Mikel Arteta insisted he is "not conflicted at all" by Manchester City's looming UEFA ban after Arsenal thrashed Newcastle United to move within sight of the European places in the Premier League.

Former City assistant coach Arteta oversaw a 4-0 defeat of Newcastle on Sunday, but the news Pep Guardiola's side are facing a two-year suspension from European competition dominated the weekend.

While City have announced an intention to appeal the ban, there is the possibility fifth could now secure Champions League qualification, with the Europa League potentially in reach for a team in eighth depending on who wins the domestic cups.

Arsenal are 10th, lifted by second-half goals from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Nicolas Pepe, Mesut Ozil and Alexandre Lacazette, but Arteta was not looking to revel in his former employers' gloom.

"We don't know anything about it," he told Sky Sports. "We will have to wait and see.

"It's very difficult. I'm not conflicted at all. I want the best for Manchester City, the best for Pep, for the players.

"I love a lot of people there and I am so grateful for the time I spent there. The only thing I want for them is positive and good things.

"I just want to do the best we can for Arsenal, to achieve ourselves what we deserve."

Arsenal were poor before half-time against Newcastle, making a slow start and surviving the occasional scare, and Arteta is not getting carried away.

"We want to go game by game because, 10 days ago, I was disappointed by the game at Burnley," he said. "A lot of things are going to happen.

"It's up to us and how consistent we can be from now until the end of the season. If we want to have a chance [of qualifying for Europe] in the last few games, we have to put wins together."

Asked what Arteta told his team after the tough first half, captain Aubameyang said: "'Just keep going'. We started not at our best.

"But in the second half, we put in some more energy and we went through and scored the first, the second, the third."

On the coach's overall impact at Emirates Stadium since his December appointment, the striker added: "We feel better. We have an idea of playing that's very clear.

"We'll try to maintain this level. We are happy to keep going like this."

Having already lost key midfielders Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay to serious injuries, Manchester United now face the prospect of being without top scorer Marcus Rashford for the most important part of the season.

The England international aggravated a back injury during a second-half cameo against Wolves in the FA Cup third-round replay victory, and after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer downplayed United's worries, it was later confirmed to be much more serious than first thought.

Reports began to emerge during United's 2-0 defeat to Liverpool that Rashford had actually been playing through the pain and Solskjaer confirmed he suffered a double stress fracture against Wolves, meaning he could potentially be out for three months.

As such, Solskjaer acknowledged United might be forced into seeking "short-term" solutions in the transfer market, with Mason Greenwood and Anthony Martial their only recognisable forwards.

Below, we highlight some potential options.

Paco Alcacer (Borussia Dortmund)

Spain international Alcacer has had a peculiar time at Dortmund. He managed to score 18 times in the Bundesliga last season even though he only started 11 matches, while he has five top-flight goals this term despite only six of his 11 appearances coming as a starter. While he is a completely different type of forward to Rashford, he does represent a kind of attacker United simply do not have, in that he is a poacher. Following the arrival of Erling Haaland – apparently a target of Solskjaer's before he joined BVB – Alcacer might be attainable.

Edinson Cavani (Paris Saint-Germain)

After falling out of favour at PSG, Uruguay striker Cavani has asked to leave before his contract expires at the end of the season, with Atletico Madrid and others said to be interested. A proven goalscorer and immensely experienced, Cavani would certainly provide United with a focal point they can aim for and play off – though his wages are not insignificant and he might not be entirely suited to counter-attacking football.

Mariano Diaz (Real Madrid)

Since returning to Madrid in 2018, Mariano has had a difficult time of it. Niggling injuries have impacted his availability and he has unsurprisingly struggled to make a telling contribution as a result. He is yet to feature in LaLiga this term, having fallen well down the pecking order – but that is not to say Mariano is a poor player. Quick, technically good and certainly capable of finding the net, he is perhaps rather more suited to United's style of play than Alcacer or Cavani.

