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Thread: Latest Transfer Update at 20-01-2012

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    Latest Transfer Update at 20-01-2012

    Fernando Torres: Support from Andre Villas-Boas

    Andre Villas-Boas has claimed Fernando Torres would be mentally weak if he had allowed Chelsea team-mate Didier Drogba to intimidate him.
    Villas-Boas was confident Torres had not become the latest Blues striker to be "devoured" by Drogba, as Carlo Ancelotti claimed this week.
    Ancelotti, who Villas-Boas succeeded as Chelsea manager last summer, insisted Drogba had to be sold for Torres to flourish at Stamford Bridge.
    But Villas-Boas rejected Ancelotti's analysis on Thursday afternoon, saying: "It would be unfair for a player of Fernando's personality and dimension to conclude that one is inflicting on the other one's belief.
    "If that was the case with any player, it would be a mental weakness or a mental block, which is not the case in my opinion."
    Ancelotti picked Torres ahead of Drogba after the Spaniard's record-breaking 50million move from Liverpool almost a year ago, but soon recalled his rival.
    Villas-Boas began his own reign with Torres as his first-choice striker, but the 27-year-old only began scoring when Drogba was out injured.
    He then lost his place again to the Ivorian before being restored to the starting line-up following Drogba's departure for African Nations Cup duty.
    With Drogba again out of the picture, Torres has begun to find his form once more.
    But Villas-Boas insisted the only link between the two was "the fact that it's one less competitor for a position", rather than anything more sinister.
    Villas-Boas compared Torres' lot to that of 27million Edin Dzeko at Manchester City, with the latter also finding himself dropped despite a far greater goal return.
    "We have a player like Dzeko with plenty of goals but he's not used all the time by City," Villas-Boas said.
    "The numbers, statistically, are impressive for Dzeko.
    "He had scored 10 goals in the first few weeks of the season.
    "But (City boss Roberto) Mancini feels others offer something positive and different for the team."
    He added of Torres, who has netted only five times in almost year at Chelsea and not for three months: "It hurts everybody in the sense of goal statistics but he's doing tremendously for the team.
    "He's a striker with a hunger for goals who wants to be in the box.
    "We've seen him in the box, we've seen him arrive and create danger.
    "As long as he's working well for the team, I don't care how the statistics will finish and how dramatic people think they are."
    Torres was by far the most expensive signing in Chelsea's history and highlighted again the club's preference for spending big rather than for promoting within.
    Villas-Boas claimed the only way to ensure a conveyor belt of young talent for the first team was to revolutionise the structure of English football.
    Calling for Chelsea to be allowed to field a B team in the npower Championship, Villas-Boas said: "The youth development system in England is not right.
    "The reserve team league is not competitive. The youth levels are not competitive enough.
    "In my opinion, there is a missed link between age groups in all competitions.
    "They should be national championships played between teams from around the country. The older ones should play nationally. The younger ones should play regionally.
    "It is that which generates talent."
    Spanish clubs are allowed to field B sides in lower divisions, with both Barcelona and Real Madrid doing so.
    "If the European model is applied in England, it could be tested," Villas-Boas said.
    "The reserve team, for all the people who work hard, is not competitive.
    "It serves the first team, but it doesn't serve the progression of talent coming through."
    What about using a feeder club instead?
    "It could be a solution," Villas-Boas said.
    "There is more of a cultural identity if it's called a B team. It's the same name, the same environment.
    "If it's a feeder club, I couldn't call a player up to my first team until the transfer window opens.
    "What happens in Barcelona B is a good model in terms of competitions."
    John Terry was the last academy player to become a first-team regular at Chelsea, who regularly send out their youngsters on loan, often to no avail.
    Villas-Boas insisted that was down to the players themselves.
    "If they're unable to triumph over there, it can't just be a manager's decision," he said.
    "They have to show they are capable of triumphing in a difficult environment.
    "It is never a good option if you come back early - it means something went wrong."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 20-01-2012

