Saturday October 18 2008

Latest Transfer Stories


Ajax land Danish starlet
Teenager Eriksen signs until 2011

Ajax have signed young Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen from Odense BK on a three-year deal.

The attack-minded midfielder will arrive at the Amsterdam Arena on 1st January and will be under contract until 2011.

Odense BK, who play in the Danish Superliga, were keen to keep hold of Eriksen, but have agreed to allow him to move to the Eredivisie when the transfer window re-opens in the New Year.

The teenager is a regular member of Denmark's Under 17 side and he will be added to Ajax's youth squad.

Forest seal Fletcher loan
Palace midfielder moves on

Nottingham Forest have completed the loan capture of Crystal Palace midfielder Carl Fletcher.

The 28-year-old arrives at the City Ground on an initial six-week deal and the Welsh international goes straight into the squad to face QPR at Loftus Road.

Fellow Wales international Robert Earnshaw believes Fletcher will be a valuable asset as the club look to kick-start their Championship campaign.

"Carl's a good player and he's a good guy as well. The one thing you always get from him is he will work himself into the ground but he can pass the ball," Earnshaw told the club's official website.

"He'll be good to have around the place. He'll boss people around - tell people what to do with his experience. He is not shy with a tackle and if he's got to put his foot in you can guarantee he won't pull out. He'll be a good recruit for us."

Forest are in need of midfield cover as Guy Moussi is set for ankle surgery which will rule him out until the New Year.

Juve starlet signs on
Giovinco pens deal

Juventus have confirmed that starlet Sebastian Giovinco has signed his new contract.

A host of clubs were known to be tracking the 21-year-old - rated as one of the best young talents in Italy.

Now after months of negotiations, the young forward has put pen-to-paper on a five-year contract.

Giovinco, who spent last season on loan at Empoli, was being closely linked with Arsenal - but now he has pledged his future to the Old Lady.

Zola - I don't have to sell
Financial situation not concerning Hammers' boss

West Ham boss Gianfranco Zola insists he is not under any pressure to sell players amid the current financial uncertainty.

The club's vice-chairman Asgeir Fridgeirsson said on Tuesday that no more funding will be made available to Zola for the foreseeable future.

His comments come as concerns have been raised over Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson's ownership of the club due to his involvement with Icelandic bank Landsbanki, which has been placed into receivership.

The Hammers could also face a hefty compensation claim over the Carlos Tevez affair.

But Zola says he will not be forced to sell players, although he could let some go out on loan if they are not playing.

He told Sky Sports that he was not worried about the financial situation.
Will improve

He said: "Not really - I spoke to people from the board and they assure me that the club has not got any problems and the situation will improve. So I'm not really concerned about it."

Asked if he will have to sell before he can buy in the January transfer window, the Italian replied: "Right now I don't need to buy really.

"I am happy with what I have got - there might be the possibility that someone might go on loan because we have got a big squad and obviously I don't want to keep players here training and not playing.

"But right now, really, I don't need to buy any players - I have got everything I need right now."

He also denied he was under any pressure to sell big value players such as Dean Ashton.

"No, not really - the club have not told me anything about that - actually they want to progress, they want to strengthen the team so not really, we are not going to be selling any good players that we have," he said, adding they are going to keep them and try to improve the team.

Heskey open to Reds return
England forward would 'love' a move back to Anfield

Wigan striker Emile Heskey would welcome a return to Liverpool if the Reds make a move for him.

Recent speculation has linked England international Heskey, who spent four years at Anfield between 2000 and 2004 under former manager Gerard Houllier, with a January move back to Merseyside.

The 30-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season and has yet to indicate a desire to sign a new deal at the JJB Stadium, which has alerted a number of clubs to a possible cut-price transfer in the New Year window.

And Heskey - who played a pivotal role in helping Liverpool secure a famous knock-out cup treble in 2001 - has now admitted that he would relish a working reunion with the likes of Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher.

