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Fernando Torres is staying at Chelsea despite interest from Fiorentina

Torres: I’m STAYING at Chelsea and will fight for my place with Falcao, despite interest from Fiorentina

By
Neil Ashton

PUBLISHED:

16:28 GMT, 24 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

01:19 GMT, 25 April 2013

With Radamel Falcao at the top of Chelsea’s list of summer transfer targets, Fernando Torres insists he will not be the fall-guy for another big-name centre forward.

Atletico Madrid are selling Falcao, who has scored 25 goals in La Liga this season, for 50million.

Chelsea are front of the queue of clubs for the Colombian, with reports on Wednesday night claiming that he could be Jose Mourinho’s marquee signing if, as expected, the Portuguese returns to Stamford Bridge this summer.

However, Torres is determined to see out the three years left on his contract.

Staying put: Torres talks to the media on Wednesday ahead of the Europa League semi-final

Staying put: Torres talks to the media on Wednesday ahead of the Europa League semi-final

Staying put: Torres talks to the media on Wednesday ahead of the Europa League semi-final

Torres said: ‘When you play for Chelsea you’re always hoping big names come, and the big names are always related with Chelsea.

‘You cannot stop that, especially when the summer comes, and every top player is welcome at Chelsea. Since I came we have only signed top players, so it would not be a surprise if we signed Falcao.’

Torres scored seven goals in Europe this season and will lead the line in this evening’s Europa League semi-final first leg in Basle. Demba Ba is cup-tied.

On the way: Falcao is expected to arrive from Atletico Madrid in the summer

On the way: Falcao is expected to arrive from Atletico Madrid in the summer

Man in the mask: Torres trains with his team-mates in Basle on Wednesday

Man in the mask: Torres trains with his team-mates in Basle on Wednesday

The Spaniard’s last Barclays Premier League goal was in the 8-0 victory over Aston Villa on December 23, but despite his indifferent form for Chelsea since a 50m move from Liverpool in 2011, Torres claims his long-term future is in London.

The 29-year-old added: ‘I’m happy at the moment, but I’d be happier if we won the Europa League. I’ve always felt part of this club. Things change, but you can see this season I have been the main striker.

‘This season has been better for me, but it’s not been at the level I want to be. I really think this club has told me the truth. They have hopes for me and they trust me — they don’t say the opposite.

‘I know I want to stay. If they change their minds it’s a different question, but the relationship between me and the club is very straight. It’s not a problem at all.’

Torres scored against Rubin Kazan in the quarter-final second leg in Moscow and is keen to add the Europa League trophy to last season’s Champions League.

Torres added: ‘I hope there’s more to come as I’m still young. We can win the Europa League this season, but we can still win much more. The squad and players are young — we can do great things. I would like to be involved for the next few years because we can become one of the best teams in Europe, not just England.’

Forward thinking: Torres is optimistic about the future at Chelsea

Forward thinking: Torres is optimistic about the future at Chelsea

Fiorentina, however, have expressed interest in signing Torres.

The
29-year-old has grown increasingly frustrated over his form and playing
time at Stamford Bridge and is expected to be pushed further down the
pecking order this summer as Chelsea look to add another two strikers.

Highly rated: Stevan Jovetic could be heading to the Premier League

Highly rated: Stevan Jovetic could be heading to the Premier League

Fiorentina want someone to replace Stevan Jovetic who they anticipate joining either Arsenal or Manchester City.

Their chief scout Eduardo Macia played a role in taking Torres to Liverpool in 2007.

Manchester United champions scarves already on sale outside Old Trafford

It's not wrapped up yet! 'Champions' scarves already on sale outside Old Trafford… but not many fans will want to display their 'friendship' merchandise

By
Charlie Skillen

PUBLISHED:

18:35 GMT, 8 April 2013

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UPDATED:

07:01 GMT, 9 April 2013

Fans heading to Monday night's Manchester derby are sure to take notice of some of the scarves on sale outside Old Trafford.

The merchandise traders have got in early by proudly selling United 'Champions 20 times' scarves – despite the Premier League title not yet being mathematically over.

