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Thread: Latest Transfer Update at 03-03-2012

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    Latest Transfer Update at 03-03-2012

    Andre Villas-Boas: Remains defiant


    Andre Villas-Boas has declared he would "never" quit Chelsea, even if they ended up empty-handed this season.
    Blues boss Villas-Boas reiterated failure to win any silverware was "not good enough" at Stamford Bridge and admitted that could cost him his job.
    But he made it clear Roman Abramovich would have to sack him because there was no walking away from his three-year project.
    He said: "I'd never resign, I'd never give up. It's not part of my education."
    Asked if he would deserve to avoid the axe under those circumstances, he said: "You have to ask the owner.
    "It's only him who can say if there is that right to continue to portray the future or not."
    Abramovich has fired every one of his managers who ended a season empty-handed.

    "Failure to win any trophies at a club of this dimension is not good enough," Villas-Boas said.
    "It is something we cannot accept and so we have to take responsibility for that, the management, for sure.
    "It happened last year, after a double-winning side.
    "If it happens this year again, we'll have to reflect more in depth on what is going wrong. There are signs of things you have to avoid."
    Villas-Boas has admitted to making mistakes during his first season in charge and said Chelsea - fifth in the Barclays Premier League ahead of tomorrow's trip to West Brom - should be finishing ahead of Manchester United and Tottenham with the players at their disposal.
    "We haven't had the results that we should have for the squad we have, and in normal circumstances we would be ahead of those teams," he said.

    "We have been underperforming. But we can still improve for the rest of the season."
    However, he claimed leaders Manchester City's squad was "a lot better" and suggested his side would only close the gap once Financial Fair Play began to bite.
    He said: "I don't think you can compare the two squads, to be fair. I think theirs is a lot better.
    "When the top team has access to buy from their title rivals, you can build something extraordinary. We had it in the past and built something extraordinary.

    "I think you can't expect Chelsea to buy from City and United."
    Villas-Boas admitted the players that may have once joined Chelsea were now choosing City.
    "Economic power has a direct influence on choice-making," he said.
    "People could have gone to City because of the project that was being built, the super-team being built and put together. Perhaps that's what drove them.

    "The numbers being paid are top, are extreme, regarding the league this year.
    "With Financial Fair Play, maybe everyone will have better chance of access to those players."
    Asked if that was unfair, Villas-Boas said: "I think it's fair. We had it in the past."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 03-03-2012

    Scholes: Has impressed since returning


    Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson expects midfielder Paul Scholes to stay on with the Old Trafford outfit.
    Scholes quit last summer believing he was no longer making the kind of contribution he wanted, and it was envisaged he would go into a coaching role with the United reserves.
    However, the job did not turn out to be quite what Scholes wanted and he asked Ferguson whether there was any possibility of being allowed to resume his playing career.
    The 37-year-old returned for the FA Cup third-round tie at Manchester City in January and has now made 10 appearances and scored two vital goals for the Red Devils, more than he managed in the whole of last season.
    Scholes may never reach the staggering statistics of Ryan Giggs, who marked 900 appearances at Norwich last weekend.

    But the Welshman's continued presence should help to persuade Scholes he can go on as well.
    "I haven't discussed Paul's future with him but on the evidence we have seen at the moment there is no reason why he shouldn't (stay another year)," said Ferguson.
    "When I said to him last year you'll give me 25 to 30 games it wasn't enough for him. But I think he may look at it differently now.
    "He knew right away when he went coaching with the reserves and took part in the sessions he could hack it.
    "He came to me and said he'd made a mistake.

    "The evidence we are seeing now is he is right. His form has been fantastic."
    Giggs is something else entirely, though, with Ferguson confirming the records now being set by the Welshman will never be equalled.
    "To get to 900 games is beyond anyone now," he said.
    "In the modern day, nobody will do that for one club."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 03-03-2012

    Sir Alex Ferguson: Harry is the man


    Sir Alex Ferguson has warned the Tottenham directors to brace themselves for an approach from the Football Association for Harry Redknapp.
    Now England's friendly with Holland is out of the way the FA has admitted a list has been drawn up in their search for Fabio Capello's successor.
    Plenty of names have been mentioned, including Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola.
    However it seems more a case of when, rather than if, the FA will make their move.
    That is certainly the way Ferguson sees it which is why, with a title still to go for, and a place in next season's Champions League so close, he worries what impact it might have on Spurs chairman Daniel Levy.

