Fiorentina star Franck Ribery is set to miss 10 weeks after undergoing surgery on his ankle on Saturday.

Ribery, 36, suffered the injury during Fiorentina's 1-0 loss to Lecce in Serie A on November 30.

Fiorentina announced on Saturday that the French attacker had undergone surgery and they expect him to resume full training in around 10 weeks' time.

"Franck Ribery today underwent surgery for stabilisation of the tibiofibular syndesmosis," a club statement read.

"The operation, carried out by Professor Gabel, was a complete success.

"The player will return to Florence on Sunday and begin his rehabilitation plan. He will resume exercise in two weeks.

"[He] is expected to resume full training in around 10 weeks' time."

Ribery has scored two goals and provided two assists in 11 league matches this season.

Fiorentina, who are struggling in 13th in Serie A, host league leaders Inter on Sunday.

Stefano Pioli has urged his Milan players to mark the club's 120th anniversary celebrations with a victory against Sassuolo on Sunday.

Previous Rossoneri stars will be in attendance at San Siro as Milan, who have won Serie A 18 times and the Champions League or European Cup on seven occasions, remember their fine history.

The glory days appear an awfully long time ago given Milan started this round of fixtures 10th in the table with a return of 20 points from 15 games.

Pioli's side have recorded back-to-back victories, though, and the head coach wants to make that three in a row on a special day for Milan.

"Tomorrow's celebrations are just a reminder to the players that this is not just any club," Pioli told a news conference.

"Tomorrow's game is very, very important; we get to honour a great history of this club, we have the chance to honour it if we play well and we win.

"I'm not interested in anything after tomorrow at the moment; I'm solely focused on the game tomorrow. We'll be facing a team that play very good football, they have very gifted players especially up front, and so we need to be at our best."

Pioli became Milan's third manager of 2019 when he was hired in October.

The club have not qualified for the Champions League since finishing third in 2012-13 and Pioli knows he faces a challenge to restore Milan to the previous heights.

"Milan – for Italian football, European football and world football – has been a top club," he added.

"For a very long time it was one of the best clubs in the world with a winning spirit and incredible play. A very well-organised club, Milan was an example to follow for everyone.

"Tomorrow's game will be very important on an important day, a lot of football coaches and players will be present.

"I hope to do well, but I don't know what I will be remembered for in the future. There are things I'd like to be remembered for, but this is not the right moment."

Mattia Caldara, who is yet to feature for Milan in Serie A since joining in 2018 due to a knee injury, has been named in the squad for Sunday's game.

Maurizio Sarri has challenged his Juventus side to fight against the Champions League hangovers that threaten to derail their bid for a ninth consecutive Serie A title.

Juve have dropped points in four of their 15 league games this season, two of which came immediately after midweek Champions League fixtures.

They drew 1-1 with Lecce in October following a win over Lokomotiv Moscow and were held to a shock 2-2 home draw by Sassuolo this month after beating Atletico Madrid, before losing 3-1 to Lazio a week later.

Those results have left them trailing leaders Inter by two points and Sarri has demanded they do not suffer a similar fate against Udinese on Sunday after the 2-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen that concluded their Group D campaign in midweek.

"The risks of dropping the intensity levels and dropping points after Champions League games is visible in the statistics," he told a media conference. "You can't argue when it happens two or three times.

"We've got to find out why it keeps happening and fix it. There are differences playing in Serie A to the Champions League, but it's not true to say the European opponents are more open. Bayer Leverkusen focus mainly on possession, while Lokomotiv Moscow tend to clam up.

"Perhaps subconsciously our minds can drift to other targets after so many Scudetto titles in a row, but that is something we must absolutely fight against. If we are to be competitive in the Champions League, we need to be competitive in Italy, too."

Udinese are led by caretaker coach Luca Gotti, who was part of Sarri's staff at Chelsea last season.

They have failed to win any of their past four Serie A games, but Sarri is expecting a tough match at the Allianz Stadium.

