Stand-in Milan boss Daniele Bonera said he is awaiting news on Zlatan Ibrahimovic's injury sustained in Sunday's 3-1 victory over Napoli.

Ibrahimovic scored twice at Stadio San Paolo to take his tally for the Serie A season to 10 goals in six appearances before limping off 11 minutes from time.

The 39-year-old has been in inspired form for Milan since returning to the club in January, scoring 20 Serie A goals in 24 games – only Lazio's Ciro Immobile (23 in 27) and Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo (29 in 24) have managed more in 2020.

But Ibrahimovic, who missed nearly a month of action after contracting coronavirus earlier in the season, may now be facing another spell on the sidelines after pulling up with an apparent hamstring issue against Napoli.

"We don't have too much information right now," Bonera told Sky Sport Italia. "We will have to wait a few more days to see the extent of it."

Ibrahimovic's double made him the oldest player to score at least 10 goals in the first eight Serie A matchdays and put Milan two goals ahead against Napoli.

Dries Mertens pulled a goal back for the hosts but Napoli midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko was sent off against his former club 165 seconds later and it was left to substitute Jens Petter Hauge to seal the win for Milan with his maiden top-flight goal.

Bonera, placed in charge of Milan due to head coach Stefano Pioli and various other backroom staff members being struck down by COVID-19, was pleased to come away with a win that moved the Rossoneri two points clear at the Serie A summit.

"This is evidently an important victory, one that shows we are on the right track," he said. "But it's really premature at the eighth round to talk about what might happen in May.

"I spoke to Pioli after the game and he was very happy and got to see all the lads in the dressing room, too." 

Milan had just 37 per cent of the ball but still managed seven attempts on target against Napoli, whom they had previously failed to beat away from home in the league since 2010.

But while being happy with the way 2020-21 is panning out, Bonera was keen to put his side's title aspirations into some perspective.

"We've learned from the past not to underestimate any opponent," he said. "I consider Napoli to be a great team - they were up against another great team in Milan, but there are so many games still to play. It's too early to say anything.

"There are squads who invested and were built to challenge for the Scudetto. In all honesty, we were not built to win straight away, but it does allow us to grow game by game and that might be an advantage in a way.

"We have a great squad at our disposal and are aware that we're up there now and want to stay there for as long as possible. This isn't a flash in the pan - we started this work a long way back."

Sixth-placed Napoli have lost two of their last three league matches and boss Gennaro Gattuso questioned his side's lack of hunger following this latest setback.

"I see football in such a completely different way to when I was a player," he said. "What I cannot accept, however, is to see my team without the fire in their belly. 

"At the first sign of difficulty now, we complain to the referee, complain to each other for it not being the right pass, complain to bad luck, we complain to everyone.

"Quality is not enough in football, we need to focus and fight for every result. I know what's wrong and it is not a coincidence that when we go into a really important game, we falter. We have to think as a team, with one mind, not as individuals."

Milan star Zlatan Ibrahimovic became the oldest player to score at least 10 goals in the first eight Serie A matchdays on Sunday.

Ibrahimovic claimed a brace as the evergreen Rossoneri forward led the league leaders to a 3-1 victory at Gennaro Gattuso's Napoli.

Aged 39, Ibrahimovic made more history, surpassing Lazio's Silvio Piola (29 years old in 1942-43) for the record with a league-high 10 goals.

Ibrahimovic set the tone for Milan in Naples, where the visitors emerged victorious in Serie A for the first time since 2010.

Former Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain star Ibrahimovic opened the scoring with a stunning header in the 20th minute.

He doubled the lead nine minutes into the second half, getting on the end of Ante Rebic's cross before hobbling off with an apparent hamstring injury.

Ibrahimovic also matched Gunnar Nordahl for second-most Serie A goals from the first eight games played of a season, only adrift of Marco Van Basten (12 in 1992-93).

