Luka Jovic will return to the Serbia squad for their Euro 2020 play-off semi-final against Norway in March after a "misunderstanding" was resolved, the Football Association of Serbia (FSS) announced on Monday.

The Real Madrid striker was released from international duty in September citing an injury, only to then feature for his club in LaLiga four days later.

Serbia head coach Ljubisa Tumbakovic was reportedly irked, and Jovic has not played for his country since.

However, with a key clash against Norway coming up on March 26, FSS sporting director Vladimir Matijasevic and Tumbakovic have held meetings with Jovic to get one of their star men back on board.

"First FSS sporting director Matijasevic and then coach Tumbakovic have had a meeting with Serbian national team player Luka Jovic over the past few days, after which it is clear the Real Madrid striker is absolutely ready to be available in March matches," the FSS posted on its Twitter page.

"On both sides, everything that needed to be said was said, the misunderstanding was resolved and, most importantly, the conclusion was that everyone agreed that Serbia's interest was above all.

"Qualification for the European Championship was a common goal."

Jovic netted in a qualifying win against Lithuania in June but has scored only once in LaLiga since his €60million move from Eintracht Frankfurt to Madrid ahead of the 2019-20 season.

Gareth Southgate would be "disappointed" if he was not linked to Premier League vacancies but the England boss still has objectives he wants to achieve with the Three Lions.

England reached a first World Cup semi-final since Italia '90 at last year's tournament in Russia, while they also made the last four of the inaugural Nations League.

Southgate then oversaw England's qualification for Euro 2020 and his side are among the favourites for European Championship glory.

In a question and answer session with Sky Sports, Southgate – who was in the past linked with the Manchester United job - was asked if a return to Premier League management is of interest.

For now, though, Southgate's immediate focus remains on the Three Lions.

"I am completely fulfilled in the role, it's a privilege to be the manager of England. Sometimes in life we are always looking at what's coming next and not relishing how fortunate we are to be in the position that we are in," he said.

"I feel like our team can still get better, there are objectives that we still want to achieve. In the future? I know realistically that I'm not going to be England manager in 10 years' time - I hope to be in six months' time. 

"Somewhere in between that, there is going to be something else. I'd be disappointed if I wasn't linked with some of those jobs if I'm honest. 

"I don't worry about it because my phone has not been ringing. I think that is because people know that I am committed to the job that I am in."

Being national team manager throws up plenty of challenges and Southgate had to deal with an internal bust-up between Raheem Sterling and Joe Gomez during the last international break, with the duo having clashed in Manchester City's defeat to Liverpool prior to the squad meeting up.

Southgate opted to drop Sterling for the clash against Montenegro before restoring the City forward for their final Euro 2020 qualifier with Kosovo.

The decision to publicly confirm Sterling was dropped drew criticism in some quarters but Southgate feels the squad is more united for having dealt with the incident as a group.

"I think there are situations as a leader, where whatever decision you make will be criticised. There are some situations where there isn't a perfect solution and you all have to just work things out as a group," he added.

"Time needs to pass. I have to make a decision that is right for the team first and foremost, and also support both of the players. There are so many people involved in a situation like that - everybody is going to have an opinion. Those that have managed or coached before understand the complexities of any situation like that.

"The most important thing is the team and the performance of the team. We were able to focus internally on the football very quickly and we got the results we needed and both boys got back on the pitch.

"They definitely came closer together and Raheem's message when Joe got an adverse reaction at Wembley was a really powerful one. I think that bought some closure on the episode.

"We are dealing with young men who are going to be emotional at times. Part of the strength of some of our players is that edge that they have. Through that adversity we are stronger for it."

Manuel Neuer insists suggestions of a rift with fellow Germany goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen were blown out of proportion.

Earlier this year, Bayern Munich's first-choice keeper Neuer criticised his Barca counterpart for making "inappropriate" comments over his disappointment at not playing more regularly for Die Mannschaft.

However, Neuer later talked up the qualities of Ter Stegen, who has become one of the best number ones in the world at Camp Nou, and the former Schalke stopper says there was never an issue between the two.

