Milan offer escape route for Tevez

Milan have opened talks with Carlos Tevez’s advisors about a January move for the Manchester City striker.

At present, there have been no direct talks between City and Milan over the transfer as Tevez’s advisor first seeks to broker a deal with the Italian champions.

Although negotiations are at an early stage, it’s understood that both parties have reached agreement on a couple of significant issues that have stalled his career at City: Tevez will not leave the country when Milan have a game scheduled and, provided he’s in the mood for it, the Argentinian has even deigned to play football when asked to do so by his coach.

City boss Roberto Mancini, when asked to comment on Tevez’s current status, was less than forthcoming.

“I do not want to speak about Carlos Tevez,” he said. “I will answer no questions about him.”

Can’t say I blame him.

On the brink of history

Brisbane Roar have gone 35 matches in a row without a loss – equal to the longest undefeated run in all Australian top-level sport – and they can set a new record if they avoid defeat against Perth Glory on Saturday night.

There are signs though, that the tension of the occasion is beginning to affect some of the players, amid reports that Roar goalkeeper Michael Theoklitos and defender Ivan Franjic had to be separated by team-mates after they brawled in training. The pair have started every match of the unbeaten run. They must be sick of the sight of each other.

To mark what could be a major sporting landmark Football Federation Australia’s Andrew Howe has compiled a number of statistics that will satisfy all bar the most hardcore of statistician.

The last time the Roar lost was on 12 September 2010, a 3-0 defeat to the Melbourne Victory.

The current 35-match unbeaten run started with a 1-1 draw with Adelaide United on 18 September 2010.

The Roar’s 35-match unbeaten run consists of 22 wins and 13 draws, with 80 goals scored and 32 conceded.

The Roar have scored in every game during the run, ranging from one goal (nine times) to seven (v Adelaide United 28-Oct-11).

The Roar have come back from behind to draw level on 18 different occasions during the run, including twice in one match (2-2 v Gold Coast United 26-Dec-10, and 3-3 v Central Coast Mariners 12-Jan-11).

The Roar’s unbeaten run has made coach Ange Postecoglou the most successful coach in Hyundai A-League history, in terms of his win/loss ratio. In all 56 matches coached, Postecoglou has won 29, drawn 18 and lost 9, with a win/loss ratio of 3.2. The next best win/loss record belongs to Graham Arnold (20 wins, 8 losses) with a ratio of 2.5.

Paying the price

South Korea, the most successful country in the Asian Champions League have lost one of its four automatic places for the group stages of next year’s competition.

Winners of three of the last nine tournaments, South Korea has seen it’s allocation cut from four to three, while Qatar’s allocation has doubled to four after Al Sadd became the first Qatari winners of the competition this year.

The move sees a third of Qatar’s 12-team Stars League given berths in 2012, at the expense of Iran and Saudi Arabia, who have also lost places.

The move sees a third of Qatar’s 12-team Stars League given berths in 2012, at the expense of Iran and Saudi Arabia, who have also lost places.

Goal of the day

Fernando Rui Sampaio’s effort six minutes from time turned out to be a consolation goal in Cagliari’s 2-1 Coppa Italia defeat to Siena.

Mourinho wanted Guardiola as his assistant

A former Barcelona Vice-President has revealed that had José Mourinho been appointed Barca Coach he wanted Pep Guardiola as his assistant.

Marc Ingla, a member of Joan Laporta’s board during his reign as President, confirmed in an interview with TV3 that initial talks had taken place with Mourinho when the Catalans were looking to replace Frank Rijkaard.

“We had a meeting with him [Mourinho] and his representative in a bank in Lisbon but we never seriously wanted to negotiate with him. Jorge Mendes [Mourinho’s agent] was very insistent he wanted to see us,” claimed Ingla.

“Mourinho showed us a Power Point slideshow presentation summarising his football philosophy: how to enhance our classic 4-3-3 system, the ups and downs he had in his mind and even people who could work on his coaching staff. He gave us the names of Guardiola, Luis Enrique, Sergi Barjuán and Chapi Ferri as possible choices to become his assistant.”

