World Football Gossip Roundup: Eden Hazard, Robin Van Persie, Rangers and More
Who is that dapper man on the Chelsea sideline?
Apparently—if the peanut gallery is correct—he formerly managed Chelsea, long before they reached the Champions League final.
Ain't that something? Well, apparently, he could be heading back to management soon.
That story is inside, along with a wide variety of others.
Read on for full details.
Accepting the Inevitable
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Lille president Michel Seydoux finally gets it. Eden Hazard is leaving Lille.
Per RMC (h/t Goal.com):
In an interview with RMC, Seydoux stated: "Eden [Hazard] wants a European experience outside France. We cannot hold him.
"If he already spent two more seasons in France, it is because we have been a very strong club. We make no sales here."
In this case, it appears that they do. Tottenham and Manchester United are reportedly interested.
Lille to Lose Joe Cole?
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While we're on the subject of Lille, Seydoux is reportedly saying that Lille might not be able to afford Joe Cole next season.
Cole, 30, joined on loan from Liverpool at the start of the current campaign. He earns around £90,000 per week.
From The Sun:
Seydoux said: “It’s rare that an England international comes to France and that he then publicly declares he wants to stay.
“We will see. I haven’t found a machine yet that lets you make beautiful bank notes by pedalling.
“It’s true that the league table will have a bearing on Lille’s recruitment.”
Don't hold your breath over the title. Lille trail Montpellier by seven points with five matches left.
No Robin Van Persie for Barcelona?
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Elsewhere in slow-burning transfer sagas, Barcelona apparently won't move for Arsenal striker Robin van Persie this summer.
That's according to talkSPORT:
Speculation over van Persie’s future went into overdrive last week after van Persie was spotted at the same hotel Barcelona were staying at prior to their Champions League clash with Chelsea.
However, club spokesman Toni Freixa has denied reports that Barcelona will move for the Dutchman at the end of the season, claiming his visit to the hotel was purely for social reasons.
"For Barça, any good player is of interest - and van Persie is a great player. But [we have] no intention of signing him for now," said Freixa, speaking to The Sport Review.
"He came to our hotel in London because he is Dutch and so is Ibrahim Afellay. They had a coffee together. He didn’t come to see us and there was no conversation."
Still not sure if I buy that hotel explanation.
Liverpool Want Rasmus Elm? (And Other Gossip)
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The rumor mill is full of Liverpool news today.
First, according to the Daily Mirror, the Reds are chasing Swedish midfielder Rasmus Elm, who currently plays for AZ Alkmaar in Holland.
The 24-year-old would cost about £7 million.
Meanwhile, Feyenoord want old boy Dirk Kuyt "now or never," according to The Sun.
Finally, Alberto Aquilani could be heading back to Anfield after AC Milan decided they don't want him anymore, according to Goal.com.
Aquilani, 27, has spent this season on loan with Milan.
Manchester City Chasing Cheikhou Kouyate?
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Manchester City's latest target is reportedly Cheikhou Kouyate, a 22-year-old midfielder with Anderlecht.
According to InsideFutbol, City have scouts in place to watch Kouyate in action against Club Brugge.
Alexandre Pato to Brazil?
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Brazilian club Corinthians are interested in signing Alexandre Pato from AC Milan.
Per Lancenet (h/t Goal.com), who spoke to Corinthians director of football Duilio Alves:
"I like that idea, but we have not spoken to him yet," Alves told Lancenet. "I have been following his situation through the press, he is a great player and he would be welcome here.
"Corinthians' doors are open for him to come here and recover.
"We want a world-class striker, we have to think this way because of the dimension of this club.
"We do not necessarily have to buy a player, it could be a loan signing. We thought about Forlan, and now we are looking at players from other European clubs.
"We also searched Brazil, but we could not find anyone who fits the bill. Playing at Corinthians is not easy."
Pato would reportedly be a replacement for Adriano. Diego Forlan has been deemed too expensive.
Andre Villas-Boas to Return?
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This guy Andre Villas-Boas sounds familiar, but I can't seem to place the name.
Oh well. According to the Daily Express, he might coach Valencia next.
England Boss by the End of the Season
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In other managerial news, the Football Association hope to maybe, possibly, potentially name a new manager for the England national team before the end of the domestic season.
If so, they'd better hurry up.
From the Daily Mirror:
England currently face chaos, with the squad set to be named on May 10 - three days before the final Premier League programme—by stand-in boss Stuart Pearce.
The Mirror understands Tottenham have still not been approached by the FA about the possibility of hiring the favourite for the job, Harry Redknapp.
Pearce plans to name his 23-man party on the Thursday before the last round of league games - if he is still in charge.
Yes, this definitely will end well.
Two for Spurs?
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Since everybody thinks the next England boss will be Tottenham's Harry Redknapp, this seems like a good time to mention that Spurs are being linked with a 16-year-old Portuguese sensation named Sergio Ribeiro.
For details, we look to talkSPORT:
The talented youngster is already captain of the Portugal Under-16 side and is expected to progress through the ranks and play for the national side in the next few years.
Portuguese newspaper A Bola is reporting that both Tottenham and Udinese have sent scouts to watch Ribeiro in action and are preparing to make their move for the teenage superstar.
Meanwhile, according to the Daily Mail, Spurs are battling Besiktas for the signature of Chelsea's Salomon Kalou.
Rangers to Third Division?
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Rangers manager Ally McCoist said in a recent interview that dropping to the third division "might be the right thing."
Rangers entered administration earlier this season and incurred a £160,000 fine from the Scottish FA, with a 12-month ban on signing new players.
McCoist told RangersTV (via Rangers.co.uk):
Some fans have been suggesting this and I am leaning towards it myself.
Make no mistake about it, it would be an unbelievably drastic measure and it will have an incredible impact on Scottish football - and not for the good.
But if they are going to continue to impose sanctions on us and make things extremely difficult for us to defend ourselves then maybe, just maybe, it might be the right thing.
We are hanging by our fingertips. We're really at the do or die stage and I can't reinforce that opinion enough.
If nothing else, the title should be easier to win down there.