Yet another player leaves Upton Park

Julien Faubert has today become the latest player to leave West Ham this month after he agreed to join Real Madrid on a 5-month loan deal. The French international has failed to make an impact at Upton Park after signing for the Hammers back in 2007 and the club have now decided to let him join Real on loan with a view to making the deal permanent.

It is understood that the Spanish giants have paid West Ham £1.5 million for the loan deal and they will have to pay an additional £4.5 million in the summer if they want to make it permanent. Faubert, 25, made just over 30 appearances for West Ham during his time at the club, which was marred by an achillies injury which he suffered just weeks after signing.

Not a bad bit of business by West Ham. They recieve nearly £2 million for a player that has done, lets be honest, nothing since arriving in the Premier League. I am sure all Hammers fans will be hoping that Gianfranco Zola goes out and buys another midfield player before the transfer window closes on Monday because they could really use another player in that department.

Stay tuned to Football Corner for all the latest transfer news over the coming days.

 

Spurs ready to join Wigan in the race to sign £5 million midfielder

Wigan are set to be joined by Tottenham in the race to sign Reading midfielder Stephen Hunt. The Republic of Ireland international is likely to leave the Madjeski before the transfer window closes on Monday evening after it was revealed that any club who wanted to sign him only had to cough up £5 million.

Hunt is widely regarded as one of the best players currently playing in the Championship and both Steve Bruce and Harry Redknapp have been impressed with the 27-year old. It is understood that Hunt is keen to move back up to the Premier League after being relegated with Reading last season.

I have always been a massive fan of Hunt's and I think he would be a quality signing for either Wigan or Spurs. Wigan have let go of a few key players in recent weeks and I feel they will be desperate to bring Hunt to the JJB as soon as possible. On the other hand, Spurs could really use a left-sided midfielder right now and I think Hunt would be the perfect candidate to arrive at White Hart Lane.

Stay tuned to Football Corner for all the latest developments on this and much more in the coming days.

 

£9 million summer signing set to leave Spurs before window closes

Tottenham are on the brink of selling £9 million summer signing Giovani Dos Santos to Portsmouth. The Mexico international has had failed to make an impact in North London since his summer move from La Liga giants Barcelona and now Spurs are ready to sell him for £7 million to Pompey.

The 19-year old was brought to White Hart Lane by former Spurs boss Juande Ramos and unfortunately for him, he has only made a handful of appearances under current Spurs boss Harry Redknapp. It was speculated earlier this month that Dos Santos may move back to Mexico, however Pompey boss Tony Adams looks set to welcome him to Fratton Park before the transfer window closes on Monday.

It is a real shame that it didn't work out for the lad at Spurs. When he signed for the club in the summer, I must admit, I was tipping him for big things in the Premier League, however that hasn't really happened. You never know, with first team football at Pompey virtually guaranteed, he may still prove his critics wrong in England. I for one hope he does.

Dos Santos costs just £4.5 million in this season's "You the Manager". Follow the link below to put him in your team.

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£15 million playmaker jets into London

Zenit St Petersburg playmaker Andrei Arshavin is on his way to London to discuss personal terms with Arsenal. The Russian international has been linked with a move to the Emirates ever since the transfer window opened on January 1st, however Arsenal's reluctance to cough up the £15 million needed to sign the player has seen the deal drag on for quite a while.

It was reported yesterday that Arsenal had already applied for Arshavin's work permit. That was accepted and now a move looks to be gathering pace. The 27-year old has always maintained he would love to leave Zenit and move to the Premier League and Gunners boss Arsene Wenger would be delighted to have him at the club.

"He's a guy who can go past people in the final third ... He can have the key, individually and collectively ... He is an experienced player, 27, a good age and we are a very young side. We will not have Fabregas in the next six to eight weeks, we will not have Walcott in the next five weeks, Rosicky in the next eight weeks."

Personally, I think this is great news for Arsenal fans. It it is clear that they are a little short in the midfield department and I feel Arshavin's arrival will go a long way to fixing that. I have always been a massive fan of Arshavin's and I must admit I am delighted to finally see him coming to England. Stay tuned to Football Corner for all the latest on this and much more in the coming days.

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Jermain Defoe out for a lot longer than expected?

It has been rumoured this morning that Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe could be out for a lot longer than expected. The England international was ruled out for three weeks on Friday evening with a foot injury, however there are fears this morning that he may not play again this season.

Defoe, 26, recently re-joined Spurs for a fee of £15 million from Portsmouth and it hasn't taken him long to start banging in the goals. He has already scored three goals since his move on the 7th January and this news will obviously worry Harry Redknapp.

With Spurs currently sitting just 3 points off the bottom of the Premier League table, this news will be a massive blow for the club's chances of survival. I know that may sound a bit extreme, however I firmly believe Spurs are in a relegation battle. Should Defoe miss a large chunk of the season I think Redknapp will move quick to bring a new striker to White Hart Lane before the transfer window closes on Monday.

 

Important notice for Football Corner fans

Just to let you all know I (Cathal Breathnach) will be featuring in this week's version of the Premier Talk Podcast. I must admit it is a big honor for me to be featured on the show and I would reccomend you tune into the show which is aired at 6:30pm on Sunday. That's 1:30 pm in America. So follow this link to go onto the site now and make sure you tune in on Sunday.

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Spurs make official enquiry for Robbie Keane

Tottenham have this evening made an enquiry to bring Liverpool striker Robbie Keane back to White Hart Lane. The Republic of Ireland international has fallen way down the pecking order at Anfield and Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez may be ready to cash in on Keane before the transfer window closes next Monday.

Harry Redknapp confirmed earlier this week that he would love to bring Keane back to North London after the player left last July. Keane, 28, signed for Liverpool for a fee of £20 million in the summer, however he has failed to impress during his time in Merseyside, scoring just 4 goals in the process.

