Monday, July 30, 2012

The Red Issue Forum letter to Sir Alex Ferguson

This letter was written by long standing United fans who post on the Red Issue Main Forum, I didn't have any part in writing it but would be happy to sign it.

I post it here in the hope that it receives a wider audience, especially today of all days when the Glazers again show their true colours with an IPO that enriches themselves and leaves the club in debt.
Dear Sir Alex,  
As lifelong Manchester United fans, we are disappointed and concerned by quotes attributed to you in a recent interview. Many of us are the same fans who protested to denounce Cubic Expression back in 2005. These are the same fans who had previously offered you their unwavering support during your private dispute over Rock of Gibraltar's breeding rights, despite Cubic Expression raising some very pertinent questions. In the spirit of fairness, we would like to invite you to clarify these comments by responding to a brief summary of our concerns:
1. You suggested that ‘the majority of real fans will look at it [Glazer ownership] and see that it’s not affecting the team’. Can you clarify what constitutes a real fan? 
2. With thousands of fans leaving the club in protest over the Glazer regime, do you consider these time-served reds to be less than real fans? 
3. Have you personally met with any of the dissenters to determine how deep their commitment and affection for United may be?
4. What are your thoughts on an atmosphere which gets markedly worse each season as more and more local, traditional fans are marginalised and alienated from the club? 
5. You are also quoted in the interview as claiming ‘I’m absolutely comfortable with the Glazers situation. They’ve been great’. You are clearly aware of the opposition from the United fan base - does that not make you uncomfortable in any way?
6. What, in your view, would constitute poor owners?
7. You have repeatedly claimed to have been backed financially whenever you have requested transfer funds. Is this your only consideration when determining what represents great ownership?
8. You continued the interview by saying that, ‘the salaries, agent fees – is just getting ridiculous now’. Whilst we agree in tone, it does represent a sea change in attitude from pre Glazer transfers. Agent fees in both the Ferdinand and Rooney transfers were criticised at the time for being excessive, so why does the club now refuse to meet market conditions for the top players? 
9. Do you believe Jorge Mendes’s £2.6m cut of the Bébé transfer, a full 35% of the total fee paid, represented good value?
10. With more than £250k leaving the club each day to service the Glazer debt, totalling over £500m since the takeover, is it so reprehensible for us to question your constant references to ‘value’?
Given your personal background and previous support for fan involvement we hope you take the trouble to respond to our deep concerns about both the club’s situation and the wording of the interview quoted. 
Concerned Manchester United Fans

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Ronaldo, Iniesta & Pirlo's Team of Euro 2012 v Neymar, Suarez & Cavani's Team of the Olympics

With the football feast set to continue in the London Olympics, lines up the strongest possible XI from the Summer Games alongside our all-star Euro 2012 team.

Barely a month after Euro 2012 drew to a close, another football tournament is about to get underway as the Olympics look to keep us entertained until the European club season kicks off.

The football tournament in the Summer Games has grown in stature as more high-profile, experienced superstars jostle for a place in their respective squads. No longer is it just another event at the Olympics, it is now almost a major football championship in itself. In the 2012 edition, household names around the globe such as Neymar, Mata, Luis Suarez, Ryan Giggs, Mohamed Aboutrika, Hulk, and Park Chu-Young will be on show as they search for gold and glory. 
There's a no-contest in goal. Widely regarded as the best shot-stopper in the world today,Iker Casillas is also one of the most successful players of all time. De Gea, in the strongest Olympic XI, is considered Spain's future No.1 and heir to Iker's throne, but he has a long way to go still. However, he is on the right path having won, like Casillas did, his first Uefa club trophy at just 19 years of age.

Despite Romario's fiery complaints about Brazil's defensive strength in their Olympic squad, the Selecao do provide three players in our best Olympic XI, three stoppers who are certainly a match for our Euro 2012 Team of the Tournament back line. Vasilis Torosidis may not be one of the more high-profile full-backs in the game, but he has the edge over a young Danilo who has yet to really make his mark, with Maicon and Dani Alves duopolising the right-back position in Brazil's senior side.

