Football news round-up 5 Jul-11 Jul
Phil Neville to tour Australia with Everton after knee injury.
Sunday 11 July
Phil Neville says he is pleased with the progress of his rehabilitation following a knee injury. The Everton midfielder underwent surgery in May but has recovered and is in the Toffees' squad on tour to Australia. "I feel really fit, really strong, and for the first time in months I am running without pain in my knee, which is a great sign," he said.
Bristol City have signed Reading's Kalifa Cisse for an undisclosed fee.
Paulo Sousa has made his first signing as Leicester City manager - Miguel Vitor from Benfica on a season-long loan deal.
UNAM Pumas have confirmed West Ham are set to sign Pablo Barrera. The Mexican star caught the idea during the World Cup and Pumas president Victor Mahbub said: "We have just finished the negotiations for transferring Pablo Barrera to West Ham. We and the player are satisfied with the arrangement that we have done with West Ham."
Stoke manager Tony Pulis says he has a list of transfer targets but has warned the fans to be patient in his attempts to sign new players. He said: "We recognise and realise we might be at the top table but there is an elitist group who eat first and they get the best stuff and we'll wait until they're finished and see what's left over and then we'll go for that."
Harry Redknapp wants to sign Joe Cole. The England international is a free agent following his release from Chelsea and Spurs manager Redknapp said: "I'd like to sign Joe - I'd be happy if we could work out a deal that brings him to White Hart Lane."
Laurent Koscielny says it will take time for him to adapt at Arsenal. The French defender has joined the Gunners from Lorient and he said: "I will need time to adapt. I have to earn a position in the team and play.Nothing is for sure so far. I believe I will have to work hard, doing a lot of bodybuilding exercises to resist Premier League forwards."
Saturday 10 July
UEFA President Michel Platini has been released from hospital and is set to attend Sunday's World Cup Final. The 55-year-old fainted in a Johannesburg restaurant on Friday and had precautionary tests but nothing significant was found. Test results allayed fears Platini had a heart attack and he's now ready to attend the World Cup Final. "All the medical tests conducted were normal and Mr Platini is looking forward to attending the Final," a joint FIFA and UEFA statement read. William Gaillard, a Uefa spokesman, said on Friday: "He is fine. He had been suffering from a cold and a bit of flu and he fainted before eating in a restaurant."
Manchester United captain Gary Neville has been ruled out of the club’s pre-season tour to North America with a calf injury. United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is hoping the 35-year-old defender will be fit for the start of the season.
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has stated his intention to make a bid for Inter Milan striker Mario Balotelli should the European champions decide to sell the highly rated youngster. Mancini said: “We are always interested in good players. If Inter decide to sell him, we will be there.”
Birmingham manager Alex McLeish will be offered a new contract before the start of the season, chairman Peter Pannu has confirmed. “We have had extensive talks with Alex and his representative,” said Pannu. “His agent told us what he wants and we told his agent we will be revisiting the terms and we are currently putting together a new package.”
Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp has ruled out a return on-loan to Celtic for forward Robbie Keane after his spell in Glasgow last season. Redknapp said: “I wouldn't think that's a possibility because we paid good money for him and to loan him out again, it wouldn't be a goer.”
Sunderland boss Steve Bruce has confirmed he has held discussions with former Arsenal defender Sol Campbell, who is available as a free agent. Bruce said: “I have known Sol Campbell for a lot of years and it was nice to see him. It was pretty positive stuff and we will see what happens there.”
Cardiff City manager Dave Jones has said he expects midfielder Joe Ledley to complete a move Scottish side Celtic. Jones said: “As far as I was concerned, Joe had gone and signed for Celtic. So, that's the end of the matter.”
Sheffield United have turned down an approach from Swansea City to talk to Gary Speed about becoming their new manager. “As things stand, obviously that's their stance for their own reasons,” said Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins. “Gary was only one of a number of options we were looking to speak to, to see what their thoughts were.”
Leeds United have signed attacking midfielder Lloyd Sam on a two-year deal after he left Charlton Athletic on a free transfer. Leeds manager Simon Grayson said: “Lloyd is another good addition to our squad. He has plenty of experience, he has played at Championship level, and he is hungry and keen to do well.”
Leicester City have signed Portugal U21 defender Miguel Vitor from Benfica on a season-long loan. “Miguel is a young player that has a good background, and already he has plenty of experience,” said new Leicester manager Paolo Sousa.
Peterborough United have signed former Yeovil Town winger Arron Davies on a two-year deal. “He has trained with us for the last three weeks and we have seen what he can do,” said Peterborough manager Gary Johnson.
Tranmere Rovers have appointed former Sheffield Wednesday and Plymouth coach Kevin Summerfield as assistant manager to Les Parry. Summerfield said: "I'm really happy to have joined Tranmere and to be starting work with Les. There is a talented group of footballers at the club and I'm looking forward to working with them.”
Aldershot have completed the double signing of midfielder Manny Panther from Exeter City and striker Damian Spencer from Kettering Town.
