Monday, May 21, 2018

Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti pours cold water on Ibra, Verratti rumours

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has rubbished reports linking the Spanish giants with summer moves for PSG pair Marco Verratti and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has rubbished reports linking the Spanish giants with summer moves for PSG pair Marco Verratti and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Ibrahimovic, who played under Ancelotti at PSG between 2012 and 2013, has emerged as a top transfer target for Madrid in recent weeks, with the La Liga leaders also rumoured to have an interest in Italy international midfielder Marco Verratti.

However, Ancelotti — much like Jose Mourinho earlier this month — has played down the reports by suggesting Ibrahimovic, who has bagged 23 goals and 11 assists in 27 Ligue 1 appearances this season, would be ‘impossible’ to sign.

“Will I try to sign Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marco Verratti from PSG? No, not at all,” the Italian supremo told RMC.

“They are players who cannot be dislodged because they are very important to their team.

“Ibrahimovic and Verratti are very important for PSG. We will not waste time trying to recruit players who would be impossible to sign.”

Meanwhile, Verratti himself has also played down the speculation, while thanking Ancelotti, who signed the 21-year-old from Delfino Pescara 1936 for an undisclosed fee in the summer of 2012.

“If I am here, it is largely thanks to him [Ancelotti],” said Verratti.

“But last summer, there was no contact so I have not had the opportunity to ask.

“This summer? No, no. He knows that I am fine here.”

Verratti, whose current contract at the Parc des Princes expires in June 2018, has made 33 appearances in all competitions for PSG this term, tallying five assists. He is currently valued at around €20 million.

Alex Song could make EPL return

FC Barcelona defensive midfielder Alex Song has talked up a potential return to the English Premier League amid report suggesting he could leave the Camp Nou in the summer.

Since arriving from Arsenal in a deal worth £15 million in August 2012, the Cameroon international, 26, has been relegated to a squad rotation role, having featured in just 12 league matches under Tata Martino this term.

Song is contracted to Barcelona until the summer of 2017 but is unlikely see out the rest of his contract, with a return to England potentially on the cards.

“If I leave Barcelona, it will be to return to the Premier League,” the 26-year-old told beIN Sport, as per Sky Sports.

“I will return to England one day, that’s for sure.”

Additionally, Song took some time to praise Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, revealing the Frenchman was a father figure for him during his time in North London.

“He [Wenger] was like a father to me,” added Song. “He spoke a lot with me when I arrived to Arsenal.

“I wanted to renew my contract with Arsenal but in that case I would have regretted not joining Barcelona.

“Barcelona are the best side in the world.”

Song is priced at 50/1 to open the scoring when Barcelona host Manchester City in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 on Wednesday night.


Shawn Etemadi



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