28/01/2011 – Friday’s Transfer Talk

28 01 2011
Edwin van der Sar playing for Manchester Unite...

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Liverpool have told Chelsea Torres is not for sale after rejecting a £35 million offer sanctioned by Roman Abramovich.

Blackburn boss Steve Kean is pushing through a £3million swoop for Argentinian star Mauro Formica despite a snag with his Italian passport.

West Ham have rejected Tottenham’s offer of Robbie Keane plus £2m in return for midfielder Scott Parker, but negotiations are set to continue.

Tottenham are ready to make a second bid to snatch Everton skipper Phil Neville before Monday’s transfer deadline.

Spurs manager Harry Redknapp will allow Jonathan Woodgate to join injury-striken Wolves on loan until the end of thes season.

Days after inspiring Birmingham City to a place in the Carling Cup final, striker Nikola Zigic could be about to go on loan to Racing Santander.

Meanwhile, Birmingham are making a £2.5m bid for Aston Villa central defender Curtis Davies after ruling out offloading winger Sebastian Larsson in a player-plus cash swap deal.

Birmingham boss Alex McLeish wants the club to sanction a loan move for Wolfsburg striker Obafemi Martins as a reward for reaching the Carling Cup final.

Sunderland have turned their attention to Wigan striker Hugo Rodallega as they look to replace Darren Bent.

The Black Cats are on the verge of signing Stephane Sessegnon from Paris Saint-Germain and Sulley Muntari from Inter Milan.

Fulham are looking to buy Spurs midfielder Nico Kranjcar after a deal to buy winger Shaun Wright-Phillips from Manchester City falls through.

Brazilian forward Lucas Piazon has turned down a move to Chelsea in favour of Juventus.

Blackburn are ready to launch an £8m bid for West Brom midfielder Graham Dorrans.

Manchester United are lining up a £20m bid for Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina, as a replacement for Edwin van der Sar (pictured), who will retire at the end of the season.

United could be looking to Lyon’s French international goalkeeper Hugo Lloris as a long-term successor to Van der Sar.

United are stepping up their efforts to sign Atletico Madrid keeper David De Gea after identifying the 20-year-old as the most promising young stopper in the game.

De Gea, Netherlands’ Maarten Stekelenburg and Germany stopper Manuel Neuer make up United’s three-man shortlist.

Ipswich boss Paul Jewell is ready to sign Swindon’s prolific striker Charlie Austin in a £1.2million deal

Blackpool chairman Karl Oyston has told the Premier League: “Maybe you should pick our team,” after the club are fined £25,000 for fielding a weakened side.

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard says Kenny Dalglish has got the Reds winning again by putting a smile back on the players’ faces.

Former Fulham boss Chris Coleman believes the return to action of striker Bobby Zamora and forward Moussa Dembele can lift the club up the table.

Midfielder Jack Wilshere was last night told he represents “the future” of England as manager Fabio Capello revealed his new tactical masterplan is based on the Arsenal teenager.

Capello has admitted he made an error by leaving Arsenal winger Theo Walcott out of his World Cup squad.

Capello is monitoring the progress of young right-backs Martin Kelly and Kyle Walker ahead of next month’s friendly with Denmark.

Qatar-based Arab TV station Al Jazeera want to snap up former Sky Sports football presenters Richard Keys and Andy Gray.

For full stories, head over to the BBC website.





27/01/2011 – Thursday’s Transfer Talk

27 01 2011
Adrian Mutu

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Chelsea’s move for Benfica defender David Luiz is on the verge of collapse. The Blues are refusing to meet the Portuguese club’s asking price of £30m.

Liverpool have been given until Saturday to come up with the cash to buy Luis Suarez from Ajax. The Dutch club are holding out for £25m for their 24-year-old striker, but the Reds are hoping to pay about half that figure.

Turkish side Konyaspor have made an offer for Blackburn forward El-Hadji Diouf, although his agent says his first preference is to remain in England.

Fiorentina striker Adrian Mutu (left) could make a shock return to the Premier League, with Newcastle keen on signing the 32-year-old, who was sacked by Chelsea in 2004 after testing positive for cocaine.

Blackpool are eyeing up a move for Fulham midfielder Zoltan Gera as they prepare for Charlie Adam to leave Bloomfield Road.

The Tangerines chairman, Karl Oyston, has told Adam to withdraw his transfer request and help the club stay in the Premier League.

But Blackpool’s move for striker Jeremie Aliadiere, who is a free agent, has hit a snag and may be called off.

Bolton are poised to sign 21-year-old Arsenal striker Carlos Vela on loan.

