SoccerLens Archives for January 2010

Luis Fabiano, The One With Tottenham Klaas

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Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp is known to be in the hunt for a striker and Milan's Jan-Klaas Huntelaar has been tipped to move to White Hart Lane.

Redknapp, who said he wants a 'special' player to add potency to the Spurs' strike force, claims he was priced out of a move for Sevilla star Luis Fabiano.

Mallorca 0-0 Real Madrid – Los Blancos left frustrated in Jose Mourinho’s inaugural fixture

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Jose Mourinho will be left to ponder a thought or two as his Real Madrid side produced a lacklustre performance against a very resolute Mallorca.

As well as Los Blancos introducing a new manager to La Liga as were the Islanders with Michael Laudrup, who is back in the realm of Spain after a disappointing spell at Spartak Moscow.

Sunderland in advanced talks for Ghana star Gyan

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Sunderland are believed to be in advanced talks for Ghana star Asamoah Gyan, according to Sky Sports.

Sunderland have been linked with the Rennes striker for a while, and adding another forward before the deadline would appear to be the top priority for manager Steve Bruce.

How Can You Get the Best Out of Kenwyne Jones?

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Stoke City record signing, Kenwyne Jones, is a player in need of form. He enjoyed a promising start to life in the Barclays Premier League when then Sunderland manager, Roy Keane, took him to the Stadium of Light. He caught the eye with some great performances up front, even earning himself the honor of being linked with big money moves to the League's elite clubs including Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham.

Transfer Rumors: Liverpool make approach for West Ham’s Cole

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Liverpool Make Cole Enquiry

Liverpool have made an enquiry about West Ham striker Carlton Cole. (Sky Sports).

Analysis: West Ham might be keen to hold on to Cole, but it's safe to say that Liverpool can't live and die by the Torres if they're to be taken seriously this season.

Fabio Capello’s ‘Revolution’ Looks Depressingly Familiar

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Remember England's tumour-inducing performance at this summer's World Cup? No? Don't worry, slipping into a state of catatonic denial is a perfectly understandable human reaction after being exposed to such barbaric torture and, given his close proximity at the time, it's only natural that manager Fabio Capello suffered the same psychosomatic response.

West Ham boss Grant reveals interest in Tottenham’s Keane

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West Ham manager Avram Grant has admitted that he is interested in Tottenham striker Robbie Keane.

The Hammers have sputtered out of the gate, losing to Aston Villa, Bolton, and Manchester United. While giving up three goals in each defeat is a major cause for concern in itself, but so is the fact that West Ham have scored only once thus far and also managed only one goal in their Carling Cup win over League Two side Oxford United last week.

No Tottenham bid for Young, says Aston Villa boss MacDonald

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Aston Villa caretaker manager Kevin MacDonald has moved to dispel rumors linking attacker Ashley Young to Tottenham, stating that the club has not received an offer from Spurs for the 25-year-old.

Yesterday, it was reported that Tottenham had lodged a bid believed to be 16m pounds for Young.

AC Milan supremo Berlusconi hints at Robinho swoop

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AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi has hinted that the club could make a move for Manchester City forward Robinho.

AC Milan wrapped up a deal for Barcelona striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic over the weekend, and the Rossoneri received excellent contributions from Alexandre Pato, Ronaldinho, and the ageless Pippo Inzaghi in Sunday's season-opening 4-0 rout of newly-promoted Lecce.

Mascherano completes long-awaited ‘dream’ move from Liverpool to Barcelona

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One of the tories of the summer transfer season has finally reached it conclusion, as Barcelona have completed the signing of Argentina captain Javier Mascherano from Liverpool.

The 26-year-old midfielder today underwent a stringent five-hour medical that was conducted at a Barcelona hospital and at the Nou Camp, and he passed with flying colors, green-lighting the completion of his move.

Stoke ‘goal’ a perfect case for not introducing TV replays

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Peter Crouch tried his hardest to stop it going in when playing away on Saturday in Stoke. On this occasion he was successful. Not because it didn't go in. It did (we think). He just didn't get caught. Tedious innuendo aside though, are we certain it went in? Lots of cameras and lots of angles tell us that it most probably did.

Newcastle land French winger Ben Arfa on loan from Marseille

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Newcastle have completed the signing of French winger Hatem Ben Arfa from Marseille on a season-long loan.

Newcastle have been linked with Ben Arfa for the last month, and the deal initially broke down earlier this month over the fee that they would pay Marseille to loan the 23-year-old.

The Curious Case of Anderson at Manchester United

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Anderson Luis de Abreu Oliveira or simply, Anderson, is a midfielder who is somewhat lost in the cimmerian shade of Old Trafford. The dread-locked 22 year old wreaks of talent, but has regressed rather than progressed during his three years at Barclays Premier League giants, Manchester United.

Jonjo Shelvey- Liverpool’s and England’s New Steven Gerrard

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Steven Gerrard turned 30 in May this year. Therefore, it can be said that he has entered the twilight of his illustrious career. The reign of captain Stevie G is almost over. But alas, Liverpool fans, there is no need to fear or fret, because Rafael Benitez, before he left, made what I'm sure will prove to be one of the best ever signings in English football.

Nightmare returns for Villa

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Thursday 26th August 2010
Aston Villa 2 – 3 Rapid Vienna (Rapid Vienna win 4-3 on aggregate)

The nightmare returned to Villa Park tonight as the Villains crashed out once more to Austrian outfit Rapid Vienna. It was exactly one year ago that Vienna came to the Midlands and managed a 2-1 defeat which saw them through on away goals.

Bundesliga Review: gunning for Bayern

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After having taken a look at the Bundesliga final tables over the last two decades, one thing is clear: although it's not impossible, it's unlikely that any club outside the top six in last season's competition will be in contention this season. In order to win the title five of those clubs will have to focus on being better than reigning champions and Champions League runners-up Bayern Munich.

Its All Just A Little Bit Plastic At Tottenham

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Spurs fans will no doubt have to pinch themselves numerous times this week, maybe even dunk their heads in a bucket of ice cold water (to wake themselves up, not to ease their hangovers) as they joined Europe's elite set of football clubs on Wednesday, and did so with a swagger, taking apart the Swiss outfit Young Boys.

Manchester United’s Way To Wembley

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Manchester United have been drawn against Valencia C.F., Rangers F.C. and Bursaspor in Group C in the UEFA Champions League Group Stage, which should be one of the toughest groups in the competition.

United were the first team picked out of Pot One, and placed in Group C, and followed by Valencia (Pot Two); Rangers (Pot Three) and Bursaspor (Pot Four).

Adebayor to leave Manchester City in search of more first-team football?

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Manchester City striker Emmanuel Adebayor has admitted that he could leave Eastlands for more regular first-team football if the opportunity arises.

Adebayor was part of City's spending spree last summer, coming from Arsenal in a 25m pound move after three seasons with the Gunners.

Los Rojiblancos are ready to go

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After a busy summer for Quique Sanchez Flores, in which six (well five, Tiago was there on loan last season) new players arrived at the Calderon, the hard work now begins. This Friday Atletico Madrid will face Internazionale in the European Super Cup before starting the 2010/11 La Liga campaign against Sporting de Gijon only three days later.

Premier League Predictions: Big wins for Tottenham, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United

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1- BLACKBURN VS ARSENAL The early kick off this weekend is at the Ewood park where the big Sam's Blackburn will entertain the north London giants Arsenal. After a bizarre goal against Liverpool that earned arsenal a late draw at anfield, they hammered blackpool by six goals to nil.

Liverpool Don’t Have to Worry About Mascherano Sale

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Liverpool undoubtedly find themselves in a predicament this season while trying to convince world-class stars like Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard that the club has a future while clearly suffering against Manchester City.

