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Monaco SACK Robert Moreno after just seven months at the Ligue 1 side Niko Kovac replaces him

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monaco sack robert moreno after just seven months at the ligue 1 side niko kovac replaces him

Monaco have sacked manager Robert Moreno after just seven months at the club and swiftly announced for Bayern Munich boss Niko Kovac as his replacement.

His axing comes as the club finished ninth in Ligue 1, although the French top flight was ended early amid the coronavirus pandemic. The club have decided to make a change with former Tottenham recruitment chief Paul Mitchell taking over as sporting director.   

Monaco said Moreno ‘did his upmost to improve the team’, but added that Kovac marked the start of a new chapter with the team. 

Robert Moreno has been sacked as Monaco boss after just seven months at the French side

Robert Moreno has been sacked as Monaco boss after just seven months at the French side

Robert Moreno has been sacked as Monaco boss after just seven months at the French side

The club have swiftly announced former Bayern Munich boss Niko Kovac as his replacement

The club have swiftly announced former Bayern Munich boss Niko Kovac as his replacement

The club have swiftly announced former Bayern Munich boss Niko Kovac as his replacement 

Kovac was sacked by Bayern Munich after a string of poor results in November with the club trailing in the race for the Bundesliga title.  

‘Our paths are separating earlier than expected but I would like to thank Robert Moreno for accepting the challenge,’ said vice-president Oleg Petrov.

‘With his staff, Robert did his utmost to improve the team, with enthusiasm and dedication. I wish him the best for the future.’ 

‘We are very happy to welcome Niko Kovac to the Club,’ he added in a later statement. ‘This season marks the start of a new chapter for AS Monaco, with a defined sporting plan in line with the club’s objectives. 

Moreno only joined the Ligue 1 side in November after a spell in charge Spain's national team

Moreno only joined the Ligue 1 side in November after a spell in charge Spain's national team

Moreno only joined the Ligue 1 side in November after a spell in charge Spain’s national team

Croatian Kovac was sacked by the German giants in November after a string of poor results

Croatian Kovac was sacked by the German giants in November after a string of poor results

Croatian Kovac was sacked by the German giants in November after a string of poor results

‘This direction will be embodied by Niko as coach. Niko is recognized for his work both for the national team and his work in club environments, in the development of young talent, the management of experienced players and the ability to achieve very good results. I’m convinced that his experience and personality will help us achieve our goals.

Moreno only joined in November after a spell in charge of Spain as he took over from Leonardo Jardim.  

But Mitchell said in Kovac they have a manager who has ‘constantly shown an ability to win’, saying he had an impressive CV and praised his work at Frankfurt and the Croatian national team.

‘Niko represents the highest level of experience both as a former player and head coach,’ he said. ‘He has constantly shown an ability to win with Bayern Munich, one of the biggest clubs in the world and winning while in a re-building process at Frankfurt. 

Monaco sporting director Paul Mitchell said Kovac 'represents the highest level of experience'

Monaco sporting director Paul Mitchell said Kovac 'represents the highest level of experience'

Monaco sporting director Paul Mitchell said Kovac ‘represents the highest level of experience’

‘Niko was a key influence in turning Frankfurt into a top performing team in Germany, guiding the team twice in consecutive years to the cup final and leaving them with a place in European competition. 

‘His CV also encompasses a great job with the Croatian national team where he took them through the playoffs into the World Cup finals. 

‘His energy, his way of working and his vision of the game make him the coach the club needs to assert our ambitions and build the solid foundations to create sustainable success for the future.’

Kovac won the Bundesliga and German Cup in his first season at Bayern Munich but came under massive pressure at the club in this campaign after the team fell off the pace in the title race and was replaced by Hansi Flick.

He had won admirers for his work at Frankfurt, where he helped them win the German Cup against his future employers Bayern. 

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Everton ‘fended off Man United interest in Dominic Calvert-Lewin with a massive £80m asking price’ 

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everton fended off man united interest in dominic calvert lewin with a massive 80m asking price

Everton reportedly told Manchester United they would need to pay £80m if they wanted to sign striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

The Sun claim Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had made the player a top target but hopes of a deal were ended abruptly when United heard the asking price.

Calvert-Lewin only cost Everton £1.5m when they signed him from Sheffield United four years ago.

