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Thread: Latest Transfer Update at 12-05-2012

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    Latest Transfer Update at 12-05-2012

    Van Persie's contract has a year to run

    Arsene Wenger knows Champions League football next season would strengthen Arsenal's hand in their bid to extend Robin van Persie's contract.
    The Gunners head to West Brom on Sunday needing victory to secure third place, and with it safe passage into the group stages of Europe's elite club competition once again.
    The future of captain Van Persie, who has plundered 30 league goals, remains subject for speculation, with the Dutchman set to talk with the club ahead of departure to Euro 2012.

    Asked if guaranteeing Champions League football would make it easier to convince Van Persie to sign an extension to his current deal which still has a year to run, Wenger said: "On my side I am inclined to think 'yes', but you should ask him. I don't know whether it will have an influence on him.
    "Anyway, we don't focus on just that. Robin is not at the end of his contract."
    Wenger feels the Gunners would not necessarily be forced to sell Van Persie, as they did with Cesc Fabregas to Barcelona and Samir Nasri to Manchester City last summer.
    "People speak like our position is not important. Our position is very important," said Wenger.
    "Our position with Cesc was to let him go because he wanted to go."
    After playing catch-up at the end of the August transfer window, Wenger has already done some early transfer business with the 10million signing of German striker Lukas Podolski.

    Wenger believes it will be a "quiet summer", and believes getting the likes of England midfielder Jack Wilshere - who has not kicked a ball in anger this season - fit again will be just as important as any new signings.
    "Another way to strengthen for us is to get Wilshere and [Abou] Diaby, who didn't play at all the whole season," said Wenger.
    "You look at the number of players - we have 34 players when they all come back. That means you have to pay nine not to play."
    Arsenal would have already been secure in third place had they beaten Norwich last weekend, instead of being pegged back in a thrilling 3-3 draw.

    Yet by the same token, rivals Tottenham were at one stage themselves in the driving seat for automatic qualification, only to suffer from a lack of consistency themselves.
    "Both teams have not been capable to do it. We have been in position as well where we were not capable to do it. It can happen. The championship is difficult," said Wenger.
    "For example, Norwich played 3-3 against us. We could have won the game, we could have lost the game. They went to Tottenham and won at a period where Tottenham could secure the [third] place. It happened to both Tottenham and us."
    Just as much as each club could yet be playing in the Champions League again next season, they could also be dropped down into the Europa League should Chelsea win the European Cup on May 19.

    Wenger, though, rejected suggestions the Europa League was a "useless competition".
    He said: "You play where you have to and it's better to play there than not at all.
    "When you play Thursday night and Sunday it's exactly the same as Wednesday night and Saturday.
    "But if you ask me if we prefer the Europa League or Champions League then you are completely right, we want to be in the Champions League, we don't want to be in the Europa League."

    Wenger, though, will not be looking for any excuses at The Hawthorns.
    "In football you can always find reasons to affect things. On our side, you can say that talking about transfers has an effect," he said.
    "You are professionals in our job, we are professionals in our job and to be professional is to perform when you are expected. It's as simple as that."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 12-05-2012

    Jonas Olsson: Waiting on new manager


    West Brom defender Jonas Olsson wants to see who will replace head coach Roy Hodgson at The Hawthorns before deciding on his future.
    Sweden international Olsson has just over 12 months remaining on his current deal with the Baggies and had originally wanted to wait until after Euro 2012 before making a decision.
    But since then, Hodgson has become the new England coach and whoever takes over from him will have a big bearing on what option Olsson takes.
    Olsson said: "I want to hold off definitely until I know who is going to be in charge. That's what I've been saying to Dan Ashworth (Albion sporting and technical director).
    "It's important to know who is going to manage the club and I think that's a fair request before you speak about your future. That's where we are at the moment.
    "Since New Year I have spoken regularly to Dan and, before the gaffer got the England job, it was very uncertain about his future here and that was my reason then for not speaking further.