"When you are performing well speculation will come around," Heskey told Radio Five Live.

"A move to Liverpool would be lovely. Who knows what will happen. Let's see how it goes.

"Everyone wants to play in Europe at the highest level.

"Everyone knows that I'm in the last year of my contract so speculation is bound to happen. You just have to take it with a pinch of salt and carry on playing.

"I am just going to keep my options open and give my all for Wigan. In my position I can afford to do that.

"I've been putting in some good performances and people appreciate that."

Wigan travel to Anfield on Saturday where Heskey will be charged with the task of ending Liverpool's unbeaten start to the season.

Johnson joins Hatters
Youngster offered deal at Stockport

Stockport have completed the signing of Oli Johnson from Nostell Miners Welfare.

The youngster recently impressed during a trial period with the Hatters and has persuaded the League One outfit to offer him a full-time deal.

He has now made the jump from the ninth tier of English football, the Northern Counties East League Premier Division, to the third.

The 20-year-old first came to County's attention when he featured against them in a pre-season friendly and has now been rewarded with a contract until the end of the season.

Johnson will be hoping to help his new side claw their way into the top six of the table after only one defeat in their opening 10 fixtures has left them on the fringes of the play-offs.

Robins failed in Lita raid
Johnson knocked back in striker bid

Bristol City boss Gary Johnson has revealed that he tried to bring Leroy Lita back to Ashton Gate.

The Robins made two approaches for the Reading striker, but were foiled on both occasions.

Johnson admits he was keen to bolster his attacking options and had identified former City ace Lita as a prime candidate.

However, Royals manager Steve Coppell was not prepared to part with the ex-England U21 international at any cost.

"We made an enquiry about him and, with dignity, Steve Coppell said he didn't want Leroy coming back to Bristol," Johnson told the club's official website.

"Then when we asked about Leroy's availability again, we were told he was in the immediate first-team plans.

"We knew we weren't in the race. The manager didn't want him coming back here, more to the area than the club I think.

"He's gone to Norwich because Reading have now allowed him out."

Lita joined the Canaries on a one-month loan deal at the start of October after falling out of favour at Madejski Stadium.

He had previously enjoyed a goal-laden two-year spell with Bristol City between 2003 and 2005, before being sold to Reading.

Benitez cools Heskey talk
Reds manager surprised by speculation surrounding striker

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez admits he was 'surprised' to be linked with a bid for Wigan Athletic striker Emile Heskey.

The 30-year-old has been mooted for a return to Anfield, having previously left the Reds for Birmingham City in 2004.

Heskey is out of contract at the end of the season and speculation has suggested he could leave Wigan in a cut-price deal in January.

Aston Villa have been linked with a bid, while recent reports claim Benitez wants to hand Heskey a second spell on Merseyside.

On Friday, Heskey admitted that a move to Liverpool would be 'lovely' after revealing he is keen to play in the UEFA Champions League again.

Wigan boss Steve Bruce is hoping to persuade Heskey to sign a new contract, but the England international wants to keep his options open.

However, ahead of Wigan's trip to Anfield on Saturday, Liverpool chief Benitez did not want to go into detail regarding the speculation.

Benitez told a press conference: "You know my idea is not to talk about players playing for another team, especially before a game, so I was surprised."

Elano in dark over Inter
Brazilian a fan of Mourinho

Elano has denied knowing anything about interest from Inter Milan after the Manchester City midfielder was linked with a possible switch.

Former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, now in charge at Inter, is reported to be a big admirer of the talented Brazilian.

However, speaking to the local press whilst back in his homeland for the recent World Cup qualifiers - Elano played down talk of Inter, although he did admit to being a fan of Mourinho.

"I do not know anything," he told O Globo.

"In recent days I have been focused on games with Brazil and I have not had the opportunity to talk to my agents.

"Sure, I can not deny that Mourinho is a great technician, but now my head is at City."