According to Dutch journalist Pascal Kamperman, incoming Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal is expected to name fellow Dutchman Robin van Persie as club captain for next season.
Van Persie was Arsenal captain for a year before his high-profile transfer to Old Trafford, and won a Premier League title in his first season at his new club before struggling with injury last year.
The 30-year-old striker would be taking over for defender Nemanja Vidic, who was captain for 4 years before his contract ended this summer and he completed a transfer to Inter Milan.
The selection would also be significant in the sense that Wayne Rooney, many fans’ choice for not just Manchester United but also for England, is overlooked. That decision could possibly impact Rooney’s chances of getting Roy Hodgson’s armband once current captain Steven Gerrard retires from international play.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Kamperman said van Persie and van Gaal have a “good relationship,” as van Gaal is currently the head of the Dutch national team, and the 62-year-old established his star striker as captain of the national squad last summer.
Kamperman also said despite the delay in announcing van Gaal as the successor to David Moyes and Ryan Giggs, nothing should be thought of the lapse in time as small staff and player details are being hammered out.
Reports have indicated that the two parties could use the two days off that the Dutch team has this Sunday and Monday to hammer out the final details and announce the new deal. The Netherlands plays Ecuador on Saturday and then flies to Portugal on Tuesday for a week-long camp.
Former Liverpool striker Djibril Cisse is embroiled in a bizarre investigation into the extortion of a sex tape.
The 34-year-old French striker has been arrested by French police who have confirmed that are investigating attempts to bribe another international footballer.
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Unconfirmed reports from France claim that the individual in question is France and Lyon midfielder Mathieu Valbuena, a former teammate of Cisse at both Marseille and with the French national team.
According to Reuters news agency, Cisse was questioned because he was familiar with the people involved and in total four individuals were arrested as it is alleged they plotted to ask for money from Valbuena for the sex tape to not be released. It is unclear if the tape is of Valbeuna and his partner Fanny Lafon, or if other individuals are involved.
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Cisse won the UEFA Champions League with Liverpool and scored 24 goals in 79 games during his three-year stay at Anfield until 2007. He also had spells with Sunderland and Queens Park Rangers in the Premier League, while he is currently out of contract after being released by Ligue 1 side Bastia following nine goals in 41 appearances. Cisse is due to appear on the French version of “Dancing with the Stars” in the coming months.
Further reports from France say that Cisse is expected to be “exonerated” and that the existence of the video is “not proven” at this point.
Gareth Bale doesn’t at all dislike Cristiano Ronaldo — or vice versa — despite what may seem a lukewarm on-field relationship between the two Real Madrid superstars, insists Jonathan Barnett, agent of Bale.
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Instead, Barnett insists that the two men with very different personalities have a healthy relationship, and competition, that pushes each Galactico to be the best player he can be.
Barnett, on Bale’s relationship with Ronaldo — quotes from the Guardian:
“They don’t go out eating every night together, but it’s fine. There’s no hatred there. Gareth is a quiet guy. They’re complete opposites. But I think Gareth can learn a little bit from Ronaldo as well, interacting maybe a little bit. But he wants his own life and he lives it. Gareth is a great footballer, he doesn’t want anything more. He has some very good endorsements but his whole life is to be the best footballer in the world. I don’t think he wants to be the best model in the world or the best underwear seller. That’s not him.”
That’s a hilarious closing quote from Barnett, but he knows exactly how some folks are going to interpret it: “Bale thinks Ronaldo loves himself too much.”
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There’s nothing better for the ultimate success of a team than healthy, friendly competition between teammates who are spectacularly talented as Ronaldo and Bale. The former will only be around to perform at his current level for so much longer, but at what point does the latter officially take the torch and supplant Madrid’s biggest star, and how accepting will he be of passing that proverbial torch?