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  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • <!-- Can pick up the first element because is searching for author name -->

      Valencia follows George Best and Eric Cantona into number seven shirt...


      Come in No.7: Valencia will be handed the iconic shirt number this season

      Come in No.7: Valencia will be handed the iconic shirt number this season



      United's pre-season tour begins with two games in South Africa against AmaZulu FC and Ajax Cape Town before they move on to China to face Shanghai Shenhua, Norway where they will play Valerenga, Sweden to take on Barcelona and finishing in Germany against Hannover 96.

      The travelling party has yet to be confirmed - as have shirt numbers for the majority of United's squad.

      Only three have been confirmed so far with winger Antonio Valencia requesting the iconic seven shirt - worn by club greats such as George Best, Bryan Robson, Eric Cantona, David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo - after it became available following Michael Owen's departure when his contract expired this summer.

      New signings Nick Powell and Shinji Kagawa will wear 25 and 26 respectively.


      RED DEVIL ... Shinji Kagawa
      RED DEVIL ... Shinji Kagawa asked for a number with personal meaning




      There could be some new additions to that squad list, however, as Ferguson is working on bringing in at least a couple more players before the start of the season.

      When asked if he is hoping to make further signings Ferguson added: "Yes, there's a possibility.

      "We're working on one or two things but there's nothing really to tell you to be honest.

      "We always try to get our work done at the end of the season - we spent a good deal of time sorting the deal with Shinji and we'd agreed a deal with Nick Powell before the play-offs which was a good move by us because the boy had an outstanding final at Wembley.

      "When you don't get deals done immediately and you're negotiating with a club over a long period, then you can't expect to just snap your fingers and get it done."



      Edited by zocoss 04 Jul `12, 9:54AM
  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • Second chance: Four months on from Chelsea sacking, AVB resurfaces at Spurs



      Man about town: Andre Villas-Boas is paraded by Tottenham just four months after he was sacked by London rivals Chelsea

      Man about town: Andre Villas-Boas is paraded by Tottenham just four months after he was sacked by London rivals Chelsea





      Andre Villas-Boas has been given a second chance to succeed in the  Barclays Premier League.

      As Sportsmail forecast last week, the Portuguese has been named as Tottenham’s new manager on a three-year contract.

      But the 34-year-old’s appointment only four months after his sacking by Chelsea drew quick criticism from former Spurs boss Glenn Hoddle.

      ‘I did not think that is the way Spurs would go,’ Hoddle told ESPN. ‘It’s more than a slight risk because of the way things didn’t work out at Chelsea.

      ‘I thought it might have been better for him to go and reinvent himself elsewhere before he had another crack at English football.’

      Villas-Boas was in London  yesterday to complete the deal to become Harry Redknapp’s successor, bringing trusted aides Jose Mario Rocha and Daniel Sousa with him as he bids to repair his reputation after poor results and talk of rifts with senior players marred his time at Stamford Bridge.


      All smiles: Villas-Boas familiarises himself with his new surrounding at Spurs Lodge

      All smiles: Villas-Boas familiarises himself with his new surrounding at Spurs Lodge



      ‘Tottenham Hotspur is a great club with a strong tradition and fantastic support, both at home and throughout the world. I feel privileged to be its coach,’ said  Villas-Boas. ‘For me, this is one of the most exciting coaching positions in the Premier League.

      ‘I have had several discussions with the chairman and the board and I share their vision for the future progress of this club.

      ‘This is a squad any coach would love to work with and together I believe we can bring success in the seasons ahead.’

      Chairman Daniel Levy will open the chequebook to help Villas-Boas reaffirm his position as one of Europe’s best coaches.

      ‘We are constantly looking to move the club forward,’ said Levy. ‘It is important we now look to develop the potential within the squads at all levels while strengthening the first team in the  summer in key positions with players who will become part of the future success of this club.’

      While Villas-Boas’s official title of head coach indicates he will not have total control over the club’s transfer policy, the Portuguese is wasting no time in strengthening his new squad.

      Spurs took significant steps towards completing the signing of Hoffenheim midfielder Gylfi  Sigurdsson on Tuesday after Villas-Boas approved the £8million signing. Ajax defender Jan Vertonghen — a man Villas-Boas scouted during his spell at Stamford Bridge — is expected to follow.

      Villas-Boas has also made it a priority to sign at least one big-name striker, with Spurs exploring the possibility of making a  permanent move for Emmanuel Adebayor, while they would want to take Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain in any deal that sends Luka Modric to Spain. 

      All smiles: Andre Villas-Boas at Tottenham's training ground in Chigwell

      All smiles: Andre Villas-Boas at Tottenham's training ground in Chigwell


      Focus: AVB gets used to his new surroundings across London

      Focus: AVB gets used to his new surroundings across London


      On his way: Gylfi Sigurdsson is expected to become Villas-Boas' first signing

      On his way: Gylfi Sigurdsson is expected to become Villas-Boas' first signing




      Villas-Boas, who tried to sign Modric for Chelsea last summer, is privately resigned to losing the influential midfielder, with the Bernabeu his likely destination.

