Jumat, 30 November 2012

Keane fans flames in Kaka to LA Galaxy rumours

Kaká - Brazil
Robbie Keane has fanned the flames linking Kaka with a move to LA Galaxy, as the MLS club begin their search for a big name to replace the outgoing David Beckham.

The Brazilian playmaker has struggled to find consistent first-team action at Real Madrid, and the MLS Cup finalists would offer a potential outlet should the Real Madrid star seek a transfer.

"If we want to - as a team and an organisation - to push on and be the best that we can, to attract players like Kaka would be brilliant," Robbie Keane has told reporters at a press conference.

Rumours continue to link the 30-year-old away from Santiago Bernabeu. Kaka has largely failed to recapture his AC Milan form which saw him awarded the 2007 Ballon d'Or.

"Someone like Kaka was only voted one of the best players in the world a few years ago," Keane said. "We welcome anyone with his stature and his ability to the Galaxy, but ultimately it's down to the boss."

The 'boss' - AEG president Tim Leiweke - agrees with the Republic of Ireland international. The man who brought Beckham to Los Angeles is now batting his eyelashes at Kaka, and doing so publicly.

Kaka has frequently talked of his admiration of the United States. His brother, Digao, plays for the New York Red Bulls, and the best man at his wedding, Marcelo Saragosa, is at DC United.

"We're well aware of Kaka's interest in MLS, and we in turn have made it very clear to him that he's aware of our interest in him," Leiweke told Sports Illustrated.

"We have a great relationship with Real Madrid, and just as we worked through a player with them six years ago [Beckham], I'm absolutely convinced we could find the right deal this time, too."

Ramon Diaz: I am the greatest coach in the history of River Plate

Ramón Díaz y Daniel Passarella
River Plate coach Ramon Diaz has vowed to do everything possible to bring Los Millonarios back to the top of Argentine football.

The experienced trainer replaced Matias Almeyda on Thursday, and will officially start his work at the club next week.

Diaz previously coached River Plate from 1995 to 2000 and from 2001 to 2002, winning five league titles, a Copa Libertadores and a Supercopa Sudamericana, and is determined to bring success back to the club after seeing them relegated from the top division in 2011.

"I'm the greatest manager in the history of River Plate. Nobody can change that," the coach said at a press conference.

"We have to change things around and rediscover our winning mentality. I am a soldier of River Plate. There is no doubt River Plate would have never been relegated if I was in charge.

"I would have come to work and taken River Plate out of the Sec ond Division if they asked me. But they didn't call me."

River Plate find themselves in ninth place in the league table with two rounds of games to go.

Villas-Boas hits back as Modric looks to lure Bale to Madrid

EPL : Gareth Bale - Luka Modric, Wigan Athletic v Tottenham
Andre Villas-Boas has blasted former Tottenham midfielder Luka Modric after the Croatian called on ex-team-mate Gareth Bale to join him to Real Madrid.

The 27-year-old revealed that he had spoken to Bale about his desire to one day win the Champions League, and insisted the Welshman's presence at the Bernabeu would make Los Blancos "unstoppable".

Modric's comments prompted a response from Villas-Boas on Friday, with the Portuguese insisting the ex-Spurs man should focus on his commitments in La Liga instead of Bale's future at White Hart Lane.

The 35-year-old said: I think Modric should focus more on his club than ours.

He has to worry about Reals game against Atletico Madrid and about getting in to the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

Obviously Modric is aware of Gareths performances because of his love for Tottenham and the fact that he is very connected with him and this football club, but its completely impossible.

Lucas Moura wants to win 'everything' with Paris Saint-Germain

Lucas Moura - Brazil
Current Sao Paulo midfielder Lucas Moura is looking forward to his move to Paris Saint-Germain in January and has revealed his aim is to win "everything" with the French giants.

The Brazil international agreed a reported 45 million switch to Parc des Princes in August where he will link up with fellow compatriots Thiago Silva, Alex and Maxwell.

Speaking ahead of his move in two months time, Lucas Moura has pledged to be committed and determined for his new club, who have spent big in the last couple of years in their aim to become one of Europe's best.

"Supporters of PSG, before long I will be with you and you can be sure I will give everything," he was quoted as saying by France Football.

"I will not lose the desire and determination to win because when I am on the field, I am there to win. I hope that together we can win everything and become champi ons. Together, let's go and win."

Lucas Moura arrival could be a boost for Carlo Ancelotti's side, who in recent weeks have lost their place at the top of Ligue 1, though they have secured qualification into the last 16 of the Champions League.

Kamis, 29 November 2012

Kaka wants to stay in Europe, says father

Kaka's father and agent has refuted reports that the Real Madrid star could be set for a January move outside of Europe.

The Brazilian continues to be on the outer at Santiago Bernabeu, and, in the past week, Spanish daily Marca reported that Madrid are keen to offload him in order to free up money needed to fund a contractual renewal for Cristiano Ronaldo.

Kaka was rumoured with a return to AC Milan in the past summer, however, it is Brazilian side Corinthians that are said to now be interested in his services along with New York Red Bulls.

However, Bosco Leite says there are no negotiations under way and that his son's preference is to continue playing in Europe.

"I don't know about that," Leite told Lancenet in response to the rumours.

"For now, as it stands now, he wants to stay in Europe. That migh t change but today, I don't know. Corinthians were never mentioned. And Corinthians themselves never said anything either."

Kaka has made just five appearances for Real Madrid in the Primera Division so far this season and has started only one match.

Defoe wants to finish career Tottenham

Jermain Defoe
Jermain Defoe has dismissed speculation linking him with a move away from Tottenham, insisting he wants to see out the rest of his career at White Hart Lane.

Former Spurs boss Harry Redknapp has reportedly been hoping to make the 30-year-old one of his first January signings after taking over at QPR.

However, with 10 goals to his name already this season, Defoe is currently enjoying some of the best form of his Tottenham career, and has no intention of leaving the club now.

"That's not going to happen. I'm not leaving Tottenham, I love the club and to score goals at a big club like this is fantastic," Defoe told Sky Sports News.

"If the opportunity comes to leave the club it won't be happening. I don't want to leave, I'm a Spurs player, and I'm happy. I'd like to finish my career at Tottenham. I want to achieve something special here - it's a great time to be at the club."

Wednesday's 2-1 victory over Liv erpool put Spurs within touching distance of the top four, and Defoe believes that the result gives them something to build on in the search for Champions League football.

"I thought the performance against Liverpool was great. It was a massive win," he added.

"Character is key and the lads who've come in have been fantastic. With the quality we've got it's important to go on a run and we're capable of doing that."

The striker also had some kind words for Andre Villas-Boas, who has endured a difficult relationship with Spurs supporters since taking over in the summer.

"It's difficult for any manager - when you come in you've got different ideas," said Defoe.

"It wasn't the best at Chelsea but that happens. It's part of life and being a manager, but he's a fantastic manager and been fantastic for me.

"There's always a different approach each game and he's such a nice guy. All the lads want to fight and win for him. I'm just enjoying the journey and I'm sure he is as well."

Lucio: I am unhappy at Juventus

Lucio - Juventus
Lucio has voiced his dismay with his current situation at Juventus and has admitted he could leave the club if he does not get regular first team action.

