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Monday, 10th July 2006, Transfers

Chester City have finally wrapped up the signing of Doncaster midfielder Ricky Ravenhill on a two-year contract. Rovers accepted a bid for the 25-year-old on 1 July after agreeing to place him on the transfer list. Doncaster-born Ravenhill started his career as a trainee at Barnsley and is understood to have joined Chester for a five-figure transfer fee.

Chester have completed the signing of Exeter midfielder Glenn Cronin. Cronin, 24, was capped for the Republic of Ireland at under-18 level and has signed a two-year contract. He progressed through the youth ranks with the Grecians and signed his first professional contract at the club during the summer of 2000. A knee injury kept Cronin sidelined during the 2004/05 season, but on his return to action last term he claimed the Exeter player of the year award.

Aldershot Town have moved to strengthen their squad ahead of the upcoming campaign with the acquisition of defender Rhys Day from League Two side Mansfield Town. Day is a Welsh centre back who was one of eight players to be released by Stags boss Peter Shirtliff at the end of last season. The 23-year-old began his career at Manchester City but did not play for their first-team and had a loan spell at Blackpool in the 2001/02 season. Day made over 100 League appearances for Mansfield after joining the club in 2003 after an initial loan spell.

Nationwide North club Hucknall Town have fought off stiff competition from rival clubs to sign Ricky Hanson from League One outfit Nottingham Forest. Hanson, only still only 19, started his playing career at Leeds United before moving to Forest, where he was restricted to reserve-team football. He is equally adept at both fullback or centre-back, but can also play in a central midfield role, providing Hucknall boss Kevin Wilson Wilson with some valuable versatility.

Polish Ekstraklasa newcomers ŁKS Łódź have strengthened their squad with the acquisition of former Polish international defender Tomasz Hajto on a free transfer. The 33-year-old veteran, who won 62 international caps and scored 6 goals, played for Derby County FC in the English second tier last season. Łódź have also signed veteran midfielders Rafał Niżnik, 31, and Zdzisław Leszczyński, 37, to one-year contract extensions.

Another former Poland international, Piotr Świerczewski, has joined Groclin Grodzisk Wielkopolski on a free contract from Ekstraklase rivals Lech Poznań. The 34-year-old defensive midfielder, who made 70 appearances for his country, has penned a one-year contract with the club and will bring with him the experience of playing for the likes of SC Bastia, Olympique de Marseille and Birmingham City FC.

GKS Górnik Łęczna have signed four players including Serbo-Montenegrin defender Vladimir Sandulović, who arrives from FK Zemun. The other three newcomers are goalkeeper Piotr Leciejewski and midfielders Cezary Czpak and Dariusz Jarecki. The club has released experienced defender Artur Bożyk.

Former Bulgarian international Todor Yanchev has signed a one-year contract with Danish Superliga newcomers Randers FC. The 30-year-old midfielder joins from Greek side Kallithea FC on a free transfer after impressing during a recent trial in Denmark, and Randers coach Lars Olsen believes he will offer crucial experience for his team: "He is good with the ball and never panics under pressure".

Sliema Wanderers FC have announced the signings of Nigerian-born striker Chucks Nwoko and Czech midfielder Zdeněk Svoboda. Nwoko is a familiar face in Malta having spent nearly ten years at Birkirkara FC before moving on loan to Marsaxlokk FC last season. Svoboda is a former AC Sparta Praha player who joins from BV Cloppenburg in Germany.

Paris Saint Germain have completed the signing of FC Aarau's Cameroon midfielder Albert Baning. The 21-year-old has agreed a four-year contract with the Parc des Princes club.

As some of you asked, the transfersm rumours and news are now being posted... if you want anything else just reply! have fun reading! ;)

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As usual we start the 11th July with nice rumours...

Arsenal's £10m bid for Marseille winger Franck Ribery is set to be beaten by a £26m Real Madrid offer. (The Guardian)

Portsmouth are to make an improved £4.25m bid for Aston Villa defender Gareth Barry. (Daily Mirror)

Manchester United have rekindled their interest in Bayern Munich midfielder Owen Hargreaves. (Daily Mail)

Real Madrid are poised to put in a £10m transfer offer for Manchester United's Argentina international defender Gabriel Heinze. (The Sun)

Liverpool striker Djibril Cisse is expected to join Marseille on a season-long loan deal. (Various)

Portsmouth are close to completing a £14m double swoop for PSV Eindhoven striker Jefferson Farfan and Shaktar Donetsk defender Darijo Srna. (The Sun)

Middlesbrough have warned off Tottenham Hotspur from trying to make a renewed bid for winger Stewart Downing. (The Guardian)

Blackburn are set to sign Aston Villa defender Mark Delaney on a free transfer. (Daily Mail)

Newcastle are considering a swap deal between James Milner and Aston Villa striker Juan Pablo Angel. (Daily Star)

Reading midfielder Steve Sidwell is due to hold talks with Man City over a £3m transfer on Tuesday. (Various)

Arsenal are ready to make a £12m bid for Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon. (Daily Mirror)

Argentina international defender Lionel Scaloni is close to a permanent move to West Ham from Spanish club Deportivo La Coruna. (Daily Star)

Sweden defender Olof Mellberg is set to leave Aston Villa for Spanish club Levante in a £2m transfer. (The Sun)

Middlesbrough are to offer Blackburn £1.5m for Australian midfielder Brett Emerton. (Various)

Birmingham's £3m bid for Dutch striker Collins John has been accepted by Fulham. (Various)

Switzerland international goalkeeper Pascal Zuberbuehler is to hold talks this week with West Brom over a move from Basle. (Daily Mirror)

GOSSIP

Fulham's want-away midfielder Steed Malbranque has been banished from the first-team squad and sent to Austria on a youth-team trip. (Daily Mirror)

Gary Megson will pip Paul Ince to the vacant Wolves job. (Daily Mirror)

Everton are pursuing Perugia for the final £500,000 instalment of the £3m transfer for Italian defender Marco Materazzi in 1999. (The Guardian)

Uefa president Lennart Johansson is set to announce he intends to seek re-election. (Daily Telegraph)

FUNNIES

Sheffield United manager Neil Warnock plans to swap his trademark tracksuit for suit in a bid to keep himself out of trouble on the touchline. (Various)

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11th July 06 News

taly's World Cup-winning squad have paraded through Rome with their trophy, in front of thousands of fans. The victorious squad flew back from Germany on Monday, touching down at Pratica di Mare, just south of the capital, 15 minutes late. President Giorgio Napolitano and Prime Minister Romano Prodi met the team at the Presidential Chigi Palace. The players then travelled by open-top bus to the Circus Maximus, where they showed off the World Cup trophy. With an estimated 500,000 supporters packing the streets of Rome, it took the bus hours longer than expected to fight its way through the throngs and reach the Circus Maximus. Italy's footballers had also left the presidential palace late, with the players, coach Marcello Lippi, technical staff and directors of the Italian football association having all been awarded the Order of Merit of the Republic - one of the state's highest honours.

Zinedine Zidane's agent says the France captain headbutted Marco Materazzi in Sunday's World Cup final because the Italian made a "very serious" comment. Zidane appeared to react to something that was said and was dismissed for his violent charge into his opponent. "He told me Materazzi said something very serious to him but he wouldn't tell me what," agent Alain Migliaccio told BBC Five Live Sport. Sources in France say it is believed Materazzi insulted Zidane's family. Materazzi himself has not spoken publicly about the incident except to deny a claim by Paris-based anti-racism group SOS Racism, made on Monday, that he had called Zidane "a dirty terrorist". "It is absolutely not true, I did not call him a terrorist. I'm ignorant. I don't even know what the word means," the Italian news agency Ansa quoted Materazzi as saying after the Italian team returned to Rome. "The whole world saw what happened on live TV," he added.

Zinedine Zidane won the Golden Ball award for the World Cup's best player, despite being dismissed for headbutting Marco Materazzi in the final. France captain Zidane polled 2,012 points in the vote by journalists mostly carried out at half-time. The midfielder, 34, beat Italians Fabio Cannavaro (1,977 points) and Andrea Pirlo (715 points) in the ballot.

Fifa says video replays played no part in France captain Zinedine Zidane's dismissal in Sunday's World Cup final. Zidane was sent off for a headbutt on Italy's Marco Materazzi, which was missed by referee Horacio Elizondo. Elizondo was advised by his fourth official but France coach Raymond Domenech alleged he had only acted after seeing a video replay. "This was definitely not video evidence," Fifa spokesman Andreas Herren told BBC Five Live. "I spoke with the senior person responsible for refereeing in the Fifa administration. He clearly told me the fourth official had seen the incident involving Zidane and had advised the referee through the headset. The fourth official saw it as it happened on the pitch and directly advised the referee and the referee took action. Full stop. It appears the referee was waiting for the situation to clear up a little bit before taking action."

