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Thread: Latest Transfer Update at 24-04-11

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    Latest Transfer Update at 24-04-11

    Raul - admits he could have moved to United.

    Champions League record goalscorer Raul admits Manchester United was a possible destination after he left Real Madrid last summer before he moved to Schalke.
    The teams meet in the Champions League semi-final first leg on Tuesday with the former Spain striker enthusiastic about life in the Bundesliga, where he has a contract until 2012 but has expressed a desire to possibly play on after that.
    United were linked with the 33-year-old last summer before he moved to Germany and Raul confirmed there was contact with the Old Trafford club.
    He said: "There were a couple of possibilities and United was one but the only person who knows just how close, is (Sir) Alex Ferguson.
    "I never spoke to him personally but there were contacts with United.
    "Before deciding to come to SchaIke thought about England, where I had a couple of offers.
    "I love the footballing culture there, the respect for the game, the atmosphere, the intensity.
    "I've been at Old Trafford, Arsenal, at Liverpool watching Fernando Morientes and it's special.
    "I fancied the idea. I wanted to try something different. But I've been able to experience that here."
    Raul also expressed his admiration for Ryan Giggs, saying: "He's a great professional who looks after himself.
    "Giggs and (Paul Scholes) are players for whom I have an enormous admiration.
    "I would love to swap shirts with Ryan Giggs after the game. It would be a great honour."
    Schalke will go into the first leg at the Veltins-Arena as underdogs with the prospect of facing his old side in the final with Real facing Barcelona in the other semi-final.
    Raul said: "We dream of beating United.
    "Let's see if we're the better team. Logic says United will be - but we'll try."
    Should Ralf Rangnick's side pull off a shock victory over the Premier League leaders, Raul could come up against his old side at Wembley in May with Real facing Barcelona in the second semi-final.
    Of such a scenario, Raul said: "I don't know. right now, I can't find the words. If it happens, it would be more than special.
    "We didn't expect to get here so we're satisfied. Now we want a little more: we don't know when the chance will present itself again.
    "A final would be even more incredible. I hope it's Madrid.....well, I don't know actually. It would be strange. Very strange.
    "If you can guarantee that we'll win the final, maybe it would even be better to play Barcelona. If not, Madrid.
    "Let's see what destiny has in store."
    Meanwhile Raul admits he would like to continue playing when his contract with Schalke runs out.
    Raul, the record scorer in the Champions League with 71 goals, said: "Next year we might not be in the Champions League but I won't leave.
    "Before joining Schalke there was a chance to join other teams but this was what I needed - to play regularly, to battle a little longer.
    "I feel good physically, good mentally, and I hope to continue for at least another year.
    "If I feel like it, if it attracts me, I would love to carry on beyond that."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 24-04-11

    Samir Nasri - good season for Arsenal.

    Arsene Wenger is "very optimistic" Samir Nasri will extend his contract with Arsenal - and sees no reason why all the current squad cannot fulfil their desire for success at the Emirates Stadium.
    The 23-year-old France midfielder Nasri and full-back Gael Clichy are moving towards the final year of their current deals.
    Wenger is determined to keep hold of the group, building the team around captain Cesc Fabregas and England teenager Jack Wilshere.
    The Gunners boss said: "We are talking to Nasri and his agent already and we have the same situation with Clichy. We have agreed to speak about it during the summer.
    "The players have the opportunity here to do it in their own way, with their own philosophy, with their own togetherness.
    "When you sign a contract for four or five years, you are committed through your contract to win trophies with the club where you sign.
    "It is in no contract that if you do not win a trophy the first year, you can leave."
    Wenger maintains Arsenal will continue to have an "absolute commitment to youth" as they look to stay ahead of the likes of big-spending Manchester City.
    However, the Gunners boss also suggested he was ready to add "what was needed" this summer to keep his squad competitive.
    "Nobody asks them to wait. We can win straight away," Wenger continued.
    "You speak like the players are not responsible for winning trophies. They are as well responsible, as I am, as the fans are.
    "Why do you think we pay the players? A club, a football team, is a togetherness between the manager, the players, the club, the philosophy, and a commitment.
    "After that you can have some individual situations, but it cannot be a philosophy that if at any time we do not win I should move on.
    "It is down to belief, the direct consequence of the motivation you put into your next game.
    "If your belief is very low, your feeling is very low.
    "What I think we can get from our performances is the belief that we have the quality."
    Wenger takes his side to Bolton on Sunday afternoon fighting to stay in the title race after another missed opportunity to close the gap on leaders Manchester United when they drew 3-3 at Tottenham having at one stage held a two-goal lead.
    The Gunners boss, however, maintains all is not yet lost.
    "We are fighting for the championship and I am always sitting in a position where you force me to explain why we fail," Wenger said.
    "For me it's not a comfortable situation because we are fighting in a period where the most important thing is to have belief in what we do and you keep saying 'why have you failed to win?'.
    "Let's just play for it first and have a go.
    "For me it is important to give absolutely everything until the last game of the season, to be proud, and then, as I have said many times, if there has been somebody better we will have to accept that.
    "But at the moment I don't accept that there is somebody better."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 24-04-11

    Stuart McCall celebrates after Motherwell's fightback.

