Juventus head coach Massimiliano Allegri says his side "didn’t play very well" leading to him storming down the tunnel before full-time in their 1-0 home win over Verona.

The Bianconeri secured their fifth straight win in all competitions with Moise Kean's 55th-minute strike the difference.

But Allegri was unimpressed with his side and stormed down the post-side tunnel before the full-time whistle.

"We didn't play very well and I think in the last five minutes we had to go and score a second goal, keep pushing them and maintain the pressure," Allegri told Sky Sport Italia.

"It doesn't seem like much five minutes, but all Verona needed was a long ball into the box and anything could happen. We could've been here licking our wounds if they had equalised.

"It was a complicated match, as they always are after the international break. It was a tough game and we knew it was going to be because Verona make you play badly, they press all over the pitch.

"That's why we were blocked in the opening minutes, then we managed to move the ball around and create chances.

"We could have done better once we had taken the lead and double our advantage, without giving them a chance to get near our area. It's something we need to improve on."

The win keeps Juventus in the hunt for European qualification, although their 15-point deduction, means they are seventh on 44 points. Juve (44) are behind fourth-placed Milan (48), Atalanta (48) and Roma (47) in the race for Europe, with all but Atalanta having a game in hand.

Allegri was quick to point out if not for that deduction they would be on 59 points and subsequently second in Serie A. Juve will have their appeal against that penalty heard on April 19.

"This result means we have earned 59 points on the field, closing the gap on Inter and momentarily on Milan and Lazio," he said.

"We've got Inter on Tuesday in the Coppa Italia and then Lazio on Saturday, so we’ve got to be ready.

"In football if you have a good run of results, that allows you to catch up pretty quickly. We have to take it one step at a time.

"The 'real' table that we see there shows we are still four points off the Champions League spots and that is a lot."

Simone Inzaghi did not hide his frustration at Romelu Lukaku's struggles in front of goal after Inter lost 1-0 to Fiorentina on Saturday.

Inter's losing streak in Serie A was extended to their worst in six years as Giacomo Bonaventura's second-half header proved decisive at San Siro.

The Nerazzurri have now lost three straight top flight matches, with Bonaventura's winner coming shortly after a woeful miss from Lukaku.

Having rediscovered his goalscoring touch while on international duty with Belgium, Lukaku was unable to transfer that form across to his club side as he failed to hit the target from close range with the goal gaping.

No Inter player had more shots than his three, with Lukaku not managing to get any of them on target, despite accumulating 1.2 expected goals.

While not pinning the blame entirely on Lukaku – who is reported to have confronted Inzaghi about a lack of opportunities while he has been fit this season – Inter's coach was quick to point out the importance of those misses.

Speaking to DAZN, Inzaghi said: "If he had scored those chances, Lukaku's performance would be judged in a very different way.

"His role is to create the opportunities, make the movements that the team needs.

"He wasn't the only one who had chances today, so I wouldn't focus only on Romelu."

Inzaghi also stressed he is ultimately responsible for turning Inter's fortunes around. 

"There is great disappointment, we lost two consecutive home matches," he said. "We need to work more, starting with me.

"At the moment, we need to be more determined, because we had so many chances to score and we should have done.

"I cannot ask for more in terms of effort, as the players did everything I asked of them."

Inzaghi is not wrong. While Fiorentina had more shots (19 to 16) and got the same number of attempts on target (three each), Inter finished with a 2.8 xG compared to the visitors' 1.2, suggesting the quality of opportunities that went their way was far greater.

Lukaku's glaring miss came from by far the best opportunity of the match, with Opta's model estimating the chance would be converted 92 per cent of the time (0.92 xG).

The 29-year-old's future is uncertain. He is on loan at Inter, but due to return to parent club Chelsea at the end of the season.

Before the match, Inter chief Giuseppe Marotta told DAZN: "[Lukaku's] love for the Inter jersey is 10 out of 10, we'll evaluate the prospects with Chelsea."

Moise Kean fired Juventus to a fifth consecutive victory in all competitions with a 1-0 win against Verona at Allianz Stadium.

