Tag Archives: sticking

Joleon Lescott valued at 8m ahead of January move from Manchester City

City slap 8m price tag on Lescott ahead of January clear-out with Everton and QPR in the running

|

UPDATED:

09:40 GMT, 29 December 2012

Manchester City have valued defender Joleon Lescott at 8m in view of a quick sale in January.

The cut-price sum for the England defender is a fraction of the 24m City paid Everton for him in 2010 and the Goodison Park club are among those keen to sign him next month.

But a sticking point could be Lescott's 90,000-a-week wages, which Everton may not be willing to match.

On the way out Joleon Lescott (left) training at Man City on Friday. The club are seeking offers of 8m in the January transfer window

On the way out Joleon Lescott (left) training at Man City on Friday. The club are seeking offers of 8m in the January transfer window

Queens Park Rangers, who need a high quality centre-half to shore up their leaky defence, and Turkish side Galatasaray are also reportedly interested.

Lescott, 30, is out of favour at City having struggled with a back injury this season, with manager Roberto Mancini favouring youngster Matija Nastastic.

Millennium Stadium to get new plastic pitch in time for 2015 Rugby World Cup

Artificial pitch to be laid at Millennium Stadium in time for 2015 World Cup

|

UPDATED:

16:01 GMT, 16 December 2012

Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium looks set for a new plastic pitch in time to host the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

The troublesome turf at Millennium Stadium is currently being replaced several times a year and the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) think an artificial surface would solve the problem.

The steep stands in Cardiff block the sunlight and ground-staff have had well-publicised problems in trying to prepare suitable pitches.

The steep stands at the Millennium Stadium block the sunlight

The steep stands at the Millennium Stadium block the sunlight

Ground-staff have had problems preparing a suitable playing surface

Ground-staff have had problems preparing a suitable playing surface

WRU chief executive Roger Lewis told the Sunday Times an artificial pitch ‘is being given serious consideration. We are looking at the implications.’

A layer of stone, a thick black rubber shock pad and a covering of artificial green yarn 5cm deep with an in-fill of black rubber crumb make up the proposed new surface.

The International Rugby Board have approved the surface with the only sticking point for the WRU being whether it can handle the heavy equipment used for music shows, which provide a good source of revenue.

The Millennium Stadium hosts Welsh rugby internationals including Six Nations matches

The Millennium Stadium hosts Welsh rugby internationals including Six Nations matches

Traditionalists are unhappy that an artificial pitch removes bad bounces and the need for teams to change or adapt their style for the conditions.

The Twickenham pitch was relaid during the close season with a proportion being synthetic turf.

Saracens will move to their new home Allianz Park in February and will become the first team to stage professional rugby on an artificial pitch.

SARACENS LEADING THE WAY

Mouritz Botha of Saracens catches the ball during the Heineken Cup

Saracen’s new 20million stadium Allianz Park will host the first professional rugby union match to be staged on a non-grass surface on February 16 when the home side entertain Exeter Chiefs.

The RFU invested in the new ground in Barnet to give England a place to train should their normal fields be frozen.

The length of the grass yarn has been set by the IRB, and also by FIFA for football purposes, at 50mm. 300 tons of sand is laid to stabilise the surface before 30mm of rubber crumb infill is added.

Installation costs are 530,000 including 100,000 for the first replacement of the grass yarn after 10 years.

An artificial surface is a lot cheaper to maintain than real grass as it just needs to be brushed twice a week to loosen the rubber crumb.

Nuri Sahin move to Arsenal stalls

Arsenal hit Sahin snag: Wenger's seven-year pursuit for Real star stalls

|

UPDATED:

22:26 GMT, 20 August 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Arsene Wenger's seven-year transfer pursuit of Nuri Sahin was halted as talks to bring the Real Madrid midfielder to Arsenal on loan hit a sticking point.

Wenger wants to replace Alex Song by signing Sahin, 23, on a one-year loan but negotiations have become locked on the terms of an option to buy him permanently next year.

