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Thread: Latest Transfer Update at 18-04-2012

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    Arrow Latest Transfer Update at 18-04-2012

    Latest Transfer Update at 18-04-2012

    Cruyff: Played down rumours linking him with Liverpool

    JOHAN CRUYFF REJECTS LIVERPOOL LINK

    Johan Cruyff has rejected rumours linking him with a move to Liverpool as their new director of football.
    It had been suggested Dutch legend Cruyff was on Liverpool's wanted list to replace Damien Comolli following the Frenchman's shock departure last weekend.


    However, Cruyff, in his column for Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, admits he is in the dark over the links and has played down the speculation.
    "I see my name is being mentioned in connection with Liverpool," wrote Cruyff.


    "I don't know where that has come from because I have not heard anything from them. There has been no contact whatsoever.
    "If you just read speculation like this, without any substance to it, there is no point taking it seriously. It is just talk."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 18-04-2012

    Pep Guardiola talks to the press on Tuesday.

    GUARDIOLA: CHELSEA LINK IS FANTASY

    Pep Guardiola has dismissed as "fantasy" the idea he is considering quitting Barcelona for Chelsea.
    Guardiola is said to be Blues owner Roman Abramovich's number one target to succeed Andre Villas-Boas as manager, with reports suggesting he could be offered a 10million-a-year contract.
    But the 41-year-old gave short shrift to questions about whether he would swap the Nou Camp for Stamford Bridge, claiming Chelsea already had a "very, very good manager" in caretaker Roberto Di Matteo.


    Guardiola, who has still to sign a new contract at Barca to replace the one that expires this summer, said: "It is fantasy, it's hypothetical.
    "I am coach of Barcelona now and they have a good manager who is getting unbelievable results.
    "It's not useful for Chelsea or for Barcelona to talk about that. There is no time to talk about that."
    Guardiola has been asked countless times this season whether he will stay on at Barca and it was no different on Tuesday night.
    He replied: "I just want to focus on the game. This is a dream come true, to be here ahead of this great game.
    "I just want to make sure my players are focused on the game and can enjoy playing matches like that."
    That game is Wednesday night's Champions League semi-final first leg at Stamford Bridge, the latest instalment in a Chelsea-Barca rivalry that has become a saga.


    The build-up has been dominated by talk of revenge, with the Blues still smarting from the sides' last meeting in 2009.
    That saw Chelsea denied several penalties before Andres Iniesta's stoppage-time away goal saw Barcelona triumph.
    Guardiola said: "A long time has passed. I don't think they are playing for revenge.
    "What you have lost, is lost. We will both be playing to try to reach the final in Munich."
    Barca emerged from that triumph to establish themselves as one of the greatest - if not the greatest - club side ever to play the game.
    Guardiola, who recalled his euphoric celebrations that night, said: "That was our first year together.
    "We had that kind of love story you have in the first year.
    "We were united, and we scored that goal right at the end. The rest is history."
    While Barca have gone on to conquer the world since 2009, Chelsea have endured a turbulent three years that brought them their first ever double but more Champions League misery.
    They looked certain to suffer the same fate this season before Andre Villas-Boas' sacking just over six weeks ago but they are a side reborn under Roberto Di Matteo.


    Di Matteo has had a near-identical impact to Guus Hiddink three years ago and Guardiola said: "They have the same spirit, the same soul, the same foundation.
    "They've changed the manager and a couple of players, but the same players are largely there.
    "I do admire that generation of players, who have done so well over the last seven years and have got into so many semi-finals and finals, and competed in the Premier League so well."
    Despite the Chelsea revival, they have been written off in many quarters against Guardiola's all-conquering side.
    But the Barca boss said with extreme modesty: "I'm struggling to see how we'll hurt them, create chances and score.
    "We shouldn't forget they've been very consistent here in this stadium, winning all five of their (Champions League) games."
    He added: "We're the holders at the moment, so everyone wants to beat us and play well against us."
    Barca's success has been tarnished somewhat by accusations of diving and claims they get the benefit of the doubt from referees - as in 2009.

    Guardiola dismissed this, saying of their philosophy: "They take the ball, pass the ball, take the ball, pass the ball. Diving is for the swimming pool."
    Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho has been their biggest critic and would love nothing more than for his former side to beat the club that has become his nemesis.
    Asked whether his "friend" Mourinho may try to help Chelsea, Guardiola said: "Thank you for calling him 'my friend'.
    "I don't know if the players have an extra motivation for that reason.
    "I think they'll play to get a good result ahead of the second game and to get to Munich."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 18-04-2012

    Ibrahimovic: In goalscoring form this season

    ZLATAN TO STAY WITH AC MILAN

    AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is determined to stay in Serie A with the Italian giants, according to the player's agent.
    The 30-year-old is now in his second season at the San Siro and has scored a remarkable 23 goals in 26 league games this term.
    His agent Mino Raiola told Panorama: "The situation regarding his future is clear.


