Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Yossi Benayoun deal to Dinamo Moska appears suspect

Though unconfirmed through Dinamo Moskva and other reliable sources, a variety of media sources are purporting that Yossi Benayoun will move to the White-Blues from Liverpool for a fee in the €8m. Whilst readers should cast a highly suspecting eyebrow at this rumour, as it appears questionable on a number fronts and appears to be more of the making of the press, it would be remarkable coup for Dinamo if it were truthful.

Moving past whether Liverpool would part with one of manager Rafa Benítez' most trusted players and whether Dinamo would invest so heavily in the market, the thirty year-old Israeli international would have a remarkable impact on Andrey Kobelev's line-up. After debuting professionally for Beersheba's THapoel Be'er Sheva in 1997, Mr. Benayoun quickly established himself as an attacking virtuoso with stops in Maccabi Haifa and La Liga's Racing Santander before making the move to the English Premier League. Joining Alan Pardew's West Ham in 2005, his vision towards the goal was proven out again and within two years joined Rafa Benítez' Liverpool.

Though some claim his slight of build is detrimental to boorish physical play, the Israeli captain is a technical gifted player in a classic sense of the game. His inclusion into the Dinamo line-up would immediately jettison the play of strikers Andriy Voronin, Fyodor Smolov and Aleksandr Kokorin.

Now, of-course, the true test to this is whether Dinamo is close to consummating this remarkable coup and unless rock-solid proof comes shortly, such rumours possess little fact and are merely a media creation.

Prepared by J. Davies
©Joga Bonito Renegade Style, a division of Renegade Style Productions, 2010.
All rights reserved

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Maxi López departs FC Moskva

FC Moskva has announced the sale of Maxi López to Catania of Serie A.

The twenty-five year-old striker, a product of the River Plate system, arrived from Barcelona in August 2007 for a transfer fee of €2 million. Arriving in the capital city, the young striker made an immediate impact with the Citizen's, netting six goals in nine appearances, including a memorable three-goal performance against Amkar Perm. However, the following year saw productivity for the Buenos Aires native fall off before he missed much of the second half of the campaign due to injury. In February of the past year, he was sent on-loan to Brasileirão side Grêmio, where he saw his scoring touch. Rumoured high on the list of numerous clubs, including Liverpool and Lazio, he joins Siniša Mihajlović's Sicilian side in their fight to avoid relegation.

Prepared by J. Davies
©Joga Bonito Renegade Style, a division of Renegade Style Productions, 2010.
All rights reserved

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Has CSKA Moskva seen the last of Vágner Love?

Less than twenty-four hours after German media giant Bild revealed a deal was in place to send CSKA Moskva striker Vágner Love on-loan to Hamburger SV, Flamengo scored a stunning coup and bested the Bundesliga side’s efforts resulting the striker joining the Brasileirão champion through July 2010. The question now is whether Vágner Love has played his final match for the Army-Men?

Vágner Love came to CSKA Moskva in 2004 after debuting for the São Paulo based Palmeiras two years prior. In his opening campaign, he fit in well fellow strikers Dmitri Kirichenko and Ivica Olić, adding nine goals in twelve appearances. In the ensuing years, his abilities continued to grow the Army-Men, playing a key role in the 2005 UEFA Cup triumph as well as the domestic double mid-decade. In 2008, he career jettisoned forward with twenty goals in domestic competition, including a stunning seven markers against FC Moscow and Rubin Kazan in the final month of the campaign. The following year began with great promise with the hiring of legendary Brazilian Zico to manage the club but in direct reversal Vágner Love's production nose-dived. With rumours swirling regarding of the drop-off of play, he was returned to his native Brazil on-loan to Palmeiras, at that time through to July 2010, under the pretext to need to address personal matters.

Though terms of the deal have not been revealed, in particular if there is an option to sign the striker at the end of the loan, it is quite possible that CSKA supporters have seen the last of Vágner Love. In his formal presentation to the Rio de Janeiro media, the new striker expressed that joining the “rubro-negra” was a boyhood dream and the general proceedings seemed nothing like a short-term loan. Adding that paired with former Internazionale man Adriano, rejuvenated since joining Flamengo, the club now possesses one of the sports most powerful attacking units, he is eager to push the Brazilian side to greater glory. Such enthusiasm, though easily flamed in an opening press conference could easily been seen as a shape of things of come.

