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Thread: Latest Transfer Update at 18-03-11

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    Arrow Latest Transfer Update at 18-03-11

    Latest Transfer Update at 18-03-11


    Drogba - talks about his future planned.
    DROGBA SET FOR CHELSEA TALKS

    Didier Drogba has revealed he will hold talks with Chelsea about his future at the end of the season.
    Speculation about Drogba has been rife since the arrival of Fernando Torres, which was believed by some to herald the beginning of the end of the Ivorian's six-and-a-half-year Stamford Bridge career.
    The 33-year-old's contract expires next year and it is unclear whether he or Chelsea intend to extend it.
    "It will be very interesting to see what happens in May," Drogba said.
    "Then we can sit and speak about it and have a coffee."
    The 50million signing of Torres saw Drogba lose his automatic place in the side, while he has also struggled to strike up an understanding with his new team-mate when they have played together.
    Drogba admitted intially struggling to accept no longer being top dog, but insisted he quickly came to accept manager Carlo Ancelotti's policy of rotating his forwards.
    "It wasn't easy the first week but that's normal," he said.
    "Today, I know that we're doing this for the best of the team. The team is more competitive.
    "Everybody talks a lot about my future but I'm enjoying it and I'm happy to be here."
    It was Torres' turn to be rotated in Wednesday night's Champions League last-16 second leg against FC Copenhagen, with Drogba starting alongside Nicolas Anelka.
    "We have a lot of strikers but I can't complain, I'm not the only one," said Drogba.
    "Salomon Kalou is not playing, (Florent) Malouda is not playing, sometimes Anelka, sometimes me, Nando.
    "I think it's good for the team. A team like Chelsea must have a lot of players to achieve a lot in a year."
    Drogba revealed he was "really happy" with Ancelotti's explanation for the rotation policy.
    "Communication is important - communication is what makes a player feel profitable in every situation," said the forward, who has failed to find the net in his last nine games.
    His latest blank came against Copenhagen but a goalless draw was enough to seal Chelsea's place in the quarter-finals ahead of Friday's draw.
    Thet have already gone further than last year, when they lost to eventual winners Inter Milan but Drogba admitted a semi-final spot was the minimum requirement for Ancelotti's men.
    "For a team like Chelsea, we have to be, minimum, in the semi-final every year," said Drogba, who has played in all but one of the Blues' five semi appearances in the last seven years.
    "You need to keep trying.
    "I think it's little details in the Champions League, it's all about details and also we need a little bit of luck to win it.
    "We didn't have it in the last final but you have to do everything to have luck on your side.
    "Hopefully, this time we're going to do it."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 18-03-11

    Jens Lehmann - completes Arsenal return.
    LEHMANN COMPLETES ARSENAL RETURN

    Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is confident returning goalkeeper Jens Lehmann can help to get the best out of Manuel Almunia after the former Germany international officially returned to the club.
    Veteran German Lehmann, 41, has rejoined his old club to aid the Gunners' injury crisis which has seen keepers Lukasz Fabianski, Wojciech Szczesny and Vito Mannone all sidelined.
    The rolling monthly deal, until the end of the season, was completed in time for Lehmann to take his place on the substitutes' bench at West Brom on Saturday.
    Lehmann said: "I'm very excited to be rejoining Arsenal.
    "I have kept myself fit since the end of last season and I'm ready to contribute at any time for the team. I have many great memories from my previous time at the club and Arsenal has always had a place in my heart.
    "It's special to be coming back. I can't wait to start working with the team again and I look forward to contributing as much as I can, both on and off the pitch during this time."
    Lehmann - part of the Invincibles side of 2003/04 - will bring some much-needed experience to the dressing room, but the move will also resurrect his often fractious relationship with Almunia.
    At the height of the acrimony between the two, Almunia went as far as claiming: "To have someone here who hates me is just amazing. I know he hates me."
    The pair battled bitterly for the number one spot before Lehmann left in the summer of 2008, but Wenger insists the duo can work in harmony as his Arsenal squad look to salvage their season by winning the league title.
    "There has been much more said about that [relationship] than what happened. There is a lot of respect between the two goalkeepers," said Wenger.
    "I think Jens Lehmann will get the best out of Almunia, because he will show him every day he is ready to fight for his place - as he has always been. Almunia will be motivated by that."
    Wenger had no hesitation in moving for Lehmann, who had been working in the media since his retirement and was set to begin his coaching badges with a stint at Arsenal's Hertfordshire base before the SOS call came.
    "We have no cover with any experience at all in the Premier League, that's why I want to get Jens back to cover Almunia and to give us some experience," Wenger said.
    "I am happy about it because when Jens is in training he is as motivated as ever.
    "You know him, I know him and he will help the team if he has to play, if I choose to play him, or on a daily basis his huge motivational level and experience will be vitally important."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 18-03-11

