Tag Archives: clutches

Aston Villa v West Ham live

PREMIER LEAGUE LIVE: Aston Villa v West Ham – as it happens from Villa Park

for their last triumph on the road.

Villa will be desperate for three points in their bid to escape the clutches of the bottom three but they will also be keen to avoid a repeat of their clash with the east London side from earlier in the season when Sam Allardyce's side recorded a 1-0 win at Upton Park to start the 2012/13 campaign.

Send me your thoughts on the action at [email protected] or contact me on Twitter @Ripinho.

Half-time: Aston Villa 0-0 West Ham

45+2min: Carroll has lacked service so far, despite West Ham winning a number of free-kicks, and his frustration in the first 45 minutes is summed up by one wild left foot swing from 25 yards that flies well off target.

45+1min: There will be four minutes added on.

44min: The first booking of the afternoon goes to West Ham's Emmanuel Pogatetz after the defender chops down Charles N'Zogbia to bring an immediate half to an Aston Villa counter attack.

42min: After a spell of West Ham pressure, Villa are once more looking the more likely to score. But as we approach half-time, all the goalmouth action has taken place inside the first 120 seconds.

39min: I thought it would be West Ham who would be closer to scoring from set-pieces but Villa nearly score from one of their own. A corner to the near post finds Ron Vlaar, whose half-volley on to the greasy surface bounces a yard over the bar.

37min: Terrific defending from Clark. West Ham do well to find Demel in space on the right, and his low cross is destined for an unmarked Joe Cole in the centre before the Villa defender gets a vital touch on the slide to intercept and allow Guzan to gather.

35min: The last five minutes have seen West Ham come back into this game, but despite winning a couple of free-kicks, the Villa defence has coped comfortably with Guzan keen to come off his line to punch clear any aerial bombardment.

32min: Another sign of the threat Carroll possesses as the striker wins a header inside the Villa box from a cross. The striker is off balance though and his effort loops comfortably into Guzan's arms.

30min: A rare charge forward from West Ham, and it comes form a neat passing exchange on the ground too as Matty Taylor releases Mohamed Diame down the left wing into the penalty box.

From there though it very quickly falls apart as the midfielder blasts a low cross into the near post side netting. Huge waste.

27min: Villa are starting to gain more control in this game but every time they get near the West Ham box there are a wall of bodies denying them a shot on goal. The Hammers are struggling to get out of their own half.

24min: With O'Brien's day done, Guy Demel has come on for the Hammers.

23min: This is turning into a war of attrition. Joey O'Brien has limped off the pitch for West Ham while Tomkins takes an accidental boot to the face from Delph after making a superb sliding tackle on the touchline. The West Ham medical team are making sure he still has all of his teeth after that one.

20min: The game has stopped momentarily as Baker receives more attention as blood starts to seep out of his Vaseline covered head following that earlier clash with Carroll.

Meanwhile the home fans as usual applaud in unison in the 19th minute to observe club captain, Stiliyan Petrov's battle against illness.

18min: Good footwork from Fabian Delph sees him dodge a couple of challenges in the West Ham half before he wins a free-kick 35 yards out. The ball is swung towards the back post but Benteke heads the difficult chance wide.

16min: It's been a nervous affair so far. West Ham remain content with a more direct playing style while Villa for all their effort just lack quality trying to pierce the West Ham backline.

13min: From InfostradaLive:

West Ham United have scored three opening goals in their away PL matches this season, together with Wigan, Norwich and Fulham least of all clubs. Villa have scored the opener in four of their home matches this PL season, only QPR (2) have less.

Miss of the season Andreas Weimann reacts after missing a golden opportunity to open the scoring for Villa

Miss of the season Andreas Weimann reacts after missing a golden opportunity to open the scoring for Villa

10min: James Tomkins produces a neat sliding tackle to deny Weimann a chance to cross from inside the box and Villa win their first corner.

