Archive for the ‘Football’ Category


Arsenal update: Fernando Amorebieta deal off. Nacho Monreal player stats are very impressive.

By Stefano on January 31st, 2013

It looks like there could be great news for Arsenal fans about the signing of Nacho Monreal. But it less encouraging news from Spain about the central defender Fernando Amorebieta from Athletic Bilbao. which broke the story initially is now saying that the player has changed his mind and wants to stay in Spain for now.

The 27 year old Venezuelan (though he was born in Spain) is out of contract the end of the season and is being monitored by a number of Premiership clubs.

As for Monreal the very useful Squawka has just published his stats for the season and they look really good. He has only been on the losing side three times this season – Malaga are currently fourth in La Liga – has won an average 83% of his tackles and 66% of his headed duels. He has been player of the day more time than any other Malaga player this season – not bad going for a left back.

There’s more here


Arsenal update: Nacho Monreal on the plane to London. Deal done? David Villa has gone shopping

By Stefano on January 31st, 2013

Two quick bits of news at 5.30

As we mentioned earlier Nacho Monreal, the Malaga left back, looks like he is about to become an Arsenal player.

Spanish radio stations Radio Marca has reported that the player is on his way to London to finalise the deal. If so well done Arsene, and his erstwhile team mate Santi Cazorla, and fingers crossed he proves a better buy that one Andre Santos.

Goal is saying that the deal is done. It is rumoured to be a four year deal and that Arsenal have paid £10 million for the Spanish international.

Also the Daily Mail has said that David Villa has been spotted shopping in Barcelona this afternoon. Maybe he was buying his pals leaving presents?


Arsenal reported in talks to sign centre back Fernando Amorebieta from Athletic Bilbao. Maarten Stekelenburg tracked

By Stefano on January 31st, 2013

And the transfer window day at The Emirates has taken another twist.

Jamie Sanderson who writes for the Metro and is usually very reliable for Arsenal news has just tweeted

No news yet but reassured Arsenal are still open for business. #afc have had dialogue today with various agents. Leaving it late.

He has also suggested that the club are chasing  Dutch keeper Maarten Stekelenburg, who is also in talks with Fulham.

The bigger story though comes from Goal which is reporting that Arsenal are in talks to sign centre back Fernando Amorebieta from Athletic Bilbao. A fee of £4-6 million has been mooted.

The 27 year old Venezuelan (though he was born in Spain) is out of contract the end of the season and is being monitored by a number of Premiership clubs.

The player has a reputation as being a bit of tough tackler and has a poor disciplinary record. He is not especially dirty, but can be a bit reckless.

He is also highly rated for his ability to track and snuff out opposing strikers, his power in the air and his passing ability. In short he would provide some very real steel to the Arsenal defence.

Athletic Bilbao recently withdrew their offer of a new contract so Amorebieta is pretty much a free agent.


Arsenal update: Odds on Villa coming shorten, news on left backs, Arshavin exit, and a centre back

By Stefano on January 31st, 2013

Well it looked at one point as if the big Arsenal story would be the signings of David Villa and Mohammed Diame.

A number of sources are suggesting that Arsenal are still talking to Barcelona about Villa.  Also agent Sky Andrew, who has reasonably close links with the club, has told Talk Sport to expect a few big surprises later in the day.

Interestingly at the time of writing he is 11/8 here to sign – and those odds have shortened significantly from 100-30 which they were a few hours ago. Mind you they are 2-1 for him joining Man City.

Don’t hold your breath though.

As for a left back – well take your pick. Malaga’s Nacho Monreal has been mentioned as has Valenciennes’ Gaetan Bong. Weirdly both have played alongside current Arsenal team members. Maybe Arsene had a word after the Liverpool game and asked who the team rated?

One other possible target is Marseille defender Nicolas N’Koulou. Goal thinks that Arsene might sign him and choose to play Thomas Vermaelen at left back.

Finally Russian paper Izvestia is suggesting that Harry Redknapp has tabled a take it or leave it offer with Andrei Arshavin. The player, who is out of contract at Arsenal at the end of the season could join QPR on a deal based on the number of games he plays.


