Ahad, 29 Jun 2008

Huntelaar rejects new Ajax deal

Highly-rated Holland striker Klaas Jan Huntelaar has failed to agree a new contract with Ajax.

Huntelaar has been linked with a number of Premier League clubs, including Manchester United and Arsenal, after his goalscoring exploits for the Eredivisie side.

Ajax technical director Danny Blind admitted that contract talks had failed partly because Huntelaar wanted a release clause written into the deal but felt Ajax wanted to set the price too high.


"When you look at the Ajax salary structure he could get a huge deal," Blind told De Telegraaf.

"But he doesn't want to see a release clause set at 25million euros (£19.75million) in his contract. We didn't want to go any lower."

However, Blind insists the breakdown in talks does not mean Huntelaar will leave the club any time soon.


"We don't want to see Klaas Jan leave us," he said. "The bar is high. We would like to keep our top scorer in Amsterdam. If he doesn't want to sign a new contract, he still has a deal for the next two years."

Blind also holds out hope that Huntelaar might reconsider.

"The negotiations are stalled," he said. "We have agreed on the fact that Ajax will speak with all clubs that come in for Huntelaar.

"If the interested clubs don't want to pay what we ask for, then we hope that we can start new talks with Klaas Jan again."

Ade - Exit may benefit club

Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor has admitted he does not know where his future lies following interest from 'one of the biggest clubs in the world'.

Adebayor gave conflicting messages over his Emirates Stadium future on Friday after he initially stated he will remain in North London before conceding that he has yet to make a definitive decision.

Serie A giants Milan, who will play in the Uefa Cup next season, have made no secret of their interest in the Togo international and will be eagerly anticipating the expected announcement on his future next week.

The Gunners will be desperate to hold onto Adebayor after he struck an impressive 30 goals last season, but the former Monaco forward feels an exit would not necessarily be detrimental to the club, who paid £7million for his services in 2006.


"I had a dream of playing for Arsenal, and Arsenal are one of the loveliest clubs in the world," he said.

"When I go back to Africa it is obvious that a lot of people love the club. But now I have a chance of playing with one of the biggest clubs in the world.

"I haven't had a chance to speak to the manager yet. But we will sit down next week and decide what is good for my career.

"We will have to meet with the manager before anything can be decided. But, as you know better than anyone, a lot of teams want me to play for them.

"It will not be a difficult decision. I'm just going to sit down with my agent and with my family and decide what is good for my career.

"If they're going to get 50million for me and they bought me for 10million, everyone is getting the benefits.


"They have to make a good decision and I have to make a good decision. I have asked Arsenal to look at it and see what they want.

"I have a promise from the manager Arsene Wenger that they will call me next week. I am waiting for their answer and next week I will decide.

"I need to know before I come back to train on 21st July. At the moment, I am in a position that I don't know where I will play."

Walcott to wear No 14 from 2008/09 campaign

From the start of the 2008/09 campaign Theo Walcott will wear the No 14 jersey.

The English forward will vacate the No 32 shirt that he has worn since his arrival at the Club from Southampton over two-and-a-half years ago.

Walcott enjoyed his finest season with the Gunners last term, grabbing his first Premier League and Champions League goals. His growth into one of the country’s brightest talents culminated in a recall to the England set-up for the fixture against Trinidad and Tobago.

The change is the only one following the announcement last week on squad numbers, which saw new signing Aaron Ramsey handed the No 16 shirt, and striker Carlos Vela taking No 12. Below is the full list of squad numbers for the 2008/09 campaign.

Here are the squad numbers in full:

1. Manuel ALMUNIA
2. Abou DIABY
3. Bacary SAGNA
4. Francesc FABREGAS
5. Kolo TOURE
6. Philippe SENDEROS
7. Tomas ROSICKY
10. William GALLAS
11. Robin VAN PERSIE
12. Carlos VELA
13. Alexander HLEB
14. Theo WALCOTT
16. Aaron RAMSEY
17. Alexandre SONG
20. Johan DJOUROU
21. Lukasz FABIANSKI
22. Gael CLICHY
24. Vito MANNONE
25. Emmanuel ADEBAYOR
26. Nicklas BENDTNER
27. Emmanuel EBOUE
30. Armand TRAORE
31. Justin HOYTE

Jumaat, 27 Jun 2008

Nasri close to Arsenal switch

Marseille chairman Pape Diouf has confirmed Samir Nasri is close to sealing a move to Arsenal.

Nasri claimed on Monday that he had joined Arsenal in a deal worth around £15million, but those claims were swiftly rubbished by his agent and both clubs.

However, Diouf has now told Marseille's official website that a deal for the France international, while not yet complete, was imminent.


Diouf said: "We know Samir Nasri's position. Under the (Andy) Webster ruling, he had the possibility of leaving the club for much less than the agreement we've reached today.

