Deschamps names first France squad

9 August 2012 14:25

New France coach Didier Deschamps has named a 22-man squad for the international friendly against Uruguay on August 15.

The former Olympique de Marseille coach had already said that he was likely to make a number of changes to the Euro 2012 squad, and he has called up several players who did not travel to Poland and Ukraine this summer.

Rio Mavuba, Christophe Jallet, Raphael Varane, Etienne Capoue, Maxime Gonalons, Bafetimbi Gomis, Jimmy Briand and Dimitri Payet are all fresh faces in les Bleus’ team for next week’s match.

Adil Rami and Yohan Cabaye miss out due to injury, while Samir Nasri and Jeremy Menez are suspended after being sanctioned by the French Football Federation (FFF) for their behaviour at Euro 2012.

Other players who have not been called up include Yann M’Vila, Hatem Ben Arfa and Florent Malouda.

The Rennes midfielder has been in poor form of late, having failed to make an impact at Euro 2012, while his future remains shrouded in doubt.

Elsewhere, the Newcastle ace’s reported bust-up with French officials in Poland and Ukraine appears to have ruled him out of contention, along with the Chelsea star, who is in now in the twilight of his career.

Full Squad: Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris, Steve Mandanda (Olympique de Marseille).

Defenders: Gael Clichy (Manchester City), Mathieu Debuchy (Lille), Patrice Evra (Manchester United), Christophe Jallet (Paris Saint-Germain), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal), Mamadou Sakho (Paris Saint-Germain), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid), Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa (Montpellier).

Midfielders: Etienne Capoue (Toulouse), Maxime Gonalons (Olympique Lyonnais), Marvin Martin (Lille), Blaise Matuidi (Paris Saint-Germain), Rio Mavuba (Lille), Mathieu Valbuena (Olympique de Marseille).

Attackers: Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Jimmy Briand (Olympique Lyonnais), Olivier Giroud (Arsenal), Bafetimbi Gomis (Olympique Lyonnais), Dimitri Payet (Lille), Franck Ribery (Sporting).

Emanuelson: Milan still keen on Rossi, Kaka

9 August 2012 14:56

Urby Emanuelson says he would love to see Giuseppe Rossi and Kaka arrive at San Siro before the season starts on August 25.

The Villarreal striker and Real Madrid playmaker were both seen chatting with the Milan squad, who suffered a humiliating 5-1 friendly defeat to Real Madrid at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday.

And the Dutchman was enthusiastic about the idea of both players joining the club.

“Yes, those guys are two great players,” Emanuelson told “I think they will make the team a lot stronger. We will see what will happen.

“We still have three weeks for us to rebuild. We will see what happens. I think the club obviously wants to bring in some players, so we’ll see.”

Milan have been looking to make additions to their squad since selling Thiago Silva and Zlatan Ibrahimovic to Paris Saint-Germain for a combined fee of 63 million euros, and releasing a whole host of experienced stars whose contracts ended this year.

The club have recently said they hope to re-sign former playmaker Kaka from Real Madrid, while Villarreal striker Rossi, who could be available for as little as eight million euros, has also been linked with the club over the past week.

However, it is Juventus’ Alessandro Matri on who Milan are most keen on, but they must wait for Juve to make a decision on their own transfer moves up front before a resolution is found.

With the Turin giants having seemingly given up on Napoli’s Edinson Cavani and Chelsea’s Fernando Torres, they now look set to make a move for Athletic Bilbao’s Fernando Llorente.

If Juve were to pick up the Spaniard, then they could allow Matri leave for Milan, though sporting director Giuseppe Marotta is said to want as much as 14 million euros for the former Cagliari striker.

Meanwhile, Milan continue to carry a torch for Italy striker Mario Balotelli, and they are hoping that there may be scope for the capture of the Manchester City man in the January transfer window.

