Man City eye £10m move for Everton ace Baines

Manchester City are preparing a bid consisting of cash plus two players in exchange for Everton full-back Leighton Baines, The Mirror has revealed. Roberto Mancini believes the 26-year-old is the best left back in the Premier League and has been enquiring about the former Wigan player for months. The Toffees had rejected initial approaches from City but due to their financial troubles they may have to let the defender go. Scroll down for rest of article Baines is valued at £20million by the club but City are looking to offer…

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Celtic news – Hoops linked with O’Shea, Aussies offer Amini to Celts, Wallace warning

Hoops linked with O’Shea. The Irish Daily Star says Celtic are chasing versatile Manchester United defender John O´Shea. The Republic of Ireland international has been linked with a move away from Old Trafford this summer and Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and Aston Villa are all monitoring the situation. The fact he can play across the back four and also as a holding midfielder could make him an attractive proposition for a number of clubs. However, it is thought Hoops boss Neil Lennon is interested in taking him to Parkhead as he…

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Arsenal news – Fabregas speaks on exit rumours, Nasri: Signings needed if I stay, Clichy set for City

Fabregas speaks on exit rumours. Cesc Fabregas has finally spoken about the ongoing transfer saga according to Spanish media outlet AS. The Arsenal skipper has claimed that the fact he is in the market means Arsenal don’t want him. He said: “I’m calm and optimistic. I got nothing to say and there’s nothing I can speak of. If something happens… it’s because it has to happen. If a player is in the market it is because his club doesn’t want him. I have no problems over that.” With Cesc seemingly…

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Copa America 2011 fact file – Venezuela

Venezuela may be one of the rank outsiders for the Copa America but anybody thinking they are in for an easy ride against Los Vinotintos could be in for a surprise. Despite having an abysmal record in the competition – played 49, Won two, Drawn nine, Lost 38, For 34, Against 155 – football in the baseball-obsessed country is on the up and with more quality players emerging than ever before. Most Venezuelans consider the defining moment in their football history came just four years ago when they were chosen…

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Copa America 2011 fact file – Costa Rica

A late replacement for Japan, Costa Rica have sent a young team to Argentina for the Copa America 2011 with their focus firmly on qualification for World Cup 2014, with the newly-added priority of restoring some prestige to the national team after a disappointing showing in this summer’s Gold Cup. The largely under-23 squad features just three players aged 24 and over and nine members awaiting their first full cap, and, not only are Costa Rica’s Copa America players inexperienced on the world stage, but the majority have never tasted…

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Chelsea news – Courtois reveals Blues interest, Di Matteo returns as assistant, Villas-Boas claims full control

Courtois reveals Blues interest. Teenage goalkeeping sensation Thibaut Courtois fears he may have ruined the prospect of a possible switch to Stamford Bridge this summer, after revealing the club’s interest in him to a Belgian radio station, according to the Daily Mail. The 19-year-old shot stopper who made over 40 appearances in Genk’s title winning campaign last season went on record stating: “Chelsea did an interesting offer to my agent and said they want me because they see me as a successor to Petr Cech.” The comments not only disclose…

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Man City news – Mancini Lavezzi hint, Baines in City link, Ade dismisses Rovers move

Mancini Lavezzi hint. Reports that Man City are interested in signing Napoli striker Ezequiel were laughed off by the club’s president Aurelio De Laurentiis, according to ESPN Soccernet. Mancini has not hidden his admiration for the Argentine forward although does not believe he is worth the figure that represents his release clause. “I have three attackers, but we do need another one, could that be Napoli’s Ezequiel Lavezzi? I like him a lot, but I don’t believe he is worth his €30m release fee.” The Italian said. However, De Laurentiis…

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Tottenham news – Pedroza claims Spurs move, Niang link surfaces, Pavlyuchenko Anzhi link

Pedroza claims Spurs move. Mexican-based youngster Antonio Pedroza claims he has agreed a transfer to Tottenham Hotspur, reports Setanta Sports. Pedroza, 20, was born in Chester but plays for Jaguares in the Mexican top flight and has been the subject of interest from both Chelsea and Arsenal in the past. “I can announce that my transfer to Tottenham has been arranged,” said Pedroza. “I didn’t want to renew my contract with Jaguares because I knew that there was a chance to be transferred to a team in the Premier League.…

