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Thread: Latest Transfer Update at 26-02-11.

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    Arrow Latest Transfer Update at 26-02-11.

    Latest Transfer Update at 26-02-11.

    Shay Given - injury blow.
    NO EXTRA KEEPER FOR MAN CITY

    Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has ruled out bringing in another goalkeeper to act as back-up to Joe Hart.
    Mancini's options have been limited due to the shoulder injury sustained by Shay Given that will rule the Republic of Ireland international out for almost all the remainder of the season.
    It means City only have Stuart Taylor as back-up and he has not played a first-team game for 13 months, an FA Cup tie at Scunthorpe.
    For City, the spectre of last season's nightmare, when they ended up bringing in Marton Fulop on an emergency loan after failing to recall Hart from a loan spell at Birmingham when Given got injured during the latter weeks of the campaign, is looming again.
    But Mancini will resist a panic move, trusting to Hart's fitness to fate.
    "Last year we were unlucky," he said.
    "It is impossible that we will be unlucky like that again.
    "Joe is young. I hope he will be strong and can play all the games until the end. I am not going to try and loan someone."
    It is just a measure of the fitness problems Mancini is trying to combat ahead of Sunday's Premier League encounter with Fulham at Eastlands.
    City are already without half a dozen senior men and Vincent Kompany may join them after sustaining a hip injury against Aris Thessalonika in midweek.
    It merely adds to Mancini's total disbelief at a fixture pile-up that is threatening his side's chances of success.
    Should City draw their FA Cup fifth-round tie with Aston Villa on Wednesday, the replay has been scheduled for Monday, March 7, two days after the Blues tackle Wigan in the Premier League at Eastlands and only three before a punishing round trip to Kiev of 4,500km for the Europa League first-leg tie with Dynamo.
    It is fixture congestion the likes of which Mancini has never encountered before. And the Italian does not believe it is fair.
    "In my life I have never seen that a team arrives in February and March and has to play every two days," he said.
    "This is a big problem, not only for us but for all the teams.
    "Something should change because this is impossible for all English players.
    "At every World Cup and European Championships, there is a problem for England because all their players are tired.
    "We should have more respect for them. They are not machines."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 26-02-11.

    Manchester United - 'not for sale'.
    GLAZERS INSIST MAN UTD 'NOT FOR SALE'

    The Glazer family have confirmed their commitment to Manchester United and insisted they have no interest in selling the club.
    United's controversial owners made a short statement to accompany the release on second quarter financial results in response to growing speculation about a massive offer for the club from the Qatar royal family.
    It has always been stressed the Glazers view their United status as long-term, a point they are keen to emphasise.
    "The board notes recent press speculation regarding a possible bid for Manchester United," said the statement.
    "The owners remain fully committed to their long-term ownership of the club.
    "No discussions have taken place, Manchester United is not for sale and the owners will not entertain any offers."
    Whether the statement has any effect remains to be seen.
    A similar message accompanied their first quarter results but had little effect.
    Even a statement from the Qatar Holdings investment vehicle last week insisting there were no plans to launch a buy-out failed to halt the rising price of the bonds issued by United to raise 500million.
    It is widely assumed the Glazers would sell if they were offered an astronomical sum.
    A figure of 1.8billion has been mentioned, which would be more than twice the sum the Glazer family paid for the club when they launched their hugely controversial takeover in 2005.
    However, as no-one from the family has publicly discussed United since the immediate aftermath of the takeover, that situation cannot be taken for granted.
    It also means mystery continues to surround exactly how they were able to pay off 220million in payment-in-kind notes earlier this year after already shelling out for punishing rates of interest.
    A Qatari involvement has been suggested, although earlier this week a United spokesman insisted the Glazers still owned 100% of the club.
    The results themselves show that whilst matchday and media revenues have been relatively stagnant, there has been a massive increase in commercial revenues of 30.2%.
    In the six months of the year so far, the commercial arm of the club has generated an incredible 50.4million, having secured a succession of new partnerships, the latest with global logistics company DHL.
    It is now virtually certain United will this year become the first football club to go through the 100million barrier for commercial revenue alone, emphasising the incredulity at reports from some quarters that revenue might actually be falling, specifically in shirt sales.
    However, opponents of the Glazer regime are seizing on the slight dip in matchday revenue of 300,000 as evidence of a downturn in popularity that could eventually trigger a sale.
    "The continued protestations that Manchester United is not for sale will no doubt continue to fall on deaf ears in the media and amongst many United supporters," said Duncan Drasdo, chief executive of the Manchester United Shareholders Trust.
    "Clearly with pressure building on the Glazers from many angles - not least the decline in matchday revenues confirmed in these financial results - it makes sense for them to exit now, given a willing buyer.
    "It seems the only obstacle is the outlandish price the Glazers appear to seek.
    "While the cash value impact of the decline in matchday revenues and indeed the drop in merchandise sales at the club's flagship Megastore may have been masked by continued commercial growth the significance of this decline should not be missed.
    "This is a clear indication of the cost of the Glazers' ownership.
    "Bad relations with supporters directly impacting on the bottom line and surely this is only the tip of the iceberg as the damage to supporter affinity impacts on future sponsorship values too.
    "To put it simply - the negativity surrounding the Glazers' ownership is costing United money."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 26-02-11.