It's cleared but shortly after winning a second corner, Nathan Baker and Carroll clash heads trying to head the ball and play has stopped for a minute or two while they receive treatment. Both look like they will be okay to continue once they stop seeing stars.

8min: Villa are showing the more attacking purpose so far but apart from that horror miss from Weimann ( I wonder what Darren Bent made of that on the sub's bench) we haven't seen any more chances.

5min: Otherwise it's a bright start from Villa who have controlled possession, but they do concede a free-kick in the centre-circle and you know what comes next.

West Ham pump a long high ball into the box for Andy Carroll, who wins a flick on and pounces on a loose ball to loop a shot just over Brad Guzan's crossbar.

2min: Miss of the season, there I said it! It's a horrible moment all round as Christian Benteke's low shot towards the near post from 20 yards is ludicrously fumbled by West Ham keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen, only for Andreas Weimann to somehow place the rebound wide of the post with an open goal staring him in the face.

1min: From OptaJoe:

1 – West Ham have taken one point from the last 21 available on the road, scoring just five in their last nine PL away games. Travels.

Kick-off: Villa get us going.

Greetings: West Ham manager Sam Allardyce (left) and his opposite Aston Villa number, Paul Lambert shake hands before kick-off

Greetings: West Ham manager Sam Allardyce (left) and his opposite Aston Villa number, Paul Lambert shake hands before kick-off

13.27: Out come the players and speaking of claret and blue there are many empty seats inside Villa Park.

13.24: The players are in the tunnel with Aston Villa standing in claret and blue opposite West Ham…who are also in claret and blue.

The Hammers are in their more blue based away kit but this could hurt my eyes.

13.19: From InfostradaLive:

West Ham have failed to win in their last five PL visits to Villa Park, failing to score on four occasions. Their only victory in the last 14 visits was in January 2006 (2-1) when Bobby Zamora and Marlon Harewood (penalty) scored. Lee Hendrie netted for Villa.

13.14: We know about Villa's troubles this term but what happened the last time they went down Sadly the team of 1987 share many similarities with Paul Lambert's strugglers from this season as I found out here.

13.09: Gabriel Agbonlahor is ruled out through illness by the way. Still though it says much about Paul Lambert's faith in Darren Bent that he picks a forward who cost 23.4m less in his starting XI over him. At least Villa have some sort of firepower on the bench though.

Team news

Team news

13.06: Full line-ups from Villa Park:

Aston Villa v West Ham
Aston Villa: Guzan, Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Baker, Weimann, Westwood, Delph, Bowery, N'Zogbia, Benteke. Subs: Given, Bent, Holman, Sylla, Dawkins, Bannan, Bennett.

West Ham: Jaaskelainen, O'Brien, Reid, Tomkins, Pogatetz, Noble, Diame, Nolan, Taylor, Joe Cole, Carroll. Subs: Spiegel, Jarvis, Carlton Cole, Vaz Te, Demel, Chamakh, O'Neil.

Referee: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear)

13.03: Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert hands a first Barclays Premier League start to striker Jordan Bowery, a 600,000 summer signing from Chesterfield, against West Ham at Villa Park.

Midfielder Fabian Delph, who has recovered from an ankle injury, and left-back Nathan Baker are recalled as Villa looked to end a run of eight league games without a win.

On-loan Wolfsburg defender Emanuel Pogatetz is given a first start by Hammers boss Sam Allardyce, with Joe Cole also brought back into the starting line-up.

Main threat: West Ham will rely on their on-loan striker Andy Carroll in attack

Main threat: West Ham will rely on their on-loan striker Andy Carroll in attack

13.00: From OptaJoe:

2 – Aston Villa have scored just two goals in their last seven Premier League matches at Villa Park. Shy.

12.57: If there is one avenue we can see West Ham scoring from today, it is through set-pieces. Judging by Aston Villa's poor record at defending them it seems a West Ham corner + Andy Carroll's headers = goals.

Villa captain Ron Vlaar claims though that he and his teammates are aware of their set-piece struggles and targeting to put things right.

