Leonardo angered by Paris Saint-Germain's South American latecomers

Paris Saint-Germain director of football Leonardo is hoping to sanction three South American players after they turned up late to the club’s training camp in Qatar.


Argentine duo Ezequiel Lavezzi and Javier Pastore, along with Uruguayan defender Diego Lugano, returned from their Christmas break on Monday, but should have joined up with the rest of the team in Doha a day earlier.

And although he is unsure how he can punish the players, Leonardo is keen to do whatever he can.

Lugano, Lavezzi and Pastore arrived one day late and I am not happy,” the Brazilian was reported as saying by L’Equipe. “This is not good and it was not planned. Nene had the right to arrive on December 30, not Lugano, Lavezzi or Pastore.“I have not met with them yet but it was not good. We’ll see what we can do. We are in France, it is not easy to sanction them, unfortunately.”

Leonardo’s compatriot Lucas Moura was in Doha on time, with the 20-year-old winger joining his new team-mates for training after he agreed to move from Sao Paulo in August.

The youngster was part of a summer spending splurge in the French capital, and was brought in alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silva, Marco Verratti, Gregory van der Wiel and the tardy Lavezzi.

But Leonardo is unsure whether there will be more reinforcements during the winter window, stating that players will have to leave before Carlo Ancelotti’s ranks can be strengthened.

“The transfer window is always weird, you never know what can happen,” he continued. “We need to see if players leave, then we will study the issue.

“If you stay exactly the same, you do not improve. If players leave and there are opportunities, we’ll see.

“The coach has his team, his ideas, his balance. There are players like Guillaume Hoarau, Nene, Lugano, Siaka Tiene and Mohamed Sissoko who can leave. We will see what will happen in the coming days.”

On Monday, the 43-year-old ruled out moves for Chelsea left-back Ashley Cole and Inter playmaker Wesley Sneijder.

“We have never spoken with Ashley Cole, there has never been any contact,” he told reporters.

“Carlo was his coach at Chelsea, that’s why that story is doing the rounds.

“Sincerely, we have never contacted Wesley Sneijder to come to PSG – we have five players in his position already.”

The British press have also linked les Parisiens with a move for Arsenal attacker Theo Walcott.

Newcastle boss Pardew criticises representatives of Chelsea target Demba Ba

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has criticised the representatives of his striker Demba Ba, with the forward’s future at the club in doubt.

The 27-year-old has a £7 million release clause in his contract, and with a host of clubs said to be interested in securing his services, Pardew says he wants the forward’s future resolved as quickly as possible.

“In some respects, I feel a little bit sorry for Demba as well,” Pardew told reporters. “Because I think people who are representing him are not actually representing him.

“There are people out there who are saying this who are not actually involved or want to be involved, and that’s the sort of world we are in.

“The contract is what it is, we are all aware of that, and for me as the manager I need it resolved as quickly as possible. That’s the best situation for our fans and for the club.”

Newcastle have offered Ba a new deal that would see the release clause removed, and the offer remains open to the striker for the time being, but Pardew has stated that it will not be there for much longer.

He added: “The situation with that is that it’s getting close to the point where we say ‘no more’, but the offer is still there.”

Tottenham goalkeeper Cudicini joins LA Galaxy on free transfer

Tottenham goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini will join LA Galaxy on a free transfer in January, both clubs have confirmed.

The 39-year-old Italian arrived at White Hart Lane in January 2009, but made just 37 appearances in all competitions over three years for Spurs.

In recent times he found his first-team opportunities limited by the presence of both Hugo Lloris and Brad Friedel, and will now make the same move as former team-mate Robbie Keane did in the summer of 2011.

“We are delighted to be able to add Carlo Cudicini to our roster,” Galaxy head coach and general manager Bruce Arena said.

“Carlo is an experienced and accomplished goalkeeper who we believe will be a great addition to our team and our defensive unit.”

Allegri: Focus on youth is right track for AC Milan

Focusing on youth and being financially prude is the right road for AC Milan to walk, according to head coach Massimiliano Allegri.

The Italian giants sold Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva to Paris Saint-Germain in the summer for huge sums of money, but have suffered in Serie A with player departures and sit seventh as of the winter break.