    "Milan don't want to sell him and he doesn't want to leave. The rest are theories, dreams and baseless assumptions.
    "The voices which are suggesting otherwise are not true, also because he is the kind of guy who doesn't hide his intentions."
    The Sweden international has another two years to run on his present deal but Raiola strangely admits his stay with Serie A's second-placed team will not depend on the time left on his contract; just at it had little bearing when he has left previous clubs.


    "His agreement expires in 2014, even if expiry dates count for little," added Raiola. "He had two-and-a-half years left with Inter, four with Barcelona.
    "Whether Zlatan stays or one day goes will have nothing to do with the time left on his contract. Ibra, as he has always said, is happy in Milan."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 18-04-2012

    Wayne Hennessey: Torn cruciate ligament

    HENNESSEY BLOW FOR WOLVES

    Wolves goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey has been ruled out of action for the rest of the season with a torn cruciate ligament, it is understood.
    Hennessey is set to be sidelined for three to four months although the bulk of that time will be taken up with the close season.
    But the Wales number one will be unavailable for bottom-placed Wolves' final four games in their uphill battle to stave off relegation from the Barclays Premier League.


    Wolves boss Terry Connor confirmed earlier in the day that Hennessey was undergoing an MRI scan after suffering the setback during Saturday's goalless draw at Sunderland.
    Now sources close to the player are indicating Hennessey will miss the remainder of the campaign before recuperating in the summer.
    It remains to be seen whether Hennessey has played his last game for Wolves should they be relegated after a three season spell in the top flight.
    He is one of the players who is set to attract attention from other Premier League clubs after a fine season.


    Hennessey has played 58 consecutive Premier League games since regaining his place from Marcus Hahnemann midway through the 2010-2011 season.
    Dorus de Vries, signed last summer from Swansea as a replacement for Hahnemann, is poised to make his league debut in Sunday's home clash with title-chasing Manchester City.

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 18-04-2012

    Mario Balotelli: Still happy at Manchester City

    MARIO BALOTELLI - I'M STAYING AT CITY

    Mario Balotelli insists he feels lucky to work with Roberto Mancini and has no intention of moving away from Manchester City.
    Fresh doubts were cast over Balotelli's future after he was sent off in the recent game against Arsenal and Mancini admitted he could be ready to sell the striker in the summer.


    The City manager has since backtracked on comments that Balotelli was 'finished' for the season after it was confirmed that he would not serve an extended suspension, while Inter Milan have rejected speculation linking them with a move for their former player.
    Inter president Massimo Moratti was very complimentary about Balotelli but said he had no plans to bring him back to the club, and the 21-year-old is growing tired of the transfer talk.
    Balotelli says he is focused on trying to help City win the title and will not be leaving the Etihad Stadium at the end of the campaign.
    "My future? Why do you always talk of Inter and Milan for me? I'm at City and I have no intention of changing shirt," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.


    "Now I am just thinking about winning the title because I am sure that United will make mistakes.
    "Certainly in the match with us, then, who knows.
    "Moratti always speaks well of me. I enjoy it, he has known me since I was 15. I thank him for that, but I am now at Manchester City and I see no other possibilities."
    Mancini's relationship with Balotelli has been a hot topic all season and the City manager has admitted he would have punched the player every day if they were team-mates.
    However, Balotelli says there is no problem with Mancini as he strives to make his own way in life after leaving Italy for England in the summer of 2010.


    He explained: "When I was at Inter Milan I called my mother to solve every little problem. Now I have to go it alone.
    "First of all I need to improve as a player. I am lucky to work with Mancini. He's one of the best coaches in the world, maybe the best.
    "After my red card against Arsenal he feared a long ban so he spoke about me with so harsh words.
    "But we have explained things to each other. I know he believes in me, as he always has done."
    While Mancini has warned Balotelli to improve his behaviour if he is to have a long-term future at Man City, FIFPro general secretary Theo Van Seggelen has also said the player needs professional help.


    Balotelli disagrees, saying: "A psychologist for me? I believe psychologists are important. Sometimes they can be very useful, but I don't need one of them.
    "Every day there is an exaggeration about me and I would like it to stop. I want to be judged for what I do on the field.
    "I am a shy and simple guy. I like to have fun with my friends and I always try not to bother anyone."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 18-04-2012

    Gylfi Sigurdsson: Has impressed for Swansea

    SWANS READY FOR SIGURDSSON BATTLE

    Chairman Huw Jenkins expects Swansea to face a battle to sign star midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson when his loan deal comes to an end this summer.
    The Icelander has been a revelation since joining the Barclays Premier League side from Hoffenheim in January, scoring seven goals in 15 appearances.
    Sigurdsson, who previously worked with Swans manager Brendan Rodgers at Reading, has said he would be happy to stay in south Wales but Jenkins knows persuading the German club to sell the 22-year-old is another matter.
    He told BBC Radio Wales: "He's done a great job for us and is still only young. Our aim is to keep our best players. We've always tried to do that over the years and it will be no different with Gylfi.
    "The fact is when you take a player on loan, control is out of your hands. They (Hoffenheim) wouldn't commit to do a deal before we took him, which we would have loved to have done.
    "But we've got to hope that his relationship now with the club, with the players and with Brendan has helped him in the Premier League, and he sees us as a great option next season if he's allowed to leave his club in Germany.


