Man City want El Shaaraway

MILAN- AC Milan are considering a reported 40m euro bid from Manchester City for highly-rated striker Stephan El Shaarawy,according to Gazzetta dello Sport Saturday.
El Shaarawy was the Rossoneri’s top scorer in the first half of last season but hit a dry patch following the signing of Mario Balotelli.
The 20-year-old half-Egpytian, half-Italian, who wears a distinctive mohican-style haircut, is called the ‘Little Pharaoh’ and is a fans’ favourite at the San Siro.
Gazzetta claims Milan could give in to City’s “pressing” and let El Shaarawy leave the club.
The same report linked Kevin Prince Boateng with a move to Chelsea and fellow forward Robinho with Brazilian side Santos.
El Shaarawy, who alongside club-mate Mario Balotelli played for Italy in a scoreless draw against the Czech Republic on Friday,finished the season with 16 goalsin 37 games.
He cost AC Milan approximately 15.5m euros when the club bought him from Genoa and has emerged into one of the most exciting forward prospects in Italy.
El Shaarawy has already been the subject of transfer speculation this season with reports claiming Milan rejected a bid from Napoli in January.
Milan finished third in Italy’s Serie A,which ended three weeks ago, and will have to play a two-leg preliminary round tie to qualify for the Champions League group stages.

Man. City sign Brazil star Fernandinho

LONDON –  Manchester City signed Brazil midfielder Fernandinho from Ukrainian champions Shakhtar Donetsk on Thursday as the Premier League runners-up begin an expensive overhaul of their squad.

City sealed their swoop for Fernandinho after he passed a medical at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hospital.

The 28-year-old’s signing is reported to have cost City £34 million ($53 million, 40 million euros), with another £22 million deal lined up for Sevilla winger Jesus Navas.

Fernandinho, who will wear the number 25 shirt, admitted he has already set his sights on helping City regain the Premier League title they lost to Manchester United this season.

“This is a change, a challenge and a chance that I have been waiting a long time for. Playing in the Premier League for City is like a dream,” he told City’s website.

“My ambition here is to win all the titles, the team here is strong, and so is the greatness of the club and the supporters.

“Professionally this is a spectacular thing. Playing for a huge club in a huge league makes me so happy. I hope I will be able to repay City for what they have done for me.

“I know I will face challenges but I am prepared for them. Every player at a high level faces pressure and must respond and I am ready for that too.

“I know a lot about City. Ever since they expressed an interest in me, I have been learning more.”

Fernandinho, who joined Shakhtar from Atletico Paranaense in 2005, will bring a wealth of top-level experience to City after appearing in the Champions League for the past eight seasons and winning the Ukrainian league title six times.

He also helped Shakhtar win the UEFA Cup in 2009 and scored the decisive goal against Chelsea in the Champions League this season.

He made his Brazil debut against Germany in 2011 and has five caps, but has yet to be called up by new Brazil boss Luiz Felipe Scolari.

Fernandinho’s arrival will be followed by Sevilla winger Navas, whose club announced on Tuesday that they had accepted an offer from City.

City, who are still without a manager after Roberto Mancini’s sacking last month, are expected to appoint Malaga’s Manuel Pellegrini next week.

Usain Bolt beaten by Justin Gatlin in 100m in Rome by 0.01s

US sprinter Justin Gatlin beat six-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt in the men’s 100 metres race at the Rome Golden Gala, Diamond League, which took place today. Justin beat Usain by one-hundredth of a second, that’s like 1% of a second. Justin actually had to dip his head over the line to win in 9.94 seconds. Usain came in 9.95.

Usain was making his first appearance in the Diamond League this season since his recent recovery from a hamstring injury. Usain explained what happened to him:

“I got the perfect start that I wanted, then about five steps in I stumbled a bit and that kind of threw my game off. My legs didn’t feel like my legs coming into the straight. I guess I need to do more strength work. I think I just need time to get it back together but the fact I got a good start threw me off. At least I got under 10 seconds.

 “It is always a good thing to lose. You can figure how to step it up. I knew I wasn’t in great shape but I’m not worried. It takes time to get back into shape and I didn’t expect much from this race.”

Usain’s next race will be in the men’s 200m in next Thursday’s Diamond League meeting in Oslo.

