Partizan Belgrade have been given a two-match stadium ban by UEFA due to the racist behaviour of some fans in a Europa League qualifying match with Yeni Malatyaspor.

UEFA's Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body (CEDB) announced the sanction on Monday, along with a €24,250 fine for the throwing of objects and fireworks and the blocking of stairways.

It means Partizan must play their next two home matches in UEFA competition behind closed doors.

Lokomotiv Plovdiv have been issued a partial stadium ban due to the racist behaviour of supporters in their Europa League qualifier against Strasbourg in Bulgaria on August 8.

The CEDB has ordered the club to close the Tribuna Sportclub sector for the next UEFA competition match at Lokomotiv Plovdiv 1926 Stadium.

Meanwhile, Istanbul Basaksehir defender Aurelien Chedjou has been banned for two games for directing abusive language at a match official in a Champions League qualifier against Olympiacos.

Head coach Buruk Okan has been suspended for one match "for the failure to comply with the referee's orders" in the same game, which Olympiacos won 1-0.

The Super Lig side have also been fined €5,250 after receiving six yellow cards and one red in the match.

Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac are set to return to action for Arsenal just over a week after being caught up in an apparent carjacking attempt.

Gunners boss Unai Emery has included the pair in a 21-man squad to face Barcelona for the Joan Gamper Trophy at Camp Nou on Sunday.

Footage circulated on social media last month appearing to show Kolasinac confronting and scaring off two masked attackers who had approached a vehicle driven by Ozil.

Midfielder Ozil later confirmed he, his wife Amine and Kolasinac were "doing well" after the incident, which took place in London.

Neither player featured in subsequent pre-season matches against Ligue 1 sides Lyon and Angers as Emery confirmed they were not mentally ready to be involved.

The Barca match is Arsenal's final friendly before their Premier League campaign begins away to Newcastle United next Sunday, but new signing Nicolas Pepe has not been included in the squad.

The 24-year-old last played for Ivory Coast against Mali at the Africa Cup of Nations close to a month ago.

Meanwhile, Arsenal have confirmed the departure of Japan international Takuma Asano three years after his arrival from Sanfrecce Hiroshima.

Asano has joined Serbian side Partizan Belgrade following loan spells at Stuttgart and Hannover.

Manchester United and Juventus have been discussing a swap deal involving Paulo Dybala.

However, Tottenham are also interested in the Argentina international.

With the Premier League transfer window to shut on August 8, there is still plenty of twists and turns to come.

 

TOP STORY – SPURS EYE DYBALA AMID UNITED TALKS

Tottenham have made an approach for Juventus star Paulo Dybala, according to SoccerLink.

Dybala is in talks with Manchester United, who have reportedly agreed a deal to send striker Romelu Lukaku to Juventus for the former Palermo forward.

The 25-year-old is reportedly not convinced about joining United and Champions League finalists Tottenham are ready to pounce after manager and fellow Argentinian Mauricio Pochettino tried to convince the player to move to London.

 

ROUND-UP

- The front page of SPORT is dominated by Neymar. The newspaper says Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain are working on a loan deal with a non-mandatory purchase option to unlock negotiations. The new formula could accelerate a transfer.

- Manchester United star Paul Pogba fears being priced out of a move to Real Madrid, according to The Mirror. Madrid are in negotiations to sign Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek as they struggle to prise Pogba away from Old Trafford.

- The Express says Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is eyeing Real Madrid midfielder Isco and Bournemouth defender Nathan Ake. The Premier League champions are reportedly targeting Ake – who is believed to be wanted by Leicester City – as Manchester United close in on Harry Maguire.

- Napoli have entered the race to sign Romelu Lukaku from Manchester United, reports Alfredo Pedulla. However, Lukaku has apparently rejected the offer as he eyes a move to Juventus.

- According to O Jogo, Benfica are plotting a €6million transfer for Partizan Belgrade teenager Strahinja Pavlovic. The 18-year-old defender has been linked with Serie A champions Juventus.

- La Gazzetta dello Sport claims Ligue 1 duo Lyon and Monaco are keen on signing AC Milan attacker Suso.

- Barcelona are close to signing Real Betis full-back Junior Firpo, according to Marca. Mundo Deportivo says the two Spanish clubs have agreed a €25m fee for the 22-year-old.

Savo Milosevic said Aston Villa belong in the "top six or seven clubs in England" as the former striker hailed the club's return to the Premier League.