The Brazilian defender, 34, joined Juve on a free transfer this summer after he was released by Inter, but he has been unable to make an impact at the Turin powerhouse so far, and Wolfsburg are believed to be keen to lure him back to the Bundesliga.

"I am unhappy at the moment because I don't play much at Juventus," the centre-back told Sport Bild.

"A return to the Bundesliga is a serious option. Things are organised very well in Germany. The league is on the rise and some good football is being played there.

"Wolfsburg are a team with big plans for the future. The club is well run. VfL would definitely be an option for me."

Lucio has a contract with Juventus until June 2014.

Beckham refuses to rule out Premier League return

David Beckham - Los Angeles Galaxy

LA Galaxy midfielder David Beckham has refused to rule out a return to the Premier League after leaving the MLS side next month, admitting he has "options on the table".

The former England captain is set to bring an end to his six-year stay in America with his final appearance for the club as they seek to defend their crown in the MLS Cup final on December 1.

And, despite his past affiliation with Manchester United, Beckham has hinted at the possibility of moving to another top flight English club with West Ham revealing their interest - despite admitting that it is unlikely.

"I'm lucky. At the age of 37 I've been offered some quite exciting options and there are a few options on the table," Beckham told reporters.

"I always said I'd struggle to come back and play in England because I've played for the biggest club in the world and biggest club in England - Manchester United.

"So I couldn't see mysel f playing for any other Premier League club, but you never know. I've got options on the table.

"I do think I'll be spending more time in England though and it's good for our kids to see their grandparents.

"Over the last six years it's been difficult not seeing them as much as we'd like and they'd like, but we definitely won't be leaving LA for good."

French outfit Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly also interested in pursuing Beckham, while new QPR boss Harry Redknapp remains an admirer with the pair having worked brief together last January while the midfielder trained at Tottenham.

He added: "What I am touched about is that I've got great managers - Harry and Ancelotti saying great things about me.

"Not saying they would like to sign me but saying nice things about me. It's nice to see them talking about me in such a nice way."

Falcao wants to play in another league, admits Atletico president

Falcao García
Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo is aware of star player Radamel Falcao's desire to play in another league at some point, but is confident of holding on to the prolific striker for the foreseeable future.

The Colombia international has been constantly linked with a move away from the club, and Chelsea have already opened informal talks to sign the attacker, as Goal.com exclusively revealed earlier this month.

"He tells me he is very happy here and that he wants to honour his contract but one day, we don't know when, he would like to try out another league," he told Cuatro.

"I know that day will come, but it won't be anytime soon. I can say that he has told me personally that he loves being at this club.

"He is the best No.9 in the world at the moment. He is also a lovely, kind guy, and he never loses his temper."

Falcao's contract with Atletico runs until June 2016.

Rabu, 28 November 2012

Crystal Palace rule out January move for Zaha amid Arsenal & Manchester United interest

Wilfred Zaha,Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish has insisted that Wilfried Zaha will be staying at Selhurst Park until the end of the season.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger confirmed on Tuesday that the highly rated England international is among the targets being considered by the north London club, while Goal.com exclusively revealed Manchester United's interest earlier in November.

However, Parish has confirmed that the Championship side are yet to receive any bids for Zaha and, while the club would look at any offer made, the Eagles currently have no intention of selling their star assest.

He will definitely be playing at Crystal Palace after January," Parish told talkSPORT. "Why would we sell him? What would we achieve by selling him?

"Weve been speaking this week with [Zahas] representatives. Right now were focused on getting out of this division.

"Nobody has contacted me from any of the clubs who are suppose dly interested in him. We will have to cross that bridge when we come to it.

"I want all our players straining as hard as they possibly can to get us into the Premier League and for them to achieve all their ambitions with us, so it is not a deal I would particularly favour.

"But, if something was put in front of us and we spoke to the player and he wanted to go we would have to consider it. But right now were just focused on keeping the squad together."

Parish firmly believes that Zaha is destined for a career at the top, and says Palace are currently only focused on winning promotion to the Premier League and will look to hold on to the 20-year-old for as long as possible.

"When deals are put in front of us we will look at them but at the moment our main aim is getting out of this division," Parish added.

"Thats what we want to do and thats what weve got an academy for. So that we can develop players and local players and punch above our weight if you like. Thats what were trying to do and thats all were focused on.

"Wilf will play in the Premier League. We all know that. He will play for a top side in the Premier League.

"I probably wont be able to develop the club as fast as he will develop his career, but wed like to think that his first chance in his Premier League playing career could possibly be with us so thats what were going to aim for."

River Plate coach Matias Almeyda leaves his role by mutual consent

Matías Almeyda, River, Torneo Inicial 2012
Matias Almeyda has confirmed he will leave his role as coach of River Plate following a meeting with club President Daniel Passarella on Wednesday.

The 38-year-old oversaw the club's immediate return to the top flight after their relegation in 2011, but their current league position of ninth with two rounds of games left has apparently forced the club's management to act and show their trainer the door.

"My time as a River Plate coach is over," Almeyda told a press conference following training on Thursday.

"I've left a big part of me in this club during the last few months. I'm spent.

"I'm not going to throw a smoke bomb by saying bad things about anybody. I'm not one of those people who set fire to the place before leaving," he said.

"River Plate are bigger than any of u s and from now on, I'll be the first to support them."

Although Almeyda stopped short of apportioning blame to anyone for the disappointing campaign, he disclosed his clear disgust for unnamed senior figures within Argentine football.

"I have met with Juan Sebastian Veron and we've got a lot of great ideas to improve the overall state of Argentine football. We have to help each other out and we have to take the masks off the hypocrites that hurt our game."

Fluminense's Wallace confirms imminent Chelsea move

Wallace - Fluminense

Fluminense right-back Wallace has revealed that a move to Champions League holders Chelsea is imminent.

The 18-year-old has been linked with a move to Stamford Bridge for some time after the club reportedly agreed a first-refusal deal with his club and with other sides interested, Chelsea appear to have got their man.

Juventus and Napoli had been touted as possible destinations for the attack minded full-back, but the strong presence of Brazilians at Stamford Bridge seems to have had an influence on his impending move.

Speaking to Fox Sports Brasil, Wallace said: "It's always helpful having Brazilian team-mates playing alongside you, as they normally are settled down, so they can give you some advice and this is important, even regarding language.

"Now that I'm moving to London I'll have to learn some English but they are used to this and they will surely help me a lot.

"I used to follow the Spanish league and its bi g clubs like Real Madrid but now as I'm moving to Chelsea I'm following the club more closely, especially after the Champions League title.

"I watch Chelsea games whenever I can, sometimes I can't watch because I'm playing or concentrated with my team, but I don't miss a chance to see them playing on TV."

'Ronaldo & Bale combining would be amazing for Real Madrid' - Southall

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By James McManus

Former Everton goalkeeper Neville Southall has stated his belief that Tottenham winger Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit for Real Madrid, should he decide to move there in the future.

As exclusively revealed by Goal.com, Bale is ready to test himself abroad and tell Tottenham he wants to move to Madrid and Southall believes he would slot in well at the club alongside Cristiano Ronaldo.

"Well if you had Cristiano Ronaldo on the right wing and Bale on the left wing that would be some team for Real Madrid, wouldn't it?" Southall exclusively told Goal.com.

"Hopefully though he'll just stay in Britain, and Welsh players tend to stay at home a lot, at your Manchester United's and Man City's, that would probably be better [for him]."

