New Napoli Signing Giuseppe Mascara Thanks Catania For Everything

Posted by admin on Monday, 31 January 2011

New Napoli striker Giuseppe Mascara has thanked Catania for everything they have done.
New Napoli signing Giuseppe Mascara has thanked his former club Catania for everything they have done to develop him as a footballer.

The former Italian international joined the Partenopei earlier today, prior to the tranfer window closing at 19:00CET.

No details have yet to emerge over his transfer fee and contract.

"At Catania, I leave my heart," the striker told Tuttomercatoweb. "I lived through six wonderful years at the club.

"I want to thank the president [Antonino] Pulvirenti and director [Pietro] Lo Monaco who plucked me from obscurity, brought me to the club , raised me like a child and developed me into the footballer I am today.

"For this, I say thank you."

Mascara is also dreaming of winning the Scudetto with his new side.

"It doesn't cost to dream about winning it," he concluded.
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Cesena Loanee Davide Santon Promises To Return To Inter

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Davide Santon has revealed he only knew of his move 24 hours ago from Inter to Cesena on loan.
Davide Santon has revealed he only found out about his loan move to Cesena 24 hours ago.

The Italian international was involved in a deal to bring Yuto Nagatomo to the Nerazzurri for the remainder of the season.

Santon, now, says he will focus on doing well at his new club in the hope he returns to the reigning Scudetto holders as a better and more developed player in the summer.

"I am disappointed in myself," Santon told Sportal. "I found out last night about the deal, but I wasn't convinced it was happening.

"Now, I will be going to Cesena to play football. My aim is to return to Inter in June."
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Official: Liverpool Complete Club-Record Signing Of Andy Carroll From Newcastle United

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Striker signs a five-and-a-half-year deal at Anfield.
Liverpool have officially completed the club-record signing of England striker Andy Carroll from Newcastle United.

After a sensational day of drama on transfer deadline day, the Reds have confirmed the 22-year-old has signed a five-and-a-half-year deal at Anfield.

The Reds were initially said to have made a £30 million bid for the player on Monday morning, which was promptly rejected by Newcastle.

A second offer of €41 (£35)m plus add-ons was also initially said to have been rejected, but Carroll then decided to hand in a transfer request to force through the move and the North East club reluctantly accepted the proposal.

A statement on the club’s website said: "Andy Carroll has tonight completed his transfer from Newcastle United to Liverpool FC and signed a five-and-a-half-year deal that will keep him at Anfield until 2016.
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Official: Chelsea Snap Up Liverpool Ace Fernando Torres In €58.5m Deal

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Fernando Torres has left Liverpool for Chelsea at the 11th hour of the winter transfer window.
Chelsea have officially completed the sensational £50 million signing of Spain star Fernando Torres from Premier League rivals Liverpool.

The 26-year-old World Cup winner was the subject of rumours and speculation throughout transfer deadline day, but has now put pen to paper on a five-year-deal at Stamford Bridge.

The transfer saga began in earnest last week when the Reds declined an offer from Chelsea and then rejected a transfer request from Torres, insisting the player would be required to honour his long-term contract at the club.

Despite this, negotiations between the clubs continued and a conclusion was reached on Monday, allowing the forward to undergo a medical and agree personal terms with the reigning league champions.

A statement on Torres' official website said: "Spain international Fernando Torres will defend the Blue shirt of Chelsea after joining the London club on the January transfer deadline.
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Official: Chelsea Complete €25 Million Signing Of David Luiz From Benfica

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Benfica have confirmed they have reached an agreement with Chelsea for the transfer of David Luiz.

The board of directors at Benfica confirmed to the Portuguese stock market that the Brazilian defender moves to Stamford Bridge in a deal worth £21m.

Luiz, 23, who is capable of playing not only in the centre of defence but also as a full-back on either side, has made 70 appearances for Benfica in the Portuguese Liga, scoring four goals, whilst he also has four caps for Brazil.

Their statement read, “Sport Lisboa e Benfica Futebol S.A.D., in compliance with Aritcle 248 of the Code of Securities, reports that it has reached an agreement with Chelsea Football Club Ltd. of the Premier League for the definitive sale of the sporting and economic rights of the athlete David Luiz Moreira Marinho for an amount of (€25,000,000.00 (twenty five million euros).

The deal will also Chelsea’s young midfielder Nemanja Matic move the other way as part of the deal, “We also report that this accord also provides for the outright transfer of all economic and sporting rights for the international athlete Nemanja Matic,” the statement concluded.
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Official: Jozy Altidore Joins Bursaspor On Six-Month Loan

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USA and Villarreal striker will spend the rest of the season with Turkish champions.
Turkish champions Bursaspor have signed USA and Villarreal striker Jozy Altidore on loan until the end of the season.

Bursa snapped up Rangers striker Kenny Miller earlier in the window, and have now added Altidore to their ranks, as they look to win a second consecutive Super Lig title.

Jozy has already gained 32 official caps for the USA at just 21 years old, and has long been regarded as the next big thing for the USA's national side, though he has been less impressive in Spain.

Altidore joins a long list of big names to move to Turkey in the window, along with Simao, Miller and Hugo Almeida to name a few, as the Turkish league appears to be gaining momentum to establish itself as a major power in Europe.
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Parma Sporting Director Pietro Leonardi Delighted With Amauri Loan Move

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Parma sporting director Pietro Leonardi has revealed he is pleased with the loan signing of Amauri from Juventus.
Parma sporting director Pietro Leonardi has expressed his delight at signing Juventus striker Amauri on loan until the end of the season.

The director now hopes the Brazilian-born italian international can help his side climb up the ladder and have a strong second-half to the season.

"Amauri is an important player, and I hope he can give us a lift out of our current situation," Leonardi stated to SportItalia. "I also hope he can bring some enthusiasm to oour fans.

"He is a great signing. Everyone needs to be thanked for signing him."

Leonardi also revealed Graziano Pelle will arrive from Dutch side AZ at the end of the season, and the arrival of Nwankwo Obiorah in a co-ownership deal with Inter.

"Pelle will arrive in June, but we must wait," he continued. "It is also important that Nwankwo has also arrived."
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Official: Brescia Sign Striker Jonathas From AZ

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Brescia has come to an agreement with Dutch side AZ over striker Jonathas.
Brescia has reached an agreement with AZ Alkmaar over the sale of Brazilian striker Jonathas.

Both teams have revealed via their official websites that the player has moved to the Italian club for an undisclosed fee.

Jonathas moved to the Dutch side in 2009, but chose to play for the youth side in order to adapt to the league and language. He was a success, and earnt a start for the senior side in November 2009.

The hitman had scored four times in 15 matches for the 2008/09 Eredivisie champions before returning to the South American nation, due to personal issues.

He had a deal in place with the Dutch side until 2012, but chose to join the Rondinelle.
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Official: Michele Paolucci Joins Palermo On Loan From Siena

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New Palermo loan signing Michele Paolucci is delighted to be wearing the Rosanero jersey.
New Palermo loan signing Michele Paolucci is "emotional and proud" to be joining the Rosanero from Siena.

The 24-year-old is looking forward to shining for the Sicilian club, and knew that he would be joining the side upon hearing the first whispers about a possible move.

"I am very emotional and proud of the move. I cannot wait to wear the Rosanero jersey," the hitman told the club's official website upon being presented to the media.

"As soon as I head about the interest from this extraordinary club, I did not have any doubts about the move and immediately thought about wearing the jersey. I still have to believe that something so extraordinary has occurred to me.

"Palermo are a wonderful club that aims for all the important trophies. Here, I will have the chance to play with some great players. I already know Sirigu from the national team and Balzaretti, Miccoli, Cassani and Nocerino from being at Juventus."

"Paolucci also explained why he chose to wear the number 22.

"In recent past at Palermo, not many players have worn it," he added. "I hope thaat over time, I can make it my own and the fans can remember me."
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Borussia Dortmund Playmaker Tamas Hajnal Closing In On Stuttgart Move

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Tamas Hajnal appears to be closing in on a move to Stuttgart, meaning that the Swabians could offload an attacking midfielder later today.
This season has been a difficult one for Tamas Hajnal, who has found himself a surplus to requirements at Borussia Dortmund after returning from a long-term injury lay-off. Now it appears that the 29-year old playmaker has found a way out of the Ruhr area as he closes in on a transfer to relegation battlers Stuttgart.

According to information from Sport 1, the Hungary international is on the verge of making a move to Swabia, although some details have yet to be clarified. A week ago, Stuttgart sporting director Fredi Bobic revealed that the Hungarian would not join because the Swabians' squad was too full. The move was was off with "no question" unless VfB were to make soome sales.

With Hajnal reported to be on his way to Stuttgart, the Swabians could be set to offload one or more midfielders before the transfer window closes
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Official: Brescia Sign Cristiano Zanetti From Fiorentina On Two-Year Deal

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Midfielder Cristiano Zanetti leaves Fiorentina after 18 months to join Brescia.
Brescia have announced the arrival of Cristiano Zanetti from Fiorentina.

The 33-year-old midfielder heads to Lombardy, having left the Tuscan side he joined from Juventus in 2009.

After a solid campaign last season, Zanetti has only forced six apperances under Sinisa Mihajlovic, leaving him to seek regular action with the Rondinelle.

A statement on Fiorentina's official website reads:

"ACF Fiorentina communicates to have transferred Cristiano Zanetti on a permanent basis to Brescia Calcio.

"We want to thank Cristiano for the effort and professionalism he has shown in Florence and we wish him all the best."

Brescia also confirmed the move on their site with a note reading:

"Brescia Calcio communicates to have acquired Cristiano Zanetti from AC Fiorentina. The midfielder has signed a two-year deal."
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Official: Kaiserslautern Loan Adam Hlousek From Slavia Prague

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Adam Hlousek has left Slavia Prague for Kaiserslautern on a loan deal.
Bundesliga outfit Kaiserslautern have completed the transfer of young midfielder Adam Hlousek from Slavia Prague on a six-month loan deal. The German side have the option to make the move permanent at the end of the season.

The attacking midfielder started his professional career with Jablonec and joined Slavia Prague in the summer of 2009. He has made 69 Czech Republic league appearances, scoring seven goals in the process.

"We have added some more quality to the attacking department of our team with the capture of Adam Hlousek. He's still young and is eager to prove his worth. He has what it takes to succeed at Bundesliga level," said FCK sporting director Stefan Kuntz on the club's official website.

Hlousek, who has represented Czech Republic at senior level on three occasions, will be wearing the number 24 jersey at Kaiserslautern.
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Juventus Close To Signing Alejandro Dominguez From Valencia

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Juventus in advanced talks for Alejandro Dominguez with reports in Italy claiming a done deal.
Juventus have signed 29-year-old Argentinian striker Alejandro Dominguez on loan for the rest of the season from Valencia.

