By DAN KARELL
Following more than two weeks of deliberations, Sunderland owner Ellis Short looks to finally have his new manager.
According to reports in England, Gus Poyet has accepted an offer to become the next Sunderland manager, taking over the last-place club in the Premier League on a three-year contract. Poyet replaces Paolo Di Canio, who saved the club from relegation last season but earned just one point in five games this year before the club ran out of patience with him and the two parties parted ways.
The 45-year-old Uruguayan most recently coached at Brighton and Hove Albion, taking the club in 2009 from League One all the way to the Championship playoffs this past year, though he was sacked last June after what the Brighton board called “gross misconduct” from the manager. Though he has coached as an assistant or head coach since 2006, he has no managerial experience in the Premier League.
Since Di Canio was sacked, Sunderland reserves head coach Kevin Ball has taken charge as the interim head coach, leading the Black Cats to a Capital One Cup win but losing two successive Premier League games.
Here are some more stories from around the world of soccer:
MAN UNITED’S JANUZAJ TURNS DOWN BELGIUM CALL
The latest name on everybody’s lips is 18-year-old midfielder Adnan Januzaj, who scored two goals for Manchester United in his first ever Premier League start to lead the Red Devils to a 2-1 victory at Sunderland.
Januzaj’s play caught the eye of Belgium coach Mark Wilmots, who made a late call to Man United to see if the teenager wanted to join the Belgium squad for their World Cup qualifiers this month. However, according to Wilmots himself at a press conference, Man United turned down the request, saying that Januzaj isn’t ready to make a decision on his international future just yet. Wilmots was hoping that Januzaj could replace the injured Vincent Kompany, who had to pull out of the qualifiers with a quadriceps injury.
“Manchester United told me that Januzaj has not made a decision to play for a national team yet, not for any country,” Wilmots told the Guardian. “We gave a clear signal [that we want him to play for Belgium] and now it’s up to him. I will respect his choice.”
Januzaj is a Belgian by birth but is also eligible to represent Albania, Turkey, and even Serbia (or Kosovo if there was ever a FIFA-recognized national team), making him the talk of the world about what’s next for the dazzling youngster.
MILAN RECEIVES STADIUM BAN AND MEXES SUSPENDED FOR FOUR GAMES
AC Milan’s troubling start to the Serie A season took another turn for the worst as they fell 3-2 to Juventus on Sunday, being reduced to ten men in the 74th minute when Milan defender Philippe Mexes received a second yellow card.
Adding insult to injury for Mexes, a sport tribunal handed down an additional three-match ban to the Frenchman for his actions during the defeat. Mexes had received the second yellow card for reportedly punching opposing defender Giorgio Chiellini in the neck.
In addition, Milan learned that their next home game, on October 19 against Udinese, will be played in an empty stadium, after numerous fans were adjudged by the sporting courts on Monday made discriminatory chants during the match against Juventus.
Milan currently sit in 12th place in the Serie A standings with just eight points from seven games played. They also sit in second place in Group H of the UEFA Champions League group stage, with two matches against Barcelona coming in the next month.
BENDER AND REUS RULED OUT OF GERMANY QUALIFIERS
Already without Ilkay Gundogan, Nuri Sahin, and Sebastian Kehl in central midfield, Borussia Dortmund head coach Jurgen Klopp received more bad news on Monday as Sven Bender and Marco Reus have both been diagnosed with injuries.
Bender, suffering from back muscle stiffness and Reus, who reportedly has torn ankle ligaments, both withdrew from the German National Team this week and will miss their nation’s final two World Cup qualifying matches against the Republic of Ireland and Sweden.
In addition to their injuries, Borussia defender Mats Hummels will miss Borussia’s next game vs. Hannover on October 19.
The Spanish Football League (LFP) has confirmed that the first La Liga “El Clasico” of the season will take place on October 26 at 6pm local time (1pm ET). (REPORT)
Danish club Brondby have signed former Chelsea defender Khalid Boulahrouz to a contract that ends at the end of the season. (REPORT)
FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke has reiterated that the Estadio Beira-Rio in Brazil’s Porto Alegre will be finished on time in December. (REPORT)
German club FC Nurnburg have parted ways with manager Michael Weisinger after the club’s 5-0 defeat to Hamburg last Sunday. (REPORT)
What do you think of these reports? Do you believe Poyet is a good appointment for the club? Do you agree with Januzaj’s decision to take some time on his international decision? Do you agree with the punishment handed down to Mexes and Milan? Do you see Dortmund struggling without Reus and Bender likely available for their next match?
Share your thoughts below.