"In principle, far too much was made of it," Neuer told Kicker. "I've never had a problem with Marc. 

"We train for the national team together. We sit together at breakfast, have a normal conversation - as team-mates, not as competitors.

"Each of us tries to show our best performance for the team so that we can be successful. This is important because we play in a team."

On Sunday, Bayern confirmed Hansi Flick would remain in charge at the Allianz Arena until the end of the season having overseen eight wins from 10 matches across all competitions since taking over from Niko Kovac.

Neuer says Flick has earned his chance to lead Bayern.

"He's been doing great so far. He has a great connection to the team, communicates things very clearly," he added. 

"He definitely deserves the chance right now."

Scotland midfielder John McGinn suffered an ankle fracture in Premier League action against Southampton on Saturday, his club Aston Villa have confirmed.

McGinn went down injured after just five minutes of Villa's 3-1 defeat at Villa Park, having caught his studs in the turf, and had to be helped off the pitch to be replaced by Marvelous Nakamba.

Manager Dean Smith later revealed the player had gone for an X-ray, and the club revealed the extent of the injury on Sunday.

It is reported McGinn - linked with Manchester United - is expected to miss three months following initial fears his season would be over.

The news still comes as a sizeable blow to both Villa, who are 18th in the Premier League, and Scotland, as Steve Clarke's men aim to reach Euro 2020.

McGinn has three league goals this term but netted an outstanding seven times in Euros qualifying for Scotland, with a play-off semi-final still to come against Israel on March 26.

Trent Alexander-Arnold believes Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp's unwavering belief has helped shape his life for the better.

Klopp extended his contract with the Premier League leaders on Friday, agreeing a deal that keeps him at the club until 2024.

The German arrived at Anfield in October 2015 and handed a teenage Alexander-Arnold his professional debut 12 months later, in an EFL Cup tie against Tottenham.

The Merseysider has gone on to win the Champions League and cement a regular starting berth at right-back.

"He is someone who has really made me who I am today," Alexander-Arnold told Spanish newspaper AS when asked about Klopp.

"Someone who has pushed me to get better every day, someone who has given me so many opportunities that I will never be able to repay all that confidence. He has helped me in every way."

Alexander-Arnold's early exposure to first-team football helped him win a place in Gareth Southgate's England squad for the 2018 World Cup.

The 21-year-old appears certain to be involved at Euro 2020 after appearing in three qualifiers, including two in November.

He was on the bench when the Three Lions encountered racist abuse during their infamous away game against Bulgaria, which the visitors won 6-0.

"It was something that, personally, I had never faced before, nor my team-mates, although they told us what could happen," Alexander-Arnold said of the ugly scenes in Sofia.

"The worst happened before the break, when the match stopped. In the changing room we decided to go out and play football and win, and make our country proud of us. It's disappointing, something that shouldn't happen in football these days."

Now an emerging leader in a Liverpool side charging towards a first Premier League title, Alexander-Arnold said wearing the armband was a definite personal ambition.

"Yes, of course," he said. "Whether it comes true or not, it is not really my decision. I don't choose who the captain is. But yes, I would love to captain Liverpool."

France coach Didier Deschamps is not yet thinking about attempting to retain the World Cup after signing a new contract.

Deschamps agreed a new deal on Tuesday that takes the coach through to the end of Qatar 2022.

France will first attempt to follow their successful campaign at Russia 2018 by claiming European Championship glory for the first time since 2000 next year.

Les Bleus were runners-up at Euro 2016, with Deschamps hoping to go one step further than their defeat to Portugal on home soil.

"It is an honour for me to be the coach of France," Deschamps told a news conference. 

"You know the attachment I continue to have for what this jersey represents.

"Sincerely, I thank the [French Football Federation] president [Noel Le Graet] for his confidence. The quality of our relationship is very important to me.

"There are still many things to do. Many have already been done. We are world champions in title. We are judged by the results.

