Voller believes Adler could snub Man Utd move

Bayer Leverkusen general manager Rudi Voller believes goalkeeper Rene Adler could sign a contract extension with the Bundesliga side.

Adler has been strongly linked with a move to Premier League giants Manchester United in recent months.

Adler’s current contract with Leverkusen is set to expire in 2012 and has a buy-out clause of around £17million in it.

Voller told Sport 1: “Rene Adler has been a supporter of Manchester United  since he was a child and he has a buy-out clause in his current contract just in case United come up.

“This clause is in a region of beyond £17m.

“We have the ambition to keep him at our club and we are in good talks. We have the intention to see him sign on for more seasons.”

[Source: Sport 1]

Mon 31 Jan, 2011
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Celtic star rules out Brescia move

Celtic midfielder Efrain Juarez insists he is not close to joining Italian side Brescia on loan.

The 22-year-old has been strongly linked with a loan move away from the Hoops this month.

“I was very surprised to hear this rumour. I went to train, then I had a sleep in the afternoon. When I woke up, my phone was ringing like crazy,” he told the Daily Record.

“Even my dad phoned to ask what was happening about Brescia.

“I am absolutely not aware of any transfer to Italy. I remain at Celtic. ”

Juarez signed a four-year contract with Celtic when he joined the club last summer.

[Source: The Daily Record]

Mon 31 Jan, 2011
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Chelsea bid for Ligue 1 star

Chelsea have sent an offer for Saint Etienne winger Dimitri Payet, according to L’Equipe.

Even though Saint Etienne chiefs are adamant their most prized asset is not for sale, Chelsea have reportedly decided to test their resolve by sending an official offer for the French international.

Les Verts have already rejected two bids from Paris Saint Germaine but it is thought they would be willing to consider any offer exceeding €10 million.

With the player also looking to leave the club, Chelsea have launched an official bid for one of the best players in French Ligue 1, hoping to close the deal before the transfer window closes on Monday.

Dimitri Payet is currently considered one of the best wingers in France, whereas his return of 8 goals in 19 league games this season is another reason why the Blues are after him.

Mon 31 Jan, 2011
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Mourinho: Real´s title hopes slipping away

Jose Mourinho admits it will be ‘difficult’ for Real Madrid to win the La Liga title after their shock 1-0 loss to Osasuna on Sunday.

Javier Camunas was the hero for Osasuna at the Estadio Reyno de Navarra, with his second-half winner meaning Real have now slipped seven points behind league leaders Barcelona.

Barca have lost just once this season and seem destined to claim their third straight title, and even Mourinho admits his side have a mountain to climb if they are to resurrect their championship hopes.

“This is our second defeat in La Liga and we are in a very difficult situation with respect to the first-place team,” Mourinho said.

“I don’t like to lose when you give the match away by not playing, not fighting or not being committed or focused. That is not the case.”

“Tonight the other team played its heart out and had a week to prepare for the match. They played to the brink.”

“My players have done their jobs with dignity and I have nothing to reproach them for, they fought to the end. We lost three points that we didn’t deserve to lose.”

“Tomorrow is a new day. There will be another match and we will be there.”

Mourinho paid tribute to struggling Osasuna, who broke an eight-game winless run with their victory on Sunday.

“Osasuna are a tough team and the crowd was fantastic,” Mourinho said. “I don’t think many teams win here.”

“We had opportunities to score in both halves, but we haven’t done it. And if the opponents score first it is very difficult. Congratulations to Osasuna.”

Mon 31 Jan, 2011
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Safety an issue in snow: Ranieri

Roma manager Claudio Ranieri said it was unfortunate their Serie A clash with Bologna was postponed due to snow.

Just 17 minutes of play was completed when referee Luca Banti decided to call off the the game after heavy snow landed on the Stadio Renato Dall’Ara pitch.

“After the referee spoke to the captains, he discussed it with myself and Alberto Malesani,” Ranieri said.

“Both teams wanted to play, as with such a packed fixture list between the Champions League, Coppa Italia and Serie A, finding a free day will not be easy.”

“However, the most important thing was the safety of the players. After a while the fourth official asked how we were feeling and I confirmed I was afraid for the lads.”

“All it takes in those icy conditions is one wrong move and you can do serious damage. Malesani agreed and at that stage the referee made the right decision in calling a halt to proceedings, as there was the genuine risk of a major injury.”

Marco Borriello incurred an injury while warming up for the match, and was replaced by Mirko Vucinic.

Mon 31 Jan, 2011
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Leonardo: My heart was racing

Inter Milan’s Leonardo said his side’s near-miss in their 3-2 victory over Palermo got his heart pounding in the Serie A on Sunday.

The European and Italian champions trailed at the San Siro 2-0, before debutant Giampaolo Pazzini got Inter’s first goal in the second half.

They were spared another life when J Pastore had a penalty saved by goalkeeper Julio Cesar, before Pazzini equalised and striker Samuel Eto’o finished off the comeback with a 76th-minute penalty.

The Brazilian boss admitted he was in panic mode at half-time, but praised the performance of the visitors, who left empty-handed.

“It’ll take a little more time for my heart rate to get over this match,” Leonardo said.

“That was a spectacular game. If it had been another result, then nobody could’ve said Palermo didn’t deserve it. They are a great side and created a good nine or 10 scoring opportunities in the first half alone.”

“After the break my team needed courage and character. Julio Cesar passed a late fitness test to start, Pazzini scored twice on his debut and Douglas Maicon had an extraordinary performance.”

“There are so many positives from this match. We can try the trident attack, as there are many alternatives. The work Samuel Eto’o did in the second half was crazy.”

