Bodo/Glimt head coach Kjetil Knutsen and Roma goalkeeping coach Nuno Santos have been provisionally suspended by UEFA following assault allegations.

Santos was accused of assaulting Knutsen in the tunnel after Jose Mourinho's men fell to a 2-1 first-leg defeat in their Europa League Conference quarter-final in Norway last Thursday. 

Both clubs released statements in the aftermath of the incident, with Roma announcing that they were cooperating with UEFA and local authorities to investigate the claims.

The Norwegian champions accused their opponents of "bombarding the media with untruths" relating to the altercation, and European football's governing body has since announced its decision on the matter.

Both coaches will be provisionally suspended from European fixtures until a further ruling is made on the case by UEFA's Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body.

Knutsen alleged that Santos grabbed him by the neck and pushed him against a wall during a heated alteration outside the dressing rooms after the match.

The encounter marked the second time the Norwegian side have beaten Roma in this season's competition, with a first-half Lorenzo Pellegrini goal cancelled out by second-half strikes from Ulrik Saltnes and Hugo Vetlesen. 

Roma will attempt to overturn the first-leg deficit when they welcome Bodo/Glimt to the Stadio Olimpico for the crucial return leg on Thursday.

Roma have released a statement in response to allegations made against a member of their coaching staff following Thursday's Europa Conference League defeat at Bodo/Glimt.

The statement explains the club has provided assistance to UEFA and local authorities after it was alleged that Giallorossi goalkeeper coach Nuno Santos assaulted Bodo/Glimt coach Kjetil Knutsen in the tunnel after the Norwegian side's 2-1 quarter-final first leg win.

Knutsen claimed Santos grabbed him by the neck and pushed him against a wall during the altercation.

A statement released by the Serie A club on Friday read: "AS Roma would like to note that, following the conclusion of the match on Thursday evening, club directors and other members of the coaching staff remained at the Aspmyra Stadion until 00:45 local time, purely for the purpose of providing UEFA and local authorities with all the details of what transpired in the areas outside the changing rooms following the full-time whistle.

"The club has total confidence that UEFA and its various bodies will ultimately establish with clarity and precision where responsibility lies for the events that occurred, events that we have already described and explained in detail to all the relevant authorities present on site.

"Finally, the club would like to emphasise that it has always conducted itself in a manner that upholds the values of fair play and sportsmanship, both on and off the pitch: the same principles that we hope will be on display throughout next week's second leg."

It was the second time the Norwegian side have beaten Roma in this season's competition, with a first-half Lorenzo Pellegrini goal being cancelled out by second-half strikes from Ulrik Saltnes and Hugo Vetlesen.

Pellegrini told Sky Sport Italia after the game he believed Knutsen attacked Santos first, claims that their opponents strongly deny.

Bodo/Glimt also released a statement about the incident, saying: "Roma is bombarding the media with untruths in an attempt to hide the unsportsmanlike behaviour.

"Glimt knows that there is a video of the incident, which shows the attack on Knutsen from representatives of Rome's coaching team. The club has seen this video. We demand that the public have access to this video owned by UEFA."

General manager Frode Thomassen added: "Glimt sees no other choice than to report Nuno Santos to the police on the basis of the physical attack on Kjetil Knutsen. It is completely unacceptable behavior. 

"This is a systematic provocation, manipulation and finally the exercise of physical violence against Kjetil Knutsen. We are confident that an objective body will ignore incorrect claims from Roma."

UEFA also confirmed on Friday the matter is being investigated, saying: "In accordance with Article 31(4) of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations, a UEFA Ethics and Disciplinary Inspector has been appointed to conduct a disciplinary investigation regarding reported incidents which allegedly occurred at the end of the 2021/22 Europa Conference League quarter-final match between FK Bodo/Glimt and AS Roma played on 7 April 2022 in Norway.

"Information on this matter will be made available in due course."

Tammy Abraham is relishing the opportunity to play abroad under Jose Mourinho, labelling the Roma boss the "best manager in the world."

The 24-year-old English striker has netted 23 goals across all competitions this season and 15 league goals in his first year in Serie A, only behind Dusan Vlahovic and Ciro Immobile in the race for the Capocannoniere.

The Giallorossi are undefeated in the league since a 4-3 loss to Juventus in January and Abraham has scored seven goals in that period - including a brace in a 3-0 win over fierce rivals Lazio.

Abraham attributes some of his success to the notoriously demanding Mourinho.

"You know Mourinho's a character that we all know," Abraham told talkSPORT.

