JUNE 21 – SHORT CORNERS – INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS NOTES AND RUMORS

JUNE 21 – SHORT CORNERS – INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS NOTES AND RUMORS

CHERUNDOLO AGREES TO HANNOVER EXTESION

US International Steve Cherundolo, a free agent who has been linked with teams from Serie A to Major League Soccer after the World Cup concludes, has agreed to a contract extension at Bundesliga side Hannover 96.

Hannover were eager to sign the right back to a two-year extension which will keep Cherundolo at the club through 2012.

The clubs official website broke the news that Cherundolo verbally agreed to the two-year extension with a one-year option that will keep him at the club he has played at for 11 years, his entire professional career.

ARSENAL SHOPPING FOR DEFENDERS

Arsenal is still pursuing Lorient centre back Laurent Koscielny despite having a $12 million bid turned down by the Ligue 1 side.

Arsene Wenger admitted the bid had been refused but still felt confident he could bring the 24-year-old Koscienly to the Emirates.

“There has been an approach for Koscielny and there still is one.” Wenger told the Sun.

Koscielny, for his part would certainly like to see the deal go through.

“French and foreign clubs have shown interest.” He told France Football “Among them, there are the Gunners. It is difficult to not listen to someone like Arsene Wenger when he is attracted. Any player is tempted to work with him.”

Arsenal are also looking North for solutions to the defensive problems left by not re-signing William Gallas.
The Gunners are rumored to have made a $6 million move for Rangers defender Madjid Bougherra, whom Wenger saw in Algeria’s World Cup match with England. Wenger had nothing but praise for the defender.

“Wenger found a few kind words for me,” Bougherra said. “It’s given me a big boost.”

MANCHESTER UNITED AND REAL MADRID SET TO BATTLE FOR SNEIJDER

Wesley Sneijder moved from Real Madrid to Inter Milan last season after it had been made clear that he services were no longer needed at the club.

Sneijder turned in an impressive season at Inter and with the Netherlands and now is being wooed by a number of big name teams, including the team that sent him packing in the first place, Real Madrid.

The 26-year-old midfielder thrived under Jose Mourinho at Inter and now may follow his boss back to the Bernabeu.

Manchester United, however, may be ready to make a move for the Dutch playmaker. United, according to the Sunday Mirror, are set to offer $30 million to Inter Milan for Sneijder.

Whether or not new Inter boss Rafa Benitez is willing to sell the midfielder is another matter altogether, but The Mirror asserts Man U  boss Sir Alex Ferguson is willing to go head-to-head with Real Madrid for the midfielder’s services.

DAVID SILVA; CHASED BY CITY, LONGING FOR CHELSEA

Valencia’s David Silva has said it would be a ‘pleasure’ to play for Chelsea.

The problem is that Manchester City, and not Chelsea, is wooing the Spain International to the tune of $44million

Silva’s current club, Valencia, has already sold off David Villa to Barcelona and Nikola Zigic to Birmingham City and now are looking to help clear more debts by selling Silva to the newly deepened pockets of Manchester City.

The 24-year-old Silva, however, has made it plain that he would rather be at Stamford Bridge this season.

“Chelsea have established themselves as one of the best clubs in Europe over the last five years,” Silva told reporters in South Africa while training with Spain. “They might not have the history of Real Madrid or AC Milan but the truth is they are creating their own history now, If they carry on in the way that they are, there is no reason why in the future Chelsea can’t be as decorated as Real Madrid.

“Chelsea probably have, along with Barcelona, the best squad in football and if any player joins Chelsea he knows he is going to win things, and it would be a pleasure to play with them.”

HERCULES PROMOTED, BETIS HEARTBROKEN

Real Betis thrashed already promoted Levante 4-0 in the final weekend of Spain’s second division, but it wasn’t enough to secure the third, and final, promotion place to the Spanish Primera Division.

Betis needed Hercules to lose at Real Irun in order to bounce straight back up to Spain’s top flight. Hercules had other ideas and ran out 2-0 winners. A result that not only relegated Irun but earned Hercules a spot in the Primera Division for the first time in 14 years.

More heartbreaking for Betis, the club finished tied on 71 points with both second place finishing Hercules and third placed Levante.

Real Sociedad won the Segundo Division and return to top-flight football for the first time in three seasons along with Levante and Hercules.

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