El Shaarawy's Milan future in doubt, says Boban

The young attacker’s progress has seemingly stalled after an impressive start to the 2012-13 campaign and the Croat thinks a transfer could be an option

Former AC Milan midfielder Zvonimir Boban believes Stephan El Shaarawy is at risk of being sold this summer unless he improves his game.

The Italy international was one of the stars of the first half of the 2012-13 campaign, but his progress halted after the winter break as he struggled to hit his best form.

A number of recent reports even suggested that Milan could cash in on the 20-year-old if a good offer comes in and Boban thinks a transfer is not out of the question.

“El Shaarawy needs to improve a lot. He is too predictable at the moment. Everybody knows what’s going to happen when he cuts inside,” he told Sky Sport Italia.

“I get the idea that Milan see him as a good player, but nothing more than that. I get the feeling that they are already considering selling him.

“[Adriano] Galliani has already said that he’s not unsellable, so I think they will sell him if the price is right.”

El Shaarawy’s current contract with Milan runs until June 2018.

Watzke: Dortmund have €50m to spend

The German giants have plenty of financial clout, but have no intention of paying over the odds for any of their transfer targets

Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has revealed that the Champions League finalists have a €50 million transfer budget this summer.

BVB have been linked with players such as Kevin De Bruyne, Christian Eriksen and Henrik Mkhitaryan in recent months as they are looking for a replacement for Mario Gotze, but have so far been unable to add a creative midfielder to their squad.

However, Watzke is confident that they will eventually get the players they want and has urged the fans to remain patient.

“We are still very ambitious. That means that we have €50m to spend on new players – including Sokratis [Papastathopoulos],” he told Bild.

“Money can solve things pretty quickly in talks with other clubs. However, we do not only have to be ambitious from a sporting point of view, but have to make intelligent decisions financially, too.

“That’s why things are taking a bit longer this summer.

“We will sign two or three attacking players and one of them will be a player for the future. I won’t mention any names, though. People shouldn’t let rumours on the Internet drive them crazy.”

Dortmund have so far only signed defender Sokratis from Werder Bremen for of a fee of around €9.5 million.

Julio Cesar odds on to join Arsenal following Confederations Cup triumph

The 33-year-old has been linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium ever since suffering relegation with QPR, and his latest comments have caused the odds to be slashed

After making several eye-catching saves in Brazil’s impressive Confederations Cup final victory over Spain, Julio Cesar gave his biggest hint yet about where his future lies.

The QPR man has been strongly linked with a move to Arsenal ever since suffering relegation from the Premier League, with manager Harry Redknapp recently confirming he would leave to join a ‘big club.’

Speaking after the match at the Maracana, the Brazil number one expressed his desire to remain in London, prompting BetVictor to reduce the odds on him moving to the Emirates to just 1/2 (1.50).

This will come as bad news for fellow suitors Roma, who had pinpointed the 33-year-old as the experienced goalkeeper they needed to replace Fulham-bound Maarten Stekelenburg, and are now available at 6/4 (2.50) to beat Arsenal to his signature.

Fellow Serie A side AC Milan were also monitoring the situation, but are up against it at 12/1 (13.00) to successfully convince the former Inter Milan keeper to follow Mario Balotelli in switching his allegiances to the Nerazzurri.

As always though, the lure of money cannot be ignored, and mega rich Monaco, Anzhi and Zenit St Petersburg are all available at 33/1 (34.00) to blow The Gunners out of the water by completing a late move for the Confederations Cup Golden Gloves winner.

Should Julio Cesar be tempted to move back to a Portuguese-speaking country, then Porto and Benfica are both on offer at 33/1 (34.00) to bring him to the Primeira Liga.

Tottenham fans might enjoy the idea of stealing a transfer target from under their rivals’ noses, but with Hugo Lloris already firmly established as first choice in goal, odds of 40/1 (41.00) are probably best avoided on the famously prudent Daniel Levy sanctioning an expensive move for the Brazilian.

Stoke City could be in the market for a goalkeeper should the in demand Asmir Begovic leave this summer, but odds of 50/1 (51.00) underline how slim their chances would be of attracting the former Champions League winner to the Britannia Stadium.

Sign up with Bet Victor for a free £25 bet

Al Hain-Cole is a Liverpool fan, experienced tipster and avid follower of European football. He specialises in accumulators and if you would like to read more from Al you can follow him on Twitter here.

Follow GoalBetting on

'Fresh challenge' could see Rooney leave Manchester United, says Phelan

The former Old Trafford assistant manager says the England international could be tempted to leave the Premier League champions this summer in pursuit of a new adventure

Former Manchester United assistant manager Mike Phelan believes Wayne Rooney could leave the club in search of a new challenge.

The 27-year-old, who handed in a transfer request last season, is believed to be set for crunch talks with new boss David Moyes in the coming days, with the striker hoping to gain assurances about his role in the first-team.

Phelan, who left United following Moyes’ reshuffle of the backroom staff, is adamant there is no better place for Rooney to ply his trade than at Old Trafford, but admits he could seek a fresh challenge away from the club.

“Wayne is at the greatest club you can be at,” Phelan told BBC Radio 5 Live. “Why would you want to jeopardise that?

“Unless you want a fresh challenge and you feel that challenge isn’t being met at Manchester United.

“Every player is entitled to express a desire to want to move on. Any player can do that at any time.

“In Wayne’s case, in the first instance in 2010, he took a lot of advice on that and got steered towards making that call but the manager was terrific. He talked to him and asked why would he want to leave the club?

“The press conference Sir Alex gave was a bit of a tear-jerker and it was genuine. There was an element that he’d chased this boy and paid big money. He was the boy that could change United.”

Phelan expects the Red Devils to make a decision on Rooney’s future soon but admits he doesn’t know whether he will stay or go.

“Somewhere down the line there will be words said, there will be meetings and they will see if it’s still alive and worth going for or they’ll call time on it,” Phelan added.

“He’s come from a fresh-faced 17-year-old and has been under the spotlight for that time and he has delivered. He might have hit a blip in certain performances but he isn’t the first or last player to have done that.

“You have to nurse them through it and hopefully he responds to that. Sometimes you have to crack the whip with him. Wayne has responded as well as he feels he can do for United, and what will be will be – I haven’t got a clue.”

Agent urges Barcelona to make a move for Thiago Silva

The centre-back’s representative has stressed that the Catalans must take action if they are really interested in signing the Paris Saint-Germain star

Thiago Silva’s agent, Paulo Tonietto, has urged Barcelona to make a move for the Paris Saint-Germain defender sooner rather than later if they really want to strengthen their defence with the Brazil international.

The 28-year-old revealed earlier this week that Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova approached him after the club’s Champions League tie with PSG in April and his representative is eager to get the ball rolling.

“There’s a lot of talk that Tito likes him, but if that’s the case, someone should open talks,” Tonietto told RAC1.

“If you want to sign someone, you will not succeed in doing so by sitting at home watching television.”

Thiago Silva joined Paris Saint-Germain from AC Milan in the summer of 2012 and has since become a key figure at the Ligue 1 champions.

The defender’s contract with PSG runs until June 2017.