Liverpool are also interested but the lure of Champions League football was still expected to tip the balance in Arsenal’s favour.

Arsenal bound Nuri Sahin's move to The Emirates has stalled

Arsenal bound Nuri Sahin's move to The Emirates has stalled

Sahin, monitored by Wenger since starring in the Turkey team who won the European Under 17 title in 2005, is paid the equivalent of 120,000 a week in Spain, which would make him the highest paid player at the Emirates.

Song, the man he is intended to replace, was paid 55,000 a week and moved to Barcelona because the club refused to renegotiate his terms.

There is better news for Wenger over the fitness of gifted England midfielder Jack Wilshere. Out for more than a year, his rehabilitation is ahead of schedule and club medics feel he could be back in late October.

Tottenham want Maarten Stekelenburg

Tottenham in the market for 8m-rated Roma stopper Stekelenburg

|

UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 1 August 2012

Tottenham are launching a bid for Holland goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg.

The 29-year-old moved from Ajax to Roma last summer for 5million but has failed to settle in Italy, compounded by the departure of coach Luis Enrique.

Stekelenburg is keen on the move, and the only sticking point will be Roma's 8m valuation.

Wanted: Tottenham are hopeful of signing Roma goalkeeper Stekelenburg

Wanted: Tottenham are hopeful of signing Roma goalkeeper Stekelenburg

London 2012 Olympics: Ben Ainslie plays down gold medal sailing hopes

Feeling the heat: Gold medal hope Ainslie frustrated by favourite tag

|

UPDATED:

15:57 GMT, 24 July 2012

Olympics 2012

Three-time Olympic gold medallist Ben Ainslie is frustrated by those expecting him to romp to victory this summer.

The 35-year-old is the undoubted star of Great Britain's sailing team and gearing up for a fifth successive Games.

Ainslie already boasts three gold medals and a silver from previous Olympics and is expected by many to add to that haul on the home waters of Weymouth Bay and Portland Harbour.

Feeling the heat: Ben Ainslie insists winning the gold is not a formality at the Games

Feeling the heat: Ben Ainslie insists winning the gold is not a formality at the Games

That level of expectation is epitomised by the bookmakers who make him odds-on favourite to win the Finn class, with some pricing his nearest rivals as far out as 10/1.

'It is absolutely not that clear cut,' Ainslie said.

'It is a bit of a frustration for me personally that people may be saying “your the favourite” for the Olympics.

'The standard of the event is really so much higher [than before].

'All of these sailors out there have spent four years of their lives trying to get to a peak performance for the Olympics.

'In the Finn class, there are 10 or 12 guys that on their day can go out and be a threat and win races.

Ready to test the waters: Ben Ainslie (R), Andrew Simpson (L) and Iain Percy, sailing in the Star class, arrive for a news conference in Weymouth

Ready to test the waters: Ben Ainslie (R), Andrew Simpson (L) and Iain Percy, sailing in the Star class, arrive for a news conference in Weymouth

'So it is going to be really tough. I am under no illusions.'

Ainslie heads into the Games as reigning world champion, having won the Finn Gold Cup for a record sixth time in May.

He has, though, endured a tumultuous year that saw him suffer a serious back injury and capsize in the medal race of the pre-Games Sail for Gold regatta.

The sticking point of that period was Ainslie's disqualification from the 2011 World Championships in Australia after a confrontation with a television boat.

'What happened in Perth was a bit of an isolated incident and it was very unfortunate,' he said.

'My experience of the Olympics is that it is very, very unlikely that a situation like that would occur again.

Golden boy: Ainslie already has three Olympic golds to his name

Golden boy: Ainslie already has three Olympic golds to his name

'I can assure you if it did, I would be staying in my own boat this time.'

The Royal Yachting Association went on to clear Ainslie to compete at this summer's Olympics, where he believes preparation is the best coping mechanism to keeping cool under pressure.

'If you get the preparation right, you can't do anymore than that,' he said.

'You've just got to go out on the day and perform. There is no easy way around it.

