Rovers snap up promising French teenager

Promising young French midfielder Steven N’Zonzi became English Premier League side Blackburn Rovers fourth signing of the close season on Tuesday.

The 20-year-old signed from Amiens on a four year deal – no transfer fee was revealed.

His signing comes just 24 hours after veteran Danish international defender Lars Jacobsen signed with them – French defender Gael Givet and midfielder Elrio van Heerden are the other new arrivals this summer.

Experienced Dutch international striker Ruud van Nistelrooy – presently with Real Madrid – is another potential signing for the club as they recently saw Paraguayan striker Roque Santa Cruz leave for Manchester City where he rejoins his former Rovers boss Mark Hughes.

Tue 30 Jun, 2009
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Veteran Croat Simunic signs for Hoffenheim

Veteran Croatian international defender Josip Simunic signed for Hoffenheim on Tuesday from fellow Bundesliga rivals Hertha Berlin.

The 31-year-old Australian-born star will cost Hoffenheim 7million euros and is to sign a three year contract.

Simunic, capped 70 times and a member of the Croat side that reached the Euro 2008 quarter-finals, has played in the Bundesliga for over 12 years with aside from Hertha a previous stint with Hamburg.

Tue 30 Jun, 2009
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Napoli interested in signing Cruz

Serie A side Napoli have joined Fiorentina in the race to sign Julio Cruz, the Inter Milan striker’s agent has confirmed.

The Argentinian, who made just 13 league appearances last season, has been linked to a number of clubs around Europe with his contract with Inter ending this summer.

With reports in Italy claiming that the 34-year-old was close to joining Fiorentina as a free agent this week, his agent has denied any agreement reached between the club and the player.

Agent Jorge Cyterszpiler said: “No agreement has been reached with Fiorentina yet.

“Fiorentina are interested in Julio, just as Napoli, Atletico Madrid and two Turkish clubs are.”

“There are other Italian clubs like Parma and Sampdoria keen on the player but Fiorentina and Napoli are the two clubs that have shown a serious interest.”

“We are looking at a two-year contract and I think in two weeks’ time we will know the outcome.”

Tue 30 Jun, 2009
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Wolves snap up record signing Doyle

Republic of Ireland international striker Kevin Doyle became newly-promoted English Premier League side Wolves record signing on Tuesday as they paid 6.5million pounds to Reading for him.

The 25-year-old has been a prolific scorer for Reading in the Championship but even his 18 goals were not enough to gain them promotion to the Premier League last season.

“Wolves were the first club that came in and settled things with Reading and so they were the first club I spoke to,” he told the Wolves website.

“I was expecting a long summer but Wolves were in straightaway,” added Doyle who signed a four year contract with them.

Doyle, who has previous Premier League experience with Reading for two seasons scoring 21 goals, is the third signing of the close season by former Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy.

McCarthy stepped in for Serbian midfielder Nenad Milijas – spending 3million euros on him from Red Star Belgrade – and former Reading goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann, who arrived on a free transfer.

Tue 30 Jun, 2009
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Maicon is staying at San Siro, says agent

Brazil and Inter Milan full back Maicon is not leaving the San Siro, according to the player’s agent.

The highly-rated Brazilian had been linked with Manchester City, Real Madrid and Chelsea this summer.

But his agent Antonio Caliendo said: “There are no meetings scheduled (with Inter) so far.”

“I reiterate that Maicon will not leave Inter.”

“I believe in respecting a contract and the fans have nothing to fear.”

Maicon, who is under contract with Inter until June 2013, has demanded a pay increase.

Inter have so far not given in to the 27-year-old’s demands but are willing to meet the player and discuss the situation, according to club administrator Ernesto Paolillo.

He said: “We will discuss this matter with the player in private and not in public.”

“But there is already a contract that was signed by Maicon which satisfied both parts.”

“We could eventually analyse certain issues even though for us everything is very clear.”

Tue 30 Jun, 2009
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PSG snap up Turkish forward Erding

Paris Saint Germain said Tuesday they have snapped up Turkish forward Mevlut Erding from Sochaux on a four-year-deal.

