Tag Archives: chase

Jane Mangan unseated by Oscar Delta yards from victory at Cheltenham Festival

Misery for Mangan as Oscar Delta unseats teenage rider… just yards from winning post at Cheltenham Festival

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

16:55 GMT, 15 March 2013

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UPDATED:

17:53 GMT, 15 March 2013

Teenage jockey Jane Mangan had victory snatched from her grasp in the Foxhunter Chase as Oscar Delta unseated her as they powered towards the finish.

In the amateur version of the Gold Cup, Oscar Delta jinked to the left, hitting
the rope where there was no permanent rail and the daughter of trainer
Jimmy Mangan was unshipped, leaving favourite Salsify to take advantage.

So far so good: Oscar Delta looked unbeatable approaching the line...

So far so good: Oscar Delta looked unbeatable approaching the line…

... but after jinking to the left he collided with the rail and there was no way back for Jane Mangan....

… but after jinking to the left he collided with the rail and there was no way back for Jane Mangan….

... but he jinked to the left and collided with the rail and there was no way back for Jane Mangan....

...and it was left to Salsify to claim the honours

…and it was left to Salsify to claim the honours

It was a cruel blow for punters who had backed Oscar Delta, 20-1 at the off, and Irish firm Paddy Power are refunding bets on the Mangan runner.

Creevytennant set the pace but continually jumped out to the right and he was still in front until the fourth-last where Oscar Delta took it up.

The 10-year-old pulled away from Salsify after the third-last fence and jumped the last with a handy lead.

He looked set for victory until it turned into defeat and agony for connections.

Colman Sweeney was able to coast his mount, trained by his father Rodger, over the line 20 lengths ahead of Divine Intavention with Cottage Oak a neck away in third.

Head in hands: Jane Mangan can't believe her bad luck after crashing off Oscar Delta in the Foxhunter Chase

Head in hands: Jane Mangan can't believe her bad luck after crashing off Oscar Delta in the Foxhunter Chase

Just her pride that's hurt: Mangan just seconds after the fall that cost her victory in the Foxhunter Chase

There, there: Mangan is consoled after bowing out of the Foxhunter Chase with victory in sight

Just her pride that's hurt: Mangan after the fall that cost her victory in the Foxhunter Chase

Just her pride that's hurt: Mangan after the fall that cost her victory in the Foxhunter Chase

Salsify is the first back-to-back winner of the amateur riders' Gold cup since Double Silk in 193-94.

Sweeney jnr said: 'God was on my side, I feel sorry for Jane, though. I did feel he was going to rally but I probably wouldn't have got there.

'This horse is a different horse on decent ground, he didn't feel the same at all on soft.

'He can be very keen so I dropped him right out until I got settled and then he jumped into it.

'He does rally and stay on but I think Jane would have won.

'I'd like to dedicate this to John Thomas (McNamara) as everything we do we do for love. He was one of the senior boys when I first started and he still is. We're all thinking of him.'

Sweeney snr said: 'It was very lucky and I'm gutted for Jane who is a good friend of ours and a very polished rider.

'Our fellow didn't like the ground but he kept trying his best but Jimmy Mangan should have been the winner.'

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson had a winning horse at Doncaster

Ferguson's nous extends from the pitch to the racecourse with win in Doncaster

PUBLISHED:

18:39 GMT, 1 March 2013

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UPDATED:

18:39 GMT, 1 March 2013

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was in the winner's enclosure at Doncaster after Empire Levant made a winning start to his career over fences in the 32Red Novices' Chase.

The Paul Nicholls-trained six-year-old was a 4-5 favourite on his first
appearance since failing to complete a hurdle race at Aintree in late October and was sent straight to the lead by Daryl Jacob.

Winners enclosure: Sir Alex Ferguson (left) with Empire Lavant and jockey Daryl Jacob after their victory at Doncaster

Winners enclosure: Sir Alex Ferguson (left) with Empire Lavant and jockey Daryl Jacob after their victory at Doncaster

Largely jumping quickly and accurately, all appeared to be going well for
favourite-backers until the grey made a real mess of the fifth fence from home, bringing him right back to the rest of the field.

However, he was good and neat at the remaining four fences in the home straight and found enough for pressure to hold off the determined Speed Steed by two and a quarter lengths.

Empire Levant is owned by Ferguson and Ged Mason and carries the colours of Grand National contenders What A Friend and Harry The Viking.

