Posts Tagged ‘SERIE A’

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

July 16, 2010

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.

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JULY 15 – SHORT CORNERS: INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS, NOTES AND RUMORS

July 15, 2010

LUKAS PODOLSKI HAS PROVEN HE HAS THE STONES

JULY 15 – SHORT CORNERS: INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS, NOTES AND RUMORS

CHELSEA’S AFRICAN PAIR READY FOR PREMIER LEAGUE RETURN

Chelsea’s African duo Michael Essien and Jon Obi Mikel are set to return to Stamford Bridge after long injuries that kept both out of the World Cup.

Nigeria’s Mikel and Ghana’s Essien both had time during the World Cup to return to fitness and now look set to join the club for Chelsea’s opening Premier League fixture August 14.

“There should be no problem whatsoever,” Chelsea assistant Ray Wilkins told soccernet. “Mikel is slightly in advance of Michael Essien but they are both working very well indeed.

“They have been working double sessions for the last week and we will get them really firing before the season starts.”

AC MILAN IN FOR PODOLSKI, BUT ONLY IF…

AC Milan will splash to cash to but German striker Lukas Podolski, but only if they can first find a buyer for Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, preferably to a Premier League club.

The 1 FC Koln striker has come back into vogue after a successful run in the World Cup, and Milan have sized up the 25-year-old who is a more versatile player than Huntelaar, being able to play as a more conventional forward. Nothing however will move the Rossoneri to approach unless they have cah in hand for Huntelaar.

“Podolski will arrive only if one condition is met and that is the transfer of Huntelaar to the (English) Premier League, which would then open a few paths from a financial standpoint.” Milan Vice-president Adriano Galliani told Sky Sport 24.

BAYERN LOOKING FOR VAN DER WIEL

Bayern Munich have approached Dutch side Ajax regarding Gregory van der Wiel.

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JULY 13 – SHORT CORNERS: INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEW NOTES AND RUMORS

July 13, 2010

JULY 13 – SHORT CORNERS: INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEW NOTES AND RUMORS

UNITED IN FOR BALOTELLI?

The Agent for Italian striker Mario Balotelli has confirmed that red sides of Manchester is interested in the 19-year-old’s services.

Inter Milan still has the player under wraps for three more seasons but for the proposed $50million price tag, the club could be persuaded to let him go, according to the players agent Mino Raiola who is heading to England to begin negotiations.

“The interest of Manchester for Balotelli is concrete and both clubs have confirmed it,” Raiola told Calcio Mercato. “The player is clearly happy to be followed by [Manchester United coach Sir Alex] Ferguson.”

The petulant striker clashed with then Inter Milan boss Jose Mourinho, but new manager Rafael Benitez wants to meet and evaluate the player before letting him go.

“I want to speak to him and get to know him better as a person.” Benitez said. “All the quality players are important to me. But I need to see him, get to know him and see how he works.”

Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti thinks that Manchester United would be an ideal fit for the Italian sensation.

“They are a team with great tradition, which helps that type of player,” he told Sky Sport24. “Here, the environment is different and I think a player with his character could find it better than in Italy. It’s difficult to find a player so young with his quality, and England has a lack of players at that level.”

Ancelotti mentioned he would be happy to coach a player like Balotelli.

BAYERN WON’T BREAK THE BANK FOR LEFT BACK

Chief executive officer Karl-Heinz Rummenigge says that Bayern Munich will not sign Fabio Coentrao or Michel Bastos this summer, even though the team is in need of a left back.

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JULY 12 – SHORT CORNERS: INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS NOTES AND RUMORS

July 12, 2010

JULY 12 – SHORT CORNERS: INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS NOTES AND RUMORS

FABREGAS HAPPY TO STAY AT ARSENAL

Cesc Fabregas has been hinting at a move to Barcelona all summer , but he seems to have changed his tune regarding his current club Arsenal.

The Spanish international has called his North London side a “world-class club” and suggested he is ready to stay put for the coming season.

“All I can say is that this World Cup victory is for all the Arsenal players and fans. They are a world-class club.” the 23-year-old told reporters after Spains World Cup Triumph. “I had a text message of congratulations from Arsene Wenger. He said I deserve it. I just think this is for everyone at Arsenal who helped me get to where I am now. I am an Arsenal player and proud to be.”

