Tag Archives: versatile

Raheem Sterling set to sign Liverpool deal but Martin Kelly snubs 35k-a-week contract

Sterling set to sign Liverpool deal but Kelly snubs 35k-a-week contract

|

UPDATED:

22:25 GMT, 15 December 2012

Liverpool are confident they are close
to persuading teenage winger Raheem Sterling to sign a new, long-term
contract but have been rebuffed in their attempts to tie down a second
young England star in Martin Kelly.

Representatives for Sterling, who
turned 18 last weekend, held fresh talks with club chief executive Ian
Ayre last week to try to thrash out a deal. The two sides were a long
way apart in earlier negotiations.

Set to sign: Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling

Set to sign: Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling

Sources believe Liverpool are close to agreeing terms with the forward, who made his England debut against Sweden last month, and have promised big performance-related incentives to take him close to other regular first-teamers on around 50,000 a week.

With Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United waiting in the wings, Liverpool are confident a deal with Sterling is imminent. Manager Brendan Rodgers stated after yesterday's 3-1 home defeat by Aston Villa: 'I am not bothered by speculation about Raheem and other clubs. That situation (Sterling's contract) will be resolved soon, I'm sure.'

Snub: Defender Martin Kelly

Snub: Defender Martin Kelly

But it is less good news for the club regarding Kelly, a member of England's Euro 2012 squad, who has turned down an offer worth 35,000 a week in wages and appearance money and is now awaiting the club's reaction before making his next move.

The versatile defender who, like Sterling, has 18 months left on his present deal, is recovering from a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament injury sustained against Manchester United in September.

He forced his way into Roy Hodgson's squad in the summer after impressing on his England debut against Norway in May.

The young players to watch out for during the Chelsea v Manchester United clash

Who is going to shine The young stars to look out for at Chelsea and United

|

UPDATED:

00:26 GMT, 31 October 2012

Both Manchester United and Chelsea are set to put their faith in youth as they go head-to-head in the Capital One Cup. Sportsmail takes a look at the players who could stand out for their sides.

CHELSEA

Chelsea’s blockbuster buys have been the main attraction at Stamford Bridge this season, but tonight some of Chelsea’s new young stars will hope to impress.

Victor Moses was already a Premier League regular when he joined from Wigan in the summer.

Looking to make his name: Victor Moses made a big money move to Chelsea from Wigan in the summer

Looking to make his name: Victor Moses made a big money move to Chelsea from Wigan in the summer

Powerful and direct, the 21-year-old winger has featured six times already this season and scored against Wolves in the last round of the Capital One Cup.

Lucas Piazon is another highly rated Chelsea talent. The 18-year-old Brazilian forward joined the club in January 2012 and made his debut in the last round against Wolves.

Shining star: Lucas Piazon is highly thought of at Stamford Bridge

Shining star: Lucas Piazon is highly thought of at Stamford Bridge

Watch out for right back Cesar Azpilicueta, 23, and fellow Spaniard Oriol Romeu, 21, who has already made a name for himself at Stamford Bridge.

Forgotten man Marko Marin, 23, will also feature. The German has been overshadowed by Eden Hazard and Oscar.

MANCHESTER UNITED

United have a fine record of producing talented youngsters and tonight’s game will give four more the chance to shine.

Scott Wootton, 21, is a centre back who joined from Liverpool in 2007 and has already featured for United in the Champions League this season. With loan spells at Tranmere, Peterborough and Nottingham Forest under his belt, the versatile defender finally looks ready to make the step up.

Capital gain: Scott Wootton is ready to step up

Capital gain: Scott Wootton is ready to step up

Also watch out for Belgian Marnick Vermijl, 20, an attack-minded right back, and defender Michael Keane, 19, who was voted Reserves Player of the Year.

New signing Nick Powell joined from Crewe in the summer and the talented 18-year-old midfielder is already training with United’s first team.

Ready to shine: Nick Powell has stepped up to Manchester United from Crewe

Ready to shine: Nick Powell has stepped up to Manchester United from Crewe

Robin Van Persie and Wayne Rooney prepare for Newcastle

The best strike partnership in British football Van Persie and Rooney gear up for Newcastle clash

|

UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 6 October 2012

Manchester United's 50million strikers Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie have been piling on the overtime to ensure they live up to the hype of being the most exciting front pairing in the Premier League.