On the topic of whether Bale will be able to secure a move to La Liga in the near future, Southall argued that he needs to remain patient for the time being, even if he agreed that eventually a time will come when he will need to seek a move to a bigger club.

"That's a tough one to answer but I think eventually Gareth will leave Tottenham," he added.

"How much they need the money and how close they come to winning anything, that might be the only reason Gareth would consider leaving Tottenham, because he wants to start winning things.

"He might actually prefer to stay in Britain, whether that be Manchester United or Manchester City, which is obviously closer to Cardiff than Barcelona and Real Madrid, and we know that he's a home boy."

After an indifferent start to the new campaign for Andre Villas-Boas' side, though, many have questioned whether Bale is good enough to make the step up of playing for one of the biggest clubs in the world, but the 52-year-old has no doubt that he is capable of making the grade at either Rea l Madrid or Barcelona.

He added: "Yes, he's been playing at that level already and when you play with better players it becomes easier to perform.

"It's always easier to play with good players than bad players, and I speak from experience, because you don't know what they're going to do.

"He's got that bit of pace that he could add to Barcelona and he'd be quality for them, but it's just if he wants to go there."

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AC Milan to make request for 15-year-old Mastour to play in Serie A

Hachim Mastour - Milan
By Elijah Raimondo

AC Milan are set to make a special request to allow talented youngster Hachim Mastour to play in Serie A aged just 15.

Under current rules, no player under the age of 16 can play in Italy's top flight, but the Rossoneri are eager to add some creativity to their ranks before the end of the season.

The Italian, who is of Moroccan descent, reaches that age on June 15, 2013, but he has impressed coach Massimiliano Allegri with his exploits in Filippo Inzaghi'sAllievi Nazionali team.

Club CEO Adriano Galliani, with the backing of president Silvio Berlusconi, is now set to go to the authorities to ask that Mastour be allowed to represent the first team before coming of age.

Meanwhile, Milan are also weighing up a move for Javier Pastore, who has found himself on the Paris Saint-Germain bench in recent weeks, with the 2011 Serie A champions considering a swoop for him.

Another target could be Wesley Sneijder, who has been frozen out of the Inter first team squad until negotiations over his contract are concluded.

A move to either Schalke or Anzhi Makhachkala does not look likely for the former Ajax man, and Berlusconi believes that a bid of 12 million would convince the Nerazzurri to part with him.

Milan's 1-0 win over Juventus at San Siro on Sunday saw them rise to ninth place in the Serie A table.

Selasa, 27 November 2012

Liverpool have a bit of money to spend in January, confirms Rodgers

Brendan Rodgers,Liverpool

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has confirmed that the club has "a bit of money to spend" in the January transfer window and he is hoping to bring in "one or two" players on loan.

The Reds have been linked with moves for host of players including striking duo Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Daniel Sturridge, with Luis Suarez the clubs only established fully fit forward.

However, Rodgers has conceded that are not many names under consideration, he is hoping to boost his reinforce his squad.

Rodgers told talkSPORT: "The squad has been ultra-thin right the way through. There will be some money available.

"There have been a million names linked to the club and the brutal honesty of it is that ninety nine per cent of those we havent been thinking about.

"But there will be a bit of money to spend and hopefully we can get one or two loans in, if thats possible, to reinforce the group."

The 39-year-old also bel ieves his side are heading in the right direction after extending their unbeaten Premier League run to eight games with the 0-0 draw against Swansea City on Sunday.

He added: "I think we are on the up and improving all the time.

"It was obviously very difficult at the beginning with tough games and trying to implement new ideas. Its difficult when you are playing against some of the big sides and established sides.

"The application of the players has been outstanding. They have been superb in terms of wanting to learn, wanting to improve and wanting to work."

Strootmans agent confirms Manchester United interest

Kevin Strootman (PSV)

Manchester United have enquired about the availability of PSV midfielder Kevin Strootman, according to the players agent.

The Netherlands international has been linked with a big-money move to Old Trafford as Sir Alex Ferguson looks to bolster his midfield options, with speculation suggesting a deal could be in place for January.

The 22-year-olds representatives Chiel Dekker confirmed the Premier League sides interest and revealed his client has targeted a move to England next summer.

Dekker told talkSPORT: All the top clubs in Europe know about Kevin, but a move to England next summer is his first priority and, yes, Manchester United and other big clubs in Europe have been in touch with me.

The ex-Sparta Rotterdam man recently confirmed that he has discussed possible moves with Dekker, but is currently happy to remain at PSV.

Strootman has made 20 appearances for the Dutch outfit so far this season - scoring six goals and grabbing three assists.

Walcott and Sagna left out of 2013 Arsenal calendar

Theo Walcott
Arsenal duo Theo Walcott and Bacary Sagna have not been included in the clubs official 2013 calendar, fuelling speculation over the pair's long-term futures.

The omission of the duo - which features a different first-team player for each month - could be seen as a sign that neither of their futures lie at the Emirates.

Walcotts contract is currently set to expire next summer, with the England international being linked with a move to Premier League rivals Manchester City and Liverpool, and is able to speak to foreign clubs over a free transfer for the end of the season in January.

The 23-year-old has been in superb form for his side this season - grabbing nine goals and four assists from his 15 appearances in all competitions.

Right-back Sagnas future is also in doubt, with the France international thought to be interesting Inter, while deputy Carl Jenkinson impressed boss Arsene Wenger at the start of the season.

Sagna suffering a broken leg at the end of last term, and has since made six appearances for the club after returning to match fitness.

Strootman: I am happy to remain at PSV

Kevin Strootman, Netherlands - Turkey
Netherlands international Kevin Strootman has all but ruled out quitting PSV in the January transfer window amid reported interest from Manchester United and a host of Serie A sides.

The 22-year-old midfielder has been in fine form in the opening months of the 2012-13 campaign and several foreign clubs are keeping tabs on him.

Nevertheless, Strootman is in no rush to leave the Eredivisie leaders and is happy to stay put for the foreseeable future.

"A move abroad in the winter transfer window is by no means ideal. That would only give you two weeks to adapt to your new surroundings. If a club really wants me, they will return in the summer," Strootman told NUsport.

"And it's not like I want to leave PSV at all costs in the summer. We will hopefully play in the Champions League again next season.

"Of course, I have ambition and I occasionally discuss certain clubs with my agent Chiel Dekker, but a transfer' s not on my mind all the time. I am happy at PSV and want to win the league title here first.

The former Sparta Rotterdam star has a contract with PSV until June 2016.

Juventus determined to hold on to De Ceglie amid AC Milan interest

Paolo De Ceglie - Juventus
By Romeo Agresti

Juventus have no intention of selling Paolo De Ceglie in the January transfer window amid interest from AC Milan, Goal.com can reveal.

The Rossoneri are looking to add a new left-back to their squad, and the 26-year-old is one of the candidates to strengthen the San Siro side.

However, a winter transfer seems to be out of the question as Juve are determined to hold on to the former Italy Under-21 international.

De Ceglie has been struggling to secure regular first team action this term due to the stiff competition from Kwadwo Asamoah down the left, and has made only six official appearances so far.

But the Ghana international is set to play in the African Cup of Nations in January 2013, and De Ceglie is likely to get more playing time during Asamoah's absence.

