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  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • Originally posted by Jacky Woo:

      maybe Doha Stadium, compared to Arsenal Emirates Stadium, instead of Highbury stadium.


      You cannot compare it to Arsenal's as they moved to a new stadium. Technically, they never rename Highbury, they just moved away from it to a new and bigger home.

       

  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • Allen watches Liverpool ahead of £15m swoop after asking to quit Swansea

       

      Look's like a done deal: Joe Allen watches Liverpool's Europa League tie on Thursday night

      Looks like a done deal: Joe Allen watches Liverpool's Europa League tie on Thursday night

       

        

      Joe Allen is set to be reunited with Brendan Rodgers after telling Swansea he wants to join Liverpool in a record-breaking move.

      The 22-year-old midfielder was in the directors' box at Anfield to watch the Reds' Europa League 3-0 defeat of FC Gomel, which wrapped up a 4-0 aggregate success.

      And Rodgers said after the game: 'I hope to conclude the deal in the next 24 hours. It is imminent.'

      Allen has held meetings this week with chairman Huw Jenkins and new manager Michael Laudrup after returning from Olympic duty and spelled out his desire to leave for Anfield.

      Swansea are yet to receive a second written offer from Liverpool for the midfielder, who last month was the subject of a £12.5million bid from Anfield that also would have seen Jonjo Shelvey go to south Wales on a season-long loan.

      But Sportsmail understands Rodgers contacted Jenkins directly and indicated he is now willing to meet the £15m release clause in Allen's contract.

      Centre of attention: Joe Allen is set to complete his protracted move to Liverpool

      Centre of attention: Joe Allen is set to complete his protracted move to Liverpool

       

      Making a point: Brendan Rodgers

      Making a point: Brendan Rodgers

       

       
       
       

      Rodgers had agreed not to poach any Swansea players for 12 months upon leaving the club in June, but it is understood that clause would be made redundant should the Liverpool manager make an offer that meets the release fee in a player's contract.

      The move, which is expected to be sealed in the coming days, will smash Swansea's previous record fee for the sale of a player - Jason Scotland's £2million move to Wigan in June 2009 - and Swansea have earmarked a large slice of the cash for Bolton midfielder Mark Davies.

      The club last week failed with a bid in the region of £4m for the 24-year-old, but are likely to return with a £5m offer in the next 48 hours. Bolton are holding out for £6m.
      Edited by zocoss 10 Aug `12, 11:39AM
  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • Grounds for concern as Liverpool chief Henry admits he may cash in by selling Anfield naming rights

       

      This is...: Liverpool are open to the idea of their stadium being renamed

      This is...: Liverpool are open to the idea of their stadium being renamed

       
       

       

       

      Liverpool owner John W Henry has risked the wrath of fans by opening the door to renaming their famous Anfield home.

      The American has admitted he could raise funds by inviting sponsors to bid for the rights to put their name to the stadium which has been the club's home for 120 years.

      Speaking to the Tomkins Times, the club chief revealed he was keeping his options open, while, behind the scenes, all other means of increasing club revenue were being explored.

      He said: 'A naming rights deal at Anfield could occur, I suppose, if the partner were right. We haven't pursued it.'

      Henry was pushed on numerous issues regarding the financial power of the club, considering the vast funds lavished on signings since the new ownership came in 18 months ago.

      Henry added: 'This club should be able to significantly increase its revenues. But it won’t be easy.

       

      Raising funds: John W Henry

      Raising funds: John W Henry

       

       

      'I believe we have the right people in place to accomplish this.

      'But I don’t see it happening at the local level – the vast majority must come from our global agenda.'

      Liverpool have had much-publicised problems finding a solution to their comparatively small stadium.

      Anfield holds 45,000 supporters, compared with 60,000 at Arsenal and 75,000 at Old Trafford, but the logistics of improving their current home are tricky due to the high concentration of residential properties in the vicinity. 

  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • Reds may sell Anfield naming rights

      Liverpool Anfield
      GettyImagesLiverpool FC have resided at Anfield since 1892

       

      By Richard Jolly

       

       

      <!-- end mod-article-title --><!-- begin story body -->

      Liverpool's principal owner John W Henry says he is prepared to consider selling the naming rights to Anfield to raise funds.

       

      Henry also called upon the Premier League to implement Financial Fair Play properly - accusing some of the Reds' rivals of ignoring UEFA regulations designed to try to make clubs balance the books.

      The American revealed he and his Fenway Sports Group are looking to the overseas market to boost Liverpool's income and that a rebranding of Liverpool's historic home could be on the cards.

      "This club should be able to significantly increase its revenues but it won't be easy," he told the Tomkins Times. "But I don't see it happening at the local level - the vast majority must come from our global agenda.

      "A naming rights deal at Anfield could occur if the partner were right. We haven't [yet] pursued it."

      Henry said Liverpool are looking to be self-sufficient and criticised clubs who overspend. Manchester City posted losses of £197 million for the 2010-11 financial year while Chelsea have already paid more than £60 million to recruit new players this summer.

      UEFA has the power to bar clubs who declare losses of more than €45 million over a three-year period from European competition, but Henry doubts that will happen and called upon the Premier League to act.

      "The mandate of Financial Fair Play in Europe is for clubs to live within their means," Henry said. "Recently I was told that half of the clubs in the top divisions within Europe are losing money and 20% are in straits of varying degrees.

      "We believe the league itself may have to adopt its own rules given that clubs seem to be ignoring UEFA's rules, which may be porous enough to enable clubs to say that the trend of huge losses is positive and therefore be exempt from any meaningful sanctions."

      Liverpool have been criticised for paying excessive transfer fees for players since FSG's 2010 takeover, with almost £130 million having been spent, but Henry said: "It's up to LFC to invest properly in players going forward so that the club can not only be sustainable but a powerhouse."

      Liverpool were Carling Cup winners and FA Cup finalists last season but Kenny Dalglish was sacked after they finished eighth in the league, with Henry outlining that a 19th title is the long-term aim at Anfield.

      "Our goal is to win the Premier League. It's not going to happen this year, but that is what we are building for - first and foremost. That's only going to happen if our league performance turns around substantially."