Manchester City are also believed to be monitoring Keane's situation at Liverpool, however the player is understood to prefer a possible move to Spurs rather than Eastlands. Very interesting news indeed. It is clear for everyone to see that Keane is not wanted at Liverpool and I feel a move back to Spurs would be the right option for all parties involved. I would be surprised if Spurs have to pay anything more than £16 million to bring Keane back because lets be honest, he hasn't done much in the last six months or so.

Stay tuned to Football Corner for all the latest on this and much more in the coming days.

 

Spurs to make shock £18 million move for Premier League striker?

Tottenham are preparing to make a shock £18 million bid for Blackburn Rovers striker Roque Santa Cruz. Spurs recently missed out on Sunderland striker Kenwyne Jones and Harry Redknapp is desperate to add another frontman to his squad before the transfer window closes next Monday.

Santa Cruz, 27, has been strongly linked with a move away from Ewood Park this month after Manchester City boss Mark Hughes admitted he would love to sign the player. However, City have so far failed to reach an agreement with Rovers and now Spurs are ready to join the Blues in the race to sign the former Bayern Munich striker.

Sam Allardyce has always maintained his desire to keep Roque at Blackburn but the player has admitted in the past he would be interested in leaving the club, should a more ambitious club come in for him. Personally, I would be extremely surprised to see Santa Cruz arrive at White Hart Lane before the window closes.

He is a cracking player who would no doubt improve the Spurs attack but I think if he is to leave Blackburn during this window, it will be to Man City. Stay tuned to Football Corner for all the latest developments on this and much more in the coming days.

 

Liverpool blow it yet again, while Arsenal snatch late equaliser

Liverpool's chances of winning the Premier League title this season have taken a massive set-back after they were held to a 1-1 draw away at Wigan. Tonight's result was Liverpool's third draw in a row, which has seen them relinquish their lead at the top of the table to Manchester United.

Rafa Benitez' men took the lead at the JJB just minutes before the break when Yossi Benayoun finished brilliantly from a near impossible angle. The visitors were in control and it looked as though they would rejoin United at the top of the table, however with just seven minutes remaining, Wigan's new signing Mido slotted home a penalty after Jason Koumas was brought down by Lucas Leiva in the Reds box.

Just after the penalty was scored, Benitez made a rather strange substitution. He replaced club captain Steven Gerrard with Robbie Keane with no sign of any injury for the England midfielder. Disappointing result for Liverpool, considering all their main tital rivals won tonight and last night. They now face Chelsea at the weekend and it will be interesting to see how they pick themselves up from this.

Meanwhile, at Goodison Park, Arsenal snatched a point at the death. David Moyes' Everton led for quite a while after Tim Cahill put them in front on the hour mark, however it wasn't until stoppage time that the visitors grabbed the equaliser. A superb striker from Robin Van Persie ensured Arsene Wenger's men didn't leave Merseyside empty handed. I am not surprised by this result. Moyes has really got Everton firing this season and I feel they were unlucky not to take all three points on the night.

Elsewhere in the Premier League it finished : Blackburn 2-2 Bolton, Chelsea 2-0 Middlesbrough, Man City 2-1 Newcastle, West Ham 2-0 Hull City.

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Man City on the brink of making 4th signing of the January transfer window

Manchester City are on the brink of signing Newcastle United keeper Shay Given after it was revealed that the player has been left out of Joe Kinnear's squad to face City this evening. The Republic of Ireland international has been strongly linked with a move to Eastlands ever since the January transfer window opened nearly four weeks ago and it would appear that City are now very close to signing Given.

It is thought that City will have to cough up at least £14 million to have any chance of landing the 32-year old, however as we have all seen, money isn't a problem for City nowadays. Earlier today Magpies boss Kinnear had this to say on the matter : "I have bent over backwards to keep him - I've tried to make him stay,"

"He wants a new challenge and he wants to speak to Manchester City." Given has spent nearly twelve years at St James' Park, becoming a legend amongst Newcastle fans. The former Celtic youth keeper has made over 450 appearances for Newcastle and there is no doubt he will be sadly missed on Tyneside.

As a City fan myself, I must admit I would be over the moon to see Given come to the club. He is without doubt one of the best Premier League keepers of all-time and I think he would be a cracking signing for Mark Hughes. Should Given join City, it will surely see Newcastle enter the market for a new keeper because, with all due respect, Steve Harper isn't great.

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Football Corner Interviews : Johnathan Starling (EPL Talk)

The second edition of the Football Corner Interviews sees EPL Talk's Johnathan Starling answering the questions. This is the second part of the Football Corner's new series and I would like to take this opportunity to thank Johnathan for taking the time out to give his answers and once you have finished reading this, I would recommend you take the time out to look at EPL Talk.

Q : Well Johnathan, you have been a member of the EPL Talk team for a number of years now. Are there any major highlights that stand out in your mind during your time writing on the site?

A : Actually it wouldn't be a particular blog I wrote, but instead a few highlights when doing other things for the site. The first would have to be during the 2007 FA Cup Final while in the EPL Talk Chat. During the match days, I would open up a microphone and for reasons I never really understood, people would get a kick out of me just going mental when I saw the team I support (Chelsea) play. Well when Chelsea scored in injury time to beat Manchester United, I just lost it. Someone made a video of the day and I'm thankful it's never made it onto youtube.

The other moment would have to be the interview I just did with Martin Tyler for the EPL Talk Podcast. To just have the opportunity to speak with such a broadcasting legend is something I will remember for the rest of my life.

Q : Are there any football sites out there at the moment which you really admire? If so what are they and why?

A : The two I like going to are www.soccerbase.com and www.soccerway.com. I enjoy Soccer Base because it's just a data base on all things football. Just going to get information on particular games or players is a great bonus to me. I like Soccer Way because at any time, you can find out scores from the vast amount of leagues they follow.

Q : Do you remember your first ever post for EPL Talk? If so what was it about?