De Ceglie is a product of the club's youth academy, and has a contract with the Bianconeri until June 2017.

De Jong wants ex-Manchester City team-mate Balotelli to join AC Milan

NIgel de Jong - AC Milan
Nigel de Jong has hailed Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli, with recent reports linking the striker with a move to AC Milan.

The Italy international has struggled to hold down a place in Roberto Mancini's side this season, and is also interesting Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain.

Despite a disappointing campaign so far, one bright spot for the Rossoneri has been Stephan El Shaarawy, with the 20-year-old leading the Serie A scoring charts, but De Jong believes the two Italian strikers are not comparable.

"I have read about Mario coming to Milan in the papers," De Jong told Tuttosport. "Let's see what happens. It is always nice to have great players in the team.

"It is difficult to make comparisons, everyone has his own talent and his features. Stephan is currently one of the biggest talents in the world, he is playing at the highest level and he is just 20.

"You don't have to be crazy - an d he isn't - to be a great player. Balotelli is great but he must feel good to do his best."

The Netherlands international admitted that he initially found it hard to adapt to life in Italy, but maintains he is happy to stay, but took a swipe at Serie A supporters after playing in stadiums with few fans in.

"It took me longer than I expected to settle here but I've only been here for two months," De Jong added.

"Every game I try to do better. Everything is new for me here, the coach is looking for the best game plan and I have to adapt. Recent results show that we are on the right track with the 4-3-3.

"I like Italian football even if the stadiums are empty."

Senin, 26 November 2012

Bendtner was the cheap option, reveals Marotta

Nicklas Bendtner - Juventus
Juventus general director Giuseppe Marotta has revealed that the reason for signing Nicklas Bendtner was because he was the cheap option.

The 24-year old arrived on a loan deal from Arsenal on the last day of the summer transfer window, but has failed to establish himself in the starting line-up, causing questions to be asked by the club's fans.

And Marotta has now revealed the reasons behind the move.

"Each deal needs economical reasoning before happening," he explained to Rai Sport.

"We were not able to make a big money signing last summer but we wanted another striker in case we suffered from a lot of injuries or suspensions, which is the reason we chose to sign Bendtner on loan."

The Denmark international is yet to score for Juve in his seven appearances, and explained his feelings regarding being behind Mirko Vucinic and Sebastian Giovinco in the pecking order.

"I am not in charge and I think [Antonio] Conte is a great coach," he said.

"Whoever he puts in the team it is up to him, and I respect that. It is right that Conte makes his own choice but I believe that I am a game-changer and I want to play."

Juventus currently sit top of Serie A with 32 points from 14 games, two points ahead of Napoli in second place.

Robinho not leaving AC Milan, says Galliani

Robinho - Milan-Juventus - Serie A
AC Milan CEO Adriano Galliani has dismissed reports that Robinho could leave the club for Santos in the January transfer window.

The Brazil international is continually being linked with a move away from the Serie A giants, but Galliani has made it clear the forward will not return to his native country this winter.

"Robinho will remain at Milan," Galliani told reporters in the wake of the Rossoneri's 1-0 win over Juventus.

The 28-year-old has been struggling to find his best form this season, and his goal against Juve was his first of the 2012-13 campaign.

Meanwhile, Galliani revealed that Milan will probably make Kevin Constant's stay at the club permanent.

"He [Constant] will probably be signed permanently," he added.

The 25-year-old joined the San Siro side on a season-long loan deal from Genoa in the summer transfer window, and has since become an integral first team member at the club.

Manchester City must pay more than 9m (11m) for Halilovic, insists Dinamo Zagreb sporting director

Alen Halilovic goal

Dinamo Zagreb sporting director Zoran Mamic has insisted no deal has been reached withManchester City for the sale of Alen Halilovic and says the Premier League champions will have to pay more than the widely reported fee of 9 million (11m).

Halilovic who has been dubbed the Balkan Messi is the latest graduate from an academy which has previously produced stars such as Luka Modric, Vedran Corluka and Niko Kranjcar.

But, in the wake of reports that the 16-year-old could be set for a move to the Etihad Stadium, Mamic joked that City would be lucky to get one of the wonderkids legs for the 9m (11m) fee currently being touted.

There's no deal [with Manchester City], he told Croatian newspaper sportske.jutarnji.hr.

We cannot talk about something that hasn't happened yet. But the figure that is mentioned in the English media [11 million] - for that kind of money we wouldn't even sell his left leg!

Halilovic became the youngest-ever player to debut in the Croatian top-flight when he made an appearance from the substitutes bench during his sides 3-1 victory over bitter rivals Hajduk Split in September.

A mere 10 days later, he broke another record to become the youngest-ever goalscorer in the league with a glorious chip in a 4-1 win against Slaven Belupo.

Manchester City look to offload Guidetti in Bolton loan move

John Guidetti, Feyenoord
By Greg Stobart

Manchester City are hoping to offload Swedish striker John Guidetti on loan to Bolton Wanderers in January as he recovers from a mystery virus that threatened to ruin his career this summer.

The 20-year-old was struck down with food poisoning after eating contaminated chicken prior to Euro 2012 and the illness attacked his central nervous system, leaving his right leg paralysed after a phenomenal loan spell with Feyenoord last season.

However, Guidetti has impressed City's medical staff after doing gym work in recent weeks and the club will assess whether he will be fit enough to go out on loan in the New Year to continue his rehabilitation.

Speaking about his recovery in October, Guidetti said: "It's going well - I can run, I can shoot, I can pass, so I am definitely getting there, but we have to be a bit more patient and of course I want to get out there every day, it's what I long for."

The young forward is regarded highly at City, and was rewarded with a three-year contract renewal in October amid reported interest from a number of clubs, including Bayern Munich and QPR.

Bolton have been highlighted by City as the ideal club for Guidetti to ease his way back in to first-team contention, with Dedryck Boyata and Vladimir Weiss having previously moved to the Reebok Stadium on a temporary basis from the Etihad.

Guidetti scored 20 goals in 23 games during his loan spell in Rotterdam last term, and was widely tipped as the ideal partner for Zlatan Ibrahimovic in Sweden's Euro 2012 squad before coming down with the illness in April.

Feyenoord had attempted to renew the Swede's loan during the summer, but Roberto Mancini was keen to test the youngster in England, while Guidetti has made clear that he wants regular first-team football to continue his development.

Minggu, 25 November 2012

'I only have a three-year deal at PSG' - Ibrahimovic drops exit hint

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic has distanced himself from the captaincy at Paris Saint-Germain, saying that the role should be filled by someone with a long-term commitment to the club.

The prolific forward has made moves to numerous clubs during the course of his career, and hinted that his time in the French capital could come to an end in 2015, when his current deal expires.

"You know what you get from me. I've been like this for many years and when a club buys me they know what they're getting," he told Le Parisien.

"But the captaincy? No. The captain is one for the future, to be here for many years. I only have a three-year contract."

Ibrahimovic went on to say that he hoped his side's current crisis did not come to an end when they beat Troyes 4-0 on Saturday, due to the way they responded to the poor one of results.

"Is this the end of the crisis? No. It's good to be in crisis because that's when you play well ," he continued.

"I think it was important today after losing the last game to come back strong and send out a message to everyone. We want this."

Since making the move to Ligue 1 in the summer, Ibrahimovic has scored 14 goals in all competitions.

