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Thread: Latest Transfer Update at 30-03-11

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    Arrow Latest Transfer Update at 30-03-11

    Latest Transfer Update at 30-03-11


    Luiz Felipe Scolari - wanted to sell Didier Drogba.
    SCOLARI: I WANTED TO SELL DROGBA

    Luiz Felipe Scolari admits he had trouble controlling the Chelsea dressing room during his ill-fated spell as manager at Stamford Bridge - and wanted to sell star striker Didier Drogba.
    The Brazilian, who spent seven months as Blues boss between 2008-09 before a dismal run of results led to his sacking, says the players did not sabotage his time at the helm.
    But 62-year-old Scolari has revealed a poor relationship with some members of his squad meant his stint in West London was a testing one.
    He told Brazilian station TB Arena Sport TV: "I didn't leave Chelsea because of sabotage from the players, but it is true that it was difficult to control the dressing room.
    "In the dressing room at Chelsea, there were many big stars and good players but their behaviour was very different."
    Scolari, a World Cup-winning manager with Brazil in 2002, admits his biggest conflict at Chelsea was with Drogba.
    "Drogba believed he was the star in the squad and I did have conflicts with him. He wanted to go to a hospital in Paris because of an injury, but I said no," he said.
    "That was my first problem because [Nicolas] Anelka did well in his absence and scored many goals. When Drogba came back he wanted to go straight back into the team but I said no."
    The former manager says he set his sights on signing Brazil ace Robinho, while he wanted then Inter Milan striker Adriano as a replacement for Drogba, but claims owner Roman Abramovich blocked both moves.
    He added: "I wanted Robinho, but it wasn't possible. I also wanted Abramovich to change Drogba for Adriano at Inter, because it was easier to control him than Drogba."
    Scolari says his rift with Drogba was not the only problem he encountered in the dressing room, claiming Michael Ballack was jealous of his midfield rival Deco and refused to talk to the Portugal star.
    He said: "Ballack wanted to be one of the owners of the dressing room and the relationship with the German was not easy. He seemed jealous of Deco, did not want his arrival and I had to explain that I was the coach and it was up to me.
    "I wanted Deco to work it out with Ballack, but it wasn't possible. They didn't speak to each other."
    Scolari, currently manager at Palmeiras after taking the post last year, says the Chelsea fall-out left him needing a break from the game.
    "My exit from Chelsea was sad because the Premier League is a wonderful competition and a sensational venue to work," he added.
    "I was very depressed after my exit and for two months I didn't want to even talk about football."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 30-03-11

    Jack Rodwell - rumoured to be top Fergie target.
    FERGUSON HAS TRANSFER TARGETS IN MIND

    Sir Alex Ferguson is confident Manchester United will be able to add 'two or three' new players to his squad in the summer.
    United are expected to be in the market for a new goalkeeper at the end of the season when Edwin van der Sar steps down, while there are also suggestions Paul Scholes will announce his retirement.
    That would leave the Red Devils needing a new central midfielder and Everton youngster Jack Rodwell is rumoured to be Ferguson's No.1 target.
    Ferguson expects to receive the backing of controversial United owners, the Glazer family, and confirmed he has identified the players he wants to sign.
    "We have certain targets in mind at the moment anyway," said Ferguson. "I think two or three will be fulfilled, there's no question about that.
    "The Glazer family have always been very supportive of our desires to improve the team."
    The primary focus is likely to be on bringing youth to Old Trafford, although Ferguson did reveal he would not be looking to improve his striking options for next season.
    He added: "What we are good at is bringing young players to the club, like Chicharito (Javier Hernandez) for example.
    "If you look at how, over the last six to eight years, we've brought in young players like Ronaldo, Rooney - okay, one was 17, the other was 18 - we're good at that. I don't see why we should change from what we're good at.
    "We will continue [to buy players], without question, and when the opportunity does arrive and we identify the right young players, that's the way we'll go.
    "In the present situation, with the likes of Chicharito, I think we have possibly some of the best young strikers in the country.
    "Danny Welbeck, who's at Sunderland at the moment, is an excellent young prospect. And the boy Mame Diouf who's at Blackburn is another good prospect.
    "We're particularly strong with young strikers at the moment for some strange reason. Sometimes it works that way."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 30-03-11

