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Ancelotti to take one year sabbatical for back surgery

Ancelotti is facing the sack at Real Madrid. Credit: PA

Carlo Ancelotti is to have a back operation and will take a year-long sabbatical if Real Madrid decide to part company with him.

Real could announce later on Monday whether Ancelotti, who has one year left on his contract, will remain in charge following a trophyless campaign.

There has been speculation that AC Milan want Ancelotti back to lead their team in the 2015-16 campaign, but the 55-year-old says that will not happen.

Real have not communicated anything to me (regarding future). I know the board was supposed to meet on Sunday but they postponed it until Monday and I don't know the reason why.

But if it (sacking) happens, I reiterate that I will take a year off. More so because I have a serious reason to stop.

I must have a back operation because of a (cervical spinal) stenosis that for some time creates a tingle in my hands. If I waste more time it could extend to my legs and this is why I have made an appointment to have the surgery done.

– Carlo Ancelotti


Middlesbrough v Norwich starting line-ups

QPR boss Ramsey determined to keep Charlie Austin

QPR head coach Chris Ramsey accepts Charlie Austin will want to stay in the Premier League, even though he says the relegated Londoners will make "every effort" to keep him.

Austin and Ramsey after victory against Newcastle this month. Credit: PA

Austin scored his 18th Premier League goal of the season as the curtain came down on Rangers' miserable top-flight stay with a 5-1 thrashing at Leicester on Sunday.

It came just days after 25-year-old Austin was called into the England squad for the friendly away to the Republic of Ireland and the Euro 2016 qualifier in Slovenia next month - and Ramsey fears a parting of the ways as he prepares for a significant summer rebuild at Loftus Road.

Ramsey said:

I would imagine anybody who has scored those goals and is going to the England camp would not be looking elsewhere other than to be playing in the Premier League.

He'll want to play higher (than the Championship) but we'll make every effort to keep him because he's somebody that we need.

It's very difficult to buy strikers of that pedigree to come straight into your team and starting scoring immediately. That's what we're going to need because we must hit the ground running.

– QPR manager Chris Ramsey

Sheffield United sack manager Nigel Clough

Sheffield United have sacked Nigel Clough after the club missed out on League One promotion.

Clough has been dismissed by the Blades. Credit: PA

The Blades, who reached the semi-finals of the Capital One Cup, were beaten in the play-off semi-finals by Swindon and have been condemned to a fifth year in the third tier.

Clough has been relieved of his duties with immediate effect, with his coaching staff of Gary Crosby and Andy Garner following through the exit door.

A club statement read:

Sheffield United today announce that Nigel Clough, the club's first-team manager, and his management staff, are to leave Bramall Lane with immediate effect following the decision by the board that a change in direction was necessary for the forthcoming season.

The search for the club's new first-team manager will now start and it is hoped that this will result in identifying and recruiting the right candidate within a relatively short period of time.

– Sheffield United club statement
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