Man Utd chasing Crewe youngster Powell

Manchester United will make a £5m move for Crewe Alexandra midfielder Nick Powell, the Daily Mirror has reported, with Sir Alex Ferguson prepared to loan the 18-year-old back to his current club for another year. Powell was on target with a spectacular opening goal as Alex were promoted via the League 2 play-offs on Sunday, highlighting his potential and encouraging a wave of transfer rumours. But with Ferguson already having reportedly watched Powell before his Wembley impact, United are said to be in the driving seat for his signature ahead…

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Arsenal forward Gervinho lauded by Chelsea new-boy Hazard

Eden Hazard, the Lille midfielder who this week announced he was moving to Chelsea, has claimed his former teammate and current Arsenal forward Gervinho is the best player he has ever played with, ESPN has reported. Gervinho was at Lille until last summer when he moved to Arsenal in a £10m deal, but his time with Hazard was a successful one as the pair helped Lille to a league and cup double in 2011. ESPN however rates Gervinho’s time thus far at the Emirates Stadium as somewhat less successful, but…

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Tottenham considering Demba Ba offer

Harry Redknapp will look to re-shape his Tottenham Hotspur strike force this summer, starting with a £7m move for Newcastle United striker Demba Ba, the Daily Telegraph has reported. Redknapp will look to activate the release clause in Ba’s contract that the Telegraph claims is in place and was a part of the deal to bring Ba to the North East in the first place, out of the clutches of Everton who were also interested in the forward this time last year after he left West Ham United. Ba was…

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Chelsea on verge of Hulk signing

Days after Eden Hazard confirmed he was bound for Chelsea, the Champions League winners are expected to complete a second big-money signing of the summer, landing Porto striker Hulk, according to the Daily Telegraph. The Brazil international has a release clause in his contract of £80m but the newspaper reports Chelsea will pay only half that amount, £40m, although Porto were also said to be holding out for £60m. With personal terms agreed between the buying club and the player, however, and Hulk apparently having made plain he wishes to…

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Euro 2012: Players of Past Tournaments: Paul Gascoigne – 1996

Nation: England European Championships: Euro 96, England Perhaps the last time England were genuine contenders at a major tournament came on home soil at Euro 96. The squad contained a number of experienced pros, such as Tony Adams, Paul Ince and David Platt, and the potent strike-force of the competition’s top-scorer Alan Shearer paired with Teddy Sheringham. But there was one player who captured the imagination more than any other – the enigmatic Paul Gascoigne. The midfielder was never far away from controversy in his career, but arrived at Euro…

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Prandelli confirms Italy Euro 2012 squad

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli has chosen his final 23 man squad to take to the Euro 2012 championship in Poland and Ukraine this June. Of his provisional Italy squad, notable absentees include Inter central defender Andrea Ranocchia, and Siena striker Mattia Destro – however Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci keeps his place in the Azzurri squad despite being questioned in the ongoing betting scandal that has hit Coverciano in recent days. In those investigations, left-sided Zenit defender Domenico Criscito was taken away by police, and has since been removed from the…

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Euro 2012: One to watch – Andriy Yarmolenko, Ukraine

Name: Andriy Yarmolenko Age: 22 Position: Midfield Club/Nation: Dynamo Kiev/Ukraine When Andriy Shevchenko, Ukrainian hero and national team captain, calls someone the ‘future of Ukrainian football’, there’s a high chance that player will have magnificent talent. Shevchenko’s words were centred on Andriy Yarmolenko, the 22 year old playmaker who is forging quite a name for himself in Eastern Europe. Coincidentally, Yarmolenko’s hero was the legendary Ukraine number seven and growing up in Chernihiv, Shevchenko’s performances in a Dynamo Kiev shirt made Yarmolenko dream about continuing the legacy the former Chelsea…

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Euro 2012 Fact-file – Poland

Co-hosts Poland enter the European Championships with a sense of optimism, despite being the lowest ranked team in the tournament according to official Fifa rankings. The competition will be the 9th major tournament that the nation has participated in, although they have only previously qualified for the European Championships once in the past. The country’s prior effort in the tournament ended prematurely, failing to emerge from the group stage with a lacklustre point condemning them to bottom place in the group. Four years on and Franciszek Smuda is in charge,…

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Euro 2012: Players of Past Tournaments: Matthias Sammer – 1996

