Official: Newcastle sack Steve Bruce

Newcastle United have finally sacked manager Steve Bruce in the aftermath of becoming one of the richest football clubs in the world.

A statement from the Magpies on Wednesday confirmed his departure, with the club claiming the decision had been made by “mutual consent” – despite Bruce previously remarking his desire to stay at the club under their new owners, the Saudi government’s Public Investment Fund.

“Newcastle United can confirm that Steve Bruce has left his position as head coach by mutual consent,” read a statement.

“He leaves the Magpies after more than two years in charge, having steered the club to 13th and 12th-place finishes in the Premier League and reaching the quarter-final stage in both the Emirates FA Cup and Carabao Cup during his tenure.

“Newcastle United would like to place on record its gratitude to Steve for his contribution and wishes him well for the future.”

Graeme Jones will lead the team on an interim basis, starting with Saturday’s trip to Crystal Palace.

Thomas Tuchel explains reason for Romelu Lukaku’s goal drought

Thomas Tuchel believes having too many games are wiping the smile off his players’ faces.

And the Chelsea boss claims record £97.5million signing Romelu Lukaku is ‘mentally tired’ and has been ‘overplayed’.

He said: “I feel Romelu is a bit overplayed. He played in too many competitions over the summer with his country.

“He played the Nations League and he is a fantastic athlete and such a competitive guy that he never takes it easy. He wants to be out there and win.

“He wanted to have a good outcome for the European Championship with Belgium and now in the Nations League it was a huge match for him, it meant a lot personally to play for his country so he takes it seriously.

“If that does not work well he always puts it on his shoulders. He reflects about it and I feel him mentally tired.”

Thomas Tuchel confirms Chelsea ‘talking regularly’ about signing Erling Haaland, reveals how he plans to pair him with Romelu Lukaku

Thomas Tuchel has sparked excitement among Chelsea fans by admitting the club are ‘talking regularly’ about the potential of signing striker Erling Haaland.

Haaland is widely regarded, along with Kylian Mbappe, as the most exciting attacking talent in world football, and he is expected to leave Borussia Dortmund in the coming months with a relatively-affordable £64million release clause in his contract.

After Chelsea signed Romelu Lukaku in the summer for £97m, many believed they would no longer be in the hunt for Haaland, but boss Tuchel has confirmed that it is still a possibility – and that he would have ‘no problem’ playing both in the same team.

Speaking in an interview with SportBild, he said: ‘We have talked about Haaland a couple of times also in the transfer window. It looked unrealistic and not possible to do.

“Of course we talk regularly about him because he is a fantastic player and a profile at Dortmund, which is a big rival for us in the Champions League.”

The interviewer then asked whether the presence of Lukaku would stop the deal from happening, and Tuchel replied that he would have ‘no problem’ using them together in a front two.

When pressed again about the possibility of signing him in the coming months, Tuchel added: “Let us see what will happen the next weeks.”

Newcastle join two other Premier League clubs in chase for Chelsea star

There are reports Newcastle and Leeds have joined Burnley in the race to sign Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley.

The former England man, 27, was expected to leave Stamford Bridge in the summer after spending last season at Aston Villa.

But a move failed to materialise, with the Everton academy graduate staying in West London.

According to The Sun, Burnley are keen to sign Barkley on loan in January in a bid to boost their survival hopes.

But they are reportedly set to face competition.

90min claim that Leeds and Newcastle also see Barkley as an attainable option.

The 33-cap star spent a brief period on loan at Elland Road in 2013 – playing four matches under Neil Warnock.

As for the Toon, new chiefs are busy putting together a list of attainable players that can aid their battle against the drop.

Barkley features on that list, with intermediaries having already reached out to the Magpies to offer his services.

Newcastle are also interested in Ruben Loftus-Cheek – but the 25-year-old could yet have a future at Stamford Bridge.

The academy graduate has made six appearances for the Blues in all competitions this term, including starts against Southampton and Brentford in their last two Premier League games.

Diego Simeone reveals reason he rejected Jurgen Klopp handshake after Atletico Madrid home loss to Liverpool

Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone has explained the rationale for snubbing post-game handshake with Jugen Klopp after the Champions League defeat to Liverpool at Wanda Metropoloitano.

Simeone stormed straight down the tunnel after his side lost 3-2 against Liverpool.

An end to end game unfolded as the Reds stole an away win, leaving Simeone fuming throughout.

The Argentinian, known for his theatrics, stormed down the tunnel after the full-time whistle was blown, infuriating Klopp who was waiting with an outstretched hand.

Klopp shook his finger in the direction of the tunnel before going to shake the hand of an Atletico player.

There were suggestions Simeone may have felt aggrieved after seeing his side given a penalty before the referee overturned the decision after consulting the VAR monitor.

Simeone, however, explained the incident as a mere miscommunication, as he generally doesn’t do handshakes after matches.

“I never shake hands after a match, because I don’t like it,” he said. “It isn’t healthy for either the one who wins or the the one who loses. That’s the way I see it.

“But now when I see him I will shake his hand without problem.”

Jurgen Klopp furious as Diego Simeone snubs post-match handshake after Atletico Madrid slump to Liverpool

Diego Simeone refused to shake Jurgen Klopp’s hand after seeing his Atletico Madrid fall to a 3-2 defeat by Liverpool in a dramatic Champions League contest.

The LaLiga champions saw Antoine Griezmann sent off, a penalty given against them and a penalty decision of their own overturned in a disappointing night for Simeone’s side.

After the game, the Argentine boss sprinted straight down the tunnel, refusing to shake the Liverpool manager’s hand.

Klopp did not seem impressed, holding out his hand and then giving a sarcastic thumbs-up when Simeone ran down the tunnel, but the German boss was keen to play down the incident in his interview with BT Sport.

He later reacted furiously to the suggestion from a Spanish broadcaster that he was angry at Simeone’s actions.

The German said: “Why was I angry? I am not such an idiot that you can [ask a] little bit question here. I was not angry at all.

“Have a look. I can imagine you want to make a story out of that, but I wanted to shake his hand, he [Simeone] doesn’t want it.

“In that moment I can understand that, he was running inside. He’s emotional, I’m emotional, and you are not a nice person because you want to make a story out of that.

“You said I’m angry, when was I angry? Now I am angry because of your question, come on.”

When the interviewer said he was serious, Klopp said ‘yeah yeah’ before walking away from the interview.

It also comes after Klopp told the media on Monday that he was not a fan of the Spanish club’s style of football.

BT pundits Peter Crouch and Joleon Lescott hit out at Simeone after the game for his refusal to shake the Liverpool manager’s hand.

Former Liverpool player Crouch said: ‘I respect him so much as a manager Simeone but I just think during the game, winding the crowd up, winding the players up, I understand it, but then not shaking hands at the end he lets himself down.’

Lescott described Simeone as ‘petty’ for his refusal to shake hands.

The ex-Manchester City defender said: ‘I think it’s petty. He handled himself well yesterday in regards to the remarks Jurgen Klopp made before the game but he didn’t seem phased by it.

“But then not to shake his hand and then run off up the tunnel was a bit cowardly in my opinion.”