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English Championship 106 - Transfer/Gossip thread

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Re: English Championship 106 - Transfer/Gossip thread

Shorpe Welcome New Legs ! Walcott Bows Out !

Theo Walcott has been given his marching orders from 'The Iron' after the change of management at Shorpe. God 999, the recently appointed Shorpe manager after the dismal performance under Nathan Kirby had stated immediately after his arrival that no player was assured of a stay at the club including club stars Theo Walcott and Subotic. The former had attracted a lot of interest from various teams who were all in hot pursuit of the 23 year old's signature. Shorpe had made it clear that only a very good offer would be considered and after lengthy negotiations with numerous clubs, finally came to an agreement with Tony Harman of Millwall. Tony had mentioned that he was very interested in Walcott and was eager to bring him to The New Den and has succeeded. God 999 agreed with Millwall officials to sell Theo in a deal which saw Uruguayan defender Diego Godin, a very good defender who was of close interest to God 999 along with extremely talented French youth Geoffrey Kondogbia join Shorpe. The addition of Godin will will strengthen the Shorpe defence by quite a bit and the arrival of an extremely talented youth with bags of potential in Kondogbia will no doubt prove to be a key figure in the future of Shorpe. This is what God 999 had to say about the transfer:

I'm delighted to bring in a brilliant defender in Godin as well as an extremely talented young player in Kondogbia to the squad. The deal did see one of our stars in Theo depart the club but I am very happy to receive the duo of Godin and Kondogbia for him. Theo had generated quite a bit of interest but Millwall's offer was the best by a while so I couldn't refuse. I wish Theo the best of luck at his new club.

All eyes will be on the pair of Godin and Kondogbia after the manager's strong praise of the duo and the Shorpe fans as well as the players themselves will be hoping that they can adjust to their new club as soon as possible.

There was much speculation about the future's of other players at the club and when asked about it, this is what God 999 had to say on the matter"

Well I'll never say that any player's position is assured at the club, I believe in changes, I believe that to succeed you need to be willing to make sacrifices and bring in new players. I certainly won't assure any player that they will remain at the club nor will I assure them that they will definitely be sold. It all depends on performance, what I need for my squad and what offers come in from other suitors. I urge the players not to worry about their future at the club and rather to worry about how they're going to play in our next match, that's all that matters. They need not worry about whether they'll be sold or whether they'll remain at the club, I want them completely focused on one thing only: to win the next game.

Strong words from the new Shorpe manager which provide an apt description about his management style. t is now in the player's hands whether to take what he's said in a positive or negative manner.

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Re: English Championship 106 - Transfer/Gossip thread

Fellaini Signs for Shorpe ! Hunt and Rakitic Shown The Door !

It has been confirmed that the second signing after the appointment of God 999 to manage Shorpe has been completed. Marouane Fellaini has signed a 2 year contract with Shorpe. The manager had expressed his desire to add Fellaini to his squad as he was after a player to hold his side together in the center of midfield and the monstrous Belgian who's brilliant at the role certainly fits the criteria. Shorpe lost two players to Stoke to bring Fellaini to Glanford Park and two quality one's at that in Aaron Hunt and Ivan Rakitic. Fellaini was courted by many teams, many big teams at that but the former Stoke man has eventually signed for The Iron. Fellaini's addition to Shorpe is a brilliant one with the center midfielders in a team being crucial to a team's success and Fellaini has proven time and time again that he is fantastic at his role, hence why he attracted so much attention in the transfer market and why Shorpe's new manager set out to sign him. The addition of Fellaini to the squad will certainly improve how Shorpe fare next season and close of this season. God 999 will be looking to clean up the mess his predecessor left him as he looks to get The Iron out of relegation zone and keep them in Division 2. With 3 matches to go and sitting in 18th place, trailing 17th by 4 points, it is certainly a lot to ask for but if Fellaini manages to adjust immediately to the new surroundings and plays to his ability, Shorpe may just pull it off. Fellaini will no doubt have a crucial role to play for the team, the manager and the fans will be hoping he lands on his feet at his new club.

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When God 999 made it clear that no player was assured of a stay at Glanford Park, he meant business. First Walcott, now Rakitic and Hunt. The duo which departed to Stoke had spent two seasons at Shorpe and they both had two fairly successful seasons as well. Rakitic played 30 matches for Shorpe in which he scored 5 goals and assisted 8 times - impressive stats for a center midfielder while Hunt in his 33 appearances for the club netted 10 times and assisted 8 times as well. Both had an impressive time at Shorpe with impressive stats to back it up. So why do we now see the duo donning a jersey that isn't Shorpe's? We talk to the Shorpe manager, God 999 on the matter:

When I gave my original press statement after being hired by the club, I'd made it clear that no one was assured of a stay at the club nor were they assured of a departure from the club. I meant what I said. I believe change takes us forward, it ensures we move forward and at the moment the club certainly need to be moving forward and I intend to be the man to take them forward. No doubt Rakitic and Hunt are good players who had performed impressively under previous managers, I don't believe in looking at the past. Only the present and the future. They were both good players but Fellaini, he's a great player. I'm certain that he's worth the price that I paid for him and I'm happy to bring him in even if it is at the expense of Rakitic and Hunt. To keep moving forward, you need to be willing to make the necessary change to your squad, and this was a necessary one. In Fellaini I've added a great midfielder who will prove a crucial part of our team and will improve us in defence as well as in offense, someone who I'm certain will prove to be our lynch pin in midfield.

You mentioned after the Walcott sale that the players should not focus on their future at the club and rather on the next match. With players departing from the club at this rapid rate, how can the players put their future out of their minds?

It isn't easy no doubt but a player shouldn't be worrying about anything other than the next match no matter what and I want my players to do that. Give your best on the pitch, don't think about the new legs at the club, just give your best on the pitch. Leave the worrying about transfers to me, I've said it before and I'll say it again, no player is assured of a transfer away from the club nor is he assured of a stay at the club. There's no point in worrying about that, it's out of their hands. The best thing to do is just concentrate on their game and on winning next match.

