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Thread: Latest Transfer Update at 27-04-2012

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    Arrow Latest Transfer Update at 27-04-2012

    Latest Transfer Update at 27-04-2012

    Eden Hazard: Wanted on both sides of Manchester

    MANCINI: MAN CITY 'PERFECT' FOR HAZARD

    Roberto Mancini believes Manchester City would be the "perfect" club for Belgian starlet Eden Hazard to join.
    Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson went public about his interest in the Lille attacking midfielder earlier this week.
    The 21-year-old is one of the hottest properties in Europe and would appear to have his pick of clubs with the likes of Tottenham, Real Madrid and Barcelona also linked with a move for the player.


    And Mancini admits he has a long-standing interest in the Belgium international.
    "I like Hazard a lot," the Italian told France Football. "He's a good player, he's young and he would do great things in our team.
    "Given his technical qualities, City would be the perfect destination for him. I know him and have been following him for a long time. He's a player a lot of teams want."


    Mancini went to see Hazard when Lille faced Valenciennes last month and he is not the only manager in Manchester to have been on a scouting assignment to see the young talent.
    Ferguson told French radio station RMC Sport: "I came to watch Lille play Lyon and followed Hazard of course, along with other players.
    "He is a very good player who has many qualities. He is particularly fast over the first 10 yards."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 27-04-2012

    Alberto Aquilani: On loan in Milan

    DALGLISH OPEN TO AQUILANI RETURN

    Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish insists if AC Milan do not want on-loan midfielder Alberto Aquilani then he is happy for the Italian to return to Anfield.
    Speculation about the 27-year-old's future has become a talking point in recent weeks as his hopes of a permanent move to the San Siro have receded.
    The loan agreement with the Italian club stated if Aquilani made 25 appearances then it would trigger his automatic purchase for 6million.
    He is currently three short of that total with only five matches remaining and Aquilani has been substitute for the last four matches, not even getting off the bench in Wednesday's win over Genoa.


    "If they don't activate the clause he will be back here," Dalglish said.
    "At the end of the day if they don't want him then he'll come back here as he's our player."
    Despite the fact Liverpool will make a huge loss on a player signed for 16million in 2009 there is a need to trim the wage bill.
    For that reason the future of another high-profile loan signing, Joe Cole, is also one which needs resolving.
    The England midfielder has had a successful season on loan at French club Lille, where the Reds are subsidising his wages, but his weekly six-figure salary may prove prohibitive to a permanent move.


    Of more immediate concern to Dalglish, however, are the players in the current squad.
    Captain Steven Gerrard returned to training this week having been rested as a precaution for last weekend's defeat at home to West Brom.
    However, fellow midfielder Charlie Adam will play no further part in the remainder of the campaign as the result of a knee injury sustained in last month's defeat at QPR.
    "There is no operation needed but he won't play this season," said Dalglish, who also warned Great Britain coach Stuart Pearce the midfielder was unlikely to be available for consideration in any London Olympics plans.


    "And I would think if they had any designs on having him in the Olympics he wouldn't be fit for that either."
    Off the field the club have announced they are to allow unprecedented behind-the-scenes dressing-room access to American broadcaster FOX Soccer for a six-part documentary.
    Cameras will start filming next month to capture preparations for, and the playing of, the FA Cup final before the TV crews move on to cover Liverpool's pre-season tour of the United States and Canada and the start of the 2012/13 campaign.
    "I expect it will be compelling programming as Liverpool will provide unprecedented access," chairman Tom Werner said.
    "This will be an amazing opportunity for our fans to see a new side of the club and for us to reach out to many more potential supporters around the world who will come to understand what makes Liverpool FC so special."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 27-04-2012

    Jean Tigana: Moving on

    SHENHUA CONFIRM TIGANA DEPARTURE


    Shanghai Shenhua have confirmed they have terminated the contract of coach Jean Tigana.
    Speculation has been rife over Tigana's position for several weeks and confirmation he had left came via a statement on the club's official website.


    Former DR Congo boss Jean-Florent Ikwange Ibenge has taken over on a caretaker basis while former Chelsea striker Nicolas Anelka and one-time England goalkeeper Ian Walker are part of a five-man coaching team.
    Tigana took over in December but leaves with the club 10th in the 16-team league.

