Reports suggesting promising Barcelona midfielder Thiago Alcantara with a move to North London have been dismissed, Spanish news agency EFE reports. Alcantara’s father, Brazilian footballer and World Cup 1994 winner Mazinho, has moved swiftly to reject the link of any move.
Mazinho said to EFE: ‘We have seen the news in the papers, but I believe that Thiago enters in the plans of Guardiola next season. My son stays at Barcelona. They have a contract and we have decided it’s continuity. Thiago is developing and needs to evolve.’
The 20 year old midfielder, who has been hailed the ‘new Xavi’, made 12 appearances at the Nou Camp last season, but has found himself in the reserves and down in the midfield pecking order under Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola. Born in Italy, the midfielder grew up in Spain and featured in the under 17 European Championship of 2008 for the Spanish side.
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Bendtner plans exit.
Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner is adamant that he will leave the Emirates this summer, after growing frustrated at his lack of first team opportunities, the Daily Mail reports.
Bendtner told Danish website sporten.dk: ‘I can promise that there won’t be another season like this one. I have decided 100 per cent that I must leave Arsenal. I’ve considered this for a long time and was quite clear when I arrived at my decision. I’m quite calm and confident that I’ll be fine at a new club.’
The Danish frontman joined Arsenal as a 16 year old in 2004, but has fell short of the expectations Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger held for him. A number of European clubs are said to be interested in the 23 year old, including Serie A sides Juventus and Lazio and German giants Bayern Munich.
The Gunners are hoping to raise a significant amount of money for the player with Bendtner’s agent, and father, claiming his son is worth at least £12 million.
Djourou happy with progress.
The Daily Mail reports that Arsenal defender Johan Djourou is happy with his progress at the club and will not be leaving the Emirates this summer.
24 year old Djourou starred in Switzerland’s 2-2 draw with England last weekend at Wembley and has enjoyed a breakthrough season last year with Arsenal. Now, the Swiss international wants to repay the fans and the manager with some impressive results and performances next season.
Djourou said: ‘Last season (2009-2010), I didn’t get a game and to play so many games and have a good season, I was happy. Obviously, now we want to do better as a team and as individuals to get something. I think that the fans deserve and the manager deserves something’.
The Swiss defender made 22 league appearances for Arsenal last season and scored his first and only ever goal for the Gunners in the infamous 4-4 draw with Newcastle at St. James’ Park.