      There are also concerns over  current goalkeepers Brad Friedel and Heurelho Gomes and resolving the uncertainty over Ledley King’s playing future is also believed to be high on Villas-Boas’s agenda.

      The club captain’s contract expired on Sunday but he will test out his troublesome knee in  pre-season before making a final decision on whether to retire. Villas-Boas would be forced to pick a new skipper if King retires, with Scott Parker and Michael Dawson early contenders for the armband.

      In addition to Rocha and Sousa joining the club’s coaching set-up, it is understood Villas-Boas wants to add another two members to his backroom team.


      On his way out: Luka Modric is wanted by Spanish giants Real Madrid

      On his way out: Luka Modric is wanted by Spanish giants Real Madrid


      1977: Born in Porto on October 17.
      1993: Invited to work as a trainee with FC Porto's youth-team coaches by manager Sir Bobby Robson.
      1994: Achieves UEFA C coaching licence in Scotland.
      2000: Takes charge of the British Virgin Islands for two international matches. Both end in defeat.
      2002: Becomes part of Jose Mourinho's backroom staff at Porto.
      2004: Follows Mourinho to Chelsea, where he works as an opposition scout.
      2008: Moves with Mourinho to Inter Milan.
      2009: Appointed manager of Academica in October, with the club bottom of the table and without a win. Villas-Boas guides them to an 11th-place finish and a Portuguese League Cup semi-final.
      2010: June 2 - Appointed manager of boyhood club Porto.
      August 7 - Wins Portuguese Supercup with 2-0 victory over Benfica.
      2011: April 3 - Leads Porto to their 25th league title, finishing with their biggest ever winning margin of 21 points.
      May 18 - Porto win the Europa League with a 1-0 triumph over fellow Portuguese side Braga.
      May 22 - Guides Porto to a trophy treble with a comprehensive 6-2 win over Vitoria de Guimaraes in Portuguese Cup final.
      June 21 - Porto confirm Villas-Boas has tendered his resignation and his contract will be terminated once his 15million euros release clause has been paid.
      Porto later announce they have received the required compensation, with Chelsea releasing a short statement confirming their interest in Villas-Boas and their intention to agree personal terms in the near future.
      June 22 - Appointed Chelsea manager on a three-year contract.
      June 30 - Wins first piece of silverware as Chelsea manager, taking the Barclays Asia Trophy.
      August 14 - Draws first match of the Premier League season 0-0 away at Stoke.
      September 18 - Suffers first defeat of the season with a 3-1 loss to Manchester United at Old Trafford.
      December 6 - Chelsea win their final Champions League group game 3-0 against Valencia with Leverkusen's 1-1 draw with Genk meaning they qualify from their group.
      December 12 - Chelsea become first team in 2011/2012 season to defeat Manchester City coming from behind with goals from Raul Meireles and a late penalty by Frank Lampard.
      February 21 - Leaves Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard and Michael Essien out of the team as Chelsea fall to a 3-1 defeat in their first leg Champions League tie with Napoli. Chelsea now have a record of one win in the last seven games and is
      under pressure at the club from fans and players alike with Ashley Cole in particular criticising his tactics.
      March 4 - Sacked by Chelsea a day after a 1-0 defeat at West Brom.
      July 3 - Confirmed as Tottenham's new head coach.

  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05

      Chelsea and Real Madrid are in a tug-of-war for Luka Modric


      Chelsea and Real Madrid are in a tug-of-war for Luka Modric



      REAL Madrid are in the process of juggling figures to clinch Tottenham midfielder Luka Modric.

      The Spanish club are desperate to poach the player from their competitors Chelsea who have put in an alleged £36m bid for the player.

      Roman Abramovich has vowed to dig deep as he wants a replacement for Frank Lampard in midfield with the addition of Tottenham's Modric.

      But now the Spanish club are hoping to balance the books in order to offer the Croatian international a bid nearer to Cheslea's.

      Modric has previously claimed that he would prefer a move to the Spanish side so the extra capital offered could push the move his way.

      At the Bernabeu, Real Madrid are hoping that they will be able to offload Kaka which would bring in 10million euros but the club's number 8 is digging his heels on his decision to complete his three year contract.

  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • Bye bye Baines? Left-back admits Everton may be forced to sell him to United as Fergie adds Porto star Moutinho to his shopping list


      “It can be a problem for ­Everton given the financial situation at the club," says England full-back Baines as United plot a £12m bid


      Blue to red? Leighton Baines has admitted Everton's cash problems may force them to sell him to Manchester United
      Blue to red? Leighton Baines has admitted Everton's cash problems may force them to sell him to Manchester United




      Leighton Baines has admitted that cash-strapped Everton may be forced to sell him to Manchester United.

