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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Transfer Zone

Rafa: Three Signings Already Confirmed

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez has been keen to reveal that he has already made headway in his bid to strengthen the club ahead of next season.

The Anfield Club are desperate to close the gap on the league's leading sides, and as such their manager has already got a jump on the summer transfer market, with a trio of new players already confirmed."We have agreements with two young players and one senior player who will be a starting XI player. That deal is already done," trumpeted Benitez. "We are also making plans for our preseason tour and talking to players here about new contracts."The press have been speculating that the 'senior player' is likely Schalke's highly rated Brazilian full-back Rafinha, while the two youngsters are also believed to be South American in origin. Perhaps more significantly than the signings themselves is that it strongly indicates that Benitez is planning for a future at Liverpool.
The Spanish tactician is said to be on the wishlists of several of La Liga's top clubs, and Inter Milan are also supposedly intent on luring him away from Anfield.

Evra Could Leave United

Manchester United left-back Patrice Evra has revealed he has yet to extend his contract, sparking speculation of a possible transfer from the Premier League giants.

The 26-year-old moved to Old Trafford from AS Monaco in January 2006, and has since established himself as arguably the best attacking fullback in the Premier League.
The French international, who has one year remaining on his current contract, has yet to put pen to paper on a new deal despite having discussed the matter with the Manchester United directors. And while Evra waxed lyrical about his love for the Red Devils, he also made it clear that a move is certainly not out of the picture.
"We have already had one meeting about my contract," Evra told News of the World. "The directors know my position.
"I give my all for this club. I love the club and its winning mentality.
"When I play video games I cannot be another English team. It's a crisis when we lose one match here.
"I haven't lost two in a row in two years. There's incredible stress.
"Even if we were to draw against a team like Arsenal, we would get a volley from the manager.
"But that does not mean everything. I may leave next year or in two years."

Mancini Put Up For Ebay Sale

An Italian football fan has caused more than a few chuckles across the country after putting Roberto Mancini up for sale on Ebay...

The joker posed as the embattled Internazionale boss in order to court bids from English clubs.With rumours rife that 'Mancio' is set to be replaced in summer, with Jose Mourinho said to be leading the race for the nerazzurri hotseat, the auctioneer no doubt thought the time ripe to lampoon the boss.The item description includes lines such as:"I am a top Italian coach, although I can't provide my name for privacy reasons."I'm in a well-paid job and I've won lots of Italian competitions in the past."But now I have problems with the team, and my boss."I love England and I speak better English than Fabio Capello, so please help me as I'd love to be a big team coach."With Mancini's future far from certain, maybe the truth could be stranger than fiction in this instance.

Inter To Jose: You Have One Week

A report from the English press has claimed that José Mourinho has just one week to accept or reject the job as Inter's next manager

Speculation raged last week that the ex-Chelsea boss had flown to Italy to meet Nerazzurri officials just a day ahead of Inter's crunch Serie A clash against Lazio. Mourinho has since denied those reports, but The Sun are nonetheless claiming that the Portuguese's agent, Jorge Mendes, did travel to Milan to hold talks without his client. Mourinho has said he doesn't want to meet Inter president Massimo Moratti, suggesting that he's not interested in the €30m four-year deal the San Siro outfit have put on the table. He supposedly has one week to accept or decline the Nerazzurri offer, but Mourinho is said to be keeping his options open with AC Milan, Barcelona and Real Madrid all possibly opting for a change of coach this summer.

Mourinho To Begin Chelsea Revolution At Inter?

The probable arrival of Jose Mourinho as Inter coach this summer will spark a Chelsea-style revolution at the club, according to the Corriere dello Sport, with Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard and Ricardo Carvalho all set to join their former boss at San Siro.

The Italian press is almost unanimous in their belief that Mourinho will replace current Inter boss Roberto Mancini at the end of the season. His former student Drogba is certain to quit Chelsea, as he wants a new challenge abroad, and the only question mark up until now is where he will end up. A number of sources in Italy last week stated that Drogba has already told his Chelsea team-mates that he will be signing for Inter.
Lampard also wants to try out his luck abroad, and he would relish the opportunity to work with Mourinho once again. The Portuguese tactician would also bring one of his favourite players, Carvalho, with him. The central defender played under Mourinho at Porto, before moving to Chelsea with him in 2004. Inter President Massimo Moratti would splash out around €50-60m on Drogba and Lampard, and would stump up some additional cash for Carvalho. The Corriere also says that Mourinho has requested the signing of Sevilla midfielder Seydou Keita, who has impressed since signing for the Andalusians from Lens last summer.

Chelsea Continue To Monitor Huntelaar

The Daily Mail reports that Chelsea are attempting to land Ajax forward Klaas-Jan Huntelaar during the summer transfer window after another favourable performance from the Dutchman...

The striker, who is said to be rated at £18m (€22.8m), netted twice in his side's 4-2 win over his own ex-club, Heerenveen, at the weekend.Among the spectators was Hans Gillhaus, a Chelsea scout, who has previously monitored the Dutch international on behalf of his London paymasters.The 24-year-old striker is also keenly admired by Chelsea's chief scout, one Frank Arnesen, while former Ajax manager Henk Ten Cate, who now serves as assistant boss at Stamford Bridge, knows Klaas' capabilities all too well.Real Madrid and a host of Italian clubs are also said to be interested in Huntelaar, who is under contract until 2010.