22/10/2010 – Friday’s Paper Round-Up

22 10 2010

Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez has called on former team-mate Rooney to follow in his footsteps by moving to Eastlands.

An angry mob of balaclava-clad United fans gathered outside Rooney’s Prestbury home on Thursday night, holding a banner urging the want-away striker not to join City.

United full-back Patrice Evra believes Rooney should not play for the club again following his public declaration that they have not signed players who can make them competitive.

Rooney has stunned Real Madrid by demanding to become the highest paid Galactico if he joins Cristiano Ronaldo at the Bernabeu.

Chelsea have no intention in getting involved in a bidding war for Rooney, with Blues owner Roman Abramovich keen for the club to become self-sufficient and balance its books.

As uncertainty about Rooney’s future drags on, United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is planning a radical overhaul of his squad next summer with up to 10 players facing the axe.

[picapp align=”left” wrap=”true” link=”term=alexandre+pato&iid=8967492″ src=”http://view4.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/8967492/milan-chicago-fire/milan-chicago-fire.jpg?size=500&imageId=8967492″ width=”234″ height=”351″ /] Ferguson is looking to sign AC Milan youngster Alexandre Pato (left) as a direct replacement for Rooney if the player leaves Old Trafford.

Sunderland boss Steve Bruce is praying that Black Cats striker Darren Bent does not get dragged into a transfer merry-go-round which could be sparked by Rooney leaving Manchester United.

Liverpool’s new owners plan showdown talks with striker Fernando Torres next week, with Manchester United and Barcelona interested in signing the Spaniard.

The Anfield club are considering making a move for Hapoel Tel Aviv striker Itay Shechter in January, although Tottenham, Everton and West Ham are also in the hunt.

Aston Villa winger Ashley Young has called a dramatic halt to contract negotiations with the club.

Young wants a buy-out clause in his new Aston Villa contract, with Spurs said to be interested in the England international.

Juventus are ready to rival Manchester City in the battle to sign Lazio defender Stefan Radu.

Championship leaders QPR want to reinforce their squad with the loan capture of versatile Arsenal attacker Jay Emmanuel-Thomas.

Bolton boss Owen Coyle will open contract talks with Johan Elmander in the next few weeks, with the striker free to talk to other clubs from January.

Former Barcelona boss Frank Rijkaard is close to replacing Roy Hodgson as Liverpool’s new boss.

Blackburn are close to a takeover by VH Group, an Indian chicken company.

Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe is a month ahead of schedule in his return from ankle surgery. Defoe was expected to be out until Christmas but he could now be back by the end of November – in time for their final two Champions League group games against Werder Bremen and FC Twente.

England’s 2018 World Cup bid is set for a major boost when it is named the stand-out candidate to host the tournament by Fifa.

The Scottish Players Union are again on alert over the late payment of wages at Hearts.

West Brom manager Roberto di Matteo believes football management is like hay farming. “It is like when you are a farmer,” said the Italian. “You want to bring as much hay into your stall as possible for a long winter. That’s what we are trying to do.”

For full stories, head over to the BBC website.

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22/09/2010 – Wednesday’s Paper Round-Up

22 09 2010

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is keeping tabs on Ajax defender Jan Vertonghen.

DR Congo star Dieumerci Mbokani turned down the chance to join Liverpool this summer – but the Monaco striker has told Reds manager Roy Hodgson he is prepared to play for him in the future.

[picapp align=”left” wrap=”true” link=”term=lucas+leiva&iid=8467815″ src=”http://view1.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/8467815/liverpool-benfica/liverpool-benfica.jpg?size=500&imageId=8467815″ width=”234″ height=”352″ /] Liverpool may offload Brazilian midfielder Lucas Leiva (left) to Italian side Juventus in January, with a fee of £7m enough to seal the deal.

Everton have agreed a January deal for 18-year-old Azerbaijan international Araz Abdullayev. The Neftchi Baku midfielder will sign an initial three-year deal, with an option for two further seasons.

Sheffield United have signed Richard Wright on a four-month deal. The goalkeeper was a free agent after leaving Ipswich in the summer.