Since the Reds' defeat at the hands of City last week, many have jumped to rule-out Liverpool's return to the top of the Premier League.

Nani misses a penalty and here we go again

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Following his missed penalty, and in predictable fashion, Nani is being slated by a select few of the Manchester United supporters, but these type of antics not only get old quick, but they are usually not justified.

Yes, this is the same player received all sorts of praise from supporters and critics following his mature performances in the second-half of last season.

City Will Challenge For the Title

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Just Ignore the Critics

Writers ought to stop undermining Manchester City and seriously look into the Eastlands' club's title challenge.

City have pretty much everything they need to be able to mount a serious challenge for the English Premier League title. They are nothing short of having the potential to become the new Chelsea.

Champions League Final comebacks: 1999 United-Bayern vs 2005 Milan-Liverpool

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Whenever someone thinks about the Champion League they almost immediately think about either the 1999 Champions League final between Manchester United and Bayern Munich in Barcelona, or the 2005 final between Liverpool and AC Milan in Istanbul.

They are without doubt two of the most memorable finals in recent years, and often have fans bickering about which final was the best.

Third-Party Player Ownership – A Necessary Evil

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European soccer differs from major professional sports in North America in many ways, but one of the most significant is the way in which players move about from team to team. There is no draft in soccer, there are no trades in the classical sense, and players can move from one league and one country, to another multiple times over the course of their career.

Transfer Rumors: Tottenham in talks for Lassana Diarra

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Tottenham In Diarra Talks

As reported here, Tottenham have been in talks over a move to land former Chelsea, Arsenal, and Portsmouth midfielder Lassana Diarra, who could be surplus to requirements at Real Madrid. (The Guardian)

Analysis: Diarra's wages could perhaps hinder this one, but could there be a ‘hey, I helped you get those wages in the first place' discount for Harry Redknapp?

The Chelsea Juggernaut rolls on

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Two games played. Two games won. 12 goals scored. Fine, they only beat West Brom and Wigan (two favorites for the drop) but they didn't even get into second gear to ease six goals past the aforementioned teams. The Community Shield was simply a blip for them, as many of their stars were only returning from a rest and looking to regain match fitness.

Barcelona to up bid for wantaway Liverpool midfielder Mascherano

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According to the Guardian, Barcelona were last night preparing an improved bid in an attempt to land Liverpool midfielder Javier Mascherano.

Barcelona made an initial bid of 15m euros plus 5m in add-ons, which was rebuffed by Liverpool, who are said to be holding out for 26m.

The Sun Reach A New Low In Football Journalism

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When you think about, and I mean really think about it, I mean take in everyone you come across on a day-to-day basis, an overwhelming number of British human beings are fucking morons and it is these thick-necked meatheads, whether by accident or design, that make up roughly all of The Sun's target audience.

Manchester City’s Robinho turns down Fenerbahce move

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Manchester City forward Robinho has turned down a move to Turkey, but the Brazil star says that he has options in Italy and Spain.

Besiktas were said to have tabled an offer of 26m (16m + 10m in add-ons), but it was Fenerbahce who made an official move for the 26-year-old.

Liverpool closing in on deal for Fulham left back Konchesky

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Liverpool are nearing a deal for Fulham left back Paul Konchesky, according to Sky Sports.

Daniel Agger started at left back for Liverpool against Arsenal and Manchester City, while Fabio Aurelio started last week‘s Europa League win over Trabzonspor, but it appears that manager Roy Hodgson has continued the pursuit of reinforcements on the left.

A week of goals galore in the Premier League

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The dawn of a new Premier League season suddenly seems to have seen a buy one, get one free on goals thus far. The first 19 games of the season have produced 51 goals but it's the drubbings that are so apparent.

In the first two weeks of the season there haven been four 6-0 games and even a 4-0 victory for relegation favorites Blackpool.

The League Two Review – Week 3

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We've moved into the third week of the campaign and an interesting match day was in store and what a match day of League Two football it turned out to be. After 5 0-0's the previous week, fans were treated to an amazing 42 goals in 12 fixtures this week. Comebacks and thrashings were at the plenty and it is a testament to the league the quality which was on display.

Scottish Premier League Week 2 Review

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Hearts set the bar high for the weekend on Saturday lunchtime when they hammered Hamilton Accies 4-0 at New Douglas Park. The Jambos got off to a flyer and opened the scoring through Calum Elliot on 6 minutes. Elliot has previously been victim of the Tynecastle boo-boys but he curled home a lovely left-foot shot high into the net to set Hearts on their way.

Honestly, City Are Saving The Premier League

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Since Sheik Mansour took ownership of Manchester City in 2008 there has a been a lot of negative press aimed at the East land's club. Since then they have spent millions upon millions on players left, right, and center. They even made ridiculous claims that they were going to sign Fernando Torres, Cristiano Ronaldo and Cesc Fabregas back in 2008.

Soccerlens Fantasy Football Week Two Review: Singing Carroll’s Praises

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There were plenty of points to be had in round two of the Soccerlens Fantasy Football Game. Not one, not two, but three teams won 6-0, with two players scoring hat-tricks and no less than seven players scoring braces. Unfortunately only two of these men were selected for my team, the Soccerlens All-Stars.

Another former Chelsea and Arsenal player for Tottenham? Spurs in talks for Real’s Diarra

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Tottenham are in talks over a move for Real Madrid midfielder Lassana Diarra, and according to the Guardian, talks are believed to be going in the right direction.

If the deal comes to pass, Diarra would be reunited with manager Harry Redknapp, who he played under for a little less than a year at Portsmouth before departing for Madrid in a £20m deal in January 2009.

Lyon agree deal for Bordeaux star Gourcuff

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Lyon have agreed a deal to sign playmaker Yoann Gourcuff from Ligue 1 rivals Bordeaux.

The seven-time champions have agreed to pay 22m (18m) in three installments by the end of December 2012, and Bordeaux could receive up to 4.5m (3.7m) more if or when Lyon sell the France international at some point.

Man City Are Ruining Everything For Everyone, Even Real Madrid

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When Real Madrid, a bastion for unabashed, unfocused hyper-spending in the modern game, can't keep up with the competition anymore then you know something's going slightly awry.

Real coach Jose Mourinho has publicly admitted that even he cannot compete with Manchester City's imperious financial position anymore, after watching one of his choice summer transfer targets disappear into the Eastlands ether from before his very eyes.

Liverpool star Dirk Kuyt reveals Inter Milan approach

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Dirk Kuyt's proposed move to Inter Milan took a new twist this weekend after the Dutchman revealed that the European Champions had submitted a formal offer to Liverpool.

The 30-year-old, speaking to Dutch media, revealed that he was informed of the Italian giants' faxed offer during the Reds' Europa League game with Trabzonspor at Anfield on Thursday.

Gallas Signing Will Spur Tottenham On

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Like him or not, William Gallas is a terrific defender.

Most importantly for Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp, Gallas will not be exploited in the pathetic manner in which Sebastien Bassong and Michael Dawson were by the Young Boys' forwards.

Gallas brings with him to White Hart Lane a wealth of experience, as he has played at the highest level.

Arsenal close in on £5m swoop for Sevilla stopper Squillaci

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Arsenal are closing in on a deal for Sevilla center back Sebastien Squillaci, according to the Guardian. The Gunners have agreed a £5m fee with the Spanish side, and the France international has made his way to London for a medical.

It was reported last week that Arsenal had made a bid for the 30-year-old, but in confirming the bid, Sevilla sporting director Ramon Rodriguez said the offer wasn't good enough.

