BERBS MOVE CLOSER

Dimitar Berbatov looks closer towards a move away from Manchester United after it was revealed that Turkish club Galatasaray are interested in securing his services, while they are extremely close towards agreeing a deal with Manchester United.

The £ 5 million transfer fee demanded by the English club has been the major deterrent factor in a number of clubs prevented signing Dimitar Berbatov, though bookmakers such as Youwin still expect the Bulgarian to move on before the season starts.

REBUILD THE DUTCH SIDE

The Dutch international and the former Liverpool striker Dirk Kuyt has said that it is time that the Dutch national team was rebuilt in order to be competitive once again.

It was not long ago that the Dutch national team along with the players like Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben reached the final of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Since then, they have not been at their best in the subsequent matches or at the major tournaments. They were recently knocked out of the Euro 2012 in the group stages, which has raised a lot of doubts about the ability of the team to perform at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

The 31-year-old Dirk Kuyt has said that it is about time the Dutch national team brought in a number of young players who will refresh the team. Dirk Kuyt is seeking a new challenge in Turkish football after moving to the Turkish giant Fenerbache for around £ 1 million in the summer transfer window. The club has already secured the signing of the Chelsea midfielder Raul Meireles for around £ 10 million due to the presence of Dirk Kuyt. The striker has expressed his confidence that Louis van Gaal will be able to do the rebuilding job with the Dutch national team.

"The fear of our opponents is gone, we have to rebuild. It is good that the expectations for the next World Cup are still to reach the semi-finals. The Netherlands go to each tournament with the idea that we want to win, otherwise I'd rather just stay at home. I thought all the conversations we had in the three days around the Belgium game were very important. They have given me the feeling that everyone is serious to make something out of it," said Dirk Kuyt.

GALA WILL BREAK HOODOO

The Galatasaray manager Faith Terim has said that he is confident that the Turkish club can finally break the hoodoo of not being able to get past the group stages of the Champions League. Galatasaray have been grown in confidence in recent seasons, but that is yet to be demonstrated by the success in the European competitions.

The Turkish club now have a much superior squad than in previous seasons, which has led to the manager Faith Terim believing that they will finally be able to qualify from the group stages of the competition. The draw for the 2012 Champions League group stages was recently concluded in Monaco.

Galatasaray have been given a significantly easier draw when compared with the rest of the teams, as they are in the same group containing Manchester United, CFR Cluj, and Braga. Only Manchester United will represent a significant threat to the Turkish champions in their efforts to qualify for the last 16 of the Champions League. This is also the first time Galatasaray will be playing in the Champions League after a gap of four seasons, which has seen the club develop tremendously both on and off the field according to the manager Faith Terim.

"Let this be a good campaign for the entire Galatasaray community. Europe missed Turkey, and so too Galatasaray. I hope it will be a long European adventure. Manchester United are a team who everybody must respect. Many years ago, Galatasaray enjoyed victory over Manchester United. I hope we can repeat that. Braga have done well in recent years. Football is a serious business and we shouldn’t underestimate anybody," said the Galatasaray manager Faith Terim after the draw was concluded. Galatasaray's first match in the group stages will be against Manchester United on September 19, a match they will be playing at Old Trafford.

GALA GO COLD ON BERBS

Turkish club Galatasaray have given the Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov a major blow in his hopes of moving away from Old Trafford after they have said that they will not be making any before the Bulgarian international, according to the Man Utd news website.

The 31-year-old has been heavily linked with a move away from Old Trafford after falling down the pecking order following the arrival of players like Hernandez and Danny Welbeck. The former Tottenham striker was on £ 31 million signing back in 2008, but it is thought that Manchester United will be willing to listen to offers as little as £ 5 million. Even then, Galatasaray have revealed that they will not be making any bid for the striker.

Dimitar Berbatov has already said on numerous occasions that he would like to leave the club, while manager Sir Alex Ferguson has also conceded defeat in his attempts to keep the player at the club. Berbatov was linked with a return to Bayern Leverkusen a few months ago, but the German club have also moved themselves clear of the negotiations for the player. This comes as a major disappointment for the Bulgarian international, who was influential for Manchester United only a few seasons ago.