Sky Sport Italia and Tuttosport claim an agreement has been reached with the Spanish club for a loan with the option to make it a permanent move in the summer.

There were doubts as to whether the deal would go through as voices suggested the striker lacked an EU passport, meaning Juventus would not be able to sign him.

However, it has since been revealed he does have an Italian passport, making eligible to join Juve as he will not affect their non-EU quotas.

Neither club has confirmed the agreement.
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Official: Wolfsburg Sign Starlet Yohandry Orozco From Zulia FC

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Venezuelan Starlet Yohandry Orozco has officially left Zulia for Wolfsburg.
Venezuelan starlet Yohandry Orozco has officially joined Wolfsburg, the German club has revealed. The 19-year-old has put pen to paper on a deal that will run until June 30, 2015.

Orozco has rapidly risen to prominence after being named to the Hot 100 in December, and scoring a wonder-goal (click here for replay) last week. He leaves Venezuelan club Zulia FC for a sum that Bild has estimated to be in the region of €1.25 million.

"He is a strong dribbler, fast and dynamic, and is also very versatile in midfield," Wolfsburg sporting director Dieter Hoeness said of the Venezuelan, who has already been capped seven times at the international level.

The Wolfsburg website also confirmed earlier reports from Jeju United that the German club had signed midfielder and Asian Cup top scorer Koo Ja-Cheol.

"Despite his young age, Koo Ja-Cheol was one of the top performers in South Korea's team," Hoeness said. "He is not only a goal threat, but can play in nearly all positions in the middle."

The 21-year-old Koo joins Wolfsburg on a three-and-a-half year deal that will see him remain at Wolfsburg until 2014.

Orozco and Koo are not likely to be the last signings Wolfsburg make before the transfer window closes tonight. The 2009 Bundesliga champions are also reported to be in contract talks with Patrick Helmes, Tuncay Sanli and Jan Polak.
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Juventus On Verge Of Signing Alessandro Matri On Loan From Cagliari

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Sky Sport 24 claim that a deal is imminent.
Juventus are on the verge of signing Cagliari forward Alessandro Matri on loan until the end of the season, report Sky Sport 24.

The two clubs have been in negotiations all day with the transfer deadline in Italy closing at 1900 CET.

Sky Sport 24 now claim that a deal has been reached for the 26-year-old, who has scored 11 goals in 22 games this season.

Matri will join the Old Lady on loan until the end of the season, with the option to then make the move permanent in the summer.

Juventus have been desperate to make a forward signing in the final hours of the window following a dreadful run of form, and Matri could be the second attacker to arrive with Valencia's Chori Dominguez also close to moving to Turin on loan.
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Massmiliano Allegri & Edy Reja Take Cautious Approach Ahead Of Milan-Lazio Clash

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Coaches of both clubs eager not to slip up in Tuesday's anticipo between Milan and Lazio.
Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri and Lazio's Edy Reja have echoed each other's views ahead of Tuesday's San Siro showdown.

And the emphasis is to avoid a go-slow in league matters after all the hustle and bustle of the transfer market.

"Lazio are doing great things. They have good individuals and a great squad.

"We have to be tranquil because it is a very important moment for us, and we cannot leave points by the roadside."

A view to which Reja responded with force and effect.

"Milan are the strongest team in the league and if we want a result at the San Siro then we must play with intensity.

"Allegri has many injuries to deal with, but we are short too.

"We must be able to score, or we will head back to Roma with a loss."
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Official: Sulley Muntari Leaves Inter For Sunderland On Loan

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Clubs agree loan deal with option to make a permanent move.
Sulley Muntari has joined Sunderland for the rest of term on loan, Inter have confirmed.

The Ghana midfielder will head back to the Premier League with the option to make his move permanent.

A statement on Inter's official website reads:

"Now that the documents have been submitted to the relevant associations, Sulley Muntari’s transfer to Sunderland A.C.F. is official. The player moves on a loan deal with the English club holding an option to sign the player permanently.

Inter and all its players bid an affectionate farewell to Sulley, and wish him all the best for his new adventure in the Premier League; without forgetting all the successes achieved together: the 2010 FIFA Club World Cup, the UEFA Champions League on 22 May in Madrid, two Serie A titles, two Italian Super Cups and one Coppa Italia."

Muntari is no stranger to England having played for Portsmouth between 2007 and 2008 before joining Inter.
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Japan Asian Cup Star Yuto Nagatomo Travelling To Milan To Sign Contract With Inter

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Japan international Yuto Nagatomo is set to sign for Inter.
Cesena full-back Yuto Nagatomo is reportedly travelling to Milan in order to sign a contract with Scudetto holders Inter, according to Sky Sport 24.

The source reports that the Japanese Asian Cup winner has been the subject of talks between the two sides since earlier today and will complete the move before the transfer window closes.

Nagatomo moved to Cesena from FC Tokyo on loan last summer and tied up a permanent deal earlier this week.

The left-back has been one of Cesena's absolute key men in the 2010-11 campaign. Nagatomo attracted even more interest with his good performances for Japan at the 2011 Asian Cup and a move to a bigger club now seems to be on the cards.

The imminent arrival of the 24-year-old Nagatomo could mean that promising youngster Davide Santon is on his way out of Inter. The Italy international could join Cesena on a six-month loan deal as part of the deal that will take Nagatomo to Giuseppe Meazza.

Both clubs have yet to comment on the imminent transfer, but an official announcement is expected to be released in the upcoming hours.
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David Silva Does Not Regret Joining Manchester City Instead Of United

Posted by admin on Sunday, 30 January 2011

Spaniard hopes his side do not fall prey to an upset against Notts County.
David Silva has admitted that he had no qualms over joining Manchester City last summer.

The 25-year-old joined the Eastlands outfit prior to the start of the current campaign, committing to a four-year deal with the club.

But two years prior to his move to the Premier League, he had a half-chance to transfer to his current club's arch-rivals Manchester United.

"I never seriously thought about joining United when they asked about me because it was clear at the time that Valencia would not sell," Silva told The Mirror.

"I understand there was a ­conversation between United and my agent, but it came to nothing.

"These things happen quite often in football and the moment passes. It was only last summer, when it became clear that the financial problems at Valencia meant they would have to sell, that I really considered what ­opportunities were open to me.

"And it was always going to be City once they made it clear to me how important I would be to them."

The former Valencia man was unaware of the banner above the Stretford End at Old Trafford that keeps count of how long City have not won anything, but now intends to rest it to zero.
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Ajax Striker Luis Suarez Believes Liverpool Belong In The Premier League's Top Four

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Uruguay international looks forward to a move to Merseyside.
Liverpool-bound striker Luis Suarez believes his move to Merseyside presents itself as a great opportunity to further his career, and insists that the Reds belong in the top four of the Premier League.

Ajax and Liverpool have agreed on a £22.8 million fee for the Uruguay international, who then travelled to England to undergo a medical.

It had been thought that the 24-year-old was being brought in as a strike partner for Fernando Torres, but the Spaniard's potential exit sparked speculation that the Ajax hitman may have second thoughts concerning the move.

But he insists that he sees Liverpool as a "beautiful club" and believes they deserve to get back to being a part of the Premier League's big four, which changed owing to the rise of Tottenham Hotspur and the riches at Manchester City.
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Pep Guardiola Proud Of Barcelona's Record-Equalling Run In La Liga

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Pep Guardiola is honoured to have led Barcelona to 15 wins in a row in the league.
Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola has expressed his pride after his team defeated Hercules 3-0 in the Spanish Primera Division on Saturday evening to equal the Liga record of 15 successive victories.

The record was set by the Blaugrana's arch-rivals Real Madrid in 1960-61 and Guardiola is happy to have matched them.

"It is a tremendous honour to win 15 consecutive league games and equal the record of [Alfredo] di Stefano's Real Madrid side," said Guardiola, according to

"I am sure that some team will beat the record but nobody has managed to do it in 50 years. We are proud. If 50 years have passed, it shows how difficult it is."

Guardiola also praised Lionel Messi, who scored twice against Hercules, enthusing: "He has scored 164 goals at the age of 23 and is fourth in Barcelona's all-time scorers' list, but if he continues like this he is going to break all the records."
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Signing Of Fernando Torres From Liverpool To Be Part Of £100 Million Splurge On Transfers By Chelsea

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Chelsea are believed to embarking on a £100 million splurge on the transfer market, starting with the acquisition of Liverpool striker Fernando Torres.

The Reds initially turned down an offer thought to be in the region of £35m, but the 26-year-old's head is believed to have been turned towards Stamford Bridge.

Initial reports pointed towards the Blues gearing up to offer Liverpool a £50m deal with Daniel Sturridge included to add more weight to the potential package, but UK exclusively revealed that the Merseyside outfit have requested that they strike a part-exchange deal involving one-time Red Nicolas Anelka instead.

Now The Mirror reports that the potential signing of Torres will be part of a £100m plunge into the market that owner Roman Abramovich is personally funding, so as not to put the club into a heavily debt-ridden state.

It is thought that the Spanish striker's prospective move to Chelsea could be completed before the January 31 transfer deadline.
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West Ham Turn To Former Arsenal Ace Edu To Rescue Their Season

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West Ham are hoping to sign former Arsenal midfielder Eduardo Gaspar (Edu), before the transfer window slams shut tomorrow night.

Edu, 32, has been a free agent since the summer, after being released from his homeland outfit Corinthians, and West Ham owners David Sullivan and David Gold have identified the Brazilian as a reasonable short-term signing in order to help save the club from relegation to the Championship this season.

The Hammers are also hoping to land, as a loan signing, Tottenham striker Robbie Keane, who has recently fallen down the pecking order at White Hart Lane.

Edu won two Premier League titles and two FA Cups during his time at Arsenal, before parting ways with the London outfit and moving to Valencia in 2005.
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Bolton Manager Owen Coyle Blasts Carlos Vela's Agent For The Collapse Of Agreed Loan Deal With Arsenal

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Trotters' boss explains why deal for Mexican striker fell through.
Bolton Wanderers manager Owen Coyle has blasted Carlos Vela’s agent for the collapse of the Mexican’s loan move to the Reebok.

Vela was expected to complete a move to Bolton last week, but instead opted for a temporary switch to West Brom.

Coyle reveals that a six-month deal had been in place with Arsenal for the 21-year-old, but was trashed after Vela’s agent got involved with separate financial demands.

However, the Bolton boss stated that it was his decision whether or not to complete the move.

“It was my decision,” said Coyle, according to talkSPORT.

“We had permission from Arsenal regarding Carlos Vela. On Thursday night we agreed with Arsenal that we would pay the player's salary, we also agreed to pay a loan fee to Arsenal.