Neymar transfer cost Barca 57 million – club

BARCELONA (AFP) – Barcelona vice- president Josep Maria Bartomeu said on Monday the signing of Brazilian international Neymar has cost the club 57 million euros ($74m, £48.7m).
The 21-year-old was officially paraded as a Barca player at the Camp Nou earlier on Monday after the club reached an agreement with his old club Santos and the player himself last month.
And Bartomeu ended speculation about how much the Spanish champions had paid for Neymar, although he refused to specify how much each of the parties involved in the deal had received individually on confidentiality grounds.
As well as Santos,investment companies DIS and Teisa who owned part of the player’s economic rights were bought by Barca.
“Barcelona have all the sporting and economic rights of the player,” he told a press conference.
“This operation, at a cost of 57 million euros,has been done without intermediaries or agents just with the four companies involved.”
Of the 57 million, Barca had already paid 10 last year in anticipation of sealing the deal for around 40 million euros in total.
However, Bartomeu admitted the late interest shown by rivals Real Madrid and another club had made the deal more expensive.
“The operation has been made more expensive due to the interest of other clubs that interfered in the signing of Neymar.
“It was forseen that Neymar would arrive in 2014. To bring the move forward we have had to pay this 17 million euros more.”
Bartomeu also confirmed as part of the deal Barca will play two friendlies against Santos,with one taking place at the Camp Nou and the other in Brazil, whilst the player’s buyout clause will be 190 million euros.
The player himself meanwhile reflected on what he described as a “dream” move.
“I am realising my lifelong dream, the dream to play with players that I have admired my whole life,” he said.
And he believes that rather than finding it difficult to fit in, playing alongside the likes of World Player of the Year Lionel Messi should be a blessing.
“It is an honour to play alongside the best player in the world in Leo Messi. It should be easier to play alongside him because he is the best.”
The Brazilian also said that whilst he was flattered by the interest shown in him by Madrid, there was never any doubt that he would end up in the Catalan capital.
“Real Madrid is a great club and I respect them, but I chose Barca because my heart was with Barca and I am here today.
“My family and I have never been moved by money, for me happiness is very important and I am happy at Barca.”
And he is confident that his style of play will be easily transferable to the more physically demanding game in Europe.
“Adapting will be difficult, but I think I will adapt quickly. I have already had experience in the national team where things are different.
“I am going to play my type of football. I hope that everything will go well and that I can bring much joy to the fans from the first minute.
“I know that at Barca I am going to learn and evolve a lot.”
The club’s sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta also hailed the signing of the Brazilian prodigy and echoed Neymar’s words that there would be no problem fitting he and Messi into the same system.
“Neymar has a style that fits perfectly into ours,” he said.
“It is never a problem to have too much talent or too many good players.”

