International News - Issue 226

Pelegrini Hints That City Could Keep Lampard
Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini could keep Frank Lampard longer than his current six-month loan-deal. After joining new Major League Soccer franchise New York City FC from Chelsea recently, Lampard is keeping in shape with City while his new team gets itself up-and-running. He made headlines last weekend when he scored the equalizer against his former side Chelsea in the 1-1 draw at the Etihad Stadium. He then scored in City’s win against Hull last weekend which took his tally to four goals for City after scoring a brace in the League Cup. Pellegrini confirmed that Lampard would remain at City until January, “Frank will stay until January because until January he doesn’t have anything to do in the United States because they are not working. In January we will see what is happening and we will make a decision then,” he added.

Chelsea’s policy of stockpiling players and farming them out on loan looks set to bite them, as Ryan Bertrand has accused the Blues of dishonesty after being loaned out to seven different teams by the Stamford Bridge club. Bertrand is just one of 26 Chelsea players that are out on loan, and although the left-back played in Chelsea’s 2012 Champions League final triumph, his career has been stunted by the Blues’ limited usage of him. The 25-year-old scored his first goal for new club Southampton at the weekend, and he told the Saints’ match-day programme that he had been deceived by his parent club. “The situation became clear to me before I went on loan to Aston Villa (last season). I was getting those 15, 20, 25, 30-plus games a season, until I hit a stumbling block,” he said. “That’s when the alarm bells rang. Before that, I had a chance to move from the club, but I was advised that I didn’t need to do that. It all unravelled in front of my eyes, and certain things didn’t make sense in terms of what certain people had said to me. All I ask for is honesty, and I didn’t get that.”

Ashley Young’s Old Trafford career appears to be over as Manchester United are ready to cut their losses on the 29-year-old, with Aston Villa, Southampton and Sunderland all vying to secure the out-of-favour winger’s services. Young started United’s first three matches this season, but the rise of the Gaal-actico era at Old Trafford has seen him fall right down the pecking order, and the club are looking to get rid of the England international to recoup some of their massive summer spend. However, with Young’s contract set to expire in 2016, United are unlikely to receive much of a fee for the midfielder, and the likes of his former club Villa, Southampton and Sunderland are all thought to be keen.

Jose Mourinho has revealed that Diego Costa hardly trains out of fear of aggravating his hamstring, and says the striker should be left out of Spain’s squad for their Euro 2016 qualifiers next month. Costa has hit the ground running at his new club since completing a £32million move from Atletico Madrid in the summer, with the Brazilian scoring eight Premier League goals for The Blues so far this season. Costa, however, has been hampered by hamstring problems, which Mourinho says the striker needs to recover from. “He cannot be on top of his game,” Mourinho said. “He’s doing almost nothing in training. He’s just resting and recovering from the tight muscle he has.” Costa is likely to be picked for Spain’s Euro 2016 matches against Slovakia and Luxembourg in October. Mourinho, though, has insisted that it would be better for the player, Chelsea and Spain if Costa is omitted from the international qualifiers next month. “If he doesn’t go to the national team and if he stays here for 15 days just on treatment, he has the perfect chance to be top for Chelsea and top for the national team,’ he said. ‘If he doesn’t have this period, it will be always, plays one game, the other is in trouble, the muscle is tight, the muscle is in danger of rupture.”

Mamadou Sakho has apologised to Liverpool supporters for leaving Anfield ahead of the club’s Merseyside derby clash against Everton last Saturday. The France international was pictured departing the stadium reportedly angry and ‘not looking happy at all’ shortly after the defender was left out of The Reds’ squad to face The Toffees by manager Brendan Rodgers. Despite it being unclear why he chose to leave before the match, Sakho has now used social media to say sorry to fans for not being present for Liverpool’s 1-1 draw against their rivals. “I really want to apologise to the club, the supporters and every person who felt offended when I left the stadium this afternoon,” he wrote on Twitter on Saturday evening. “I’m aware that it was a bad choice from my part to go isolating to watch the game!”

Cheick Tiote now has two wives and a mistress. The Newcastle United midfielder, 28, has
infuriated his mistress by taking on a second wife in the Ivory Coast in August. As a devout Muslim,Tiote is allowed multiple wives although the practice of polygamy has been illegal in his home country since 1964. His mistress Nikki Mpofu, however, is reportedly furious and told a friend: “He met my mum and said he’s permitted to have several wives. I was comfortable with that. He’s used me like a mop. He’s just a pig.” Tiote has a one-year-old child with Mpofu, as well as two children with his first wife Madah. His new wife is called Laeticia Doukrou. Madah is reportedly okay with Tiote having a second wife, although it is not known what she thinks about the mistress. The Ivory Coast international’s agent Jean Musampa said to the Newcastle Chronicle: “I can say that he did get married and that it is his second marriage. This is nothing unusual. He is a muslim.”

