Jumat, 08 Februari 2013

Betting Special: Frank Lampard 4/7 to extend Chelsea stay

Jim Knight is Betting Editor at Goal.com and has been tipping football games since he was old enough to place a bet. He is a Leicester City fan, writer and member of the We Are Going Up Podcast

Follow Jim on

Rabu, 06 Februari 2013

Drogba will get temporary licence to play for Galatasaray, says vice-president

Kenneth Omeruo challenges Didier Drogba at Afcon 2013
Galatasaray vice-president Refik Arkan is confident that Didier Drogba will shortly get clearance to play for the Turkish champions.

The 34-year-old left Shanghai Shenhua for Galatarasaray in the January transfer window, but his former club, Shanghai Shenhua, are adamant that he is still contracted to them

Nevertheless, the Istanbul giants have little doubt that Drogba will soon arrive at the Turk Telekom Arena.

"He might not be able to play against Antalyaspor. Because we need to get temporary permission from Fifa, and Fifa rules are such that the player should be played as quickly as possible," Arkan told Radyospor.

"They will give a temporary licence, followed by the permit.

"Drogba's country were knocked out of the Africa Cup of Nations. The team have now returned to Cote d'Ivoire. Afterwards, he will go to London. He will need a day or two to move his stuff. I think he'll c ome to Istanbul this week."

Galatasaray currently sit atop of the Turkish league table with 37 points from 20 games.

Selasa, 05 Februari 2013

Sagna 100 per cent devoted to Arsenal amidst PSG speculation

Bacary Sagna,Arsenal
Arsenal defender Bacary Sagna has revealed he is "100 per cent devoted" to the club despite being recently linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain.

The 29-year-old struggled with injury during the first half of the season and had surrendered his right-back berth to youngster Carl Jenkinson.

However, after re-establishing himself in the Gunners' starting XI, Sagna has insisted he will give his all for the club and has not been contacted regarding a move back to Ligue 1.

"The January transfer rumours regarding PSG? I am 100 per cent devoted to my club," he told L'Equipe.

"I am only thinking about defending the colours of Arsenal until the end of my contract.

"The fans are angry with me because they heard about PSG's interest, but I am not responsible for that. I have never had any contact."

Sagna has made a total of 15 appearances for the north London outfit in the Premier League so far this se ason and was recently recalled to the France squad for the upcoming friendly clash with Germany.

Zorc denies knowledge of Lewandowski exit

Robert Lewandowski, Dortmund gegen Bremen
Borussia Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc has cooled reports linking Robert Lewandowski with a move to Bayern Munich.

The Poland international has been repeatedly linked with a move away from Dortmund having emerged as one of Europe's leading goalscorers in recent years, and it is understood Bayern Munich are the front-runners to land the 24-year-old.

Sky Sport Italia reported on Tuesday the forward was set to secure a summer move to Bayern Munich for a 22 million fee, but Zorc has denied the rumours and insisted there was no fresh developments on Lewandowski's future.

"There is no new state of play. We will not comment on that, because nothing has changed for us," Zorc told Sport1.

"If a player negotiates with another club, we cannot stop that. But as we speak, we do not know anything about it."

Bayern declined to comment and Dortmund later released a statement saying: "We do not comment on rumours, no matter what they are like."

However, according to Spiegel, Bayern are nearing an agreement with Lewandowski and will begin negotiations with Dortmund.

Lewandowski has netted 18 times for Dortmund in all competitions this season and is believed to be among the names on Pep Guardiola's wishlist when the former Barcelona boss takes charge next season.

Cavani concentrating on securing Serie A glory with Napoli

Edinson Cavani - Napoli
Napoli forward Edinson Cavani is putting speculation regarding his future to one side to focus on the chance of winning Serie A.

The 25-year-old has attracted interest from both Real Madrid and Barcelona in recent transfer windows and, while the striker admits he is flattered by the link, he reiterated his commitment to the Partenopei.

"Real Madrid and Barcelona are two great clubs, amongst the strongest in the world, and it is obvious that they can attract," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport on Tuesday.

"The tension rises just when you name those two sides. However, I honestly dont know whether there is the option to join one of those.

At the moment I have the opportunity to win the Scudetto with Napoli and Im just concentrating on that aim.

"I still have four years left on my contract. You never know what will happen in football, but I j ust work on a day-by-day basis to get the best."

Cavani currently leads the race for the capocannoniere having netted 18 times this league season.

Wenger: I deserve credit for Arsenal signing Monreal

EPL: Nacho Monreal, Arsenal v Stoke City
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has claimed he deserves credit for the deadline day signing of left-back Nacho Monreal from Malaga.

The Frenchman has previously come in for criticism for his dealings in the transfer window due to a perceived reluctance to spend big.

However, Wenger believes he should be praised for Monreal's arrival, a move which was only prompted by an injury to Kieran Gibbs the day before the transfer window's close.

"We are quite lucky to have found Nacho because [Kieran] Gibbs got injured for four to six weeks," Wenger told reporters.

"And we found in 48 hours a player of that calibre... you have to give me at least that credit. I know that I don't get a lot but that is true."

The 63-year-old went on to hail his side's doggedness as they posted a 1-0 win over an obstinate Stoke at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

"We are a bit more mature now, but we dealt well with [Stokes game plan] ," Wenger added. "Crouch is a handful because he is not only physical, he is technically very good. He uses space well and in his link-play he is an international player. Overall I think we had a serious game.

"We were a bit younger and inexperienced [in the past] but defensively today you could see that in [Bacary] Sagna, Nacho, [Laurent] Koscielny and [Per] Mertesacker we have some experience and stature there. We are not small at the back.

"In England you have to deal with all types of football without losing your qualities in how you want to play. It is not always easy, because if you have a team of 10 Santi Cazorla's technically you would be very good but against a team like Stoke you would struggle."

Wenger was also full of praise for Theo Walcott, who has continued his fine run of form since signing a new contract at the club.

"He is 23 years old and there is always a change at that age," he continued. "What people forget is that Theo does everything at 100mph, so every time you get hit it hurts you more than if you are slow.

"He plays at high pace, but he has learnt to escape sometimes and he imposes himself more. He uses his body better now."

Manchester City have first refusal on Balotelli following Milan switch

Mario Balotelli - Milan
By Greg Stobart

Manchester City have secured a first refusal buy-back option as part of the 23 million sale of Mario Balotelli to AC Milan, Goal.com can reveal.

The Premier League champions cut their ties with the controversial striker last week but insisted upon several clauses in Balotellis new five-year contract that is also understood to include a number of performance related add-ons.

The 22-year-old crowned his return to Serie A on Sunday with two goals, including a last-minute match-winning penalty, against Udinese to cement his status as an instant San Siro crowd favourite.

As well as a buy-back option - which is similar to the ones former Arsenal and Manchester United stars Cesc Fabregas and Cristiano Ronaldo have in their respective Barcelona and Real Madrid contracts - City will also receive a windfall should Milan sell Balotelli elsewhere in future for anything ove r 22.5 million.

