Tag Archives: technical

Barcelona"s New York transfer summit – Chelsea"s David Luiz top summer target

Revealed: Barcelona's New York transfer summit – Spanish giants want Chelsea's Luiz and Wembley flop Neymar (and that means Villa would be free to join Arsenal)

By
Paul Collins

PUBLISHED:

22:31 GMT, 13 February 2013

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UPDATED:

14:09 GMT, 14 February 2013

Top Barcelona officials met in New York this week to thrash out the club's transfer strategy and one of their top targets is Chelsea defender David Luiz.

Barca coach Tito Vilanova, who is currently on sick leave, met with sporting director
Andoni Zubizarreta, technical secretary Albert Valentn and football co-ordinator Narcis Julia in the United States.

Rough and tumble: Brazil defender David Luiz (right) tussles with Wayne Rooney during England's 2-1 win at Wembley last week

Rough and tumble: Brazil defender David Luiz (right) tussles with Wayne Rooney during England's 2-1 win at Wembley last week

Tito Vilanova

Another target: Neymar is wanted by Barca

New York summit: Tito Vilanova (left) flew to America where plans were drawn up to sign Neymar (right)

Vilanova is
keen to strengthen his defence, despite club captain Carles Puyol only
recent signing a new deal at the Nou Camp and 25-year-old Luiz is seen as a long-term replacement, despite the Brazil centre half struggling for consistency at Stamford Bridge this season.

Luiz's fellow Brazilian Neymar, who was widely criticised for his insipid performance at Wembley against England, was also on his list, which would allow Arsenal target David Villa to leave.

If he does make the move in the summer
then Luiz could team up with a couple of former Premier League players
in Alex Song and Cesc Fabregas.

Arsenal hope: Barcelona's David Villa, could be on his way out of Barca, who hope Luiz (below) will come in

Arsenal hope: Barcelona's David Villa, could be on his way out of Barca, who hope Luiz (below) will come in

Blues brother: Barcelona are keen to sign David Luiz in the summer

According to Portuguese paper A Bola, Chelsea would be reluctant to sell one of their assets to their European rivals.

But they also suggest that if they were to let him go to Spain, then they would want to recoup a sizeable amount of the 21m transfer fee they forked out for him in 2011.

Chelsea are third in the Premier League and Luiz and his team-mates face a battle to secure Champions League football next season as they are only one point ahead of fellow London rivals Tottenham, with Arsenal an additional four points behind them.

Chelsea"s David Luiz a summer target for Barcelona

Barcelona keen to sign Luiz but face battle as Chelsea want to keep their boy from Brazil

By
Paul Collins

PUBLISHED:

22:31 GMT, 13 February 2013

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UPDATED:

23:49 GMT, 13 February 2013

Barcelona are keen to revive interest in Chelsea defender David Luiz in the summer.

The Brazil international has struggled for consistency at Stamford Bridge this season.

And Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova is keen to strengthen his defence, despite club captain Carles Puyol only recent signing a new deal at the Nou Camp.

Wanted man: Barcelona are keen to sign David Luiz in the summer

Wanted man: Barcelona are keen to sign David Luiz in the summer

Vilanova met with sporting director
Andoni Zubizarreta, technical secretary Albert Valentn and football co-ordinator Narcis Juli in New York this week where a number of targets were discussed.

Fellow Brazilian Neymar was also on his list, which would allow David Villa to leave.

If he does make the move in the summer
then Luiz could team up with a couple of former Premier League players
in Alex Song and Cesc Fabregas.

Boy from Brazil: Luiz captained the Samba boys against England last week

Boy from Brazil: Luiz captained the Samba boys against England last week

According to Portuguese paper A Bola, Chelsea would be reluctant to sell one of their assets to their European rivals.

But they also suggest that if they were to let him go to Spain, then they would want to recoup a sizeable amount of the 21m transfer fee they forked out for him in 2011.

Another target: Neymar is wanted by Barca

Another target: Neymar is wanted by Barca

Chelsea are third in the Premier League and Luiz and his team-mates face a battle to secure Champions League football next season as they are only one point ahead of fellow London rivals Spurs, and Arsenal an additional four points behind them.

Benitez will have no more money to spend in the transfer window

Window of opportunity closing for Benitez as Chelsea tighten the purse-strings

By
Ben Rumsby, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

15:44 GMT, 29 January 2013

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UPDATED:

16:03 GMT, 29 January 2013

Rafael Benitez today admitted he does not think Chelsea will give him any more money to spend before the transfer window closes.

