Edinson Cavani is set to miss Valencia's match against Real Sociedad on Sunday as he battles an ankle injury just two weeks out from the World Cup.

The Uruguay forward joined Valencia at the start of this season after his Manchester United contract expired and has scored four goals in seven LaLiga games.

However, the 35-year-old's hopes of having an impact at his fourth and likely final World Cup have been hit by a recurring ankle problem.

Valencia have tried to protect Cavani, who has completed 90 minutes only once this season.

But that full shift against Mallorca last month was followed by an early withdrawal against Barcelona, with the striker replaced after just 18 minutes.

Cavani missed training on Saturday, and Valencia coach Gennaro Gattuso accepted it was "difficult" to see how he could face La Real.

"He's not right," Gattuso said. "He has had problems in the ankle for a long time."

 

Cavani at least has a little time to get fit to feature for Uruguay, whose Qatar 2022 opener is not until November 24 against South Korea.

But Gattuso insisted the player's primary focus was featuring for Valencia, dismissing the idea he was sitting out only due to the spectre of the World Cup.

"I've played three World Cups, none of them in December," the coach said. "I've always been a little scared, but I didn't think about whether I was going to get injured.

"Cavani's problem is his ankle. He's playing with great responsibility, but it's something that he's carried for a long time."

Gennaro Gattuso expects Nico Gonzalez to remain at Valencia for the rest of the season, despite reports suggesting Barcelona are considering recalling the midfielder.

Nico left Camp Nou on loan in search of regular minutes in August but has struggled to nail down a first-team spot with Valencia. 

Although Valencia have made a decent start to their first campaign under Gattuso, winning four of their first eight LaLiga games, the 20-year-old has played a limited role.

Nico has made seven league appearances this season, but five of those outings have come from the bench, meaning he has featured for just 231 minutes in the competition.

With Barcelona enduring an injury crisis, reports in Spain have suggested the Blaugrana could cut Nico's loan short in January, but Gattuso has called for him to force his way into Valencia's team instead.

"This is the first time I've heard of it. No player has spoken to me," Gattuso told reporters on Friday. "He is working very well. He has a one-year contract with us. The player has not come to talk to me.

"All the players want to be starters and I think he should work well on the field, and when he has the opportunity to play, show it. 

"He is a great professional. He trains very well but I have a squad of 23 or 24 players. He is a kid who always trains fully."

Valencia have confirmed the capture of Uruguay international Edinson Cavani, with the former Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United forward joining on a two-year deal.

Cavani had been a free agent after his contract expired at Old Trafford earlier this year, and the 35-year-old has since been courted by numerous European clubs.

But it is the LaLiga side the veteran attacker has opted to join, linking up with Gennaro Gattuso's team on a free transfer, with his contract set to run until June 2024.

It is a transfer that means Cavani will have played in four of Europe's five major leagues. He left Danubio in his home country to join Palermo in Serie A, before subsequent spells with Napoli, Paris Saint-Germaiin and United.

A six-time Ligue 1 winner at the Parc des Princes, he departed as the club's all-time top scorer, with 200 goals to his name, when he switched to the Premier League in 2020.

Struggles with injuries and fluctuating form saw him net just 12 times in 41 top-flight appearances for United, with the nearest he came to silverware being the 2021 Europa League final loss to Villarreal.

At international level, Cavani won the 2011 Copa America with Uruguay, and has been a member of three World Cup squads, including the team that finished fourth at South Africa 2010.

Having helped them qualify for the Qatar 2022 World Cup later this year, he will hope to make a fourth appearance at the tournament following his arrival at Valencia.

Edinson Cavani is relishing a new challenge in LaLiga after agreeing to join Valencia.

The striker had been linked with the likes of Villarreal, Real Sociedad and Nice after his Manchester United contract expired.

Cavani has opted to join Gennaro Gattuso's side on a free transfer and arrived in Valencia to undergo a medical on Monday.