Brazil fails to schedule a friendly

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Brazilian boss Mano Menezes called up his second group of players this Friday morning in Rio de Janeiro. More new names such as youngster Phillipe Coutinho, who's gets his first opportunity as a senior player, and Hulk, the Porto striker who had only one opportunity with Dunga.

Goalkeeper Gomes from Tottenham Hotspur comes back to the National Squad to join Daniel Alves, Thiago Silva, Ramires and Robinho as the only 2010 World Cup returnees.

Review: Fulham 2-2 Manchester United

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The thought going into yesterdays game at Craven Cottage – a place we haven't had a League win for three seasons – was that avoiding a repeat of last season's debacle (0-3, Scholes had a shitter etc) would have been ideal.

But that naïve view would have altered immediately after a glance at the top of the table that read ‘6 points' and ‘For: 12, Against: 0' next to Chelsea's name.

Is Newcastle Striker Andy Carroll Really England Material?

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The list of Newcastle United forwards that have donned that famous No. 9 shirt down the years is a pretty formidable one.

The exploits of club legends such as Jackie Milburn, Malcolm 'Supermac' Macdonald, Andrew Cole, Les Ferdinand and Alan Shearer have all served to weight that particular squad number with such significance that it becomes increasingly obvious as to why so many eyebrows were knowingly arched when a precocious, often volatile, 21-year-old in the lengthy shape of Andy Carroll was entrusted with the continuation of the mantle.

Hoops Continue Their Hot Streak

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FC Dallas edged out a 1-0 win over a defiant Chivas USA at Pizza Hut Park to stretch their unbeaten run to 11 matches.

Young Brek Shea scored the lone goal of the match with less than 20 minutes to go to give all three points to the Hoops as they pulled closer to securing a playoff spot.

Tottenham sign former Chelsea and Arsenal defender Gallas to one-year deal

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Tottenham announced today that they have completed the signing of former Chelsea and Arsenal defender William Gallas.

The 33-year-old chose not to renew his contract at Arsenal after four seasons with the Gunners, and he has now joined their North London rivals, penning a one-year deal with an option for a further year.

AC Milan manager Allegri admits interest in Barcelona star Ibrahimovic

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AC Milan manager Massimiliano Allegri has admitted that he's interested in Barcelona striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but it appears that such a deal would be unlikely.

The Swedish hit-man left Inter Milan for Barcelona in a blockbuster cash plus Samuel Eto'o deal last summer, and he had a decent first season at the Nou Camp, scoring 21 goals and assisting on nine more in 44 appearances in all competitions, including 16 in 29 La Liga appearances (23 starts).

Football: Best way to spend over 26,000 hours of your life

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Did you know?

  • Men spend 25% more time thinking, talking and watching football than loking after children.
  • Men spend more time per week thinking, talking and watching football than they spend on cleaning, washing and ironing.
  • Even in recession, 25% of unemployed Britishers who support a football team would miss a job interview in order to watch their team play.

Alberto Aquilani and Dirk Kuyt set for Liverpool exits as Roy Hodgson looks to rebuild

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Roy Hodgson's reshaping of his new Liverpool squad is gathering pace, with news that midfielder Alberto Aquilani is on the verge of completing a season-long loan switch to Juventus. And reports in Italy and Holland also claim that Dutch forward Dirk Kuyt could be poised to follow the Italian out of Anfield, with European Champions Inter Milan interested.

Rafa’s Signings: The Best and the Worst

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The Reds, as we all know have not been backed by a billionaire owner who can afford many mistakes done in the transfer market. Signing players properly is of top priority when you're in financial turmoil. Recently, before the resignation of Rafael Benitez, we saw him take a lot of criticism for failed transfers.

Robinho closes on Manchester City exit as Besiktas make £26m offer

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Manchester City could soon be set to finally part ways with Robinho, and in the process, recoup most of their record investment on the Brazilian. Turkish giants Besiktas have submitted a formal offer of £26m for the former Real Madrid star, with £16m up front and a further £10m in performance-related add-ons.

Dutch legend Davids signs on at Crystal Palace

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Days after Craig Bellamy's surprising move to hometown club Cardiff City, another well-known footballer has signed on the dotted line with a Championship club, as legendary Dutch midfielder Edgar Davids has agreed a pay-as-you-play deal with Crystal Palace.

The 37-year-old Davids hasn't played competitively since his second stint at Ajax came to a close at the end of the 2007/08 season.

Transfer Rumors: Real playmaker Van der Vaart open to Manchester United move

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Van der Vaart Open To United Switch

Real Madrid playmaker Rafael Van der Vaart said that if he were to leave Real, he would be open to a switch to Manchester United, who he views as the only club who wouldn‘t be a step down from Real. (Sky Sports)

Analysis: United have been linked with VDV for quite a while, and given that they still haven't quite filled that spot for a new creative midfielder and Real have just signed another one (which likely further limits the amount of limited opportunities he was already going to get), the opportunity's there for United to make a move and land him at a decent price.

Ibrahimovic to City? Not This Year

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Barcelona's Zlatan Ibrahimovic is undoubtedly one of the best strikers in the world.

But David Villa's move to the Spanish champions has unsettled the Sweden forward, who has been linked with a host of clubs.

Ibrahimovic came to Barcelona at the back of a season when the club was able to win the treble before adding trophies to their cabinet in the following year, winning the quadruple in a memorable fashion.

Rangers end summer spending with £4m swoop for Croatian striker Jelavic

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Rangers last night finalized a £4m deal for Rapid Vienna striker Nikica Jelavic, and in doing so, wrapped up their business for the summer, according to manager Walter Smith.

The Scottish champions had been after the Croatian goal-getter for some time, but the deal was only completed yesterday, as the 25-year-old had his medical and agreed a four-year deal.

Krisztian Nemeth to join Olympiakos from Liverpool

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Krisztian Nemeth is set to join Olympiakos next week, after the Greek giants agreed a €1.5m fee with Liverpool for the young striker's services.

The 21-year-old has agreed terms on a three-year deal, and is expected to finalise the move on Monday, following the completion of a medical.

Juventus sign Liverpool midfielder Aquilani on loan for season

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Juventus have completed the signing of Liverpool midfielder Alberto Aquilani on a season-long loan deal.

Aquilani signed from AS Roma in a £17m deal last summer, and he was expected to make a big impact at Anfield. However, as was the case during much of his time at Roma, injuries played a decisive factor in Aquilani being unable to meet those expectations.

3 Up Front – Launch Show This Thursday!

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After undergoing a summer makeover the ever popular Soccerlens Podcast makes it's long awaited comeback this week hitting the airwaves with a new name "3 Up Front" and we have a feeling you're going to love it!

Award-nominated hosts Adrian Clarke and Iain Spragg return for the new campaign with renewed enthusiasm and will take their place alongside charismatic football writer and author Iain Macintosh in a beefed up, belter of a new-look show that will cover all the hottest debates and talking points every week.

The League One Review

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A great second week to League One has seen 31 goals scored in the 10 fixtures this week and plenty of incidents and action to get ourselves stuck into.

As we will do regularly we start with the League One news:

  • The football world was saddened by the news of 2 deaths this week.

Western Gulf Advisory looking to acquire Blackburn Rovers

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You might already know that a negotiations team from Western Gulf Advisory (WGA), the Bahrain-Swiss based investment company which recently made a formal approach to Blackburn Rovers, were at Ewood Park on Monday, 16 August at 10am to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Blackburn Rovers, and to discuss the potential business and investment strategy including the transfer of new players.

Bellamy Banished to Bluebirds?

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With a talent the likes of Craig Bellamy supposedly prepared to switch to Championship side Cardiff, have his options been cut short by the powers that be at Eastlands?