Despite his dramatic reintroduction to Italian football and the difficulties he experienced in his final months at Manchester City, Balotelli did not completely rule out a possible return to England at some point in his career during his unveiling last Friday.

He said: "I will always have a very special place in my heart for City, it's a great club with a great future.

"I thank them for all of their support of me. Maybe one day we will see each other again."

Senin, 04 Februari 2013

Allardyce: West Ham will decide on Carroll at end of season

QPR v West Ham United, Andy Carroll

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce says the club will wait until the end of the season before deciding on whether to try and sign loan striker Andy Carroll on a permanent deal.

The 24-year-old joined the London side on a season-long deal from Anfield in August, but has struggled for form after a number of injuries, leading to just two goals in 12 outings.

Carroll joined Liverpool in January 2011 for a British-record fee of 35 million, before being shipped out on loan, and Allardyce feels more stability for the striker would benefit his on-field displays.

"You always want a top class centre forward," Allardyce told talkSPORT.

"I know he's been short on goals and he's had a disrupted season, but he'll only get better if he's got a settled future, whether that's with us or not [I don't know].

"It would be a long process though. We will have a conversation at the end of the season with Andy and Liverpool. It all depends on h ow he feels and what he does between now and the end of the season.

"It's also about where Andy thinks his future lies. He hasn't thought about that yet, he just wants to play as much as he can."

Allardyce feels Carroll holds a unique set of attributes among todays modern footballers, and feels Liverpool may not be the best home for him as he continues his progression.

He added: "There are not many of Andy Carroll's type. The sad thing for football is that it now seems unfashionable to have a big centre forward in your team, which really disappoints me.

"It excites people when you see him rise above everybody else to get the ball in the back of the net.

"I've known him since he was a youngster. I could see the talent that he had and that talent flourished very quickly into Liverpool paying 35 million for him. It didn't work there for whatever reason but he's such a young man, who's desperate to play football and do well."

Jol key to Fulham loan move, says Urby Emanuelson

Urby Emanuelson

Urby Emanuelson says the chance to work with Fulham manager Martin Jol was the key reason behind his switch to the club from Italian giants AC Milan.

Jol was Emanuelsons boss when the 26-year-old was at Ajax and, after an indifferent spell at San Siro, he jumped at the chance to be reunited with the Cottagers manager on deadline day.

"Martin Jol was a big part of the move as I'd worked already with him, he told the clubs official website.

"I need a little bit of trust at the moment and he's a coach who believes in me. That is one of the big reasons why I came here."

Emanuelson made his debut for Fulham as a second-half substitute in the narrow 1-0 loss at home to Manchester United, and the 26-year-old admitted is was a tough baptism of fire.

The London side had two goal-bound efforts cleared off the line and hit the woodwork before Wayne Rooney netted the sole goal 11 minutes from time, and the midfielder recognis ed his new side were unlucky to come away from the clash empty handed.

"It wasn't an easy game to make my debut in," he added. "It was a tough match, but in the second half we really fought well and it looked like we would get at least a point.

"We fought as a team. You saw in the second half that we were getting stronger and stronger. We were unlucky in the box as well. But with the strikers they have, they can always score goals.

"We can be happy with the way we played but, of course, the result was not what we wanted.

"It's a good feeling to make my debut. I just want to play more than I was in Milan. I'd only trained once with Fulham before the game so I'm happy that I could play 25 minutes."

Dowie a more likely candidate than Scholes for manager, says Oldham chairman

paul scholes
Iain Dowie has been singled out as the favourite for the Oldham Athletic managerial vacancy, following chairman Simon Corney's admission that the club couldn't afford to lure Paul Scholes from Manchester United.

Despite masterminding a famous win over Liverpool in the FA Cup, Paul Dickov resigned from his post as head coach on Sunday, after the League One side succumbed to their eighth defeat in their last nine games, leaving them in 20th spot.

As a result 38-year-old central midfielder Scholes, who is based in the town and in the past expressed a desire to head into management following his retirement, was labelled as front runner by bookmakers for the position.

However the Latics chairman has insisted that no contact has been made between theBoundary Park outfit and the veteran playmaker. And although he conceded that any interest expressed by the Manchester United midfielder towards the post would be welcome, he also admitted it wou ld be difficult from a financial stand point to lure him away from Old Trafford.

"If Paul Scholes was to so much as express a desire to come here, it would refresh the whole club and of course I would be interested," Corney said.

"But is it going to happen? No, it isn't and there has been no contact between ourselves and Paul Scholes.

"For one thing, I cannot see him wanting to go from earning 60,000-a-week at Manchester United to 600-a-week at Oldham!

"We have received an awful lot of applications for the job, though, and it has been quite humbling to see some of the names who have expressed an interest."

Dowie who has previous experience with the club, leading Oldham to the League One play-offs during his first spell in charge in 2002-03, has now been touted as the forerunner for the job, while no decision has yet been made, the club hope to announce their decision before their FA Cup tie with Everton.

"Iain and I are good friends and we speak on a regular basis, but the club has time to make the right appointment," added Corney.

"I would certainly expect a manager to be in place in time for the FA Cup tie against Everton next week and hopefully the issue may be resolved before the game against MK Dons this weekend."

It was time for a change, says Willian

Anzhi Makhachkala winger Willian says it was "time for a change", after completing a move from Shakhtar Donetsk in January.

The Brazil international moved to Russia for a reported 35 million fee and signed a contract until 2017 with Guus Hiddink's side, and although many believes the switch was financially motivated, he insists that was not the case.

"I've earned quite a lot of money in Donetsk," the 24-year-old told Sport Express.

"With Shakhtar I also won a set of titles not only in Ukraine but in Europe also. I felt comfortable there. But the time for change has come."

The Corinthians winger also revealed that conversations with the club's owners over their long-term ambitions helped to sway his decision.

"My conversation with Anzhi owner Suleiman Kerimov decided everything," Willian said.

"After that I decided to join Anzhi. The club management are not only thinking about short-term gains, th ey really want to create a serious football infrastructure in Dagestan, to lift the game in the republic to a higher level."

Willian appeared 140 times for his former club Shakhtar, scoring 20 goals in total.

West Ham co-owner Sullivan claims to have been threatened by agent

David Sullivan
West Ham co-owner David Sullivan has revealed that he was threatened with violence by an unnamed agent during the January transfer window.

Agents roles in modern football has been the subject of heavy debate in recent times, with QPR manager Harry Redknapp likening their behaviour to gang warfare.

And Sullivan has revealed the lengths some agents are prepared to go to to secure a deal, comparing them to scavengers.

"In this window, I have had an agent threaten me and threaten one of our West Ham players with physical violence, because he thought he was being cut out of a deal, Sullivan told The Daily Mail.

"I heard of three or four agents trying to jump in on other deals. Some of these people are like scavengers.

"It was all deeply unpleasant and I'm glad it's over. Now we can get on with the football.

Sullivan went on to agree with Redknapps comments and called for the Football Association to cap the astronomic amounts that are now commonplace among agents during transfer negotiations.

