Swansea set to sign highly-rated Matt Grimes from Exeter City

According to BBC Sport, Swansea are close to completing the signing of talented young midfielder Matt Grimes from Exeter City, in a deal costing around £1.75M. The 19-year-old was named Exeter’s Player of the Season for 2013/14, and has been linked with a host of Premier League clubs in the last 12 months as a result of his fine form. Grimes, an England U20 international, has scored four goals and made four assists for the Grecians this season, and impressed during City’s televised FA Cup clash against Warrington Town in…

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger wants independent diving panel

With diving back on the agenda this season following a host of controversial incidents, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger wants to see an independent diving panel, reports BBC Sport. The 65-year-old wants a panel full of people with “experience in the game” to punish “obvious cases”. “I am against diving, but the only way players will stop doing it is if they can get punished. We should punish after the game. The problem will be to decide when it was obvious diving or not. That is a big issue and sometimes…

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Swansea City midfielder Jonjo Shelvey is not for sale despite manager criticism

Swansea manager Garry Monk has played down exit talk for midfielder Jonjo Shelvey, insisting his recent criticism was not a precursor for a January move, reports BBC Sport. Monk was critical of the ex-Liverpool midfielder, calling him “lazy” ahead of City’s 4-1 defeat against his former club, and Shelvey has recently picked up a four-match ban for violent conduct on Liverpool’s Emre Can. But the City boss has no intention to sell him. “It was not my intention to give the impression I do not want Jonjo here. That is…

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Hull City manager Steve Bruce rules himself out of the vacant Newcastle job

Hull City manager Steve Bruce has found himself linked with the vacant managerial position at Newcastle, due to the 54-year-old being a Newcastle supporter in his younger years, but he played down such speculation recently, reports BBC Sport. “I am determined to see this through (with Hull) and make sure we stay in the Premier League. It’s very flattering (to be linked with Newcastle) as I’m a Geordie but that’s it. I have a job to do here and that’s all I am focused on. I have turned down three…

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West Brom set to appoint Tony Pulis as new head coach

According to BBC Sport, West Brom will name Tony Pulis as their new head coach on a two-and-a-half-year deal. The former Stoke City and Crystal Palace manager is still finalising the details of his move, with control over transfers being a particular requirement for his services. West Brom notoriously work with a sporting director and technical director, who liaise with the chairman about potential deals, but Pulis wants the responsibility. West Brom face West Ham on New Year’s Day, with Pulis expected to be present at the ground to watch…

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Aston Villa midfielder Fabian Delph loses appeal for red card

Aston Villa have failed in their attempts to appeal the red card given to midfielder Fabian Delph for a late challenge on Jordi Gomez, reports BBC Sport. The 25-year-old was given a straight red card by referee Martin Atkinson, which made him the third Villa player in four games to be sent off. The club successfully appealed a previous red card picked up by Gabriel Agbonlahor, but failed with Delph’s. The Football Association also warned the Midlands club of future conduct, with the indiscipline starting to become an issue this…

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Crystal Palace caretaker manager Keith Millen wants speed resolution to manager search

Following the news that Newcastle manager Alan Pardew is set to become the new Crystal Palace boss, current caretaker manager Keith Millen has said he wants the situation “solved pretty quickly”, reports BBC Sport. Crystal Palace recently sacked manager Neil Warnock, and immediately Newcastle’s Alan Pardew was the bookies favourite to take over. Keith Millen is assuming the responsibilities for now, and while he would like the opportunity to have the job full time, he wants the London club to come to a speedy resolution. “When I’ve done this before…

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West Brom play down Berahino exit rumours

West Bromwich Albion have dismissed the rumours linking striker Saido Berahino with a £23M move to Liverpool in the January transfer, calling such speculation “fabrication”, reports BBC Sport. “Ok time to clear a few things up. One final time, this Berahino to (Liverpool) story for £23m is and always has been an entire fabrication…” said the club’s official account. Berahino, 21, has scored seven goals this season. Such form lead to him being called up for the England national team, and he admitted that he’d consider an exit away from…

