Tag Archives: turkish

Didier Drogba arrives in Turkey with Galatasaray

Drogba arrives in Turkey to party atmosphere as ex-Chelsea hitman begins latest chapter with Galatasaray

PUBLISHED:

17:59 GMT, 8 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

18:09 GMT, 8 February 2013

Didier Drogba received a warm welcome as he arrived in Istanbul having agreed to join Turkish club Galatasaray in the January transfer window.

Former Inter Milan playmaker Wesley Sneijder received a similarly rapturous welcome when he arrived in the Turkey last month, and Drogba expressed his delight at joining the Dutchman having left Chinese team Shanghai Shenhua.

The Ivory Coast captain's arrival was delayed by his participation in the Africa Cup of Nations.

New chapter: Didier Drogba held up a Galatasaray flag after arriving in Istanbul this afternoon

New chapter: Didier Drogba held up a Galatasaray flag after arriving in Istanbul this afternoon

But the former Chelsea striker's hopes of winning the tournament for the first time were scuppered when Nigeria put the Ivorians out.

Drogba stepped off the plane this afternoon and held up a flag with the club colours and crest printed on it before meeting up with head coach Fatih Terim.

When the 34-year-old arrived at Galatasaray's training base, he told Galatasaray TV: 'I've met with the coach, but it’s not the first time we’ve met. He just remembered me from when Cote d’Ivoire national team played against Turkey.

Warm welcome: Drogba received a similar reception to Wesley Sneijder after he arrived in Turkey last month

Warm welcome: Drogba received a similar reception to Wesley Sneijder after he arrived in Turkey last month

'I’m really happy to be here for me as it’s a new challenge, a new part of my life. I will do my best to be successful for the club.'

Drogba will link up with compatriot Emmanuel Eboue, who joined the Turkish champions from Arsenal in the summer of 2011.

Another former Chelsea striker who took the same path from Stamford Bridge to China has also returned to Europe.

Nicolas Anelka joined Shenhua in January last year, but decided to transfer to Italian giants Juventus, making his move to the Serie A champions last month.

In the mix: Wesley Sneijder has already made the switch from Inter Milan to Galatasaray

In the mix: Wesley Sneijder has already made the switch from Inter Milan to Galatasaray

Didier Drogba turns down Chelsea return to sign for Galatasaray

EXCLUSIVE: Drogba turns down stunning offer to REJOIN Chelsea as under-fire Abramovich tries to win back the fans

By
Neil Ashton

PUBLISHED:

16:44 GMT, 27 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

07:52 GMT, 28 January 2013

Didier Drogba will turn down a sensational approach to return to Chelsea and sign an 18-month contract with Galatasaray.

Sportsmail can reveal that Roman Abramovich gave the go-ahead last week to offer Drogba a deal until the end of the season, with an option for a further year.

Incredibly the talks were so far advanced that Chelsea were convinced that the man who delivered the European Cup last season was on the brink of signing before Thursday’s transfer deadline.

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

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

It also appears that after unexpectedly re-signing Ashley Cole on a one-year deal last week, Chelsea are embarking on a major charm offensive supporters.

They were furious with Rafa Benitez yesterday as they drew 2-2 in the FA Cup at League One side Brentford at Griffin Park and chanted ‘you don’t know what you’re doing’.

Terms on the deal had been offered to Drogba — who joined Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua in May — and there was a huge emotional pull to return to Stamford Bridge.

Struggles: Drogba failed to settle in China with Shanghai Shenhua

Struggles: Drogba failed to settle in China with Shanghai Shenhua

Champions League trophy: Didier Drogba sits on the pitch with the trophy

Champions League trophy: Didier Drogba sits on the pitch with the trophy

He won three Premier League titles, four FA Cups and his Chelsea career ended with that glorious finale against Bayern Munich in the Allianz-Arena in May last year.

Chelsea offered him a year’s extension on reduced terms at the time, but Drogba, 34, decided to quit after lifting the Champions League.

helsea have been struggling without him this season and Fernando Torres, who scored yesterday, is still struggling for form.

Drogba, whose family still live in Surrey and whose children attend Chelsea’s academy, has been training with his old team-mates ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations and they initially began teasing him that he wanted to return.

