Nasri calls for peace

Manchester City midfielder Samir Nasri has asked the English media to stop what he believes is a campaign to drive a wedge between him and his former club Arsenal.

The 24-year-old spent three years with the Gunners and left the club after winning no honours during his time there, and following the switch, the Frenchman has been quoted on more than one occasion comparing his new employers and his old ones.

Among other things, Nasri had spoken of his feeling that the atmosphere at the Emirates Stadium was quiet, and questioned the club’s transfer policy.

However, he feels that the press are turning his words into something they are not.

“This tweet is for the English newspapers – stop trying to make something between me and Arsenal. I love this club and everything around it,” Nasri wrote on Twitter.

Nasri left Arsenal this summer after refusing to commit himself to a new contract when he had only a year left on it, and was sold to City for a sum believed to be well over 20 million pounds.

Wed 31 August, 2011
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Tim Matavz moves to PSV

Slovenian striker Tim Matavz has completed his transfer to PSV Eindhoven, the Dutch club have revealed.

The Dutch giants have reached an agreement with Groningen over the purchase of forward Tim Matavz, it was revealed on PSV’s official website.

The 22-year-old is set to sign a five-year contract at Philips Stadion and is expected to increase competition for places in attack.

The Slovenia international was on the verge of making a switch to Napoli in January, but the deal eventually fell through.

Matavz scored 16 league goals for Groningen last term and he was part of Slovenia squad at 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Wed 31 August, 2011
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Whose going where on transfer deadline day?

My colleague Shawn has already touched on the transfer deadline earlier today but I want to add some players names to the list of likely movers today.

Here are some of the other deals that look set to be done on transfer deadline day.

Alvaro Pereira (Porto to Chelsea)

The Blues are in talks with the Uruguayans current club about a big money move to Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea have already had a bid rejected for the former-Argentinos Junior star. However the 25 year-old does have a £26million release clause in his contract.

Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas knows the versatile Pereira from his days with Porto and will be hopeful of a deal going through.

Nicklas Bendtner (Arsenal to Stoke)

Stoke City are in the market for a striker and are believed to be holding talks with the Gunners about the big Danish striker. The 23 year-old hasn’t hid his desire to leave the Emirates this summer and its likely he could get his wish later on today.

Stoke boss Tony Pulis has turned his attention to Bendtner after failing to sign England striker Peter Crouch from Tottenham. Bendtner had also been linked with a move to Everton in exchange for mercurial Spaniard Mikel Arteta.

Joe Cole (Liverpool to Aston Villa)

According to some media outlets this morning the out of favour midfielder could be on his way to Villa Park before the transfer window shuts. The former-England  international had already held talks with French champions Lille but the French club are struggling to pay his big wages.

Craig Bellamy (Manchester City to QPR)

After talk of the striker moving to Liverpool and Tottenham it has emerged that Premier League newcomers QPR are now the favourites to sign the 32 year-old. The striker is unlikely to get anywhere near the City first team this season and it seems inevitable that he will leave.

Although QPR are still the favourites to land Bellamy on a loan deal, Liverpool and Tottenham are still believed to be interested in acquiring the Welshman’s services though.

Sebastian Coates (National to Liverpool)

The giant defender has completed his move to Liverpool from his native Uruguay for a fee in the region of £7million. The 20 year-old is highly rated and was voted as the best young player at this years Copa America, where his side were victorious.

Shaun Maloney (Celtic to Wigan)

Wigan have agreed a fee with Scottish giants Celtic for the Scottish international winger. The fee is believed to be around £1million for the injury-prone star. Maloney has already had a stint in English football, spending 18 unsuccessful months at Aston Villa earlier in his career.

At 28 he must now feel like he is ready to make the move again. On his day he can be a decent player but has at times has flattered to deceive in a Hoops shirt.

Early

These are just a few of today’s deals that I found interesting. Deadline day is always a busy one and I’ll be back later with my second instalment of ‘Whose Going Where‘, deadline day special!.

Wed 31 August, 2011
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Elia delight at joining Juve

Juventus have announced the arrival of Eljero Elia after agreeing to a nine-million-euro deal with Hamburg.

Elia, 24, arrived in Turin on Tuesday evening after leaving the Netherlands camp so he could have his medical.

