Tag Archives: preference

Theo Walcott given deadline by Arsenal to sign new contract

Arsenal set two-week deadline for in-form Walcott to sign new deal to keep him at Emirates

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UPDATED:

22:50 GMT, 30 December 2012

Arsenal want Theo Walcott's long-term future secured within the next fortnight.

Club officials are working to set up a second round of formal contract discussions with the player and his representatives in the next 14 days.

Arsenal are increasingly optimistic a deal can be reached. Sportsmail understands the 23-year-old's preference is to stay.

Main man: Theo Walcott was in exceptional form against Newcastle

Main man: Theo Walcott was in exceptional form against Newcastle

But the original 75,000-per-week offer made on August 28 must be improved, while Walcott also wants assurances over his chances of playing as a centre forward on a regular basis.

The England star wants a package closer to 100,000 per week, but it is believed a deal of 85,000 or 90,000 would suit both parties.

Meanwhile, Arsenal will this week make their move to sign Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha.

The Gunners are set to increase their starting offer to beat Manchester United to the England player's signature.

Arsenal had originally planned to make an 8million opening bid for the 20-year-old starlet, who wants to leave Selhurst Park in January.

However, they are considering a more lucrative starting offer to ensure Zaha's arrival.

Deadline: Arsenal want Walcott's new deal sewn up within the next two weeks

Deadline: Arsenal want Walcott's new deal sewn up within the next two weeks

Icing on the cake: Walcott scores his third and Arsenal's seventh

Icing on the cake: Walcott scores his third and Arsenal's seventh

Owen Farrell warned but preferred to Freddie Burns to replace Toby Flood

A slap on the wrist for Farrell… but he's in ahead of Fred to replace Flood

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 26 November 2012

Owen Farrell was given a stark warning on Monday about the need to respect the decisions of his England captain, then cleared to replace the injured Toby Flood at No 10 against New Zealand in preference to the country’s form fly-half.

The 21-year-old Saracens stand-off will be handed the conductor’s baton for Saturday’s showdown with the world champions at Twickenham, having been reminded about the need to follow orders.

Four days ago, Farrell challenged Chris Robshaw’s decision to kick for goal rather than for the corner in the closing minutes against South Africa and his prolonged objections were condemned as public dissent.

Warned but still selected: Owen Farrell (right) was rebuked but will play in a key role on Saturday

Warned but still selected: Owen Farrell (right) was rebuked but will play in a key role on Saturday

When the squad held their weekly review, he was left in no doubt that a repeat rebellion will not be tolerated.

Asked if Farrell had been admonished, head coach Stuart Lancaster said: ‘The players said it rather than me. The captain makes the decision and we get on with it. Everyone has got that lesson learned now. Nothing more needs to be said to an individual.’

Having shown solidarity with his captain, Lancaster then supported Farrell for the task of replacing Flood, who has a toe injury.

The inclusion in the squad of uncapped Gloucester fly-half Freddie Burns offers an exciting option. But Lancaster said: ‘Owen has a lot of credit in the bank from what he achieved for us in the Six Nations.

‘He had a long, hard season but I don’t think his form dropped off as dramatically as people made out. I know he has been a bit frustrated; he had a slow start to this season because of an injury.

‘We base a lot of our selection on what we see in training. He has trained well and he looked accomplished when he came on against South Africa. I have no problem with Owen whatsoever.

Red hot: Freddie Burns is in good form but was overlooked

Red hot: Freddie Burns is in good form but was overlooked

‘I am disappointed for Toby but excited to get Freddie in, to have a player like that — in form, confident, coming in to make potentially his first appearance, against the All Blacks.’

So Farrell will take the No 10 shirt and Burns must wait for his chance on the bench.

Tale of the 10s

But Lancaster acknowledged that the creative newcomer provides different qualities to the established No 10s and suggested that the revitalised environment at Gloucester has been a major factor in Burns’ rapid rise this season.

‘Nigel Davies deserves a lot of credit for Freddie’s form, due to the way Gloucester are playing,’ said Lancaster, referring to the club’s Welsh director of rugby.

‘He also benefits from having Billy Twelvetrees outside him — he feels comfortable playing alongside Billy. Freddie is a quality player. I want more strength in depth in every position and he gives us that. It is a great opportunity for him.’

Burns has played with highly effective freedom for Gloucester this season and Davies said: ‘Freddie is really maturing. He is putting us in the right areas and he’s turning the opportunities into points. He’s on top of his game at the moment, playing superbly well. I think he’s got everything an international outside-half needs. His game-management has been excellent and he’s always a threat.