      Sunday Mirror Sport revealed in April that Sir Alex Ferguson had targeted the 27-year-old left-back as a replacement for Patrice Evra – and United are expected to step up their bid to land him by tabling a £12million offer this week.

      United are also ready to hijack Tottenham’s attempt to sign Portuguese midfielder Joao Moutinho from Porto by making a £30m bid.

      But landing Baines will be Ferguson’s next piece of business after spending £20m to recruit Shinji Kagawa from Borussia ­Dortmund and Nick Powell from Crewe last month.


      Manchester United's new signing Nick Powell

      Nicked: Manchester United have already signed Nick Powell from Crewe Alexander



      United were hoping to take advantage of Everton’s crippling financial situation by ­getting the England defender at a ­knock-down price of £5m.

      Everton value Baines at £15m, but will ­accept less as they look to give ­manager David Moyes some funds of his own for summer signings.

      Baines is happy at Goodison Park after signing for his hometown club in a £6m deal from Wigan five years ago.

      But he is aware of both United’s interest and Everton’s track record in recent years of being forced to cash in on their best players.

      Baines said: “I’m aware of what’s been said about United, but I don’t know much beyond that.

      “It can be a problem for ­Everton given the financial situation at the club.

      “Over the years the manager has lost players I am sure he would have liked to have kept hold of.

      “Maybe the club has needed the money or maybe they have received a substantial bid for a player.

      “The club has always done good business in that sense because the manager has ­always done a good job bringing players in for a certain amount of money.

      “When players have moved on he (Moyes) has always been quite savvy about the way he has gone about his business.

      “Losing players hasn’t really hindered us because the team never seems to perform worse than it did before.

      “Maybe it would have been nice, though, to have hung on to some of the players that have left, added a couple ourselves, and ­actually improved as a team.”

      United are also tracking Moutinho ­following his outstanding performances for Portugal at Euro 2012.


      Portuguezer: Alex Ferguson is hoping to snatch Porto's Joao Moutinho from under Spurs' noses



      The 25-year-old was being earmarked by Tottenham as a replacement for Luka Modric if the Croatian midfielder moves to Real ­Madrid.

      But Moutinho’s head has been turned by the new interest from Old Trafford – and United have been told that they will get their man if a fee can be agreed with Porto.

      Moutinho has a £40m buy-out clause in his contract, but a bid of around £30m would persuade Porto to sell.

      He was signed for Porto by Andre Villas-Boas two years ago and was expected to follow his former boss to White Hart Lane.

      But Ferguson knows he must strengthen his midfield after being forced to bring Paul Scholes back out of retirement last season as great rivals Manchester City took the title.

      Edited by zocoss 01 Jul `12, 10:45AM
  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • Mancini overtakes Fergie in wages stakes with new deal


      New deal: Mancini will remain at City with an improved, lengthy contract

      New deal: Mancini will remain at City with an improved, lengthy contract


      Roberto Mancini has agreed to a lengthy new contract at Manchester City that will take him past Sir Alex Ferguson in the Premier League managers' wage table.

      City are expected to announce the 47-year-old Italian's new deal in the next week or so.  

      Mancini, currently thought to be paid around £5million a year at Eastlands, a similar figure to that of his Manchester United rival, still has a year left on the three-and-a-half year agreement which he signed when appointed in December 2009.

      The new figure will take him closer to the £7.2m paid to English football's highest managerial earner, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger.

  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05

      Chelsea target Luka Modric with &pound;36 million deal


      Chelsea target Luka Modric with £36 million deal



      CHELSEA look set to beat Real Madrid's offer for Luka Modric after it was alleged they are preparing a £36m bid for the midfielder.

      Roman Abramovich has vowed to dig deep as he wants a replacement for Frank Lampard in midfield and Tottenham's Modric has come under the spotlight.

      The midfielder looked set for a move to Real Madrid after he showed a preference for the club.

      But his dreams of Spanish stardom could be at an end as the club are only able to stump up £20m for Modric.

      Chelsea are hoping to lure the Croatian international away from Madrid.

      Tottenham are in need of a boost financially following their failure to make it into the Champions League.

      Gareth Bale has already renewed his contract at Spurs leaving Luka Modric as their only high-priced player to sell this summer.

      Ivanovic said previously of Modric: “Chelsea as a team has needed a player with these qualities. He would fit in quickly and strengthen the squad.

      "He has exceptional quality, and moving to a bigger club is necessary for him to take the next step in his career. He should come to Chelsea – it won’t be a mistake!”

