Football news round-up 24-31 May
Dagenham & Redbridge are in League One for the first time.
Monday 31 May 2010
Dagenham and Redbridge have been promoted to League One after beating Rotherham 3-2 in a pulsating play-off final at Wembley. Paul Benson and Danny Green twice gave the Daggers the lead, only for Ryan Taylor to draw Rotherham level on both occasions. But Jon Nurse’s strike saw John Still’s men promoted to League One for the first time in their history.
Tottenham midfielder Luka Modric has signed a six-year contract extension, committing his future to the club until 2016. The Croat was hugely influential as Spurs clinched fourth place in the Premier League and a place in next season’s Champions League.
Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck has dismissed reports suggesting Frank Lampard could leave Stamford Bridge to join Jose Mourinho if the Portuguese takes over, as expected, at Real Madrid. "Lampard is a great player," Buck said. "But you can't possibly imagine Frank Lampard wearing anything other than the Chelsea shirt."
Fiorentina boss Cesare Prandelli will leave the club to take over as manager of the Italian national team after the World Cup, it has been confirmed. Prandelli will succeed Marcello Lippi, who had already announced he will leave his post after this summer’s tournament.
Ghana have named their squad for this summer’s World Cup, with the biggest surprise being the omission of Hearts midfielder Laryea Kingston. But Portsmouth midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng was included, and could play against his half-brother Jerome, who plays for Germany, with the two sides set to meet on June 23 in Johannesburg.
Didier Drogba scored his 44th international goal for the Ivory Coast, but they were held 2-2 by Paraguay in Sven-Goran Eriksson’s first match in charge. Sol Bamba extended the lead after Drogba’s free-kick was deflected in, but Lucas Barrios and Aureliano Torres ensured the game ended all-square.
Sunday 30 May 2010
Millwall will play in the Championship next season after beating Swindon Town in the League One Play-Off final at Wembley. Millwall captain Paul Robinson scored the only goal of the game, in the 39th minute. Millwall now join Norwich and Leeds in gaining promotion to the Championship.
Neil Lennon is expected to be announced as Celtic manager on a full-time basis in the next week. The former Northern Ireland midfielder ended the season as caretaker manager after Tony Mowbray was dismissed, and did enough to impress the board at Celtic Park that he can do the job.
Slovakian playmaker Miroslav Karhan will miss the World Cup because of an Achilles’ tendon injury. The midfielder, who is four caps short of his century, admitted he will not be able to play for at least three weeks, ruling him out.
Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer has dismissed reports of a move away from Craven Cottage by insisting his future lies with Roy Hodgson’s side. The Australian goalkeeper has been linked with a move to Arsenal but said: “I see my future at the moment with Fulham.”
Dagenham and Redbridge captain Mark Arber says his side are determined to win their League Two Play-Off final against Rotherham. “It will be a great day out for everyone at the club, but I want to win – I don’t want to be a loser at Wembley.”
Liverpool and Juventus fans played a friendly on Merseyside on Saturday evening to mark the 25th anniversary of the Heysel Stadium disaster, when 39 supporters died after crowd trouble broke out at the European Cup final.
Algeria defender Adlene Guedioura has said his side fears every member of the England team – and Manager Fabio Capello – ahead of their World Cup clash next month. Algeria were comfortably beaten 3-0 by Ireland in Dublin on Friday and the Wolves defender said: "Every player is one of the best players in the world and the coach is special too, so we need to be focused.”
Crystal Palace are on a “knife-edge” according to the club’s administrator Brendan Guilfoyle. The south London club are banking on a rescue deal by CPFC 2010, a fan-led consortium, but Guilfoyle says cashflow is putting its existence in danger. “I’m out of cash, and at this time of year there’s very little coming into the club but still a lot of expenditure going out in terms of wages.”
Lionel Messi has tipped England as one of the favourites for the World Cup, alongside Spain and Brazil. Barcelona’s Argentinian star said: “The strongest sides going into the World Cup are Spain, England and Brazil,” he said. “England had a strong, easy qualifying group and are very tough.”
