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Thursday October 09 2008


Ruud expects Ronaldo arrival

Dutchman believes winger will join Real

Ruud van Nistelrooy believes Cristiano Ronaldo will one day join Real Madrid.

Manchester United allowed Van Nistelrooy to make the move to the Bernabeu in 2006 but they fought hard to keep Ronaldo this summer.

Real had been determined to capture the Portuguese winger but United were adamant they would not sell.

Ronaldo has a long-term contract at Old Trafford and United are unlikely to change their stance in the foreseeable future.

However, Van Nistelrooy expects to be reunited with his former team-mate, perhaps even at the end of the current campaign.

"One day Ronaldo will join us," the Dutchman told Marca.

"This could happen next summer, or the one after."

Meanwhile, Van Nistelrooy has set his sights on success in the UEFA Champions League with Real.

The 32-year-old has yet to win the competition in his career but he feels Real are strong enough to be crowned European champions.

"Winning it one day is my dream," he said. "And Real Madrid can do it with all their great players."

Reds extend Abalimba stay

Youngster set to remain at Anfield until the weekend

Southend have agreed to allow Medi Abalimba to remain on trial at Liverpool until the end of the week.

The talented teenager turned out for the Reds' reserve team on Tuesday, playing just over an hour in a 1-0 defeat against Manchester City.

He is thought to have impressed Liverpool's coaching staff, but the club have asked for more time to reach a decision regarding the Congolese midfielder's future.

That means the 16-year-old will remain on Merseyside, with plans to hand him another run out during a practice match at the weekend.

Barca admit to Benzema bid

Lyon striker rejected Spanish advances

Barcelona director of football Txiki Begiristain admits the club tried to sign Karim Benzema this summer.

The French striker has become one of Europe's hottest properties after a number of starring displays for both Lyon and his country.

He topped the Ligue 1 goalscoring charts last season, drawing attention from a host of big clubs.

Manchester United and Inter Milan are believed to be among his admirers, although he remains insistent that his immediate future remains at Lyon.

Barca tried to lure him away from Stade Gerland during the close-season but Begiristain has revealed that their advances were spurned by the player.

Forster goes under the knife

Seagulls striker has operation on cartilage injury

Brighton striker Nicky Forster has undergone surgery in an attempt to resolve a cartilage problem.

The veteran front-man went under the knife on Tuesday and is facing up to a month on the sidelines.

Seagulls boss Micky Adams is disappointed to lose the 35-year-old's services but feels the necessary precautions have been taken to prevent further setbacks for Forster in the future.

"Nicky Forster had an operation on his cartilage and there is significant bleeding," Adams told the club's official website.

"We were worried about his cruciate, because he has had a cruciate injury before and we won't know the extent of the damage until it settles.

"The surgeon seems to think that if everything goes well, he'll be back in four to six weeks."

Cannavaro has Napoli dream

Veteran defender keen on homecoming

Fabio Cannavaro has refused to rule out the possibility of joining Napoli next summer.

The Italy international is currently on the books of Primera Liga giants Real Madrid, but has made no secret of his desire to end his career in his homeland.

With his contract at Santiago Bernabeu set to expire in June 2009 the veteran defender admits he may decide to call time on his Spanish adventure.

As a Naples native the 35-year-old has previously indicated that he would welcome a return to Napoli, the club he began his illustrious career with back in 1992.

Cerny wants to avoid the drop

Accies hope to maintain SPL status

Hamilton keeper Tomas Cerny insists the main objective for the club this season is to avoid relegation.

The Accies began their SPL campaign in impressive fashion, securing back-to-back victories, but have seen the wheels fall off in spectacular fashion.

Five defeats in their last six matches has seen them slip into trouble, just two points above rock-bottom Aberdeen.

Czech stopper Cerny is currently on loan at Hamilton from Sigma Olomouc and hopes to help the club maintain their top flight status.

"We are a club which got promoted to the top division after a 20-year wait," he told efotbal.

"With that in mind, our aim is to avoid the drop. We would like to finish in the top six, though."

Harry rules out Traore stay

Redknapp more hopeful over Bejhadj

Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp has dismissed suggestions that the club could sign Armand Traore on a permanent deal from Arsenal.

Traore, who is on a season-long loan deal, has impressed at Fratton Park with a number of eye-catching performances.

However, Redknapp admits there is no chance of keeping the 19-year-old on a full-time basis as Arsenal have no plans to sell.

"There is no chance of Traore staying here, absolutely no chance," Redknapp told The News.

"Arsenal would not sell him. Arsene Wenger let him come here to get experience and it's been great for him. He's only just turned 19. They're not looking to sell him. That's not even in our thoughts."

However, Redknapp would like to turn Nadir Bejhadj's loan spell into a permanent deal.

The Algerian has quickly established himself as a regular in Redknapp's side since his arrival from Lens and Redknapp would like to sort out a deal for the left-back.

"Belhadj has also done really well," added Redknapp. "He's been terrific for us and has a great attitude.

Blades tracking Gerard

Championship outfit keen on Spanish ace

Sheffield United have expressed an interest in former Barcelona midfielder Gerard Lopez.

The 29-year-old is currently available as a free agent after being released by Recreativo Huelva at the end of last season.

He is playing local football in Catalunya but is actively seeking a return to the professional ranks.

The Blades are believed to have already put an offer on the table, with Gerard admitting he is attracted to the possibility of playing in England.