Ivory Coast international Seydou Doumbia has been on the eyes of many top European clubs over the last few years after his impressive performances for Russian outfit CSKA Moscow.
Doumbia has been the flag bearer for CSKA in the Champions League and in the league. After having won two Russian league titles and two Russian cups,Doumbia has decided to bring an end to this CSKA adventure at the end of this January transfer window.
He has moved to Italian outfit Roma for around £ 10 million. The fee will increase to £ 12 million depending upon the performances.
Speaking about the move, the 27-year-old stated that he is extremely happy to rejoining an illustrious club in one of the top leagues in Europe. Roma are considered as one of the elite Italian clubs and they boast a strong line-up featuring the likes of Francesco Totti, Daniele De Rossi, andDoumbia’s international teammate Gervinho. They have been challenging for the league title in the past two seasons under the management of Rudi Garcia. The arrival of Doumbiawill make even better considering that Roma already have a number of good goalscorers.Doumbia played for CSKA from 2010 and he has scored 84 goals in 130 appearances.
“I am of course delighted to join a club of Roma's standing and to play in such a high-level Championship. Developing alongside players like [Francesco] Totti, [Miralem] Pjanic, Gervinho, [Daniele] De Rossi and having a Coach [Rudi Garcia] who plays a resolutely offensive game will surely allow me to reach the next level.I haven't set myself any objectives. I don't think in those terms. I want above all else to integrate myself in the group and give my contribution to win matches,” said Doumbia. Ljajić is the top scorer in the Roma team with eight league goals.
CSKA Moscow manager Leonid Slutsky says that he is confident that his team have learned from their mistakes committed in the first few matches of the Champions League group stages.
The Russian team were not given much of an opportunity to reach the last 16 stage of the competition due to being placed in one of the toughest groups. The likes of Bayern Munich, Roma, and Manchester City are seen as the competitors for the top two places, which will guarantee progression to the next round. CSKA have so far kept their hopes of qualification alive, but it has largely been due to other teams dropping points.
A 5-1 hammering at the hands of Roma in the opening group match threatened to end the qualification hopes even before it began, but Leonid Slutsky’s has managed to provide new confidence to the team. They have since suffered only one defeat while also managing to pick up crucial win over Manchester City away from home. This has put the team on the brink of getting into the top two places with two matches remaining. They need to get three points against Roma at home in order to stand any chance of an unlikely miracle.Slutsky says that the lessons learned from the first game will help them get three points.
"We have a good chance of qualifying from the group and we need to use this opportunity. We know from our first match against Roma that they are a very strong side.Tomorrow's match will show if we have learned from our mistakes.We have problems in defensive midfield and we are looking to solve this.The loss of Natkho is a blow, and tonight we will know if Pontus Wernbloom will be able to play," said Slutsky ahead of the game.
CSKA Moscow has to face off against: As.Roma, Bayern Munich and Manchester City in their journey of competing and trying to survive in the next edition of the Champions League. All of those opponents are top clubs that are playing in their respective leagues and this will certainly not be an easy ride for the Russian side CSKA Moscow as they have to lock horns with some of the best clubs in the world and try to get positive results in order to advance into the next stages of the Champions League.
The toughest opponents that they have to face arguably are Bayern Munich as Pep Guardiola has turned the German club into true competitors of winning it all this season.
In the last season of the Champions League fans of CSKA Moscow launched racist chants and symbols in their away match with Viktoria Plzen, this resulted with the Russian club receiving a partial stadium ban against Bayern Munich and since the club already had another partial stadium ban, this means that the next home match of CSKA Moscow in the Champions League of the current season the fans of the Russian side will not be allowed to enter the stadium at all.
The next home match of CSKA Moscow is on September 30 as they host and receive Bayern Munich at the Arena Khimki which is the own ground of CSKA Moscow and the stadium is expected to be empty due to all of the bans that the club has been receiving since last season for all of the racist comments, shouting from the fans of the team of Leonid Slutsky. These actions have also led to the club having to pay a fine of €50,000.
Atletico Madrid star Raul Garcia has claimed that the club’s former star Fernando Torres will be welcome back at the Vicente Calderon should he decide to join the club. Torres has become a £ 50 million signing for Chelsea, but his poor form with the blues could see him leave the club in the summer. There were a lot of links with Inter Milan a few weeks ago, but it is understood that the Italian club are no longer in the race to sign the 30-year-old. Due to his poor form, Torres is now worth only around £ 20 million as valued by Chelsea.