"I am happy in my job. I have the best French players, with a remarkable state of mind. There are still beautiful things to do.

"Qatar is very far away. The goal is the Euros… My energy and that of my staff are focused on it."

No team has retained the World Cup since the great Brazil side featuring Pele won the tournament in 1958 and 1962.

Didier Deschamps will lead France in their World Cup defence after committing to Les Bleus through to the end of their Qatar 2022 mission.

The new deal for the head coach, confirmed at a news conference in Paris, rewards the former midfielder for his ongoing success with the national team.

Deschamps was contracted until the end of Euro 2020 but has committed for a further two and a half years to take in another World Cup trophy quest.

The Qatar finals take place from November 21 until December 18, and if Deschamps sees out his contract he will complete a full decade in his post.

Appointed in July 2012, initially on a two-year deal, he oversaw France's Euro 2016 campaign on home soil, where they lost to Portugal in the final.

Les Bleus went one better at Russia 2018, a 4-2 victory over Croatia in the final seeing Deschamps match the feat of Franz Beckenbauer with West Germany and Mario Zagallo with Brazil in becoming a World Cup winner both as a player and as a manager.

He was captain of France's triumphant 1998 team and played most notably at club level for Marseille and Juventus, winning the Champions League with both.

Didier Deschamps will lead France in their World Cup defence after committing to Les Bleus through to the end of their Qatar 2022 mission.

The new deal for the head coach, confirmed at a news conference in Paris, rewards the former midfielder for his ongoing success with the national team.

Deschamps was contracted until the end of Euro 2020 but has committed for a further two and a half years to take in another World Cup trophy quest.

The Qatar finals take place from November 21 until December 18, and if Deschamps sees out his contract he will complete a full decade in his post.

Appointed in July 2012, initially on a two-year deal, he oversaw France's Euro 2016 campaign on home soil, where they lost to Portugal in the final.

Les Bleus went one better at Russia 2018, a 4-2 victory over Croatia in the final seeing Deschamps match the feat of Franz Beckenbauer with West Germany and Mario Zagallo with Brazil in becoming a World Cup winner both as a player and as a manager.

He was captain of France's triumphant 1998 team and played most notably at club level for Marseille and Juventus, winning the Champions League with both.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has insisted his organisation is not blind to the scourge of racism and will implement stronger sanctions on clubs and countries.

European football has been marred by a string of ugly episodes this season, from the monkey noises aimed at Inter striker Romelu Lukaku in a Serie A game against Cagliari to the racist abuse England players suffered during their Euro 2020 qualifier in Bulgaria.

Brescia striker Mario Balotelli and Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Taison both resorted to kicking balls into the stands in separate incidents in Italy and Ukraine last month.

Anti-discrimination body Kick It Out characterised the €75,000 fine handed out to the Bulgarian Football Union as symptomatic of UEFA's weak deterrents and Ceferin admitted more must be done.

He told The Mirror: "I understand that the players are desperate because of the punishments and the incidents that are happening again and again.

"Of course you want say [to UEFA]: 'Go to hell!' I know. But I am not so naive to think that we've done all we can and now everything is finished. We haven't.

"We are trying and we care. We are not just some guys in Nyon sitting eating fancy food and driving Ferraris.

"We are ready to listen to criticism. Every week there is something - not just since Bulgaria, not since England, not since Cagliari. We've been listening.

"Every week we hear about some s*** happening around Europe. And we speak.

"I went recently to the European Union. We speak with governments. We are trying to do something."

Ceferin pledged to investigate avenues for tougher penalties and said UEFA will address its own imbalances.

"Our disciplinary committee and other committees should be more and more diverse," he said.

"We have to bring black members in and we have to bring in more women.

"I agree that sanctions will have to be harsher and harsher. And I'm sure we will. I cannot tell you more but we will rethink all the disciplinary regulation and diversity in the disciplinarian gravity.

"In the future, one of the governing bodies where this happens will have to have severe sanctions, I know."

But the Slovenian administrator stopped short of agreeing to competition bans, saying: "I know we have to do more. But tell me which club was thrown out of the Premier League? And you have incidents almost every week. Also in Italy.

