Tiote could head to Africa Cup of Nations following Man United clash

Newcastle United star Chiek Tiote could be joining his Ivory Coast team mates following the Magpies’ clash with Man United on 4th January, according to The Shields Gazette. The influential midfielder, who is rumoured to have attracted the interest of the Red Devils, has been called up to join up with the national side at their training camp in Abu Dhabi ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations, which runs until 12th February – potentially ruling him out of up to six club matches. The 25-year-old admitted that he and…

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Sunderland lose three key players ahead of Man City visit

Sunderland boss Martin O’Neill is facing a challenge ahead of the visit of Premier League leaders Man City on New Year’s Day, with three key players absent. The Shields Gazette is reporting that defenders Phil Bardsley and Titus Bramble, who were both taken off during the Boxing Day draw with Everton with thigh and Achilles injuries respectively, are almost certainly ruled out of the clash. The pair also appear unlikely to feature in Tuesday’s visit to struggling Wigan Athletic. They are to be joined in the medical department by former…

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Balotelli returning to the San Siro? Milan eye double raid on Man City

Red-hot Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli could be heading back to the San Siro as part of a double raid on the Premier League leaders this summer – however, this time it could be wearing the red and black of AC Milan, according to The Metro. The Rossoneri were linked with Balotelli last summer, but it is thought that the funds they receive from the imminent sale of Alexandre Pato to Paris Saint-Germain could lead to a concrete bid being made at the end of the season. However, Balotelli’s 11…

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Vieira puts forward Bould as next Arsenal manager

Former Arsenal midfielder Patrick Vieira has claimed that Arsene Wenger should be succeeded by current Gunners youth team coach Steve Bould, The Daily Mail reports. Bould has been working with the Arsenal youth team for ten years since retiring at the age of 38. The former Arsenal defender has seen the emergence of a host of youth team players at the Emirates Stadium and has won Premier Academy League titles in 2009 and 2010. Last summer, Arsenal fans called for Bould to be promoted to the role of Wenger’s assistant…

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Wenger dismisses Barton claims

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger dismissed QPR midfielder Joey Barton’s claims that the Gunners tried to sign him, The Daily Mirror reports. Barton claimed he had a ‘couple of conversations’ with Wenger ahead of a move to Arsenal whilst he was at Newcastle. The Englishman moved to QPR this summer ahead of Arsenal according to Barton and faces the Gunners at the Emirates Stadium today. Wenger insists that he never spoke to Barton and never held an interest in the 29 year old. The Arsenal boss pointed at the clashes between…

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Wenger explains Henry return decision

Arsene Wenger has insisted that he only brings special players back to Arsenal following the arrival of Thierry Henry, arsenal.com reports. Arsenal confirmed the two month loan signing of Henry on Friday and the striker returns to the Emirates Stadium after this weekend. New York Red Bulls want Henry back in March and Arsenal have the Frenchman for crunch games such as the Champions League last 16 against AC Milan and Premier League fixtures with Tottenham and Manchester United. Henry follows in the footsteps of defender Sol Campbell and goalkeeper…

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Vidic set for return in time for new season

Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic is on course to return to the club for the start of next season after undergoing successful knee surgery, BBC Sport reports. The Serbian international suffered knee ligament damage in United’s 2-1 defeat at Basel in the Champions League earlier this month. Vidic’s loss may be detrimental to United’s success, but they will see the return of the 30 year old next season. Sir Alex Ferguson believes the injury situation is getting better, but the loss of Vidic will affect the Red Devils defence. Ferguson…

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Ferguson plans three more years at Man Utd

Sir Alex Ferguson has said that he intends to remain as Manchester United manager for another three years if his health allows him, The Daily Mail reports. Ferguson celebrates his 70th birthday today and will look for three points against Blackburn at Old Trafford to crown his day. The Scotsman has confirmed his intention to remain at United for three more years and is still enjoying what has happened. Ferguson has won 12 Premier League titles and two Champions League and is hoping for more honours whilst he is still…

