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Thread: Latest Transfer Update at 17-02-2012

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    Latest Transfer Update at 17-02-2012

    Hiddink: Had been linked with vacant England job


    Andre Villas-Boas' hold on the Chelsea job looked to be further strengthened on Friday after Guus Hiddink reportedly agreed to become the new manager of Anzhi Makhachkala.
    The spectre of Hiddink has been hanging over Villas-Boas for three months after the Dutchman left the Turkey post following their failure to qualify for this summer's European Championship.
    Speculation Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich was considering sending another SOS to Hiddink intensified this week amid reports senior players at Stamford Bridge wanted their former caretaker boss to be brought in to replace the Portuguese.
    But if Abramovich had planned to do that, he appears to have waited too long, following claims Hiddink had agreed a 12.5million, 18-month deal to take charge of mega-rich Russian club Anzhi.
    While not confirming the news when contacted by Press Association Sport this morning, agent Cees van Nieuwenhuizen suggested he would be in a position to comment "later this afternoon".
    Hiddink was Abramovich's go-to man three years ago when Luiz Felipe Scolari was sacked as Chelsea boss, the Dutchman transforming the club's season and winning the FA Cup.
    The Blues are in an even worse position now - fifth in the Barclays Premier League - but Villas-Boas was on Thursday adamant he retained the full backing of his billionaire boss.
    That was despite admitting his Chelsea project had lost the support of some members of his squad, something that would have been a firing offence in the past.
    Abramovich appears far more reluctant to bow to player power at present, seemingly acknowledging a change of personnel is needed for the club to marry its recent success with the brand of attacking football he craves.
    However, Hiddink being out of the picture will not keep the wolf from the door entirely, with Villas-Boas still under real pressure to qualify for next season's Champions League.
    Fabio Capello - who was strongly linked with Anzhi after quitting the England job - remains available and there are plenty of other candidates Abramovich could turn to.
    The first manager fired by the Russian - Claudio Ranieri - has warned Villas-Boas he faces the same fate unless results improve, but the latter is braced for a rollercoaster end to the Barclays Premier League season.
    "As tight as things are from fourth to seventh, the position in the league will change on a weekly basis," Villas-Boas said.
    "It doesn't become more or less dramatic as the clubs jump from fourth to seventh - that is the reality.
    "There is a minimum damage limitation, which is Champions League qualification, and that's what we have to do."
    Defeat in Saturday's FA Cup fifth-round tie with Birmingham is also unthinkable and Villas-Boas will be demanding a response from Saturday's "worst performance of the season" at Everton.
    He said: "Full focus will be needed and full determination, which will be the exact opposite of what happened against Everton."
    Chelsea's squad should be strong enough to see off npower Championship Birmingham without talismanic duo John Terry and Didier Drogba, who are set to be held back for Tuesday's Champions League last-16 first leg at Napoli.
    Drogba has been missed in the past eight weeks while on African Nations Cup duty, with Fernando Torres still failing to score despite starting every game.
    "Didier back in contention will give further competition for Fernando and (Romelu) Lukaku," Villas-Boas said.
    "For the player that he is, he is as strong as anybody."
    With Drogba in fine form at the African Nations Cup, tomorrow could be Torres' last chance to keep his place for Tuesday's game.
    Villas-Boas said: "It hasn't been happening for him but, as he continues to try to help the team, there will be a goal from him."
    Meanwhile, Chelsea have reportedly pulled out of the race to sign Lille midfielder Eden Hazard.
    The Blues had been strongly linked with a January move for the Belgian star, who was this week tipped to make a summer switch to Tottenham.

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 17-02-2012

    Beckham: Says Redknapp has all the credentials


    David Beckham believes Harry Redknapp would be a worthy choice to take over as England manager and has all the right credentials for the role.
    Tottenham manager Redknapp has been installed as hot favourite to succeed Fabio Capello after the Italian stepped down last week over the John Terry captaincy affair.
    LA Galaxy midfielder and former England captain Beckham, who trained with Spurs during the Major League Soccer off-season, believes the 64-year-old would be the perfect fit.

