Bayern Munich contending with ManCity for Rangers’ Kai Kennedy (Daily Record)
Another day, another gifted young star on the cusp of a professional career: this time it is 17-year-old Kai Kennedy, a wee winger who plays on the reserves team of the Glasgow Rangers and Scotland’s U19s. The Record writes,
The 17-year-old has impressed in the youth ranks at Ibrox and regularly trains with Steven Gerrard’s first team, although he is yet to make his debut.
Now Rangers could struggle to keep him beyond his current contract if two of European football’s richest clubs step up their interest.
Kennedy has a deal until the summer of 2021 and Rangers are locked in talks with the teenager in a bid to extend that deal. But if no agreement can be made the club are in a reasonable bargaining position for a fee.
The two clubs interested in Kennedy are Manchester City and Bayern Munich. AS Roma is also reportedly monitoring him.
Franck Ribery still has the magic at Fiorentina (InternationalChampionsCup)
Manuel Veth wrote a nice profile of our favorite French king, Franck Ribery, at his new home away from Dahoam, Fiorentina. Ribery has been a key piece for La Viola this season and the stats back him up:
Bought by Italian-American billionaire Rocco Commisso for €160 million this summer, Fiorentina needed a star name to usher in a new era. Ribéry was that player and the French forward came storming out of the gate to make an immediate impact.
The stats underline those impressions too. Ribéry has completed 44.6% of his on average 8.87 dribbles per 90 minutes. Furthermore, Ribéry managed 4.19 touches in the box, showing that he is still more than capable to get into dangerous areas.
The bad news for Fiorentina is that Ribery suffered a ligament injury last month that has kept him out of action, but La Viola and of course Ribery himself cannot wait to get him back on the pitch.
Working my way back. ♂️ pic.twitter.com/FXvpAjQlek— Franck Ribéry (@FranckRibery) December 9, 2019
Axel Witsel suffers serious injuries after falling down stairs at home (Bild)
Borussia Dortmund’s key midfielder Axel Witsel suffered serious injuries to his face after falling down a staircase in his home. After returning home from dinner on Saturday night, Witsel fell when he leaned on a baby gate for his daughters at the top of the stairs, believing it was fastened. The door swung open, however, and Witsel fell headfirst down the stairs.
Witsel was immediately taken to the ICU at the hospital and had to undergo surgery to repair the damage to his face after the fall. His wife stayed by his side all night. Bild learned specifically that he had broken his nose and suffered further injuries to his jaw and face.
Witsel will miss Dortmund’s final Champions League group-stage match against Slavia Prague and their last three Bundesliga matches of the Hinrunde, against Mainz 05, RB Leipzig, and TSG Hoffenheim.
Megan Rapinoe named 2019 SI’s Sportsperson of the Year (SI)
Congratulations to @mPinoe, the 2019 Sports Illustrated #Sportsperson of the Year https://t.co/FhYYGIT5a7 pic.twitter.com/fHD6sLDhxM— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) December 9, 2019
Ancelotti soon out at Napoli? (GianlucaDiMarzio)
Storm clouds are swirling over Carlo Ancelotti’s head in Naples, and they are not coming from Mt. Vesuvius, but rather from Stadio San Paolo. Word is that Ancelotti may soon be fired no matter how Napoli performs in their Champions League match vs Genk:
Carlo #Ancelotti might leave #Napoli tomorrow after the game against #Genk, regardless the result. Gennaro #Gattuso is the top candidate for the replacement.— Francesco Porzio (@fraporzio95) December 9, 2019
Napoli has fallen to 7th place in Serie A. In Champions League group E, the club is in second place, one point behind leader Liverpool and two points ahead of RB Salzburg. Besides the trouble on the pitch, though, Ancelotti has also fallen out with club boss Aurelio De Laurentiis. The latter already has a post-Ancelotti plan in place: AC Milan legend Gennaro Gattuso. According to Gianluca Di Marzio, De Laurentiis has reached an agreement with Gattuso for an 18-month contract. It remains to be seen what happens if and when Napoli qualify for the Champions League round of 16 by defeating Genk.
Pro-tip for Liverpool’s scouting department
Want to know how Salzburg line up against #LFC tomorrow? Just ask anyone living on the Guritzerstraße in Taxham. pic.twitter.com/io0NGCEXk2— Manuel Veth (@ManuelVeth) December 9, 2019
Learn to code with “Lothar Mattheus” (Schnitzel01)
You know you’ve made it big when your name is worked into dozens of examples in a random book about C programming. Our own Schnitzel01 discovered that the programming classic Let Us C is full of examples using the name Lothar Mattheus [sic]:
Two goalkeepers need to stop a meteor (Bleacher Report)
The goalkeepers need to come together to save the planet—but can Manuel Neuer and Marc-Andre ter Stegen set aside their rivalry? ☄️— B/R Football (@brfootball) December 9, 2019
The Champions: S3, E5
Russia banned from 2022 World Cup and more (SI)
The World Anti-Doping Agency has banned Russia from using its flag and anthem at the 2020 Olympics and 2022 World Cup https://t.co/8EKAB2MB9g— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) December 9, 2019
Of course, perhaps that’s a blessing in disguise, since the 2022 World Cup in Qatar is scheduled to take place during the winter break in the middle of the season...
Boateng with the laugh of the day