Archive | February 3, 2015

Kelly Smith retires from England duty….

Kelly Smith

England Women’s leading goalscorer Kelly Smith has ended her international career,BBC reports. The 36-year-old forward won 117 caps and scored 46 goals in an England career that lasted almost 20 years. She made her debut in 1995 and has played in two World Cups and three European Championships, as well as for Team GB at the 2012 London Olympics. Smith, who has played professional football in the United States, will continue to play for Arsenal Ladies in the Women’s Super League.

Anderson joins Internacional….

Anderson

Anderson’s spell at Manchester United has finally come to an end after Brazilian club Internacional announced they had signed the midfielder on a four-year contract. United paid around £26m for Anderson in 2007, but in recent years he has fallen out of favour and the 20-time English champions have agreed to let the 26-year-old leave on a free transfer. A statement on Internacional’s website read: “Sport Club Internacional concluded on Tuesday the procedures to announce the signing of midfielder Anderson. He signs a four-year contract.” Anderson is back to Porto Alegre, Brazil, his home city.

Harry Redknapp resigns as QPR manager….

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Harry Redknapp has resigned as QPR manager, saying imminent knee surgery would stop him doing his job, BBC reports. The 67-year-old has left the Loftus Road club second bottom of the Premier League with 19 points from 23 games. “Sadly I need immediate surgery on my knee,” Redknapp said. “If I can’t give 100% I feel it’s better for someone else to take over the reins.” Head of football operations Les Ferdinand and academy coach Chris Ramsey will take temporary charge. Redknapp took over as QPR manager in November 2012. “I have had such a fantastic time at QPR. I would like to thank the board, the players and all my staff, and especially the supporters who have been absolutely fantastic to me since I arrived at the club for their tremendous support,” he said. “My relationship with chairman Tony Fernandes has been one of the highlights of my footballing career and I wish the club every success. “I am confident they will survive in the Premier League this year.”

Chuba Akpom signs new Arsenal deal….

Striker REJECTS Liverpool transfer for big money Arsenal deal

Arsenal striker Chuba Akpom has rejected interest from Liverpool and several other teams to sign a new contract at the club. According to the Daily Mirror, the 19-year-old has signed up for another four-and-a-half years, despite initially dragging his feet about the deal. In managing to keep hold of the England Under-20 international, Wenger has also fended off big interest in the striker. Akpom, who would have been out of contract in the summer, had been wanted by Liverpool plus Borussia Dortmund, Red Bull Salzburg, Feyenoord and FC Twente. Wenger, though, has offered Akpom more game time recently, and he now looks set for a bright future.

Coutinho signs new Liverpool deal….

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Philippe Coutinho has agreed a new long-term Liverpool deal, with Brendan Rodgers predicting he will become world-class. The Brazil midfielder arrived at Anfield from Inter Milan in the January transfer window two years ago and has now signed a contract which takes him through to 2020. The move will be welcomed by supporters, who are also hoping to see Raheem Sterling sign a new deal soon.  Coutinho, speaking after putting pen to paper on a new long-term deal, said: ‘I’m really happy. It’s a dream come true playing for this great club and being part of this squad. ‘Today I’ve committed my future to the club and for this I’m feeling very pleased. ‘This club is great and the fans have always supported me, so I’ve been eager to sign this new deal since conversations started. Today is a very happy day.’ He set up both goals in Liverpool’s 2-0 win over West Ham on Saturday and it has prompted manager Rodgers to liken his qualities to those of Real Madrid’s Luka Modric. Liverpool’s boss recognises that Coutinho needs to improve his goalscoring form — he has scored just twice this season — but believes the 22-year-old has the potential to blossom into one of the top performers in the Barclays Premier League. ‘You see his quality in his two assists at the weekend,’ said Rodgers. ‘They were sublime. The first pass was incredible invention. ‘If you look at Modric, he doesn’t have a big goalscoring record but he is a world-class player. ‘If he can improve his goalscoring, Coutinho will be getting into the bracket of being world-class.’

Aaron Lenon joins Everton on loan….

Everton have signed Tottenham Hotspur winger Aaron Lennon on loan until the end of the season after Stoke’s bid was rebuffed.Roberto Martinez pounced in the closing hours of deadline day once Mark Hughes’ efforts were resisted. In the absence of an acceptable permanent bid, Tottenham indicated they were only willing to allow Lennon to move to a club they did not currently consider a rival for a Champions League position.Lennon’s career has stalled at White Hart Lane after 10 years in north London, but he is vastly experienced given he is still only 27.The winger has featured in two England World Cup squads, and his main problem throughout his career has been injury. He has been fit throughout this season but been unable to force himself into Mauricio Pochettino’s plans – a peripheral figure under the Argentine. He has started just three league games under the current Tottenham manager.Martinez needs reinforcements after losing Samuel Eto’o earlier in the transfer window. Although Lennon is not a direct replacement, the Everton manager wants to freshen up his attack with a wide midfielder. That has been a priority since the transfer window opened.

Dame N’Doye joins Hull City….