  • Moderator
    zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • Tour blimey: Fergie wants Baines bought before big pre-season trip starts


      United leave for South Africa on July 16 and it's hoped the Everton defender will be with them - but a Modric swoop is looking unlikely

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      Sign here, Son!: Fergie is eager for Baines to put pen to paper soon
      Sign here, Son!: Fergie is eager for Baines to put pen to paper soon






      Manchester United are stepping up their efforts to capture Leighton Baines.

      Sir Alex Ferguson has identified the Everton and England left-back as one of his summer transfer targets, and is keen to conclude a deal as swiftly as possible.

      The Toffees value Baines at £20million, but United are unwilling to pay that much for the 27-year-old.

      They view a fee of around £15m as more realistic.

      Ferguson would like to have Baines on board before July 16 - the day United embark on their pre-season tour to South Africa and China.

      But with Everton determined to hold out for the best possible price, the saga seems likely to drag on throughout next month.

      Meanwhile, Ferguson is resigned to losing out in the race to sign Luka Modric as United unwilling to meet Tottenham's £35m valuation of the playmaker.



      Adios: Modric looks set for Spain as United won't pay the £35m Spurs want






      Real Madrid are the new favourites to sign Modric, who is desperate to leave Spurs for a new challenge this summer.

      United new-boys Shinji Kagawa and Nick Powell will be in the squad Fergie takes globe-trotting in a couple of weeks' time.

      "We are all looking forward to the pre-season tour," said Ferguson.

      "It's obviously very difficult in a year when we have had a Euro tournament and we also have the Olympics this year.

      "The final tour squad hasn't been decided yet but we will be taking the strongest team we have available.

      "I am delighted our new newest signings, Shinji Kagawa and Nick Powell, will be in the travelling squad, along with more established players such as Rio Ferdinand, Michael Carrick and Ji Sung-Park.



      Manchester United's new signing Nick Powell

      It was never like this at Crewe!: New-boy Powell will get a crash course in life as a Manchester United player with trips to South Africa and China





      "I've always said how important it is to get a good pre-season behind us.

      "We saw the impact a good pre-season had on the start of last year's campaign.

      "We have incredible support in South Africa and in China and I am looking forward to returning to both countries to start our preparation for the new season."

  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • Making his Mark: Bolton's Davies could be on his way to Liverpool


      Rodgers looks set to lose out to Spurs on Sigurdsson so is eyeing Trotters attacking midfielder he almost signed for Swansea

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


      Plan B: Davies is on Rodgers' radar as Sigurdsson heads for Spurs
      Plan B: Davies is on Rodgers' radar as Sigurdsson heads for Spurs





      Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is eyeing Bolton’s Mark Davies in a £6million swoop after missing out on Gylfi Sigurdsson.

      Iceland midfielder Sigurdsson, who starred for Rodgers at Swansea last season on loan from Hoffenheim, is set to complete an £8million move to Tottenham next week, once Andre Villas-Boas is confirmed as their new manager.

      But Rodgers is also a big fan of Davies and previously considered signing him for Swansea.

      The attacking midfielder, 24, shone last term, scoring four goals for a Wanderers side that ended up being relegated to the Championship.

  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • Kop eye Vic if Sig bid fails

      Victor Moses
      TARGET ... Victor Moses

      LIVERPOOL will move for Victor Moses if top target Gylfi Sigurdsson chooses Tottenham.

      Hoffenheim midfielder Sigurdsson was top of Brendan Rodgers’ wish list, after a superb loan spell under the new Kop boss at Swansea last year.

      But Spurs are offering higher wages than the Reds, in a near £8million move.

      And if they do miss out, that will see Rodgers switch his attentions to Wigan wing wonder Moses, 21.

      Latics owner Dave Whelan knocked back a £4m bid from Chelsea last week, insisting he wants more than double that figure.

      BARCELONA star Seydou Keita has rejected the chance to join Liverpool. The Malian said: “I won’t be going to Anfield.”

  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • Manchester United end interest in Modric as Tottenham star edges towards Real Madrid

      Sir Alex Ferguson is not willing to meet Spurs' £40m asking price for the Croatian playmaker as the Londoners discuss a deal with the Spanish giants

      <!-- google_ad_section_start -->

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      Luka Modric - Croatia 




      Manchester United have conceded defeat in their efforts to sign Luka Modric as the Tottenham midfielder edges closer to a move to Real Madrid.
      Sir Alex Ferguson made the Croatian playmaker a top target for the summer transfer window but the United manager has been stunned by Tottenham’s £40 million asking price.

      Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is likely to accept a £35m bid but United feel the transfer would not make economic sense, even though Modric’s wage demands would be well within the Old Trafford club’s budget.

      United have signed attacking midfielder Shinji Kagawa from Borussia Dortmund and Ferguson does not feel pressure to enter the transfer market, particularly as Paul Scholes has extended his contract to play next term.

      There had been suggestions that Modric had already agreed personal terms with United but Spurs’ asking price was always likely to be a stumbling block.

