Tag Archives: spending

Rory McIlroy plans humanitarian mission to Haiti

McIlroy plans humanitarian mission to Haiti during build-up to Masters

By
Graeme Yorke

PUBLISHED:

15:14 GMT, 25 March 2013

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UPDATED:

15:14 GMT, 25 March 2013

Rory McIlroy will spend part of his week before the Masters on a humanitarian mission in Haiti.

McIlroy says he will meet with children and their families April 1 and 2 to see how their lives have changed since the 2010 earthquake that ravaged the country. McIlroy also made a trip to Haiti before going to the U.S. Open in 2011. He won his first major at Congressional with a record score.

Heading back: McIlroy will return to Haiti, where he spent time in 2011

Heading back: McIlroy will return to Haiti, where he spent time in 2011 following the disastrous earthquake

Laying low: McIlroy has been spending time with his girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki in Florida

Laying low: McIlroy has been spending time with his girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki in Florida

Laying low: McIlroy has been spending time with his girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki in Florida

McIlroy is an Ireland ambassador to UNICEF and has geared his own charity work toward children.

The 23-year-old from Northern Ireland says he is excited to return. He calls Haiti an inspiring and humbling country where children face daily struggles. McIlroy says he hopes his presence can create international awareness of the plight Haitian children are facing.

Out on the range: McIlroy rocked up at a local course to hit some ball on the driving range

Out on the range: McIlroy recently rocked up at a local course in Miami to hit some ball on the driving range

Out on the range: McIlroy rocked up at a local course to hit some ball on the driving range

Jose Mourinho admits he would be interested in managing in France at PSG

Why not France! Mourinho issues come and get me plea to French giants Paris Saint-Germain

By
Aidan Mccartney

PUBLISHED:

19:39 GMT, 17 February 2013

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UPDATED:

20:02 GMT, 17 February 2013

Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho has today admitted he would be interested in coaching in France, opening up the possibility of summer switch to PSG as Carlo Ancelotti's replacement.

PSG, who boast some of the richest owners in world football, would be an attractive option to the Portuguese boss as he looks to increase his domination of Europe after winning titles in Portugal, England, Italy and Spain.

When asked whether he would be interested in managing in France, Mourinho told Canal +: 'It's a possibility but I do not know when. I can not say when. Why not!'

France bound Mourinho could leave Madrid for the French capital in the summer

France bound Mourinho could leave Madrid for the French capital in the summer

Mourinho faces an increasingly uncertain future at the Bernabeu as Real struggle to close the 19-point gap on rivals Barcelona and after another disappointing performance from his team in midweek against Manchester United in the Champions League.

Reports in Spain suggest that he is at odds with several key members of the playing staff and club directors which could spell a swift end to his time in Spain.

The 49-year-old has been linked with a return to England with either former club Chelsea or champions Manchester City but ambitious PSG could move to the top of the pile.

Wanted: Mourinho remains a popular figure at Chelsea, and could return there after snubbing PSG

Wanted: Mourinho remains a popular figure at Chelsea, but a return looks unlikely

The French league leaders have been relatively disappointing despite a lavish summer spending spree which saw star names Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silva and Ezequiel Lavezzi being brought to the club by Ancelotti and director of football Leonardo.

Real Madrid are in action tonight against Real Vallecano as Mourinho's side try to keep pace with second place Atletico Madrid in the pursuit for guaranteed Champions League football next season.

January transfer window is open for business: Who will your club buy?

Open for business! As football's manic month begins, Sportsmail looks at the possible movers and shakers in January

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UPDATED:

08:46 GMT, 1 January 2013

While the January sales may have started on Boxing Day on high streets up and down the country, football clubs have had to wait patiently until the first of the month to begin their spending spree.

But finally the 31-day transfer window is officially open for business and clubs all over the country look set to ‘splash the cash’, ‘open their chequebooks’ and ‘break open their war chests’ (as well as other outdated methods of payment) in a bid to challenge for the Premier League, grab a European spot or avoid relegation.

The names most likely to attract the most interest are Arsenal’s hat-trick hero from the weekend, Theo Walcott who is out of contract in the summer, just like Chelsea’s match-winner from Sunday’s game against Everton, Frank Lampard.

Scroll down for our comprehensive club-by-club guide to the window

Will he stay or will he go Theo Walcott could leave Arsenal this month

Will he stay or will he go Theo Walcott could leave Arsenal this month

Franks for the memories: Chelsea are prepared to let Lampard leave at the end of his contract and he could leave this month

Franks for the memories: Chelsea are prepared to let Lampard leave at the end of his contract and he could leave this month

Liverpool have long been admirers of Walcott while a move abroad looks to be the most likely option for Lampard, unless of course he fancies helping his uncle Harry (Redknapp) out down the road at QPR.

One transfer that should be concluded early on, is Daniel Sturridge’s move from Chelsea to Liverpool after Rafa Benitez revealed the striker had a medical on Merseyside last weekend.