    "Harry is a great man, a great manager. His man-management is incredible," said the ex-Manchester United ace.
    "I've known players that have played under him, I've trained under him and he's not just a great manager but a great person as well."
    Capello chose to resign after the Football Association stripped Terry of the England armband without consulting the Italian manager.
    The Chelsea defender, who was poised to lead England at this summer's European Championship, will stand trial in the summer for allegedly racially abusing QPR stopper Anton Ferdinand, a charge Terry denies.
    Asked whether the captaincy should be decided by the coach or the FA, Beckham gave his backing to the manager.
    "Coach's call," he replied. "That's always the case.
    "Obviously the decision was taken to take the captaincy away from John but going forward I'm sure the captain will be picked by whatever manager steps in."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 17-02-2012

    Milan Mandaric: No interest in buying Rangers


    Sheffield Wednesday chairman Milan Mandaric has denied having any interest in becoming involved with Scottish champions Rangers.
    Mandaric moved quickly to dismiss reports circulating in Scotland that he might be interested in Rangers, who entered administration earlier this week.
    In a statement released on Wednesday's official website, Mandaric, 73, stressed he had "no interest, now or in the future" in the Scottish outfit.
    The full statement read: "I am aware and shocked at the media reports today linking my name to an inquiry over the potential purchase of Glasgow Rangers Football Club..
    "First and foremost, I can categorically deny that there is any substance to these stories and I am disappointed that such articles are printed without any foundation whatsoever.
    "I have never had any dialogue or contact to anyone relating to Glasgow Rangers.
    "Glasgow Rangers is a huge football club with a great heritage and history, but I already have that here at Sheffield Wednesday.
    "For clarity, I have not instructed any of my associates to register an interest in the administration process at Glasgow Rangers and I have no interest, now or in the future, of becoming involved in the club."
    Rangers were forced into administration over an unpaid tax bill of 9million, accrued since owner Craig Whyte took over in May last year, and only confirmed after the event.
    Administrators revealed on Thursday that a 24million loan from Ticketus, secured by future season ticket sales, appeared to have gone into the account of a parent company.
    Joint administrator David Whitehouse said: "Our understanding is the funds from Ticketus didn't come through the company's accounts so we haven't got visibility on that and that's what we are trying to get."
    Asked if he was concerned, he replied: "Yes. All financing of the business will be subject to proper investigation."
    Manager Ally McCoist has urged fans to keep the faith despite the club's precarious position and the unravelling of their financial affairs.
    McCoist takes his team into their Clydesdale Bank Premier League game against Kilmarnock tomorrow knowing that some players may find themselves redundant next week once the administrators have reviewed staffing levels.
    "We are in a position at this moment in time where the club is maybe as low as it has been - possibly ever," McCoist told Sky Sports News.
    "We have to put our trust and our faith in getting the club to a better place and the future will hopefully provide that.
    "There is no doubt about it, it's a low time, the club is at a low ebb. Everybody sees that, it's very, very apparent.
    "So we all have to believe and have faith and hopefully we will all do that and the club will come out of this at the other end.
    "Of that I have no doubt and it's the most important thing."
    Meanwhile, police have responded to a request from former Rangers chairman Alastair Johnston to investigate Whyte's takeover.
    A Strathclyde Police spokesman said: "We can confirm that we have been passed information regarding the ongoing situation at Rangers Football Club.
    "This is currently being examined. It would be inappropriate to comment further."
    Johnston earlier told the BBC: "I have today written to the Crown Office asking for an investigation into the background surrounding the acquisition of Rangers Football Club by Craig Whyte, and in particular whether there is evidence of fraud."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 17-02-2012