"The media attention is their oxygen."

Former Spain coach Robert Moreno said Luis Enrique's "ugly" claims that he was "disloyal" and "ambitious" are unfair.

Moreno served as Luis Enrique's assistant for the national team until the latter stepped down in June to care for his young daughter, Xana, who died in August following a battle with bone cancer.

The former became coach at that point and oversaw Spain's qualification for Euro 2020 before he was informed Luis Enrique would be coming back as head coach.

Moreno was not appointed to Luis Enrique's staff a second time following an apparent fall out, as the former Barcelona boss questioned his former deputy's motives.

But the departed coach hit back as the feud continued on Thursday, suggesting he was always "faithful" to Luis Enrique.

Moreno also pointed out an alternative replacement when Luis Enrique initially departed would not have been so accommodating in granting him a return.

"I don't want to go into reproaches, but I have been personally attacked and labelled with something that I am not," he told a news conference. "In this puzzle, my pieces are missing.

"Nine years ago, I started working with Luis Enrique. We have always followed him, being faithful, until he reached the national team.

"Nobody knew for how long he would be out, but what we all did know was, if there was a possibility for him to return to the national team, our staff would have to stay.

"So, I stepped up and took charge of the team. If I had not done so, now Luis Enrique would not be coach of the national team. It would be another coach."

Moreno said he was left "in a state of shock for a week" after learning Luis Enrique did not intend to make him assistant again.

He added: "To this date, I honestly don't know why Luis Enrique doesn't want me to be with him. I don't know as he was not clear in his news conference.

"He labelled me with two adjectives ["disloyal" and "ambitious"] that are very ugly and that I don't deserve. I have proved over the whole time I worked with him that I am not like that.

"The years will pass and I will still not know. He could not explain it - or I could not understand it according to what my people have told me, as I did not watch the news conference myself."

Preferring to look forward, Moreno reiterated his desire to continue a career as a head coach despite a testing first high-profile experience.

"I have just started," he said. "I am really excited to be back on the pitch, to handle training sessions, to manage a team, to make decisions, to attend news conferences. I'm really looking forward to it.

"It has always been my passion to become a head coach. I am someone who started from the very bottom but was able to reach the top level."

Luis Enrique accused his ex-assistant Robert Moreno of being "disloyal" as the fallout from Spain's shock coaching change continued on Wednesday.

The former Barcelona boss faced the media for the first time since returning to the role on November 19 and took aim at Moreno's character.

Moreno served as Luis Enrique's assistant until the latter stepped down from the top job in June to care for his young daughter, Xana, who died in August following a battle with bone cancer.

Spain qualified for Euro 2020 under Moreno but he will not be part of Luis Enrique's backroom team moving forward after a falling out between the pair.

"The only person responsible for Robert Moreno not being on my staff is me," Luis Enrique said.

"On September 12, I met him at my house and he told me that he wanted to coach at the European Championship and then, if I wanted, he would be my assistant.

"I understand that he is ambitious, that it is his dream to be a coach, but for me it is disloyal, I would not do it. For me it is a big flaw. I understand his position but I do not share it.

"I told him I no longer see him as my assistant and that I don't know when I will be back, but that I feel like working. He finished the meeting in a cordial way and I called the people on my staff to let them know my opinion and that of the other side, so that no one misrepresents my words.

"From there, I must say that I never approached the federation. I never called them. 

"Professionally I have no reason to criticise Robert Moreno. He is very prepared and is a very good coach. His words said one thing and the facts were very different.

"I am not the good one in the movie, but neither am I the bad one."

Romania have appointed Mirel Radoi as their coach ahead of next year's Euro 2020 play-off with Iceland, the Romanian Football Federation (RFF) has announced.

His appointment was ratified by members of the RFF's executive committee on Tuesday and he will succeed Cosmin Contra after he resigned from the role last week. 

