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Transfer News – September 2nd

DAILY MIRROR

* Daivd James fears for his World Cup place after being left stranded at crisis club Portsmouth.

* Burnley boss Owen Coyle hailed the sgining of striker David Nugent in a last-gasp loan deal from Portsmouth on deadline day.

* Gary Megson is backing Ivan Klasnic to solve Bolton’s chronic goalscoring problems after completing a loan deal for the Croatian striker.

DAILY STAR

* Chelsea striker Nicolas Anelka is said to be angry and frustrated after discovering he will not be getting a new contract this season.

David James has been told to focus on Portsmouth and not showing pictures of himself to 8 year olds...no matter how much it boosts his esteem

David James has been told to focus on Portsmouth and not showing pictures of himself to 8 year olds...no matter how much it boosts his esteem

* Arsenal are set to appeal against UEFA’s decision to hand Eduardo a two-match ban for diving.

* Martin O’Neill was forced to sweat it out as he took his Aston Villa summer spending spree past the £40m mark last night.

* Steve Bruce last night blocked a deadline bid by Spurs to sign Sunderland defender Anton Ferdinand.

* Fulham snapped up Swedish striker David Elm on a one-year deal for £1m from Kalmar FF.

* Dutch defender Johnny Heitinga became Everton’s top earner last night in a beat-the-clock move to Merseyside.

* Portsmouth lost another of their big stars yesterday with Niko Kranjcar joining Tottenham in a £2.75m move.

* FA Cup sponsors E.ON have pulled the plug on their £35m deal.

* Rafa Benitez has become the first top boss to face the wrath of the FA over their new rules for criticising referees.

* Steve Harper has told Newcastle owner Mike Ashley to pull his finger out if he wants promotion this season.

THE SUN

* David Nugent finally ended his Portsmouth hell by securing a six-month loan move to Burnley bang on deadline.

* Niko Kranjcar insists he has not joined Tottenham as a stand-in for crock Luka Modric.

* Michael Ballack says Chelsea have been boosted by Liverpool’s rocky start to the season.

* Jamie Carragher has told Liverpool’s critics not to write them off – because they are the No 1 comeback kings.

* Emmanuel Adebayor says it will be like a family at war when he lines up against Arsenal in 10 days’ time.

* Manchester United and Real Madrid target Franck Ribery has blasted Bayern Munich boss Luis van Gaal in an amazing deadline-day outburst.

DAILY MAIL

* Aston Villa were given dispensation to complete a £5million deal for Richard Dunne last night as negotiations over his departure from Manchester City rumbled on past the 5pm deadline.

* Newcastle pulled off a coup by signing Manchester United defender Craig Cathcart on a season-long loan.

* Aidy Boothroyd will return to football today as the new manager of Colchester United.

* Stoke were beaten by the clock in an ambitious bid to sign Bayern Munich right back Christian Lell.

* Claudio Ranieri, the former Chelsea manager, is the new coach of Roma after Luciano Spalletti resigned yesterday following defeats in the opening Serie A games.

Ranieri...Claudio Ranieri

Ranieri...Claudio Ranieri

DAILY EXPRESS

* Ashley Cole will complete a new £120,000-a-week, five-year deal with Chelsea when he returns from England World Cup duty.

* Birmingham have signed Sunderland midfielder Teemu Tanio on loan until the end of the season.

* Harry Redknapp’s reputation as the master wheeler-dealer took a major hit on transfer deadline day.

* The Premier League’s Big Four reined in their spending yesterday to leave Everton’s £6million deal for Holland international Johnny Heitinga the biggest transfer in a low-key deadline day.

DAILY RECORD

* Celtic boss Tony Mowbray last night admitted he was delighted to snap up Chinese international Zheng Zhi after chasing him for more than a year.

* Jerome Rothen revealed he slammed the door shut on a glamour Premier League move to sign a deal with Rangers.

* Darren O’Dea signed on at Reading and then insisted he’ll be back up the road in no time to nail down his place as a Celtic stalwart.