    "The people who will be more concerned are the Tottenham directors," said Ferguson.
    "I am sure they will be wondering what the next step is.
    "I don't think they can dismiss the eventuality of the FA making contact. It is going to happen.
    "They will be more worried than the actual players."
    Ferguson has previously stated Redknapp is the right man for the job and repeated that his old friend had the right credentials today.
    The Scot also believes Redknapp would like a crack at it, which raises a problem because the United manager has also said in the past that when he announced he was leaving, in 2002, his players began to ease off.
    "When I said I was going to retire it definitely had an effect on the dressing room," said Ferguson.
    "It is a little bit different because it is only speculation.

    "Harry has not made any statement saying he wants the England job although I think the general feeling is he would relish it."
    Other than Roy Hodgson, it is hard to think of an English-born candidate who fits the bill.
    Throughout his career, Redknapp has built teams that play attractive football.
    At Portsmouth he won that elusive major trophy, whilst Tottenham have returned to being a top flight force under his command.
    "You judge any manager on longevity and Harry has survived all the different types of challenges," said Ferguson.

    "He was bottom of the league at Portsmouth and he rescued them, which was an amazing achievement.
    "If he hadn't gone there, they were relegated.
    "He has influenced the team everywhere he has been. That is a good way to assess a manager.
    "He never seems to be in a panic. He seems to be calm. He is never in a tizzy - unlike myself."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 03-03-2012

    Fowler: Could join Blackpool


    Robbie Fowler will have talks with Blackpool chairman Karl Oyston on Saturday over the possibility of a sensational return to English football with the npower Championship club.
    It emerged on Thursday that the 36-year-old former England and Liverpool striker was in training with Ian Holloway's side with a view to a permanent deal.
    Speaking after the Seasiders' 1-1 draw with with Hull, Holloway confirmed discussions with Fowler were due to take place.
    "My chairman has got to talk to the boy himself tomorrow," he said. "I don't put pressure on my chairman. I don't understand what Robbie wants, it's none of my business. I've only spoken to him about football.
    "I think he knows he could do it, I think he knows he would enjoy it and I think he knows I know he could do it.

    "So it's all about him really. I don't know what he's been paid in the past and I don't know what he's thinking about now, but I just hope with all my heart that he's the same as the rest of my lads and wants to come here and work for me and don't really care about the money."
    "He might just want to be part of something that might be special in his life right now, because we might have a chance of going up again and I think it would be an even bigger miracle than when we did it before."
    Having seen Fowler at close quarters this week, Holloway is in little doubt that the striker can still be an asset at Championship level.

    "I still think he's got loads of mileage in him," he said. "Wouldn't that be nice if I took off Kevin Phillips and popped on Robbie Fowler? Am I at Blackpool or not?
    "He's the first trialist I've ever asked for his autograph!
    "The whole place has got a lift. It wouldn't work if he didn't have that appetite to keep going and keep playing and keep doing it. He could easily retire if he wanted to. I love his enthusiasm."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 03-03-2012

    Rangers: Difficult times


    Rangers' players will head into Saturday's Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash against Hearts still waiting to learn if it could be their last game for the club.
    On Friday night administrators delayed a decision on how to make 4.5million cost savings after failing to accept an offer from players to defer wages.
    PFA Scotland revealed their first-team members at Rangers had given them a mandate to negotiate "immediate and substantial" salary deferrals to last until the end of the season.

    But administrators Duff and Phelps said no consensus had been reached and a final decision had been delayed until "early next week".
    PFA Scotland chief executive Fraser Wishart and Rangers manager Ally McCoist held another day of talks with administrators Paul Clark and David Whitehouse in a bid to avoid job losses.
    Redundancies had been expected earlier in the week but McCoist has his squad fully intact for today's game against Hearts at Ibrox.
    However, Wishart revealed the administrators were "highly unlikely" to accept the players' offer.
    Wishart said in a statement last night: "At [Thursday's] meeting the union and their solicitors were concerned that they were only being furnished with skeletal financial information.

    "Nevertheless, and despite the lack of visibility on the club's full finances, the players voted to accept significant salary deferrals in the full knowledge that there remains a risk that these sums may never be repaid should the club not come out of administration."
    On Friday's meeting, the former Rangers full-back added: "Unfortunately, the administrators indicated that it was highly unlikely that they would be able to agree to our members' proposal and the meeting concluded without agreement."
    The administrators claimed they were still hopeful of reaching an amicable solution after a week of negotiating over job losses and pay cuts.
    Clark said in a statement: "As administrators, we had anticipated completing our review of staffing levels and cost structure of the Rangers business this week but the participation of a number of players in international fixtures did interrupt the process.
    "In short, the Rangers business is trading at a substantial loss and we have no alternative but to fill an approximate 4.5million shortfall by the end of the season.

