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Abramovich backs Thomas Tuchel to discipline Romelu Lukaku over Chelsea outburst

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Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has reportedly backed Thomas Tuchel ’s stance to discipline star striker Romelu Lukaku.

Abramovich footed the bill when Chelsea splashed out a club-record £97.5million to sign Lukaku from Inter Milan in the summer.

But the Russian was in favour of Tuchel’s decision to leave the 28-year-old out of the squad to play Liverpool in Sunday’s 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge after his eyebrow-raising interview last week.

Lukaku gave an unauthorised interview to Sky Sports Italia in which he admitted he was “not happy” with his current situation with the Blues.

According to The Telegraph , Lukaku is now set to be reintegrated into the squad for Chelsea’s Carabao Cup semi-final first leg against Tottenham on Wednesday night.

But only after the Belgian was urged to issue a public apology in order to try and draw a line under the saga, which has engulfed the club over the past six days.

Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia was reportedly involved in talks behind the scenes with Lukaku, showing the seriousness of the situation.

The Daily Mail says that some Chelsea players are opposed to the treatment of Lukaku, who is believed to have been surprised by the strength of the reaction to his comments.

Chelsea have refused to comment on whether Lukaku will be fined for giving the interview, which was intended to placate Inter Milan fans, and then keeping it a secret for three weeks.

He was back in training at Chelsea’s Cobham training centre on Monday after holding a meeting with Tuchel.

The pair are believed to have cleared the air ahead of two cup ties against Tottenham and an FA Cup match against Chesterfield.

“The thing got too big, the thing got too noisy so close to the match,” Tuchel told Sky Sports ahead of the Liverpool game. “So I decided to protect the preparation of the match, that’s why he’s out.

Asked if he had spoken to Lukaku, he said: “Of course. We have spoken, we’ve spoken twice and spoken to the main players, of course.

“After that we have to realise it’s too close to the match, it’s too big. We delayed the decision of what to do, and whilst we are delaying it we need to protect the preparation of the match.

“We have a big match of football to play and we need full focus, which anyway is hard to get even with this decision.

“But it is, in my opinion, easier if he is not in the squad and that’s why we did it.”

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U.S. swimmer Alvarez saved from drowning by coach at world championships in Budapest (Photos)

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Anita Alvarez loses consciousness in pool at world championships in Budapest

American artistic swimmer Anita Alvarez was in danger of drowning after losing consciousness in the pool at the world championships in Budapest before being rescued by her coach Andrea Fuentes.

Spaniard Fuentes, a four-time Olympic medalist in synchronized swimming, jumped into the pool after she saw Alvarez sink to the bottom at the end of her solo free final routine.

She was given medical attention beside the pool before being taken away on a stretcher.

It was the second time Fuentes has had to rescue Alvarez after she leapt into the pool during an Olympic qualification event last year and pulled her to safety along with the American’s swim partner Lindi Schroeder.

“Anita is much better, she is already at her best. It was a good scare, to be honest,” Fuentes told Spanish newspaper Marca.

“I jumped into the water again because I saw that no one, no lifeguard, was jumping in. I got a little scared because she wasn’t breathing, but now she’s fine. She has to rest.”

In a statement on the US Artistic Swimming Instagram page, Fuentes said 25-year-old Alvarez would be assessed by doctors on Thursday before a decision was made on her participation in Friday’s team event.

SEE PHOTOS BELOW

A member of Team USA (R) swims to recover USA's Anita Alvarez (L), from the bottom of the pool.
A member of Team USA (R) swims to recover USA’s Anita Alvarez (L), from the bottom of the pool.
USA's Anita Alvarez is recovered from the bottom of the pool by a team member after the incident.
USA’s Anita Alvarez is recovered from the bottom of the pool by a team member after the incident.
She was given medical attention beside the pool before being taken away on a stretcher.
She was given medical attention beside the pool before being taken away on a stretcher.

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Serie A: Pogba agrees deal with Juventus

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Juventus have reached an agreement in principle to sign Paul Pogba, according to Sky Italia.

Pogba is a free agent after leaving Manchester United this summer.

It is believed that small details of the contract are being sorted out. It will either be a four-year contract or a three-year deal with an option for a further year.

Pogba will officially sign the contract at the start of July.

The move to Juventus would mark a return to a club where Pogba spent four years before rejoining United in 2016.

Manchester City also made a bid to sign Pogba from their bitter rivals, but the player opted against it and has now gone back to Italy.

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LaLiga fixtures for 2022/2023 season confirmed

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LaLiga fixtures for 2022/2023 season

The LaLiga fixture list for the 2022/2023 season was released by the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) on Thursday.

Real Madrid will open their campaign with a trip to newly promoted Almeria, while Barcelona are home to Rayo Vallecano.

The two rivals will face off in the first Clasico on the weekend of October 16.

The game on Match Day 9, will be played at Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu stadium, with the return fixture at Barcelona’s Camp Nou taking place on the weekend of March 19, 2023.

Atletico Madrid, who finished third last season, begin the season away at Getafe while Sevilla, who finished fourth in the final Champions League spot, will travel to Osasuna.

The 2022/23 LaLiga season will begin on the weekend of August 14, 2022, and end on the weekend of June 4, 2023.

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