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Rangers: Manager Philippe Clement on handball ‘grey zone’

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Rangers recovered from Kilmarnock's penalty opener to win 2-1 at Rugby Park on Wednesday night
Rangers recovered from Kilmarnock’s penalty opener to win 2-1 at Rugby Park on Wednesday night

Rangers boss Philippe Clement has described the uncertainty over handball rules as the “grey zone” and would like clearer regulations to help officials.

John Lundstram conceded a penalty in Rangers’ midweek Premiership win at Kilmarnock after a cross hit his arm.

And Clement wondered why his side did not get a spot-kick when home defender Lewis Mayo appeared to handle.

“I hope there can be more clarity in the future,” he said. “I know there are decisions made in a grey zone.”

The Ibrox boss continued: “I don’t think for the handball rule it has become easier for referees or the VAR. It has become more difficult with the rule and the way it is decided by Uefa and Fifa.

“My job is to explain to my players what is handball or not. If they come on to the pitch feeling there is an injustice then we have a problem.

“I don’t say that was the case, but it needs to be really clear what is handball or not. I don’t think it is good for the game if all the players running around with their hands on the back, like you see now.

“It is not good for the game if players run around like penguins.”

Cortes missing with muscle problem

Rangers will be without Oscar Cortes for Saturday’s home game against Motherwell, with Clement unsure how long the Colombia winger will be missing.

The 20-year-old January arrival scored in the 5-0 thrashing of Hearts at Ibrox last weekend but had to come off at Rugby Park.

“Oscar will be out, I don’t know how long,” said Clement. “We are looking into that with the doctor and specialist. It is a muscle injury, but I cannot say much more at the moment.”

Striker Kemar Roofe and midfielder Ryan Jack return for the Premiership leaders, who are unbeaten in 57 top-flight games against Motherwell.

“I don’t want to speak about a half-empty glass,” added the Belgian.

“I am focused now on the players who are available for this game, because otherwise I would have lost a lot of energy in the last couple of months and that is useless.

“It is a pity for him [Cortes] and the team, but it is an opportunity for another player to show it and to do it, it works like that.”

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Tom Cleverley: Watford name former midfielder as permanent manager

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Cleverley now becomes Watford’s 11th permanent head coach since 2018 and eighth since the end of the 2020-21 season.

Earlier this week he spoke to BBC Sport about not being daunted about the high turnover rate of those who take the top job at Vicarage Road.

The midfielder also added that his motivation as a manager comes from what he failed to achieve as a player.

“There is a lot of unfinished business from my playing career,” he explained in an interview with BBC Sport. “That drives me forward with my coaching.

“I didn’t achieve anything in the Champions League with Manchester United. The title we lost to [Manchester] City. I came to Watford when they were in the Premier League. I retired as a player with them in the Championship. None of it sits right.

“I left a few out there as a player. I probably lacked ambition. But as a coach I am very ambitious.”

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Liverpool legend Barnes banned as company director over taxes

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John Barnes Media Ltd failed to pay £190,000 in taxes despite a turnover of over £400,000.

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Sue Day named Football Association director of women’s football

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The Football Association has appointed Sue Day as its new director of women’s football.

She will take up her role in December, replacing the outgoing Baroness Campbell, who had joined the FA in 2016.

Day joins from the Rugby Football Union, where she had been a board member, chief operations officer and chief financial officer.

She is a former England rugby union captain, having won 59 caps for her country.

In 2020, she was made an MBE for services to gender equality in sport.

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Ralf Rangnick contacted by Bayern Munich over manager’s job

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Ralf Rangnick said he has been contacted by Bayern Munich about the manager’s job at the Bundesliga club.

Current Bayern boss Thomas Tuchel will leave the Allianz Arena at the end of the season and Rangnick has been among those tipped to replace his fellow German.

Rangnick, 65, is currently in charge of the Austria national side who he is preparing for the upcoming European Championship.

“There has been contact from the side of Bayern Munich and I have informed the Austrian Football Association,” Rangnick told 90minuten.at., external

Asked when he would need to consider that interest seriously, Rangnick said: “If Bayern say: ‘We want you.’

“And then I would also have to ask myself: ‘Do I really want this?’

“If I want to do something else I will first discuss it with the Austrian FA.”

Rangnick, who had a six-month stint as Manchester United interim manager during the 2021-22 season, indicated any decision he makes will not be driven by money.

He said: “That doesn’t matter to me at all. For me it’s about other things: can I make a difference? Is there a chance of developing a team and being successful?

