World Football Gossip Roundup: Gaston Ramirez, Yaya Toure, Robert Lewandowski
Will it be one and done for Gaston Ramirez in the Premier League?
Ramirez, a Uruguayan international attacking midfielder, raised eyebrows by joining Southampton last summer ahead of some more illustrious suitors. Now the rumor mill is hard at work again, and some of the same names are involved.
That story leads this Monday edition of the B/R World Football Gossip Roundup. Inside, we also have news on Robin van Persie, Yaya Toure, Mario Balotelli, Robert Lewandowski and more.
Keep reading for all the details.
Juventus, Inter Milan, Fiorentina Chasing Gaston Ramirez?
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Serie A clubs Inter Milan, Juventus and Fiorentina are targeting Southampton's Uruguayan attacking midfielder Gaston Ramirez for a summer transfer, according to The Sun.
Ramirez, 22, joined Southampton in a club record deal last summer, when Inter and Fiorentina were reportedly interested.
Ramirez has scored three goals with three assists in 19 Premier League appearances.
Manchester United's Robin van Persie Fighting for Fitness Ahead of Real Madrid
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Manchester United forward Robin van Persie will miss Saturday's Premier League match against Norwich City but hopes to be fit for next week's Champions League tie with Real Madrid (via Daily Telegraph).
Van Persie, 29, joined United from Arsenal in the summer and has scored 19 goals in 27 league appearances. He sustained severe hip bruising when falling to the pitchside camera pit on Saturday in United's 2-0 win at Queens Park Rangers.
Manchester City to Offer Yaya Toure Huge New Contract?
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Manchester City are set to offer Ivorian midfielder Yaya Toure a new five-year, £55 million contract, according to the Daily Star.
Toure, 29, signed with City from Barcelona in 2010. His current contract reportedly runs until 2015.
Formal negotiations have yet to happen, according to the report.
Mario Balotelli Reportedly Suffers Racial Abuse
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AC Milan forward Mario Balotelli suffered racial taunts during Sunday's Milan Derby, according to unnamed Daily Mail sources.
According to the Mail, an "eyewitness" showed the newspaper a video of Inter supporters waving inflatable bananas at Balotelli.
Balotelli, 22, joined Milan from Manchester City in January. He was a member of Inter Milan from 2006 to 2010.
The match finished in a 1-1 draw.
"Balotelli did very well not to react to the provocations, I'm just sorry he wasn't able to score," said Milan manager Massimiliano Allegri. "He had a great first half. Let's not forget that he's 22 years old and he was playing against his former squad. It's to be expected that he felt pressure for this match."
Italian journalist Tancredi Palmeri questioned the allegations via Twitter:
From the conditions where I was,nothing distinguishable racist happened. As said,sometimes camera's eyes might be more spot on than human's— Tancredi Palmeri (@tancredipalmeri) February 25, 2013
Robert Lewandowski Has Decided Borussia Dortmund Future?
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The agent of Borussia Dortmund forward Robert Lewandowski says the player has decided where he will play next season (via ESPN FC).
Lewandowski, a 24-year-old Polish international, has been linked with Bayern Munich and Manchester United. His contract expires in 2014, and Dortmund general manager Michael Zorc has said he does not expect Lewandowski to sign an extension.
Agent Czesary Kucharsky said:
Robert has taken his decision. It is up to him to decide when to announce it. If you have followed Robert’s career so far, you will know Robert never played at one club for more than two years. He is in his third year at Dortmund now. If you can read between the lines, you will know what that means.
Tottenham, Liverpool and Arsenal are interested in Swansea defender Ashley Williams (via Metro).
Liverpool scouted Feyenoord defender Stefan De Vrij, 21, at the weekend. The Reds are searching for a replacement for the retiring Jamie Carragher (via Daily Mail).
Midfielder Paul Pogba, who scored in Juventus' 3-0 win over Siena on Sunday, says he wants to play for the Turin club "for a long time" (via Goal.com).
Juventus have joined the chase for Barcelona's Alexis Sanchez (via talkSPORT).