Soccer shorts


A round-up of today's other stories in brief

No quick resolution to Cahill transfer

CHELSEA manager Andre Villas-Boas is not expecting a quick resolution in his bid to sign Bolton defender Gary Cahill, despite the two clubs agreeing a fee.

The England centre back’s move to Stamford Bridge was expected to go through as soon as this month’s transfer window opened after the London club settled on a price with the Bolton, thought to be around €6 million.

However, Villas-Boas suggested the deal had hit a snag last week when he said the two parties were “miles apart” regarding an agreement. And yesterday, the Portuguese said negotiations were still ongoing: “It’s an ongoing process. I never thought it would be solved quickly.”

Cahill is out of contract at the Reebok Stadium in the summer and Bolton do not want to risk losing him on a free transfer.

Bent going nowhere, says McLeish

ALEX McLeish has warned any potential suitors that Aston Villa have no intention of parting with Darren Bent.

The England international striker moved to Villa Park in January 2011, with €29 million required to lure him away from Sunderland.

The 27-year-old is, however, regarded as one of the most consistent goal-getters in the Premier League and any number of clubs would welcome him into their ranks.

Speculation has suggested that Liverpool may be tempted to make a move during the current transfer window, with Kenny Dalglish in the market for goals.

Manager McLeish, though, has made it clear that Bent will not be leaving the club, with Villa determined to retain the services of their most potent attacking weapon.

He said: “Yes, I say that now. He won’t be leaving.”

Roma confident of keeping De Rossi

SERIE A side AS Roma remain confident that contract talks with reported Manchester City target Daniele De Rossi will reach a positive conclusion.

Roma’s chief executive, Claudio Fenucci, is optimistic regarding their chances of reaching a contractual compromise.

“The operation is complex,” he said. “I don’t think he has assessed any other proposals and is considering the option to renew his contract with Roma.”

Sigurdsson joins Swansea on loan

SWANSEA have signed midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson on loan from Hoffenheim until the end of the season, the Bundesliga club have confirmed.

The Iceland international previously played for Reading and left the club in 2010 after Hoffenheim came in with an offer in excess of the Royals transfer record of €7.8 million.

The 22-year-old attacking midfielder has since played 36 league games for Hoffenheim, scoring nine times.

The German side’s manager Ernst Tanner said: “Gylfi missed the summer and most of our preparations due to injury and did not really kick on after that.

“We now hope that through this loan he will get some much needed match practice and get back to his former strength.”

Mourinho keen to keep team together

JOSE Mourinho does not want any Real Madrid players to leave in the January transfer window, the Spanish La Liga club’s coach said yesterday.

“I have not asked for any signings and I have been clear I wouldn’t like it if anyone left,” the Portuguese said.

“The players know it, the board of directors too,” said Mourinho ahead of today’s King’s Cup last-16 first-leg tie at home to Malaga. “I would like to start and finish the season with the same players.”

Some of the squad members at La Liga leaders Real who rarely get playing time in the first team have been linked in the media with moves to the English Premier League, including Spain centre back Raul Albiol and midfielder Esteban Granero.

Argentinian striker Gonzalo Higuain, who competes for a place in the Real forward line with France international Karim Benzema, is a apparently target for Chelsea, according to recent reports in the English media.

Hulk open to the right move

REPORTED Chelsea target Hulk has fuelled talk of a move to Stamford Bridge by reiterating he would be willing to leave FC Porto if a club comes calling with the right offer. The Brazilian frontman has turned heads across Europe after making waves at the Estadio do Dragao, with Chelsea thought to be frontrunners for his signature.

Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas knows what the 25-year-old is capable of after he helped inspire his Porto side’s league, cup and Europa League treble last season.

Hulk is contracted at the Portuguese giants until 2016 and has a €100 million get-out clause in his deal. But the forward has not ruled out leaving if a suitable offer comes along and would not expect Porto to block a potential move.

Hulk said: “I have four-and-a-half years left on my Porto contract but, as I have always said, if some day something good for me and for the club appears, I think there will not be any problem and a deal will be reached.

FA Cup winner Ablett loses battle with cancer

FORMER Liverpool and Everton defender Gary Ablett, the only player to win the FA Cup with both Merseyside clubs, has died at the age of 46 after a 16-month battle with cancer.

“Respected throughout the game by players, coaches and managers alike Gary will be sadly missed,” the League Managers’ Association said on their website yesterday. “Our thoughts and condolences are with Gary’s wife Jacqueline and children.”

Tributes from Liverpool and Everton were posted on their websites in honour of father-of-three Ablett who was diagnosed with the blood cancer non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2010.

His health suddenly deteriorated when he was assistant to former manager Roy Keane at Ipswich Town.

Local boy Ablett helped Liverpool to two league titles and the 1989 FA Cup victory over Everton before he was sold to their Merseyside rivals in 1992, landing another FA Cup trophy in 1995.