Missing: Toby Flood will not be able to play against New Zealand

Missing: Toby Flood will not be able to play against New Zealand

‘Even on a boggy field with a wet ball, he looks dangerous. You just can’t move off him too early. He’s an exceptional player.’

Lancaster made it abundantly clear yesterday that Robshaw, despite the storm of debate around his penalty decision last Saturday, will lead England against the All Blacks and retains his full backing.

‘We have the New Zealand game coming up and I definitely won’t be making any changes in that regard,’ said the head coach. ‘Chris Robshaw had a fantastic game for us. He was the top carrier, the top tackler and he hit more breakdowns than any other player in the squad. He has done a great job for us in this series.

‘It was a difficult decision (about the late penalty). It is the captain’s responsibility to make the decision and we are disappointed we didn’t make the decision work for him, so ultimately we feel responsible as a group.’

England’s coaches are optimistic that Alex Corbisiero’s knee injury will clear up in time for him to start Saturday’s match, despite Nick Wood being brought into the squad to provide additional cover at loosehead prop.

Dimitar Berbartov: I wasn"t lazy at Manchester United

I wasn't lazy, I was just left on the bench, blasts ex-United striker Berbatov

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UPDATED:

09:08 GMT, 10 November 2012

Dimitar Berbatov has insisted he was not lazy at Manchester United.

The Bulgarian scored 57 goals in 149 games for the Old Trafford side but flattered to deceive in his final months with the club.

But Berbatov claims he always gave 100 per cent and would have been a better player had he not been left to rot on the bench.

Benched: Dimitar Berbatov struggled to settle at Manchester United

Benched: Dimitar Berbatov struggled to settle at Manchester United

'I left Manchester United with my head held very high,' he told The Sun.

'I gave 100 per cent and no one could doubt my performances, especially when you compare how many minutes I actually played.

'I was the Premier League’s top goalscorer in 2010-11 and never wanted to be on the bench.

'Perhaps I needed to play more but I always accepted the manager’s orders. I never considered myself to be a star — only a forward working for the team.'

Berbatov opted to join Fulham this summer and will line up against Arsenal this afternoon.

And the striker admits he was always keen to stay in England.

'The Fulham directors spoke directly with me to explain their ambitions and how I fitted in with those plans,' he added.

Happy days: Berbatov is enjoying his football since moving to Fulham

Happy days: Berbatov is enjoying his football since moving to Fulham

'That was the key and also the fact that my family are happy in England.

'I received another proposition from Fiorentina but my preference was always to stay in the Premier League.

'It may be more difficult to score and win trophies with Fulham than at United or Spurs.

'But I am focused on scoring goals for Fulham and fighting to get us into the Europa League.'

Liverpool will not rename Anfield

Liverpool avoid fans' wrath by ruling out Anfield name change

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UPDATED:

08:43 GMT, 16 October 2012

Liverpool have ruled out renaming Anfield to help fund the proposed 150million redevelopment of the stadium.

The Reds had previously held talks with a number of interested parties when they were considering building a new 300m ground.

But after deciding to remain at Anfield, managing director Ian Ayre has confirmed the stadium will retain its famous name.

Staying put: Liverpool will redevelop Anfield to increase the capacity

Staying put: Liverpool will redevelop Anfield to increase the capacity

‘There won’t be a naming rights deal for Anfield,’ he said. ‘It was only something we looked at when we were assessing the option of a new stadium.

‘Naming rights was a difficult process but we weren’t without our suitors. We have had and still have interest around it.

‘A new stadium would never have happened without it but that was only one part of it.

‘We had to balance the two possible options. It was about finding the best solution for the club and we feel very strongly that this is the right one.

‘Our preference was always to stay at Anfield and this is a major step forward.’

Changes: Sybil Road is one of the streets that will be affected

Changes: Sybil Road is one of the streets that will be affected

The planned project will increase the capacity from 45,000 to 60,000 and will involve a number of streets behind the Main Stand being demolished.

Under the plans, Lothair Road, Alroy Road and Sybil Road will be cleared and residents affected will be rehoused.

The redevelopment has been designed to avoid a reduction in capacity while the work is carried out while Ayre has denied that manager Brendan Rodgers will see his transfer budget slashed.

‘The right solution is the right economic solution,’ he added.

‘Rather than it detracting from our spending in the transfer market, the whole point of doing this is to actually increase our revenues.

‘If we look at our biggest competitors with a bigger capacity… their matchday revenue is significantly ahead of ours.

