Daily Archives: January 10, 2018

Alexis Sanchez set to start for Arsenal despite Manchester City offer

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Alexis Sanchez is set to be included in the starting eleven for Arsenal in Wednesday night’s League Cup semi-final first leg at Chelsea despite Manchester City’s £20m offer to sign him.

The Gunners was dealt another blow in Mesut Ozil to an unspecified injury as the midfielder joins Laurent Koscielny, Nacho Monreal, Sead Kolasinac, Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud on the injury casualty list ahead of the League Cup game at Stamford Bridge.

With the Gunners particularly stretched in defence, coach Arsene Wenger could include the new signing Konstantinos Mavropanos among his substitutes. Although the 20-year-old centre-half just arrived last week from PAS Giannina in Greece and Wenger’s plan was to loan him out.

“He’s not ready to play for us,” the manager said last Wednesday. “We’ll give him out on loan.”

While David Ospina will start against Chelsea — in place of the first-choice goalkeeper Petr Cech — Wenger will otherwise pick his strongest available team, including Sanchez.

City have wanted Sanchez and could sign him on a free by the end of the season, but the two-month injury blow to Gabriel Jesus blow could force City manager to get the deal completed earlier.

With City having opened talks with Arsenal and have indicated a willingness to pay £20m, Sanchez, who played under Guardiola at Barcelona, is now permitted to discuss terms with overseas clubs.

The Manchester club are the frontrunners for his signature despite interest expressed by other top European clubs such as Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich. A contract worth £13m a season until 2023 – or £250,000 a week – is understood to have been offered to Sanchez’s representatives.

AC Milan keen to stay at San Siro despite mayor comments

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AC Milan has insisted they have no desire to leave San Siro after the city’s mayor Giuseppe Sala raised the possibility of building a new stadium.

San Siro — with a capacity of just over 80,000 — is home to Serie A rivals Milan and Inter, with the Rossoneri based at the iconic Italian stadium since 1926 and their co-tenants sharing the pitch since 1947.

While talk of a move away from the stadium erupted on Tuesday when Milan’s mayor Giuseppe Sala claimed Gennaro Gattuso’s side were considering their own stadium.Milan swiftly denied those reports.

In a statement posted on the club’s official accounts, Milan said:“In relation to the statements released by the mayor of Milan Giuseppe Sala, who stated that AC Milan has expressed the will to think about having their own stadium and that the City Council would have given the club time to consider alternative areas of the cities, estimating in two to three months the time-frame to find a summary of options, AC Milan states that the Club has never expressed the desire to leave San Siro.”

Sala has since responded via Twitter, saying: “I note Milan’s statement on San Siro. Let’s just make this simple: I think that for Milan, for the fans and the tourists, the stadium needs to be modernised.”

“When will Milan be able to tell me if they are available or not to invest along with us in our stadium? Let it be clear, the invite also goes out to Inter, because this is the stadium of Milanese people.”

Inter — third in Serie A and 14 points above 11th-placed Milan — also weighed in by replying to Sala’s tweet.

“Dear Sala, as you might recall, we invested time and resources in the stadium of Milanese people. Our plans have been clear to everyone and have not changed for 18 months,” Inter said on Twitter.

“We await a round table discussion with all the actors involved to speak about this with clarity.”

Zinedine Zidane: Real Madrid coach defiant despite poor results

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Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane was in defiant mood as the former French star hits back at critics who claims that the club is in a downward spiral.

The defending Spanish and European champions’ stuttering season continued as their La Liga campaign saw another setback on Sunday following a 2-2 draw against Celta Vigo.

La Liga leaders Barcelona now are 16 points ahead of Los Blancos in the table and with a daunting Champions League last-16 tie with Paris Saint-Germain to come, pressure on Zidane’s squad has been mounting despite his trophy-laden successes during his two years in charge.

Zidane, however, insists his side will get back on track with collective hard work and is adamant there are reasons to be positive for the rest of the season.

“You can analyse it as you like, that it’s a moment of crisis or not, but we’re here to find solutions,” he said. “I’m not going to go into the details. When there are things like we’re going through, where things aren’t going as we want, it’s about work. I always believe in that.”

“What you tell me is what a lot of people think: that there are people who are bad and I have to get them out of the team. It’s the opposite. When a player is bad, I will help him. I’m more interested in unity. We’re all in the same boat.”

“It’s everyone’s fault, mine first. We’ve had two spectacular years; thank you for saying so. It’s important people don’t forget that. There are people who say everything has gone to s***. No. The day of the Celta game, I focused on the good things.”

“Are things more complicated with a draw? Yes. The second half was not good, but we’re not going to go crazy about it. We’re going to think that, with work, we will achieve good things.”

Real would face Numancia in the second leg of their Copa del Rey last-16 tie on Wednesday, having claimed a 3-0 win in the first meeting.