Cedric Bakambu (Beijing Guoan)

In 2018, Bakambu cost Beijing Guoan €40million, the release fee in his contract with previous club Villarreal. The DR Congo striker had enjoyed a solid three-year spell at the Yellow Submarine, with his combination of athleticism, ability on the ball and finishing making him standout as a potential target for bigger clubs. He has continued to score on a regular basis in China and is starting to attract interest from Europe again, with Arsenal and Atletico Madrid apparently keeping tabs on him. United could do a lot worse than the former France youth international.

Promote from the academy

Solskjaer certainly can't be accused of neglecting the young talents coming through at the club. If he was to promote from within, rather than dip into the transfer market, D'Mani Mellor and Largie Ramazani would likely be the two frontrunners. Mellor is a 19-year-old forward who likes to drop deep and engage in sharp link-up play with his back to goal, while he is also a capable dribbler. Ramazani, 18, often operates a little more from wider positions, but the Belgium youth international has impressed for United's Under-23s this term with nine goals in 13 league appearances. Excellent on the ball and a possessor of explosive pace, Ramazani certainly seems to fit the mould Solskjaer likes his forwards to be.

Sergino Dest has left Ajax's mid-season training camp in Qatar, the Eredivisie champions have confirmed.

The Dutch-born United States international full-back will continue working with Ajax's youth team back in Amsterdam.

Dest told Ajax he "didn't feel comfortable" at the training camp, something his employers understand.

"Sergino Dest has asked if he could leave Ajax's training camp in Qatar," a short statement on the club's website read.

"He didn't feel comfortable. Ajax understands his request and has responded to it. The right back matches Young Ajax in Amsterdam."

Last week, the United States Soccer Federation cancelled a planned training trip to Qatar for its men's national team amid escalating military tensions and activity in the Middle East following the US drone strike that killed Iranian military commander Qassem Suleimani.

Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana claims another club opted against signing him in 2017 because they felt their supporters would not accept a black goalkeeper.

Onana, 23, was born in Cameroon and has spent 12 years in Europe, first coming through Barcelona's academy before switching to Ajax in 2015.

There he has remained ever since, becoming a regular starter for the Amsterdam giants in the 2016-17 season, helping the club to the Europa League final.

It was after that match – a 2-0 defeat to Manchester United – when it looked as though Onana might move on.

But he now says an interested party passed on him because they felt their fans would not accept having a black player in goal.

Speaking to Dutch newspaper Het Parool, Onana said: "Racism is there, I have to deal with it in almost every away game, but I'm not talking about it.

"I'm proud to be black. If you find me a monkey, fine. I see no difference between white and black and I make no difference. If you do, that's your problem.

"I've been in Europe for 12 years. I live and work with people from all countries of the world, in every imaginable colour.

"Before each match, it sounds in the stadiums: 'No to racism', but racism is not only in football, it is everywhere.

"Racism was here long before I was born, and it will not suddenly disappear tomorrow. One day it will stop. It only needs time and you cannot force it.

"Along the way I noticed: it's not easy for a black keeper to reach a high level. In my first year at Ajax we reached the final of the Europa League.

"After that final, my manager spoke with an interested club, but that club nevertheless decided not to transfer, because a black goalkeeper would be difficult for their supporters.

"So, it wasn't because they didn't think I was good enough. I consider that as a compliment."

Ukraine striker Artem Besedin is facing a doping charge from UEFA, his club Dynamo Kiev have confirmed.

Besedin played throughout Dynamo's Europa League campaign as they finished third in Group B, behind Malmo and Copenhagen.

The 23-year-old also contributed as Ukraine qualified for Euro 2020, scoring his second international goal in a draw against Serbia last month.

Dynamo said in an official club statement they were informed on Thursday by UEFA of a possible violation of anti-doping rules.

"All of the nuances and circumstances are being clarified," the club's statement said. 

"Therefore, and in keeping with the requirement for confidentiality, Dynamo Kyiv cannot provide the football community with more detailed information until the relevant procedures are complete."

Besedin has scored eight league goals in 13 appearances this season, with Dynamo second behind Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine's Premier League.

