Manchester City set to sign Fernandinho

Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fernandinho is expected to be announced as a Manchester City player in the next few days after the clubs apparently agreed a deal worth £34 million.

 

The Brazilian has been a long term target of City’s and was photographed leaving a hospital in Manchester in which the club normally conduct their medicals, so it looks like they have finally got their man.

 

Fenandinho will be the second signing the club has made this week following the capture of winger Jesus Navas from Sevilla for £17 million. The club are clearly trying to strengthen the team to give Manuel Pellegrini, expected to sign as manager in the coming weeks, the best chance of wrestling the Premier League trophy back from their biggest rivals Manchester United.

 

The 28-year-old midfielder had complained about his high valuation at the Ukrainian club and made no secrets about wanting to leave, with City his destination of choice. The transfer fee will have scared off most of the club’s looking to pry Fernandinho from his current employers but such is chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak’s desperation for success in the blue half of Manchester.

 

 

Shakhtar to sign Fernando and Wellington Nem

According to Brazilian source Globo, Ukranian outfit Shakhtar Donetsk are set to complete another raid on Brazil by signing central midfielder Fernando from Gremio, and winger Wellington Nem from Fluminense.

The rich Ukranian outfit have a history of using South America to shape their squad, with the likes of Fernandinho, Jadson, Willian and Ilsinho to name a few who have turned out for the side over recent years.

Brazilian International Fernando, who recently played against England on Sunday, is highly regarded in his home nation, and will complete a move away from Gremio for a reported £11 million, which includes agent and signings on fees.

Wellington Nem, is a name which will be clear for all Football Manager players, and he looks set for a move to Europe with Fernando this week, with medicals set up with their potential new side over the coming weekend.

The winger has been in impressive form for Fluminense during his time with the club' although has been left out of the squad for their recent games due to his imminent move away from the club.

Both players will complete a medical and personal terms at the end of the week before finalising a move, which may mean Fernandinho and Henrikh Mkhitaryan move on from the Donbass Arena after being heavily linked to Manchester City and Liverpool respectively.

West Ham sign Razvan Rat

West Ham United have this evening confirmed the capture of Shakhtar Donetsk full back Razvan Rat on a one-year contract.

The left back is a massive coup for the London club, who have wasted no time in planning for next season after Sunday's 4-2 home victory over Reading.

The Romanian International, who has featured over 80 times for his country, has the option to extend his stay with the club by a further year next summer.

Rat has played the last ten years in the Ukraine for Shakhtar where he has helped the club to numerous league titles, and regular experience in the Champions League.

West Ham manager on the clubs official website confirmed:

"I'm hugely happy that we've got a player of his experience and his character"

"He speaks perfect English, which he taught himself, and that shows the discipline and the character of the man. Discipline, character and ability are the three big things in the Premier League, and with a little bit of adjusting, we'll see him early on in the season giving hopefully his best performances for West Ham."

The Hammers have also agreed a fee for England International striker Andy Carroll for a fee believed to be around £12 million.

Fulham move for Derek Boateng

Fulham look finally set to complete the long awaited transfer of midfielder Derek Boateng on a permanent deal from Dnipro.

The Ghana International has been linked with a move to Craven Cottage over the past year, and was close to signing for the club in January before the move fell through at the final stage due a contract dispute with his current employer.

Boateng has spent time across Europe during his professional career with the likes of Getafe in Spain, Cologne in Germany and Beitar Jerusalem in Irael before making a move to Dnipro in the Ukraine.

The 30-year old, defensive midfielder, will be a strong acquisiton for the Cottagers, who will lose Urby Emmanuelson back to AC Milan and Emmanuel Frimpong back to Arsenal in the close season.

Fulham have already completed a £1.3 million deal for right-back Sascha Riether, who has been in impressive form for the London side this season after signing on a season loan from Cologne.

West Ham to sign Razvan Rat

West Ham United are close to pulling off an early coup in the transfer market by landing flamboyant left back Razvan Rat from Shakhtar Donetsk.

the 31-year old has spent a large part of his career in Ukraine, playing a number of games in the European Champions League, as well as winning their domestic league, which could prove imperative experience to the Hammers defence for next season.

Rat's agent Florin Manea confirmed the move was in progress:
 
"I am with Razvan in England, we are negotiating with the West Ham officials,"
 
‘The trainer has put him on the top of the wish list and the owner has approved the move.’
The defender will move to Upton Park on a free transfer, and has been reported he will pencil a three year deal with the club.
 
Manager Sam Allardyce confirmed the move was moving along quickly, and mentioned they hoped to complete the legal paperwork and a medical over the coming days.
 

