Roma's match with Sevilla and Inter versus Getafe have officially been cancelled by UEFA.

The Europa League last-16 first legs have been called off due to new travel restrictions imposed by the Spanish government on flights to and from Italy in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

"Further decisions on the two matches will be communicated in due course," UEFA said in a statement.

Earlier on Wednesday, Roma confirmed they had been unable to travel for the match at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan as they had not been granted permission to fly to Andalusia.

Getafe's meeting with Inter had also been in doubt as the LaLiga club's president, Angel Torres, said they would not travel to Italy.

Torres told Onda Cero that he was not prepared to put the health of his players and staff at risk, adding: "If we have to lose the tie, we will lose it."

Italy has been in lockdown since Monday in a bid to curb the rapid spread of coronavirus.

Roma have announced they will not travel to Spain for the first leg of their Europa League last-16 match against Sevilla on Thursday.

The Italian club said on Twitter on Wednesday that their "plane from Italy was not authorised to land in Spain", adding UEFA would provide a further update.

Both legs of the tie had been due to take place behind closed doors.

Italy is in lockdown over the coronavirus outbreak, with significant travel restrictions in place across the country.

Wolves' Europa League last-16 first-leg tie at Olympiacos will be played behind closed doors, as will Sevilla's clash with Roma, UEFA has confirmed.

The two matches on Thursday are the latest to be impacted by the coronavirus crisis.

The Greek government enforced a temporary suspension of spectators attending sporting events on Sunday, with 73 confirmed cases of the virus in the country as of Monday.

UEFA subsequently affirmed the decision would affect Olympiacos in European competition, and Wolves will refund travelling fans who bought tickets.

Meanwhile, Roma's trip to Sevilla likewise will not allow supporters, following the example of Valencia v Atalanta – a Champions League encounter between Spanish and Italian teams.

The fixture will go ahead in Spain, where there are 999 cases and 16 deaths, although sporting events in Italy have been halted until April 3.

Italy is the European country most heavily affected by the virus, with 7,375 cases and 366 deaths.

A number of Serie A fixtures had been postponed even before Monday's decision to implement a four-week stoppage.

Atletico Madrid fans jeered Diego Simeone's decision to withdraw Joao Felix during Saturday's 2-2 draw with Sevilla but the coach explained he was under instruction to be "careful" with him.

Los Colchoneros missed out on the chance to usurp Sevilla and go third in LaLiga, as they struggled to break down their visitors after a thrilling first half.

Alvaro Morata's penalty and Joao Felix's deflected effort cancelled out Luuk de Jong's well-taken opener, before Lucas Ocampos' spot-kick – which he won – just before half-time earned Sevilla a deserved point.

With Atletico chasing a late win, the previously lively Joao Felix was taken off for former Sevilla winger Vitolo in the 80th minute, and the home fans seemed unimpressed by the alteration.

But Simeone stressed he felt it to be a necessary decision.

"We can't tell people that he felt overloaded in his calf," Simeone told reporters when asked to address the whistles that accompanied his withdrawal.

"The doctor told me to be careful with Joao because he was getting cramps, that's why the change came.

"That he scored a goal to make the people happy is normal, because he's from Atletico."

VAR attracted much attention during the match, as the two penalties came after lengthy reviews – Simeone felt the outcome of both incidents was fair.

"It ends up being more fair than unfair," he said. "I am far away from the play of the first penalty and very far for the second, so I cannot enter a summary.

"I don't think that the defining factor of the match was the VAR. It has been a good duel with two teams fighting for very high goals.

"We were two teams that have competed very well, and that will surely compete until the end for the Champions League [places]."

Sevilla coach Julen Lopetegui was less impressed by the use of VAR, however, particularly in terms of how long it took for the final decisions to be communicated.

"I believe that the VAR should intervene when situations are white or black," he added. "If you are waiting three minutes to see if you are going to review the decision or not, then that play is not very clear.

"There are many browns [rather than black or white] in football. That is what I meant. It should only intervene when it is black or white, because it cannot take so long, also because of the rhythm of the match, it stops too much.

"It was a very nice match. He [the referee] can't stand around for four or five minutes."

Diego Simeone is convinced Joao Felix "can go far if he wants to" despite struggling in his first season at Atletico Madrid.

Joao Felix became Atletico's record signing when he arrived from Benfica for €126million in pre-season, coming in as Antoine Griezmann's replacement.

