Latest Transfer Stories
Friday October 24 2008
Heskey: O'Neill praise
O'Neill hails striker Heskey
Villa boss expects Wigan star to be in demand
Martin O'Neill expects Emile Heskey to have no shortage of suitors in the summer after his recent displays for club and country.
O'Neill, who worked with the England international at Leicester before his £11million move to Leicester, takes his Aston Villa side to Wigan on Sunday wary of the threat posed by the powerful forward.
Heskey is out of contract at the end of the season and has been tipped for a move away from the JJB Stadium.
The much-maligned forward is an integral part of Steve Bruce's side and is also part of Fabio Capello's first XI with England, despite still struggling to find the net on a regular basis.
O'Neill would not be drawn on whether he would be making a play for Heskey's services in the summer, but he did not make any statements to rule out an approach.
He said: "When his confidence is high he is a player, strong, a handful, and he is now starting to go past players again.
"The thing that has always been levelled at him is that he has never scored enough goals, and it would be hard for him to say otherwise.
"But the Emile Heskey I know is the one who thundered past the full-back and made the goal for Wayne Rooney the other day. That is the Emile Heskey I fondly remember.
"So I have the utmost regard for him, and what he does for the rest of his life is down to him.
"If he does allow his contract to run out he will have a number of suitors because he has done very well, and that's of great credit to him.
"With his contract up in the summer, and with the way he is playing for Wigan and England, it would be difficult not to see him pushed back in the limelight.
"That's down to him, and to Steve Bruce, who has had a very good influence on his career, and Emile has warmed to that."
Forest complete Dunne deal
Youngster signs on at the City Ground
Nottingham Forest have finalised a loan move for Arsenal youngster James Dunne.
The teenager moves to the City Ground with a view to completing a permanent switch when the transfer window re-opens in January.
The 19-year-old midfielder was one of three young Gunners to undergo a trial with Colin Calderwood's side in recent weeks.
Defenders Abu Ogogo and Paul Rodgers were also given an opportunity to shine, but it is Dunne who has impressed sufficiently to earn a contract.
Meanwhile, Forest have allowed Brendan Moloney to join Blue Square Premier side Rushden & Diamonds on loan.
The versatile defender will stay at Nene Park until 1st January, with the intention of gaining vital first-team experience during his time away form the Reds.
John makes Robins loan move
Southampton striker heads to Bristol City
Striker Stern John has joined Bristol City on a two-month loan deal from Championship rivals Southampton.
John, who was the Saints' leading scorer last season with 20 goals, has been unable to secure a regular starting spot under new boss Jan Poortvliet and has found the net just once in 10 appearances this term.
With Poortvliet also looking to reduce the club's wage bill, John has been allowed to move to Ashton Gate until 1st January.
The Southampton boss told the club's official website: "He is one of the bigger earners at Southampton and the club's current financial situation means that we are unable to guarantee him first-team football."
Robins boss Gary Johnson is delighted to have secured the services of the former Nottingham Forest, Birmingham, Coventry and Sunderland forward.
He said: "He's got good experience and has scored goals at this level and above throughout his career.
"He certainly adds to our striking options for what is a very busy period."
John will be unavailable to play against his parent club when the two teams clash on 8th November.
Real end Ronaldo pursuit
Calderon gives up on efforts to tempt winger to Spain
Ronaldo: No longer a Real target
Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon has told Sky Sports News that he is no longer interested in luring Cristiano Ronaldo away from Manchester United.
Ronaldo was at the centre of an exhausting summer transfer saga as Primera Liga champions Real pursued the winger's services throughout Euro 2008 and pre-season.
However, Premier League and UEFA Champions League title holders United maintained their stance that they did not want to sell the Portugal international, who eventually opted to stay at Old Trafford.
And Calderon - who refrained from tabling a bid for Ronaldo - now insists that he has permanently ended his efforts to entice the favourite for the 2008 Ballon d'Or and Fifa World Player of the Year to Spain.
"It (a deal for Ronaldo) is not possible," said Calderon. "That matter is over.
