Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Brazil goalkeeper Alisson looks set for summer switch to Roma

Brazil goalkeeper Alisson looks set for summer switch to Roma The 23-year-old admits his future may lie away from Internacional as reports suggest he will seal a move to Serie A in June

Brazil goalkeeper Alisson admits he could leave Internacional and head to Europe in 2016.
In an exclusive interview with Sportmasta Brasil, the Selecao’s first-choice custodian says he is yet to settle his future as reports of a move to Italian club Roma intensify.
"My situation is yet to be defined, we are going over the final details, so it is still possible both to go and to stay with Internacional,” he said.

"2015 was a very good year for me. I started by making a real statement at Inter after nine years of club football. I have learned an awful lot and I am still young, so I hope to learn much more.
And Alisson insists that, for now, he remains entirely focused on achieving his goals with his current club, who narrowly missed out on a Copa Libertadores place following their fifth-place finish in the Brasileirao 2015.
“Inter have retained the base of our squad,” he said. “We lost some players, but reinforcements are coming. We expect to go into every competition to win it and play every game like it’s a final.”
“We learned a lot from last year. We let ourselves down at decisive moments, making mistakes we couldn’t afford, but we reached a good level in the Libertadores. This year we will seek a national title.”

The 23-year-old, who is currently in USA competing in the Florida Cup, is unlikely to be around to seek that national league title, however, as he is widely expected to seal his move to the Italian capital following the local state championships which end in May.

Chelsea out to beat Tottenham to Berahino

RUMOURS: Chelsea out to beat Tottenham to Berahino The Blues are hoping to pip their London rivals to the striker, who has fallen out of favour at West Brom in the aftermath of a failed move to White Hart Lane in the summer

Chelsea are looking to upset London rivals Tottenham by lining up a bid for West Brom striker Saido Berahino, according to the Daily Express.

Spurs had several bids for Berahino rejected last summer, leading to the 22-year-old handing in a transfer request and subsequently falling out of favour at the Hawthorns.

Guus Hiddink has admitted that Chelsea will look to bolster their attack this month, with Diego Costa their only fit centre forward currently available.

The Spain international has struggled to find the net consistently so far this term and while the Blues are already looking at AC Milan's Carlos Bacca, they are also reportedly interested in acquiring Berahino.

Chelsea are also said to be close to completing the signing of Alex Teixeira from Shakhtar Donetsk.


Rooney slams Man Utd defence after conceding 'silly' goals against Newcastle

Rooney slams Man Utd defence after conceding 'silly' goals against Newcastle
The Red Devils captain was in fine form at St James's Park, scoring two goals and setting up another, but was disappointed to see his side twice throw away a lead in the 3-3 draw
Wayne Rooney expressed his frustration with the "silly" and "avoidable" goals Manchester United conceded in their 3-3 draw against Newcastle United.

Rooney turned in arguably his best performance of the season at St James's Park, scoring two goals and creating another to twice put Louis van Gaal's side ahead.

But Newcastle battled back from two goals down to level the score at 2-2 and then responded again when the England captain seemed to have won the game late on.

And Rooney feels his side made it easy for their hosts, insisting they should have held out for the three points.

"I think after going 2-0 up we were in control of the game, and then we've let them back into it," Rooney told MUTV. "To then get our third goal and concede again was disappointing from us.

"I think they were silly goals to concede on our behalf and they were avoidable. They have cost us two points so we're disappointed.

"We can't keep going on conceding three goals every game so we have to work on that and create the chances without giving goals away.
 You can score as many goals as you want, but if you keep conceding goals then it's a problem.

"We have to keep trying to get that balance right and keep creating chances, scoring goals and keeping them out."

Rooney admitted that United had been working hard to improve their disappointing goalscoring record, with all five of the sides now above them having found the net at least six more times than the Red Devils.

"I think we're always trying to create chances," he added. "Obviously we know that's our aim, that's what we work on everyday at the training ground.

Sturridge, Ramsey, Lukaku and Bony may move

Daniel Sturridge: Liverpool could sell striker
Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge, Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey and Everton duo Romelu Lukaku and John Stones are among the players linked with transfers in Sunday’s newspapers.


Liverpool are willing to listen to offers of around £25million for Daniel Sturridge, claims the Sunday Mirror, with Jurgen Klopp increasingly frustrated with the striker’s injury record.
Sturridge has started only three games in the Premier League this season and has managed only 106 minutes under Klopp since the German took over at Anfield in October.
The 26-year-old was again absent when Liverpool drew 2-2 with Exeter in the FA Cup on Friday night, with the Reds hierarchy now seemingly ready to cut their losses on the England international.


