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Thread: Latest Transfer Update at 04-05-2012

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    Latest Transfer Update at 04-05-2012

    Clint Dempsey: Linked with Liverpool move


    Liverpool chairman Tom Werner has hinted at an interest in Fulham striker Clint Dempsey.
    The Anfield hierarchy normally keep transfer targets as confidential, but Werner has implied the club could be watching his fellow American.
    Dempsey has scored 22 goals this season and, with just one year remaining on his contract, has also been linked with a move to Fulham's London rivals, Arsenal.

    FA Cup finalists and Carling Cup winners Liverpool are expected to make changes to their squad this summer after an extremely disappointing Premier League campaign.
    This would come after spending more than 80million on the likes of Jordan Henderson, Stewart Downing and Charlie Adam in the last close-season.

    "We never talk publicly about transfer targets, however, any team would be lucky to have Clint Dempsey playing on their squad," said Werner.
    Fulham, though, will fight to keep hold of Dempsey and manager Martin Jol has previously insisted the USA international is not for sale ahead of summer talks with the player over a possible contract extension.
    Regarding the prospects of keeping Dempsey at Craven Cottage, Jol told Sky Sports in April: "Hopefully we will, because he's still here for next season as well. So we won't sell him, so that is easy."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 04-05-2012

    Carlos Tevez: Back playing for Man City


    Goalkeeper Joe Hart "couldn't care less" what Carlos Tevez does at the end of the season - just so long as the striker helps Manchester City secure Barclays Premier League title glory.
    Even after Tevez returned from his unauthorised stay in Argentina, it seemed certain he would be leaving the Etihad Stadium in the summer.
    However, ahead of Monday's magnificent Manchester derby triumph over United, Tevez declared his intention to remain at City.
    The news has been welcomed by Blues boss Roberto Mancini, with the majority of supporters also forgiving Tevez for his woeful behaviour - triggered by that infamous refusal to warm up at Bayern Munich last September.

    Hart is confident Tevez will ultimately reach an amicable arrangement with City.
    However, with such a massive prize so close, the England keeper is simply not interested in what happens this summer.
    "As long as Carlos is here for the next two games I couldn't care less what he does," he said.
    "His future is for him and the club to decide, all I know is that he is really making a difference for us at the moment.
    "The thing is, we are not outsiders looking in.

    "We know what is going on. We know what he is going to do for us and we are very pleased with it."
    Hart is expected to shrug off an ankle injury to play at Newcastle on Sunday - a game the whole championship battle seems to rest on.
    Certainly there has been no extended celebration of the win over United that secured top spot on goal difference.
    The task, underlined by Newcastle's win at Chelsea, is far from completed.
    "The vibes in the dressing room are positive, but no-one is getting carried away," the 25-year-old said.
    "It is the Premier League. We wouldn't expect it any other way.

    "But we go there with confidence. We are definitely up there as one of the best sides in this league."
    Having pulled back an eight-point deficit on United in the space of four games, City are on the brink of completing a memorable success.
    Yet they may find their first championship since 1968 being written up as an example of United throwing it away rather than them actually winning it.
    Such an assessment, Hart believes, would be grossly unfair.
    "Sometimes you are up, sometimes you are down but we have been in a strong position for seven months," he said.
    "We are not on a late surge. We have not been battling in fourth or fifth and all of a sudden come good.
    "After Arsenal, we were strongly reminded that we were leading and then we supposedly cracked up.
    "But we are back at the top when it matters. We have two big games to go. Hopefully we wrap up this league."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 04-05-2012

    Robin van Persie: Football Writers' Footballer of the Year


    Arsenal striker Robin van Persie was relaxed about his future as he collected the Football Writers' Footballer of the Year award on Thursday evening, insisting no matter what happens during the rest of his career he would "always be a Gunner".
    The Holland striker, 28, topped the poll of journalists with a landslide victory ahead of Manchester United duo Wayne Rooney and Paul Scholes, with Fulham's Clint Dempsey fourth.

    Van Persie's 35 goals in all competitions have helped propel Arsenal into the top four of the Barclays Premier League, leaving them on the brink of automatic promotion to the Champions League next season, a European campaign Van Persie looks set to be part of as he plans summer talks over a new deal.
    He said: "That is still the plan, we haven't set a date but I will have a meeting with the boss like we did before, now we will be having a meeting about my future, and lots of other things.
    "Arsenal is an unbelievable club, the player I am today is because of Arsenal. When I actually signed the deal (to join Arsenal) it was a dream come true.

