Daily Football Round-Up Tuesday 5th February

Here’s a round-up of the football news today for you to peruse at your leisure.


Norwich have completed the loan signing of Kei Kamara on loan until the end of the season from MLS side Sporting Kansas after the player received a visa allowing him to play in England.


Asmir Begovic expects to be sold in the summer after Stoke signed Jack Butland in January. He insists no decision has been made on his destination, only that he won’t move to a ‘smaller club’.


Daniel Sturridge has said he hopes to be fit for Liverpool’s next game following the thigh injury he received against Manchester City last weekend. He has withdrawn from the international friendly against Brazil tomorrow night.


Lionel Messi is expected to sign a contract extension with Barcelona on Thursday, keeping him at the club until 2018. The Argentinian is expected to pocket around £9.5 million a year under the terms of the new deal.


Rio Ferdinand today said he has not given up for playing for England in the future, despite manager Roy Hodgson previously claiming he wouldn’t play for his country again.


Alex McLeish has left Nottingham Forest after just 41 days in charge, stating "a difference in the understanding of the development strategy" as his reason. The Scot had been promised backing during the transfer window but reinforcements never arrived, and after a meeting the two parties decided to part company.


Luiz Felipe Scolari said he regrets turning down the England job, but stands by his decision to honour his contract as the Portuguese national coach. When asked about the possibility of taking charge of England in the future Scolari said, “Who knows what will happen. One day, maybe.”


It was announced today that the game between Liverpool and Debrecen in 2009 was one of the games being investigated in the match fixing scandal. Liverpool, however, are not under suspicion of any foul play themselves, instead it is goalkeeper Vukasin Poleksic that is thought to be the player being questioned.


A teenager has been charged after attacking Wycombe goalkeeper Jordan Archer during Monday’s 1-0 win over Gillingham. Officials of both clubs have condoned the fans actions.


Messi to sign new contract

Barcelona have announced this afternoon that the best player to ever grace the footballing earth is to sign a new contract on Thursday.

Not Ali Dia.... he hasn't signed yet, but Argentine International forward Lionel Andres Messi.

The twenty-five year old is set to put pen to paper on a new five-and-a-half year contract with the La Liga leaders, which will take him upto the end of the 2018 season at Camp Nou.

Messi will be thirty-one at the end of his new contract and will earn a reported £180,000 a week after tax, with a buyout clause of £203 million, which was recently met by Anzhi Makhachkala, though the player turned down the move instantly.

The four time world player of the year is only twenty five, and has already scored over 200 goals for his parent club including a whopping 91 goals in the calendar year of 2012.....alien.

Will he ever leave La Liga? it doesn't look that way, though for the next few years at least, we can enjoy his breathtaking ability in a Barcelona shirt, and still ask that stupid question....... could he do it on a cold night at the Britannia....?

QPR turn to Crouch and Samba

Queens Park Rangers are to turn their attentions to Stoke City striker Peter Crouch and Anzhi defender Christopher Samba.

In a press conference this morning, Manager Harry Redknapp confirmed his interest in both players, as well as stating a move for Chunnam Dragons left-back Yun Suk-Young is close to completion with a work permit hearing taking place this afternoon.

Prizing away Crouch away from the Britannia Stadium could be a tall order for the Hoops, with Redknapp signing the forward on many occassions during his long management career.

Samba however, who left the Premier League to join Anzhi last January, is a target which they are confident of doing a deal for. He is reported to cost around £10 million, and will fill the void left by the departing Ryan Nelsen.

In an interview with BBC Sport today, Redknapp stated:

"These are two players whose names have been mentioned but at the moment we're not close to doing anything," 

"Crouch's name came up in a meeting with the chairman but I don't think Stoke want to sell him.

"On Samba, again the chairman is dealing with this. At this stage I don't think that's a goer. I like Christopher Samba and he is a very good player but at this stage I don't see him leaving Russia. Things can changes but at this stage we're not close to doing anything."

Hutton makes loan move to Real Mallorca

Aston Villa have confirmed this evening that defender Alan Hutton is set to join Real Mallorca on loan.

The right back is set to fly out to Spain tomorrow to undergo a medical, and will unveiled in the afternoon.

The Scotland International has found first team football hard to come by under Manager Paul Lambert, and has recently spent time on loan at Championship side Nottingham Forest making seven appearances.

Hutton will be leaving one relegation battle for another with Real Mallorca currently sitting in 19th spot in the La Liga, picking up only 17 points so far this season from 21 matches.

At 28, he is at crucial time in his career where he needs first team football, and ever since his move from Rangers to Tottenham, he has found a consistent starting berth a tough ask in Englands top flight.

Under new Manager Joaquín Caparrós, Hutton has the opportunity to nail down a starting spot, and if he impresses in Spain, they already have a deal agreed for his permanent transfer in the summer.

Juventus sign Fernando Llorente

Serie A champions Juventus have today confirmed the signing of striker Fernando Llorente from Athletic Bilbao.

The Spanish International has been heavily linked with a move away from the La Liga side for the past two years, and with his contract set to expire in the summer and the failure to negotiate a new contract, it was inevitable he would be leaving in the near future.

'The Old Lady'  heave beaten off strong competition from clubs around Europe to land the player on a four year contract.

The 'Lion King' as he is known in Spain will join up officially with his new club in the summer, and has moved on a free transfer with his current deal expiring in June.

Signing Llorente is a massive coup for Manager Antonio Conte, with the 27-year old set to be joined at the club by Argentine forward Lisandro Lopez who has agreed to join the current Serie A leaders on loan from Olympique Lyonnais.

Malaga sign Diego Lugano on loan

Malaga have this morning confirmed the signing of defender Diego Lugano on loan for the remainder of the season.

