Tag Archives: doubts

Rafa Benitez plays down talk of David Luiz being future long term Chelsea captain

I'm not ready to make Luiz my captain yet, insists Chelsea boss Benitez amid doubts over Terry's future

By
Matt Barlow

PUBLISHED:

12:54 GMT, 16 April 2013

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UPDATED:

13:15 GMT, 16 April 2013

Rafa Benitez has dismissed claims that David Luiz is in line to replace John Terry as the long-term captain of Chelsea.

Terry was left out of Chelsea’s FA Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester City at the weekend and has missed a number games this season.

Goalkeeper Petr Cech led the side in Terry’s absence at Wembley on Sunday, but Luiz has been cited as a possible long-term replacement.

Future leader: Rafa Benites has played down talk of David Luiz being Chelsea captain

Future leader: Rafa Benites has played down talk of David Luiz being Chelsea captain

But Benitez played down the suggestion saying he did not want to praise the Brazilin too much.

‘I don’t want to talk about the future when we’re involved in top four challenge and Europa League. He’ one of the important players we have, there are others, I don’t want to give too much credit to him. He is a key player and will be in the future.’

Michael Laudrup signs one-year contract extension at Swansea

Danish delight for Swansea as Laudrup signs one-year contract extension

By
Riath Al-samarrai

PUBLISHED:

17:12 GMT, 8 March 2013

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UPDATED:

19:20 GMT, 8 March 2013

t the club.

Michael Laudrup has moved to end speculation about his future by signing a one-year contract extension at Swansea City.

The Dane had been linked with Real Madrid and Chelsea in the wake of Swansea’s remarkable Capital One Cup final triumph against Bradford last month.

But the 48-year-old declared his desire to lead Swansea into Europe after agreeing a deal that will run until June 2015.

All smiles: Michael Laudrup agreed a one-year extension to his current deal at Swansea

All smiles: Michael Laudrup agreed a one-year extension to his current deal at Swansea

He said: ‘We’ve started something this season that I want to continue.

‘I know there has been a lot of
speculation (about my future), but I’ve always said that I am happy here
and I never had any doubts I would stay.

‘I am delighted to sign the new deal
and I’m already really looking forward to next season. I hope there will
be some very exciting things happening with the team and with the club
in Europe.’

The development will go some way to
protecting Swansea financially. Sportsmail understands that Laudrup, 48,
has committed to a hefty clause in the region of 5million, much like
the one Brendan Rodgers agreed to when he signed his extension at the
Liberty Stadium four months before joining Liverpool.

Last night Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins admitted he still fears bigger clubs will come in for his manager.

He told Sportsmail: ‘It’s a fact of
life in football that if you do well people will want your manager or
players and there is no such thing as a cast iron agreement anymore.

‘But this deal shows Michael’s desire
to stay here and it also gives us the extra financial security if
another club does come in.’

Historic: Laudrup guided Swansea to Capital One Cup success this season

Historic: Laudrup guided Swansea to Capital One Cup success this season

Historic: Laudrup guided Swansea to Capital One Cup success this season

Jenkins added: ‘The success we have
had with Michael has been brilliant. I thoroughly enjoy working with him
and long may that continue.

‘This is obviously great news for
everyone connected with the club, from the fans, to the players and the
staff. We are delighted that he has agreed this extension.’

Talks only started last week between
the two parties after Laudrup was initially reluctant to commit his
future to the club beyond stating his desire to lead the club in Europe.

Jenkins said: ‘I think the fact we got it done relatively quickly shows you what Michael thinks about the club.

‘He is enjoying himself and he finds the challenge exciting, which for him is very important.’

Wayne Rooney set for Manchester United exit with Paris Saint-German and Manchester City lurking

Rooney fights for his United future as 20m bid might tempt fed-up Ferguson to sell

By
Ian Ladyman

PUBLISHED:

22:31 GMT, 6 March 2013

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UPDATED:

10:11 GMT, 7 March 2013

Wayne Rooney is facing a desperate fight to save his Manchester United career as manager Sir Alex Ferguson continues to harbour grave doubts about his fitness and attitude.

Ferguson stunned football by dropping the England forward to the bench for Tuesday night's Champions League defeat against Real Madrid at Old Trafford.

The United manager believes Rooney has failed to get on top of the weight and fitness issues that have dogged him since the start of the season and is fed up with waiting for an improvement.