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Macheda set for QPR loan

Manchester United striker Federico Macheda is set to make a loan move to Queens Park Rangers until the end of the season, according to The Daily Mail. Macheda is low in the forward pecking order at Old Trafford and has been resigned to playing most of his football in the reserves so far this season. The Italian has failed to make an impact at Old Trafford following the much-talked about goal against Aston Villa in April 2009. Sir Alex Ferguson is looking to improve the Italian with a loan deal…

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Tottenham rule out Tevez move

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has ruled out a move for Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez, as he believes it would jeopardise the long-term future of the club, ESPN reports. The Spurs boss has hinted in recent months that he would love to take the Argentinian to White Hart Lane, which will be more likely on a loan deal. Spurs need that one world-class player to bolster their title challenge, according to Redknapp, and Tevez would be that acquisition. City are desperately trying to offload Tevez, who has still not returned…

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Redknapp insists Swansea win a must to keep Tottenham title hopes alive

Harry Redknapp admits that if Tottenham want to win the Premier League this season, they must win at places like Swansea City, The Guardian reports. Spurs have not won the league title since 1961, but have been in blistering form so far this season and currently sit in third place. Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has hailed the way the North Londoners are playing and has considered them real title challengers. Spurs boss Redknapp has tried to play down the ambitions of winning the league, but believes that his…

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King set for new Spurs contract

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has revealed that the club are set to offer defender Ledley King a new contract, The Daily Mail reports. King’s current deal expires in the summer and many feared he would not sign a new deal, due to his constant injury problems. Redknapp himself hinted that the club captain would have to play 20 games this season to extend his stay. The former England international has been blighted with long spells out of action due to chronic knee problems. However, the Spurs captain has made 11…

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Chelsea confident of sealing £7m Cahill deal

Chelsea are still confident of securing a deal for Bolton defender Gary Cahill, despite their own admission about being ‘miles apart’ regarding personal terms, The Guardian reports. The Blues have agreed a fee of £7m for the England international and Cahill’s representatives are in discussion with Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay. Cahill’s contract expires at the end of the season with Bolton and Chelsea have beaten Tottenham, Arsenal and Liverpool to making the first move with Bolton. Chelsea and Cahill remain at odds over the prospective salary the England international…

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Villas-Boas sends new PSG boss Ancelotti transfer warning

Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas has emphatically warned Carlo Ancelotti from attempting to sign any of his players at Stamford Bridge, Sky Sports reports. Former Chelsea boss Ancelotti took over the reins at French side Paris Saint Germain and is expected to be given substantial transfer funds when the window opens. PSG are backed by wealthy billionaire group Qatari and Ancelotti is looking to some of his former players at Chelsea. Striker Didier Drogba has been linked with a move away from West London and Ancelotti would be delighted to sign…

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Anelka still angry as he makes Chelsea exit

Nicolas Anelka quits Chelsea this weekend and is still seething over the club’s decision to omit him from the Christmas party, according to The Daily Mail. Anelka leaves Stamford Bridge to join Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua, where he is reportedly earning £175,000 a week. The French striker was overlooked for last week’s dinner at the club’s Cobham training ground and is fuming with the way the club has acted. Chelsea put on the banquet for the first team squad, reserves and management, hiring waitresses for the special occasion. One friend…

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Stoke Club Focus – 2011 – One year, so many highs for the Potters

As 2011 draws to a close, Stoke City will look to finish what has been a remarkably successful year for the club, with a win over Wigan at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday. During the past 12 months, Stoke reached an FA cup final for the first time in their 148-year history and although this ended in a 1-0 defeat to Manchester City, it also granted the Potters qualification to this season’s Europa League, in which they have performed brilliantly to make it through to the last 32 of the…

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Strong Catalonia side held by Tunisia in Barcelona friendly

