Is Bale the next Barca star?

Talk Sport are today reporting that Gareth Bale is almost certain to leave Tottenham Hotspur this summer.

With manager Harry Redknapp already sacked this week, this comes as devastating news to Tottenham fans who will be worried about their future.

In terms of what the latest is with Bale, his agent Jonathan Barnett has revealed that the lack of Champions League football next season is making the winger consider his options.

He said: “Yes, it is clear that this is a problem.

“The big European clubs already know how much it would take to do the operation and therefore if you are interested you know what kind of offer has to be put on the table.”

Even if Bale does want to leave, there is no way that Tottenham will sell him on the cheap. They will want maximum reward for one of the most talented young players in Europe.

With regards to who might be interested, there are likely to be several, but at this stage Barcelona are not one of them.

According to Sportinglife, an asking price of around £40m could be too much for the Catalan giants to afford.

Overall, there is no doubt that Bale’s future is going to dominate many transfer news stories this summer.

Robben is ‘NOT FOR SALE’

Netherlands winger Arjen Robben will not be leaving Bayern Munich in the off-season, according to his father.

The 28-year-old is currently on international duty at Euro 2012 where the Dutch have lost to Denmark and Germany, leaving them on the brink of an early exit.

The Dutchman has been linked with a move away from the German outfit after a dust-up with Franck Ribery, and his missed penalty in the Champions League final.

However, having just signed a new contract in May which should keep him at the club until 2015 his father has insisted his son is going nowhere.

Hans Robben told Sport-Bild: “Arjen is under contract with Bayern Munich. Arjen leaving Bayern is ruled out.

“He will play for Bayern Munich next season, no matter what.”

Can Di Matteo be the second Mourinho?

Roberto Di Matteo was confirmed as the new permanent Chelsea manager on Wednesday night.

The Italian has signed a two-year contract with the Blues. The big question is can he take Chelsea forward in the next few years?

Winner

The Italian became the first ever Chelsea boss to win the Champions League with the Blues claiming a dramatic final victory over Bayern Munich last month.

However, their style of play in the final and semi-final games against Barcelona has been labelled ultra-defensive.

It wasn’t pretty to watch and at times it was defence against attack. However, Di Matteo knew that if his side opened up against Barcelona or Bayern then they would most likely be outplayed.

Fresh

Next season Roberto Di Matteo will be able to put a proper stamp on the team. A lot of last seasons squad have, or will move on this summer and it gives the Italian the chance to start from fresh almost. He will have the chance to create his own team.

Style

When he was manager of West Brom he preferred his side to play an attacking, passing game. I think that’s the sort of football Chelsea is likely to be playing next season. Di Matteo knows that defensive tactics are a means to an end but next season his Chelsea team is likely to play far more attractive football.

Signings

The signings of attacking midfielders Eden Hazard and Marko Marin point to the fact that Chelsea is looking to play a more expansive game next season. Both are very creative and forward thinking in how they play the game.

It looks like the Blues could spend even more money before the transfer window shuts as well with the likes of Porto’s Hulk and Everton ‘s Marouane Fellaini being linked with moves to Stamford Bridge.

Continuity

The permanent appointment of Di Matteo will bring much-needed stability to the club. Chelsea have became a club that fire bosses very easily and Di Matteo staying will give the club a bit of continuity, despite a large turnover of players this summer.

Di Matteo has a good relationship with the fans, more importantly he has a really good relationship with his players. Former-Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas found it hard dealing with the senior players at Chelsea but Di Matteo seems to have the respect of those same players.

Improvement

Chelsea was atrocious in the Premier League last season finishing sixth in the table. It was their worse finish in quite some time. Di Matteo couldn’t be blamed for Chelsea’s league position, as much of the damage had been done under Andre Villas-Boas.

Chelsea’s performances in the Premier League did improve under Di Matteo but they improved too late for the club to claim a higher position in the table. Plus they also had the distraction of the Champions League.

Di Matteo must be looking to finish in the top four at the very least next season. The Blues need to claim a Champions League spot through the Premier League, because its very unlikely they will be able to repeat the feat of last season and win Europe’s elite competition.

Deserved

Roberto Di Matteo proved last season that he has the right character and man-management skills to be successful at Chelsea. Hopefully he will be given time to change things around at Stamford Bridge. I just hope he is not just being used as a stop gap, before Chelsea approach former-Barca boss Pep Guardiola.

Chelsea may have had luck on their side at times last season to win the Champions League but it was Di Matteo who re-instilled the players confidence and got them playing again. The affable Italian deserves his chance at the big time and if last season is anything to go by he will take the opportunity with both hands.

Is Roberto Di Matteo the right man to take Chelsea forward?

Loss was a bad luck: Zlatan

Zlatan Ibrahimovic believes that bad luck was responsible for Sweden’s 3-2 loss to England at Euro 2012 on Friday.

The AC Milan striker cited a failure to learn from previous defensive mistakes as the cause of their setback against the Three Lions in Kiev.

The result means that Sweden go in to their last group game against France knowing they are going home regardless of the result, after losing their opening two matches of the tournament.

“It was a fantastic game. We were down 1-0 but then turned it around and were leading 2-1 but couldn’t preserve it,” the 30-year-old told TV4.

“We stuck to our game but were unlucky with the goals we let in. They went in the same way we have conceded before.

“But it’s just a shame that we lost. We did not deserve it. I don’t have any positive feelings now. It’s tragic.”

Ibrahimovic claimed that Sweden were the better team and deserved to win, and can hold their heads up high regardless of the result.

“I think we can be proud. We did well and were up against a great team. We were better than them. But the difference is that they scored three goals and we only scored two,” he said.

Ronaldo will score: Rui Patricio

Cristiano Ronaldo during the friendly match Po...

Cristiano Ronaldo

Portugal goalkeeper Rui Patricio is positive that team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo will score in Sunday’s Euro 2012 match against Netherlands.

The Real Madrid star has come under fire after failing to impress in the country’s first two matches at Euro 2012, missing clear chances on goal.

He has yet to find the back of the net in the tournament, but Patricio believes that the 27-year-old will break his duck in the decisive match against the Oranje.

“Cristiano always plays well,” he told UEFA’s official website. “Things not always go the best way, also when it comes to finishing, but only those who play miss chances.

“Still, Cristiano had an excellent game, he tried hard and I believe that he will score on Sunday already.”

Questioned about Netherlands, Patricio said that he trusts Portugal’s chances for the match despite acknowledging that the Dutch are tough to beat.

“We will have to approach this game the same way we did against Germany and Denmark,” the Sporting Lisbon goalkeeper said.

“We will have to give our all, we will need to be aggressive and do everything that we have done so far. We will have to believe until the end that we can beat Netherlands.

“They are a very strong team, with excellent players and great attackers.

“Our main goal has always been to reach the quarter-finals. We know we have a very hard game ahead, but we will do everything to progress.”