Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Capello Closes Door On Chelsea But Liverpool Still Interest Him

Fabio Capello has followed Barcelona’s Pep Guardiola in publicly rejecting the prospect of managing Chelsea.

The Italian, who quit as England manager in February over the Football Association’s axing of his captain, Chelsea’s John Terry, is keen for a return to the Premier League.

But Capello said on Saturday that he would not be taking over from Roberto Di Matteo at Stamford Bridge.

‘I will not go to Chelsea,’ said Capello, after he was filmed greeting Terry on the pitch before Chelsea’s Champions League final in Munich against Bayern.

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich may yet be able to change Capello’s mind but the 65-year-old Italian, who enjoyed huge success as a club manager with AC Milan, Roma, Juventus and Real Madrid, is showing interest in the vacancy at Liverpool instead.

Capello’s rejection of Chelsea is unexpected, given that he had made the running with the club by requesting information on their set-up. But it may still concern Chelsea that two high profile and well qualified managers have now ruled themselves out of the job.

Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes claimed that he could never work for an owner like Abramovich, who demands tactical discussions with his managers, and that could be adding a fear factor to the recruitment process.

Chelsea have had eight managers in eight years during the Russian’s reign and the last ‘long-term’ appointment, of Andre Villas-Boas, lasted less than eight months.

But Liverpool now look like a viable option for Capello, who was on the club’s long list of candidates to replace the sacked Kenny Dalglish.

Capello is interested in the challenge of trying to bring the glory days back to Anfield but would demand substantial transfer funds, which could be a sticking point.

Andre Villas-Boas Won't Be Rushed Over future

Former Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas says he is in no hurry to decide on his next move amid speculation linking him with the vacant Liverpool job.

The 34-year-old, whose old side won the UEFA Champions League on Saturday, is thought to be a frontrunner for the Anfield role following Kenny Dalglish's departure.

Reports suggest the Portuguese boss, who spent an unsuccessful nine months at Stamford Bridge earlier this season, will meet with the club's owners this week to discuss the position.

But Villas-Boas insists he will not be rushed into any decision, saying: "I'm still choosing the right project and that decision will take the necessary time."

The manager is among several candidates being linked with the Liverpool job, with Wigan boss Roberto Martinez another reported favourite for the role.

Villas-Boas has been out of work since he was dismissed as Chelsea boss in March following a run of poor results.

The Portuguese congratulated his successor at Stamford Bridge, Roberto Di Matteo, who stepped into the breach when Villas-Boas was sacked and led them to European glory with victory over Bayern Munich.

"The biggest award is to win the Champions League," said Villas-Boas. "Congratulations to Di Matteo and the players."

De Boer Turns Down Liverpool

Ajax boss Frank de Boer has ruled himself out of the running to take over as Liverpool manager, insisting he wants to stay in Amsterdam.

De Boer has been linked with the vacant Anfield job following Kenny Dalglish's sacking last week after a disappointing season culminated in the Reds' worst league finish for 18 years.

But the 42-year-old Dutchman, who has guided Ajax to back-to-back Eredivisie titles, says he still has unfinished business in Amsterdam after taking over as coach in 2010.

"I am honoured by the request, but I am only just getting started with Ajax," De Boer told De Telegraaf.

"In Amsterdam we are on a new path and, along with the club and Wim Jonk and Dennis Bergkamp, my colleagues in the technical heart, I want to bring good things.

"That's why I will stay loyal to Ajax in the coming years."

De Boer's snub comes after Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers also turned down an approach from Liverpool last week.

The Reds are thought to have several other candidates on their radar, including former Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas and Wigan manager Roberto Martinez.

Deschamps Cools Reds Talk

Didier Deschamps has distanced himself from speculation regarding the Liverpool manager's job by revealing he still expects to be at Marseille next season.

The 43-year-old former Juventus and Chelsea midfielder was reportedly on Liverpool's shortlist when Rafa Benitez left the club two years ago only for the job to go to Roy Hodgson.

With the club once again on the lookout for a new boss after Kenny Dalglish's sacking last week, speculation had increased that Liverpool's owners FSG had included Deschamps on their shortlist.

The France World Cup winner is under pressure in his current role after a disappointing 10th place finish for Marseille last term.

However, when quizzed on his immediate future Deschamps was certain he was going nowhere.

"It is expected that I will be there [Marseille] next season," he told French journalists.

"When it goes badly, there is need to recharge. I will leave on vacation but it is expected that I be there [Marseille] for July 2."

Swansea boss Brendan Rodgers and Ajax coach Frank de Boer have already ruled themselves out of the running to be new Reds boss.

Former Porto and Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas remains one of the favourites while Wigan's Roberto Martinez has also been given permission to speak to the Merseysiders.

