Saturday, 25 May 2013


Arsenal ready to break the bank and lure wantaway Rooney to Emirates

Arsenal are growing increasingly confident they can finance a record-breaking move for Wayne Rooney. Sportmail exclusively revealed the Gunners’ interest in the unsettled Manchester United star last week.

A move for Rooney was first discussed in a scouting meeting in March, but there was an acknowledgement that his  £250,000-per-week wages could be a stretch too far for the club.


However, Arsenal are refusing to dismiss the idea of landing Rooney this summer. He has just two years to run on his existing Old Trafford contract and the Gunners hope that the security of a five-year deal worth close to £200,000-a-week will be an attractive proposition for the striker.
Arsenal are also willing to hand Rooney a multi-million pound signing-on fee to supplement his wages.

The deal would make Rooney the club’s best ever paid player.

Lukas Podolski and Theo Walcott are Arsenal’s current top earners on around £100,000-a-week. But outgoing United chief executive David Gill still expects Rooney to start next season with the Premier League champions, despite Arsenal’s interest.

The 27-year-old has been linked with a move from Old Trafford after retiring manager Sir Alex Ferguson — who has been replaced by Everton’s David Moyes — said the player had submitted a second transfer request in nearly three years.


But Gill said: ‘I think that he’s a great, great player at a great, great club and the club doesn’t want to lose its star player.

‘I’m sure every bit of work is being taken with Wayne and his advisers to ensure that happens. I am not a betting man but I’m confident I’ll sit at Old Trafford next season and see Wayne Rooney running out.’

Liverpool-born Rooney agreed a five-year contract running to June 2015 after changing his mind over leaving the club in October 2010.

Meanwhile, Arsenal’s talks over Fiorentina striker Stevan Jovetic are at a crucial stage. The Serie A club are unwilling to take less than his £25m buyout clause, but Arsenal are only willing to pay £20m.

Juventus are also in contact with Fiorentina and there is a growing concern at Arsenal that the Montenegro striker, 23, will opt to stay in Italy.

Arsenal are also interested in the 25-year-old Real Madrid and Argentina striker, Gonzalo Higuain.

Barca move on the cards for Neymar as Santos accept two bids for Brazil sensation

Neymar appears to be moving closer to joining Barcelona after his club Santos announced they had accepted two bids for the Brazil forward. Santos did not name the two clubs involved, but they are widely assumed to be Barca and Real Madrid, with a move to the Catalan club thought by many to be a foregone conclusion.

A statement on the Santos website read: 'Santos FC announces that it has received two proposals for the athlete Neymar da Silva Santos Junior.

'Given the offers and conditions of the player's contract, the management committee of the club decided to transfer the player. 'Neymar Jr and his father are expected in Belmiro to choose which proposal the athlete will accept.'

Neymar's contract expires at the end of next season and some reports had suggested an agreement with Barcelona was as good as signed.

But the striker insisted he would not be rushed into making a decision. 'This is an honour, the happiest moment of my life,' he was quoted as saying on 'I will now think carefully about these two proposals. I will decide with my family. I'm in no hurry. The decision may come out in five minutes, half an hour or three days.'


His father Neymar da Silva Sr, who also acts as his manager, added: 'Now we will go home, sit down and talk. We could not make a decision in the heat of the moment. Let's talk and see what Neymar wants.'
Neymar, who has already played more than 30 games for his country, has spent his whole career at Santos, who have repeatedly fended off interest from a host of European clubs.

Barca have long been on his tail, while Chelsea's interest has been rebuffed in the past. All previous indications were that Neymar would join Barca, though he had also suggested previously that he would remain in Brazil until after next year's World Cup in the country.

Santos vice president Odilio Rodrigues said: 'We did everything in our power to keep Neymar in Santos.'

Any transfer could be complicated by the complex nature of Neymar's ownership arrangement, with various investment groups holding a stake in the player as well as the club.


Zidane: Real door is wide open for Bale, as French great puts 'impressive' winger in the same bracket as Messi and Ronaldo


Zinedine Zidane has insisted Gareth Bale is ‘more than good enough’ to play for Real Madrid and said the door is open for the Welshman to join the Spanish giants this summer. The former Madrid star works with the youth teams at the Bernabeu and has watched Bale, 23, this season, particularly in Tottenham’s Europa League campaign.

Zidane, 40, spoke in glowing terms about the Spurs star, who is set to sign a new contract at White Hart Lane worth up to £200,000 a week, despite Tottenham’s failure to qualify for the Champions League.

Seal of approval: Zinedine Zidane has said Gareth Bale is more than good enough to play for Real Madrid
Real Madrid, however, remain very keen to sign Bale, who is valued at around £60million, and hope the lure of top European football will convince him to move abroad.

Zidane said: ‘Big players like that, talented players like that, can always go to Real Madrid.

‘He’s more than good enough.I’ve been watching Tottenham for the very reason Gareth Bale is playing. 


‘Aside from people like Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, who are top players, he is the footballer who impressed me the most, I must admit. He particularly impressed me because he was consistent. He wasn’t just great in one or two matches, he was consistently a good player, all the time, and he was consistent in scoring goals, very important goals.’


Songs of praise: Marcel Desailly and Sergio Ramos have both urged Bale to leave Spurs in the past week
Madrid defender Sergio Ramos said this week Bale is a ‘Real Madrid-quality signing’ and Marcel Desailly added that he should leave Tottenham for a major club with a ‘culture of victory’.

