Gianfranco Zola has promised to fight on as Birmingham City manager despite another defeat on Tuesday.
The Italian could only watch in dismay as Birmingham slumped to their 10th game without a win under his control when the Midlands club suffered a 1-0 Championship home defeat at the hands of Reading.
Zola insisted he has no intention of quitting.
He said: “There is no idea in my mind to give up on this situation.
“I know I can turn this around.
“If I do not have this spirit I will inform the club. At the moment there is no doubt about my position at Birmingham.”
Payet pleased to make OM return
Dimitri Payet said he had “chills” when he came off the bench in extra-time to help Marseille edge through 2-1 against Lyon in their Coupe de France tie at the Stade Velodrome late Tuesday.
The 29-year-old playmaker completed a £25m move back to his old club on Sunday after becoming unhappy at West Ham.
Payet heard his name chanted by the Marseille support before kick-off.
“I found the Velodrome as I had left it,” Payet said.
“What did I feel when I returned to the field? Chills.”
Payet received a standing ovation from the home supporters after coming on in extra time.
Nicolas Anelka to work for Roda JC
Nicolas Anelka has joined Roda JC as a consultant under the Dutch club’s new joint owner Aleksei Korotaev.
Former Real Madrid, Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City striker Anelka, 37, will work with the Eredivisie club’s academy and also as a scout.
Roda’s technical director Ton Caanen said: “We are proud that we can add someone of his calibre to our organisation. We will now discuss with Aleksei Korotaev how we are going to give precise details on his role.”
Korotaev became joint owner at Roda JC last month when he bought a substantial stake off Frits Schrouff.
Swansea City swoop for Jordan Ayew
Swansea have signed Aston Villa’s Ghana forward Jordan Ayew in an exchange deal that sees their Wales left-back Neil Taylor joining the Championship club.
Swansea will pay an undisclosed fee as part of the transfer, with Ayew signing a 3-1/2-year contract at the Liberty Stadium.
Ayew is on duty with Ghana at the Africa Cup and will not be available until the Black Stars return from the tournament.
The 25-year-old, brother of West Ham striker Andre Ayew, got 10 goals – including one against his new club – in 58 games for Aston Villa, who he joined from Lorient in July 2015.
Crystal Palace take Sakho on loan
Crystal Palace have signed Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho on loan until the end of season.
The 26-year-old has fallen down the pecking order at Liverpool since being suspended by UEFA last April for failing a drugs test, although the case was dropped after his lawyers argued that a fat-burner he used was not on the banned list.
Several Premier League clubs had reportedly shown interest in the player over the last six months but were put off by Liverpool’s £20 million valuation.
Sakho said in an interview with Palace’s official website that he was happy to complete the move after a long day and that he was excited about the challenge.
Man. City sign teenager Herrera
Venezuelan midfielder Yangel Herrera has become the latest South American teenager to sign for Premier League side Manchester City.
Atletico Venezuela said Herrera, who turned 19 on January 7, was currently playing with Venezuela’s Under-20 side in the South American championship but would be available for his new side when the tournament ends on February 11.
Herrera becomes the third South American teenager signed by City this season, following the additions of Brazil’s Gabriel Jesus and Colombia’s Marlos Moreno.
Moreno was immediately loaned to Deportivo and Herrera could also be sent out to another club for a loan spell.
MLS says 12 groups submit applications
Major League Soccer said 12 ownership groups have submitted official applications to land one of four expansion openings that will see the North American league grow to 28 clubs.
Charlotte, Cincinnati, Detroit, Indianapolis, Nashville, Phoenix, Raleigh/Durham, Sacramento, St Louis, San Antonio, San Diego and Tampa/St Petersburg are all vying to secure a team in a league that began with 10 clubs in 1996.
“That’s a strong statement about the league and the growth of the sport in the United States and Canada,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said.
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