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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Chelsea deny Alex handed in transfer request. MU await UEFA decision over Rooney stamp

Chelsea deny Alex handed in transfer request

Chelsea have sent a blunt message to the club's players after rejecting speculation that Brazilian defender Alex has slapped in a transfer request.

The Blues defender claimed he had told Chelsea earlier this week that he wanted to leave Stamford Bridge in the January transfer window, saying in The Sun: "I told Chelsea a few days ago that I wanted to leave.''

"There are many options. But I have to think them through and see if Chelsea will let me leave in January.''

However, Chelsea have made it clear that none of their players will be allowed to move on until they decide it is right for the club.

A statement from the club read: ''Chelsea would like to make clear that no transfer request has been received from any player. Chelsea will decide the future of any contracted player in the best interests of the club.''

AC Milan and Seville have already expressed an interest in the £10million-rated defender, who is believed to be frustrated by his lack of first-team involvement

Alex fears he will fail to make his country's 2010 World Cup team because he is not playing regularly.

Brazil boss Dunga currently prefers Lucio and Juan as his central defenders and has already told Alex he needs to play more games to be considered.

With John Terry and Ricardo Carvalho firmly in place as first choice chances have been limited. Carvalho's injury problems seemed to clear the way for the Brazilian to stake his claim but Serbian defender Branislav Ivanovic has also been used alongside the England skipper.

The former Santos player has started 10 games this season with five of those coming in the Premier League.

MU await UEFA decision over Rooney stamp

Manchester United could be without Wayne Rooney for their Round of 16 tie if UEFA decide to take action after his tackle on Aalbord's Kasper Risgard in Wednesday night's Champions League tie.

The striker has come in for criticism after a robust performance which also saw Michael Jakobsen hit with a heavy challenge. He appeared to stamp on Risgard who stayed down in pain after the incident.

Risgard has claimed Rooney would have been sent off had the game been at any other venue than Old Trafford. If UEFA choose to take action the England international could be handed a suspension which would kick in when the knockout rounds begin at the end of February. United will hope he escapes with no more than a fine if a charge is brought.

Risgard was left with stud marks on his chest as a lasting reminder of Rooney's challenge as the pair fell to the ground late in the first half. Jakobsen then got the United player's studs down the back of his calf after the break. It provided a reminder of Rooney's questionable temperament.

"I do not think the referee saw it. Anywhere else but this place it would have been a red card,'' said Risgard. "I have some big marks and I do not think it looks good on television.

"There was also another incident with Rooney where he threw an arm and hurt one of our players. But these challenges happen in football and he did come and apologise to me after the game.''

Van der Sar agrees new one-year United deal

Edwin van der Sar's agent has said that the Manchester United goalkeeper is set to sign a new one-year contract extension with the double winners.

Despite speculation the 38-year-old could retire at the end of the season, van der Sar has previously insisted he is no hurry to hang up his gloves.

And the Dutchman's representative, Rob Jansen, has now announced he has been in discussions with United for "a couple of weeks" regarding fresh terms - and that an agreement has now been reached.

He told ANP: "Manchester will make it known officially on Friday. We have already been in talks about a new contract for a couple of weeks.

"Now we have reached an agreement. It is for one year. What will happen after that, I don't know."

Van der Sar joined United in a £5million deal in 2005 and helped the Red Devils to a domestic and European double last term, his penalty save from Nicolas Anelka securing the Champions League with a win over Chelsea.

The stopper has also played for Juventus and Ajax during his career and made 130 appearances for Holland.

UEFA fine Lyon players for deliberate bookings

UEFA fined Olympique Lyon players Cris and Juninho 15,000 euros ($19,790) and 10,000 euros ($13,190) respectively on Thursday for getting deliberately booked during a Champions League match last month.

UEFA's disciplinary panel decided that the pair had committed deliberate fouls during the Nov. 25 Group F match against Fiorentina in order to serve a one-match suspension during their team's meaningless final group stage match against Bayern Munich.

Aside from the fine, the tactic appears to have paid off for the two Brazilians who can now compete in the tournament's first knockout round with their disciplinary record wiped clean.

Cris and Juninho had each picked up two yellow cards in early Champions League matches going into the Fiorentina match and would have been ruled out of the first knockout round game if their third booking had come during the Bayern match.

UEFA said the two players would have three days in which to appeal against Thursday's decision.