Roma have issued an apology to Sampdoria's Ronaldo Vieira after the midfielder suffered racist abuse in Sunday's Serie A meeting.

Former Leeds United youngster Vieira, who played the entire match, was abused by a section of the travelling Roma support during the 0-0 draw at Stadio Luigi Ferraris – Claudio Ranieri's first game at the Sampdoria helm.

"I heard it, but I don't want to talk about it. This happens too often, it shouldn't be this way," England youth international Vieira told Rai Sport after the match.

Roma were quick to respond, taking to Twitter to apologise to the 21-year-old and vowing to ban any supporters found guilty of racist abuse.

"Roma would like to apologise to Ronaldo Vieira for the racist boos he was subjected to," the post read.

"Roma does not tolerate racism of any kind and the club will support the authorities in identifying and subsequently banning any individuals found guilty of racially abusing the midfielder."

Sampdoria responded by tweeting: "We are united in saying no to racism."

Roma coach Paulo Fonseca has had his Serie A touchline ban reduced from two matches to one.

Fonseca was handed a two-game ban by the Lega Serie A after continuing to aggressively shout at referee Davide Massa following his dismissal in Roma's 1-1 draw with Cagliari on October 6.

However, the 46-year-old appealed the decision and will now only miss one game - Sunday's trip to Sampdoria - before returning to the dugout for next week's home meeting with AC Milan.

Roma, who confirmed the news on their official Twitter page on Thursday, sit fifth in Serie A ahead of their return to action this weekend.

Uncertainty surrounds Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after a woeful start to the season and he could find himself in danger of dismissal.

United have won only two of their first eight Premier League games of 2019-20 and head into Sunday's visit of Liverpool 15 points adrift of the pacesetters.

While Solskjaer insists he still has the board's backing, there have been suggestions the club has identified a replacement.

 

TOP STORY – ALLEGRI 'VERY CLOSE' TO UNITED

Former Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri is said to be a primary target for Manchester United.

Italian publication Tuttosport claims contact with Allegri – who left the Old Lady at the end of last season – has "intensified" in recent days.

They go as far as saying Allegri is "very close to United", with the contest against Liverpool seemingly crucial.

However, United are not the only club interested in Allegri. Tuttosport also believes Tottenham are keeping tabs on him.

Mauricio Pochettino is another man under pressure following a difficult few months, though the report suggests Spurs will have to make their minds up quickly if they are to gazump United.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Daily Mail believes Solskjaer is relatively safe despite Allegri's lurking, however. It says United are looking to bolster the squad with six major signings over the next two transfer windows. Among the targets are Mario Mandzukic, Saul Niguez, Moussa Dembele and James Maddison.

- Mandzukic's wage demands could prevent a move to Old Trafford, however. Despite being 33 and entering the twilight of his career, the Croatian wants to be the club's fourth highest-paid player, according to the Sun.

- Arsenal's plan for the future, according to AS, involves persuading Real Madrid to sell Dani Ceballos, a deal that would result in Mesut Ozil being sold.

- Meanwhile, the Daily Mail also claims the Gunners also want to sign highly-rated Athletic Bilbao centre-back Unai Nunez, 22, with Everton set to rival them for the £30million-rated defender.

- Paris Saint-Germain are hopeful of securing new deals for Juan Bernat and Marquinhos, L'Equipe believes.

- Roma are set to bid farewell to Javier Pastore in January, with the Serie A side telling him he is free to leave, as per Calciomercato. A move to China, Brazil or his native Argentina appears likely.

Leicester City, West Ham and Valencia all tried to sign Mohamed Elneny from Arsenal during the transfer window, according to the midfielder's agent.

Elneny swapped Arsenal for Besiktas on a season-long loan in August after falling down the midfield pecking order at Emirates Stadium.

The Egypt international was also said to be wanted by other clubs, while reports in Italy this week suggested AC Milan may make an approach in the January window.

"He received a lot of offers last summer, led by Leicester City, West Ham and Valencia, but Besiktas managed to settle the deal with Arsenal," agent Alan Nazmy told Egyptian TV channel Time Sport.

