Diego Perotti 1 Genoa rejected an £11.2m bid for Diego Perotti from Bournemouth on transfer deadline day, according to reports in Italy.The South Coast Premier League new boys had been tracking the Argentine all summer but the Serie A club stood firm over the tricky winger.The 27-year-old, who has also been linked with Watford, is a key man in the Genoa ranks and Rossoblu president Enrico Preziosi confirmed the club want to keep the playmaker in order to progress. “We received an offer from Bournemouth for him, I had to tell the player and I did but I didn’t accept it. He will stay for at least one more year to push us even higher,” Preziosi said.
We love foreign commentators.Real Madrid star James Rodriguez sparked a classic ‘GOOOOOLLL’ commentary with this fine finish while on international duty.Picking up the ball in the box, he made up for his first touch with wonderful spin and crisp finish to to net the equaliser, and seal a 1-1 draw with Chile in their World Cup qualifying clash on Thursday.Check out the goal in the video above!
Mauricio Pochettino has played down Tottenham’s chances of launching a Premier League title challenge.Spurs stretched their unbeaten run to 12 matches with a 4-1 thrashing of London rivals West Ham on Sunday.The victory puts Tottenham four points behind surprise table-toppers Leicester, and with Arsenal, Manchester City and Manchester United all unconvincing in recent weeks, Pochettino’s side seem capable of keeping pace at the top.But the Argentine said: “It is early to start talking about that, there is too far until the end of the season.“We have a young squad, we need to develop our way to be consistent. It is true we have shown from the beginning of the season we are consistent but to win the title we need more.“It is step by step. It is difficult to say today what will happen in four or five months.“We need to keep working hard and stay with our feet on the ground.”Pochettino, however, does admit a top four finish is in his sights this season.Tottenham have not finished in a Champions League qualification spot since 2012 but Chelsea’s dismal start and Liverpool’s inconsistency appears to have opened up a prime opportunity for them.“After the game we played tonight I think we have enough quality (to finish in the top four),” Pochettino said.“But football is not about enough quality – it is about mentality and a lot of components. We are in a period that we feel very proud of.“We share the same philosophy and are convinced the way we play is the best in the world. Because of this we feel very proud of them.” Tottenham celebrate 1
1 Florentino Perez protests Real Madrids innocence and says club will contest any Copa del Rey sanctions Real Madrid president Florentino Perez insists the club will fight any sanctions for fielding an ineligible player in the Copa del Rey victory over Cadiz on Wednesday night.Denis Cheryshev, who scored the opening goal in the 3-1 win, should have been suspended after he received three yellow cards in the competition for Villarreal last season.Cheryshev was withdrawn from the action moments after half-time, when Real had realised their error, with head coach Rafael Benitez saying they wanted to “show good faith”.Last season Osasuna were kicked out of the tournament for playing an ineligible player while Benitez was in charge of Valencia when they were disqualified from the Copa del Rey having played too many non-EU players in a tie in 2001.But Perez believes that as neither the player nor the club were informed of the suspension that Real cannot therefore be disqualified from the Copa del Rey.Perez told a press conference: “The one-match ban for three yellow cards in our view is not effective because no-one has notified the player as specified in item 41.2 of the Disciplinary Code of the RFEF.”Earlier, Cheryshev confirmed he was unaware of an outstanding ban.He told his current club’s website, realmadrid.com: “I did not receive any notification from Villarreal to inform me that I had been banned from playing in the Copa del Rey.”
1 Manchester United defender Guillermo Varela Napoli are hoping to lure Guillermo Varela away from Manchester United in the January transfer window.The Uruguyan defender has made just three appearances for United this season and has yet to convince Louis van Gaal that he can be a regular fixture at Old Trafford.And now, according to Gazzetta dello Sport, Napoli are ready to capitalise on the uncertainty surrounding Varela’s future by making a January offer.Due to the number of injuries to defenders, United are likely to rebuff any approach for Varela until next summer, although that is unlikely to prevent Napoli from halting their pursuit.The 22-year-old joined United from Penarol in 2013 before spending a season-long loan at Real Madrid Castilla last term.
