Keeping faith with the under-fire Unai Emery could have serious ramifications for Arsenal.

According to reports, club chiefs fear key players will question their long-term futures if Emery remains in charge.

Two star attackers are already said to be stalling on new deals with Arsenal sliding down the Premier League.

 

TOP STORY – GUNNERS FEAR EXODUS

Arsenal are at risk of losing Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, according to the Daily Mail.

The newspaper reports the pair have shown little interest in signing contract extensions as a direct consequence of poor results and concerns over Emery's "conservative" methods.

Arsenal have failed to win any of their past six games in all competitions and are facing the prospect of another season outside the Champions League, a problem for the likes of Lacazette and Aubameyang.

 

ROUND-UP

- Marco Silva's position at Everton is in peril but he could remain in charge until after the Merseyside derby on December 4, according to the Daily Mail. The Toffees lie 16th in the Premier League following a 2-0 home loss to Norwich City.

- Watford boss Quique Sanchez Flores is likewise feeling the pinch. The Telegraph reports the Spaniard is "on the brink" of becoming the club's second managerial casualty of the season.

- Manchester United are set to trigger a 12-month extension to Timothy Fosu-Mensah's contract, claims The Sun. The Dutch defender is due to become a free agent at the end of the season.

- New MLS franchise Inter Miami are discussing the possibility of making Patrick Vieira their inaugural head coach, says CBS Sports reporter Roger Gonzalez. Vieira is currently in charge of Ligue 1 club Nice.

- Serie A side Roma are tracking Celtic midfielder Olivier Ntcham, according to Tuttomercatoweb. The French midfielder scored a vital Europa League goal against Lazio earlier this month and could be the subject of a January transfer bid from their Serie A rivals.

Brescia have moved to diffuse comments made by president Massimo Cellino, in which he appears to make a racist remark about striker Mario Balotelli.

Cellino suggested Balotelli, who was left out of the squad for Sunday's Serie A clash with Roma after a training-ground spat with coach Fabio Grosso, is "black and is working on lightening up, but he is facing troubles".

The word 'nero' in Italian means black but can also be used for 'gloomy', as in a person's state of mind.

A club statement read: "Concerning the declarations released this afternoon by president Massimo Cellino, referring to our player Mario Balotelli, Brescia Calcio evidently deals with a paradoxical joke, clearly misunderstood, released in an attempt to defuse excessive media exposure and with intent to protect the player himself."

Balotelli has scored twice in seven Serie A appearances since joining his hometown club in August and was recently subjected to racist abuse during a match at Hellas Verona.

Cellino suggested Grosso should have handled the situation with Balotelli better but also believes the former Liverpool and Manchester City frontman needs to do his talking on the pitch.

He added: "My manager made a mistake last week. He spoke about Balotelli and not about the team. I am not the manager and this is not a press conference but I see I have to answer. 

"I signed Balotelli at the end of the transfer market. I didn't sign him for annual subscriptions or publicity. I thought he could be added value but due to this over-exposition we made him become a liability. So if you want to keep talking about Balotelli, you want to hurt him and ourselves.

"Maybe Balotelli gives more importance to social media than his own values. As a sportsman and a man. I haven't signed him for his social media, I did because he is 1.90 metre, he is an animal and still young enough to have a say in football. 

"If and when he will do it, he will on the pitch. He has to learn how to answer on the pitch. In that moment he will be a footballer again. In this moment he is far from it. I signed him dreaming he could be an added value, but I never thought he had to be the one saving our club. 

"I told him as I am telling you. It is too easy to use him as a scapegoat and this is why I sacked the previous coach. Because in this moment since he has arrived, Balotelli needed us to help him more than we needed him to help us.

"We should have done it before as now we are weaker and it will be harder to help him."

Cristiano Ronaldo has trained with Juventus and will be evaluated ahead of Tuesday's Champions League clash with Atletico Madrid, Maurizio Sarri has confirmed.

The Portugal striker sat out the unconvincing 3-1 win at Atalanta over the weekend as he continues to contend with a knee injury.

