivan Perisic on target in the second half after a lacklustre opening.

Flick added: "In the first half we made the wrong decision more often but in the end we were rewarded.

"I'm very happy with the performance. The situation hasn't been easy for the team. We implemented what we worked on in training."

Thomas Muller was not entirely satisfied with Bayern's reply to their Frankfurt humiliation and was also reluctant to discuss Flick's future beyond the weekend.

"We have before the international break the most important game of the season. Such topics do not concern us," Muller said when asked about Flick.

"I am not relieved. We won dominantly at home but we were lacking a bit in brilliance."

Olympiacos had Jose Sa to thank for keeping the score to 2-0 and visiting coach Pedro Martins praised the performance of his goalkeeper.

"Bayern pressured us a lot, constricting us on the pitch. We should have been faster in order to escape their stranglehold," he said. 

"They didn't let us play as well as we did in Piraeus. Thankfully we had Jose Sa to stop them scoring more. 

"We lost many balls. I was expecting more from my team. We could have done better."

Vitesse have confirmed the signing of former Japan international Keisuke Honda on a short-team contract until the end of the season.

Honda had been without a club since leaving Melbourne Victory, the 33-year-old pleading with Manchester United and former club AC Milan to sign him in September.

However, he has now returned to the Eredivisie - pending the confirmation of a work permit - where he previously spent a season with VVV-Venlo.

Vitesse announced the news on their official website and Honda said: "It has been a while since I played soccer in the Netherlands. 

"Hopefully the football fans in the Netherlands still remember me. Anyway, I will do everything to impress. I want to be important for the team and look forward to playing in the stadium and for the fans."

Honda has previously worked with Vitesse boss Leonid Slutsky at CSKA Moscow.

Jorginho wants Serie A to take a "broader look" at the issue of racism beyond just penalising Hellas Verona following the abuse Mario Balotelli suffered at the weekend.

Brescia striker Balotelli kicked a ball into the stands and threatened to walk off the pitch having heard monkey chants during the match at Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi on Sunday.

Verona's coach Ivan Juric insisted there was no racist chanting, but Serie A punished the club by giving them a one-match partial stadium ban.

There have been other recent incidents of players suffering racist abuse in Italy this season, with Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly and Inter striker Romelu Lukaku subjected to offensive chants during games, and Jorginho wants Serie A to take a wider look at the problem.

"I am really sorry, because these things shouldn't happen - neither in football nor in the world," the Chelsea and Italy midfielder said.

"Unfortunately, they happen and I am really sorry. I'd like to send my affection to Mario, who doesn't deserve this.

"And if I may, I'd like to ask not to do things like this, because it really hurts these people and it should never happen.

"Unfortunately, it happened, but I don't think this happened only in Verona. It's happening everywhere.

"Therefore, I think we shouldn't penalise or point the finger only on Verona, we should take a broader look, because it didn't happen only in Verona.

"Yes, they made a mistake and it is true that it's not the first time, but how many times [has] it happened in other cities as well? It shouldn't happen, I repeat, and I am really sorry, but we have to take a broader look to all the cities where it happened and not only to Verona."

 

Brescia striker Mario Balotelli has criticised the "idiots" who racially abused him over the weekend but holds no grudges towards Hellas Verona.

Balotelli kicked a ball into the stands and threatened to walk off the pitch after being subjected to monkey noises during the Serie A match at Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi on Sunday.

The referee brought play to a halt and followed protocol, with a prepared statement read over the public address system, as players from both sides persuaded Balotelli to play on.

Serie A has since enforced a one-match partial stadium closure while Verona have banned the leader of their ultras for 11 years, despite head coach Ivan Juric claiming no racist chanting took place.

Balotelli reserved his anger for the individuals responsible for the abuse.

"I didn't accuse Verona, I didn't accuse the Verona curva, I accused the few idiots who did it. I heard them," Balotelli told SportMediaset programme Le Iene.