German side Werder Bremen want to sign Tottenham midfielder Nico Kranjcar, who is free to leave White Hart Lane, but he is thought to want to stay in England.

Spurs striker Robbie Keane could be leaving White Hart Lane to join West Ham on loan, with a possible permanent move to follow in the summer.

Spurs have already agreed a deal with the Hammers for Keane to move to east London and they have approached Atletico Madrid over a £9m move for 31-year-old Uruguayan striker Diego Forlan.

Aston Villa defender Curtis Davies could be on his way across town to bitter rivals Birmingham, with midfielder Sebastian Larsson going in the opposite direction.

Liverpool defender Paul Konchesky could be offered a way out of his nightmare time at Anfield with a return to Fulham on loan.

Blackpool manager Ian Holloway has revealed he will get a share of any profit made on the sale of Charlie Adam if the midfielder leaves the club.

Former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho insists he is heading back to the Premier League. The Real Madrid boss reportedly said: “I’ve decided to return to England.”

Manchester United’s 36-year-old midfielder Paul Scholes says he does not know if he will be playing football next season.

Sheffield Wednesday are lining up Notts County’s Paul Ince as a possible successor to under-pressure manager Alan Irvine.

 For full stories, head over to the BBC website.





12/01/2010 – Wednesday’s Transfer Talk

12 01 2011
Georgios Samaras of Celtic FC

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Genoa have agreed to sign Wigan’s Argentinian striker Mauro Boselli on loan. Boselli has scored only once for the Latics since they broke their club record to bring him to the DW Stadium in a £6m move from Estudiantes in the summer of 2010.

Liverpool have joined Arsenal in the race to sign £10m-rated Southampton teenager Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Manchester United are lining up a bid for Lyon’s Brazilian wing-back Michel Bastos.

Stoke City boss Tony Pulis has made a £4m bid for West Ham midfielder Mark Noble and is also keen on Hammers striker Carlton Cole.

West Ham are poised to make a move for Udinese striker Antonio Floro Flores, who is keen to leave the Italian club.

West Ham are confident they will complete the loan signing of Manchester City and England left-back Wayne Bridge in time for him to face Arsenal on Saturday.

Bolton are hoping to finalise a deal to sign Argentine defender Santiago Gentiletti from Argentinos Juniors.

Chelsea will make a renewed attempt to sign 20-year-old Lyon midfielder Miralem Pjanic, who they see as the perfect long-term replacement for Frank Lampard.

Aston Villa are interested in Tottenham striker Roman Pavlyuchenko but the Russian striker is expected to sign a new contract at White Hart Lane.

Leicester manager Sven-Goran Eriksson has pulled off a major coup by persuading Everton striker Yakubu to join the club on loan.

Everton have bluntly told Tottenham that veteran midfielder Phil Neville is going nowhere, despite the London club’s willingness to pay up to £2m for the 34-year-old.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is aiming to bring in at least one of his three top targets this month – Bolton’s Gary Cahill, Werder Bremen’s Per Mertesacker or Emir Spahic of Montpellier – after defender Thomas Vermaelen suffered another setback in his recovery from an Achilles tendon injury.

AC Milan look set to scupper Tottenham and Manchester City’s moves for Bayern Munich midfielder Mark van Bommel by taking the Dutch international to Italy.

Aston Villa have had a bid rejected for Peterborough’s England Under-21 goalkeeper Joe Lewis.

Leeds and Leicester are interested in taking midfielder Michael Johnson on loan from Manchester City following his recovery from long-term injury.

Tottenham have agreed a deal in principle to sign Everton midfielder Steven Pienaar, having seen off competition from Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid.

Birmingham still hope to persuade Rangers striker Kenny Miller to move to England, despite him rejecting two deals since the clubs agreed a fee and being close to joining Fiorentina instead.

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has blamed the rush of managerial sackings on foreign club owners. “I don’t think they have the patience of older generations,” he said.

Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe is determined to make up for what has been an injury-ravaged season so far by scoring the goals to help the club win major silverware.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has admitted ahead of the Carling Cup semi-final, first leg against Ipswich on Wednesday that he is feeling the pressure of having to win a trophy after six years without silverware.

Arsenal midfielder Tomas Rosicky says he began to study physiotherapy during his 18-month absence with a knee injury in an effort to sort out his own problems.

Chelsea captain John Terry concedes his side’s recent poor form has been “unacceptable” and they have to think about winning games before they can think about winning trophies.

Blackpool manager Ian Holloway says Liverpool caretaker manager Kenny Dalglish was “the skeleton in the closet” who meant former Reds boss Roy Hodgson never stood a chance of success at Anfield.