A relatively quiet game offered little in the way of clear-cut opportunities, Danilo hitting the frame of the goal in the best chance of the first half.

However, Kean ensured the home fans would have something to celebrate after capping off a fine Juve move.

Though far from a vintage performance, Juve have moved four points behind fifth-placed Atalanta and three behind sixth-placed Roma, who play on Sunday.

Verona almost broke the deadlock after 15 minutes, Kevin Lasagna pulling a dangerous cross to the far post for Fabio Depaoli to smash a volley narrowly wide of Wojciech Szczesny's goal.

Danilo came closest before the break, his free-kick clipping the top-left corner of the crossbar.

Juve got their winner in the 55th minute. An excellent move culminated in Manuel Locatelli playing in Kean, who smashed home to take his tally of league goals for the season to six.

Massimiliano Allegri's side were not home and dry, however, with Szczesny charging off his line to push a loose ball away with Lasagna lurking after his defence left him in the lurch.

Juve had Szczesny to again thank when he kept out Filippo Terracciano's fierce effort.

Bremer squandered a golden opportunity to wrap up the points late on, somehow bundling an attempt over from inside the six-yard box, though fortunately for the defender, Verona could not make Juve pay for his miss.

Inter's losing streak extended to their worst in Serie A in six years with a 1-0 defeat to Fiorentina at San Siro on Saturday.

Giacomo Bonaventura's second-half header was enough to down Simone Inzaghi's side, inflicting a third consecutive defeat upon the Nerazzurri.

The game's only goal came shortly after a woeful miss from Romelu Lukaku, failing to hit the target with the goal gaping from inside the six-yard box.

Inter came closest to an equaliser when Nicolo Barella struck the crossbar from long range but failed to restore parity and suffered their 10th league defeat of the season.

Andre Onana was called into action with a diving save to keep out Gaetano Castrovilli's bouncing volley, the goalkeeper then staying alert to the danger to quickly punch away the loose ball before Arthur Cabral could pounce on the rebound.

Fiorentina's Jonathan Ikone had the best chance of the half seven minutes before the interval with the goal at his mercy but failed to connect with the ball after Riccardo Saponara's scuffed shot fell into his path.

After the break, it was Inter's turn to spurn a glorious opportunity, Lukaku just yards from goal with Pietro Terracciano out of the picture but only able to slice a poor effort wide of the mark after Alessandro Bastoni put the ball on a plate for the striker.

Inter were made to pay for that missed chance, Cabral flicking on a corner at the near post that Onana palmed away, only for Bonaventura to nod in the rebound and give the visitors the lead.

Barella led Inter's search for an equaliser, firing a ferocious effort at goal that had Terracciano beaten but cannoned back off the crossbar, with later appeals for a penalty for a foul on Lautaro Martinez waved away and the referee's decision upheld after a VAR check.

Arsenal, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain are among the heavy hitters with reported interest in out-of-favour Real Madrid midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni.

Tchouameni arrived in Madrid last July from Monaco for a €100million fee, but has started just 15 of 26 LaLiga fixtures this term, and played only a combined six minutes in their two-legged Champions League clash with Liverpool, whom he reportedly turned down to move to the Santiago Bernabeu.

The defensive midfielder has found himself behind 20-year-old Eduardo Camavinga for Madrid's most crucial contests, also only making brief substitute appearances in both meetings with Barcelona in March.

Tchouameni, who has made 23 senior appearances and scored two international goals for France, still has plenty of time to turn himself into the impact player Madrid envisioned, but the club are reportedly weighing up if they could cash in and use the resources elsewhere.

TOP STORY – EUROPE'S ELITE KEEP A CLOSE EYE ON TCHOUAMENI

According to El Nacional, Madrid are not happy with such an expensive signing only being used sparingly in a rotation role, and will consider any bid in the next transfer window starting at €70m (£61.5m).

The report names Arsenal, United, Paris Saint-Germain, Liverpool and Chelsea as Tchouameni's "admirers", with the Premier League clubs in particular having all been in the market recently for help in central midfield.