He continued: "Harry Redknapp was right: it feels like gang warfare out there and I can see it spilling over into violence in the future, unless there is legislation from the FA to curb the practices.

"We are talking millions of pounds here around a transfer and not enough deals to go around. There are too many agents and not enough transfers to feed them.

"Agents who would once demand 57,500 for their part in a transfer, now want 575,000 to 1.1 million to either bring a player or keep a player. It is quite outrageous and the FA should cap the amount paid to agents for their work.

I heard of one agent, who took over representation of a player for one day, and he wanted to be paid between 1.43m and 1.72m for his part in negotiating a new contract."

Minggu, 03 Februari 2013

Drenthe seals Alania Vladikavkaz switch

Royston Drenthe - Everton
Alania Vladikavkaz have confirmed on their official website that they have secured the services of former Real Madrid winger Royston Drenthe on a free transfer.

The Netherlands international had been without a club ever since leaving Everton last summer after an unsuccessful one-year loan spell, and will now be looking to get his career back on track at the Russian outfit.

Drenthe, 25, has signed a contract with Alania until the summer of 2016.

"We hope that he will become one of the team's leaders. We did not only bring him in for his fine technique and pace, but also because of his personality," head coach Valery Gazzaev commented on the move.

The left-footed winger came through the ranks of the Feyenoord youth academy, and joined Real Madrid in the summer of 2007 after impressing at the European Under-21 Championship.

He has since had temporary loan spells with Hercules and Everton.

Ibrahimovic returning to Juventus not impossible, says Raiola

Ibrahimovic, PSG 2012-13
Mino Raiola has hinted that Paris Saint-Germain attacker Zlatan Ibrahimovic could return to Juventus at some point in the future.

The Sweden international left the reigning Serie A champions in the summer of 2006, after they were relegated to the second tier following their involvement in the Calciopoli scandal, but his representative has stated that a return to the Turin giants is not out of the question.

"Could Ibrahimovic return to Juve? Nothing is impossible," Raiola said to Radio Radio.

"There is nothing that cannot be done. However, the Bianconeri would really have to believe that a deal is possible, just like AC Milan did with Mario Balotelli.

"Let's not get ahead of ourselves on this one, though. I do not want to have to deny all sorts of things again in the French press..."

Ibrahimovic, 31, has a contract with PSG until June 2015.

Manchester City must start looking for transfer targets now - Mancini

Roberto Mancini argues that now is the time for Manchester City to work hard to ensure that they can sign their preferred targets in the summer transfer window after opining that the club "didn't work well last year".

The Premier League champions trail leaders Manchester United by 10 points going into Sunday's match against Liverpool and lost out in the summer on top target Robin van Persie, who opted to move to Old Trafford and is leading the goalscoring charts with 18 strikes.

But, despite the disappointment of missing out on the Dutch striker and losing Mario Balotelli to AC Milan during the January transfer window, the City boss is confident of securing the players that he wants this coming summer.

"Last year we didn't work well," he told reporters. "It's important we start now. Now's the time we can close in on some good players for the summer.

"I have meetings with Txiki [Begiristain, director of football] every week and we talk about the summer.

"It will be easier to get players in the summer if we work hard, well and quickly now. You can't start looking at players in May because all the good ones are gone and it becomes impossible."

Mancini revealed the difficulty of shopping during the January window as clubs are reluctant to let star players leave midway through a season but says that preparatory work for the summer is crucial to avoid the mistakes of last year.

"It's difficult in January to find really good players for us," he added. "Clubs don't want to sell now, but maybe they will in the summer. We need to work now, so that it is not like last year."

QPR chairman Fernandes defends January spending

QPR owner -  Tony Fernandes
QPR chairman Tony Fernandes has defended his side's January transfer deals as the struggling side look to lift themselves from the bottom of the table and secure their Premier League survival.

The London club are six points adrift of safety with 17 points from 23 games but signed Jermaine Jenas, Andros Townsend, Yun Suk-Young and Chris Samba on deadline day to bolster their ranks.

However, the Malaysian owner does not feel that he has been reckless in the market and insists that he is building a side for the long term as well as seeking to secure their immediate top-flight status.

"If you analyse it, we haven't spent that much money on transfers and as for our wage bill, when I look at other clubs when they put their results out, then ours is not too bad and there is now value in the squad," he told the Daily Telegraph.

"I don't think there is any recklessness there. No one can guarantee anything in football but you tr y to minimise the risk as much as possible and that's where the expertise of the management comes in and they say: 'this is what we need to survive' and you look at it and, if it makes sense, then the board and myself support it.

"Anyone who says we are gambling then, of course, we are. There are no debts like at other clubs. We've put in a lot of money and it's no different from setting up a car business or an airline.

"But it takes time. QPR were an under-invested club. Simple as that. I'm not in it for one year, I'm investing for the future. I'm investing to build a stadium, to build a training academy, to build a proper business."

"Of course when you buy a small club you are going to incur some losses at the beginning.

"We, QPR, have to move out of the 'small-club syndrome' and for constant security have to build a bigger stadium, a better infrastructure.

"We inherited a squad where every single player who has left is no longer playing in the Premier League, doesn't that say something? We have replaced and replenished the squad at a very low cost because most of them were free transfers. This is the first window that we have spent big money.

"It's not always about money. QPR are the bottom club and you don't come to the bottom club for the dollar sign. And I'm not going to get players for the dollar signs."

Sigurdsson's future is with Tottenham, says Villas-Boas

Gylfi Sigurdsson
Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas says he blocked Reading's attempt to sign Gylfi Sigurdsson on deadline day.

The 23-year-old Iceland international could have become Reading's record signing according to Royals boss Brian McDermott, but Villas-Boas says he was never willing to let the player go.

"Obviously hes a player that means a lot to Reading, Villas-Boas told reporters.

"But hes a player that we rate very highly. We brought him here after his amazing contribution [on loan] for Swansea last year and hes a player that we have high expectations for.

"Probably this season at the moment he is not going to the level that he wants, but hes a player that we believe a lot in, and in his future here. We couldnt allow him to leave."

Sigurdsson began his career in English football at Reading in 2008 before leaving to join Bundesliga outfit Hoffenheim in 2010.

The Spurs midfielder enjoyed a successful loan s pell at Swansea during the second half of last season, earning him a move to White Hart Lane this summer.

Sabtu, 02 Februari 2013

Galliani: Real Madrid wanted 18 million for Kaka

Ricardo Kakà - Real Madrid
AC MilanCEO Adriano Gallianithat the reason the club failed to sign Kaka was becauseReal Madridasked for an unrealistic amount of money.

The Brazilian enjoyed immense success during a six-year spell at the Italian side but has struggled to leave a lasting impression in the Spanish capital, leading many to believe that there was a possibility that he would make a return to Milan.

However, Galliani has spoken out as to why the projected move failed to come to fruition.

"The story about Kaka is a closed chapter for me," he told Corriere dello Sport. "Real Madrid wanted 18 million - a figure that given his age and salary demands made a deal frankly unthinkable."

