Magath gives Rafinha a few days off

Schalke 04 manager Felix Magath has decided to give his defender Rafinha a few days off.

The Brazilian right back gained a lot of publicity last week, when several media reported about a possible transfer to either Juventus or Bayern Munich.

On the club’s official website, Magath says he hopes that Rafinha can clear his head during the next few days.

“There has been a lot of publicity during the last days and I think this is the best for the player and the club. I think Rafinha can help us again when he has everything back in order again.“

Magath confirms there has been interest for the Brazilian international.

However, Schalke never received a serious offer: “It looked like clubs wanted to benefit from our financial situation but we only sell are players for the right price.“

Mon 31 August, 2009
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Taylor commits to Newcastle

Newcastle defender Steven Taylor says he is committed to helping the Championship side climb back up into the Premier League.

The highly-rated 23-year-old defender has been linked with a move away from St James’ Park during the close season following the Magpies’ relegation last term, with Everton and Aston Villa among the reported interested parties.

But Taylor told the Daily Express on Monday: “I was part of the team which was involved in taking Newcastle down and out of the Premier League and I want to put it right by being part of the side that takes us back where we belong, in our rightful place in the top flight.

“I have never swayed from that aim. There has been interest but I want to make very clear that I have always wanted to lead Newcastle back to the Premier League. That has always been my main wish.”

Newcastle have already lost key players in Sebastien Bassong, Michael Owen, Damien Duff and Habib Beye since slipping out of the Premier League but can claim top spot in the Championship standings by beating Leicester later Monday.

Mon 31 August, 2009
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No Bowyer grudge for broken leg victim Modric

Tottenham midfielder Luka Modric insists he does not blame Lee Bowyer for the tackle that broke his leg.

Modric will be sidelined for at least six weeks as a result of the injury he sustained in a collision with Bowyer at the start of the second half in Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Birmingham at White Hart Lane.

The 23-year-old will miss several of second-placed Tottenham’s Premier League matches, as well Croatia’s crucial World Cup qualifier against England on September 9 at Wembley.

Bowyer has been no stranger to controversy throughout his career but Modric does not believe the Birmingham midfielder intended to hurt him.

“It was not a ferocious tackle but it hurt awfully and I knew something was wrong the moment it happened,” Modric told the Sun on Monday.

“It’s like my whole world has crumbled because I’ll be out for at least six weeks. I’m terribly sad.

“The worst thing is knowing that I’ll be watching both my club and country from the sidelines for a while.”

Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp, who also saw captain Ledley King limp off as Spurs maintained their 100 percent start to the season, added: “You could see he was in a hell of a lot of pain and, even though Luka is not a big bloke, it takes a lot for him to have to come off.

“It’s a big blow for us, we are already short of bodies in midfield but we will just have to get on with it.”

Mon 31 August, 2009
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Van der Vaart stays at Madrid

Rafael van der Vaart will not leave Real Madrid this summer.

The Dutch international was on the nominee for a transfer all summer but this weekend he heard he can stay with Madrid.

The 26-year-old midfielder was told by his coach Manuel Pellegrini and directors Jorge Valdano and Jose Angel Sanchez that he gets a new chance because of the departure of several players.

For example, last week Madrid sold two other Dutch internationals Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben to Inter Milan and Bayern Munich.

Van der Vaart received two interesting offers from Premier League clubs but after last weekend’s conversation he decided to fight for his chances in the Spanish capital.

Mon 31 August, 2009
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Wenger infuriated by United’s `anti-football`

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger claims Manchester United tried to kick Arsenal out of their stride by playing “anti-football” in Saturday’s 2-1 victory over the Gunners.

Wenger was infuriated by the way United set out to disrupt Arsenal’s smooth passing game by flying into tackles with aggressive intent.

Although Arsenal collected six bookings and United were only shown three yellow cards, Wenger hinted that the champions’ approach was a stark contrast to his own purist principles.

The French coach seemed to be particularly angered by United midfielder Darren Fletcher’s challenges, but stopped short of accusing the Scot by name.

“I have seen a player who plays on the pitch only to make fouls,” he said. “For me, this is a point that is more urgent than diving.

“The players who are never punished, who get out of the game without a yellow card. I think it is more anti-football than a player who did what Eduardo did.

“Look at how many deliberate fouls some players get away with. That’s a bigger problem because it cuts the flow of the game. And people pay to see football, not free-kicks.”

Asked if he was referring to Fletcher, Wenger just laughed and said: “Why do you say the name?”

