Manchester City to sign Javi Garcia from Benfica

Manchester City set to pull off biggest deal of deadline day with 24m swoop for Garcia

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UPDATED:

14:07 GMT, 31 August 2012

Manchester City are close to landing Javi Garcia in a 24million move from Benfica.

That would cap a frantic day of spending for boss Roberto Mancini, who has already completed deals for Maicon and Scott Sinclair.

On his way: Javi Garcia is set to join Manchester City from Benfica

On his way: Javi Garcia is set to join Manchester City from Benfica

Garcia, 25, is set to complete a medical before becoming the latest big-money arrival at the Etihad Stadium.

The defensive midfielder is a replacement for Nigel De Jong, who has left to join AC Milan in a 5m deal.

Roberto Mancini says the club are
getting closer to signing his transfer targets, including Inter Milan
right-back Maicon who will arrive for a medical.

Signing the Brazilian defender is one of Mancini's main aims on deadline day and the club has agreed a deal with Inter.

Fiorentina defender Matija Nastasic also ranks highly on his hitlist.

City have completed the signing of Sinclair from Swansea, and the winger could be in the squad to face QPR on Saturday.

Sinclair, 23, excelled in South Wales after struggling to make the breakthrough at Chelsea.

He
was an integral part of the side which earned promotion to the top
flight in 2011 and also impressed on their opening season in the
Barclays Premier League.

'I'm just glad everything is settled and that I'm now a City player,' said Sinclair.

'There were times when I thought it might not happen so I'm relieved that I'm here and I can't wait to get started.

'Playing alongside some of the best
players in the world is exciting for me and when you see two Champions
League fixtures against Real Madrid on the horizon, it brings it all
home.'

City slicker: Scott Sinclair holds the Manchester City shirt after completing his move from Swansea

City slicker: Scott Sinclair holds the Manchester City shirt after completing his move from Swansea

First day: Scott Sinclair (centre) joins his new Manchester City team-mates in training on Friday morning

First day: Scott Sinclair (centre) joins his new Manchester City team-mates in training on Friday morning

Welcome aboard: Roberto Mancini shakes Sinclair's hand on arrival

New boy: Richard Wright

Welcome aboard: City boss Roberto Mancini shakes
Sinclair's hand on arrival at training, while new goalkeeper Richard
Wright (right) was also on show after completing his free transfer to
the Premier League champions

Stephane Mbia to have QPR medical on transfer deadline day

Mbia set for QPR medical as Hughes closes in on yet another signing

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UPDATED:

13:56 GMT, 31 August 2012

Stephane Mbia is en route to London and will have a medical at QPR on Friday afternoon, Mark Hughes has confirmed.

Hughes has been strongly linked with the versatile Marseille defender over the last 48 hours and the Rangers boss now hopes to conclude a deal for the player before the 11pm deadline.

'He is en route as we speak,' Hughes told a press conference. 'Hopefully we will get him in to a medical quite quickly.'

Loftus Road-bound: Marseille defender Stephane Mbia (right) is set for QPR

Loftus Road-bound: Marseille defender Stephane Mbia (right) is set for QPR

Mbia, 26, has been at Marseille for the past three years, but revealed that he was destined for Loftus Road after the lodged a bid to sign him.

Comprehensive discussions over a contract for the player, who can also operate in midfield, have already taken place, leaving Hughes optimistic he will be able to get the deal done before the deadline.

'A lot of discussion has taken place in terms of (his) contract and expectations from both sides so that’s pretty much been concluded,' the Welshman added.

'So once we get through the medical hopefully we will be able to conclude the deal very quickly.

'He is another player that can play in a couple of positions. I like that flexibility in players. He is a good age, and we have paid a good price for him.'

Wayne Rooney dropped by Sir Alex Ferguson over fitness

It was tough dropping Wayne but he wasn't fit, admits Manchester United boss Fergie

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UPDATED:

13:18 GMT, 31 August 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed Wayne Rooney's lack of fitness was the reason behind his omission from the Manchester United side last weekend.

The nasty gash Rooney suffered in the 3-2 win over Fulham and which threatens to rule the striker out for a month obscured his failure to make the Red Devils starting line-up.

Instead, Ferguson preferred new-boys Robin van Persie and Shinji Kagawa, and with both scoring it seems unlikely Rooney would have forced his way into the team at Southampton on Sunday either.
Now the decision does not have to be made.