Big spenders: Galatasaray also snapped up Dutchman Wesley Sneijder (right)

Big spenders: Galatasaray also snapped up Dutchman Wesley Sneijder (right)

Despite the temptation to relive the glory years with his former team-mates, he will guarantee Champions League football by signing for Galatasaray.

The big-spending Turkish side, who recruited former Champions League winner Wesley Sneijder last week, expect to announce the deal for Drogba this week.

Galatasary face Schalke in the European Cup next month and the lure of playing in the competition he won last season proved too much.

Wesley Sneijder paraded after joining Galatasary for 8.3m

Turkish delight! Thousands of Galatasaray fans mob new hero Sneijder in streets

By
Andy James

PUBLISHED:

21:29 GMT, 20 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

18:10 GMT, 21 January 2013

Wesley Sneijder has been paraded around the streets of Istanbul to the delight of the huge crowds who turned out to meet him.

The midfielder was taken on a tour round the Turkish capital just hours after official confirmation of the move was announced.

Galatasaray had agreed a 8.3million deal to sign the Holland star from Inter Milan.

Scroll down for video

Wesley Sneijder was greeted by a fanfare in Istanbul

What a welcome: Wesley Sneijder was greeted by a fanfare in Istanbul

Crowd scene: Sneijder's arrival at Ataturk airport was seen by a host of supporters

Crowd scene: Sneijder's arrival at Ataturk airport was seen by a host of supporters

Barely had Sneijder touched down at Istanbul's Ataturk airport before he was mobbed by a huge throng of people who had turned out to say shout their approval.

The 28-year-old had appeared to rule out a move to Turkey but in a dramatic U-turn decided the club would be right for him.

Numerous cameras and flares went off and the police struggled to keep the crowds under control, such was the frenzied atmosphere.

Flare play: There was an air of frenzied excitement in Istanbul at Sneijder's unveiling

Flare play: There was an air of frenzied excitement in Istanbul at Sneijder's unveiling

Mobbed: Fans climb on to Sneijder's car as he is paraded around

Mobbed: Fans climb on to Sneijder's car as he is paraded around

There was elation in Istanbul but would have been deflation on Merseyside. On Sky's Goals on Sunday programme Liverpool
captain Steven Gerrard said he would like to see Sneijder arrive at
Anfield but his appeal was too late.

Gerrard had said: 'He's a top player we've seen at every major tournament, he delivers.

'He's done it in the Champions League for years.

'But we have to see on his wages, the man I think gets paid very well. He'll have all kinds of options, I'm sure.

He was mobbed by thousands of fans as he made his way through the streets to talk to the media

Wanted: He was mobbed by thousands of fans as he made his way through the streets

 Sneijder met up with officials from Galatasary in the capital

Finished: Sneijder met up with officials from Galatasary in the capital

'But I'd like nothing more than to see him in a red shirt. I think he'd be a fantastic player for Liverpool Football Club.'

A statement on galatasaray.org read: 'The transfer of Wesley Sneijder from Inter Milan has been agreed.

'The conditions of the deal will be made public and the player will sign the contract after health checks.'

A
short conversation between Inter president Massimo Moratti and Sneijder
was released on the Serie A club's website earlier this evening, in
which both parties revealed the Dutchman was close to calling time on a
successful spell at the San Siro.

Reports in Italy and Holland suggested Sneijder and his agent Soren Lerby met with Galatasaray director Lutfi Arigogan in a Milan hotel this evening to finalise the details of a three-and-a-half year contract.

Sneijder has not featured for the Nerazzurri since a 2-0 victory at Chievo in September after publicly refusing to take a two million euro pay cut on a contract that ran until June 2015.

Supporters find every place to shout their approval of Sneijder's signing

Everywhere: Supporters find every place to shout their approval of Sneijder's signing

Head coach Andrea Stramaccioni maintained the playmaker's absence from the first team was solely a tactical decision, despite Inter's difficulty in keeping pace with league leaders Juventus through an injury crisis.

This week saw Moratti urge Sneijder to make a 'professional' decision over his future in Milan, where he won the treble under Jose Mourinho in 2010. The pair cleared the air before Sneijder headed for decisive talks with representatives of the Super Lig leaders.