12.54: Sadly of course the big talking point this morning is not about the football but about Paul Gascoigne who has been rushed into intensive care in the USA.

The former England international is said to be out of immediate danger but let's continue to hope Gazza can make a full recovery.

12.51: The Villa Park pitch looks very tidy this afternoon but the less said about the weather, the better. It's wet, cold and overcast in the West Midlands but I guess we shouldn't be too surprised – it is February folks.

12.48: Speaking of Manchester United they will attempt to go a dozen points clear at the top of the table when they take on Everton at 4pm. You can follow live coverage of that match from around 3.30pm with myself straight after the action here at Villa Park.

12.45: Yesterday's results have given Villa a big incentive to take three points today as it would see them climb out of the bottom three into 17th.

West Ham may reside in mid-table but on 30 points they are not quite out of the relegation fight. A win today though and they would be 12 points clear of the bottom three. If a gap like that would be good enough for Manchester United, then I think Sam Allardyce's team would be content too.

Jaaskelainen, O'Brien, Tomkins, Reid, Pogatetz, Noble, Diame, Nolan, J.Cole, Taylor, Carroll.

12.35: Aston Villa starting XI:

Guzan, Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Baker, Westwood, Delph, N’Zogbia, Bowery, Weimann, Benteke.

12.30: Apart from Manchester United (and we will get to them in a minute) one of the big winners from yesterday were Aston Villa, who saw the majority of their rivals battling relegation fail to pick up any points.

That's not quite job done for Paul Lambert's side this weekend though. Sitting one place off the bottom of the table they need to start winning points of their own. Today they host West Ham – a side suspect on their travels this term. Team news coming up.

Sunday's opener: Aston Villa will hope to ease relegation fears when they host West Ham at Villa Park

Sunday's opener: Aston Villa will hope to ease relegation fears when they host West Ham at Villa Park

Liverpool want Daniel Sturridge and Tom Ince

Liverpool pin hopes on 12m Sturridge and 6m Ince after hitting Walcott hitch

|

UPDATED:

22:41 GMT, 22 November 2012

Liverpool are confident of finalising a 6million deal for Blackpool’s Tom Ince and will look to add Chelsea’s Daniel Sturridge for a further 12m.

Arsenal’s reluctance to sell Theo Walcott in January, regardless of his contract negotiations, will delay any possible move from Liverpool until the summer, although the player may yet receive offers from elsewhere with Juventus, Chelsea and Manchester City keen.

Young Lion: Tom Ince

In demand: Daniel Sturridge

Wanted: Blackpool's Tom Ince (left) and Chelsea's Daniel Sturridge (right)

Ince, 20, left Liverpool for 250,000 compensation in August last year and has 18 months left on his contract. He has attracted attention from other clubs but Liverpool are willing to pay the asking price.

Blackpool, who have signed Bournemouth striker Wes Thomas, 25, until January 1, have allowed another forward, Adda Djeziri, 24, to join Scunthorpe.

Hard to get: Theo Walcott may not be lured from Arsenal's clutches

Hard to get: Theo Walcott may not be lured from Arsenal's clutches

Will Marouane Fellaini stay at Everton?

Everton face fight to keep Fellaini from clutches of Chelsea and PSG

|

UPDATED:

11:23 GMT, 12 November 2012

The momentum keeps building and a reputation keeps burgeoning. Everton’s Champions League pursuit continues apace but their talisman’s form could lead to another chase entirely.

Plaudits have been flowing for Marouane Fellaini all season and they were many singing his praises again following his inspirational second half performance against Sunderland that helped turn a 1-0 deficit into a significant 2-1 win. Vanquished manager Martin O’Neill called him a 'proper player'.

Yet for all that David Moyes was thrilled Fellaini, whom he feels will mature into a marauding presence similar to Patrick Vieira, Everton's manager is aware the Belgian’s form will not have gone unnoticed to a wider audience.