With the slogan 'Are you watching
City' emblazoned across the top, they are likely to become collectors'
items should City's win spark a shock late run to the title.

Ahead of the game: A United scarf seller proudly displays a '20 times Champions' scarf

Ahead of the game: A United scarf seller proudly displays a '20 times Champions' scarf

While the '20 times' scarves are sure to be a popular purchase for the home supporters, another design on sale might not fly off the shelves.

Half-red, half-blue 'friendship' scarves were also on display, despite the rivalry between the two clubs.

But 'friendship' is sure to be the last thing on either side's mind as they battle for the title.

Friendship: Half-and-half scarves were also on sale despite the rivalry between the neighbouring clubs

Friendship: Half-and-half scarves were also on sale despite the rivalry between the neighbouring clubs

Scarves

Mixed messages: The United-City 'friendship' scarf (left) alongside a more partisan piece of merchandise

Mixed messages: The United-City 'friendship' scarf (left) alongside a more partisan piece of merchandise

Ashley Cole ruled out for two weeks but Rafa Benitez insists Chelsea can cope against Rubin Kazan

Cole ruled out for two weeks but Benitez insists Chelsea can cope in Kazan crunch

By
Matt Barlow

PUBLISHED:

12:35 GMT, 3 April 2013

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UPDATED:

13:07 GMT, 3 April 2013

Rafa Benitez has revealed that Chelsea will be without Ashley Cole and Gary Cahill for at least two weeks.

Cole was rested for the Premier League defeat by Southampton but returned to face Manchester United in Chelsea’s FA Cup quarter-final victory at Stamford Bridge.

But he injured his hamstring in the opening quarter of the match and was replaced by Ryan Bertrand – who may end up having to play four times in a week.

Look here: Chelsea boss Rafael Benitez and defender Ryan Bertrand speak to the press on Wednesday

Look here: Chelsea boss Rafael Benitez and defender Ryan Bertrand speak to the press on Wednesday

All smiles: John Terry (centre left) and Juan Mata (centre right) tussle during Chelsea training on Wednesday

All smiles: John Terry (centre left) and Juan Mata (centre right) tussle during Chelsea training on Wednesday

Ahead of Thursday night’s match
against Rubin Kazan, Benitez said: ‘I’d say at least two weeks for both
Ashley Cole and Gary Cahill. We are without Oriol Romeu as you know and
Demba Ba cannot play. That’s it.

‘You train to do little things because you do not have much time and you cannot push too hard.

‘We concentrate one game at a time so we pick a team who can win any game and concentrate on this game. They have to be ready for any game.

‘Since I came and with the fixtures we have I think we’re doing really well.’

The victory over United has proved a huge boost for the under-fire manager, at a club who have become somewhat FA Cup specialists.

‘We proved against a team at the top of the table and a manager with the most trophies in England that we can compete against anyone if we have the time and players available. One game every three days, you cannot do everything you want to do. I’m happy with what we’re doing. It was an important game for us. We did really well against United and it shows we can reach this level. We played against a very good team.’

Bertrand added: ‘Ashley’s injury means it’s a chance for me to come in and play in the next few games but it’s important to focus on the next game and make sure we get the right result.

‘As a player you want to win each game you go into and as far in every competition as you can.'

Asked about Rubin, he said: ‘They’ve done well, they’ve knocked out the holders and they will give us tough competition.’

Limped off: Ashley Cole was injured in the FA Cup replay victory over Manchester United on Monday

Limped off: Ashley Cole was injured in the FA Cup replay victory over Manchester United on Monday

Crocked: Centre-back Gary Cahill (left) also faces a spell on the sidelines due to injury

Crocked: Centre-back Gary Cahill (left) also faces a spell on the sidelines due to injury

Soldiering on: Fernando Torres is ready to face Rubin Kazan despite his facial injury

Soldiering on: Fernando Torres is ready to face Rubin Kazan despite his facial injury

France v Spain – watch it live for FREE

LIVE France v Spain: Watch the crunch clash in Group I as Les Bleus take on the world and European champions

PUBLISHED:

10:23 GMT, 26 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

16:15 GMT, 26 March 2013

Welcome to Sportsmail's coverage of what promises to be the game of the night as France take on Spain in Group I.

