Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor’s move to Aston Villa is on the brink of collapse as the player is understood to be reluctant to move out of the capital. The Togo striker has been in talks with Villa for weeks and look set to be reunited with Tim Sherwood, who was his boss at Spurs. But now the deal, while not totally dead in the water, is pretty close to it. Villa fans will be philosophical as they have had a far busier summer than many would have thought and there are lots of players to get excited about. Furthermore, Sherwood has attacking options now with Rudy Gestede, Libor Kozak, Jordan Ayew and Gabby Agbonlahor.
David De Gea’s girlfriend has inadvertently confirmed the Manchester United stopper’s transfer to Real Madrid. Edurne Garcia, who is a 29-year-old popstar, won’t be doing herself any favours with the Old Trafford faithful especially after she was once quoted as saying Manchester was ‘uglier than the back of a fridge’ while taking part in a TV interview in Spain on Wednesday night. But Garcia’s dislike for the city of Manchester won’t cut as deep as the reported quotes that followed her high profile interview. El Mundo are reporting that Edurne Garcia was caught off-microphone after an interview suggesting De Gea is set to move to Real Madrid. ‘Now, when he is in Madrid,’ she reportedly said, ‘everything will be much easier.’ Manchester United recently signed Argentine No 1 Serigo Romero and have today been linked with a move for Spurs’ Hugo Lloris.
Nigeria have made a bid to snatch rising Liverpool star Jordon Ibe from England’s clutches. The 19-year-old looks certain to be given a Reds starting berth at the weekend ahead of £45million pair Adam Lallana and Lazar Markovic, as manager Brendan Rodgers offers the chance to cement a first team spot this season. That will open the prospect of an England Under-21 call for winger Ibe, who has already represented the national side at U18, U19 and U20 level. But Ibe is eligible to play for Nigeria through his father, David, and representatives from Nigeria were at Liverpool’s Melwood training ground on Wednesday to sound out the player over a switch of allegiances. That could persuade England boss Roy Hodgson to accelerate his progress into the full England squad — especially after Rodgers offered a glowing reference about the youngster’s progress.
Sporting Lisbon say they will not be signing midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng because of the player’s image rights. The Portuguese club wanted to sign the Ghana international, 28, who has been suspended by Schalke since May. But it announced on its Facebook page that “after negotiations, it was not possible to reach an agreement relating to his image rights”. The ex-Portsmouth and Tottenham player was told by his German club in May he had no future at the club. Boateng joined the Bundesliga club from AC Milan in 2013 and still has a year left on his contract. The importance of sports image rights as a marketing tool to promote and sell individual athletes and teams has grown into a huge industry.
Lionel Messi appeared to headbutt a Roma defender in Barcelona’s 3-0 pre-season friendly win at the Nou Camp. The Argentina forward, 28, was booked for the incident, in which he also grabbed the throat of France international Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa. Messi has never been sent off for Barcelona, but seemed to retaliate as the two players went head-to-head. He went on to score as the Catalan club continued their preparations for their La Liga title defence. They start the season against Athletic Bilbao on 23 August. Former Newcastle defender Yanga-Mbiwa was also booked as other players intervened.
Crystal Palace have completed the signing of winger Bakary Sako on a free transfer. The 27-year-old Mali international has signed a three-year deal after leaving Championship side Wolves. Sako joined Wolves from St Etienne in 2012 and scored 36 goals in 118 appearances for the Midlands club. Meanwhile, Eagles boss Alan Pardew dismissed reports of a bid for Newcastle captain Fabricio Coloccini saying “he will not be coming”. The 33-year-old centre-back has been with the Magpies for seven years and captained the club during Pardew’s reign. Pardew’s comments came after Newcastle head coach Steve McClaren told a BBC radio phone-in that Coloccini had been “distracted” by links with a move at Selhurst Park. “He wants to stay here so I am delighted,” added the former England manager. “Do I need to change the captain? Why do I need to unsettle everything – he carries on.” Sako becomes Palace’s fifth signing of the summer, after deals for Yohan Cabaye, Alex McCarthy, Patrick Bamford and Connor Wickham. He played a crucial role as Wolves were promoted to the Championship at the end of the 2013-14 season and was named in the League One Team of the Year. Last year, he was the club’s joint-top scorer with 15 goals, and featured in the Championship’s best XI. “I talked to some clubs but when I met manager Alan Pardew I felt a good feeling between him and me and that’s why I chose Palace,” said Sako. “He plays attacking, attractive football so it should be good to play here and score some goals. That’s why I came to join him.”