Tag Archives: academy

Wilfried Bony chased by West Ham, Fulham, Stoke and Everton

Trio of Premier League sides join West Ham in race for 12m-rated Ivorian hitman Bony

By
Andy James

PUBLISHED:

23:00 GMT, 24 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

13:20 GMT, 25 March 2013

Premier League clubs are bettling each other race to sign scoring sensation Wilfried Bony, who is pushing for a move to the English top flight next season.

The Ivory Coast striker, rated at around 12million, has been in prolific from for Vitesse Arnhem this season and is the top scorer in Holland with 26 goals in 24 league games.

His contract runs until 2015 but Sportsmail understands his agent is in talks with at least four Premier League clubs — West Ham, Fulham, Stoke and Everton — and hopes to complete a deal by the end of the week.

Strike rate: Bony (right), seen here in action for Ivory Coast, has scored 26 goals in 24 games this term

Strike rate: Bony (right), seen here in action for Ivory Coast, has scored 26 goals in 24 games this term

Eredivisie: Top 5

The 24-year-old tried to leave Vitesse
in January, but the club held firm and insisted he continued to help
the club push for a Champions League spot for next season.

Since his 4million move from Sparta
Prague at the beginning of 2011, Bony has scored 46 times in 63
appearances for Vitesse — including an amazing recent run which has seen
him net 10 goals in his last six games.

Were West Ham to land him for around
12m it would smash their previous transfer record of buying Matt Jarvis
from Wolves for 10.75m.

Bony learned the game by playing
street football called ‘Maracana’, competing in city competitions before
spending three years at the Cyrille Domoraud football Academy located
in the city of Bingerville, in south-east Ivory Coast.

Options: Sam Allardyce will be looking for more firepower, with his side netting just 32 goals this season

Options: Sam Allardyce will be looking for more firepower, with his side netting just 32 goals this season

Six Nations 2013: Manu Tuilagi vs Mathieu Bastareaud

When Tuilagi clashes with opposing centre Bastareaud… the noise will be heard from space

By
Chris Foy

PUBLISHED:

22:19 GMT, 18 February 2013

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UPDATED:

06:05 GMT, 19 February 2013

As Stuart Lancaster's England prepare to face off against France in the RBS Six Nations match this weekend, Sportsmail examines one of the key clashes to look out for at Twickenham.

England centre Manu Tuilagi has a contrasting style to his opposite number Mathieu Bastareaud, but the fact that both of these magnificent players relishes the rough and tumble makes this a clash of the titans.

Battering ram: Manu Tuilagi

Clash of the titans: Mathieu Bastareaud

Clash of the titans: Mathieu Bastareaud (right) and Manu Tuilagi (left) are set to go head-to-head

Manu Tuilagi

Story: Born in the village of Fatausi-Fogapoa, but bred in the Leicester Tigers academy. Was forced to play with older kids for fear of injuring those his age.

They just weren't big enough.

Style: Brings the beaches of Samoa to west London. Seeks contact like a homing missile and relishes physicality.

If there is an easy way round he will find a way through. Most dangerous when smiling.

Danger man: Tuilagi relishes the physical battles in the centre of the field

Danger man: Tuilagi relishes the physical battles in the centre of the field

Head to head

Weakness : Reputation for indiscipline in defence. Not the world's slickest passer. Refuses to roll up his socks.

Controversy: The fifth and final act of England's World Cup meltdown came when Tuilagi decided to jump off a ferry in Auckland after a day out 'celebrating' with the boys.

Mathieu Bastareaud

Story: Born into a football family but quickly became the star of the youth academy at French third division side SU Massy.

Style: Fleet-footed step and change of pace belies his massive frame and many chins. Capable of enormous defensive hits and more mobile than he should be.

Weakness : Would be a front-row prop in any other era so fades in the final minutes and his defence on his outside foot can be exploited.

In the mix: Bastareaud powers through his France team-mates during training

In the mix: Bastareaud powers through his France team-mates during training

Controversy: Caused a diplomatic incident in 2009 when he claimed he was assaulted by five men in Wellington, forcing the Prime Minister to apologise.

It turned out he was drunk in his hotel room and injured his face when he fell over.

Florent Malouda says Chelsea are "trying to break me mentally"

Chelsea are 'trying to break me mentally', claims Malouda after being frozen out at Stamford Bridge

By
Laurie Whitwell

PUBLISHED:

22:32 GMT, 11 February 2013

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UPDATED:

08:16 GMT, 12 February 2013

Not happy: Florent Malouda has hit out at Chelsea

Not happy: Florent Malouda has hit out at Chelsea

Florent Malouda has launched an astonishing attack on Chelsea, claiming the club are trying to ‘break him mentally’ by forcing him to train with academy players.