Where will he go Demba Ba can leave Newcastle for 7m this month

Where will he go Demba Ba can leave Newcastle for 7m this month

Demba Ba’s imminent departure from
Newcastle looked to be one of the most straight forward moves of the
window when it was revealed that his advisors were in talks with Chelsea
on Sunday. Those talks broke down, however, and now it seems those people charged with helping him look
like making the Senegal striker’s move anything but straight forward.

The Football League has been the breeding ground for many Premier League stars in the past, and clubs could look to boost their squads with another star of the future.

Wilfred Zaha

Will Hughes

Young stars: Palace winger Wilfried Zaha and Derby midfielder Will Hughes could be on the move

Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha and
Derby’s England Under 21 midfielder Will Hughes could be two names looking to
make the step up. Manchester United are among Zaha's admirers while Fulham and Tottenham are just two of the clubs keen on Hughes.

Clubs will also look overseas to try
and snap up a bargain, and two of the biggest names in European football
could be heading to the Premier League, with Inter Milan midfielder
Wesley Sneijder and Barcelona striker David Villa both available for
moves.

Heading to England Wesley Sneijder could be on his way out of Inter Milan

Heading to England Wesley Sneijder could be on his way out of Inter Milan

London calling: David Villa is attracting interest from Chelsea and Arsenal

London calling: David Villa is attracting interest from Chelsea and Arsenal

Spurs and Liverpool are believed to be keen on Sneijder while London duo Arsenal and Chelsea are keeping tabs on Villa, who could be in line to link up with Spain strike partner Fernando Torres at Stamford Bridge.

Money will be spent and players will
come and go, but anyone hoping for a repeat of the January window of two
years ago will be left disappointed.

Fernando Torres

Andy Carroll

Be warned: Not all January moves go to plan, as Fernando Torres and Andy Carroll found out in 2011

In January 2011, a record 225m was
spent with moves that included Torres swapping Liverpool for
Chelsea at a cost of 50m, Aston Villa signing Darren Bent for 18m,
Edin Dzeko making a 27m switch to Manchester City and, perhaps most
remarkably, Liverpool replacing Torres with Andy Carroll for 35m.

There are bound to be some surprises
in 2013 winter window, but it is unlikely there will be any as big and
as costly as Carroll.

DON'T LEAVE IT ALL TO THE LAST DAY AND JIM WHITE'S WITTERING

White off queue: Sky Sports News presenter Jim White (left) offers his transfer deadline day 'insight' with Natalie Sawyer, Dave Bassett and Iain Dowie

White off queue: Sky Sports News presenter Jim White (left) offers his transfer deadline day 'insight' with Natalie Sawyer, Dave Bassett and Iain Dowie

WILL YOUR CLUB BE BUYING OR SELLING

We assess the potential arrivals and departures at each of the 20 clubs in the top flight.

ARSENAL

Manager Arsene Wenger is looking to strengthen across the board to breathe fresh life into Arsenal's push for a top four finish. A striker tops Wenger's shopping list, with David Villa a possible target.

POTENTIAL DEPARTURES

Marouane Chamakh, Andrey Arshavin, Andre Santos, Johan Djourou, Sebastien Squillaci.

ASTON VILLA

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert spent 23million during the summer, placed his trust in youth and fielded the youngest ever Premier League side this season with an average age of less than 24. Manchester City's 20-year-old striker John Guidetti is a possible loan target while Dnipro's 2million-rated midfielder Derek Boateng is also on Lambert's radar.

POTENTIAL DEPARTURES

Darren Bent, Charles N'Zogbia.

Darren Bent

CHELSEA

Interim manager Rafael Benitez has all but confirmed Chelsea are trying to sign a new striker but it remains to be seen whether they will spend big on the likes of Radamel Falcao or look for a cut-price alternative, such as Demba Ba, David Villa or Alvaro Negredo. A new midfielder could also arrive.

POTENTIAL DEPARTURES

Daniel Sturridge, Florent Malouda, Yossi Benayoun.

EVERTON

Financial constraints mean David Moyes does not expect to be busy in the window but he would ideally like to add some more firepower if he can and has been looking at Paris St Germain striker Kevin Gameiro.

POTENTIAL DEPARTURES

John Heitinga.

FULHAM

The departures of Mousa Dembele and Clint Dempsey late in the summer window have left Fulham light, meaning a central midfielder and centre-back are vital additions.

POTENTIAL DEPARTURES

Pajtim Kasami, Brede Hangeland, David Stockdale, Csaba Somogyi and Mickael Tavares.

LIVERPOOL

Manager Brendan Rodgers has admitted he does not have much to spend in January and a deal for Chelsea forward Daniel Sturridge, which is virtually done, will take up the vast chunk of his budget. Blackpool winger Tom Ince is the other signing the club are hopeful of wrapping up early on while Rodgers continues to be linked with Birmingham's Jack Butland despite saying he would not be signing a goalkeeper in January.