    David Beckham: Stays at LA Galaxy


    Former England captain David Beckham has revealed "one or two" clubs tried to bring him back to the Premier League before he committed to LA Galaxy.
    The ex-Manchester United star re-signed for the Major League Soccer side on a two-year deal on Thursday to end speculation over his future.
    At one stage French giants Paris St Germain had looked hot favourites to land his signature, while the 36-year-old had also been touted for an English comeback after his old Galaxy deal expired last month.
    Beckham has confirmed he received interest from the Premier League but stopped short of naming which clubs were chasing him, having been linked with old employers United, as well as Tottenham and QPR.
    He said in a press conference live on Sky Sports News: "I was offered the chance. But I'm happy here, so that was my major decision.
    Asked which clubs were interested, Beckham added: "One or two."
    Beckham, who turns 37 in May, says one option he did not consider is retirement, and has not ruled out playing on beyond his new contract at Galaxy.
    He said: "Retirement was never a part of my plans. It had been talked about by other people but it always is when you get to this stage in your career. I've not even started thinking about that yet.
    "I'm not looking to retire after those two years. Not at this moment - that might change.
    "I'm 36 now, 37 in May, and I still feel good. I want to continue to play as much as possible. We were just talking about (former United team-mate) Paul Scholes retiring and then he comes back. Players miss it."
    Galaxy will allow Beckham the time to represent Great Britain at the Olympics in the summer if he is included in Stuart Pearce's squad.
    The midfielder admits captaining the side would be 'special' but says nothing has been decided over who will get the armband or if he will even make the cut.
    He added: "Hopefully I'll be involved in the Olympics. Obviously I want to be part of the GB team.
    "I know how exciting it is for our country and our nation to have the Olympics in the East End of London, especially for me growing up there.
    "As long as I'm fit, healthy and in-form hopefully I have a chance of making the team.
    "I've had conversations with Stuart Pearce but as for being captain, or even selected, that's not been decided yet.
    "I'd love to be captain. I've been captain a few times for my country before and to lead them into the Olympics would be special for any player."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 20-01-2012

    Kyle Hutton: Happy to be loaned out


    Rangers midfielder Kyle Hutton has refused to rule out another loan spell in the second half of the season following a successful period with Partick Thistle.
    The 20-year-old joined the Irn-Bru First Division club on a three-month loan after a similar move to Sheffield United fell through at the end of the August transfer window.
    Ibrox team-mate John Fleck was on Monday farmed out to npower Championship side Blackpool and Hutton believes he could also be spending the remainder of the season elsewhere in a bid to earn first-team action.
    He said: "I just need to keep myself ticking over, and playing in practice games are important to me for keeping my match sharpness up.
    "I just need to keep performing in these games and keep performing in training and I'll have a chat with the gaffer again and see what's happening.
    "The First Division was great for me but you always want to challenge yourself so I'd like to go a bit higher and challenge myself at a higher league.
    "I'll speak to the gaffer and see what plans he has for me and whatever plans he has, I'll just need to take that on board."
    Hutton believes he has returned to Rangers a better player as a result of the time spent at Firhill.
    He said: "My whole aim was just to go out and get games. I played nine or 10 games and it's really helped me.
    "I've come back and I feel a lot sharper so it was a good experience.
    "Coming up against a lot of good players in the First Division, you test yourself. It's a high tempo and a hard league.
    "Everything about it was a good experience. It was brilliant. It helps you get stronger.
    "I feel a lot fitter getting about the pitch. Your match fitness, your passing, your touch sharpens up."
    And he believes Liverpool midfielder Charlie Adam - who was loaned out to Ross County, St Mirren and Blackpool while at Rangers - is a prime example of how a short-term move to another club can help kick-start your career.
    He told Blues News: "I knew there were benefits of going out on loan but I didn't think the benefits would have been as good as this.
    "Looking at players who have gone out [on loan] like Charlie [Adam] and what they have gone on to do, it's definitely going to help me."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 20-01-2012

    Steven Fletcher: Has impressed for Wolves


    Wolves boss Mick McCarthy expects striker Steven Fletcher to remain a target for the leading teams in the Barclays Premier League but is not interested in selling his nine-goal top scorer.
    McCarthy is unsurprised by the interest in Fletcher, who has netted against Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham this season.
    But he is hoping Wolves can progress and become the sort of club who do not lose their major players if the elite teams show an interest.
    McCarthy said: "Fletch is having a great season and he is a terrific player. He puts in a great shift and scores goals in a team which doesn't create as many chances as some others.
    "Of course, he will attract interest from other clubs. I would expect that. I think he's capable of playing anywhere, personally.
    "Everyone wants me to say 'he's not for sale' but, come on, why would we be interested when we've got our own problems.
    "There haven't been any offers for him and I think there are certain things that, unless you're dead keen on doing it as a manager, you don't do.
    "I'll give you a thought process. Don't ring up and say: 'I might be interested in Fletch, what do you reckon?'
    "If they haven't got a pot to p*** in or a window to throw it out of then there's no point is there? Why would you even do it?
    "But, if one of the leading clubs rings up, I'd still tell them to Foxtrot Oscar, of course I would."
    McCarthy added: "It doesn't irritate me to get asked if leading players are for sale. That's the way it is. It's part of the gig.
    "What irritates me is how the story gets twisted into 'McCarthy denies any interest' or says 'he's not for sale.' The story becomes something it's not.
    "We're trying to ensure we progress to being the team that means players don't want to leave.
    "But, let me tell you, there are a lot of people who would be delighted to be here."
    Fletcher is set to return to the side for Saturday's home derby with Aston Villa after being rested for Wednesday night's FA Cup third-round replay loss to Birmingham.