The 35-year-old Uruguay international is raring to go as he prepares to start another chapter of what has been an illustrious career.

He told reporters: "We are going to see how everything goes in the next few hours and I am happy to come here.

"I have been a bit out of [speaking to] the press, because it has been a decision that was important to me.

"What is [important] is that Valencia have given me a lot of confidence and I will try to give him everything on my part to be able to leave a good image in this club and the best of me."

The former Paris Saint-Germain frontman added: "I wanted to be here and play in Spain and Valencia has opted for me.

"It is something that I have already said before, you have to go where they love you, where they show you love, because in reality you live from that, from the strength of the people, from the affection of the club, we come with a lot of desire and enthusiasm."

Cavani scored 12 goals in 41 Premier League appearances during a two-year spell at Old Trafford.

His 200 goals for PSG, meanwhile, make him their all-time top goalscorer.

Valencia expect to complete the signing of former Manchester United and Paris Saint-German striker Edinson Cavani, according to head coach Gennaro Gattuso.

Cavani has been without a club since leaving United as a free agent in July, having scored 12 goals in 41 Premier League appearances during a two-year spell at Old Trafford.

The Uruguay international's 200 goals for PSG, meanwhile, make him their all-time top goalscorer, and he turned down a return to Ligue 1 after attracting interest from Nice earlier this month.

Nice president Jean-Pierre Rivere said Cavani's desire to move to Spain was the reason those transfer talks broke down, and the 35-year-old now appears close to getting his wish.   

Speaking ahead of Monday's clash with Atletico Madrid in LaLiga, Gattuso said: "I am optimistic by nature, we are working, talking, I think we have possibilities. 

"[Valencia owner] Peter Lim is working hard, and I think we are going to sign Cavani because Lim, at the moment, believes a lot in this possibility.

"When you talk about Cavani, he is not a normal player, he has played for big clubs and at the highest level for a long time. He is 35 years old but has an incredible mentality, I am talking about the technical part, not money, that is not a problem, there are two different things. 

"The problem is that a lot of people talk in an operation and it's not easy to close it in two minutes.

"We are working on it for two or three weeks, but we are going to wait and I hope that it will close in a positive way for us. We have done everything to solve it and I hope that the signing will be closed.

"We are talking about a champion, a footballer who has played in teams of a high level, I am also excited that he comes here."

Los Che, who have taken three points from their first two league games this season, are also set to conclude another loan deal for Tottenham's Bryan Gil, who spent the second half of last campaign at the Mestalla.

Gattuso revealed his belief the deal will go through when Spurs bring in a replacement, adding the young playmaker was "99 per cent" likely to make the move. 

Valencia coach Gennaro Gattuso has revealed Goncalo Guedes is set for a move to the Premier League after being left out of Los Che's squad for a friendly win over Atalanta on Saturday.

Guedes was absent as Gattuso's men wrapped up their pre-season preparations with a 2-1 victory over the Serie A club ahead of their LaLiga opener against Girona on August 14.

The 25-year-old, who has 32 senior caps for Portugal, has been linked with a move to England on several occasions in the past, with Bruno Lage's Wolves mentioned by the Spanish press as potential suitors during the current transfer window.

When asked about the attacker after Valencia's win, Gattuso said an offer from an unnamed Premier League side had proven too good to turn down, as he professed his hope the funds would be reinvested should Guedes depart.

"This afternoon [Valencia sporting director] Miguel Corona called me and explained the situation to me," Gattuso said.

"An English club has formalised an offer of a lot of money. I don't know the exact figure, but at this moment we have to accept. 

"We are going to do anything to improve to the team. The club knows very well what we need to complete the team. I expect signings, but I'm not talking about positions. I expect two, three players."

Guedes top-scored with 13 goals in all competitions for Valencia last season as well as topping the club's charts for assists (six) and dribbles completed (72), while only Carlos Soler (62) created more chances than the 25-year-old's 50.

Gennaro Gattuso has been appointed as head coach of Valencia on a deal until June 2024.