Jens Petter Hauge came off the bench and put the result beyond doubt in stoppage time, following Dries Mertens' 63rd-minute effort, as Milan returned to the top of the table.

Milan, two points clear of high-flying Sassuolo, have collected at least 20 points from the first eight matchdays for the second time in the three points for a win era – the Italian powerhouse also achieved the feat in 2003-04 as they went on to secure the Scudetto.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic maintained his scoring run with a goal in each half to help Milan earn a 3-1 win over 10-man Napoli that takes his side back to the top of Serie A.

Sassuolo moved to the summit earlier on Sunday with a 2-0 win at Hellas Verona but Milan responded with an Ibrahimovic-inspired victory at Stadio San Paolo to go two points clear.

The veteran striker headed in from 14 yards with 20 minutes played to score for the eighth league game running before kneeing in an unorthodox second after 54 minutes, but he worryingly limped off late on with a thigh injury.

Dries Mertens had responded for Napoli only for Tiemoue Bakayoko to be sent off 165 seconds later and Milan, without head coach Stefano Pioli and a number of other backroom staff members due to coronavirus, wrapped up the win through Jens Petter Hauge's debut Serie A goal in injury time to maintain their unbeaten start.

Returning Napoli keeper Alex Meret pushed Hakan Calhanoglu's shot past the post and Simon Kjaer shinned wide from the resulting corner as Milan made a positive start.

The visitors did not have to wait long to make the breakthrough as Ibrahimovic got in front of Kalidou Koulibaly and headed Theo Hernandez's left-sided cross away from Meret.

Gianluigi Donnarumma produced fine saves to deny Dries Mertens and Hirving Lozano, either side of Giovanni Di Lorenzo firing against the crossbar, as Napoli initially responded well.

Those missed chances for Napoli would prove costly as Ibrahimovic converted Ante Rebic's floated delivery from underneath the crossbar to give his side some breathing space.

Ibrahimovic had an instant third rightly ruled out for offside and Napoli gave themselves hope when Mertens turned Alessio Romagnoli and beat Donnarumma with his shot.

But a clumsy challenge from Bakayoko on Theo saw the ex-Milan midfielder pick up a second yellow and Napoli failed to create any more clear-cut openings.

Ibrahimovic pulled up in what will be a big concern for the absent Pioli but substitute Hauge squeezed a shot past Meret from a tight angle to seal the three points.

The international break has given Zlatan Ibrahimovic a chance to rest both mentally and physically, says Milan assistant Daniele Bonera. 

Ibrahimovic has eight goals and one assist in five Serie A appearances for Milan this term, his most recent strike earning his side a dramatic 2-2 draw against Hellas Verona. 

However, the 39-year-old missed his third penalty of the season in the same game and later admitted he was feeling tired. 

Bonera feels the two-week period without club fixtures came at the perfect time for Ibrahimovic, who missed nearly a month of action earlier in the campaign after testing positive for coronavirus. 

"He needed to have a break mentally," said Bonera, who will be in charge for Sunday's trip to Napoli as Stefano Pioli continues to self-isolate after he contracted COVID-19.

"He has always presented himself as a team leader and he is someone whose importance is known." 

With his goal against Verona, Ibrahimovic became the first player to score in seven consecutive Serie A appearances for Milan in the three-points-per-win era. 

He has 18 goals in 23 Serie A outings since returning to San Siro in January, a tally bettered only by Ciro Immobile (23 in 27 games) and Cristiano Ronaldo (27 in 23). 

The ex-Sweden international recently stated he will let Franck Kessie take the next penalty following his latest miss and Bonera is happy to go along with that decision. 

"If he said Kessie will take it then I raise my hands. If that's what he said then it will be Franck," Bonera said at Saturday's pre-match news conference. 

While Ibrahimovic ranks highly for Serie A goals scored in the calendar year, only Luis Alberto (75) and Papu Gomez (77) have created more chances than Hakan Calhanoglu's tally of 73 over the same period of time. 