"It wasn't two or three, because I heard them from the pitch. If I don't react, nothing happens. It's not a mistake, it's a serious matter.

"I tell the truth, the Verona stadium and the Verona fans are also nice to me, with their banter. But if you want to distract a player, you can do it in a thousand ways. Not like this. This is not good."

Balotelli, who scored for Brescia in the 2-1 defeat, said the treatment was particularly hurtful as his daughter had been watching on television.

"It makes it three times worse," he said. "It's already happened to her. You can't insult a child with words like that. Education and respect come from us adults.

"I'm not saying that I am different from the other players who have had the same noises and the same howls, but the problem is that I am Italian, and I want to be back in the national team."

Rangnick rejects Bayern

November 06, 2019

Ralf Rangnick is unlikely to be Bayern Munich's new head coach after his agent suggested the Bundesliga champions were seeking a man with different qualities.

Rangnick was the early frontrunner for the vacancy following the departure of Niko Kovac on Sunday, a day after Bayern were thrashed 5-1 at Eintracht Frankfurt - their heaviest top-flight defeat since April 2009.

Hansi Flick will take the reins on an interim basis for Wednesday's Champions League home meeting with Olympiacos and the visit of Borussia Dortmund on Saturday, with president Uli Hoeness hoping to have a clear idea on how the club will proceed by the end of the international break.

But it seems Rangnick, the head of sport and development at Red Bull, will not be a candidate.

His agent Marc Kosicke told Bild: "Ralf Rangnick is not available.

"We do not believe that what Ralf Rangnick brings is currently what is being sought by Bayern. And that's why it makes no sense to hold concrete talks."

Rangnick's rejection could potentially pave the way for Arsene Wenger to move to the Allianz Arena on a deal until the end of the season.

The former Arsenal boss has indicated he would be interested in a move to Germany and could fit the bill on a short-term basis.

Massimiliano Allegri is also a reported target following his successful spell at Juventus.

Bayern sit fourth in the Bundesliga, four points adrift of leaders Borussia Monchengladbach, but can book a place in the last 16 of the Champions League by defeating Olympiacos.

 

Paul Pogba is injured, Juan Mata is on the fringes and Manchester United are in desperate need of creativity.

Kai Havertz, the talented Bayer Leverkusen midfielder, might hold the answer.

According to a new report, the Germany international could soon be the subject of a massive transfer bid from Old Trafford.

 

TOP STORY – HAVERTZ HEADED TO MANCHESTER?

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made 20-year-old Kai Havertz his top transfer target, says the Daily Star.

But the report suggests Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward is willing to wait until the end of the season before making an £80million offer.

Havertz, who has been linked with Bayern Munich, is one of the most admired young midfielders in Europe.

He scored 17 Bundesliga goals last season and has notched twice in nine appearances this term.

 

ROUND-UP

- Marca claim Barcelona have joined the race for sought-after Salzburg striker Erling Haaland. The teenage sensation scored his seventh Champions League goal in Tuesday's draw at Napoli and has reportedly attracted interest from Barca's LaLiga rivals Real Madrid, among others.

- Barcelona do have at least one exciting prospect dreaming of joining them. Highly rated Ajax defender Sergino Dest told Bleacher Report his "biggest goal" is to play for the Blaugrana, while the United States international also has his eye on a stint in the Premier League.

- Trouble is brewing in Naples. Gazzetta dello Sport suggest Napoli head coach Carlo Ancelotti and his players are in rebellion against president Aurelio De Laurentiis, who ordered the team to enter a training retreat amid a poor run of results. Ancelotti did not appear for the customary post-match news conference following the 1-1 draw with Salzburg at Stadio San Paolo.

- Another successful Italian coach, Massimiliano Allegri, should reject any approach from managerless Bayern Munich and instead focus on becoming the next Manchester United boss. That is the view of Fabio Capello, who told Radio Anch'io Sport his compatriot would be the "best choice" for the Red Devils.