The Milan great replaces Jose Bordalas, who was dismissed just one season into a two-year contract after a campaign in which Valencia finished ninth and lost the Copa del Rey final to Real Betis.

A short statement from Valencia read: "Valencia CF have reached an agreement with Gennaro Gattuso who will become the first-team coach of Valencia CF for the next two seasons until 30th of June 2024.

"Gennaro Gattuso (9th of January 1978, Italy) joins the Club following an extensive career both as a player and as a coach. After hanging up the boots, he started his coaching career in 2012 coaching teams like AC Milan and SSC Napoli, with whom he won the Coppa Italia in 2020."

Gattuso spent 18 months in charge of the Rossoneri after being appointed in November 2017, narrowly missing out on Champions League qualification by a solitary point during his one full season in charge.

He later took over Napoli, who he led to Coppa Italia glory in the 2019-20 season but Gattuso departed a year later after again missing out on Champions League qualification.

The 44-year-old was appointed Fiorentina boss in May last year only for the two parties to rescind that agreement a month later.

Gattuso has also had spells in charge of Sion, Palermo, OFI Crete and Pisa prior to re-joining Milan – initially with their Primavera side.

As a player, Gattuso won two Serie A titles and two Champions League medals during a glittering 13-year stay with Milan, while he was also a World Cup winner with Italy in 2006.

Valencia have cleared the way for Gennaro Gattuso's arrival by announcing the exit of head coach Jose Bordalas.

Former Milan and Napoli boss Gattuso is widely expected to be installed as the new boss at Mestalla.

That could be soon confirmed after Bordalas departed following just one season, having arrived at Valencia on a two-year deal in May 2021.

In a statement, the club said: "Valencia CF announce the conclusion of Jose Bordalas' tenure as first team coach.

"The club would like to thank him for his work, effort and dedication during his time in charge of Valencia CF, in which the team qualified for the Copa del Rey final, and wishes him the best of luck in his future endeavours."

The departure had become inevitable as reports emerged of the strong interest in appointing Gattuso.

The 58-year-old Bordalas was chosen by Valencia owner Peter Lim as the successor to Javi Gracia, who became the 11th coach to leave the LaLiga side in nine years.

Bordalas guided Valencia to a ninth-placed finish in the league, and they suffered penalty shoot-out heartbreak in the Copa del Rey final against Real Betis in April.

Bordalas revealed his job frustrations before a clash with Athletic Bilbao in early May, suggesting Valencia must bring in top-level talent as opposed to selling their best players.

News of his exit comes amid a turbulent time for the two-time Champions League runners-up.

Valencia this week confirmed the exit of president Anil Murthy, stating the club must "regain the trust of the fans".

The 49-year-old had been embroiled in controversy since April when a man purported to be Murthy suggested to someone else in audio leaked by Superdeporte that he had threatened to "kill" Carlos Soler's reputation in the press if the midfielder did not sign a new contract.

Valencia did not deny Murthy was the person depicted but claimed the reports were part of a smear campaign against the club, insisting the recordings were "taken out of context from a private conversation and recorded illegitimately without the permission of the president".

The club also reported death threats against Murthy to authorities earlier this month.

Gennaro Gattuso admitted the circumstances that led to his failure to land the Tottenham job "hurt more than any defeat or dismissal".

It was reported a sustained online backlash from Spurs fans over the prospect of Gattuso, 43, succeeding Jose Mourinho as Tottenham head coach resulted in the club pulling the plug. 

The protests were, in part, down to the former Italy midfielder's controversial past comments on racism, women in football and same-sex marriage.

Tottenham subsequently appointed Nuno Espirito Santo as their new coach on June 30.

"It was a huge disappointment, but I wasn't described the way I am and there was nothing I could do," Gattuso told Il Messaggero.

"I am sorry I could not defend myself and explain that I am not the person they were talking about in England.

"I had to accept a story that hurts more than any defeat or dismissal, in a moment when we don't want to understand how dangerous the internet can be."