Mourinho reappointed as Chelsea manager

LONDON (AFP) – Chelsea confirmed one of the worst-kept secrets in European football on Monday when they revealed that charismatic and controversial former manager Jose Mourinho has returned to the club on a four-year contract.
The 50-year-old Portuguese, who led Chelsea to unprecedented success between 2004 and 2007, succeeds interim coach Rafael Benitez. His Stamford Bridge comeback had been widely anticipated, with weeks of media speculation culminating in his admission on Spanish television late on Sunday that he had agreed to move back to west London. “I am delighted to welcome Jose back to Chelsea. His continued success, drive and ambition made him the outstanding candidate,” said chief executive Ron Gourlay in a statement published on the Chelsea website.
“It is our aim to keep the club moving forward to achieve greater success in the future and Jose is our number one choice as we believe he is the right manager to do just that.
“He was and remains a hugely popular figure at the club and everyone here looks forward to working with him again.”
Mourinho arrives from Real Madrid, where an initially fruitful three-year spell ended in acrimony following an unsuccessful league title defence, a semi-final exit in the Champions League, and the alienation of senior players including goalkeeper Iker Casillas.
Prior to joining Madrid, he enjoyed a stunning two-season stint at Inter Milan that culminated in an unprecedented sweep of Serie A, Italian Cup and Champions League trophies in 2010.
He is one of only four coaches to have won the European Cup with two different clubs, having first tasted glory in the competition with Porto in 2004.
His subsequent spell as Chelsea manager saw the club emerge as the dominant force in English football.
Backed by the investment of billionaire Russian owner Roman Abramovich, Mourinho won back-to-back Premier League titles in 2005 and 2006, as well as two League Cups and the 2007 FA Cup.
He left in September 2007 after his relationship with Abramovich broke down, but the pair soon reconciled and he returns with the objective of turning Chelsea into title challengers once again.
Frank Lampard, a survivor from Mourinho’s first spell at Chelsea, said he was delighted by his former mentor’s return, having recently signed a one-year contract extension.
“He’s a great manager. I’ve said it a million times to the point of boring people, but I’m very fortunate to have worked under him before,” Lampard told BBC Sport.
“He took my game on a million miles, and my personality in terms of football on a million miles. A lot of the reasons I moved on in the game is because of him.
“He’s taken that everywhere he’s gone with him. He creates a spirit in his squads that you can see from the outside is very, very strong.
He’s a top-class manager, we all know that.” Popularly referred to as ‘the Special One’, in reference to a brash remark from his very first Chelsea press conference, Mourinho is an outspoken figure who has became renowned for his clashes with officials and opposition coaches.
He succeeds Benitez, who led Chelsea to Europa League glory and a top-four finish this season after replacing sacked Champions League-winning coach Roberto Di Matteo last November. Benitez has already agreed to join Napoli.
Mourinho has brought coaches Rui Faria, Silvino Louro and Jose Morais with him from Madrid and will be officially presented to the media next Monday.
He was due to give an interview with Chelsea TV, Chelsea’s in-house television station, later on Monday.

Real Madrid to fend off Manchester United’s Ronaldo interest with bumper new deal

Blancos supremo Florentino Perez is desperate to renew the Portuguese’s contract this summer amid interest from the Red Devils and Chelsea, and also jokes about a bid for Messi.
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez hopes to fend off interest from Manchester United by making Cristiano Ronaldo the highest-paid player in the world.
United are monitoring the situation surrounding Ronaldo, and are hopeful they would be in a position to sign the Portuguese attacker should he become available this summer, with just two years remaining on his current contract.
The 27-year-old has previously refused to close the door on a return to Old Trafford, while Chelsea have also been linked with a summer approach as Jorge Mendes, Ronaldo’s agent, also represents Jose Mourinho. But Perez is desperate to keep hold of the man who has scored 201 goals in 199 games for los Blancos since his record breaking £80 million move in 2009.
“Cristiano Ronaldo is the best player in the world.
I’d like him to be world’s best-paid and to build a team around him,” he told Cadena Ser. United, however, are not thought to boast the financial clout to do a deal this summer, meaning Paris Saint-Germain, whose Qatari owners have made their admiration for the Portuguese attacker well known in recent months, could spring into action.
Perez, though, is only focusing on keeping his star man at the Santiago Bernabeu. The 66-year old, who stands unopposed for reelection as Madrid’s president this summer, also cheekily suggested that he could pair up Ronaldo with Barcelona star Lionel Messi.
“Messi? If I had the chance, of course I would try to sign him…”

Neymar: I have butterflies in my stomach over playing with Messi

The Brazil sensation admits he is realising a dream by linking up with the Argentina great at Camp Nou, but insists his primary focus for now is the Confederations Cup Barcelona-bound Brazil superstar Neymar says he has “butterflies in his stomach” over the prospect of playing alongside Lionel Messi.
The 21-year-old forward, who revealed this weekend that he was joining the Liga champions on a five-year deal for a £24 million transfer fee, said the time had come to “seize the moment” and become a star of European football. Speaking at the launch of the Nike Hypervenom boot, Neymar admitted: “I have butterflies in my stomach. This is a dream come true. To play with Messi and other amazing footballers at Barcelona has made me very eager to arrive there.”
The poster boy of Brazilian football had offers from clubs including Real Madrid and Chelsea but opted to link up with Argentine maestro Messi at Camp Nou after talking through the decision with his family.
“It was a tough decision but I decided together with my family,” he revealed. “They helped me amazingly. I’m very happy but at the same time I am sad for leaving a team [Santos] I have been with for years. I have to seize the moment.” Neymar added that before his move he will focus on his duties for the Brazil national team, with the Confederations Cup starting on June 15. “Wearing the yellow shirt does have a responsibility but you have to wear it as if you are playing in your own yard,” he said. “Just be happy.
“I have always wanted to play for Brazil and be like players like Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and also Robinho and Kaka – there are many footballers I admire.”