The centre-back pairings of Pepe-Gerard Pique and Micah Richards-Thiago Silva have the potential to excel in any tournament team. Pepe had a stellar league campaign with Real Madrid and imposed his authority throughout the Euros, but Pique added another international title to his collection and boosted his reputation with a flawless showing in Poland and Ukraine without his Barcelona mentor Carles Puyol. It's only fitting that he is partnered by the man considered the best centre-back in the world today, PSG's mega-money signingThiago Silva

The left-back slot will likely be the most closely contested. With Euro 2012 revelation Jordi Alba also appearing in the London games, the berth in our strongest Olympics XI goes to Marcelo. The two are very similar players, often preferring to attack than defend, and they both regularly exhibit a penchant for scoring goals or providing assists. While Alba has risen to the top at the Euros, Marcelo, who is only one year older than his counterpart, has already won praise as the best in his position in the game. 

While the Euro XI's midfield five consist of three in front of the back line and two behind the striker, the wealth of attacking talent on parade in London sees the Olympians line up with three attacking midfielders with a classic double-pivot behind them. It's hard to see past the trio of Sami Khedira, Andrea Pirlo and Daniele De Rossi in the defensive roles, especially up against new Palermo signing Arevalo Rios who has yet to play a single club game in Europe, and an inexperienced albeit improving Javi Martinez. Every team needs a perfect balance of brains and brawn at the heart of the pitch, and De Rossi's bare-knuckle approach is wonderfully complemented by the mastery of Pirlo.

In the more advanced positions, there's enough quality to light up any team in the world. Luis Suarez and David Silva are certainly no lightweights, but individually they are overshadowed by the precocious skill of Neymar, the elegance and trickery of Andres Iniesta, and the power and ferocity of Hulk

Finally, up front the teams boast two of the most prolific sharp-shooters from the past season, with Cristiano Ronaldo leading the Euro 2012 Best XI and Edinson Cavani spearheading the Olympic team. The Uruguayan's tally of 33 goals in 47 competitive outings for club side Napoli in 2011-12 would make any striker in the world envious, but Ronaldo, although not a typical No.9, has a goalscoring proficiency that is matched only by Lionel Messi over the last two years.

It's no surprise then that with exponentially more experience and big-game performances under their belts, seven players from the European Championship team eclipsed their opposite numbers from the London games, with only four of the Olympians - all Brazilians - getting the better of the stars from Poland and Ukraine. 

Below, presents the best combined XI from the Euro 2012 and Olympic sides in a 4-2-3-1 formation.

Would Liverpool FC striker Andy Carroll join Sunderland FC?

Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill has admitted he would love to sign Liverpool striker Andy Carroll.
Andy Carroll
Carroll, who joined Liverpool from Sunderland's rivals Newcastle at the start of 2011 for a club record £35million, has been linked with a number of clubs in recent days after it emerged that manager Brendan Rodgers is ready to offload him this summer.
Newcastle are keen on re-signing the 23-year-old should they be able to agree a fee with the Merseysiders, while West Ham are also interested.
But O'Neill has become the latest manager to throw his hat into the ring.
"Andy Carroll is a really good player, a really good player. Would he come to Sunderland?" the Northern Irishman was quoted by The Sun as saying.
"He is a very fine player."
Liverpool chairman Tom Werner earlier this week hinted that the club could make a decision on whether to sell Carroll in the near future.
Newcastle last week had a loan bid for the England international rejected but are expected to return with an improved offer, while in addition to West Ham, Carroll has also been linked with AC Milan, Aston Villa, and Fulham.
Werner insists Rodgers will have the final say on whether the target man will be sold during the transfer window.
"Brendan is clearly the leader here," he told Sky Sports News.
"The only thing I can say is we will do what is best for the club.
"At the moment Andy is on the squad, he is an important member of the England team and he has a lot of talent. We will see what happens."
And he added: "Hopefully the question will be answered shortly, but at the moment Andy is on the team and we look forward to him contributing."

Manchester United prepare Baines move but set £12m limit on Everton defender

The Merseyside club are ready to offer the second-choice England left-back an improved new contract to ward off sustained interest from the Old Trafford heavyweights.