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Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard out for six weeks with calf injury

According to BBC Sport, Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard will be out of action for up to six weeks with a calf injury. The US international, 35, was brought of at half-time in Everton’s 1-0 defeat to Stoke City on Boxing Day. Joel Robles took his place, and is now expected to deputise in Howard’s absence. Manager Roberto Martinez said: “I thought Joel was very calm against Stoke and did well against Newcastle, but we will assess whether we need cover.” “Tim will be out for between five and six weeks.…

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John Carver & Steve Stone to be Newcastle joint-caretaker managers following Pardew exit

With Newcastle manager Alan Pardew on the brink of a shock move to Crystal Palace, coaches John Carver and Steve Stone will take charge of the Magpies’ next two matches, reports BBC Sport. Alan Pardew didn’t take training for Newcastle today, and Crystal Palace have since agreed a compensation fee to appoint the 53-year-old. As a result, Newcastle have looked towards their senior coaching bench to get the, through the next couple of matches while they look at finding a replacement. Newcastle are currently 10th in the Premier League, with…

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Chelsea fail in world record Bale bid

Chelsea attempted to trump Manchester United’s mooted interest in Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale, Football Espana has reported, only for the Champions League holders to reject the world record offer. Reports in Spain claim the Blues bid €130m for the former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder in an effort to gazump their Premier League rivals. It’s suggested that Madrid could be forced into selling Bale should the two interested parties get into a bidding war, but club President Florentino Perez has said Bale will never be sold. Chelsea’s offer was said to…

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Szczesny: Arsenal still in Premier League title race

Wojciech Szczesny has said Arsenal are still in the race to land the Premier League title this season and wants to see the team keep the pressure on the top two, Manchester City and Chelsea, the Daily Mail has reported. Szczesny revealed that the Gunners’ aim for the Christmas and New Year period was to claim nine points out of a possible nine and with wins over Queens Park Rangers and West Ham, they are on course to meet that goal. Southampton – a place higher in the table than…

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Coloccini a contender to succeed Pardew at Newcastle

Fabricio Coloccini could be handed the chance to succeed Alan Pardew at Newcastle United should the current manager replace Neil Warnock at Crystal Palace, the Independent has reported. Pardew is understood to be close to making a return to Selhurst Park, having played for the Eagles in the early 1990s, after Warnock was sacked following a Boxing Day defeat to Southampton which left the club in the Premier League’s bottom three. Keith Millen has taken over as caretaker but Pardew is thought to be in the frame for the permanent…

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‘Bale isn’t for sale,’ Real Madrid tell Man Utd

Real Madrid President Florentino Perez has moved to end speculation linking Gareth Bale with Manchester United by insisting the winger isn’t for sale, according to Football Espana. It has been suggested that United want to bring Bale back to the Premier League from La Liga, with Madrid interested in signing Spain international goalkeeper David De Gea in return, but Perez insists there is no chance Bale will leave the club – in the near future or at any other time. “Bale is not for sale and we will never listen…

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Arsenal hoping to wrap up quick Perrin transfer

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is keen to get a new centre-back at the Emirates Stadium early in the January transfer window, with Saint Etienne’s Loic Perrin the target, the Daily Telegraph has reported. The Gunners are said to have a kitty of £20m with which to operate and the desire to sign Perrin is motivated by concerns over the fitness of Laurent Koscielny and the readiness of Calum Chambers. Koscielny, it’s felt, struggles to play three games in a week due to an Achilles injury, while Chambers is burdened by…

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Sherwood or Pulis set to replace Irvine at West Brom

Tim Sherwood or Tony Pulis will be the new manager of West Bromwich Albion after it was confirmed by the club that Alan Irvine has left his position after less than seven months in charge, the Guardian has reported. Irvine was appointed at the Hawthorns over the summer after Pepe Mel left the club and had been working at Everton’s academy. The Scot was previously assistant to David Moyes at Goodison Park and had spells as manager of Preston North End and Sheffield Wednesday in between his two stints on…

