Manchester United have joined Arsenal in the race for the signature of Kevin Prince Boateng, according to Football Direct News.
Both Premier League giants are interested in the Ghanaian international midfielder, currently on the books with Bundesliga outfit Schalke.
The 27-year-old began to shine at AC Milan following spells with Portsmouth and Tottenham as an attacking midfielder, but this season with the Germans he’s been predominantly deployed at the base of midfield.
United and Arsenal both need a new central midfielder, with the former needing a physical player who can get forward and join in with the attack.
Prince-Boateng has superb feet, and is a huge presence on the field thanks to his large fame and excellent work-rate.
Schalke are unlikely to want to part with the African powerhouse, so any bid from the Premier League would likely have to be very generous.
This term, Prince-Boateng has scored six goals and assisted two.
Cote d’Ivoire boss Sabri Lamouchi believes talented winger Max Gradel has a big future with the national team.
The Saint-Etienne star has been a regular feature in the Elephants’ squad since making his debut in late 2010, but a major knee injury in March last year kept him on the sidelines for over six months and slowed his progress.
Since his return to the game Gradel has largely been used as a substitute by club and country, but he is fast approaching his best form again to the delight of Lamouchi who considers him a highly influential member of his side.
“Even if he’s not a starter in every game, I consider Max-Alain to be more than a super sub,” Lamouchi told Fifa.com.
The Abidjan-born star is expected to make the squad to the World Cup in Brazil and the Elephants will need his pace and trickery, but most of all his passion for the team.
“They represent everything for me,” Gradel said. “They’re my friends, my family, my driving force, my reason for being. It’s because of them that I exist.”
Though aware the final decision on whether he goes to Brazil or not is not his, the former Leeds United star is keen to make the trip and help his team.
“Obviously I’m hoping to be involved. I have confidence in myself and my ability. I’ll keep working and make sure I don’t have any regrets. I don’t get to have the final say, but I’ll make sure I give myself every chance,” he explained.
“To take part in a World Cup would be a dream come true, and it doesn’t happen to everyone,” he added. “Some players have had fantastic careers without ever getting that opportunity. And this World Cup will be even more special because it’s in Brazil. It’s going to be magical.”
The Ivoirians are making their third consecutive trip to the global showpiece and have been grouped with Colombia, Japan and Greece.
English Pemier League giants Liverpool could take on Scottish champions Celtic in a game to be played in Mauritius at the end of the season.
Reports in the United Kingdom have suggested that both European giants have agreed to travel to the beautiful island in May.
Mauritian company Health and Sport in conjunction with the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Mauritius said in a statement: “Given the friendly relations between Liverpool and Celtic, the Scottish club have agreed to come.”
“They made contact with us and agreed without much convincing. We had requests from German and Italian clubs to play too, but we are happy with Celtic.”
Liverpool will be playing Shamrock Rovers in Dublin in a friendly in May 14, and are just waiting for the sponsors to agree to discharge the money to fund the trip.
30,000-seater stadium, Stade Anjalay in Belle Vue Maurel could be the venue for this glamorous match on Sunday May 18, should both clubs reach agreement with the organisers.
The South African FA (SAFA) has banned player agents from visiting the national team camp after the Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund, was cleared of any wrong-doing after allegations of player agents influencing his team selection.
Igesund had been accused of colluding with agents on national team selection, as well as instructing players to go on strike during the African Nations Championship earlier this year.
The Norman Arendse Commission was set up by SAFA to investigate the claims, and the results were announced this afternoon.
Following SAFA’s announcement that Bafana Bafana coach, Gordon Igesund, was cleared of any wrong-doing the governing body has decided to bar agents from visiting the team on camp.
To avoid future misunderstandings, the SAFA Executive committee agreed that player agents should not be involved with the national team coach at any time.
They also revealed that part of the new ground rules would also see the coach having to discuss his selection with the entire technical team – though he would still have the final say.
“The security personnel at hotels where Bafana Bafana will be camping will not allow football player agents to come to the hotel, and also no player agent will be allowed to sleep or book in at the same hotel as the national team.
“The head coach ought not to have a player agent as his own agent,” said SAFA president, Danny Jordaan.
“We will also make sure that the head coach does not select players as an island on his own.
“He may have the final say but he has to invoice the whole technical team including the technical director to help the coach select players
fit for the national team.”
“I think this will help improve the capability of the national team and its performance,” Jordaan concluded.