"Milan and Roma previously tried to sign the player during the last winter transfer window, but the negotiations didn't work then, and he received more than one offer as well."

Asked about fresh rumoured interest from Milan, Nazmy said: "I can't talk about it."

Elneny made 89 appearances for Arsenal in all competitions after joining from Swiss side FC Basel in 2016, including 17 outings last season.

Arsenal boss Unai Emery allowed the 27-year-old to leave following the arrival of Dani Ceballos and emergence of academy product Joe Willock, but the door has not been closed on a return next year.

"Emery didn't ask for his departure from Arsenal because of his performance," Nazmy said. "He demanded that [Elneny] took a chance to develop his performance and return again.

"It is possible for him to play with Arsenal again. It still remains a strong possibility."

Claudio Ranieri does not fear history will repeat itself after comparisons were drawn between Sampdoria's predicament and the one he faced at Fulham. 

The 67-year-old has taken the reins at a club residing bottom of Serie A, with the Blucerchiati posting just three points from their opening seven games to cost Eusebio Di Francesco his job.

Fulham were also rooted to the foot of the Premier League table when the Italian took charge in November 2018, but he was dismissed after winning only three of his 17 games at the helm. 

However, Ranieri considers the task at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris to be vastly different from the one he took on at Craven Cottage. 

"Sampdoria are not Fulham. Don't forget, Fulham were a newly promoted club with players who had never been in the Premier League," he said.

"In the January transfer window, they followed the advice of algorithms. This is totally different. Sampdoria have played good football and are struggling, so now need the desire to fight hard.

"The quality towards the lower half of the table has improved significantly, which adds difficulties to us, but is also a sign that Italian football is returning to the top level."

It is Ranieri's birthday on Sunday and he will mark the occasion with a home match against his former employers and the club he supports, Roma.

"I am a Roma supporter, but have always appreciated Samp," he said, having also succeeded Di Francesco at Stadio Olimpico. 

"I was happy when they won the Scudetto [in 1991] and disappointed during the European Cup Final defeat at Wembley [in 1992]. I respect Di Francesco and hope he finds a new role as soon as possible.

"As for facing Roma on my debut – and my birthday – it's all wonderful. Naturally, when we step on to that pitch, there is no love, but only professionalism. May the best team win, we will try to give our best."

 

Matthijs de Ligt could become the first player to secure the Golden Boy award twice after he was included on a 20-man shortlist for this year's prize.

The honour, established by Italian newspaper Tuttosport and awarded to the best player under the age of 21 in a European top-tier league, lists Lionel Messi, Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe among its former winners.

De Ligt claimed it in 2018 when on the books of Ajax and is among the nominees for 2019 after continuing to impress with Juventus. He was the first defender to win it.

Manchester City star Phil Foden is also in contention, alongside emerging Barcelona talent Ansu Fati, despite both having been afforded minimal game time.

More established youngsters such as Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho, AC Milan's Gianluigi Donnarumma and Bayer Leverkusen's Kai Havertz are also on the list.

The winner is determined by an international online vote and will be announced in Turin on December 16. 

Full list of Golden Boy nominees: 

Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan), Matthijs de Ligt (Juventus), Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich), Ansu Fati (Barcelona), Phil Foden (Manchester City), Matteo Guendouzi (Arsenal), Erling Braut Haaland (Salzburg), Kai Havertz (Bayer Leverkusen), Joao Felix (Atletico Madrid), Dejan Joveljic (Eintracht Frankfurt), Moise Kean (Everton), Lee Kang-in (Valencia), Donyell Malen (PSV), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Andriy Lunin  (Real Valladolid), Rodrygo (Real Madrid), Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund), Ferran Torres (Valencia), Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid), Nicolo Zaniolo (Roma)

Sampdoria have appointed Claudio Ranieri as head coach on a contract until June 2021.

Ranieri guided Roma to sixth in Serie A last season after three months in charge and his first game as Samp boss comes against the Giallorossi on October 20.