Marcello Lippi has hinted that he will carry on as coach of Italy after leading the nation to World Cup glory. The 58-year-old's contract ends later this month and reports in the Italian media suggested he would step down. But Lippi said: "I have never said I will stop but I have a meeting on Tuesday with the Italian Football Federation so we will see. When someone gets to 70 or 68 or 65 they might decide to call it a day but I intend to continue in my work." Lippi added: "Whatever my next job is, whether it's with the national team or not, I hope to have the same relationship with the players that I have had here. It is beautiful to win important titles and when you reach the top, you realise how hard it was to get there and how fantastic it would be to discover new emotions and incentives."

Real Madrid may join Bayern Munich in the chase for Manchester United striker Ruud Van Nistelrooy. Real president Ramon Calderon believes new boss Fabio Capello is considering a move for the 30-year-old Dutchman. "It seems as though Fabio likes Van Nistelrooy," Calderon told the club website. "He could complement Ronaldo." Meanwhile, Bayern are ready to speak to United, with club chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge saying: "The player wants to come to us we know that."

Chelsea defender Robert Huth was on Teesside on Monday afternoon for a medical, with a view to completing his move to Middlesbrough. The 21-year-old German international is expected to formally sign a deal for a fee of around £5m within 24 hours.

Sheffield United boss Neil Warnock is to hand a trial to two overseas goalkeepers as he looks for an understudy to Paddy Kenny. Frenchman Bertrand Laquait, who plays for Belgian side RSC Charleroi, and Real Zaragoza's Raul Valbuena will both be looked at. "We need one, possibly two keepers," said Warnock. "So we are going to get a couple in for a week to have a look at them and work with goalkeeping coach Andy Leaning."

Plymouth Argyle are awaiting confirmation to discover whether a glamorous pre-season friendly against Real Madrid will go ahead. The Spanish giants are hoping to use a training camp in Austria which has already been booked up by the Pilgrims. However, Real Madrid have promised to reward Plymouth with a friendly if they move to another location. The decision hinges on whether Argyle can find sufficient alternative accommodation for their tour.

Barnsley striker Daniel Nardiello will miss the start of the season after fracturing a collarbone in training. Nardiello, who scored one of Barnsley's goals in the League One play-off final at Cardiff in May, was hurt in a collision with team-mates. "He will be out for between four and six weeks," said physio Rick Holden. "Daniel will be in a sling for a while and have it strapped. He will go for a further X-ray in a couple of weeks to make sure everything is healing well." Barnsley have, meanwhile, agreed to give a trial to French under-20 international striker Garra Dembele. He plays for Auxerre and has scored 13 goals in 41 games for their reserve side in the past two seasons.

Stoke manager Tony Pulis remains unclear on when striker Sam Bangoura will join up with the squad again. The 24-year-old has failed to turn up for pre-season training and Pulis has no idea when he is likely to return. "The situation has become farcical," Pulis told the club's website. "The club has spoken to his agent but we are no nearer to getting an answer. I don't even know what Bangoura looks like," Pulis, who returned to the Britannia Stadium last month, added.

Wolverhampton Wanderers striker Chris Cornes will serve a six-month ban after failing a drugs test. The 19-year-old was randomly tested by the Football Association at the training ground in February and traces of cocaine were found in his sample. Chief executive Jez Moxey told the club's website: "We were disappointed to learn that one of our players had tested positive for a banned substance. We will have a board meeting to make a decision about the player's future."

Crewe are giving a trial to Mali international striker Abdoulai Demba. The 29-year-old has previously played for Yeovil back in 2002 and scored 10 goals in 32 appearances and is now training with the Alex squad. Boss Dario Gradi told the club website: "I don't know a huge amount about him but he is one that Glyn has brought in. The word is out that we are after a striker and his agent called and said he thought he was better than what we have already got."

Stilian Petrov left for the USA with Celtic on Monday despite still insisting he wants to leave the club. Portsmouth are reportedly lining up a second bid for the 27-year-old Bulgaria captain and midfielder. But a Celtic spokesperson said: "He is coming with us. Nothing has changed regarding his moving at the moment."

Motherwell expect to complete the signing of striker Ross McCormack from Rangers in the next 24 hours. The 19-year-old is being allowed to move to Fir Park after being told he does not figure in new manager Paul Le Guen's plans.

Fernando Ricksen fears he has played his last game for Rangers after being sent home from the club's pre-season tour of South Africa. The 29-year-old will return to Glasgow after being punished for "inappropriate behaviour" on the outbound flight. He claimed manager Paul Le Guen over-reacted after he admitted drinking and arguing with a stewardess. The Dutch defender told a newspaper: "I'm flying home to Glasgow and it looks as if I'm finished with Rangers." A statement on Rangers' website confirmed Ricksen had been punished for his behaviour on the flight to Johannesburg. Rickson claims that Rangers have other motives for wanting him out of Ibrox. "I think I've played my last game because I don't know if I can work with a manager who treats me like that," he said. "I would have accepted a fine, but to be sent home is just ridiculous. Look, I'm a big earner and if they can find a way to get me off the wage bill then maybe it frees up money to bring in others. I deserved some punishment. I'm not proud of what I did. It was stupid and I've made a mistake. What has happened to me just feels very harsh, though, and I can't help feeling this is being done because they want me out."

Paul Hartley has been told he does not need an operation on a persistent groin injury but could still miss Hearts' Champions League qualifier on 26 July. The Scotland midfielder missed Saturday's pre-season friendly against Spartak Trnva while undergoing tests from a French specialist. And head coach Valdas Ivanauskas said: "He does not require an operation. There is some hope he can come back for the Champions League qualifier, but I would say it's a small chance."

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News 2

Scott Severin will miss Aberdeen's pre-season trip to South Africa as the midfielder requires a knee operation. Manager Jimmy Calderwood said: "Severin had an operation on the same knee when he was with Hearts. He needs to get a minor clean-up op and will be out for two to three weeks. It's frustrating he'll miss our tour and the chance to get fit." Meanwhile, French left-back Othmane Hamama, 23, is on trial with the Dons after leaving Clermont. He previously had spells with Cannes and Toulouse before joining the French second division outfit.

Rangers hope to sign 18-year-old Arsenal striker Niklas Bendtner and have given defender Ole Budtz the chance to prove himself on trial. The 27-year-old Budtz, previously with Cercle Brugge, has left German second division outfit Kickers Offenbach. Bendtner was joint top scorer with the Gunners' reserves last season, netting 18 times in 25 appearances. And new Ibrox boss Paul Le Guen hopes to persuade close friend Arsene Wenger to part with him for a season on loan. Le Guen wants to add Bendtner to his strike force, with another, more experienced forward still being chased. Bendtner said: "Rangers are a massive club and the chance of regular first-team action is something I have to consider." But the player's father, Thomas, who is also his agent, told Glasgow's Evening Times: "I haven't spoken to Rangers. Maybe the clubs are coming to an agreement." Budtz is set to train with the second team until Rangers return from their pre-season training camp in South Africa. His agent, Benny Nielsen, said: "Rangers are interested and we are going to Glasgow." Rangers have also been offered Italian striker Marco di Vaio, who has been told he has no future at Valencia under new manager Quique Flores. Di Vaio was signed from Juventus two years ago for £7.5m but has been loaned out to Monaco. He is being touted around several clubs, with Paris St Germain at the front of the queue.

Hungarian Laszlo Csaba has signed a contract to manage Uganda's national team. Csaba, who was presented to the media at a news conference on Monday, will be in charge of the Cranes for the next four years. The 42-year-old replaces Serbian coach Tomislav Sivic, who quit the job as a result of a contractual dispute.

Chinese doctors are fighting to save the sight of Guinea midfielder Ousmane Bangoura. The 26-year-old, who plays for Shenyang Gendi in the Chinese Super League, was caught by a boot in the face during a game against Qingdao Zhongneng last weekend. Bangoura's left eyeball was ruptured as a result. "Every player is my son and our team is a big family," said Shenyang's Dutch coach Martin Koopman. "We are really sad to see a member of our family so terribly hurt." A club spokesman said Bangoura had an operation in Shenyang on Monday and was transferred to another hospital in Beijing.

Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp has confirmed his interest in signing England defender Sol Campbell. Campbell is available after announcing at the weekend that he would be leaving Arsenal for a “fresh challenge”. The 31-year-old has said he would like to play abroad but Pompey boss Redknapp is hoping the south coast might also prove an attractive destination. Redknapp told The News: “I know Sol – he’s a great lad. And I like him as a player. He was absolutely outstanding in the Champions League final. I’ve got to tell him where we are looking to go and the exciting times we have planned here over the next few years.”

Middlesbrough striker Aiyegbeni Yakubu missed the start of pre-season training today after encountering a visa problem. The 23-year-old Nigerian was due back with the rest of his team-mates this morning, but was conspicuous by his absence as new boss Gareth Southgate oversaw early preparations for the 2006-07 season. However, Southgate expects the problem to be cleared up swiftly and that Boro’s leading scorer in the last campaign will be back in harness tomorrow. Southgate said: “He had a problem with his visa in terms of renewing it, but he should be here tomorrow.” Meanwhile, Mark Schwarzer, Mark Viduka and Stewart Downing were also missing after being given time off to recover from their exploits at the World Cup finals.

Gigi Buffon’s agent has opened the door for a sensational summer move from Juventus to rivals Milan. The newly crowned world champion has been linked with the Rossoneri recently and Silvano Martina admits the switch may occur. “Yes, there is a Milan possibility for my client,” Martina told the Affaritaliani.it website on Monday evening. “However, we have to be careful though as they already have a great ‘keeper in their squad thanks to Nelson Dida.”

Didier Deschamps is the new Juventus boss after he signed a two-year contract with the Italian giants on Monday.

Didier Deschamps has attempted to defend Zinedine Zidane’s World Cup Final head-butt on Marco Materazzi. “Zizou had an impulsive reaction – he already did it in his career and the Italians knew it,” said the former Juventus midfielder. “There were probably uncalled for words from Materazzi and it was the last straw.”

Mauro Camoranesi received a surprise call from Diego Armando Maradona on the eve Italy’s unforgettable World Cup Final win. The Napoli legend got in touch with the Argentine-born midfielder to wish him well in the Berlin finale, an act which surprised the Juventus winger. “I was moved on the night before the game because I had the opportunity to speak with Diego Armando Maradona on the phone,” said Camoranesi. The South American was convinced to play for Italy by previous boss Giovanni Trapattoni and he’s definitely not regretting that decision this morning. “I’m very happy and proud of what we have achieved,” added the former Hellas Verona midfielder. “In this whole experience I’ve felt indescribable emotions and must thank everyone who has put their faith in me, from the Coach to the players and the Federation.” Camoranesi chose to celebrate in hair-raising fashion when he had his ponytail cut off on the pitch after the game. He was placed in a chair and surrounded by the Azzurri squad who danced round him in a circle, Red Indian style. Lazio defender Massimo Oddo, the side’s unofficial barber on the trip, was handed the honour of chopping it off.

Ghana captain Stephan Appiah has admitted he is desperate to join Arsenal.

Manchester City appear to have won the race to sign Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann after Bolton manager Sam Allardyce admitted he is resigned to missing out on the German.

Wolves midfielder Paul Ince has returned to training as talks about a new playing contract for the former Manchester United star continue. Ince has also expressed interest in replacing Glenn Hoddle as manager at Molineux but is currently out of contract. Chief executive Jez Moxey told the club's official website: "We're still talking to Paul about a player contract and he's also thrown his hat into the ring regarding the manager position. I've encouraged him to look at them as separate issues and told him that if we're going to offer a player contract he'd have to start training immediately so that he'd be fit for the start of the season." Ince added: "I need to get myself fit for the season so it was good to come back this morning and see all the lads. It was a good session."

Liverpool's France international Djibril Cisse is expected to officially join Marseille on loan on Wednesday. The striker, who was originally called up by coach Raymond Domenech for the World Cup in Germany, was forced to stay at home after breaking his right leg during France's 3-1 win in a friendly against China on June 7. Tipped to join Marseille during the summer transfer window, Cisse was reported to be close to a move last week after club sporting director Pape Diouf revealed the deal was 'almost sealed'. Cisse, 24, is expected to complete a season-long loan deal on Wednesday before being presented to the media.

France midfielder Claude Makelele has retired from international football in the wake of the World Cup final defeat to Italy. The Chelsea player, who quit Les Bleus in 2004 only to return to the national side a year later, announced his decision on the balcony of the Hotel Crillon in Paris where fans were greeting the defeated team, according to the L'Equipe website.

Frenchman Jean-Francois Jodar has signed a four-year contract to take charge of Mali's national team, the country's football federation said on Monday. Mali Football Federation said the 56-year-old coach, who won the World Under-17 Championship with France in 2001, would be assisted by fellow former French international Yannick Stopyra. Jodar previously worked as national coach of the United Arab Emirates.

Wigan midfielder Damien Francis has opted against a move to Stoke for the second time.

RC Lens have made Seydou Keita their captain having secured him on a new contract until summer 2008. The 26-year-old Malian international will lead the French club in their Ligue 1 and UEFA Cup campaigns after the 28-year-old Brazilian defender Vitorino Hilton asked to be relieved of armband duties. "Everybody at the club wanted Seydou to step up," said coach Francis Gillot after handing the responsibility to his midfielder. Keita has been at Lens since the 2002/03 season and made 35 appearances last term, scoring three goals.

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News 3, 11th July 06

The bidding price for a 39-year-old Volkswagen Beetle that once belonged to Germany coach Juergen Klinsmann has plunged after the seller introduced strict controls to exclude non-genuine bids. The top bidding price for the 1967 VW convertible fell from a quoted 300,050 euros on Saturday to 5,605 euros on Monday ahead of Tuesday's close of bidding after interested parties were required to register and prove they were serious. "Unfortunately there were some offers made by people who were not serious," wrote the car's owner, who lives in a Stuttgart suburb, in the internet auction eBay. "The changes were made to give only serious bidders a chance." Klinsmann, who coached Germany to third place at the World Cup, drove the car in 1994 and 1995 while at Tottenham Hotspur. Klinsmann has said he would not recommend bidding for the car that was already rusty when he gave it away 10 years ago. Separately, bidding for 30 cm x 20 cm segments of turf used at Berlin's Olympiastadion for the World Cup was going strong, according to the German mail order company Quelle. The sections cost 75 euros each and more than 1,000 orders have been placed. The bids were high for some special sections, such as for the two penalty spots. There was one bid for 4,000 euros for a penalty spot. Quelle expects to sell 40,000 to 60,000 segments. Part of the proceeds will be donated to charity.

World Cup finalists Ghana will play West African rivals Nigeria in a friendly in London on August 15, the Ghana Football Association website said. The match will be the first for Ghana after their second round elimination by Brazil in the World Cup finals last month. Nigeria have not played since the African Nations Cup finals in Egypt, where they finished third. Nigeria are using the game to prepare for the start of the qualifiers for the 2008 Nations Cup, which is to be hosted by Ghana. No venue was announced for the game.

German Michael Nees has been appointed coach of Rwanda, federation officials said on Monday. He replaces Swede Roger Palmgren, who was sacked last year after Rwanda failed to qualify for the 2006 African Nations Cup finals.

Real Madrid have cancelled a pre-season exhibition match in Chile after new coach Fabio Capello opposed the plan. Real were scheduled to play promotional matches in both Chile and the United States in August as part of their preparations for next season. "Although the club recognises that the exploitation of the brand is important, we want to give priority to sporting matters," club president Ramon Calderon told Spanish state television on Sunday. "When Capello heard about the tour, he thought it was madness to travel from the United States to Chile so we have called it off. Instead we will play two games in North America." Real announced in May that they will play Major League Soccer outfit Real Salt Lake on Aug.12, but the other game has yet to be finalised. Under former president Florentino Perez, Real embarked on extensive pre-season tours of the Far East and North America as part of the club's policy of develop and expand its image across the globe. Players and coaching staff complained that the tours had a negative effect on the team's performance during the season.

France defender William Gallas has called the Italians 'cheats', after his team's World Cup final defeat to the Azzurri on Sunday. Les Bleus captain Zinedine Zidane was correctly dismissed for a head-butt on Marco Materazzi in an off-the-ball incident in Berlin. "Italians always act like this," he told AFP. "It is a shame to say that, but when they feel they are being dominated they try to provoke you. Yes, they are cheaters, but we can't stop that. Fifa and the referees only see the second act, they never look at why there is an incident. I accept when the adversary wins with honour, but that is not the case. We know Zizou, he doesn't react like that, people can't react like that, but he has been insulted. I think it was very grave. When you play against people like that you want to kick their ass. It is cheating, but they are Italians."

