Schelotto: I hope to follow in Zanetti's footsteps

New Inter star Ezequiel Schelotto has revealed his excitement at playing alongside idol Javier Zanetti, after completing a move from Atalanta at the end of January.

Zanetti joined the Nerazzurri in 1995 and has gone on to enjoy over 700 appearances for the Milan-based giants, and also became Argentina’s most-capped player in the process.

Schelotto, who is Argentine by birth but has a single cap for Italy, has paid tribute to the evergreen defender, leaving his new supporters in no doubt as to whom he would emulate.

“I’ve always said that Zanetti is my role model,” the 23-year-old announced to the club’s official website. “I hope I can follow in his footsteps.

“You all know what sort of a person he is both on and off the pitch. There’s nothing more to say.”

The deal taking the Italy international to San Siro proved to be one of the longest running sagas of the January transfer window, and he revealed his gratitude to his former club for the opportunity to make the move.

“I gave my all for the Atalanta shirt, from the first moment to the last. Now I’m wearing the same colours here but I’m an Inter player – that’s not an opportunity that comes by every day.

“Inter offered me this opportunity and all I can do is thank Bergamo for everything they did for me.

“I’ve always wanted to join this club, and have already spoken to [coach Andrea] Stramaccioni. He’s explained what he wants from me and I’m going to repay him for his faith.”

Schelotto could be handed his debut on Sunday, as his new team aims to close the gap at the top of the table against Serie A’s rock-bottom side Siena.

Rio Ferdinand happy to wait for Manchester United contract renewal

Manchester United centre-back Rio Ferdinand has revealed that he is interested in extending his career at the club beyond the end of the current campaign.

The 34-year old says he is not interested in leaving Sir Alex Ferguson’s men with his current contract set to expire at the end of the season.

After struggling with injuries over recent seasons, the centre-back has been in impressive form so far this campaign and says he wants to continue playing at the top level for as long as he can.

“Manchester United is a great club, the number one, and you would never want to play anywhere else if you can still play for them,” he told The Sun

“I want to be able to contribute properly and to be a player they actually need. You can tell if you’re not really needed at a club any more. You just know.

“We are not in discussions about a new contract at the moment and I’m fine with that because of the understanding I have with the manager.

“I don’t expect to be treated any different to the other older players like [Ryan] Giggs or [Paul] Scholes, who normally sign on again at the end of the season.”

Roma sack Zdenek Zeman

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Znedek Zeman - Roma

AFP


Roma have sacked coach Zdenek Zeman following Friday evening’s 4-2 defeat at home to Cagliari.The 65-year-old has been under increasing pressure of late, with inconsistent results and a series of controversial coaching decisions leaving his position with the capital club a precarious one.
Following Friday’s shock home defeat, and the supporter protests which followed outside the stadium, an emergency meeting of Giallorossi directors was called, with Franco Baldini, Walter Sabatini and Italo Zanzi all present to discuss Zeman’s future. The club have now confirmed that they have parted company with the Prague-born trainer, with Aurelio Andreazzoli placed temporarily in charge of the first team.

Reports in the Italian media suggested that Laurent Blanc was one of the early favourites to replace Zeman, although it is claimed he has turned the chance down as he would prefer to wait for an opportunity to coach in the Premier League.

Zeman insisted on Friday night that he would not step down from his post despite his side’s problems on the pitch, though he did concede the final decision on his future was out of his hands.

Roma are currently in eighth position in Serie A, nine points adrift of the Champions League places.

More to follow…

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Sigurdsson's future is with Tottenham, says Villas-Boas

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas says he blocked Reading’s attempt to sign Gylfi Sigurdsson on deadline day.

The 23-year-old Iceland international could have become Reading’s record signing according to Royals boss Brian McDermott, but Villas-Boas says he was never willing to let the player go.

“Obviously he’s a player that means a lot to Reading,” Villas-Boas told reporters.

“But he’s a player that we rate very highly. We brought him here after his amazing contribution [on loan] for Swansea last year and he’s a player that we have high expectations for.

“Probably this season at the moment he is not going to the level that he wants, but he’s a player that we believe a lot in, and in his future here. We couldn’t allow him to leave.”

Sigurdsson began his career in English football at Reading in 2008 before leaving to join Bundesliga outfit Hoffenheim in 2010.

The Spurs midfielder enjoyed a successful loan spell at Swansea during the second half of last season, earning him a move to White Hart Lane this summer.

BREAKING NEWS: Roma sack Zdenek Zeman

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Znedek Zeman - Roma

AFP

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