The 67-year-old takes charge of a team rooted to the foot of the table after seven matches, with the Blucerchiati having won one and lost six.

That run of form this week resulted in the dismissal of Eusebio Di Francesco, who Ranieri also replaced at Roma.

A statement on Samp's official website said: "President Massimo Ferrero and Sampdoria welcome Claudio Ranieri, who has joined the club as head coach responsible for the first team until June 30, 2021.

"The president wishes the coach, his staff and the team a good job based on commitment and passion."

Edin Dzeko is set to miss Roma's trip to Sampdoria with a double fracture of the cheekbone, according to facial surgeon Professor Bruno Pesucci.

Dzeko sustained the injury in Roma's 1-1 draw at home against Cagliari on October 6, ruling him out of international duty for Bosnia-Herzegovina in their Euro 2020 qualifiers against Finland and Greece.

Pesucci revealed that the 33-year-old's injury is worse than first thought and would not be able to return until October 24 when Roma face Borussia Monchengladbach.

He advised Dzeko should be among the substitutes for that Europa League clash, ready to make a full return to first-team action three days later against AC Milan

"It was a bad break," Pesucci told Corriere dello Sport.

"Initially, only the zygomatic arch seemed broken, but then we also found a fracture at the lower edge of the right eye's orbit.

"Osteosynthesis was necessary, with the use of a plate fixed by screws to stabilise the orbit. Only in this way could the fracture of the zygomatic arch be contained.

"In other cases, I have worked on isolated fractures. Edin's is more complex, because it is a double and therefore the stabilisation will take longer."

Dzeko will be missed by Bosnia, having scored two goals in two games as they beat Liechtenstein and lost to Armenia in September.

He has also scored four of Roma's 12 Serie A goals this season as they sit fifth.

Pesucci added: "He must not be in a hurry. Edin still has pain. He had the operation on Monday, and he must feel comfortable for a week."

Roma defender Chris Smalling believes harsher sanctions are required from football's governing bodies to change the attitude towards racism.

The English centre-back joined Roma on loan from Manchester United after limited opportunities at Old Trafford last season.

Smalling has only made three appearances for the Giallorossi after missing the start of the season with a muscle injury but is settling in well at the Serie A club.

The 29-year-old is aware of the issues surrounding racism in football, but says while it is difficult to know what the right approach is, he hopes harsher penalties will deter supporters from racist behaviour.

"In an ideal scenario it wouldn't happen, but in a second scenario I think the authorities need to have the type of sanctions that make people think twice or three times about it," Smalling told his club's website.

"But until those are in place, if something was to happen to myself or a team-mate, then you could walk off.

"I know it's difficult because it's disappointing for 99 per cent of fans who are at the stadium to enjoy the spectacle and are not involved. But I feel like at some point it is going to happen – and it probably should happen. Maybe that then speeds up the authorities to change things.

"Unfortunately it takes for things to get worse before real change happens – that happens in all walks of life – but I do think that until those sanctions are strong enough we might not be far off a point where players do walk off.

"If one player is abused then the whole team should be together, and I'm sure they would be."

Earlier this season Romelu Lukaku was subjected to racist chants during Inter's Serie A fixture against Cagliari, but Smalling is yet to experience it himself since arriving in Italy.

He said: "Honestly, I have not noticed anything – although I'm still picking up the language!

"I've not experienced it directly, but obviously you do see what's in the news. I don't think it is just a problem in Italy, I think we are getting more cases in England too. It seems to be very much a generational thing that I think definitely needs to be clamped down on.

"I think we are getting closer to the type of sanctions that there need to be, and they need to be harsh.

"But hopefully they can single out the ones that are unwilling to change, and then hopefully the new generation – like my boy, and other younger kids – don't grow up seeing it and thinking it's right."

Manchester United are in crisis - and the Red Devils might try to spend their way out of trouble.

With Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side 12th in the Premier League and only two points off the relegation zone, additions to the squad seem inevitable in January.

The latest transfer rumours suggest a raft of players could be heading to Old Trafford in a bid to stop the rot.


