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Thread: Latest Transfer Update at 05-03-11

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    Latest Transfer Update at 05-03-11

    Latest Transfer Update at 05-03-11


    Thompson says Lennon could consider his future.
    THOMPSON: LENNON TO CONSIDER FUTURE

    Neil Lennon is likely to consider his future as Celtic boss in the summer, according to first-team coach Alan Thompson.
    The former Hoops captain has been given 24-hour surveillance at his home and was accompanied to training by a security officer on Friday after a suspicious package addressed to him was intercepted at a Royal Mail sorting office.
    The item turned out to be a hoax, Celtic confirmed.
    Lennon received bullets in the post earlier this season, and the latest incident occurred in the wake of Wednesday night's controversial Scottish Cup fifth-round replay win over Rangers.
    The Irishman clashed with Ibrox assistant manager Ally McCoist at the end of Celtic's 1-0 home win, which saw three visiting players red-carded.
    Thompson believes it is unlikely that his former Celtic team-mate would consider resigning before his first season as a manager was over, but claims Lennon may consider his position in the summer.
    Thompson told Scottish morning newspapers: "His family are first and foremost - both in Scotland, his partner Irene and his little boy Gallagher, as well as his mum, dad and sisters back home.
    "Only Neil and his family can make that decision but I'd be surprised if he goes anywhere in the next nine or 10 weeks. He's got strong people around him. "I'm sure the chief executive [Peter Lawwell], [major shareholder] Dermot Desmond, the rest of us around him and his family, will back him.
    "We're in three domestic competitions, which we're delighted with, so I would be very surprised if anything happened between now and the end of the season.
    "I think it will be something he will sit down and look at in the summer."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 05-03-11

    Jose Reina - Liverpool's number one.

    Liverpool goalkeeper Jose Reina insists he cannot promise "eternal love" to the club.
    The Spaniard's Anfield future could hinge on the plans of the American owners, Fenway Sports Group, he has confirmed.
    Reina, 28, has claimed he was the subject of offers last summer but has stressed he is currently happy at Liverpool, where Kenny Dalglish's return as manager has sparked an improvement in the team's fortunes.
    Reina has a contract through to 2016, and told The Guardian: "I am not announcing my departure - far from it. I've said lots of times I'm very happy in England and comfortable at Liverpool.
    "But I'm not prepared to swear eternal love to anyone. That's impossible. Any player who says that is lying.
    "I can't say much because I have a contract with Liverpool. But eternal love doesn't exist. No one is master of his own destiny. When a player is at club he has to give everything - that is all you can ask of him."
    Arsenal have been linked previously with Reina, and should he ever make it known he wants to leave Liverpool there could be strong interest from several clubs.
    Reina was brought to Liverpool by Rafael Benitez in 2005, and has seen a host of fellow Spanish players arrive and depart during his time on Merseyside, most recently Fernando Torres making a 50million switch to Chelsea in January.
    He hopes the circumstances never arise where he feels he has no choice but to leave.
    "But I would never say: 'I'm never going,' because even I don't know that," Reina said.
    "It depends on how this season finishes, on how competitive we can be.
    "It depends, above all, on the ambition of the owners in building a better team; hopefully, they will be generous in their efforts but we know the economic reality."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 05-03-11

    Johnson - happy to stay.
    JOHNSON HAPPY TO STAY WITH BLUES

    Birmingham central defender Roger Johnson has ended speculation about his future by insisting he will stay for as long as Alex McLeish wants him.
    Johnson, 27, has been the subject of reports linking him with a transfer away from St Andrew's.
    His impressive performances during the past two seasons have been a key factor in Birmingham's success under manager McLeish.
    But the former Cardiff player is relishing the challenge of Birmingham building on last Sunday's Carling Cup triumph over Arsenal.
    Johnson said: "I'm looking forward to going forward with Birmingham.
    "I have enjoyed it here and I am still enjoying every minute of it now.
    "Moments like last weekend at Wembley were the reason why I came here.
    "Now another big plus point in anyone's career will be playing in Europe. We will enjoy that when it comes around."
    Johnson, who moved to Blues in a 5million deal, added: "I knew the club was going in the right direction and, yes, I'm happy here.
    "Until the manager wants me gone, then I'm here."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 05-03-11

