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Friday, June 06, 2008

Latest Footy News

AC Milan in talks for Chelsea strikers Didier Drogba and Andriy Shevchenko By Stefano Blin

AC Milan vice president Adriano Galliani has said the club have opened talks with Chelsea about the possibility of signing Didier Drogba and Andriy Shevchenko.
A day after AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti turned down the vacant Chelsea manager's job, Galliani said negotiations are already under way to try and lure the two strikers from Stamford Bridge to the San Siro.

Talks: AC Milan are keen to recruit Chelsea strikers
Galliani said that his relationship with the managerless Premier League club had not been damaged by the approach for Ancelotti, before claiming he spoke with Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon yesterday about Drogba and Shevchenko's availability.
"We are speaking about Drogba, we are speaking about Shevchenko," Gallaini has been quoted as saying.
Galliani, whose Milan side finished fifth in Serie A last season and will only compete in the Uefa Cup, said he wanted to rebuild the squad so that they could make a serious challenge for the Italian title next season.
Drogba made no secret of his desire to leave Chelsea when Jose Mourinho was sacked as manager eight months ago. It is thought Drogba had a fractious relationship with Avram Grant, who took over from Mourinho until he too was shown the door following the club's defeat to Manchester United in the Champions League final.

Shevchenko has struggled in England since his move from Milan in 2006. The Ukrainian was held in high esteem at Milan; it was his kick in the penalty shoot-out which clinched the Champions League trophy for the club in 2003 when they played Juventus in an all-Italian affair at Old Trafford.
Such is the strong bond between Shevchenko and the Serie A giants, Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi is godfather to the striker's first son.
Galliani, Berlusconi's right-hand man who handles the day-to-day running of the club, also warned Chelsea off making a move for Kaka. Chelsea tried to sign Kaka in 2003 before he opted to go to Italy, and have kept close tabs on the Brazil international ever since
"He's absolutely not for sale," Gallaini said.
Meanwhile, Ancelotti has reiterated his desire to stay as manager of Milan.
"I'm not going there (to Chelsea)," he said. "It's fantasy football. It happens every year. I never had any doubt that I would be at Milan next season."
Ex-Chelsea boss Mourinho signs three-year deal to take charge of Italian champions Inter Milan

Inter Milan have confirmed the appointment of former Chelsea manager JoseMourinho as Roberto Mancini's successor.Mourinho, who was sacked by Chelsea in September, has been out of the gamesince then, biding his time until finding a suitable role to take.The Serie A champions finally parted company with Mancini last week aftermonths of speculation and the Portuguese boss, a Champions League winner withPorto in 2004, has signed a three-year deal at the San Siro.
Mourinho will be unveiled on Tuesday at a press conference at 11.30am local time.
A statement on Inter's website,, confirmed: "Internazionaleannounce the arrival of Jose Mourinho."The Portuguese coach has signed a three-year contract and will work alongsideRui Farias, Silvino and Andrei Villas Boas.
"The assistant coach will be Giuseppe Baresi."It continued: "Thanking Roberto Mancini and his staff for the success obtainedin four seasons as the leader of the team, all of Internazionale has the greatpleasure to welcome Jose Mourinho and his coaches."
Mourinho has big shoes to fill as Mancini led Inter to the Serie A title ineach of the last three seasons.Mancini's departure was a protracted affair, with reports last week suggestingthere had been a breakdown in communication between the coach and presidentMassimo Moratti.Mancini's agent claimed after Tuesday's 25-minute meeting between the pair thathis client had left the club and would be replaced by Mourinho.The Italian's dismissal was confirmed by the club on Thursday, just hours afterInter had threatened legal action because of reports they claimed did not"correspond to the truth of the facts".Inter cited Mancini's announcement in the wake of their Champions League defeatto Liverpool on March 11 that he would step down at the end of the season as acrucial factor.Mancini reversed his decision 24 hours later and went on to lead Inter to theirthird straight Serie A title, but after much speculation, his departure wasconfirmed on Thursday evening.Mourinho has long been linked with the post at the San Siro.He was appointed as manager of Chelsea back in 2004 after leading Porto to theChampions League title.He led Chelsea to back-to-back Premier League titles, but could not bring theChampions League trophy to Stamford Bridge in just over three years in charge atthe London club.He left Chelsea last September by mutual consent and has been linked with ahost of top jobs since.