  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • The price is £20m - to you, £25m: Arsenal want extra to sell RvP to United

       

      Striker has reportedly said no to Juve and City and Wenger still hopes he'll stay - but Gunners will add on a £5m premium if he picks Old Trafford 

      Red leaders: United are in pole position for RvP - but face paying &pound;5m extra
      Red leaders: United are in pole position for RvP - but face paying £5m extra
       
       
       

      Sir Alex Ferguson has been warned it will take an “unbelievable” offer to persuade Arsenal to sell Robin van Persie to him.

      Gunners manager Arsene Wenger will not sell for less than £20m - and will demand a premium fee of more than £25m from Fergie and Manchester United because Arsenal do not want to do business with a direct Premier League rival.

      Meanwhile, Juventus, who have also been chasing the Dutch striker, have claimed van Persie has told them he will not move to Italy, but was signing for another club.

      Wenger still believes he can persuade van Persie to stay, even though United are expected to make an improved offer for him before the end of the week. 

      Van Persie trained with his team-mates at Arsenal’s pre-season camp in Germany on Wednesday night, ahead of their away friendly against Cologne on Sunday, and the club insist nothing has been agreed with United.

      "We have made a bid and they've been trying to negotiate with other clubs," said Ferguson after United's friendly against Barcelona on Wednesday night.

      "I don't have a gut feeling on it at the moment, I must admit.

      "We're not getting any breakthrough with Arsenal. It's difficult to say why they're operating this way.

      "I don't know what their thoughts are, because they're not giving anything away."

      Even though van Persie has been training hard and is understood to be impressed with Arsenal's summer spending spree, his statement that he will not sign a new contract to replace the one that expires at the end of the coming season still leaves them with a major dilemma.

      Arsenal do not want to risk losing van Persie on a free transfer next summer, which may tempt them to sell even if the signs are encouraging that the striker is having a change of heart.

      The Mirror understands that van Persie has told Manchester City that he does not want to join them.

      Now Juventus are out of the running, United are likely to test Arsenal's, and van Persie’s, resolve with another bid.

      But Wenger and the club’s hierarchy are determined to hold out for a much bigger price if they end up selling to a rival.

      Arsenal are not convinced United will meet their asking price because of van Persie’s age - he turned 29 at the start of this week - and the fact he is only one year away from leaving the Emirates on a Bosman.

      Elsewhere, Wenger may consider a big offer from Barcelona for Alex Song, but is under no pressure to sell as the midfielder's contract does not expire until 2015.

      Arsenal would also want a ready-made replacement to be lined up before doing business with Barca.

      They have been tracking Real Madrid’s Turkish midfielder Nuri Sahi, who's also been linked with Liverpool, for a one-year loan deal.

      Rennes and France midfielder Yann M’Vila has also been a long-term target.

      Remind yourself of all the twists and turns in the van Persie saga with our transfer timeline,

      And read Steve Stammers' column on why Arsenal fans should remember Robin's model pro conduct since that infamous contract statement.

      Edited by zocoss 09 Aug `12, 10:42AM
  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • Joe Allen won't come cheap, says Swansea manager Michael Laudrup

       

      No go Joe: Swansea boss Laudrup has warned Liverpool Allen will not be sold cheaply

      No go Joe: Swansea boss Laudrup has warned Liverpool Allen will not be sold cheaply



       

      Swansea manager Michael Laudrup has warned Liverpool that Joe Allen will not be sold on the cheap.

       

      The saga over Allen's potential switch to join former Swans boss Brendan Rodgers at Anfield has rumbled on over recent weeks, and it is understood the Welsh club rejected an offer worth £12.5million last month.

      However, Allen's contract is believed to include a release clause of £15million.

      Laudrup is keen to hold onto the Wales international, and is set to have talks with the 22-year-old, who signed a four-year contract at the Liberty Stadium last summer, on Wednesday.

      But with Liverpool having paid big money to secure Jordan Henderson and Stewart Downing last summer, Laudrup has told the Merseyside club that Allen's value is on another level.

      "He is worth a lot of money because he's a good player," said Laudrup.

      "The manager knows him and knows if he wants to change the way Liverpool play he needs a player in the midfield like Joe Allen.

      "But he also knows he's very, very expensive. We saw they bought a couple of midfielders in the last few years for a lot of money, but with all due respect Joe is on a level above.

      "In my opinion, if one is worth £17m then Joe is worth more, perhaps over £20million. I'm talking as a football man not as a chairman but if the chairman asks my advice then I will tell him the same."

      It is understood the offer Swansea rejected last month included Jonjo Shelvey moving on a season-long loan to the Liberty.

      But Laudrup says he will not accept an offer that includes a player not considered first-choice at Anfield.

      When asked about the possibility of an exchange, he said: "If we could have (Luis) Suarez ... We have good players here and they have good players, but I can't see a player not in the starting 11 at Liverpool being in the starting 11 in our team.

      "They might want to do it because they can pay less money."

      While Allen continues to be linked with Liverpool, Laudrup is still looking to stregthen his squad, and the Dane says he is closing in on two more additions, believed to be a striker and a winger.

      "One is quite close but the other one is more difficult," he said.

      "But I hope he will be an important player for us. He is playing at quite a big club so it's not that easy. They are both offensive players. One can defend as well.

      "We are also working on other alternatives."

       

      Edited by zocoss 07 Aug `12, 9:36PM
  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • United in the box seat for Van Persie after City boss Mancini concedes defeat in striker race

       

      Battle: Roberto Mancini has said Manchester City are out of the race, leaving the door open for Manchester United and Sir Alex Ferguson to sign Van Persie from Arsenal
      Battle: Roberto Mancini has said Manchester City are out of the race, leaving the door open for Manchester United and Sir Alex Ferguson to sign Van Persie from Arsenal

      Battle: Roberto Mancini has said Manchester City are out of the race, leaving the door open for United and Sir Alex Ferguson to sign Van Persie from Arsenal

       
       

      Roberto Mancini has admitted defeat in his pursuit of Arsenal's Robin van Persie.

      The Italian has been desperate to bring the striker to the Etihad but have faced stiff competition from Manchester United and Serie A giants Juventus.

      And after it emerged that Sir Alex Ferguson had stayed in Britain while his team were in Norway in a bid to force through a £20million deal for the Dutchman, Mancini has revealed his club are no longer in the race.  