Wayne Rooney

Benched: Wayne Rooney started Tuesday night's game as a substitute after he was axed by Sir Alex Ferguson

Close to the boss Rooney started the match on the bench - sitting just in front of Sir Alex Ferguson

Axed: Rooney's relationship with his manager is said to be tense after a difficult season at Old Trafford

With Rooney, 27, entering the final two years of his contract this summer, Ferguson knows he has a decision to make about his future.

As it stands, the Scot will not rule out selling him at the end of the season if the club can attract a bid of more than 20million.

Sources in both camps have told Sportsmail that the relationship between the pair has been tense for some time and shows no signs of getting better. Senior players say privately that they can sense it at the training ground on a daily basis.

Rooney acknowledges that he and Ferguson have not been on the best of terms for much of this season but disputes suggestions that he has not looked after himself.

Super-rich Paris Saint-Germain have an interest in Rooney, while United's neighbours Manchester City would take the former Everton star in an instant if they thought their rivals would sell to them.

City tried to buy Rooney in the autumn of 2010, prompting United to raise their wage ceiling to keep him.

His former United and England team-mate Michael Owen told talkSPORT: 'It's got to be a big worry for Rooney. It's the biggest game of the season and the manager has shuffled his pack and not included him.

'A couple of years ago, if Wayne wasn't the first-choice striker, he would have played him in left midfield or in behind the striker. For him not to start is a real kick in the teeth.

Real misery: Rooney could not prevent United crashing out of the Champions League to the Spanish giants

Real misery: Rooney could not prevent United crashing out of the Champions League to the Spanish giants

End of the road Rooney will be weighing up his future at Old Trafford after he was snubbed by Ferguson

End of the road Rooney will be weighing up his future at Old Trafford after he was snubbed by Ferguson

Dip in form: Rooney, cigarette in hand, relaxes on his honeymoon in Las Vegas

Dip in form: Rooney, cigarette in hand, relaxes on his honeymoon in
Las Vegas

'Wayne will either get his head down, try to improve and force his way back into the team, or he'll think, “The manager has not picked me for the biggest game, he obviously doesn't fancy me”, and it might not be the end of the story.'

Meanwhile, UEFA have charged United for failing to fulfil their media obligations after Tuesday night's 2-1 defeat that put them out of the Champions League.

Wayne Rooney

Wayne Rooney

Bidding war: Both Manchester City and PSG would be interested should United choose to sell Rooney

Not only did Ferguson not attend the press conference after the game, United also failed to provide two players for post-match interviews, as mandated under UEFA rules.

Nani, who was sent off by referee Cuneyt Cakir with United leading 1-0, will definitely be banned for one European game at least.

His case, and United's, will be heard by UEFA on March 21. It will not be known if players like United defender Rio Ferdinand will face sanction for their actions after the game until Cakir files his report, probably later today.

Jack Rodwell suffers injury in Manchester City game at Aston Villa

Rodwell injury curse strikes again after Man City midfielder limps off at Villa Park

By
Alex Horlock

PUBLISHED:

20:37 GMT, 4 March 2013

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UPDATED:

20:58 GMT, 4 March 2013

Jack Rodwell suffered yet another setback in his injury-plagued Manchester City career after hobbling off the pitch at Villa Park this evening.

Little over 20 minutes into City's match against Paul Lambert's Aston Villa, Rodwell pulled up after letting fly with a powerful shot on Brad Guzan's goal.

The midfielder, who made his first start for City since September during their 2-0 win
over Chelsea last weekend, was tonight making his 11th appearance for the champions
this season, but was replaced by the club's top scorer Edin Dzeko
having limped off clutching his hamstring and holding his head in his hands.

Injury curse: Jack Rodwell was marking his 11th appearance for Manchester City since his summer arrival from Everton

Injury curse: Jack Rodwell was marking his 11th appearance for Manchester City since his summer arrival from Everton

The 21-year-old, who joined City in a
12million move from Everton last summer, spoke just last week about his
belief that he had put his injuries behind him.

The England international added that
he had harboured doubts about his ability to withstand the rigours of a
career in football having seen his short spell in the professional game marred
repeatedly by injury during his time on Merseyside and in Manchester.

Rodwell said ahead of City's clash against Chelsea: 'At Everton
last season I doubted whether I was built for it.

'To be honest, I did
think the worst but I had to take the positives and think I'm still
young and in a great position at one of the best teams in the world.

