Lyon president unclear over Lloris future

27 August 2012 19:57

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas says goalkeeper Hugo Lloris’ fate is in his own hands.

The 25-year-old has been linked with a move to Tottenham in the Premier League throughout the summer, but the French side have been adamant that they have no intention of selling the player.

However, Spurs have since made a formal approach for the Lyon stopper and Aulas said that only Lloris himself knows where his future lies.

“I’m not going to stick my neck out and say that he will be here on September 4, even if I am hoping for that,” Aulas said.

“We have been in contact with Tottenham since yesterday (Sunday). Now, it’s Hugo who holds the key.”

Aulas went on to reveal Lyon had received offers from unnamed teams for striker Bafetimbi Gomis, but said Michel Bastos is yet to attract any fresh interest.

“For the moment, (Gomis) is at Lyon. We have more propositions coming from England for him. It’s for us to discuss. Concerning Bastos, we have not had any new contact this weekend,” he said.

Aulas also stated he feels Paris Saint-Germain’s new-found wealth puts them in a position of responsibility to try and help improve the overall standard of French football.

“PSG have to find a method to help French clubs get bigger off their back, and they have to be generous,” he said.

“It would have been good if (Eden) Hazard had stayed in France, or if (Karim) Benzema, (Hatem) Ben Arfa and other France internationals had returned since the training fees would have strengthened French clubs.”

M´Bia move from Marseille on the cards

27 August 2012 19:51

Marseille boss Elie Baup has revealed Stephane M’Bia’s proposed move to the Premier League could progress during the coming week.

The French outfit’s president, Vincent Labrune, told Canal+ on Sunday that the defender had played his last game for the club, adding that the English top-flight is his likely destination.

The club’s manager has re-enforced those claims, stating that the player no longer wants to stay in Marseille, while also suggesting a move could be closer by the end of the week.

“Things could progress during the week for M’bia,” Baup told RMC. “It’s clear for me and for him: he’s shown his desire to leave.

“He is still available all the same because he had a good game at Montpellier. As long as he’s here, he needs to do his best.

“But we need to find the best solution for the club.”

The Cameroon international has been linked with QPR this summer, with Mark Hughes already having brought in a number of new faces as he aims to turn the London club’s fortunes around after they narrowly avoided relegation last term.

Speculation also remains over QPR midfielder Joey Barton’s potential loan move to the Ligue 1 side, which may be part of any transfer.

If any deal was to be done, M’Bia would be the second high-profile defender to leave the club for the Premier League this summer, with Cesar Azpilicueta’s move to Chelsea being officially confirmed on Friday.

Neymar ´a class apart´, says Parreira

27 August 2012 19:30

Neymar has what it takes to become a superstar and follow in the footsteps of Pele, according to former Brazil coach Carlos Alberto Parreira.

The 20-year-old attacker is seen as one of the biggest talents in the game, and Parreira has little doubt that the exciting starlet will live up to the high expectations.

“In Brazil there are always emerging talents and promising players. In my 40 years of football I must have heard someone say ‘he’ll be the new Pele’ dozens of times and then they fall short,” Parreira told the FIFA website.

“That’s valid for whole generations: you have to prove yourself on the pitch, when it counts. This generation is promising and talented but we’ll only see what they’re really made of come 2014.

“Neymar’s involvement makes this, perhaps, one of the most gifted crops we’ve had in recent years, though. He’s a class apart.”

The tricky player is continually being linked with a move to Europe, and has reportedly caught the attention of clubs such as Barcelona, Real Madrid, Chelsea and Juventus.

Hughton plays down Owen rumours

27 August 2012 19:26

Norwich manager Chris Hughton insists he is unaware of any imminent move for former Manchester United striker Michael Owen.

The Canaries have picked up one point from their first two games in the Premier League this season, getting a draw at home to QPR after an opening-day pummelling at the hands of Fulham.

But while Hughton says he is looking to bolster his striking options, he has played down any talk of chasing Owen.

“Wow. Not that I am aware of,” Hughton said when asked about the Owen rumours.

“It is no surprise because at this stage of the window you get linked with lots of names that are not true.

“That is very much a new one to me. It is an area we are looking it to do something but that would have to be the right player.”

Owen recently admitted that he expects to find a new team shortly, and that he had been in contact with a number of clubs.

“I have been in contact with quite a few teams and I definitely expect to be donning a new shirt quite soon,” he told Sky Sports.

“I’ve spoken to quite a few teams and it’s a case of picking the best which is going to suit me and my family.

“I’ve said before I’d prefer that to be in the Premier League and that remains the case.”

Cech inspired by Buffon, Casillas

27 August 2012 18:53

Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech has revealed his admiration for fellow shot-stoppers Gianluigi Buffon and Iker Casillas.

The Czech played a key role in his side’s Champions League victory last season with some crucial saves in the final against Bayern Munich, and has now admitted that the Juventus and Real Madrid stalwarts have inspired him.

Cech believes the experienced duo remain the best goalkeepers in the world.

“I definitely admire Buffon and Casillas,” Cech told UEFA.com.

“They have kept a consistent level of performance for more than 10 years at the top for club and country. That’s why they are still among the best keepers in the world.

“Oliver Kahn, Peter Schmeichel and Edwin van der Sar inspired me early in my career. Each of them had something inspiring, because they were all different characters.

“Then Buffon appeared and changed everything.

“Later, Casillas was very interesting. He started to play for Real Madrid, historically one of the best teams in the world, at the age of 17 or 18. So I told myself: ‘OK, if he can play for a big club so young, age is not an obstacle. There is no reason why I cannot make it too’.”

Cech has made over 250 Premier League appearances for Chelsea since joining the club from Stade Rennes in 2004.