      When asked about the Gunners star, the City boss said: 'Van Persie? No, I don't think he will come here.'

      United now expect to get the coveted signature of last season's Premier League top goalscorer by the time the new campaign kicks off on August 19.

      The club also expect to add young Brazilian Lucas Moura to their ranks in the coming days.

      Meanwhile, after the failed attempt to lure Van Persie to the Premier League champions, Mancini expects Edin Dzeko to remain.

      The Bosnian has failed to live up to the £27million City paid Woflsburg for him 18 months ago, and is wanted by several top clubs around Europe.

      However, responding to speculation about Juve and AC Milan's interest in the forward, Mancini added on Italian television: 'I'm pleased, as this means we have good players, but it’s pretty unlikely he will leave.'

      Speaking to German media this week, Dzeko hit out at his lack of playing time - he started just 16 league games last season - and suggested he would be ready to leave for the right club.

       

      Uncertain future: Robin van Persie doesn't know where he'll play next season

      Uncertain future: Robin van Persie doesn't know where he'll play next season

      Staying put: Edin Dzeko is now unlikely to leave Manchester City

      Staying put: Edin Dzeko is now unlikely to leave Manchester City

       
       

      He said: 'In the second half of last season, I suddenly got to start far fewer games - and I’ve got no idea why.

      'I lost my rhythm. I joined City in order to play in matches. I never imagined that things would turn out the way they have. I am too good for the bench. If I continue to sit matches out, then anything is possible.'

      But Mancini added: 'He is right to say it’s no fun being on the bench, but when you join a big club then competition is normal.'


  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • Staying put: Wenger believes he's spent enough to buy RvP's love for Arsenal

       

      Gunners on course for £40m summer splurge – and reckon that's answered Robin van Persie's demand for money-where-your-mouth-is action

      <!-- Can pick up the first element because is searching for author name -->

       

      Let's stay together: Arsene Wenger believes Arsenal's big-spending summer could keep Robin van Persie at the Emirates
      Let's stay together: Arsene Wenger believes Arsenal's big-spending summer could keep Robin van Persie at the Emirates

      Arsene Wenger believes Arsenal's summer spending spree can persuade Robin van Persie to stay.

      Arsenal boss Wenger is determined to hold out for at least £20m for the Dutch striker and Manchester United, Manchester City and Juventus have not increased their offers despite having opening bids turned down.

      It leaves Wenger believing that the club's spending spree - which will top £40m when Santi Cazorla is confirmed alongside Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud - may yet see van Persie stay.

      Arsenal will not sell van Persie for less than £20m and then if he stays beyond August 31 they will then try to persuade him to sign a new deal.

      Van Persie, who turns 29 today (August 6), will fly out to Germany for the club's pre-season training camp ahead of the friendly with Cologne next Sunday, as revealed in Mirror Sport last Friday.

       

      Spend, spend, spend... Santi Cazorla will be the third major signing by Arsene Wenger this summer

      Spend, spend, spend... Santi Cazorla will be the third major signing by Arsene Wenger this summer  

       

      Netted: New Gunner Olivier Giroud poses at Arsenal training ground

      Netted: New Gunner Olivier Giroud poses at Arsenal training ground

       

       

      Home at last: Lukas Podolski's transfer kick-started a big spend by Arsene Wenger

      Home at last: Lukas Podolski's transfer kick-started a big spend by Arsene Wenger

       

       

      Arsenal will sell if the right offer comes in because they cannot risk him leaving for free next summer but the chances of the Dutch striker at least starting the campaign at the Emirates are increasing.

      Manchester United are now favourites and are expected to come back but Arsenal still have doubts as to whether they will match their price because Sir Alex Ferguson may have concerns over van Persie's age, injury record and that he will have no resale value.

      Juventus have had a bid turned down, the Italians have made a further enquiry but their coach Antonio Conte being fined and suspended have damaged their hopes while City fear they will miss out on van Persie.

      Arsenal expect to complete a deal for Cazorla this week but the £20m deal - a £16m basic fee with add-ons - is being held up by Malaga's financial problems. They are also still in for Real Madrid's Turkish midfielder Nuri Sahin.

  • Moderator
    zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • Former Manchester United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy announces retirement

      Ex-Netherlands striker Ruud van Nistelrooy has announced his retirement at the age of 35, less than a day after helping Málaga CF qualify for the UEFA Champions League.

      <!--googleon: snippet-->
       

       

       

      Ruud Van Nistelrooy

      Malaga striker Ruud van Nistelrooy has announced his retirement from football at the age of 35.

       

       

       

       

      The former Holland international has suffered a difficult year since arriving in the south of Spain from Hamburg last summer, scoring just five times in 32 appearances.

      However, he did help guide Malaga to their first ever top-four finish and thereby ensure Champions League football for the first time in their history.

      Van Nistelrooy told a press conference today: "Yesterday was my final game as a professional footballer. I wanted to play in the Champions League, but it is the moment to leave.

      "I have arrived at my physical limit and I can't play at the maximum level. I couldn't have had a better send-off than this.

      "I feel happy that I am the one taking this decision. I would like to thank Malaga, the technical and medical staff for an unforgettable year.

      "I am proud to have won collective and individual titles, but my greatest satisfaction was to be able to work day after day, year after year."

      Van Nistelrooy also paid tribute to those people who supported him during his career, which included spells with PSV Eindhoven, Manchester United and Real Madrid.

      "I would like to thank Malaga, my team-mates, the coaches, the physios, (sporting director) Antonio Fernandez, Fernando Hierro and the fans for this unforgettable year," said the Dutchman.

      "I would also like to thank the fans of Den Bosch, Heerenveen, PSV, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Hamburg."

      Van Nistelrooy's career began in his homeland with Den Bosch before moves to Heerenveen and PSV Eindhoven, where he made his name.

      After securing the Eredivisie Golden Boot in both the 1998/99 and 1999/2000 seasons, he seemed set to join Manchester United in a near £19 million move.

      However, United called off the transfer due to fitness concerns and within days Van Nistelrooy ruptured cruciate knee ligaments during a training session.

      That injury did not dissuade United manager Sir Alex Ferguson though, as he went back for Van Nistelrooy the following summer and was duly rewarded as the striker delivered 150 goals in 219 games in his five seasons in Manchester and guided them to the title in 2002/03.

