Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Nicolas Anelka set to join Atlético Mineiro

Former West Bromwich Albion striker Nicolas Anelka has joined Brasileirão side Atlético Mineiro, according to the club's president Alexandre Kalil.

Former West Bromwich Albion striker Nicolas Anelka has joined Brasileirão side Atlético Mineiro, according to the club’s president Alexandre Kalil.

Anelka, 35, was sacked by Albion last month in the aftermath of his ‘quenelle‘ goal celebration against West Ham United on 28 December.

On Sunday, Kalil tweeted “Anelka é do Galo,” which translates into English as “Anelka is a rooster [the 2013 Copa Libertadores champions’ nickname]”.

The club have yet to officially confirm the arrival of Anelka but it is believed the 35-year-old will join the likes of Jô and Ronaldinho at the Estádio Independência in Belo Horizonte.

Anelka, having been handed a five-match ban by an FA-appointed panel earlier this season, was unwilling to apologise to the club’s sponsors and supporters for his ‘quenelle‘ gesture and was subsequently handed his two weeks notice by West Brom last month.

The former France international, who scored two goals in 12 English Premier League appearances for Albion this season, had been linked with a move to Serie A side Lazio before ‘signing’ a deal with Galo.

Swansea want Ki Sung-Yueng back after Sunderland loan

Swansea City manager Garry Monk has confirmed his interest in bringing back Ki Sung-Yueng after his loan spell at the Stadium of Light.

Ki, 25, has arguably been the Black Cats’ Player of the Season , having tallied three goals and one assist in 25 league appearances for the club from Wearside.

The South Korea international, whose current contract at the Liberty Stadium expires in the summer of 2015, is valued at around €6.5 million.

“Ki is a quality player,” Monk told the Shields Gazette. “You can see the potential he has with what he has delivered for Sunderland this season.

“He has put in some great performances up there, and he’s been scoring goals, which has not been great for us.

“In a way it’s good to see, but in another way you don’t want to see it.

“I think Ki could potentially be a great player for Swansea, but of course we will have to see how he feels at the end of the season.

“I don’t know if other clubs will be interested in him come the summer – all that will come out.

“But he is a Swansea player, and he is the type you want at the club.

“We need to let players like Ki know how important they are going forward, and I think he is.

“He might not have suited one manager, but it doesn’t mean he won’t suit the next manager. For me, I think he is a very good player, who could play a key role for Swansea.”

Ki had been labeled as ‘surplus to requirements’ under former Swans boss Michael Laudrup but Monk appears to value the 25-year-old, especially when considering the uncertain future of Jonathan de Guzmán, who is just ‘on loan’ from Villarreal CF.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shawn Etemadi


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