Shiels aims for fitting farewell
Tue, 14 May 2013 19:18:00
Fiorentina forward Adem Ljajic is set to hold talks over his future at the end of the season but the club are confident he will decide to stay.
The Serbia international, 21, has reportedly attracted attention from numerous clubs in Italy and England following an impressive season in Serie A.
He has 12 months remaining on his current contract and Fiorentina sporting director Daniele Prade stated at the weekend that he expected a new deal to be agreed.
"Adem has expressed a desire to stay here and I think there won't be problems with the contract," Prade told Sky Sport Italia.
Ljajic's agent, however, was slightly more cautious about the chances of his client staying at Fiorentina.
He says the decision will be made following talks with the club in the summer, although speculation over a move to AC Milan or Juventus has been played down.
Fali Ramadani told calciomercato.it: "Optimism for the renewal? We'll see when we meet with Fiorentina at the end of the season.
"AC Milan and Juventus interested in Ljajic? I have not had any contact with either the Rossoneri nor with the Bianconeri.
"I don't know anything about an interest from these clubs."
Chelsea will hope to salvage something from a rollercoaster year on Wednesday when they play Benfica in the Europa League final at the Amsterdam ArenA on Wednesday night.
The Blues won the Champions League on a dramatic night in Munich one year ago, but since then they have sacked their manager, appointed an unpopular temporary replacement and they have had to settle for playing in the Europa League rather than continuing to feature at Europe's top table.
Club captain Terry is a major doubt for the game with an ankle injury, meaning Lampard is likely to lead the team out in the Dutch capital.
Terry missed last year's final through suspension, but it still did not stop the defender turning up in his full kit to lift the trophy with Lampard - an act which led to some derision of the former England skipper online.
There has been no discussion as to who will have the honour of lifting the trophy this year though, should Chelsea triumph.
"Before the game I don't think it's something to talk about," Lampard said.
"I don't like to tempt fate. I haven't had a conversation with anyone.
"I don't think you should do. We will see. We win together so it doesn't matter who picks it up because they will be one of the staff and we're all the same."
Lampard arguably deserves to be the man who has the honour of lifting the famous piece of silverware if the Blues beat the two-time European champions.
The 34-year-old has had a stellar season, finding the net 17 times on his way to breaking Bobby Tambling's all-time scoring record, which had stood for 43 years.
Given that he is yet to extend a contract which runs out in the summer, it may well be his last European final for the club too.
Speculation mounted following his record-breaking brace at Aston Villa, that Chelsea would push for the midfielder to remain at the club despite a claim from the player's agent that Chelsea had told him that the England man would not be offered fresh terms under any circumstance.
For now, the former West Ham midfielder, who moved to Stamford Bridge in 2001, is just focusing on Wednesday's game, rather than where his future lies.
"All of us here want to win this for Chelsea. I don't know what my future holds but it's all about winning the game," he said.
Roberto Di Matteo guided the Blues to victory in Germany last May, but he was sacked in November to be replaced by the largely unpopular Rafael Benitez.
Despite barracking from his own club's supporters, Benitez has secured Champions League football for next season thanks to a six-match unbeaten run in the Premier League.
Lampard, who has not always featured under the Spaniard, was reluctant to say the club had over-achieved this season, but he conceded that the squad had become used to dealing with the mid-term firing of managers.
"We are used to things happening at this club mid-season," Lampard said.
"We have a few changes along the way but what is important is where you get to at the end of it.
"At the moment we are lucky to be in the position that we are in the Champions league next year and we are sitting here ahead of a European final. I don't think we have over-achieved. We have a good squad and we want to achieve tomorrow by winning."
Mancini paid the price for a poor season which saw the club beaten by Wigan in Saturday's FA Cup final at Wembley after surrending the Premier League title to arch-rivals Manchester United.
Platt was offered the chance to stay on at the club which he joined in 2010 but decided to join Mancini in leaving.
The club released a statement which read: "With regret Manchester City announce that David Platt has this afternoon left his role as Assistant Manager at the Club.
"David was offered the opportunity to continue his work with us but has declined the invitation. He has decided to leave his role with his close friend Roberto Mancini.
"David has made a significant contribution to the Club's success since joining in 2010 and we wish him well with his career wherever that now takes him."
Platt was part of Mancini's backroom staff at the club, winning the FA Cup and then last season pipping United to the Premier League title on the final day.
The 26-year-old centre-back has agreed a two-year deal and the move will go through when his contract at the County Ground expires on July 1.
Devera told his new club's official website: "Pompey had problems and were in administration last season. But they did well under the circumstances and finished the season strongly.
"I don't really look at coming here as dropping down a league because they are a really big club and can fight their way back.
"Pompey can definitely make a big impact in League Two, although there is a lot of hard work to do because we will be starting with a lot of new players.
"I can't wait to get started and am already looking forward to coming down for pre-season and also moving to the area."
Rovers secured the League One title in dramatic circumstance at Brentford on the final day of the campaign, despite Saunders' mid-season departure to Wolves.
Welsh veteran Brian Flynn picked up the reins in January but it was confirmed this month that he would move upstairs to a director of football post.
Saunders is on the market once more following his disappointing spell at Molineux which saw Wolves relegated from the Championship, while former Oldham boss Dickov has long been a leading candidate.
Doncaster have not named their candidates but a selection panel that includes Flynn are expected to conclude the interviewing process by the middle of next week.
A statement on Rovers' official website read: "Doncaster Rovers Football Club would like to confirm that four candidates have been shortlisted for the vacant manager's position.
"Interviewing for the post should be concluded by the middle of next week at the latest. Following the interview process an appointment will be made as soon as possible.
"Rovers wish to respect the confidentiality of all the candidates and will not be releasing any names at this point."
The meeting at Rugby Park on May 5 was abandoned after supporter James Haswell collapsed in the stands with a suspected heart attack and later died in hospital.
The rearranged match will take place on Wednesday night, with his family in attendance, and Shiels is keen for the occasion to be a celebration of the fan's life.
He said: "We are expecting a really good game. We are looking forward to the occasion because it's to celebrate the life of one of our supporters.
"That's foremost in our thoughts as we go into the game.
"Someone said to me that it just puts things into perspective and that life is more important than football.
"But for football supporters, within the moment of the game, the most important thing to them is football for those 90 minutes.
"Jim was no different. The fellow supporters of Kilmarnock can draw an affinity with that. They have lost one of theirs and this is a chance to go and have an occasion where we can celebrate his life. That's important."
Hibs will battle Celtic for the Scottish Cup on May 26.
But Shiels expects the Edinburgh club to be just as determined as his own players to secure a win on Wednesday and bolster their chances of finishing in seventh spot.
He said: "There are always permutations of some sort but it's a game of football at the end of it all.
"Hibs will want to win to get seventh place, as will we. That will make it competitive and I'm expecting it to be a really top game with a lot of good young players on show from Hibernian and Kilmarnock."
However, youngster Mark O'Hara hopes Hibs boss Pat Fenlon might be tempted to rest some of his top stars ahead of the Hampden showdown.
The 17-year-old defender said: "Even with their strongest team, hopefully we will be able to win the game. But it would be preferable if they rested a couple of their bigger players.
"Both teams like to play good attacking football so I think it will be an entertaining game.
"Hopefully it will be high scoring in our favour if we are able to keep them out and score a few ourselves."