Chelsea target Hulk keen on Premier League switch


Porto forward Hulk admits that he is keen on a move to either the Premier League or La Liga, citing them as the biggest leagues in the world.

The 26-year-old, who has scored an impressive 52 goals in 96 league appearances for the Portuguese giants, has been linked with a number of club this summer including Chelsea, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain.


After representing Brazil at the Olympic Games, the forward has turned his attention back to domestic football and has listed England as one of his preferred destinations.

“I have left a door open for being transferred to another league,” Hulk told reporters.

“I have preference for playing in the Premier League or the Spanish Liga, because they are the two leagues that are the most seen all over the world.

“I didn’t talk too much with my agent about the chance of being transferred, because I have been on duty with the Brazilian national team at the Olympics.

“This could be the time for me to move. I would feel comfortable with moving clubs and the English league is one that appeals to me.”

With a release clause of £78 million [€100m], it would appear that only the biggest clubs stand a chance of securing highly rated Brazilian, and the striker admitted that discussions will take place with his agent at the beginning of next week.

“I am going to talk about my future from Monday,” he stated. “My future is in the hands of God.”

Ronaldo is better than Messi without question, says Bolt


Cristiano Ronaldo is a better player than Lionel Messi, claims Usain Bolt, explaining that the Real Madrid ace is a more “complete” player than the Barcelona forward.

The Jamaican sprinter, who defended his 100m gold medal this summer at the Olympic Games in London, as well as adding the 200m and 4 x 100m relay titles to his name.

Ronaldo, meanwhile, was victorious in the Goal.com 50, and Bolt believes that the former Manchester United winger deserves to win further recognition with the 2012 Ballon d’Or.

“No doubt Cristiano is better than Messi. He is a more complete player,” he told Portuguese channel RTP.

“I would give [the Ballon d’Or] to Cristiano. He has managed to stay on top and that’s the most difficult thing.”

Both Bolt and Ronaldo hold each other in mutual regard. The sprinter first attended a match at the Santiago Bernabeu against Deportivo La Coruna in 2009, and was last seen prior to the Blancos‘ Champions League 6-2 victory over Dinamo Zagreb in December.

Real Madrid strikers Karim Benzema & Gonzalo Higuain reject PSG – report?


Gonzalo Higuain and Karim Benzema have become the latest Real Madrid players to turn down a move to Paris Saint-Germain after approaches were made by the French club.

The strikers reportedly declined what would have been lucrative moves in order to focus on winning trophies at Madrid, while Les Parisienshave previously been linked with Kaka.

Sheikh Al-Khelaïfi has spent €250m since joining PSG. His dream is to turn the French club into one of the leading sides in Europe and he has already brought in Javier Pastore, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Zlatan Ibrahimovic amoungst others in big money deals.

However, according to Marca, the Qatari was unsuccessful in signing both Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain, even after speaking directly to Real Madrid president Florentino Perez.

Apparently, the mooted offer for French hitman Benzema far exceeded what Madrid had paid Olympique Lyonnais for him.

With PSG labouring to a 2-2 draw to Lorient last night in the opening round of Ligue 1, Al-Khelaifi may not be finished in the transfer market just yet.

 

Drenthe on Torino radar – report


Former Real Madrid winger Royston Drenthe could be on his way to Serie A this summer as Torino have shown an interest in signing the Dutchman, Tuttosport reports.

The Turin side are eager to add some fresh blood to their squad in order to be competitive at the highest level following their promotion to Italy’s top tier last season, and head coach Giampiero Ventura sees the Dutchman as a useful addition to his team.

Drenthe came through the ranks of the Feyenoord youth academy, but left the Eredivisie side for the Bernabeu in the summer of 2007.

Nevertheless, the 25-year-old failed to live up to the high expectations at the Liga champions, and was released on a free transfer this summer after loan spells at Hercules and Everton in the past two seasons.

He has since been linked with clubs such as Feyenoord and Galatasaray, but could now be on his way to Italy instead following Torino’s interest.

Xabi Alonso criticises timing of Spain international


Real Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso has raised concerns about how close Spain‘s friendly with Puerto Pico is to the start of the new domestic season.

The friendly match, to be played on Tuesday, comes just over a week before Real Madrid take on rivals Barcelona in the first leg of the Supercopa de Espana. However, despite a disjointed pre-season, Alonso feels Madrid are well prepared for the start of a new campaign.

“There’s a little way to go, but the base is there and the pieces have come together,” Alonso told AS. “It’s been a short pre-season because we haven’t had much time and now we’re heading off with the national team and we’ll be away for a few days, but we’re used to it. It isn’t anything new and we hope to start the year well.”

The Spain midfielder warned that his club-mates cannot afford to be lacklustre at the outset of the domestic campaign.

“We have to be ready because they are matches that require you to give 100% and we have to be in peak form right from the start,” he explained. “We can’t think that it’s going to be easy. We know that all Liga matches are very important and the first more so.

“In addition, the Supercopa is the first title and we want to win it. It is important because you’re playing for a trophy, but I don’t think it offers any advantage for the future.”


Barcelona host Real Madrid in the first leg of the Super Cup on August 22, with the second leg at the Bernabeu a week later.