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Kind plays down Diouf exit rumours; Verratti staying at PSG

Hannover 96 chairman Martin Kind has responded not too kindly to reports suggesting Mame Biram Diouf could replace Robert Lewandowski at Borussia Dortmund.

Hannover 96 chairman Martin Kind has responded not too kindly to reports suggesting Mame Biram Diouf could potentially replace highly-rated, in-demand Poland international striker Robert Lewandowski at Borussia Dortmund when the transfer window reopens in the summer, Sky Sports understands.

Lewandowski, 24, has been linked with a summer exit from Signal Iduna Park, with Bayern Munich and Manchester United two of the clubs reportedly chasing his signature.

Following the 24-year-old’s link to German giants Bayern Munich, speculation regarding his replacement began to build up a head of steam, with former Manchester United striker Mame Biram Diouf — who is now plying his trade at Hannover 96, tipped for the position.

However, these rumours and speculation have not sat well with Hannover 96 chairman Martin Kind, who insisted that the Senegal international striker is an important player for the club.

“One thing really is for sure. We are planning our own future, we are not planning the future of Borussia Dortmund,” Kind told Sport-BILD weekly.

“Mame Biram Diouf is under contract at our club, he is a great striker and an important player. We do not have any interest in selling him.”

Diouf, 25, has tallied 13 goals and four assists in 22 appearances, 17 starts, in all competitions for Hannover 96 this season.

The Senegal international’s is the tenth top goal-scorer in the Bundesliga with eight goals in 2012-13 (tied with Maro Reus of Borussia Dortmund and Artjoms Rudnevs of Hamburger SV), while Robert Lewandowski has netted 13 goals (tied with Stefan Kießling of Bayer Leverkusen for second), one shy of leading scorer Mario Mandzukic of top-of-the-table Bayern Munich.

Verratti staying at PSG

The agent of Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti, Donato Di Campli, has revealed that the Italy international will not be joining Serie A leaders Juventus in the summer transfer window, according to Sky Sports.

Verratti, 20, has been a first-team regular for Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain this season.

The 20-year-old joined the French super-club in July 2012 on a five-year deal, but has since revealed a desire to play in Serie A, with the Turin giants emerging as a potential destination for the highly-rated Italian youngster.

Verratti, who replaced Daniele De Rossi after 61 minutes against Holland at the Amsterdam Arena in midweek, rescued the Azzurri from their sixth consecutive international friendly defeat with an injury-time equaliser.

“Verratti won’t move away from France,” Di Campli told Radio Kiss Kiss.

“It’s becoming a habit. Every time there is talk about Marco, he is linked to Italian sides.

“I repeat: He’s in the middle of an important project. I don’t see why there would be the need to change.

“What has emerged in the press is absolutely groundless. I’m sorry to be obliged to deny these things every day. Marco remains in Paris.”

The former Pescara Calcio youth starlet has bagged three assists in 16 Ligue 1 matches for Paris Saint-Germain this term.

Fri 8 February, 2013
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