- Schalke’s Dennis Aogo has volunteered getting food to the needy for Xmas with his mum [Pictures]
- Rio Ferdinand dresses as Santa, tells people not to drink too much over Christmas [Instagram]
- The FIFA 2015 HONEST trailer is Awesome!!! [Video]
- Louis van Gaal’s Christmas message features some cracking recent Man United goals!
- Neymar bleaches his beard white for Christmas!
Adams rips in Arsenal, Rooney to stay at Man United, Everton in for Kone & Honda & Spurs’ £20m Benteke bid
Comment & analysis round-up
Quote of the day: “It’s time that Arsenal won something again, even the FA Cup or League Cup. But I can’t see it, to be honest. They are still not good enough in certain areas of the team. And they are miles off the title… [New Arsenal chairman Chips Keswick] is a great guy but not a very imaginative choice by the owner. And he is 73. If they just wanted a figurehead, they should have gone for me. It would have been a better visionary decision than Chips.” – Tony Adams.
Runner-up: “I have had a friendship for some time with the president of PSG. He is a friend, (we) speak regularly but my commitment is with Tottenham. It was the club that allowed me to return to the Premier League and I feel good there.: – Andre Villas-Boas.
Man Up: Target Bale
David Moyes has Gareth Bale in his sights (John Richardson, Express) New Manchester United boss David Moyes returns from holiday this week determined to make a spectacular signing to launch his Old Trafford reign. With £17million young midfielder Thiago Alcantara virtually in the bag from Barcelona and a similar bid in for Benfica central defender Ezequiel Garay, Moyes – who doesn’t officially begin work at United until July 1 – has still been given clearance by his new employers to smash the club’s transfer record. Sunday Express Sport can reveal that Tottenham’s Gareth Bale, Barcelona’s former Arsenal star Cesc Fabregas, Borussia Dortmund’s Robert Lewandowski and old boy Cristiano Ronaldo are all in his sights.
Arsenal Eye Rooney, Greek CB
Strike a deal! Wenger sees Rooney as the perfect link for Higuain at Arsenal (Rob Draper, Mail) Arsenal are willing to follow up their prospective £22million signing of Gonzalo Higuain from Real Madrid with an audacious £20m bid for Wayne Rooney – with Arsene Wenger keen on playing Manchester United’s England star in an attacking midfield role behind the Argentina striker.
Wayne Rooney ready to tell David Moyes and Manchester United that he wants to stay (Simon Mullock, People) Wayne Rooney will tell David Moyes that he wants to stay at Manchester United… Moyes’ six-year contract doesn’t start until next Monday, but he has made deciding the future of Rooney his top priority. Chelsea and Arsenal are waiting to pounce if he decides that the No.10 is surplus to requirements.
Manchester United likely to offer Wayne Rooney a new deal to stay (Jamie Jackson, Observer) Wayne Rooney will tell David Moyes that he wants a fresh start at Manchester United when he holds his first serious discussions with the new manager this week… Only two years remain on Rooney’s current £300,000-a-week contract and if fresh terms can be agreed they will be on a more incentivised basis, in line with a widespread move in the domestic game.
Arsenal target Schalke’s Kyriakos Papadopoulos in bid to strengthen centre of defence (Matt Law, People) Manager Arsene Wenger wants to strengthen the centre of his defence this summer and has also been trailing Swansea’s Ashley Williams. But there has been little progress over a deal for Williams and Schalke star Papadopoulos is viewed as a potential alternative, along with Saint-Etienne teenager Kurt Zouma. Liverpool and Chelsea have also been tracking 21-year-old Papadopoulos, who has been capped 16 times by Greece. Schalke have been publicly claiming interested clubs would have to meet the £19million buy-out clause to sign Papadopoulos. But sources close to the player and the German club believe he could leave for £13million.
Ashley Williams ready to tell Swansea City he wants to move to Arsenal (Luke Edwards, Telegraph) Arsenal have shown interest in the Wales international but have baulked at Swansea’s £10 million valuation, while two of Williams’s former managers, Everton’s Roberto Martínez and Liverpool’s Brendan Rodgers, could also look to be reunited with him.
Spurs Land Paulinho
Paulinho set to join influx of foreign players to Premier League (Steve Tongue, Independent) Tottenham are moving closer to signing the Brazil midfielder Paulinho from Corinthians. The 24-year-old, who is part of Luiz Felipe Scolari’s Confederations Cup squad, is expected to move to White Hart Lane in a deal worth around £15 million. Paulinho will become the latest overseas recruit to the Premier League alongside the Sevilla forward Luis Alberto, who has joined Liverpool for £6.8m. Of the two-dozen major transfers to Premier League clubs this summer, fewer than six have been domestic players. The only high-profile move has been Andy Carroll from Liverpool to West Ham.