Despite hearing the manager's words, it is almost certain that the main thing on the player's minds will be: Who's next?

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Re: English Championship 106 - Transfer/Gossip thread

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Kaka joins Reading in a deal worth million, whats next for the 30 year old?

In a deal worth a reported twenty million Brazil ace Ricardo Kaka has joined up with Championship out fits Reading FC. The 30 year old who has also been tabbed up by Arsenal and Manchester United has made it clear this was the right disition and will play a big part in Reading push for promotion next season. Kaka who has played 513 games over 17 seasons of EC106 has made it clear this is not the end of him and with Ryan Giggs on the books what is next for the outfits of the Championship. Coach Mattuie Beckett has made it clear he still has more aims but over the past few weeks with names like Crouch, Bellamy, Britton and more joining who will be the next star too join the push for next seasons promotion.

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Re: English Championship 106 - Transfer/Gossip thread

Burrow furious as Preston's play off hopes diminish

Preston North End lost 2-1 to local rivals Carlisle in what was a vital promotion six pointer for both sides. Defeat for Preston sees them cast adrift outside the play-off places, as Preston manager James Burrow called into question the physicality of Carlisle's players.

Preston got off to a poor start, with Carlisle scoring what would ultimately be the decisive goals in their two first attempts at the Preston goal. Eight minutes were on the clock when Martin Demichelis played a through ball to Dusan Tadic, who with one touch took Preston's defence out of the equation and placed his shot past Michel Vorm. The same could be said of Carlisle's second goal, Demichelis heading the ball on for Tadic who made the most of some space to head for the byline before cutting back and finishing with his right foot. Preston manager James Burrow began taking notes and barking instructions from the touchline, and after more Carlisle pressure finally got into the game themselves. Stevan Jovetic tested keeper Fabien Audard from long range before Preston pulled a goal back just before half time. Aaron Lennon showed Sebastian Jung a clean pair of heels, racing to the byline before playing a teasing cross into the six yard box. Stand-in captain Steven Gerrard was on hand to poke home his 15th goal of what has been a record scoring season for the England international. That goal gave Preston a new lease of life, with only a foul by Pirmin Schwegler on David Beckham denying the veteran a shot on goal.

Half time came at the wrong time for the visitors, and this showed after the break, with Carlisle racing out of the blocks, with Vorm atoning for his earlier performance with some great saves. Then came the first moment of controversy. Defender Joel Matip jumped with Gerrard for a header, knocking the 32 year old to the ground. The referee called no foul but Gerrard sluggishly regained his feet before being taken off clutching his side. Preston manager James Burrow looked on, throwing on Michu as his replacement.Within a minute of the Spaniard's introduction, he was greeted with a rough tackle from Sebastian Jung, who received a yellow card. Michu soldiered on, and nearly helped Preston get back into the game, his pass finding Stephan El Shaarawy but the Italian failed to hit the target. Shortly after, Preston winger Lennon was fouled by Demichelis. The English winger played on but was in some pain, this was evident when he failed to meet Beckham's long through ball later in the game. David Luiz looked to have stolen a point right at the death, but his header was parried away by Audard.

The final whistle blew, with a frustrated Burrow hesitantly shaking his opposite numbers hand before storming off down the tunnel, we spoke to him shortly after:

"There was only one team out there playing football for 90 minutes. Sure, Carlisle scored two good goals early on, but once we threatened to get back into it they were just hell-bent on causing as much injury as they could. I'm sure your stats will show we dominated the second half, as Carlisle only got the ball from goal kicks and fouls. Right now we have two players who's season is over, and Glen Johnson who will be touch and go for the next game." Asked to elaborate further, Burrow confirmed that the two players were indeed Gerrard and Lennon. "It's frustrating as Carlisle should know better than to kick, they had three players out at one stage with long term injuries and I was on the phone straight away to Dan (Tomlins) to show my concern. The first half looked to be an entertaining game of football for the supporters, but in the second it descended into a fight to stay away from the lunges. I hope Carlisle do get promoted, then we can be rid of them for a season and we can field a team safe in the knowledge that we can finish the match with 11 healthy individuals."

Carlisle manager Dan Tomlins was unavailable to comment on the matter, with captain Schwegler denying that his team purposefully went out to hurt players. Preston drop to 8th while Carlisle draw level with 3rd placed Blackburn.

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Re: English Championship 106 - Transfer/Gossip thread

Could Preston gatecrash the play-offs?

Preston North End Defeated Barnsley 1-0 in what was an emotional night for Preston captain Jamie Carragher, who played his last game in front of the home crowd before retiring.

Injuries had forced changes to Preston's side which lost to Carlisle on Wednesday. Carragher regained the captain's armband from Steven Gerrard, who missed out with a rib injury. Michu took the England inyernational's place in the side, making his first start since his move from Stoke City. Kevin Mirallas was recalled on the flank, replacing the injured Lennon, and Glen Johnson, Preston's only ever-present this season, missed out with a slight hamstring injury, with Angel Rangel making his debut for Preston having joined last season.

It was Barnsley who got off to the better start, with Enzo Perez and Alberto Gilardino forcing early saves from Michel Vorm. Michu went into the referees book for diving before Barnsley's Ryan Babel tested Vorm from range, the Dutch keeper keeping out his international team-mate. Preston's first shot on target came after half an hour, Michu directing David Luiz's cross into the arms of visiting keeper Pyatov. Perez had another shot thwarted by Vorm before Preston took the lead against the run of play. The ball was played out to Stephan El Shaarawy who burst past former Preston defender Gabriel Heinze and played a cross along the floor to Stevan Jovetic. The Montenegrin who has had a torrid time in front of goal this season found the net with a bit of help from the goalie, who failed to get his hand behind it fully. Preston took the initiative until the half-time break, El Shaarawy trying his luck with an outside-foot shot, while Michu and Mirallas also went close to doubling Preston's lead.