    Steve Bruce: Set for Wolves talks


    Wolves will continue their search for Mick McCarthy's successor today with Steve Bruce reportedly set to be interviewed by club owner Steve Morgan and chief executive Jez Moxey.
    Bookmakers favourite Alan Curbishley is understood to have created a favourable impression when he spoke to Morgan and Moxey yesterday and remains in pole position to replace the sacked McCarthy.
    He is believed to have outlined his plans for establishing the midlands club in the Barclays Premier League after three years of battling to avoid the drop.
    Curbishley showed those qualities in more than a decade in charge at Charlton and also at West Ham and is keen to return to the game after a three and a half year absence.
    He was also one of the contenders for the England post in 2006 after Sven Goran Eriksson announced he was quitting after that summer's World Cup in Germany.
    But former Birmingham, Wigan and Sunderland boss Bruce is also under sufficient consideration to have been granted the chance to outline his credentials to Morgan and Moxey.
    Wolves striker Kevin Doyle believes McCarthy's successor will have a "fighting chance" of ensuring the club stay up despite last weekend's 5-1 mauling by West Brom.
    That setback meant Wolves dropped into the bottom three but they do not play again until the trip to Newcastle on February 25.
    Republic of Ireland international Doyle said: "We've had ups and downs. But we seem to be reasonably good at bouncing back. We got beat badly by Liverpool and then came back to beat QPR.
    "We'll go to Newcastle in a few days time thinking we can bounce back in the same way. We've got games to go where we can pick up points.
    "There are a few teams around us we can get above and we've 13 games in which to do it so let's be positive.
    We're not cast adrift in anyway, we're not really struggling. We are in a good position to get out of it.
    "We've given ourselves a fighting chance. We feel we can pick up points along the way."
    Doyle echoed the sentiments of club captain Roger Johnson in admitting the players were to blame for McCarthy's departure on Monday after five and a half years at Molineux.
    He said: "We all feel culpable, we're all all part of it and I just wish we could have played that bit better and not ended up with the manager having to leave.
    "It's not nice for it to end like that."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 17-02-2012

    Jan Vertonghen: Attracting interest from England


    Ajax coach Frank de Boer believes defender Jan Vertonghen's display against Manchester United proves he is ready for English football.
    The Belgian has frequently been linked with a move away from the Amsterdam ArenA, with Tottenham scouts reportedly watching him against the Barclays Premier League champions on Thursday night and Manchester City also having been linked with him in the past.
    And despite Ajax's 2-0 first-leg defeat in the Europa League last 32, both Vertonghen and his coach were happy with the 24-year-old's performance.
    Vertonghen told De Telegraaf: "Especially in the first half, it was very good, especially since we were playing against an English opponent."
    The defender is under contract only until the end of next season and looks set for a high-profile summer move.
    And De Boer said: "Jan is already close to the level of Manchester United and he can still improve.
    "Especially as he moves forward through the midfield, he is so dangerous. He sometimes does that too little in my eyes. That's a shame, because then his qualities are more conspicuous."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 17-02-2012

    Per Mertesacker: Out for the long-term


    Arsenal's torrid week continued on Friday afternoon when Arsene Wenger revealed that Per Mertesacker has been ruled out "long term".
    Adding to Wenger's defensive problems is that Laurent Koscielny is also missing for Saturday's FA Cup fifth-round tie at Sunderland because of a knee problem.
    But while Koscielny should recover in a week from the injury sustained during Wednesday night's painful 4-0 drubbing by AC Milan, Mertesacker may have played his last game this season.
    The German international suffered ankle ligament damage during Saturday's Barclays Premier League victory against Sunderland that requited ankle surgery.
    "Unfortunately he has had surgery and we have lost him for a while," Wenger told the club's official website,
    "How long I don't know. He had reconstruction of his ligaments, so it will be long term."
    Koscielny limped off shortly before half time at the San Siro, but the prognosis on his injury is far more encouraging.
    "He had a scan yesterday and the news is quite good," said Wenger.
    "He will be out for hopefully around a week. He will miss the Sunderland game, but he should be back for next week."
    Wenger is facing a headache at centre-back with Mertesacker and Koscielny unavailable for the trip to the Stadium of Light.
    Thomas Vermaelen's lack of match sharpness was exposed during Arsenal's heaviest European defeat, while Johan Djourou was far from impressive.
    Sebastien Squillaci has been frozen out of the first team picture, but Alex Song can play centre-back if required.
    Gervinho has finished international duty at the African Nations Cup and is included in the squad and defender Carl Jenkinson will soon return to training following his back problem.
    Wenger also revealed that Kieran Gibbs suffered no setback at the San Siro after being out since October with a groin problem.
    "Kieran played his first game in four months in Milan so of course it was a shock to go back to that level. But physically he's all right," said Wenger.
    "Carl's back in full training on Monday. That's good news for us."
    Djourou has urged Arsenal to atone for last season's Carling Cup final loss to Birmingham by winning the last piece of silverware available to them this season.
    "This is a big opportunity for us. The FA Cup is one of the main targets and we have to go for it," he told Arsenal Player.
    "Last season's League Cup final defeat is very motivating because we were very disappointed about what happened last time at Wembley and we want to put that right.
    "I think it is something still in our heads, and it is difficult to swallow. We know if we can get to the final we can lift the trophy."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 17-02-2012