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Copa America 2011 fact file – Paraguay

Two-time Copa America winners Paraguay go into the 2011 edition of the tournament at something of a crossroads. With a range of players either the wrong side of 30 or creeping up to that landmark, the generation of players that reached the World Cup quarter-final a year ago are approaching their last hurrah. Nine of Coach Gerardo Martino’s 23-man squad are 29 or older, including such important players as goalkeeper and captain Justo Villar, 34, experienced centre-back Paulo Da Silva, 31 and Roque Santa Cruz, the increasingly injury-hit 29-year-old striker.…

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Copa America 2011 fact file – Peru

Peru approach Copa America 2011 seeking to replicate the last edition of the tournament in 2007, when La Rojiblanca escaped a difficult group to reach the quarter-finals, and not the last set of World Cup qualifiers which saw the Andean nation finish bottom of the regional qualification group. Experienced Coach Sergio Markarian is in charge this time round, having previously led Paraguay on two occasions and taking Greece’s Panathanikos to consecutive quarter-finals in the Champions League and UEFA Cup, highlights of a three-year spell in the country at two clubs…

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Liverpool news – Aquilani pleased to return, Sammy Lee exits, Henry: We won’t spend over the odds

Aquilani pleased to return. Italian midfielder Alberto Aquilani will return to the Reds with ‘great enthusiasm’ after a permanent move to Juventus could not be agreed, Sky Italia reports. The 26 year old was signed by the club in 2009, but struggled for form and injury problems saw him moved to Juve last season for a yearlong loan. Liverpool had claimed that Juventus were ready to sign Aquilani permanently after the loan spell, but the Turin side failed to agree a deal and now Aquilani is set to move back…

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Man Utd news – Fergie confident of Nasri coup, De Gea deal done, Gill: FA targeted us

Ferguson confident of Nasri coup. Legendary Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson believes he can break the will of Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and sign Samir Nasri, according to The Sun. Nasri has been the subject of a move to Old Trafford this season, but with Manchester City reportedly interested in signing the Frenchman after their offer for Udinese forward Alexis Sanchez was snubbed, Ferguson is ready to offer £20m for the 25 year old. Ferguson, who picked up a honorary degree at the University of Stirling earlier this week,…

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Copa America 2011 fact file – Uruguay

Uruguay head to Argentina looking to put the pain of the past four Copa America tournaments behind them. Beaten on penalties by Brazil in the 2007 and 2004 semi-finals, by Mexico in the 2001 semi-finals and by Brazil again in the 1999 final, La Celeste are confident they can win the trophy last gained in 1995. There is good reason for their conviction. The nucleus of the squad is that which took them to the semi-finals of the 2007 Copa and to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. These…

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Blackburn Club Focus – Kean keen on Keane?

Blackburn Rovers, one of the Premier League’s lowest scoring teams from last season, are currently looking to splash the cash on some new strikers. The Lancashire outfit managed to find the net only on 46 occasions in the top-flight during the last campaign and worryingly, less than half of those strikes came on home soil. In fact, only relegated Birmingham City were less of a threat at home, with their 20 goals at St Andrews beaten by Rovers’ 22 goals at Ewood Park. However, manager Steve Kean is now hoping…

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Is this a make or break summer for Arsene Wenger?

It would be fair to say Arsenal fans instilled faith in Arsene Wenger as he continued his attempts to build something organic. However, after another season seeing them limp over the finish line he must surely be facing his most prominent summer to date, in what now represents 15 years in charge. If reports are to be believed, the Gunners are on the verge of signing the highly rated Gervinho from Lille – who has averaged just under a goal every two games with the French side – but also…

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Copa America 2011 fact file – Mexico

After coming from behind to defeat the United States 4-2 in the Gold Cup final, Mexico’s preparations for Copa America 2011 appeared to be going smoothly. Despite pledging to take a largely under-23 team to Argentina, and the competition taking a backseat to the Gold Cup, the winning feeling generated by overcoming their eternal rivals to the north could be expected to spread to the squad. However, the suspension of eight players for a breach of team discipline has disrupted the optimistic mood created by the senior squad’s success. Luis…