    "It is therefore imperative that we find savings of approximately 1million per month to ensure the ongoing viability of the business.
    "As has been widely publicised, there have been a number of discussions this week in an effort to achieve the necessary cost reductions.
    "We are determined that all realistic options should be explored and today discussions have been ongoing with Ally McCoist who, in turn, has been speaking to his players and the PFA Scotland.
    "We would prefer to reach a consensual position but as the day has gone on and tomorrow's very important match against Hearts looms larger, it has been agreed that any final decisions have been postponed until early next week."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 03-03-2012

    Fratton Park: Troubled times


    Portsmouth's major creditors have denied taking any money out of the stricken Championship outfit and accused the club's administrators of not doing enough to avoid the possibility of liquidation.
    Pompey's financial position has been the stuff of nightmares since 2009, when former owner Sacha Gaydamak admitted he no longer had the funds to run the club.
    A succession of collapsed sales and two administrations have followed, finally leading present administrator Trevor Birch to say Portsmouth have insufficient funds to get through the season and face a very real possibility of becoming the first professional club in England to go out of business in the middle of a season since Aldershot in 1992.

    Much of the blame has been laid at the door of Portpin Ltd, and its shareholders Balu Chainrai and Levi Kushnir, whom are alleged not to have the club's interests at heart.
    However, in a detailed statement, Chainrai and Kushnir have defended their position.
    "Portsmouth FC has reached a critical juncture," said the statement.
    "It is with an increasing sense of real frustration that we feel the process of finding an equitable solution is being derailed.
    "This is a tough but not unsolvable situation. However, if people are more concerned with chasing shadows and hearsay in anticipation of being unable to complete the assignment instead of rising to the challenge of and actively finding suitable buyers, the club will cease to exist.
    "There are no winners when a business dies.
    "We need to collectively find a solution to save the club."
    In its statement, Portpin say they have not received a penny of the money promised by the now discredited CSI group when they agreed to buy Portsmouth in 2011.
    Instead, they have banked just one interest payment of 240,000, which was done shortly before they were asked to provide further financial assistance after CSI, 80% owned by Lithuanian businessman Vladimir Antonov, failed to pay December's wages on time.

    Even after the club entered administration once more last month, there were some nasty surprises waiting as a potential short-term way out of the present situation was sealed off once it was established that a parachute payment of 2.2million had been promised to Gaydamak as part of the sale to CSI.
    Portpin have been attacked for the deal.
    However, in their statement, Portpin say that the club could not have been sold to CSI without Gaydamak receiving "new security over the new club by way of assignment of the Premier League parachute payments".
    And they insist if it had not gone through Portsmouth, who on Friday loaned skipper Liam Lawrence to Cardiff to help ease their financial burden, would have almost certainly been liquidated.
    But for Portsmouth and their fans, it proved to be a brief reprieve, with Birch now tasked with finding a buyer who can unravel the present situation, which includes a further sum in excess of 10.8million that CSI raised to buy players without any obvious way of paying it back.
    Portpin insist it can be done. However, not with the kind of attitude they feel Birch has adopted.
    "We do not understand PKF's approach," said the statement.

    "Daily, we find ourselves attacked in the press by PKF.
    "The ultimate irony here is that PKF acted as financial advisor to CSI in the acquisition of the club from us.
    "If they had felt anything was untoward in the history of the club and its financing, they would have flagged that to their client at that time and advised against the purchase.
    "As clearly evidenced in their due diligence report to CSI on the acquisition, they supported the purchase entirely.
    "It is therefore quite peculiar that PKF is now pleading ignorance to terms that were agreed in not only the first CVA but also to the purchase of the club by CSI less than five months ago.
    "We honestly felt we had put Portsmouth in as sound as possible a financial position when we sold it to CSI.
    "You can imagine our surprise, then, when CSI got into extreme financial distress and we were forced to once again become reluctant owners.
    "We do not want to see the club be forced into liquidation, as the current administrator appears to be suggesting.
    "Given that no creditor or new buyer has agreed to step forward yet in this short time to fund this administration process run by PKF, it appears that liquidation may be the only way PKF would be able to get paid.