While Madrid's asking price may have been steep for a 30-year-old who has had multiple injury problems, 18m would still represent a massive loss on the 68m that los Blancos paid for the Brazil international in 2009.

The Rossoneri may ha ve missed out on Kaka, but they signed Mario Balotelli from Manchester City for an estimated 19m in an attempt to give them more attacking options as they attempt to challenge for a Champions League place.

Rio Ferdinand happy to wait for Manchester United contract renewal

Pre-season Friendly - Ajax Cape Town v Manchester United, Rio Ferdinand
Manchester United centre-back Rio Ferdinand has revealed that he is interested in extending his career at the club beyond the end of the current campaign.

The 34-year old says he is not interested in leaving Sir Alex Ferguson's men with his current contract set to expire at the end of the season.

After struggling with injuries over recent seasons, the centre-back has been in impressive form so far this campaign and says he wants to continue playing at the top level for as long as he can.

"Manchester United is a great club, the number one, and you would never want to play anywhere else if you can still play for them," he told The Sun

"I want to be able to contribute properly and to be a player they actually need. You can tell if you're not really needed at a club any more. You just know.

"We are not in discussions about a new contract at the moment and I'm fine with that because of the understanding I have with the manager.

"I don't expect to be treated any different to the other older players like [Ryan] Giggs or [Paul] Scholes, who normally sign on again at the end of the season."

Schelotto: I hope to follow in Zanetti's footsteps

Ezequiel Schelotto - Atalanta
New Inter star Ezequiel Schelotto has revealed his excitement at playing alongside idol Javier Zanetti, after completing a move from Atalanta at the end of January.

Zanetti joined the Nerazzurri in 1995 and has gone on to enjoy over 700 appearances for the Milan-based giants, and also became Argentina's most-capped player in the process.

Schelotto, who is Argentine by birth but has a single cap for Italy, has paid tribute to the evergreen defender, leaving his new supporters in no doubt as to whom he would emulate.

"I've always said that Zanetti is my role model," the 23-year-old announced to the club's official website. "I hope I can follow in his footsteps.

"You all know what sort of a person he is both on and off the pitch. There's nothing more to say."

The deal taking the Italy international to San Siro proved to be one of the longest running sagas of the January transfer window, and he revealed his g ratitude to his former club for the opportunity to make the move.

"I gave my all for the Atalanta shirt, from the first moment to the last. Now I'm wearing the same colours here but I'm an Inter player - that's not an opportunity that comes by every day.

"Inter offered me this opportunity and all I can do is thank Bergamo for everything they did for me.

"I've always wanted to join this club, and have already spoken to [coach Andrea] Stramaccioni. He's explained what he wants from me and I'm going to repay him for his faith."

Schelotto could be handed his debut on Sunday, as his new team aims to close the gap at the top of the table against Serie A's rock-bottom side Siena.

BREAKING NEWS: Roma sack Zdenek Zeman

Znedek Zeman - Roma
More to follow...

Willian completes 35 million Anzhi Makhachkala move

Willian - Shakhtar
Anzhi Makhachkala have announced on their official website that they have completed the transfer of Willian from Shakhtar Donetsk for 35 million. The Brazil international has signed a contract until December 2017 with the Russian side.

Anzhi coach Guus Hiddink was keen to add some fresh blood to his squad as the Dagestan outfit are gunning for the domestic title, and he had earmarked Willian as the perfect addition.

Shakhtar were keen to hold on to the attacking midfielder, but had no other option but to accept Anzhi's offer as they triggered the 24-year-old's release clause.

"There is a club willing to pay the release clause in his contract, and Willian agreed to move. There is nothing I can do," commented Shakhtar boss Mircea Lucescu earlier this week.

Willian will join Anzhi at their training camp in Marbella on Saturday, but will have to wait for his official debut until the Russian league resumes after the winter break.

Anzhi currently sit second in the table with 41 points from 19 games, trailing leaders CSKA Moscow by two points.

Willian completes Anzhi Makhachkala move

Willian - Shakhtar
Anzhi Makhachkala have announced on their official website that they have completed the transfer of Willian from Shakhtar Donetsk for 35 million. The Brazil international has signed a contract until December 2017 with the Russian side.

Anzhi coach Guus Hiddink was keen to add some fresh blood to his squad as the Dagestan outfit are gunning for the domestic title, and he had earmarked Willian as the perfect addition.

Shakhtar were keen to hold on to the attacking midfielder, but had no other option but to accept Anzhi's offer as they triggered the 24-year-old's release clause.

"There is a club willing to pay the release clause in his contract, and Willian agreed to move. There is nothing I can do," commented Shakhtar boss Mircea Lucescu earlier this week.

Willian will join Anzhi at their training camp in Marbella on Saturday, but will have to wait for his official debut until the Russian league resumes after the winter break.

Anzhi currently sit second in the table with 41 points from 19 games, trailing leaders CSKA Moscow by two points.

Jumat, 01 Februari 2013

Press prevented Zenit move, says Abate's agent

Ignazio Abate - AC Milan
The agent of AC Milan defender Ignazio Abate has said a transfer to Zenit Saint Petersburg would have happened had the press not become involved.

The Italy international was widely linked with a move to the Russian giants during the January transfer window, but ultimately remained with the Rossoneri.

"I think the fact that the move was leaked probably stopped it," Andrea D'Amico told Calciomercato.

"In football, news should only be spread when a deal is actually completed," he added.

Abate played all 90 minutes of Milan's last competitive fixture, a 1-0 away win over 10-man Atlanta in Serie A.

Moyes confirms failed Everton bid for Negredo

Alvaro Negredo - Spain
Everton manager David Moyes has confirmed that the club attempted to sign Sevilla striker Alvaro Negredo on transfer deadline day.

The Toffees made the Spaniard their top target after missing out on Twente midfielder Leroy Fer due to a problem with the player's medical.

Moyes' side were willing to spend 10.4 million on Negredo on the final day of the transfer window but the forward's club were holding out for a higher fee.

The Everton boss told reporters: "We wanted to add players if we could who could go into the team and we tried to do that right up to the end, but for reasons out of our control it didn't happen. It wasn't for the want of trying, that is for sure.

"We tried [for Negredo], but it didn't work. They wanted a lot more money than we offered."

Meanwhile, Moyes also revealed his concerns with the Goodison Park pitch ahead of Saturday's match against Aston Villa.

He added: "I've not even spoken to the groundsman. The groundsman's not said anything about it.

"But it's not as if we've played loads of games at Goodison this year. It's not as if we've had loads of cup ties or lots of reserve games on it, so it's not had an awful lot of football played on it."

Newcastle will try to sign a striker in the summer, insists Pardew

Alan Pardew,Newcastle United
Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew has confirmed that the club will look to sign a new striker in the summer.

The Magpies signed six new players in a busy January transfer window, with the last arrival being Swiss defender Kevin Mbabu, who joined the club on deadline day.

Pardew though still believes the club need a proven goal scorer following the exit of Demba Ba to Chelsea.

"When we lost out on Remy it was pretty evident we weren't going to get a big striker," Pardew told the Newcastle Evening Chronicle.