The full draw for the Europa League's round of 32 is: 

Wolves v Espanyol

Sporting CP v Istanbul Basaksehir

Getafe v Ajax

Bayer Leverkusen v Porto

Copenhagen v Celtic

APOEL v Basel

Cluj v Sevilla

Olympiacos v Arsenal

AZ v LASK Linz

Club Brugge v Manchester United

Ludogorets v Inter

Eintracht Frankfurt v Salzburg

Shakhtar Donetsk v Benfica

Wolfsburg v Malmo

Roma v Gent

Rangers v Braga

The first legs will take place on Thursday 20 February, with the return fixtures scheduled for a week later.

Club chiefs will return to Nyon for the last-16 draw on February 28.

Manchester United and Arsenal were handed tricky Europa League last-32 ties against Club Brugge and Olympiacos respectively, while Inter take on Ludogorets.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's United side face Belgian outfit Brugge, who finished third in a Champions League group including Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid.

The Red Devils, winners of the competition in 2016-17, topped their Europa League pool, losing just once with a youthful side at Astana.

Struggling Arsenal will have been eyeing a more favourable draw than Olympiacos, who are familiar with north London having faced Tottenham in the Champions League.

Inter were unfortunate not to make the last 16 of the Champions League, losing out to Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund, but Antonio Conte's side will fancy their chances against Bulgarian side Ludogorets.

Sevilla, who are the competition's most successful club, with five wins across the UEFA Cup and Europa League, will have to overcome Cluj to make the last 16.

Old Firm duo Celtic and Rangers take on Copenhagen and Braga, while Premier League side Wolves lock horns with LaLiga strugglers Espanyol.

Ajax, Champions League semi-finalists last season, also face Spanish opposition in the form of Getafe, and Roma – who reached the last four of Europe's premier competition in 2017-18 – go up against Gent.

Bayer Leverkusen take on two-time winners Porto in one of the round's stand-out ties, as Shakhtar Donetsk and Benfica – two demoted Champions League outfits – face off.

Having impressed against Liverpool and Napoli, Salzburg play Eintracht Frankfurt.

First-leg games take place on February 20, with the return fixtures a week later.

Jesse Lingard admits he thought his Manchester United career was over following a social media post during a year in which family problems have taken their toll on his form.

Lingard endured a poor run of performances that cost him his place for his club and England, with a strike in the 2-1 loss to Astana last month ending a 307-day wait to score a goal.

During pre-season, the 26-year-old posted a crude video to Snapchat while on holiday with friends and was disciplined by manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Lingard, who insists the footage was published by accident, has now revealed he was given a final warning over his future by Solskjaer after thinking the incident could have ended his time at the club.

The forward, who has been criticised for his social media activity in the past, told the Daily Mail: "It genuinely was a mistake to post it. I have a lot of young followers and I would never put that out there deliberately. It was an accident.

"I was meaning to send it privately to one of my friends. I was on a plane waiting to take off. Someone from the club texted me and said: 'Take the video down.'

"When I realised what I had done, my heart just sank into my stomach. I was like, 'I am done at United now. This is the final straw.'

"I was told the manager was going mad, but I was in the air for two hours and literally couldn't do anything. When I got back, I came in early to speak to the manager and apologise. He said I was on my last chance. He said I had to get my head down and that is what I have done. I am not stupid.

"There is no way I was going to let what I have at this club be taken away. On the whole, I have cut down on my social media stuff now. You do what you have to do."

The incident was a low point in a difficult year for Lingard, who has revealed he has struggled with caring for his younger brother and sister while his mother has been ill.

With Solskjaer - unaware of the problems - pressuring the player into recapturing his best form, Lingard went to the manager to explain his off-the-field concerns, which have also included his grandfather battling cancer and his grandmother being unwell.

"I wasn't performing, and he was on me all the time. He wanted more from me," he said. "So, I felt it was best to get everything off my chest and tell him why my head wasn't right. So, I knocked on his door.

