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Thread: Latest Transfer Update at 15-04-11

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    Latest Transfer Update at 15-04-11

    Arsene Wenger - philosophy unchanged.

    Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger insists he will remain very much in charge of team affairs regardless of Stan Kroenke's multi-million takeover at Emirates Stadium.
    The American tycoon, who has a proven track record of successful sports ownership in the United States, is set to take a controlling 62.89% stake in the Barclays Premier League club having agreed to buy out the holdings of the late Danny Fiszman and Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith for around 234million.
    Kroenke Sports Enterprises are now obliged to make a cash offer for the remaining capital at 11,750 per share, valuing the Gunners' parent company at around 731million.
    However, that process is by no means yet guaranteed, with Red & White Holdings - backed by Usbek oligarch Alisher Usmanov - stating they have no intention of selling a 27% stake, while the Arsenal Supporters Trust have stressed all of their minority shareholders will not sell.
    The deal is now subject to the strict rules of the Takeover Panel, and as such Arsenal are limited as to any public comments made.
    However, when pressed at Friday's press conference ahead of the clash against Liverpool, Wenger maintained changes behind the scenes would have no impact on the way his team is managed.
    "We will continue to run the club with the technical department having the decision on what is technical," said the Gunners boss, who had long talks with Kroenke at Thursday's board meeting.
    "For all the rest I have to answer to Stan Kroenke and I am ready for any questions, but I run the technical department."
    Wenger continued: "On the football side of things we will continue to focus on the football the way we want to play it to develop our players.
    "We have a squad which is about 23 years of age who are in a strong position in the league.
    "We have a certain philosophy of football and we will continue to develop that and to play even better.
    "We will continue to run the club like it has been done until now - that means live within our resources, produce our own resources and develop our football team."
    Arsenal host Liverpool looking to claw back the seven-point deficit on leaders Manchester United, who take a break from league action this weekend when they face rivals City in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.
    With the Gunners set to play their game in hand against north-London neighbours Tottenham on Wednesday night, Wenger knows there can be no more margin for error if his team are to stay in contention ahead of the showdown with United at Emirates Stadium on May 1.
    However, the Arsenal manager stressed there can be no talk of one bad result now effectively ending their title bid.
    "We don't approach a game in that mental state, we think it is an opportunity we want to take," Wenger said.
    "It is one of the games that can get us to the target that we want so we look at it in a positive way."
    Wenger added: "Liverpool have a good offensive force with [Andy] Carroll and [Luiz] Suarez, we are as well an offensive team so it promises to be an interesting game."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 15-04-11

    Andre Ooijer - new one-year deal.

    Veteran Ajax defender Andre Ooijer has penned a new one-year deal with the Eredivisie club.
    The 36-year-old made the move to Amsterdam from rivals PSV Eindhoven last summer and has helped steer them to third in the table and the final of the KNVB Beker, where they will face FC Twente on May 8.
    Ooijer's current deal was set to expire at the end of the season, but coach Frank De Boer is happy to have the former Holland international on board for another 12 months.
    "Andre has proven himself of great value to this squad," he told
    "It would be going too far to call him a 'father figure', but his role on and off the field is important.
    "His football skills are beyond dispute and in recent matches he has once again shown we can count on him when we need it.
    "He is among the best of professionals and next season he can be of value to Ajax, so I'm glad he is staying on."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 15-04-11

    Carlo Ancelotti - yet to learn his fate.

