JUNE 16 – SHORT CORNERS: INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS NOTES AND RUMORS

JUNE 16 – SHORT CORNERS: INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS NOTES AND RUMORS

RAFA BACKS DALGLISH FOR LIVERPOOL

Rafa Benitez may be gone from Liverpool, but he has an opinion on who his replacement should be.

The newly installed Inter Milan boss thinks former Liverpool star Kenny Dalglish should succeed him at Anfield when he spoke to the Italian media in his first press conference at Inter.

“I think they should look at Kenny Dalglish,” Benitez said. “He is the best man for the job. The owners should listen to the fans because they are unhappy.

“No one knows the club better than Dalglish, and he wants the job and in my opinion he should get it.”

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson is the bookmaker favorite to get the Liverpool job, though former England manager and current Ivory Coast manager Sven-Goran Eriksson has also throw his hat in the ring.

ALCARAZ IMPRESSES NEW BOSS

Antolin Alcaraz had a big day on Monday, it’s no surprise he said that the day was “the most beautiful day of my life.”

He signed for his new club Wigan Athletic of the Premier League and scored a World Cup goal in front of his new club manager.

The Paraguayan defender put his team a goal up on Italy and though Italy would eventually tie the match, Alcaraz, and the rest of the Paruguay team, was still beaming afterward.

His new club manager Roberto Martinez, working for ESPN at the World Cup in South Africa, called Alcaraz when the deal was signed to congratulate him.

Though the thought of signing a deal before the World Cup, which can act as a storefront for out of contract players, seemed foolhardy, Alcaraz defended his choice.

“I have a good contract with Wigan, I’m glad I’m going to the Premier League,” he said. “I talked to the coach Roberto Martinez and have a good feeling so I don’t doubt my choice now.”

JUAN ROMAN RIQUELME STILL CONFIDANT

31-year-old Juan Roman Riquelme still believes he can compete for a place in any team in the world.

“I am a player who can play in any side,” Riquelme told English newspaper, The Mirror.

The Boca Juniors midfielder is out of contract but is rumored to be close to signing a deal with Brazilian side Flamengo but may have switched his focus to West Ham United since the Premier League has taken notice of him.

“I want to be happy and know where I am going to play. I feel I can play at the highest for many more years.

SPURS SET ASIDE WAR CHEST TO TEMPT HUNTELAAR

Tottenham Hotspur have set aside $37 million to lure Klaas-Jan Huntelaar to North London, according to Goal.com.

Spurs had been trying to acquire Wolfsburg striker Eden Dzeko but were unable to secure the Bosnian who is being pursued by many teams with deeper pockets than Spurs.

Chairman Daniel Levy has made it his priority to sign a top class striker this summer and now has set the cash aside to make that goal a reality.

REAL MADRID UP THE ANTE FOR MAN U’S VIDIC

Real Madrid will not be put off from their attempts to land Manchester United’s Serbian defender Nemanja Vidic.

The latest counter-proposal out of Madrid is the offer of Karim Benzema, according to The Manchester Evening News.

United have been pursuing the 22-year-old for a year now, and the offer of the Frenchman may be just the thing to tempt Alex Ferguson into the deal as United may be facing some belt tightening in the future.

BENAYOUN IN MOVE TO CHELSEA?
According to reports on the Jewish Chronicle website on Monday, the Liverpool star and Israel captain has agreed a four-year contract with Chelsea after the two clubs agreed a fee of around $10 million.

MAICON SET TO RE-JOIN MOURINHO AT REAL MADRID
Maicon will soon be playing for Real Madrid, according to his agent.

“The negotiation is in the hands of the two presidents, and I don’t think it will be difficult for them to find an agreement,” Maicon’s agent, Antonio Caliendo told Calcio Mercato.

“At the moment, there are differences between the offer and the asking price, but I hope everything will be resolved as soon as possible and that it will work out for both parties. If Maicon does leave Inter, Madrid are definitely the first option.”

SPURS DISCUSS REDKNAPP’S CONTRACT
Harry Redknapp has a two-year extension built into his existing three-year deal with Tottenham Hotspur, according to Soccernet.

Spurs can exercise the option at any time and keep Redknapp at White Hart Lane until 2014.

This has all come to light in recent weeks as Dubai club Al Ahli made Redknapp a very big offer to manage their club.

PORTUGAL DENY NANI EXIT FROM SOUTH AFRICA NOT INJURY RELATED
There is no truth to the rumors that Nani was sent home from South Africa for anything other than the injury he sustained, according to Portugal FA.

“There is no attempting to hide anything, there was only the hope that he could have recovered,” Portuguese federation vice-president Amandio de Carvalho said.

Nani, for his part, told reporters, “I’ll be fine in a week” and rumors began to swirl and questions regarding why Carlos Queiroz would take Nani to South Africa with an injury onlt to send him home after two days.

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