After half time, El Shaarawy continued to pepper Barnsley's goal as he looked to add to his impressive goal tally before returning to parent club Southampton. Barnsley came within a whisker of equalising just short of the hour mark, Enzo Perez striking the post with a vicious shot, before Alberto Gilardino forced a good save from Vorm. Barnsley brought on Francesco Totti and Yevhen Seleznyov to try and break through Preston's defences, but the defence marshalled by captain Carragher refused to yield. With 15 minutes to go, Carragher caught Jurado with a clumsy tackle, to which the referee produced a yellow card, producing the largest collective boo ever heard at Deepdale! Preston held out for the victory, after which manager James Burrow spoke to the press about his teams performance, and the reaction to Carragher's last home game:

"That was a great defensive display tonight. Jovetic took his goal well but we had to be at our best to prevent Barnsley scoring. We had to make changes due to injuries etc which can have an negative effect, but Mirallas and Rangel had great games, and Michu could easily have had two goals. I think he was dogged by that yellow card, which was harsh to say the least, Michu doesnt dive. The crowd's reaction to Carra's booking made me laugh, rules are rules and he had to be booked but it was his last home game (if we dont make the play-offs) so you'd think he'd cut him a bit of slack."

In the play-off race, Liverpool drew and Brighton won, meaning Preston must beat West Ham United at Upton Park and hope Brighton lose or draw against Chelsea and Liverpool lose at Stoke.

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Re: English Championship 106 - Transfer/Gossip thread

West Ham Utd v Preston North End

Season 17 Finalé

Match Preview

Preston manager James Burrow is optimistic his side can crash the play-off party and pip Liverpool to a play-off place with victory against West Ham tonight.

Preston are the form team in the league over the past six games, winning four of the last six games to bring them within two points of 6th placed Liverpool. With Brighton facing in-form Chelsea at the AMEX and the Reds travelling to Stoke City, Preston have been given a fighting chance of progression into the knock-out stage, however must overcome a West Ham side eager to go out of Division Two with a bang, with their relegation sealed a week ago. Burrow spoke to us on the team coach on the way down to London, with the club putting on free coach travel to turn Upton Park into ‘Fortress Deepdale.’

“It’s far from an easy task, but I think we have a great chance of making 6th. It’s frustrating that the last fixture of the season is away, but we have to put up with it. Brighton have been good at home but Chelsea are unbeaten in three. Liverpool have had a topsy turvy season and need a win against a resurgent Stoke to confirm their play-off place. We cant do anything to affect the outcome of those matches, only ours. So we have to play our part, beat West Ham who have nothing to lose tonight, and hope that the two teams drop points.”

Preston vice-captain Steven Gerrard has travelled with the team but will only be risked if absolutely necessary according to Burrow, with the England international currently nursing a rib injury which has kept him out of the past two games. Aaron Lennon and Gareth Bale remain in Preston, while Glen Johnson and Angel Rangel both make the trip south. London-born David Beckham scored the all-important goal in the reverse leg, and is expected to keep his place alongside David Luiz. Captain Jamie Carragher makes his last league appearance before retiring.

Join us live in the EC106 Discussion Thread for minute-by-minute commentary from all three games, with live table updates.

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Re: English Championship 106 - Transfer/Gossip thread

Amazing scenes at Preston sneak into the play-offs on goal difference

Preston North End fans stormed the Upton Park pitch as their side thrashed West Ham 6-0 to take the final play-off place off Liverpool by just two goals!

Going into tonight's game, Preston needed to win and hope Brighton and Liverpool fail to win, with Preston trailing Liverpool by four goals on goal difference. Preston started the match in a gung-ho attitude, taking the lead after just 5 minutes, Stevan Jovetic scoring his second goal in consecutive games with a looping header. The lead was doubled ten minutes later, Belgain international Kevin Mirallas scoring his first league goal of the season after some good play orchestrated by David Beckham. North End had put on free coach travel to tonights game, and the large crowd which had travelled to London was both ecstatic, but anxious, as no news of any goals came from both the Britannia or the AMEX, where Brighton and Liverpool were playing.

Preston took a commanding lead after 21 minutes. A David Luiz freekick stung the palms of Jose Corona, with Michu first on hand to tap in his first goal for Preston. Preston manager James Burrow was jubilant on the touchline, but no matter what the scoreline at Upton Park, it would mean nothing if Stoke or Chelsea failed to score. Preston threatened to run up a cricket score shortly before the break, Stephan El Shaarawy, in what at that time was his last game for Preston, crossed into the six yard box for Jovetic to tap home his 4th of the season, doubling his season's tally in just 39 first half minutes. What West Ham support turned up to watch their side soon left, leaving the Preston fans dominating Upton Park. The half time whistle blew, and the first boo's of the night rang out as the Brighton-Chelsea and Stoke-Liverpool scores were read out, as both scores were goalless.

Preston started the second half as they did the first, with Michu coming close to doubling his Preston tally, before the loudest cheer of the night erupted from the away end! In the 53rd minute, news came through that Brighton were 1-0 down to Chelsea, Andriy Yarmolenko with the goal for the Blues. That put Preston 5th, level on points and goal difference with Liverpool, with the Reds ahead on goals scored. Then an even louder cheer was heard, a cheer so loud it could possibly be heard back in Preston! David Beckham, born just 10 miles away from Upton Park, gave Preston an unbelievable 5-0 lead on 55 minutes. As it stood, Preston were going through to the play-offs courtesy of one goal difference. No news of goals elsewhere came through as David Luiz added a sixth goal with 4 minutes to go, and as the final whistle blew on what was a record away victory for Preston, Lilywhites fans were still unsure if their team had done the impossible. The final whistle blew at the AMEX, with Brighton losing 1-0 to Chelsea, before the all-important final whistle blew at Stoke City, Liverpool failing to break down a resolute Stoke defence.