"They are pretty difficult to get over the line. You look around and nobody apart from Remy has really moved - maybe Danny Graham, but I don't think he's in that level.

"I think that's something we will look at in the summer."

Newcastle now have the likes of Gouffran, Papiss Cisse, Shola Ameobi and Adam Campbell to choose from up front, but Pardew believes that any manager would want mor e options up front.

"You always want another striker!" he added.

"I want Man United's position - Van Persie, Rooney, Hernandez and Welbeck. That would be nice. But we haven't got that."

Stekelenburg: I wanted Fulham move

Maarten Stekelenburg - Roma
Roma goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg has revealed that he wanted to join Fulhamduring the January transfer window.

The Netherlands international has found playing time limited at Roma this season and was London-bound when his club cancelled the deal.

I really wanted to join Fulham. I would have been guaranteed playing time," he told Sport Promotion NL.

Im really disappointed that the transfer didn't take place. I hoped that this situation would have ended differently.

Its a big blow that will take me a little time to get over, but Im a professional and my objective is to become the first choice at Roma again.

I cant really blame anyone for this though. Roma, from the start, told me that they would have only sold me should they get an adequate replacement.

The fact that the deal wasn't done doesn't mean that it wont happen any more. Well see what the situation is like in the summer.

Stekelenburg joined Roma i n 2011 after nine years with Ajax.

Kamis, 31 Januari 2013

De Laurentiis: Napoli have brought in players we can count on

Aurelio De Laurentiis - Napoli
Aurelio De Laurentiis has declared himself happy with Napoli's dealings in the January transfer window having brought in young players they can "count on".

The Scudetto contenders brought in young Croat Radosevic, along with the likes of Rolando, and the club's president believes they did good business during the winter window.

"I think we can be satisfied with it," he told reporters.

"Radosevic, although very young, is a player that we can already count on. Over the next few years, [our investments] will be very useful.

"Kudos to [sporting director Riccardo] Bigon for making sure the kids who did not much find much space here settled elsewhere."

De Laurentiis went on to confirm that the Partenopei had been knocked back in an attempt to sign Mauro Icardi from Sampdoria.

"You must be realistic," he continued. "Not everyone can get what they want when they want. Behind every complication , there is always something wrong so you shouldn't have any regrets."

Napoli are currently second in Serie A, three points behind league leaders Juventus.

Suarez planning to stay at Liverpool for a 'very long time'

EPL, Arsenal v Liverpool, Luis Suarez
Liverpool forward Luis Suarez has revealed that he plans to stay at the club for "a very long time".

The Uruguay international scored his 18th league goal of the season during the Reds' 2-2 draw with Arsenal on Wednesday night, taking his tally to 22 for the campaign in all competitions.

And, despite routinely courting controversy during his two-year stay in England so far, Suarez insists he has never contemplated leaving Liverpool.

"I hope [to be at Liverpool] for a very long time because it's a massive club that kids dream about playing for," Suarez told the club's official website.

"I've been very proud to be at a club like Liverpool and to have made the decision to come here. In two years I've lived through some spectacular and very special moments that I will never, ever forget.

"There have been a few difficult times as well, but with the support of my family, the club and the fans, things have gone well for me.

"I do feel at home here. When I'm out and about, all I get is support and encouragement from the local people and that's very important, and when I come here to the club I feel like people have known me all my life. That also helps a great deal to making me feel so at home.

"I hope to be able to help out the team for as long as I possibly can while trying do something to make the club and the fans very happy."

Liverpool currently sit in seventh place in the Premier League table, seven points behind fourth-placed Tottenham.

Rabu, 30 Januari 2013

Balotelli mobbed by AC Milan fans outside restaurant in Italy

Get Adobe Flash player

Outgoing Manchester City forward Mario Balotelli was mobbed by hundreds of AC Milan fans outside a restaurant where the striker met with the Italian club's vice-president, Adriano Galliani, on Wednesday evening.

The 22-year-old is on the verge of returning to Serie A in a 20 million deal and is currently in Italy ahead of the move, which is set to be officially completed on Thursday.

Balotelli had his medical at a hospital in Busto Arsizio on Wednesday afternoon and then went to have dinner with the club official after his three-hour examination.

Prior to meeting with Galliani, the Italy international was greeted by a large crowd of Milan supporters, who were chanting: "You threw the shirt of s**t [referring to Inter in the Champions League semi-final against Barcelona in 2010] on the ground, now you're with Milan. The dreams have come true, you score the best goals. We will win with Mario Balotelli."

The swarm of supporters also set off fireworks and police were required to use tear gas in order to break up the crowd.

A policeman was also taken to hospital after being hit on the head with a bottle which was thrown by one of the fans.

Radosevic signs for Napoli

Josip Radosevic
By Luke Matthews

Josip Radosevic has signed for Napoli for a fee in the region of 3 million, Goal.com can reveal.

The transfer of one of Hajduk Split's most highly rated young players, who has been with the club since the age of six, was confirmed by the player's agent and brother on Wednesday.

The defensive midfielder is only 18-years-old but has already been invited to join up with Igor Stimac's Croatia for their friendly with South Korea in February.

"Josip has signed [with Napoli], we now need to look for an apartment," Antonio Radosevic told Goal.com.

"He will fly to Croatia tomorrow to settle details for his work permit."

Radosevic's style has been compared with that of combative former AC Milan star and Italy World Cup winner Gennaro Gattuso.

'Skilful Coutinho could be perfect for the Premier League' - everything you need to know about Liverpool 13.7m signing

Philippe Coutinho - Inter
By Chris Myson & Matt Scott

Liverpool have bolstered their attacking ranks in January with the signing of Daniel Sturridge and Inter starlet Philippe Coutinho, who officially signed for the Anfield club on Wednesday afternoon.

Coutinho came through the youth system of Brazilian heavyweights Vasco da Gama, a club he initially joined at just seven years of age.

Before he even made his debut for the club, the playmaker was already making waves. His exceptional performances in the youth team and internationally for Brazil under-16 and 17s ensured he was quickly developing an impressive reputation.

Real Madrid were amongst the big European clubs who circled for his signature, although it was Inter who eventually won the race, paying 4.2 million euros for the then 16-year-old in 2008.

The Serie A club allowed him to stay with Vasco da Gama on loan until he turned 18 in 2010, w hen they made his transfer official and brought him to San Siro.

By that point he had played over two seasons for the first team at his boyhood club, in the second campaign becoming a regular and important contributor to the side.

He spent an initial 18 months in and around the Inter squad, making his debut in the Uefa Super Cup defeat to Atletico Madrid, although he never really established himself as a first-team regular.

Coutinho has always impressed with his technical qualities, but hes always been considered too inexperienced to make a real mark during his time in Italian football, explains Goal.com Italys Maurizio Piano.

That means a lot of his most brilliant performances have come during friendly matches in pre-season. In senior games, he didnt get picked to play too often and, when he did, it tended to be from the substitutes bench.

For the second half of the 2011-12 season, Coutinho was loaned t o La Liga outfit Espanyol and he impressed under Mauricio Pochettino, now manager of Southampton.

