Jumat, 08 Februari 2013

Betting Special: Frank Lampard 4/7 to extend Chelsea stay

Jim Knight is Betting Editor at Goal.com and has been tipping football games since he was old enough to place a bet. He is a Leicester City fan, writer and member of the We Are Going Up Podcast

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Rabu, 06 Februari 2013

Drogba will get temporary licence to play for Galatasaray, says vice-president

Kenneth Omeruo challenges Didier Drogba at Afcon 2013
Galatasaray vice-president Refik Arkan is confident that Didier Drogba will shortly get clearance to play for the Turkish champions.

The 34-year-old left Shanghai Shenhua for Galatarasaray in the January transfer window, but his former club, Shanghai Shenhua, are adamant that he is still contracted to them

Nevertheless, the Istanbul giants have little doubt that Drogba will soon arrive at the Turk Telekom Arena.

"He might not be able to play against Antalyaspor. Because we need to get temporary permission from Fifa, and Fifa rules are such that the player should be played as quickly as possible," Arkan told Radyospor.

"They will give a temporary licence, followed by the permit.

"Drogba's country were knocked out of the Africa Cup of Nations. The team have now returned to Cote d'Ivoire. Afterwards, he will go to London. He will need a day or two to move his stuff. I think he'll c ome to Istanbul this week."

Galatasaray currently sit atop of the Turkish league table with 37 points from 20 games.

Selasa, 05 Februari 2013

Sagna 100 per cent devoted to Arsenal amidst PSG speculation

Bacary Sagna,Arsenal
Arsenal defender Bacary Sagna has revealed he is "100 per cent devoted" to the club despite being recently linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain.

The 29-year-old struggled with injury during the first half of the season and had surrendered his right-back berth to youngster Carl Jenkinson.

However, after re-establishing himself in the Gunners' starting XI, Sagna has insisted he will give his all for the club and has not been contacted regarding a move back to Ligue 1.

"The January transfer rumours regarding PSG? I am 100 per cent devoted to my club," he told L'Equipe.

"I am only thinking about defending the colours of Arsenal until the end of my contract.

"The fans are angry with me because they heard about PSG's interest, but I am not responsible for that. I have never had any contact."

Sagna has made a total of 15 appearances for the north London outfit in the Premier League so far this se ason and was recently recalled to the France squad for the upcoming friendly clash with Germany.

Zorc denies knowledge of Lewandowski exit

Robert Lewandowski, Dortmund gegen Bremen
Borussia Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc has cooled reports linking Robert Lewandowski with a move to Bayern Munich.

The Poland international has been repeatedly linked with a move away from Dortmund having emerged as one of Europe's leading goalscorers in recent years, and it is understood Bayern Munich are the front-runners to land the 24-year-old.

Sky Sport Italia reported on Tuesday the forward was set to secure a summer move to Bayern Munich for a 22 million fee, but Zorc has denied the rumours and insisted there was no fresh developments on Lewandowski's future.

"There is no new state of play. We will not comment on that, because nothing has changed for us," Zorc told Sport1.

"If a player negotiates with another club, we cannot stop that. But as we speak, we do not know anything about it."

Bayern declined to comment and Dortmund later released a statement saying: "We do not comment on rumours, no matter what they are like."

However, according to Spiegel, Bayern are nearing an agreement with Lewandowski and will begin negotiations with Dortmund.

Lewandowski has netted 18 times for Dortmund in all competitions this season and is believed to be among the names on Pep Guardiola's wishlist when the former Barcelona boss takes charge next season.

Cavani concentrating on securing Serie A glory with Napoli

Edinson Cavani - Napoli
Napoli forward Edinson Cavani is putting speculation regarding his future to one side to focus on the chance of winning Serie A.

The 25-year-old has attracted interest from both Real Madrid and Barcelona in recent transfer windows and, while the striker admits he is flattered by the link, he reiterated his commitment to the Partenopei.

"Real Madrid and Barcelona are two great clubs, amongst the strongest in the world, and it is obvious that they can attract," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport on Tuesday.

"The tension rises just when you name those two sides. However, I honestly dont know whether there is the option to join one of those.

At the moment I have the opportunity to win the Scudetto with Napoli and Im just concentrating on that aim.

