Tag Archives: priority

Manchester City prepare to sell Edin Dzeko, Maicon and Joleon Lescott

Dzeko, Lescott and Maicon head for City exit as Mancini prepare fire sale to fund move for Fellaini

By
Sami Mokbel

PUBLISHED:

23:21 GMT, 21 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

02:06 GMT, 22 February 2013

Manchester City want to significantly slash their wage bill this summer with a ruthless clear-out.

The current Barclays Premier League holders have already begun the process of making their salary expenditure more cost-effective from next season by instructing a number of third-parties to find buyers for a host of players this summer.

Newly-appointed director of football Txiki Begiristain and chief executive Ferran Soriano have made it a top priority to streamline the club’s wage bill.

On his way: 27m striker Edin Dzeko could be heading for the City exit

Under threat: Joleon Lescott has also fallen out of favour this season

Edin for the exit: Dzeko and Joleon Lescott are among those set to leave City this summer

Players City are committed to offloading this summer are Maicon, Joleon Lescott, Edin Dzeko and Scott Sinclair.

The futures of Gareth Barry, Javi Garcia, Aleksandar Kolarov and Samir Nasri are also under review ahead of the summer shake-up.

Furthermore, City will make an instant 15million annual saving once Roque Santa Cruz, Wayne Bridge and Kolo Toure’s contracts expire at the end of the season.

Samir Nasri

Gareth Barry

Disappointing: Samir Nasri has never justified his City salary, while Gareth Barry is rapidly declining

The Etihad Stadium club will also look to use their unwanted stars as makeweights in their attempts to sign fresh blood.

The imminent clear-out is, in part, to ensure the club fall into UEFA’s financial fair play guidelines, but also designed to give the club more leeway in terms of wages in the transfer market this summer.

City will look to make at least two significant purchases, with Napoli forward Edinson Cavani, who has a 52million release clause, already identified.

Targeted: Roberto Mancini hopes to recruit Marouane Fellaini

Targeted: Roberto Mancini hopes to recruit Marouane Fellaini

Manager Roberto Mancini will also look to add a box-to-box central midfielder to his ranks, with Everton’s Marouane Fellaini viewed as a leading candidate.

It is understood the Toffees are aware of City’s growing interest in the Belgium international, but are unwilling to make a decision on his future until the end of the season.

City would be willing to stretch to 23million to land Fellaini, who is also a long-term target for Chelsea, in the summer and have already earmarked young striker John Guidetti as a sweetener in the deal. Celtic midfielder Victor Wanyama is also a target for City.

Scott Parker desperate win an FA Cup winners medal

Parker's desperate to make a mark in the Cup he loves and add to his medal collection

By
Ian Stafford

PUBLISHED:

22:45 GMT, 26 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

06:45 GMT, 27 January 2013

Scott Parker, 32 and with just one League Cup winners’ medal to show for 16 years in football’s top flight, insists that he is one player who still takes the FA Cup seriously.

‘I love the FA Cup as a competition,’ said the Spurs midfielder as he prepared for today’s fourth-round trip to face Leeds United. ‘It’s something I’m desperate to win.’

Parker’s solitary piece of silverware was won with Chelsea in 2005, though he actually missed the final in Cardiff through injury. Chelsea won the Premier League the following year but Parker missed out on a winner’s medal because he had not played in the minimum 10 matches.

Cup of joy: Scott Parker is desperate to win the FA Cup

Cup of joy: Scott Parker is desperate to win the FA Cup

Last year’s losing FA Cup semi-final, playing for Spurs against Chelsea, was as good as it gets, he says, which is why he is taking this afternoon’s fourth-round trip to Leeds very seriously indeed.

‘That semi-final defeat still rankles and I know I don’t have too long left to do it,’ admitted Parker, just back from a five-month lay-off following an achilles operation in the summer.

‘I understand why a top-four finish in the League is the priority for a club like Tottenham, but for me the FA Cup is just as important. Within three or four games you’re right in the business end of the competition and you can taste Wembley.

‘Maybe four or five years ago the competition was beginning to fizzle out a bit, with clubs sending weakened teams out to play, but this isn’t the case so much anymore and I, for one, am pleased about that.

‘There’s nothing better to play in or watch than a good old-fashioned English cup-tie between the big boys and a team from a lower division trying to seize the moment. The Premier League is great, of course, but my early memories of football are all to do with the FA Cup.’

Hard time: Parker won the a League Cup winners medal while at Chelsea

Hard time: Parker won the a League Cup winners medal while at Chelsea

A lifelong Spurs fan, Parker’s earliest recollection of the FA Cup was watching his beloved team lose the 1987 final to Coventry.

