Sven lines up Becks swoop

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ACCORDING to today’s Sunday papers, Leicester City are looking to bring David Beckham home from the States.
Goldenballs could team up with his former England boss Sven Goran Eriksson in the East Midlands, after the MLS season comes to a close.
The LA Galaxy midfielder has previously used the American close season to keep up fitness levels at AC Milan – and the Foxes’ owners have been pushing Eriksson to put in a cheeky bid for Becks to do the same with them this season.
A source close to the Championship side’s Thai owners said: “This time the Raksriaksorn family are going all out to get Sven to bring Beckham to Leicester. Even they have been overwhelmed at how big Leicester have become here in Asia.
“They are keen to maintain the momentum and, of course, grow the club.
“Sven is in touch with Beckham, the funding is in place and they hope a deal can be done that will suit both parties. It will be good for ¬≠everyone.”

Text vote to pick teams

TWO South African teams took each other on in a pre-season friendly last season – with fans signalling which players they wanted to see via text.
Eleven million votes were cast for the 22 players chosen in the starting lineup.
The SMS-controlled sides Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs then played out a 0-0 draw in their home town of Soweto, before a penalty shootout saw the Pirates plundering a win – with Khune, the player who polled the most votes, mssing the crucial spot kick!

Spaceballs! Football found in space

DYING star Kronberger 61 has been nicknamed the Soccerball Nebula by stargazers after it was discovered that it looks like a football.
Whereas most planetary nebulae are butterfly shaped, amateur astronomer Matthias Kronberger discovered the ball-shaped star in January – and now professional astronomers at the Gemini Observatory in Hawaii have captured the glowing gas surrounding the dying star in all its glory.

Goaltastic league roars to 40

THIS year’s Goaltastic Fantasy Football league has reached the 40 teams mark.
With weeks to go until the season kicks off, the number of entries has already surpassed last year’s 27 and today gone on to top 40, thanks to Joe Askew’s entry Pretty, Pretty Good.
Personally, I cannot wait for the season to start to test my mettle – although it is daunting taking on that many wannabe Wengers and aspiring Alex Fergusons.
Of course, it’s more the merrier in the league – to sign up visit and then join the competition by using the code 1006-813.

Premiership predictions – Blackburn, Swansea and Norwich for the drop

AFTER proclaiming Chelsea to be champions in waiting yesterday, I’m turning my gaze to the bottom of the pile – a task which left you readers divided.
Because Norwich City, Queens Park Rangers, Swansea City, Wigan Athletic, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Aston Villa all received equal votes in my Facebook poll.
And if you lot can’t make up your mind, what chance have I got?
Nevertheless, neck on the line, firstly I’m plumping for recently promoted sides Swansea and Norwich for the drop – I can’t see how either side has strengthened enough to compete in the Premier League.
Although QPR haven’t exactly pulled their chequebook out either, I really feel their talismanic Moroccan Adel Taraabt will pick them enough points up to scrape through.
That means one established Premiership team is going to be relegated…
And from the teams that teetered on the brink of the Championship last season, there’s only one that looks constantly on the verge of a crisis – not Wigan, not Wolves, but Blackburn.
I can’t see Blackburn’s owners bringing in the big names they’ve promised, and I can’t see Steve Kean keeping his job for the duration.
Rovers and out, that’s my prediction – leave me a comment below if you disagree.

Fixture fury sees Italian owner scoot off

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NAPOLI owner Aurelio De Laurentiis made a swift exit after storming out of Serie A’s televised fixture draw – on a passer-by’s mobility scooter.
De Laurentiis was furious about his team’s draw for the forthcoming season – screaming: “I am ashamed to be Italian! I’m going back to cinema. It’s all been mapped out against us! I want to change citizenship!”
He then hitched a ride on a stranger’s electric scooter and trundled away from the scene.

Premiership predictions – Chelsea to be crowned champions

GOALTASTIC’S Facebook poll to find who is set to be Premier League champion 2011/2012 saw last year’s title winning team Manchester United voted as clear favourites to lift the trophy again – but I beg to differ.
Although the Red Devils are the readers’ favourites, I’m putting it out there that Chelsea will be the team on top come next May.
Holders Manchester United almost won by default this season gone.
However this season Chelsea will not – they simply cannot – have a blip like they did last winter under new manager Andre Villas-Boas, I reckon they’ll have what it takes this time around.
Manchester United, despite building for the future, will have to be content with runners-up spot.
This season also sees a resurgent Liverpool without any European distractions competing solely for league glory, and I reckon they’ll be pushing the frontrunners all the way – pencil in a third place for the Pool.
Underneath them there will be an epic battle between big four stalwarts Arsenal – never write them off, people – and growing force Manchester City.
But despite all the money spent and the first trophy in the cabinet, I can see Arsenal pipping the Citizens to fourth, although it will be a bitter battle all the way.
And sorry, but Spurs have had their moment – the teams at the top are just too strong this season for them, sixth is the best they can hope for.
What do you think? Leave a comment below, and come back tomorrow for more wild speculation on the relegation race.

City set to actually splash the cash on Aguero

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A BIT of an oddity for you here Рa long running transfer story is set to actually come to fruition this week with Atletico Madrid striker Sergio Aguero set to finalise a £38m move to Manchester City.
The 23-year-old Argentina international was at City’s Carrington training ground this morning having cut short a holiday in his homeland to fly in to finalise contract negotiations and undergo a medical.
Aguero, the son-in-law of Diego Maradona, said: “Just arrived in Manchester to finalise the details of signing with City.
“Everything is going very well!”
That’s how it’s done, Tevez/Fabregas/Sneijder et al.

Great quality doesn’t require effort says Berbatov

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MANCHESTER United striker Dimitar Berbatov insists he will not change his laid back style – saying he can succeed at his own leisure.
He said: “There is a saying in Bulgaria that great quality doesn’t require much effort.”
I agree – that’s why I’ve just copied and pasted this quote as the basis for an entire blog post.

Whoa dude! Burnley just got Trippier

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AS YOU can imagine, Goaltastic is a big fan of an unusual surname – so we heartily welcome the totally far out news that Burnley have signed Manchester City full-back Kieran Trippier on loan.
Groovy, man.
Hopefully the 20-year-old England Under-21 international can continue to get some game time on loan after being spaced out of the City squad – mainly so I have more chances to mention him in blog posts.