"I still have four years left on my contract. You never know what will happen in football, but I j ust work on a day-by-day basis to get the best."

Cavani currently leads the race for the capocannoniere having netted 18 times this league season.

Wenger: I deserve credit for Arsenal signing Monreal

EPL: Nacho Monreal, Arsenal v Stoke City
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has claimed he deserves credit for the deadline day signing of left-back Nacho Monreal from Malaga.

The Frenchman has previously come in for criticism for his dealings in the transfer window due to a perceived reluctance to spend big.

However, Wenger believes he should be praised for Monreal's arrival, a move which was only prompted by an injury to Kieran Gibbs the day before the transfer window's close.

"We are quite lucky to have found Nacho because [Kieran] Gibbs got injured for four to six weeks," Wenger told reporters.

"And we found in 48 hours a player of that calibre... you have to give me at least that credit. I know that I don't get a lot but that is true."

The 63-year-old went on to hail his side's doggedness as they posted a 1-0 win over an obstinate Stoke at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

"We are a bit more mature now, but we dealt well with [Stokes game plan] ," Wenger added. "Crouch is a handful because he is not only physical, he is technically very good. He uses space well and in his link-play he is an international player. Overall I think we had a serious game.

"We were a bit younger and inexperienced [in the past] but defensively today you could see that in [Bacary] Sagna, Nacho, [Laurent] Koscielny and [Per] Mertesacker we have some experience and stature there. We are not small at the back.

"In England you have to deal with all types of football without losing your qualities in how you want to play. It is not always easy, because if you have a team of 10 Santi Cazorla's technically you would be very good but against a team like Stoke you would struggle."

Wenger was also full of praise for Theo Walcott, who has continued his fine run of form since signing a new contract at the club.

"He is 23 years old and there is always a change at that age," he continued. "What people forget is that Theo does everything at 100mph, so every time you get hit it hurts you more than if you are slow.

"He plays at high pace, but he has learnt to escape sometimes and he imposes himself more. He uses his body better now."

Manchester City have first refusal on Balotelli following Milan switch

Mario Balotelli - Milan
By Greg Stobart

Manchester City have secured a first refusal buy-back option as part of the 23 million sale of Mario Balotelli to AC Milan, Goal.com can reveal.

The Premier League champions cut their ties with the controversial striker last week but insisted upon several clauses in Balotellis new five-year contract that is also understood to include a number of performance related add-ons.

The 22-year-old crowned his return to Serie A on Sunday with two goals, including a last-minute match-winning penalty, against Udinese to cement his status as an instant San Siro crowd favourite.

As well as a buy-back option - which is similar to the ones former Arsenal and Manchester United stars Cesc Fabregas and Cristiano Ronaldo have in their respective Barcelona and Real Madrid contracts - City will also receive a windfall should Milan sell Balotelli elsewhere in future for anything ove r 22.5 million.

Despite his dramatic reintroduction to Italian football and the difficulties he experienced in his final months at Manchester City, Balotelli did not completely rule out a possible return to England at some point in his career during his unveiling last Friday.

He said: "I will always have a very special place in my heart for City, it's a great club with a great future.

"I thank them for all of their support of me. Maybe one day we will see each other again."

Senin, 04 Februari 2013

Allardyce: West Ham will decide on Carroll at end of season

QPR v West Ham United, Andy Carroll

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce says the club will wait until the end of the season before deciding on whether to try and sign loan striker Andy Carroll on a permanent deal.

The 24-year-old joined the London side on a season-long deal from Anfield in August, but has struggled for form after a number of injuries, leading to just two goals in 12 outings.

Carroll joined Liverpool in January 2011 for a British-record fee of 35 million, before being shipped out on loan, and Allardyce feels more stability for the striker would benefit his on-field displays.

"You always want a top class centre forward," Allardyce told talkSPORT.

"I know he's been short on goals and he's had a disrupted season, but he'll only get better if he's got a settled future, whether that's with us or not [I don't know].

"It would be a long process though. We will have a conversation at the end of the season with Andy and Liverpool. It all depends on h ow he feels and what he does between now and the end of the season.

"It's also about where Andy thinks his future lies. He hasn't thought about that yet, he just wants to play as much as he can."

Allardyce feels Carroll holds a unique set of attributes among todays modern footballers, and feels Liverpool may not be the best home for him as he continues his progression.

