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Thread: Latest Transfer Update at 27-02-2012

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    Latest Transfer Update at 27-02-2012

    Van Persie: Contracted until end of 2012/13 season


    Robin van Persie has confirmed that contract talks with Arsenal are on hold until the summer as he looks to concentrate on on-field matters.
    The in-form Holland international, 28, has been the subject of recent speculation linking him with a move away from the Emirates Stadium with his current deal expiring in 2013.
    However, speaking ahead of Sunday's derby clash with Tottenham, Van Persie has sought to clarify the situation, saying discussions over a new contract with the Gunners will not start before the end of the season as he only wants to focus on playing matters.
    "There have been a lot of stories, generally contradictory ones, about my contract situation recently so I'd like to make it clear," the Arsenal captain said in Sunday's matchday programme.

    "There's nothing complicated or sinister - the club and I have both agreed to speak at the end of the season and see how things stand. The boss (Arsene Wenger), (chief executive) Ivan Gazidis and I are all comfortable with it.
    "I need all my focus to be on football - on captaining this team, improving every day, doing extra work on the training pitch and preparing for the very busy schedule of fixtures we have.

    "If I look down the list, there's not much time to sit down and think about anything else!
    "For me, this is a time to play football and not speak about personal things. All of my energy needs to go on getting this team where we want it to be this season."
    After facing Spurs, Arsenal take on Liverpool next weekend before then hosting AC Milan in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie, where Arsene Wenger's men will attempt to overturn a 4-0 deficit.

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 27-02-2012

    Frank Lampard celebrates his goal on Saturday


    Andre Villas-Boas is hoping Frank Lampard will still be at Chelsea next season, despite the pair's widely-publicised falling out.
    Blues boss Villas-Boas stopped short of promising Lampard would not leave this summer but insisted no-one wanted him to do so.
    Saturday saw Lampard admit for the first time his relationship with Villas-Boas had "not been ideal", although he was keen not to dwell on the problems between them.
    Villas-Boas has already warned of a summer clearout should he remain in charge but he made it clear on Saturday he did not want Lampard to be part of the cull.
    Asked if he was 100% sure the 33-year-old would be at the club next season, he said: "I hope so. It does not depend on me. It depends on three parts - I want him, the person wants to stay and the club wants him."
    Villas-Boas could hardly say anything else about a player who he admitted enjoyed legendary status among the club's fans.
    Even before Lampard made three separate bits of history by scoring his 12th goal of the season in Saturday's desperately-needed 3-0 Barclays Premier League win over Bolton, his was the name on the lips of the Stamford Bridge crowd.
    'Super Frankie Lampard' they sang about the man who repaid their adulation with the 150th league goal of his career and his 125th in the league for Chelsea - taking him ahead of the legendary Jimmy Greaves.

    Perhaps more significantly, the 33-year-old became the first player to reach double figures in the Premier League for nine consecutive seasons.
    It was also the fourth time this term Lampard had scored after being dropped by Villas-Boas, who refused to bow to fan pressure to play him.
    Insisting the crowd sang the midfielder's name "all the time", he said: "I take no instructions from anybody."
    He added: "Frank goes on and on breaking the club's records and that is important for him.
    "I congratulate him for that. He is a player who has been involved with all managers before and played in most of the games.
    "The only difference this year from the years before is that we have more competition in midfield and things become more difficult for everybody.
    "But Frank is now in the top five of players most used so he is up there with the best."