However, Ronaldo is seemingly in line to feature in the Group D contest against Atleti, an opponent the former Real Madrid star has scored 25 times against in his prolific career.

"Yesterday he did the training sessions with his team-mates," Sarri said. "He seems to be growing [stronger].

"We will evaluate it between today and tomorrow to see if we have solved it, but the fact that yesterday he did all the training with his team-mates is very positive.

"I think and hope there will be no repercussions."

Ronaldo's relationship with Sarri has been under the microscope in recent weeks, mainly due to the coach's decision to haul off his star forward in two straight matches when Juve were chasing a win prior to the international break.

The second of those games, a 1-0 victory over AC Milan, saw Ronaldo head straight down the tunnel and reportedly leave the stadium before the match had finished.

However, Sarri insists all is well between the duo and he has no objection to players showing frustration when being substituted.

"My relationship with Cristiano is good," he added. 

"If a player who has won so much is angry about being substituted it means he still has a lot of motivation and this is something positive.

"It is 25 years I have seen players get angry over substitutions."

Sarri, who confirmed Matthijs de Ligt and Federico Bernardeschi will also be evaluated before the game with Atleti, also explained why he does not foresee Ronaldo, Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala lining up in the same XI any time soon.

"Playing Paulo, Gonzalo and Cristiano all together is difficult because of their characteristics, but all three know how to play really well and are comfortable with each other," he said.

"We have three strong strikers for two places. None of the three can play 65 games as seen in the early part of the season. Everyone will find a place."

Juve have already qualified for the knockout phase of the Champions League but know a win over Atleti will secure top spot in Group D.

"Right now I'm seeing the team play excellently in flashes and I would like to see some more continuity in certain aspects, but we must take into account the characteristics of the players," Sarri said. 

"We certainly have room for improvement. Against Atleti we can't worry about what they are going to do. 

"They are a difficult team to face but we must think about how important first place in the group is."

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are "monsters" who are convinced they are the best player on the pitch in every game, according to Argentina and Juventus forward Paulo Dybala.

The duo are among the greatest players of all time and have won a combined 10 Ballon d'Or trophies since 2008.

Dybala has played alongside Ronaldo at Serie A champions Juve since the Portugal international's move from Real Madrid ahead of the 2018-19 campaign and has teamed up with Barcelona superstar Messi for Argentina over the last four years.

Having seen both players at close quarters, the 26-year-old believes they share a lot of similarities.

"Outside the pitch they are two very quiet people, but inside they are two monsters," he told Spanish newspaper El Pais. 

"I heard Luis Scola [Argentinian basketball player] said both Leo and Cristiano enter the field convinced that they are the best and that is why they are the best. And I am sure that is so.

"My friends used to tell me: 'You have the best in the national team and now they bring you the best one at your club'. I replied: 'It is an advantage for me.'

"I can study them every day. Who doesn't want to play with the best? We are talking about two phenomenal players; two players who are one or two steps above the rest. 

"They are at the top on a football level and also at a mental level. It is not easy to keep going and score 40 goals every year. It is crazy. 

"In the history of football, great players have played at great teams and have not achieved what they did. They have been good for each other."

Title challengers Inter are capable of keeping pace with Juventus throughout the entire Serie A season, according to Marcello Lippi.

Antonio Conte's men notched up a fourth successive league win with a routine 3-0 triumph at Torino on Saturday.

Goals from Lautaro Martinez, Stefan de Vrij and Romelu Lukaku kept the pressure on champions Juve, who remain a point ahead after a 3-1 win over Atalanta.

Some have suggested strength in depth will enable the leaders to pull clear as the season progresses, but Lippi expects the title race to go down to the wire.

"It is very beautiful and it certainly made the start of the season very interesting," the ex-Italy head coach told Corriere dello Sport.

"I really think it can last until the end. In August I thought that it would be a three-way fight for the title, but Napoli will struggle to get back into the race.

"[Carlo] Ancelotti is a very good coach and I am convinced that he will improve the team. However, even if he drives them out of the difficult moment he is going through, he has accumulated too much distance to the top.