      However, Van Nistelrooy's time in north-west England ended when he fell down the pecking order and was snapped up by Real Madrid in the summer of 2006.

      He hit the ground running in the Spanish capital as 53 goals in two seasons saw Real capture back-to-back Primera Division titles.

      But once again injuries took their toll as he missed almost the entire 2008/09 campaign with a meniscus problem and then found himself behind Raul, Gonzalo Higuain and Karim Benzema the following season.

      An 18-month spell at Hamburg followed before returning to Spain and Malaga for his final season as a professional.

      Van Nistelrooy also bagged 35 goals in 70 international appearances for Holland, including strikes at Euro 2004, World Cup 2006 and Euro 2008 and is the second highest all-time goalscorer in the Champions League with 54 from 81 appearances.

      His final appearance for Malaga resulted in a 1-0 victory over Sporting Gijon.

       

      Edited by zocoss 06 Aug `12, 12:08AM
  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • Sao Paulo deny €27m deal with Inter for Lucas Moura

      The Brazilian youngster is reportedly on the verge of completing a transfer to San Siro, but his current club have dismissed rumours a fee has already been agreed

        
      Lucas Moura - Brazil 
       
       
       
       
      Sao Paulo vice-president Joao Paulo de Jesus Lopes has stressed that he is unaware of a supposed agreement with Inter over the transfer of Brazil international Lucas Moura.

      The 19-year-old is one of the hottest commodities in the transfer market this summer, with the Nerazzurri, Manchester United and Real Madrid all said to be vying for his signature.

      Reports on Thursday suggested Inter and Sao Paulo had concurred on a €27 million deal, which could rise to as much as €32m depending on the midfielder's performances for the Italian club, but Paulo de Jesus Lopes has denied a deal is in place.

      "I'm not aware of this information. I was with [Sao Paulo president] Juvenal Juvencio on Wednesday and Thursday," the club's vice-president stated to Lancenet.

      Paulo de Jesus Lopes then went on to admit that talks have taken place with Manchester United, but no agreement could be reached.

      "We only negotiated with Manchester United, but their offer was not good enough."

      Lucas is currently taking part in the London Olympics with Brazil.

      Edited by zocoss 05 Aug `12, 1:32PM
  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • Va va vroom! United's shirt deal with Chevy is worth £357million (report)

      Insiders claim marketing chief who was involved in negotiations left the US car giants after the "incredible, unbelievable" sponsorship package was questioned by colleagues, story adds

      <!-- Can pick up the first element because is searching for author name -->

       

      Gold Trafford: Chevrolet deal will flood United with dosh according to reports
      Gold Trafford: Chevrolet deal will flood United with dosh according to reports

       

       

       

       

      Manchester United's new shirt sponsorship deal with American carmakers Chevrolet is worth an "incredible" £357million between now and 2021, according to reports - more than double what their current package brings in.

      When the seven-year deal was announced earlier this week, it was reported it would see the Old Trafford side rake in around £28m per season.

      Now however, reports originating in the US, where United are in the process of selling 10% of the club on the New York Stock Exchange, suggest that those figures were a massive underestimate.

      While Chevrolet won't replace insurers Aon as United's shirt sponsors until the 2014-15 season, figures presented to the US Securities and Exchange Commission by the club are said to claim they will receive 'fees' of about $18.6m (around £11m at current exchange rates) from them in the coming season and the 2013-14 campaign.

      Then, in 2014-15, United will receive a whopping $70m (£44.75m) in return for carrying the Chevrolet logo on their shirts, with the amount paid rising by 2.1 per cent in each following season until 2020-2021.

      One marketing sector expert, who was reportedly involved in negotiating one of United's previous shirt sponsorship deals, with Vodafone, marvelled at the agreement with Chevrolet.

      "It's incredible, unbelievable," he said.

      In another story, a sponsorship consultant said United's Chevrolet agreement smashed the previous record set by Barcelona's $39.1m-a-year - £25m - deal with the Qatar Foundation.

      "The increase between Aon and Chevrolet I'd say is unprecedented," he admitted.

      As recently as 2006, that same story adds, Vodafone were paying £8m-a-year to have their logo on United's shirts - they were replaced by a £14m-a-year deal with financial-services firm AIG that ran until 2010, when Aon took over at £19.6m per season.

      Edited by zocoss 04 Aug `12, 11:29AM
  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • Wenger dig at big spenders

      Arsene Wenger

      CASH WOE ... Arsene Wenger predicts a crash

      ARSENE WENGER has taken another swipe at mega-rich rivals Manchester City and Chelsea.

      The Arsenal boss insists his club are still not in the same League financially as their two Premier League rivals despite massive earnings from matchday income at the Emirates.

      Wenger is confident of completing a £16million deal for Malaga’s Santi Cazorla which would bring Arsenal’s summer spending up to £39m.

      The Frenchman said: “We consider ourselves in a privileged position because we have a massive income.

      “But overall we are not mega-rich because we do not have unlimited resources.

      “A club can buy players like PSG has done or Manchester City or Chelsea, with unlimited resources, but overall football suffers.

      “Look at the activity on the transfer market since the start of the summer.

      “PSG are ambitious and they have resources and that’s it. We talk always about the same things.

      “I don’t think anything is new in that domain.

      “Europe at the moment is like the Titanic but we live in football like nothing matters.

      “More than ever we have to run our club in a strict way because it looks like everybody suffers in Europe.

      “I would be surprised if football is not touched by it at some stage.

      “If you look at debt in football across Europe at the moment it is quite massive and we have to be responsible.

      “We have to be ambitious but also make sure we are not getting in trouble financially.

      “It is difficult for us because the wages in some other clubs are very high.

      “But of course our players quite rightly compare themselves to the players of the other clubs.”

      Asked whether Chelsea’s Champions League win would change anything in England, Wenger said: “I don’t see what it could change.

      “Maybe it will wake up the appetite of Abramovich again. I’m proud when any Premier League club wins the Champions League.

      “It shows how competitive the Premier League is because Chelsea finished fifth in the Premier League and that is the real quality of a team.

      “More than the Champions League it is about where you finish in the league.

      “That just shows how good the Premier League is.”

      Wenger is looking to stage talks this week with both Robin Van Persie and Theo Walcott over their futures.

