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Thread: Latest Transfer Update at 25-04-2012

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    Latest Transfer Update at 25-04-2012

    Robert Lewandowski: Not available, says Klopp


    Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp has warned Bayern Munich not to even consider making an approach for his club's top goalscorer Robert Lewandowski, who recently turned down an offer to extend his contract beyond 2014.
    The Poland international has scored 20 goals in the Bundesliga this season, making a major contribution to Dortmund's second consecutive title success and attracting interest of several top European clubs.
    However, Klopp says the 23-year-old is going nowhere and Bayern would be wasting their time even trying to lure him to Munich.
    "Who do they think we are?" he said. "He is not available.

    "Do Bayern think that they can just come along and ask if 'Lewi' would like to play for them when Mario Gomez can't for some reason?
    "That's a load of rubbish and can be ruled out."
    Klopp was not so dismissive about Shinji Kagawa leaving the club, though.
    The Japanese forward is being linked with moves to the Premier League and Klopp says he would not stand in his way were he to request a move.

    "I would not be disappointed in the slightest," he told Sport Bild magazine.
    "Shinji Kagawa has played two incredible years here and if he has dreamt of playing somewhere else and now he feels is the right time to do it, then we would say goodbye to him with the utmost respect and best wishes.
    "But I don't believe he will leave, I think he will stay."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 25-04-2012

    Tim Wiese: Hoffenheim target


    Hoffenheim coach Markus Babbel has confirmed his interest in Werder Bremen and Germany goalkeeper Tim Wiese, suggesting it would be negligent not to try to sign him.
    Wiese's contract expires in the summer and he has already informed Bremen that he will be leaving.
    Although Wiese yesterday denied he had already agreed to join Hoffenheim, it is something Babbel would like to try and make happen.
    "When Germany's number two is available on a free transfer and is on the market, then it is my duty to do all I can to complete a transfer and convince him that we play good football in Hoffenheim," he said on his club's website.
    "He has a great deal of experience and has managed to play at a consistently high level, and he knows what it means to play in Europe too.
    "I think he is an excellent goalkeeper."
    Should Wiese arrive, he would probably replace fans' favourite Tom Starke between the posts and Babbel says he has already discussed such an eventuality with his vice-captain.
    "He reacted very professionally," said Babbel. "That is just what I expected from him.

    "One thing is clear - in professional football, you do have battles for places in every position and you have got to deal with that."
    However, Babbel was keen to stress that a deal for Wiese to move south has not yet been complete.
    "I expect a decision one way or another in the next few weeks," he said.
    "No contracts have been signed and we have not even made him an offer either, but he is aware of our interest and we will sit down in the coming days and hope that he comes to us.
    "But there are other clubs who have signalled an interest too."
    Wiese said he was leaving Bremen to join a side who can challenge in the Champions League and many could see a move to Hoffenheim as a step down in his career.
    However, Babbel still believes he can sell his project to the Germany number two and that, with his help, they can also challenge for a place in Europe's elite club competition.

    "Of course the Champions League can become an issue around here too," he said.
    "I am a hungry coach and I want success. To be able to achieve that, you need the suitable players and we are working on putting together a competitive squad."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 25-04-2012

    Rangers: Hit with 12-month embargo


    Rangers' administrators have requested an immediate expedited appeals process over the sanctions imposed on the club by the Scottish Football Association's judicial panel.
    The Glasgow giants were hit with a 160,000 fine and 12-month embargo on signing players aged over 17 after being found guilty of five charges in relation to their finances and the appointment of Craig Whyte as chairman.
    In a statement, administrators Duff and Phelps also stated they were not yet satisfied at this stage as to whether the sanctions are lawful.
    David Whitehouse, joint administrator, said: "We have today written to the chief executive of the Scottish Football Association requesting an immediate expedited appeals process over the sanctions imposed on Rangers by the Association's judicial panel last night.
    "The decision of last night's judicial panel is in our opinion quite extraordinary.