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 27-04-2012

    Brian Flynn: Set to leave Wales post

    NO NEW CONTRACT FOR FLYNN

    Wales age-grade boss Brian Flynn will not be offered a new contract when his current deal runs out at the end of next month, the Football Association of Wales have confirmed.
    The former Wales midfielder has held his post since being appointed by John Toshack in 2004, and has gained a reputation for helping develop young talent after nurturing the likes of Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey and Joe Allen.
    The 56-year-old former Wrexham and Swansea manager twice guided Wales Under-21s to the brink of qualification for the European Championship finals, and racked up impressive victories over France and Italy along the way.
    His work at age-grade level was rewarded when he took over as caretaker coach of the senior national side following Toshack's resignation in August 2010, but back-to-back defeats in his two games in charge against Bulgaria and Switzerland led to him missing out on the full-time job to the late Gary Speed.
    Flynn also oversaw the Under-19 and Under-17 sides but he will leave his role when his deal expires.


    An FAW statement read: "The Football Association of Wales can confirm that Brian Flynn will not be continuing in his role as the Wales Intermediate manager at the end of his present contract on May 30th, 2012.
    "The Association would like to thank Brian and acknowledge the tremendous work and effort he has undertaken on behalf of Welsh football over the years.
    "He played a huge and important role in the development of the likes of Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey, Joe Allen and Wayne Hennessey.
    "On a couple of occasions his talented squads narrowly failed to qualify for the final stages of tournaments.
    "We wish him every success in the future."
    Wales Under-21s currently lie second in their qualification group for the 2013 European Championship, but will have a new man in charge ahead of their vital final two fixtures against Armenia and the Czech Republic later this year.

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 27-04-2012

    Brian Kennedy: Has joined forces with the Blue Knights

    BLUE KNIGHTS AND KENNEDY IN GERS BID

    Sale Sharks owner Brian Kennedy and the Blue Knights have joined forces to submit a "substantial" written offer to purchase Rangers.
    The bid was submitted to the club's administrators Duff and Phelps at 3pm on Friday afternoon.
    The offer is subject to a Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA) being agreed with creditors and the acquisition of current owner Craig Whyte's shares.
    The news was confirmed in a joint statement from Kennedy and former Ibrox director Paul Murray, who fronts the Blue Knights consortium.
    The statement read: "We are pleased to announce that the Blue Knights, led by Paul Murray and Brian Kennedy, have joined forces and at 3pm today have submitted a written offer to the lawyers of the administrators to purchase Rangers Football Club.


    "This offer we consider to be substantial and is conditional on a CVA being approved by the creditors, and Mr Whyte's shares being acquired.
    "We hope this is accepted so that we may proceed with due diligence forthwith and make a start to the task of rebuilding Rangers Football Club of 1872."
    The Blue Knights were offered the chance to assume preferred bidders' status two weeks ago, but potential partners Ticketus would not pay the 500,000 exclusivity fee and they stepped back from the process to allow the investment firm to complete a deal with Bill Ng.


    That failed to materialise and Ticketus today withdrew from the Blue Knights consortium but the partnership with Kennedy, who had an improved verbal offer rejected last week, is a new development despite previous co-operation.
    Ticketus will still have a hugely significant role to play as they are currently the major creditors - before a looming tax tribunal decision - and could block a CVA.
    Murray has previously stated his deal with Ticketus made a CVA more likely as it removed them from the equation.
    The London-based firm could also be pivotal in the future of Whyte's 85% shareholding. Whyte gave personal guarantees on capital provided by Ticketus, which helped him complete his 1 takeover by paying off the club's bank debt.


    Ticketus could pursue Whyte for any shortfall in the 26.7million they are owed for future season ticket sales and that could be used as leverage to take his shares, if it provides a return to their investors.
    Ticketus had been in talks over helping finance the Blue Knights' bid in return for a guaranteed return of around 10million, but they confirmed this morning they were pulling out as they could not justify their involvement to their investors.
    The statement read: "Our willingness to work with all interested bidders, and to try and be part of a solution for the club, was undertaken with the objective to agree terms that would satisfy both our investors' needs as well as being in the interests of the club, its fans and its creditors.
    "Regrettably over the course of this week it became impossible to reconcile these interests with the proposals put forward by the Blue Knights as the terms of a deal became clearer."