    Wenger - nothing illegal with Toral move.
    WENGER DEFENDS TORAL MOVE

    Arsene Wenger maintains there is nothing wrong with Arsenal signing promising teenager Jon Toral from Barcelona.
    Barcelona president Sandro Rosell described the Gunners' pursuit of the 16-year-old as "a little immoral", with the youngster set to follow current captain Cesc Fabregas from the Nou Camp to north London.
    Reports in Spain suggest Arsenal paid around 350,000 Euros (296,000) for Toral, who was free to sign with any professional club.
    Wenger, however, denied there was any issue with Arsenal's policy, the Premier League club having also signed both Fran Merida, now at Atletico Madrid, and 18-year-old centre-half Ignasi Miquel, who made his first-team debut in the FA Cup tie at Leyton Orient last Sunday, from Spain in the past.
    "You forget that this boy is English. He has an English passport, his mother is from England and hopefully he will join us in the summer," Wenger said.
    "We have players who leave us for other professional clubs in England.
    "We have done what just is legal.
    "I love Barcelona, I love Catalonia - I have nothing against them, but when a player who is half English and Spanish wants to join us, why should we turn him down if its all legal?
    "If we have done something illegal, I will say 'sorry, my boy, we cannot do it'.
    "Plenty of players leave us under exactly the same rule."
    Wenger, though, would not be drawn on Rosell's comments.
    "I do not want to go further on that front because it is very difficult," he said.
    "If you go in the academy of Barcelona and you look where all the players come from, come back to me and we can talk about it."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 26-02-11.

    Bruce - new deal.
    BRUCE SIGNS NEW SUNDERLAND DEAL

    Sunderland boss Steve Bruce has committed himself to the club until 2014 by signing a new contract.
    The 50-year-old, who arrived at the Stadium of Light in the summer of 2009, has been in discussions with the Black Cats for some time and has now put pen to paper.
    Sunderland are currently seventh in the Premier League and bidding for a first top-flight top-10 finish in a decade.
    Bruce said: "I'm delighted to have signed a new contract. It's a magnificent club from top to bottom with wonderful support and everything is in place here for a manager.
    "We have the makings of a fantastic young team.
    "It's been a great challenge so far and one that my backroom team and I have relished, so we are looking forward to continuing with that over the next few years."
    Chairman Niall Quinn, who along with owner Ellis Short has provided Bruce with the financial backing to rebuild the squad, was delighted to have reached an agreement.
    He said: "It was hugely important to bring stability to this football club and I firmly believe that in Steve we have the man to do just that.
    "In only 18 months he has reshaped our squad beyond recognition, bringing in some fantastically talented players, many of whom are young and desperate to achieve and improve.
    "He embodies the ethos of team-work and the importance of camaraderie in creating a wonderful spirit of togetherness amongst the players and staff.
    "As someone born and bred in the north east he fully understands the unique passion for football in this region.
    "He has already raised the aspirations of not only the players, but also the supporters, and instilled a belief in everyone that we can go on to achieve the sustained success that we all crave for this club."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 26-02-11.

    Shaun Wright-Phillips - will stay, if wanted.
    WRIGHT-PHILLIPS WANTS MAN CITY STAY