Fitness concern: Sir Alex Ferguson admits he dropped Wayne Rooney against Fulham because he felt the striker was not fit enoughFitness concern: Sir Alex Ferguson admits he dropped Wayne Rooney against Fulham because he felt the striker was not fit enough

Fitness concern: Sir Alex Ferguson admits he dropped Wayne Rooney against Fulham because he felt the striker was not fit enough – Rooney is out for four weeks at least after sustaining a nasty cut last week (below)

Pain game: Rooney is sidelined for at least four weeks after sustaining a nasty gash against Fulham

However, Ferguson did not do much to undermine rumours of his discontent at the condition Rooney returned to training in as he explained the reasoning behind what admittedly was 'not an easy decision' for the United boss.

'Wayne's a bit behind other players in terms of fitness,' said Ferguson. 'He needs a few games.

'I wanted to play Van Persie at Old Trafford, although I knew he wasn't 100 per cent fit either.

'I'd have rather taken him off with 20 minutes to go. It was only because we lost the second goal that I was forced to leave him on.

'It wasn't an easy choice to leave Wayne out because he is a very good player who can score you goals.'

Rooney has confirmed there is no rift between him and Ferguson, leaving him free to get on with the business of getting fit.

And despite the severity of the striker's injury, the United boss insists the four week timescale he outlined on Saturday has not changed.

'He was in yesterday,' he said. 'It's nothing serious on the actual gash – it's a bad one but it was treated carefully and very quickly and we don't expect any complications.

'The fact it's a gash and not a ligament, muscle or joint injury means he can do a lot of work in the gym so he should be back in four weeks.'

Although there have been suggestions United are seeking deals for Federico Macheda and Bebe to find alternative clubs, Ferguson insists his transfer business is done.

Cross: Ferguson was not impressed with the FA for discussing Ashley Young's injury

Cross: Ferguson was not impressed with the FA for discussing Ashley Young's injury

Of more concern was his irritation at the Football Association, who he blames for releasing news of the knee injury that has kept Ashley Young out of the Southampton game, plus England's World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine.

'It was nice of the FA to let everyone know Ashley Young is injured,' he said.

'There's no point in giving them any information now. He's out but it's not serious and he'll be ready in a couple of weeks' time.'

Ferguson also confirmed Jonny Evans will be available to partner skipper Nemanja Vidic in central defence following his summer ankle operation.

However, neither Rio Ferdinand nor Phil Jones will be considered even though they have returned to training following groin and back problems.

Some fans still believe United are lacking a physical presence in central midfield. Overall, though, it seems Ferguson has bought well.

Impressive start: Ferguson is pleased with the form of Japan international Shinji Kagawa

Impressive start: Ferguson is pleased with the form of Japan international Shinji Kagawa

Kagawa has been particularly impressive following his 17million move from German champions Borussia Dortmund.

The 23-year-old has not been fazed by joining a club the size of United and revelled in the space just behind Van Persie against Fulham.

'We looked at Kagawa a lot,' said Ferguson.

'In his first season at Dortmund he did very well, which was a surprise because he seemed to come from nowhere.

'Last season there was more authority in his game and his goal-scoring was good from that position.

'He was absolutely magnificent when I went to see him in the German cup final against Bayern Munich.

'His movement and awareness of the space in front of him were fantastic.

'He did everything we were looking for and that's why we moved for him.'

Dimitar Berbatov joins Fulham despite late Spurs bid

Fulham fight off late bid from Spurs to land Berbatov in 5m deal from Man United

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UPDATED:

14:45 GMT, 31 August 2012

Dimitar Berbatov has completed his 5million move to Fulham, putting pen to paper on a two-year deal at Craven Cottage.

Sir Alex Ferguson had cast doubt on Berbatov's destination by suggesting on Friday morning that the frontman could be bound for former club Tottenham instead.

But the 31-year-old Bulgarian striker was unveiled as the Cottagers' latest summer signing on Friday afternoon and revives a partnership with manager Martin Jol after their successful past stint together at Tottenham. In two seasons at White Hart Lane he made 102 appearances and scored 46 goals in all competitions.