"I am a person who likes to deal with stuff on his own but it's not necessarily the right thing to do. I always use the phrase 'be yourself' but I have realised now that there are times when you just can't be. My dad and older brother, Louie, have been great support but some of this stuff has broken my heart, you know?"

The talk with Solskjaer proved to be a turning point, with Lingard having impressed from the start in last week's wins over Tottenham and Manchester City after an encouraging appearance off the bench in a 3-1 win over Brighton and Hove Albion last month.

"When I came on the manager said to me, 'Just go on and play with a smile and enjoy it.' To hear that gives you confidence. He knows what kind of character I am. I need to be smiling," Lingard said.

"He has just told me that everything will be okay. Maybe I just needed someone to say that. He said he just wanted the old Jesse back and maybe I can give him that now."

Lingard was also grateful to be made captain of his boyhood club for the Europa League game in Astana, as he led out a team of mostly young players.

"That definitely helped with my confidence," he added. "Ole is great at man-management. He made me captain, then we beat Spurs and City and I played. Before the matches I am saying to myself, 'Just play with a smile. It's football and you were born to do it.'"

Jurgen Klopp is the best manager in world football and would be Liverpool's first-choice candidate if searching for a new boss in 2019, the club's owners Fenway Sports Group (FSG) said following his contract extension.

Liverpool confirmed on Friday that Klopp has signed a new four-and-a-half-year contract to keep him at the club until 2024, as they surge towards an historic first Premier League title.

Klopp joined the Reds in 2015 and quickly began to oversee a steady improvement in their fortunes, reaching two finals in his first year.

Although they fell at the last hurdle on both of those occasions in the EFL Cup and Europa League, two years later Klopp guided Liverpool to a first Champions League final since 2007.

Another final defeat did little to deter them and they lifted European football's biggest prize earlier this year in Madrid, while they are coasting towards a first league title in 30 years having dropped only two points in 16 Premier League matches this term.

Klopp's commitment - which was announced shortly before he was confirmed as the Premier League's Manager of the Month for November - unsurprisingly left FSG's leadership team in triumphant mood.

"We feel this represents one of the big moments of our stewardship of Liverpool so far, as we believe there is no better manager than Jurgen," a statement on behalf of FSG principal owner John Henry, chairman Tom Werner and president Mike Gordon read.

"The decision also keeps with the club's overall strategy of building from a position of strength.

"It means Jurgen will oversee the ongoing transition from Melwood to the new Kirkby training base as the club continues to pursue a vision of being elite in all facets of the industry.

"It also provides us with continuity with the existing football operations management structure, overseen by sporting director Michael Edwards, whose input into the project cannot be overestimated.

"He has been – and will continue to be – as indispensably important as anyone else to the direction of Liverpool. In Jurgen and Michael, we are blessed with world-class leadership.

"This is a collective partnership that has seen the club reach and then re-establish itself as an elite performer at home and abroad.

"Back in 2015, we used the phrase 'ideal fit' when we appointed Jurgen. This continues to apply today and, if anything, the circumstances make it more pertinent. We consider him to be the best there is.

"If Liverpool were looking to appoint the most outstanding, elite manager for our current status today, Jurgen would be the first choice – no question. We believe this deal cements a relationship built on trust and mutual benefit: Jurgen has delivered for LFC, and LFC has delivered for Jurgen.

"Both parties have come to the conclusion that by continuing to work together and build on the work of the last four years, the opportunity exists to maximise each other's potential."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer revealed how he first identified Mason Greenwood's talent when the Manchester United prodigy was aged just seven.

Greenwood, now 18, became the youngest player to notch a brace for the club in a major European competition when he struck twice in the 4-0 Europa League win over AZ on Thursday.

The teenage attacker has scored six times in total this term despite starting only seven matches.

Solskjaer described Greenwood's finishing as "different class" after the AZ win and explained the origins of his admiration for the exciting homegrown prospect.

"I actually remember when I met him the first time," the United manager told reporters.

"My son was training at The Cliff [United's former training base] as an eight-year-old. Mason was seven. The first time I saw him he stood out.

