Daily Archives: June 7, 2017

Southampton to report Liverpool over van Dijk approach

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Southampton is reportedly ready to report Liverpool to Premier League authorities over an alleged illegal approach for centre-back Virgil van Dijk.

Southampton officials claimed that Liverpool did not formally approach the club to request permission to speak to van Dijk. The club was notably provoked by what they see as an attempt to unsettle Van Dijk and are ready to reject an official offer.

The Saints were also adamant that they do not have to sell the player as Liverpool refused to comment on renewed speculation.

Van Dijk, 25, had only signed a six six-year contract last year after having joined Southampton from Celtic for £13m in September 2015. Celtic is understood to have a 10% sell-on agreement, meaning that they would have a share of his transfer fee should he leave the Saints.

The Netherlands international is also currently rated at £50m, had previously shown interest in a move to Anfield should he make his exit from St. Mary’s.

Amongst his other suitors are Southampton’s Premier League rivals Chelsea and Manchester City, although City is understood to have cooled their interest as they are not prepared to pay as high a fee as Liverpool.

Van Dijk had missed the final five months of the season after sustaining an ankle injury due to a heavy challenge by Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy in Southampton’s 3-0 win over the Foxes at St Mary’s on 22 January. The injury forced him to miss Southampton’s EFL Cup final loss to Manchester United.

Pepe to leave Real Madrid after 10 years

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Pepe has confirmed that he will be leaving Real Madrid, thanking teammates and fans but revealing discontent in the manner of his exit.

Pepe, 34, won three La Liga titles, three Champions Leagues and two Copas del Rey with Real since joining from Porto in 2007, and had previously hoped to stay beyond June, when his contract expires. However, he was left on the sidelines after breaking two of his ribs in the Clasico late April, and was absent when Real Madrid had successfully defended their Champions League title.

In a post on Instagram, he wrote: “The day has arrived… on July 12 2007 I arrived at Real Madrid like a boy who fulfilling a dream. Today, 10 years later, I am saying goodbye. Today I can only thank all those who have supported me — who, with me, have written such a lovely story. Thanks to my friends and teammates, who I know will stay with me wherever I go.”

In an interview with radio station COPE, Pepe added that while he understood Real’s contract extension policy to older players, he was frustrated when Real did not sought to defend him in an tax issue.

“They offered me a one-year deal,” he said. “They do not give two years to players over 33. There are ways of talking and negotiating. Real Madrid’s behaviour has not been correct.”

“The club did not defend me with the tax issue. They knew I was up to date and had no problem. That hurt me, as I always fulfilled my obligations, and they made me understand I was not valued.”

“I don’t want to blame anyone,” he said. “What he [coach Zinedine Zidane] is doing for Madrid is spectacular, but there are things I still don’t understand. I cannot explain to you why I disappeared from the team in the last games. With Zidane we did not say goodbye properly. Zidane and Madrid knew I was going before I did.”

At present, Pepe has been linked with both Paris Saint-Germain and Inter Milan, but said he was keeping his options open.

“I have nothing signed with another club,” he added. “I could have, but I waited as there were very important competitions to play. I am looking forward to playing for another club and giving everything. I have offers, not just PSG or Inter, also for example in England.”

Peter Bosz leaves Ajax to manage Borussia Dortmund

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Borussia Dortmund have appointed Peter Bosz as their new boss following their parting of ways with Thomas Tuchel days after their DFB-Pokal win.

Bosz, 53, led Ajax to the Europa League final in his only season in charge of the Netherlands club. It was their first European final in 21 years, but he has now signed a two-year deal to replace Tuchel at the helm of the Bundesliga second runners-up.

He was previously under contract with Ajax until 2019. Dortmund have accordingly agreed to provide a compensation package to secure his services.

Ajax confirmed on their official website that an agreement had been reached with Dortmund.

Their general manager, Edwin van der Sar, who also happened to play for Manchester United, described it as a “good deal”. “I have mixed feelings about this move. When we brought Peter to Ajax last summer it was not the intention that the partnership would end after one year.”

“(But) we have had a great season, especially in the Europa League. As with our players, the coach also attracts the attention of clubs from Europe’s top leagues.”

“We have had a great season, especially in the Europa League. As with our players, the coach also attracts the attention of clubs from Europe’s top leagues.”

“These talks convinced me that this ought to be the next step for me,” Bosz said at a press conference on Tuesday, revealing he had spoken with Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke and the club’s sporting director Michael Zorc for around three hours. “I got a good feeling. It was a respectful discussion. I am convinced that we can work very well together.”

“We had a very, very good feeling about Bosz from the outset, the feeling that something can really grow together here,” Watzke added.