Tag Archives: PSG

Five Possible Destinations For Mario Balotelli

Balo-Destinations

Mario Balotelli’s relationship with Manchester City is in hot waters after his decision to take the club to a tribunal over disciplinary fines and that could leave the club with no choice but offload him in January.

The Italian striker has earned himself an infamous reputation in his short spell at the Etihad Stadium – his indiscipline on and off the field and his inconsistent form could catalyze a move away from Eastlands in the upcoming January transfer window. Here we have a look at the five possible destinations for the Italian star.

1. Inter Milan

Many newspapers across the UK have reported that the Inter owner Massimo Moratti is keen to bring back Balotelli to the club where he spent three prolific years before his big money move to Manchester. The 22-year-old is rumoured to be suffering from homesickness and has also been spotted several times this season in the stands at the San Siro. A move back to Inter will be the best thing for Italian as he will be back home.

2. AC Milan

Since the Rossoneri sold Thiago Silva and Zlatan Ibrahimovic to PSG in the summer, they have not been the same force of the old and are now 17 points behind leaders Juventus in the Serie A. Chief executive Adriano Galliani is an admirer of the volatile forward and has pondered a possible bid for him. Whether it’s a temporary loan move or a full transfer back to the San Siro, Balotelli would probably prefer a homecoming with a new challenge.

3. Paris Saint-Germain

Where there is a world-class player, there is PSG transfer rumour. The French capital club had a bid rejected for striker in the summer, but it looks highly unlikely that the reigning Premier League champions would rejected another offer for the striker, low in the pecking order, should it be made again in January. Super Mario would no doubt take the Ligue 1 by storm, but the move would certainly upset PSG’s current alpha male, Ibrahimovic.

4. Real Madrid

Elsewhere, Madrid boss Jose Mourinho is another admirer of the City striker since he was at Inter and was reportedly considering a move for him this summer. Perhaps now he could reignite his interested to lure Balotelli to the Bernabeu, but I doubt it will happen. The former Chelsea and Inter boss wouldn’t want to rock the Madrid boat that is already edging closer to capsizing as it is.

5. Fulham

The outsiders are the West London club Fulham. Boss Martin Jol has expressed his admiration and interest in the Italian striker but that the Cottagers would find it ‘impossible’ to lure him to Craven Cottage and afford him. Perhaps Mancini would consider sending Balotelli to Craven Cottage on loan for the rest of the season and keep an eye on him. But I doubt Mario will give Fulham a consideration.

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Champions League Round Of 16 Draw – Some Mouth-Watering Clashes

UCL Round Of 16

The draw for the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 has been made and we have some mouth-watering clashes in store for us. Cristiano Ronaldo returns to Manchester United for the first time since his transfer to Real Madrid in 2009, while Barcelona face AC Milan and Arsenal take on Bayern Munich.

In other matches, Turkish champions Galatasary face Schalke, Celtic have tough opposition in Juventus, Dortmund take on the improving Shakhtar Donetsk, while Valencia face Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s PSG and Porto battle it out against unfancied Malaga.

Here is a run down on all the eight ties from the Champions League Round Of 16…

Galatasaray v Schalke

This is a tie which could easily go either way. Galatasaray will be the most happier of the two teams to have avoided the big names in the first knockout round. Schalke, on the other hand, will be happy to play the second leg at home in front of a sold out crowd in Germany, which has been one of the most difficult places to play football away from home this season.

Prediction: Schalke

Celtic v Juventus

Celtic had very few hopes of making it through to the last-16 but they did it, and now if they can do it again it would be a huge achievement but it looks highly unlikely. The Bhoys always knew that they were going to get a difficult draw. However, their home win against Barcelona will give them some confidence of securing a first leg advantage which they can take back to Italy.

Prediction: Juventus

Arsenal v Bayern Munich (Must Watch)

Arsenal never really seem to have any luck at this stage of the competition with draws against Barcelona and AC Milan in the two seasons before this one. The Gunners now face Bayern Munich – last season’s runners-up – and its no doubt this is going to a very tough game for the English side. But at the same time its a superb challenge for Arsene Wenger’s young side to defy all odds and shock the German giants.

Prediction: Bayern Munich

Shakhtar Donetsk v Borussia Dortmund (Must Watch)

Of all the ties this has to be one of the most entertaining tie consisting of two teams that have been very impressive this year. Dortmund are the heavy favourites to win this one having topped the Group of Death, but you can’t take Shakhtar for granted. They have also been very good in the group stages and have dumped Chelsea out of the competition.