It has been rumoured that athletic have made a £ 10 million offer for the player, but even then they are quite far away from completing the deal due to a number of reasons. Atletico do not have the means to sustain the £ 8 million per season in wages commanded by Torres. This coupled with Chelsea’s £ 20 million valuation could see the deal drop. For the moment, a return to Spain looks like the ideal solution for all parties. Even though Atletico Madrid recently brought in Mario Mandzukic from Bayern Munich, the return of Torres will be hailed by fans.
Even after more than seven years after his departure, Torres still remains as an icon in the Atletico Madrid eyes.
“I speak to him [Torres] a lot and he still feels very strongly about this club. His life has been defined by what he experienced here and he is another option just like any other that the media have mentioned. Any great player that can come here will be welcome. If we took every transfer story seriously we would only have about two or three players left here. The club has to manage these things, but Miranda is an important player for us,” said Garcia.
CSKA Moscow managed a 4-0 win over Kuban Krasnodar during the weekend. This was the sixth consecutive league victory for the team and it helped them stay only a couple of points behind table leaders Zenit St Petersburg. The opportunity to win the title still remains a distinct possibility for the club, but they need to be extremely compact and well organised in the next match against Rubin Kazan according to the club manager Leonid Slutsky. Zenit St Petersburg have improved massively after the arrival of former Tottenham and Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas.
They have won all of the matches managed by the Portuguese, but Slutsky says that CSKA Moscow should also keep winning matches in order to take advantage of any potential slipups along way. His team remain four points behind table leaders after having played 26 matches up until now. The only defeat for the team in the last five matches came against Krasnodar in the cup. Slutsky has stated that CSKA Moscow will receive a major boost with the return of Ahmed Musa and Rasmus Elm for the match against Rubin Kazan. They were unavailable for the 4-0 thrashing during the weekend.
Only the top two teams will be able to play in the Champions League which is also important for Russian clubs.
"We're not working out any long-range plans or strategies. We try to focus on our every single match to get as many points as possible, expecting also for slip-ups by the league leaders. I hope that Nigerian Ahmed Musa and the Swede Rasmus Elm, who have missed our match at Krasnodar, will be able to strengthen us against Rubin," said the CSKA Moscow manager. "Our previous match with bottom-placed Anzhi was really hard as they're are a well-organised and uncompromising team and the home win was their last chance to avoid relegation," said Villas-Boas about his team’s match.
The Serbian Football Association wishes for giving the charge of the national side to Aleksandar Stanojevic, but, they are not likely to succeed in doing that because China which is believed to have a bigger budget is also trying to have a deal with the former defender.
Stanojevic has been working in China since almost 3 years now and he has had reasonable amount of success there. He has managed two clubs in the country so far and has helped both of them in pulling off better results.
The 40 years old Yugoslavian had done well as manager in Serbia too when he was in charge of Partizan Belgrade. He had guided them to the league as well as the Cup glory and that too in the same season i.e. 2010-11.
He has built a very good reputation as manager in the last 5 years or so and that’s why, he is being wanted by the football associations of two countries at the same time.
As far as the Serbian team is concerned, they haven’t played that well in the recent times. Their World Cup qualifying campaign was a failure and due to that the previous manager, Sinisa Mihajlovic, quit. There were attempts being made to convince him to reconsider that decision of his, but, he was rigid and he eventually signed for the Italian club Sampdoria.
That forced Serbia officials to start searching the new manager and the first person that they have thought of is Stanojevic.
Taking to the reporters yesterday, the head of the Serbian Football Association Tomislav Karadzic said, “Yes, Stanojevic is on our radar, but, we have got to know that China is also looking to have him. Let’s see what happens.”
Stanojevic hasn’t got the experience of playing international football at senior level. He featured for Yugoslavia only at the U-16 level.
The Russian titans CSKA Moscow has made an offer for Spurs target Alvaro Pereira. The 28 years Uruguayan player of Inter Milan is not a regular player for the Italian team and with more teams being interested in securing his services it is believed that he will be available in January.
Alvaro Pereira has made 2 appearances in Serie A this season and Inter will need an offer of at least £6m in order to consider releasing him from the club. The head coach of Tottenham, Andre Villas-Boas has already worked with Pereira as they both were in Porto some years ago and the tactician wants to add him to the English club but will have to act fast if he wants to sign him before CSKA Moscow.
On October of 2013 Massimilano Allegri confirmed the signing of CSKA Moscow’s Keisuke Honda as the Japanese player will join Ac.Milan on a free transfer in January. According to the will hill football betting, there is no chance of him staying put at CSKA.
Even though the transfer is already considered to be done, the president of the Russian club Evgeny Giner criticized the tactics used by Ac.Milan as the Serie A club approached Honda’s representatives behind his back.