POTENTIAL DEPARTURES

Joe Cole, Stewart Downing, Jordan Henderson, Sebastian Coates.

Joe Cole

MANCHESTER CITY

Roberto Mancini has repeatedly played down speculation he could dip into the market but it will not go away and there is a feeling fresh blood could add impetus to City's title challenge, although some high earners might have to be moved on first.

POTENTIAL DEPARTURES

Mario Balotelli, Edin Dzeko, Kolo Toure, Joleon Lescott.

MANCHESTER UNITED

Sir Alex Ferguson says he is happy with his squad and January is not a time when he does a lot of business. But don't discount a new signing, even if the actual player does not arrive until the summer.

POTENTIAL DEPARTURES

Angelo Henriquez, Federico Macheda.

NEWCASTLE

Alan Pardew knows he needs at least one, if not two or three additions to a squad ravaged by injuries during the opening half of the campaign with Marseille striker Loic Remy, Lille full-back Mathieu Debuchy and FC Twente defender Douglas among his major targets, although much will depend on whether or not Demba Ba remains on the books at the end of January.

POTENTIAL DEPARTURES

Demba Ba, Xisco, Nile Ranger.

NORWICH

Norwich could look to add another striker to their squad as they have managed only 20 goals so far in the league. A move for a goalkeeper is a possibility with England international John Ruddy sidelined following a groin operation.

POTENTIAL DEPARTURES

Elliott Ward, Marc Tierney, Simon Lappin, Steve Morison.

QPR

Where do we start QPR's miserable season is due in no small part to their completely unbalanced squad. Nicolas Anelka is being targeted to fill the large void in attack, while central defence is another area requiring improvements.

POTENTIAL DEPARTURES

Jose Bosingwa, Esteban Granero, Hogan Ephraim, Rob Hulse, Jay Bothroyd.

Jose Bosingwa

READING

The realisation at Reading that they failed to strengthen sufficiently during the summer may have come too late. Manager Brian McDermott is looking for two to three players with top-flight experience. Expect Andrey Arshavin to be one of them.

POTENTIAL DEPARTURES

None.

SOUTHAMPTON

Saints' defence may have improved recently but a centre-back is still a high priority. A new goalkeeper could be a wily addition, while more attacking options would not go amiss with survival in mind.

POTENTIAL DEPARTURES

Danny Fox, Tadanari Lee, Danny Butterfield, Steve de Ridder, Sam Hoskins, Ryan Dickson and Jonathan Forte.

STOKE

Boss Tony Pulis has made it clear he has no intention of letting any of his key players – such as skipper Ryan Shawcross or goalkeeper Asmir Begovic – leave in January, while indicating he will be looking to “bring one or two in”.

POTENTIAL DEPARTURES

Wilson Palacios, Cameron Jerome, Rory Delap.

SUNDERLAND

Martin O'Neill has made no secret of his desire to strengthen further in January. Striking a permanent deal for on-loan Tottenham full-back Danny Rose could be a focus, and he has also been linked with a move for Genoa defender Andreas Granqvist, while extra physicality in central midfield is something he feels he needs to add.

POTENTIAL DEPARTURES

Titus Bramble, Matthew Kilgallon, Fraizer Campbell, Ji Dong-won.

SWANSEA

Swansea manager Michael Laudrup is keen to bring in a striker to allow top scorer Michu to return to his favoured attacking midfielder role. Celta Vigo's Iago Aspas and Sporting Braga's Ederzito Lopes are thought to be at the top of the Dane's wishlist.

POTENTIAL DEPARTURES

Danny Graham, Luke Moore, Mark Gower, Leroy Lita, Jazz Richards, Alan Tate.

Danny Graham

TOTTENHAM

Manager Andre Villas-Boas says he will not be active in the transfer market, but he only has two recognised strikers and could therefore make a move for Shakhtar Donetsk forward Willian, Athletic Bilbao's Fernando Llorente or Loic Remy of Marseille.

POTENTIAL DEPARTURES

Carlo Cudicini, Heurelho Gomes, David Bentley, Jermaine Jenas, Danny Rose, Tom Huddlestone.

WEST BROM

Baggies boss Steve Clarke has constantly made it clear he is happy with the squad at his disposal for the remainder of the season after climbing into the top six of the Barclays Premier League and any additions are likely to be only loanees.

POTENTIAL DEPARTURES

Chris Wood.

WEST HAM

Manager Sam Allardyce has already been linked with big-name players such as David Beckham and Nicolas Anelka but knows the club's wage structure could scupper such deals. A loan move for an attacking player could go ahead following Yossi Benayoun's return to parent club Chelsea.

POTENTIAL DEPARTURES

None.

WIGAN

The January transfer window is a welcome arrival for Wigan boss Roberto Martinez, who has been contending with an injury crisis. Midfielder Roger Espinoza's transfer from Sporting Kansas City has already been completed while a loan deal for Manchester United striker Angelo Henriquez is almost a done deal. The Latics have also been linked with former Chelsea striker Salomon Kalou, now at Lille, and Manchester City midfielder Abdisalam Ibrahim.