TOP STORY – FOXES DUO ON UNITED'S RADAR

Harry Maguire has already made the move from Leicester City to Manchester United and, according to the Sun, the Red Devils want to raid the club again in January. The UK newspaper claims a £130million double swoop is being lined up for Ben Chilwell and James Maddison.

Goal reports West Ham midfielder Declan Rice and Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly are also targets for United, regardless of Solskjaer's future. United also continue to be linked with striker Mario Mandzukic, who is struggling for minutes under new Juventus boss Maurizio Sarri.


ROUND-UP

- United are struggling but Everton have been even worse, with the Toffees in the relegation zone after eight games of the new season. According to a report in UK tabloid the Daily Star, Marco Silva has been given three games to save his job. Unfortunately for Silva, the third game of that run is against his old club Watford in the EFL Cup. The Hornets surely would love to push Silva towards the sack.

- England boss Gareth Southgate will hand Chelsea starlet Mason Mount his first international start when the Three Lions take on the Czech Republic in Prague on Friday, reports Sky Sports. Mount has impressed for the Blues this season, scoring four goals in eight Premier League starts.

- The forward has spent his whole career at Bayern Munich, but Thomas Muller could be moving on. The ex-Germany international has slipped out of favour under Niko Kovac and is not content to play a back-up role. According to Bild, Muller will seek a move in January.

- Sampdoria are closing in on an agreement with Claudio Ranieri to become their new coach. Bottom of Serie A, Samp are seeking a replacement for the sacked Eusebio Di Francesco. According to various Italian outlets including Sky Sport Italia and La Gazzetta dello Sport, Samp could pay Ranieri - who led Leicester City to the Premier League title - €1million a year. Ranieri also replaced Di Francesco after he was sacked by Roma last season.

- Right-back Elseid Hysaj could leave Napoli during the January transfer window, his agent Mario Giuffredi has told Rete Sport. Hysaj was previously linked with Manchester United and Juventus, but Giuffredi indicated Roma would be his client's preferred destination. A fee of around €30m has been mooted for the Albania international.

Nicolo Zaniolo has earned a recall to the Italy squad, but injury appears to have ended Daniele De Rossi's hopes of an incredible return.

Zaniolo broke into the senior Azzurri set-up last season after impressing for Roma following a move from Inter as part of the deal to take Radja Nainggolan to San Siro.

The 20-year-old earned two caps but was left out of Roberto Mancini's squad in September.

However, having made eight appearances in all competitions at club level this season, scoring once in the Europa League, Zaniolo is back in the fold for Euro 2020 qualifiers against Greece and Liechtenstein.

While a current Roma star is included, a former Giallorossi icon misses out, with De Rossi absent following reports he was set to return almost two years on from his international retirement.

The 36-year-old midfielder picked up a hamstring injury with club Boca Juniors last month and is not involved.

The only new face in the group is Napoli right-back Giovanni Di Lorenzo, although he was involved in a training camp in April.

Forwards Moise Kean, Patrick Cutrone and Andrea Pinamonti are all in the under-21 squad.

Italy failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup but have six wins from six in Euro 2020 qualifying to sit top of Group J.

With third-placed Armenia nine points behind and only four matches to play, Mancini's men could secure their place at the finals in the coming international break.

 

Italy squad: Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan), Pierluigi Gollini (Atalanta), Alex Meret (Napoli), Salvatore Sirigu (Torino); Francesco Acerbi (Lazio), Cristiano Biraghi (Inter), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Danilo D'Ambrosio (Inter), Giovanni Di Lorenzo (Napoli), Alessandro Florenzi (Roma), Armando Izzo (Torino), Gianluca Mancini (Roma), Alessio Romagnoli (AC Milan), Leonardo Spinazzola (Roma); Nicolo Barella (Inter), Federico Bernardeschi (Juventus), Bryan Cristante (Roma), Jorginho (Chelsea), Stefano Sensi (Inter), Marco Verratti (Paris Saint Germain), Nicolo Zaniolo (Roma); Andrea Belotti (Torino), Federico Chiesa (Fiorentina), Stephan El Shaarawy (Shanghai Shenhua), Vincenzo Grifo (Freiburg), Ciro Immobile (Lazio), Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli).

