Euro round-up: Real claim Super Cup title

Real Madrid were crowned Spanish Super Cup champions after goals from Luka Modric and Karim Benzema earned them a 2-0 win over Athletic Bilbao in Saudi Arabia.

Real took the lead in the 38th minute at the King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh after Rodrygo sprinted past two defenders before passing to Modric, who rifled a shot into the back of the net.

Benzema extended their lead in the second half with a penalty after the video assistant referee spotted a handball from Yeray Alvarez inside the area.

Real were reduced to 10 men three minutes from time after Eder Militao was sent off for a goalline handball.

Real goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois brilliantly stopped Raul Garcia’s penalty kick with his left foot in the dying seconds.

Serie A: Sergio Oliveira scores debut winner

Sergio Oliveira scored a penalty on his AS Roma debut as Jose Mourinho’s side ended a three-match winless run by beating relegation battling Cagliari 1-0 in Serie A on Sunday.

Portuguese midfielder Oliveira, who joined the capital club on loan from Porto on Wednesday, calmly converted a spot-kick in the 32nd minute following a Dalbert handball.

Jordan Veretout and Nicolo Zaniolo threatened a second for the hosts after the break, but the best chance fell to Cagliari when Joao Pedro’s close-range shot was pushed onto the bar by Rui Patricio five minutes from time.

It was Roma’s first win in almost a month, after picking up one point from three games, and took Mourinho’s side up to sixth place on 35 points, six behind Juventus in fifth.

Cagliari’s bid to avoid the drop was boosted by back-to-back wins at the start of the year, but they were without 11 players due to injuries, COVID-19 and Africa Cup of Nations duties for their trip to the capital, and defeat left them 18th with 16 points.

Elsewhere, Luis Nani got an assist two minutes into his debut for Venezia, coming off the bench to set up David Okereke’s equaliser in a 1-1 draw against midtable Empoli.

Antonin Barak scored a hat-trick in a 4-2 win for Hellas Verona at Sassuolo that took Igor Tudor’s side above their hosts into the top half of the table.

Ligue 1: Rennes run riot; Ben Yedder scores twice in Monaco rout

Adrien Truffert is congratulated after scoring for Rennes
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Adrien Truffert is congratulated after scoring for Rennes at home to Bordeaux

Rennes bounced back in style from three straight defeats by routing struggling Bordeaux 6-0 at home to reclaim fourth place in the French league on Sunday.

Striker Gaetan Laborde and winger Martin Terrier each scored to reach 10 league goals apiece this season – as many as Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe.

Terrier put Rennes ahead before captain Benjamin Bourigeaud netted just before the break. Laborde struck on the hour before Adrien Truffert scored in the 69th minute and fellow substitute Serhou Guirassy netted twice in the closing stages.

Philippe Clement’s first home game in charge of Monaco saw France striker Wissam Ben Yedder score twice in a 4-0 home win over Clermont. Monaco moved ahead of Lens on goal difference into fifth.

Strasbourg climbed into sixth after rallying to win 3-1 at home to Montpellier, who were seeking a fifth straight win.

Midfielder Florent Mollet gave Montpellier an early lead, but Strasbourg scored three times in the last 15 minutes through Majeed Waris, Adrien Thomasson and veteran striker Kevin Gameiro.

Later on Sunday, third-placed Marseille were hosting defending champions Lille, needing victory to move level on points with second-placed Nice. Mid-table Lyon won 1-0 at lowly Troyes.

Meanwhile, Metz moved away from the relegation zone with a 1-0 win at Reims, and strugglers Lorient drew 0-0 at home to Angers.

Bundesliga: Frankfurt, Bielefeld held to draws

Eintracht Frankfurt celebrate scoring a goal
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Eintracht Frankfurt celebrate scoring a goal against Augsburg

Missing key players isolating with coronavirus, Eintracht Frankfurt‘s ambitions to fight for European qualification were dented on Sunday as they were held to a 1-1 draw at relegation-threatened Augsburg.

