Ferdinand wishes Cole well

BY foxsports • January 15, 2013

Southampton are among those to have expressed an interest in Bologna's Frederik Sorensen, claims the defender's agent.

The 20-year-old has become one of the most sought-after talents in Italian football, with his considerable promise having been noted by clubs across the continent.

A number of assured displays in Serie A have helped to convince those suitors that the time may be right to make a move.

With the January transfer window open, an opportunity to talk terms has presented itself and Southampton may be tempted to try and add Sorensen to their defensive ranks.

"It is correct that Southampton are among the clubs who have contacted Bologna regarding an interest in Frederik," Sorensen's representative, Michal Bolvig, told Sporten.dk.

"He has now produced regularly on a high level in a good league and it is natural that there is interest for a young player like him.

"The Premier League is an exciting option for Frederik. But he is not in a hurry to interrupt the progress he is going through at Bologna right now."

Comfortable

Denmark U21 international Sorensen, who joined Bologna from Juventus in January 2012, admits to enjoying his football at present, but has refused to be drawn into a debate regarding his future.

He said: "I am now playing at the heart of the defence, where I am best and feel most comfortable.

"I value the praise I have had from my coach and the club's sporting director. I am also happy for the responsibility I have got, although I am just 20 years old.

"It was not the same at Juventus."

There is no immediate prospect of another English bid being launched to stage football's biggest show, with the 2018 and 2022 hosting rights already awarded to Russia and Qatar respectively by the sport's world governing body FIFA.

England did bid for the former but managed to glean just one vote of the 23 available in addition to their own on the FIFA executive committee.

Indeed, an outside chance of landing the 2024 European Championship could be shot out of the water by German interest.

But former Germany striker Klinsmann knows an English World Cup, to follow the one staged in 1966, would be a successful one.

And, as the Football Association prepares to launch its 150th anniversary celebrations in central London tomorrow, Klinsmann - a World Cup winner himself in 1990 - believes it would be a fitting tribute.

"If there is one federation in the world that deserves more than any others to host the World Cup, it would be England," United States coach Klinsmann told FATV.

"The FA is a very special federation because it stands for tradition, for a lot of history and for living and breathing the game day in and day out. It stands for being correct and honest and trying to always give it credibility."

Klinsmann was one of the first overseas Premier League pioneers, having two spells with Tottenham.

It was that first one, in 1994-95, for which he is chiefly remembered, scoring 20 league goals for Tottenham and turning a reputation for diving back on himself with a distinctive celebration after scoring on his debut at Sheffield Wednesday.

"In the 1990s it took a while for foreign players to break into the English game," he said.

"They simply did it because of their quality, players like (Gianluca) Vialli, (Ruud) Gullit, (Gianfranco) Zola."

"They just won the people over because they were good. They raised the bar in England."

"For me, as a German, it was not easy. But after the beginning, when there were some sceptics, you can win people over with what you are doing."

"You work as hard as you can and as a striker, you try to score goals and once you've shown them your qualities, the people in England will accept and respect you."

"In the end, my experience of playing in England was a wonderful, positive one."

Klinsmann's video message will be played out tomorrow at the lavish ceremony at the Connaught Rooms in central London, where football's first rulebook was drafted.

Scores of football dignitaries will be in attendance with every living former England manager amongst those invited.

With high-profile friendlies against Brazil, the Republic of Ireland and Scotland already arranged, it promises to be a memorable year, with Pele confirmed as guest of honour at the inaugural player of the year awards night at St George's Park on Sunday, February 3.

The FA will use Wednesday's event to showpiece the huge amount of work it does, both at the highest level and, more importantly, the grassroots game given it is responsible for all seven million officially registered players in England.

Cole and Ferdinand used to be team-mates in a Hammers squad that also spawned Frank Lampard, Michael Carrick and Jermain Defoe.

All five went on to enjoy success elsewhere, whilst West Ham twice lost their top-flight status in 2003 and 2011.

Now Cole is looking to rebuild himself though, accepting the chance to re-sign for West Ham on a free transfer to escape the difficulties he was experiencing at Liverpool.

Though there will be no sentiment on show at Old Trafford on Wednesday evening when Manchester United look to dump West Ham out of the FA Cup, Ferdinand is hopeful Cole will prove to be an inspirational signing.

"The era we had there will be part of West Ham's history forever now, with so many players who went on to play for England and win league titles with other clubs," said Ferdinand.

"It is unfortunate for West Ham those players did not stay there and their presence get built upon."

"That is all history now I suppose. But Joe Cole has gone there to rewrite a bit of his own history in the coming months."

"It would be good to see him do something positive, but not this week. We want to get through this round."

Though it is 12 years since Ferdinand left Upton Park, first for Leeds, then, a couple of seasons later to Manchester United for a then British record ?29.1million, his attachment to the London club remains strong.

Indeed, Ferdinand can see strong similarities between the close bonds forged within the Hammers' inner sanctum and those that exist at United.

"West Ham is special," said Ferdinand.

"I look at West Ham as being similar to Manchester United in terms of their history and the way they keep all their people for so many years."

"It is a club that is close to my heart because I came through the ranks there.

"After Manchester United, they are the first result I look out for and I am sure it will always be that way."

After grinding his way through the full 90 minutes of United's Premier League victory over Liverpool on Sunday, Ferdinand seems unlikely to be risked for the cup clash, with a vital trip to Tottenham looming at the weekend.


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