Fabregas had previously made no secret about his desire to move to Barcelona for the coming campaign, the club he loved as a kid and managed by his boyhood hero Pepp Guardiola.

STUTTGART DENY MADRID BID FOR KHEDIRA

Rumors of German international Sami Khedira moving to Real madrid from Bundesliga side Stuttgart have yet to become reality, according to club director Jochen Schneider.

“We have no offer. That is based only on speculation in Spanish sport newspapers,” Schneider told Bild. “And after his holiday we will sit down together and see whether we can extend his contract beyond 2011.”

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OVER THERE… UPDATES ON NORTH AMERICAN PLAYERS IN EUROPE

July 8, 2010

OVER THERE… UPDATES ON NORTH AMERICAN PLAYERS IN EUROPE

BOB BRADLEY LINKED WITH VACANT FULHAM POST

US national Team Manager Bob Bradley is on a short list of candidates to take over the Fulham manager position vacated by recently named Liverpool manager, Roy Hodgson.

Bradley, who is in discussions with US Soccer regarding his future, is in contention with Swede Sven Goran Eriksson and Croatian Slaven Bilic.

Glenn Hoddle, Mark Hughes, Tony Mowbray, Alan Curbishley and Gianfranco Zola, according to reports out of England, have all been eliminated from contention.

For his part Bradley is focused on his post-World Cup discussions with US Soccer.

“I think we’re in the midst of all of that,” Bradley told the Washington Post about the discussions. “Whenever there has been a four-year effort on both sides there is a little time that’s needed to look at things, to talk to some different people, to assess options and I’ve had some different conversations, one with Sunil Gulati and one with [U.S. soccer secretary general] Dan Flynn, so I think we’re moving through that period and we’ll see where it gets everybody.”

GOOCH WON’T BE MOVED FROM MILAN

US International Oguchi Onyewu is staying at AC Milan, no matter what.

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MONDAY SHORT CORNERS – INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS, NOTES AND RUMORS

June 28, 2010

MONDAY SHORT CORNERS – INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS, NOTES AND RUMORS

FABIANO LOOKS TO MAN U AND MILAN

Luis Fabiano has already netted twice for Brazil in the 2010 World Cup, but the Seville striker has made it known he is looking to leave Sevilla for a big club with a chance at some silverware, and he wants it all to happen rather quickly.

“As soon as the World Cup is over I will make a quick decision on my future – and while it is going on I hope Sevilla can open discussions.” Fabiano told the Daily Star Sunday. “I have enjoyed my time here but I now need to be at a giant.”

“I have a real chance of winning a World Cup here in South Africa, and that is what I must stay focused on even though I know my future has to be sorted soon. I have made it clear that I will not be signing a new contract with Sevilla and at 29 I now need to join a club where I can start challenging for the highest honors from the first season.

“The choice will come down to Manchester United and AC Milan. That is the sort of team I want to be signing for, one of the true giants of Europe. I think the way Manchester United play football is very attractive, I must be honest and say Premier League football attracts me and also the way Manchester United play football attracts me.”

“You think about being Wayne Rooney’s strike partner and that is very attractive for any striker. I think the style of Premier League football suits me and I think I could score goals and be very successful there. Their coach is a winner, their players are winners and they are one of the few teams in Europe challenging for the top honors season after season.”

The Brazilian also made clear the type of club he won’t be playing for.

“I have heard Tottenham Hotspur made an inquiry about me but, with all respect, that is not somewhere I am going to be able to win the Premier League (more…)

DESIGNATED PLAYER WATCH

June 27, 2010

DESIGNATED PLAYER WATCH

With The World Cup winding down, it is only a matter of time before Major League Soccer fans will begin to look forward to their teams’ to target tantalizing talent. So here is an occasional look into the rumors and facts regarding the potential crop of household names coming to a soccer specific stadium near you.

MLS TO BATTLE BIG EUROPEAN CLUBS FOR POSSIBLE DP’S

Thierry Henry’s quick exit from the World Cup with France will have many New York Red Bull fans sharing a secret smile. Henry is expected to ink a two-year designated player contract with Major League Soccer to play Eastern Conference leaders.