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Liverpool vs Swansea – Premier League preview and team news

Liverpool will be aiming to close the gap on the Premier League’s top four to five points by beating a Swansea City side that is looking for a third win in succession. The home side had to survive several nervy moments in their last match at Burnley before Raheem Sterling provided them with the only goal to earn a victory to go with their recent upturn in performances, which has coincided with the winger playing in a front three alongside Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana. The game at Turf Moor…

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Newcastle striker Cisse hit by FA charge

The Football Association has charged Newcastle United striker Papiss Cisse with violent conduct after he appeared to elbow Everton’s Seamus Coleman during the meeting between the sides on Sunday, writes Sky Sports. The incident took place as the duo were jostling ahead of a Newcastle corner, with Cisse swinging at Coleman twice before raising his elbow for a third time, making contact with the Irish full-back. However, he was allowed to stay on the pitch as the clash went unseen by referee Craig Pawson. Cisse then went on to net…

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Fernandinho positive over Man City title chances

Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho is remaining positive over his side’s aspirations of retaining the Premier League title despite missing the chance to close the gap on leaders Chelsea, Sky Sports has reported. The Brazilian found the net with a powerful rising shot after 33 minutes to double City’s lead over Burnley on Sunday, but the champions allowed Sean Dyche’s side to battle back in the second half and take a share the spoils thanks to goals from George Boyd and Ashley Barnes. Had they managed to hold on, City would…

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Sturridge return can inspire Liverpool towards top four, believes Lallana

Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana believes that the scheduled return of striker Daniel Sturridge in January can inspire them to finishing the season in the Premier League’s top four, reports the Liverpool Echo. Sturridge played the club’s first three games of the season, inspiring them to wins over Southampton and Tottenham, but has proved a huge miss since suffering injury at the end of August, with further problems having hampered his recovery on two occasions since he was initially ruled out. None of Liverpool’s strikers have scored a significant number of…

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Kramaric agrees terms with Chelsea

Chelsea have agreed terms with Rijeka striker Andrej Kramaric over a deal to sign the highly-rated Croatian during the January transfer window, the Metro has reported. Jose Mourinho appears to have won the race for the much sought after 23-year-old, who had been linked with a move to Premier League rivals Leicester City – who failed with a bid to sign Kramaric earlier in December – and Tottenham. A contract has reportedly been agreed, meaning that the two clubs must now only decide on an acceptable fee. And that does…

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QPR midfielder Taarabt set for return to Milan

Queens Park Rangers midfielder Adel Taarabt is set to join Milan on loan for a second time in January after seemingly being deemed surplus to requirements at Loftus Road, according to Talksport. The Moroccan spent the second half of last season with the seven-time European champions after his time at Fulham was cut short by then Cottagers boss Rene Meulensteen. He made 16 appearances during that spell in Italy, finding the net four times. Having joined QPR in 2009 from Tottenham, Taarabt was a key member of the side that…

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Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris praises team spirit following draw against Manchester United

After Tottenham played out a goalless draw at home to Manchester United, goalkeeper Hugo Lloris was full of praise for the side for a “spirited” performance, reports ITV Football. “They (United) had a great first half but we stayed in the game because we were strong defensively and kept fighting. We have to congratulate the team because the spirit was great,” he said. Tottenham rode their luck somewhat in the first-half, but created a lot of chances of their own during their draw against the Red Devils. Ryan Mason missed…

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Swansea manager Garry Monk critical of Jonjo Shelvey indiscipline

After Swansea’s Jonjo Shelvey picked up his seventh yellow card of the season, which led to him being substituted as a precaution, manager Garry Monk called the English midfielder “lazy” and wants improvement, reports Sky Sports. “We can’t afford silly bookings and it cost him being on the pitch against Villa because any slight mistimed tackle could have been a red card. I will push him every single day. He needs to understand the time for being lazy with it is gone,” said the City boss. Shelvey has been in…

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