      Modric, 26, is also a target for Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Anzhi Makhachkala - but the midfielder looks increasingly likely to become Jose Mourinho’s big summer signing at Real Madrid.

      Reports in Spain this week have suggested Modric’s representatives have already held talks with Real Madrid president Florentino Perez while the player will re-iterate his desire to leave Spurs in a meeting with Levy this week.

      Spurs refused to sell Modric to Chelsea last summer but accept that the former Dinamo Zagreb man is almost certain to be sold this year after the north London club missed out on a place in next season’s Champions League.

      “Here I am no longer able to fulfil my dream,” Modric told Marca this week. “I’m going to play in the Champions League - I want to win this competition.”

      Tottenham would prefer to sell Modric abroad, rather than strengthen a Premier League rival, while there is a good relationship at boardroom level between Spurs and Madrid.

      Discussions over the transfer of Modric to the Spanish capital have already taken place, with Spurs keen to negotiate a player exchange deal to meet their valuation. Players mentioned as possible makeweights include Nuri Sahin, Ricardo Carvalho and Lassana Diarra.

      Mourinho has been tracking Modric and his Spurs team-mate Gareth Bale - who signed a new four-year contract on Wednesday - for the last three years and decided to make his move at the end of the season.

      Modric impressed for Croatia at Euro 2012 and would add creativity to the midfield at the Bernabeu as they look to retain their La Liga title and win the Champions League next season.

      Andre Villas-Boas, who is expected to be named as the new Spurs manager in the coming days, is a huge fan of Modric having tried to sign him for Chelsea last summer. The Portuguese, however, accepts the player’s desire to leave and is already involved in the search for potential replacements.

      Spurs are expected to complete the signing of Gylfi Sigurdsson from Hoffenheim for £8m early next week but the Icelandic midfielder is not considered a like-for-like replacement for Modric.
  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • For Mod's sake: Real ready to throw Turkey trotter Sahin into pot for Modric (report)


      Jose Mourinho putting together £30million bid for Tottenham's Croatian wantaway Luca that includes midfielder Nuri in a part-ex

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


      Let's have a knees-up! Modric (left) tangles with Fernando Torres
      Let's have a knees-up! Modric (left) tangles with Fernando Torres



      Tottenham are reportedly being tempted to get the deal done on wantaway Luka Modric, with Real Madrid now thought to  offering midfielder Nuri Sahin plus something like £30million cash.

      Real remain the frontrunners to land the Croatian midfielder despite renewed interest from Manchester United and Chelsea.

      Tottenham value Modric at £40million, but the inclusion of Turkey midfielder Sahin, 23, in a £30m package might tempt them.


      Eeeh, that's champion, is that! Jose Mourinho celebrates winning La Liga &ndash; now he wants Modric for his Champions League push

      Eeeh, that's champion, is that! Jose Mourinho celebrates winning La Liga – now he wants Modric for his Champions League push




      Modric is on holiday after Croatia’s exit from the Euro 2012 group stages but will soon tell Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy that he wants to leave.

      Sahin, born in Germany, has 31 caps for Turkey and only arrived from Borussia Dortmund last year. His chances of nailing down a first-team spot under Mourinho are slim.

      Spurs could also be offered former Chelsea defender Ricardo Carvalho as part of any deal but his age - 34 - is against him.

  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • Let's not be ridiculous not geting paid stuff... He was voted Barce no.1 target and a target for many other top clubs but obviously he has made it known all along he wanted to stay at Spurs despite on a lesser salary package...

      Full credit to him for staying as he could have easily used the excuse of Harry's gone, Modric could be sold off, Ade will not be back and VDV could leave too kind of stuff to justify his move to a bigger club and bigger pay package too...

      Signing a new contract shows his commitment towards the club. Modric has a contract on his table for more than a year but he hasn't sign it. So obviously he prefers to go very soon but we can't say the same with Bale.

  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • Gareth Bale signs new Tottenham contract

      Gareth Bale has signed a new four-year contract at Tottenham. The Wales winger has committed himself to White Hart Lane until 2016, ending speculation over his future amid interest from rival clubs at home and abroad.


      Gareth Bale signs new Tottenham contract
      Staying put: Gareth Bale has snubbed offers overseas and will remain at White Hart Lane Photo: REUTERS

      "I've been here for five years now and I've enjoyed every minute," Bale said. "The fans have been great to me and I'd love to re-pay them and do the very best for them."

      Tottenham is progressing and I want to be a part of that, so it was great to get the deal done.

      "I love the club and the fans and I want to play my part in trying to get us back into the Champions League - where we belong.

      "We’ve a good, young squad and we need to work together to get back on the biggest stage again."