A : Strangely I do. It was right after Petr Cech suffered his horrific skull injury and I wrote about not putting the blame on Stephen Hunt because when two players are going after the same target, those things are bound to happen.

Q : What should it be called? Soccer or football?

A : I call it football. It's always an arguement in my house when I say football that everyone else will go in unison 'SOCCER!'

Q : Apart from Cristiano Ronaldo, who do you think is the best player in thePremier League?

A : That's a tough question. A few stick out in my mind. Cesc Fabregas for the way he controls a midfield. I also think Gabriel Agbonlahor and Steven Gerrard can be put in that argument.

Q : Do you have a favourite Premier League game of all time? If so what is it?

A : As much as it pains me to say this, last season's 4-4 Tottenham/Chelsea game would have to go down as one of my favourite games.

Q : Do you have a favourite Premier League goal of all time? If so what is it?

A : I don't have a particular goal that stands out as my favourite goal.

Q : Who do you think will win the Premier League this season?

A : I think this title is Manchester United's to lose. While they started slowly, they know when it's time to find that second gear and make the other clubs sweat around them.

Q : Should goal-line technology be brought into the game?

A : Only if it can be brought into all levels of the game. I would love to see it, but I don't think we'll see it anytime in the distant future.

Q : The white Premier League ball or the yellow one?

A : Give me the yellow ball.

Thanks again Johnathan and best of luck in the future.

If you are interested in featuring on Football Corner Interviews, please e-mail football.corner@gmail.com

If you want to read to first every Football Corner Interview with Premiership Talk's Brian Lofrumento, just click here.

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Liverpool and Chelsea don't stand a chance with Man United playing like this

Boy weren't Manchester United impressive last night? Sir Alex Ferguson's men simply destroyed West Brom at the Hawthorns last night, beating the Premier League's bottom side 5-0 to move three points clear at the top of the table.

Despite a relatively slow start to the season, United have gone on a magnificent run since their 2-1 away defeat to Arsenal. Since November 8th, United haven't conceded a single league goal which has played a major role in the side's climb to the top of the table.

Edwin Van Der Sar deserves a lot of credit. Many have been quick to criticise to Dutch keeper in the past, however he has certainly proved his critics wrong this campaign. United have conceeded just 10 goals in 22 league games this season and along with Van Der Sar, I feel Nemanja Vidic also deserves a great deal of credit for that.

The big Serb has been outstanding this season and if United are to claim their 11th Premier League title this season, they need to keep him fit. In midfield, you have the likes of Ryan Giggs and Michael Carrick, who have been in tremendous form of late and who could forget about Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Portuguese winger has had a very very quiet season so far, but despite that he has still managed 10 league goals, which is a brilliant return for any midfield player. I will be completley honest here and say that I have been impressed with Dimitar Berbatov over the past few months.

During the first few weeks of his time at Old Trafford, I must admit I was quick to cristice to former Tottenham man, however he has shown his quality over the past few months and I think he desrves a lot of praise. With United only really hitting fourth gear right now, my question to you is, can anyone stop them from claiming yet another Premier League crown? Personally, I think not, but I would love to hear what you have to say. Leave your comments below.

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Spurs miss out on Premier League striker, so now Harry switches attentions to Brazilian striker

Tottenham have today missed out on Sunderland striker Kenwyne Jones after the player agreed a new long-term deal at the Stadium of Light. Spurs boss Harry Redknapp was desperate to bring the Trinidad & Tobago international to White Hart Lane before the transfer window shuts next Monday, however he has wasted little time in switching his attentions to Lyon striker Fred.

The Brazilian international has been strongly linked with a move to the Premier League over the past 18 months or so but for whatever reason he remains a Lyon player. The 25-year old has fallen out of favour with the French giants and is apparently keen to leave the club before transfer deadline day next week.

It is thought that Spurs will have to bid just £5 million to secure Fred's services due to the player's contract expiring in the summer. Personally, I think Fred would be a great signing for Spurs. He wouldn't cost that much and for me, would add a lot to a side which is currently struggling in the wrong half of the Premier League table. Stay tuned to Football Corner for the latest developments on this and much more in the coming days.

What do you think? Do Spurs really need another striker? Leave your comments below.

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Arsenal still waiting for Zenit's answer. What should Wenger do?

It's been, without doubt, the most annoying transfer saga this January. Arsenal's pursuit of Zenit St Petersburg playmaker Andrei Arshavin. The Russian club have so far rejected Arsenal's first bid of £12 million for the player, however it Zenit have still to accept or reject Arsenal's improved bid of £15 million for Arshavin and I don't know about you, but I am finding the whole situation a bit annoying.

It happened in the summer as well. Arsenal's North London rivals Tottenham were interested in the player for a long time and when they finally started making bids for the player, Zenit kept asking for more nd more until Spurs eventually cooled their interest. It is clear for everyone to see that Arshavin wants to leave Zenit and I think the club should do the sensible thing and accept the Gunners bid for the player.

Arshavin is now 27-years old and I feel it is time for him to move to a major league like the Premier League. There is no doubt Arsene Wenger could really use a midfielder right now, with Cesc Fabregas currently out injured, and I am sure he is getting quite annoyed at the situation. There are now only seven days left in the transfer window and if Arsenal fail to land Arshavin, it leaves them little time to find another player of that quality.

So what I want to know from all Arsenal fans is, should Wenger forget about trying to sign Arshavin or should he continue to pursue the Russian international? Leave your comments below.

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The little Brazilian returns to Eastlands, but what should City do with him?

Manchester City striker Robinho returned to training today after spending last week in Brazil dealing with a "family matter". The Brazilian international left City's training camp in Tenerife last Tuesday after it was revealed that his international team-mate, Kaka would not be joining the club after AC Milan ended negotiations about a possible £107 million move.

It was claimed at the time that Robinho flew home because he was furious that the deal to bring Kaka to Eastlands had collapsed, however he later said he only flew home to solve some family issues (well really just to celebrate his 25th birthday on Saturday).

