Genoa chief downplays Perin-Milan rumours

Genoa president Enrico Preziosi has rubbished talk that goalkeeper Mattia Perin is on his way to AC Milan, despite having dinner with Rossoneri CEO Adriano Galliani.

The 20-year-old has been in impressive form while in loan at Pescara this season, and has been linked with a move away from the Luigi Ferraris.

“We didn’t talk about transfers. It was just a meal between friends,” he told Sky Sport Italia.

“Perin to Milan? The boy now needs to be left in peace so that he can show people what he can do. We’ll see what happens in the future.”

Another player linked with a Genoa exit is Juraj Kucka, but Preziosi is adamant that nobody will be on the way out as the Rossoblu look to stave off relegation.

“We cannot possibly sell anyone this month because we need to stay up and we cannot weaken the squad.”

Wenger 'still working' to bring players to Arsenal

Arsene Wenger has insisted that he is working towards bringing new players to Arsenal in the January transfer window.

Goal.com revealed last week that the Gunners had madea  formal approach for David Villa, while they are continuing to pursue a deal for Adrian Lopez.

The Frenchman admitted he was under pressure to bring bodies to the club this month, but is only interested signing the very best players available.

“We are still working in the transfer market but we only want exceptional players,” he told reporters. “In England you are always under pressure to buy.

“We have no problem with people wanting to join us. There’s different ways to be successful in football. Money helps but is not the only way.”

Wenger has allowed two of his players to leave the club on loan, with Swiss defender Djourou leaving for Hannover in Germany, and striker Chamakh joining West Ham until the end of the season.

The 63-year-old thinks both players will benefit from their temporary switches, but will not sanction any more departures until he has brought replacements to the club.

“At the moment no, [no one is leaving],” Wenger added.

“We have a good squad, a balanced one. At the moment nobody can go out, unless we buy somebody. At the moment our focus is to keep everybody. In every position we have two players. Three is too many and one is not enough.”

“They don’t play here and they need games. A player who never plays loses his quality and his confidence. It’s important that they get a chance to play somewhere.”

Kirchhoff: I want to win trophies with Bayern Munich

Jan Kirchhoff is delighted with his imminent summer transfer to Bayern Munich, and is determined to win silverware with the Bavarians.

The Mainz defender signed a three-year deal with his new club on Thursday to complete his Bosman move, and he is eagerly anticipating his new start with the current Bundesliga leaders.

“I’m delighted I’ve put my signature on the contract and am now 100 percent sure to be part of Bayern from next summer,” Kirchhoff told the official FCB website.

“With this club, it’s basically logical that you want to win trophies and achieve the greatest possible success. That means winning the Bundesliga, winning the DFB Cup, and also doing well in Europe.

“The transfer is a huge challenge, but if you don’t take it on, you’ll never get better. I’ll give it everything I have, like all the other players.”

The 22-year-old has made 12 Bundesliga appearances for Mainz this term.

Casillas: I want to retire at Real Madrid

Iker Casillas has insisted he has no intention of leaving Real Madrid as he wants to remain at the Spanish champions until the end of his active career.


The experienced goalkeeper has recently lost his starting berth at the Santiago Bernabeu side, but his changed squad status has not affected his desire to retire at the Blancos.

“This club is wonderful and special and it brings everything together to be here. I’m from Madrid and play for the best club possible and would like to retire here if possible,” Casillas was quoted as saying on the club’s official website.

“I have to thank the people for the affection that they’ve always shown for me. Since I was 17-years-old I have been under the microscope.

“I’ve done what I have had to do to make people feel proud when I wear the shirt. It is gratifying that they would remember me. I have a special sort of affection and it is appreciated.”

The 31-year-old has made well over 600 official appearances for Madrid since making his debut in 1999-2000.

Luis Suarez considering Liverpool future as Manchester City wait in the wings

SPECIAL REPORT
By Greg Stobart

The latest chapter in the stormy relationship between Liverpool, Luis Suarez and Manchester United is set to unfold on Sunday and it could potentially be the last, with the Uruguayan forward set to consider his Anfield future in the summer amid renewed interest from Manchester City. 

Fenway Sports Group (FSG), the Reds’ owners, fear Suarez will seek to leave Merseyside in the summer if the club fail to qualify for Europe, despite the player signing a long-term contract worth £100,000-a-week in the summer.

Suarez has been in stunning form this campaign, scoring 15 goals in 20 Premier League appearances – but Liverpool are just eighth in the table and seven points behind fourth placed Chelsea having played one game more than the Blues.

SUAREZ’S CAREER STATISTICS
Club
Liverpool
(Jan 11-present)

Ajax
(Jul 07-Jan 11)

FC Groningen
(Jul 06-Present)

Nacional

Games
79

159

38

34

Goals
40

111

15

9

The 25-year-old is eager to play in the Champions League and his representatives are understood to be considering potential options, although most clubs will be deterred by Liverpool’s £40 million-plus asking price.

It leaves Liverpool in a dilemma. Brendan Rodgers would be loathe to lose his star man – a player capable of leading the team towards a regular place in Europe’s elite competition – but he also realises the need for funds to re-invest in the squad with FSG unwilling to provide him with a substantial transfer kitty.

Liverpool are also well aware of the implications of Suarez being represented by Pere Guardiola, the brother of former Barcelona coach Pep. He intends to take on a new job in the Premier League next season after a year-long sabbatical in New York, potentially at Manchester City where there is already a strong Barcelona influence in the boardroom.

City have made signing one of Edinson Cavani or Radamel Falcao their top priority – but manager Roberto Mancini is a huge admirer of Suarez’s abilities and expressed his interest in the former Ajax man last year.

One issue is whether the Italian will even be in charge at City come the summer, especially if they fail to retain their Premier League title, with Guardiola and potentially Jose Mourinho available in the summer.

Txiki Begiristain, who was appointed as the club’s director of football in October, will increasingly take control of transfers and is planning a summer overhaul of the team’s strikeforce.

Mario Balotelli is almost certain to leave, potentially this month, with AC Milan the most likely destination for the temperamental striker, whose relationship with Mancini has reached breaking point in recent months.

Edin Dzeko and Carlos Tevez could also be sold in the summer if they attract appropriate bids as City prepare to upgrade their forward options, with the prospect of a South American dream team including Suarez, Cavani and Sergio Aguero their ideal strikeforce.

While City are mindful of Uefa’s financial fair play rules, they have learned the lessons from a poor summer in the transfer market and are prepared to pay big money for stellar signings.

Suarez is settled in Liverpool with his wife and daughter, but his competitiveness on the pitch reflects a drive and ambition to test himself as much as possible, to play and win trophies at the highest level.

City are one of the few clubs in the world who could afford to sign Suarez, provide him with a significant wage increase and give him the opportunity to challenge for league titles and European glory.

The simple fact is that Liverpool are several years away from competing for major honours and Suarez is at the peak of his game, a player who deserves to play in the best club competitions.

Rodgers is targeting a top-four finish this season, which would be enough to convince Suarez to stay at Anfield, but the Reds face a tough task in finishing above the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham and even local rivals Everton.

Suarez will have to decide in the summer just how much he is willing to push for a move away from Anfield to fulfil his career ambitions – but there is a potential storm brewing and there are many people at Liverpool who do not expect him to be at the club next season.

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