Despite the stadium announcer warning Preston fans not to storm the pitch, they did anyway, as Preston manager James Burrow ran the entire length of the pitch in celebration! Preston players showed their appreciation to the fans, with some fans escorted off the pitch b the stewards. James spoke to us after the chaos, still trembling with adrenaline:

"You'll have to forgive me if I need a sit down! That is by a great distance, the greatest moment in my career! Six-nil, and a play-off place? It's like all my Christmas's have come at once! I hadn't taken notice of the goal difference as I thought it too big a gap, but when 3 went in I sent my assistant off to get a live table. It would have to be Liverpool too, a club I supported as a young'un. Sorry but I'm a nervous wreck! I best get back to my players."

Preston's victory sees them play Carlisle on Friday, a team who they have failed to beat on five separate occasions, and still smarting from comments made by Burrow after their league encounter last Wednesday, when the manager called Carlisle a 'rugby team' responsible of 'kicking' star players Steven Gerrard and Aaron Lennon.

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Re: English Championship 106 - Transfer/Gossip thread

Blackburn Rovers v Preston North End

Division Two Play-Off Final

Match Preview

North-West rivals Blackburn Rovers and Preston North End are hours away from sparring at Wembley, with a place in the top flight up for grabs.

Former Division One champions Blackburn finished 4th during the regular season, with Anand Krish's side beating Coventry 3-0 in the Semi-Final to qualify for the showpiece final. Preston qualified thanks to a 6-0 defeat of West Ham on the final game of the regular season, beating Liverpool to 6th by goal difference. Preston went on to defeat rivals Carlisle Utd 1-0 in the Semi's to face Blackburn. There's nothing to separate the two teams on paper, with both sides tasting victory and defeat in their two league meetings, with Cup and Shield encounters finishing level after 90 minutes, with Preston prevailing on penalties on both occasions.

Blackburn Rovers manager Anand Krish faces a selection dilemma ahead of tonight's final. Mario Gomez, who scored a hat-trick in the Semi-Final against Coventry, is short of match fitness, with his replacement Wayne Rooney without a goal since his brace against Leeds. Mesut Ozil and Kieran Gibbs are likely to miss out, with Nacho Monreal and Moussa Dembele set to deputise.

Preston will be without injured players Gareth Bale and Jose Enrique, while wingers Aaron Lennon and Stephan El Shaarawy face late fitness tests ahead of tonights game. Striker Michu has scored two goals in his last two games, and his selection appears to have had a knock-on effect on Stevan Jovetic, who's recent goalscoring run may worry Rovers fans. Captain Jamie Carragher is unfortunately set to miss out on a retirement swansong, after not making the final squad. He will, however, be ready to lift the trophy should Preston win tonight.

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Re: English Championship 106 - Transfer/Gossip thread

Shorpe Update

With the new season kicking off, Shorpe are entering their first full season under new manager God 999 who took over the club late last season, here have an update on Shorpe United before the new season kicks off.

Pre-Season

This season Shorpe have 4 pre-season friendlies to ready themselves for the long campaign that awaits. Here we have the schedule for friendlies:

March 18th - Shorpe Vs. Tranmere Rovers

March 19th - Shorpe Vs. Southampton

March 20th - Ipswich Vs. Shorpe

March 22nd - Carlisle Vs. Shorpe

Four matches against challenging opposition, these pre-season friendlies which have been organized to ready the side for the season will certainly help get the players into shape and ready for the long campaign that lies ahead.

League Expectations

Last season was a disappointing side for Shorpe and saw them get relegated to Division 3 but under the guidance of God 999 who took over late last season Shorpe have looked good and some changes have made to the side. With a strong as strong as theirs, God 999 is expected to bring the club straight back up to Division 2 and finish in a promotion spot. Here is a statement from the Shorpe manager about where his side is expected to finish in the league this season:

We should be aiming for no less than promotion. We've got a very strong side and I'm certain I can lead them straight back into Division 2. I certainly feel we should finish in a promotion spot and I intend to do my best to get them there. It's not an unrealistic expectation, it's very realistic actually, it's where we should be finishing at the end of the season

Transfers

God 999 has showed that he intends to change the squad around and he made some changes late last season. With the new season kicking off, it seems inevitable that more changes will be happening in Shorpe during the season.

The Squad

Defence

Shorpe have got a strong 3 man defence with 3 experience and very good defenders in Alex, Godin and Bonucci and they have a very good keeper behind the goal as Stekelenburg is their No. 1. With a defence of Godin, Bonucci and Alex with Stekelenburg in goal, it certainly will be hard to put the ball into the net when you're playing against Shorpe. The likes of Pasqual and Gil along with others provide cover in defence for this Shorpe side. All in all a solid defence, one which should not be letting in too much goals this season.

Midfield

Shorpe have an extremely strong pair in the middle of the park with Belgian Superstar Marouane Fellaini along with Nigel De Jong. Two very good players who'll be attempting to run the game from midfield for Shorpe. God 999 also has two top talents at his disposal to cover for De Jong and Fellaini with Florezni and Kondogbia maturing and turning into very good players.

Down the flanks Shorpe are not very strong with no star present as there are in defence as well as in midfield, it is certainly one of the weaker aspects of this Shorpe side. Frenchman Biabiany is expected to partner experienced Portuguese international Silvestre Varela on the flanks. Marques Maicon is also a present choice for God 999 to use on the flanks.

Attack

Shorpe possess a good attacking force with Adrian who is entering his second season with the club who has shown his ability to perform on the big stage playing alongside experienced hitman Quagliearella. Fabio has been with the side for a long time and in his time at the club, scored over 100 goals which makes it clear that he is no stranger to putting the ball into the net. Immensely talented 20 year old John Guidetti is also developing his game by the day and will no doubt have his time to shine this season after he was brought in late last season. Guidetti has shown his talent with other clubs is expected to get his share of time on the pitch.

Cup

Shorpe certainly don't have the best reserve XI but they're not short of depth either. It's unknown whether the manager will focus on progressing in the cup as well as aiming for promotion but he does have the players at his disposal to make a decent cup run.