Celtic hope Georgios Samaras (pictured) will stay at Parkhead, despite the striker turning down a 12-month contract offer because he wants a longer deal.

There is only one Torres left in this season’s FA Cup – and it is not Liverpool’s Fernando. Sergio Torres, Crawley Town’s match-winner in their shock third round win over Derby, used to stack the shelves at Boots in Basingstoke and worked at his father’s brick factory in his native Argentina.

Former Foreign Secretary David Milliband, an Arsenal fan and the MP for South Shields, has been offered a position of vice-chairman at Sunderland.

For full stories, head over to the BBC website.





29/12/2010 – Wednesday’s Paper Round-Up

29 12 2010
Picture of Gérard Houllier.

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Celtic manager Neil Lennon is eager to bring out-of-favour Aston Villa defender Richard Dunne and midfielder Stephen Ireland to Parkhead on loan.

Sir Alex Ferguson is set to reinforce his Manchester United midfield with a £12m New Year move for Real Madrid’s Lassana Diarra.

United are also preparing a summer move for CSKA Moscow keeper Igor Akinfeev, who Ferguson sees as a long-term replacement for current number one Edwin van der Sar.

Fulham hope to make Chris Samba their first signing of the January transfer window but the Blackburn defender wants assurances over Mark Hughes’s future first.

However, the Cottagers may face competition from Arsenal, who are keen on the £8m-rated centre-back.

The Gunners are also reportedly back in the hunt for Werder Bremen centre-back Per Mertesacker.

Liverpool have rejected a loan offer from Birmingham City for 24-year-old winger Ryan Babel, who has also attracted interest from West Ham and Tottenham Hotspur.

Liverpool’s new Director of Football Strategy Damien Comolli was at Southampton yesterday to run the rule over the Saints’ latest teen sensation Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Juventus are preparing a £27m-offer for Arsenal striker Robin van Persie and the Italian side may also be willing to throw midfielder Felipe Melo into the deal.

Stoke are close to signing on-loan winger Jermaine Pennant, 27, on a permanent contract from Spanish side Real Zaragoza.

German side Werder Bremen are interested in Aston Villa’s 25-year-old defender Curtis Davies, who is currently on loan with Leicester City.

Villa manager Gerard Houllier has handed a trial to Colorado Rapids’ Jamaican striker Omar Cummings.

Villa are also keen to sign striker Nicklas Bendtner from Arsenal, who may also be joined out of the Emirates exit by fellow striker Carlos Vela, midfielder Denilson and goalkeeper Manuel Almunia.

Real Madrid centre-back Pepe has received a lucrative offer from Manchester City, according to Spanish newspaper AS.

Mick McCarthy wants to bring Tottenham Hotspur striker Robbie Keane back to Wolves, the club the Republic of Ireland forward first joined in 1997.

West Ham look set to sign Dieumerci Mbokani on loan from Monaco if they can get a work visa for the Congolese striker.

The Hammers may also look to sign Manchester United’s Michael Owen on loan after the striker admitted he may have to leave Old Trafford to reignite his career.

Valon Behrami has given Roma until 10 January to reach a deal over his transfer from West Ham. The Swiss midfielder is desperate to return to Italian football after an injury-hit spell in the Premier League.

Everton, Newcastle and Blackburn are chasing Barcelona’s teenage midfielder Oriol Romeu.

Hull have been put off a bid for James Vaughan after his club Everton put a £2m price-tag on the striker.

However, the Tigers are close to sealing a £1.5m-deal for Leicester striker Matty Fryatt after Foxes boss Sven Goran Eriksson admitted the player is almost certain to leave in January.

England boss Fabio Capello has risked angering Europe’s top clubs by backing calls for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to be held during the winter. Capello, who is due to leave his role with England in 2012, believes it would be too hot to play in Qatar during June and July.

Blackburn caretaker boss Steve Kean has refuted accusations that there were underhand tactics at play when he was asked to take over from Sam Allardyce. “It was an absolute shock when I received the phone call from the chairman which was half an hour before it hit the press that Sam was going to leave,” said Kean.

Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech believes the side are struggling to find “the right chemistry” this season. The Blues are on their worst run in 11 years after a 3-1 loss at Arsenal left them six league games without a win.

Former Arsenal midfielder Ray Parlour believes that champions Chelsea are now out of the title race after the 3-1 defeat at the Emirates.

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez believes that the attacking, passing football played by sides like his own and Arsenal will benefit the next generation of English footballers. “When you play in that sort of style players are forced to make decisions and think on the pitch,” said Martinez.

Former Portsmouth manager Paul Hart is poised to become the new manager of Sheffield United.

Liverpool are to reward striker David Ngog with a new long-term contract. The 21-year-old has 18 months remaining on his current deal.