Saturday 29 May 2010
Real Madrid will unveil former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho as their new manager on Monday after agreeing compensation with his former club Inter Milan. A Real Madrid statement said: "The agreement took place following a meeting between Inter Milan President Massimo Moratti and Real Madrid President Florentino Perez in Milan. The meeting was friendly.”
The Glazer family, who own Manchester United, have insisted they will “not entertain any offers” for the club. The statement came after speculation that a group of wealthy fans dubbed the Red Knights have emerged as potential buyers. However Untied say the Glazers "remain fully committed to their long-term ownership of the club".
England’s World Cup opponents Algeria were beaten 3-0 in the Republic of Ireland on Friday night. Robbie Keane scored twice, one of them from the penalty spot, while debutant Paul Green was also on the scoresheet in a convincing victory.
France have been chosen as the hosts of the 2016 European Championships, beating Turkey by just a single vote.
Championship club Crystal Palace, which is currently in administration, is set to make 29 staff redundant at Selhurst Park.
Leeds United have cancelled the contract of striker Jermaine Beckford, potentially paving the way for a move to Everton.
Germany have announced that experienced full-back Philipp Lahm will be their new captain after Michael Ballack was ruled out of the World Cup with an ankle injury.
Millwall will be without key defender Alan Dunne when they face Swindon in the League One Play-Off Final at Wembley today. Dunne is out with a foot injury. Swindon captain Gordon Greer will also be missing after being sent off in the semi-final. Millwall have missed out in the Play-Offs five times but striker Neil Harris says it can be sixth time lucky: “Surely the law of averages says your luck has to change sooner or later, but it's up to us to make it happen.”
The League Two Play-Off final between Dagenham and Rotherham takes place at Wembley on Sunday. Daggers star Peter Gain faces a battle to be fit after suffering a calf injury but Dagenham manager John Still, whose side beat Morecambe 7-2 in the semi-final, says he will continue his attacking style. He said: "We're just going to go and play the Dagenham way. I hope the pitch is big and I hope it's tiring, because the team that is playing us doesn't half have to run. They'll have to work their socks off.”
West Ham United are expected to appoint Avram Grant as their new manager next week and the club is also being linked in some papers with an audacious move to bring David Beckham back to England.
Friday 28 May 2010
England Manager Fabio Capello is 'very confident' Gareth Barry will recover from an ankle injury and be fit for the World Cup. Capello said: "His recovery time is shorter than we thought. We are going to decide next week. We are very confident."
Leeds United have signed Notts County goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, son of Manchester United legend Peter.
Michael Essien has been ruled out of the World Cup. The Chelsea and Ghana midfielder will not recover in time from a knee injury.
UEFA have announced that two extra assistant referees will be used during the Champions League and Euro 2012 Qualifiers next season.
Fernando Torres has given Spain a much-needed boost after returning to training. The Liverpool striker has trained for the first time since knee surgery last April.
Manchester United have completed the signing of Mexican striker Javier Hernandez. The forward was granted a work permit and will join United on 1 July.
Notts County manager Steve Cotterill will leave the club on 30 May, when his contract expires.
West Brom have signed Republic of Ireland midfielder Steven Reid, 29, on a two-year contract from Blackburn.
Simon Kjaer, the Danish defender that has been linked with a move to the Premier League, damaged his knee during Denmark's 2-0 win over Senegal on Thursday night and is now a doubt for the World Cup.
Thursday 27 May 2010
Former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is set to take charge of Spanish giants Real Madrid after they sacked Manuel Pellegrini. Mourinho, currently manager of Inter Milan, won the Champions League on Saturday but will take over at the Bernabeu once his contractual situation with Inter is resolved. “I'm ready to admit to some mistakes but Mourinho's hiring is an opportunity that Madrid could not miss,” said Real Madrid president Florentino Perez on confirming his intention to appoint Mourinho, 47, as their new manager.
Former Liverpool owner David Moores has admitted he "hugely regrets” selling the club to Americans Tom Hicks and George Gillett and has called on them to sell up. Moores sold his stake in the club to Hicks and Gillett three years ago and he said: “I call upon them to stand back, accept their role in the club's current demise, and stand aside with dignity.”