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Champions League Draw in Full

The draw in full

Group A: Bayern Munich, Juventus, Bordeaux , Maccabi Haifa

Group B: Manchester United, CSKA Moscow, Besiktas, Wolfsburg

Group C: AC Milan, Real Madrid, Marseille, FC Zurich

Group D: Chelsea, Porto, Atletico Madrid, Apoel FC

Group E: Liverpool, Lyon, Fiorentina, Debreceni

Group F: Barcelona, Internazionale, Dynamo Kiev, FC Rubin Kazan

Group G: Sevilla, Rangers, VfB Stuttgart, Unirea Uriziceni

Group H: Arsenal, AZ Alkmaar, Olympiakos, Standard Liege

Analysis:

Group A:  Group A will be a very interesting group to watch unfold.  Juventus, Bayern and Bordeaux all have a great chance of reaching the knockout rounds, but it may all come down to how each of them play Maccabi Haifa – the Israeli champions.  In my eyes, whoever drops points to Haifa, doesn’t make it to the next round.

Prediction:

Bayern Munich and Juventus progress

Group B: Manchester United will be disappointed with all the traveling they will be doing, especially to Turkey where the hooligans go mad every time United come to town.  Wolfsburg is also going to be a bigger threat than they’re given credit for, watch for them to nick points in group play.  The Russians will be a stingy opposition and may steal points in the Motherland, but away from home may struggle to find their feet.  Wolfsburg are my dark horse of the tournament.  I don’t think for a second they deserved the fourth pot, but now find themselves with a tall order.  They can push for the knockout round, and their match against CSKA Moscow will make or break their run.

Prediction

Manchester United and Wolfsburg progress

Group C: Group C, along with F, is a “group of death”.  Somehow, Madrid dodged the British bullet (which makes for a more exciting knockout stage!), and they should find themselves in the knockout round before too long.  AC Milan have had a dodgy start to their campaign, and if they don’t start clicking could start dropping points in group play.  Marseille have been a tough nut to crack in years past, and with the addition of Morientes to their attacking play, will give Milan and Madrid a test.

Prediction:

Real Madrid and AC Milan to progress

Group D: The boys from London should have a spot in the knockout round if they keep their heads about them.  The only thing I would worry about is that they’ve been giving up goals early in the EPL and come from behind to win it, and may well do so against more formidable sides in this competition who won’t be so forgiving.  Atletico are always impressive to watch and I don’t see anyone but those two making it past this group.

Prediction:

Chelsea and Atletico Madrid to progress

Group E: Liverpool can’t have too many complaints here, they were grouped with great teams in Lyon and Fiorentina, but, to be honest, they should be able to cope.  The Merseysiders should claim the top spot, but the second one is completely up for grabs.  Fiorentina and Lyon are both squads that have firepower up top (Mutu and Govou) and can work to break down their opponents.  Fiorentina would love to have Melo back in their squad as I have no doubt he’d love to break up the Frenchmen in attack.

Prediction:

Liverpool and Lyon (by a hair!) to progress

Group F: This is it.  The group of death. We have the reigning Spanish and European champions as well as the Italian and Ukrainian league winners.  I’ve had to keep my mouth shut all day so as not to drool all over my desk.  Mourinho vs. Guardiola.  Eto’o vs. Pique.  Ibrahimovic vs. Cordoba.  Chocolate vs. Vanilla.  Coke vs. Pepsi.  Bert vs. Ernie.

Prediction:

It’s not going any other way.  Barcelona on top, Inter taking second.

Group G: My pick (and yours if you have sense) for the tamest group.  Not a lot to gawk at here.  Rangers and Sevilla will probably make the next stage, as I don’t think Stuttgart have enough bite to make any marks here.  Unirea Uriziceni will just be happy to be in the competition, and will love the fact that they have be thrown into this group.

Prediction:

Rangers and Sevilla to progress (in that order)

Group H: Arsenal may have the best of the English teams, and Wenger will be hard pressed to find something to complain about (if you can believe that!).  But remember the torrid time Standard Liege gave Liverpool last season in the qualifying rounds, as they could give group H some trouble.  Gunners aside, this group is fairly balanced.  Each team will fancy their chances at nabbing the last spot into the knockout stages.

Prediction:

Arsenal and Standard Liege to progress




Transfer News – August 23rd

NEWS OF THE WORLD:

  • Wayne Rooney is to be offered a stunning new contract in line with the biggest earners in the Premier League.
  • Arsenal are ready to open contract talks with Cesc Fabregas to fend off Barcelona.
  • Everton will demand a Premier League probe into their claim that Manchester City tapped up Joleon Lescott.
  • David Gold and David Sullivan will step up their bid to buy West Ham next week.
  • Fulham defender Brede Hangeland will not leave the club in the current transfer window despite the interest shown by Arsenal and Everton.
  • Portsmouth manager Paul Hart plans to offer former Wigan striker Henri Camara a Premier League lifeline.
  • Martin O’Neill is plotting to prise Jermaine Jenas from Tottenham with a £12million bid.

    The Republic of Ireland winger has been targeted by Redknapp.

    The Republic of Ireland winger has been targeted by Redknapp.

  • Wigan are poised to make a £3.5million bid for Bristol City midfielder Marvin Elliott.
  • Harry Redknapp has targeted Celtic stars Aiden McGeady and Scott Brown to bolster his Tottenham squad.
  • Phil Brown could turn to Matty Fryatt to solve Hull’s striker problems.
  • Everton and Blackburn have stepped up their interest in Norway winger Erik Huseklepp.

    STAR ON SUNDAY:

  • Chelsea will smash the British transfer record with a £40million move for Atletico Madrid striker Sergio Aguero.
  • Chelsea forward Salomon Kalou is considering his future, despite being offered a new deal.
  • PSV Eindhoven winger Balazs Dzsudzsak claims Arsenal are preparing an offer for him.
  • Daniel Cousin is facing showdown talks with Phil Brown at Hull.
  • West Ham have asked Livorno to name their price for Italian hitman Alessandro Diamanti.
  • Newcastle have held move talks with the representatives of free agent Peter Lovenkrands.

    SUNDAY PEOPLE:

  • Furious Everton chiefs are to report Manchester City to the Premier League for allegedly tapping up Joleon Lescott.
  • David Beckham’s contract at LA Galaxy has a secret get-out clause, which could see him move to one of Europe’s top leagues.
  • Thailand manager Peter Reid is poised for a shock return to English football – as assistant to Tony Pulis at Stoke.

    The Argentine has long been linked with a move away from Atletico Madrid.

    The Argentine has long been linked with a move away from Atletico Madrid.

  • Chelsea are aiming to spring a major surprise before the transfer window closes – with sources in Spain claiming Sergio Aguero is on his way to Stamford Bridge in a £42million deal.
  • Joe Cole is set to be handed a new four-year contract worth around £90,000 per week.
  • Fulham will stage an ambitious late bid to sign Bordeaux hitman Marouane Chamakh.
  • Stoke boss Tony Pulis is ready to shatter their transfer record with a £12million bid for Sunderland striker Kenwyne Jones.
  • West Brom’s wantaway midfielder Borja Valero will complete a deal to Real Mallorca this week.
  • David Moyes will spark a late transfer window buying spree with Russian star Vladimir Bystrov at the top of his shopping list.
  • Harry Redknapp is ready to make a cut-price move for West Ham midfielder Scott Parker.
  • Dietmar Hamann has turned down Sven-Goran Eriksson’s Notts County and will instead move to Portsmouth.

    SUNDAY MIRROR:

  • Dean Ashton is set to announce his shock retirement from football.
  • Everton will ask the FA to investigate their claim that Manchester City made an illegal approach for Joleon Lescott.
  • Rafa Benitez has told Liverpool’s fans they can put their money on him staying at Anfield for the remaining five years of his contract.
  • Arsenal want William Gallas to extend his stay at the Emirates Stadium.
  • Portsmouth are ready to sell Niko Kranjcar if a club will meet their £8million asking price.
    The Spanish mastermind looks set to remain loyal to his Liverpool contract.

    The Spanish mastermind looks set to remain loyal to his Liverpool contract.

    SUNDAY EXPRESS:

  • Everton are going to war with Manchester City after finally agreeing to sell Joleon Lescott for £24million.
  • Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez is bidding to end once and for all the rumours that he is ready to walk out of Anfield.


  • Ibrahimovic Completes Barca Switch
    July 27, 2009, 11:32 AM
    Filed under: la liga, serie a | Tags: , , , ,

    Zlatan Ibrahimovic has completed his move to Barcelona after the European champions confirmed he had signed a five-year deal.

    A statement on Barcelona’s website revealed they had paid Inter Milan 46million euros for the Swedish striker, with Samuel Eto’o and Alexander Hleb also joining the Italian champions in the ‘swap’ deal.