But the Portugal international's impact has not been as significant as expected, scoring just three goals in 19 LaLiga appearances, having also missed a chunk of the season through injury.

Atletico face a fight to qualify for a Champions League spot, as they sit fifth behind Getafe and Sevilla – their visitors on Saturday – in the battle for a top-four place.

Simeone remains a believer in Joao Felix's abilities and potential ahead of a crunch clash with Sevilla on Saturday.

"He started with great enthusiasm," Simeone told reporters on Friday. "He had two injuries that took him out of that continuity.

"He is looking for that continuity in the team again, that continuity we all need and expect from him.

"Hopefully he gets to where he suggested he could, because in the case of young boys it is a consequence of where one wants to go. If he wants to go far, he can."

Like Joao Felix, Diego Costa has also recently returned to fitness and could play a significant role in the final weeks of the season, with Simeone optimistic about the striker's condition.

"I see him growing, looking for his best state, training accordingly to want to improve," the Atleti coach continued.

"He was never a great header, his game was more direct, more vertical, more positional. He felt comfortable in the game [against Espanyol].

"I see him [getting] better. He could not show all this the other day, but it is a phase of his recovery and we can count on him."

The visit of Sevilla comes just four days before Atletico's Champions League last-16 second-leg clash with Liverpool at Anfield, where Los Colchoneros will start with a 1-0 lead.

But Simeone insists his one and only focus is the Sevilla match, knowing victory will move them back into the top four and above Julen Lopetegui's erratic side.

"We do not look five days ahead, only Sevilla," he said. "We have the need to make an important match. Sevilla is strong away from home, signed new players [in January] like Suso that give quality in attack.

"The importance of the match is clear. Sevilla is a dangerous team away from home - they move better with spaces for their fast players in attack. That's where they perform their game best.

"Both matches are important - we are excited. It's a football week, in which we prepare to reach important targets. We have a beautiful battle ahead."

Julen Lopetegui apologised to supporters after Sevilla suffered a shock elimination from the Copa del Rey at the hands of second-tier Mirandes on Thursday.

Sevilla succumbed to a 3-1 loss in the last-16 match at the Municipal de Anduva, with Matheus Aias sending Mirandes into half-time with a 2-0 lead.

Lopetegui made three substitutions at the break and were lucky the Segunda Division side did not extend their lead when Diego Carlos conceded a penalty by fouling Alvaro Pena, who saw his effort from 12 yards kept out by Tomas Vaclik.

Alvaro Rey put the result beyond doubt five minutes from time, with Nolito's 90th-minute goal providing scant consolation.

"We apologise. We are all tremendously sad, but we have to back up quickly," said Lopetegui.

"We were prisoners of our bad start and they took advantage to get ahead. In this format, one bad game means you are eliminated.

"The first goal was key. It gave them a lot of energy and generated doubts [for us].

"When three substitutions are made, it's because the first one to make a mistake was the coach.

"We tried to score early in the second half but everything was against us. The goal we expected did not come and we have been eliminated by a good team that was superior.

"It's a big blow, without a doubt. We were very excited, but we have to pick ourselves up."

Mirandes will be the only team from outside LaLiga in the quarter-final draw on Friday.

Milan have allowed Spanish winger Suso to leave on an 18-month loan to Sevilla, who will be required to purchase him outright if certain objectives are met during his stay.

Suso, 26, joined the Rossoneri from Liverpool in 2015 and has been a prominent member of the first-team squad over the past three-and-a-half years.

The Spain international had played in 16 of Milan's 21 Serie A matches this term, scoring one and setting up another two.

Milan were said to have valued Suso at €40million in pre-season, but his underwhelming form this term is seemingly reflected by the reported €25m purchase option for Sevilla.

The move sees Suso reunited with Julen Lopetegui, the coach who handed the former Cadiz youngster his first Spain cap and also worked with him in La Roja's youth setup.

Suso will be expected to compete with Nolito, Lucas Ocampos, Rony Lopes and Munir El Haddadi for a spot in the starting XI.

He joins a Sevilla squad that sits third in LaLiga with 38 points, five adrift of second-placed Barcelona.

Tottenham appear set to soften Christian Eriksen's exit by making their second January signing.

Almost two weeks after landing Gedson Fernandes on loan, the Premier League side are reportedly on the cusp of capturing Steven Bergwijn from PSV.

