BREAKING NEWS: UEFA investigating Ibrahimovic over alleged 'financial interest in betting company'

By Sports Desk April 26, 2021
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is being investigated by UEFA for "an alleged financial interest in a betting company", European football's governing body has confirmed.

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  • Everton managerial candidate Pereira: 'If they want me, they must call me' Everton managerial candidate Pereira: 'If they want me, they must call me'

    Vitor Pereira has confirmed he has been interviewed by Everton over the vacant managerial position and declared: "If they want me, they must call me."

    Everton sacked Rafael Benitez earlier in January after a dismal run of one win in 13 league games left them six points above the relegation zone.

    That cushion has now been reduced to four points after Everton lost to Aston Villa on Saturday, with Duncan Ferguson having taken interim charge.

    A host of names have been linked with the job, though all with vastly different profiles. Former Toffees boss Roberto Martinez, sacked in 2016, was an initial candidate, but the Belgian FA rebuffed Everton's approach.

    Fabio Cannavaro is also said to have been interviewed, similarly Frank Lampard. Wayne Rooney, meanwhile, confirmed last Friday that no approach had yet been made to Derby County's administrators.

    However, widespread reports on Monday claimed that Pereira was the favoured choice of owner Farhad Moshiri, whose running of the club has come under scrutiny from fans. 

    Those reports were met with some outcry, with a photo spread via social media on Tuesday showing graffiti at Goodison Park reading: "Pereira out. Lampard in."

    With suggestions on Wednesday that Everton were still weighing up options, Pereira – who was dismissed from a second spell in charge of Fenerbahce in December – took the somewhat surprising decision to speak to Sky Sports.

    "The club asked me to come for a meeting. I had a few interviews, not just one, with different people at the club, the board. We discussed everything, and I gave them my point of view about the club, the team," Pereira explained.

    "I think they were enthusiastic to what I proposed. An intense game, pressing, possession. We need to give confidence to the players, to the team and the fantastic supporters. This is what I proposed to them. What I felt in the meetings was that they were positive."

    Asked if he had been informed whether he would be getting the job, Pereira said: "They have other candidates and this is a time for decisions.

    "No, [they have not told me]. Just to wait for the decision, be calm, and they are grateful for the interviews, that's all.

    "What I want to tell you is that all of my career, I worked under pressure. About the decision? It's something I can't control.

    "I built my career with passion, organisation, competence. This is what I can offer to the club. I give 100 per cent of me, football for me is 24 hours. This is my life, my passion. 

    "I will move forward with my life. If they want me, they must call me. That's all."

    In response to the graffiti, Pereira said: "This is the first time in my career that I see this kind of thing. My CV speaks for itself. The club is not in a good position and the supporters have passion, this passion is the power of this club.

    "[Critics] don't know me very well, they don’t know my work, know me as a person. I worked in a lot of countries, different clubs, different levels, got several titles.

    "I don't take this as a personal attack."

    Pereira has won four league titles across spells in charge of Porto, Olympiacos and Shanghai SIPG.

  • Rule change means Premier League clubs must have at least four COVID-19 cases to request postponement Rule change means Premier League clubs must have at least four COVID-19 cases to request postponement

    Premier League teams will need to have at least four confirmed COVID-19 cases in order to apply for a match to be postponed from next month.

    In a change to league rules announced on Wednesday, a new "impact threshold" will be introduced, meaning clubs can no longer request for a game to be called off if they have a single case of coronavirus.

    The change will come into effect ahead of the match between Burnley and Watford on February 5. The game was twice rescheduled because of cases of the virus leaving each side struggling to name a full contingent of players.

    Announcing the new rule, the Premier League said: "Throughout the pandemic, the Premier League has adapted its guidance in response to the wider public health situation. The guidance was last updated in December in response to the emergence of the Omicron variant.

    "The League's postponement rules and guidance are designed to protect the wellbeing of players and staff, while maintaining the sporting integrity of the competition and the quality of squads playing League matches.

    "Club applications will continue to be assessed on a case-by-case basis. The Premier League Board examines a number of factors, including the ability of a club to field a team; the status, severity and potential impact of COVID-19; and the ability of the players to safely prepare for and play the match.

    "The detail within all applications is scrutinised by the League’s specialist staff before the Board makes its decision."

    Previously, teams could apply for a postponement if they had a confirmed case of the virus within the squad and were unable to name 13 available players plus a goalkeeper, with injuries and international absences also taken into account.

    Frustration began to build among teams and fans as 22 matches were called off, including the north London derby between Tottenham and Arsenal, with the Gunners' request for a new date granted after Martin Odegaard tested positive.

  • Rumour Has It: Arsenal switch focus to Isak after Vlahovic chooses Juventus Rumour Has It: Arsenal switch focus to Isak after Vlahovic chooses Juventus

    Arsenal's search of attacking reinforcements has apparently led to Alexander Isak after it became clear Dusan Vlahovic is seemingly headed to Juventus.

    With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang out of form and ostracised at the Emirates Stadium and Alexandre Lacazette struggling for goals, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is desperate to land attacking reinforcements in January.

    Their hunt for Fiorentina hitman Vlahovic has apparently failed but Sweden star Isak may be a potential option for the Premier League side.

    TOP STORY – ISAK THE MAN FOR MIKEL?

    Vlahovic has been a man in demand during the January transfer window, though it appears Juve have won the race in a €75million deal.

    Arsenal are now thought to be turning their attention to Real Sociedad forward Isak, and are reportedly ready to make him their club-record signing by paying £75million, which would trigger Isak's release clause.

    Isak scored 17 goals in 34 LaLiga outings last term, but he has managed just four from 18 top-flight appearances in 2021-22 thus far.

    ROUND UP

    - Newcastle United's pursuit of new players in their fight against relegation has reportedly led to a €40m (£33.5m) bid for Lyon's defensive midfielder Bruno Guimaraes, according to the Guardian. Arsenal and Juventus have also been touted as potential suitors.

    - The Evening Standard says Tottenham are planning a loan deal for Fiorentina's Sofyan Amrabat as Antonio Conte looks to bolster his midfield with Tanguy Ndombele, Dele Alli and Giovani Lo Celso all set to be allowed to leave. A move for Georginio Wijnaldum, whose move to Paris Saint-Germain has not exactly gone to plan, has also been tipped.

    - Germany full-back Robin Gosens could be about to swap Atalanta for Serie A rivals Inter, with a move in the "final stages", says Fabrizio Romano.

    - Nicolas Tagliafico has told Ajax he wants to joined Barcelona in what he considers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Goal first reported Barca coach Xavi was eyeing the left-back to provide competition for Jordi Alba.

    - Donny van de Beek is seemingly headed for a loan move out of Manchester United. Crystal Palace are said by Sky Sports to be in direct negotiations with the Red Devils, while a temporary switch to Valencia is also an option.

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