Santos hoping to tie down Neymar

The club’s vice-president has confirmed negotiations have opened up between the two parties over a new deal, and also denies Barcelona have struck a deal for the player

Santos vice-president Odilio Rodrigues has confirmed that the club have begun talks with striker Neymar over a contract extension with the club.

The Brazilian’s current deal expires in 2014, but the club are hoping to tie him down for longer, and have already started negotiating with his father, who handles the player’s affairs.

“We have decided already, we want to extend the deal beyond 2014. We’re working for that. We already started the conversations with Neymar’s father,” Odilio told UOL Esporte.

“Santos are working to pen down a new deal.”

Rodrigues went on to emphasise that no agreement had been reached with any club over an eventual move to Europe.

“His father denies [that the player has a deal with Barcelona] and we believe him, we believe he didn’t sign any kind of deal,” he continued.

“He has always been honest and straightforward with us. He said Neymar will stay where he’s happy. Neymar is sold every day, every day someone else claims he has been negotiated.

“We even read that Santos already received money. It’s routine, but there’s nothing between Santos and another club.”

QPR winger Ephraim on verge of Toronto loan deal

The MLS side, now managed by the Rs’ former centre-back Ryan Nelsen, are looking to bring the 24-year-old to BMO Field as a replacement for the retiring Torsten Frings

QPR winger Hogan Ephraim has completed a move to MLS side Toronto FC on loan until the end of the season, while Tottenham midfielder John Bostock and former Cardiff striker Rob Earnshaw could also join him in Canada.

Toronto, now managed by ex-Hoops defender Ryan Nelsen, are looking to strengthen their squad following the retirement of former Germany international Torsten Frings.

And the Reds have added Ephraim to their ranks, even though the 24-year-old has not started a league game for the Rs since they won promotion to the Premier League, with Harry Redknapp’s side confirming the move on Wednesday afternoon.

Nelsen will know all about Ephraim from their time together at Loftus Road, while the Reds are also keen to take a closer look at trialists Bostock and Earnshaw. Bostock is already in Toronto, while Earnshaw is set to arrive on Wednesday.

“[Earnshaw] arrives to take a look at us and for us to take a look at him to see if that’s a fit that might work,” Payne added.

“It’s a little too early to tell if that’s going to happen.”

Carew fails Inter medical

The club have confirmed that they will not be signing the former Aston Villa forward as he would require a lengthy fitness programme before being ready for first-team action

Inter have confirmed that Norwegian striker John Carew will not be joining the club, having failed his medical checks.

Reports first emerged on Tuesday that the former Aston Villa striker was being targeted by the Nerazzurri, before coach Andrea Stramaccioni later confirmed that the player would be given a trial before a decision was made on whether or not to sign him.

However, the 33-year-old has since failed to pass fitness tests and will therefore not be offered a contract with the club.

A statement on Inter’s official website on Wednesday afternoon read: “Inter would like to thank Norwegian striker John Carew for the great dedication and professionalism he demonstrated.

“His current athletic condition, however, would require a medium to long period of specific individual work, which is not compatible with the needs of the club.”

Inter have been seeking cover for their forward positions ever since Diego Milito was ruled out for the season with a knee injury, and have also been linked with the likes of Angelos Charisteas and Ruud van Nistelrooy.

Carew, who has been without a club ever since he left West Ham United last summer, has previously played for Aston Villa, Stoke City, Olympique Lyonnais, Valencia and Rosenborg.

QPR winger Ephraim on verge of Toronto FC loan deal

The MLS side, now managed by the Rs’ former centre-back Ryan Nelsen, are looking to bring the 24-year-old to BMO Field as a replacement for the retiring Torsten Frings

QPR winger Hogan Ephraim is on the verge of moving to MLS side Toronto on loan, while Tottenham midfielder John Bostock and former Cardiff striker Rob Earnshaw could also join him in Canada.

Toronto, now managed by ex-Hoops defender Ryan Nelsen, are looking to strengthen their squad following the retirement of former Germany international Torsten Frings.

And the Reds are clearly keen on Ephraim, even though the 24-year-old has not started a league game for the Rs since they won promotion to the Premier League.

“We’re in hopefully the final stages of signing him to a loan agreement with Queens Park Rangers,” revealed club president and general manager Kevin Payne on the official MLS website.

“We hope that will be concluded in the next day or two.”

Nelsen will know all about Ephraim from their time together at Loftus Road, while the Reds are also keen to take a closer look at trialists Bostock and Earnshaw. Bostock is already in Toronto, while Earnshaw is set to arrive on Wednesday.

“[Earnshaw] arrives to take a look at us and for us to take a look at him to see if that’s a fit that might work,” Payne added.

“It’s a little too early to tell if that’s going to happen.”

Vidal: I want to stay at Juventus

The midfielder is happy with life at the Old Lady and determined to add more silverware to his trophy cabinet

Arturo Vidal says he wants to stay at Juventus for the foreseeable future as he feels the Italian champions are the best side in Italy.

The Chile international has been linked with clubs such as Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Manchester City in recent months following his fine performances for the Bianconeri, but Vidal is happy to stay at his current club and challenge for titles.

“Juventus are the strongest team in Italy. I am playing here and I want to stay at this club for a long time and win silverware wearing this jersey,” Vidal told Corriere delle Sera.

“Our biggest strength is that we always act as a team. There’s great harmony both on and off the pitch.

“We have the quality to compete with any team. I think we have what it takes to win both the Champions League and the Scudetto.”

Juve currently sit atop of Serie A, holding a six-point lead over Napoli, while they recorded a 3-0 win over Celtic in the first leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie.