The rebuild at Arsenal starts with Park Chu-Young, and more reinforcements are imminent

Arsenal are set to sign South Korean captain Park Chu-Young from Monaco for approximately £3 million. The deal is the beginning of an expected flurry of activity as Arsenal desperately try to strengthen their squad before the end of the transfer window. Park Chu-Young, a former Asian Young Footballer of the Year, was on the verge of signing for Lille before the Gunners entered the race for his signature at the eleventh hour. “I had to choose between Lille and Arsenal, I wanted to choose without regret,” said Park. ”…

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Valencia reinforce defence with Victor Ruiz and Antonio Barragan

Valencia confirmed the signing of Spanish Under-21 centre-back Victor Ruiz and right-back Antonio Barragan today, as they continue to strengthen ahead of the new season. The 22-year-old joins from Italians Napoli on a five-year contract, ending an unsuccessful six-month spell on the peninsula that saw him gain just four first-team appearances for the Azzurri. Before his €6m move to Naples, the Catalan-born Ruiz burst on to the scene in 18 months at Espanyol as an intelligent and technically-proficient centre-back and has been capped five times at Under-21 level. Napoli are…

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Gradel bound for Saint-Etienne as Leeds ‘reluctantly accept’ bid

Max Gradel is set to join Saint-Etienne after Leeds United accepted an undisclosed bid from the French side. The winger handed in a transfer request earlier today citing a want to return to his native France as the reason. It initially looked as if fellow Le Championnat side Sochaux were to win the battle for his signature after the club’s president Alexandre Lacombe told French newspaper L’Alsace: “We hope to do a deal. It’s at an advanced stage.” However talks have since broken down and Gradel will now travel to…

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Diego in and Elias out at Atletico Madrid

Reports in Spain are indicating that Atletico Madrid have signed Brazlian playmaker Diego from Wolfsburg on loan, whilst Elias departs the Vicente Calderon. AS understands that 26-year-old Diego has joined the capital club on a one-year loan deal after Atleti’s general manager Clemente Villaverda and sporting director Jose Luis Perez Caminero returned from Germany after holding negotiations for the playmaker. Diego joined the Bundesliga team 12 months ago for a fee of €15m, but after a difficult season that saw the club struggle to get the best out of him…

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Parker hands in transfer request

West Ham star Scott Parker has opened the door for a deadline day switch to Tottenham after handing in a transfer request. The midfielder was left out of the Hammers’ 4-1 win at Nottingham Forest on Sunday and speculation has been rife that he is set for a switch to White Hart Lane. The 30-year-old was named in Fabio Capello’s squad for the upcoming Euro 2012 qualifiers against Bulgaria and Wales and told the club’s official website he is keen for a move to the Premier League to continue his…

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Feature: Johnstone’s Paint Trophy set for kick-off

The Johnstone’s Paint Trophy gets underway tonight with 26 sides set to do battle in the first round of the competition. A Yorkshire derby between Bradford and Sheffield Wednesday looks to be the pick of the fixtures as Phil Parkinson embarks on his first 90 minutes in charge at Valley Parade. Holders Carlisle United will have to wait until next Tuesday to take their bow in this year’s competition when they travel to Accrington Stanley. The game at the Crown Ground was initially pencilled in for tonight but the Cumbrians…

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Getafe to try one last time to re-sign Pedro Leon from Real Madrid

Getafe are reportedly set to try one last time to re-sign attacking winger Pedro Leon back from Real Madrid before the summer transfer window closes. Leon has been sidelined by Jose Mourinho, barely featuring last term and finding himself training separately during pre-season, and remaining in Spain for Los Blancos’ tour across the US, Europe and China. His former club Getafe, who sold him to Real in 2010 for €10m, have been keen for several weeks to recapture his services, but only on a loan deal, one that Real are…

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Tyson moves closer to fitness