    "If you ask the likes of Robert Pires how he feels, what he feels like he will say 'I feel like a Gunner' - and whatever happens with me I will always be a Gunner."
    During his acceptance speech Van Persie thanked manager Arsene Wenger for showing faith in him following his transfer from Feyenoord eight years ago.
    Wenger believes life will be easier for the Dutchman next season with the signing of Lukas Podolski.
    He told Arsenal Player: "He is a versatile striker - he can play through the middle, behind the striker, up front, on the left and on the right.
    "That's what we like, and he can score goals as well. How many times have we been accused this season of being too reliant on Robin van Persie? He can score goals and provide, and he is the class that we want.

    "He can fit with Robin van Persie through the middle or on the sides. That is for sure. That was an important part of the decision making [about signing him]."
    The long-serving Arsenal boss will take charge of his 900th game as Arsenal boss against Norwich on Saturday but the 62-year-old was unaware of the landmark.
    "Yes [I am surprised] because I don't know where the other 899 have gone," he said.

    "You always have so much focus on the next one that you forget the games that are behind you.
    "It is impressive, 900 games, but basically what is only important for me is to win the next one."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 04-05-2012

    Andre Santos: No move to Brazil


    Botafogo have been quick to deny that they are lining up a deal for Arsenal full-back Andre Santos.
    The 29-year-old joined Arsenal last summer from Fenerbahce in a deal worth 6million, but he has failed to make a huge impression at the Emirates.
    Reports had claimed that Santos was wanted back in his native Brazil by Botafogo.

    However, the club have denied any such deal is in the pipeline.
    Botafogo's vice-president Andre Silva told Lance: "Andre [Santos] is our friend but he is not coming to Botafogo at this time".
    Santos's agent Carlos Leite added: "There is zero chance Andre [Santos] could join Botafogo now."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 04-05-2012

    Stephane Sessegnon: Denied move rumours this week


    Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill has signalled his intention to hang onto his best players after Stephane Sessegnon played down speculation he could leave the club this summer.
    Sessegnon this week moved to scotch persistent rumours that he is unhappy on Wearside, with former club Paris St Germain and Arsenal reportedly among those clubs monitoring his situation.
    The 27-year-old Benin international's comments simply backed up what O'Neill himself has been saying for weeks, although the Ulsterman was unaware that Sessegnon had gone public.

    O'Neill said: "I didn't know he had said anything publicly, I must admit. I didn't know he had spoken, the oracle, and I am delighted he has done.
    "He won the player of the year at the meeting of the supporters' club, and I think he was genuinely pleased with that.
    "The trophy that he picked up is about four inches bigger than he is. He seemed in decent form."
    The diminutive striker, who was signed by O'Neill's predecessor Steve Bruce for 6million in January last year, has proved vital in the Black Cats' fightback from a poor start to the campaign which ultimately cost Bruce his job.
    His invention and goals - he is currently joint top scorer with Nicklas Bendtner and Sebastian Larsson on eight - have proved invaluable, and O'Neill is keen to retain his services as he plots the way forward.

    O'Neill added with a smile: "If he puts in performances like he put in last week [against Bolton], then we might have some other thoughts on that - he was rubbish.
    "But he's been a terrific player for us, really terrific, and I am delighted with him.
    "Obviously, we have to try to keep the best players. The only way for us to progress is to keep our best players, and Sessegnon definitely comes into that category."
    Sessegnon will have another opportunity to add to his goals tally at Fulham on Sunday with Larsson out for the rest of the season after groin surgery and Bendtner, like defender John O'Shea, battling a foot injury.
    One man who will not be involved is forgotten man Titus Bramble, although he has been back in training after recovering from an Achilles problem, and while O'Neill has suggested he is unlikely to taste first-team action again this season, he is not ruling it out.

    He said: "Titus has trained for about the last 10 days with us and he has had no ill effects, which has been good.
    "Last week he had just trained a few days so I said would give him an extra week, but each day he has trained there has been no reaction, so that's progression for us."
    Asked if the 30-year-old could figure in either of the two remaining games - Fulham at the weekend and title-chasing Manchester United at the Stadium of Light seven days later - O'Neill replied: "We have got two games to go. He is doing very well.
    "Let's say if there was a month left in the season, I would have genuinely had no doubt about it, if he continues the sort of progress he is making.

    "The two games might be a bit tight, but I am not sure. He is feeling much, much better each day."
    Bramble, who is facing trial on allegations of sexual assault later this month, has been out of action since damaging his Achilles against Everton on Boxing Day.

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 04-05-2012

    Paulo Bento: Extends deal until 2014


    Portugal coach Paulo Bento has signed a contract extension to remain in the role until 2014.
    The 42-year-old's previous deal was due to expire after this summer's European Championships, but the Portuguese Football Federation confirmed today that an agreement had been reached with Bento and his coaching team for two more years.
    A statement on federation website read: "The Portuguese Football Federation announced that the contractual relationship of the national coach, Paulo Bento, and the entire technical team selection was renewed until July 2014.

