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Thread: Latest Transfer Update at 01-04-2012

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    Latest Transfer Update at 01-04-2012

    Luka Modric: Manchester City speculation


    Harry Redknapp admits Luka Modric could be distracted by talk of a move to Manchester City after Roberto Mancini declared his admiration for the Tottenham playmaker.
    Redknapp had to fight hard to keep Modric at Tottenham last summer after Chelsea launched a series of big-money bids in an attempt to land the highly-rated midfielder.
    Spurs chairman Daniel Levy refused to sell the star, but other clubs may look to take advantage of the uncertainty surrounding Redknapp's future by bidding for the Croatian when the transfer window re-opens.

    Chelsea and Manchester United have been linked with the player throughout the season, and City boss Mancini spoke of Modric in glowing terms this morning, telling The Sun: "Luka Modric is an outstanding footballer, a great player... definitely one of the best in the Premier League."
    Redknapp was forced to leave Modric out of his starting XI at the start of the season as he became distracted by Chelsea's advances, and the Spurs boss concedes it will be hard for the 26-year-old to ignore Mancini's apparent overtures given the riches on offer to the playing staff at the Etihad Stadium.
    "I would think if someone is going to offer him 200,000 a week it could probably turn his head a little, yes!" Redknapp said.
    Redknapp wants Modric to sign a new contract at Tottenham but the Croatian is yet to pen a new deal, and the uncertainty over whether the Spurs boss will be at White Hart Lane next year or in employment with England means Modric is unlikely to commit to anything soon.
    Redknapp admits he is unaware of Modric's intentions but is adamant Spurs need to keep hold of him to continue the progress they have made over the last three years.
    "Only Luka knows what he wants to do with his life," Redknapp said.
    "We want to keep him here. We need to keep him. We love him. He is a fantastic player."
    Should Redknapp, as is expected, be offered the vacant England manager's job, there will doubtlessly be a flood of applicants to fill his current position.

    While a big-name appointment such as Jose Mourinho would obviously delight Spurs fans, there is a growing acknowledgement that the Londoners may turn to a current Premier League boss, with David Moyes reported to be the leading candidate.
    Swansea boss Brendan Rodgers has also been mentioned after gaining many plaudits for the way he has guided the Welsh club to 10th in the table in their first season in the top flight since 1983.
    The Northern Irishman's commitment to playing attacking football would make him an attractive alternative and Redknapp is a big fan of the Swansea boss.
    "Brendan Rodgers has got to be right there for manager of the year," said Redknapp, whose team face Swansea on Sunday.
    "One of the big teams, Manchester City or Manchester United, they are expected to win it, but Rodgers, (Newcastle boss) Alan Pardew and (Norwich manager) Paul Lambert, they will be up there.

    "Brendan Rodgers wouldn't look out of place anywhere would he? He has certainly got Swansea playing some good football.
    "He's someone who has a fantastic future.
    "I don't know what his long-term plans are but certainly the job he has done at Swansea has just been amazing."
    Spurs will be under intense pressure to end their seven-week long wait for a Premier League win this weekend.
    They have failed to win in their last five matches, but Redknapp has been encouraged by the team's draw at Chelsea and victory over Bolton in the FA Cup on Tuesday night.

    Spurs lie three points off third-placed Arsenal, but their five-point lead over Chelsea means they are looking well-placed for a top-four finish.
    Fourth will not guarantee Champions League football if Chelsea go on to win the competition, however.
    Given they need to beat Barcelona en route to the final means that will be hard, but Redknapp hopes to eradicate any possibility his team will not qualify for the Champions League by beating the Gunners to third place in the league.
    "That's why we want to finish third, really...let Arsene have that problem," Redknapp said.

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 01-04-2012

    Leon Britton: Signed new Swansea deal


    Leon Britton is convinced Brendan Rodgers is committed to Swansea and insists he did not need to ask the manager about his future before agreeing a new three-year contract at the Liberty Stadium.
    Rodgers was linked with the Tottenham job last month when Spurs boss Harry Redknapp was tipped to replace Fabio Capello as England manager.
    And those rumours surfaced again on Friday, just before Rodgers takes the Swans to White Hart Lane for Sunday's Barclays Premier League meeting between the two clubs.
    Rodgers signed a new three-and-a-half year contract with the south Wales club at the start of February, and midfielder Britton this week signed a three-year deal of his own.

