Hungary: Nation ordered to play their next three matches behind closed doors by UEFA

Hungary have been instructed to play their next three UEFA competition matches behind closed doors after racist abuse from supporters and homophobic banners in the stands during their Euro 2020 group stage games.

One match has been suspended for two years, with UEFA also fining the Hungarian Football Federation €100,000 (£85,500) and have demanded that they have to display a banner with the governing body’s “#EqualGame” logo on it.

A homophobic banner was displayed in the stands during Hungary’s defeat to Portugal in their opening game at Euro 2020 while monkey chants were also heard during Hungary’s draw with France.

Hungary have been penalised following ‘discriminatory behaviour’ by their supporters at Euro 2020

Both of those games were played at the Puskas Arena in Budapest.

Occurrences of homophobic chanting were also alleged to have taken place during Hungary’s final group game against Germany in Munich.

UEFA rejected an appeal to illuminate Munich’s Allianz Arena in rainbow colours for the match against Germany on the grounds of the gesture having political context.

European football’s governing body said it received the request from the mayor of the German city, Dieter Reiter.

UEFA said that the mayor’s reason for the request was retaliation to a legislation passed in Hungary, which bans gay people from appearing in school educational materials or programmes for under-18s.

On that basis, UEFA said it could not grant the request and proposed other dates for the stadium to be lit up in rainbow colours.

Reiter later called the decision “shameful”.

Juan Mata: Manchester United midfielder signs new contract at Old Trafford

Mata will be looking to add to his 273 appearances for the Red Devils next season

Manchester United have announced that Spanish midfielder Juan Mata has put pen to paper on a new one-year deal which sees the former Spain international enter his ninth season with the club.

The 33-year-old joined the Reds from Premier League rivals Chelsea in January 2014 and has gone onto make 273 appearances across all competitions, scoring 51 goals along the way.

His impressive goals total includes an unforgettable strike against rivals Liverpool at Anfield in March 2015 , as well as the equaliser during the triumphant 2016 Emirates FA Cup final in which United beat Crystal Palace.

Mata only featured 18 times for Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side last season across all competitions , scoring three times in the process, however despite his limited game time the Spaniard picked up the clubs Player of the Month for September during the 2020/21 campaign.

Jadon Sancho: Manchester United agree deal in principle for Dortmund winger

Sancho will depart Borussia Dortmund after making 137 appearances for the club, scoring 50 goals in the process

Manchester United have announced that they have reached agreement in principle with Borussia Dortmund for the transfer of Jadon Sancho for a fee of £73m.

The Bundesliga side made a stock exchange statement on Thursday morning, which also confirmed Sancho has agreed personal terms with United, with the transfer subject to a medical.

“The player Jadon Sancho is about to move from Borussia Dortmund GmbH & Co. KGaA to Manchester United Football Club Limited,” the announcement said.

“Both clubs and the player reached an agreement on this today. If the transfer is realised, Manchester United will pay BVB a fixed transfer fee of EUR 85.0 million.

Sancho and the rest of his England team-mates trained on Wednesday

“The contractual details now have to be coordinated and documented. The formal processing of the transfer is also subject to the successful completion of all necessary medical tests and examinations, a coordination procedure with the player’s previous club and the proper and timely processing in accordance with the provisions of the FIFA Transfer Matching System.”

The agreement was also confirmed by Borussia Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke, as the club held a news conference to unveil new head coach Marco Rose.

Watzke said: “We reached a general agreement with Manchester United on the transfer of Jadon Sancho, pending full completion, as there are still some formalities to agree on and the medical check to be completed.”

England name 26 man squad for Euro 2020: Trent Alexander-Arnold named in Gareth Southgates’ squad

Alexander-Arnold has won 12 senior caps for the Three Lions and scored once in that time

Trent Alexander-Arnold has been included in England’s final 26-man squad for this summer’s European Championship.

Liverpool full-back Alexander-Arnold, 22, is one of four right-backs, while both the injured Harry Maguire and Jordan Henderson are both named in the side.

Boss Gareth Southgate had to omit seven players from his temporary list.

Mason Greenwood withdrew through injury with Jesse Lingard, Aaron Ramsdale, Ben White, Ben Godfrey, James Ward-Prowse and Ollie Watkins all left out.

The final squad means there will be no uncapped players in England’s squad for the tournament, which gets underway next week.

“I think every squad [selection] is difficult because we have a lot of talented players in this country, said 50-year-old Southgate.

“The most difficult thing [this time] is not being able to take players who have been with us in previous matches and are such good professionals, so I know what a disappointment it is for them, at the moment, not to be going to a major championship.”