“Subsequent to that I then had a chat with Carlos Vela’s agent who informed me that there was more finances to come on top of that in terms of another fee and player appearances.

“Anyway to cut a long story short it was out of the realms of possibility. We’re very upfront, we have a fantastic relationship with Arsenal, we always have.

“We’d agreed a deal with the football club and then outside influences meant that the deal was going to be financially far too much.

“On Thursday night I said to the chairman ‘well that’s it we’ll leave that’, and I stepped away from it.

“I never spoke to the player himself so I stress there’s no fault at the player’s door or indeed Arsenal Football Club.

“It’s just it was getting far too much and I thought it was getting ridiculous and that’s why I stepped away from it.”
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Milan Coach Massimiliano Allegri Backs Mark Van Bommel Despite Sending-Off Against Catania

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Massimiliano Allegri defends Mark van Bommel despite the Milan debutant's red card against Catania yesterday.
Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri has backed midfielder Mark van Bommel despite his sending-off in their 2-0 victory over Catania in Serie A on Saturday.

Both of the Rossoneri's goals came after Van Bommel received his marching orders for two yellow cards early in the second half, but Allegri has refused to criticised the Dutch midfielder.

"It's fair enough," said Allegri after the match, according to "The referees make decisions based on what they see and this is an example. Van Bommel should've been a bit sneakier, but it is his second game in Italian football.

"These fouls are not generally sanctioned with a booking in Germany, but he is a generally aggressive player."

Allegri was also full of praise for striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic for assisting the first goal and then scoring the second.

"He is having the best season of his career in terms of intensity," said the Italian tactician. "Ibra has a great deal of enthusiasm, feels like a leader and also knows how to defend, which is the most important thing. If he tracks back, then everyone else follows suit."
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Houssine Kharja Delighted To Have Joined Inter On Loan From Genoa

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Houssine Kharja wants to prove himself at Inter.
Houssine Kharja has expressed his delight at joining Italian and European champions Inter on loan from Genoa until the end of the season.

Kharja has been named by Nerazzurri coach Leonardo in the squad for today's Serie A encounter with Palermo at San Siro.

The Moroccan midfielder is delighted to have signed for Inter and told Inter Channel: "I am very happy. After some difficult days of waiting, I am finally here.

"I want to thank president Massimo Moratti for giving me this opportunity and all those who worked to complete the transfer."

He continued: "I have joined the strongest team in the world. I'm still a little stunned and excited after the first training session with my new team-mates. I am ready for whatever the coach needs starting from [today's] game.

"I have taken on many midfield roles during my career and at international level I even played as a centre-back.

"I hope and want to give a contribution to this team that is still so hungry for victory. I thank my team-mates for the warm welcome."
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Manchester United Have Assured Atletico Madrid Of A Bid For David De Gea

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Manchester United are understood to have assured Atletico Madrid that they will make a move for goalkeeper David De Gea, should the Spanish club wish to sell their prodigy in the summer.

With Edwin van der Sar having announced that this season will be his swansong, the Red Devils have been looking to find a replacement for the retiring Dutchman.

And despite first-team coach Rene Meulensteen having already confirmed that the club's first-choice is Ajax's Maarten Stekelenburg, The People claims that the Old Trafford outfit have guaranteed a bid for the Spaniard if he should be put up for sale.

United have already signed Anders Lindegaard from Norwegian club Aalesunds.
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Lazio Coach Edy Reja: A Europa League Spot Is Our Objective

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Edy Reja has once again ruled Lazio out of the title race in Serie A.
Lazio coach Edy Reja has revealed that between now and the end of the season the Aquile will fight for a place in next season's Europa League.

The former Italian champions defeated Fiorentina 2-0 in Rome on Saturday evening and are currently in second place. Mathematically Lazio are very much in the running for the Scudetto, but Reja believes that they are not good enough to last the race for the Italian championship.

“Today we have 40 points, therefore are mathematically safe and anything else that we achieve this season will be a bonus,” Reja told the press.

“We’ll battle for the Europa League, as that is now our objective. If we achieve that, then it will have been a great campaign.”

He continued by praising the side's two-goal hero against Fiorentina, Libor Kozak.

“Kozak had already shown against Roma that he had talent and did so again not just with his goals, but also his work rate," he said. "This lad can see the net and that is down to instinct, plus we’ve worked with him over the last six months to help him improve.”
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Bayern Munich Coach Louis Van Gaal: We Deserved To Win Against Werder Bremen

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Louis van Gaal is proud of his Bayern players after defeating Werder Bremen on Saturday.
Bayern Munich coach Louis van Gaal believes that his team were worthy winners against Werder Bremen in their Bundesliga encounter on Saturday.

The German champions continued their resurgence in the new year as they came from behind to register a 3-1 victory, making Van Gaal a proud coach.

“Bremen were the better team in the first 20 minutes, but we switched things around tactically and improved," explained the Dutchman after the match, as quoted by Bayern's official website.

"We went a goal down at the start of the second half, but my team upped the pressure and were significantly more aggressive. At the end of the day, it was a deserved win. I’m very proud of my team.“

Defender Philipp Lahm echoed Van Gaal's words and enthused: “I think it was obvious to everyone we were determined to win and were never going to be satisfied with a draw. We played very good football at times, we pulled Bremen out of position and we created clear-cut chances.

"Taking the 90 minutes as a whole, we deserved to win. Our aim is second place, but it’s easier said than done, so we have to keep winning. But if we play like we did today, we’ll do just that.“
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Official: Mahamadou Diarra To Leave Real Madrid For Monaco

Posted by admin on Friday, 28 January 2011

Mahamadou Diarra is set to join Ligue 1 outfit Monaco.
Real Madrid have revealed that midfielder Mahamadou Diarra will join French Ligue 1 side Monaco after he undergoes his medical.

Los Blancos made the announcement on their official website on Thursday evening but didn't give any details about the terms and conditions of the deal.

"Real Madrid C. F. and Monaco FC have reached a deal for the transfer of Mahamadou Diarra," read the statement.

"It is contingent upon the player passing a medical as well as the contract signed with his new club."

Diarra, 29, joined Madrid from Olympique Lyonnais in 2006 and won two Primera Division titles in 2007 and 2008.

This season, though, the Mali international has fallen down the pecking order and has not started a single game in La Liga under coach Jose Mourinho.

Monaco are struggling for survival in the French top flight and are second from bottom in the division.
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Liverpool Fail In Latest Attempt To Agree Fee With Ajax For Striker Luis Suarez

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Liverpool have once again been unable to agree a fee with Ajax for striker Luis Suarez after further negotiations.

As revealed exclusively by UK early on Thursday, the Merseyside club were preparing to make a final offer for the Uruguayan after having an initial offer of £12.7 million rejected by the Amsterdam club.

And now, Voetbal International reports the two clubs are still far from agreement regarding a price for the striker after Liverpool made another offer.

Ajax are understood to be holding out for at least £21m for Suarez, though they had previously set an asking price of £30m.

Manager Frank de Boer has indicated that Liverpool have until Saturday to agree a fee with the Dutch club for the World Cup star, who is believed to want a move to Anfield.

Liverpool may now be forced to wait until the summer to move for the player.
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Massimiliano Allegri Waiting For Milan To Sign Domenico Criscito Or Didac Vila

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Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri expects Genoa's Domenico Criscito or Espanyol's Didac Vila to join the club in January.
Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri is waiting for the Rossoneri to sign a full-back during the winter transfer window.

Allegri would like to see either Genoa's Domenico Criscito or Espanyol's Didac Vila join the squad in the coming days.

"Should a full-back arrive, I think it will surely be a quality player such as Vila or Criscito," the tactician revealed to Tuttomercatoweb.

"If one of those two players don't arrive, we will continue to go ahead like we are today."

The former Cagliari boss was also flattered by recent comparisons to current England manager Fabio Capello.

"This is something that fills me with joy. I am honoured by such a comparison," he added.
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Juventus Must Now Focus On Doing Well In The League - Luigi Del Neri

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Juventus coach Luigi Del Neri says his side must now solely focus on doing well in the league after being dumped out of the Coppa Italia.
Juventus coach Luigi Del Neri admitted the Bianconeri struggled against Roma in the quarter-finals of the Coppa Italia.

The tactician believes his side failed to create enough chances in the 2-0 loss and said they will now focus on doing well in the Serie A.

"We did not play our best," bemoaned Del Neri to reporters after the match. "We produced little and if you cannot create scoring chances, you can't score.

"Roma are a team that have played together for a long period. Together, they have overcome many critical moments and are now returning to their best."

Del Neri went on to say that they were unlucky not to have been awarded a late penalty after Alessandro Del Piero went down in the box.

"The penalty was there. At the moment, we are not even lucky during these episodes. We did not deserve to win this evening.

"Now, we must focus solely on the league, hoping to recover some players who are not at full fitness," concluded Del Neri.
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Claudio Ranieri Delighted With Roma Display

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Roma coach Claudio Ranieri is ecstatic with the Lupi's 2-0 win over Juventus in the Coppa Italia.
Roma coach Claudio Ranieri was extremely pleased with his side's display following the 2-0 win over Juventus in the quarter-finals of the Coppa Italia.

Ranieri also agreed with the referee's decision not to award Alessandro Del Piero a penalty late in the match, as the coach believes Juve's captain slipped while leaning on defender Philippe Mexes.

"In the dressing room, I praised my players for their efforts this evening," the coach told Corriere Dello Sport.

"We put a lot of effort into the match, even without many of our fans here to support us. We played well, scoring two goals and not conceding any.

"I am very satisfied. At this moment, we have a healthy side, and looking to improve especially away from home. We started the week well and must focus on beating Bologna [on Sunday].

"For me, there was no penalty. Alex was leaning on Mexes and then he fell over," he added.

The Lupi's next opponents in the semi-finals are reigning champions Inter, but the coach believes many things can happen between now and April.

"We will play them in April. There is still a lot of water to pass under the bridge until then. We will just savour our progression in the tournament and go from there," concluded Ranieri.
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Milan Jovanovic Rejects Chance To Leave Liverpool For Wolfsburg

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Liverpool forward Milan Jovanovic is understood to have turned down the chance to join Bundesliga club Wolfsburg.

Steve McClaren was believed to be keen on replacing striker Edin Dzeko, who moved to Manchester City, with the former Standard Liege man.

Reports suggested a £6 million offer had been tabled, but the former Standard Liege man has rejected the opportunity of a move, according to Sky Sports.

Jovanovic arrived at Anfield in the summer as Roy Hodgson took over, but has been unable to make himself a first team regular on Merseyside.