"There's a reason why I call him the best manager in the world. He knows how to drive you, he knows how to get under your skin and he knows how to make you feel like a very special player at times.

"He'll never tell you but I always want to do my best for him."

While admitting Abraham's move to Italy was not a first preference while on his way out from Chelsea, the fact that Mourinho would be his boss helped make his mind up.

Abraham says his parents also played a big part in persuading him to move to Italy.

He added: "As a young English lad I wanted to stay in England. Roma came along and Atalanta and many different teams around the world, I was telling myself I wanted to stay in the Premier League and that I had something to prove.

"But my dad, parents and agent sat me down and said 'you scored goals at Chelsea, Swansea and Bristol City, go and test the waters, go and experience life abroad.'

"When they were speaking it kind of dawned on me that not many players can say they've gone out in Italy, to Serie A and a team like Roma."

Jose Mourinho confronted a journalist ahead of Roma's visit to Sampdoria on Sunday, saying the reporter "s***" himself in front of him. 

Journalist Alessandro Austini recently criticised Mourinho on Italian radio and the former Manchester United and Real Madrid boss took him to task at his pre-match media conference on Saturday.

Mourinho, 59, said he expected a tougher line of questioning from Austini and accused the journalist of cowering in front of him.

In response to his question, Mourinho said: "I was expecting a much more aggressive question, more negative and violent after I listened to you on the radio.

"I didn't expect such an easy question. My conclusion is that you are much more aggressive and violent on the radio but when you come here you s*** yourself a little bit in front of me."

Roma sit seventh in Serie A ahead of Sunday's visit to Sampdoria, having amassed 51 points from their 30 games.

They are unbeaten in their last nine Italian top-flight matches (W5 D4), winning three of their last four. They last went 10 unbeaten in a row in a single campaign in 2015-16 (17 back then, under Luciano Spalletti).

Barcelona have re-established themselves this term after a strong January transfer window.

Barca head coach Xavi, appointed in November, has overseen a major form reversal culminating in last week's 4-0 Clasico win.

The Blaugrana have their sights set on more additions as they continue to re-build after Lionel Messi's exit last year.

TOP STORY - BARCELONA SET SIGHTS ON SALAH

Barcelona boss Xavi is determined to land Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah , claims Mundo Deportivo.

The cash-strapped Catalans have switched their attention from the race for Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland.

Salah is yet to re-sign with Liverpool where he is out of contract in 2023.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta said he will not put the club at financial risk in order to sign Erling Haaland, per Fabrizio Romano for Mundo Deportivo.

 

ROUND-UP

- Liverpool will not pursue West Ham United's Declan Rice amid interest from several clubs in the England international midfielder, claims Football Insider.

- Leeds United has rejected a £29million bid from  Barcelona  for 25-year-old Brazilian winger  Raphinha , whose release clause is set at £60million, according to Sport.

- Arsenal midfielder  Granit Xhaka  remains a transfer target for  Roma head coach Jose Mourinho, per the Gazzetta dello Sport.

- According to the Daily Mail, Wolves and Portugal winger  Pedro Neto  is on  Paris Saint-Germain's  wanted list.

Jose Mourinho has challenged Tammy Abraham to build on his performance in the Rome derby after the former Chelsea striker netted twice in a 3-0 win.

Abraham opened the scoring for Roma in the first minute of Sunday's clash with Lazio. That was the fastest goal ever recorded in a Serie A Rome derby.

It also made Abraham only the second English player to score in the match, after Paul Gascoigne, who did so for Lazio back in 1992.

Abraham doubled his tally with a volley in the 22nd minute to take his tally to 15 league goals for the season, with Lorenzo Pellegrini adding a third for Mourinho's team before half-time.

Since the start of 2022, only Robert Lewandowski (12) has netted more goals in the big five European leagues than Abraham (nine), but despite the 24-year-old's sparkling form, Mourinho remains typically hard to please.

"Great performance," Mourinho told DAZN. "Today was really special because it seemed that everything we had planned was put on the field, Lazio in the second half tried to play with pride but we never lost control.

"No doubt, the boys deserved the victory.

"When you say Abraham is fantastic I disagree, he can do even more. I demand a lot of him because I know his potential, I'm not talking about goals but he must play every game with this attitude."

 

With Roma in such control before the break, their supporters in the Curva Sud began chanting "ole" at every pass, though Mourinho was visibly frustrated by this.

There was a curious moment just before half-time when Mourinho was furious with the Roma ultras in the Curva Sud, demanding they stop making mocking ‘ole’ chants at every pass.