Brazil Serie A wrap: Santos see off Cruzeiro comebacks

9 August 2012 13:11

Santos have survived two comebacks by Cruzeiro to triumph 4-2 and claim just their second victory in seven Brazilian Serie A matches.

With their two best players Neymar and Ganso in London for the Olympics, Santos have had a tough month but finally had some joy on Wednesday with a two-goal victory over the visitors from Belo Horizonte.

Felipe Anderson got Santos going with a 22nd-minute strike before Cruzeiro equalised seven minutes later through Borges.

Victor Andrade put the home side ahead in the 32nd minute but Cruzeiro again fought back with a goal from Ceara six minutes after half-time.

Santos refused to be denied, with Durval and Bill scoring the decisive goals to move their team ahead of Coritiba and Recife on the Serie A table.

Santos have taken 14th spot with 16 points, while Cruzeiro sit eighth with 23.

League-leaders Vasco da Gama had to wait to knock off Recife 2-0, scoring both goals in the last half hour.

Juninho Pernambucano gave Vasco the lead away from home after 67 minutes before Carlos Tenorio wrapped up the win with an 85th-minute goal.

Vagner Love scored twice as Flamengo defeated Figueirense 2-0, while fifth-placed Internacional could only manage a 0-0 draw with 12th-placed Nautico.

In other Serie A results on Wednesday, Corinthians were held 1-1 at home by Atletico GO, Hernan Bacos scored twice as Palmeiras defeated Botafogo 2-1 and Bahia drew 0-0 with Portuguesa.

Ben Haim leaves Portsmouth

9 August 2012 12:27

Tal Ben Haim has reached a compromise agreement over his wages with Portsmouth in order to leave the club.

The 30-year-old is the latest highly-paid star to leave the south coast club as they attempt to slash outgoings in order to secure their future.

“I am pleased to announce that we have reached a compromise agreement with Tal Ben Haim, who will now leave the club,” administrator Trevor Birch told BBC Sport.

A wage dispute with Nigerian forward Nwankwo Kanu could yet provide a potential stumbling block, though Pompey remain confident that this will be settled by an Football Association tribunal.

Meanwhile, midfielder Liam Lawrence could become the final senior player to leave the club with Cardiff City reportedly interested.

“We expect to make an announcement on Liam Lawrence’s future later today [Thursday] and, whilst the situation with Kanu has not yet been resolved, we are cautiously optimistic about our prospects,” added Birch.

Balram Chainrai’s takeover of the club is expected to proceed upon Lawrence’s departure, after a Company Voluntary Agreement worth two pence in every pound was agreed with administrators.

However, the Pompey Supporters Trust are still hopeful of completing a deal to take control with the help of Portsmouth City Council.

“The progress that we have made over the past 24 hours means that there is now a much better prospect of meeting the conditions of the CVA, completing the sale of the club and avoiding liquidation,” Birch continued.

“As a result, we will now push on with our negotiations with Portpin [Chainrai’s company], with a view to finalising a deal in the next few days.

“There is still more to do, and the club’s future is not yet guaranteed. But we’re in a stronger position and will now take some additional time to try to conclude matters.”

More heart surgery for Muamba

9 August 2012 12:11

Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba is set to undergo further heart surgery but remains hopeful he will be able to return to the game.

The 24-year-old has travelled to Belgium where he is due to undergo further treatment and a ‘minor but necessary procedure’.

The midfielder suffered a cardiac arrest in March during an FA Cup tie against Tottenham in March, where his heart stopped beating for 78 minutes, but he has since made a good recovery and even admitted to playing football recently while on holiday.

Since then Muamba has been monitored daily and has had a device implanted in his chest which would restart his heart should it fail again.

His partner Shauna, took to Twitter to thank friends, fans and family, and said the couple remain hopeful he can return to his playing career.

“Thank you guys for the support if it is Gods will @fmuamba will play again even better and stronger than before. Faith can move mountains,” she wrote.

“For all your kind words thank you so much @fmuamba and I really appreciate it. Promise to update at the end of the week xx.”