Bale has enjoyed the best season of his career, scoring 31 goals for club and country, and former Chelsea and France defender Desailly believes Spurs can no longer fuel his ambition.

Desailly said: ‘He should just go. Tottenham will not give him the opportunity to play at a very high level. There’s no price for experience. It’s time for him to go. It’s not a matter of money, it’s the experience at a club that has the culture of victory, a club that has trophies in the cupboard. Not one or two, but plenty.’


Zidane also feels Jose Mourinho’s exit from Real will not dent his confidence ahead of his expected return to Chelsea. Zidane said it was no surprise Mourinho is leaving Madrid after a trophy-less season because of the high expectations at the club.

Zidane, a former Real star and a World Cup winner with France, said failing to win Madrid’s 10th European title would have been a disappointment for Mourinho, but backed him to bring more success to Stamford Bridge.

Zidane added: ‘The issue with Madrid is that if you apply to run the club the expectation is that you win all matches in all competitions, and if you don’t it’s very difficult and suddenly you get pressure from on high.

‘I’m not sure that doesn’t apply to all big clubs, but it applies particularly to Real.

‘All lost matches are a shock for Madrid. The mentality is you have to in every match and every competition. I don’t think it will affect his (Mourinho’s) confidence.

‘Obviously he’s disappointed because he didn’t win, but I still think he has a lot of trust in what he does and in his work and will try to win again.’

Zidane admits to some managerial ambitions of his own and is taking his coaching badges while acting as director of football at Madrid.

‘It’s a good experience for me,’ he said. ‘I’m taking courses to get my diplomas and, when I’ve got them, I would like, eventually, to run a club.’

Mazzarri takes over at Inter as Stramaccioni is sacked after poor season

Inter Milan appointed former Napoli boss Walter Mazzarri as their new coach on Friday after sacking Andrea Stramaccioni following a disappointing ninth-place finish in Serie A.

'FC Internazionale would like to announce that the club has appointed Walter Mazzarri as the new head coach,' the club said on their website.

'FC Internazionale would like to thank Andrea Stramaccioni for the great commitment and professionalism he showed in a particularly difficult year. Walter Mazzarri has signed a two-year deal.'
New Inter Milan boss Mazzari
The Gazzetta Dello Sport website said Mazzari, who announced his departure from Napoli after their 2-1 loss against AS Roma in their last game of the season on Sunday, has signed a deal worth £3 million a year.

The 51-year-old took Napoli to second place in Serie A this season and re-established them as a force in Italian football over his four-year spell in charge. They also won the Italian Cup last year.
Reports of Mazzari replacing Stramaccioni have been in Italian media for days.

The 37-year-old Stramaccioni surprisingly stepped up from managing Inter's youth team to take charge of the 2010 Champions League winners last March following the sacking of Claudio Ranieri.

Sacked: Andrea Stramaccioni is departing Inter after the club could only finish ninth in Serie A
He did a good enough job in the final stages of that season to earn himself a three-year contract.
Early this season Inter looked to be title challengers and a run of seven straight wins finished with them ending Juventus' 49-match unbeaten streak and moving a point behind the league leaders.

However, their form dropped off straight afterwards and their season was soon engulfed by a series of bad injuries to top names including Diego Milito, Dejan Stankovic, Rodrigo Palacio, Antonio Cassano and Javier Zanetti.

They finished in ninth place on 54 points after winning only five games after the mid-season break and ended the campaign with 16 defeats.

Rafa Benitez, who is leaving Chelsea having taken the club to Europa League glory, is expected to take over as the new Napoli manager.

On the move: Rafa Benitez is expected to take over at Napoli

Sportsmail reported that a two-year deal has been discussed with Benitez, who is currently in New York preparing for his final game as Chelsea' s interim boss.

De Laurentiis was more bullish about the move, saying last night: 'I've given myself a birthday gift, I've signed Benitez.

'I'll make it official in the next few days as Benitez needs to end things with Chelsea. He'll have a two-year contract, no longer. We need to get to know each other first, then we'll see.'

Spaniard Benitez would replace Walter Mazzarri, who left the club after their 2-1 loss at AS Roma in their last game of the season on Sunday.

Italian reports said there was a meeting in Rome on Thursday where representatives of Napoli and Benitez reached an agreement on a two-year contract worth £3m a year.

However, De Laurentiis later tweeted: 'Thanks from the bottom of my heart for all the messages. Regarding a coach, nothing is official yet. A bit more patience needed.'


It is a good move for Benitez, who won the Europa League with Chelsea last week and secured a Champions League spot for the London club with a third-placed finish in the Barclays Premier League.

Mazzarri was sacked despite Napoli finishing runners-up to Juventus in Serie A and qualifying for the Champions League.

Benitez takes charge of his final game tonight when Chelsea meet Manchester City here.

City won the first game of the American double-header between the sides 4-3 in St Louis on Thursday.

Chelsea keeper Petr Cech has been impressed by the job Benitez has done. 'Rafa has worked hard from day one and tried to do his best for us and the club,' he said. 'He is now leaving with a European trophy, which is great for him.'


  1. Arsenal is in a jonzing world!!

  2. Benitez is reali boosting his cv.. lol Work experience on point!

  3. Why will Rooney wanna go from frypan to fire

  4. Neymar is now a Barca player!! it actualli took him 5 mins 2 decide