The impending transfer has caused unrest in Eindhoven, where there is said to be animosity towards Spurs.

 

TOP STORY - SPURS TO SIGN BERGWIJN

Tottenham are closing in on the €30million (£25.3m) acquisition of Dutch winger Bergwijn, according to the Guardian.

The 22-year-old, capped nine times at international level, has reportedly travelled to London to finalise the deal.

PSV's interim head coach Ernest Faber claimed Bergwijn asked to be left out of Sunday's 1-1 Eredivisie draw against Twente, telling reporters: "It's his choice. We only need players who are 100 per cent focused on PSV."

The former Ajax youth player later clarified his version of events in a video uploaded to his Instagram account, where he insisted he was not a "rat" and that Faber had given his blessing to the switch.

Bergwijn was linked to Bayern Munich in 2019.

 

ROUND-UP 

- It could be Bergwijn in, Eriksen out to begin the week for Spurs. Sky Sport Italia says the Denmark international will ink his Inter contract after undergoing a medical on Monday. 

- LaLiga side Sevilla are working to sign Milan winger Suso on an initial 18-month loan deal, claims CalcioMercato. 

- Could former Newcastle United and Paris Saint-Germain enigma Hatem Ben Arfa finally be about to find a new home? The 32-year-old, a free agent since leaving Rennes, is on the verge of joining Real Valladolid, reports Mundo Deportivo. 

- Crystal Palace have rejected a bid from PSV bid for £9m-rated left-back Patrick van Aanholt, says the Daily Mail.

- West Ham and Burnley are monitoring Sampdoria's ex-Leeds United midfielder Ronaldo Vieira, according to the Athletic.

Ever Banega will leave Sevilla to join Al Shabab at the end of the season, the Saudi Arabian side have confirmed.

Banega, 31, is currently in his second spell at Sevilla, who he initially joined from Valencia in 2014 before leaving for Inter in 2016.

However, the midfielder spent just one season at San Siro before returning to the Andalusian club, where he remains a regular having started 19 LaLiga matches so far this season

The Argentine is out of contract in June, though, and Al Shabab have now confirmed Banega has agreed to a three-year deal.

Six-time Saudi champions Al Shabab finished fifth in the Pro League in 2018-19.

Sevilla have completed the signing of highly rated youngster Ryan Johansson from Bayern Munich.

Johansson, 18, has signed a six-and-a-half-year contract with the Spanish side and is expected to feature for their second team – Sevilla Atletico – and the senior side before the end of the season.

A technically gifted midfielder comfortable in the middle and on the right flank, Johansson had been at Bayern since 2017 and was on the fringes of the first-team squad, having been involved in each of their past two pre-season camps.

But with the path to first-team football at Bayern blocked by a significant amount of talent, Johansson opted to make the move to LaLiga.

"It is a dream come true. I think Sevilla is the perfect club for me at this point in my career and I hope to play for the first team very soon," he said.

"It was a very easy decision for me to come here, where I can improve and help the team in the future. I think I can progress at first with the reserves and adapt myself to the club so I can make the first team, hopefully very soon."

Johansson has represented Luxembourg at youth level, although he is said to be attempting to switch his allegiance to play for the Republic of Ireland, the nation of his England-born mother's parents.

Manchester United are no closer to concluding their long-running search for a director of football.

Rumours emerged over the weekend indicating the Red Devils were closing in on Lille's Luis Campos, famed for spotting the likes of Kylian Mbappe during his time at Monaco.

But fresh reports in France suggest United will be left frustrated in any bid to lure the Portuguese to Old Trafford.

 

UNITED TARGET NOT INTERESTED IN LEAVING LILLE

Claims that United have commenced negotiations with 55-year-old Campos are wide of the mark, reports Le 10 Sport.

There has apparently been no contact between the parties and, in any case, the former Real Madrid scout is said to have no plans to leave Lille.

United's 2-0 defeat to Liverpool on Sunday and the loss of Marcus Rashford has exacerbated the need for signings, an area in which Campos was expected to assist.

Campos previously had a long career as a head coach in his native Portugal, where he led Gil Vicente and Beira-Mar among others.

ROUND-UP

- Paris Saint-Germain are in preliminary talks with Neymar's representatives about a contract extension, according to French broadcaster TF1, although the Brazilian would prefer to delay concrete discussions.

- Krzysztof Piatek's proposed switch to Tottenham has stalled over Milan's £30million asking price, claims the Daily Mail.

