World Football Gossip Roundup: Roy Hodgson, Rasmus Elm, Nani, Zarate, Vidal
Your Monday morning gossip roundup is a mixed bag.
First, of course, there's the Roy Hodgson news, which no one seems too happy about.
Then there's a potential Liverpool signing, tidbits from Inter Milan and Juventus, a Nani update and, finally, a prediction for tonight's Manchester Derby.
Read on for that and more.
Roy Hodgson Reactions
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By now you've heard that Roy Hodgson is set to be the next England manager. Hodgson, 64, currently manages West Bromwich Albion and has international experience from leading Switzerland, United Arab Emirates and Finland.
Let's play "What's the Word?" To play, you fill in your own descriptor in the following sentence:
Roy Hodgson to England is _________.
Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa Likes United?
Montpellier captain Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa has been linked with Arsenal in recent weeks, but today Goal.com is reporting that the French centre-back has eyes for Manchester United.
"To play for Manchester United would be a great satisfaction and a dream which could become reality," he told Canal+.
"Arsenal, also, is a big team. Marseille, also, despite of their difficulties, remains very attracting. I would never have thought that Marseille would follow me."
Yanga-Mbiwa, 22, has reportedly also drawn interest from Newcastle and Bayern Munich. His contract expires in the summer of 2013, according to the article.
Reds Agree on Rasmus Elm Fee?
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Liverpool's rebuilding project could be under way already. The Reds, who are currently languishing in mid-table, have reportedly agreed on an £8 million fee to sign Swedish midfielder Rasmus Elm from AZ Alkmaar.
From The Sun:
Kop boss Kenny Dalglish flew to Holland yesterday for a final look at the AZ Alkmaar star, who has 22 full caps for his country.
But the player had been scratched from the team to face Feyenoord because his wife had gone into labour.
Dalglish was allegedly furious his journey had been in vain, though it did not stop the Anfield delegation finalising plans for the 24-year-old’s summer switch to Merseyside on a five-year, £40,000-a-week deal.
Elm and his agent Patrick Mork are thought to have agreed personal terms in advance of Dalglish’s trip.
Furious over a wife going into labor? Yes, that does sound like King Kenny.
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Lots of Liverpool gossip today in addition to the news about Elm.
First, the Reds have joined the Olivier Giroud sweepstakes. That's according to the Daily Mail, which also lists Arsenal and Bayern Munich as potential suitors.
Giroud is rated at £50m but is understood to have a release clause considerably lower at £13.5m.
The stumbling block though could be his desire to play in the Champions League.
Montpellier should qualify while Liverpool will be in the Europa League.
Elsewhere, Metro reports that Liverpool target Luuk De Jong will cost £12.5 million. De Jong (pictured) has scored 23 goals in 29 league matches this season for Twente.
Steven Pienaar to Stay?
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Across town, Everton are reportedly eager to keep Steven Pienaar when his loan spell from Tottenham expires.
From the Daily Mail:
“After the season finishes, we’d like to keep him,” admitted Everton manager David Moyes. “I actually think Steven would like to stay. If that’s the case, there’s a chance we could make it happen.
“He was terrific. He looks as if he enjoys his football here. What he does is exceptional.”
According to the report, Tottenham would accept the transfer if they recoup the £3 million they spent on Pienaar.
Mauro Zarate Wants to Stay at Inter?
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Argentine striker Mauro Zarate is currently on loan from Lazio at Inter Milan. According to reports, Zarate would like to make the deal permanent.
The striker arrived on a season-long loan last August, but initially struggled to break into the first-team plans of previous coaches Gian Piero Gasperini and Claudio Ranieri, leading to Zarate stating himself that his career in northern Italy looked all-but-over.
However, since the appointment of former Primavera boss Andrea Stramaccioni at the helm on an interim basis, the 25-year-old has flourished under his guidance and netted in the success over the Seahorses, and he now appears to have had a change of heart.
"A return to Lazio? We must wait and see what happens, but honestly I'd rather stay here," Zarate told reporters after the game.
"Stramaccioni is the type of coach who is able to give us the right impetus. He has brought an enthusiasm that was not present at club this season."
Inter, if you can believe it, have moved all the way up to fifth in Serie A after a poor midseason run that claimed the jobs of both Gasperini and Ranieri.
Nani to Stay (Forever)?
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Nani wants to sign a new, long-term deal with Manchester United. So says Nani.
"The manager has immense faith in me and that's all that matters," the 25-year-old said.
"My agent is negotiating with the club on a new deal and things are going very well. I hope at the end of the season an agreement will be reached. Manchester United is my home."
Nani joined United from Sporting Lisbon in 2007.
Arturo Vidal to Stay with Juventus?
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Stop me if you've heard this many, many times before.
Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal is flattered by Real Madrid's reported interest in him, but he's happy to stay at his current club.
Of course he is.
Carlos Tevez for the Win?
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Finally, Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini knows what will happen in today's Manchester Derby.
Carlos Tevez will score the winner. It's fate.
"I think Carlos is destined to score the most important goal in the history of this club," Mancini said. "This is my belief."
OK, Rob. We're all watching.