    Shaun Wright-Phillips insists he still has a future at Manchester City.
    The England midfielder recently bemoaned his lack of first-team appearances, which was taken as confirmation the 29-year-old would be moving on to pastures new this summer.
    However, it appears that is not certain to be the case.
    With Adam Johnson ruled out for three months with an ankle injury, Wright-Phillips has suddenly come back into the picture.
    A late cameo in Thursday night's Europa League win over Aris Salonika was the winger's third outing in a month, and with injuries continuing to badly affect Roberto Mancini's squad, Wright-Phillips' services are likely to be required over the coming weeks.
    And if he feels he can play a part for the Blues in the seasons ahead, Wright-Phillips would love to stay.
    "Football works in mysterious ways," said Wright-Phillips, who joined City as a schoolboy and has been there since apart from three difficult years at Chelsea.
    "If I am wanted here I will stay. I never wanted to leave in the first place. I still see a bright future for me here. It is just about getting chances.
    "I have played a few games recently and now I just want to keep doing well."
    Wright-Phillips will get a chance to meet up with an old friend thanks to City's progress in Europe.
    He shared a Stamford Bridge dressing room with Andriy Shevchenko and understands the difficulties the former world player of the year experienced at Chelsea.
    Now back at Dynamo Kiev, Shevchenko will be on the opposing side when City head to Ukraine for the first leg of their last-16 clash on March 10.
    And, for all the problems Shevchenko experienced at Chelsea, Wright-Phillips realises the Blues will have to subdue a class act.
    "Criticism is part of football," he said. "Everybody gets it at some point. I have had it, most players do.
    "But he is a fantastic talent and playing in the same team as him was an enjoyable experience."
    After coming through FA Cup and European tests in the past week, City turn their attentions back to Premier League matters on Sunday when Fulham head to Eastlands.
    Victory would keep the Blues just about on the coat-tails of Manchester United and Arsenal, although it seems fairly obvious their best chance of ending a 35-year silverware drought is in one of the two remaining cup competitions.
    And that would be a special event indeed for Wright-Phillips.
    "Silverware would mean more to me," he said. "Obviously because of my background, it would be nice to win something for this club."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 26-02-11.

    Cheick Tiote - new deal signed.
    TIOTE SIGNS NEW NEWCASTLE DEAL

    Newcastle midfielder Cheick Tiote has signed a new contract which commits him to the club until the end of the 2016/17 season.
    The six-and-a-half-year deal follows his arrival from FC Twente last season, with manager Alan Pardew hoping the retention of the 24-year-old Ivory Coast player will form the basis of a bright new future for the team.
    Tiote's superb form at St James' Park has alerted a series of suitors and sparked speculation that Manchester United and Chelsea among others were preparing summer bids for him.
    The fact that striker Andy Carroll left Tyneside last month in a 35million switch to Liverpool a little more than three months after signing a new five-year deal will not be lost on the club's fans, and the news that Jose Enrique and Joey Barton have put their own contract talks on hold until the end of the season remains a concern.
    However, Pardew, who has also tied up assistant John Carver on a five-and-a-half-year contract, is confident securing Tiote's future represents a firm statement of intent from owner Mike Ashley and the latest phase of his blueprint for lasting success.
    He said: "Negotiations are very, very difficult at this level of football, and I think the signing of Cheick underpins the message Mike wants to give, that we can build a young team here which can go forward and take the club forward.
    "Cheick is a big part of that and after the disappointment of Andy leaving, it's a very good statement.
    "Mike wanted to make a statement after Andy leaving that the future can be bright here, and signing Cheick is a big step forward because he's had a fabulous first season.
    "Hopefully now we can build on his signing with others.
    "That's something we have got to resolve between now and the end of the season to make sure we keep our best players, and hopefully we can manage to do that.
    "Negotiations are never easy and never straightforward, but we are trying to keep what we have here, the really strong parts of the team, together."
    Ashley has endured an often-stormy spell on Tyneside since buying Newcastle at the end of the 2006-07 season, and his policy of investing in young players with a potential sell-on value has brought limited success to date.
    However, Tiote's capture has proved a masterstroke and with Pardew confident he will be handed the proceeds from Carroll's sale to spend during the summer, he is sure the sportswear magnate is looking to the future - a far cry from his two failed attempts to offload the club.
    The manager said: "I think so. It's been well-documented in the past that there was a time when perhaps he wanted to get out, but he understands the club now.
    "He has had a rough ride with the situation here and he wants to try to build something.
    "Hopefully, this is the start of that. It is fantastic news for the fans, absolutely brilliant, because they were hit by Andy Carroll's departure.
    "But the performances of the team since then have suggested that it wasn't all about Andy, and the signing of Cheick is a further boost today."
    Tiote and his team-mates will look to build upon a run of eight Barclays Premier League games which has brought just one defeat when they head into battle with Bolton on Saturday.
    The Magpies were trounced 5-1 at the Reebok Stadium in November, but have since eased themselves to within touching distance of securing their top-flight status, although Pardew insists there is no room for relaxation.
    He said: "It depends what you call the finishing line - our finishing line is way, way in the distance.
    "That's what we are going to aim for and see where we fall."
    Striker Peter Lovenkrands is a doubt with a thigh strain, and Nile Ranger and Shefki Kuqi are standing by.