Prepared by J. Davies
©Joga Bonito Renegade Style, a division of Renegade Style Productions, 2010.
All rights reserved

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Jiří Jarošík leaves Krylia Sovetov

With more than a hint of the same financial problems they suffered last year, Krylia Sovetov's line-up is facing a number of line-up challenges as they head to training camp on Monday. Manager Yuriy Gazzaev has seen Roman Shishkin, Ramón, Roman Adamov and Stanislav Ivanov all return to their respective clubs at the end of the loans and further lost Vladislav Ignatyev to Yury Semin's Lokomotiv Moskva, Vladislav Kulik to Kuban Krasnodar be be under new manager Dan Petrescu and striker Jan Koller to AS Cannes so that he can be closer to his family. Adding further to the manager's woe is the announcement, that Czech midfielder Jiří Jarošík has joined La Liga's Real Zaragoza on a free transfer.

Jiří Jarošík, 32, began his professional career for Sparta Praha in 1996, with stops in Slovan Liberec, CSKA Moskva, Chelsea and Birmingham City before returning to Russia in January 2008 as a part of Krylia Sovetov.

The Samaran side begin training camp on 17 January before taking part in La Manga Cup in beautiful Murcia, Spain in February. Haunting Krylia Sovetov is the same financial woes of last year and without any notable solution in sight, Mr. Gazzaev will need to scrounge for available talent, most likely in the loan market, with little to invest.

Prepared by J. Davies
©Joga Bonito Renegade Style, a division of Renegade Style Productions, 2010.
All rights reserved

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Zenit Saint Petersburg sign young Danish star Michael Lumb

Zenit Saint Petersburg have made their first major move under new manager Luciano Spalletti with the signing of defender Michael Lumb from Danish Superliga side AGF Aarhus to a three-year contract.

The talented, just turned twenty-two year-old defender, debuted for Aarhus in 2005 and since amassed 115 appearances for his hometown club. Winning acclaim for his high level of play, well beyond his years, he has attracted the attention of some of the premier clubs in Europe and recently awarded with his first international cap for Morten Olsen's Denmark side.

Prepared by J. Davies
©Joga Bonito Renegade Style, a division of Renegade Style Productions, 2010.
All rights reserved

CSKA Moskva loan Maazou to Monaco

Looking to shore up their anaemic attacking output, AS Monaco manager Guy Lacombe has brought in, on-loan from CSKA Moskva through June 2010, Nigerian international striker Ouwo Moussa Maazou with an option to purchase for €5 million.

Les Rouge et Blanc have suffered through a problematic first half of the campaign, where their consistent defending has been derailed with the lack of attacking output. Mired at the eleventh spot in the Ligue 1 table, with only a single win in the last eight encounters, attacking venom is priority one in the winter transfer season. In bringing in the twenty-one year-old striker, they have done well to solve one aspect of the problem as they immediately inject a player into the line-up with superb pace and a good eye for the goal.

For CSKA, the early transfer season has seen then solidify club president Evgeniy Giner's mandate to build a potent side, capable of winning the domestic crown as well as challenging on the European stage. Amongst a number of lesser moves, the Army-Men have added premier talents Keisuke Honda from VVV-Venlo and Côte d'Ivoire striker Seydou Doumbia. CSKA return to play in the Champions League round of sixteen as they welcome La Liga side Sevilla to Luzhniki Stadium on 24 February.

Prepared by J. Davies
©Joga Bonito Renegade Style, a division of Renegade Style Productions, 2010.
All rights reserved

Saturday, January 9, 2010

arrival of Andriy Voronin signals departure of Aleksandr Kerzhakov from Dinamo Moskva

As previously reported, English Premier League side Liverpool have formally announced the sale of striker Andriy Voronin to Dinamo Moskva for €2 million. In a brief statement, Liverpool noted that, "paperwork for the deal (is) set to be completed over the weekend".

