BEIRUT

Football

AC Milan ready to rival Real for Micah Richards

Senegal's Ousmane Mane makes a save beside Britain's Micah Richards (14) during their men's Group A football match at the London 2012 Olympic Games in Old Trafford, Manchester, northern England July 26, 2012. REUTERS/Eddie Keogh

BEIRUT: AC Milan are considering whether to make a move for Manchester City defender Micah Richards.

Real Madrid have already shown interest in signing the 24-year-old full-back, who despite missing out on England’s squad for Euro 2012 is one of the over-age players selected for Team GB’s squad at the London Olympics.

British radio station talkSport reports that Milan were impressed with Richards’ form during City’s push for the title last season, with the player being mooted as a potential successor for the departed Thiago Silva.

Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho is a big fan of the England international and failed in an attempt to sign the player when manager of Chelsea.

Should Richards become available Mourinho is almost certain to enter the race to sign the defender.

City manager Roberto Mancini is unlikely to be willing to lose a key player, least of all their vice-captain who came through the youth system at the club.

West Ham have made an official bid to sign Liverpool striker Andy Carroll and have offered the Anfield side a club-record 17 million pounds ($26.72 million) for the player.

The BBC reports that the offer would see Carroll join the club on loan for the whole of the 2012/13 season, with a binding agreement to buy the 23-year-old next summer.

The player has been reported as saying that if he is to leave Liverpool then he would prefer a return to his home-town club Newcastle.

Newcastle are known to still be interested in Carroll, but have baulked at Liverpool’s 20-million pound asking price and have already had a bid to take the player on loan rejected.

Carroll signed for Liverpool from Newcastle just 18 months ago in a 35-million-pound deal – a record for a British player.

Expected to fill the vacuum caused by Fernando Torres’ 50-million-pound switch to Chelsea, Carroll has often struggled to replicate the form that preceded his record transfer.

Following Liverpool’s appointment of Brendan Rodgers as manager, the England international has reportedly been identified as surplus to requirements at the club.

Publically, however, Rodgers has continued to back the talents of his forward and has ruled out letting the player leave on the cheap.

“Andy is a terrific young player,” Rodgers said.

“I had a brief chat with all the lads and over the next couple of weeks I'll be able to speak to them with more confidence and on a one-to-one basis.

“We've got a number of very, very talented players in the group, of which Andy is one.”

Liverpool are expected to reject the Hammers’ offer as they continue to hold out for 20 million pounds, with the player similarly unconvinced that a switch to east London would be a good move.

Emmanuel Adebayor’s proposed transfer to Tottenham from Manchester City is in jeopardy after the player demanded that he receive the 5-million-pound transfer fee.

The Togolese spent a successful loan-spell at White Hart Lane last season, scoring 17 league goals during his time at the club.

The former Arsenal striker faces taking a massive pay cut in his 175,000-pound-a-week salary should a move to Spurs be completed.

Adebayor is said to be unwilling to accept lower wages and has proposed that City pay the 5-million pounds directly to him in order to compensate for the salary reduction he will receive at Spurs.

The forward had 105,000 pounds of his weekly wages paid by City last season but the club is keen to reduce their wage bill to accommodate UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations.

Arsenal are bracing themselves to begin the start of the campaign without midfielder Jack Wilshere, who missed the whole of last season after injuring his foot while on international duty with England.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger this week refused to set a precise date as to when the club could expect to see the player return, prompting speculation that Arsenal will step up their interest in Malaga’s Santi Cazorla and Rennes midfielder Yann M’Vila.

The Daily Mirror reports that Wenger has earmarked winger Cazorla for a more central role should the player complete a transfer to the club, a position normally allocated to Wilshere.

The club has supposedly already agreed a deal with the Spanish midfielder but is yet to settle a fee with Malaga.

Liverpool have moved a step closer to completing the signing of Bologna’s Uruguayan midfielder Gaston Ramirez after the player’s agent arrived in the U.K. for discussions over a transfer.

Reds boss Rodgers is keen to add width to his midfield, and has fully focused his efforts on landing Ramirez after being put off by Fulham’s demands over American Clint Dempsey.

The Uruguayan is rated in Italy as one of the most promising talents in Serie A, with the 21-year-old having also been tracked by Barcelona and AC Milan.

Liverpool have already held talks with Bologna regarding a deal, believed to be in the region of 15-million pounds.

“Gaston is ready to leave Italy – so much so I am in England for talks with a Premier League club,” British daily Metro reported the player’s agent Pablo Betancourt as saying.

“He is one of the most important players in Uruguay, so there are no shortage of offers.”

 

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