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Thread: Latest Transfer Update at 21-02-11.

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    Arrow Latest Transfer Update at 21-02-11.

    Latest Transfer Update at 21-02-11.

    Carlo Ancelotti - will not quit Chelsea.

    Carlo Ancelotti has insisted he will never quit Chelsea, claiming Roman Abramovich must decide whether or not he should be sacked.
    Ancelotti is under more pressure than ever at Stamford Bridge following Saturday's shock FA Cup defeat to Everton.
    It left Chelsea's season in real danger of unravelling completely, with the Premier League title all but surrendered and Champions League qualification hanging in the balance.
    Their only remaining hope of silverware is also the latter competition, which they resume on Tuesday night when they visit FC Copenhagen in the last 16.
    Defeat in that tie would surely test billionaire owner Abramovich's patience to what could be breaking point.
    But even if the unthinkable were to happen, manager Ancelotti will not jump before he is pushed.
    Asked if he would ever consider resigning, the Italian said: "No, not me.
    "I don't have to consider my position. It is the owner that has to consider my position, not myself."
    Ancelotti enjoyed the backing of Abramovich at the end of 2010 after overseeing the club's worst run in the league for almost 15 years.
    A mini-revival followed but the past fortnight has witnessed another calamitous run of results.
    Luiz Felipe Scolari was sacked two years ago when Abramovich began to fear Champions League qualification would not be achieved and Chelsea are in an even worse position now, lying fifth in the Premier League.
    Winning the double in his maiden season has arguably bought Ancelotti the opportunity to try to end the club's long wait for Champions League glory.
    And he maintains that, despite recent results, fulfilling Abramovich's long-held dream is still possible.
    "The Champions League is not easy, but it will bring a lot of motivation for every one of us," said the Italian, who acknowledged his job would ultimately depend on improving Chelsea's flagging fortunes.
    "We have to have the right pressure. We have to play against Copenhagen. We have 180 minutes to win this game."
    He added boldly: "Chelsea won't go out against Copenhagen. I think we have the possibility to win against Copenhagen."
    Urging his players to "stay together", Ancelotti insisted Saturday's performance against Everton was "good".
    The Blues certainly wasted enough chances to win comfortably but there was also something missing from their play.
    Ancelotti claimed John Obi Mikel and Michael Essien are not 100 per cent fit and admitted only John Terry and Branislav Ivanovic are currently playing to the top of their game.
    Everton had also been struggling to find their form prior to Saturday and also seemed to lose their never-say-die attitude in their previous match at Bolton.
    But it returned in dramatic fashion at Stamford Bridge, with Leighton Baines' free-kick cancelling out Frank Lampard's goal in the 119th minute.
    The full-back then missed the visitors' first penalty in the shootout but Everton bounced back again to win 4-3.
    Manager David Moyes admitted he very nearly performed a Jose Mourinho-style celebration when Phil Neville blasted in the winning spot-kick.
    "I was thinking about one of those Mourinhos you do down the touchline," he said.
    "Probably making a fool of myself!"
    The shootout was not without controversy, with John Heitinga deliberatly bumping into Ashley Cole as the latter walked forward to take a penalty he ballooned over the crossbar, giving Neville the chance to win it.
    Moyes said: "Goalkeepers have bits of psychology all the way through, so who knows? Maybe that's the way?"
    Asked if there had been harsh words after the Bolton defeat, he said: "Not harsh words, just corrective words, and really realligning what we have to do here before we try to play."
    He added: "Noticably, there was a massive improvement in their attitude to do the tough things first."
    Moyes admitted Saturday's win would "never make up for" losing to Chelsea in the 2009 final but hopes the omens are good for another run to Wembley.
    "I don't know," he said.
    "I've lost to some small clubs and the gulf was even bigger. So how could I say that?
    "I hope you're right but I couldn't be sure."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 21-02-11.

    Jack Wilshere - impressed against Barca.

    Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola has played down suggestions he might try to sign Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere.
    The 19-year-old was the Gunners' best player in their 2-1 over Barcelona in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie at the Emirates, more than holding his own against the likes of Xavi and Andres Iniesta.
    The England international even outshone his captain, Cesc Fabregas, who Barcelona are eager to take back to the Nou Camp.
    Guardiola, though, admitted he would not be making a move for Wilshere, and also hinted his side would find it tough to prise Fabregas away from north London.
    "He (Wilshere) is a great player - a great player for Arsenal," the Barca coach said.
    "And in any case, (Arsenal manager) Arsene Wenger doesn't sell his best players."
    Guardiola claimed he expects a stern test from Wenger's side in the return leg of their Champions League clash at the Nou Camp.
    Barca needed a late Lionel Messi strike to beat Athletic Bilbao on Sunday as they returned to winning ways, while Arsenal, fielding a much-changed side, could only draw 1-1 at lower-league Leyton Orient in the FA Cup.
    The Gunners also let a four-goal lead slip to draw 4-4 at Newcastle recently, but Guardiola insisted he drew no comfort from those results.
    "Arsenal are a wonderful side," he said.
    "You will not hear me discredit Arsenal - they are a great side with a great coach and they will be a very difficult opponent. It will be a great game against a great team."
    There had been talk in Spain of a mini-crisis for Barcelona after the Catalans had failed to beat Sporting Gijon last weekend and then lost at Arsenal, but a hard-fought 2-1 win over Athletic saw normal order restored.
    "I see this talk of a crisis at Barca and laugh," Athletic coach Joaquin Caparros said.
    Caparros saw his side go behind after just three minutes, but Dani Alves was in an offside position when he ran on to Xavi's pass before squaring for David Villa to score for the third game running.
    "The offside is very clear and a goal in third minute ruins everything you have worked on," he said.
    On the flipside, however, Messi looked unfortunate to have two penalty appeals turned down before he scored a late winner.
    Barca were not at their best but still moved back five points ahead of Real Madrid in the Primera Division with 14 league games left.
    "To be five points ahead of Madrid is a total success," Guardiola said.
    "They are a great team and they have a coach who has not lost a home game for nine years.
    "For me, there is no better team in Europe."
    Barca face their arch-rivals in the final of the Copa del Rey in April and could yet meet Jose Mourinho's side in the latter stages of the Champions League.
    Guardiola said winning becomes more difficult every year.
    "People say that it's easier because we have been together for longer," he said.
    "But every year it gets harder; you don't see Rafael Nadal beating Roger Federer 6-0, 6-1, 6-0, just like you didn't see the Chicago Bulls winning easily when Michael Jordan was playing - sometimes they won with the last shot of the game."
    Victor Valdes missed Sunday's game with a knee problem, but the keeper should return in time for the clash with Arsenal.
    "He has a small strain," Guardiola said.
    "He will be back in a few days, but we have every confidence in (second-choice keeper Jose Manuel) Pinto."
    Indeed, Pinto made several fine saves against Athletic and the former Celta Vigo keeper was only beaten by Andoni Iraola's second-half penalty.
    The match was Guardiola's 100th league game in charge at Barca and saw Messi make his 250th competitive appearance for the Catalan club.

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 21-02-11.

    Hugo Lloris - linked with Man Utd.

    France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris is flattered by talk linking him with a summer move to Manchester United but will not let it distract him from the Lyon cause.
    Speculation has been rife as to who will be the long-term replacement for Edwin van de Sar after the 40-year-old Dutchman confirmed last month that he will hang up his boots at the end of the season.
    United manager Sir Alex Ferguson already has Anders Lindegaard and Tomasz Kuszczak on his books, while the names of a number of international stoppers - Lloris, Germany's Manuel Neuer, Holland's Maarten Stekelenburg and Russia's Igor Akinfeev - have all also been mentioned as possible candidates.
    But Lloris, who is under contract with Les Gones until June 2012, told L'Equipe: "I am fully committed to the OL.
    "After these announcements, the rumours, I have no problem with that.
    "It's flattering, yes. But that does not mean I'm going to stop working and function as I always have."
    Kuszczak, meanwhile, has urged Ferguson to make him No 1 at Old Trafford.
    The 28-year-old Poland international has found first-time opportunities hard to come by since his permanent move to the Red Devils in 2007.
    Kuszczak, formerly of Hertha Berlin and West Brom, has made seven appearances this term and is looking to get more games under his belt.
    However, new signing Lindegaard has played in United's last two FA Cup matches while Kuszczak has been forced to sit on the bench.
    The Pole is desperate to prove himself and he believes he will shine if given an extended run in the side.
    "Play me and I'll prove I'm your real No 1," he said.
    "To play well I need to play regularly. I've shown when I get a run my form gets better. Now I'm waiting for my manager's decision."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 21-02-11.

    Jonathan Woodgate - has a fan in Redknapp.

    Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp is hoping injury-hit defender Jonathan Woodgate is given a new contract.
    The 31-year-old is out of contract in the summer and Spurs' boss believes the former Middlesbrough man still has a future at White Hart Lane.
    Woodgate has endured an injury-hit campaign and suffered an adductor strain against AC Milan last week in his first appearance of the season.
    However, Redknapp has fond memories of Woodgate when he first arrived in 2008 and he still believes the experienced stopper can overcome his latest injury.
    "Hopefully he will get a deal," said Redknapp. "I want him to come back fit. He's a great player.
    "I'd love to see him get his career back on track because when I came here two years ago he was one of the first names on the sheet, a different class.
    "He's one of the best centre-halves around."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 21-02-11.

    Modric - won't be sold, says Redknapp.

    Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has dismissed reports linking Luka Modric with a big-money move to Manchester United.
    The 25-year-old midfielder has reportedly been lined up as a long-term Old Trafford replacement for Paul Scholes.
    Croatia international Modric has established himself as one of the Premier League's finest midfielders since arriving at White Hart Lane from Dinamo Zagreb in 2008 for 16.6million.
    He was an important part of the Tottenham side that qualified for the Champions League last season and is enjoying another classy campaign as Spurs look to secure a return to Europe's premier competition..
    Redknapp is adamant Modric will remain at Spurs despite the mooted interest from United, and he says it is crucial the club keeps hold of its top talent.
    "If we want to build a club and compete to get in the Champions League every year we have to keep our best players," Redknapp said.
    "He's such a fantastic player for us. You can't replace people like him.
    "He's not just a great player, he's a special person as well.
    "He comes in every day and gets on with his job. He never gives you a problem. He's a quiet man off the pitch. He's amazing."
    Tottenham's eye-catching debut season in the Champions League has alerted a number of clubs to their hottest prospects, with Gareth Bale's performances against Inter Milan earlier in the campaign drawing plaudits from across the continent.
    Redknapp's men made further progress with a marvellous 1-0 victory over AC Milan on Tuesday in the San Siro, and host the Rossoneri for the return leg on March 9.

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 21-02-11.

    Claudio Ranieri - could leave Roma.

    Claudio Ranieri has offered his resignation as coach of Roma, according to reports in Italy.
    The move comes after Ranieri's side surrendered a 3-0 lead to lose 4-3 at Genoa earlier on Sunday, their third straight Serie A defeat.
    According to a report on, Ranieri told his players: "I am resigning. I have always thought the best for Roma."
    The club are yet to accept Ranieri's resignation, with an announcement expected in the next 24 hours.
    "We will pause for reflection," said director Gian Paolo Montali. "We need to examine things carefully, but we will decide everything in between tonight and tomorrow."
    Recent reports have suggested Ranieri has fallen out with key players amid Roma's lengthy slide, which has left them down in eighth place.
    Defensive problems have been the key to the Roma collapse this season. They have conceded 11 goals in their last three games, including a 5-3 defeat to Inter Milan.
    If this proves to be the end of Ranieri's reign, it will be a sad finish to something that started so promisingly.
    Having managed 10 clubs in Italy, Spain, and England, Ranieri returned to his spiritual home - his childhood club and where he began his playing career - in September 2009 and quickly improved their performances.
    They got themselves back into the title race and eventually finished only two points behind Jose Mourinho's Inter last season.
    Hopes were high that Roma could challenge this season with Mourinho gone, but things have rarely gone right for Ranieri second time around.
    They had already lost twice - including a 5-1 defeat to Catania - and drawn twice, before recording their first league win of the season - albeit against Inter - a beginning that foretold the stop-start nature of their season to date.

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 21-02-11.

    Arnesen - heading to Germany.

