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Van Basten demands Heerenveen keep Finnbogason

Heerenveen head coach Marco van Basten has urged the Eredivisie club to keep much-wanted Icelandic striker Alfred Finnbogason.

Finnbogason scored two goals and set up another pair in Heerenveen’s 4-2 thumping of AZ Alkmaar in the opening round of the 2013/14 Eredivisie season, which will undoubtedly have given the Icelander’s suitors even more reason to chase the forward.

Speaking after Saturday’s win, Van Basten conceded Heerenveen could use the money from the sale of Finnbogason but argued he would prefer to have the 24-year-old striker on his books instead.

“We have seen players leave in the past…let’s just keep him,” Van Basten said.

“I’m glad he plays football for us.”

Finnbogason scored 24 goals in 31 Eredivisie appearances for Heerenveen last season, who finished eighth in Van Basten’s first campaign in charge.

That form has piqued the interest of Celtic, while there are rumoured to be clubs from Germany, who are also keen to sign the former Lokeren and Helsingborg striker but Finnbogason was coy when pressed on his future plans after Heerenveen’s win over Alkmaar.

“If I play football for Heerenveen, I’m only thinking of Heerenveen … not the transfer offers I have,” Finnbogason said.

Meanwhile, PSV Eindhoven coach Phillip Cocu was pleased with his side’s 3-2 win away to ADO Den Haag but lamented his side’s late fade, after they conceded the last two goals of the contest.

PSV had lost their opening Eredivisie fixture in the past two seasons but looked on track for a stunning victory when Jetro Willems scored their third in the 33rd minute.

But a goal on the stroke of half-time to ADO, plus a late second-half strike to the hosts ensured Cocu finished the game with a slightly sour taste in his mouth.

“The first half we dominated…but after the early demolition unfortunately some laziness crept in,” Cocu said.

“We tried to make the game ‘neutral’ and play a slightly more controlled style and that worked until the final stages.

“Ultimately, I’m pretty happy about this game.”

Sun 4 August, 2013
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