Silvio Berlusconi says he hasn’t fired Maximiliano Allegri. Yet.

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AC Milan were sent into temporarily turmoil hours ago thanks to a letter read on the television show Il Processo di Biscardi, one in which team owner Silvio Berlusconi was professed to be firing his “coaching staff.” Onlookers took that to include head coach Maximiliano Allegri.

Milan almost immediately denied Allegri had been fired, announcing Berlusconi’s denial. The letter wasn’t from him, nor had any changes been made at the club.

Allegri’s job has been in doubt since a start to the season that saw Milan dwelling near relegation. They’ve rebounded to claim third place, not bad for a team that sold Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva this summer. Still, Berlusconi is understood to want a new coach, with vice president Adriano Galliani left fighting to keep Allegri’s job.

Berlusconi and Allegri are supposed to meet on Wednesday to discuss the coach’s future, but when the Milan owner failed to call in for his appointment tonight on Biscardi, the following letter was read, reportedly on his behalf.

There will be a complete change in the coaching staff. We will also, if necessary, re-organize the club structure.

After the disastrous start to the season, I met with the coach and directors to tell everyone this situation had to be overturned.

I also specified that the team had to step on to the field with a different tactical set-up, as I have a lot of experience in this area.

The results were seen straight away, modesty aside, starting from the comeback to draw 2-2 with Napoli. From the relegation zone we climbed to third place, earned yesterday by the skin of our teeth.

I have already called for tomorrow a complete revamp of the coaching staff and, if it were needed, a more efficient and complete re-organization of the club structure.”

When you know it’s a joke, the letter seems farcical, but given who was purported to have written it, it wasn’t completely implausible. Such the life of Berlusconi: Mockery rests next to truth.

Allegri’s probably going to be fired, and that will likely happen soon. With a scudetto on his record and enough sympathy given Milan’s summer losses, it won’t be long before Allegri will be working in a better less-hectic place.

Report: Newcastle activates $12m release clause of ex-Arsenal youth

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Reports out of Turkey say Newcastle United have finally struck the transfer market for a new No. 10.

[ MORE: West Ham adds Diop ]

Aksam reports that Rafa Benitez got the Magpies hierarchy to activate a near $12 million release clause for Besiktas midfielder Oguzhan Ozyakup.

The 25-year-old was part of Arsenal’s youth set-up until 2012, making two League Cup appearances in 2011-12 before moving to Besiktas.

Dutch-born Ozyakup is 35-times capped with a goal for Turkey, twice captaining the Crescent-Stars.

Ozyakup lost playing time to Talisca this season, and registered just four assists in 24 appearances. In 219 appearances for Besiktas, he’s posted 27 goals with 50 assists.

Like the move for Newcastle?

Lukaku pens inspiring post on hard-scrabble upbringing

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Manchester United and Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku has an inspiring and emotional post in The Players’ Tribune which tugs at the heart strings and explains his competitive fire.

[ MORE: West Ham adds Diop ]

Lukaku talks about how his family’s poverty caused him to become a fierce competitor in the hopes of meeting his dreams head-on and providing for his family.

The Belgian, 25, scored twice in his side’s 3-0 World Cup-opening win over Panama earlier this week, and is now far removed from his youth, but he tells his story as if it lives fresh in his mind.

From The Players’ Tribune:

There were even times when my mum had to “borrow” bread from the bakery down the street. The bakers knew me and my little brother, so they’d let her take a loaf of bread on Monday and pay them back on Friday.

Lukaku also talks about racism in football, his debut for Anderlecht, and that aforementioned competitive drive. It’s 100 percent worth the read.

West Ham signs club record center back from Toulouse

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West Ham has reportedly set a club record with its latest signing under new manager Manuel Pellegrini.

Issa Diop is the player, the 21-year-old Toulouse captain and center back costing the Irons around $29 million.

[ MORE: Arsenal signs Leno ]

Diop scored three goals with an assist and eight yellow cards in 31 Ligue 1 matches this season, giving the young defender 95 apps, six goals, three assists, and 23 yellows since debuting with the senior team at 18.

Capped by France at every level below the senior team, Diop’s 2.2 interceptions per game ranked sixth in Ligue 1.

Toulose finished 18th in Ligue 1, but won its promotion/relegation playoff to stay in the French top flight.

From WHUFC.com:

“I am very happy to sign for such a historic, English club, and I hope to show my best here. I am a very ambitious player and West Ham is a very ambitious club, as we’ve seen with the appointment of the new coach. I hope to help the team win lots of games and make the fans happy.”

Layla’s Occasionally Unbiased Football Show: Episode 3

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In the third episode of Layla’s Occasionally Unbiased Football Show, England pulls out a massive win while VAR finds its way into the World Cup spotlight.

[ LIVE: World Cup scores ] 

There will be plenty more to come over the next few weeks, with the show coming via the Men In Blazers.

Click play on the video above to watch the first episode in full.