World Football Gossip Roundup: Roberto Di Matteo, Mark Clattenburg, Luis Suarez
So Andrea Pirlo almost joined Chelsea, did he?
That's just one of the big headlines on a day full of exactly that sort of thing for Chelsea.
In this Monday edition of the B/R World Football Gossip Roundup, we have updates on the big-spending London club's managerial situation and the club's racism controversy involving referee Mark Clattenburg.
Elsewhere, we also have updates on Rio Ferdinand, Luis Suarez and Theo Walcott. Read on for all the details.
Roberto Di Matteo Under Pressure at Chelsea?
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Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo is "fighting" for his job, according to the Daily Mail.
Di Matteo's Chelsea have won three of their last seven matches and lost 2-1 at West Brom on Saturday.
Goalkeeper Petr Cech was reportedly involved in an intense dressing-room disagreement following the loss to West Brom.
Di Matteo, 42, led Chelsea to FA Cup and Champions League titles as interim manager last season. He accepted the full-time job over the summer.
The Mail speculates that Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich could replace Di Matteo with former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola.
Meanwhile, a poll at the Daily Telegraph asks whether Di Matteo deserves to be sacked. "No" had gathered about 80 percent of the vote as of Monday at 7 a.m. ET.
Referee to Be Cleared in Racism Controversy?
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Referee Mark Clattenburg will be cleared of accusations that he racially abused Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel during a Premier League match in October, according to the Daily Star.
Manchester United won 3-2 at Chelsea on Oct. 28 in a controversial match that saw two Chelsea players sent off. United's winner appeared to be scored after a missed offside call.
Chelsea after the match accused Clattenburg of racially abusing two players, including Mikel and Juan Mata. The accusation regarding Mata was later dropped.
Rio Ferdinand Considers China
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Former England international defender Rio Ferdinand could play in China after his contract with Manchester United expires this summer (via The Guardian).
The Guardian reports that there is a "big chance" Ferdinand will leave United when his contract runs out. Ferdinand, 34, has reportedly told friends he will not retire.
If he leaves United, Ferdinand will most likely move abroad, with China a possible destination.
Chairman: Luis Suarez Not Leaving Liverpool
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Liverpool will not sell Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez in January, according to club chairman Tom Werner (via Daily Telegraph).
Suarez, 25, scored two goals over the weekend as Liverpool defeated Wigan. He leads the Premier League with 10 strikes this season.
Suarez has been linked with a move away from Anfield this winter, but Werner said it will not happen.
He’s a beautiful player to watch and, as a Liverpool fan, I hope I’m watching him for many years to come. We made a long-term contract with him in the summer and we are going to see a lot of his play at Liverpool.
Suarez joined Liverpool from Ajax in 2011.
Arsenal Won't Sell Theo Walcott?
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The Sun reports that Arsenal will not sell winger Theo Walcott in January, even if the two parties cannot agree on a new contract.
Walcott, 23, has a contract through the end of the current season. Negotiations over a new deal reportedly have been fruitless.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said: "He certainly doesn't play like someone who wants to go. And I don't behave like somebody who wants him to go."
Liverpool are thought to be interested in Walcott if he leaves Arsenal.