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Thread: Latest Transfer Update at 02-05-11

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    Arrow Latest Transfer Update at 02-05-11

    Latest Transfer Update at 02-05-11


    Bacary Sagna - Arsenal have 'failed'.
    SAGNA FEARS CESC FABREGAS EXIT

    Arsenal full-back Bacary Sagna would understand if Cesc Fabregas left the Gunners in search of silverware this summer.
    Sagna said the club had "failed" this season after coming up short in the Carling Cup, the FA Cup and the Champions League, and they are almost certain to lose out in the Barclays Premier League title race.
    Star man and captain Fabregas was courted by his hometown club Barcelona last summer and Sagna accepts the Spain midfielder's head could be turned by an offer from a club with better prospects of winning titles than Arsenal.
    He told the News of the World: "I would understand if Cesc leaves. He has been here at Arsenal for a long time and he wants to win trophies. As professionals we want to be successful and win cups and titles but we haven't won a thing for six years."
    The closest Arsenal have come this season was in the Carling Cup, where they suffered a surprise 2-1 defeat to Birmingham in the final at Wembley after a late defensive mix-up gifted the Blues a winner.
    Sagna admitted the campaign had been a bad one for the Gunners and added: "It's embarrassing to be part of a team that hasn't won a trophy for six years. We failed.
    "It's not the manager's fault, it's the players'. Some people say Arsene Wenger's not doing well, but he doesn't play. Everyone was sad at Bolton (where Arsenal lost last Sunday). We have to be stronger in battle, that's what we said after the game last Sunday.
    "We know we are not a bad team. We have the quality to finish first, but we lost. This is the fault of the players - we have failed."


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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 02-05-11

    Manuel Neuer - linked with United.
    BAYERN: NEUER WON'T JOIN MAN UTD

    Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge insists Schalke's valuation and not reported interest from Manchester United is the main hurdle to signing Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.
    The Bavarians are leading the chase for the goalkeeper, who has already announced that he will not be extending his contract beyond 2012, but their valuation is reportedly to be as much as six million euros less than Schalke's
    Neuer won praise from United boss Sir Alex Ferguson for his display in Schalke's Champions League semi-final first-leg defeat last week and, with the Barclays Premier League side on the lookout for a replacement for Edwin van der Sar for next season, has been linked with a move Old Trafford.
    But Rummenigge ruled out that possibility.
    "Let's talk about the facts," he said to ZDF television.
    "Fact one is Manuel Neuer will not be staying with Schalke beyond 2012. Fact two is that Manuel Neuer will not be moving abroad."
    However, a switch to Bayern is still not certain.
    "We are in talks with Schalke, but I am not as optimistic as certain members of the media," Rummenigge told Sky television.
    "We don't have any urgency, though. It is only April 30 and the transfer market closes on August 31.
    "We will see if we can find a solution. If there is one, then OK, but if not then both clubs will have to live with it."
    And Schalke coach Ralf Rangnick insists he would be more than happy to keep hold of the keeper.
    "We will only sell Manuel when our expectations have been fulfilled," he told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper.
    "Munich have been saying that they will not pay an astronomical fee and that Schalke have got to budge.
    "Why should a club budge when they have a player who they want to keep hold of?
    "Personally, I would prefer it if Manuel stayed another season with us."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 02-05-11

    Peter Odemwingie celebrates his goal against Villa.
    HODGSON KEEN TO BUILD UP BAGGIES

