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Mirko Vucinic scores and takes off his shots as Juventus close in on title after 2-1 win over Pescara

That's pants! Vucinic takes his shorts off in celebration as Juve close in on the title

PUBLISHED:

22:47 GMT, 6 April 2013

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UPDATED:

22:54 GMT, 6 April 2013

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Juve

Juventus continued their march towards back-to-back Serie A titles with a 2-1 win over Pescara in Turin.

The Bianconeri were made to wait for their latest success, which moves them 12 points clear of second-placed Napoli, with Mirko Vucinic firing in a 72nd-minute penalty after Giuseppe Rizzo saw red.

Vucinic added the second moments later and was promptly substituted by boss Antonio Conte ahead of the midweek Champions League quarter-final second leg against Bayern Munich.

Unique celebration: Juventus striker Mirko Vucinic waves his shorts as he celebrates after scoring against Pescara

Unique celebration: Juventus striker Mirko Vucinic waves his shorts as he celebrates after scoring against Pescara

Mirko Vucinic

Mirko Vucinic

Off they come: Vucinic takes his shorts off after scoring and waves them over his head

Spot on: Vucinic scores his penalty

Spot on: Vucinic scores his penalty

But Juve were made to sweat as Emmanuel Cascione curled in a stunning effort – Pescara's first shot on target – with seven minutes left.

Rolando Bianchi's stoppage-time equaliser grabbed a 2-2 draw for Torino at Bologna.

Nearly there: Juventus' players celebrate winning against Pescara and closing in on the title

Nearly there: Juventus' players celebrate winning against Pescara and closing in on the title

Paulo Vitor Barreto sent Torino ahead on 25 minutes but Bologna looked like they had grabbed the game away after the break.

Panagiotis Kone levelled on 65 minutes before substitute Tiberio Guarente seemingly won it with four minutes left. But Bianchi popped up late to share the points.

Robin van Persie Manchester United move was bad business, hints Juventus chief

United splashing out 24m on Van Persie was bad business, suggests Juve chief

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UPDATED:

11:02 GMT, 7 September 2012

Juventus chief executive Giuseppe Marotta has suggested that Robin van Persie is not worth the 24million Manchester United paid for him.

The Italian giants were among the clubs pursuing the Holland striker as he forced his way out of Arsenal but lost out to United in the race for the 29-year-old's services.

But, despite being disappointed with not securing Van Persie's signature, Marotta said that the club were unwilling to pay such a large fee due to the striker being in the final year of his contract at Arsenal before his move.

National service: Robin van Persie (right) is currently with the Holland squad

National service: Robin van Persie (right) is currently with the Holland squad

Marotta also insisted that the Old Lady were happy with their summer signings, even if none of their buys could boast the class or experience of Van Persie.

'I have regrets about Van Persie, but it would have been a bad choice for the club if we had paid €30million for a player who would have seen his contract expire next year,' Marotta told Tuttosport.

'We are happy with the business we were able to carry out.

'We hit our targets with the acquisition of good, young players with reasonable salaries – (Kwadwo) Asamoah, (Mauricio) Isla and (Sebastian) Giovinco.

'There is another fact which must not be overlooked, the fact that we kept (Claudio) Marchisio and (Arturo) Vidal, who were wanted by Bayern Munich.'

Value for money Van Persie has already scored four times for Manchester United

Value for money Van Persie has already scored four times for his new club

Marotta also confirmed that the club are still pursuing a top-class striker, and that Athletic Bilbao hotshot Fernando Llorente was firmly under consideration.

He said: 'Llorente to Juventus in January If he remains on the market then he is a player that we are interested in.

'In January we will evaluate the whole situation.'

Napoli striker Edinson Cavani and Fiorentina forward Stevan Jovetic are also on Juve's wish-list, but Marotta doubts deals could be done.

He said: 'Who would I choose between Cavani and Jovetic They would both fit comfortably in our side.

'Unfortunately, Cavani has a €60million (47.6m) buy-out clause, so he is unreachable.'

Sir Alex Ferguson takes another dig at Paul Pogba but will sign more Euro kids

Fergie takes another dig at Pogba but promises United will sign more Euro kids

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UPDATED:

17:57 GMT, 12 July 2012

Sir Alex Ferguson will not abandon the continental market in his search for young talent despite suffering another setback this summer with the departure of Paul Pogba.