The controversial Welshman was on many a Premier League shopping list but it is believed that a move to a top side has been cut off due to their rival status.

Milner transfer naga nears end as Aston Villa star has Manchester City medical

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Aston Villa midfielder James Milner is finally on the verge of completing his big-money move to Manchester City. The 24-year-old England international has undergone a medical at Eastlands, and it's only a matter of time before the deal is officially completed.

After extensive negotiations and many bumps in the road, Villa and City agreed a fee of £16m, and the deal will also include City midfielder Stephen Ireland, who's rated at £8m.

Real Madrid agree deal for Werder Bremen star Ozil

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Real Madrid have won the race for rising German star Mesut Ozil, as the they announced today that they have reached a deal for the Werder Bremen playmaker.

Thanks in part to impressing at the 2010 World Cup, as he played a key role in helping Germany finish third in South Africa, Ozil was linked with the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Barcelona, and Real this summer, and with only one year left on his contract with Werder Bremen, it's looked like a certainty that he would depart for one of those destinations before the end of the summer.

Cardiff secure shock loan signing of Manchester City misfit Bellamy

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Cardiff City have pulled off arguably the biggest transfer coup of the summer, signing Manchester City outcast Craig Bellamy on a season-long loan deal.

After falling out with manager Roberto Mancini and the club in the last couple of weeks, it was a formality that the well-traveled attacker would be on the move again.

Soccerlens Fantasy Football Week One: 100% Chance of Reina Drops

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The first week of the Soccerlens Fantasy Football Game is in the record books. After agonizing over my fantasy football team selection late last week, I report back with a weird mix of pride and disappointment that the Soccerlen All-Stars finished fourth in their 11 team league with 45 points.

Arsenal Fan Share – Premier League’s version of MyFootballClub

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As I write this, the Arsenal Fan Share website is down, thanks to poor choice of web hosting (they really went cheap here) and a deluge of traffic from excited Arsenal fans thinking that they could finally own a piece of their club now and stop those dirty Russians / Yanks from taking over.

The Arsenal Fan Share scheme is a nice PR move (notice how journalists were quick to call it 'Barcelona' style ownership structure without even knowing what Barcelona's ownership structure looks like), and ultimately the implementation of a modified MyFootballClub scheme on a Premier League club.

The FA Umbro Fives 2010 – Want to play in Wembley Stadium?

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Fabio Capello gave David Beckham the chance to end his international career at Wembley but Becks denied. Don't make the same mistake as he did. It's not like you're The David Beckham (if you are, you shouldn't be reading this).

Qualifiers will take place all over England throughout September and early October.

It’s Arsenal, only with more Englishmen – Arsenal vs Liverpool

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Red cards, goalkeeping errors, and late goals It's Arsenal, only with more Englishmen.

I watched the Tottenham-Manchester City game on Saturday, but despite it being an open, exciting match I didn't enjoy one minute of it. Such is the life of a a football fan, you are destined to view every game in the context of your own team.

Scottish Premier League Week 1 Review

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Celtic kicked off the Scottish Premier League season on Saturday afternoon with a tricky trip to Inverness to take on the SPL newcomers. After disappointment against Braga, the pressure was already beginning to build on new manager Neil Lennon and his new signings.

The Super Injunction: Blackpool Wins? Pepe’s Howler And The Latest Super Injunction

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Tangerine. Tangerine. Living Reflection from a Dream.

Pretty much every single pundit and commentator had Blackpool's Premier League stay pegged as a very short one. Almost everyone picked them to finish last and be relegated back to the Championship. In fact, before the start of the season, Racingbase had their odds of going down at 1:4.

Newcastle United 2010/2011 Season Preview

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One year on, and Newcastle United are back in the Premier League. One season in the Coca Cola Championship saw Chris Hughton's men pick up a record 102 points, and make a dramatic return to the top division.

The days of visiting Glanford Park, The Riverside and Portman Road are gone for a year at least, and if we're lucky, we might never take the plunge into the lower ebbs of English Football again.

Manchester United 2010 Tour Photos

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Manchester United kick off the new football season with a home game against the newly-promoted Newcastle United (welcome back, Geordies).

Here's a look back at a largely successful pre-season, which saw United launch their shirt sponsorship with Aon, play (and win) pre-season matches across North America and get valuable match practice under the belts of the squad players.

Messi, Fabregas and Guti ‘most influential’ last season?

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In the last year, there has been a sharp drop in the number of Brazilian players in the five major European leagues (England, Spain, Italy, Germany and France). Though Brazil remains the most represented nation among expatriates, the number of footballers from this country has fallen by 24 between the 2008/09 and 2009/10 seasons, decreasing from 163 to 139.

UEFA Club Footballer Of The Year

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UEFA has announced the nominees for the UEFA Club Football Awards with a total of 12 players shortlisted both for the positional awards and for the overall prize of UEFA Club Footballer of the Year.

The UEFA Club Football Awards will be presented during the UEFA Champions League group stage draw in Monaco on Thursday 26 August, with three players apiece in contention for the best goalkeeper, best defender, best midfielder and best forward awards.

Support Your Local Non-League Team on September 4th

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There will be no Premier League, Championship, League One or League Two football played on Saturday, September 4th. All four of England's top divisions are taking the weekend off because of the international break. But that doesn't there will be no football.

Non-League teams will still be in action, and the Non-League Football Day campaign is encouraging all football fans to go and support their local non-league team.

The World’s Biggest Soccer Sponsors

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The relationship between major brands and football is now firmly established. Brands crave the exposure that being associated with a major football club, player, competition or organizations can bring, and everyone in the latter group either wants or needs the money that brands will pay to sponsor them.

UEFA’s Financial Fair-play and why we should care

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The best way to ruin a club is to take away the profit made from European competitions; so many clubs depend on it so much that if taken away, they could easily go bankrupt.

If during a season a club earns 25 million Euros from the Champions league, then the next it earns zero, it won't be spending much money in the transfer market.

David Beckham – We salute you

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David Beckham's turbulent sixteen year career at international level looks all but over. Fabio Capello has deemed the former Manchester United and Real Madrid man as "too old" and will no longer be seeking his services as he begins to groom younger talent into his England set-up.

The manner of Capello's revelation is somewhat ignorant and obnoxious.

The League Two Review

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Welcome to the review of this weeks League Two action. After a fantastic opening weekend featuring 25 goals and plenty of action it was a more sombre second weekend in League Two featuring only 15 goals. The fixtures this weekend seemed to be matching teams of very similar ambitions and calibers and it showed, especially in the five 0-0's which will be covered in more detail later.

Exclusive Interview with Manchester United’s Rafael da Silva

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Recently, our friends over at Republik of Mancunia caught up with Manchester United's right-back, Rafael da Silva. They asked him about the upcoming season, Fabio da Silva, Alex Ferguson's decision about no more signings and the strength of the Premier League.

He believes that Fergie has an amazing group of players and he can handle them very well.

Ten Premier League Milestones

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  • 1. Manchester United are only six points short of earning 1500 in the Premier League. With an average of 2.15 points per game, Alex Ferguson's side are unsurprisingly the most successful team in the league's 17-year history.
  • 2. Kevin Davies needs to commit 34 more fouls to take his Premier League career total to 800.

Transfer Rumors: Improved Tottenham bid for West Ham’s Parker?

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Tottenham Table New Parker Bid

According to the Daily Star, Tottenham have made an improved offer of 12 million pounds for West Ham midfielder Scott Parker after seeing an initial bid of seven million pounds quickly rejected.