    "Not only in our opinion do the panel fail to have properly apportioned culpability between the club and Craig Whyte, they appear to have rendered a penalty which could have a very detrimental effect on the ability of the administrators to achieve a sale of the business or a Company Voluntary Arrangement.
    "This, in turn, cannot be in the interests of Rangers Football Club or Scottish football in general."
    Administrators claim news of the SFA sanctions could delay further their attempts to named a preferred bidder to take over the administration-hit club.
    On Monday former Ibrox director Paul Murray's Blue Knights requested more time to finalise their plans prior to any announcement on a preferred bidder, while American businessman Bill Miller had previously asked for written assurances that there would be no football sanctions next season.
    Whitehouse fears the process could now be hampered further by Monday night's verdict, arguing it had already been held up by the Scottish Premier League's plans to vote on Monday on financial fair play proposals.

    He added: "The football authorities are fully aware that we are in the throes of an extremely complex insolvency situation.
    "There has been widespread support across the political spectrum and in the football world for Rangers to be saved as a club and a viable business, last night's decision can only hinder rather than help.
    "The decision to prohibit the club from signing new players is akin to a court ordering the administrator of a trading company not to buy stock.
    "The principal operating and trading asset of a football club are its players and an inability to sign new players frustrates both the ability of the company to trade and the statutory objectives of administration.
    "It is extremely disappointing that approximately three weeks ago purchasers were at the point of confirming unconditional offers which would have achieved the purpose of administration.
    "This process was first delayed by the announcements of the SPL to implement the rule changes to be considered on April 30, and has now been further hampered by the sanctions imposed last night."

    Administrators questioned the legality of the SFA's punishments, while calling for clarity from both footballing bodies on future sanctions, rather than see measures introduced on an "ad-hoc basis."
    Whitehouse said: "We are unsure as to whether the judicial panel fully understood or considered the commercial impact upon both the club and Scottish football of these measures, nor are we satisfied at this stage as to whether these sanctions are indeed lawful.
    "Clearly time is running out to achieve a sale of the business or a CVA and the club can ill afford further legal arguments.
    "Accordingly, we are urging both football authorities to adopt a more pragmatic approach to sanctions to ensure that the administration of Rangers Football Club can be brought to a conclusion at the earliest possible date for the good of not only the club but also for Scottish football generally.

    "We would then encourage the footballing authorities to introduce a framework so as to provide clarity in circumstances such as these going forward, rather than allowing arbitrary measures to be introduced on an ad-hoc basis which clearly impede a process of administration.
    "We are sure the authorities recognise that any potential purchaser or investor in a football club must have clarity in relation to its future playing capabilities and revenue potential.
    "By failing to provide clarity in relation to pragmatic and commercially sensible penalties the authorities are by default prejudicing the survival of one of the clubs whose existence is key to the well being of Scottish football.
    "We will continue to work tirelessly over the next couple of days to attempt to secure the comfort from the football authorities as to the level of future sanctions which will be raised, so as to enable one of the bidders to proceed with an acquisition of Rangers Football Club Plc without further delay."
    On Monday, Whyte claimed he had not held talks over the bidding process this week.
    Miller sees no need to talk to Whyte, who owns 85% of the club, given he is looking to transfer the assets but the Blue Knights aim to acquire at least a proportion of his shares.
    Whyte told STV: "Nobody has spoken to me about this (the bids) since Friday. I'm willing to talk to anybody who's interested."
    The Blue Knights and potential backers were understood to be continuing talks today.

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 25-04-2012

    Keith Treacy: Staying in Sheffield


    Burnley have allowed winger Keith Treacy to extend his loan spell at npower League One promotion hopefuls Sheffield Wednesday.
    Treacy's spell with the Owls was due to expire after their win over Carlisle last weekend, but he will now stay at Hillsborough until the end of the season.

    The Republic of Ireland international has made five substitute appearances for Dave Jones' side.
    Wednesday are now just a point behind second-placed neighbours Sheffield United with two games to go in the race for the second automatic promotion place.