Main man: Marouane Fellaini (centre) has attracted the attention of bigger clubs

Main man: Marouane Fellaini (centre) has attracted the attention of bigger clubs

England watch

PHIL JAGIELKA – Set the tone for Everton with a series of crucial interceptions and blocks; enters Sweden game in excellent form.

LEIGHTON BAINES – Some excellent passing and great energy but appeared to be carrying an injury in the second half.

LEON OSMAN – Involved in both Everton’s goals and his passing at times was outstanding. Deserves to play at some point in Sweden.

Fellaini has suitors around Europe – Chelsea and Paris St Germain showed an interest in the summer – and his talents would clearly fit neatly in many teams. Moyes, however, believes the prospect of leading Everton into the top four will render interest in him futile.

‘Everybody knows where he is and if they want to come and watch him that's up to them,’ said Moyes, whose side retained fourth place after goals from Fellaini and Nikica Jelavic cancelled out Adam Johnson’s strike.

‘It would be a big price on his head but we've got no problem in people coming and watching him. I'm not in the mood now to keep the fight going all the time because we've had to do it with a lot of players. We’ve sold some big ones but the club will always be bigger than any player, any manager.

‘But Felli knows what I think and I know what he thinks and I think more than anything he'd love to take Everton into the Champions League and that's what we'll try and achieve.’

In fine form: Fellaini helped Everton beat Sunderland on Saturday

In fine form: Fellaini helped Everton beat Sunderland on Saturday

So can they finish fourth come May They will certainly be thereabouts. Everton’s football is vibrant but the win over a Sunderland side that O’Neill felt were desperately unfortunate showed their appetite to scrap remains insatiable.

‘We are an expansive team and I suppose we have conceded more chances than we have done in previous years,’ said Leighton Baines. ‘But we kept going when it was difficult and we got what we deserved in the end with perseverance.

‘The style might be changing but one thing you are never going to lose from an Everton is that spirit. That was a massive win. We had four draws coming into this and following it with a defeat would have changed the whole complexion. It was pleasing to grind it out.’

Top man: David Moyes continues to impress as Everton's boss

Top man: David Moyes continues to impress as Everton's boss

That Everton were able to grind it out owed as much to Sunderland’s profligacy as it did their tenacity. Had Stephan Sessegnon and Steven Fletcher showed greater poise in the opening exchanges the deficit they faced after Johnson’s goal would have been insurmountable.

‘Those were clear cut chances and I don't think Everton could have complained if we had been 3-0 up at half-time,’ said O’Neill. ‘But we will turn it around and the players ironically will have taken a lot of confidence from that. Some players have come back to form and that is important.

‘We lost a game against what I consider a very, very strong outfit. But we will come back. We should have won this game and we didn't. I don't think it is to do with balance. I think rather than drawing a statistic from, my own view is that we were unlucky.’

Will Maroaune Fellaini stay at Everton?

Everton face fight to keep Fellaini from clutches of Chelsea and PSG

|

UPDATED:

23:43 GMT, 11 November 2012

The momentum keeps building and a reputation keeps burgeoning. Everton’s Champions League pursuit continues apace but their talisman’s form could lead to another chase entirely.

Plaudits have been flowing for Maroaune Fellaini all season and they were many singing his praises again following his inspirational second half performance against Sunderland that helped turn a 1-0 deficit into a significant 2-1 win. Vanquished manager Martin O’Neill called him a 'proper player'.

Yet for all that David Moyes was thrilled Fellaini, whom he feels will mature into a marauding presence similar to Patrick Vieira, Everton's manager is aware the Belgian’s form will not have gone unnoticed to a wider audience.

Main man: Marouane Fellaini (centre) has attracted the attention of bigger clubs

Main man: Marouane Fellaini (centre) has attracted the attention of bigger clubs

England watch

PHIL JAGIELKA – Set the tone for Everton with a series of crucial interceptions and blocks; enters Sweden game in excellent form.