Jose Mourinho To Leave Real Madrid

Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho will leave Real Madrid at the end of the season

Real Madrid say Jose Mourinho will leave at the end of the season, clearing his path for a rumoured return to English football.

More follows…

Wayne Rooney Wants To Leave Manchester United, Chelsea And Bayern Interested

Wayne Rooney has requested to leave Manchester United for the second time in his Old Trafford career, with Bayern Munich and Chelsea both interested in the striker.
On the day Sir Alex Ferguson announced his retirement, it was confirmed Rooney had informed United of his determination to leave the club after nine seasons.
United rejected Rooney’s request a fortnight ago and said he was not sale, however had they allowed Rooney to leave it would have driven his value down in the transfer market. His contract expires in 2015 and should United receive a fee of £25 million it is unlikely they will decline the offer. The striker’s former Everton manager, David Moyes, who is set to be announced as Ferguson’s successor on Thursday, will immediately be tasked with persuading the 27-year-old to stay at Old Trafford. Rooney informed Ferguson he wanted to leave Old Trafford ahead of the 2010-11 season, which was finally confirmed by Ferguson two months later in October.
Ostensibly, Rooney was concerned by United’s activity in the transfer market and had reservations about whether the club could compete. Ferguson had brought in Chris Smalling from Fulham, Javier Hernández from Chivas Guadalajara and Bébé as the club bid to regain the league from Chelsea. Three days after Ferguson clarified the reports, Rooney signed a new £250,000-a-week five-year deal with United, who went on to win the Barclays Premier League.
The Croxteth-born forward would prefer to stay in the Premier League, which makes Chelsea the outstanding candidate, although United will be reluctant to sell to a team determined to compete for the title again. Rooney’s representatives have also been in contact with Champions League finalists Bayern. Moyes received an out-of-court settlement from Rooney in 2008 over allegations his former player made in his autobiography.
Among the anecdotes, Rooney wrote in his autobiography, “‘You’ve been eating too many f****** McDonald’s!’ Moyes screamed at me. I protested it wasn’t true.”
Despite Moyes suing the England striker along with ghost writer Hunter Davies and publishers Harper Collins, his relationship with Rooney has recovered and Everton fans’ animosity towards their former hero has softened since he left in 2004.

Luis Suarez Charged By The FA Over Bite

The Liverpool striker could be banned for at least three matches if football’s governing body finds him guilty of violent conduct.

Luis Suarez and Branislav Ivanovic

Liverpool’s Luis Suarez has been charged with violent conduct by the FA after biting an opponent during a Premier League clash.

Television footage seen by millions of people showed the striker sinking his teeth into Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovich.

He apologised for what he called his “unacceptable behaviour” and has already been fined by his club.

However, he could now be banned for a number of matches if football’s governing body rules the bite constitutes violent conduct.

Luis Suarez Twitter page after he was fined for biting incident

Suarez revealed on his Twitter page he had been fined by Liverpool

A spokesman for the FA said: “It is our contention that the standard punishment of three matches that would otherwise apply is clearly insufficient in these circumstances.”

The incident, which happened during the 2-2 draw at Anfield, was “retrospectively reviewed” by the FA because it was missed by match officials.

Suarez has until 6pm tomorrow to respond to the charge, with an independent regulatory commission expected to meet on Wednesday to decide whether he should be punished.

Liverpool have only four games left this season and a match ban of the length sought by the FA would bring his season to a premature end.

Luis Suarez of Liverpoo

Suarez went on to score a decisive equaliser in the 2-2 draw

The club has so far stood by Suarez, although managing director Ian Ayre has said the 26-year-old will need to work on his discipline.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rogers added: “His behaviour is unacceptable and I have made him aware of this.”

Suarez has asked the club to donate his fine to the Hillsborough Family Support Group, which was set up in the wake of the 1989 disaster in which 96 people died.

The Uruguayan international will also be offered anger management counselling, the Professional Footballers’ Association said.

Suarez has been charged with biting another player once before.

He served a seven-match ban in the Netherlands while at Ajax after biting PSV Eindhoven midfielder Otman Bakkal.