Sport Soccer

Saturday 16 December 2017

Transfer Watch: Ireland vows to fight for Eastlands place

Midfielder Stephen Ireland is determined to stay at Manchester City and fight for a place in Roberto Mancini's side.

"I am very ambitious but accept things are out of my hands," the 23-year-old Corkman said. "I have a contract so all I can do is keep performing and presenting myself well in training. "I want to push for a place in the starting 11."

Meanwhile, Carlo Ancelotti has insisted Ashley Cole will stay at Chelsea for another season.

The manager, whose side were beaten 2-1 to Eintracht Frankfurt in a friendly yesterday, insisted that the England left-back was not for sale at any price despite repeated interest from Real Madrid, whose new manager Jose Mourinho has stayed in close contact with Cole since leaving Stamford Bridge.

The Italian has the backing of the Chelsea board and the only circumstances in which Cole could leave would involve a swap deal with Kaka.

"It's normal that Mourinho has a good relationship with Ashley Cole, but nothing has changed," said Ancelotti.

"He is a Chelsea player and will remain a Chelsea player for the future. There's no way he will leave. There is no price. We believe he's the best left-back in the world."

Decent bets

West Ham have resurrected a move for Tal Ben-Haim after the Portsmouth defender failed a medical last month. His proposed contract will be more heavily linked to appearances.

Emiliano Insua's move to Fiorentina has stalled after Liverpool agreed a £5m fee 10 days ago. The Italian side have been unwilling to meet his Anfield salary. Borussia Monchengladbach have shown interest.

Defender Andreas Hinkel admits he is still unsure whether he will begin the season at Celtic. Bhoys manager Neil Lennon has said he will consider bids for the German right-back, who has a year left to run on his contract.

Dead certs

German international Mesut Ozil insisted yesterday that he intends to honour the remaining year of his contract with Werder Bremen, amid continuing rumours linking him with a move to Arsenal.

The 21-year-old said: "For now, my situation for the next 12 months is clear. Only the facts count and the fact is I am under contract with Werder."

Everton manager David Moyes has conceded defeat in his efforts to bring Landon Donovan back to Goodison Park.

The American midfielder quickly became established in the Toffees first team during a four-month loan spell last season, scoring two goals in 13 appearances, and although Moyes desperately wants to see the 28-year-old return to England, he says the asking price is too high.

Irish Independent

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