    Newcastle's relegation was a costly one.
    NEWCASTLE REVEAL COST OF RELEGATION

    Newcastle have revealed a loss of 17.1million as a result of their relegation from the Barclays Premier League.
    However, the drastic action the Magpies took to address their financial situation in the face of a reduction in turnover of 39% - from 86.1million during the year covering the 2008-09 season to 52.4million - means their losses increased only slightly from 15.2million.
    But the annual accounts for the year ending June 30, 2010, which were submitted to Companies House on Wednesday, also show that owner Mike Ashley had to inject a further 42million into the club despite an increase in gate receipts as more than a million fans attended games at St James' Park.
    The latest figures do not reflect Newcastle's return to the top flight at the end of last season, with promotion worth anything up to 60million to successful clubs, nor Andy Carroll's 35million departure to Liverpool in January.
    Managing director Derek Llambias said: "Our overriding aim in 2009-10 was to secure promotion back to the Premier League at the first attempt.
    "Relegation presented a considerable challenge for us financially.
    "With such a marked reduction in turnover, largely due to reduced TV and media revenue, we needed to cut our operating costs accordingly without jeopardising our ability to return to top flight football straight away.
    "We succeeded in reducing our wage bill considerably whilst maintaining the basis of a Premier League squad.
    "It has been a significant achievement to keep our overall loss at a level similar to the year before despite the impact of relegation, and our ability to do this has been helped immeasurably by the continued financial support of Mike Ashley, who injected a further 42million into the club last year interest-free."
    The club made an operating loss of 33.5million compared to 37.7million the previous year, but that was reduced to 17.1million by player trading.
    Obafemi Martins, Sebastien Bassong, Damien Duff, Habib Beye and Geremi were among those to depart as the Magpies attempted to slash expenditure.
    However, revenue from television and other media fell 57% from 37.6million to 16million, although new sponsorship deals were struck with Puma and Northern Rock.
    That prompted the club's hierarchy to trim operating costs from 98million to 74.4million, a reduction of 24%.
    But their determination to retain the services of enough Premier League-class players to launch a credible bid for promotion meant the wage bill still amounted 47.5million despite a 33% drop from 71.1million.
    As a result, the wages-to-turnover ratio increased to a staggering 90.6% from 82.6% earlier. The recommended level is 50%.
    The club's overall debt burden remained stable at 150million, although bank borrowings fell by 25million and were replaced by a loan of the same amount from Ashley, taking the total he has loaned the club to 139.8million, all of it interest-free.
    Ashley, who also advanced 13million to cover the acquisition of January signings Danny Simpson, Mike Williams, Wayne Routledge and Leon Best, has enjoyed an uneasy relationship with large sections of the fans for much of his time at the helm.
    But that did not prevent Newcastle from recording an average home crowd during the reporting period of 43,388, the fourth highest in the country.

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 30-03-11

    Mowbray - Celtic claims.
    CELTIC REJECT MOWBRAY CLAIMS

    Celtic have denied Tony Mowbray's claims he was prevented from returning to management before taking charge at Middlesbrough.
    Mowbray left his position as Celtic boss 12 months ago before replacing his Parkhead predecessor Gordon Strachan at Boro in the autumn.
    The former West Brom boss says he had other opportunities before assuming control at The Riverside and that he wrote off 350,000 in order to accept the Boro position.
    "I had three or four other offers before the Middlesbrough job came along," Mowbray told a meeting of Boro fans at a question and answer session.
    "At the time, I was owed a lot of money by Celtic and they weren't prepared to do a deal to allow me to take those jobs, so I didn't take them.
    "I thought they were being unfair so I waited. Then the Boro job came up and I was interested. I spoke with Keith [Lamb, Middlesbrough chief executive] and Steve [Gibson, Middlesbrough chairman] and we knew we had to do something with Celtic.
    "I personally wrote off around 350,000 to take the Middlesbrough job. That's not me boasting, it's just the way it is.
    "I wanted to get back to work really. I think my family were getting sick of me and I needed to get back in."
    However, a Celtic spokesman responded to Mowbray's claims by saying: "We are very surprised at these comments.
    "Here are the facts. Only one formal approach was made regards Tony and that was from Middlesbrough. We blocked no other approaches.
    "Celtic paid every penny that was due to Tony under his contract up to the point where he requested to be released from his contract. This we did without hesitation in order that he could resume his career."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 30-03-11