    Carlo Ancelotti appeared all but resigned to his fate as Chelsea manager on Friday after insisting it would "not be a problem" if club owner Roman Abramovich sacked him.
    Ancelotti looks a dead man walking at Stamford Bridge after overseeing what is set to be the club's worst season since Abramovich's takeover almost eight years ago.
    Speculation has already moved on to the identity of the Italian's replacement, with the likes of Guus Hiddink, Frank Rijkaard, Andre Villas Boas and Marcello Lippi all linked with the job.
    Speaking on Friday, an extremely dignified Ancelotti insisted he had yet to discuss his future with Abramovich and was focusing on helping third-placed Chelsea finish as high as possible in the Barclays Premier League.
    But he added: "The club can decide if I have to continue here or they want to change. This is not a problem. The club has the possibility to judge my job.
    "If they are not happy, they can change without problem."
    Confirming he had only briefly spoken to Abramovich after Tuesday night's Champions League exit at Manchester United, he said: "The most important thing for a club, and for a manager, is to have a good relationship with the club, the owner.
    "When this relationship is not good, you have to change. Until now, the relationship with the owner is fantastic. He has supported me this season when we didn't achieve important results.
    "If, at the end of the season, the owner decides my job was not good enough, this is not a problem.
    "I know football. I know clubs sometimes want to change the manager.
    "I will try to do my best, because I want to stay here. If there is a possibility to do that, I will be happy.
    "There are a lot of people saying my future will not be here next season, but I'm not sure about this. We have to wait until the end of the season."
    Ancelotti masterminded Chelsea's first-ever double last term - his maiden season in English football - but he admitted this did not make him bulletproof.
    "Everyone was happy to win the double last year, but this is the past," he said.
    "This season has not been a good season for us."
    Ancelotti's philosophical response to his potential sacking is partly down to his acceptance of the way Abramovich has operated in the past, with the two previous managers who failed to deliver a trophy also given the boot.
    But it also suggests he feels he is not to blame for much of what has gone wrong this season and that he knows he would have no problem gaining employment elsewhere.
    The 51-year-old has made no secret of his desire to return one day to Roma. Ancelotti spent much of his playing career with the Giallorossi, who are currently managerless and set to be under ambitious new ownership by the start of next week.
    Nevertheless, he could be forgiven for lashing out at the way he appears to have been undermined in his attempts to build on last year's double success.
    Senior players were allowed to leave and were not replaced, assistant manager Ray Wilkins was sacked for seemingly no good reason, while Ancelotti has also felt compelled to keep playing 50million flop Fernando Torres in must-win games.
    But the Blues boss refused to discuss how much blame he should take himself for what has gone wrong and how much should be apportioned elsewhere.
    "It's not the moment to find guilt," he said ahead of Saturday's trip to West Brom.
    "It's a moment to stay focused on the next game, do our best, and look to the end of the season.
    "We can judge at the end what was wrong and what was good."
    Ancelotti, who insisted he had not lost confidence in his own ability, added: "To speak now about which kind of change the club wants to do for the next season, for new transfers, about my future, it's not the right time.
    "We have seven games until the end of the season and every one of us has to try and do their best in these seven games.
    "After that, we can speak about this."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 15-04-11

    Owen Hargreaves - out for the season.

    Owen Hargreaves could have played his last game for Manchester United after manager Sir Alex Ferguson revealed the midfielder almost certainly will not be fit before the end of the season.
    The England international has endured chronic injury problems since his arrival from Bayern Munich in 2007.
    Although he was a member of United's Premier League and Champions League-winning squads during his debut campaign, he had to battled through a major tendinitis problem in both knees, which eventually required surgery.
    Hargreaves managed only seconds on the field last term, during a late-season encounter at Sunderland and lasted just five minutes of a surprise start against Wolves at Old Trafford this year before pulling his hamstring.
    Now the 30-year-old has sustained a shoulder injury which Ferguson does not believe he will recover from.
    Hargreaves' contract is due to expire in the summer and there must now be major question marks over him ever playing for United again.
    Ferguson said: "It is a shoulder injury. It has just brought his season to an end.
    "He has just carried bad luck all the time he has been here. I am pretty sure he won't be playing this season.
    "His contract is up at the end of the season but I don't know what is going to happen.
    "(United chief executive) David Gill had a discussion with the boy last week. But no more than that. We have to make a decision."
    Hargreaves was never going to be in contention for Saturday's FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City at Wembley.
    Wayne Rooney and Jonny Evans are both missing too through suspension, whilst Ferguson revealed Scotland international Darren Fletcher is still a couple of weeks away from a return after being laid low by a chronic virus that has kept him out since the defeat at Liverpool on March 6.
    "Darren Fletcher is back in training now," said Ferguson.
    "He is not doing a lot but he has put the weight back on, which is good. He is a couple of weeks away."
    Ferguson otherwise has a clean bill of health for one of the most significant derby clashes in recent memory, with midfielder Anderson pushing for a start after coming through a midweek reserve-team outing.
    "He is much better now," said Ferguson.
    "We thought the Chelsea game would be too much for him because we knew what the pace was likely to be.
    "Saturday should be a very exciting game. It is a derby match in London, which is unusual in itself.
    "But we have great momentum at the moment. We are playing well and confidence is high and we are looking forward to it."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 15-04-11

    Scholes - could retire in the summer.

    Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes has admitted he could be ready to hang up his boots at the end of the season.
    The 36-year-old has been an integral part of the success enjoyed by the Old Trafford outfit over the past two decades, including their Treble of 1999.
    United remain on course to repeat that historic success, with Saturday's FA Cup semi-final showdown against Manchester City at Wembley the next step on their quest for silverware.
    With Sir Alex Ferguson's side leading the way in the Premier League and through to a Champions League semi-final showdown with Schalke, Scholes will wait until the campaign concludes before considering his options.
    Scholes, who prolonged his club career at the highest level by retiring from England duty in 2004, said: "I'll decide at the end of the season.
    "I really don't know what I am going to do yet. I've got these games to think about now and I will decide from there.
    "People always say you should play as long as you can but there comes a time when you just can't physically do it.
    "I'm wary of that. I just want to make sure it is done at the right time."
    Scholes, who has been offered another one-year extension, admits he finds it tough to accept his role as a more peripheral figure in Ferguson's plans.
    The playmaker did not feature in either leg of the Champions League quarter-final victory over Chelsea, but insists he will always be ready when called upon.
    He added: "It is very difficult to accept (not playing every game) but the time comes when you know that you can't.
    "You want to think like a 25-year-old, you like to think that you can play every game. But you can't. You just have to make sure you are ready for the odd 20 minutes here and there.
    "It's hard to make that adjustment. It is not nice."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 15-04-11

    Guus Hiddink - linked with Chelsea return.

    Turkey will look dimly upon any attempt by Chelsea to lure their manager Guus Hiddink back to Stamford Bridge.
    Hiddink had a brief spell in charge of the Blues when he was also manager of Russia back in 2009.
    That is not a situation the Turkish Football Federation would be keen to replicate, though, with Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti linked with a move away from the club at the end of a below-par season.
    Turker Tozar, the senior national team communications manager, was quoted on as saying: "Only last week we refused an approach for him from Ajax and the contract between him and our president [Mahmut Ozgener] does not allow him to work for a club while he is working for the Turkish national team.
    "There is a specific clause and our president would look coldly at any attempt to change that.
    "We understand that people like Roman Abramovich have him in mind but if he made an offer to us it would be refused.
    "If you look at Guus Hiddink's career he has always fulfilled his contract and he has also told us that Turkey could be his last stop as a coach.
    "We would like him to take us to the 2014 World Cup finals."
    Turkey currently sit third in Euro 2012 qualifying group A, behind Germany and Belgium.
    Hiddink's agent Cees van Nieuwenhuizen suggested it was unlikely his client would walk out on Turkey.
    "Guus has never broken a contract in his life and Roman Abramovich understands that," he was quoted as saying in The Sun.
    "He is under contract with Turkey for their Euro 2012 campaign and it looks as though they will qualify for the play-offs."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 15-04-11

    Steve Bruce - maintains self-belief.

