Kamis, 31 Januari 2013

De Laurentiis: Napoli have brought in players we can count on

Aurelio De Laurentiis - Napoli
Aurelio De Laurentiis has declared himself happy with Napoli's dealings in the January transfer window having brought in young players they can "count on".

The Scudetto contenders brought in young Croat Radosevic, along with the likes of Rolando, and the club's president believes they did good business during the winter window.

"I think we can be satisfied with it," he told reporters.

"Radosevic, although very young, is a player that we can already count on. Over the next few years, [our investments] will be very useful.

"Kudos to [sporting director Riccardo] Bigon for making sure the kids who did not much find much space here settled elsewhere."

De Laurentiis went on to confirm that the Partenopei had been knocked back in an attempt to sign Mauro Icardi from Sampdoria.

"You must be realistic," he continued. "Not everyone can get what they want when they want. Behind every complication , there is always something wrong so you shouldn't have any regrets."

Napoli are currently second in Serie A, three points behind league leaders Juventus.

Suarez planning to stay at Liverpool for a 'very long time'

EPL, Arsenal v Liverpool, Luis Suarez
Liverpool forward Luis Suarez has revealed that he plans to stay at the club for "a very long time".

The Uruguay international scored his 18th league goal of the season during the Reds' 2-2 draw with Arsenal on Wednesday night, taking his tally to 22 for the campaign in all competitions.

And, despite routinely courting controversy during his two-year stay in England so far, Suarez insists he has never contemplated leaving Liverpool.

"I hope [to be at Liverpool] for a very long time because it's a massive club that kids dream about playing for," Suarez told the club's official website.

"I've been very proud to be at a club like Liverpool and to have made the decision to come here. In two years I've lived through some spectacular and very special moments that I will never, ever forget.

"There have been a few difficult times as well, but with the support of my family, the club and the fans, things have gone well for me.

"I do feel at home here. When I'm out and about, all I get is support and encouragement from the local people and that's very important, and when I come here to the club I feel like people have known me all my life. That also helps a great deal to making me feel so at home.

"I hope to be able to help out the team for as long as I possibly can while trying do something to make the club and the fans very happy."

Liverpool currently sit in seventh place in the Premier League table, seven points behind fourth-placed Tottenham.

Rabu, 30 Januari 2013

Balotelli mobbed by AC Milan fans outside restaurant in Italy

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Outgoing Manchester City forward Mario Balotelli was mobbed by hundreds of AC Milan fans outside a restaurant where the striker met with the Italian club's vice-president, Adriano Galliani, on Wednesday evening.

The 22-year-old is on the verge of returning to Serie A in a 20 million deal and is currently in Italy ahead of the move, which is set to be officially completed on Thursday.

Balotelli had his medical at a hospital in Busto Arsizio on Wednesday afternoon and then went to have dinner with the club official after his three-hour examination.

Prior to meeting with Galliani, the Italy international was greeted by a large crowd of Milan supporters, who were chanting: "You threw the shirt of s**t [referring to Inter in the Champions League semi-final against Barcelona in 2010] on the ground, now you're with Milan. The dreams have come true, you score the best goals. We will win with Mario Balotelli."

The swarm of supporters also set off fireworks and police were required to use tear gas in order to break up the crowd.

A policeman was also taken to hospital after being hit on the head with a bottle which was thrown by one of the fans.

Radosevic signs for Napoli

Josip Radosevic
By Luke Matthews

Josip Radosevic has signed for Napoli for a fee in the region of 3 million, Goal.com can reveal.

The transfer of one of Hajduk Split's most highly rated young players, who has been with the club since the age of six, was confirmed by the player's agent and brother on Wednesday.

The defensive midfielder is only 18-years-old but has already been invited to join up with Igor Stimac's Croatia for their friendly with South Korea in February.

"Josip has signed [with Napoli], we now need to look for an apartment," Antonio Radosevic told Goal.com.

"He will fly to Croatia tomorrow to settle details for his work permit."

Radosevic's style has been compared with that of combative former AC Milan star and Italy World Cup winner Gennaro Gattuso.

'Skilful Coutinho could be perfect for the Premier League' - everything you need to know about Liverpool 13.7m signing

Philippe Coutinho - Inter
By Chris Myson & Matt Scott

Liverpool have bolstered their attacking ranks in January with the signing of Daniel Sturridge and Inter starlet Philippe Coutinho, who officially signed for the Anfield club on Wednesday afternoon.

Coutinho came through the youth system of Brazilian heavyweights Vasco da Gama, a club he initially joined at just seven years of age.

Before he even made his debut for the club, the playmaker was already making waves. His exceptional performances in the youth team and internationally for Brazil under-16 and 17s ensured he was quickly developing an impressive reputation.

Real Madrid were amongst the big European clubs who circled for his signature, although it was Inter who eventually won the race, paying 4.2 million euros for the then 16-year-old in 2008.

The Serie A club allowed him to stay with Vasco da Gama on loan until he turned 18 in 2010, w hen they made his transfer official and brought him to San Siro.

By that point he had played over two seasons for the first team at his boyhood club, in the second campaign becoming a regular and important contributor to the side.

He spent an initial 18 months in and around the Inter squad, making his debut in the Uefa Super Cup defeat to Atletico Madrid, although he never really established himself as a first-team regular.

Coutinho has always impressed with his technical qualities, but hes always been considered too inexperienced to make a real mark during his time in Italian football, explains Goal.com Italys Maurizio Piano.

That means a lot of his most brilliant performances have come during friendly matches in pre-season. In senior games, he didnt get picked to play too often and, when he did, it tended to be from the substitutes bench.

For the second half of the 2011-12 season, Coutinho was loaned t o La Liga outfit Espanyol and he impressed under Mauricio Pochettino, now manager of Southampton.

He played 16 matches as he helped the Catalan side to a mid-table finish and scored five times, two of which were particularly spectacular efforts a free-kick against Malaga and a volley against Racing Santander.

Since returning from Spain, Coutinho would have hoped to improve his fortunes with Inter on the back of the confidence gained in La Liga, but most recently, an injury has also hindered his progress as he tries to force his way into the team.

Now, despite the players stated wish to remain at Inter, it seems the club are determined to move him on, as they have done with Wesley Sneijder, to raise funds for new pursuits in the market.

Maurizio added: Coutinho has never really been seen as a certain starter for Inter. Now, the Nerazzurri need money to try and buy Paulinho from Corinthians.

Just like Ricky Alvar ez, Coutinho is seen as one of the expendable players Inter are prepared to sell in order to raise money that allows them to buy in this transfer window.

The Reds have been in the market for an attacking midfielder this month after allowing Nuri Sahin to leave Merseyside and rejoin his former club Dortmund, the Turkey international having failed to make an impact at Anfield.

Wesley Sneijder was a Liverpool target until the Netherlands playmaker chose to leave Inter for Galatasaray.

The 28-year-old was thought to be holding out for an offer from the Premier League, but could not be persuaded to wait for an offer from Anfield and joined the Turkish giants in a 7.5 million (6.3m) deal.

Where Sneijder is a pass-master, Coutinho is a completely different kind of player, but is not lacking the kind of creative spark that saw the Dutchman regarded so highly.