Everton reportedly told Manchester United that Dominic Calvert-Lewin would cost them £80m

Everton reportedly told Manchester United that Dominic Calvert-Lewin would cost them £80m

Everton reportedly told Manchester United that Dominic Calvert-Lewin would cost them £80m

He has since netted 36 goals in 136 appearances for the Toffees.

Three of those came in Saturday’s 5-2 win over West Brom at Goodison Park. 

The hat-trick sees the 23-year-old leading the race for the Premier League Golden Boot, having also scored the only goal of the game in the opening day win over Tottenham.  

After the game, Calvert-Lewis said: ‘The manager is on me every day about one-touch finishes and being in the box – being in the right areas to put the ball in the back of the net.

Calvert-Lewin scored a hat-trick as Everton made it two wins from two on Saturday

Calvert-Lewin scored a hat-trick as Everton made it two wins from two on Saturday

Calvert-Lewin scored a hat-trick as Everton made it two wins from two on Saturday

‘It’s nice to know what I’m working on in training is coming off on the pitch.

‘That’s the biggest reward – my first hat-trick in professional football and in the end a good team performance.’

At the time Ancelotti said: ‘I think he is going to be at the top in England and in Europe.’

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Social media reacts to a wicked nutmeg from Daniel Podence on Kevin de Bruyne

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social media reacts to a wicked nutmeg from daniel podence on kevin de bruyne

Daniel Podence has received high praise on social media after he pulled off an audacious nutmeg against Kevin De Bruyne during Wolves‘ Premier League defeat by Manchester City

The winger displayed excellent skill to tap the ball through the City midfielder’s legs and cross perfectly for Raul Jimenez who headed past Ederson and into the net.

Although De Bruyne is not renowned for his defensive capabilities, Podence understandably won plaudits from football fans after he outwitted one of the most talented players on the planet.

Daniel Podence produced exquisite skill to nutmeg Kevin De Bruyne on Monday night

Daniel Podence produced exquisite skill to nutmeg Kevin De Bruyne on Monday night

Daniel Podence produced exquisite skill to nutmeg Kevin De Bruyne on Monday night

The Portuguese winger knocked the ball through the City midfielder's legs in the second half

The Portuguese winger knocked the ball through the City midfielder's legs in the second half

The Portuguese winger knocked the ball through the City midfielder’s legs in the second half

Podence proceeded to curl in an excellent cross which Raul Jimenez headed into the net

Podence proceeded to curl in an excellent cross which Raul Jimenez headed into the net

Podence proceeded to curl in an excellent cross which Raul Jimenez headed into the net

33459340 8757969 image a 29 1600732306237

33459340 8757969 image a 29 1600732306237

One person posted: ‘All of Kevin De Bruyne’s assists now belong to Daniel Podence.’ 

Meanwhile, another fan Tweeted: ‘Daniel Podence just sent Kevin De Bruyne for a Belgian waffle. Lovely assist from the pint-sized wizard.’

One person even accused the Portuguese of ‘sending De Bruyne back to Chelsea’. 

De Bruyne once again displayed his outstanding talent at the other end of the pitch as City kicked off their season with a win at Molineux, playing a part in all three goals scored by Pep Gardiola’s team. 

Wolves striker Jimenez (L) powers the ball beyond Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson

Wolves striker Jimenez (L) powers the ball beyond Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson

Wolves striker Jimenez (L) powers the ball beyond Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson

33459338 8757969 image a 31 1600732323955

33459338 8757969 image a 31 1600732323955

De Bruyne played a pivotal role and scored a penalty as City began their season with a 3-1 win

De Bruyne played a pivotal role and scored a penalty as City began their season with a 3-1 win

De Bruyne played a pivotal role and scored a penalty as City began their season with a 3-1 win

The 29-year-old was taken down by Roman Saiss in the first half before picking himself up to score emphatically from the penalty sot. 

The Belgium international then played anther incisive pass to Raheem Sterling who set up Phil Foden with a tap in to double the visitors’ lead.

Podence missed two opportunities to half the deficit, first shooting wide from the edge of the box and then putting too much weight on his lob over Ederson. 

12 minutes of normal time remained when Jimenez headed in from Podence’s teasing cross, but City wrapped up all three points in stoppage time as Gabriel Jesus’ deflected beyond Rui Patricio after De Bruyne won back possession. 

