Gervinho open to Marseille move

20 June 2013 11:24

Arsenal forward Gervinho is flattered by reported interest from Marseille, but is still unsure over exactly where his future lies.

The Ivory Coast international has struggled to cement a regular place in Arsene Wenger’s starting line-up since joining from Lille in 2011.

Marseille, who qualified for the UEFA Champions League after finishing second in Ligue 1 last term, are admirers of the winger, with club assistant Franck Passi recently naming Gervinho as a potential target.

The 26-year-old confirmed he is considering his future at the Emirates Stadium, but did not go as far as to confirm whether he would be leaving in the off-season.

“It is true that I had little time to play on my return from the African Nations Cup,” Gervinho told abidjan.net. “But it is the choice of the coach.

“Now, it’s the holidays. I’ll relax for a while and then after I will look to the future, to see what I should do.

“There are still three weeks before pre-season. I really have time to think about it later. If I want a new start, I will have offers.

“Marseille is one of the leading French clubs, and I have a good relationship with some people there. I cannot say yes or no, but it is always flattering for a player to know that there are a lot of clubs who are interested in him.”

Gervinho made 26 appearances for Arsenal last season, scoring seven goals.

MLS Wrap: Di Vaio sends Impact clear

20 June 2013 10:46

Marco Di Vaio notched his 10th goal of the Major League Soccer season as Montreal Impact defeated Houston Dynamo 2-0.

Montreal moved four points clear at the top of the MLS Eastern Conference standings on Wednesday with their win at home, as Felipe Martins and Di Vaio both got on the scoresheet in the first half to overcome Houston.

Martins opened the scoring in the 14th minute for the Impact, running onto Patrice Bernier’s lofted pass to slot the ball under Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall.

Dynamo forward Giles Barnes wasted a huge opportunity to equalise in the 22nd minute, sending a penalty over the crossbar, and the hosts made Houston pay 11 minutes later.

Having tested Hall with a long-range shot just after Barnes’ penalty miss, Di Vaio got the better of the visiting goalkeeper in the 33rd minute when he took advantage of a poor back pass by Corey Ashe to sprint onto the loose ball, and clip his shot over Hall.

Montreal lead the Eastern Conference with 29 points, four ahead of New York Red Bulls, while Houston are fourth on 22.

Meanwhile, Vancouver Whitecaps boosted their play-off hopes in the Western Conference with a 3-1 win over Chivas USA at the Swanguard Stadium.

Despite the arduous 4,210 km journey from Texas to Canada, Chivas took the lead in the seventh minute as Tristan Bowen thundered an effort home from 20 yards out.

But the hosts gradually got back into the game, and turned it on its head in first-half stoppage time as Jordan Harvey’s third goal in as many games and then Camilo Sanvezzo gave Martin Rennie’s side the half-time advantage.

They pressed home their dominance late in the second half, as Camilo scored a second after more good work from Harvey down the left wing.

Chicago Fire also came from behind the beat the Colorado Rapids 2-1 in an inter-Conference clash.

Deshorn Brown gave Colorado the lead in the 16th minute, robbing 2012 MLS Rookie of the Year Austin Berry on the halfway line before coolly finishing past Sean Johnson.

But the home side at Toyota Park gritted their teeth and a Mike Magee penalty levelled things going into half-time, while Berry atoned for his earlier header to grab the winner three minutes after the break.

LA Galaxy dropped down to the fifth and the final Western Conference play-off spot with a 0-0 draw at home to the Portland Timbers, extending the Galaxy’s winless run in all competitions to four.

Ajax call off Maher chase

20 June 2013 10:40

Ajax have ended their pursuit of AZ Alkmaar midfielder Adam Maher, director of football Marc Overmars has confirmed.

Maher, who has also been the subject of interest from PSV Eindhoven, has become one of Europe’s hottest prospects after leading AZ to victory in the KNVB Cup last season.

The 19-year-old had been tipped for a move to the Amsterdam Arena as Ajax look to strengthen their young side during the transfer window.

However, Overmars has admitted that they will not be making any further attempts to snare the Netherlands international.

“I called Adam and his representative Sigi Lens to say that we have made different choices,” he told De Telegraaf.

“Additionally, I have said to AZ that we have no interest.”

The unresolved future of Siem de Jong is believed to have been a major factor in Ajax’s decision. The 24-year-old is apparently pondering his future at the club, but as yet no move has materialised.

Ajax also reportedly hold an interest in Heracles midfielder Lerin Duarte.

Carroll focused on regular England spot

20 June 2013 10:32

Andy Carroll is setting his sights on a regular place in the England national side after completing his move to West Ham.

The 24-year-old has signed a six-year contract at Upton Park, in a deal thought to be worth in the region of 15.5 million pounds, following a successful stint on loan from Liverpool last season.

Carroll scored seven goals in 24 appearances for West Ham in 2013-14, but was hampered by injuries throughout the campaign.

That saw him feature scarcely for England, inlcuding missing the recent friendlies with Brazil and the Republic of Ireland due a heel problem.

However, the former Newcastle striker is confident of playing himself into contention for the national side as England look to secure a place at the 2014 World Cup.

“I just want to keep fit now, keep scoring goals and performing week in and week out for West Ham,” Carroll said.

“If I do that, play well and keep fit, then hopefully I will get in the England team.”

Udinese sign Fernandes

20 June 2013 10:21

Udinese have announced the signing of midfielder Bruno Fernandes from Novara.

The 18-year-old moves to the Stadio Friuli after helping the Serie B side to a fifth-place finish last season, following a move from Boavista.

Fernandes was unable to help Novara negotiate their way through the end-of-season play-offs to achieve promotion, as they were beaten in the semi-finals by Empoli.

However, the Portuguese appears to have caught the eye of Udinese manager Francesco Guidolin, and will now have the chance to impress at the top level of the Italian game.

A statement on the club’s official website read: “Udinese Calcio announces that it has acquired the rights to the player Bruno Fernandes from Novara Calcio.”

Fernandes made 23 appearances in Serie B for Novara last season, scoring four goals.