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Thread: Latest Transfer Update at 09-04-2012

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    Latest Transfer Update at 09-04-2012

    Latest Transfer Update at 09-04-2012

    Mancini: Fears for Balotellli's career


    Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has warned Mario Balotelli's entire career could be over in two years after admitting he would "probably" sell the striker this summer.
    Mancini feared Jose Mourinho's claim Balotelli was "unmanageable" would prove prophetic if the 21-year-old continues to be overcome by the kind of madness that got him sent off in the 1-0 defeat at Arsenal.
    The loss surely dealt a fatal blow to City's Premier League title hopes but could also be Balotelli's final appearance for the club.
    Mancini said: "He needs to change his behaviour if he wants to continue to play.
    "I saw in my life a lot of players like Mario that are fantastic, arrogant guys.
    "But, after, they lose all their talent like this and they finish in two or three years.
    "Mario is this way."

    He added: "He could be my son, and I understand when you are young, you can make some mistakes.
    "Mario is a guy who's made mistakes. I hope for him, not me, that he can change."
    Balotelli's red card in the dying seconds earned him an automatic three-match ban but Mancini was expecting - and even encouraged - the Football Association to throw the book at the player for an earlier incident that went unpunished.
    Balotelli got away with a knee-high challenge on Arsenal midfielder Alex Song that the FA are bound to punish retrospectively if referee Martin Atkinson confirms he and his assistants did not see it.
    Theoretically, Balotelli could end up suspended for City's final six games, which look set to confirm them as runners-up to Manchester United.
    Mancini refused to throw in the towel, saying: "We need to do the maximum that we can do in the last month and after, in the end, we will see.
    "I won one title where I was five points behind with five games to the end. This is football. Everything can happen, always.
    "It is clear that we need to start to win."

    Sunday's defeat was witnessed by nonplussed City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak, who must decide whether Mancini is the right man to take City to the promised land.
    The Italian himself was "100%" sure he was.
    "When I arrived, City were seventh or eighth," he said.
    "After six months, we were fighting for the Champions League and lost against Tottenham one game from the end.
    "Second year, we were in third position on goal difference from Chelsea and won the FA Cup.
    "Today, we have 15 points more.

    "When you start a project, it's important that you improve.
    "When you also work hard, you can pass by these difficult situations because you think that you can win the title. We were there for 28 games. But probably we need to improve.
    "We need more experience, we need to change something.
    "There are only two years that we worked here."
    Meanwhile, City denied rumours of a post-match punch-up in their dressing room yesterday. A club spokesman said: "It is rubbish."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 09-04-2012

    Paul Scholes: Key figure for United


    Sir Alex Ferguson says Paul Scholes has been a central figure in Manchester United's surge towards the Barclays Premier League title.
    The Red Devils have been steadily turning the screw on Manchester City for the past few weeks and Sunday's results may prove decisive, with City losing at Arsenal soon after United defeated QPR 2-0 at Old Trafford to give Ferguson's men an eight-point lead with six games remaining.
    And for that, Scholes deserves much credit.
    United have taken 34 points from a possible 36 since losing at Newcastle in January, the moment Scholes came out of retirement.
    And the 37-year-old sealed an eighth successive win with a typically fierce finish midway through the second half.
    "That was a typical Paul Scholes goal," said Ferguson.

    "He has scored three since he came back into the fold and we have only dropped two points.
    "You see the control of the game he has and the way he controlled the tempo of the game. That has never changed. At 37, he is still capable of that.
    "He is a great player and integral to what has happened over the past few weeks."
    That Ferguson was speaking before City's 1-0 defeat at Arsenal made it easier to keep a check on his emotions.
    No matter how impregnable United's position, the Scot is anxious there should be no triumphalism until the work is over.
    "I am pleased with our results," he said.

    "There has been good consistency in our defending and now we are a goal better off and it is a game less.
    "There are only six left now. Three at home, three away. Hopefully we can run it out."
    Yet their latest victory did not come without a major slice of good fortune as Mark Hughes' QPR were reduced to 10 men when referee Lee Mason sent Shaun Derry off for a foul on Ashley Young, even though the United winger was clearly offside when he collected Wayne Rooney's through-ball.
    "Ashley was a yard offside so I can understand Mark being angry at that," said Ferguson.
    "There have been a lot of decisions like that recently.

