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Chelsea agree deal to sell Hakim Ziyech to Galatasaray

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Chelsea have agreed a deal to sell winger Hakim Ziyech to Galatasaray.

The Morocco international is now expected to undergo a medical with the Turkish Super Lig club.

The 30-year-old has fallen out of favour at Stamford Bridge and has previously seen moves to Paris St-Germain and Saudi Pro League club, Al Nassr, fall through.

Ziyech has made 107 appearances for Chelsea in all competitions since joining them in 2020 for £33.3m.

The former Ajax player was an unused substitute during the Blues Champions League triumph in 2021 and was a key member of the Morocco side that became the first African team to reach the World Cup semi-finals at Qatar 2022.

However, he has become a peripheral figure at Chelsea amid a significant outlay on players totalling around £900m since American investor Todd Boehly and his Clearlake consortium took over in May 2022.

Ziyech was not involved in Chelsea’s pre-season tour of the USA earlier this summer and he was also absent from their matchday squad for their 1-1 draw against Liverpool at the weekend, having not been given a squad number for the new Premier League season.

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European Leagues

Chelsea disown ‘racist player’ Enzo Fernandez in official statement

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Chelsea have announced they have begun an 'internal disciplinary procedure' following video footage of Enzo Fernandez singing an

Chelsea have announced they have begun an ‘internal disciplinary procedure’ following video footage of Enzo Fernandez singing an offensive song about France with his Argentina team-mates.

It has caused fury and outrage amongst his team-mates at Stamford Bridge.

“Chelsea Football Club finds all forms of discriminatory behaviour completely unacceptable. We are proud to be a diverse, inclusive club where people from all cultures, communities and identities feel welcome,” the club statement reads.

“We acknowledge and appreciate our player’s public apology and will use this as an opportunity to educate. The Club has instigated an internal disciplinary procedure.”

The chant, which was chanted after Argentina’s Copa America victory, has received criticism for lyrics described as racist and transphobic.

Chelsea investigating Enzo Fernandez video as team-mate Wesley Fofana blasts ‘racist’ chant
The chant begins: “On passport, French nationality, listen, spread the word, they play in France, but they are all…”, before someone is heard saying “cut the video”. It is unclear whether the players continued singing the chant.

The full lyrics to the song are: “Listen, spread the word, they play in France, but they are all from Angola, they are going to run well, they like to sleep with trans people, their mum is Nigerian, their dad is Cameroonian, but on the passport it says: French.”

Fernandez issued a statement apologising for his behaviour before the club’s comments.

“I want to apologise sincerely for a video posted on my Instagram channel during the national team celebrations,” Fernandez said in his statement. “The song includes highly offensive language and there is absolutely no excuse for these words.

“I stand against discrimination in all forms and apologise for getting caught up in the euphoria of our Copa America celebrations. That video, that moment, those words, do not reflect my beliefs or my character. I am truly sorry.”

The midfielder’s club team-mate Wesley Fofana had earlier blasted the video, sharing it with the caption: “Football in 2024: uninhibited racism.” Fofana, as well as fellow French Chelsea players Malo Gusto and Axel Disasi, appear to have unfollowed Fernandez on Instagram.

The French Football Federation earlier issued a statement of their own on the matter. “The president of the French Football Federation, Philippe Diallo, condemns in the strongest terms the unacceptable racist and discriminatory remarks which were made against the players of the French team in the context of a song sung by players and supporters of the Argentina team after its victory in the Copa America and broadcast in a video on social media,” the statement began.“

Faced with the seriousness of these shocking remarks, contrary to the values of sport and human rights, the president of the FFF decided to directly challenge his Argentine counterpart and FIFA and to file a legal complaint for insulting remarks of a racial and discriminatory nature.”

A number of Chelsea supporters have responded on social media following the club’s statement. “Hope this internal procedure is principled and robust,” wrote one.

“Heart is heavy with all this,” wrote another.”Hope Enzo is truly apologetic and that the French boys can forgive him.”

Chelsea’s squad members have returned to pre-season training ahead of a tour of the United States. Their first pre-season game will take place on July 2024 against Wrexham, with four further fixtures to follow before a friendly back at home against Inter Milan on August 11.

Fernandez has yet to return to club duty after his international responsibilities with Argentina. A number of Blues players involved in the latter stages of the Copa America and European Championships have been given additional time off before returning to club action.

 

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Inside Gareth Southgate’s England exit – the possible replacement

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Gareth Southgate's tenure as England manager came to an end on Tuesday morning. At 11am BST, the FA confirmed the verdict, and the

Gareth Southgate’s tenure as England manager came to an end on Tuesday morning.

At 11am BST, the FA confirmed the verdict, and the country was officially in the post-Southgate era. He was no longer ‘the one’.

A 329-word first-person statement was published across England’s website and social media channels, a clear sign that this decision was firmly led by Southgate, who wanted to depart by directly addressing the nation.