"There have been some reports in the media that Dimitar Berbatov will be transferred to our club. The club would like to declare that there is no transfer and no attempt has been made in that regard," said a statement on the official website of the Turkish club. Dimitar Berbatov has only one year left on his current deal and it is thought that the £ 5 million fee demanded by Manchester United has been viewed as excessive by many clubs. Still, there are plenty of options for the 31-year-old to move away from the Manchester club in search of regular football.

8 Best Moments from Day 12

We pick our highlights of another thrilling evening in Group D...

1. Tipster of the day
Iain Macintosh was in incredible tipping form as he paired a 1-0 England win prediction with Wayne Rooney open the scoring – perfection.

2. Unconvincing performance of the day (I)

MELO TRANSFER STALLS

Brazilian midfielder Felipe Melo's chances of joining Juventus in the summer look to be in doubt after it was revealed that the proposed move could still fall through due to the match fixing saga in Turkey, which also involves Galatasaray.

Galatasaray won the Turkish league this season after a spectacular performance in most of the matches. Felipe Melo has once again rediscovered his form that made him one of the coveted players in Europe. As a result, it is thought that Italian Champions Juventus are interested in bringing him back to Italy. He has spent the season on loan from Juventus this season.

He has been a huge hit in Turkey, which has raised speculation that Galatasaray will make an unbelievable offer for the midfielder. However, it was recently revealed that the Brazilian will be returning back to Juventus following the end of the season.

He could be viewed as the perfect replacement for Andrea Pirlo in the next few seasons. It is thought that Galatasaray are willing to pay as much as £ 8 million for the player, but Juventus are extremely steadfast on their opinion that their valuation of £ 10 million for the 28-year-old is correct.

Meanwhile, Galatasaray are also close to securing the signature of Real Madrid midfielder Hamit Altintop. He moved to Real Madrid in the summer, but has grown frustrated about life at the Santiago Bernebeu after getting only limited opportunities in the first team. He signed from Bayern Munich in the summer, but is ready to come back to his homeland.

"Negotiations are ongoing. I can say it's going well. I hope this transfer will be concluded by the weekend," said his agent when asked about the possibility of his client signing for the Turkish giants in the upcoming transfer window.

SCANDAL ROCKS FOOTBALL WORLD

The match fixing scandals in recent times has rocked Turkish football, and it will now result in many major teams including Galatasaray and Fenerbahce appearing before the Professional Football Disciplinary Board.

The Turkish football Federation has announced in a statement that it will now be getting its verdict 48 hours after the Professional Football Disciplinary Board has revealed all the statements by the clubs alleged to be involved in match fixing. The Turkish football Federation Chief Demiroren has said that football should be kept away from the prospect of match fixing and also any speculation.

Demiroren also revealed that the football Federation has now taken a lot of steps in order to ensure that disproportionate penalties will not be given any more. It is thought that disproportionate penalties were one of the main reasons for clubs to step over the board when it comes to spoiling the integrity of the game.

Italy were the first major country to be accused of match fixing in a large way. A total of 15 teams will be appearing before the Professional Football Disciplinary Board in order to determine whether they are guilty or not. A total of 22 matches are under the disciplinary review to determine whether they were subject to match fixing or not.

"Football must be kept distant from any kind of speculation," said the chief of Turkish football Federation, Demiroren. A number of arrests have been made since the match fixing scandal came to light at the start of 2011. If found guilty, it could result in a 12 point penalty and also relegation to the lower divisions. Fenerbahce boss Aziz Yildirim is one of the 100 players and staff being subjected to a trial in order to determine their role in the supposed match fixing that occurred only a few years ago.

DIARRA CHASING GALA MOVE

Real Madrid midfielder Lassana Diarra is close to completing his exit from the Santiago Bernebeu after reports emerged recently that he has agreed personal terms with Turkish club Galatasaray for transferring the summer transfer window.

