Tag Archives: request

Didier Drogba set to sign for Galatasaray on 18 month contract

Turkish delight for Drogba with former Chelsea striker set to sign for Galatasaray

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

16:44 GMT, 27 January 2013

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UPDATED:

21:31 GMT, 27 January 2013

Didier Drogba has signed an 18-month contract at Galatasaray, according to reports in Turkey.

The former Chelsea striker is currently on Africa Cup of Nations duty with Ivory Coast but Eurosport and official Turkish League broadcaster LigTV are reporting that Drogba has found the time to agree a move to Turkey from Shanghai Shenhua.

He is expected to complete a 5million move to the Turkish side and will receive a signing on bonus of 3m.

Turkish delight: Didier Drogba is set to join Galatasaray on an 18-month contract

Turkish delight: Didier Drogba is set to join Galatasaray on an 18-month contract

Turkish delight: Didier Drogba is set to join Galatasaray on an 18-month contract

Drogba will also reportedly receive a bonus of 21,000 for each game he plays, up to a maximum of 425,000 a year, meaning he could earn 9.6m over the 18 months.

Eurosport Turkey reports that the 'agreement is not official yet but sources say it will be done in the next week.'

A spokesperson for the Sports PR Company said: 'They have made a formal bid for him.'

The 34-year-old has found it hard to
settle in China and with Shenhua's financial problems worsening they
have already offloaded Drogba's former Chelsea team-mate Nicolas Anelka
to Juventus this week.

Struggles: Drogba failed to settle in China with Shanghai Shenhua

Struggles: Drogba failed to settle in China with Shanghai Shenhua

Didier Drogba sits on the pitch with the trophy

AC Milan had been linked with a move
for Drogba but it appears he will be heading to Galatasaray to join
their recent 8.6million signing Wesley Sneijder.

Last month Drogba returned to train with his old club during the Chinese off-season in preparation for the African Nations Cup, in which he is currently competing in South Africa.

FIFA rejected a special request from the striker for him to join a club on loan outside the transfer window, amid speculation linking him with Juventus, AC Milan and Liverpool, among others.

Neil Warnock says Charlie Morgan must have been watching Didier Drogba

Warnock joins those putting the boot into ball boy Morgan, and says he must have been watching Drogba

By
Ian Ladyman

PUBLISHED:

13:50 GMT, 27 January 2013

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UPDATED:

14:11 GMT, 27 January 2013

Leeds manager Neil Warnock has accused controversial Swansea ball boy Charlie Morgan of reacting like Didier Drogba at the Liberty Stadium last week.

Chelsea forward Eden Hazard is facing an FA charge after kicking the ball from beneath the 17-year-old towards the end of the teams’ Capital One Cup semi-final on Wednesday night.

The incident has divided opinion in football and Warnock didn’t pull any punches in his programme column for today’s FA Cup tie against Tottenham at Elland Road.

Warnock was scathing over Charlie Morgan's reaction

The oldest ball boy in history: Warnock was scathing over Charlie Morgan's reaction

The Leeds manager said Morgan must have been mimicking Drogba

Drogba's influence: The Leeds manager said Morgan must have been mimicking Drogba

Warnock wrote: ‘It was interesting to see Hazard’s sending off.

‘He obviously kicked the ball and caught the oldest ball boy in history.

‘I think the lad must have been studying Drogba over the years when you saw his reaction.

‘All that said, I’m sure Hazard will take his punishment because he was out of order.’

Meanwhile, new Leeds owners GFH Capital have reassured Warnock that he will be given cash to spend this week if striker Luciano Becchio leaves before the end of the transfer window.

A statement in today’s programme said: 'He will only be allowed to leave this week if we have an offer that is considered acceptable and in the best interests of the club.

‘If that happens proceeds will be re-invested in the team.’

Becchio submitted a transfer request last week after Leeds rejected offers from two foreign clubs.

Allardyce ready to raid former club for Swedish left back

Hammers target Blackburn defender as Allardyce ramps up January transfer activity

By
Laurie Whitwell

PUBLISHED:

13:34 GMT, 4 January 2013

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UPDATED:

13:34 GMT, 4 January 2013

Sam Allardyce will look at signing Martin Olsson to cover West Ham's need for a new left back.