Three of Iran's top players are keen to play in the A-League this season. Former Cologne and San Jose Earthquakes star Khodadad Azizi headlines the trio as he seeks a move from Rah Ahan FC this year. Iran international defenders Saeid Lotfi and Yaya Golmohammadi are also interested in moving to Australia to continue their careers. A source close to the players told tribalfootball.com: "With Australia now part of the Asian Confederation, Iran's top players do see the A-League as a competition to continue their careers in. The three players that have put their hands up are not seeking huge money and would fit easily into a club's salary cap. Ideally, they'd like Sydney because of the big Iranian community in the city, but there's a great opportunity for Australian clubs to show they're serious about moving into Asia by snapping up these players."

Queensland Roar chairman John Ribot has confirmed they're close to naming a big-name guest player for the coming season. Each A-League club can contract two guest players this campaign over a four-week period and Ribot told Courier-Mail: "Our scouting is going all over the place. We could end up with someone from Brazil to China, but to announce a big name out of Asia would be very good for us."

Adelaide United have moved quickly to hand trials to former Celtic winger Bobby Petta. Petta has moved to the South Australian club after a short spell at Queensland Roar and Reds boss John Kosmina told The Advertiser: "He's an out-and-out lefty and he has a good pedigree. Jason Spagnuolo came in for Lucas (Pantelis on the left) as a straight swap, so this is more about Stan not taking up our offer. He (Petta) has played at a decent level. He's been around the Dutch national team, not that he played in it, but he's been around quite a few times. He's played at Celtic, he's played at Ipswich. He learned all his football at Feyenoord, he's been to the right school. Bobby is a confident player and he's as comfortable as hell on the ball from the little bit we've seen of him."

Dwight Yorke has displayed his commitment to Sydney FC by turning down an approach from flamboyant Cardiff City owner Sam Hammam. The South Wales Echo says the former Manchester United and Aston Villa striker has the same agents, SFX, as Cardiff's new signings Stephen McPhail and Michael Chopra. And when the Bluebirds were clinching those deals, they asked about Yorke. But the answer was a firm no from a player earning a Premiership-style living in Australia.

Adelaide United boss John Kosmina has ruled out a deal for fit-again Australia international defender Tony Vidmar. Vidmar was last week cleared to play after being ruled out of the World Cup with a heart complaint. "I need a striker and a wide midfielder, which is where Bobby would fit in, and Tony is not a striker," Kosmina told The Advertiser. "For me to take Tony on board I would have to shaft somebody who is under contract already and I don't operate that way. How can you get loyalty from your players if you are not going to be loyal to them?"

Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon has admitted Roberto Carlos is set to leave this summer. The Brazilian superstar is expected to accept a move to Roman Abramovich's Chelsea - as Calderon revealed: "Roberto Carlos seems to have the idea to leave. If Roberto's final decision is to lave, Fabio (Capello) has asked me to sign a new left wing-back."

Jeju United climbed to the top of the Hauzen Cup standings on Sunday after defeating Ulsan Hyundai 2-1. Kim Ki-hyeong put Jeju ahead from the spot in the 41st minute after Ulsan defender Yoo Kyong-youl had hacked down Choi Chul-woo and Kim Sang-rok made it 2-0 in the 67th minute. Choi Sung-kuk pulled one back for Ulsan in the 73rd minute. The win helped Jeju tie FC Seoul on 17 points and take over the group leadership on better goals record. In Incheon, Jeonbuk Motors drew with Incheon United 0-0. Jung Jong-kwan wasted a golden opportunity to score after firing wide in a one-on-one situation with Incheon goalkeeper Sung Kyung-mo in the 15th minute while Incheon striker Radonic frittered a similar chance seven minutes later. Jeonbuk now have 13 points and have eased into fourth position, ahead of Ulsan Hyundai and Pohang Steelers.

Saudi coach Marcos Paqueta got down to the task of rebuilding the team after the retirement of charismatic veteran striker Sami Al Jaber by calling up three new faces for the upcoming AFC Asian Cup 2007 qualifier against India on August 16. Yasser Al Musaillem (Al Ahli), Abdul Latif Al Ghannam (Al Hilal) and Issa Al Mihyani (Al Wahda) have earned a call-up to the squad of 23 which will be put through the paces in Abha from July 27 before playing Bahrain in a warm-up prior to their departure for India on August 9. Veteran goalkeeper Mohamed Al Deayea, who holds the world record for most appearances (181), doesn’t figure in the squad whose backbone is made up of players involved in Saudi Arabia’s recent lacklustre World Cup campaign. Paqueta’s men currently have three points and are second in Group A after defeating Yemen 4-0 last February on Match Day 1. Japan are leading the group on goal difference after mauling India 6-0. THE SQUAD Yasser Al Mussailem, Naif Al Qadi, Hussein Sulimani, Mohammed Mousad, Malek Mouaz, Mabrouk Zaid (GK), Hamad Al Montashari, Redha Tukur, Osama Al Moulad, Ahmed Dokhi, Sauod Khariri, Mohammed Noor, Mohammed Ameen, Mustafa Mala’eka (GK), Mohammed Khouja (GK), Abdul Aziz Al Khatran, Khaled Aziz, Omar Al Ghamdi, Abdul Latif Al Ghannam, Nawaf Al Temyat, Mohammed Al Shalhoub, Yasser Al Qahtani, Mohammed Al Anbar, Ahmed Al Bahri, Issa Al Mihyani, Saad Al Harthi. ;)

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11th July Transfers

Southampton have completed the signing of midfielder Jermaine Wright from Championship rivals Leeds United on a free transfer. The 30-year-old spent the final four months of last season on loan at St Mary's, making 14 appearances. He has now agreed a permanent switch following his release from Elland Road. Wright, who also played under George Burley at Ipswich, has signed a two-year deal and becomes the Saints manager's fourth summer signing.

Nationwide North club Droylsden have continued their preparations for the new season with the capture of Accrington Stanley defender Steve Jagielka. Jagielka earned promotion to League Two with Chris Coleman's Accrington but has decided to stay in the Nationwide Conference with Droylsden. He started his career with Stoke City and went on to play for Shrewsbury Town before eventually earning a move to Sheffield United in November 2003 - linking up with his brother Phil. However, he was unable to break into the first-team squad and eventually decide to leave the Blades in favour of a move to Accrington.

Nationwide North newcomers Farsley Celtic have completed the capture of winger Nathan Hotte from Coca-Cola Championship side Hull City. The 18-year-old featured for North Ferriby United in the UniBond League Premier Division play-off final against Celtic and has loads of pace. He joined Ferriby on a work experience deal in February 2006 and followed in the footsteps of his father Tim, who managed North Ferriby to the FA Vase Final at Wembley in 1997. Hotte becomes the second striker to sign for Nationwide North side following the acquisition of Gareth Grant from Nationwide North rivals Harrogate Town.

Mexico defender Carlos Salcido has joined Dutch champs PSV Eindhoven from CD Guadalajara on a four-year deal. New Philips Stadion boss Ronald Koeman reportedly doled out approximately €3 million for the World Cup participant. The new signing only said a few words in Spanish at his presentation, but remarked that ‘the occasion is beautiful’. Salcido’s acquisition will likely slide last year’s left back starter Michael Lamey over to his natural right-sided position.

FC Utrecht coach Foeke Booy has landed former Ajax midfielder Cedric van der Gun on a free transfer from Borussia Dortmund. "He is a Dutch player with a lot of experience who adds more quality to our team," the manager told the club website. "We were looking for an offensive signing." Van der Gun, who has struggled with knee injuries for the better part of three years, made only three Dortmund appearances last season.

Basque team Real Sociedad de Fútbol have signed 23-year-old Chile goalkeeper Claudio Bravo on a five-year contract. After agreeing his move from CSD Colo Colo in his homeland, Bravo said: "This is a dream for me. I have joined a historic club and I cannot wait to get started." Asier Riesgo, La Real's No1, penned a new four-year deal last month.

FC Sochaux-Montbéliard have secured Slovenia forward Valter Birsa on a four-year contract despite interest from several clubs in the 19-year-old, who scored 19 times in 35 appearances as NK Gorica won the 2005/06 title in his homeland. Birsa has been capped four times at full international level.

Getafe CF continue to be one of the busiest sides in the Spanish transfer market after completing the signing of Francisco David Sousa from Real Madrid CF. The 26-year-old midfielder has spent the past four campaigns on loan at Real Valladolid after coming through the ranks at the Santiago Bernabéu. "I have chosen Getafe because they have big plans and showed a lot of interest in me," Sousa said.

Poland striker Marek Saganowski has left relegated Portuguese Liga side Vitória SC for a three-year contract at ES Troyes Aube Champagne in France. The 27-year-old made his mark in the UEFA Cup last term, scoring three goals in four appearances.