Sharing a joke: Ferguson and Jacob chat after the win

Sharing a joke: Ferguson and Jacob chat after the win

Manchester United 2 Reading 1: match report – Javier Hernandez and Nani score

Manchester United 2 Reading 1: Clinical Nani and Hernandez see off brave Royals

PUBLISHED:

21:56 GMT, 18 February 2013

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UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 18 February 2013

Manchester United were made to sweat after Jobi McAnuff scored a late Reading goal after the hosts had gone two goals up.

After relentless pressure, Sir Alex Ferguson's men finally scored on 69 minutes when Nani struck from an Antonio Valencia pass.

Javier Hernandez scored United's second just three minutes after the opener, but McAnuff coolly slotted past David de Gea to make things interesting for the final ten minutes.

Near post: Javier Hernandez nodded the ball past Adam Federici to put the Reds 2-0 up

Near post: Javier Hernandez nodded the ball past Adam Federici to put the Reds 2-0 up

Breached: Nani finally opened the scoring for Manchester United at Old Trafford

Breached: Nani finally opened the scoring for Manchester United at Old Trafford

MATCH FACTS

Manchester United: De Gea, Jones (Nani 42), Smalling, Vidic, Buttner, Valencia, Anderson (Carrick 84), Young (Van Persie 64), Cleverley, Hernandez, Welbeck

Subs not used: Lindegaard, Ferdinand, Giggs, Kagawa

Goals: Nani 69, Hernandez 72

Reading: Federici, Shorey, Mariappa, Morrison, Kelly, Karacan, Leigertwood (Guthrie 63), McAnuff, Le Fondre, Hunt, McCleary (Robson-Kanu 70)

Subs not used: Andersen, Gunter, Pearce, Daniel Carrico, Pogrebnyak

Goal: McAnuff 81

Referee: Andre Marriner

More to follow…

Wheeling away: Nani came off the bench for Phil Jones in the first half

Wheeling away: Nani came off the bench for Phil Jones in the first half

Fist pump: Sir Alex Ferguson gestures to the home crowd as he makes his way out after half-time

Fist pump: Sir Alex Ferguson gestures to the home crowd as he makes his way out after half-time

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Chase: Danny Guthrie attempts to keep pace with Manchester United's Anderson

Chase: Danny Guthrie attempts to keep pace with Manchester United's Anderson

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Blow: Phil Jones was taken off in the first half through injury

Blow: Phil Jones was taken off in the first half through injury

Blow: Phil Jones was taken off in the first half through injury

Blow: Phil Jones was taken off in the first half through injury

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Words of wisdom: Ferguson (left) talks to fourth official Phil Dowd as the pair leave at half-time

Words of wisdom: Ferguson (left) talks to fourth official Phil Dowd as the pair leave at half-time

Rigadin De Beauchene lands Betfred Classic Chase at Warwick

Rigadin De Beauchene lands Betfred Classic Chase at Warwick

PUBLISHED:

16:02 GMT, 12 January 2013

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UPDATED:

17:51 GMT, 12 January 2013

Rigadin De Beauchene (5-1) put the icing on the cake of what has been a bountiful start to the month for trainer Venetia Williams when getting up in the shadow of the post to deny Godsmejudge and the gallant Pete The Feat in the Betfred Classic Chase at Warwick.

The eight-year-old put his jumping issues behind him under a determined Robbie Dunne to pull the race out of the fire after he was seemingly booked for third at the second-last fence.

New star: Nigel Twiston-Davies has a leading candidate for Cheltenham

New star: Nigel Twiston-Davies has a leading candidate for Cheltenham

Dunne intentionally steered a wide
course on Rigadin De Beauchene in the straight, a ploy that paid off as
the combination reeled in the battling leaders with 50 yards to travel
to win by half a length.

Williams said: 'Robbie swept wide
into the straight and managed to get the horse to meet the last fence on
a good stride which I think was very important.

'His owner Andrew Wiles hopes he may
emulate his half-brother Miko De Beauchene and win the Welsh National
next season. I think Andrew might have reservations about him going for
the Grand National itself though. He's had issues with his jumping.'

Williams said she was encouraged
about a good run from her gelding after the horse that beat him in the
mud at Lingfield went on to land the Sussex National.

Dunne said: 'We were going a good
gallop when he made a mistake down the back and he also got in tight to a
couple. But overall he jumped much better today, having had a
confidence-booster at Lingfield.'

Noel Fehily was proud of the gallant Pete The Feat whose unbeaten run of five this season was finally broken back in third.

