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Thread: Latest Transfer Update at 23-04-11

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    Arrow Latest Transfer Update at 23-04-11

    Latest Transfer Update at 23-04-11

    Wenger - no intention of splashing the cash.

    Arsene Wenger maintains Arsenal do not need an influx of big-money signings this summer.
    Although the Gunners extended their unbeaten run to 16 Barclays Premier League games following a pulsating 3-3 draw at north London neighbours Tottenham, they have won only three of the last nine.
    Those missed opportunities have seen Arsenal now slip down to third place on goal difference behind Chelsea, trailing leaders Manchester United by six points.
    Wenger has again been forced to defend the make-up of his young team in the wake of another capitulation, having led 3-1 at White Hart Lane just before half-time.
    However, although the Arsenal manager is reported to have 40million available should he wish to improve the squad this summer, Wenger insists major surgery is not necessary.
    "I feel there is always a need to improve the team, but if you look at our season you cannot come to the conclusion we need a massive change. That would be completely stupid," he said.
    "We live in a world where when you are the second best by a little everybody says you are rubbish. It is not true. That is the modern world, but it is not the reality.
    "We are there, but because we have not won trophies people destroy us completely."
    Wenger added: "What is good in our world is that everybody is bankrupt, but the guy who doesn't spend is an idiot."
    Arsenal, who moved to the Emirates Stadium in 2006, may not currently have the financial muscle of the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City, both bankrolled by wealthy owners, but Wenger's men have remained competitive on the pitch as they look to qualify again for the Champions League.
    "We decided to develop our own players because we cant buy players like Ronaldo, who cost 85million," Wenger said.
    "The way to fight against these teams is to build our own team with our philosophy and then try to make them."
    Wenger continued: "Our target was to build a new stadium without dropping from the top.
    "We knew it would be a difficult period for four or five years, so we had to make a decision how can we maintain the top with less money available.
    "For me we did well. Now, of course, people become impatient.
    "I can understand that completely because I am impatient as well - that is why you see me agitated."
    Wenger has certainly been animated on the touchline recently - having a heated exchange with Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish at the final whistle last weekend and heading onto the pitch to confront officials over the amount of added time when his side had conceded a late penalty moments after netting one themselves.
    While the 61-year-old admits he can never switch off from football he insists he has no thoughts of calling quits just yet.
    "I am stressed of course, you cannot care about things and not be stressed - your stress as well is linked with the uncertainty level, and in football, the uncertainty level is very high, so that creates of course a tension," he said.
    "But I am perfectly happy in my job when I see my team play football on Wednesday night, I cannot be enjoying the game.
    "I am not as much a prisoner of the whole tension created by the media. I can take a distance with that quite easily."
    Arsenal head to Bolton on Sunday afternoon, by which time they could have fallen further behind both United and Chelsea.
    Wenger, though, is convinced if his men can now win each of their remaining fixtures - which include a showdown with United at Emirates Stadium on May 1 - then that will be enough for a first title since the 'Invincibles' season of 2003/2004.
    "In our plan, we have to beat Manchester United, but not even for sure because they can drop points as well.
    "However, you would consider that is a certainty and that is where we can show it - but let's win the next game and that is when we go to Bolton."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 23-04-11

    Redknapp - wants club to spend.

    Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has called on chairman Daniel Levy to spend big this summer, regardless of whether the club qualify for the Champions League or not.
    Redknapp is currently heading an ambitious project that he hopes will bring Champions League football to White Hart Lane on a regular basis.
    He is also confident that his team can challenge for the Barclays Premier League within the next few years, but stresses that he needs a couple of top-class additions to his squad to make that possible.
    Levy was willing to sanction a marquee signing this winter and is thought to have made club-record bids for Sergio Aguero, Diego Forlan and Giuseppe Rossi in January.
    Tottenham's coffers have been boosted considerably since they qualified for the Champions League last season, but there are fears they will not be able to sanction such bids if they do not make up the two-point gap which separates them and fourth-place Manchester City.
    Redknapp believes Tottenham would be taking a backward step if Levy fails to back him this summer, even if they had to settle for taking part in the Europa League.
    "There shouldn't be two transfer scenarios," Redknapp said. "If you want to get into the Champions League again you have to keep improving.
    "People say 'If we get in the Champions League we'll buy some great players' but if you don't buy some great players you won't get in the Champions League. That's how it works."
    There are fears that Europe's biggest clubs will come in for Tottenham's brightest stars if they do not make it into the top four.
    Attracting players to play in the Europa League could also be difficult, but Redknapp denies that is the case.
    "People will come here anyway," Redknapp said ahead of Saturday's home match against West Brom. "They'll see we were in the Champions League last year and want to get into again.
    "If you pay them the wages they'll come."
    One player who will not be joining this summer according to Redknapp is the newly-crowned Football Writers' Association player of the year Scott Parker.
    Redknapp lodged a bid to sign the 30-year-old last summer but the emergence of Brazil midfielder Sandro means his

