Transfer wrap: Sneijder prefers Old Trafford

Inter Milan midfielder Wesley Sneijder has reportedly snubbed Manchester City’s interest in his services in favour of rivals United.

The Dutch playmaker has been linked with a move to Old Trafford throughout the transfer window with the clubs reportedly set to agree to a 27.5 million euros fee.

But rivals Manchester City also enquired about the midfielder, only to be told he was more interested in joining English Premier League champions United.

“Sneijder wants to play for Manchester United because of their prestige and tradition, which meant City never really followed up their interest,” Goal.com were told on Saturday.

“City were also put off by Inter’s asking price, which is also a problem for United because of his salary expectations.”

“United have told Inter they will pay 27.5 million euros for Sneijder. Inter have said they want 40 million euros, although they could be willing to sell for 35 million euros.”

Talks have stalled between the parties but it is likely a deal will be reached with new Inter coach Gian Piero Gasperini no longer considering Sneijder indispensable.

If Sneijder makes the move, Inter are likely to make a bid for want-away Manchester City forward Carlos Tevez.

The Argentine’s representative, Kia Joorabchian, was reportedly in Milan on Thursday to speak with Inter officials.

In Ligue 1, Paris Saint-Germain’s spending spree continues after Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini confirmed a deal to sell Javier Pastore to the French club for 43 million euros.

The Argentine playmaker, linked to clubs in England, Italy and Spain, will join PSG, who were recently taken over by the Qatari Investment Authority.

“(We) closed the deal last night (Friday) around midnight. Basically it’s the official transfer of Pastore to Paris Saint-Germain, based on a 43 million euros (fee),” director of sport Guglielmo Micciche told a French radio station.

The 22-year-old will join Blaise Matuidi, Jeremy Menez and Kevin Gameiro as new signings at the Parc des Princes.

Meanwhile, Juventus are on the verge of signing Roma’s Mirko Vucinic, with a deal in the region of 15 million euros set to be completed on Monday, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Sat 30 July, 2011
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Do Manchester City really need more players?

Just when clubs thought it was safe to go back into the transfer market Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini reveals that he wants to sign two more players.

The question is where will these two new players fit into the Manchester City team?

Numerous

Manchester City have one of the biggest wage bills in Europe because they have players who they failed to move on this summer.

Yet Mancini wants more. Mancini told a press conference: “Sergio is another striker, he is a young striker, I think that we need a player like him.

“But if we want to compete with all the other top teams – Champions League or Premier League – we need other players, but the club are working in this way.”

When asked where in the team he needed to strengthen he replied: “The middle and like a winger.
“One midfielder, one winger.”

Wages

The problem with Manchester City is that they already have too many players. Most other clubs would need to get them off the wage bill before they could bring new players in but City don’t have that worry because of their vast wealth.

Unhappy

City have top players like Emmanuel Adebayor and Carlos Tevez stating that they want to move on. Then there is the likes of Craig Bellamy and Shaun Wright-Phillips who have been out of favour for awhile but look set to still be at the club when the new season kicks-off.

However I feel for the likes of defender Nedum Onuoha, who has came back to the club from a loan spell at Sunderland last season and hasn’t even got a locker at the club, never mind a squad number. The England under-21 international is a decent player and probably should move on this summer.

Quality

I think Manchester City need to realise it’s the quality of the players you have that wins titles not the quantity. It’s all well and good having so many players but it’s the quality that counts.

You have to have players who are top quality. Sergio Aguero is the sort of standard of player that Manchester City should be adding to their squad. He may have cost City big money but he is a top quality player who will help City win trophies.

Over the past few transfer windows Manchester City have brought in decent players, along with the odd outstanding player. That means that when City try to upgrade the standard of player at the club they need to get rid of the old players.

Harmony

City have just kept on signing players and not sold the old players. Meaning that there will be a lot of out of favour players hanging around at the club not playing football. This can lead to disharmony amongst the squad and affect team morale.

Towards the end of last season everybody could see that the squad were starting to develop a team spirit and togetherness. That has already been changed by Carlos Tevez stating he wants to leave the club. I believe this harmony will be restored once the Argentinian has got his wish and leaves City.

Vital

It is vital for Manchester City’s success next season that rather than looking at new players, boss Roberto Mancini looks to sell the players who are surplus to requirements. This will bring a better atmosphere to the dressing room and in the long run bring success to Manchester City.

Who will be the new players arriving at Manchester City this summer?

Sat 30 July, 2011
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Agent: Napoli could sign Pandev

The agent of Inter forward Goran Pandev has hinted that his client would be interested in a move to Napoli.