With Frankfurt goalkeeper Kevin Trapp and winger Filip Kostic both unavailable after positive tests, an otherwise drab game was enlivened by two moments of individual skill for the goals.

Playmaker Daichi Kamada gave Frankfurt the lead in the 22nd minute when he ran onto a through ball and leaped over goalkeeper Rafal Gikiewicz before stretching to tap the ball into the net under pressure from a defender. Michael Gregoritsch leveled for Augsburg 16 minutes later with a fine finish from a tight angle.

Frankfurt were looking for a morale-boosting win after giving up a two-goal lead to lose 3-2 to Borussia Dortmund last week, but had to settle for a point which keeps the team in eighth. Just five points separate Bayer Leverkusen in third from Mainz in 10th.

Frankfurt’s winless start to the new year is a blow to a team that started the season poorly but recovered with wins in six of their last seven Bundesliga games of 2021 to get back into the fight for European qualification.

Augsburg produced one of the shocks of the season to beat Bayern Munich 2-1 in November but have won only once in seven games since then and sit just above the relegation play-off spot, prompting concerns their 11-year stay in the top tier could be in jeopardy.

Elsewhere, Arminia Bielefeld climbed past Stuttgart to 16th with a 2-2 draw against last-place Greuther Furth. Gonzalo Castro rescued a point for Bielefeld with a goal in the 83rd minute as Furth neared what would have been only their second win since returning to the top tier.

Arsenal’s Maitland-Niles completes Roma loan move

Ainsley Maitland-Niles has completed a loan move to Roma from Arsenal until the end of the season.

The Arsenal academy graduate, whose contract expires in the summer of 2023, has started just two Premier League games this season but will hope he can kickstart his career under former Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho in Italy, alongside former Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham.

“I am just delighted to be here and can’t wait to crack on. I want to help the team and show what I can do as a player,” England international Maitland-Niles said.

“Thank you to the fans for the support they have already shown me – I hope we can go on to do something great by the end of the season.”

Mourinho will be hoping the utility player, deployed at wing-back and central midfield, can make an impact after an inconsistent start to the season has left Roma seventh after 20 games, six points outside the top four.

What went wrong for Maitland-Niles at Arsenal?

Maitland-Niles began the season by publicly pleading for a transfer exit in the final days of the summer window after interest from Everton, writing on Instagram: “All I wanna do is go where I’m wanted and where I’m gonna play.”

But after holding clear-the-air talks with manager Mikel Arteta it was decided the 24-year-old midfielder would stay until at least January and fight for his place in the team.

Maitland-Niles has since struggled for consistent game time this season – at full-back and in central midfield – and it has been decided he will leave on loan for a second consecutive season.

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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says Ainsley Maitland-Niles was attracted by a move to Roma to work with Jose Mourinho.

Speaking ahead of Sunday’s FA Cup tie at Nottingham Forest, the Gunners manager said: “Ainsley came to me and explained reasons why he thought the best thing for his career is to move away and the opportunity in Rome and working under Jose (Mourinho) was good one.

“We already had this conversation in the summer and said to reassess in December. When a player has strong argument like he had, it’s very difficult to turn him away.

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Watch Ainsley Maitland-Niles arrive in the Italian capital ahead of completing his loan move to Roma

“We’re very shot at the moment, but this shouldn’t be the only reason for keeping a player. Ainsley has been developed and raised through our academy and was very patient in many moments in trying to fulfil his dream.

“He was very straight with me and I understood the situation. Obviously, we’re going to move and look for options as we’re very shot there.”

Last winter, he was recruited by Sam Allardyce to play for West Brom, who were eventually relegated.

Analysis: Arsenal left light in midfield

Sky Sports’ Nick Wright:

Maitland-Niles’ Premier League playing time this season amounts to just 265 minutes but Arsenal’s willingness to let him leave midway through the season is surprising nonetheless.

