January 16th, 2009
10:49 AM ET

Kaka saga continues to twist and turn

Stay up to date with all the comings and goings in the transfer window with CNN.com's daily wrap of the latest rumors and gossip from Europe's sports pages.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/16/kakabid.jpg caption="Keep it coming: Can Manchester City's bids for Kaka get any higher?"]

Kaka's exclamation that he wanted to "grow old at Milan" is looking more and more ridiculous.

Perhaps he was misquoted and what he actually said was: "I want to grow at least a week older at Milan."

The off-on-again saga of Manchester City's bid to drag him away from Milan and make him the world's highest paid player looks to be very much back on.

The Italian newspaper La Gazzetta said Friday that the talks were under way, after saying that City had contacted Kaka's father.

The British tabloid Sun newspaper, meanwhile, practically had Kaka with one foot on the plane, reporting City were ready to pay more than £243 million ($363 million) – £108 million ($161 million) each for AC Milan and Kaka and £27 million ($40 million) in commission to brokers and middle men.

It said under the deal Kaka would bank £13.28 million ($19 million) in salary a year after taking home a whopping £225,000 ($336,000) a week.

The fuss has all left a bitter taste in the mouth of Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.

The Frenchman and economics graduate, known for his parsimony in the transfer market, told Britain's Guardian newspaper that City were the "new Chelsea."

"I believe that if a club produces £100m through the way it manages itself, then it's not immoral to buy a player at any price," he said.

"It does not look real," he told The Guardian when talking about the Kaka bid.

"It's like an abstraction. It does not look in connection to today's world."

Wenger is applying his tight control of the purse strings as he continues to pursue the Zenit St Petersburg midfielder Andrei Arshavin and West Ham's Matthew Upson.

Indeed City's manoeuvres in the January window appear to be dominating the market, with Hamburg's Dutch midfielder Nigel de Jong and Spanish club Espanyol's goalkeeper Carlos Kameni set to join, according to the Daily Mail.

Elsewhere in Europe, Real Madrid have renewed their interest in the Liverpool winger Jermaine Pennant – but only on a loan as the way is paved for Cristiano Ronaldo to move from Manchester United next season, the Daily Mirror reported.

In France L'Equipe said the Caen striker Steve Savidan had piqued the interest of Lyon and Lazio are apparently interested in the Rangers striker Kris Boyd.

It's all small fry though, as football fans wait for the outcome of the Kaka cash and carry.

Do you think Manchester City can buy their way to success? Have your say in the Football Fanzone debate.

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January 15th, 2009
10:39 AM ET

City 'withdraw Kaka bid'

Stay up to date with all the comings and goings in the transfer window with CNN.com's daily wrap of the latest rumors and gossip from Europe's sports pages.

LONDON, England - Manchester City have withdrawn a $150 million bid for Brazilian superstar Kaka, according to arabianbusiness.com.[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/14/kaka.jpg caption="Uncertainty hangs over Kaka's future at AC Milan. "]

A source close to the club's Abu Dhabi-based owners told the Web site: "The deal is off, and the offer is no longer on the table. The club is now pursuing another striker which it is very close to signing. Manchester City is about to unveil a new striker, but he is not called Kaka."

But Kaka could be interested in a move to Eastlands after all despite earlier claiming that he wanted to stay at Milan, according to press reports Thursday. Italy's Gazzetta dello Sport said that the 26-year-old's father was set to hold talks with City officials.

Meanwhile, the Sun claims Kaka could join City providing an exit clause in his contract would allow him to leave should the club fail to meet any of four key criteria: a) City qualify for the Champions League within two years; b) fellow Brazilian Robinho stays at Eastlands; c) Kaka's representatives retain sole ownership of the player's image rights; and d) City owner Sheikh Mansour continues to invest substantially in the club.

Kaka's agent, Diogo Kotscho, said: "If Manchester City come to an agreement with Milan we will talk to them - but it is not just about money. They have to show us that this is a project that we will be interested in."

Manchester United have joined the list of clubs interested in signing Wigan's Wilson Palacios, according to the Sun. Wigan have rejected £10 million from Tottenham for the Honduran midfielder, although the Mirror says Spurs will return with a £14 million offer.

The Times reports that AC Milan are close to clinching a £7.5 million deal for Liverpool's Daniel Agger. The Danish defender's agent is in Milan for lunch with club officials with Agger set to utilize an escape clause in his contract.

The Gazzetta dello Sport reports that Milan have also reached an agreement to sign young Brazilian defender Felipe Mattioni from Gremio.

In Spain, Marca reports that Getafe goalkeeper Roberto Abbondanzieri is on his way back to Argentina to join Boca Juniors in a euros 300,000 deal.

Back in the Premier League, the Mirror says Bolton have bid £5 million for Fulham's Jimmy Bullard. Bolton manager Gary Megson also wants Benfica striker Ariza Makukula on loan.

  • Is Kaka worth $726,000 a week? Have your say in the Football Fanzone debate.
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January 8th, 2009
11:22 AM ET

Barcelona target Arsenal pair

Stay up to date with all the comings and goings in the transfer window with CNN.com’s daily wrap of all the latest rumors and gossip from Europe’s sports pages.

LONDON, England - Arsenal pair Cesc Fabegas and Robin van Persie could be set to follow former Gunners Thierry Henry and Alexander Hleb to Barcelona, according to the Daily Star.
[cnn-photo-caption image=
http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/08/art.vanpersie.afp.gi.jpg caption="Robin van Persie, right, and Cesc Fabregas: Barcelona-bound?"]

The Spanish giants are preparing a euros 50 million summer swoop for the pair, the report said.