The Brazilian has often found himself lining up on the left-hand side at Inter and Espanyol, a position that has been rotated between youngsters Raheem Sterling and Suso at Anfield for much of this term.

Possessing a lightning-quick burst of speed, but typically South American close-control, Coutinho is a flair player who will not think twice when taking a man on, with a penchant for lobbing his man.

When cutting inside on to his right foot, the 20-year-old is an accurate finisher; indeed, his return of 15 goals from 96 career games is impressive for a youngster who has featured in a wide role in most of those appearances.

With the teenaged Sterling feeling signs of burn-out after a whirlwind introduction to the Premier League, and Suso seeming to lack the speed required for the top-flight, Coutinho could be a happy medium between the two.

Maurizio certainly feels he could be a success story at Anfield if the deal goes ahead, saying: Even if at Inter he has been used at times as a midfielder, he really is more like an attacking midfielder or even outright attacker.

He may not be particularly physically strong but he is certainly fast and agile. He has good vision, strong dribbling skills and can certainly be a prolific creator of chances. I think he could do well in the Premier League, since he is quick and has great skills.

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Arsenal don't need David Villa to finish in top four, insists Parlour

Sevilla 2-3 Barcelona : David Villa
Arsenals hopes of finishing on the top four do not hinge on whether they are able to sign Barcelona striker David Villa before Thursdays transfer deadline, according to club legend Ray Parlour.

Arsene Wengers side go into Wednesdays crucial meeting with fellow Champions League aspirants Liverpool four points adrift of fourth-placed Spurs.

Despite the Spanish sides insistence that the former Valencia man is not for sale, the Gunners continue to be heavily linked with a deadline day move for the 31-year-old.

Parlour, however, a vital member of Wengers last title-winning side in 2004, believes that the recent form of summer recruit Olivier Giroud, who has scored four goals in his last two games, means that a failure to secure Villas services would not represent a terminal blow to his old sides ambitions.

I really thought he might go and strengthen, at least bring in one player in, but it appears David Villa didnt want to come to A rsenal," he told talkSPORT

Im sure the scouting system is working hard to find players for Arsene Wenger, but nothing has fit the bill.

It looks like hes not going to buy anyone at the moment and hell have to go until the end of the season with the squad he's got.

"If Olivier Giroud can bang a few goals in then he can fire them into fourth place."

Ibrahimovic: Mourinho & Ronaldo to PSG just wishful thinking for now

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, PSG, 2012
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has voiced his opinion that it would be great for Paris Saint-Germain to secure the services of Real Madrid's Jose Mourinho and Cristiano Ronaldo, but has insisted that signing the duo is a dream for now.

The Portuguese pair have both been linked with a move to the Ligue 1 giants amid ongoing speculation that they could leave the Santiago Bernabeu, but the Swede remains coy on the subject at this point.

"It would be great news for any team to sign Mourinho and Ronaldo. Mourinho is a great coach, one of the best in the world, while Ronaldo is among the best players," the Sweden star told Marca.

"However, fact is that it's just speculation at this point, and not the reality.

"People can always dream of signing them and speculate what could happen, but there is no point in saying anything else on it until something takes off."

Ronaldo has a contract with Madrid until June 2015, while Mouri nho's deal with los Blancos runs until the summer of 2016.

Selasa, 29 Januari 2013

Mancini confirms Balotelli is very close to Milan move

Mario Balotelli - Manchester City
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has confirmed Mario Balotelli is "very close" to a move to AC Milan.

The two clubs reached an agreement over a 23.4 million [20m] deal on Tuesday, with the Rossoneri revealing via their Twitter account that "Balotelli's medicals will take place [on Wednesday] at Busto Arsizio and Milanello", while his first training session with the team will take place on Thursday.

As Goal.com exclusively revealed on Monday afternoon, negotiations between the two clubs had accelerated, leaving Balotelli poised to undergo a medical in Milan ahead of the proposed transfer, and Mancini has confirmed that the switch is set to be completed.

"They are very close and we are also so sad because Mario was an important player for us," Mancini told reporters.

"With Mario we won the Premier League, the FA Cup, the Charity Shield. He's a fantastic player, but f or him, this could be an important chance to come back to Italy and play for a top club like Milan and I hope he can continue to improve because he can become one of the best players in the world.

"It's difficult for me because I lost one striker and that could be important in the next 14 games.

"It is important for Mario to go back to Italy. It could be a good chance for him to stay with his family and to play for Milan. He can improve and I am happy for him. He can be one of the best players in the world."

Balotelli's stock fell after a training ground bust-up with Mancini and, although he was subsequently dropped from the first-team, he was then given a reprieve by the 48-year-old, who took time to hail the 22-year-old's character in light of the imminent departure.

Mancini said Balotelli "is in the history of this club" with his goals during City's title-winning campaign last season, along with his assist for Sergio Aguero's a ll-important winner against QPR on the final day of the season.

Mancini continued: "For me Mario was like one of my children. You can be upset with him sometimes but after he is a lovely guy.

"We talk, the club told me about the request from Milan. I spoke with Mario. I think that Mario wanted this because for him after three years in England, to go to Italy will be good for him.

"I invested a lot of time in good players - Mario maybe more, but he is in the history of this club because he won three trophies in two years and he scored important goals last year against United away. He did well, very well.

"I speak everyday with Mario, we speak about his situation. I think it is a good opportunity with him. All the players will miss him, all the players when Mario left the hotel were really sad, because Mario is a good guy, he's been with us for two years."

Pulis open to selling QPR target Crouch


Stoke City boss Tony Pulis admits he would allow striker Peter Crouch to move to QPR before the end of the January transfer window.

Rangers boss Harry Redknapp has made no secret of his interest in the 42-time England international, with the pair working together at Portsmouth, Southampton and Tottenham in the past.

Crouch has struggled for first-team opportunities this season due to injury worries and the form of team-mate Kenwyne Jones, and Pulis has now revealed a return to London could be on the cards for the striker.

Pulis told reporters: "QPR have enquired about Peter, whether we do it or not youll have to wait and see.

"Harrys rung me up and asked me about the possibility, Ive spoken to Peter about it, he knows about it and its up to Peter as to whether he wants to go. Peters very happy here, and hes made that clear.

"Its got to be right for the player, its got to be right for the football club. Th e great thing is that financially we dont have to worry about bringing money in."

However, the deal could be jeopardised by the lack of time left in the transfer window, with Pulis stressing that no transfer would be sanctioned unless the Potters were able to sign a replacement for Crouch.

Pulis continued: "If its right for both parties and the player wants to go then its very difficult not to let the player go, the important thing for me is that if he does want to go its got to be right for us but also weve got to have someone wholl come in and do the same job.

"If the deal was right, Peter wanted to go and everything was in place and we couldnt find a replacement then he wouldnt go because that would put the club at risk, and its too big a season to put the club at risk."

Paulinho to stay at Corinthians despite Inter offer

Paulinho - Corinthians
Brazil midfielder Paulinho has put an end to the speculation linking him with a move to Inter this month by pledging his future to Corinthians.

The 24-year-old, who had been rumoured to be on the radar of the Italian giants, confirmed he had received a lucrative offer from the Seria A side but believes remaining in Brazil will prove beneficial for his career.