The Swedish international played under Allardyce when he was in charge of Blackburn and handed in a transfer request last summer with his agent stating he would refuse to play in the Championship.

But Olsson stayed and has played 21 times this season. He would cost around 2million.

Reunion: Allardyce want to reunite with Blackburn's Martin Ollsson (centre) at Upton Park

Target: Martin Olsson is one of the players Sam Allardyce would like at West Ham

Allardyce said: ‘If they have made Martin available I would definitely be interested because I worked with the lad at Blackburn when I was there for two years.

‘I had a really good time developing him into what I consider to be quite a good player.

Swede: The 24-year-old is currently first choice left back for Sweden and has won 14 caps for his country

Capped: Olsson (left) has already won 14 caps for Sweden

‘But whether Blackburn are wanting to sell anybody in their plight to get back into the Premier League I don’t know.

‘We’ll need to find a left back as quick as we can. Joey O’Brien has a tight hamstring and George McCartney is out for a number of weeks. So our left back area is a little weak at the moment.

Allardyce also confirmed his interest in Arsenal’s Marouane Chamakh.

On the move: Marouane Chamakh (right) in training with Arsenal team-mate Abou Diaby on Thursday

On the move: Marouane Chamakh (right) in training with Arsenal team-mate Abou Diaby on Thursday

‘We’ve made an inquiry,’ he said. ‘The situation I have with Andy Carroll being injured and Modibo Maiga going to the African Cup of Nations, this moment as a striker we have Carlton Cole and that’s it.'

Paul Lambert says no offers for Darren Bent

No offers for Bent: Lambert says Villa have not had any inquires for out-of-favour striker

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UPDATED:

13:23 GMT, 30 November 2012

Paul Lambert confirmed Aston Villa have received no inquiries for out-of-favour striker Darren Bent and that the England international has not handed in a transfer request.

The Villa manager also denied there is a clause requiring the midlands club to make a 3million payment to Sunderland if Bent makes 50 league appearances for the club.

The 28-year-old has so far clocked up 47 and has not featured on the bench for the past two matches since returning from injury.

No inquiries: Darren Bent has been left out for the last two games

No inquiries: Darren Bent has been left out for the last two games

Christian Benteke is firmly established as the number one striker with rookie Jordan Bowery preferred as a substitute to Bent.

Lambert said: 'Have there been any enquiries for Bent No. Has he asked to be put on the transfer list No.

'Is there a clause That’s not true. I’m not sure where that came from.'

In limbo: Bent is has not been in the squad but has not had any interest, according to Lambert

In limbo: Bent is has not been in the squad but has not had any interest, according to Lambert

When asked why Bowery is being preferred as a substitute, Lambert said: 'I see what happens every day in training. I see with my own eyes what goes on.

'Jordan Bowery’s potential is extremely high and he is an unknown quantity which sometimes can work in your favour. I see every day what goes on.

'We’ve got 20-odd guys in the same boat together which I pick from.

'I answered about 105 questions (on Bent) the other night. The team I pick will be the team that will go and try win us the game and that’s the way I’ll always be.'

Wayne Rooney changed since Upton Park outburst

I've changed since that stupid outburst at Upton Park, says Rooney

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UPDATED:

08:36 GMT, 8 September 2012

Manchester United and England striker Wayne Rooney feels he has matured since the infamous moment when he swore at a pitchside TV camera.

The 26-year-old was hit with a two-game ban for reacting furiously when a lens was pointed at him during a match at West Ham in April 2011.

That match also showed the best of Rooney as he scored a hat-trick but, having always had a reputation for hot-headedness, he has done his best to tone down any excesses since.

Outburst: Rooney swears down a camera back in April 2011

Outburst: Rooney swears down a camera back in April 2011

Rooney told talkSPORT: 'I honestly don't think I would put myself in that situation again because it has cost me playing games.

'I don't really want to miss games. I feel I have matured as a player and a person.