He added: "There are not many of Andy Carroll's type. The sad thing for football is that it now seems unfashionable to have a big centre forward in your team, which really disappoints me.

"It excites people when you see him rise above everybody else to get the ball in the back of the net.

"I've known him since he was a youngster. I could see the talent that he had and that talent flourished very quickly into Liverpool paying 35 million for him. It didn't work there for whatever reason but he's such a young man, who's desperate to play football and do well."

Jol key to Fulham loan move, says Urby Emanuelson

Urby Emanuelson

Urby Emanuelson says the chance to work with Fulham manager Martin Jol was the key reason behind his switch to the club from Italian giants AC Milan.

Jol was Emanuelsons boss when the 26-year-old was at Ajax and, after an indifferent spell at San Siro, he jumped at the chance to be reunited with the Cottagers manager on deadline day.

"Martin Jol was a big part of the move as I'd worked already with him, he told the clubs official website.

"I need a little bit of trust at the moment and he's a coach who believes in me. That is one of the big reasons why I came here."

Emanuelson made his debut for Fulham as a second-half substitute in the narrow 1-0 loss at home to Manchester United, and the 26-year-old admitted is was a tough baptism of fire.

The London side had two goal-bound efforts cleared off the line and hit the woodwork before Wayne Rooney netted the sole goal 11 minutes from time, and the midfielder recognis ed his new side were unlucky to come away from the clash empty handed.

"It wasn't an easy game to make my debut in," he added. "It was a tough match, but in the second half we really fought well and it looked like we would get at least a point.

"We fought as a team. You saw in the second half that we were getting stronger and stronger. We were unlucky in the box as well. But with the strikers they have, they can always score goals.

"We can be happy with the way we played but, of course, the result was not what we wanted.

"It's a good feeling to make my debut. I just want to play more than I was in Milan. I'd only trained once with Fulham before the game so I'm happy that I could play 25 minutes."

Dowie a more likely candidate than Scholes for manager, says Oldham chairman

paul scholes
Iain Dowie has been singled out as the favourite for the Oldham Athletic managerial vacancy, following chairman Simon Corney's admission that the club couldn't afford to lure Paul Scholes from Manchester United.

Despite masterminding a famous win over Liverpool in the FA Cup, Paul Dickov resigned from his post as head coach on Sunday, after the League One side succumbed to their eighth defeat in their last nine games, leaving them in 20th spot.

As a result 38-year-old central midfielder Scholes, who is based in the town and in the past expressed a desire to head into management following his retirement, was labelled as front runner by bookmakers for the position.

However the Latics chairman has insisted that no contact has been made between theBoundary Park outfit and the veteran playmaker. And although he conceded that any interest expressed by the Manchester United midfielder towards the post would be welcome, he also admitted it wou ld be difficult from a financial stand point to lure him away from Old Trafford.

"If Paul Scholes was to so much as express a desire to come here, it would refresh the whole club and of course I would be interested," Corney said.

"But is it going to happen? No, it isn't and there has been no contact between ourselves and Paul Scholes.

"For one thing, I cannot see him wanting to go from earning 60,000-a-week at Manchester United to 600-a-week at Oldham!

"We have received an awful lot of applications for the job, though, and it has been quite humbling to see some of the names who have expressed an interest."

Dowie who has previous experience with the club, leading Oldham to the League One play-offs during his first spell in charge in 2002-03, has now been touted as the forerunner for the job, while no decision has yet been made, the club hope to announce their decision before their FA Cup tie with Everton.

"Iain and I are good friends and we speak on a regular basis, but the club has time to make the right appointment," added Corney.

"I would certainly expect a manager to be in place in time for the FA Cup tie against Everton next week and hopefully the issue may be resolved before the game against MK Dons this weekend."

It was time for a change, says Willian

Anzhi Makhachkala winger Willian says it was "time for a change", after completing a move from Shakhtar Donetsk in January.

The Brazil international moved to Russia for a reported 35 million fee and signed a contract until 2017 with Guus Hiddink's side, and although many believes the switch was financially motivated, he insists that was not the case.

"I've earned quite a lot of money in Donetsk," the 24-year-old told Sport Express.

"With Shakhtar I also won a set of titles not only in Ukraine but in Europe also. I felt comfortable there. But the time for change has come."

