'Mercenary' jibes anger Silva

The defender looked to be staying at AC Milan after they rejected a bid from PSG and he promptly pledged his future to boss Massimiliano Allegri by signing a new five-year deal at the club.

But the Brazilian ended his three-year stay at the Italian club when he followed Zlatan Ibrahimovic out of the door at the San Siro soon afterwards.

The pair headed for Paris in a combined deal worth €65 million and sparked fury amongst the fans who have seen a number of high-profile stars leave the club this summer.

But Silva insists he was forced out and it is the club chiefs that decided to cash in on him after resurrecting the deal with PSG director Leonardo.

“I had made it very clear that I wanted to stay until the end of my contract, Silva told Gazzetta dello Sport. “I also extended with AC Milan until 2016 and I was happy.

Financial difficulties

“Then things changed again. Leonardo called me and told me negotiations were reopened and that they wanted me.

“I was a bit confused, but I knew that AC Milan had financial difficulties and it would be very hard to stay – if it were not for this I would still be there.

“I am not a mercenary, Milan was my home. On the other hand they made a lot of money on the deal. AC Milan paid €10million for me and sold me for €42million.

“It is true that Milan have lost some quality. They have also lost leading figures such as [Clarence] Seedorf, [Filippo] Inzaghi, and [Gennaro] Gattuso.

“Milan will have to rebuild the team. It will not be easy, but Allegri is an intelligent coach who will find solutions.”

Ajax closing on Sana

The 23-year-old will travel to Amsterdam for a medical at the Eredivisie club before putting pen to paper on a deal.

His agent, Anders Karlsson, told Fotbolldirekt: “There is a verbal agreement, then he will pass a medical.”

Meanwhile, the Dutch champions have also captured 19-year-old midfielder Ilan Boccara from the Paris St Germain academy.

No regrets

The young Dutchman has signed his first professional contract with Ajax and is hoping for some playing time.

“I have no regrets about leaving,” Boccara told L’Equipe. “I spent six beautiful years at PSG, but I need to play.

“PSG and Ajax are two extremes. At PSG there are lots of stars now, while Ajax has always trusted its young players.

“At PSG I knew I would not play with the professionals. At Ajax, if I am good, I will get opportunities.”

Ibra – PSG better than Milan

The 30-year-old striker made the switch from Serie A to Ligue 1 earlier this summer alongside Brazilian defender Thiago Silva.

And with Milan yet to replace the key duo, Ibrahimovic is convinced that the French side now have the superior team.

“We will have a better team than Milan this season, for sure. Why? Because Milan have lost its two best players.”

Zlatan Ibrahimovic Quotes of the week:

“We will have a better team than Milan this season, for sure,” said the Sweden international.

“Why? Because Milan have lost its two best players.”

Ibrahimovic has signed a three-year deal with Carlo Ancelotti’s side and required just three minutes to find the net in a friendly against DC United.

But Dwayne de Rosario later netted for the hosts, forcing PSG to settle for a draw to end their US tour.

Ibrahimovic added: “On my goal, I moved to find the right space and I hit the left.

“I’m still in preparation, I’m not 100% but I work to find an optimal shape. Playing those games will help me get there.”


Ancelotti was satisfied with his side’s performance, insisting they did enough to emerge victorious.

“We played well and deserved to win,” said the Italian coach.

“The weather conditions made it something of a strange game. We were also up against a side who were in perfect physical condition.

“We did a lot of running and that’s a very good thing in terms of our preparation for the new season.

“July has been a very good month for the team and I think the next 10 days will be too. We will be ready for the start of the championship.

“Zlatan made a fantastic start to the match with a very good goal too.”

Nasri banned for Euros conduct

The FFF held a hearing on Friday and decided that the Manchester City midfielder must serve a three-match suspension due to the foul-mouthed insults he directed at reporters following France’s quarter-final defeat to Spain.

Paris St Germain winger Jeremy Menez also faces a one-game ban for his behaviour in relation to an argument with the referee during the Spain game as well as a row with captain Hugo Lloris.

Two other France players, Yann M’Vila and Hatem Ben Arfa escaped with a warning following their hearings.

Rennes midfielder M’Vila’s charge also stemmed from the Spain match, when he was substituted and did not shake hands with either his replacement Olivier Giroud or then coach Laurent Blanc.

Newcastle playmaker Ben Arfa, meanwhile, was referred to the commission over an alleged argument with Blanc in the dressing room after the group-stage defeat to Sweden.

The clampdown on the behaviour of France players comes as a result of the 2010 World Cup debacle that saw several of the squad propose strike action during the tournament in South Africa.


FFF discipline commission president Jean Mazzella told L’Equipe: “The meeting was calm, the players gave explanations and showed a very good attitude.

“They defended themselves but they answered all the questions we asked them. They did not apologise, they showed regret.”

As a result of the sanctions, Les Bleus’ new coach Didier Deschamps will be without both Nasri and Menez for their August 15 friendly against Uruguay.

Nasri will also be sidelined for their first two qualifying matches for the 2014 World Cup, away to Finland on September 7 and at home to Belarus four days later.

Lyon tracking Sakho

The 22-year-old centre-back has already played more than 150 games for PSG but could find himself out of the first-team following the high-profile signing of Thiago Silva this summer.

Lyon are eyeing a move for the France international but, with coach Remi Garde under pressure to raise funds before he can add to his squad, a formal bid could be delayed.