POTENTIAL DEPARTURES

Franco Di Santo.

Alan Shearer blames Mike Ashley for Newcastle"s poor performances this season

Shearer: Stingy Ashley to blame for Newcastle's failure to challenge title contenders

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UPDATED:

10:40 GMT, 17 December 2012

Alan Shearer has launched a stinging attack on Newcastle owner Mike Ashley's over his apparent failure to improve the squad to capitalise on last season's fifth-place finish in the Barclays Premier League.

Alan Pardew's side have failed replicate the form which saw them finish fifth last term and are currently languishing just two points above the relegation positions at the half way stage.

The St James' Park legend believes the club have missed the opportunity to firmly establish themselves among the top flight's elite.

Given the run around: Newcastle were beaten 3-1 by City at the weekend

Given the run around: Newcastle were beaten 3-1 by City at the weekend

Shearer told The Sun: 'Newcastle missed a huge opportunity in the summer.

'Having punched above their weight last season and almost made it into the top four, this was the time to spend.

'The club was up and running again after so many years mired in uncertainty.

'There was once again a feel-good factor and even Mike Ashley was enjoying it.

'But he needed to put his hand in his pocket and strengthen with two or three quality players.'

Defeat in Saturday's early kick-off to Manchester City means the club have won just one of their last ten games in all competitions.

And while Shearer concedes the Toon do not have the spending might of City or Chelsea, they can achieve the same as Tottenham – who finished fourth last season.

Penny pinching Shearer has lambasted Newcastle owner Ashley

Penny pinching Shearer has lambasted Newcastle owner Ashley

He said: 'Just look what Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea did this summer, even if City couldn't get their main targets.

'I know Newcastle do not have the spending power of those three, but they most certainly could have found the cash to significantly strengthen that squad.

'It's up to Ashley how much he spends — but just look at what Spurs did.

'They pipped Newcastle to fourth place and went out and spent 57million on six players. Newcastle spent 8.1m on three and got a fourth in on a free.'

Best foot forward: Shearer believes Ashley should have splashed the cash

Best foot forward: Shearer believes Ashley should have splashed the cash

Arsene Wenger backs club blocking Alisher Usmanov bid for Arsenal board place

Wenger backs board over Usmanov ban from Gunners' top table

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UPDATED:

23:45 GMT, 14 December 2012

Arsene Wenger has backed the club’s decision to block billionaire shareholder Alisher Usmanov’s attempts to win a place on the Arsenal board.

Usmanov has seen his plot to secure a place on Arsenal’s top table blocked by majority shareholder Stan Kroenke, so despite owning 29 per cent of the club, the Russian has no say in how Arsenal are run.

The bilionaire oligarch, who is worth more than Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, has been critical of the board’s running of the club.

Denied: Alisher Usmanov wants a place on the Arsenal board

Denied: Alisher Usmanov wants a place on the Arsenal board

Usmanov says he would seek to pay off the remaining debt from building the Emirates Stadium, with making large transfer funds available.

However, when asked about whether he would like some of Usmanov’s money to spend in the transfer market, Wenger replied: ‘I’ve always said the same, which is that we want to produce the money from our own resources.

‘Because we are in the Champions League, we can produce the money.’

Wenger’s comments show that he still backs the club’s self-sustaining financial model, despite the temptation of Usmanov’s bank balance.

Nevertheless, the Arsenal boss will go on a January spending spree as he looks to breathe fresh life into his faltering side.

Arsenal are facing up to an eighth consecutive season without a trophy, and growing numbers of supporters feel it is time for Wenger to walk away.

However, the Frenchman came out fighting at the club’s London Colney HQ yesterday, issuing a staunch defence of himself and his side.

Wenger has the total backing of Kroenke and has always insisted that he will not resign.

And when questioned about the level of criticism he has received this week, the Frenchman responded: ‘I am here for that, and [I get criticised] very well.

Support: Arsene Wenger backed the ban

Support: Arsene Wenger backed the ban

‘I am responsible for results. It is my job to take criticism, so I do it. I would prefer it if everyone says I am fantastic. I cannot say we were fantastic when we lost on penalties at Bradford.

‘Am I the right man to lead I have already answered this question. We are top professional people. What is important is what happens tomorrow, not what happened yesterday.’

Meanwhile, Arsenal will battle Manchester United for Stoke’s Asmir Begovic in January. Wenger has made a new keeper a top priority and Begovic is the prime target.

The Bosnia star, 25, has been scouted by spies as Arsenal work on an 8million bid.

But Wenger will be forced to battle it out with Sir Alex Ferguson. Sportsmail exclusively revealed United’s firm interest in Begovic last Saturday. Wenger wants competition for Wojciech Szczesny as No 1. Liverpool’s Pepe Reina and Swansea’s Michel Vorm are also on the shortlist.

