Paris Saint-Germain’s beleaguered Italian manager, Carlo Ancelotti, says he is unaware of media reports that say the former Champions League winner could be out of a job by Christmas.
“I haven’t read the papers,” said the 53-year-old former Juventus, AC Milan and Chelsea boss.
“I don’t know what they are saying,” he added after a poor run of domestic form that has seen the team slip to fourth spot in the table and five points behind pacesetters Olympique Lyonnais following a 2-1 defeat away to OGC Nice on Saturday and a midweek League Cup elimination by AS Saint-Etienne.
The Qatari-backed club and their president, Nasser al-Khelaifi, are growing increasingly impatient with their management team led by director Leonardo Araujo, who is also in danger of dismissal after the Brazilian hand-picked his friend to take over on Dec. 31 last year.
Names mentioned as possible replacements are Real Madrid’s equally under-pressure manager Jose Mourinho, as well as former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola or Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.
Ancelotti can take comfort from the fact that he will be paid 11.3 million euros (US$14.7 million) if his contract is terminated with 19 months to run. Ancelotti insisted at the press conference ahead of yesterday’s Champions League match with Porto that the team can improve.
“Sometimes, criticism is deserved. Everyone at PSG are disappointed by our start to the season which hasn’t been good. We have lost three matches and we are five points behind Lyon. We’re all sorry, but everyone is convinced that things are going to change. When you build a new team, you are going to have problems. The championship is not finished and PSG will be very competitive but it’s true we have to improve,” he said.
On a brighter note, the capital club are already guaranteed a place in the knockout phase of the Champions League for the first time since 1995 when they beat Barcelona before going out 3-0 on aggregate against Fabio Capello’s AC Milan.
They can win Group A and guarantee a theoretically easier draw in the next round by defeating 2004 champions Porto — who lead them by a point.
Chen Jifang hits the gym for at least two hours every day and has the physique to prove it. At nearly 70, she is being held up as a shining example as China orders its vast population to get fit and lose the bulge. The grandmother from Shanghai has become a minor celebrity in in the past few months after her newfound and unlikely love for working out made national headlines. After becoming a gym regular in December 2018, Chen lost 14kg in three months, and now sports the kind of flat stomach and toned muscles that people decades younger aspire to. She
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
ANOTHER SCANDAL: Searches focused on several riders, including Dayer Quintana, a source said, while the two being held were reportedly a doctor and physiotherapist French police on Monday detained two people as part of an investigation into suspected doping in the Arkea-Samsic team at this year’s Tour de France, prosecutors announced. The probe is the first significant one in several years for the repeatedly scandal-hit tour, which on Sunday wrapped up in Paris with a victory for 21-year-old Tadej Pogacar, who became the youngest winner in more than a century. Prosecutor Dominique Laurens in Marseille said in a statement that an investigation was being carried out into a “small part” of France-based Arkea-Samsic, without specifying who had been placed in custody. Laurens added that the two
Former MLB pitcher Wang Wei-chung has signed the biggest contract with a local team in Taiwan’s professional baseball history, the Wei Chuan Dragons said yesterday. The 28-year-old left-hander signed a five-year US$2.08 million contract with the Dragons, team chairman Hsu Wen-fang told a news conference. It is the biggest contract in the CPBL’s 31-year history, surpassing a three-year, US$1.36 million deal Lin Chih-sheng signed in 2016 with the CTBC Brothers. Although the overall value of Wang’s deal set a new record, his average monthly salary of NT$990,000 (US$33,886) is lower than Lin’s pay of NT$1.2 million per month in 2017