Tchouameni could even cost less than breakout Brighton and Hove Albion star Moises Caicedo, and significantly less than Borussia Dortmund talent Jude Bellingham, adding another key name into the mix for midfielder-hungry clubs this offseason.

 

ROUND-UP

– According to Calciomercato, Liverpool are considering a move for Brighton's Caicedo if their pursuit of Bellingham is unsuccessful.

– Football Insider is reporting that Chelsea are hoping to receive £100m in return for midfield duo Mason Mount and Mateo Kovacic in an effort to balance the books after lavish spending.

– Chelsea's Kai Havertz has interest in reuniting with former boss Thomas Tuchel at Bayern Munich, and that interest is mutual according to 90min.

– Fichajes is reporting that Roma may swoop for 32-year-old United goalkeeper David de Gea if he does not sign a new contract to stay in the Premier League.

– According to Mundo Deportivo, PSG have told Lionel Messi they will pay whatever is necessary to retain his services amid heavy interest from Barcelona and Inter Miami.

Massimiliano Allegri is unsure when Paul Pogba will return to action following his most recent injury setback.

The France international has had a torrid time of things since returning to Juve from Manchester United last July, featuring for just 34 minutes across two substitute appearances.

Pogba appeared to have put his injury issues behind him when playing in back-to-back games against Torino and Roma on February 28 and March 5, both times as a substitute.

But he was dropped for Juve's next match, a Europa League tie with Freiburg, due to turning up late for a team meeting.

The 29-year-old has not featured since, having sustained a fresh muscular problem while taking free-kicks in training.

Providing an update on Pogba's fitness ahead of Juve's return to Serie A action against Hellas Verona on Saturday, Allegri appeared to once again rule out the midfielder.

"At the moment, I don't know when he will be available again," Allegri said at Friday's pre-match press conference. "He's working, but at the moment it's difficult to say.

"The adductor is fine, but we're waiting to see how his knee will react after taking part in training."

 

Allegri's side were hit with a 15-point deduction in January, but they have won six of their past seven Serie A games to move back within seven points of the top four.

Juve have five league games in April, as well as a meeting with Sporting CP in the Europa League quarter-finals and the first leg of their Coppa Italia semi-final against Inter.

"Our aim is to win as many games as possible in order to have a wonderful May," Allegri said of his side's congested April programme. 

"This is the schedule and we have to manage it the best way possible. We're heading towards a beautiful but tiring end to the season and must continue playing with enthusiasm."

Napoli striker Victor Osimhen faces a race against time to play any part in the Champions League quarter-final against Milan after suffering an injury.

Osimhen played both games in the international break for Nigeria but has returned to the Italian club with a left thigh problem.

The club announced on their website he will be assessed next week, with president Aurelio De Laurentiis hopeful the star striker will soon be back in action.

De Laurentiis said, according to Tuttomercato: "He should be out a couple of weeks, we hope."

Napoli host Milan in Serie A on Sunday before travelling to face Lecce on the following Friday, with Osimhen likely to miss both fixtures.

The Champions League quarter-final first leg in Milan comes on April 12, with the return fixture taking place in Naples on April 18.

The 24-year-old Osimhen has enjoyed a prolific season, scoring 25 goals in 29 games in all competitions, with Luciano Spalletti’s 19 points clear of second-placed Lazio in Serie A and through to their first-ever Champions League quarter-final.

Argentine striker Giovanni Simeone will likely deputise in Osimhen’s absence, with the striker having netted eight times in all competitions this season.

The next edition of the Africa Cup of Nations will be staged in the middle of the 2023-24 European campaign, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has announced.

The 2023 showpiece was due to get under way in June this year, but it was decided last July it will instead take place in 2024 to avoid hosts Ivory Coast’s rainy season.

CAF confirmed on its official website on Thursday that the delayed tournament will run from January 13 next year until February 11.

It means a number of superstar players from across Europe could potentially miss five weeks' action for their clubs at a busy period next season.

Ivory Coast is hosting the competition for the first time since 1984 and have automatically qualified.

Algeria, Morocco, South Africa, Tunisia, Burkina Faso and defending champions Senegal are the other nations to have already booked their place in the 24-team tournament.