    "Otherwise, we don't understand why after only two weeks on from their appointment - Trevor Birch and PKF want to register on their record a liquidation of this very proud club.
    "We, on the other hand, call on all parties involved to work together to try to find any other solution that liquidation of a football club that has been in existence since 1898."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 03-03-2012

    McLeish: Wants to keep Bent and Agbonlahor


    Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish admits he will look to overhaul his squad this summer but stressed he wants to keep star strikers Darren Bent and Gabriel Agbonlahor.
    McLeish has been under instructions to reduce the club's wage bill this season and the reason why became evident after the club reported a loss of nearly 54 million this week for 2010-2011.
    He will have money available to buy players - although only a limited number - and is already eyeing up a series of possible Bosman signings.
    But the Villa boss also knows the importance of holding onto the likes of Bent and Agbonlahor.

    McLeish said: "We've already made plans to bring some players in. We've looked at a lot of players that we have a good chance of bringing to the club, Bosman signings but of a good quality.
    "There are targets as well that cost money. I am sure the chairman (Randy Lerner) would do massive wages again as long as it was kept inside the framework and parameters.
    "I can assure the fans we will be in the market for players who cost money - but we only be targeting a couple of those types of players."
    McLeish will look to offload some players and admitted: "I couldn't keep everybody and add to the squad. We'd have to trade carefully.
    "Like I said in January, if somebody coveted one of our players and maybe I had to sacrifice to strengthen other positions, then that's something that could be the way ahead in terms of the plans."
    But when asked if that meant either Bent or Agbonlahor, McLeish said: "No. There would be some players that we would obviously like to hold onto for the long run."

    McLeish has constantly stressed that the current campaign is one of transition for Villa but he is confident there will be more encouraging times ahead.
    He said: "I do have to stamp my own personality on the team. I've not been able to do that. But that was something I took on and something I agreed to.
    "We bought three players in and it was agreed that we would keep trying to drive the wages to a certain level before we started doing business again.
    "My message is give me a chance and I'll get it right. I know it's a little bit gloomy at the moment but I definitely believe that Villa will come out of this well. "

    American businessman Lerner has been a regular visitor to Villa's training ground in recent weeks and McLeish believes his commitment to the club is as strong as ever.
    He said: "Mr Lerner still loves the club. I can only go on face value in football but what I've seen from Randy is that he loves the club.
    "He's hurting for the club but he wants to get the finances right. He is 100% behind the club, absolutely."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 03-03-2012

    Redknapp: No plans to retire


    Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp turned 65 on Friday , but has no plans to quit football and pick up his bus pass just yet.
    Redknapp is enjoying the most successful part of his 29-year long management career having transformed Spurs from relegation candidates to Barclays Premier League title challengers since joining in October 2008.
    His success has come amid a series of troubles, however. He underwent a minor heart operation last November and has recently had to go through a draining trial to clear his name against two tax evasion charges.
    None of that has dampened his enthusiasm for the game, though, and he indicated yesterday that he is determined to prolong his career past 70, just like the man who will face him in the opposing dugout at White Hart Lane on Sunday - Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson.
    "I don't think about packing up," Redknapp said when asked if he could see himself managing past 70.
    "Everyone is different. Alex is 70 but he doesn't seem 70.

    "I might look 65 but I certainly don't feel it.
    "I don't know what I would do with my time if I retired. I've got no hobbies really. I only have a game of golf every now and again. That's it.
    "It's not like I would be retiring from a coal face or anything. You get to go to all these fantastic places in this job and football is in you.
    "It's something you will miss when you don't do it.
    "I will not be applying for my bus pass. I haven't been on a bus for years."
    Redknapp, who is heavily tipped to become the next England manager, took a break from football on Thursday when he went to watch one of his horses, Bygones in Brig, race at Taunton.

    The trip ended in disaster, though, as the horse died after breaking its neck during the race.
    "It was a nightmare. It was a fantastic horse. It was going to run at Cheltenham next week," he said.
    "It was a fantastic jumper but for whatever reason it just got to the first and it didn't get off the ground. It broke its neck.
    "I just saw him go down from where I was looking as I didn't have any binoculars.
    "One of the stable girls came running over to me and said: 'He isn't going to get up'. "It was a bad day. I got to Taunton, two minutes later I was in my car driving home - minus the horse. I won't be going there again.
    "I've got other horses. That was a horse I really thought a lot of, though. It was the first one I lost.

