Latest Transfer News

Lampard not available

Andre Villas-Boas has again rubbished suggestions that Chelsea could be willing to sell Frank Lampard.

Villas-Boas has become the first Chelsea boss to drop Lampardin recent weeks, which has led to speculation about his long-term future.

Lampard has refused to bite his tongue over his unhappiness at being in and out of the side, while there have been increasing numbers of reports claiming all is not well between the midfielder and his manager.

But Villas-Boas has rubbished any suggestions there is an issue and insisted they are not looking to sell the England international.

“We speak every day,” he said.

“Frank is a player who is not available at any price,” Villas-Boas added, before justifying his handling of the 33-year-old.

“First, he’s not in and out in rotation. There is no such thing. We decide on an XI who are strong for any game and that can help us in the strategy to win the game.

“Every player wants to find that consistency and playing times.

“Frank, with the player he is and the history he represents, wants to be involved all the time, but every player is competing for a place.

“I’ve said the same all season, even when Frank had more playing time and others didn’t.

“Everyone is fighting to be in it, and a player of Frank’s level has a shorter distance to travel to be in the team than others.

“We try different options at times, but Frank is the fifth or sixth most used player at Chelsea so he’s involved all the time.

“We are speaking of two players ahead of him. One is a goalkeeper and the other is John Terry.


Fulham fail with Lopez loan

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Serie A outfit Catania say they have rejected a loan bid from Fulham for their Argentina international Maxi Lopez.

The Cottagers have been linked with a move for the formerBarcelona star for much of the window.

Manager Martin Jol played down any interest, but Catania have now claimed that they have now shunned a loan bid from Fulham for the 27-year-old.

Catania have accepted Lopez can leave, but they are insistent that he can only depart on their terms.

“We did not accept Fulham’s offer for Maxi Lopez because the English club would like to take him without spending a pound,” Catania chief executive Pietro Lo Monaco told Radio Mana Mana.

“I don’t give him on loan, Maxi has an important value.”

Reports in Italy are now claiming that AC Milan are set to renew their interest in Lopez as an alternative to Carlos Tevez.

Milan confirmed they were keen on Lopez early in January, but then their interest in him cooled as they pursued Tevez.

But they pulled out of negotiations for the Manchester City striker on Thursday, and are now believed to be looking at Lopez again.

Milan want another striker to cover for the absent Antonio Cassano, who is sidelined for the season following heart surgery.


Jutkiewicz agrees Boro move

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It’s believed that Lukas Jutkiewicz has agreed to join Middlesbrough from Championship rivals Coventry.

The highly-rated 22-year-old has been a standout performer for the Sky Blues this season but his fine form has not gone unnoticed and a number of clubs have been linked with a move for the striker over the past few months.

While Coventry were keen to hang on to one of their prized assets, there has been so much interest that they have finally had to let him go.

It emerged earlier on Thursday that Boro were leading the chase for Jutkiewicz and were set to finalise his signing after striking a deal with Coventry.

It is now understood that Jutkiewicz has passed a medical at The Riverside and agreed personal terms.

He is thought to have been handed a four-and-a-half-year deal and Middlesbrough are expected to confirm the news in the near future.


Rangers target earns praise from St Johnstone team-mate

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Murray Davidson has praised St Johnstone team-mate Francisco Sandaza for staying focused and keeping his level of performance high amid interest from Rangers, but admitted the striker is good enough for a move to Ibrox.

Davidson is confident Sandaza will demonstrate his qualities to full effect when Saints host the Scottish champions in the SPL on Saturday.

Rangers boss Ally McCoist confirmed at the weekend that Sandaza is one of a number of forwards that he is ‘really, really interested in’.

Asked if he believes the player could make the step up, one-time Rangers target Davidson said: “I think his goalscoring record speaks for itself.

“He has come in and been excellent for us.

“Everybody at St Johnstone knows the ability he has got and his goalscoring record will probably be up there with the best.

“Fran keeps himself to himself but everyone at St Johnstone is aware of the interest that’s there.

“I’m not too sure what’s happening. But in training and in games – even last week against Brechin – Fran has been 100 per cent focused on St Johnstone.”

Midfielder Davidson admits retaining focus amid interest from the Old Firm can be tough though, adding: “It’s very difficult.

“It’s more off the park when you are walking about and you’ve got fans asking things and it’s constant.

“For me, it sort of dragged on a bit. But when I was training and playing, it was the last thing on my mind.