    Rangers: To be investigated by SFA


    The Scottish Football Association have confirmed they will conduct a full independent inquiry into the activities of Rangers.
    The governing body will investigate whether there have been any potential breaches of their Articles of Association.
    The SFA say attempts to obtain information relating to their "fit and proper person" requirement - regarding Rangers owner Craig Whyte - have been restricted by the club solicitors' failure to share information.
    Rangers were forced into administration on Tuesday over an unpaid tax bill of 9million accrued since Whyte's takeover of the club in May.
    An SFA statement read: "The Scottish FA can today confirm its intention to conduct a full independent inquiry into the activities of Rangers FC and, specifically, a number of potential breaches of the Scottish FA's Articles of Association.
    "We are concerned by the developing situation at the club and the new information that has come to light since the appointment of the club administrators, Duff and Phelps.
    "The chairman and his panel will be briefed by the chief executive, Stewart Regan, next week and will consult further with the administrators, Duff and Phelps, as part of their inquiry.
    "We have been guaranteed full co-operation by Paul Clark, representing the company.
    "The Scottish FA's previous efforts in obtaining information relevant to the Fit and Proper Person requirement has been restricted by the club's solicitors' continued failure to share information in a timely or detailed manner.
    "We now feel there is no option but to undertake an independent inquiry to establish the clear facts and to determine the extent of any possible rules breaches."
    SFA chief executive Stewart Regan said: "Since we have been unable to receive any detailed information requested in relation to Article 10, we feel we have no option but to appoint an independent committee to investigate a number of concerns we have raised.
    "We expect the investigation to be concluded as quickly as possible and will confirm the outcome in due course. We will be making no further comment on the investigation in the meantime.
    "Finally, I would like to reiterate the need to learn the lessons from this unedifying episode.
    "It is essential that we work together to improve the overall sustainability and competitiveness of the game in this country.
    "This is a matter that the Scottish FA is already in discussions with the relevant league bodies to address."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 17-02-2012

    Tottenham: No AEG takeover


    American entertainment company AEG have denied they are interested in buying Tottenham.

    Reports claimed AEG were in negotiations with the Premier League club over a possible deal that would see billionaire Joe Lewis relinquish his current ownership of the north London outfit.
    The report suggested that the American entertainment giant, formally known as the Anschutz Entertainment Group, would pay Bahamas-based businessman Lewis 450million for the club.
    AEG, who own a variety of sporting clubs across the world, worked closely with Spurs in their bid to move in to the Olympic Stadium in London - a bid that ended in failure.
    The company, who also organise large music and entertainment events across the world, have a strong relationship with Tottenham but deny they are interested in taking over the club.
    Timothy J Leiweke, president and chief executive of AEG, said in a statement: "The stories that AEG is interested in or has been negotiating for the purchase of Tottenham are untrue.
    "We currently enjoy a very good business and personal relationship with Tottenham and have been involved with a number of transactions over the years. However, at no time have we had a desire to purchase that club.
    "We will continue to have a great relationship with (Tottenham chairman) Daniel (Levy) and Tottenham moving forward."

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