Wesley Sneijder joins Galatasary for 8.3m

Sneijder finally leaves Inter… but Gerrard won't like that he's gone to Turkey, not Liverpool

By
Sportsmail Reporter

PUBLISHED:

21:29 GMT, 20 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

21:40 GMT, 20 January 2013

Galatasaray have agreed a deal to sign Holland midfielder Wesley Sneijder from Inter Milan, the Turkish club have confirmed.

On Goals on Sunday Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard said he would like to see Sneijder arrive at Anfield, but it appears his appeal was too late.

The 28-year-old has been locked in contract talks with Galatasaray since Inter accepted an 8.3 million bid for his services two weeks ago, and has put pen to paper on a deal believed to be worth 120,000-per-week.

Inter exit: Wesley Sneijder (pictured) who has been linked with Manchester United and Liverpool has joined Turkish club Galatasaray

Inter exit: Wesley Sneijder (pictured) who has been linked with Manchester United and Liverpool has joined Turkish club Galatasaray

A statement on galatasaray.org read: 'The transfer of Wesley Sneijder from Inter Milan has been agreed.

'The conditions of the deal will be made public and the player will sign the contract after health checks.'

Gerrard said: 'He's a top player we've seen at every major tournament, he delivers.

'He's done it in the Champions League for years.

'But we have to see on his wages, the man I think gets paid very well. He'll have all kinds of options, I'm sure.

'But I'd like nothing more than to see him in a red shirt. I think he'd be a fantastic player for Liverpool Football Club.'

A short conversation between Inter president Massimo Moratti and Sneijder was released on the Serie A club's website earlier this evening, in which both parties revealed the Dutch international was close to calling time on a successful spell at the San Siro.

Reports in Italy and Holland suggested Sneijder and his agent Soren Lerby met with Galatasaray director Lutfi Arigogan in a Milan hotel this evening to finalise the details of a three-and-a-half year contract.

Talent: Sneijder won the Champions League, was a World Cup finalist and made it into both the UEFA and FIFA teams of the year in 2010

Talent: Sneijder won the Champions League, was a World Cup finalist and made it into both the UEFA and FIFA teams of the year in 2010

Sneijder has not featured for the Nerazzurri since a 2-0 victory at Chievo in September after publicly refusing to take a two million euro pay cut on a contract that ran until June 2015.

Head coach Andrea Stramaccioni maintained the playmaker's absence from the first team was solely a tactical decision, despite Inter's clear difficulty in keeping pace with league leaders Juventus through an injury crisis.

This week saw Moratti urge Sneijder to make a 'professional' decision over his future in Milan, where he won the treble under Jose Mourinho in 2010. The pair cleared the air before Sneijder headed for decisive talks with representatives of the Super Lig leaders.

Alfred N"Diaye joins Sunderland

Sunderland complete first signing of window as N'Diaye joins for 3m from Bursaspor

By
Adam Shergold

PUBLISHED:

15:29 GMT, 9 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

15:37 GMT, 9 January 2013

Sunderland have completed the signing of midfielder Alfred N'Diaye from Turkish side Bursaspor for 3m.

As revealed by Sportmail earlier this week, the 22-year-old has today signed a three-and-a-half year deal at the Stadium of Light after completing a medical and agreeing personal terms.

He is Martin O'Neill's first signing of the January transfer window.

New face: Alfred N'Diaye has joined Sunderland for 3m from Turkish side Bursaspor

New face: Alfred N'Diaye has joined Sunderland for 3m from Turkish side Bursaspor

N'Diaye started his career with Nancy
four years ago and moved to Turkey at the start of last season after
more than 60 appearances in the French top division.

O’Neill,
who is desperate for midfield cover for injured captain Lee Cattermole,
launched a bid for the ball-winning midfielder at the opening of the
transfer window.

Powerhouse: N'Diaye (left) passed a medical on Wearside today and could make his debut against West Ham this weekend

Powerhouse: N'Diaye (left) passed a medical on Wearside today and could make his debut against West Ham this weekend

He told his club's website: 'Alfred is a strong, powerful young player and as such can offer us more strength in depth.

'He will give us options and I'm delighted that we have been able to bring him to the club.'