LEIGHTON BAINES – Some excellent passing and great energy but appeared to be carrying an injury in the second half.

LEON OSMAN – Involved in both Everton’s goals and his passing at times was outstanding. Deserves to play at some point in Sweden.

Fellaini has suitors around Europe – Chelsea and Paris St Germain showed an interest in the summer – and his talents would clearly fit neatly in many teams. Moyes, however, believes the prospect of leading Everton into the top four will render interest in him futile.

‘Everybody knows where he is and if they want to come and watch him that's up to them,’ said Moyes, whose side retained fourth place after goals from Fellaini and Nikica Jelavic cancelled out Adam Johnson’s strike.

‘It would be a big price on his head but we've got no problem in people coming and watching him. I'm not in the mood now to keep the fight going all the time because we've had to do it with a lot of players. We’ve sold some big ones but the club will always be bigger than any player, any manager.

‘But Felli knows what I think and I know what he thinks and I think more than anything he'd love to take Everton into the Champions League and that's what we'll try and achieve.’

In fine form: Fellaini helped Everton beat Sunderland on Saturday

In fine form: Fellaini helped Everton beat Sunderland on Saturday

So can they finish fourth come May They will certainly be thereabouts. Everton’s football is vibrant but the win over a Sunderland side that O’Neill felt were desperately unfortunate showed their appetite to scrap remains insatiable.

‘We are an expansive team and I suppose we have conceded more chances than we have done in previous years,’ said Leighton Baines. ‘But we kept going when it was difficult and we got what we deserved in the end with perseverance.

‘The style might be changing but one thing you are never going to lose from an Everton is that spirit. That was a massive win. We had four draws coming into this and following it with a defeat would have changed the whole complexion. It was pleasing to grind it out.’

Top man: David Moyes continues to impress as Everton's boss

Top man: David Moyes continues to impress as Everton's boss

That Everton were able to grind it out owed as much to Sunderland’s profligacy as it did their tenacity. Had Stephan Sessegnon and Steven Fletcher showed greater poise in the opening exchanges the deficit they faced after Johnson’s goal would have been insurmountable.

‘Those were clear cut chances and I don't think Everton could have complained if we had been 3-0 up at half-time,’ said O’Neill. ‘But we will turn it around and the players ironically will have taken a lot of confidence from that. Some players have come back to form and that is important.

‘We lost a game against what I consider a very, very strong outfit. But we will come back. We should have won this game and we didn't. I don't think it is to do with balance. I think rather than drawing a statistic from, my own view is that we were unlucky.’

England win Carl Jenkinson battle as Arsenal ace pledges allegiance to Three Lions

England win Jenkinson battle as Arsenal ace pledges allegiance with snub to Finland

|

UPDATED:

06:44 GMT, 16 October 2012

The Football Association will apply
to FIFA for clearance to pick Carl Jenkinson in the England squad for
next month's friendly with Sweden.

Jenkinson trained with the Three Lions on Sunday prior to their departure for Tuesday's World Cup qualifier with Poland.

Impressive: Arsenal's Carl Jenkinson (right)

Impressive: Arsenal's Carl Jenkinson (right)

And the Finnish Football Association want to hold discussions with the 20-year-old as they look to keep him from England's clutches.

Jenkinson has represented the Finns at Under-19 and U21 level, however, the former Charlton man has also represented England at U17 level.

However, having represented Finland at Under-21 level, there is some red tape that needs sorting before Jenkinson can commit his future to England.

That is what he wants to do though, and boss Roy Hodgson is keen to see the process completed quickly.

'He made it very clear he wanted to play for England,' said Hodgson.

'We are now making overtures to FIFA to try and make certain we can have him as an England player.'

The 20-year-old will still have the option of playing for either nation until he plays a competitive match.

But Hodgson insists he would not select anyone just to stop him from appearing for someone else.

'I don't want to trick him into playing for England for a few minutes just to 'block' him,' said Hodgson.