Northern Ireland were without 17 regulars as they lost 2-0 to Turkey in a friendly played in Connecticut. Sercan Yilidrim and Semih Senturk scored both of Turkey’s goals in the second-half. Elsewhere, Arsenal forward Robin van Persie scored twice as Holland beat Mexico 2-1 in Freiburg.
Birmingham have signed giant Serbian striker Nikola Zigic from Spanish club Valencia for an undisclosed fee. The 29-year-old, who stands at 6'8", has signed a four-year contract at St Andrews. He has scored 16 goals in 42 games for Serbia and is set to play for them in the World Cup this summer.
Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas admits his future is out of his hands and says he is focusing solely on the World Cup despite continuing speculation over whether he will return to Barcelona, his former club. Fabregas said: “I will only say one thing, I have great respect for Arsene Wenger, for Arsenal Football Club and for the Arsenal fans”
Portsmouth have offered to pay their creditors 20 pence in every pound they owe and are sending them a Company Voluntary Agreement proposal. If the offer is accepted, then Pompey will able to exit administration. Portsmouth administrator Andrew Andronikou said: “We hope to hold a creditors meeting to vote on the CVA on 18 June.”
Newly-promoted Blackpool will begin work on a new stand at Bloomfield Road “as soon as is realistically possible,” says their chairman. The Tangerines already have planning permission to take their stadium capacity up to 16,000 and Chairman Karl Oyston said: “There are no issues other than me agreeing terms with the builders and the architects.”
West Bromwich Albion have completed the permanent signing of Blackburn midfielder Steven Reid. The Republic of Ireland international has penned a two-year deal at the club where he spent the last two months of the season as West Brom achieved promotion to the Premier League. “He made a big impact last year both on and off the field,” said Baggies manager Roberto Di Matteo. “He was a consistent performer and also great in the dressing-room.”
Mexico striker Guillermo Franco has confirmed he is leaving West Ham after the club decided against extending his contract. The 33-year-old scored five goals after joining the club on a one-year contract last September. Franco said: “I don't know where I'll be next season. West Ham told me 'bye bye' so I won't be with West Ham next season.”
Burnley defender Michael Duff has signed a new two-year contract at Turf Moor and striker Steven Thompson has also agreed a one-year extension to his deal.
Norwich City have reached a deal to sign defender Elliott Ward from Coventry on a free transfer when his contract expires on 1 July. Elliott will join the Canaries on a two-year deal and manager Paul Lambert said: “He's got a terrific pedigree and we needed experience.”
Leyton Orient have agreed to sign defender Terrell Forbes from Yeovil and Aaron Brown from Aldershot Town. It is the third time that Orient manager Russell Slade has signed Forbes after previously bringing him to Grimsby and Yeovil.
Former England international winger Andy Sinton has been appointed as the new manager of Telford United on a two-year contract.
Wednesday 26 May 2010
Rangers manager Walter Smith has signed up to manage the club for one final season after which he plans to retire and hand control to his assistants Ally McCoist and Kenny McDowall.
Arsenal midfielder Fran Merida will end his four-year spell at Arsenal to return to his native Spain and sign for Atletico Madrid on a free transfer in July.
Brazilian defender Fabio Aurelio is leaving Liverpool after failing to agree a new contract. Manager Rafael Benitez said: “We had been trying to work something out but it was a pity that we couldn't.”
West Ham co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold have increased their stake in the club to 30 per cent each at a cost of £4m per man.
Cardiff City manager Dave Jones has pledged his future to the Championship side after meeting the club's new owners following their Play-Off defeat by Blackpool.
The Republic of Ireland scored an impressive 2-1 win over World Cup hopefuls Paraguay on Tuesday night. Kevin Doyle and Liam Lawrence scored the home side’s goals.
Inter Milan president Massimo Moratti has confirmed he can not convince manager Jose Mourinho to stay in Italy. “The approach of the coach is that of someone who is already thinking of going to Real Madrid,” Moratti said.
Wolves defender Stephen Ward, 24, has agreed a new contract that will keep him at the club until 2013.
