Thursday, April 19, 2018

Belfodil eyes January loan move; Zapata plays down Man Utd link

Internazionale striker Ishak Belfodil has revealed he is looking for a loan move away from the San Siro ahead of next year's World Cup finals in Brazil.

Internazionale striker Ishak Belfodil has revealed he is looking for a loan move away from the San Siro ahead of next year’s World Cup finals in Brazil, according to Sky Sports.

The Algeria international, who joined Inter Milan from Parma on a five-year co-ownership deal, has made 10 appearances in all competitions, albeit just two starts, for the Nerazzurri this season.

Belfodil, 21, is seeking regular first-team football in order to boost his chances of being selected for the World Cup by Algeria manager Vahid Halilhodžić, and rightfully so.

“I hope to play more often, and this is not happening for now at Inter,” the 21-year-old told the APS agency.

“The market window is coming, I have to talk to my leaders and I would like to be competitive in view of the World Cup.

“The market could be the right solution for me.”

Recent reports have suggested that a host of English Premier League clubs are interested in bringing in Belfodil when the transfer window re-opens in January.

Belfodil has tallied one goal and one assist in 10 competitive matches this season.

Meulensteen: Ruiz staying put

Fulham boss Rene Meulensteen has dismissed speculation indicating Bryan Ruiz is set to leave the club in the New Year.

Ruiz has played a total of three minutes since Meulensteen replaced Martin Jol as the club’s manager, fueling speculation linking the Costa Rica international with a January exit from Craven Cottage.

However, Meulensteen has insisted Ruiz will have a ‘role to play’ in the coming weeks as Fulham continue to struggle in front of goal.

The Cottagers are one of 10 Premier League sides that have scored fewer goals (15) than Luis Suarez (17) in the league this season, while conceding a league-worst 30 goals.

“Sometimes players go through bad patches and it does not go very well for them. That was the case a little bit with Bryan,” said Meulensteen.

“It is confidence that drives players on and sometimes you need to protect them a little bit.

“Bryan is another very creative, attacking player. He is a game-changer. When he came on against Spurs he could have earned a point and that is what you want to see.

“There are so many games to come and all the players will have a role to play.”

Fulham, currently in 19th-place in the league table, are 8/13 to avoid relegation.

Zapata plays down Man Utd link

AC Milan defender Cristian Zapata has moved to play down reports suggesting he could join Manchester United during the winter transfer window.

The Colombia international, 27, joined Milan from Spanish side Villarreal on a permanent deal after an initial season-long loan at the San Siro.

Despite Milan’s poor start to the season, the 27-year-old stopper has impressed with a number of solid performances for the Rossoneri this term.

When asked about reports linking him with a January move to Old Trafford, Zapata said: “I do not know anything.”

“I am just thinking about Milan. I have a contract until 2016 and I want to stay here.”

Zapata, who left Udinese for Villarreal in the summer of 2011, turned down a move to Liverpool after the 2010/11 season.


Shawn Etemadi



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