Leighton Baines
Manchester United are ready to make a move for Leighton Baines but have set a £12 million limit on signing the Everton defender. understands that capturing Baines remains a priority for Sir Alex Ferguson as he looks to secure a long-term successor for 31-year-old Patrice Evra.
The interest from Old Trafford has not yet progressed beyond informal discussions but United are ready to step up their chase and could even make their first formal offer for the left-back next week. 
However, the 19-times league champions are not willing to pay more than £12m for a player that Everton value at £17m and have decided to limit their salary package to £80,000-a-week. 
Everton are ready to offer Baines an improved contract to keep hold of a player who manager David Moyes regards as vital to his plans.
The 27-year-old was named in the PFA Premier League team of the year following an outstanding 2011-12 campaign and Everton's system is built around his raids from left-back. He is also the team's set-piece specialist.
As revealed last month, United fringe players such as Ji-Sung Park and the Da Silva twins, Fabio and Rafael, were mentioned as possible sweeteners in a deal for Baines.
However, Everton would prefer a straight cash deal and Park and Fabio have subsequently joined QPR on permanent and loan deals, respectively.
Speaking at the end of May, Baines described United's reported interest in him as a big compliment: "The United link is flattering. There is no harm in people talking about it because it is a great club. But I'm at a great club as well, a club that I love.
"Would it be hard to turn United down? I'm not letting my focus shift to that while I am in camp [with England]. 
"I'm focused on what I'm doing at the moment. Would it be hard to leave Everton? Yes, obviously. You know what it means.
“I’ve been there for five years myself but also know first-hand what it means to a lot of people so, yes, it would be.”

Werder Bremen in advanced talks with Chelsea over De Bruyne

De Bruyne
Werder Bremen director Klaus Allofs has revealed that the Bundesliga side is in talks with Chelsea over the loan signing of Kevin De Bruyne.
The German outfit believes that the 21-year-old attacking midfielder will be able to add creativity to its team, and it is confident that a deal will be sealed when the Blues return from its preseason tour of the United States.
"We have already had a number of meetings with club and player in the past few months and we're in advanced talks," Allofs was quoted as saying by Kicker.
"Things are looking good, but it's not a done deal yet. We hope to wrap up the transfer next week when Chelsea are back from their preseason trip in the USA."
De Bruyne joined Chelsea from Genk in January 2012, and was immediately shipped out on loan back to the Belgian giants until the end of the season. He told last week that he'd be open to another loan if he is not guaranteed playing time with the Blues.
"For me, I say it's important to play," De Bruyne told "If it's not at Chelsea, I will go to another club to play." 
Yahoo Sports

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

AC Milan drop hint over possible return of Real Madrid midfielder Kaka

AC Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani has dropped a strong hint that the Serie A club will bid for the services of their former star midfielder Kaka.

The Brazilian playmaker has struggled for consistency at Real Madrid since he left the San Siro for £50.7million in 2009.
The Ballon d'Or winner was on the sidelines as Los Merengues beat Real Oviedo 5-1 yesterday in a pre-season friendly, and having also failed to make the squad for a tour of the USA, speculation is now rife over his long-term future at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Real assistant manager Aitor Karanka told AS: "We decided he would stay in Madrid. Kaka and the club are working to find a good solution for all parties."
Los Blancos are reportedly keen to recruit Tottenham midfielder Luka Modric as the Brazilian's replacement, with the London club reportedly holding out for a £40million fee.
Kaka, who was part of Milan's Champions League winning side of 2007, scored 70 goals in six seasons with the Rossoneri and Galliani revealed his unwavering desire to bring the midfielder back to Italy.
He told the Gazzetta dello Sport: "Some loves never end, they may go away for a long time, but they always return."
The 30-year-old scored five Primera Division goals last season as Real Madrid wrested the championship back from Barcelona with a record-breaking 100-point haul.

