Report: Bailey pulls out of Jamaica squad over brother

Highly-rated Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey pulled out of the Jamaica side that beat Bonaire 6-0 last Saturday reportedly because his brother Kyle Butler was not chosen in the squad.

The forward appeared set to commit his international future to Jamaica, after previously saying he wanted to play for Germany.

Bailey had turned down previous calls to join the Reggae Boyz squad citing the fact he was interested in representing Die Mannschaft.

However, it seemed he had changed his mind after honouring the latest call-up he received from the nation of his birth.

The 21-year-old flew out for Jamaica's game against Bonaire in the CONCACAF Nations League Qualifier last weekend, but pulled out of the squad allegedly due to his sibling not being selected.

The player was previously said not to be keen to play for the Caribbean island nation due to concerns about the standard, as well as issues he reportedly experienced with the Jamaican Football Association.

As such, it appears further issues have arisen with the Jamaica Gleaner suggesting it was around his brother's non-selection. His brother plays for FC Juniors in Austria's second tier.

Bailey told the publication: "Obviously, I came to Jamaica because of the international call-up. I did agree to come based on the agreement we had. But when I got here, it was a totally different scenario.

"They didn’t keep their end (of the deal), therefore, I decided not to play this game. I am here for one reason: to represent the country. But they (JFF) didn’t keep their end. Once they are willing to do that, I am ready to put on the national team jersey.

"So if they can’t help me, I won’t be able to help them. It is in their hands. Once they do what they are supposed to, come November, I can represent the country. So I hope they rethink and be clever. I want to represent the country. It’s in their hands to make it happen."

In 2017/18 the talented star recorded nine goals and six assists for Leverkusen in 30 Bundesliga appearances. In 2018/19 he has started slowly with just one goal in seven matches.

Pavard stayed with Stuttgart for 'love of jersey'

VfB Stuttgart defender Benjamin Pavard has revealed he turned down offers to leave the struggling Bundesliga side as he has a genuine love for the team.

Pavard became one of the hottest prospects in world football after his starring performances for France at the 2018 World Cup helped Les Bleus win the global showpiece in Russia.

In addition, he won the goal of the tournament after his stunning strike against Argentina helped his national team into the quarter-finals.

Nonetheless, the 22-year-old reportedly turned down a host of offers from bigger clubs to leave ahead of 2018/19 as he says he feels he owes a debt to Die Roten.

Speaking to Telefoot, he said: "I haven't forgotten that they came looking for me in Lille at a time when few people believed in me.

"I signed for them when they were in the second division. They showed faith in me, and it's also down to them that I am where I am.

"I have a love for the jersey. I'm not going to hide that I had a huge number of offers but in my head it was clear. I had to stay at least one more season at Stuttgart because I love the jersey. I like the club and their supporters, so I owe them that much."

Pavard has played and started in all seven league games in '18/19 for Stuttgart, who are currently rock-bottom bottom of Germany's top flight.

Khune: We didn't underestimate Seychelles

Itumeleng Khune says Bafana Bafana played with the right attitude in their comfortable 6-0 win over Seychelles on Saturday, but should have scored more goals.

The result saw South Africa move top of Group E with seven points, ahead of Libya (4), Nigeria (6) and Seychelles (0).

The Amakhosi skipper joked and said he requested for a cup of coffee during the game as he didn't have a lot to do in a rainy Saturday afternoon at FNB Stadium.

"I actually asked our kit man if he could bring me coffee, because I was getting cold," Khune said, as quoted by Kick Off.

"But we didn't underestimate Seychelles. Yes, they didn't play their best football under those conditions and we took advantage of that.

"The whole week we had been watering the pitch and we had been preparing very well, so that under any other circumstances or conditions we would still play our brand of football.

"And I'm glad that we managed to show yesterday, as cold as it was - there was nothing we could do to control the weather, but we controlled our display in getting the positive result.

"We could have scored more, I mean there was a couple of times where we hit the crossbar and where their goalkeeper (Romeo Barra) made some great saves."

Werder hail Rashica after first international goal

SV Werder Bremen attacking midfielder Milot Rashica was hailed by his club after scoring his first international goal for Kosovo in Sunday's 1-1 draw with Faroe Islands.

Earlier this season the forward helped his nation make history when they recorded their first ever international victory over the same opponents with a 2-0 win.

The tiny nation only became a member of UEFA and FIFA in May 2016 and in 11 competitive matches had till that point yet to taste victory against any opponent.