Already poised to announce the signing of Mohamed Elneny, the Daily Star Sunday claims Arsenal are hoping to spend another £52million on two more players, Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Granit Xhaka and Paris Saint-Germain’s Adrien Rabiot, who also plays in midfield.
Xhaka, 23, will cost £37million, it is said, while the mother of Rabiot, 20, who is also his agent, is apparently in London on Sunday to discuss a £15million transfer for her son.
The newspaper does not explain why Arsene Wenger wants to sign three midfielders this month but says he has decided to act having missed out on Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who he was willing to spend £42.2million on.


Perhaps one explanation for Arsenal’s apparent interest in three midfielders this month is that according to the Sunday Express, Barcelona are preparing a £50million summer offer for Aaron Ramsey.
The Catalans are also apparently willing to spend a similar amount on Everton defender John Stones, who Gerard Pique praised earlier in the season.
‘Both players couldn’t help but be tempted by moves’ to the Nou Camp, the newspaper adds.


Romelu Lukaku is also set to leave Everton in the summer, according to the Sun on Sunday, and wants to join either Paris Saint-Germain or Real Madrid.
Manchester United are interested in the striker, the newspaper claims, but Lukaku would apparently prefer a move away from the Premier League, though it is said the 22-year-old would eventually like to return to Chelsea, where he feels he has unfinished business.
Everton boss Roberto Martinez has ruled out allowing any of his stars leaving Goodison Park this month, but Lukaku could generate up to £50million worth of funds for the Toffees.


Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino is high on Manchester United’s wanted list (Sunday Mirror)
Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea have all been put on alert about a potential £70m summer move for the Bayern Munich centre-forward Robert Lewandowski this summer, with the Polish striker considering his future with the German champions (Independent on Sunday)
Felipe Anderson’s £35million move to Manchester United is being held up over a £1.75million pay-off due to the player (Daily Star Sunday)
Tottenham are poised to try again to sign West Brom striker Saido Berahino with a £20million package that includes Andros Townsend (Daily Star Sunday)
Tottenham want to take Loic Remy on loan – but doubt Chelsea will do business with them over the French striker (Sunday People)
Manchester City will join the fight for Eden Hazard if he leaves Chelsea in the summer (Sun on Sunday)
Manchester United have slapped a £24million asking price on Marouane Fellaini (Sunday Mirror)
Everton are preparing a bid of £21million to sign Dynamo Kiev winger Andriy Yarmolenko (Mail on Sunday)
Everton boss Roberto Martinez is planning a shock double swoop for Chelsea goalkeeper Asmir Begovic and Swansea winger Jefferson Montero (Sun on Sunday)
Pep Guardiola has told Manchester City bosses he wants to sign Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan and Athletic Bilbao centre-back Aymeric Laporte if he takes over at the Etihad Stadium (Sunday Express)
Wilfried Bony will be offered a Swansea City return to end his Manchester City nightmare (Sun on Sunday)
The Swans are also set to make a stunning bid for AC Milan and ex-Manchester City midfielder Nigel de Jong (Sun on Sunday)
Stoke City winger Marko Arnautovic wants a weekly wage of more than £100,000 to extend his contract (The Independent)
Stoke City outcast Steve Sidwell is a loan target for two of his old clubs – Fulham and Reading (Sunday Mirror)
Everton, Sunderland, Aston Villa and Derby are among the clubs looking to make a move in May for Leeds goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell (Sunday Mirror)
Birmingham City expect to seal a loan move for Sunderland’s Will Buckley (Sunday Mirror)
Manchester United’s England Under-20 midfielder Ben Pearson is joining Preston for £100,000 (Sunday Mirror)

Nasri determined to fight for his Man City future

Nasri determined to fight for his Man City future
The Frenchman, who will miss the majority of the season due to a serious tendon injury, is happy at the club despite having been identified as a likely candidate to leave
Samir Nasri is determined to stay and fight for his Manchester City future despite his growing status as the club's forgotten man, Sportmasta has learned.

The Frenchman struggled to break into Manuel Pellegrini's first team at the start of the season following the summer arrivals of Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne for a combined outlay of close to £100 million.

Nasri had started two matches - one in the Premier League and one in the Champions League - and was largely restricted to late substitute appearances before being struck down with a tendon injury which will keep him on the sidelines for around six months.

He is also likely to be removed from City's Champions League squad for the knockout stages, which must be declared by February 2, as Pellegrini looks to increase the pool of players from which he can choose. Kelechi Iheanacho, the 19-year-old Nigerian, is currently favourite to take Nasri's place having missed out on being involved in the group stages.