Senegal defeated Egypt 4-2 on penalties in the final to win the most recent edition in Cameroon last year.

Real Madrid need a transition plan as captain Karim Benzema heads towards his late thirties, and that could lead them to making a summer swoop for a new forward.

There has been plenty of speculation about Mohamed Salah's future with Liverpool over the past few months, even with the 30-year-old Egyptian being contracted to the Reds until 2025.

Rumours have continued to emerge about a possible move, but Madrid also reportedly have their eye on Victor Osimhen, Harry Kane and Rasmus Hojlund as they consider various options.

TOP STORY – REAL MADRID WANT A NEW STRIKER

Real Madrid might see Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah as an option for an off-season transfer, claims Defensa Central.

The report claims Los Blancos could consider Salah while they also look at other possible acquisitions, including Napoli's Serie A top scorer Victor Osimhen and Tottenham's ever-prolific Harry Kane.

Karim Benzema turns 36 later this year, and Madrid will need other proven frontline options for when the Frenchman steps away from the spotlight.

Rasmus Hojlund, who has settled in well at Atalanta this season, is also said to be admired at Madrid, no doubt helped by him scoring five goals in his first two starts for Denmark during the recent international break.

ROUND-UP

– The Guardian claims Mason Mount is open to a move to German champions Bayern Munich amid swirling rumours about their new boss Thomas Tuchel's interest in a reunion. Mount and Chelsea have reportedly reached a stalemate in their discussions on a new contract. Tuchel left Chelsea in September.

– Manchester City have identified Borussia Dortmund's Youssoufa Moukoko as a target, reports Football Transfers. The report claims City are fearing Erling Haaland's exit but could use any incoming funds to facilitate a move for the Dortmund forward.

– David de Gea has rejected Manchester United's initial new contract offer which he believes is not adequate, according to The Athletic. The 32-year-old Spanish goalkeeper is out of contract at the end of this season, with United proposing a pay cut in his new deal. The report states an agreement on new terms is expected to be reached.

– Bayern are not interested in either of West Ham's Declan Rice or Chelsea's Mateo Kovacic, reports Sky Sport Germany's Florian Plettenberg.

Chelsea have underwhelmed this season and may look to offload players to ensure they meet financial fair play requirements, but could Reece James really leave Stamford Bridge?

The Blues have spent big money over the past 10 months since Todd Boehly took over ownership from Roman Abramovich.

Enzo Fernandez, Wesley Fofana, Mykhailo Mudryk, Marc Cucurella, Raheem Sterling, Benoit Badiashile, Kalidou Koulibaly, Noni Madueke and Malo Gusto were all signed in lucrative moves.

TOP STORY – MADRID CONSIDER SHOCK MOVE FOR CHELSEA'S JAMES

Real Madrid are plotting a shock swoop to sign Chelsea full-back Reece James as the Blues plan a clean-out, claims AS.

James, 23, is contracted with the Blues until 2028, making any deal complicated, but Los Blancos are reportedly hoping Chelsea's need to balance the books can work in their favour.

Madrid previously landed Thibaut Courtois and Eden Hazard from Chelsea, albeit in different circumstances with both only having shorter terms remaining on their contracts.

AS claims Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham remains Real's priority signing.

ROUND-UP

– The Evening Standard claims Arsenal are making West Ham midfielder Declan Rice a transfer priority, amid plenty of interest from Premier League clubs. Rice is expected to leave the Hammers at the end of this season, with ChelseaManchester City and Manchester United also reportedly in the hunt.

– Manchester United are keeping an eye on Eintracht Frankfurt's Randal Kolo Muani and Atalanta's Rasmus Hojlund should their advances for Tottenham's Harry Kane fail, claims the Manchester Evening News.

– Fiorentina midfielder Sofyan Amrabat is eager for a move to Barcelona, claims Footmercato. The Blaugrana had interest in the Moroccan during the last transfer window.

– Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain have lodged initial bids for 16-year-old Hajduk Split defender Luka Vuskovic, according to 90min.

– Footmercato reports Khvicha Kvaratskhelia is set to sign a new five-year contract with Napoli, having been linked with PSG recently.