Nonetheless, the Werder star was once again key for Dardanet as he bagged a stunning opening goal from 25-yards out in the Nations League Group Three encounter.

René Joensen did manage to level matters for the North Atlantic archipelago, though Kosovo are unbeaten so far in the competition.

Die Werderaner's official website said: "The evening could not have started better for Milot Rashica. He was not only in the starting-11 as Kosovo drew 1-1 with the Faroe Islands but he also scored nine minutes into the game and what a goal it was.

"The 22-year-old scored from 25 meters out into the top right hand corner. It was not only his first international goal but also his first full ninety minutes in his 18th game for Kosovo. Thanks to the draw, Kosovo remain unbeaten in the Nations League. Two wins and two draws leave Rashica and Kosovo top of Group 3 in the D league."

Baxter praises Bartlett and Mothiba

Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter has praised the impact of assistant coach Shaun Bartlett as well as the performance of striker Lebo Mothiba.

Bartlett, who is his nation's second all time goal-scorer on 29 strikes behind Benni McCarthy, was hired in the lead-up to the African Cup of Nation's Group E qualifier against Seychelles last Saturday to be one of Baxter's assistants.

His presence seemed to make an impact as Bafana demolished the minnows from East Africa with Thulani Hlatshwayo, Percy Tau, Lebo Mothiba, Dino Ndlovu and Teboho Mokoena getting the goals.

The Pirates also scored an own goal in the contest on Saturday at FNB Stadium. As such, the former Kaizer Chiefs mentor said Bartlett had made some difference.

Speaking to SAFA's official website, he said: "Shaun had a conversation with all strikers in terms of their finishing and when a top striker like Shaun gives you ideas and that helps."

In addition, he was full of admiration for Mothiba, who plays his football for RC Strasbourg in France's Ligue 1.

The 65-year old concluded: "Lebo Mothiba led the lines with his bullish play, the Alan Shearer-type of player. He bullied centre-backs and had no moments of peace. I was pleased with Lebo, his general attitude and work rate."

South Africa are set to face Seychelles again on Tuesday in the East African archipelago with a chance to further cement their position at the top of the standings.

Mata: United must rise to the challenge

Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata says the Red Devils will need to be at the top of their game when they clash with Chelsea and Juventus in the coming weeks.

United have endured a difficult start to their 2018/19 season with pressure mounting on manager Jose Mourinho after some disappointing performances from his side.

Mourinho's charges lost 3-1 at West Ham United before a goalless draw at home against Valencia, and then had to dig deep to come back from 2-0 down to beat a struggling Newcastle side at Old Trafford.

The upcoming fixtures will be even more challenging for United as they will travel to Stamford Bridge to face Maurizio Sarri's Chelsea, who sit in second position in the Premier League standings, before hosting Serie A champions Juventus in the Champions League on Tuesday, October 23.

"It will, without doubt, be a special one for me: Chelsea v Manchester United at Stamford Bridge," Mata wrote in his blog, according to the club's official website.

"For us, it will be the first test from a tough run of fixtures, but we are hoping to play at a high level and return home with a win.

"We will finish off October by welcoming both Juventus and Everton to Old Trafford. It is a fixture list that is going to ask for our best football."

Hazard: I won’t force Chelsea to sell me

Eden Hazard has said he would only ever leave Chelsea on "good terms” and would not force the club to sell him.

The Belgium international has two years left on his current contract,  but recently spoke of his dream of joining Real Madrid.

The comments reignited speculation that he will join the Spanish giants soon, possibly in January, although Hazard appeared to dismiss these rumours in comments made on Friday.

Reports suggest that Chelsea will offer the 27-year old an improved contract to try and get him to stay in London.

While it is not known whether Hazard would sign a new deal, he has insisted that he would never cause trouble at the club.

"Chelsea were clear to me; I could not leave (in the summer). I accepted it," Hazard said. "Leaving or staying, I knew I was going to be happy. I do not regret at all.

"I will never clash with a club. If I leave Chelsea, I will leave on good terms."

Hazard joined Chelsea from French club Lille in the summer of 2012. His current contract ends in June 2020.

Report: Paez apologises over Solinas handshake incident

Kaizer Chiefs forward Gustavo Paez has reportedly apologised to coach Giovanni Solinas for not shaking his hand after he was substituted in Sunday's Macufe Cup.

Chiefs defeated Bloemfontein Celtic 2-0 in the annual once-off final with Lebogang Manyama and Dumisani Zuma getting the goals in the contest against Siwelele.

