Football in Brief: Russian team is after Neymar too; Celtic win earns early advantage; Redknapp lauds 'first-class' Modric
Monday 25 July 2011
Chelsea and Real Madrid may have an unexpected competitor in the race to sign Neymar from Santos, in the form of the cash-rich Russian top-flight side Anzhi Makhachkala. The team made waves last year by signing the legendary Brazilian full-back Roberto Carlos, and the 38-year-old told The Independent exclusively that he is trying to persuade Neymar to join him at Anzhi.
"I talk to Neymar almost every day, and we're trying to get him to come here," said Carlos at Anzhi's training camp, on the shores of the Caspian Sea. "I explained everything about the infrastructure to Neymar, about what it will be like here in two years."
Anzhi are owned by Dagestan-born billionaire Suleiman Kerimov, and the club has promised more big-name signings. Anzhi's potential bid for Neymar is rumoured to be around £40m. The club would also offer a generous salary with lots of perks. Shaun Walker
Celtic win earns early advantage
The season may be only two days old but Celtic already have the advantage over rivals Rangers as they try to reclaim the SPL title for the first time in four seasons. Following Rangers' 1-1 home draw with Hearts in the opening match on Saturday, Neil Lennon's side went two points ahead of their neighbours with a 2-0 victory at Hibernian yesterday.
Anthony Stokes put the Bhoys ahead on 14 minutes, making the most of an error from home keeper Graham Stack, before Ki Sung-yueng confirmed the win after the break. Rangers were grateful for a Steven Naismith equaliser after falling behind to Hearts.
Redknapp lauds 'first-class' Modric
The Tottenham Hotspur manager, Harry Redknapp, praised the attitude of Luka Modric after the Croatian midfielder, who has expressed a desire to join Chelsea, again captained the side for their 3-0 win over South African side Orlando Pirates on Saturday.
"His attitude has been first-class," Redknapp said. "He has got on with it. There would be players wanting to move that wouldn't have wanted to play, but he is a fantastic boy and a great professional."
Rafael van der Vaart scored twice for the visitors, before Jermain Defoe added a late third.
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