Although the deal has been long-rumored to be done, there are still rumblings that the player may end up in the Premier League.

Henry is not the only example of MLS having to fight for potential DP’s.

Reports out of Spain have Real Madrid icon and MLS DP target Raul being wooed by Serie A side Sampadoria and Premier League side Blackburn Rovers. These reports come justdays after Bundesliga side Shalke 04 put in a bid.

Capped 102 times for Spain and a life-long Real Madrid player, the 33-year-old has found himself surplus to requirements with Los Merengues. Schalke are looking for someone to replace Kevin Kuranyi who moved on to Dynamo Moscow.

Juventus Striker David Trezeguet is also being pursued by MLS but now seems to have an offer from Ligue 1 side Bordeaux.

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JUNE 26-SHORT CORNERS:SOCCER NEWS NOTES AND RUMORS

June 26, 2010

Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images

JUNE 26 – SHORT CORNERS-INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS NOTES AND RUMORS

BALLACK RETURNS TO LEVERKUSEN

Michael Ballack has returned to his former club, Bayer Leverkusen, on a two-year contract.

The German International is returning to his old Bundesliga side, with whom he reached the Champions League final in 2002.

“With my transfer to Bayer Leverkusen a circle is complete. I had a beautiful and successful time here, on which I like to look back on a lot,” Ballack told the club’s website. “That was a factor in my decision.”

“But above all the good sporting potential of this young and attractive team were persuasive.

“I am especially looking forward to the great fans, who naturally have been key in my decision to return to Bayer.”

Rudi Völller, Bayer sporting director, is excited to see what a player of Ballack’s experience can bring to such a young side.

“With Michael Ballack our team is getting an enormous boost in quality,” he said. “Especially our many young players will benefit from his abilities and his experience.

“We did everything to convince Michael. That his preference was for Bayer despite our limited financial possibilities in comparison to the competition, shows his emotional attachment to the club.”

ALLEGRI TAKES HELM AT MILAN

AC Milan confirmed Massimiliano Allegri as their new manager replacing Leonardo who quit after just one season in charge at the San Siro.

Allegri, who has signed a two-year contract with Milan, comes from a Cagliari club he had great success with, but was released after a disagreement with the club in April.

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JULY 25 – SHORT CORNERS, World Soccer News, Notes and Rumors

June 25, 2010

JULY 25 – SHORT CORNERS

World Soccer News, Notes and Rumors

MEXICAN PLAYERS ON THE MOVE TO EUROPE?
Mexican winger Pablo Barrera is on the wish list of both Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.

The attention by the Premier League clubs is so great that a deal with Serie A side Lazio was rejected by the 23-year-old, in order to learn more about the interest of the English sides.

The Roman club attempted to sign Barrera on a one-year loan from Mexican club UNAM Pumas with the option of making the deal permanent for a bargain $4.48 million.

Tottenham like Barrera’s versatility, as the player who can be used on either flank as well as up top.

Manchester United are also said to have been intrigued by Barrera’s performances in the Mexican League having scored 12 goals in 28 league games over the last year, as well as his super-sub role at the World Cup for Mexico.

“I hope I can go abroad to play in a traditional club in Europe, but first I want to do well in the World Cup,” he told Super Deporte.

“I like football in Spain … the Italian, English, I like various styles of the game. I aspire to that, I want to be in a good team, that’s all I want.”

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JUNE 18 – SHORT CORNERS: INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS NOTES AND RUMORS

June 18, 2010

JUNE 18 – SHORT CORNERS: INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS NOTES AND RUMORS

PREMIER LEAGUE FIXTURES ANNOUNCED

The 2010-11 Premier League fixture list has been released and the opening weekend features some very intriguing big-club battles.

Newcastle United will have a harsh welcome back to the Premier League when the travel to Old Trafford to battle Manchester United.

Newcastle manager Chris Hughton was hoping for a little easier of a start.

“It’s a tough start for us, we would have preferred a home game to kick the season off but you take what you get.” He told Soccernet. “We can take heart and confidence from the 1-1 draw we earned at Old Trafford two years ago on the opening day of the 2008-09 season. Villa at home the following (more…)

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

June 14, 2010

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.

