Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Rumors, Speculation, and Quick Hits

After Laporta's public announcement that Eto'o had received a "stratospheric" offer from Manchester City that would make him the world's highest paid player, Eto'o has indicated he wants to stay at the Camp Nou. The player's agent stated that not only had they not sat down with Manchester City, but went ahead and accused Laporta of obscuring the truth and using the press against Eto'o. It appears that the ever undervalued Eto'o may have a point when he claims neither Laporta nor Guardiola really want him there - Barca's new offer would merely extend his current contract for two years.

Barcelona daily Sport reports that Albiol's apparent love for Valencia and seemingly apathetic response to being signed by Real Madrid have sparked the alarms at the Bernabeu's office. Sport adds that madridistas fans simply can't understand why a player wouldn't dream with a move to Real Madrid, and that the club would have done well in finding out the player's reaction before signing him.

Kaka will be presented in the Bernabeu today. He's passed the medical exam and approximately 20,000 fans and 450 journalists are expected.

Arshavin claims he would be "really happy" to play in Barcelona. I'm sure Wenger's thrilled.

Speaking of Wenger, he explained to the Dauphine Libere why he didn't accept the offer to coach Madrid. Admitting that Real demanded football as spectacle, he also explained that he valued building a team with style, a culture at a club, and a youth system. He noted that the signing of Kaka and Ronaldo needed to be looked upon not from a moral perspective, but that of an investor. Wenger declared that if things work out for Madrid, they could do much harm (to other teams). Perhaps most tellingly, however, was Wenger's own assertion that to sign more than three players is to assume a tactical or managerial risk. The age old question of whether Arsenal's checkbook or Wenger's own philosophy has impeded Arsenal from collecting silverware in recent years continues.

Another outspoken coach, Luis Felipe Scolari, reveals that the problem Real Madrid will face this year is none other than Raul. Scolari believes that despite being a "veteran" Raul still controls the lockeroom, much to the chagrin of other players and even the coach. Scolari believes Ronaldo and Kaka will get along fabulously (he's coached both at the national team level). In recent days Scolari's also stated that Ronaldinho is overweight and undermotivated. Oh, and since Chelsea hasn't had enough with Deco's verbal assaults on Abramovich, Scolari adds that his departure from Stamford Bridge was a result Drogba, Cech, and Ballack never buying into his methods.

And now for outspoken players - Tevez continues his PR campaign against Ferguson claiming you can't argue with the man. Isn't he the coach, and are we surprised?

And finally, rumors continue that Ecuador and Wigan winger Valencia is on his way to Old Trafford.

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