Spurs update: Official offer made for striker Leandro Damiao

By Stefano on January 31st, 2013

Along with the Beckham to PSG saga the biggest story of the window day could involve Spurs and their pursuit of Leandro Damiao.

Spurs have been chasing the 23 year old Brazilian for some time now and it appears that they might just be about to land their man.

According to The Metro the club are alleged to have offered Damiao’s current team Internacional a cool £20 million for the player.

Other sources including The Mail say that the figure is closer £18 million.

Spurs were clearly encouraged by Internacional’s sporting director Luis Cesar Souto de Moura who told Brazilain newspaper Correio do Povo yesterday.

“Leandro Damiao will only leave if there is a very quick negotiation, but no official offer has been made. The news involving interest for Leandro Damiao, especially from Tottenham, will always happen – they come and go.”

“Damiao has a lot of quality, is a goal scorer, was the top scorer in the Olympics and he is a very important player. Internacional understand that it’s extremely difficult, very difficult, for Leandro Damiao to leave now.”

Well now it appears that Spurs have lodged their bid.

So Spurs fans. Is this the signing that could bring Champions League football back to The Lane?


Arsenal and Spurs target Mohamed Diame about to sign new deal at West Ham

By Stefano on January 31st, 2013

A few days ago it seemed like a done deal that West Ham’s Senegalese midfielder Mohamed Diame would be heading to either Arsenal or Spurs.

Goal is reporting that the player is heading for Karen Brady’s office, but not to sign for another club.

Goal says

It is expected that Diame will sign an extended deal on improved terms that will remove the release clause inserted into the agreement he signed when he joined last summer on a free from Wigan Athletic.

Manager Sam Allardyce suggested on Tuesday that there remained a possibility that the midfield powerhouse could leave before Thursday night’s transfer deadline.

However, West Ham appear to have won their battle to hang on to the Senegal international after offering improved terms earlier this month.

So why didn’t the two North London clubs move for a player who would have added some serious steel to their midfield? One theory is that the managers were put off by Diame’s attitude – he was reported to have been late for a key meeting at West Ham and  there were rumours of a dispute with Sam Allardyce which the manager subsequently denied.

It might also be that there was confusion over Diame’s release clause which was widely reported to be £3.5 milion, but in reality was probably a much higher figure.

Or it could be that he is happy to stay West Ham?


Arsenal update: Rumours of a move for Malaga’s Nacho Monreal

By Stefano on January 31st, 2013

The new left back rumours are coming thick and fast now. is reporting that the latest left back to be linked is Malaga’s Nacho Monreal.

There’s no link to any source but again this one might just have legs.

Nacho Monreal is a 26 year old who has been a regular in the Malaga team since 2011. He joined the side when money was no problem – signing on from Osasuna for 6 million Euros.

These days Malaga have cash issues which is one of the reasons why Arsenal were able to sign Santi Cazorla from the team in the summer.

The pacey left back is more defensively minded than Kieran Gibbs and would certainly rival him for first choice left back.

The down side for Wenger is that the player has been consistently linked with other clubs – including Man United – but has so far chosen to stay in Spain.

With several players familiar with another target Valenciennes’ Gaetan Bong, it sounds like Arsene has been asking his squad members who they would most like to play again with…


Arsenal update: is Bong the team’s new left back?

By Stefano on January 31st, 2013

Arsene Wenger stated last night that he would be looking for a left back today, yet other than the obvious – Baines, Shaw etc – very few targets have emerged.

Now the Mail has revealed that Wenger might be looking to his traditional French territory for a replacement in the guise of Valenciennes’ Gaetan Bong.

The Cameroon international Bong, who is familiar face to several of the Arsenal team having played alongside Laurent Koscielny and Olivier Giroud in France’s Ligue 2 three years ago, is a 24 year old who previously played for FC Metz. He gets the odd goal too having scored three times in his stint with Valenciennes.