Birmingham City have upped their contract offer to winger Sebastian Larsson. The Swede, 25, who cost £1m from Arsenal, can leave at the end of the season.

Aston Villa boss Gerard Houllier (pictured) has revealed why John Carew was late to report for his club’s Christmas programme – the striker was stuck in snow in his native Norway.

For full stories, head over to the BBC website.





18/12/2010 – Saturday’s Paper Round-Up

18 12 2010
Igor Akinfeev in action for PFC CSKA Moscow

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Everton are on the trail of out-of-favour Manchester City strikers Emmanuel Adebayor and Roque Santa Cruz.

Meanwhile City will look to replace want-away striker Carlos Tevez with River Plate’s £10m-rated forward Rogelio Funes Mori.

Manchester City will also attempt to lure Wolfsburg’s 24-year-old striker Edin Dzeko to Eastlands with a five-year deal worth £6m per year.

City face competition from Arsenal who are planning a big money January move for Dzeko.

Defender Pascal Chimbonda will be asked to leave Blackburn, despite Steve Kean taking over from sacked manager Sam Allardyce.

Russian side Zenit St Petersburg are lining up a move for Chelsea keeper Petr Cech with the Blues looking to sign CSKA Moscow stopper Igor Akinfeev (left) as a replacement.

Manchester United are set to raid Bundesliga strugglers Borussia Monchengladbach for talented midfielder Marco Reus.

United are also thought to be leading the chase to sign Borussia Dortmund’s teenage midfield sensation Mario Goetze.

The Red Devils are also believed to be interested in Shakthar Donetsk midfielder Douglas Costa. Chelsea and Arsenal are believed to be chasing the 20-year-old.

It promises to be a busy Christmas period for United who have also upped their interest in Zenit St Petersburg attacking midfielder Danny. The 27-year-old Portuguese international scored nine goals in helping his side win the Russian championship.

Real Madrid are set to offer £60m as well as a player for Tottenham winger Gareth Bale.

Tottenham youngster Danny Rose has stunned the club by saying he wants to leave.

Rangers are set to pip Stoke, Wigan, and Bolton to the signing of Leeds midfielder Brad Johnson.

Newcastle United are hoping to seal a deal for Southampton duo Rickie Lambert and Jose Fonte.

Midfielder Valon Behrami will be one of the first West Ham players axed in the January transfer window.

Tottenham face stiff competition from Atletico Madrid for Borussia Dortmund striker Shinji Kagawa.

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini is considering whether to take the captain’s armband away from Carlos Tevez over the player’s demands to leave.

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney will not ‘bottle’ out of taking a penalty against Chelsea despite his horror miss against Arsenal on Monday.

Liverpool fans are in outrage after defender Paul Konchesky was left red-faced by his mum’s Facebook blast.

Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp will speak to defender Ledley King about his conduct after he was photographed looking bleary eyed leaving a nightclub in the early hours of the morning.

Former England manager Steve McClaren has two games to save his job at Wolfsburg.

Newcastle midfield dynamo Cheik Tiote did not own a pair of football boots until he was aged 15.

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson should stay on at Old Trafford until 2030, according to England manager Fabio Capello. Ferguson would be nearly 90 by that time.

For full stories, head over to the BBC website.





17/12/2010 – Friday’s Paper Round-Up

17 12 2010
Carlos Tévez playing for Manchester City

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Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner could be sent on loan to Everton in January with a view to a permanent transfer. The Gunners are interested in Freiburg striker Papis Demba Cisse.

Tottenham are interested in signing former England skipper David Beckham in the January transfer window. The LA Galaxy midfielder does not report back for his club until March.

Manchester City and Tottenham are leading the chase for Dutch midfielder Mark van Bommel, who is the captain of German giants Bayern Munich.

Liverpool are keen on Zenit St Petersburg right-back Alexander Anyukov. The 28-year-old is rated at £18m.

Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho wants to sign Manchester City’s Carlos Tevez, team-mate Emmanuel Adebayor or Manchester United’s Javier Hernandez in the January transfer window to cover for injured striker Gonzalo Higuain.

Liverpool are ready to join the battle for Borussia Dortmund midfielder Nuri Sahin, who has also caught the eye of Juventus and Inter Milan. Dortmund will refuse to sell in the January transfer window, but could be ready to do business in the summer for a figure of about £13m.

Lille winger Eden Hazard has hinted that he will shun the overtures of Real Madrid to join Arsenal at the end of the season. The 19-year-old has impressed with his performances this campaign and has revealed that he turned down the chance to join Chelsea for £12m last June.

Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti has identified Wolfsburg’s Simon Kjaer as the solution to his ongoing centre-back problem.

Aston Villa are interested in Villarreal forward Guillermo Andres Lopez. The 18-year-old is also wanted by PSV Eindhoven and Barcelona.

Former Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce has told West Ham that he will not talk to the club about taking over at Upton Park while manager Avram Grant is still in charge.

Tottenham winger David Bentley is wanted by Liverpool but Birmingham remain favourites to sign the 26-year-old.

Arsenal midfielder Denilson is a £10m target for former England manager Steve McClaren, who is now is charge at Wolfsburg.

Under-pressure Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti has indicated that he will honour his contract with the club, staying in London “at least until 2012″.

England manager Fabio Capello has dismissed reports linking him with moves to Inter Milan or Manchester City.

Birmingham will offer midfielder Sebastian Larsson a new contract, and have criticised Stoke for expressing their interest in the 25-year-old Swede.

Tottenham have offered to redevelop the Crystal Palace sports centre as the legacy part of their bid to occupy the 2012 Olympic Stadium after the London Games. Spurs, who are battling it out with West Ham for the venue, do not want to retain the athletics track at the Olympic Stadium.

Fifa general secretary Jérôme Valcke has talked up the possibility of future World Cups, including the 2022 tournament in Qatar, being moved to the European winter.

Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has bought a controlling share in Queens Park Rangers, increasing his stake to 62% after buying out Flavio Briatore.

Fulham boss Mark Hughes has slammed the logic behind the sackings of former Newcastle manager Chris Hughton and ex-Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce, insisting club owners expect too much too soon.

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini says unsettled striker Carlos Tevez will play against Everton on Monday and insists he will resolve the Argentine’s future in the next 48 hours.

However, Mancini will take the captain’s armband off Tevez when the pair meet to discuss the situation on Friday.

Former Wimbledon striker Dean Holdsworth, who is currently at Newport County, is one of the candidates to take charge at Bristol Rovers following the dismissal of Paul Trollope.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger predicts his side will get Barcelona in Friday’s last 16 Champions League draw. “I know who we will get,” he said about the side who beat them in the 2006 final.

Sir Bobby Charlton is adamant that, contrary to popular legend, Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson would not have been sacked if he had lost a third-round FA Cup tie at Nottingham Forest back in 1990. “The media were the ones who were pushing,” recalled former player-turned-director Charlton.

In a straight-talking address on English football, current Ipswich boss and Manchester United legend Roy Keane labelled Monday’s Premier League clash between his former club and rivals Arsenal as “rubbish”.

For full stories, head over to the BBC website.





02/12/2010 – Thursday’s Paper Round-Up (2018 World Cup Bid Special)

2 12 2010
David Beckham

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2018 World Cup Bid Special

X Factor’s Simon Cowell, model Kelly Brook and TV presenter Stephen Fry are some of the celebrities backing England’s bid to host the 2018 World Cup. Fry says: “No other country in the world can match our infatuation for the game and this is the reason I believe England would be an ideal host.”

A proud Sir Bobby Charlton is excited about England winning the bid. The 1966 England World Cup winner says: “I believe it was right to make the bid and reach out for something that would bring pleasure to so many people in this country, even while acknowledging that we might fail, as we did in 2006. I still think we have a good chance of having our faith in ourselves rewarded in the next few hours.”

David Beckham, England’s bid ambassador, delivered a last-minute plea on why England should be hosts. The England midfielder says: “We live and breathe football in England and want to invite the rest of the world to join us for the most colourful and unique festival of football imaginable.”

Beckham believes it is England’s time: “Not to get it would be unbelievably disappointing because everything is set up for it, everything is ready to go.”

Beckham says if England hosts the World Cup in eight years they should be able to win the trophy. The LA Galaxy star says: “We will need a good performance from our players. We have young players who are coming through and will be ready.”

Another Manchester United legend Denis Law is not so bothered about England becoming hosts. The Scot says: “I was on holiday when Euro 96 was played in England and my holidays for 2018 have been booked. I’m not interested in whether England get the World Cup finals.”

Lord Coe believes the England bid team need to be on top of their game for Thursday’s final pitch to Fifa in Zurich. Coe says: “You have to keep your foot hard to the pedal until there is nowhere else to go. Then we need five Oscar performances in the presentation.”

Dutch legend Ruud Gullit says bikes and being small is why Holland and Belgium would be great World Cup hosts. Gullit says: “The compactness of our countries is a great asset. Due to the short distance the next game is never far away and we will offer the fans a network of free public transport and two million free bikes.”