'You never say never, of course, because football is an emotional game, but I'd like to hope it won't.

'That was the biggest moment where I realised that was wrong and stupid and I need to change. I have tried to do that and feel I have.'

Rooney, who joined United from Everton in 2004, has now spent 10 years playing in the top flight.

As he looks ahead to the next decade, he hopes to remain at Old Trafford for as long as possible.

Rooney made a transfer request two years
ago but now considers that a big mistake and has also brushed off
further speculation over his future in recent weeks.

Hat-trick: Rooney also netted three goals at Upton Park

Hat-trick: Rooney also netted three goals at Upton Park

He said: 'Hopefully still here at Man United. That's the aim, the plan and what I want to do.

'As long as this club wants me, I'll be here and trying to be successful.'

Of the latest rumours concerning his career at United, he added: 'I saw that but I didn't think anything of it.

'If the manager didn't want me around, I'm sure I'd be the first one he'd tell.

'That stuff you have to deal with, but if I'm wanted at this football club, I'll be at this football club as long as possible.'

Crocked: Rooney receives treatment for a gash on his leg last month

Crocked: Rooney receives treatment for a gash on his leg last month

Rooney is currently sidelined after suffering an horrendous gash in his leg in a challenge from Fulham's Hugo Rodallega a fortnight ago. It meant he missed England's match in Moldova on Friday night.

He was initially ruled out for a month and feels his recovery is on track.

Rooney told Sky Sports News: 'It is feeling good at the minute and is healing quite well, but it is basically down to the doctor.

'You have to be careful and I don't want to come back too soon because I could get a bang on it and it would open up again.

'We said at the time there was a four-week scale and that would be the case, I imagine.'

Cristiano Ronaldo and other stars who sulked their way out

More money, transfer requests and training alone – sulking Ronaldo is in good company

By
Dan Ripley

PUBLISHED:

15:22 GMT, 4 September 2012

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UPDATED:

15:26 GMT, 4 September 2012

Some people will never be pleased and it appears that Cristiano Ronaldo is one of them.

The Real Madrid forward, who forced through an 80m move to the Spanish capital from Manchester United in 2009, has claimed he is sad at the La Liga champions – alerting Chelsea and Manchester City to his future availability.

But as the Portuguese international counts the missing pennies he thinks he deserves, Sportsmail has compiled a list of six sulkers who also spat out their dummies before finally seeing their demands met.

Dwight Yorke

A long servant and a fan favourite, Yorke had become one of the Premier League’s most feared strikers during his nine-year spell at Aston Villa before it all came to an abrupt end in 1998.

Firing in 97 goals in 288 games for the West Midlands club had caught the attention of Sir Alex Ferguson, who was aiming to strengthen his Manchester United attack after losing the Premier League title the previous season.

Here today gone tomorrow: Dwight Yorke's poor performance in his last Aston Villa game led to his transfer to Manchester United

Here today gone tomorrow: Dwight Yorke's poor performance in his last Aston Villa game led to his transfer to Manchester United

Here today gone tomorrow: Dwight Yorke's poor performance in his last Aston Villa game at Everton in 1998 led to his transfer to Manchester United

Villa boss John Gregory categorically ruled out selling the Trinidad and Tobago hitman, but a very sloppy performance against Everton on the first day of the season left him with little choice but to offload his want-away striker in a 12.6m deal.

Gregory later stated that Yorke had handed in a transfer request and on hearing the demand claimed: ‘If I had a gun, I would have shot him.’ The Villa faithful were just as angry with the striker who had helped the club win the League Cup in 1996.

Nicolas Anelka

In just over two Premier League seasons at Arsenal between 1997 and 1999, Anelka went from being a promising youngster to one of the deadliest strikers in Europe.

Any hopes of the French striker rewarding the club that gave him his big breakthrough at the top level though were quickly extinguished when Real Madrid came calling.