After three seasons in the second tier, Villa finally secured promotion to the Premier League via the Championship play-offs in May.

Milosevic became a fan favourite during his time at Villa Park, where he won the EFL Cup in his first season after arriving for a then-club record fee of £3.5million from boyhood club Partizan Belgrade in 1995.

Now head coach of Partizan, Milosevic has continued to follow Villa and the 45-year-old great – who is the highest-scoring Serbian in Premier League history with his 29 goals for the Villans – revelled in the team's comeback.

Milosevic told Omnisport: "Such great news. I have to tell you, I was very sad in the past three years watching Villa playing in the Championship.

"Villa are an enormous club with great tradition, they belong in the Premier League. Not just the Premier League but the top six or seven clubs in England."

Dean Smith and Villa have wasted no time preparing for their Premier League return, splashing the cash in the transfer market.

Wesley, Tyrone Mings, Matt Targett, Jota, Bjorn Engels, Ezri Konsa, Kortney Hause and Anwar El Ghazi have either arrived or signed permanent deals in the West Midlands.

"Watching them play in the Championship, it was tough. I'm so happy now. I'm watching pre-season now and they are signing players," said Milosevic, who formed a lethal combination with Dwight Yorke at Villa and scored the opening goal in the club's 3-0 EFL Cup final win over Leeds United.

"It won't be easy back in the Premier League, it will be tough to survive because it's so difficult with many strong teams.

"Even those who are struggling, they are not easy to beat. They have to be careful but it's great to be back in the Premier League. It's where they belong."

Villa will open their Premier League campaign with a trip to Champions League finalists Tottenham on August 10.

"He is probably the best left-footed player in the world, in the history of football." Savo Milosevic lauded Sinisa Mihajlovic as he rallied around his former team-mate following the Bologna head coach's cancer diagnosis.

Serbian great Mihajlovic is set to undergo treatment after revealing his battle with leukaemia on Saturday, sparking an outpour of well-wishes from players – past and present – and supporters.

Milosevic played alongside Mihajlovic at international level, the pair representing Serbia – when they were known as the former republic of Yugoslavia – at the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000.

And Milosevic hailed ex-Serbia boss Mihajlovic, who earned a reputation as a free-kick specialist during his playing days with Red Star Belgrade, Roma, Sampdoria, Lazio and Inter.

"It is very difficult to talk about him because I'm very close with Sinisa," Milosevic told Omnisport. "We have a special relationship aside from playing football together.

"I have no words for what happened but all I can say is I know his character, I know he will beat this. He always fought through many things… wars, lot of tragedies and difficulties and he managed to survive. I'm positive in this situation. I believe he will win this battle also."

"Sinisa is probably the best left-footed player in the world, in the history of football," Milosevic continued. "There are so many players who can take free-kicks well but not one like him.

"What he could do with the ball, it's impossible to explain. People need to watch videos to see part of the picture. It was a privilege to be on the pitch with him. He is not just a great player, but a great person."

Like countryman Mihajlovic, Milosevic has turned to coaching, albeit only recently via Serbian giants Partizan Belgrade.

Up until March, Milosevic had never worked as a head coach however the 45-year-old is now in charge of his boyhood club, with a piece of silverware already under his belt.

While Partizan finished third behind Red Star Belgrade in the SuperLiga last season, Milosevic's men did not end the campaign emptyhanded, winning the Serbian Cup against their bitter city rivals.

As eight-time SuperLiga champions Partizan prepare to open their league campaign on Sunday, Milosevic said: "For my confidence and the confidence of the team, it was very important to win that final against Red Star Belgrade.

"After that game, the players started to believe more in themselves. Also for me, it was important to start well after three, four months.

"Long term, it's not a big deal to win the Serbian Cup but for this moment, it's important for me, the players and the club. We didn't have a good season in 2018-19, so it's always important for big clubs to win trophies."

After some words of encouragement from Manchester United legend Alex Ferguson convinced Milosevic to take up coaching, the former Aston Villa and Parma striker eventually replaced Zoran Mirkovic late in 2018-19.

Reflecting on his work at Partizan so far, Milosevic said: "It was very difficult and tough time, not because I started as a coach but the situation at the club was very difficult with the team. The amount of job we had to do to finish the season well was enormous.

"But on the other hand, it was good because the experiences I've had in the last three months it would take maybe one or two years at another club. It was difficult to survive, but it was good to get through that as a first-time coach."