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 23-04-11

    Kenny Dalglish - backed by Lucas.

    Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish is still awaiting confirmation of his permanent appointment at Anfield, but midfielder Lucas Leiva is confident it will only be "a matter of time".
    The Scot has overseen such a remarkable turnaround in fortunes in such a short period there can be little argument against the man rated the club's greatest player being given the job on a long-term basis.
    There is no doubt in the mind of Lucas it will happen sooner rather than later, with the Brazil international admitting the whole squad are keen to continue working with the 60-year-old to continue their progress.
    "The way he came to the club and the way he changed a lot, it is just a matter of time (before) he will agree his new deal," said the 24-year-old, who has been the club's most consistent performer this season.
    "As players we just have to hope he will be here next year with us. We will try to win the next five games, if we do that we will be helping him as well.
    "Kenny and Steve Clarke (the former Chelsea assistant who arrived as coach just after Dalglish) have done really well.
    "They have changed the principles of the training sessions with Sammy Lee, who has been here a few years already.
    "The way they have changed things, giving all the team confidence, is really important.
    "Kenny is the key to keeping everyone together and keep the confidence of everyone."
    Clarke's influence should not be underestimated, but it appears changes elsewhere have had as much to do with the upturn in results as the work being done on the pitches at Melwood.
    Roy Hodgson's ill-fated six-month spell in charge was among the worst fans can remember, with poor performances and an atmosphere of unrest and unhappiness among the squad.
    Fenway Sports Group's purchase of the club in October ended the dysfunctional tenure of Tom Hicks and George Gillett, and the renewed hope it brought briefly impacted on results.
    But the downward spiral soon returned and it was not until, after nine defeats in 20 Barclays Premier League matches, Hodgson was replaced by Dalglish, that the transformation began.
    Lucas feels it was not necessarily the tactical approach but a personal one which prompted the turnaround.
    "One of the things I really like about Kenny is he treats everyone the same," he said.
    "It doesn't matter if you are young or a senior player, everyone has the same importance in the club and it gives everyone a big lift.
    "We are together, more united. It is difficult to explain, but I feel the dressing room is much better now than it was before.
    "We didn't have before the atmosphere that we have now in the dressing room.
    "The relationship is not just professional, we have become more friends than before and that's helped a lot on the pitch.
    "When you like your team-mates you try to help them a lot and that's that we are doing. The spirit has been really good.
    "All the players are really looking forward to the future. The only way we will change things is if we are together."
    Lucas, unlike many of his team-mates, was having a good campaign even before the change of manager, but feels he has benefited from the input of Dalglish.
    "I am really happy with the way I am playing this season," he said.
    "A few players left and I had to take the responsibility more than previous seasons and I think that is why I am enjoying my football.
    "Kenny has been really important for me because he's given me a lot of confidence.
    "He's a manager that doesn't say a lot but when he does it's spot-on.
    "I just have to keep going and I still have a lot of things to improve and the only way to keep the same level is to work hard."
    Lucas will anchor the midfield against Birmingham at Anfield tomorrow as the Reds continue their bid to catch fifth-placed Tottenham.
    "We know how important it is to play European competition next season and we are trying really hard to get it," he added.
    "Birmingham are a very difficult team, they beat Arsenal in the Carling Cup and I don't think people expected that, but it showed they have quality players and a good squad."
    Meanwhile, the club have refused to comment on reports they have lined up a record-breaking 25million-a-year kit deal with Warrior, a subsidiary of New Balance, to begin in the 2012-13 season.