"We talked about that last season. Manchester decided they did not want to sell the player and we don't want to do anything against a friendly club like Manchester.
"We accept that Ronaldo decided to stay at Manchester. It is forgotten. Not only for January but, I think, for ever."
However, Calderon admits that, if United decided to put the 23-year-old up for sale, Real would consider an offer.
"Only if Manchester decided to sell will we be talking about it," he continued.
"But I would like to say clearly that Madrid is not doing anything to disturb a nice and friendly club like Manchester.
"That is the final word and we are happy."
Kenyon rules out January buys
Blues happy with squad options
Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon has revealed the club have no plans to do any business when the transfer window reopens.
Kenyon insists Blues boss Luiz Felipe Scolari is happy with the squad at his disposal and is not seeking any new additions.
Kenyon admits the only prospect of Chelsea entering the transfer market in January will be if they pick up injuries to key players.
When asked if the club would be making any signings in January, Kenyon told Sky Sports News: "Absolutely not."
"It's our intention at the start of the season to put our squad together for the rest of the season so I don't see us being active in the January market.
"I think where we are at the moment I don't think there is a need and unless that changes through events I don't think we look at January as being a time that we would go in unless it is to cover injuries or something of that nature."
Kenyon says Scolari is happy with the club's decision not to bring in any more players when the transfer window reopens.
"I think he is very on board," added Kenyon. "I think he is delighted with the opportunity of joining Chelsea and what he has seen is a club very well structured and that has got immense depth of talent.
"He was party to what we bought in terms of Deco, Bosingwa who obviously is a great addition; we brought in Mineiro until the end of the season in order to cover some injuries we have got.
"I think that has given him confidence that he has got enough cover.
"He is absolutely on the same page in terms of (a) the aspirations of Chelsea and (b) what we have got in order to achieve those."
Hughes hopes for Hart stay
City boss eager for goalkeeper to agree long-term deal
Manchester City manager Mark Hughes is eager to secure goalkeeper Joe Hart on a long-term deal as quickly as possible.
The 21-year-old has impressed this season and earned a call up to the England squad for the recent World Cup qualifier in Belarus.
Hart has already appeared at senior international level, in the June friendly with Trinidad & Tobago, and that form is understood to have alerted a number of clubs across Europe
The shot-stopper is nearing the end of his current terms at Eastlands, but City are desperate to keep hold of the youngster and opened contract discussions at the beginning of October.
"It's progressing well and it's something that I think both parties want to conclude," said Hughes on Sky Sports News.
"We want to get it done. Joe is an exceptionally talented young goalkeeper and we'd like to get it done as quickly as possible.
"We've been able to get Michael Johnson done, which was really important and obviously the young players we have at the club are really important to where we want to go.
"Joe comes into that category and we want him to be here for many seasons to come."
Matuidi open to Arsenal move
France U21 international would consider Emirates Stadium switch
St Etienne midfielder Blaise Matuidi admits he could join Arsenal at the end of the season.
The 21-year-old was a target of Gunners boss Arsene Wenger before the beginning of the current campaign, but St Etienne opposed any possible move.
However, Matuidi - who is understood to be valued at around £10million - has now confessed that he would be keen on a move to Emirates Stadium.
The France Under 21 international is set for talks with St Etienne at the end of the season as he considers his future.
"I asked myself questions at the end of August after Arsenal showed their interest," Matuidi said in The Sun.
"An opportunity to join them is not something ordinary. It gives you great self-esteem - it is Arsenal.
"At the end of the season we will have talks, anything is possible."
Matuidi has yet to receive contact from Wenger - who has previously demonstrated his faith in talented youngsters - but he insists he is not upset by the fact St Etienne do not want to let him leave.
"I did not talk to Wenger - but I did not get angry that St Etienne did not let me go," added Matuidi.
Meanwhile, St Etienne president Roland Romeyer has confirmed he spoke with Wenger in the summer and that he will discuss Matuidi's future.
"Wenger called me at the end of August to ask if Blaise was for sale. He didn't make an offer as Blaise was not for sale," said Romeyer.
"Next June we will have a meeting with Blaise and his agent about his future."