Quote of the day: “My agent is in charge, he knows what I want, I am resting and relaxed. Now there are two or three options and the club knows. I’m due back in about 10 days, on July 21. There are no offers yet, but Liverpool know exactly what is going on and what I want. I’m in Uruguay resting and enjoying family before I get back to my club Liverpool. A phone call could change everything. It’s good to know that I’m still valued by teams like Arsenal. Friends call me up to ask if I am moving to Chelsea. I said, ‘You know more than me.’ Don’t believe everything you read or hear. I am somehow off the grid – I don’t even know where my phone is sometimes. My manager called me four times and I was, ‘Oh! Sorry!’” – Luis Suarez.
Runner-up: “I won’t run away. I won’t hide. When we finished fifth, I didn’t have to show too many sides of my character because the team was doing well. A lot of adulation came our way and the momentum was with us. Last year, I couldn’t have had any more turmoil put in front of me with injuries and the Europa League, but I think I showed the fans that I am resilient. I’d like to think through all of the adversity last year, I tried to carry the club with respect. I didn’t lose my control or lose my temper with the players — or the Press. Those qualities will serve me better this year. Hopefully we will have a more successful season.” – Alan Pardew.
Real Madrid step up Luis Suarez chase
Real ready to ruin Arsenal Suarez bid (Geoff Sweet, Sun) REAL MADRID are ready to hijack Arsenal’s bid to land Luis Suarez. The wantaway Liverpool striker yesterday revealed he has “two or three options” but scoffed at reports he is about to join Chelsea. Real president Florentino Perez is set to offer Liverpool a whopping £40million for the Uruguayan – just days after the Reds turned down a £30m bid from the Gunners. Suarez declared: “My agent is in charge, he knows what I want. “It is good to know I am valued by teams like Arsenal. “Now there are two or three options and the club knows.” His agent Pere Guardiola met Anfield boss Brendan Rodgers and managing director Ian Ayre on Monday to insist Suarez wants to join a club in the Champions League next season.
Arsenal given new hope as Liverpool striker Luis Suárez admits news of interest is ‘good to know’ (Jeremy Wilson, Daily Telegraph) Luis Suárez has provided Arsenal with unexpected encouragement in their attempt to prise him away from Liverpool by publicly saying that it was “good to know” he was valued by such a club.Having previously indicated that he wants to leave England completely, any suggestion that Suárez is now open to the idea of moving to another Premier League club would place further strain on his relationship with Liverpool. Arsenal have already made a £30 million bid and, although Liverpool will not consider offers below £40 million, Suárez’s latest remarks will give Arsène Wenger hope that a deal is still feasible.
Benteke will sign for Spurs
Christian Benteke transfer to Tottenham from Aston Villa is on but only after price war (James Nursey, Daily Mirror) Aston Villa will reluctantly sell Christian Benteke to Spurs – but are gearing up for a price war with Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy. Villa’s Belgium striker Benteke has handed in a transfer request and has now been given extended summer leave. We understand the 22-year-old, and his agent, had a meeting with Villa manager Paul Lambert on Saturday at the club’s training ground following Benteke’s return from holiday. In frank discussions, the player asked to leave. Lambert and the club’s hierarchy are now prepared to let the striker leave during pre-season, but want £25m-rated Benteke – who has three years left on his contract – to depart on their terms. Villa owner Randy Lerner has experience of driving a hard bargain over the exits of stars Gareth Barry and Stewart Downing previously.
Chelsea v Spurs… in race for Benteke! Mourinho ready to pounce for £25m hitman… but Villa ace wants Spurs deal (Neil Moxley, Daily Mail) Aston Villa have told Christian Benteke’s suitors that they will not be bullied into losing the Belgium striker after making him available for £25million. Spurs are favourites to secure the services of Benteke, 22, following his transfer request but Villa are determined to stick to their guns over the price and are not interested in any part-exchange deal. The suggestion is that Spurs chairman Daniel Levy will try to force through a move as the transfer window is about to close but Villa do not need to sell in order to raise cash.
Al Fayed to sell Fulham
Fayed in secret talks to SELL Fulham after 16-year stint at Craven Cottage (Charlie Sale, Daily Mail) Fulham owner Mohamed Al Fayed is understood to be on the verge of selling the club after investing £200million at Craven Cottage over the last 16 years. Potential buyers from America are interested and the Premier League are well into the complex process involved when a club in world football’s richest league changes hands. Talks are also taking place with Fayed’s advisors and a deal could be completed in time for the start of the season next month – and possibly even by the end of this week. However, such is the secrecy with which 84-year-old Fayed conducts his business – typified by his sale of Harrods to Qatar Holdings – that executives at Fulham have little or no information about the potential sale that is being conducted through the chairman’s office.
Chelsea sign Schwarzer
Chelsea sign Mark Schwarzer after goalkeeper leaves Fulham (David Hytner, Guardian) Chelsea have signed the goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer on a free transfer to provide competition and cover for the first choice, Petr Cech. The 40-year-old Australia international was released by Fulham at the end of last season, after the arrival of the Holland goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg from Roma, and he has agreed a one-year contract with the Premier League’s other west London club. Chelsea, who have released Ross Turnbull, had attempted to take John Ruddy from Norwich City only to be deterred by his price tag. They had offers of £5m and £6m rejected. Norwich wanted closer to £10m.
Why did no Premier League sides want Mario Gomez?
In Mario Gomez Fiorentina have seen something the rest of Europe did not (Jonathan Wilson, Guardian) Mario Gomez scores lots of goals: 75 in 115 league appearances for Bayern Munich, 63 in 121 for Stuttgart and 25 in 58 games for Germany. Even last season, when he had been relegated to second choice behind Mario Mandzukic, Gomez rattled in 12 goals in 11 starts. When he joined Bayern in 2009, he was the most expensive transfer in Bundesliga history. If various add-on clauses end up being triggered, he will surpass Nuno Gomes as Fiorentina’s record signing. Gomez is 28 on Wednesday, theoretically at least at the peak of his career. And yet there seems to be no great shock or sadness that he is leaving Bayern, no gnashing of teeth from Premier League clubs that another top forward has got away; indeed, even at the height of the silly season when it seems every player in the world is linked to at least one Premier League club, nobody seemed to think anything of him. So why have Fiorentina spent £13m (possibly rising to £17m) on a striker while the rest of the world shrugged its shoulders?
John Terry’s dad
Footballer John Terry’s father charged with racist attack (Melanie Hall, Daily Telegraph) Chelsea footballer John Terry’s father was charged today with carrying out a racist attack on a man after a fracas in the City of London.Ted Terry, 59, was charged was racially aggravated assault on Tuesday afternoon after he was arrested earlier this year following the incident on Fenchurch Street in London’s Square Mile. Mr Terry was also charged with racially aggravated fear of violence when he answered bail at Bishopsgate Police Station.
Two other men, Tudor Musteata, 47, of London, and Stephen Niland, 36, of Romford, were also charged following the scuffle at 8pm on March 22. Both men face one allegation that they caused a ‘fear of violence’ that was racially aggravated.