No need to sell Jovetic, says Prade

8 March 2013 13:20

Fiorentina director Daniele Prade has insisted they do not need to sell star player Stevan Jovetic.

The 23-year-old has caught the attention of clubs such as Juventus and Manchester City with his fine performances for Fiorentina, and Montenegro international Jovetic is widely expected to leave the club at the end of the 2012-13 campaign.

“A decision on his future will be taken in June together with the player. Andrea Della Valle made him a promise last year and he’s not one to break his promises,” Prade told Corriere dello Sport.

“We do not have to sell him. If we do sell, we prefer him to go abroad, though. A lot depends on where Fiorentina will finish in the table this season.”

Jovetic has a contract with the Serie A outfit until June 2016.

Sagna in sight of Arsenal exit

8 March 2013 12:58

Arsenal are ready to press ahead with selling Bacary Sagna as his relationship with the club reaches breaking point.

The France international’s attitude has been privately called into question by Arsene Wenger following the Gunners’ offer at the end of last year of a 12-month extension to his contract that expires in 2014.

Sources have told Goal.com that Sagna has cut an ‘unhappy’ and ‘angry’ figure in recent times, following the club’s failure to offer him a two-year extension and an increase on his 60,000 pounds-a-week salary.

It is understood that contract negotiations have now broken down and are unlikely to be resurrected in the coming months.

The 30-year-old has told team-mates that he expects to leave at the end of the season, with Paris Saint-Germain leading the chase for a player valued at between 8-10 million pounds.

The Champions League quarter-finalists are in the market for a new right-back and have placed the experienced Frenchman at the top of their shortlist.

Arsenal’s initial decision not to offer Sagna a long-term deal was based on a number of factors, including his age, his injury record after suffering two broken legs in a year and the player’s early season interview in which he criticised the club for selling Robin van Persie and Alex Song last summer.

The defender has done nothing to force a U-turn since the contract offer. He has delivered a series of mixed performances in recent months and his attitude in training sessions has also been called into question.

Goal.com can also reveal Sagna is struggling to be fit for next Wednesday’s Champions League trip to Bayern Munich, where Arsenal face a momentous battle to overturn the German club’s 3-1 first-leg advantage.

The right-back has missed the last two games with a knee injury that has not responded to treatment over the last two weeks.

Although Sagna has another five days to prove his fitness, he is believed to be an unlikely starter in Munich.

His deputy Carl Jenkinson is also in doubt for the second leg after picking up a knock to his knee in the 2-1 defeat to Tottenham last Sunday.

Referee stands by Nani red

8 March 2013 12:46

Referee Cuneyt Cakir claims he has no regrets over sending off Nani in Machester United’s Champions League defeat to Real Madrid.

The Turkish official has been under fire following his decision to show a red card to the Portugal international in the second leg of the crucial European encounter, for what seemed like an honest attempt to bring down the ball.

United, leading 1-0 when Nani was sent off, went on to lose the second leg 2-1, bowing out of the round of 16 3-2 on aggregate.

Despite the controversy surrounding his influence on the outcome, Cakir has stood by his interpretation of the situation.

“I feel well and I don’t doubt about my decisions. The red card to Nani was right. People will realise about it,” he told Spanish newspaper AS.

Cakir has been in the spotlight in other high-profile matches – he was the man to send off John Terry in Chelsea’s Champions League semi-final at Barcelona last season and Manchester City’s Mario Balotelli against Dynamo Kiev in 2011.

“In my last games, no decision against English teams was unfair. Which one was incorrect? The red card to Terry? Or Balotelli? I think I have no mistake in showing them the red card and sending them off,” he said.

“It doesn’t make me feel sad. I don’t even think about it. I have received more critics other times and I always recover from that.

“I always try to do my job correctly and I’m on the right way. I have to keep doing properly.”

A-League: Newcastle Jets 1 Perth Glory 2

8 March 2013 12:10

Perth Glory kept their season alive when a stoppage-time goal from Michael Thwaite gave them a 2-1 win over Newcastle Jets on Friday night.

The Jets dominated possession and territory but found themselves trailing after 24 minutes when the Glory scored a well-worked goal on the counter via Matias Cordoba.

Adam Taggart equalised for the Jets with a crisply struck shot just before half-time to see the sides locked at 1-1 at the break.

Newcastle had a plethora of chances to grab the lead in the second half but couldn’t convert and just as the match looked headed for a draw, Thwaite stole the win when he poked home the ball after a goal-mouth scramble in stoppage time.

The win sees Perth move to 28 points and on the cusp of the six, just two points behind the fifth-placed Jets with the rest of the round to play.

Perth’s opener came after a Liam Miller long ball put Chris Harold away down the right wing.

He took the ball to the byline before cutting back to Cordoba on the edge of the area and he threaded a shot inside the far post for a 1-0 lead.

Newcastle eventually drew level right on the stroke of half-time.

Marko Jesic took possession of the ball on the halfway line and steamed into Glory territory before feeding a sublime ball for Taggart, who slotted his first-time shot perfectly inside the far post to send the sides to the sheds locked a 1-1.

And Thwaite silenced the Newcastle crowd in stoppage time when a Jamieson corner wasn’t cleared and the veteran poked home a deflected ball from six-yards out and right in front of goal to see Perth snatch all three points.

Ferguson dismisses Rooney rumours

8 March 2013 11:56

Alex Ferguson says Wayne Rooney will remain at Manchester United next season following intense speculation over the striker’s future.

United manager Ferguson controversially left the England international out of his starting line-up against Real Madrid on Tuesday, leading to claims the player could be sold at the end of the season.

However, Ferguson has dismissed the speculation and insisted there is no issue between.

Ferguson said: “The Wayne Rooney nonsense first? Or do you want to talk sense?

“The issue you’re all going on about is rubbish. There’s absolutely no issue between Wayne Rooney and I.

“The suggestion we don’t talk on the training ground is nonsense. The decision to not play him was purely tactical and he understood that. Wayne will be here next year. You have my word on that.”

Manchester United host Chelsea in the FA Cup quarter-finals on Sunday.