'There is a lot of pressure on all of us and for me personally the internal desire and expectations easily outweigh the external pressures.

'It is dealing with that and preparation is key to that.'

All aboard: Ainslie is preparing for his fifth Olympics

All aboard: Ainslie is preparing for his fifth Olympics

But while he is preparing to win, Ainslie is not keen to look at the record books.

Victory on home waters would see him equal the four gold medals achieved by Paul Elvstrom between 1948 and 1960, while the silver he picked up in Atlanta would see him eclipse the Dane as the most successful Olympic sailor of all time.

'It is something I don't think about too much,' Ainslie said.

'It comes up a lot and really in sailing we have so many great sailors across all the different classes.

'From my own perspective, I just focus on my own job and trying to do well at this event.

'Whatever happens after this event happens.'

Jan Vertonghen only interested in Tottenham

I'll only move to England to play for Spurs, says Ajax skipper Vertonghen

|

UPDATED:

12:58 GMT, 21 May 2012

On the way: Vertonghen is leaving Ajax this summer

On the way: Vertonghen is leaving Ajax this summer

Tottenham have received a boost in their bid to sign Ajax captain Jan Vertonghen as the Belgian defender revealed that the north London club are the only English side that interests him.

Spurs have long been courting the 25-year-old, who is certain to leave Ajax this summer after leading the club to their second successive Dutch league title.

And the Evening Standard report that Vertonghen has told Ajax that Spurs are the only English club he has an interest in talking to.

The news comes as a blow to Newcastle, who are also interest in the player, but Spurs may they face competition form sides across Europe.

Earlier this month Ajax boss Frank de Boer revealed that he would like to see Vertonghen play at his former club Barcelona, but the Catalan giants are still undecided as to whether to make a move.

Spurs chairman Daniel Levy was in Amsterdam on Monday negotiating the deal, according to reports in Holland, though the transfer fee appears to be a sticking point.

Ajax want at least 12million for their skipper but Spurs are not willing to pay an eight-figure sum.

Nicolas Anelka says Didier Drogba is not moving to China

Drog's not heading east: Anelka says Chelsea striker is not moving to China

|

UPDATED:

13:57 GMT, 4 May 2012

Didier Drogba will not be moving to China when his Chelsea contract expires, according to former team-mate Nicolas Anelka.

Anelka moved east in January when he was told he no longer had a future at Stamford Bridge and signed a two-year deal with Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua.

His former Chelsea strike partner Drogba has been heavily linked with a similar move in the summer.

Where will he go Nicolas Anelka says Didier Drogba won't be heading to China

Where will he go Nicolas Anelka says Didier Drogba won't be heading to China

Talks regarding Drogba’s future have been on-going for some time with the sticking point believed to be the length of the deal, with 34-year-old Drogba favouring a two-year contract over Chelsea’s offer of a 12-month deal.

However, with the Ivory Coast forward playing his part in the club’s upturn in form his representative, Thierno Seidy, revealed last month that Drogba was likely to stay at Chelsea after all.

Anelka has now revealed he has spoken to Drogba, who has made his mind up over his future, but said it was 'inconvenient' to reveal what his decision was.

No company: Nicolas Anelka won't be joined by Drogba

No company: Nicolas Anelka won't be joined by Drogba

He did hint though that the striker was more likely to stay in England, with Shenhua prepared to pursue other transfer targets.

'Even if Drogba finally chooses to stay with Chelsea, that can only prove Drogba himself wanted to stay and Chelsea also wanted to keep him,” Anelka told the Chinese media.

'If Drogba cannot come to Shanghai, then there are no regrets because the world still has many other fine players.'

Chris Hughton favourite for West Brom job

Hughton remains favourite to replace Hodgson as West Brom bide their time

|

UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 30 April 2012

West Bromwich Albion will not be rushing into finding a replacement for Roy Hodgson, fuelling still further indications that Birmingham City’s Chris Hughton is their preferred choice.

The Baggies’ hierarchy convened a meeting on Sunday afternoon to discuss the repercussions of their head coach’s likely defection to the national team.

