Beckham unveiled at PSG

Paris Saint-Germain have announced that they have secured the services of former England skipper David Beckham on a free transfer.

The 37-year-old, who had been without a club ever since leaving LA Galaxy back in December 2012, travelled to Paris on Thursday to complete the deal, and has signed a contract until the end of the season after passing his medical.

“David turned down offers from all over the world, so we’re happy to have him here,” PSG president Nasser Al Khelaifi told a packed press conference.

“He will be a part of our big project, our big dream, to become one of Europe’s biggest clubs.”

Beckham himself, meanwhile, was overjoyed with his transfer to Paris Saint-Germain and is pleased to be part of their project.

“I’m very lucky, I’m 37 years old. I got a lot of offers, more than I’ve had in my career. I chose Paris Saint-Germain because I can see what the club are trying to do. I can see the players the clubs are bringing in,” the midfielder said.

“Paris is an exciting city, and now there is a club which will have a lot of success over the next 10-15 years. I’m very honoured to be a part of this project. I’m very excited and honoured with that. I’ve been successful with every club I’ve played for throughout the years.

“I don’t want to play for another English club because I have a lot of history with Manchester United. I’ve always said that I don’t want to play for another English team.

“How much can I give? I have a lot of experience in the game, over 13 or 14 championship trophies, played with some of the biggest clubs in the world, and I’m still being successful at 37 years old. I haven’t lost any pace because I never really had any pace.”

Beckham went on to reveal that his salary at PSG would go straight to an unnamed local children’s charity.

“I won’t receive any salary. It will go towards a children’s charity in Paris. I’m very proud to do so,” he said.

Thu 31 Jan, 2013
RSS Feed

Hazard ban stands at three matches

Eden Hazard’s ban for kicking a ball boy at Swansea will remain at three games, the Football Association has confirmed.

The Chelsea midfielder was shown a red card for the incident, prompting the FA to look into the possibility of increasing the punishment.

Earlier in the week the Blues wrote to the FA to contest any possible increase in the ban, and the governing body decided not to punish the Belgium international further.

A statement on the FA’s website read: “Following a hearing earlier today (Thursday), an independent regulatory commission was of the opinion the existing three-match sanction for this offence was sufficient.”

Hazard has already served two of the three games after missing the FA Cup draw at Brentford and Wednesday night’s draw at Reading, and he will be available for the home game against Wigan on February 9 after sitting out Saturday’s trip to Newcastle.

The fracas at Swansea caused a lot of controversy, prompting a reaction from the FA to tell clubs to ensure ball boys act responsibly and fairly.

The statement continued: “The FA will be reminding all clubs of their responsibilities in ensuring ball boys and other personnel around the pitch act in an appropriate manner at all times and the FA will be liaising with competitions accordingly.”

Thu 31 Jan, 2013
RSS Feed

Redknapp rules out Crouch signing

Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp has ruled out a move for Stoke City striker Peter Crouch.

The former Tottenham striker has been linked with a reunion with Redknapp as the QPR manager looks to further bolster his squad on deadline day following the arrival of Christopher Samba from Anzhi Makhachkala.

But speaking to Sky Sports News, the ex-Portsmouth manager insisted that while there could be new faces at the club before the window closes, Crouch would not be one of them.

He said: “There are one or two little pieces going on. I don’t think that (Crouch) is going to happen.

“I think Tony (Pulis) wants to keep him. I would have loved to have brought Crouchy back to QPR.”

QPR are reportedly looking at signing Tottenham trio Jermaine Jenas, David Bentley and Andros Townsend.

Redknapp remains hopeful he can raid his former club for players before the end of the window.

“Bits of it are ongoing, it hit a bit of brick wall last night,” he said.

“It’s still possible we might get one or two in. I’m not sure really, we did a deal with Tottenham on the wages, it’s a good deal, it saves them the wages and playing time for someone like Townsend – he’s a young player with a big future so we’ll wait and see.”

Thu 31 Jan, 2013
RSS Feed

McDermott tips Le Fondre for England

Reading manager Brian McDermott believes Adam Le Fondre deserves an England call-up.

Le Fondre came off the bench to score two late goals in the 2-2 draw with Chelsea, taking his tally to five goals in his past three Premier League games and 10 for the season.

The 26-year-old’s efficiency has delighted his manager.

“He’s a bit special,” McDermott told the club’s official website.

“To come off the bench and pick up the speed of the game as fast as he did, and those two finishes were from the top drawer. I’ll be watching the second goal 20 times!”

McDermott suggested that the former Rotherham man could even be in line for call-up to a future England squad, should his fine scoring form continue.

“I spoke to Adam when he joined us and said England has to be something you look at it,” he added.