The Corinthians winger also revealed that conversations with the club's owners over their long-term ambitions helped to sway his decision.

"My conversation with Anzhi owner Suleiman Kerimov decided everything," Willian said.

"After that I decided to join Anzhi. The club management are not only thinking about short-term gains, th ey really want to create a serious football infrastructure in Dagestan, to lift the game in the republic to a higher level."

Willian appeared 140 times for his former club Shakhtar, scoring 20 goals in total.

West Ham co-owner Sullivan claims to have been threatened by agent

David Sullivan
West Ham co-owner David Sullivan has revealed that he was threatened with violence by an unnamed agent during the January transfer window.

Agents roles in modern football has been the subject of heavy debate in recent times, with QPR manager Harry Redknapp likening their behaviour to gang warfare.

And Sullivan has revealed the lengths some agents are prepared to go to to secure a deal, comparing them to scavengers.

"In this window, I have had an agent threaten me and threaten one of our West Ham players with physical violence, because he thought he was being cut out of a deal, Sullivan told The Daily Mail.

"I heard of three or four agents trying to jump in on other deals. Some of these people are like scavengers.

"It was all deeply unpleasant and I'm glad it's over. Now we can get on with the football.

Sullivan went on to agree with Redknapps comments and called for the Football Association to cap the astronomic amounts that are now commonplace among agents during transfer negotiations.

He continued: "Harry Redknapp was right: it feels like gang warfare out there and I can see it spilling over into violence in the future, unless there is legislation from the FA to curb the practices.

"We are talking millions of pounds here around a transfer and not enough deals to go around. There are too many agents and not enough transfers to feed them.

"Agents who would once demand 57,500 for their part in a transfer, now want 575,000 to 1.1 million to either bring a player or keep a player. It is quite outrageous and the FA should cap the amount paid to agents for their work.

I heard of one agent, who took over representation of a player for one day, and he wanted to be paid between 1.43m and 1.72m for his part in negotiating a new contract."

Minggu, 03 Februari 2013

Drenthe seals Alania Vladikavkaz switch

Royston Drenthe - Everton
Alania Vladikavkaz have confirmed on their official website that they have secured the services of former Real Madrid winger Royston Drenthe on a free transfer.

The Netherlands international had been without a club ever since leaving Everton last summer after an unsuccessful one-year loan spell, and will now be looking to get his career back on track at the Russian outfit.

Drenthe, 25, has signed a contract with Alania until the summer of 2016.

"We hope that he will become one of the team's leaders. We did not only bring him in for his fine technique and pace, but also because of his personality," head coach Valery Gazzaev commented on the move.

The left-footed winger came through the ranks of the Feyenoord youth academy, and joined Real Madrid in the summer of 2007 after impressing at the European Under-21 Championship.

He has since had temporary loan spells with Hercules and Everton.

Ibrahimovic returning to Juventus not impossible, says Raiola

Ibrahimovic, PSG 2012-13
Mino Raiola has hinted that Paris Saint-Germain attacker Zlatan Ibrahimovic could return to Juventus at some point in the future.

The Sweden international left the reigning Serie A champions in the summer of 2006, after they were relegated to the second tier following their involvement in the Calciopoli scandal, but his representative has stated that a return to the Turin giants is not out of the question.

"Could Ibrahimovic return to Juve? Nothing is impossible," Raiola said to Radio Radio.

"There is nothing that cannot be done. However, the Bianconeri would really have to believe that a deal is possible, just like AC Milan did with Mario Balotelli.

"Let's not get ahead of ourselves on this one, though. I do not want to have to deny all sorts of things again in the French press..."

Ibrahimovic, 31, has a contract with PSG until June 2015.

Manchester City must start looking for transfer targets now - Mancini

Roberto Mancini argues that now is the time for Manchester City to work hard to ensure that they can sign their preferred targets in the summer transfer window after opining that the club "didn't work well last year".

The Premier League champions trail leaders Manchester United by 10 points going into Sunday's match against Liverpool and lost out in the summer on top target Robin van Persie, who opted to move to Old Trafford and is leading the goalscoring charts with 18 strikes.

But, despite the disappointment of missing out on the Dutch striker and losing Mario Balotelli to AC Milan during the January transfer window, the City boss is confident of securing the players that he wants this coming summer.

