Tottenham boss Villas-Boas tells Modric to stay out of Bale future

Tottenham Hotspur Head Coach Andre Villas-Boas has hit out at Luka Modric over comments he made in relation to Gareth Bale leaving the club, reports Sky Sports. The Welsh winger has been in scintillating form of late, with a superb assist and fine free-kick against Liverpool, bringing his tally of goals for the season up to six. Bale signed a new four-year deal in the summer, but has been urged by Modric to follow him from White Hart Lane to the Santiago Bernabeu. Modric told various media outlets that he…

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Redknapp dampens Lampard to QPR speculation

Newly installed Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp has played down rumours of Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard joining the club in January, according toSky Sports. The England international’s contract is up for re-newel in the summer, which has led to speculation surrounding the future of the former West Ham player. It is not known what Lampard’s preferred choice is at this moment regarding his next move, with Rafael Benitez believing that both Lampard and Ashley Cole will be moving on in the summer. Although Lampard has yet to played under…

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West Ham vs Chelsea – Match preview and team news

A Chelsea side struggling for both form and confidence at the moment make the short trip across London to West Ham still searching for their first win and indeed their first goal under new manager Rafa Benitez. The Spaniard has come under criticism from his own fans after the way he replaced the popular Roberto Di Matteo as manager, an ill-feeling that has been compounded with the way the previously free-flowing and entertaining European champions have slipped to two consecutive home goalless draws since Benitez took charge, against Manchester City…

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Chelsea Focus – One step forward, two steps back at Stamford Bridge

It seems that every time Chelsea take a step forward, the Stamford Bride club follow it up by taking two bigger ones in the opposite direction. Since the Roman Abramovic era began back in 2003, the Blues have been lifting trophies on a consistent basis. Half of the managers in charge of Chelsea during this period have won trophies and been very successful in doing so, while the other half have been dismissed abruptly for not winning a trophy or threatening to do so in their first season. It’s clear…

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Fulham Focus – Cottagers leave Stamford Bridge with creditable draw

Although a 0-0 draw was arguably a just result in a rather tepid West London derby at Stamford Bridge, Fulham can rightly say that if there was to be a winner, the European champions could not argue too much had it been the visitors. Indeed, had John Arne Riise managed to score either one of his two opportunities after half-time, then the Cottagers could well have been returning to Craven Cottage with a famous three points. Coming into the match, the fear was that Martin Jol’s creaking back-line, shorn of…

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Arsenal Focus – Walcott proves his worth despite contract wrangling

An annual calendar cannot, by any means, act as an official announcement of a player leaving a football club. But Arsenal fans are suspicious over the lack of Bacary Sagna and Theo Walcott in the Gunners’ 2013 edition. Is their omission a pre-emptive move ahead of possible – or, for the latter at least, probable – moves away from the Emirates Stadium in the near future? Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger insists that calendar-gate is a non-story – indeed French full-back Sagna is said to be in talks over a new…

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Tottenham Focus – Is playing Dawson and Gallas an invitation for trouble?

Tottenham took a second successive three points at White Hart Lane against Liverpool, but this was a far from comfortable victory. If Spurs dominated the first 30 minutes with their fluid, pacey attacking play, Liverpool dominated possession for the remainder. Spurs defence looked assured against West Ham, yet against Liverpool there seemed more of an all hands to the pump effort at times about the defence. Was this because of the choice of both William Gallas and Michael Dawson at centre-back? To date, one or other [predominantly Gallas] has been…

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Wenger planning Henry Arsenal return and two further signings

Arsene Wenger is plotting a busy transfer window for Arsenal that would see Thierry Henry make a second return on loan and the arrival of two more players, potentially Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha and Schalke striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, the Daily Mail has reported. Wenger revealed the information in an interview on French television, refusing to either reveal the names of the two players he is most closely monitoring, or rule out a third spell at the club for former captain Henry. The manager said: “This winter we will work…

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Guardiola agrees to be Man City boss, claims agent

