European Soccer

Friday Kickoff: Mourinho-to-City in works, UEFA disciplines Wenger & more

Mourinho (Reuters Pictures)

Real Madrid is on the verge of a La Liga championship while having one foot in the UEFA Champions League semifinals. Manchester City is just three points behind in the Premier League title race.

Yet a blockbuster move in the coach's box could be taking place for both sides.

According to reports out of Spain, an agreement is in place for Madrid manager Jose Mourinho to leave the Spanish club at the end of June and replace Roberto Mancini at Manchester City. There have been months of speculation regarding Mourinho's potential premature exit from Real Madrid, with reported internal strife and dissention sparking talks of his departure. The mercurial manager has been linked to a number of English clubs, including his former employer, Chelsea.

Mourinho is two years into a four-year deal at Madrid, where high expectations for silverware have only been met so far with a 2011 Copa del Rey triumph, and he has been reportedly coveted by City's ownership.

Here are a few more stories to get your day going:


Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was suspended three European matches and fined €40,000 by UEFA for an improper conduct charge stemming from his actions after the Gunners were eliminated from the Champions League by AC Milan earlier this month.

Wenger berated official Damir Skomina and made scatching post-match comments about the officiating after Arsenal's comeback from a 4-0 first-leg deficit came up short.

Barring a successful appeal, Wenger will miss Arsenal's next three European matches, which at this rate would appear to be in the Champions League. The Gunners sit in third place, eight points clear of fifth-place Chelsea, with eight matches remaining.


Diego Maradona stands for many things, but verbal abuse of his wife and the wives and girlfriends of his players, is not one of them.

The Argentine icon and current manager of United Arab Emirates side Al Wasl took issue with fans' actions during a 2-0 loss at Al Shabab, climing into the stands to confront fans and protect his wife, according to reports from Dubai. The contingent of family and girlfriends needed to be escorted by security out of the stadium.

"Some people are cowards," Maradona told Gulf News. "They only attack women and have no courage to confront men. This is the first time I am upset with the fans. If they are angry with me they should know that I [climbed the stands] for my wife because someone was calling her names. They shouldn’t be angry with me they should be angry with the people who did this. They are cowards, not real fans."


Barcelona fullback Eric Abidal will have his liver transplant on April 10, the club announced on Friday.

Abidal, who had surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from his liver almost a year ago, made a miraculous recovery after seemingly beating the disease, returning to action a couple of months after the initial procedure. Barcelona announced a couple of weeks ago that he would need to undergo the transplant, which had been a consideration last year, in the coming weeks. 


What's your take on Mourinho possibly bolting Madrid for Manchester City? Do you think Wenger's punishment was warranted? Is Maradona a hero?

Share your thoughts below.


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