Arsenal midfielder Freddie Ljungberg has put pen to paper over a new deal that will keep him at Highbury until 2009. The Swedish midfielder's previous deal was due to expire at the end of the coming season and The Gunners were keen to ensure he remained at Highbury. Real Madrid have been continuosly linked with the Swedish international but this has ruled any move for the 28 year old. "I've been at Arsenal nearly seven years now and am really happy to have signed a new contract with the club," Ljungberg told the club's official website. "I'm looking forward to the new season, to winning more trophies and also to playing in our new stadium in 2006."
I think Ljungberg is a decent midfeild player and I also think that Arsenal needed to keep him at the club after the sale of Patrick Vieira to Juventus otherwise there midfeild line would be in tatters. I beleive that Arsenal fans will be very happy that Ljungberg has signed a contract extension because there was so much talk of him leaving and they thought they would lose him as well as Vieira.
Bolton midfielder/striker El-Hadji Diouf has been fined £100 for not having a television licence. The twenty four year old player was visited at his Liverpool home by a TV licence officer on 13 March, Birkenhead magistrates heard. He refused to let the officer in, but confirmed he had a colour television and no licence. The Senegalese international did not attend court and the case against him was found proven in his absence.
What an iddiot for not paying his T.V licence, when he earns thounsands of pounds and can buy anything but a T.V licence. Diouf 24 is also due to stand trial accused of spitting at a fan during his team's Premiership clash with Middlesbrough in November 2004. He has denied the charge.
I personaly don't like him because he is always doing something stupid but however he is a pretty decent player.
Chelsea have dismissed claims linking them with AC Milan striker Andriy Shevchenko as "totally incorrect". Reports on Wednesday claimed that Chelsea had opened negotiations on a world record £60m move for the 28-year-old Ukranian. A Chelsea statement said: "It is our policy not to comment on speculation linking Chelsea to players. AC Milan have also played down speculation that Chelsea were chasing Shevchenko. Shevchenko has consistently been linked with Chelsea as a result of his friendship with the club's Russian owner Roman Abramovich.
I personally think that Shevchenko will never leave Milan and I think that £60million for a twenty eight year old would be a bit far fetched. I think that if Shevchenko were ever to leave Milan it would probably be back to Ukraine when he is about thirty eight. I beleive that Shevchenko is a brilliant striker who scores bags of goals and if he moved to Chelsea he would be washed up just like Hernan Crespo and Didier Drogba.
Tottenham are set to seal a deal to bring Dutch midfielder Edgar Davids to White Harte Lane. The Dutch man is leaving Inter Milan because of a bust up with his manager Roberto Mancini and Mancini has agreed to let him leave on a free transfer. Spurs coach Martin Jol is delighted to be on the cusp of landing his fellow countryman. "He is one of the most versatile midfielders, a playmaker, a ball-winner with great stamina and huge charisma and one of the best midfielders to come out of Holland in the last 10 years," said Jol. Both Everton and Middlesbrough had shown an interest in Davids earlier in the summer, but the lure of London looks to have won the day.
I beleive that Davids is a quality player with bags of experience and although he is thirty two I still think he has the game to match the Premiership. I beleive Inter have made the wrong decision in letting him go because although he didn't play much for them he is still a great player and I think he can help Tottenham push for Europe next season. Smart piece of work by Spurs manager Martin Jol.
West Brom have today completed the signing of former Portsmouth striker Diomansy Kamara. Kamara has joined the baggies from Italian club Modena in a deal worth £1.5million. He has signed a three year deal at the Hawthorns, with the option of a further 12 months, after not being kept on by Pompey. The Senegal international joined Portsmouth last summer but the Fratton Park club decided against forking out an additional sum to keep Kamara on a long-term basis. Southampton last week had a bid of £1.5million accepted but West Brom managed to lure him to the Hawthorns.
I think Kamara is a striker with bags of talent and should be a big hit with the West Brom faithful. I honestly think that £1.5million is on the cheap side and that Modena should have held out for more. I think that his goals for West Brom will make them an established Premiership team and maybe in years to come they can push for a top half finish. well maybe not top half after all it is West Brom.