Happier times: Nicolas Anelka (right) helped Arsenal win the Premier League title and the FA Cup in his first full season

Happier times: Nicolas Anelka (right) helped Arsenal win the Premier League title and the FA Cup in his first full season

Arsene Wenger signed Anelka as a 17-year-old from Paris St-Germain for just 500,000 and the youngster helped Arsenal win the double in his first full season, picking up the league’s Young Player of the Year award the following year.

But despite seemingly having a bright future in north London, Anelka felt he deserved a better salary and by the time Madrid stumped up 23m to sign him, Gunners fans, fed up of his poor attitude and lack of commitment, had already dubbed him ‘Le Sulk’ – a nickname that stuck like velcro.

Ashley Cole

Another star given his big breakthrough by Arsenal, but despite Cole giving five years more service to the Gunners than Anelka – his summer departure to Chelsea in 2006 left arguably a more sour taste in the fans’ mouths than the Frenchman’s.

Fuming at an extended contract offer of ‘only’ 55,000-a-week, the left-back quickly became disillusioned with the club.

Just one year after being caught discussing a move to Chelsea with their manager Jose Mourinho, he finally sealed a move to Stamford Bridge for 5m with William Gallas going the other direction to the Emirates Stadium.

Welcome back: Ashley Cole reacts after being tackled by former Arsenal team mate Cesc Fabregas

Welcome back: Ashley Cole reacts after being tackled by former Arsenal team mate Cesc Fabregas

Mock up: Arsenal fans printed fake bank notes with Cole's face on

Mock up: Arsenal fans printed fake bank notes with Cole's face on

Arsenal fans, keen on handing out nicknames, dubbed him ‘Cashley’ and greeted his first return to the club with banknotes that had his face replacing the Queen’s.

Dimitar Berbatov

Arguably one of Tottenham’s greatest signings in the Premier League era after joining from Bayer Leverkusen in 2006, but even after just one year the cracks were starting to appear in the relationship between the Bulgarian and the north London side.

In a Premier League match at Newcastle in October 2007, the striker, already in poor form, ignored calls from manager Martin Jol to warm up in the 3-1 defeat which culminated with the Dutch boss being sacked three days after.

Berbat-off: Dimitar Berbatov (left) started on the bench for Spurs' opening day Premier League defeat at Middlesbrough in 2008

Berbat-off: Dimitar Berbatov (left) started on the bench for Spurs' opening day Premier League defeat at Middlesbrough in 2008

Berbatov picked up his form after the arrival of Juande Ramos, but was soon causing unrest just under a year later when Manchester United reignited an earlier interest in signing him.

The Bulgarian’s disruption was enough to see him completely dropped from the Spurs squads to face Sunderland and Chelsea, before sealing a last hour switch on transfer deadline day to United for 30.75m.

Emmanuel Adebayor

The stats suggest that Adebayor gave just over three years of decent service to Arsenal after racking up 62 goals in 142 appearances for the Gunners.

Fans of the club will tell you otherwise. Following a 2007/08 season where the striker scored 30 goals, the Togo international caught the attention of Barcelona and AC Milan and was linked with a 30m move away from the Emirates.

Controversial: Emmanuel Adebayor celebrates in front of Arsenal fans after scoring against the north London side playing for Manchester City

Controversial: Emmanuel Adebayor celebrates in front of Arsenal fans after scoring against the north London side playing for Manchester City

A transfer failed to materialise, but the following campaign he scored just over half the amount of goals as supporters registered their disapproval at the striker’s apparent lack of effort over the campaign.

It didn’t dent his value to much though as a 25m move to Manchester City followed in 2009. He soon showed Arsenal supporters his feelings on the matter when he faced his former side. Adeabyor ran the full length of the pitch to celebrate scoring a goal in front of them just weeks after leaving north London.

Fernando Torres

A fine example of how a perfect combination can quickly sour. After joining from Atletico Madrid in 2007 for 26.5m, Torres was unstoppable in his first couple of seasons playing for a Liverpool side strongly contending the Premier League title and the Champions League.

But once the Reds crashed out of Europe’s premier competition and the domestic top four in 2009, the Spaniard’s form soon suffered the same fate.