"I don't like 'ole' things, I don't like how they are interpreted by the players on the pitch. You always need respect for your opponent," Mourinho explained.

Roma's win lifted them to fifth in Serie A, putting them in prime position to secure a Europa League place. Lazio, meanwhile, are two points behind in seventh.

Maurizio Sarri was furious with his side's reaction to conceding after 56 seconds.

"The goal immediately cut our legs and we didn't have the strength to react," he told DAZN. "We immediately lowered our heads and I'm sorry we lost a derby like this, I know how much the fans care.

"We got nervous right away, making mistakes. We immediately lost our minds, we weren't lucid because there would have been time to straighten it."

Roma will seek redemption against Bodo/Glimt in the Europa Conference League quarter-final, while Leicester City will face PSV.

Jose Mourinho's Roma were hammered 6-1 at Bodo/Glimt in the group stage of this competition, and the Norwegian side now stand in their way of a potential semi-final meeting with Leicester or PSV.

Brendan Rodgers' Leicester overcame Rennes 3-2 on aggregate in their last-16 clash, while PSV ran out 8-4 aggregate victors in a thrilling tie with Copenhagen in the last round.

Another two teams that met in the group stages will face off on the other side of the draw, with Feyenoord hosting Slavia Prague in the first leg and the winners will meet Marseille or PAOK in the other semi-final.

The two-leg quarter-final clashes are set to take place across April 7 and April 14, with the semi-finals to follow on April 28 and May 5.

Europa League quarter-final draw

Bodo/Glimt v Roma

Feyenoord v Slavia Prague

Marseille v PAOK

Leicester City v PSV

Semi-final draw

Leicester City / PSV v Bodo/Glimt / Roma

Feyenoord / Slavia Prague v Marseille / PAOK

Roma head coach Jose Mourinho has sparked the build-up for Sunday's Derby della Capitale remarking Lazio were "smoking cigarettes" while his side progressed in the Conference League on Thursday.

The Giallorossi edged past Dutch outfit Vitesse after Tammy Abraham's 90th-minute goal earned a 1-1 draw and 2-1 aggregate victory at the Stadio Olimpico.

Mourinho said Roma would quickly switch their attention to Sunday's derby with his side in seventh, one point behind Maurizio Sarri's Lazio in fifth in Serie A.

"Obviously, I am not happy that we played today with many players who will also have to be there on Sunday while tonight Lazio are home smoking cigarettes with Sarri, but it’s because Vitesse are really good," Mourinho told reporters after the game.

Mourinho fielded a strong Roma outfit against Vitesse and given the situation of the tie, with Maximilian Wittek's 62nd-minute goal levelling it on aggregate, he was unable to rest any key players with a quick turnaround for Sunday's derby.

"Now Sarri is at home smoking his cigarette while I go home trying to think how we can recover from this for Sunday," Mourinho said.

He added: "We never came into this to control the result or aim for a draw to get us through. We worked with one objective, preparing to go for victory.

"It was a bad performance on a technical level, it might seem tactical, but it was technical. We defended well and showed character, but we also pushed hard at the end with El Shaarawy as a third striker, not a wing-back.

"I don’t want to say we 100 per cent deserved to go through, but over the two legs did a little more."

Roma head coach Jose Mourinho has sparked the build-up for Sunday's Derby della Capitale remarking Lazio are off "smoking cigarettes" while his side progressed in the Conference League on Thursday.

The Giallorossi edged past Dutch outfit Vitesse after Tammy Abraham's 90th-minute goal earned a 1-1 draw and 2-1 aggregate victory.

Mourinho said Roma would quickly switch their attention to Sunday's derby with his side in seventh, one point behind Maurizio Sarri's Lazio in fifth.

"Obviously, I am not happy that we played today with many players who will also have to be there on Sunday while tonight Lazio are home smoking cigarettes with Sarri, but it’s because Vitesse are really good," Mourinho told reporters after the game.

Mourinho fielded a strong Roma outfit against Vitesse and given the situation of the tie, with Maximilian Wittek's 62nd-minute goal levelling it on aggregate, he was unable to rest any key players with a quick turnaround for Sunday's derby.

"Now Sarri is at home smoking his cigarette while I go home trying to think how we can recover from this for Sunday," Mourinho said.

He added: "We never came into this to control the result or aim for a draw to get us through. We worked with one objective, preparing to go for victory.

"It was a bad performance on a technical level, it might seem tactical, but it was technical. We defended well and showed character, but we also pushed hard at the end with El Shaarawy as a third striker, not a wing-back.

