Former Inter Milan and Watford coach Walter Mazzarri was handed the reins at Torino yesterday after the Serie A side sacked Sinisa Mihajlovic. Mihajlovic was fired following Torino’s 2-0 Italian Cup defeat to holders Juventus, allowing the experienced 56-year-old to take over the northern side. Torino said Mazzarri began work immediately and took charge of training yesterday. Torino had earlier confirmed Mihajlovic’s departure after 18 months in charge, thanking the 48-year-old and his staff “for their commitment and passion”.
He paid for Torino’s recent form which has left the club tenth in Serie A with just five wins in 19 games this season including six draws in their last eight league games. Mazzarri arrives just in time for the January transfer window. Torino play Bologna, just below them in Serie A tomorrow, in their last game until January 21, before a two-week break.
Mihajlovic joined Torino in the summer of 2016, having been sacked by AC Milan in April that year. He previously managed Bologna, Catania, Fiorentina, Sampdoria and the Serbia national team.
Mazzarri was sacked by Watford last May after just one season in England despite ensuring the club’s Premier League survival. The cigar-loving Italian has plenty of experience in his home country having previously coached top flight clubs including Sampdoria, Napoli and Inter Milan. He has reportedly signed a contract with Torino until 2020.
Prosinecki to become
Bosnia’s national coach
Former Croatia star Robert Prosinecki was appointed as the new coach of Bosnia’s national team, replacing Mehmed Bazdarevic following his failure in World Cup qualifiers. The 49-year old was picked “unanimously” by the Bosnia Football Federation’s executive committee, its vice president Milorad Sofrenic told reporters. Prosinecki’s international experience was key to the decision, according to Sofrenic.
A former star of both Real Madrid and Barcelona, Prosinecki was also assistant coach to Croatia’s national team from 2006 to 2010 and Azerbaijan’s coach from 2014 to 2017. Prosinecki should sign his contract in the coming days, shortly before friendly matches against the United States and Mexico in late January.
After retired from the pitch, Prosinecki also coached Belgrade’s Red Star from 2010 to 2012, the club with which he won the Champions League in 1991 — the biggest trophy win in the history of Yugoslav football. Since becoming independence in 1992, Bosnia has qualified only for the final phase of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. At the time the national team was led by Safet Susic, who was replaced by Bazdarevic in late 2014. Up against Prosinecki for the coaching job was Amar Osim, son of another Yugoslav football legend, Ivica Osim.
Atletico Madrid loan
Vietto to Valencia
Valencia announced the loan signing of Argentine forward Luciano Vietto from their La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid. Valencia confirmed that Vietto, 24, would join on a deal until the end of the season with an option to make the move permanent then.
Vietto, who failed to score in 10 games this season for Atletico, had found himself relegated down the pecking order there after Diego Costa’s return to the club from Chelsea. He played under Valencia coach Marcelino at Villarreal in 2014-15 before moving to the capital on a deal until 2021. Valencia are currently third in La Liga, two points behind second-placed Atletico and 11 adrift of leaders Barcelona.
Manchester City top
financial firepower list
Premier League leaders Manchester City have more financial muscle than any other club in world football, according to a study that sees English clubs dominate the top 10.
The Soccerex Football Finance 100, which ranks the world’s top teams based on both their playing and fixed assets, money in the bank, owner potential investment and debt, was published on Wednesday. City, who have dropped just four points in the league this season, lead the way ahead of Arsenal. Tottenham are fifth on the list ahead of seventh-placed Manchester United, with Chelsea in ninth.
According to the study, Arsenal have £766mn ($1bn) worth of fixed assets — following their move from Highbury to the Emirates Stadium — more than any other club in world football, while only Manchester United have more money in the bank (£307mn) than Arsenal’s £300mn. Liverpool are 16th on the list, while 2016 Premier League champions Leicester are 20th. French giants PSG, who broke the transfer record to sign Neymar last summer, are third ahead of Chinese side Guangzhou Evergrande. Real Madrid are sixth with their La Liga rivals Barcelona only 13th.
Arsenal to sign Greek defender Mavropanos, says Wenger
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed they will sign Greek defender Konstantinos Mavropanos from PAS Giannina in the current transfer window. According to British media reports, Mavropanos will complete a move to the Emirates Stadium this week in a deal worth around 2mn pounds ($2.70mn).
When asked about the deal after Arsenal’s 2-2 draw with Chelsea on Wednesday, Wenger said: “Yes but he’s not ready to play for us, we’ll give him out on loan.” Mavropanos, 20, has impressed at both ends in his first full season in Greece’s Super League for PAS Giannina, scoring three goals in 14 appearances.
Former England defender
Cole rejoins MLS Galaxy
Former England defender Ashley Cole, a long-time Premier League star with Arsenal and Chelsea, has signed a one-year deal to remain with the Los Angeles Galaxy, the Major League Soccer club announced Wednesday.
The 37-year-old left back has 55 Galaxy appearances over two seasons, scoring one goal and setting up two others in 29 games for Los Angeles last season. Cole won two Premier League crowns and three FA Cups with Arsenal from 1999 to 2006, then added a Premier League crown, four FA Cups and a UEFA Champions League title from 2006 to 2014 with Chelsea.
He then spent two years at AS Roma before joining the Galaxy in 2016. Cole played for England in the 2002, 2006 and 2010 World Cups and with more than 100 international appearances became the most capped fullback in English history.