The attacking midfielder has been unable to agree a new deal with Milan and is due to become a free agent at the end of the season, but Bonera has no doubt about the player's commitment while talks continue. 

"We are very happy with the performance of Calhanoglu," he said. "I don't want to speak about his contract but yesterday he made me understand that he cares about this shirt." 

Milan are winless in their last 11 league encounters with Napoli and have won only one of their 14 top-flight meetings at Stadio San Paolo this century.

Lionel Messi continues to dominate headlines.

While Messi decided to stay at Camp Nou, Manchester City are reportedly still trying to prise the superstar from Barcelona.

Could he be set for a mid-season switch?

 

TOP STORY – MESSI TARGETED BY CITY

Manchester City are expected to make a bid to sign Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi in January, according to The Sun.

Messi was tipped to join Pep Guardiola's City after handing in a transfer request at the start of the season, however, he opted to stay at Camp Nou.

City, though, have not given up on signing the six-time Ballon d'Or winner – who has also been linked to Paris Saint-Germain and Inter.

ROUND-UP

- What does the future hold for Sergio Ramos? The Real Madrid captain is out of contract at season's end, and the likes of Juventus, PSG and Manchester United have emerged as possible destinations. Should Ramos leave the Santiago Bernabeu, Diario AS claims Bayern Munich star David Alaba could arrive as a replacement at Madrid. Alaba is also wanted by Juve, Barcelona and City.

- Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga is desperate for a loan move and is willing to take a pay cut to secure a short-term exit, reports The Sun.

- Eurosport says Chelsea are eyeing a future move for Borussia Dortmund sensation Jude Bellingham, who only swapped England for Germany at the start of the season. Bellingham is seen as an alternative to West Ham midfielder Declan Rice.

Inter are keen to make head coach Antonio Conte happy by exchanging Christian Eriksen for PSG midfielder Leandro Paredes and swapping Matias Vecino for Napoli's Arkadiusz Milik in the New Year, according to Gazzetta dello Sport.

Paris Saint-Germain's focus is reportedly on Kylian Mbappe and Neymar, not Sergio Ramos.

Ramos has been linked with the Ligue 1 champions with his Real Madrid deal expiring at the end of the season.

But PSG seemingly have other deals they want done first.

 

TOP STORY – PSG PRIORITISING MBAPPE, NEYMAR OVER RAMOS

PSG are prioritising new deals for Mbappe and Neymar over a potential move for Madrid defender Ramos, according to Goal.

Mbappe and Neymar are both out of contract in 2022 and have unsurprisingly emerged as targets for clubs in Europe.

The star forwards have both been at PSG since 2017, helping the club win Ligue 1 in every season since.

Interestingly, Mbappe and Neymar have both appeared in just 38 of 113 Ligue 1 games for PSG since arriving.

PSG have won 34 and lost just one of those, while averaging 3.3 goals for. Without at least one of them, their win percentage drops from 89.5 to 72, and average goals for dips to 2.5.

 

ROUND-UP

- Out of contract at Liverpool at the end of the season, Georginio Wijnaldum's future remains unclear. CalcioMercato reports the midfielder is wanted by Barcelona and Inter.

- There could be plenty of movement coming up at Barcelona. Sport reports Riqui Puig has no plans to leave the club in January despite interest from Porto and Benfica. It also says while the LaLiga giants are prepared to let Puig and Carles Alena leave on loan, they are working on selling Samuel Umtiti, Martin Braithwaite, Junior Firpo and Matheus Fernandes.

- Staying at Barcelona and Mundo Deportivo reports the club are working on a contract extension for Ousmane Dembele, whose current deal expires in 2022.

- With Lautaro Martinez continually linked with Barcelona, Inter are considering their options. The Serie A giants are eyeing Torino striker Andrea Belotti as a replacement if Martinez joins Barca, according to CalcioMercato. Since Belotti arrived at Torino in 2015, only Ciro Immobile (111) and Gonzalo Higuain (90) have scored more goals than his 85.