Plans: John Henry (right) had considered moving the club

Plans: John Henry (right) had considered moving the club

‘This whole initiative is designed to generate additional revenues so the ultimate solution has to be one that increases the overall output through the process rather than decreasing it.

‘We’ll find the right financing solution, the right return on investment to deliver the right amount of additional revenue to support the long-term future of the football club.’

Falcao keen on move to Premier League in January

Chelsea slayer Falcao keen on move to Premier League in January

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UPDATED:

21:51 GMT, 2 September 2012

Premier ambition: Falcao

Premier ambition: Falcao

Falcao believes he will be a Barclays Premier League player come January.

The Atletico Madrid striker reports for international duty with Colombia this week fresh from scoring a hat-trick against Chelsea in his side’s 4-1 victory in the European Super Cup on Friday night.

Falcao has already spoken to his father, Radamel, and revealed that his preference is to play for Chelsea or Manchester City.

‘There are three teams interested – Manchester City, Chelsea and a Russian team,’ said Falcao senior.

‘Falcao has always wanted to play in the Premier League.

‘Ever since he was a boy he has loved Chelsea and has always thought it would be an honour to play for a big Premier League team.’

The Colombian newspapers are reporting that a pre-contract agreement has already been agreed with Chelsea and the player. ‘I don’t want to talk about any pre-agreements,’ added Radamel.

‘I spoke to Falcao very briefly yesterday. The minimum release clause in his contract with Atletico Madrid is about 55million Euros, but Falcao doesn’t want to talk figures.’

When asked about the chances of his son playing in the Premier League by the time the next transfer window closes, his father confirmed: ‘Yes, it’s very likely.’

Sunderland rival Stoke for Michael Owen

Sunderland rival Stoke for free agent Owen as striker's future remains undecided

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UPDATED:

23:35 GMT, 31 August 2012

Sunderland are offering late competition to Stoke in the chase to sign Michael Owen.

The 32-year-old can sign outside of the window as a free agent and revealed on his Twitter account that he had been the subject of interest from two major European clubs but his preference is to stay in the Premier League.

Where now Michael Owen has yet to sign for a new club

Where now Michael Owen has yet to sign for a new club

Douglas Texeira wanted by Newcastle

Newcastle line up move for 4m FC Twente defender Texeira

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UPDATED:

10:20 GMT, 31 July 2012

Newcastle are ramping up their bid to sign FC Twente defender Douglas Texeira.

The Brazilian centre-back has one year to run on his current deal, and Newcastle are believed to have offered 4million for his services.

According to The Sun, the North East club have laid down a 40,000-a-week package to lure the 24-year-old to St James' Park.

Wanted: Texeira (right) is on Newcastle's radar

Wanted: Texeira (right) is on Newcastle's radar

Newcastle, who are yet to make a significant signing this summer, remain hopeful of landing France international Mathieu Debuchy.

The full-back has signalled his desire to leave Lille in preference of a move to the Barclays Premier League, but Newcastle are yet to meet the French club's valuation.

Reunion: Newcastle are considering a fresh approach for Carroll

Reunion: Newcastle are considering a fresh approach for Carroll

Alan Pardew is also keen on bringing Liverpool outcast Andy Carroll back to Newcastle.

Toon are considering a fresh move for Carroll after West Ham outlined a 2million loan fee with Liverpool.

It is understood that the England international would prefer a move back to his native North East if he is forced to leave Liverpool and is likely to shun West Ham's offer.

Franz Beckenbauer hits back at Sepp Blatter over World Cup vote claim

Beckenbauer blasts Blatter over suggestion of corruption in 2006 World Cup vote

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UPDATED:

10:14 GMT, 16 July 2012

Franz Beckenbauer has hit back at suggestions by FIFA president Sepp Blatter that there was irregularity in the decision to award the 2006 World Cup to Germany.

In an interview with Switzerland's Blick newspaper yesterday, Blatter suggested the vote for the host of the 2006 World Cup had not run smoothly and he suspected malpractice.

However, Beckenbauer, who was head of the organising committee for that tournament, was unhappy with the comments.

Power games: Blatter (left) and Beckenbauer (right) at the 2006 World Cup

Power games: Blatter (left) and Beckenbauer (right) at the 2006 World Cup

'I cannot understand the remarks and suggestions of Sepp Blatter,' he said.

Blatter suggested the vote had been fixed to favour Germany over his own preference of South Africa.

Germany eventually won the right to host the tournament by 12 votes to 11, with New Zealand's representative of the Oceania confederation abstaining.