Gattuso left Napoli when the Serie A season ended in May and was named as Fiorentina boss a matter of days later, only to leave La Viola by mutual agreement on June 17 before his contract was due to commence.

He won 46 of his 81 games in charge of Napoli, giving him a win percentage of 56.8 – better than Rafael Benitez (52.7 per cent) and Carlo Ancelotti (52.1 per cent) but worse than Ottavio Bianchi (56.9 per cent) and Maurizio Sarri (66.2 per cent).

 

Gattuso felt he was the victim in an online campaign where he had no platform to respond to the claims – though he had no desire to create a social media account.

"Certain malice comes from Facebook or Twitter, where it is possible to give strength to any falsehood," he added.

"I don't have social media profiles and I don't want them.

"Why should I let them insult me for anything? I don't even have Instagram. 

"I don't understand, if I drink a bottle of wine, what's the point of taking a picture to let others know. It's my business."

Nuno Espirito Santo ended Tottenham's search for a new head coach by signing a two-year contract with the Premier League club on Wednesday.

An experienced, seasoned operator in elite European football, Nuno will be realistic enough to acknowledge he was not Spurs' first choice when they sacked Jose Mourinho in April.

What number was he on chairman Daniel Levy's list? Honestly, it's hard to say.

Here, Stats Perform looks back over more than two months of approaches, talks and breakdowns before Levy finally filled his vacancy in the dugout.


April 19 – Mourinho sacked

Jose Mourinho chalked up 13 defeats in 2020-21, more than any other season in his coaching career, and Spurs had dropped a joint-highest 20 points from winning positions in the Premier League by the time Levy decided to cut his losses. It was a busy time for the Spurs chief, whose club's involvement in the ill-fated European Super League had also just been announced.

April 20 – Mason steps in

Aged just 29 and without any prior senior coaching experience, former Spurs midfielder Ryan Mason was appointed as interim boss until the end of the season. His second game in charge was the small matter of an EFL Cup final against Manchester City, where Tottenham were thoroughly outplayed in a 1-0 defeat. In the Premier League, Mason won four and lost two to seal qualification for the Europa Conference League.

May 18 – Kane transfer request

Tottenham issued a hasty statement urging focus on the end of the ongoing season after multiple reports that England captain Harry Kane had made clear his desire to leave, with Manchester City presumed to be among the frontrunners for his services.

May 21 – Nuno announced Wolves departure

After gaining promotion back to the Premier League for the 2018-19 season and performing strongly in the next two campaigns, Nuno's Wolves fell away last term and a departure by mutual consent – despite his contract being due to expire in 2023 – was confirmed. In 199 games in charge of Wolves, Nuno amassed a record of W95 D49 L55.

May 27 – Pochettino return?

Surely not? It couldn't happen… could it? Only 18 months after being axed by Levy, The Athletic reported Mauricio Pochettino was in talks over a sensational return, having failed to settle at Paris Saint-Germain. Ultimately, nothing materialised, but Pochettino was not the only elite coach in Tottenham's sights.

June 2 – Conte in talks

Concurrent with the club's eventually successful pursuit of Fabio Paratici to become sporting director, The Guardian reported Tottenham were negotiating with Antonio Conte. The former Juventus and Chelsea boss added another league title to his collection with Inter Milan in 2020-21.

June 4 – Conte off

Conte has built a reputation as a notoriously difficult man to work with and, ultimately, Spurs did not even get that far. "Generally, I like the challenges and I’ve accepted many of them during my career," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport. "Even the top clubs I coached were never the favourites when I arrived. However, if there's something that doesn't convince me I prefer not to accept regardless of the money."

June 9 – Fonseca talks

Paulo Fonseca would be neither the last Portuguese nor Jorge Mendes client involved in this story, but he came closer than anyone before Nuno to becoming Tottenham head coach. Multiple reports suggested a two-year deal had been agreed in principle with the former Roma boss.

