Thu, Dec 23, 2010 - Page 18 News List

SPORTS SOCCER SHORTS

Agencies

ITALY

Benitez still coach: Moratti

Rafael Benitez remained coach of Inter on Tuesday, club president Massimo Moratti insisted, despite renewed speculation that the Spaniard had been sacked. After attending a meeting at the club’s Milan offices, Moratti declared in answer to a question whether Benitez was still Inter boss: “Yes, yes. There are no other thoughts. I have heard of and read about contacts being made with other coaches, but the club has not made contact with any other coach and will not until the situation is clarified.” Earlier, Benitez’s agent also dismissed rumors suggesting the Inter coach’s days at the club were numbered. “No one called me and I’ve had no meeting scheduled with Massimo Moratti,” Manuel Garcia Quilon told the ANSA news agency. “Benitez wants to continue to do his job and continue to work to improve the club.” Benitez has looked ever closer to the exit door after Moratti blasted the former Liverpool boss for his post-Club World Cup outburst. Benitez launched a tirade against the powers that be at Inter. He accused his bosses of failing to support him in the transfer market and accused the players of making their own decisions.

GERMANY

Gustavo signing undecided

Bayern Munich president Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has insisted no decision has been made concerning the signing of Brazilian midfielder Luiz Gustavo from Bundesliga rivals TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. “I can confirm that discussions have taken place, but a decision has not yet been taken,” Rummenigge told yesterday’s edition of the Munchner Merkur daily. German millionaire Hopp, who bank-rolls Hoffenheim, had said he “was clear as spring water that Luiz Gustavo would rejoin Bayern during the summer.” Rummenigge countered: “Mr [Dietmar] Hopp’s comments surprised me.” Rummenigge also cast further doubt on the future of Bayern captain Mark van Bommel. The 33-year-old Dutchman is out of contract in June and speculation is rife he is set to switch to VfL Wolfsburg. “I’ve spoken to Mark again recently and I’ve heard him say that he wants to stay at least until the end of the season,” Rummenigge said. “He’s a great captain, one of the best I’ve worked with at Bayern, but we don’t automatically extend contracts.”

GERMANY

Rensing to join Cologne

Former Bayern Munich goalkeeper Michael Rensing is joining struggling Cologne in next month’s transfer window. The 26-year-old, out of contract with the German champions since June, has accepted a contract with Cologne, third from bottom of the Bundesliga, until the end of the season. Rensing replaces Colombian Faryd Mondragon, who has quit Cologne to take up a post between the sticks at US outfit Philadelphia. Rensing was the successor to Oliver Kahn at Bayern in 2008, but he failed to live up to then-coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s expectations and lost his place in Klinsmann’s starting 11 to Jorg Butt.

NETHERLANDS

Twente crush Arnhem

Twente Enschede cruised to a 5-0 Dutch Cup win over Vitesse Arnhem on Tuesday to reach the quarter-finals and finish the year in which they won their maiden title in style. Playmaker Theo Janssen opened the scoring on 29 minutes after a blunder by goalkeeper Eloy Room and Luuk de Jong doubled the lead from the penalty-spot after he was fouled by Slobodan Rajkovic. Janssen and Nacer Chadli, following a fine defense-splitting combination with de Jong, sealed the win before the interval and de Jong added his second on the hour to complete the rout.

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