Tag Archives: relationships

Real Madrid have first option to sign Gareth Bale from Tottenham

Mourinho leading chase for Bale as Madrid land first refusal on 45m star

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UPDATED:

09:39 GMT, 2 September 2012

Real Madrid are in pole position to sign Gareth Bale after securing first option on the 45million-rated Wales winger.

Luka Modric joined the Spanish champions last month, paving the way for future player exchanges between the two clubs, who agreed a new 'partnership' that, according to Spurs, will see them 'working together in respect of players, coaching, best practices and commercial relationships.'

And, despite signing a new four-year contract at Spurs in June, Bale could be the next star to swap White Hart Lane for the Bernabeu, according to the Sunday Mirror.

On the ball: Gareth Bale in action for Tottenham against Norwich on Saturday

On the ball: Gareth Bale in action for Tottenham against Norwich on Saturday

Should Spurs fail to qualify for Champions League football for the second successive year, new boss Andre Villas-Boas may find it hard to keep hold of his star man.

The 23-year-old flyer has attracted interest from European football's giants ever since destroying Inter Milan right-back Maicon during Tottenham's Champions League run in the 2010-11 season.

Real head a list of admirers that also includes Barcelona and Manchester United.

But the new partnership between Madrid and Spurs puts Jose Mourinho in front in the race to land Bale.

Villas-Boas has called on Tottenham fans to be patient after his wait for a first win in charge continued with a 1-1 draw against Norwich on Saturday.

The Portuguese has failed to excite the majority of Spurs fans during his first two games in charge and the latest offering hardly set the collective pulse of the home crowd at White Hart Lane racing.

Harry Redknapp guided Spurs to a fourth-placed finish in the Barclays Premier League last season but was sacked by chairman Daniel Levy after the club were pipped to Champions League football by virtue of Chelsea's triumph in the competition in May.

And already Villas-Boas faces an uphill battle to get Spurs in contention for European football's showpiece competition next season after the club's limp start to the new campaign.

South Africa say Dale Steyn and AB de Villiers are not at centre Kevin Pietersen text storm

South Africa claim Steyn and De Villiers are not at centre KP text storm

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UPDATED:

17:53 GMT, 11 August 2012

South Africa denied that Dale Steyn and AB de Villiers were the players at the centre of the Kevin Pietersen text message storm.

The tourists' team manager Dr Mohammad Moosajee admitted that texts were exchanged but insisted that Steyn and De Villiers were not the ones who were involved in the latest Pietersen controversy.

Not me: South Africa claim Dale Steyn was not one of the players who received text messages from Kevin Pietersen

Not me: South Africa claim Dale Steyn was not one of the players who received text messages from Kevin Pietersen

When asked if they were the two players who had been sent texts by the England star, he replied: 'I can confirm they did not receive texts, that's what I have been saying, a lot of what has been written is not correct.'

He also denied that the messages were in any way derogatory towards Pietersen's England team-mates.

Controversy: Pietersen says the Lord's Test could be his last

Controversy: Pietersen says the Lord's Test could be his last

'There were text messages but it was banter. Some of these guys have got relationships with overseas players from the IPL (Indian Premier League). But some of what has been reported is totally incorrect.

'We don't want to get ourselves drawn into it because it's not our issue at all. It's very difficult to talk about what is happening in other people's dressing rooms but at the moment, it's for them to sort out.'

Euro 2012: Fabio Capello not spying for Italy

Furious Fabio denies he is spying for Italy ahead of clash with England

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 23 June 2012

Fabio Capello has gone ‘crazy’ at suggestions he has been helping Italy prepare for Sunday’s showdown against England.

Capello’s son, Pierfilippo, said the Italian former England manager is torn over which country to support.

Just before Capello reached Miami for Saturday’s charity match with Leo Messi, he was told of reports claiming he might betray England after four years coaching the country.

Denial: Fabio Capello (right) refuted suggestions he was spying for Italy

Denial: Fabio Capello (right) refuted suggestions he was spying for Italy

‘Who the **** is writing this ****’ Capello demanded to know. ‘I will sue them.’

Pierfilippo said: ‘Fabio went crazy when I spoke to him about this. We will start legal action against anyone who has suggested he has been helping Italy’s coach in any way. They haven’t even spoken for a year.

‘It is an insult to Fabio to suggest he would reveal anything after four years working for the FA.

‘He still has many close relationships with people at the FA. He wouldn’t do it, he values what he had with the England players too much.’

In charge: Cesare Prandelli will lead his side against England on Sunday

In charge: Cesare Prandelli will lead his side against England on Sunday

So has Capello been working for England against his native country ‘No,’ said his son, who acts as his father’s agent and part of his legal team.

'Fabio doesn’t know the Italy players any better than Roy Hodgson does. He hasn’t been helping either camp, though he very much wants to watch the game.

‘I genuinely think his loyalties are divided. He is a proud Italian and played for his country, yet he wouldn’t be able to support Italy against England without having some trouble in his heart about it. I will support Italy but I think my father is 50-50.’

Capello led England to Euro 2012 qualification in the first place.

Liverpool communications director Ian Cotton axed

Another one bites the dust at Liverpool as communications director is axed

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UPDATED:

07:39 GMT, 11 May 2012

Liverpool's American owners have continued their shake-up of the club's staff by parting company with director of communications Ian Cotton.

