Friday, 31 January 2014

Wenger '80% sure' of deadline-day signing

 Wenger '80% sure' of deadline-day signing
The Gunners boss is confident of securing a deal before the window closes, with the likes of Julian Draxler, Blaise Matuidi and Morgan Schneiderlin all having been heavily linked
Arsene Wenger insists he is "80 per cent" sure that Arsenal will announce a new signing on deadline day.

Goal exclusively reported on Thursday that the Gunners were considering a move for Miroslav Klose or Alvaro Morata as a deal for Julian Draxler looks less likely to materialise, while Wenger is also keen on a midfielder and has made an enquiry for Southampton's Morgan Schneiderlin.

And the Frenchman has now confirmed that Aaron Ramsey will be out of action for six weeks, as exclusively revealed by Goal on Tuesday, accelerating the need to sign cover before the window closes on Friday evening.
Ramsey will be out for four to six weeks. I count six weeks," he told reporters. "We are still trying to bring one body in because of Ramsey's setback and Flamini's suspension.

"I'm confident we will bring someone in today. It's 80/20 per cent chance.

"80 per cent of the activities happen on the last day. I would scrap the winter transfer window with ease."

Arsenal slipped to second place in the Premier League table following Tuesday's 2-2 draw with Southampton although Wenger is adamant that the Gunners still have plenty left in the tank in the title race.

He added: "We are in a strong position in the league so I don't see a reason why we are in an anti-climax."

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger does not feel under pressure to sign striker in January

Arsene Wenger has admitted it is difficult to find the right players in the January transfer window but stressed that the return to fitness of Theo Walcott means Arsenal are not under extra pressure to buy another striker.
Walcott is available to face former club Southampton on Saturday after spending the past couple of months sidelined by an abdominal problem which needed surgery, while Lukas Podolski is recovering from a hamstring injury which has kept him out since late August and is expected back in action by the end of December.
Olivier Giroud has shouldered the responsibility of leading the line for the Gunners this season, with Nicklas Bendtner their only other fit option up front.
Wenger has faith in Bendtner's ability but accepts that the Denmark international may be thinking of leaving in the New Year.
The Arsenal manager is not worried, though, insisting there will be not be as much urgency to bring in cover for Giroud once Walcott and Podolski are back at his disposal.
 Asked if having Walcott and Podolski fit made it less critical to go into the transfer market for a new striker, Wenger said: "Yes, Podolski is not back as well (yet), but he shouldn't be too far now.
"Theo gives us an opportunity to be a mobile striker. If we lose Giroud today we have nobody with body weight up front, apart from Bendtner.
"I think Bendtner has the level, but at the moment he doesn't get enough games - and as well, in his head, is he here or has he planned to go (in January)?"
Wenger continued: "Theo gives us qualities that other players haven't got, it is a different option.
We have a lot of players who like to come to the ball, so to have one or two who go behind and create space in the middle, it gives us options to score."
Whether or not Arsenal will move when the transfer window reopens remains to be seen, but Wenger insists it can only be for the "right player".
He added: "I don't say I never make a mistake - I certainly made some, sometimes it is because we didn't sign the right player.
"But it is always difficult in the middle of the season. If somebody is doing well somewhere, the clubs do not necessarily want to sell him. They can wait until the end of the season.
"Most of the time it is because we didn't find (him)."

Premier League: Sky sources say Crystal Palace are close to agreeing deal with Tony Pulis

Crystal Palace are close to agreeing a deal with Tony Pulis to become their new manager, according to Sky sources.
The former Stoke boss is believed to be in advanced talks with the Palace board to succeed Ian Holloway, who stepped down last month after the club won only one of their first nine games of the season.
Keith Millen has been in caretaker charge of the Premier League strugglers since Holloway's departure, and Palace ended a run of seven straight defeats in the goalless draw with Everton prior to the international break.
Millen will again oversee the first team for Saturday's trip to Hull, but the club now appear set to announce the appointment of Pulis.
The 55-year-old, who has never been relegated as a manager, has been out of work since his second spell at Stoke ended in May.