    Rooney - happy at Old Trafford.
    WAYNE ROONEY COMMITTED TO UNITED

    Wayne Rooney hopes to be at Manchester United for many years to come and has rubbished questions over his commitment.
    Reports had suggested the England striker would be on his way out of Old Trafford in the summer amid an ongoing fall-out with manager Sir Alex Ferguson, despite signing a new five-year contract in October.
    That deal would keep him at Old Trafford until the age of 30 - but he claims he will not only see that out but remain there longer still.
    "I saw (those reports), but I've never seen such rubbish in my life," he said. "My relationship with Sir Alex has no problems whatsoever.
    "I'm enjoying my football here and if I was going to leave in the summer I wouldn't have signed a new contract when I did. I've signed it and I intend to see it through to the end.
    "You get angry when people question you. On Sunday I was on the way home from training. I stopped off at the garage to get petrol and a few people asked me if I was leaving in the summer.
    "I didn't know where it had come from. I said 'Where did you hear that?' and he said it was in the newspapers. But I'll be here until I'm well into my 30s.
    "I signed a new contract to stay here and unless I'm ever not wanted then I'll be staying here, that's for sure."
    October's new deal represented a dramatic u-turn after Rooney initially stated he wanted to leave the club, claiming they could not match his ambition.
    But he said: "I admit I made a mistake, like I've said lots of times, by saying I wanted to leave but I've committed my future to United and I'm happy and my family are happy so there's no reason for me to want to move elsewhere.
    "I want to try and win more trophies and bring more success to this club."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 18-03-11

    Muntari - focused on results.
    MUNTARI DELAYS DEAL DECISION

    Sulley Muntari is prepared to put his future on hold as he attempts to help Sunderland into the top six.
    Finishing as high as possible in the Premier League is the target for everyone connected with the Black Cats, with only nine games of the season remaining.
    The quest for a lofty final standing has to take priority, with this no time for off-field distractions.
    That means discussions with the club's collection of loan stars may have to wait until the summer.
    Among that group is Ghanaian playmaker Muntari, who has joined Sunderland on a short-term deal from Inter Milan.
    Steve Bruce has already expressed his desire to keep the former Portsmouth man at the Stadium of Light, but the 26-year-old insists the pursuit of points is dominating his thoughts at present.
    Muntari said: "Right now I want to concentrate only on Sunderland and these nine games we have because we're doing well at the moment. But we want to be in the top six.
    "It's not finished yet. After that I'll start thinking about my future, but right now it's about the team, not me."
    Having countryman Asamoah Gyan at the Stadium of Light has helped Muntari to settle in the North East, even if the striker can sometimes be a bit much.
    On his international colleague, Muntari joked: "I was saying the other day I want to go away because I can't take any more of Asa.
    "I've been here for one month and I'm dead. He talks a lot, but he is wonderful.
    "If he is with you, you're like 'go away, go away'. But if he goes, you miss him.
    "I've joked with him many times. I told him I don't want to stay here next season because I can't take it anymore!"

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 18-03-11

    Borini - signs for Swansea on loan.
    BORINI JOINS SWANS ON LOAN

    Swansea have secured the signing of Chelsea's highly-rated young striker Fabio Borini on loan until the end of the season.
    The Italy Under-21 international, who turns 20 next week, rejected interest from Lazio, Parma and Juventus to join Swans' quest for promotion to the Barclays Premier League.
    Borini trained with the squad on Thursday morning and he is now waiting for the paperwork to be finalised for him to be included in the squad for Saturday's npower Championship clash with Nottingham Forest at the Liberty Stadium.
    Boss Brendan Rodgers told the club's official website, www.swanseacity.net: "I'm delighted with the signing. He's a player I tried to get earlier in the season but because of complications with his contract at Chelsea and the fact he was in and around the first team, he didn't get permission to go out on loan.
    "He's a young player with great potential. He's got intensity, passion and a natural goalscoring ability. I worked with him in Chelsea's youth and reserve team and I firmly believe he will help us a great deal during the run-in."
    Borini, out of contract at the end of the season, joined Chelsea from Bologna in the summer of 2007 and has made eight first-team appearances.