Werder Bremen have handed a two-year contract to goalkeeper Christian Vander after he impressed during a loan spell with the Bundesliga runners-up. The 25-year-old, who leaves VfL Bochum 1848, will be competing for a place with Tim Wiese and Andreas Reinke, with the latter's severe facial injury last February meaning Vander stepped up to become the club's No2 custodian. Bremen sporting manager Klaus Allofs said: "Christian has absolutely fulfilled the expectations we had in him." Meanwhile, reports in Portugal suggest Bremen, who will enter the UEFA Champions League group stage, could be about to sign Under-21 striker Hugo Almeida from FC Porto.

ACF Fiorentina have signed Romania forward Adrian Mutu from Juventus in a reported €8m deal that takes Bulgaria striker Valeri Bojinov in the opposite direction. Mutu, 27, registered seven goals in 32 games for Juventus last season, helping the Bianconeri to the Scudetto in his first full campaign since returning to Italian football from Chelsea FC. Before leaving for England, Mutu had played under current Fiorentina coach Cesare Prandelli at Parma FC, as well as for FC Internazionale Milano and Hellas-Verona FC. He has appeared 45 times for Romania, scoring 18 goals. He will be replaced at Juventus by 20-year-old Bojinov, capped eleven times at international level with two goals. He scored six times in 27 matches for the Viola last term after arriving from US Lecce in January 2005. Fiorentina have also recruited defender Alessandro Potenza on loan from Inter. The 22-year-old spent last season on loan at RCD Mallorca after previous spells at Ancona Calcio, AC Chievo Verona and Parma.

Newly promoted Portuguese Liga side SC Beira-Mar have signed 32-year-old Brazilian striker Mário Jardel on a one-year contract. The Aveiro club have agreed terms with Jardel, who impressed in spells at FC Porto and Sporting Clube de Portugal, scoring 183 goals in 174 Liga games, including 42 in the 2002/03 season. He has struggled to reproduce that form in subsequent stints at Bolton Wanderers FC, Ancona Calcio, CA Newell's Old Boys, EC Palmeiras and Goiás EC. Beira-Mar have also taken the 26-year-old Brazilian midfielder Luciano Ratinho from Paysandu SC.

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12th July Rumours

Chelsea are planning a £12m bid for defender Alessandro Nesta if AC Milan are relegated in Italy's match-fixing scandal. (The Sun)

Arsenal defender Ashley Cole is ready to drop his "tapping up" legal case to clear the way for a £16m move to Chelsea. (Daily Mirror)

Monaco are to offer £3m for Newcastle defender Jean-Alain Boumsong. (Various)

Tottenham Hotspur are ready to offer £7m for Bolton midfielder Kevin Nolan. (The Times)

Arsenal will sign Argentine Javier Saviola for £4m from Barcelona this week. (The Sun)

Charlton Athletic have snubbed a £10m bid from Spurs for striker Darren Bent. (Daily Mirror)

West Bromwich Albion have rejected a £5.5m bid from Spurs for defender Curtis Davies. (The Times)

Meanwhile Arsenal are ready to step in with a £8m offer for Davies, though West Brom want at least £10m for the centre-back. (Daily Mirror)

Fulham are close to agreeing a £700,000 deal to sign Hammarby forward Bjorn Runstrom. (The Times).

Newcastle are expected to beat rivals Middlesbrough in the race to sign Fulham midfielder Steed Malbranque. (The Sun)

Man Utd expect to agree a £14m fee with Spurs for Michael Carrick when transfer talks resume next week. (The Times)

Meanwhile Spurs' £10m bid for Charlton striker Darren Bent has been rejected. (Daily Mirror)

Real Madrid reiterate their interest in signing Chelsea's Dutch winger Arjen Robben and Arsenal's Spanish midfielder Cesc Fabregas. (Various)

Man Utd have told Cristiano Ronaldo to submit an official transfer request if he wants to leave. (Daily Express)

Fulham are in talks with Lyon to sign winger Sydney Govou in a £3.5m deal. (Daily Mirror)

Coventry City have turned down a £2m bid from Birmingham City for striker Gary McSheffrey. (The Guardian)

GOSSIP

England coach Steve McClaren will be allowed to recruit Terry Venables to his backroom team. (The Guardian)

Bolton boss Sam Allardyce is the shock favourite to become the new Sunderland manager. (Various)

Birmingham City manager director Karren Brady has been approached to be Sport England's new chief executive to replace Roger Draper. (The Guardian)

FUNNIES

Plymouth will play Real Madrid on 21 July in a friendly after Argyle agreed to a request from the Spanish club's manager Fabio Capello to switch their Austrian training camp from the Schloss Pichlarn Hotel in Irdning. (Various)

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News 12th July

Fifa is to investigate Zinedine Zidane's dramatic sending-off during Sunday's World Cup final in Berlin. The Frenchman was dismissed in extra-time for a headbutt on Marco Materazzi which happened seconds after the Italian apparently insulted him. Materazzi has denied calling Zidane a "terrorist" or insulting his mother. Fifa will now launch an investigation into Zidane's conduct to enable it to clarify the circumstances surrounding the incident as exactly as possible. Zidane and Materazzi exchanged words with 10 minutes left of extra-time before Zidane lowered his head and rammed Materazzi in the chest, knocking him to the ground. Materazzi defended himself on Tuesday in the Italian newspaper La Gazetta dello Sport, when he said: "It was the kind of insult you will hear dozens of times and just slips out of the ground. I didn't call Zidane a terrorist and certainly didn't mention his mother." Zidane, who was born and grew up in Marseille, is the son of Algerian immigrants and has suffered taunts about his heritage throughout his football career. But Materazzi added: "I am ignorant, I don't even know what an Islamic terrorist is; my only terrorist is her," he said pointing to his 10-month-old daughter. "I did not bring up Zidane's mother; for me a mother is sacred." Materazzi and Zidane became involved in a verbal spat with 10 minutes to go in extra-time with France and Italy drawing 1-1 in the World Cup final. After Materazzi's insult Zidane shoved his head into the Italian's chest and was sent off, with Italy going on to win the match 5-3 on penalties. "I held his shirt, for only a few seconds," said Materazzi, who had scored Italy's equaliser after Zidane put France ahead from the penalty spot. "He turned towards me and scoffed at me, looking at me with super arrogance, up and down. He said 'if you really want my shirt, you can have it later.' It's true, I shot back with an insult."

The fourth official who told referee Horacio Elizondo to send off Zinedine Zidane during the World Cup final says he saw the incident as it happened. Luis Medina Cantalejo did not rely on video evidence after France's Zidane headbutted Italy's Marco Materazzi. Cantalejo told Spanish radio: "I saw it happen live, I didn't invent anything. The ball was elsewhere and that was where the referee was looking. I always tell my fourth official to watch the players because things can happen."

The French Football Federation has said that the contract of France coach Raymond Domenech will be extended. The 54-year-old, who took charge of the team in 2004, saw his side lose to Italy in Sunday's World Cup final. "The renewal was unanimously proposed considering the excellent performance of the team in the World Cup," said the head of the FFF Jean-Pierre Escalettes. The length of the new deal has not been released but will be discussed at a FFF board meeting in August.

Veteran Czech Republic midfielder Karel Poborsky has confirmed his retirement from international football. Poborsky, 34, hinted before the World Cup that he planned to quit the national team after the tournament. He made a record 118 appearances for his nation, scoring eight goals, and plans to play one more season for his club Ceske Budejovice. "I'm grateful for my experiences in the national team but I am quitting," said the ex-Manchester United star.

Berlin's top World Cup official shot himself in the head just hours after the tournament ended and is now fighting for his life, police say. Juergen Kiessling, 65, was rushed to hospital from his house in Reinickendorf, a suburb of Berlin, after a neighbour heard the shot. The motive for the apparent suicide attempt is not yet clear. German media report that he left two suicide notes - one for his daughter alone, and one for his family. Berlin hosted the World Cup final on Sunday, when fans watched Italy beat France on penalties. Mr Kiessling was known as "Mister WM" (Mr World Cup) by colleagues in Berlin. He was responsible for the hugely successful Fan Mile in Berlin city centre, a concourse where giant screens showed the matches to hundreds of thousands of fans who could not get tickets.

Bolton Wanderers have confirmed that they will not be signing former Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann. Liverpool confirmed on their website on Tuesday that Hamann, 32, left the club to sign for Sam Allardyce's side. But in a statement on their website, Bolton said: "Although Didi Hamann signed a contract with the club, he has since had a change of heart." Manchester City have been linked with the player, and Bolton added: "He will sign for another club within 24 hours."