“That’s his goal, he’s one of the top English goalscorers and it’ll be interesting to see. And I’m not selling him! We did his contract recently and I am very, very glad we did.”

Reading have been linked with attacking additions during the January transfer window, with a failed eight-million-pound bid for Blackpool winger Tom Ince last week, and McDermott did not rule out another signing after admitting defeat in acquiring the Liverpool target.

“Thomas Ince won’t be coming here,” he revealed.

“We tried to get him but Blackpool have been very strong and I think he’ll be staying at Blackpool. He’s a wonderful talent.

“There’s possibly one (coming in). It’s 50/50, maybe a little bit against.”

The Berkshire outfit have already added Crawley midfielder Hope Akpan to the squad this month, and McDermott is delighted with the youngster’s impact at the Madejski Stadium after he assisted Le Fondre’s first goal against Chelsea.

“He came on against Chelsea at 21 years old, just out of Crawley,” he said.

“If he’s worked with David Moyes then he has worked with a top manager. He did terrifically well. We paid 300,000 pounds for him – you wouldn’t sign him for 300,000 pounds now.”

Thu 31 Jan, 2013
RSS Feed

Negredo move to Everton ´impossible´

Sevilla striker Alvaro Negredo will not be joining Everton on transfer deadline day, according to the player’s agent.

David Moyes’ side were reportedly hoping to beat Tottenham to the 10.5-million euro signing of the 27-year-old Sevilla and Spain striker.

The agent confirmed talks had taken place but then ruled out a deal being completed before the deadline on Thursday.

He believes the fee being discussed would not be enough to tempt Sevilla to sell before the off-season, even if they do need to generate funds through player sales.

“It is impossible,” Negredo’s representative Juanma Lopez told the Liverpool Echo.

“Negredo is an important player for Sevilla and I am absolutely sure nothing will be done in this window.

“I know they have spoken to Everton but there is no way it will happen. Unfortunately there is no chance because Sevilla simply don’t want to lose him, and if they do they will ask for crazy money.

“They are playing an important game (against Atletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey) and they want to do a lot in that competition. Negredo is important for that.”

Everton may now turn to other targets, having already seen a move for FC Twente midfielder Leroy Fer break down due to a knee injury.

Thu 31 Jan, 2013
RSS Feed

Wanyama staying at Celtic in January; Graham to Sunderland

Celtic F.C. defensive midfielder Victor Wanyama has ruled out the possibility of joining Premier League leaders Manchester United in January.

Celtic F.C. defensive midfielder Victor Wanyama has ruled out the possibility of joining Premier League leaders Manchester United in January, citing the club’s UEFA Champions League ‘dream’ as one of his reasons for staying in Glasgow, according to ESPN.

Wanyama, 21, has been absolutely superb for the Scottish champions this season, with the latest reports suggesting that Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson was planning to submit a £12 million bid for the Kenya international.

The 21-year-old insisted that he is fully focused on Celtic for the remainder of the 2012-13 season, while opening the door to for a potential move away from Celtic Park in the summer.

Wanyama has totaled 32 appearances, 31 starts, (in all competitions) for the Celts this season, tallying seven goals and two assists.

“I can confirm to you that I will be at Celtic,” Wanyama told the Daily Record. “We are playing well and our Champions League dream is on right now, so I am looking forward to the big game against Juventus.

“A lot has been said about my intended move but I have not given it much thought and even my manager feels I should play until the end of the season for Celtic.

“Then, from that point, the doors can be open for a move.”

The Scottish giants will host Serie A champions Juventus at Celtic Park on 12 February, with the return leg scheduled for 6 March.

Graham to Sunderland

Sunderland have completed the signing of Swansea City striker Danny Graham in a deal worth £5 million, Sky Sports understands.

Graham, 27, has put pen to paper on a three-and-a-half-year deal on Wearside.

The 27-year-old — formerly of Carlisle United (2007-09), Middlesbrough (2003-07) and Watford (2009-11) — became the Swans’ club-record signing in June 2011 following his £3.5 million move from Watford.

Graham enjoyed a fine debut season in England’s top flight, netting 14 goals — 12 of which came in the Premier League — and two assists in 39 appearances for Swansea.

However, Spanish sensation Michu has kept Graham on the bench for the majority of the 2012-13 campaign, with 10 of the Englishman’s 23 appearances coming as a substitute.

“As soon as I heard about the interest from Sunderland I didn’t even have to consider any of the other options that were on the table,” Graham told the club’s official website.

“I was born and brought up in the north east so I know first-hand the intense passion that people have for their football in this part of the world – it’s special and there’s nowhere else like it.”

In other news, bottom-of-the-table Queens Park Rangers have completed the signing of Anzhi Makhachkala defender Chris Samba on a four-and-a-half year contract worth £100,000-a-week.

