‘Liverpool interested in Gravenberch’ – Galtier responds to racism allegations
Osmihen back at Napoli
Victor Osimhen was greatly missed this week at Napoli, which lost 1-0 to AC Milan in the quarterfinals of the Champions League. The striker was still injured at the time, but he may rejoin Saturday’s Serie A match with relegation candidate Hellas Verona.
Napoli has a 16-point lead over Lazio, who are second, nine games before the end of the league. Tuesday is the return in the Champions League against Milan.
Slot wary of straggler Cambuur
Feyenoord coach Arne Slot is wary of underestimating the next opponent the day after the European success against AS Roma: number last in the Eredivisie SC Cambuur. “Like us, they need the points badly,” Slot said. “That is something we have to be vigilant about.”
“This season they are struggling, but at home they still often manage to make things difficult for the big clubs,” Slot warned. “See for example the victory over PSV, while AZ and FC Twente only made the difference late in the game.”
Cambuur and Feyenoord meet Sunday afternoon at 4:45 p.m.
Galtier angry over racism allegations, police investigate
Christophe Galtier, coach of Paris Saint-Germain, has responded to accusations that he expressed racist views during his time as Nice coach. He says he is “touched to the core” by the allegations.
French media recently published an e-mail from Nice’s sporting director addressed to that club’s board. In it, he claimed that Galtier had loudly questioned the amount of colored and Muslim players in the selection.
Police in Nice have announced an investigation and already conducted a search of that club’s offices.
PSG’s hard core announced in a statement that they believe Galtier should leave if the allegations are proven.
Galtier himself responded as follows: “I cannot allow my name and that of my family to be dragged through the mud like this. That is why I have decided to sue anyone who attacks my good name. I respect everyone, regardless of origin, house color or religion.”
Earlier, Turkish Fortuna striker Burak Yilmaz stood up for Galtier. The two worked together at Lille. “I worked with him and never noticed any negative behavior regarding religion or race with him,” he wrote on Twitter.
NEC likely to miss Tannane against Vitesse
It is unlikely that Oussama Tannane will be fit in time for NEC-Vitesse. It would be a big loss for the Nijmegen side, as Tannane was in blood form before his injury.
Coach Rogier Meijer has little hope for Tannane’s quick return. “If we take too much risk, it might be the end of the season for him and that’s not what we want. It’s more likely that he won’t be there than that he will be there.
The former Vitesse player scored six goals and gave nine assists in the premier league this season. In the last two games he played, against RKC and PSV, the Moroccan scored twice each time. Against PSV, he was injured.
By the way, in the first edition of the Gelderland derby, Tannane picked up red. The match in Arnhem ended 0-0.
Bild: ‘Liverpool want to pluck Gravenberch away from Bayern’
According to Bild, which also reported today that Ajax wants to buy Julian Rijkhoff from Borussia Dortmund, Liverpool is interested in Ryan Gravenberch. Jürgen Klopp reportedly wants to revamp The Reds’ selection considerably and Gravenberch should be part of that.
The 20-year-old midfielder went from Ajax to Bayern in the summer, but does not get to play much there. Even under Thomas Tuchel, successor to the sacked Julian Nagelsmann, Gravenberch is almost always on the bench.
After the painful defeat at Manchester City (3-0), Bayern players Sadio Mané and Leroy Sané got into a fight with each other. What exactly happened is not clear, but Mané received a suspension from the club itself.
Coach Tuchel addressed it briefly today. “We have pronounced it and with that it has been resolved. I know Sadio as an absolute top professional and that is no different now.” Mané, like the injured Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, will miss Saturday afternoon’s match against Hoffenheim.
Fitz-Jim wants more than Jong Ajax, with a rental if necessary
In a mostly messy season in Amsterdam, a budding talent is looking for his way. Kian Fitz-Jim is 19 years old, now playing his third season in the Keuken Kampioen Divisie and hiccuping against Ajax’s first, but making a definitive breakthrough in a team that is largely wandering through the season is proving difficult.
The defensive midfielder briefly trotted into Ajax 1 twice in the league, as a substitute away from SC Cambuur and NEC. Not yet in an Eredivisie match in his own Johan Cruijff Arena. And so Fitz-Jim, who did start in the cup matches with FC Den Bosch and De Graafschap (again both times away from home), is not yet satisfied.
“I think as a human being you are never really satisfied with what you have and you always want more. I’m at that point now. I made my debut and I want more.” But the question is whether the talent is going to get many playing minutes this premier league season.
Van Nistelrooij on De Jong and Sangaré
Luuk de Jong is fit enough to start for PSV against FC Volendam tomorrow night, after being out against Excelsior (4-0) last week. The striker has been injured often this season, but despite this, coach Ruud van Nistelrooij says he is of great value.
“He is very stable and takes responsibility for the team,” the coach said at the press conference before Volendam away. “Of course sometimes he has complaints and pains. He comes from a situation where he played mostly as a substitute. So he had to get used again to the rhythm of playing three times 90 minutes a week.”
Reserve turn Sangaré
Van Nistelrooij also received questions about Ibrahim Sangaré, who was passed over for last week’s game with Excelsior (4-0). “He handled that extremely well. He has reacted very well, is there at training sessions and is getting the best out of himself.”