The French can take a huge step towards qualification for Brazil 2014 with a win over their near neighbours in Paris.

Victory would move them five points clear at the top with just three games to go and leave the reigning world and European champions staring at the prospect of a two-legged play-off.

The sides drew in Madrid last October and Spain followed that up by sharing the points with Finland on Friday night while Les Bleus eased past Georgia.

Sergio Ramos, on his 100th appearance for his country, captained Vicente del Bosque's side against Finland and led by example with the goal.

Karim Benzema, his Real Madrid team-mate, drew a blank in France's victory and will be out to make amends if he is given the nod after being booed by the home support for missing chances in the Stade de France.

***Full coverage will start at 8pm***

Live : France – Spain par ffftv

SJA awards: Lawrence Booth wins scoop of the year for Kevin Pietersen texts

Sportsmail's Booth wins scoop of the year at SJA awards for revealing Pietersen texts

PUBLISHED:

22:41 GMT, 25 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

08:10 GMT, 26 March 2013

Sportsmail's Lawrence Booth picked up a prestigious gong at this year's Sports Journalists' Association awards.

Our cricket reporter – who is also the editor of Wisden – led the way with his brilliant story about Kevin Pietersen's text-message scandal last summer.

This was recognised as the scoop of the year at the awards night in London on Monday night.

LAWRENCE BOOTH

Neil Ashton

Recognition: Sportsmail cricket writer Lawrence Booth (left) won the scoop of the year and Neil Ashton (right), Jeff Powell (bottom left) and Jonathan McEvoy (bottom right) were highly commended in their categories

JEFF POWELL

Jonathan McEvoy

Pietersen was revealed to have sent text
messages to members of the South African dressing room about his then
captain Andrew Strauss – later described by Pietersen himself as
'provocative' – which caused an almighty schism in the team's dressing
room.

The scandal led to England's star
batsman being exiled from the squad for the rest of the Test series
defeat against the Proteas. It was also the final straw for Strauss, who
resigned the England captaincy soon after and retired from all cricket.

Meanwhile, Sportsmail's football news correspondent Neil Ashton was highly commended in the specialist correspondent category at the awards, while Jonathan McEvoy was highly commended as a sports news reporter. Boxing correspondent Jeff Powell was highly commended in the feature writer award.

The Mail on Sunday also picked up two prestigious awards, with Patrick Collins named as the columnist of year, while Martha Kelner won the young sports writer award.

Read Lawrence Booth's scoop of the year and his latest Top Spin column
EXCLUSIVE: KP text alert! Pietersen sent messages to opposition during Test

CLICK HERE to read the full award-winning story

The Top Spin: It's the end of an era as throwback Blackwell calls it a day (and ensures he will be a permanent one-cap wonder)

CLICK HERE to read the full column

And don't forget to read Lawrence Booth's latest Top Spin column on Tuesday morning at www.dailymail.co.uk/sport

Manchester United v Real Madrid: Cristiano Ronaldo trains ahead of Old Trafford return

Ronaldo trains ahead of Old Trafford return in crunch clash with former club United

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

16:00 GMT, 4 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

16:00 GMT, 4 March 2013

All eyes will be on Old Trafford tomorrow, with many focusing their view on Cristiano Ronaldo, who is making his first appearance back at Manchester United since leaving three years for a world record 80million.

And it was the same tonight as he, along with the rest of his team-mates, put in a final training shift before the titanic Champions League clash.

Speaking in his press conference, United boss Sir Alex Ferguson said: ‘My biggest concern is if Cristiano turns up. What do you expect when you play against a team with Ronaldo in it'

Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo

Coming home: Cristiano Ronaldo trains ahead of his return to his former club on Tuesday night

He added: ‘You expect problems on the night. We have to try and curtail that as best as we can. It won’t be easy as he does it every week.

‘The experience young Rafael had in Madrid will probably help him because he has the same task. If you go in worried about what Cristiano can do then we forget what we can do ourselves.

