BEIRUT

Football

Real targets AC Milan’s Ibrahimovic

The June 19, 2012 file photo shows Sweden's Zlatan Ibrahimovic scoring by France's Philippe Mexes during the Euro 2012 soccer championship Group D match between Sweden and France in Kiev, Ukraine, Tuesday, June 19, 2012. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

BEIRUT: AC Milan’s Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has emerged as a potential target for Real Madrid.

Madrid boss Jose Mourinho is a big fan of the player he managed during his time with Inter Milan, with reports suggesting the Portuguese is set to make a bid for the 30-year-old.

Ibrahimovic previously played for Madrid’s fierce rivals Barcelona but left after a single season with the Catalan side.

The Swede joined Barcelona in a mammoth 59 million pound ($92.4 million) deal from Inter in 2009 and scored 21 goals before returning to Italy after his move was branded a failure by then manager Pep Guardiola.

The striker’s agent, Mino Raiola, told Italian daily Corriere dello Sport “I cannot guarantee Ibrahimovic will remain in Milan.”

“It all depends on them [the club].”

Milan have made inquires about Madrid’s Spanish midfielder Xabi Alonso, making a swap deal for the players a potential option.

Lyon keeper Hugo Lloris is available for the right price, according to the French club’s president.

Jean-Michel Aulas revealed at the weekend that the 25-year-old would be allowed to leave the side should Lyon receive a suitable offer.

“Lloris can go, but only for a decent price in relation to the market,” Aulas told French television station TF1.

The Frenchman, who played in France’s Euro 2012 campaign, is rumored to be a transfer target for both Liverpool and Tottenham.

Chelsea captain John Terry is being targeted by PSG, with the French side looking to pay around 8 million pounds ($12.5 million) for the defender.

Terry led his side to glory in the Champions League and FA Cup last season and was a key figure for England at the European Championships this summer.

The player’s inclusion in the England squad drew considerable criticism, with the player set to appear in court to defend himself against accusations of racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand.

Ferdinand’s elder brother Rio Ferdinand was left out of Roy Hodgson’s squad despite an impressive end to the Premier League season for Manchester United, leading many to believe that the FA had chosen to support Terry over the Ferdinands.

Yet the Chelsea player was arguably England’s best player at the finals, vindicating Hodgson’s decision to include the 31-year-old for “footballing reasons.”

PSG had previously been chasing Milan defender Thiago Silva, but saw a 45 million pound ($70.7 million) for the Brazilian rejected by the Milan hierarchy.

The club are managed by former Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti, with whom Terry is still said to be close, and this connection would be crucial if Terry were to be tempted away from Stamford Bridge.

Juventus have failed in their opening bid for Arsenal striker Robin van Persie.

Italian football’s Old Lady offered the Gunners 8 million pounds ($12.6 million) for the Dutchman, which Arsenal took no time in rejecting.

Italian daily La Stampa reports that the London club have already received a bid of three times as much from PSG, with Juventus’ offer believed to have angered the club’s management.

The Turin side are also reported as being unable to match van Persie’s wage demands, believed to be in excess of 7.2 million pounds ($11.3 million) annually.

Real Madrid are hopeful of persuading Man City to sanction a transfer for Spanish midfielder David Silva.

Silva scored Spain’s first goal in their 4-0 victory over Italy in the Euro 2012 final, and has frequently been linked with a move away from the Etihad stadium this summer.

While City have so far refused to consider any offer for the former Valencia star, Madrid are hopeful of sealing a deal by including players in part exchange.

Spanish daily Marca reports that any one of Karim Benzema, Nuri Sahin, Gonzalo Higuian and Lassana Diarra could be part of the deal.

But Silva, a former graduate of Madrid’s academy, has recently dismissed rumors linking him with a move away from England, claiming he was happy with life in Manchester.

“I’ve got two years left on my contract and I’ve always said I’ll be happy to stay here,” he said in May.

“I’m not thinking of an extension at the moment.”

 

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