Real Madrid coach faces heat over backfiring of Ramos move while Paulo Dybala is ‘ripe’ for transfer
Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti will have to rethink his tactics ahead of the Uefa Champions League return leg after Sergio Ramos came unstuck in an experimental midfield role in the semi-final clash with Juventus.
Acclaimed as one of the game’s best centre-halves, Ramos looked like a fish out of water in the middle of the pitch in their 2-1 first leg defeat on Tuesday both defensively in front of the backline and most noticeably in building play. “I am here to help the team wherever I can,” Ramos told reporters.
“The other day it worked out for me but this was a bad game on a personal and a group level ... I have to run a lot more than in central defence but that is not a big worry for me. We have to be self-critical and learn from our mistakes.” Real have suffered an injury crisis in recent weeks that led Ancelotti to look at different options in midfield to cover for the absence of Luka Modric as he was not convinced by the obvious choices of Asier Illarramendi and Lucas Silva.
The future of reported Chelsea target Paulo Dybala will be decided in the next two weeks, according to Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini. Dybala is Palermo’s leading scorer with 13 Serie A goals and is thought to have attracted the attention of top European clubs including Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus.
Palermo are keen to cash in on the 21-year-old Argentine forward after he turned down a three-year contract extension in January. “At least three teams are really interested in him,” Zamparini told Italian newspaper Giornale di Sicilia. “The apple is ripe and we are ready to pick it. I think in 10, or a maximum of 15 days we will know his future. We will meet with the player and his agent to complete the deal. Those who understand football realise his potential.”
Franco Di Santo has given Werder Bremen fans hope by saying he is set to stay with the Bundesliga club. With 13 goals this season, the striker has had a major hand in the club’s recent revival, which has taken them into the running for a Europa League place. His performances have caught the eye of several clubs, though, and with his contract running out in just over a year’s time, he could be made available for a cut-price fee this summer. But that is not a likely scenario, according to the 26-year-old Argentine. “There is currently no decisive argument as to why I would leave the club,” he told Sport Bild magazine. How Bremen perform over their final three games of the season could determine the forward’s future. “If we do make it into the Europa League, then that would certainly be a further argument for Werder,” he said.
State prosecutors in Switzerland have fined Aarau player Sandro Wieser 10,000 Swiss francs (Dh39,741) for injuring an opponent in a top-tier match. The public prosecution office in Lenzburg-Aarau canton ruled Wieser’s tackle on Ivory Coast international Gilles Yapi was negligent and an assault. Yapi and his club Zurich filed a criminal complaint after the potentially career-ending incident in a match at Aarau last November. Yapi, 33, suffered extensive damage to his right knee inflicted by Wieser’s studs-up challenge. Wieser, a 22-year-old Liechtenstein international, later apologised and was suspended for six matches by the Swiss league. Wieser can appeal the sentence.
Wolfsburg director of sport Klaus Allofs says his club are keen to hold on to both Bas Dost and Nicklas next season. The forwards have been rotated at times by coach Dieter Hecking this term but, as the team prepare to embark on a Uefa Champions League campaign, Allofs has ruled out selling either player. “Both of them have contracts with us and there is no reason for us to sell them,” Allofs told Sport Bild magazine. Dost has been linked with a move away from the club this summer, but Hecking says that is nothing new. “Every time there has been a transfer period open in the past two years, he’s been saying that he will have to consider his future,” the Wolfsburg coach said. “We know Bas quite well now.”
Meanwhile, Wolfsburg are still regarded as the most likely destination for Borussia Monchengladbach forward Max Kruse, who is expected to activate a clause in his contract which would enable him to leave for a set fee this summer. “The ball’s in Max’s court,” Hecking said to NDR television.
Published: May 6, 2015 04:00 AM