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 20-01-2012

    Taye Taiwo: Set for QPR switch


    AC Milan left-back Taye Taiwo is "very close" to signing for QPR.
    The 26-year-old joined the Rossoneri from Marseille in the summer but has struggled for a regular first-team berth.
    Taiwo had been linked with a January move to injury-plagued Arsenal but now looks set to join QPR, with completion of the deal subject to a work permit.
    The west Londoners confirmed the Nigeria international is "very close" to signing on their official phone-in show, London Call-In.
    Several media outlets have reported the signing as completed, but QPR said they are "waiting for everything to be put into place before we make an official announcement".
    Reports suggest Taiwo will pen a six-month loan deal and he was pictured with manager Mark Hughes on Twitter on Thursday afternoon.

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 20-01-2012

    Frank Lampard: Linked with move to Major League Soccer


    Los Angeles Galaxy chief Tim Leiweke has confirmed his admiration for Frank Lampard.
    But Leiweke, president of Galaxy owners AEG, refused to confirm they had made a move for the Chelsea midfielder.
    Leiweke confirmed that Galaxy were looking at their options for future Designated Player slots.
    In Major League Soccer, clubs can sign up to three Designated Players which are not included in the otherwise strict wage structure that operates throughout American football.
    LA currently have new signed David Beckham, Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan.
    "I am a fan of Frank's, I think he is a great player. When I think of Chelsea, I think of Frank Lampard," Leiweke told Sky Sports News.
    "You should ask him, it took us two years to get David here the first time, we are working on the next DP.
    "We are going to continue to work on the next DP and there are about half-a-dozen guys we have a good relationship with but first we have to have a lot and we don't have a slot.
    "I am a big fan of his."
    Beckham backed Lampard's link with the Galaxy, adding: "If he does decide to walk away from Chelsea, then of course which team would not want him?
    "The owners are very persuasive, so of course there is a chance."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 20-01-2012

    Fabian Delph: Moving back to Leeds United on loan


    Fabian Delph has returned to Elland Road after signing a one-month loan deal with Leeds.
    The 22-year-old midfielder, who left Simon Grayson's side to join Aston Villa for 6m in the summer of 2009, has being made available for loan by Villa boss Alex McLeish.
    Delph was a regular in the Villa midfield in the first half of the season but has not featured for the first-team since mid-December.
    Leeds boss Grayson told the club's official website: "As everyone knows Fab is a talented footballer who did very well here and secured himself a big move on the back of what he did.
    "This is a great deal for both parties. Fab will get some football and he is the calibre of player that we've been looking to bring in here."
    Delph made 46 league appearances in his first spell with the West Yorkshire side and will be available to face Ipswich in the npower Championship on Saturday, with the deal due to expire on February 25.

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 20-01-2012

    Papiss Demba Cisse: Was not a Sunderland target


    Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill has insisted Newcastle did not snatch Senegal striker Papiss Demba Cisse from under their noses and admits he's yet to launch a concerted bid to strengthen his squad this month.
    The Magpies landed the 26-year-old Freiburg frontman in a big-money swoop on Tuesday after speculation had linked the Black Cats with a move for him.
    That was a cause for great delight on Tyneside with Alan Pardew's men sitting in sixth place in the Barclays Premier League table while Sunderland continue their climb away from trouble.
    However, O'Neill is adamant that Cisse was never in his sights amid claims that the player snubbed the Wearsiders to head for their arch-rivals.
    He said: "News was filtering through here that he had turned us down - I'm afraid we hadn't made any enquires for the player at all. Good as he is, we hadn't done so."
    On the prospect of closing the gap to the high-flying Magpies, O'Neill admits his side are focusing on their own battles rather than what their neighbours are doing.
    He said: "Newcastle are doing brilliantly and of course, that might not please every Sunderland fan - it might not please any of them - but we can't do anything about it at the moment.
    "We have to look after ourselves, and we will try to do that as best we can in the next couple of months."
    Despite being linked with a series of other names in recent weeks, O'Neill has insisted the winter market has not been a priority during his spell on Wearside to date, although he revealed last Friday that he intended to sit down with owner and chairman Ellis Short this week to discuss the way forward.
    Those talks have now taken place, but the Ulsterman, while conscious that there will be no further opportunity this season to bolster the group of players he inherited from Steve Bruce, has revealed no substantive plan for a recruitment drive has been drawn up.
    O'Neill said: "I have had conversations with Ellis. They have not really been business-like conversations.
    "If something does materialise, then that would be great. I am conscious of just about everything around here, but my only concern is we arrive at February 1 and that's it.
    "We will see what develops now in the next seven, eight, nine days.
    "Have I actively been pursuing any particular target? I have to say to you the answer is no at the moment."
    O'Neill has hinted since joining the club that he would be happy enough to go with the squad he has if there were no additions this month.
    However, an injury list which has robbed him of the likes of Wes Brown, Titus Bramble - both men have returned to training and could figure against Swansea on Saturday - Jack Colback and Matt Kilgallon in recent weeks has illustrated just how important back-up could be.
    In the meantime, O'Neill will concentrate on the task of bouncing back from last weekend's 1-0 Barclays Premier League defeat by Chelsea, which was all the more frustrating as his side created more than enough opportunities to have claimed a draw, if not better.
    He said: "I think scoring a goal is very difficult. I also added the rider last week rather comically - it wasn't that funny - that it's not that difficult either.
    "You just put the ball in the net and then we can all go home and be very, very pleased with the weekend's work.
    "It didn't happen. I think we can improve, but in terms of the performance, I should be absolutely delighted."
    Twenty-four hours after the Black Cats left Stamford Bridge cursing their luck, Saturday's opponents set the Premier League alight with a fine 3-2 victory over Arsenal to enhance manager Brendan Rodgers blossoming reputation.
    Compatriot O'Neill said: "They are doing very, very well indeed. They are playing attractively, they are playing very well and a TV audience last week saw them play brilliantly against Arsenal.
    "In fact in many ways, you could say they out-Arsenaled Arsenal, and that's obviously very pleasing.
    "I don't pretend to know Brendan well at all, I don't, I have met him once or twice. He's very young and he's had a great start in the Premier League.
    "If this is his philosophy, it's a very attractive one and he is making his mark. It's great to see it, really great to see it."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 20-01-2012