- Spurs could turn their attention to Leicester City flop Islam Slimani, according to the Telegraph. The 31-year-old is out on loan at Monaco, where he has scored seven goals in 13 Ligue 1 games.

- Inter forward Matteo Politano favours a return to Serie A rivals Roma but may be given the option of leaving San Siro for Sevilla, says Corriere dello Sport.

- LaLiga side Espanyol hope to sign Reinier on loan once the Brazilian teenager's move to Real Madrid goes through, reports Spanish newspaper SPORT.

Manchester City without Pep Guardiola?

Speculation over Guardiola's future is not going away, with Premier League champions City set to be dethroned by Liverpool this season.

And a move to Paris Saint-Germain could be on the cards…

 

TOP STORY – PSG PREPARE MAMMOTH GUARDIOLA OFFER

French champions Paris Saint-Germain are trying to lure Pep Guardiola from Manchester City, according to the Express.

Amid uncertainty over Guardiola's future, the Ligue 1 holders are ready to make a huge offer to tempt the City manager to Paris.

Guardiola, whose side appear set to finish some distance behind Liverpool in the Premier League, has also been linked with a return to Barcelona, despite their appointment of Quique Setien this week.

 

 

ROUND-UP

- According to The Mirror, Premier League leaders Liverpool and rivals Chelsea will battle it out for RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner.

- Juventus midfielder and former Liverpool star Emre Can is wanted by Everton, reports The Mirror. Can is out of favour in Turin and has been previously linked to Manchester United.

- Il Corriere dello Sport claims Sevilla want to sign Inter midfielder Matias Vecino, who appears destined to leave Milan ahead of Christian Eriksen's reported arrival from Tottenham.

- Speculation over Bruno Fernandes' future is set to drag on. Although he has been tipped to join United, Sporting CP and the Red Devils are reportedly miles apart in their valuations of the captain. While United want to bring in Fernandes this month, the Standard says they are threatening to abandon their pursuit over fears it could damage Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's transfer plans at the end of the season. Over-paying for Fernandes has prompted concerns it could impact United's interest in Leicester City star James Maddison and Borussia Dortmund teenager Jadon Sancho.

Real Madrid are unwilling to loan out James Rodriguez, with Marca reporting the LaLiga giants are only interested in selling the Colombia international.

Zinedine Zidane believes it was the right decision to rule out a Luuk de Jong goal in Real Madrid's 2-1 victory over Sevilla on Saturday.

Madrid moved top of LaLiga as two goals from Casemiro secured all three points at the Santiago Bernabeu, despite De Jong having briefly made it 1-1 in the second half.

The striker thought he had given Sevilla the lead half an hour in, but his header was disallowed following a VAR check, with referee Juan Martinez Munuera instead penalising Nemanja Gudelj for blocking Eder Militao in the build-up.

Sevilla head coach Julen Lopetegui was aghast at the decision and director of football Monchi claimed he would have taken the team off the pitch had they seen a goal disallowed for a second time when VAR was used to check a possible handball by Munir El Haddadi.

Zidane, though, sees little reason to feel the decisions changed the game.

"What I can say is that I saw the incident and it's a block, there's a foul, the referee saw it on VAR, and he gave the foul," the Madrid boss told reporters.

"For the second, there's a hand, he doesn't give it. I can't explain anything, and I never get into evaluating these things. It's for the referee to decide.

"Sometimes these things go against you and sometimes in your favour. It's a difficult job. It's for them to decide.

"For me, there's a block, it's a foul and it's really normal."

When asked about Monchi's comments, Zidane replied: "I don't think the referee was that decisive. He did what he had to do.

"There's a hand for their goal, but that wasn't given. What can I say? I'm not going to get into it.

"It's a complicated game for everyone. We played against a good team, but the result is logical for what happened on the pitch.

"What he said is his responsibility. It's not for me to say anything. In the end, it's the referee who decides.

"What he said seems a little strong to me, but I'm not going to prevent the Sevilla sporting director from speaking."

Zidane went on to praise the performance of Casemiro, who proved Madrid's unlikely hero by scoring twice in the same game for the first time in his career with the club.

"Good, because in the end he got two goals and that's not usual," he said of Casemiro's performance. "I'm happy for him. We can make the difference in attack with any player."

Sevilla director of football Monchi was incensed by VAR's intervention in the defeat to Real Madrid, claiming he would have walked his team off the pitch had Luuk de Jong seen a second goal disallowed.

