Reus eager for Hummels to stay

5 May 2013 13:11

Borussia Dortmund attacker Marco Reus has urged team-mate Mats Hummels to stay at the club despite reported interest from Barcelona.

The defender, who helped Dortmund reach the UEFA Champions League final on Tuesday as they edged past Real Madrid in the semi-final, has long been linked with a switch to the Catalan club.

However, Reus, enjoying his first season at the Westfalenstadion after joining from Borussia Monchengladbach in July last year, is hopeful Hummels will stay put and help keep the current squad together, despite Mario Goetze’s impending move to Bayern Munich.

“I hope no player leaves Dortmund – not Hummels nor anyone else,” he told AS. “We’re a family and we have a contract. The atmosphere in the dressing room is very good and we feel well in the club and the city.”

Reus was full of praise for centre-back Hummels, who he believes is one of the best all-round players in the world.

He added: “In the coming years he will be world class but now, despite his age, he already has experience. He has great vision to take the ball from the back and become a good creator for attacking play.

“Moreover, in case anyone forgets, Hummels is also good in front of the opposition goal, so that makes him a complete player.”

Benitez vows to ´fight´ against rival Ferguson

5 May 2013 13:04

Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez has stressed he will not shirk any dispute with Alex Ferguson when they face Manchester United.

The London club take on the newly-crowned Premier League champions at Old Trafford on Sunday knowing a win will boost their chances of securing qualification for the UEFA Champions League.

However, there promises to be an interesting sub-plot at Old Trafford with Benitez, who has been fierce rivals with the United boss since his days as Liverpool manager, promising to stand his ground on the sidelines when their respective sides do battle.

“I don’t like personal confrontation, but obviously you want to stand up. The manager is there and you are close to them [on the touchline], so if he wants to fight, you have to fight,” Benitez said.

“I don’t have any problem with that. But I like to concentrate on football issues, that is the main thing, tactically and details about the game.

“In England, sometimes you talk about mind games, but the mind games are just an excuse when you don’t want to talk about the other things.”

A victory over United would see fourth-placed Chelsea move ahead of local rivals Arsenal and go three points clear of fifth-placed Tottenham.

Premier League Preview: Wigan v Swansea

5 May 2013 12:29

Wigan can move out of the relegation zone when they take on Swansea in a crucial encounter at the DW Stadium.

Roberto Martinez’s men are just two points adrift of

safety following their dramatic 3-2 win at West Brom on Saturday and, although

that gap will increase if Sunderland beat Stoke on Monday, they will pull out

of the drop zone with a victory by virtue of Newcastle’s inferior goal

difference.

Focusing on the job in hand will be key for the hosts, who could well

be distracted by their upcoming FA Cup final with Manchester City. However, if they can harness the same spirit they displayed in the triumph at The

Hawthorns, they will be confident of a vital three points.

A win would also secure them consecutive wins against a

side that has won just once since their victory in the League Cup final back in

February.

That sole victory came against Wigan’s

relegation rivals Newcastle, but Michael Laudrup’s side were much-improved in

their 0-0 draw with Manchester City on Saturday and have now kept clean sheets in two of

their last three outings.

History is also on Swansea’s side as Wigan have never

beaten the Welsh side in the Premier League and have amassed just four wins in

front of their home fans this term.

Pablo Hernandez and Michu were the scorers in Swansea’s

2-1 win at the Liberty Stadium back in October, but past results are unlikely

to factor in the minds of Martinez’s men, who are renowned for their

late-season heroics.

Callum McManaman could well be the danger man for the

hosts – the midfielder has netted twice in his last two games and provides them

with an extra attacking threat that is much needed at this stage of the

campaign.

However, one area where Wigan certainly struggle is at

the back, they have conceded the most goals at home of any team in the Premier

League.

Suarez: Liverpool is my future

5 May 2013 11:57

Controversial Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez says he sees his future at Liverpool and does not intend on leaving any time soon.

The 26-year-old is currently serving a 10-match suspension for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic, the latest in a string of incidents that have plagued his time at Anfield.

Suarez has been an unqualified success on the field though, scoring 51 goals in 96 matches in all competitions for Liverpool.

He has bagged 23 of those in 33 Premier League appearances this season, but after being banned again – which followed suspensions for racial abuse and poor discipline – reports suggested he was looking to leave England.

However, Suarez has made a mockery of those claims and insisted he is dedicated to helping Brendan Rodgers’ side climb the Premier League table.

He told The Sun: “I have a deal with Liverpool and this is my present – and future.”

Suarez will miss Sunday’s Merseyside derby against Everton at Anfield and added he was disappointed not to be involved in the fixture.

“From the day I arrived, I saw how special this derby is, so it is a pain to miss it. But we have a big squad which can function without me.”

Ferguson eyes marquee signing

5 May 2013 11:29

Gareth Bale and Robert Lewandowski will be targeted by Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson as he looks for a marquee signing.

Ferguson has revealed that he is set to recruit a big name in the off-season as he looks to bolster his squad for another charge at the Premier League title.

Bale and Lewandowski are just two of the names that Ferguson is set to chase, while a shock return to Old Trafford for Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo is not beyond the realms of possibility.

Ferguson praised his club’s owners, the Glazer family, and said they are more than likely to support him if he requests a high-profile player.

“Everything is in place for a big signing. I think that the Glazers have been great,” Ferguson is quoted as saying by the Daily Mirror.

“Whenever I have asked, they have delivered. If I ask to go for a certain player, I think they will do that. When I spoke about value in the market a while back, I was talking about young, developing players.

“Maybe there has been a wind of change and I could go for a really top player now. We have a nucleus of young players here, but we may spend something.

“When it’s a top player, it doesn’t matter what position they play in. I will bring them in if they add to the team.

“Last season we had (Javier) Hernandez, (Danny) Welbeck and (Wayne) Rooney and we still went out and bought Robin van Persie.”

Ferguson also said that signing old players was not likely, with last season’s capture of the 29-year-old Van Persie being the exception, given his quality.

“Van Persie’s age was certainly an issue because it has not always worked when we have bought older players,” he said.

“David Gill said to me after we bought Dimitar Berbatov (from Tottenham for £30m) that we had to be careful when signing older players, but Van Persie was different.

“He was phenomenal for Arsenal last season and so I was confident it would work.”

Earlier this week Ferguson said he would look at ‘one or two bodies to come in’ and his comments are sure to strike fear into the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea, who know they will have to also be busy players in the transfer market if they are to wrestle control of the Premier League away from United.

The Manchester United boss also said he is planning on staying at the club for the foreseeable future.

“Whether I will be here to oversee another decade of success remains to be seen, but I certainly don’t have any plans at the moment to walk away from what I believe will be something special and worth being around to see,” he told United Review.