Football in Brief: Cesar set for Napoli switch; Pellegrini loses opening match with Manchester City; Ibe eager to keep learning


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The Independent Football

Cesar set for Napoli switch

Arsenal’s pursuit of Queen’s Park Rangers goalkeeper Julio Cesar looks set to end in disappointment with Rafa Benitez on the verge of taking the Brazilian on a season’s loan at Napoli.

Arsène Wenger is reported to have offered £1.5 million for the 33-year-old but Cesar is thought to favour a return to Serie A where he played for Internazionale until 2012.

Arsenal yesterday won 7-0 against an Indonesia XI in Jakarta. Theo Walcott, Chuba Akpom and two goals from Olivier Giroud put Arsenal 4-0 ahead by the 73rd minute. Lukas Podolski, Kristoffer Olsson and Thomas Eisfeld completed the rout.

Pellegrini loses opening match with Manchester City

Manuel Pellegrini’s first game as Manchester City manager finished in a 2-0 friendly defeat against SuperSport United in Pretoria yesterday.

Fernandinho, City’s new signing, was given a starting berth at Loftus Versfeld and his side looked strong in the first half, but could not find a breakthrough.

Pellegrini changed his entire team at half-time only for SuperSport to take the lead  11 minutes after the restart.

The Senegalese striker Mame Niang rose highest to head past Costel Pantilimon in the 56th minute, before a neat finish from the South African forward Kermit Erasmus sealed matters nine minutes from time.

Liverpool: Ibe eager to keep learning

Liverpool rookie Jordon Ibe is looking to provide manager Brendan Rodgers with another option up front this season.

The 17-year-old winger scored the Reds’ second goal in a 4-0 pre-season friendly win at Preston yesterday and said: “I’m just learning from the first-team players and trying to show that until the season starts. Hopefully, I can do well. I’m learning a lot, especially with defending. The gaffer is helping me a lot.”