David Luiz will tell Rafael Benitez about Corinthians players and tactics

Luiz will give Rafa the lowdown on Chelsea's Club World Cup final opponents Corinthians… and we'll do the same for you

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UPDATED:

15:30 GMT, 14 December 2012

David Luiz is planning to give his Rafa Benitez all the information he needs on Corinthians, his boyhood club and the team which stand between Chelsea and the world title.

He will tell them about the famously frenzied fans, about the selfless and workmanlike ethic which is their chief characteristic and about star player Paulinho.

'I know all about Corinthians,' said Luiz. 'I can talk about them to the rest of the team for half an hour or more.

Words of wisdom: David Luiz will tell Rafa Benitez how to cope with his boyhood side Corinthians

Words of wisdom: David Luiz will tell Rafa Benitez how to cope with his boyhood side Corinthians

CORINTHIANS: The lowdown

THEY'RE THE CHELSEA OF BRAZIL

Well, kind of. They're Brazil's richest club but, like Chelsea in the Champions League, they never managed to translate their spending power into success in the Copa Libertadores until this year. Both clubs have also won a similar number of league titles, five and four, respectively.

THEY HAVE ENGLISH HERITAGE

Indeed. Their name was inspired by Corinthian Football Club, a London-based team who toured Brazil in 1910. Thankfully, Corinthians' founders did not delve too much deeper into the principles of their namesakes, who refused to enter the Football League or FA Cup for years because their rules forbade them from competing for 'any challenge cup or prizes of any description'. Corinthian FC's white shirts also inspired those of Real Madrid.

THEY'VE WON THIS CUP ALREADY

Again, kind of. Remember the fuss that was made back in 1999 when Manchester United withdrew from the FA Cup That was after FIFA decided to organise their own club tournament, seemingly in a bid to extend their dominion over the game in an era when UEFA's Champions League was becoming as big as international football. Anyway, Corinthians won the bloated eight-team tournament despite only qualifying as 'hosts'.

THEIR NEW STADIUM LOOKS SENSATIONAL

And so it should, as it's due to host the opening game of the 2014 World Cup. Work on the 68,000 Arena Corinthians began last year and is due to be completed in 2013 at a cost of 350 million US dollars (217million). Corinthians have been tenants at the 40,000 Estadio do Pacaembu for 72 years and it certainly looks its age, having hosted games at the 1950 World Cup.

NOT NEIL WARNOCK'S FAVOURITE CLUB

UEFA last week announced rules to outlaw third-party ownership of players, which was banned in England after West Ham took advantage of the practice to bring Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano to the Premier League six years ago from Corinthians. It caused an almighty storm after the club survived relegation at the expense of Warnock's Sheffield United. Co-incidentally, Chelsea's next game is against his Leeds side.

BEN RUMSBY, PA

'They have Paulinho, yes but more important are their tactics. They are a very tactically aware team, playing with two lines, always compact and solid.

'The key to Corinthians is their passion. They work hard as a team, they run hard, they are energetic and they are united. They are strong throughout, and they have a passionate support.

'Paulinho plays for the national team, and other experienced players like Douglas, who has a lot of quality with his left foot.

'I have lots of friends there, like Cassio the goalkeeper, who I played with in the Brazil U20s and the national team. Wallace played with me as a 14-year-old, Fabio Santos their left-back played with me when we were younger as well.

'They are my friends. I know them, they know me. It’s a great game for me to have.'

Luiz was born in Sao Paulo state, although he moved away to pursue his career as a teenager.

'I was a Corinthians fan,' he said. 'I started out playing for Sao Paulo, not Corinthians, and Kaka was always my idol, because he was not just a good player, but also a good person as well.

'I saw a lot of Corinthians game but now I am a professional, a Chelsea player, so I know what I have to do. I just hope Chelsea win. That’s my focus.

'I saw the Club World Cup final in 2000, when Corinthians beat Vasco Da Gama, two teams with real quality. It was good for me to watch the game and the big teams, because Real Madrid were there as well as Manchester United.

'I remember Ryan Giggs scoring against Palmeiras in 1999, a month before that Club World Cup. He's a special talent, a fantastic player. For him to play well for so many successive years is incredible.

'Scolari was manager of Palmeiras then and I remember that – because Palmeiras had taken out Corinthians in the semi-final of the Copa Libertadores! If we'd won, we'd have been playing United, not them.

'Corinthians won their first Copa Libertadores this year. Now they have their first opportunity to win the Club World Cup. It's different in South America. For us in Brazil this is the last game of the season, like the Champions League Final was for Chelsea.

'For the fans in Brazil all the build-up and preparation means it feels like an early Christmas present, because the calendar is different.

'People dream, a lot, about this competition. I did, too. When I was young I always talked about this competition, dreaming that one day I would get the chance to play in it, in the final. Now I have that opportunity.'