Milosevic, who scored 37 goals in 102 international appearances, enjoyed success as a player with two league titles and a cup for Partizan before joining Villa for a then-club record fee of £3.5million in 1995 – claiming the League Cup winners' medal in his first season.

However, he is facing a big task at Partizan, who won six successive league titles from 2007 to 2013 but have not triumphed since 2016-17, finishing 18 points behind Red Star in the championship round.

"Not just in Partizan but Serbian football, I want to try to bring the quality of football closer to Europe because we're now far behind," Milosevic continued when asked what legacy he wants to leave. "I know exactly where football is today around Europe and the world.

"It will be difficult, but I believe I can do that. The people I'm working with, we know what to do to move things forward. It won't be easy but it's possible. That's the main thing I want to try to do… not the biggest club in Europe but a serious club."

Up until March, Savo Milosevic had never worked as a head coach.

A Serbian great, Milosevic's CV only showed a brief assistant role with Branko Brnovic's Montenegro from 2011 to 2012.

Milosevic – who scored 37 goals in 102 international appearances – did spend some time as part of UEFA's technical observers group for Euro 2016, a team led by former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson that included the likes of Gareth Southgate and David Moyes.

The 45-year-old also served as vice-president of the Football Association of Serbia. But, thanks to some words of encouragement from Ferguson, Milosevic finds himself at the helm of Serbian giants and boyhood club Partizan Belgrade.

"Ferguson and all of them then talked to me, convincing me that I should start as a coach, that I have this thing to become a coach," Milosevic told Omnisport.

"I started to think it. I started my pro license two years ago and that's how everything went.

"I was analysing the Euros. I analysed 12 games. Then I realised I could do that really good."

Joint-top goalscorer at Euro 2000 alongside Patrick Kluivert as the former republic of Yugoslavia reached the quarter-finals, it is Milosevic's first foray into management, however the ex-Aston Villa and Parma striker feels ready.

"It's not new for me," he added. "I was partially doing that job in the past six, seven years working in the FA of Serbia. Then I started to work with UEFA's technical observer group, analysing the European high-level football. I was preparing myself for this.

"I completed my UEFA license recently, which is one important part of education. When you put my experience as a player, it's not too complicated for me.

"Of course, there's things I have to learn and learn quick. That's what I'm trying to do now. But it was important that I started and I started at a big club. I'm going to be able to learn quickly."

Milosevic joined Partizan as a 14-year-old before making his senior debut in 1992. He scored 74 goals for the Belgrade powerhouse, winning two league titles and a cup, before joining Premier League side Villa for a then-club record fee of £3.5million in 1995, and he claimed a League Cup winners' medal in his first season.

However, Partizan – who won six successive league titles from 2008 to 2013 – have fallen on tough times as bitter rivals Red Star Belgrade dominate Serbia's SuperLiga.

Without a league title since 2016-17, Partizan ended the regular season 30 points adrift of Red Star in third position and 21 points behind second-placed Radnicki Nis.

In the championship round, Partizan are 15 points off the pace as Red Star – four points above Radnicki – close in on back-to-back SuperLiga crowns.

"Basically, Partizan have had a very tough season," Milosevic said. "So many things went wrong. It's a complicated situation. I chose to start now instead of June because that's how I'm going to be able to see from the inside what's the biggest problem with the players and the club, so I can be prepared for June.

"There's going to be a lot of changes definitely in the team. We have to do it, but also around the team and the position of the club. In the organisation, there are many things in which we have to improve if we want to be better.

"I'm expecting a big job. Hard work. We have to put a lot of things together if we want to lift up such a great club. It's very difficult when a great club is struggling like this."

Teenage centre-back Strahinja Pavlovic has been linked with Juventus, with reports claiming a deal for the 17-year-old star to join the Italian champions is virtually agreed.

Milosevic is not sure what the future holds for the in-demand defender, however, the former Real Zaragoza, Celta Vigo and Osasuna forward is reluctant to part with Partizan's prized asset so soon.

Asked about Pavlovic, Milosevic replied: "I don't know, but we started to talk immediately about reorganising the Partizan youth system, which was very successful in the past and it's very important for us in the future. There will be changes there.

"We will always have good young players. It's not good for us if we sell them when they're 19,20 - they're still young. We cannot reach the highest possible price and they're not finished. In that department, we can improve a lot."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.