Manchester City land Hughes and Shinawatra plans £200,000-a-week deal for Ronaldinho
Manchester City will step up their ambitious plan to bring Ronaldinho to England when senior board members fly to his family home in Brazil at the weekend.
Sources here close to owner Thaksin Shinawatra revealed that members of City's Thai board are expected to meet Ronaldinho face-to-face in Porto Alegre.
Ronaldinho's Thaksin's private jet has been placed at the disposal of the City party. Should City pull off the spectacular coup, the transfer would be the most dramatic in the history of the Barclays Premier League.
Mark Hughes, who should be confirmed as City's new manager within the next 48 hours, would be able to pair Ronaldinho with £20million centre forward Jo in an all-Brazilian attack next season.
Sven Goran Eriksson formally parted company with the club yesterday and will become Mexico's new coach, while Hughes was given permission by Blackburn to talk to City after the two clubs agreed on compensation.

There will be other signings, too, as Thaksin opens his chequebook to support his new boss.
The latest development follows a series of meetings between Thaksin's right-hand man Pairoj Piempongsant and Ronaldinho's brother and chief negotiator Roberto De Assis.
A clandestine visit to City's stadium two months ago was first revealed in Sportsmail after the parties had been introduced by the influential transfer broker Kia Joorabchian.
City's extravagant ambition has been laughed off around the football world - but that would be to underestimate the determination of their Thai owner and his new executive chairman, Garry Cook.
Talks have opened with the player's major sponsor Nike, along with other possible investors who may help finance the exorbitant wage demands.
Ronaldinho, it is claimed in Spain, wants around £200,000-a-week to leave Barcelona. Such a deal would make him the highest-paid player in England - dwarfing the £135,000-a-week paid by Chelsea to England captain John Terry.

It is no coincidence that Cook is joining City from Nike, where he was a brand president and with whom Ronaldinho has a long-term contract.
City have been given clearance from Barcelona to open detailed talks. A pay-as-you-play deal could be thrashed out with club and player, with performance-related bonuses for a forward who has scored an impressive 70 goals in 145 La Liga games.
A source in Spain said: "Ronaldinho is showing a growing interest in going to England and while there is still much negotiating ahead, it is possible. Also in City's favour is this: Who else can afford him?"

Hughes has given his cautious approval to the pursuit of the 28-year-old, who has been considered the best player in the world for several seasons.
Hughes will want to know whether Ronaldinho can still deliver and if he has the physical know-how to cope with the pace of the Premier League.
He will also want assurances about the Brazilian's fitness. Ronaldinho has recently fallen from grace at Barcelona, where his general match fitness has been called into question following a series of disputes with the now departed coach Frank Rijkaard.
During an injuryravaged final season, Ronaldinho missed the Champions League semifinal against Manchester United, when Barcelona failed to score in either leg.
However, he was World Player of the Year for the second time only two years ago and City believe that, under Hughes, his fire can be rekindled.

Initial talks have even taken place on the shirt Ronaldinho will wear - City's No 10 - and how the club will cope with the commercial pressures of such a signing.
Barcelona's club shop, for instance, was dominated by Ronaldinho dolls, keyrings, posters, games and his own range of kits and balls.
He is also one of the faces of EA Sports computer games and remains a popular 'brand' because of his range of tricks.
The City board, however, know the deal will only work commercially if Ronaldinho is delivering on the pitch.
Sportsmail has learned that Ronaldinho has already been exchanging positive texts with City's new Brazilian capture, the 21-year-old striker Jo who will wear the No 14 shirt next season.
Even the most positive of Thaksin's aides believed City would lose out eventually to AC Milan, but that trail has gone cold. De Assis went to Thailand two weeks ago to see if City were still keen on his brother. Chelsea were expected to sign Ronaldinho following talks in London before the January trasnfer window but they, too, have stepped away from the negotiating table.
Sources claim his wage demands were "too much even for Roman Abramovich".
City, however, hope a clever deal involving sponsors will restrict their liability.
Despite City's lack of Champions League football - they will instead play in the UEFA Cup next season after qualifying through the Fair Play League - Ronaldinho is said to have been 'very positive' about their approach.
In a recent poll in Asia, he was still voted the No 1 player in the world, ahead of Milan's Kaka and Manchester United winger Cristiano Ronaldo.