Thu 31 Jan, 2013
RSS Feed

Alves: Referees scared to caution Ronaldo

Barcelona defender Dani Alves says referees were afraid to book Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo during Wednesday’s Copa del Rey clash.

The two rivals played out a 1-1 draw in the first leg of the tie, but the Brazilian feels the public’s desire to see an individual battle between the Portuguese and Lionel Messi influenced the officials.

“We already know how he operates and how all this plays out. There’s nothing to be done. People talk and reject things, but I still don’t understand how Cristiano didn’t get a yellow card,” he told reporters.

“If it had been me it would have been a red card. But if he missed the second game, then there’s no Clasico and that’s not interesting to lots of people, as there would be no battle with Messi.

“I’m saying what I think, as I don’t owe anything to anybody.”

The Brazilian was reportedly subjected to racist chants in the Spanish capital, and said football is fighting a losing battle against discrimination.

“I didn’t think about leaving the pitch, but it’s harassment. It doesn’t only happen at the Bernabeu, but at all the stadiums we go to. People are fighting to see this doesn’t happen but it keeps happening,” Alves said.

“It’s a shame. You can be playing well or not, but the people that go to the game should support their team. Racism in football is a battle that’s lost, until drastic measures are taken.

“I’ve been in Spain for 10 years and it’s still happening. This isn’t one of the places I feel most like a victim. There are worse. It happens in general all over Spain.”

Thu 31 Jan, 2013
RSS Feed

Pacheco heads to Spain on loan

Liverpool youngster Dani Pacheco has joined Spanish Segunda Division side Huesca on loan until the end of the season.

The 22-year-old has struggled to break into the first team at Anfield and has been sent out on loan for a third time after previous spells with Rayo Vallecano and Norwich, where he scored two goals in six appearances when they were in the Championship in 2011.

Pacheco joins Huesca in a relegation scrap with the club 19th having played 23 games this season.

The former Spain Under-21 international has made 17 appearances for Liverpool since moving to Merseyside from Barcelona in 2007.

Meanwhile, Liverpool released former Roma goalkeeper Alexander Doni from his contract with the Brazilian returning to his homeland, signing for Botafogo.

Thu 31 Jan, 2013
RSS Feed

Beckham arrival will boost Ligue 1, says Deschamps

France coach Didier Deschamps believes that the arrival of David Beckham at Paris Saint-Germain will further raise the profile of Ligue 1.

The former England captain is set to sign a six-month deal with the capital club after passing a medical on Thursday.

Beckham left MLS side LA Galaxy in December.

Deschamps has little doubt that the move will benefit the game in the country.

“The arrival of Beckham would be a good thing for the media exposure Ligue 1 gets. It would raise the profile of French football,” Deschamps said.

“He’s a great athlete because his image goes beyond football. Together with someone like (Zlatan) Ibrahimovic, they can boost the profile of the French game.

“There’s not much I can say about whether he can add anything on the pitch. He’s a superstar and has six months to show what he can still do out there.”

Meanwhile, Deschamps has announced his squad for the friendly clash with Germany at the Stade de France next week, with Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane included following his showing in Wednesday’s Clasico against Barcelona.

Thu 31 Jan, 2013
RSS Feed

Enrique: Liverpool can beat City

Liverpool defender Jose Enrique believes his side can win their upcoming clash with Manchester City at Etihad Stadium.

The Spaniard said Brendan Rodgers’ men could upset the reigning English Premier League champions if they perform like they did in their 2-2 draw against Arsenal on Wednesday.

Liverpool had carved out a two-goal lead by the hour mark at Emirates Stadium thanks to Luis Suarez and Jordan Henderson, but let that slip as Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott earned the hosts a point.

Enrique, who made his return from injury with a 20-minute run-out in north London, is confident Liverpool can improve on the result.

“I think when you get a draw away at Arsenal it is a good result for the team, but we were 2-0 up and I thought we deserved more,” he told the club’s website.

“We played very well in the first half and had some chances to increase our score and were a little bit unlucky.

“In the second half they pressed us and made it difficult for us and both sides had chances, but it was a great game and in the end it’s not a bad result.

“We have another very important game at Manchester City on Sunday and I think if we can play like we did on Wednesday night then we can win it.

“There is a long way to go in the race for the top four and if we can take four points from these two games that would be fantastic.

“We won there last season in the Carling Cup and there’s no reason why we can’t do it again.”

The 27-year-old is now keen to regain a starting place after recovering from a hamstring injury which had kept him out since the 3-0 win over Queens Park Rangers on December 30.

“It feels good to be back and I felt OK and tried to get forward as much as I could.
 I just want to prove my fitness quickly now and help the team,” Enrique said.

Thu 31 Jan, 2013
RSS Feed