Man Utd and Real Madrid CF target Axel Witsel will cost €40m insist Benfica

Axel Witsel
Benfica president Luis Filipe Vieira has admitted that he will be powerless to stop in-demand midfielder Axel Witsel leaving Lisbon if an offer of €40M arrives for the Belgian.
That is the figure of Witsel’s buy-out clause and, though Benfica are keen to keep the man they only bought last year from Standard Liege, activating that term of the player’s contract would place the ball firmly in the 23-year-old’s court.
 The Belgium international is hot property this summer, with Manchester City and Manchester United having been persistently linked with bidding for his services, while Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho is also a big fan of the player; Chelsea too have been mooted as a potential destination.
And the interest comes as little surprise given the way Witsel instantly adapted to life in Lisbon and shone with Benfica in the Champions League last season.
But Vieira is determined that if the Belgian does go, it will not be on the cheap.
"If you pay us the termination clause of €40M we cannot do anything about it and the player will go", the Benfica supremo told Antenna 1.
"But, until then, we will be happy to keep him with us", he added.
 Witsel has seemed close to the Estadio da Luz exit door all summer, with various sources in Portugal insisting the player has already said his goodbyes to several members of the Benfica squad.
 Where he might end up is unclear, but Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany has pleaded with his countryman to make no decision before speaking with the English champions.

Real admit Modric interest, Kaka could be leaving

Assistant coach Aitor Karanka has given the clearest indication yet that Real Madrid want to replace Kaka with Tottenham's Luka Modric this summer.
Aitor karanka
Modric has returned to training with Spurs this week, having been fined by the club for skipping sessions as he sets his sights on a move away from White Hart Lane this summer.
Manchester United and Paris St Germain have both been linked with the Croatia playmaker, with Tottenham believed to be holding out for a £40million fee.
But Real appear his likeliest destination, a move which would allow Brazil international Kaka to end a largely ineffective spell at the Bernabeu.
Big-spending PSG have also been mooted as the 30-year-old's next stop and he did not travel with Real for tonight's friendly away to Real Oviedo, which they won 5-1.
Karanka told AS: "We decided he would stay in Madrid. Kaka and the club are working to find a good solution for all parties."
Asked about Modric, he added: "Which club would not want a player like him? He is an outstanding footballer and had a great tournament (Euro 2012). It is clear that he would fit in Madrid."

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Moura to Man Utd? Oscar to Chelsea FC? Van Persie to quit Arsenal FC?

- Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed the club are interested in signing Sao Paulo starlet Lucas Moura.
- United have agreed a £26million fee with Sao Paulo for Moura, according to the Daily Mirror.
Robin van Persie
- But Moura's agent insists a deal with Manchester United has not yet been agreed.
- Internacional attacker Oscar has described a potential move to Chelsea as "a dream" as reports suggest a deal will go through before the end of the week.
- Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger wants the future of Robin van Persie to be resolved before the start of the new Premier League season and has conceded his captain could be on the move this summer.
- Arsenal, Chelsea, and Manchester United will have to pay in the region of £35million if they are to sign Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski this summer, according to the Daily Mail.
- Porto striker Hulk, who continues to be linked with a move to Chelsea, admits his future at the Estadio do Dragao remains uncertain.
- Santos playmaker Ganso, who has been linked with a move to Arsenal, has dismissed suggestions that he could leave the Brazilian club this summer.
- Bayer Leverkusen forward Andre Schurrle has admitted that a move to Chelsea would be "a very interesting option".
- Liverpool target Joe Allen could be on his way out of Swansea this summer after new manager Michael Laudrup admitted the midfielder could leave the Liberty Stadium.
crunch Sports

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers poised to trigger midfielder Joe Allen's £15m exit clause at Swansea City