    "I wanted to know who was going to manage the club - and that is even more relevant now with the gaffer taking the England job."
    However, Olsson rejects speculation that he has turned down an offer from West Brom.
    He said: "That is not correct. We haven't spoken about figures or anything, we have just spoken about the future.
    "It's not like the contract is running out this summer. It's a normal situation that most players with one year left on their contract speak to the club about their future and I've done that.
    "There are a few bits that need to be sorted and the biggest bit for me is the management situation."
    Olsson admits he will be in the shop window during Euro 2012 but his main focus is on success with Sweden who will take on Hodgson's England in their second group match on June 15.
    He said: "Of course it (doing well) would be good for me but I am focusing on a team level first.
    "You want to perform well to get into a good position but, if I am to speak about the future with West Brom, it's always good to have a good season behind you and also a good Euros.
    "I will definitely want to play well for all those reasons but the first thing in my mind is to do well, so the Swedish team can do well."
    Albion assistant boss Keith Downing concedes there is a feeling of uncertainty amongst players and staff with Hodgson departing after Sunday's home game with Arsenal.

    He said: "It is unsettling for the players, for me, the staff. There is a sense of uncertainty but that goes for whenever anybody goes.
    "It's a strange thing because usually when a manager leaves, it's through bad performances or a sacking. This is a success.
    "To see somebody go in this way is a strange feeling and everyone feels a bit weird. But we're all professionals, the new man will have new ways and ideas and the players and staff will adhere to it."
    Downing also believes Hodgson's appointment of Dave Watson as England goalkeeping coach for Euro 2012 may persuade Ben Foster to end his England retirement.
    Foster worked with Watson last season at Birmingham before moving to the Baggies on loan.
    Downing said: " I know Roy has spoken to Ben a couple of times on a personal basis.
    "I have had no indications as to what was said, that's a private matter, but the fact Dave Watson is the coach might tip it.
    "I think there was a good relationship between Dave and Ben and also Dave and Joe Hart from his loan spell at Birmingham."
    Downing also hopes Albion pursue their interest in signing Foster on a permanent basis.

    He said: "I think there's a respect for Birmingham. They're obviously licking their wounds after the play-off defeat.
    "Ben has played exceptionally well and he's got better and better as the season has gone on.
    "We would be stupid to turn that sort of interest (in signing Foster) away but I'm sure other clubs as well will be interested. We are trying to pursue that."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 12-05-2012

    Stale Solbakken: New man at Wolves


    FC Copenhagen owner Flemming Ostergaard believes Wolves have appointed the right man in Stale Solbakken as their new manager.
    Solbakken endured an unhappy spell at Cologne which resulted in him being sacked by the Bundesliga club last month.
    But the former Norway international enjoyed plenty of success at Copenhagen in leading them to five league titles.
    Asked what had gone wrong at Cologne on Sky Sports News, Ostergaard said: "Cologne is the madhouse.

    "I'm not surprised at all (that he has come to England). He could be a manager in all the big five countries in football, without any doubt."
    When asked whether Solbakken could lead Wolves to promotion, Ostergaard said: "If the board of directors give him the freedom to.
    "I don't know the economy in Wolverhampton, but I'm sure they have chosen the right man for the job."
    Solbakken was forced to retire from playing a decade ago after suffering a cardiac arrest when at Copenhagen who were then coached by the new England manager Roy Hodgson.
    He wears a pacemaker but Ostergaard has no doubts about his health and said: "He is more healthy than me and you. It is no problem."
    Solbakken is relishing the chance to revive Wolves' fortunes following their relegation from the Barclays Premier League after three successive seasons.

    The former Wimbledon player, who will be unveiled to the media on Monday, said: "I am delighted to be taking up the important challenge to manage Wolves.
    "It's an exciting opportunity to manage a great club and I can't wait to get started."
    Wolves chief executive Jez Moxey said: "Following talks with Stale Solbakken, I am happy to confirm that he has agreed to become our new manager."
    Terry Connor will manage the team for the final game of the season against Wigan at the DW Stadium on Sunday.
    Club owner Steve Morgan and Moxey will hope Solbakken can pump new life into a team which has endured a disastrous campaign and failed to win in their last 13 games.

    He has Champions League experience with Copenhagen and steered them to a shock win over Manchester United six years ago as well as holding Barcelona to a 1-1 draw in 2010.
    But the Championship will be a new experience for Solbakken.
    Morgan has already promised that funds will be made available to try to restore Wolves to the top flight at the first attempt.
    But Solbakken faces a fight to hold onto the likes of top scorer Steven Fletcher, fellow striker Kevin Doyle and England winger Matt Jarvis.