- Also in Serie A, Napoli are considering a loan move for Chelsea defender Emerson Palmieri, according to la Repubblica.

Napoli have indicated they intend to take legal action after their challenge against the 3-0 forfeit defeat to Juventus was rejected by the Italian Football Federation's (FIGC) court of appeal.

Gennaro Gattuso's men did not turn up for the game in Turin last month and were also docked a point by Lega Serie A for failing to fulfil their fixture obligations.

Napoli argued they were banned from travelling by local health authorities as Piotr Zielinski, Eljif Elmas and a staff member had tested positive for COVID-19.

Juventus themselves reported two positive cases among staff a day before the game but made clear they intended to play the match at the Allianz Stadium.

Andrea Pirlo named a starting XI but the game did not go ahead as scheduled because of Napoli's absence and was officially cancelled.

However, the FIGC ruled Napoli ignored the coronavirus protocols in place, which states a team must fulfil any fixture if they have 13 available players, including at least one goalkeeper.

The court ruled "Napoli's behaviour was effectively creating an alibi for themselves not to play", and they "deserve the sanction because it was not at all impossible for them to take part in the match."

The verdict also concluded that "Napoli's conduct in the days leading up to the match was already aimed towards not playing, with clear violation of the fundamental principles that sporting justice is based on, namely fairness, decency and probity."

In response to the appeal rejection, Napoli released a statement on their official website on Tuesday to confirm they will take the matter to the Collegio di Garanzia dello Sport - the highest Italian sports authority.

The statement added: "The club totally disagrees with the sentence, which casts unacceptable aspersions on the conduct of the club, ignoring very clear documentation in its favour and delegitimising the authority of the regional health associations.

"Napoli has always sought to defend the values of fairness and sporting merit, so in this case too we will follow every legal avenue to ensure justice for its conduct, which respected public health and asked that the pitch be the only judge to decide the result of a football match."

The FIGC also upheld the league's decision to punish Roma with a 3-0 loss for fielding an ineligible player against Hellas Verona in their opening game of 2020-21.

Roma were found to have registered Amadou Diawara as an Under-23 player in their squad list when the midfielder had already turned 23.

The game at the Marc'Antonio Bentegodi finished goalless but Roma returned to zero points for the season following their sanction.

The Giallorossi also had their appeal rejected on Tuesday and CEO Guido Fienga told ANSA: "With all due respect, I cannot help but express my unhappiness at a sentence that I consider to be profoundly unjust.

"We have all missed an opportunity to intervene and modify an evident loophole in the rules, but above all there was no desire to avoid a punishment that is clearly disproportionate to the situation.

"We did everything we could by proposing a course of action in the appeal that would allow for equity on this rule, which currently does not recognise whether an error was in good faith or not."

Piotr Zielinski is an extraordinary player who should be playing for Real Madrid or Barcelona, according to Pepe Reina.

Napoli midfielder Zielinski has thrived for the Partenopei since joining from Empoli in 2016.

Only forwards Jose Callejon (63) and Lorenzo Insigne (86) created more chances in Serie A last season for the club than Zielinski (53), while he completed more passes than any team-mate except for Fabian Ruiz and Giovanni Di Lorenzo.

Toni Kroos (60) was the only midfielder for Barca or Madrid in 2019-20 who created more goalscoring opportunities than the Poland international.

Reina, a team-mate of Zielinski for two years in Naples, has no doubt the player is good enough for one Spain's biggest two clubs.

"I have a crush on Zielinski!" he told Cadena SER. "He's a Real Madrid or Barcelona player. He is out of the ordinary."

Reina, who was on loan at Aston Villa from Milan last season, is now with Lazio as he continues a senior career in football spanning 20 years.

The 38-year-old thinks Manchester United's David de Gea is presently the best option for Luis Enrique's Spain side, but he believes there is an unfair prejudice towards older players compared to the attitude in Italy.