Bad start: Torres's Chelsea debut came against Liverpool in a 1-0 defeat

Bad start: Torres's Chelsea debut came against Liverpool in a 1-0 defeat

By the time January 2011 came around, Liverpool had slumped to mid-table and Torres was training on his own – with manager Kenny Dalglish desperate to remove any negativity in the Liverpool dressing room.

Chelsea thrashed out a 50m deal on transfer deadline day to sign the unhappy striker, who soon had a smile back on his face once pictured with a Blues shirt…this was before he found the net just once in his next 23 games.

Blackpool 2 Leeds 1

Blackpool 2 Leeds 1: Wantaway Phillips comes off bench to send Tangerines top of league

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UPDATED:

21:35 GMT, 21 August 2012

Wantaway winger Matt Phillips rose from the bench to earn Blackpool a win over Leeds at Bloomfield Road on a night when it had appeared as though the home side were going to get no luck at all.

Phillips' goal sent the Tangerines top of the npower Championship – albeit after just two games.

Blackpool had seen two strong penalty appeals turned down, Tom Lees open the scoring for Leeds and the outstanding Tom Ince consistently go close over the course of 64 barren minutes when manager Ian Holloway threw on Phillips and Nouha Dicko in a last throw of the dice.

In it goes: Matt Phillips came off the bench to score Blackpool's winner

In it goes: Matt Phillips came off the bench to score Blackpool's winner

MATCH FACTS:

Blackpool: Gilks, Eardley, Cathcart, Baptiste, Crainey, Osbourne, Gomes (Matt Phillips 64), Martinez (Dicko 64), Taylor-Fletcher, Kevin Phillips (Sylvestre 76),Ince.

Subs Not Used: Halstead, Grandin, Noguera, Harris.

Goals: Dicko 75, Matt Phillips 80.

Leeds: Kenny, Peltier, Lees, Pearce, White (Pugh 79), Bryam, Norris, Austin, McCormack (Diouf 58), Becchio, Varney.

Subs Not Used: Ashdown, Drury, Kisnorbo, Brown, Gray.

Booked: Lees, Varney.

Goals: Lees 16.

Attendance: 14,315

Ref: Dean Whitestone (Northamptonshire).

Check out all the latest, stats, facts and table from the Championship

Fifteen minutes later the duo had
scored a goal apiece – both from a yard – as Leeds' tactics of holding
what they had backfired on them and left them heading back to Yorkshire
with a 50-50 record for the season.

Phillips' winner ensured that
Blackpool extended their winning start to the season and as he
celebrated with their fans there was no sign of the ill-feeling that has
been generated by his desire to leave and join Southampton.

After not picking the winger for
Saturday's win at Millwall, Holloway outed Phillips for handing in a
transfer request but made it clear he was not willing to part with his
prized asset.

Whether he keeps to that remains to be seen, but the former Wycombe man may now command a higher fee than he previously did.

For a time it had looked as though he
would not get the chance to be a hero, though, as he started on the
bench and Lees, the only alteration to Neil Warnock's side from the one
which beat Wolves, opened the scoring 15 minutes in.

Before that, however, it had been all
Blackpool with Paddy Kenny getting down well to his right to keep out
Tiago Gomes, while for a second it appeared as if Lees was going to see
more than the yellow he received for a studs-up tackle on Gary
Taylor-Fletcher.

Referee Dean Whitestone opted for
just a caution in the end and four minutes later Lees was climbing to
get on the end of Ross McCormack's corner and put his side ahead.

If Blackpool felt slightly aggrieved
by that they had further grounds for complain with 18 minutes gone when
the dangerous Ince went down in the box under Luke Varney's challenge,
only for Whitestone to wave away their appeals.

He was doing the same thing again not
long after when Lees appeared to handle the ball in the area, with
Kenny saving well from Alex Baptiste in the ensuing melee, not long
after he had kept out Kevin Phillips.

Kenny could not get near Ince's
cross-shot as half-time approached but nor could anyone else as it
flashed agonisingly wide, and the same duo went head-to-head in the
first minute of the second half, with the latter cracking the inside of
the post from 20 yards with the former beaten.