Premier League: Manuel Pellegrini hints that Joe Hart will stay on Manchester City bench

Manuel Pellegrini has hinted that goalkeeper Joe Hart will remain on the Manchester City bench against Tottenham.
Hart was dropped for Costel Pantilimon after a defeat at Chelsea last month and has sat out City's past four games.
The goalkeeper started for England against Germany in midweek and kept the score down to 1-0 with several eye-catching saves.
Pellegrini was impressed but, pressed for answers ahead of Sunday's Sky live game against Spurs at the Etihad Stadium, suggested that Hart would remain among the City substitutes.
He said: "I can't continue to always answer about Hart and Pantilimon.
"Both are very good goalkeepers. Now we are playing Pantilimon, so Hart must wait.
"We'll see what happens in the future. With all the players in the squad - not only the keepers - I have to choose the final starting 11 each week.
"We'll see - it depends on the performance of him and the performance of Pantilimon also."
Continuing to discuss Hart, he added: "It was very important for him to play with England. It was an important game for England against Germany, it is a good test. I think he did very well."
Pellegrini was asked to explain his suggestion earlier this week Hart would benefit from a run out of the side.
He said: "He played the last two and a half years all the games in the Premier League. All the players are human and can have a bad moment."
The Chilean also stressed that he has confidence in Pantilimon, adding: "If I was worried about him, he would not be here. We'd have changed him at the beginning of the year.
"He remains here because he is a good keeper as well."
City go into the weekend with an injury list still including David Silva and captain Vincent Kompany, who has lost his fight to be fit for the Spurs game.
"Vincent is still working," continued Pellegrini, "recovering from his last injury. Maybe the next week he will work with the whole team."
Given the amount of time Kompany has spent out with muscle problems in the past two years, Pellegrini was repeatedly asked whether the matter was a serious concern.
"Of course," he said. "He is a very important player for the team but when we started the season we had a squad which would help us if this happened.
"We have other centre-backs who are playing at the moment but Vincent is always an important player.
"We are doing all the things we need to understand why he has so many injuries. I'm not a doctor. I talk with him but I can't tell you the opinion."

Premier League: Cardiff's Ben Turner says Manchester United strikeforce is best

Manchester United duo Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney are the Premier League's best strikeforce, says Cardiff's Ben Turner.
The Bluebirds' centre-half and his team-mates play host to defending champions United on Sunday, bringing the 25-year-old up against van Persie and Rooney.
Turner has already faced the likes of Sergio Aguero, Fernando Torres and Roberto Soldado this season, but has no doubt who the top sharpshooters are in the division
He said: "If I had to pick one combination up top, I would probably go for them because they are tried and tested.
"They know they are world class and they know their jobs.
"There are other strike partnerships that could potentially be the best, but I don't think there is a partnership with that many goals or experience, two players at the same club like that."
Despite having seen of Manchester City's vaunted attack earlier in the season, Turner admits he enters every game fully aware of the consequences of not performing at his best.
"Everyone is different and everyone prepares differently. That's the way I have gone into games, ever since I have been in football to be honest," he said.
"The fear of failure drives people on. There is no bigger motivation for me because I don't want to fail.
"That's massive for me in terms of my preparation. I think it goes through the squad.
"There are not many people in our squad who have cut it at the top all their careers, so for lads getting a first crack at it there is no other way to look at it.
"You are not going to stay in the Premier League if you are not performing so I think you have to feel like that."
Turner has experienced success against United before, having been part of the Coventry side that knocked the Red Devils out of the League Cup at Old Trafford back in 2007.
That was against a second-string United team, and he knows the team he faces Sunday will be a different proposition entirely.
"I want to play against the best players. I remember playing against Manchester United in the cup when I was at Coventry and we beat them," he said.
"But it wasn't the first team so whilst it was brilliant to beat them, you still felt it would be great to play against the actual big hitters if you like."