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 23-04-11

    Alberto Aquilani - wants to stay in Turin.

    On-loan Liverpool midfielder Alberto Aquilani has expressed his desire to remain at Juventus long term - even though Reds manager Kenny Dalglish suggested he could stay on at Anfield.
    The 26-year-old lasted just one injury-troubled season on Merseyside after his 17million move from Roma.
    He started to show glimpses of his true form towards the end of the 2009-10 campaign but the departure of Rafael Benitez, the man who brought him to England, effectively sealed his fate.
    Benitez's successor Roy Hodgson ushered the Italy international out on loan after just two pre-season friendlies and a couple of substitute appearances in a Europa League qualifier.
    Dalglish, however, is an admirer of the midfielder's talents and yesterday said: "He could be coming back to play for Liverpool. He could be a valuable asset here next season."
    Aquilani though seems intent on remaining in his homeland, although with Juventus apparently unwilling to pay the 14million fee agreed at the outset of his loan deal, his future remains unclear.
    "My situation is simple. It all depends on Juventus - if they want to, (they can) buy me without asking anyone's opinion," Aquilani told Gazzetta dello Sport.
    "I would like to stay in Turin for a long time and win a lot.
    "I want to be a protagonist in the new winning cycle that is opening up at Juventus.
    "I have no doubt that Juve's project is a winner, they just need a little patience."
    Aquilani also feels, after 29 Serie A appearances for Juventus, that he has finally shaken off his injury-prone reputation.
    "I played with great continuity, without any particular problems," he added.
    "I finally removed the tag of me always being injured. I knew I was healthy, that I was just unlucky in the past, but in football people just want to label someone."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 23-04-11

    Steve Kean - going nowhere.

    Blackburn boss Steve Kean has vowed to continue in the job despite the growing calls for him to quit.
    Kean, 43, was appointed as the manager at Ewood Park following Sam Allardyce's dismissal from the post in December.
    However, Kean has overseen a dire run that has seen Rovers fall to just two points above the drop zone.
    The run has left many fans calling for him to be ousted as concerns about his lack of experience continue to dog his first management appointment.
    "Do I think about quitting? Not for a day, not for a second. It just makes me more determined to go out and win," said Kean.
    "I think the criticism has been harsh. There was little written or said when we got a point at Arsenal.
    "Then the whole world is going to end because we have drawn a game [at home to Birmingham]."
    The criticism of Kean has not just been exclusively the preserve of the national media, with even the local newspaper questioning his abilities.
    Yet, the former Reading and Fulham coach insists he will draw on the negatives of this testing period to provide a positive outcome for Rovers' campaign.
    "It has been difficult to take. It's in your face all the time and even the local paper is negative," he added.
    "The lads don't like it. David Dunn and Phil Jones are from around here and they feel it is harsh.
    "I can understand the frustration of the fans. We are sharing it too. But we are going to use it and harness it in our favour.
    "There have been too many draws but it is very fine margins and we have more points away from home than we did last season.
    "The flak goes with the job. You have to have broad shoulders and hopefully the fans will see we mean business from the first whistle."
    Blackburn face Manchester City on Saturday - and the visitors will be without Carlos Tevez.
    Kean believes Roberto Mancini's side will miss the Argentina striker but accepts the strength in depth of the City squad means his absence will not be a devastating one.
    "I was at the Liverpool game when Tevez pulled his hamstring, he's a quality player and I'm sure they will miss him," said Keane.
    "But they have such strength in depth that out goes one 30-40million player and another one comes in."
    Ryan Nelsen and Vince Grella are injured and Steven Nzonzi serves the last match of a three-game suspension. Roque Santa Cruz, meanwhile, is unavailable against his parent club.
    Junior Hoilett, however, the 20-year-old Canada-born striker who has been the one player to really emerge from the shadows since Kean's appointment, should be back after missing the defeat at Everton with a hamstring problem.
    Kean admits Hoilett's form has earned him a new deal but will not sit down to discuss the terms until Blackburn's future is resolved.
    "He's exploded onto the scene this season with dazzling performances at times," said Kean.
    "We are going to sit down and talk with him - but I mentioned to the directors and the owners of the importance not to take the focus away from the games and his performances.
    "If we had started the contract talks beforehand, like we did before he signed his contract the last time around, it really affected him and his form dipped and he ended up in a bad place and not in the team.
    "Hopefully he's enjoying his time here, he's been wonderful to work with and we are confident we can sit down and put something together that ties him up, like Phil Jones, for four or five years and a big commitment to the club."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 23-04-11