However, Paez, who was in the starting line-up for the encounter, did not last the full 90 minutes and was taken off with Bernard Parker taking his place.

Following the change the 28-year-old seemed to ignore Solinas' outstretched hand in the technical area, though the player has since said that the incident was a misunderstanding.

According to a Soccer Laduma source, the Venezuelan did not see the gesture and apologised in the dressing room after the clash.

The source told the publication: "I asked Gustavo, he said he was looking to the ground and he didn't see the coach.

"(In) the changing room someone showed the video to Gustavo and he went straight to the coach and showed it to him apologizing and the coach said to him that he was aware that he wasn't looking, so there's no problem about it."

Pirates starlet delighted with world top 60 recognition

Orlando Pirates midfielder Augustine Mahlonoko is delighted to have been selected in the Guardian's top 60 young players in world football.

Mahlonoko was selected on the list by the United Kingdom publication as a part of their 'Next Generation 2018: 60 of the best young talents in the world' feature which is globally respected.

The 17-year-old came to prominence at the start of 2017/18 when he starred for the Sea Robbers on their pre-season tour, before making his Premiership debut on 8 August against Highlands Park at the age 16 years and 352 days.

In making his bow in the senior game, he became the youngest debutant since the PSL started in 1996. Previously, current Bucs forward Lyle Foster was picked for the annual list in 2017.

Speaking to his team's official website, the player said: "It is an honour to be mentioned amongst some of the best young talents in the world, but this doesn't mean that the work is done.

"This only tells me that I have potential to achieve big things in my footballing career but I need to put in the hard work because without hard work nothing can be achieved."

Salah injury is 'nothing major'

Liverpool star Mohamed Salah has returned to Melwood after picking up an injury while on international duty but the initial reports are that it's not serious.

The Reds forward left the field in the 88th minute of Egypt's 4-1 thrashing of eSwatini, the country formerly known as Swaziland, on Friday and has returned to Liverpool for further assessment.

However, the 26-year-old should be back in action soon, according to Egypt's assistant manager Hany Ramzy, who stated that the injury is simply a muscle strain.

"The primary diagnosis confirms it's just a strain and no muscle rupture is apparent," Ramzy told beIN SPORTS.

"But the player will need to undergo scans to determine the full extent of the injury and the time needed to heal.

"It's nothing major, we'll do the best we can to help him recover. We hope he's fit as soon as possible."

Zwane: I'm getting there

Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Themba Zwane says he is slowly making his way back to full fitness after a spell on the sidelines with a toe injury.

Zwane picked up the injury in the MTN8 quarterfinal match against Golden Arrows in August and also in the process missed several matches for Bafana Bafana.

However, the 29-year-old has since returned to action and over the weekend netted the winner as the Brazilians clinched a 2-1 victory over Amazulu in the Prince Mangosuthu Legacy Cup.

The midfielder admitted that he is still not a hundred percent fit, but is putting an extra effort in training to regain full fitness.

"All I can say is I'm not hundred percent fit but I'm getting there," Zwane said, as quoted by Kick Off.

"I'm taking each game at a time. I'm trying to bring my fitness back by doing extra work at training, but all I can say so far so good."

Sundown will return to action on Saturday when they take on Bloemfontein Celtic in the Telkom Cup last 16 at Lucas Moripe Stadium.

Digne: Everton's attack can punish anyone

Everton full-back Lucas Digne has praised the Blues' attacking prowess and believes they have the firepower to trouble any Premier League defence.

Marco Silva's charges have scored five goals in their last two league fixtures, beating Fulham 3-0 before a 2-1 win at Leicester City on October 6.

Gylfi Sigurdsson has scored five goals in nine appearances across all competitions, while Richarlison has bagged four in seven.

"It's important to win and play well," Digne told the club's official website. "Against Leicester, we improved in our work.

"We have a very good attack and we can score every minute. It's so difficult for the opposition defence. Now, we need to continue our hard work and continue to improve.

"We're are already looking forward to playing Crystal Palace in front of our home fans."

The Merseyside outfit will host Palace at Goodison Park on Saturday as they target a third consecutive win.

Ramos: Kane could be hit in La Liga

Sergio Ramos praised Harry Kane on Sunday and suggested that the Tottenham hitman could be a success in La Liga.

Ramos was speaking ahead of Spain’s Nations Cup clash with England in Seville on Monday.

Asked what he thought about the England squad and if any of the players had the technical ability to play in Spain, Ramos replied: “Well, I am very impressed by all of them. You maybe concentrate on the physical in the Premier League but there is also very important technical players.

