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Thread: Latest Transfer Update at 20-02-11.

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    Cool Latest Transfer Update at 20-02-11.

    Latest Transfer Update at 20-02-11.


    Messi - hopes to play alongside Fabregas next season.
    MESSI HOPES FOR SUMMER CESC ARRIVAL

    Barcelona forward Lionel Messi hopes the Catalan club finally seal the capture of Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas this summer.
    Barca have tracked the Catalan midfielder for several seasons and had two big-money bids for their former youth team player turned down by the Gunners last summer.
    But Messi, who lost out to Fabregas and his Arsenal team-mates in the first leg of their Champions League tie on Wednesday night, believes his friend will soon be a Barca player.
    "Let's hope so," he told Sport in an interview.
    "In the end he will do what he wants and what the people at Barca want. It doesn't depend on us, but I think his inclination is to be at Barcelona because there is nowhere he will be better off than here."
    Barca lost 2-1 in London, despite going ahead and completely dominating the first half against the Gunners.
    Messi believes Fabregas played a big part in the Arsenal revival that night and claims he is the key player in Arsene Wenger's side.
    "It's clear he is vital for them," he said.
    "Their play depends so much on him; they are constantly giving him the ball - he is a very important player for them."
    In the meantime, Fabregas will be back in Barcelona next month as Arsenal look to produce a shock and knock out Pep Guardiola's side in the last 16 of the Champions League.
    Messi, though, is confident his side will prevail at the Nou Camp on March 8.
    "It hurt to lose (on Wednesday) because we didn't deserve to," he said.
    "In the first half we played really well for a lot of the time, moving the ball around quickly - it's a shame we didn't win.
    "But we are relaxed because we know we can turn this around - we only have to overcome a one-goal deficit."
    Barca and Arsenal met in the quarter-finals of last season's Champions League, when Messi struck all four goals in a 4-1 win at the Nou Camp following a 2-2 draw in London.
    "It doesn't matter how we do it (this time)," he said.
    "Whether it's with my goals or not, the most important thing is to go through.
    "We have to play in the same way and if we play like we did in the first half (at the Emirates), we will have a great chance of going through."
    Messi, surprisingly, has never scored against an English side away from home and the Argentina forward missed a great chance on Wednesday night, when he clipped the ball just wide with only Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczesny to beat.
    "It was such a clear opportunity; the keeper waited right until the end, I lifted the ball over him and sent it wide - it was a shame," said Messi.
    After his stunning four-goal show last season, Wenger described Messi as a 'Playstation'.
    "It makes me really happy to hear such important football people speaking kindly of you," the 23-year-old said.
    "Let's hope I can produce another great match and that we can go through."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 20-02-11.

    Roque Santa Cruz - on loan from Manchester City.
    KEAN REVEALS FEARS OVER STAR DUO

    Blackburn boss Steve Kean fears the club may not be able to afford to sign loan duo Roque Santa Cruz and Jermaine Jones permanently.
    The pair moved to Ewood Park on temporary deals in January and Kean had hoped to negotiate prices with their parent clubs for summer transfers.
    Blackburn want to re-sign Paraguay striker Santa Cruz, 29, from Manchester City two years after selling him to the Eastlands outfit for 17.5million while American midfielder Jones, also 29, is contracted to Schalke.
    Kean told the Lancashire Telegraph: "We tried to fix a price for Roque and the same for Jermaine because we thought they would do well but we couldn't fix a price.
    "We were confident they would do well but obviously if they do really well now then the price becomes too much.
    "We tried to get a price fixed but the parent club wouldn't allow that and we just have to get on with it."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 20-02-11.

