Premier League star involved in car crash, “It’s a miracle he’s alive”

West Ham’s Manuel Lanzini has miraculously survived a motorway crash in which his car flipped onto its side, it has been reported.

The Argentinian midfielder, 29, is said to have been in a chauffeur-driven £70,000 Mercedes on the A12 when it lost control on Wednesday afternoon.

He is believed to have climbed out of the vehicle unhurt and is well enough to carry on training after being discharged by paramedics at the scene.

The team are gearing up for next week’s Europa League quarter-final clash against Lyon.

Lanzini is banned from the clash for excessive bookings during the tournament but is expected to be available for a Premier League fixture against Everton on Sunday.

The crash is said to have unfolded as he headed to the club’s training grounds in East London.

The chauffeur is believed to have survived although there was no immediate confirmation of any injuries suffered.

A source close to the star told The Sun: “It’s a miracle he’s alive, from what I’ve heard.

“This was an incredibly near miss and could have killed Lanzini and the driver.

“It’s common for West Ham players to use a chauffeur service – especially for those who live in town.

“They were on a dual carriageway so it could have caused complete carnage.

“Just goes to show, it doesn’t matter how much cash you have – we’re all just as vulnerable to a smash like this. Thank goodness he was okay.”

Premier League reintroduces five substitutions, adjusts summer transfer date… Arteta reacts

Reports in England claim that Premier League clubs have voted to reintroduce five substitutions from next season.

According to the Daily Mail, the change of heart over the number of alterations permitted per-game has been confirmed following a Premier League stakeholders meeting in London today.

The English top-flight will now be in line with the rest of Europe’s major leagues and the decision ends years of resistance when the issue was previously raised.

The idea was backed by the likes of Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola, who insisted they favoured the permanent change to allow them to better manage their players’ workloads. The PFA were also in favour.

A statement from the Premier League said: “Clubs agreed to change the rules relating to substitute players. From next season, clubs will be permitted to use five substitutions, to be made on three occasions during a match, with an additional opportunity at half-time. A total of nine substitutes can be named on the team sheet.’

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said: “I am glad that at the end we have unified the criteria for the whole of Europe and it’s now how we do it, how we manage it.

“There will be some changes because that gives you other opportunities and I think the game will have some changes, tactically. The most important thing is you can manage much better the load of the players, make sure you don’t slow the game down too much and I think it is good. It gives players the opportunity to be on the pitch which is what they want to do.”

Asked about how things will now change tactically, Arteta said: “The options that you are given to change the game, to refresh the game, to change in many different positions, something that you are always [used to be] restricted in what you can do, and probably the timing of when you’re thinking about those subs because when you have three the last sub it is always in the back of your mind that if something happens and you do it too early you can pay the consequences so that gives you more flexibility.”

The Premier League also confirmed following the meeting that the summer transfer window will open on June 10 and close on September 1, along with the rest of Europe’s major leagues.

Inter Milan plot loan move for Romelu Lukaku

Chelsea forward Romelu Lukaku could be headed back to Inter Milan, with the Serie A club weighing up ways to bring him back to the San Siro, according to Calciomercato.

Lukaku, 28, has failed to find top form since re-joining Chelsea for €115 million in the summer, scoring just five goals in 19 Premier League appearances.

And while Inter aren’t sure whether they could afford the transfer fee required to take the Belgium international back on a permanent basis, Calciomercato suggests that they are now looking at a potential loan deal in the summer.

Lukaku is reportedly unhappy at Stamford Bridge and he would be open to a return to Inter, having expressed his desire to rejoin the club in an explosive interview in December. He was a standout player for the Nerazzurri last season, scoring 24 goals in 36 league appearances, as they won the Scudetto.

Zambian FA reacts to FIFA doctor’s death after Nigeria-Ghana World Cup qualifier

A FIFA doctor died after the World Cup qualifier between Ghana and Nigeria at the MKO Abiola Stadium in Abuja on Tuesday, the Zambian FA has confirmed.

Joseph Kabungo had been on duty as the CAF anti-doping officer for the second leg of the play-off, which ended in a 1-1 draw that saw Ghana book a place at the World Cup in Qatar.

The match has been overshadowed by the death of Kabungo, described by Zambian FA President Andrew Kamanga as ‘a dedicated and widely loved member of our football community’ who had a ‘vast impact’ on the sport in the country.

There were ugly scenes following the game at Moshood Abiola National Stadium as angry Nigerian fans rioted, storming onto the pitch before attacking players from both sides and causing significant damage to property.

Police had to use tear gas to disperse the furious mob, who ripped apart dugouts and launched objects down the tunnel at players as they left.

The Zambian FA warned against speculating on how Kabungo died. ‘We take note that it is too early to dwell into the nitty-gritty of the cause of his death but will wait for the full report from CAF and FIFA on what exactly transpired,’ the organisation said.

