Atletico interested in re-signing Diego, claims agent

Atletico Madrid are interested in bringing Wolfsburg playmaker Diego back to the Vicente Calderon in January, according to Jose Maria Martin, an executive at the Bahia International agency.

The Brazil international was on loan in the Spanish capital last season and helped them to secure the Europa League, scoring the third goal as they turned over Athletic Bilbao in the final.

And Martin has revealed that the former Juventus schemer could return to the club as early as January.

“Diego’s Father has received a call from Atleti. Wolfsburg are having a dreadful season and have fired [coach Felix] Magath,” he told Punta Pelota.

“At Christmas, or at the end of the season, Diego could sign for Atleti. His family like the idea.

“[Diego] Simeone is very insistent about it. The coach thinks that, with the Brazilian, he would have a squad to aspire to everything.”

Atletico are currently unbeaten domestically this season and sit joint top with Barcelona on 25 points after nine games.

Vilanova: Playing youth players is a matter of courage

Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova has hinted that he believes Real Madrid are not brave enough to blood youngsters in the first team.

Jose Mourinho has come under scrutiny recently for ignoring the Madrid youth academy after playing Michael Essien at left-back as opposed to Nacho, who came through the Santiago Bernabeu ranks.

Vilanova, who has previously worked at Barca’s La Masia academy, believes that giving youngsters a chance in the first XI is a matter of courage.

“Controversy in Madrid about lack of academy players? I only know how we work. It’s also a matter of courage to give them chances,” he told reporters at a press conference.

Vilanova went on to dismiss rumours that he might look to sell out-of-form forward Alexis Sanchez in the January transfer window.

“Alexis is doing what I ask of him. If he doesn’t reach the level we expect, it will also be because I cannot get the best out of him.

“Nobody will leave in January. We have six attackers, all give us something different, and that’s perfect. We want to keep them all.”

Finally, the 44-year-old revealed that Gerard Pique has been making progress in his recovery from injury, and should be back in full training shortly.

“Pique has been making good progress the last days. He will join the group in a few days.”

Ajax boss De Boer hints at Alderweireld switch to Tottenham next season

Ajax manager Frank de Boer has dismissed reports linking Toby Alderweireld with a move to Tottenham in January, but suggested that a transfer could happen before next season.

The 23-year-old has been touted as a possible target for Andre Villas-Boas for some time, with the Portuguese signing the defender’s former team-mate Jan Vertonghen in the summer.Now with Gallas and Michael Dawson both seemingly coming to the end of their time at White Hart Lane, the ex-Porto boss is reportedly keen to re-launch his interest.However, the Dutch champions’ boss insisted that his man would remain in the Netherlands this season, but seemed more willing to allow the Belgian to seek a switch afterwards.

“That’s maybe something for next year,” De Boer told reporters when asked about a possible deal with Spurs. “I think he’ll end this season at Ajax.

“We’re very happy with him and don’t want to let him go in the winter, unless it’s a super transfer [fee] , but I don’t think that will happen.”

The asking price for the Belgium international is believed to be around £8 million, but Spurs also reportedly face competition from a number of other English clubs, including Liverpool, Newcastle and Southampton, as well as interest from abroad.

The player is understood to prefer a move to the Premier League, with the likes of Eden Hazard, Vincent Kompany and Marouane Fellaini just part of growing Belgian presence in England.

Villas-Boas may also have the upper hand, with former club team-mate Vertonghen and national colleague Moussa Dembele both plying their trade with the Lilywhites.

BREAKING NEWS: Ajax boss De Boer hints at Alderweireld switch to Tottenham next season

Ajax manager Frank de Boer has dismissed reports linking Toby Alderweireld with a move to Tottenham in January, but suggested that a transfer could happen before next season.The 23-year-old has been touted as a possible target for Andre Villas-Boas for some time, with the Portuguese signing the defender’s former team-mate Jan Vertonghen in the summer.

Now with Gallas and Michael Dawson both seemingly coming to the end of their time at White Hart Lane, the ex-Porto boss is reportedly keen to re-launch his interest.However, the Dutch champions’ boss insisted that his man would remain in the Netherlands this season, but seemed more willing to allow the Belgian to seek a switch afterwards.

“That’s maybe something for next year,” De Boer told reporters. “I think he’ll end this season at Ajax.

“We’re very happy with him and don’t want to let him go in the winter, unless it’s a super transfer [fee] , but I don’t think that will happen.”

The asking price for the Belgium international is believed to be around £8 million, but Spurs also reportedly face competition from a number of other English clubs, including Liverpool, Newcastle and Southampton, as well as interest from abroad.

The player is understood to prefer a move to the Premier League, with the likes of Eden Hazard, Vincent Kompany and Marouane Fellaini just part of growing Belgian presence in England.

Villas-Boas may also have the upper hand, with former club team-mate Vertonghen and national colleague Moussa Dembele both plying their trade with the Lilywhites.

Ibrahimovic could play with Cristiano Ronaldo, says Raiola

Mino Raiola, the agent of Paris Saint-Germain attacker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, has stressed that his client could play in the same team as Cristiano Ronaldo without any problems.

The Real Madrid star was recently linked with a move to PSG, and even though the club’s president Nasser Al-Khelaifi has stressed there has not been any contact yet, Raiola believes that Ibrahimovic and Ronaldo could form a lethal partnership.

“I am confident that Zlatan and Cristiano could achieve great things together at Paris,” Raiola was quoted as saying by Le Parisien.

“Great players never have any problems to play together. At Barcelona, Zlatan never had any problems to feature alongside [Lionel] Messi for example. [Pep] Guardiola was the problem at Barca.

“Cristiano Ronaldo to PSG is just a hypothesis for now, but thinking about it is already extraordinary. I believe that it’s a realistic possibility. A year ago, it would have been crazy, but not now.”

The flamboyant agent then went on to stress that Ibrahimovic is thoroughly enjoying life at PSG.

“He is feeling very well in Paris and at PSG. I have never seen him this happy before. Ligue 1 is a quality league, and those who say it’s too easy for Zlatan are wrong.”

The towering attacker has netted 12 goals in 12 appearances for Carlo Ancelotti’s men so far.