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Fonseca in contention for Newcastle job

Former Roma boss Paulo Fonseca has emerged as a contender for the Newcastle United managerial role, with talks expected this week.

Newcastle sacked head coach Steve Bruce on Wednesday morning.

Fonseca came close to being appointed as Tottenham’s head coach in the summer and remains keen on taking on a challenge in the Premier League.

The Portuguese is currently out of work and an interested club would not need to pay compensation in order to name him as their new boss.

Fonseca won three domestic doubles in his three seasons as manager of Shakhtar Donetsk between 2016 and 2019.

Fonseca lost his job at the Stadio Olimpico at the end of last season after guiding Roma to a seventh-placed finish in Serie A and he was replaced by Jose Mourinho.

Roma were also beaten in the semi-final of the Europa League by Manchester United.

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Gary Neville shares his thoughts on Newcastle’s treatment of Steve Bruce and why his managerial situation has been unfairly handled by the Magpies’ new owners.

Before his tenures at Shakhtar and Roma, the 48-year-old enjoyed managerial stints at Porto and Braga in his home country.

Current Roma boss Mourinho has distanced himself from the prospect of replacing Bruce, despite admitting he has an “emotional connection” with Newcastle as a result of his relationship with Sir Bobby Robson.

The club are without a win in the top flight this season and sit second bottom in the table after three draws and five defeats.

What would Fonseca bring?

Sky Sports’ Nick Wright:

Paulo Fonseca has emerged as the front-runner to replace Steve Bruce at St James’ Park and if he does get the job, Newcastle supporters can expect attacking football and plenty of entertainment.

Indeed, it was his devotion to an attack-minded playing style that scuppered a potential move to Tottenham during the summer, the 48-year-old insisting the club’s managing director Fabio Paratici favoured a more defensive brand of football.

“The best way to defend is to have the ball,” said Fonseca in an interview with the Telegraph. “We have an obligation with supporters to create a spectacle, a good show. I have to be offensive and dominate the games… These are things which will die with me.”

Fonseca, 48, has been honing his preferred playing style throughout a managerial career which began in 2007. He started out in his native Portugal and, following spells in charge of Pacos Ferreira, Porto and Braga, where he won the Portuguese Cup, he moved to Ukraine’s Shakhtar Donetsk and later Roma.

Fonseca spent the last two seasons at Roma, finishing fifth and seventh in Serie A before being replaced by Jose Mourinho, but he was more successful at Shakhtar, winning three consecutive league and cup doubles and enjoying good moments in Europe too.

Most memorably, in December 2017, his Shakhtar side clinched a 2-1 win over Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City to secure a place in the last 16 of the Champions League.

Fonseca has been turning heads in the Premier League ever since, attracting interest from Everton and West Ham before this summer’s approach by Tottenham, but it may now be at Newcastle that he gets his first chance in England.

Newcastle fixtures: What’s coming up for next manager?

October 23: Crystal Palace vs Newcastle – 3pm kick-off

October 30: Newcastle vs Chelsea – 3pm kick-off

November 6: Brighton vs Newcastle – 5.30pm kick-off

November 20: Newcastle vs Brentford – 3pm kick-off

November 27: Arsenal vs Newcastle – 12.30pm kick-off

November 30: Newcastle vs Norwich – 7.30pm kick-off

December 4: Newcastle vs Burnley – 3pm kick-off

December 12: Leicester vs Newcastle – 2pm kick-off, live on Sky Sports

December 16: Liverpool vs Newcastle – 8pm kick-off

December 19: Newcastle vs Man City – 2pm kick-off, live on Sky Sports

December 27: Newcastle vs Man Utd – 8pm kick-off, live on Sky Sports

December 30: Everton vs Newcastle – 7.30pm kick-off

Euro: Bayern smash five past Leverkusen, Juve beat Roma

Bayern Munich thrashed Bayer Leverkusen 5-1 on Sunday as Julian Nagelsmann’s side ran riot and silenced a stunned BayArena, scoring five goals by half-time to reclaim top spot in the Bundesliga from Borussia Dortmund.

Two each from Robert Lewandowski and Serge Gnabry moved Bayern up to 19 points, one point ahead of Dortmund while Leverkusen remain third with 16.

Bayern took the lead with just three minutes on the clock from a set-piece when an unmarked Dayot Upamecano crossed the ball into the six-yard box where Lewandowski scored with a neat back-heeled flick.

Lewandowski made it 2-0 at the half-hour mark when a Bayern counter-attack allowed left-back Alphonso Davies to dribble his way into the box towards the Polish striker, who simply stuck a leg out to tap the ball into the net.