    Ticketus pointed to complexities caused by "delays to the administration process", Scottish Football Association sanctions and Scottish Premier League financial fair play proposals.
    The Blue Kights' rival, American Bill Miller, has proposed buying the club's assets and transferring to a new company, although his formal offer has not materialised as it is dependent on the lack of football sanctions.
    Manager Ally McCoist, speaking earlier today, was keen to retain a neutral stance on potential new owners for the club.
    He has said on a number of occasions he believes Kennedy and Murray have the best interests of the club at heart and had another telephone conversation with Miller on Monday night after the SFA sanctions against the club were announced.
    McCoist said: "I have spoken to Bill Miller on numerous occasions and I would definitely have to say he also has the club's best interests at heart as well.
    "The fact that he and I had a conversation for well over an hour after the decision was made on Monday night would indicate that he is seriously interested.
    "I have spoken to Brian Kennedy and Paul Murray on numerous occasions. If either of those gentlemen got control of the club, there would be no problem at all."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 27-04-2012

    Pep Guardiola: Won't renew Barcelona contract

    PEP GUARDIOLA LEAVING BARCELONA

    Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola will be standing down at the end of the season to "recharge his batteries", with his assistant Tito Vilanova confirmed as his replacement.
    Guardiola, who has presided over a period of unprecedented success at the Nou Camp - the club have claimed 13 trophies in his four years at the helm, admitted he has been pondering his future for some time.
    At a press conference, he said: "I would like you to understand that this is not an easy decision for me. But I would like to explain my reasons for this decision.


    "I have always wanted short-term contracts. Four years is an eternity as Barca coach. In the month of October I announced to the president and to the sporting director that I thought my spell was coming to an end.
    "The main reason why I have taken this decision is because four years is many years. I have given everything and I have nothing left and need to recharge my batteries.
    "The demands have been great and I have not been able to rest much. I have to recover and the only way I can do that is by distancing myself. Otherwise, we would have ended up damaging each other.
    "I know that I'm leaving the best place to work in. I am very satisfied with the result we have achieved. I have had the great privilege of coaching fantastic players. I want to thank them."


    At the same press conference, Barca president Sandro Rosell announced Vilanova would step up into the top job.
    Sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta felt promoting from within, as they did with Guardiola, was the best way forward.
    He said: "We've always said that if the team needs players, we look at home first (Barca B). Who do we have here at home? Tito."
    The move to name a replacement so swiftly was a surprise with speculation in Spain linking the likes of Ernesto Valverde, Laurent Blanc and Marcelo Bielsa with the position once it became clear Guardiola was heading for the exit.
    Guardiola endorsed the move. He said: "I think the club has taken the best decision possible.
    "He is more than capable. The players know him. He will make few changes. He will give the club and these players something that I thought I could no longer give.


    "I could have continued but is not what Barca would have deserved."
    Rosell hailed Guardiola's contribution and backed Vilanova to continue Barca's success.
    He said: "Pep always takes the best decision for this club. It was his decision and it's a personal one and an understandable one.
    "We hope to follow the inheritance that Pep leaves us with the best we can. He has made us proud.
    "Now we can confirm that Tito Vilanova will be our new coach. This was a decision taken by Andoni Zubizarreta and it has been ratified today by our executive committee.
    "Tito and Andoni will now work on next season's planning and I am sure they will do a good job."
    Guardiola has operated on short-term deals throughout his tenure but has usually renewed before this stage of the season, prompting speculation he was ready to walk away.