– El Chiringuito claims Manchester City are eyeing a move for ex-Spain boss Luis Enrique amid talk Pep Guardiola could opt for a sabbatical at the end of the season.

With the last international window of the season over, domestic club campaigns now enter the final straight.

Everything is still to be decided – technically speaking. Title races, European qualification, relegation – all will come to a head over the next two months.

Of course, there are a few outcomes that already look like foregone conclusions, but there's still much to play for in each of the top five leagues.

With club football returning over the next few days, Stats Perform's Artificial Intelligence team have crunched the numbers using their supercomputer to predict the outcome of each league.

How's the outlook for your team?

Premier League

England is the scene of potentially most compelling title race among the top five leagues this season.

Arsenal may have an eight-point lead at the summit, but Manchester City still have a game in hand. As such, the Gunners' chances of winning a first league title since 2004 are 56.2 per cent, perhaps smaller than many might have expected.

That comes down in part to the statistical value attached to City's historic results, particularly over the past few years during their Premier League domination, whereas Arsenal haven't come close to that level of success over the same period.

Therefore, the title race still looks tight.

A little further back, Manchester United (74.5 per cent) are near-certainties to finish third, while the race for fourth promises to be engrossing – Tottenham (19.3 per cent), Newcastle United (29.1 per cent) and Liverpool (24.5 per cent) look set to tussle it out, with Brighton and Hove Albion (10.7 per cent) considered rank outsiders.

At the bottom, Southampton's 41.6 per cent likelihood of finishing 20th suggests they've a huge battle on their hands, but the supercomputer reckons West Ham and Leicester City have enough to pull themselves clear of the drop zone.

The signs are that two of Bournemouth, Everton and Nottingham Forest will join Saints in the Championship.

 

Bundesliga

Germany's top flight may come to rival the Premier League's title race. Ahead of the weekend's Klassiker between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich, BVB are a point clear.

Yet, Dortmund's probability of finishing top is just 22.4 per cent compared to Bayern's 76.4. Again, it largely comes down to their historic results and Die Roten's dominance suggesting they'll eventually get the job done.

But it's fair to say Bayern's decision makers aren't so confident given their brutal choice to sack Julian Nagelsmann on Friday, replacing him with former Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel.

Union Berlin aren't out of it given they are only five points behind Dortmund, though this is obviously uncharted territory for them, hence the 0.9 per cent chance of winning their first top-flight title since 1923.

Third looks the best bet for them (40.3 per cent), while RB Leipzig are the most likely to fill out the top four (37.2 per cent).

It's even tighter in the relegation scrap. Only seven points separate 18th from 13th, so even rock-bottom Stuttgart are given a reasonable chance of finishing 14th (10.6 per cent) or 15th (15.2 per cent).

 

LaLiga

Following Barcelona's dramatic 2-1 win in El Clasico before the international break, LaLiga looks done and dusted at the top with the Blaugrana 12 points clear.

The supercomputer also reckons Atletico Madrid are nearly guaranteed third (80.3 per cent), leaving what is effectively a two-horse race for fourth.

Real Sociedad have fourth at the moment and are 43.7 per cent likely to finish there, though Real Betis (36.7 per cent) aim to push them all the way.

At the other end, Elche are given no more than a 0.1 per cent chance of getting out of the bottom three after taking just 13 points from 26 games.

Otherwise, relegation is difficult to call. Almeria in 19th are only six points behind Real Mallorca in 11th, meaning there are a host of clubs who could yet get dragged into a fight for their lives.

There are two particularly big names among those potentially in trouble. Valencia are in the bottom three and have a 21.9 per cent chance of being relegated, while Sevilla – who are on their third coach of the season after sacking Jorge Sampaoli – are only two points clear of safety.

The computer says Man Utd's next Europa League opponents only have a 5.8 per cent probability of going down, however.

 

Ligue 1

Paris Saint-Germain seemingly have little to worry about in Ligue 1, with the supercomputer calculating their title chances at 98 per cent.

The tiny hint of doubt gives Marseille (1.8 per cent) and Lens (0.2 per cent) a bit of hope – but even then, it's presumably nothing more than a pipe dream.