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 18-03-11

    Wilson - new deal.
    NEW CELTIC DEAL FOR MARK WILSON

    Celtic full-back Mark Wilson has thanked manager Neil Lennon and the club's medical staff for allowing him to prove he was a long-term asset to the club.
    The rejuvenated Wilson today signed a new one-year contract, with the option of another year, after a string of impressive performances persuaded Lennon to extend the defender's stay at Parkhead.
    Wilson played only sporadically in the first half of the season after being troubled by a groin problem over the summer, the latest in a long line of injuries that have plagued his career.
    But he has been a regular starter since the turn of the year, with his forays from right-back a crucial element of Celtic's attacking play.
    Wilson, who was today named in the Scotland squad to face Brazil later this month, credits much of his renaissance to Lennon, who has taken his unique fitness situation into account.
    Wilson has undergone nine knee operations since he was a 16-year-old at Dundee United and has been given licence to miss training if necessary.
    Wilson, 26, admitted he was worried his Celtic career was coming to an end just months ago.
    "It's always a fear when you have been at the club this length of time and injuries have plagued my career here," said Wilson, who was signed from Tannadice by Gordon Strachan in January 2006.
    "I felt I was lucky enough to get the last contract and earlier on in the season I was out for the first few weeks, I thought that might have ruined my chances.
    "So I have got to thank the medical team and the management team for getting me on the pitch enough to prove I'm worth a new contract.
    "I think, definitely in a Celtic shirt, it's the most consistent I've been.
    "I've been in and out the team through the years through injury and this is the best I've felt for a long time, and that's thanks to the medical team and the management team being sympathetic to my condition and understanding how to manage me.
    "That's how I've been performing the way I have been and definitely enjoying it.
    "As long as I'm on the park on a Saturday, that's all that counts.
    "The manager has been totally understanding, he has allowed me to train days when I want to train and pull out when I want to pull out, and no doubt that's helped me.
    "I had a few meetings with him over the last week or so and talked over things.
    "He said he wanted me to be here, be part of his team and part of his plans. As a player, that's all you can hope for."
    Wilson added: "I never want to leave this club, it's a club I've always supported.
    "I was grateful for the chance to play here and delighted to be here as long as I have been.
    "So to get a new deal is fantastic and I hope I'm part of some good things over the next few years."
    Wilson is now eager to repay Lennon by securing the first silverware of the season when Celtic face Rangers in the Co-operative Insurance Cup final on Sunday.
    And the full-back is doubly determined to provide some cheer to his under-fire boss, who will have to sit in the stands at Hampden as he continues his touchline ban, given their Scottish Cup semi-final collapse against Ross County last season.
    "I'm sure he is desperate to get his first trophy as Celtic manager," Wilson added.
    "He was obviously hoping to get that last season with the Scottish Cup and things didn't go to plan.
    "This is another big chance for him, and us boys who were here and let him down that day have a lot to make up for and hopefully we can do that for him."
    Wilson will fly out to La Manga in Spain with Scotland the day after the cup final and he wants to add to his recent revival by featuring against Brazil.
    "It's a bit of a dream week," said Wilson, who has netted three goals in his last seven games for Celtic.
    "To be named in the squad was fantastic and it would be even better if we won the cup and beat Brazil.
    "I'll take winning the cup, I don't know if we will beat Brazil, but fingers crossed."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 18-03-11

