Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has undergone surgery to remove his appendix, according to reports. The German boss was forced to miss Liverpool’s match with Sunderland at Anfield this afternoon due to the problem, with his side squandering a two-goal lead against the Black Cats. Goals from Roberto Firmino and Adam Lallana had given the hosts a comfortable advantage going into the final 10 minutes, but a late Sunderland comeback saw Sam Allardyce’s side rescue a point. Klopp, meanwhile, spent the afternoon in hospital and has now had his appendix successfully removed. It is unclear whether or not Klopp will be back in the dugout for Liverpool’s FA Cup replay with West Ham United on Tuesday.
Eden Hazard has revealed he was left feeling so guilty over Jose Mourinho’s sacking that he sent a text message to the former Chelsea manager to apologise. Mourinho was axed by the Premier League champions in December after a disastrous first half of the season leaving the Blues just one point above the relegation zone after 16 games. Hazard, who was Chelsea’s standout performer in their title winning campaign last season, was one of a number of players performing well below their usual high standards. And the Belgium international has admitted that a portion of blame for Chelsea’s most successful manager ever losing his job lays at his door. ‘I sent him (Mourinho) the message to say I was sorry he had gone and, well, just that I was sorry,’ Hazard said. ‘We’d enjoyed all that success together last season, but this time round we hadn’t.
South African Tokyo Sexwale’s bid to become the next FIFA president has failed to win the support of the Confederation of Africa Football. CAF announced after a meeting in Rwanda on Friday that it would back Asian Football Confederation president Sheikh Salman in the 26 February elections. Sheikh Salman is now expected to gain the votes of Africa’s 54 federations. It appears to bring an end to Sexwale’s hopes of becoming the first African to hold the office of FIFA president. Sexwale had been aiming to get the support of his own continent but has recently been under pressure to withdraw.
Manchester United have held talks with representatives of ex-Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, BBC reports. The 53-year-old Portuguese, who was sacked by the Blues in December, is increasingly hopeful of succeeding Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford. No agreement has been reached, and the club have made no comment, but negotiations have begun. Dutchman Van Gaal, 64, is expected to leave United at the end of the season – one year earlier than scheduled. That would leave the way clear for Mourinho, who is known to be excited by the prospect of taking over at Old Trafford. The United hierarchy are thought to be keen to respond after Manchester City secured the services of coveted former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola earlier this week. Mourinho’s arrival would mean a resumption of a rivalry that began in Spain when he was coach of Real Madrid between 2010 and 2013.