It appears today that Tottenham have now joined the race to sign Luis Boa Morte from Fulham. It now looks like Spurs and Newcastle will battle it out to sign the Portugese striker from Fulham. Earlier in the week Newcastle had a bid in the region of £3.5million rejected by Fulham but it now looks like they will have to sell him because he has made it clear to Fulham manager Chris Coleman that he wants to move to a bigger club. Spurs now look the favourites because he has said that he would like to stay in London.
I think that Fulham should cash in on Boa Morte now because I don't think Coleman should keep a player at his club that wants to move. I beleive he will move for about £4.5million and I think that he should move to Newcastle because he should be guarenteed first team football their because Newcastle are very short on strikers.
Middlesborough are in talks with Rangers winger Peter Lovenkrands over a possible move to the Riverside. It comes after Rangers manager Alex McLeish said that he would be willing to sell the Danish international. The 25-year-old snubbed a move to Portugal with Benfica, saying he wanted to move to either England or Spain. Lovenkrands reportedly turned down a move to Portsmouth as he wanted to play European football, with Boro involved in the Uefa Cup next season.
I think Lovenkrands is a top class winger with bags of pace and I think the Premiership will suit the him. I think the Premiership will bring out the best in Lovenkrands because he has not been able to show everyone how good he is in the Scotish league. I believe he will be a good signing for Boro because they have no one on the wing after Bolo Zenden left for Liverpool.
Aston Villa striker Darius Vassell is in talks with Manchester City after the two clubs agreed a fee in the region of £2-3million for the english striker. Darius only scored three goals for Villa last season in an injury hit year. Man City fresh from a cash injection of £20million have already brought in a striker in the shape of Andy Cole, but he wants Vassell to provide extra competition. David O'Leary was quoted as saying "He had a year left on his contract, we've been offered good money by Manchester City, so it suits everybody all round as it stands.
I think Vassell is a decent striker but I do think that over the past two seasons' he hasn't performed to his best. I think that the fee in the region of £2-3million is pretty good value for a 25 year old with bags of talent. If Vassell hits any form for City I think that he could be a great addition to the City's squad. Villa will probablly use the funds they receive to maybe buy Milan Baros from Liverpool.
West Ham manager Alan Pardew has expressed an intrest to sign Liverpool striker Milan Baros. It comes after Liverpool said that they would listen to offers for the Czech Republic international after signing Peter Crouch from Southampton. It looks now that Milan Baros will be fourth choice striker at Anfield behind Fernando Morientes,Djbril Cisse and now Peter Crouch. Alot of other clubs like Lyon and Valencia are chasing the 23 year old.
I think Baros should get out of Liverpool now because he will definetly not be in the starting eleven as much as last season. He did'nt play that bad last season but with new signings he has drop significently down the pecking order at Anfield. I personally don't think Baros should move to West Ham because they certainly wouldn't match his ambition's to win medals.
Arsenal are believed to be keeping a close eye on Roma midfielder Oliver Dacourt. Arsene Wenger is looking for a replacement for former Arsenal skipper Patrick Vieira who moved to Italian champions Juventus last week for a fee of £14million. Dacourt who has Premiership experience with Leeds and Everton is still under contract with Roma until 2006 but Arsenal have been in contact with Roma looking for a possibility of bringing the 31 year old to Highbury.
I personally think Dacourt is a bit past his best form and I don't think he would have enough quality to be in the first team at Highbury. He would'nt cost to much because of his age but the transfer is in doubt because Roma have a 12 month transfer ban giving to them by U.E.F.A. because of one of thier transfer dealings. I think Arsenal should buy someone a bit beter than Dacourt and get someone younger like Guti maybe.
Southampton striker Peter Crouch is set to seal a move to Liverpool on Wednesday. It comes after the two clubs aggreed a fee believed to be in the region of £7 million. Crouch was wanted by many clubs including West Ham and Man City but it now looks like he will move to Anfield. He is set to undergo a medical at Liverpool's training ground tomarrow. Crouch earned his first England cap during England's tour in the U.S.A. Saints manager Harry Redknap said "I wish him well and I'm sure he'll be a big success at Liverpool."