Shorpe face Birmingham City who visit Glanford Park on the 23rd for the season opener, the manager will be hoping his side can get off to a good start to the season. We finish off this update with a quick word from God 999 regarding the upcoming match and season:

Well we've got a couple more friendlies against some good opposition to ready us further for our season opener against Birmingham, I hope to win the friendlies and ready the team for the season that awaits. Birmingham have a very young and strong squad with the likes of Nastasic, Verratti, Gundogan etc. and are without doubt a very formidable team to play. There'll be a lot of pressure on us to win and get off to a good start to the season, I'm hoping we can start the season off in a good way with a win against Birmingham.

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Re: English Championship 106 - Transfer/Gossip thread

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Neville Signs 4 Year Deal With Wolves

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The 36-year-old has signed a 4-year deal at Molineux after the two clubs agreed a fee in excess of £8m.

We are delighted to have concluded a deal with a player of Phil's calibre and vast experience,"

"Primarily I see him as a holding midfield player but he gives us much-needed cover and also several additional options."

Neville will be available for Wolves Division 4 clash against Notts County on Saturday.

"We have staved off a great deal of competition to get him,".

Several clubs were interested in signing him but I must say from the first minute I spoke to him he only wanted to come to Wolves."

Neville made 393 appearances and 67 of those comming in the hand of his former club Swindon Town.

However, after starting 28 games last season, the utility player felt the time was right to leave.

"This has been the most difficult decision I have ever had to make," he told Swindon Towns website.

"But I am excited about joining Wolves and relishing my next challenge in football.

I am now going to give the same commitment to Wolves, Rajveer Singh and the Wolves fans. I can't wait for the new season to get started

."

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Preston lose out to old foe Carlisle in season opener

Preston lost 2-1 in the first game of season 18, with former player Eren Derdiyok scoring a brace to down his old employers.

Carlisle got off to the best possible start at Deepdale, scoring with 7 minutes through a placed shot to the keeper's right, with Michel Vorm getting a fingertip to it but failing to prevent the shot creeping into the net. The game was a more even affair after that, with Preston getting back into the game after 24 minutes, Gareth Bale scoring his first goal since his return from injury, after some good play by Aaron Lennon. In a tie with a history of bad blood between the sides, Preston had two players make their way into the referee's notebook, Jose Enrique and Hugo Campagnaro the culprits.

It didnt take long for Carlisle to regain the lead, Swiss striker Derdiyok equalling his entire tally for Preston in one night, his header from Antony Mounier's floated cross sailing over Vorm. Carlisle went close to doubling their lead with five minutes of the half remaining, Guy Demel's long range shot flying past the post. The half time break soon followed, and Preston came out with fire in their bellies, forcing Fabien Audard into a string of saves. Martin Demichelis went into the book for a foul on Paul Scholes, before a number of changes slowed the tempo of the games. Within a minute of coming on, Preston's Michu played in Steven Gerrard whose long range shot was parried wide by Audard. Carlisle upped the tempo, with Benoit Cheyrou going close after 70 minutes, and Derdiyok failing to secure his hat-trick not long after. The final clear-cut chance of the game fell for David Beckham, but in his first game since the ill-fated penalty miss against Blackburn, his header failed to hit the target.

The final whistle blew on the opening game of the season, with Preston fans disappointed in their side's start. We spoke to Preston manager James Burrow shortly after the final whistle:

"Despite the result that was a good performance by the team. We forced their keeper into a string of saves, Bale and Gerrard looked fighting fit after a spell out, and for 60-70 minutes we were on top. But due to a poor start, we found ourselves facing a challenge from the off. We found ourselves ina tricky situation, what with Carra retiring and Ashley Williams not recovering in time, but I still expect Campagnaro and Luiz to perform, even if they havent been regular starters. What's more, Hugo (Campagnaro) complained of a tight hamstring at the end of the game, and could be out for a week or two."

We also spoke to Jamie Carragher, who was sat on the touchline for the first time as a non-player:

"Yeah its a disappointing result but we have to look at the positives. We looked a threat on the break, Carlisle couldn't handle the pace of Bale and Lennon, and Stevie G looked at his best tonight. We'll look to iron out the defensive lapses and hopefully put on an improved performance on Wednesday. And before you ask, no I'm not coming back to replace Hugo! It's a hard job to stay sat on the sidelines but I made my decision to retire to spare myself the possibility of a career ending injury."

Preston face promoted Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Wednesday, with Leicester beating Leeds 2-1 in their opening game.

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Re: English Championship 106 - Transfer/Gossip thread

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Reading News In Full!

After taking over Championship side Reading 88 games ago Mattuie Beckett is finally ready to talk about his time at the club. Since taking over the young coach has singed such names as Phil Jagielka, Ryan Giggs, Ricardo Kaka, Peter Crouch, Craig Bellamy and many more. The young coach has started season four with two wins a one draw and his aim this season is for at least the play offs. The squad is looking great this season said one fan the manager is starting to spend when needed and this has been shown with the newest signing in the form of German hit man Klose for a big fee of 20 million. The young coach has made it clear he has no plans on leaving any time soon and now the team has been built he now has to work with what he has. In today's headlines Rio Ferdinand has again been linked with a drop in leagues to join the Championship side and manager Mattuie Beckett has made it clear he has good aims and with Rio and more big names here his team one day could be fighting for the EPL tittle. Many fans have mad it clear they are happy with the coach and with the chairman backing the young English manager he has to be one of the best looking coaches not in the EPL.

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Re: English Championship 106 - Transfer/Gossip thread

Preston North End v Stoke City

Match Preview

Bottom club Stoke City visit Deepdale tonight, with the Lilywhites on peak form after finding the net 12 times in the last two games!

After a sluggish start, a 6-1 victory over Wycombe followed by a 6-2 victory over high-flying Liverpool has lifted Preston into the play-off spots after 12 games. Meanwhile, having saved Stoke City from relegation last season, Terence Griffin has failed to emulate that form, with the Potters only recording a single victory this season, against 5th placed Carlisle United.