A Spanish agent has claimed that Pep Guardiola has already agreed a contract to replace Roberto Mancini at Premier League champions Manchester City, the Daily Mail has reported. Guardiola is currently out of work after leaving Barcelona at the end of last season, spurning an offer from Chelsea to take a sabbatical in New York with his family. Roman Abramovich appointed Roberto Di Matteo, who had been the interim boss, instead, only to sack the Italian earlier in November and replace him with another interim manager, Rafael Benitez. Abramovich tried…

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Newcastle facing relegation fight, admits Pardew

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew believes his side are in amongst the fight to avoid relegation from the Premier League, the Daily Mirror has reported. The Mirror adds that the Magpies have the same number of points from the same number of games so far this season – 14 from 14 – as they did in the year they were relegated, 2009-10, and have made their second-worst start to a season in a decade. Newcastle are 14th in the table, two points clear of Southampton, who occupy the final place…

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Man Utd captain Vidic returns to training

Sir Alex Ferguson could soon welcome back Nemanja Vidic to the Manchester United starting XI after the club captain returned to training following knee surgery, the Daily Mirror has reported. Vidic is said to be around two weeks away from playing for the first team again, with the Champions League tie with Cluj the target, having undergone an operation to fix a problem with the same knee he first injured in the Champions League a year ago. Vidic has not played since late September and missed the second half of…

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Chelsea target Falcao wants Atletico stay

Chelsea’s hopes of landing Atletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao in the upcoming winter transfer window have taken a blow after the Columbia international revealed he wants to stay with his current side, the Daily Mirror has reported. Falcao has scored 35 goals in his 45 games for Atleti, helping Diego Simeone’s side to second in La Liga this season, three points behind league leaders Barcelona but eight ahead of local rivals Real Madrid, who languish in third. Falcao has been mentioned as a possible target for Jose Mourinho’s side as…

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Liverpool Focus – Lucas returns to boost Liverpool’s midfield options

There will have been much delight at Brendan Rodgers’ confirmation that Brazilian star Lucas Leiva will return to the Liverpool squad for the Reds’ Premier League fixture against promoted Southampton this weekend. The Anfield outfit have been unable to call upon their only senior defensive midfielder for the past three months, but Lucas’ imminent return to first-team action will come as a huge boost to Liverpool and could help to turn the Reds’ fortunes around. Rodgers’ underperforming side have won just one of their previous six top-flight games and their…

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Aston Villa Focus – Benteke secures priceless Villa victory

It was a must win game for Villa on Tuesday night against promoted side Reading, and they did exactly that; win. It was not a classic by any means, both sides doing very little to warm up the quite low attendance on a bitterly cold night.It may have been due to the freezing conditions that many people stayed away, or even the fact the match was televised on Sky Sports. Or maybe Villa fans were beginning to lose faith in Paul Lambert, having started the season so poorly and being…

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Arsenal amend contracts in event of Champions League failure

Arsenal have taken steps to ensure the club’s financial health is not damaged should they fail to finish in the top four of the Premier League by designing the players’ new contracts to include pay cuts if they are not playing Champions League football, the Daily Mirror has reported. The Gunners are currently adrift of the Champions League places in seventh, five points off fourth-placed West Bromwich Albion. Arsene Wenger’s side are however through to the knockout stage of this year’s Champions League, qualifying with a game to spare from…

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Everton Focus – Contrasting fortunes for Fellaini and Jelavic

Marouane Fellaini marked his return from suspension by scoring his seventh goal of the season as Everton drew 1-1 with Arsenal on Wednesday, capping another majestic performance with a precise left-footed strike from distance. The Belgium midfielder has been in fine fettle all season – just as well, as Nikica Jelavic looks distinctly out of form. After Everton got off to the worst possible start, conceding to Theo Walcott inside a minute, Fellaini took charge. His running battle with Per Mertesacker was a constant theme throughout the match, but Fellaini’s…

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Sterling would be foolish not to sign Liverpool contract, says Rodgers

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has issued a stark warning to Raheem Sterling as the England winger mulls over a contract offer that is said to be substantially less than he was angling for, the Daily Mirror has reported. Liverpool have offered Sterling a deal within their existing pay structure, which calls for young first team players such as the 17-year-old to earn £20,000 per week. But with Sterling have made a meteoric rise from the Liverpool youth team to the senior England team, the player is understood to want a…