    Saturday saw Lampard help ease the pressure on Villas-Boas, who looked visibly relieved after what was a first win in six attempts - and in front of Roman Abramovich to boot.
    He said: "We have not been getting the results and pressure increases on team players and management. You have to deal with that and deliver."
    Insisting he had never begun to doubt himself, he admitted his players may have lost some belief and said they now needed a run of victories to get it back.
    "I just want to go into a run of results, win the next game and build something that we have been missing since the beginning of the season.
    "If we get three or four wins in a row, it means a lot because of the knockout ties and that will give us the extra lift and motivation to maybe challenge for another place."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 27-02-2012

    Marc-Antoine Fortune: Enjoying playing football again


    Striker Marc-Antoine Fortune admits he considered quitting West Brom before regaining his place in the side and becoming a key part of the Baggies recent revival.
    Fortune became frustrated at his lack of first-team action after rejoining Albion from Celtic and was even loaned out to Doncaster earlier this season.
    But he is now the first-choice striker in a 4-5-1 formation, with Peter Odemwingie adapting to a right-wing role and Shane Long having to be content with a place amongst the substitutes.
    Fortune, described as Albion's "unsung hero" by head coach Roy Hodgson following Saturday's 4-0 win over Sunderland, said: "When I was not playing it was a hard time for me. In my first spell at West Brom I played every game and felt I did well.

    "I came back from Celtic because I like this club but, when you come back and are not the first-choice striker, it is hard. When you don't play you sometimes have these feelings that you want to move on.
    "But these feelings stay with you for one or two days and then they go away. Sometimes you feel down but you have to keep your head up and having my family, wife and agent around me helped."

    Fortune was recalled against Stoke last month, created a favourable impression and has started every game since.
    He said: "Now it's a pleasure to play football again. I'm enjoying the feeling of being on the pitch again. In football you have good and bad moments. I knew that one day I would have my chance again."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 27-02-2012

    Arsene Wenger: Says Arsenal aren't 'crazy'


    Arsene Wenger accepts some people will always believe Arsenal are "crazy" not to spend money they do not have.
    The Gunners are currently going through one of the most testing spells of Wenger's tenure, with hopes of a first trophy since 2005 all but extinguished after a 4-0 Champions League defeat in Milan was followed by exit from the FA Cup at Sunderland.
    Arsenal remain committed to their self-sustaining business model, driven by revenues from their 60,000-seater Emirates Stadium, on which they have a long-term debt repayment plan at a low, fixed interest rate.

    The Gunners are again expected to report an operating profit when their latest set of financial figures are published next week.
    Wenger, though, cannot fathom why Arsenal continue to be lambasted for spending within their means.
    "What is unbelievable is that we run the model that should be absolutely normal and we look crazy. That is crazy," said Wenger.
    "People will do anything stupid, but we are not crazy, we are all right. We spend 1 if we make 1 and [then people say] 'what are they doing?' That is what is absolutely mad in our world, but the whole world is bankrupt because of that."
    Wenger accepts Arsenal cannot compete with the wages which other teams pay, a case proven in point over recent seasons with the departures of the likes of Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy to rivals Manchester City.
    "Last year we were very close to the top and there was a rupture in the building of our team with losing [captain Cesc] Fabregas [to Barcelona], Nasri and [Jack] Wilshere [to injury].

    "We could compete with anybody in Europe with our midfield."
    Wenger added: "When we play a young team you have to understand as well that we have chosen that policy.
    "What is difficult to take once you get close is that the players move, and that is where we are in trouble.
    "It is not the policy, it is not keeping our players once they arrive in a mature way."
    Despite their current testing campaign, Wenger insists Arsenal remain competitive with north London rivals Tottenham, who are on course to finish above them for the first time in almost 20 years.

    "At the moment I believe that Tottenham are a good club, with a massive support, which they have had always," he said.
    "But I believe we are highly capable to compete with them and if you look at the consistency we have produced at the top level, there is no comparison."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 27-02-2012

    Harry Redknapp: Has a fan in Stuart Pearce


    Stuart Pearce has hailed Harry Redknapp's man-management skills as second to none.
    Although Pearce will be in charge for England's friendly with Holland on Wednesday, it is widely expected Redknapp will be steering the Three Lions into Euro 2012. He remains the overwhelming choice of both players and supporters alike.
    It is hardly a view Pearce disagrees with, having been plucked by the Londoner from obscurity at Newcastle as a 37-year-old and shoved straight into the West Ham first team.