Preston are expected to field an unchanged team from the one which came away from Anfield with three points on Wednesday. That would mean the return of Michu to face his former club. The Spanish striker joined from Stoke towards the end of last season and has hit the ground running this season, with six goals in 11 starts, including a hat-trick against Liverpool. Gareth Bale will hope to keep his goalscoring form continuing, the Welshman scoring five in his last three.

Stoke have numerous injuries concerns, with Andy Carroll unlikely to face his former employers due to a thigh strain. Stoke's lack of goals is evident, with Jose Callejon top-scoring with four, and only five other players registering a goal this season.

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Re: English Championship 106 - Transfer/Gossip thread

Jovetic to leave, who will fill his boots?

In light of news from Preston North End that striker Stevan Jovetic is to leave after 300 appearances over 12 seasons, let’s look at the possible replacements being linked with the Lilywhites:

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Luis Suarez

Sheffield Utd/Uruguay

'El Pistolero' has been all over the news, both on the back and front pages, during his 12 season-stint in the English leagues. With 147 goals to his name in nearly 400 games for Sheffield Utd, Sheffield Wednesday, Tranmere, Norwich and Birmingham, Suarez could be the solution to Preston's lack of goals from strikers, with Gareth Bale currently top scorer for Preston.

Availability:

Suarez has recently been put up for transfer after falling out with the Sheffield Utd hierarchy. It is thought his signature could be worth between £35-40m.

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Lorenzo Insigne

Birmingham City/Italy

A young striker, one year Jovetic's junior, Lorenzo Insigne is currently enjoying his first full season in English football, already with eight goals to his name in 20 starts for Birmingham. The diminutive footballer spent a short stint at Plymouth before moving to Birmingham, so lacks the experience of regular first team football. Also, the striker has yet to prove he can net a sizeable number of goals a season, so this may be one for the future for Preston.

Availability:

Birmingham are a fountain of youth, and are often reluctant to sell their young stars, but an offer in the region of £15m could secure a move, with Birmingham short of cash in the Third Division.

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Fernando Torres

Manchester City/Spain

A proven international, Fernando Torres has made 470 appearances in the English leagues, 270 of those with arch-rivals Manchester Utd. Torres has broken double figures in 7 out of 18 seasons, with 23 goals in 73 appearances for Spain. Torres has been less prolific this season with only 5, perhaps leading City into a sale.

Availability:

Man City very rarely sell a player at their prime, and would be asking for a fee around £20-25m, which is fairly costly for a 29 year old striker. An exchange deal with Jovetic could be on the cards, with Man City in need of a striker should Torres leave.

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Edin Dzeko

Coventry City/Bosnia and Herzegovina

A player from a similar area of Europe to Jovetic, Coventry striker Edin Dzeko has found it hard to win around the Coventry fans since his move from Blackburn Rovers. Despite a tally of 9 goals last season, and equally that tally this season so far, Dzeko has been upstaged by his younger teammate Romelu Lukaku, scorer of an unprecedented 30 goals in 23 appearances so far. Dzeko is powerful in the air, and can finish, but is often accused of being lazy.

Availability:

Dzeko would fetch a fee of between £25-30m should Preston be interested in him, but for that money, younger alternatives could be available.

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Javier Hernandez

Tranmere Rovers/Mexico

'Chicharito' has been a regular for Tranmere over the years, the 25 year old already making nearly 200 appearances since his move to England 8 seasons ago. Hernandez found the net 18 times in 30 games 5 seasons ago, and despite his size, gets his fair share of headers. Hernandez has also scored 20 goals in 5 games for Mexico, but has yet to grace the World Cup Finals, and this could prove a problem in the future.

Availability:

Tranmere have insisted that the Mexican striker is not for sale at any price, and are not likely to entertain a swap deal.

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Antonio Di Natale

Swansea City/Italy

A veteran of the game, Di Natale has retired from international football and plies his trade in the 4th Division under new management. Di Natale had a fruitful spell at Aston Villa, 79 goals in 181 games for the Villans, but at 35 will surely be shuffling through the same door that Beckham and Carragher are doing this season.

Availability:

Swansea would surely sell for a high cash sum, given their league status, £15m would surely force them into a sale.

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Heung-Min Son

Liverpool/South Korea

A talented finisher, Heung-Min Son has been tipped to shine at Liverpool, but has struggled to get game time due to the form of Samuel Eto'o and David Villa. Son is tall but rather quick across the ground, and at 20 years old, has many years ahead of him to improve his game. The only drawback is that South Korea are unlikely to compete on the main stage, and he has yet to prove he can cut it in the top leagues.

Availability:

Liverpool would be tempted into selling for a fee around £12-15m, however may be reluctant to part with their young prodigy given the advancing age of their starting forwards.

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Stephan El-Shaarawy

Southampton/Italy

SAS has the advantage in that he knows Preston well, having spent last season on loan at Deepdale. The Italian striker scored 8 goals in 23 games for Preston, before returning to Southampton this season. So far he has only started two games for Southampton, such has been the form of World Player of the Year Lionel Messi, and Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani. The 20 year old spoke fondly of his spell at Preston, hoping to return again on loan, but to no avail.

Availability:

Southampton would certainly make a massive profit on the £500k they paid Genoa for El Shaarawy, but are reluctant to sell despite the plethora of striking talent. Southampton would also be reluctant to do a player-trade.

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Mario Balotelli

Bristol City/Italy

Balotelli, like Suarez, often graces both the front and back pages with his extra-curricular activities, but there is no doubting the 22 year olds talent! Strong, pacy, and with an eye for goal, Balotelli has only recently joined Bristol City from Norwich, and has plagued Preston's defence countless times for former club Norwich City. He has only managed 4 goals this season, but on his day he's a menace for defences, racking up double figures for goals twice in recent seasons.