‘The older one, the fatter one, peaked that time (ten years ago) as a centre forward. This Ronaldo is a supreme athlete, an unbelievable athlete, never misses a game, two great feet, pace, good in the air.

‘They are two different types but our main worry is not what happened 10 years ago but what will happen tomorrow.’

Barcelona 1 Real Madrid 3 (Agg 2-4) – match report: Cristiano Ronaldo scores twice to reach Copa del Rey final

Barcelona 1 Real Madrid 3 (Agg 2-4): Ronaldo sends Jose's men into Copa del Rey final on miserable night for Messi

PUBLISHED:

21:53 GMT, 26 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

22:13 GMT, 26 February 2013

Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice as Real Madrid cruised to a 3-1 win against their clasico rivals Barcelona to send Jose Mourinho's team into the Copa del Rey final.

The Portuguese star gave the visitors the lead when he scored a penalty in the 13th minute, which he earned after being brought down Gerard Pique, before he doubled their advantage just before the hour mark.

Raphael Varane headed in a corner in the 68th minute to put the tie beyond doubt but there was still time for a late consolation from Jordi Alba.

Madrid won the semi-final 4-2 on aggregate and set up a final showdown with either Sevilla or city rivals Atletico Madrid.

Star: Cristiano Ronaldo scored two goals as Real Madrid beat Barcelona 3-1 at the Nou Camp

Star: Cristiano Ronaldo scored two goals as Real Madrid beat Barcelona 3-1 at the Nou Camp

MATCH FACTS

Barcelona: Pinto, Alves, Pique, Puyol, Jordi Alba, Sergio, Xavi (Alcantara 74), Cesc (Villa 60), Pedro (Tello 71), Iniesta, Messi.

Subs not used: Valdes, Mascherano, Adriano, Song.

Goals: Alba 89.

Real Madrid: Diego Lopez, Varane, Ramos, Coentrao, Khedira, Cristiano Ronaldo, Ozil (Pepe 79), Xabi Alonso (Essien 84), Arbeloa, Higuain (Callejon 70), Di Maria.

Subs not used: Adan,Kaka, Benzema, Modric.

Goals: Ronaldo 13, 57, Varane 68.

Att: 90,002.

Referee: Undiano Mallenco.

Latest La Liga results, fixtures and table

More to follow

Cynical: Ronaldo was brought down by Gerard Pique in the penalty area in the 13th minute

Cynical: Ronaldo was brought down by Gerard Pique in the penalty area in the 13th minute


Lead: Ronaldo sent Jose Manuel Pinto the wrong way to open the scoring from the spot

Lead: Ronaldo sent Jose Manuel Pinto the wrong way to open the scoring from the spot

Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo

Hostile: The Portuguese star was targeted by supporters with lasers


Gap: Ronaldo followed up Sami Khedira's effort to double Madrid's lead in the second half

Gap: Ronaldo followed up Sami Khedira's effort to double Madrid's lead in the second half

Gap: Ronaldo followed up Sami Khedira's effort to double Madrid's lead in the second half

Cruising: Raphael Varane rose highest to head home from a corner and put Real 3-0 up

Cruising: Raphael Varane rose highest to head home from a corner and put Real 3-0 up

Delight: Varane celebrated his goal with manager Jose Mourinho

Delight: Varane celebrated his goal with manager Jose Mourinho

Delight: Varane celebrated his goal with manager Jose Mourinho

Too little, too late: Jordi Alba scored a late consolation for Barcelona

Too little, too late: Jordi Alba scored a late consolation for Barcelona

Downbeat: Lionel Messi looked dejected as Madrid cruised past Barcelona

Downbeat: Lionel Messi looked dejected as Madrid cruised past Barcelona

Lionel Messi

Scouting: Sir Alex Ferguson and his United assistant Mike Phelan were in the stands at the Nou Camp

Scouting: Sir Alex Ferguson and his United assistant Mike Phelan were in the stands at the Nou Camp

West Ham Bobby Moore tribute: Grandchildren lead teams out at Upton Park

'20 years gone, never forgotten': West Ham pay tribute to Moore as grandchildren lead teams out at Upton Park

By
Andy James

PUBLISHED:

17:56 GMT, 25 February 2013

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UPDATED:

22:17 GMT, 25 February 2013

Bobby Moore's grandchildren led the teams out before West Ham entertained Tottenham in the Barclays Premier League at Upton Park on Monday night as his former club marked the 20th anniversary of his death.

