World Football Gossip Roundup: Mario Balotelli, Pepe Reina, John Terry

Michael CummingsWorld Football Lead WriterJanuary 22, 2013

World Football Gossip Roundup: Mario Balotelli, Pepe Reina, John Terry

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    First he's going, then he's not. Once he was a rotten apple, but now he's reportedly a can't-miss transfer target.

    Mario Balotelli continues to be linked with a move from Manchester City to AC Milan, but the latest news might cast doubt on that proposition.

    That story leads this Tuesday edition of the B/R World Football Gossip Roundup. Inside we also have updates on Pepe Reina, John Terry, Wilfried Zaha, Philippe Coutinho and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa.

    Keep reading for all the details.

Agent: Manchester City Won't Sell Mario Balotelli to AC Milan This Month

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    Manchester City will not sell Italian international forward Mario Balotelli to AC Milan this month, according to the player's agent (via Daily Mail).

    Balotelli, 22, has been linked with a move to AC Milan as early as this week. But agent Mino Raiola said:

    City don’t want to sell Mario. At the minute there is a zero per cent chance of a move. But who knows what will happen until January 31? There is an agreement between Inter and City, but that does not stop the player from choosing a different destination.

    According to the Daily Telegraph, Balotelli has been told he can leave the club this month. City reportedly want about £30 million for Balotelli.

Pepe Reina Open to Barcelona Move?

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    Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina would welcome the chance to join FC Barcelona, according to the player's father (via The Independent).

    Reina, 30, has been linked with the Spanish club following current No. 1 keeper Victor Valdes' announcement that he will not renew his contract. Valdes' contract expires in 2014.

    Reina progressed through Barca's youth system and debuted for the first team in 2000 at age 18. He left for Villarreal in 2002 and joined Liverpool in 2005.

    His father, Miguel Reina, told radio station La Xerxa: "I am absolutely convinced that Pepe would be more than delighted to return to his Barcelona, where they made him into an upstanding man from the time he arrived at the age of 12 until he left."

Chelsea to Delay Decision on John Terry's Future Until Summer?

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    Chelsea will wait until summer to decide whether to offer the veteran English defender a new contract, according to the Daily Telegraph.

    Terry, 32, turned professional with Chelsea in 1998 and currently serves as captain. His contract will expire following the 2013-14 season, and Chelsea have recently followed a policy of offering one-year contracts to players over age 30.

    Club owner Roman Abramovich reportedly reviews each 30-and-over player's case individually.

Manchester United Close to Signing Wilfried Zaha from Crystal Palace?

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    Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is "confident" that United will be able to sign Wilfried Zaha from Crystal Palace for £12 million by the end of this week (per The Guardian).

    Zaha, a 20-year-old with one senior cap for England, can play as a winger or forward. Arsenal are also thought to be interested.

    According to The Guardian, United would loan Zaha back to Palace for the rest of the season, if the clubs reach a deal for the transfer.

Liverpool Close to Signing Philippe Coutinho from Inter Milan?

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    Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is "confident" the Reds will complete the £8 million signing of Inter Milan midfielder Philippe Coutinho before Sunday's FA Cup tie with Oldham (per Daily Telegraph).

    The two clubs are in "advanced negotiations," according to the report.

    Coutinho, a 20-year old with one senior cap for Brazil, can play in the midfield or as a withdrawn striker. He joined Inter from Vasco da Gama in 2010.

    Coutinho, however, wishes to remain at Inter, according to comments attributed to him by Goal.com.

    "I don't feel that I'm on my way out. I hope to stay at Inter," Coutinho reportedly told Sky Sport 24. "I feel the coach and the club trust me. Now I'm focused only on doing my best in my job and getting back on the field soon."

Montpellier President Furious at Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa's Decision to Join Newcastle

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    Montpellier president Louis Nicollin says Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa is "an ass" for leaving Montpellier for Newcastle United (per L'Equipe via ESPN FC).

    Yanga-Mbiwa, a 23-year-old French international defender, will reportedly undergo a medical Tuesday before a proposed transfer to Newcastle.

    L'Equipe quoted Nicollin as saying:

    If he's an ass, it's not my fault, but I think his manager has a lot to do with it. Newcastle really isn't a good choice. He'll get himself moved on next year, but it doesn't bother me.

    He agreed with my son that he could leave if he found a club he liked. We're not going to cry. His head was no longer at Montpellier, but it's not a problem. He's not irreplaceable. The important thing is that we get some money in.

    Yanga-Mbiwa's transfer will reportedly cost Newcastle €8 million.