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Nice face a season of struggle


Zlatan Ibrahimovic gun gesture probed

Paris Saint-Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic will appear before a French league disciplinary commission later this month after he mimicked pointing a gun at the Toulouse bench in last weekend’s 2-0 victory.

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The French football authorities are investigating after Ibrahimovic, 32, made the gesture as he was substituted midway through the second half following an altercation with Toulouse defender Abel Aguilar.

Eurosport, citing sources at Toulouse, suggested it had been aimed at defender Jonathan Zebina. The Toulouse substitute and Ibrahimovic had been team-mates at Juventus, where they made headlines for a clash at training.

On Thursday, Toulouse manager Alain Casanova said: "They're not gestures that I like or appreciate on a football pitch.

"Afterwards, it's difficult to explain to children that you shouldn't do these kind of things. I'm convinced that, seeing these images again, even he must regret this gesture."

The French football authorities will also gather evidence about the incident from Toulouse, the assistant referee and the fourth official.

In his latest book, Ibrahimovic wrote that he had hit Zebina after being on the end of a robust tackle.

But the French defender told RMC: "Maybe he needed publicity for his book. He sold lots of them, and that's good for him.

"It's better to say 'I caught him with a good right and he fell to the ground' than 'my fingernail brushed his eye'."

Meanwhile, former Marseille, AC Milan and Bayern Munich striker Jean-Pierre Papin has said he believes Ibrahimovic has changed his style since the arrival of Napoli attacker Edinson Cavani at PSG.

"He’s adapted," he told Le Parisien. "With the presence of Cavani in particular, he's playing more like a playmaker -- and it's a position that suits him very well."

He added that he believed the Sweden captain was managing his game more carefully as he got older, explaining: "Outside of set pieces, he doesn't defend. Other younger players, like Cavani, can do more of the running. Ibra saves all his energy for when his team is on the attack."


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