Portsmouth hope to complete the loan signing of Tottenham defender Kyle Naughton.

Hoffenheim striker Peniel Mlapa admits he is flattered with speculation linking him with a move to Tottenham.

Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas has insisted he is “completely focused” on Arsenal but also hinted that he is still interested in a move to boyhood club Barcelona.

New Aston Villa manager Gerard Houllier wants a closer look at midfielder Barry Bannan before deciding whether to allow him to go on loan to Sheffield United.

Celtic are considering a January move to sign frozen out Manchester City goalkeeper Shay Given. (the Sun)

Manager Roberto Mancini has told his Manchester City players to stop moaning about a lack of first-team chances and sort out their grievances with him in private.

The Manchester United hierarchy have decided on a new policy of renegotiating players’ contracts when their current deal has one, rather than two, years left to run.

Manchester United’s Portuguese youngster Bebe will be handed his first taste of competitive action when he features in the Carling Cup tie at Scunthorpe on Wednesday evening.

Former Germany coach Jurgen Klinsmann has revealed that he turned down the chance to coach the United States after the World Cup, having failed to agree terms with the US Soccer Federation.

Celtic midfielder Efrain Juarez has been banned from playing for Mexico for six months along with Arsenal’s Carlos Vela after breaching squad rules with an alleged wild party after this month’s friendly win over Colombia.

Rangers will receive £300,000 from Liverpool as part of Danny Wilson’s summer transfer deal when the central defender makes his first competitive appearance for the Anfield club tonight.

Ghana have targeted Bobby Williamson, who is out of contract with Uganda, as their new head coach after he took his side to an all-time high of 63 in the world rankings.

Spain fear that Cesc Fabregas will miss the Euro qualifier against Scotland on 12 October after the Arsenal midfielder picked up an injury against Sunderland at the weekend.

Wolves had the last laugh on Notts Country striker Lee Hughes last night after the former West Brom player revealed a T-shirt with the Baggies’ ‘boing boing’ catchphrase after scoring the opening goal of the Carling Cup tie. Mick McCarthy’s side recovered to win 4-2.

Ghana want ex-Hibernian and Kilmarnock boss Bobby Williamson as their next manager. Williamson previously took Uganda to an all-time high of 63 in the Fifa rankings.

Enzo Fernandez, the eldest son of Zinedine Zidane, is being courted by both the Spanish and French football federations. The 15-year-old Real Madrid midfielder, who has dual nationality, could represent either nation.

For full stories, head over to the BBC website.





16/09/2010 – Thursday’s Paper Round-Up

16 09 2010

Manchester United are tracking Sporting Lisbon’s 20-year-old forward Wilson Eduardo, currently on loan at Portugal’s newly promoted side Beira-Mar.

United are also lining up a move for Tottenham’s Wilson Palacios, with Red Devils manager Sir Alex Ferguson seeking a defensive midfielder in the continued absence of the injured Owen Hargreaves.

Tottenham are monitoring the £5m-rated Hoffenheim striker Peniel Mlapa. The Togo-born 19-year-old has been dubbed the new Emmanuel Adebayor.

Chelsea could make a move for Malaga striker Juanmi, despite the 18-year-old having recently signed a new five-year deal at the Spanish club.

Arsenal are plotting a raid on German club Schalke for goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and defender Benedikt Howedes.

[picapp align=”left” wrap=”true” link=”term=marko+marin&iid=9551175″ src=”http://view2.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/9551175/sports-news-august-2010/sports-news-august-2010.jpg?size=500&imageId=9551175″ width=”234″ height=”338″ /] The Gunners have joined Manchester United in tracking Werder Bremen winger Marko Marin (left).

Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson is planning a January move for Romanian side Cluj’s 20-year-old Ivorian striker Lacina Traore.

The Anfield club are also preparing a new bid for Bayern Munich striker Mario Gomez after the German side blocked a loan deal in the summer.

Everton striker James Vaughan, on loan at Crystal Palace for three months, wants to continue at Selhurst Park after scoring a hat-trick against Portsmouth on Wednesday. “I definitely want to stay, it is a great club and I am enjoying it,” said the 22-year-old.