Bayern then scored three goals in three minutes with Thomas Mueller scoring from point-blank range before Gnabry scored twice, benefiting from a Mueller assist and then a lay-off from Leon Goretzka as Leverkusen failed to deal with the press.

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Serge Gnabry completed Bayern’s scoring with their fifth after just 37 minutes

Manuel Neuer kept Leverkusen at bay with some fine saves but he was finally beaten 10 minutes after the restart when Patrik Schick was released down the right channel by Florian Wirtz and the Czech forward fired a shot that went in off the post.

Leverkusen substitute Lucas Alario had the ball in the net in the dying stages but the goal was ruled out for offside.

Also on Sunday, Augsburg drew 1-1 with Arminia Bielefeld, thwarting both teams’ hopes of putting some distance between themselves and the relegation zone.

Augsburg took the lead when Reece Oxford headed home from a corner, scoring his first Bundesliga goal after five seasons and 58 games in the league.

Bielefeld did not have a shot on target until Jacob Laursen volleyed in the equaliser in the 77th minute. Augsburg are in 16th place and Bielefeld sit 17th in the 18-team German top flight.

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A selection of the best goals from match week eight in the Bundesliga, including strikes from Robert Lewandowski, Serge Gnabry and Marco Reus

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Watch a selection of the best saves from matchweek eight in the Bundesliga, including stops from Manuel Neuer, Timo Horn and Peter Gulacsi

Serie A – Juventus see off Roma

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Moise Kean’s early goal won the game for Juventus

Juventus continued their march up the Serie A standings with a 1-0 win over Roma, as Moise Kean’s unorthodox early goal sealed a fourth consecutive league win for the Turin club.

Rodrigo Bentancur’s header ricocheted off Kean’s head and into the back of the net after 16 minutes.

But Jose Mourinho’s side were furious when Tammy Abraham put the ball in the net but the goal was not allowed to stand because referee Daniele Orsato had already whistled for a penalty. Jordan Veretout took it and his effort was saved by Wojciech Szczesny.

Juve are seventh with 14 points, level with Lazio and Atalanta above them, and one point behind fourth-placed Roma.

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Tammy Abraham had a goal ruled out for Roma

Earlier in the day, Victor Osimhen scored a towering header nine minutes from time as Napoli extended their perfect start to Serie A with a 1-0 win over Torino.

After Napoli captain Lorenzo Insigne had seen his weak first-half penalty saved and Giovanni Di Lorenzo had a goal ruled out by VAR for offside, Osimhen came to the rescue for Napoli. The striker finished off an assault on Torino’s goal following efforts from Dries Mertens and a deflection that set up Osimhen’s header.

Josip Ilicic netted twice and Duvn Zapata became the first Colombian player to score 100 goals in Serie A as Atalanta won 4-1 at Empoli.

Also, Sassuolo forward Gianluca Scamacca scored twice against his former team in a 2-2 draw at Genoa, 10-man Udinese came back for a 1-1 draw with Bologna and Cagliari finally earned their first win of the season by beating Sampdoria 3-1.

La Liga – Fati stars in Barcelona win

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Ansu Fati made a return to action for Barcelona

Ansu Fati marked his first start in almost a year by scoring one goal and creating another as Barcelona came from behind to beat Valencia 3-1.

Despite being allowed a full capacity crowd for the first time since March 2020, Barca’s ground was only half full – and those in attendance were silenced after five minutes as Jose Gaya’s long-range strike swerved into the far corner.

Barca responded well and Fati levelled after 13 minutes with a wonderful curled finished from the edge of the box.

The youngster was then felled inside the area by Gaya four minutes before the break and Memphis Depay stepped up to net from the penalty spot.

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Memphis Depay scored from the penalty spot during Barcelona’s win

Carlos Soller hit the woodwork after the break as Valencia pushed for an equaliser, but Barcelona were able to secure all three points when substitute Philippe Coutinho fired in from close range five minutes from the end.

The victory moved Ronald Koeman’s side up to seventh in the table on 15 points, five behind league leaders Real Sociedad, having played a game fewer.

Rafa Mir’s second-half strike secured a 1-0 win for Sevilla at Celta Vigo, while Rayo Vallecano saw off Elche 2-1.

Ezequiel Avila scored with four minutes left as Osasuna won 2-1 at Villarreal.

Ligue 1 – Lens lose ground on PSG

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Stephy Mavididi scored the winning goal for Montpellier against Lens

Second-placed Lens lost ground with Ligue 1 leaders PSG when they slumped to a 1-0 defeat at Montpellier.