Poppy, 21, Freddie, 16, and 13-year-old Ava placed the ball on the spot for the kick-off and fans of both clubs provided an impeccably-observed minute's applause for England's 1966 World Cup-winning captain who died of cancer aged 51 on February 24, 1993.

Emotional night: Moore's grandchildren Poppy (left) Freddie (centre) and Ava (right) lead West Ham and Spurs out at Upton Park

Emotional night: Moore's grandchildren Poppy (left) Freddie (centre) and Ava (right) lead West Ham and Spurs out at Upton Park

Emotional night: Moore's grandchildren Poppy (left) Freddie (centre) and Ava (right) lead West Ham and Spurs out at Upton Park

West Ham fans also held aloft cards making up a mosaic reading 'Moore 6'.

West Ham also made a special tribute to Moore on their shirts, with the words: ‘Bobby Moore OBE, 20 YEARS GONE, NEVER FORGOTTEN’ stitched on the front.

Hammers stars were seen training in shirts paying tribute to Moore last week.

Tribute: West Ham players wore a shirt paying respect to the late Bobby Moore

Tribute: West Ham players wore a shirt paying respect to the late Bobby Moore

Tribute: West Ham players wore a shirt paying respect to the late Bobby Moore

Six of the best: Fans lifted cards to unveil a mosaic reading 'Moore 6'

Six of the best: Fans lifted cards to unveil a mosaic reading 'Moore 6'

Six of the best: Fans lifted cards to unveil a mosaic reading 'Moore 6'

A 100-page programme was also on sale with 50p from each one sold going towards the Bobby Moore Fund for Cancer Research UK.

Moore's family, club officials and
supporters gathered to pay tribute on Sunday with his former West Ham
and World Cup-winning team-mate Martin Peters and club co-chairman David
Gold attending a wreath-laying ceremony at the World Cup 'Champions'
statue near West Ham's ground.

Minute's applause: Fans and players remembered Moore before the start of the game

Minute's applause: Fans and players remembered Moore before the start of the game

Minute's applause: Fans and players remembered Moore before the start of the game

Watching brief: Moore's daughter Roberta and his grandchildren watch on from the sidelines

Watching brief: Moore's daughter Roberta and his grandchildren watch on from the sidelines

'He was our England World Cup-winning
captain, but also more personally for all of us here at West Ham, a
legend at our club and always will be,' Gold said.

'It
was great to see so many West Ham fans turn out in what was bitterly
cold weather. But they wanted to pay their respects to a man we hold
very dear at this club.'

Moore
played 646 times for West Ham between 1958 and 1974, leading them to
victory in the 1964 FA Cup final and 1965 European Cup Winners' Cup
final.

Tribute: Martin Peters laid a wreath at the 'legends' statue as Moore's family watched on

Tribute: Martin Peters laid a wreath at the 'legends' statue as Moore's family watched on

Tribute: Martin Peters laid a wreath at the 'legends' statue as Moore's family watched on

Club legend: Bobby Moore played over 500 games for West Ham

Club legend: Bobby Moore played over 500 games for West Ham

Gavin Rees vows to knock out Adrien Broner

Underdog Rees pledges to KO 'cocky' Broner in Atlantic City showdown

By
Martin Domin

PUBLISHED:

01:07 GMT, 13 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

08:18 GMT, 13 February 2013

Gavin Rees has promised to knock 'cocky' Adrien Broner out cold and become a two-weight world champion in Atlantic City on Saturday night.

The Welsh lightweight will be a huge underdog against the 23-year-old hailed as the heir to Floyd Mayweather Jnr's throne.

But Rees, who was clearly riled during Tuesday's press conference, is confident he can put an end to the hype.