    The Swede is set to join forces with the likes of Messi, Henry and Xavi.

    The Swede is set to join forces with the likes of Messi, Henry and Xavi.

    Ibrahimovic completed his medical on Monday – and while it showed he had a fractured left hand, a deal was struck which included an astronomical buy-out clause of 250million euros for the player.

    Analysis:  Well well well.  It finally happened.  And such is that, when a high profile name like Ibrahimovic moves to any club, fuss will be made.  And without missing a beat, he’s come out and said he couldn’t stand Serie A or Inter Milan.  Maybe some of Mourinho’s arrogance rubbed off on him during his tenure.  It will be very interesting to see how he fits in, chemically, with the rest of the team.  His attitude could be a problem when it seems like there aren’t many tiffs in at the Nou Camp.



    Ibra Prepared for Camp Nou Switch
    July 24, 2009, 8:41 AM
    Filed under: la liga, serie a, Transfer | Tags: , , ,

    Zlatan Ibrahimovic has agreed personal terms with Barcelona as he edges ever closer to joining the European champions from Inter Milan.

    The two clubs have worked out a swap deal involving Ibrahimovic and Samuel Eto’o, with Alexander Hleb also reportedly being offered to the Italian club on top of a cash payment of 40million euros.

    Inter confirmed on Thursday they were on the verge of signing Eto’o and Barca have now stated that Ibrahimovic is close to coming to moving to the Nou Camp.

    This slovenly looking lad is looking to swap shirts for Barcelona.

    This slovenly looking lad is looking to swap shirts for Barcelona.

    “There are agreements in principle with the player and with Inter and the documents are being drawn up,” sporting director Txiki Begiristain told Barca TV.

    He added that only a few details remained to be worked out and Ibrahimovic could be presented as a Barcelona player as early as Monday.

    One potential problem could be Hleb’s desire to stay at Barca and fight for a place in Pep Guardiola’s side.

    “I have a contract with Barcelona and am currently preparing for the new season with the team,” the Belarus international told Sport Bild.

    “My aim is to make the breakthrough here and be successful with this club.”

    Hleb’s agent has also denied being contacted about a switch to Inter.

    “Nobody has spoken to me or Alex about a possible transfer to Inter Milan,” said Uli Ferber.

    “We are all a bit surprised about the recent press reports, which we cannot confirm.”

    Analysis:  With the Eto’o/Ibrahimovic looking to go through from all parties, it looks set to happen rather soon.  There really isn’t a loser in the deal which is said to be Eto’o + Hleb (on loan) for Ibrahimovic.  Personally, I’d rather have Eto’o that the lazy Swede, but I guess that’s why I’m relegated to writing about it from my laptop rather than managing Italian and Spanish Champions.



    Inter & Barca Ready to Swap Strikers
    July 17, 2009, 12:17 PM
    Filed under: la liga, serie a | Tags: , , ,

    -Soccernet

    Inter Milan have confirmed they are in talks with Spanish champions Barcelona over the potential transfer of Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

    Internazionale president Massimo Moratti has been locked in negotiations with Barca counterpart Joan Laporta over a cash plus player deal that could see Cameroon striker Samuel Eto’o heading to Italy.

    A swap might be in place between Inter & Barcelona for the two strikers.

    A swap might be in place between Inter & Barcelona for the two strikers.

    ” …they [Barcelona] were interested to know something about Ibrahimovic and to talk about Eto’o, two players at the same level,” Moratti said. “There is the possibility to do an operation with these two players.”

    “What are the odds of Ibrahimovic leaving Inter? I don’t like to frame things this way, I don’t know right now, we’ll have to wait and see what the player wants.

    “In any case, if the matter should be taken all the way to completion, then Eto’o would be in the deal.”

    Reports in both Spain and Italy suggest the clubs are very close to agreeing a deal which would see Inter receive €40m plus Eto’o and former Arsenal midfielder Alexander Hleb on loan for a year.

    Ibrahimovic, who finished as the top scorer in Serie A last season, has been at the centre of transfer speculation in recent months with Barca, Real Madrid and Manchester United all reportedly interested.

    The 27-year-old is under contract with the Nerazzurri until June 2013 but earlier this year expressed his desire to leave the club.

    “With regards to Ibrahimovic I think it’s an issue that has arisen because of the wishes of the player,” said Moratti.