The Uruguayan Captain is looking for a new venture in his career after his move to France hasn't worked out as expected, after only making a handfull of appearances for Paris St. Germain.

Due to inconsistent form and injuries over the past two years, the centre back is looking to fit straight into a Malaga side who are in a strong positon to gain a Champions League spot for next season, as well as being in the knockout stages this year.

At 32, this is exactly the move the player needs to reignite his career, with his leadership and experience helping the La Liga side, and also offering a real threat in the air from deal ball situations.

There has been no further news as of yet, regarding whether a permanent deal is likely to happen at the end of the loan, although with PSG's money and the current age of Lugano, i would assume a deal may already be in place.

Lionel Messi wins Ballon D'or

Barcelona star Lionel Messi, and the undoubted best player in world football, has won the Ballon D'or for the fourth time (in a row) in his career at the age of 25.

It is a fantastic achievement for a player who hit a mesmerizing 91 goals for the calendar year of 2012 and adds this prestigious prize to an ever growing trophy collection.

Messi, won the award with 41% of the votes, with Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo finishing 2nd with 23.7% and fellow teammate at the Nou Camp Andres Iniesta finishing 3rd with 10.9%.

The magician picked up the award this evening in Zurich, Switzerland and stated: “To tell you the truth, it’s really quite unbelievable to win this award,” “The fourth award that I’ve had is just too great for words.”

It is likely many of the worlds finest players are going to have to wait a very, very, long time before challenging Messi for the award, with many years still ahead of him, and likely to add a further medal to his trophy cabinet in the form of another La Liga winners medal.

The FIFA team of the year was also announced, and included only La Liga players:

FIFA team of the year: Iker Casillas; Dani Alves, Gérard Piqué, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo; Xabi Alonso, Xavi, Andrés Iniesta; Lionel Messi, Radamel Falcao, Cristiano Ronaldo

'Golden Boy' Isco not going anywhere fast

The British press released 'exclusive' reports today which stated Malaga starlet, and the next of kin in Spains generation of talented midfielders Isco, was heading to the European Champions Chelsea for a reported £14 million.

It was immediately denied, and refuted, by many Spanish journalists who laughed off reports the youngster, 20, could be leaving La Rosaleda Stadium for the capital in England.

Francisco Román Alarcón Suárez, or 'Isco' as he is known in the footballing world, has come to light in the past two years since his move to the place of his birth, Malaga. The attacking midfielder started his career with Valencia, and after scoring 15 goals in the sides B team, moved to the new sugar daddy owner Sheikh Abdullah Al Thani's Los Boquerones, after the club activated his £5.5 millin buyout clause.

'The Golden Boys' rise to prominece has been fast, and was announced as the best player in Europe under the age of 21 in 2012 ahead of AC Milan stiker Stephan El Shaarawy and Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.

The Spain u21 International, has a reported buyout clause of around £16 million under the terms of his current contract, which is higher than the fee reported by British tabliods this weekend.

Malaga, who have been in financial trouble over the past year, have secured their short term future in the past few days with news of an agreement with the Spanish Tax Authorities to pay back their remaining debts, which equal to around £4.5 million by March this year.

Due to this, the club are in no rush to sell another one of their prize assets who has contributed to a host of goals and assists for the club over the past two seasons.

The likes of Santi Cazorla made the move to The Premier League from Spain, and has been a revelation since his move across Europe,  although the Malaga playmaker won't be making any move to England, and a move to Stamford Bridge is pure fantasy at this stage.

With the abundance of talent Chelsea have in his position, with the likes of Oscar, Eden Hazard, and fellow Spanish compatriot Juan Mata, it would be a foolish move for the player, and could hinder his potential which is growing week by week in Spain by playing regularly.

For the time being anyway, he will be staying at Manuel Pelligrini's side where he can continue to play first team football, and look to finally gain his first senior International cap with Spain, after being part of the past two squads.

Who knows what the future holds for the trequartista, but it is clear if he continues his rapid progress, he will become a world class player in the near future, and looks likely to stay in Spain when he does leave the club, in favour of a move to long term admirers Real Madrid or Barcelona.



Fiorentina sign striker Giuseppi Rossi

Serie A side Fiorentina have this evening confirmed the signing of Italian striker Guiseppi Rossi from Villareal

The player will join for an initial fee of £7 million, which will rise to £10 million depending on a number of aspects written into the deal

Rossi, currently plays his trade for Villareal who were relegated from La Liga last season, and will join former teammate Borja Valero at the Viola.

The forward has had horrendous luck with injuries after being ruled out for over a year and a half after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during a game against Real Madrid in October 2011. The player tore his ligament again after initial surgery to correct the tear, and had been ruled out for an expected return of March this year.

If the former Manchester United striker, 25, can be kept fit and find his best form, a strike partnership with forward Stevan Jovetic could be a mouth watering proposition for the fans at the Stadio Artemio Franchi under the guidance of Manager Vincenzo Montella.

Juventus in talks with Fernando Llorente

Athletic Bilbao confirmed this afternoon on their website, that striker Fernando Llorente is in discussions with Serie A champions Juventus regarding a move to the club

The lanky striker known as the ‘Lion King’ has been linked to many clubs including Barcelona and Manchester City, since his impressive performances for the club last season in both La Liga and the Europa League.

Contract talks with Juventus are to take place immediately, and he will join the club for a reported fee of around £6 million, which could prove to be a bargain for a side who are clear at the top of the table in Italy.

Llorente is an academy graduate at Bilbao, who can only field basque born players, and will leave a huge void which has been apparent this season due to his contract situation meaning he has been on the bench for the majority of the campaign.

Out of contract in June, the twenty-seven year old has made over 300 appearances for Bilbao with a goalscoring ratio of 1 in 3, and will prove to be an excellent piece of business by Manager Antonio Conte.