    "The president, Fernando Gomes, and the national coach, Paulo Bento, will address this issue at a press conference scheduled for tomorrow, May 4, at 1230 in the FPF headquarters."
    Bento took up the Portugal reins in September 2010, replacing Carlos Queiroz, and led his side to Euro 2012 via the play-offs and a 6-2 aggregate victory over Bosnia-Herzegovina last November.
    They will open their campaign in Ukraine against Germany on June 9 and face further Group B games against Holland and Denmark.

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 04-05-2012

    Stuart McCall: There's some wheeling and dealing to be done


    Manager Stuart McCall is set for talks with the Motherwell hierarchy and his out of contract players in a bid to keep his squad intact for Champions League football next season.
    Rangers' 5-0 defeat of Dundee United ensured Motherwell cannot be caught in third place and will enter the third qualifying round of Europe's elite competition next term.

    McCall hopes to retain the players that have taken the Steelmen into the Champions League - with second-placed Rangers ineligible due to their financial predicament - but the rewards for McCall's men are not yet so great that he can make head-turning contract offers.
    "There's a little bit of wheeling and dealing to be done," said McCall, who plans talks with vice-chairman Derek Weir and chief executive Leeann Dempster before meeting his players.

    "I hope from my point of view we can keep the majority of the squad that have been so successful this season."
    McCall was earlier this season informed his budget for next term would be reduced, making it a challenge to retain his players.
    He added: "They've probably individually and collectively had the best season of their careers.
    "To be asked to sign again on reduced money is a difficult one to sell. But I'm hopeful."
    There will be at least two European ties next term which could enhance the budget.
    Dempster has valued the prize money for the third qualifying round at more than 110,000 while the club could expect to make more from gate receipts and television money.

    Victory would put them into the play-offs for the group stages and defeat would send them into the Europa League play-offs.
    As for the prospect of Champions League football, McCall, whose side play Rangers on Saturday, said: "When the draw's made and we're actually in it, I'll believe it.
    "The major success has been to finish third. I think it's been an outstanding achievement by our players."
    Forward Jamie Murphy is one of the players who could depart.
    The 22-year-old in January rejected a move to Blackpool in preference of staying at Fir Park but could leave this summer, with his contract due to expire at the end of next season.

    Murphy said: "It still hasn't sunk in yet that we could play in the Champions League next year.
    "I always felt confident that it was the right decision (to stay) and getting third place here was what we wanted to do.
    "I'm enjoying it here at the moment and we're all playing good football."
    Murphy would not be drawn on his future, adding: "I've not heard anything else. It's something I don't really think about."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 04-05-2012

    Roberto Di Matteo: Support from John Terry


    John Terry has urged his Chelsea team-mates to help Roberto Di Matteo land the manager's job full-time by winning Saturday's FA Cup final.
    Blues captain Terry issued a ringing endorsement of caretaker boss Di Matteo ahead of the Wembley showpiece against Liverpool.
    Clinching the FA Cup would boost Di Matteo's hopes of convincing Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich to hand him the reins permanently, something that would have the full backing of former team-mate Terry.

    "It would do him no harm at all," Terry said.
    "He's obviously done very well in the league and all competitions to get us where we are today.
    "To win it (the cup) will put himself in a very good position.
    "He's not thinking of that at the moment, he's not letting the players get distracted by anything.
    "He's very passionate, he's Chelsea through and through, and that's certainly rubbed off on the players.

    "So, if we can do it with the added bonus that Robbie can get the job at the end, that'd be great."
    Di Matteo has transformed Chelsea's season since replacing the sacked Andre Villas-Boas two months ago and is also on the brink of leading them to Champions League glory.
    Terry added: "He's done really well and you often see actually when teams are not going so well, a change of management can really help things along, and it's certainly done that since he's come in.
    "He's brought Eddie Newton in, who's obviously played for the club as well, so they both represent Chelsea Football Club, which is an added bonus."
    Terry insisted Chelsea's players never lost faith they could salvage something from their season, even when others had.
    "If you look at the quality we've got throughout the squad, it's always been here," he said.

    "We've got immense talent here, the hunger as well to win trophies and keep winning them year after year.
    "We're obviously delighted because, a few months ago, nobody probably would've called where we are today."
    Terry admitted victory tomorrow would be the ideal way to prepare for the Champions League final a fortnight later, which Chelsea will almost certainly have to win to qualify for next season's competition following Wednesday's crushing defeat to Newcastle.
    Terry refused to concede fourth place in the Barclays Premier League and also played down his own suspension for the May 19 showdown with Bayern Munich.
    "It's not going to be difficult to watch the game in Munich," he said.
    "I'm delighted that the club are there. This club deserves it.

