International News - Issue 191

Ribery Bitter About Ballon d’Or. Franck Ribery says he deserved to win the 2013 Ballon d'Or instead of Cristiano Ronaldo. Ronaldo last week picked up FIFA’s top individual playing prize, ahead of former holder Lionel Messi and Ribery. Ribery, however, feels his treble triumph with Bayern Munich last season should have given him the edge on his rivals. - Full Story via Daily Star

One Chelsea fan is facing more pain than under-fire Manchester United boss David Moyes, after he pledged to get a tattoo of Samuel Eto’o’s face if the striker scored a hat-trick. The Blues fan – known on Twitter as Danny Does, made the vow prior to Chelsea’s 3-1 victory over the league champions, in which the Cameroonian netted all three goals. Eto’o, who was recalled into the starting XI at the expense of Fernando Torres, bagged his first after 17 minutes when his shot from outside the box flew in via a deflection off Nemanja Vidic. - Full Story via Metro

Tim Sherwood masterminded a fifth win in six league games but fears his job will be on the line if Tottenham do not qualify for the Champions League. Emmanuel Adebayor headed Spurs in front in the 35th minute, then tapped in their third after a Chico Flores own goal had doubled the lead. Wilfried Bony hit a late consolation for Swansea but the win moves Spurs up to fifth, level on points with fourth-placed Liverpool, as Sherwood remains undefeated in the Premier League since replacing Andre Villas-Boas last month. - Full Story via Metro

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is playing hardball over his attempts to sign Basle winger Mohamed Salah. Reports suggest the Swiss side are demanding up to £16million for the player dubbed ‘the Egyptian Messi’ – although some sources claim their asking price is closer to £12m. Rodgers is believed to be ready to lodge a bid of between £8 and £10m for the classy 21-year-old, who has shone in this season’s Champions League. - Full Story via Metro

Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola has downplayed his side’s 3-0 loss to Austrian club Red Bull Salzburg in a friendly encounter over the weekend.  The Spanish coach said he was merely trying new tactics with his team, as they look forward to a strong second half of the season. "I made some tactical changes today because we wanted to have one more player in the midfield," said the 43-year old. "Yesterday, we trained a new system with three defenders. This was mainly so that we could have the ball a little bit more in the midfield.” - Full Story via Kickoff

Nigeria international defensive midfielder Gabriel Reuben is on trial with Tottenham Hotspurs having being invited after the termination of his contract at Scottish side Kilmarnock. Reuben left Kilmarnock due to lack of first team game time along with Rabiu Ibrahim. The 23 year-old was part of the Super Eagles set-up that helped Nigeria qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. - Full Story via Kickoff

Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal has confirmed he turned down an offer to manage Tottenham following Andre Villas-Boas's dismissal. Tim Sherwood has since taken over the reins from Villas-Boas, who was sacked in December. "Everybody knows it so I can admit it," Van Gaal told Sky Sports News. "I don't do things in a double function [holding two jobs at the same time]. You have to give an example to your players that they have to focus on the national team and that is my ambition also. - Full Story via Kickoff

Everton have reportedly made a bid for Lazio midfielder Ogenyi Onazi. This is according to Italian news outlet La Gazzetta dello Sport, no details have been given on the fee involved but Lazio President Claudio Lotito has told media that Onazi will not be leaving for under €9m. Onazi was liked with an Everton move during last year but nothing materialised. He has also been linked with Merseyside rivals Liverpool. Onazi has played 16 games this season in Serie A and he has played 18 times for Nigeria scoring one goal. - Full Story via Kickoff Nigeria

Chelsea striker Fernando Torres is expected to be sidelined for “a few weeks” with a knee injury, according to Blues manager Jose Mourinho. Torres sustained lateral ligament damage after coming on as a substitute in the 3-1 victory over Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on Sunday. Mourinho told Sky Sports: "At the moment we lose Fernando for a few weeks, he has a problem with his lateral ligament. For a few weeks now we will have Demba and Samuel and hope they can do the job for us." - Full Story via Kickoff

Former Orlando Pirates coach Ruud Krol has ended speculation on his future by signing a three-year deal with Tunisian giants Esperance. Krol, who steered the Buccaneers to a treble in the 2010/11 season, replaces Frenchman Sebastien Desabre. Krol quit CS Sfaxien recently after guiding the club to the CAF Confederations Cup title, and there was talk he could be coming back to South Africa. - Full Story via Kickoff