"Last year we didn't work well," he told reporters. "It's important we start now. Now's the time we can close in on some good players for the summer.

"I have meetings with Txiki [Begiristain, director of football] every week and we talk about the summer.

"It will be easier to get players in the summer if we work hard, well and quickly now. You can't start looking at players in May because all the good ones are gone and it becomes impossible."

Mancini revealed the difficulty of shopping during the January window as clubs are reluctant to let star players leave midway through a season but says that preparatory work for the summer is crucial to avoid the mistakes of last year.

"It's difficult in January to find really good players for us," he added. "Clubs don't want to sell now, but maybe they will in the summer. We need to work now, so that it is not like last year."

QPR chairman Fernandes defends January spending

QPR owner -  Tony Fernandes
QPR chairman Tony Fernandes has defended his side's January transfer deals as the struggling side look to lift themselves from the bottom of the table and secure their Premier League survival.

The London club are six points adrift of safety with 17 points from 23 games but signed Jermaine Jenas, Andros Townsend, Yun Suk-Young and Chris Samba on deadline day to bolster their ranks.

However, the Malaysian owner does not feel that he has been reckless in the market and insists that he is building a side for the long term as well as seeking to secure their immediate top-flight status.

"If you analyse it, we haven't spent that much money on transfers and as for our wage bill, when I look at other clubs when they put their results out, then ours is not too bad and there is now value in the squad," he told the Daily Telegraph.

"I don't think there is any recklessness there. No one can guarantee anything in football but you tr y to minimise the risk as much as possible and that's where the expertise of the management comes in and they say: 'this is what we need to survive' and you look at it and, if it makes sense, then the board and myself support it.

"Anyone who says we are gambling then, of course, we are. There are no debts like at other clubs. We've put in a lot of money and it's no different from setting up a car business or an airline.

"But it takes time. QPR were an under-invested club. Simple as that. I'm not in it for one year, I'm investing for the future. I'm investing to build a stadium, to build a training academy, to build a proper business."

"Of course when you buy a small club you are going to incur some losses at the beginning.

"We, QPR, have to move out of the 'small-club syndrome' and for constant security have to build a bigger stadium, a better infrastructure.

"We inherited a squad where every single player who has left is no longer playing in the Premier League, doesn't that say something? We have replaced and replenished the squad at a very low cost because most of them were free transfers. This is the first window that we have spent big money.

"It's not always about money. QPR are the bottom club and you don't come to the bottom club for the dollar sign. And I'm not going to get players for the dollar signs."

Sigurdsson's future is with Tottenham, says Villas-Boas

Gylfi Sigurdsson
Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas says he blocked Reading's attempt to sign Gylfi Sigurdsson on deadline day.

The 23-year-old Iceland international could have become Reading's record signing according to Royals boss Brian McDermott, but Villas-Boas says he was never willing to let the player go.

"Obviously hes a player that means a lot to Reading, Villas-Boas told reporters.

"But hes a player that we rate very highly. We brought him here after his amazing contribution [on loan] for Swansea last year and hes a player that we have high expectations for.

"Probably this season at the moment he is not going to the level that he wants, but hes a player that we believe a lot in, and in his future here. We couldnt allow him to leave."

Sigurdsson began his career in English football at Reading in 2008 before leaving to join Bundesliga outfit Hoffenheim in 2010.

The Spurs midfielder enjoyed a successful loan s pell at Swansea during the second half of last season, earning him a move to White Hart Lane this summer.

Sabtu, 02 Februari 2013

Galliani: Real Madrid wanted 18 million for Kaka

Ricardo Kakà - Real Madrid
AC MilanCEO Adriano Gallianithat the reason the club failed to sign Kaka was becauseReal Madridasked for an unrealistic amount of money.

The Brazilian enjoyed immense success during a six-year spell at the Italian side but has struggled to leave a lasting impression in the Spanish capital, leading many to believe that there was a possibility that he would make a return to Milan.

However, Galliani has spoken out as to why the projected move failed to come to fruition.

"The story about Kaka is a closed chapter for me," he told Corriere dello Sport. "Real Madrid wanted 18 million - a figure that given his age and salary demands made a deal frankly unthinkable."