Redknapp refuses to rule out QPR move for Beckham

David Beckham - LA Galaxy
QPR manager Harry Redknapp has refused to rule out a move for David Beckham stating that the LA Galaxy midfielder would be "a great asset to anyone".

Beckham has announced recently his decision to leave the MLS side in December to seek "one last challenge" before bringing his glittering career to an end.

The announcement has led to intense speculation about his future, and Redknapp feels the mere presence of Beckham, England's most capped outfield player with 115 caps, would be a massive boost to his struggling side.

"David could still be a great asset to anyone. Just having him round the place, showing people how to train and look after yourself. His professionalism is second to none," he told BBC Sport.

"He's a top fantastic player. "We had him training at Tottenham and it was amazing to have him round the place. He is absolute class."

QPR remain bottom of the Premier League, without a win so far this s eason, and the former Tottenham manager, says they need to start picking up points straight away.

"We've got to get cracking pretty quickly," he said, immediately before taking his first training session in west London on Sunday.

"The target is [to finish the season] fourth from bottom.

"We've just got to get out of trouble. We've got to try and survive. Four points from 13 games makes it difficult but we've got to do it."

Spartak sack Emery after derby thrashing

Unai Emery - Valencia
Spartak Moscow have sacked coach Unai Emery just six months after the Spaniard was put in charge of the Russian side.

The former Valencia boss has not had the best of times at the capital club, who currently sit in sixth place in the Premier League after 17 games, outside the European places.

They suffered a 3-0 home defeat to Barcelona in midweek, leaving them in fourth place in their Champions League group and eliminated from European competition.

That was followed up with a crushing 5-1 loss to local rivals Dinamo Moscow on Sunday, and general director Valery Karpin confirmed Emery's dismissal at the post-match press conference.

"I have one announcement. It has been decided by shareholders of the club that Emery will no longer coach Spartak," he revealed.

"What happens next will all be announced tomorrow [Monday] or the day after."

However, when questioned on whether he would take control of the tea m once more, Karpin simply replied: "No idea."

Mancini: Manchester City wanted to sign Torres but price was too high

UEFA Champions League, Juventus v Chelsea, Fernando Torres
Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has revealed his club almost bought Fernando Torres two years ago, but the fee became too high and the forward moved to Chelsea instead for 50 million.

The 28-year-old has failed to consistently reproduce his best form at Stamford Bridge since moving from Anfield in January last year, with former Blues boss Roberto Di Matteo dropping him for the 3-0 Champions League defeat to Juventus.

But despite his lack of goals, Mancini believes the striker is "always dangerous", and after linking up with former Reds boss Rafael Benitez, thinks the striker's "difficult moment" could be over.

"Two years ago we had a chance of signing Torres but after the price became too high we decided on other players," he told reporters.

Torres scored 81 in 142 appearances at Anfield, but has only hit 19 in 87 games since making his big-money move to the Champions League winners.

Mancini spok e of the failed move ahead of the City's clash with Chelsea on Sunday afternoon, and insists his players should be right to fear the Spaniard's talents if they are to take the points away from Stamford Bridge.

"He's a good player. Every striker can have a difficult moment but for me he is always dangerous," he added.

Sabtu, 24 November 2012

Ancelotti: Pato fits Paris Saint-Germain profile

Friendly PSG - Milan, Ancelotti whispers at Pato's ear
Carlo Ancelotti has fuelled speculation that Paris Saint-Germain could revive their interest in Alexandre Pato by claiming that the AC Milan forward fits their criteria.

The Brazil international was believed to be close to completing a 35 million transfer to the Parc des Princes in January but eventually decided against making the move. However, rumours linking the two parties have resurfaced following reports that the 23-year-old is unhappy with life at the Serie A side.

In response to recent speculation, Ancelotti - who coached the striker at the Rossoneri between 2007 and 2009 - described the South American as a player who matches PSG's profile, but insisted that there is nothing wrong with their current crop of attackers.

"He did not call me, I'm not his friend and he was only my player [at Milan], but Pato has the profile to play for PSG," the coach told RTL.

"He is a fan tastic goalscorer, but we cannot sign all the strikers in the world. We have very good players for the position, such as [Jeremy] Menez, [Ezequiel] Lavezzi and [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic."

Ancelotti's side romped to a 4-0 victory over Troyes on Saturday, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic's 200th and 201st league goals and strikes from Blaise Matuidi and Maxwell proving enough to end a run of three Ligue 1 matches without a win.

"We played intelligently," he added. "You do not want to use too much energy. We travelled to Ukraine on Wednesday so it was hard to recover.

"Our attacking strategy was very well executed. In the second half we found space and took advantage of it.

"[Replacing] Pastore was a tactical choice. I thought Nene could make more use of the spaces. Ibra is a very important player.

"He is one of the best strikers in the world. Regarding Matuidi, he managed to hit a high level of performance, which i s what we've come to expect from him."

Following last weekend's 2-1 defeat to Rennes, the Italian admitted that his team were in a midst of a crisis, but despite the emphatic manner of their success this time around he is remaining coy on any immediate recovery.

"I think we should wait," Ancelotti noted. "You must understand that when you try to build a strong team, sometimes you can lose.

"We are not yet strong enough to be a team that plays with continuity. But this week, the team reacted very well.

"They scored six goals, without conceding, and we qualified for the Champions League knockout stages. Over six days, that's a lot."

Feyenoord starlet Clasie on Juventus radar

Jordy Clasie and Arda Turan, Netherlands - Turkey
By Romeo Agresti

Netherlands international Jordy Clasie has attracted the interest of Juventus with his good performances for Feyenoord, Goal.com can reveal.

The Serie A champions are continually looking to strengthen their squad, and they see the 21-year-old as a valuable addition to their midfield on the long term.

Clasie is a product of the Feyenoord youth academy, and has developed into a key player at the Rotterdam giants since his return from a one-year loan spell at Excelsior in the summer of 2011.

The midfielder, who has been likened to Barcelona star Xavi because of his tender physique and playing style, has previously been linked with clubs such as AC Milan, Roma and Tottenham, and Juventus have now added him to their wishlist as well after scouting him on a number of occasions.

Nevertheless, Clasie will not be available on the cheap as he has a contract w ith Feyenoord until the summer of 2015, and his current club have no intention to sell him anytime soon.

A transfer in the January window therefore seems out of the question, but Juventus will continue to monitor Clasie's development, and could make their move at the end of the 2012-13 campaign.

Bale reiterates desire to move overseas amid interest from Real Madrid

Gareth Bale of Tottenham Hotspur FC profile pic

Tottenham winger Gareth Bale has reiterated his ambition to play overseas following further speculation linking him with a move to Real Madrid.

Goal.com exclusively revealed on Thursday that the Welsh winger has told Daniel Levy about his intention to leave White Hart Lane for a move to Real Madrid, if the Spanish side met Spurs' 50 million asking price.

The former Southampton player insists that he is not afraid to test himself somewhere other than the Premier League.

"It would be nice to experience other leagues and other cultures", he told theDaily Mirror. "I have always said I am not afraid to go abroad.

"If the time comes and a team that is right comes in for me, then I will look at it seriously. I will see what happens."

The Spurs midfielder also believes that he can avoid the problems faced by British players overseas in the past, reasoning: "As long as you don't get to o carried away, you are usually okay. You just go along with what is going along. You never really take too much notice.