    "The boy has had a little tug, not a great one, but just enough to unbalance him and get us a penalty.
    "Unfortunately, being the last defender, he had to get sent off."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 09-04-2012

    Wenger: City might want more Gunners


    Arsene Wenger joked Manchester City would try to poach more of his Arsenal players after watching his current crop put his former stars to shame.
    Wenger looked on as the Gunners delivered a potentially-fatal blow to City's Premier League title hopes with a 1-0 win at the Emirates Stadium.
    Arsenal have lost Samir Nasri, Gael Clichy and Kolo Toure to Roberto Mancini's men, who have also been heavily linked with Robin van Persie, and asked if he took extra satisfaction as a result, he smiled: "You can take that both ways. Maybe they'll now want some others."

    Mikel Arteta fired home a late winner to lift the Gunners back into the top three and leave City - who saw maverick striker Mario Balotelli sent off in stoppage-time and potentially facing a lengthy ban - eight points behind leaders Manchester United, who had beaten QPR earlier in the day.
    Wenger feels Arsenal, who have now won eight of their last nine games, are set to end what has been a frustrating campaign on a positive note.
    "I always felt the goal would come, but it was very tight and in the end you feel it is important not to lose," Wenger said.
    "We kept going and at home recently we have produced some outstanding performances against any team.
    "I am very happy we got the win and the team continues to grow in quality."

    Mancini cut a forlorn figure at the final whistle, as his position will now once again come under intense scrutiny.
    Wenger, though, does not believe the title race is "completely" over.
    He said: "They cannot afford to drop any points now. Once the team 'smelt the stable', it's difficult for them to drop points.
    "In French, you say when a horse smells its stable, it's difficult to stop them."
    There was no signs of the sluggish display which saw Arsenal slump to a 2-1 defeat at relegation-battlers QPR.
    The Gunners were quick out of the blocks and created enough chances to have been well ahead by half-time, with Van Persie's goalbound header striking team-mate Thomas Vermaelen.

    After the woodwork twice again came to City's rescue in the second half, the Gunners were not to be denied as, with three minutes left, Arteta strode forwards to smash a superb, 25-yard drive past Joe Hart into the bottom corner
    City finished the match with 10 men when Balotelli - who should have been sent off for a studs-up challenge on Alex Song in the first half which was missed by referee Martin Atkinson and his assistants, but could yet be reviewed by the Football Association's disciplinary commission - was shown a second yellow card for clattering into Bacary Sagna.

    Wenger had every right to be furious with Balotelli's early challenge which could have broken Song's leg.
    "If the referee had television, he would have given him a red card," the Arsenal boss said.
    "I thought it was a bad tackle. I said to my physio, 'What happened to Song?' because he said he was touched at the knee."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 09-04-2012

    Clint Dempsey: No decision until the summer


    Fulham star Clint Dempsey will wait until the summer before making any decisions about his future.
    The London club are keen to tie the versatile American, who has just one more year on his current contract, to a new deal after an outstanding campaign.
    The 29-year-old again alerted other clubs to his ability by taking his goal tally for the season to 21 with a double strike in Saturday's 3-0 win at Bolton.
    Dempsey said: "We will see what happens. It is one of my best memories of being at Fulham, this season, and I have one more to go.
    "I am talking with the club but we will have to see what happens in the summer.
    "I want to focus on this season and my football and other stuff can take care of itself after the season."
    Dempsey played as a centre forward at the Reebok Stadium but his goals in his most productive season in English football have come from a variety of positions.
    He might even have claimed a third hat-trick of the campaign had he not shot narrowly wide in the second half after earlier striking from a free-kick and with a firm header.

    He said: "I work hard every year. If you look at the positions I have played this season - mostly left mid, coming inside - but mostly it is just trying to get in the box and get on the end of things.
    "Maybe I have just been more cool, calm and collected and just been able to finish things off."
    Dempsey and his team-mates are back in action tonight as neighbours Chelsea visit Craven Cottage.
    Fulham now look comfortable in mid-table but are hoping to build some momentum by pulling off a surprise win over a side still pushing on three fronts.
    Dempsey said: "Our fans are definitely going to be up for it, they want us to go and put in another good performance.
    "We owe it to them to do that and we will be working as hard as we can, even though it is a quick turnaround.