I think Peter Crouch is a good old fashioned striker with great aerial abillity. I think he will earn great succses at Liverpool and it will certainly improve his chances of getting into the England world cup squad. I believe £7 million is a good price and that will give Southampton extra transfer funds to build a squad to get them back in the Premiership.
Andrew Cole has today completed a move to Manchester City on a free transfer from Fulham. Cole will be City's manager Stuart Pearce's first signing after the sale of Shaun Wright-Phillips to Chelsea. It is unclear wheter or not the Man City fans will be happy with the signing because the player played for arch rivals Manchester United where he was a crowd favourite. The player has flown out to Bangkok to meet up with his new team mates who are taking part in the FA Premier League Asia Trophy. Pearce said that the chance of signing Cole on a free was to good to turn down.
I believe Cole only has one or two season's left in him and I think he could be a a great player for a free transfer. The youth team will gain tremendously with Cole's experience,He will also be a good player on the field too. City also only have one senior striker in Robbie Fowler in their ranks so he will be a welcome addition to the squad.
Rafa Benitez is apparently keeping a close eye on pacey Lyon striker Sydney Govou. The french international is was very high on Benitez's wish list at Valencia and is now grabbing the attention of Liverpool. Lyon have stated that they would listen to any offers in the region of £8-10 million for the player,but Lyon have said that they have recieved no offers for the striker yet
I personally think that Govou is a quality striker and I for one would love to see him play in the Premiership. Govou would struggle to be a first team regular because of the number of strikers at Anfield already. If Liverpool do aim to land Sydney Govou, I believe they would be best-advised to use Milan Baros as a form of bait.
Fenerbache have today issued a hands of warning to any club intrested in buying Nicolas Anelka. It comes after Newcastle boss Grame Souness said that Anelka would be a great addition to his side. Anelka who only moved to Fenerbache in January from Manchester City for a fee of £7 million stated on Saturday that he is content in Turkey but this has done little to quell talk of a return to England for the pacey hit-man. The Fenerbache vice president Nihat Ozdemir has claimed that no official offers have been made for the player and that they want to keep him at the club,he was also quoted as saying "We didn't buy him to sell him. We're going to reach many big successes in Europe with Anelka.
I personally think that Anelka is a very grumpy player and I think if he were to leave Fenerbache after only signing for them in January,Fenerbache would be very unhappy with him. I think Man City did very well in getting £7 million for the player because personally I don't think he is worth a penny. I have heard that a loan to Newcastle could be likely but I don't think Fenerbache will let him go.
Middlesborough have failed in their attempts to sign Owen Hargreaves from Bayern Munich. Steve McClaren has midfielders high on his wish list but has failed to land the English midfielder. Names like Nicky Butt,Edgar Davids,Damien Francis,Salif Diao and Andy van der Meyde have all been linked with a summer move to Teeside. Middlesborough have qualified for the U.E.F.A Cup for next season and that could lure some top class players to The Riverside.
Hargreves has stated quite alot that he would love a move back to his homeland but said a move to The Riverside is not for him at this point in his career. Hargreves has just one more year left to run on his current contract and realises that he could leave the German club for free next summer.
In my opinion I would love to see Hargreaves play in the Premiership. He is a good central midfield player and would be a great asset to any team. I believe he would cost about £5 million and I think a club would certainly recieve value for money. I personally think he should leave Bayern Munich because he is not a regular starter for them.
Shaun Wright-Phillips is set to sign for Premiership champions Chelsea. Man City and Chelsea have agreed an undisclosed fee for the english winger. Chelsea had a bid of £20 million rejected for Wright-Phillips on Friday after they made their intrest official in the 22 year old. Wright-Phillips had declared on Friday that he was happy to stay at City,but 24 hours later he asked to talk with Chelsea. Chelsea confirmed in a statement that they had agreed a fee for Wright-Phillips: "Chelsea and Manchester City have agreed a fee for the transfer of Shaun Wright-Phillips. Once again Chelsea spending power has worked again.