Erding is PSG’s second summer signing after veteran keeper Gregory Coupet, signed Monday from Atletico Madrid to replace Mickael Landreau, who has joined Lille.

Tue 30 Jun, 2009
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Real set to present ´Galactico´ Kaka

Real Madrid’s new ‘Galactico’ signing Kaka arrived in the Spanish capital on Tuesday where he passed a medical exam before a being presented to supporters.

The Brazilian, whose full name is Ricardo Izecson Dos Santos Leite, “is in perfect condition to play football at the highest level,” Real said in a statement.

Kaka, 27, arrived with his father from South Africa, where he won the Confederations Cup with Brazil.

Thousands of supporters and hundreds of journalists and photographers were expected at the Santiago Bernebeu stadium, where Real is to present its new star, signed for 65 million euros from AC Milan.

Another of the so-called new Galacticos at the club, Cristiano Ronaldo, was signed from Manchester United for a world record 93 million euros, and will be presented to the supporters on July 6.

Tue 30 Jun, 2009
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Landreau signs up for Lille

Ligue 1 outfit Lille have signed goalkeeper Mickael Landreau on a three-year contract from Paris Saint-Germain, the club site announced on Tuesday.

The 29-year-old Landreau had one year remaining on his PSG contract and his replacement at PSG is former Lyon and France goalkeeper Gregory Coupet, who joined the club Monday on a two-year deal.

The 36-year-old Coupet has played 34 games for France.

Landreau said: “Even though I received numerous offers from clubs in France or abroad, Lille was my priority from the start. It’s the challenge that best suits me now.”

He has played 11 matches for France, but has not figured in coach Raymond Domenech’s team for more than a year.

Tue 30 Jun, 2009
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Johnson exit to open door for Cranie

A few eyebrows were raised last week when Liverpool forked out £17million for Portsmouth full-back Glen Johnson.

The transfer even prompted Reds boss Rafa Benitez to admit he had paid over the odds for the England international before stressing there were many factors which made the deal the right one for the club.

“Sometimes you have to spend a little bit more,” said the Liverpool boss. “You can’t compete in the top four of the Premier League unless you spend some money.

“We were looking for a player of quality and also somebody who is British because of the new Champions League rules. Glen Johnson fits both categories”.

Portsmouth, as you might expect, were quite willing to let Johnson depart not only because they made close to a £13million profit on the player they signed from Chelsea in 2007, but because they have a ready-made replacement in Martin Cranie.

The 22-year-old England Under-21 star looks all set to play a bigger role at Fratton Park in the coming season after starring for Stuart Pearce’s England youngsters in Sweden.

Cranie was a solid performer for the Under-21s and scored in the semi-final against Sweden as they made it to the European Championship final only to lose out to Germany.

The right-back looked assured and composed on the ball and the former Southampton man looks destined to add to the two FA Cup appearances he made last term for Pompey.

The Yeovil-born defender did spend a four-month loan spell at Charlton and played 19 times for the Addicks in the Championship, but he is thought very highly of at Portsmouth and it seems like a good Premier League bet that this season looks set to be his breakthrough year in the top flight.

Tue 30 Jun, 2009
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Vucinic not planning a move, says agent

Rome based Italian giants AS Roma’s Mirko Vucinic is happy at Stadio Olimpico, according to the player’s agent
The Montenegrin forward, who was Roma’s second top-scorer last season with 11 goals, had been linked with Premier League champions United and Spurs this summer.

“There are interests, especially from Premier League clubs, but no one has officially contacted me,” Vucinic’s agent Alessandro Lucci told

The 25-year-old last month extended his contract with the Eternal City outfit until June 2013.

“Mirko is very happy to remain at Roma,” said Lucci.

“He recently renewed his contract. He is happy, the club is satisfied and hence, there are no reasons to consider Vucinic away from Roma.”

“The club has never told me anything regarding any offers, but they did tell me they want to keep all the important players and Vucinic is one of them.”

Tue 30 Jun, 2009
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