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 12-05-2012

    Jermain Defoe: Frustrated at lack of football at Spurs


    Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe has confirmed that he asked to leave the club in January.
    The England striker has found it hard to break into the Spurs starting line-up this term with Harry Redknapp preferring a pairing of Emmanuel Adebaypr and Rafael van der Vaart.
    Defoe has started just 11 games and he admits that he did ask to leave the club in January - with Liverpool very strongly linked with a move for him.
    "I didn't want to leave. I don't go thinking, 'I want to go to this club or that club.'" he told the Daily Mirror.
    "But in January I just wasn't playing enough and I did go to the manager and ask to go out on loan.
    "He said to me, 'I don't want you to go out on loan. We are trying to do something special here. Don't go.' And so I stayed. And I worked hard to keep myself sharp."

    And Defoe admits that he attitude remains the same.
    "But still I haven't had that run of games. It still feels like I will only get a game if someone is injured or suspended," he said.
    "Sometimes I even feel like I'm in the youth team, because I know that, whatever I do in midweek, I won't get a game at the weekend.
    "The manager picks the team and I would never be disrespectful to the manager. But when someone doesn't talk to you and explain what's going on its hard.
    "I love the club. Everybody knows that. When I'm out and people ask whether I am leaving I always say no. But how can I stay somewhere that I don't get the chance to play?"
    Defoe remains positive that his lack of games will make him fresh for the European Championship's this summer and with Wayne Rooney suspended for the opening two games he has high hopes of making the 23-man squad.

    "That is the one positive - if I do get the chance to go to the Euros, I will be fresh and ready," he said.
    "Coming on with a few minutes to go in every other Premier League game means I'm sharp.
    "The manager [Hodgson] is a football man. Having been at a tournament before [taking Switzerland to USA 94], he will also know it's all about having people who can come in and get you a goal.
    "Other people may have done that in qualifiers but in big international tournaments - when the pressure is on to get a goal or go home - it is much harder.
    "I'm hoping that, having done that before, I can do it again."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 12-05-2012

    Steve Lomas: Busy summer on the cards


    St Johnstone boss Steve Lomas claims he may have to recruit a whole new team for next season.
    The Northern Irishman is preparing for a busy summer after resigning himself to losing several of his key players.
    Captain Jody Morris' future at McDiarmid Park is unresolved and top scorer Francisco Sandaza is also out of contract at the end of the current campaign.

    And while Lomas expected his side's top-half finish in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League to attract the attention of other clubs, the turnover of players could be quite dramatic.
    "You'd never like to have to bring in 10-13 players but that's something that looks like it is going to happen," the former Manchester City and West Ham midfielder told STV.
    "It's going to be a really busy summer for myself and the chairman.

    "Jody is probably looking to head back down to England, we've got the situation with Fran [Sandaza], Cillian [Sheridan, loan striker] who has still got another year in Bulgaria and Chris Millar has decided not to sign another contract, so yeah, there's a lot of issues.
    "It's obviously disappointing that we haven't been able to sign the ones that we want but that's football.
    "The lads have given great service to St Johnstone and hopefully they get a great send off."
    Lomas was philosophical over midfielder Millar's decision to reject a two-year deal.
    He said: "At the end of the day he's out of contract, he is free to explore other avenues, that's his obligation.
    "We felt we offered him a really good deal in the present climate, to get a two-year contract is a very good offer.
    "We're disappointed but that's football and we'll move on."

    Millar is considering a move to Australia.
    The 29-year-old, who has been with Saints for four seasons, has turned to a couple of former Perth players for advice on a potential move Down Under.
    He told Saints' official website: "I've spoken to Simon Miotto and Mark Robertson who are both from Australia, they have both said it would be a great move for me and the family and I am keen to experience the lifestyle out there.
    "I dare say some people will think that I am silly to refuse the offer of a two-year deal and time will tell if it is a good or bad decision although I have to stress that I have not shut the door on Saints completely."

    Morris also tweeted that he was not certain to depart.
    "For the record, I haven't agreed a deal nor have I turned a deal down from anybody," he said. "My future is not sorted yet."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 12-05-2012

    Gavin Gunning: Linked with Ipswich


    Dundee United have insisted they have received no offers for any player amid reports of interest in some of their young stars.
    Reports on Friday claimed Ipswich were monitoring defender Gavin Gunning while Swansea were said to be lining up a bid for winger Gary Mackay-Steven.
    But a statement from the club read: "Dundee United are disappointed to read what we regard as unsubstantiated rumours in today's media relating to our players.