Analysis: West Ham co-owner David Sullivan recently said Parker wasn't for sale at any price, so that would seem to indicate that even 12 million would be rebuffed without a thought.

The Lower Leagues: Fantasy Football?

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I appreciate that there is nothing more tiresome (or tragic) than listening to somebody harp on about the decisions behind the selection of their fantasy football team. "I've got Lampard in the middle, you've gotta have Lampard and double points if he's captain! I just didn't know whether to pick Carlton Cole or Bobby Zamora upfront!

50 Predictions For The Premier League Season

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You've installed Sky, your fantasy football team is picked and you've even placed some bets on how the opening day will play out.

But have you considered how the whole season itself will play out? What will the fate of the Barclays Premier League be after the bloodthirsty English press are done ravaging it for 10 straight months?

Celtic winger McGeady completes Spartak Moscow switch

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Celtic winger Aiden McGeady has completed his move to Spartan Moscow.

The Russian side has made McGeady the most expensive export ever in Scottish football, landing him for around 9.8 million pounds, and the Ireland international has penned a four-year deal with the capital club.

Inter striker Balotelli flies in for Manchester City medical

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Manchester City are finally nearing the finish line with their big-money move for Inter Milan striker Mario Balotell, as the 20-year-old has flown to Manchester for his medical.

Balotelli, who made his senior debut for Italy in Tuesday's friendly defeat against the Ivory Coast, was reported as wanting a salary of 180, 000 pounds a week, which threatened to throw a wrench into the deal.

Arsene Wenger – The Accountant

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Five long summers ago, in the magnificent arena that is the Millennium Stadium, legend has it that Arsenal won a trophy. That trophy was the FA Cup and they did so by beating Manchester United 5-4 on penalties. Back then Arsenal had men such as Vieira, Henry, Ljungberg, Campbell and Gilberto Silva.

United signs another young striker – Bebe

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After signing the Mexican sensation at the World Cup, Chicharito, Alex Ferguson has went on to buy the Portuguese striker Tiago Manuel Dias Correia a.k.a. Bébé. The kid is 20 years old and plays for Vitoria de Guimaraes has been signed for an undisclosed fee and his transfer is subject to his medical in Manchester later this week.

How to Pick Your Soccerlens Fantasy Football Team

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If you read the five reasons why you should play the Soccerlens Fantasy Football Game, then you should be ready to sign up and pick your fantasy team. To help you do that I'm going to take you through the process step by step, explaining how I picked the Soccerlens All-Stars XI.

Football in Italy: Crisis, Problems & Solutions – Part I

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The bitter disappointment for the Italian National Team poor figure at the FIFA WC 2010 is just the tip of the iceberg of a crisis that involves all Italian soccer, including clubs. Inter's win in Champions League came without a single local player on the pitch, but at the same time saved Italy's fourth spot in the top European competition also for 2011-2012 edition.

Liverpool replace wantaway Mascherano with Juventus midfielder Poulsen

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Wantaway midfielder Javier Mascherano is still a Liverpool player for the time being, but Roy Hodgson has already swooped for his replacement, landing Juventus midfielder Christian Poulsen for 4.5 million pounds.

Mascherano has openly stated his desire to leave Anfield, and a reunion with Rafa Benitez at Inter Milan or a move to Barcelona could be in the cards soon.

Celtic loan return for controversial Manchester City star Bellamy?

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Celtic have opened discussions with Manchester City over a loan move for Craig Bellamy, according to Celtic manager Neil Lennon.

The Welsh forward is coming off of his finest season in several years, as he scored 10 goals and assisted on eight more in 26 Premier League starts, along with notching a further four assists in City's run to the Carling Cup semifinals and a goal in the FA Cup.

Review Your Boots & Win a Pair of Concaves (Contest)

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It's always a pleasure announcing new contests here at Soccerlens, and, working together with Concave, I can say with confidence that we have the easiest and best contest for you awesome readers. We couldn't have made it more simple for you to win a free pair of football boots this month. All you need is the football boots you already own, a digital camera, and a bit of writing skills!

Football in Italy: Crisis, Problems & Solutions – Part II

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This is a two part article. Continuing from Part I of Football in Italy: Crisis, Problems & Solutions.

Financial Crisis at Club Level

As we said in the first part of this article, Italian soccer crisis does not involve the national teams only, clubs have big problems too. Inter's executives decided to sell some players due to the UEFA "Financial Fair-Play" that will be operating in the future, and Balotelli himself probably will sign for Manchester City.

New 10-11 Premier League Home Kits Overview (A-L)

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The blogs are getting backed up with all of the 2010-2011 kit releases, especially since every Premier League club has made the executive decision to release new home and away kits this season. This season clubs got a makeover from the biggest brands in the world, with Nike, Adidas, Umbro, Puma, Reebok, Le Coq Sportif, and more being in action displaying some of the best kit design ever seen, and probably some of the worst ever seen (considering some of the away and third kits).

Aston Villa 2010/2011 Season Preview

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A pre season, unquestionably overshadowed by an ongoing transfer saga of last season's best player and a managerial departure doesn't look good on paper just days before the start of a season. Despite this Villa fans should still be upbeat about the campaign ahead hoping for a bright future under a new regime.

Transfer Rumors: Liverpool set sights on another Cole?

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Liverpool Call On Another Cole?

The Daily Mail says that Liverpool have made an inquiry for West Ham striker Carlton Cole and have been quoted a price of 12 million pounds for Cole, who's also been targeted by Stoke City.

Analysis: Liverpool do need to add another scoring option, especially in the event Fernando Torres has more injury problems this season.

De Rossi Goes Down Hard

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I was looking around on the internet for random stuff and ended up on a certain Looking around at videos of people getting into stupid accidents and saw an interesting related video's thumbnail. It had an Italian 'football player' going down after a hard tackle from the Paraguayan defense.

CSKA star Krasic agrees terms with Juventus

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CSKA Moscow winger Milos Krasic has agreed personal terms with Juventus, but a fee still has yet to be agreed between the two sides.

The Serbia international has been at the top of Juve's list throughout the summer, but a deal hasn't been easy to come by. It's looked recently like the deal could be dead, but with Krasic having agreed his contract with the Serie A giants, the deal could finally be near completion.

O’Neill leaves Villa in disarray

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The shocking news that Martin O'Neill has resigned as manager of Aston Villa is sparking rumour after rumour regarding his departure. Many Villa fans will see this as a dark day in the clubs history with the Ulsterman bringing Europe and Wembley back into their lives.

A true managerial great has now left the club who must now embark on the difficult task of replacing the Irish talisman.

Kevin Toms – The creator of Football Manager

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A couple of months ago we stumbled across a Monday night game across the river at Aveley. The game was in the Championship Manager Cup, a trophy for the Ryman's League teams. Eidos had kindly sponsored the trophy, which on a good day we see 150 people paying to watch a cup tie.

The cup final, played in March was won by Ryman's League One side Leatherhead who beat Wealdstone from the league above on penalties.

Watch out Premier League – Manchester United mean business this season

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Around 3 months ago and during the summer as well to a degree, many people were getting premonitions of Manchester United on a decline. Some of these people also predicted a decline when Robson, Cantona, Keane and van Nistelrooy left. Yet we survived each and every time, coming roaring back to win all before and behind us.

Is Paul Scholes coming out of his shell?

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Not so long ago a Paul Scholes interview was as rare as the words 'excellent tackler' being attributed to the age-defying midfielder, but those who caught yesterday's Community Shield action on the tele would have seen the Salford-born United man spare a few moments for Sky Sports' Geoff Shreeves as he deservedly received his Man of the Match bubbly.

Club or Country

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With the World Cup well and truly gone but not forgotten on England's behalf, is the honor of playing for one's country losing its value?

