SHORT CORNERS – JUNE 14 : INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS NOTES AND RUMORS

SHORT CORNERS – JUNE 14 : INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS NOTES AND RUMORS

AL FAYED CONFIDENT HODGSON WILL STAY AT FULHAM

Fulham owner Mohamed Al Fayed is sure Roy Hodgson will decide to remain at Craven Cottage if Liverpool is indeed targeting the 62-year-old manager as Rafa Benitez’s successor at Anfield.

Hodgson is the odds on favorite to replace Benitez having enjoyed a tremendous season by steering Fulham to the Europa League final, last month.

Hodgson has enjoyed a successful run at Fulham since taking the reigns at Craven Cottage in January 2007, and has the unwavering support of his chairman.

“I don’t think he’ll leave me,” Al Fayed told the Sunday Mirror. “I’m sure he’ll have lots of approaches from other clubs, but I give him anything he wants to reach results and we have a very good relationship.”

Al Fayed sold his Harrods department stores in May for over $2 billion but he is committed to his football club.

“If you own a football club you have to be really involved and committed,” Al Fayed told the Guardian. “That is very important and it’s the same in any business. When I get to the club my mood is always lifted. I am also a fan. And so I have a tremendous feeling of being committed and helping give pleasure to all the supporters and players.”

The chairman is hoping that Hodgson mirrors his commitment.

MASCHERANO TOYS WITH INTER RUMORS

Javier Mascherano has stoked the fire of rumors that he may follow Rafael Benitez to Inter Milan after letting it be know that he is learning Italian.

Mascherano, currently in South Africa with Argentina at the World Cup, has been linked with all kinds of transfer talk, the latest being a move to the San Siro, a rumor that has picked up steam since he told the press of his interest in speaking Italian.

“I am learning Italian while I’m here in South Africa,” he said. “I don’t know what I will do after the tournament. We shall see.”

REAL SOCIEDAD & LEVANTE PROMOTED TO LA LIGA

Spain’s Segunda division still has one week to play but Real Sociedad and Levante were promoted to play in Spain’s top flight Primera Division for the 2010-11 season.

With one week to play there is still one more spot up for grabs in terms of promotion, with both Hercules and Real Betis matched on 68 points.

Hercules will travel to Real Union next week while Betis will host newly promoted Levante.

SCHALKE SIGN JAPAN INTERNATIONAL

Bundesliga side Schalke 04 have confirmed the signing of Japan international Atsuto Uchida from three time defending J-League champions Kashima Antlers.

Uchida has signed a three-year deal and becomes the first ever Japanese player at Schalke.

He is manager Felix Magath’s fourth new signing this summer joining fellow new boys Christoph Metzelder, Erik Jendrisek and Tim Hoogland at the club who have lost Kevin Kuranyi, Gerald Asamoah and Ze Roberto.

Schalke finished second last season and will be faced with the dual challenge of the Bundesliga and Champions League in 2010-11.

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