And it was a far more relaxed get-together than the one 15 months ago which ended with Hodgson pipping Hughton to the post.

Main man: Chris Hughton (right) is the favourite to takeover at West Brom

Main man: Chris Hughton (right) is the favourite to takeover at West Brom

On that occasion, the unwillingness of the former Tottenham assistant to work with a backroom team that had already been assembled at the Hawthorns was seen as a crucial sticking point.

Back then, Hodgson was prepared to work with Michael Appleton and Keith Downing and convinced West Brom owner Jeremy Peace he was the man for the job.

Hodgson worked without an assistant until Terry Burton arrived in the Black Country to assist him. However, it was only a temporary arrangement until the former MK Dons’ boss linked up once more with Dave Jones at Hillsborough.

The position has been left vacant since then leaving a path clear for Hughton to bring his own No 2, Colin Calderwood, from St Andrew’s.

However, prising Hughton away from the promotion-chasers may be easier said that done. He received a standing ovation from a 1,000-strong audience at the International Convention Centre at the club’s awards’ evening on Monday night.

Alan Curbishley

Derek McInnes

In the frame: Alan Curbishley (left) and Derek McInnes could also be contenders

He has unfinished business in the play-offs and should Blues reach – and succeed – in their second final, he will be swapping one Premier League club for another.

Hughton signed a rolling contract when he agreed to become Alex McLeish’s successor ten months ago.

West Brom will have to cough up significant compensation – in the region of 750,000 – to land the ex-Republic of Ireland international.

If that proves a stumbling block for parsimonious owner Jeremy Peace, it is likely that other options will include Alan Curbishley – currently out-of-work – along with Derek McInnes and Appleton.

McInnes was an outsider when Roberto di Matteo was sacked and, as well as having significant support within the club, he has also enjoyed a successful first campaign as a manager in English football following a stint with St Johnstone leading Bristol City to safety in the Championship.

Salomon Kalou wanted by West Ham

West Ham target summer move for contract rebel Kalou

|

UPDATED:

10:25 GMT, 13 March 2012

Chelsea contract rebel Salomon Kalou is wanted by West Ham.

The Championship club are preparing for life back in the Barclays Premier League, and have targeted a summer move for Kalou, according to the Daily Express.

Wanted: West Ham are courting the Chelsea forward

Wanted: West Ham are courting the Chelsea forward

The Ivory Coast international is out of contract at the end of the season, and has yet to pen a new deal with the Stamford Bridge club.

Both parties are keen to thrash out a contract in the region of 80,000, but sources close to the forward claim that the main sticking point towards a new deal is the amount of playing time he is guaranteed.

Kalou has made just 12 appearances for the Blues this season, scoring three goals.

Salomon Kalou to be offered new Chelsea deal

AVB ready to offer contract rebel Kalou 80k-a-week deal

Andre Villas-Boas is pressing ahead with his Chelsea revolution by moving to secure Salomon Kalou to a new contract.

The Ivory Coast international's future remains unclear given he is out of contract in the summer.

Don't go, Kalou: Chelsea are keen to tie the Ivory Coast international down to a new deal

Don't go, Kalou: Chelsea are keen to tie the Ivory Coast international down to a new deal

Initial talks over fresh terms have taken place but discussions hit a deadlock ahead of the forward's departure to the Africa Cup of Nations.

But both parties are now ready to return to the table to thrash out a new deal for Kalou.

There is a willingness from both sides to agree a deal, in the region of 80,000-per-week, before his contract expires in the summer.

Out of contract: Arsenal are said to be interested in the Chelsea winger

Out of contract: Arsenal are said to be interested in the Chelsea winger

Sources close to Kalou claim that the main sticking point towards agreeing a contract is the amount of playing time the forward is guaranteed.

Kalou has made just nine appearances for the Blues this season, scoring three goals.

And the 26-year-old wants securities over the amount first team football he will be play before committing to a new deal.

Kalou, 26, can leave for nothing in the summer if he fails to sign a new deal with Chelsea.