Montpellier were rewarded for their domination three minutes into the second half when Stephy Mavididi beat Jean-Louis Leca with a low shot after being played through by Teji Savanier.

Lens had some hope when Jordan Ferri was sent off in the 86th minute for picking up a second yellow card for pulling Seko Fofana’s shirt, but their efforts were in vain.

Lens now have 18 points, trailing PSG by nine points. They are now in danger of being overtaken by Marseille, who moved to within one point after Matteo Guendouzi’s double inspired them to a 4-1 comeback win against Lorient.

At the Stade Velodrome, Guendouzi added to goals by Boubacar Kamara and Arkadiusz Milik after an early penalty by Armand Lauriente had put Lorient ahead.

But Marseille’s pressure was too intense for Lorient with Guendouzi, who now has scored three goals and set up two in nine appearances this season, playing chief tormentor.

Third-placed Marseille have a game in hand to play against Nice, who are fourth on 16 points after losing 1-0 at Troyes. Defender Giulian Biancone set up Troyes’ Mama Balde in the fourth minute for the winning goal.

Gaetan Laborde continued his fine scoring form with his league-leading seventh goal as improving Rennes won 3-0 at lowly Metz.

After starring in a well-deserved home win against PSG two weeks ago, Laborde netted midway through the first half before 19-year-old Ghana winger Kamaldeen Sulemana added a superb solo goal. Martin Terrier completed the scoring just before the break.

Saint-Etienne coach Claude Puel is under increasing pressure to keep his job after his side lost 5-1 at Strasbourg. His side sit bottom and are the only side yet to win apart from 19th-place Brest, who drew 1-1 at home to Reims. South Korea striker Hwang Ui-jo also scored for strugglers Bordeaux in a 1-1 home draw with mid-table Nantes.

Jose: Special Toon connection because of Sir Bobby, but happy at Roma

Jose Mourinho has admitted he has an “emotional connection” with Newcastle as a result of his relationship with Sir Bobby Robson, but has distanced himself from the prospect of replacing Steve Bruce as the club’s manager.

Bruce was expected to be sacked ahead of Sunday’s game against Tottenham – live on Sky Sports from 4pm – following the Saudi-led consortium’s £305m takeover of the club this month.

While the 60-year-old remains in place ahead of the match, it has not stopped a host of managers from being linked with the Newcastle job, including Mourinho, who is in his first season as Roma boss.


Sunday 17th October 4:00pm

But speaking to the media ahead of their game against Juventus on Sunday, the Portuguese said: “On Newcastle, I don’t have anything to say. Absolutely nothing to say.

“The only thing I can say is that for many, many years, I worked with one of the most important figures in the history of Newcastle, Sir Bobby Robson, and so because of that I have always had a bit of an emotional connection with that city and that fanbase. But it’s nothing more than that.”

Mourinho also emphasised his happiness working under The Friedkin Group – Roma’s owners – saying: “I am here, I am really happy to be here.

“I am 100 per cent focused on the Roma project, the Friedkin project.”

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Steve Bruce says it is ‘business as usual’ at Newcastle after meeting with the club’s new owners despite continued uncertainty over his future

Mourinho worked under Robson during the former England manager’s time in charge of Sporting Lisbon, Porto and Barcelona, initially as a translator before also being handed coaching responsibilities.

Robson went on to manage Newcastle between 1999 and 2004 and is considered an iconic figure at St James’ Park, where his statue stands outside the stadium.

Bruce hits out at media as Newcastle stick with him for Spurs

On Friday, Bruce hit out at the media as Newcastle confirmed he will take charge of his 1,000th game as a manager on Sunday against Spurs.

What have the potential replacements said?

  • Rafa Benitez (Everton): “I’m wishing them all the best but this time when I decide to stay here I keep my word and I continue working here.”
  • Steven Gerrard (Rangers): “I don’t really react or get involved in any kind of speculation. Especially when there is someone who I have the utmost respect for sitting in that job that the speculation is about. For me, I am in a very big job here that I am fully focused on.”
  • Brendan Rodgers (Leicester): “I have got a contract until 2025, I absolutely love being here.”

New part-owner Amanda Staveley said the club wanted to be “patient and considered” in their approach and that “change doesn’t happen overnight”.

Bruce went on to criticise the media for their reporting on his future, saying: “I hope you’re feeling the heat from your bosses, because it hasn’t happened has it – what you all wanted.

“Let’s hope you’re getting a bit of stick from the people who put you in charge.

“The information was wrong, wasn’t it? So you haven’t done your job properly.”

