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Thread: Latest Transfer Update at 08-04-11

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    Latest Transfer Update at 08-04-11

    Ancelotti - defiant about future.

    Carlo Ancelotti today insisted his job as Chelsea manager did not depend on turning around the club's Champions League quarter-final against Manchester United.
    Wednesday night's 1-0 first-leg defeat to United at Stamford Bridge has left the Blues in danger of finishing without a trophy for only the third time since Roman Abramovich's takeover.
    On both other occasions, Abramovich sacked the manager, despite Claudio Ranieri and Avram Grant leading the side to the Champions League semi-finals and final, respectively.
    Ancelotti was recruited because of his reputation as a European Cup specialist but a second-round and quarter-final exit in his two seasons in charge would suggest the club had gone backwards, rather than forwards, in that competition.
    But the Italian was defiant today about his own job prospects, saying: "I don't think the decision on my future at the club rests on whether or not I win the Champions League.
    "The club knows me very well, knows my behaviour, and they will take their decision on that.
    "Until now, the support is totally 100%. I don't have a problem with this."
    Crashing out of the Champions League would not be the only black mark against Ancelotti this season.
    Chelsea also suffered early exits in both domestic cup competitions and trail United by 11 points in the Barclays Premier League - albeit with a game in hand - in fourth place.
    Both Ranieri and Grant managed to finish second when they were given the boot, although Ancelotti can point to having won the double last season, while much of what has gone wrong this term has been beyond his control.
    Rumours persist the signing of Fernando Torres was one of Abramovich's whims but Ancelotti has always denied this, insisting it was a collective decision.
    However it came about, the Italian has been left with a 50million misfit, who appears unable to slot into either of Chelsea's preferred formations.
    But Ancelotti said: "I don't think it's a problem with the shape."
    He also dismissed captain John Terry's assertion Torres' record-breaking price tag may be weighing heavily on the Spaniard.
    "I was a player and the players, I think, don't think about the money, about the transfer money or salary," he said.
    "This is not a good moment for Fernando. But he has the support first from himself - his confidence - and from his manager and team-mates."
    One team-mate who may hold the key to unlocking Torres' potential is the fit-again Yossi Benayoun, who linked up so well with the striker while they were at Liverpool.
    Ancelotti said: "Benayoun is the player who knows Fernando best because they've played together, and that can help him to move on from this particular moment.
    "He has fantastic ability with his final pass to help Fernando. He's not 100% fit yet. He was out for six months, but he's doing really well."
    It remains to be seen whether either Benayoun or Torres start tomorrow's Premier League game with Wigan, with Ancelotti saying he would rest anyone tired from Wednesday night's exertions.
    The bottom club would appear tailor-made for Torres to end his drought, having conceded 14 goals in their last two meetings with Chelsea.
    Ancelotti was adamant it would not be that easy tomorrow, saying: "This will be a different game.
    "Wigan played very well and didn't concede last week against Tottenham.
    "Our aim is to win, to score one more goal than the opponent, and to play good football."
    Even if Torres' misery persists, Ancelotti has vowed to stick by him, pointing out he did the same with Hernan Crespo while in charge at AC Milan.
    "Crespo went his first six months in Milan without scoring a goal," he said.
    "He scored two goals in the final of the Champions League."
    With United having never lost a European tie after winning the first leg away, it remains to be seen whether Torres will get the chance to emulate that feat.

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 08-04-11

    Redknapp wants to keep Bale at Spurs.

    Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp has again quashed claims Spurs could cash in on in-demand winger Gareth Bale this summer.
    The Wales international is a frontrunner for the Professional Footballers' Association Player and Young Player of the Year awards, having been confirmed as a nominee for both honours on Friday.
    Italian giants Inter Milan are believed to be interested after witnessing two breathtaking Bale performances against them in this season's UEFA Champions League.
    Premier League leaders Manchester United are also rumoured to be weighing up a bid, but Redknapp believes any sale would be a step in the wrong direction.
    "If Tottenham start selling players like Gareth Bale then you have to accept that you're never going to be a top club," he told Sky Sports News.
    "I'm sure the chairman, Daniel [Levy], wants to be a top four club.
    "Man United, Chelsea and Arsenal do it every year, if we want to do it we have to keep improving, not selling players.
    "Otherwise you'll do it one year and you might never do it again."
    Tottenham are five points shy of fourth-placed Manchester City at present, while their Champions League hopes are hanging by a thread following Tuesday's 4-0 drubbing at Real Madrid.
    Striker Peter Crouch received his marching orders early in that game, but Redknapp refuses to blame the England international and instead thanked him for his seven goals en route to the quarter-finals.
    "He's been low has Peter, he's been really disappointed in himself, he feels like he's let everybody down," said the Tottenham boss.
    "But without Crouchy we wouldn't even have been in that game because his goals have taken us to the quarter-finals of the Champions League this year."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 08-04-11

    Wickham - new deal.

    In-demand Ipswich striker Connor Wickham has signed a new deal to keep him at Portman Road until 2014.
    The highly-rated 18-year-old had as recently as January signed a new deal until 2013, but he has now extended it for a further year.
    Wickham is one of the most sought-after youngsters in the game after impressing for Ipswich in the last couple of seasons.
    The likes of Tottenham, Liverpool and Arsenal have been credited with an interest in Wickham and Town boss Paul Jewell doesn't think the new deal will end the debate over the teenager's future.
    He said: "Connor signing a new deal until 2014 won't stop all the speculation, but it shows that we are committed to him, and he is committed to us.
    "It's good news. An awful lot is spoken about him, and he has done terrifically well.
    "I hope he continues to produce the goods and be where he wants to be with us - Utopia."
    At 6ft 3in, Wickham's future is undoubtedly as a central striker but he has been used in a primarily wide position since Jewell replaced Roy Keane as manager in January.
    Town may cash in on their prize asset sooner rather than later but Jewell is confident of getting the best out of him for at least another 12 months.
    He said: "I'm not looking to sell Connor Wickham, and I don't think Connor Wickham is looking to leave, but if someone came in with a silly offer and he wanted to go, we would have to listen to it.
    "But that would be the same for any player. There's no good keeping players if they are not happy, but that doesn't mean to say we would just let anyone go out of the door just because they got the hump.
    "It would have to suit us, and I think at the moment the best place for Connor Wickham is at Ipswich."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 08-04-11

    Adebayor - on loan at Real Madrid.

    Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has given Emmanuel Adebayor his blessing to seal a permanent move to Real Madrid this summer.
    The Togo international is currently on loan with the Spanish giants and he has proved an astute signing for Jose Mourinho's troops.
    Adebayor demonstrated his attacking prowess with a crucial double in their 4-0 UEFA Champions League quarter-final first leg win over Tottenham on Tuesday.
    Real have the option to buy the 27-year-old at the end of the season and has admitted he would be keen to stay at Santiago Bernabeu.
    The former Arsenal man is out of favour at Eastlands and Mancini has rejected potential speculation that he could have a future at City by stating he will sanction his exit.
    "I'm happy he scored two goals and I hope he'll continue to score," explained Mancini.
    "At the end of the season we will see. If he wants to stay, he can."
    With the money that has been spent on Mancini's star-studded squad the team spirit and camaraderie has been questioned, but the Italian says things have improved recently.
    Captain Carlos Tevez handed in a transfer request earlier in the campaign while Mario Balotelli and Jerome Boateng were involved in a training ground bust-up.
    City returned to form last weekend with a 5-0 demolition job of Sunderland at Eastlands and Mancini is predicting a strong finish for his troops, who also have an FA Cup final in their sights.
    "We always had a good spirit," said Mancini. "But I think we have improved a lot. We were tired for a month as we had injured players, but now things are better.
    "I think the players are looking fresher. I think we can have a strong finish. We had more of problems when we were playing every three days."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 08-04-11

    Odemwingie - hailed by Hodgson.