Vow: Gavin Rees (right) is determined to knock out Adrien Broner this weekend

Vow: Gavin Rees (right) is determined to knock out Adrien Broner this weekend

The 32-year-old won the WBA light-welterweight belt in 2007 when he stunned Souleymane M'Baye only to lose in his first defence to Andriy Kotelnik the following year.

Rees then dropped down a division, winning the British and European titles before accepting the clash with Broner.

'I'm looking forward to knocking your head off because you're one cocky f***,' he said, addressing his opponent.

'You'll be lower than me when I knock you out cold. You do all the talking but we'll see if you can back it up on Saturday night.'

Broner, who claimed throughout the conference not to know Rees' name, is renowned for his brash attitude and post-fight antics which include having his dad brush his hair.#

And unsurprisingly, he was confident of recording his 22nd knockout from 26 professional contests.

'I respect him as a fighter because only a boxer knows what we go through when we get in that ring,' he said.

'Cocky': Adrien Broner is widely considered to be favourites for the bout

'Cocky': Adrien Broner is widely considered to be favourite for the bout

'At the end of the day, we're going to have fun. I've never seen him fight but he's been world champion so he's not a lookover.

'He's going to sleep. I'm not going to miss the boulder on his shoulders; it's not going to last long.
'I'm not looking past the fight but I wanted to fight Ricky Burns but he put on his track shoes and ran away from me again.

'We're going to take care of business on Saturday night.'

Rees' promoter Eddie Hearn meanwhile admits he was insulted by the odds being offered on his charge winning with one British bookmaker quoting him at 25/1.

'He's been written off and some of the odds that are flying about are quite abusive,' he said. 'He's a former British, European and world champion. He won't be overawed going into the fight.

'It will be the toughest fight of Adrien Broner's career and Gavin deserves a hell of a lot more respect than he's been getting.

'We believe we will cause a massive upset and make a huge statement for British boxing.'

Darren Bent Stoke City transfer target

Get Bent! Stoke favourites to sign 10m Villa striker after Lambert hauls him off at half-time

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

10:38 GMT, 30 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

11:10 GMT, 30 January 2013

Stoke are leading the chase to sign Darren Bent after the striker was substituted at half-time during Aston Villa's 2-1 loss at home to Newcastle last night.

The England international has started just seven Premier League games this season with Villa boss Paul Lambert preferring to use Christian Benteke as a lone striker.

He was given a chance last night but Lambert was clearly not impressed.

Benched: Bent was ineffectual against Newcastle on Tuesday night

Benched: Bent was ineffectual against Newcastle on Tuesday night

Up to eight Premier League clubs are known to be monitoring Bent's situation but Villa, who fell into the bottom three after last night's defeat, do not want to sell to clubs near the foot of the table.

Stoke do not fall into that category and if they are prepared to meet Villa's 10million asking price then Bent could be theirs.

The 28-year-old's 75,000-a-week wage
demands could prove a stumbling block but with both Villa and Bent keen
to part ways a deal could be forced through before the transfer window
shuts tomorrow night.

Out of favour: Lambert has preferred Benteke to Bent up front this season

Out of favour: Lambert has preferred Benteke to Bent up front this season

Out of favour: Lambert has preferred Benteke to Bent up front this season

Bent, who has 16 caps for England, cost
Villa 18m rising to 24m only two years ago but they are prepared to
cut their losses and let the former Sunderland and Tottenham man leave.

Stoke's pursuit of Bent has been stepped up as QPR attempt to lure Potters striker Peter Crouch back to Loftus Road.

Stoke boss Tony Pulis confirmed he received an inquiry from his QPR counterpart Harry Redknapp about Crouch.

'Harry has rung me up and asked me about the possibility,' Pulis said.

Wanted man: QPR are hoping to bring Crouch back to Loftus Road

Wanted man: QPR are hoping to bring Crouch back to Loftus Road

'I have spoken to Peter about it and
then it is up to Peter whether he wants to go. Peter is very happy here
and he has made that clear.

'The important thing for me is that if he does want to go, it has to be right for us and also we have to make sure we have someone who will come in and do the same job.

'To do all that over two days is going to be ever so difficult.'