N'Diaye could go straight into the squad for Saturday's home game with West Ham if he receives international clearance in time.

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.

Champions League draw: Manchester United v Real Madrid, Arsenal v Bayern Munich, Celtic v Juventus

Ronaldo v Rooney & Fergie v Mourinho as Man United face Real Madrid in Champions League (plus Arsenal v Bayern Munich and Celtic v Juventus!)

Real Madrid to visit Old Trafford for the since time since 2003

Arsenal to play last season's runners up, Bayern Munich

After beating Barca, Celtic must get the better of Italian champions Juventus

Hot favourites Barcelona will play AC Milan, as they did four times last year

|

UPDATED:

17:09 GMT, 20 December 2012

Full last 16 draw… and when they play

Galatasaray v Schalke
(February 20 and March 12)

CELTIC v Juventus
(February 12 and March 6)

ARSENAL v Bayern Munich
(February 19 and March 13)

Shakhter Donetsk v Borussia Dortmund
(February 13 and March 5)

AC Milan v Barcelona
(February 20 and March 12)

Real Madrid v MANCHESTER UNITED
(February 13, March 5)

Valencia v Paris St Germain
(February 12 and March 6)

Porto v Malaga
(February 19 and March 13)

*First team at home first

Sir Alex Ferguson will face Jose Mourinho in the Champions League last 16 after Manchester United were drawn against Real Madrid.

The game will also pitch Cristiano Ronaldo against his former club for the first time since he left in a world record 80million deal in 2009.

Arsenal dodged Barcelona but have been handed a tough draw against last season's runners up Bayern Munich.

And Scottish champions Celtic, who beat Barca earlier the competition, were drawn against Italian side Juventus, who topped Chelsea's group.

Barcelona's match-up with AC Milan is the pick of the rest of the ties, which will kick off in February.

Turkish side Galatasaray
were drawn against Arsenal's group winners, Schalke, while German
champions Borussia Dortmund, who topped Manchester City's group, will face Shakhtar.

Porto, who won the Champions League
under Mourinho in 2004, will play Malaga, while Carlo Ancelotti's Paris
St Germain take on Valencia.

Scroll down for video

Up for the cup: Sir Alex Ferguson is up against his old friend Jose Mourinho in the Champions League

Up for the cup: Sir Alex Ferguson is up against his old friend Jose Mourinho in the Champions League

Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid

Cristiano Ronaldo

The two Ronnies: Cristiano Ronaldo will return to Old Trafford for the first time since his move to Real Madrid

CURRENT ODDS TO WIN

Barcelona 9/4
Real Madrid 5/1
Bayern Munich 7/1
Borussia Dortmund 8/1
Juventus 11/1
Manchester United 14/1
Paris St Germain 20/1
Shakhtar Donetsk 33/1
Arsenal 40/1
Porto 50/1
Malaga 50/1
Schalke 66/1
Valencia 66/1
AC Milan 100/1
Celtic 150/1
Galatasaray 250/1

Odds provided by Oddschecker.com

The draw comes just a day after Ferguson heaped praise on his old friend Mourinho.

The Scot said: ‘He is very intelligent, he has
charisma, his players play for him, and he is a good looking guy. I
think I have most of those things, too, apart from his good looks.

'He’s
got a confidence about himself, saying “We’ll win this”, and “I’m the
Special One”. I could never come out and say we’re going to win this
game. It’s maybe a wee bit of my Scottishness’

Rio Ferdinand was first to react to the draw on Twitter, writing: 'Oh yes, Madrid!! What a great couple a games that'll be!! @Cristiano see u soon bro!!'

That was followed by Ruud van Nistelrooy, who played for both.

He wrote: 'United or Madrid.. Who do I
want to win Played my heart out for them both. Proud to have played
for both. #impossible #MayTheBestTeamWin.'

VIDEO Reactions to the draw

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Tuning in: Celtic boss Neil Lennon and his team watch the draw at their training ground

Tuning in: Celtic boss Neil Lennon and his team watch the draw at their training ground

Big names: Steve McManaman helped pull the teams out at UEFA's headquarters in Nyon

Big names: Steve McManaman helped pull the teams out at UEFA's headquarters in Nyon

Names up in lights: The big screen shows the completed last 16 draw

Names up in lights: The big screen shows the completed last 16 draw

And United's club secretary John Alexander hoped there was a lucky omen in the draw.