  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • Mourinho patience running thin as Real told to up bid for Modric after Spurs reject £38m bid

       

      Waiting game: Mourinho's patience is waning thin in his battle to sign Modric

      Waiting game: Mourinho's patience is waning thin in his battle to sign Modric

       
       
       
       

      Tottenham have rejected Real Madrid's latest £38million offer for Luka Modric as the transfer saga threatens to drag into the new season.

      And the Bernabeu club are now threatening to completely pull their interest in the wantaway midfielder as frustration grows at Spurs' hardline negotiation tactics.

      Modric is one of Jose Mourinho's primary transfer targets this summer and the Spanish giant's have already seen several bids turned down by the White Hart Lane club.

      The latest to be refused is a £30million offer plus an additional £8m in add-ons spread across the length of the Croatian's contract.

      Spurs chairman Daniel Levy has set a £40million asking price for Modric and will not accept a penny under the asking price.

      Levy is also said to be unhappy with the structure of Madrid's latest offer, wanting more money up front and less in add-ons.

      The rebuffed offer is yet another blow for the Spanish club in their summer-long chase to sign Modric - who has agreed personal terms on a five year deal with Madrid.

      And it is understood Real chiefs have told their Tottenham counterparts they will now look at alternative midfield targets - with a move to re-sign Wesley Sneijder from Inter Milan a possibility.

      Whether Madrid's threat to pull the plug on their interest in Modric is serious or merely a bargaining ploy remains to be seen, but nevertheless the long-running saga is showing no signs of coming to a conclusion.

      Tottenham are adamant Modric - who still has four years to run on his current deal - will stay in north London if Madrid do not meet the asking price.

      The 26-year-old remains desperate to quit White Hart Lane for Real ahead of the new season.

      Modric has embarked on a mini-revolt by boycotting pre-season training sessions and the club's tour of the US.

      Andre Villas-Boas' side will return to London today with the Portuguese manager seeking a quick resolution to the Modric affair in one way or another.

  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • Hammer blow: Carroll rejects West Ham move after the clubs agree a fee

       

      Going home to Newcastle or staying put are the only options the Liverpool striker is interested in despite £19m deal being struck

      <!-- Can pick up the first element because is searching for author name -->
      Bubble's burst: Carroll does not want to wear the claret and blue
      Bubble's burst: Carroll does not want to wear the claret and blue

       

       

       

       

      Andy Carroll will block attempts to offload him to West Ham, even though Liverpool have agreed a loan deal with the Londoners.

      The Reds accepted an offer of £2million to take Carroll on loan for the coming season and then £17m to make his move permanent in 12 months' time - providing Hammers stay up.

      However, the 23-year-old does not want to go to Upton Park.

      He has told friends on his native Tyneside that he will only leave Liverpool to return to Newcastle, the club he left for Merseyside in a £35m deal 18 months ago.

      The England striker's stance has left him at loggerheads with Liverpool, who want him to go to West Ham because their package is worth more than the Toon are offering.

      Newcastle have so far only been prepared to pay £13m for the
      striker.

      The Reds rejected that offer and are determined to strike a deal closer to their £20m valuation.

      Toon boss Alan Pardew believes Liverpool will soften their stance, havilg cheekily claimed last week that they should "wipe their nose and move on" over the pony-tailed target-man .

      Pardew feels Newcastle could still sign Carroll, who has scored just 11 goals in 56 Liverpool appearances, because he does not seem to fit in with Brendan Rodgers' Anfield plans.

      Carroll's position is further complicated because it is understood Liverpool have not yet paid Newcastle the final instalments of his transfer fee.

      It is also understood the Geordies are entitled to a cut of any deal, after inserting a 25 per cent sell-on clause into their agreement with the Anfield outfit.

       

       

       

      Moving on: Carroll looks set for West Ham on loan

      Geordies are entitled to a 25 per cent  cut of any deal, after inserting a sell-on clause into their agreement.

      Edited by zocoss 31 Jul `12, 11:19AM
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    zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • United land £210m shirt deal

       
      • Utd land &pound;210m shirt deal
        • CAR-AZY ... United's Anderson, Hernandez and Macheda celebrate new deal in China yesterday
       

      Top 10 shirt deals

       

      1. MANCHESTER UNITED £30m (General Motors)

      2. BARCELONA £25m (Qatar Foundation)

      3. BAYERN MUNICH £23.6m (Deutche Telekom)

      4. LIVERPOOL £20m (Standard Chartered)

      4. MANCHESTER CITY £20m (Etihad Airways)

      4. SUNDERLAND £20m (Invest in Africa)

      7. REAL MADRID £16.8m (Bwin)

      8. CHELSEA £13.8m (Samsung)

      9. TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR £10m (Autonomy & Investec)

      9. AC MILAN £10m (Emirates)

      9. NEWCASTLE UNITED £10m (Virgin Money)

      *ALL deal figures per season

       

       

       Whopper: Manchester United's squad pose for a picture at a Chevrolet event in Shanghai

      Whopper: Manchester United's squad pose for a picture at a Chevrolet event in Shanghai

       

      Motoring on: Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson could soon have extra money to spend

      Motoring on: Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson could soon have extra money to spend


       

       

       

      MANCHESTER UNITED have signed a world-record shirt sponsorship deal worth £210million. 

      The seven-year contract with US Car firm General Motors will see Chevrolet on United’s shirts from the start of the 2014-15 season. 

      It is worth an incredible £10m a year more than their current deal with AON. 

      The announcement was brought forward to boost interest in a stock market flotation of 10 per cent of United by the owning Glazer family in the US. 

      The £30m-a-year deal eclipses the current highest shirt sponsorship contract of Barcelona’s with The Qatar Foundation, which is worth £25m a year. 

      United’s deal with AON was worth £20m a year over four years — and the one before that with AIG was worth £14m a year. 

      United’s commercial director Richard Arnold said: “This is a fantastic, long-term deal for the club.

      “We have been partners with Chevrolet for only six weeks, but they have produced some fantastic ideas that will benefit both the partnership and our 659 million followers around the world.”

       The deal will help to offset the £500m-plus that has gone out of the club to service the debt incurred by the Glazers when they took over in 2005. 