The former Real Madrid man claimed that he had permission from City to fly home, however City boss Mark Hughes later admitted that this was not the case and that the club would deal with it when Robinho got back to England.

Well he's back now, so what do you think should happen. Should City fine the player a few weeks wages (not that it would mean much to Robinho) and risk upsetting their star man or should they just leave it be. Personally, I think City should have the balls to fine him something like two weeks wages but in the end I think they will just warn him not to do it again. Have you say by leaving your comments below.

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Defoe and Chimbonda back at the lane, but Redknapp admits he would love another former Spurs player back

Harry Redknapp has now brought both Jermain Defoe and Pascal Chimbonda back to White Hart Lane but he may not be finished there. He has today admitted he would love to sign Liverpool striker Robbie Keane, who left the North London club last summer for a fee of £20 million.

The Republic of Ireland international has failed to impress at Anfield since his summer move and it has been widely speculated in recent days and weeks that he could be heading for the exit door just six months after arriving.

Manchester City have been linked with the player, however it is thought that Keane, 28, would prefer a move back to Spurs and it would appear Redknapp would love him back. Redknapp had this to say on the matter : "I wouldn't sit here and say I wouldn't like to have Robbie Keane at my football club, I'd be a liar, but he belongs to Liverpool so it is not an option unfortunately,"

"As a player and a person I have a lot of time for Robbie Keane. I think he's fantastic." I have always been a big fan of Keane's and I really feel sorry for the guy. It would appear to me and I am sure most people that he is trying a bit too hard at Liverpool to impress Rafa Benitez and I think maybe he might have to accept that it's just not working out. Would you Spurs fans welcome him back to the Lane? Liverpool fans, should you give Keane a longer chance to show what he's got? Leave your comments below.

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The end is near for Robbie Keane's future at Liverpool

The end is near for Robbie Keane's future at Liverpool after he was completley left out of the Reds squad for the FA Cup clash with Everton today. When asked why Keane was not selected in the Liverpool squad today, Rafa Benitez claimed he had 19 players fit and had to drop one and that was Keane.
Benitez was then asked whether or not he thought the Republic of Ireland international had a future at the club to which he replied "I think so".

Keane, 28, has made 25 appearances for the Merseyside club since his £20 million move from Tottenham in the summer, most of which have come as a substitute. He has scored just 7 goals during this time and has most definitely fallen out of favour at Anfield.

With the transfer window open for another week or so, I would not be one bit surprised to see Keane heading for the exit door before the deadline on February 2nd. His former club Tottenham have been linked with a possible £15 million move, however I think it will be the world's richest club Manchester City who could make a move for him in the coming days.

Despite his poor form since joining Liverpool, I still feel Keane is a quality player who would certainly be a great signing for a side like City. There is no doubt Keane needs to be playing first team football and I think a move to City would suit all parties. Stay tuned to Football Corner for all the latest developments on this and much more in the coming days.

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FA Cup 5th Round Draw

Here is the draw for the 5th round of the FA Cup :

Sheffield United V Hull City
Watford V Chelsea
West Ham V Middlesbrough
Sunderland / Blackburn V Coventry City
Debry / Nottingham Forrest V Manchester United
Swansea City V Fulham
Liverpool / Everton V Doncaster / Aston Villa
Cardiff City V West Brom / Burnley


The matches will take place on the weekend of the 14th February.

Not many exciting ties there but I suppose the possibility of Derby County facing Manchester United again in a cup competition after the sides met in the Carling Cup last week is quite intriguing.

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Arsenal to make smart £7 million bid for England defender

Arsenal are preparing to make a £7 million bid for Manchester City defender Micah Richards. The England international has struggled for form this season and has lost his place in Fabio Capello's squad but now Arsene Wenger is ready to offer him the chance to move to the Emirates.

Before this season, Richards had become one of the most promising young defenders in the Premier League, however a poor run of form this campaign has left City boss Mark Hughes on the look out for a new centre-back. The 20-year old still has four years left on his contract at Eastlands but City may be about to offload him for just £7 million before the transfer window slams shut on February 2nd.

Arsenal are keen to bring two new players to the club before the window closes, with Andrei Arshavin and Richards believed to be very high on their wish-list. I have been extremely dissappointed with Richards this season. Since making his City debut back in 2005, I have always thought that he had the ability to become one of the best defenders in Europe.

Unfortunately, it hasn't worked out that way and maybe a move to a club like Arsenal could be the thing to kick-start his career. He is still only a baby and I feel he still has the potential to become a top top player. For all the latest developments on this and much more in the coming days, stay tuned to Football Corner.

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Spurs confirm they have made approach for Premier League striker

Tottenham have today confirmed they have made an approach for Sunderland striker Kenwyne Jones. The Trinidad & Tobago international has been heavily linked with a move to White Hart Lane in recent weeks with Spurs understood to be willing to pay as much as £6 million plus Darren Bent for the striker.

Spurs boss Harry Redknapp is desperate to bring in one or two more faces before the transfer window closes on February 2nd and Jones is believed to be high on his wish-list. Jones, 24, moved to the Stamdium of Light back in 2007 after spending nearly three years at Southampton, where he worked with Redknapp for some time.

When asked about the possibility of Jones arriving in North London this month, Redknapp had this to say : "We have made an enquiry for Jones ... I have no idea how far the chairman has got with it or even whether Sunderland want to do a deal."

Personally, I think Jones would be a magnificent signing for Spurs. He doesn't score too many goals however he makes a hell of a lot of assists and I feel he would prove a valuable asset for Spurs. It will be interesting to see if Ricky Sbragia can keep Jones at the club in the coming days but no matter what happens, you will find out here on Football Corner.

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Carlos Tevez will still be a Man United player next season

That's the opinion of our readers anyway. Over the last week or so, Football Corner has been asking it's readers where they thought Manchester United striker Carlos Tevez would be next season. The result was, still at Old Trafford, although it was very close between the Premier League Champions and Spanish giants Real Madrid.