Derby County have agreed to sign Polish striker Tomasz Cywka on a free transfer following a successful loan spell from Wigan.
Peterborough United have signed defender Mark Little on a three-year deal following a successful loan move from Wolves.
Fulham midfielder Wayne Brown is poised to sign for Bristol Rovers when his contract runs out at the end of June.
Morecambe have released Wayne Curtis, their longest-serving player, after 12 years at the club.
Non-League Mansfield Town have agreed to sign Tamworth defender and captain Chris Smith on a one-year contract in July.
Tuesday 25 May 2010
Everton have been handed a major boost after highly-rated midfielder Jack Rodwell signed a new five-year contract. Rodwell, who has been linked with a £15m move to Manchester United said: “It's a brilliant day for me - I've been at this club for a long time now and and signing a new five-year deal is amazing and a good feeling.”
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has ruled out any chance of him managing the United Arab Emirates. Benitez said: “I was very surprised to read about this story (being offered the UAE coaching job). I am very happy here in Liverpool. I have always been happy and I want to stay here for a long time - if it is possible.”
Robbie Keane admits he is preparing for life back at Tottenham following a loan spell at Celtic last season. The Republic of Ireland striker has been linked with a move to Aston Villa, but said: “I am going back to Tottenham to start pre-season and to be at Tottenham unless Harry (Redknapp) pulls me in or the chairman pulls me in and says otherwise.”
Brendan Rodgers and Steve Cotterill are both being considered for the vacant managerial post at Portsmouth. The club’s administrator Andrew Andronikou admits they have had half a dozen applicants, but first-team coach Paul Groves will not be considered for the position.
Everton defender Shane Duffy could be back playing within a few months despite suffering a life-threatening injury during a training match for the Republic of Ireland. Duffy suffered a freak liver injury last Friday and needed life-saving surgery, but has made a vast improvement and could be fit in three to four months.
France are confident that defender William Gallas will be fit for the World Cup. Gallas has been sidelined with a calf injury, but France coach Raymond Domenech is hopeful that he will be on the plane to South Africa.
Peterborough have signed Northern Ireland international Grant McCann from Scunthorpe on a three-year contract.
Huddersfield have made their first move in the transfer market this summer by signing Scott Arfield from Falkirk for £400,000.
Monday 24 May 2010
Jose Mourinho has admitted he is likely to leave Inter Milan for Real Madrid after leading the Italian champions to their first European Cup success in 45 years. The former Porto and Chelsea manager said after Saturday’s 2-0 win over Bayern Munich, fittingly in Madrid: “I’m sad because it’s almost certainly my last game with Inter. But if you don’t coach Real Madrid you will always have a gap in your career.”
But Inter president Massimo Moratti has warned Real Madrid and others that Diego Milito is not for sale. The Argentine striker had been attracting Europe’s top clubs long before his two goals to defeat Bayern Munich on Saturday, but Moratti will not let him go.
Wales were easily beaten by Croatia, who won 2-0 in Osijek. John Toshack wanted to use the game as a prelude to his side’s European Championship qualifier against Montenegro in September, but had 15 players missing and fielded an inexperienced team.
French international Franck Ribery has signed a new five-year deal with Bayern Munich to dampen transfer speculation linking him with a move to Real Madrid or Manchester United. Ribery has agreed a contract until 2015 at Munich.
Shane Duffy, the Everton teenage defender who had his liver lascerated while training with the Republic of Ireland Under-21 side, has been able to leave hospital. The Irish teenager needed life-saving surgery after the freak injury following a collision with goalkeeper Adrian Walsh on Friday night,
Nigerian businessman Aliko Dangote says he wants to buy a significant stake in Arsenal. The billionaire is interested in the 16 per cent shareholding in the club that Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith is looking to sell.
England Under-21 star Jack Rodwell is set to sign a new contract at Everton. The teenage midfielder has been a target for a number of leading clubs but David Moyes has persuaded him to sign a new long-term deal at Goodison Park.
Wolves have agreed a £2.5m deal with Anderlecht for midfielder Jelle van Damme. The Belgian international has also attracted interest from Fulham, but should sign for Mick McCarthy’s side in the next few days.