"I made my decision, along with my family, to stay at Corinthians," the player told a press conference on Tuesday.

"The offer was good but sometimes you have to forget about the money. A good financial proposal doesn't mean you'll get to do a lot of things. There are times when you have to think about your career.

"I lead a very calm life and have all the conditions to do good work here at Corinthians and one of the reasons for me to stay was to return to the national team."

Roberto de Ardrade, Corinthians director of football, confirmed Inter's interest in t he player.

He added: "Let's make something clear. The club was contacted by an Inter representative. We sat down and we discussed things.

"I spoke to Paulinho and, together, we decided that he won't be leaving Corinthians."

Bursaspor announce loan signing of QPR defender Anton Ferdinand

Anton Ferdinand of QPR profile pic
Bursaspor have announced the signing of QPR defender Anton Ferdinand on loan until the end of the season.

The 27-year-old had made just nine Premier League appearances for the Rs during the current campaign and has opted to join the Turkish side in order to gain more playing time.

The Istanbul outfit have the option to make the signing of the Peckham-born centre-back permanent at the end of his temporary deal.

Ferdinand has been at Loftus Road for just one-and-a-half seasons after joining QPR from Sunderland in August 2011. The defender, brother of Manchester United star Rio Ferdinand, began his career at West Ham United.

Bursaspor are currently seventh in the Turkish Super Lig, nine points behind leaders Galatasaray.

Senin, 28 Januari 2013

Nelson completes Palermo switch

Nelson - Betis
Palermo have confirmed the signing of former Real Betis defender Nelson.

The 29-year-old was released by Betis at the end of December and has signed an 18-month deal with the Rosanero, making him the club's sixth acquisition this month.

According to A Bola, the Portugal international will be unveilved in Sicily on Tuesday along with Mauro Boselli, who completed a loan move from Wigan Athletic.

The Cape Verdean-born Nelson had been previously linked with a move to Brazilian-side Vasco Da Gama but Palermo swooped first to land the defender.

Nelson, a right-sided attacking full-back, will be counted on to inject some life into a Palermo team that has scored only 19 goals in 22 Serie A matches this season, resulting in the Rosanero languishing 19th in Serie A.

The former Benfica defender is the latest in a series of new faces to arrive at Stadio Renzo Barbera with club president Maurizio Zampari ni hoping his latest recruits can aid Palermo's survival challenge.

Nelson has been capped by the Portuguese national team three times.

Porto's Juan Manuel Iturbe set to seal River Plate loan

Juan Iturbe, Argentina, 2013
Porto forward Juan Manuel Iturbe is set to finally secure a loan move to River Plate, ending weeks of speculation.

Negotiations between the clubs initially began late in December but, after neither party could reach an agreement, Iturbe's agent Augusto Paraja claimed his client was being "punished" by the Portuguese outfit and threatened legal-action.

But it seems there has been a breakthrough after Iturbe took to his Twitter page to post the latest in a series of cryptic messages in relation to the proposed move.

"All it needs is the punchline. Overjoyed," said Iturbe (@ Juan_Iturbe93), confirming that all the deal lacks is the formalities.

Last monday, Iturbe posted "This is long..", in a comment understood to be in relation to the ongoing negotiation process.

The 19-year-old will join the club on a year-long deal that provides Porto with the option of recalling him after six months.

Isco signs Malaga contract extension

Isco has committed his future to Malaga by signing a three-year contract extension, which also contains a 35 million buy-out clause.

In recent months the youngster has been linked with a number of clubs, with the likes of Tottenham, Chelsea and Bayern Munich reportedly interested in acquiring his services.

However, Isco is happy with his decision and confident that Malaga will continue to blossom over the next three years.

"It's a big step for me and for Malaga. I'm grateful because they bring me to my city," the 20-year-old told reporters.

"I have trust in this team and I think we will continue improving this year, and that's good for me and for the club.

"I'm happy to have renewed. What happens in the future nobody knows. Nobody has contacted with me, these are rumours and run every day. It isn't the time to talk about it now."

The club's sporting director Mario Husillos also expressed his delight at r eaching an agreement with the player and his decision to stay at the club.

"The player has always been very clear that the only option was to stay at Malaga. There have been offers from other clubs, but the main thing for me is he continues in Malaga."

Isco has scored seven goals in 25 appearances in all competitions this season.

Minggu, 27 Januari 2013

Wenger 'not close' on any new signings for Arsenal

Arsene Wenger,Arsenal
Arsene Wenger has conceded that he isn't close to bringing any new players to Arsenal in the January transfer window, claiming that the required calibre of player is hard to come by at this point in a season.

A three-year contract extension for Theo Walcott is the only business that has taken place in the Gunners' boardroom, with fans frustrated at a lack of transfers under Wenger in recent times, but the Frenchman insists he will not bring in players for the sake of it.

"You do not find them in the street, strikers who can play for us. We have strength in our team. It is difficult in January," he told reporters.

"Realistically, I cannot tell you I will sign anyone tomorrow, or Tuesday, as we are not close to doing it."

Those words are likely to cause unrest amongst the Gunners' faithful after they saw their team barely scrape through against Brighton in the FA Cup on Saturday. A late deflected Walcott effort was enough to s ee Arsenal through to round five, but alarm bells will certainly be ringing.

Arsenal sit in sixth position in the Premier League, four points adrift of a Champions League spot, and have lacked the necessary firepower up front at times this season.

They also face a stern test against Bayern Munich in the last 16 of the Champions League in February, but Wenger as ever is keeping his cards close to his chest about any possible transfer deals being wrapped up in the coming days.

Sabtu, 26 Januari 2013

Adler denies tension with Neuer for Germany gloves

Hamburger SV, Rene Adler
Hamburg keeper Rene Adler has refuted claims that he is pushing for a return to the first-team plans for Germany at the expense of Manuel Neuer.

The 28-year-old has gained a new lease of life after joining Thorsten Fink's men on a free transfer, although he insists he is keeping his feet on the ground at the moment.

"I am very grateful because I feel the affection of the [Hamburg] fans," Adler told Sport1. "This has given me a good feeling.

"However, only time will tell if I return to the national team. I have emphasised many times that neither I nor Neuer have put undue pressure in public on the coach [Joachim Low] to be selected.

"He is in favour of competition for all places. I was recently in his plans, and I don't believe it was the last time."

Adler's form, which has seen him only concede 22 goals in the Bundesliga so far, has resulted in him being linked to Barcelona as a replacement for Victor Val des.

But the German refused to respond to the alleged response, replying: "I don't think [of Barcelona] at all."

Jumat, 25 Januari 2013

Fabricio Coloccini admits he 'needed' Newcastle exit in open letter to San Lorenzo fans

Fabricio Coloccini
Newcastle defender Fabricio Coloccini has claimed that he "needed" a move to San Lorenzo in an open letter to the Argentine club's fans.

The Magpies' captain was seeking a move to his former club this month due to a series of personal problems, but Alan Pardew claimed on Friday that the 30-year-old will remain on Tyneside until the end of the season.

The letter read: "To my San Lorencista family

"I write these lines from a long way away where I am missing my country, my family and my close ones. And with sadness of knowing that after a series of meetings held here in Newcastle that my return to Argentina has been momentarily suspended.

