Thursday, 30 May 2013

Madrid on £40m bid to SUAREZ .......

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has admitted he would find it hard to turn down a move to Real Madrid, insisting he was not prepared to put up with the criticism he has faced in England any longer.

Sorely tempted: a Real Madrid offer would be hard for Luis Suarez to resist 
The Uruguayan said the criticism he faced from sections of the English media was a major reason behind his willingness to quit Merseyside.
Although suggestions Suárez could leave if a buy-out clause of €35 million (£30 million) was activated is incorrect, it is believed a £40 million bid from the Bernabéu could force his sale.
Suárez has given no guarantees he will stay at Anfield since he was banned for 10 games for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic and had given hints that he might be willing to talk to clubs playing in theChampions League next season.
The South American said on Uruguayan radio last night: “I have a contract with Liverpool but would find it difficult to say ‘no’ to Real Madrid.”
Suárez has felt victimised by the media since he was banned for eight matches for racially abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra in 2011. He has also been criticised for allegedly diving too often and for his controversial “handball goal” against Mansfield Town in this season’s FA Cup.
Suarez said Liverpool had treated him well and he had “only words of thanks for the fans”. He added: “So far I have not received any official offer from Madrid.”
Liverpool insist they will not sell Suárez unless he asks for a transfer and the club’s valuation is met. However, there appears to be a growing momentum behind the 26-year-old leaving.
While the struggle to retain Suárez continues, Celta Vigo forward Iago Aspas is due on Merseyside for a medical next week. The 25-year-old Spaniard will become the second recruit of the summer following the arrival of Kolo Touré on a free transfer.
Aspas is seen as a versatile frontman who can play in numerous roles either as a central striker or out wide, ideal for Rodgers’ favoured 4-3-3 formation.
Goalkeeper Pepe Reina has also said he would find it difficult to resist ending his eight-year Anfield career should Barcelona make their anticipated bid for his services.
The expected departure of Victor Valdés to Monaco has raised the possibility of Reina returning to the Nou Camp, where he started his career, and Liverpool will now press their player about his intentions.
“It’s hard to say no to Barca,” Reina said on Wednesday night. “Rumours are always there but I am calm and I have contract. I am very happy at Liverpool.”
Liverpool have received no offer from Barcelona, nor any suggestion from their goalkeeper he wants to leave. However, there is a belief within the club the interest from the La Liga champions is real, and an understanding that if a bid of about £10 million materialises it would be difficult to prevent Reina’s departure.
Not only would the player wish – understandably – to head back to Spain so he could play Champions League football, Liverpool would rate such a fee for a 30-year-old a fair price.
There is every possibility Reina could exit amicably, most at Anfield recognising he has remained at the club during a difficult period, but a fourth season without Champions League football is tough for a goalkeeper of his calibre – especially with such a lucrative suitor.
Equally, by his own admission, Reina has only recently rediscovered his best form after a couple of indifferent seasons and his loss would not be seen as setback it might have been two years ago.
Reina is among the top earners at Anfield, and Rodgers may feel he could reallocate funds and wages on a younger goalkeeper without unduly weakening his squad.

Barça beat Espanyol on penalties tonight at the Camp d’Esports de Lleida to win the 24th edition of the Copa Catalunya. Six years on since Barça last triumph in the competition it seemed that Simao Sabrosa’s 20th minute goal would again earn Espanyol the trophy as they had done on the last two finals between the two clubs in 2010 and 2011. However, a 90th minute equalizer from Cesc Fabregas took the game to penalties with Barça won 4-2 with converted kicks from Fabregas, Gerard Piqué, Alexis Sanchez and David Villa.
It was good to see a healthy mix of Barça B players starting alongside first teamers Adriano, Busquets, Dos Santos and Pedro. The early game was completely dominated by Barça’s possession game though there was a clear lack of a killer ball as Espanyol soaked up the pressure.Then in the 20th minute Barça keeper Oier Olazábal rolled the ball out to Adriano who was robbed by Wakaso, the ball came inside to Cristian Gomez who knocked a simple ball between Patric and Sergi Gomez, and Simao ran through to slip the ball past Oier and put Espanyol ahead.
Barça responded timidly after the goal. Sergi Roberto had the first decent chance after a neat flick from Rafinha but his low shot was pushed past the post by Espanyol keeper Kiko Casilla. Gerard Deulofeu was quiet early on but he came to life after switching to the left at the end of the first half and sending in a couple of decent shots. He might also have won a penalty after getting blocked by Mattioni’s arm on one run.
The second half was more intense as Barça brought on Mascherano, Song, Espinosa and Alexis. Deulofeu was back on the right but looking more active though he did make one shameful dive that didn’t fool the referee. He made up for this with one excellent low cross that Casilla could only palm out. The ball hit Rafinha and then the post and Rafinha then sent a delightful back heel to the overlapping Patric but Casilla saved again.
Midway through the second half Vilanova demonstrated his desire to win by bring on Xavi, Fabregas, Villa, Piqué and Alba. Fabregas was then rather stupidly booked for a foul about five seconds after coming on. The game was becoming more intense with the referee showing several yellow cards. Barça continued to push for a goal with Villa and Alexis both denied by man-of-the-match Casilla.
Time was running out. Then in the 89th minute Patric sent in a splendid cross from the right which gave Fabregas a great chance with a header but Casilla again made the save that looked to have earned his team the victory. However, with 89 minutes 30 seconds on the clock Alex Song played a fine ball into the area for Fabregas to run on to and slip left-footed under the diving Casilla.
Tempers boiled over in injury time with Stuani and Song both getting red carded for a spot of handbags. Then despite Casilla saving the first penalty from Xavi Barça went on to win due to misses from Colotto and Joan Verdu.
Barça: Oier; Patric, Sergi Gomez (Piqué m70), Adriano Mascherano m45), Balliu (Alba m70); Sergi Roberto (Espinosa m45), Busquets (Song m45), Johnathan dos Santos (Xavi m66); Deulofeu (Villa m66), Rafinha (Fabregas m67), Pedro (Alexis m45).
Espanyol: Casilla; Mattioni (Javi Lopez m88), Raul Rodriguez, Forlin, Clerc (Capdevila mm72); Victor Sanchez (Colotto m45), Baena (Sergio Garcia m93); C. Alfonso (Stuani m45), C. Gomez (Verdu m71), Simao (Petrov m45); Wakaso.
Goals: m21 Simao 0-1, m90 Fabregas 1-1.
Penalties: Xavi (saved) 0-0, Wakaso (goal) 0-1, Fabregas (goal) 1-1, Petrov (goal) 1-2, Piqué (goal) 2-2, Colotto (bar) 2-2, Alexis (goal) 3-2, Verdu (over) 3-2, Villa (goal) 4-2.
Sent off: Stuani m93, Song m93.