The striker recently told LFC Weekly he is expecting his fortunes to vastly improve under Kenny Dalglish over the second half of the season.
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Marco Storari Keen To Regain Juventus Starting XI Spot

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Juventus goalkeeper Marco Storari says he is determined to regain his starting XI after the return of Gianluigi Buffon from injury.
Juventus goalkeeper Marco Storari has revealed he is keen to regain his spot in the Bianconeri's starting XI after the return of Gianluigi Buffon from a back injury.

The former Sampdoria and Milan shot-stopper knows he will have to fight for his spot, and admits to having a good relationship with Buffon.

"With Gigi, I have a very good relationship," Storari told Sportal after the side's match against Roma in the Coppa Italia. "I will look to train hard to regain my spot, even if I know that there are certain rules I need to respect.'

The shot-stopper says the team is disappointed to have lost to the Giallorossi, but will turn their attention to the weekend's league clash against Udinese.

"We are all disappointed because we relly wanted to make the semi-finals," he continued. "It is a shame.

"Now we must roll up our sleeves and quickly think about the match against Udinese and doing well in the league."
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Liverpool Reject Bid From Chelsea For Fernando Torres

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Liverpool have revealed they have rejected a bid from Chelsea for star striker Fernando Torres.

Chelsea have long been admirers of the Spain international, and the bid was given the green light by club owner Roman Abramovich, who hoped to finally get his man in a shock January transfer window move.

The London club are believed to have made a bid in the region of £35 million, but Liverpool declared they have no intention of selling Torres.

“Chelsea have made a bid for Fernando which has been turned down,” a Liverpool spokesman said, according to The Times. “The player is not for sale.”

Torres had struggled earlier in the season under Roy Hodgson, but caught the eye when he scored a stunning goal against Carlo Ancelotti's side and has since enjoyed a resurgence in form under Kenny Dalglish.

The World Cup winner declared his commitment to the Merseyside club in the summer, but reportedly had a clause inserted in his contract that would allow him to leave should they receive an offer of £50m.

Torres' current deal expires in 2013, but Chelsea are understood to be hoping the striker could seek a move away from Anfield following what could be another unsuccessful season.

Meanwhile, Liverpool are locked in negotiations with Ajax over striker Luis Suarez, who looks less and less likely to join the club, making Torres' departure more unlikely still.
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Milan Agree €4 Million Deal For Espanyol Defender Didac Vila

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Reports are emerging that Milan and Espanyol have agreed a deal for defender Didac Vila.
Milan and Espanyol have reportedly agreed on a deal to bring defender Didac Vila to the Rossoneri.

Diavoli vice-president Adriano Galliani flew to Spain earlier today to have discussions with the Spanish outfit, and came to an agreement over the 21-year-old's transfer in a three-hour meeting.

According to ElMundoDeportivo and Datasport, the meeting was attended by Galliani and agent Mino Raiola with all parties agreeing to a €4 million deal.

Vila will become the Rossoneri's fourth signing of the winter transfer window, after Antonio Cassano, Urby Emanuelson and Mark van Bommel moved to the Italian giants.

The Spain Under-20 international could also be available for coach Massimiliano Allegri to select for Saturday's clash against Catania.
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Tottenham Already Have The Strikers To Challenge For The Premier League Title - Gary Mabbutt

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Former skipper rejects notion that new forward is needed at White Hart Lane.
Former Tottenham captain Gary Mabbutt has dismissed talk that Spurs are desperate for a new striker and believes the current squad is good enough to go all the way in domestic and European competition this season.

Spurs travel to Craven Cottage on Sunday for a fourth round FA Cup clash with Fulham with all four strikers struggling for goals this season.

Jermain Defoe (0), Peter Crouch (1), Roman Pavlyuchenko (5) and Robbie Keane (0) have bagged a meagre six Premier League goals between them this season, which has led to questions over whether their firepower can match their aspirations.

Manager Harry Redknapp has made no secret of his desire to bring in a world-class frontman with the club preparing a possible move for Atletico Madrid hitman Diego Forlan.

But Mabbutt believes the dynamic within the team has changed and with goals coming from all areas of the team, they should stick with the squad they have.
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Former Real Madrid Striker Fernando Morientes Backs Emmanuel Adebayor Signing

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Adebayor can only benefit Real Madrid according to former los Blancos hitman Fernando Morientes.
Former Real Madrid and Liverpool striker Fernando Morientes has indicated that he believes the loan deal to bring in Manchester City forward Emmanuel Adebayor will be a boost for the club in their bid to overcome Barcelona at La Liga's summit.

"I played with him at Monaco. Emmanuel has always had a great desire to learn and work. He is very tall and good with the ball at his feet. However, in training his flaws will be there for all to see, as he is not as good in the air as he could be.

"I think the move is up there alongside the likes of [Angel] Di Maria and [Mesut] Oezil. Adebayor has many advantages to bring to Real Madrid," Morientes told AS.

With Gonzalo Higuain out injured for a lenghty spell, Adebayor will provide competition for Karim Benzema, who has just started to find goals for Madrid in the last two matches.
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Asian Cup 2011: We Want To Write New History For Japan In Doha - Eiji Kawashima

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Japan's memories of Doha from a couple of decades ago aren't happy ones and goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima is keen to write a new history.
The agony of Doha is still fresh in the memories of the Japanese fans when they missed out on a place in the 1994 World Cup finals.

On that day they were held to a 2-2 draw by Iraq at the Al Ahli Stadium, which allowed their rivals South Korea to book a berth as one of the two Asian nations at the biggest football extravaganza on the planet.

With the Samurai Blue training primarily at the same stadium where the tragedy occured around two decades ago, the team is looking to mark the location with victory this time around.

“At that time, I was student at elementary school. But I remember that moment very clearly," said Eiji Kawashima, Japan's goalkeeper and semi-final hero.

"Also today, we are talking about it. It is a good experience that we can come here and feel the atmosphere and [we are] excited [about] the next match."

The Japanese number one stated that the positive messages from their homeland has motivated the team to perform.

"[We received more messages] than during the World Cup. We really get energy from the messages from Japan and we, the Japanese national team, can play with this energy from Japan."

Following his spot-kick heroics against South Korea, the custodian was asked whether he would prefer winning the final in normal time.

“I hope so. But in a match we always have to fight with our strong hearts. So yeah, we will try," he said.

The absence of Shinji Kagawa is a big blow to Japan but Kawashima sees it as an opportunity for another player to come in the side and do the job.

“Kagawa is a very important player for the team but the Asian Cup is not only important for the players in Europe," Kawashima said.

"We are a unit. We have to fight with all the players."

Kawashima was respectful towards the Australians but added that the Japanese need to focus on their own game rather than play according to the opposition’s strengths.

“They have really experienced players. Some of their players play in Europe and are very good. But we also have strong points [with one of them being] that we are a young team.

"We like to play to our strengths. This is really good challenge for us."
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Premier League Harder Than Serie A - Fiorentina Midfielder Valon Behrami

Posted by admin on Thursday, 27 January 2011

Valon Behrami claims Premier League experience made him stronger as he rekindles his relationship with Calcio.
Fiorentina midfielder Valon Behrami believes he can enjoy a thriving fortune in Serie A following his move from West Ham.

The 25-year-old was unveiled by the club on Thursday, and first up is a clash with former side Lazio on Saturday.

"Lazio? It will be a tough clash away from home, but I am tranquil. There is some emotion, but it's because I will be wearing the Fiorentina shirt," he told the press.

"My experience in England was important. The work was physical, and there was not much pressure off the pitch.

"I also think in certain aspects English football is different to the Italian game, it's more difficult."

Behrami revealed Fiorentina were just one of many clubs sourcing his services, but made it clear he was not forced to leave West Ham, despite making a handful of apperances this season.

"Had I not come to Fiorentina I would have remained at West Ham," he said.
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Dinamo Moscow Want Anderlecht Winger Jonathan Legear

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Anderlecht attacker Jonathan Legear has attracted the interest of Dinamo Moscow.
According to a report in Het Nieuwsblad, Russian side Dinamo Moscow are considering making a move for versatile attacker Jonathan Legear, currently under contract with reigning Belgian champions Anderlecht.

The Moscow side are looking to add some more creativity to their squad ahead of the start of the Russian league season and head coach Miodrag Bozovic is supposedly a keen admirer of the 23-year-old Legear.

Legear is a product of the Standard Liege youth academy, but left the Rouches for Anderlecht in the summer of 2004. The right winger has since made over 100 official appearances for the Brussels side.

Dinamo Moscow face stiff competition in the race for Legear's services. Clubs such as Newcastle United, Everton, Wolfsburg, Schalke and Paris Saint-Germain are also believed to be interested in signing the Belgium international.

Anderlecht are keen to hold on to Legear, but they could be tempted to cash in on the winger if an offer in the region of €6 million comes in.
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Official: Hoffenheim Sign Edson Braafheid From Bayern Munich

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Hoffenheim have completed the signing of Edson Braafheid from Bayern Munich.
Bundesliga side Hoffenheim have signed Netherlands international Edson Braafheid from German titleholders Bayern Munich for an undisclosed fee. The full-back has signed a contract until the summer of 2014 with his new club.

Hoffenheim were looking for a new left back because of the departure of Luiz Gustavo and Christian Eichner earlier this month and head coach Marco Pezzaiuoli has now gotten his desired reinforcements.

"We've added some more quality and experience to our squad with the capture of Braafheid. He's a modern left-back who adds something to the team both defensively and going forward," said Pezzaiuoli on the Hoffenheim website.

Braafheid joined Bayern from Twente in the summer of 2009, but the 27-year-old failed to secure regular first team action at the Bavarians.

"It was very important for my personal development to leave Bayern for Hoffenheim, also with an eye on my future in the national side. I know the Bundesliga very well and I'm confident that I'll find my way at Hoffenheim," commented Braafheid.
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Mallorca Unaware Of Internacional Approach For Striker Fernando Cavenaghi

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Mallorca claim that they have not received official word regarding an approach from Internacional for striker Fernando Cavenaghi.
The future of striker Fernando Cavenaghi remains in doubt after Mallorca admitted to being unaware of any approach from Internacional to sign the player.

The Argentine, who is currently on loan to the Primera Division club until the end of the season from Ligue 1 side Bordeaux, was thought to be on his way back to South America after the Brazilian outfit announced earlier in the week that the 27-year-old would be joining them on a short-term arrangement.

However, Inter have since released a statement claiming: “The signing of Cavenaghi has been delayed with good reason as the documents to allow the player to travel to Port Alegre to undergo medical examinations with not arrive until tomorrow [Thursday].”

Furthermore, AS reports to have no knowledge of the former Spartak Moscow attacker leaving the club any time soon, although Cavenaghi’s representative, Nestor Sivori, stated: “The case should be settled today, for better or worse, because it is not good for the player to be in this situation.”