I think that this is a bad move for Wright-Phillips as he will not be garenteed a place in the star studded Chelsea starting eleven. I think City fans will be a little disapointed in Wright-Phillips after him signing a new contract in January and saying that he was happy to stay. Chelsea will be recieving a top class right winger out of this deal. This transfer will give City manager Stuart Pearce much needed transfer funds but half the money will go to Man City massive £62 million debt. Names like Romeo Castelen of Feyornood have been mentioned to fill the gap that Wright-Phillips departure will leave.
Chelsea have been dealt another major blow in their attempts to sign Michael Essien from Lyon. Essien has now traveled with the side to Korea for a pre season tournament after he insisted he did not want to travel because he wanted a move to Premier league champions Chelsea. Lyon have held firm over a move all summer and have kept their valuation of the player at £30 million, another bid was yet again rejected on Wednesday believed to be around £21 million from Chelsea. New Lyon coach Gerard Houllier believes it would be better if Essien stayed one more season.
I believe Essien is a great Midfield player and any team would want him. I agree with Gerard Houllier though because I do think he should stay with Lyon for at least one more season. Essien is only 22 and if Chelsea were to sign him they would be recieving a great young talent. Man united were also intrested in the player early this summer but simply just did'nt have the funds. I think Lyon's valuation of the player is a bit much.
Julio Baptista today has announced he is considering a move to Spanish champions Barcelona. The brazillian international has attracted intrest from several clubs in England incluing Arsenal and Tottenham but he has now said that he would relish a move to Spanish giants Barcelona. The Sevilla hit-man has metioned that he would like to play Champions League football but Sevilla failed to qualify for the competition this year and Barca would fit the bill. Baptista also said that he has to remain in Spain for one more year because he doesn't have an EU passport, so that rules out any move to the Premiership.
Baptista would be intrested in move to Camp Nou
Personally I think Baptista is a quality player with bags of strength and goals. I would love to see him play in the champions league and hopefully in years to come he will play in the Premiership. Sevilla have placed an £16 million price tag on the Brazillian striker. Sevilla will be losing a class player but whoever gets him will gain tremendously.
Andy Johnson has demanded that he should be let leave Championship side Crystal Palace and move back to the premiership were Palace were relagated from last season. He scored 22 league goals last season in a team that struggeled to adapt to the Premiership. Several clubs had already been turned down by Palace chairman Simon Jordan for Johnson's signature. Jordan had said that it was his mission to keep Johnson at the club but now it looks as though his mission has failed as many clubs will now be fighting it out for his signature. During last year he came runner up to Theiry Henry in the top goalscorer for the season and also made his England debut against Holland.
Johnson wants to fly back to the Premiership
Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira has reportedly wants to meet with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger for talks over his future after he was linked with Italian champions Juventus. Juve denie reports that they have held talks with the 29 year old Frenchman. Papers in Italy are saying that Juventus vice-president Roberto Bettega will fly into London on Tuesday and meet with Arsenal chiefs.
It is thought that Juve have offered £5 million plus Stephen Appiah but Arsenal would want significantly more for the Frenchman. Last year Vieira was on the verge of signing for spanish giants Real Madrid but Arsenal persuaded him to stay at the last minute, but it remains to be seen if Vieira will stay this time after a very average season at highbury.
In my opinion I think Arsenal should get rid of Vieira now because if they wait until he goes 30+ to sell him he wouldn't be worth as much as he is now and he had a very average season last year plus it would give Arsenal funds to sign Shaun Wright-Phillips.
Arsene Wenger made a scathing attack at Chelsea today saying that they have ruined the transfer market. It comes after Arsene Wenger said that he wants to buy Shaun Wright-Phillips but in this transfer market know you have to wait and see what move Chelsea are going to make. He was also quoted as saying "There is a price for Chelsea and there is a price for other clubs, it is very frustrating but it is a fact". In the two years since Roman Abramovich took over at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea bosses Claudio Ranieri and Jose Mourinho have out-spent Wenger by almost £200 million.