Manchester City assistant manager Brian Kidd has dismissed reports that Mario Balotelli will be out of action until the end of November following knee surgery.

Manchester United winger Antonio Valencia will be sidelined for six months following the horrific ankle injury he suffered against Rangers on Tuesday.

Former Manchester United forward Alan Smith has given his support to Valencia, having experienced a similar injury in 2006 that ruled him out of the sport for eight months. Smith, now at Newcastle, said: “There’s no getting away from the fact it is a hard road back from an injury like that but with determination, you can do it.”

Barcelona and Argentina superstar Lionel Messi arrived at London’s Hackney Marshes by helicopter yesterday to play against an amateur team as part of a publicity stunt but was unable to even put his boots on after being whisked away amid security fears.

Steve McClaren’s job as Wolfsburg boss is safe for the time being, despite his side losing the first three games. The ex-England manager received a vote of confidence and the German club’s managing director Dieter Hoeness said: “I won’t get the hammer out and start smashing things. The situation isn’t critical.”

Manchester United striker Michael Owen has stoked up the rivalry with Liverpool ahead of the Old Trafford showdown on Sunday. When asked which Premier League fixture most excites him, the former fans’ favourite at Anfield said: “Probably the Manchester derby.”

[picapp align=”right” wrap=”true” link=”term=tuncay&iid=4109750″ src=”http://view4.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/4109750/cup-middlesborough-through/cup-middlesborough-through.jpg?size=500&imageId=4109750″ width=”234″ height=”349″ /] Stoke striker Tuncay (right) insists he wants to stay and fight for his place and dismissed any talk of a rift with manager Tony Pulis. The Turkish international, who left the Britannia Stadium before Monday’s match against Aston Villa after failing to make the bench, said: “I am an emotional person but for the gaffer it is very hard with his choices because he has so many options. This is my team and my job is here. It is only the weather I do not like here.”

Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez has copied manager Robert Mancini by chopping off his flowing locks. The Argentine has decided to go for a short trim as he attempts to lead City to glory this season.

Former Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann has been lambasted for criticising Werder Bremen’s goalkeeper. The ex-Germany international turned television pundit questioned Tim Wiese’s positioning as Tottenham opened the scoring in Tuesday’s 2-2 Champions League draw. Wiese responded by saying: “He [Lehmann] belongs in the Muppet Show, on the couch or in a mental institution.”

For full stories, head over to the BBC website.





12/09/2010 – The Sunday Paper Round-Up

12 09 2010

Real Madrid are plotting to end Wayne Rooney’s Manchester United turmoil by setting aside £65m for a summer swoop.

[picapp align=”left” wrap=”true” link=”term=michael+owen&iid=9521856″ src=”http://view2.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/9521856/michael-owen-manchester/michael-owen-manchester.jpg?size=500&imageId=9521856″ width=”380″ height=”435″ /]Gerard Houllier wants to make Michael Owen (left) his first signing at Aston Villa. The former Liverpool boss was impressed with Owen’s form and fitness during Jamie Carragher’s testimonial and wants to sign the Manchester United striker either on loan or for a nominal fee during the January transfer window.

Manchester City are planning to smash the British transfer record by signing Argentine playmaker Javier Pastore from Palermo for £40m. The 21-year-old has also been a target for Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Portsmouth hope to wrap up a loan deal for Tottenham right-back Kyle Naughton, 21, this week, while Spurs boss Harry Redknapp could also loan out fellow defender Kyle Walker, 20, to Hull City.

Arsene Wenger is still eager to pursue his interest in Crewe midfielder Nick Powell and is willing to spend up to £2m on the 16-year-old attacking midfielder.

Holland goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg has emerged as Manchester United’s number one choice to succeed Edwin van der Sar.

Middlesbrough are monitoring Carlo Cudicini’s situation at Tottenham Hotspur with a view to a January move for the Italian goalkeeper.

Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho and Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti buried their differences over dinner in Geneva last week.

