Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 23rd 2014 Contents A60
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, January 23, 2014
LONDON---Juan Mata is edging closer to
joining Manchester United from Chelsea
as the Premier League champions try to
strengthen their squad after a lacklustre
first half of the season.
In a sign that Mata s Chelsea departure is
nearing, a person familiar with the situation
said the midfielder did not train with the
first team yesterday.
United said it is yet to make a formal bid
for Mata, but another person with knowledge
of the situation said the club is pursuing the
Spaniard in the January transfer window.
The people spoke to The Associated Press
on condition of anonymity because the trans-
fer is not being discussed publicly.
According to Britain s Press Association,
United has lodged a 40 million-pound
(US$66-million) bid through a third party.
The 25-year-old Mata, Chelsea s player of
the year for the last two seasons, has fallen
out of favour since Jose Mourinho returned
as manager in June. He has not played for
the team since the January 1 victory against
Chelsea pulled further away from United
in the Premier League title race by beating
David Moyes side 3-1 on Sunday.
While Chelsea is third, just two points
from the summit, United is seventh, 14 points
behind leader Arsenal.
Moyes accepts there is a need to reinforce
the squad, with Champions League quali-
fication, by finishing in the top four, far from
"I fully understand that supporters are
keen to see us freshen up the squad with
new faces, but January is a difficult month
in which to bring people in," Moyes said in
yesterday s programme for the League Cup
semifinal against Sunderland. "While we are
actively scouting players all the time, a lot
of the work we are doing now is preparation
for the summer.
"If we can do any business now then we
will certainly try to do it, but I will not com-
promise the standards required for a player
that can come into this club and help improve
it."Selling Mata to United could indicate that
Chelsea does not see the 20-time English
champions as a major rival this season.
United has lost four out of five matches
at the start of 2014, and failed to overturn
a 2-1 deficit against Sunderland last night
to reach the League Cup final.
Mata would not be eligible to play for
United in the Champions League because
he has played in the group stage for Chelsea.
LONDON---West Bromwich Albion striker Nico-
las Anelka called on the English Football Asso-
ciation yesterday to drop his racism charge after
the leader of French Jewry insisted a goal-cel-
ebration gesture was not anti-Semitic.
The FA spent more than three weeks studying
the case before deciding the gesture, which is
known in France as a "quenelle" and has been
described as an "inverted Nazi salute," was a
racially aggravated breach of its rules.
But the Frenchman, who faces a minimum five-
game ban, insisted the FA wrongly interpreted
the meaning of the quenelle.
"I ask the English FA to kindly lift the charges
alleged against me," Anelka wrote on his verified
Facebook page. "And I repeat, I am not anti-
Semitic or racist."
Anelka is highlighting how Roger Cukierman,
the president of the Representative Council of
French Jewish Institutions, believes the FA over-
reacted by charging him.
On Tuesday, Anelka tweeted "nothing to add"
with a link to a French interview with Cukierman
insisting the striker s actions were not anti-Semitic
because they were not in front of a synagogue or
a Holocaust memorial. Anelka said the FA should
have consulted Cukierman.
Anelka has until tomorrow to formally respond
to the FA charge. A three-person FA independent
regulatory commission will deal with the case.
English football s latest race row has already
caused West Brom s main sponsor, property Web
site Zoopla, announce it will not renew its jersey
deal when it expires at the end of the season.
Another two sponsors of the central England
club are considering withdrawing their backing.
BARCELONA---A Spanish judge agreed
yesterday to hear a lawsuit brought by
a Barcelona club member against pres-
ident Sandro Rosell regarding the cost
of the transfer for Brazil striker Ney-
After a preliminary examination of the
contracts involved in Neymar s signing,
judge Pablo Ruz wrote in a ruling there
is "sufficient elements for the admission
of the lawsuit" brought by club member
On Monday, Rosell insisted the total
cost of 57 million euros (then US$74 mil-
lion) to bring Neymar from Brazilian club
Santos announced at the player s pres-
entation last June was correct.
Cases alleges the amount paid by the
Spanish champions was higher and that
Rosell misappropriated funds by hiding
the real cost to the club behind false con-
tracts, a criminal offense punishable by
up to six years of prison.
Cases told El Pais newspaper on Mon-
day "the lawsuit is against Rosell, not
"We don t think that somebody kept
the money," Cases said. "We only want
to know how they account for the expen-
ditures, because it isn t clear."
Barcelona is owned by its more than
160,000 members, who elect a president
and governing board. (AP)
Man U move looms for Mata
Judge to hear lawsuit into cost of Neymar transfer
Chelsea midfielder Juan Mata
Anelka calls on
English FA to
drop race charge
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