11 11 11 From its utterly ridiculous opening game at Norwich on Saturday lunchtime to the, well, utterly predictable result at Arsenal on Sunday, this weekend’s Premier League football had just about everything.Liverpool’s 5-4 win at Carrow Road will undoubtedly go down as one of the strangest contests in top-flight history with both defences contriving to throw away their respective leads.Elsewhere, Leicester regained top spot and now have a three-point lead over the title favourites after dispatching Stoke at the King Power Stadium. Is this the weekend the Foxes finally have to be taken seriously?Tottenham also remain in the hunt thanks to a moment of inspiration from man-of-the-moment Dele Alli, who earned Spurs a vital 3-1 win at London rivals Crystal Palace.But who shone over the weekend? talkSPORT takes a look – click the yellow arrow above, right, to see who made our XI. Right-back: Branislav Ivanovic (Chelsea) – A return to the Ivanovic of old? The Serb has struggled all season but celebrated a new one-year deal at Stamford Bridge with his best performance of the campaign to date, as Chelsea beat Arsenal. His cross for Diego Costas winner was inch perfect. Left-back: Patrick van Aanholt (Sunderland) – One of Sam Allardyces stand out performers since he assumed control at the Stadium of Light, Van Aanholt is showing the potential he first displayed in glimpses at Chelsea. His goal against Bournemouth in the 1-1 draw was his second in as many games after having two strikes chalked off by the dubious goals panel earlier this season. Goalkeeper: Joe Hart (Manchester City) – find out who else makes our team of the weekend, just click the arrow above – Without the brilliance of Hart in goal City may well be even further off the pace, particularly given their struggles in defence. In Vincent Kompanys absence, Englands number one has emerged as Manuel Pellegrinis defensive rock. Hart made a stunning save from Dimitri Payet in the 2-2 draw with West Ham. 11 Centre-back: Wes Morgan (Leicester) – One of the seasons unsung heroes, Morgan is the gritty presence who has provided the platform for Leicesters astonishing upturn in fortunes this term. His understanding with Robert Huth is one of the reasons the Foxes have lost just twice all season long. 11 Central midfield: Dele Alli (Tottenham) – We knew he was good, but his goal in the win against Palace at Selhurst Park at the weekend showed another side to Alli. The audacity to flick the ball over Mile Jedinak and attempt a volley, on the swivel, exhibits his soaring confidence levels at the moment. Hes a shoo-in for Young Player of the Season already. Centre-back: Virgil van Dijk (Southampton) – Van Dijk has proved to be one of the signings of the season and was excellent again as Southampton continued their recent good form to silence Old Trafford. The Dutchman is an uncompromising defender and a natural leader. 11 11 11 Attacking midfield: Dimitri Payet (West Ham) – The seasons great entertainer was at it again against Manchester City on Saturday. His swivels and Cruyff turns are becoming a prerequisite at West Ham games now as he spearheads their European charge. But for Joe Hart, Payet would have capped a fine performance with a stunning free-kick, too. Attacking midfield: Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) – Firmino is really beginning to justify his hefty £29m summer price tag and struck his third and fourth goals of the new year in Liverpool’s 5-4 win at Norwich on Saturday. He may well be providing the remedy to Jurgen Klopps striker deficiencies. Striker: Sergio Aguero (Manchester City) – Will this man ultimately prove the difference in the title race? Aguero once again spared Citys blushes with a brace at Upton Park on Saturday and without him and Hart they really arent looking like champions. With them, however, they have every chance. Central midfield: Cesc Fabregas (Chelsea) – What a day to produce his best 90 minutes of the season. Fabregas orchestrated everything in Chelseas win at former club Arsenal, providing a sublime balance between defence and attack. The Spaniard was pictured animatedly kissing the Blues badge after the final whistle, which might be a sour one to take for Gunners fans. 11 11 11 Striker: Diego Costa (Chelsea) – Costa is now the new bane of Arsenal, slowly morphing into the thorn Didier Drogba used to be in the Gunners side. When hes not scoring against Arsene Wengers outfit, hes antagonizing them. On Sunday he did both as he dealt Chelseas London rivals a huge title blow when they beat Arsenal 1-0.
