Jose Mourinho could be spared for the rest of the season as Tottenham Hotspur consider his future – the latest edition of ESPN’s Insider Notebook. MORE: Why did Man United reject Dayot Upamekano?
Jumping: Man United transferred Upamecano | Alaba to Madrid, not sure | Lazio risks relegation because of COVID? |- Third time lucky for Zidane’s son? | Italy is looking for the next Chucky Rabiot, Ancelotti might meet him.
Mourinho faces Tottenham’s fate
Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy wants to wait until the end of the season to decide José Mourinho’s fate as head coach, sources told ESPN.
Speculation in the English and Portuguese media over Mourinho’s position has increased as Spurs have slipped to ninth in the Premier League standings after four defeats in their last five games.
Sources have told ESPN that reports in Portugal that Mourinho’s sacking will cost Tottenham around £30m are broadly correct, as he has a contract without an exit clause until the summer of 2023, but it is not just the financial situation that is saving time for the 58-year-old.
The decision to postpone the EFL Cup final from February to April has unwittingly helped Mourinho, who continues to fend off criticism by pointing to the show at Wembley offering Spurs the chance to win their first silver trophy since 2008.
– ESPN FC Daily feeds on ESPN+ (US only)
They face the tough task of beating Manchester City, who have won their last 17 games in all competitions, but Mourinho has been hired to win trophies and is about to deliver his first full season. Internally, we also understand the team’s run of three defeats against Liverpool, Chelsea and City, while captain Harry Kane was absent due to an ankle problem.
Mourinho won the Europa League with Manchester United four years ago and secured qualification for the Champions League by finishing sixth in the league. Sources say Levy is reminding Spurs that this could be possible, but Mourinho needs to get results in the short term, starting with reaching Wolfsberger AC in the last 32, and better home results at West Ham, Burnley and Crystal Palace before the north London derby against Arsenal on 13. Mars.
Sources say the first team is behind Mourinho, but it has been noted that he has offered an olive branch to Dele Alli and Gareth Bale – two men who have been marginalised and criticised in recent months – arguing that coaches can sometimes make bad decisions. -James Ollie
Jose Mourinho is under pressure at Tottenham, having lost four of his last five league games. Getty Images
Why Solskjaer refused to prosecute Upamecano
Manchester United have not tried to compete with Bayern Munich for Dayot Upamecano because manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is desperate to contract the left-back, sources told ESPN.
Bayern have announced that they will contract Upamecano from RB Leipzig at the end of the season, after agreeing a transfer clause of €42.5 million ($51 million) with Bayern.
Sources told ESPN that the 22-year-old had interest from United, not least because of the exit clause in his contract, but his representatives were already aware of Solskja’s preliminary demands before Bayern finalised a deal.
– Report from the Scouts: What the Upamekano is going to give Bayern
The United manager is hoping to sign the centre-back this summer and believes an extra left-back would bring more balance to his team.
Solskjaer’s favourite duo this season are captain Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof, who are both predominantly right-footed. That meant Maguire often had to play at left-back after Marcos Rojo, United’s only left midfielder, left the club for Boca Juniors in January.
Besides Maguire and Lindelof, Solskjaer has experienced central defenders like Eric Bailey, Phil Jones and Axel Tuanzebe. If another central defender emerges, United will be open to a bid for Jones and the 23-year-old Tuanzeba could be loaned out. — Rob Dawson
Jan Aage Fjortoft is secretly working on a switch to Bayern Munich by signing Dayot Upamecano from RB Leipzig.
Alaba has a contract at Madrid, but could also opt for Liverpool, Chelsea or Atleti.
David Alaba’s business manager, Pini Zahavi, has received calls about his player from at least eight clubs in Europe. Alaba, 28, has decided to leave Bayern Munich for a free transfer at the end of the season.
Real Madrid is in the lead. They have a verbal financial agreement with Alaba and Zahavy, sources told ESPN. The Blancos need a regular, especially if captain Sergio Ramos, whose contract expires at the end of the season, does not renew his contract and does not leave.
But Austrian international Alaba will listen to other suggestions and decide where to go. He could have easily made the same deal with other teams and picked him.
Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United are after him, as well as Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, but Chelsea and Liverpool are doing everything they can to win, regardless of Madrid’s confidence.
Alaba is coveted not only because he does not have to pay a transfer fee, but also because he is at the peak of his talent and is a versatile player with experience as a central defender, left back and defensive midfielder.
His experience and achievements in two Champions Leagues, nine Bundesliga titles and six German Cup victories make him a rare player to obtain as a free agent. — Julien Lawrence
Julien Laurens and Rodrigo Fáez discuss whether David Alaba will bring Sergio Ramos up to speed.
Possible withdrawal if Lazio is found guilty of manipulating the COVID-19 test
The Italian federal court accused Lazio of falsifying coronavirus tests. The Serie A giants face a sliding scale of penalties if found guilty, ranging from points deduction to relegation to Serie B.