The Gunners are, after all, about to lose both Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny to Africa Cup on Nations duty, leaving Granit Xhaka and Albert Sambi Lokonga as their only senior options.

Maitland-Niles would surely have been useful during that period, especially given Arsenal’s hectic schedule, but instead they have granted him his wish for more regular playing time.

It may indicate Arsenal are preparing to bring in midfield reinforcements from elsewhere this month.

For Maitland-Niles, meanwhile, the question is whether he can make his long-desired transformation from versatile squad member to regular starter under the guidance of Jose Mourinho over in Italy.

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Who will be on the move in January?

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Serie A: Mourinho frustrated as Roma slip to defeat at Milan

Jose Mourinho was left gesticulating in apparent disapproval after two errors from his Roma players handed AC Milan a 3-1 win in Serie A on Thursday.

First, striker Tammy Abraham stuck out his arm to block a shot that resulted in a penalty for Milan, then defender Roger Ibaez made an errant back pass that was intercepted by Olivier Giroud, which led to the hosts’ second goal just 17 minutes in.

Giroud converted the penalty and Junior Messias scored Milan’s second on a rebound after Giroud’s effort hit the post.

AC Milan players celebrate Olivier Giroud's goal against Roma
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AC Milan players celebrate Olivier Giroud’s goal against Roma

Abraham then pulled one back for Roma via a deflection but Milan goalkeeper Mike Maignan maintained the Rossoneri’s advantage with a series of fine saves.

Milan also hit the woodwork twice, while Roma finished with nine men when Rick Karsdorp and Gianluca Mancini each picked up their second yellow cards, which will mean they’ll be suspended for Sunday’s game against Juventus.

With Roma down to 10 men, Rafael Leo restored Milan’s two-goal advantage after being set up with a chested pass from fellow substitute Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who had a penalty attempt saved by Rui Patricio.

The win moved Milan within one point of Serie A leaders Inter Milan, whose game at Bologna was postponed after the hosts were ordered into quarantine.

Four games postponed

AC Milan’s match against Roma at the San Siro was one of only six of 10 matches played following a two-week break, with four games, including Inter’s trip to Bologna, scrapped because of rising coronavirus cases.

The other games affected were Atalanta vs Torino, Salernitana vs Venezia and Fiorentina vs Udinese.

Napoli battle to Juve draw

Dries Mertens (R) opened the scoring for Napoli at Juventus
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Dries Mertens (R) opened the scoring for Napoli at Juventus

Virus-depleted Napoli drew 1-1 at Juventus, despite missing five players plus coach Luciano Spalletti, who also tested positive for Covid.

Dries Mertens opened the scoring for Napoli before Federico Chiesa equalised for the hosts.

The draw sees third-place Napoli drop five points behind Milan while Juventus, who had captain Giorgio Chiellini sidelined because of a positive coronavirus test, remain fifth.

Elsewhere…

Hellas Verona won 2-1 at relegation-threatened Spezia, despite missing eight players who had tested positive for Covid.

Gianluca Caprari scored twice for Verona before Martin Erlic pulled one back for Spezia.

Also, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic scored twice, including a stoppage-time equalizer for Lazio in a 3-3 draw with Empoli.

Ciro Immobile opened the scoring for Lazio with his 14th of the season but also had a late penalty kick saved.

Sassuolo earned a 1-1 draw with Genoa as Domenico Berardi responded to Mattia Destros opener.

Finally, Cagliari earned their second win of the season by beating Sampdoria 2-1 with goals from Alessandro Deiola and Leonardo Pavoletti.

Notebook: Morata set for Juve stay | Maitland-Niles close to Roma

Alvaro Morata is set to stay on loan at Juventus amid interest from Barcelona, according to Sky in Italy.

The Spain striker, manager Max Allegri and officials from the club held talks following persistent rumours of Barcelona preparing to make an offer to Morata’s parent club Atletico Madrid.

The player will not leave Juventus this month and he has shown that he is 100 per cent focused on his work in Turin.