Allegri pointed at Uefa’s Financial Fair Play rules as one of the reasons to not splash cash without consideration, and thinks that the club is doing great under the difficult economic circumstances.

“We are on the right track by focusing on youth,” the coach told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“We are building a new Milan, so this is an achievement that takes time and passion. The president [Silvio Berlusconi] is right to take this route, as nobody in the current Italian financial crisis can afford wages of €7 million per season and stay within the Financial Fair Play rules.”

Milan sit on 27 points after 18 games – five points behind sixth-placed Roma and trailing league-leaders Juventus by 17 points.

“I am happy with the number of points we have so far this season, even though we could’ve had a few more,” Allegri insisted.

“I end the year aware that I adapted to different situations. Intelligence can also be seen in someone’s ability to deal with changing scenarios. In difficult moments I am calm and not clouded by anxiety. Perhaps I kept my job because I was good at reassuring the club.

“I told them we’d emerge from this situation and we are on the right track, although the game with Roma showed we are still not solid.

“I have a contract until 2014, but obviously I’m happy at Milan and would gladly stay for longer. The challenge of getting back to the top within two or three years is exciting.”

Alexandre Pato and Robinho look set to leave San Siro in the January transfer window, but the Rossoneri boss had nothing but praise for the attacking Brazilian pair.

“Will I be more disappointed if Pato or Robinho leaves? I have different feelings,” Allegri continued.

“Pato has the potential to win the Ballon d’Or, but I understand he needs to find that confidence he lost amid all the injuries.

“Robinho… what to say about Robinho? He is a player of a superior level.”

Milan have been linked with a move for Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli using the funds raised from potential Pato and Robinho sales, and although Allegri was coy on the club’s interest, he advised the Italy international to step up his game before it is too late.

“I don’t like talking about players in other teams,” the coach said. “In any case, it’s a shame he still hasn’t shown his talent and I think he needs to hurry up, because you’re 30 before you know it.”

Allegri: Focus on youth is right track for Milan

Focusing on youth and being financially prude is the right road for AC Milan to walk, according to head coach Massimiliano Allegri.

The Italian giants sold Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva to Paris Saint-Germain in the summer for huge sums of money, but have suffered in Serie A with player departures and sit seventh as of the winter break.

Allegri pointed at Uefa’s Financial Fair Play rules as one of the reasons to not splash cash without consideration, and thinks that the club is doing great under the difficult economic circumstances.

“We are on the right track by focusing on youth,” the coach told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“We are building a new Milan, so this is an achievement that takes time and passion. The president [Silvio Berlusconi] is right to take this route, as nobody in the current Italian financial crisis can afford wages of €7 million per season and stay within the Financial Fair Play rules.”

Milan sit on 27 points after 18 games – five points behind sixth-placed Roma, with a much larger 17 points between the Rossoneri and reigning champions Juventus, who sit top of the league.

“I am happy with the number of points we have so far this season, even though we could’ve had a few more,” Allegri insisted.

“I end the year aware that I adapted to different situations. Intelligence can also be seen in someone’s ability to deal with changing scenarios. In difficult moments I am calm and not clouded by anxiety. Perhaps I kept my job because I was good at reassuring the club.

“I told them we’d emerge from this situation and we are on the right track, although the game with Roma showed we are still not solid.

“I have a contract until 2014, but obviously I’m happy at Milan and would gladly stay for longer. The challenge of getting back to the top within two or three years is exciting.”

Alexandre Pato and Robinho look set to leave San Siro in the January transfer window, but the Rossoneri boss had nothing but praise for the attacking Brazilian pair.

“Will I be more disappointed if Pato or Robinho leaves? I have different feelings,” Allegri continued.

“Pato has the potential to win the Ballon d’Or, but I understand he needs to find that confidence he lost amid all the injuries.

“Robinho… what to say about Robinho? He is a player of a superior level.”

Milan have been linked with a move for Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli using the funds raised from potential Pato and Robinho sales, and although Allegri was coy on the club’s interest, he advised the Italy international to step up his game before it is too late.

“I don’t like talking about players in other teams,” the coach said. “In any case, it’s a shame he still hasn’t shown his talent and I think he needs to hurry up, because you’re 30 before you know it.”