Bayer Leverkusen CEO Fernando Carro denies reports that manager Xabi Alonso has a clause allowing him to take charge of one of his former clubs next season....Click Here To Continue Reading>>
Bayer Leverkusen CEO Fernando Carro has denied the existence of a clause in Xabi Alonso’s contract allowing the manager to take charge of one of his former clubs next year.
The former Liverpool and Real Madrid midfielder – who also represented Bayern Munich and Real Sociedad – has been tipped to return to both clubs as a head coach should either Jurgen Klopp or Carlo Ancelotti step aside in the near future.
Alonso previously managed Real’s youth team and the Real Sociedad B team before being appointed Leverkusen manager in October 2022, and he led the club to the semi-finals of the Europa League in his debut season.
Leverkusen’s hopes of continental glory were dashed by Roma, but Alonso’s side have made an exceptional start to the new term, winning 16 and drawing one of their 17 games in all tournaments.
With 31 points taken from a possible 33 in the Bundesliga, Leverkusen sit two points clear of perennial champions Bayern Munich at the top of the standings and have already confirmed a top-two finish in their Europa League group thanks to four wins from four continental outings.
Alonso’s unexpected success at Leverkusen has inevitably led to rumours surrounding a managerial appointment at Anfield or the Bernabeu, and it was claimed that the 41-year-old’s deal includes a release clause, which would offer him the chance to join one of his old clubs as their new head coach for 2024-25.
However, speaking to talkSPORT, Carro confirmed that no such option exists, and Leverkusen are protected by Alonso’s contract situation, as the Spaniard’s deal runs until the end of the 2025-26 season.
Nevertheless, Carro has insisted that the club will not stand in Alonso’s way of seeking pastures new if the right opportunity presents itself, saying: “No but you don’t need a clause.
“We have a very, very good relationship with Xabi and he knows that we are a serious club. At the end of the day, we’re not going to force someone to stay if he doesn’t want to stay. We want him to feel so happy and so good with us that he really only wants to stay and this is our objective.
“No nothing on paper but sometimes agreements that are not on paper are agreements as well and we know that if he needs to do a move in the future we’ll be able to talk with each other. I hope we will not need to do this because he will stay and be happy in Leverkusen.”
Real are staring down the barrel of managerial uncertainty heading into the second half of the season, as Ancelotti is now in the final 12 months of his contract and has been heavily linked with the Brazil job.
Brazil Football Confederation president Ednaldo Rodrigues said in July that Ancelotti would be taking over the Selecao for the 2024 Copa America, but neither the Italian nor Real have confirmed such plans, and Los Blancos could even try to tie the 64-year-old down to a new contract.
Meanwhile, Klopp’s Liverpool contract does not expire until the summer of 2026, having agreed to an extension in April 2022, although he was briefly tipped to succeed Joachim Low as the new Germany manager in 2021.
Klopp ruled out that possibility as Hansi Flick was appointed instead, and the 56-year-old also reaffirmed his commitment to the Reds earlier this year after Flick departed, which saw Die Mannschaft hire Julian Nagelsmann.
During his playing heyday, Alonso won the Champions League, FA Cup, UEFA Super Cup and two Community Shields with Liverpool across a five-year spell, before clinching another European Cup and UEFA Super Cup with Real Madrid alongside a La Liga title, two Copa del Reys and a Supercopa de Espana.
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Brighton & Hove Albion boss Roberto De Zerbi provides Ansu Fati injury update
Brighton & Hove Albion head coach Roberto De Zerbi provides an injury update on Barcelona loanee Ansu Fati, who has missed the last three games with a hamstring problem....Click Here To Continue Reading>>
Brighton & Hove Albion head coach Roberto De Zerbi has confirmed that Barcelona loanee Ansu Fati is set to remain sidelined with a hamstring injury until February.
Fati was forced off in the first half of the Seagulls’ 3-2 win away against Nottingham Forest in the Premier League two weeks ago.
De Zerbi initially stated that the 21-year-old is facing “a long time” on the sidelines along with Tariq Lamptey, who also picked up a muscle problem in the victory at Forest.
Recent reports have hinted that Fati has made progress in his recovery from injury, but De Zerbi has since suggested that the Spaniard will not be available for selection any time soon along with Danny Welbeck and Julio Enciso who are still recovering from respective muscle and knee issues.
Speaking at a press conference on Friday ahead of Brighton’s encounter with Burnley on Saturday, De Zerbi said: “The news about Ansu Fati is, I think he needs three months from the day of the injury.
“It’s bad news for us because he was playing better, he was understanding better the idea.