    And the 29-year-old said he did not need to ask his manager for a reassurance that he would be staying with the club, such is his confidence that the Northern Irishman will remain at the Liberty Stadium.
    He said: "It's natural when a team does well the manager will be linked with other clubs, and players will be touted to go here, there and everywhere.
    "For me the big thing in signing the new contract was the manager being part of the club, as we have seen what he has done in just under two seasons.
    "He has improved us as a team and as individuals and this is the place to be if you want to improve as a player.
    "He has just signed a new contract so I don't need to ask him his plans for the future, he signed a new contract and that shows he is committed to the club, he has been brilliant and he will want to keep improving the team."
    Britton's outstanding form this season has won him many plaudits and he has been tipped for an England call-up.
    The former West Ham man's pass completion record of 92 per cent has seen him bracketed with the likes of Barcelona duo Andres Iniesta and Xavi, but Britton is typically modest when asked to assess his season.
    "The stats have all come out this season," he said.
    "It's gone well this year, but we have found as a club that in the Premier League stats are thrown at you from all angles and obviously with our style it has been the passing stats.

    "But there is no comparison with me and Xavi, you can't mention me in the same bracket."
    The trip to White Hart Lane sees Britton goes up against Redknapp, the man who signed him from Arsenal for 400,000 when he was just 16.
    Britton never made the step up to the first team at Upton Park, but says he will always be grateful to Redknapp for taking a "gamble" on him.
    He said: "He took me to West Ham at 16 and took a gamble on me, they paid a lot of money for me although I didn't work with him as much because I never made the breakthrough to the first team.
    "But he showed faith with me. When we used to play reserve games or Youth Cup games and he would be watching he could come in to the dressing room at half-time and you noticed his man management, it was like he was untouchable.
    "He would say things like 'give the ball to the little man he is running the game today', and if the first team manager is saying that it makes you feel 10 feet tall.
    "I didn't work with him so much as I didn't make first team breakthrough but he is a great manager and I can definitely say that I am miles better as a player at 29 than the 17-year-old I was at West Ham."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 01-04-2012

    Rodgers: Says he will be ready if a big job comes


    Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers says he will be ready if he gets the chance to manage one of the top sides in the Premier League.
    The 39-year-old Northern Irishman has been linked with taking over at Sunday's opponents Tottenham, should current incumbent Harry Redknapp take the England job, while he was also mentioned in connection with Chelsea, where he served as a reserve and youth-team coach.
    It is a sign of the impact Rodgers and Swansea have made in their debut Premier League campaign. The Swans currently lie 10th in the table ahead of Sunday's trip to Tottenham and having won rave reviews for their attractive style.

    Rodgers believes his experiences at Chelsea mean he could step into one of the top-flight's elite clubs, but says that following a season during which his father Malachy died in September after a battle with cancer it may not be the right time for him.
    "I don't think it (a move to a top club) would be too soon but it might be too soon in my personal life," he said. "This has been a big year for us.
    "Once I get a chance at the end of the season I will need a lot of reflection time in relation to the season and how we have done, but also on a personal level a lot has happened with my father and lots of other things so I will have a job to reflect on all of that.
    "I have many things to reflect on but when is the right time?"
    He added: "People talk about experience, I was fortunate I experienced working with people like [Jose] Mourinho and [Luiz Felipe] Scolari, something that some managers and coaches will never get in their careers.
    "I worked in the most successful era in Chelsea's history so I was in pole position in terms of learning. I experienced the Champions League, FA Cup finals and games of that magnitude.
    "So if that day ever comes it won't be a case of 'do I believe I can work at that level?'
    "It gives me comfort that if it comes one day, whether I am 39, 49 or 59, I will know I worked at that level with some of biggest players in European football and earned their respect as a human being and a coach.
    "If it arrives one day I will be ready."

    And Rodgers, who signed a new three-and-a-half year contract last month, says while he is being linked with jobs elsewhere, he is only focused on Swansea and making sure they retain their top-flight status.
    "When you have performed as our players have that attention gravitates towards you," he said. "But it is not something I am looking for. But it's the British game, it's speculation, it's gossip.
    "I can't control it so I don't worry about it. my only worry is to move Swansea forward."
    While there is speculation over what the future may hold for Rodgers, one man hoping to see out his career at the Liberty Stadium is midfielder Leon Britton, who has signed a new three-year contract.

    The 29-year-old has been one of the stars of Swansea's season, with his pass completion rate of over 90% earning him comparisons with the likes of Barcelona's Andres Iniesta and Xavi.
    He said: "This deal will take me up to my 32nd birthday, but I'd like to think if I can keep myself fit and healthy, live my life right, then I can go on playing until my mid-to-late thirties.
    "In an ideal world I would like to stay at Swansea until the day I retire - or they retire me - because I love it here and the club has a bright future ahead of it."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 01-04-2012

    Redknapp: Expects Spurs will have money to spend


    Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp is sure chairman Daniel Levy will make money available again this summer to sign the players he feels the club need to challenge for a top-four place next season.
    Despite a recent run of five Barclays Premier League games without a win, Tottenham look set to qualify for next year's Champions League after maintaining their five-point lead over Chelsea with a draw at Stamford Bridge last week.
    Spurs' chances of finishing third may be fading - Arsenal can move six points clear of their north London rivals if they beat QPR on Saturday - but Redknapp still insists a fourth-place finish will be an impressive achievement given the big spending of their rivals this season.
    Redknapp has spent a fraction of the money that has been on offer at Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United this term, with Scott Parker, Brad Friedel and loanee Emmanuel Adebayor the only arrivals at the club last summer.