With the USA looking to host the 2022 World Cup, actor Morgan Freeman joined former president Bill Clinton but fluffed his lines when delivering a key speech to Fifa delegates on behalf of the American bid.

Other Gossip

Tottenham and Fenerbahce are preparing for a transfer tussle to land Bordeaux’s £7m-rated defender Michael Ciani.

Emmanuel Adebayor is ready to dig his heels in with Manchester City to force a loan move to Tottenham in January, while Aston Villa want Eastlands winger Shaun Wright-Phillips and AC Milan are interested in their striker Roque Santa Cruz.

Manchester City are stepping up their interest in £12m-rated Sporting Lisbon centre-half Daniel Carrico, 22, whom they have watched extensively in the last year.

Newcastle United defender Steven Taylor is being lined up by Chelsea in a £9m bid.

Premier League champions Chelsea are weighing up a £3.5m move for Lokomotiv Moscow goalkeeper Guilherme, who could provide cover for Petr Cech.

West Ham striker Carlton Cole will command a £10m price tag when he goes up for sale in the January transfer window.

Chelsea have sounded out Bolton to register an interest in their star defender Gary Cahill, who is also a target for Liverpool.

Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola is in Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich’s sights after the Catalans’ five-goal demolition of Real Madrid.

Chelsea should see John Terry return from injury for the weekend visit of Everton to Stamford Bridge, though Frank Lampard is targeting the game against Manchester United in two weeks’ time for his comeback.

For full stories, head over to the BBC website.





26/11/2010 – Friday’s Paper Round-Up

26 11 2010
Carlton Cole before West Ham's game v Wigan, A...

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Aston Villa manager Gerard Houllier has placed an £80m price tag on Ashley Young after Manchester United and Liverpool revealed their interest in the winger.

Arsenal and Manchester City have joined the race to sign Sporting Lisbon’s teenage winger Zezinho, dubbed “the new Cristiano Ronaldo”.

The Reds are also interested in Lille’s central defender Adil Rami and forward Gervinho.

But Lille midfielder Eden Hazard will not be leaving the club despite interest from Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson.

Liverpool could make a shock January move for Manchester City winger Adam Johnson.

West Ham striker Carlton Cole (left) could be on his way to Liverpool in January after publicly criticising the tactics of Hammers manager Avram Grant.

Meanwhile, former Hammers defender Anton Ferdinand could be on his way back to Upton Park with the Sunderland centre-back set to leave the Stadium of Light.

Manchester United expect to clinch the signing of 26-year-old goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard, of Norwegian club Aalesund, by the weekend.

In-form striker Johan Elmander has stalled on signing a new contract with Bolton – and sparked a scramble for his signature. Liverpool, Newcastle and Stoke are interested.

Fulham are ready to win the £3m race for 6ft 8in Ivory Coast striker Lacina Traore of Romanian side Cluj.

Cottagers boss Mark Hughes could raid former club Manchester City with keeper Shay Given, winger Shaun Wright-Phillips and striker Roque Santa Cruz all on Fulham’s wish list.

Manchester United target David De Gea has said he will happily reject overtures from Sir Alex Ferguson to remain at Atletico Madrid.

Dimitar Berbatov will definitely not be leaving Old Trafford in January, according to the player’s agent Emil Dantchev.

Birmingham are poised to make a £2m move for Swedish striker Denni Avdic who plays for IF Elsborg.

Arsenal target Gokhan Inler could leave Udinese if the right club makes the right offer, says the Swiss midfielder’s agent.

Dinamo Zagreb vice-president Zdravko Mamic has revealed that the Croatian side have rejected a £17m offer from Arsenal for highly rated youngsters midfielder Mateo Kovacic and wing-back Sime Vrsaljko.

Atletico Madrid forward Diego Forlan says he will not be joining Tottenham in January and will instead end his career in Spain.

Palermo’s defensive midfielder Armin Bacinovic is a target for Chelsea and Liverpool.

Birmingham striker Kevin Phillips could be about to start a bidding war between Championship promotion chasers QPR and Swansea.

Tottenham defender William Gallas has boldly predicted that Spurs can win “everything” this season, despite having already been knocked out of the Carling Cup.

Fulham chairman Mohamed Al Fayed will back manager Mark Hughes in the transfer window but vented his anger at the 4-1 home loss to Manchester City last week.

Plymouth have held talks with former Leeds and Cardiff chairman Peter Ridsdale over potential investment in the cash-strapped club.

Tottenham will press ahead with plans to move to the Olympic Stadium despite receiving the go-ahead to build a new 56,000-seater arena adjacent to White Hart Lane.

Winger Stewart Downing believes new Aston Villa manager Gerard Houllier needs to bring in up to five new players during the January transfer window.

