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The Daily Star
THURSDAY, 17 APR 2014
01:02 AM Beirut time
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AC Milan reportedly have sights set on Liverpool's Pepe Reina
Liverpool's goalkeeper Pepe Reina is seen during their English Premier League soccer match against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, Sunderland, England, Saturday, March 10, 2012. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell)
Liverpool's goalkeeper Pepe Reina is seen during their English Premier League soccer match against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, Sunderland, England, Saturday, March 10, 2012. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell)
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BEIRUT: AC Milan have reportedly made Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina one of their major acquisition targets this summer.

The Italian side are said to be keen to replace the 35-year-old incumbent keeper Christian Abbiati, with Milan looking to strengthen their defense after losing the Serie A title to Juventus last season.

Reina is known to have great affection for both the club and the city of Liverpool, but a club with Milan’s reputation may turn his head.

Since joining Liverpool in 2005, the Spaniard contributed greatly to his club’s winning of the FA and League Cups, and was part of the Spanish squad that won both Euro 2008 and the World Cup in 2010.

The 29-year-old Reina is renowned as one of the best goalies in the world, but an underwhelming campaign last season at Anfield may cause the Reds to look favorably upon a potential offer for him.

The Daily Mail reports that Reina, who is currently away with the Spanish team at Euro 2012, has yet to meet new Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has allegedly ruled out the chances of star striker Robin van Persie leaving for Italian champions Juventus, believing the player will likely stay at the Gunners.

Van Persie has one year left on his current deal with the north London club, and held preliminary talks with Wenger and Arsenal CEO Ivan Gazidis prior to heading out for The Netherlands’ disastrous Euro 2012 campaign.

Despite having agreed that neither the club nor the player would speak to the media until the Arsenal captain’s future has been resolved, Wenger is quoted by Italian daily CorriereDello Sport as claiming that a deal with Juventus is unlikely.

“I am certain that Robin will remain with us,” Wenger said.

“If you want to know why I am so certain that Robin will remain with us, it’s because there is no reason in this world why a great player like Van Persie should go and play for you, in Italy and in your competition.

“Your football [Serie A] is at an inferior level to the Premier League.”

The Guardian reports that Tottenham have held face-to-face negotiations with Andre Villas-Boas about replacing Harry Redknapp, and are willing to offer him the position despite ongoing talks with former England boss Fabio Capello.

Villas-Boas’ agent met with Spurs representatives last week to articulate what they were looking for, but the club have now speeded up the process by meeting with the manager directly.

The Guardian claims that it has become clear that Spurs chairman Daniel Levy considers Villas-Boas to be the right man to lead Tottenham to their first championship since 1961.

The Portuguese manager has been out of work since March after being sacked by Blues owner Roman Abramovich following a dismal run of form.

West Ham have increased their offer for Norwich striker Grant Holt and are hopeful that a deal will be concluded soon.

After the Hammers’ opening bid of 3 million pounds was rejected, the Upton Park side upped the fee to 5.5 million pounds.

Holt was the second highest English goal scorer in the Premier League last season as newly promoted Norwich finished the season in a respectable 12th place.

Since then, manager Paul Lambert has left for Aston Villa, and Holt has declared his intention to leave the East Anglian club.

Malaga have had their bid for Milan’s Robinho rejected, with the Rossoneri telling the Spanish side to significantly increase their offer.

Italian daily Sporta Italia reports that Malaga’s opening offer for the forward fell well short of the player’s valuation, with Milan willing to do business for around 20 million euros.

The former Man City striker looks likely to leave the Italian giants as the club seek to balance their finances.

Milan’s financial woes have been widely reported, but the club are determined not to sell their assets on the cheap, having rejected an offer from PSG for Thiago Silva just last week.

Milan striker Antonio Cassano has praised the club for refusing to sanction Silva’s move to France, conceding that he would have reconsidered his own future with Milan had the player left Italy.

“Mr. Berlusconi is great,” Cassano said of the team’s owner, Italian politician and media tycoon Silvio Berlusconi.

“If he decides that we must win, we win. And [from] his love of AC Milan, he has made a choice of heart and I am happy that Thiago has remained.”

 
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