A FORMER World Player of the Year, a Real Madrid ‘Galactico’ no less, who cost £56m last time he moved – could Kaka be the midfield menace that both Manchester United and Arsenal are angling for this transfer window?
With the imminent transfer of Spurs’ Gareth Bale to Real, and the news that Mesut Ozil is staying put, Brazilian attacker Kaka has made it clear he wants to leave Spain, and soon.
The news has put top clubs around Europe on alert, and despite the rumours that AC Milan is a likely destination, it’s clear that two of the Premiership’s big boys, Manchester United and Arsenal, could do with his services.
Since joining Old Trafford, David Moyes has been linked, albeit sometimes ridiculously, with a parade of talent – Cesc Fabregas, Thiago Alcantara, Marouane Fellaini, Luka Modric, Cristiano Ronaldo, even Bale.
What is clear from these rumours is that Moyes is in the market for a midfielder.
And at Arsenal, Arsene Wenger recapturing Mathieu Flamini, while a solid piece of business, is not the sort of transfer activity that the fans crave after a similar summer of disappointment.
With Kaka out of favour, hankering for a move from Real Madrid, the player should be within both’s budget, and there’s time to do a deal – could the Premier League have a new star player in the coming days?
CHELSEA boss Jose Mourinho is to be the star of a new cartoon series called Mourinho and the Special Ones.
The self-styled Special One has been used as the basis for the show, which is launching first in his native Portugal before expanding to other countries, as well as a series of spin-off trading cards and computer games and apps, and even a grassroots coaching programme.
A spokesman for developers Sports Stars Media said: “The opportunity of a lifetime comes by when you least expect it and for Alex and his friends, a chance meeting with their hero, changes their lives forever.
“What was supposed to be a simple football match attracted the attention of the world’s greatest football coach. The Special One himself, Jose Mourinho.
“Mourinho is so impressed with Alex and his friends that he decides to help them follow their dream whilst also settling a few old scores with his longtime nemesis, Viktor Von Haii, the owner of the Junior Sharks football team.
“Alex and his team mates have been given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. But do they have what it takes to be the best and realise their potential to become…. The Special Ones.”
NEW research has shown that fans of Man City are most likely to cut up cars with a rival team’s supporters inside.
A survey by Confused.com found that when it comes to driving etiquette, almost one in 5 fans (18%) would discriminate against drivers of cars with stickers/scarves of arch rivals displayed.
Manchester City fans are most likely to discriminate against rival drivers – possibly displaying Manchester United scarves/stickers in their cars.
Plus, they are almost twice as likely (31%) to discriminate than Man United fans (17%).
Second worst were West Bromwich Albion fans, followed by Sunderland fans, Cardiff City fans and Norwich City fans.
UEFA has threatened Shakhter Karagandy with disciplinary proceedings if they continue to perform the ritual slaughter of animals around games.
The Kazakh champions caused a stir when they slaughtered a sheep at the Astana Arena the day before last Tuesday night’s 2-0 Champions League play-off first-leg win over Celtic, leading animal rights group PETA to express its outrage in a strongly worded letter to UEFA president Michel Platini, urging the organisation to punish Shakhter.
There were concerns that Shakhter would repeat the ritual at Parkhead in the return leg this evening and, although it is now clear that will not happen, European football’s governing body has made it clear that disciplinary proceedings will be launched if the practice is repeated.
In a letter to Shakhter executive director Yerden Khalilin, UEFA competitions director Giorgio Marchetti said: “We were informed that an animal slaughter took place at some point prior to the UEFA Champions League fixture involving FC Shakhter Karagandy and Celtic FC at the Astana Arena on Tuesday 20 August 2013.
“Although certain practices may be culturally rooted, they have no place in or around a sporting arena or event.
“In this context, I would like to make you aware that animal slaughter on a football pitch or in a stadium before, during or after a UEFA competition match – or with reference to a UEFA competition – is totally improper, and will not be tolerated.
A GAMEWEEK low on goals has meant a pretty tight spread of scores from the Goaltastic League this week.
But with it only being two gameweeks in, nevertheless there’s plenty of movement in the table and a new leader, How I Met Your Mata.
Below them, Fawlty Torres (2), TEMPO (3), Kone 2013 (=4), The Rebels (=6) and shipthecheese (9) all climb in the top 10.
One of these elite, TEMPO, was also the top scorer this week with 67 points – an early one to watch perhaps?
To enter the league for free, visit fantasy.premierleague.com and then join the competition by using the code 148075-41877.
OH HOW we’ve missed you Mourinho.
The Special One is well known for doing things his own special way, and that extends from the touchline to the transfer market, but this week’s work will take some beating.
Despite a medical being completed and a transfer fee being arranged between Anzhi Makhachkala and Tottenham Hotspur for midfielder Willian, an 11th hour bid by Chelsea this week saw the Brazilian winger change his mind and agree a move to Stamford Bridge.
This is despite Chelsea owning more attacking midfielders than you can shake a Oscar, Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Andre Schurrle-shaped stick at – a strange move it seemed at first.
Rumours were rife that the swoop would allow Mata to become the bargaining chip needed to prise his top target Wayne Rooney away from Manchester United – which could still be a possibility.
But now it appears that Gareth Bale’s mooted £93m move to Real Madrid is on hold as Daniel Levy won’t let Bale leave without a replacement in the bag.
So the Willian move has messed with both Chelsea rivals Spurs and former employer Madrid’s dealings, and made his own business look much more likely too – talk about two birds with one stone, Jose.
ANIMAL rights campaign group PETA has appealed to UEFA president Michel Platini to ban the ritual slaughter of animals in European football.
The call for action follows the killing of a sheep by Kazakh side Shakhter Karagandy before their home Champions League play-off match against Celtic.
On Monday, a day ahead of the Hoops’ 2-0 first-leg play-off defeat at the Astana Arena, the animal was sacrificed in the corner of the stadium by the home side before they commenced a training session.
At the pre-match press conference, the Kazakh club’s Russian manager Viktor Kumykov acknowledged the “tradition” but was reluctant to discuss its precise nature. It is understood the same ritual is carried out at the club before all big games.
Shakhter travel to Glasgow to play the second leg next Wednesday night.
In a letter to Platini, PETA points to UEFA’s claim to be “forward-looking” and Platini’s own words describing UEFA’s “duty to protect the game, the players and our values” and asks him to use his influence to stop any further slaughter in this season’s Champions League and Europa League.
“We are deeply disturbed that a sheep was stabbed to death in an attempt to bring good luck to the Kazakh team,” says PETA associate director Mimi Bekhechi.
“We hope Mr Platini will agree that animal sacrifice has no place in modern society, and we hope the UEFA will act swiftly and decisively to ensure that the beautiful game is not further stained with the blood of animals.”