Spanish side Real Betis have rejected an improved bid from Portsmouth for Brazilian forward Edu. Betis owner Manuel Ruiz de Lopera confirmed Pompey are interested in the 27-year old Edu, who scored 11 goals in 31 games for Betis last season. Lopera admitted Pompey had initially offered £4.8m for Edu, but despite increasing their bid he insisted the Brazilian would be staying put. "They increased the offer but I told them the answer was still no," he said.

Blackburn boss Mark Hughes insists he still wants to entice former Spurs striker Mido to Ewood Park. The Egyptian international's future is unclear after he returned to Roma following a loan spell at Tottenham and rejected a switch to Rovers. Hughes said: "I am still hopeful and we will keep pursuing him until the matter is dead in the water." Hughes also said that Australian duo Brett Emerton and Lucas Neill have been offered new deals with the club. Both players are out of contract this summer and Hughes said: "There are offers on the table for the Aussie guys and we are hopeful they will accept these deals. Both players were excellent in the World Cup. They really made their mark at international level. It was a real experience for them. Not only will they benefit from it but we will benefit from it as well."

Germany coach Jurgen Klinsmann has decided not to continue in the job, according to German media reports. German sports news agency SID said team manager Oliver Bierhoff had indirectly confirmed Klinsmann's decision not to renew his contract. Assistant coach Joachim Loew is set to replace Klinsmann. Klinsmann, who lives in California, had been urged to continue as coach after steering Germany to third place in the recent World Cup. All 23 players of the German World Cup squad, 93% of the public, according to opinion polls, and even some of his harshest critics have all said they wanted him to continue.

Sheffield United midfielder Michael Tonge has agreed a two-year extension to his contract. Tonge, 23, progressed through the youth ranks and has made 200 appearances for the Blades, including 33 during last season's successful promotion campaign. Phil Jagielka is also thought to be close to agreeing a new deal.

Milan Baros' move to Hamburg is in jeopardy after the German club failed to meet Aston Villa's valuation of the Czech Republic striker. Villa chairman Doug Ellis held talks with Hamburg officials on Monday over the future of the 24-year-old, who cost the Midlands club £7m from Liverpool. Ellis told Villa's website: "Hamburg's valuation of Milan falls way short of anything that is remotely acceptable. We are certainly not going to sell Milan Baros on the cheap." Ellis met with Hamburg officials, headed by director Dietmar Beiersdorfer, and said: "They have now gone back to Germany. We'll wait to see if there are any further developments." Baros' international team-mate David Jarolim, who plays for Hamburg, claimed the striker "really wants to leave Aston Villa". But Ellis claimed that was not the case, adding: "Milan has two years left on his contract and his agent has assured us that he is happy at Villa and not looking to leave."

Former Middlesbrough defender Abel Xavier has had his 18-month ban from football for doping reduced to one year by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Uefa imposed the ban on the Portuguese defender in November 2005 after he tested positive for anabolic steroids in a Uefa Cup tie two months earlier. An appeal to Uefa failed in December, but the 33-year-old took his case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Boro terminated Xavier's contract in January after his failed appeal. A Uefa spokesman said in a statement: "We are surprised by the verdict but cannot make any further comments before receiving the detailed reasoning of the decision."

Plymouth Argyle are to face Real Madrid in a glamorous pre-season friendly. Ian Holloway's side will face the nine-times European Champions on 21 July at the Franz Fekete Stadium in Kapfenberg, Austria. The friendly was arranged after Argyle agreed to let Madrid use a training camp in Austria that had already been booked up by the Pilgrims. The Pilgrims will now be based at the nearby spa resort of Loipersdorf, with the tour operators picking up the bill. Plymouth manager Ian Holloway is thrilled by the prospect of facing Real. "It will be an education for our lot," Holloway said. "Even if we play against their young lads, it will be very good. Whatever side they put out, they will have some really good players. It's a fantastic opportunity for my players. A once-in-a-lifetime experience. It is fantastic. We will get amongst them and it will be something that my lads will never forget."

Chester City have taken French youth international midfielder Ismael Rhazdis on a two-week trial. The 18-year-old, who began his career with Monaco, is keen to play in England and his agent Yasser Farrett arranged for him to come to the Deva Stadium. City chairman Stephen Vaughan told the Chester Chronicle: "We have received good reports about him. Mark Wright and Graham Barrow will look at him in training and give him a run-out in our pre-season matches."

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Transfers 12th July

St Mirren have signed Alex Burke on a two-year contract after the forward left Ross County. The 28-year-old, who started his career with Kilmarnock, had been in Dingwall since arriving from First Division rivals Queen of the South in 2004. Buddies manager Gus MacPherson said: "Since I've been in charge at St Mirren, this is the third time I've tried to bring Alex to the club. Alex was beyond doubt one of Ross County's best players."

Former Kilmarnock and Dundee United winger Andy McLaren signed a one-year deal with Dundee at the weekend. The 33-year-old spent last season in the Second Division playing for Morton and scored seven goals for the Cappielow club. Meanwhile, Irish striker Keith Shevlin has been handed a trial at Dens Park, along with Ruairidh Caulfield, Kyle Zenoni and Ross Harris. Shevlin, 24, has been playing in the US College League for the past four years.

Angola midfielder Paulo Jose Figueiredo has left Portuguese side Varzim to join Swedish premier division club Oster. The 33-year-old, who was one of Angola's stars at the World Cup, signed an 18-month deal with the club. "We are hoping he will be an asset for our team. He is a player who was very good at the World Cup and we have a lot of expectations," said Oster director Ola Ryden. "We signed him because of his experience. Besides, he is a strong player and a great passer."

Nottingham Forest manager Colin Calderwood has made Southampton goalkeeper Paul Smith his first signing since arriving at the City Ground last month.

Veteran former Southampton defender Jason Dodd has signed for Nationwide Conference South side Eastleigh following his release from Brighton. The versatile 35-year-old, who spent 16 years at Soton before joining the Seagulls last summer, suffered an injury-hit season at the Withdean and failed to earn a new contract from manager Mark McGhee. He will sign on the dotted line 30 minutes before Saturday's pre-season friendly, against none other than Southampton.

Belgian runners up Standard Liège have been busy in the transfer market, with Genk starlet Steven Defour joining up and top scorer Mohammed Tchité departing for champions Anderlecht. Les Rouches reportedly paid around €3 million for teenage phenom Defour, who likes to spur the attack from midfield. "Standard are a step forward," Defour told reporters. "They are a club with passion." The youngster also had discussions with Ajax, Cologne and Feyenoord before signing with Standard. Tchité, meanwhile, leaves Liège after finishing second in the Jupiler League with 16 goals last season.

Rotherham's spending spree doesn't show any sign of slowing down after the club announced the capture of former Derby defender Pablo Mills. The 22-year-old has signed on a free transfer and becomes boss Alan Knill's sixth summer signing. "I am happy to be here at Rotherham as it's a fresh start for me and a fresh start for the club as well," Mills told the club's official website. "The average age has come down quite a lot as we seem to have a number of young players now so the only way for the club is forward. I know quite a lot about this division as I played in it for MK Dons and Walsall last season so it won't be unusual for me. The minus 10 points start hasn't put me off at all as I have been training with the lads for a couple of days now and I can see we have a good squad. I try to get the odd goal here and there and hopefully my first match action for my new club will be on Saturday against Grantham. But I can't wait for the start of the season, I just want to get started for Rotherham United."

AFC Ajax have announced the signing of South African teenager Stanton Lewis. The 18-year-old forward has signed a four-year deal and arrives from the club's satellite team Ajax Cape Town, where he played since joining from Orlando Pirates at the age of 14. He will not move straight into the senior squad, but will start at Jong Ajax, the club's reserve team. Lewis has already played for Jong Ajax, having appeared for them in the Copa Amsterdam tournament in June.

Primera División newcomers Levante UD have signed Laurent Robert from SL Benfica following lengthy negotiations between the two clubs. The 31-year-old French winger arrives in Spain on a two-year contract after making only 13 league appearances in six months at Benfica. Robert spent four and a half seasons in England prior to moving to Lisbon, with a successful spell with Newcastle United FC preceding a short loan to Portsmouth FC. He previously played for Montpellier Hérault SC and Paris Saint-Germain FC.

Club Atlético de Madrid have signed 20-year-old midfielder Miguel de las Cuevas from Hércules CF. The former Spanish Under-19 international has put pen to paper on a five-year contract after Atlético agreed to pay €300,000 to the second division team.

Aston Villa FC have signed twins Damian and Yago Bellon from FC St. Gallen. The Swiss pair, who turn 17 next month, arrive in England on three-year contracts after the clubs agreed an undisclosed fee.