The Argentine striker's future at United has been in doubt in recent weeks after the 25-year old admitted himself he would love to play for Madrid next season. United know they need to cough up £32 million to make Tevez' loan move to the club permanent but despite this you (the readers) still think he will be at the club next season.

Here is the full result of the poll :

Manchester United - 29 votes (30%)
Real Madrid - 28 votes (29%)
Other - 15 votes (15%)
Manchester City - 14 votes (14%)
Barcelona - 9 votes (9%)

Total Votes : 95

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who voted in the poll and I would encourage everyone to vote in our lastest poll which can be found on the far right sidebar. The poll asks : Who will win the Carling Cup? Get voting now.

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Liverpool miss out on England striker after Villa agree fee

Aston Villa look to have won the race to sign Emile Heskey this afternoon after agreeing a fee with his club Wigan Athletic. The England striker was expected to see out the remainder of his contract which is set to expire in the summer, however Villa boss Martin O'Neill is desperate to bring a new striker to Villa Park before the end of this transfer window.

Heskey, 31, admitted last year that he wasn't interested in signing a new deal at the JJB which alerted the likes of Liverpool and Aston Villa. Since joining Wigan back in 2006, Heskey has made over 85 appearances for the club, scoring just 15 goals in the process.

It is thought that Villa have agreed a fee of around £4 million for the former Birmingham City man and in my view that may turn out to be money well spent. If Villa are to sustain their challenge for a Champions League place this season, I feel it is crucial they bring a new frontman to the club. Heskey is just what they need. A powerful striker who is very good in the air and I think he will be a great partner for Gabriel Agbonlahor in the Villa attack.

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The YTM cup starts on Saturday ... £10,000 to be won ... enter your team now

The "You the Manager Cup" starts this Saturday with £10,000 going to the winner with a further £10,000 distributed between the losing finalist, semi-finalists and quarter-finalists. The deadline to enter your teams in 12:00 on Saturday morning and the cost to enter your team is just £5.

The "You the Manager" fantasy football game run by the Daily Mirror gives you the chance to win some magnificent weekly and monthly prizes as well as the chance to win a massive 1st prize of £100,000.

I strongly recommend you enter teams right now to give your self a chance of winning the "You the Manager Cup" and pick up a cheque of £10,000. For further information about the cup just follow the link below.

Here are some players who I think you should take a look at before entering your team :

  • Brad Friedel (Aston Villa) - £3.5 million
  • Jamie Carragher (Liverpool) - £6 million
  • Marouane Fellaini (Everton) - £3 million
  • Jermain Defoe (Tottenham) - £6.5 million

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Arsenal and Spurs given hope in the race to sign £12 million midfielder

Arsenal and Tottenham have today been given hope in their attempts to sign Portsmouth midfielder Niko Kranjcar after the player admitted he expects to leave the club in the summer. Several big name players have already left Fratton Park in recent weeks and now Kranjcar has admitted he could also be leaving.

The Croatian international has recently opened talks over a new deal at Pompey, however he does now expect to be on his way out once the season ends. The 24-year old has spent two-and-a-half years on the South Coast, making nearly 100 appearances in the process. When asked about his future at the club, Kranjcar had this to say : "I am waiting [for a move] there is no rush,"

"Until the end of the season I will be with Portsmouth ... After that the club will make a decision on what is best, and they will probably sell me - even though we have started negotiations over a new deal."

Personally, I feel Kranjcar has the ability to become a world class player. No disrespect to Pompey but I don't feel they are a big enough club for Kranjcar to excel at. It is thought that either Spurs or Arsenal will have to bid at least £12 million if they are to have any chance of signing the player and in my eyes, that would be terrific value for money.

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Spurs are going to Wembley ... just about though

Tottenham are going to Wembley after beating Burnley 6-4 on aggregate in their Carling Cup semi-final against Championship side Burnley. Harry Redknapp's men grabbed two late goals to book their place in the final with Manchester United on March 1st.

Goals from Roman Pavlyuchenko and Jermain Defoe late on was enough to ensure Tottenham's passage into the final. Burnley had gone 3-0 ahead with goals from Robbie Blake, Chris McCann and Jay Rodriguez forced the match into extra-time but Owen Coyle's men eventually gave in.

How unlucky for Burnley. Let's be honest Spurs didn't deserve to go through. They were awful tonight apart from the last five minutes or so. I am sure Burnley fans will be gutted, however they can be proud that their side took one of the Premier League's biggest clubs right to the wire. I just hope this can help boost Burnley's push for promotion this season because judging by tonight's performance they could really do a job in the top flight.

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Spurs look to replace Valencia-bound Cesar with Premier League keeper

Tottenham are looking to bring Chelsea keeper Carlo Cudicini to White Hart Lane to replace Cesar Sanchez who is set to join Spanish side Valencia. Cesar made just one appearance for the North London club since joining from Real Zaragoza in the summer due to the impressive form (haha) of Heurelho Gomes in the Spurs goal.

Harry Redknapp is ready to replace Cesar with Chelsea veteran Cudicini. The Italian keeper has struggled for first team football at Stamford Bridge since the arrival of Petr Cech back in 2004. It is thought Spurs could get their man for as little as £1 million, which in my eyes would be a great bit of business.

I am surprised Cudicini is still at Chelsea. He is now 35-years old and personally I think he should have left a long time ago in order to get first team football somewhere else. Although I feel Cudicini may originally be signed as a back-up to Gomes, I think, given time, he can become the number one at Spurs. Stay tuned to Football Corner for all the latest developments on this and much more in the coming days.

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Former World Cup winner on his way to Tottenham?

Inter Milan defender Marco Materazzi could be on his way to Tottenham before the end of this transfer window. The Italian defender has been linked with several Premier League clubs since the transfer window opened on January 1st, however Spurs have now made their move to bring the player to White Hart Lane.