The journey to the Russian capital marks a fresh start for Andriy Voronin after an unsuccessful run at Anfield. Arriving in February 2007 from Bundesliga side Bayer 04 Leverkusen, the thirty-year-old Ukrainian international rarely found his goal-scoring form and subsequently written out of manager Rafa Benítez's plans. However, with the "White-Blues" he will be immediately be ushered into Andrey Kobelev's starting eleven, who equally feature the rapidly emerging teenage stars Fyodor Smolov and Aleksandr Kokorin.

The arrival of the new Dinamo striker surely marks the departure of Russian international Aleksandr Kerzhakov, with most suspecting he will return to Zenit Saint Petersburg where is playing career started, though neither club or player have publicly commented. Presuming new Zenit manager Luciano Spalletti sticks to the tactical styling whilst leading Roma, the new man will feature as the lone striker in a 4-2-3-1 formation.

Additionally the arrival of Aleksandr Kerzhakov in Saint Petersburg will cause Zenit to back off from a potential move on Roman Pavlyuchenko, presently looking for a route from Tottenham. Though Spartak Moskva is still actively pursuing his return to the Krasno-belye, the Tottenham asking price, said to be no less than £11 million is beyond their ceiling.

Prepared by J. Davies
©Joga Bonito Renegade Style, a division of Renegade Style Productions, 2010.
All rights reserved

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Andriy Voronin set to replace Aleksandr Kerzhakov at Dinamo Moskva

After a disappointing second half of the recent campaign that resulted them shut out of European competition with an eighth place finish, Dinamo Moskva are rumoured to be hot on the trail of Ukraine striker Andriy Voronin.

The thirty-year-old Odessa native, who has made stops with Borussia Mönchengladbach, Mainz, Köln and Bayer 04 Leverkusen before joining English Premier League side Liverpool in the summer of 2007, is widely accepted on his way out of Anfield. After a fine start with Liverpool his production waned and quickly saw his appearances dwindle. Following a loan spell back in the Germany last year with Hertha Berlin, he has yet to be a factor in Rafa Benítez's line-up after return to the English side. As Liverpool looks to build up its coffers to finance the acquisition of Maxi Rodriguez from Atlético Madrid, Andriy Voronin is rumoured to be available for the £1.5m.

Dinamo manager Andrey Kobelev is also dealing with the delicate issue of striker Aleksandr Kerzhakov, who many suspect has played his final match for the “White Blues”. The twenty-seven year-old Russian international contract expires next year and considered to be the target of Liverpool, Hamburg, Lokomotiv Moskva as well as returning to Zenit Saint Petersburg, where his professional career commenced. As Dinamo opened its training camp on Monday, it was without the striker, further raising speculation he is not returning to Dinamo. Speaking to Russian media outlet Sports Express, he noted, "Dinamo gave me a paper that I can train individually till January 15. That was the decision of the club and that is why I did not attend the first training."

Furthering speculation that he is headed to Luciano Spalletti's Zenit line-up he added:

"Actually I was ready to arrive in Moscow by the start of the trainings and even bought a ticket. I am in St. Petersburg at the moment. The negotiations about my transfer are on their way. Of course I know what is going on but I will not give the details. I think everything will be decided very soon. And at the same time I am not expecting the verdict with a sinking heart. The process of talks is normal and I am ready to accept any result."

Prepared by J. Davies

Rossoblù outclassed by AC Milan

Serie A returned to action on Wednesday with the premier match between Genoa and AC Milan at Milan turning into a stroll in the park for the hosts with a classy 5-2 victory. With the result, the Rossoneri hold down second place in the Serie A table, a point above Juventus and eight points off runaway leader Inter whilst Genoa disappointing campaign sees them to the bottom half of the table, now in the thirteenth spot.

The Rossoblù welcomed new man David Suazo to the starting eleven, though they were without Raffaele Palladino, Sokratis Papastathopoulos and long term absentee Boško Janković. However Milan, who welcomed David Beckham back on-loan until seasons-end, were in complete control from the opening and sliced the Genoa midfield apart with piercing runs.