      Edited by zocoss 27 Jun `12, 10:40PM
  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • Breaking the Ice: Liverpool still hoping to steal Sigurdsson from under Spurs' noses


      The Iceland international has yet to agree personal terms, and that has left an opening for new Reds boss Brendan Rodgers to exploit

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


      Gylfi Sigurdsson: tug of love
      Gylfi Sigurdsson: tug of love


      Gylfi Sigurdsson of 1899 Hoffenheim reacts during the Bundesliga match between 1899 Hoffenheim and FSV Mainz 05 at Rhein-Neckar Arena

      Hassle in Hoffenheim: who will stump up the cash?





      Liverpool haven't given up hope on signing Gylfi Sigurdsson, despite being beaten to the punch by quick-acting Spurs.

      The London club stole a reach march in the race to land the highly rated striker, after agreeing an £8million fee with his club Hoffenheim.

      But the Iceland international has yet to agree personal terms with Tottenham, and that has left an opening for new Reds boss Brendan Rodgers to exploit.

      Sigurdsson has a close relationship with Rodgers after enjoying a lengthy loan spell under the Irishman at Swansea.

      And Liverpool will hope to use that connection to persuade him to ignore Spurs' advances. 



      Gylfi Sigurdsson celebrates scoring his teams first goal during the Barclays Premier League against West Brom

      Gylfi Sigurdsson celebrates scoring... but who will he celebrate signing for?



      The 22 year old has originally agreed to sign on a permanent basis for Swansea, but that deal fell through when Rodgers took the Anfield job.

      Liverpool have one other weapon in their armoury. The German club's manager is former Reds favourite Marcus Babbel, and he would be happy to see his striker switch to Anfield.

      Rodgers is also in the running to sign Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge, but again, the player's salary demands are a stumbling block given the desire to bring a spiraling wage bill under control at Anfield.

      Spurs are also hoping to pursue talks with the England striker's agents, and if they land Sturridge it could pave the way for the Merseyside club to snap up Sigurdsson.

      Edited by zocoss 27 Jun `12, 11:17AM
  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • Can you start right away? Spurs have offered job to Villas-Boas and want him to take over on July 1


      Chairman Levy reckons Portuguese can take the club to the "next level."

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


      Andre Villas-Boas: excited to take over at Spurs
      Andre Villas-Boas: excited to take over at Spurs




      Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy has offered the Spurs job to Andre Villas-Boas - and wants him to start on July 1.

      Former Chelsea boss Villas-Boas has impressed the Spurs hierarchy with his plans for the club even though he was axed at Stamford Bridge after less than eight months in charge.

      Villas-Boas will be expected to work with Tim Sherwood at Spurs as his star is in the ascendancy and Levy wants him to be a key part of the set-up.

      France boss Laurent Blanc was also in the running but Villas-Boas impressed the most during Levy's search for a successor to Harry Redknapp.



      Non! Laurent Blanc set to miss out





      They also sounded out former England boss Fabio Capello who, along with Blanc, will remain in the frame until Villas-Boas is signed and sealed. Capello is interested in making a return to English football but his wage demands proved prohibitive.

      Levy initially fancied Everton boss David Moyes and Wigan's Roberto Martinez and decided to go foreign because he believes a new philosophy is needed to take the club to the "next level."

      Villas-Boas has some reservations about the job because he wants complete control and also fears losing Luka Modric who has made it clear he wants to leave for Real Madrd.

      Tottenham also want the new manager to start on July 1 for various contractual and legal reasons while Villas-Boas is also free from any ties to Chelsea.

      They are also confident of landing Hoffenheim midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson from under Liverpool's noses - although Brendan Rodgers has one last ace to play.

  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
  • zocoss's Avatar
    25,008 posts since Sep '05
    • Tottenham to trump Liverpool and Swansea in race for Gylfi Sigurdsson

      • Spurs agree €10m fee with Hoffenheim
      • Managerless London club leave Liverpool trailing


        gylfi sigurdsson

        Gylfi Sigurdsson enjoyed a successful loan spell at Swansea in the second half of last season after spells at Hoffenheim and Reading.



        Tottenham Hotspur have moved ahead of Liverpool and Swansea City in the pursuit of Gylfi Sigurdsson after agreeing a €10m (£8m) fee with Hoffenheim for the Iceland midfielder.

        Spurs, who are without a manager, hope to complete a deal for the coveted 22-year-old by the end of this week, but they have still to agree personal terms with the player. Their approach to Hoffenheim comes amid serious doubts over the future of Luka Modric at White Hart Lane, with Real Madrid linked with the Croatian.

        Liverpool had been confident of signing Sigurdsson following the appointment of Brendan Rodgers as manager. The midfielder flourished under Rodgers on loan at Swansea last season and the pair have spoken several times since a proposed £6.8m transfer to the Liberty Stadium collapsed as a result of the manager's departure for Anfield.