    "We will make sure we are as ready as we can be to go out and give a good performance.
    "You want to finish the season on a positive and beating teams like that is what it is all about."
    A strong finish could put Fulham in position to challenge for a Europa League spot again but Dempsey has downplayed that prospect.
    He said: "We have to wait and see. There are still a lot of games left and it is really tight around us.
    "Maybe - but I think finishing in the top half would be a good season for us."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 09-04-2012

    Ben Foster: Key performer for West Brom


    Liam Ridgewell believes Ben Foster is a match for England number one Joe Hart and has urged West Brom to sign the on-loan goalkeeper on a permanent basis from Birmingham this summer.
    Foster produced a crucial double save during Saturday's 3-0 win over Blackburn, a result which effectively ensures Albion another season of Premier League football.
    Foster's future is still very much in the balance, with Birmingham waiting until the end of the season to make a decision on his transfer status, but Ridgewell knows keeping him at the Hawthorns is crucial.

    The Albion defender said: "I think the whole team would like to keep Ben Foster. If we want to take this club forward, we've got to keep the likes of Ben Foster and he is a great player for us.
    "I sense Ben would like to stay here. I know him well and he is settled here and hopefully the club can keep him and Albion can sort it out.
    "He is a Birmingham player but it is a different team to when he played there. I'm sure Ben would like to stay here and keep playing here because he is doing really well."
    Foster opted not to make himself available for England selection a year ago but Ridgewell is adamant his quality is similar to that of Manchester City's Hart.
    He said: "England have got two great keepers in Joe Hart and Ben. I've played with them both at Birmingham and there is not much between them and they are both great keepers.
    "Fozzy stopped with England for his reasons - he wanted to prolong his career after his injuries. If he keep playing like he is, hopefully he will keep going.

    "He just wanted to concentrate on his club career and he has been fantastic."
    Ridgewell was relegated with Birmingham last season and pinpointed the qualities in the Baggies squad that is likely to see them beat the drop.
    He said: "The biggest factors are not losing your head and staying together as a team and just trying to graft out as many results as you can.
    "You look at all the teams and everywhere is a difficult place to go and you think, 'where are the results going to come from?'
    "But the main thing is to keep the team together and fight as much as you can.
    "If you keep doing that, and still go down, you've got to give a nod to the other teams."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 09-04-2012

    Mario Balotelli is sent off against Arsenal.


    Roberto Mancini admits he will "probably" sell Mario Balotelli this summer after the striker lost the plot again in Manchester City's costly Barclays Premier League defeat at Arsenal.
    City boss Mancini also appeared to suggest Balotelli would not play again for him this season, although the club later claimed he said that because he expected the Football Association to throw the book at the controversial 21-year-old.
    Balotelli will serve a ban of at least three matches after his sending off in Sunday afternoon's 1-0 defeat at the Emirates Stadium and Mancini seemed to call on the FA to take further action against his own player for a knee-high challenge on Alex Song that went unpunished.
    Asked for how long he he could put up with Balotelli's antics, Mancini said: "I am finished. We have six games and he will not play in the next six games."
    Pushed further on whether he would try to sell Balotelli at the end of the season, Mancini replied: "Probably - but I don't know. It depends, because "But he can score also in the last minute."

    Asked if the authorities should examine the incident with Song that referee Martin Atkinson and assistant Peter Kirkup took no action over, Mancini said "I hope so" and admitted the striker deserved a lengthy ban.
    Mancini insisted he kept Balotelli on the pitch because he did not see the tackle on Song until after the game and defended his decision not to substitute him even after he had been booked for another bad challenge on Bacary Sagna.
    Mancini, who has known Balotelli since the forward was 17, added: "I love him as a guy, I love him as a player, because I know him.
    "He's not a bad guy. He's a fantastic player.

    "But, at this moment, I'm very sorry for him because he continues to lose his talent, his quality.
    "I hope, for him, that he can understand that he's in a bad way for his future, and he can change his behaviour."
    Jose Mourinho branded Balotelli - who has been at the centre of countless controversies during his career - "unmanageable" while Inter Milan boss and Mancini admitted he would agree if the player did not mend his ways.
    But he defended his own handling of his fellow Italian, insisting he had "punished" the striker several times.
    He said: "All the people who say I have different behaviour with Mario than the other players, it's not true, totally false, totally false."
    Mancini admitted Balotelli had created "big problems" for his team-mates but joked the media would be happy for him to stay in the Premier League.
    "If Mario leaves England, what will you do?" he said.