Wimbledon tennis champion Rafael Nadal has become a shareholder in local side Real Mallorca in an attempt to help out the club. “It's an honour to be able to help Real Mallorca, I will help in any way I can,” said Nadal.
Friday 9 July
Liverpool have completed the signing of Serbia forward Milan Jovanovic on a three-year contract. The 29-year-old was a free agent after his contract expired with Standard Liege and says he is relishing the chance to play for the Merseyside club. He said: “I cannot wait to start working with the manager and I'm looking forward to joining up with my new team-mates on our Swiss training camp."
Sunderland captain Lorik Cana has left the club after just one season and has signed for Galatasaray. Cana admits the attraction of Champions League football was to much for him to turn down. He said: "I have been offered the opportunity to play in European competition and the Champions League, and especially to be closer to my family. This was not an easy decision for me though and I hope people understand.”
Tottenham have announced a new £20m shirt sponsorship deal with software infrastructure company Autonomy Corporation PLC. The north London club will have two different shirt sponsors this season – one will be used for Premier League matches which is Autonomy and the other for cup matches.
Manchester United midfielder Owen Hargreaves has suffered another injury setback and will miss the start of the new season. Hargreaves is back in America to consult a specialist over his knee problems.
West Brom have turned down a third bid from West Ham for influential midfielder Graham Dorrans. The newly promoted side have already rejected two offers believed to be in the region of £4m and West Brom chairman Jeremy Peace said: “I have personally told West Ham they are wasting their time.”
Portsmouth defender Nadir Belhadj has signed for Al Sadd in Qatari. Belhadj had offers from several European clubs but decided to join the 11-times Qatar league champions.
Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson is confident that influential captain Steven Gerrard will stay at Anfield. Hodgson said: "Nobody at the club wants him to go so I will be doing my utmost to make sure he stays. I am confident he will."
Middlesbrough have signed Charlton midfielder Nicky Bailey for £1.4m. Bailey has joined the Championship club on a three-year contract and follows the arrival of Kris Boyd and Andrew Halliday.
Thursday 8 July
Arsenal have signed Lorient centre-back Laurent Koscielny on a long-term contract for an undisclosed fee thought to be around £10m. "Koscielny is a central defender with great ability who performed extremely well last season for Lorient," said Gunners boss Arsene Wenger. "Koscielny is a great addition to our squad."
Patrick Vieira looks set to call time on his France career so he can continue playing at the highest level with Manchester City. "My focus is on City, nothing else," said the former Arsenal midfielder.
Chelsea have signed Czech teenager Tomas Kalas for a fee believed to be £5m. The 17-year-old defender will remain on loan at Sigma Olomuc next season before heading to London in 2011.
West Brom have been boosted by the news that Jerome Thomas has signed a contract extension, tying him to the club until 2012, with an option for a further year. "I'm really happy, I had a good season and I've been rewarded for that," said the 27-year-old.
Paulo Sousa has been officially confirmed as Leicester's new manager, two days after he left Swansea City. "I am delighted to be here, it is a great club with great supporters and a rich history and I am very excited by the challenge," said the Portuguese.
Leeds have signed Preston defender Neil Collins for an undisclosed fee. "When I spoke to Leeds and having been here last year, it was an easy decision in the end," said Collins, who has signed a three-year deal.
Watford defender Mat Sadler has joined Shrewsbury on a six-month loan deal.
Ipswich have been given a pre-season boost as Argentina midfielder Luca Civelli played 30 minutes in their 9-1 victory over Newmarket, his first appearance in 16 months since damaging knee ligaments.
Notts County have settled their debts with HRMC, it has been announced. "We are delighted to be able to close another sorry chapter in the club's recent past," said Ray Trew, the club's owner.
Ritchie Jones has joined Oldham after being released by Hartlepool. The midfielder has signed a two-year deal at Boundary Park.
Brighton & Hove Albion striker Craig Davies has joined Chesterfield on a free transfer.
Macclesfield Town have suffered a blow with the news that defender Paul Morgan is set to be sidelined for eight weeks with a wrist injury "It's a real blow to lose Paul for pre-season," said manager Gary Simpson.
Luton Town have signed midfielder Adam Murray after his release by Oxford. "Obviously I was looking for League football and that's my aim with Luton," said the 28-year-old.
Mansfield Town defender Scott Garner has joined Grimsby on a two-year deal.
Wednesday 7 July
Cesc Fabregas could begin the season still as an Arsenal player after Barcelona said they are not prepared to pay the Gunners’ asking price of £50m. The Spanish club have already had an offer of £30m turned down and say they “will not be held to ransom.”
Diego Forlan has ruled out a return to England, having been linked with a move to Tottenham. The Uruguayan striker says he is happy in Spain with Atletico Madrid and added: “Tottenham are a club moving in the right direction but I will never play in England again.” Meanwhile, Spurs will kick off the new Premier Season first after their opening day fixture against Manchester City at White Hart Lane was selected as the lunchtime kickoff on 14 August. Arsenal’s game at Liverpool will be the main Sunday afternoon match. Newcastle fans will have to wait a little longer to see their team back in Premiership action because their opening game, at home to Manchester United, has been chosen as the televised game on Monday 16 August.