"Gotti is very talented," he said. "Udinese can transform any long ball into a scoring opportunity, so we've got to be wary of that.

"They are a dangerous team that knows how to close down well and make the game tight. They have strikers who work well and can be dangerous in different circumstances."

Midfielders Adrien Rabiot and Emre Can have struggled for game time this season, with the pair starting only five times between them in Serie A, while Can was omitted from the Champions League squad for the group stage.

Sarri says both can expect to feature against Udinese and has suggested Rabiot – a free transfer following his departure from Paris Saint-Germain during the off-season – has not yet adjusted to life at the club.

"He has struggled to settle into our football, but that is normal," he explained. "He also came off an injury and struggled more in the first half in Germany [against Leverkusen], but he came out towards the end. He is also quite introverted, which doesn't help him to settle.

"Can was immensely disappointed [at being left out of the Champions League squad]. Either Can or Rabiot will certainly play and both of them may well be on the pitch for a portion of the game."

Inter have cancelled their news conference in protest at Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport publishing what the club described as an "offensive letter" about head coach Antonio Conte.

Conte was due to speak to reporters to preview their away Serie A match against Fiorentina on Sunday.

But Inter released a statement saying the media session would not be going ahead because Corriere had published a critical letter and added their own comment indicating agreement with its content.

Inter's statement read: "Yesterday [Friday], the Corriere dello Sport published an offensive letter towards our coach, justifying its aggression in the comment.

"In order to send out a message to all media outlets that they must "guarantee respect for people", there won't be a press conference today."

Inter also clashed with Corriere earlier this month when striker Romelu Lukaku and former Manchester United team-mate Chris Smalling featured on a front page along with the headline "Black Friday" ahead of their meeting with Roma in Serie A.

Mattia De Sciglio hopes Juventus draw an English club in the Champions League last 16 after getting a taste of the Premier League two seasons ago.

Juve battled to a 4-3 aggregate victory over Tottenham in the first knockout round in 2017-18 after settling for a 2-2 draw in the opening encounter in Turin.

The Serie A champions eventually lost out to Real Madrid in the quarter-finals and had their hopes dashed by Ajax at the same stage last term.

Maurizio Sarri's men will expect to go further after topping Group D and defender De Sciglio said he now wants to face either of their two possible English opponents, Spurs or Chelsea.

"If you want to get to the end of the competition, sooner or later you have to meet all the strongest opponents," the Italy international told Sky Sport Italia.

"Personally I'd like to play against an English team, like we did two years ago, because it's nice to play against them."

The draw for the last 16 takes place in Nyon on Monday.

Before then, Juve must negotiate Sunday's Serie A home game against struggling Udinese.

The Bianconeri, 2-0 winners at Bayer Leverkusen in midweek, drew with Sassuolo and lost to Lazio in the two fixtures that followed their previous European engagements.

"It's true that we have had some difficulties after Champions League matches, but so far we have lost only once in the league and we are right there, attached to Inter," De Sciglio said.

"Udinese will be another tough game. There are no easy games in Serie A. But if we play like Juve, we will take the three points."

Juve sit two points behind leaders Inter, who visit Fiorentina on Sunday.

Arsenal appear to have strengthened their interest in Nuno Espirito Santo.

Just over two weeks after dismissing Unai Emery, the Gunners are reportedly ready to hold talks with one of the top contenders to take over at Emirates Stadium.

But the Portuguese is not alone when it comes to candidates with Premier League experience.

 

TOP STORY – GUNNERS STEP UP NUNO CHASE

Arsenal will ask Wolves for permission to conduct formal discussions with Nuno next week, according to the Daily Mail.

The north Londoners are reportedly ready to "set to accelerate their interest" in the 45-year-old former Valencia and Porto head coach.

Belgium boss Robert Martinez is also said to have been approached, while Mauricio Pochettino, Mikel Arteta and Patrick Vieira continue to be linked.