"The one with the most playing consistency is De Gea and it has to be that way, for me," Reina said.

"Luis Enrique has a choice of young goalkeepers or more expert, 38-year-old goalkeepers.

"David has experience that will for sure make him the most prepared. Kepa [Arrizabalaga] is going through a worse time due to the signing of Mendy. There's also [Sergio] Asenjo, [Fernando] Pacheco... there are a lot of names.

"The culture in Spain is that a 38-year-old player is seen as much older than he is in Italy. Here, respect is different. In Spain, they see you as an older player."

Diego Maradona will remain in hospital until at least Monday according to personal doctor Leopoldo Luque, who discussed the Argentina and Napoli great's abstinence.

Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata head coach Maradona, 60, underwent a "routine" operation for a subdural haematoma on Tuesday, a day after being admitted to hospital due to concerns over anemia and dehydration.

Luqu previously revealed the emergency procedure was successful and he provided a further update on Maradona's condition on Friday.

"Diego is having a good post-operative period, the neurological evolution is very good," Luque told reporters outside Olivos Clinic in Buenos Aires province.

"We gave him intravenous sedation drugs and he responded very well. Now it was decided to lower that sedation and we noticed a very good neurological response.

"The next step is to see if Diego remains stable with these drugs in oral form. He is awake but continues with that initial intravenous sedation that takes a little time for the body to eliminate."

"The idea is that he stays until this process is finished," he added. "It varies with the patient, each patient is particular in that sense.

"One estimates that until Monday for sure, seeing the evolution of it. We do not wear a specific day."

Maradona's former personal doctor Alfredo Cahe also addressed the health of the 1986 World Cup winner.

In an interview with TyC Sports, Cahe said Maradona had been sedated by doctors to help him cope with withdrawal symptoms from alcohol dependency.

"Diego is unmanageable," Cahe said. "He's like when I took him to Cuba. He has to stay away from alcohol.

"It is difficult because he changed drugs for alcohol, and he deteriorates more and more. We have to take the bull by the horns and stand firm.

"Diego needs permanent assistance and he has to be convinced to pursue treatment. Diego is not aware of what happened to him and must cleanse his body immediately. Alcohol is also a very strong drug.

"His future is unknown. I can only say that he has to be close to his daughters. Diego stopped taking [drugs] years ago. His addition is alcohol and anxiolytics. Today, he has to understand that Luque saved his life. He can't just leave the clinic like that."

"All this is always a joint decision with the therapy people, who are the ones who really carry this treatment; the one that I did with my team of neurosurgeons was the evacuation of the subdural hematoma and that is very good," Luque said following Cahe's comments.

"Dr. Cahe was not consulted about anything. He came, he is a historical doctor, and among colleagues you have to be cordial. He called me."

"The abstinence is mainly due to consumption that he had throughout his life, we do not define it punctually with a certain substance or drink, we see a reaction of sweating, anger in a moment, and we classify it as that," Luque continued.

"It is a syndrome, a set of signs and symptoms, we treated it, we did not let it go. Diego did not agree very much and we insisted, now we see him very well."

Barcelona's finances are reportedly precarious amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Wage cuts have been flagged, but the LaLiga powerhouse are also eyeing further sales.

Ousmane Dembele and Samuel Umtiti could be among the players to depart Camp Nou.

 

TOP STORY – DEMBELE AND CO. HEADING FOR EXIT

Barcelona are ready to sell five players during the January transfer window, according to Mundo Deportivo.

Ousmane Dembele, Samuel Umtiti, Carles Alena, Martin Braithwaite and Junior Firpo are the quintet up for sale as embattled LaLiga giants Barca look to raise funds.

Dembele was linked with Manchester United before the previous window closed.

 

ROUND-UP

- Former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has twice snubbed Barca as he eyes the United job amid speculation over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's future, says the Daily Star.