    West Brom head coach Roy Hodgson has admitted he may have to fight to hold on to star striker Peter Odemwingie during the summer.
    The Nigerian forward has scored 10 goals so far this season, the second most of any player in a bottom-half Premier League team.
    His performance during Albion's 2-1 win over Liverpool was particularly eye-catching, as although he failed to score, his pace and skill led him to be brought down for both penalties.
    Hodgson paid tribute to Odemwingie, and was asked if he would have to brace himself for offers for the 29-year-old later in the year.
    "Perhaps, but I'll worry about that when the time comes," he said.
    "Whatever happens after the season finishes I'll concern myself with at that time.
    "Peter's been an excellent signing for the club.
    "I knew of him at Fulham, when I was working there he was on our scouting radar.
    "We were interested in him, but didn't need a centre forward at the time."
    Hodgson believes that no matter how many goals Odemwingie scores this season, he will be judged by how the team performs as a whole.
    The manager continued: "He'll be pleased with his season so far, but I hope he's going to agree with me that the only way he can really be satisfied is if he does well for his club and his club stays in the league.
    Odemwingie's efforts are even more impressive due to the fact that he had no real rest over the summer, an issue that has led West Brom to manage his training programme carefully.
    Hodgson said: "We are aware of the fact that he hasn't had much of a break because he came from the Russian league (which runs from March to November), and has also had the World Cup with Nigeria.
    "We do try to tailor his programme between games to make certain that we don't burn him out."
    West Brom take on Sunderland on Saturday, with the Black Cats having picked up just one point from their last seven league games.
    Hodgson believes this statistic is normal for the Premier League, and doesn't mean his opponents can be taken lightly.
    "I'm thinking that it's about time that they won a game and it could be on Saturday against us," he said. "They're a good team with good players.
    "The thing about the Premier League that doesn't get stated often enough is that you can go for long periods without winning a game.
    "Maybe not if you're one of the top four clubs in the country, but teams from the middle of the table and below can.
    "Okay, it's happened to Sunderland for the last seven games, but it could happen to any of us for the next seven games."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 08-04-11

    Riordan - out of contract at the end of the campaign.

    Hibernian manager Colin Calderwood says Derek Riordan must wait until the end of the season to discover his future.
    Riordan, Hibs' top scorer with 10 goals this term, is one of 11 players out of contract at the end of the current campaign.
    While the majority of the players whose deals end this summer have been told if they are surplus to requirements next term, Riordan's fate remains to be determined.
    Ahead of Saturday's Clydesdale Bank Premier League trip to Aberdeen, Calderwood said: "We're going to get to the end of the season and sit down and thrash it out.
    "We both understand that, we're both happy to clear the games out of the road.
    "Nothing will happen between now and then."
    Calderwood expects an announcement to be made shortly about those players who are out of contract at the end of the campaign, but anticipates the squad will be contracted for next term.
    He added: "We've got too many players on the books at the minute, so we will reduce the numbers in terms of our first-team squad, definitely.
    "Ideally we'd be looking at a group round about 20."
    The former Northampton and Nottingham Forest boss also expects players to have to face up to the reality of 12-month contracts.
    He added: "With the number of changes in management, I think it's prudent of clubs to have shorter-term contracts.
    "More or less players favour them as well because it gives them a certain amount of freedom."
    Hibs have seven games left this term, and with defeat at Celtic on Wednesday night ending hopes of a top-six finish, Calderwood is now hoping to win the fight for seventh place.
    "We've got a lot to play for," he added.
    "We've got to fight to come top of the bottom half of the table and this gives us an opportunity to get further above Aberdeen."
    Calderwood's first game in charge of Hibs was a 4-2 loss at Pittodrie. Calderwood won just two of his first 17 games in charge, but Hibs have now won five of their last eight in the SPL.
    Aberdeen, meanwhile, have one win in seven games and face Celtic in the Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden on April 17.
    The Dons lost to St Mirren on Wednesday, suffering injuries to Zander Diamond, Rory McArdle and Jamie Langfield and face Rangers in the SPL next week before the Hampden date with Celtic.
    Calderwood is unsure if opposite number Craig Brown will field a weakened team this weekend, but believes the Dons will be keen to get a result.
    He added: "They've got a heavy schedule and they've still got a chance of silverware this year.
    "I'm sure everyone's got an appetite to perform and get into the team for the semi-final."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 08-04-11

    Ancelotti and Torres - everybody behind them.