Pellegrini has consistently played down the chances of signing any players in January, but has admitted that there is a chance somebody could arrive to fill the hole left by Nasri.

Many supporters had expected him to be moved on during the summer, especially given the likely arrival of Pep Guardiola at the Etihad Stadium and the possibility of a squad overhaul.

But sources close to the 28-year-old indicate he has no plans to leave as he believes the new contract he signed in 2014, which runs for another three-and-a-half years, is a sign of the club's commitment.

The former Arsenal man is happy with Pellegrini - the Chilean always refers to Nasri in his press conferences when giving injury updates - but is said to be excited by the prospect of working with Guardiola, should the Catalan coach take up residence in Manchester this summer.

City, however, are set to ramp up their recruitment drive at the end of the season having already spent around £170m in 2015.

Paul Pogba and Lionel Messi are among the top-end targets on the club's wishlist, while the likes of Real Madrid midfielder Isco and Schalke starlet Leroy Sane have been linked with January moves but are more likely to be pursued in the summer.

In fact, a number of players are said to have been identified by Guardiola already, with newspapers across Europe linking the club with deals for Alexis Sanchez, Ilkay Gundogan, Neymar, Ander Herrera and David Alaba, who are all said to be favourites of the Bayern Munich boss.

Van Gaal admits he's struggling to cope with Man United's boring tag

Van Gaal admits he's struggling to cope with Man United's boring tag The Dutchman watched his side throw away three points at Newcastle before revealing the accusation that is side is dull is beginning to take a strain on him and his players

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal admits he and his players are struggling to cope with constantly being accused of being boring.

United were anything but dull on Tuesday night as they contrived to throw away a two-goal lead at Newcastle, before conceding a last minute equaliser in a pulsating 3-3 draw.

It was, however, a result out of keeping with United's recent goalscoring form. Van Gaal's side has failed to score in the first half of a game at Old Trafford since September 30 and a section of home supporters resorted to ironic cheering when their team finally managed to register a shot on target against League One Sheffield United in the FA Cup last Saturday. 

GOAL READ MORE  | Twitter reacts to Mike Dean's penalty antics in Man United game

And the Dutchman admitted the negativity surrounding his side is difficult to live with and again refuted the suggestion that his team are negative and overly defensive.

He said: "I don't agree with the analysis of many people. We are always attacking. We are always attacking also away. But I have to live with it.

"I have to cope with it. My players have to cope with it. That's very difficult. But now we've given two points away."
Joel Matip FC Schalke 04 Bundesliga 19042015

The January transfer window is heating up nicely, and as part of our ongoing focus on potential African movers in January, we focus on 10 African youngsters who could still move this month – either on a permanent basis or in a loan deal.

Victor Osimhen: The 2015 Fifa Under-17 World Cup top scorer has been linked with several top clubs in Europe since he scored 10 goals in that competition. He was initially reported to have agreed terms with Tottenham Hotspur, then Arsenal, and later Wolfsburg. The teenage wonderkid appeared to confirm to Sportmasta after the recent Caf-Glo awards that he had settled on the German club

Thomas Teye Partey (Atletico Madrid): The 22-year-old Ghanaian is highly rated at the Vincente Calderon, but has featured sparingly for Atletico this season, so could seek a move elsewhere to gain regular playing time. He is already being tipped as a possible replacement for Victor Wanyama at Southampton, and Los Rojiblancos have also reportedly rejected a £6.5m bid from Watford. That notwithstanding, he could yet be on the move.

Mohammed Elneny (Basel): The 23-year old Egyptian has reportedly agreed terms with Arsenal. Joining the Gunners will be a massive move for the youngster. He will be expected to fill the void left by the injured Francis Coquelin. On Monday, Arsene Wenger spoke in connection with the move, saying: “I expect movement and we are positive that this week it can happen.” Only work permit issues currently stand in his way.

Josh Onomah (Tottenham Hotspur): Another youngster who could be making a loan move. He's regarded highly at White Hart Lane, but may need to make a brief move away to earn some valuable first-team football. Tottenham may feel he needs to play more regularly to build his confidence and a move away seems the easiest option.

Keita Balde (SS Lazio): The 20-year-old was linked with Liverpool last summer after Lazio made him available. Even though he has gone on to feature prominently for the Italian club so far this season, he could still be on the move this January, especially if a good bid comes in for him.