    "You should be happy if Mario stays here. You can write one, two or three pages in your newspapers!"
    Mancini also admitted the defeat "probably" ended City's title hopes, with Manchester United having earlier opened up an eight-point gap.
    He said: "United, in the last 12 games, have won 11 with one draw. They've done incredibly in the last two months.
    "But, in football, it can change. Ten days ago, we were one point behind. Today, we are eight points. This can change also for them.
    "Clearly, they have more experience than us, so probably it's difficult, but until it's impossible, we need to hope."
    Mancini insisted he was "100 per cent" the right man to guide City to the title, pointing out the improvements he had made.
    There was more bad news for the visitors, with Yaya Toure likely to miss Wednesday's match with West Brom after being forced off with a knee injury.

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 09-04-2012

    Clint Dempsey: Great season for Fulham


    Fulham boss Martin Jol concedes he does not know if he can keep the "unbelievable" Clint Dempsey at Craven Cottage long-term.
    Dempsey turned in another outstanding performance with two goals in a comfortable 3-0 win at Bolton in the Barclays Premier League.
    The versatile American, who struck with a superb long-range free-kick and a firm header, has now scored 21 times in all competitions this term.
    With just one more season remaining on the 29-year-old's contract, Fulham accept he could become an attractive target for other clubs and are keen to tie him to a new deal.

    Jol said: "I can't foresee the future. We want to keep him and hopefully he wants to stay. We have offered him a very good contract.
    "He knows he is very appreciated at our club, so hopefully he will stay.
    "If we want to be a top side we need players who can score more than 20 goals in all competitions.
    "I have always had that - I can remember Luis Suarez scoring 53 goals for me at Ajax.
    "He's not at that level yet but of course it is a different league and for a wide midfield player who can play up front and score that many goals, it is unbelievable."
    In the absence of Pavel Pogrebnyak, Dempsey was back playing a centre forward's role at Bolton and troubled the relegation-threatened hosts throughout.

    He opened the scoring on the half-hour when he asked to take a free-kick ahead of Bryan Ruiz and John Arne Riise, and justified his confidence firing into the top corner.
    His second came on the stroke of half-time as Damien Duff beat Marcos Alonso - not for the last time - and crossed for him at the back post.
    He could have had a third hat-trick of the season after linking well with Alex Kacaniklic but shot narrowly wide.
    Mahamadou Diarra wrapped up the win by turning in a Riise cross 10 minutes from time.
    Dempsey said: "I hadn't got too many goals away from home this season.
    "It is good to add to that and good for us to get three points away from home. We are excited about that, we can add to that.
    "I have never got these type of numbers before - 21 for the season, 15 for the league.

    "I am happy with that return and we have still got some games left, so hopefully I can chip in with a few more."
    Fulham's win consolidated their position in mid-table but they face a quick turnaround as they host neighbours Chelsea on Monday night.
    Jol is keen to build some momentum but is not expecting any let-up from a Chelsea side still challenging on three fronts.
    As well as pushing for a top-four position, the Blues have an FA Cup semi-final against Tottenham and a Champions League last-four clash with Barcelona in the coming days.
    Jol said: "I feel the league is very important to them and you can focus, of course, on Barcelona, but they are a different team.
    "They are playing unbelievable football and I think, of course, they have to focus on the Champions League but they have to focus on the Premier League as well.

    "I think they have to look at it game by game and after that you can see what they have achieved.
    "There is a lot of games coming up for them but I feel if they want to be in the top four or top three they have to win their league games as well. I think they have enough players to cope with that.
    "You can't say we are playing for Europe but I think we have got too many points to be looking at the bottom of the table.
    "I think the only thing is to try to create a winning mentality in our team and get as many points as possible."
    Fulham will be without forward Ruiz, who suffered a suspected broken metatarsal at Bolton, but Pogrebnyak and veteran midfielder Danny Murphy could return after an ankle injury and illness, respectively.

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 09-04-2012

    Gylfi Sigurdsson: On loan from Hoffenheim


    On-loan Swansea midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson admits his future is out of his hands, with Hoffenheim wanting him back at the end of the season.
    Sigurdsson joined Swansea during the January transfer window after struggling to make an impact in the Bundesliga with Hoffenheim in the first half of the campaign.
    He has created a huge impression at the Liberty Stadium, scoring six goals and being named the Premier League's Player of the Month for March.
    Swansea boss Brendan Rodgers has already expressed an interest in signing the Iceland international on a permanent basis in the summer.