Advantage: Luiz hopes his information will help team-mates like Fernando Torres flourish

Advantage: Luiz hopes his information will help team-mates like Fernando Torres flourish

Meet Corinthians' Mr Perfect who is out to get Chelsea – by Ben Rumsby, PA

He paints, he writes, he plays chess, poker and tennis – and he is a male model.

And if that were not enough to make Chelsea fans sick of Corinthians' Mr Perfect, Paulo Andre was today also plotting the European champions' downfall in Sunday's Club World Cup final.

Andre is the ideal antidote to the stereotype of the modern footballer, the defender as much of an exception to the rule in Brazil as he would be in England.

Mr Perfect: Paulo Andre (centre) is plotting the downfall of Chelsea in the Club World Cup final

Mr Perfect: Paulo Andre (centre) is plotting the downfall of Chelsea in the Club World Cup final

Speaking in near-flawless English he learnt during pizza-eating sessions with two Americans while a youth-team player, Andre said: 'I'm unusual. It's very hard to find players like that.

'I'm not sure if it's because they are not capable or because they are shy about saying they do different things from football.

'We have a culture in Brazil where the football player can only play football. He can't think, he can't talk, he's there just to play.

'And I'm trying to show people that you can be different.'

The 29-year-old does not hide his light under a bushel.

Unusually in football these days he wrote his own autobiography, 'The Game of My life', and celebrated Corinthians' Brazilian title win last year by creating a giant painting using footballs dipped in black paint kicked at the canvas by his team-mates.

It can only be imagined what he would do if they are crowned world champions on Sunday.

'I could never dream that I would play a final game like this,' Andre said.

'So, this is the chance of my life, it's the moment I live for.'

It has become a cliche that the Club World Cup means more to South American teams than their European counterparts.

'I think it's cultural in our country,' said Andre, who nevertheless claimed the Copa Libertadores had become even more of an obsession for Corinthians before their maiden triumph this year.

They had already won the one-off Club World Championship in Brazil back in 2000, although if their fans care less about the current tournament, they have a funny way of showing it.

Around 30,000 of their estimated 30 million following are expected to attend Sunday's final and Andre said: 'We see from our fans – 30 million fans – that they ask us just to make them proud and show them who Corinthians are and that's what we're going to do.'

Tough: Santos knows Chelsea will be tricky to beat but says his side knows how to do it

Tough: Santos knows Chelsea will be tricky to beat but says his side knows how to do it

Andre is a lifelong supporter himself, finally realising his dream of playing for the club three years ago via a stint in France and a trial at Rangers.

The Glasgow giants failed to meet the asking price of his Brazilian club but Andre had no regrets about not moving to the UK.

The man who has yet to be capped by his country, but was crowned Brazil's Footballer of the Year last year, said: 'I think I went the right way. I'm playing a final in a World Cup.'

For that final to be a success, Andre must tame Juan Mata, Oscar and Eden Hazard and put an end to Fernando Torres' mini-revival.

'We know exactly what to do to try to stop them, so let's try to put into practice what we have in mind, what our coach said to do,' Andre said.

'Of course, it would've been much better if it was a month ago because of Torres…'

On song: Juan Mata will need to be shackled if Corinthians are to suceed

On song: Juan Mata will need to be shackled if Corinthians are to suceed

Andre was referring to the latest goal drought for the 50million man, ended emphatically after he netted five times in his last three games.

That included yesterday's semi-final win over Monterrey, in which Chelsea looked far more comfortable than Corinthians did in their own semi against Al Ahly.

Andre warned his side were capable of creating their own shock on Sunday, something that is sure to see him release an updated version of his autobiography.

There could be plenty more volumes to come as well, with the defender already planning for his retirement.

'I would really like to help my country to rediscover their brilliant football, with organisation and everything else,' he said.

'I don't know about coaching, but maybe with sports politics.

'I think I have the knowledge – practical and theoretical – to do that.'

Damien Comolli defends Kenny Dalglish"s transfer record at Liverpool

Comolli defends Dalglish's 110m Liverpool spending spree… as it emerges they missed out on Ba, Giroud and Kagawa

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UPDATED:

09:57 GMT, 14 December 2012

Former Liverpool director of football Damien Comolli has defended Kenny Dalglish’s transfer record at the club despite the fact that many of his signings are no longer part of Brendan Rodgers' plans.

In his time at the club Comolli oversaw an estimated 110million spending spree as Liverpool aggressively pursued Champions League football.

And since the Frenchman departed Anfield, Dalglish has also left, while his high profile signigs Carroll has been loaned to West Ham, Charlie Adam and Craig Bellamy have departed, Stewart Downing will leave if a buyer can be found in January, and Jose Enrique, Jordan Henderson and Sebastian Coates have had doubts raised against them.

Mixed reviews: Liverpool signed Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez in the same transfer window

Mixed reviews: Liverpool signed Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez in the same transfer window

DALGLISH'S SIGNINGS

ANDY CARROLL (35million)
LUIS SUAREZ (22.8million)
JORDAN HENDERSON (16million)
CHARLIE ADAM (9million)
STEWART DOWNING (20million)
JOSE ENRIQUE (5million)
SEBASTIAN COATES (7million*)
CRAIG BELLAMY (free)

*Estimated fee

That leaves Luis Suarez – an 18m signing from Ajax – as the only player who still plays a key role at the club.