June 17 – Fonseca off… but Gattuso on?

A tumultuous day saw an apparently iron-clad deal with Fonseca to be nothing of the sort and Spurs purportedly turning their attentions towards Gennaro Gattuso – the famously combustible ex-Milan and Napoli coach, who backed out of an agreement to join Fiorentina on July 1 and leapt straight into an improbable Premier League soap opera.

June 18 – No, Gattuso off

A sustained online backlash from fans over the prospect of Gattuso becoming Tottenham boss resulted in the club pulling the plug, ESPN reported. The protests were, in part, down to the former Italy midfielder's controversial past comments on racism, women in football and same-sex marriage, and Levy was back to square one.

June 21 – Man City bid £100m for Kane

As the well-trodden path towards a new manager appeared to go cold, The Guardian claimed Premier League champions City had lodged a £100million opening offer for Kane, with part-exchange players also up for grabs. Levy was reported to be uninterested in such a proposal and each club denied any official bid had been lodged.

June 30 – Nuno appointed

One man who will certainly be involved when City travel to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on the opening day of the new Premier League season is Nuno. "I've spoken already about the need to revert back to our core DNA of playing attacking, entertaining football and Fabio and I believe Nuno is the man who can take our talented group of players, embrace our young players coming through and build something special," Levy said. At last, the situation was no longer vacant at Spurs.

Gennaro Gattuso has left as head coach of Fiorentina just 23 days after being appointed.

The Serie A club confirmed on Thursday that the former Napoli boss had stepped down by mutual consent.

"The company immediately set to work to identify a technical choice that will guide the Viola team towards the results that Fiorentina and the city of Florence deserve," they said.

Gattuso, who took the Fiorentina job just two days after leaving Napoli, is reported to have had disagreements over the club's transfer plans.

His agent, Jorge Mendes, is said to have proposed signings such as Porto's Sergio Oliveira and Goncalo Guedes of Valencia, but Fiorentina's management wanted to explore more affordable options.

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, former Lyon boss Rudi Garcia, ex-Leicester City coach Claudio Ranieri and Walter Mazzarri, most recently at Torino, are candidates to succeed Gattuso.

Fiorentina finished 13th last season, with just nine victories from 38 league games.

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has confirmed Luciano Spalletti has been appointed as the club's new coach.

With Napoli having missed out on the Champions League on the final day of the Serie A season, De Laurentiis chose not to keep Gennaro Gattuso, whose contract expired at the end of 2020-21.

While Gattuso was swiftly appointed by Fiorentina, Napoli have now moved to acquire his replacement, bringing in former Roma and Inter coach Spalletti.

"I am delighted to announce that Luciano Spalletti will become Napoli coach on July 1," De Laurentiis confirmed in a brief statement on the club's website.

"Welcome, Luciano – we'll do great work together."

Spalletti, 62, has not been in management since he was dismissed by Inter in 2019, with the Nerazzurri having brought in Antonio Conte, who guided them to the Serie A title this term before announcing his departure.

He failed to win a title during his time at Inter but did oversee two Russian Premier League triumphs during a stint at Zenit, after twice winning the Coppa Italia with Roma in 2006-07 and 2007-08.

Gennaro Gattuso will take over as Fiorentina's new head coach next season, their agreement coming just two days after his Napoli exit was confirmed.

Shortly after Sunday's 1-1 draw with Hellas Verona at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona consigned Napoli to finishing fifth in Serie A, Partenopei president Aurelio De Laurentiis confirmed Gattuso's exit. 

Napoli went into the weekend in fourth position but were leapfrogged on the final day by Juventus, who were 4-1 winners at Bologna. 

Gattuso's contract was due to expire at the end of 2020-21 and Napoli's failure to reach the Champions League seemingly cost him an extension.

He won 46 of his 81 games as Napoli boss, giving him a win percentage of 56.8 – better than Rafael Benitez (52.7 per cent) and Carlo Ancelotti (52.1 per cent) but worse than Ottavio Bianchi (56.9 per cent) and Maurizio Sarri (66.2 per cent). 