“Milan approached Honda’s side from February before negotiations were even possible and talks were going on without me (being involved),” said Giner.
“If they had come to me from the start, things might have turned out differently. Being deceptive is something that is not tolerated in Russia. I want him to stay, but he is an adult so has to make the decision himself. He has improved along with the team and has made the step up with this club. Even if Honda leaves Russia he is still a member of the family.”
Evgeny Giner was thankful for the services made by the Japanese midfielder as he helped the club on winning their Russian league during last season and will now be seeing him moving to Italy.
There will be no change in venue for CSKA Moscow’s upcoming Champions League match against the English club Manchester City. The match will take place at Khimki Arena.
There were doubts about the pitch at CSKA’s home venue. But, yesterday evening, the officials of UEFA had a look on the surface and they decided that the fixture could be organized at the venue.
It had been raining heavily in Moscow off late which affected the Khimki Arena pitch adversely. The surface was unplayable for CSKA’s previous Champions League game against Viktoria Plzen and that match was eventually organized at St Petersburg.
According to the reports, the Khimki pitch is not 100% ready even now, but, the UEFA inspectors who had gone out there to check the surface were given assurances that the surface would be ready for the game in time. So, they gave the permission.
There are not too many alternative choices available in Moscow at the moment. The Luzhniki stadium could have been an ideal choice as it has got an artificial pitch, but, it’s not available at the moment as it is being reconstructed.
If the Khimki Arena had not been granted the permission yesterday, the game between City and CSKA would perhaps have been shifted to Krasnodar which is 750 miles away from the Russian capital.
The match between City and CSKA is going to be a vital Group D fixture. Both the teams have won one out of their first two games so far and have got the same no. of points i.e. 3. Both are eyeing the no. 2 spot in the group.
The team which is currently at the top of the Group D points table is Bayern Munich. They have got 6 points in 2 games.
Italian giants AC Milan are believed to be very close to agreeing a deal to bring CSKA Moscow playmaker Keisuke Honda to the San Siro, it has been revealed.
The Milanese giants had long been chasing the Japanese international but had so far failed to agree a fee with his club but according to reports in Italy and Russia, they are very close to sealing a deal with the Russian side that will see Honda finally secure his dream move to the San Siro. Talks between the two clubs over the player have been going on for months with Milan aware the player’s contract is set to expire in December.
The perennial challengers for the Serie A title could have waited till January to complete the signing of the player for nothing thanks to the Bosman ruling but the club officials have decided that the move for the player who is a hot property in mainland Europe could not wait so long.
CSKA Moscow has, however, made it clear that they will not let one of their prized assets leave the club on the cheap. Indeed, according to a Russian news outlet, the Moscow giants want € 5 million for the immediate transfer of the player while Milan is willing to offer not more than € 3 million.
But it has now emerged that both the clubs are willing to come to a compromise in their negotiations and the player receiving a wage cut from an annual € 2.5 million to just € 1.8 million.
According to the player himself, he is adamant about pursuing his career elsewhere, adding that he always wants to grow as a professional and AC Milan is a club that is too hard to turn down and it is only up to CSKA Moscow to reach an agreement.
The CSKA Moscow striker, Vagner Love, has said that his club has gone from strength to strength in the last couple of years.
Love joined CSKA Moscow in January this year after leaving the Brazilian club Flamengo. This is his second tenure at CSKA Moscow. His first tenure was 7 years long during which he had played 182 games and had scored 117 goals.
Love hasn’t started his second tenure at CSKA badly either. He didn’t get too many playing opportunities last season as he was signed mid way through the season, but, in a few games that he played, he looked in decent touch.
The last season was a successful one for CSKA Moscow. Not only did they finish at the top of the league points table, they ended up winning the Russian Cup too.
When asked about the performance of CSKA Moscow last season, Love said, “It was one of the best seasons for us. We played well as a unit and ended up winning both the league and the cup. Now, it’s important for us to retain both those titles next season.”
“I think the team is much stronger now than what it was a few years ago and the credit goes to the manager. There have been some very good signings during the last couple of transfer windows.”
In the last two years, CSKA Moscow has signed players like Rasmus Elm, Pontus Wernbloom, Ahmed Musa and Mario Fernandes. All of them have proved to be great buys for the club.
In the next season, Love will have the opportunity to break Grigory Fedotov’s record of scoring the most number of goals for CSKA Moscow. The Brazilian striker will have to score 12 more goals for that.
When asked about that, Love said, “I am not thinking about that record. I just want to be consistent next season. If I play well, I will eventually manage to get there.”