International News - Issue 201

Valdes Out for Seven Months Including World Cup 
Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes will be out of action for seven months, ruling him out of the Spanish squad that will be defending their title at this year’s Fifa World Cup in Brazil. The 32-year-old shot-stopper was stretchered off on 22 minutes in his side’s 3-0 win over Celta Vigo last week after suffering a knee injury. Valdes underwent surgery on Monday, with a statement issued by the club’s official website confirming the extent of his injury. - Full Story via Kickoff

Footballers are often criticised for protesting decisions, but Roma proved persistence does pay after successfully badgering the referee into overturning a penalty against them. Italian World Cup ref Nicola Rizzoli was involved in an extraordinary incident when he awarded a penalty and then changed his mind after five minutes of angry protests during second-placed Roma’s 2-0 win at Sassuolo on Sunday. - Full Story via Metro

Arsenal are reported to have sealed the arrival of striker Josip Drmic from Nuremberg, according to Sky Germany. The news was broken by Lothar Matthaus and relayed on Twitter by colleague and former Swindon and Middlesbrough forward Jan Aage Fjortoft. 21-year-old Drmic has been linked with a move to the Emirates in recent days, following his 15 goals in 26 appearances for the Bundesliga side this term. Should reports prove accurate, the youngster would be a typical Arsene Wenger signing, hungry to impress in the Premier League.  - Full Story via Metro

Barcelona have signed 17-year-old midfielder Alen Halilovic on a five-year deal from Dinamo Zagreb. The Spanish champions have paid an initial fee of €2.2 million for the Croatia international before potential add-ons. "It's difficult to find the words to describe how I feel," Halilovic told Barca's official website.  - Full Story via The Guardian

Tottenham midfielder Paulinho has revealed that he’s unsettled at White Hart Lane and is uncomfortable with Tim Sherwood’s rotation policy. The Brazilian, who missed the 4-0 defeat at Liverpool with an eye infection, has struggled to command a regular role in the side under Sherwood despite being one of Spurs’ star performers throughout the season. Now Paulinho has spoken out at his displeasure of his time on the sidelines. - Full Story via Metro

David Beckham has tipped former club Paris Saint Germain to spring a shock and knock Chelsea out of the Champions League. The retired midfielder spent the final six months of his career in the French capital, and reckons the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva can inspire the Ligue 1 champions to victory over Jose Mourinho’s Blues in Wednesday’s quarter-final.  - Full Story via Metro

Southampton boss Mauricio Pochettino has hailed star player Adam Lallana after his superb display in the Saints’ 4-0 thumping of Newcastle on the weekend. The 25-year-old contributed with a goal and an assist to take his total league tally to 10 goals, with eight assists as well, resulting in a heap of praise from his Argentine coach. "Adam is special, he is a very unique player," Pochettino said. "We haven't seen a player like that in this country for a long time.”  - Full Story via Kickoff

Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes has launched an in-depth criticism of Arsenal, and says Jack Wilshere has not improved under Arsene Wenger. Scholes was passing his judgement on Arsenal after their 2-2 draw against Swansea in his role as a Sky Sports pundit. "When Jack Wilshere came on the scene, what a top young player he looked," suggested Scholes. "Injuries haven't helped him, but his development from 17 years of age, he doesn't look any better player now than he did when he was 17. - Full Story via Papson Sports

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti said he was baffled by the Santiago Bernabeu’s treatment of star player Cristiano Ronaldo in their 5-0 thrashing of Rayo Vallecano on the weekend. The home crowd were vocal every time the World Player of the Year was in possession, jeering and whistling when he was on the ball, much to the amazement of the Italian coach. "I understand booing every now and then when we have deserved it, but at the moment the players are making a great effort,” Ancelotti said. - Full Story via Kickoff

Arsenal defender Bacary Sagna has turned down a move to Inter Milan, according to the Italian club’s president Erick Thohir. The France right-back has been one of the Gunners' most consistently good performers over the last few seasons, but rumours are rife that he is set to leave the club when his contract expires at the end of the season. However, the Inter president's latest revelation seems to indicate that the bustling wing-back is ready to pen a new deal with Arsenal after he turned down the Italian club's approach. “Sagna has decided to stay in the Premier League,” Thohir told journalists in Milan. “But we still need a new full-back.” - Full Story via Kickoff

Dnipro midfielder Jaba Kankava was the hero of the day as his side beat Dynamo Kiev 2-0, but his new-found status had nothing to do with the scoreline. Kankava’s quick-thinking during the Ukrainian Premier League match on the weekend may have saved the life of opponent Oleh Husyev, as he pulled the Kiev captain’s tongue out of his throat as he lay unconscious on the pitch.  - Full Story via Metro

England fans up and down the country have been choking on their morning coffee following the ‘unveiling’ of the new World Cup kit, with the shirt alone set to cost supporters a whopping £90. Of course, for your hard-earned, you’ll be getting nothing less than the best. The ‘England match shirt’ features ‘satin tape’ on the shoulders, an ‘engineered pinstripe’ in the fabric and a ‘metallic weave’ on the Three Lions crest. Or, alternatively, a ‘fan stadium shirt’ will set you back £60.  - Full Story via Metro

Manchester United might have snapped up Pep Guardiola last summer had it not been for Sir Alex Ferguson’s thick Glaswegian accent. After winning the Champions League with Barcelona twice, Guardiola took a 12-month sabbatical before deciding to take the reins at the Allianz Arena. Speculation was rife Ferguson offered Guardiola the chance to succeed him at Old Trafford when the pair met for lunch in New York five months before the Scot announced his retirement.  - Full Story via Metro

Former Ajax Cape Town coach Muhsin Ertugral is in talks with Turkish giants Galatasaray to take over as a Sporting Director. Ertugral resigned from Ajax Cape Town in January following the death of his foster father Adnan Senses. Ertugral confirmed that he is in talks with Roberto Mancini’s side. - Full Story via Kickoff