"Unfortunately, life does not always end up like you wanted it or needed it to, many times is it influenced by third parties and the rigidities of contracts that are stronger than the will of ones own desires.

"However, I am convinced that this moment of disappointment need not b e an obstacle for me to declare my profound gratitude to each and every one of you for the affection and the support that you all have provided me during these past few months, in every way imaginable.

"Furthermore, I wish to acknowledge the patience and the respect of the media and the serious manner in which they conducted everything during this time for me and my family.

"I am sure that they have understood the personal situation that I have been going through and can comprehend that the silence maintained for both me and my representative, Marcelo Lombilla, during this time, has not been capricious but due to the need to keep private certain matters.

"Lastly, I wish to thank the authorities at San Lorenzo del Almagro and especially show my gratitude to the president, Dr Matias Lammens and vice president, Mr Marcelo Tinelli, for all the affection, support and understanding they have afforded me and who from the first moment , without any reservations or conditions, were interested in my personal and family situation and who put themselves at my disposal.

"Essentially, I want to thank the enormous effort made by them, from every point of view, to remove whatever difficulties I may have come in touch with.

"In these times, in which the leadership of the Argentine football appears less challenged by various reasons, it is with deep pride - as part of the San Lorenzo family- I wish to acknowledge to Matias Lammens and Marcelo Tinelli on their personal qualities, for their professional qualities and for their excellent management, their the honest work, their seriousness and commitment in placing the human being over and above other interests, all of which is a heading from the chosen path for our club; and that in the distance, certainly, I am filled with satisfaction.

"Sincerely thank you for both affection,

"Fabricio Coloccini."

Lyon's Bastos agrees personal terms with Schalke

Coupe de France : Michel Bastos (Epinal vs Olympique Lyonnais)
Olympique Lyon midfielder Michel Bastos and Schalke 04 have come to an agreement over the player's proposed move to Germany.

However, the French club have yet to agree on the sale price with the Gelsenkirchen outfit and their president, Jean-Michel Aulas, has revealed that he has an agreement to sell the player to another club.

"Michel has agreed with Schalke, but we have agreed a deal with another club which has not been mentioned in the press," he told BeIN Sport.

"He will probably leave in any case. We did not want to take chances."

In regards to Lisandro Lopez, who in recent weeks has been linked with a move to Italian giants Juve, Aulas confirmed that the player will not be leaving the Stade de Gerland.

"Lisandro will not leave. He is an essential player for us that is why we said 'no' to Juventus," he added.

Kamis, 24 Januari 2013

'Lewandowski must do what is right for him' - Klinsmann

Jurgen Klinsmann, USA
United States coach Jurgen Klinsmann believes Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski should listen to what he wants rather than worry about what supporters or other dissenting voices might think.

The Pole is one of the most sought-after players in Europe, and now faces the option of whether to stay at BVB or move elsewhere.

And having been in a similar position himself, Klinsmann has advised the 24-year-old to ignore outside pressure and make his own decision.

"I think the most impotant perspective to look at it from is his own. If he's happy at Dortmund, and enjoying it, then keep enjoying it," he told reporters.

"If he's hungry for another adventure, then go. He should do what he feels is right.

"If he decides to go to another league, whether it's the English, Italian or Spanish, then it is his decision.

However, the 48-year-old concedes that if Lewandowski was to leave BVB, then German football would be losing one of its brightest stars.

He added: "He's a special player and is fun to watch. Obviously Dortmund fans love him; German fans in general love to have a player like him."

Manchester United agree 17m Zaha deal

Wilfred Zaha,Crystal Palace
By Wayne Veysey Chief Correspondent

Wilfried Zaha will become a Manchester United player after agreeing the terms of a 17 million move from Crystal Palace, Goal.com understands.

The 20-year-old has agreed a five-and-a-half-year contract with the Premier League giants and his registration will be transferred in the coming days, even though he will be loaned back to the Championship club for the rest of the season.

Zaha is also due to undertake a medical in the next 48 hours as United wrap up the deal.

Sources have told Goal.com that Palace chairman Steve Parish, who is believed to be in Australia, had hoped to hang on to Zahas registration until the summer, with the two clubs agreeing a guaranteed date of purchase.

However, Football League rules forbid such an agreement and United have been keen to complete the deal this week.

As revealed by Goal.com on Monday, Palace have negotiated a fee of 15m, rising to 17m with performance-related add-ons.

This was enough to blow Arsenal out of the water after the two Premier League big hitters became involved in a two-horse race to sign the coveted forward.

Rabu, 23 Januari 2013

Xavi to sign new Barcelona contract on Monday

Xavi profile pic
Barcelona have announced that Xavi will sign a new contract on Monday.

The Liga leaders revealed in December that the 32-year-old had agreed to extend his current deal at the club, which is due to expire in June 2014.

Tito Vilanova's side have now confirmed that the midfield star will put pen-to-paper at the beginning of next week, with the new deal set to keep him at the club until June 30, 2016.

The news follows Carles Puyol's decision to pen fresh terms at Camp Nou earlier this week, with the captain also signing an extension until 2016.

While Lionel Messi is expected to sign a new deal in the coming weeks, with the Argentina attacker set to commit his future to the club until 2018.

AC Milan willing to sell Mexes to finance Balotelli move

Roberto Mancini,Mario Balotelli
By Gaia Brunelli

AC Milan are looking to offload defender Phillipe Mexes to help finance a deal for Manchester City misfit Mario Balotelli during the January transfer window, Goal.comcan reveal.

The English champions are holding out for a sum of 31.1 million for the forward, who has already put the wheels in motion as he prepares to leave the club.

That sum exceeds what the Rossoneri are willing to pay for the player, but club CEO Adriano Galliani is hoping to subsidise the transfer with the sale of Mexes.

The club have grown frustrated with the Frenchman's poor performances in recent weeks, and his sale would free up around 3.8m in wages, which would go towards a move for Balotelli.

Roberto Mancini has remained adamant that the former Inter man would not be leaving the club in January, despite player and manager being involved in a training gr ound row at the start of the year.

And, although AC Milan president Silvio Berlusconi claimed that Balotelli was a "rotten" apple and later apologised, the seven-time European champions have proposed a deal worth 25m, to be paid over six years, to bring him back to his homeland, as Goal.com revealed on Tuesday.

However, City are hoping for a better deal that would see his transfer fee paid over the course of three years.

The Rossoneri's audacious attempt to bring Kaka back to San Siro from Real Madrid fell through this week, but they remain hopeful of adding a big name to their squad this winter.

Should Mexes leave Milan, Galliani & Co. would look to bring in Davide Astori of Cagliari, but the Sardinian outfit are unlikely to want to sell the defender.

Their second-choice replacement is Chievo's Marco Andreolli, whose contract expires in the summer.

Selasa, 22 Januari 2013

Celta Vigo complete loan signing of Pranjic

Danijel Pranjic of Croatia

Danijel Pranjic has joined Celta Vigo on loan from Sporting Lisbon until the end of the season.

The Croatia international, who joined the Portuguese outfit on a free transfer from Bayern Munich last summer, has only made 15 appearances in all competitions so far this season and has been linked with a move away from Lisbon for some time.