"I don’t want to say we 100 per cent deserved to go through, but over the two legs did a little more."

Jose Mourinho was sent off after kicking away a ball in Roma's 2-2 draw with Hellas Verona in Serie A on Saturday.

The Giallorossi, who were depleted due to injuries and a COVID-19 outbreak, had fought back from 2-0 down after goals from youngsters Cristiano Volpato and Edoardo Bove.

But Mourinho was not satisfied, given his marching orders by referee Luca Pairetto in second-half stoppage time.

Mourinho and Pairetto had clashed numerous times during the game, with the final straw coming when the Portuguese kicked a ball into the Stadio Olimpico crowd.

The former Chelsea, Tottenham, Manchester United and Inter boss declined to complete his post-game media duties and instead posted on social media.

"I love these people and for them, I fight," Mourinho wrote on Instagram. "I don't talk is better to go home and have a nice dinner. Have a good Sunday."

Cristiano Ronaldo ended a run of six matches without scoring in Tuesday's win over Brighton and Hove Albion, but the Manchester United forward's future remains uncertain.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner's second spell at Old Trafford has not gone quite to plan and a number of European clubs are said to be circling should he depart.

If reports are accurate, it may well be that a reunion with former boss Jose Mourinho is on the cards for Ronaldo in the coming months.


TOP STORY – ROMA IN FOR RONALDO

Roma are one of three clubs currently in the running to sign Ronaldo should he depart United in the next transfer window, according to The Sun.

Giallorossi boss Mourinho previously managed Ronaldo at Real Madrid and is eager to bolster his squad with a superstar signing.

However, it is not known if the 37-year-old would welcome a return to Serie A, where he previously spent three seasons playing for Juventus ahead of rejoining United.

European heavyweights Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain are reported to be the other two sides to have expressed an interest in Ronaldo.


ROUND-UP

- Fabrizio Romano claims Chelsea are now solely focused on signing Jules Kounde from Sevilla after being told that top defensive target Marquinhos will not be sold by PSG.

- According to The Sun, Armando Broja's form on loan with Southampton has seen the Chelsea youngster's name added to Bayern and Borussia Dortmund's list of targets.

- Manchester City have bid £5.5million (€6.5m) for Atletico Mineiro's teenage winger Savio, suggests The Guardian, with the intention of then loaning him out to PSV.

- Juan Mata will depart United as a free agent at the end of the campaign, claims Nicolo Schira. The midfielder may look to see out his career in his Spanish homeland.

- Ralf Rangnick is eager for United to bring in Christopher Nkunku from RB Leipzig, according to ESPN. Madrid, Liverpool, Man City and Arsenal have also been linked.

Jose Mourinho has reiterated his commitment to Roma saying he could not be happier at the Italian club.

The former Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham manager has been linked with the vacant Everton job following Rafael Benitez's dismissal on Sunday.

Mourinho was appointed Roma head coach on a three-year contract in May, with Giallorossi currently seventh in Serie A.

Roma qualified for the Coppa Italia quarter-finals on Thursday with a 3-1 win over Lecce, with Mourinho pressed on his future after the game.

“In terms of emotion, passion, empathy, of being happy working with Roma, I say I am 11 out of 10," Mourinho told Sport Mediaset.

"I am truly, very, very happy to be at a club where I feel the people trust me. I couldn’t be happier than this.

“In football terms, playing to finish between fourth and eighth place is obviously not what I want, but this is a moment of a different project for me and we will be better off next season.

“I won’t deny in the first half I did feel frustrated, as our performance was horrible. Having said that, I am happy right now and would not change this Roma project for any other.

“I gave my word for these three years and I will not leave before the three years are up. This is my project too."

Roma have been drawn against Italian champions Inter in the Coppa Italia last-eight.

"There’s a long way to go, we have a few more games and for me there’s no doubt Inter are the strongest team and overall squad of the league and the Coppa Italia," Mourinho said.

"We therefore got the worst possible draw, but we will go there and try to cause a surprise. We’ll see if it’s possible."

Jose Mourinho questioned his Roma side's personality after the Giallorossi blew a two-goal lead to lose 4-3 at home to Juventus on Sunday.

Goals from Tammy Abraham, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Lorenzo Pellegrini had put Roma 3-1 up after 53 minutes, with Paulo Dybala having equalised early strike in the first half.

However, a dramatic collapse from the hosts saw Manuel Locatelli, Dejan Kulusevski and Mattia De Sciglio all find the net for Massimiliano Allegri's men between the 70th and 77th minute.

