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Mourinho pays tribute to Ranieri with Instagram post

Jose Mourinho said Claudio Ranieri's sacking by Leicester within months of winning the Premier League title was symptomatic of "the new football".

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Ranieri was dismissed on Thursday night with the Foxes just one point above the relegation zone, having only secured an incredible and improbable championship in May.

Mourinho experienced similar treatment at Chelsea. He led the London club to the 2014-15 title, but was dismissed in December 2015 after a series of dreadful results and what was described as "palpable discord" with his players by technical director Michael Emenalo.

The Portuguese, who succeeded Ranieri at Stamford Bridge when his first spell at the club began in 2004, clearly sees the Italian's exit as further proof of how ruthless football has become at the highest level.

He posted a picture of himself and Ranieri smiling, and wrote on Instagram: "Champion of England and FIFA manager of the year. Sacked. That's the new football. Keep smiling amico. Nobody can delete the history you wrote."

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Cottee: Leicester have made 'a real panic decision'

Former Leicester striker Tony Cottee has claimed the club pressed the panic button by sacking manager Claudio Ranieri as other ex-Foxes also expressed their surprise at the Italian's departure.

Ranieri has been sacked by Leicester City. Credit: PA

Alan Smith and Gary Lineker were others questioning the timing of the decision by the club's Malaysian owners, with Leicester fighting a battle against relegation and facing a 2-1 deficit to Sevilla ahead of a Champions League last-16 second leg.

With Leicester at home to Liverpool in a crunch Premier League game on Monday, Cottee expressed his surprise.

He told Sky Sports News:

From that point of view the timing couldn't have been any worse. They've got a massive game coming up against Liverpool on Monday night.

I can only think that something's gone on somewhere or there's been a disagreement and they've obviously come to this decision.

To press the button tonight it sounds like a real panic decision. The one thing I don't know, I don't know what's happening in the dressing room. It's a brave decision but it's a bizarre decision as well, bearing in mind where they are and the stage of the season.

– Former Leicester striker Tony Cottee

Arsenal midfielder expected to miss rest of the season

Cazorla is recovering from ankle surgery. Credit: PA

Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla is not expected to play against this season as he recovers from ankle surgery.

The 32-year-old has not featured since being forced off during the second half of Arsenal's 6-0 Champions League group win against Ludogorets on October 19.

Following an operation on the plantaris tendon in the Spain international's right foot, the Premier League club expected his rehabilitation to take around three months.

However, Press Association Sport understands Cazorla is not set to recovery in time to be involved again this season.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger had spoken of the importance of Cazorla to the squad following the news of his injury.

Wenger said:

The dressing room needs a balance between experience and youth-team players and you need to be guided as well by some experienced players as well when you go through difficult times.

They help you always to keep your feet on the ground and keep focused.

– Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger

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Slavisa Jokanovic extends contract with Fulham

Jokanovic has signed an extension until 2019. Credit: PA

Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic has signed a new contract keeping him at Craven Cottage until 2019.

Former Watford head coach Jokanovic joined Fulham in December 2015 from Maccabi Tel Aviv and led them clear of relegation trouble last season.

The Cottagers currently lie seventh in the Championship, six points shy of the play-off places.

Jokanovic told the club website: "I have made no secret of my desire to stay at Fulham and to continue the project that we have started.

"This is a fantastic club full of history and tradition and I am proud to be part of that and hopefully to add a little to the story.

"We have a squad of young and talented players, all eager to play their part, and as we grow together I know that there is much more to come.

"We've built an identity our fans can relate to which has brought us closer to our targets, which is exciting for the future of the club and for those fans who deserve to see the good times of elite football being played back at the Cottage again."

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