- Back to the Premier League and England, where Granit Xhaka is dealing with the fallout from being stripped of the Arsenal captaincy. The Daily Mirror report the Gunners could now look to offload the midfielder in January, given his fractured relationship with the club's fans.

Tottenham captain Harry Kane is confident his side can still achieve success in the Champions League, even if they have started poorly in the 2019-20 campaign.

Mauricio Pochettino's Spurs reached the 2019 Champions League final but sit 11th in the Premier League table with just three wins from their first 11 matches this season.

Spurs are second in Group B of the Champions League ahead of a trip to Red Star Belgrade and Kane knows that if Tottenham win on Wednesday, they could be as much as four points ahead of the third-placed Serbian champions, if, as expected, leaders Bayern Munich beat Olympiacos in Germany.

Kane is fit and raring to go for the match, after missing Sunday's 1-1 Premier League draw at Everton due to a virus.

“We are struggling to get wins over the line. Even on Sunday, we were 1-0 up, trying to hold on, it could have been a big away win and we obviously conceded," Kane was quoted as saying in The Daily Star.

"We can't quite get there, we can't quite get over the line at the moment. It's nothing to do with the fight in the squad. It's just one of those spells. All we can do is try and put it right.

"Obviously, the Champions League campaign last year was so good for us. We got further than a lot of people thought we would.

"We've got to try to find a way of consistently winning games. We're here to win trophies. If we can win one of the trophies we are still in, we will see that as a success.

"Can we still go all the way? I think so. You look at where we started in the group stage last year and where we got to, we proved a lot of people wrong. We're in a better position now."

Tottenham beat Red Star 5-0 in London last month, Kane scoring twice, but the striker knows facing the side in Serbia – where they beat European champions Liverpool last season – will be a much sterner test.

"I've been told by a few people who have played there and been there that it will be a real hostile game, a real hostile atmosphere against us but that's what European nights are about," he added.

Kane has netted four goals in three Champions League appearances this season.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain continued his fine form in front of goal by getting the winner as Liverpool saw off Genk 2-1 in the Champions League on Tuesday, meaning the Reds usurp Napoli at the top of Group E.

It was far from a vintage display from Jurgen Klopp's men, who for a period looked to be in danger of dropping points after Mbwana Samatta's fine header, but the impressive Oxlade-Chamberlain justified his selection with the winning goal that ensured Liverpool capitalised on Napoli's 1-1 draw with Salzburg.

Georginio Wijnaldum opened the scoring early on with a clever finish, but Liverpool lacked a clinical edge for the remainder of the first half and were pegged back by Samatta five minutes before the interval.

Still, Liverpool were dominant after the break and restored their lead with 53 minutes on the clock – Oxlade-Chamberlain getting his fourth goal in as many games to potentially put himself in contention for a start against Manchester City at the weekend.

A purposeful beginning had Liverpool leading after just 14 minutes, with Wijnaldum doing well to prod the ball into the top-left corner from close range despite it landing awkwardly in front of him.

The Reds wasted numerous chances to increase their advantage, Naby Keita drawing a fine save from Gaetan Coucke before Mohamed Salah and James Milner both missed the target.

And Samatta made them pay just before half-time, steering home a powerful header from Bryan Heynen's corner after Fabinho allowed him a free run at the ball.

But Liverpool showed renewed focus after the restart and Oxlade-Chamberlain made a decisive impact, taking a touch and then shooting left-footed on the turn after receiving Salah's pass, picking out the bottom-right corner.

Genk should have levelled late on when Heynen was released into the left side of the box, but Alisson palmed away his strike and the hosts held on despite the visitors' late pressure.

 

What does it mean? Liverpool take charge

Napoli slumping to a surprise draw at home to Salzburg means Liverpool will be confident of going on to finish top of the group.

Tuesday's performance was by no means a classic, yet it highlighted Klopp's strength in depth as he shuffled his pack and they were able to claim the win that puts them in control.