Freddie Ljungberg has overseen two draws, a defeat and a solitary victory since taking charge on an interim basis.

ROUND-UP

- Like his former employers, ex-Arsenal boss Emery will not be rushed into a decision on his next move. Marca says the Spaniard has turned down the chance to speak to two Chinese clubs and managerless Everton since becoming a free agent on November 29.

- Premier League champions Manchester City hope to bring wantaway winger Jadon Sancho back to the Etihad Stadium after losing him to Borussia Dortmund in 2017, reports the Daily Mail.

- On the outer at Chelsea, Olivier Giroud appears to be moving closer to the Stamford Bridge exit door. L'Equipe claims the France striker is close to agreeing personal terms on a January switch to Inter, where he would reunite with Antonio Conte.

- Serie A side Milan will be offered the chance to sign Luka Jovic on loan from Real Madrid in January, according to Tuttomercatoweb.

- Barcelona will listen to offers of €10million for teenage defender Jean-Clair Todibo, reports Mundo Deportivo. The Spanish newspaper claims Bayer Leverkusen, Milan, Monaco, Southampton and Watford have submitted bids.

- Real Betis have sealed a deal to sign former Atletico Madrid winger Yannick Carrasco from Chinese Super League side Dalian Yifang, according to Deportes Cuatro.

Europe's top five leagues have monopolised the Champions League knockout stage for the first time in the competition's history.

With Atalanta's 3-0 defeat of Shakhtar Donetsk, the Serie A side ensured only nations from Italy, England, France, Germany and Spain would complete the last-16 line up prior to the final group fixtures on Wednesday.

Atalanta's win left only one place in the last 16 to be decided, with Atletico Madrid's 2-0 triumph over Lokomotiv Moscow – combined with a 2-0 loss for Bayer Leverkusen at home to Juventus – enough to send Diego Simeone's men through.

It is the first time only teams from the top-tier nations in European football have been included in the draw for the knockout stage, which will take place on Monday.

England – Premier League: Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Tottenham

Chelsea and Liverpool had the biggest scares of the group stage when it came to the English sides, though both ultimately qualified.

Current holders Liverpool put in a clinical second-half display to dispatch Salzburg 2-0 in their final Group E match, with Frank Lampard's side progressing from Group H thanks to a 2-1 win over Lille – last season's semi-finalists Ajax dropping into the Europa League despite amassing 10 points

Tottenham were on the wrong end of a 7-2 hammering by Bayern Munich in October, but three successive victories sent them through prior to their second meeting with the German champions, while Manchester City qualified as Group C winners.

France – Ligue 1: Lyon, Paris Saint-Germain

Paris Saint-Germain look like they mean business this season and, after ensuring their place in the next round with a 2-2 comeback draw away at Real Madrid, capped off their Group A campaign in style with a 5-0 thrashing of lowly Galatasaray.

Neymar starred on Wednesday, with Mauro Icardi, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani all scoring too – with their star-studded forward line in such form, Thomas Tuchel's side should be some force in the knockouts.

Memphis Depay was the hero for Lyon, meanwhile, as his 82nd-minute equaliser against RB Leipzig sent Rudi Garcia's side from bottom up to second.

Germany – Bundesliga: Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig

Along with PSG, Bayern were the standout performers of the group stage – their haul of 18 points and a goal difference of +19 making them the best group winner in Champions League history.

Leipzig made history when they secured their first participation in the knockout stage thanks to Emil Forsberg's double against Benfica on matchday five in Group G, though Borussia Dortmund had to see off Slavia Prague 2-1 in their final Group F game – and rely on Barcelona to defeat Inter.

Italy – Serie A: Atalanta, Juventus, Napoli

Atalanta seemed on the brink after three straight defeats to start their Group C campaign, yet Gian Piero Gasperini's side battled back – a draw with City and wins over Dinamo Zagreb and Shakhtar continuing their Champions League adventure, becoming the first side to go through after losing their opening three matches.