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United front: Berbatov says he is excited about his future after joining Fulham

Signing of the summer Dimitar Berbatov says he is excited about his future after joining Fulham

Berbatov said at Fulham’s Motspur Park Training Ground: 'I’m delighted to have signed for Fulham and I look forward to playing under Martin Jol once again.

'As soon as I was aware of Fulham’s interest my decision to join was an easy one to make. I’m impressed with the set up here and the people have made me feel welcome. There is a close and personal feel around the club and I can’t wait to get started.'

Jol added: 'Dimitar is a player I’ve always admired. He did well for me at Spurs and I’m sure that he will do well here at Fulham. He’s a player of great quality and technical ability who will give me the attacking option I’ve been looking for.

'When he’s not scoring goals, his ingenuity often leads chances being created for his team-mates and I’m delighted that we’ve been able to convince him to come to us, as there was a lot of attention from other clubs.'

Berbatov joined Manchester United on transfer deadline day in 2008 for a whopping 30.75m but fell out of favour with Ferguson last season.

The United manager admitted at his weekly press conference on Friday morning that he had no idea where the wantaway player was.

Ferguson said: 'Dimitar was always
going to be going. I said last year he'd be leaving at the end of the
season. He's not gone yet, though. I don't know anything about it.

Rare start: Berbatov celebrates a goal at Aldershot in the League Cup last season, one of nine he scored last year

Rare start: Berbatov celebrates a goal at Aldershot in the League Cup last season, one of nine he scored last year

Forgotten man: Berbatov featured only intermittently for Manchester United last season

Forgotten man: Berbatov featured only intermittently for Manchester United last season

'There has not been any contact from
him. We thought he was in Italy, but it turned out he isn't. He could be
anywhere. I really mean that.

'I wouldn't be surprised if he's at
Tottenham. There are rumours going around. I do not think it's settled
at Fulham, put it that way.'

Jol
had hailed the signing as the 'biggest in the club's history' as the
Bulgarian had rejected offers from Juventus and Fiorentina to work under
his former Tottenham boss.

Andy Carroll won"t force me out, says West Ham striker Carlton Cole

Bring it on! Cole vows to fight for place after Carroll checks in at West Ham

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UPDATED:

14:35 GMT, 31 August 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Carlton Cole welcomed Andy Carroll to West Ham and laughed off suggestions the new arrival is pushing him towards the exit door.

Carroll will spend the season on loan at Upton Park after leaving Liverpool and could sign a permanent deal for 18million if the Hammers avoid relegation.

Cole has been linked with a move away from the club – with Besiktas known admirers – but the striker took to Twitter to put the record straight.

He said: 'Apparently I'm leaving, ur avvin a laff aint ya! Cos a striker comes in doesn't mean I have to leave!

Getting his kicks: Andy Carroll trained with his new West Ham team-mates on Friday after signing on loan

Getting his kicks: Andy Carroll trained with his new West Ham team-mates on Friday after signing on loan

'Andy Carroll is a good addition to the squad and hopefully he makes a positive impact to our side. Onwards and upwards.

'Competition for places is good for players and the team, you need it in every position. I feel it's gonna be a good season for the Hammers.'

Manager Sam Allardyce feels Carroll can make West Ham a real force in the Barclays Premier League.

The 23-year-old, who cost the Liverpool 35m when he joined from Newcastle in January 2011, is in line for an immediate debut in Saturday's London derby against Fulham.

'He was pleased to choose us with a number of other Premier League clubs interested,' Allardyce told Sky Sports News.

'We've got a top-quality player and I'm delighted to have pulled it off. I first tried to sign him a long time ago and it did not look like it was going to happen, so I'm glad it has.

'He's a huge player in this division who scores goals and contributes to build-up play, and has many different aspects to his game which can help us be a force in this league.

'In your first year in the Premier League it's all about who's going to score the goals and who's going to take your chances, and I think in Andy we've added a huge amount of goals to the team.

'Hopefully we can give him the service and he can prove what a good goalscorer he is.'

West Ham's original bid to sign Carroll included a commitment to take the striker on a permanent contract at the end of the season, but significantly that is now just an option to buy.

Stepping it up: Carroll could make his West Ham debut against Fulham on Saturday

Stepping it up: Carroll could make his West Ham debut against Fulham on Saturday

Reunited: Carroll and former Newcastle team-mate Kevin Nolan are back together

Reunited: Carroll and former Newcastle team-mate Kevin Nolan are back together

'That was probably more of Andy's doing than ours,' added Allardyce. 'This is a 35m player who wants to think about where he wants to go next, he wants to get some football in, he wants to be successful, he's ambitious.