“My focus is on the Austrian national team. We are completely focused on the European Championship.”

Rangnick has a respected coaching reputation in Germany.

He set Ulm on course for promotion to the Bundesliga for the first time before spells in charge of Stuttgart, Hannover, Hoffenheim, Schalke and RB Leipzig.

He won the German Cup and reached the Champions League semi-finals with Schalke in 2011.

Bayern’s next manager will be looking to take them back to the top of German club football after Bayer Leverkusen halted their run of 11 consecutive Bundesliga titles this season.

Leverkusen boss Xabi Alonso had been linked with the Bayern job but has elected to stay with the newly crowned champions.

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Russell Martin: Southampton boss apologises to fans for Foxes rout

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Southampton boss Russell Martin has issued an apology to supporters who travelled to Leicester after their humiliating 5-0 defeat on Tuesday.

The Saints were outclassed and are now six points adrift of the automatic promotion places with two games left and a far inferior goal difference.

“I want to apologise to the fans,” Martin told BBC Radio Solent.

“We’re going to need them in the next few games to pick the lads up.”

After defeat at Cardiff on Saturday and Tuesday’s thrashing at the King Power Stadium, Martin’s side look destined for the play-offs with a 19-goal difference between them and second-placed Leeds United.

Saints have failed to capitalise when their promotion rivals have dropped points, with only three wins in their last eight games.

Despite their disappointment in all but missing out on automatic promotion, Martin still believes his side can make it to the Premier League.

“We can still go and achieve something special,” he added.

“We can look back on this night at Leicester as something that was really important for us.”

Saints will finish the Championship regular season with a home game against 17th-placed Stoke City on Saturday before travelling to face Leeds on the final day, 4 May.

The first legs of the play-offs will take place on 12 May with the semi-final between the teams finishing fourth and fifth set for 14:15 BST on that date.

Should Saints progress to the play-off final, it will be held at Wembley Stadium on 26 May.

If Southampton fail to secure promotion back to the Premier League, they will face bitter rivals Portsmouth in the Championship next season.

The two sides haven’t met since 2019 when Saints won 4-0 in the League Cup at Fratton Park.

The Blues were recently crowned winners of League One, sealing their return to England’s second tier for the first time in 12 years.

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Why Andy Cole became a Premier League Hall of Famer

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In the week that Andy Cole entered the Premier League Hall of Fame, BBC Sport looks back at some of the best moments from his career.

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Kylian Mbappé portera le numéro 9 du Real Madrid !

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C’est officiel : Kylian Mbappé portera le numéro 9 du Real Madrid ! Un choix stratégique qui s’inscrit dans sa quête ambitieuse du Ballon d’Or.

Quitter  le Paris Saint-Germain, et sa terre natale pour rejoindre le Real Madrid n’est pas une décision anodine pour Mbappé. Ce choix audacieux reflète son immense ambition et sa volonté de se hisser au sommet du football mondial.

Convaincu d’être l’un des meilleurs joueurs de sa génération, Mbappé aspire à marquer son époque. Et quel meilleur tremplin que le Real Madrid, club légendaire aux multiples titres, pour y parvenir ?

Un nouveau rôle pour Mbappé

Si l’officialisation du transfert n’a pas encore été faite par le club, à la demande de Mbappé lui-même qui craint la réaction des supporters parisiens, les discussions et la signature du contrat ont déjà eu lieu.

Selon le journal espagnol As, Mbappé a accepté de devenir le nouvel attaquant numéro 9 du Real Madrid sous les ordres de Carlo Ancelotti. Un rôle central qu’il n’a pas l’habitude d’occuper mais qui, selon son entourage, ne lui pose aucun problème.

“Mbappé est attiré par le défi de jouer dans une nouvelle position”, confie son entourage. “Il a déjà occupé ce rôle par moments au Paris Saint-Germain et il est convaincu que se rapprocher du but lui permettra de marquer plus de buts.”

Et qui dit plus de buts, dit plus de chances de remporter le Ballon d’Or. Un objectif clairement affiché par Mbappé et son entourage : “Kylian sait qu’en jouant au Real Madrid, il aura plus de chances de remporter la Ligue des champions et le Ballon d’Or. Et s’il remporte aussi le Soulier d’or, c’est encore mieux, car cela augmentera ses chances de remporter le Ballon d’Or.”