    He is thought to have met with Rosell, vice-president for sport Josep Maria Bartomeu and Zubizarreta on Wednesday - the day after they were eliminated from the Champions League by Chelsea - and indicated his desire to leave.
    At the club's request he promised to give it further thought but emerged with the same decision.
    The setback against Chelsea came just 72 hours after Barca's hopes of retaining their Primera Division crown were dashed following a 2-1 defeat at home to arch-rivals Real Madrid.
    That loss left them seven points behind Jose Mourinho's men with four games remaining and also ended their domestic dominance.
    Guardiola led Barca to La Liga crown in his first season in charge after masterminding a squad overhaul which saw the likes of Ronaldinho and Deco shipped out and a greater emphasis placed on youth.
    The results were immediate.


    Not only did Barca win the league - the highlight being a 6-2 thrashing of Madrid at the Bernabeu - but they also claimed the Copa del Rey and Champions League crowns.
    The 2009/10 campaign kicked off with further success in the Spanish Super Cup, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA World Club Cup as Barca became the first club side to claim six trophies in one calendar year.
    They failed to defend their Champions League crown after being eliminated by Mourinho-led Inter Milan at the semi-final stage but retained their La Liga title with a record points total of 99.
    With Madrid hiring Mourinho to end Barca's run of success, the 2010/11 season was supposed to pose new challenges for Guardiola.
    But the former Spain midfielder, having signed David Villa to replace the ineffectual Zlatan Ibrahimovic, guided Barca to the league title once more and they backed that up by claiming the Champions League crown by defeating Manchester United at Wembley.
    Cesc Fabregas joined from Arsenal in the summer of 2011 as Guardiola again placed his faith in products of the famed La Masia academy and while the free-flowing football remained, long winning runs were punctuated with surprise defeats.
    The Spanish Super Cup and UEFA Super Cup were claimed, as was the FIFA Club World Cup, but La Liga setbacks against the likes of Getafe and Osasuna undermined their title challenge.


    Barca have qualified for the final of the Copa del Rey in which they will meet Athletic Bilbao in what is set to be Guardiola's final game in charge.
    Guardiola confirmed he will now take a sabbatical from the game despite being linked with numerous jobs across Europe.
    "I don't know what I will do now but I will not go straight to coaching," he said today.
    He has been suggested as a contender for the England job, but Press Association Sport understands that not to be the case.


    Pep Guardiola factfile
    1971: Born January 18 in Manresa, Barcelona. Nicknamed 'Pep'.
    1990: December - Makes Barcelona debut against Cadiz. Coach Johan Cruyff converts him from right wing to centre midfield.
    1991: Makes four league appearances as Barca win Primera Division.
    1992: May - Helps Barca retain league title and win European Cup, beating Sampdoria 1-0 at Wembley.
    August - Scores in Olympic final in Barcelona against Ghana as Spain take gold medal.
    October - Makes full international debut in Belfast against Northern Ireland.
    1993: Makes 28 appearances as Barca win third consecutive title.
    1994: The Cruyff 'Dream Team' make it four league wins in a row, with Guardiola as captain on last day of the season.
    1995: Scores his first two top-flight goals, but Barca are beaten to the title by Real Madrid.
    1996: Cruyff quits. Barca make Copa del Rey final, but are beaten by Atletico Madrid in Copa and the league. Spain coach Javier Clemente leaves Guardiola out of Euro '96 squad.


    1997: Barca, under Bobby Robson, win Copa del Rey and European Cup Winners' Cup but again finish behind Madrid in league. Louis van Gaal becomes new trainer at Nou Camp.
    1998: Barcelona beat Borussia Dortmund 3-1 on aggregate to take last European Super Cup played over two legs. Van Gaal's side also win La Liga and Copa del Rey but Guardiola plays only six times and misses out on World Cup squad place.
    1999: Barca retain league, but fail to make the Champions League final at the Nou Camp. Guardiola plays 22 times, scoring once.
    2000: Barca defeated 5-3 on aggregate by Valencia in Champions League semi-finals. Finish second in Primera Division, five points behind Deportivo La Coruna. Plays in all four of Spain's Euro 2000 games.
    2001: June - Barca finish season in fourth. Knocked out of Copa del Rey at last-four stage by Celta Vigo. The 1-1 second-leg draw at Nou Camp is Guardiola's last game in the Blaugrana shirt.


