Thursday Kickoff: Juventus open to Lampard move, Ronaldo urges fans to halt abuse at Mourinho, and more

Photo by ISIphotos.com

BY DAN KARELL

Frank Lampard’s club search for next season may have gotten a bit easier.

After reports that he would leave on a Bosman transfer this summer, Juventus midfielder Andrea Pirlo has extended an open hand to Lampard to join him next season in Italy.

Lampard has recently been linked with a move to the Italian capital, with the club Lazio mentioned specifically, though those links have been shot down by Lampard’s agent.

Chelsea fans have protested the decision from owner Roman Abramovich at recent matches, chanting “sign him up”, referring to Lampard’s expiring contract.

Here are some more stories to start your Thursday:

RONALDO ASKS FANS TO END JEERS TOWARDS MOURINHO

On the heels of a masterful performance in the Copa Del Rey on Wednesday night, Hat-trick hero Cristiano Ronaldo has asked for whistles aimed at manager Jose Mourinho from the supporters in the stands to come to an end.

Real Madrid’s recent results in the past month, which include losses to Celta Vigo and Malaga, as well as fan favorite Iker Casillias being demoted to backup goalkeeper, have caused a lot of derision aimed at Mourinho.

However, Madrid have won their last two matches, and Ronaldo has asked for the fans to get behind the team once more as they compete for titles in La Liga, Champions League, and Copa Del Rey.

SNEIJDER BID ACCEPTED BY INTER MILAN

In a quickly moving deal, Inter Milan today has announced that they have accepted a bid of €10 million for midfielder Wesley Sneijder from Galatasaray S.K. in Turkey.

The Holland international was long rumored for a move to England, but now all that separates Sneijder from leaving Inter is agreeing personal terms with Galatasaray.

Sneijder has not played for Inter since September 25, due to a contract dispute with the club.

LIVERPOOL BOSS RODGERS SETS HEART ON DEVELOPING LOCAL YOUTH

Brendan Rodgers has declared that it is vital for the club to develop top talent from the Liverpool youth academy.

With Raheem Sterling graduating to the first team this season, and the likes of Jamie Carragher and Steven Gerrard towards the end of their careers, Rodgers has insisted that the club must develop better.

In what could be construed as a shot towards former Liverpool manager and current Chelsea boss Rafa Benitez, Rodgers declared that it was “sexy” to look at Spain for players, but that it was his priority to look nearby for the best talent instead of ignoring it.

QUICK KICKS

David Beckham is reportedly looking to base his family out of London, regardless of where he plays this season. (REPORT)

Rennes in Ligue 1 are content to let their young midfielder Yann M’Vila leave this month. (REPORT)

Udinese defender Danilo has been sentenced to prison for a racist act during a match in his native Brazil two years ago. (REPORT)

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar’s new contact with Schalke 04 has a €15 million release clause, jump starting transfer rumors (REPORT)

What do you think of these reports? Do you think a midfield with both Pirlo and Lampard can be successful? What does Rodgers’ statement mean for Liverpool’s transfer policy? Do you see Mourinho sticking it out in Madrid until the end of the season?

Please share your thoughts below.

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26 Responses to Thursday Kickoff: Juventus open to Lampard move, Ronaldo urges fans to halt abuse at Mourinho, and more

  1. Chicago Pete says:

    That is a real long picture of Frank!!!

  2. Old School says:

    I’m curious where Lampard and Beckham will end up.

  3. Mase NJRB says:

    Doesnt seem like any big names are coming to MLS, whats the deal?

    • JR says:

      Lampard. All these talk about other clubs wanting him are PR so he can ask for more money

      • Gnarls says:

        You think he’ll come to MLS? It sounds like LA doesn’t want him, which realistically only leaves NY. Henry, Cahill and Lampard would be a heckuva DP trio.

        • Old School says:

          I’m not sure why you believe LA doesn’t want him.

          I remember a report stating they’d prefer Kaka to Lampard but Kaka doesn’t appear to be going anywhere until after the World Cup.