    Manager Stuart McCall revealed Motherwell have made striker John Sutton "the best deal we can offer" after the striker scored twice as the Scottish Cup finalists came from three goals down to draw 3-3 with Hearts at Tynecastle.
    Hearts appeared to be cruising towards victory after Craig Thomson, with a penalty, Rudi Skacel and Ryan Stevenson netted.
    But Motherwell responded with three second-half goals, Sutton netting headers either side of a Tom Hateley free-kick which evaded everyone.
    Sutton, whose second goal came after 88 minutes, is out of contract at the end of the season and has been linked to Hearts, among other clubs.
    McCall met with Sutton's agent on Friday afternoon and tabled an offer for the striker.
    He said: "We've offered John the best deal we can offer him, regardless if he goes on and scores a hat-trick in the cup final or whatever. We can't do any more. If it's good enough we'll be delighted.
    "We'd love him to stay. The grass is not always greener and sometimes it's not all about finances. There's a lot to be said if you're content and happy where you are."
    On the link with Hearts, McCall said: "He's not going to get a game here when (Kevin) Kyle's fit."
    Sutton said he had not yet been made an offer, but admitted being happy at Fir Park could convince him to stay.
    He said: "I enjoy coming in every day to training and the way we played second half, maybe not first half, is great to be a part of."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 24-04-11

    Martinez - assured he won't be sacked.

    Roberto Martinez has been assured by Wigan owner Dave Whelan that there is no threat to his post even if the Latics are relegated this season.
    Saturday's 4-2 defeat against Sunderland meant Wigan slipped back into the relegation zone with just four games remaining.
    But Martinez is in the fortunate position of knowing that whatever happens to his side, he will still be in a job next season.
    "I'm privileged, I've always said that," admitted Martinez.
    "My chairman is unique. He's very demanding and ruthless when he has to be, but he allows you to work.
    "He has said to me that whatever happens I'm going to stay until the end of my contract [in 2012].
    "That allows me to work long term and gives me and the club stability."
    Martinez, who penned a three-year deal with Wigan in the summer of 2009, added: "The players also know that, whatever happens, they have to put up with me next season.
    "Dave Whelan has given me his full support in the time I have been manager and I'm going to go that extra mile to make him happy and proud.
    "For Wigan to be in the Premier League for six or seven years is a story that comes from the chairman.
    "We'll carry that on together and I want to take Wigan to the next level."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 24-04-11

    Carew - not sure where he will be next season.

    John Carew has enjoyed his time at Stoke, but admits he is unsure as to whether he will be staying on beyond the summer.
    The Norwegian striker is currently on a deal with the Potters which will run until the end of the season.
    There is some uncertainty as to what will happen after that, with Stoke claiming they landed Carew after his contract was cancelled at Aston Villa.
    Some reports suggest that is not the case, though, with Carew having merely been loaned to the Potters for the remainder of the campaign.
    The experienced frontman claims even he is uncertain where he stands, with his future having been put on hold for now.
    He claims his full focus is on helping Stoke end the season on a high, with an FA Cup final appearance against Manchester City giving them something to look forward to.
    "It feels very good to be playing in an FA Cup final, it is something you hear about growing up as a kid," said Carew.
    "I had a chance last year when I got to the semi-final with Villa and now I am in the final with Stoke so it is fantastic.
    "I am really, really happy in Stoke, but all the talk about my future will have to wait until after the season. But I am really happy here."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 24-04-11

    John Sutton - has been linked with Hearts.