While Madrid's asking price may have been steep for a 30-year-old who has had multiple injury problems, 18m would still represent a massive loss on the 68m that los Blancos paid for the Brazil international in 2009.

The Rossoneri may ha ve missed out on Kaka, but they signed Mario Balotelli from Manchester City for an estimated 19m in an attempt to give them more attacking options as they attempt to challenge for a Champions League place.

Rio Ferdinand happy to wait for Manchester United contract renewal

Pre-season Friendly - Ajax Cape Town v Manchester United, Rio Ferdinand
Manchester United centre-back Rio Ferdinand has revealed that he is interested in extending his career at the club beyond the end of the current campaign.

The 34-year old says he is not interested in leaving Sir Alex Ferguson's men with his current contract set to expire at the end of the season.

After struggling with injuries over recent seasons, the centre-back has been in impressive form so far this campaign and says he wants to continue playing at the top level for as long as he can.

"Manchester United is a great club, the number one, and you would never want to play anywhere else if you can still play for them," he told The Sun

"I want to be able to contribute properly and to be a player they actually need. You can tell if you're not really needed at a club any more. You just know.

"We are not in discussions about a new contract at the moment and I'm fine with that because of the understanding I have with the manager.

"I don't expect to be treated any different to the other older players like [Ryan] Giggs or [Paul] Scholes, who normally sign on again at the end of the season."

Schelotto: I hope to follow in Zanetti's footsteps

Ezequiel Schelotto - Atalanta
New Inter star Ezequiel Schelotto has revealed his excitement at playing alongside idol Javier Zanetti, after completing a move from Atalanta at the end of January.

Zanetti joined the Nerazzurri in 1995 and has gone on to enjoy over 700 appearances for the Milan-based giants, and also became Argentina's most-capped player in the process.

Schelotto, who is Argentine by birth but has a single cap for Italy, has paid tribute to the evergreen defender, leaving his new supporters in no doubt as to whom he would emulate.

"I've always said that Zanetti is my role model," the 23-year-old announced to the club's official website. "I hope I can follow in his footsteps.

"You all know what sort of a person he is both on and off the pitch. There's nothing more to say."

The deal taking the Italy international to San Siro proved to be one of the longest running sagas of the January transfer window, and he revealed his g ratitude to his former club for the opportunity to make the move.

"I gave my all for the Atalanta shirt, from the first moment to the last. Now I'm wearing the same colours here but I'm an Inter player - that's not an opportunity that comes by every day.

"Inter offered me this opportunity and all I can do is thank Bergamo for everything they did for me.

"I've always wanted to join this club, and have already spoken to [coach Andrea] Stramaccioni. He's explained what he wants from me and I'm going to repay him for his faith."

Schelotto could be handed his debut on Sunday, as his new team aims to close the gap at the top of the table against Serie A's rock-bottom side Siena.

BREAKING NEWS: Roma sack Zdenek Zeman

Znedek Zeman - Roma
More to follow...

Willian completes 35 million Anzhi Makhachkala move

Willian - Shakhtar
Anzhi Makhachkala have announced on their official website that they have completed the transfer of Willian from Shakhtar Donetsk for 35 million. The Brazil international has signed a contract until December 2017 with the Russian side.

Anzhi coach Guus Hiddink was keen to add some fresh blood to his squad as the Dagestan outfit are gunning for the domestic title, and he had earmarked Willian as the perfect addition.

Shakhtar were keen to hold on to the attacking midfielder, but had no other option but to accept Anzhi's offer as they triggered the 24-year-old's release clause.

"There is a club willing to pay the release clause in his contract, and Willian agreed to move. There is nothing I can do," commented Shakhtar boss Mircea Lucescu earlier this week.

Willian will join Anzhi at their training camp in Marbella on Saturday, but will have to wait for his official debut until the Russian league resumes after the winter break.

Anzhi currently sit second in the table with 41 points from 19 games, trailing leaders CSKA Moscow by two points.

Willian completes Anzhi Makhachkala move

Willian - Shakhtar
Anzhi Makhachkala have announced on their official website that they have completed the transfer of Willian from Shakhtar Donetsk for 35 million. The Brazil international has signed a contract until December 2017 with the Russian side.