The 31-year-old joins the Liga outfit on a temporary deal for six months, with Celta retaining the option to make the move permanent in the summer.

"When I got the offer from Celta, I didn't hesitate for a moment," Pranjic told a press conference on Tuesday.

"I believe I can bring a lot of experience to the team. Celta play very good football and I don't believe they should be so low down in the table."

The club's porting director, Miguel Torrecilla, added: "He's a purely offensive player. He can adapt to all kinds of midfield positions, be it on the wing, or in the centre next to a defens ive pivot."

Della Valle promises summer signings at Fiorentina

Della Valle & Rossi - Fiorentina
Fiorentina president Andrea Della Valle has revealed the club are "preparing something nice" for the summer transfer window.

Some fans have questioned the club's transfer policy in the current window, with the signing of Giuseppe Rossi their only acquisition, but Della Valle has promised supporters that their patience will be rewarded in the not too distant future.

"The fans who want to see big signings in the winter will have to wait, but I assure you that in June we are preparing something really nice. The first signal was the arrival of Giuseppe Rossi," he told reporters at a press conference.

Della Valle also co mmented on his side's 1-1 draw with Napoli on Sunday, and admitted he was pleased with the result as he looks to build a side capable of qualifying for the Champions League.

"Against Napoli I saw a beautiful Fiorentina, all things considered. I think with the balance of the teams it is to be considered as a good result. They have a champion like [Edinson] Cavani, we have [Stevan Jovetic]," he explained.

"Our goal
is to fight for Europe, we hope to make the jump next season."

Allardyce to hold talks with Alou Diarra on West Ham future

Alou Diarra,Shinji Kagawa
Sam Allardyce says he is aware of Alou Diarra's unhappiness at West Ham and is willing to sit down with the midfielder and discuss his future at the club.

Diarra has only made two Premier League appearances since moving to Upton Park in the summer from Marseille and has since voiced his desire to leave, citing "lies" made to him upon his arrival in east London.

And while Allardyce revealed Diarra had not spoken to him personally on the matter, he conceded he was not surprised a player boasting 44 caps for France would be unhappy at playing such a sporadic role.

"He is obviously clear, without telling me, that he is not happy with the situation, which is understandable," Allardyce told reporters.

"You get this all the time as a manager when you bring a player of his experience and calibre over from France.

"It hasn't quite worked out and he feels a little disgruntled in terms of playing more, this or that."

But Allardyce insists he is looking to keep Diarra at the club, particularly with speculation rising over the future of fellow midfield man Mohamed Diame.

"It is a fact of life," he added. "I look at the situation and play what I consider the best team, and because of Alou's long-standing injury he has found it hard to adjust to what is needed in the Premier League.

"If he is unhappy, he just has to tell me what he wants to do and we'll see how we go from there. We'll have that discussion and we'll make a decision after that on his future."

Balotelli preparing for Manchester City exit

Mario Balotelli - Manchester City
By Greg Stobart

Mario Balotelli appears to have said goodbye to Manchester City after he held an apparent farewell meal ahead of his proposed 25 million (30m) move to AC Milan.

The controversial striker has already given notice on his rented house in Cheshire and also flown a number of belongings back to Milan ahead of a potential return to San Siro.

And the Italian was spotted with a number of close friends at Chinese restaurant Wings in Manchester on Saturday night in what an eye-witness told Goal.com "looked very much like the final goodbye".

He continued: "Mario often dines there but he wasn't his usual jocular self, certainly the mood seemed a sombre one, as if he was on his way."

Milan have proposed a 25m (30m) transfer with payments over six years to sign the 22-year-old, who has scored just one Premier League goal in 14 appearances this season.

City director of football Txiki B egiristain and manager Roberto Mancini are both understood to be ready to sell Balotelli following a string of controversies surrounding the former Inter star, who cost 24m (29m) when he moved to the Etihad Stadium in 2010.

The champions are in no rush to sell Balotelli in the winter transfer window but are aware that the player is homesick in the north west and eager to return to Italy following the birth of his first child last month.

Milan are expected to intensify their efforts to sign Balotelli after conceding defeat in their attempts to re-sign Kaka from Real Madrid.

"The negotiations for Kaka have broken down. It's not possible to complete the deal for fiscal reasons, said Adriano Galliani, the Milan vice-president. We had agreed on everything else but the deal broke down about an hour ago."

Balotellis agent, Mino Raiola, has been vocal in insisting that there his zero chance of his client leaving City this mont h while Milan officials including Galliani and coach Massimilliano Allegri have played down their interest in the Italy international.

"There is no negotiation for Balotelli with any club, no meeting, zero. It seems like a Grimm Brothers' fairy tale," Raiola said this week.

"Manchester City won't sell Mario, let alone loan. There are zero chances he moves. But until January 31, who knows."

Goal.com understands, however, that talks have taken place although City are holding out for a better deal with payments structured over three years.

Balotelli has been frustrated with a lack of opportunities this season having found himself behind Sergio Aguero, Carlos Tevez and Edin Dzeko in the pecking order at the club.

Throughout his time at City, he has been involved in a number of controversial incidents including a highly publicised training ground bust-up with Mancini earlier this month.

Follow Greg Stobart on

Senin, 21 Januari 2013

Coloccini set for Newcastle decision

Fabricio Coloccini, Newcastle
Fabricio Coloccini's father has revealed that the Newcastle captain is close to making a decision over his future at St James' Park.

The Magpies' skipper has been chasing a move back to former club San Lorenzo this January, with Alan Pardew revealing the defender is suffering with personal problems.

Osvaldo Coloccini told Argentine radio show Rock and Closs: "Today there was an inconclusive meeting, tomorrow it will be defined.

"Fabricio is very anxious, he wants a definition, for better or for worse. I think it's time to return to San Lorenzo. We both desire the transfer.

"In Newcastle they ask him to wait until May. The issue is whether San Lorenzo will wait until that date."

Pardew admitted this week that Coloccini has asked to leave the club, but remains hopeful of keeping him on Tyneside for now.

The Magpies' manager wrote in his program notes for Saturday's clash with Reading: "A personal is sue is at the root of the problem here.

"We are looking at every option to try and keep a player who has done so much for the club with us for the future.

"Colo is a great guy and a great defender and I hope we can find a solution to this."

Manchester United attempt to blow Arsenal out of the water by offering 20m deal for Zaha

Wilfred Zaha,Crystal Palace
By Wayne Veysey Chief Correspondent

Manchester United have attempted to blow Arsenal out of the water by tabling an offer worth up to 20.2 million for Wilfried Zaha, Goal.com can reveal.

United have made multiple bids for the Crystal Palace attacker since making the first formal move for the forward last week, when they made a 7.15m opening offer.

Sources have told Goal.com that the Premier League giants have made four or five bids for Zaha, with the final package believed to be 17.9m rising to 20.2m with add-ons.

United are confident this should be enough to land the newly-capped England international, who has also been the subject of strong interest from Arsenal.

Crystal Palace co-chairman Steve Parish has been negotiating with the two clubs and is aware that Zaha met United manager Sir Alex Ferguson in London on Sunday.

The Championship club have used Arsenals interest to drive th e price way beyond the 11.9m mark and the final fee is likely to go far beyond what the Gunners paid to beat United to the signings of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in 2011 and Theo Walcott in 2006.

