Balotelli to take City to tribunal
Manchester City’s Italian striker Mario Balotelli is to appeal this week to the Premier League against a club fine imposed for on-field ill discipline, according to reports yesterday.
The 22-year-old failed to overturn the sanction internally and would now take the case to a league tribunal.
Balotelli was banned for a total of eight matches last season and missed 11 games through sus-pension, as a European sanction was carried over from the 2010-11 campaign.
The striker was instrumental in helping Italy to the Euro 2012 final but Balotelli has shown erratic club form and was substituted during defending champions City’s recent derby with Man. United, which they lost 3-2.
Taarabt similar to Di Canio
Adel Taarabt can become as good as Paolo Di Canio, according to Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp after the Moroccan striker earned the London club a first Premier League victory of the season at the weekend.
“He’s hard work. He was a complete fruitcake at Tottenham and he can still be a bit of a nut. But his heart’s in the right place,” Redknapp said.
“I had Di Canio and this boy is a genius, he can play with anybody. Talented people like that are difficult to handle. Paolo was difficult to handle but he was a genius who could win you a match and Adel is the same.”
Klopp happy with Dortmund season
Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp claimed his team are well set up for the rest of the season after going into the winter break in third place.
The champions’ 3-1 win at struggling Hoffenheim ensured they would end the year 12 points behind leaders Bayern Munich.
“We are there in the leading group,” Klopp said. “This is a good basis for the rest of the season.
“(At his stage) last year we had 34 points in the league and four in the Champions League. Now it’s 30 domestically, but 14 in Europe.”
Lucio leaves Juve
Defender Lucio has left Juventus by mutual agreement, the club have confirmed.
The former Brazil international joined the Bianconeri in the summer after being released by Inter but made just four competitive appearances, inclu-ding two in Serie A.
The 34-year-old did, however, collect an Italian Super Cup winner’s medal after playing the full 120 minutes of the 4-2 extra-time win over Napoli in July.
A statement on the club’s website read: “Lucio’s adventure at Juventus is finished. Juventus and the Brazil defender have reached an agreement for the consensual termination of the contract of the player.”
Anelka to leave Shanghai Shenhua
Former Chelsea striker Nicolas Anelka is in talks to terminate his contract with his current Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua, the club said yesterday, amid reports he may sign for Queens Park Rangers.
“The discussion is between the club and himself, I don’t know about the specific details,” Shanghai Shenhua spokesman Ma Yue said. “But so far we haven’t got the final result.”
According to the sports website of leading Internet portal Sina.com, Anelka has agreed to forgo the final year of his contract, worth $7 million, as long as Shanghai allow him to leave on a free transfer.
Iachini replaces Cosmi at Siena
Serie A bottom side Siena have appointed Beppe Iachini as their new manager after Serse Cosmi was sacked following Sunday’s 4-1 defeat at Tuscan derby rivals Fiorentina.
Club statements yesterday announced Iachini’s arrival and thanked the well-travelled Cosmi for his “great professionalism”.
Iachini, who has managed Sampdoria, Brescia and Chievo, said he was committed to helping Siena avoid relegation to Serie B.
“I promise to work with enthusiasm to achieve the goal of staying in Serie A,” Iachini, who will be officially unveiled to Italian media today, told Siena’s website.
Sampdoria part ways with Ferrara
Sampdoria have sacked coach Ciro Ferrara and replaced him with Delio Rossi, the Serie A side said yesterday following a weekend loss to Catania which left the Genoans just three points off the drop zone.
Ferrara had briefly looked to have saved himself after ending a recent run of seven straight losses with two wins – including a derby meeting with Genoa.
But one point from the last three games sealed his fate.
Delio Rossi, 52, has previosuly coached Lazio, Palermo and Fiorentina, where he was fired last season after hitting one of his players, the just substituted Adem Ljajic.