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Gerard Deulofeu Has Issued A Message Of Thanks To Watford Fans After Completing A Loan Move To Udinese



The Spanish winger made the switch to the Serie A side before Monday’s international transfer deadline after telling the Hornets he wanted to leave following last season’s relegation.

Originally it looked as if the 26-year-old was destined for a permanent switch to Fiorentina, but complications resulted in that move falling through and he instead settled for Udinese, joining fellow Watford winger Ignacio Pussetto, who also joined Udinese on loan. Roberto Pereyra is another who made the move between the two sides during the transfer window.

While Deulofeu will spend the current campaign in Italy with the fellow Pozzo-owned club, it remains to be seen if he has played his final game in a Watford shirt, or if he will return next season, should the Hornets get promoted back to the top flight.

In a message on Twitter Deulofeu said: “Hi watford fans. I just wanted to thank you for the support you have given me in my time at the club so far. I wish you all the best for the season & am sure the squad will give everything to return to the Premier League straight away. All the best for now. GD7.”

During his time at Watford he made 70 appearances in all competitions, scoring 17 goals.

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Van’t Schip steps down as Greece coach



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Greece coach John van’t Schip announced on Friday that he is quitting the squad after two-and-a-half years, blaming the Greek football federation for delaying a decision about whether he would continue or not in ....

“There have been talks to continue on this road, however, the federation has taken so much time to make a decision for the future, that I felt that it was time for me to move on,” the 57-year-old coach posted on Instagram.

Van’t Schip’s contract with the federation ends on 31 December but he said “at the end, our vision on football is different and doesn’t align. In order to be able to have success, everyone needs to be on the same page.”

The federation has yet to comment on Van’t Schip’s decision but Greek media had predicted that after the team failed to qualify for the 2022 World Cup, his job would be in jeopardy.

Van’t Schip coached the squad for 26 matches with 11 victories, nine draws and six defeats.

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The Canadian-born former Dutch international winger was hired for the Greek post in the summer of 2019 after coaching Dutch clubs PEC Zwolle, Ajax, Jong Ajax and Twente as well as Australia’s Melbourne City and Melbourne Heart before heading to Guadalajara in Mexico.

He was also assistant to the Netherlands national team from 2004-2008.

Van’t Schip played 41 times for the Dutch national team, scoring two goals from 1986 to 1995, and at club level played for Genoa and Ajax.

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Premier League open to regulator



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Premier League chief executive Richard Masters says the organisation are open to an independent regulator, but he labelled some parts of a fan-led review of football governance as “too radical”.

The British government commissioned the ground-breaking review, which this week recommended the creation of an Independent Regulator for English Football.

Additional support for English lower league teams via a “solidarity transfer levy” on deals between Premier League clubs or signings from overseas was also suggested.

While the report did not recommend the percentage, a 10 per cent tax was used as an example.

“We are open to an independent regulator and we want to discuss the detail of that with Government going forward,” Masters told BBC Sport.

“Government has backed it. I think to push back on the concept of an independent regulator at this moment in time would be wrong.

“But, as I said, there’s a whole package of things. It’s what the regulator is able to do and the power at its disposal that we need to talk about.”

Aston Villa chief executive Christian Purslow insisted there was a danger you risked “killing the golden goose if we overregulate a highly successful financial and commercial operation”.

And Masters added: “Well, I think that’s what we need to be careful of, the unintended consequences. I mean look across the 47 recommendations.

“The Premier League is a proud and significant contributor to the rest of football. We give away 15 per cent of our revenue already.

“Over the next three years, we’ve committed to government that we’ll invest over £1.6 billion into the football pyramid, into community and good causes. That’s a huge investment.

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“One of the ideas is a levy on transfer fees. It’s a radical idea. In reality, it is radical because there is a levy already.”

Masters hit back at the Football League’s request to be given 25 per cent of all pooled broadcast revenue.

“That would be a disaster. Value has to be retained where it is generated otherwise that value can’t be generated,” he said.

“Premier League clubs have to be able to attract the best players, talent and managers and create that incredible competitiveness.”

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La Liga: Xavi wants Barcelona to be more daring in attack



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Xavi Hernandez faces his first game on the road as Barcelona manager against Villarreal on Saturday and wants his team to be bolder and more audacious going forward.

Barca had another struggle in the Champions League in midweek when they again failed to score as they were held to a 0-0 draw at home to Benfica. They have scored two goals in five group stage games in Europe’s elite competition.

“I think we’re on the right path, but we need to win on Saturday,” Xavi told a news conference on Friday.

“I don’t think what is missing are goals. What we’re missing is to be more daring up front.”

In LaLiga, Barca are struggling down in seventh place with 20 points, 10 behind leaders Real Madrid.

“We are living a moment of urgency. We can’t afford to lose anymore, we have to win every game. And Villarreal is a direct rival in the standings, so it would be even more important,” Xavi said.

Europa League champions Villarreal are 12th on 16 points from 13 games and pressure is mounting on manager Unai Emery after they lost another game at home on Tuesday, a 2-0 defeat by Manchester United in the Champions League.

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Villarreal have won only one of their last six LaLiga games and the fans are still upset with how Emery handled Newcastle United’s interest in him earlier this season as he did not immediately dismiss the Premier League side before eventually issuing a statement saying he was staying in Spain.

“I think our team is playing good. We need to create a bond with our fans, create a clear identity and a style that make us feel strong, like winners. In LaLiga we are missing the results and we are working hard to get better.” Emery said.

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