‘It’s not a happy memory,’ he says. ‘My favourite player at the time was Nico Claesen, but he was on the bench that day and came on too late for my liking. Then I watched them beat Forest in 1991 when Gazza was up to his tricks.

‘Even though I was far too young at the time to remember Spurs winning back-to-back Cups in the early Eighties, I did end up knowing all the words to Chas and Dave’s Tottenham songs, and had them as records.’

Snow joke: Parker training at Spurs ahead of the Leeds game

Snow joke: Parker training at Spurs ahead of the Leeds game

Being the football romantic that he is, Parker is also full of admiration for today’s opponents, Leeds, and recalls one happy memory nearer the start of his long career.

‘I scored an injury-time winner at Elland Road for Charlton after a mazy run,’ he says. ‘I don’t score many so that one has stuck. Some of the foreign lads in the Spurs team today may not understand how big a club Leeds still are.

‘They’ll look at the Championship table and not understand, but they will when they run out at Elland Road. There’s no way a team of Leeds’s stature should be where they are. To me they are still a massive, massive club, and you can expect the ground to be rocking.

‘Occasionally in the third and fourth round you can turn up and win being at 70 or 80 per cent. Well you can’t at Leeds. We’ll have to be at our best.

‘It will be a tough game. Their manager, Neil Warnock, will get them going and if we fall short of our best Leeds will win, which is why the television cameras are there. They sense there could be an upset. We’ll have to make sure it doesn’t happen.’

QPR keen on West Brom defender Jonas Olsson

Redknapp want 5m Olsson to help save QPR from the drop

By
Lee Bryan

PUBLISHED:

08:15 GMT, 10 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

08:32 GMT, 10 January 2013

QPR boss Harry Redknapp has made a 5million bid for West Brom defender Jonas Olsson, according to reports.

Redknapp priority in this transfer window is to strengthen his defence to try and help his side in their battle against relegation and is keen on Olsson, whose outstanding form this season has also seen him watched by Arsenal.

The 29-year-old has a 4m buy-out clause in his contract in the summer and QPR believe they can get him this month.

Top target: Jonas Olsson is the man Harry Redkapp wants to sign

Top target: Jonas Olsson is the man Harry Redkapp wants to sign

According to The Daily Mirror Olsson is keen on a move to London and Redknapp is keen for him to replace Ryan Nelsen, who is off to the MLS to manage Toronto.

Redknapp is also considering a move for Tottenham defender William Gallas.

Looking to strengthen: Harry Redknapp wants to add to his defence

Looking to strengthen: Harry Redknapp wants to add to his defence

The QPR boss is an admirer of the French defender after managing him at White Hart Lane.

But persuading Olsson to join relegation-threatened Rangers from Europe-chasing Albion is his main priority.

Manchester United in fresh 15m move for Everton defender Leighton Baines

Manchester United make fresh 15m move for Everton defender Baines

|

UPDATED:

22:49 GMT, 28 December 2012

Manchester United are increasingly confident of signing Leighton Baines next month.

Sportsmail understands talks between
United and Everton over the protracted transfer have reopened and Old
Trafford chiefs feel the Merseysiders will now sell the England star for
15million.

Wanted: Everton's Leighton Baines

Wanted: Everton's Leighton Baines

Sir Alex Ferguson has made a replacement for first-choice left back Patrice Evra a top priority, with Chelsea’s Ashley Cole, who is out of contract at the end of the season, another option for Ferguson.

But he prefers Baines, even though he will face stiff competition for the 28-year-old in the transfer window.

Cover story: Ferguson wants Baines as long-term replacement for Patrice Evra, top,

Cover story: Ferguson wants Baines as long-term replacement for Patrice Evra (top)

A senior Arsenal scout watched Baines play in Everton’s win over West Ham.

Chelsea have eyes on the defender as
they search for a new left back, given Cole’s expected departure in the
summer. Paris Saint- Germain are also keen.

Jack Butland may be forced out as Birmingham face administration

Butland may be forced out as to save Birmingham from administration

|

UPDATED:

16:50 GMT, 28 December 2012

Capped: Butland has represented England and also played for Great Britain at the Olympics

Capped: Butland has represented England and also played for Great Britain at the Olympics

Jack Butland could be forced out of Birmingham in the January transfer window in order to save the club from administration.

The 19-year-old England goalkeeper is being chased by several teams, most notably Liverpool, who are understood to have already been in talks with the midlands outfit.

The Blues rejected a 6million bid from Southampton for Butland in the summer, but acting chairman Peter Pannu has admitted the cash-strapped club may not be able to resist such temptations next month as they bid to ease their increasing financial struggles.