Should Cavenaghi be leaving the Balearic club, they would prefer to resolve the issue as soon as possible to allow them to swoop for an alternative before the current window slams shut on Monday.
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Sunderland Reach An Agreement With Paris Saint-Germain Over Stephane Sessegnon Switch

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The deal to take Stephane Sessegnon to Sunderland from Paris Saint-Germain is all but completed.
Little over 24 hours after a deal to take Stephane Sessegnon from Paris Saint-Germain to Sunderland was declared to be dead in the French media, Le Parisien has reported that the transfer has virtually been concluded.

After reporting earlier that personal terms had been reached with the 26-year-old, the Paris daily has now stated that an accord over a transfer fee, thought to be around €6 million plus bonuses, has been reached with the French club. Now all that is required is the official stamp of approval.

Sessegnon made clear his desire to leave the French capital prior to the opening of the window, unhappy with the amount of time he had been forced to spend on the Parc des Princes bench. The Benin international, who is a flair-packed but rather erratic offensive midfielder, even went AWOL from PSG training earlier this month in an attempt to push through his transfer.

Les Parisiens, on the other hand, had made it clear that they saw the versatile attacker as a valuable player in their first team plans, even if he failed to break into the starting XI because of the excellent form of Nene and Ludovic Giuly.

“We’re in talks with Paris and we’re awaiting a response,” Sunderland assistant manager Eric Black is quoted by the paper has having said earlier.

It seems that the Black Cats have received the thumbs up to complete the deal from PSG, who may be forced to quickly dip into the transfer window themselves in the coming days.
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Bolton Wanderers Resume Talks With Manchester City Over Shaun Wright-Phillips

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Bolton Wanderers have emerged as the leaders in the race to sign Shaun Wright-Phillips from Manchester City having re-entered into discussions with the England international's club, according to The Times.

Fulham looked to be the most likely destination for the winger, as UK reported earlier in the month, but they have brought in Chelsea youngster Gael Kakuta on loan which looks to have ended their interest in Wright-Phillips.

Cottagers boss Mark Hughes said yesterday of the situation: “We've enquired but it seems like it's becoming more and more difficult. There are a lot of things being put in our way to prevent that.”

It is thought that Wright-Phillips was in the stands for Bolton's clash with his former team Chelsea on Monday night and he is also thought to be a fan of the brand of football Owen Coyle has introduced at the Reebok Stadium.

Wages could prove to be an issue for the Lancashire side, as they have been the stumbling block for Fulham and other interested party Newcastle United.

None of his suitors are willing to match his £65,000-a-week wages and are only willing to venture into the £45,000 territory. City would also prefer a club to buy their man permanently, but a loan move is preferred by Bolton.
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Liverpool Could Move For Tottenham's Niko Kranjcar If They Don't Land Charlie Adam From Blackpool

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Liverpool could make a move for Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Niko Kranjcar if their pursuit of Charlie Adam proves fruitless.

According to The Daily Mirror, Werder Bremen are interested in the Croatian, but the player himself wants to continue plying his trade in the Premier League.

It is thought that he would like to play for the Reds, who are currently interested in Blackpool midfielder Adam.

However, it has been reported that the situation could very well change if they are unable to land the Seasiders' skipper, with Spurs outcast Kranjcar lined up as a backup option.

Blackpool have slapped a £12m price-tag on Adam
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I Will Probably Retire From International Football After Euro 2012 - Germany's Arne Friedrich

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Wolfsburg defender Arne Friedrich will retire from international football after Euro 2012.
Experienced Wolfsburg defender Arne Friedrich has revealed that he will probably retire from international football after Euro 2012.

"I have to be realistic about my future. Euro 2012 will probably be my last tournament before I retire from international football," 31-year-old Friedrich was quoted as saying by Bild.

"We have a lot of promising youngsters coming through and they deserve a chance to play for the national side.

"It's my goal to win the European Championships with Germany in Poland-Ukraine. I'm confident that we'll be among the candidates to win the tournament."

Friedrich made his Germany debut against Bulgaria in August 2002 and has since made over 70 appearances for the Nationalelf. He played at Euro 2004 and 2008 and also took part in the 2006 and 2010 World Cups.
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Former Palermo Director Walter Sabatini Excludes Roma Move

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Walter Sabatini has said Roma have not made an approach to land him as a director at the club in relation to American takeover reports.
Walter Sabatini has said there has been no long and sustained contact with Roma over a possible future role at Trigoria.

Reports suggested the former Palermo transfer chief was being considered by the Lupi's prospective new owners - an American consortium led by Thomas Richard Di Benedetto.

However, Sabatini has revealed there has been no dialogue with the Romans, but gestured he would consider a move if he was offered a deal.

"It's an honour to be linked with Roma, but there has been nothing," he told Radio Centro Suono Sport.

"I was surprised by the news as nobody has told me anything.

"If they call me? Anyone would say yes, and me too. There wouldn't be a more important chance."
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Blackpool Boss Ian Holloway To Get A Cut Of Liverpool Target Charlie Adam's Transfer Fee

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Gaffer also reveals he's on a much bigger bonus to avoid relegation.
Blackpool manager Ian Holloway has admitted that he stands to receive a slice of the transfer pie when Charlie Adam is sold to another club.

The midfielder has already handed in a transfer request to force a move away from the Seasiders, with Liverpool being heavily linked with a move for the player.

The 47-year-old recently maintained that Adam could be the man to fill the void left by Xabi Alonso's departure to Real Madrid in 2009, amid recent reports that Blackpool have placed a £12 million price tag on their skipper – of which Holloway is expected to receive a cut.

"I do get rewarded with anybody I coach and make a profit on," he told The Sun.

"My chairman looked at my record of producing players and helping players and selling them on and he wanted that at Blackpool.

"That's not what I'm doing it for. I'm on a far bigger bonus to keep us in the Premier League and Charlie Adam can help me do that."

The gaffer also recently described a £4 million bid from the Merseyside club as "disgraceful" with regards to how much the club expect to make through the sale of the former Rangers player.

But Holloway added: "If you're saying I'm doing this because I'm getting 20-30 per cent of the Adam money I'll not be very happy - it's miles away, absolute nonsense."

A spokesman for the FA said: "This type of agreement does not contravene any of our rules whatsoever."
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Atletico Madrid Players Must Believe They Can Achieve Champions League Qualification - Tomas Ujfalusi

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Atletico Madrid defender Tomas Ujfalusi claims that team must believe they are capable of qualifying for the Champions League.
Atletico Madrid stopper Tomas Ujfalusi claims that the club's players must believe that they have the capability of qualifying for the Champions League this season.

Los Colchoneros lie a massive 10 points behind fourth-placed Valencia in the race to return to Europe’s premier club competition, and Sunday’s weekend defeat to Sporting left coach Quique Sanchez Flores appearing downbeat to the team’s chances.

In an interview with AS however, the Czech defender feels that they must keep the faith that they can close the gap on their Primera Division rivals.

He remarked: “One thing is to believe, and it is quite another to go out and do the most we can to win games. We have a very good team who can come out of the worst of situations. Everyone has to believe, but we all must do our part.”

Ujfalusi also mentioned the meeting held with board member Gil Marin, and what was discussed, adding: “He wanted to see us to assess the situation after the last match, which was very bad and we had no chance of scoring.

“We still have 18 games, however, to reach fourth place and we know that we have no margin for error.”
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Newcastle United's Andy Carroll To Be Sent To Specialist After Suffering Injury Blow

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Striker's absence looks set to continue for some time.
Newcastle United forward Andy Carroll will fly to Scandanavia later this week to see a specialist in the hope of repairing an ongoing thigh problem that has seen him miss all his team's action so far this year.

His manager, Alan Pardew, had hoped that Carroll would be fit within two weeks, but that seems unlikely seeing as his striker has had to resort to drastic measures with the club currently spending time in Portugal during a fixture lull.

“We brought him out here to start running, and the disappointing news is that he hasn't,” said Pardew, according to The Northern Echo.
“His injury is in the muscle, just above the tendon where it joins the knee, so it's not an area that gets great circulation and therefore it doesn't heal quickly.

“We have had a consultation this week about sending him to someone who is the world's best tendon repair expert – there are experts in different fields – and this guy is at the Arctic end of Sweden.

“He's flying out there on Friday and we're hoping that we can turn him around quickly. But now I have to say that Fulham is definitely out and possibly even Arsenal. We can't rush him back.”

The news will come as a bitter blow to Newcastle fans as Carroll has impressed hugely so far this season, contributing 11 goals in the Premier League.

Summer signing Dan Gosling also remains on the sidelines with a knee injury and is unlikely to make his debut for the Magpies for another month.
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Official: Wolfsburg Sign Kaiserslautern Striker Srdjan Lakic On Bosman Move

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Wolfsburg have secured the services of Kaiserslautern attacker Srdjan Lakic on a Bosman move.
Ambitious Bundesliga outfit Wolfsburg have completed the signing of Croatian attacker Srdjan Lakic from Kaiserslautern on a free transfer. The striker has signed a contract until the summer of 2015 with his new club and will join the Woelfe at the end of the 2010-11 campaign.

Wolfsburg were looking for attacking reinforcements because of the departure of Edin Dzeko to Manchester City earlier this month and head coach Steve McClaren sees the 27-year-old Lakic as the perfect replacement.

"Lakic is a classic striker who really adds something to the team with his dynamic style. He always works hard and is very dangerous in front of the goal. We're very happy that we've manged to sign him, despite the stiff competition from a few other teams," said sporting director Dieter Hoeness on the Wolfsburg site.

The striker joined Kaiserslautern from Hertha Berlin in the summer of 2008 and had since become a key player at 1FCK. Nevertheless, Lakic was reluctant to sign a new contract with Kaiserslautern and is eagerly anticipating a new challenge.

"I'm very happy that the transfer is a done deal now and I'm looking forward to a new challenge. Wolfsburg are a big club with ambitious goals and I'm hopeful of playing a big role in the club's future," commented Lakic.
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Boca Juniors Midfielder Gary Medel Arrives In Sevilla To Complete €6 Million Switch

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Gary Medel arrives in Andalucia to complete transfer from Boca Juniors to Sevilla.
Chilean midfielder Gary Medel has arrived in Andalucia to complete his move from Boca Juniors to Sevilla.

The 23-year-old has not yet signed the contract being offered by Los Nervionenses, and will first undergo a series of medical examinations before the deal will be confirmed.

The deal on the table for Medel, who starred for La Roja in the World Cup in South Africa during the summer, is thought to be for four-and-a-half seasons, and all that is required is the player’s signature to confirm that transfer.

The Primera Division side will pay in the region of €6 million for Medel, whose versatility means he can also slot into central defence if necessary.

Speaking to the media before boarding the flight from Madrid earlier this morning, he claimed to be "very happy" about the prospect of playing in European football, and that he hopes "to do well in Spain".

