By RYAN TOLMICH
Despite seemingly moving past the now highly-publicized Birthday-Gate, the relationship between Manchester City and midfielder Yaya Toure has never fully recovered.
The reigning Premier League champions are reportedly interested in selling the Ivorian star this summer if the 31-year-old’s form considers to slump. While not actively pursuing a sale, the club are said to be open to offers out of concern that Toure will never quite get back to the level that led the club to two titles in three seasons.
Man City are reportedly already looking towards finding a replacement for the star midfielder and have been linked to Everton’s Ross Barkley, Juventus’ Paul Pogba and Borussia Dortmund’s Marco Reus.
The team reached a new low in European competition Wednesday with a 2-1 loss to CSKA Moscow that sees Man City fall to last place in their group with just a pair of games remaining.
Here are some more news and notes to kickoff your Friday morning:
HODGSON FRUSTRATED BY NFL AT WEMBLEY
Don’t count Roy Hodgson among those excited for the NFL’s return to Wembley.
Sunday’s meeting between the Dallas Cowboys and Jacksonville Jaguars is set to be the league’s latest foray across the pond this season, which is something that has left the England manager frustrated due to increasingly bad pitch conditions at Wembley Stadium ahead of England’s matchup with Slovenia the following weekend.
“I am a football coach, a football manager, and I am talking about English football, not American football,” Hodgson said. “I don’t really think you could expect me to say: ‘Excellent, delighted, well done.’ I’m realistic, I’m pragmatic and this match [on Sunday] has been organised for a period of time. The pitch, unfortunately, is not in the best of nick anyway, which we’re all a bit unhappy with.
“We have had one and now we have another one,” Hodgson added. “I can’t pretend that is something that makes me leap for joy. I would be very hypocritical if I was to do so but I accept it. It is a decision Wembley has made and I know the groundstaff will work very hard to give us the best pitch they can. And if it is not at the very best level, then that is something for (Club England managing director Adrian Bevington) to take up and try to improve.”
Hodgson went on to say that, while he is unhappy with the situation, he expects the field to be in the best possible condition going forward.
“The game’s on Sunday and after that we will have to have a look at it,” Hodgson said. “The pitch is not as good as it has been in the past. We all know that. But I know one thing – the ground staff will be working their socks off from Sunday evening through to Saturday to make it as good as it can possibly be.”
ROMA BOSS PALOTTA BELIEVES TEAM CAN STILL WIN SCUDETTO
Following losses at the hands of Juventus and Napoli, there has been plenty of reason of concern with Roma’s recent performances. However, president James Palotta remains unfazed by the dip and form and insists there are still trophies that can be won by the Italian club.
The American, whose side slumped to another loss to Bayern Munich this week in Champions League play, believes Roma are still in contention for the Scudetto, a trophy that the club hasn’t won since 2001.
“We leave Munich with belief; the team gave their reply by showing what they are capable of,” Pallotta said. “Our future is now in our own hands and I believe we can win the Scudetto. In fact, I’m convinced we can win it. Why shouldn’t we?
“We’ve got a strong squad and I have no doubts about our quality. We may be second and three points behind Juve, but we can recover that. We’re aiming to play a great season, getting back to winning ways against Torino on Sunday. I’ve got great faith in Roma.”
Bayern Munich fullback David Alaba will undergo surgery after suffering a partial tear to his medial ligament. (REPORT)
AC Milan Filippo Inzaghi has called for the club’s supporters to show patience in the wake of a frustrating string of results. (REPORT)
Manchester United defender Marcos Rojo is set to miss at least six weeks with a dislocated shoulder. (REPORT)
Diego Costa has been left off the most recent Spain squad for fitness precautions. (REPORT)
Holland manager Guus Hiddink says he will resign of the team loses its upcoming Euro 2016 qualifier to Latvia. (REPORT)