He told Sky Sports News: 'Out of several standout ties, I think this is the one. It's the tie that everyone wanted to see – but that nobody wanted to see, they wanted to save it for later in the competition.

'When you think about the traditions of these two clubs they have both been incredibly successful, but of course the past is history.

'One thing going in our favour is that our one victory over Real Madrid in this competition was in the year we won the final at Wembley [in 1968] so let's hope that is a lucky omen.'

THE LAST TIME REAL MADRID CAME TO OLD TRAFFORD

WHEN JOSE MOURINHO FIRST APPEARED ON SIR ALEX FERGUSON'S RADAR

SEEN IT SOMEWHERE BEFORE

In what is claimed to be odds of 5,000/1, the results of Thursday's Champions League draw were exactly the same as the rehearsal on Wednesday. just look at the screengrab from Sky Sports News the day before the draw.

Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is optimistic his side can see off Arsenal.

He
told Uefa.com: 'I think we enter this match as the slight favourites,
but we can be making the mistake of underestimating them.

Rehearsal: These were the fixtures that came out during the practice draw earlier this morning

'Arsenal
have struggled at times in the league over the last few months, which a
look upon the standings in the Premier League will tell you. But by no
means will this be an easy game for us. I look forward to our game in
London and back home in Munich.

'We want to set the foundations with a good performance in London, that would make things easier for us in our home game.

'I
wouldn't call this a lucky draw, but one that we can overcome. I look
forward to seeing my old friend Arsene Wenger and I hope that we can
reach the next round.'

Indifferent: Arsenal will have sharp focus on the Champions League,with domestic form unconvincing

Indifferent: Arsenal will have sharp focus on the Champions League,with domestic form unconvincing

Better luck this year: Bayern Munich are out to go one step further than they managed last season

Better luck this year: Bayern Munich are out to go one step further than they managed last season

Celtic boss Neil Lennon, on Twitter on Thursday morning, had asked Santa to be nice to Celtic.

And afterwards, he said: ‘In terms of
glamour it’s great, in terms of qualification it will be very tough.
But every team would be tough.

‘We’ll look forward to it. We want to go as far as we can and it’s another huge game for us to enjoy.’

Lennon’s side beat Barcelona and
Spartak Moscow in Glasgow after drawing with Benfica as they progressed
from Group G behind the Catalans.

‘The home game is pivotal. We’ll have
to take some sort of advantage to Turin. Celtic Park is a very special
arena and I’m sure the fans will raise the roof again.’

Scot a problem: Having beaten by Barcelona, Celtic have now been drawn against Juventus

Scot a problem: Having beaten by Barcelona, Celtic have now been drawn against Juventus

Scot a problem: Having beaten by Barcelona, Celtic have now been drawn against Juventus

United will play the first leg at the
Bernabeu on February 13 with the return at Old Trafford on March 5,
just three days after the Spanish champions are due to play rivals
Barcelona.

Arsenal
will play a week later with the first leg at the Emirates Stadium on
February 19 and the second at the Allianz Arena in Munich on March 13.

Celtic will take on Juventus at Celtic Park on February 12, with the return leg in Turin on March 6.

The draw contained nine former champions of Europe, including United and Celtic, though not last year's winners Chelsea.

Proceedings began with a tribute to Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova, who is
having an emergency operation today after suffering a relapse of a cancerous tumour in his salivary gland.

Glory, glory: Sir Alex Ferguson is gunning for his third European Cup triumph

Glory, glory: Sir Alex Ferguson is gunning for his third European Cup triumph

Missing out: Arsenal reached the final in 2006 but were beaten by Barcelona

Missing out: Arsenal reached the final in 2006 but were beaten by Barcelona

Emre facing jail for alleged racist slur towards Didier Zokora

Ex-Newcastle midfielder Emre faces jail over alleged racist slur aimed at Zokora

|

UPDATED:

14:24 GMT, 7 December 2012

Former Newcastle midfielder Emre Belozoglu could face up to two years in prison after being prosecuted for an alleged racist insult directed at Didier Zokora.