    "We have seen the disappointment in the Champions League over the years where we haven't had the luck.
    "This year, the luck seems to be on our side and hopefully it could be our year."
    Chelsea enjoyed no end of luck after Terry was sent off in the Champions League semi-final, something he can help make amends for by lifting the FA Cup for the fourth time tomorrow.
    "Sometimes, players wait all their lives for this opportunity," he said.
    "We had a good manager and a good set of players to set us on our way many years ago.
    "You look at the Man United side and (Paul) Scholes, (Ryan) Giggs and those kind of players and the hunger to keep winning things.
    "When you get a taste of it, you really want to be in the thick of things at the end of the season, which we are."
    There is also the added incentive of beating a Liverpool side who have proven Chelsea's nemesis at times in recent years, especially in cup competitions.
    Terry said: "There have been some good games, some good rivalry as well between the two sides and, obviously, both clubs and sets of players know each other very well.

    "There are no hidden agendas tomorrow.
    "They've rested a few players in the week, very much like ourselves.
    "So both sets of players are going to be fit and ready to go."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 04-05-2012

    Robin van Persie: Will talk to Arsene Wenger


    Arsene Wenger remains confident Arsenal captain Robin van Persie will not be sold this summer.
    The Holland skipper was relaxed about his future as he collected the Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year award last night, insisting no matter what happens during the rest of his career he would "always be a Gunner".
    Van Persie, 28, is set to sit down with Arsenal at the end of the season for discussions over a contract extension, with another year left on his current deal.

    Despite suggestions the Gunners would look to cash in on their captain - as they did earlier this season with contract rebel Samir Nasri who eventually was sold to Manchester City for 24million - Wenger maintained that scenario was not on the horizon.
    "Who would want to lose his best player? My desire and my wish is to find an agreement with Robin van Persie, extend the contract and stay with us for a longer time. Hopefully we can reach that," said Wenger, whose side host Norwich tomorrow aiming to strengthen their grip on third place in the Barclays Premier League.
    "If that wouldn't happen, we will still want him to stay, but I am more focused on the first situation.
    "I think what is important for us is that we find an agreement with him to be happy and to stay and finish his career here."
    Wenger continued: "I cannot guarantee that it will go well, but I am quite confident.

    "I believe Robin is committed to the club, I feel that the club has shown great commitment to him over the years and put great faith in him.
    "I brought him here a long, long time ago and he has developed fantastically well as a man and as a player.
    "Today he is a world-class player and he deserves great credit. Hopefully we can keep him here."
    Arsenal's hand would be strengthened significantly were they able to offer guaranteed Champions League football again next season.
    That the Gunners have that within their own grasp heading into the final two matches of what started out as a testing campaign is remarkable in itself.
    While Newcastle and Tottenham are both now only one point behind following their midweek wins, Wenger knows Arsenal's destiny remains in their own control.

    "Our dream was to be in the situation we are in now three months ago. It is now down to us to get over the line," said Wenger, who will take charge of his 900th game tomorrow.
    "That looks quite difficult at the moment because we had a few opportunities we didn't take and so we have another opportunity tomorrow which we want to take.

    "The team is focused and ready to do the job, it's now for us to get over the line."
    Wenger continued: "It is still open, but the advantage we have on the other teams is that we have our destiny in our own hands because we are one point ahead.
    "We are in the driving seat, it depends only on our results and that is what you want when you are a top-level professional football player or at a top-level club - you don't want to depend on the results of others."
    Many expected Norwich to struggle on their return to the top flight, but Paul Lambert's men head into their final two matches already safe from the relegation dogfight.
    The Canaries may have been beaten 3-0 at home by Liverpool in their last outing, which was a third straight defeat, but Wenger warned against complacency.

    "I expect them to play at their best because it would be absolutely non-intelligent from us to expect a team to play a little bit softer. That would not be very professional," the Arsenal boss said.
    "Norwich came into this league with relatively unknown players, but what is fantastic in this job is that it is not about names, it is about performances. They have done remarkably well."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 04-05-2012

    Gareth Bale: Has been linked with Manchester City


    Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has confirmed there have been talks about next summer's transfer targets - but he does not expect Gareth Bale to leave Tottenham.
    It has been suggested the Blues will try to lure Bale to the Etihad Stadium with a big-money bid.
    But Mancini does not think Spurs would be interested.

    "Gareth Bale is a fantastic player," said the City boss.
    "But I don't think he will leave a big team like Tottenham."
    However, Mancini has spoken to the City hierarchy about summer plans, even if, with the Premier League title battle now into its last two games, those talks are on hold.

    "We talked about this some weeks ago," he said.
    "But now our focus has to be on the next two games."

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