    "No doubt there's going to be a bit of a battle on our hands to secure his services for next season. The other thing is they (Hoffenheim) have had a change of manager as well and he's still contracted there for a couple of years."
    Jenkins is also hoping Tottenham will sanction another loan deal for Stephen Caulker, who has impressed alongside Ashley Williams in central defence.

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 18-04-2012

    Simon Cox: Set for talks

    COX PLANNING WEST BROM TALKS

    Simon Cox is planning to discuss his future with West Brom after making only six Barclays Premier League starts this season.
    Cox is hoping to be part of the Republic of Ireland's Euro 2012 squad despite his lack of first-team action at the Hawthorns.
    His contract runs out this summer, although the club can take up a 12-month option should they desire.
    Cox, 24, said: "Apart from throughout January, when I played four or five games on the bounce, it has been horrible.


    "You have just got to stick with it and now we have reached 40 points, hopefully I can get a bit more game time.
    "We will sit down and discuss it. The club have the option to take up a further year of my contract at the end of this season.
    "For me it is about waiting for the end of the season to come, waiting for the Euros and seeing if I am picked in the Ireland squad.
    "If I am, I'll go out there and see what I can do and then see what the club's decision is. I'll see whether they want to keep me or whether I move on."


    Cox is grateful for Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni for continuing to involve him despite his lack of domestic action.
    "When the squad is selected for the Euros, I hope to be in it and, via the conversations I have had with Giovanni and Marco Tardelli (assistant manager) they seem happy with what is happening with me," he added.
    "Sometimes you can't complain when the team are winning games but in terms of Ireland I have to thank Giovanni because every time he has picked me in the squad, I have not been playing at Albion.
    "It is hard for him to see what I can do on a weekly basis and I do have to count my blessings everytime he picks me for the squad."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 18-04-2012

    Hamsik: Says he is going nowhere

    HAMSIK HAPPY TO STAY AT NAPOLI

    Napoli playmaker Marek Hamsik has quashed reports in Italy claiming he is to leave the San Paolo stadium this summer.
    Hamsik has been linked with the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain, but the 24-year-old insists he is going nowhere.
    "I love this jersey," Hamsik said to Sky Italia. "I've always said it, I have a further five years left in my contract and I'm very happy here.
    "I have married this project and I want to continue to play here."


    Hamsik signed a one-year contract extension with the Serie A outfit, which will keep him at Napoli until June 2016.
    The Slovakian, who last summer was linked with a move to AC Milan, joined Napoli from Brescia in 2007 and has since established himself as a key player for the azzurri outfit.
    He has scored seven goals in 31 league appearances for Napoli this season.

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 18-04-2012

    Danny Higginbotham: Unsure of future

    HIGGINBOTHAM IN DARK OVER FUTURE

    Danny Higginbotham is unsure whether he will see out the final year of his contract at Stoke after returning to the club following a loan spell at Nottingham Forest.
    The 33-year-old played six games for Steve Cotterill's side but has headed back early to the Britannia Stadium after a recent injury and because the Forest boss wants to take a look at his out-of-contract players.
    Higginbotham missed seven months of action, including last season's FA Cup final defeat by Manchester City, after suffering cruciate ligament damage, and he must now wait to see whether he will be part of Stoke manager Tony Pulis' plans going forward.
    "I've got a year left here and you just don't know what will happen," Higginbotham told The Sentinel. "You want to be playing, but ultimately that's something that will be decided for me.


    "I'd love to stay but if you're not playing it can be frustrating. Your career is soon over and you want to play in as many games as you can while you can.
    "In the short term I'll train with the rest of the lads this season to keep my fitness up. And because I had so long out with the injury, I'll probably have just a week or two to myself in the summer to make sure I'm ready to go for pre-season training."
    Higginbotham, who is ineligible for Stoke's final five games of the season, feels he is finally getting back to something like his best form following his long lay-off.
    He said: "I feel much better, physically and psychologically, after getting a few games. However long you are out, that's how long it takes to get back to what you were. And now I feel like I'm getting back to how I was before the injury."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 18-04-2012

    Arjen Robben: Happy at Bayern Munich

    ROBBEN PLEASED BY JUVENTUS INTEREST

    Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben has revealed he is pleased with Juventus' reported interest in him but insists he is happy with the Bundesliga giants.
    Robben has one year left in his contract with Bayern and has been strongly linked with a move to the Turin giants this summer.
    "Juventus are having a great season," Robben told Sky Italia.
    "They have built a new team for the future. They are improving a lot and I'm honesty pleased with the interest of this great club.


    "I feel happy in this (Bayern) group, a club that has great potential but I still have not signed a new contract and in football you can never say never."
    The Holland international joined Bayern from Real Madrid in the summer of 2009 and has proved a key player in Jupp Heynckes' side.
    Robben, 28, is set to be offered a new deal which would see him remain at the Bavarians until June 2015.

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