Derby County manager Nigel Clough is hoping summer signing Nathan Tyson is just weeks away from making his debut for the club. The striker joined the Rams from fierce rivals Nottingham Forest this summer but has been sidelined with a groin injury picked up in a 2-0 pre-season win over Aston Villa. However Clough told BBC Derby he is ready to call upon the 29-year-old at the end of the upcoming international break on the 10th September: “We will work with Nathan for the next two weeks and he has…

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Man Utd news – Anzhi eye Vidic, Sneijder set for stay, Cleverley level-headed

Anzhi eye Vidic. Highly affluent Russian Premier League outfit Anzhi Makhachkala are lining up a lucrative bid for Manchester United centre-back Nemanja Vidic, the Daily Mail understands. Anzhi recently stunned world football with the signing of Samuel Eto’o from Inter Milan, in a deal believed to be worth in the region of £330,000 a month for the Cameroonian international striker. Subsequently, after financing the recruitment of Eto’o, Anzhi’s billionaire owner Suleyman Kerimou is thought to be willing to do likewise for other high profile players, one of which being United’s…

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Liverpool news – Reds reject Meireles offer, N’Gog nears Bolton, Downing impressed by fanbase

Reds reject Meireles offer. Liverpool have rejected Chelsea’s offer of £7m and midfielder Yossi Benayoun for midfielder Raul Meireles, The Liverpool Daily Post reports. The Stamford Bridge side are keen to bring in Meireles to strengthen their midfield options, but Liverpool are not keen on bringing Benayoun back to Anfield. Liverpool paid £10m last August for Meireles and the Portuguese midfielder was one of Liverpool’s most impressive performers last season. However, Meireles has been on the bench for Liverpool’s opening two Premier League games and was sidelined with a shoulder…

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Espanyol sign Weiss with Pandiani and Poulsen also targeted

Manchester City winger Vladimir Weiss has agreed to join Espanyol on a season-long loan as boss Mauricio Pochettino looks to strengthen his attacking options following the opening day 1-0 defeat at Real Mallorca. The Slovakian international has already passed a medical at the Cornella El-Prat and will be officially unveiled next week after participating in his country´s Euro 2012 qualifiers against Republic of Ireland and Armenia. Weiss, 21, has been a victim of City´s extravagant spending policy over the last couple of years since joining the club´s youth academy from…

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Barcelona 5-0 Villarreal: Thiago-inspired Catalans destroy the Yellow Submarine

Camp Nou, Barcelona Thiago 25, Fabregas 45, Sanchez 47, Messi 52, 75 Villarreal could have played incredibly on Monday night and still lost as an imperious Barcelona performance sunk the Yellow Submarine with a 5-0 victory. Prodigious midfielder Thiago Alcantara opened the scoring in the 25th minute after charging unchallenged through the visitors’ half before shooting left-footed from 20 yards. Cesc Fabregas was up next as he finished off an intelligent move to round Diego Lopez and slot home, whilst another new signing, Alexis Sanchez, grabbed his first La Liga…

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Arsenal news – Gunners close to Andre Santos deal, Late Sneijder interest, Board back Wenger

Gunners close to Andre Santos deal. Arsenal are said to be close to finalising a deal for Brazilian international left-back Andre Santos from Fenerbahce, Sky Sports reports. Santos is set to arrive from Turkey in a deal worth just over £6m and will strengthen the Arsenal defence that shipped eight goals against Manchester United on Sunday. The 28 year old Brazilian has over 20 caps for his country and is now believed to be on a flight to the Emirates Stadium to sign the personal terms and a medical. Arsenal…

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Tottenham news – Spurs eye Hargreaves, Redknapp: Modric didn’t want to play, Wigan target Dos Santos

Spurs eye Hargreaves. Sky Sports understands that Spurs are considering a move for out of contract midfielder Owen Hargreaves. The 30 year old is keen to find himself a new club after being released by Manchester United. Redknapp is desperate to reinforce his midfield after seeing his side decimated through injuries and transfer speculation. Sandro is still recovering from surgery, Huddlestone and Jenas have also been struggling with injuries. The constant rumours surrounding Modric along with Palacios’ protracted move to Stoke have all contributed to Redknapp’s lack of options. It…