There is a similar degree of certainty at the bottom, where four teams will be relegated ahead of the league's size being reduced to 18 clubs next term.

Angers, with 10 points from 28 games, cannot get out of the bottom four according to the calculations, and the other three positions are currently taken up by Ajaccio, Troyes and Auxerre.

Brest and Strasbourg aren't out of the woods yet either, though the supercomputer believes those in the relegation zone are the ones most likely to drop into Ligue 2.

 

Serie A

If there's one league in Europe that's got a foregone conclusion at the top, it's Serie A.

Napoli have more than a 99.9 per cent chance of winning a first Scudetto since 1990, with the unrelenting Partenopei a whopping 19 points clear of second already.

The race for Champions League qualification promises to be a little more tense.

Eleven points is the gap between Lazio in second and Juventus in seventh. While the Bianconeri are very much outsiders, the other five teams have at least a 15 per cent chance of finishing in the top four.

Lazio, Inter and Milan appear to be the most likely to take those spots, though Roma and Atalanta will fancy their chances of putting a cat among the pigeons.

In the relegation fight, there's a rather clearer picture.

Cremonese and Sampdoria look doomed, while Hellas Verona in 18th are five points adrift of safety, giving them just an 18.8 per cent probability of avoiding relegation.

 

Stefano Pioli insisted "nobody is perfect or unbeatable" as Milan prepare to overthrow Napoli in the all-Italian Champions League quarter-final clash.

Milan and Napoli will meet for the first time in European competition on April 12 in the first leg at San Siro, with Luciano Spalletti's side flying high in Serie A and UEFA's top club competition.

The Partenopei are 19 points clear at the Italian top-flight summit and suggested by many as a potential challenger for the European crown.

But Milan have only lost one of their nine all-Italian showdowns in Europe (W4 D4) and Pioli sees no reason why the Rossoneri cannot dream of progressing past Spalletti's in-form side.

The Milan coach said: "Honestly, I'd rather not meet an Italian side. In the Champions League it's better to face a foreign club. Napoli are very strong but we want to play for it.

"They have shown great consistency, strength and quality, they have all the characteristics of a great team, but nobody is perfect or unbeatable."

Pioli's side have not reached the last eight in the Champions League since the 2011-12 term when they were eliminated by Pep Guardiola's Barcelona.

Milan last went beyond that stage in the 2006-07 season en route to lifting the trophy but overcoming Napoli will prove an incredibly difficult challenge.

Napoli have won each of their past three away matches against the Rossoneri, their best such run against them, although they have not triumphed in any of their past five trips to Milan in cup competitions.

Pioli wants to build on Milan's Champions League history but says the Rossoneri cannot take their eyes off the Serie A top-four battle, leading fifth-placed Roma by just a point.

"It's part of the history of this club and the path it has always followed," he added. "We are beginning to write our history, that of Milan in the Champions League is a different path from ours.

"When you go to San Siro to play the Champions League it is something exciting and spectacular that involves everyone.

"We are very busy but we are also focusing on the league. To make this season a positive one, we have to play in the Champions League next year. We have to be careful."

Before the mouthwatering European meeting, Milan visit Napoli in Serie A on Sunday with the Rossoneri's Scudetto soon seemingly heading for Naples.

Pioli's side have been unable to replicate their exploits from last season's title-winning campaign, though the Italian suggested Milan's young side would always struggle to defend their title.

"I don't think there are many teams in Europe that immediately win the second league," he continued. "We won with a very young team, thanks to a project and a club path we are proud of.

"We are one of the few clubs with a sustainable project; only a few teams manage to win and be competitive in Europe.

"That is a leap that we have not yet been able to make but this year too gives us the opportunity to understand great things, to improve and be the strongest club."

Tottenham have reached out to FIFA for urgent "further clarification" after Fabio Paratici's ban was extended worldwide "with no advance notice" to the club.

Paratici was one of 11 individuals banned by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) in January after Juventus were found guilty of alleged breaches in relation to historical transfer dealings.

The Bianconeri were docked 15 points in Serie A as part of the punishment, with Paratici and Juve denying any wrongdoing and lodging an appeal for the initial sanctions to the Italian Olympic Committee.