Medel will become Sevilla's first addition of the winter transfer market, and have also been heavily linked with Rosenborg's Anthony Annan and Schalke's Ivan Rakitic.
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Juventus Striker Amauri Could Start Against Roma In Coppa Italia Quarter-Final

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Del Neri to give Amauri Coppa Italia chance.
Juventus coach Luigi Del Neri is showing faith in Amauri, who is expected to start against Roma in the Coppa Italia.

La Gazzetta dello Sport claims he may be flanked by either Alessandro Del Piero or Vincenzo Iaquinta, with Milos Krasic likely to be rested ahead of the weekend clash with Udinese.

Simone Pepe will set off from the right side with Claudio Marchisio on the opposite side. Felipe Melo and Alberto Aquilani will hold the midfield.

Frederik Sorensen, Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini and Fabio Grosso complete the back line.

Meanwhile, Roma coach Claudio Ranieri will make a last minute decision on whether to play Jeremy Menez in place of Marco Borriello.

Il Corriere dello Sport claims the Italian suffered a problem to his meniscus against Cagliari at the weekend, but he could be in contention to start in Turin.

Simone Perrotta, Daniele De Rossi, Rodrigo Taddei and Matteo Brighi are all expected to start.
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Josip Ilicic is Very Happy At Palermo

Posted by admin on Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Josip Ilicic is content with life at Palermo.
Palermo striker Josip Ilicic has excelled during his first season in Serie A, gathering plenty of interest from top European clubs such as Chelsea, Bayern Munich, and Tottenham Hotspur.

However, the 22-year-old's representative claims his client is content to remain in Sicily.

"Certainly there is great interest in Josip, also from England, Germany, and Spain," Amir Ruznic told

"These teams know he cannot move in January due to FIFA regulations, but in June if there is an important offer the president [Maurizio Zamparini] will decide.

"The lad is having a great time in Palermo, he isn't missing anything. He has the confidence of the coach and the club, a good relationship with his team-mates and the affection of the fans. He's really happy here."
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PSV Attacker Ola Toivonen: Last Summer Was Not The Right Time To Join Liverpool

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PSV attacker Ola Toivonen has made it clear that last summer was not the right time to join Liverpool.
Swedish international Ola Toivonen appeared to be set to leave PSV for Liverpool during the summer transfer window, but the attacker eventually stayed at the Eredivisie outfit when both clubs failed to agree terms.

Toivonen wasn't too disappointed that the transfer fell through and has revealed that it was not the right time to join Liverpool.

"Initially, I really didn't know how to act when I heard about Liverpool's interest. PSV and Liverpool hadn't agreed terms yet, but that seemed a realistic option. I didn't know whether it was the right thing to do to leave PSV for Liverpool," said Toivonen to Voetbal International.

"I discussed it with a lot of people and eventually reached the conclusion that it wasn't the right time to sign for Liverpool. I could have caused problems that PSV didn't want to sell me, but I had plenty of reasons not to do so.

"It was good to see that PSV considered me to be an important player. Additionally, the timing wasn't right. Pre-season had already ended and all first team places were pretty much taken."
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Chelsea Full-Back Patrick van Aanholt Set For Leicester City Loan Move

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Blues' prospect to join Sven's revolution.
Chelsea defender Patrick van Aanholt is set to join Championship side Leicester City on loan for the remainder of the season, subject to clearance from the Football League.

The highly rated full-back is the latest high-profile name to join Sven-Goran Eriksson’s side, along with former England international Darius Vassell and Yakubu on-loan from Everton.

van Aanholt, 20, passed a medical at the Foxes training ground on Wednesday and is hopeful of making his debut away at Sheffield United on Tuesday.

Leicester City assistant manager Derek Fazackerley told the club’s official website: "Patrick is another quality addition to our squad. He is a talented young footballer, with good skill, natural pace and the required hunger and desire to do well in the game.

"Although Ben Mee can play at left-back, Bruno Berner is our only specialist player in that position, so this was an area we needed to add to.

"Patrick has impressed at Chelsea, Coventry City and Newcastle United and we are certain he will do likewise here at the Walkers Stadium."

The Premier League champions have also loaned out Gael Kakuta to Fulham for the remainder of the season.
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Manchester United's Darren Fletcher Insists There Is No Talk Of Unbeaten Record Being Broken

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Stretching the gap at the top is more important
Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher insists there has been no mention of the history books as the club march towards another title.

United went a club record 29 games unbeaten during the 1999 treble winning season

After the Red Devils beat Blackpool 3-2 on Tuesday night in a pulsating encounter, they find themselves only one game off matching that feat, with Aston Villa the next to go up against Sir Alex Ferguson's red machine.

But for Fletcher and the rest of the players the most important stat is that United have stretched their lead at the top of the Premier League to five points with Arsenal leading the chasing pack.

"The unbeaten record is not being spoken about,” the Scotland captain told reporters.

"Our main concern is winning the league. Not losing for so long does give us great confidence but ultimately we are trying to win the Premier League – that is all we are focused on.

"If that means losing a game, so be it."
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Diego Contento Won't Leave Bayern Munich In January

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Diego Contento is part of Bayern's future plans, according to his agent.
Bayern Munich starlet Diego Contento will not leave Bayern Munich during the winter transfer window in search of more playing time despite reported interest from Milan and Fiorentina, according to his agent.

The 20-year-old defender is regarded as a future star, but has only made eight Bundesliga appearances this term.

"He has a contract until 2013 and I think he is part of Bayern's project," Christian Romberg told tuttomercatoweb.

"The will of the player? He is well at his current club, of course like every footballer he would like to play more.

"If attractive offers arrive then we will review them, but I don't think he will move in January. Indeed, I think as early as next week he could be used by the manager [Louis van Gaal]."
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Davide Santon Did Not Refuse A Move To Genoa

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The agent of Inter defender Davide Santon has dismissed rumours his client rejected a move to Genoa.
Inter full-back Davide Santon has found playing time hard to come by this season, dealing with competition from Maicon, Cristian Chivu, and Javier Zanetti in his position.

The promising youngster had been linked with a switch to Genoa, but his agent insists that the 20-year-old did not reject a move to the Marassi as there was no offer on the table.

"Santon did not refuse anything," Renzo Contratto revealed to

"I haven't received any proposal from Inter on the possible transfer of the player to Liguria. I reiterate the will of Davide is not to move in January."

The defender has featured in 11 matches this season in Serie A, a majority of his appearances coming from the substitutes' bench.
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Chelsea & Benfica Abort Negotiations Over David Luiz's Transfer

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David Luiz's potential move from Benfica to Chelsea has fallen through, according to latest emanating reports.
Defender David Luiz is set to remain with Benfica after talks between the Portuguese champions and Chelsea broke down today, according to reports from Portugal.

News daily Record claims that the two clubs decided to call off negotiations after not reaching an agreement over the terms of the transfer.

It's been reported that Benfica president Luis FIlipe Vieira refused to lower the €25 million sum they want for the 23-year-old centre-back, an amount that the Premier League champions are unwilling to meet.

It seems as though unless Chelsea return to the table with exactly €25 million, the hopes of this transfer taking place in winter are extinguished.

Luiz has been included in Benfica's squad against Rio Ave in tonight's Portuguese Cup tie and is set to start the match as well. The Brazil international was absent from the squad for Saturday's league win against Nacional due to suspension.

Update 23:10 CET: The player took a penalty, that was missed, during Benfica's Taca de Portugal clash against Rio Ave. The defender is typically not a spot-kick taker and it possibly is a sign of his departure from the club as the chance to score a 'farewell' goal.
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Real Madrid's Iker Casillas: We Must Score Against Sevilla

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Casillas insists that Madrid will give their all to beat Sevilla in the Copa del Rey.
Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas has assured the fans that los Blancos will do everything in their power to win the Copa del Rey this season.

The Merengues take on Sevilla in the semi-finals with the first-leg slated to be played tonight, and Casillas has stated that Madrid are keen to win the competition.

"It is very important that we score in Seville," Casillas is quoted as saying by Madrid's official website. "I would rather come back for the second leg with a 1-1 draw than a scoreless draw, although we are definitely going to try to win.

"Sevilla are a rugged team. If we want to make the final we need to leave the Pizjuan with a decent result so that we can take care of business at home."

He continued, "We all want to win the Copa. It is a great competition. Once you are in the final and you look back at the road travelled you realise that it was all worth it.

"Real Madrid cannot go 17 years without winning this competition. That is too long. We have played in two finals in the last decade and we hope to do so again this year.

"The Sevilla match is our most important right now so we cannot slip up. We will do whatever it takes. Despite the fact that Sevilla haven't been very consistent in La Liga, they are in the Copa.

"We know Sevilla are a strong opponent, but we are going to try to defeat the current champion."
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Sunderland Set To Land Long-Term Target Sulley Muntari From Inter

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Sunderland have been given permission to open talks with Ghanaian midfielder Sulley Muntari by Inter, according to reports.

The former Portsmouth midfielder has been a long-term target of Steve Bruce and it is understood that an initial loan deal would be in place until the end of the season with an option to make the move permanent if things go well.

The Press Association report that the European champions have given the player – who has made just 12 appearances this season – permission to speak to the Premier League side.

Muntari has been linked with a number of clubs, such as Liverpool and Tottenham, as speculation intensified following the summer departure of manager Jose Mourinho from the San Siro.

If Muntari joins Sunderland he would be the third Ghanaian in the Black Cats squad, joining John Mensah and record signing Asamoah Gyan on Wearside.
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Manchester City Boss Roberto Mancini: I Hope Emmanuel Adebayor Plays Often And Scores Lots Of Goals For Real Madrid

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Blues boss believes it's a great move for striker.
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini believes Emmanuel Adebayor's loan move to Real Madrid will benefit all parties, but especially the player himself.

With the striker’s chances at playing in the first team limited even before striker Edin Dzeko joined the club in Januray, the loan move to Real Madrid was too good an offer to turn down.

“This is a big chance for him and I hope for him he can do well,” Mancini told the club's official website.

"He will be with Real Madrid for the next five months and I hope he plays often and scores a lot of goals.

"La Liga is a very good league to play in and I'm sure he will enjoy his time in Spain and playing alongside players such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka."

Real Madrid have first option to buy the Togolese international, who has scored 19 goals in 36 appearances in all competitions, at the end of the loan deal if he impresses at the Bernabeu.
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Besiktas Midfielder Guti: Jose Mourinho Is Too Big For Some People At Real Madrid

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Guti believes that Mourinho is too big a personality for some people at Real Madrid to handle.
Former Real Madrid midfielder Guti believes that there are some people at the club who cannot handle a big personality like Jose Mourinho.

The Portuguese coach has been ruffling some feathers lately at the Bernabeu and Guti, who is now at Turkish outfit Besiktas, claims that this isn't very surprising.