Juve have yet to decide whether they will take up the £29m (€35m) option to sign Morata permanently, and it will depend on how he performs in the latter half of the season.

Barcelona are currently very active in the transfer market after receiving a sizeable bank loan. They have already committed more than €60m to Ferran Torres from Manchester City.

Alvaro Morata of Juventus
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Alvaro Morata has been intrigued by the potential of a move to Barcelona but Juventus are working to keep him

Meanwhile, Juventus are also interested in signing Mauro Icardi on loan from Paris Saint-Germain – but a deal is not certain due to his injury problems.

Juve are not optimistic of a deal for Antonio Rudiger on a free this summer due to the volume of other big clubs courting the Germany centre-back.

Sky Sports News revealed on Monday PSG, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid are all in talks with the Chelsea defender over a pre-contract agreement.

Maitland-Niles close to finalising Roma loan deal

Arsenal midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles is close to finalising a loan move to Roma – a story that has been worked on by Sky Sports News reporters Dharmesh Sheth, Lyall Thomas and Gary Cotterill.

The 24-year-old could potentially travel to the Italian capital as early as Wednesday to finalise a move to the Serie A side.

Maitland-Niles’ personal terms are not expected to be a problem for the Giallorossi but any deal would not include an option to buy.

The Arsenal academy graduate, whose contract expires in the summer of 2023, has started just two Premier League games this season but will hope he can kickstart his career under former Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho in Italy.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles
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Ainsley Maitland-Niles is close to joining Jose Mourinho at Roma in Italy

Ramsey could return to Premier League

Another familiar Arsenal face, albeit one who left the club in 2018, could return to the Premier League in January according to Sky Italia transfer supremo Gianluca Di Marzio.

Speaking to Sky Sports News, he said: “Aaron Ramsey may come back to the Premier League. He had an official proposal from Burnley to sign for them, but he said no.

“He wants to play for a more ambitious team, Newcastle have asked for him too before Christmas. We’ll see whether anyone can sign him in January.”

Tuanzebe heading for Napoli on loan

Di Marzio also told Sky Sports News Aston Villa loanee Axel Tuanzebe’s stay at Villa Park will be cut short and the Manchester United defender sent to Napoli for the rest of the season.

Steven Gerrard made no secret of his hopes to keep the England U21 international in Birmingham but Di Marzio said Napoli will pay United €400,000 to take him to Serie A for the second half of the campaign, €400,000 if the club reach the Champions League and another €200,000 if he plays 10 matches in the Italian top flight.

Saints keen on Man City duo

Southampton are interested in Manchester City youngsters James Macatee and Liam Delap, writes Jaydee Dyer.

The Etihad academy duo fit the Saints’ philosophy of signing young players that can contribute right away.

Macatee is a 19-year-old attacking-midfielder and England U20 international who came off the bench against Everton this season and was on the bench for three Champions League games.

The 18-year-old Delap, meanwhile, made a Premier League appearance for City last season and is also an England youth international at U18 level.

Manager Ralph Hasenhuttl signed a number of players from top Premier League academies in the summer including Tino Livramento and Armando Broja from Chelsea, and is very happy with their impacts so far.

Saints are also continuing talks with goalkeeper Willy Caballero over extending his stay beyond January 5 – but no agreement has yet been reached.

Brereton Diaz set for Blackburn stay

Blackburn Rovers do not want to sell top scorer Ben Brereton Diaz despite huge interest in the player, writes Alan Myers.

Sky Sports News understands Rovers owners Venkys want to keep the current squad, who are currently in the automatic promotion places in the Championship, intact and are looking to continue to support manager Tony Mowbray in his quest to return the club to the top flight.

Brereton, who has scored 20 league goals already this season, has been linked with a number of Premier League clubs including Leeds and Newcastle.

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Blackburn want to keep highly-coveted goalscorer Ben Brereton Diaz

Mowbray has said recently he would not stand in the player’s way in the future if the right deal came in but – together with the owners’ stance – a January move for the Chile striker looks unlikely.