Ox in the box

Starting in attack in the place of Sadio Mane, Oxlade-Chamberlain was a real positive for the Reds. His build-up play was effective and he looked arguably the biggest danger to Genk, deservedly scoring in the second half.

Defensive concerns present again

While Genk were by no means a constant threat, it can be argued Liverpool allowed them to look dangerous. The Reds appeared particularly shaky when defending set-piece situations, with the visitors' goal coming from a corner. As such, it was the eighth successive game across all competitions in which they have conceded, their worst run under Klopp.

What's next?

Liverpool host Man City on Sunday in a match that could have significant consequences in the Premier League title race, while Genk host Gent the same day.

Son Heung-min's red card for the challenge that preceded Andre Gomes' horrific injury in Sunday's draw between Tottenham and Everton has been rescinded, the Football Association (FA) has announced.

An independent regulatory commission upheld a claim of wrongful dismissal, meaning Son will be available for Tottenham's next three domestic fixtures.

The South Korea international was dismissed by referee Martin Atkinson in the 79th minute of the 1-1 draw at Goodison Park and was visibly distraught after Gomes suffered a fracture dislocation to his right ankle following his tackle.

Gomes left the field on a stretcher but is expected to make a full recovery and was released from hospital on Tuesday, having undergone surgery 24 hours prior.

The distressed Son had to be led down the tunnel and Mauricio Pochettino said after the match the 27-year-old was "devastated".

"We feel very sorry. It was a very bad situation, very bad luck how he landed. We can send our best wishes and of course I am very devastated for the situation," Pochettino told Sky Sports.

"Sonny was devastated. During the situation, he was very confused, it was difficult to keep calm. After you watch the action on TV, [you can see] it was never his intention [to hurt Gomes]."

Spurs' next three domestic fixtures see them face Sheffield United and Bournemouth at home either side of a trip to West Ham.

Thomas Tuchel has no interest in leaving Paris Saint-Germain to replace Niko Kovac as head coach at Bayern Munich.

Kovac was sacked by Bayern in the wake of a 5-1 defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday – their heaviest Bundesliga loss since April 2009.

Hansi Flick has taken over on an interim basis, with Jose Mourinho, Massimiliano Allegri, Erik ten Hag and Ralf Rangnick all linked to the permanent post.

Sky Deutschland reported Bayern had made contact with Tuchel about taking the role, before L'Equipe claimed later on Tuesday that he had turn down their advances.

Asked about the rumours at a news conference to preview PSG's Champions League clash with Club Brugge, Tuchel said: "It doesn't interest me because I am the PSG coach right now.

"I have a contract for this season and last time I checked I have seen that I have a contract for the next season as well. I can't think of another club for one minute."

PSG claimed a 5-0 win in the previous meeting of the teams two weeks ago and will advance to the last 16 of the Champions League if they beat the Belgian side again on Wednesday.

Asked if the match at the Parc des Princes was like a final due to progression being within reach, Tuchel replied: "I don't think so. It's just a consequence of our performance.

"We had problems against Brugge with a very high press. They were aggressive and played very high. We needed time to adapt.

"In the end it was a deserved victory with five goals, but it was complicated for a long time. We have prepared tactically to be ready for every situation. If we are able to do that well, to show our mentality, we can win and the consequence is we will qualify.

"But we can only control our performance. Brugge are not always very structured, sometimes their game is a bit crazy and you have to play with precision and calm."

PSG head into the game following a shock 2-1 reverse at Dijon in Ligue 1 on Friday and Tuchel opted to take his time before going over the result with his team.

"It was necessary to take two days and then talk with the players about our tactics, the mentality, the way we started," he added.

"We hate to lose, we are not used to losing. We are competitors but we are also a team that can lose on a Friday night against Dijon.

"It was necessary to talk about it again and to criticise it. It's the responsibility of myself and the players."

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