A miserable end to the game for Mourinho was complete when Pellegrini saw his 83rd minute penalty saved by Wojciech Szczesny, and despite Juve being reduced to 10 men when Matthijs de Ligt was shown a second yellow card for the handball that led to the penalty, Roma were unable to force an equaliser.

Mourinho was left stunned after watching his team suffer a "psychological breakdown".

"For 70 minutes there was absolute control. The team played really well, with the mentality of making the game," he told reporters. "Even the approach at the beginning of the two halves was okay, with that desire to press them high, to be in control.

"We did very well for 70 minutes, then there was a psychological breakdown. The 3-2 killed us. Felix [Afena-Gyan] made an extraordinary game for a 'child'. I changed him and the player who enters the first minute [Eldor Shomurodov] who plays wrong, 3-2.

"For a team with a strong personality, 3-2 would not have been a problem. However, fear came out, some of our complexes.

Mourinho added: "The problem with Roma, is that it is made up of 'good people'. In this dressing room there is just good people. 

"If the match had ended at minute 70 we would have said of an extraordinary match, unfortunately it didn't end there and all our limits had gone out, even on the bench, of spare parts."

Roma appeared to be cruising at 3-1, and still ended the game with more shots (19-14), more shots on target (seven to five) and superior expected goals (2.52-1.42) to their opponents, but showed a weak underbelly once Locatelli scored Juve's second.

Mourinho has vowed to recruit a midfielder "with more physicality" during the January transfer window.

"I'm here to help the boys grow," he continued. "I never thought my personality was enough, never thought it was easier to work here.

"I want to use all three years of the contract to affect this team, obviously I need help from the club. Now we will bring in another midfielder with more physicality."

Arsenal utility man Ainsley Maitland-Niles has joined Serie A side Roma on loan until the end of the season.

The 24-year-old will link up with fellow England internationals Chris Smalling and Tammy Abraham under Jose Mourinho at the Stadio Olimpico.

Maitland-Niles has made eight appearances for Arsenal this season but has not featured since coming off the bench in the 4-0 defeat at Liverpool in November.

Mourinho has reportedly been seeking reinforcements at full-back, with Italy international Leonardo Spinazzola missing since suffering an Achilles injury at Euro 2020.

Maitland-Niles, who can play at full-back or in midfield, spent the second half of last season on loan at West Brom, where he made 15 appearances for the ultimately relegated Baggies.

The player appeared to try and force a move away from the Gunners in August when he took to Instagram to say: "All I want to do is go where I'm wanted and where I'm going to play."

However, a reported move to Everton failed to materialise and Maitland-Niles eventually agreed to stay at the north London club until January.

Roma boss Jose Mourinho raged at the performance of his side and the officials after a 3-1 loss to Milan at San Siro, before revealing he turned down the opportunity to manage the Rossoneri in 2019.

Roma were 2-0 down inside a dismal opening 15 minutes, while a shambolic end to the match saw their defenders Rick Karsdorp and Gianluca Mancini sent off.

Mourinho, while furious at the nature of Roma's collapse, also sought to apportion blame to the officials, who awarded Milan two penalties. The first was scored by Olivier Giroud, while the latter saw Rui Patricio save from substitute Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

"The quality of the performance was not good," Mourinho said. "We gave away the ball so easily, our performance level was so low, but we were still in the game [until Karsdorp's dismissal].

"But if we talk about our errors then we also need to talk about the referee and VAR. I have not seen a single image where you can clearly see that the one [penalty] given to Milan in the first half was a penalty. I cannot see it. 

"You can see that Tammy [Abraham] makes a movement with his arm, but you can't see any sort of clear contact with the ball.

"[Gianluca] Aureliano [the VAR official] was at home, but clearly he wanted to be here, given that he was the one that stopped the action."

Mourinho was left even more frustrated when Nicolo Zaniolo and Roger Ibanez saw their own second-half penalty appeals denied.

"We just want consistency in the decisions," he added. "As I said, we played poorly, but in terms of the refereeing, we always seem to be the unlucky ones."

The former Inter coach then revealed he turned down the opportunity to manage the Rossoneri in 2019, before his ill-fated tenure at Tottenham.

"Three years ago, Milan wanted me, and I said 'no'," Mourinho claimed, before calling attention to the less-than-welcoming reception he was given by Milan's supporters. "After what happened I am doubly happy with my decision," he added. "They came, but I said, 'go home, I'm not coming'."

Mourinho has now won just four of his nine career clashes with Milan, losing both league fixtures this season, and his Giallorossi side now trail their conquerors by 13 points. 

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