Bernard Lacombe, advisor to club president Jean-Michel Aulas, has admitted that Lyon are interested in Sakho.

“The plan is to sell two players before we start recruiting,” Lacombe told L’Equipe.

“But it’s true, we at least need one central defender and maybe a defensive midfielder. That is why we are interested in Mamadou Sakho.”

No Nene solution at PSG

Nene was among PSG’s most consistent performers last season and finished the campaign with 21 goals to his name.

Reports are, however, suggesting that he no longer figures in Carlo Ancelotti’s plans.

The 31-year-old forward has just one year remaining on his contract in the French capital and Leonardo admits all options are still open, with club and player eager to find a suitable solution.

“Even though Nene only has one year left on his contract, we are not forced to offer him an extension or accept his departure,” Leonardo told L’Equipe.

“We are in talks and trying to find the best solution for both him and us. There is no rush.

“Nene could easily end up staying here. He has a year to run on his contract.


“I have spoken with him and there is no trouble.

“Corinthians? They wanted him as a free agent, but that is not possible. Nene is not worth nothing.

“Talks with Galatasaray? They are not concrete at the moment.”

While Nene’s future in Paris remains uncertain, Leonardo concedes that France international Gameiro could be sold after just one season at Parc des Princes.

He said: “Gameiro to Valencia? We have talked.

“I have spoken with the player and we will see what happens. He is in good shape and there is no rush there either.”

Hulk and Moutinho key to Porto

Brazilian ace Hulk has been consistently linked with Chelsea over recent transfer windows, with the sticking point thought to be a reported €100million (£85m) release clause in his contract.

The 26-year-old, currently preparing for the Olympics with Brazil in London, is also believed to be on the radars of Tottenham and big-spending French club Paris St Germain.

Meanwhile, Portugal international Moutinho is also thought to be a target of Spurs, who are lining up a potential replacement for wantaway playmaker Luka Modric, while Manchester United and PSG are other clubs being linked with the 25-year-old.


However, Porto president Pinto da Costa has repeatedly stated he wants the duo to stay and coach Pereira is counting on both players for the new season.

He said: “Hulk and Joao Moutinho are both in my plans for next season.”

“They are our players and are very important to the structure of this team.

“I am not preoccupied by the possibility of big offers from England because I know the clear position of Porto’s president on this subject.”

Menez issues Euro 2012 apology

The 25-year-old was accused of insulting the referee as well as being involved in a row with his captain Hugo Lloris as Les Bleus were beaten by Spain in their quarter-final in Donetsk.

But the Paris St Germain player has sought to defuse the situation ahead of the FFF disciplinary meeting on Friday.

Menez told L’Equipe: “I sent a letter of apology (to the FFF). I apologised for my absence and for the accusations made against me. I am eager to turn the page.


“It’s annoying to have to face the committee – it is not good for the image. But I am making, and will make, efforts to improve myself every day.

“The story with Hugo, this was not really anything.

“It is something that exploded when there was nothing at all. In any case, I did not insult him. He himself said in L’Equipe that there was no problem between us.”

Of his clash with Italian referee Nicola Rizzoli, he added: “I was a bit upset. I did not start the game, we lost…

“(But) the action in question, I really did not commit any wrongdoing.

“It is true that it was not pretty. I want to apologise sincerely. Overall, in my case, it was an incident that should not have happened.”

Three other members of France’s squad – Samir Nasri, Hatem Ben Arfa and Yann M’Vila – are also the subject of disciplinary proceedings for various offences in Poland and Ukraine.

PSG draw for Blues

Lucas Piazon’s first goal for Chelsea earned then the draw at New York’s Yankee Stadium on Sunday evening.

PSG, playing their third warm-up game ahead of the new campaign, did not select new signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic but nevertheless fielded a strong attacking line-up and provided a stern test for the Blues.

The Ligue 1 runners-up had the better of the first half and took the lead in the 29th minute, Nene scoring from the rebound after Javier Pastore had wriggled between Gary Cahill and Gael Kakuta and struck his shot against the post.

England defenders John Terry and Ashley Cole were introduced for the final half-hour – their first pre-season action.

The equaliser arrived eight minutes from the end, 18-year-old Piazon combining with fellow Brazilian Ramires before coolly slotting into the bottom corner.

Chelsea, who opened their United States tour with a 4-2 win over the Seattle Sounders on Wednesday night, next head to Philadelphia to prepare for Wednesday’s game against the MLS All-Stars at PPL Park.

Milan exit saddens Silva

The Brazil international has completed a big-money move to France just weeks after penning a new deal at Giuseppe Meazza.

Milan had looked to tie him down on fresh terms in an effort to fend off mounting interest from afar.

They were, however, unable to turn down the riches offered by PSG and Silva will be turning out in Ligue 1 next season.

“I was happy with the transfer and sad about my exit from Milan because I experienced some strong emotions there,” said the 27-year-old centre-half.


“This is football, one day you are here, the next day you are somewhere else. I had signed a new deal with them a week before.

“People call me a mercenary, which leaves me upset. I am not making more money at PSG. This is not my fault, I would like to apologise to the fans.

“This was a difficult situation for me, I did not want to leave Milan, and neither did my family. But it was a positive thing because Leonardo and Carlo Ancelotti called me. When I joined Milan, it had also been Leonardo to call me. I really like him.

“PSG are a dream club, like (Zlatan) Ibrahimovic said.”