The announcement of Cotton's departure follows the axing of director of football Damien Comolli last month as the club look to rebuild after a poor first full season under the ownership of Fenway Sports Group.

Shake-up: Ian Cotton is the latest to leave Liverpool

Shake-up: Ian Cotton is the latest to leave Liverpool

Axed: Comolli left the club last month

Axed: Comolli left the club last month

Managing director Ian Ayre told the club's website: 'We would like to thank Ian for the important contribution he has made to the club during his long career here.

'He has played a key role as a member of the executive team in managing our relationships with key external stakeholders in the media and in the community. We wish Ian every success in his future career.'

Cotton, who officially leaves on May 13 after Sunday's final game of the season at Swansea, said: 'It has been a privilege to be at Liverpool FC for the last 16 years.

'I would like to thank everyone I have worked with for all their support during that time and wish this great Club all the best for the future.'

Liverpool are struggling down in eighth place in the Premier League table and their season has not pleased owner John W Henry, despite them lifting the Carling Cup back in February.

John Terry presence causes England concern at European Championships

The FA's Suarez stance causes concern for England at Euros

You win some, you lose some.

The FA, who sat back quietly and were praised for their cool reaction as Liverpool dug themselves into a hole over Luis Suarez's racism, are not feeling quite so content.

Not with the England captain on schedule to go to the European Championships with a court case hanging over him.

Plenty to ponder: England's captain will have a court case hanging over him when he travels to the Euros later this year

Plenty to ponder: England's captain will have a court case hanging over him when he travels to the Euros later this year

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Terry denies racially abusing Anton Ferdinand and will not have his case heard until July.

The FA have to afford him the presumption of innocence but after that, their lives get complicated.

Rio Ferdinand, Anton's brother and another potential England squad member, does not hold the same view of Terry and may not even shake his hand if they face each other for Manchester United and Chelsea on Sunday.

So, the country is heading for another major tournament with another major headache about captain Terry and his relationships with the rest of the squad.

It does not matter whether the doubts about Terry have a fair foundation or not when it comes to unity of a playing squad.

The FA can do little about it and have to leave manager Fabio Capello, who has twice made Terry his skipper, to sort out the mess at tournament time.

Spurs model of commonsense restraint

At the end of the transfer window, when all those freezing cold Sky Sports News reporters were finally allowed to go home, it felt like a new era had been entered in the Premier League.

Not one that would take television presenters closer to combustion but one that reflected the climate outside the game, and there was no better example than at Spurs.

Gambling was out, conservatism back in for this notoriously difficult transfer window. Previous extravagance curtailed, lessons learnt.

Restraint: Tottenham made sensible decisions in the transfer window

Restraint: Tottenham made sensible decisions in the transfer window

At Tottenham, Roman Pavlyuchenko, an expensive, last minute signing from August 2008 who has never properly settled, was sold. In his place came the cut price Louis Saha from Everton.

Saha's signing has been questioned because of his terrible injury record but he fits the bill style-wise and is more than capable of warming the bench.

Harry Redknapp wanted a striker who could play centrally on his own and has found one as a back-up to his myriad of other attacking options.

Pavlyuchenko, signed in the same season that Robbie Keane was a late and expensive re-signing, was not the only outgoing player though.

A total of 13 left the club on loan in January, three of them senior players and all but one of the others with first team experience.

Given Spurs' position in the table, seven points above fourth-placed Chelsea, it makes sense. A return to the Champions League is theirs to throw away now.

Exit: Keane and Pavlyuchenko departed Spurs

Exit: Keane and Pavlyuchenko departed Spurs

Exit: Keane and Pavlyuchenko departed Spurs

Harry Redknapp has a bloated squad that needs trimming, too, so even if the January solutions were all short-term, they were worth taking.

Tottenham, then, were symbolic of a general purse-tightening as Premier League spending came in at around 30million below the January window average of 92m.

It is 165m down on the same extraordinary period last year but that does not mean some clubs were not busy signing significant deals.

QPR have new owners and are desperate to stay up, and it showed as they changed managers recently and were among the bigger spenders.

Chelsea, too, got involved, but their transactions were a far cry from last year after they got their fingers burned with Fernando Torres.

When Newcastle's 10m signing of Papiss Cisse is seen as a big deal in the January business then it is clear the market- like the economy – is squeezed.

Jack hammer blow for Gunners

Desperate news about Jack Wilshere.

His potential return to the Arsenal team was the brightest light on the horizon for Arsene Wenger and it is hard not to fear things will be that bit darker this season now if, as the latest news suggests, he will be sidelined until the summer with an ankle injury.

Questions over the number of games he has played in his young career already and the rush to get him back will have to be asked.

Sidelined: Wilshere will sit out the remainder of the season

Sidelined: Wilshere will sit out the remainder of the season

Goal-line technology in sight, is it

FIFA, who have been asked to rule on and discuss goal-line technology for well over a decade, say they will make a definitive decision in July this year. Don't hold your breath.

Did you know

The performances of Shaun Wright-Phillips for QPR this season were suggested as a factor in Neil Warnock's sacking by the club.

The winger was seen as a poor signing and he has now reached 48 shots this term in the Premier League without scoring.

Let's hope Djibril Cisse, who scored just 13 goals in 49 league appearances for Liverpool, does a little better for Mark Hughes.

The Wright stuff The QPR winger is yet to make an impact at Loftus Road

The Wright stuff The QPR winger is yet to make an impact at Loftus Road