    September - Signs for Brescia in Serie A.
    November 11 - Banned from Italian football, having tested positive for nandrolone after Brescia's 1-0 win over Piacenza on October 21.
    November 28 - Tests positive for nandrolone again after match against Lazio on November 4. Later banned for a total of four months by Lega Calcio and fined 2000 euros.
    2002: Signs for Roma but plays only four games in his one season at the club. Returns to Brescia in winter transfer window where, along with Roberto Baggio, he is key in helping them avoid relegation.
    2003: Signs for Qatari side Al-Ahly for two seasons and has an immediate impact, winning the best foreign newcomer award.
    2005: After a coaching course in Spain, joins Dorados de Sinaloa in Mexico in December, but only plays until March before returning to finish the course.


    2006: July - Becomes a qualified coach.
    November - Announces his retirement from playing.
    2007: July - Named as coach of Barcelona B.
    October - Cleared of drug charges from six years earlier.
    2008: Named as head coach of Barcelona, to replace Frank Rijkaard on June 30.
    2009: May 2 - Steers Barca to 6-2 victory over Real Madrid at the Bernabeu.
    May 13 - Barcelona defeat Athletic Bilbao 4-1 to win the Copa del Rey and earn Guardiola first silverware as coach.
    May 16 - Madrid's defeat at Villarreal secures Barca a first league title since 2006.
    May 27 - Barca beat Manchester United 2-0 in Champions League final to become the first Spanish club to complete the treble.
    August - Wins European Super Cup with a 1-0 victory over Shakhtar Donetsk and the Spanish Supercopa with 5-1 aggregate win over Athletic Bilbao.


    December 19 - Barca claim their sixth trophy of the year with a 2-1 win over Estudiantes in the Club World Cup.
    2010: April 10 - Becomes the first manager in Barcelona's history to beat Real Madrid four times in a row in El Clasico.
    April 28 - Knocked out of Champions League at semi-final stage, going down 3-2 on aggregate to eventual champions Inter Milan.
    May - Steers Barca to 20th La Liga title with a European record of 99 points.
    July 14 - Signs one-year contract extension to remain at the Nou Camp until June 30, 2011.
    November 29 - Leads Barca to a famous 5-0 Clasico victory over Jose Mourinho's Real Madrid.
    2011: February - Signs one-year contract extension to keep him at Barca until June 2012.
    April 26 - Leads Barca to Copa Del Rey final for second year in a row but they lose 1-0 to Real Madrid.
    May 2 - Guides Barca to their second Champions League final in three years, beating Real Madrid over two-legged semi.
    May 11 - Leads Barca to third straight Primera Division title, secured with two games to spare by 1-1 draw at Levante.
    August - Leads Barcelona to victories in the Spanish Supercopa and UEFA Super Cup.
    December 18 - Barca beat Santos 4-0 in the FIFA Club World Cup final.
    2012: April 21 - Barca lose 2-1 at home to Real Madrid - a result which puts Mourinho's men seven points clear with just four games remaining.
    April 24 - Barca only manage a 2-2 draw at home to Chelsea in the second leg of their Champions League semi-final, meaning they go out 3-2 on aggregate.


    April 27 - Announces he will not renew his contract and will leave Barca at the end of the season.

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 27-04-2012

    Tito Vilanova: New Barcelona coach

    TITO VILANOVA IS NEW BARCELONA BOSS

    Barcelona have moved swiftly to continue the philosophies developed so successfully by Pep Guardiola by appointing Tito Vilanova as his successor.
    Vilanova, currently Guardiola's assistant, will assume the top job when Guardiola stands down at the end of his contract on June 30.
    Speculation over Guardiola's position ended on Friday when the 41-year-old confirmed at a press conference he would be leaving to "recharge his batteries" after four trophy-laden years at the Nou Camp.
    Guardiola's announcement will have alerted club bosses around Europe, with Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich likely to be amongst those trying to tempt the Spaniard to continue his management career rather than take a year off as he intends.
    The likes of Laurent Blanc and Marcelo Bielsa had been linked with the Barca post when it become apparent Guardiola was considering his future but the club's sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta feels promoting from within was the best way forward.