Materazzi, 35, is a former World Cup winner with Italy who, as we all know, was the man who was famously head-butted by French legend Zinedine Zidane (left) in the final back in 2006. Materazzi has been spent nearly eight years at the San Siro since his move from Perugia back in 2001, however it is understood that the player may be interested in a move away from the Serie A club.

His agent, Claudio Vigorelli had this to say about a possible move to Spurs : "There is interest in England and I can say that Tottenham in recent days have expressed a real interest in Marco ... We are at a very early stage, they are talking with Inter and presenting something to the player - then it is up to the club and Marco to decide whether to accept or not."

Spurs could defintley use some more defenders and I think they could do a lot worse than Materazzi. He is knocking on a bit now, however maybe a short-term loan deal could suit the North London club. Whatever does happen be sure to find it here on Football Corner over the busy days ahead.

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Arsenal may yet get £17 million playmaker for nothing

Zenit St Petersburg playmaker Andrei Arshavin is threatening to buy out his contract at the Russian club after weeks of uncertainty over his future. The 27-year old has been heavily linked with a move to the Premier League in recent weeks, with Arsenal understood to be in talks with the club, however no fee has been agreed due to Zenit's hefty demands for the player.

It was confirmed several weeks ago that Arsenal had entered negotiations with Zenit about the possibility of taking Arshavin to the Emirates, with Arsene Wenger admitting he is a player he would love to sign. It is understood that Arsenal made a bid of £12 million for the player which was rejected and now Arshavin's agent, Dennis Lachter has had this to say : "Unfortunately in this matter there is no movement,"

"The sticking point is, of course, money and rather the totally unacceptable amount of Zenit's demands for Andrei ... The position of the club remains unchanged and that is the reality that we have faced for a long time ... If the situation remains unchanged we will use Article 17 of the Fifa rules and buy out the contract of Andrei at the club, which could happen as early as November this year."

Lachter added : "If Andrei becomes a free agent, he will get many proposals, from England, Italy and Spain." The sooner Arshavin comes to the Premier League, the better. There is no doubt Arsenal could really use him at the moment and I am sure Wenger is desperate to bring him to the club before the transfer window closes on February 2nd. I think Zenit are being a tad bit greedy in this situation and I hope they accept that they can no longer hold onto the player and finally let him go in the coming days.

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Spurs on the brink of signing £14 million midfielder

Tottenham are this evening on the brink of signing Wigan Athletic midfielder Wilson Palacios after weeks of speculation over the player's future. Spurs agreed a fee for Palacios at the weekend, although it was feared at first that Manchester City could hijack the deal, however the player has spent today in North London discussing personal terms and having a medical.

The Honduran international is likely to complete his £14 million move to White Hart Lane early tomorrow morning. Spurs boss Harry Redknapp admitted on Sunday that he thought Palacios, 24, was a smashing player and that he would love to have him at White Hart Lane. I would have to agree with Redknapp on this one.

Palacios is just the kind of player who Spurs need at the moment. He is a tough tackling holding midfielder he will add much needed steel to a less than impressive Spurs midfield. He is still very young and I feel, in time, will prove tremendous value for money. I would be surprised if Palacios was the last face we see arrive at Spurs this month so make sure you stay tuned to Football Corner for all the latest transfer news over the coming weeks.

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Liverpool's title hopes begin to fade

Liverpool's hopes of winning the Premier League title this season have taken a massive set-back this evening. Rafa Benitez' men could only manage a 1-1 draw at home to arch rivals Everton this evening leaving questions marks as to whether or not Liverpool will be the ones lifting the trophy come the end of May.

Personally, I think not.

Liverpool's home form this season has been poor to say the least. They have drawn five games at home this season to the likes of Stoke City, West Ham and Hull City and for me, you can't do that and still expect to win the title.

Many have claimed that Benitez' recent outburst over the FA's treatment of Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson was the wrong thing for the Spaniard to do. Since then, Liverpool have played two league games, drawing both of them which has in turn seen them relinquish the lead over United at the top of the table.

Another major issue at Anfield at the moment is the manager's contract situation. Benitez recently rejected a new deal at the club, which can't be good for team morale. I am sure all Liverpool fans will be hoping that the club's American owners move quickly to re-negotiate a deal to keep Benitez at the club for a long time to come. Unfortunately, I don't think that alone would be enough to win Liverpool the title. Ah well, there's always next season.

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City to move for £17 million Arsenal target after missing out on Kaka

It has been confirmed tonight by the owner of AC Milan that Kaka will remain at the club despite a £107 million bid being made by Manchester City. The Brazilian playmaker has been the centre of intense speculation in recent days after it was revealed that the world's richest club, Man City were prepared to break the bank in order to sign the player, however the move is now dead.

The 26-year old admitted last week that he wanted to grow old at Milan and even had aspirations to become the club captain one day. City had hoped an offer of £500,000 a-week would be enough to convince the player to move to Eastlands but it would appear money isn't everything in football.

After a day of negotiating in Milan between City officials, Milan officials and Kaka's representatives the news finally broke at about 10 o'clock this evening. Silvio Berlusconi, the club's owner and indeed the Italian prime minister had this to say about the matter : "Kaka is staying with Milan ... For Kaka, money isn't everything.''

This news will obviously come as a massive blow to Mark Hughes' transfer plans but you know what they say, there's plenty more fish in the sea and that is definitely true in City's case. It is now thought that City will focus their efforts on signing Zenit St Petersburg playmaker Andrei Arshavin. The Russian international has been strongly linked with a move to Arsenal in recent weeks, however it was reported earlier today that City had entered the race.

Arshavin, 27, would be interested in a move to the Premier League, with City understood to be his preferred destination. Personally, I am dissappointed that Kaka won't be coming to England after all. In truth, £107 million was just crazy and I think City would be better off spending £17 million of that on Arshavin and then start pursuing other targets around Europe. Stay tuned to Football Corner for all the latest on this and much more in the coming weeks.