And with hours to go before the end of the transfer window, the Italians moved swiftly to secure his services on a four-year contract.

“I want to carry on developing and now I have to take my career to the next level. I hope this happens at Juventus,” the winger told Juventus’ official website.

“I know plenty about Juventus and they have won many domestic and European titles.”

“They are the biggest club in Italy.”

Elia is the latest player to arrive at the club following Marcelo Estigarribia’s transfer on Monday.

Wed 31 August, 2011
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Roma closing in on Miralem Pjanic; Juventus announce Elia deal

Roma closing in on Miralem Pjanic

Roma are expected to wrap up a deal for Lyon midfielder Miralem Pjanic later today, L’Equipe reports.

The two clubs have reportedly agreed on €11 million transfer fee last night and it’s now up to the player to agree personal terms.

Roma are prepared to offer the Bosnia international €2 million per season, which should be enough to persuade the young midfielder into joining the Giallorossi.

The 21-year-old has endured some tough times at Gerland since arriving from Metz in 2008, but has finally been given a real chance this season.

New coach Remi Garde reserved a starting place in midfield for Pjanic in the absence of injured Yoann Gourcuff, but it looks as though that wasn’t enough to keep the player at Gerland.

Despite the heavy summer recruitment, Roma have been looking to add more quality players this summer following the disappointing Europa League exit and it appears that Pjanic will be their final signing of the summer.

Juventus announce Elia deal

Eljero Elia has completed his switch from Hamburger to Juventus, the Italian club have confirmed.

The Bianconeri have agreed to pay Hamburger €9 million for the Dutch forward, who penned a four-year deal with the Old Lady.

The deal was officially announced on Juventus’ official website earlier this morning.

“Juventus Football Club S.p.A. announces that the agreement with Hamburger Sport-Verein e.V. for the definitive acquisition of the registration rights of the Dutch player Eljero Elia has been finalized,” read a statement on club’s official website.

“The contract envisages the payment by Juventus of € 9 million in three installments: € 4 million at the international transfer release, € 2.5 million on 31 January 2012 and € 2.5 million on 31 January 2013.”

Juventus have been looking to bring a left sided midfielder to create a wing partnership with Milos Krasic and they have long ago made Elia their number one target.

The player was believed to be having second thoughts regarding the move to Turin after the transfer fee was agreed, but he soon decided to pen a four-year deal with the Bianconeri.

Spurs make deadline day move for Cahill

Tottenham have made cash plus players bid for Bolton defender Gary Cahill, according to The Mirror.

Spurs are determined to add another quality defender to the side following the 5:1 trashing at the hands of Manchester City and they see Gary Cahill as the man for the job.

Arsenal were also thought to be keen on the England international, but they decided to pull out of the race after having several bids rejected.

Tottenham have now offered cash plus David Bentley and Sebastien Bassong for Cahill, but the problem is that Bolton chiefs want the full amount paid in cash.

The Trotters value their star player at £17 million, and it remains to be seen whether Tottenham will be prepared to match the asking price.

Cahill was reportedly keen on a move to Arsenal, but could see a move to White Hart Lane tempting, even though Tottenham would not be able to offer him Champions League football.

For more news about football transfers and rumours, visit our Transfer News section. To view all football transfers for 2010/11 season, visit our Soccer Transfers section.

Wed 31 August, 2011
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Cahill hails Emerton coup

Tim Cahill has hailed Sydney FC’s recruitment of Socceroos team-mate Brett Emerton as the biggest coup in Australian football history.

Emerton, 32, was unveiled as the Sydney’s new marquee player last week and was part of a double-barrelled marketing success for the A-League ahead of the 2011-12 season, with Harry Kewell having previously committed to the Melbourne Victory.

Emerton’s three-year deal, along with Kewell’s move to Victory, will undoubtedly go down among the A-League’s most prolific signings, following in the footsteps of former international stars Robbie Fowler and Dwight Yorke.

But Cahill, in town for Australia’s World Cup Asian qualifier against Thailand in Brisbane on Friday night, had no hesitation in declaring Emerton’s signing as the single greatest in Australia’s young footballing history.

“For me, Brett Emerton is the heart and soul of the Australian team,” said Cahill.