Lassana Diarra has been on the fringes of the first team for quite a while now, which seems to have affected the morale of the former Portsmouth midfielder.

Hence, he is looking for a move to a club where he can play regularly. Turkish club Galatasaray have emerged as the front-runners for his signature after it was reported by the Spanish daily AS that they have agreed personal terms with the midfielder.

It is thought that Lassana Diarra will now earn around € 5.7 million compared to the € 4 million he currently earns, while he is also set to be one of the regular first-team players for the club.

It is also thought that Galatasaray will be willing to pay up to € 8 million to Real Madrid for the transfer of the player in the summer. It will be interesting to see if Real Madrid will be willing to accept this proposal given that they paid around € 25 million for the midfielder back in 2009. So far, the midfielder has made 25 appearances for Real Madrid this season.

Diarra has played for a number of big clubs already. He has represented the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal, and Real Madrid, while he also had a stint with Portsmouth.

The 27-year-old is thought to have met with agents from Galatasaray along with his brother in order to strike out a deal, which would see him move to Turkey in the summer. José Mourinho was the manager of Diarra when the player was at Chelsea. He was eventually sold to Arsenal after failing to get regular football.

GALA WORRY ABOUT CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Turkish giants Galatasaray have expressed the fear that they will not be able to play in the Champions League next season due to the problems between UEFA and their national leaders.

Galatasaray director Sedat Dogan has said that he fears that the club could lose up to $50 million in revenue alone from the Champions League if they failed to make it into the group stages for next season.

The league leaders of the Turkish football league are expected to make a big impact on the Champions League next season, but according to the current situation, there is a real danger that they will not be present at the next year's competition.

Due to the various match fixing scandals that have taken place in the Turkish football over the last few seasons, UEFA are determined to stamp out the problems in Turkey. However, the national leaders are not that concerned over this problem, which has led to a dispute between them and UEFA.

Galatasaray, meanwhile, feel that the stand-off between the two parties will start their chances of being in the Champions League next season. The Champions League revenue has been a major contributor to the dominance of the top clubs across the world and Galatasaray are no different, even if they didn't quite live up to their Top Betfair Euro Tips status this time around.

"We must not be held responsible for an omission or neglect of the Turkish Football Federation body. The end of May to decide is too late. There must be some decision. We must have enough time to protect ourselves. They have all kinds of evidence, they have all the authority, they have to decide. Maybe we have to cancel our expensive contracts with some players. It's too much for the Turkish league," Galatasaray director Sedat Dogan said recently in an interview given to the Press Association.

Goodness knows how this latest twist will affect next season's Champions league betting, though you would imagine that Barcelona dna Real Madrid will be favourites.

GALA INTERESTED IN MAHLANGU

Turkish club Galatasaray are one of the clubs interested in signing Bafana Bafana star May Mahlangu.

Clubs like Feyenoord, Ajax, and Villarreal have all shown interest in the South African star, who is expected to be the next big thing in football.

He is currently playing for Swedish club Helsingborg, but has admitted that he will be looking for a move to a bigger club in the summer. As a result, the club have confirmed that May Mahlangu will be with them until July 1, and after that the destination of the South African is unknown. However, he can be sure that there is definitely no shortage of takers for his skills.

Dutch clubs Ajax and Feyenoord will be a great opportunity for the May Mahlangu to establish himself in the favourite league for many of the English and Spanish clubs. However, there is also an opportunity for May Mahlangu to become one of the established stars at a major club – Galatasaray. Galatasaray are club who regularly challenge for the Turkish league, while also represent in Turkey in the Champions League. Hence, apart from providing May Mahlangu with a direct opportunity to play in the European elite competition, it would also provide him with the opportunity to win titles.

The team are currently top of the Turkish league and they appear no closer to losing their lead at the top of the table. This is because they have a massive nine-point advantage over second placed Fenerbahçe.

The club recently won their match against Sivasspor 4-0 in order to once again stress their advantage in the Turkish league. May Mahlangu will certainly be extremely delighted at the prospect of being able to join the Turkish champions. Official talks over a potential transfer is yet to begin, but will be conducted shortly.

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