      Alan Batey, General Motors’ North America chief said: “We are proud to connect our brand, Chevrolet, with Manchester United and its passionate fans around the world.To be only the fifth name on the iconic red jersey is a genuine honour.” 

      United manager Alex Ferguson will be hoping the announcement will boost his transfer war chest. He has never complained about the Glazers, although fans have been waiting for a marquee signing this summer. 

      They are trying to land Arsenal’s Robin van Persie in a £15m deal and Brazilian wonderkid Lucas Moura. The 19-year-old from Sao Paulo will cost £30m. 

      The Glazer family intend to raise around £200m from their 10 per cent United sale, which was announced last night.

       

      Edited by zocoss 31 Jul `12, 5:22PM
  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • Walker: Charlie’s jealous

      Kyle Walker tussles with Fabio Borini
      BLASTING BACK ... Kyle Walker, seen tussling with Fabio Borini, slammed Adam for Bale tackle

      KYLE WALKER says Charlie Adam crocked Gareth Bale because he is “jealous”.

      The Spurs right-back said: “The reason for it is simple — he is jealous as Gareth is such a good player. He did him at our place last year when he was sent off.

      “It just keeps coming up that he doesn’t really like him. Players shouldn’t hate Gareth, they should appreciate playing against a player like him.

      “They could actually learn from him, rather than kick him. He’s a great player.”

       

      CRUNCH ... the Scot crocks Tottenham ace in May 2011
      CRUNCH ... the Scot crocks Tottenham ace in May 2011
      KOP THAT ... Charlie Adam careers into the back of Gareth Bale
      KOP THAT ... Charlie Adam careers into the back of Gareth Bale
      Edited by zocoss 11 Aug `12, 9:22PM
  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • It's not that they can't afford it's cos they are unwilling to lose money for nothing now mah... And every penny lost will reflect on their account which won't be nice reading when the fair play rules start to take effect...

  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • <!-- Only retrieve a profile from the homeSection if there is one which matches with the author name -->

       

      Gone for nothing? Emmanuel Adebayor could leave Man City for free

       

      Adebayor's potential move to Spurs collapsing over terms, leaves City facing a £12m loss on striker

      Feeling blue: Adebayor was loaned out to Spurs for the season, but Man City can't seem to flog him

      Feeling blue: Adebayor was loaned out to Spurs for the season, but Man City can't seem to flog him

       

       

       

      Manchester City are facing the prospect of handing Emmanuel Adebayor a free transfer.

      And that would take the amount of talent written off by boss Roberto Mancini towards £90million.

      The Blues are furious that, after agreeing a cut-price £6m deal with Tottenham for a player they valued at £12m, the move is collapsing over personal terms.

      City were desperate to save Adebayor’s £170,000-a-week wages – and remove a major obstacle stopping them ­making a £20m raid for ­Arsenal’s Robin van Persie.

      The champions told chairman Daniel Levy that they would accept a cut-price fee of £6m to help Spurs offer Adebayor a package close to the wages he earns at the Etihad.

      City feel Levy has now backtracked – a move forcing them to examine the prospect of either allowing the former Arsenal hit-man to leave for free or giving him a pay-off to compensate him for the money he will lose on the final two years of his contract.

      A City insider said: “It was felt there was two ways to handle Adebayor. Either we could ask for a fee in ­excess of £10m knowing we would have to spend perhaps half of that compensating the player for lost earnings.

      “Or, by asking £6m, the buying club would be able to offer wages acceptable to Adebayor.

      “Tottenham knew that was our intention. Now they want us to accept the lower fee and pay Adebayor off.

      “Basically they want a player who scored the goals that took them to fourth place in the Premier League last season for nothing.”

      Sunday Mirror Sport can reveal that signing Van Persie will remain an impossible dream while Adebayor stays.

      Mancini has issued a thinly-veiled attack on the failure of City’s football administrator Brian Marwood to land his No.1 target.

      But even if City doubled their initial £15m offer to tempt the Gunners, Van Persie will not join the same club as Adebayor.

      The Dutchman still hasn’t forgiven his former Emirates team-mate for the stamp which left him nursing a head wound and earned Adebayor a three-match ban for violent conduct when City beat Arsenal 4-2 in an explosive encounter in September 2009.

      Like City, Manchester United and Juventus will not meet Arsenal’s £30m valuation.

      But Adebayor’s continuing presence at the Etihad is a stumbling block for City.

       

       

      Adebayor and Robin Van Persie

      Merry-go-round: Adebayor and Robin Van Persie could both be moving clubs this summer

       

       

      Mancini is unhappy that Marwood has been unable to offload both Adebayor and Roque Santa Cruz. But City have already lost more than £45m of the £431m they have spent in transfer fees since Sheikh Mansour took over the club in August 2008.

      They have also lost another fortune subsidising wages to compensate for the loss of earnings once a player leaves the club, either on loan or permanently.

      Santa Cruz, a £17.5m buy from Blackburn, is available for free but clubs are reluctant to match the £90,000-a-week wages he will earn in the final year of his contract.

      If he and Adebayor leave for free, that will wipe another £42.5m off the players Sheikh Mansour has bought.

      Kolo Toure, a £16m buy from Arsenal, can go for £5m. And £16m Nigel de Jong will leave for free when his contract runs out next year. Robinho, a £32m marquee signing who ­arrived when the Abu Dhabi United Group took over, was sold to AC Milan for £15m.

      Craig Bellamy joined ­Liverpool on a free after costing £14m, while £12m Wayne Bridge will have his £90,000-a-week pay subsidised while on loan at Brighton.

      Keeper Shay Given joined Aston Villa for half of the £6m he cost from Newcastle.

      But Jerome Boateng was sold for a profit. He cost £10.5m from Hamburg but moved to Bayern Munich for £12.4m.

      Edited by zocoss 30 Jul `12, 8:53PM
  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • Chelsea chief Gourlay warns rivals spending spree isn't over yet

      Big money man: Eden Hazard cost Chelsea &pound;32million

      Big money man: Eden Hazard cost Chelsea £32million

       

       

      Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay has fired a stark warning to his side’s rivals: Roman Abramovich has not stopped spending yet.

      The European champions have already splashed more than £60million on Oscar, Eden Hazard and Marko Marin this summer and Gourlay says their spree is not over as Abramovich looks to reinforce the club’s status as a global superpower.