Juventus' tally of 16 points in Group D saw them equal their own record – set in 1996-97 and matched in 2004-05 – while Napoli hammered Genk 4-0 on Tuesday to book their last-16 berth, though it was not enough to keep Carlo Ancelotti in his job.

There will be no place in the last 16 for Serie A leaders Inter, though, with Antonio Conte's side dropping into the Europa League.

Spain – LaLiga: Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Valencia

LaLiga, like the Premier League, will have four representatives in the knockout stage. Barca were unconvincing at times in Group F, but had enough to seal their spot with a game to spare before ending Inter's hopes.

Atleti needed to overcome Lokomotiv on matchday six, but did so easily enough thanks to Joao Felix and Felipe – though Kieran Trippier missed an early penalty – and their city rivals Real Madrid ultimately easily progressed from Group A despite a chastening defeat to PSG in their opening match.

Valencia were involved in a mighty tussle with Chelsea and Ajax, who beat them 3-0 in their first home match, but eventually topped Group H thanks to a 1-0 win over the Eredivisie champions on Tuesday.

The race to sign Erling Haaland has taken another turn.

According to reports, the in-demand striker flew to Germany on Wednesday to hold talks with Borussia Dortmund.

Haaland has become one of Europe's hottest properties following a prolific run of form for Salzburg.

 

TOP STORY – HAALAND MEETS WITH DORTMUND

Could talented teenager Haaland be the next bright young forward to join Bundesliga side Dortmund?

Local newspaper Ruhr Nachrichten and Radio 91.2 claim the Norwegian and his high-profile agent Mino Raiola arrived at Dortmund Airport and were met by a BVB official the day after Salzburg's Champions League loss to Liverpool.

Haaland played 75 minutes against the holders but was unable to add to his impressive eight-goal haul in Europe this season.

Manchester United, Juventus and Real Madrid are among the other heavyweights reportedly showing interest in the 19-year-old.

 

ROUND-UP

- Salzburg could be about to part with more than one highly-rated attacker. The Telegraph says Premier League outfit Wolves are preparing to make a move for Hwang Hee-chan, who could cost around £21million (€25m).

- Roma will allow Alessandro Florenzi to leave for €25m in January, claims CalcioMercato. Inter are said to be his strongest suitors, with fellow Serie A sides Napoli and Fiorentina also in contention.

- Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara is unhappy with his reduced role under interim boss Hansi Flick and is thinking of returning to Spain, reports Bild.

- Spain Under-21 international Carles Alena is set to join Real Betis on loan from LaLiga leaders Barcelona, according to Mundo Deportivo.

- ESPN reporter Julien Laurens believes this season will be Thomas Tuchel's last in charge of Paris Saint-Germain. Tuchel has been heavily linked to Bundesliga champions Bayern.

Gennaro Gattuso will need to get the fans onside if he is to be a success at Napoli, according to former midfielder Massimo Crippa.

Napoli sacked Carlo Ancelotti after Tuesday's 4-0 win over Genk secured their passage into the last 16 of the Champions League, the 60-year-old paying the price for a string of poor results and discord between the players and president Aurelio De Laurentiis

Former Milan boss Gattuso was confirmed as the successor to Ancelotti – who he won two Champions League titles under as a Rossoneri player – at a news conference on Wednesday.

Gattuso had been out of work since leaving Milan at the end of last season after they missed out on Champions League qualification.

The 41-year-old outlined his ambition to steer the team from seventh in Serie A into the top four, and Crippa – part of the Napoli team that won the UEFA Cup in 1989 and the Scudetto the following year – thinks he will need to turn things around quickly if he is to last at the San Paolo.

"Rino [Gattuso] worked really well at Milan. He had a squad that wasn't at the same level as the club's reputation," Crippa told Omnisport.

"You cannot appoint Gattuso and sack Ancelotti without clear ideas about the future.

"We have to remember Gattuso is a Milan legend. Napoli fans can forgive anything but if you don't do well..."