    "We chose Tito because he represents the idea and the image," he said. "He has commitment and personality.
    "We've always said that if the team needs players, we look at home first. Who do we have here at home? Tito."
    It was a move endorsed by Guardiola, who added: "I think the club has taken the best decision possible.
    "He is more than capable. The players know him. He will make few changes. He will give the club and these players something that I thought I could no longer give.
    "I could have continued but that is not what Barca would have deserved."
    Vilanova, 42, has only recently returned to work after having a throat tumour removed in November last year and has maintained a low profile in his role as assistant, his biggest claim to fame coming when he was poked in the eye by Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho during the Spanish Supercopa at the start of the season.


    His unveiling will take place over the summer with Barca keen to keep Friday's attention on Guardiola.
    The former Spain and Barcelona midfielder gave a typically assured speech to announce his departure in front of several players who had gatecrashed the press conference.
    He explained the fear of burn-out was behind his decision to walk and insisted he would now be taking time away from the pressures of coaching.
    "I would like you to understand that this is not an easy decision for me. But I would like to explain my reasons for this decision," he said.
    "I have always wanted short-term contracts. Four years is an eternity as Barca coach. In the month of October I announced to the president and to the sporting director that I thought my spell was coming to an end.


    "I have given everything and I have nothing left and need to recharge my batteries.
    "The demands have been great and I have not been able to rest much. I have to recover and the only way I can do that is by distancing myself. Otherwise, we would have ended up damaging each other.
    "I know that I'm leaving the best place to work in. I am very satisfied with the result we have achieved. I have had the great privilege of coaching fantastic players. I want to thank them.
    "I don't know what I will do now but I will not go straight to coaching."
    President Sandro Rosell hailed Guardiola's contribution and backed Vilanova to continue Barca's success.
    He said: "Pep always takes the best decision for this club. It was his decision and it's a personal one and an understandable one.
    "We hope to follow the inheritance that Pep leaves us with the best we can. He has made us proud.
    "Tito and Andoni will now work on next season's planning and I am sure they will do a good job."


    Guardiola succeeded Frank Rijkaard in 2008 and has gone on to become the most successful coach in the club's illustrious history.
    He departs having led the azulgrana to two Champions League crowns, three La Liga trophies, one Copa del Rey, three Supercopas, two UEFA Super Cups and two FIFA Club World Cups.
    But last Saturday's home defeat to Real Madrid means the Primera Division title is Bernabeu-bound while their Champions League defence ended with Tuesday's elimination by Chelsea.
    Guardiola's final match is scheduled to be the Copa del Rey final against Athletic Bilbao next month.


    Tito Vilanova Factfile:
    1969: Born September 17 in Bellcaire d'Emporda Girona.
    1988: Comes through the Barcelona youth set-up along with fellow midfielder Pep Guardiola, but cannot break into the first team, playing for two years at Barcelona B.
    1990: Joins lower-league Figueres.
    1992: Moves to Primera Division Celta Vigo, but fails to hold down a first-team place.
    1995: Leaves Celta.
    2002: Retires from playing after short spells in the lower leagues with Badajoz, Real Mallorca, Lleida, Elche and finally Gramenet.
    2007: After working as technical director at Tarrassa, becomes Guardiola's assistant at Barcelona B. The pair help the team to promotion to Segunda Division B.
    2008: June - Guardiola takes over coach of Barcelona and Vilanova comes with him as his assistant. The pair win the league, cup and Champions League in the first season in charge. Two more league titles, another Champions League crown and two Club World Cups follow.
    2012 : April 27 - Appointed as Guardiola's successor as Barcelona coach for next season after Guardiola announces he will not renew his contract.

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 27-04-2012

    Paul Lambert: Speculation is harsh on McLeish

    LAMBERT UNHAPPY WITH VILLA LINK

    Norwich manager Paul Lambert has labelled speculation linking him a summer move to Aston Villa as "extremely unfair".
    The pressure is increasing on Villa boss Alex McLeish as the Midlands club struggle to stay clear of the relegation dogfight, having been beaten 2-1 at home draw by Bolton in midweek.
    By contrast, Lambert has steered the Canaries up into 13th place, with their top-flight status all but secured for another season, some 10 points clear of danger heading into Saturday's visit of Liverpool.
    The former Celtic midfielder, 42, accepts transfer rumours about players and even managers is all part and parcel of the game, but insists reports suggesting he was being lined up by Villa owner Randy Lerner as a summer replacement for McLeish were unwelcome.
    "Speculation about players is something you can never do anything about. It happens with managers as well and you can never stop that," the Norwich manager told a press conference.


