football in short

Trading places

The biggest news of the week concerned the resignation of under-fire Juventus manager, Fabio Capello, and his subsequent appointment as Real Madrid boss. This will be the 60-year-old Italian’s second spell in charge at the Bernabeu. Newly elected club president, Ramon Calderon, has also promised to bring Arjen Robben and Cristiano Ronaldo to Spain. Chelsea have complained to Fifa about an illegal approach for their exciting Dutch winger, but Manchester may be glad to cash in on their controversial, if talented player.

Following the Rooney incident, public opinion has turned against the Portuguese midfielder, angry fans smashing windows at his three million euro mock Tudor mansion in Cheshire. Madrid are also preparing a mega bid for the Juventus trio Cannavaro, Zambrotta and Emerson, who will all want to move, should the ‘Old Lady’ of Italian football face relegation, as a result of the ongoing enquiry into refereeing irregularities.

Portsmouth chairmen, Milan Mandaric and Sasha Gaydamak, have appointed former Israeli national coach, Avram Grant, to work alongside Harry Redknapp as technical director. Predecessor Velimir Zajec’s arrival, last season, prompted Redknapp’s shock resignation.

On the transfer front, Wigan have splashed out a club record eight million euros on Birmingham and England striker Emile Heskey, while Middlesbrough’s Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has moved to Charlton, following the break-down in negotiations with Celtic. Spurs are trying to replace departed Egyptian striker, Mido, with Swedish Inter Milan star, Zlatan Ibrahimovich, and Chelsea have bid 30 million euros for Arsenal’s Ashley Cole.

The Gunners in their turn are chasing Ghana captain, Stephen Appiah and Argentinean striker Javier Saviola. Aston Villa look set to lose Milan Baros to Hamburg, who have also secured the services of exciting Belgian talent Vincent Kompany from Anderlecht.

In Portugal, Benfica have finally found a taker for failed former Newcastle midfielder Laurent Robert in Besiktas, signing Boavista’s Paulo Jorge as a replacement.