Barry Ferguson has ruled out an international return and dashed any hopes Craig Levein had that the former Scotland captain would make himself available again for his country. Ferguson was banned from playing for Scotland by the SFA for making obscene gestures in April 2009, but new manager Levein was hoping to tempt the Birmingham midfielder back.
Former England captain Terry Butcher believes his newly-promoted Inverness Caledonian Thistle side can hold their own in the Scottish Premier League. “We are not just going to make the numbers up, we are going to be positive and enjoy ourselves,” he said.
Gary Speed is being tipped by John Toshack to take over at Swansea following Paulo Sousa’s departure for Leicester City. Former Wales international Speed is on the coaching staff at Sheffield United, but ex-Swans manager Toshack believes he is the ideal man to take over at the club.
Cardiff City have had another transfer embargo put in place after HMRC claimed they have still not paid a tax bill of £1.3m. The Welsh club have already been sanctioned by the Football League for unpaid debts.
Tuesday 6 July
Former England under-21 international David Prutton has left Colchester United for Swindon Town on a free transfer.
Prolific Scotland striker Kris Boyd has completed his move to Middlesbrough, on a two-year deal after leaving SPL champions Rangers.
Wales international goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey has signed a new five-year contract with Wolves.
Southend United have appointed former Plymouth coach Paul Sturrock as their new manager on a three-year contract.
Brazil midfielder Geovanni has left Hull City with immediate effect after agreeing the end of his contract. A statement on the club website said: “We would like to thank Geovanni for the memorable moments he provided.”
Newcastle have signed versatile Nottingham Forest defender James Perch on a four-year deal.
Paulo Sousa has left his post as manager of Swansea and will take up the vacant position at Leicester City.
Manchester City’s Bulgarian striker Valeri Bojinov is joining Italian Serie A side Parma for a fee reported to be in the region of £3m.
Doncaster Rovers have agreed to pay a club record fee in excess of £1m to sign forward Billy Sharp from Sheffield United.
Norwich City have signed Everton goalkeeper John Ruddy on a three-year deal.
Monday 5 July
Brazil have confirmed that Dunga has been dismissed as coach following their exit from the World Cup. Dunga stated that he was likely to leave following their defeat against Holland and the Brazilian football authorities released a statement saying: "Ending the cycle of work that began in August 2006, and ended with the elimination of Brazil from the World Cup in South Africa, the CBF announces that the technical committee of the national team has been released. The new technical committee will be announced later this month."
Barcelona defender Gerard Pique admits Arsenal skipper Cesc Fabregas has got his heart set on playing for the Spanish club next season. Pique said: “"I have known that Cesc wanted to join Barcelona for many years - but now it is more than about wanting to do it. Now it is something he feels he must do. The World Cup has not been a good thing for Arsenal. It has meant that he has been spending every day with myself, Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Victor Valdes - and he has made his feelings very clear to us. I think already in his heart he is wearing a Barcelona shirt next season."
Everton have arranged a deal which gives them first option to sign Azerbaijan midfielder Araz Abdullayev. The 18-year-old has undergone a medical at Goodison Park and Everton have an agreement to sign him during the next two-years, subject to a work permit.
Rangers striker Kris Boyd is set to join Middlesbrough on Monday. Boyd has been linked with a number of clubs but is set to team up with former Celtic manager Gordon Strachan. Boyd said: “"I'm delighted to finally have my future sorted out. I've had a few offers to consider and it's been a case of talking to my family about the positives and negatives of each one. Middlesbrough have always been very appealing. Strachan has big plans and has made me feel wanted."
Parma have confirmed they have reached a deal to sign Manchester City striker Valeri Bojinov on a permanent basis. Bojinov was on loan with the Italian club last season and Parma president Tommaso Ghirardi said: "I am very happy to announce the successful outcome of a deal that we have been pursuing since last January."
Former Aston Villa and Leeds manager David O’Leary has agreed to become the new coach of United Arab Emirates side Al Ahli. O’Leary has been out of football for four-years, but Al Ahli sporting director Mark Bell said: “We can confirm that David O'Leary, a former Premier League manager with Champions League experience, has agreed to become the new coach of Al Ahli Football Club."
Southend United have appointed Paul Sturrock as their new manager after putting Steve Tilson on gardening leave. Southend chairman Ron Martin said: “This [was] the hardest decision during my time in football. Steve and I have had a very good relationship and one of the longest in the Football League. Whilst a difficult decision it was nevertheless one that was unanimous with the board who wish to sincerely thank Steve for his contribution over the years."
Liverpool striker Fernando Torres will hold talks with Liverpool about his future when the World Cup finishes, but says he is happy with the appointment of Roy Hodgson as the new manager. Torres said: “"I was happy he (Hodgson) got the job. I haven't had a chat with him yet but I will talk with him soon and we will see his ideas about the future. For now, my future is here. South Africa and the World Cup is too important to think about things after that. I have a very important week still here and after that I will have time to talk with him and talk about my future."