Goals have been one of the main problems for Liverpool over the last few seasons and while he does not confirm names, the likes of Demba Ba, Olivier Giroud and Shinji Kagawa all were linked with moves to Anfield but all eventually moved elsewhere.

But Comolli defends his record at the club, speaking to the Daily Express, he said: ‘We did 26 deals and to think we wouldn’t make any mistakes in such a huge number of deals in and out would be totally unrealistic.

Defending his role: Damien Comolli says the signings he made should be judged over the long term

Defending his role: Damien Comolli says the signings he made should be judged over the long term

‘I do not think we made any mistakes on the players going out and whether we made mistakes on the players who came in, time will tell. I am very uncomfortable for players to be judged after six, eight or even 12 months. Sometimes it takes two or three years.

‘In two or three years you can say, ‘Damien and Kenny, you were wrong’. Or you can say, ‘They just needed time’.’

The 35m move for Carroll is one of the moves that has attracted the most criticism, but again, Comolli is quick to defend the actions of the club.

Demba Ba

Demba Ba

Olivier Giroud

Olivier Giroud

Shinji Kagawa

Shinji Kagawa

He added: ‘If you want to talk about the Carroll deal, the situation was quite clear.

‘The way we looked at it, we were selling two players – Fernando Torres and Ryan Babel – and we were bringing two in – Suarez and Carroll – and we were making a profit and the wage bill was coming down considerably as well. It was a four-player deal.

Parting ways: Kenny Dalglish won the League Cup but owners Tom Werner and John W Henry decided to go a for Brendan Rodgers this season

Parting ways: Kenny Dalglish won the League Cup but owners Tom Werner and John W Henry decided to go a for Brendan Rodgers this season

'Chelsea kept bidding higher and higher for Torres. The difference between their first and final bid is double.

'They [FSG] asked me what the risks were and I said if things don’t go well you’ll lose something on Andy, but it is difficult to measure whether you will make money if things go well because Liverpool aren’t a selling club and he could be here for the next 10 years.’

Martin O"Neill lines up 5m bid to bring Michael Dawson to Sunderland

O'Neill lines up 5m January swoop for Dawson to shore up Sunderland defence

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UPDATED:

11:58 GMT, 9 December 2012

Martin O'Neill is preparing a 5m January pursuit of Tottenham defender Michael Dawson as part of a spending spree to revive Sunderland's flagging season.

The Black Cats boss will be given significant funds by club owner Ellis Short in a bid to correct a poor start to the season.

And 29-year-old Dawson is top of the list, according to the Sunday People.

On the move Sunderland are reportedly lining up a 5m January move for Tottenham defender Michael Dawson

On the move Sunderland are reportedly lining up a 5m January move for Tottenham defender Michael Dawson

Sunderland find themselves in the relegation zone, with just two wins and 13 points to their name so far.

Their defensive record hasn't been too catastrophic – with 21 goals conceded – but O'Neill believes Dawson's leadership qualities could add extra steel to the side.

When Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas arrived in the summer, he was willing to offload Dawson and a 5.5m fee was agreed with Queens Park Rangers before the player turned it down.

Reinforcements: Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill wants to firm up a defence which has conceded 21 goals in 15 games this season, leaving the club 18th in the table

Reinforcements: Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill wants to firm up a defence which has conceded 21 goals in 15 games this season, leaving the club 18th in the table

However, Dawson, who has four England caps, has worked hard to win back his starting place in the last few weeks – making a January move less likely.

Sunderland may face competition from QPR, with Harry Redknapp reportedly keen on signing a player with whom he enjoyed a good relationship at Spurs.

Dawson has been at White Hart Lane since January 2005, when he joined for 8m from Nottingham Forest.

Arsene Wenger hits out at huge wages and spending in football again

Wenger hits out at footballers' salaries and insists he'll spend 150m of sponsors money 'the right way'

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UPDATED:

16:09 GMT, 27 November 2012

Arsene Wenger has hit out at football's lavish spending once again as he criticised excessive wage demands.

The Arsenal boss has 150million in sponsorship cash from Emirates which he wants to spend 'in the right way'.

The club agreed a deal with long-term partners Emirates Airlines last week which sees a lucrative sponsorship extension earning the club around 30m a year.

Sticking to his guns: Arsene Wenger says a 30million deal now can cost up to 60m factoring in wages

Sticking to his guns: Arsene Wenger says a 30million deal now can cost up to 60m factoring in wages

But Wenger believes many transfers are now being blown out of proportion by players' salaries rising.

He said: 'If we get that amount of
money from sponsors it is not charity, it is because the sponsors feel
that we act in the right way and with the right values. They reward
that.