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Pep Guardiola says he will play ‘mostly academy players’ in the Carabao Cup tie against Bournemouth

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pep guardiola says he will play mostly academy players in the carabao cup tie against bournemouth

Pep Guardiola vowed to play a significant number of Manchester City‘s academy in the Carabao Cup as injuries piled up before their season even started.

City were without seven first-team players for Monday’s impressive 3-1 win at Wolves to injury, Ilkay Gundogan joining the list after testing positive for coronavirus ahead of the game.

Guardiola’s squad have under 72 hours’ rest before facing Bournemouth on Thursday and the manager claimed he has no choice but to dip into the academy.

Pep Guardiola said he will play mostly academy players for the Carabao Cup tie on Thursday

Pep Guardiola said he will play mostly academy players for the Carabao Cup tie on Thursday

Pep Guardiola said he will play mostly academy players for the Carabao Cup tie on Thursday

Tommy Doyle was one of the Manchester City youngsters to make the bench against Wolves

Tommy Doyle was one of the Manchester City youngsters to make the bench against Wolves

Tommy Doyle was one of the Manchester City youngsters to make the bench against Wolves

‘We cannot pretend we can recover in three days and then another three days play again,’ Guardiola said. ‘We cannot expend the energy we did today (again) on Thursday against Bournemouth because of Sunday (against Leicester).

‘It is a lack of preparation, we have seven players out and they are not coming back soon. We will see how many players are available.

‘We would like to continue in the Carabao Cup but we don’t have players after this period, to be able to play every three or four days. We’re going to play mostly academy players against Bournemouth and try to keep the energy for the Premier League.’

Academy graduates Tommy Doyle and Adrian Bernabe were joined on City’s bench by 17-year-old Liam Delap on Monday. Delap, son of former Stoke defender Rory, is a highly regarded striker and looks set for a senior debut against Bournemouth.

Academy graduate Liam Delap (above) was also on the bench along with Adrian Bernabe

Academy graduate Liam Delap (above) was also on the bench along with Adrian Bernabe

Academy graduate Liam Delap (above) was also on the bench along with Adrian Bernabe

Guardiola’s fitness problems are mounting, with the Catalan suggesting that only Eric Garcia will recover in time for Leicester’s visit to the Etihad on Sunday. Aymeric Laporte is back training and should return, although Aleks Zinchenko, Bernardo Silva, Sergio Aguero and Joao Cancelo are facing weeks on the sidelines.

‘Most of them are after the Leeds game, the international break,’ Guardiola added. ‘After that they will be ready. Laporte was not injured but only had one training session. Eric had 16 stitches but maybe the next game he will be fit.

‘Unfortunately Ilkay got Covid. I’m concerned for the society, not Man City. The cases are increasing, they’re still there.

‘It’s less aggressive but it’s still there. Aymeric and Riyad passed it and now we have Ilkay. I think he feels quite well now but he has to stay at home. We tried to be prudent, be alert in our private lives, but it is there. We are no different to any human being in society.’

Ilkay Gundogan is one of seven players out of the game after testing positive for coronavirus

Ilkay Gundogan is one of seven players out of the game after testing positive for coronavirus

Ilkay Gundogan is one of seven players out of the game after testing positive for coronavirus

Aymeric Laporte is back training and should return for the game after also testing positive

Aymeric Laporte is back training and should return for the game after also testing positive

Aymeric Laporte is back training and should return for the game after also testing positive

City are on the hunt for a new central defender and have interest in Sevilla’s 21-year-old Jules Kounde. The LaLiga club’s sporting director, Monchi, claimed to have rejected a bid, with the Europa League winners wanting upwards of £60million.

‘There is no agreement with City,’ Monchi said. ‘It’s certain that in the last few days we have received interest from one club for Jules. They submitted an offer that was assessed by the board and it was rejected. If they come back, we will listen and we will respond.’

City will be encouraged by their opening-day victory yet Wolves were made to rue missed opportunities after half-time, with Daniel Podence causing problems to City’s back four but failing to take his chances.

‘It’s not about measuring the positives and negatives,’ Wolves manager Nuno Espirto Santo said. ‘We know how important moments in both boxes are. We were bad defensively in our box in the first half. We should’ve been more clinical. City have talented players but we caused them a lot of problems. There are lots of things we can improve on.’

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