"The championship will be more uncertain than in recent years and this is good for our football."

Inter's only domestic defeat this term came at the hands of Juve in October.

Lippi praised Bianconeri boss Maurizio Sarri for adapting well to the job he inherited from Massimiliano Allegri.

He said: "The change of coach could have negatively affected and created difficulties if Sarri had not been intelligent, but Maurizio is intelligent.

"He has already managed to implement some of his ideas without lowering the performance that Juve had with Conte first and then with Allegri."

The battle for Jadon Sancho's signature looks set to begin.

Four high-profile clubs in England and Spain are reportedly monitoring the teenager, one of Europe's brightest prospects.

Aggrieved with recent events at Borussia Dortmund, Sancho could now seek a new home for next season.

 

TOP STORY – CLUBS QUEUE UP FOR 'SCAPEGOAT' SANCHO

Barcelona, Liverpool, Manchester United and Real Madrid are the "leading quartet" of suitors for Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho, according to The Athletic.

Former club Manchester City have also asked to be "kept informed" following a string of events that have upset the 19-year-old England winger, notably his first-half substitution in the 4-0 Klassiker loss to Bayern Munich earlier this month.

Sancho's representatives are said to have deemed that move "disgraceful", paving the way for his Dortmund departure at the end of the Bundesliga season.

 

ROUND-UP

Paul Pogba's prolonged absence for Manchester United is part of a concerted effort to force through a January transfer to LaLiga giants Madrid, claims Spanish journalist Paco Gonzalez. Pogba, not sighted since September, is recovering from an ankle injury.

- According to Calciomercato, Zlatan Ibrahimovic is weighing up a move to AC Milan. The 38-year-old is available on a free transfer after leaving MLS outfit LA Galaxy. Ibrahimovic has been linked to Bologna, Tottenham, Napoli and Perth Glory.

West Ham are considering replacing Manuel Pellegrini with Chris Wilder, reports The Mirror. The Hammers are languishing 16th in the Premier League after 13 games, while Wilder's Sheffield United are riding high in sixth. Chris HughtonDavid Moyes and Rafael Benitez are reportedly among the other candidates should West Ham lose patience with Pellegrini.

- Wolves defender Owen Otasowie is wanted by Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain and Bundesliga team Schalke, reports The Sun. 18-year-old centre-back has also been watched by Liverpool and Arsenal.

- The Mirror reports Aston Villa are leading the race to sign Rhian Brewster on loan in January. Brewster, 19, has been unable to break his way into Liverpool's Premier League plans this term. The report states Villa face competition from Crystal PalaceLeeds United and Swansea City.

Matthijs de Ligt is a doubt for Juventus' clash with Atletico Madrid in the Champions League after suffering a dislocated shoulder in Saturday's 3-1 win over Atalanta.

Team-mate Douglas Costa will be sidelined for the Atletico game because of a thigh strain, Juventus indicated.

Victory in Bergamo was the Bianconeri's fifth in a row in all competitions and they are top of Serie A, one point clear of Inter, but the loss of De Ligt on top of Costa's absence would be a blow to head coach Maurizio Sarri.

Centre-back De Ligt has started 10 of 13 domestic league games this season, with Giorgio Chiellini's knee injury thrusting the €75million signing from Ajax into the spotlight.

Sarri will also monitor the fitness of forward Federico Bernardeschi, who was replaced after 26 minutes against Atalanta having suffered a bruised chest.

A statement on the official Juventus website said: "Following diagnostic tests carried out this morning ... it emerged that Matthjis de Ligt suffered a dislocated right shoulder in yesterday's match and has now began the appropriate therapies and recovery.

"Therapy and recovery also for Federico Bernardeschi, who suffered a bruise to the right hemithorax.

"Douglas Costa suffered a low-grade lesion of the semitendinosus muscle of the right thigh and has started rehabilitation treatment."

Juventus said that in winger Costa's case, it would take around 15 days for him to fully recover.

Inter midfielder Nicolo Barella will undergo surgery to remove a fragment of cartilage in his knee, the Serie A club have confirmed.