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Spurs miss out on £14 million Premier League ace ... great news for Spurs fans

Tottenham have this afternoon missed out on West Ham striker Craig Bellamy after it was revealed that the player has agreed personal terms with Manchester City. The Welsh international has been strongly linked with a move to White Hart Lane in recent weeks, however City have today agreed a £14 million deal for the player.

Bellamy, 29, admitted last week that he would like the opportunity to talk to Tottenham but West Ham denied him permission. That led to his exclusion from the Hammers squad for Sunday's 3-1 victory at home to Fulham and late last night it was announced that City had reached an agreement with West Ham.

City boss Mark Hughes was desperate to bring Bellamy to Eastlands after working with him at both Blackburn and Wales in the past. As a City fan myself, I must admit I am not overly happy with Bellamy arriving at the club. It has been proved in the past that when things don't go Bellamy's own way he is quick to throw his toys out of the pram and I don't think he is what City need right now. The whole situation is quite amusing really. One day it's Kaka, the next it's Bellamy.

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This news is not what Spurs fans wanted to see

Tottenham defender Ledley King is set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines. The Spurs captain was taken off just before half-time in the side's 1-1 draw at home to Portsmouth this afternoon with a torn hamstring.

The England international has been plagued with injury over the past 18 months or so and this news will no doubt come as a blow to Spurs boss Harry Redknapp. Speaking after the game, Redknapp had this to say about the injury : "Ledley King has a torn hamstring and is going to be out long term."

What a shame. The Spurs centre-half has been one of few shining lights this season for the North London club. There is no two ways about it, Spurs are in a relegation battle and losing one of their best players in King could have a major impact on their season. I am sure I speak on the behalf of the majority of Spurs fans, get well soon Ledley.

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Man United to make their move for £15 million Real Madrid target

Manchester United are preparing to make a move for Wigan Athletic midfielder Antonio Valencia. The Ecuadorian international has been strongly linked with a move to Spanish giants Real Madrid in recent weeks, however United are now ready to make a £15 million bid for the player.

Valencia, 23, has been, without doubt, one of Wigan's top performers this season and has now caught the attention of Sir Alex Ferguson. The Premier League Champions are keen to strengthen their midfield during this transfer window and Valencia is now seen as an ideal candidate to arrive at Old Trafford in the coming weeks.

With Wigan currently sitting nicely in 7th in the Premier League, should Valencia leave, it will no doubt have a negative affect on the Latics position in the league. Personally, I think Valencia would be a decent signing for United. I have been impressed at how well Valencia has adapted to the pace of English football since his arrival at Wigan back in 2006 and I feel should he join the Red Devils he could prove value for money.

If he's good enough for United then he is probably good enough for you. If he is then I recommend you sign him for your "You the Manager" team. He costs just £4 million and in my eyes, that is a real bargain. So follow the link below to enter your team to be in with a chance of winning some cracking prizes.

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Arsenal to sign £17 million playmaker in the next few days

Arsenal are set to sign Zenit St Petersburg playmaker Andrei Arshavin in a £17 million deal in the next few days. The Russian international has been linked with a move to the Emirates for some time after it was reported that Arsenal had opened talks with Zenit about the possibility of bringing Arshavin to the Premier League.

The 27-year old has admitted in recent weeks that he would love to move to England during this transfer window and his agent Dannis Lachter has today confirmed that he expects his client will become an Arsenal player sometime this week.

Lachter had this to say : "The deal should go through this week ... Andrei wants to go, Arsenal want him and Zenit accept they have to sell ... It's just a matter of sorting out the sums but the indication is it'll happen soon, perhaps within days."

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is desperate to add to his squad this month and Arshavin is his number-one target. Personally, I think this is a cracking signing for the Gunners. I have always been a huge fan of Arshavin's and I feel he will prove value for money, should Arsenal get him for the reported £17 million. Be sure to stay tuned to Football Corner for all the latest developments on this and much more in the coming weeks.

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Breaking News - West Ham drop Bellamy

Craig Bellamy has today been dropped by West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola for the Hammers Premier League encounter with Fulham this afternoon. Both Tottenham and Manchester City have had several bids turned down for the Welsh striker in recent weeks which has led to Bellamy asking for permission to speak to both clubs.

The 29-year old is keen to leave Upton Park this month after is was revealed that the club would listen to offers for all their players this month. West Ham are in massive financial trouble and it is fullly expected that Bellamy will now leave the club before the transfer window slams shut on February 2nd.

Not one bit surprised to see this happening. It is clear for all to see that Bellamy is desperate to join either Spurs or City and it would of been wrong if Gianfranco Zola had of started him this afternoon. This news should lead to both Harry Redknapp and Mark Hughes making new bids in the coming days and should that happen you will find it here on Football Corner.

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Jose Mourinho to make spectacular move for Cristiano Ronaldo?

Inter Milan boss JosBolde Mourinho is interested in bringing Manchester United midfielder Cristiano Ronaldo to the San Siro. The FIFA World Player of the Year for 2008 has been linked with a move away from Old Trafford for years, with Spanish giants Real Madrid desperate to bring him to La Liga, however Inter are now ready to challenge Real for the Portuguese winger.

Ronaldo, 23, has always maintained he is happy at United although he has never hid his desire to one day join Real Madrid. It has been claimed that Mourinho met with Ronaldo when the former Chelsea boss flew into England last week to watch United's 3-0 victory over Mourinho's former club.

I would be extremley surprised to see Ronaldo join Inter. Personally, I think Ronaldo would only leave United if Real made a move for him (even though with Manchester City in the market, who knows what might happen). With United set to face Inter in the knock-out stages of the Champions League next month, this will no doubt add even more spice to the tie.

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Barca become the latest club to be linked with £32 million Premier League striker

Barcelona have become the latest club to be linked with Manchester United striker Carlos Tevez. The Argentine striker is expected to leave the Premier League Champions at the end of the season with United reluctant to cough up the £32 million needed to make his move to Old Trafford permanent.