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Former Newcastle striker Micky Quinn believes Newcastle’s new owners should aim high in the search for a manager and says Diego Simeone would be an ideal fit if he could be tempted away from Atletico Madrid

Newcastle owners: ‘If we make any changes, Steve will be the first to know’

Staveley said in a club statement earlier this week: “We met Steve and the players on Monday and have given them the time and space this week to focus on preparing for what is a very important game on Sunday.

“Steve has been very professional in our dealings with him and he and his coaching team will take the team on Sunday.

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Rafael Benitez wished Newcastle fans all the best following the club’s Saudi Arabian-backed takeover but ruled out a return to St James’ Park, stating he is happy at Everton

“If we make any changes going forward, Steve will be the first to know but, in the meantime, we wish him the best of luck in his 1,000th match as a manager and will be joining you in getting right behind the team.”

Bruce, who succeeded Rafael Benitez in July 2019, added the nature of his conversation with Staveley was “informal” and did not cover his future, rather focusing on the team’s preparations.

Despite the optimism around the club following the takeover, a recent Newcastle United Supporters’ Trust poll revealed that almost 95 per cent of fans wanted Bruce’s dismissal.

“It will be some ‘ridiculous’ atmosphere which we are all looking forward to,” Bruce added. “Whatever they think of me, the most important for them is to see their team win a game.

“I know they will be right behind the team in an atmosphere I doubt we will have witnessed at St James’ Park for a long time.”

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says the recent takeover of Newcastle has turned them into a new superpower in football

Bruce said he had not contemplated his future since the protracted takeover was announced on October 7 but admitted he had after finishing 12th in the Premier League last season – an improvement on 13th in his first season in charge.

“I thought after matching the previous manager (Rafael Benitez), can I take it forward, can I get any better than this, how do I take this club forward were the questions I asked myself,” he said.

“But then I thought of my staff, everyone around and thought… it is still a great job.”

The takeover, which makes Newcastle one of the richest clubs in the world, was 80 per cent financed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, whose chair is Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Asked if he was concerned about Saudi Arabia’s human rights record, Bruce said: “Look, as far as I’m concerned, I’m sure people will look into that. That’s for politicians and all the rest of it to decide on that.

“It’s a great thing for the club of Newcastle and for me, the city too. I’ve seen the transformation in Manchester – not just for the football club, but for the city too – and I hope for the area and for the people and the supporters that there are exciting times ahead.”

Rejuvenated Abraham loving life with Jose in Rome

Tammy Abraham is loving life under Jose Mourinho after answering the Roma manager’s call to spurn Premier League interest for a fresh start in the Italian sunshine.

The 24-year-old this summer became the latest English talent to head abroad as a lack of opportunities under Thomas Tuchel saw him bring down the curtain down on his long association with Chelsea.

Abraham scored a hat-trick in what proved to be Frank Lampard’s final match in January and only played seven more times for the club, with the striker left out of the victorious Champions League final squad.

He subsequently swapped Stamford Bridge for the Stadio Olimpico in search of game time, joining Roma in a £34m deal and scoring four goals in his first 10 matches under Mourinho.

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Abraham has been among the goals since arriving in Rome, scoring four times in 10 games

He said: “Why Italy? Good question. I had different options. So many clubs I was speaking to at the time. Italy came and I spoke to Jose. He had a goal.

“I could see where he wanted Roma to go and see where he wants to take them and I wanted to be part of the process. He really put his trust in me so he was a big impact on the reason why I chose Roma.”

Abraham said when Mourinho “speaks you listen”, with the striker learning a lot from the former Chelsea boss after listening to his successful sales pitch.

“The first thing he said to me was when I picked up the phone he was like ‘do you want to enjoy some sun or stay in the rain?’ I laughed,” he said with a smile.

“I think at first I did not think much of it when we were speaking. I think my mindset was that I wanted to be in the Premier League and I wanted to stay here.

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Jose Mourinho used all his charm to convince Abraham to join him in Italy

“I feel like it was home, being around London, being around England. It was home. And I think I had to open my wings a bit and make a choice and I chose Italy and would not change it.

“I have learned so much tactically – as much as I have in my entire lifetime. It is good. You need to learn off different managers. Right now I am learning a lot.”

‘Easy option would’ve been to stick around’

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Abraham admits he was confused about his lack of game time at Chelsea

Abraham is enjoying the limelight Mourinho told him to expect in the Italian capital, plus the chance to learn a language, experience a different culture and visit new places.

The England international says he loves learning but sometimes that has been through adversity this year, admitting he “didn’t really understand” why he did not get more opportunities under Tuchel.