Former Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier had his heart tested before accepting the Aston Villa job.

Birmingham manager Alex McLeish is backing midfielder Alexander Hleb to prove Birmingham’s most influential signing since France World Cup winner Christophe Dugarry.

Co-owner David Sullivan claims he is at breaking point after revealing West Ham’s debts have gone through the £100m barrier.

Manager Roy Hodgson claims it will need a change of owners before Liverpool can hope to be champions again.

Wayne Rooney was desperate to confront the expected abuse from Everton, fans only for Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson to leave him out of the squad.

Gary McAllister, who is Gordon Strachan’s coach at Middlesbrough, is ready to answer Gerard Houllier’s call to be the Frenchman’s right-hand man at Aston Villa.

Uefa has given the green light for Great Britain and Northern Ireland to field an Under-23 football team for the first time in the Olympics.

Sir Alex Ferguson says Walter Smith is too young to quit as planned as Rangers manager at the end of the season and thinks owner Sir David Murray can persuade him to stay.

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson says Walter Smith “has kept Rangers alive” by winning the Scottish title at a time of financial crisis for the Glasgow club.

Rangers fans fear retribution from Greater Manchester Police for the trouble after the 2008 Uefa Cup final when they travel to Old Trafford for Tuesday’s Champions League tie.

Scotland coach Craig Levein says there is room for flair players like James McFadden in his team but that he needs every player to share the workload.

Birmingham manager Alex McLeish has defended James McFadden after the forward was criticised by Scotland coach Craig Levein for being lazy and selfish against Liechtenstein.

Scotland are looking into the possibility of ditching the controversial Jabulani ball after players complained about it in their last two internationals.

The Scottish Football Association faces a battle with clubs over plans to force them all to ensure their pitches are perfectly flat, with Motherwell having already sought legal advice.

Eidur Gudjohnsen may be deemed too overweight to make his Stoke debut against Aston Villa on Monday. The former Chelsea striker has been on an intensive fitness programme after piling on the pounds in the summer.

For full stories, head over to the BBC website.





Premier League Predictions: Week 4

11 09 2010

The Premier League returns today after an exciting week of international football. My predictions last week were quite good (even if I say so myself) as I correctly predicted the Blackburn 1-2 Arsenal, Wolves 1-1 Newcastle and Manchester United  3-0 West Ham United scorelines. So, with this in mind, I’m ready to excel myself this week and get four correct scorelines! I’ll settle for just one, though.

[picapp align=”left” wrap=”true” link=”term=the+premier+league+trophy&iid=8752786″ src=”http://view.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/8752786/carlo-ancelotti-manager/carlo-ancelotti-manager.jpg?size=500&imageId=8752786″ width=”234″ height=”354″ /]This week’s fixtures get under way at Goodison Park where Everton host Manchester United. This fixture is usually one of the better ones in the Premier League calendar and you can bet it will be again this season. Reasons for this? Well, Wayne Rooney is never made to feel welcome back on Merseyside and the revelations about his private life last week will fuel the Everton faithful to give Rooney more stick than he usually receives (if that’s possible). How, you may ask? Well, according to a group of Everton fans on Twitter yesterday, there will be a section of the Goodison crowd dressed in Bob Marley wigs ready to sing a rendition of the hit, ‘No Woman, No Cry’. Instead of those lyrics though, expect to hear, ‘No Woman, No Kai’. Harsh, maybe. But original and one of the more amusing football chants we’ve heard for a while. Anyway, enough talk of Wayne Rooney. I shall digress. Below are the fixtures for this weekend.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Everton v Man Utd, 12:45
Arsenal v Bolton
Fulham v Wolverhampton
Man City v Blackburn
Newcastle v Blackpool
West Brom v Tottenham
West Ham v Chelsea
Wigan v Sunderland

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Birmingham v Liverpool, 16:00

Monday, 13 September 2010

Stoke v Aston Villa, 20:00

Those are the fixtures and there are some cracking looking ones too. Here are the predictions:

Everton 1-1 Man Utd
Arsenal 3-0 Bolton
Fulham 1-0 Wolverhampton
Man City 3-0 Blackburn
Newcastle 2-1 Blackpool
West Brom 0-2 Tottenham
West Ham 0-3 Chelsea
Wigan 1-1 Sunderland

Birmingham 1-1 Liverpool

Stoke 1-0 Aston Villa

There are some difficult ones to predict in there. The stand-out fixture this weekend is the early kick-off at Goodison Park. They are both good footballing teams and it could be difficult to separate the them today.