Liverpool look increasingly likely to sign Swansea’s Joe Allen due to a £15 million exit clause triggered in the midfielder’s contract.
Red alert: Liverpool target Joe Allen (right), playing for Team GB, tackles Neymar of Brazil Photo: GETTY IMAGES
It has emerged the Welsh club are bound to allow Allen to leave if any of five clubs - Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal - meet the valuation.
In what has become a complicated deal, other clubs outside those five could bid less for the 22 year-old and conclude his transfer, but it is clear reuniting with former manager Brendan Rodgers is the Welshman’s intention.
Liverpool are hopeful they will not have to pay as much as £15 million once Swansea City accept the player is destined for Anfield, but they may now have to go that high to conclude negotiations. Rodgers made it clear last week that if the player was subject to bids from elsewhere he would make his move for the youngster, who is on Olympic duty with Great Britain.
There is plenty of interest in the Welshman, outstanding in his debut season in the Premier League. The only delay at the moment is the fee.
It is a strange anomaly that Tottenham, who finished above Liverpool in the Premier League for the past two years, could technically bid below the stipulated fee than the five clubs named in Allen’s contract.
The Telegraph

Manchester United put an eye on an Argentinian player

The name of the Argentinian player that has been linked to Manchester United is Ezequiel Cirigliano.

The young player has got 20 years old and he plays in Argentina for River Plate. Manchester City and Paris St Germain also are interested in this player. Manchester United are looking to get a good deal for Ezequiel Cirigliano for the amount of £5m.

Thanks for reading & Enjoy be a United fan!!

Mancini fury as City’s Rob bid stumbles

ROBERTO MANCINI is furious Manchester City are falling behind in the race to sign Robin van Persie.

HE'S NOT A HAPPY MAN ... Roberto is fuming
The City boss has become increasingly annoyed with football administration officer Brian Marwood for not securing Arsenal’s Dutch star.
Mancini was hoping to have signed Van Persie ahead of the club’s tour of China, with City due to play Arsenal in Beijing on Friday.
But the Etihad manager has been told that before a deal for Van Persie can be completed, he will first have to reduce the club’s wage bill by offloading at least one of Edin Dzeko, Emmanuel Adebayor or Carlos Tevez.
City have so far offered £15million — the highest bid so far — yet Arsenal insist they will not listen to offers below £20m as Manchester United, Paris St Germain and Juventus are also interested.
Arsenal, who play Malaysia tonight, have been preparing for City officials to make a second bid.
Juventus are ready to rival City with wages of £200,000 a week but they are not prepared to pay more than £16m.
United have so far bid £13m and Juve just £8m.
But Arsenal could turn down all offers of less than £20m and make Van Persie see out the final year of his contract.
The Sun

Agent: Moura's United deal is off

Lucas Moura's agent Wagner Ribeiro says any move to Manchester United is off as they will not up their bid for the Brazilian ace.

Lucas Moura
United have lodged an offer for the Sao Paulo midfielder, currently in England with Brazil's Olympic squad.
But with Sao Paulo wanting around £30million, it appears their asking price could be too high.
Ribeiro, one of the leading agents in South America, does not think Moura will be moving anywhere this summer after United's bid was rejected.
"They have reached their limit," Ribeiro told UOL.
"Lucas Moura won't leave. He is happy at Sao Paulo. We have to forget this subject. There is no possibility he leaves now.
"Manchester United made an offer, which was rejected and they won't make another one as they have reached their limit."

Liverpool face fight for Barca forward: All the transfer news, rumours and gossip from Tuesday's papers

Plus: Santi Cazorla tells Arsenal he wants to join them, Babel could be set for Prem return and Newcastle plot new Debuchy move.