    "If my players get linked with other teams, there is not a thing I can do about that. It is the same situation about myself.
    "However, it is extremely unfair with me being linked with Aston Villa when they have got a really good manager up there who is doing everything he can to stay in the league.
    "It is an unfair comment for me to say anything on that."
    Liverpool may not be challenging for the championship, but they have already brought the Carling Cup back to Anfield and next weekend have another Wembley date as they aim to beat Champions League finalists Chelsea to win the FA Cup.
    Seven defeats in 10 Premier League games - including a 1-0 home reverse to West Brom last time out - have left the Reds well off the pace in the race for a top-four finish.


    Lambert, though, is not expecting anything other than another stern test of how far his own squad have come since rising up through succesive promotions from npower League One.
    "It is more highlighted because of the club they are," said the former Colchester boss.
    "I don't need to lift the players because the game itself will lift them.
    "We will certainly have to lift it because I think Liverpool are a top side.
    "Some of the players they have got are outstanding. The history and the tradition they have got is such that we have to step it up."
    Lambert added: "Liverpool have won the Carling Cup, they are in the final of the FA Cup. The fan base is huge, Kenny (Dalglish) is a massive presence and they are still a fantastic side. I don't think anybody should underestimate that.
    "Their performances have been good, but the results have gone against them, which happens, so I am under no illusions of how hard it is going to be.


    "We will have to play to our max."
    Norwich have struggled for consistency in recent weeks, winning at Tottenham on Easter Monday only to then be thumped 6-1 at home by title-chasing Manchester City and losing 2-0 at relegation battlers Blackburn last time out.
    Lambert, though, remains positive.
    He said: "The Manchester City match was perhaps a game too far because we had played Everton and then on the Monday after we played Tottenham. Maybe the three games took their toll.
    "The energy was there against Blackburn. I just thought we never got up to the standard we had set.
    "We have to bounce back and I am sure we will."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 27-04-2012

    Sergio Canales: Suffered another serious knee injury

    SETBACK FOR CANALES

    Valencia playmaker Sergio Canales is set to be sidelined for six months after suffering his second serious knee injury of the season during Thursday night's Europa League defeat to Atletico Madrid, the club have announced.
    Canales was replaced just before the hour-mark of the semi-final second leg at the Mestalla and Valencia's medical chief Jordi Candel confirmed on Friday that he had torn the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.


    The 21-year-old Canales, who joined Valencia on loan from Real Madrid last summer, had only recently returned to action after partially tearing the same ligament during in a league match against Athletic Bilbao in October.
    Valencia lost Thursday night's match 1-0 to Atletico to tumble out of the Europa League semi-finals 5-2 on aggregate.

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 27-04-2012

    Gary McSheffrey: Wants to stay at Coventry

    McSHEFFREY PLANS COVENTRY STAY

    Coventry striker Gary McSheffrey insists he has no plans to leave and wants to help the club win promotion back to the Championship.
    The Sky Blues' relegation to League One has led to speculation that several key players could be on the move from the Ricoh Arena over the summer.
    However, the Coventry-born McSheffrey does not intend to be part of an exodus and believes the club have a chance of an immediate return to the second tier.
    "Of course I see my future here," the 29-year-old told the club's official website. "I signed a new contract back in November and this is where I want to be. I want to be part of the team which gets this club back.


    "It isn't ideal at this stage of my career that we are going into the league we are in, but that is the situation and we have to turn it around.
    "If we get a few more players in to help us out and keep most of the squad here then we will have a more than decent chance of coming back up."
    And manager Andy Thorn insists the players he has already targeted want to join Coventry, adding: "The players that I want at this club want to come here, which is good and important. Of course we are under a transfer embargo at the minute but as soon as we come out of that we can restructure and get bodies in."

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