President Claudio Lotito and club doctors Ivo Pulcini and Fabio Rodia accuse the prosecutor of failing to report the positive cases to the competent health authorities and of arranging for the compulsory isolation for ten days of an asymptomatic player who was then used in a league match. The identity of the player was not disclosed and the Italian Football Association appealed to the Italian courts.
We have confidence in the sporting justice system, which we will express to the competent authorities in order to correctly rectify the facts and acknowledge the total absence of involvement in the disputed allegations, Lazio spokesman Roberto Rao said.
– ESPN+ Visualization Guide : Bundesliga, Serie A, MLS, FA Cup and more.
The study was conducted on the 3rd. November began when a ramp inspection led to the seizure of the tests. Lotito is accused of failing to comply with or to monitor the rules of medical examination and the necessary communication with the competent local health authorities.
The Biancocelesti, who were sidelined in the Calciopoli scandal in 2006 when Juventus were relegated from Serie A for attempting to influence referees, could also face repercussions if found guilty. Given the global impact of the pandemic, pressure is being put on the Italian authorities to act decisively if Lazio are found guilty of forgery.
Calciopoli isn’t the only example of great teams getting demoted for their crimes. AC Milan were also forced to give up their match-fixing service in 1980. — Andrew Cesare Richardson
Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane turned to one of his sons to help him overcome an injury. Getty
A third time for Zidane’s son at Real Madrid?
Due to injuries at Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane’s son Theo, tall and elegant midfielder like his father, has been called up to train with the first team this week. The 18-year-old hopes to succeed where his older brothers Enzo and Luca have failed and secure a place in the senior team. Since their debuts in Madrid in 2016 and 2018 respectively, their careers haven’t really taken off.
Enzo, who scored in his only appearance, a 6-1 Copa del Rey win over Cultural Leonesa at the Bernabeu, has no club at the age of 25. He was sacked by Almeria in October after failing in Portugal and Switzerland.
The 22-year-old goalkeeper Luca gave up four goals in two games for Madrid against Villarreal and Huesca. He did better than Enzo and is now substitute goalkeeper at Rayo Vallecano in the Spanish second division.
Theo, who made two appearances for Madrid’s B team, Castilla, has long been regarded by club insiders as the most talented of Zidane’s four boys. The youngest Elyaz is an U16 defender and his style of play is very similar to that of his father. — Alex Kirkland
Hirving Lozano made a big impression in Serie A with Napoli. Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images
Italy seeks another Chucky.
Former Mexican footballer Sergio Lugo has been hired by agency Nicoletti & Partners to operate a new Hirving Chucky Lozano for Italian football.
Lozano transferred from PSV Eindhoven to Napoli at the start of the 2019-20 season. After a difficult start in Serie A, where he was even sent off training for lack of action, the Mexican striker grew into an influential member of Gennaro Gattuso’s squad. Sources told ESPN how Lozano became one of the club’s leaders in the locker room.
Lugo was Victor Manuel Vucetic’s assistant at Chivas for ten years, and it is his former club that is interested in attracting some of the best talent in Mexican football.
An Italian company invited me to look for players who could move to Europe and they asked me to find two players from Chivas, Luga told ESPN Deportes. They need players with certain qualities to succeed in Europe, and that’s a credit to Chucky Lozano.
This kid surprised people in Italy when he showed himself to be a better player. He’s known there… more than in Mexico.
When this company contacted me, they asked: Could there be other actors in Mexico with a profile similar to Chucky’s? And I said to them: Yes, of course.
Lozano, whose injury in Napoli’s 1-0 win over Juventus last weekend would have sidelined him for several weeks, has almost tripled his goal tally in this period compared to last season – and in fewer games. He scored five goals in 34 games in all competitions during the 2019-20 season, but since Napoli won the Italian Coppa, he has already scored 13 goals in 32 games this season. — Andrew Cesare Richardson
Adrian Rabiot has long been linked with a move to the Premier League. Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images
Ancelotti is passionate about grating at Everton.
Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti has played a big part in young Adrien Rabiot’s development since their move to Paris Saint-Germain and they could meet again at Goodison Park next season, sources told ESPN. Ancelotti is looking for reinforcements for his midfield and Rabiot’s profile is what he wants to improve on over Andre Gomez.
Rabiot, 25, can play anywhere in midfield but is an excellent boxer whose qualities could fit well with the more physical nature of the Premier League. It remains to be seen whether Juventus will let the French midfielder go in the summer.
It has been a difficult season for him under Andrea Pirlo, with disappointing performances as he was shown a red card in the 2-2 draw with Roma.
Ancelotti managed Rabiot at PSG when he was only 17 years old. He joined the first team in the summer of 2012 and made his Ligue 1 and Champions League debut in the first half of the 2012/13 season.
The Italian had a huge impact on Rabiot’s career and even advised him to take out a loan in January 2013 to move to Toulouse to continue his career. Since then they have kept in touch and next season they could work well together. — Julien Lawrence
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