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Pablo Daniel Osvaldo still a no-show for Southampton

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Southampton’s resident bad-boy continues to grab headlines. Pablo Daniel Osvaldo, a record signing for the Saints last season, left Roma amidst a host of discipline issues, issues that also saw him kept out of the Italy national team. He then fell out of favor with his new club after headbutting his own teammate.

Now he’s gone missing for Southampton preseason training. The Saints began their preparation for the 2014-15 Premier League season two weeks ago, but Osvaldo missed out due to medical reasons. He even had a doctor’s note.

But the forward’s excused absence only extended to last Sunday, yet Osvaldo is still nowhere to be found. It seems, however, that the club are aware of the reasons behind his absence and have given their approval — even if they’re not sharing the story.

It seems likely, however, that Osvaldo’s lack of training with the club gives further reason to believe that he’s played his last game with Southampton. He was already listed as available for transfer back in January, after headbuttting teammate José Fonte — in fact, many suspected he’d done it just to engineer a move away from the club.

To an extent, it worked. Osvaldo went back to Italy, joining Juventus on loan. But with few league starts and just one league goal — against former club Roma — the bianconeri declined to make the move permanent.

Now Southampton must find a willing buyer. The club paid around $22m just last year, but between Osvaldo’s reputation, the headbutt and his disappointing season, they will be lucky to find a team willing to pay even close to that. Internazionale are interested, but they are holding out for a loan, with the option to buy at the end of the season.

EURO 2016: Ireland shock Germany, Northern Ireland qualify

Shane Long, Ireland
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A recap of Thursday’s action in 2016 European Championship qualifying:

Ireland 1-0 Germany

Southampton striker Shane Long scored the goal that knocked off the defending world champions and pushed Ireland one step closer to next summer’s European Championship in France. Long, who entered the game in the 65th minute, latched onto Darren Randolph‘s ball over the top in the 70th minute, took one touch to settle and fired for the far post, beating Manuel Neuer for the game’s only goal.

With one game still to play, Ireland (18 points) sit third in Group D, level on points with Sunday’s opponent Poland. While the winner of Sunday’s clash could leapfrog Germany (19), they will more likely finish second in the group and qualify automatically. A draw on Sunday could still see both sides qualify automatically through the ranking of third-place finishers (the top third-place finishers from group play earns an automatic berth at EURO 2016).

Northern Ireland 3-1 Greece

Norther Ireland (20 points) topped Greece (3), 3-1 on Thursday to officially book their place at EURO 2016. Steven Davis scored twice and Josh Magennis added the third for Michael O’Neill’s side.

With one game still to play (Sunday, at Finland), Northern Ireland can finish no lower than second. A draw against Finland, or any points dropped by Romania (17) would see Northern Ireland finish top of Group F.

Portugal 1-0 Denmark

Joao Moutinho scored the only goal of the game to secure Portugal’s (18 points from just seven games) place at next summer’s tournament. The defeat sees Denmark remain second in Group I, a point ahead of third-place Albania, who lost to Serbia on Thursday. Having played all eight of their group games, Denmark can go no higher than 12 points, meaning they would fail to qualify if Albania beat Armenia on Sunday. A draw between Albania and Armenia would see Denmark qualify based on tiebreakers.

Elsewhere in EURO 2016 qualifying action

Group D

Scotland 2-2 Poland
Georgia 4-0 Gibraltar

Group F

Hungary 2-1 Faroe Islands
Romania 1-1 Finland

Group I

Albania 0-2 Serbia

Jurgen Klopp announced as new Liverpool manager

Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool FC
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Enough with the speculation and reports already, because it’s finally officially official: Jurgen Klopp has been appointed the newest manager of Liverpool Football Club, the Merseyside club announced on Thursday.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Klopp will be unveiled to the world at an introductory press conference at Anfield on Friday.

According to early reports, Klopp’s three-year contract could pay him as much as $10 million per season.

[ QUOTE KING: Top 10 “Klopp-isms” from his time at Dortmund ]

The 48-year-old German has been out of work since stepping down at Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund following a seventh-place finish to the 2014-15 season. Klopp’s seven seasons in charge of Dortmund weren’t without success and silverware, though, as he led Der BVB to back-to-back league titles in 2011 and 2012, a German Cup triumph in 2012 and a UEFA Champions League final appearance in 2013.

PST’s Joe Prince-Wright will be at Anfield on Friday for Klopp’s unveiling, so be sure to follow JPW on Twitter and check back to PST for wall-to-wall coverage of Klopp’s first press conference as Liverpool manager.