Barella was withdrawn on the stroke of half-time in Saturday's 3-0 win over Torino and visibly indicated his pain to medical staff.

In a statement on their official website, Inter revealed the 22-year-old has damaged a fragment of cartilage in his knee, which will require surgery to be removed. No timescale has been put on how long he will be out of action for. 

Speaking after the game, Inter boss Antonio Conte said: "I really hope Barella doesn't have anything particularly serious.

"Barella has grown exponentially over the last four months. He is a very important player for us and we can only hope the test results are not too bad. He's a warrior and I hope he's back on the pitch soon."

Barella has made 17 appearances across all competitions so far this season, scoring twice.

Inter boss Antonio Conte was praying for good news on the fitness of Nicolo Barella after the midfielder's knee injury was the lone negative in an impressive 3-0 Serie A win at Torino.

Barella, who scored the dramatic winner against Hellas Verona prior to the international break, had to be withdrawn on the stroke of half-time on Saturday and visibly indicated his pain to medical staff.

Inter confirmed the 22-year-old had suffered "a right knee sprain which will be assessed in the coming days" and Conte is hoping the setback will not be serious.

He is already without a host of players including Stefano Sensi, Roberto Gagliardini, Matteo Politano, Alexis Sanchez and Kwadwo Asamoah.

Former Chelsea and Italy boss Conte voiced concerns over the size of his squad after the Champions League loss to Borussia Dortmund earlier this month and does not want another absentee.

"I really hope Barella doesn’t have anything particularly serious," Conte said to DAZN after goals from Lautaro Martinez, Stefan de Vrij and Romelu Lukaku saw off Torino and brought Inter back to within a point of leaders Juventus.

"Barella has grown exponentially over the last four months. He is a very important player for us and we can only hope the test results are not too bad. He's a warrior and I hope he's back on the pitch soon.

"The emergency situation unfortunately continues but we can only thank our players for all their efforts, and we will continue to give more than our best.

"The players are really sacrificing themselves and can see the fruits of their labour. They have spent hours on the pitch and in the video room."

Conte had bizarrely advised his players on their sex lives ahead of the game at Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino.

Rather than revisiting that topic, it was Inter's clean sheet that he discussed after the convincing victory.

"I'm especially happy for the players who are getting big results, but the thing that makes me happiest is not conceding," Conte added.

"It was a good defensive performance and that is very important because we know that if we can be tight at the back then we are in good shape as we will score sooner or later."

The 11 wins from 13 league matches to start a campaign equals Inter's best sequence, previously achieved in 1950-51, while they have also recorded victories in their first seven away top-flight games for the first time.

Inter moved back to within a point of Serie A leaders Juventus with a comprehensive 3-0 away win over Torino.

After kick-off was briefly delayed to allow for water to be swept from the pitch amid heavy rain, Lautaro Martinez scored his eighth goal of the season in the 12th minute.

Twenty minutes later, Stefan de Vrij's first strike of 2019-20 had Inter two ahead and Romelu Lukaku scored his 10th Serie A goal of the campaign after the break to wrap up the points.

In-form Lukaku is the first Inter player to score 10 goals in the first 13 matchdays of a debut Serie A season since Stefano Nyers in 1948-49.

It was a frustrating start for Torino, who lost influential captain Andrea Belotti to injury and fell behind before they could bring on Simone Zaza as his replacement.

They were caught out by Matias Vecino's header which allowed Martinez to race clear and find the bottom corner with a right-footed finish.

Simone Verdi fired narrowly wide at the other end, but Salvatore Sirigu had to produce an excellent save from Lukaku's powerful header and Inter doubled their lead from the resulting corner, Cristiano Biraghi's in-swinging cross from the right tapped in by an unmarked De Vrij at the back post.

A magnificent stop from Samir Handanovic in first-half stoppage time preserved Inter's two-goal advantage, the goalkeeper diving to claw away Verdi's deflected cross.

The visitors lost Nicolo Barella to an injury of their own and were relieved when Armando Izzo sent a good headed chance off target just after the break.