        Edited by zocoss 27 Jun `12, 10:59AM
    • zocoss's Avatar
      25,008 posts since Sep '05
      • Spurs seemed to be more of an European style where the president or DOF does the choosing and buying while the manager just manage together with his coach.

        Anyway, it's always good to have the numbers in the midfield as Sigurdsson has shown he can manage in the PL. And to be fair, at $8m... He seems to be rather cheap in today's market value to keep around...

        If he choose Spurs over Pool, i think it's just his personal preference like when he choose Pool over Swansea... I think if suddenly Chelsea or City became interested in him, he will tell Spurs goodbye as well kind.

        But Pool are still in with a chance as they are known to be willing to pay more in terms of salary as compare to Spurs.

    • zocoss's Avatar
      25,008 posts since Sep '05
      • I don't think Pool can't outbid Spurs. They are both offering the same fee of $8m which Hoffenehim is happy to accept while Swansea had an agreement earlier at $6.8m with Hoffenehim... Spurs are not known to pay high salaries to their players as compare to Pool that's why they lost Joe Cole to Pool previously.

        It seems this deal is all down to Gylfi Sigurdsson himself of where he wants to go. Earlier he choose Pool as his choices was compare to Swansea only. Having held discussion with Rodgers when he made it known he wanted him, things seemed to point to Sigurdsson going to Pool very soon. Then suddenly a new avenue appear. I don't know who is the one that wants him as Harry isn't there anymore... Maybe Levy is buying the players at Spurs... But it seems that didn't matter as long as they were able to match Pool's offer, he seems to be more interested with the Spurs offer at the moment. Until the deal is seal, we shell wait and see where he ends up, Anfield or WHL...

    • zocoss's Avatar
      25,008 posts since Sep '05
      • Benitez in line for another Italian job as Sampdoria open talks with former Liverpool manager


        Wanted: Sampdoria are keen on Benitez

        Wanted: Sampdoria are keen on Benitez




        Sampdoria's president says Rafa Benitez is 'one of the possibilities' the club are considering as manager for its first season back in Serie A.

        The newly-promoted side appears keen on a big name despite current coach Giuseppe lachini earning the club promotion at the first attempt.

        Sampdoria president Riccardo Garrone said: 'There is nothing concrete but there have been talks, it's in progress.'

        Benitez, who led Liverpool to the 2005 Champions League, has been out of work after he was sacked by Inter Milan in December 2010.

        Iachini took charge in November with Sampdoria floundering in mid table. He turned things around, leading the team into the playoffs and to victory in the final against Varese.

        Iachini's contract was automatically renewed for a season by promotion.

    • zocoss's Avatar
      25,008 posts since Sep '05
      • You can say that about Pirlo too apart from the free-kick.

        Well, if the people at Barce, Real, Manchester & Chelsea see something in him that warrant the mention, then i suppose he must be doing something right... Right? 

        He is probably going to Madrid very soon to join the Spanish champions. That should be enough to speak volume of his talent.

    • zocoss's Avatar
      25,008 posts since Sep '05
      • Just stop this man: Spain sense glory if they can close out Ronaldo threat


        Balancing act: Ronaldo  

        Balancing act: Ronaldo shows off his skills before the Spain game


        The main man: Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal train at the Donbass Arena ahead of the first semi-final of Euro 2012

        The main man: Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal train at the Donbass Arena ahead of the first semi-final of Euro 2012

        Full focus: Ronaldo





        The first semi-final of Euro 2012 is being billed as the best team in the world versus the best player in the tournament.

        But can Cristiano Ronaldo really beat Vicente del Bosque’s gifted Spain team all on his own? Del Bosque did little to play down the threat.

        ‘We need to deactivate Ronaldo,’ said the coach. ‘This is going to be one of the most important matches of our lives. It can take us to the final. It’s logical that there is so much talk about Ronaldo and he is not only a great player but he plays in Spain. He is obviously going to be a factor.’

        Here in the far east of Ukraine, the temperatures were once more pushing into the high 90s. Quite appropriate, perhaps, for a meeting of the best players Iberia has to offer.

        Portugal certainly have scores to settle. They have never beaten Spain outside Portugal and their neighbours also knocked them out of the last World Cup in Cape Town.

        ‘We have to try to go further than before,’ said coach Paulo Bento.

        As for Spain, they are hearing peculiar noises about their style of play.

        The football that was lauded so enthusiastically as Del Bosque’s players conquered first Europe in 2008 and then the world two years later is now being derided in some quarters as boring.

        Having encouraged so much discussion by starting two of their games without a centre forward — and Cesc Fabregas is expected to start in the ‘false striker’ role — the World Cup holders have subsequently been criticised for playing too much football too far from goal.

        ‘We don’t want to stagnate,’ said Del Bosque. ‘I want us to move forward. But winning two trophies does show our quality. We have found the style that suits us, it is our style. People may not like it but it’s the style that brought us success.’