The thirty-four year-old David Beckham, pressed into a more attacking role with Alexandre Pato and Clarence Seedorf out with injuries, served notice that time has not robbed him of attacking ingenuity. The match started with the former England captain sending a seeing eye cross from the right to Marco Borriello but Genoa 'keeper Marco Amelia made a brilliant save to deny the striker from point blank range. The heart pounding start continued and two minutes shy of the quarter-hour mark Giuseppe Biava was adjudged a penalty for bringing down Massimo Ambrosini in the area. However, the Rossoneri saw their chance come up empty as Ronaldinho’s effort to his right was denied by the sprawling Genoa 'keeper. Despite the miss, Milan continued to pour forward in a relentless attack but after an errant effort by David Beckham, Genoa notched the surprise go-ahead goal at the twenty-fourth minute as Giuseppe Sculli crept in at the back post to head Rodrigo Palacio's cross. The lead did not last long as seven minutes later Ronaldinho converted from the spot after Massimo Ambrosini was tripped-up in the area by the Genoa 'keeper. With the match now level, there was no holding back Milan and seven minutes prior to the break, Thiago Silva latched onto a loose ball in close range before driving it to the back of the net.

If there was any talk of Genoa mounting a comeback after the break, that was put to rest three minutes in as Ronaldinho linked the ball to Luca Antonini who provided Marco Borriello the chance for a close-range finish, which he made no mistake to give Milan the 3-1 lead. Milan was running roughshod over the clearly outmatched Rossoblù and on the hour Marco Borriello made it 4-1 with a splendid volley of Luca Antonini's cross. Milan manager Leonardo ushered in underused Klaas-Jan Huntelaar into the match and after Marco Rossi adjudged a penalty for mauling Ronaldinho, down to the ground the former Ajax sharpshooter converted from the spot to make it 5-1. Five minutes later David Suazo notched a fine consolation goal for Genoa but that would not defer the celebration of AC Milan as they posted a confident 5-2 victory.

The Rossoneri return to action on Sunday, as they travel to Turin to face Juventus whilst Genoa look to regain their winning form against Catania at the Marassi.

prepared by J. Davies

Jermaine Beckford pushes for Leeds exit

Riding the crest from the shocking victory over Manchester United, Jermaine Beckford has formally requested a transfer from Leeds. The twenty-six year-old striker is without a contract at seasons end and sought after by a numbers of clubs, including Newcastle.

As per Leeds formal statement:

"Leeds United can confirm that Jermaine Beckford has handed in a transfer request. The transfer request was handed in on Dec 30. By handing in a transfer request it clearly indicates that the player wants to leave Leeds United."

With Newcastle the apparent front-runner, though still well off Leeds rumoured asking price of £3m, Mr. Bates and company are making it known that the striker will not come cheap, further adding in the statement:

"However, that will only be allowed to happen in the event that it is decided to be in the best interests of Leeds United. The best interests of Leeds United involve receiving both an acceptable transfer fee and securing a suitable replacement to ensure his departure does not have an adverse effect on the club's overall aim of securing promotion back to the Championship."

For Leeds, the situation is both a troublesome predicament as well as being inevitable. Jermaine Beckford has been under the looking glass for the last three campaigns and Sunday's performance against Manchester United where he not only scored the matches lone goal but consistently out duelled Wes Brown, reaffirmed the strikers desire to move to the higher ranks. Whilst speculative in nature, one could assume that he is looking ahead with his sights towards Newcastle's successful promotional bid, thus jettisoning him to the Premier League. That aside many will question whether the move on his part is shortsighted and like youngster Fabian Delph, who has rarely seen the pitch since moving to Aston Villa, he would do better staying the course with Leeds.

prepared by J.Davies

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Fenerbahçe's interested in move to Spartak Moskva

Though unsubstantiated by either club or player, various news agencies are noting Fenerbahçe attacking virtuoso, Alex(de Souza), is jockeying for a spot with Spartak Moskva. As noted in Russia media outlet Sports Express, the thirty-two year-old midfielder who joined the Turkish side in 2005 after stops with Coritiba, Palmeiras, Flamengo, Parma and Cruzeiro in his native Brazil, is said to be anxious to join countrymen Ibson, Alex and Welliton in Valery Karpin's attack.

Rubin Kazan’s Cristian Ansaldi to join Manchester City

If rumours are accurate, Rubin Kazan’s Cristian Ansaldi is in route to English Premier League side Manchester City with a transfer fee in the range of €4.2m (£6m). Per Russian media outlet Sports-Express (Спорт-Экспресс), the twenty-three year-old left back, who as been highly sought after in the winter transfer market with Benfica, Real Zaragoza and Atlético Madrid vying for his services, will be the first major signing for new manager Roberto Mancini.