      Finding a replacement for Didier Drogba remains manager Roberto Di Matteo’s top priority, with Edinson Cavani and Radamel Falcao among the players Chelsea are looking at. 

      Speaking after Chelsea’s 1-0 pre-season defeat to AC Milan in Miami, Gourlay said: ‘While we ended with a very strong season, it was clear that there were some areas where we did have to strengthen, so we knew we were always going to have to do that.

      ‘If the right players become available at the right time we will sign them. We’ve done that and we are still continuing to look at one or two positions and we will see how that develops over the next couple of weeks.’

      Abramovich was a visible presence during the two-week US tour and Gourlay added: ‘Internationally, we have grown and grown in the last four years and I wanted him to be here to see just how his club has developed.’


  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • How to make Liverpool successful in 180 pages: Rodgers presents owners with dossier

       

      Doing it his way: Brendan Rodgers and Daniel Agger talk during training

      Doing it his way: Brendan Rodgers and Daniel Agger talk during training

       

       

       

         
         

        The Four P's - Rodgers Blueprint

        Patience: Players are told to maintain concentration and not do anything rash

        Possession: Opponents cannot cause trouble if they do not have control of the ball

        Passing: Has to be quick and incisive and keep the opposition on edge

        Penetration: It is all well and good keeping the ball but without goals it is futile

         

         

          

         

        Brendan Rodgers has presented Liverpool’s owners with a 180 page dossier that forensically details his vision for transforming the club’s fortunes.

        After he was brought into succeed Kenny Dalglish in June, Rodgers met with John W Henry, the principal figure in Fenway Sports Group, to discuss his strategy and footballing ideologies; that meeting provided Henry with absolute vindication he made the right appointment.

        Rodgers may only be 39 but he has been assembling his coaching manifesto ever since his playing career was prematurely ended by injury, tweaking and improving it, developing it whenever and wherever he has travelled to further his education.

        ‘I presented the owners with a document on the culture, philosophy and game plan going forward,’ he explained. ‘It’s a model, a short cut to how I work, the kind of players I want tactically and the personality traits of players. The vision is simple.
         

        ‘The aim is to win the most trophies we can. That’s the bigger picture. The second (aim) is to play attractive, attacking football to win games. The third is to bring through as many of the young players as we possibly can. The principles are based on this.

        ‘When I became a manager I always wanted to go into a club with a clear philosophy, so it’s clear in terms of where everyone is heading. Thankfully at two of my three clubs as manager I’ve been able to create a one club mentality and it’s been successful.

        ‘I started this (document) over 15 years ago. It’s something I have been piecing together for some time and when I became a manager I put it into a format with a philosophy and methodology.’

         

        Putting the work in: Liverpool's Andy Carroll during a training session ahead of the pre-season friendly match against Tottenham

        Putting the work in: Liverpool's Andy Carroll during a training session ahead of the pre-season friendly match against Tottenham

         

         

         

        Though Liverpool have only played two games under Rodgers so far, there have been clear signs that his methods are starting to filter through. For instance, Liverpool made 712 passes against FC Toronto last week; their average in Barclays Premier League games last season was 495. 

        ‘For me football is an art, not a science,’ he said. ‘The only statistic I want to know is how good we‘ve been with the ball. In my upbringing, on my travels, the statistic that interested me was if you were better than your opponent with the ball, you have a 79 per cent chance of winning the game.

        ‘Basically, you have an eight out of ten chance of winning, so I’ve followed that my career. You may lose the ninth or tenth, but I have been devoted to that. It won’t always be perfect but I’d rather control and dominate games and have that possibility rather than wait for something to happen.

        ‘My world has been about creating rather than waiting. If you wait, you rely on somebody else to make a mistake. If you create, you do everything possible to win the game. I’d rather lose a game trying to win it than lose it trying to not get beat.’

        Success for Rodgers is not going to happen overnight but the most important thing for Liverpool this season, after changing managers three times since May 2010, is to get back on a level footing.

        ‘The club has been through enough trauma, heartache and problems,’ he said. ‘I could give you a list of problems but it won’t help anything. We have to find a way to challenge again. We need a one city, one club mentality. If we don’t, we will fail. If we can stay as one, we have a real chance.’

         

         

        Edited by zocoss 30 Jul `12, 10:39AM
    • zocoss's Avatar
      25,008 posts since Sep '05
      • Coming out of the closet ?

        Unlikely... If he comes out and admits he 'cut both ways' and can choose to be a Brenda or a Brendan whenever he likes it, suddenly all the pool players will feel insecure with his presence in the dressing room or shower room. Cos you don't knows whether you are talking to a Brenda or to the Brendan...

        He was in the bar as they say, checking it out only... icon_lol.gif

        Edited by zocoss 30 Jul `12, 10:08AM
    • zocoss's Avatar
      25,008 posts since Sep '05
      • You coward! Furious Gareth Bale blasts Charlie Adam over horror tackle in friendly

        Angry Spurs star was left on crutches after horror tackle and insists "I’m not going to accept his apology"

         

        Chopped down: Gareth Bale is tackled by Liverpool's Charlie Adam
        Reuters
        'A very, very nasty challenge': Andre Villas Boas was angey with Adam's challenge on his player

         

         

        Gareth Bale has branded Charlie Adam a “coward” for the challenge Spurs claim could have put their man in hospital.

        The Tottenham star fears he may miss the start of the season after limping out of a Baltimore friendly following another late foul that the Welshman claimed was a deliberate attempt to injure him.

        Adam has history with Bale, after a shocking challenge in 2011 snapped the Welshman’s ankle ligaments and sidelined him for three months. The feud continued last season when the midfielder was dismissed at White Hart Lane for another bad tackle.

        A frustrated Bale directed a furious attack on the Liverpool player as he left the Ravens Stadium on crutches with his ankle in a protective boot support, following the pre-season showdown with the Reds.

        “From what I’ve seen of him on pitch, I think he’s a bit of a coward,” said the Wales star insisted afterwards.

        “I was surprised to see a challenge like that in a friendly. We’re all over here to build our fitness and get a good workout and what he did was over the top, to be honest.

        “But some people are like that and it’s just wrong.”