    "Harry's man-management skills are outstanding," said Pearce.
    "I was at Newcastle and looking to move clubs and he rang me a week before the start of the season, having not even signed me, and told me to get fit because I was playing for West Ham against Tottenham the following Saturday.
    "I worked with him for two years and I really enjoyed it. He makes everyone feel important."
    It is a trait Pearce feels has been evident in all the great managers, including his own mentor Brian Clough.
    That Clough never got the opportunity to manage his country is still a hugely-controversial topic.
    Pearce will be the first of the firebrand's former players to do the job, although he insists there will be little of Clough in the home dug-out on Wednesday night.

    "He was a fantastic role model for me," said Pearce.
    "During those really informative years, between 23 and 31, he developed me as a man and a player. But that's as far as it goes.
    "I would never try to emulate him and what he's done. You pick up little bits and pieces, good and bad, from former managers but you have to make your own calls."
    And for all the talk of Redknapp, Pearce will be the man who decides which 11 players start against the beaten World Cup finalists. He will decide who wears the captain's armband.

    Not bad for someone who worked in a Wembley food kiosk as a 14-year-old growing up in west London.
    "I will probably have more connection to this area than any other person in the stadium on Wednesday night," he said.
    "I was an electrician in this borough for five years. I've packed boxes in Stonebridge, just down the road, for a year.
    "I saw Evel Knievel jump over buses at Wembley. I've worked in a bar.
    "I could never have imagined the course your life takes but I am pleased and honoured to be here."
    The tantalising question is how long will it last.
    There was no disguising the forceful nature of Pearce's request to be left in the job for Euro 2012, made in front of Club England managing director Adrian Bevington and FA director of football development Sir Trevor Brooking, two of the four men who will make the final recommendations.
    Yet there was something that did not quite ring true.

    Pearce says his tournament experience makes him the right man to rule in Poland and Ukraine this summer, yet not to do the job long-term.
    It does not quite make sense.
    "A lot of people sat in my position would have played a different game and let speculation run," he said.
    "I'm not that way inclined. It's right and proper to put my cards on the table, not just for myself and everyone on the outside, but for my employers as well.
    "I know where I am in my progression as a coach and a manager.
    "The pressures and everything else that goes with the job make it for a man with more experience."
    Can that experience come through the Under-21s, which is Pearce's day job, or the Olympics, which he will also wrestle with this summer?
    If England win well on Wednesday, Pearce's status will have strengthened. Suddenly he will look like a good option.
    He insists that should not be the case
    "I look with envy at Fabio Capello's CV. It is the same with Harry Redknapp when you see how many games he's managed and how well Tottenham are playing.
    "Sometimes, in your mind, you get a feel for it.
    "I'm more experienced today than I was nine months ago. I'll be more experienced again after the summer. Come Wednesday night, I'll be a lot more experienced about what it's like to stand in the technical area as the England senior manager, and the exposure that throws at you.
    "But I have only managed for 160 games. At this present moment in time, it is not for me."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 27-02-2012

    Marco Kurz: Derby hammering


    Kaiserslautern coach Marco Kurz's job is not under threat despite Saturday's 4-0 derby defeat to Mainz, club chairman Stefan Kuntz insists.
    The loss saw the Red Devils drop to 17th in the table but Kurz, who only recently signed a new contract extension, has received the backing of Kuntz.
    "I would warn against pointing the finger at any individual," Kuntz said.
    "We are convinced that we can avoid relegation with this squad, and that includes the coaching team.
    "We continue to be convinced by them."

    Kurz admitted the situation could hardly get any worse as his side lost one of the most important games of the season for the fans.
    "You need to play better than this in a derby game," he told Sky television.
    "We did not have the quality to control this game at any one time. Today we hit rock bottom.
    "But as head of this team, I take responsibility for their performance."
    While the Red Devils' Bundesliga future is looking bleak - they have not won in 13 games - Mainz have now managed to move seven points clear of the bottom three.