Nation: Germany European Championships: England 1996 Germany’s success in Euro ’96 owed much to Berti Vogts’ 3-5-2 formation which enabled Matthias Sammer the freedom to show off his considerable talents. Employed as a sweeper, Sammer was not only an important part of a typically watertight defence, but was on hand to make a significant attacking contribution throughout the tournament. Having played alongside Franz Beckenbaeur and Paul Breitner as part of West Germany’s defence in the mid-1970s, Vogts recognised first-hand the value of defenders capable of contributing in the opposition’s half.…

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Euro 2012 fact-file – Czech Republic

Czech Republic are a team that have flirted with success since their separation from Slovakia in 1994. With great players such as Pavel Nedved, Jan Koller, Tomas Rosicky and Petr Cech over the years to choose from, you would think that they would stand a good chance when it came to tournaments such as the World Cup and European Championships. In the first decade of their existence, they enjoyed decent success. In their first major tournament following the split from Czechoslovakia, they managed to go all the way to the…

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Euro 2012 fact-file – Russia

Four years ago in Austria and Switzerland, an exciting Russia team surprised many by reaching the semi-finals of Euro 2008. It was a golden time for Russian football, with Zenit St Petersburg, led by the talismanic Andrei Arshavin, having lifted the UEFA Cup just a couple of months earlier. With Arshavin, Roman Pavlyuchenko and Yuri Zhirkov all taking advantage of big money moves to the Premier League, the future too looked bright and there were big expectations for the World Cup in South Africa two years later. But unfortunately the…

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Cole looking for second chance at Liverpool

Joe Cole is hoping he gets a second chance at Liverpool after his loan spell at French club Lille came to an end, the Daily Mail has reported. The former England international moved to Ligue 1 after failing to settle at Anfield following his free transfer move from Chelsea. Cole struggled after leaving the capital and was allowed to leave Liverpool on loan last summer by Kenny Dalglish, but after impressing with Lille, the midfielder is keen to put his Reds career back on track. While Cole was at pains…

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Van Persie urged to stay at Arsenal by his family

Robin van Persie has been urged to remain at Arsenal by his family, ESPN has reported, with the Gunners captain’s wife and mother each admitting they would rather see the striker stay at the Emirates Stadium. Van Persie’s contract expires in 12 months’ time and while a new one has been offered to the 28-year-old, van Persie has yet to confirm where he sees his future. Manchester City are just one of the interested parties looking to take advantage of any breakdown in relations between van Persie and Arsene Wenger,…

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Cech signs new Chelsea contract

Petr Cech has signed a new contract keeping him at Chelsea until 2016, the Daily Telegraph has reported. The Czech Republic international first moved to the Premier League in 2004. Cech has made more appearances for the Stamford Bridge club than any foreign player in Chelsea’s history, and has won three league titles, four FA Cups, two League Cups and the Champions League in his eight years wearing Chelsea colours. The 30-year-old was also recently voted his country’s Player of the Year for a record seventh time. In 369 Chelsea…

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Aquilani future unclear after move from Liverpool to Milan breaks down

The future of Liverpool midfielder Alberto Aquilani is unclear after talks over making his loan at Serie A side Milan permanent broke down, the Daily Mail has reported. Aquilani has spent the last two seasons away from Anfield, first at Juventus before his most recent move to the San Siro. The newspaper adds that Milan do want to sign Aquilani on a full-time basis but have baulked at paying the £7m asking price. Had the former Roma player featured twice more for Milan last season the club would have had…

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Arsenal midfielder search takes them to Man City’s de Jong

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will turn to Manchester City defensive midfielder Nigel de Jong after growing frustrated with the indecision of Rennes’ Yann M’Vila, the Daily Mail has reported. Wenger has been chasing M’Vila since last summer but the France international has yet to commit to a move to the Emirates Stadium, with the Mail adding that talks between the parties have now broken down. A £17m move had been mooted but progress on the transfer has slowed, causing the Arsenal boss to look elsewhere in an effort to bolster…

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Torres to stay at Chelsea after Abramovich intervention

Fernando Torres has backed away from comments he made indicating he was looking to leave Chelsea after revealing a conversation with the club’s owner, Roman Abramovich, has put his mind at rest, the Independent has revealed. Following the Champions League final, in which Torres was a late substitute, the Spain international suggested his future was away from Stamford Bridge after an unhappy season with the FA Cup winners. But speaking at Spain’s Euro 2012 training base, Torres revealed he now saw his future in West London and put the reason…