The France midfielder has hit out after being excluded from the 25-man Premier League squad all season and forbidden from even changing with the first team at their Cobham training ground.

Malouda, whose contract expires at the end of the season, has been banished since a move to North America collapsed last summer.

‘The details I’ll explain when I’m free,’ Malouda, 32, told newspaper France-Guyane.

‘But
the strategy they use is to make me look like a player seeking
substantial compensation. If you are excluded for one year, it is very,
very long.

'You must be armed mentally. All this is done to break me
mentally, but in reality it motivates me enormously.’

Meanwhile, Rafael Benitez believes his squad – the majority of whom won the Champions League last May – will realise how important the Europa League is when they arrive in Prague on Wednesday.

Chelsea play Sparta Prague in the last 32 tie first leg on Thursday evening, with Benitez admitting it will take an adjustment for players used to plying their trade in Europe's premier club competition.

'We will need some time (to talk),' said Benitez, who replaced Roberto Di Matteo in November after the holders were knocked out of the Champions League.

Happier times: Malouda (second from right) trains with his Chelsea team-mates

Happier times: Malouda (second from right) trains with his Chelsea team-mates

Happier times: Malouda (second from right) trains with his Chelsea team-mates

'In terms of flights and games it's like the Champions League, in terms of mentality, the first thought is “hmm, it's different”. But if you see the teams that are in the Europa League, you will see it could be quite difficult.

'The day before we will fly, we will be there, they will realise it's Europe and they can concentrate 100 per cent. I'm expecting that they will be focused. We will have to start thinking of it as a great competition, with good teams and we will try to do our best.'

The Europa League is one of two trophies Chelsea can realistically still win this term; they began the season in contention for seven. They sit third, 16 points behind leaders Manchester United with 12 games to play in the Barclays Premier League, but remain in the FA Cup.

The next four matches are key for Chelsea's season and could lift the mood at Stamford Bridge, by changing perceptions of Benitez's reign, which has been unpopular from the start.

On a roll: Chelsea head to Sparta Prague this week for their Europa League clash

On a roll: Chelsea head to Sparta Prague this week for their Europa League clash

Should Chelsea advance to the Europa League last 16, at the expense of Sparta Prague, beat Brentford in the FA Cup fourth round replay and win at Manchester City, cutting the deficit to the second-placed Premier League champions to one point, Benitez will be able to demonstrate progress.

Benitez is unfazed at the prospect of regular Thursday and Sunday fixtures which Europa League progress dictates, although it does limit the amount of time he has to work with his squad.

'Two games a week we can manage, if we have enough bodies,' added the Spaniard, who won the UEFA Cup with Valencia and Champions League with Liverpool. 'Normally when you want to improve your team tactically, you push them. But in this situation you can't because if you push them too much they will be tired. The balance is quite difficult.

'The day after a game you have a light training session. The second day is before the game, so you have a light training session. Then you have to play. That means when you try to do your tactical adjustments, your preparation, you cannot do too much.'

Everton sign John Stones from Barnsley on transfer deadline day

Everton beat host of Premier League rivals to signature of Barnsley defender Stones

By
Andy James

PUBLISHED:

22:35 GMT, 31 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

00:03 GMT, 1 February 2013

Everton have signed defender John Stones from Barnsley on a five-and-a-half-year contract for an undisclosed fee.

Sportsmail revealed last month that relegation-threatened Wigan had joined Chelsea, Aston Villa Sunderland, Manchester City and Everton in the race for the 3million-rated prospect.

Stones is one of the most coveted young defenders in the country and is a real coup for manager David Moyes.

On the move: John Stones (left) has left Barnsley for Goodison Park

On the move: John Stones (left) has left Barnsley for Goodison Park

He told Everton's official website: 'I am very excited to be joining Everton. I've been very impressed with everything I have seen at Finch Farm already. Now the hard work begins.'

The 6ft 2in England Under 19 international made his Tykes debut last March after progressing through the youth ranks at Oakwell.

He featured 28 times for the npower Championship club, netting his first goal in the 4-3 Capital One Cup triumph over Rochdale in August.

In demand: Stones had attracted the attention of several big clubs

In demand: Stones had attracted the attention of several big clubs

Stones added: 'I would like to take this opportunity of thanking everybody at Barnsley for helping me in my development.

'They include Ronnie Branson and all the academy staff; Keith Hill and David Flitcroft for giving me the chance to play first-team football. Also all the backroom staff such as Guy Proctor, John Lucas and Craig Sedgwick.

'They are just some of the people who I owe a debt of gratitude to and I wish Barnsley every success for the future.'

Chelsea and Arsenal target Luke Shaw signs new five year deal at Southampton

Teenage star Shaw snubs and Chelsea and Arsenal to sign five-year deal at Southampton

By
Simon Peach, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

10:14 GMT, 10 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

11:17 GMT, 10 January 2013

Chelsea and Arsenal target Luke Shaw will sign a five-year deal at Southampton on his 18th birthday.