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney says he will not appeal against the red card he received in his side’s 2-1 victory over West Ham on the weekend and has apologised to his teammates. The Red Devils skipper was given his marching orders after bringing down Stewart Downing in a reckless challenge in the second half, but admitted he was deserving of his punishment. "It was probably the right decision," Rooney said. "I saw the West Ham player making a counter-attack and I tried to break up the play, but I just misjudged it. I didn't absolutely volley the lad. I tried to trip him up and, to be fair to him, he got further away from me and that's why my leg is straighter than it should have been. As he pushed the ball away, my leg straightened out and that is obviously why the referee deemed it as a red card." The United captain said he apologised to his team mates for the incident, and was relieved to see his side hold on for the three points which pushed them up to seventh in the Premier League standings. “I apologised to the lads,” he said. “It was a dangerous situation in that they were trying to break on us but I have no complaints. I think everyone knew [I was in the wrong]. Rooney’s sending off means he will miss all of United’s fixtures in October, including important match-ups against Everton and Chelsea.

Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud has signed a new contract to keep him at the Emirates until 2018, according to reports. The French international is currently sidelined through injury but boss Arsene Wenger has been keen to reward Giroud for his performances since joining from Montpellier two years ago. Giroud celebrates his 28th birthday today and the news of his new deal, thought to be worth £80,000-a-week according to the Mirror, will come as a boost to the injured frontman. He scored two goals in four appearances for the Gunners this term before being ruled out until the New Year and becomes the latest in a string of Arsenal players to be tied down to new contracts, following the likes of Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny, Tomas Rosicky and Santi Cazorla. Meanwhile, Theo Walcott is expected to be the next man in line for an extension, with his current deal expiring in 2016.

Newcastle fans called for the club to sack manager Alan Pardew on Monday night after Peter Crouch scored the only goal of the game for Stoke against The Magpies. Pardew has been under intense pressure in recent weeks following a dismal start to the Premier League season by Newcastle, in which the team have failed to win a match. With the club sitting in the relegation zone, things went from bad to worse for the 53-year-old when Crouch’s 15th-minute header took Stoke 1-0 up over Newcastle at the Britannia Stadium. The goal – unsurprisingly – resulted in Magpies supporters quickly taking to Twitter to urge Newcastle owner, Mike Ashley, to sack Pardew before the end of the night.

Cristiano Ronaldo would love to return to Manchester United, but it’s unlikely to happen in the next 12 months. That’s the view of Sky Sports’ Spanish football expert Guillem Balague, who believes Real Madrid will not consider selling their star player for another two years. A group of Manchester United fans arranged for an aeroplane to fly over El Madrigal during Real Madrid’s 2-0 win over Villarreal at the weekend with a banner urging Ronaldo to “come home” to the club he played for between 2003 and 2009. The Ballon D’Or winner has been linked with a return to Old Trafford after reports emerged that he was unhappy with the sales of team-mates such as Angel di Maria, Xabi Alonso and Mesut Ozil. However, Balague says suggestions that a deal could be struck before next season are wide of the mark. The Sunday Supplement panel pour cold water on the idea that Cristiano Ronaldo will return to Old Trafford. He told Revista de La Liga: “It is quite clear that Manchester United are letting all this continue because they are interested in Cristiano Ronaldo. Cristiano Ronaldo dreams and would like to go back to Manchester United. It’s just the timing which I think people are getting wrong. People want this to happen in January, if possible. It’s not going to happen. In the summer? I don’t think it’s going to happen. Real Madrid have got no intention whatsoever of selling Cristiano Ronaldo next summer. In two years’ time I would say yes, that is possibly the time when he will be 31 going on 32, for Real Madrid to say: ‘OK, if we can cash in on him, brilliant. He has done a lot for us, but that’s it, time to move on’. “I don’t think it’s going to happen this summer. People will have to be a little bit more patient.”

Manchester United coach Louis van Gaal has backed assistant coach and former club legend Ryan Giggs to eventually take over the coaching reins from him at Old Trafford. Giggs, who took over on a temporary basis following David Moyes’ sacking last season, was appointed as Van Gaal’s second-hand man following the experienced coach’s arrival at the club in July. And the decorated Dutchman has been impressed with the veteran Welshman’s adjustment to his coaching position at the Red Devils, backing him for the senior coaching position in future. "[When] this Van Gaal is over, he [Giggs] is the man [to replace me]," van Gaal said at a charity tribute dinner for Giggs held at Old Trafford. “I have seen a lot of trainees and I have thought that Ryan Giggs is a trainee but he isn't a trainee, he is an exception. I have seen a lot of trainees and I am very happy with him because he has showed already that he can communicate with the group in front of him. And I have seen that he can explain what is the issue of the training session. And he can say it in a different way, which is a miracle because not so many ex-players can do that. But not only that, Ryan, you are in my opinion a very nice guy and that's for me the most important thing." Manchester United moved up to seventh position in the standings following their second win of the season over West Ham on the weekend. Van Gaal’s charges next take on Everton at the Theatre of Dreams on Sunday afternoon.