He said: 'It was another very good run. He's jumped from fence to fence and galloped to the line.'

Nigel Twiston-Davies can be forgiven if he starts getting excited about The New One (1-2 favourite) who routed the opposition in the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle.

So far the only defeat he has
suffered in his career came in the Festival Bumper where he was sixth
but nothing in this Grade Two could live with him.

His jockey Sam Twiston-Davies said: 'The sky is the limit.'

Nigel Twiston-Davies said: 'He seems
to have so much speed and staying power and it's a shame we haven't
really learned anything, as some of the others didn't go in the ground
and he wasn't tested.

'He won but we still don't know
enough about him and that encourages me to look at the programme book
and find another two-and-a-half-miler for him in order to give him some
more experience.'

Sarah Such, joint-owner of the winner,
was out of breath after cheering The New One home and exclaimed:
'Amazing. I can't breath he is absolutely wonderful, a really special
horse.'

Team Twiston-Davies also took the concluding bumper with Pure Science (5-1), a nine-length winner.

Rocky Creek boosted his claims for the RSA Chase and was cut to 12-1 from 20s for that Cheltenham Festival contest after flooring Highland Lodge in the Betfred Mobile Lotto Novices' Chase.

Paddy Power were impressed with the Paul Nicholls-trained seven-year-old after he readily brushed aside Highland Lodge in the home straight of the three-mile contest to leave that rival exhausted on the run-in.

The pair had taken each other on at the last three of the fences down the back stretch with Rocky Creek nudging into the lead under a confident Daryl Jacob before the second last.

At this point the 7-4 chance jumped to the front where Tour Des Champs fell and brought down the weakening Forgotten Gold. Rocky Creek then forged steadily clear of Highland Lodge, who stopped to a walk on the flat and was caught by 16-1 shot Fill The Power for second.

Jacob believes the winner could be a factor in the RSA given the right underfoot conditions.

He said: 'I had the favourite covered and just wanted him to give me a lead into the straight before pressing on.

'He's a horse for the future and will be a truly super chaser in time. He's a possible Cheltenham horse for sure providing the ground there isn't too quick.'

Ely Brown booked his ticket to the Cheltenham Festival when avenging his 2012 defeat in the Pertemps Handicap Hurdle Qualifier.

Second to Thehillofuisneach here 12 months ago, Charlie Longsdon's charge travelled well and readily outstayed Holywell and Hada Men by a length and a quarter and four under Noel Fehily.

According to his trainer, Ely Brown needed to win today in order to guarantee a run in the Final at Cheltenham in March.

Longsdon said: 'I said to Noel he had to win again if he was going to get to Cheltenham and after this he certainly deserves to take his chance.

'If he goes up 5lb it will be his ticket booked. He was second here last year and when I looked down today's field I thought it was quite a lot tougher.

'He had a hard race at Aintree. We gave him plenty of time to recover from that and he was pinging after his last outing at Haydock.'

Rody (11-2) earned glowing praise from his pilot Paddy Brennan who described the Tom George-trained gelding as 'as good a jumper as you could possibly wish to see' following his resounding success in the Betfred 'The Bonus King' Handicap Chase.

Giving weight to all seven of his rivals in the two-mile contest, Rody made it three wins from his last four starts as he continually made ground on Eastlake at his fences.

Brennan sent him on rounding the home bend and the combination pulled eight lengths clear, with Kapga De Cerisy a neck back in third. The winner is owned by Tony Dalton and Jennifer Laing who both work for Saatchi and Saatchi.

Laing said: 'He's a happy horse who really likes being at the racecourse. He wasn't as good over hurdles because he used to brush through them, but he gives the fences more respect.'

Brennan added: 'It's his jumping that wins him his races, I've been very impressed with him.'

Flaming Charmer caused a minor shock in the opener, posting a 14-1 triumph for owners Chasing Gold, trainer Colin Tizzard and jockey Brendan Powell.

The five-year-old proved too strong for Thunder Sheikh to deny Timmy Murphy a winner on his first ride back from injury in the Betfred Goals Galore Novices' Handicap Hurdle.

On ground described as soft by the winning jockey, Flaming Charmer outstayed his foes and Powell said: 'He's a nice horse for the future and I think he'll stay further.'

Tom Chadney, spokeman for Chasing Gold, said: 'The reason I bought him was because his dam is Kates Charm who won the Cleeve Hurdle and was a very good mare for Robert Alner.

'We have nine horses spread around the country with seven trainers. It enables our members to watch the horses run wherever they are based.'