"As soon as you realise how big you are, that is when you lose yourself.

"I just try to keep going. You just have to take the attention in your stride. The main thing is to concentrate on my football.

My agent [Jonathan Barnett] has been great - we have been very close - and my family help me keep my feet on the ground. I have got a great group around me which helps me a great deal."

Paris Saint-Germain consider world-record 123m bid for Cristiano Ronaldo

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By Greg Stobart

Paris Saint-Germainare considering a sensational world record 100 million (123m) bid forReal Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo, Goal.com can reveal.

The French club's Qatari owners believe that they can convince the Portuguese forward to move to the Parc des Princes next summer and are also keen on his team-mate, French defender Raphael Varane.

While Madrid will resist any move for Ronaldo and hope that the 27-year-old will commit to a new contract, PSG are willing to shatter the current 80m (100m) world-record deal paid to Manchester United to sign the same player in 2009.

The prohibitive tax rate in France would be an obstacle to any move and the Qatar Investment Authority would have to pay Ronaldo a salary worth more than 400,000-a-week (510,000) to complete a move.

Carlo Ancelotti, the PSG manager, hopes that the Portugal international will be tempte d by the idea of moving to Paris after suggesting that he is unhappy with his current situation at Madrid.

Ronaldo is top of the shortlist with Lionel Messi for this year's Ballon d'Or, having scored a remarkable 165 goals in 163 appearances for the La Liga champions.

PSG's billionaire owners have made their mark on the transfer market since buying the club in 2011, signing the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silva, Javier Pastore and Lucas Moura.

They are understood to have told potential new signings - which include Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli - of their intention to make a bid for Ronaldo, although no formal contact has been made at this stage.

PSG are showing few signs of a willingness to comply with Uefa's Financial Fair Play rules but are also considering moving to the 80,000-seater Stade de France stadium in the French capital as their global superstars attract swelling crowds.

Ronald o's future may well be intertwined with that of Madrid coach Jose Mourinho, with whom he shares agent Jorge Mendes.

Goal.com revealed in March that Premier League champions City have been in contact with Ronaldo's camp over a potential move and continue to monitor the situation.

Follow Greg Stobart on

Zenden 'proud' of Benitez's assistant manager offer at Chelsea

Chelsea's new assistant manager Boudewijn Zenden described the opportunity to work with Rafael Benitez as an "unbelievable chance".

Zenden, who played under the Spaniard at Liverpool back in 2005, will experience his first taste of football from the sidelines at the weekend having held no previous managerial role prior to linking up with the Blues on Thursday.

Yet despite his relative inexperience, the 36-year-old insisted that when the call came from Benitez, he was more than willing to accept the challenge.

"He [Benitez] called me on Wednesday and said: 'Be sure you're in London before 13:00 tomorrow because we're going to work at Chelsea' and then hung up on me,'" he told De Telegraaf.

"This is an unbelievable chance to work on the highest level possible. I could get used to a job as trainer.

"If Rafa, with whom I worked for two years, speaks very positively about you and gives you this c hance, you have to be very proud.

"If he wanted information about a player, he always called me. I have been at many clubs and know a lot of people because of that. As a pundit I worked for Sky, ITV and Al Jazeera and saw a lot of matches."

The former Netherlands international also hinted at what he hopes to be a long career in management, stressing the need for him to obtain his coaching badges as soon as possible.

"I don't have a diploma, but in England you're allowed to be an assistant anyway," he added.

"Of course it's my intention to get the missing papers in the short-term, then we have that problem solved.

"At first I will get my papers in England, because that's the easiest way to a diploma. In that way I can sit on the bench anywhere. In the future I would like to get my Pro Licence in Holland."

Jumat, 23 November 2012

Cartoon of the Day: Bale too hot for Spurs as he begins escape to Madrid

It looks like we'll have another never-ending transfer saga on our hands soon as Gareth Bale is primed to tell Tottenham that he wants to join Real Madrid.

Goal.com revealed on Friday morning that the Wales international feels that the time to leave White Hart Lane is next summer, but Jose Mourinho will have to part with 50 million in order to land the winger.

With Luka Modric having already left for the Bernabeu in August, will Andre Villas-Boas be able to keep hold of another prized asset when the Spanish club come calling again?

Adebayor: I will leave if Tottenham want me to

EPL: Emmanuel Adebayor, Arsenal v Tottenham
Emanuel Adebayor says that he will leave Tottenham if the club do not hold him in their first-team plans, even though he is currently happy at White Hart Lane.

The Togolese striker was signed by Spurs on a 6.4 million deal at the start of this season and spent last term on loan in north London but has often been overlooked in favour of Jermain Defoe in 2012-13.

"It's a good club," he told reporters. "I work hard to sign for the club so I cannot see myself moving now, but if the club want me out, I don't have a choice.

"I'm here, I have just signed a new four-year deal. I'm happy, my family's happy in London, I'm happy playing for Tottenham."

However, despite being happy at the club, the 28-year-old admits that neither he nor his team-mates are pleased with Tottenham's current form.

"We're all frustrated about the way things are going," he continued.

"I don't know what's not clicking. Hopefully it will s tart clicking as soon as possible otherwise, trust me, we will find ourselves in difficulty.

"My friends tell me to keep positive so I don't really want to think about how bad it could be. If we get worse than this, I think we'd be dead.

"At the moment things are looking bad, but we just have to find a way to get through this. We have to improve because we're not playing the best game at the moment."

Ajax defender Alderweireld dismisses Premier League switch

Toby Alderweireld, Mario Götze and Ricardo Van Rhijn (Ajax - Borussia Dortmund)
Toby Alderweireld has made it clear that he has no intention to leave Ajax any time soon as he feels he is not ready yet to make the move abroad.

The Belgium international, 23, has recently been linked with clubs such as Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United, but he's happy to remain at the Eredivisie champions for the foreseeable future.

"Thomas Vermaelen was almost 24 when he left Ajax for Arsenal, while Jan Vertonghen is two years older than I am, and has only just left," Alderweireld was quoted as saying by Elf Voetbal.

"So if I'd follow in their footsteps, I would not leave Ajax in the upcoming summer, but in the year after that. I still have plenty of time to further develop and follow the same path as them."

Alderweireld, who has a contract until June 2014, has made over 100 Eredivisie appearances for Ajax since making his debut in 2008-09.

Nani be warned: Park's QPR struggles prove Sir Alex knows exactly when to pull the trigger

Park Ji-Sung, Queens Park Rangers (EPL)
By Ewan Roberts

Few managers have a record as brutally successful as Sir Alex Ferguson when it comes to offloading talented, even revered, first-teamers. The Manchester United boss has ruthlessly cut loose fan favourites and superstars amidst short-term surprise and even outrage, but his decisions have consistently proven harmless in the long term.

Whether his reasoning is profit, age, ego or diminishing talent, rarely has Sir Alexs decision to cash-in or cut loose come back to haunt him. On Saturday, Manchester United will be facing the latest victim of the merciless, unsentimental manager in the form of QPR skipper Park Ji-Sung.

Even during the early years of Sir Alexs reign he showed an aptitude to spot a player on the cusp of a downward spiral, who had passed the peak of their powers, and expertly judged the opportune moment to dispose of them. Norman Whiteside in 1989 was the first of many, sold to Ev erton just a year before an enforced, premature retirement.