    Smith - enjoying his football.
    BROWN HOPES FOR SMITH DEAL

    Aberdeen manager Craig Brown is hoping to keep on-loan full-back Steven Smith at Pittodrie on a permanent basis.
    Smith joined the Dons from Norwich in January after struggling to make an impact at Carrow Road in the first half of the season.
    He has impressed in making 10 appearances for Aberdeen and Brown feels his plans to keep the 25-year-old could hinge on whether Norwich win promotion to the Premier League.
    Brown said: "Hopefully we will be able to keep Steven but it all depends on what Norwich plan for him."
    Smith is enjoying the opportunity to play regular football back in Scotland and the former Rangers defender says money will not influence his future decisions.
    "It's never been about money for me," said Smith. "I'm not going to stay at a club if I'm not enjoying it.
    "My aim is to play 30-35 games a season. I don't want to get to the end of my career with people saying I only played a few games here and there.
    "I'm enjoying my time at Pittodrie, probably more than at any time in my career."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 30-03-11

    Borini - first focus is winning promotion.
    BORINI COULD STAY IN ENGLAND

    Fabio Borini has hinted he could stay in England when his Chelsea contract expires as he focuses on helping Swansea secure promotion to the Premier League.
    The Italian striker recently joined the Swans on loan for the rest of the season after failing to make the breakthrough into Carlo Ancelotti's first-team plans.
    He marked his Swans debut with a decisive brace against Nottingham Forest and is wanted by several clubs when his Blues deal runs out in the summer.
    Parma director of football Antonello Preiti watched Borini in action for Italy's Under-21s last week, while the likes of fellow Serie A sides Lazio and Juventus are also rumoured to be interested.
    Swansea boss Brendan Rodgers is reportedly keen on a permanent deal as well and Borini is keeping an open mind regarding his future.
    "I did not know he (Preiti) was there, but I do know there's interest in Parma for me," the 20-year-old is quoted by Wales Online.
    "But even then, they are not the only team and if I start thinking about how many are following me it will end up detracting from my real goal.
    "And that's to score five more goals by the end of the season with Swansea. I want to play and grow and I have finally found a place where I can.
    "We'll see what happens but I really like the English atmosphere and English football - I think that's my football."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 30-03-11

    Alan Pardew - expects financial backing.
    PARDEW CONFIDENT OF SUMMER SPENDING

    Newcastle boss Alan Pardew remains convinced he will be given the bulk of the 35million the club raked in when they sold Andy Carroll to strengthen his squad.
    Pardew spent most of January saying the England striker would not be sold until Liverpool made the Magpies an offer they could not refuse.
    The manager was devastated to lose a player who had made a major impact in the Barclays Premier League but comforted by the belief that he would get the proceeds this summer provided he could keep the club in the top flight.
    Owner Mike Ashley's critics remain unconvinced but Pardew insists he is expecting to be able to spend significantly.
    Speaking on a BBC Radio Newcastle phone-in, Pardew said: "I'm as sure as I can be that we will. We are in plans and negotiations with a couple of players out of contract in the summer.
    "I understand the frustration with what's gone in the past. If I was a fan here would I be jumping up and down about Mike Ashley? Probably not.
    "But he doesn't want to put his investment into this club to come here and lose games and be abused.
    "I know Mike Ashley this well - there's no point him paying for me and my staff to fly around Europe if he had no interest in buying players. Some of the expense is phenomenal.
    "I genuinely feel he wants to say, 'I got it right here'. Hopefully he's going to prove that."
    Whatever proportion of the cash Pardew does get is likely to have to cover wages as well as transfer fees as the club continues to work within a pay structure.
    However, he believes the lure of St James' Park is huge for players like Ivory Coast international Cheick Tiote, who has been a big hit since his arrival from Dutch club FC Twente last summer.
    He said: "The pool isn't big if your agenda is young players who fit into our wage structure.
    "We will be in the same field as Marseilles, Villa, Everton and Tottenham, so you have got to bypass all the barriers to get somebody like Cheick.
    "They are out there, but you have got to work really, really hard.
    "But the players I have approached would love to come to play with 52,000 roaring them on.
    "You can see players who have got a chance of Champions League football in France, Belgium and Holland playing in front of 10,000 people week in, week out.
    "Here, you can play every weekend in front of 50,000, and you have got to be inspired by that."
    Pardew freely admits he is still working to win over his own detractors after he replaced Chris Hughton in controversial circumstances, and he knows he is tarred with the same brush as Ashley by many.
    But he is adamant that both he and the owner are determined to bring success to Tyneside.
    He said: "I don't think I'm going to win the fans over until they see we are a Premier League club next year, and a kind of rebuilding of the team.
    "There are times when I say to Mike [he should speak to the fans)], but it's not in him. But he genuinely wants to prove he can make this a success."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 30-03-11

    Gera - wants regular action.
    GERA WANTS TO PLAY
    Click here for our special Transfer Centre!
    Click here for more football headlines!

