Breakfast Briefing: No Ince for Liverpool and no Xavi for the Premier League
We open with news that Blackpool starlet Tom Ince turned down a move to Premier League heavyweights Liverpool in the January transfer window, instead deciding to head to Crystal Palace on loan. Former Blackpool manager Paul Ince revealed his son had turned down interest from Anfield on transfer deadline day.
Going one step further is Barcelona midfielder Xavi, who has insisted that he will never play in the Premier League despite his love for the English game. The 34-year-old has been regularly linked with some of the biggest English clubs, but claims he is too much of a Barcelona fan to even think of leaving the Nou Camp.
There seems to be something of a theme going on here as Bayern Munich-bound Robert Lewandowski has revealed that Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny attempted to persuade him to join the North London club. The two are international compatriots with Poland, but the striker was not swayed from his long mooted move to the Bavarian champions.
Swansea are looking to move on from Michael Laudrup's sudden sacking yesterday, as chairman Huw Jenkins has urged everyone to get behind the club while refuting rumours of a rift with their former coach. Interim replacement Garry Monk has also vowed to "give everything" for the team as he looks to save Swansea from relegation.
Football seems to be a game of one-upsmanship these days, especially in the "denying you're going to win the title" stakes. Hot on Jose Mourinho's heels are Liverpool manager Brendan Rogers, who claims his team are not yet title contenders, and more surprisingly Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone despite his club leading the La Liga standings.
There was some hilarity to be found in Bologna on transfer deadline day when the Serie A club forgot all about new signing Ibson and left him stranded at the airport for a few hours. But the Brazilian midfielder is keen to put the sorry episode behind him and hopes to make his mark in Italy.
More fallout from the Andy Carroll red card episode, as Chico Flores has hit back at social media taunts following the West Ham player's three match ban. Swansea defender Flores was caught by a flailing arm and went down theatrically during the game but has shown little remorse and is instead insisting that Hammers fans should be more concerned by their "ugly" style of football.
On to some World Cup news, Ivorian striker Salomon Kalou says England need strong leadership figures like former Chelsea teammate John Terry if they are to succeed in Brazil. The former England captain retired from international football after being accused or racially abusing Anton Ferdinand, a charge he was later cleared of, but has put in some tremendous displays in defence for Chelsea this season.
Former Argentina international Mario Kempes has also had his say, warning his country not to rely solely on Lionel Messi at the World Cup. Kempes feels that the Barcelona forward will have an important part to play, but feels that there is no way he can win every game for Argentina by himself.