Russia: Matchday 23 - CSKA Continue March Towards Title

 

CSKA Moscow continued their charge for the title with a solid 2-0 win over strugglers, Volga. It was the fifth sucessive victory for the division's top side who are still 8 points with 7 games still to play.

CSKA took the lead on the half hour mark via Alan Dzagoev after he tapped home after Elm's free kick rebounded off the post. The lead was doubled just 5 minutes later with Vagner Love similarly tapping in after Doumbia's header crashed against the crossbar. It was Love's 6th contribution to CSKA in 4 games with 3 goals and 3 assists. However Love managed to spoil his day by picking up 2 yellow cards in the last 5 minutes with two unnecessary fouls, the latter being a high boot on Nikolai Zaitsev. That sending off means he'll miss the crucial Moscow derby between Dinamo on Friday evening.
Volga never really managed to test Igor Akinfeev in the CSKA goal with the home side dominating the majority of the game but failed to raise the scoreline above two.

 

Elsewhere there was very little action to behold the RPL spectators with only 6 goals in the remaining 7 games including three 0-0s between Kuban-Anzhi, Mordovia-Krasnodar and Anzhi-Alania. Anzhi continued their very poor run of form and are now without a win in 5 games of which they have played all of the bottom three.

 

There was a poor showing from Zenit who beat Krylya Sovetov 1-0 in St Petersburg. A penalty was awarded after Hulk went over in the area but replays showed that the Brazilian striker had dived.
Krylya manager commented on the decision saying, “I think that the referees helped Zenit to win." He continued about regularly receiving poor decisions; "How good is it to regularly kill a team with small resources?"
Krylya will feel very aggrieved to have lost this game as they had opportunites to score and defended well against the sub-standard Zenit team.

 

Lokomotiv and Terek played out a 1-1 draw with all the action coming in the first 6 minutes. Jan Durica put Loko ahead on four minutes when he headed in Alexander Samedov's free-kick after a flick on from Denis Glushakov. Terek quickly equalised on six minutes through Mauricio after picking up a long ball from N'Douassel and driving a low ball past Guilherme from the edge of the area.
Time is running out for both teams in the hunt for Europe and both are in poor form. Lokomotiv are without a win in 5 games with Terek without a win in 6 games.

 

Spartak suffered a surprise 1-0 defeat to Rostov. The goal came courtesy of on-loan Zenit striker Danko Lazovic from the penalty spot. Rafael Carioca was responsible for the penalty after tripping Timofei Kalachev in the box. The win takes Rostov out of the relegation play off zone and 3 points clear of Volga.

 

Meanwhile Amkar and Dinamo drew 1-1 in Perm. Amkar took the lead after Georgi Peev converted a penalty kick following a push by Alexander Epureanu on Amkar defender Ivan Cherenchikov.
Dinamo equalised through Christian Noboa's sweetly struck free kick from 25 yards.
Dinamo head coach Dan Petrescu rued the referees decisions after not being awarded a penalty, he said; "We came to win, and we might have done that had we gotten at least one penalty in 23 games this season, the only thing we get is yellow cards."
Interestingly Anzhi are the only other team who have also not been awarded a penalty this season.

 

Full Results:

 

Amkar 1-1 Dinamo          CSKA 2-0 Volga

Rostov 1-0 Spartak          Lokomotiv 1-1Terek

Zenit 1-0 Krylya               Kuban 0-0 Rubin

Anzhi 0-0Alania               Mordovia 0-0 Krasnodar

Twitter: @FootRussiaLive

Russia: Anzhi Slip Up Again as CSKA Extend Lead to 8 Points

Anzhi were consigned to a debilitating 4-0 defeat at the hands of Krasnodar. The defeat means they slip to 3rd place and even further behind leaders CSKA meaning any remaining title hopes for Hiddink’s side may have been dashed. Wanderson got a hat trick for the home side, his first coming in the 33rd minute with a neat finish from Vladislav Ignatiev’s cross. His compatriot Joaozinho scored the second 2 minutes after half time after escaping from the lacklustre Anzhi defence. Joaozinho then turned provider for Wanderson to get his second, a simple ball in from the right wing was met by the Brazilian’s head and made it 3-0. Wanderson completed his hat trick with a minute of normal time remaining with another simple header past Gabulov.

Anzhi’s defence were often slow to react and failed to deal with simple crosses of which Krasnodar took full advantage.

Elsewhere CSKA beat bottom side Alania 4-0 in Vladikavkaz on Monday evening. The match was controlled by Vagner Love after he assisted Dzagoev’s opener with a square ball from inside the area on 25 minutes. Love then scored himself on 52 minutes before winning a penalty after a foul from Vranjes, he then stepped up himself to get his second of the game. Seydou Doumbia returned to the squad after being out since August and proved that he doesn’t even need to be near match fitness by taking advantage of Vranjes’ mistake and firing in from the edge of the area.