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Man City news – City want Niang, Mancini: No Sanchez deal, Villa in for Given

Mancini: No Sanchez deal. Manchester City have pulled out of the race for Udinese winger Alexis Sanchez after Blues boss Roberto Mancini revealed the club´s latest offer had been rejected. The Chile international has been the subject of a recent tug-of-war between City, Barcelona and Manchester United and has intimated he would prefer a move to Spain rather than England. “I have spoken to S

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Copa America 2011 fact file – Argentina

Argentina, along with Uruguay, are the Copa America’s joint most successful team with 14 titles each and a demanding home crowd will expect la Albiceleste to add to that haul on their own patch. Arch rivals Brazil have won four of the past five tournaments, whilst Argentina have not won the competition in six attempts – losing to la Selecao in the last two finals. Traditionally Argentina have had one eye on the future during the tournament, but even with the World Cup another three years off new coach Sergio…

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Celtic news – McGinn “raging” for omission, Celtic and Hearts cleared, Wilson looking forward to Commons link-up

McGinn “raging” for omission. Niall McGinn´s future at Parkhead has been cast into doubt after he was axed from the 23-man squad that left Glasgow on Tuesday for the club´s pre-season tour to Australia, reports the Belfast Telegraph. It has raised serious questions over whether the 23-year-old Northern Ireland international will remain a part of manager Neil Lennon´s plans for next season, and he will now spend the next two weeks training with Celtic´s reserve side. McGinn was clearly unhappy over his omission and made his feelings known on his…

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Man Utd news – De Gea set to sign, Macheda wants England stay

De Gea set to sign. After months of speculation regarding Edwin van der Sar’s replacement between the goalposts at Old Trafford, David de Gea’s move from Atletico Madrid has been confirmed by the club this morning. The Spanish Under-21 star has signed a five-year contract at the club and the deal is believed to be worth just shy of £18m. In an interview with the club’s television station MUTV, de Gea said that he “feels very proud” and that he “can’t wait to start playing here (Old Trafford)”. Despite his…

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Arsenal news – Real Madrid join Fabregas chase, PSG in for Clichy, Bracewell-Smith attacks board

Real Madrid join Fabregas chase. Real Madrid have made a surprise £45million bid for Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas, according to Metro. The 24-year-old has long been heavily linked to a return to Los Blancos’ archrivals Barcelona but the midfielder’s aspirations of joining the Catalan side has not discouraged the Madrid side from attempting to sign him and they have reached the Gunner’s asking price for the World Cup winner. Barcelona are reportedly in the process of improving their previous offer of £27million which was rejected by Arsenal. The player’s agent,…

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The History of the Copa America – Part Two

The South American Championship resumed after an eight year break in 1975, rebranded as the Copa America and with a new format. After an erratic history of withdrawals and irregular tournaments, CONMEBOL introduced a format which saw all 10 nations compete home and away over a three-month period. The holders Uruguay were given a bye into the semi-finals, the remaining teams drawn into three groups of three, playing home and away, with the winners reaching the semi-finals. The tournament was won by the great Peruvian side, including Teofilo Cubilas, who…

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The History of the Copa America – Part One

The oldest international football tournament in the world sees its 43rd edition start on Friday when Argentina take on Bolivia in the opening game of the Copa America 2011. The competition to find the champion nation of South America is currently the oldest international tournament in the world, inaugurated in 1916. But unlike its European counterpart, the competition has a chequered history far removed from its high profile existence today. International competition between South American nations had commenced in 1910, but the first official championships took place in 1916 to…

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Liverpool news – Gerrard eyes trophies, Suarez in Copa squad, Wickham set for Sunderland

Suarez in Copa squad. Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has been named in Uruguay’s squad for the Copa America next month, lfc.tv reports. Suarez has impressed with his Reds performances since his January transfer from Ajax and has been rewarded with a place in Uruguay manager Oscar Tabarez’s 23 man squad. The Liverpool striker is the second Reds player to have a place in the competition confirmed after midfielder Lucas made the Brazilian squad for the tournament. Last season saw the arrival of Suarez coincide with a rapid rise up the…

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