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 25-04-2012

    Bryn Gunnarsson: 'Fantastic' to stay


    Bryn Gunnarsson has announced his desire to remain with Reading for another season.
    The Icelander has only made four appearances for the npower Championship champions this term and is out of contract in the summer, sparking speculation of a return to his homeland.
    However, the 36-year-old midfielder has stressed he would like to stay in Berkshire to savour the Royals' return to the Barclays Premier League.
    He told the Reading Post: "It would be fantastic to stay here, if that becomes a possibility then I would definitely consider that. If not, then I'll take a few weeks out and see where things go.

    "You always want to play, whether it's in the Premier League or not. As this season progressed I enjoyed it in a different way. I wasn't playing much but was still involved indirectly and I enjoyed it.
    "I finished my UEFA B on Thursday and passed that with no problems. It's something I'm still looking into, but at the same time I want to play for as long as I can. Being a player-coach, I don't think that would suit me. It's either or. There is uncertainty, but I'll take things as they come."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 25-04-2012

    Derek McInnes: 'Work to be done'


    Bristol City manager Derek McInnes has hinted at wholesale changes in his playing staff at Ashton Gate ahead of next season.
    McInnes, appointed last October to rescue City from a floundering campaign, guided the Robins to safety with a game to spare courtesy of a 2-0 victory over Barnsley last weekend.
    Now looking forward to next term, the Scot has suggested there may be signings aplenty in the summer.
    He told the Bristol Evening Post: "It is a big summer for us and we need to try and recruit well.

    "Any club that has had a really successful season has no real need for change and may just tinker with one or two positions. When you have been in the situation we have been in, fighting a relegation battle for the best part of the season, it suggests there is work to be done.
    "Like any club that finds itself in the bottom half of the table, we have to recruit well. It is an important period for the club and we have to decide who is going to be a part of this again. I know what this club can be and, hopefully, with the right additions, we can build a squad that can be competitive and win more points than we have this season."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 25-04-2012

    Redknapp: Key players will stay


    Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp insists there will not be an exodus of top players from White Hart Lane if his team fail to qualify for the Champions League.
    Spurs' recent slump in form - they have won just one of their last nine Premier League games - has seen them drop to fifth in the table, with Chelsea's progression to the Champions League final meaning even fourth may not be good enough to reach Europe's premier club competition next term.
    The north London club knocked back several bids from Chelsea for playmaker Luka Modric last summer, while winger Gareth Bale has been linked with Barcelona.
    But Redknapp does not expect the duo to be asking to leave at the end of the season, come what may.

    "No, I don't," he said on Sky Sports News. "When they came to the club, Tottenham weren't in the Champions League, and were nowhere near getting in the Champions League.
    "They play for Tottenham. They're at a great club. There's no reason they should want to leave. If we don't make it this year we'll try again next year. There's not too many clubs they could go to better than Tottenham.
    "Gareth Bale and Luka Modric have both signed long-term contracts. Gareth has had a fantastic time for young player at Tottenham. He needs to stay at Tottenham a few more years yet and keep developing.
    "We've progressed so much in the last four years, we've got to keep that going and push on even more in the table and look to win a Premier League. It's not impossible."
    Chelsea secured a remarkable 2-2 draw against Barca at the Nou Camp last night - despite losing captain John Terry to a first-half red card - to oust the holders 3-2 on aggregate.
    Redknapp believes interim manager Roberto Di Matteo now has a great chance of getting the job full-time.
    "It's an unbelievable achievement," the Spurs boss said. "You just can't put it into words, how good it was. To play against 10 men, 2-0 down, and come back shows fantastic quality. And in the end they deserved it. They rode their luck but when you've got 10 men playing against Barcelona you need all the luck you can get.
    "Great credit to the manager. Robbie's done a great job there.
    "He must have a very good chance [of getting permanent job], a great chance. He's done a fantastic job since he took over.
    "That's up to the chairman of Chelsea, but he couldn't have done any more than what he's done. He's had a fantastic run and he's a nice guy as well. I hope he gets the job."

