BEIRUT

Football

AC Milan to sell Silva, Ibrahimovic to PSG, Carroll attracts attention

Ibrahimovic is replaceable, according to AC Milan.

BEIRUT: AC Milan have accepted an offer from PSG for Thiago Silva and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, with reports in Italy suggesting the French side will pay a combined fee of 51 million pounds ($78 million) for the pair.

Reports in Italy say that Milan vice president Adriano Galliani accepted the offer for the players Wednesday having decided to cash in to remove a significant amount of the club’s debt.

Plans to sell defender Thiago Silva to PSG were blocked by club owner Silvio Berlusconi, with the former Italian prime minister instead offering the Brazilian an extension to his deal with the Rossoneri.

In an extraordinary move, however, Milan have decided to offload the two players said to earn a combined total of 15 million pounds a year.

Over the weekend Thiago Silva had admitted to being relieved that the proposed move had fallen through, but is now expected to complete a transfer to the French capital.

Swedish striker Ibrahimovic has previously expressed an interest in leaving for France, but Gazzetta dello Sport reports that the player is reluctant to leave Italy.

PSG are hoping that the striker will eventually be tempted by the high wages on offer at the Qatar-backed club, and the player is scheduled to meet with his agent Friday.

The 30-year-old has played for some of Europe’s most illustrious clubs in his career, winning domestic titles with Ajax, Juventus, Inter Milan and Barcelona before joining Milan.

The Serie A side accept that Thiago Silva is irreplaceable, but believe they will find a more than able replacement for Ibrahimovic.

Moves for Manchester City’s Carlos Tevez and Edin Dzeko have been mooted, while the club are also expected to step up their interest in Liverpool’s England international Andy Carroll.

Fulham are the latest club to enter the race to sign Carroll, with manager Martin Jol preparing to offer Clint Dempsey as part of the deal.

Carroll is currently on holiday in Brazil after impressing with his performances for England at Euro 2012, with any answer on his future not expected to come until the player returns to the U.K.

American forward Dempsey enjoyed a career-best 23-goal haul last season, but has made it clear he wants to join a bigger club. The Mirror suggests that the Craven Cottage side are prepared to exploit Liverpool’s long-standing interest in Dempsey in order to pries Carroll away from Anfield.

While Carroll is thought to prefer remaining on Merseyside, Liverpool harbor doubts over whether the player will fit into their plans for next season.

Barcelona are preparing to sell Ibrahim Afellay, with the Dutchman expected to head to the Premier League.

Spanish daily El Mondo Deportive say that the Catalan club must sell the midfielder in order to finance moves for the club’s other transfer targets.

Lille had a 5.5 million pound offer for the player accepted by the club but rebuffed by the 26-year-old.

Arsenal’s chief scout Steve Rowley is a huge fan of the player and has reportedly recommended him to Gunners manager Arsene Wenger.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is said to be keen on moving the player having missed out on Icelandic international Gylfi Sigurdsson, while new Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas could be tempted should Luka Modric complete a transfer to Real Madrid.

Villas-Boas has admitted he would be interested in signing Portuguese international Joao Moutinho should Modric leave White Hart Lane.

While Spurs are preparing for the eventuality of Modric’s departure, the Porto midfielder has also been gathering interest from Manchester United in recent weeks.

Villas-Boas managed Moutinho during his successful spell with the Portuguese club, and is confident the player would be able to adapt to the Premier League.

“He was one of the most important players at Euro 2012,” said Villas-Boas. “[Moutinho] had a fantastic tournament ... He was an important player for Porto in the two seasons in a row when they won the title.

“Those sort of players will always be interesting to us. It doesn’t mean it’s the only target we’re looking at, but if something happened then of course we would look upon him with some interest.”

Former Blackburn winger Junior Hoilett has opened talks with both Newcastle and QPR after a move to German side Borussia Monchengladbach fell through.

Hoilett is a free agent after his contract at Ewood Park expired at the end of last season, and had been keen to move to the Bundesliga side on a four-year deal.

After the move broke down, the winger, who can also play up front, is now desperate to secure his future before the new season starts in August.

The 22-year-old scored seven times for the relegated club last season, contributing six assists.

Former England manager Fabio Capello has emerged as the favorite to be appointed manager of Russia, after the country’s sports minister backed the Italian to succeed.

“I think he would be a good option,” Vitaly Mutko said. “This person knows how to win ... When we decided on Guus Hiddink, the first thing we looked at was the coach’s ability to win.”

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on July 13, 2012, on page 15.

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