Prediction: Borussia Dortmund

AC Milan v Barcelona (Must Watch)

A mouth-watering clash between two teams that have a long and rich history in the Champions League. AC Milan are not anymore the same force of the old, but have huge pedigree in this competition, while Barcelona are currently the best team in Europe. This could be one of the first matches that Tito Vilanova takes charge of following his treatment against cancer relapse.

Prediction: Barcelona

Real Madrid v Manchester United (Must Watch)

This is the dream match and also a first chance to see Cristiano Ronaldo return to his old club. The Portuguese star is still loved by the United faithful but he will be the obvious threat to their quarter-final chances. Both sides would have wanted to avoid each other before the semi-finals (atleast) but its a great tie for the neutrals. The two sides have some great history and rivalry between them and hopefully the tie could live up to the expectations.

Prediction: Manchester United

Valencia v Paris Saint-German

PSG will be delighted with this draw. The French club spent heavily in the summer to buy some talent players and in Carlo Ancelotti they have an experienced coach to guide them through this tie comfortably. The Spaniards, on the other hand, can’t be underestimated as they have been impressive in the group stages but they face a huge task ahead and will have to make the most of the first leg at home.

Prediction: Paris Saint-Germain

Porto v Malaga 

Another of the ties which could go either way. Porto are a tricky opposition and have tremendous talent in their ranks but they will have to cash in during the first leg at home because Malaga are one of the highest scoring teams at home in this competition. But at the same time, the Spaniards have been very inconsistent in the league and their inexperience in this competition may count against them.

Prediction: Porto

Where Next For City Rejects?

Manchester City may be the Premier League champions and may have a huge transfer budget to strengthen their squad this summer, but there are many dead wood players in the squad which they need to get rid off. Here, we look at the possible destinations of those players who are expected to leave Eastlands this summer.

1. Kolo Toure

The former Arsenal defender has struggled to get his place back in Manchester City’s starting XI following the lengthy drugs ban last year, and with Vincent Kompany and Joleon Lescott now City’s first choice pair in the heart of the defence, Toure looks likely to leave this summer. PSG and Bursaspor, were both rumoured to be interested in the Ivorian, but with the French capital side signing Thiago Silva and the Turkish side making no further contacts, it looks unlikely that Toure will move to anyone of those two clubs. Saudi Arabian club Al-Hilal are also chasing the strong defender, but his huge wage demands may create an obstacle to the potential deal.

2. Stefan Savic

With Vincent Kompany suspended and Kolo Toure on international duty, Savic had his opportunity to prove himself in the Premier League at the back for City. The result was disastrous, as he played a huge part in City’s defeat to Liverpool in the Carling Cup semi-final and his worst game was against Swansea, when he was subbed off after just 45 minutes. The Montenegro international still has three years left on his contract at the Etihad, but City could cut their losses by selling him this summer. Sporting Lisbon and Roma are both interested, while Wolves are ready to take him to the Championship on a season long loan.

3. Nigel de Jong

The hard-tackling midfielder has seen his role fall from a first team member to a squad player in the past couple of years, but yet the Dutch international claims he is happy to warm the bench and be useful whenever the club needs him. Italian giants Inter Milan are said to be interested in him and move to the San Siro could be hard to turn down.

4. Roque Santa Cruz

Signed for around £17.5m in 2009, the Paraguayan international is one of those City signings who has spent more time away on loan to other clubs rather than at the Etihad stadium. A brief spell at Blackburn was followed by a season-long loan to Real Betis in 2011/13. Mancini is not at all a fan of Santa Cruz, but Betis are certainly interested to sign him, after he scored some important goals for them in the La Liga last season. The former Manchester United target has expressed his desire to stay with the La Liga club on permanent basis and is ready to take a wage cut to do so.

5. Emmanuel Adebayor

The Togolese striker is another big money signing who has seen his career fall apart since joining City. The former Arsenal man had a bright start at the Eastlands, scoring in his first four games including against his former club but since the arrival of Roberto Mancini, the 6ft 3in slipped down the pecking order. Adebayor had successful loan spells at Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur but both the clubs were unable to agree a deal to keep him. Spurs have made it clear they want to sign him but he will have to take a significant wage drop to make the transfer possible.

6. Edin Dzeko

The tall Bosnian striker became one of the Europe’s hottest prospects during his time at Wolfsburg, where he helped them win the Bundesliga title, but his time at City has been very disappointing. Dzeko scored just twice in his first season and was in some good goal-scoring form at the start of last season, but his goals dried up in the second half of the season and that resulted him in falling out of favour with Mancini. AC Milan are rumored to be interested in signing him as a potential replacement for Zlatan Ibrahimovic.