    Avram Grant - a happy Hammer.
    GRANT'S A HAPPY HAMMER

    Avram Grant maintains he loves it at West Ham and has no intention of heading back to Chelsea or anywhere else next season.
    There are set to be some changes behind the scenes at Stamford Bridge in the summer following the departures of sporting director Frank Arnesen and head of scouting Lee Congerton.
    Grant remains friends with Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich and has been linked with a shock return to his old club as director of football, a post he previously held there and also at Portsmouth.
    However, the 56-year-old Israeli - who guided the Blues to within a penalty kick of winning the Champions League in 2008 after taking over team affairs from Jose Mourinho - insists his long-term future is in east London.
    "I love this club and have a contract here," Grant said.
    "As long as I can achieve what I think I can achieve with this club, I love it here.
    "I am here at West Ham, I love it here and want to achieve our targets.
    "I like to create something, to be a able to change things and I enjoyed it as a director of football, but also now I enjoy it as a manager."
    Grant added: "I really believe in the projects of this club, but first we have to stay in this league. I came here to build something, and I am sure we can do it.
    "For me, it is a big challenge and I am sure I will enjoy it.
    "I would still feel the same (if not in the Premier League), because when you have a vision, you have to believe in it.
    "However, I do not think about this because we can stay in this league, and I think more and more other people can now see that we can do it."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 05-03-11

    Darren Fletcher - new Manchester United deal.
    DARREN FLETCHER PENS NEW MAN UTD DEAL

    Darren Fletcher has signed a new four-year contract with Manchester United that will keep him at Old Trafford until 2015.
    Although life with United has not always been smooth for the 27-year-old, who joined the club in 2000, in more recent years he has become a significant figure in Sir Alex Ferguson's squad.
    His absence through suspension was cited as one of the reasons why United performed so badly in the 2009 Champions League final against Barcelona.
    Ferguson said: "Darren has been at the club since he was 15.
    "I am extremely proud that he came through the ranks of our youth academy and am delighted Darren has signed a new contract.
    "He has developed into a top-class midfielder."
    Fletcher is confident his new contract will coincide with a continued period of glory for the Old Trafford outfit.
    "I am confident in the ability we have got and the experience we have gained," said the Scotland skipper.
    "Players like Giggs, Scholes and Neville will never be replaced because they are greats of the game.
    "But you hope a new wave can create their own history and have their own achievements.
    "I believe in the ability of these players. The drive and determination to do it is definitely there."
    Fletcher has not always had an easy ride at United.
    He was regarded as a player of great talent when he arrived at the club from Dalkeith as a 15-year-old but was prevented from making his debut due to Football Association rules regarding schoolboys playing in first-team games.
    At one point he seemed destined to join his former international boss Alex McLeish at Birmingham.
    However, like so many others in the last few years, Fletcher improved markedly over a very short period of time.
    After not playing any part in the 2008 Champions League final win over Chelsea, 12 months later his absence through suspension was cited as one of the major reasons for United's failure to perform in their comprehensive defeat by Barcelona.
    Fletcher is now regarded as one of the most effective box-to-box midfielders in the country, even if his attributes have been derided by Arsene Wenger, who labelled the player "anti-football".
    Now he forms part of the new 'old guard', knowing the legacy he inherits will be fairly significant.
    "There are people here who act as inspirations, not only with what they do on the pitch but also the manner in which they conduct themselves," said Fletcher.
    "We look up to them and want to follow in their footsteps.
    "If any of us can get even close to their careers and be fortunate to play for this great club for half as long, you would be doing ever so well and could count yourself very lucky."
    Certainly, ahead of Sunday's clash with Liverpool at Anfield, Fletcher can look back and acknowledge he made the correct decision to leave Scotland at such a young age, having amassed three Barclays Premier League titles, the FA Cup, two League Cups, the UEFA Champions League and the FIFA Club World Cup to go alongside his 288 appearances.
    "It was hard to come down from Scotland," he admitted.
    "I was 15 and leaving your family behind.
    "I thought I was a big man but I was still a young boy and the club needed to look after me.
    "Fortunately, everything was in place for me to get a real education in football and it has been a great experience.
    "The time since has flown by.
    "There have been so many high points but lows as well. They are the ones that give you strength and determination to go on and achieve more.
    "I have loved every minute. There is no place I would rather be."
    Fletcher will doubtless be one of United's key men at Anfield, where Wes Brown is expected to be recalled in central defence to cover the absence of skipper Nemanja Vidic through suspension.
    Seven days ago, Ferguson expressed confidence that Rio Ferdinand would be fit to face the Merseyside giants but in the immediate aftermath of the Chelsea encounter, the United boss revealed Brown would partner Chris Smalling.
    Given the significance of the occasion, and United's desperate need to bounce back from their defeat at Stamford Bridge, it would be no surprise if Giggs was named in the visitors' starting line-up, with 20-goal Dimitar Berbatov also hoping for a place.