Paratici was handed a 30-month ban by the FIGC but continued his role with Spurs due to his punishment only falling under the jurisdiction of Italian football's governing body.

But FIFA confirmed on Wednesday those FIGC sanctions have been extended worldwide, with Tottenham demanding immediate clarity over the bans on their managing director of football Paratici.

"Following media reports today regarding the FIFA Disciplinary Committee decision to extend worldwide the sanction imposed by the FIGC Federal Court of Appeals on Fabio Paratici on 20 January 2023, the club made urgent enquiries to FIFA," a club statement read.

"FIFA has late this afternoon responded to us in writing notifying us today, Wednesday 29 March 2023, that a decision has been made by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee to extend the FIGC sanction worldwide.

"This committee deliberation has been taken with no advance notice to any of the parties involved. We are urgently seeking further clarification from FIFA as to the details of the extension and its variance from the FIGC sanction."

The announcement came just a day after Paratici had addressed the club's media and stated head coach Antonio Conte's dismissal from Spurs was the "right decision for everyone".

Paratici placed his full faith in interim boss Cristian Stellini, who will be in charge until the end of the season, and Spurs sought to clarify the interview took place prior to any knowledge of FIFA's sanctions.

The statement added: "We should like to make clear that when Fabio conducted the interview on club channels yesterday neither he nor the club had any indication of this decision being made by FIFA, based on the fact the FIGC sanction was taken on 20 January 2023 and remains subject to an Appeal on 19 April 2023.

"We shall update on this matter in due course."

Francesco Totti has lauded Napoli and "great coach" Luciano Spalletti but suggests the runaway Serie A leaders have been "also lucky" this season.

Napoli are on course for their first Scudetto since 1990, when Diego Maradona was still at the club.

The Partenopei are a mammoth 19 points clear with only 11 games remaining, making a title triumph almost an inevitability.

Yet Roma great Totti, while praising their work under ex-Giallorossi boss Spalletti, believes they have benefited from the absence of a genuine competitor.

Legend Totti won only one title with Roma, although they finished as runners-up on a further nine occasions across his remarkable career, missing out to Juventus, Milan and Inter.

"I honestly didn't expect it like this," Totti told Sky Sport of Napoli. "I knew it was a good team with a great coach – it was a well-made combination.

"They expressed themselves to the fullest in everything and were also lucky because they didn't have an opponent behind them who can keep up with their pace.

"When we were there, there was always Juve, Inter, Milan who always clung there.

"If you won 20 games, they won 19. Napoli doesn't have a second team like that."

Lazio are Napoli's nearest rivals, but Juve would be second if not for a 15-point deduction. Even then, the Bianconeri would be 15 points off the pace.

Tottenham managing director of football Fabio Paratici's future at the club has been cast into doubt after his ban by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) was extended worldwide by FIFA.

Paratici was one of 11 individuals connected with Juventus who were issued with bans by the FIGC in January after the club was found guilty of false accounting in relation to transfer dealings.

Juventus were also docked 15 points as part of the punishment.

Paratici and Juventus denied any wrongdoing, with an appeal against the initial sanctions imposed by the FIGC to be heard by the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) on April 19.

Despite his 30-month ban, Spurs director Paratici was able to continue his role with the Premier League club because the suspension only applied to Italian Football. 

However, FIFA confirmed on Wednesday the bans handed out by the FIGC have been extended worldwide, meaning Paratici will be unable to fulfil his duties at Spurs unless his appeal is successful. 

A widely reported FIFA statement read: "FIFA can confirm that following a request by the FIGC, the chairperson of the FIFA disciplinary committee has decided to extend the sanctions imposed by the FIGC on several football officials to have worldwide effect."

The news comes just three days after the sacking of Spurs head coach Antonio Conte, with the Italian leaving after 17 months in charge. 

Paratici, who would have likely played an important in appointing Conte’s replacement, appeared in a video on Tuesday outlining Spurs' plans for the rest of the season and describing the decision to fire the former Inter and Chelsea coach as "the right decision."

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