“He’s a player that goes about his business very quietly, and to find out about him signing for Sydney FC; it has to be the biggest catch in the history of Australian football.”

“He’s a machine and he’s probably the best pro I’ve ever trained and worked with.”

“I just think Sydney FC are very clever and it’s good for the youngsters, good for the game, but mainly the players that he plays with, (because) he gives everything.”

Cahill’s assertion comes despite the common consensus being that Kewell’s introduction to the A-League will have a far greater impact on the league’s fan marketability and media attention.

Rumours of a less than amicable relationship between the Socceroos’ two biggest stars have circulated for years, and Cahill’s brusque response to questions on the impact of Kewell’s absence didn’t do much to suggest a thaw.

The Everton goal-scoring machine talked up the dynamic in the current squad and said that he was excited about the potential among the young talent in camp.

“Of course you’re going to miss experience, but if you’re here you’re here and if you’re not you’re not,” said Cahill.

“What we’ve had in the last couple of games, you see the players that have come in … the depth’s fantastic.”

“For me, I focus on what we have here and the players that bring so much to the team.”

“We’ve always got our experience and we’ve got players that have added spice, but I was really impressed against Wales with our training, our mindset and how we’d just get on with football and the goals would just seem to come quite naturally to the team and the football is flowing quite well.”

Wed 31 August, 2011
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Transfer Deadline Day: 31 August 2011 Transfer Rumours

 

The Transfer Deadline Day is finally upon us. Some teams were able to strengthen their squads yesterday and some were not. For the latter, there is only one more day to add players before the January transfer window opens. Let’s take a took at the latest rumours and speculation.

Manchester City

In a shock move, Manchester City are reportedly set to sign former Manchester United and Bayern Munich midfielder Owen Hargreaves. Hargreaves reportedly had a medical on Tuesday. This is a rather peculiar signing, especially because City are already loaded with a good number of midfield players. But then again, Hargreaves may just be an upgrade from Gareth Barry. Is he not?

Stoke City

According to Sky Sports, Stoke City have agreed to terms with Birmingham City over striker Cameron Jerome. Stoke are in dire need of front-men and Jerome could help aid Stoke’s attack. Stoke City manager Tony Pullis is also reportedly keen on signing Peter Crouch (Tottenham Hotspur) and Nicklas Bendtner (Arsenal).

Queens Park Rangers

Premier League newcomers QPR are looking to bolster their squad in an attempt to stay in England’s top flight. QPR are set to sign former Chelsea play-making winger Shaun Wright-Phillips (currently with Manchester City) to a deal prior to the end of the transfer window. Queens Park Rangers have already added Joey Barton to the mix and if you throw in Shaun Wright-Phillips, QPR look to have gotten much stronger. At least on paper.

Tottenham Hotspur

Spurs are reportedly set to sign Scott Parker after the England international sent in a transfer request earlier this week. Parker told West Ham United’s official website:

“I have had a fantastic four years at West Ham United and will never forget all the support I have had from the fans and everyone associated with the club.

“The manager and board have tried hard to convince me to stay but at this stage in my career, I need to be playing in the Premier League, especially now that I am involved with England.

“I hope the fans will understand and respect my decision and I wish the club every success in their fight for promotion this season.”

Chelsea FC

Chelsea FC are rumoured to be chasing Liverpool midfielder Raul Meireles. The Blues have proposed a deal that would send Yossi Benayoun and 8 million pounds to Anfield for the Portuguese midfielder. This move shouldn’t be that much of a surprise. Chelsea’s new boss, Andre Villas-Boas, is Portuguese and so is Meireles. Coincidence? I think not.

According to Mark Irwin of The Sun, Chelsea FC made a £30 million move for French star Franck Ribery yesterday. Bayern value their winger at £36 million, after paying £22 million for the player in 2007. Interesting rumour, especially since Chelsea have already signed Spanish winger Juan Mata.

 

 

 

Wed 31 August, 2011
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Copa Sudamericana wrap: Arsenal take upper hand

In an all-Argentine clash in the Copa Sudamericana, Arsenal proved too strong for Estudiantes on Tuesday.

The two clubs met at Arsenal’s home stadium in Buenos Aires, the Estadio Julio Humberto Grondona, and it was the hosts who triumphed 2-0 to take the upper hand in the two-legged tie.