As always, feel free to leave your predictions below. Here’s to a great weekend of football.

Mark





26/08/2010 – Thursday Transfer Talk

26 08 2010

Inter Milan have made an official £20m bid for Liverpool’s Argentina midfielder Javier Mascherano, 26, who is also a target for Barcelona.

Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson has accused his predecessor Rafael Benitez of reneging on a written promise that he would not try to lure players away from Anfield to his new club Inter Milan – with the Spaniard tracking the Merseyside club’s Dutch forward Dirk Kuyt.

Chelsea have revived their interest in 18-year-old Brazilian Neymar a week after the teenager signed a five-year deal with Santos.

[picapp align=”left” wrap=”true” link=”term=carlos+salcido&iid=9140250″ src=”http://view1.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/9140250/africa-salcido/africa-salcido.jpg?size=500&imageId=9140250″ width=”234″ height=”308″ /] Fulham are close to agreeing a £2.5m deal for Mexico defender Carlos Salcido (left), 30, from PSV Eindhoven – with Liverpool set to step up interest in the Cottagers’ left-back Paul Konchesky.

Bayern Munich’s Argentine utility player Martin Demichelis has turned down a £10m move to Chelsea, saying he wants to join Spanish side Sevilla.

Manchester City still hope to find Robinho a new club in the current transfer window, despite the Brazilian forward rejecting a move to Turkish side Fenerbache.

Bolton manager Owen Coyle wants to bring Manchester United’s England Under-21 midfielder Tom Cleverley to the Reebok.

West Ham are one of a number of clubs interested in bringing Juventus striker David Trezaguet to the Premier League, with Liverpool, West Brom and Aston Villa all interested in the 32-year-old Frenchman.

West Ham are expected to complete the signing of Inter Milan forward Victor Obinna, 23, on a free transfer on Thursday.

Blackburn are chasing £2m-rated Sweden Under-21 striker Denni Avdic, 21, who plays for Elfsborg.

Stoke are set to sign Portsmouth captain Marc Wilson for £3m, plus striker Dave Kitson, 30, after edging out West Bromwich Albion for the 23-year-old defender’s signature.

Wolves will re-sign Chelsea defender Michael Mancienne, 22, on a season-long loan deal for the third time.

Birmingham have made final bids of about £9m for Wigan’s left-sided Frenchman Charles N’Zogbia, 24, and £2m for Crystal Palace right-back Nathaniel Clyne, 19.

Newcastle are close to signing Guinea centre-back Kamil Zayatte, 25, from Hull for £1.6m.

[picapp align=”right” wrap=”true” link=”term=roque+santa+cruz&iid=9258565″ src=”http://view3.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/9258565/2010-world-cup-south/2010-world-cup-south.jpg?size=500&imageId=9258565″ width=”234″ height=”351″ /] Newcastle are eyeing a double loan swoop for Manchester City defender Dedryck Boyata and striker Roque Santa Cruz (right).

Blackpool are ready to improve their £500,000 bid for Sheffield Wednesday striker Marcus Tudgay, 27.

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini is set to give Brazilian striker Jo a final chance to impress at Eastlands.

Manchester City midfielder James Milner wants Manchester United’s Paul Scholes to change his mind about international retirement and start playing for England again.

However, England manager Fabio Capello says he will not try to tempt the likes of midfielder Scholes, Manchester United defender Wes Brown, Blackburn goalkeeper Paul Robinson and Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher out of international retirement.

Former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson is interested in becoming the next Ukraine manager as the country prepares to co-host the 2012 European Championship with Poland.