Brereton has six months left on his current contract but the club have the option of a further 12 months.

Villa striker Wesley wants Brazil return

Aston Villa striker Wesley Moraes has asked for his loan at Belgian side Club Brugge to be cut short so that he can instead head back to his native Brazil, according to Rob Dorsett.

Wesley joined Villa from Brugge in the summer of 2019 and Villa were keen for the £22m signing to get some game time in familiar surroundings, but he has played less than half an hour of football in just two Champions League appearances so far this season.

Now it looks likely his season-long loan in Belgium will be cancelled so he can instead discuss a possible loan deal with either Internacional or Sao Paulo.

Leeds to add young Spaniard to U23 squad

Espanyol’s Mateo Joseph Fernandez is undergoing a medical at Leeds, writes Tim Thornton.

He is an 18-year-old, very highly-rated striker and Leeds have beaten off some stiff competition to get him. He will initially go into their U23s squad.

Cherries veteran Cook makes Forest switch

Nottingham Forest have signed Bournemouth defender Steve Cook, reports Mark McAdam.

A medical and paperwork for a two-and-a-half-year deal were completed on Tuesday. The 30-year-old was Bournemouth’s longest-serving player and due a testimonial this summer, which Bournemouth are still honouring.

Follow the January transfer window with Sky Sports

Who will be on the move in January?

The January transfer window opens on Saturday January 1, 2022 and closes at 11pm on Monday January 31.

Keep up-to-date with all the latest transfer news and rumours in our dedicated Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports’ digital platforms. You can also catch up with the ins, outs and analysis on Sky Sports News.

Maitland-Niles closing in on Roma move

Ainsley Maitland-Niles is close to reaching an agreement to join Roma on loan from Arsenal for the remainder of the season.

Roma need reinforcements in the full-back positions in Jose Mourinho’s squad but have not budgeted to spend large amounts of money in the January transfer window, so the Serie A club are exploring the loan market.

Maitland-Niles, 24, has made eight Premier League appearances for Arsenal this season, but has not featured for the Gunners since November.

The feeling at Roma is Mourinho will be able to help Maitland-Niles rediscover his best form, as has happened with Tammy Abraham, who joined in the summer from Chelsea and has scored 12 times in 25 games in all competitions since arriving at the Stadio Olimpico.


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The utility player, who can operate across midfield or in both full-back positions, wanted to join Everton in the summer having spent the second half of last term on loan at West Brom.

During the summer transfer window, Maitland-Niles made a plea on social media for a move, but the Gunners opted against sanctioning a departure and he ended up agreeing to stay on until January.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Arsenal’s 5-0 win at Norwich in the Premier League

Writing on Instagram in August, he said: “All I want to do is go where I’m wanted and where I’m going to play.”

A graduate of Arsenal’s Hale End academy, Maitland-Niles has registered 132 appearances for the club and won three FA Cups over the course of his career at the Emirates Stadium. His Arsenal contract expires in 2023.

Meanwhile, speculation is continuing to mount over the futures of Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah, whose contracts expire in the summer, while Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang was recently stripped of the captaincy following a disciplinary breach.

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The Soccer Special panel get into a heated debate over the future of Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah, with the 22-year-old set to be out of contract in the summer

Arteta wants to clear ‘cloud’ hanging over Arsenal strikers

Mikel Arteta has revealed he is trying to resolve what he sees as a “cloud” of varying issues hanging over his Arsenal forward options.

The Arsenal manager said: “We have a cloud and the cloud is there. At the moment we’re not able to change it.

“We’re working on it to try to make it as small as possible and as clear as possible but it’s the situation we are in because contracts have details, the timing of them is tricky and we are trying to resolve it.

“It depends on every single case, depends on the player’s situation, the minutes he’s playing, his willingness or the [contract] offer that you have, but it’s something that you have to consider.”