De Rossi dashes Mancini's hopes of a transfer
SOCCER SHORTS:Daniele De Rossi has dashed Manchester City’s hopes of a transfer after the midfielder re-affirmed his commitment to Roma yesterday.
The 29-year-old was linked with a move to the Premier League, with City boss Roberto Mancini a known admirer.
However, De Rossi does not want to leave his boyhood club, having been at the Stadio Olimpico since he began his professional career in 2001.
“I’m staying,” De Rossi said at a press conference yesterday. “I never asked to leave.”
De Rossi signed a fresh five-year contract in February to quell speculation of a move but City were reported to have tested Roma’s resolve with a substantial offer this summer.
“One club, the one you all know, made an inquiry.”
Cypriot fan jailed for four months
The fallout from Anorthosis Famagusta’s abandoned Europa League match against Dila Gori continued when a fan who invaded the pitch was jailed for four months by a Cypriot court.
Anorthosis were expelled from the competition by Uefa last week after the August 9th tie was called off on 82 minutes following angry scenes in the stands by Hungarian referee Mihaly Fabian with the Georgian team leading 3-0.
Uefa also fined the Cypriot team €50,000 and ordered them to play their next three Uefa club competition matches behind closed doors. The game, the second leg of a third qualifying round tie, was awarded to Dila 3-0 and they will now face Maritimo of Portugal in the play-off round.
The 20-year-old fan was among a group of youths protesting at Anorthosis’s dismal showing at the Antonis Papadopoulos stadium in Larnaca.
He pleaded guilty to illegally entering the pitch, where he heckled the club’s Montenegran goalkeeper Srdjan Blazic, and to being drunk in public.
Di Matteo expects Hazard to get even better for Chelsea
Roberto Di Matteo yesterday backed Eden Hazard to get even better for Chelsea following his stunning Premier League debut.
Hazard made a dream start to life in England’s top flight during Sunday’s opening 2-0 win at Wigan, claiming two assists inside the opening seven minutes at the DW Stadium. And Chelsea fans only have to wait until tonight to see the 21-year-old’s home debut when Reading visit Stamford Bridge.
Reflecting on Hazard’s performance on Sunday, manager Di Matteo said: “He left his mark on the game. Hopefully there’s more to come from him.”
That could depend on how Hazard deals with the kind of rough treatment dished out to him by Wigan. “He was certainly targeted, but I don’t think there was any malicious intent by the Wigan players,” said Di Matteo.
“It’s just difficult to mark players like that.”
It is just as well Hazard looks like settling in so quickly, with Oscar having only arrived at Chelsea last week and fellow new boy Marko Marin sidelined by a hamstring injury. Marin may have to wait almost another month to make his debut.
Aguero's injury not as bad as first thought
Manchester City have received encouraging news regarding the knee injury sustained by Sergio Aguero in Sunday’s 3-2 victory over Southampton.
Aguero twisted his right knee early on in Sunday’s win and it was initially feared that a fair tackle from Nathaniel Clyne had left the Argentina striker with severe ligament damage and the prospect of around six months out of action.
Although City are still waiting for the results of MRI scans on the knee, all the indications are that the problem is appreciably less serious than first feared and Aguero will be unavailable for weeks – possibly three or four – rather than months.
Mancini is scheduled to reveal the diagnosis and prognosis during his weekly press conference on Friday.
Mancini had said he would seek attacking reinforcements were the injury to prove serious, but all the available evidence suggests otherwise and the Manchester club possess the resources to cope with Aguero’s absence for up to a month.