    "People saw me and they were trying to take photos with me. I was stood there wanting to cry and they're going 'can we have a photo?"
    Redknapp is confident his team can bounce back from last weekend's 5-2 defeat at Arsenal with a win against the Red Devils tomorrow.
    "The Arsenal match was a blip, a one-off," he said. "The players have all moved on.
    "We occasionally will have a day like that, where everything went wrong, and we have to put it right this week."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 03-03-2012

    Tim Krul: Pledged his future to Newcastle


    Newcastle have received a boost on the eve of their derby clash with Sunderland after announcing skipper Fabricio Coloccini and goalkeeper Tim Krul have agreed new long-term deals with the club.
    Argentinian defender Coloccini has agreed a new four-year contract, while Dutchman Krul, who has impressed after making the number one jersey his own this season, has put pen to paper on a five-year deal.
    "As far as I'm concerned and the players and staff it's a huge boost before tomorrow's game and I hope our fans will continue today with a nice smile on their face and we continue that through Sunday evening," Pardew, flanked by Coloccini and Krul, told a press conference on Sunday morning.
    "Sometimes the most important players are the players you have already, and these guys sitting next to me have both got the chance of player of the year at this football club.
    "They've been absolutely terrific and deserve their new contracts."

    Coloccini was delighted to have secured his future, and immediately set his sights on lifting a trophy during the period of his new deal.
    He said: "We have now a long term to look forward and do things well to bring something good for the fans.
    "I hope in these four years, we can win something for them and for the club.
    "All the players want to do better for the club. We are doing really well and we have to keep going like this."
    The Magpies currently lie in sixth place in the Barclays Premier League table after building on a flying start to the campaign, to the surprise of many outside the club.
    Coloccini said: "I am not surprised because we have confidence in our team, but from where we were two years ago, now we are fighting for a position at the top of the table.

    "We have to keep going, working harder and hopefully at the end of the season speak about Europe."
    Krul too is targeting a strong finish to an already good campaign in which he has fully justified Pardew's decision to install him as his number one goalkeeper.
    The Dutchman said: "Of course committing Colo, our captain, is very important for me also because that just shows the way the club is heading at this stage.
    "We are definitely heading the right way and I am really happy to commit my future for five years.
    "Times are great at the moment. The spirit is high in the group and everyone is looking forward to tomorrow because it's a huge, huge game to be involved in."
    Krul has spent much of the last six months or so being linked with some of the Premier League's biggest clubs, but insists he had no qualms about extending his stay on Tyneside.
    He said: "To be honest, I never really read the papers, but me committing my future here, I owe the club and I owe the manager a lot because he gave me the chance to play in the Premier League.

    "To play for this club has always been my dream and I am going to do this for the next years to come. It's onwards and upwards, really."
    Both men will now turn their attention back to tomorrow's derby clash with Sunderland and the attempt to make a good week even better.
    Coloccini said: "Every derby is very important, and more so in the situation we are in.
    "I hope we can win then game and give a happy Sunday to the fans."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 03-03-2012

    Damien Comolli: Expects quieter summer


    Liverpool's director of football Damien Comolli is not expecting a new wave of signings when the window transfer reopens at the end of the season.
    Last summer manager Kenny Dalglish brought in seven players to add to the two, Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez, who were signed the previous January.
    About 120million was invested in the squad, although almost 60million was recouped from departures, but Comolli does not anticipate there being major changes this time around.
    "It is early days. We will probably make some adjustments in the summer but nothing that we've done before," he said.
    "We signed nine players since Kenny came back so there will be a few adjustments but nothing massive.
    "We have done the hard work and now it is a question of making some adjustments in certain positions.
    "Kenny has said it several times that we have a very competitive squad and all positions are covered by two or three players, quality players, and we have a lot of young players coming through as well."

    After lifting the Carling Cup last weekend, the club's first trophy for six years, matters now turn to the Premier League.
    Comolli believes Saturday's visit of Arsenal is a match the Reds have to win to boost their hopes of a top-four finish.
    The Gunners' stunning 5-2 win over Tottenham last weekend, having been 2-0 down, means Arsene Wenger's side are currently in pole position for the final Champions League qualification spot.
    However, Chelsea are only below them on goal difference and Liverpool need to claw back a seven-point gap - although they do have a match in hand, against Everton.

    "We have a massive game against Arsenal at the weekend," said Comolli.
    "The next priority is to win the next game. When you see the results at the weekend with Arsenal beating Spurs we definitely need to win on Saturday." Comolli believes victory in the Carling Cup on Sunday, securing the club's first trophy for six years, can only positively impact on the club and the players.

    "It is a fantastic statement and also we are back in Europe early in the season," he added.
    "We know it will bring us positive dynamic for the rest of the season.
    "It is a fantastic way to end February with a trophy already but we know we have a lot to play for until May."

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