Had Ince been in the goalscoring form
he was when scoring twice at the weekend he could have had a hat-trick
but, as it was, he continued to let Leeds off the hook, this time
blazing over from 12 yards after Taylor-Fletcher's cross.

Frustrated by his side's bluntness in
front of goal Holloway made his changes with 24 minutes to play,
although his first act could have been to kick-off had Luciano Becchio
realised how much time he had when he went up for a header in
Blackpool's box.

It was Blackpool who remained the
more threatening side, though, and with 76 minutes they got the goal
which they had threatened for most of the night when Stephen Crainey
broke into the box on the left and gave Dicko the easiest task from a
yard out.

Leeds had received ample warning of
Blackpool's intentions but even after being stung once they remained
vulnerable and four minutes later, they were behind.

The goal was a carbon copy of the
first, with Ince playing the role of Crainey and Phillips that of Dicko,
with United seemingly unable to handle close-range balls into their box
before Ince nearly rounded things off when he hit the bar with a
long-range free-kick.

Martin O"Neill hoping to land Steven Fletcher

O'Neill looking to bolster frontline as Sunderland boss closes in on signing Fletcher

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UPDATED:

22:32 GMT, 19 August 2012

Manager Martin O'Neill hopes Sunderland can finally step up their quest for the 'better attacking options' needed to bolster the squad.

The Black Cats battled to a goalless draw on the opening day of the new Barclays Premier League season at Arsenal, but spent most of the second half defending deep.

O'Neill was able to bring in veteran forward Louis Saha, on a free after being released by Tottenham, in time to face the Gunners, with defender Carlos Cuellar making his debut after signing from Aston Villa.

Imminent: Steven Fletcher was left on the bench for Wolves at the weekend amid reports he will be joining Sunderland

Imminent: Steven Fletcher was left on the bench for Wolves at the weekend amid reports he will be joining Sunderland

Wolves hitman Steven Fletcher handed in a transfer request and did not feature in the weekend's defeat at Leeds, amid rumours he will soon be joining Sunderland in a 15million deal.

And O'Neill maintains the sooner new men can come in, the better.

'We would have liked to have had some players in before the Arsenal game, but that did not happen,' he said.

'We have a lot of spirit about us, but lack quality in some positions. We need some better attacking options.'

O'Neill added: 'It has been slow, perhaps people's attentions have been elsewhere with a fantastic Olympic Games, but maybe now there might be that bit of movement.

'Maybe some of us were waiting for bigger teams to move, then we pick up, but I should not really concern myself with what other clubs are trying to do, because I am trying to do the best for us.'

Assistance needed: Martin O'Neill hopes to add firepower to help the likes of Fraizer Campbell (left)

Assistance needed: Martin O'Neill hopes to add firepower to help the likes of Fraizer Campbell (left)

Sunderland have seen a 12million bid rejected for Scottish forward Fletcher, but are expected to go back with improved terms to finally land their man.

Whatever transpires ahead of the transfer deadline, O'Neill maintains Sunderland cannot just rely on Saha to bolster their frontline.

'Fletcher has been one of the players mentioned, but we need to strengthen because we need some help,' he said.

'There were little moments where Louis Saha showed his class, but expecting a 33-year-old to come in and play X number of games for us is out of the question.

'I am hopeful we are able to do something.'

Good start: Sunderland held Arsenal to a 0-0 draw on Saturday

Good start: Sunderland held Arsenal to a 0-0 draw on Saturday

O'Neill is also keen on Manchester United's Dimitar Berbatov, who has been pushed further downt the pecking order after the arrival of Robin van Persie at Old Trafford.

Defender Kieran Richardson threw his shirt into the travelling supporters after the final whistle at Arsenal.

O'Neill admitted the former Manchester United man had been keen on a move back to London, with QPR reportedly in for the 27-year-old former West Ham youngster.

'Kieron came to see me a while ago in the last transfer window. For family issues and things, he thought there maybe needed a change,' said O'Neill.

'No-one has come in and made an offer. That, though, does not mean there is nothing happening, I just don't know.