    "We have received no formal offers for any of our players and indeed would not welcome any such offers.
    "We are realistic of the current financial climate within football and if substantial offers for any of our players which exceed the valuations we place on our players were submitted, we would consider such bids.
    "The manager is currently engaged in attempting to enhance the squad for next season after another highly successful campaign and each of our contracted players are seen as integral parts of our future squad.
    "We remain committed to providing our loyal supporters with the best possible team on the park."
    One player set to leave is midfielder Danny Swanson, who has made only 14 starts in two seasons amid a series of injuries.
    Both player and manager Peter Houston have agreed it might be best for him to move on.
    Swanson may be allowed a farewell appearance against Motherwell at Fir Park in the final Clydesdale Bank Premier League game of the season.
    Houston said: "I'll have a think about possible changes before coming to any decisions.

    "However, irrespective of the teams I chose we'll be going there with only one thing on our minds which is to win the match.
    "Motherwell are a very good team and deserve all the credit going for getting into the Champions League qualifying stages.
    "It's taken a lot of hard work so we respect what they've done.

    "But we still want to go out with a victory under our belt and I know I've got a good bunch of professionals in that sense.
    "They've worked ever so hard throughout the whole of the campaign and I know they'll do the same on Sunday."
    Houston, whose side have clinched a Europa League spot, added: "It would be great to give the supporters one last thing to shout about at Motherwell.
    "They really deserve it because they've been absolutely magnificent this season.
    "The United fans have backed us both home and away this season which the players really appreciate.
    "I'm not sure how many will be going on Sunday as it obviously costs quite a lot of money to get down from Dundee to Motherwell.
    "But hopefully there will be a good turnout and we can finish the season on a high.
    "I hope the fans appreciate what the team have achieved this season and I'm sure they do."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 12-05-2012

    Kenny Dalglish: No plans to sell players


    Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish is only looking to strengthen over the summer and has no plans to sell any of the current squad.
    The only confirmed departure from Anfield will be defender Fabio Aurelio, whose contract expires next month, while the futures of the likes of Joe Cole and Alberto Aquilani, on loan at Lille and AC Milan respectively, have yet to be decided.
    But Dalglish dismissed assumptions that Dirk Kuyt, who is interesting Hamburg, and Maxi Rodriguez, who Tweeted his apparent goodbyes after Tuesday's 4-1 home win over Chelsea, would be following Aurelio through the exit door.

    "We are not looking to move anyone out. The only one who will be moving out will be Fabio as his contract is up," said Dalglish.
    "All we want to do is to add to the start we have had (with the squad he has assembled) and see what happens to us.
    "The transfer market brings up surprises but what they will be I can't help you, I'm not clairvoyant.
    "But we are not actively looking to move anyone out."
    Hamburg have been making admiring remarks about Kuyt, who reportedly had a 1million release clause written into his last contract, for the last month while Rodriguez wrote on Twitter: "Last home game and had a goodbye to the fans. Thank you very much to the people of Liverpool for much love".
    But Dalglish, who unlike this season has the Europa League to contend with come August, is focused on strengthening his squad rather than anything else.
    "Most of our plans are in place. We need to get the work done and get on with it," added the Scot, who no longer has the back-up he had on transfers after director of football Damien Comolli left the club last month.

    "Conversations happen throughout the whole season, they just tend to pick up in the last week of the season and there have been lots of conversations in the last few days.
    "There have been a lot of discussions between various parties which have to be made and we will carry on do our work during the summer.
    "We have been talking to the owners throughout the calendar year and have discussed many facets of the job and what it entails.
    "You also discuss what availability and what possibilities there are and we've been through every option with everyone.
    "It is an ongoing process and not much has changed. Maybe because the transfer window opens there will be some business done - but that is the same for everyone.
    "At the end of the season every club and supporter looks anxiously to see what is happening in terms of business being done.
    "But the business-side of it won't be discussed publicly."
    First Liverpool have to get this season over and done with and Dalglish stressed their focus at the moment was on tomorrow's final match at Swansea.
    If they better Everton's result at home to Newcastle tomorrow they will finish above their seventh-placed near-neighbours, but the Reds boss said there was no extra motivation required for his players.

    "It is important we try to win the game, as we have done for every other game we have played," he said.
    "It maybe the last game but it is important we carry on from the performance on Tuesday.
    "We go to Swansea and want to try to continue the positivity and try to get a result for ourselves.
    "It will be difficult as they have had a fantastic season and they will want to send their fans away happy.
    "We have to make sure we are properly prepared for it. We will analyse the season afterwards.
    "We are just looking forward to going to the game."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 12-05-2012

    Roberto Martinez: Happy at Wigan


    Roberto Martinez has insisted he is fully focused on Wigan's future, despite speculation linking him with a move elsewhere.
    After securing the Latics' eighth straight season in the Premier League, the Spaniard has called on fans to celebrate during the home game against Wolves on Sunday.
    And Martinez, who has been linked with Liverpool and West Brom, is also committed to ensuring the club continues to grow for the next decade.

