Beckham coy on Paris Saint-Germain future

The former England captain has admitted that he is enjoying himself at the Parc des Princes and is proud that Carlo Ancelotti wants him to sign on for another season

David Beckham has refused to rule out the possibility of him extending his stay at Paris Saint-Germain.

The former England captain arrived in the French capital on a short-term contract in January but coach Carlo Ancelotti admitted earlier this week that he would like to retain the services of the veteran midfielder beyond the end of the season.

Beckham, who turns 38 in May, is remaining coy on the issue, but admits that he is enjoying life at the Parc des Princes.

“At my age, we need to take one season at a time,” he told BeIn Sport. “But for now, I feel very comfortable here.

“I have great respect for Carlo as a manager and as a person. If he says he wants to keep me, that makes me very proud.”

Beckham came in for stern criticism for travelling to China in an ambassadorial role during the recent international break, but does not believe that the trip betrayed a lack of professionalism.

“I have not heard anything in terms of the critics,” he declared. “But if this is the case, I am professional and I always have been.

“It was a very special moment. I got to represent the Chinese League and PSG. I missed just two days of training; I’m back and I caught up. What counts is the team, the manager, players and fans.

“Physically, I feel great. I always look after myself. I have always been professional in all the clubs. I am very happy to be in Paris and the club treats me as if I’ve been here 10 years.”

Beckham explained that the two main reasons why he is enjoying plying his trade in Paris is his role within Ancelotti’s side. There is also the fact that he is getting to line out alongside so many world-class stars, chief among them Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

“There is not only Ibra; I have a good relationship with all players,” he explained. “But it is true that he has a special talent.

“But I love this midfield position because I hit a lot of passes and I can make assists.”

Having played his part in PSG moving eight points clear in Ligue 1 with a crucial 1-0 victory over Montpellier on Friday night, Beckham is now hoping to be involved in next week’s eagerly-awaited Champions League showdown with Barcelona.

“Of course this is a huge game,” he conceded. “Everyone was super excited to play Barca; it is both an honor and a challenge.

“But we must say that we can meet the challenge. This is perhaps the best team in the world.

“There is Lionel Messi, but not only him. They are very united and each player plays for everyone else. It is a harmonious team.

“It will be a great match and we are delighted to have Ibra for this game. People want to see the best players play against the best teams.”

Beckham, who has 115 England caps to his name, joined PSG after the expiration of his contract with LA Galaxy.

Cavani has 50/50 chance of Madrid move, says father

The much-coveted striker has a buy-out clause of €70 million but it is now being claimed that Partenopei president Aurelio De Laurentiis would be willing to accept a smaller fee

Edinson Cavani’s father has claimed that there is a “50 per cent chance” of his son leaving Napoli for Real Madrid.

The Uruguay international’s future has been the subject of much debate for two years and Partenopei president Aurelio De Laurentiis admitted earlier this month that he would be willing to part company with his most prized asset should any club meet the €70 million asking price.

However, Cavani’s father believes that Napoli will actually allow the striker to leave the San Paolo for less than the figure stated in the player’s buy-out clause.

“Napoli have refused offers from a lot of teams, but I believe that if an offer of €60 million arrives, he will be sold,” Cavani senior told Marca TV.

“I believe that today there is a 50 per cent chance of signing for Real Madrid, but the negotiations with Napoli will be very complicated.”

Cavani has established himself as one of the most lethal forwards in world football since joining Napoli from Palermo in 2010.

Agent: Damiao open to Napoli move

The Brazil international seems almost certain to join a top European side this season, with the Partenopei, Borussia Dortmund and Tottenham Hotspur all seemingly interested

Leandro Damiao’s agent Vinicius Prates insists that Napoli have not made an approach for the Internacional player, but admitted that his client is open to a summer switch to the San Paolo.

The Brazil international has been repeatedly linked with a move to Europe and, as Goal.com exclusively revealed, Tottenham Hotspur failed with a €19 million bid for 23-year-old striker during the January transfer window.

Napoli are also said to be considering Damiao as a replacement for the in-demand Edinson Cavani but Prates insists there has not yet been any contact with the Partenopei.

“I cannot comment on something that is not there, seeing has I have received nothing in writing, or even an offer from Napoli,” the agent told calciomercato.it.