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SUMMER FRIENDLY UPDATE: JUVENTUS v CLUB AMERICA at COWBOYS STADIUM

June 8, 2010

SUMMER FRIENDLY UPDATE: JUVENTUS v CLUB AMERICA at COWBOYS STADIUM

Various sources in the Dallas area are reporting that Club America will be returning to Cowboys Stadium on July 18 to take on Serie A legends Juventus.

America have schedule a number of pre-season matches in North America in the run up to their 2010 season which begins in late July, played Chelsea at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington TX in 2009 in the first ever event at the 90,000 seat venue.

Juventus, who played two matches in North America to wrap-up their 2009-10 season already, will be coming back for their own pre-season training.

America has scheduled matches against Cruz Azul in Pasadena CA, Portsmouth in San Diego CA and Manchester City in Atlanta GA. Their scheduled meeting with Pachuca in Phoenix that has been canceled, but may be moved to another California venue.

JUNE 4 – SHORT CORNERS: INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS, NOTES AND RUMORS

June 4, 2010

JUNE 4 – SHORT CORNERS: INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS, NOTES AND RUMORS

SACHA KLJESTAN TO JOIN ANDERLECHT?

Reports out of Los Angeles have US and Chivas USA Midfielder Sacha Kljestan is set to complete a move to Belgian side Anderlecht.

The Chivas USA captain, had a brief loan spell with Celtic in 2009, will join an Anderlecht team that won the 2009-10 Belgian Jupiler League and qualifies for the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round.

Kljestan will join his new team when the summer transfer window opens in July.

FABIO CANNAVARO MOVES TO UAE CLUB

Italian defender Fabio Cannavaro made a shock move to Al-Ahli, a club in the United Arab Emirates.

The 36-year-old had been hoping for a return to his hometown club Napoli next season after he was released from his contract with Juventus, but that move was apparently not in the cards, much to the chagrin of Napoli fans.

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LIVERPOOL SACK RAFA BENITEZ

June 2, 2010

"... Milan is this way, is it?"

LIVERPOOL SACK RAFA BENITEZ

Liverpool have bought out the remainder of their contract with manager Rafael Benitez, essentially sacking the man who had managed the club since 2004, according to multiple sources.

Benitez’s stock had plummeted dramatically in recent years and rumors circulated wildly on Merseyside that Rafa was on his way out, but when he recently turned down the Juventus opening, it seemed like he would be back managing the team he made Champions League Winners for another season.

The original 5-year contract, signed just 12 months ago, stipulated that Benitez would be due $23.5 million if his contract was terminated, but the Anfield club worked with their manager of the past six years for a mutually agreeable compensation. A move which might imply that Benitez already has a job lined up.

The most likely scenario involves the position at Inter Milan, which was recently vacated by Jose Mourinho when he left the San Siro to take over as Real Madrid manager.

Benitez was bought out to the tune of $4.3 million, freeing the Spanish manager to take over at Inter Milan.

SOCCER ON THE BOX – YOUR TV WEEKEND

May 7, 2010

SOCCER ON THE BOX – YOUR TV WEEKEND

The Premiership comes to a close on Sunday, and barring some kind of disaster for Chelsea, the title will go to the Blues. Tottenham has locked up 4th place and the final Champions League spot and can even seize 3rd place from Arsenal with a win on Sunday and a Gunner loss at Europa Cup Finalists Fulham at the Emirates. The rest of the drama has been sorted, even the relegation battles.

More exciting is the Championship Promotion Playoffs, the 1st Legs of which take place this weekend.  Frustratingly the Sunday match between Leicester City and Cardiff City doesn’t seem to be available to watch anywhere in the States (If I find out any information regarding this I will post it as soon as possible). The Saturday match featuring Blackpool hosting Nottingham Forest will be shown on Fox Soccer Plus, and if you can watch it, I wholeheartedly recommend doing just that. I strongly believe that the promotion playoffs are the last remnants of truly English Football, something that gets lost in the Premier League.  The playoffs are always entertaining for the neutral and nerve-racking for the fan of any club involved. The prize? Playing in the most entertaining, powerful, lucrative and renowned leagues on the planet, in any sport.

There is a shinny trophy and a truck-load of cash too.

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