The Daily Football Diary: Benitez brands Marco Materazzi a ‘liar’
Chelsea boss Rafael Benitez has accused Materazzi of being a liar. Sky Sports reports that Benitez had this to say about the former Italian defender, “Marco Materazzi is lying. He’s lying, just lying. Everything that he said is a lie. Simple.” The Italian World Cup Winner had previously described life under Benitez as “being back to school”. Meanwhile, the Blues’ talismanic left-back Ashley Cole has pledged his future to the Stamford Bridge giants. After he was almost certain to leave the club and was extensively linked with Real Madrid and Paris St. Germain, the 32-year old put pen to paper today on a contract extension, as reported by The Telegraph.
AC Milan and Real continue Kaka talks as Newcastle go French
According to Goal.com, AC Milan are still looking to snatch the Brazilian midfielder from Real Madrid, despite the move having run into some financial problems. The Los Merengues had originally demanded a £5.9m fee to cover tax expenses, but the Rossoneri remain hopeful of making a favourable deal before the window slams shut. In the British Isles, however, Newcastle continue to look at foreign talent to shore up their faltering campaign. As the Magpies inch ever closer to the signing of Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Pardew has also snapped up Massadio Haidara from Nancy, and French forward Yoann Gouffran from Bordeaux, making them the busiest club in the market today. Also, Bosnian striker Edin Dzeko won’t be moving away from the Premier League in this window, according to his agent. When asked about a possible move to Inter, Dzeko’s representative Irfan Redzepagic claimed to have no knowledge of the Nerazzurri’s interest and ruled out a move for the striker during the current window.
Carles Puyol to stay with the Blaugrana until 2016
Spanish defender Carles Puyol has put pen to paper on a three year deal that would keep him at Nou Camp until 2016. The 34-year-old Spain international says “I am very happy — my plan was to stay on here for as many years as I could.” – he told Barca TV. The Spanish captain’s contract was set to run out at the end of this season. Puyol has played his entire career at Camp Nou and has won five league titles, two Copa del Rey’s and the Champions League three times. Both Adriano and Andreas Iniesta are expected to join Puyol in signing extensions in the coming week.
Stramaccioni not prepared to snub the Italian Cup
Inter manager Andrea Stramaccioni has revealed that he doesn’t want to take the Coppa Italia lightly, and has revealed his desire to get his hands on the trophy. “For us, every competition is important. We’ve said that right from the beginning of the season,” he told the Inter Channel. “We’ve got to the semifinals of the Coppa and we have no intention of snubbing it. Tomorrow we will field a team that wants to win and will do everything to get to the final.”
Phillipp Lahm not happy with Bayern performance
The Bavarians’ captain was not at all impressed by his side’s performance in the 2-0 win against Greuther Furth, even though they maintained their position at the top of the table. He also went on to blame the news rumours surrounding Pep Guardiola’s arrival at the Allianz Arena for their “far from perfect display”, as reported by Bild. Meanwhile, Borussia Dortmund’s Felipe Santana is enjoying his spell in the first team following the injury to Neven Subotic, and feels that this is his chance to make a mark on the big stage. “The news of Neven’s injury was of course sad. But his misfortune is now my luck because I can play,” Santana told Bundesliga.de.”But I do not see it from this point. Because every time I play I want to help the team as best I can.