Gattuso will hope to end Napoli's seven-game winless run in Serie A when they entertain Parma on Saturday.

Gennaro Gattuso has taken over from Carlo Ancelotti at Napoli but received advice from the former head coach on how to turn their fortunes around.

Ancelotti was sacked in the hours following Tuesday's 4-0 win over Genk that secured progression to the Champions League last 16, his position having come under intense scrutiny amid poor form and a reported rift between the players and president Aurelio De Laurentiis.

Napoli announced Gattuso as their new boss on Wednesday, and the 41-year-old made sure to reach out to Ancelotti – who he won two Champions League titles under as a Milan player – before he was presented to the media.

"We spoke this morning, even though I wanted to talk to him last night. These days were not easy. I knew I had to clarify things with him and explain my decision," said Gattuso, who had been out of work since leaving Milan in May after failing to secure Champions League qualification.

"I grew up with Ancelotti - we won so much together. Six years ago, I started coaching and when I had difficulties I called him; he always made himself available and was always very kind.

"He confirmed that today. He told me where the team can improve and once again showed himself to be a great man.

"He was very open, we talked and I keep that to myself. It was very, very important for me to hear what he said.

"But don't compare us. He won everything, I am a young coach and I have to show a lot more. I hope to win 10 per cent of what he won."

Asked about the length of the contract he signed, with the club having provided no details, Gattuso added: "You make me laugh when you ask these questions. Whether I have six months or an option, it doesn't matter, because our jobs are tied to results.

"If the president had offered me only six months, I would've taken that too because this is a huge opportunity. It feels like these players are made for my style of football."

Disharmony between the players and De Laurentiis appeared to reach a head last month when the first-team squad apparently refused to attend a week-long training camp.

The club suggested in a statement that they could punish players, possibly with fines, promising to do "everything in its power to protect its economic interests, assets, image rights and disciplinary interests".

Gattuso sounded keen to offer a clean slate to the squad as he outlined his aim to lift them from seventh in Serie A into the Champions League qualifying spots.

"Some things didn't work out [under Ancelotti], but I wasn't here when those happened, so I don't want to be told who did and said what. I like to experience them for myself," said Gattuso.

"Bitterness and personal issues won't get us anywhere. We have to get Napoli back to where it belongs.

"It's a big difference between fourth and fifth place in terms of the financial benefits. Seeing this team in seventh is a little embarrassing.

"The team is well aware that the performances have not been the best, but yes, our objective is to reach the Champions League. I missed out last season with Milan by a point, but this team has everything it takes to achieve that."

Gennaro Gattuso has been appointed the new head coach of Napoli, the Serie A club have confirmed.

The former Milan coach and midfielder takes charge at the San Paolo following Tuesday's dismissal of Carlo Ancelotti.

Gattuso twice won the Champions League as a player under Ancelotti in a hugely successful spell with Milan.

Ancelotti's exit was announced just hours after Napoli's 4-0 win over Genk secured their place in the last 16 of the Champions League.

Their success in Europe has belied a mostly troubling few months, marred by poor domestic form and disputes within the club.

Napoli are seventh in Serie A, with just five wins from 15 games leaving them 17 points adrift of leaders Inter.

Disharmony between the players and president Aurelio De Laurentiis appeared to reach a head last month when the first-team squad apparently refused to attend a week-long training camp.

The club suggested in a statement that it could punish players, possibly with fines, promising to do "everything in its power to protect its economic interests, assets, image rights and disciplinary interests".

Tuesday's win over Genk was Napoli's first since a 3-2 victory away to Salzburg on October 23, their nine-game winless run piling greater pressure on Ancelotti.

The 60-year-old former Bayern Munich and Real Madrid boss has been linked with Premier League clubs Arsenal and Everton.

"I would like to personally thank the club, its employees, my players, my staff and the president for the opportunity to live an unforgettable experience in a wonderful city such as Naples," Ancelotti tweeted on Wednesday.