'He wants to retain his England place which we can give him the opportunity to do by playing on a regular basis. Like every player we hope he settles in quickly and hits his top form.

'He took a lot of convincing to leave Liverpool until the position was made clear in the last week or two.

'He's found it difficult to get into the starting line-up and at the end of the day a position on the bench more often than a position on the pitch was not the thing for Andy and he needed to have a look at where he could play on a regular basis.

Deal me in: Carroll could make the move permanent if West Ham stay in the Premier League

Deal me in: Carroll could make the move permanent if West Ham stay in the Premier League

'He'll be in the squad tomorrow. Everybody should look forward to that, it's a real coup for the club.

'The co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold worked hard with me over a very short period of time to get this deal through and hopefully Andy will pay everybody back for the faith we have shown in him.'

West Ham made a good start to the season with a home victory over Aston Villa but will be looking to bounce back from last weekend's 3-0 defeat at Swansea when they host the Cottagers.

Battle: Carlton Cole (left) has welcomed the competition for places at West Ham

Battle: Carlton Cole (left) has welcomed the competition for places at West Ham

Allardyce will hand late fitness tests to defenders George McCartney, James Collins and Winston Reid, who all picked up knocks at the Liberty Stadium.

'If we get in amongst Fulham and don't allow them to keep the ball then we can impose our home advantage and our encouraging start to the season at Upton Park,' he added.

'We will try to expose the defensive side of Fulham which appeared to be exposed in the Capital One Cup defeat to Sheffield Wednesday in midweek.'

Spurs sell Giovani Dos Santos to Real Mallorca

Tottenham finally offload forgotten man Dos Santos to Real Mallorca

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UPDATED:

14:20 GMT, 31 August 2012

Real Mallorca have agreed to sign Giovani Dos Santos from Tottenham Hotspur on a four-year deal.

The 23-year-old graduate of the Barcelona youth academy signed for Spurs in 2008 but had found his opportunities limited and had loan spells with Ipswich Town, Galatasaray and Racing Santander.

Rare sighting: Giovani Dos Santos (right) was never much seen in a Spurs shirt

Rare sighting: Giovani Dos Santos (right) was never much seen in a Spurs shirt

Dos Santos, a skilful winger, helped Mexico win gold at the Olympic Games in London.

Mallorca are sixth in La Liga after a win and a draw from their opening two matches.

Paralympic controversy as cyclist Jody Cundy is disqualified

'I've just wasted four years of my f****** life!' Controversy as British paralympic cycling hope Jody Cundy is disqualified

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UPDATED:

15:08 GMT, 31 August 2012

The London Paralympics saw its first big controversy in the Velodrome on Friday afternoon after British cyclist and defending champion Jody Cundy was disqualified.

The cyclist launched into a furious, expletive-strewn rant after learning of his demotion to last place in the C4-5 1km time trial event and had to be restrained as he left the arena.

Cundy, who was the last rider in the event and one of the favourites, stumbled out of the starting block and immediately raised his arm to ask for a restart as he veered off the track.

Disqualified: A raging Jody Cundy has to be restrained by his coach after learning that he had been denied another chance

Disqualified: A raging Jody Cundy has to be restrained by his coach after learning that he had been denied another chance

The rider, 33, and his team blamed a fault with the equipment for his faltering start but the officials disagreed and denied him a second chance by judging it was rider error.

Jeers rang out from a near-capacity crowd around the Velodrome as the scoreboard flashed up 'Did Not Finish' next to Cundy's name.

Cundy was expected to challenge the Spanish rider Alfonso Cabello, who was leading the competition after setting a world record time.

And another thing: Cundy remonstrates with the officials after learning of the bad news

And another thing: Cundy remonstrates with the officials after learning of the bad news

In the blocks: Cundy, the last rider to go, gets ready for his 1km against the clock

In the blocks: Cundy, the last rider to go, gets ready for his 1km against the clock

False start: But his back wheel slipped as he was released from the starting block

False start: But his back wheel slipped as he was released from the starting block

Fellow Brit Jon-Allan Butterworth won the silver medal following the disqualification, with China's Liu Xinyang taking bronze.