Interim Blues boss Benitez confirmed last week he had told owner Roman Abramovich that his squad was not strong enough to cope with the unprecedented fixture pile-up facing them this season.

But he appears to have given up hope of being allowed to add to the January signing of Demba Ba before Thursday’s transfer deadline.

Benitez admits there are no more funds for transfers

The well runs dry: Benitez admits there are no more funds for transfers

Benitez isn't expecting to add any signings to Demba Ba

No more: Benitez isn't expecting to add any signings to Demba Ba

David Moyes is said to be a possible replacement for the manager next season

On the way out: David Moyes is said to be a possible replacement for the manager next season

Asked if he anticipated any movement in the final 48 hours of the window, he said: 'I don’t think so but my job is to improve my squad and manage the situation we have.'

Abramovich and the board’s reluctance to back Benitez in the transfer market will reinforce the view that he has become a dead man walking at Stamford Bridge just over two months after succeeding Roberto Di Matteo.

It is understood there is currently no prospect of him losing his job before his contract expires this summer but reports persist that the club are already actively discussing replacing him next season.

Benitez shrugged off the speculation, which has included Everton boss David Moyes being linked with his job.

'My position is exactly the same,” he said, confirming he had held talks with technical director Michael Emenalo in the wake of Sunday’s FA Cup fourth-round draw at Brentford.

'I was speaking about football with Michael Emenalo, as normal.

'I will try to do my job as well as I can, and try to do my best every game.'

Peter Odemwingie transfer request rejected by West Brom amid QPR interest

West Brom reject Odemwingie's transfer request as QPR target desperately seeks exit

By
Neil Moxley

PUBLISHED:

17:37 GMT, 25 January 2013

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UPDATED:

17:50 GMT, 25 January 2013

West Bromwich Albion have turned down a transfer request from striker Peter Odemwingie.

The Baggies rejected a bid from QPR for the Nigeria forward earlier this month and the club insist none of their core players are for sale.

Sporting & technical director Richard Garlick said: 'Peter is hugely popular with our supporters and it is disappointing that he has decided to hand in a transfer request.

Snub: West Brom have rejected a transfer request from Peter Odemwingie

Snub: West Brom have rejected a transfer request from Peter Odemwingie

'It was immediately turned down and has done nothing to change our stance during January.

'Peter is under contract until the summer of 2014 and we have no need or desire to sell our core players.

'We want to keep the squad intact to enable us to build on an encouraging first six months of the season.'

Waving goodbye: Odemwingie has expressed his desire to leave West Brom

Waving goodbye: Odemwingie has expressed his desire to leave West Brom

Odemwingie sent a mixed message to supporters after the final whistle against Aston Villa last weekend and said: 'It's normal that players move clubs.

'There has been an offer – I'm 31 now and I was thinking to secure my future in the Premier League which is my desire.

'I had a good talk with the owners of the club, I'm here and I'm happy, this is always my club that I love.'

West Brom will not sell Peter Odemwingie to QPR

QPR dealt blow as West Brom refuse to sell Odemwingie in January transfer window

By
John Curtis, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

07:56 GMT, 24 January 2013

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UPDATED:

07:56 GMT, 24 January 2013

Peter Odemwingie has been told that he will not be allowed to leave West Brom during the current transfer window, the club's new sporting and technical director, Richard Garlick, has confirmed.

The Baggies striker is a target for QPR who have already had one offer rejected – believed to be 2million.

But Garlick insists the Baggies will only allow players to leave on their terms.

Staying put: Peter Odemwingie (centre) will not be leaving West Brom

Staying put: Peter Odemwingie (centre) will not be leaving West Brom

He said: 'Last summer there were supposedly players leaving but we kept hold of most of them.

'We don't have to sell any of our players. It's only on our terms.

'It's well documented about Peter. We had an offer and we don't intend to sell any of our players.

'When an offer comes in, we speak to the player out of courtesy. We've had that chat with Peter and he knows the situation.'

Albion also rejected a 5m bid from Rangers for defender Jonas Olsson who only signed a new four year contract in October.

In the market: Harry Redknapp was keen to sign Odemwingie for QPR

In the market: Harry Redknapp was keen to sign Odemwingie for QPR

Garlick does not expect West Brom to sign any players before the transfer window closes a week today.

He said: 'We're happy with the squad we've got and there are no immediate plans to bring anyone in.

