BREAKING NEWS: Rodgers hopeful of Liverpool deal for Sahin

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has revealed that a loan move for Real Madrid midfielder Nuri Sahin is close to completion.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger confirmed his interest in bringing the former Borussia Dortmund man to north London last week and it had been reported that Sahin preferred a move to a Champions League club.

However, following his side’s 1-0 victory over Hearts on Thursday, Rodgers seemingly admitted that the Reds have trumped their Premier League rivals to his signature.

“Hopefully in the next 24 hours we’ll get some confirmation on that,” Rodgers told the club’s official website.

“It’s quite far [along the line]. He’s a very good footballer.”

The Turkish midfielder struggled to break into Jose Mourinho’s first-team plans last season, making just four league appearances in his first campaign in La Liga.

The Spanish side moved to secure his services following his contribution to Borussia Dortmund’s victorious 2010-11 Bundesliga campaign.

TEAM NEWS: Alexis starts in attack for Barcelona in Supercopa clash against Real Madrid

Alexis Sanchez - Barcelona

Alexis Sanchez – Barcelona

Barcelona welcome Alexis Sanchez back into the starting lineup for tonight’s Supercopa first-leg encounter with Real Madrid at Camp Nou.

 

Taking charge of his first Clasico, new Barca coach Tito Vilanova has made just four change from the side which triumphed 5-1 over Real Sociedad on Sunday night. Having started on the bench in that game, Sanchez now replaces Cristian Tello, who takes his place alongside David Villa, who made a scoring return from injury at the weekend. New signing Alex Song does not make the match squad, so will not make his Barcelona debut tonight.

After dropping points at home to Valencia in their opening match of the season, Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho has made four changes to his starting lineup tonight. The injured Pepe is replaced by Raul Albiol at centre-back, while Sami Khedira and Jose Callejon come in for Lassana Diarra and Angel Di Maria. Gonzalo Higuain is dropped in attack of France international Karim Benzema.

BARCELONA LINEUP: (4-3-3): Valdes; Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Adriano; Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta; Pedro, Messi, Alexis

Bench: Pinto, Puyol, Alba, Roberto, Tello, Fabregas, Villa

REAL MADRID LINEUP: (4-2-3-1): Casillas; Arbeloa, Albiol, Ramos, Coentrao; Khedira, Alonso; Callejon, Ozil, Ronaldo; Benzema

Kaka, Sahin & Carvalho omitted from Real Madrid squad to face Barcelona in Supercopa

Kaka was among the notable Real Madrid absentees as coach Jose Mourinho named his 21-man squad for the Supercopa first-leg clash against Barcelona on Thursday.

The Brazilian playmaker has been linked with a move away from Santiago Bernabeu, with Manchester United and AC Milan rumoured as possible destinations, and he now misses out on the match while his future remains up in the air.

Also left out of Mourinho’s team was midfielder Nuri Sahin, who is reportedly on the verge of agreeing a loan with Arsenal for the 2012-13 campaign.

There was also no place for Ricardo Carvalho. The veteran defender is rumoured to be close to joining Queens Park Rangers on a season-long loan.

Elsewhere, Portugal international Pepe also misses out after suffering a concussion in the Blancos’ 1-1 draw with Valencia on Sunday.

However, there are inclusions for 22-year-old defender Nacho and teenage striker Alvaro Morata. Both youngsters featured during Madrid’s pre-season tour of the United States.

The first leg of the Supercopa will take place at Camp Nou on Thursday, with the return fixture to be played six days later at Santiago Bernabeu.

Disallowed Soldado goal against Real Madrid should have stood, says Pereira

Valencia defender Joao Pereira has questioned the decision to disallow team-mate Roberto Soldado’s goal during his side’s 1-1 draw with Real Madrid in the opening round of La Liga on Sunday.

The striker looked to have scored after rounding Iker Casillas early in the second half. However, referee Carlos Delgado Ferreiro? controversially chalked off the effort after an offside call by one of his assistants, denying Los Che the opportunity of taking a 2-1 lead at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Pereira, who played in the match, still has his reservations about the officials’ ruling, revealing that reaction in his native Portugal is that the goal should have stood.

“They sent me messages from Portugal, and even there they say the goal was legal,” the 28-year-old told Sport.

“But there is nothing we can do. The time has passed.”

Valencia’s next league match is against Deportivo at Mestalla on Sunday, before a trip to Camp Nou to face Barcelona a week later.

Poll of the Day: Is Sahin the right signing for Arsenal?

POLL

Arsenal have been busy in the transfer market this summer and following the recent departures of Robin van Persie and Alex Song, there may well still be more activity to come at the Emirates.

Real Madrid midfielder Nuri Sahin has long been linked with a loan move to the north London outfit, although the deal is currently on hold as Arsene Wenger deliberates over whether to push for a permanent move for the 23-year-old.

But, is Sahin the right man for Arsenal? Can he make up for the loss of Song, or should the Gunners turn their attentions elsewhere, and if so to who?

The Turkey international has failed to impress at the Bernabeu, might it be the same story at the Emirates? In fact, do Arsenal even need Sahin?

HAVE YOUR SAY

So, do you think Sahin is right for Arsenal? If not, why not? Can he make up for the loss of Song, or would Arsenal be better off signing someone else?

Let us know your thoughts by voting in the poll, leaving a comment below, or getting in touch through Facebook and Twitter.