Wigan hoping for repeat win over Manchester United – Roberto Martinez

'Desperate' Wigan are out to repeat historic victory over United, warns Martinez

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 31 December 2012

May 13, 2012, will go down in Premier League history as the day Manchester United lost the title on goal difference with practically the last kick of the season.

Those who witnessed United's alarming collapse over those final few weeks, however, know that it began long before Sergio Aguero's unforgettable goal for Manchester City left Sir Alex Ferguson and his players bereft on the pitch at Sunderland.

April 11, to be precise. United were eight points clear with six games left and odds-on for the title when the wheels began to come off on a fateful Wednesday night at Wigan, Shaun Maloney's second-half strike condemning the champions to a shock 1-0 defeat that turned the title race.

Desperate: Wigan has warned Sir Alex Ferguson that his Wigan side are desperate for points

Desperate: Wigan has warned Sir Alex Ferguson that his Wigan side are desperate for points

United go back to the DW Stadium on Tuesday with a seven-point advantage knowing they can ill afford another slip with second-placed City once again leading the chase.

Roberto Martinez is convinced the secret behind one of the most famous results in Wigan's history was sheer desperation to win points in their own battle against relegation, which made his players focus on their own game rather than the calibre of their opponents.

Worryingly for United, the Wigan boss believes they are just as desperate this time around.

'Nobody could have expected what was going to happen in the following weeks,' said Martinez. 'But last season we had such a massive need to get points we couldn't afford to look who we were playing against. Too many times in the past we'd played Manchester United and that affected us.

'That day we learned we had to play Wigan Athletic.

Next in town: Alex Ferguson and his players will try to avenge last season's defeat at the DW

Next in town: Alex Ferguson and his players will try to avenge last season's defeat at the DW

In the spotlight: Ashley Young and Co will be expected to leave with all three points

In the spotlight: Ashley Young and Co will be expected to leave with all three points

'The desperation factor is still there. We need to understand that 18 points at this stage of this season is desperation.

'We're not happy with that points tally, it's nowhere near good enough. There is desperation going into every game left at home this season, and Manchester United is no different.'

Wigan's impressive financial figures for the year ending May 31, released on Monday, underline the gulf between the two clubs. Despite adding to the squad, their wage bill has dropped to 37.7million compared to a whopping 160m paid out at Old Trafford.

Soaring: Wigan battered Aston Villa 3-0 away from home

Soaring: Wigan battered Aston Villa 3-0 away from home

Easily done Emmerson Boyce celebrates after scoring the second at Villa Park

Easily done Emmerson Boyce celebrates after scoring the second at Villa Park

Indeed, before Maloney's stunner in April, United had never dropped so much as a single point to their opponents in 13 encounters. The aggregate score for the previous five was 21-0.

Normal service was resumed when United won 4-0 at Old Trafford in September, and Martinez has warned his players not to dwell on the events of last season.

'It would be very dangerous to think what happened that day will happen again,' he said. 'If we do that we're in for a very long game.

'We have that recent picture of what's required to beat a team like Manchester United but I don't think the result last season will change the way they approach the game.

'They're going to come here believing they're the team that's going to win the title and to get the three points. You need to overcome that feeling of superiority.'

Remember this, Fergie Shaun Maloney fired home the decisive goal last season

Remember this, Fergie Shaun Maloney fired home the decisive goal last season

Remember this, Fergie Shaun Maloney fired home the decisive goal last season

If there is any encouragement for Wigan, it is that an alarming number of the 28 Premier League goals conceded by United this season have been against teams in the bottom half of the table.

'We've conceded 28 and it's only New Year,' said Ferguson. 'I remember one season with Peter Schmeichel we conceded a lot less than that over the whole season.

'We're stretching ourselves all the time. We've been forced to up the ante all the time because we're losing goals. If we stop giving them away we've got a great chance.'

Luke Shaw transfer – Arsenal in pole position

Arsenal in pole position to sign 5m-rated Southampton left-back Shaw

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UPDATED:

23:17 GMT, 29 December 2012

It’s advantage Arsenal in the chase for 5million left-back Luke Shaw, a Premier League regular for Southampton at 17.

Arsene Wenger has signed Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from the club and will use that relationship to move for Shaw as Chelsea are also interested.

Wenger is looking to add to his
options at left-back with Brazilian flop Andre Santos nearing the exit
door and Kieran Gibbs' niggling injury problems continuing to interrupt
his progress.