Gattuso, 41, took over as Milan coach following Vincenzo Montella's dismissal in November 2017, but he left his post at the end of last season after failing to secure Champions League qualification.

A host of Napoli players have paid tribute to Carlo Ancelotti following his sacking, with the Italian lauded as a "special person" by Lorenzo Insigne and others.

Ancelotti was dismissed on Tuesday despite guiding Napoli to a 4-0 win over Genk earlier in the day, securing their place in the last 16 of the Champions League.

It has been a difficult first half of the season for Napoli, with underwhelming league form combining with tension between Ancelotti and the club's hierarchy.

Club president Aurelio De Laurentiis was reported to have ordered Ancelotti and the players to attend a training retreat in early November, but the squad failed to show up in what was deemed by the Italian media to be an act of open rebellion.

Napoli threatened sanctions in the wake of that situation and Ancelotti's days seemed to be numbered from then, with Tuesday's win over Genk their first win in any competition in well over a month.

After Napoli confirmed Ancelotti had been dismissed following a meeting with De Laurentiis, it seems he has retained the respect of the players.

Club captain Insigne – who acknowledged an up-and-down relationship with Ancelotti in October – wrote on his Instagram account: "Thank you boss - it was an honour to have worked with you and your staff. In these two years I met a special person. I wish you the best!"

Spanish midfielder Fabian Ruiz has developed into an important player for Napoli and Spain under Ancelotti. He also saluted the three-time Champions League-winning coach.

"Boss, thanks for everything you did," he wrote. "You have been a special person for me, I wish you the best, wherever you go you deserve the best. A big hug and good luck."

Allan added: "You were a special person, much more than a coach... I thank you for everything you've done in almost two years together... I wish you and all the staff good luck."

Kostas Manolas, Arkadiusz Milik, Kalidou Koulibaly and Hirving Lozano were among the others to post their thanks to Ancelotti, who has been strongly linked with the vacant managerial positions at Premier League duo Arsenal and Everton.

Gennaro Gattuso is expected to be announced as Ancelotti's successor on Wednesday.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka has been rewarded for his brilliant display up against Raheem Sterling in the Manchester derby, earning inclusion in FIFA Ultimate Team's latest Team of the Week.

Manchester United claimed a fine 2-1 win at the home of the champions on Saturday, with Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial getting the goals.

But arguably just as vital was the performance of Wan-Bissaka at right-back, as the England Under-21 international played an integral role in nullifying Sterling, one of the Premier League's form players.

Wan-Bissaka completed a match-high five tackles – one a last-ditch challenge to deny Sterling what looked set to be a certain goal – and also made seven clearances.

Liverpool star Sadio Mane is back in the TOTW for the second time, while Serie A's chief creator Luis Alberto lines up in midfield having set up another two goals in Lazio's 3-1 win over Juventus, taking his campaign tally to 11, five more than anyone else in the competition.

Unsurprisingly there is also a place in the team for Real Betis' Joaquin after he became the oldest player in LaLiga history to score a hat-trick, while Memphis Depay and Marco Reus lead the line.

Below, we take a look at the latest squad in full.

FUT TEAM OF THE WEEK

GK: Martin Dubravka (Newcastle United) – 83

CB: Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Manchester United) – 82

CB: Martin Hinteregger (Eintracht Frankfurt) – 83

CB: Raphael Varane (Real Madrid) – 86

LM: Sadio Mane (Liverpool) – 90

CDM: Charles Aranguiz (Bayer Leverkusen) – 85

CDM: Luis Alberto (Lazio) – 87

CM: Morgan Sanson (Marseille) – 82

RM: Joaquin (Real Betis) – 83

CF: Memphis Depay (Lyon) – 86

CF: Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund) – 89

SUBSTITUTES:

GK: Luigi Sepe (Parma) – 81

CB: Guillermo Maripan (Monaco) – 82

LM: Cristian Ansaldi (Torino) – 82

CAM: Matheus Pereira (West Brom) – 81

ST: Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) – 84

ST: Cristhian Stuani (Girona) – 82

RF: Lukas Podolski (Vissel Kobe) – 81

RESERVES:

CM: Cristian Battocchio (Brest) – 78

CM: Carlos Sierra (America de Cali) – 73

ST: Vinicius (Benfica) – 79

ST: Adam Le Fondre (Sydney FC) – 78

ST: Josh Maja (Bordeaux) – 75

Everton are set to make the first move for Carlo Ancelotti.