Eventually, the club decided to appoint Guardiola which turned out to be not such a bad move. As for Mourinho, now at Real Madrid, well, given the enmity he has fostered between the two clubs since his arrival on Spain, it seems fair to say that here is a man who knows how to bear a grudge.

Blind leading the blind

David Beckham is reported to have a agreed to sign for Paris Saint-Germain. The deal, reported to be worth €14million to the former England international, is said to be for 18 months. Time enough for Beckham to keep in shape for the 2012 London Olympics and have one last crack at the Champions League – provided PSG retain their position at the top of La Ligue.

Looking ahead to next year’s Olympics, Beckham has been training with the British Paralympic blind football team. No confirmation yet on reports that the side will be led by Arsene Wenger. He tends to be unsighted rather than actually non-sighted.

“The character and determination they show by doing this every single day, makes me proud to be British,” said Beckham about the Paralympians, before confirming that he would return to live in the United States when he retired.

Anyway, here’s Beckham experiencing what it must be like to play football blind.

Living in America

If, as seems likely, Beckham is set to quit MLS, a ready-made successor in the shape of Alessandro Del Piero will shortly be available.

The Italian fulfils many of the criteria needed to replace the departing Beckham: he’s a big name player whose best days are behind him; he’s the last person to accept that his best days are behind him; he still harbours somewhat fanciful hopes of representing his country even though his best days are behind him; he’ll be ludicrously expensive even though his best days are behind him. It’s a perfect fit.

Del Piero has reportedly turned down an offer from Blackburn Rovers in favour of a switch to America.

His agent Enzo Bronzetti said: “For Spain and England it just won’t happen.

“I know there was an approach (from Rovers), but he is going for America.”

Another record in Barcelona’s sights

Guardiola’s Barcelona equalled a 30-year-old European record on Wednesday night.

Having beaten Milan 3-2 in last night’s Champions League Group H clash, the Spanish champions scored for a 27th successive European fixture – thereby equalling the record set by….wait for it…West Ham would you believe.

The Hammers went 16 years without failing to score in a European tie – a period that stretched from 1964 to November 1980, when their run finally ended with a 1-0 defeat away to Romanian side Poli Timisoara.

Barcelona will beat West Ham’s record on 6th December should they score against BATE Borisov at the Nou Camp in their next Champion’s League fixture.

Reduced sentences

Good news for those found guilty of match fixing in Turkey. The Turkish government has drastically reduced the maximum prison term for match-fixing from 12 years to 3.

Over 30 club officials from the likes of Fenerbahce, Trabzonspor and Besiktas have been arrested in a scandal affecting 19 top-flight games last season, but now it seems those found guilty will now serve a truncated sentence.


Santos star Neymar has been honoured with the title of the Best Player of the 2011 Copa Libertadores in a ceremony held on Thursda.

“It has been a wonderful year, but it is not over yet,” said the -year-old Neymar.

Meanwhile, Santos president Luis Alvaro de Oliveira Ribeiro has accused Brazil legend Ronaldo of trying to engineer a move to Real Madrid for the teenager.

Ribeiro alleges that Ronaldo, a former Madrid player, exploited his connections at the Bernabeu in his new role with football agency 9ine to try and facilitate a move.

“Ronaldo was the first to speak with Real Madrid and then after that people from the club arrived from Spain,” Ribeiro told Folha de Sao Paulo. “He came to me with an offer, but it was well below the buy-out clause [believed to be around €45 million].”

Ribeiro also claimed that Ronaldo does not have the player’s best interests at heart.

“He has stopped being a footballer and he quickly turned into a businessman,” the Santos chief added. “I think he wanted to earn money, it’s his right. I don’t want to earn money. He does.

“We do not act in the same area as the agents. Our job is to ensure Neymar enjoys a successful career.”