In recent weeks, different players have been swapping places in PSV’s midfield. Doesn’t Van Nistelrooij puzzle too much? “The basis is the constant, but now and then you have to make some adjustments.”
Ten Hag looks to miss Martínez for a while
Manchester United coach Erik ten Hag is concerned about the injury to Lisandro Martínez, who sat out yesterday’s Europa League game with Sevilla (2-2). Ten Hag assumes the Argentine defender will not be available in Sunday’s league match against Nottingham Forest.
“There was no opponent involved, so it doesn’t look good. But we have to wait and see. The medical staff has to do its job and then we will get the right diagnosis,” the Dutch coach said.
There was talk of a severe Achilles tendon injury, but Ten Hag said it was not. “I know just what it is, but not his Achilles tendon. I spoke with him and he is okay and calm.” In addition to Martinez, Ten Hag also had to substitute his other defender Raphael Varane at halftime.
Bild: ‘Ajax bets on Rijkhoff’s arrival’
According to German (sports) newspaper Bild, Ajax wants to bring back Julian Rijkhoff from Borussia Dortmund this summer. The 18-year-old striker traded Ajax’s training for Dortmund’s two seasons ago.
Rijkhoff has made quite an impression in Germany, including his goals in the UEFA Youth League. Ajax would however have to pay a transfer fee for Rijkhoff, who recently extended his contract at Die Borussen.
That other Koopmeiners also has ambition: ‘Never engaged in comparisons myself’
Peer Koopmeiners once featured prominently in La Gazzetta dello Sport. By accident. Because the renowned sports newspaper confused him with the two-year older Teun, who was in the interest of AS Roma.
To the outside world they also look very similar, the two soccer brothers. At AZ, Peer seemed to be the dream successor in the Alkmaar midfield after Teun’s departure, but it still hasn’t materialized.
While Teun has been playing in the top of the Italian Serie A and the Champions League with Atalanta for some time now and has become an Orange international, Peer is fighting against relegation with Excelsior. Again tonight in the home game against Go Ahead Eagles (8 p.m.).
Cocu also misses NEC-Vitesse, due to ‘complicated recovery’ appendectomy
Phillip Cocu will not be able to line up for the Gelderland derby either. The Vitesse coach is still in hospital after an operation on his appendix a week ago. He also missed last week’s game between Vitesse and Go Ahead Eagles (2-0).
The coach will be replaced by his assistant Chris van der Weerden, who once started his soccer career at NEC. The Arnheimers’ club website reports that Cocu is expected to remain in hospital for several more days for treatment and observation, as his recovery from surgery is “complicated.
In doing so, Vitesse reports that the 52-year-old Cocu will resume his duties in phases as soon as possible. “I hope to be back on the pitch myself soon, but for now I have to prioritize my health. I wish the staff, players, colleagues and supporters good luck this weekend in the Gelderland derby.”
Wonderful night for goal scorer Wieffer
Lead scorer Wieffer: ‘I always hear I should shoot more often’
Back to yesterday, to Feyenoord’s fine victory over AS Roma, in the quarterfinals of the Europa League.
Mats Wieffer was briefly the schlemiel at the end of the first half against AS Roma, after an unfortunate handball resulted in a penalty against. In the second half, on the contrary, he had every reason to cheer. The 23-year-old midfielder, who made his Orange debut against Gibraltar at the end of March, scored handsomely shortly after halftime.
“I always hear that I should shoot more often. At that moment I had time to think and I thought: I’ll shoot in one shot, even if it goes out of the stadium. I did that once before and then the ball went in too, so maybe I should do it more often. It went in nicely.”
Two direct CL tickets are in, De Jong is proud
Based on the UEFA coefficient list, the Netherlands can count on two direct starting tickets for the Champions League from the 2024/2025 season. This means that next season, for the first time in 23 years, the Netherlands will compete for a total of three Champions League tickets. After all, the number three of the 2023/2024 premier league season will advance to the third preliminary round of the billion-dollar ball.
This season, in the premier league, only the first (group stage) and second place (preliminary rounds) entitle to Champions League soccer. The extra ticket is in, as the Netherlands has now definitively taken over sixth place on the coefficient list from Portugal.
Reaction De Jong
Eredivisie chief Jan de Jong is as proud as a peacock of that sixth spot. “This is because of the extra European tickets incredibly important for the attractiveness of the Eredivisie, the commercial growth and financial stability of the clubs, the development and value of players, and the attraction for new talents. Now we must work together to ensure that we retain this spot.”
“Together we have made the importance of European soccer central by agreeing, among other things, that all clubs in the Eredivisie commit to cooperate with requests to reschedule matches in the interest of an optimal match schedule for the European playing clubs.”
“Also the later entry of the European playing clubs into the KNVB Cup and the collective decision to promote playing on natural grass contributed to the common goal of becoming a stronger Dutch league.”
End of season for Utrechter Hendriks
FC Utrecht will have to do without Ramon Hendriks for the rest of the season. The 21-year-old defender suffered a knee injury last week in the away match with FC Groningen and must rehabilitate for several months.
It is the second serious injury for Hendriks in a short time. The Feyenoord mercenary suffered a cruciate ligament injury in the summer just before his transfer. He made his debut for Utrecht only last month.
Hendriks was one of three injured players who dropped out of FC Utrecht’s away game with FC Groningen in quick succession:
Watch the summary of FC Groningen – FC Utrecht