The FYR Macedonia international rejected a move to Genoa in exchange for Rodrigo Palacio, but his agent has now hinted that Naples is his preferred destination.

“I can honestly say I know Mazzarri really likes him, right from the time when the Coach was considering the Lazio job and Goran was still at the club,” Carlo Pallavicino told Radio Kiss Kiss.

“I couldn’t say whether the move was plausible, because it’s all tied to Ezequiel Lavezzi’s future and Pandev’s wages.

“One thing is for certain, Napoli has a special fascination for anyone and we’d think very carefully about this.

“If Pandev and Inter do take different paths, which would be disappointing, then clearly Napoli are head and shoulders above the rest. They are a real emerging force in Italian football.

“Napoli would be ideal for the player.”

Sat 30 July, 2011
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Celtic reveal interest in Craig Bellamy

Celtic boss Neil Lennon has admitted that he wants to sign Manchester City forward Craig Bellamy.

The Welshman spent last season on loan at Cardiff City, but couldn’t help the Bluebirds gain promotion to the Premiership.

He is now looking to leave the club as he is not in Roberto Mancini’s plans and a return to Celtic could be an option.

The Bhoys manager Neil Lennon admits he is keen on the explosive forward.

“There is interest, but it is dictated to by finances. I hope to catch up with (City) while they are here and see if we can take it from there,” Lennon told Daily Telegraph.

Bellamy enjoyed a very successful loan spell at Parkhead some six years ago and there are no doubts Celtic fans would love to see him return to the club.

The player has earlier stated that he was not interested in a loan move and that he would only look for a permanent transfer.

Sat 30 July, 2011
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Juventus agree to sign Mirko Vucinic

Juventus have reached an agreement with Roma for forward Mirko Vucinic, La Gazzetta dello Sport has revealed.

After failing in their efforts to sign Villarreal’s Giuseppe Rossi, the Bianconeri have reignited their attention in the Montenegrin forward.

They have now agreed to pay Roma €15 million over the course of three years, and the player himself has revealed he is happy to join Juventus.

“I’m happy. It’s what I wanted,” Vucinic told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

The Montenegrin forward is about to sign a four-year deal worth around €3 million per season.

Vucinic skipped Roma training on Friday, hinting that his transfer to Juventus would be completed soon.

Sat 30 July, 2011
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Palermo confirm Pastore set to join Paris Saint-Germain

Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini has revealed that Javier Pastore is on the verge of completing a move to Paris Saint-Germain.

Together with Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain were one of the two teams left in the battle for Argentine midfielder and Palermo president has now confirmed that the Saints have won the race for the player’s signature.

“As of Friday evening, at around midnight, we concluded the negotiation process,” Zamparini told Radio Radio.

“Pastore’s sale to PSG is practically official for €43m.

“I believe that, along with Sergio Aguero, Pastore is the king of this transfer market session.”

Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester City, Juventus, Napoli and Inter were all keen on the Argentine playmaker, but he eventually opted to join free-spending PSG.

The Saints have earlier completed the signings of Salvatore Sirigu, Jeremy Menez, Momo Sissoko, Milan Bisevac and Blaise Matuidi.

Sat 30 July, 2011
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Tevez still on Corinthians radar

Corinthians will make another bid to sign Carlos Tevez in January if the striker is still at Manchester City.

The current Brazilian league leaders failed in an attempt to bring their former player back to the Pacaembu earlier in the transfer window.

It has since revealed that the 27-year-old’s representatives met with officials from Italian club Inter last week.

Despite this, if the disillusioned forward does not secure a move from Eastlands before August 31, another approach from the Brazilian outfit is likely early next year.

“You can expect us to go after him again,” marketing director Luis Paulo Rosenberg told Bloomberg.

“I think (our offer) was €5 million (too low). But we would still have to deal with Tevez; we did not (get) to because we still needed to reach a settlement with the City,” he concluded.

The former Boca Juniors player’s future seems to be away from the English side.

The signing of Sergio Aguero means the ex-Atletico Madrid attacker has reportedly been earmarked as Tevez’s replacement.

Sat 30 July, 2011
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Fourth Aussie to punt in NFL

Australian Chris Bryan has signed with NFL franchise the New York Jets.

Bryan’s agent, Nathan Chapman, revealed that the 29-year-old had signed with the Jets via Twitter on Saturday.

Chapman, who formerly played AFL football for Brisbane and Hawthorn, runs Prokick Australia, an academy which trains aspiring punters hoping to make the NFL.