Blow: Rodwell was replaced by Edin Dzeko after suffering an apparent hamstring injury

Blow: Rodwell was replaced by Edin Dzeko after suffering an apparent hamstring injury

'I had between five and 10 setbacks,
and that's not just from the original injury. It's mentally hard. There
are times when you're set back again and you don't know what to do.

'Before the last five or six weeks I
used to go into training and was never confident. I was just praying I
got through it and that's just not the way to be at all.'

Tom Ince says he can make it at international level

Ince believes his double against Sweden proves he can cut it at the top

By
Dominic King

PUBLISHED:

22:30 GMT, 6 February 2013

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UPDATED:

01:54 GMT, 7 February 2013

Tom Ince believes he has shown his doubters he can be a force at international level after a watershed night in his England Under 21 career.

The Blackpool winger scored twice in the 4-0 thumping of Sweden on Tuesday to finally break his duck for England, six months and five games after making his debut in Azerbaijan.

Though his performances had been promising, the lack of goals had been a concern for head coach Stuart Pearce and he made a point of telling Ince so before the friendly at Walsall.

At the double: Tom Ince struck twice against Sweden

At the double: Tom Ince struck twice against Sweden

Watch how his dad reacts

Paul was watching as Tom hit a double, but did he celebrate enthusiastically enough Paul's wife didn't seem to think so…

But Ince’s response was impressive and now he is determined to spearhead England’s quest to win Euro 2013, which begins in Israel in June.

‘It is hard when you are scoring at club level and it is not happening for you at international level,’ said Ince, who has found the net 16 times so far for Blackpool this year. I had been trying to break the duck and I had been a bit unfortunate. That’s why it was so nice to get off the mark.

‘Things hadn’t been falling for me but I
feel that breaking my duck can now really help me push on. It has taken
the doubts out of my mind. It was a proud moment to score wearing that
shirt and hopefully there will be more to come.’

Proud: Ince was delighted to get firing on the international stage

Proud: Ince was delighted to get firing on the international stage

There is little doubt Ince, who has set himself the target of finishing the Championship campaign with 25 goals, will make the cut for England’s 23-man squad and it is likely Pearce will be given the green light to take several big names with him to Israel.

While Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jack Wilshere are set to travel to Brazil with the senior team, Pearce is hoping there will be enough co-operation from Premier League clubs to enable significant players such as Raheem Sterling, Wilfred Zaha, Jonjo Shelvey and Phil Jones to travel.

‘The trouble with being a professional footballer is you never know when your form's going to come and go,’ said Pearce.

Step up: Players like Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have been called up to the senior squad

Step up: Players like Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have been called up to the senior squad

‘I see a lot of players being rested but on my behalf, as an international and a patriot of this country, where would the priority be on the burnout

‘Should the clubs rest for the national team I've always said the same thing – unless you take your strongest squad you can't be competitive. Roy (Hodgson) had firmly echoed that and hopefully we will take a strong squad to the championships.'

Damien Comolli defends Kenny Dalglish"s transfer record at Liverpool

Comolli defends Dalglish's 110m Liverpool spending spree… as it emerges they missed out on Ba, Giroud and Kagawa

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UPDATED:

09:57 GMT, 14 December 2012

Former Liverpool director of football Damien Comolli has defended Kenny Dalglish’s transfer record at the club despite the fact that many of his signings are no longer part of Brendan Rodgers' plans.

In his time at the club Comolli oversaw an estimated 110million spending spree as Liverpool aggressively pursued Champions League football.

And since the Frenchman departed Anfield, Dalglish has also left, while his high profile signigs Carroll has been loaned to West Ham, Charlie Adam and Craig Bellamy have departed, Stewart Downing will leave if a buyer can be found in January, and Jose Enrique, Jordan Henderson and Sebastian Coates have had doubts raised against them.

Mixed reviews: Liverpool signed Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez in the same transfer window

Mixed reviews: Liverpool signed Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez in the same transfer window

DALGLISH'S SIGNINGS

ANDY CARROLL (35million)
LUIS SUAREZ (22.8million)
JORDAN HENDERSON (16million)
CHARLIE ADAM (9million)
STEWART DOWNING (20million)
JOSE ENRIQUE (5million)
SEBASTIAN COATES (7million*)
CRAIG BELLAMY (free)

*Estimated fee

That leaves Luis Suarez – an 18m signing from Ajax – as the only player who still plays a key role at the club.