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 05-03-11

    Alex McLeish celebrates Carling Cup success.
    ALEX McLEISH HAPPY AT BIRMINGHAM

    Alex McLeish has pledged his future to Birmingham despite his reputation growing even further after leading the club to Carling Cup glory.
    McLeish seems certain to be amongst the contenders when some of the big managerial jobs come on the market after three years of success at St. Andrew's.
    He has led Blues to promotion, their highest ever top-flight finish - ninth - and now a shock cup success over Arsenal at Wembley last weekend.
    But he is adamant he has unfinished business at Birmingham ahead of Saturday's Barclays Premier League clash with visiting West Brom.
    He said: "I just signed a new contract after protracted talks and I am happy at Birmingham.
    "It is a great start for me in terms of winning a trophy here inside three and a half years.
    "It is something I never thought we could achieve in such a relatively short time but we are still developing.
    "We still have a lot of work to do. With the right organisation and planning, we can go onto better things."
    McLeish insisted ensuring top flight survival is the only thing on his mind when asked if he expects to be linked with other clubs.
    He said: "I'm not even thinking about that at all. That couldn't be further away from my mind.
    "It is possible (to be linked) but I've got other battles to make sure we win over the next few weeks and that is my focus.
    "I know this game is so fickle that you are as good as your next result."
    McLeish added: "It is not inconceivable we could have lost the Carling Cup and still got relegated.
    "You can paint the picture whatever way you want but our goal has always been to retain Barclays Premier League status.
    "If I get the titanic and heroic performances I saw last Sunday in the games from now to the end of the season, we believe we will be a Premier League team next season."
    McLeish is confident the character of his players means they will not become complacent after their cup triumph.
    He said: "I don't think we will take our eye off the ball. I do believe the players have the mindset to realise what is at stake.
    "It's whether we can cope physically with the demands of the cup competitions and especially the toll it took last week.
    "But I do believe the mindset of the players is right for the assault on this league game at the weekend.
    "Stephen Carr is grumpy again so that means everything is back to normal!
    "I can't guarantee anything but I know in the past people coming off a cup run might put their tools away the next week and rest on their laurels.
    "I don't believe this group will do that."
    The midfield duo of Barry Ferguson and Craig Gardner are rated doubtful for the clash with the Baggies.
    Ferguson played the final hour of the final with a broken rib while Gardner suffered a thigh injury and was substituted just after half-time.
    But winger David Bentley and defender Curtis Davies are available after being cup-tied against the Gunners.