    Walter Smith - wants money for playing side.

    Rangers manager Walter Smith wants whoever is willing to invest the most money in the team to succeed with a takeover of the Scottish champions.
    The outgoing boss refused to be drawn on his personal preference regarding future ownership of the club other than to stress that cash for new players is essential.
    Scottish tycoon Craig Whyte's buy-out bid appeared to be close to completion earlier this week, after agreeing a deal with majority shareholder Sir David Murray and main creditor Lloyds Banking Group.
    The London-based businessman is now set to meet members of the Rangers board next week after doubts were cast over the merits of the deal - worth a reported 52.5million - by chairman Alastair Johnston.
    Johnston is keen to explore an alternative plan B, with director Paul Murray believed to be the man fronting a consortium behind the late bid.
    Smith will be replaced at the helm by assistant boss Ally McCoist when he quits Ibrox at the end of the season and he says his own views on the takeover issue are simple.
    He said: "Whoever takes over the club, the person who is going to invest the most money in the team - which hasn't had a great deal of investment over the last few years - is going to be the best person to take over the club.
    "That's my view from a purely footballing point of view. I'm kind of selfish in the respect that I would think the footballing aspect would dominate more than any other aspect.
    "The team desperately needs the investment so I would be happy to see whoever as long as they invest in the team."
    The veteran boss did not want to be drawn on reservations over the Whyte bid, adding: "I don't know anything about that. We are not involved in that aspect of it.
    "So, from my own point of view, it goes back to the very basic thing that I've just mentioned.
    "That, for me, is the biggest thing in terms of the takeover because I base whatever I've got purely on football."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 23-04-11

    Pardew - wants players to show their hunger.

    Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has challenged his players to prove their hunger to be part of the club's future during the remaining weeks of the season.
    The Magpies head for relegation-threatened Blackpool on Saturday having reached 40 points for the campaign with a hard-fought draw against Manchester United on Tuesday evening to edge themselves closer to Barclays Premier League safety.
    Victory at Bloomfield Road would surely end any lingering fears of being sucked into the relegation fight and allow the club to start planning for the new season.
    Pardew's scouts have already scattered far and wide in anticipation of a busy summer with the club intending to invest a large proportion of the 35million they received from Liverpool for Andy Carroll in January on new recruits.
    However, they will first need to thrash out the way forward with the likes of full-back Jose Enrique, who has been strongly tipped to follow Carroll to Anfield, Joey Barton and skipper Kevin Nolan, whose contracts are running down.
    Enrique and Barton have put talks on hold with the latter indicating that his decision will depend on how much ambition the club's hierarchy shows this summer.
    But Pardew insists the remaining five games also give those players an opportunity to prove that they are worth a new deal.
    He said: "We are not really going to do anything in terms of the players we have here until the end of the season.
    "That's right and proper because we have got the keep the players hungry and fighting to the end to earn that new contract. That's important."
    All three have proved key figures this season and in an ideal world, the manager would love to retain their services.
    Nolan, in particular, has continued where he left off in the npower Championship, leading by example and chipping in with 12 goals.
    Pardew has admitted he did not realise just how good a player the former Bolton man, who will return from suspension at Blackpool, was until he saw him at close hand.
    Asked if he has been surprised by Nolan's influence, he replied: "A little bit, and not just by his character and the leadership qualities he has, but as a player.
    "He's a much more accomplished player than I expected him to be - but when you actually look at what he has done, it makes more sense.
    "For a midfield player, his finishing is outstanding - as good as any striker I have worked with - and he does all the other stuff you need to do as a central midfield player.
    "He's a very, very important player."
    Newcastle head for Blackpool determined to gain revenge for their 2-0 home defeat in September, and while Pardew will have no qualms about increasing Ian Holloway's woes, he knows his opposite number will not stop fighting.
    The Magpies boss said: "People think he is just a two-season wonder, but I have been coming up against Ian for a long time and he is a capable manager.
    "He knows exactly what is right for his team, better than the media or any other manager. He knows what he's got there and believe you me, if anybody can get it out of a team, it's him.
    "He's an outstanding manager and somebody I really like. I like his flamboyant nature and what he does and what he represents.
    "He represents good things in the game and you have to admire that in him.
    "His team deserved all the plaudits they got earlier in the season.
    "Now, it's a different agenda. They are taking a little bit of criticism and it's something else they have to deal with.
    "That's the Premier League - it gives you different challenges. The challenge in front of them now, of course, is to stay in the division, and I think there's enough fight in that team to do it."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 23-04-11

