The focus shifts off the players momentarily to lead off this Monday edition of the B/R World Football Gossip Roundup.
Instead of players, we focus on a referee—English Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg, to be specific—who is accused of using a racial slur toward a player. As you can imagine, this is sure to spark an investigation.
In addition to this latest racism controversy, we also have updates on television deals, Kevin Strootman's price tag and Romelu Lukaku's loan spell at West Bromwich Albion.
Read on for all the details.
Chelsea have accused referee Mark Clattenburg of using "inappropriate language" toward two Chelsea players during the Blues' controversial 3-2 loss at home to Manchester United on Sunday in the English Premier League (via The Independent).
Some of the inappropriate language was reportedly of a racial nature. One of the players allegedly abused was midfielder John Obi Mikel, who is black.
The incident is expected to be investigated by the Football Association.
Clattenburg made two controversial decisions in the game. He sent off Chelsea's Fernando Torres for a second yellow card for what Clattenburg ruled was a dive in the second half.
Then Clattenburg allowed Manchester United's winner to stand despite Javier Hernandez being offside in the buildup.
According to The Independent, all of Clattenburg's conversations during the match should have been audible to his two assistants.
According to The Guardian, Clattenburg has agreed to cooperate with the investigation.
Television network NBC has signed a two-year deal to broadcast English Premier League matches in the United States (via The Guardian).
NBC will take over from Fox starting next season. The network will have rights to all 380 matches of the league campaign.
No financial details of the deal were announced.
Manchester United will have to pay £25 million for PSV Eindhoven midfielder Kevin Strootman, according to Metro.
United reportedly had a chance to sign Strootman, a 22-year-old Dutch international, for £10 million over the summer. Strootman joined PSV from Utrecht in 2011.
In other United news, goalkeeper David De Gea has dismissed reports that he wants to return to Spain. The Spanish goalkeeper had been linked with a transfer to Real Madrid (via Sky Sports).
Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo has an option to recall striker Romelu Lukaku from West Bromwich Albion, according to Sky Sports.
Lukaku, a 19-year-old Belgium international, joined West Brom in August for a season-long loan. He has scored three league goals.
"There's an option in January for us," Di Matteo said. "It's a one-year loan but we have a clause. He's had a good impact but we look forward to him starting a run of games and seeing him progress."
Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea scouted 19-year-old Genoa full-back Mario Sampirisi against AC Milan on Saturday (via Daily Mail).
Sampirisi, who turns 20 on Oct. 31, has represented Italy at the Under-19 and -20 levels. He made his Serie A debut in January after spending time in the youth systems at Genoa and AC Milan.
Milan won Saturday's match 1-0 at the San Siro.