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 05-03-11

    Gary Johnson - handed two-and-a-half-year deal.
    GARY JOHNSON NAMED COBBLERS BOSS

    Northampton have appointed former Bristol City and Peterborough boss Gary Johnson as their new manager on a two-and-a-half-year contract.
    The Cobblers sacked Ian Sampson on Wednesday with the club languishing in 16th place in the npower League Two table and have moved quickly to land 55-year-old Johnson, who left rivals Peterborough in January.
    Chairman David Cardoza said: "I am delighted we have got our man. As soon as we parted with Ian Sampson, we identified Gary as our top target and we moved quickly to get him.
    "It is a sign of our ambition that not only did we target Gary but that we have been able to appoint him as our new manager,
    "He has all the attributes we are looking for - experience, a proven record, he has led sides to promotion at different levels in the Football League and he has a wealth of experience and contacts."
    Speaking of his appointment, Johnson said: "This is the right club at the right time for me.
    "I've taken clubs up at this level before and I am really looking forward to getting going.
    "It has been done very quickly but the chairman has pushed the boat out to get me in and I appreciate that.
    "It isn't necessarily the league you are in, it's the club you are at and this club matches my ambitions."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 05-03-11

    Martin Jiranek - could stay at Birmingham.
    BIRMINGHAM OPEN TO JIRANEK STAY

    Birmingham are poised to open talks with central defender Martin Jiranek about extending his contract.
    The Cech Republic international only signed a 12-month deal when he moved to Blues from Spartak Moscow last summer.
    But he has impressed City boss Alex McLeish since stepping into the side after Scott Dann suffered a long term hamstring problem in January.
    When asked if he would like Jiranek to extend his stay, McLeish said: "Yes, there is no door closed.
    "There is a little bit of uncertainty in terms of the league (staying up). We don't know what is going to happen.
    "I can't guarantee anything but we'd like to believe we can talk to Martin about a future in the Premier League. He has adapted really well and put in some great tackles during the Carling Cup final."
    McLeish admitted: "My first fear was him coping with the aerial side because it is very alien to foreign centre-halves.
    "But he has shown some tremendous experience particularly in what could have been some serious situations for us.
    "He has stepped in for us with some marvellously timed tackles and positioning."
    Jiranek said: "Birmingham have told me that they don't want to release me. We'll see what happens after the season.
    "The most important thing for me us that I have made the best of the chance I was given."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 05-03-11

    Ben Alnwick - joined Doncaster on loan.
    ALNWICK MAKES DONNY MOVE

    Doncaster have signed Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Ben Alnwick on loan until April 9.
    The 24 year-old arrives at the Keepmoat Stadium following shin and ankle injuries picked up by first choice keeper Neil Sullivan.
    He is set to go straight into the squad to face his former club Leeds United at Elland Road in the Championship on Saturday.
    The England Under-21 international made 19 appearances for Sunderland before joining Spurs in 2007.
    Unable to break into the first team at White Hart Lane, Alnwick has enjoyed productive spells on loan at Luton, Leicester, Carlisle, Norwich and - most recently - Leeds.

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 05-03-11

    Louis van Gaal - 'Sackings happen;,
    UNCERTAIN FUTURE FOR VAN GAAL

    Bayern Munich coach Louis van Gaal is considering the prospect of losing his job this weekend in the event of a defeat at Hannover.
    The Dutchman is under pressure after Wednesday's defeat to Schalke in the DFB-Pokal saw them fall out of the running for a second title this season after last weekend's 3-1 defeat at home to Borussia Dortmund practically ended all hope they had of winning the Bundesliga.
    And a defeat or even a draw in Hannover on Saturday would see their minimum expectations of playing in the Champions League next season compromised, which is why it could well be Van Gaal's last in charge.
    "I know how things work at a top club," he said. "Sackings happen.
    "I have not been sacked often. I have stayed with my clubs for a long time and I am proud and happy to be able to work with Bayern Munich.
    "If we win, then we will be third and we can still reach our goals and the world would look different again.
    "Otherwise, I would be sorry for my colleagues here because I am near the end of my career anyway."
    Van Gaal therefore does not seem too worried about the prospect of losing his job since he is "receiving phone calls from other clubs all the time" anyway.
    His only fear is what would happen to the club he led to a Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal double last season, as well as to the final of the Champions League.
    "Yes, that is a difficult question," he added. "Who should succeed Van Gaal?"

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