'But if he performs like he did against Arsenal, I would like to keep him.'

O'Neill added: 'I have got a number of situations here, but I really want to get players in.'

Martin O"Neill still chasing Steven Fletcher

O'Neill pledges to add to Sunderland squad while still chasing Wolves striker Fletcher

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UPDATED:

23:30 GMT, 17 August 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Sunderland manager Martin O’Neill is refusing to give up his pursuit of Wolves striker Steven Fletcher and has vowed to bring in new faces before the closure of the transfer window.

Wolves have turned down two bids from Sunderland for the former Scotland international and O’Neill has so far refused to match the Championship club’s 15million valuation for a player, who put in a transfer request two weeks ago.

The stalemate between O’Neill and Wolves chief executive Jez Moxey has delayed the Sunderland boss’s pursuit of other targets, including Spartak Moscow winger Aiden McGeady, Blackburn full-back Martin Olsson and loan deals with Manchester City pair James Milner and Adam Johnson.

Still searching: Martin O'Neill wants to reinforce his squad

Still searching: Martin O'Neill wants to reinforce his squad

So far only free agents Carlos Cuellar and Louis Saha have been added to the Sunderland squad which is looking for the club’s first ever win at the Emirates on Saturday, and their first league win at Arsenal since Tony Adams made his league debut 29 years ago.

But O’Neill promised Sunderland supporters he will have made significant additions by the end of this month.

He said: 'We’re exploring everything and anything you’re thinking, trust me we’re trying it. We’ll get the players in. We need to be competitive and our squad is definitely not strong enough. It’s going to be a tough old season anyway and we don’t have the strength in depth, maybe more so than other clubs, but that’s my job.

'In an ideal world it would great to get them all in. I have a number of options and I’m trying as best as I can to get the players I need and the targets I was looking at to improve the club. It’s not to say there aren’t a load of players out there or abroad that couldn’t improve us and by the end of the transfer window I hope to do that.

Hard to get: Wolves are resisting Sunderland's attempts at obtaining Steven Fletcher for less than 15million

Hard to get: Wolves are resisting Sunderland's attempts at obtaining Steven Fletcher for less than 15million

'I don’t think I’ve ever cheap-skated when it comes to buying players. I was accused some time ago of paying well over the odds for Ashley Young, and 9million was an awful lot for us to pay for a kid from Watford but I don’t mind paying over the odds here if this person is value for money. That’s fine and that’s what I’m thinking about.'

On van Persie he added: 'It’s a major loss to them, I’m not just talking about this weekend but in terms of the whole season. He’s one of the top five strikers in world football, maybe even less than that, after Messi and Ronaldo.

'They’ve obviously tried to pre-empt that knowing his position by getting other players in and even if he had stayed, I think Arsenal would have strengthened anyway.

'He’s a loss to them because of the number of goals but also his whole contribution to the team as captain. Arsenal have survived losing major players in the past, Thierry Henry for example, but they’ve got players in to replace them. It’ll be a disappointment to lose van Persie.

'I remember some weeks ago Sir Alex Fergsuon coming out and saying he wanted van Persie and they don’t usually announce that unless there’s a really good chance of it happening.'

Steven Fletcher hands in transfer request at Wolves as Sunderland close in

Fletcher hands in transfer request as Sunderland step up chase for Wolves striker

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UPDATED:

16:05 GMT, 8 August 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Sunderland are hoping to clinch a 12million deal for former Scotland striker Steven Fletcher after he handed in a transfer request.

Wolves are considering an improved offer for the 25-year-old which could be worth 15m with add-ons.

Fletcher took to Twitter to tell Wolves fans that he has asked to leave the club.

On the move: Sunderland have agreed fee for Steven Fletcher

On the move: Sunderland have agreed fee for Steven Fletcher

He wrote: 'Just handed in a transfer request just to let the fans know where I am at right now…. #headsgone.'

Fletcher scored 12 goals last season and was the No 1 summer target for Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill, who could be without Stephane Sessegnon for the start of the season.

The Benin midfielder needs a scan on an ankle injured in training.