    Davies: Unsure over his future


    Bolton skipper Kevin Davies does not know whether he has a future at the Reebok Stadium.
    The 34-year-old forward has lost his first-team place as the Trotters scrap for Premier League survival.
    Although Davies did make a goalscoring appearance in Tuesday's FA Cup win over Macclesfield, he will be back on the bench for Saturday's home encounter with Liverpool, when 4million man David Ngog is set to lead the Bolton attack.
    Owen Coyle has spoken in glowing terms about Davies over the past few days.
    The Scot insists that, on top form, the former England international would be a major benefit to Bolton's chances of avoiding relegation.
    However, with his contract due to expire at the end of the season, talks over an extension are yet to begin.
    And Davies confirmed he faces an uncertain future.
    "I have no idea what my future will be," he told the Bolton Evening News.
    "Obviously I am disappointed not to be playing. But my performances haven't been good enough to stay in the team.
    "I keep training as hard as I can and when these opportunities come along, try and do my best.
    "It's January and there is speculation about all players out of contract. I am no different.
    "There has been nothing offered here as yet. I understand the position we are in and there are a few players out of contract.
    "In the next few weeks and months I am sure the club will make a decision on those players."
    Davies would complete a decade of service in 2013.
    However, he knows Bolton are unlikely to be offering too many lucrative contracts until their top-flight future is assured.
    Yet Coyle does not believe that uncertainty should present any of his players with a problem.
    "I don't see why it would be a concern," said Coyle.
    "If a player is out of contract, they do one of two things. They either play out of their skins to show their quality to earn a contract. Or, if they are playing well and to a high standard, they will have other admirers as well.
    "They are the ones with all the power. That doesn't faze me and it shouldn't faze them. They should see it as a challenge."
    Saturday evening's encounter is likely to be the last chance for young keeper Adam Bogdan to prove he is worthy of keeping Jussi Jaaskelainen on the sidelines.
    After a nervous start to his first-team career, the 22-year-old has excelled recently, particularly at Manchester United last week when he made a succession of excellent saves, including Wayne Rooney's first-half penalty.
    Jaaskelainen is likely to have recovered sufficiently from a thigh injury to be in contention for a return to duty in next week's FA Cup tie with Swansea, leaving Bogdan the chance to build on recent successes.
    "Adam has gone from strength to strength this year," said Coyle.
    "If a goalkeeper makes a mistake, it is a goal, so they need an unbelievable mental strength.
    "He has that. He is destined for a great career."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 20-01-2012

    Nikica Jelavic: Transfer speculation continues


    Rangers have held informal talks with West Ham over top goalscorer Nikica Jelavic, Press Association Sport understands.
    Ally McCoist confirmed earlier on Friday that no formal offer has been received for the Croatian striker, who has netted 17 goals for the Scottish champions this season.
    However, it is believed that discussions between the clubs have taken place over a potential switch to Upton Park.
    Earlier Rangers boss McCoist responded to reports claiming the Hammers had tabled a 6million offer, saying: "They have not made an official bid.
    "The reported amount would not be enough to meet the demands of the owner.
    "That's where we are. Six million is not nearly enough."
    Jelavic was the subject of a failed 6.5million bid from Leicester in August and has also been linked with Liverpool and QPR.

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