'But he had to make a decision because we're very interested in him even if the competition is tougher to get him into the England team rather than the Finland team.'

When he is eventually introduced, Jenkinson will be part of an England squad that is slowly changing shape under Hodgson's guidance.
Of their 23-man squad for the 2010 World Cup, only nine are in the present group.

Jack Wilshere, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling to name but three will be live candidates for future squads once they are clear from injury.

It is a far healthier situation than anyone could have imagined following that depressing last-16 hammering by Germany in Bloemfontein, when the future looked so bleak.

And one of the 'new boys' is Jenkinson's Arsenal team-mate Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who after being a surprise choice for Euro 2012, is now in the England squad on merit.

'Alex is a player with enormous potential and ability,' said Hodgson.

'He came in as the joker in the pack and he's certainly cemented his position.

'Like a lot of our young players, he has to fight so hard to get into his club team but we're more than happy with him.

'He has to take every chance he gets with England because, internationally, there aren't that many games in a year.'

Celtic to offer Gary Hooper and Victor Wanyama new deals

Celtic keen to tie Hooper and Wanyama to new deals after Premier League interest

|

UPDATED:

23:07 GMT, 4 September 2012

Neil Lennon plans to hand wanted men Gary Hooper and Victor Wanyama new, improved contracts in a quest to keep them from Premier League clutches.

Celtic have already begun talks with the agent of Norwegian international defender Thomas Rogne. And Hooper – subject of interest from Fulham and Southampton – will be next in line, followed by Queens Park Rangers and Arsenal target Wanyama.

Both players see their long-term futures in England. Arguing that only a very small percentage of the Premier League's top, wealthy clubs can offer the carrot of Champions League football, however, Lennon hopes games against Barcelona, Benfica and Spartak Moscow will prove an incentive to stay.

Sign them up: Gary Hooper and Victor Wanyama are to be offered new Celtic deals

Sign them up: Gary Hooper and Victor Wanyama are to be offered new Celtic deals

Sign them up: Gary Hooper and Victor Wanyama will be offered new Celtic deals

‘There will be three or four we will be looking to give new, improved contracts to,’ said the Celtic manager. ‘To just reward them for their efforts. Gary (Hooper) and Victor would come into that category.

‘We are already talking to Thomas Rogne. It’s ongoing with him — he has a year left on his contract and he is a player who has done great for me. There are a couple of other ones in the pot as well who deserve it.’

Asked if an SPL without games against Rangers is a great enough incentive to stay, Lennon argued: ‘The value these guys get from being here is the Champions League.

‘Without Rangers being here, the carrot is that you come to Celtic to play Champions League football.

Keen: Neil Lennon - speaking at Pedal for Petrov - wants to keep his squad together

Keen: Neil Lennon – speaking at Pedal for Petrov – wants to keep his squad together

‘They are going to do that and are going to experience something that will be very, very special. Something that other clubs in the Premiership can’t give them.

‘Something like 80 per cent of the clubs down there can’t give them Champions League football — but, thankfully, we have been able to provide that this year.’

Promoting ‘Pedal for Petrov’, a 400-mile cycle from Glasgow to Birmingham by Aston Villa club masseurs Alex Butler and Andy Smith to raise 250,000 for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research, Celtic kicked off the fund with a 5,000 donation from the club’s charity fund.

Liverpool fight to keep Daniel Agger from clutches of Barcelona and Manchester City

Liverpool fight to keep Agger from clutches of Barcelona and Manchester City

|

UPDATED:

22:03 GMT, 3 August 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Liverpool are in talks with Daniel Agger, 27, over a new deal despite claims from his agent that they have made no offer.

Barcelona and Manchester City are keen on the central defender and have already had offers dismissed.

Options: Both Manchester City and Barcelona are keen on signing Daniel Agger

Options: Both Manchester City and Barcelona are keen on signing Daniel Agger

Liverpool
manager Brendan Rodgers has offloaded Alberto
Aquilani, 28, to Fiorentina for 6million.