    Diouf - future up in the air.

    Mame Biram Diouf is prepared to put his personal future on hold as he attempts to stabilise Blackburn's.
    The Senegalese striker is unsure what the summer will hold for him, with his loan deal at Ewood Park set to expire at the end of the season.
    He will be due back at parent club Manchester United once the deal reaches a conclusion, but his future at Old Trafford remains up in the air.
    Diouf has been unable to convince Sir Alex Ferguson that he is worthy of a regular role at United, with just 16 appearances for Blackburn.
    The 23-year-old is prepared to wait and see what the 2011/12 season holds, with helping Rovers steer clear of relegation danger his priority for now.
    He told the Lancashire Telegraph: "From now I can't think about Manchester United and I won't. My vision at the moment is just to play for Blackburn Rovers and to help them.
    "We have got five games to play and it is all about that. We just have to survive and we have to do well and that is what I am focused on.
    "At the end of the season we will see what happens but that does not matter at the moment."
    Blackburn sit just two points above the relegation zone heading into Monday's meeting with Manchester City and Diouf is hoping he will get an opportunity.
    "It is always hard to be in the bottom and so hopefully we are not going to be there," he said.
    "We have to make ourselves play like we know we can.
    "We know we have the talent and the players to do well. Every player can do it and we just have to work together and things will get better.
    "My job is to score goals. I just want to show my best, do the best I can and hopefully the gaffer will see it. If he plays me in the first team then I will try and do my best."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 23-04-11

    Sam Vokes - back with Wolves.

    Wolves have recalled striker Sam Vokes from his loan spell with Championship promotion-chasers Norwich.
    Vokes was a late substitute in the Canaries' 5-1 derby win at Ipswich on Thursday night and made four appearances for the Carrow Road outfit, scoring in the 2-2 draw at Watford.
    He has returned to Molineux as cover after Kevin Doyle and Sylvan Ebanks-Blake were sidelined by injuries.
    Doyle is now back in light training and could return to action before the end of the season, while Ebanks-Blake is also back in training ahead of Saturday's clash with Fulham.
    A statement on Norwich's official website said: "Norwich City would like to thank Mick McCarthy and Wolves for allowing Vokes to make the loan move to Carrow Road and wish him all the best for the rest of the season."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 23-04-11

    Craig Brown - Milsom deal done.

    Midfielder Rob Milsom has signed a two-year contract to stay at Aberdeen.
    The 24-year-old Fulham youth academy product moved to Pittodrie in January.
    Milsom has made 15 appearances for the Dons and netted his first goal in the 3-2 loss to St Mirren earlier this month.
    Manager Craig Brown said: "We are very pleased that Rob Milsom has signed a contract to stay with the club.
    "That is excellent for Aberdeen Football Club and he has made a good impact since he has come to the club.
    "All the correspondence and information I get from the fans is that he is a very popular player here. (He is) certainly very popular in the dressing room and with the staff so we are delighted about that signing.
    "There was interest from other SPL clubs so we are very, very pleased to have managed to get Rob signed at Aberdeen."
    Clark Robertson has also signed a two-year deal with the club.

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