Everton: Kone 2013, Honda
Kone ’n get me! (Vic Holly, Sun) Arouna Kone has opened the door to a move to Liverpool or Everton by declaring he wants to quit Wigan. The Ivory Coast striker scored 13 goals after his £3.5million move from Spanish club Levante last summer and helped the Latics win the FA Cup… Liverpool, Everton – managed by Martinez – and Crystal Palace lead the race for the 29-year-old, now rated at £10m.
Roberto Martinez revved up for Keisuke Honda at Everton (Steve Morgan, Star) Everton, Aston Villa and long-term admirers Tottenham will lead the charge for Honda, who is currently on Confederations Cup duty with his country in Brazil. New Toffees boss Roberto Martinez is keen to make him his first signing since checking in as David Moyes’ successor at Goodison because of concerns about Marouane Fellaini’s future.
Suarez: Real’s Waiting Game
Liverpool fear Real Madrid will wait until the end of August to make Luis Suarez transfer move (Simon Mullock, People) Liverpool have warned Real Madrid that they should put up or shut up over Luis Suarez… By making a move at the end of August, they could save on wages, which would need to be in excess of the £120,000-a-week he earns at Anfield. And if they make a bid that is less than the £40million buy-out clause in Suarez’s contract, the Spanish giants know Liverpool would have to decide whether they should accept the offer or keep an unhappy player.
Chelsea Close On Van Ginkel
Chelsea set to beat Man United to signing of Dutch star Van Ginkel (Mail) Chelsea are close to signing £9million Vitesse Arnhem’s Marco van Ginkel after the Holland midfielder was reassured he will feature in Jose Mourinho’s starting line-up.
Jose Mourinho’s wanted men: Euro giants eye £100m Chelsea stars (Colin Mafham, Expess) Chelsea and Jose Mourinho were last night bracing themselves for a £100million raid on three of their prize assets. Juan Mata, David Luiz and Fernando Torres are all being eyed by European giants Barcelona, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and Napoli. And emerging striker Romelu Lukaku is also wanted by both Premier League and European rivals.
Villa: Getting Bent & Losing Benteke
Aston Villa face £13million loss on Darren Bent – and may need to pay him for TWO more years (Matt Law, People) Villa’s attempts to play hardball over Bent are set to fail, despite claiming they will not accept less than £8million for the 29-year-old. Newcastle, Fulham and Hull are interested, but won’t pay more than £5million.
Tottenham offer £20m for big Aston Villa hitman Christian Benteke (Tony Stenson, Star) Daily Star Sunday sources revealed White Hart Lane top brass have made enquiries over the Belgium international and are ready to open talks about a £20million deal. But that doesn’t include Jermain Defoe going in the opposite direction, although they would willingly part with Emmanuel Adebayor.
Is The Premier League English Enough?
I’m thrilled to Brits (Harry Redknapp, Sun) Finally some things made in Britain of which we can be proud. Malky Mackay, Steve Bruce and Ian Holloway fly the flag for Team GB as the managers who got their clubs promoted from the Championship… Before everyone starts to write these clubs off for next season, just think about what they have done. Could Wenger, Benitez or Mancini have done that with the players those three had last season? If you put Mackay, Bruce and Holloway in charge of Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal next year they would still finish in the top four because it’s the clubs which have got them there.
WANTED! New stars for the Premier League… Englishmen need not apply (Joe Bernstein, Mail) Premier League clubs are shunning English footballing talent as never before — with just three of the 29 players signed so far during this summer’s transfer window being home-grown. With French-born Argentine Gonzalo Higuain, and Spanish duo Isco and Luis Alberto preparing to join fellow Spaniard Jesus Navas and Brazilian Fernandinho in the Premier League, this summer’s transfer window is already proving to be a catastrophe for English players. Almost 90 per cent of the deals concluded so far have involved foreigners, underlining the fear that Englishmen are becoming an increasingly unwanted commodity for the country’s biggest clubs. The percentage is set to rise even higher in the coming weeks as deals for German Andre Schurrle, Spain’s Iago Aspas and others are set to be confirmed.
Stop buying foreign players! FA chiefs Bernstein and Burnham blast Premier League for failing English players (Joe Bernstein, Mail) The Premier League yesterday came under unprecedented attack for having too much power – and not giving enough opportunities to English footballers. The criticism – from the outgoing FA chairman David Bernstein and the former Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Andy Burnham – came as figures showed that only three of the 29 signings made by Premier League clubs so far during the summer transfer window have involved English players.
- Updated: June 23, 2013