Palermo boss Delio Rossi said his side underestimated Inter Milan’s fighting abilities to recover from a two-goal deficit.

“It was such a great performance against a world-class squad, but we were na?ve, because we had the game in our hands,” he said.

“We had the chances to seal it, but those we wasted also must make us understand that at a certain level we’ve got to do better. We threw away a huge opportunity.”

“We must improve in our efficiency, as it’s not enough to just play beautiful football. We have progressed, though clearly we lack experience.”

Mon 31 Jan, 2011
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Ligue 1 wrap: Montpellier move to sixth

Montpellier recovered from an early deficit to beat Nancy 2-1 away and move to sixth in Ligue 1 standings on Sunday.

The hosts at Stade Marcel Picot got off to a dream start when Moroccan striker Youssouf Hadji netted in the second minute, as the home fans were hopeful of securing the three points to break the gridlock at the lower end of the table.

But their lead lasted only six minutes, as Souleymane Camara found the back of the net in a quick reply for Montpellier.

Garry Bocaly netted the winner for Rene Girard’s side on the hour mark, lifting them into the league’s top six.

Ludovic Sane and Anthony Modeste both scored in Bordeaux’s 2-0 triumph over Nice at the Stade Jacques Chaban Delmas.

Marseille were held to a 0-0 draw against second-last club Monaco, yet still rose to fifth, four points behind second side Paris Saint-Germain.

Sun 30 Jan, 2011
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La Liga wrap: Real lose ground to Barca

Real Madrid’s title hopes took a blow when they lost 1-0 at struggling Osasuna in La Liga action on Sunday.

The relegation-threatened club moved three points clear of the drop zone courtesy of a Javier Camunas strike in the 61st minute at Estadio Reyno de Navarra.

The home side could have sealed the win with a late goal but desperate Madrid defence on the goal-line prevented a second.

Jose Mourinho’s men sit seven points behind league leaders Barcelona, and their significant head-to-head deficit to the Catalans means they will most likely need to make up eight points on their rivals to claim the La Liga title this campaign.

Togolese striker Emmanuel Adebayor made his bow for Madrid when he was substituted for Angel Di Maria in the second half, but he could not find a face-saving goal for his new club.

Gaizka Toquero opened his 2010-11 campaign for Athletic Bilbao in their 2-0 victory over Atletico Madrid, scoring a brace for the victors at the Estadio Vicente Calderon.

Fernando Llorente had the chance to open the scoring from the spot, but missed his penalty kick in the 40th minute, but Toquero made up for his team-mate’s miss by scoring in the 45th and 64th minutes.

Villarreal took all three points from their trip to Espanyol, winning 1-0, and moving to within six points of Real Madrid after their loss.

The third-placed side went ahead in the 45th minute from a Giuseppe Rossi wonder strike, which he hit from an acute angle that rocketed into the roof of Espanyol goalkeeper Carlos Kameni’s net.

Sun 30 Jan, 2011
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Harry unhappy with dugout view

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp said his poor view at Craven Cottage ruined his day as Spurs were crushed 4-0 by Fulham.

Their fourth round FA Cup tie was meant to be a close affair, but some defensive calamities by Spurs meant the Cottagers led 3-0 after 23 minutes, with Redknapp’s side down to 10 men.

But the 60-year-old boss claimed he did not blame defender Michael Dawson, who was red-carded to set up Fulham’s second goal, which like the first was from the penalty spot, but complained his view of the game was horrendous.

“Whatever could have gone wrong for us went wrong – conceding two penalties and having a player sent off. How can you come back from that?” Redknapp said.

“I thought the second penalty was harsh and I thought the sending-off was harsh. Michael Dawson feels the same. I don’t see what he had done.”

“I don’t know if I will appeal. I haven’t seen a replay yet. Watching a game from that dug-out is the worst view I’ve ever had in my life.”

The decision on whether Redknapp appeals his defender’s automatic one-match suspension plus any further reprimand could come down to his desperation to play a fit player at the back.

The Spurs boss also revealed that defender Younes Kaboul will be out for six weeks due to knee surgery.

“We are struggling. We are down to two central defenders. William Gallas has a hip injury and we didn’t want to use him today.”

“Younes Kaboul is having an operation on his knee. If Dawson is suspended for three games, I’ve only got (Sebastien) Bassong although (Vedran) Corluka can play there.”

Fulham manager Mark Hughes was satisfied his side were able to get the most out of some rare Tottenham errors and run away with the result.

“We wanted to make it hostile coming out of the blocks for them and we managed to force a few errors from their defenders and we capitalised on those situations,” Hughes said.

“They were hampered by the sending off but it was still up to us to put the game beyond them, which we did. Being 4-0 up at half-time is more than you could have hoped for.”

Fulham host either Bolton or Wigan in the fifth round.

Sun 30 Jan, 2011
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Anderlecht go four points clear

Mid-table Mechelen held league leaders Anderlecht to a scoreless draw in their Belgian First Division clash on Sunday.

Marc Brys’ side defended strongly to disallow the visitors to the Argos Oil Stadion Achter de Kazerne the chance to score.

The draw means Anderlecht extend their lead at the top of the table to four points, with second side Racing Genk holding a game in hand.

Gent moved to third, despite being held to a 1-1 draw by 12th-placed Sint Truiden at Stayen on Sunday.

The visitors went ahead when Chris Lepoint was on target in the 21st minute, and Gent led for the majority of the match, before Ibrahim Sidibe equalised for the hosts, earning them a valuable point to better their prospects of staying up.

Sun 30 Jan, 2011
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