"I took a picture with him and he's now here. It's just what we do. When he signed his contract, we had a nice little memory."

Asked who requested the photo, Solskjaer joked: "I asked him because I knew he was going to be a [great] player! He's probably got it [the photo]."

Greenwood may still have to settle for a place among the substitutes when United entertain Everton on Sunday.

The Toffees will again be under the stewardship of interim manager Duncan Ferguson, who celebrated a 3-1 victory against Chelsea last weekend.

Solskjaer suggested the trend of ex-players taking charge of their former clubs could become commonplace in the Premier League.

"Duncan knows Everton, Frank [Lampard] knows Chelsea, Frederik [Ljungberg] has been at Arsenal and knows Arsenal well, I know this club well," the Norwegian said.

"I don't know how other clubs think, but I know we have traditions we need to keep, and we need to stick to them.

"We need to stick to the values of the club and probably others might start thinking the same."

The Red Devils boss indicated Jesse Lingard is expected to be fit to face Everton after sustaining a knock in the Manchester derby, while Paul Pogba will "probably" return to full training next week alongside Eric Bailly and Timothy Fosu-Mensah.

Steven Gerrard praised his Rangers side for quickly overcoming the disappointment of missing out on a domestic trophy to reach the Europa League knockout stages.

Alfredo Morelos' opener looked set to be sending Rangers into the knockout stages as Group G winners on Thursday, until Borna Barisic's own goal drew Young Boys level in the closing stages.

Ryan Jack then saw red in stoppage time, but Rangers held on as they joined group winners Porto – who triumphed 3-2 against Feyenoord – in qualifying for the last 32.

Gerrard was particularly pleased with the response from his players after their 1-0 defeat to rivals Celtic in the Scottish League Cup final on Sunday.

"I'm very pleased that we will continue European football after Christmas," said the Rangers boss.

"It took character and guts. It's been tough since the weekend. I know what it’s like to lose a final, you feel flat. You take days to recover.

"For us to recover and perform well enough to get out of the group is fantastic."

Rangers progressed from a tricky group, leaving Gerrard to reflect on the club taking "another step in the right direction" under his stewardship.

"I'm not going to stand here celebrating a draw, or finishing second, but let's give credit where it's due," he added.

"This club has suffered a lot, I think this is the first time they've had knockout football in Europe since 2011.

"Eight years ago, they had top footballers and obviously it has suffered a lot. This is another step in the right direction. Very pleased, very proud but I won't over celebrate."

Gerrard also revealed he is close to signing a new contract with Rangers, having recently suggested terms had been agreed.

"Something's imminent," said the former England international who took over at Ibrox in May 2018.

"It's pretty straightforward. I've been waiting for this moment, to get the two huge games out of the way, and the club will announce it when they're ready.

"But for me now it's all about Motherwell, getting the lads recovered."

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has suggested he is ready to delve into the January transfer market.

Mason Greenwood scored a superb brace as United built on consecutive 2-1 wins over Tottenham and Manchester City by breezing past AZ 4-0 to top their Europa League group.

Solskjaer has leant on Greenwood and other promising youth products, much to the delight of United fans, but he is keen to deepen his squad and could act during the mid-season window.

"We are looking to strengthen in many positions," he said at his post-match news conference.

"If you look at our squad compared to the others, we are getting there but we still need two or three players to have enough numbers to rotate through a long season.

"So we'll see what we sign."

Irrespective of who comes in, Solskjaer has a talent in Greenwood he insists he will be happy to use frequently on the big stage.

"He played against Tottenham and was class. I'm not afraid of playing him in the Premier League," he added.

"Not at all. But it's about sharing the minutes and finding the right minutes for him. Of course he's ready to play in the Premier League."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer distanced Mason Greenwood from comparisons to Wayne Rooney after the teenage forward starred in Manchester United's 4-0 win over AZ.

United continued their December resurgence despite a lacklustre first half against their Eredivisie opponents, with Greenwood to the fore.