Availability:

Balotelli only recently joined Bristol City for £20m, and it could take a fee nearer £30m to tempt them into selling so soon.

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Christian Benteke

Nottingham Forest/Belgium

A man-mountain of a striker, Christian Benteke has struggled to hold down a place in Nottingham Forest's eleven, due to the form of Steven Naismith. Similar in style to compatriot Romelu Lukaku, who has shone in the 2nd Division, Lukaku is a nightmare to opposition defenders, but is more suited to route one football, rather than the short passing game of Preston.

Availability:

Nottingham Forest manager Chris Goes has registered interest in Preston's Martin Kelly, so a swap could be agreed, however with Chucho Benitez asking to leave Forest, Benteke may get regular first team football at the City Ground.

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Re: English Championship 106 - Transfer/Gossip thread

Fans Anger at Eller Appointment!

Yesterday, Bill Kenwright appointed former Ipswich, West Ham and Grimsby manager Jonny Eller as the Everton manager. Mr Eller succeeds Kevin Jones, who had a poor long spell at Goodison Park.

The Toffees faithful were immediately disappointed at Eller's arrival. Not only has he only been at the Ipswich job for a handful of games, he hasn't got the best track record. With a poor spell at both West Ham and Grimsby, Eller had taken the reigns at Ipswich and he seemed to be doing an alright job. Guiding them to third place and offering them some new and young signings, Eller seemed to be on the right track.

Mr Eller however now manages an an Everton side that has been on a consistent and long-winded downward slide. Star players have joined and left, and Mr Eller has to figure out a way of countering the fortunes of the club. Everton find themselves rock-bottom of division 3, yet have a team that should be pushing towards the middle of the table.

An interview with Mr Eller by BBC radio on what he hopes to achieve at the club:

Well, first of all I would like to mention how delighted I am to be working at this football club. The position that the club finds itself in is nowhere near Evertons potential. My credibility is on the cards with Everton, and I am certain that I can prove all critics wrong.

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Re: English Championship 106 - Transfer/Gossip thread

Wantaway Jojo scores brace in Preston win

A double from striker Stevan Jovetic spurred Preston to victory against West Bromwich Albion on Wednesday night, with Gareth Bale adding to his goal tally in the 3-2 victory.

Jovetic was a surprise starter given his intentions to leave earlier in the week. He started alongside Michu with David Beckham dropping to the bench. Jovetic was yet to find the net in 7 appearances this season, his last goal dating back well into last season. However it took the Montenegrin forward just 43 seconds to find the net, latching onto a Bale free-kick after Michu was fouled by Baggies defender Torrejon. Jovetic nearly doubled his tally a minute later, but goalie Guillermo Ochoa parried his effort past the post. Torrejon would make amends for his earlier foul after 12 minutes, his shot from just outside the box beating Michel Vorm beating by the defender's daisy-cutter. West Brom took the initiative going into the half-time interval, former Preston defender Leighton Baines unleashing a rocket shot with his left foot, giving Vorm no chance!

The second half began in stark contrast to the first, with chances sparse. After 67 minutes, Jovetic doubled his game and season tally, again latching onto a Bale pass and firing his shot into the roof of the net. His reaction wasn't what was expected of a player who asked to leave earlier in the week, with his team-mates rushing over to congratulate him, despite the scores being tied. Italian forward Nicola Sansone tested Vorm with a looping header from Adam Maher's cross, but Vorm was equal to it. The game's decisive goal would come in the 70th minute. Bale, holder of two assists this game, rounded off an impressive game with a bullet free-kick under the wall, completely fooling Ochoa. Jovetic went close to sealing his hat-trick ten minutes from time, the post denying him a first hat-trick in over four seasons. The final whistle blew to cheers from the crowd, with some fans signalling out Jovetic for special praise. After the game we spoke to the Preston manager, who was delighted for his team and for Jovetic, however refused to speculate on his striker's future:

"It was a good game, despite going behind in the first half. Offensively we played very well, Bale got plenty of opportunities out on the wing, Michu caused the defence problems despite not scoring himself. Jojo looked a different player tonight, in fact I'd go as far as saying that his performance was akin to that of a few seasons back when he first broke through into the first team. Whether this is as a result of his request to leave, we'll never know, but if he is to go, a team is getting excellent player."

Preston remained in 6th, after 5th placed Leicester also won 2-0 against Wycombe, however with Carlisle and Chelsea losing, extended their lead over 7th place Carlisle to 9 points.

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Re: English Championship 106 - Transfer/Gossip thread

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Ipswich announce the appointment of 'The Unloyal One'.

He's back. After 6 previous appointments and failing to last at all very long the man they call the Unloyal one is back. Nobody can argue with his results elsewhere, but within the English Leagues he never manages to stay very long. Ipswich Town may have got the man they need to get them out of the pit that is Division 4, but whether he'll be around long enough for that to happen is another thing altogether. Clarke's best spell in England came with Leicester City, averaging 1.88 points per game, however as is the case with most of his jobs his tenure was short and lasted just 17 games.

This time though he seems convinced he can put his record of leaving early behind and stay within English Football for a long time. This is a short statement he left on his Twitter page.

'Pleased to be announced as Ipswich boss, here to stay. #ComeOnTheTractorBoys'

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Re: English Championship 106 - Transfer/Gossip thread

Marc+Antoine+Fortune

Ipswich make first signing under Ryan Clarke less than 24 hours after his appointment.

Newly appointed Ipswich boss Ryan Clarke has wasted no time in getting stuck into his new role, and less than 24 hours after being unveiled Ipswich Town had called a press conference to unveil the first signing of what they hope can be the tenure to turn the club on its head and move it out of Division 4. The first signing made by Ryan Clarke is that of Marc-Antoine Fortune. The former West Brom striker had found himself without a club and Ryan was quick to pounce. Fortune will add a bit of power and pace to go with that of physical beast Kenwyne Jones. Ryan Clarke also promised to extend the youth project started, Ipswich have a huge youth squad of 33 players and Ryan is keen to extend the talent Ipswich have acquired. This is what he had to say when asked about whether he wants to continue the Youth policy currently in place:

Youth is important, it not only helps us to bring players through from the youth academy into the first team but it can help to keep the club afloat bu selling off the assets we have, every single player in the Youth Academy is valued and I know our staff are working overtime to make them the best they can be, it is exciting times ahead for the club.