    The 65-year-old may not be at Tottenham next season as he has been heavily tipped to take over the England job, but he thinks whoever is in charge will have the money at their disposal to buy players. Spurs have been linked with Ligue 1 pair Eden Hazard and Loic Remy.
    "Everything is in place for the club to keep progressing now, we've got a new training ground coming (this summer), but when it comes down to it, you can have all the facilities in the world, but you have to keep investing in players," Redknapp said.
    "I think Tottenham will do that next year, we will look to improve the team again next year."
    Spurs chairman Levy had feared the club was set to be relegated when he sacked Juande Ramos and replaced him with Redknapp in 2008.
    Some fans of the north London club have been frustrated at seeing their club fall out of the reckoning for the title this year, but Redknapp insists they should be happy with how the team have performed this season.
    "I know just how disappointed people will be if we don't make the Champions League. I am not silly. I understand that because of the position we were in," he added.

    "But at the start of the year we would have been fifth or sixth favourites to make the Champions League in all honesty.
    "We are looking for Champions League qualification. I think we will get a Champions League place, we have an FA Cup semi-final to come against Chelsea. These are great times for us.
    "Last season we got to the quarter finals of the Champions League.
    "We are getting better all the time. We have established ourselves now. We are right there every year now so there is no reason why Tottenham shouldn't be there every year for the next God knows how many years."
    Tottenham will be looking to keep up the pressure on Arsenal by ending their seven-week wait for a league victory on Sunday against Swansea.
    Redknapp spoke in glowing terms about Swans boss Brendan Rodgers yesterday, claiming the 39-year-old has a bright future in top-flight management.
    Redknapp is a big fan of the attractive football Swansea play and has also been impressed with how Rodgers has been able to develop Tottenham defender Steven Caulker, who has been on loan at the Liberty Stadium this season.
    "Caulker has done very well for them, he has had a great season," Redknapp added.
    "He is only a young player. We like him and it has been a great experience for him to play for them this year."
    Redknapp has Aaron Lennon available for the first time in three weeks after he recovered from a hamstring injury, but he may be forced to rest Ledley King after he started Tuesday's FA Cup quarter-final win over Bolton.

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 01-04-2012

    Bale: Big chance for Redknapp


    Tottenham star Gareth Bale would not blame boss Harry Redknapp if he jumped ship to take the England job.
    Redknapp remains the favourite to take over from departed Three Lions manager Fabio Capello following Tottenham's impressive season.
    Bale told The Sun: "We all want Harry to stay but he is a great manager and if England do come calling it's one of those lifetime opportunities that you just can't turn down.

    "I wouldn't blame him for going, can you really? You never know if that opportunity will ever come around again."
    Bale believes Tottenham can cope without Redknapp should he move on.
    He said: "Harry's a fantastic manager who can handle high-calibre players and expectations at the club. If we get a manager like that I dare say it won't make too much difference."
    Bale, 22, has also been linked with a transfer away from White Hart Lane - and he admits a move to one of Europe's top clubs would be hard to resist.
    "If you are talking about Barcelona or Real Madrid, two of the biggest clubs in the world, then it's a bit like Harry and England, it's a once-in-a-lifetime dream," he said.

    "If you said to any young player that you could play for Barcelona or Real would they turn it down? Probably not."
    He added: "If a bid was accepted you would obviously have to seriously consider it.
    "But that has not happened so, at the moment, I'm just concentrating on Tottenham."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 01-04-2012

    Roman Abramovich: Chelsea owner


    John Obi Mikel has admitted that everyone at Chelsea is under threat of the axe from owner Roman Abramovich.
    The Stamford Bridge supremo has a reputation for hiring and firing managers after dispensing with the services of Andre Villas-Boas earlier this season, just over eight months after shelling out 13million to lure him from Porto.
    Interim boss Roberto di Matteo is the eighth man to take arguably the hottest seat in the Premier League since Russian billionaire Abramovich took control in West London in 2003.
    And midfielder Mikel admits that the players know they could suffer the same fate as the many men who have picked the team for the Blues in recent years.