Alexander-Arnold makes the cut as he looks to add to his 12 international appearances, the last of which came against Belgium in the Nations League last October.

Alexander-Arnold has missed the last seven international outings, but will be in competition for a starting place with Chelsea’s Champions League winner Reece James, Kieran Trippier, who won La Liga with Atletico Madrid, and Manchester City’s Premier League champion Kyle Walker.

Liverpool skipper Henderson has not played for his club, since he was ruled out of action with a groin injury in February, whilst United captain Maguire missed the last four league games of their season as well as the Europa League final after ankle ligament damage.

Southgate added: “The most complex part has been those injuries and whether we should take the chance on people – players like Jordan Henderson and Harry Maguire not being quite where they normally are.

“With the experience that they have, we think we can get them to a point where they have an involvement in the tournament and it’s worth taking them – especially as we have an extended squad of 26.”

Who will England come up against this month?

The tournament was delayed by a year because of the on-going coronavirus pandemic and will kick off on 11 June, with the final taking place at Wembley Stadium on 11 July.

Southgate will get the chance to assess his picks in two friendlies, against Austria on Wednesday and Romania on Sunday. Both matches take place at Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium.

Southgate said Lingard, Ward-Prowse and Watkins were given the option to go home after missing out on the final squad but chose to remain in the camp for this week’s friendlies.

He added that White, Godfrey and Ramsdale knew beforehand they were part of the provisional squad in order to gain experience.

The Three Lions start their Euros campaign against Croatia on 13 June, followed by a huge match against rivals Scotland on 18 June, rounding off Group D against the Czech Republic on 22 June.

All of England’s group games are taking place at Wembley Stadium. They’ll also have the chance to play a last-16 tie at home of football if they win their group, with both semi-finals and the final also being held at the national stadium.

England’s 26-man squad in full

Real Madrid: Carlo Ancelotti leaves Everton for a return to the Santiago Bernabéu

Carlo Ancelotti leaves Goodison Park after leading Everton to a top ten finish in his only full campaign at the helm

Carlo Ancelotti has departed his role as Everton manager to take up the managerial position of head coach at Real Madrid.

The 61-year-old Italian, who was previously in charge of Real Madrid from 2013 to 2015, has left the Merseyside based outfit after 18 months in charge of the Toffees.

He takes over from Zinedine Zidane at Los Blancos and the moves means Everton are on the look out for a sixth permanent manager in five years.

Ancelotti has put pen to paper on a three-year deal at the Santiago Bernabéu and said the move represented “an unexpected opportunity”.

He added: “I have complete respect for everyone associated with Everton and hope they can achieve the exciting opportunity which I believe is the right move for me and my family at this time.”

“While I have enjoyed being at Everton I have been presented with an unexpected opportunity which I believe is the right move for me and my family at this time.”

Real will present Ancelotti to the media on Wednesday evening, while Everton have said they “will begin the process of appointing a new manager immediately.”

Ancelotti has won 15 pieces of silverware during his managerial career is one of only three managers to win three European Cups – along with Liverpool legend Bob Paisley and former Real Madrid manager Zidane.

The Italian has won domestic honours with AC Milan in his native land, Chelsea in England, Paris St-Germain in France and also in Germany with Bavarian side Bayern Munich.

Having won the Champions League twice with I Rossoneri (2002-03 and 2006-07), he led Real Madrid to an historic 10th success in the competition in 2014, but he left the managerial post in May 2015.

Five years of change at
The Blues
ManagerLeftWin %
Carlo AncelottiJune 202043.1
Marco SilvaDecember 201935.8
Sam AllardyceMay 201837.5
Ronald KoemanOctober 201740.4
Roberto MartinezMay 201638.1

Juventus: Massimiliano Allegri returns as manager

Allegri returns to the Allianz Stadium having won 11 major trophies from between 2014 and 2019

Juventus have confirmed that Massimiliano Allegri has returned to club for his second stint as manager of the club.

Allegri has returned to the Turin based outfit on a €9m (£7.7m)-a-year deal, just two years after he left the club following a trophy-laiden first spell in charge of the club.

Allegri, 53, led Le Zebre to two Champions League finals, he also went onto win four Coppa Italia titles from 2014 to 2019 and left the club after defending the Serie A title for the fifth year in a row.

Allegri was understood to be the favourite to fill the vacant position at Real Madrid following Zinedine Zidane’s departure, but Antonio Conte, who guided Inter Milan to the Serie A title last season, is now believed to be a serious contender to replace Zidane at the Santiago Bernabéu.

The appointment comes following the departure of Pirlo earlier on Friday, with the 42-year-old having overseen Juve missing out on the Italian top-flight title for the first time in a decade.