Fabio Capello named his squad for Wednesday's friendly against Hungary on Saturday night and since then has been embarrassed only to be rejected by two of England's fringe players.

Crisis at Camp Capello

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England boss Fabio Capello appeared to be lost in translation at the World Cup after his instructions of how to play winning football failed to reach the players but he certainly has got the message this weekend that he has lost the respect of the England dressing room.

Before being omitted from the squad, Jermain Defoe claimed the England players were hungry to make amends but it has been the players not considered good enough to make his 23-man squad for the tournament this summer to publicly embarrass the Italian by retiring from international duty AFTER being selected for the friendly on Wednesday.

Scottish Premier League 2010/2011 Season Preview – Part 1

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It's almost here. The shiny new SPL season starts this Saturday, the 14th of August. After a summer spent grimly watching a poor World Cup (although at least we could rejoice in England's misery) and listening to increasingly tedious and unimaginative transfer reports (Barca and Fabregas; Man City and EVERYONE), us Scottish football fans are about to be relieved of our boredom by the unquestionably exciting and technically accomplished exploits of Scotland's finest football teams.

Inter doesn’t want Mascherano, Barcelona does

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Italian giant Inter Milan seem to have lost interest in the Argentinean midfielder Javier Mascherano.

Masch had made it clear that he wants to reunite with Rafael Benitez at San Siro and even learned Italian during the World Cup this summer. This week the Inter President Massimo Moratti decided that €30 million was too expensive now that Maicon is off the market.

Premier League stronger despite lack of exciting summer signings

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In one week the opening matches of the 2010/11 Premier League season will have taken place. Usually this is a time for fans to place under the microscope their respective clubs' new summer signings, hoping for at least one marquee player who is going to lead the club to new glory in the forthcoming campaign.

Youth is the word as Arsenal prepare for new campaign

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With the Emirates Cup now taken care of, and only a trip to Poland between now and the start of the Premier League season, the Arsenal squad is starting to take shape. Of course you've got the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Robin Van Persie and Thomas Vermaelen, three players who will need to be at the peak of their powers if the Gunners are to mount a serious assault on the major honors this season, but I want to focus on those who will be trying to establish themselves in the squad for that opening trip to Anfield.

Best Buys: When footballers were cheap…

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With Aston Villa looking for 30 million pounds for James Milner, Manchester city paying 20+ million for Joleon Lescott and Manchester City paying 25 million pounds for Adebayor in recent few years, it shows that the days of paying 3.6 million pounds for players the quality of Roy Keane and 1.

What we learnt on the 1st day of the Championship

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It is a very bad idea to draw conclusions from the opening day of the season. Here we go:

  • 1. An open division
    You could dismiss all the upsets as opening day madness but they may be a sign of things to come. No team in this division stands far above the rest; expect more confusion and unpredictability.

New rules for brighter future?

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We are getting close to the beginning of the most exclusive football league in the world. Well, so people say. Huge amount of money, spotlight, scandal, talented players, brilliant managers, deep-pocket club's owners, kick and rush, exciting atmosphere and enthusiastic spectators are some of many reasons why it's always interesting to watch the Premier League.

Transfer Rumors: Could Tottenham star Crouch return to Liverpool?

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City Close On Double Swoop

BBC Sport says that Manchester City hope to complete deals for Aston Villa's James Milner and Inter Milan's Mario Balotelli by Thursday.

Analysis: It would have been ideal to have both signed up by the end of this weekend so that they could already be well acclimated and integrated into their new team ahead of next weekend's season opener, but if they're both signed up by Thursday, we should see them both on the pitch come on Sunday at Tottenham.

United Win…Nothing, Fabregas Held Hostage by Arsenal and, is the Homegrown Rule Legal?

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Manchester United Get Off to a Flying Start

Last season's domestic double winners, Chelsea, took on Manchester United in their annual pre-season friendly. Some call it "The Community Shield." I prefer to call it "the gigantic piece of metal that Roy Keane once raised over his head without cracking a smile.

Paul Scholes – A credit to the game

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The start of another Premier League campaign beckons and Manchester United have bagged their first piece of silverware after a 3-1 victory over Chelsea captured their 18th Charity/Community Shield. As the likes of Wayne Rooney, Javier Hernandez and Dimitar Berbatov went about their business with a point or two to prove it was the veteran Paul Scholes who played the integral role in The Red Devils victory.

The return of ‘Il Divin Codino’ – Roberto Baggio

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Every football fan remembers their first childhood hero. The reason they fell in love with the beautiful game and quiet often the main factor that determined what football club they began to support.  That player for yours truly, was Roberto Baggio and with the return to Calcio this week of ‘Il Divin Codino' the feelings of both nostalgia and hope entered my mind.

Did Barcelona Really Need Fábregas Anyway?

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Finally, it appears to have been settled. Francesc Fábregas i Soler, to give him his full name, has been persuaded to give Arsenal another chance to keep their marriage interesting, while Arsenal will forgive the infidelity of his glances towards Barcelona, for the sake of the kids.

Why Roy Hodgson could be the perfect man for Liverpool

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One year back, at the start of last season, we saw Liverpool finish 2nd behind Manchester United by 4 points and appear as genuine title contenders. Rafael Benitez who was into his new 5-year contract with Liverpool, along with a few stars of the club, claimed that the next season could very well be the time they won the premier league.

West Ham snap-up Reid

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West Ham United have announced the signing of New Zealand international defender Winston Reid.

Reid, 22, has been signed from Danish Superliga club FC Midtjylland for an undisclosed fee. He played in this years World Cup and scored a memorable stoppage-time goal for his country to secure a draw with Slovakia.

Celtic weigh up move for Birmingham star McFadden

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According to Sky Sports, Celtic could soon make a move for Birmingham forward James McFadden.

Aiden McGeady is currently mulling over a 10m move to Spartak Moscow, and even if he doesn't make the move to Russia, it looks highly unlikely that he'll be at Celtic Park when the summer transfer window closes, with the likes of Aston Villa also interested in the Ireland international.

Poulsen’s agent expects Liverpool deal to be done in days

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The agent of Juventus midfielder Christian Poulsen is confident that his client will complete a switch to Liverpool next week.

The former Sevilla and Schalke star has been heavily linked with Liverpool recently as Roy Hodgson looks to a future without Javier Mascherano, and earlier in the week, Hodgson confirmed that he was interested in the tough-tackling Dane.

Genoa switch now in the cards for Liverpool’s Insua?

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Emiliano Insua may have missed out on a move to Fiorentina, but it looks like he could still yet make a Serie A switch this month. According to Sky Sports Italia, Genoa have been in talks over a deal for the Liverpool left back.

Insua looked all but set to depart last week, as Fiorentina had agreed a fee with Liverpool for the 21-year-old.

Chelsea manager Ancelotti dismisses latest Cole-to-Real rumors as ‘totally rubbish’

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Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti has dismissed speculation that Ashley Cole will leave the club for Real Madrid and be replaced at left back by Benfica's Fabio Coentrao.

With Cole's private life garnering more headlines in the British press than his performances on the pitch, there has been speculation that the England international could seek a fresh start in a new locale.

El Especial de Una Has Landed in Bernabeu

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On Monday, May 31st 2010, Jose Mourinho had officially signed a 4-year-contract with Real Madrid. Florentino Perez's interest in bringing Jose Mourinho to Santiago Bernabeu is closely related to the series of success which this 47-year-old coach has achieved. Jose Mourinho presented the Champions League title to Porto, ended a Premier League's title drought for Chelsea for over 50 years and certainly the most spectacular was bringing Inter Milan won the treble last season.