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 27-02-2012

    Hulk: Has a fan in Andre Villas-Boas


    Andre Villas-Boas has admitted Porto striker Hulk would be an ideal signing for Chelsea.
    Blues boss Villas-Boas revealed the Brazil forward, who helped him win an incredible quadruple in Portugal last season, fits the profile of the kind of player he would like to recruit this summer.
    Chelsea will almost certainly have space in their forward line next season, with both Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou currently looking set to leave when their contracts expire.
    Florent Malouda has a further year to run on his deal but has previously expressed a willingness to move on in search of more regular football.

    Villas-Boas told Portuguese radio station TSF: "We have Kalou and Malouda, both of whom are nearing the end of their contracts, while Juan Mata and Daniel Sturridge are the future.
    "As such, there will surely be a place to fill and I see room for an explosive player on the wing, someone who is strong in one-on-one situations and Hulk fits that profile."
    Porto president Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa has claimed Hulk has an 85million release clause - something even billionaire Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is likely to baulk at.
    Negotiating with Porto proved futile last summer when the Blues tried to sign wing-back Alvaro Pereira, with Pinto da Costa reportedly still smarting from Villas-Boas' decision to quit the Estadio do Dragao for Stamford Bridge.

    If there had been a problem between them, they appear to have buried the hatchet, with Pinto da Costa having invited Villas-Boas to watch the Portuguese champions' Europa League defeat at Manchester City last week.
    "I was very proud to be invited by Pinto da Costa to sit next to him," said Villas-Boas, who played down suggestions the move was an attempt to lure him back to Portugal.
    "Returning to Porto will always be a huge source of pride, but right now I am completely motivated with my work at Chelsea."
    An improved relationship between Villas-Boas and Pinto da Costa would certainly not hurt Chelsea in any future transfer negotiations.
    The Blues have been linked with midfielder Joao Moutinho as well as a renewed bid for Pereira.
    Villas-Boas said: "They could surely play in the Premier League and at Chelsea."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 27-02-2012

    Craig Whyte: Rangers owner and chairman


    Rangers owner and chairman Craig Whyte has denied reports millions of pounds destined for the club's accounts are missing.
    The club's administrators, Duff and Phelps, previously hinted funds raised from future season ticket sales failed to reach club coffers and was instead paid to another of Whyte's companies.
    Whyte has assured Light Blues fans all money due to the club has indeed 'been accounted for', something he believes the administrators will verify.
    "There will be absolute clarity from the administrators. There are no missing millions," he told Sky Sports News.
    "There has been some outrageous and malicious reporting, particularly in the Scottish media.
    "I can assure Rangers fans that every penny going into the club has been accounted for and will be accounted for."
    Gers' 10-point deduction for entering administration has effectively ruled them out of this season's SPL title race, but Whyte believes the club will emerge a stronger entity down the line.
    Whyte has no plans to walk away from the crisis at Ibrox and is letting the administrators work as hard as possible to resolve the club's problems.

    "I don't walk away from anything. I'm in regular contact with the administrators," he continued.
    "I'm working as hard as I can to help resolve the issues and make sure Rangers come out stronger on the other side of this.
    "I'm in regular contact with them (administrators). I'm here to work with them and get the issues resolved.
    "It's a huge challenge. I took that challenge on. I'm not walking away from it and that's what we're working on right now.
    "Rangers are a massive business and brand. They've got the best supporters in the world and together we'll get through this.
    "I've been a stand-up guy ever since day one when I bought Rangers back in May last year.
    "I took on a club with huge financial difficulties. I've been working ever so hard to solve these financial difficulties.
    "I would hope like every other Rangers fan that we get out of it (administration) as quickly as possible, but I can't put a timescale on that at the moment.