There’s no source for The Mail story, but it seems pretty plausible and Bong could be picked up cheaply.

Kieran Gibbs is apparently going to be out for three weeks with a thigh injury.

Incidentally  Squawka has some interesting stats on Bong. Their conclusion is that he is just not good enouigh for the Premier League.


Norwich City sign Luciano Becchio and are now closing in on Curtis Davies

By Stefano on January 31st, 2013

You would not necessarily have predicted that the Norfolk club would be among the busiest on transfer deadline day, but Norwich have already signed one player and look like they are in for another.

Joining an already large band of ex-Leeds players at the club is the Argentinian Luciano Becchio. He is part of straight swap deal with the Yorkshire club for Steve Morrison. Becchio has been with Leeds for over five seasons now and in that time has scored 75 goals in 190 appearances for the club.

Sky Sports are also running with the story that Norwich are closing in on a deal to sign Birmingham City’s Curtis Davies.

City are short of cash and Davies is player with Premiership experience who has never really fulfilled his undoubted potential.

A fee of around £2 million has been mooted with the possibility that a Norwich player will join City.


Asmir Begovic – Are Arsenal, Chelsea and Man United planning a surprise move?

By Stefano on January 31st, 2013

Some really interesting gossip is coming out of The Potteries this morning. Firstly Stoke have apparently bid for Birmingham City keeper Jack Butland. Butland, who is also being tracked by Fulham among others, turned down a move to Chelsea yesterday because he wants to be a first choice keeper.

Stoke obviously know this – so why are they bidding for him when they have Asmir Begovic?

Could it be that the Bosnian is already on his way out of Stoke? Chelsea have been linked with the player while Man United may finally look to replace the error-prone David de Gea.

There’s also Arsenal who might even offer Begovic Champions League football as their first choice keeper ahead of Wojciech Szczesny. The Pole made a couple of serious errors yesterday against Liverpool. And even if Szczesny did remain number one Arsenal are very short of quality in reserve.

It might just be that cash-strapped Birmingham have to cash in on Butland and that he might prefer to join a Midlands club as understudy to Begovic.

Nevertheless this is definitely one to keep your eye on.


Arsenal update: Left Back Targets – Forget Baines and Shaw. Why Assou-Ekotto could be a more realistic option

By Stefano on January 31st, 2013

Well it didn’t take long. French newspaper Maxifoot is already suggesting that Arsene Wenger is about to revive his interest today in two of his long term left back targets.

With Kieran Gibbs, who has been excellent this season, out for at least three weeks Wenger faces the prospect of playing Bayern Munich with the frankly, quite disastrous, Andre Santos at left back.

With that in mind French paper Maxifoot is linking the Gunners with a move for either Shaw or Baines.

Its is pure speculation at the moment and it would cost Arsenal a lot of money to prise either of them away from their current clubs, so don’t bet your house on it.

One left back who is closer to home and could be available is Tottenham’s Assou-Ekotto. He has been excellent for Spurs in recent season and there are rumours that he wants a loan move to Inter Milan.

Are there any other Gooners who think that he would be a perfect for a loan move to Arsenal? He could play against Bayern Munich and get a chance to re-start his career.

It is hard to see AVB sanctioning the move but, well you never know.


Arsenal update: Who might be leaving today? Jenkinson? Eisfeld?

By Stefano on January 31st, 2013

So, no news on players coming in, so it is probably time to have a quick look at who might be leaving The Emirates today. Arsenal have already said goodbye (for a few months at least) to Emmanuel Frimpong, Johan Djorou and Marouane Chamakh – who else might be on their way?

Andrey Arshavin – This appears pretty unlikely now. Both Reading and Fulham have cooled their interest and unless we see another last minute bid from outside the Premiership – Zenit again? – the misfit Russian will be at The Emirates for a few months longer.