    If Chelsea win the May 19 final against Real Madrid or Bayern Munich, they would be allowed to defend the trophy even if they finished outside the top four, with the fourth-placed team missing out.
    But Redknapp will not let his players be distracted by that possibility as they look to win their final four games - starting at home to Blackburn on Sunday.
    "We've got to make sure we finish fourth or third, make sure we're in a position to qualify," he said. "If we don't, it doesn't matter what happens.
    "It's still wide open - Arsenal, Chelsea, ourselves, Newcastle - it's still any two from four."
    "We've got to go on a good run now.
    "If we pull off good results in these last four games we'll be in the Champions League and I'm very confident we'll do that."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 25-04-2012

    Di Matteo: Leads Chelsea to Champions League final


    Ex-Chelsea boss Avram Grant has told his former employers to retain the services of Roberto Di Matteo next season after the interim manager guided the team to the Champions League final.
    Grant, who was sacked by Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich after losing the 2008 Champions League final to Manchester United in a penalty shoot-out, believes Di Matteo has done enough to earn a new deal.
    "Roberto deserves one more year, at least, because he has done a good job with this team. To come to the final with this team is unbelievable," Grant told Radio Five Live.

    However, Grant - now in charge of Serbian club Partizan Belgrade - warned that it would be difficult to predict Abramovich's next move.
    "Abramovich sometimes thinks different," he said.
    "In my time we came to the first final in the history of the club. We also played unbelievable football in the (Premier) League, in my opinion, beating all the big teams. But then he decided that I would not continue."
    But Grant believes Di Matteo has a chance of taking the job on a permanent basis because he has done so much to improve Chelsea's fortunes since replacing the sacked Andre Villas-Boas.

    "In this case, Abramovich has seen that the team was on the way up and I think Di Matteo will have a chance to continue," he said.
    "For a manager, against Barcelona is the most difficult game you can play. Especially as Chelsea are not great this season.
    "But over the two games Di Matteo did a very good job. What is the weakness of Chelsea? Chelsea are not playing great football this season so he went for the strengths of his team, the old players in combination with good tactics, to stop Barcelona."
    Chelsea now await the outcome of Wednesday night's clash between Bayern Munich and Real Madrid, with Bayern heading to Spain holding a 2-1 advantage from the first leg.

    But whoever they face, Grant revealed he would be supporting Chelsea and hoping Abramovich would finally see his European dreams realised.
    "It is not a secret, his dream is the Champions League," he said. "It is okay to be champions of England, but the most important thing is he wants recognition of the team in Europe.

    "The big trophy in Europe is the Champions League, and it is not good that in all the years Abramovich has been here, and all the money he has spent, he was only one time in the final.
    "So now it is the second time, and I hope he will win it."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 25-04-2012

    Greg Clarke: Hailed Championship clubs


    Championship clubs have voted in favour of introducing a groundbreaking new financial fair play model.
    All but three of the npower Championship's 24 clubs voted in favour of introducing the model, which is based on UEFA's financial fair play regulations, and plans to curb Football League debt by limiting investment from owners and total spending.
    Football League research has revealed that the 72 clubs that form the Championship, League One and League Two are on course to rack up a combined 2billion of debt unless spending and investment from 'sugar daddy' owners is curbed.

    The regulations will be introduced next season on a gradual basis, but sanctions for non-compliance will not be put in place until the 2014-15 season.
    Under the regulations, from the 2014-15 season, clubs who record total losses of over 6million will be hit with either a transfer embargo or a fine that could run in to the millions.
    The club in question will be fined if they are promoted to the Premier League and will be hit with a transfer embargo if they remain in the Championship.
    Owners will be allowed to invest 6million next season, 5million the following and 3million the following season
    League chairman Greg Clarke said: "On the pitch we have three exciting, competitive divisions with crowds at their highest levels for 50 years. But that success isn't necessarily being reflected on our clubs' balance sheets and we have to remedy that situation or face an uncertain future.
    "I'd like to commend the Championship clubs for the courageous decision they have taken. It means that for the first time, all 72 Football League clubs have agreed to take concerted action towards controlling their financial destiny.
    "Whilst we cannot promise that these rules will deliver results overnight, they will begin to lay the foundations for a league of financially self-sustaining football clubs."
    Financial losses per season will also be curbed under the new regulations. Clubs will be allowed to record a 4million loss next season, 3million per season for the next two campaigns, and 2million per season from 2015-16 onwards.