    "Although we're going through a very, very painful process at the moment for all Rangers fans, it's a process that really is absolutely necessary and we will come out the other side of this and we will come out the other side of this as a stronger more sustainable business."
    Whyte has denied talk that he is not in regular dialogue with the club's administrators, although he did not divulge what had been discussed.
    "I'm not going to go into private conversations that I have with the administrators at this moment in time," he said. "They're in there.
    "They are working very hard to get through the many issues that have to be resolved to get us through to the other side. The administrators are working to sort the issues out and get Rangers out of the other side of this process.
    "I said two weeks ago that this was the beginning of the end of the uncertainty that's been hanging over Rangers for years now.
    "We're still in that process. It's very, very painful and we all feel it as Rangers fans. What I can say is that we will get through this and we will be stronger in future."

    Whyte expects there will be more redundancies, but he was unable to put an exact figure on the number of departures.
    "I'm not aware of exactly what the plan is there, but I would hope like every other Rangers fan is that it's kept to a minimum. But what I will say is that there will be more pain and the administrators are acting in the best long-term interests of the club.
    Finally, Whyte has labelled Rangers' 50,000 fine by the PLUS Stock Exchange for failing to disclose he had previously been disqualified for being a direct as 'irrelevant' in relation to other on-going issues.
    "This is really irrelevant to any other issues going on at the moment," he concluded.

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 27-02-2012

    Mahamadou Diarra: Signs short-term Fulham deal


    Fulham thave announced the signing of former Real Madrid midfielder Mahamadou Diarra, pending the successful completion of a visa.
    The 30-year-old, who once cost a reported 22million, will join on a free transfer until the end of the season, with the option of extending his deal by a further year.
    Diarra has been without a club since leaving Monaco last summer and is hoping to resurrect his career in the Barclays Premier League.

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 27-02-2012

    James Milner talks to the press on Monday.


    Winger James Milner believes Stuart Pearce has all the right credentials to lead England into the Euro 2012 finals if chosen by the Football Association board.
    Milner has first-hand experience of Pearce's qualities and was impressed with his preparations from working under him for two European Championship finals as England Under-21 coach.
    Pearce will be in charge for Wednesday's friendly international with Holland at Wembley and has indicated he would be willing to lead his country in Poland and Ukraine as Fabio Capello's replacement.
    Milner said: "The timing is not as ideal as you would want, changing manager so close to a major tournament, but we will go in as well prepared as we can be.

    "If Stuart Pearce is manager the Euros it is not a problem for me. He is a great manager, was a great player, and in the two Under-21 tournaments we were unlucky on both occasions.
    "We should have won at least one at them but what I noticed was that in the tournaments I had under him, we went in very well prepared.
    "He thinks about every aspect which could come up in a tournament, every eventuality, how we are going to have to play, and how to plan for combating certain teams.
    "That's the most important thing going into a tournament, you want to feel you are ready and that it is not going to be a problem."
    Milner has been touted as a possible captain against the Dutch and FA sources made it clear him appearing before the media on Monday as opposed to Tuesday does not rule him out of the equation.

    The Manchester City player said: "I think when you grow up as a kid you dream one day you might be England captain.
    "I've been lucky enough to play in a World Cup so to be captain would be a great honour.
    "We have got more than enough leaders in the squad and, whoever is named as captain, they are not going to be there on their own.
    "That's what every successful team needs, more than one leader. One player will wear the armband but you need six, seven, eight leaders to be vocal and lead with their actions."
    Milner was given his debut against Holland by Capello and is personally disappointed to see the Italian leave the role.
    He said: "I've got a lot to thank him for. He is someone who had the confidence to give me my England debut and give me a lot of games. He was fantastic for me.

    "It was great to work with him and learn what I could from him and I'm sad he has gone.
    "He is a top-class manager. We had a good record under him as well, maybe not quite the luck we deserved in the tournaments and maybe things didn't go our way in the World Cup.
    "Again we have qualified for a major tournament. It is not ideal timing what has gone on since, but we will go into the tournament as prepared as we can."

    One player Capello often overlooked was defender Micah Richards and Milner is delighted to see his City team-mate back in the current squad.
    Milner said: "I'm delighted for Micah. He has been outstanding all season. He's played centre-half, right-back, he is dangerous going forward, he is really strong, good defensively."

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