Sir Alex Ferguson has been putting his two superstars through their paces on the training ground, with particular emphasis put on the tactical side of their new partnership.

They are expected to start a Premier League game together for the first time at Newcastle on Sunday after linking well in United's 2-1 Champions League win at Cluj on Tuesday, when Rooney set up both goals for his Dutch team-mate.

Ready to start Wayne Rooney (right) and Robin van Persie have a laugh in training

Ready to start Wayne Rooney (right) and Robin van Persie have a laugh in training

And Van Persie, who has scored seven goals already this season, has also been voluntarily undertaking extra training sessions to improve his fitness after missing pre-season while his protracted 24million move from Arsenal to United was being finalised.

Despite their status in the game, Rooney and Van Persie are not being allowed to let natural talent alone build their on-pitch relationship.

Ferguson is excited by the possibilities of having two such versatile players, with each on capable of playing as the furthest man forward, or as a second striker.

'There is a tactical part to the kind of training we do, and Rooney and Van Persie have to include themselves in that, without doubt,' he said. 'All the players get coached every day.

'We've had a lot of players who are naturally gifted in terms of movement and ability – Giggs, Scholes, Cantona , Ronaldo.

'But players and tactics can be manufactured as well. I don't think there is anything wrong with that if you reach high levels through the coaching you give the players.'

Ferguson's biggest headache is working out which way is best to use his strikers, given their talent and versatility, hinting that Van Persie is capable of supplying chances for Rooney, as well as vice-versa.

'Rooney and Van Persie can play up front together, it is possible to use them as a front two. But I think one of them would always drop in, which we don't mind – we think that is usually the right thing to do.

'It's not right to say Rooney prefers it facing the play. The season we played him up on his own, he scored 30-odd goals. We have great options up front because Danny Welbeck can also play up top or drop in.

'I think Van Persie and Rooney will score at least 20 goals each this season. If we can get Welbeck or Chicharito [Javier Hernandez] to 20 goals as well, that's perfect. We'll be in business.'

Ferguson is aware expectations are sky-high when arguably the two best individuals in the Premier League are in the same starting line-up.

Killer touch: Van Persie has hit the ground running since leaving the Emirates for old Trafford

Killer touch: Van Persie has hit the ground running since leaving the Emirates for old Trafford

Should Van Persie and Rooney replicate their solo form as a duo, they have the potential to emulate the best strike pairings seen in the Premier League, like Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton, and United's own Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke.

Rooney's leg injury earlier in the season meant they have not yet started a league game together, but Ferguson clearly feels his two star players are now ready for it, having both started the campaign sluggishly for different reasons.

'Rooney is fit, he has trained really well,' said the manager. 'I think having time off because of his gashed leg has been key to it.

He maintained his fitness during that time, which is important because he is a stocky lad. 'Once Rooney gets that first goal of the season, he will explode.

His record shows that he will score goals, his finishing gets better every year. I know Van Persie was short of fitness and sharpness in his first games.

He doesn't carry weight but nonetheless you need four or five games pre-season. The other players had that but he only had 20 minutes for Arsenal against Cologne.

'His training sessions are getting better all the time. He's doing a lot of work after training with the sports science people. He asked for it because he knows he needs to make up time. He's been good that way in training, I think he is a good pro actually, looks after himself.'

Despite winning four Premier League titles and appearing in three Champions League finals since joining United in 2004, Rooney is still searching for that elusive perfect strike partner, for club and country.

Gearing up: Rooney (centre) and Van Persie (centre right) linked up well against FC Cluj to help United win 2-1

Gearing up: Rooney (centre) and Van Persie (centre right) linked up well against FC Cluj to help United win 2-1

He has scored goals alongside Ruud van Nistelrooy, Dimitar Berbatov, Welbeck and Hernandez for United, and Michael Owen and Emile Heskey with England, but nothing to compare with the Yorke-Cole partnership at Old Trafford.

United's injury crisis in defence means Ferguson's back four will pick itself at Newcastle, although he hopes Chris Smalling will be back to provide competition for Rio Ferdinand and Jonny Evans after the forthcoming international break.

But the manager faces a huge selection problem in midfield as he is desperate to find a place for Japan international Shinji Kagawa, who has impressed this season and was rested for the Cluj victory.

Michael Carrick, Anderson, Ryan Giggs, Nani, Tom Cleverley, Darren Fletcher and Paul Scholes are also vying for midfield places while Welbeck and Hernandez cannot be guaranteed a place on the bench. 'I think I know my team but it's difficult,' admitted Ferguson.