Poor ownership and a mediocre season shouldn’t disfigure Liverpool’s identity

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Liverpool Football Club. Even just the name sends a tinkle down the spine.

In what has been a turbulent twelve months for the Merseysiders with the change of management, player unrest and off field antics involving two American owners, you get a sense of fresh optimism growing within the Liverpool camp.

Play the Soccerlens Fantasy Football Game

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Think you know the Premier League? Of course you do. Everyone does. But now you have the chance to prove it, by playing the Soccerlens Fantasy Football Game. There are plenty of fantasy football games out there, but here are five very good reasons why you should play this one:

  • 1.

Rooney believes that Premier League is harder now

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Manchester United superstar Wayne Rooney believes the Premier League has never been harder to win.

The Englishman believes that United will have more tough opponents to deal with than ever, and Rooney relishes the challenge of fending of Manchester City and Tottenham as well as the other big teams including Chelsea and Arsenal to regain the crown.

Neymar is bringing the spectacle back for Brazil. It’s show time!

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In 1953 Garrincha was a 19 year-old man who signed for Rio's top club of Botafogo FR. In his first training session Garrincha put the ball between the legs of experience national team defender Nilton Santos.

Mané Garrincha soon became the most loved and the most hated player in Brazil.

Kenny Huang tells Hodgson he can buy Lionel Messi

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Kenny Huang, a Chinese businessman, has reportedly told Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson that should the ownership bid be successful, any transfer would be possible, including Barcelona star Lionel Messi.

The Daily Star has revealed that Roy will be given the freedom to pursue any player he would like to make a Liverpool player.

Is This Rafael’s Year?

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Since Rafael Da Silva made his debut for Manchester United in a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford against Newcastle back in August 2008 he has been earmarked as one of the best young gems the game has had to offer in recent times. Brave on and off the ball, Rafael is never one to shy away from making hard-hitting tackles or make lung-busting runs, ones which have made Gary Neville a legend at Old Trafford.

Liverpool 2-0 FK Rabotnicki (agg. 4-0)

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A vibrant, effervescent performance last night saw Liverpool officially book their place in the play-off round of the Europa League. It must be stressed at the outset that the opposition would struggle to beat a League 1 side. But nevertheless, an Anfield just over two-thirds full would have been pleased to see signs of real promise for the future.

Arsenal – Have the lessons been learned?

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Last season was a humbling experience for Arsenal fans. Cruelly hoodwinked by the cosmic beauty of their team's play, the Gunners faithful winced painfully as their hopes were smashed to smithereens by the powerful productivity of their three biggest enemies Barcelona, Manchester United and Chelsea.

Fabregas staying but Arsenal must prepare for future

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After months of speculations, rumors and transfer talks Cesc Fabregas has come out and put an end to this... for now at least. He will be staying at the Arsenal. He said:

"Firstly I would like to apologise to all the Arsenal fans for not speaking sooner about my future but I have not known what I was going to do until this moment.

Paul Watson – Best international English manager?

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After the huge fuss of England's appalling showing in South Africa, the FA started another long and tedious review of how our national game should be run, what is the future of the academy at Burton and who should eventually succeed Fabio Capello when he eventually leaves. The upshot was that we need an Englishman in charge of our national game.

Liverpool – A club very much in the past

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Liverpool are, as we all know, the most successful team in English football history. 18 league titles, 5 European Cups, 7 FA Cups and 7 League Cups. They are only behind the giant clubs of Real Madrid and AC Milan in the European trophy count. They've had some world class players down through the years.

Frustrated Barcelona to turn to Everton star Arteta?

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According to the Liverpool Daily Post, Barcelona could make a move for Everton midfielder Mikel Arteta after hitting brick wall after brick wall with their pursuit of Arsenal star Cesc Fabregas.

The ‘will he, won't he?' speculation about Fabregas moving to Barcelona has been arguably the top transfer story of the summer, with the speculation seemingly changing by the day, but the core facts remain the same Arsenal haven't budged, and they won't be budging unless something drastically changes.

Genoa pulls off a real coup by signing Portuguese international

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Italian club Genoa have officially unveiled their latest recruit Miguel Veloso. The 24 year old has been heavily linked with a host of top European sides for a number of seasons but it is The Rossoblu who has grabbed his signature from Sporting Lisbon.

The highly rated anchorman will cost the Italians €9 million with Alberto Zapater moving in the opposite direction.

Door still open for Maradona Agentina return

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Argentina team director Carlos Bilardo has refused to close the door on the possible return of Diego Maradona as head coach.

Maradona, considered a legend across his home country, hasn't had his contract renewed by the AFA as yet. The decision has come as a surprise to many, with the national side previously being stated one of the favorites for world domination in South Africa, but eventually fell to an impressive German side during the quarter finals.

Bayern Munich livid with “irresponsible” Dutch over Robben’s injury

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Bayern Munich's Arjen Robben will miss the opening two months of the season after the hamstring injury which had threatened to rule him out of the World Cup has flared up again.

The club's doctor has labelled the Dutch FA "irresponsible" for allowing Robben to play with an injury which hadn't properly healed.

Pre-season thoughts on Roy Hodgson and Liverpool

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As the start of the 2010/2011 Premier League season approaches the next few weeks the nation's football fans will begin to fill out their score predictions and try and predict how the 20 teams involved will perform this season. Every season has overachievers and underachievers.

Will this be the season where Manchester City break into the top 4?

Liverpool: Worthless or richer than Manchester City

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Liverpool is "Worthless."
At least their stock is. A Hong Kong-based sovereign wealth fund hoping to take over financially troubled Liverpool have deemed the club's stock "worthless." In related news, the fund also deemed Ryan Babel, Lucas Leiva, and Jamie Carragher (World Cup version) "worthless.

Do Manchester United really need to add a fresh face to their squad?

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There have already been two new additions to the Manchester United roster this transfer window, but are young up and comers Javier Hernandez and Chris Smalling really the only two fresh faces required in the current Manchester United squad?

While I have the utmost confidence in the managerial experience Sir Alex Ferguson boasts, I am a little unconvinced by the lack of quality players being seriously courted by the Red Devil's supremo.

Ramires heading to Chelsea in £17m deal – Report

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Brazilian midfielder Ramires is close to completing a £17 million move to Chelsea, according to the BBC.

The 23 year-old was featured in Brazil's World Cup side in South Africa earlier this summer, during which he pulled off some rather impressive appearances. He's reportedly due to undergo a medical sometime today, and should complete his move from Benfica by the end of the week.

England’s next generation

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On August 11th, England will face Hungary in the first match since crashing out of the World Cup against Germany. The failings of the team, the problems with the formation and the managerial situation has been talked to death since the country's exit but for the team to move forward there must be a line drawn under what happened in South Africa.

Spain star Torres committed and ready for new season at Liverpool

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Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson has received a big boost today, with star striker Fernando Torres seemingly putting an end to nay speculation about his future by stating his loyalty to the club.

Torres' future, along with the futures of Steven Gerrard and Javier Mascherano, has been the subject of much debate this summer.

Fulham interested in former Arsenal star Alexander Hleb

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According to the Daily Mail, Fulham are interested in making a move for former Arsenal star Alexander Hleb.

New Fulham manager Mark Hughes reportedly has a £25m transfer kitty to work with, and one of the players on Hughes' radar looks to be Hleb, according to the Mail.

A look back at Italy’s 2010 World Cup

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In what can only be seen as an incredible fall from grace, it is unbelievable how over a period of four years, the 2006 World Cup Champions have gone from producing stunning displays of disciplined and tactically sound football, to finishing bottom of their group and becoming only the second defending champions to be knocked out in the group stage alongside 1998 World Champions France who crashed out in the group stages in 2002.