After learning of his news after a referral to video officials, Cundy reacted with fury, gesticulating wildly and throwing a drink bottle to the floor.

He yelled: 'I've just wasted four f****** years of my f****** life' and remonstrated with the officials before leaving the track pursued by reporters.

More to follow.

Maicon signs for Manchester City

Taxi for Maicon… to Manchester! Inter Milan star signs for City to line up reunion with Bale

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UPDATED:

14:43 GMT, 31 August 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has secured Inter Milan right-back Maicon in a 3million deal.

Signing the Brazilian defender was one of Mancini's main aims on deadline day and the club has agreed a deal with Inter.

Maicon is regarded as one of the world's best players, although he was humiliated by Tottenham's Gareth Bale in the Champions League two seasons ago.

Fiorentina defender Matija Nastasic and Benfica midfielder Javi Garcia also rank highly on his hitlist.

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Close: Maicon is likely to seal his Manchester City move

Close: Maicon is likely to seal his Manchester City move

The club have already picked up Scott Sinclair and goalkeeper Richard Wright on Friday.

Brazil international Maicon, 31, played under Mancini at Inter but was in the final year of his contract.

Garcia, 25, is highly rated and would
cost a reported 25million while Nastasic, 19, would bolster defensive
ranks with Stefan Savic possibly heading out of the Etihad Stadium.

Mancini said: 'We have another 10, 12 hours to close on these players. We need more time. I am confident.

'I think if we close these players, I think we improve our team.

'They come to play in a different championship, they need time. We are talking about one top player in Maicon, because he has experience.

'Nastasic will be one of the top players for a long time.'

The departure of De Jong is not a surprise. The 27-year-old Holland international is in the final year of his contract and has been linked with other clubs throughout the summer.

Mancini said: 'I am sorry because Nigel was an important player for us but if he is happy, I am happy for him.

'I am sure he will do really well in the Italian championship.'

Goer: Matija Nastisic is also likely to complete his switch

Goer: Matija Nastisic is also likely to complete his switch

The move for former England, Arsenal and Everton keeper Wright has come as a surprise. The 34-year-old joined League One Preston earlier in the summer but left citing homesickness.

Mancini said: 'We need a goalkeeper with experience and Richard Wright is good for us.'

VIDEO: Mancini 'working on more signings'…

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London 2012 Paralympics: Mark Colbourne wins gold in individual pursuit

Colbourne goes one better and adds gold in individual pursuit to time trial silver medal

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UPDATED:

15:03 GMT, 31 August 2012

Great Britain's Mark Colbourne has won gold in the men's C1 3km individual pursuit at the London Paralympic Games.

Welshman Colbourne, 42, won silver in the C1-2-3 one-kilometre time-trial on day one.

But he went one better on Friday by clocking a world record of 3:53.881 to triumph, with China's Li Zhang Yu second.

More to follow.

Golden ride: Mark Colbourne celebrates after setting a new world record in the men's individual pursuit

Golden ride: Mark Colbourne celebrates after setting a new world record in the men's individual pursuit

Best of British: Colbourne celebrates after riding to victory in the Velodrome

Best of British: Colbourne celebrates after riding to victory in the Velodrome

Golden boy: Colbourne

Glory: Colbourne celebrates

Golden boy: Colbourne added a glorious gold to his silver medal on day one of the Paralympics

London 2012 Paralympics: Aled Davies wins bronze in shot put

Davies grabs Britain's first athletics medal of the Paralympics with shot put bronze

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UPDATED:

11:59 GMT, 31 August 2012

Aled Davies delighted a near full Olympic Stadium by winning Great Britain's first Paralympic athletics medal on the first morning of competition.

The 21-year-old clinched bronze in the F42/44 shot put with a throw of 13.78 metres.

That worked out at a total of 961 points. The Welsh athlete finished 26 points behind Croatian silver medallist Darko Kralj, with Denmark's Jackie Christiansen taking gold.

Flying the flag: Aled Davies celebrates winning bronze in the men's shot put F42/44 final in the Olympic Stadium

Flying the flag: Aled Davies celebrates winning bronze in the men's shot put F42/44 final in the Olympic Stadium

Paving the way: Davies claimed Great Britain's first track and field medal of the Paralympics

Paving the way: Davies claimed Great Britain's first track and field medal of the Paralympics