        Relaxed: Spain's winning formula is not troubling Vicente del Bosque, who appeared relaxed in his press conference (below)

        Relaxed: Spain's winning formula is not troubling Vicente del Bosque, who appeared relaxed in his press conference (below)

        Relaxed: Spain's winning formula is not troubling Vicente del Bosque, who appeared relaxed in his press conference (below)





        Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta, so fundamental to Spain’s creative football, suggested that the  current team has changed the history of his country’s football. It is hard to disagree.

        ‘We’ve won two trophies with this style,’ he said. ‘Once you have a team who always attack and you attack against the closed defence of your opponents who don’t leave spaces, of course it’s not as attractive as if it’s an open match between two teams that want to win.

        ‘It’s hard to entertain if only one team are playing.’

        The fact that so much is at stake may encourage cautious football. Nevertheless, it is debatable whether defending and counter- attacking comes naturally to this Portuguese team.

        This is not the most talented group of players Portugal have had in recent years and against a limited Czech Republic team in last week’s quarter-final they did look like a side who would struggle to win without their captain and talisman Ronaldo.

        Nevertheless, they are also a team who are happiest when in possession and that may bode well for an unusually open contest at the Donbass Arena.

        Portugal coach Bento added: ‘Of course there are going to be moments in the game where we can combine and pass a lot. I have absolutely no doubt. And we want possession of the ball.



        Facts: Portugal v Spain

        ‘We have ambition. We know what we have to do. We have to impose pressure. Our aim is not to defend all the time. We know we can cause lots of problems.’

        Ronaldo himself — scorer of three goals so far — was not present at the press conference. His name was never far away from the surface of discussion, though.

        Told by a Ukrainian journalist that 95 per cent of the local women would be cheering for Ronaldo, Bento’s reply was prompt. ‘If it was 95 per cent until now then I think in this game Cristiano could win over that last five per cent,’ he said.

        As Del Bosque said of his opponents’ greatest threat: ‘He rarely goes unnoticed.’

    • zocoss's Avatar
      25,008 posts since Sep '05
      • You sure he played badly at the Euro? He was the main player Spain was worried about and his Croatia team was unlucky not to get to the 2nd stage. Spain had their keeper to thank for a string of good saved against them or the team that went home would be them instead of Croatia...

        Also, Real's interest in him came about during his performance at the Euro... if he played that badly, I don't think they would be interested with him at all.

    • zocoss's Avatar
      25,008 posts since Sep '05
      • Tottenham close in on £8m Sigurdsson after hijacking Liverpool deal to sign midfielder



        On the move: Sigurdsson impressed on loan at Swansea last season

        On the move: Sigurdsson impressed on loan at Swansea last season




        Tottenham have leapfrogged Liverpool in the race to sign Hoffenehim midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson.

        The Iceland ace, who spent last season on loan at Swansea, could complete his £8million switch to White Hart Lane by the end of the week.

        Sigurdsson has agreed personal terms with Spurs, snubbing the chance to work under former Swans chief Brendan Rodgers at Anfield.

        Rodgers is said to be furious with Sigurdsson's decision to join Tottenham after holding extensive talks with the 22-year-old.


        Hijack: Liverpool were poised to sign the Iceland international

        Hijack: Liverpool were poised to sign the Iceland international



        Sigurdsson was poised to join Swansea on a permanent basis after agreeing a £6.8million switch to the Wales club. But he stalled on the move following Rodgers' departure.

        New Swans' boss Michael Laudrup has admitted defeat in trying to complete the deal.

    • zocoss's Avatar
      25,008 posts since Sep '05



        Arsenal sign Olivier Giroud

        Olivier Giroud has signed for Arsenal
        DONE DEAL ... Olivier Giroud has signed for Arsenal

        ARSENAL have signed France striker Olivier Giroud in a deal worth around £12million.

        Giroud joins the Gunners from Ligue 1 champions Montpellier and has agreed a four-year contract from July 1.

        Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger said: “We are delighted to have secured the signing of Olivier Giroud.

        "He has a very good physical presence and is exceptional in the air, with a great work ethic.

        "We are excited about Olivier joining us and he will add an additional dimension to our attacking options next season.

        “He has proved that he is capable of performing at the top level with club and country and we saw what a big influence he was in Montpellier’s championship-winning side last season.

        "We all look forward to Olivier joining us and seeing him play in an Arsenal shirt.”

        Giroud said: “I am delighted to be here at Arsenal and to be part of one of the great teams in English football.

        "It's a huge satisfaction to join this great club and it’s been a dream since I was young to play in the Premier League.

        “I was attracted by the philosophy of football and Arsene Wenger’s 'touch' at this club.

        "I have always admired Arsenal with its great history and reputation, and I now hope to achieve great things here.

        "I’m very proud to be a Gunner and I will give my best for all the Arsenal fans.”