    Steve Bruce is convinced he remains the best man for the job as he prepares to launch another rebuilding mission at Sunderland.
    The 50-year-old found himself in the firing line last Saturday as a home defeat by West Brom extended the Black Cats' winless Barclays Premier League run to eight games and left them perched precariously just above the developing scrap for top-flight safety.
    It was all in stark contrast to the prevailing emotions on Wearside just a few months ago when Sunderland were contesting a top-six spot and dreaming of a first ever qualification for Europe via the league.
    Bruce acknowledges he will never win over some supporters, who struggle to accept his Geordie roots, but with owner Ellis Short and chairman Niall Quinn still firmly in his corner - for the time being, at least - he is confident he will turn things around.
    Asked about the flak flying his way, he said: "I knew coming here, that was part of the territory, and that just shows you how quickly it changes.
    "Eight games ago, I was the best thing since sliced bread - in some people's eyes - and within eight games, now all of a sudden people want me out.
    "I can understand where they are coming from - I can't quite believe it, but there you go.
    "There will be certain people who didn't want me here in the first place, and I can understand that as well, but that's football.
    "All I can say to them is I will work as best as I possibly can to turn it around.
    "It is what it is, managing in the north-east. But I still don't regret it, I am still confident I am the right person for the job.
    "But make no mistake, it's difficult. I could have quite easily stayed at Wigan, where Roberto Martinez, for example, has been in the bottom three all season and not a hint of 'Get him out'. That's the way it is."
    In his defence, Bruce has been severely hampered in recent weeks by an injury list which seems to grow by the day.
    He will field a team at former club Birmingham on Saturday which he believes will be one of the youngest in the club's Premier League history, and is bracing himself for further bad news with striker Fraizer Campbell and goalkeeper Craig Gordon both due to learn if they need surgery to repair knee injuries.
    If that proves to be the case for Campbell, who has missed all but four games of the current campaign with cruciate ligament damage, he will also sit out the bulk of next season.
    Bruce said: "The specialist is going to go and have a look inside, but we do fear it may require further surgery, and if that is the case, then he will miss the best part of next season as well."
    Campbell's impending return persuaded Bruce he did not need to dip into the market to buy a striker in the wake of Darren Bent's departure for Aston Villa in January.
    However, the 23-year-old's latest misfortune, coupled with serious injuries to the likes of Titus Bramble, Michael Turner and David Meyler and the inadequacies their absences have exposed, has prompted the realisation that significant further reinforcement will be required during the summer.
    Bruce said: "Six months ago, I was talking about maybe adding one or two players to the squad.
    "Now all of a sudden when I analyse what we have got, there's a major rebuilding job to be done again.
    "For example, if Fraizer does need further surgery, I have got one striker at the club here now.
    "At the start of the season six or seven months ago, I had four. Sunderland have never had a strike-force like Bent, Gyan, Welbeck and Fraizer Campbell.
    "I don't think there has been anything better than that - maybe Quinn and [Kevin] Phillips, but they didn't have much back-up."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 15-04-11

    Redknapp is a big fan of Mourinho's work.

    Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp is confident Jose Mourinho is a future Manchester United manager.
    Redknapp came up against the Real Madrid coach in the Champions League quarter-finals, with his Spurs side bowing out 5-0 on aggregate after Wednesday night's 1-0 defeat at White Hart Lane.
    Mourinho has divided opinion since arriving on English shores with Chelsea in 2004, fresh from winning the Champions League with Porto.
    Despite going on to coach Inter Milan and Real, Mourinho has spoken of his desire to return to club management in England.
    But Redknapp believes the Portuguese will have to bide his time with United boss Sir Alex Ferguson giving no sign he is set to retire any time soon.
    "Of those (managers) I have faced this campaign there is one who stands head and shoulders above the others - Jose Mourinho," Redknapp told The Sun.
    "Some are calling the Real Madrid boss the Marmite manager - you either love him or hate him.
    "I am one of those who has nothing but admiration for the former Chelsea chief, who I think will end up managing Manchester United one day in the very distant future when Alex Ferguson calls time.
    "But every time I see Alex he looks younger than the last occasion I bumped into him. He is showing no signs of wear and tear. His enthusiasm is limitless. He wants to carry on - so Jose could have a very long wait."
    Ferguson was appointed in 1986 and has led United to the most successful spell in the club's history.
    But Redknapp reckons Mourinho is one of the few men with the ego and the self-belief to take on the challenge of succeeding him.
    "Sure, Jose is arrogant but what is wrong with that?" he added.
    "After our game on Wednesday night, Mourinho said that the Premier League is his natural habitat and I'd have to agree.
    "Jose is switched on to the demands of the modern game and tuned in to his mega-star, world-class players who give him the utmost respect because they know he is exceptional at his job. For me, he is a very clever manager."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 15-04-11

    Kevin Phillips - two starts on the bounce.