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Liverpool face missing out on Swansea boss Rodgers

Liverpool are likely to miss out on Swansea City manager Brendan Rodgers after the Welsh side moved closer to the permanent signing of midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson, the Independent has reported. It was claimed across the media yesterday that Rodgers was to discuss the vacancy at Anfield despite originally declining to be considered for the post but the newspaper insists such reports were always wide of the mark. Rodgers has recently been in the United States but the Independent reports the trip was planned long before an opening arose at Liverpool…

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Ramos wins FIFA Interactive World Cup title

Spaniard Alfonso Ramos has won the 2012 FIFA Interactive World Cup (FIWC) championship, after a penalty shoot-out win in Dubai against Bruce Grannec, winning the $20,000 prize, along with tickets to the Ballon d’Or Gala. The game itself was a 0-0 affair, and with the stakes as high as they have ever been in playing FIFA 12, penalties loomed to decide who would take home the cash prize and event tickets. In the end, it was Ramos who kept his cool to bag the prizes, along with the title of…

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Walcott to discuss Arsenal future after Euro 2012 as Chelsea interest grows

Arsenal winger Theo Walcott will meet with the club’s hierarchy to discuss his future at the Emirates Stadium after he has competed at Euro 2012 with England, the Daily Mail has reported, with Chelsea said to be watching Walcott’s next step with interest. Walcott’s Arsenal contract expires next summer but the attention paid to the England international’s expiring deal has been a fraction of that lavished on Robin van Persie, with Arsenal yet to make Walcott an offer. Chelsea are monitoring the situation and while Walcott has said in the…

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Chelsea Hazard signing part of Abramovich’s rebuilding process

The signing of Eden Hazard by Chelsea is just the first move in what is expected to be a busy summer at Stamford Bridge, as Roman Abramovich looks to reshape the Champions League winners, the Daily Telegraph has reported. Hazard announced on Twitter on Monday evening he was joining Chelsea – cryptically describing them only as the “Champions League winners” – and the Telegraph adds that Abramovich, working with director of football Michael Emenalo, is overseeing Chelsea’s current flurry of transfer activity. The club is without a permanent manager and…

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Hazard reveals he’s joining Chelsea

Belgian international winger Eden Hazard has announced that he will be joining Chelsea, after telling followers on his Twitter account “I’m signing for the Champion’s League winner.” So far there has not been any confirmation of the deal from either Chelsea or Lille. Earlier on today Hazard had used his Twitter account to reveal: “I made up my mind. See you later”, raising the suspense over a transfer that has pitted the Premier League’s most successful club in history against the Premier League winners and the Champinons League winners. Hazard,…

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Germany name Euro 2012 squad

Germany manager Joachim Low has named his 23-man squad for Euro 2012. The squad includes many of the names that contributed to Germany’s third-place finish in the South Africa World Cup, 2010, including Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira of Real Madrid, along with Manuel Neuer, Thomas Muller and Bastian Schweinsteiger of Bayern Munich. A Premier League twist is also added with the inclusion of Arsenal duo Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski. There are places for highly-rated youngsters Mario Goetze and Marco Reus who moves to Borussia Dortmund on 1st July.…

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European Championships 2012: One to watch – Nelson Oliveira

Name: Nelson Oliveira Age: 20 Position: Forward Club/Nation: Benfica/Portugal Nelson Oliveira announced himself to the glitz and glamour of European football in dramatic fashion this season. He was introduced with just under a 15 minutes to play in the second leg of Benfica’s second round Champions League tie with Zenit. The game was on a knife-edge with Benfica only ahead on away goals, but the 20-year-old raced onto a pass from Bruno Cesar and put the Portuguese side into their first quarter-final since 2006. Now, the hotshot is looking to…

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Midfielder Ahmedov wants Arsenal move

Uzbekistan midfielder Odil Ahmedov is hopeful a move to Arsenal can be completed this summer after Arsene Wenger first considered signing the Anzhi Makhachkala player a year ago, the Daily Mail has reported. Ahmedov, 24, is described by the newspaper as an “enforcer” in midfield, with the Mail also suggesting Wenger could turn to the player as an alternative to Yann M’Vila, the France international who has long been linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium. A move for Ahmedov was reportedly touted a year ago but Wenger decided…

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