Friday, 22 November 2013

Santi Cazorla admits he would have loved Arsenal to sign Liverpool's Luis Suarez

 Santi Cazorla has admitted he would have "loved it" if Arsenal had signed Liverpool striker Luis Suarez in the summer.
Arsenal courted Suarez all summer as they looked to add to their attacking options, but Liverpool rebuffed their attempts to lure the Uruguayan away from Anfield.
Cazorla is a big admirer of Suarez and felt he would have been a perfect addition to Arsene Wenger's side, but was delighted the club made up for missing out on the forward by splashing out big to land Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid.
"Suarez's incredible. I'd have loved it if he had come; his style would have suited us," Cazorla told The Guardian. "Arsenal did all they could and he wouldn't have minded.
"But Liverpool didn't want to sell, which they're entirely entitled to do, and he's playing incredibly again.
"It's a pity he's not on our team! [Arsenal] saw some doors shut and, when they saw the chance to get Mesut, it was an opportunity to thump a fist on the desk, to make a statement. He's a superb signing. He's brought illusion, optimism and hope."
 Cazorla also revealed he felt like a little kid when Arsenal signed Ozil, conceding he was surprised that Real were willing to sell the Germany international.
"I spoke to friends of mine at Madrid who told me that Mesut was talking to Arsenal and that he wanted to leave," added Cazorla.
"You think, 'How are Madrid going to let Mesut get away?' He's one of the best players in the world and the truth is you don't really believe it.
"Then one day the manager said to us, 'We've signed Mesut, he's going for his medical'.
"I was like a little kid.
"I knew that a great player was coming and that because of the way he plays, he was going to be a perfect fit for us."

Michael Carrick signs new Manchester United deal until 2015

Michael Carrick has signed a new contract with Manchester United.
The midfielder's extended deal ties him to United until the summer of 2015, with the option of a further year.
His previous contact was due to expire at the end of the current season.
Carrick, who has won five Premier League titles and one Champions League since joining from Tottenham in 2006, said: "It's great to extend my contract at this club. I am really enjoying my football.
"The club has gone through a few changes and working under David Moyes has been fantastic. I have won many trophies in my years playing here and I am looking forward to achieving more in the future."
Moyes said: "I am delighted Michael has extended his contract. During my short time at the club it hasn't been hard to notice that Michael is a great reader of the game and has excellent passing ability.
"He is an exceptional man and a true professional and it's great that he has committed himself to the club."
Carrick is currently recovering from an Achilles injury and is not expected back before mid-December.
With Carrick and Phil Jones both missing Sunday's trip to Cardiff, United boss Moyes will be selecting from 39-year-old Ryan Giggs, £27.5million new boy Marouane Fellaini, who has taken time to adapt following his summer deadline-day move from Everton, Tom Cleverley and Anderson, who has rarely impressed on a consistent basis in over six years at the club.
Anderson, meanwhile, insisted earlier this week that he is determined to fight for his place at United after starting just twice under Moyes this season.
"I have played only two games this season and I tried to do my very best for the team. But it is very hard when you only play a small part now and then," he told the Manchester Evening News.
"But I am not unhappy. I am enjoying it and I know I will be ready whenever the manager picks me.
"I haven't spoken to David Moyes about my situation because I think I have a good situation at the moment. I love this club and I have been here for over six years.
"I am only 25 years old and I have about seven years' football left in me. So I have time on my side and I am happy at Old Trafford.
"I had a lot of injuries last season. I have come back now to help United. I came back in pre-season and felt good and I have been fit now all season.
"I just have to wait for the moment and when it comes for me then I have to take that opportunity."
Darren Fletcher is another midfielder United are currently unable to call upon, with the Scotland international battling to recover from a serious ulcerative colitis condition.

Fletcher has not featured for Manchester United for almost a year, but former team-mate Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has backed him to complete a remarkable return to top-level action.
The Molde boss said: "It's fantastic news that Darren is on his way back. I was over in Manchester about a month ago and I was lucky enough to bump into Fletch and he said he was on the road to recovery.
"I just met him purely by chance outside the supermarket and it was great to see him. I could see just from talking to him that his tail was really up because he's had a rough time of it, obviously.
"It's funny to think I played in his Scotland debut in Oslo. I remember that game well, we actually swapped shirts afterwards and I've still got it at home - I was thinking of digging it out and putting it on for the game on Tuesday night.
"I actually played in Fletch's reserve team debut for Manchester United, I was in the reserves quite a lot!
"I'm not sure he was even 16 at that time but I remember it was a game at Everton and you could just see then that you were watching a fantastic talent."