Monday, January 4, 2010

CSKA Moskva adds Seydou Doumbia

Further to CSKA Moskva club president Evgeniy Giner's promise to load the Army-Men with talent, the club has announced the signing Côte d’Ivoire international Seydou Doumbia, 23, from BSC Young Boys of the Swiss Super League. The signing marks the second major addition to CSKA’s line-up as they added Keisuke Honda from Eredivisie side Venlo on 1 January.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Leeds begins road back with defeat of Manchester United

Entering the day, Leeds United visit of Old Trafford to face nemesis Manchester United in the FA Cup offered a cornucopia of story lines. Yet in a magical moment that seems destined to live in the lore of Leeds, the troubled League One side rose up, against the odds and resurrected the hopes and dreams of its faithful for a gallant 1-0 victory over mighty Manchester United.

The fall of once great Leeds has been a tale that has been told countless times, a great warning for all clubs who suffer financial fallout as they tumbled from the lofty perches of the Champions League to the third division of English football. On the opposite side of the equation, Manchester United with its billowing hardware case and array of international stars, were clearly the heavy favourites of the day. However, as situations as these so often go, today was not one for favourites and predictable events, as Leeds found within their claret a bit a magic in route to the victory.

As the day began, Man Utd’s erstwhile leader, Sir Alex Ferguson was clearly aware that his opposition posed an eye towards playing David to their Golaith. Still with the likes of Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov in the Reds line-up Leeds was dreadfully out-matched, on paper that is. Leeds, too their credit, took a noteworthy opening stance and pushing aside comments of more defensive approach and instead launched forward with the striking tandem of Luciano Becchio and Jermaine Beckford. Tactically the move seemed both noble as an aggressive stance but equally suicidal, as the third division side would be easy pickings for the hosts.

At the opening whistle, Man Utd showed a sense of belonging, if not belief that they would given their fans the victory they hoped for. Yet slowly the tables turned, just ever so slightly at first as the curmudgeonly Leeds eleven began to press forward. Then finally it struck like a watchtower bell at the eighteenth minute, the 74,000 were shocked as Leeds notched what would become the matches lone goal. Remarkably, in a week that featured the first Premier League match in which not a single player born in the England graced the opening line-up, it was Jonny Howson, the hometown hero who turned the screw. With a magnificent long diagonal ball, he found Jermaine Beckford who once again outdistanced himself from statuesque defender Wes Brown and after chesting the ball down, the striker slid his twentieth goal of the campaign under ‘keeper Tomasz Kuszczak. Man Utd rolled-up its well-appointed sleeves and went to work, intent on the equalizer and only moments later Wayne Rooney’s goal bound effort was cleared from the line by veteran Jason Crowe. The thin margin continued and with much talent at Sir Alex’s disposal, he summoned Ryan Giggs in three minutes shy of the hour with Michael Owen not that long after. Pressure ensued in the Leeds end but despite the many efforts, Leeds clung to the lead. As regulation time ended, young Aiden White, eighteen years of age and a product of the Leeds academy was called upon for Andy Hughes as the Whites desperately held the lead. Tension thickened with five minutes of added-time called, surely an equalizer was in the offing but heroics were in store for Leeds ‘keeper Casper Ankergren with a stunning match saving save in the fourth minute. With the final tick of the clock, the white knuckle affair ended and for the 9,000 Leeds supporters who had made their way along the M62 to the Theatre of Dreams, their side resurrected the glory of the past once more in the greatest of fashions.

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Friday, January 1, 2010

CSKA Moskva finalizes deal with Keisuke Honda

As initially reported on 21 December in Russian media giant Sports-Express, CSKA Moskva have completed the signing of Japanese international Keisuke Honda from VVV Venlo. Though no details of the transfer fee were released the Eredivisie side noted to UEFA that they were “extremely content with the financial outcome”.

Debuting for Nagoya Grampus of the J-League in 2005, "Keizer Keisuke", as he is known by Venlo supporters, moved to the Dutch side two years ago and has been sought after by a variety of top European sides given his eye for the goal.