    Birmingham's veteran striker Kevin Phillips wants another season of top flight football after believing he has proved he can still play at that level.
    Phillips, 37, will face his former club Sunderland in Saturday's Barclays Premier League relegation clash at St Andrew's.
    He has vowed not to celebrate should he score and plunge the Black Cats closer to the relegation zone after a disastrous run of one point from eight games.
    But Phillips' current over-riding emotion is of joy after being brought back to the forefront of Blues boss Alex McLeish's plans at the business end of the season.
    He has started the last two matches against Bolton - when he scored in a 2-1 win - and Blackburn from which City have picked up four points to ease their fears of going down.
    Phillips said: "My legs haven't gone, believe you me, and it's nice to have the confidence from the manager of being picked.
    "I think the most important thing from my point of view is can I still play at this level because you do start questioning things.
    "I think I've proved to myself and a lot of people that I can certainly still play at this level and it's an immense enjoyment.
    "It's given me that appetite again and makes me want to play for a lot longer, definitely .
    "I've questioned my ability, or my ability to put the ball in the back of the net.
    "But I've been quite proud of myself in the last two weeks that I've lasted 90 minutes and I've actually felt stronger as the games have gone on."
    Phillips added: "You have to ask the manager whether I play every game from now until the end of the season or 50 or 60% of them.
    "But I certainly feel that I can still put the ball in the back of the net and if we create chances I can certainly put them in.
    "But it's not all about me. As a team we've got an extremely tough job to do but one that we believe we can see through."
    Phillips believes Sunderland have the right combination in his former strike partner and current chairman, Niall Quinn, and manager Steve Bruce to steer them out of trouble.
    He said: "I think Niall would be great to work with. Everyone you speak to up there adores him. He's a gentle person but when he needs to crack the whip he'll crack the whip.
    "It's pretty obvious they're having a tough time at the moment but I believe they've got the right person in charge to see them through it. I'd rather be in their position at the moment, three points better off than we are.
    "I certainly believe they'll be okay because they've got the players and the staff there and certainly the manager to get them through this difficult period."
    Phillips added: "I've actually been up and seen them quite a bit lately through doing a lot of media work. I've been back quite a few times, so I think they're getting bored of seeing me.
    "Let's hope come quarter to five on Saturday evening they're fed up of seeing me again! It's a big game for us at the weekend
    "All emotions and ties go out of the window at the weekend. The game is more important for us, we believe.
    "I hope they stay in the league - and I'm sure they will - but I'm a Birmingham City player now and I want us to win Saturday.
    "If it takes me scoring the winner in the 89th, 90th minute, then so be it, but I certainly won't celebrate."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 15-04-11

    Hughes - signs Burn in the summer.

    Teenage defender Dan Burn will join Fulham from Darlington in the summer for a record-breaking transfer fee.
    The 18-year-old centre-back, who has agreed a three-year deal at Craven Cottage, will move for an initial six-figure fee which has not been disclosed by the clubs, but is reportedly higher than the non-league record of 260,000.
    The Quakers, who are through to the FA Trophy final, stand to net over 1million in total for the defender, depending on his development and appearances for the Cottagers first team.
    Burn, who had been linked with several Premier League clubs, including Everton and Newcastle, is the second Darlington player to move to Fulham in recent years following goalkeeper David Stockdale's switch in 2008.
    Quakers chairman Raj Singh was delighted to sew up the move.
    He told the Northern Echo: "This represents a fantastic bit of business for Darlington and we're delighted for Dan that he's joining a top, Premier League club.
    "Mark Cooper wanted to make sure Dan joined the right club and he kept me informed of all enquiries, ensuring we got the best possible deal while also looking after the player, so he deserves a lot of credit for that.
    "I'd also like to thank Dan's parents for the way they've handled themselves. They allowed us to handle the deal without getting involved and trusted us to make sure it was right for both the club and the player.
    "Dan will join Fulham at the end of the season and, naturally, we wish him our luck in what we hope and believe is the beginning of a very successful career."
    Burn attracted top-flight attention despite having notched up just 19 appearances for Darlington since making his debut back in December 2009.
    The teenager came into first-team reckoning in January as a stand-in for regular Adam Quinn, who is cup-tied for FA Trophy games.

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