    John Sutton insisted his focus is on helping Motherwell climb the Clydesdale Bank Premier League and win the Scottish Cup amid continuing talk over his future.
    The 27-year-old striker, who is out of contract at the end of the season, netted a double in Well's 3-3 draw at Hearts on Saturday.
    Hearts are reportedly one of the parties interested in acquiring Sutton's services, but he remains committed to helping Motherwell completing the season in successful fashion.
    He said: "We'd like to finish fifth, if not fourth, and then it's one of the biggest games in the club's history (the Scottish Cup final) after that. That's everyone's objective at the moment."
    Motherwell manager Stuart McCall revealed after the match at Tynecastle that Sutton was offered "the best deal we can offer" on Friday and reiterated his belief that job satisfaction is all-important.
    After taking his tally to 17 goals this season, Sutton admitted he is enjoying the best spell of his career and is happy at Fir Park.
    He added: "I've enjoyed playing under the new manager. He's played me where I feel I'm more effective, through the middle, and I think we've got something good going at the club.
    "As a striker you're always reliant on the service and it was a great ball in by Steve Jones and an even better one by Gavin Gunning I managed to get on the end of.
    "If you get deliveries like that it certainly makes your job a lot easier."
    After Craig Thomson, with a penalty, Rudi Skacel and Ryan Stevenson handed Hearts a 3-0 lead with 53 minutes played, Hearts appeared to be cruising.
    But Sutton headed in from Jones' cross two minutes after Stevenson's strike and after 60 minutes Tom Hateley's free-kick evaded everyone to go in.
    Sutton capped the comeback by stooping to head in Gunning's left-wing cross and deny Hearts the three points which had seemed a formality.
    Sutton insists he never doubted his side's ability to respond.
    He said: "We're probably the most inconsistent team in the SPL, you never really know what to expect from us.
    "Three-nil down is not a good position but I don't think I ever thought we were out of it.
    "We were 6-2 down with 20 minutes to go last year (against Hibernian), so that was relatively easy by comparison."
    Thomson's 26th-minute penalty was his first goal for Hearts, having earlier in the week been appointed penalty taker by manager Jim Jefferies.
    Hearts now have one win from their last eight games and their advantage over fourth-placed Dundee United has been reduced to seven points with four games remaining.
    United play Hearts on the final day of the season and Thomson hopes Jefferies' men have secured third position prior to the May 15 trip to Tannadice.
    He said: "Hopefully we can wrap it up before that. It would be pretty nerve-wracking to play on that day and it would be a cracking game.
    "We're just trying to get as many points as we can and get third place wrapped up as quickly as we can."
    Hearts' only win in their last eight games came at St Mirren, but Thomson insists they have not relaxed in their pursuit of third place, despite once holding a seemingly unassailable 15-point lead.
    He added: "In a few of the games we've been unlucky not to get a result. We've just got to keep plugging away and try and get to the end of the season in third place.
    "Dundee United have been different class in pulling out wins, but hopefully we can keep third place."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 24-04-11

    Craig Conway - three assists and a goal.

    Dundee United striker David Goodwillie believes it would be a huge loss for his club if Craig Conway leaves Tannadice in the summer.
    The winger played an instrumental role in United's 4-2 victory over Kilmarnock on Saturday by setting up the first three goals before netting the fourth with a stunning strike.
    Goodwillie is desperate for Conway, who is out of contract in the summer, to remain with the Tangerines.
    He said: "Conway was on fire and set up three and scored one. I think it would be a massive miss for the club if he moved on.
    "I don't think people realise how much he does. He creates so many goals and if he does go, hopefully we can replace him."
    Goodwillie scored twice in United's convincing win over the Rugby Park side to take his tally for the season to 18.
    The 22-year-old, who required three stitches to a facial cut, is hopeful he can take his goal haul to 20 before the end of the season.
    He said: "I'm happy to be on 18. At the start of the season I was aiming to score 15 but now that I have reached that it would be great if I could get up to 20."
    The striker was disappointed that he was not able to notch his first hat-trick of the season when he spurned a glorious opportunity in the closing stages by firing straight at Killie goalkeeper Cammy Bell.
    He added: "I was a bit frustrated that I didn't get my hat-trick but the main thing was that we won. I'll keep working away and it will come eventually.
    "I tried to chip it but I kicked the ground before the ball - I'm blaming the groundsman for that one!"
    Kilmarnock left-back Garry Hay admitted the defeat to United all but ended his team's hopes of finishing fourth in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League. The Tannadice side are now eight points ahead of Killie with only four matches remaining.
    He said: "Dundee United are too many points ahead of us now. They are too good a team to not go on and get more points this season.
    "We will concentrate on battling for fifth place.
    "It is still great for us to be up where we are when you consider where we were this time last season.
    "We are disappointed with the defeat but we will move on and try and rectify it against Hearts next week."
    Hay was particularly disappointed that his side conceded three headed goals.
    He added: "In fairness we haven't conceded too many goals from set-pieces this season but it has cost us here.
    "We shot ourselves in the foot with some of our defending at the first two goals. We had hoped to come out after the break and get the first goal but when United scored the third the game was basically dead."

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