He played 16 matches as he helped the Catalan side to a mid-table finish and scored five times, two of which were particularly spectacular efforts a free-kick against Malaga and a volley against Racing Santander.

Since returning from Spain, Coutinho would have hoped to improve his fortunes with Inter on the back of the confidence gained in La Liga, but most recently, an injury has also hindered his progress as he tries to force his way into the team.

Now, despite the players stated wish to remain at Inter, it seems the club are determined to move him on, as they have done with Wesley Sneijder, to raise funds for new pursuits in the market.

Maurizio added: Coutinho has never really been seen as a certain starter for Inter. Now, the Nerazzurri need money to try and buy Paulinho from Corinthians.

Just like Ricky Alvar ez, Coutinho is seen as one of the expendable players Inter are prepared to sell in order to raise money that allows them to buy in this transfer window.

The Reds have been in the market for an attacking midfielder this month after allowing Nuri Sahin to leave Merseyside and rejoin his former club Dortmund, the Turkey international having failed to make an impact at Anfield.

Wesley Sneijder was a Liverpool target until the Netherlands playmaker chose to leave Inter for Galatasaray.

The 28-year-old was thought to be holding out for an offer from the Premier League, but could not be persuaded to wait for an offer from Anfield and joined the Turkish giants in a 7.5 million (6.3m) deal.

Where Sneijder is a pass-master, Coutinho is a completely different kind of player, but is not lacking the kind of creative spark that saw the Dutchman regarded so highly.

The Brazilian has often found himself lining up on the left-hand side at Inter and Espanyol, a position that has been rotated between youngsters Raheem Sterling and Suso at Anfield for much of this term.

Possessing a lightning-quick burst of speed, but typically South American close-control, Coutinho is a flair player who will not think twice when taking a man on, with a penchant for lobbing his man.

When cutting inside on to his right foot, the 20-year-old is an accurate finisher; indeed, his return of 15 goals from 96 career games is impressive for a youngster who has featured in a wide role in most of those appearances.

With the teenaged Sterling feeling signs of burn-out after a whirlwind introduction to the Premier League, and Suso seeming to lack the speed required for the top-flight, Coutinho could be a happy medium between the two.

Maurizio certainly feels he could be a success story at Anfield if the deal goes ahead, saying: Even if at Inter he has been used at times as a midfielder, he really is more like an attacking midfielder or even outright attacker.

He may not be particularly physically strong but he is certainly fast and agile. He has good vision, strong dribbling skills and can certainly be a prolific creator of chances. I think he could do well in the Premier League, since he is quick and has great skills.

Follow Chris Myson on

Follow Matt Scott on

Arsenal don't need David Villa to finish in top four, insists Parlour

Sevilla 2-3 Barcelona : David Villa
Arsenals hopes of finishing on the top four do not hinge on whether they are able to sign Barcelona striker David Villa before Thursdays transfer deadline, according to club legend Ray Parlour.

Arsene Wengers side go into Wednesdays crucial meeting with fellow Champions League aspirants Liverpool four points adrift of fourth-placed Spurs.

Despite the Spanish sides insistence that the former Valencia man is not for sale, the Gunners continue to be heavily linked with a deadline day move for the 31-year-old.

Parlour, however, a vital member of Wengers last title-winning side in 2004, believes that the recent form of summer recruit Olivier Giroud, who has scored four goals in his last two games, means that a failure to secure Villas services would not represent a terminal blow to his old sides ambitions.

I really thought he might go and strengthen, at least bring in one player in, but it appears David Villa didnt want to come to A rsenal," he told talkSPORT

Im sure the scouting system is working hard to find players for Arsene Wenger, but nothing has fit the bill.

It looks like hes not going to buy anyone at the moment and hell have to go until the end of the season with the squad he's got.

"If Olivier Giroud can bang a few goals in then he can fire them into fourth place."

Ibrahimovic: Mourinho & Ronaldo to PSG just wishful thinking for now

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, PSG, 2012
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has voiced his opinion that it would be great for Paris Saint-Germain to secure the services of Real Madrid's Jose Mourinho and Cristiano Ronaldo, but has insisted that signing the duo is a dream for now.

The Portuguese pair have both been linked with a move to the Ligue 1 giants amid ongoing speculation that they could leave the Santiago Bernabeu, but the Swede remains coy on the subject at this point.

"It would be great news for any team to sign Mourinho and Ronaldo. Mourinho is a great coach, one of the best in the world, while Ronaldo is among the best players," the Sweden star told Marca.

"However, fact is that it's just speculation at this point, and not the reality.

"People can always dream of signing them and speculate what could happen, but there is no point in saying anything else on it until something takes off."

Ronaldo has a contract with Madrid until June 2015, while Mouri nho's deal with los Blancos runs until the summer of 2016.

Selasa, 29 Januari 2013

Mancini confirms Balotelli is very close to Milan move

Mario Balotelli - Manchester City
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has confirmed Mario Balotelli is "very close" to a move to AC Milan.

The two clubs reached an agreement over a 23.4 million [20m] deal on Tuesday, with the Rossoneri revealing via their Twitter account that "Balotelli's medicals will take place [on Wednesday] at Busto Arsizio and Milanello", while his first training session with the team will take place on Thursday.

As Goal.com exclusively revealed on Monday afternoon, negotiations between the two clubs had accelerated, leaving Balotelli poised to undergo a medical in Milan ahead of the proposed transfer, and Mancini has confirmed that the switch is set to be completed.

"They are very close and we are also so sad because Mario was an important player for us," Mancini told reporters.

"With Mario we won the Premier League, the FA Cup, the Charity Shield. He's a fantastic player, but f or him, this could be an important chance to come back to Italy and play for a top club like Milan and I hope he can continue to improve because he can become one of the best players in the world.

"It's difficult for me because I lost one striker and that could be important in the next 14 games.

"It is important for Mario to go back to Italy. It could be a good chance for him to stay with his family and to play for Milan. He can improve and I am happy for him. He can be one of the best players in the world."

Balotelli's stock fell after a training ground bust-up with Mancini and, although he was subsequently dropped from the first-team, he was then given a reprieve by the 48-year-old, who took time to hail the 22-year-old's character in light of the imminent departure.

Mancini said Balotelli "is in the history of this club" with his goals during City's title-winning campaign last season, along with his assist for Sergio Aguero's a ll-important winner against QPR on the final day of the season.

Mancini continued: "For me Mario was like one of my children. You can be upset with him sometimes but after he is a lovely guy.

"We talk, the club told me about the request from Milan. I spoke with Mario. I think that Mario wanted this because for him after three years in England, to go to Italy will be good for him.

"I invested a lot of time in good players - Mario maybe more, but he is in the history of this club because he won three trophies in two years and he scored important goals last year against United away. He did well, very well.

"I speak everyday with Mario, we speak about his situation. I think it is a good opportunity with him. All the players will miss him, all the players when Mario left the hotel were really sad, because Mario is a good guy, he's been with us for two years."