Goals have been one of the main problems for Liverpool over the last few seasons and while he does not confirm names, the likes of Demba Ba, Olivier Giroud and Shinji Kagawa all were linked with moves to Anfield but all eventually moved elsewhere.

But Comolli defends his record at the club, speaking to the Daily Express, he said: ‘We did 26 deals and to think we wouldn’t make any mistakes in such a huge number of deals in and out would be totally unrealistic.

Defending his role: Damien Comolli says the signings he made should be judged over the long term

Defending his role: Damien Comolli says the signings he made should be judged over the long term

‘I do not think we made any mistakes on the players going out and whether we made mistakes on the players who came in, time will tell. I am very uncomfortable for players to be judged after six, eight or even 12 months. Sometimes it takes two or three years.

‘In two or three years you can say, ‘Damien and Kenny, you were wrong’. Or you can say, ‘They just needed time’.’

The 35m move for Carroll is one of the moves that has attracted the most criticism, but again, Comolli is quick to defend the actions of the club.

Demba Ba

Demba Ba

Olivier Giroud

Olivier Giroud

Shinji Kagawa

Shinji Kagawa

He added: ‘If you want to talk about the Carroll deal, the situation was quite clear.

‘The way we looked at it, we were selling two players – Fernando Torres and Ryan Babel – and we were bringing two in – Suarez and Carroll – and we were making a profit and the wage bill was coming down considerably as well. It was a four-player deal.

Parting ways: Kenny Dalglish won the League Cup but owners Tom Werner and John W Henry decided to go a for Brendan Rodgers this season

Parting ways: Kenny Dalglish won the League Cup but owners Tom Werner and John W Henry decided to go a for Brendan Rodgers this season

'Chelsea kept bidding higher and higher for Torres. The difference between their first and final bid is double.

'They [FSG] asked me what the risks were and I said if things don’t go well you’ll lose something on Andy, but it is difficult to measure whether you will make money if things go well because Liverpool aren’t a selling club and he could be here for the next 10 years.’

Kell Brook world title fight with Devon Alexander pencilled in for February or March

Brook world title fight back on: Alexander showdown pencilled in for February or March

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UPDATED:

22:08 GMT, 13 December 2012

Rising British star Kell Brook has been given a provisional New Year date for a big world title fight in America.

Golden Boy promotions are pencilling in either February 23 or March 2 as the rescheduled date for the injured Brook’s challenge to welterweight champion Devon Alexander in Los Angeles.

Date with destiny: The Sheffield boxer will get his world title shot in February or March

Date with destiny: The Sheffield boxer will get his world title shot in February or March

Unbeaten: Brook has won all 29 of his professional fights with 19 knockouts

Unbeaten: Brook has won all 29 of his professional fights with 19 knockouts

Brook’s promoter Eddie Hearn told BBC 5 Live: ‘Kell could have fought as planned next month but would only have been about 60 per cent fit after injury his ankle and missing road running.

'He is a little down in the dumps but in order to do himself justice, he can't fight on that day.

'I didn't want hundreds or thousands of Brits booking their flights to America and losing out.

'There's no way after all the work we've done, we can let a 60 per cent Kell Brook go into what is a 50/50 fight.

'It's not a terrible injury; he
turned it in Fuerteventura and he can't exert himself as well as the
strength and science guys want him to.'

Hearn continued: ‘We would prefer March 2 to give him more time to be 100 per cent for a fight as tough and important as this one.

'If it was up to Kell Brook, he'd fight but I have to intervene and listen to the experts.You cannot go out to America if you have any doubts in your mind.

'New York comes back into play and they're also talking about Detroit. We don't mind where we go but what does matter is that Kell is ready for the biggest fight of his life.'

England on verge of winning third Test in India

England on verge of victory but Ashwin frustrates tourists as India dig in

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UPDATED:

11:35 GMT, 8 December 2012

England inflicted a telling collapse on India to put themselves on the verge of victory, and an unassailable 2-1 series lead, after day four of the third Test at Eden Gardens.

The tourists took six wickets for 36 runs this afternoon but, with an innings win almost within their grasp in the final session, Ravichandran Ashwin (83 not out) prevented them finishing the job.

Number eight Ashwin even took India into a 32-run credit by stumps on 239 for nine, and forced England to take a second new ball under floodlights, as the contest somehow limped into a final day.

There was no way past Ashwin and Ishant Sharma for more than an hour in a ninth-wicket stand of 38.