Barcelona have been linked with a move for Borussia Monchengladbach forward Marcus Thuram, according to Bild. Thuram's father, Lilian, played for Barca and Juventus, who are believed to be eyeing the Frenchman. Real Madrid have also been linked.

- OK Diario claims Madrid are interested in Rennes teenager Jeremy Doku. The 18-year-old has caught the eye of Madrid, who have also made Eduardo Camavinga one of their top targets.

- Staying at the Santiago Bernabeu and OK Diario says soon-to-be free agent and Bayern Munich defender David Alaba must lower his wage demands if he wants to play for Madrid. The Austria international has also been linked with PSGManchester City and Barca.

- Tuttosport says Antonio Conte wants Chelsea trio Olivier Giroud, Emerson Palmieri and Marcos Alonso at Inter.

- Lille star Renato Sanches is wanted in Italy. Calciomercato reports Serie A champions Juventus, Milan, Inter, Napoli and Roma are monitoring the former Bayern Munich midfielder.

- Salzburg sensation Dominik Szoboszlai is a serious January target for Arsenal, according to Index. The Hungarian has emerged as an alternative to Lyon star Houssem Aouar.

Diego Maradona is recovering well from brain surgery and already feels in a position to be discharged from hospital, according to his personal doctor Leopoldo Luque.

The Argentina great underwent an operation for a subdural haematoma on Tuesday, a day after being admitted to hospital due to concerns over anemia and dehydration.

Luque has previously revealed the "routine" emergency procedure was successful and he has now provided a further update on the 60-year-old's condition.

"The recovery continues to go very well," he said outside the Olivos Clinic in Buenos Aires, where Maradona is staying. 

"He is very keen to leave. He feels like he is ready to be discharged. He can walk, he is speaking to me, he is much more lucid."

Maradona, who won the World Cup with Argentina in 1986 and guided Napoli to two Serie A titles, has been in charge of Superliga Argentina club Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata since 2019.

He appeared in a fragile state when he briefly made an appearance as his Gimnasia side played a match on his birthday last Friday.

Argentina and Barcelona star Lionel Messi offered his best wishes to Maradona in a social media message on Wednesday, posting: "Diego, all the strength in the world. 

"My family and I want to see you well as soon as possible. A hug from the heart!"

Cristiano Ronaldo is contracted at Juventus until 2022, but the superstar seemingly has no plans to retire then.

Ronaldo, 35, has made another fine start to the season with Juve, where he arrived from Real Madrid in 2018.

But with his contract expiring in 2022, the Portugal star's future is again set to be a talking point.

 

TOP STORY – RONALDO WANTS TO STAY AT TOP LEVEL BEYOND 2022

Ronaldo wants to play at the top level beyond 2022 but there are no guarantees he will stay at Juventus, according to Tuttosport.

The report says Ronaldo, who has been linked to Paris Saint-Germain previously, would prefer not to head to a competition like MLS or the Chinese Super League.

Ronaldo has scored five goals in three Serie A appearances for Juve this season.

While early in the campaign, Ronaldo has a better shooting accuracy (66.7), shot conversion rate (31.3) and big chance conversion percentage (66.7) in 2020-21 than in his previous seasons in Serie A.

 

ROUND-UP

Sergio Ramos reached 100 goals for Real Madrid on Tuesday, but there has been talk about the club captain's future. ESPN says Ramos and Madrid have begun talks over a new contract, with the 34-year-old's current deal expiring at season's end.

Chelsea were reportedly chasing West Ham midfielder Declan Rice in the close season, although they proved unsuccessful. However, Fabrizio Romano reports Chelsea will try to land the England international again in January.

- As Tanguy Ndombele begins to impress at Tottenham, Barcelona are considering a move for the midfielder, according to Fabrizio Romano.

- Amid uncertainty over his Real Madrid future, Luka Jovic is again linked with a move away. CalcioMercato reports Milan and Napoli could return to move for the forward in January. The Serbian is without a goal in four games for Madrid this season.