"After talks with him and his representatives, we've reached an agreement on the circumstances of his departure. Samir was approached in very concrete terms by Arsenal, who also contacted us.

"There are therefore steps that need to be taken to reach an agreement between the clubs.

"There is a strong chance he could play for (Arsenal) next season, but until the agreement is formalised we can't talk about any departure."

Article 17

Andy Webster made football transfer history when he was the first to use Fifa Article 17 to join Wigan.

That provided a mechanism for him to terminate his contract with Hearts in the third year of a four-year deal, with the proviso that he joined a club in a foreign federation and that 15 days' notice was given.

Webster has now left the Latics and recently signed a three-year deal back in the SPL with Rangers.

Agent - Gunners eye Crouch

Super agent Vincenzo Morabito claims Arsenal are considering Peter Crouch as a possible replacement for Emmanuel Adebayor.

Barcelona and Milan are battling to persuade the Gunners to cash in on Adebayor, with a fee in excess of £30million mooted for the Togo striker.

Milan have confirmed the former Monaco forward is their top target, but have acknowledged the difficulty in tempting Arsenal to sell.

Morabito, who is among the agents working on the deal for the Italian giants, appears optimistic that Adebayor will move to the San Siro.

However, Morabito claims Arsenal will not sanction the transfer until Arsene Wenger has brought in a replacement.


Liverpool striker Crouch is among Wenger's targets, according to Morabito, along with Blackburn Rovers' Roque Santa Cruz and Stuttgart frontman Mario Gomez.

"Arsenal are looking for Adebayor's replacement," Morabito told Italian TV show Studio Sport.

"The names being talked about are Peter Crouch, Blackburn striker Roque Santa Cruz and Germany forward Mario Gomez.

"Until that search is over, the negotiations won't reach the final stage, but I am fairly optimistic.

"What are the chances of Adebayor joining Milan? At this stage, we are at 70 per cent to 80 per cent."


Arsenal boss Wenger, though, is remaining calm about possible player departures, with Alexander Hleb also being strongly linked with a move away from Emirates Stadium.

Wenger said in The Independent: "I know a lot has been written about us, but I am very calm. Why? Because I don't know why I should be nervous.

"It's like when you take a penalty, if you are nervous it doesn't help. I will approach it with my usual calm.

"My biggest challenge is to make sure I have a competitive team next year no matter who it is."

Rosicky steps up rehabilitation

Arsenal midfielder Tomas Rosicky has stepped up his rehabilitation process as he bids to recover fitness in time for the start of next season.

The Czech Republic international has been out since January with a knee injury and underwent surgery in May, ruling him out of Euro 2008.

It is feared that the 27-year-old, who has been recovering from his operation in Prague, will miss the beginning of Arsenal's 2008/09 campaign.

However Rosicky has now revealed that he took his first steps without crutches on Wednesday and that he is to return to London to increase the speed of his return to fitness.

"To lose the crutches has been a great relief," Rosicky told his official website.


"For six weeks after the surgery I was strictly ordered not to make a single movement without the crutches. Now that is over, but I will not remember it kindly.

"Wednesday was the first time I walked without any support. It is nothing great, but at least I can walk.

"I am stumbling and getting used to it. After a long time without proper movements, my knee is stiff. It just needs time.

"In a few days I am flying to England. In London there is a more sophisticated rehabilitation schedule waiting for me.

"I don't know what it will be like, but at least I will be doing something at last. I am sure the Arsenal specialists have thought it through well."

Veloso in Gunners link

Miguel Veloso's agent claims Arsenal have shown an interest in the Sporting Lisbon midfielder.

The Portugal international is among the most highly-rated youngsters in Europe and has previously been linked with a move to Manchester United.

Premier League rivals Arsenal have now contacted Veloso's representative Paulo Barbosa to register an interest in the 22-year-old.

Juventus and Milan are also keen on Veloso, according to Barbosa, although the Rossoneri have previously stated they will not be making a bid this summer.

No formal offer

"Actually, we did not have normal contact from the Arsenal board, but from a member of the technical staff at the club," said Barbosa.

"At the moment there is not a formal offer yet, but it is possible that will happen soon as Juventus and AC Milan have shown an equal interest in the player."

Barbosa is confident that, providing the right offer is received, Veloso will secure a move away from Portuguese giants Sporting before the transfer window closes.

He added: "He (Veloso) is on holiday, now. Sporting Lisbon has not commented just yet, but until a formal offer is made that is perfectly normal.

No secret

"As long as there is a good offer for both parties - the club and Veloso - then negotiation can be done for sure.

"It is not secret to anyone that he wants to play abroad."

Reports suggest that Sporting have set a 30million euros (£23.7million) buy-out clause in Veloso's contract, but Barbosa does not believe that will be a major issue.

"The buy-out clause is another issue," Barbosa added. "If they argue that value that would mean the youngsters would never the club."