Set for Arsenal? Spain midfielder Santi Cazorla wants to join the Gunners

Transfer stories from today's Daily Mirror

Manchester United are chasing River Plate's Argentina Under-20s midfielder Ezequiel Cirigliano.
Roberto Mancini has had a major bust-up with his Manchester City bosses over their failure to land Robin van Persie.
Sir Alex Ferguson has insisted he is still looking to spend money in the transfer window -and hints he fancied signing Drogba.
Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted Manchester United are trying to sign Brazilian wonderkid Lucas Moura.
Andre Villas-Boas has blasted “unprofessional” Luka Modric as Tottenham insisted Real Madrid must cough up £40million to sign him.
Brazilian star Oscar has admitted it would be a "dream" to join Chelsea.
Andre Schurrle has admitted he is interested in a move to Chelsea.
Everton star Tim Cahill is quitting - and moving to the USA to team up with Thierry Henry.
Fleetwood want QPR midfielder Joey Barton to play for them in a friendly on Friday.
Nottingham Forest's new owners will signal their intent to take the club back to the Premier League by swooping for former City Ground favourite Jermaine Jenas.
Nigel De Jong is wanted by Bayern Munich, according to reports in his native Holland.
Frank Lampard today refused to rule out this being his final season at Chelsea.
West Ham have signed teenage goalkeeper Raphael Spiegel from Swiss side Grasshoppers.
Argentina international Claudio Yacob has joined West Brom's pre-season training camp in Malmo with a view to making a permanent switch to the Hawthorns.
Arsene Wenger insists he is not looking to sign Rennes midfielder Yann M'Vila.
Nigel Reo-Coker is being chased by German clubs Hamburg and Wolfsburg.
Potless Portsmouth have let striker Luke Varney join Leeds – after he agreed a small pay-off.

Transfer stories from other papers and websites

Juventus are preparing a second bid for Robin van Persie which, significantly, will be close to the £20 million threshold set by Arsenal. (Daily Telegraph)
The Spain winger Santi Cazorla has told Arsenal that he is prepared to leave Málaga to join them. Arsène Wenger is keen to sign Cazorla, whom he monitored last summer, and he is hopeful that an offer of €20m (£15.6m) can close the deal. (Guardian)
Anfield or Loftus Road? Barcelona's Gerard Deulofeu is wanted by Liverpool and QPR
Liverpool face competition from QPR for Barcelona forward Gerard Deulofeu. The Reds are ready to sign him for £7.5m but the Hoops want him on loan. (Daily Express).
Liverpool are also ready to test the water with a £10 million bid for Swansea star Joe Allen. (Metro)
Everton face a fight with Newcastle and Spurs for midfielder Abdel Barrada, who will be allowed to leave current club Getafe for £9m. (The Sun)
Serie A outfit AC Milan have opened talks with Arsenal over a deal for want-a-way strikerNicklas Bendtner. (Metro)
Bendtner is also in talks with Galatasaray. (Guardian)
Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov could be on his way to Russia after champions Zenit St Petersburg entered the race to sign the unsettled Bulgarian. (talkSPORT)
Zenit St Petersburg have joined the chase for Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel and hope to tempt him with a £110,000-per-week deal. (Daily Mail)
Andy Carroll has told Liverpool they will not force him out of Anfield. (Daily Star)
Newcastle are set to step up their attempts to sign Mathieu Debuchy and are preparing a new bid after having a previous offer of £4m rejected. (The Sun)
Fulham are looking at former Liverpool forward Ryan Babel, 25, who has fallen out with coach Markus Babbel at Hoffenheim. Babel scored only five league goals for the club. (Daily Mail)
Tottenham, Newcastle and Swansea are also in the hunt for Ryan Babel. (talkSPORT)
Tottenham are eager to include Real Madrid starlet Joselu as part of a deal for Luka Modric. (Daily Star)
Aston Villa striker Gabby Agbonlahor has ruled out joining ex-boss Martin O’Neill atSunderland. (The Sun)
Al Halil are keen on Arsenal striker Park Chu-young, 27, and West Ham striker Frederic Piquionne, 33. The Saudi club have also made an offer for Manchester City's Kolo Toure.(Daily Mail)
Southampton are set sell striker Lee Barnard, left-back Ryan Dickson and winger Jonathan Forte, who have not been taken on the club's pre-season training camp in Switzerland. (The Sun)

Other news

Emotional sports fans got the surprise of their lives yesterday – when David Beckham unexpectedly dropped in on their photo booth snapshots.

Report: Cazorla agrees to Arsenal

Malaga winger Santi Cazorla has agreed terms to join Arsenal, according to a report.

