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News Extra: BT keep Champions League, Cardiff's Bamba back-up, Courtois has 'no doubts'

The latest news snippets from across the footballing world, including BT Sport's retention of the Champions League, Cardiff City's interim managerial plan and Thibaut Courtois's comments on his recent form.

Here, Sports Mole rounds up the latest news snippets from across the footballing world, including BT Sport's retention of the Champions League, Cardiff City's interim managerial plan and Thibaut Courtois's comments on his recent form. Scroll down for more!


BT Sport keep Champions League rights?

Mohamed Salah celebrates winning the Champions League with Liverpool on June 1, 2019© Reuters

BT Sport has reportedly kept held of the broadcast rights for the Champions League until 2024, fighting off interest from Sky Sports and ITV. BT is thought to have paid at least £1.2 billion a season to broadcast Europe's elite competition, plus the Europa League and new format the Europa Conference League, from 2021 to 2024.


Wolves unlikely to return for Kessie?

Franck Kessie in action for AC Milan on March 31, 2018© Reuters

Wolverhampton Wanderers are unlikely to return with a bid for AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie in January, according to recruitment head John Marshall. Nuno Espirito Santo's side were linked with a bid of more than £30m over the summer, but Marshallo told TMW: "There was an interest, but there was never a real negotiation. I don't think [we will make a move], we have so many players in midfield."


Bamba to take caretaker charge at Cardiff?

Cardiff City captain Sol Bamba celebrates after scoring against Southampton on February 9, 2019© Reuters

Cardiff City are considering handing fan favourite Sol Bamba the managerial reins in an interim capacity if they do not find a permanent replacement for Neil Warnock before the end of the international break, according to Wales Online. The squad are due to return to training on Monday and it is understood that Bamba will take charge of those sessions until an appointment is made.


Courtois: 'I don't doubt myself'

Thibaut Courtois in action for Real Madrid on September 26, 2018© Reuters

Real Madrid keeper Thibaut Courtois has insisted that he has 'never doubted' his ability after a troublesome couple of months. The former Chelsea man came in for some criticism for conceding three to PSG in September and was substituted halfway through the side's game with Club Brugge last month amid allegations that he had suffered a panic attack.

"With my talent and my form, I am certain that I belong among the best," Courtois told reporters while on international duty with Belgium. "That is precisely why I have been criticised. I have only conceded seven goals in La Liga so there is nothing wrong with my form. To criticise someone for letting in a goal is very easy, but I've remained calm and done my work at training.

"I've never doubted my ability. To lose my self-confidence would be the biggest mistake I could make. You go downhill from there. The pressure belongs at a clubs like Real and I don't have a problem with that. At Chelsea, at Atletico and now at Real, you have to achieve."


Spalletti in Fiorentina frame?

Inter Milan manager Luciano Spalletti pictured on May 26, 2019© Reuters

Fiorentina are considering moving for former Inter Milan manager Luciano Spalletti as pressure continues to build on Vincenzo Montella, according to Firenze Viola. The side have won just one of their last five games in the Serie A to leave them ninth in the table. Spalletti's high wages could prove problematic for Fiorentina, however, while the club would also have to agree severance terms with Inter.


Gundogan hails Messi as the GOAT

Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona on October 2, 2019© Reuters

Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan has weighed in on the eternal Lionel Messi versus Cristiano Ronaldo debate, revealing that the Barcelona frontman is his pick as the best player in the world. "In my opinion, he has very special abilities," Gundogan is quoted as saying by the Daily Mail. "He has talent and he always manages to show it on the pitch. He always has the instinct to make the right decision.

"He uses his speed well against the opponents he plays. He has a strong finish. All in all, no one else has as much quality as Lionel Messi. He is the star player of my generation and the greatest footballer of all-time. I hope we get to watch him play for a few more years."


Lindelof: 'I miss Mourinho'

Victor Lindelof in action for Manchester United on December 30, 2017© Reuters

Manchester United defender Victor Lindelof has admitted that he 'misses' Jose Mourinho, almost one year after the Portuguese was sacked as Red Devils boss. Mourinho, who brought in Lindelof during his time at Old Trafford, has been linked with a number of top jobs over the last 12 months but has yet to find a new club.

"He is, after all, one of the world's best coaches and he is supposed to have a job at one of the biggest clubs. I miss him in football," Lindelof told Aftonbladet. "He's a great coach and a great person, whom I owe a great deal. It was he who gave me the chance here, who brought me into everything.

"I have all the respect in the world for him and appreciate everything he has said and done for me, from scolding to a hug. Even if I did not agree, at the time... he has very great charisma, you had great respect for him. He's won everything. When he says something, you listen."


Stones lasers off tattoo of ex

John Stones pictured on August 4, 2019© Reuters

Manchester City defender John Stones has had a tattoo of ex-girlfriend Millie Savage lasered off, according to The Sun. The 25-year-old had a giant tattoo of Savage's face inked on his arm in 2016 but the pair split a year ago after 10 years together.

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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool16151040142646
2Leicester CityLeicester16122239102938
3Manchester CityMan City16102444192532
4Chelsea169253124729
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd166642519624
6Wolverhampton WanderersWolves165922319424
7Tottenham HotspurSpurs166553023723
8Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd165741916322
9Arsenal165742424022
10Crystal Palace166461418-422
11Newcastle UnitedNewcastle166461723-622
12Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton165472024-419
13Burnley165382129-818
14Everton165291928-917
15Bournemouth164481824-616
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham164481828-1016
17Aston Villa164392328-515
18Southampton164391835-1715
19Norwich CityNorwich1632111734-1711
20Watford16169930-219

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