Granqvist 'flattered' by Liverpool interest

Genoa defender Andreas Granqvist has admitted he is “flattered” by the rumoured interest of Liverpool, but is happy in Italy.

The 27-year-old is no stranger to the Premier League having signed for Wigan in 2007 under then-boss Steve Bruce, though his stay was brief and unsuccessful.

After leaving the Latics, the defender impressed during his time at Dutch club Groningen before earning a move to Serie A last year.

Now Granqvist has said the prospect of moving to the Merseyside club is one that appeals to him because of its tradition and success.

“I’m happy and I love Genoa, but of course I’m flattered by the interest of the Reds,” Granqvist told Swedish publication Sportbladet.

“It’s a historic and successful club.”

The burly centre-back remained coy on the rumours linking him with a move to Anfield however, insisting he is focused solely on the national team and happy in Italy.

“It has gone very well for me and I have got much positive feedback in Italy,” Granqvist continued.

“I honestly don’t know much. I’m focused solely on the qualifying matches with the national team. We’ll see what happens in the future.”

Mourinho: Falcao is a forbidden fruit

Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho claims he will make no attempt to sign Radamel Falcao from Atletico Madrid as a result of a “pact of non-aggression” between the two sides.

The former Inter boss explained that the unwritten agreement between the Madrid rivals makes it impossible for him to sign key players from Los Rojiblancos.

“Falcao is a fundamental player for our rivals, just like Kun Aguero was. There is a pact of non-aggression between Real Madrid and Atletico so I think Falcao is a forbidden fruit,” Mourinho told A Bola.

“He’s a fantastic player, and I get the feeling he is a lovely guy, and I’m very happy to see him do so well at Atletico.”

The 49-year-old spoke previously about how he was not the most popular figure in football but says he does not care about his popularity.

When asked whether Madrid are criticised more often because he is in charge of the club, the Portuguese coach said that his success in the capital should be enough to silence the critics.

“Our results speak for themselves and show that in just over two years we have got closer and closer to Barcelona and now we are up there with them and have won the three major trophies in Spanish football in that time,” he stated.

“We broke the dominance of Barcelona, something many people thought was impossible.”

Mourinho then went on to hit back at criticism made by Tito Vilanova, who claimed that he could make a video of all the times that Pepe has kicked Barcelona players.

“It’s funny because now Pepe is in a situation where he gets booked in every game, even if he just commits one foul. People have created an image of Pepe which they find comfortable,” he added.

“He is adored at Madrid and it doesn’t matter what Vilanova says, people won’t change their mind about Pepe.”

Bordeaux plot January move to relieve Arsenal of Chamakh

The Bordeaux president, Jean-Louis Triaud, has declared publicly his desire to re-sign Marouane Chamakh.

The 28-year-old Arsenal striker enjoyed a fruitful eight-year spell at the French club between 2002 and 2010, notching up 56 goals in 230 appearances, but has found first-team opportunities limited under Arsene Wenger.

Speaking to the Daily Mirror, Triaud was clear that Chamakh’s former club would welcome him back with open arms.

“Chamakh could return. There is a serious chance. It is feasible for us and him but the choice is down to Arsenal,” he declared. “If he’s not happy then we are in a position to talk about it.

“In December 2011, I sent a message to say the door was open for a return but Chamakh wanted to stay. Now the message is there again with the same objective.”

The French club currently sit in sixth place in Ligue 1 and, with no striker having scored more than two goals this season, would see the Gunners outsider as a potential upgrade to their attack.

Triaud did make it clear, though, that for any deal to be completed Chamakh would have to take a significant wage cut.

“Money is the key question because salaries in the Premier League are enormous,” he admitted, “but it’s also necessary for him to play.”

Guardiola has not rejected Milan, says agent

Pep Guardiola has not rejected the idea of coaching at AC Milan next season, his agent has revealed.

Jose Maria Orobitg, who represents Guardiola, confirmed the Spaniard still plans on spending the entirety of this season out and is open to the idea of coaching at the San Siro someday.

“Pep Guardiola has not rejected the AC Milan bench at all,” the agent told TuttoMercato. “I speak often to Milan, but I can say that Guardiola has not rejected anything.

“He just wants to enjoy this year away from the bench. This is a year off, to relax.

“In the future everything is possible. As it’s said: Never say never. But now is not the time.”

More to follow

BREAKING NEWS: Guardiola has not rejected Milan, says agent

Pep Guardiola has not rejected the idea of coaching at AC Milan next season, his agent has revealed.

Jose Maria Orobitg, who represents Guardiola, confirmed the Spaniard still plans on spending the entirety of this season out and is open to the idea of coaching at the San Siro someday.

“Pep Guardiola has not rejected the AC Milan bench at all,” the agent told TuttoMercato. “I speak often to Milan, but I can say that Guardiola has not rejected anything.

“He just wants to enjoy this year away from the bench. This is a year off, to relax.

“In the future everything is possible. As it’s said: Never say never. But now is not the time.”

More to follow