Zenit were also convincing winners with a 3-0 win over Terek in the moved game in Makhachkala. They were ahead within 8 minutes as Axel Witsel was left unmarked to head home from Hulk’s corner. Alexander Kerzhakov then won a penalty for Zenit, he stepped up but his effort was saved by goalkeeper Yaroslav Godzyur. Terek left back received Dmitry Kudryashov a straight red card after pulling back Kerzhakov who looked to be in on goal. Defender Bruno Alves and veteran midfielder Konstantin Zyrynov got the other goals to move Zenit up to second, 8 points behind leaders CSKA.

Rubin beat struggling Lokomotiv 2-0 in Kazan. Bibras Natcho got the first 5 minutes before half time with Dyadyun getting the second after a counter attack, 3 minutes before the end. Rubin have now only suffered 2 defeats in their last 10 league games and sit in the Europa League places that many teams are so desperately after. Lokomotiv are without a win in 4 games and are under-performing in 10th, 5 points off a European place.

Dinamo Moscow continued their very good run of form with a 1-0 win over Rostov. Kevin Kuranyi getting the only goal of the game with his 7th of the season.  Dinamo are 1 point off the Europa League places but there are 4 teams separated by 1 point with Rubin and Spartak occupying 4th and 5th.

Spartak played out a 2-2 draw at the Kuzhniki against Kuban. Spartak went ahead after Charles Kabore put into his own net despite being under no pressure. Kuban then equalised with a wonderful 35 yard goal from Aras Ozbiiz which left Spartak keeper Pesyakov stranded. Kuban were then ahead just 7 minutes later with Bucur cutting inside and curling the ball into the far corner. Spartak equalised in the 82nd minute when Jurado volleyed in from the edge of the area. A draw probably a fair result for both sides.

Down at the bottom Volga drew 1-1 with fellow strugglers Amkar, Georgi Peev and Alexey Sapogov both converting penalties. A draw didn’t benefit either side who were both looking to put some space between them and the relegation play off places.
Elsewhere Mordovia pulled off a much needed victory with a 2-0 win against Krylya in Samara. Daniel Oprita and Ruslan Mukhametshin getting the goals before half time. Mordovia are still in the relegation zone but there is only 2 points between them are Krylya above them in the play off.

Full Results:

Rubin 2-0 Lokomotiv                                       Krasnodar 4-0 Anzhi

Krylya Sovetov 0-2 Mordovia                      Terek 0-3 Zenit

Dinamo 1-0 Rostov                                          Spartak 2-2 Kuban

Volga 1-1 Amkar                                               Alania 0-4 CSKA

 

Twitter: @FootRussiaLive

 

Matchday 21: Anzhi Continue to Stutter as CSKA Pull Clear

Anzhi continued their faltering form with a draw against relegation threatened Krylya Sovetov. It was the first match at the refurbished Anzhi Arena but the game failed to live up to the expectation of the 26,200 strong crowd. The away side were down to 10 men after Aleksandre Amisulashvili was given his second yellow card late on in the first half.  Krylya took the lead through ex-Blackpool striker Sergey Kornilenko as the away side counter attacked with Reginal Goreux cutting the ball back for Kornilenko to fire past Gabulov. Anzhi once again chose not to start Traore but the Ivorian striker came on at half time and equalised for the home side with 10 minutes to play after Krylya failed to clear properly. Anzhi are now without a win in the league for 3 games and have only take 1 point from two teams in the bottom 3.

Meanwhile CSKA won for the third successive RPL game after a 1-0 win over Krasnodar at the Luzhniki. Alan Dzagoev scored the only goal of the game in the first half of which CSKA dominated. In the second half, the home side seemed to let Krasnodar into the game but failed to ever test Akinfeev who kept his 11th clean sheet of the season. Their lead at the top up to 8 points.

Zenit also won to put pressure on second placed Anzhi but it was less than convincing against Mordovia in St Petersburg. Hulk scored early into the second half, tapping in after Kerzhakov’s shot was parried by Yurchenko. Vladimir Bozovic was sent off for Mordovia 7 minutes later but the home side failed to extend their lead beyond the one goal. Zenit still in third but are only one point behind Anzhi.

Kuban managed to halt Dinamo’s 6 game winning streak with a 1-1 draw in Krasnodar. Aleksandr Kokorin opened the scoring for Dinamo but Ibrahima Balde equalised just four minutes later. Kuban remain in the Europa League places with Dinamo just 2 points behind.

