Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is eager to bolster his attacking department ahead of the new season and is mulling over a move for Benfica striker Oscar Cardozo.
The 29 year old had earlier been linked with a move to Chelsea but the Blues seemed to have cooled their interest in the prolific striker. Within days after Robin Van Persie declared his decision to not re-sign with the Gunners, Le Professor has reacted quickly to find themselves a replacement. The Paraguayan, who netted 20 goals last season for Benfica, has been one of the top scorers in the Primeira Liga ever since he made his move to the Lisbon club back in 2007.
Arsene Wenger is confident that the big South American can adapt himself easily to the English game and is pleading with the Emirates officials to sign him. Benfica value the striker at £16m and it remains to be seen if the Londoners spent that big an amount for a 29 year old. Cardozo, meanwhile, chose to down play any interest that the Premier League clubs have in him.
“Right now I only have Benfica in my head,” said the 29-year-old. “I have two years more on my contract and I don’t worry about leaving the club or not.”
Former Bayern Munich manager Louis Van Gaal has been appointed as the Dutch coach on a two year contract after Bert Van Marwijk decided to quit following a calamitous Euro campaign.
The 60 year old is one of the most experienced managers in the world but has had a forgettable stint with the Holland national team back in 2002 when he failed to qualify them for the World Cup finals. Van Gaal has managed Barcelona, Ajax, Bayern and was once touted as the successor to Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.
Oranje fans were in favor of Frank Rijkaard as the next manager but KNVB opted for the more experienced Van Gaal. KNVB director Bert van Oostveen said: “We were looking for a coach with a wealth of experience, with personal and technical expertise.
“Van Gaal has a proven track record both nationally and internationally, and we know he is a dedicated and very passionate coach.”
The veteran thwarted competition from Rijkaard, Co Adriaanse and Ronald Koeman to become the next Dutch coach. Many believe he is the ideal one to deal with the egos in the dressing room.
“I am pleased that the KNVB has approached me,” Van Gaal told the federation’s official website. “This is the challenge that I was waiting for.”
Former Bayern defender Vicinius Breno has been found guilty of starting a fire in his own house and been sentenced to three years and nine months in prison by Munich State Court.
The young Brazilian moved to Allianz Arena as an eighteen year old but struggled to force his way into the first team. Once considered as the next big thing in European football, Breno’s career hit a downward slide and was finally released by the Bundesliga club this summer.
“I would like to apologise for that night,” Breno is reported to have told the courtroom “I have not been a good role model. I am just a person who believes in God and thanks him for protecting my family.”
Breno’s solicitor Werner Leitner has pleaded with the Court to suspend the sentence or reduce the penalty to two and a half years. However, judge Rosi Daztmann rejected all pleas and sentenced him to three years and nine months in German prison.
The 22 year old’s former employers Bayern Munich released a statement expressing solidarity with the player. “Our hope was that Breno would have been able to continue his career as a footballer and, consequently, his life together with his family,” it read.
“FC Bayern will continue to support Breno.”
Arsenal have turned their attention to Toulouse midfielder Etienne Capoue after deciding against following up on their interest in Rennes star Yann M’Vila.
Arsenal were keen on French international M’Vila and were supposed to strike a deal after the Euros. But the 21 year old’s off field indiscipline has forced the Gunner boss to Capoue who has been very impressive for the Ligue 1 outfit for the last couple of seasons.
Arsenal were close to signing the young Frenchman a couple of years back but Toulouse managed to hold on to the promising midfielder and extended his contract till 2014. However, the hard tackling French U 21 captain could be allowed to leave this summer if the Londoners meet the club’s valuation. Toulouse manager Alain Casanova has admitted that the club would have no other option but to cash in on the player if a good offer comes along.
“I hope to keep him, but if we get an offer we can’t refuse we will have to negotiate,” Casanova is quoted as saying in French newspaper Le 10 Sport.
“He’s a very good footballer with the potential to succeed in a great team in the best league in the world.”
Chelsea target Alvaro Pereira’s agent insists that the Porto defender is not contemplating a move away from Estadio do Dragao this summer amidst interest from many clubs.
The 26 year old Uruguayan, who is still enjoying his holidays back in South America, has been the subject of speculation recently with Chelsea reportedly interested in him. Chelsea are in desperate need of a right back after Jose Bosingwa was released earlier and Paolo Ferreira is also expected to follow him through the exit door. New Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo has closely studied Pereira’s exploits for the Primeira league side and is keen on signing him.
The defender has a release clause of £25m which the European champions aren’t willing to pay. The Stamford Bridge officials are likely to enter into a discussion with Porto soon over the possibility of a transfer.
Meanwhile, the player’s agent Alexander Savich spoke to Portuguese radio station Radio Renascence.
“Many clubs in England and Italy have asked about his situation, the value of his release clause and if Porto would be willing to negotiate, but we are not negotiating with any club,” he said.
“Alvaro is not thinking of leaving Porto because he has signed a contract. If there is an interesting offer, it will be Porto who decides.”