United are increasingly confident that Zaha will be confirmed as a United player by the end of the week.

The title challengers had been undecided about the framework of the deal amid concerns that the 20-year-old would be a marked man if he remained in the Championship until the end of the season.

But it is understood that Uniteds plan is for Zaha to be signed this month, loaned back to Palace until the end of the season and for a guaranteed date of purchase to be agreed for the summer.

Speaking last Wednesday, chief executive David Gill said that United would be willing to let the newly-capped England international re-join the promotion chasers on loan.

He is one of the players we are looking at, said Gill. Even if we did something with Wilfried , that would be for the summer.

United are confident they are in the driving seat to capture Zaha even though Arsene Wenger followed Gill by going public with Arsenals interest at his weekly press briefing on Thursday morning.

We are looking at him (Zaha), but at the moment we have not made any bid for him, Wenger said.

Goal.com revealed on Monday of last week that Arsenal had re-entered the race for the 20-year-old and were locked in a 50-50 battle for his signature with United ahead of both clubs holding advanced talks with Palace co-chairman Steve Parish last week.

Parish and Palace manager Ian Holloway have both consistently said that Zaha will not be sold before the end of the season but it is understood that the newly-capped England international will leave Selhurst Park this month.

Palace would prefer for Zaha to spearhead Palaces promotion challenge and remain at the club until next summer but Wenger is only interested in a dea l in which the youngster is integrated into the Arsenal set-up immediately.

The attacker, who can play anywhere across the front three, has been a driving force in Palaces surge to fourth in the Championship, scoring five goals in 27 league appearances this season. He made his England debut as a substitute in the 4-2 November friendly defeat to Sweden.

Minggu, 20 Januari 2013

Allegri: It's difficult to talk percentages on a Kaka move

Ricardo Kakà - Real Madrid
AC Milan trainer Massimiliano Allegri says he is unsure of the likelihood of pulling off a sensational swoop for former Rossoneri star Kaka.

The Brazil international spent six years with the 18-time Serie A winners before joining Real Madrid in 2009, where he has enjoyed mixed success.

"It is difficult to speculate on the percentage for Kaka, but as a coach I look at this issue with great interest," Allegri told Rai Sport.

The 45-year-old also spoke about bringing lifelong Milan fan Mario Balotelli to the club, as well as the possibility of making other signings.

"Balotelli is a Manchester City player, and I have not spoken with Roberto Mancini about him, and I think he still has continuing and important qualities," said the former Cagliari coach.

"I do not think there is the need for reinforcements in defence: Mexes' [own-goal in Sunday's Serie A win over Bologna] was a simple accident, which oc curred after a positive performance, and we have many good players in that department.

"I think a coach, like a business leader who has people under him, needs to know how to wait patiently for the results of the work."

Sneijder accepts Galatasaray terms

Wesley Sneijder - Inter
Galatasaray have confirmed that Wesley Sneijder has agreed terms with the club ahead of a move from Inter.

The Dutchman has been frozen out of Andrea Stramaccioni's side since September thanks to a dispute over pay, and the Istanbul giants confirmed that they were interested in signing him early in January.

A fee was swiftly agreed with the Nerazzurri over a transfer of the former Real Madrid man to the Turk Telekom Arena, but the player stalled over accepting their offer.

Goal.com exclusively revealed that Liverpool were also in the hunt for Sneijder, but the player has elected to continue his career in Turkey.

"The club have reached agreements with both Inter and Wesley Sneijder over a transfer," an official statement read.

"The conditions of the agreement will be announced when the player has passed medical checks. In addition, we will announce his time of arrival."

Ga latasaray are currently top of the Super Lig, two points clear of second-placed Besiktas.

Gerrard: Champions League football key to keeping Suarez at Liverpool

Luis Suarez
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard believes qualifying for the Champions League this season is key to the club's hopes of retaining star striker Luis Suarez, and admits his team-mate "deserves" to play in the competition.

The Uruguay international has been in sparkling form for the Reds in the 2012-13 season, netting 16 Premier League goals despite being involved in a number of controversies including admitting to diving against Stoke in October.

And the 32-year-old England international suggests qualification may be vital to keeping the 25-year-old at Anfield, with Goal.com exclusively revealing the forward was considering his future with Manchester City interested in him.

"I don't know, that's the answer to that," Gerrard replied when asked on Sky Sports 'Goals On Sunday' whether Suarez would remain if the club failed to qualify for the Champions League.

"I know he's recently signed a long-term contra ct, I know he's comfortable and happy here but I think that's a question for Luis to answer.

"Only he knows what his ambitions and dreams are but he's gone on record recently saying he's really happy and comfortable here.

"Hopefully we can put a fight on from now until the end of the season to finish fourth and we make the decision for him but Luis Suarez deserves to be in the Champions League, I think everyone has to admit that."

Gerrard praised his team-mate as one of the "top five" players in the world, and suggests his fighting spirit is exactly what Liverpool have needed during their difficult start to the season.

"We'll be talking about this guy for many many years because he's in the top five players in the world comfortably," he added. "Outside of [Lionel] Messi and [Cristiano] Ronaldo I'll argue with anyone that he's as good as anyone else.

"He's probably the best player I've played with which is a statement because I've played with some top, top players throughout my career. He does things in training and on the pitch which are mind-blowing.

"He uses every blade of grass, parts of the pitch that you don't even run on, he's impossible to mark. He's a fighter - he doesn't give up, and that's what you want in your team."

Sir Alex Ferguson: Tottenham star Bale could have joined Manchester United

Gareth Bale & Rafael Da Silva
Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed that he tried to sign Tottenham star Gareth Bale when the Welshman was at Southampton but the south coast club rejected Manchester United's offer and the winger - now a 60 million (71m) target for Real Madrid - joined Spurs weeks later.

The Wales international has dazzled at White Hart Lane since signing in 2007, winning the PFA Player of the Year award in 2010-11 and attracting interest from Los Blancos with nine Premier League goals from the left wing already this season.

And, while Sir Alex admits that he would have liked to bring Bale to United, he says it is simply part and parcel of the game to miss out on certain players - adding that his side are more than ready for an important clash against Spurs on Sunday afternoon.

"We tried to buy [Bale] from Southampton and they turned us down," the Scot told the Sunday People. "It was not the boy who turned us down, it was So uthampton, then a few weeks later he signed for Tottenham.

"It happens. You don't get them all. As I said before, we would have loved to have got [Paul] Gascoigne but we didn't - but we did get Paul Ince and he was a great player for us. These things happen."

Sir Alex has warned his United players they must beware of the pace in Tottenham's side as they look to re-establish their seven-point advantage over defending champions Manchester City. He believes that the meeting at White Hart Lane is crucial in terms of momentum in the title race.

"We know that Bale and [Aaron] Lennon have got pace, [Jermain] Defoe has pace, [Mousa] Dembele is a good footballer," the Red Devils boss added. "It is straightforward we have to perform but it's been a good ground for us in the past.

"It's an important game because this is a period of the season that if we can keep our momentum going, we have got home games against Everton and Southampton in th e next few weeks. These are really big opportunities for us."