Pulis open to selling QPR target Crouch


Stoke City boss Tony Pulis admits he would allow striker Peter Crouch to move to QPR before the end of the January transfer window.

Rangers boss Harry Redknapp has made no secret of his interest in the 42-time England international, with the pair working together at Portsmouth, Southampton and Tottenham in the past.

Crouch has struggled for first-team opportunities this season due to injury worries and the form of team-mate Kenwyne Jones, and Pulis has now revealed a return to London could be on the cards for the striker.

Pulis told reporters: "QPR have enquired about Peter, whether we do it or not youll have to wait and see.

"Harrys rung me up and asked me about the possibility, Ive spoken to Peter about it, he knows about it and its up to Peter as to whether he wants to go. Peters very happy here, and hes made that clear.

"Its got to be right for the player, its got to be right for the football club. Th e great thing is that financially we dont have to worry about bringing money in."

However, the deal could be jeopardised by the lack of time left in the transfer window, with Pulis stressing that no transfer would be sanctioned unless the Potters were able to sign a replacement for Crouch.

Pulis continued: "If its right for both parties and the player wants to go then its very difficult not to let the player go, the important thing for me is that if he does want to go its got to be right for us but also weve got to have someone wholl come in and do the same job.

"If the deal was right, Peter wanted to go and everything was in place and we couldnt find a replacement then he wouldnt go because that would put the club at risk, and its too big a season to put the club at risk."

Paulinho to stay at Corinthians despite Inter offer

Paulinho - Corinthians
Brazil midfielder Paulinho has put an end to the speculation linking him with a move to Inter this month by pledging his future to Corinthians.

The 24-year-old, who had been rumoured to be on the radar of the Italian giants, confirmed he had received a lucrative offer from the Seria A side but believes remaining in Brazil will prove beneficial for his career.

"I made my decision, along with my family, to stay at Corinthians," the player told a press conference on Tuesday.

"The offer was good but sometimes you have to forget about the money. A good financial proposal doesn't mean you'll get to do a lot of things. There are times when you have to think about your career.

"I lead a very calm life and have all the conditions to do good work here at Corinthians and one of the reasons for me to stay was to return to the national team."

Roberto de Ardrade, Corinthians director of football, confirmed Inter's interest in t he player.

He added: "Let's make something clear. The club was contacted by an Inter representative. We sat down and we discussed things.

"I spoke to Paulinho and, together, we decided that he won't be leaving Corinthians."

Bursaspor announce loan signing of QPR defender Anton Ferdinand

Anton Ferdinand of QPR profile pic
Bursaspor have announced the signing of QPR defender Anton Ferdinand on loan until the end of the season.

The 27-year-old had made just nine Premier League appearances for the Rs during the current campaign and has opted to join the Turkish side in order to gain more playing time.

The Istanbul outfit have the option to make the signing of the Peckham-born centre-back permanent at the end of his temporary deal.

Ferdinand has been at Loftus Road for just one-and-a-half seasons after joining QPR from Sunderland in August 2011. The defender, brother of Manchester United star Rio Ferdinand, began his career at West Ham United.

Bursaspor are currently seventh in the Turkish Super Lig, nine points behind leaders Galatasaray.

Senin, 28 Januari 2013

Nelson completes Palermo switch

Nelson - Betis
Palermo have confirmed the signing of former Real Betis defender Nelson.

The 29-year-old was released by Betis at the end of December and has signed an 18-month deal with the Rosanero, making him the club's sixth acquisition this month.

According to A Bola, the Portugal international will be unveilved in Sicily on Tuesday along with Mauro Boselli, who completed a loan move from Wigan Athletic.

The Cape Verdean-born Nelson had been previously linked with a move to Brazilian-side Vasco Da Gama but Palermo swooped first to land the defender.

Nelson, a right-sided attacking full-back, will be counted on to inject some life into a Palermo team that has scored only 19 goals in 22 Serie A matches this season, resulting in the Rosanero languishing 19th in Serie A.

The former Benfica defender is the latest in a series of new faces to arrive at Stadio Renzo Barbera with club president Maurizio Zampari ni hoping his latest recruits can aid Palermo's survival challenge.

Nelson has been capped by the Portuguese national team three times.

Porto's Juan Manuel Iturbe set to seal River Plate loan

Juan Iturbe, Argentina, 2013
Porto forward Juan Manuel Iturbe is set to finally secure a loan move to River Plate, ending weeks of speculation.

Negotiations between the clubs initially began late in December but, after neither party could reach an agreement, Iturbe's agent Augusto Paraja claimed his client was being "punished" by the Portuguese outfit and threatened legal-action.

But it seems there has been a breakthrough after Iturbe took to his Twitter page to post the latest in a series of cryptic messages in relation to the proposed move.

"All it needs is the punchline. Overjoyed," said Iturbe (@ Juan_Iturbe93), confirming that all the deal lacks is the formalities.

Last monday, Iturbe posted "This is long..", in a comment understood to be in relation to the ongoing negotiation process.

The 19-year-old will join the club on a year-long deal that provides Porto with the option of recalling him after six months.

Isco signs Malaga contract extension

Isco has committed his future to Malaga by signing a three-year contract extension, which also contains a 35 million buy-out clause.

In recent months the youngster has been linked with a number of clubs, with the likes of Tottenham, Chelsea and Bayern Munich reportedly interested in acquiring his services.

However, Isco is happy with his decision and confident that Malaga will continue to blossom over the next three years.

"It's a big step for me and for Malaga. I'm grateful because they bring me to my city," the 20-year-old told reporters.

"I have trust in this team and I think we will continue improving this year, and that's good for me and for the club.

"I'm happy to have renewed. What happens in the future nobody knows. Nobody has contacted with me, these are rumours and run every day. It isn't the time to talk about it now."

The club's sporting director Mario Husillos also expressed his delight at r eaching an agreement with the player and his decision to stay at the club.

"The player has always been very clear that the only option was to stay at Malaga. There have been offers from other clubs, but the main thing for me is he continues in Malaga."

Isco has scored seven goals in 25 appearances in all competitions this season.

Minggu, 27 Januari 2013

Wenger 'not close' on any new signings for Arsenal

Arsene Wenger,Arsenal
Arsene Wenger has conceded that he isn't close to bringing any new players to Arsenal in the January transfer window, claiming that the required calibre of player is hard to come by at this point in a season.

A three-year contract extension for Theo Walcott is the only business that has taken place in the Gunners' boardroom, with fans frustrated at a lack of transfers under Wenger in recent times, but the Frenchman insists he will not bring in players for the sake of it.

"You do not find them in the street, strikers who can play for us. We have strength in our team. It is difficult in January," he told reporters.

"Realistically, I cannot tell you I will sign anyone tomorrow, or Tuesday, as we are not close to doing it."

Those words are likely to cause unrest amongst the Gunners' faithful after they saw their team barely scrape through against Brighton in the FA Cup on Saturday. A late deflected Walcott effort was enough to s ee Arsenal through to round five, but alarm bells will certainly be ringing.

Arsenal sit in sixth position in the Premier League, four points adrift of a Champions League spot, and have lacked the necessary firepower up front at times this season.

