BEIRUT: Arjen Robben has spoken of his shock at being booed by Bayern Munich fans during the recent friendly between Holland and the German club, prompting speculation that he is set to leave the Champions League finalists.
Dutch forward Robben is believed to be a summer transfer target for Serie A winners Juventus, Premier League champions Manchester City, as well as former club Chelsea, with whom he won two Premier League titles and the FA Cup before leaving in 2007 to join Real Madrid.
"I have never had a week like it," Robben said, adding "To be booed by your own fans is bizarre and that is not easy.
"But that is football. Sometimes you are the villain, sometimes you are the hero. I am a strong person and can deal with it."
Further developments have reduced the likelihood of Robben extending his stay in the Bundesliga, with the winger reportedly having cancelled contract talks with the Bayern following a row with French star Franck Ribery. It has emerged that the two players came to blows during the interval of the Champions League semi-final with Real Madrid after the two openly remonstrated with one another about who would take a free-kick.
Robben is supposedly unhappy that Ribery was fined just 40,000 pounds (approximately $63,000) for the incident, and has withdrawn from talks to extend his current deal which runs until next summer.
Following interest in star defender Thiago Silva from Man City and Barcelona, AC Milan have announced they will do all in their power to hang on to the Brazilian, with key players Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robinho likely to be sold as the team look to rebuild before next season.
Milan president Silvio Berlusconi revealed to Corriere dello Sport that the Italian giants are willing to sacrifice the two players in order to finance a major overhaul of the current squad. The former Italian prime minister was angered by a recent interview given by Ibrahimovic, in which he said AC Milan did not possess the funds required to buy top-quality players this summer.
While Manchester City are known to be keen on Swedish striker Ibrahimovic, Chelsea are believed to be favorites to sign the player they see as a like-for-like replacement for departing hero Didier Drogba.
If successful in off-loading either Ibrahimovic or Robinho, Milan are likely to renew their interest in Man City’s Argentinean forward Carlos Tevez. Milan approached City in the January transfer window in a move for the player who spent much of the season on strike after flying back to Argentina.
Schalke have distanced themselves from a move for Barcelona defender Dani Alves, with the Bundesliga side quick to rebuff speculation that they are one of a number of parties interested in the attacking full-back.
“I usually don't do this, but this time there is such a completely false representation of our transfer policy in public," Schalke director Horst Heldt told the club's official website.
"Dani Alves is a world-class footballer, there is no doubt about that but we have not considered this player, not even theoretically. These reports are just total nonsense.”
Man City are reportedly interested in the former Sevilla player who joined the Catalan side in 2008, with the Premier League champions known to be looking to strengthen the side as they push for Champions League glory next season.
Real Madrid are set to enter the race to sign long-term Arsenal target Lucas Biglia from Anderlecht, with Madrid boss Jose Mourinho determined to beat the Gunners to the Argentine.
Biglia has impressed over the past few seasons in Belgium, with the Argentina international highly sought after across Europe, interesting the likes of Juventus and PSG.
Biglia is reportedly determined to change clubs this summer, with Arsenal expected to make the first move for the talented defensive midfielder. The player has also attracted recent interest from Arsenal’s Premier League rivals Liverpool, but Liverpool will wait before making a move for the Argentine following Kenny Dalglish’s departure from the club.
Tottenham and Arsenal target Marvin Martin has been approached by Turkish side Fenerbahce regarding a 6-million pound transfer for the Sochaux midfielder.
Martin, who scored twice on his debut for France, has been hailed by the French press as the “next Zinedine Zidane,” and is preparing to represent his country at this summer’s Euro 2012.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger wants to add to his midfield options, with the Gunners intent on bolstering their squad following the departures of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri last year, while Spurs boss Harry Redknapp intends to reinforce his side after Tottenham’s failure to make the Champions League.
Dutch manager Louis van Gaal is expected to join Liverpool this week, with the former Bayern Munich and Barcelona coach believed to be mulling over an offer from the club’s American owners.
Van Gaal was initially approached by Liverpool for the role of Director of Football, but reportedly revealed to the club his desire to succeed Kenny Dalglish as manager.
Liverpool remain intent on interviewing as many candidates for the position as possible, and have opened talks with Swansea’s Brendan Rodgers, despite Rodgers having previously ruled himself out of the job. The Northern Irish manager was in the US to watch the friendly match between Wales and Mexico, and is due to meet with the Liverpool owners during his stay in New Jersey.