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Chelsea lining up Torres replacement

Fernando Torres has a month to prove his worth at Chelsea – and then the club will swoop for his replacement if the former Liverpool striker cannot find some form, the Daily Mirror has reported. Metalist Kharkiv forward Taison is said to be the player Chelsea have identified as a January signing to bolster their attacking roster in the event of Torres’ depressed form continuing. The Brazilian was at Stamford Bridge to see Chelsea’s goalless draw with Fulham and reports in South America say a £10m deal will be confirmed…

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Beckham to have talks with Monaco

David Beckham is to speak with Monaco as he prepares for the next step in his career as his time in the MLS with LA Galaxy comes to an end, the BBC has reported. Beckham announced earlier this month that he would leave Los Angeles at the end of the season and has been linked with a host of clubs across the world, including Paris Saint-Germain, managed by Beckham’s former Milan boss Carlo Ancelotti. Monaco are currently in the French second division, Ligue 2, but are top of the table,…

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Nastasic grateful for help of Man City captain Kompany

Matija Nastasic believes that Manchester City teammate Vincent Kompany has helped him settle into life in the Premier League, according to Sky Sports. The young Serbian defender signed from Fiorentina in the summer in a deal that saw Stefan Savic move in the opposite direction, and after starting in City’s last eight matches, Nastasic has embedded himself in the heart of the defence alongside Kompany. The two have built a strong partnership in recent weeks, with City keeping six clean sheets this season and only conceding on average 0.71 goals…

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Tottenham’s Dempsey looking forward to Fulham return

Clint Dempsey left Fulham for Tottenham Hotspur in the summer because he felt undervalued and unappreciated, reports Sky Sports. Dempsey has impressed since arriving at Tottenham, netting two goals in eight Premier League appearances, and has featured throughout Spurs’ Europa League campaign this season. The 29-year-old American, who enjoyed five years at Craven Cottage, was left out of the side’s pre-season tour to Switzerland and rumours of a move began to circulate the media. He moved to Spurs on deadline day in a deal worth £6m and attracted interest from…

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Liverpool hopeful that Chelsea changes won’t scupper Sturridge deal

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is keen to continue his pursuit of Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge in the January transfer window. According to the Telegraph, Rodgers is keen to boost his striking options with the signing of the England international and talks between the two clubs already having taken place at executive level. However, there are fears at Anfield that the recent managerial changes at Stamford Bridge could plunge the deal into doubt. Sturridge had been out of favour under previous Blues boss Roberto Di Matteo but it is unknown what…

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Charlton backs Rooney to break Man Utd and England scoring records

Manchester United legend Sir Bobby Charlton believes Wayne Rooney can surpass him as England’s record goal scorer, according to Sky Sports. Charlton, who scored 49 goals for England in 106 appearances said: “Wayne has the enthusiasm and talent to do it, with a fair wind he can do it and I would be very happy with that because I like Wayne.” Rooney, 27, has 32 goals in 78 appearances and is currently sixth on the all-time list of England goal scorers behind Gary Lineker, Jimmy Greaves and Michael Owen. Charlton,…

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Benitez believes Chelsea can win Premier League title

Rafael Benitez believes that Chelsea are still in the Premier League title race, according to BBC Sport. Asked whether or not Chelsea can still win the league, Benitez, appointed to replace Roberto Di Matteo, replied: “Why can’t we? It’s still a long way to go. We have to keep going. We’ll have chances.” Benitez was speaking after Wednesday night’s game at Stamford Bridge against Fulham, where his side secured a second goalless draw in his first two games. After being four points clear at the top of the league in…

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Benitez senses improvement in Chelsea striker Torres

Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez believes that Fernando Torres is already improving after less than a week under his stewardship at Stamford Bridge. Since Benitez’s arrival as manager, the Blues have endured two frustrating home goalless draws with Torres failing to catch fire in either clash against Manchester City or Fulham. However, according to Sky Sports, Benitez believes that the Spanish striker is gradually finding his form during training and could still become the striker he once managed to such devastating effect at Liverpool. “We have had maybe five training sessions…

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