90min understands it was always likely Southgate would have walked away from the job if England didn’t win Euro 2024. The FA had hoped if the Three Lions were victorious in Berlin or performances across the tournament as a whole were promising, they would be able to convince the 53-year-old to stay on for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

Alas, England limped to the Olympiastadion and Southgate made the call to stand down quickly after the loss to Spain.

Southgate is widely credited as the architect behind England’s club-style feel which ultimately led to their return to international prominence and contention. He was not sacked nor pressured to leave. It was a fast and collaborative decision, and the FA do not have a singular leading candidate in mind at the moment.

However, their shortlist is relatively short, with only four-to-five names under consideration at this moment. This is due to succession-planning, regardless of whether Southgate left now or later, being underway for over a year.

The odd-one-out among the names discussed is Mauricio Pochettino, who is the only foreign coach in the FA’s thinking. But sources have told 90min that this does not mean the Argentine is at a disadvantage – the best candidate for the job will be hired regardless of nationality.

Pochettino is open to an approach from the FA and has made no secret of his love of English football and living in the country.

Mauricio Pochettino


Pochettino’s predecessor at Chelsea, Graham Potter, is another name on the FA’s list. He was highly regarded during his spell in charge of Brighton & Hove Albion, and it is believed any official judgement in regards to the England job would be framed around his job at the Amex Stadium, rather than his difficult spell at Stamford Bridge.

Potter has rejected various offers since leaving Chelsea in April 2023, and though he is open to international management, he could still turn to club football again if he is presented with the right offer.

The FA admired Southgate for his three-year stint in charge of England’s Under-21s, and that side’s current boss, Lee Carsley, is also a candidate. The FA want to set up pathways for coaches as well as players, and Carsley, who led the U21s to European Championship glory last summer and has worked with a sizeable portion of the senior squad, is expected to be involved in the process.

And then there is the most intriguing candidate – Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe, who has long been touted as a potential Southgate successor.

 

Eddie Howe

90min understands Howe would consider taking the England job even though Newcastle will fight to keep him.

Newcastle are in a building process as they try to compete consistently with the Premier League’s big six. Yet changes behind the scenes at St James’ Park, although ambitious ones, could lead Howe to consider his options. He certainly hasn’t lost faith in the Magpies’ project, but there has been quite a bit of upheaval and the England job doesn’t come around too often.

Last week, it was announced that co-owners Amanda Staveley and Mehrdad Ghodoussi would leave Newcastle. Right there, Howe lost two of his allies in the boardroom.

Paul Mitchell has also been appointed as the club’s replacement for sporting director Dan Ashworth, who was finally granted permission to leave for Manchester United earlier this month. Howe has huge respect for Mitchell, who could yet be a factor in him choosing to remain since the former Monaco sporting director is seen as a major coup. But what is clear is Dougie Freedman was Howe’s first choice for sporting director, as he was for many in the Newcastle hierarchy, but he chose to stay at Crystal Palace.

Newcastle want Howe to stay but they won’t deny him an interview if one is offered and would respect his decision.

If Howe is chosen, and we are a long way from that still, he will require compensation, but this won’t be a problem for the FA, who are more willing than clubs to pay managerial release clauses. Nevertheless, they have been handed a financial boost, as the amount quoted in Howe’s contract is now lower than the £8m sum they would have had to pay had Newcastle qualified for Europe.

There is also a dark-horse contender in Wolves’ Gary O’Neil, who has fans from within the England setup. Thomas Tuchel has also been linked with the vacancy as well, but FA sources have downplayed the possibility of him being a candidate.

 

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Euro 2024

All you need to know about Euro 2024

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Held in Germany, Euro 2024 will officially begin on Friday, 14 June 2024 at the Allianz Arena, home of Bayern Munich. Scotland will be the

BBC Sport provides the lowdown on all the key details for Euro 2024.

When will the tournament start?
Held in Germany, Euro 2024 will officially begin on Friday, 14 June 2024 at the Allianz Arena, home of Bayern Munich. Scotland will be the team facing the hosts in the first match to kick off the tournament.

It will continue for a month and conclude on Sunday, 14 July at the Olympiastadion in Berlin.

This will be the first time that Germany has hosted the tournament since reunification, with the 1988 edition held in West Germany.

Who are the favourites?

At the time of writing, England are favourites at 7/2 and France 4/1 with the bookmakers, while hosts Germany are 5/1.

The next closest is Spain at 8/1, while Scotland are 100/1 to go all the way.

What are the groups?
Group A: Germany, Scotland, Hungary, Switzerland

Group B: Spain, Croatia, Italy, Albania

Group C: Slovenia, Denmark, Serbia, England

Group D: Poland, Netherlands, Austria, France

Group E: Belgium, Slovakia, Romania, Ukraine

Group F: Turkey, Georgia, Portugal, Czech Republic

What is the format?
The format will be the same as for Euro 2020.