    John Terry has insisted Chelsea's players are 100% behind manager Carlo Ancelotti and misfiring striker Fernando Torres as they look to salvage their stuttering season.
    The Blues' are in real danger of finishing a campaign without a trophy for only the second time since the Roman Abramovich revolution first saw them crowned Barclays Premier League champions in 2005.
    On the other occasion, 2008, Avram Grant was sacked as manager, giving Ancelotti genuine cause for concern about his own fate.
    But ahead of Saturday's Premier League game against Wigan, captain Terry gave the Italian his total backing.
    "There's been no talk about changing him as far as I'm aware," he said.
    "The players are 100% behind him."
    The same applies to Torres, who has been branded a 50million flop after failing to score since his move from Liverpool.
    The Spaniard's now-infamous drought continued in Wednesday night's 1-0 Champions League quarter-final first-leg defeat to Manchester United.
    Terry said: "It's just a case of getting that first goal, getting that off your shoulders, and then you can move on.
    "It must be hard as well, people carrying on talking about it.
    "It must be a big weight to carry as well with the fee that he came for.
    "But he knows he's good enough to play, the players certainly know he's good enough, and he's got our full support."
    Torres could find himself back on the bench on Saturday if Ancelotti persists with his striker rotation policy.
    Terry said: "Obviously, there's big competition up front and, with guys like Didier (Drogba) and Nico (Anelka), big rivalry.
    "But, at the same time, they get on brilliantly on and off the field.
    "And I think everyone wants to help him, help him settle in and get that first goal."
    Chelsea are close to surrendering their Premier League title having slipped 11 points behind United, albeit with a game in hand.
    They must also make history to reach the Champions League semi-finals on Tuesday night, with United having never lost a European tie after winning the first leg away from home.
    Wednesday's Stamford Bridge showdown saw Chelsea denied what appeared a clear-cut stoppage-time penalty, the latest in a long line of calls to have gone against them in Europe since Abramovich bought the club eight years ago.
    The decision convinced Terry that there is something more than footballing ability which is conspiring against the Blues realising their dream.
    "I was saying to the lads afterwards that it's us versus everyone," Terry said.
    "I think that's clear to see over the last few years.
    "Only we can change that on the football field and expect nothing from anyone.
    "Nothing gets given to you on a plate and it certainly won't be in this competition."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 08-04-11

    Fowler - verbally confirmed his commitment.

    Former Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler has verbally accepted an offer to re-join Perth Glory for next season although a contract is yet to be signed.
    The Glory have been in discussions with Fowler since at least last December as the striker, who turns 36 on Saturday, weighed up whether to spend one more season in the A-League or head back to the United Kingdom to further his coaching ambitions.
    With the A-League on a break before the new campaign starts in October, Fowler has joined League One side MK Dons as part of Karl Robinson's backroom staff, while he will also spend the next week at Bury assisting caretaker manager Richie Barker.
    But despite having taken some steps towards becoming a coach after retirement, Fowler has given the clearest indication yet that he wants to play out one more season in Australia, having already spent two years in the country with the now defunct North Queensland Fury and then Perth.
    "As you know we have made an offer to Robbie Fowler on reduced terms for next season," said a Perth Glory spokesperson.
    "Robbie has verbally confirmed his commitment for the 2011/12 season but the club will make a formal announcement once the contract is signed."
    Fowler was the Glory's international marquee player during the 2010-11 season, although he was slightly disappointing, scoring nine goals during a campaign where Perth came second-last, with five of those coming in two matches.
    With the Glory hoping to snap up New Zealand striker Shane Smeltz as their international marquee player for next season, Fowler's wages will have to be incorporated into the club's general salary cap.
    Despite club chief executive Paul Kelly maintaining that the Smeltz deal is close to being finalised, it has been reported the Kiwi international is still considering a big-money offer from China.

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