West Brom striker Shane Long has completed a move to fellow English Premier League club Hull City. Long signed a three-and-a-half year deal with the The Tigers, joining former Everton striker Nikica Jelavic who also joined Steve Bruce’s side this month. "I finally got the deal signed," Long told Hull’s official website. - Full Story via Kickoff

Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo is set to reward medical staff for keeping him fit. Real Madrid forward Ronaldo will reportedly buy his club’s physios a brand new car of their choice for keeping him injury-free last year and helping him win the World Player of the Year award. According to Spanish newspaper Marca, the Portuguese international had told his medical staff he would buy them all cars if he won the award, or if the club won their tenth Champions League title. - Full Story via Kickoff

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has revealed a deal has been agreed to sign Monaco striker Lacina Traore on loan subject to a work permit. The Ivory Coast international joined the French league side earlier this month but they are willing to allow him to gain experience somewhere else for the next few months. West Ham were in the running for the 6-foot-8 forward but Everton have stepped in, and after a medical allayed any concerns over a hamstring injury the Toffees boss said they now just had to secure the necessary paperwork to allow him to sign. - Full Story via The Independent
Chelsea left-back Ryan Bertrand has signed for Aston Villa on loan for the remainder of the season. Despite his 56 appearances for the Blues, playing time has been hard to come by since the arrival of Jose Mourinho, having played just three matches under the Portuguese coach. Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert is delighted to have the English defender join his squad. - Full Story via Kickoff

AC Milan striker Alessandro Matri has moved to fellow Serie A outfit Fiorentina on a six-month loan deal until the end of the season. The 29-year-old returned to the Rossoneri from Juventus last year, but only managed one goal in 18 appearances for the club where he spent eight years as a youth player. The switch to Firenze comes at a time when Fiorentina face a crisis in the striking department, with first-choice forwards Giuseppe Rossi and Mario Gomez both sidelined due to knee injuries. - Full Story via Kickoff

Brazilian midfielder Anderson is set to join Serie A side Fiorentina as he underwent a medical at the Italian club last Friday. The club’s official website showed a video of the player arriving in Italy on Thursday, and then undergoing a medical examination the following day, yet no details of his move have yet emerged, with latest reports hinting he will join on loan until the end of the season, with an option to buy. Anderson has found game-time hard to come by in recent years, having completed a full match only once since the start of last season. - Full Story via Kickoff

Sir Alex Ferguson’s shadow continues to loom large at Old Trafford. The former United boss watched from the stands again as the Premier League champions slumped to yet another loss at Chelsea. And Fergie’s beleaguered successor David Moyes has again been reminded of the rather large shoes he is struggling to fill after Paddy Power pulled another one of their cheeky publicity stunts. The bookmaker has placed a life-size waxwork of Ferguson encased in a box marked ‘In case of emergency, break glass’ outside Old Trafford. - Full Story via Metro

Newcastle have reached an agreement to sign Montpellier’s Remy Cabella, but the French club insist he will not join the Magpies until next season. Alan Pardew identified the midfielder as one of his top transfer targets this month and while the Newcastle boss has got his man, he will have to wait until next season to introduce him to St. James’ Park. The 23-year-old is believed to have cost the Magpies around £12m. - Full Story via Metro

West Brom sponsor Zoopla have decided to end their sponsorship of the club at the end of the season over Nicolas Anelka's "quenelle" gesture. Anelka, 34, made the sign, described as an inverted Nazi salute and declared by some to be anti-Semitic (discrimination against Jews), after scoring against West Ham on 28 December 2013. Zoopla, co-owned by Jewish businessman Alex Chesterman, will focus on other marketing activities. - Full Story via BBC Sport

There’s been plenty of banter – good-natured and otherwise – between Arsenal and Tottenham recently. And now Gunners midfielder Santi Cazorla and former Highbury hero Robert Pires have stoked the fires of the north London rivalry by posing for a picture with a fan, holding piece of paper that contains the words to an Arsenal terrace chant – ‘What do we think of Tottenham? S***!’ ‘And what do we think of s***? Tottenham!’ Theo Walcott’s two-nil gesture as he was stretchered off during Arsenal’s 2-0 FA Cup victory over Tottenham riled the visiting fans earlier this month. - Full Story via Mirror Football