By TIM FONTENAULT
An intestinal problem could keep Dutch striker Robin Van Persie out of Wednesday’s World Cup semifinal, according to coach Louis Van Gaal.
Van Persie, who has scored three goals in the tournament, had to train separate from his teammates on Tuesday ahead of the Netherlands’ clash against Argentina. The Manchester United forward has been a catalyst for the Dutch with his timely goals. He converted from the penalty spot during Saturday’s win in a penalty shootout over Costa Rica.
“I will decide (on Wednesday),” Van Gaal told reporters at a press conference. “Van Persie is our captain so he is very important to us. In principle my captain always plays, but he has to be fit.”
Ron Vlaar and Leroy Fer, who are both recovering from injuries, trained with the Dutch on Tuesday. Nigel De Jong was also involved, even though he is expected to miss the remainder of the tournament.
Here are some other stories to be aware of on Tuesday afternoon:
MANCHESTER UNITED TAKING STRONG SQUAD TO UNITED STATES
World Cup results have given Manchester United the opportunity to form a strong squad for their preseason tour, and the club has provided an initial look into the squad on its website.
Wayne Rooney, Shinji Kagawa, David De Gea and Juan Mata are all going to be on the plane when Man United heads to Los Angeles later this month. They will be joined by Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw, the club’s two new signings.
When the World Cup ends, Van Gaal will join the club for its trip. Van Gaal is leaving his post with the Netherlands to become Man United’s new manager and will be in charge for the first time on July 23, when Man United takes on the Los Angeles Galaxy in the Chevrolet Cup.
PRANDELLI RECEIVING THREATENING LETTERS
Cesare Prandelli has revealed that he and his family are receiving threatening letters from angry fans after Italy’s failure at the World Cup.
Prandelli explained the situation at a press conference to discuss his appointment as the new manager of Turkish giant Galatasaray. During the press conference, he also stated that some of his Italian players were too fearful during the World Cup, accused Giuseppe Rossi of poor conduct and said that Mario Balotelli is not yet a champion.
“Some of my players were betrayed by fear, but it’s not true that the group was divided,” Prandelli said. “The presence of the families at the camp was a positive aspect of our trip, but there is someone very bad among the people who criticize me.
“Mario only has big games at the moment but he still needs to become a champion. The person who disappointed me most from a human point of view, however, was (Giuseppe) Rossi.”
Rossi was outspoken after failing to make Italy’s final 23-man World Cup roster that he had passed all his fitness tests, and that any talk of him not being healthy for the World Cup was false.
Prandelli resigned immediately after Italy’s final match in the Group Stage, a loss to Uruguay. Italy and England failed to progress to the knockout stage from Group C, which saw Costa Rica and Uruguay through.
Southampton have signed midfielder Dusan Tadic from FC Twente with the belief that he can replace Adam Lallana. (REPORT)
Bayern Munich striker Mario Mandzukic is reportedly on his way to Atletico Madrid on a five-year deal worth €22 million. (REPORT)
After the sale of Ashley Cole to Roma, Chelsea have lodged an increased transfer bid of £15 million for Atletico Madrid left back Felipe Luis. (REPORT)
Everton have announced the signing of midfielder Gareth Barry on a three-year contract. (REPORT)
West Ham have made a bid for Dynamo Kyiv midfielder and Ukrainian international Yevhen Konoplyanka. (REPORT)
What do you think of this news? How would Van Persie’s absence impact the Netherlands? Glad to see Man United bringing its top players to the USA? What do you think of Prandelli’s comments?
Share your thoughts below.