They also face a stern test against Bayern Munich in the last 16 of the Champions League in February, but Wenger as ever is keeping his cards close to his chest about any possible transfer deals being wrapped up in the coming days.

Sabtu, 26 Januari 2013

Adler denies tension with Neuer for Germany gloves

Hamburger SV, Rene Adler
Hamburg keeper Rene Adler has refuted claims that he is pushing for a return to the first-team plans for Germany at the expense of Manuel Neuer.

The 28-year-old has gained a new lease of life after joining Thorsten Fink's men on a free transfer, although he insists he is keeping his feet on the ground at the moment.

"I am very grateful because I feel the affection of the [Hamburg] fans," Adler told Sport1. "This has given me a good feeling.

"However, only time will tell if I return to the national team. I have emphasised many times that neither I nor Neuer have put undue pressure in public on the coach [Joachim Low] to be selected.

"He is in favour of competition for all places. I was recently in his plans, and I don't believe it was the last time."

Adler's form, which has seen him only concede 22 goals in the Bundesliga so far, has resulted in him being linked to Barcelona as a replacement for Victor Val des.

But the German refused to respond to the alleged response, replying: "I don't think [of Barcelona] at all."

Jumat, 25 Januari 2013

Fabricio Coloccini admits he 'needed' Newcastle exit in open letter to San Lorenzo fans

Fabricio Coloccini
Newcastle defender Fabricio Coloccini has claimed that he "needed" a move to San Lorenzo in an open letter to the Argentine club's fans.

The Magpies' captain was seeking a move to his former club this month due to a series of personal problems, but Alan Pardew claimed on Friday that the 30-year-old will remain on Tyneside until the end of the season.

The letter read: "To my San Lorencista family

"I write these lines from a long way away where I am missing my country, my family and my close ones. And with sadness of knowing that after a series of meetings held here in Newcastle that my return to Argentina has been momentarily suspended.

"Unfortunately, life does not always end up like you wanted it or needed it to, many times is it influenced by third parties and the rigidities of contracts that are stronger than the will of ones own desires.

"However, I am convinced that this moment of disappointment need not b e an obstacle for me to declare my profound gratitude to each and every one of you for the affection and the support that you all have provided me during these past few months, in every way imaginable.

"Furthermore, I wish to acknowledge the patience and the respect of the media and the serious manner in which they conducted everything during this time for me and my family.

"I am sure that they have understood the personal situation that I have been going through and can comprehend that the silence maintained for both me and my representative, Marcelo Lombilla, during this time, has not been capricious but due to the need to keep private certain matters.

"Lastly, I wish to thank the authorities at San Lorenzo del Almagro and especially show my gratitude to the president, Dr Matias Lammens and vice president, Mr Marcelo Tinelli, for all the affection, support and understanding they have afforded me and who from the first moment , without any reservations or conditions, were interested in my personal and family situation and who put themselves at my disposal.

"Essentially, I want to thank the enormous effort made by them, from every point of view, to remove whatever difficulties I may have come in touch with.

"In these times, in which the leadership of the Argentine football appears less challenged by various reasons, it is with deep pride - as part of the San Lorenzo family- I wish to acknowledge to Matias Lammens and Marcelo Tinelli on their personal qualities, for their professional qualities and for their excellent management, their the honest work, their seriousness and commitment in placing the human being over and above other interests, all of which is a heading from the chosen path for our club; and that in the distance, certainly, I am filled with satisfaction.

"Sincerely thank you for both affection,

"Fabricio Coloccini."

Lyon's Bastos agrees personal terms with Schalke

Coupe de France : Michel Bastos (Epinal vs Olympique Lyonnais)
Olympique Lyon midfielder Michel Bastos and Schalke 04 have come to an agreement over the player's proposed move to Germany.

However, the French club have yet to agree on the sale price with the Gelsenkirchen outfit and their president, Jean-Michel Aulas, has revealed that he has an agreement to sell the player to another club.

"Michel has agreed with Schalke, but we have agreed a deal with another club which has not been mentioned in the press," he told BeIN Sport.

"He will probably leave in any case. We did not want to take chances."

In regards to Lisandro Lopez, who in recent weeks has been linked with a move to Italian giants Juve, Aulas confirmed that the player will not be leaving the Stade de Gerland.

"Lisandro will not leave. He is an essential player for us that is why we said 'no' to Juventus," he added.

Kamis, 24 Januari 2013

'Lewandowski must do what is right for him' - Klinsmann

Jurgen Klinsmann, USA
United States coach Jurgen Klinsmann believes Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski should listen to what he wants rather than worry about what supporters or other dissenting voices might think.

The Pole is one of the most sought-after players in Europe, and now faces the option of whether to stay at BVB or move elsewhere.

And having been in a similar position himself, Klinsmann has advised the 24-year-old to ignore outside pressure and make his own decision.

"I think the most impotant perspective to look at it from is his own. If he's happy at Dortmund, and enjoying it, then keep enjoying it," he told reporters.

"If he's hungry for another adventure, then go. He should do what he feels is right.

"If he decides to go to another league, whether it's the English, Italian or Spanish, then it is his decision.

However, the 48-year-old concedes that if Lewandowski was to leave BVB, then German football would be losing one of its brightest stars.

He added: "He's a special player and is fun to watch. Obviously Dortmund fans love him; German fans in general love to have a player like him."

Manchester United agree 17m Zaha deal

Wilfred Zaha,Crystal Palace
By Wayne Veysey Chief Correspondent

Wilfried Zaha will become a Manchester United player after agreeing the terms of a 17 million move from Crystal Palace, Goal.com understands.

The 20-year-old has agreed a five-and-a-half-year contract with the Premier League giants and his registration will be transferred in the coming days, even though he will be loaned back to the Championship club for the rest of the season.

Zaha is also due to undertake a medical in the next 48 hours as United wrap up the deal.

Sources have told Goal.com that Palace chairman Steve Parish, who is believed to be in Australia, had hoped to hang on to Zahas registration until the summer, with the two clubs agreeing a guaranteed date of purchase.

However, Football League rules forbid such an agreement and United have been keen to complete the deal this week.

As revealed by Goal.com on Monday, Palace have negotiated a fee of 15m, rising to 17m with performance-related add-ons.

This was enough to blow Arsenal out of the water after the two Premier League big hitters became involved in a two-horse race to sign the coveted forward.

Rabu, 23 Januari 2013

Xavi to sign new Barcelona contract on Monday

Xavi profile pic
Barcelona have announced that Xavi will sign a new contract on Monday.

The Liga leaders revealed in December that the 32-year-old had agreed to extend his current deal at the club, which is due to expire in June 2014.

Tito Vilanova's side have now confirmed that the midfield star will put pen-to-paper at the beginning of next week, with the new deal set to keep him at the club until June 30, 2016.

The news follows Carles Puyol's decision to pen fresh terms at Camp Nou earlier this week, with the captain also signing an extension until 2016.

While Lionel Messi is expected to sign a new deal in the coming weeks, with the Argentina attacker set to commit his future to the club until 2018.