The incident with Zokora happened in April of this year when the Atletico Madrid player was playing for Fenerbahe.

Scroll down to watch the video

In the dock: Emre (right) could be sentenced to a jail term

In the dock: Emre (right) could be sentenced to a jail term

He was accused of directing racist insults at the Ivorian Zokora during a game against Trabzonspor and given a two-match ban.

As our video below shows, Zokora took his own form of revenge when the two next met.

But it now appears Emre will have to answer to Turkey’s Public Prosecutor who, according to Turkish newspaper Hrriyet, will call for between six months and two years in prison for the alleged slur.

Claim: Didier Zokora was allegedly racially abused

Claim: Didier Zokora was allegedly racially abused

Emre admitted to having insulted Zokora in English, but insisted there was no racial element. When the Turkish Football Federation banned him for two games they did not state that the abuse had been of a racist nature leading Trabzonspor to lodge the legal complaint.

The Turkish midfielder faced FA charges over racist abuse while in
England in 2007 for an incident in a match at Everton in December of the
previous year.

But despite evidence given by Joleon Lescott, who said Emre had
called team-mate Yobo a 'f*****g negro', and from goalkeeper Tim
Howard, that he had called the same player a 'f*****g nigger' he was
let off because an independent commission concluded that there was a
lack of proof.

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Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie miss Manchester United trip to Galatasaray

Rooney and co dodge 'hell'… no wonder they were enjoying a laugh in United training as Fergie leaves out big names for Turkey trip

|

UPDATED:

13:50 GMT, 19 November 2012

Sir Alex Ferguson has left out his big names for Manchester United's trip to Galatasaray – otherwise known as 'hell'.

A full 19 years after their infamous visit to Turkey – when they were given a fiery reception at the airport before entering the intimidating stadium – they make a return in the Champions League.

But Ferguson has opted to rest his key men, including Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney, Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra. Also missing are Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and David De Gea.

Instead, Ferguson has selected a youthful squad for the daunting trip.

All smiles: Wayne Rooney (left) and Paul Scholes mess around in training on Monday

All smiles: Wayne Rooney (left) and Paul Scholes mess around in training on Monday

All smiles: Wayne Rooney (left) and Paul Scholes mess around in training on Monday
United squad v Galatasaray

Sam Johnstone, Anders Lindegaard; Rafael, Alexander Buttner, Phil Jones, Tom Thorpe, Marnick Vermijl, Scott Wootton; Michael Carrick, Davide Petrucci, Larnell Cole, Tom Cleverley, Darren Fletcher, Anderson, Nick Powell, Ashley Young, Ryan Tunnicliffe; Javier Hernandez, Joshua King, Danny Welbeck, Federico Macheda.

So, it was no wonder that United's
stars were all smiles in training at Carrington on Monday as they were
given crucial time off with their passage to the knockout stages already
confirmed.

It would have been understandable if
the mood were sombre given the daunting prospect United face when they
come up against Galatasaray and their notorious fans on Tuesday night –
especially off the back of a humbling defeat to Norwich on Saturday.

United were greeted with banners reading 'welcome to hell' when they made their first visit to the Turkish capital in November 1993 – a night which saw hundreds of United fans arrested, Eric Cantona sent off and a mass brawl ensue after a 0-0 draw, and they can expect a similar reception on Tuesday night.

There are several reasons for United to be cheerful, however. They have never lost to the Turkish side over 90 minutes in five meetings, Galatasaray have not won at home in Europe since 2009, and both Rooney and goalkeeper De Gea trained with on Monday after missing the Norwich defeat.

Rooney missed the weekend defeat to Norwich with tonsillitis while De Gea was absent having had wisdom teeth removed.

Both were present at an open session ahead of their Champions League trip to Turkey to face Galatasaray on Tuesday night.

Gearing up: United face Galatasaray on Tuesday night

Gearing up: United face Galatasaray on Tuesday night

Gearing up: United face Galatasaray on Tuesday night

However, midfielders Shinji Kagawa and Nani and defender Jonny Evans – who have been struggling with knee, hamstring and groin injuries respectively – were all absent for the first 15 minutes of the session which was open to the media.