After Ashley Young opened the scoring, the 18-year-old striker fired home two sublime finishes either side of winning a penalty that Juan Mata converted.

All the goals came in the space of 11 second-half minutes, with Solskjaer's men now seeded for Monday's knockout-stage draw.

"He's different class as a finisher," Solskjaer told BT Sport. "In and around the box you expect him to get a shot off and on target. He's so precise in his finishing.

"He's good how he creates space for himself."

Solskjaer was asked to draw parallels with another famous European night at Old Trafford, when an 18-year-old Wayne Rooney marked his Champions League debut with a hat-trick against Fenerbahce.

"No, no, no. He's a different type of player, Mason than Wazza, but he must have enjoyed tonight," he said.

"The thing is with Mason, he's just going to look forward to Sunday tomorrow – he's not going to rest on his laurels."

Following 2-1 wins over Tottenham and Manchester City, Solskjaer heads into Sunday's home match against Everton with the feeling his squad is going from strength to strength.

"It's very good. A lot of things can change in a week, but for us we just want games coming. It's a good group," he added.

"I'm looking forward to seeing how this December goes because they're growing into a good group."

Nuno Espirito Santo declared himself delighted as Wolves ended the Europa League group stage with a resounding 4-0 home win over Besiktas on Thursday.

Braga's 4-2 win away to Slovan Bratislava ensured they secured top spot in Group K despite Wolves demolishing their Turkish opponents in the second half at Molineux.

Diogo Jota's introduction off the bench was the catalyst for a scoring spree, the substitute grabbing the fastest Europa League hat-trick since 2014. 

Leander Dendoncker atoned for an earlier miss from close range by finding the net with a header, helping the Premier League side cruise to victory as they look forward to Monday's last-32 draw.

"I think, in the end, we performed well," Nuno told a news conference. "We didn't fight for a particular place [in the group].

"We fought game by game to see where it takes us. It has taken us to the knockout stage, and we are delighted to be there."

Nuno's decision to send on Jota early in the second half proved the turning point in the match, the forward hitting a treble in 11 minutes.

"We're really pleased," he added. "When you make a sub, you try to change the game and find the best solution. Diogo did fantastically well."

Wolves have only lost once in any competition since mid-September, going out of the EFL Cup at the hands of Aston Villa, with Jota hailing their fine form.

"I think everyone that is on the bench wants to come on and make an impact, fortunately for me that impact was very good," Jota said to BT Sport. "I'm very happy with the result.

"We are playing well and having good results and just want to keep going. Our main goal was to get through the group stage and we accomplished that. Now we keep going game by game."

Celtic manager Neil Lennon relished the opportunity to give European experience to teenagers Karamoko Dembele and Scott Robertson in Thursday's defeat to Cluj.

Dembele, 16, came on as a 72nd-minute substitute in the 2-0 Europa League loss in Romania and became the youngest player to represent Celtic in continental competition.

Debutant Robertson started the match and played the full 90 minutes, with the 18-year-old coming in as one of nine changes to the side that beat Rangers in Sunday's Scottish League Cup final.

Celtic were already assured of top spot in Group E but saw a 12-game winning run in all competitions ended by goals from Andrei Burca and Damjan Djokovic.

"We think very highly of him," Lennon told Celtic TV of Dembele. "I wanted to give him some experience.

"I want to keep him around the team squad because we think he's a real talent. I wanted to give him a little bit of experience at this level.

"Scott Robertson also had a terrific debut. His performance delighted me. I thought it was a superb debut for an 18-year-old to come in and play in that environment so maturely and with a lot of composure."

Explaining his team selection, Lennon added: "The campaign was done and dusted and we’ve already won a trophy so I didn’t want to run the risk of injuries. 

"I wanted to give others some experience and some will need that 90 minutes for the games coming up.

"We're disappointed to lose the game but in the main very pleased with what I got out of it. Some of my players needed the games and needed the 90 minutes.

"Overall, we’ve had an amazing campaign and I'm happy to have used the squad tonight because we have so many important domestic games coming up."

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