In recent seasons, Gerard Pique and Giuseppe Rossi have both quit Old Trafford before coming close to reaching their peak after arriving from Spain and Italy as academy players.

Federico Macheda has struggled to make his mark and this summer, Ferguson was reduced to accusing Pogba of showing United 'a lack of respect' by allowing his contract to run down before joining Juventus.

Wise buys: Sir Alex Ferguson (centre) with Shinji Kagawa and Nick Powell (right)

Wise buys: Sir Alex Ferguson (centre) with Shinji Kagawa and Nick Powell (right)

It was an accusation repeated again by the United boss as he unveiled his latest 18-year-old recruit, Nick Powell, signed from Crewe at the end of the season.

However, Ferguson insists his disappointment at Pogba does not mean he will stop the worldwide hunt for youngsters.

'The important thing is to look at the ability of a player, and also character, which is important too,' he said. 'It is not a matter of signing him because he is English.

New boys: Ferguson parades signings Kagawa and Powell at Old Trafford

New boys: Ferguson parades signings Kagawa and Powell at Old Trafford

'We were disappointed in Paul Pogba. He showed a lack of respect to the club.

'Although we always felt he was going, he never intimated it until he left. That is disappointing. But he has made his decision.'

Nevertheless, with UEFA's Financial Fair Play rules now in force, and an increasing onus on home grown talent, Powell's arrival ticks a few boxes, in addition to bringing the promise of increased longevity.

Out: Paul Pogba has joined Juventus

Out: Paul Pogba has joined Juventus

'It is always better if you get the best English players,' said Ferguson. 'You never know how football is going to change in terms of regulations for a start and it could be that home based players become very important.'

Ferguson confirmed he had spoken to old friend and Crewe director of football Dario Gradi about Powell, who will be part of United's first-team squad this season, and they, together with the player himself, believe the teenager can be of most value in a central midfield role, rather than the advanced position he occupied last season.

United had sealed the transfer prior to last term's play-offs, which has proved to be an astute piece of business given Powell's brilliant Wembley winner against Gillingham.

However, whilst he accepts the step up he is being asked to make could hardly be greater, Powell is approaching his task with relish.

'It is a whole different world,' he said. 'At Crewe it is one camera and one person. At Manchester United it is the whole world.

'Crewe to Manchester United is the biggest step and I still have a lot of developing to do.

'But I am hoping to achieve what everyone expects me to achieve. I want to be a Manchester United player.'

Luca Scapuzzi wants to stay at Manchester City

Man City's young Italian attacking midfielder Scapuzzi determined to stay at club

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UPDATED:

13:55 GMT, 29 June 2012

Italian attacking midfielder Luca Scapuzzi will remain at Manchester City this summer in order to fight for a fight-team place.

The 21-year-old joined the club last summer from Serie B side Portogruaro and made two Carling Cup appearances – scoring against Wolves – before being loaned out to Oldham Athletic and Portsmouth.

Italian job: Scapuzzi wants to stay at Man City

Italian job: Scapuzzi wants to stay at Man City

Scapuzzi has attracted interest from Roma, but his agent has insisted he wants to remain with the Premier League champions.

'Luca will remain at Manchester City,' Giuseppe Riso told tuttomercatoweb.com. 'He will join City in pre-season training.

'Zeman (Roma coach)’s interest He likes the player but we have never spoken. Luca’s aim is to confirm himself at City.'

Inter Milan in Nigel de Jong talks

De Jong's City future uncertain as Inter enter talks to buy Dutch midfielder

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UPDATED:

07:54 GMT, 27 June 2012

Nigel de Jong could be heading for the Manchester City exit with Inter Milan in talks to buy the Holland midfielder.

The 27-year-old helped City win the Barclays Premier League title last season but only managed just 11 league starts under manager Roberto Mancini.

Despite insisting he is happy to stay with the champions his future is increasingly uncertain as he enters the final year of his contract.

So Inter you: Italian giants Inter Milan want to sign Dutch midfielder Nigel De Jong

So Inter you: Italian giants Inter Milan want to sign Dutch midfielder Nigel De Jong

According to reports in Italy, Inter are confident they can use the influence of De Jong's international team-mate Wesley Sneijder to lure him to the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza this summer.

De Jong joined City from Hamburg for 18million in 2009 but could be available at a cut-price 8m with Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport claiming discussion are already in place.

Inter, European champions in 2010, missed out on this year's Champions League after finishing sixth in Serie A last season.