Inter made sure of victory after 55 minutes, though, Lukaku's right-footed effort going through the legs of Bremer and beating Sirigu after he had been found by Marcelo Brozovic.

Handanovic was at his best once more to tip away Verdi's free-kick but a home fightback never looked likely in the latter stages.

 

What does it mean? Inter make light work of Torino test

After Juventus had battled back late on to earn a win away to Atalanta earlier on Saturday, this fixture and the difficult playing conditions presented a potential obstacle for Inter.

The Nerazzurri had not won in five league meetings against Torino, but they negotiated the challenge comfortably to remain right behind Juve at the top.

Brozovic brilliant for Inter

Brozovic had an excellent performance, creating five chances for his team-mates including Lukaku's goal, while he had more passes and touches than anyone else in Antonio Conte's side as he constantly looked to get involved.

Torino defence found wanting

Torino have only won once in eight league matches and their early defending here gave them little chance of getting back on form.

The backline was completely caught out when Sirigu's clearance was headed back towards them by Vecino for the opener, while the second goal saw a quick corner surprise them, with Biraghi given time to deliver his cross and no defender in the vicinity of goalscorer De Vrij.

What's next?

Inter will look to build on this result when they are away to Slavia Prague in the Champions League on Wednesday, before a home league game against SPAL on Sunday. Torino are away against Genoa on Saturday.

AC Milan boss Stefano Pioli said he felt "confident for the future" after his side battled to a 1-1 draw with Napoli at San Siro.

Giacomo Bonaventura scored his first goal in more than a year to cancel out Hirving Lozano's opener and earn Milan a point in Saturday's Serie A clash.

The Rossoneri have won just one of six matches since Pioli replaced Marco Giampaolo last month, but the ex-Fiorentina boss was pleased with his team's latest display.

"We played a good game, despite the absentees and other difficulties," he said at his post-match news conference.

"I am seeing great determination and awareness and I'm confident for the future, but there is still a long way to go.

"I have only been working here for 45 days. You cannot say that the team does not fight.

"We all feel the sense of urgency to win games and we have the possibility to do that in our next matches, though it will not be easy."

Milan have collected just 14 points from their opening 13 matches and are down in 13th, 10 points adrift of the Champions League qualification spots.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic continues to be linked with a return to the club he represented between 2010 and 2012, but Pioli reiterated that he is not looking ahead to the transfer window.

"In January we will see," he said. "Tomorrow we go back to work because from here until then there are 12 more points available."

A major positive for Pioli was the performance of Bonaventura, who marked his second Serie A start of the season with a first goal since October 2018, driving home a fine 20-yard strike.

"He is not only strong but also very intelligent," Pioli said. "He knows where to move and when to do it. 'Jack' played for 90 minutes and did very well."

Next up for Milan are back-to-back away trips to Parma and Bologna, with left-back Theo Hernandez hoping to build some momentum from those matches.

"This was a very important point for us," Hernandez told Sky Sport Italia. "We knew it would be complicated against a good opponent, but now we have to win games.

"Milan cannot stay where we are in the table. We have to concentrate on the matches ahead and take it one step at a time to improve game by game."

Giacomo Bonaventura scored his first goal in more than a year as AC Milan drew 1-1 with fellow out-of-form side Napoli at San Siro.

Milan had lost back-to-back matches against Lazio and Juventus heading into Saturday's clash and fell behind to Hirving Lozano's close-range finish after 24 minutes.

Italy international Bonaventura, making his second start of the season, instantly hit back for Stefano Pioli's side with a goal he celebrated wildly.

Good chances went begging for Lorenzo Insigne and Ante Rebic to win the match for their respective sides, leaving Milan 13th in the table and six points behind Napoli in seventh.

Napoli soaked up plenty of early pressure and took the lead through Lozano, who reacted quickest to head in after Insigne's long-range strike hit the crossbar.

But Milan's response was swift and emphatic as Bonaventura fired a 20-yard shot past Alex Meret just five minutes later for his first league goal since October 2018.