'When we talk about a World Cup being bought, I remember back to 2006 where, at the very last moment, somebody left the room and, instead of having a vote of 10-10, it finished 10-9 for Germany,' said Blatter.

'I am pleased because I did not have to cast a deciding vote but for somebody to suddenly leave the room – maybe I was too kind or too naive at the time.'

Can't kick me out: Blatter insists he'll never be forced out of his FIFA post

Can't kick me out: Blatter insists he'll never be forced out of his FIFA post

When asked if he presumed the vote had been fixed, Blatter said: 'I don't presume anything, I am stating facts.'

Those facts, according to Beckenbauer, are flawed.

'He has even got the result wrong,' he said in Germany's Bild newspaper. 'It was 12-11 and not 10-9.

'And what was decisive was that the eight Europeans all united behind us and voted for us.'

The president of Germany's Football League, Dr Reinhard Rauball, has called for Blatter to step down as a result of the ISL bribery scandal which has recently come to light, but Blatter has ruled that out.

'It is nothing new that people want rid of me,' said the Swiss. 'Sometimes it is the British media, then the American and then the German.

'The truth is, Rauball called me last Friday and told me that I should resign.

'I told him that it is not as easy as he imagines. The fact is, I have been elected by the congress.

'No club will decide whether and when I leave.'

Jan Vertonghen says Tottenham move nearing completion

Ajax ace Vertonghen says Spurs move could be just days away from completion

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UPDATED:

18:52 GMT, 1 June 2012

Ajax defender Jan Vertonghen has revealed he is close to joining Tottenham and believes a deal could be finalised in the next 'couple of weeks or maybe days'.

The Belgium international has been the subject of speculation linking him with a move to the Barclays Premier League, with Arsenal and Spurs both interested.

Vertonghen has previously stated his preference to join Tottenham and the defender says that move now looks close to completion.

England awaits: Jan Vertonghen (centre) in training with Belgium

England awaits: Jan Vertonghen (centre) in training with Belgium

'I am a big fan of the Premier League,' he said ahead of Belgium's friendly with England.

'It is almost the only competition I watch on TV and for me it is the best competition in the world.

'I would like to play in the Premier
League. I am not in contact every day but I think it could be very close
now, maybe a couple of weeks or maybe days.'

Made his mind up: Jan Vertonghen has his heart set on Tottenham

Made his mind up: Jan Vertonghen has his heart set on Tottenham

Asked if he knew what club he wanted
to join, he said: 'I probably know which team I will be going to, yes. I
know where I want to go and I think it is clear to everybody.'

When probed as to whether that club is Tottenham, he nodded and said: 'Yes.'

Hulk wants to join Chelsea

Hulk favours move to Chelsea as Porto striker plots summer switch to Premier League

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UPDATED:

21:58 GMT, 25 May 2012

Porto striker Hulk says he wants to move to the Premier League and that Chelsea is his preference.

The Brazilian striker’s agent Teodoro Fonseca said: 'For sure Hulk will only leave Porto for a big club and a big league and I can say that we like the Premier League a lot.

'At the moment, Chelsea is a club which is more interesting than ever, because they’ve become European champions and are without doubt one of the biggest in Europe.

Chelsea bound Hulk could replace Didier Drogba at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea bound Hulk could replace Didier Drogba at Stamford Bridge

'A lot of people would like to play there and of course it would also please us a lot. We know they will need to reinforce themselves as they’ve just lost Drogba and can lose other important players and that perhaps increases the chances of getting closer, but we will only make the step after listening to the Porto board.

'In the current market, Hulk and Neymar are the players most sought after, they’re on the same level. That’s why his financial and professional interests have to be protected.

Champion: Hulk (centre) won the Portuguese First League Trophy with Porto

Champion: Hulk (centre) won the Portuguese First League Trophy with Porto

'We haven’t yet spoken with (Porto president) Pinto da Costa, so we don’t know what Porto can do to try to keep him another season, but we’ve heard the president’s declarations, and it’s a source of pride to know there is so much affection at the club for Hulk. If there’s to be a transfer, nothing will be done without our hearing all interested parties. Hulk is young, he’s withstood the pressure well, and he can wait to leave Porto.

'We haven’t received any concrete offers, despite frequently being sounded out, but that’s normal at this stage. Perhaps there’s been a bit more (sounding out) than in previous years, but that’s because of the excellent season he’s had at Porto.'

Hulk has a buy-out clause of 100 million euros, but Porto may be willing to let him leave for less than this.