Roma have confirmed Chelsea loanee Davide Zappacosta has ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.

The 27-year-old sustained the injury during a training session on Friday and will now face a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

Zappacosta has managed just 12 minutes of football for Roma since joining on an initial six-month deal from Chelsea in August due to a calf problem.

A statement on the Italian club's official website read: "During Friday's training session, defender Davide Zappacosta suffered a rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, in a non-contact incident.

"The club would like to offer its sincerest sympathies to the player and wishes him a quick and full recovery."

Zappacosta signed a contract extension with Chelsea through to June 2022 prior to linking up with Roma.

Roma will be without Henrikh Mkhitaryan until after the international break after tests revealed a strained adductor muscle in his right thigh.

The playmaker complained of pain following the 1-0 weekend win over Lecce and is set to spend three weeks on the sidelines.

Mkhitaryan, who joined on loan from Arsenal last month, looks likely to miss at least three club matches, including the Europa League trip to Austrian side Wolfsberger on Thursday.

The injury also robs Armenia of their captain for the upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against Liechtenstein and Finland.

Mkhitaryan made his fourth Serie A appearance and set up Edin Dzeko's winner as Roma earned three points at Lecce.

The victory has proved a costly one, with midfielder Lorenzo Pellegrini fracturing a metatarsal in his right foot during the same game.

Roma have banned a fan for life after sending Brazilian defender Juan Jesus racist messages via social media.

The club posted screenshots of the user's Instagram account and the messages on their official Twitter account.

They vowed to prevent the person responsible from ever attending a Roma match again, while also confirming they reported the user to the police and Instagram.

A statement from Roma read: "The owner of the below Instagram account sent Juan Jesus disgusting racist abuse via direct message today [Thursday].

"We have reported the account to the Italian police. We have reported the account to Instagram.

"The person responsible will be banned from Roma games for life."

Netherlands boss Ronald Koeman has included Roma striker Justin Kluivert in a 30-man squad for their forthcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers.

Netherlands, who sit third in Group C, host Northern Ireland in a crunch match on October 10 before travelling to Belarus three days later.

Northern Ireland and Germany are three points clear of Koeman's side, although they have both played a game more.

Twice-capped 20-year-old Kluivert, son of Dutch great Patrick Kluivert, has scored twice in his last three appearances for Roma. 

He was a late call-up in September after injury forced Steven Bergwijn out of the matches against Germany and Estonia.

Koeman's squad includes defender Virgil van Dijk, who was this week pipped by Lionel Messi to The Best FIFA Men's Player award, and Liverpool team mate Georginio Wijnaldum.

Matthijs de Ligt and Frankie de Jong, who featured in the FIFA FIFPro Men's World XI alongside Van Dijk, have also been named in the party.

 

Netherlands squad in full:

Marco Bizot (AZ), Jasper Cillessen (Valencia), Kenneth Vermeer (Feyenoord), Jeroen Zoet (PSV); Patrick van Aanholt (Crystal Palace), Nathan Ake (Bournemouth), Daley Blind (Ajax), Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool), Denzel Dumfries (PSV), Hans Hateboer (Atalanta), Terence Kongolo (Huddersfield Town), Matthijs de Ligt (Juventus), Joel Veltman (Ajax), Stefan de Vrij (Inter); Donny van de Beek (Ajax), Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona), Davy Propper (Brighton and Hove Albion), Marten de Roon (Atalanta), Kevin Strootman (Marseille), Tonny Vilhena (Krasnodar), Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool); Ryan Babel (Galatasaray), Steven Berghuis (Feyenoord), Steven Bergwijn (PSV), Memphis Depay (Lyon), Luuk de Jong (Sevilla), Justin Kluivert (Roma), Donyell Malen (PSV), Quincy Promes (Ajax), Wout Weghorst (Wolfsburg).

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