Thomas Eisfeld – Arsenal’s impressive German could do with a spell on loan and earlier in the week it seemed as if he would be on his way to Ipswich Town. The East Anglian Daily Press is hopeful, but the move seems a lot less likely than it did a week or so ago

Carl Jenkinson – Arsenal’s England international right back hasn’t played a huge amount this season, but he still features prominently in Arsene Wenger’s plans after agreeing a new contract a month or so ago. A whole raft of Premiership clubs are eying the player with Stoke and Wigan leading the charge. With Wigan they would probably have to send the injured Ryo Miyaichi back The Emirates so making room for his teammate and keeping Wigan within their loan allowance quota. Not sure about this one though. One injury to Sagna and Arsenal could be very light at right back.

Chuba Akpom – This is a bit of a long shot but Arsenal’s young England striker could probably do with a spell on loan. He would be ideal for a Championship side.



Spurs update: six players could be leaving today – Assou-Ekoto, Gomes, Huddlestone and more

By Stefano on January 31st, 2013

Daniel Levy’s fax machine looks like it is going to have a very busy day today. Let’s hope he hasn’t forgotten to get extra paper – he will probably need it.

As well as players coming in as many as six players could be heading away from the Lane.

Tom Huddlestone, who has been a target for several clubs in the window, is now rumoured to be on his way to Fulham. With the arrival of Lewis Holtby the player may see his opportunities limited at the Lane and many sources are expecting that he will be a Fulham player by the end of the day in exchange for around £5 milion.

One possible loan deal that TalkSport among others are suggesting is that full back Benoit Assou-Ekoto could be on his way to Inter Milan for the rest of the season. Assou-Ekoto has been a staple in the Spurs team for several seasons but this year has struggled with injury. Talksport also suggests that Inter’s versatile Alvaro Pereira, who can play at left back or left midfield, could be heading to Spurs.

In slightly less surprising news The Enfield Independent claims that Spurs stopper Heurelho Gomes is on the brink of sealing a loan move to Hoffenheim.

Meanwhile Harry Redknapp, the king of the window, is considering bringing several Spurs players to QPR. Jermaine Jenas, David Bentley and Andros Townsend are all on his list with short term deals for the first two and a loan deal for Townsend on the cards.



Spurs update: L’Equipe links Lyon striker Lisandro Lopez

By Stefano on January 31st, 2013

Spurs are short of striking options at the moment, so expect to hear plenty of rumours about new forwards heading for the Lane today.

With the news that Seville’s Alvaro Negrdo has been ruled out there is now a bit of momentum about the story that Lyon’s Lisandro Lopez could be a Spurs player on loan soon.

French paper L’Equipe has run the story this morning that the London club could be taking the Argentinian player on loan for the rest of the season.

Lopez, who signed for Lyon from Porto in 2009, has been linked with loan deal to several clubs in the window including Juventus.

He has scored six times this season and has played fourteen times.


Arsenal, Man City, Chelsea target Edinson Cavani talks about his future

By Stefano on January 31st, 2013

The Napoli striker is very high on many manger’s wants lists at the moment with Arsene Wenger and Roberto Mancini especially being known as keen admirers.

And the player has given some encouragement to the clubs who might want to prise him from Napoli in the summer.

Talking to La Gazzetta dello Sport today Cavani spoke explicitly about the 63million Euros (or £53 million) buy out clause that has almost certainly prevented him from moving in the winter window. Cavani suggests that he would consider a move but it sounds like it would only be to Europe’s ultra rich footballing elite – think City, PSG and Chelsea.

Cavani said

“If a club has a clear project and they want to focus on me, they can’t be frightened in front of this figure. For now, I’m not thinking about [my future]. Then it will be up to the club to take into consideration what should be done.”

The huge buy out clause figure was also mentioned recently by Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis who told Corriere dello Sport.

“I have already said before that Cavani is not for sale. We will have to wait and see whether someone is willing to pay his buy-out clause, and if the player wants to join that club.”

The player also said that he would be talking Napoli at the end of the season. The club are currently second in Serie A three points behind the leaders Juventus.

“Yes, but a lot will depend on the offer that the [Napoli] president will make me at the end of the season. I am happy here. Napoli have given me a lot and I am trying to repay them. We’ll talk about it.”

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