Shaw thing: The left-back has become a regular for Southampton

Shaw thing: The left-back has become a regular for Southampton

Gareth Bale will not leave Tottenham in January, says Andre Villas-Boas

Bale's going nowhere! Villas-Boas digs heels in over winger as Real step up chase

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UPDATED:

12:49 GMT, 29 December 2012

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas says Gareth Bale will not be leaving White Hart Lane for Real Madrid in January.

Bale, who scored an imperious hat-trick in Tottenham’s Boxing Day win over Aston Villa, has been the subject of interest from the Spanish champions, with Jose Mourinho’s side wanting the Spurs winger for 33million.

But Villas-Boas insists Bale will not be sold for any price in the upcoming transfer window, and believes the 23-year-old will remain in north London.

Going nowhere: Andre Villas-Boas claims Gareth bale will not be sold in January

Going nowhere: Andre Villas-Boas claims Gareth bale will not be sold in January

‘I have no concerns at all about the possibility of Bale going in January,’ Villas-Boas told The Sun.

‘It’s very difficult because in England there are no release clauses and a player of this dimension has a market value that is not obtainable to most of the clubs.’

The Portuguese coach also said it is unlikely Tottenham will make a move for anyone in the January transfer window, effectively ruling out any move for wantaway Inter midfielder Wesley Sneijder.

He added: ‘It’s very unlikely we will do anything in the window.'

Earlier this week, Spanish newspaper Marca claimed a bid for 40million euros was in place from Real for Bale and that Mourinho will not rest until his top transfer target has been secured.

Villas-Boas had already dismissed the chances of landing Bale following Luka Modric to Madrid last week, and insisted it was 'completely impossible' that the lightning-quick midfielder would be allowed to leave any time soon.

That will not deter Mourinho, who is willing to wait until the end of the season to add Bale's pace
and finishing to Real's attack.

As
a measure of Real's determination to take the 23-year old to the
Spanish capital, Marca recently revealed that 56million had been set
aside to cover the overall package required to make the deal a reality.

Bale
has also been linked with Real’s rivals Barcelona, and Spurs team-mate
Sandro believes he is more than capable enough to play in a Brazil
line-up – despite being Welsh.

'He is good enough to play for Brazil, and it is a shame he was born in Wales,' said the Tottenham midfielder.

Strength to strength: Bale netted a hat-trick against Aston Villa on Boxing Day

Strength to strength: Bale netted a hat-trick against Aston Villa on Boxing Day

Determined: Jose Mourinho wants to add bale's pace to his Real Madrid side

Determined: Jose Mourinho wants to add bale's pace to his Real Madrid side

‘I’ve played with a lot of good players but Bale is one of the very best. He is so good. It’s easy to talk to him because he is a great player and a great guy as well.

‘He has everything. He is comfortable with the ball, he’s quick and he’s clever. He’s also strong too. Now he’s a dad he’s in a good place personally too. He’s got more responsibility and that has made a difference on the pitch.’

Follow in his footsteps Luka Modric left Tottenham for Real in the summer

Follow in his footsteps Luka Modric left Tottenham for Real in the summer

Harpsy Cord falls at final fence in Tim Duggan Memorial Handicap Chase at Limerick

No laughing matter at Limerick as Harpsy Cord falls at the last having led from the front

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UPDATED:

17:56 GMT, 27 December 2012

There was agony for backers of Harpsy Cord in the Tim Duggan Memorial Handicap Chase as, after leading all the way, he crashed out at the final fence when five lengths clear and seemingly having the two mile three-and-a-half furlong race at his mercy.

That left course specialist Jack Absolute (16-1) in front and he had to be kept right up to his work to hold off Tullintain by a length-and-a-quarter and land the 21,000 prize.

It was not what Harpsy Cord deserved as he had jumped brilliantly in the hands of Keith Donoghue but after pecking on landing at the second-last he got in too tight to the final fence to gift victory to the John Walsh-trained nine-year-old in the hands of Brian O'Connell.

Going... Harpsy Cord clips the final fence at the Tim Duggan Memorial Handicap Steeplechase

Going… Harpsy Cord clips the final fence at the Tim Duggan Memorial Handicap Steeplechase

Going... Harpsy Cord clips the final fence at the Tim Duggan Memorial Handicap Steeplechase

Going... Donoghue is sent flying over the top of Harpsy Cord as he fails to regain his footing

Going… Donoghue is sent flying over the top of Harpsy Cord as he fails to regain his footing

Going... Donoghue is sent flying over the top of Harpsy Cord as he fails to regain his footing

Gone: Both horse and jockey (who were OK after the fall) hit the deck and kiss goodbye to their hopes of winning

Gone: Both horse and jockey (who were OK after the fall) hit the deck and kiss goodbye to their hopes of winning

Gone: Both horse and jockey (who were OK after the fall) hit the deck and kiss goodbye to their hopes of winning

Walsh said: 'That's his eighth win and his sixth around here so it's definitely a case of horses for courses.