Champion: De Jong helped Manchester City win the Barclays Premier League title last season

Champion: De Jong helped Manchester City win the Barclays Premier League title last season

They have identified see De Jong as the man to help them revive their fortunes this season.

De Jong is currently on holiday following Holland's early Euro 2012 exit but his fate could be decided within weeks.

Rafa Benitez in talks with Sampdoria

Benitez in line for another Italian job as Sampdoria open talks with former Liverpool manager

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UPDATED:

16:30 GMT, 26 June 2012

Wanted: Sampdoria are keen on Benitez

Wanted: Sampdoria are keen on Benitez

Sampdoria's president says Rafa Benitez is 'one of the possibilities' the club are considering as manager for its first season back in Serie A.

The newly-promoted side appears keen on a big name despite current coach Giuseppe lachini earning the club promotion at the first attempt.

Sampdoria president Riccardo Garrone said: 'There is nothing concrete but there have been talks, it's in progress.'

Benitez, who led Liverpool to the 2005 Champions League, has been out of work after he was sacked by Inter Milan in December 2010.

Iachini took charge in November with Sampdoria floundering in mid table. He turned things around, leading the team into the playoffs and to victory in the final against Varese.

Iachini's contract was automatically renewed for a season by promotion.

Robin van Persie wanted by Juventus in summer transfer move

Target man! Champions Juve line-up Arsenal skipper Van Persie for Italian job

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UPDATED:

09:04 GMT, 9 May 2012

Italian champions Juventus have expressed an interest in signing Arsenal striker Robin van Persie this summer.

The Turin giants are looking to reinforce their attacking line with veteran forward Alessandro Del Piero set to leave the club next month and on-loan striker Marco Borriello expected to return to Roma in July.

'Van Persie is a great player,' Juventus general director Giuseppe Marotta told Italian website Calciomercato.

Target man - Robin van Persie - wearing next season's home kit - is wanted by Italian's Juventus

Target man – Robin van Persie – wearing next season's home kit – is wanted by Italian's Juventus

'He is a complete player and would be useful to any team. But he still has one year left in his contract with Arsenal.

'We will try to put the icing on the cake this summer but the important thing is that the mix is good.'

Van Persie leads the Barclays Premier League goalscoring chart with 30 so far this season.

Juve have been closely monitoring Liverpool striker Luis Suarez as well as Real Madrid forward Gonzalo Higuain.

'Van Persie, Suarez or Higuain They are three important players,' Marotta said.

Interest: Liverpool's Luis Suarez

Real deal: Gonzalo Higuain is also a target for Juventus

Interest: Juve are also keen on Liverpool's Luis Suarez and Gonzalo Higuain (R)

'In fantasy football we could have the three of them playing in the same line-up but in reality, it is different.

'If one of them arrives (here) is not because he will be the less talented as other things have to be taken into account, such as the financial aspect.

'Moreover, if (Real Madrid coach Jose) Mourinho does not want to sell Higuain it will be impossible for us to get him and we also have to take that into consideration.'

Arsenal can beat AC Milan and win Champions League – Arsene Wenger

I won't waste my time! Arsenal CAN beat Milan and conquer Europe, insists Wenger

Arsene Wenger has said he would not waste his time if he did not believe Arsenal can beat AC Milan and go on to win the Champions League.

The Rossoneri currently lead Juventus at the top of Serie A, with Massimiliano Allegri's men looking to make up for last season's defeat at the same stage of the competition to Tottenham by dumping the Gunners out of Europe.

Arsenal go into Wednesday's first leg of their last 16 tie on the back of successive Barclays Premier League wins which have propelled them back up into the top four.

Confident mood: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger speaks during a press conference at the San Siro

Confident mood: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger speaks during a press conference at the San Siro

Wenger, whose side recorded a famous 2-0 win on their last visit to Stadio Giuseppe Meazza against the then holders four seasons ago, maintains the Gunners mean business.

'If I would think we have no chance to win the game I would stay at home. I don't like to waste my time,' the Arsenal manager declared. 'I believe what makes football interesting is that you can win everywhere.

'We have shown we can win everywhere and I have full confidence in this team that we can do it.

All smiles: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain enjoys a laugh in training on Tuesday

All smiles: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain enjoys a laugh in training on Tuesday

'We will try to play our game. Milan are a good side. We think we are a good side. We will attack, they certainly will as well. So it should be a good game.'