Michael Olunga (Gor Mahia): This month may be when this promising striker finally moves to a club in Europe. The 21-year-old is highly regarded and has been watched by scouts from clubs in Europe. He was previously linked with South African sides Ajax Cape Town and Bidvest Wits, but it looks like his heart is set on a move to Europe and there is interest from Sweden

Kelechi Nwakali: He was voted the MVP of the last Under-17 World Cup and is being courted by Manchester City and Arsenal. He is yet to sign for any of the clubs, but with the January transfer window still very much open, it may be the time he finally makes the big move.

Rivaldo Coetzee (Ajax Cape Town): The brilliant young defender has been repeatedly watched by scouts from European clubs and could also be on the move this month. He’s already an established international at just 19! While he is said to be comfortable at Ajax Cape Town, it is believed he will soon be joining Ajax Amsterdam and it could be as soon as this January.

Joel Matip (Schalke 04): His contract is up next summer and he has been strongly linked with Liverpool. The Reds have an injury crisis in defence, and could make an offer for the Cameroon international. He is, however, reported to want to stay until the summer, but Schalke may choose to cash in this January.

Man City eye Ivanovic; Mignolet set to sign

Branislav Ivanovic: Chelsea defender linked with Manchester City
Manchester City are reported to have enquired about Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic, while Simon Mignolet looks set to sign a new Liverpool contract.


Manchester City have ‘asked to be kept informed of developments’ in the situation of Branislav Ivanovic, according to the Daily Mail, with Chelsea yet to offer the defender a new contract.
Ivanovic’s current deal expires in the summer, leaving him free to talk to overseas clubs this month, with Inter Milan, AC Milan and Zenit Saint Petersburg said to be interested.
However, with Martin Demichelis out of contract in the summer and Vincent Kompany’s fitness a concern, City could offer Ivanovic, 31, the chance to remain in the Premier League.
The Serbia captain would prefer to stay at Chelsea, it is said, but the west Londoners have a policy of only offering one-year contracts to players over the age of 30, which could potentially tempt Ivanovic into a move even if he is offered the chance to remain at Stamford Bridge.


West Brom’s Saido Berahino is high on Chelsea’s list of striker targets, with AC Milan’s Carlos Bacca another option (Daily Express)
Simon Mignolet has agreed in principle a new contract that will tie the 27-year-old to the club until 2021 (Daily Mail/Daily Mirror)
Arsenal are reluctant to sell David Ospina this summer despite the goalkeeper’s growing frustration. The 27-year-old would happily leave this month, with Besiktas and Everton interested (Daily Mail)
Manchester City could land Schalke forward Leroy Sane for £27.6million in the summer due to a clause in his contract (The Sun)
Manchester City face competition from Real Madrid and Barcelona to sign Leroy Sane (Daily Mirror)
Manchester City have asked about Fulham forward Moussa Dembele, who is out of contract in the summer and also interesting Manchester United, Liverpool, Tottenham, Roma and Juventus (Daily Mail)
Andros Townsend hopes that Tottenham will change their minds and let him out on loan. He does not want to join West Brom or Watford permanently as he feels there will be more options in the summer (The Times)
West Ham striker Nikica Jelavic is wanted by Guangzhou Evergrande, while the Hammers want Leeds United right-back Sam Byram (Daily Mail)
Shanghai Shenhua want Sunderland’s Steven Fletcher and are in talks over an £8million deal for Newcastle’s Cheick Tiote (Daily Mail)
Sunderland have revived their interest in Lorient defender Lamine Kone days after a deal collapsed in acrimonious circumstances (Daily Telegraph/The Sun)
Roma are pursuing Sunderland midfielder Jeremain Lens (The Times)
Bournemouth are ready to hijack West Brom’s £8million move for QPR winger Matt Phillips (The Sun)
West Brom defender Jonas Olsson is a target for Greek side AEK Athens, managed by Gus Poyet (The Sun)
West Brom or Norwich City could grab James Tawkowski – after Burnley tried to land the Brentford centre-half cheaply (The Sun)
Norwich City and QPR want £8million-rated Dwight Gayle from Crystal Palace (Daily Mail)
Everton midfielder Steven Naismith is set to snub a move to Norwich City (Daily Mirror)
Watford have expressed an interest in QPR striker Charlie Austin (The Times)
Watford misfit Alessandro Diamanti is set to join Atalanta on loan (Daily Mirror)
Crystal Palace are interested in signing Wolves defender Kortney Hause in the summer (The Times)
Sampdoria are chasing Leicester City defender Yohan Benalouane (Daily Mirror)

Lionel Miessi clamed a fifth Ballon d'Or

The greatest players to never win the Ballon d'Or

Lionel Messi claimed a fifth Ballon d'Or on Monday but who are the greatest players to have been snubbed for the award in the past? Goal counts down our top 50...