It is amazing to think that through all of this summer Chelsea spending power has not landed them a top-class striker which Mourinho really wants. Chelsea have been heavily linked with a £20 million deal to bring Shaun Wright-Phillips to Stamford Bridge a player that Wenger would love to have at Highbury but he has to see what Chelsea will do first.
I agree with everthing Wenger is saying, because it is ruining the transfer market because Chelsea can afford anyone they like. Once a player has attracted interest from Jose Mourinho, it is almost impossible for any other club to compete in a bidding war. I personally hope that Chelsea have a rubbish season next year and Abramovich is forced to leave.
Matthew Upson looks set to leave Birmingham after Rafa Benitez offered £5 million for the English center-back. Benitez has been busy this summer bringing in new face's for what looks like could be a long season. European football would tempt Upson to Anfield.
Birmingham boss Steve Bruce said Matthew still has three years left on his current contract and we desperatly want to keep him at St.Andrews. Bruce was also quoted as saying"We want to build around our best players - and Matt knows what we think of him,"
Rafa chases Upson
In my opinion I think Upson is a quality player and I think he should be playing European football with Liverpool. Birmingham would be losing a great player but they will gain financially though I do think £5 million would be a little on the cheap side. Liverpool will end their center-back nightmare after not having a decent one for a while and as Upson is only 25 he will be around for years to come.
Alberto Gilardino has stressed again that he has no intention of moving to Premier League Champions Chelsea. Chelsea have been frustrated all summer by top class strikers snubbing a move to Stamford Bridge and it looks as though Gilardino will be the next to snub. Chelsea were said to of made a £24 million bid for the striker but it was rejected.
Gilardino: Staying Put
AC Milan are also strong contenders to land the top class striker. Parma have stood firm in their attempts to keep the player."I have a contract with Parma that will expire in June 2007 that I have to respect, not just for professional reasons, but for the affection towards the club and the city," Gilardino said on his agents' website. Though he has said his preferred destination would be Milan because the group of players.
In my opinion Gilardino is a quality striker and I for one would love to see him play in the Premiership. But fair play to the player for standing by his contract and club. He is a great young talent and I hope he achieves great things no matter what club he plays for.
Newcastle United are closing in on Inter Milan Midfielder Emre Belozoglu. The Magpies have been monitoring Emre's situation throughout the summer months and have finally made a formal approach to his club Inter Milan.
Emre set for Magpies
Inter, however, are yet to accept the offer from the Magpies due to intrest from Galatasaray and Fenerbahce, natives to the 24 year old's country,Turkey. This is much to Emre's annoyance, as he has previously stated that he is eager to move to The Premiership, rather than heading back to Turkey.
As far as I'm concered, Emre is a over-rated player. He has failed to settle down in Italy, rarely finding himself in the first-team, he will find it hard to settle into the fast-moving Premiership and even harder to settle into glam-filled Teeside.
Souness! You're wasting your money!
Southampton goalkeeper Antti Niemi has declared today he would love the chance to work under former saints manager Gordon Strachan at Celtic. Celtic are said to of offered £2 million for the 33 year old goalkeeper. Niemi mayed it clear after Southampton were relagated last season that he wanted out.
Niemi eyes Celtic
The former Rangers keeper is quoted as saying "moving back to Glasgow would not be a problem for me," but it remains to be seen if the Celtic fans feel the same way.
One can only see this as a postive move for Niemi considering the Saint's Championship status, however, I don't believe Scotland can never offer him regular top-class football, just those 4 league games a year.
Luis Figo has announced that he would love a move to the European Champions Liverpool. Several clubs were interested in Figo, including Newcastle and Bolton, but he now looks set to sign for Liverpool after they showed an interest in him.
Figo set to move
Luis Figo was told by Spanish giants Real Madrid that he was free to leave the club at the end of last season. It is thought that the deal would include an estimated fee in the region of £2 - 3 million.
This would be a good move for both Figo, because he was rarely picked ahead of David Beckham in the first team at Madrid, and for Liverpool, because he has proven himself, time and time again, that he can perform at the highest level.