Fletcher insisted he had done nothing wrong and was just playing his normal game.

“I enjoyed the challenge of going up against Arsenal in a big game,” he told the Sun on Monday.

“I did what I normally do – made some tackles, got about the opposition, no different to any other game.”

Mon 31 August, 2009
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Gudjohnsen about to leave Barcelona

Barcelona-attacker Eidur Gudjohnsen is on his way to AS Monaco. The player from Iceland can sign a two year contract with the Ligue 1 side.

Gudjohsen came to the Camp Nou stadium in 2006, to replace Swedish striker Henrik Larsson. In 72 competition matches he only managed to score ten times.

Another player from Barca, Brazilian defender Henrique, is on the verge of a loan deal with Racing Santander.

The 22-year old came over last year from Palmeiras and was directly lent out to Bayer Leverkusen.

This year, the Catalans want him to gain experience in the Primera Division.

Mon 31 August, 2009
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Last-minute move still possible for Ribery

Bayern Munich is set to have an exciting last day of the transfer window. Reports in the Spanish press suggest that Real Madrid will make one final attempt to sign Franck Ribery.

Rumors say Madrid president Florentino Perez is about to table a last-minute bid of about £ 53 million for the French star. That’s about £ 4, 4 million higher than Madrid’s last offer in mid-August.

When Bayern refused that bid in mid-August Jorge Valdano, Real’s director of football, said that it was Madrid’s last try to sign Ribery.

Rafael van der Vaart, the Dutch midfielder who’s on Madrid’s transfer list, is also involved in the story according to the Spanish press.

A move from Van der Vaart to Munich plus a serious amount of cash could be an other option for Los Blancos and one that may tempt Louis van Gaal, the Dutch coach of the German side.

Finally, Sport reports Valdano said that the squad is complete, barring miracles.

The last day of the transfer window could be a miraculous day.

Mon 31 August, 2009
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Ballack keen on new Chelsea deal

Ballack keen on new Chelsea deal

German midfielder Michael Ballack has hinted that he is interested in signing a new contract with Chelsea.

Ballack signed a one-year contract extension with the Blues in May.

“For me, I’m still young at 32,” Ballack told The Telegraph.

“I’m enjoying playing. I want to play football for a few more years at a high level because I feel good. This is the best league in the world and I’m happy to be a part of it.”

“It was a good choice for me to move to England,” he continued.

“I feel comfortable at Chelsea but [a contract extension is] always down to both sides.

“I know I have more years ahead but I don’t want to put myself or the club under pressure.

“If we come together, we come together.”

[Source: The Telegraph]

Mon 31 August, 2009
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Juventus denies Grosso move

Juventus president Giovanni Cobolli Gigli has denied the club is interested in signing left-back Fabio Grosso from French side Lyon.

Grosso has been linked with a move to the Old Lady but Gigli insists they will not make any more signings in the transfer market.

“Alessio Secco has ended the negotiations for this transfer window,” said Cobolli Gigli.

“Today we won’t be signing anyone because we are happy with our current squad.”

He added on their 3-1 win at Roma: “I was really impressed but Inter are still the team to beat. I had no doubts about it and their victory in the Derby proved it.

“They were amazing. This year they have improved a lot. Inter are in pole position, which is why I hope they drop points every now and then.

“I am not their enemy. I am just a Juve fan. The word enemy is used inappropriately in football.”

[Source: Tuttosport]

Mon 31 August, 2009
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Viola bid for Hammers’ Upson

Fiorentina are said to have launched a surprise bid to land West Ham defender and captain Matthew Upson according to reports from The Press Association.

West Ham are reported to have recieved a bid from the Serie A club and have not yet confirmed whether they are to accept the bid or not.

Upson’s sale to Fiorentina could also effect the sale of fellow West Ham centre-back James Collins, with Zola unlikely to sell both players with the close of the transfer window so close.

Everton boss David Moyes and Aston Villa manager Martin O’Neill are said to have watched Collins during the Hammers 1-1 draw with Blackburn and are likely to bid in the next few days.

Zola previously told press he hoped the England centre-back would stay at the club but the offer of UEFA Champions League football may be the deciding factor for Upson with Fiorentina set to face the likes of Liverpool and Lyon in Group E in the UEFA Champions League this year.

The sale of Upson would likely be used to bolster the East London sides attacking options, with a move for Marouane Chamakh still on Zola’s wish-list.

Source: The Press Association

Mon 31 August, 2009
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