    Roy Hodgson wants to keep leading scorer Peter Odemwingie and West Brom's other star players after virtually guaranteeing Barclays Premier League football for another campaign with a 2-1 win over Aston Villa.
    Odemwingie, who has netted 14 goals this season, has been the subject of speculation suggesting he may leave the Baggies this summer.
    But the Nigeria international has already stressed he is happy to remain at The Hawthorns and head coach Hodgson is in the same frame of mind.
    He said: "You can't stop people like Peter attracting attention. Our aim with Peter is to make sure he is happy here with us and he wants to stay with us.
    "I don't know what offers will come our way for him and, if they do, we will have to deal with them. But our intention is to build on what we are doing at the moment.
    "We've laid some sort of foundation, our aim is to build on it and make the place a lot stronger.
    "We are not going to do that by messing around with our current foundations.
    "People like Chris Brunt, Peter Odemwingie and Youssouf Mulumbu, just to name three, are very much a part of our foundations."
    Odemwingie was on target for the fourth successive game as Albion's home success over Villa moved them eight points clear of the bottom three with just three games remaining.
    Hodgson said: "His goals have been vital. He has done extremely well. But it is still his first year in the Premier League and next year, if we can carry on working with him, and continue working at our game, he will get even better.
    "Whether he will score as many goals I don't know, but he will certainly be a better player."
    Hodgson has been linked with a move for Fulham striker Andy Johnson, who played under him at Craven Cottage.
    He is downplaying any interest at the moment, but is a big admirer of the player.
    Hodgson said: "Andy is a wonderful player, a wonderful person. It would be wrong of me at this moment in time to discuss players.
    "All I'll have to say is any players we bring in to compliment what we have got will have to be the right type.
    "What we cannot afford to do is duplicate players of very similar types.
    "But, if you are asking me my opinion of Andy Johnson, it is sky high, as it is with Bobby Zamora.
    "They are first-class blokes, first-class players and wherever Andy goes, the club that gets him is lucky to have him."
    Villa's on-loan defender Kyle Walker has hinted he would be happy to return to the
    club next season if he is unable to force his way into the Tottenham side.
    Walker said: "My main thing is just to play football. It's the game I love. I get out of bed every morning and play football.
    "That's all I really want to be doing. If I can do it at Spurs, then perfect. If not, we will see what happens.
    "Would Villa be a nice option again? Villa is perfect but you never know. Football is weird."
    Walker is full of praise for the way caretaker boss Gary McAllister has filled the breach while manager Gerard Houllier recovers from his heart problem.
    He said: "Macca has done brilliant to be fair. He does take training a lot and the lads have a good understanding with him.
    "It's been strange (without Houllier) but good as well."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 02-05-11

    Jermaine Jones - 'absolute quality', says Kean.
    KEAN 'DESPERATE' TO KEEP JONES

    Blackburn manager Steve Kean is determined to make Jermaine Jones' loan signing permanent in the summer after the midfielder played a leading role in securing their first victory since January.
    The 1-0 win over Bolton at Ewood Park moved Rovers closer to Barclays Premier League survival and silenced the away fans who had taunted their hosts with chants of 'You should've kept Big Sam'.
    Kean still has work to do to justify his appointment in place of Sam Allardyce, sacked in December following the takeover of the club by the Venky's Group.
    But Saturday's thoroughly-deserved win, courtesy of Martin Olsson's first-half toe-poke which caught goalkeeper Adam Bogdan by surprise, was a move towards doing so, and the signing of USA international Jones, who joined on loan until the end of the season in January, from Champions League semi-finalists Schalke would be another step forward.
    "I think Jermaine's been in this form for a number of weeks," Kean said.
    "At times it looked as though there were two of him in there. He was getting back, he was screening Kevin Davies, he was pushing up into midfield.
    "Then he was driving on, that's the type of energy he's got. I thought he was absolute quality.
    "We're desperate to keep Jermaine and he wants to stay. We tried to fix a price with Schalke, but we couldn't so we've just got an agreement with Schalke until the end of the season.
    "And if we can do some good business then hopefully he's going to be a Blackburn Rovers player for pre-season."
    The only worry for Rovers might be the fact Felix Magath, the coach with whom Jones fell out, has since been replaced in Gelsenkirchen by Ralf Rangnick.
    Kean has been eager to bring a more attractive brand of football to Ewood Park, but before yesterday's win the facts spoke for themselves. Rovers had taken 21 of their points this season under Allardyce and just 14 under Kean, with both having taken charge of 17 games.
    "Looking forward to seeing Blackburn's attractive football (I've) been hearing Kean talk about," Bolton striker Davies posted on Twitter ahead of the game.
    But if, deep in a relegation fight, Rovers have had to place the emphasis on substance rather than style, they were still far to good for their woeful opponents.
    Olsson ran David Wheater ragged all afternoon and the hosts had enough chances to make the win more comfortable, even if Bolton hit the post through Rodrigo Moreno when the game was goalless.
    That post turned out to be one of Davies' last as he today announced he was leaving the social networking site.
    "Reason for leaving is partly due to abuse that nobody needs really. After 18 years in pro football abuse is part of the job description," he said.
    His manager Owen Coyle also felt Rovers had not exactly moved away from the long-ball style they had grown renowned for.
    "Conditions weren't ideal with the wind certainly swirling about and it certainly suited the high ball, so fair play to Blackburn, they've won the game," he said.
    Coyle was, though, keen to focus on the positives after a second straight defeat.
    "We've made remarkable progress in 16 months from a team which was one of the favourites for relegation," he said.
    "What we have to do now is try and finish the season strongly. We've three games left, two at home against Sunderland and Manchester City, and one away against Blackpool.
    "We have to go and gather as many points as we can to finish in a nice position in the league and show that we've made progress and then in the summer try to add to the squad we have."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 02-05-11