'I can't say that we are in a very wonderful situation, I would be lying if I said that,' Pannu told the Birmingham Mail

'This is a very tricky question (player sales). What I can say is that – and I might be blasted for this by the fans – but no-one is for sale and everyone is available. As at any club.

'Give me a 15m offer for Jack Butland, can I say no

'I have rejected 6m from Southampton (in the summer) but I rejected it when our finances were okay.

'As the time is ticking, I might not be able to reject it if I get something similar.

'I do have a responsibility to keep the club running.

'My top priority now – and if I do offend anyone, I care not – is to make sure this clubs stays afloat.'

Butland is not the only player facing a possible exit, with a handful of other high earners troubling Birmingham's wage bill, most notably Nikola Zigic's 50,000-plus a week wages.

Pannu has been exploring the potential for bringing in new owners or finding investment in the club for some time.

Target: Liverpool have led the chase for the 19-year-old

Target: Liverpool have led the chase for the 19-year-old

The board of Birmingham International Holdings Limited (BIHL), City's parent company, announced late last month they were in talks with two parties from Hong Kong and one from the UK – Gianni Paladini's Italian-backed consortium.

They were at an advanced stage in discussions with one of the Hong Kong bidders – which has now fallen through.

Providing an update on the situation, Pannu said: 'It is no secret that there are two parties in Hong Kong that we have been dealing with.

'The fans also know that my preferred party, which was reported in the media, the Charles Chan and SMEG group, unfortunately did not transpire.

'But we still have another very big party we are dealing with in Hong Kong.'

Pannu also revealed he continues to be in discussions with Paladini's consortium and met a member of the bid for talks recently, although he is demanding greater clarity on those behind the offer and their plans.

David Villa on Arsenal radar as Arsene Wenger ponders swoop for Barcelona star

EXCLUSIVE: Arsenal chase Barcelona star Villa as Wenger aims to bolster attacking options

|

UPDATED:

22:04 GMT, 21 December 2012

Arsenal are exploring an audacious swoop for Barcelona striker David Villa.

And Wojciech Szczesny's future as the Gunners' first-choice goalkeeper is growing increasingly uncertain with Sunderland custodian Simon Mignolet the latest to emerge as a January target.

But it is the possible capture of Villa that will excite Arsenal fans going into the festive period.

Wanted: Arsenal could make an audacious swoop for Barcelona striker Villa

Wanted: Arsenal could make an audacious swoop for Barcelona striker Villa

Arsene Wenger and his backroom team have discussed a January swoop for Villa, a forward the Gunners boss has admired for several years.

The Gunners would rather take the 31-year-old on loan until the end of the season, with a view to a permanent deal depending on how he takes to the Premier League.

But if the price is right, Arsenal would stretch to a long term deal in January.

Keeping the bench warm: Villa has become frustrated with a lack of first-team opportunities at Barcelona

Keeping the bench warm: Villa has become frustrated with a lack of first-team opportunities at Barcelona

Sources in Spain indicate Barca could let Villa leave should he indicate a preference to depart given his lack of first-team football.

Wenger has made bolstering his strikeforce a top priority next month.

Klass-Jan Huntelaar, Adrian Lopez and Edin Dzeko all feature on Wenger's list, while Thierry Henry is expected to return for a third spell at the club.

That's handy: Henry is set for a return to Arsenal in January

That's handy: Henry is set for a return to Arsenal in January

Wenger's search for a new goalkeeper to challenge Szczesny has seen him turn to the impressive Mignolet.

The Arsenal manager is unhappy with the level of competition Szczesny has at the moment and wants an experienced keeper to push the young Pole and even replace him.

Pepe Reina, Asmir Begovic and Michel Vorm are other goalkeeping possibilities.

Approach: Arsenal are poised to make a bid for Sunderland stopper Mignolet

Approach: Arsenal are poised to make a bid for Sunderland stopper Mignolet

Szczesny is unlikely to be happy about the prospect of sitting on the bench should the new arrival push him out of the starting XI.

Meanwhile, Crystal Palace starlet Wilfried Zaha is set to decide on a move to either Manchester United or Arsenal next month.

The England international has privately set his heart on leaving Selhurst Park in January for a move to an elite top flight club.

And it is understood Zaha is weighing up solid offers from Old Trafford and the Emirates Stadium.

Newcastle ready to make January move for West Ham midfielder Momo Diame

Newcastle ready to make January move for West Ham midfielder Diame

|

UPDATED:

00:33 GMT, 7 December 2012

Newcastle have emerged as leading contenders for West Ham midfielder Momo Diame should he leave in January.

The 25-year-old has a release clause of 3.5million. Arsenal have also shown interest in the Senegal international but their main priority is a striker with Schalke's Klaas Jan Huntelaar top of their list.