“I’m sorry for him, I’m sorry for the team, especially now when Welbeck is not playing, Enciso is not playing.”
Fati, who has chipped in with four goals and one assist in 12 starts for Brighton since joining on loan from Barcelona, is set to miss the next nine matches across all competitions.
Brighton are also having to cope without long-term absentees Solly March (knee) and Pervis Estupinan (muscle), while Adam Webster and Facundo Buonanotte have both been ruled out of Saturday’s game due to unspecified problems.
However, De Zerbi is able to call upon both Lewis Dunk and Mahmoud Dahoud who have both served respective two and three-match suspensions.
“Webster is still unavailable to play. I don’t know when he will play,” said De Zerbi. “But it’s important for us that Dunk and Mo (Dahoud) are available because they’re both very important, especially in this moment.
“We are going through a difficult moment in terms of injuries and having two players available is important.”
Midfielder Adam Lallana is also in contention to feature after missing the 2-1 victory over Brentford on Wednesday.
Discussing Saturday’s opponents Burnley, De Zerbi said: “They have a clear idea, a clear style, I think they deserve more points.
“But it is still difficult for a small club when you win the Championship, the first year in the Premier League with young players and new players for the league is difficult.”
Brighton currently sit eighth in the Premier League table and just two points behind Tottenham Hotspur in fifth, while Burnley are still in the relegation zone and are three points adrift of safety.
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Preview: Istanbul Basaksehir vs. Hatayspor – prediction, team news, lineups
Sports Mole previews Sunday’s Turkish Super Lig clash between Istanbul Basaksehir and Hatayspor, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Istanbul Basaksehir and Hatayspor will do battle at the Basaksehir Fatih Terim Stadium on Sunday afternoon in round 15 of the 2023-24 Turkish Super Lig season.
Both teams emerged victorious in their last outings and will be looking to pick up where they left off by securing all three points this weekend....Click Here To Continue Reading>>
Istanbul Basaksehir breezed through into the next round of the Turkish Cup thanks to a 2-0 victory over lower league side Sanliurfaspor on Thursday.
Cagdas Atan’s men opened the scoring just past the half-hour mark through Dimitrios Pelkas after which Emirhan Ilkhan sealed the deal 18 minutes from time.
Prior to that, The Orange-Navy Blues were on the receiving end of a 3-2 defeat against Rizespor which left them 17th in the Turkish Super Lig table.
Awaiting them next is the challenge of an opposing outfit who are without a win from the most recent five editions of this fixture across all competitions.
Having come out on top in each of their last two matches on home turf by a combined score of 6-1, Sunday’s hosts will back themselves to secure maximum points in front of their fans.
Hatayspor just about did enough to see off the threat of Duzcespor in Wednesday’s Turkish Cup knockout tie at the Mersin Stadyumu which ended 2-1.
Volkan Demirel’s men got their noses in front through Armin Hodzic but were soon pegged back by Yakup Zorlu before Hodzic grabbed the winner in the 58th minute.
This came off the back of a thrilling 3-3 share of the spoils against Antalyaspor for Guneyin Yildizi who occupy 10th place in the standings.
Currently on a run of three straight defeats on the road, Sunday’s visitors will be keen to turn their away fortunes around on their trip to the capital.
Istanbul Basaksehir Turkish Super Lig form:
Hatayspor Turkish Super Lig form:
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Muhammed Sengezer is still out of contention for Istanbul Basaksehir through a muscle injury, while Efe Koyuncu misses out due to a knock.
The home side will also be without the services of forward Patryk Szysz who is yet to feature since early May due to a long-term knee problem.
Frenchman Mehdi Boudjemaa is unavailable for Hatayspor as he continues to nurse a muscle problem which he picked up while on loan at Ferencvaros.
Thirty-one-year-old Kamil Corekci is still a considerable way off making his return to action for the visitors from a knee injury which has seen him miss six straight matches.
Istanbul Basaksehir possible starting lineup:Babacan; Lima, Opoku, Duarte, Dubois; Ozcan, Ilkhan, Abeid; Brandao, Piatek, Turuc
Hatayspor possible starting lineup:Kardesler; Ghoulam, Demir, Kilama, Alici; Matondo, Beyaz, Dele-Bashiru; Rivas, Lamkel, Strandberg
We say: Istanbul Basaksehir 2-1 Hatayspor
Basaksehir and Hatayspor boast similar defensive records heading into this one but the former have had the upper hand offensively. We are backing them to come away with the win, albeit by only a narrow margin.For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.
Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 2.5:data
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