The Toffees will reportedly begin talks with the Italian following his departure from Napoli on Tuesday.

Ancelotti was sacked three hours after a 4-0 win over Genk, which confirmed the Serie A club's place in the Champions League knockout rounds.

 

TOP STORY – EVERTON TO RIVAL ARSENAL FOR ANCELOTTI

Everton will waste no time in opening contract talks with free agent Ancelotti in the wake of his Napoli exit, according to Sky Sports.

Managerless Arsenal are also said to be considering the 60-year-old former Chelsea, Milan and Real Madrid boss as a possible replacement for Unai Emery.

But the Toffees could get the jump on their Premier League rivals after Shanghai SIPG's Vitor Pereira pulled out of the race to succeed Marco Silva, although David Moyes reportedly remains an option to take charge on an interim basis.

Ancelotti has won the Champions League three times as a coach and secured league titles in England, France, Germany and Italy.

ROUND-UP

- Napoli could announce the appointment of Gennaro Gattuso on a short-term contract as soon as Wednesday, according to CalcioMercato.

- Ex-Everton manager Moyes and former Brighton and Hove Albion boss Chris Hughton are in line to replace Manuel Pellegrini at West Ham if the Hammers lose to Southampton on Saturday, says The Mirror.

- Manchester United are considering Ajax's Donny van de Beek and Saul Niguez of Atletico Madrid as they prepare for Paul Pogba's end-of-season exit, reports the Daily Mail.

- The Daily Mail also claims Leicester City have opened contract talks with rumoured Manchester City target Caglar Soyuncu, who has been in good form this season.

- Barcelona have cooled their interest in Lautaro Martinez due to Inter's demand for €100million, according to ESPN.

Frank Lampard backed Carlo Ancelotti to bounce back at the top level after Napoli sacked the experienced Italian on Tuesday.

Ancelotti was dismissed three hours after leading the club to a 4-0 victory over Genk, which confirmed their place in the Champions League knockout rounds.

Poor results in Serie A and rumours of discontent at Stadio San Paolo had placed pressure on the ex-Milan head coach for a number of weeks.

Links to the vacant posts at Everton and Arsenal have already emerged and Blues boss Lampard, who played under Ancelotti at Stamford Bridge, suggested the 60-year-old would have no trouble finding another high-profile position.

"I have huge respect for him, I am very sorry for him," Lampard said after Chelsea's win over Lille.

"I know it was a tough job for him lately. I saw his interview before the game and I thought it was a very typically classy interview in what seemed a very tough time for him. He always handles himself brilliantly.

"I think he can work anywhere in the world at the top level, of course."

Ancelotti is a three-time Champions League winner as a coach and boasts league titles in Italy, Germany, France and England, but his most recent jobs have produced mixed results.

He spent just over 18 months in charge of Napoli and leaves with the club sitting seventh in Serie A.

Former Partenopei player Jorginho said: "I didn't know about it. I'm really sorry. I never met him but I heard a lot of good things about him from my former team-mates.

"They told me he is a great man and manager. I'm sorry for everything that is happening in Napoli. It's a difficult moment for them.

"I hope that they will be back at the top as they were for years until this bad moment. I'm really surprised. I was not expecting Napoli [to have] trouble and I'm sorry, because I'll always love Napoli."

Napoli are expected to name Gennaro Gattuso as Ancelotti's replacement.

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