    Bundesliga club Hamburg have confirmed that Frank Arnesen will become their new director of sport from July.
    Arnesen will join from Chelsea in the summer after agreeing a three-year contract with HSV.
    His appointment was confirmed at a press conference in the city on Sunday.
    "I am delighted that we have found this fantastic solution," said Hamburg's chairman Ernst-Otto Rieckhoff.
    "Frank Arnesen has not only the aptitude that is very meaningful to us for our future thanks to his experience as a manager at top clubs in Europe, but in particular due to his focus on youth development."
    Arnesen fills a void in Hamburg which has never truly been occupied since Dietmar Beiersdorfer resigned just over 18 months ago.
    Bastian Reinhardt was appointed in the summer, but has not really impressed club bosses and he will take on a lesser role from next season.
    "Bastian deserves respect for his work and his loyalty in recent months," added Rieckhoff.
    "I am glad we have managed to find a solution together with him which is right for everybody involved - for HSV and particularly for Bastian."
    Arnesen will bring Chelsea's chief scout Lee Congerton with him in the summer and he will be employed as Hamburg's technical director.
    "I am honoured by HSV's interest and the conviction shown to me by the people in charge of the club," Arnesen said.
    "HSV is a special club with a great tradition and fantastic conditions to work in.
    "I am convinced that we will develop something huge with the energy we have got and with the right decisions."
    The 54-year-old Dane joined Chelsea in 2005 after first arriving in England at Tottenham.
    He previously had a spell as assistant coach of PSV Eindhoven after ending his playing career in 1988.
    The Dane played 52 times for his national team and scored 14 goals, and celebrated three Dutch titles with Ajax.
    His appointment has also been welcomed by Hamburg coach Armin Veh, who said that the news "is important for the club".
    "It is a decisive move for the coming years when such a person comes," he said.
    President of the board Bernd Hoffmann added: "This is a good day for HSV.
    "Frank Arnesen stands for long-term development and everything that makes modern football what it is."
    Hamburg are the only current Bundesliga club to have remained in the top flight of German football since its inception 47 years ago without ever being relegated.
    A 4-0 win over Werder Bremen yesterday took them up to seventh in the table - just a point behind the top five and a place in Europe next season, which is their goal for the season.

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 21-02-11.

    Patrice Evra - pledged future to Manchester United.

    Manchester United defender Patrice Evra has put pen to paper on a contract extension to keep him at Old Trafford until 2014 - and remains as hungry as ever for medals.
    The 29-year-old has already helped United land three Premier League titles, a Champions League, plus three League Cups - the last of which he lifted after skippering the team to victory over Aston Villa last year.
    And, with his future now secure, Evra is adamant his desire for silverware has not been satisfied yet.
    "Ever since I arrived at United, it's been a dream come true playing here," he said.
    "The fans, the players, the manager and the staff all work hard to make this club the best in the world.
    "I have won a lot in the last five years, but I want to win more and I know that's the mentality of everyone here."
    Evra has established himself as one of the world's top left-backs since his 5million arrival from Monaco in 2006.
    He has always been a popular figure amongst the United support and his occasional bizarre outbursts - he recently claimed Arsenal was a fabulous football centre but mocked their inability to win trophies - have only reinforced that view.
    His links to Monaco will make him a hate figure amongst the Marseille support when United head to the south of France for Wednesday's Champions League encounter with Didier Deschamps' men.
    But Sir Alex Ferguson has no fears about Evra handling the abuse and, at a time when the most experienced members of his squad are beginning to end their careers, reckons the defender's influence will become more apparent.
    "Patrice is unquestionably one of the world's best left-backs," said the Scot.
    "He has developed into a key character in the dressing room and it is great that he has committed himself to the club.
    "His experience and skill will be increasingly important to us."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 21-02-11.

    Dirk Kuyt - held talks over new Reds contract.

    Liverpool forward Dirk Kuyt has revealed that talks over extending his contract at Anfield are progressing well.
    Having undergone a change of ownership and management during a turbulent campaign, the Merseyside club appear to be moving in the right direction again under new boss Kenny Dalglish, who was appointed Roy Hodgson's successor on a temporary basis in January.
    Kuyt has already spoken of his desire to see Dalglish keep the job beyond the end of the season, and the Dutchman is also keen to stay on at Liverpool.
    "My contract has one more season to go after this but there are things happening," Kuyt told
    "We have had some talks and I can only say it looks positive.
    "I feel at home in Liverpool and I don't want to leave here.
    "It has been a difficult time for everyone at the club with the changes that have happened since last summer but now I can sense something good is happening - I think Liverpool are on the way back."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 21-02-11.

    Alejandro Bedoya (3rd left) - on trial at Birmingham.

    Birmingham are giving a trial to United States international midfielder Alejandro Bedoya.
    The 23-year-old has spent the last two years in Sweden with Orebro SK.
    Bedoya said: "I am very happy and grateful about this opportunity."
    Speaking on his club's official website,, Bedoya added: "It will increase my experience, motivation and confidence for the future.
    "Hopefully I can prove I have the qualities to convince, but most importantly it gives me a chance to see where I stand compared with some of the best players in the best league in the world."

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