Watching manager Sir Alex Ferguson is likely to give a number of players a rest as United have already won their group to ensure progress to the knock-out stage.

Although they are through midfielder Michael Carrick has no intention of spending the week trying to work out who they may play next.

'You can drive yourself mad thinking about who you might get and all the various permutations,' he said.

'We just have to win our games, which we have done, and see what the draw gives us.

'Whoever it is, we will be ready in February.'

Welcome to hell: United are greeted with hostile banners back in 1993

Welcome to hell: United are greeted with hostile banners back in 1993

Brawl: Cantona (left) scuffles with Galatasaray players, leading to his dismissal

In recent years, United have done rather well in the knockout stages of the competition too, reaching three finals, a semi-final and a quarter-final on the last five occasions they have progressed beyond the group phase.

'That is the big test,' said Carrick.

'That is when the competition really comes alive.

'We have done the first part. The second one is when we get the really big European nights and we go away to the best places in Europe and win games.

'We have managed to do that very well over the past few years. Hopefully we can get back to that.'

Of course, all the success just made the shattering disappointment of exiting at the group stage last term all the more galling.

Cruising: United have won all four of their Champions League fixtures so far this season

Cruising: United have won all four of their Champions League fixtures so far this season

The transformation this time around could not be more marked.

Four wins from four games looks good, even if United have been behind in three of those matches and struggled to edge past Galatasaray in their first match, when an early Carrick goal did the damage.

'It is a happier place because of what we are doing in the Champions League,' he said.

'Last year we were chasing our tails a bit and came up short. This year we have been ahead of the game.

'Getting those wins and points on the board makes it an awful lot easier.'

Sam Allardyce wants to bring Nicolas Anelka to West Ham in January

Hammers boss Allardyce admits interest in bringing Anelka back from China in January

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UPDATED:

23:17 GMT, 17 November 2012

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce admits he would be interested in a January move for Nicolas Anelka.

The 33-year-old is currently plying his trade in China for Shanghai Shenhua but has recently been linked with a move back to the Barclays Premier League.

Allardyce, who has guided the Hammers to sixth place in the table after the opening 11 fixtures, signed Anelka for Bolton for a then-club record fee in the summer of 2006 and revealed he would like to work with the France striker once again.

Welcome back Could Nicolas Anelka return to London

Welcome back Could Nicolas Anelka return to London

'It could interest me, of course it could,' he said.

'It would be of interest if that is a possibility financially for us and he wanted to come. I have had no conversations with Nicolas' agent or anything like that at this time.'

Anelka was seen as a marquee signing for Wanderers when he was signed from Turkish side Fenerbahce and his form at the Reebok Stadium earned him a big move to Chelsea a year and a half later.

Allardyce, who has yet to see big-name summer signing Andy Carroll score for the Hammers, believes Anelka transformed his Bolton side into a team that could challenge at the right end of the table.

He said: 'His professionalism and dedication was why he was such a good player and we never had problems at Bolton at the time he was with us.
“He was the difference – he was the reason we went into the top end, the top four, rather than the top eight.'

Old pals: Anelka and Sam allardyce in their Bolton pomp

Old pals: Anelka and Sam allardyce in their Bolton pomp

Much has been made over the years of Anelka's demeanour on and off the pitch but Allardyce reckons the perception of the former Arsenal and Real Madrid forward is off the mark and hopes the family man could be tempted to head back to London.

Asked whether he ever had a problem with Anelka's questionable temperament Allardyce said: 'He never was like that in his entire time I had him.

'He was disappointed I left, when he came and played for me I had him at a very, very good time – probably at the height of his career, I would think, because he had matured into a dedicated professional.

'I think he has always been dedicated but he got sidetracked by certain situations through his younger days but he learnt from that, his experience across Europe.

'He had a girlfriend, who is now his wife, and his family and I think that has matured him – I think Nicolas has still got his family here in London, I don't think they moved out to China.'

One stumbling block for a potential deal would come if Anelka refused to take a drop in his wages as he is currently reported to be earning around 250,000 a week in China.

He has also been linked with a return to Liverpool or a move to fellow strugglers QPR but all three clubs would be hard pushed to fork out the sort of money the Frenchman is currently bringing in from Shenhua.