    The Inter president would welcome the arrival of Cameroon international Eto’o, who has failed to agree a contract extension with Barca with his current deal ending next summer.

    Analysis:  Neither club could really go wrong here.  Both strikers are world class, with little separating the two.  Eto’o has blistering speed and a good finish, but Ibrahimovic has one of the best touches in the world.  It would only be interesting to see what Guardiola and Mourinho could do with Ibrahimovic and Eto’o, respectively.  The towering Swedish striker netted 25 times in Serie A and the Cameroonian hit the back of the net 30 times in La Liga.  There doesn’t seem to be a loser if these two swap, unless you hold a bias toward either one.

    Result:  The swap will happen.  With Eto’o seeming unsettled at Camp Nou and Ibrahimiovic saying he wanted to leave the club earlier this year, it definitely sounds like a possibility.



    Veteran Stopper Signs On With Inter
    July 16, 2009, 10:19 AM
    Filed under: bundesliga, serie a | Tags: , ,

    Bayern Munich have confirmed the sale of defender Lucio to Italian champions Inter Milan. The Brazilian will put pen to paper on a three-year deal in Milan, according to Bayern’s general manager Uli Hoeness.

    “Lucio is transferring immediately to Inter Milan and will receive a three-year contract there,” he said at a press conference today.

    “The clubs have reached an agreement and the player is also in agreement with Inter.”

    Lucio is now due to undergo a medical in Lombardy before all the transfer formalities can be completed.

    The 31-year-old’s future at Bayern had been in doubt since new coach Louis van Gaal arrived and hinted it may be difficult for him to earn a regular place in his team.

    The Dutch coach warned nobody could be given a guaranteed starting berth and Lucio’s late return to pre-season training, due to his involvement for Brazil at the Confederations Cup, could put him at a disadvantage compared to his team-mates.

    And Hoeness confirmed Lucio had made it clear he wanted to leave after leading Brazil to glory in South Africa.

    “After the Confederations Cup it was his expressed wish to leave Bayern if there was an offer from a major club.

    “We are of course sad that he is leaving because Lucio did outstanding work here,” Hoeness added, saying Bayern still had several options for central defence.

    Lucio joined Bayern from Bundesliga rivals Bayer Leverkusen in 2004 and played 144 times for the record German champions, scoring seven goals.

    The 31-year-old, who was to rejoin Bayern on Thursday after his Confederations Cup participation with Brazil, signed for the Germans in 2004 after a stint with Bayer Leverkusen.

    Part of Brazil’s 2002 World Cup winning side, he quickly established himself as a rock in Bayern’s defence, helping them clinch the Bundesliga and Cup double in 2005, 2006 and 2008.

    The Brazilian veteran will ply his trade in Serie A next season.

    The Brazilian veteran will ply his trade in Serie A next season.

    Last season Bayern’s backline was less consistent, however, and the Bavarians failed to win any silverware.

    However in a strange twist, Inter president Massimo Moratti claimed that the deal was not yet done.

    “Lucio’s signing? It is not yet official,” Moratti told the club’s website.

    “From what I know it’s not all definite.”

    Moratti admitted the arrival of Lucio would bring to an end the Nerazzurri’s quest to acquire Chelsea stars Deco and Ricardo Carvalho. Inter, on a pre-season tour in California, opted for Lucio after talks to sign Carvalho broke down.

    Coach Jose Mourinho has already bought Argentina striker Diego Milito and Brazilian midfielder Thiago Motta from Genoa with Twente Enschede forward Marko Arnautovic poised to sign.

    Inter left back Maxwell is joining Barcelona and Lucio’s arrival could lead to further departures from the San Siro after Mourinho said his squad was too large.

    Argentina defender Nicolas Burdisso is among several Inter players to be linked with a move in the media.

    Analysis:  Despite the fact that a week ago Inter Milan declared themselves out of the Transfer Market, they snap up the Bayern Munich central back.  If there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s not to trust José Mourinho, so I’m not too shocked that he’s still toying in the market.  I would expect him to have a few more lined up as well.  This isn’t that key for Inter Milan, who have a fairly deep and skilled team sheet, but for Bayern it could be paramount.  Their back line has been pretty solid and consistent for a season or two, and it will be important for van Gaal to find a replacement as soon as possible.