“If an interesting proposal should arrive for us and Internacional, there would be a good chance that Leandro leaves.

“He’s happy at Internacional. He’s been one of the best Brazilian goalscorers for several years now.

“But it’s possible that he will leave during the summer transfer window if the conditions mentioned before are met.”

Dortmund has also been mentioned as a possible destination for Damiao and, again, Prates freely admits that the player would be keen to discuss a move to Signal Iduna Park.

“It’s a big club that I like a lot,” he revealed. “I repeat: if a big club like Borussia or the other great European sides should formalise a proposal for us and for Internacional, we would evaluate it carefully.”

Internacional admitted earlier this week that Damiao, who has been capped 14 times by the Selecao, is expected to leave the club this summer.

Determined Anelka eyes new Juventus deal

The veteran forward is actively trying to persuade coach Antonio Conte to keep him on for next season

EXCLUSIVE
By Romeo Agresti

Nicolas Anelka is not remotely interested in parting company with Juventus and is actually doing his utmost to secure a contract extension, Goal.com can reveal.

It was reported on Thursday that the former France international was seeking to rescind the five-month contract he signed with the Bianconeri in January.

Anelka, who arrived as a free agent from Shanghai Shenhua, quickly dismissed the claim as “stupid” and Goal.com can confirm that the forward is looking to extend his stay beyond the current campaign.

The 34-year-old is believed to have impressed both his coaches and his team-mates with his attitude in training, as well as the way in which he has dealt with being restricted to just two appearances to date for the Italian champions.

Indeed, Anelka has demonstrated a great desire to resolve the back problem that has been nagging him since setting up residence in Turin, putting in extra training sessions in order to improve his fitness levels and underline his commitment to the club in the hope of being offered fresh terms in the summer.

Doubts persist over whether the Bianconeri boss will seek to retain the services of a player he has so rarely called up thus far, particularly with Fernando Llorente set to arrive in the summer, but Anelka remains determined to prove himself in Serie A as Conte looks to make full use of his squad in with decisive domestic and Champions League ties to come.

Rodgers refuses to confirm Eriksen interest

Ajax director Marc Overmars says that Liverpool are scouting the Danish star but the Reds boss is remaining coy on any potential targets

Brendan Rodgers admits the need to strengthen his Liverpool squad but refuses to specify whether he is targeting Ajax midfielder Christian Eriksen.
Ajax director of football Marc Overmars suggested on Friday that the Reds have been scouting the Danish midfielder, who has made over 100 appearances for the Eredivisie champions, but the Northern Irishman hinted that the scouts’ target may have been different.

“If you read what he says, I think what he says [is] we’ve had scouts at the game, but we could have been watching anyone,” Rodgers told reporters. “We could have been watching someone from the other team.

“We’ll be like every other club, we’ll be looking at good players, but, as I’ve always done and will continue to do, I won’t speak about any players or speculate on anything.”

Goal.com revealed on Friday that Liverpool have identifed Ashley s and Stefan de Vrij as summer transfer targets and the 48-year-old did acknowledge that Jamie Carragher’s retirement would prompt recruitment in defence.

“I think we’re going to be light in that area, so we just have to, between now and the end of the season, assess. That’s the one area of the field where we haven’t brought anyone in,” Rodgers continued.

“We’ve brought midfield players in to the group and we’ve brought front players into the group but as of yet there’s been no one in that area of the field.

“Naturally, we’re obviously going to lose Jamie, which is a big loss. There’s no player that’s irreplaceable but he’s a big loss because you see his experience and how he leads the line, and when you’re playing as a defender you need someone in there that’s vocal and can organise the line – he does that remarkably well.

“I’ve also got really good players here – Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel – but between now and the end of the season we know we need to strengthen the group, and that’s something that we’ll look at doing.”

Rodgers added of Carragher: “There’s no doubt he’ll be a miss and I’ll miss him, because he’s a good man, he’s a lover of football, and he puts everything into his training every day.

“He’s a real role model for all the players – young and the senior players – but he’s got eight games left, let’s not write him off yet. He’s still fit and strong and like you say, we missed his leadership qualities at Southampton and he’ll come back into the squad [against Aston Villa].”