Paul Ince is probably the most notable example. Despite being a key player in Uniteds 1994-95 season as they finished second in the league but trophyless, Ince was part of a trio of established players, along with Mark Hughes and Andrei Kanchelskis, who departed the club in the off-season.

United received 7.5m from Inter Milan for the midfielder, a huge fee at the time, and his departure opened the door for Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes and other youngsters to establish themselves in the first team and lead the club to Premier League and FA Cup success.

While the Manchester club were celebrating the double, Ince was enduring an unspectacular season in Italy; the future Blackburn boss would spend just two years in Milan before returning to England a much less influential player, seeing out the twilight of his career with Middlesbrough and Wolves. Inces descent into mediocrity coincided wi th Uniteds march towards silverware, fully justifying Sir Alexs decision.

Ince was not an anomaly, and was soon followed out the door by Kanchelskis and Lee Sharpe; the former was Uniteds leading scorer the season before he was sold, but did not get close to replicating his feat in the years that followed. Since then Sir Alex has left a trail of shocking but vindicated exits in his wake, from Alan Smith and Mikael Silvestre to even Ruud van Nistelrooy and David Beckham.

And now QPR captain Park could be the latest name to add to the list. The South Korean was billed as a marquee signing for the west London club, a Champions League and Premier League winner, the sign of a new, brighter era under Mark Hughes.

But Park has endured a poor start to life at Loftus Road and epitomised the woes of a club that have just four points after 12 games. His time at United was characterised by tenacity, energy and work rate, but, like much of the QPR side th is season, he has appeared lackadaisical, lethargic and passionless.

Park was given enormous responsibility by Sir Alex in big games - a non-stop, tactically astute wind-up workhorse - but has been unable to take ownership of games under Hughes; given a freer role ahead of a combo of Alejandro Faurlin, Esteban Granero or Samba Diakite, Park has struggled to assume creative control, lacking intensity and consistency.

That poses the question of whether QPR have bought a player that only excelled within a precise construct. Park was magnificent in executing specific, isolated tactical plans - the man-marking job he performed on Andre Pirlo in 2010, for example - but ask him to perform a more general and consistent role, to lead a side, to act as the fulcrum, and he is less effective.

Or perhaps, at 31-years-old, Park is struggling to sustain the work rate and energy that typified him; his effectiveness is hugely dependent on his fitness, which i s declining fast.

The positive for Rs fans is that Park, aside from his age, does not fit the archetypal mould of player Sir Alex is happy to release. There was little financial merit - he moved for a fee in the region of just 2m - he is a hard-working professional devoid of ego - unlike Ince, who was labelled a big-time Charlie and bottler by his manager - and nor is he a disruptive influence or prima donna. Someone who does tick many of those boxes, however, is Nani.

Unlike Park - or even Antonio Valencia, currently keeping the Portuguese out of the team - Nani is not a diligent, tactically aware, selfless player. He is an increasingly frustrating show-pony, more inclined to shoot from 40 yards than pass to a team-mate in space. The egotistical winger has started just four games in the league this year and, despite being in his prime, could be cut loose as his contract nears an end.

Ryan Giggs has proven that you do not have to be at the p eak of your powers to be an important squad member, but if Sir Alex sees no function for Nani within the squad dynamic and no future for him in the first team - just as Park's aging legs reduced his ability to perform the hard-working tactical roles the United manager required - then his career with the red half of Manchester could be at risk.

Of course, Sir Alexs record is not flawless - Jaap Stam tops a list of players that were offloaded before their time, along with the likes of Tim Howard and Gerard Pique - and Park could yet prove his worth at Loftus Road, as could Nani at Old Trafford, but history suggests Sir Alex will be vindicated once more.

Follow Ewan Roberts on

Kamis, 22 November 2012

Wenger targets January striker move but remains undecided on Henry Arsenal return

CL - Arsenal FC v Montpellier Herault SC, Arsene Wenger
Arsene Wenger has confirmed Arsenal are looking to sign a striker in the January transfer window - but revealed he has undecided on whether to talk to former captain Thierry Henry about a possible loan move.

Goal.com exclusively revealed fan favourite Henry will be training with the north London side in December to keep up his match fitness for the New York Red Bulls during the MLS off-season.

The 35-year-old scored 228 in 378 appearances for the north London club, and enjoyed an initial two-month loan move in January this year, scoring the winner in a 2-1 away win at Sunderland.

The Gunners lost captain Robin van Persie to Manchester United in the summer, and despite bringing in Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski to replace the Dutchman, the club has won only five of 12 league games.

With Gervinho likely to be playing at the Africa Cup of Nations for up to a month, the 63-year-old is looking at other alterna tives as the club look to close a nine-point gap on Premier League leaders Manchester City, but says he is yet to form a clear plan of action.

"I just spoke about [a move for Henry] because people asked me," Wenger told reporters. "I said I don't rule it out because he's in good shape but I haven't made up my mind yet.

"I haven't spoken to Thierry about it. I just answered a question honestly that I have not completely decided how I will sort it out in my head.

"We are looking maybe at a striker, because Gervinho goes to the African Nations Cup."

Wenger also thinks that signing players from the MLS on loan is now a more attractive prospect for Premier League clubs, and also stated that he thinks football across the world should move to a January to November calendar, as is played in the United States.

He added: "They become more and more popular because the players move into championships that are played through the norm al year and are then available at the beginning of the year for European [leagues].

"It's good for the European teams but I personally believe that the whole of football, all over the world, should be played from January until November."

While Wenger is looking for reinforcements, he also praised the new recruits brought in during the summer, exclaiming: "There are good vibes in the dressing room. They feel accepted."

The Gunners overcame Giroud's former side Montpellier 2-0 on Wednesday to qualify for the next round of the Champions League, with their other new forward Podolski scoring on an important night for the club.

Drogba refused permission to leave Shanghai Shenhua on loan

Didier Drogba - Shanghai Shenhua
Didier Drogba has been refused permission by Fifa to make an immediate loan move away from Shanghai Shenhua.

The Ivory Coast striker was linked with a return to former club Chelsea following the end of the Chinese Super League this month.

However, his hopes of sealing this move were dashed by the governing body as he looked to build his fitness ahead of the African Cup of Nations which starts in January in South Africa.

Fifa said in a statement: "We can confirm that the player Didier Drogba submitted a request for authorisation to be registered outside an open registration period for a club on a loan basis.

"Fifa has informed him about the relevant regulations... that players may only be registered during one of the two annual registration periods fixed by the relevant association."

Fifa has maintained their rules which state no player can move outside the international transfer window, this has been the case w here MLS players such as Thierry Henry and Landon Donavon have been forced to wait till January to complete their moves.

Agent set for AC Milan talks over Pato exit

Alexandre Pato - Milan
Alexandre Pato's agent is set for a meeting with the AC Milan board following reports the striker is unhappy at San Siro.

The 23-year-old came on as a second-half substitute in the Rossoneri's 3-1 win over Anderlecht on Wednesday night and scored his side's third and final goal, before reportedly threatening to quit the club after the game.

"If Alexandre said certain things, then he must have had his reasons, Gilmar Veloz told TMW.

"I want to get a better understanding of the situation with Milan before anything happens.

I will arrive in Italy on Tuesday, I will speak with Pato and then with the club to evaluate what to do next. I do not want to say anything more at the moment because I would not w ant to say inexact things.