Ashwin escaped a stumping chance on 22, and Sharma was dropped by wicketkeeper Matt Prior on nought – both off Monty Panesar.

Then even after Panesar at last got the number 10, toppling over to be bowled, Ashwin stayed to complete his 111-ball 50 with successive fours off Graeme Swann which also ensured England must bat again.

England just did not have the leeway they needed as Ashwin stood firm, in company with last man Pragyan Ojha.

After dominating the first three days thanks to Alastair Cook's batting and James Anderson and Panesar's bowling, the tourists first had to overcome a chastening morning before India's collapse.

England's own last four wickets could muster only 14 on the way to 523 all out and then they were unable to take any of India's before lunch.

But after Graeme Swann kickstarted the hosts' troubles by bowling Virender Sehwag with the first ball of the afternoon, the rest of the frontline batting simply folded.

Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir sowed some doubts in an opening stand of 86 in just 28 overs, during which England had a half-chance to see off each of the openers.

But Sehwag escaped on seven when Swann could not hang on to a low one-handed catch to his left at second slip off Anderson, then Gambhir pushed Panesar off the face of the bat to short-leg, where Ian Bell could not quite react in time.

Ball rolling: Graeme Swann took the first wicket of India's second innings

Ball rolling: Graeme Swann took the first wicket of India's second innings

The most worrying aspect for the tourists was the increasing ease with which Sehwag in particular was playing their spinners.

But they need not have been concerned because Swann produced the perfect off-break to draw the drive, beat the bat and hit the outside of off-stump straight after the break.

Gambhir had accepted the blame in the first innings for Sehwag's run-out, and perhaps will need to do likewise for his part in a faulty single which saw off Cheteshwar Pujara thanks to Bell's direct hit from midwicket.

Transient controversy followed when Gambhir escaped on 36, umpire Rod Tucker apparently initially satisfied he had edged to slip but unsure whether the ball had carried to a diving Jonathan Trott.

It had, but third umpire Vineet Kulkarni also seemed to convey the fact Gambhir had not got bat on ball after all.

The right decision had been reached via a grey area in the established process for series not involving DRS.

But the fact that Gambhir followed some reverse-swing from Finn (three for 37) to edge behind just four runs later relegated the discussion, and it was less relevant still when Sachin Tendulkar was next out, edging a Swann arm ball to slip.

Flying Finn: England's bowlers all chipped in to dismantle India

Flying Finn: England's bowlers all chipped in to dismantle India

Yuvraj Singh and Virat Kohli's attempt to stop the rot did not last long before the left-hander was bowled by one from Anderson that snaked in from round the wicket and kept low, and India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni edged the same bowler low to his opposite number Cook at slip.

Kohli edged behind flailing at some more outswing from Finn after tea, and it seemed certain England were on the home straight – until Ashwin got set.

England had arrived this morning in the hope of maximising the pressure and an hour's profitable batting would have been their first wish.

Instead, their innings was finished in under five overs.

Prior and Swann could add only a single between them to their existing seventh-wicket stand of 56.

Prior drove the first ball of the day for a single, only for Swann to then immediately become Ojha's fourth victim – edging another attempted drive to slip.

Tail end: Monty Panesar took the final wicket of the day

Tail end: Monty Panesar took the final wicket of the day

Then Prior went to cut Zaheer Khan at the other end and edged behind – England's second departure in the space of seven balls.

Finn and Anderson managed a boundary each but the introduction of Ashwin for Ojha (four for 142) brought two wickets in two balls to conclude the innings.

Ashwin had previously conceded 183 runs for his one success but, after Anderson edged to slip and Monty Panesar went lbw first ball, despite an apparent inside-edge, the off-spinner had two more at no further cost.

It seemed the mid-match momentum had perhaps switched, all the more so when Sehwag and Gambhir tried to seize the initiative too.

But it was a short-lived illusion.

PICTURE DISPUTE

We are unable to carry live pictures
from the third Test in Kolkata due to a dispute between the Board of
Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and international news
organisations.

The BCCI
has refused access to Test venues to established picture agencies Getty
Images and Action Images and other Indian photographic agencies.
MailOnline consider this action to be a strike against press freedom and
supports the action to boycott BCCI imagery.

Manchester United line up 8million bid for Asmir Begovic

EXCLUSIVE: United line up 8m January bid for Stoke's Begovic as doubts loom over De Gea and Lindegaard future

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 7 December 2012

Manchester United are to bid 8million for Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic.