    Martins - happy at Birmingham.
    MARTINS HOPING TO EXTEND BLUES STAY

    Obafemi Martins has set his sights on sealing a permanent move to Birmingham as he prepares to face his former club Newcastle in Tuesday night's home Premier League clash.
    Martins is on loan from Russian side Rubin Kazan for the remainder of the season, but the Nigeria international is keen to make a good impression and move on a full-time basis to St. Andrew's.
    Martins, who made his debut against Stoke on Saturday, said: "Would I like a permanent move? Yes, why not. Birmingham is a big club and the team is doing well.
    "If everything goes well then, of course, I'm going to stay.
    "I was keen to play Premier League football again. It is one of the best leagues in the world.
    "It doesn't matter to me that Birmingham aren't the biggest team in this division.
    "They're not the smallest team either. I wanted to come here and play for them. This is a great opportunity.
    "I just want to fit in as soon as possible, start scoring goals and be happy here."
    Martins also knows he has made many people happy in his homeland by returning to the English top flight.
    He said: "The Nigerian fans will be very happy to see me playing in the Premier League.
    "There are 150 million people and many of them watch Premier League football on TV.
    "When I was playing in Russia, people kept telling me I had to go back to the Premier League so they could watch me more often!"
    Martins scored 28 goals in 88 league games for Newcastle between 2006 and 2009, when he was a team-mate of current City captain Stephen Carr, and still has a lot of affection for the club.
    But all his thoughts are on earning Birmingham the win which will lift them into the top half of the table.
    He said: "I have good memories from my time at Newcastle and they're good supporters.
    "I don't play for Newcastle anymore and it will be strange to line up against them but that's life.
    "You never know what is around the corner in football.
    "It will be nice to see some of the players again but I'm a Birmingham player now and I'll be giving it all for my new team."
    Martins insists he is not far away from achieving full fitness despite having played no competitive football for two months before facing Stoke.
    He said: "My last game for Rubin was against Barcelona in December and we returned for pre-season in the middle of January.
    "I played in my last friendly game for them two weeks ago and since then I've been training in Nigeria so I'm feeling good.
    "It was good to get in 60-70 minutes on Saturday and I will get sharper and hopefully score the goals that keep Birmingham in the Premier League."
    Martins is also dreaming of playing at the new Wembley for the first time with Blues facing Arsenal in the Carling Cup final on February 27.
    He said: "The Carling Cup final would be a great game to be involved in. The team have done a fantastic job to get to the final.
    "I am very happy to be in with a chance of playing against Arsenal.
    "The Carling Cup is a very big cup, very important, and I hope we can win it.
    "I have never played at Wembley so that would be a first. I am very excited about the possibility of playing there."
    Birmingham boss Alex McLeish has no fresh injury worries as his side search for a third successive league win.

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 20-02-11.

    Avram Grant - thinking positively.
    GRANT UPBEAT OVER HAMMERS FUTURE

    Avram Grant is confident of realising his "long-term vision" for West Ham despite the prospect of relegation.
    The club were delighted to be named as the preferred bidder for the Olympic Stadium last week, a step which owners David Gold and David Sullivan believe could usher in a bright future.
    Grant is also working towards that, but accepts their perilous league position means they must for now focus on one game at a time.
    The Hammers are just one point above bottom club Wolves, who have played one game fewer, but Grant is refusing to be downbeat after coming back from three down to score a 3-3 draw at West Brom on Saturday.
    He told the club's official website: "We are thinking positively. We have a long-term plan here at West Ham.
    "We knew this first year would be difficult but our vision is that every year we will do the right thing.
    "When we come to the (Olympic) stadium we will have a good team in the Premier League. We have a long-term vision but in football that has to start with the next match.
    "We built a good squad and if everyone is fit, or even in 90% are fit, we have a good team. If you make a table from the last 10 games, we are in the middle of the league."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 20-02-11.

    Fabgreas - Real link.
    REAL MADRID DENY FABREGAS TALK

    Real Madrid have insisted they have not lodged a bid for Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas.
    Fabregas, who was the subject of bids from former club Barcelona in the summer, is now being strongly linked with a summer move to Real.
    Reports in England and Spain have reported that Real were ready to make a 65million move for the Arsenal star.
    But Madrid general manager Jorge Valdano has confirmed that they have made no bid or approach for the 23-year-old.
    "We never made an offer for him (Fabregas) and we haven't spoken with Arsenal either," Valdano said.
    "We have a good relationship with Arsenal and we don't want any misunderstanding."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 20-02-11.

