x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Premier League notebook: No chance for Muntari at Sunderland, says agent

Sulley Muntari's agent claims Sunderland will not attempt to sign the midfielder on a permanent basis in the summer for financial reasons.


Sulley Muntari's agent claims Sunderland will not attempt to sign the midfielder on a permanent basis in the summer for financial reasons. Muntari has been a huge disappointment since joining the club on loan from Inter Milan in the January transfer window. It is unlikely Steve Bruce, the manager, would have pursued the Ghana international anyway given his contribution during Sunderland's alarming slump since Christmas with Muntari showing little of the form which prompted a move to Inter. But Fabien Piveteau, his agent, told the Journal: "There is no chance at Sunderland for Sulley. They have decided he is too expensive."

Bolton Wanderers

Bolton's Spanish defender Marcos Alonso has been charged with reckless homicide after he was involved in a drunk-driving accident in Madrid in which a young woman died, a court heard yesterday. Alonso, 20, crashed his vehicle into a wall in the Spanish capital early on Monday, killing a female passenger and injuring three other passengers. The player, who suffered light injuries, was also charged with violating road safety, reckless injury and driving while under the influence of alcohol. Alonso has made eight appearances for Bolton since joining the club from Real Madrid in July 2010.

West Bromwich Albion

Jonas Olsson insists West Brom are not a dirty team despite collecting more Premier League red cards than other side this season. Paul Scharner, the midfielder, picked up the team's seventh dismissal of the campaign during Saturday's 2-1 win over Aston Villa. Olsson, a defender, said: "It's difficult to analyse that [the seven red cards]. I had an unfortunate red card, Youssouf [Mulumbu] had one or two and Mozza [James Morrison] had one at Liverpool but I don't think you can see a pattern. We don't play dirty football but this season we have been coping with the physical side better than we did in the past."

Birmingham City

Nikola Zigic will undergo a new treatment programme this week in a last-ditch to get the striker fit for the Premier League run-in. Alex McLeish's £6 million (Dh37.2m) capture from Valencia last summer has scored eight goals this season, but he has been troubled by groin and hip problems for the past two months which have restricted his appearances. McLeish said: "It has been a bit of a nightmare with Zigic. The medical team have done what they could but he keeps kind of breaking down and it is too painful for him to continue. Zigic needs to be able to move freely. He needs to be able to jump to get the best from him. We have seen specialists. We feel he is close to playing."


John Terry has revealed his pride at making his 500th appearance for Chelsea against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday. "Looking back, when I was 18, on 30-odd games, I could never have predicted where I am today. I'm delighted to hit 500. I'm very proud," he said. "I've got a great rapport with the fans and I want many, many more games." The Chelsea captain also looked back at the best and worst moments of his career at the club. "My top moment would have to be the Barcelona game when we beat them here and I scored the winner. The low point is obviously the Champions League final [against Manchester United in 2008], missing the penalty. But throughout my career I've been the most successful captain in Chelsea's history and that means a lot to me and it's something I'll always take with me."