I like this format better :o:o

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Re: English Championship 106 - Transfer/Gossip thread

Ipswich Town 1-1 Notts County.

Jones 17, 79'

Ayew 60'

Aubameyang 88'

Notts County grab a late equalizer to deny Ipswich a win.

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Top of the table Notts County were the opposition for Ryan Clarke in his first game as Ipswich boss. A win here could have pushed Ipswich into the automatic promotion places and left them 3 points behind Notts County. A win for Notts against a promotion rival would help their automatic promotion bid a great deal but with the home crowd against them this would not be an easy win for Sidhu's boys.

Ipswich started the game quickly with Clarke's pre-game words still ringing in their ears, two early chances could have seen them pull ahead early on however they were denied by an inform Curci in the County net. Eventually Notts resistance was broken after heavy pressure. A cross from Adel Taarabt landed straight on Kenwyne Jones' head and he made no mistake as he powered the ball past a helpless Curci. This woke up Notts County and Vertonghen's shot came close but the result was a goal kick for the home side.

Notts County manager Manveer Sidhu obviously had some strong words at half time, County came out a rejuvenated side and began to relentlessly attack the Ipswich goal in search of a goal to draw them level. They got their reward on 60 minutes. A needless free-kick given away from Taarabt gave Jordan Ayew a the chance he needed, the free-kick whistled past a helpless Zieler and drew County level. This goal should have been the spark for a Notts County winner but they sat back and invited the Ipswich pressure. They found themselves behind again. Christian Gimenez entered the game in the 75th minute off the bench and less than 4 minute later played the perfect ball for Kenwyne Jones to power home his 2nd goal of the match, his aerial ability too much for the Notts County defenders. It looked like the perfect start for Clarke but it wasn't to be, Patrick Aubameyang's 88th minute strike ruining the day.

Ipswich - Zieler; Bovo, Dossena, Carlos; Faurlin, Whittingham, Montano ©, Taarabt; Maloney, Briand, Jones.

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Re: English Championship 106 - Transfer/Gossip thread

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Nemanja Gudelj's loan at Ipswich Town terminated as Clarke hunts for CB.

At around 00:30 this morning Ipswich Town announced the termination of Nemanja Gudelj's loan at the club, sending him back to Blackburn Rovers. It is thought that the central midfielder was sent back due to the high number of midfield players he was competing with. The club are also extremely short of CB's and with Clarke having little money to play with the extra loan spot freed up with Gudelj's exit may help provide the cover needed in defense. This is the statement left by Clarke on the official Ipswich site:

Everyone at Ipswich Town would like to wish Nemanja the best of luck wherever the game may take him. It is with regret that we were not able to give him the games we promised, but the high number of central midfielders didn't allow it. Whenever he played he gave his all for the club, and I respect that. The club also needs a center half to come in on loan and we had used all of our loan spots, hopefully the spot now open can be filled should a suitable CB be found. Thank you Nemanja.

If you have a CB rated 86+ that you would loan out please get in touch, thanks.

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Re: English Championship 106 - Transfer/Gossip thread

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Defensive rock Charlie Mulgrew joins Ipswich on season-long loan from Preston North End.

Late last night Division 4 club Ipswich Town announced that CM Gudelj would be returning to Blackburn Rovers as the club hunted for a CB on loan. This search has ended already, 12 hours after it started. Preston North End defender Charlie Mulgrew has joined Ipswich on loan for the rest of the season in a bid to attain first team football. The Scottish international was deemed surplus to requirements by long serving manager James Burrow and hadn't made an appearance for Preston this season. After a quick call to Burrow's Clarke was able to get his man, and Mulgrew goes straight into the starting line-up for the game away at Wigan. Mulgrew's versatility will aid Clarke's promotion bid. Mulgrew is accomplished in the left and centre of defense and midfield and can also fill in as a CDM. A very good signing for Ipswich as they hope to kick on to promotion.

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Re: English Championship 106 - Transfer/Gossip thread

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Ipswich and Tranmere locked in Tug of War for 15 year old starlet Carlos Guerreno.

Reports have emerged tonight of two English clubs fighting to sign Carlos Guerreno from Carapegua. Guerreno is only 15 years old yet has already managed to court attention from Tranmere Rovers and Ipswich Town. The 15 year old has emerged as a potential start of the future and with Carapegua only asking for a nominal 10k fee these two eagle-eyed clubs were quick to make an offer. The first bid came in from Ipswich however Sara Cicci was quick off her toes to also bid. The decision is now with the player and he looks set to decide within the next few hours. It is a difficult choice for a player of such a tender age, but a very important decision. The question for Guerreno is, Tranmere or Ipswich?

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Re: English Championship 106 - Transfer/Gossip thread

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Clarke continues Ipswich youth policy with signing of Petr Ten from CSKA Moscow.

After promising to continue with the work already done in the youth squad by previous managers Ryan Clarke delivered his first youth signing since taking the reigns at Ipswich. 20 year old LB Petr Ten has signed from CSKA Moscow for an undisclosed fee, he will immediately be placed into the youth squad once personal terms have been agreed.

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Re: English Championship 106 - Transfer/Gossip thread

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Carlos Guerreno turns down Tranmere in favor of Ipswich Town.

Ryan Clarke announced his delight as 15 year old Carlos Guerreno turned down a move to Tranmere in favor of a move to his side Ipswich Town. The central midfielder had been subject to an intense war to bring him to the club and Ipswich have managed to beat off their competition to sign the youngster. This is evidence of the youth programme in place at Ipswich Town continuing under Ryan Clarke. Guerreno, now an Ipswich Town player.

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