I do not know if he can leave Milan. Ask me the same question once I have spoken to all parties.

Pato has made seven appearances for the Serie A giants this season, scoring two goals.

Manchester City set to win race to sign 'Balkan Messi' Alen Halilovic

Alen Halilovic
By Chris Myson

Manchester City are set to win the race to sign Alen Halilovic, the Dinamo Zagreb sensation who has been coined the Balkan Lionel Messi.

Roberto Mancinis side have beaten off fierce competition from clubs around Europe, most notably Manchester United and Real Madrid, both of whom have long been credited with holding an interest in the 16-year-old wonderkid.

City officials have been in Zagreb since Monday trying to thrash out terms to bring the starlet to the Etihad and an agreement is now in place for a deal that could eventually be worth around 9 million.

Halilovic is the latest impressive graduate from Dinamo Zagrebs academy, which has also produced stars such as Luka Modric, Niko Kranjcar, Vedran Corluka and Mateo Kovacic.

The attacking midfielder has already been touted as the finest Balkan player of his generation despite the limited amount of first-team experience has picked up so far.
He made his senior debut off the substitutes bench in a 3-1 win over bitter rivals Hajduk Split in September, an appearance that made him the youngest ever debutant in the Croatian top flight at 16 years and 102 days.

Just 10 days later Halilovic broke another record - this time becoming the league's youngest ever goalscorer after netting with a superb Messi-esque chip in a 4-1 rout of Slaven Belupo, while last month he became the youngest player to play for Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League when he appeared against Paris Saint-Germain.

Once the transfer is announced, he would become Citys seventh signing of the season following the arrivals of Jack Rodwell, Javi Garcia, Maicon, Scott Sinclair, Matija Nastasic and Richard Wright.

While Mancini's men were drawing 1-1 to Real Madrid in the Champions League on Wednesday night, Halilovic was getting another small taste of European action, coming off the bench for the closing stages of Di namo Zagreb's defeat to Porto.

Halilovic is a Croatia youth international, currently playing at under-17 level for his country.

Follow Chris Myson on

Rabu, 21 November 2012

Schalke general manager dismisses Huntelaar Arsenal link

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar goal against Arsenal FC
Schalke general manager Horst Heldt has dismissed transfer speculation linking striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar with a move to Arsenal.

Heldt was speaking after the Germans 1-0 win at home to Greek club Olympiakos, which keeps them top of Group D of the Champions League above the Gunners.

The Netherlands international's contract expires at the end of the current season, and has been linked to several clubs including the Gunners' Premier League rivals, Liverpool.

When asked about a possible move for Huntelaar, Heldt told Sky Germany: It's pure speculation. Either Arsenal make us an offer, otherwise it's a load of nonsense.

Huntelaar was also asked about the link between himself and a move to north London, but insisted that he was unaware of any developments.

He said: I know nothing.

Moussa Sow claims Arsenal & Liverpool interest before Fenerbahce move

STSL: Moussa Sow (Fenerbahce)

Fenerbahce forward Moussa Sow has claimed that Liverpool and Arsenal attempted to sign him before he opted to move to Turkey.

The 26-year-old Senegal international impressed for French side Lille in Ligue 1 between 2010 and 2012, scoring 31 goals in just 54 league games to alert some of Europe's top teams.

However, despite the interest from the English sides, Sow joinedSar Kanaryalar in January 2012 and insists he is "really happy" in the "great city" of Istanbul.

"Both Arsenal and Liverpool had tried to sign me before i ended up in Fenerbahce but I don't have any regrets having done so," he told reporters.

"I wanted to play at a team which have a fantastic atmosphere and in a great city like Istanbul. My religious view was also effective in my decision to join Fenerbahce. I'm really happy here."

The two English sides were on the lookout for strikers, with Arsene Wenger eventually losing Rob in van Persie to Manchester United in the summer while Brendan Rodgers' side are still light on forward options.

Sow was criticised by Turkish newspaper Haberturk in October, claiming the player was injury-prone all along and the club doctors knew about that situation.

The newspaper even alleged that club doctor Ertugrul Karanlik had warned coach Aykut Kocaman about Sow's situation, but was threatened to keep his report private.

Fenerbahce condemned the newspaper and declared the claims as false, and Sow has shrugged off the accusations: "The rumours which suggested that I had an injury all along haven't touched my nerves, at all. I just laughed at them. Some people try to demoralise me, I suppose."

"Some even mentioned my fasting as a bad thing. I'm a believer and God gave me strength through all this."

Drogba asks Fifa permission for loan move

Didier Drogba - Shanghai Shenhua
Shanghai Shenhua attacker Didier Drogba has asked Fifa for permission to make a transfer outside the January transfer window in order to prepare for the African Cup of Nations.

The Chinese league season came to an end earlier this month, and Drogba has set his sights on a temporary move away from Shenhua to maintain his fitness until the Afcon kicks off on January 19, 2013, with world football's governing body considering the former Chelsea star's request.

"The Fifa administration services are looking into it,'' Fifa said in a statement.

Drogba has recently been linked with clubs such as Juventus and Chelsea, but he would be unable to move before January 1 under current Fifa regulations.

Cote d'Ivoire have been drawn alongside Tunisia, Algeria and Togo in Group D of the 2013 Afcon. They take on Togo on January 22 in their first match of the tournament.

Liverpool's Reina unsurprised by Suarez interest

EPL - Liverpool v Newcastle United,  Luis Suarez
Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina says he is unsurprised by the amount of interest that team-mate Luis Suarez is attracting from other clubs.

The former Ajax striker has been in fantastic form of late, sending out another reminder of his quality during the Reds 3-0 win over Wigan on Saturday by scoring two goals to take his Premier League tally for the season to 10.

This has led to the Uruguay international gaining the attention of a host of clubs - most notably Manchester City. But Reina has insisted that such interest is to be expected for a player in Suarezs form.

"Luis is on fire. He is in really good form and he looks like he can score every game and for us that is very important because we need to profit from that," he told reporters.

"He will attract the interest of many clubs, it is only normal, but he is quite happy at Liverpool and that is the important thing for us and the supporters.

"Jamie Carragher sa id even if he is not the best player then he is the player in better form than anyone in the league right now.

"He is certainly a world-class striker and that is a good thing he is playing for Liverpool."

Liverpool are currently sit 11th in the Premier League table, having taken 15 points from their opening 12 matches.

Selasa, 20 November 2012

Ronaldo returning to Manchester United is Ferguson's 'Christmas wish'

Cristiano Ronaldo profile pic
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has stated that he would love to bring Cristiano Ronaldo back to Old Trafford, but that it is nothing more than "a Christmas wish".

The Portuguese forward admitted recently that he misses his former manager and described him as his "father in football".

This prompted Sir Alex to talk of his continued admiration for the Real Madrid man, but described him as "unbuyable", having scored 165 goals in 162 games for los Blancos.

With the Portuguese wingers disquiet at the Santiago Bernabeu well-known, the Red Devils manager jokingly told reporters that bringing Ronaldo back to Old Trafford is "a Christmas wish - we have them every year!"

United currently sit second in the Premier League table after losing 1-0 to Norwich City, one point behind reigning champions Manchester City who emphatically won 5-0 against Aston Villa on Saturday.