Sabtu, 19 Januari 2013

Bastia deny Arsenal approach for Thauvin

Florian Thauvin
Bastia have denied that they are in discussions with Arsenal over a potential deal for midfielder Florian Thauvin.

The French under-20 international has been touted as a potential star of the future despite only making 20 appearances for the Corsican side, leading to reported interest from Arsene Wenger.

But in a statement put out by Bastia, the club denied any such potential deal.

"Sporting Club de Bastia categorically denies the discussions with Arsenal about Florian Thauvin," it stated.

Barcelona will find a good replacement for Victor Valdes, insists Vilarrubi

Víctor Valdés
Barcelona vice-president Carles Vilarrubi is confident that the club will find a good replacement for Victor Valdes once the goalkeeper leaves the club.

The shot-stopper's agent revealed earlier this week that he does not want to extend his current contract, which runs until the summer of 2014, but the Blaugrana are not too worried about filling the void he leaves.

"There's no need to give this too much attention. We have sufficient resources to find a good replacement," the 58-year-old told TV3.

"We now have a job on our hands and our task is to find a new goalkeeper. I have the feeling that Valdes is pretty certain about his decision. He wants to leave and we have to respect his wish."

Valdes has made almost 500 appearances for Barcelona since making his official first team debut in 2002-03.

Jumat, 18 Januari 2013

Tottenham 'in talks' to sign Holtby in January, confirms Heldt

Lewis Holtby, Schalke-Arsenal (UEFA Champions League)
Schalke general manager Horst Heldt has revealed that they are in discussions withTottenham over a move for Lewis Holtby in January.

The midfielder has agreed to move to White Hart Lane at the end of the season, when his contract expires, but the north London club are looking to bring him in earlier after Sandro was ruled out for the rest of the season with a knee injury.

Goal.com revealed on Thursday that Andre Villas-Boas' side had reacted to the Brazilian's injury by approaching the Bundesliga side about an earlier move for Holtby than originaly scheduled.

We are in talks about a move in this transfer period, but there is no agreement, Heldt told Sky Sport before Schalkes game with Hannover on Friday night.

Tottenham contacted us, because they want Lewis now. We will decide in the coming days.

Heldt also dismissed claims that Holtby could try and engineer a move away from the Veltins Arena, and says that he will continue playing for the team regardless of speculation.

He added: "Lewis is a good character, he will give everything to the last day for the club."

Kamis, 17 Januari 2013

Valdes tells Barcelona he will not renew his contract

Víctor Valdés
Victor Valdes has informed Barcelona he will not renew his contract when it expires in 2014, according to the player's representatives.

Camp Nou chiefs held talks with agents of the Spain international on Thursday and the Catalan club had hoped to persuade the goalkeeper to extend his lifelong association with the club.

However, it now appears certain the 31-year-old will leave at the end of next season following the release of a statement on Thursday evening.

"Victor Valdes' agents have told Barcelona, in the meeting held this afternoon, of the irrevocable decision from the player not to renew his contract, thus avoiding discussing future wage issues," his representatives told Spanish news agency EFE.

Valdes' contract expires on June 30, 2014, and he could well make a move away from La Liga after recently expressing his desire to experience "other cultures".

However, he had also revealed at the start of Jan uary his intention to retire at Barca, an opinion that has clearly changed since.

The current Liga leaders' sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta had thought that Valdes had every intention of remaining at Camp Nou.

Reports in the winter transfer window have linked Manchester United shot-stopper David de Gea with a move back to the Primera Division, having left Atletico Madrid in 2011.

The Blaugrana are yet to comment on the Valdes news, with a pre-match press conference due to be held on Friday ahead of their clash with Real Sociedad on Saturday.

Paris Saint-Germain do not need Ronaldo, says Ancelotti

Ligue 1 : Carlo Ancelotti (Paris SG)

Carlo Ancelotti says Paris Saint-Germain do not need Cristiano Ronaldo and will not be making a move for the Real Madrid player.

The Italian believes the Portugal international and Zlatan Ibrahimovic would operate well together, but insists he is not looking to pair the two together or venture into the transfer market during the January window.

Can Zlatan and Ronaldo can play together? All quality players can play together. You know, its not hard to manage a guy like Ibrahimovic. Ronaldo is a fantastic player, but today, I do not think of him, he told RMC.

Nen and Hoarau are gone, they wont be replaced because the team is good.We dont have to buy. The transfer window is closed for us."

The 53-year-old also added his belief that PSG are on course to lift the Ligue 1 title, providing he guides his side in the correct manner, but stated the difficulty of doing the same thing in the Champions League.

We have to be champions . We clearly have the qualities to win. It all depends on the coach. If the manager does his job, then PSG is going to win. If we do not win it? Yes, it will clearly be a failure. The Champions league is harder.

Rodgers dampens expectations over Liverpool transfers

EPL; Brendan Rodgers; Manchester United Vs Liverpool
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has dampened expectations on the club pulling off any more major signings in the January transfer window, insisting that Daniel Sturridge was their main target.

Goal.com exclusively revealed that the club are investigating the possibility of bringing Inter playmaker Wesley Sneijder to Anfield and are attempting to put together a financial package to sign the 28-year-old.

However, Rodgers says that he is not confident at this stage of the club pulling off the deal, telling reporters: "I can't see it happening.

"You could probably rattle off about 20 names and the answer would be the same. The club have been linked with a whole host of players but I couldn't see that happening.

"We'll see what happens over the next few weeks. Daniel was our main priority and we'll have to see what else is available.

"There's no doubt we need to support the group. We ha d 20 players training this morning, of which some of those are our younger players, so we know we need to reinforce and top up the group. That's something we'll look to do.

"If we can do it, then great and if not, then we'll wait until the summer."

Saponara to join AC Milan this summer

Riccardo Saponara - Empoli
Empoli striker Riccardo Saponara looks set to join AC Milan next season after Parma, who co-own the player, gave the the green light for the move to go ahead.

Massimilano Allegri's side have bought Empoli's 50 per cent stake in the attacker for around 4 million and needed the Gialloblu's clearance for the transfer to be confirmed.

And Parma revealed on Thursday that the highly rated 21-year-old will be joining the San Siro outfit.

"There was no need for a face-to-face meeting with Milan, director general Pietro Leonardi told Sport Italia.

A telephone conversation was all it took to define the situation regarding the future of Saponara.

Saponara will join Milan in pre-season, but he will remain a co-owned player between our clubs.

The Italy Under-21 international has featured 18 times for Empoli this season scoring eight goals.

Remy reveals a game of Fifa helped QPR move

New QPR striker Loic Remy has revealed what it took to seal the deal between him and the Premier League club - a game of Fifa 13 with owner Tony Fernandes.

With the former Marseille man said to have his pick between the Rs and Newcastle prior to his switch to west London, a four-hour talk with Fernandes - culminating in a head-to-head video-gaming session - was "a special moment" for both of them.

"It was a special moment that followed our chat about QPR," Remy told the club's official website.

"We just played a game of Fifa - it was good and showed to me what a good person Tony is. He showed his human side to me as an owner of the club I wanted to join. It was a special moment for us both."

The 26-year-old signed for a club record fee o n a four-and-a-half year deal and chief executive Philip Beard insisted that "this move isn't motivated by money.