Johan Cruyff’s Catalonia selection came up against a brick wall of a defence in their friendly with Tunisia after the North African side kept the scoreline goalless against a team comprising five World Cup winners. A 36,500 crowd at the Estadio Lluis Companys saw former Barca man Bojan Krkic go close for the Catalans in the 12th minute when he struck a post with a fierce shot from the edge of the area. However, despite the Barcelona trio of Cesc Fabregas, Sergio Busquets and Xavi Hern

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Michel unexpectedly turns down Real Zaragoza

Michel has unexpectedly turned down the opportunity to coach Real Zaragoza, maintaining that ‘there are sporting differences between what I want and what they are prepared to offer.’ The former Rayo Vallecano and Getafe boss met Zaragoza officials in Madrid on Friday and later explained to El Larguero how negotiations had gone: “They did not get in contact with me until 7pm when I received a message informing me I had a meeting,” said the 48-year-old. I had spent all day travelling and around 2.30pm my telephone was full of…

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La Liga Headlines: Casillas, Xavi, Del Bosque, Soldado, Simeone, Cruyff

MARCA– Happy Euro 2012. – Iker and Xavi wishing for a sporting New Year in red. – Interview with Mourinho revealed by realmadridcom. – “I do not want to leave.” – “I am very happy here….the best is yet to come and I don’t want to miss it.” – “It wouldn’t be very intelligent to leave a project that is halfway through.” – “We are playing some fantastic football.” —————————————————————————————— AS– Happy Euro 2012: Del Bosque optimistic before the new year. – “It things carry on the same Soldado will…

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Berbatov set for new Man Utd contract

Manchester United are looking to stop any rumour of a sale for Dimitar Berbatov by extending his Old Trafford contract, according to ESPN. United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has been impressed with the way the Bulgarian has performed recently and is looking to extend the contract. Berbatov has scored four goals in two games against Fulham and Wigan and is expected to start against Blackburn tomorrow. United have a one-way option of extending Berbatov’s contract by 12 months and will take advantage of that in March. Berbatov’s current contract runs…

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Ferguson pleased with United form

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is hoping for his side to keep their current momentum as they head into the New Year, manutd.com reports. United have won eight from their last nine games in the league and have recovered from the 6-1 thrashing they received at Old Trafford against Manchester City. Ferguson’s side have scored 16 goals in their last four games and will look to add to that total against Blackburn. The New Year’s Eve fixture comes on the 70th birthday of Sir Alex Ferguson and United’s player…

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Smalling out for Blackburn clash

Manchester United’s defensive woes have continued after it was revealed Chris Smalling is suffering from tonsillitis, The Telegraph reports. Smalling missed the Boxing Day victory over Wigan with a reported cold, but the illness is now worse than expected. United are without Nemanja Vidic, Jonny Evans, Brazilian twins Rafael and Fabio and Rio Ferdinand in defence. Sir Alex Ferguson expects Smalling to return as soon as the Newcastle fixture in the New Year. With a crunch FA Cup third round tie against Manchester City around the corner, United are desperate…

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Liverpool make Bent inquiry

Liverpool have inquired about the availability of Aston Villa striker Darren Bent and will look to make a January bid, according to Metro. The England international has been on Liverpool’s radar since January and Liverpool director of football Damien Comolli admitted he was considering a bid before Bent moved to Villa. Bent was ruled out of Villa’s game with Liverpool earlier this month and was spotted shopping in Cambridge at the same time his Villa teammates were playing the Reds. Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish is looking for a striker after…

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Jose Enrique backs Liverpool for Champions League qualification

Jose Enrique believes that Liverpool are capable of sealing Champions League qualification this season, The Independent reports. The Reds could move level with Chelsea in fourth place if they beat Newcastle at Anfield tonight. Enrique made the move from Newcastle to Liverpool this summer and has starred in the Reds defence. Liverpool’s season has been stop-start and they have drawn six games at home so far this season. Enrique has played his part in one of the best defences in the league, but the Liverpool forwards have failed to find…

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