"They signed up a great coach but what is happening is that he is too big for some people inside the club," the midfielder is quoted as saying by Spanish sports daily Marca.

The 34-year-old also hailed Madrid's new signing Emmanuel Adebayor who arrives from Manchester City on loan for the rest of the season.

"Adebayor is a great player and forward. Although above all he is a quality striker who was needed at Real Madrid.

"Any attacker with good conditions will triumph at Real Madrid. Everyone would like to have next to them Kaka, [Mesut] Oezil, Cristiano [Ronaldo], so things are much easier."
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Sampdoria Coach Domenico Di Carlo Rues Costly Errors Against Milan

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Di Carlo has lamented the mistakes made by his players against Milan in the Coppa Italia.
Sampdoria coach Domenico Di Carlo believes the Blucerchiati's errors in the first half against Milan in the Coppa Italia tonight cost them a place in the semi-finals.

Alexandre Pato found the target twice in the space of just five minutes in the first-half, and although Stefano Guberti cut the deficit in half in the second session it wasn't enough as Samp crashed out of the competition.

"We paid the price with two errors today at the start of the match with Milan," Di Carlo told the press.

"Then in the second half we got better on the pitch trying to be more aggressive. I'm happy despite losing because of our performance in the second half."
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Milan Defender Massimo Oddo Delighted With Coppa Italia Victory Over Sampdoria

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Oddo is pleased with the 2-1 win over Sampdoria.
Milan defender Massimo Oddo was delighted with the Rossoneri's 2-1 win over Sampdoria in the quarter-finals of the Coppa Italia on Wednesday.

A brace from Alexandre Pato saw the Diavoli go through to the semis and set up a date with Palermo for a place in the final.

"We had a great game, especially in the first half," Oddo told reporters after the match.

"We made chances and took them. We knew Sampdoria would come back in the second half, but we managed to hold them out."

Oddo also praised the performance of debutants Mark van Bommel and Urby Emanuelson.

"I think they are two good buys. They are experienced and add quality to the squad.

"It is not easy to play so soon after arriving and Van Bommel had a different role to the one he had at Bayern Munich, but he did very well tonight."
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River Plate Plans Thrown Into Doubt By Juan Pablo Carrizo Injury

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Juan Pablo Carrizo will require surgery on an injured ankle, which means the goalkeeper will miss the first half of River Plate's season.
River Plate's hopes for the 2011 Clausura have taken a serious hit, with the news that star goalkeeper Juan Pablo Carrizo will miss the first half of the season through injury.

Fox Sports reports that the former Lazio and Zaragoza stopper broke down in training with an ankle injury, and in the coming days will undergo an operation to repair damaged ligaments in the joints.

The procedure will put 'JP' on the sidelines for at least 60 days, meaning that he will be unavailable until the ninth game of the Clausura at the earliest.

With money scarce at the Buenos Aires giants, the onus will thus fall on number two 'keeper Daniel Vega and promising yet untried youngster Leandro Chichizola to fill in for the Argentine international.

Carrizo is widely regarded as one of the most talented goalkeepers currently available to Argentina, and after a difficult time in Italy and Spain he was one of the stars of the season for a Millo side which finished a respectable fourth in the Apertura.

The player himself was philosophical about the blow, and insisted that he trusted understudy Vega to perform admirably.

"It doesn't seem necessary to me to search for another goalkeeper, today opens the door for any of the players we already have. It wouldn't be good to go looking for another, as it wouldn't be trusting those the club has," Carrizo revealed in an interview on Wednesday.

"I told [Vega] that this is his moment to shine, and that he has a responsibility to make the most of it."
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Inter Coach Leonardo Expects Tough Coppa Italia Quarter-Final Clash At Napoli

Posted by admin on Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Leonardo doesn't know what the picture might be at Napoli when Inter drop in for the Coppa Italia fight.
Inter coach Leonardo is bracing himself for a turbulent Coppa Italia quarter-final on Wednesday as Napoli stand in the way.

The Brazilian hopes his players overcome the distress absorbed against Udinese at the weekend, but he is aware Napoli won't be there to make up numbers.

"In their last games Napoli have done very well, even against us. Playing at the San Paolo is something different. The fans are very passionate," Leonardo told the press.

"It will be a tough game as they are a team in form. We want to do well in the Coppa Italia and we see this as an important game."

The Nerazzurri have been leaking goals at the back, a cause for raised concern from the coach.

"Too many goals conceeded? Most of them have been off rebounds," he said.

"We have to follow up the actions, especially on free-kicks."
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Atletico Madrid Keeper David De Gea: I Want To Represent Spain At World Cup 2014

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Atletico Madrid stiker David de Gea is hopeful of repesenting Spain at World Cup 2014 in Brazil.
Atletico Madrid shot-stopper David de Gea has stated his intention to be included in the Spanish national team squad for World Cup 2014.

The 20-year-old has emerged as one of the highest-rated goalkeepers in European football in the past 12 months, and was selected by La Furia Roja coach Vicente del Bosque in his provisional selection for South Africa, before eventually losing out to the trio of Iker Casillas, Victor Valdes and Jose Reina.

De Gea feels however that the tournament in Brazil, where Spain will hope to defend their title, is a realistic target for him to break onto the international scence.

He remarked in an interview with FHM Madrid: “I will work to get there, The truth is that I envy them because the work they have done is incredible. I want to be at the next World Cup.”

He also declared himself flattered by interest from big clubs such as Manchester United, continuing: “Yes, it is nice, but I am very happy here, I have came through from Atletico B and it would be very difficult for me to leave.”
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Wolfsburg Interested In Jonathan Legear And Marko Pantelic

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Wolfsburg are reportedly looking to use the money from the sale of Edin Dzeko to fund moves for Jonathan Legear and Marko Pantelic.
Bundesliga underachievers VfL Wolfsburg are reportedly weighing up moves for Anderlecht winger Jonathan Legear and Olympiacos striker Marko Pantelic as they look to bolster their squad following the departure of Edin Dzeko to Manchester City.

WAZ are reporting that die Woelfe have made an enquiry to the Belgian champions about Legear, whose contract runs until the middle of 2014. Capable of playing on either flank, he has five goals and six assists to his name in 17 Jupiler League appearances this term.

Former Hertha Berlin and Ajax striker Marko Pantelic is also being lined up for a return to the Bundesliga. The Olympiacos man, now 32, has been the subject of a €2 million offer from Wolfsburg, although the Greek club are holding out for more.

Steve McClaren's side are currently in a disappointing 11th spot in the table with 23 points from their 18 games this season.
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Napoli Are Focused On Beating Inter In The Coppa Italia - Walter Mazzarri

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Walter Mazzarri confident Napoli can clear the Inter obstacle standing between them and a Coppa Italia semi-final.
Napoli coach Walter Mazzarri believes his side are in the right mood to push ahead with their Coppa Italia ambition against Inter.

The two teams clash in Wednesday's second quarter-final and confidence is in plentiful supply, but that comes with a pinch of caution for Mazzarri.

"We have a very important game ahead of us tomorrow and we are playing a team of a high level, we cannot allow ourselves to become distracted," Mazzarri told the press.

"They [Inter] come off the back of a loss and so they will be very motivated and it's not often they mess up two games in a row.

"We need to be perfect to get through the round."

Napoli have been fitting the Coppa Italia around their European and Serie A plans, and it is working.

"We are getting used to fighting on three fronts. We have gone through in Europe, and we are there in the league. We want to play all games to the maximum," added the coach.

"Tomorrow is another test and we want to go through."
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Assistant Coach Aitor Karanka Denies Disharmony At Real Madrid

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Real Madrid assistant coach Aitor Karanka has refuted claims of disharmony throughout the club.
Real Madrid assistant coach Aitor Karanka has once again denied claims of a strained relationship between Jose Mourinho and general director Jorge Valdano, and added that everyone is working to help the club succeed.

Karanka conducted today’s press conference ahead of tomorrow evening’s Copa del Rey match with Sevilla, with Mourinho refusing to field questions from the media on his dealings with the Argentine.

The Portuguese’s deputy remarked, “We intend to create relationships that are best for the club. The sporting theme is good, and everyone is working in the same direction.

“Nobody likes to say too much to defend their club in case they are reprimanded or disciplined. So it was decided I would do this press conference. The squad is united, we all know who is boss, and we are with him to the death.

“The only obsession is winning titles. I am with him [Mourinho] every day, and he is more than comfortable at the club.”

Karanka also referred to the role of Benzema, who netted the winner in the weekend victory over Mallorca, saying: “He is still important to us. He is playing under pressure and Karim is bringing Madrid more.”
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Manchester United Veteran Ryan Giggs: Wayne Rooney Is Bound To Score Goals Sooner Or Later

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John O'Shea also backs hitman to return to his goal scoring best.
Manchester United midfielder Ryan Giggs believes that Wayne Rooney is bound to start scoring goals soon.

The forward has had a difficult season as he was at the centre of a media storm concerning his personal life, while form deserted him on the pitch.

With injury and a new contract - under controversial circumstances - having also come to pass, the 25-year old has scored only once from open play.

"As a goalscorer you want to be getting goals but his overall play has been good - his cross for my goal against Birmingham was brilliant," Giggs said, according to The Sun.

"As long as the team is doing well, that's the main thing. And we know that sooner or later Wayne will start scoring."

Rooney's team-mate John O'Shea added: "Wayne will soon be back on the goal trail because of his quality. I'm sure the chances like the one he missed towards the back post against Birmingham will be flying in in no time."
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Mario Balotelli & Antonio Cassano Are Italy Phenomena - FIGC President Giancarlo Abete

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President of the FIGC Giancarlo Abete believes Mario Balotelli and Antonio Cassano will buck the Italy trend.
Italy duo Mario Balotelli and Antonio Cassano have the future hopes of a nation riding on their shoulders.

And Italian FA president Giancarlo Abete claims they are the key elements in leading future change and break the boundaries following a failed World Cup campaign last year.

Marcello Lippi had tended to stick with the established players, but Cesare Prandelli has showed an explosion against the system as he focuses on young talent.

"I think the generational change with Italy can start from Cassano and Balotelli," Abete told

"They are phenomena from a techincal point of view and we hope they become so behaviour-wise too."

Paolo Maldini enjoyed a successful legacy with La Nazionale, and Abete was keen to remind him of future opportunities.

"The doors of the FIGC are always open for Paolo," he said.
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Ruud Van Nistelrooy Will Not Extend Hamburg Contract - Agent Rodger Linse

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The agent of Ruud van Nistelrooy has ruled out the possibility of his client extending his contract at Hamburg.
After Hamburg's refusal to allow Ruud van Nistelrooy to leave for Real Madrid, the player's agent has eliminated the possibility of a contract extension with the German club.