Santi Cazorla
The Guardian claims that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is "hopeful" that he can complete a transfer deal for the Spain international with a "basic agreement" now in place with the player.
It went on to report that negotiations have taken place between the clubs and hinted that Malaga may be forced to sell Cazorla to ease the club's financial situation.
Cazorla joined Malaga for €19million last summer from Villarreal, but is currently unsettled at the club after wages went unpaid during the recently completed campaign.
Cazorla's current contract includes a €45m buy-out clause but Wenger reportedly will try to prise him away from Spain for around €20million (£15.6m). He made 34 appearances for Malaga last season, scoring 9 goals and providing 5 assists.
Arsenal have enjoyed a busy start to the summer transfer window with the signatures of strikers Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud already secured.
The impending sale of want-away Gunners skipper Robin van Persie will provide Wenger with the necessary funds to rebuild his team.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Van Persie to Man Utd? Cavani to Chelsea FC? Deulofeu to Liverpool FC?

- Manchester United are confident of beating Manchester City in the race to sign Arsenal captain Robin van Persie, according to theSunday Telegraph.
- Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas has blasted Luka Modric for "making things worse" after the midfielder, who wants to secure a move to Real Madrid, snubbed the club's pre-season tour and flew home to Croatia.
- Manchester United have stepped up their interest in Fulham midfielder Moussa Dembele, according to The People.
- Chelsea and Manchester City have been told they will have to pay €100million if they are to sign Napoli striker Edinson Cavani this summer.
- Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed he still plans to make further signings this summer - but the number will depend on how many of his existing squad are offloaded.
- Arsenal are one of several Premier League clubs considering launching a bid for Santos playmaker Ganso, according toESPN.
- Barcelona vice-president Javier Faus has warned fans that the club have to be cautious in the transfer market if they are to remain financially sustainable.
- Liverpool are keen on signing Barcelona's teenage forward Gerard Deulofeu, according to The People.
- Arsenal have been told to increase their bid for Caen forward M'Baye Niang as Manchester City and Tottenham show interest, according to The People.

Rafael van der Vaart understands Luka Modric's wish to join Real Madrid

• 'Real are the biggest team in the world' – Van der Vaart
• Modric refuses to join Tottenham on pre-season tour to USA
Rafael van der Vaart spent two years at Real Madrid before joining Tottenham in 2010. Photograph: Arturo Rodriguez/AP
Rafael van der Vaart has expressed sympathy with Luka Modric over the midfielder's apparent desire to join Real Madrid.
The Croatia international has expressed a wish to leave Tottenham Hotspur and is heavily tipped to join the La Liga champions. Modric was prevented from leaving the club last summer despite handing in a transfer request but a move 12 months on appears likely, even more so after he refused to join his team-mates for their pre-season tour of the USA.
Van der Vaart, who spent two years at Real before joining Spurs in 2010, said: "You can't compare Real Madrid with other teams because they are the biggest team in the world. It was really an honour that I played there and I'm still really thankful. I think every player wants to play there."
Van der Vaart has spoken to Modric about Real's interest in the 26-year-old. He told the Spanish newspaper AS: "I went to Luka's house and spoke to him after training. I told him what happened to me when I wanted to sign for Real [from Hamburg].
"I've been one of the closest people to Modric in the dressing room and I feel for him. It is a difficult situation. The chairman [Daniel Levy] is angry but Luka is very upset with what is happening. I think everything will be fixed in three or four days."

Bayern Bound? Munich target cut-price deal for Man City midfielder Nigel De Jong

The Holland international will be a free agent next summer and talks over a new contract have stalled with the Blues unwilling to meet his pay demands Nigel De Jong is wanted by Bayern Munich, according to reports in his native Holland.

Nigel De Jong
Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf claims Bayern have set their sights on the Manchester City midfielder after being priced out of a move for Athletic Bilbao's Javi Martinez.
De Jong, 27, looks set to leave City and talks over a new contract have stalled with the Blues unwilling to meet his pay demands.
The Holland international will be a free agent next summer and Bayern believe they may be able to pick him up for a reduced price because he is not part of Roberto Mancini's first-choice XI.
Meanwhile, there are reports champions City are ready to sign captain Vincent Kompany to a new five-year deal in order to rule out a move abroad for arguably their most influential and consistent player.
Captain fantastic: Vincent Kompany holds the Premier League trophy aloft and could soon be signing a new deal
Kompany was magnificent last season and City wobbled only when he was injured or suspended.
Now he is set to sign a new contract, which will keep him at the Etihad until he is 31, in the next few days, according to The Sun.
Roberto Mancini's talisman will earn £130,000-a-week and City also hope to tie up Real Madrid target David Silva on a similar deal in the days ahead.
But fellow City defender Kolo Toure is set to join Turkish side Bursaspor - if they can afford him.
Toure has slipped behind Kompany, Joleon Lescott, Micah Richards and Stefan Savic on City's centre-back depth chart after his drugs ban.
Mancini said: "It is up to Kolo to decide if he wants to go to Bursaspor or not. However, can they meet his demands?"