Lazio are ready to cash in on Nigeria starlet Ogenyi Onazi – amid reported interest from Everton, Newcastle and Swansea.The midfielder has impressed in Serie A this season and clubs from the Premier League have taken notice.Everton, Newcastle and Swansea are all monitoring the 23-year-old’s situation as the January transfer window draws to close.And, according to TMW, the Premier League trio have been given a boost as Lazio are willing to sell.The Italian club have already received an offer of around £6million from Bundesliga side Werder Bremen, but Everton, Newcastle and Swansea are now all expected to bid within the coming days. 1 Nigeria starlet Ogenyi Onazi
Liverpool target Alex Teixeira Liverpool target Alex Teixeira says his move to Anfield is now in the hands of the Shakhtar Donetsk president, Rinat Akhmetov.The Reds have already had a bid of around £24million for the Brazilian rejected by the Ukrainian giants, but they are expected to return with an improved offer.Teixeira is currently in Florida on a winter training camp with Shakhtar but admits he is desperate to sign for the Merseysiders before the January window shuts.“Liverpool are a huge club. So many great players have passed through there,” he told NBC.“I want to be there. But that is up to the club president now. I can only hope.“It is frustrating. So now I’m just waiting, trying to be patient.” 1
1 Sam Allardyce was thrilled Sunderland’s performance and result in the 2-1 victory over Manchester United.January signings Lamine Kone and Wahbi Khazri made a ‘massive contribution’ as they were on the score sheet, in a game which Allardyce hopes will lift his side’s ‘confidence brilliantly’.Louis van Gaal’s United started dreadfully at the Stadium of Light and fell behind to Khazri’s third-minute free-kick, which travelled across a crowded penalty area without anyone making contact and crept inside David de Gea’s far post.Anthony Martial’s deft 39th-minute finish got the visitors back on level terms – but they were second-best after the break and were undone when De Gea could only help defender Kone’s powerful downward header into his own net.“It was a really good performance today with the right result,” Allardyce said.“Everybody that produced and played on that field deserves a lot of credit today for the way they have managed Manchester United and how often we have taken the game to them and created lots of chances to win this game – and finally got the goal that did win it from Lamine.“Our new players have made a massive contribution since they have been here, but nothing bigger than today with Wahbi’s goal from the free-kick and then his corner and Lamine scoring the winner for us.“That hopefully will bode well for the rest of the season.”Allardyce and his players will now jet off to a warm weather training camp in Dubai with their survival hopes rekindled.It gives Billy Jones, Younes Kaboul, Sebastian Larsson, Jeremain Lens and Duncan Watmore, who all missed this game through injury – and Jermain Defoe, who passed a late fitness test, time to recover.He said: “With a result as big as this one, I hope it lifts their confidence brilliantly for the big push to try to get out of the trouble that we are in.” Sam Allardyce
23. Christian Eriksen (wide forward) 11 11 11 Tottenham’s Europa League future is in their own hands, according to goalkeeper Michel Vorm ahead of the Fiorentina game.The first leg finished 1-1 and the Dutchman, who played in Italy, says home advantage will give them confidence.“We’re back at home and we still have a lot of confidence. On paper, we have a good result in the away leg and now we have to finish it off at home,” he told tottenhamhotspur.com.Harry Kane and Mousa Dembele are injured, but Hugo Lloris and Erik Lamela have recovered, though will they both play against Fiorentina given Spurs must play three games in seven days, beginning with Swansea on Sunday?Next three fixtures:Tottenham v Swansea (Sunday, 28 February – 2.05pm)West Ham v Tottenham (Wednesday, 2 March – 7.45pm)Tottenham v Arsenal (Saturday, 5 March – 12.45pm)Click the arrow above, right, to see the predicted Tottenham line up in squad number order – enough of a goal threat to carry them through? 11 11 11. Erik Lamela (wide forward) 4. Toby Alderweireld (centre back) 27. Kevin Wimmer (centre back) 8. Ryan Mason (central midfield) 11 11 13. Michel Vorm (goalkeeper) 2. Kyle Walker (right back) – click the arrow above, right, to see the predicted Tottenham line up v Fiorentina in squad number order 11 22. Nacer Chadli (striker) 11 11 20. Dele Alli (central attack) 33. Ben Davies (left back) 11 15. Eric Dier (central midfield)