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Hull City have completed the signing of Senegal striker Dame N’Doye. The 29-year-old hitman arrives at the KC Stadium on a two-and-a-half year deal from Lokomotiv Moscow. N’Doye, who only had five months left on his contract in the Russian capital, has joined the Tigers for a fee in the region of £2m. Hull boss Steve Bruce is thought to have spent much of deadline day in Paris hoping to complete the deal. N’Doye, who has netted six times in 26 caps for his country, could make his debut in Saturday’s trip to Premier League champions Manchester City. Nigeria’s Sone Aluko plays for Hull City. Jay Jay Okocha played for Hull City last before retiring from football.

Mohamed Salah joins Fiorentina on loan….

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Chelsea midfielder Mohamed Salah has joined Fiorentina on loan as part of the deal that carried Juan Cuadrado in the opposite direction. Salah, 22, only joined Chelsea from Swiss side Basel in January last year, but has struggled to command a regular place in Jose Mourinho’s side. It’s reported Chelsea will continue paying his wages, while the Viola have an option to extend the loan for another year at a cost of €1m (£750,000). “We are happy with our transfer window. We didn’t expect it to go this way, but it provided certain solutions,” Fiorentina director Daniele Prade told Sky Sport Italia. “We never thought of releasing Cuadrado, but an offer arrived that we could not refuse.“We brought in Alessandro Diamanti, Alberto Gilardino, Salah and today an Italian player Aleandro Rosi who can be of real use to our squad.”The Egyptian is the second departure at Stamford Bridge on deadline day following Andre Schuerrle’s switch to Wolfsburg.

Ryan Bertrand joins Southampton on a permanent deal….

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Southampton Football Club has announced the permanent signing of Ryan Bertrand from Chelsea on a four-and-a-half-year contract.Bertrand originally joined Saints on a season-long loan deal at the start of the campaign but, following a number of impressive performances, the 25 year-old has now moved to St Mary’s until 2019. It is the defender’s first permanent move away from Stamford Bridge, having enjoyed seven loan spells since making his breakthrough with the London club. Bertrand took in spells at Bournemouth, Oldham Athletic, Norwich City, Reading and Nottingham Forest before being given his chance at Chelsea. He made his first Premier League start in April 2011, before featuring 14 times during the 2011/12 campaign, including in the 2012 UEFA Champions League Final, which Chelsea won by beating Bayern Munich on penalties. Bertrand featured 38 times for Chelsea during the 2012/13 campaign in all competitions, scoring his first goal for the club in the Community Shield against Manchester City. Following José Mourinho’s return to Stamford Bridge, Bertrand’s first-team opportunities were limited and he ended last season on loan at Villa Park with Aston Villa, making ten Premier League appearances. After Ronald Koeman’s arrival at St Mary’s he moved quickly to secure the services of Bertrand on loan and, following 27 appearances in all competitions, including two goals, the defender has joined on a permanent basis.

Darren Fletcher joins West Brom….

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West Brom have signed Scotland midfielder Darren Fletcher on a free transfer from Manchester United, BBC reports. The 31-year-old has signed a two-and-a-half-year contract at The Hawthorns with a 12-month option. West Ham were also interested in signing Fletcher, but a move to Upton Park broke down last weekend. Albion failed in deadline day moves to sign West Ham striker Carlton Cole and Norwich defender Martin Olsson, but kept Brown Ideye and Graham Dorrans. Fletcher made 342 appearances for United but started only five times for the club after Louis van Gaal took over as manager in the summer. The Scot, who recovered from chronic bowel disease ulcerative colitis to resume his career in December 2013, had been at Old Trafford since he was a schoolboy and helped the Red Devils win the Premier League title five times. But with his contract set to expire in the summer he was granted a free transfer to help him find a new club in this transfer window. “This is a fantastic new challenge for me in my career,” Fletcher told West Brom’s website. “I’ve spent my career at Manchester United and it’s all I’ve ever known. But I felt it was the right time to move and I’m not sentimental about doing that.” Fletcher is the second player signed by West Brom head coach Tony Pulis following the £4.75m capture of winger Callum McManaman from Wigan. The Scotland captain will wear the number 24 shirt for the Baggies.

Tim Cahill joins Shanghai Shenhua….

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Australia midfielder Tim Cahill has joined Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua after leaving Major League Soccer club New York Red Bulls by mutual agreement, BBC reports. The former Everton and Millwall player said he was attracted by the scale of the potential football market in China. The 35-year-old said: “I’ve done the Premier League, I’ve done America. New York was amazing for me. China is a growing market in football.” Cahill helped his national team win the 2015 Asian Cup title on Saturday. “You see in the [Asian Cup quarter-final] game that we played against China, millions of people watched it and I’m someone who is embracing culture and a different aspect of life,” he added. “I’m at an age where I want to give something back to football and still play at a high level. “I think it’s exciting. To still be in demand and have the offers I’ve had is special but this will be massive for me as a player on and off the park.” Cahill, who scored a memorable goal against the Netherlands for Australia at the 2014 World Cup, moved to the United States in July 2012 after eight years at Goodison Park. Red Bulls sporting director Ali Curtis said: “We thank Tim for his service to the organisation. “He positively impacted the growth of the beautiful game in the United States, MLS and for the Red Bulls.” Millwall gave Cahill his first professional contract before he joined Everton in 2004, where he scored 56 goals in 226 league games.