'If an opportunity presents itself, then we will look at that, but we're looking more towards the summer.'

Harry Redknapp is planning a shake up of QPR"s backroom staff

Shake up: Redknapp hopes to add trusted aids to backroom staff

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UPDATED:

01:01 GMT, 21 December 2012

Harry Redknapp is stepping-up a shake-up of his backroom team after technical director Mike Rigg was on the brink of leaving the club yesterday.

Rigg arrived at Queens Park Rangers shortly after Mark Hughes' appointment as manager in January, but he is set to be the latest member of the sacked Welshman's staff to depart Loftus Road.

Shake up: QPR boss Harry Redknapp is planning to change his back-room staff

QPR boss Harry Redknapp is planning to change his back-room staff

And Redknapp, who replaced Hughes in November, will now look to install trusted aide Ian Broomfield as his new chief scout.

The 65-year-old is also closing in on former QPR striker Les Ferdinand, who he wants to join his coaching team.

Sportsmail exclusively revealed Redknapp's interest in both Ferdinand and Broomfield.

Redknapp (right) with trusted assisstant Kevin Bond, is looking to add les Ferdinand and Ian Broomfield to his staff

Redknapp (right) with trusted assisstant Kevin Bond, who has been with Redknapp at several clubs, is looking to add ex-QPR striker Les Ferdinand and Ian Broomfield to his staff

Ukraine to decide if Sven Goran Eriksson is new boss

Ukraine to decide if Eriksson is the man to resurrect World Cup push next week

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UPDATED:

20:27 GMT, 19 December 2012

Ukraine's football federation will decide next week whether to hire Sven Goran Eriksson to coach their national team.

Well: Sven Goran Eriksson could be the next coach of Ukraine

Well… Sven Goran Eriksson could be the next coach of Ukraine

After meeting the much-travelled former England coach and his agent in Kiev, officials laid out the terms of a potential contract.

'The Executive Committee meeting will take place next week,' said a federation spokesman, who added that they were also considering hiring local coach Mykhaylo Fomenko.

Both Harry Redknapp and Andriy Shevchenko have turned down the role in recent months.

Ukraine are currently fifth out of Group H's six teams, with two points from three games. After a 1-1 draw at Wembley, they are due to host England in September.

Former boss Oleg Blokhin resigned in late September after failing to lead the team out of the group stages in Euro 2012, which Ukraine co-hosted, and accepted the job of head coach at Dynamo Kiev.

The 64-year-old Swede has served as technical director of Thai club BEC Tero Sasana since September.

Arsene Wenger hints at Stephan El Shaarawy move in January

Wenger hints at January transfer swoop for Serie A top goalscorer El Shaarawy after refusing to rule out move for Milan star

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UPDATED:

12:36 GMT, 18 December 2012

Arsene Wenger could be ready to bolster Arsenal’s front line in the January transfer window with an audacious bid for highly-rated AC Milan striker Stephan El Shaarawy.

The Gunners have been linked with a move for the 20-year-old for some time and Wenger has expressed his admiration of the Italian striker.

Wenger believes the Italy international would effortlessly slot into his side and believes his technical ability and speed make him an ideal signing.

Admirer: Arsene Wenger refused to rule out a move for AC Milan striker Stephan El Shaarawy

Admirer: Arsene Wenger refused to rule out a move for AC Milan striker Stephan El Shaarawy

The Frenchman told Eurosport: ‘El Shaarawy is a very mobile, very technical young player. His philosophy fits perfectly with mine.’

But Wenger will have a fight on his hands if he wants to land Serie A’s top goalscorer.

Milan are reluctant to part with El Shaarawy, who has scored 14 goals so far in the league, and are keen to get value for money should the 25million-rated striker push for a move in January.

Another stumbling block for Wenger is that the youngster would be loath to leave the Rossoneri, as a life-long fan of the club.

But despite the remote prospect of landing El Shaarawy in January, Wenger refused to rule out a move.

This weekend he said: ‘You never know. I just say I love the way he plays.’

Despite El Shaarawy’s exceptional season, his side sit in seventh place in Serie A after a disappointing start to their campaign.

Hair raising: It is believed El Shaarawy would cost in excess of 25million

Hair raising: It is believed El Shaarawy would cost in excess of 25million

Wenger is ready for a busy January transfer window, and has already been linked with a move for Barcelona right back Daniel Alves to improve his side's defensive record.

