LATEST – FC ROSTOV’S PITCH BANNED BY RUSSIAN PL FROM HOSTING MATCHES ONE WEEK AFTER JOSE MOURINHO’S CRITICISM (NEWS, GOSSIPS, GISTS, RUMOURS, TRANSFER SPECULATIONS & UPDATES)

Just a week after Jose Mourinho criticized FC Rostov’s pitch, the Russian Premier League has “banned” them from hosting league games due to “shortfalls” in the playing surface. Man United drew 1-1 at the Olimp-2 Stadium in their Europa League last-16 first-leg tie last Thursday.

It’s hard for me to believe we are going to play on that field, if you can call it a field,” Mourinho had said.

Rostov now have until 24 March to bring their pitch up to standard.

 

World Cup winner Mario Gotze has been ruled out for the rest of the season as he recovers from a “metabolic disorder” but is expected to be “fully fit” for the start of next term. The Germany and Borussia Dortmund midfielder, 24, has been limited to nine Bundesliga starts because of muscular problems since re-signing from Bayern Munich last summer. Gotze is on a rehabilitation programme and could be training by early summer, but it depends on how he responds to treatment, according to the German club.

 

Neymar’s desire to see Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho join Barcelona has been met with opposition by Lionel Messi. The Brazilian wants to bring another compatriot into the dressing room at Camp Nou but Messi is said to be wary of threats to his partnership with Luis Suarez in attack.

 

Leicester City’s fairy-tale run continued, this time on the European stage, following a 2-0 defeat of Sevilla to reach the quarter finals of the UEFA Champions League.

 

Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Kai Havertz will miss Wednesday’s Champions League last-16 game away to Atletico Madrid as the 17-year-old has exams at school. Havertz has played 20 senior games this season.

 

Man City are looking to tie up a deal for Napoli defender Faouzi Ghoulam before the summer transfer window opens. Arsenal have also been closely monitoring the Algeria international, but City are closing in on an £11.3 million deal.

 

Man United have been charged by the FA for failing to control their players during Monday night’s feisty FA Cup clash against Chelsea at the Stamford Bridge.

 

Harry Kane is likely to return to action before the end of the season after Tottenham confirmed the striker’s ankle injury is not as severe as first feared. The England international lasted just eight minutes of Tottenham’s 6-0 FA Cup thrashing of Millwall at White Hart Lane after injuring his ankle during an innocuous looking challenge with Jake Cooper. Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino initially feared that the injury was “similar” to the one which had kept Kane out of 10 games in September and October.

 

Chelsea believe they can persuade Everton striker Romelu Lukaku, 23, to rejoin them this summer after the Belgium international rejected a new contract – worth a reported £140,000-per-week – at Goodison Park. Also, Juventus, Inter and Milan are all on alert after getting the news. The striker is the Premier League’s co-leading scorer this season and could be on the move this summer in search of Champions League football. Lukaku has a contract with the Toffees until June 2019.

 

Man United’s players were stranded at Heathrow Airport after their FA Cup quarter-final defeat by Chelsea – because their plane was still in another country.

 

Man United and Real Madrid could also be interested in Romelu Lukaku.

 

Marseille midfielder Maxime Lopez, 19, says Liverpool approached him to join the club as 24-year-old Brazil international Philippe Coutinho’s long-term successor.

 

Arsenal’s players face losing bonuses worth millions of pounds if they fail to qualify for Champions League. The Gunners are fifth in the Premier League, five points behind fourth-placed Liverpool.

 

Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, 24, has no plans to leave Chelsea for Real Madrid in the summer. Courtois is reported to be one of four keepers, including Man United’s David de Gea and Tottenham’s Hugo Lloris, on Real’s list to replace Keylor Navas, 30.

 

Striker Wilfried Bony, 28, has questioned his decision to join Stoke City on loan from Man City after failing to seal a regular starting place in Mark Hughes’ side.

 

Man City boss Pep Guardiola is not interested in returning to Barcelona. The Spanish champions are looking for a replacement for Luis Enrique, who has announced he is leaving at the end of the season.

 

West Ham are interested in signing Arsenal’s Spanish forward Lucas Perez, 28, this summer. In addition, the Hammers are also considering a move for sign Juventus and Croatia striker Mario Mandzukic, 30.

 

Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham, 19, who has scored 18 times in 32 Championship games on loan at Bristol City, is wanted by Turkish club Galatasaray.

 

Reading boss Jaap Stam says he does not know if he will be at the Championship club beyond his current contract, which expires in the summer of 2018.

 

Nottingham Forest’s owner Fawaz al Hasawi says his dream is to reach Premier League after the appointment of Mark Warburton as manager.

 

Newcastle United and Netherlands goalkeeper Tim Krul, 28, says he will return to the Championship club when his loan spell at Dutch side AZ Alkmaar ends in about two months.

 

Swansea City want a rule change after their 2-1 Premier League defeat at Hull City last Saturday was played less than 24 hours after a rugby league game at the KCOM Stadium.

 

PSG’s President has written a letter to UEFA detailing what the French champions believe were mistakes by the referee in charge of their 6-1 Champions League defeat by Barcelona last week.

 

Liverpool are looking to put a deal in place for Lyon defender Jordy Gaspar. Talks have already been opened for the 19-year-old, although the Reds are likely to face competition from Serie A giants Milan for his signature.

 

 

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