    But the Nigeria international insists that as Abramovich is funding the club from his vast personal fortune, he has the right to make any decisions he wants.
    And he has rejected claims that Villas-Boas was forced out by player-power, amid continued suggestions that senior stars at Stamford Bridge hold too much sway.
    Mikel told reporters: "It has been a difficult season and you can question the owner, but he wants results and he wants to win trophies.
    "If things are not right it is his money, his team, so he has the right to change things. And I think we all respect that.

    "Tomorrow, if he says he wants to get rid of us players and wants to get new ones, then we will respect him. It is his money, his business.
    "Now Robbie is boss, we all have to respect this. The team comes first and whoever is playing we have to respect that as well.
    "We are all together and helping each other, even from the bench. The players have all regrouped and spoken amongst ourselves.
    "But there has never been player power here, I don't know where people get that from. The manager has always been in control."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 01-04-2012

    Robin Dutt: Has left Leverkusen


    Robin Dutt has accepted Bayer Leverkusen's "understandable" decision to sack him just nine months after taking over the reins from Jupp Heynckes.
    A run of five consecutive defeats, including a 7-1 thrashing at the hands of Barcelona, prompted the Bundesliga club to take action in a bid to salvage something from their season and Dutt, who accepted he was responsible for Saturday's 2-0 defeat to Freiburg, paid the ultimate price.
    "Today is not a nice day for me, but this decision is understandable from the club's point of view," Dutt said at a press conference.
    "I can only say that I myself am responsible for it."

    Dutt, who was informed of the club's decision after a meeting this morning, added: "I came here through the front door and I did not want to leave via the back door.
    "I leave with a clear conscience. I am very grateful to have been given the chance to coach Bayer Leverkusen."
    General manager Wolfgang Holzhauser said the decision to part company with Dutt, who he appointed in the summer off the back of an impressive record with Freiburg, had not been easy even though many of the club's fans had made it clear that they wanted a change.
    Holzhauser said the fans had not invoked the decision, but he regretted that Dutt had been subject to such treatment.
    "We simply needed to take action and send out a signal in order to give our season's aim of qualifying for a place in Europe next season fresh impetus," he said.
    "This whole situation has affected me profoundly, but we need to put our personal feelings to one side when the whole club is at stake."
    Former reserve team coach Sami Hyypia has been appointed as head coach until the end of the season alongside Sascha Lewandowski, who was in charge of the club's under-19s.

    The former Liverpool defender hopes to lead the club into the Europa League over the final six games of the campaign.
    "I am convinced that our side is strong enough to reach this goal," said the Finn, who hung up his playing boots at the end of last season.
    "We need to give self-confidence back to the players. We had 11 players on the field against Freiburg, but we did not have a team out there.
    "We have got to show that we will give everything to be successful.
    "For that to happen, we need to become closely knit as a team and we also need the support of the fans to achieve our objectives."
    Hyypia, who became a firm fans' favourite during his two seasons as a Leverkusen player, can certainly expect to be given more of a chance than Dutt was by the supporters.

    Leverkusen are currently in a four-team tie for fifth place, with their current goal difference ensuring they would still qualify for the Europa League were the season to end now.

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 01-04-2012

    Jim Magilton: Not staying at Melbourne


    Melbourne Victory interim coach Jim Magilton has ruled himself out of the running for the full-time role and decided to return home to Northern Ireland.
    Magilton took control of Victory in January, but failed to turn the side's poor A-League form around as he guided them to just two wins from 12 matches with the two-time champions limping into eighth position.
    The club said the 42-year-old would be one of the candidates to take the post for next season, but Magilton declined to be a part of the process and is returning home.

    "On behalf of (assistant coach) Chris (O'Loughlin) and myself, I'd like to thank everyone at Melbourne Victory for the opportunity that was presented to us," Magilton said.
    "We have thoroughly enjoyed the experience and wish the club every success in the future."
    Managing director Richard Wilson was full of praise for Magilton and what he was able to achieve in a short period of time.
    "Jim arrived at the shortest of notice, on a leap of faith, stepping into a role that he had limited background on," Wilson said.
    "We realise that we didn't ultimately reach the finals this season, which was our goal, but we also believe Jim was unlucky not to have finished with a better record, given we conceded goals in the dying stages of games against Sydney and Gold Coast.

    "He was a total professional throughout the three months he was here. His preparation week to week was exceptional. His team selection saw the integration of several youngsters and was always in the best interests of the club.
    "In summary, he left no stone unturned, tackled every issue head on and he will only be remembered in a positive way from everyone involved in Melbourne Victory. We certainly wish Jim and Chris well in their future coaching endeavours."
    The club have a shortlist of candidates and the process for appointment is under way, but an announcement is not expected for a number of weeks.

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