Zinedine Zidane's Madrid side claimed a 2-1 victory at the Santiago Bernabeu, with Casemiro scoring either side of a De Jong strike to send the hosts to the top of LaLiga.

Sevilla thought they had taken the lead in the first half through De Jong's header, only for the goal to be disallowed when a VAR check prompted referee Juan Martinez Munuera to penalise Nemanja Gudelj for blocking Eder Militao.

Monchi was left furious by the decision and suggested he would have taken matters into his own hands had VAR intervened again when a possible handball by Munir El Haddadi before De Jong's finish was checked.

"Everyone saw the action. There's no footballing, technical or tactical analysis after such a clear incident that defines the game," Monchi told Movistar.

"There's nothing more to analyse about it. It's absurd.

"If they had ruled out the second goal, I would have come down to the pitch and taken the team off.

"We leave here satisfied with the game despite the defeat because Sevilla are a very big team. We're angry, outraged, and... I stop there."

Head coach Julen Lopetegui insisted there was no clear reason why Sevilla's opening goal should have been ruled out.

"I feel sad. When you lose a game, you're sad," Lopetegui said.

"We played quite a good first half. We deactivated Madrid, we scored an absolutely legal goal.

"I don't know if 'shame' is the right word. If I said that [at the time], it's not appropriate, but there's no reason to disallow the goal. We've seen it and it was legal.

"It's a great goal, a play we worked on throughout the week and I still don't know why it was ruled out."

If Real Madrid end the season as LaLiga champions, they may well look back on this win over Sevilla – and the performance of Casemiro – as a defining moment.

This was a game that had the hallmarks of a setback for Zinedine Zidane. Okay, Madrid had beaten Sevilla in 10 consecutive league games in the capital going into this meeting, but Julen Lopetegui has created an obstinacy about the Andalusians that had restricted them to just three away defeats in all competitions this term.

Consider, too, that Madrid went to penalties in the Supercopa de Espana final six days ago before the long flight back from Jeddah. They also started this game without a sizeable host of first-team stars: captain Sergio Ramos was out with a sprained ankle, Eden Hazard, James Rodriguez and Gareth Bale were not in the squad, Federico Valverde was banned and Karim Benzema only able to start on the bench.

Still, one thing about the modern Madrid is that they generally perform to a far higher standard when Casemiro is on the pitch, so maybe this kind of match-winning display was bound to happen eventually. Few would have seen this coming, though.

Zidane has made Madrid extremely tough to score against in recent weeks. They had kept five clean sheets in nine games before Sevilla's visit and conceded only 12 goals in LaLiga all season, a record only matched by, of course, Atletico Madrid.

But they found themselves in trouble on Saturday. Without Ramos to dictate terms from the back, Sevilla's high press had them worried; with a depleted attack, chances of their own were scarce. Luuk de Jong thought he had buried the opening goal just before the half-hour mark only for VAR to intervene and penalise Nemanja Gudelj for blocking Eder Militao.

Amid the uncertainty of their wider display, Casemiro was doing as expected. He made five tackles and won possession 11 times in the match, more than any other player on the pitch, and only Diego Carlos bettered his tally of two interceptions.

Then came the surprise. With 57 minutes gone, Luka Jovic played an inspired backheel into Casemiro's path, he muscled his way through the Sevilla box and chipped an impudent effort beyond Tomas Vaclik. It was a striker's finish, oozing calm and precision – two qualities not always associated with one of Madrid's more ebullient characters.

Twelve minutes later, it happened again.

De Jong had equalised with a finish of the highest quality – a rare incident this season. Five minutes on, Lucas Vazquez sent in a cross and the unmarked Casemiro rose highest and nodded home his second goal of the game. Even rarer.

Casemiro had never scored twice in a Madrid match before and he cannot have ended many games with no team-mate having attempted more shots. Indeed, he could have had a hat-trick but for a miscued effort in the closing stages.

Casemiro is hardly an unsung hero at the Santiago Bernabeu, but this was a rescue act in a very different guise, his impact in the opponent's box even more important than his tigerish efforts in defending his own.

It means Madrid are unbeaten in 17 games in all competitions and return to the top of the table ahead of Barcelona's game against Granada on Sunday. With their form showing few signs of dipping and with stars aplenty to return, this might prove to be Casemiro's most decisive performance yet.

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