Bolton boss Owen Coyle has revealed that the team’s good spirit has been partly helped by the game rock-papers-scissors.

“The lads do a ‘scissors, paper, rock’ thing and there is a punishment for the loser. So they are getting good at playing it – or else. The loser gets his ears flicked and it is painful,” said the Scot.

For full stories, head over to the BBC website.





25/11/2010 – Thursday’s Paper Round-Up

25 11 2010
Rio Ferdinand of Manchester United, Roque Sant...

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Liverpool are ready to challenge rivals Manchester United for Rosenborg’s Ghanaian midfielder Anthony Annan.

CSKA Moscow’s Japanese international Keisuke Honda is attracting interest ahead of the January transfer window with Arsenal, Liverpool, and AC Milan the interested parties.

Arsenal, Tottenham and Newcastle are battling for FC Lorient striker Kevin Gameiro. AS Monaco, Hamburg, Schalke 04 and Benfica are also interested in the 23-year-old.

Blackburn are weighing up a £4m January move to bring Manchester City striker Roque Santa Cruz (left) back to Ewood Park.

Stephen Ireland is looking for a January move away from Aston Villa. Fulham boss Mark Hughes is keen after the pair worked together at Manchester City, but the Cottagers would struggle to find the £8m asking price.

Liverpool and Tottenham target Ola Toivonen expects to stay at PSV Eindhoven this winter – but the Sweden striker has opened the door to a summer move.

Lille admit they face a battle to keep hold of Liverpool target Eden Hazard. The 19-year-old winger is also been tracked by Arsenal and Manchester United.

Liverpool scouts have also been keeping tabs on CSKA Moscow’s £10million rated Czech Republic striker Thomas Necid.

Goalkeeper David De Gea has insisted he will be staying at Atletico Madrid, despite interest from Manchester United.

Dimitar Berbatov’s agent has claimed the Manchester United striker will not be going anywhere in January. Emil Dantchev said: “There’s nothing to say. He will stay in Manchester.”

Manchester City and Chelsea are keen on Paris Saint-Germain’s teenage striker Jean-Christophe Bahebeck. The 17-year-old has yet to sign professional forms with the French club.

Chelsea are tracking Partizan Belgrade’s teenage centre-back Stefan Savic as a candidate to bolster their threadbare defence.

Championship promotion chasers Swansea City want Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge on loan.

Manchester City have made an enquiry about Udinese’s £15m-rated defender Cristian Zapata.

Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce has been promised funds to bolster his squad in January by the club’s new Indian owners.

Middlesbrough defender David Wheater will move to the Premier League in January, says his former team-mate, Aston Villa winger Stewart Downing.

Sheffield United boss Gary Speed is chasing Arsenal’s highly-rated young striker Jay Emmanuel-Thomas for a loan deal.

Birmingham City’s £3m midfielder Michel is wanted by Real Mallorca in January on a six-month loan deal.

Bolton are ready to let Andy O’Brien join Leeds permanently when the transfer window opens. The defender has extended his loan spell at Elland Road until the start of January.

Crystal Palace manager George Burley is set to make a shock move to take Notts County’s much-travelled striker Lee Hughes on loan.

Millwall manager Kenny Jackett is ready to bid for Bournemouth’s 12-goal Northern Ireland striker Josh McQuoid.

Greek striker Georgios Samaras is poised to be sold by Celtic in January after talks over a new contract stalled, with two Spanish clubs, including Hercules, declaring an interest.

West Ham striker Carlton Cole has questioned the tactics of under-fire Hammers manager Avram Grant during their 3-0 loss at Liverpool last weekend. “In the first 10 minutes we had lost the game, psychologically anyway,” said Cole.

Chelsea striker Salomon Kalou insists the west London club have not been affected by last week’s shock departure of assistant manager Ray Wilkins.

Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge insists there is no crisis at the club despite recent speculation over the future of manager Carlo Ancelotti.

Liverpool’s Ryan Babel has blamed former Reds boss Rafa Benitez for the problems with form and fitness that have blighted his time at Anfield. “I wasn’t allowed to train extra under our former manager. Even when I wasn’t involved,” said Babel on his Twitter feed.

German former Tottenham midfielder Steffen Freund says English football needs to take its lead from Germany if the England team is to be successful. The German national U17 coach believes English clubs need to place greater focus on youth development.

Former Arsenal midfielder Stewart Robson believes the Gunners are suffering from mental problems and they must overcome them quickly if they are to challenge for the Premier League title. The club have lost four of their last six games in all competitions.

Wales still want veteran Manchester United winger Ryan Giggs, who is on a six-man shortlist, as their next national manager.