    Mancini - already planning for next season.
    MANCINI LINES UP SUMMER TARGETS

    Roberto Mancini has been drawing up a list of transfer targets for next season but will wait until after the FA Cup final before speaking to Manchester City's owners.
    City have been big spenders in the transfer market since Sheikh Mansour's takeover in 2008 and are again expected to invest heavily in the summer.
    Mancini has been linked with a string of high-profile players from across Europe and is identifying what areas of his squad require strengthening.
    However, the City boss wants to wait until after the cup final with Stoke on May 14 before finalising his plans for the summer recruitment drive.
    "We began to work on targets maybe two or three months ago, but it is difficult to say which players because we have so many out on loan and we don't know who will leave," said Mancini.
    "But if we play in the Champions League we need to be stronger. When you play that, the Premier League and the FA Cup, you need more strong players.
    "We had problems in February and March when we played in the Europa League, the Premier League and FA Cup and we got injuries. It was difficult.
    "At the moment no talks with the owners have been planned because the owners and everyone who works at the club are focused on the next games.
    "But after the FA Cup final we may talk. We have only one target now - to win the remaining games in the Premier League and to win the FA Cup final against Stoke.
    "We are already planning for next season, identifying the players we will need."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 02-05-11

    Phillips - not quitting yet.
    BLUES WILL NEED TO SPEND - PHILLIPS

    Veteran striker Kevin Phillips believes Birmingham need to embark on a spending spree this summer to bolster their squad.
    Phillips is out of contract in June along with Lee Bowyer and Sebastian Larsson, while the likes of Barry Ferguson and skipper Stephen Carr are approaching their mid-30s.
    In addition, Blues boss Alex McLeish has to decide whether to bring in loan signings David Bentley, Obafemi Martins and Matt Derbyshire on a permanent basis.
    Phillips said: "If we get safe, the manager can take stock in the summer and see what he needs to do.
    "I'm sure there is a lot of hard work to be done in the summer. There are a lot out of contract, there is a lot of work for the club to do in the summer.
    "If half a dozen were to leave the club, it's hard to replace them. It's going to cost them a lot of money.
    "They know that but they are concerned for now with keeping this club in the league and then they concentrate in the summer on various players and go from there.
    "There are quite a lot of older players in the squad. We've also got quite a lot of younger players.
    "I wouldn't say the balance is spot on but you do need experience."
    Phillips intends to play on for another season irrespective of whether he is offered a new deal by Birmingham or not.
    He has forced his way back into the starting line-up in recent weeks alongside Cameron Jerome.
    Phillips said: "I think the last month has confirmed to me I can still play. Whether it is at this level, I don't know. I've no reason to quit.
    "I think the last month, having played three games on the bounce, has given me that bug again.
    "I enjoyed it, scored the goal against Bolton, enjoyed lasting the 90 minutes. I don't want to hang up my boots yet.
    "There is still a lot for me to give. Whether that is in the Premier League or helping a side in the Championship to get back into the Premier League."
    Phillips added: "I'm out of contract in the summer, I'm a goalscorer and they are hard to come by.
    "I'm not going to do a Michael Owen profile but we will see what happens.
    "I think the main thing for us at the moment is to get Birmingham safe and we will see what happens."
    Phillips admits Birmingham have struggled to repeat last season's form when they finished ninth.
    He said: "The second season is always difficult. You have the second season syndrome and we have suffered with some injuries. Maybe teams have worked us out a little bit.
    "It's a mix of everything but I don't think we've defended as well this year as we did last year and we haven't scored enough goals."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 02-05-11

    Sheehan - set for Preston training spell.
    SHEEHAN SET FOR PRESTON TRIAL

    Swindon full-back Alan Sheehan is expected to link up with Preston for a week's training.
    Sheehan is tipped to leave Swindon following the club's relegation from League One and will be trying to earn a move to Preston.
    The 24-year-old, who joined the Robins on a permanent basis from Leeds last summer, was left out of the squad for Saturday's 2-0 defeat by Oldham.
    Caretaker Swindon boss Paul Bodin expressed his disappointment that Sheehan had been looking to secure a transfer away from the County Ground.
    Bodin told the Swindon Advertiser: "He has had his good performances but he has been inconsistent and once you get to the stage where players are looking to get away before the season is finished it really disappoints me."
    Preston will be playing in the third tier next season after their relegation from the Championship and manager Phil Brown is keen to freshen up his squad.