Real Madrid, Manchester City and Arsenal have all been linked with moves for the former Boca Juniors man, however Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola is now ready to enter the race. Tevez, 24, is currently on a two-year loan deal at United which is set to expire at the end of this season.

I personally would be surprised to see Tevez still at Old Trafford next season. There is no doubting his ability, however I don't think Sir Alex Ferguson is too keen to spend such a large amount on a player who sits on the bench most weekends. Tevez himself admitted he would be interested in a move to Real Madrid so I think Barca will find it difficult to bring him to the Camp Nou.

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Joe Cole out for the season

Chelsea midfielder Joe Cole has today been ruled out for the rest of the season. The England international ruptured knee ligaments during the side's 4-1 vicotry against Southend United on Wednesday night.

More to follow ....

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Man City ready to join Spurs and Man United in the race to sign £14 million Premier League midfielder

Manchester City are ready to join Tottenham and Manchester United in the race to sign Wigan Athletic midfielder Wilson Palacios. It was reported yesterday that the Honduras international was on the brink of joining Tottenham, however both City and United are preparing to hijack the deal.

Wigan boss Steve Bruce admitted yesterday that it would be very hard to hold onto the 23-year old. It is understood that Spurs have had a £14 million bid accepted for Palacios but Mark Hughes and Sir Alex Ferguson are both ready to match Wigan's valuation of the player, which will leave Palacios with a huge decision to make.

For me, Palacios has been different class this season. I totally agree with what Steve Bruce said yesterday. Bruce claimed that Palacios will be worth much more than £14 million in years to come and I feel whoever does eventually sign him will be getting great value for money. Personally, it wouldn't surprise me to see Palacios arrive at White Hart Lane in the coming days but no matter where he ends up, be sure to find out here on Football Corner.

You know how I feel about Palacios, but do you think the same? Well if you do, I highly reccomend you sign him for your team in this season's "You the Manager". He costs just £3 million which must be a bargain. So follow the link below to enter your team to be in with a chance of winning some terrific monthly and weekly prizes.

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AC Milan ready to take £107 million for Kaka but Juve wouldn't accept £100 million for Del Piero

With AC Milan playmaker Kaka on the brink of joining Premier League side Manchester City for a world record fee of £107 million, many of the games big names have been having their say on the issue. The recurring message coming from everyone is that City can now sign anyone they want now with all their money, however Juventus president Giovanni Cobolli Gigli has today stated he wouldn't accept £100 million for Juve striker Alessandro Del Piero.

Manchester City's new Arab owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayhed Al Nayhan is desperate to make the City the biggest club in the world and he has promised to invest heavily in the squad in the coming years. Since buying the club, City have signed just two players. Robinho for a British record £32.5 million from Real Madrid and Wayne Bridge for a fee of around £11 million from fellow Premier League side Chelsea.

Speaking about Kaka's proposed move to Eastlands, Gigli had this to say about Del Piero : "No, we would not sell him, not even for £100m. These figures, especially at this moment when the world and football should be reconsidering its finances, are just illogical." It is all well and good hearing Gigli say this, however I feel if City were offer that much (which they won't) for Del Piero, 34, he may be thinking differently.

Many people have questioned Milan for cashing in on one of their most prized assets, however I think it is harsh to criticse AC or even Kaka. You can't just say, Oh I wouldn't take the money, no way. How on earth could a club/player turn down such massive sums of money? The simple answer is, they can't. I would like to see how people like Gigli would actually react if they did recieve an offer of £100 million plus for one of their players.

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Spurs to forget about Bellamy and move for Argentine striker

Tottenham have today set their sights on Inter Milan striker Hernan Crespo after it was revealed that West Ham striker Craig Bellamy has been denied the chance to speak to the North London club.

Spurs boss Harry Redknapp was keen to bring Bellamy to White Hart Lane this month, however the chances of the Welshman arriving at the club appear unlikely. Bellamy was refused permission to speak to Spurs which puts any potential move in serious doubt. So who will Redknapp move for now?

Well Inter Milan boss Jose Mourinho has today confirmed that Spurs have enquired about Argentine striker Hernan Crespo. The former Chelsea front man has struggled for first team football at the San Siro since arriving at the Serie A giants back in 2006.

Spurs could really do with a prolific goal scorer right now and I feel signing Crespo on a short-term loan deal may be the answer. I would hope Spurs don't sign him on a permanent basis because I think at 33, Crespo only has a year or two of playing left in him and signing him on a loan deal seems the more sensible option. Make sure to stay tuned to Football Corner for all the latest on this and much more in the coming weeks.

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While one player edges nearer the exit door at Anfield another moves away

Liverpool midfielder Jermaine Pennant has today moved nearer the exit door at Anfield after the Merseyside club confirmed they have accepted a bid from Portsmouth for him. The former England under-21 international has been strongly linked with a move away from Liverpool in recent weeks and it now appears as though his future could lie on the South Coast.

Pompey boss Tony Adams is keen to bring some new faces to Fratton Park in the coming weeks after letting go of both Jermain Defoe and Lassana Diarra in the last few weeks. Pennant, 26, is understood to be open to the move to Pompey and a deal could be finalised early next week.

Meanwhile, one player who may not be leaving Liverpool after all is Daniel Agger. The Danish international's proposed move to Italian giants AC Milan has today fallen through after the player rejected personal terms at the San Siro. The 24-year flew to Italy for talks with the Serie A club, however the two parties couldn't agree terms and the move now looks dead.

Personally, I wouldn't be too upset if I were a Liverpool fan. Pennant has made just four Premier League appearances this season so his departure won't cause too many problems and in Agger's case, I personally feel he can still play a major role in Liverpool's title challenge this season. Make sure you stay tuned to Football Corner over the coming weeks for all the latest on this and much more.

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