Diego Maradona only had tests that led to potentially life-saving surgery after he was admitted to hospital amid concerns over his mental state, his lawyer has said. 

Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata head coach Maradona, 60, underwent a "routine" operation for a subdural haematoma on Tuesday. 

The former Napoli, Barcelona and Argentina star was operated on by Dr Leopoldo Luque, who said the procedure went "very well" and that his reaction to the surgery "is promising". 

His lawyer, Matias Morla, praised Luque's actions - as well as those of fellow professional Carlos Diaz - as they perhaps saved Maradona's life as he was only tested after concerns for his mental well-being. 

"The last medical checks were excellent," Morla said after visiting Maradona in hospital, according to Ole. 

"Diego was very anxious [before the surgery] about what was going to happen and very satisfied with the work of Dr Luque, which was an impeccable operation. 

"I want to highlight something very important: the same test that was carried out on Diego yesterday, which detected this bleeding, was also carried out in September, which shows the tireless work of Dr. Luque on Diego.

"If it had not been detected by him, Maradona's fate would have been different. I want to make it very clear, mainly because of the criticism. Luque tested him in September. 

"Diego had presented a picture of depression. That's why I'm with Carlos Diaz, who was the one who treated Diego before and who noticed a mental issue. 

"In principle, [Diaz] linked it to the issue of his birthday, to a depression caused by the pandemic and the different circumstances around it. Later, upon seeing that this picture had developed, at the request of Luque and Diaz, he was hospitalised and that's where the test was made that resulted in the operation. 

"I don't know the causes of the haematoma and I'm not a doctor. What I do know is he had strange behaviour, he was very depressed, he made comments referring to relatives who died, that he missed them. He always, on every birthday, suffers from a kind of nostalgia. 

"He really misses his mother – this is always the same on the subject of birthdays – but this year it increased, so I'm here with the psychologist who intervened."

Diego Maradona's brain surgery was a success and the Argentina great is recovering, according to his personal doctor Leopoldo Luque.

Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata head coach Maradona, 60, underwent a "routine" operation for a subdural haematoma on Tuesday.

The former Argentina and Napoli superstar was admitted to Ipensa clinic in La Plata on Monday due to concerns over anemia and dehydration, before being transferred to Olivos Clinic in Buenos Aires province.

"I was able to evacuate the hematoma successfully and Diego tolerated the surgery very well," Luque told reporters following the emergency procedure.

"Diego is under control. He has a small drain [to remove fluid] that we are planning to take out tomorrow. His stay at the hospital will depend on his evolution.

"But the start of his recovery was great. The way he reacted after the surgery is promising."

Maradona, who won the World Cup with Argentina in 1986 and guided Napoli to two Serie A titles, has been in charge of Superliga Argentina club Gimnasia since 2019.

He appeared in a fragile state when he briefly made an appearance as his Gimnasia side played a match on the evening of his birthday last Friday.

Gimnasia won their opening game 3-0 at home to Patronato.

Diego Maradona is to undergo "routine" surgery for a subdural haematoma, his doctor has confirmed.

The Argentina and Napoli great was admitted to Ipensa clinic in La Plata on Monday due to concerns over anemia and dehydration.

His personal doctor, Leopoldo Luque, said earlier on Tuesday that the 60-year-old's condition had been improving and he was keen to leave hospital.

However, after undergoing a CT scan, it has been decided that Maradona will undergo an emergency operation on Tuesday.

Providing an update, Luque told reporters: "Diego is lucid and has agreed to have surgery.

"I'll be in charge of it. It's a routine procedure. His condition is the same as yesterday, only now we've found the cause of it.

"This kind of edema is very common. Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner (Argentina's vice-president) had one in the past. Diego doesn't remember being hit in the head."

Maradona, who won the World Cup with Argentina in 1986, coaches local club Gimnasia y Esgrima.

He appeared in a fragile state when he briefly made an appearance as his Gimnasia side played a match on the evening of his birthday last Friday.

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