City, who have plans to develop their status in the Far East, where they trail United and Liverpool considerably, will hope Ronaldinho's signing can help drive global shirt sales.
"The deal is still at the possible stage, rather than the probable stage," was the word from Spain last night. '"But it seems that anything is possible with the type of money City are ready to pay."
For Hughes, who has been used to dealing with bargain buys at Blackburn, the tantalising prospect could be one of the reasons why he is keen to move to City. He had two years left on his £1.5m-a-year contract at Ewood Park and Rovers' demand for compensation in the region of £2m was agreed with City as a condition of allowing him to begin talks.
But Thaksin showed last summer that he is not frightened to splash out millions, as he bankrolled Eriksson's teambuilding to the tune of £50m, which produced a ninth-place finish.
The Swede flew to Mexico City last night after his abrupt exit from Eastlands and is expected to be confirmed as Mexico's national coach today.

Drogba reveals Olympic dream
Chelsea could be without star striker for season openers
Didier Drogba has revealed that he would welcome the opportunity to represent Ivory Coast at this summer's Olympic Games.
The African nation are expected to mount a strong challenge for the gold medal in Beijing, and are prepared to call up a number of their European-based players to help their cause.
Drogba, along with his Chelsea team-mate Salomon Kalou, Arsenal's Kolo Toure and Tottenham's Didier Zokora are all believed to have made themselves available for the trip to China.
Each country is allowed to name up to three players over the age of 23 in their squad, so at least one of the Premier League quartet will miss out.
However, the tournament is set to overlap the start of the 2008/09 season in England, a worrying situation for the clubs involved.
Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez has already expressed his concern at losing a number of players to the Olympics, while Chelsea's new boss, whoever that may be, will be disappointed to hear his star striker making himself unavailable for domestic action.
"Going to the Olympics is a dream for any player," Drogba said in SPORT.
"I have played in the African Cup of Nations and the World Cup so to complete the set with the Olympics would be great."

Adrian Mutu ordered to pay Chelsea £9.5 million for positive drugs test By Telegraph staff

Fifa have ordered Adrian Mutu, the Romania striker, to pay €12 million (about £9.5 million) to Chelsea for testing positive for cocaine in 2004, according to the player's lawyer.
Cristian Sarbu added that the player would contest the fine in civil court and that his client would not pay any compensation until all legal avenues had been exhausted.

Stiff penalty: Romania's Adrian Mutu has been ordered to pay Chelsea more than £9 million
"People should understand that this is a decision taken by a sporting tribunal," Sarbu said. "After this is final, this decision can be taken to a civil court."
Fifa did not immediately confirm the decision, and Romanian Football Federation spokesman Paul Zaharia declined to comment, adding he was aware of the reports.
Zaharia said Mutu was training in the Swiss mountains with the team ahead of its opening European Championship match against France on Monday.
Chelsea had asked for £8 million in compensation, a claim that was based on Mutu's transfer value.

Chelsea bought Mutu from Parma in 2003 for £15 million and let him go in 2004 after he tested positive for cocaine.
He was suspended from all football for the next seven months.
The Premier League also ruled that Mutu's misconduct was a unilateral breach of contract without just cause.
In December 2005, an appeal filed by Mutu against the Premier League's decision was dismissed. Fifa made the latest decision after the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled in May 2007 that the world football body should set the level of Mutu's fine.

Mourinho: England A Big Miss
Jose Mourinho believes Euro 2008 will be worse off because of England's failure to qualify. The miserable 3-2 defeat by Croatia at Wembley in November saw England finish in third place in qualifying Group E and led to the Football Association terminating the contract of head coach Steve McClaren after just 18 games.The former Chelsea manager, who has just recently been unveiled as the new Inter boss, says that it will be the whole package that England present that will be missed, more so than just the players.“I wouldn’t say it is a drama, but from the fans’ point of view, England is a country in Europe that has massive support with thousands and thousands of fans who always travel," commented the Portuguese mastermind.“And we can say that players like Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney are the kind of players that Euros and World Cups need and from that point of view, yes, the Euros will miss them.”