Mbappé est prêt à relever le défi et à écrire une nouvelle page de sa légende au Real Madrid. Son talent, son ambition et son nouveau rôle central font de lui un candidat sérieux pour le Ballon d’Or. L’histoire ne fait que commencer.

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Liverpool manager search: Feyenoord’s Arne Slot set for talks to succeed Jurgen Klopp

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Liverpool are set to open talks with Feyenoord on Wednesday over manager Arne Slot as they search for Jurgen Klopp’s successor.

Klopp announced in January he would leave Anfield at the end of the season and the Reds have been conducting extensive research around a number of candidates.

Slot, who led Feyenoord to the 2022-23 Eredivisie title, has emerged as a candidate who fits Liverpool’s criteria.

Feyenoord have won the Dutch Cup this season and are second in the Eredivisie.

Slot was linked with Leeds United after they sacked manager Jesse Marsch in February 2023.

He then ruled himself out of contention for the Tottenham Hotspur job last summer before Ange Postecoglou took over.

The 45-year-old then extended his contract with Feyenoord until 2026.

At the time he was being linked with Spurs, Slot said: “The next step will not be another club in Holland. If that is the next step, I’ve failed completely in the upcoming few years.

“A normal next step would be to go abroad and I’ve always said that the best league in the world is the Premier League.”

The attacking style of Slot, who is also thought to be interesting Barcelona and Bayern Munich, and his ability to develop players are believed to appeal to Liverpool.

He became Feyenoord head coach in December 2020 after leaving AZ Alkmaar, where he enjoyed success in his first managerial position.

The former midfielder spent his entire playing career in the Netherlands, making more than 100 appearances for both FC Zwolle and NAC Breda.

Xabi Alonso was linked with the Anfield job but the former Reds midfielder announced in March he would stay on at Bayer Leverkusen, who have since become German champions.

Sporting Lisbon boss Ruben Amorim is another manager heavily linked with the Liverpool job.

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Fayza Lamari, la mère de Mbappé, pourrait racheter Nîmes… mais Manchester City s’y oppose !

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Le feuilleton Kylian Mbappé et Real Madrid continue de faire parler, et ce n’est pas du côté des supporters madrilènes que la tension est la plus palpable. En effet, c’est plutôt la famille du prodige français qui se retrouve au cœur d’un imbroglio inattendu.

Alors que le contrat de Mbappé avec le Paris Saint-Germain touche à sa fin, il semblerait que sa mère, Fayza Lamari, ait des projets bien différents pour l’avenir de son fils. En effet, selon des informations relayées par la presse française, Mme Lamari serait intéressée par le rachat du Nîmes Olympique, club de troisième division française.

Ce projet ambitieux s’inscrit dans la volonté de Fayza Lamari de maintenir son influence dans la carrière de son fils. En devenant propriétaire d’un club, elle pourrait avoir son mot à dire sur les choix de Mbappé pour la suite de sa carrière.

Cependant, ce projet pourrait bien être compromis par l’intervention d’un acteur inattendu : Manchester City. Le club anglais, réputé pour son ambition et ses moyens financiers colossaux, serait également intéressé par le rachat de Nîmes.

Le groupe City Football Group, dont Manchester City fait partie, possède déjà un réseau de clubs à travers le monde. L’acquisition de Nîmes permettrait au groupe d’étendre son influence en France et de se positionner comme un acteur majeur du football français.

Face à l’intérêt de Manchester City, Fayza Lamari se retrouve confrontée à un obstacle de taille. La puissance financière du club anglais pourrait bien lui faire renoncer à son projet de rachat de Nîmes.

L’avenir de Nîmes et de Fayza Lamari dans le football français reste donc incertain. La décision finale reviendra à Rani Assaf, le propriétaire actuel du club, qui devra choisir entre l’offre de Fayza Lamari et celle de Manchester City.

Cette nouvelle péripétie dans la saga Mbappé montre une fois de plus l’influence croissante des familles de joueurs dans le monde du football moderne. La volonté de Fayza Lamari de maintenir son contrôle sur la carrière de son fils pourrait bien avoir des conséquences importantes sur l’avenir de Kylian Mbappé.

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Premier League: Two players arrested over alleged rape

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Two Premier League footballers have been arrested in connection with an alleged rape.

The pair – both aged 19 – were released on bail after being interviewed by police.

The players are at the same club, which declined to comment on the allegations.

“Officers have arrested two men following a report of a rape,” a police spokesperson said.

“A 19-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of assault and aiding and abetting a rape. A second 19-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of rape.

“Both men have since been released on police bail.”

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