Stars Bonucci and Silva could be sold if AC Milan miss out on Champions League

AC Milan chief executive Marco Fassone has acknowledged the Serie A giants would have to sell star players if they fail to qualify for next season’s Champions League.

Vincenzo Montella’s side sit 10th following a difficult start to the season, with a 3-2 defeat in a dramatic derby against Inter last time out marking their fourth league defeat of the campaign.

10/3 for Genoa and Milan to draw

Milan – who take on Genoa on Sunday – spent big in the off-season, with Ricardo Rodriguez, Andre Silva and Leonardo Bonucci among their high-profile additions.

However, Fassone has hinted some key players may have to be sold to balance the books should they fail to finish in the Champions League places, though he assures it would not be the end of the club’s long-term project.

“It is a plan and an obligation [to qualify],” Fassone told La Stampa

“The Champions League is fundamental to our project. To miss it, however, does not block the plans.

“We will delay a year and find the system to balance the failure to enter the Champions League with the sale of one or two top players.”

Milan’s disappointing start has led to the pressure mounting on Montella, and Fassone did little to ease the scrutiny on the former Sampdoria boss.

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“We’re all under pressure,” he added. 

“It is needless to think about it though. Here we have to work all in the same direction to find a way out of this.

“The spark is missing. But I’m convinced we will do it.”

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Francisca Ordega joins Atletico Madrid on loan from Washington Spirit

Francisca Ordega has joined reigning Spanish champions Atletico Madrid on a six-month loan US-based outfit Washington Spirit.

The Nigerian left her National Women Soccer League side in an off-season deal with Atletico and she will feature for the Spanish women giants till March 2018. 

On completing her loan deal, the 24-year-old has expressed delight at landing the offer to feature for the Spain’s Women Superliga outfit and states her readiness to play for them.

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The loan move is the second for the forward in two years since she joined Australian Women topflight side Sydney FC in 2016.

“For me it’s an honour and I’m very happy to be here. Atletico Madrid is a great club, internationally recognised, and I really want to start,” she told the club’s website.

She is expected to make her debut for Atletico, who are second on the log, when they host league leaders FC Barcelona in Spanish Women’s Superliga clash on October 29. 

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Man Utd youngster McTominay signs new contract until 2021

Manchester United youngster Scott McTominay has been rewarded with a new contract until 2021, with the option of a further year.

The midfielder made his first-team debut under Jose Mourinho at the end of the 2016-17 season against Arsenal.

He also made his first Champions League appearance in United’s 1-0 win over Benfica on Wednesday night.

McTominay 17/2 to score last v Huddersfield

Discussing the new contract, McTominay told the club’s official website:  “I have grown up at this great club and it has always been a big part of my life. I attended the club’s development centre in Preston from the age of five and have gone on to progress from there.  

“To make my debut at the end of last season was a dream come true, and I would like to thank the manager for the faith that he has shown in me. I was absolutely delighted when the manager promoted me to the first-team squad and I am looking forward to continuing my journey with this fantastic team.”

Mourinho added: “I am delighted Scott has signed a new contract, he is one of our young players that has gone from strength to strength.

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“He made his Premier League debut at the end of last season and made his Champions League debut this season. I had no hesitation in promoting Scott to the first-team squad last month as we have total belief in him.”  

With Paul Pogba, Michael Carrick and Marouane Fellaini all still injured, McTominay could well be in for another appearance on Saturday as Man Utd travel to face Huddersfield at the John Smith’s Stadium.

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‘Ozil not worth feeding, never mind giving a contract’ – McCoy slams want-away Arsenal star

Arsenal should not offer Mesut Ozil a new deal, says Tony McCoy, as the World Cup winner is “not worth feeding, never mind paying a contract”.

The Germany international continues to run down the final 12 months of his current deal at Emirates Stadium.

Ozil 11/5 to score v Everton

His agent, Erkut Sogut, recently claimed that “positive” talks have been held regarding an extension, but nothing has been put in place and Ozil continues to generate transfer speculation – with Manchester United among those reported to be keen.

Horse racing legend McCoy, a famous Arsenal supporter, believes the club should cut their losses on the 29-year-old, with his commitment to the cause no longer at a level which is beneficial to Arsene Wenger.

McCoy told the Only Balls and Horses podcast on events in north London: “It’s been pretty disappointing, same old, same old.

“I’ve always been a fan of Arsene Wenger, I’d never say anything bad about him.

Mesut Ozil Tony McCoy Arsenal not worth feeding

“The football’s pretty much the same. But we’ve got players there who are floating.

“Ozil is not worth feeding, never mind paying a contract. He doesn’t look like he wants to be there. I wouldn’t let him anywhere near an Arsenal shirt.”

Ozil did little to silence his detractors in his most recent outing, as he missed a gilt-edged chance during a 2-1 defeat to Watford.

Arsenal were questioned as a collective in the wake of that reversal, with Troy Deeney accusing them of lacking “cojones”, and McCoy admits the display was not good enough.

He added: “To be fair, against Watford on Saturday, I’d be a little bit embarrassed.

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“They can say whatever they like about Troy Deeney but he was only telling the truth.

“Some people don’t like the truth but that’s the fact of the matter. They were too complacent, not aggressive enough for me, no intensity.”

Arsenal return to action on Thursday when they face Red Star Belgrade in the Europa League.

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Benzema ‘very happy’ at Real Madrid amid Arsenal rumours

Karim Benzema has no desire to leave Real Madrid despite reports of an offer from Arsenal, according to the striker’s agent.

Rumours in Spain this week claim the Gunners have launched a bid to sign the 29-year-old in the January transfer window.

Benzema 2/1 to score 2+ v Eibar

Benzema has only managed two goals this season and missed a clear chance against Tottenham in Tuesday’s 1-1 Champions League draw at the Santiago Bernabeu.

His disappointing form has led to speculation he could leave next year, despite having signed a new four-year contract in September, but his representative has made it clear he is content in the Spanish capital.

“Karim Benzema is very happy at Real Madrid,” Karim Djaziri told Sky Sports News.

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“He signed a contract extension last month and has absolutely no intention of leaving the club.”

Benzema missed four La Liga games with a hamstring injury but scored on his return to the side in last weekend’s 2-1 win at Getafe.

The defending champions host Eibar in their next outing on Sunday.

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