    Roy Hodgson - new West Brom boss.
    HODGSON 'HURT' BY REDS EXPERIENCE

    New West Brom boss Roy Hodgson admits he has been "hurt" by his Liverpool experience but insists it has not shaken his self-belief or made him feel he has anything to prove after 36 years in management.
    Hodgson was sacked after barely six months in charge at Anfield last month but is back in the Premier League with Albion after only a five-week absence from the game.
    He put the Baggies players through their paces for the first time on Monday before facing the media for the first time since his unhappy spell with the Reds came to an end.
    Hodgson was reluctant to go into details about his reign at Liverpool and is adamant he is focused on trying to keep the Baggies in the top flight.
    But when asked if he was hurt by events at Liverpool, he said: "Of course it hurts.
    "Every time a club decides they don't want you to continue doing the job they've employed you to do, of course it hurts.
    "It would be foolish to say anything other than that.
    "I knew when I took the job I was taking a bit of a risk because there was likely to be a change of ownership. Therefore I'm reasonably philosophical about it.
    "It's a great club, with some very good people there, the players were extremely good to work with, and I'm happy to see them now getting some good results.
    "I don't regret going there."
    Hodgson added: "Do I still feel I've got something to prove? No, I think my 36 years, for those who care to study it, speaks for itself.
    "I don't think I've got anything to prove. I do feel I've got a very important job on my hands.
    "A lot of people are depending on me to help the club retain its Premier League status.
    "I feel that pressure and responsibility but I don't feel I've got anything to prove.
    "I don't think the Liverpool players, if you spoke to them, will think I had anything to prove either and I also have no self doubt."
    Hodgson's demise at Liverpool was not aided by the below-par form of Fernando Torres compared to his previous campaigns at the club.
    But he was not surprised to see the player make the 50million switch to Chelsea last month.
    He said: "Am I surprised Torres went for 50million? No, I am never surprised at transfer fees.
    "We've got to the stage where comparisons are worthless. If a player is a very good player, and you want him, you pay what the price is.
    "If the price is 50million, then you pay 50million.
    "Fernando is an outstanding player, a very good person, and I think he will do extremely well at Chelsea.
    "I presume he was happy to leave. I've had text messages from him."
    Hodgson is happy to be working at a club which he feels will give him sound backing.
    He said: "Jobs in this league are precious.
    "Clubs which will allow you to work and do the job properly and give you the support you need, embrace your philosophies and follow what you're attempting to do, are very important.
    "I believe West Brom are that sort of club."
    Hodgson admitted: "I wasn't planning to return so soon after Liverpool but Dan Ashworth (sporting and technical director) and Jeremy Peace (chairman) were very persuasive.
    "I know I've taken on a very difficult challenge in the sense of not having much time and like other clubs we are in a difficult situation trying to retain status.
    "But that's our major focus for me, the major goal and ambition, and I hope we can achieve that then try to get a stronger platform for next season in the Premier League."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 20-02-11.

    Hunt - happy with new contract.
    HUNT SIGNS NEW READING DEAL

    Reading striker Noel Hunt has pledged his future to the Championship club by signing a new contract until 2013.
    Hunt has scored 19 goals in 76 appearances for the Royals since his 2008 arrival from Dundee United, but missed much of last season due to a knee injury.
    He is back to fitness after a recent knock and the Republic of Ireland international is happy to be staying at the Madejski Stadium.
    "It's something we both wanted," Hunt told the club's official website.
    "A lot of players in my situation let their contract run out and see what happens, but I didn't have any doubt in my mind and I love it here.
    "I'm buying into what the manager is selling and everyone else is as well. It makes us a good team and it's the place to be for me. Hopefully we can get up to the play-off positions and kick on."
    Royals boss Brian McDermott said: "We're delighted that Noel has agreed to stay for another couple of years. As everybody knows, he's a great guy and you can see the work he puts in on the pitch.
    "On top of that he does a lot of work in the community and with local charities, he's a real ambassador for us and as I said we're delighted."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 20-02-11.

    Hobbs - pictured in action for Foxes.
    HOBBS MAKES TIGERS LOAN MOVE

    Jack Hobbs has agreed to a reunion with Nigel Pearson on loan at Hull until the end of the season after falling out of favour at Leicester.
    The 22-year-old former Liverpool defender has made 30 appearances for Leicester this term but has found first-team opportunities limited since the arrivals of Sol Bamba, Ben Mee and Jeffrey Bruma.
    He will play a more prominent role for the Tigers, however, as they challenge Leicester for a play-off berth.
    Hull find themselves just three points behind Sven-Goran Eriksson's men in 10th place in the Championship, seven points adrift of sixth-placed Leeds.
    Hobbs arrived at Leicester from Anfield in the summer of 2009 following a season-long loan deal at the Walkers Stadium.
    He has now made 130 appearances in total for the East Midlands club and only last season was voted player of the year and players' player of the year.

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