Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale and some of his team-mates want out-of-form Cristiano Ronaldo dropped for the side’s game against Atletico Madrid today.
Man City boss Pep Guardiola says his first season in the Premier League has not been good enough but promised, “in the future I will be better“. City are fourth in the league following defeat at Chelsea on Wednesday, all but ending hopes of a league title in the Catalan’s debut campaign in England. The Defeat at Stamford Bridge left City just four points ahead of Arsenal and Man United, both of whom have a game in hand. He said:
“In future I will be better – definitely,” said the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach.
“This season has been a massive lesson for me.”
He added: “We have a lot of beautiful things to fight for and to qualify for the Champions League will be a huge success. But we have to be honest with ourselves. We were not good enough to compete for the Premier League [title].”
Colombia goalkeeper David Ospina, 28, wants to leave Arsenal and could join Turkish club Fenerbahce for £6m.
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte does not expect Andrea Pirlo, 37, to join his coaching staff in the summer after indicating the Italy legend wants to continue playing. Pirlo is currently at New York City.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insisted his side can cope with the loss of injured forward Sadio Mane, who will miss the rest of the Premier League season due to a knee injury, which requires surgery following an awkward tangle with Leighton Baines during last week’s Merseyside derby victory over Everton.
Man United gaffer Jose Mourinho says former striker Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez would have easily scored as much as 20 goals this season had he remained at the club. The Portuguese lamented the Mexican’s 2015 departure under Louis van Gaal, saying the striker could have reached double figures “easy”
The Red Devils boss told reporters that the Mexican international could have hit double figures with little trouble this season had he still been at Old Trafford. He said:
“We have good players, they are creative players, they can create, but they are not the kind of guy that is naturally a killer.”
“I give a simple example — in the way we play at Old Trafford, in the way we dominate opponents, in the way we play in the box, I think Chicharito would have scored 20 goals easy.
“Even coming from the bench for the last 10 or 20 minutes, he would have 20 goals.
“He is the guy that naturally the ball comes here, rebound here, rebounds there, boom, goal.
“The goalkeeper saves, he goes there, boom, goal. The cross is coming, he anticipates the first-post header, goal.”
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers, 44, has signed a new four-year deal with the Scottish Premiership champions. Rodgers has guided Celtic to the league title and the League Cup in his debut season since succeeding Ronny Deila. The former Liverpool, Swansea City, Reading and Watford boss had signed a 12-month rolling contract last May.
Barcelona midfielder Rafinha, 24, has had surgery on his injured knee and will be out for the next four months. The Brazil international had to be replaced during last Sunday’s 4-1 La Liga win at Granada. Rafinha has made 28 appearances for the Nou Camp side this season, including 18 in La Liga where he has scored six goals.
According to a Barca statement: “Rafinha has had an arthroscopy in the right knee to solve an injury in the internal meniscus.”
“The player will be out for around four months.”
West Ham United boss Slaven Bilic, 48, is fighting to save his job after five league defeats in a row which has left the Hammers five points above the relegation zone.
Sevilla’s gaffer Jorge Sampaoli is flattered by reports linking him with the Netherlands vacancy but insists his immediate priority is getting Sevilla’s season back on track. Reports in the Dutch media this week have suggested the former Chile boss is a contender to replace Danny Blind in charge of Oranje, but, while flattered, Sampaoli is more interested in reversing a worrying set of results that have seen Sevilla exit the Champions League and slip out of the Liga title race.
Bournemouth have not ruled out re-signing Chelsea’s Netherlands defender Nathan Ake, 22, in the summer.
Leicester City hope to have unveiled the ‘new Jamie Vardy‘ after signing winger Josh Gordon, 22, from Stafford Rangers in the seventh tier of English football.
Sunderland boss David Moyes, 53, wants the chance to rebuild the club if the Premier League’s bottom team is relegated.
Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Chinese owners want promotion to the Premier League in the next two years.
Watford have no interest in replacing head coach Walter Mazzarri, 55, in the summer, despite reports that the Italian’s position is in doubt.
Tottenham’s Belgium defender Toby Alderweireld, 28, says Spurs have not given up on winning the Premier League title – and believes they can do “something special“.
Hull City’s Portuguese boss Marco Silva, 39, says there has been no talks regarding his long-term future with the club. The Tigers have won five out of the 11 Premier League games he has been in charge.
Brighton midfielder Dale Stephens, 27, wanted by Burnley last year and out of contract this summer, will wait until the end of the season to decide his future.
Birmingham City boss Gianfranco Zola hopes to re-sign Arsenal’s Polish defender Krystian Bielik next season after the 19-year-old’s impressive form since signing on loan in January.
Former West Brom boss Alan Irvine, 58, is to remain interim boss of Norwich City until the end of the season.
Fans of League One Coventry City and Charlton Athletic are set to stage a joint protest against the owners of their respective clubs when the two teams meet on 14 April.
Leyton Orient’s club doctor has resigned after allegedly not being paid by League Two’s bottom club.
Man United offer their best wishes to former striker Andrew Cole after he undergoes a kidney transplant operation.