“I think the easy option would’ve been to stick around and sit down,” Abraham said.

“Chelsea’s a massive club, they will compete and try to win trophies so the easy option would’ve been to do that.

“I realised that I needed to go out and prove myself, I needed to play some games. I took a decision and it was the right one.

“I think at first it’s quite tough to deal with. You’ve gone from playing regularly to not being in the mix and not even making the bench sometimes. I got to a point where I had to sit down and talk to myself. I was going out to train and I was doing it for me.

“I was going to train to better myself because it’s easy to throw a strop, to be angry around the place, to be a bad egg.

“For me, it was the opposite. I learned about myself and I think that strengthened my mindset. I was with the team whenever they needed me.

“Players like Mason (Mount), Reece James, Callum Hudson-Odoi – the players that are younger than me, I kind of had to lift them and be their support, help them and encourage them.

“At the end of the day, we won trophies as a team so I have to thank them for that.”

‘England recall was a surprise to me’

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Sky Sports News’ Rob Dorsett says Gareth Southgate is expected to ring the changes for England’s World Cup Qualifier against Andorra on Saturday

Abraham said that spell made him appreciate there will be low moments during a career that is back on an upward trajectory, which has led to his return to the England set-up.

He was involved in a Covid-19 breach last October and his last England appearance came the following month, meaning he ended up watching Euro 2020 from afar.

But Abraham is focused on the future and grabbing this opportunity, having been left off the initial squad list for the World Cup Qualifiers against Andorra and Hungary.

“It was a surprise to me,” the six-cap striker said.

“I woke up to a call from Gareth and I was still half asleep and when I answered he spoke to me and what he said was at first he could not guarantee me games as there were only two games but he found a way and brought me in.

“I am always delighted to play for my country.”

Abraham, Chilwell handed England call-ups

Tammy Abraham and Ben Chilwell have been called up to Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers against Andorra and Hungary.

Roma striker Abraham has scored four goals in 10 appearances since joining the Serie A club from Chelsea in the summer.

The 24-year-old and Chelsea left-back Chilwell are additions to the 23-man squad named by Southgate on Thursday, which features strikers Harry Kane and Ollie Watkins, plus forwards Bukayo Saka, Jadon Sancho, Raheem Sterling and Jack Grealish.

Abraham was last selected by Southgate in November 2020, while he has six international caps and one goal to his name since making his senior debut in 2017.

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Ben Chilwell was an unused member of England’s squad for Euro 2020

He will link up with Southgate and the rest of the squad at St George’s Park on Tuesday.

Abraham joined Roma in August for £34m on a five-year deal after finishing last season as Chelsea’s joint top scorer despite falling out of favour under Thomas Tuchel.

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Gareth Southgate explains his decision to recall Fikayo Tomori and Aston Villa Ollie Watkins to the squad for England’s World Cup Qualifiers against Andorra and Hungary

The move saw the striker team up with former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, who was a big factor in Abraham’s decision to swap London for Rome.

“Jose the manager is very successful, he is very ambitious, very passionate and that is what I love,” said Abraham.

“I am the same, but he is a manager, and I am a player. It is nice to have someone that high a calibre to be the manager of such a great team.”

Chilwell replaces Chelsea team-mate Reece James who is ruled out after being forced off during his side’s recent home defeat to Manchester City due to an ankle injury

James has already missed the Champions League defeat to Juventus in Turin as well as Saturday’s home win against Southampton.

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Abraham has scored four goals since joining Roma from Chelsea in the summer

Southgate hopes Grealish breaks duck

Southgate wants Manchester City playmaker Jack Grealish to break his international duck and join England’s other attackers in bringing goals to the side.

The 26-year-old became a fan favourite during the Three Lions’ run to the Euro 2020 final, with City paying Aston Villa a British record £100m for his services shortly after the tournament.

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Southgate hopes Jack Grealish will score his first England goal this month

Qualifiers against Andorra and Hungary await and Southgate hopes the 15-cap international will this month finally score his first goal for his country.

“I think he recognised with us we asked certain things of him, in terms of when he first joined us, the pressing,” Southgate said of Grealish, who made his senior debut in September 2020.

“I think the big challenge with us is he’s 15 games without a goal, so the big challenge is to start registering those numbers that our other wide players have been able to produce over a period of time. There’s no reason he can’t do that.

“He’s physically definitely in a better place. He’s able to play the midweek games now.

“When we had him at the end of the season, he was only able to train two days in every three, so completely different situation to the European Championships, that’s for sure.”