The move will pose questions over the futures of 17.8million signing David de Gea and Anders Lindegaard, with the Denmark No 1 the most likely casualty.

Despite Sir Alex Ferguson giving both players a chance to cement a place in the first team, neither have convinced.

Chase: Manchester United are lining up a move for Asmir Begovic

Chase: Manchester United are lining up a move for Asmir Begovic

De Gea, who has just turned 22, was seen as a big gamble when he signed from Atletico Madrid last year and United would like him to continue developing.

Yet they have now targeted 6ft 5in Begovic, who has adapted better to the British game.

The 25-year-old Bosnian has kept seven clean sheets this season and conceded just 15 goals in 15 games.

Stoke manager Tony Pulis has declared that none of his players will be sold in January and his good relationship with United will mean the deal is likely to be shelved until the summer.

Liverpool have also shown interest in Begovic but United are in pole position.

Begovic said: 'It's always nice when the biggest teams in the world are looking at you. It's a compliment, but it doesn't mean anything.

'We keep our feet on the ground here and the manager wouldn't let that change. I have three-and-a-half years on my contract and I am concentrating on playing and staying in the team and trying to help the team be successful.

'I am happy here so there are no issues with that.'

What about me Anders Lindegaard (left) could make way for Begovic

What about me Anders Lindegaard (left) could make way for Begovic

Gamble: Manchester United want David de Gea to improve

Gamble: Manchester United want David de Gea to improve

Valtteri Bottas replaces Bruno Senna at Williams for 2013 season

Bottas given his chance as highly-rated Finn replaces Senna at Williams for 2013

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UPDATED:

11:54 GMT, 28 November 2012

Valtteri Bottas has been promoted to race driver for the 2013 Formula One season as he will line up alongside Pastor Maldonado at Williams.

Venezuelan Maldonado has retained his seat with the Grove-based marque for a third year, while Bottas, who has been the team's reserve driver for the past two seasons, replaces Bruno Senna.

It had long been suggested Bottas would get his chance in 2013 after impressing in a number of Friday practice sessions this year.

All smiles: Bottas has been confirmed at Williams for 2013

All smiles: Bottas has been confirmed at Williams for 2013

Bottas was GP3 champion in 2010 ahead of his appointment at Williams, where he has played a patient role prior to now being given his long-awaited chance.

Unsurprisingly, Bottas concedes it has been his 'lifelong dream to compete in Formula One.'

He added: 'To do so with one of the most legendary teams in the sport is incredibly special.

'I've really enjoyed my three years with Williams so far and feel very at home here so my goal was always to stay for 2013 and progress to a race seat.

Final act: Senna's last race with Williams ended in disappointment after crashing out at his home grand prix in Brazil

Final act: Senna's last race with Williams ended in disappointment after crashing out at his home grand prix in Brazil

'I'm looking forward to getting my Formula One career started and enjoying a lot of success with Williams.'

Founder and team principal Sir Frank Williams has high expectations of Bottas and, after two years of learning and maturing in the wings, has no doubts he can deliver.

Williams said: 'In Pastor and Valtteri we have two of the most exciting talents in motor racing and I am especially excited about what 2013 can bring for Williams.

'Pastor has always demonstrated remarkable pace and this year has seen him mature as a racing driver.

Retained: Maldonado will keep his seat for 2013

Retained: Maldonado will keep his seat for 2013

'Valtteri is quite simply one of the most talented young racing drivers I have come across and we expect great things from him in the future.'

Maldonado endured a turbulent year, from the high of winning the team's first race for seven-and-a-half years in Barcelona in May to the low of several on-track incidents that resulted in a number of trips to the stewards and penalties.

But given his sponsorship from state-owned Venezuelan oil and gas company PDVSA, worth a reputed 27million per year to the team, it is no surprise he has kept his seat ahead of Senna.

Confident of improving further next year, Maldonado said: 'I'm really enjoying my time with Williams and I was obviously very happy when I was told I would be continuing with the team in 2013.

'This season was a memorable year for me with the win in Barcelona and we made a big step forward in terms of performance.

'I have a lot of confidence in the team and hopefully next year will see us move even further up the grid and taste more success.'

It leaves Senna as the latest driver of renown to now be searching for a seat, with the one at Force India – alongside Paul di Resta – the most highly prized.

In axing Senna, Williams added: 'I would like to take this opportunity to thank Bruno for his hard work over the past year and wish him the best of luck going forward.'