Carragher: Don't Blame New Signings

Liverpool centre-back Jamie Carragher insists the club's new signings should not take the blame for the Anfield side's poor performances this season.

Andy Carroll, Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson have all borne the brunt of heavy criticism after moving to Merseyside with expensive price tags and struggling to find their feet.

Poor league performances - which saw the club finish eighth - have largely been blamed on Liverpool's new signings, but Carragher believes the club's senior players should step up and accept responsibility.

Speaking to The Mirror, Carragher said: "I think they have had a lot of unfair criticism. Henderson, Downing, [Charlie] Adam, Carroll - whoever it may be, it's always been a new signing. Have they been scapegoats? Yes. But I think its players like myself, players who've been here a long time who deserve more criticism than the new players."

All three new signings, Carroll, Downing and Henderson, made Roy Hodgson's Euro 2012 England preliminary squad, with Henderson on the standby list, and Carragher believes the Anfield new boys need time to settle after their big money moves.

"They've just been finding their feet, learning what Liverpool is all about. The manager brought Stewart and Andy in. Hopefully there's time for them to develop a good rapport."

Fenway Sports Group - Liverpool's American owners - are continuing their search for a new manager following the departure of Kenny Dalglish, and Carragher pledged his support for whoever takes up the Anfield hotseat.

"At Liverpool, we would all like to know who our manager is," said Carragher. "Whoever it is, you give 100% at the start of the season."

Liverpool Struggling To Offload Striker

Daniel Pacheco could be set to return to Liverpool this summer after both Atletico Madrid and Rayo Vallecano reportedly passed up the opportunity to sign him.

The 21-year-old moved to the Vicente Calderon on a temporary basis last summer, but Atleti immediately loaned him out to Rayo, as is allowed in Spanish football.

Pacheco, however, made only 11 appearances for Rayo last season, and was an unused substitute on 24 occasions in the league for the Madrid-based side.

According to talkSPORT, Atleti were offered the chance to sign the Spanish striker for £2 million, which they declined, while Rayo also decided not to acquire his services on a permanent basis.

It would now appear Pacheco will return to Anfield for pre-season training, and take his place alongside the likes of Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll in Liverpool's forward ranks.

Pacheco joined the Liverpool academy from Barcelona in 2007, and made a total of seven first team appearances either side of a loan spell with Norwich City.

Suarez: No Barcelona Or Real Madrid Contact

Luis Suarez has reaffirmed his commitment to Liverpool and rejected suggestions he has spoken to either Barcelona or Real Madrid regarding a summer transfer.

The 25-year-old was the club's top scorer last term, but the Reds' failure to qualify for Champions League football for a third season in succession has seen Suarez linked with a move away from Anfield.

Suarez's stay with Liverpool has also been marred by the eight-game ban he received following the race row with Patrice Evra, while Sir Alex Ferguson urged the Reds to part company with the Uruguay international.

Barcelona and Real Madrid have both been linked with Suarez, but he has allayed any fears Liverpool fans may have by denying any contact with the Spanish giants.

“Being honest, I have never talked to anyone from Barca or Real Madrid," Suarez told the Liverpool Daily Post. "If the rumours are to be believed I would have already played for 20 teams.

“Liverpool has had a good season and we got to two cup finals.

“In the Premier League we did not finish as high as expected, but positive things have been taken.

“Liverpool is a 10/10 club for the support they give the players. I am very grateful to the club for giving me the opportunity to play in the Premiership.”

Suarez has scored 21 goals in 52 appearances for Liverpool since moving to Anfield from Ajax for £24 million in the January transfer window of 2010.

West Ham Hoping To Persuade Joe Cole To Return To Upton Park

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce is hoping that he will be able to persuade Joe Cole to make an emotional return to the club after securing promotion to the Premier League at the first time of asking.

Cole left the Hammers in 2003 to join Chelsea but is still a firm fan favourite after coming through the academy at the east London club and going on to become a regular England player while still with West Ham.

Allardyce know that he will need to strengthen his squad as he looks to follow the example of the trio of clubs who were promoted last season and all managed to stay in the Premier League.

The Daily Mail has suggested that Cole is not the only former Hammer that is wanted by Big Sam as he also wants to sign Nigel Reo-Coker and Kieran Richardson.

Liverpool loaned out Cole for the entirety of last season to French side Lille but West Ham are hoping that he would prefer to stay in England and make a return to his home town of London.

One possible sticking point could be the wages of the 30-year-old who is believes to earn somewhere in the region of £90,000-a-week at Liverpool.

It seems as though Allardyce will have funds to work with as well over the summer as co-owner David Gold revealed there would be a significant transfer kitty for the club.

‘If we didn’t win then we would have needed to cut our cloth accordingly," Gold told the Daily Mail. "We wouldn’t have sat there deluding ourselves. It would have cost probably around another £30m."