Target: West Ham midfielder Mohamed Diame

Target: West Ham midfielder Momo Diame

Daniel Sturridge wants 80k-a-week to complete Liverpool switch

Sturridge demands 80k-a-week to complete Liverpool switch as Chelsea striker nears exit

|

UPDATED:

10:43 GMT, 4 December 2012

Daniel Sturridge will demand 80,000-a-week to complete a January transfer to Liverpool this winter as Brendan Rodgers looks to bolster his attacking options.

Rodgers has identified a new striker as his main priority with the burden resting heavily on Luis Suarez and has already made enquiries with Chelsea.

On the move Sturridge could be heading to Anfield in January

On the move Sturridge could be heading to Anfield in January

The Anfield club made soundings in the summer, but are now ready to make a firm offer, if they can agree on personal terms with the former Manchester City forward.

The Blues are prepared to allow Sturridge to leave, despite the continuing travails of Fernando Torres, primarily due to his minimal input so far this term.

Sturridge has made just seven starts in the Barclays Premier League this season, his only goal was a tap-in from a yard out, deep into time added on in the clash with Tottenham.

The 23-year-oldis also insistent that he must play through the middle if he were to move to Liverpool next month -a direct move to avoid being played out wide under successive Stamford Bridge regimes.

Strike a light: Sturridge hasn't been as prolific in front of goal this season

Strike a light: Sturridge hasn't been as prolific in front of goal this season

Manchester United target Kevin Strootman wants summer move to Premier League

Man United target Strootman wants summer move to Premier League

|

UPDATED:

07:20 GMT, 28 November 2012

Manchester United are on red alert after Dutch star Kevin Strootman set his sights on a move to the Premier League.

The Red Devils have registered their interest in the 20m-rated PSV midfielder, who is also wanted by Real Madrid and AC Milan.

Most wanted: PSV midfielder Kevin Strootman (right)

Most wanted: PSV midfielder Kevin Strootman (right)

And Strootman's agent Chiel Dekker confirmed that the 22-year-old wants a summer move to England.

Dekker told talkSPORT: 'All the top clubs in Europe know about Kevin,
but a move to England next summer is his first priority and, yes,
Manchester United and other big clubs in Europe have been in touch with
me.'

PSV coach Dick Advocaat admitted earlier this week it's a matter of
when, not if, Strootman moves to one of Europe's elite clubs.

Advocaat has already lined up Oscar Hiljemark from Swedish champions Elsfburg as a replacement.

David Moyes will discuss Everton future in New Year

Moyes set to open talks over Everton future in the New Year

|

UPDATED:

22:50 GMT, 27 November 2012

David Moyes given the first definitive answer about his future plans by revealing he expects to begin discussions over a new contract in the New Year.

The Everton manager has seven months remaining on his current deal and so far this season he has brushed off questions about his intentions by insisting his priority was getting his team moving forward.

He is relaxed about the situation and will be happy to get the January transfer window out of the way before discussions begin.

Set to talk: David Moyes expects to discuss his Everton future in the New Year

Set to talk: David Moyes expects to discuss his Everton future in the New Year

Moyes, whose side host Arsenal this evening, has made it clear that personal finance or length of contract will not be thorny issues when talks with Everton Chairman Bill Kenwright commence – it will be more a case of Everton’s ambitions going forward.

‘I would probably wait until we have got over January and see how things go,’ said Moyes. ‘I want to see what we’re going to do, where the club are looking to move to in the future. And that’s what I’m really looking for. It’s probably going to be after the New Year before (we speak).’

Everton have made huge progress during the 10 years Moyes has been at the helm but, mindful of the treatment Arsene Wenger has received in recent weeks, he is mindful of not overstaying his welcome. That said, he is puzzled as to why the criticism of Wenger has been so strong.

Moving in the right direction: Everton have made a good start to the season

Moving in the right direction: Everton have made a good start to the season

‘Supporters might decide they want a change from managers who have been there a long time but I think that’s wrong because you are not going to get any stability at the club and will probably waste a lot of money chopping and changing all the time,’ said Moyes.

‘Arsene has done a great job getting them in the Champions League every year. Of course their supporters want trophies but you look at their stadium and it is unbelievable. Only one or two clubs in the country would not be envious of that stadium.

‘He has put down something that is going to be there for a long, long time. Arsene is part of that. He has seen the club through the transition from Highbury to The Emirates and continually got a team that has made the Champions League.

‘Ok, they’ve not won the league or cups but they have always been up there. Arsene can go as long as he wants. Arsene Wenger will be the one who decides what he does at Arsenal. I don’t think it will be the board or supporters.’