'Modric is not worth €42m' – Almunia unimpressed with former Tottenham man

Manuel Almunia has claimed that Real Madrid have paid over the odds for their new signing Luka Modric.

The Croatian completed a €42m transfer to the Santiago Bernabeu on Monday and while the former Arsenal goalkeeper conceded that Jose Mourinho has signed a decent player, he does not believe it represents value for money.

“Modric is a good player, but I do not know what all the fuss around him is,” Almunia said to COM Radio.

“€42m seems a bit exorbitant, he is a good player and he can be useful for Madrid but the price is a bit exaggerated.”

Almunia went on to talk about his former team-mate and recent Barcelona acquistion, Alexandre Song, commending the Cameroonian’s midfield attributes.

“He is a wall, his greatest strengths are the distruption of the opposing game and stealing the ball and sometimes he has the genius to send a brilliant pass which surprised us [at Arsenal].”

Modric could make his debut for Los Blancos on Thursday as his new side look to overturn a 3-2 deficit to their arch rivals, Barcelona, in the second-leg of the Supercopa.

Galliani pours cold water on Kaka, Palombo and Carroll transfer speculation

AC Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani has insisted that the outfit’s transfer activity has been completed for the summer with the signing of Bojan, ruling out moves for Kaka, Andy Carroll and Angelo Palombo.

The Rossoneri announced the signing of the former Barcelona striker on a season-long loan from Roma on Tuesday and the club’s chief executive officer was adamant that there will be no more deals, despite intense links to the Real Madrid, Liverpool and Sampdoria players.

“I continue to say it, but you do not believe me, with the signing of Bojan the market is closed, completely closed,” Galliani said to reporters outside Milan’s headquarters.

“[There will be] no trip to Madrid for Kaka, nor any signings like [Antonio] Nocerino last year.

“He [Palombo] was offered to us, but we refused the offer.

“Carroll? We have so many strikers.”

Milan got their 2012-13 Serie A campaign off to the worse possible start as they suffered a 1-0 loss at home to Sampdoria last weekend.

Galliani rules out moves for Kaka, Palombo and Carroll

AC Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani has insisted that the outfit’s transfer activity has been completed for the summer with the signing of Bojan, ruling out moves for Kaka, Andy Carroll and Angelo Palombo.

The Rossoneri announced the signing of the former Barcelona striker on a season-long loan from Roma on Tuesday and the club’s chief executive officer was adamant that there will be no more deals, despite intense links to the Real Madrid, Liverpool and Sampdoria players.

“I continue to say it, but you do not believe me, with the signing of Bojan the market is closed, completely closed,” Galliani said to reporters outside Milan’s headquarters.

“[There will be] no trip to Madrid for Kaka, nor any signings like [Antonio] Nocerino last year.

“He [Palombo] was offered to us, but we refused the offer.

“Carroll? We have so many strikers.”

Milan got their 2012-13 Serie A campaign off to the worse possible start as they suffered a 1-0 loss at home to Sampdoria last weekend.

Kaka will return to Sao Paulo if he leaves Real Madrid, says wife

Kaka’s wife has claimed that if the midfielder leaves Real Madrid before the end of the summer transfer window, he will not be switching to a club outside of Brazil.

The 30-year-old has long been linked with a move away from the Santiago Bernabeu, and the recent arrival of Luka Modric from Tottenham Hotspur has seemingly pushed him further down Jose Mourinho’s pecking order.

He had been expected to look elsewhere in Europe for first-team football, but his spouse, Carol Celico, is adamant that in the event that he does leave Spain, he would instead return to the town of his first club.

“We’re planning to go back to Sao Paulo with the whole family,” she stated.

“If Kaka leaves Madrid we won’t go to another country.”

But despite Celico’s admission, the future of her husband currently remains unknown. According to AS, Madrid are only interested in a permanent sale rather than a loan due to his excessive wages.

AC Milan appeared to be in pole position to land Kaka, only for vice-president Adriano Galliani to abandon their pursuit of their former hero, citing tax problems.

Mourinho: Supercopa Clasico remains open

Jose Mourinho - Real Madrid

Goal.com / Shinichiro Ema

Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho believes that his side’s Spanish Supercopa clash with Barcelona remains wide open, despite the Catalans holding a 3-2 advantage from the first leg.

Goals from Xavi, Lionel Messi and Pedro were enough for Tito Vilanova’s men to edge out their arch-rivals at Camp Nou last Thursday, but a late Angel Di Maria strike gave the Liga champions hope.

And the Portuguese coach is certain that his troops are able to overturn the deficit if they put in the right performance, but stressed that he was not overly concerned with the outcome on Wednesday’s match after a poor start to their Liga defence.

“Everything is open tomorrow,” he told reporters at press conference.

“Tomorrow we will try to defend whenever [Barcelona] have the ball and attack when we have it. We must try to score from the first minute.

“The team does not have to change anything from the way we played at Camp Nou. We had a good game.

“Winning the Supercopa and beating Barcelona is not important to me. My priority is knowing what happened against Getafe [on Sunday] – whether it’s a psychological problem.

“What’s important is knowing whether that was a one-off.”

The capital club are yet to taste victory this season after their 2-1 defeat to Getafe, a 1-1 draw with Valencia and the reverse at Camp Nou, but Mourinho feels their performances have been impressive, the loss aside.

“The team deserved to win against Valencia, and they were better and more balanced against Barcelona, but the last match was unacceptable.”

The champions have since added Luka Modric to their squad, and Mourinho is looking forward to the Croatian making an impact, and also confirmed that concussion-victim Pepe is available for selection.

“Modric was our first choice, and we know where he can play. Modric’s condition is normal for someone who hasn’t trained with their team for a while. A player like Modric will be in good form soon.

“Pepe trained without any problems yesterday and his wife gave birth to their daughter, so he is better than ever. We hope that he can play tomorrow.”

Finally, the 49-year-old hinted that he could be tempted into another foray into the transfer market before the window’s end on Friday, but was tight-lipped on the futures of Ricardo Carvalho and Kaka, who have both been heavily linked with a move away from the club.

“I’m not closing the door on signings or sales before Friday,” he revealed.

“Carvalho has a contract here and we must respect that. If Kaka doesn’t leave, he is a player like the others and we will try to get the best out of him.”

Real Madrid and Barcelona kick off at 22:30CET on Wednesday.