Kamanga paid tribute to the official, saying in an emotional statement on Facebook that Zambian football had suffered a ‘huge loss’.

“He was a dedicated and widely loved member of our football community and his impact was vast, having also been part of the 2012 Africa Cup winning team,” said Kamanga.

“His death is a huge loss as Dr Kabungo was a friend and confidant to many generations of players and their families.

“He was one of the outstanding Zambian football personalities that flew the Zambian flag at global football events.

“We all have to learn from his example of excellence and celebrate his legacy by breeding more hard working football Zambian administrators.”

The Nigerian Football Federation could face sanctions for the post-match chaos, while there were also reports of a stampede prior to the game.

Ghana qualified for the World Cup at the expense of Nigeria as the draw earned them victory on away goals after the first leg in Kumasi last week ended 0-0.

Roma react to Manchester United, Arsenal move for Tammy Abraham

Roma are reportedly not willing to sell Tammy Abraham this summer after a stellar first season in Serie A.

Abraham’s form had led to rumours linking him with both United and Arsenal.

The clubs are on the lookout for a striker, with Calciomercato claiming both teams are willing to splash £75m on the former Chelsea man.

Roma though are reportedly not prepared to entertain any offers whatsoever for the 24-year-old.

Arsenal set for shock swoop for Manchester United star

Manchester United academy product Marcus Rashford could be set for a shock move to Arsenal this summer.

Reports suggest the Gunners are plotting a swoop for the 24-year-old come the end of the campaign.

The Manchester United forward is enduring a rough time at Old Trafford this season.

However, according to the Mirror, Rashford could be offered an escape route out of Old Trafford by Arsenal, as the Gunners look to replace Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s goals.

Burnley’s attempt to rescue Victor Moses from Russia blocked

Burnley’s bid to rescue Victor Moses from the distress of being left in limbo in warring Russia has been blocked by the Premier League.

The Spartak Moscow player is still stuck in the capital, isolated from family and friends.

Moses, a former Chelsea wing-back, is considered out of contract until June 30 this year, and can be signed under special dispensation granted by FIFA and UEFA.

There has been a temporary amending of the statutes governing transfers due to Russia’s war on Ukraine.

According to Sky Sports, Burnley have tried to provide Moses with the opportunity to play again, earn a salary, and be reunited with his family in England, but the Premier League does not want to accept any such request, citing the sporting integrity of the competition.

The Premier League has come under criticism for its stance.

Former Finland captain Tim Sparv told Sky Sports News: “We need to do everything we can to help players get out of Russia, a country led by a dictator.

“We need to give them the chance to go and play somewhere where they feel safe. This is a humanitarian issue.”

Serie A and the Bundesliga have also barred clubs from using the special dispensation on the grounds of sporting integrity.

Abramovich uses Portuguese passport to travel to mediate between Putin, Joe Biden

Roman Abramovich has reportedly travelled to Poland to mediate between Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden.

The oligarch took the train to Poland on Thursday using his Portuguese passports, reports claim.

TVN reporter Jakob Stachowiak said on social media: “Yesterday he came to Poland in secret from Ukraine by the smart train.

“Interestingly, he used a Portuguese passport. Perhaps there will be an informal meeting with the president. Has Putin sent a billionaire?

“The oligarch got to Poland from the territory of Ukraine, where he was allegedly talking to President Volodymir Zelensky.”

Potential buyers set to meet Thomas Tuchel, Marina Granovskaia before takeover

Potential Chelsea buyers will be given the opportunity to hold talks with manager Thomas Tuchel and Marina Granovskaia before a £2.5billion takeover.

Chelsea have whittled down their list of potential buyers to just a handful of consortiums.

The Blues are now set to choose from options that includes a group involving Seb Coe, ex-Liverpool chairman Martin Broughton and two American businessmen.

And according to The Times, all parties will be given the opportunity to hold talks with manager Tuchel and director Granovskaia.

Chelsea hand club’s potential buyers big condition

Chelsea’s buyout candidates are mulling over the reported need to commit £1billion to future investment.

Apart from the club’s £3bn takeover valuation, the Blues are said to want guarantees of huge funding for Thomas Tuchel’s squad.

The four consortiums in the running are thought to be: Chicago Cubs owners the Ricketts family, former Liverpool chairman Sir Martin Broughton aided by Sir Seb Coe, LA Dodgers part-owner Todd Boehly, and Boston Celtics and Atalanta co-owner Stephen Pagliuca.

Meanwhile, the controversial Ricketts family are reportedly willing to pledge the £1bn squad funding Chelsea want as part of a takeover deal.

The Telegraph say the Chicago Cubs owners – whose offer sparked criticism from Blues fans due to historical racism claims – have already come forward to meet the demand.

The mega-rich family are on the four-bid shortlist to buy out Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich despite a #NoToRicketts social media campaign.