Radoi moves up to the senior squad after impressing as the coach of Romania's Under-21 side, who reached the semi-finals of this year's UEFA European Under-21 Championship.

That performance meant Romania qualified for the Olympics for the first time in 56 years, earning promotion for Radoi.

He will lead Romania into a play-off in Reykjavik in March with the winners of that tie taking on either Bulgaria or Hungary for a place at Euro 2020.

Scotland have been drawn against Israel in the Euro 2020 play-off semi-finals.

Aiming to reach their first major finals in 22 years, Steve Clarke's side will face Israel in a one-legged tie at Hampden Park on March 26.

The winner of that match will go on to face either Norway or Serbia in the Path C final five days later.

Scotland beat Israel 3-2 at Hampden Park last November en route to topping their Nations League group and Clarke is after a repeat result in four months' time.

"The draw is what it is," he told Sky Sports News. "I never get too carried away about who you are going to play. 

"It would been nice to repeat the home win, but the match will come with its own level of pressure, which we will have to embrace.

"Being at home is very important for us. I'm sure Hampden will be full, with the Tartan Army on the march. It's a great stadium when it's full, so if we start fast we can get them all behind us."

Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland are on course to meet in the Path B final, having been drawn away to Bosnia and Herzegovina and Slovakia respectively in the semis.

In Path A, Romania travel to Iceland and Bulgaria host Hungary, while Belarus are at Georgia and North Macedonia face Kosovo in Path D.

The four play-off winners will join the 20 teams that have already qualified for the finals, which will take place in 12 different cities next year.

Zinedine Zidane has called for the Real Madrid fans to get behind Gareth Bale despite his well-publicised Wales celebrations this week.

Bale was pictured behind a banner that read 'WALES. GOLF. MADRID…IN THAT ORDER' following his country's 2-0 win over Hungary on Tuesday that secured them qualification to Euro 2020.

The slogan originates from a chant by Wales supporters that pokes fun at perceptions among the Spanish media, who have accused Bale of bumping Madrid down his list of priorities and spending too much time on the golf course.

Bale's celebration drew the ire of Madrid fans and many in the national media with Marca leading with the headline 'DISRESPECTFUL. WRONG. UNGRATEFUL. IN THAT ORDER'.

But Madrid head coach Zidane defended Bale, who almost left for China in the close-season, and urged the club's supporters to get behind the former Tottenham man.

"Those who really support the club, those who come to the stadium, know he's a Real Madrid player," he said.

"You shouldn't look at what goes on elsewhere, you have to support the team, the players, have to get behind the side.

"I will always support my players. Things might go on outside the Real Madrid environment but we're in this together."

Zidane was quizzed repeatedly about Bale ahead of Saturday's home game with Real Sociedad and was quick to highlight the player's achievements in Spain.

He added: "I think sometimes people go over the top with this topic, everyone has their point of view, we're here to focus on football. 

"I think now it's almost the snowball effect. I mean he was fit and could play with the national team, he's here, available and we're delighted. 

"He's done a lot for this club. I'm only concerned with the sporting side. I'm not here to speak about the rest, I'm not interested. I know a lot of people are but not me."

Gareth Bale's agent Jonathan Barnett said the Real Madrid star's "WALES. GOLF. MADRID… IN THAT ORDER" flag celebration was "meant for the media" amid backlash.

Bale caused a stir in Cardiff on Tuesday, when he was pictured laughing and celebrating in front of a fan-made banner after Wales qualified for Euro 2020.

Tipped to leave Madrid and criticised for his priorities amid his love for golf, Wales fans have adopted the chant, "Wales, golf, Madrid", which was heard during the international break.

Spanish newspaper Marca's frontpage on Thursday read: "DISRESPECTFUL. WRONG. UNGRATEFUL. IN THAT ORDER".

But speaking to ESPN, Barnett insisted there were "no worries" for Bale ahead of his return to Madrid.

Bale, who has not featured for Madrid since October, is set to appear for the club's LaLiga meeting against Real Sociedad at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday.

The 30-year-old has scored two goals in seven appearances across all competitions this season.

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