    Zoltan Gera has reiterated his plans to leave Fulham in the summer after being denied a loan move in January.
    The midfielder will be a free agent at the end of the season and seems certain to move after falling out of favour under Mark Hughes.
    Gera made a rare start in Fulham's FA Cup defeat to Bolton at the end of February, but he has otherwise been forced to settle for a role as substitute.
    The 31-year-old's agent claimed earlier in March that 'half of the Premier League' want to agree a deal amid links to Newcastle, while there is also said to be interest from abroad.
    Gera's priority is to play games and he appears to have made up his mind about leaving Fulham, as he said in the Daily Mirror: "I asked the manager to loan me because I would like to play, but they didn't let me go.
    "I will be in a better position in the summer. I will play if not for Fulham, then for someone else."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 30-03-11

    Calderwood - building for future.
    HIBS BUILDING FOR THE NEW SEASON

    Manager Colin Calderwood has used Hibernian's lengthy break to inform those members of his squad he deems surplus to requirements.
    Although Calderwood does not anticipate making the news public would have a negative effect, he is not prepared to reveal who or how many players will be departing Easter Road at the end of the season.
    Former Celtic forward Derek Riordan and midfielder John Rankin are among the players whose contracts end this summer.
    Calderwood said: "It's not something I'm going to broadcast at this moment."
    Calderwood was appointed in October and inherited a squad with 16 players out of contract at the end of the season.
    However, the former Northampton and Nottingham Forest boss delved into the January transfer market and offloaded a number of players, while also recruiting six who have helped transform results and enhance his side's Clydesdale Bank Premier League position.
    Hibs, relegation candidates in January, are now ninth in the table, five points behind sixth-placed Motherwell with a game in hand having not played since March 5.
    Calderwood insisted all members of his squad are happy with the situation and has previously suggested he wanted to keep top scorer Riordan.
    He added: "Everyone's available to play. There have been absolutely no problems.
    "The last two weeks haven't dotted an 'i' or crossed a 't' for anyone - everyone was aware of the situation."
    Hibs, with five wins in an unbeaten run of six SPL games, take on Hearts at Easter Road on Sunday in their first of three games in six days.
    And Calderwood is in optimistic mood having lost two Edinburgh derbies so far this season and hopes victory can help Hibs' top-six credentials.
    Speaking after Hibs announced a three-year sponsorship deal with drinks firm Crabbie's, which will begin at the start of next season, he said: "It's our intention to really go for a victory - it's about time we did it (against Hearts).
    "We hope to produce much better than we've done in the previous two games.
    "With four games before the split we've got to make an immediate impact.
    "We're going to need help from elsewhere, results that are favourable to us."
    Calderwood anticipates on-loan Celtic defender Richie Towell, who was stretchered off during Republic of Ireland Under-21s' defeat to their Portugal counterparts, and Akpo Sodje will be fit to play on Sunday.
    However, he would not be drawn on who will play in goal following a shoulder injury to Graham Stack.

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 30-03-11

    Aquilani - could return to Liverpool.
    AQUILANI OPEN TO LIVERPOOL RETURN

    Midfielder Alberto Aquilani is willing to return to Liverpool at the end of the season if Juventus do not want to sign him on a permanent deal.
    The 26-year-old is on a season-long loan with Juve, having failed to impress in his first season at Anfield after joining from Roma.
    Juventus do have the option to purchase Aquilani at the end of the current campaign, but if they do not exercise it, he is happy to go back to Anfield.
    He told Gazzetta dello Sport: "The future? I'm at Juve, but I don't know what will happen.
    "I'm on loan and if I'm not retained I'd go back to Liverpool in the best league in the world. We'll see."
    Aquilani has also been linked with a move back to Roma, who are on the verge of being bought out by Thomas Di Benedetto, a partner of the company which owns Liverpool.
    Asked if he would go back to the capital club, he said: "It is a delicate question. I would do, but I think it will be difficult.
    "As a fan I'm curious to see what happens, especially if they begin to buy players and to revolutionise the team."

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