The highly rated 17-year-old left back has been attracting admiring glances from a number of the Barclays Premier League’s elite.

However, the latest talent off Southampton's production line has ended any speculation over his future by today committing his long-term future to the club.

Saint Luke: Shaw (right) will sign a five-year deal at Southampton

Saint Luke: Shaw (right) will sign a five-year deal at Southampton

He cannot sign a senior contract yet but it is believed Shaw will be seal a five-year deal when he does turn 18 on July 12, 2013.

'I have spoken with the chairman about a long-term plan for me at the club,' the defender said.

'To put an end to all the speculation, I will be committing my future to Southampton. I’m not going anywhere.

'I think Southampton is the place to be for young kids like me.

'I’m playing in the Premier League for the first team and that is all anyone wants to be doing, so I just want to carry on.

'I have been at Southampton since a very young age so I’ve been here a long time now.

Making his mark: Shaw has impressed in the Premier League this season

Making his mark: Shaw has impressed in the Premier League this season

'I think they are happy with me here, and this club is great for young players like us.

'If you look back over the years, Adam (Lallana) has come through the youth system and now he is the captain of the first team, and Prowsey (James Ward-Prowse) has just signed a five-year deal – and that is what I want to be doing.

'We have a lot of trust in our youth and there are more players coming through next year, so hopefully we will just carry on going.'

Shaw’s commitment to Southampton follows on from fellow academy graduate Ward-Prowse, who signed his five-year deal at in November.

Full back Shaw has become an integral part of Nigel Adkins’ side in recent months, having started every match since his full Premier League debut against Swansea in November.

Glenn McGrath inducted into ICC Hall of Fame

Legendary Australian fast bowler McGrath to be inducted into ICC Hall of Fame

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UPDATED:

15:56 GMT, 31 December 2012

Former Australia paceman Glenn McGrath will become the latest inductee into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame during the third Test against Sri Lanka in Sydney.

McGrath, who holds the record for most Test wickets by a fast bowler with 563 at an average of 21.64, will be inducted during the lunch interval on the opening day at the SCG on Friday.

Legend: McGrath was a thorn in England's side throughout the 90s and 00s

Legend: McGrath was a thorn in England's side throughout the 90s and 00s

The 42-year-old, who retired in 2007, will become the 68th male member of the Hall of Fame and join West Indian Brian Lara and Englishwoman Enid Bakewell as the 2012/13 inductees.

'I am honoured that the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame voting academy, which includes all the current living Hall of Famers, have nominated and voted me to be inducted into the Hall of Fame,' McGrath said.

'I am very much looking forward to celebrating the occasion on 4 January with not only my friends and family, but all those at the SCG which is of course is like a second home to me.'

Paceman: McGrath has taken more wickets than any other quick bowler

Paceman: McGrath has taken more wickets than any other quick bowler

McGrath, a key member in Australia's domination of world cricket in the 1990s and 2000s, made 124 Test and 250 ODI appearances, claiming a combined total of 944 wickets in a career spanning 14 years.

He still holds the record for the most wickets in ICC World Cup competitions with 71.

His seven for 15 against Namibia at the 2003 World Cup remains the best bowling effort in the event's history.

A fourth and final inductee for 2012-13 will be announced next July.

Radamel Falcao to be offered 200,000 a week by Chelsea

Under Rafa, Torres can't stop scoring but STILL Roman will make Falcao his top earner at Chelsea

|

UPDATED:

08:47 GMT, 14 December 2012

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is prepared to make Radamel Falcao the club's top earner by offering the striker a staggering 10million-a-year contract.

The Colombia forward is the club's No 1 transfer target and the Russian billionaire is determined to ensure the prolific South American becomes the next global superstar to make his way to Stamford Bridge.

Blue could be his colour: Radamel Falcao is the most in-demand striker in Europe

Blue could be his colour: Radamel Falcao is the most in-demand striker in Europe

And Sportsmail has learned the West London club will offer the 26-year-old a deal worth in the region of 200,000-per-week, to lure Falcao.

The pay package would eclipse the club's current top earner Fernando Torres, who is understood to earn 175,000-per-week.

The staggering salary underlines how
serious the current Champions League holders are about signing Falcao,
who is viewed as the hottest property in world football.

Meanwhile, Blues starlet Connor Hunte, 16, is close to signing a new long-term contract with the Blues.

The England Under-17 international has been tipped to have a major impact at Chelsea by the club's academy staff.

Manchester City are keen on poaching
the midfielder, who has been compared to Germany international Mesut
Ozil, but Chelsea look to have secured Hunte's future.