After a goalless first half, Luciano Leguizamon bagged the game’s first goal on 50 minutes.

And the victory was wrapped up when defender Cristian Trombetta scored with 15 minutes to play, capping off an impressive second half from the hosts.

The second leg of the tie will be played in La Plata on September 7.

In the day’s other match, Paraguayan side Nacional Asuncion salvaged a 1-1 draw with Aurora of Bolivia in the first leg of their second round tie.

Nacional had the advantage of playing the game during their domestic season, while their opponents had not yet played a league game.

But surprisingly, it was the freshness of Aurora that saw them start well early and snare a sixth-minute goal through Aquilino Villalba scored after just six minutes, but he was soon to turn from hero to villain.

Villalba was given a straight red card just one minute into the second half in what was a spiteful contest.

Nacional made the most of the numerical advantage as Javier Gonzalez rescued a draw for the hosts with 22 minutes to play, leaving the tie evenly poised heading into the second leg in Cochabamba on September 21.

Wed 31 August, 2011
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Coates: Suarez convinced me to join Reds

New Liverpool signing Sebastian Coates has hailed the influence of fellow countryman Luis Suarez in convincing him to join the Anfield club.

Coates, who joined on Tuesday for a fee understood to be around seven million pounds, was talked into signing for the club by his friend Suarez after the former Ajax man told the 20-year-old how passionate the Liverpool fans are.

He also spoke of how Suarez told him about the history of the club, but one of the biggest draws of all was just having a fellow countryman who will help him settle.

Speaking to Liverpoolfc.tv, Coates said: “Luis told me a lot about Liverpool – but about the fans more than anything else.”

“He told me how passionate they are about the club and how supportive they are.”

“I saw that myself on Saturday when the fans really got behind their side against Bolton and that was great to see.”

“Luis also told me about the history and the tradition of the club and now I feel very happy and excited to be here because I have left one great club in Nacional and signed for another great club with a fantastic history.”

“To come to such a big club alongside a fellow countryman is very important for me. I know Luis will help me settle in, we have the same cultures and customs so having him around will help me a lot.”

Coates signs for Liverpool on the back of winning the Copa America with Uruguay, a tournament in which he was named the best young player, and he is in no mood to stop winning trophies.

“You always want to win everything as a player,” he explained. “But in my case I know I have to take things step by step.”

“I have to train hard and be ready to get out onto the field and play.”

“I want to win as much as I can in a Liverpool shirt and that means the league title and any cup competitions we take part in. We have to set our sights high.”

The centre-back hailed the Anfield atmosphere himself, claiming as soon as the match against Bolton started, he just wanted to play.

He concluded: “Even though I hadn’t signed I still wanted to get out there and play.”

“From the moment I sat in the stand I wanted to be out on the pitch.”

“I know that when I do get the chance to play I have to perform to the best of my ability. I’m really happy to be here.”

Wed 31 August, 2011
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Lescott supports Hargreaves bid

Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott has backed the club’s pursuit of England midfielder Owen Hargreaves.

Hargreaves, 30, barely played for former club Manchester United since 2008, with persistent knee and hamstring problems meaning he was released by the Old Trafford outfit when his contract expired at the end of last season.

But his career might still lie in Manchester, with City keen to take on the midfielder after the off-season departure of Patrick Vieira and the fact that Yaya Toure will be away at the African Nations Cup right throughout January.

City are hopeful of signing Hargreaves to provide back-up to Nigel de Jong in the defensive midfield position, and Lescott feels it would be a good acquisition to what is an already talent-packed squad.

“I’ve worked with Owen with England and he is a great professional,” Lescott told reporters at an England press conference on Tuesday, ahead of their match in Bulgaria on Friday.

“He’s experienced in the Champions League and internationally so it can only be good for the squad.”

“He’s still a good player, he obviously hasn’t played as much as he would have liked over the last couple of seasons… but if the medical team get him fit I’m sure it won’t be long until he’s back to his best.”

Hargreaves was photographed leaving the Bridgewater Hospital in Manchester on Tuesday, where he was reported to have undergone a medical.

The former Bayern Munich midfielder has been eager to win a new deal with an English club, posting a series of videos on YouTube throughout the summer in a bid to prove his fitness.

Wed 31 August, 2011
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