“Congrats to Prokick Australia’s Chris Bryan, agreeing to terms with the NY Jets,” Chapman tweeted.

“Thanks again to DEC Management for working through the terms.”

Bryan’s deal is reported to be over three years, with his signing representing one of many in a free agency period after the NFL lockout finally ended.

Bryan played for the Green Bay Packers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last season and is the fourth former AFL footballer to play NFL, joining Darren Bennett (San Diego Chargers), Ben Graham (Arizona Cardinals) and Sav Rocca (Washington Redskins).

He played 46 games in the AFL, representing Collingwood in 30 matches and Carlton 16 times before he was delisted in 2009.

In other lockout news, the New York Giants have secured the signature of former New York Jets punter Steve Weatherford.

The 28-year-old spent the past two years with the Jets and landed half of his punts (42 of 84) inside the 20.

The Jacksonville Jaguars are also reported to be close to signing former New York Jets cornerback Drew Coleman, who is likely to sign a three-year deal for up to US$7.4 million.

Sat 30 July, 2011
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Pele will be at cup draw

Football legend Pele will attend Saturday’s draw for the 2014 FIFA World Cup after he was unveiled as the face of the tournament on Friday.

The Brazilian was stunningly not invited to the draw in his home country as his fractured relationship with the head of the Brazilian FA, Ricardo Teixeira, continued to simmer.

But the PR nightmare took a U-turn on Friday, with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff handing the three-time World Cup winner the honour of being the country’s international World Cup ambassador.

“You only go to a party if you are invited,” Pele said.

“If I wasn’t invited, it’s logical I wouldn’t go. He is president of the federation … If he doesn’t invite me, I don’t go.”

“There’s always some confusion or misunderstanding when he (Teixeira) replies or gives an interview. I hope from now on we can clear everything up and we can work properly for the World Cup.”

But FIFA and the organising committee quickly issued a statement refuting Pele’s claim, before adding that the issue was now ‘complete’ with his attendance.

“Because of his importance in the history of football, he was called in April to be not only a guest of honour but mainly to accompany FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke on stage during the ceremony,” the statement said.

“However, Pele responded to the invitation, by email, saying he had other commitments on that date. The event is now complete and gains even more in importance.”

The animosity between Pele and Teixeira dates back to the 1990s when the star footballer was critical of then-FIFA president Joao Havelange, who was the latter’s father-in-law.

As a result Pele was not invited to the draw for the 1994 World Cup draw in Las Vegas in 1993 but a repeat was avoided, which may have been due to FIFA president Sepp Blatter’s involvement.

“I am surprised he was not invited and I will be looking into it,” Blatter said, before Pele’s announcement as his country’s ambassador.

Sat 30 July, 2011
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Valencia set for Manchester re-signing

Manchester United chief executive David Gill has revealed that winger Antonio Valencia is set to agree a new contract with the club.

Gill claims Ecuador international Valencia has pledged to extend his current deal at Old Trafford, which is set to expire in two years.

The English Premier League champions are on a pre-season tour of North America, but Gill confirmed the club have been working behind the scenes to tie down their stars.

“We are in the process of finalising that,” Gill said when asked about Valencia’s contract.

“Antonio has been away at the Copa America and we’ve been away here in the US, but that’s broadly sorted out.”

“Antonio initially signed for four years, so he’s got two left. The length of the deal will come out as and when, but it’s a longer-term deal.”

“That should be announced next week, when we’re back.”

A new deal could yet be offered to striker Dimitar Berbatov, who was linked with a move away from United after being left out of the squad for the Champions League final against Barcelona in May.

And while Gill would not confirm if a new contract would be offered to Berbatov, he did claim United want to retain the 30-year-old’s services.

“There is an option to extend Dimitar’s contract by another year, on the club’s side,” Gill said.

“We can do it whenever we want to do it and there are no conditions around it.”

“Everyone has been talking about Berbatov from the outside, saying he wants to leave or that we want him to leave, but we don’t want him to go.”

“We want him to stay. He scored over 20 goals last season, so there is no desire on our behalf to see him go. From our perspective he has, effectively, two years to go.”

“We have until the end of the season (to extend his contract), so we can assess how it goes, talk to him, see how he performs and see what happens.”

“I’ve not had one conversation with Dimitar (about his future). There has been no correspondence in that respect.”

“The decision Alex took (leaving Berbatov out of the Champions League final) was a decision he took for that particular game.”

“It wasn’t a decision taken with a view that we want Dimitar to go, because we don’t.”

Sat 30 July, 2011
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