Andrea Pirlo left the Allianz Stadium on Friday morning

Upon Allegri’s return to the Allianz Stadium, Juventus said:

“Massimiliano Allegri is the Juventus manager once more. Allegri finds a bench that he knows very well, a club that he loves and that loves him back, as today a new journey begins together, towards new goals.

“What he achieved in his first adventure at Juventus are engraved in the club’s history: five Scudetti, to the four-consecutive doubles, coupled with the Coppa Italia and to the two Super Cups, reaching two Champions League finals in just three seasons, in what were epic feats both in Italy and in Europe.

“We said goodbye two years ago with the message, “History Alone”, the message on the back of the shirt given to Massimiliano Allegri by President Andrea Agnelli with an embrace and a shirt, on which in just two words encapsulated Allegri’s experience at Juve.

“The beauty of the story, however, is that it never stops. And in football, this means a concept that we have ingrained in our DNA: the best victory is the next one. Always.

“We said goodbye two years ago with the message, “History Alone”, the message on the back of the shirt given to Massimiliano Allegri by President Andrea Agnelli with an embrace and a shirt, on which in just two words encapsulated Allegri’s experience at Juve.

“The beauty of the story, however, is that it never stops. And in football, this means a concept that we have ingrained in our DNA: the best victory is the next one. Always.

“And now we are ready to begin again with Allegri, to build our future together; with his enormous professionalism, his moral strength, with the brilliant ideas of a coach capable of shuffling the cards, both on and off the pitch. With his smile, a sort of “signature”. With his way of understanding football and life with simplicity, with his desire to play things down and with the commitment to enjoy every beautiful moment that being at Juventus can give and will give.”

Juventus: Andrea Pirlo sacked as head coach of La Vecchia Signora

Andrea Pirlo has been released of his managerial duty at the Allianz Stadium. Photo by Juventus FC

Juventus have confirmed that Andrea Pirlo has been sacked as head coach.

The Turin giants are close to re-appointing Massimiliano Allegri as their head coach to replace Pirlo, with the 53-year-old expected to re-sign within the next 24 hours.

Pirlo took over the reins from Maurizo Sarri last August and led Juve to the Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana but they ended the Serie A season in fourth place, meaning that I Bianconeri missed out on the Italian top-flight title for the first time in a decade to Inter Milan, and they rescued a spot in next season’s Champions League on the final day of the 2020/21 campaign.

Juve published the following message to Pirlo following his departure from the Allianz Stadium:

“Thank you, Andrea.”

“These are the first words that all of us need to say at the end of this special experience together. A few months ago, Andrea Pirlo, an icon on world football, began his new adventure, his first as a coach.

“To do this, first of all, it takes courage, as well as awareness of one’s own means, especially in a period marked by thousands of difficulties, with the world forced by the pandemic to reinvent its own rules day after day.

“Pirlo has just begun the first steps of what will no doubt become a brilliant career as a coach. An adventure of transformation, seeking, and often managing, to bring his ideas and his experience as a champion on the pitch from the “other side” of the fence.

“And since in football, what counts are the victories, let’s remember them: in the space of a few short months Pirlo’s Juve has raised two trophies: The Italian Supercup and the Coppa Italia. And he, as coach, brought home brilliant victories on the most prestigious of fields, from San Siro to Camp Nou.

“For all this, for the courage, the dedication, the passion with which he demonstrated every day, our thanks go to the Maestro, the Coach and to Andrea, that really comes from the heart. As well as our good luck for the future that will surely be a wonderful one.”

Between 2011 and 2015, Pirlo played 164 times across all competitions for Juventus, scoring 19 goals and he helped them win four Serie A titles during his time in Turin

The 42-year-old, who won seven major titles for Juventus as a player from 2011 to 2015, was originally named the club’s U23 manager on 31 July 2020, before taking over the role as first-team head coach in early August.

The 2006 World Cup winner’s Juventus side headed into the final day of the campaign facing the prospect of failing to qualify for the Champions League for the first time since the 2011/12 season, but victory over Bologna and Napoli’s failure to beat Hellas Verona, saw Pirlo’s side scrape into fourth place.

Juventus were knocked out of the Champions League at the last-16 phase by Porto, meaning that for the second time in successive seasons Juve were eliminated early from European competition and this did not help the former Italy international’s cause.

Massimiliano Allegri won five consecutive Serie A titles with Juventus before departing the Old Lady in the summer of 2019

In the meantime, Allegri is expected to return to the Turin giants on a €9m (£7.7m)-a-year deal, just two years after he left the club.

Allegri led Le Zebre to two Champions League finals, he also defended the Serie A title for five years in a row during his time at the club and Juve also went onto win four Coppa Italia titles from 2014 to 2019.