Former Portsmouth owner Milan Mandaric could return to Fratton Park once he completes the sale of his current club Leicester.

Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has defended beleaguered England manager Fabio Capello, with the national side’s captain saying people are “jumping too far and too quick” on the Italian’s back.

For full stories, head over to the BBC website.





20/08/2010 – Friday Transfer Talk

20 08 2010

Paul Konchesky has been offered a new contract by Fulham to keep him out of the clutches of Liverpool, who are preparing a £3m bid for the English left-back.

[picapp align=”left” wrap=”true” link=”term=dirk+kuyt&iid=9298413″ src=”http://view2.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/9298413/dirk-kuyt-holland-world/dirk-kuyt-holland-world.jpg?size=500&imageId=9298413″ width=”234″ height=”333″ /]  Dirk Kuyt’s agent, Rob Jansen, claims the Liverpool striker (left)  is considering a reunion with former Reds boss Rafael Benitez at Inter Milan. Jansen claimed there is “real interest” from the European champions and added: “There is also the possibility that a player from Inter could be included in the deal.”

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will turn his attentions to Bordeaux’s France international defender Michael Ciani, 26, if his bid to land Sevilla centre-back Sebastien Squillaci fails.

Tottenham are set to offer £6m for Everton midfielder Steven Pienaar, who has just one year remaining on his contract, and secure the services of Read Madrid midfielder Lassana Diarra on a loan deal.

Santos president Alvaro Luis De Oliveira has offered 18-year-old playmaker Neymar a new and improved contract to try to keep him out of the reaches of Chelsea.

Birmingham are poised to make a £6m move for Tottenham defender Alan Hutton.

Carlton Cole insists he is happy at West Ham and will not be joining Liverpool this summer. The striker has been strongly linked with a move away from Upton Park to Anfield.

Spurs face a battle with Spanish side Seville in a race to sign Barcelona’s former Arsenal winger Alex Hleb, who went on loan to German side Stuttgart last season.

Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson has confirmed he is considering the possibility of sending midfielder Alberto Aquilani out on loan in an effort to help him play first-team football.

Aquilani’s agent insists the player will remain at Anfield but that is not preventing Juventus from lining up a bid for the Italian.

[picapp align=”right” wrap=”true” link=”term=rafael+van+der+vaart&iid=9567436″ src=”http://view4.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/9567436/world-news-august-2010/world-news-august-2010.jpg?size=500&imageId=9567436″ width=”234″ height=”366″ /] Real Madrid midfielder Rafael van der Vaart (right) is eyeing a move to Manchester United after becoming one of four players put up for sale. The Dutchman said: “If you are leaving Real Madrid, there is only one club that is not a step down – and that’s Manchester United.”

Blackburn are set to sign Jonathan Greening from Fulham on a season-long loan. The former Manchester United midfielder, 31, is not in new Fulham boss Mark Hughes’s plans and Rovers have been cleared to speak to him.

Bolton’s versatile midfielder Matt Taylor is a target for West Ham and Blackburn, despite the £2m-rated star signing a new contract last year.

Birmingham want to secure a deal for Wolfsburg striker Grafite but obtaining a work permit could be a problem. The 31-year-old Brazilian has scored 50 goals in 79 games for Steve McClaren’s side but only has four caps.

Manchester City fans may be a little concerned after reading Roberto Mancini’s latest managerial ambitions in his homeland. The Italian, who led his team to a 1-0 win in the Europa League play-offs on Thursday, said: “You cannot say no to the national team. I would love to coach Italy one day.”

Chelsea’s 21-year-old defender Sam Hutchinson has been forced to retire because of a chronic knee injury. First spotted by Jose Mourinho, now at Real Madrid, he made his senior debut aged 18 against Everton in 2007 and played four times for the first team.

Dimitar Berbatov has painted himself as Manchester United’s modern-day Eric Cantona. “Football is like art and my aim is to create beautiful things on the pitch to help the team be successful,” said the Bulgarian, who has also drawn caricatures of team-mates Wayne Rooney and Nemanja Vidic.

For full stories, head over to the BBC website.

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