    The money generated from any fine imposed will be shared among the clubs in the Championship who are compliant with the regulations.
    The initiative is seen as an important step to stopping Football League clubs going bust.
    Earlier this season Portsmouth went into administration and Clarke predicts several clubs will go out of business if this scheme is not adopted.
    The Football League have been consulting with the Premier League and the FA, and are confident the initiative will get the official backing of both bodies.
    The scheme applies to the Championship only, but League One and League Two already have initiatives to make them more financially sound.
    League Two clubs are already allowed to spend 55% of turnover on wages and a similar scheme will be introduced to League One next season after a successful pilot scheme this term.
    Any League One club spending over 65% of their turnover in the 2012-13 season, or 60% of their turnover in the 2013-14 season will be hit with a transfer embargo.

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 25-04-2012

    Alex McLeish: Still has backing of Lerner


    Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner and chief executive Paul Faulkner have given their backing to manager Alex McLeish and his players as the club strive to win their Barclays Premier League relegation battle.
    Lerner and Faulkner have issued their rallying call after Villa were left only three points above the bottom three following Tuesday night's home defeat by Bolton.
    Fans called for McLeish to be sacked and Lerner and Faulkner understand the frustrations of the supporters and are calling for their backing for the final three games of the season.

    Lerner and Faulkner, in a joint statement, said: "Right now everyone connected with Villa is hurting badly.
    "A win was in sight last night against Bolton after a strong start and the tenacity the team displayed, although ultimately we weren't able to hold on for the points.
    "We very openly acknowledge the frustrations of Villa fans and share in them completely.
    "What matters to us and the board at this moment is how we, as a club, handle adversity and the pressure it brings.
    "Our horizon is the next three games and we continue to be in control of our own destiny."

    The statement continued: "Young players side by side with more senior players are fighting hard for the club.
    "They are now preparing for the West Brom game on Saturday, followed by Spurs and Norwich.
    "We will continue to support and rely on our manager and the squad and therefore give them our full support.
    "We are totally conscious, as is everyone at the club, that this is a very trying time for those who love Aston Villa.
    "We know that the team will continue to fight through every minute of the remaining games and we hope Villa fans will continue to show their great support."
    Stephen Warnock, who scored Villa's goal in the 2-1 defeat, accepts players must stand up and be counted during the final three games of the season.
    Midfielder Warnock acknowledges Villa lack players who are used to being involved in scraps to survive at the foot of the table.
    He said: "There's only myself at Blackburn, James Collins at West Ham and Emile Heskey at Wigan who have been in this situation.
    "It's not a nice situation to be in. We need fighters now.

    "The youngsters are learning the hard way but it's not easy for the senior lads as well.
    "With Blackburn a couple of years ago, we had to really fight for it.
    "It's a real test of character and we have to stand up and be counted now."
    Villa face West Brom on Saturday and Warnock added: "We've got to take the positives out of the Bolton game, learn from the mistakes and hope that will be enough to get us the win on Saturday.
    "We need to go to West Brom with the belief that we can win the game."

    Two goals in as many minutes from Martin Petrov and David Ngog earned Bolton the win and were followed by fans calling for McLeish to leave.
    The Villa boss refuses to blame an over-reliance on young players because of a lengthy injury list - there were 11 academy products among the 18 players on duty against Bolton - for Villa's plight.
    He said: "When you are a young player just learning the game in the top division, you have to learn by making mistakes sometimes.
    "But some experienced players have made mistakes this season as well and I can't say it is because the kids are in the team because some have done so well the last few weeks.
    "It is pretty close to the worst injury situation I've known.
    "I said at the start of the season we need to be lucky in terms of the senior players not getting injured due to the lack of depth of experience.
    "We have missed a lot of experienced players but I'm

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