Pirlo’s departure from Juventus comes with managerial changes going on at some of Europe’s leading clubs following the end of their seasons.

Lazio: Manager Simone Inzaghi leaves Rome based outfit after five-years at the helm

Simone Inzaghi led Lazio to one Coppa Italia title and two Italian supercups during his five-year stay at the Stadio Olimpico

Lazio have announced that manager Simone Inzaghi has stepped down as manager following five-years in charge of I Biancocelesti.

The Italian giants issued an abrupt, 32-word statement confirming that Simone Inzaghi, 45, will not be continuing his affiliation with the club.

The Rome based oufit released the statement on Thursday evening, and they decided to not even use their manager’s name whilst getting their message across.

Inzaghi has been laboriously tipped to join Serie A champions Inter Milan, after the sudden departure of Antonio Conte on Wednesday.

Lazio have communicated through their official channels that Simone Inzaghi is not continuing as manager of the two-time Italian champions

In an official Statement Lazio said: “We respect the rethinking of a coach and, first of all, of a player who for many years has linked his name to the Lazio family and to the many Biancocelesti successes”.

Le Aquile did not confirm what Inzaghi’s next move would be, or whether he would continue in the football management industry.

Inzaghi’s deal with the club was set to run out at the end of next month, but in the last week it appeared that an agreement was reached for Inzaghi to continue as Lazio manager until the 30 June 2024.

Now, Lazio stand firm on the fact that they respect Inzaghi’s “rethinking”, suggesting the manager has after all received offers from elsewhere.

Sheffield United: former Watford and Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic named as Blades manager

Slavisa Jokanovic has won promotion to the Premier League with Watford (during the 2014/15 campaign) and Fulham (during the 2017/2018 campaign)

Sheffield United have named former Watford and Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic as their new manager on a three-year deal.

The 52-year-old will leave his position at Qatar Stars League side Al-Gharafa to take over at Bramall Lane ahead of the 2021/2022 season.

The Blades will play in the Championship next term, after finishing rock bottom of the Premier League.

Jokanovic led both the Hornets and Fulham to promotion to the top flight in his previous stints in England.

The Serbian replaces Chris Wilder, who had led the club from League One to the Premier League before leaving the club by mutual consent in March, to become the south Yorkshire club’s first overseas manager.

The Blades concluded the season under the caretaker charge of Paul Heckingbottom and finished 16 points adrift of safety in a campaign in which they lost 29 of their 38 Premier League games.

“I’m honoured to become the manager of this historic football club,” Jokanovic said on the clubs website.

“I’m excited to work in English football again and I’m looking forward to getting started with the players and staff, as well as meeting our passionate, loyal supporters as we prepare for the challenge in the Championship.

“I want to assure our amazing fans that we’re fully committed to helping the team achieve its goals and make you feel proud.”

Jokanovic took Watford up in 2015 but was sacked in June.

He then took Fulham to the Premier League in May 2018 but was dismissed in November with the club rooted to the bottom of the league and was replaced by Claudio Ranieri.

His two-year deal with Al-Gharafa runs out at the end of next month.

Real Madrid: Manager Zinedine Zidane steps down from role

Zinedine Zidane won two La Liga titles and three Champions Leagues as Real Madrid boss

Real Madrid have confirmed that Zinedine Zidane has stepped down as head coach for the second time.

The Frenchman has brought his second spell in charge of the La Liga side to an end, he led them to two league titles and three Champions League triumphs since 2015.

Zidane informed club directors and the first-team squad of his decision on Wednesday and his exit was finalised a day later at Real’s Valdebebas training complex.

His departure comes after Los Merengues narrowly lost out on the league title to local rivals Atletico Madrid at the weekend. Real Madrid finished in second place, just two points shy of Atletico and were knocked out of this years Champions League at the semi-final stage and they were also knocked out at the round of 32 in the Copa del Rey. This is the first time in 11 years that Real have gone without winning any silverware.

Atletico Madrid won their first La Liga title since 2014 at the weekend, leapfrogging Real on the final day

Away from the playing area, Real were one of the key components behind the failed Super League breakaway with the club president, Florentino Perez, repeatedly defending the plan and involved in a war of words with Uefa, which shows no sign of slowing.

In an official statement the club said: “It is now time to respect his decision and show him our appreciation for his professionalism, dedication and passion in all these years, and for what his figure represents for Real Madrid.

“Zidane is one of the great myths of Real Madrid and his legend goes beyond what he has been as a coach and player of our club. He knows that he is at the heart of Real Madrid and that Real Madrid is and will always be his home.”