'Afterwards it is down to us to spend the money in the right way.

'There are two aspects to any deal; one is the transfer [fee] and the other is the wages.

'The transfers for these kinds of
players are not at 30million today, they are at 50million or
60million and what has gone through the roof is the wages of these
players.

'That is why people plead for
financial fair play. Some clubs even pleaded that the new television
money (for Premier League clubs) should not be used to increase wages
because it gives huge problems to everybody.'

Wenger is likely to move for a forward
when the January transfer window opens, with a short-term loan move for
Thierry Henry remaining a possibility as well as a bid for Crystal Palace’s promising
youngster Wilfried Zaha.

As always, Wenger stressed any new addition must bring added value to the group.

'If we find the real top, top, top
player then we will be on the market,' he added. 'We have no fixed
number, we look just at quality.

Is Arsene speaking from experience Theo Walcott is a contract rebel

Is Arsene speaking from experience Theo Walcott is a contract rebel

'We have a good squad, I believe that these players have a fantastic attitude. They deserve success and they will have success.'

Some sections of the Arsenal support
would appear not to share that faith as Wenger came in for criticism
during the goalless draw at Aston Villa on Saturday.

Chants of 'You don’t know what you’re
doing' greeted the 86th-minute substitution of striker Olivier Giroud
for defensive midfielder Francis Coquelin, but Wenger’s focus remains
unmoved.

'My job is to give full commitment to this club, with integrity. That’s what I always do without expecting any return,' he said.

'I don’t want to comment on that (the chants). I just make sure that I do my job properly, that’s what I do.'

Struggle: Arsenal will face a gritty Everton team at Goodison Park

Struggle: Arsenal will face a gritty Everton team at Goodison Park

The Gunners head to Everton tomorrow looking to close up on the top four of the Barclays Premier League.

After a positive start Everton have
struggled for wins in recent weeks, with Norwich’s last-gasp equaliser
on Saturday making it five draws in seven games.

Arsenal are a point behind the fifth-placed Toffees and Wenger urged against any complacency.

'They are always serious, Everton,
because they can give anybody a game,' said Wenger, who should have
forward Theo Walcott back from a shoulder problem tomorrow night.

'I don’t think any big team in the league goes to Everton and thinks it will be a walk out there.

'For us it’s a vital game every year.
They fight at the top of the league every year. They are one of the
contenders for a Champions League spot as well.

'Everton have gone through a more difficult spell recently, but it will just be down to us and the quality of our performance.'

Arsenal can spend more money after Emirates Deal – Ivan Gazidis

Our new Emirates deal means we can splash the cash, claims Arsenal chief Gazidis

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UPDATED:

22:47 GMT, 23 November 2012

Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis has promised fans the club’s new 150million sponsorship deal with Emirates would directly boost Arsene Wenger’s spending power in the transfer market – but that effects would not be felt until next summer.

Gazidis said the increased revenue from the five-year shirt deal would come too late for the January window but emphasised that a large chunk, understood to be in excess of 30m, would be paid upfront and made available to the Gunners boss from July.

Theo Walcott has yet to agree a new contract and Gazidis, without naming the player specifically, stated pay packages for key squad members would also benefit. ‘We can pay bigger salaries and we can invest more in transfer fees,’ he said.

Good deal: Ivan Gazidis (centre right) says Arsenal can use the money to boost the squad

Good deal: Ivan Gazidis (centre right) says Arsenal can use the money to boost the squad

The Dubai-based airline will have its brand on the Arsenal kit until the end of the 2018-19 season, while the club’s 60,000-seater home ground will remain Emirates Stadium up to 2028.

The previous deal saw Arsenal earn 100m over ten years.

Gazidis conceded ‘nobody is satisfied’ with the position the team finds itself in and said only there are ‘no guarantees’ in football when asked if Arsenal would now stop selling their best players.

But he added: ‘What we can do is develop a really solid financial platform for the club that gives us the ability to compete for top players – both top players that we bring in and top players that we want to keep.

‘We’ve got good confidence that we can compete for the best talent. We can pay bigger salaries and we can invest more in transfer fees.

'How we make those decisions will be based on a manager whose judgements over the years has been shown to be outstanding.

‘There’s nobody I would want to be thinking about those types of decisions more than Arsene Wenger on behalf of this football club.

'We want to be able to invest in the team a little bit more now so we’ll have that capability by the summer.’

Arsenal already have 40m in the bank and
Gazidis added: ‘We also kept some powder dry so we’ve got the ability
to invest if our manager finds the right opportunities in January.’

Supporters hoping the cost of tickets
would be reduced by the extra income may be disappointed however. ‘I
didn’t say they would come down,’ Gazidis said.

‘I think we’ve been very
responsible on ticket pricing. Since we’ve moved to the new stadium
we’ve had two increases in ticket season prices.’

Signature: More money will be available for contracts - perhaps Theo Walcott will get what he wants

Signature: More money will be available for contracts – perhaps Theo Walcott will get what he wants