The trip to the north-east is always considered one of the toughest by United aficionados who remember Philippe Albert's chip in the 5-0 Newcastle win in 1997.

United were also well beaten there last season. Ferguson is expecting a tough contest again. 'Newcastle rested five players in the Europa League against Bordeaux and did very well.

Papiss Cisse's goal was brilliant, a really good finish. Any time you go to Newcastle it's tough with the support and all the 50,000 screaming Geordies.'

Now you see it... Rooney set up both Van Persie goals as United overcame FC Cluj

Now you see it… Rooney set up both Van Persie goals as United overcame FC Cluj

What about us Demba Ba (right) and Papiss Cisse (left) will be hoping to outscore Rooney and Van Persie on Sunday

What about us Demba Ba (right) and Papiss Cisse (left) will be hoping to outscore Rooney and Van Persie on Sunday

… But could they outperform these pairings

Could they outdo these pairings

Phil Jones out for six to eight weeks

Man United confirm Jones out for 'six to eight weeks' with knee injury

|

UPDATED:

12:51 GMT, 8 September 2012

Manchester United and England defender Phil Jones has suffered yet another injury setback – as exclusively revealed by Sportsmail.

Jones suffered the injury in training earlier this week and was sent for a scan which has confirmed he requires an extensive period of rehabilitation.

A statement issued by the club read: 'Phil Jones has had surgery on a knee meniscus tear sustained in training that will require six to eight weeks' rehabilitation.'

Nightmare: Phil Jones' young career at Manchester United has been marred by injury

Nightmare: Phil Jones' career at Manchester United has been marred by injury

It is a bitter blow for Jones who has only just returned to training after he was ruled out of United's first three games because of back spasms.

Jones was also unavailable for Roy Hodgson England side, who demolished a poor Moldova team 5-0 on Friday evening.

The problem forced him to fly home from the United's pre-season tour of Scandinavia, but last week Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed that Jones had resumed light training after a period of rest appeared to have cured the problem.

The latest injury problem for Jones is one of many he has sustained during his short tenure at United.

The club have had to make do without the former Blackburn man against Everton, Fulham and Southampton and look set to be without the versatile defender for some time yet.

Jones joined United from Blackburn for 16.5million in January last year and has made 29 appearances for the club.

The United manager is still without another England defender in Chris Smalling, but Rio Ferdinand and Jonny Evans both returned to the United squad for the 3-2 win at Southampton last weekend.

Unlucky: Jones (left) hobbled out of training at Carrington on Thursday

Unlucky: Jones (left) hobbled out of training at Carrington on Thursday

Phil Jones suffers another injury

EXCLUSIVE: Nightmare for Jones as United defender set for lengthy layoff after ANOTHER injury setback

|

UPDATED:

22:09 GMT, 7 September 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Manchester United and England defender Phil Jones has suffered yet another injury setback.

The 20-year-old hobbled out of United's Carrington training ground on crutches after injuring his right leg on Thursday and now looks set for another spell on the sidelines.

Nightmare: Phil Jones' young career at Manchester United has been marred by injury

Nightmare: Phil Jones' young career at Manchester United has been marred by injury

It is a bitter blow for Jones who has only just returned to training after he was ruled out of United's first three games because of back spasms.

Jones was also unavailable for Roy Hodgson England side, who demolished a poor Moldova team 5-0 on Friday evening.

The problem forced him to fly home from the United's pre-season tour of Scandinavia, but last week Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed that Jones had resumed light training after a period of rest appeared to have cured the problem.

The latest injury problem for Jones is one of many he has sustained during his short tenure at United.

The club have had to make do without the former Blackburn man against Everton, Fulham and Southampton and look set to be without the versatile defender for some time yet.

Jones joined United from Blackburn for 16.5million in January last year and has made 29 appearances for the club.

The United manager is still without another England defender in Chris Smalling, but Rio Ferdinand and Jonny Evans both returned to the United squad for the 3-2 win at Southampton last weekend.

Unlucky: Jones (left) hobbled out of training at Carrington on Thursday

Unlucky: Jones (left) hobbled out of training at Carrington on Thursday

Micah Richards recovering well from injury

Richards looking at speedy return and could be back in training by end of month

|

UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 7 September 2012

Micah Richards is ready to boost Manchester City's Champions League hopes by returning to training by the end of the month.