Nevertheless, the former Italy midfielder has landed on his feet by securing a deal with Fiorentina, who had reportedly been interested in him for several months.

La Viola endured a difficult 2020-21.

Giuseppe Iachini started and finished the season as coach, finding himself sacked in November before being rehired four months later when his successor Cesare Prandelli suddenly resigned, citing struggles with a "period of profound distress which is preventing me from being who I really am".

Iachini saw out the remainder of the campaign as La Viola finished 13th in Serie A – only once since their first season back in the top flight in 2004-05 have they ended a season lower in the table (16th in 2018-19).

Napoli parted ways with head coach Gennaro Gattuso on Sunday after the club missed out on qualification for next season's Champions League. 

Shortly after a 1-1 draw with Hellas Verona at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona that consigned Napoli to finishing fifth in Serie A, president Aurelio De Laurentiis confirmed Gattuso's exit. 

Napoli went into the weekend in fourth position but were leapfrogged on the final day by Juventus, who were 4-1 winners at Bologna. 

Gattuso, whose contract expires at the end of June, has been linked with Fiorentina among other Italian clubs.

"Dear Rino, I am happy to have spent almost two seasons with you," tweeted De Laurentiis. 

"Thanking you for your work, I wish you success wherever you go. A hug to your wife and children too." 

Napoli took the lead against Verona through Amir Rrahmani in the 60th minute – a club-record 50th home league goal this season – but Marco Faraoni ensured the spoils were shared. 

It spelled the end of Gattuso, who took over in December 2019 following the dismissal of Carlo Ancelotti. He led Napoli to glory in the Coppa Italia and a seventh-place finish in Serie A last season. 

Napoli were surprisingly eliminated from the Europa League last 32 by Granada and missing out on Champions League qualification saw the club opt against a renewal.

Gattuso won 46 of his 81 games as Napoli boss, giving him a win percentage of 56.8 - better than Rafael Benitez (52.7 per cent) and Ancelotti (52.1 per cent) but worse than Ottavio Bianchi (56.9 per cent) and Maurizio Sarri (66.2 per cent). 

 

Robert Lewandowski may be contracted to Bayern Munich until 2023 but speculation is mounting about his future.

Paris Saint-Germain have been linked with the Poland international, particularly if the Parisians lose Kylian Mbappe.

The agent of the Bundesliga record-breaker is reportedly putting pressure on Bayern to re-negotiate his current deal, fuelling the rumours of a switch.

 

TOP STORY – CHELSEA MAKE LEWANDOWSKI ENQUIRY

Chelsea have reached out to Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich to discuss a potential move for Robert Lewandowski, according to Sky Sport Germany.

Thomas Tuchel's Chelsea would face stiff competition from Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona, in the event Lewandowski decides to leave Munich, where he has been based since 2014.

Chelsea have been linked with a big-money move for Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland, showcasing their financial strength which could be switched to Lewandowski should they miss out on the Norwegian.

 

ROUND-UP

Manchester City have emerged as the frontrunners to sign Tottenham star Harry Kane reports the Daily Mail. Kane has reportedly asked to leave Spurs amid links with City, Manchester United and Chelsea.

Chelsea are also interested in signing Atalanta's Ruslan Malinovskyi, claims The Sun. Wolfsburg defender Maxence Lacroix is also a target for the Blues, reports Sky Germany.

- The Sun says David Beckham's MLS franchise Inter Miami are pursuing Arsenal attacker Willian, who is reportedly keen on the opportunity.

Frank Lampard is on Crystal Palace's radar as they plan for Roy Hodgson's successor, according to Talksport. Hodgson will leave the Premier League club at the end of the season.  

- Corriere dello Sport claims Gennaro Gattuso is ready to leave Napoli as Fiorentina circle and he wants club captain Lorenzo Insigne to join him.

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