Crystal Palace boss Tony Pulis is chasing Hull City midfielder Sone Aluko.
The Mirror says the Nigeria striker, 25, has hinted that he is ready to quit the FA Cup finalists this summer.
Pulis is ready to hand him first-team football and will pay the £3.1million City would demand for the marksman.
Aluko said: “It was very frustrating not to start on Sunday. If you are not playing, then you start to wonder, ‘Is this for me? Do I need to find a new club?’”
Fifa president Sepp Blatter has claimed that sporting sanctions such as points deductions are a better punishment for fans racist behaviour.
“Games behind closed doors are also included in the (Fifa) code but I regard this penalty as an extremely dubious instrument,” he said. “They represent a disproportionately collective punishment. Furthermore it involves excluding innocent fans of the opposing team.
“In the final analysis matches played behind closed doors penalise football. The punishment is unduly excessive. Instead it is the troublemakers who must be punished.
“To my mind there remains only one solution to the problem: sporting sanctions are the only effective punishment. It has to cause the clubs real hurt otherwise nothing will change.”
According to his coach Roar Hansen, Accam’s warm-up before the game became dramatic when he got hurt in the groin half an hour before kickoff.
“He laid down. I thought he died there. I had almost decided to move the team as he did not seem to be able to play,” Hansen stated on the club’s website. “In the game also he suffered an injury after a kick in his Achilles tendon and I am unsure if he could start against Elfsborg.”
Accam scored a cracker which could easily go for the Swedish league goal of the season in the game against BK Hacken.
The fast-running and skillful winger, who has scored twice in three starts this season, hopes to make Ghana’s World Cup squad with such catchy performances at club level.
Vfb Stuttgart midfielder Ibrahima Traore says he wants to be the best Guinean and African footballer.
The 25-year-old winger has agreed a four-year deal will join Borussia Monchengladbach at the end of the season.
Having already amassed 20 caps for the Syli Nationale, scoring five goals in the process and making nine assists, Traore now wants to make further progress with the national side.
“When I see teams like Ethiopia qualifying for the World Cup play-offs, I think this is realistic for Guinea. We need continuity in the team – others that have this are gradually they are progressing,” he told Guineefoot.
Traore revealed his belief that he can be the main man to help lift Guinea to new levels of success.
“There’s no doubt I want to be the best player in Guinea and in Africa,” he said.
The match is likely to be played at FIU Stadium in Miami on June 9 or 10 as part of the Black Stars preparation for Brazil 2014.
The 2010 World Cup quarter-finalists will be camping in the United States before moving to Rotterdam to play The Netherlands on May 31.
The Ghana FA spokesperson Ibrahim Saanie Daara announced that though no firm contract has been signed, both sides will be looking to confirm the friendly by next week.
“The Holland match is the only confirmed”, Mr. Sannie Darra said whiles also denying reports making rounds that Guatemala have been roped in the list of friendlies for the Black Stars.
“We have no signed contract with South Korea. By next week we should firm up all details,” Daara added.
Ghana will face US, Germany and Portugal in Group G of the World Cup to be staged in Brazil.
Cameroon legend Roger Milla has embarked on a visit to Wolverhampton University.
Milla became a World football icon after his achievement with Cameroon the 1990 World Cup with four goals at the age of 38. He became known for his dance at the corner flag after hitting the net and also went on to appear at the next finals four years later – becoming the oldest ever scorer.
Now aged 61, he has set up a foundation, Coeur d-Afrique, which aims to help under-privileged children and get them an education in his homeland. And as part of a link-up the University of Wolverhampton has helped sponsor an IT facility in Yaounde, the capital of Cameroon.
Milla visited the Walsall campus of the university yesterday to see some of the facilities on offer including the British Judo Centre. He is also spending time in Wolverhampton and will be at Molineux for Wolves’ clash with Rotherham tomorrow.
Speaking through an interpretor at the Walsall campus he said he often gets requests to repeat his goal dance and also said England had a chance of success in Brazil.
He said: “It very much depends how they do in the pool matches. Very often England reach the quarter-finals then suddenly stumble, the rhythm goes down and they don’t progress.
“If they reach the semi-finals why not? Anything is possible. Particularly as you see what the English Premiership is like and particularly what Liverpool are doing this year.
“Liverpool have got excellent players that can take England into the finals. Yes, they have a chance if they get through the pool stage.”