'Today was the plan and you can't beat a bit of luck!'

The Earl of Harrington Memorial Maiden Hunters Chase will also live long in the memory for the wrong reasons after the attritional conditions resulted in 13 of the 16 runners failing to complete the course.

The race was won by 11-2 chance Goonyella who slogged through mud best of all to come home a distance clear of Survival, with Thetalkisover (pictured) the only other finisher back in third. The win provided a welcome fillip for trainer Tom Dreaper who had been so luckless earlier in the afternoon with Harpsy Cord.

Conditions took their toll on John Gleeson-trained Thetalkisover who refused to jump the final fence at the first time of asking but finally consented to clamber over and take third place despite being exhausted.

Third time lucky: Thetalkinisover initially refused to jump the final fence in the Hunters Steeplechase

Third time lucky: Thetalkinisover initially refused to jump the final fence in the Hunters Steeplechase

Third time lucky: Thetalkinisover initially refused to jump the final fence in the Hunters Steeplechase

Third time lucky: Thetalkinisover initially refused to jump the final fence in the Hunters Steeplechase

Third time lucky: Thetalkinisover initially refused to jump the final fence in the Hunters Steeplechase

Katie Walsh was feared to have suffered a shoulder injury when Pocketfullapennies came down at the seventh-last but later tweeted she was 'fine just sore!!'.

Willian dreams of move to Chelsea

Chelsea target Willian says he dreams of leaving Shakhtar and moving to Stamford Bridge

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UPDATED:

07:26 GMT, 21 December 2012

Chelsea target Willian says he hopes to complete his dream move to Stamford Bridge this summer.

The Shakhtar Donetsk forward had hoped to move to Chelsea in the summer but a move never materialised.

Chelsea were not the only English club to show interest in the Brazilian, but they led the chase.

Looking to move: Willian says he would love to play in England

Looking to move: Willian says he would love to play in England

Willian was disappointed to see Shakhtar block a deal, but understands why there were so keen to keep him and believes he will grace one of Europe’s top divisions at some stage in the near future.

He told ESPN.com.br: 'My goal is to play for a bigger club in a high level league.'

On Chelsea, he said: 'If I tell you that I was happy, I would be lying. My desire was there, with a 20.3million offer from a big club like Chelsea. I wanted to pack my things and go, but I can’t do that as I am under contract.

'It shows how much Shakhtar like me and shows that I am doing a good job, which is why they wanted me to stay.

'I have tried to convince them many times to let me go. I know that Juventus and Chelsea have made offers to buy me and that motivates me a lot.

'The club know that I want to leave, everyone knows that. The president has told me that he’ll let me go for 24.4m and my intention is to sign for a big club.'

Manchester City are lining up bids for a pair of defenders

City spending Millionarios! Club chase Colombian defender

PUBLISHED:

22:43 GMT, 19 December 2012

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UPDATED:

22:43 GMT, 19 December 2012

Manchester City are continuing to show interest in Colombian defender Pedro Franco.

The 21-year-old, who aptly plays for Millionarios, can also play in centre midfield.

Target: Manchester City are preparing a bid for Colombian defender Pedro Franco (pictured). Franco was captain of the Millionarios side who won the Colombian league (below) and got to the semi-final of the Copa Sudamerica

Target: Manchester City are preparing a bid for Colombian defender Pedro Franco (pictured). Franco was captain of the Millionarios side who won the Colombian league (below) and got to the semi-final of the Copa Sudamerica

Pedro Franco of Millionarios lifts the Colombian league trophy

Although never capped by the full Colombian national side, he was a part of the Colombia U20 that reached the quarter-finals of the U20 World Cup in 2011.

City and neighbours Manchester United, meanwhile, are going head-to-head to sign 15-year-old Italy U16 international defender Giorgio Piacentini, who has yet to sign a professional contract with club Albinoleffe.

Targets: Roberto Mancini is after Colombian defender Pedro Franco and Italian youngster

Targets: Roberto Mancini is after Colombian defender Pedro Franco and Italian youngster Giorgio Piacentini