Wednesday October 15 2008

Latest Transfer Stories


Villa close on Young deal
O'Neill hoping to reach agreement soon

Martin O'Neill has revealed that progress is being made as Aston Villa look to secure Ashley Young's long-term future.

Young will still have two more years left on his current contract at the end of this season but O'Neill is keen to tie him to a new deal.

The winger has been in stunning form so far this term and was named Premier League player of the month for September.

O'Neill has spoken with Randy Lerner and reports in the local media suggest that Villa's American owner is ready to give the green light to a lucrative deal.

O'Neill confirmed that an agreement could be reached later in the week, telling the Birmingham Mail: "We are making progress. There's nothing untoward about it.

"I would have liked by now to have been able to report something and maybe by the end of the week I might be able to.

"With a bit of luck the contract should reflect the progress that he has made and where he is positioned.

"He has just won the Player of the Month again, which is great."

O'Neill believes Young fully deserved his latest accolade, although he feels several of his team-mates must have also been in the running.

"Stiliyan Petrov had a terrific month. Ashley was very eye-catching but he also does a lot of work and I think he deserved it," said O'Neill.

"He has been really brilliant, but we have one or two players who would have been in contention.

"With it being for the month of September they wouldn't have taken into consideration our Chelsea performance."

Robins transfer list duo
Brown and Gill deemed surplus to requirements

Scott Brown and Ben Gill have been placed on the transfer list by Cheltenham manager Martin Allen.

The duo were made aware of the decision following a defeat for the club's reserves at the hands of Swindon on Tuesday night.

They become the sixth and seventh players to be listed since Allen arrived at Whaddon Road in September.

They join defender Lee Ridley, midfielders Craig Armstrong and Andy Lindegaard, winger Josh Low and striker Aaron Ledgister in being available for transfer.

Brown and Gill both joined the Robins on a full-time basis ahead of the 2007/08 campaign but have struggled to make an impact.

Jo - Ronaldo has lot to offer
Striker unsure if fellow Brazilian will also move to Premier League

Jo believes Ronaldo still has 'a lot to offer', but is unsure if his fellow Brazilian will join him at Manchester City.

Ronaldo is currently working his way towards full fitness from a knee injury and has been training with Flamengo in his homeland.

The experienced striker admits joining Flamengo is an option, while a move to Paris St Germain also holds appeal for the former Real Madrid ace.

Cash-rich City have been linked with a bid and, despite the club recently playing down talk of an offer for Ronaldo, the 32-year-old says the Premier League is still a possibility.

Summer signing Jo is a big fan of Ronaldo and the City striker is confident that his compatriot's career at the highest level is not over.

"He's a player I grew up admiring," Jo told ZOO magazine.

"For me, he's the finest striker of the last 10 years, along with Andriy Shevchenko and Raul.

"To be the highest-ever scorer in the World Cup explains everything there is about him.

"Will he come to Manchester? I don't know. But I still believe he has a lot to offer when he gets back to full fitness."

McCarthy keen to loan Murray
Wolves want to help keeper rediscover his match sharpness

Mick McCarthy has admitted he is hoping to send Matt Murray out on loan in the near future.

The luckless Wolves keeper has been blighted by injuries over the last 16 months, preventing him from featuring for the Championship high-fliers.

A dislocated shoulder allowed Wayne Hennessey to make the No.1 jersey his own, while a cruciate knee ligament problem further hindered Murray's cause.

He is now fully fit, despite suffering a dead leg in a reserve outing on Tuesday, and may be shipped off elsewhere in order to build up his match sharpness.

"If Matt gets fit, we'll loan him out. That's my intention," McCarthy told the Express and Star.

"I've spoke to Matt about it and if he could get a month's football somewhere playing first-team games, then we'll have three fantastic, very talented goalkeepers fit and vying for one position.

"The thought was if he could get a couple of 90 minute games under his belt, then we'd get him a month's football somewhere.

"I've had the discussion with him, and if he feels ready to commit himself to that, he'll go and do it. I'm sure he'd be welcomed anywhere."


McCarthy could find himself spoiled for choice in the keeping stakes, with Hennessey and Carl Ikeme already on the books at Molineux.

However, the experienced coach is happy to be facing such a dilemma.

"I think they could all play Premier League football to be honest," he added.

"Carl is a Championship keeper with more games and experience, while Wayne and Matt have proved that."

Alonso quiet on Barca rumours
Reports suggest Reds midfielder could replace Toure

Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso has refused to speculate on rumours claiming he is being lined up as a potential replacement for Yaya Toure at Barcelona.

Alonso was strongly linked with a transfer to Juventus over the summer, but a move to Serie A failed to materialise.

Reports emanating from Spain have suggested the 26-year-old could be a target of Barca with Ivory Coast international Toure unhappy with his inconsistent role at Camp Nou.

It is suggested Barca could swoop for Alonso if Toure, who has been linked with Arsenal and Juve in the past, demands a move in the January transfer window.

Alonso, who signed at Anfield from Real Sociedad in 2004, told the Spanish media: "I am content at Liverpool and I have still not decided on a concrete date for my return to Primera Liga."

United target told to stay
Douglas advised to ignore European interest

Brazilian star Douglas had been advised to shun interest from Manchester United and continue his career in his homeland.

Douglas has emerged as a transfer target for The Red Devils - who have a very strong scouting network in South America.

United have already plundered top Brazilian talents like Rodrigo Possebon, and twins Rafael and Fabio, over the past year and Douglas looks to be the latest on Sir Alex Ferguson's agenda.

Jaap Stam, recently added to United's scouting staff by Ferguson, watched 18-year-old Douglas in action earlier this month and is reported to have issued a glowing report.
Stay put

However, the player's agent Cesar Bottega has advised his charge to wait before making a move to Europe, having just made his senior debut with Gremio.

"Douglas still has to grow up," Bottega told Terra Brazil.

"I wouldn't like him to be transferred to a European team yet because when you start to negotiate with teams from the European market like the Italian, English or Spanish, it is not always possible to make your wishes come true and that puts pressure on."

Douglas was linked with United for as much as 20million and he admitted that sort of money would be hard for Gremio to turn down.

"I think that it is too early to transfer to a team like Manchester United, but if they have offered 80 million Reais (Brazilian currency - 20million) to Gremio then that is important."

Despite playing down the interest, Bottega confirmed that both United and Real Madrid - represented by sporting director Predrag Mijatovic - had watched the teenager.

"The Europeans already knew Douglas as they have seen him play in the Brazilian youth national teams but they needed to see him in action for a senior side," added Bottega.

"Against Santos and Botafogo, Douglas showed that he can play among professional players but that doesn't mean that he has to be transferred to a European team now.

"We know about the interest of some teams and that the offers are important but I have the same opinion as that of his mother, in that it isn't the moment yet to be playing in Europe."

No offers

Gremio were quick to deny receiving any offers for Douglas.

"The story about Manchester and Real Madrid is pure speculation," said director of football Andre Krieger.

"If we want to win the Copa Libetadores, we need Douglas to stay."

However, Brazilian businessman Fernando Cesar - who claims to be an intermediary working with United - says their interest is genuine.

"I actually asked him [Stam] to see all the players, among them Douglas Costa - I said he was an interesting player and he could see that for himself, but the interest of Manchester in Douglas is a natural thing," he told the Brazilian media.