El Shaarawy isn't the only striker he has his eye on. Arsenal's all-time top goalscorer Thierry Henry could make a return to the Emirates on loan in Januray, and Newcastle hitman Demba Ba could yet be persuaded to swap Tyneside for north London.

Meanwhile, Arsenal hammered Premier League strugglers Reading 5-2 at the Madejski Stadium last night, as they bounced back from last week's crippling defeat at the hands of Bradford in the Capital One Cup.

Returning hero: Thierry Henry may go back to the Emirates on loan

Returning hero: Thierry Henry may go back to the Emirates on loan

Andy Murray"s Florida fitness camp: How US Open champion aims to win more majors from Miami base

Miami heat: Gruelling regime at US base as Murray hones game for fresh assault on majors

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UPDATED:

00:33 GMT, 14 December 2012

As a restless soul desperate to win the first Grand Slam he always looked destined for, Andy Murray would pound the beaches of Miami on Christmas morning in the attempt to gain an edge over his rivals.

The US Open trophy is now in the cabinet and the questions of when and if have stopped, but the 25-year-old Scot is still leaving his footprints in the sand and taking the hard path to further glory.

Around breakfast time on Thursday the mercury was nudging 80 and Murray was out there again, beginning another session that is necessary to build the platform from which he will try to replicate the achievements of 2012.

At least he now knows the agony that he puts his body through, the lung-busting repeat 400-metre runs and torturous sequences of upwards movement on a gadget called the VersaClimber, have given him the ultimate benefit of winning a major.

Sandy Murray: Mike Dickson (left) on the beach with Andy

Sandy Murray: Mike Dickson (left) on the beach with Andy

How I tried to keep up with Andy

He also knows that his victories at the Olympics and in New York are unlikely to win him this weekend’s Sports Personality Of The Year award, not when up against the magnetic character of Bradley Wiggins and his unprecedented triumph at the Tour de France.

Yet, as we were able to see first hand, nobody other than Murray on the glittering shortlist has to combine speed, power and physical endurance with the kind of technical finesse that is required to land a dropshot over the net like a falling snowflake.

Even those of us who are somewhat aerobically challenged could understand the torture of his repeat 400m shuttles on soft sand, marked out between beach huts.

Murray does each 400m shuttle in around one minute and 15 seconds (I take somewhat longer), and he then has the same time to rest before doing it again, 10 times.

On the track he can do the same distance in 53 seconds, the time it took Mo Farah to do his last Olympic lap, although as Murray drily observes, Farah has already done 4,600 metres by that point. Scientific analysis shows that at maximum speed when sprinting for a ball, he covers the court at more than 10 metres per second.

Small wonder that his trainer/ torturer-in-chief Jez Green reflected: ‘He is just a superb all-round athlete, genetically blessed and underpinning it with an incredible work ethic.’

Easing off: Murray lets Mike have a breather before relaxing in the Florida sun (below)

Easing off: Murray lets Mike have a breather before relaxing in the Florida sun (below)

Easing off: Murray lets Mike have a breather before relaxing in the Florida sun (below)

Murray is so determined not to compromise his annual month-long boot camp in his second home of South Florida, prior to flying home briefly for Christmas and heading out to Australia via the Middle East, that he has sent his apologies to SPOTY.

That is one reason why he yesterday opened up his camp — which coach Ivan Lendl is a wisecracking part of, in contrast to his stony player-box demeanour — and reflected on his breakthrough year with unusual candour.

Wherever he comes on Sunday there have been more profound rewards, such as a boost to his sometimes wavering self-esteem, and the deep satisfaction that his home town of Dunblane is now known for more than just the terrible massacre he himself survived as a child.

The fear of being recognised in the street, or occasionally abused, has dissipated. ‘Since the Olympics I just feel a bit better about myself. I find it easier to walk around with my head up, whereas before I was always head down, not wanting anyone to see me or say anything,’ Murray said.

‘Maybe I felt that having lost in Grand Slam finals I was letting whoever it was down. I know I had been reminded every day for the last six years that it’s this long since someone from our country won a Slam. So there was part of me probably that felt a little bit of responsibility. It’s nice not to have worry about that any more and see what else I can achieve.’

Emotional scenes: Murray's return to Dunblane was attended by locals in their thousands as the Scottish town's favourite son added a US Open crown to Olympic gold

Emotional scenes: Murray's return to Dunblane was attended by locals in their thousands as the Scottish town's favourite son added a US Open crown (below) to Olympic gold in a remarkable year

Emotional scenes: Murray wins the US Open

It is clear that a true highlight of 2012 was his post-US Open visit home, when 20,000 thronged Dunblane’s streets.