Danish Under-21 international Jonas Kamper has left Bröndby IF to sign for Bundesliga side DSC Arminia Bielefeld on a three-year contract. The clubs agreed an undisclosed fee for the 23-year-old right-winger.

Striker Eric Hassli has left Swiss club FC St. Gallen to return home and join French Ligue 1 new boys Valenciennes FC on a two-year contract. The 25-year-old scored 18 goals in 47 games for St. Gallen, and said: "I rediscovered my confidence at St Gallen." Hassli has also played for Neuchâtel Xamax FC, Servette FC and FC Metz.

Portuguese outfit CS Marítimo have landed Zambian international striker Collins Mbesuma as well as Argentinian forward Martin Prest. The 22-year-old Mbesuma joins on loan from English club Portsmouth FC, while the 27-year-old Prest moves to Madeira after spells in Scottish football and, latterly, Italy's Serie D.

Polish club MKS Pogoń Szczecin have cancelled the contract of 26-year-old midfielder Tomasz Parzy by mutual consent while top-flight newcomers ŁKS Łódź have continued to strengthen with the acquisition of experienced midfielder Ireneusz Kowalski, who left MKS Odra Wodzislaw Slaski last month. The 27-year-old has penned a one-year deal.

Defender Irmantas Zelmikas has joined the Lithuanian contingent at Ukrainian Premier League club SC Tavriya Simferopol, signing a three-year contract. Zelmikas, 26, links up with compatriots Darius Žutautas, Nerijus Vasilauskas, Audrius Veikutis and Andrius Jokšas. He was formerly with FBK Kaunas.

Fulham FC have signed 20-year-old defender Gabriel Zakuani on a four-year contract from Leyton Orient FC, who play in the third tier of English football. He made his league debut at 16 and has been a regular for the past two seasons. Already capped by DR Congo, Zakuani is expected to immediately challenge for a first-team place at the Premiership club.

Finnish international Jari Niemi has returned to former club Tampere United after three seasons in Belgium. The 29-year-old joined Tampere on a free transfer from K. Sint-Truidense VV, signing a six-month contract. He has 23 international caps and three goals to his name.

FC Groningen have acquired Uruguayan prodigy Luis Suárez from Club Nacional de Football in his homeland. The 19-year-old Under-21 striker has moved to the Dutch side on a five-year contract and for an undisclosed fee and should boost their UEFA Cup challenge. He played 29 times for Nacional in his country's top flight last season, scoring 12 goals.

Wisła Kraków have signed Romanian starlet Hristu Chiacu on a free transfer from FC National 2000 Bucuresti. The 19-year-old attacking midfielder has agreed an initial one-year contract with an option for a further four seasons. Chiacu had made 16 appearances for National over the past two campaigns, scoring two goals.

Slovakia striker Erik Jendrisek is heading for the Bundesliga after a fantastic season with MFK Ružomberok. The 19-year-old was his country's top scorer with 21 goals from 34 starts in the 2005/06 campaign, helping Ružomberok to claim the title and earning the Player of the Year award. He has moved to Hannover 96 on a one-year loan, with his new employers having the option of buying him on a permanent deal. Before he leaves, he will play for Ružomberok in the UEFA Champions League second qualifying round against Djurgårdens IF of Sweden on 25/26 July and 1/2

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Rumours 13th July

Portugal winger Cristiano Ronaldo fears for his safety if he stays at Manchester United. (The Sun)

Arsenal are prepared to loan Theo Walcott to West Brom to secure the £8m transfer of defender Curtis Davies. (Daily Mirror)

Chelsea defender Robert Huth's £5m move to Middlesbrough has broken down after the German failed a medical. (Various)

Meanwhile Middlesbrough have made a £2.5m bid for Manchester City midfielder Joey Barton. (Daily Mirror)

Charlton are adamant £10m-rated striker Darren Bent will remain at The Valley in the immediate future. (Daily Mail)

Newcastle have abandoned their pursuit of Fulham midfielder Steed Malbranque and now hope to sign Chelsea's Shaun Wright-Phillips on loan. (The Guardian)

Man Utd defender Gabriel Heinze wants to stay despite interest from Real Madrid and Barcelona. (The Sun)

West Ham are hoping to agree a cut-price fee of £1.5m with Blackburn to sign Brett Emerton. (Daily Mail)

Spurs are set to bid £2m for Juventus defender Lilian Thuram. (Daily Star)

Middlesbrough have signed 18-year-old midfielder Herold Goulon from French champions Lyon. (Various)

Watford and Plymouth are both interested in signing Manchester United's 20-year-old striker Sylvain Ebanks-Blake. (Daily Mirror)

Bolton are expected to complete the £1.5m signing of Marseille's Ivory Coast defender Abdoulaye Meite on Thursday. (Various)

Bayern Munich have offered Marseille £7m for French international winger Franck Ribery. (The Times)

Chelsea's French international defender William Gallas is ready to agree a new contract with the club. (Various)

Prospective suitors interested in signing Sol Campbell have been put off by his £80,000-a-week wage demands. (Various)

PSV Eindhoven's Peruvian striker Jefferson Farfan has turned down a £7.5m move to Portsmouth. (The Times)

GOSSIP

Newcastle midfielder Kieron Dyer's scheduled comeback has been put back a month to mid-September. (The Guardian)

Clive Woodward has agreed to hold talks with England coach Steve McClaren, who is keen to use every method to improve his squad's preparation. (The Sun)

Bolton chairman Phil Gartside insists boss Sam Allardyce will not be joining Sunderland. (Daily Telegraph)

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Not only is this info available everywhere else (ie. BBC Sport Rumours page, etc), but there are copyright laws against wholesale reprinting of original news items from ANY news site, anywhere else. SM are at risk by you doing so.

If you want to do this, perhaps paste a link only (as you have rightly done in your last post Bobo), and save the bandwidth and the possible legal headaches....

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14th July

i posted the links so now its back to rumours only ;)

Manchester United assistant boss Carlos Queiroz has insisted Cristiano Ronaldo is staying at the club, despite the Portugal winger's agent twice speaking to the club's chief executive, David Gill, about a move. (Daily Mirror)

Patrick Vieira is unlikely to return to the Premiership this summer, even if his Italian club Juventus are relegated from Serie A. (The Sun)

Newcastle's bid to lure Chelsea winger Shaun Wright-Phillips on loan looks doomed. (The Sun)

Theo Walcott has been assured his future - long-term and short-term - is at Arsenal by manager Arsene Wenger and will not be sent out on loan. (Daily Express)

Although he might be loaned to a Championship club. (Daily Mail)

Real Madrid have agreed personal terms with Ruud van Nistelrooy, according to reports in Spain. (Daily Mail, Independent)

Chelsea are to push ahead with their interest in signing Roberto Carlos from Real Madrid, with the club's owner Roman Abramovich emerging as the driving force behind the deal. (The Independent)

Coventry are interested in Sheffield United striker Geoff Horsfield, 32, who has fallen out of favour with manager Neil Warnock. (Daily Telegraph)

Steve Sidwell will leave Reading for nothing next summer after being refused a move to Manchester City. (The Sun)

Gareth Southgate has vowed to find the right reinforcements for his team after seeing his big-money swoop for Robert Huth collapse. (The Independent)

Charlton hope to sign Aussie international Scott Chipperfield from FC Basel. (The Sun)

Bolton will attempt to bolster their defensive ranks with the signings of Abdoulaye Meite and Djimi Traore from Marseille and Liverpool respectively. (The Guardian)

Bolton boss Sam Allardyce is poised to sign Iran World Cup player Andranik Teymourian. (The Sun)

Spanish side Espanyol say they have struck a £750,000 deal for Sunderland wing-back Julio Arca. (The Sun, Express)

Blackburn have rejected Portsmouth's £4m bid for Ryan Nelson. (The Sun)

Rangers will renew their attempts to sign Austria Vienna's Slovakian striker Filipo Sebo. (Daily Record)

John Wilson, victim of the tackle which saw Kenny Miller sent off in Celtic's loss to DC United, described it was a "really scary moment". (Daily Record)

Aberdeen midfielder Scott Severin will only be sidelined for a month after successful knee surgery. (Daily Record)

Rangers new boy Jeremy Clement is the new Didier Deschamps, according to former boss Gerard Houllier who added he was a "bargain". (Daily Record)

Back to top

OTHER GOSSIP

Ashley Cole has refused to invite Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger to his glitzy wedding on Saturday. (The Sun)

Reading chief John Madejski has branded the Premiership as greedy and obscene. (Daily Mirror, Express)

Italy's World Cup-winning coach Marcello Lippi has moved a step closer to Old Trafford by taking intensive English lessons. (The Sun)

Rangers owner David Murray has suggested he might be willing to sell the club by 2009. (Various)

Forgotten man Darren Fletcher is worried he might stay in the background at Manchester United if he doesn't sparkle on their pre-season tour of South Africa. (Daily Mirror, Express)

Southampton have asked former BBC chairman Gavyn Davies to commit to a major investment in the club. (The Guardian)

Saints have assured England's Rugby World Cup-winning coach Sir Clive Woodward that he has a bright future with the club. (The Guardian)

FUNNIES

If nicknames are necessary, Arsenal new boy Tomas Rosicky wants to be known as 'Little Mozart' and not 'Dumpling'.