Roberto Mancini feared Richards would miss 10 weeks after suffering an ankle injury, as revealed by Sportsmail.

Speedy return: Micah Richards hopes to be back in training by the end of the month

Speedy return: Micah Richards hopes to be back in training by the end of the month

Whack: Richards hopes to boost Manchester City's bid to win the Premier League again

Whack: Richards hopes to boost Manchester City's bid to win the Premier League again

But the versatile defender has earmarked a return to light training in two to three weeks.

The 24-year-old could be back in the first-team fold by mid-October – in time for the Champions League clashes against Ajax, Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund – as long as his rehabilitation goes to plan.

However, he has a fight on his hands to win his right back berth back after being displaced by Pablo Zabaleta towards the end of last season and with the deadline-day addition of Maicon.

Europe's giants will be monitoring Richards's situation.

Juventus made overtures in the summer over a switch, while Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger are known admirers.

The competition: Maicon, who signed from Inter Milan on deadline day, hopes to make the right-back position his own

The competition: Maicon, who signed from Inter Milan on deadline day, hopes to make the right-back position his own

Paul Lambert chasing Sheffield United"s Matthew Lowton

Lambert chasing Sheffield United's Lowton to add to Aston Villa's defensive options

|

UPDATED:

21:48 GMT, 5 July 2012

Aston Villa are interested in Sheffield United's Matthew Lowton, 23.

The versatile defender was rewarded with a new deal at Bramall Lane last year, but new boss Paul Lambert is keen to boost his options.

Lambert has moved quickly to strengthen his squad at Villa Park by bringing Karim El Ahmadi to the Premier League from Feyenoord.

The season starts here: Paul Lambert oversees a training session with Aston Villa

The season starts here: Paul Lambert oversees a training session with Aston Villa

Fulham boss Jol closing in on deal for Cologne left back Riether

Fulham boss Jol closing in on deal for Cologne left back Riether

|

UPDATED:

22:06 GMT, 5 July 2012

Fulham are closing on a deal for Cologne left back Sascha Riether, 29.

The versatile defender looks set to join the ranks at Craven Cottage on a one-year loan deal, with an option to buy.

He made 17 outings last year for relegated Cologne and has also made two appearances for the German national team.

London-bound: Riether

London-bound: Riether

Stoke interested in Geoff Cameron

Stoke looking for new recruits with versatile defender Cameron in Pulis' sights

|

UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 24 June 2012

Stoke City are showing interest in Houston Dynamo defender Geoff Cameron.

The 26-year-old USA international can also play in midfield.

Meanwhile, a former Potter, John Carew, is in talks with Turkish side Gaziantepspor.

Interest: Stoke could be keen to sign Geoff Cameron (right)

Interest: Stoke could be keen to sign Geoff Cameron (right)

Micah Richards glad spell as Manchester City captain is over

Richards glad to hand armband back to Kompany when defender returns from ban

Micah Richards reflected on the downside of his brief tenure as Manchester City skipper and admitted he will be glad to hand the armband back to Vincent Kompany.

Versatile defender Richards stepped into the breach while Kompany served a four-match ban and rounded off his stint at Anfield on Wednesday night, as City were denied a Carling Cup final place by a late aggregate-winning goal from Liverpool striker Craig Bellamy.

Pass it on: Micah Richards (right) has completed his short stint as captain

Pass it on: Micah Richards (right) has completed his short stint as captain

It was the one regret that took some of the shine off leading out the Barclays Premier League leaders, and he welcomed the imminent return of commanding centre-back Kompany, at Everton on Tuesday.

‘It was an honour being captain, and I am just gutted that I couldn’t lead us to a final,’ he said, after conceding a hotly-disputed penalty for handball that allowed Liverpool to cancel out an early Nigel de Jong strike. ‘But I am happy Vinny is coming back, so that normal service can be resumed.

Pass it on: Micah Richards (right) has completed his short stint as captain

Back: Vincent Kompany will return from his ban next week

‘It was an outstanding goal from Nigel, but I think the referee made a poor decision for the penalty. It hit my foot, then went on to my hand, so I don’t know what he expects me to do. It was a decision that cost us. It played a massive part in us not going through, and it is hurting us.

‘But at least we have Vinny coming back now, and we will keep strong and look forward to our next game at Everton. We’ll go there and try and get the win.’