“I’ll start with Harry Kane. He’s a physically fantastic striker but also technically he surprises you.

“He might surprise a lot of people but not me. He’s great technically but there’s also other technical players who are dangerous and I can assure you we’ve been studying them, watching them on videos.”

Kane, 25, won the Golden Boot at the World Cup in the summer after netting six goals, but has now gone six games without an international goal.

"England had a fantastic World Cup,” added, Ramos who will win his 160th cap.

“They have a lot of personality despite being very young, and offensively they are very dangerous.

"Harry Kane is a very good player. We have to keep his scoring drought going because that will be a good sign for us."

Koscielny hangs up France boots

France and Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny confirmed his retirement from international football on Sunday, before aiming a parting shot at coach Didier Deschamps.

Koscielny missed France's World Cup-winning campaign in Russia after injuring an Achilles in Arsenal’s Europa League semi-final defeat to Atletico Madrid in May.

The Gunner’s stopper, who has appeared 51 times for his country, said he was particularly disappointed with Deschamps’ treatment of him as he recovered.

"He [Deschamps] called me once for my birthday in September. Otherwise, no. Lots of people disappointed me. Not only the coach,” said the 33-year old.

"It feels like a hit on the back of the head," he said.

"When you are in good form, you have lots of friends. When you are injured... after a certain period of time, you are forgotten about.”

Koscielny first announced last year that he would retire from international duty following the World Cup and said that he has not changed his mind.

"The injury is one thing, the victory of the World Cup is another," Koscielny said. "I think the victory certainly made me much more psychologically hurt than my injury.

"I think I gave the France team what I could. For me, my injury has not changed anything. The Blues are over, after that, I will always be a supporter of the French team but what is certain is that I will not put on the blue jersey.

"I have a new state of mind, there will be the Laurent before and the Laurent after injury. I want to continue for Arsenal, I want to return quickly. I want to fight."

Koscielny made made his debut for Les Bleus in 2011, and featured in three major tournaments, including the 2014 World Cup, plus the 2012 and 2016 European Championships.

His last appearance came in March during a 3-1 friendly win over Russia.

Solinas: The performance was good

Kaizer Chiefs coach Giovanni Solinas praised the performance of his charges after beating Bloemfontein Celtic 2-0 to clinch the Macufe Cup on Sunday.

Lebogang Manyama put in a Man-of-the Match performance, scoring the first goal in the first-half and with Dumisani Zuma scoring the second late in the game, as Amakhozi lifted the Macufe Cup for a third year in a row.

The Italian tactician admitted that there is still room for improvement for his side, but was happy with the impressive performance against Steve Komphela's side.

"I'm happy for our supporters. I'm also happy for a good performance from my team today," Solinas told SuperSport.

"It's very important that we created the chances to score. Today we created a lot of chances.

"Everybody today the performance was very good. Everyone did well. I'm happy for my club and my supporters. We continue to work hard and improve."

Ancelotti: Mbappe is 'very dangerous'

Napoli manager Carlo Ancelotti admits Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe has the ability to cause his team serious problems when they meet in the Champions League.

The Partenopei will travel to the French capital to take on the Ligue 1 champions on Wednesday, October 24 for the third round of Group C fixtures.

Ancelotti's charges are at the top of the group after drawing 0-0 with Red Star Belgrade and beating Liverpool 1-0 in their opening two games. However, the Napoli boss know Mbappe will be a big threat for his side.

The France international has already scored 10 goals and made four assists in seven games across all competitions this season.

"Mbappe is a nice player, very fast; but there are a lot of fast players, the difference is he can be both fast and effective at the same time," Ancelotti told the media.

"Whatever he does, he's very effective. He is a no-frills guy, a very direct player. And therefore, very dangerous.

"He is very young, he will definitely be a star in the next few years."

Guardiola unsure if City's ready for European glory

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola admits he doesn't know if his charges are ready to challenge for the UEFA Champions League title yet.

City's best result in Europe was in 2015/16 when they reached the semi-finals, where they lost to Real Madrid. Guardiola led City to the quarter-final stage last season, but they lost against finalists Liverpool.

Guardiola is hopeful that the Sky Blues can fight for the silverware this time around, but says it will be tough against clubs that have a 'bigger history' in the competition.

"Our great success as a club was the Champions League semi-final, in all our history," he told the press.

"I don't know whether we are ready, it's the truth, I don't know. We don't have much history behind us, but so much confidence.

"It's not just a matter of coach, players, club and supporters. It's a matter of believing we can and we have to win, and honestly, I don't know whether we have already reached this point.