          Has there been a new report stating their discontinued interest?

          • Gnarls says:

            Nothing new. In November Tim Leiweke was quoted as saying a Latino DP was a high priority for the club. Maybe Kaka won’t happen, but if a Latino is still priority then that precludes Super Frank.

            Leiweke: “This next person has to be able to not only fit what Bruce needs on the pitch, but more importantly we’re an ever-changing demo in this marketplace, and we have to pay attention to that. It’s critical that we do the one thing we have never been able to do yet with the Galaxy, although we’ve tried. There is a Hispanic Latino population base we have to go conquer, and we haven’t.”

            That’s in an SI/Grant Wahl article. Posting links is a no-no here, but it’s on the web.

            • Old School says:

              Right on.

              Admittedly, I still don’t see that as being “LA does not want Lampard.” though.

              I think it’s obvious they’re searching for a specific set of criteria to their next DP but I also think much of that was centered around Ronaldinho or Kaka (neither of which appear to be happening soon/if ever).

              I don’t see LA passing up the chance to make a run at Lampard. He may not be Option A but I imagine he’s still somewhere close to that.

              • Gnarls says:

                I hope you’re right. I’d like to see him in LA’s midfield. He still has tons of quality. As it stands LA has a big hole in its midfield, and if Donovan doesn’t come back, that hole is even bigger.

  4. ed - houston says:

    real madrid can kiss la liga tittle good bye. funny how MOURINHO is getting jeered at. bad move to bench casillas.

    • Old School says:

      I’ve been out of the loop, when/why did that move originate?

      Was he having a bad run of form or just looking for a scapegoat for bad results?

      • THomas says:

        I think we can say it was Mourinho being Mourinho…in his mind, he can do no wrong.

        Any move he makes is brilliant based purely on the fact that he considers himself to be brilliant.

      • Nate Dollars says:

        can’t it be both? it was both.

        casillas and mourinho have always butted heads, and it was a very convenient time for mourinho to make a power play, since madrid’s defense (including casillas) has been poor.

        what wasn’t so convenient is that adan, the backup keeper, still isn’t as good as an out-of-form casillas.

        as a madrid and mourinho hater, it’s been just great.

      • wides says:

        The not so subtle rumor is that there are 3 very prominent Madrid players who are against Mourinho, and that Casillas is one of them. This is Mourinho making sure everyone knows who the boss is. Too bad for him, Adan is nowhere near the level of Casillas, so he’s really shooting himself (and the team) in the foot. Especially if they get to the UCL and have a rusty Casillas or a not as good Adan as their keeper.

    • biff says:

      Speaking as a Real Madrid fan, nothing would make me happier than to see Mourinho shown the door. A total disgrace and IMO overrated as a coach. Can you imagine what a coach like Jurgen Klopp could do with the talent on Real Madrid?

      • Old School says:

        Hrmm.

        There’s a lot to dislike about Mourinho but to call him overrated I think is a tad ridiculous.

        He’s polarizing, annoying and beyond arrogant but overrated? I’m not buying that with a borrowed dollar.

      • Tiny says:

        hw only brought you a chapionship and copa de rey last year, a a lague title with chelsea and inter milan, i would say thats a little better than kloop

      • Judging Amy says:

        If you rate coaches by results, then he’s not overrated. Punched above his weight class with (relatively) less talent to win Champions League at Porto. He’s won with talent, as the underdog, as the favorite.

        I can definitely see why people don’t like him and can concede he might not be right for this Madrid team, but his career results leave no doubt that he’s a great coach.

  5. Miguel Rubio says:

    Anyone else having a laugh at Brendan Rodgers’ comments? We’re supposed to believe he’s all about homegrown talent when he just shelled out 12M for Daniel Sturridge? Now that’s “sexy”!

    • Old School says:

      To be honest, for an: young, English international, solid player with room to grow, that’s a bargain.

  6. Mick says:

    10 mil for shneider is too cheap