Steve Coppell will be “amazed” if James gets another England cap

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Bristol City manager Steve Coppell has said he would be "amazed" if recent signing David James were to be selected for another England international cap.

James, who turned 40 yesterday, made his way to Ashton Gate on a free transfer after former club Portsmouth chose not to renew his contract.

Wenger to FA: Get Frimpong for England

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has urged The English FA to invite midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong to play for England in the future, after the youngster showed interest in playing for Ghana.

The 18 year-old was born in the African country, but is eligible to play for The Three Lions after moving to London ten years ago.

Where has it all gone wrong Anderson?

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It was the summer of 2007. Manchester United had just won another title and they wanted to claim the initiative for the upcoming season by making several marquee signings. Tevez, Hargreaves and Nani were all brought through the Old Trafford doors.

And then along came a lesser known Brazilian by the name of Anderson (or Anderson Luís de Abreu Oliveira to give him his full name).

The Jack Wilshere Predicament

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A second, successive excellent pre-season display by Arsenal's 18 year old prodigy Jack Wilshere has prompted Arsene Wenger to suggest that he is ready for an international call-up. This leads me to ask whether:

  1. Wilshere is ready for an England call-up?
  2. Wilshere would benefit more from another loan move, or continued tutelage under Wenger's wing?

Dimitar Berbatov’s Date With Destiny

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Dimitar Berbatov's dip in performances levels have been so dramatic since he set the premiership a light in his first two seasons at White Hart Lane compared to well two mediocre at best seasons for Manchester United.

Since he's move from Tottenham many of United's fans have had no problem displaying there disdain for the Bulgarians style of play which at times he can look very lackadaisical considering he is the club most expensive buy in its long and highly dramatic history.

Cardiff look to sign Kallio, Vignal and John once embargo is lifted

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Cardiff City manager Dave Jones has confirmed the club are looking to sign Tony Kallio, Gregory Vignal and Martin John, with all three impressing during their trials in South Wales, but insisted nothing will happen until a transfer embargo is lifted by The Football League.

Jones said, on the club's official website:

"They've been in with us over the week and we've been running the rule over them.

Manchester United midfielder Anderson pulled from burning car

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Manchester United midfielder Anderson has been pulled from a burning car unconscious, according to reports.

The crash, which occurred on Saturday in Portugal, saw the Brazilian sent to hospital after sustaining minor injuries, being released several hours later. Two others, a man and a women, are thought to have been in the Audi R8 with the 22 year-old when it hit a brick wall, before landing in a field.

Raul at the double for his new club

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Raul bagged a brace for his new club as Schalke came from a goal down to beat German champions Bayern Munich in the Liga Total Cup final.

Raul's predatory instincts are still well intact as he leveled for The Miners after they went a goal down to Deniz Mujic's opener. Raul tapped the ball into an empty net after Edu's long rang effort trickled off the post and into the path of the prolific Spaniard.

Premier League chairman’s position comes under fire from Fulham

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Fulham Football Club has demanded that Sir Dave Richards, the Premier League chairman, to be denied involvement in any future transfers or be removed from his position due to the failed transfer of Peter Crouch to Craven Cottage.

The Whites have taken Richards to court as they accuse him of scuppering Crouch's move from Portsmouth to West London in favor of a move to Tottenham Hotspur last summer.

Are all foriegn Manchester United fans glory hunters?

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It's one of the biggest arguments all non Manchester United fans have against United, that none of United's fans are from Manchester and that where all glory hunting supporters that don't truly follow the club, well here's my retaliation in defence of myself and United's foreign fans all around the globe.

Arsenal manager Wenger refuses to confirm interest in Germany defender Mertesacker

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has neither confirmed nor denied any potential interest in Werder Bremen center back Per Mertesacker, but his comments indicate that something could well be in the works.

Arsenal have already bolstered the back line this summer, with French center back Laurent Koscielny arriving from Lorient last month in a £10m deal.

Mancini assures Manchester City fans of trophies

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Manchester City coach Roberto Mancini has insisted that his side will end the 2010-2011 season with a new trophy in the Manchester City cabinet.

The 45 year-old who joined the blue team from Manchester after the sacking of Mark Hughes is keen on silverware after spending millions on new players like Yaya Toure, David Silva, Aleksander Kolarov, and Jerome Boateng.

David Villa: Torres will leave because of lack of silverware

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Barcelona striker David Villa has revealed that Spain teammate and fellow strike partner might leave Liverpool for one reason, and that is lack of title wins.

Fernando Torres, who has been linked with moves to Manchester City, Chelsea, and Manchester United, has been Liverpool's main man in attack, and although providing goals, the World Cup winner has failed to lift a title in Liverpool colors.

Werder Bremen star Mezut Ozil interested in a move to England

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Werder Bremen play maker and World Cup semi-finalist Mezut Ozil has revealed that he would not say no to a move to Premier League powerhouses Manchester United or Chelsea.

The 21 year-old enjoyed a sensational World Cup with Germany, and helped his team reach the semi-finals in South Africa and has been linked with a move to Spanish Giants Real Madrid and Barcelona, as well as Manchester United and Chelsea in England.

Wesley Sneijder believes Jose Mourinho will coach Manchester United and England in the future

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Inter Milan midfielder Wesley Sneijder believes his former coach will be in England in the future.

The World Cup finalist thinks Jose Mourinho will follow Sir Alex Ferguson and take over the Red Devils when the Scot does put an end to his legendary managerial career, knowing that the Premier League is the Portuguese's favorite league in football and is hoping to return to England one day.

Mesut Ozil – I Beg You To Join.

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Every World Cup a player comes out of nowhere to take the world by storm and become the next big thing. This year that privilege was taken by Mesut Ozil. Ever since the World Cup the transfers story about Mesut have been coming in from every direction. One minute Chelsea are the favorites to sign him the next Real Madrid are.

Is Milner The Man For City?

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This transfer window so far has been fascinating! With the expected rumors that naturally come with a world cup year, so far there has been little substance to it. Of course Manchester City and Barcelona are knee deep in the market pursuing whoever they choose, but they could well be buying for the sake of it.

American star Donovan not in Everton’s budget, says manager Moyes

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An Everton return for Los Angeles Galaxy star Landon Donovan looks unlikely to happen, according to Everton manager David Moyes.

The American attacker enjoyed a successful two-month loan spell at Everton last season, and a few days ago, Donovan stated that he'd be interested in a return to Goodison Park.

Insua returns to Liverpool as Fiorentina move falls through

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It looks like Liverpool will have the services of left back Emiliano Insua, at least for the time being, s the Argentine's prospective move to Fiorentina has fallen through.

The two sides had agreed on a fee for the 21-year-old, but the deal has broken down due to the player being unable to agree personal terms with the Serie A side.

Hart could look for another loan move

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Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini could lose out again on Joe Hart for the season, with the England international considering another loan move if he isn't placed as the number one goalkeeper at Eastlands for the upcoming season.

Hart, who was included in Fabio Capello's World Cup squad this year, spent last season at Birmingham City due to the arrival of Shay Given.

Europa League Draw: Liverpool face Trabzonspor, Rapid Vienna for Villains and Timisoara for City

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The Turkish side, Trabzonspor, is said to be a "tricky" side as they found out that they will be the opponents of Liverpool in the play-offs. Aston Villa will have to travel to Austria to meet Rapid Vienna and Manchester City will be facing the Romanian side FC Timisoara.

Scottish sides Celtic, Dundee United and Motherwell will take on Utrecht, AEK Athens and Odense respectively whereas CSKA Sofia will face the Welsh side The New Saints.