Wenger accepts Arsenal are in a defining period of their campaign, with an FA Cup fifth round tie at Sunderland following on Sunday.

He continued: 'We are concentrated on every game we play. We do not choose the games.

Dangerman: AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic looks on during a training session at Milanello

Dangerman: AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic looks on during a training session at Milanello

'We are Arsenal Football Club and we just try to win the next game. Is it FA Cup, Champions League or Championship I believe it is important we are strong everywhere.'

Wenger is expected to field an attacking side tomorrow, which will probably include livewire England Under 21 international Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. The Gunners, boss, though, expressed concern over the playing surface, Milan not immune to the Arctic conditions which have swept across Europe.

Wenger said: 'I am a bit worried about the quality of the pitch. It doesn't look exceptional. Hopefully tomorrow it will be better.

Game for a laugh: Aaron Ramsey and Thierry Henry look relaxed in training ahead of the Gunners' trip to Milan

Game for a laugh: Aaron Ramsey and Thierry Henry look relaxed in training ahead of the Gunners' trip to Milan

'It has been relaid down the flanks very recently and you know what it is like when you have just laid a pitch like that. It takes time to settle and become flat. At the moment, it isn't.'

Arsenal will have to shackle the threat of experienced Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who is serving a domestic ban for a red card against Napoli.

The 30-year-old netted a brace against the Gunners at Emirates Stadium when he played for Barcelona in their Champions League quarter-final two seasons ago.

Eye on the ball: Robin van Persie (right) warms up at London Colney

Eye on the ball: Robin van Persie (right) warms up at London Colney

Centre-back Thomas Vermaelen will again look to shackle the 6ft 3in frontman, whom he went up against at close quarters as a youngster when at Ajax.

'When I was playing regularly, he had left already, but I had a lot of sessions with him when I was a young player,' said the 26-year-old Belgian international.

'I know his qualities, like everybody does. He is a strong and technical player, one of their main players, it is up to us as defenders to keep him quiet tomorrow.'

Training: Kevin Prince Boateng

Warm up: Pato (front) and Maxi Lopez

Warm up: Training: Milan's Kevin Prince Boateng (left), Pato (right front) and Maxi Lopez (right, rear)

Wenger, meanwhile, revealed he was hopeful over Jack Wilshere's recovery as the England midfielder battles to be fully fit from a niggling ankle problem which has sidelined him all season.

'His scan was good but patience will be needed as we have to be cautious with him,' the Arsenal manager said. 'His stress fracture is going well, as quickly as it can heal, but nature has its paces as we have to respect that.

'We have to be cautious with him and not rush him back this time.

'Wenger added: 'I know you want him for England, but I hope he can play a couple of games for us before the end of the season.'

David Pizarro to join Manchester City on loan

City close in on Roma's Pizarro as Italian club confirm talks over loan deal

In demand: Pizarro is wanted by Man City

In demand: Pizarro is wanted by Man City

Roberto Mancini is closing in on the loan signing of Roma's attacking midfielder David Pizarro.

The 32-year old's agent, Giuseppe Bozzo, has flown to London for talks with Manchester City officials, after Roma decided he could go out on loan for the rest of the season, with a view to a permanent near-1million move.

Roma's general director Franco Baldini, who is also Fabio Capello's No 2, confirmed the deal was being discussed.

He said: 'We are only negotiating with Manchester City for Pizarro. We will try to complete the deal before tonight.'

Mancini, who coached Pizarro at Inter Milan, sees the Chilean's ability to play in central midfield or just behind the strikers as an ideal way of reinforcing City's title challenge.

Pizarro, who earns around 60,000 a week, is also wanted by Juve.

Villarreal join race to sign Giovani Dos Santos from Tottenham

Villarreal join Bolton and Wigan in the race to sign Dos Santos from Tottenham

Villarreal are the latest club to show interest in Tottenham's 8million-rated midfielder Giovani Dos Santos.

The Mexican has attracted interest from Wigan, Bolton and Sevilla but all clubs have fallen short of Tottenham's valuation.

However, a deal with Villarreal could prove attractive as Tottenham maintain an interest in their striker Giuseppe Rossi who is out injured until the summer with ligament damage.

In demand: Spurs winger Giovani Dos Santos (top) is wanted across Europe

In demand: Spurs winger Giovani Dos Santos (top) is wanted across Europe

Tottenham are giving a trial to 17-year-old Croatian defender Eduard Husinec, 17, of Hrvatski Dragovoljac.