    Rangnick - replaces Magath at Schalke.
    RANGNICK NAMED SCHALKE BOSS

    Ralf Rangnick has returned to Schalke to become their new coach following Felix Magath's departure yesterday.
    Rangnick, who led the Royal Blues from September 2004 until December 2005, has been out of work since leaving Hoffenheim on January 1.
    He will officially take charge of the club again on Monday with Seppo Eichkorn, Magath's right-hand man at Stuttgart, Bayern Munich and Wolfsburg, placed in temporary charge for this weekend's clash with Bayer Leverkusen.
    Rangnick's first game back on the Schalke bench will be against St Pauli on April 1.
    The 52-year-old has signed a contract until 2014 and returns to the club he led to second in the Bundesliga and to the final of the DFB-Pokal in just under 14 months in charge.
    Schalke have reached the final of the DFB-Pokal again this season while they are also in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, but they are a long way from the top two and Magath paid for their poor league form by losing his job yesterday.
    However, Magath's departure is not solely down to on-field problems, as goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and the club's president Clemens Tonnies revealed.
    Neuer has admitted that Magath had caused divisions among the squad recently and that this could have cost him his job more than their worrying 10th position in the Bundesliga.
    Similarly, Tonnies stressed that the club's league form was not necessarily the reason for his departure, adding only that the "exact reasons will not be made public yet".
    But Neuer said that some members of the team had aired their concerns.
    "On the one hand, I was a player under Felix Magath and I had a good relationship with him and he pushed me and improved me as a player," said the Germany international on his club's website.
    "But on the other hand, I am also the captain of the team and several players had come to me to tell me about problems that had to be discussed with the coach.
    "We were not able to clear up everything. A lot of fundamental things did not change, which is why we had to escalate it to somebody at the club whose voice would be heard, and so we spoke with Clemens Tonnies."
    Benedikt Howedes, who was part of a panel of players alongside Neuer who took the issues to Tonnies, echoed Neuer's words.
    "There were signs from parts of the team that some things were not working as they should be," he said.
    "We tried to improve the relationship with the coach, but it did not improve so we turned to Clemens Tonnies and I think we did everything right.
    "We now have to all pull in the same direction and not fall apart.
    "We have to carry on aiming to get more points in the Bundesliga, to win the DFB-Pokal final and to see what is possible in the Champions League."
    Schalke will discover tomorrow who they will meet in the last eight of the Champions League as they bid to reach the semi-finals for the first time in the club's history.
    In May, they face second division side Duisburg in the final of the DFB-Pokal with a place in the Europa League next season as well as their first piece of silverware since 2002 at stake.

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 18-03-11

    Eriksson - pleased by news.
    FOXES DUO PEN PRO DEALS

    Leicester youngsters Adam Smith and George Taft have put pen to paper on their first professional contracts at the Walkers Stadium.
    Goalkeeper Smith, 18, who joined from Middlesbrough in October, has signed a deal until 2014.
    17-year-old defender Taft, an England Under-19 international, has put pen to paper until 2013.
    "This is great news for the club and the players," Sven-Goran Eriksson told the club's official website. "They are very talented young footballers and we have the belief that they will progress, which is why we have given them their first professional contracts.
    "It is now time for them to continue to work hard and to fulfil their dreams."
    Academy manager John Rudkin added: "Congratulations to them both. I know they will continue to work hard to make the most of the opportunity given to them."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 18-03-11

    Craig Mackail-Smith - Norwich transfer target.
    McNALLY EXPLAINS MACKAIL-SMITH SAGA

    Norwich chief executive David McNally has blamed Peterborough for 'moving the goalposts' as the proposed transfer of striker Craig Mackail-Smith looks to have fallen through.
    The Canaries are keen to bring the prolific forward to Carrow Road to bolster their push for promotion but McNally revealed the League One side asked for more money at a crucial stage in negotiations.
    McNally told the club's official website: "I can confirm we made an enquiry about the availability of a Peterborough player last Thursday.
    "On Friday we were told what we would have to do to make it happen. After some consultation we agreed to their key terms but they then moved the goalposts and asked for considerably more money - a lot more than they originally indicated would be required to make the transaction happen.
    "We had a further meeting this Thursday and we haven't been able to agree anything so it looks like it's not meant to be.
    "But you never say never as who knows what might happen in the summer."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 18-03-11

    Miller - hopeful of Hibs extension.
    MILLER HOPING FOR HIBS STAY
    Click here for our special Transfer Centre!
    Click here for more football headlines!

    Liam Miller hopes to stay at Hibernian beyond the end of his contract at the end of the season.
    The former Celtic and Manchester United midfielder is one of 13 Hibs players whose deals end this season.
    Miller told BBC Scotland: "I'm really enjoying it here. I'm settled and get on well with the lads and the manager (Colin Calderwood).
    "Things are a bit open just now but hopefully they will get sorted soon. I've had no offers from elsewhere.
    "The boss spoke to me back in January and told me that he'd like to keep me. So hopefully we can sort something out before the end of the season."

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