"A contract extension with Hamburg can now be ruled out. This is not possible anymore," Rodger Linse told Hamburger Morgenpost.

The Dutch striker's contract at Hamburg is set to expire in the summer. He has scored six goals for the Rothosen this season, and has been labelled as a key figured for Armin Veh's side.

"[Van Nistelrooy] cannot understand [why HSV blocked a transfer to Madrid] and he has got a problem with it. It is very, very painful," Linse added.

"It is sad because Hamburg have no idea what they are doing to Ruud with this decision."

Van Nistelrooy joined Hamburg a year ago after being deemed surplus to requirements at Madrid. The injury-plagued veteran had scored 46 goals in 68 matches, but was behind Gonzalo Higuain, Karim Benzema and Raul in the pecking order. However, with the Argentine out with a long-term injury, Raul having departed for Schalke and Benzema misfiring, Van Nistelrooy was Madrid's first choice replacement. They have since turned their attention elsewhere.
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Bayern Munich Sweating Over Fitness Of Arjen Robben & Daniel Van Buyten

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Arjen Robben and Daniel van Buyten have fallen ill ahead of Bayern Munich's DFB Pokal match with Alemannia Aachen.
German giants Bayern Munich have received some disturbing news ahead of their DFB Pokal clash with Alemannia Aachen.

On Tuesday it was revealed that Arjen Robben and Daniel van Buyten had fallen ill, leaving their availability for Wednesday's match in question. Should they fail to make the Bayern line-up tomorrow, both are still expected to be fit for Saturday's Bundesliga match against Werder Bremen.

On the other hand, Bayern will definitely be without long-term casualty Ivica Olic, as well as Toni Kroos, Franck Ribery and Diego Contento. The latter suffered a stress fracture in his spine last weekend in the Bayern reserves' match against Wacker Burghausen. On the bright side, Ribery could make his return against Bremen.
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Bastian Schweinsteiger Passes Like Xavi And Andres Iniesta - Mario Gomez

Posted by admin on Monday, 24 January 2011

Mario Gomez believes Bastian Schweinsteiger plays passes that only Xavi and Andres Iniesta could match.
Joint Bundesliga top scorer Mario Gomez has come out with plenty of praise for Bayern Munich team-mate Bastian Schweinsteiger, who he believes is among the very best ball-players in the world.

"Sometimes he plays world class passes," the striker said, according to Spox. "Such passes maybe three players in the world can play: Xavi, Iniesta and he."

Gomez also commented on the positioning of Schweinsteiger in the Bayern line-up, which as of late has been a hot topic of conversation.

"How Schweini plays the No. 10 role, for me, is world class."

In recent months, Schweinsteiger has been deployed in a central playmaking role, which coach Louis van Gaal has admitted is not his best position, but is for the better good of the team. In an advanced position on Saturday, the natural defensive midfielder nonetheless set up two of Gomez's three goals as Bayern completed a 5-1 rout of Kaiserslautern.
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Juventus Will Struggle For A Champions League Place; Milan For Scudetto - Luciano Moggi

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Luciano Moggi sees dark skies ahead for Juventus and seems dubious on their Champions League credentials.
Luciano Moggi doubts Juventus can squeeze into the top four by the end of the season as he tips Milan for the title.

The Bianconeri's run has become tangled with inconsistent results, the latest being a 0-0 draw at Sampdoria. And Moggi thinks things will continue to go stale as he fails to see a fresh start from the Old Lady.

"It was a nasty game against Sampdoria. It was not a game of football and you can see both teams' struggles technically," Moggi told Gold TV.

"Juve can fight for fourth place, but it will not be easy."

Milan continue to raze the opposition as they maintain the pace at the top.

"Zlatan Ibrahimovic makes the difference. The team who has him will win the Scudetto," said Moggi.
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Kenny Dalglish Confirms Ryan Babel Is Staying At Liverpool

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Dutchman looked set to move to Hoffenheim.
Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has confirmed that winger Ryan Babel will not be leaving the club this January, after a proposed move to German side Hoffenheim fell through.

The move to Germany looked very likely as the Anfield outfit accepted a bid of around £6 million for the Dutchman and even went as far as having a medical, but it seems the deal collapsed on personal terms between the player and the proposed club.

Babel also showed a willingness to be part of a deal that would see him go back to former club Ajax, with Luis Suarez moving in the opposite direction, but it remains to be seen if any light will be shed on such a deal.

Dalglish would not speculate on how long Babel would be at the club, saying: "He's staying here."

The Reds have been linked with a move for Blackpool captain Charlie Adam, but Dalglish refused to be drawn on any possible transfer targets.

"If we have some business to discuss we will discuss it," he added.

"We will try to adopt the way of Liverpool Football Club and certainly one of our ways is to be respectful of other clubs and certain players at other clubs.

"The most important people we have are the people at this club."
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Four-Point Lead Over Real Madrid Is Nothing - Barcelona Striker David Villa

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Barcelona striker David Villa feels that four-point lead over Real Madrid counts for nothing at this stage.
Barcelona striker David Villa believes that the four-point lead the club hold over bitter rivals Real Madrid is nothing, and that the Blaugrana have a difficult run of fixtures coming up.

'El Guaje' has been in great form as the Catalan giants have continued to maintain a blistering pace at the top of the Primera Division table, but when addressing the media yesterday, the former Valencia goal-getter said he knows that it is an advantage that can easily be made up by the opposition.

He remarked: “The difference is small and for Barcelona to keep up our streak of victories is difficult. We know that we can fail, but we know that if we win, we will be champions. We have an advantage and we must seize it.”

“I do not know if Madrid are in crisis, but we know that four points is nothing. We are very close, and there are many more points to play for. We have to make sure that we pick up as many as possible, because we know that Madrid will.”

Villa also spoke fondly of his experiences working with coach Pep Guardiola, and said that he is confident the tactician will decide to remain at the Camp Nou.

He added: “He has built this Barcelona, people are willing him to renew, he has never done anything against this club, and we would like a renewal to be announced as soon as possible."
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Joachim Loew Impressed By Fit-Again Wolfsburg Defender Arne Friedrich

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Since returning from back surgery, Arne Friedrich has impressed Joachim Loew, and should play for Germany in March.
Since the World Cup, there has been widespread speculation over the future of Germany's central defence. The rise of Mats Hummels and Holger Badstuber has put the roles of Per Mertesacker and Arne Friedrich into doubt. However, Germany coach Joachim Loew has given a vote of confidence in Friedrich, who has impressed for Wolfsburg since returning to action following back surgery.

"I am pleased that he's back playing again," Loew told WAZ. "You can see that he gives Wolfsburg a great deal of stability."

The 31-year-old Friedrich has formed an impressive central defensive partnership with Simon Kjaer over the last two weeks, and based on form, Loew expects the former Hertha man to rejoin his squad in March.

"He will either be in the squad against Italy or later, in March [in a Euro 2012 qualifier against Kazakhstan]."
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Valencia Winger Vicente Ruled Out For Two Weeks With Thigh Injury

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Valencia's Vicente faces at least two weeks on the sidelines after suffering from a thigh injury.
Valencia winger Vicente has been ruled out of action for two weeks after suffering from a thigh strain in training, the club have confirmed.

The former Spanish international has enjoyed a return to the team of late, playing a key role in last weekend’s 2-0 defeat of Deportivo.

He had been expected to retain his place for the match against Malaga last Saturday, which Los Che eventually won 4-3, but he complained of discomfort in his right thigh, and was left out of the squad as a precaution.

Team medics have today confirmed that the injury requires rest for at least the next two weeks.

The 29-year-old is now in his 11th season at the Mestalla, and with his contract due to expire in June, his hopes of playing his way to a new deal have been dashed by this latest setback.
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Chelsea Close To €25.1 Million Signing Of Benfica Defender David Luiz

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Chelsea expect to tie up a deal with Benfica to sign Brazilian international defender David Luiz today, report The Guardian.

The move is likely to cost the Premier League champions a fee of £21.5 million (€25.1m) if the Blues are given the go-ahead with a work permit, the application for which will be heard on Wednesday.

Luiz, 23, was omitted from the Benfica side that beat Nacional 4-2 on Saturday night, and will travel to London for a medical.

All being well, he could be confirmed as a Chelsea player tomorrow subject to the work permit being granted.

Furthermore, it is believed that Chelsea will offer to loan the Portuguese side one or two of their young players as a makeweight in the deal, with Dutch centre-back Jeffrey Bruma mooted.

Luiz has made 126 appearances in five seasons at the Stadio De Luz, scoring six goals.
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Bayern Munich Sporting Director Christian Nerlinger Responds To Louis Van Gaal Criticism

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Christian Nerlinger has shot back at Louis van Gaal after the Bayern coach made harsh comments in the media.
There is never a dull day at the Saebener Strasse. Even after Bayern Munich earned a 5-1 win against Kaiserslautern, internal conflict has struck the club. Recently, coach Louis van Gaal criticised Christian Nerlinger for revealing that Franck Ribery may not recover his fitness in time to face Werder Bremen next week. But the sporting director has now replied to Van Gaal.

"It is not the role of a coach to comment publicly on my statements, on what I say. In my role as sporting director it is my right and my duty to make such things public," he told Bild. "I find it laughable that [Van Gaal] would get himself worked up over the fact that I said, after a conversation with the doctors, that Ribery may not be fit in time for the Bremen game.

"I am of the opinion that one should settle things internally whenever there is a dispute. Van Gaal seemingly thinks otherwise on these matters. He must realise that in this club there are other people who are also responsible for sporting matters."

Ribery suffered a knee injury last week, and was initially ruled out until the Bremen match, which is scheduled for Saturday. However, in recent days there has been a cloud of doubt cast over the exact date of his return.
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Real Madrid Full-Back Marcelo Expecting Tough Match Against Sevilla In Copa Del Rey

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Real Madrid left-back Marcelo is expecting partisan atmosphere in Copa del Rey tie with Sevilla.
Real Madrid full-back Marcelo has admitted he is expected a hugely difficult match when he and his team-mates travel to the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan for their Copa del Rey tie with Sevilla on Wednesday evening.

Los Blancos are looking to reach the final for the first time, with either Barcelona or Almeria lying in wait for the winners of the tie.

The Brazilian knows that the tournament holders will make life difficult for Madrid, but they are confident of making in through the tie.

He remarked: “We need rest to be prepared to face the grief of the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, because it will be a difficult match, and they will look to shock us. For us, it will be a very tough match, but this season we have great hopes of winning the Copa del Rey.”

Referring to the weekend’s narrow win over Mallorca, he focused his praise on goalscorer Karim Benzema, saying: “The important thing was the three points.

“The team has had a great reliance on Benzema. His goal has given us the three points he has helped to be where we wanted.”
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