“The best place for me to be was playing football and putting it to the back of my mind.

“I can’t speak for Fran but I would imagine it would be the same.

“As soon as he steps on to the park on Saturday, he will be 100% focused on St Johnstone.”

McCoist tried to sign Davidson in the summer but Rangers failed to match Saints’ valuation.

The player says he is unaware of any fresh interest from the Ibrox side since the transfer window reopened.

Davidson said: “It’s not for me to worry about, I’ve got a year-and-a-half left on my contract.

“I think there was a bid in the summer and it was turned down by the chairman.

“It’s up to me to try to keep my performances up at a level that I’m happy with.

“Until I’m told that a bid has been accepted, there’s not much I can do.

“Every player wants to play at the highest level possible, wherever that may be.

“But I’ve got 18 months left on my contract and I’m just 100% focused on doing well for St Johnstone.”

While backing Sandaza, Davidson has faith in his own ability if Rangers come calling again one day.

He said: “You have to have confidence. If I didn’t think I was good enough, there would be no point being here.

“I don’t go about shouting this or that but, within myself, I’m quietly confident.

“If a team wants you, you’ve obviously done something right.

“If anything came up – at Rangers or any other club – then it’s up to me to prove that I am good enough.

“But, while I’m at St Johnstone, it’s up to me to prove I’m good enough to have people talking about me.”


Weiss to consider future

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Vladimir Weiss has admitted he will soon have to think about whether he wants to stay under contract at Manchester City, while his father says there are five offers on the table for the winger.

Weiss has had limited opportunities to impress at the Etihad Stadium since breaking into the first-team squad as a teenager in 2009, and he has had to settle for loan spells elsewhere to get regular football.

The Slovakia international, now 22, is currently midway through a season-long deal with Espanyol and he is enjoying life in Spain, perhaps even more so than when he was in the Premier League.

Weiss hopes a good spell with Espanyol will leave him with plenty of options but recognises that the time is coming when he will have to make a decision over his long-term future.

“My City contract expires in summer 2013. I will soon have to ponder the question whether to extend a new contract there or move on,” he told Pravda.

“For the moment I’m focused on doing my duties at Espanyol in order to have offers I could choose from in the upcoming summer.”

Asked whether he was more comfortable in the Primera Liga, Weiss added: “They are two completely different leagues.

“I liked playing in the Premier League but now I have a feeling that the Spanish league has gone into my blood and that it suits me even more.”

Weiss’ father, meanwhile, who is the manager of the Slovakia national team and Slovan Bratislava, says his son will not be short of alternatives.

“He has five offers from Spain and England but is still a Manchester City player and thus his future is not in his own hands only,” said Vladimir Weiss senior.


Villa and Arsenal thought to be interested in Blackburn defender


Aston Villa and Arsenal are mulling over moves for Blackburn defender Scott Dann.

He was a target for both clubs in the summer prior to making the switch to Ewood Park from relegated Birmingham.

Alex McLeish worked with the centre-back at St Andrew’s and is still admirer so it is understood that he is now considering a January swoop.

Villa’s defence is in need of strengthening with doubts over the futures of James Collins and Richard Dunne, and it is believed they would be willing to offer Collins plus cash to Blackburn for Dann.

Arsenal are also thought to be monitoring developments due to the injury crisis at Emirates Stadium and Arsene Wenger may decide to recruit reinforcements.

The Frenchman had doubts about Dann at the start of the season after a long lay-off but he has played regularly this season for Rovers.

It is understood that Blackburn would consider selling for the right offer but they do not want to lose Dann and Chris Samba, who has expressed a desire to leave.

If Rovers decide to sell Dann, they will be especially determined to keep Samba, and Steve Kean announced earlier on Thursday that two bids from an unnamed club had been rejected for the Congolese player.



Ravenhill moves to Bantams


Notts County midfielder Ricky Ravenhill has joined Bradford on a permanent basis following his recent loan spell.

The 30-year-old, who has been on loan at Valley Parade since November, has penned a two-and-a-half-year deal.

Ravenhill told the Bantams’ official website: “I’ve been wanting to get this deal sorted for the past few weeks. I’m glad that all the little bits are sorted and I can call myself a proper Bradford City player.

“I’ve loved being here and I can see that this side is growing and improving.”

Ravenhill joined County in the summer of 2009 and made 97 appearances, scoring three goals.