        Spurs were furious about the foul in a friendly game used for conditioning, with boss Andre Villas Boas insisted the Liverpool man should have been dismissed for a “very, very nasty challenge”  

        The Portuguese coach is puzzled by the bad blood Adam has shown, with Bale seemingly targeted by the midfielder without provocation.

        The Tottenham winger will have a scan in New York on Monday before the friendly match with the Red Bulls, and he fears it could be bad news for the start of the new season.

        “My ankle is sore - very, very sore. We’ll have to wait and see how it goes. I’ll probably have to have a scan,” he said.

        A shocking feud has developed between the two players, yet Bale is ­genuinely puzzled – and intensely angry – about the reasons he seems to have been targeted by the former Blackpool skipper. “There are pictures on the internet of what he did before when he snapped all my ankle ­ligaments,” said Bale.

         

         

        They have history: Charlie Adam, then of Blackpool, tackling Gareth Bale  

         

        “I was out for three months that time and one player told me he went out to do the same thing to me again.

        “Seriously, I haven’t ever done anything to him. He’s obviously come for me twice now – and he’s got me twice.

        “I would have understood it had it been a slightly mis-timed tackle, even though it was just a friendly. But the ball was 10 yards past him already and was nowhere near him when he came through my ankle.”

        After the game, Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas was also furious with Adam, and insisted the Liverpool player should make a public apology for the challenge.

        Yet Bale is so unimpressed by the man he branded a “coward”, he insisted that he will refuse point blank to accept any apology should it be extended.

        “When someone makes a very bad tackle on you in a game you expect him to come up and ­apologise. But I’ve had no apology from him and I don’t really want one from him to be honest,” he said.

         

        Charlie Adam of Liverpool is pulled down by Jake Livermore of the Tottenham Hotspur during the first half during a pre-season tour friendly match at M&amp;T Bank Stadium on July 28, 2012 in Baltimore

        Returning the favour: Spurs Jake Livermore pulls down Charlie Adam

         

         

        “That’s what kind of person he is like. He’s done it before, so I’m not going to accept his apology.

        “All I want to do is play my game and play it in the right way. It’s ­flattering when players try to take you out in a game but when it threatens your career, it becomes more serious that that.

        “It’s unsportsmanlike and I don’t think any player should be like that.”

        The incident completely overshadowed what was ­otherwise a cautious friendly between the two clubs in the searing heat of Baltimore, with temperatures touching 40 degrees.

        Tottenham’s allegations about Adam are so serious that they could even prompt the FA to investigate, given a player claimed he was told Bale would be deliberately targeted.

        Yet the Liverpool midfielder was unimpressed by Spurs’ claims, dismissing the ­opportunity to reply when asked afterwards.

        Edited by zocoss 30 Jul `12, 11:05PM
    • zocoss's Avatar
      25,008 posts since Sep '05
      • Real agree £36m Modric fee

         
        YOUR LUK'S IN ... Modric is set for dream move to Real
         

         

         

         

        TOTTENHAM last night agreed a £36million fee with Real Madrid for Luka Modric.

        The Croatia midfielder had already said he would join Jose Mourinho’s side but was waiting for the clubs to reach a deal.

        He almost ruined his chances of a move by refusing to go on Spurs’ pre-season tour.

        But Real officials persuaded him to apologise and return.

        Madrid were reluctant to meet Spurs’ valuation but Mourinho wanted Modric as soon as possible.

        The deal will bring an end to a saga which began when the 26-year-old demanded a move to Chelsea a year ago.

        Spurs refused but accepted he would move on this summer.

        Edited by zocoss 29 Jul `12, 10:32AM
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      zocoss's Avatar
      25,008 posts since Sep '05
      • Too sexy for his shirt: Fergie and United players do their little turn on the catwalk in China - picture special

         

        Manchester United boss and players try out modelling for charity dinner and fashion show in Shanghai

        <!-- Can pick up the first element because is searching for author name -->

         

        Step aside Naomi Campbell: Sir Alex Ferguson takes to the catwalk
        Step aside Naomi Campbell: Sir Alex Ferguson takes to the catwalk

        Step aside Naomi Campbell, Elle Macpherson and Twiggy; there's a new king of the catwalk in town.

        Sir Alex Ferguson took to the runway in Shanghai during Manchester United's pre-season tour of China as part of charity dinner and fashion show event in aid of the Manchester United Foundation, organised by Swiss watch makers Hublot.

        The 70-year-old Scot is more used to walking the technical area at the side of a football pitch but swapped the touchline for the catwalk and waved to to photographers at the event.

        He was joined on stage by members of the United squad including new signing Shinji Kagawa, defender Rio Ferdinand and striker Javier Hernandez.

        Check out the pics in our gallery:

         

        • Watch out: Shinji Kagawa and Anderson show off their bling

         

        Javier Zoolander: Players strike a pose for the cameras

        Diva: Alex Ferguson laps up the attention

         

         

         

        Jaunty: Ferguson perfects the walk

         

         

         

    • Moderator
      zocoss's Avatar
      25,008 posts since Sep '05
      • Too sexy for his shirt: Fergie and United players do their little turn on the catwalk in China - picture special

         

        Manchester United boss and players try out modelling for charity dinner and fashion show in Shanghai

        <!-- Can pick up the first element because is searching for author name -->

         

        Step aside Naomi Campbell: Sir Alex Ferguson takes to the catwalk
        Step aside Naomi Campbell: Sir Alex Ferguson takes to the catwalk

        Step aside Naomi Campbell, Elle Macpherson and Twiggy; there's a new king of the catwalk in town.

        Sir Alex Ferguson took to the runway in Shanghai during Manchester United's pre-season tour of China as part of charity dinner and fashion show event in aid of the Manchester United Foundation, organised by Swiss watch makers Hublot.

        The 70-year-old Scot is more used to walking the technical area at the side of a football pitch but swapped the touchline for the catwalk and waved to to photographers at the event.

        He was joined on stage by members of the United squad including new signing Shinji Kagawa, defender Rio Ferdinand and striker Javier Hernandez.

        Check out the pics in our gallery:

         

        • Watch out: Shinji Kagawa and Anderson show off their bling

         

        Javier Zoolander: Players strike a pose for the cameras

        Diva: Alex Ferguson laps up the attention

         

         

         

        Jaunty: Ferguson perfects the walk