BEIRUT

Football

Villas-Boas threatens to quit Tottenham talks

  • Chelsea's Portuguese Manager Andre Villas-Boas (L) gestures against Stoke City during their Premier League football match at The Brittannia Stadium in Stoke-on-Trent. (AFP PHOTO/IAN KINGTON)

BEIRUT: Former Chelsea coach Andre Villas-Boas has threatened to withdraw from negotiations with Tottenham about the vacant manager’s position.

The 34-year-old is said to be unhappy that the north London club are still speaking to other candidates about replacing Harry Redknapp, with Villas-Boas prepared to walk away from discussions as a result.

The Guardian reports the Portuguese as claiming that Tottenham “are talking to 10 other coaches,” and he also feels he is no longer Spurs chairman Daniel Levy’s first choice appointment.

Villas-Boas’ last position saw him being sacked by Chelsea after just nine months in charge of the Blues, after failing to get results and reportedly having fallen out with key players.

Prior to being appointed by Chelsea, in his only season at Porto, Villas-Boas won the Portuguese title, the Europa League in addition to the Portuguese cup.

Levy has held several meetings with Villas-Boas and his representatives about taking over at White Hart Lane, but the Spurs’ approach to appointing Redknapp’s replacement has also seen them sound out former England manager Fabio Capello and current France boss Laurent Blanc.

Scottish side Glasgow Rangers are believed to be considering a sensational bid to buy English League 1 side Bury, with the club hopeful that they will be able to take their place in English football.

Rangers were docked points last season after going into administration, and have yet to be confirmed as playing in the SPL next season.

The club was bought last week for 6 million pounds ($9 million) but remain in liquidation, and has not been named on the Scottish fixture list for next season.

If SPL clubs vote against their bid to be allowed back into the league, and if there is considerable opposition to the Gers’ return, the club will be relegated down to as low as the Scottish Third Division.

The Sun reports that the new Rangers owner is looking at the possibility of buying Bury and playing their games in Glasgow – in effect bringing an end to Bury football club.

A move to England for both Rangers and their rivals Celtic has long been mooted, and the club sees this as an opportunity for the move south of the border.

A club source told the Sun: “Yes, Rangers really are thinking about this.

“They are in a position at the moment where they have no idea what the future holds.

“They don’t know whether they will be in the SPL next season and do not want to go to the bottom of the ladder.

“Acquiring an English club would get them the foothold they have always wanted down south.”

Although it remains unclear whether such a move would be allowed, there is a precedent. While Berwick is in England, the club plays its football in Scotland, whereas both Swansea and Cardiff, despite being Welsh sides, play in the English leagues.

Tottenham striker Louis Saha has spoken out in favor of Blanc being appointed, claiming the Frenchman would be a huge success at Spurs.

Saha worked with the former Manchester United defender during his time with France, and warns that Spurs should not delay making a decision if they want to get their man.

“He’s a top manager,” he told talkSport. “He’ll always have interest. I can imagine him being a hit in the Premier League because of his experience.”

Newcastle striker Demba Ba is set to hold discussions with the club about his future, with Toon boss Alan Pardew desperate to know whether the prolific goal scorer sees his future in the Premier League.

The Senegalese forward has been the subject of intense speculation due to a release clause in his contract that could see the player leave for as little as 7 million pounds.

Ba has insisted he is happy to remain on Tyneside, but held talks with Turkish giants Fenerbahce and Galatasaray at the weekend.

With Newcastle already looking for replacements, Pardew has revealed he hopes the player will remain at the club.

“Ever since he signed with us we’ve had the speculation – I don’t think it’s going to go away,” Pardew told the BBC. “We want him to stay, the fans do too, and we hope that will be the case.”

The likelihood of Ba remaining at Newcastle is looking far less certain, however, with Bayern Munich and Liverpool also prepared to make the player an offer.

Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel is reportedly a target for Premier League champions Manchester City after the club admitted defeat regarding attempts to sign Thiago Silva from AC Milan.

If City make an offer for the player it would represent a major challenge for Brendan Rodgers, with the onus on the manager to try and convince the Slovakian to remain at Anfield.

Skrtel, who got married at the weekend, has refused to comment on his future until after he comes back from his honeymoon.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on June 22, 2012, on page 14.
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