Wigan beat West Ham to Ivan Ramis

Late Martinez intervention steals 4m Ramis from West Ham's clutches

|

UPDATED:

22:04 GMT, 29 July 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Wigan are set to win the battle for Ivan Ramis after the defender agreed to waive his part of the transfer fee to link up with Roberto Martinez.

West Ham had agreed a 4million fee with Real Mallorca for the 27-year-old and he was due to have a medical on Monday morning, until Martinez intervened.

On the move: Ivan Ramis (right) is set to leave Real Mallorca for Wigan

On the move: Ivan Ramis (right) is set to leave Real Mallorca for Wigan

The 27-year-old Ramis had been linked with a number of English clubs including Aston Villa, Wigan and Sunderland.

Alan Dzagoev wanted by Spurs, says CSKA Moscow star"s Dad

AVB could make Russian Dzagoev first signing at Spurs, says star's Dad

|

UPDATED:

14:15 GMT, 1 July 2012

London calling: Russia playmaker Alan Dzagoev could join Spurs

London calling: Russia playmaker Alan Dzagoev could join Spurs

Alan Dzagoev's dad says Tottenham want to sign him from CSKA Moscow, in what could be one of Andre Villas-Boas' first signings as manager.

The former Chelsea boss is set to be unveiled at White hart as Harry Redknapp's replacement this week and Dzagoev could be set to join him.

The playmaker was one of the stars of the Euro 2012 group stages before Russia were surprisingly knocked out.

Dzagoev is keen to test himself in one of Europe's top leagues and has also been tracked by Arsenal, Chelsea and Real Madrid.

But Tottenham, who are facing a fight to keep Luka Modric from Real Madrid's clutches, are also said to be in the frame.

'I don't know if he will stay at CSKA,' said his father, Tariel. 'There are offers – from Spurs and other foreign clubs.

New beginning: Andre Villas-Boas is set to take charge at Tottenham

New beginning: Andre Villas-Boas is set to take charge at Tottenham

'But I tell him not to hurry. Yury Zhirkov ran off to Chelsea and sat on the bench.'

Many suitors had been attracted by claims that Dzagoev would become a free agent at the end of the year, but the 22-year-old secretly signed an extended deal last year.

Dzagoev scored three goals at Euro 2012 and was also impressive in Russia's qualification campaign when playing as an advanced midfielder.

Manchester United set to sign Luka Modric from Tottenham

Fergie lines up 25m Modric but must wait until Croatia's Euro campaign is over

|

UPDATED:

06:14 GMT, 8 June 2012

Manchester United are set to beat Chelsea to Spurs playmaker Luka Modric, once the Croatia international returns from Euro 2012.

Sir Alex Ferguson hopes to land his man for 25million, with an additional 5m based on appearances and future success with United, according to the Sun.

Modric is in line for a bumper four-year contract worth 125,000-a-week, and 26m in all.

Warming up: Luka Modric (centre) during a Croatia training session in Warka

Warming up: Luka Modric (centre) during a Croatia training session in Warka

The 26-year-old midfielder is preparing for Euro 2012 with the Croatia squad but will sort his future once his tournament is over.

Slaven Bilic's side face a fight to qualify from a tough group, which contains Italy, Spain and the Republic of Ireland, their first opponents of the tournament in Poznan on Sunday.

Despite the 17m signing this week of midfielder Shinji Kagawa, United fans have been desperate for the club to splash out on a big name.

In the bag: Shinji Kagawa has signed for United from Borussia Dortmund

In the bag: Shinji Kagawa has signed for United from Borussia Dortmund

Supporters are concerned that United's spending power in the transfer market in being inhibited by using funds to pay off the owning Glazer family's debt.

Euro 2012 email button

Tottenham had to fight to keep Midric out of Chelsea's clutches last year. But with Harry Redknapp's side narrowly missing out on Champions League football next season, the club look likely to lose several big stars this summer.