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Parkinson takes Bantams hotseat and moves swiftly in the transfer market

Bradford City have announced that former Charlton and Colchester boss Phil Parkinson is to be the club’s new manager. The board have acted quickly in announcing Peter Jackson’s successor after his resignation on Thursday. Parkinson was in attendance to watch the Bantams 4-2 victory over Barnet at Valley Parade on Saturday and has already dipped his hand into the transfer market with the signing of former Addicks winger Kyel Reid. Reid was released at the end of last season and Parkinson has chosen to re-unite himself with the 23-year-old after…

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Tactic Talk – Optimism returns to Anfield as Charlie Adam finds his feet

Liverpool continued their unbeaten start to the season with a 3-1 win over Bolton Wanderers at Anfield, as goals from summer signings Jordan Henderson and Charlie Adam either side of a Martin Skrtel strike saw The Reds take all three points. While Kenny Dalglish’s Liverpool revolution now looks to be in full swing, the signing of Adam may prove pivotal in their progression. In the absence of Steven Gerrard, Liverpool have often been seen as vulnerable without their talismanic captain, and with Xabi Alonso departing for Real Madrid two years…

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Posh swoop for Canaries star McDonald

Championship side Peterborough are understood to have made a bid for Norwich striker Cody McDonald. The 25-year-old is not considered to be part of manager Paul Lambert’s plans in the Premier League with a number of strikers above him in the pecking order. McDonald spent the entirety of last season on loan at League Two side Gillingham and notched an impressive tally of 25 goals in 41 league appearances. The Posh are keen to bolster their squad before tomorrow’s transfer deadline and alluded to the McDonald bid in an interview…

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Roberto Soldado steps up to the mark at Valencia

Following the sales of David Villa, David Silva and most recently Juan Mata, greater responsibility has progressively shifted to the next brightest squad member within the Valencia squad. The latest to shoulder the responsibility of leading and inspiring the dressing room is new captain Roberto Soldado, whose hat-trick that rescued Los Che from a potentially embarrassing home defeat to Racing Santander on Saturday evening suggests he is more than up to the task. Now in his second season at Mestalla, Soldado appears to be fulfilling the early potential that once…

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Ruben Castro welcomes the competition Roque Santa Cruz represents at Betis

Ruben Castro has somewhat welcomed Roque Santa Cruz to Real Betis, whilst acknowledging the positive effect the competition his arrival at the Benito Villamarin will bring. Santa Cruz joined Los Verdiblancos on a year-long loan from Manchester City without an option to buy, officially completing the move on Monday. Meanwhile, Castro – Betis’ top scorer from last season – was speaking in the wake of scoring the only goal from the team’s first League outing of the season, a 1-0 win at fellow newly-promoted side Granada. Santa Cruz was in…

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Guardiola cautious ahead of Villarreal clash

Pep Guardiola has dismissed concerns over fielding a weakened team against Villarreal, but admits he is cautious ahead of the Monday night clash. Barcelona go into the game without the injured defensive quartet of centre-backs Gerard Pique and Carles Puyol and full-backs Maxwell and Adriano, whilst Dani Alves is suspended. Reports indicate Guardiola may be looking to at least one of Andreu Fontas and Martin Montoya to start the Blaugrana’s first home game of the League campaign, with Javier Mascherano maintaining his place at centre-back, and Eric Abidal potentially taking…

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Laudrup and Pochettino reflect on the element of luck after Mallorca defeat Espanyol

Michael Laudrup admitted to feeling lucky to have seen his Mallorca side come away from their first home game of the season with victory, just as Espanyol’s Mauricio Pochettino rued his side’s lack of fortune in Sunday. A Jonathan de Guzman strike proved the difference between the teams in an otherwise even affair that saw the islanders have the better of the first half, and the Catalans the better of the second. The Dane described Sunday evening’s game as typical of a first game of a new season: “We were…

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