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Radamel Falcao: Atletico Madrid striker linked with Manchester United

The move comes after speculation linking the Atletico Madrid striker with a move to Old Trafford over the last couple of days.

A report in Spanish newspaper Marca on Wednesday claimed United were in advanced talks over a deal and now there are rumors that the Colombia international could make arrive in a deal that will see Javier Hernandez used as part-exchange.

The 27-year-old has enjoyed another stellar season with 22 goals so far in the Primera Division and Atletico manager Diego Simeone expects interest in his star man.

"Falcao is a great player and it's logical that the best teams in the world are interested in him. It doesn't surprise me," he told reporters on Wednesday.

Chelsea and Real Madrid are the joint second-favorites at 5/1 to sign the striker.

Al Ramtha 1-2 Al Shorta

Syrian champions Al Shorta moved three points clear of Al Ramtha at the top of Group D alongside Kuwait’s Al Qadsia after recording a 2-1 win over the Jordanian side in the AFC Cup on Tuesday.

With Al Shorta looking to bounce back after losing their perfect record last week with a 1-0 defeat by Al Ramtha, Mohammed Al Wakid opened the scoring for the Syrian champions midway through the first half at King Abdullah International Stadium before Al Ramtha defender Ali Khwaileh was sent-off.

Mohammad Kassas was able to respond from the penalty spot for Al Ramtha just before half-time, but Ahmad Al Saleh netted for Al Shorta with just over half an hour remaining to ensure the Syrian side matched Al Qadsia’s earlier 3-1 win over Ravshan in Tajikistan.

“We played a good game tonight and produced a fighting performance against a good side who took advantage of playing at home in front of their fans. We had a better match from the one that we had last week,” said Al Shorta assistant coach Radwan Al Abrach.

“We went into the match with big motivation to win and avenge our defeat from last week and the three points will help us to get closer to the knockout stage. We have big ambition as we have a good team with a lot of experience.”

Having seen their 100% start ended in Zerqa City last week as Al Ramtha’s Ivorian striker Kesse Amangoua netted the only goal with 11 minutes remaining, Al Shorta opened the scoring after 27 minutes of the return fixture as Al Wakid headed home Ammar Zakour’s cross following a quick counterattack.

And Al Ramtha received a further blow six minutes later as Khwaileh was shown a straight red card following a foul on Ahmad Kallasi.

But Al Shorta were unable to take advantage of their numerical superiority and four minutes before half-time Kassas converted from the penalty spot after being upended by Ali Ghalioum inside the area.

Al Shorta, though, regained their dominance in the second half and hit back three minutes before the hour mark as Ghalioum’s corner was headed home by Al Saleh.

Al Ramtha stepped up their search for an equaliser in the closing stages, but were unable to find a response to slip three points off the pace after suffering a second defeat of the campaign.

“The players were tired as they played three hard matches in a few days and this affected us.


Playing with 10 men also affected the players and we failed to match the strength of Al Shorta in the second period,” said Al Ramtha coach Belal Al Laham.

“Despite playing with 10 men, we created many chances in the last minutes but the players tried to score quickly without any concentration. We still have six points available from the next two matches and hopefully we can fight to get these points.”


Shearer: City lost it in the summer

And they will be reminded of that tonight when they travel to Old Trafford and take on the champions-elect.

Lining up against them will be the one who got away — United’s Robin van Persie — who has proved to be one of the big differences between the two neighbours in this campaign.

Meanwhile some of those City did sign, Jack Rodwell, Scott Sinclair and Maicon will be nowhere near the starting line-up again.

I feared from my own personal experience that Roberto Mancini and his title-winners had missed a trick when the transfer window shut last August. When you are in a position of strength, you have to make the most of it,according to the Sun.

That was their big chance to bring in a couple more of the world’s best players to really raise the bar. But, sadly for them, they did not take it.

Real Madrid maintain momentum with drubbing of Levante

Real Madrid have come from behind to hammer Levante as they maintained their dominant form before their Champions League quarter-final second leg against Galatasaray.

Miguel Alfonso launched and polished off a counterattack to put Levante ahead in the 31st minute but Gonzalo Higuaín's exquisite volley from Xabi Alonso's pass pulled Madrid level five minutes later, and Kaká grabbed the lead in the 39th with a penalty after Christian Lell handled in the area.

Ronaldo went on after half-time, having rested for Tuesday's Champions League tie in Turkey where his team will defend a 3-0 cushion. Mesut Ozil and Angel Di María soon followed.

"The series isn't over. If we go with the ambition to score a goal, we will go through fine," Ronaldo said. "The team was playing well but after the 1-0 anything could have happened. They responded well with two goals. Then I came on and contributed with a goal and an assist. We're all happy."

The Levante coach Juan Ignacio Martínez also made three substitutions to refresh his attack but the plan backfired as his defence crumbled under Madrid's pressure and turned a dignified defeat into a humbling rout.

Ronaldo was left unmarked in the heart of the area in the 84th to receive a pass from Higuaín and fire home his 29th league goal of the season. Ozil was likewise unmarked on the edge of the six-yard box to push in short passes from Ronaldo in the 87th minute and Di María in stoppage time.

The Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas watched from the dugout after being included in Real's squad for the first time since breaking his hand in January. The coach José Mourinho has said that Diego López is his first-choice keeper.

Kerber digs deep to defeat Kudryavtseva

Top seed Angelique Kerber fended off a determined AllaKudryavtseva to complete the quarter-final line-up at the Monterrey Open.

German left-hander Kerber, who reached Wimbledon's semi-finals last year, took the opening set against her Russian opponent but was reeled in and taken to a decider.

When it mattered, she produced a performance befitting of her status at the tournament to seal a 6-4 4-6 6-2 victory and clinch a last-eight clash with Japanese eighth seed Ayumi Morita.

They finished late in the evening, long after Lauren Davis won her all-American second-round clash with Coco Vandeweghe 6-4 7-6 (10/8) and Russian third seed Maria Kirilenko saw off Serbian JovanaJaksic 6-0 4-6 6-1.

Hungary's TimeaBabos is the defending champion, and knocked out fourth seed Ana Ivanovic on Wednesday to reach the quarter-finals.