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 26-02-11.

    Andy van der Meyde - has hung up his boots.
    ANDY VAN DER MEYDE RETIRES

    Former Inter Milan and Everton midfielder Andy van der Meyde has announced his retirement from football at the age of 31.
    The former Holland international, who made 18 appearances for his country, started his career with Ajax, before spells with FC Twente, Inter, Everton and then PSV Eindhoven.
    He endured a miserable spell at Everton, making just 20 appearances during his four-year stay and he confirmed his retirement in a low-key manner.
    "I quit," he said. "I do not need to give an interview."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 26-02-11.

    David Beckham - spent six weeks with Spurs.
    BECKHAM SPURRED BY TOTTENHAM SPELL

    David Beckham insists his decision to train with Tottenham will benefit the Los Angeles Galaxy in the long run.
    The former England captain spent a six-week spell with the Barclays Premier League club as he looked to maintain his fitness levels having only returned from an Achilles injury late in the last Major League Soccer campaign.
    The 35-year-old had even hoped to play for Spurs but negotiations between the clubs broke down.
    Beckham's Galaxy contract runs out in November and the midfielder believes training with Spurs will stand him in good stead.
    "My only objective was to get fit for the Galaxy and the MLS season," he told reporters at the Galaxy's training ground.
    "My objective was not to play for a Premier League team, and I am grateful to Spurs and Harry (Redknapp) for how they looked after me.
    "If there was an option to play then I would have taken it, but without doubt I wanted to go somewhere and train and not take the three months off and sit around doing nothing.
    "At this stage of my career and with the injury I had I felt it was more important for me to train.
    "This was the time I was always going to come back, that was agreed and nothing would have changed that."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 26-02-11.

    Sturridge - impressing at Bolton.
    ANCELOTTI RULES OUT STURRIDGE EXIT

    Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti insists striker Daniel Sturridge will not be leaving the club permanently this summer.
    The former Manchester City man is currently on loan at Bolton in a bid to gain more first-team experience.
    Although Sturridge is down the Stamford Bridge pecking order, Ancelotti believes he has a big future with the Blues.
    Sturridge has made a positive impact during his time with Bolton with three Premier League goals in as many games - and Ancelotti is delighted with his form.
    "Every one of us is happy because Sturridge is our player and he is doing very well," he said.
    "I hope he can score more and then in the summer he will come back.
    "It was the right time to go and play on loan because he didn't have a lot of space here and he needed to play.
    "He found a very good club who are playing good football. Sturridge can show his quality. I hope that he can continue."
    Bolton boss Owen Coyle has naturally been delighted with Sturridge's impact and he accepts that Chelsea want to keep him.
    "If Carlo and Chelsea feel his future is there then that doesn't surprise me because as I've said before he is a terrific player," said Coyle.
    "He's not surprised me. That's why I brought him to the football club. I would say it's been all about giving these lads a platform to go and show their quality, and Daniel is now showing that.
    "I've always had that belief in him, and that's why I did everything in my power to bring him to the club.
    "There's no shame in not being in the Chelsea starting line-up with Torres, Anelka, Drogba, Malouda and Kalou - these are fantastic, top-class players in world football, not just in league football."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 26-02-11.

    Alberto Aquilani - happy in Turin.
    AQUILANI TARGETS JUVENTUS MOVE

    Alberto Aquilani will look to make a permanent switch to Juventus in the summer following his loan spell from Liverpool, according to the player's agent.
    Juventus boss Giuseppe Marotta admitted recently that he fully expects to seal a permanent deal for the 26-year-old midfielder in the summer.
    Aquilani endured a difficult spell at Liverpool following his big-money move from Roma in 2009, with the club eventually agreeing to a season-long loan with the Turin giants in the summer.
    Juve have the option to buy the playmaker; an option Aquilani's agent Franco Zavaglia believes will be utilised.
    "Juventus and Liverpool have established an agreement for the player," Zavaglia told Radio-Mercato.
    "The Bianconeri's leadership is absolutely determined to retain the player at the end of the season and they have repeated it several times.
    "Everything that has been said recently about Aquilani is just assumptions. Liverpool will not discount the player and he will only be sold on the predetermined basis.
    "If Juventus will not retain him, he returns to Liverpool even if the player wants to play in Italy, but I don't think in Italy there are another clubs other than Juventus which can take him."

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