Anzhi coach Guus Hiddink was keen to add some fresh blood to his squad as the Dagestan outfit are gunning for the domestic title, and he had earmarked Willian as the perfect addition.

Shakhtar were keen to hold on to the attacking midfielder, but had no other option but to accept Anzhi's offer as they triggered the 24-year-old's release clause.

"There is a club willing to pay the release clause in his contract, and Willian agreed to move. There is nothing I can do," commented Shakhtar boss Mircea Lucescu earlier this week.

Willian will join Anzhi at their training camp in Marbella on Saturday, but will have to wait for his official debut until the Russian league resumes after the winter break.

Anzhi currently sit second in the table with 41 points from 19 games, trailing leaders CSKA Moscow by two points.

Jumat, 01 Februari 2013

Press prevented Zenit move, says Abate's agent

Ignazio Abate - AC Milan
The agent of AC Milan defender Ignazio Abate has said a transfer to Zenit Saint Petersburg would have happened had the press not become involved.

The Italy international was widely linked with a move to the Russian giants during the January transfer window, but ultimately remained with the Rossoneri.

"I think the fact that the move was leaked probably stopped it," Andrea D'Amico told Calciomercato.

"In football, news should only be spread when a deal is actually completed," he added.

Abate played all 90 minutes of Milan's last competitive fixture, a 1-0 away win over 10-man Atlanta in Serie A.

Moyes confirms failed Everton bid for Negredo

Alvaro Negredo - Spain
Everton manager David Moyes has confirmed that the club attempted to sign Sevilla striker Alvaro Negredo on transfer deadline day.

The Toffees made the Spaniard their top target after missing out on Twente midfielder Leroy Fer due to a problem with the player's medical.

Moyes' side were willing to spend 10.4 million on Negredo on the final day of the transfer window but the forward's club were holding out for a higher fee.

The Everton boss told reporters: "We wanted to add players if we could who could go into the team and we tried to do that right up to the end, but for reasons out of our control it didn't happen. It wasn't for the want of trying, that is for sure.

"We tried [for Negredo], but it didn't work. They wanted a lot more money than we offered."

Meanwhile, Moyes also revealed his concerns with the Goodison Park pitch ahead of Saturday's match against Aston Villa.

He added: "I've not even spoken to the groundsman. The groundsman's not said anything about it.

"But it's not as if we've played loads of games at Goodison this year. It's not as if we've had loads of cup ties or lots of reserve games on it, so it's not had an awful lot of football played on it."

Newcastle will try to sign a striker in the summer, insists Pardew

Alan Pardew,Newcastle United
Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew has confirmed that the club will look to sign a new striker in the summer.

The Magpies signed six new players in a busy January transfer window, with the last arrival being Swiss defender Kevin Mbabu, who joined the club on deadline day.

Pardew though still believes the club need a proven goal scorer following the exit of Demba Ba to Chelsea.

"When we lost out on Remy it was pretty evident we weren't going to get a big striker," Pardew told the Newcastle Evening Chronicle.

"They are pretty difficult to get over the line. You look around and nobody apart from Remy has really moved - maybe Danny Graham, but I don't think he's in that level.

"I think that's something we will look at in the summer."

Newcastle now have the likes of Gouffran, Papiss Cisse, Shola Ameobi and Adam Campbell to choose from up front, but Pardew believes that any manager would want mor e options up front.

"You always want another striker!" he added.

"I want Man United's position - Van Persie, Rooney, Hernandez and Welbeck. That would be nice. But we haven't got that."

Stekelenburg: I wanted Fulham move

Maarten Stekelenburg - Roma
Roma goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg has revealed that he wanted to join Fulhamduring the January transfer window.

The Netherlands international has found playing time limited at Roma this season and was London-bound when his club cancelled the deal.

I really wanted to join Fulham. I would have been guaranteed playing time," he told Sport Promotion NL.

Im really disappointed that the transfer didn't take place. I hoped that this situation would have ended differently.

Its a big blow that will take me a little time to get over, but Im a professional and my objective is to become the first choice at Roma again.

I cant really blame anyone for this though. Roma, from the start, told me that they would have only sold me should they get an adequate replacement.

The fact that the deal wasn't done doesn't mean that it wont happen any more. Well see what the situation is like in the summer.

Stekelenburg joined Roma i n 2011 after nine years with Ajax.