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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Other Big 4 News

Arsenal teammates demand better from skipper Gallas

Arsenal teammates have demanded better on-field leadership from captain William Gallas. The Mirror says Gunners' players told the Frenchman his crazy antics after Saturday's game at Birmingham were "not the behaviour of a captain". The Gunners skipper lost the plot after his side suffered a major setback to their Premier League title hopes. Gallas broke down in tears, sulked on the pitch and even went up the other end as Birmingham's James McFadden netted a last minute penalty.

And it's revealed that Gallas carried on his behaviour in the dressing room and had to be calmed down by several senior players, some of whom questioned his leadership at St Andrews.
Gallas did not stop ranting, raving and shouting as he showed signs of cracking up. Gilberto, Mathieu Flamini and Emmanuel Adebayor were among the players to step in and calm down the French defender

Atletico Madrid want Liverpool boss Benitez, keeper Reina

Atletico Madrid are planning a double-raid on Liverpool for manager Rafa Benitez and goalkeeper Pepe Reina. The Daily Star says Atletico chiefs met at the Vicente Calderon on Monday to discuss making a concrete approach for Benitez, who has had a turbulent relationship with Liverpool's current owners and may be looking for a way out.

The Spanish club have decided to hand Benitez a £40m transfer kitty should he be prepared to leave Anfield and an Atletico source: "We know it might be difficult to get him here but we will fight for the chance." Atletico also want Liverpool No1 Reina, who has expressed an ambition to play for the club where his Dad kept goal.

Liverpool boss Benitez admits rotations wind-back

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez has revealed plans to wind-back his rotation policy for the season run-in.
Benitez told the club's website: "I think so. It will depend on the players in the end, but we can keep some players playing more games now."

Liverpool owner Hicks remains in DIC talks

Despite denials, Liverpool co-owner Tom Hicks will continue talks with Dubai International Capital, it has been revealed.
The Times says the Arab investment group is expected to become a co-owner of the Merseyside club next month by purchasing the 50 per cent stake held by George Gillett Jr in the first phase of a takeover process that will test the strength of Hicks's latest denials.
Despite yesterday's statement released by the American, numerous sources insist that his partnership with Gillett is finished and that DIC will start the first phase of its takeover within weeks.

Hicks's latest statement did not deny that discussions are taking place. DIC's interest never went away after it was gazumped by Hicks and Gillett a little more than 12 months ago and, although DIC turned down the Americans' invitation to buy a 15 per cent stake in the club after a meeting in October, discussions have taken place behind the scenes since the start of this year.
Hicks wants to remain senior partner in any coalition with DIC, which is proving a stumbling block in negotiations.

Ferguson wants Saha to convince Benzema about Man Utd

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is leaning on Louis Saha to convince France teammate Karim Benzema to quit Olympique Lyon for Old Trafford. The Mirror says Fergie has spoken to United hitman Saha about sounding out Benzema - his France team-mate - over a possible move in the summer. Money is in place for Fergie to bring a big-name striker to Old Trafford. Saha is likely to make way for the new arrival, a huge irony if it turns out to be Benzema.