"Loic has a passion and desire to achieve in his career and similar to [Julio] Cesar, he wanted to be part of our project," he declared.

"We know we haven't achieved our goals so far this season but he wanted to come in and help us build for the future.

"Tony is remarkable, he never gives up - that is his style - and he is as delighted as anyone that we've got this deal done."

However, Beard also stated that, despite the club being delighted to add the striker to their squad, owner Fernandes did hold back a little in their sparring session, adding: "They had great fun but Tony told me he let him win!"

"But in all seriousness, it was a great way for them to get to know each other better.

"Loic was Harry's No.1 target and we're delighted we've been able to pull this deal off.

"There was a lot of interest in him from other clubs, because he is one of the hottest properties in Europe, so the fact we've managed to sign him is incredible."

Tottenham in talks to sign Holtby in January

Lewis Holtby, Schalke-Arsenal (UEFA Champions League)
By Greg Stobart

Tottenham are in talks with Schalke to accelerate Lewis Holtbys move to White Hart Lane and sign the midfielder in the current transfer window, Goal.com understands.

The German playmaker has signed a pre-contract agreement to move to Spurs on a free transfer when his deal expires at the end of the season, but the Londoners are now looking to push through a deal worth around 1.92 million this month.

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas wants to improve his midfield options after Sandro underwent knee surgery that is likely to rule the Brazilian out for the rest of the season.

Villas-Boas also accepts that he is again unlikely to land top target Joao Moutinho from Porto and Holtby would add creativity to a side that looked short of ideas in their goalless draw with QPR last weekend.

Schalke are keen to strike a deal to sell the 22-year-old in Januar y in order to ensure they receive a transfer fee for the player, who joined them from Alemmannia Aachen in 2009.

Sandros injury has also forced Spurs to put Jake Livermores loan move to QPR on hold as they consider signing more midfield reinforcements to boost their push for a top four finish. Scott Parkers return from injury has given Tottenham a welcome boost but Sandro has formed a formidable midfield partnership with Mousa Dembele in recent months.

The Brazilian landed awkwardly on his right knee against QPR last Saturday and underwent surgery in Barcelona after scans on the problem. Specialists will wait for the swelling to subside and assess the results of the surgery before pencilling in a return date.

Rabu, 16 Januari 2013

Robbie Keane signs new multi-year deal with LA Galaxy

Robbie Keane, LA Galaxy, MLS
Robbie Keane has signed a "multi-year" contract extension with LA Galaxy after leading the American side to the MLS Cup championship after joining David Beckham's former side in 2011.

The former Liverpool and Tottenham forward is back in training with the White Hart Lane club in order to maintain his fitness levels, but recently quashed rumours of a loan move back to the Premier League.

And Galaxy fans will be delighted that the club has secured their star striker to a new deal after being voted the club's Most Valuable Player of 2012.

"The LA Galaxy announced today that the club has agreed to a multi-year contract extension with forward Robbie Keane," the club revealed on their official website.

"Per club and league policy, details of the contract were not released."

The Republic of Ireland captain bagged 16 goals in 28 games for the club last season, and also set up nine goals for his team-mates as the side won the title by beating Houston Dynamo 3-1 in the playoff final.

Keane spent last January on loan at Premier League side Aston Villa, but despite speculation linking him with Harry Redknapp's QPR he has elected to simply train with Andre Villas-Boas' side to be fully fit for the next season with Galaxy.

The striker has been prolific at international level, scoring 54 times in 122 appearances to lead Ireland's all-time goalscoring charts and has 180 goals in 476 league matches.

Lyon confirm Besiktas bid for Briand

Jimmy Briand

Olympique Lyonnais president Jean-Michel Aulas has confirmed that Besiktas have made a bid for Jimmy Briand.

The winger is one of the Lyon players expected to leave the Ligue 1 club this transfer window, with Lisandro Lopez, Michel Bastos and Bafetimbi Gomis also believed to be departing.

Aulas said that Briand, the French club and the Istanbul-based team must agree on a deal before anything is official, but admitted a bid had been made and talks are in progress.

"We accepted a proposal from Besiktas," he told BeIn Sport.

"But, before any transfer or a loan can be realised, it is essential that all three parties are in agreement. This is not yet the case."

Briand has made 10 appearances for Lyon in Ligue 1 this season having struggled with injury, scoring once in the process.

Selasa, 15 Januari 2013

Redknapp confirms imminent Remy & M'Vila arrivals at QPR

 Loic Remy
QPR boss Harry Redknapp has revealed that the club are close to announcing deals for Marseille striker Loic Remy and Rennes midfielder Yann M'Vila.

Remy had been strongly linked with a move to the Rs' Premier League rivals Newcastle, but Redknapp has expressed his belief that the Frenchman's switch to Loftus Road is complete.

The former Tottenham manager also confirmed that he expects to complete the signing of Remy's international team-mate M'Vila this week.

Following his side's 1-0 FA Cup win over West Brom, the 65-year-old told BBC Radio 5 Live: "Loic Remy has had a medical and I think that's all sorted now."

And, on the imminent arrival of the French striker's compatriot M'Vila from Ligue 1 outfit Rennes, he added: "The deal looks okay."

However, Redknapp did admit that the west London club have had an offer for West Brom forward Peter Odemwingie rejected, saying: "We made an offer for [ Peter] Odemwingie, he's a good player, but it was turned down."

Cartoon of the Day: Window pain for Wenger as David Villa slips out of Arsenal's grasp

It could have been another long-running transfer saga involving Barcelona and Arsenal, but now the Catalans have declared that striker David Villa is not for sale at any price.

The Gunners had made a formal approach, but after Barca manager Tito Vilanova said the Spaniard was not for sale, Goal.com exclusively revealed that the Londoners were relenting in their pursuit.

However, Arsene Wenger has now reportedly turned his attention to Atletico Madrid's Adrian Lopez, so it's clear that the Gunners will keep trying for a new striker until they finally get one in the transfer window.

Swansea City sign Osasuna winger Roland Lamah on 18-month loan

Roland Lamah, Osasuna
Swansea City have signed Osasuna winger Roland Lamah on an 18-month loan deal, subject to clearance from the Premier League.

Lamah was born in the Ivory Coast but moved to Belgium aged 15, and has been capped five times by their national side since making his debut in 2009.

He has already played football in his adopted country, the Netherlands and France, and is looking forward to playing in England after completing a medical.

This is a great opportunity for me and Im happy to be here, Lamah told Swansea City's official website.

I know a few of the players here, and I already know that Swansea is a family club that will suit my style of play.

To play in the Premier League is a dream, and also to play under Michael Laudrup is fantastic for me.

I am looking forward to starting training and meeting the squad, and then I want to show everyone what I can do.

Swans chairman Huw Jenkins has also e xpressed his delight at the club making their first signing of the January transfer window.

Weve been watching him for a while, he said. Michael [Laudrup] has been looking to strengthen the wide positions to create more competition and we are delighted everything has been agreed.

He is a player with slightly different attributes to what we already have. Hopefully he will settle in quickly and perform to his best.

Lamah is ineligible for Swansea's FA Cup third round replay against Arsenal as he was not registered in time for the original tie, but will be available for the Swans' match at home to Stoke on Saturday