    He said: "All I am concerned about is that the football club is still growing and continues to do so for the next 10 years.
    "I am the manager of an incredible football club and any talk of other clubs - especially when there is nothing on the table - is extremely disrespectful.
    "There has been talk in the press, but I have another three years on my contract and I don't see it as an issue at all.
    "If one day that's a decision that needs to be made, then I would look at it, but it's not the case at the moment."
    Wigan boast the second lowest average attendance in the top flight, but Martinez wants fans to come in their droves to the DW Stadium on Sunday to celebrate the club's achievement.

    He wants this to include a minute's applause after eight minutes in recognition of the number of top-flight seasons the club have secured
    He continued: "We'll obviously be trying to win the football match, but it's just as important that there is a festive atmosphere at the DW Stadium.
    "We need to realise that eight seasons in the Premier League is an incredible achievement - and that goes for all the players and managers who have contributed to that.
    "I want the stadium to reflect the fact we have achieved something and it will be a proud day for us all."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 12-05-2012

    Michael Vorm: Great season for Swansea


    Reported Arsenal target Michael Vorm has ruled out a summer move away from Swansea.
    The goalkeeper has been named the player of the season at the Liberty Stadium as Brendan Rodgers' side have exceeded expectations in their debut Premier League campaign.
    Vorm has consequently been linked with a transfer to other clubs and Arsenal are rumoured to want the Dutch international as back-up to Wojciech Szczesny.
    But ahead of Sunday's season finale against Liverpool, Vorm, a 1.5million summer 2011 signing from FC Utrecht, said: "I think I will stay at Swansea. I like it here.

    "I am number one and we play the league's best football. There are not many better places I could go. Why should I go and sit on the bench somewhere?"
    He added: "It's been a very special season, especially as it's my first at the club."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 12-05-2012

    Stephen Kelly: Enjoying life at Fulham


    Stephen Kelly will hold contract talks with Fulham next week confident he has done everything possible to earn a new deal from Martin Jol.
    The Republic of Ireland international has established himself in the Fulham first team since Jol took charge, making 33 appearances so far and he is keen to stay at Craven Cottage.
    Jol has put all contract discussions on hold until after Sunday's Barclays Premier League trip to Tottenham, when a victory would secure Fulham a club record 55 points.
    "For myself it's just been a matter of performing at my best every game and I think I've done that. I've been able to show the Fulham fans here what I am about," Kelly told the Fulham website.

    "It's been a big thing for me that Martin Jol has shown confidence in me this season.
    "Before it was stop and start, and I was only playing every couple of weeks, which made it difficult.
    "But since I've been playing consistently I've really been able to show my character, and the type of player I am, and really bed myself into the team.

    "That's been fantastic this season so hopefully I will carry that on for as long as I can."
    Jol will also hold talks with free agent Danny Murphy next week and he is anxious to tie striker Pavel Pogrebnyak to a long-term deal.
    The Russian striker made an immediate impact following his arrival in January, scoring five goals in his first three games.
    But Andy Johnson's future at the club looks less certain, with Jol looking to trim his squad down, while Bjorn Helge Riise is set to leave.
    Jol revealed the club had received no bids for Clint Dempsey or Mousa Dembele - and he made it clear none would be welcome as Fulham look to strengthen for next season.

    "There are no clubs who have come in for bids. Even if they put a bid in they are not for sale," Jol said.
    "Of course you worry because I want to keep my best players. If we can do that and add two or three, we could have a very good squad.
    "I feel they still will be here (next season)."
    Dempsey is out of Sunday's game with a groin injury while Alex Kacaniklic is a doubt after suffering a hamstring problem in training on Friday.
    Jol will be making his first return to White Hart Lane since he was sacked in October 2007, months after guiding Spurs to their highest league finish since 1900.

    Jol was axed because he had failed to deliver Champions League football by the narrowest of margins - a defeat to West Ham on the final weekend allowed Arsenal to leapfrog them into fourth place.
    If Jol's Fulham win at White Hart Lane then Spurs could again miss out on Champions League qualification.
    "I feel Spurs need to play in the Champions League," Jol said.
    "You can't blame me for wanting the three points to get to 55 points."

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