‘A lot of people there say that it has a much more positive image now and it has been great to do something for them.

‘Half
my family still live there, my grandparents do a lot for the community
and my uncle has a shop there. It was weird walking down the High
Street, when I was young it seemed so massive yet when I was walking
down it that day it seemed so little. When people mention the more
positive image it’s nice because it was a terrible thing that happened
there once.’

Murray
still cannot remember much of the climax to the US Open from when he sat
down at 5-2 in the final set to the moment when, somewhat
shambolically, he was left searching for his sponsored watch in the
immediate aftermath.

‘People
have asked if I still have the racket but I think I threw it into the
crowd with my shirt. The whole thing was a bit of a blur. I was
wondering what song they played in the stadium at the changeover as I
was preparing to serve it out and I’m told it was I Feel So Close by Calvin Harris.

‘The
strange thing is I bumped into him at the airport the following day and
he came up to say congratulations, I really like that song but had no
idea that it was playing just before I won.

‘With
the watch I had just started with Rado before Wimbledon and after I
lost the final there I forgot to put it on and so I got into trouble.
That’s why I went over to my box and asked where it was, they had put it
in a zipped pocket in my racket bag and I couldn’t find it.’

The catalyst: Murray's partnership with Ivan Lendl has been a fruitful one

The catalyst: Murray's partnership with eight-time Grand Slam-winner Ivan Lendl has been a fruitful one

Lendl has been key to his success and the sometimes headstrong Murray admits that, due to the weight of his mentor’s achievements, he listens to him in a way he should have listened to other coaches in the past.

‘When we started it was much more short term — “Let’s see how the first few months of the year goes” — now we are asking what are we going to be doing in four or five years’ time. We’re very honest and open and that’s why we are planning long term.

‘After I lost in the Australian Open semis Ivan just seemed to say the right things, that’s when I knew. When I lost at Wimbledon he knew exactly what I was feeling because he has been there himself.’

Most days here Lendl supervises the technical practice, using Britain’s Jamie Baker and former US Open junior champion Oliver Golding as partners.

Green plots the on-court sprint and endurance training, using eight stations that are designed to replicate movement in rallies. They have analysed matches against Novak Djokovic and seen that many points can last between 60 and 70 seconds, so the idea is that Murray can physically cope with whatever the Serb throws at him.

Of course pre-season is hardly party time either for the likes of Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, who is on the comeback trail. That is why Murray needs to remain a restless soul, and why he has to keep on running.

First European Olympic Games will take place in Baku, Azerbaijan

Baku will play host to controversial first European Olympic Games in 2015

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UPDATED:

16:22 GMT, 8 December 2012

The first European Olympic Games are set to take place in
2015, featuring fifteen different sports.

After years of contemplating, the European Olympic Committee
has voted to hold the European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan, the same city that hosted the Eurovision Song Contest this year.

Although Russia and Turkey were thought to be first choice
in terms of host nation, Azerbaijan was in fact the only country to make a bid.

The city of Baku where the Eurovision Song Contest was held this year

Baku played host to the Eurovision song contest in 2012

Out of the 49 members of the EOC, which is headed by
president Patrick Hickley, 38 voted in favour and only eight voted against. The
competition will be held every four years, in a similar manner to the
Pan-American Games.

It was the 41st General Assembly of the EOC,
which includes the British Olympic Association, and was held in Rome, where the
secret ballot on the decision was taken.

Although the BOA is thought to have
been in support of the proposal, with some reservations depending on
scheduling, there are some who will have been dismayed at the vote.

The golden rings were an iconic image of London 2012

The EOC have said that the competition is not designed to be a copy or a replacement for the Olympic Games

The International Association of Athletics Federations
(IAFF) has already expressed their view on the matter, and is choosing not to
participate in the event.

The European Athletics Association has also voted not
to have its members take part.

The EOC have assured the National Olympic Committees that
they will not suffer any financial loss from the event, and have said that the
Games are likely to take place in the spring or summer.

‘There are plenty of technical details to decide,’ it said. ‘But
the Assembly has above all shown its will to go ahead, and make this sports
event, which is in no way intended to be a copy of the Olympic Games, a tool
with which to enhance the attractiveness of sport.’