The latter sobriquet was shouldered on him at Borussia Dortmund when he was told to bulk up. "People were always teasing me to eat more to gain weight," the 25-year-old explained. "I didn't like it."

'Little Mozart' it is then. "That comes from the technical way I play," the Czech Republic international added.

Mervyn King, the Governor of the Bank of England, is a die-hard Aston Villa fan.

On Sunday he wil host a charity match in the grounds of Threadneedle Street between bank employees and Villa veterans, including Gordon Cowans, Tony Morley and Dennis Mortimer from the 1982 European Cup-winning side.

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17th July

Chelsea winger Damien Duff is joining rivals Spurs in an £11m deal. (The Sun)

Cristiano Ronaldo has told his mum he is staying at Manchester United. (The Sun)

Manchester United are ready to lodge an £8m bid with Juventus to make it third time lucky in luring Patrick Vieira to Old Trafford. (Daily Mirror)

Ashley Cole is to persist with his plans to leave Arsenal when he returns from honeymoon despite Arsene Wenger's insistence he wants him to stay. (The Guardian)

Atletico Madrid insisted last night that Fernando Torres was not on his way to Manchester United. (Daily Star)

Rino Gattuso was locked in talks last night with his agent over a "dream" move to Manchester United. (The Sun)

Liam Miller will leave Manchester United once they receive a suitable offer. (Daily Mirror)

Rangers have signed the Senegalese midfielder Makhtar N'Diaye. (The Independent)

West Ham are in talks to sign Ghana World Cup star John Pantail. (Daily Mirror)

Manchester City are reportedly close to signing Bernado Corradi from Valencia. (Daily Telegraph)

Portsmouth are trying to snatch Czech Republic defender Tomasz Ujfalusi from scandal-hit Fiorentina. (Daily Mirror)

Fulham boss Chris Coleman is still insisting Steed Malbranque will never play for the Premiership side again despite the Frenchman's failure to find a new club. (Daily Star)

Adie Boothroyd is trying to push through a £1.2m deal for Crystal Palace winger Jobi McAnuff. (Daily Mirror, Daily Star)

West Brom boss Bryan Robson wants Wigan's former Liverpool midfielder David Thompson. (Daily Mirror)

Millwall have accepted a £400,000 bid from Leeds for midfielder David Livermore. (Daily Star)

OTHER GOSSIP

Arsene Wenger insists Arsenal will not take advantage of the Juventus fire sale. (The Sun)

David O'Leary's Aston Villa career looks finished but chairman Doug Ellis is determined he will not get a penny in compensation. (The Sun)

Sunderland are ready to offer O'Leary an escape from his Aston Villa hell. (Daily Star)

Jose Mourinho has told Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo to put up and shut up. (Daily Express)

But Mourinho's also told Ronaldo he needs to leave Manchester United if he wants to become a champion. (Daily Star)

Joey Barton is ready to sign a new deal at Manchester City. (Daily Mirror)

FUNNIES

Wayne Rooney loves arriving at Manchester United's training ground in his favourite Marks & Spencer carpet slippers. Apparently his team-mates call him "slipperman". (Daily Star)

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Id like to see Mourinho's new look!

Brazil and Real Madrid star Ronaldo wants to join Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United. (The Sun) - 35% chance

Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez is on the brink of landing Feyenoord striker Dirk Kuyt. (Daily Mail) - 0% chance... sure it wont happen

Charlton Athletic manager Iain Dowie is hoping to sign Liverpool's out-of-favour defender Djimi Traore. (Daily Mirror) - 60%

Manchester City have received a £7m bid from Middlesbrough for Sylvain Distin and Joey Barton. (Daily Mirror) - 5%

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho made an approach for Juventus player Gianluca Zambrotta and is hoping to sign him for £10m. (The Sun) - 65%

Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp was in talks to sign French striker Nicolas Anelka. (Daily Mirror) - 90%

Blackburn Rovers are set to sign former Tottenham striker Mido for £3.5m. (The Sun) - 90%

Bolton striker Jared Borgetti is being offered a way out of his Wanderers nightmare by Racing Santander. (The Sun) - 70%

West Ham have joined Fulham in the hunt for Blackburn winger Brett Emerton. (The Sun) - What am I supposed to say here?! lol, I say 35% chance of joining the cottagers.... 45% of joining the Hammers

Manchester United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy will complete his £12m move to Real Madrid on Tuesday. (Daily Mail) - 100%

Watford are preparing a £1.5m bid for Wolves and former Newcastle striker Carl Cort. (Daily Mail) - 50%

Sunderland goalkeeper Kelvin Davis is on the brink of a £1m move to Southampton. (Daily Mail) - 70%

Portsmouth are to make an improved £9m bid for West Brom defender Curtis Davies. (Daily Mail) - 70%

Newcastle United have made moves to prise Dean Ashton from West Ham and are set to use James Milner as a £3m makeweight. (Daily Express) - 15%

Everton will give South Africa winger Delron Buckley a trial next week. (The Times) - 95%

Chelsea have rejected a £7m bid from Tottenham for Chelsea winger Damien Duff saying they must increase their offer to £11m. (The Independent) - 95%

Wigan are expected to sign Hearts star Andy Webster. (The Times) - 78%

OTHER GOSSIP

Chelsea have been dealt a Champions League blow after they were set to be among the second seeds. (Daily Star)

Aston Villa boss David O'Leary is set to be sacked and replaced by Charlton boss Alan Curbishley. (Daily Mirror)

Sir Alex Ferguson has ruled out a Real Madrid move for Cristiano Ronaldo after stating the player will stay at Manchester United. (The Times)

FUNNIES

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has cut is hair very... very short (Various)

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bobo

like i said there could be an improvement like if u put a rating on each rumour so if u think its a shoe in transfer put a 5star rating then if u think its no chance put a one star up to u mate i just thought it would be good to see if u could predict things ;)

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like i said there could be an improvement like if u put a rating on each rumour so if u think its a shoe in transfer put a 5star rating then if u think its no chance put a one star up to u mate i just thought it would be good to see if u could predict things ;)

sure thanksfor the idea.. will start with of today!

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Its back up.. but now improved!!

So, from today onwards there are going to be rumours and also latest transfers.... many of the latter!

Real Madrid will make an improved offer for Manchester United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy. (The Sun)

Bolton's £2.5m bid for Argentina skipper Juan Pablo Sorin has been accepted by Villareal, but Portsmouth, Stuttgart and Inter Milan have not given up hope of signing the full-back. (The Sun, Daily Mail)

Barcelona and Inter Milan will fight it out for the right to sign Patrick Vieira from Juventus, ending Man Utd's hopes of bringing him to Old Trafford. (The Sun)

Newcastle boss Glenn Roeder would like to buy Germany striker Miroslav Klose, but fears being out of the Champions League will hinder his chances. (The Sun)

Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez has told Real Madrid to forget about signing midfielder Xavi Alonso. (Daily Mail)

Rangers will learn by noon on Monday if Arsenal will allow 18-year-old striker Nicklas Bendtner to move to Ibrox on a year-long loan. (The Herald)

Dunfermline face competition from Nottingham Forest for the signature of former Aberdeen and Livingston striker Noel Whelan. (Daily Mail)

Aberdeen expect to sign Zambia midfielder Chris Katongo from Jomo Cosmos despite interest from Rangers and Southampton. (Daily Express)

Back to top

OTHER GOSSIP

Niall Quinn is set to appoint himself as the Black Cats' new manager after failing to convince Martin O'Neill or Sam Allardyce to take the plunge. He will bring Peter Reid in as his number two. (Various)

Aston Villa chairman Doug Ellis will step up his pursuit of Martin O'Neill when he returns from holiday on Monday. (Daily Mail)

FUNNIES

BBC Sport presenter Adrian Chiles has said in an interview that even after watching the World Cup alongside Alan Shearer, he cannot believe the ex-England striker knows his name. (Daily Mirror)

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