Man City lines up bid for De Rossi

De Rossi

Arsenal's want-away striker Robin van Persie wants a £10.1m-a-year deal at his new club - Manchester United, City and Juventus are all chasing the Dutchman.
Spurs midfielder Luka Modric has refused to fly out in the club's US tour as he attempts to force a move away, with Real Madrid his favoured destination.
Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere could be out of action until October as he recovers from ankle and knee problems.
Gareth Southgate is a shock choice to become the new manager of League One side Crawley.
Manchester United have agreed a staggering £26m deal to sign Brazilian teenager Lucas Moura, 19, from Sao Paulo.
Southampton will make a £3.5m bid for Blackburn defender Scott Dann.
Blackburn want more than £6m from QPR for Junior Hoilett if the deal goes to a tribunal or Jamie Mackie is not offered in an exchange.
Spurs chairman Daniel Levy will block any move for Luka Modric after his training no-show at the weekend and he will fine the Croatian for the third time in four days if he fails to attend training on today.
Manchester City have set their sights on Daniele De Rossi again after they failed to bring the Italian to the club last summer.
Tottenham are lining up a bid for Roma striker Marco Borriello after being told they have no chance of signing Atletico Madrid's Adrian Lopez.
Chelsea have been told to double their £17m offer for Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski.
West Brom are expected to confirm the signing of Argentinian midfielder Claudio Yacob today, while Qatari club Al-Gharra are set to increase their bid for Peter Odemwingie after having an offer of £4m rejected last week.
Rangers will sign midfielder Ian Black if the SFA hand the Ibrox club membership of the Third Division.

Sir Alex Ferguson confirms Manchester United interest in Lucas Moura

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed the club is interested in securing the signing of Lucas Moura from Sao Paolo.
Lucas Moura
It is believed that United has already seen one bid in excess of 20 million euros turned down by the Brazilian giant but is expected to return with an improved offer of 32m euros.
The 19-year-old attacking midfielder has been the subject of intense transfer speculation throughout the summer but Sir Alex has now has admitted to concrete interest in the youngster.
The Scot was keen to stress, however, that it was just interest at this stage, insisting that no agreement had been reached over the transfer.
“We haven’t reached an agreement. We’ve shown interest," he told reporters.
"Until such time we reach an agreement, we can’t say he [Moura] is ours."
The 70-year-old also stressed the club is working hard to bring in other targets to add to the captures of Shinji Kagawa and Nick Powell.
"We've signed two players in the summer. Kagawa and Powell," he continued "We think they both have fantastic potential. We’re not lying on our backsides doing nothing.
"We’re trying hard to bring other players to the club.”

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Chelsea agree deal to sign Oscar

London: Chelsea have agreed a deal to sign Internacional midfielder Oscar, according to the Brazilian club's president, Giovanni Luigi. The 20-year-old is currently in England on Olympics duty, claimed on Friday that he had undergone a medical at Stamford Bridge but would delay any decision on his future until after the conclusion of the Games.
However, it now appears that confirmation of a switch is imminent with Luigi claiming that a verbal agreement has been finalised between Internacional and the Champions League champions.
"There is a verbal agreement between the two parties. But we have to put that on paper and the lawyer of both clubs have to discuss the matter," the official told Radio Guiaba.Oscar joined Internacional from Sao Paulo in 2009.
Premier League rivals Tottenham have also been linked with a move for the youngster as a potential replacement for Luka Modric, who is reportedly on the verge of a move to La Liga champions Real Madrid.