Full package: Falcao cost Atletico 38million when he replaced Sergio Aguero

Full package: Falcao cost Atletico 38million when he replaced Sergio Aguero

Full package: Falcao cost Atletico 38million when he replaced Sergio Aguero

Money talks: Fernando Torres is under pressure at Chelsea, despite the arrival of fellow countryman Rafael Benitez on loan

Money talks: Fernando Torres is under pressure at Chelsea, despite the arrival of fellow countryman Rafael Benitez on loan

Xavi on the verge of new Barcelona contract to see out his career at Nou Camp

Barca for life! Xavi on the verge of new contract to see out his career at the Nou Camp

|

UPDATED:

01:27 GMT, 14 December 2012

Barcelona midfielder Xavi is close to an agreement on a new contract that will mean he ends his playing career at the La Liga club he joined more than 20 years ago, the Spain international said on Thursday.

Xavi, who will be 33 at the end of next month, enrolled in Barca's youth academy in 1991 at the age of 11 and made his debut for the first team in a Spanish Super Cup match against Real Mallorca in 1998.

Considered one of the finest playmakers of his generation, he has helped the club win 20 trophies, including three Champions League crowns and six La Liga titles.

Here for good: Xavi will end his career at Barcelona having started there when he was 11

Here for good: Xavi will end his career at Barcelona having started there when he was 11

Xavi was instrumental in Spain's World Cup 2010 and Euro 2008 and 2012 triumphs

Xavi was instrumental in Spain's World Cup 2010 and Euro 2008 and 2012 triumphs

He has also been at the heart of Spain's success in recent years, playing a key role in their triumphs at Euro 2008 and 2012 and the 2010 World Cup.

'The two sides didn't take long to reach an agreement and all that remains is to sign the contract,' Xavi said at a post-training news conference when asked about the negotiations.

'My dream of seeing out my career at Barca will come true,' he added.

'I'm very happy to be able to finish here. If I can still be here at the age of 36 it will be a privilege.

'This is my lifelong club. For the moment I just want to enjoy myself until 2016.'

Xavi's current deal runs through 2016 but the final two years are contingent on the number of appearances he makes.

He has already featured in more official matches than any other Barca player, overhauling Migueli's previous club record of 549 in early 2011.

Barca also announced on Thursday they had agreed to extend Spain Under-21 winger Cristian Tello's contract until 2016.

Radamel Falcao to be offered huge Chelsea deal – exclusive

EXCLUSIVE: Roman ready to break the bank with 10m-a-year deal for Atletico striker Falcao

|

UPDATED:

22:01 GMT, 13 December 2012

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is prepared to make Radamel Falcao the club's top earner by offering the striker a staggering 10million-a-year contract.

The Colombia forward is the club's No 1 transfer target and the Russian billionaire is determined to ensure the prolific South American becomes the next global superstar to make his way to Stamford Bridge.

Blue could be his colour: Radamel Falcao is the most in-demand striker in Europe

Blue could be his colour: Radamel Falcao is the most in-demand striker in Europe

And Sportsmail has learned the West London club will offer the 26-year-old a deal worth in the region of 200,000-per-week, to lure Falcao.

The pay package would eclipse the club's current top earner Fernando Torres, who is understood to earn 175,000-per-week.

The staggering salary underlines how
serious the current Champions League holders are about signing Falcao,
who is viewed as the hottest property in world football.

Meanwhile, Blues starlet Connor Hunte, 16, is close to signing a new long-term contract with the Blues.

The England Under-17 international has been tipped to have a major impact at Chelsea by the club's academy staff.

Manchester City are keen on poaching
the midfielder, who has been compared to Germany international Mesut
Ozil, but Chelsea look to have secured Hunte's future.

Full package: Falcao cost Atletico 38million when he replaced Sergio Aguero

Full package: Falcao cost Atletico 38million when he replaced Sergio Aguero

Full package: Falcao cost Atletico 38million when he replaced Sergio Aguero

Money talks: Fernando Torres is under pressure at Chelsea, despite the arrival of fellow countryman Rafael Benitez on loan

Money talks: Fernando Torres is under pressure at Chelsea, despite the arrival of fellow countryman Rafael Benitez on loan

Manchester United bid for Angelo Ogbonna on hold

United forced to look elsewhere for defensive cover after Torino's Ogbonna has surgery

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UPDATED:

22:44 GMT, 12 December 2012

Manchester United’s bid to sign Torino defender Angelo Ogbonna in January is on hold after surgery on a hernia.

United have watched the 24-year-old, who is rated at 18million, three times.

Ogbonn, who is of Nigerian descent, came through the Torino youth academy, spending one season on loan at Crotone.

Wanted: Angelo Ogbonna (left) is a target for Manchester United

Wanted: Angelo Ogbonna (left) is a target for Manchester United