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

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

MANCINI: MAN CITY MUST SPEND TO WIN

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini is not ashamed of his clubs spending spree, quite the contrary, the Italian believes the only way to win trophies is to spend big.

City has already spent $91 million this summer on David Silva, Yaya Toure and Jerome Boateng but clearly there is room for more changes at Eastlands as Mancini is still on the prowl for at least a striker and a defender to firm up the side.

Mancini admits that spending money on big-name players is the difference between most football clubs and Europe’s elite teams.

“Of course we have spent a lot of money this summer,” Mancini told The Mirror. “Everyone can see that is the case, but all the teams who have won the Premier League, or La Liga or Serie A in recent years have spent a lot of money. This is not a new thing.”

The City boss is quick to deny that spending money on new players means ignoring the Academy players trying to crack the first team.

“It is hard to win trophies if you do not invest in areas where you can improve. We are absolutely committed to the Academy and to developing our own talent. It is important that they know there is a path to the first team for them. We are working hard towards the kick-off on August 14 and everyone here has the chance to be in the squad that day.”

New City owner Sheikh Mansour has spent over $400 million in less than two years to put the Blue side of Manchester on par with the biggest clubs in Europe.

UNITED TO LOCK UP ROONEY FOR FIVE YEARS?

Wayne Rooney looks set to become the highest paid player in Manchester United history, according to the Mirror.

United are reportedly attempting to re-sign Rooney for five years worth $54 million, keeping the England international at Old Trafford through 2015 and therefore keeping Real Madrid, who have been interested, at bay.

Rooney has two years left on his current contract but the new deal would pay him $60,000 more a week.

United, according to the Mirror, are looking to have the deal signed by the Red Devils Premier League opener on August 16.

MARADONA OFFERED FOUR MORE YEARS

Sensational Argentina manager Diego Maradona is set to receive a new four-year contract to continue with the side.

Argentinean Football Association president Julio Grondona is set to meet the Maradona who piloted the side to the World Cup quarterfinals.  The AFA executive committee remains convinced he is the man to bring Argentina glory in Brazil 2014.

With virtually no coaching experience, the captain of the Albicelestes 1986 World Cup triumph took the reigns in 2008 at led Argentina through a rough qualification and an impressive run through the World Cup which saw the team play some of it’s best football in years.

Maradona said after his side’s exit that he would consult his family and the Argentina players before deciding whether he intended to stay on.

BRAZILIAN RAMIRES DREAMS BIG

Brazilian midfielder Ramires is dreaming of a move to one of Europe’s biggest clubs.

The 23-year-old was a standout for Benfica last season, helping them to win the double in Portugal and has since been linked to a number of Europe’s biggest clubs. Moves that would be a dream come true for the player who played over 100 minutes in the Brazil midfield at the World Cup.

“My agent has told me that a number of clubs are interested in signing me, but this didn’t surprise me,” he told the Record. “We all know that the World Cup is the perfect stage to prove your worth.  One good game could be enough to attract the interest of a big club. I don’t know the names of the clubs that are after me, but it would be a dream for me to play for a big club such as Barcelona, Real Madrid or Chelsea.”

BALOTELLI BARGANING

Inter Milan president Massimo Moratti believes that the interest in 19-year-old Italian sensation Mario Balotelli from both Manchester City and Manchester United is real, but the clubs offers will determine just how real a potential deal is.

“I believe they are both serious clubs that will evaluate what the right transfer market value is for them,” Moratti told Sky Sport 24. “It will be up to us then to decide if that value is the same also for us. For the time being, we are far away from this situation. It would be very sad but we have to also take into account figures.”

Meanwhile, Inter’s sporting director Marco Branca has said that neither Balotelli or Brazilian Maicon are for sale.

“We are in a very privileged position having won so much and it’s true that every day we are receiving calls because everyone wants at least six or seven of our champions,” Branca was quoted by Sky Sports as saying.

“Balotelli is priceless.” Franco told Sky Sports. “At this time, he and Maicon are not on the market. When and if there are requests we will kindly examine them but they are not on the market.”

Branca did concede that both the red and blue side of Manchester were interested.

“The interest in Balotelli from both Manchester clubs is real and very strong, but has not reached an official offer.  There will be no meeting with City on Thursday.”

READ… YESTERDAY’S SHORT CORNERS

READ… WEDNESDAY’S SHORT CORNERS

READ… TUESDAY’S SHORT CORNERS

READ… MONDAY’S SHORT CORNERS

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