Insigne failed to find a way past Gianluigi Donnarumma from a one-on-one at the end of the first half, shortly after Rebic headed wide from five yards out at the other end.

Visiting midfielder Eljif Elmas went to ground inside the opposition box with 20 minutes to play but was rightly shown a yellow card for diving.

Allan twice tested Donnarumma in the final five minutes, the second effort a half-volley from outside the box that the Milan keeper parried to ensure the points were shared.


What does it mean? Both teams in need of a lift

Napoli are now winless in six matches in all competitions for the first time since March 2013, with the pressure steadily building on boss Carlo Ancelotti, though their troubles pale in comparison to those of Milan, who are enduring a dismal campaign and have won just one of their six matches under Pioli.

Donnarumma stands firm

Milan have kept only one clean sheet in their last 10 league matches, but Donnarumma showed his quality with the save made to deny Insigne just before the interval.

The 20-year-old raced off his line to close the angle and blocked Insigne's low shot with his legs, helping his side to claim a point from a tight match.

Rebic unable to take his chance

Rebic, a late inclusion in Milan's starting line-up after Suso pulled out during the warm-up with a stomach bug, was unable to capitalise on his first Serie A start of the season.

He was jeered after a poor touch early on, headed wide from a good position with the match delicately poised and was replaced by Franck Kessie at half-time.

What's next?

Napoli can book a place in the last 16 of the Champions League with victory away at Liverpool on Wednesday.

Ancelotti's side return to Serie A action with a home match against Bologna next Sunday, the same day that Milan travel to Parma.

Maurizio Sarri insists he had no problem with resting Cristiano Ronaldo for Juventus' Serie A clash with Atalanta, despite an unconvincing display from the Bianconeri.

Ronaldo was not risked on Saturday as he continues to deal with a knee issue, and his absence was felt for the majority of the match, until Gonzalo Higuain's double and Paulo Dybala's stoppage-time strike secured a 3-1 comeback win.

Sarri, who made headlines when he took Ronaldo off against AC Milan prior to the international break, hopes to have the former Real Madrid star fit to feature against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League on Tuesday.

However, he stated he had no issue with leaving Juve's star forward out against Atalanta.

"I hope he'll be back for the Champions League on Tuesday. He has this little problem that is above all affecting him in training, as he's struggling to train consistently," Sarri told Sky Sport Italia.

"A lot depends on how the lad feels, the fatigue and the need he has at any moment to rest. He felt, and I fully agreed, it was important right now to find a way of training that wouldn't put extra pressure on the knee.

"It's a solid knee, there are no lesions, but constantly having that pain does take it out of you.

"I was happy to rest him, as I felt the same way, that it was best to take this time to first of all rest and secondly analyse training methods to see how he could train differently."

Musa Barrow missed an early penalty for Atalanta, who deservedly went ahead thanks to Robin Gosen's 56th-minute header, though the hosts' profligacy did ultimately come back to bite them.

Sarri conceded his side were fortunate to get back into the match, but was thrilled with their self-belief once the scores were level.

"It was an entertaining game with tempo and intensity, the kind you don't usually see in Serie A," Sarri said.

"We lost our heads after the penalty, thinking of everything except the game of football and allowed Atalanta to take total control. They deservedly went in front.

"We were fortunate to score the equaliser in a chaotic move against the run of play and from there on showed belief we could win it.

"In the final minutes, we started to attack the spaces that were opening up, whereas we didn't do that enough before."

Gonzalo Higuain scored twice in the second half as Serie A leaders Juventus produced a late fightback to secure a 3-1 win at Atalanta.

Without Cristiano Ronaldo - who was not risked for Saturday's encounter - Maurizio Sarri's side were second best for long periods in Bergamo before Higuain's brace in the space of eight minutes.

Robin Gosens had deservedly put Atalanta ahead before the hour, though Gian Piero Gasperini will rue his team missing a series of chances - including Musa Barrow's penalty - in the first half.

Their profligacy allowed Juve - who also survived a VAR check for a second potential penalty against them – to claim the points, Paulo Dybala adding a late third for the visitors in stoppage time.

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