The top two teams in each group will progress to the round of 16, along with the four best third-placed finishers.

How can I watch it?
BBC and ITV will share broadcasting coverage of Euro 2024 in the UK, following the pattern that was in place for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and previous European Championships.

Where are England and Scotland going to be playing?
England’s group-stage matches: 16 June v Serbia in Gelsenkirchen (20:00 BST), 20 June v Denmark in Frankfurt (17:00 BST), 25 June v Slovenia in Cologne (20:00 BST).

Who could they meet in the knockouts?
If England top Group C, they will face one of the third-placed teams from Group D, E or F in the last 16.

The Three Lions would face the winner of Group A in the last 16 if they finish second in the group.

If Scotland top Group A they’ll face the second-placed team from Group C, so one of England, Denmark, Slovenia and Serbia.

Should Steve Clarke’s side finish second, they’ll face the second-placed team from Group B, so one of Spain, Albania, Croatia and Italy.

Both sides could also progress as one of the four best third-placed teams in the group stage.

Who are the form teams?
Coming into the tournament, six teams were unbeaten during qualifying – France, England, Portugal, Belgium, Romania and Hungary.

Portugal are the only side who won every match, ending qualifying having scored 36 goals and conceding only two.

Spain and Scotland lost only one match, while Turkey and Austria also qualified with equally impressive records.

Despite Portugal winning every single qualifying match, they did not have the top goalscorer across these games. That was Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku, who notched 14 goals in eight matches for Belgium.

Which stadiums might we see?

The aforementioned Allianz Arena and Olympiastadion will both be seen throughout the tournament but there are 10 host cities in total, including Cologne and Dortmund.

Signal Iduna Park, home of Borussia Dortmund’s ‘yellow wall’, will host matches in Groups B, D and F, while also being selected as one of the venues for the last 16 and the semi-finals.

Here is the full list of venues for the tournament:

Berlin: Olympiastadion (70,000 capacity)

Cologne: Cologne Stadium (47,000),

Dortmund: BVB Stadion Dortmund (66,000)

Dusseldorf: Dusseldorf Arena (47,000)

Frankfurt: Frankfurt Arena (48,000)

Gelsenkirchen: Arena AufSchalke (50,000)

Hamburg: Volksparkstadion Hamburg (50,000)

Leipzig: Leipzig Stadium (42,000)

Munich: Munich Football Arena (67,000)

Stuttgart: Stuttgart Arena (54,000)

Are there any key omissions?
Manchester City forward Erling Haaland and Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard will play no part in the competition in the summer as Norway failed to qualify.

In the same group as Spain and Scotland, they didn’t accumulate enough points to gain an automatic spot and cannot qualify via the play-offs either.

Sweden are another notable nation that will not play a part in Germany, failing to qualify for the first time since 1996.

When are the Euro 2024 fixtures?
Friday, 14 June

Germany v Scotland (20:00 – Group A)

Saturday, 15 June

Hungary v Switzerland (14:00 – Group A)

Spain v Croatia (17:00 – Group B)

Italy v Albania (20:00 – Group B)

Sunday, 16 June

Poland v Netherlands (14:00 – Group D)

Slovenia v Denmark (17:00 – Group C)

Serbia v England (20:00 – Group C)

Monday, 17 June

Romania v Ukraine (14:00 – Group E)

Belgium v Slovakia (17:00 – Group E)

Austria v France (20:00 – Group D)

Tuesday, 18 June

Turkey v Georgia (17:00 – Group F)

Portugal v Czech Republic (20:00 – Group F)

Wednesday, 19 June

Croatia v Albania (14:00 – Group B)

Germany v Hungary (17:00 – Group A)

Scotland v Switzerland (20:00 – Group A)

Thursday, 20 June

Slovenia v Serbia (14:00 – Group C)

Denmark v England (17:00 – Group C)

Spain v Italy (20:00 – Group B)

Friday, 21 June

Slovakia v Ukraine (14:00 – Group E)

Poland v Austria (17:00 – Group D)

Netherland v France (20:00 – Group D)

Saturday, 22 June

Georgia v Czech Republic (14:00 – Group F)

Turkey v Portugal (17:00 – Group F)

Belgium v Romania (20:00 – Group E)

Sunday, 23 June

Scotland v Hungary (20:00 – Group A)

Switzerland v Germany (20:00 – Group A)

Monday, 24 June

Albania v Spain (20:00 – Group B)

Croatia v Italy (20:00 – Group B)

Tuesday, 25 June

France v Poland (17:00 – Group D)

Netherlands v Austria (17:00 – Group D)

Denmark v Serbia (20:00 – Group C)

England v Slovenia (20:00 – Group C)

Wednesday, 26 June

Slovakia v Romania (17:00 – Group E)

Ukraine v Belgium (17:00 – Group E)

Czech Republic v Turkey (20:00 – Group F)

Georgia v Portugal (20:00 – Group F)

 

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