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 02-05-11

    Jim O'Brien - former Motherwell winger.
    O'BRIEN RULES OUT HEARTS MOVE

    Barnsley winger Jim O'Brien has dismissed reports that he could return to the SPL to join Hearts at the end of the season.
    O'Brien has made 32 appearances in the Championship this term since linking up with the Tykes on a free transfer from Motherwell last summer.
    The 23-year-old is aware he is admired by Hearts boss Jim Jefferies, but he is adamant he is not planning to quit Oakwell for a move back to Scotland.
    "I know the manager at Hearts likes me, but I'm not ready to go back up the road yet," O'Brien told the Sheffield Star.
    "I've still got a year left on my contract at Barnsley. I'm not thinking about going anywhere right now.
    "I was out in my back garden building a barbecue the other day and my mate texted me and said 'Are you going to Hearts?'
    "I texted my agent about it but he'd heard nothing either, so there's no truth in it.
    "My cousin is signing for Hearts so maybe somebody's put two and two together and come up with a rumour."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 02-05-11

    Mauricio Pochettino - new deal done.
    POCHETTINO HANDED NEW DEAL


    Espanyol coach Mauricio Pochettino has agreed a contract extension that ties him to the Primera Division club until June 2014.
    The 38-year-old former Argentina and Espanyol player took charge of the Barcelona-based club in January 2009 with the team struggling in 18th place in the table, five points adrift of safety.
    That season he helped Espanyol avoid the drop and finish in 10th spot, while last term he led them to an 11th-placed finish.
    This campaign, Espanyol started superbly but they go into Monday night's clash with Athletic Bilbao having slipped down to eighth place, six points off the European spots, after losing nine of their last 12 matches.

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 02-05-11

    Foster - hailed 'fantastic spirit' at Birmingham.
    FOSTER AT HOME AT ST ANDREW'S


    Goalkeeper Ben Foster has pledged his future to Birmingham as he approaches the end of his first season at St Andrew's.
    There has been speculation Foster could emerge as a target for some of the leading clubs after an excellent campaign following his 6 million switch from Manchester United.
    He has helped Blues to Carling Cup glory and the verge of securing Barclays Premier League football for a third successive campaign.
    In addition, Foster has regained his place in the England squad.
    But Foster, whose rare blunder cost his side a goal in the 1-1 home draw with Wolves yesterday, is adamant he is happy with life at City.
    He said: "I was at Watford on loan for two years and this is up there with that.
    "I've loved every minute of this season. The dressing room we've got here and the spirit is fantastic.
    "I wouldn't want to leave that to be honest with you. I'm back home in the area where I was born.
    "I saw (West Brom striker) Peter Odemwingie being interviewed yesterday and he said a happy man at home is a happy man on the pitch.
    "I totally agree with it."
    Foster added: "It is nice to be linked (with other clubs) but it is always the way.
    "You see Heurelho Gomes at Spurs make a mistake on Saturday and Tottenham are going to be linked with 10 keepers today.
    "That's the way it is, but I'm happy here."
    Birmingham will be without leading scorer Craig Gardner for the next two games after he was sent off - his second dismissal of the season - for two bookable offences against Mick McCarthy's side.
    Referee Kevin Friend handed out the second yellow card after deeming Gardner had dived and the midfielder has apologised to his team-mates and Blues manager Alex McLeish.
    But Foster has some sympathy for the former Aston Villa player.
    He said: "I do feel sorry for Craig. There were a few things from their side they didn't even get a yellow card where they could have been yellow cards.
    "Craig is not a dirty player, a diver, or a cheat or anything like that. If he's gone over, it's not because he is trying to win a free-kick.
    "He was probably just off balance. That's the way he is. It's not like he was looking for a free-kick or a yellow card for the lad (Jody Craddock).
    "He will miss two games and it is not great timing for us at a critical part of the season.
    "But you've got to move with things like that. It is just the way it is and the gaffer will pick his team accordingly next week."
    McCarthy is hoping only the ninth away point Wolves have secured this season can act as a launchpad for the finale of the campaign.
    He said: "It's another point away from home that we'd have all taken before setting off down the road to St Andrew's.
    "It's never been an easy place to come and play and we've hardly been playing free-flowing football and been brilliant over the last four games.
    "Maybe this has stopped the rot because it was a performance full of energy and hard work.
    "Of course, it's a nervy time. We are in the bottom three.
    "But we've got to make use of this point by winning our two remaining home games.
    "It's still the same scenario in the table and who's going to say what number of points it's going to take to stop up. Nobody knows.
    "If we stay up, we will look back on all the points as points gained and well-earned."

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