Jose Mourinho's Inter Milan are also chasing a pair of Arsenal midfielders - Emmanuel Eboue and Abou Diaby - according to the Daily Mirror and the Daily Telegraph respectively.

Inter could also make a move for Sampdoria forward Antonio Cassano and are ready to pay up to euros 18 million if Genoa continue to reject their advances for Argentine forward Diego Milito, the Gazzetta dello Sport reports. But Tuttosport says Sampdoria have already agreed to sell Cassano to Juventus.

Real Madrid's Portuguese defender Pepe says Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo has told him that he still wants to join him at the Bernabeu, As reports.

Villarreal goalkeeper Diego Lopez is the subject of a three-way fight between English rivals Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal, according to Marca.

Also in the Premier League, Manchester City have made a formal inquiry for Blackburn's £15-million valued Paraguayan striker Roque Santa Cruz, according to the Times.

Portsmouth want Newcastle's Joey Barton as a midfield replacement for Lassana Diarra following his departure to Real Madrid, the Daily Mirror says. Portsmouth are also considering Le Mans goalkeeper Yohann Pele as a longterm replacement for England No. 1 David James.

Newcastle, meanwhile, could make a move for Glasgow Rangers midfielder Barry Ferguson, according to the Guardian.

At Tottenham, Lyon's Brazilian striker Fred has emerged as a possible target as Harry Redknapp seeks a strike partner for new signing Jermain Defoe, the Daily Mirror reports. Spurs are also seeking reinforcements at the opposite end with the Telegraph reporting the club's interest in Polonia Warsaw goalkeeper Sebastian Przyrowski.

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January 6th, 2009
10:57 AM ET

Tevez hints at United exit

Stay up to date with all the comings and goings in the transfer window with CNN.com's daily wrap of the latest rumors and gossip from Europe's sports pages.

LONDON, England - Manchester United's under-used Argentine forward Carlos Tevez placed himself squarely in the shop window Tuesday by telling the Sun that he fears he will be forced to quit Old Trafford - and adding that he would love to join Real Madrid. [cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/06/art.tevez.afp.gi.jpg caption="Carlos Tevez has struggled for playing opportunities this season."]

"I love it at United and the fans are special to me but I also understand football," Tevez said. "If another club offered me the security of a five-year deal then I'd have to consider it."

England forward Jermain Defoe is set to return to Tottenham from Portsmouth in a deal worth £15 million ($22 million). The 26-year-old, who made the reverse move in last season's January transfer window, will undergo a medical at White Hart Lane on Tuesday, according to British newspaper reports.

The Guardian reports that Spurs are also interested in Middlesbrough winger Stewart Downing and Ghanaian midfielder Stephen Appiah, while L'Equipe claims the London club also want Brazilian striker Fred.

Barcelona midfleder Yaya Toure is the latest player to be linked with a move to cash-rich Manchester City, according to Marca. The Spanish newspaper says City boss Mark Hughes is ready to pay 26 million euros for the Ivorian midfielder.

AC Milan have offered 8 million euros for Liverpool's Danish defender Daniel Agger, the Gazzetta dello Sport reports. The Rossoneri will turn their attention to Portsmouth's in-form defender Glen Johnson - valued at 9 million euros - if they fail to land Agger.

The Times says Milan are also set to agree pre-contract terms with Liverpool's out-of-favor winger Jermaine Pennant, whose current deal at Anfield expires at the end of the season.

Aston Villa hope to agree a £4 million deal for Wigan's England forward Emile Heskey to bolster their bid to secure a top four finish and Champions League football, the Daily Mirror reports.

German striker Lukas Podolski is set to join Hamburg from Bayern Munich in a swap deal that would send Croatian winger Ivica Olic in the other direction, according to Bild.

Podolski, a star for the German national team despite rarely getting a start at Bayern, had been linked with a return to hometown club Cologne, while Manchester City, Tottenham and Roma had also been tipped as potential suitors for the 8 million euro-valued goalscorer.

But Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has told Bild that French midfielder star Franck Ribery is going nowhere.

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October 13th, 2008
04:19 PM ET

Jeer we go, jeer we go, jeer we go!

When a colleague offered me her spare tickets for the England v Kazakhstan game at Wembley stadium, I jumped at the chance to go to my first live football match. [cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/13/art.cole.gi.jpg caption="Ashley Cole was booed by many of the 90,000-strong capacity crowd at Wembley."]

And I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed every moment and my initial timid shouts of "Go on England," soon gave way to loud screams, one of which attracted a look of alarm from the young boy in front of me.

Soon I was leaping out of my seat in anticipation every time an England player approached the opposition's goalmouth.

Although, it did get a little frustrating in the first half as chance after chance was squandered and the half ended in a goalless draw.

Things obviously livened up in the second half with six goals in total, but most of the drama was happening off the pitch, with what seemed like half the crowd booing Chelsea player Ashley Cole, for his, admittedly schoolboy error that landed the Kazakhstan side their only goal.

Initially, I thought it was outrageous when the chorus of boos resounded around the 90,000 capacity stadium. But after the fourth or fifth time, it quickly became tiresome and - to me - unpatriotic.

It was left to a lone Cole supporter in our section to stand up and tell the crowd, in no uncertain terms, how they were unfit to clean Cole's boots etc. "You're all effing scum. He's worth more than all of you put together," he screamed, fury etched on his face.

That's probably true, they don't call him Cashley Cole for nothing!

After that, every time Cole touched the ball and was booed, he would get up and applaud him loudly.

Pretty soon, others in our section (and me) joined him in clapping Cole.

Unfortunately, we were drowned out by the unrelenting sound of booing reverberating around the stadium.

What do you think? Did Ashley Cole deserve to be booed by England fans?

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