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Newz Forum: SOCCER: Football News and Rumors 25/07/04

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posted on Jul, 25 2004 @ 05:09 AM
Patrick Vieira remained tight-lipped on his future plans when he was quizzed about reports linking him to Real Madrid. Vieira, in Austria with Arsenal as part of their pre-season preparations, was clearly irritated when asked by a journalist from Spanish paper Marca in a hotel lobby if he would like a move to the Bernabeu.

"I am sorry," said Vieira. "I can not speak. This is not the right moment. I cannot talk about Real Madrid. Leave me. Don't do this." The paper insists that Vieira has already indicated to Madrid that he would like to become the club's "magnificent seventh" Galactico. The club already has Zinedine Zidane, David Beckham, Ronaldo, Luis Figo, Raul and Roberto Carlos on the payroll.

Mateja Kezman hit a brace as Chelsea's multi-millionaire stars made a winning start to their ChampionsWorld Series campaign with an impressive victory over Celtic in the blistering heat of Seattle today. Alexei Smertin grabbed his first goal for the Blues with a stunning first-half strike, Kezman netted twice and Eidur Gudjohnsen was also on the mark to get the Londoners' American tour off to a flying start. But it was also a satisfying work-out for the Scottish double-winners, who might have unearthed their very own gem in young striker Craig Beattie after his brace. Absent manager Martin O'Neill, who has stayed in Britain to be with his ill wife Geraldine, is looking for a replacement for departing favourite Henrik Larsson but the 20-year-old enhanced his own case for a starting place with goals in each half. But all eyes were on the squad assembled by Jose Mourinho, who still had over #100million worth of talent on the bench and started with mostly the old guard.

Gary Megson has been told he must be patient over his attempt to bring former Arsenal striker Kanu into his promoted West Brom squad. The Nigeria international's representatives were locked in transfer talks with Megson at The Hawthorns on Saturday - while Albion were beating Fredericia 2-0 in the latest game of their short tour of Denmark. But no decision was reached at the meeting and now the Albion boss has to hope all went well or he could have to start looking all over again for the proven goalscorer he wants to add to his team. Megson has been told Kanu wants time to think about moving to the West Midlands after being released by the Gunners and it could be days before the player decides where he wants to continue his career.

Middlesbrough have agreed a deal with Dutch winger Boudewijn Zenden. Talks between Boro and the player stalled last week, but further discussions have resulted in a positive outcome for The Teessiders. Zenden has agreed a one-year deal with Boro, who have taken the Dutch star on a permanent deal after he was allowed to leave Chelsea. The winger had just 12 months left on his current deal at Stamford Bridge, but The Blues had no plans to use him and were happy to let him leave.

Blackburn goalkeeper Brad Friedel faces a race against time to be fit for the start of the season after picking up a muscle injury. The American international suffered the injury in Friday's 1-0 friendly win over Czech side Bohemians as Blackburn ended their tour of Germany. Friedel had to be replaced by Peter Enckelman after just 23 minutes and he is set to miss the rest of Blackburn's pre-season build-up.

Real Madrid starlet Javi Garcia has rejected a move to Manchester United. The 17-year-old is one of the stars of the Spanish Under-17 side which recently made the finals of the European Championship. United, who have already landed one of Garcia's international team-mates this summer in the shape of Gerard Pique, offered big terms to the young striker after Sir Alex Ferguson gave his blessing to the move. However, Garcia - full name Francisco Javier Garcia Fernandez - has decided to stay at El Santiago Bernabeu, where he will start next season with Madrid's 'B' side.

News and Rumors sources

Sky Sports


[Edited on 25/7/04 by TRD]


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