    However, Hoffenheim coach Markus Babbel revealed earlier in the week that he is keen for the 22-year-old to be involved in his plans for next season.
    Sigurdsson has previously suggested he does not want to return to Hoffenheim to sit on the bench and the former Reading youngster is awaiting developments regarding his future.
    "I still have a couple of years left on my contract at Hoffenheim, so there is not much I can do at the moment," Sigurdsson told The People.
    "It's out of my hands."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 09-04-2012

    Hodgson: Poised to Baggies talks


    West Brom manager Roy Hodgson expects moves to sort out his own future and that of players approaching the end of their contracts to be on the agenda now Barclays Premier League survival is virtually ensured.
    Albion moved 11 points clear of the drop zone via Saturday's 3-0 home win over Blackburn who remain in the bottom three after a third successive defeat.
    Hodgson's own contract is up while the deals of defender Jonas Olsson and midfielders James Morrison and Keith Andrews will also run out this summer or in just over 12 months time.

    Head coach Hodgson said: "I expect I'll be sitting down before the end of the season. I'm very comfortable about that situation.
    "It's not a problem for me if it takes to the end of the season or is done earlier.
    "As for players, I believe Jonas Olsson is in talks with the club to extend his contract, as is James Morrison.
    "Keith Andrews is not problematic. That just depends to some extent on other transfers because Keith will want to play.
    "I don't want to tie Keith up to this club, when he's got lots of other opportunities, unless I can be sure I can offer him pretty much a starting place or close to a starting place in the team."
    Another priority is securing on-loan Birmingham player Ben Foster on a permanent basis.
    But Hodgson said: "Foster's future is out of our hands to some extent. "You should ask Birmingham what their intentions are. Are they going to sell him, are they going to keep him?

    "At the moment, all we know is they will make a decision regarding Ben at the end of the season."
    Foster made a crucial double save to deny Ayegbeni Yakubu and Bradley Orr with Albion only leading through Martin Olsson's goal before later efforts from Marc-Antoine Fortune and Liam Ridgewell wrapped up the points.
    Hodgson said: "I think we can relax now in terms of being safe but I hope we don't relax.
    "I hope we keep working and fighting really hard to see how high we can finish in the table.
    "We've got games against sides who have a lot to play for like Manchester City, QPR, Arsenal etc."
    Blackburn boss Steve Kean remains optimistic his side can pull clear of trouble ahead of Tuesday's home clash with Liverpool.
    But he will demand an improvement on a below-par first half display at The Hawthorns.
    He said: "We've got to remain positive. We've got away with it this week because we've had our bad result and not really lost a great deal of ground.

    "There will be a lot of twists and turns between now and the end of the season.
    "We know we can play better than the first half. We need to analyse the reasons for that and get back to it against Liverpool."
    Kean is also hoping referee Lee Probert will have a change of heart over the late red card for Rovers substitute Anthony Modeste who appeared to kick out at Albion defender Billy Jones.
    He said: "I asked the ref to look at it again. Modeste was frustrated after Jones kicked the ball away and was going to kick the player but didn't make any great contact.
    "If the rule says there has to be intent, I would argue he changed his mind and there is no intent."
    Martin Olsson sliced a header from Gareth McAuley into his own net for the opener but Blackburn dominated the early part of the second period before Fortune and Ridgewell earned Albion their first win in five games.

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 09-04-2012

    Emmanuel Adebayor: In demand after loan spell at Spurs


    Manchester City have revealed that Tottenham will face competition for the signature of loan star Emmanuel Adebayor.
    The Togo ace has been hugely impressive for Spurs this season, with 13 goals so far for Harry Redknapp's men.
    Tottenham have refused to be drawn on whether they will try and make a move for Adebayor, although indications are that they will look to make the deal a permanent one.

    However, Roberto Mancini now says that a number of clubs are looking at the former Arsenal man.
    Mancini said: "Adebayor is playing well and I am happy for him. He's a good guy and a good player and I am happy.
    "If at the end of the season he wants to stay at Tottenham they will buy him, or another team will. There are a lot of teams that want Manu."
    Mancini insisted that he did not see a future for the player, who cost City 24million, at the Etihad Stadium.

    "At this moment, no because we have four strikers and it's impossible for this."

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