Former assistant manager Ray Wilkins was sacked by Chelsea only two weeks after a bust-up with the club’s chief executive Ron Gourlay, who had criticised the management team’s use of substitutes.

Scotland’s referees will today tell the Scottish Football Association that they will not call off their planned weekend strike, but Dutch referees are poised to ensure that the six Scottish Premier League fixtures and the ALBA Challenge Cup final will go ahead.

Only one match – Sunday’s ALBA Challenge Cup final – is guaranteed to go ahead this weekend unless the Scottish Football Association can hammer out a peace deal with referees over their strike threat.

Scottish Football League chief executive David Longmuir is demanding to know by lunchtime on Thursday if Division One, Two and Three games, plus the ALBA Challenge Cup final, will go ahead despite the threat of a referees’ strike.

The Scottish Football Association has provided an assurance to Scottish Premier League clubs that their matches will go ahead this weekend even if there is a strike by referees.

A large number of Scotland’s category three referees are unhappy at the stance of their senior colleagues and are dismayed that there was no strike ballot among all members of the Senior Scottish Football Referees Association.

The use of foreign officials would have to be approved the Scottish Football Association’s referee committee, which is understood to be sympathetic to Scottish referees’ strike action.

Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez has seen his football exploits recognised by a salsa tune. The World Red Army featuring salsa artist Choco Orta have released Chico Is The Man, which details the 22-year-old’s rise to stardom.

For full stories, head over to the BBC website.





17/11/2010 – Wednesday’s Paper Round-Up

17 11 2010
Reto Ziegler

Image via Wikipedia

Tottenham midfielder Niko Kranjcar has told Croatian agency Mediaservis he could leave if he continues to be left on the sidelines, but insists he would prefer to stay at White Hart Lane.

“I have to wait to see what Tottenham have to say, but as things stand, a transfer somewhere else is not that far away,” he said. “I am not angry or too disappointed. I believe that things will improve at Spurs. But if not then I will look for a club where I can play week in and week out.”

Meanwhile Kranjcar’s father Zlato, the manager of the Montenegro national team, claims his son has already made up his mind, telling another Croatian agency 24sata: “Niko is definitely leaving Tottenham. There just isn’t any sense to be sitting on the bench all the time.”

Chelsea are considering a January swoop for Benfica’s £25m-rated defender David Luiz with Alex and John Terry both facing spells on the sidelines with injuries.

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini is set to do battle with Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson as they attempt to land the services of Sunderland’s 20-year-old midfielder Jordan Henderson.

Mancini is also set to cut his losses on striker Emmanuel Adebayor and offload the striker to Italian club Juventus.

Liverpool are lining up a player-plus-cash offer for Borussia Dortmund hitman Lucas Barrios. Ryan Babel or Milan Jovanovic are believed to be the players involved.

The Reds are also believed to be closing on a £7m deal for Real Sociedad’s highly rated winger Antoine Griezmann.

Liverpool Director of Football Strategy Damien Comolli is targeting Sampdoria full-back Reto Ziegler (above). The former Tottenham star’s contract expires in the summer and could be available at a knock down fee of £3million. The Reds are not ruling out trying to tie up a pre-contract agreement although they face competition from Juventus and Werder Bremen.

Bayern Munich legend Franz Beckenbauer says Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner would be a perfect fit for the German club.

Blackburn are poised to make a move for Standard Liege striker Mohammed Tchite when the January transfer window opens.

Aston Villa manager Gerard Houllier has talked about the possibility of taking Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema on loan.

England coach Fabio Capello is using Global Positioning Systems (GPS) to monitor players’ fitness levels after the team’s World Cup failure last summer.

Blackpool’s Charlie Adam is set to win his £25,000 contract dispute with the club this week over his fight for a ‘survival bonus’.

Karren Brady has promised West Ham fans the club will spend in the January transfer window in a bid for Premier League survival.

Tottenham midfielder Rafael van der Vaart thinks life under manager Harry Redknapp is much more exciting than the time he spent under Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid. “There are no long and boring speeches about tactics,” said the Dutchman.

Although Cardiff City forward Jay Bothroyd was delighted to have been a surprise inclusion in the England squad for Wednesday’s friendly against France, the 28-year-old’s call-up actually came three years later than he had aimed for.

The mooted appointment of Tottenham manager Redknapp as manager of the Great Britain football team for the London 2012 Olympics is being seen as the best way of persuading Wales to join England in providing players, such as midfielder Gareth Bale.

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney has arrived back at Old Trafford half a stone lighter after his American boot camp experience to help him recover from an ankle injury.

For full stories, head over to the BBC website.








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