"There will be a point where [AC] Milan will be back playing in Europe, and they have won, I don't know, five, six, seven times.

"My favourites are the teams that have a history bigger than us – Real Madrid, Barcelona, these teams.

"I believe Juventus buying Cristiano [Ronaldo] wanted to show that this year they want to win. They reached the final twice, each time they get closer.

"Atletico Madrid will be playing at home. It's a team that did very well in the last few years. And then some other team will be in, and I hope we can be there too."

Spain v England

England take on a resurgent Spain in Seville on Monday, still looking for their first win in the UEFA Nations League.

Gareth Southgate's side surprised many by reaching the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup - a feat the national team had not achieved since 1990.

However, results have dipped since then, with a 2-1 reverse to the Spaniards at Wembley last month making it three defeats on the trot for the Three Lions.

They bounced back by beating Switzerland 1-0 in a friendly three days later, before playing out to a goalless draw with Croatia on Friday - leaving both teams without a victory after two games in League A Group 4.

La Furia Roja lead the way in the group with two wins from two; they hammered Vatreni 6-0 after their success in London and cruised to a 4-1 friendly win over Wales on Thursday.

That run represents a three-match winning start to Luis Enrique's reign as head coach, with 12 goals for and just two against seeing the odds stacked firmly in favour of the hosts at the Benito Villamarin.

In team news, Spain could welcome back Sergio Busquets, Thiago Alcantara and Marco Asensio, after the trio sat out the trip to Cardiff last time out.

Rodrigo and Paco Alcacer have been amongst the goals of late and the pair wll be pushing for starts at the home ground of Real Betis.

Jordan Henderson and John Stones miss out for England through suspension.

Both the Liverpool midfielder and the Manchester City defender picked up their second bookings of the competition in Rijeka and must serve one-game bans.

Chiefs triumph in Macufe Cup

Lebogang Manyama put on a Man-of-the-Match display as Kaizer Chiefs lifted the Macufe Cup following a 2-0 victory over Bloemfontein Celtic on Sunday.

Amakhosi brought the 28-year-old midfielder back home in August after his brief spell in Turkey with Konyaspor, and he helped Chiefs coach Giovanni Solinas claim his first trophy at Naturena.

Manyama, who has made four Premiership appearances for Solinas' side, registered his first goal in the famous gold and black jersey by bagging the opener at the Free State Stadium eight minutes before half-time.

Siwelele grew increasingly desperate in their attempts to get back into the contest and were punished for over-committing at the death when Dumisani Zuma sealed the win for the Soweto giants.

Chiefs used the friendly fixture to prepare for their Telkom Knockout clash with Black Leopards on October 21, with the international break currently underway.

Manyama revealed that Solinas urged his players to go out and entertain the crowd in Bloemfontein, despite the friendly nature of the game.

"The coach told us during the week that when you play for Chiefs there's no friendly games, especially with the crowd. You can see everyone was here to see us, give them a show you know," he told SuperSport afterwards.

"We had to make sure we give them a show. Obviously as a team we didn't do well in the past two games. We tried to win those games but you have to move on. We're trying to get better each and every week.

"Football is not about [only] the 11 players that start week and week out. You also have a squad of 30 or 32 players and today was a chance with the other guys away on international duty.

"Everybody will be needed at some point during the season. It's all about the team at the end of the day."

Baxter hails 'Shearer-like' Mothiba

South Africa head coach Stuart Baxter praised Lebo Mothiba for his starring role in the historic 6-0 thrashing of Seychelles at the FNB Stadium on Saturday.

The Strasbourg striker registered one goal and one assist in Bafana Bafana's biggest-ever victory, which took them top of Group E in qualifying for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

Baxter was impressed with Mothiba's efforts up front, likening it to how Newcastle legend Alan Shearer used to lead the line for both club and country.

The 65-year-old also acknowledged the valuable input of Bafana icon Shaun Bartlett, who joined his coaching staff last week on a game-by-game basis.

"Shaun had a conversation with all strikers in terms of their finishing and when a top striker like Shaun gives you ideas that helps," Baxter was quoted as saying by SAFA.

"Lebo Mothiba led the lines with his bullish play; the Alan Shearer type of player. He bullied centre-backs and had no moments of peace. I was pleased with Lebo, his general attitude and work rate."

The 22-year-old has hit the ground running at his new club, scoring four goals in six appearances for RCS since joining from Ligue 1 rivals Lille on the final day of the European transfer window.