Elsewhere Spartak and Lokomotiv drew 0-0, as did Terek and Rubin, meaning all sides failed to capitalise on each other’s draws in the hunt for a Europa League spot.

Down at the bottom, Amkar thrashed Alania 5-1 in Perm. Martin Jakubko scoring two in the first half and the home side were winning 3-0 at half time. Ognjen Vranjes gave Alania some hope but they managed an injury time collapse conceding two in the final two minutes. Alania remain bottom, 8 points adrift of safety. Amkar now 5 points clear of the relegation play off.

Volga also beat Rostov 2-1 away from home to give them further hope of survival, Artur Sarkisov getting both goals for them.

 

Full Results:

Rostov 1 - 2 Volga                            Spartak 0 - 0 Lokomotiv

Amkar 5 - 1 Alania                            Terek 0 - 0 Rubin

CSKA 1 - 0 Krasnodar                      Kuban 1 - 1 Dinamo

Anzhi 1 - 1 Krylya                             Zenit 1 - 0 Mordovia

 

Twitter: @FootRussiaLive

 

Anzhi and Zenit Falter as CSKA Extend Their Lead at the Top

CSKA extended their lead at the top of the table after a 2-0 win over strugglers Krylya Sovetov. Their lead is now 5 points after second place Anzhi were beaten by bottom of the table Mordovia 2-0. Third placed Zenit were also beaten 1-0 by Rubin in Grozny.
CSKA took the lead after Pontus Wernbloom headed in Dzagoev’s corner in the 38th minute.  They doubled their lead through Ahmed Musa’s neat finish after being played in by Vagner Love.

However the shock of the weekend came in Saransk. Anzhi had very few chances with only 3 shots on target against a new look Mordovia side under new manager Dorinel Munteanu. One of the new signings on show, Milan Perendija, opened the scoring within 3 minutes from a corner. Rustem Mukhametshin scored the second goal, again from a corner with Anzhi looking shell shocked after an out of sorts performance from the away side.

Zenit were also losers in the moved game to Grozny due to preparations for the University Games in Kazan. Zenit controlled possession but struggled to create any clear cut chances and were vulnerable on the counter attack which rang true when a poor clearance from Malafeev eventually fell to Natcho who thread in Rondon who lobbed the on rushing Malafeev with Neto helping the ball in and being credited with the own goal.

Behind Zenit in fourth is Spartak Moscow who beat fellow Europa League chasers Terek at the Luzhniki. Debutant Yura Movsisyan scored a hat trick to make him the league’s top scorer.

Leonid Kuchuk won his first game Kuban continued their pre-winter break form with a 2-0 over Volga. Two Armenians combined for the first as Pizzelli slipped in Ozbiliz who beat Kerzhakov at his near post. Ozbiliz then turned provider as Alexey Ionov doubled the away side’s lead in injury time.

Dinamo Moscow’s resurgence under Dan Petrescu continued with a 1-0 win over local rivals Lokomotiv.  Ivan Solovyev tapped in Kokorin’s parried shot. Dinamo up to 7th, 2 points from 4th place Kuban.

Krasnodar came from behind to beat Amkar 2-1 on Friday. Nikita Burmistrov gave the away side the lead after 25 minutes but goals from Marcio Abreu and Wanderson to move Krasnodar up to 9th ahead of Lokomotiv. Amkar remain in 12th, 3 points ahead of the relegation play off spot.

Despite rumours of a fixed game in favour of Alania, they and Rostov played out a 0-0 draw with star players Royston Drenthe and Bressan failing to give the home side the extra quality they needed. Alania now bottom of the league after Mordovia’s win.

Full Results:

Volga 0 - 2 Kuban                                             Spartak 3 - 1 Terek

Krasnodar 2 - 1 Amkar                                    Mordovia  2 - 0 Anzhi

Dinamo 1 - 0 Lokomotiv                                 Rubin  1 - 0 Zenit

Krylya Sovetov 0 - 2 CSKA

Alania 0 - 0 Rostov

 

Twitter: @FootRussiaLive

 

 

QPR agree fee for Christopher Samba

Queens Park Rangers have this afternoon agreed a fee for giant defender Christopher Samba with Anzhi Makhachkala.

The 28-year old has left their Winter training camp, to board a flight to London to undergo a medical and agree personal terms with the club.

It is believed the Hoops met his release clause which is set at £10 million, which is a strong signal of intent by Manager Harry Redknapp in his quest to keep the club in the Premier League.

Samba's likely arrival comes a day after central defender Ryan Nelsen left the club to take over as the Manager of Toronto FC.

Portuguese defender Rolando has rejected the opportunity to move to the Premier League to join Napoli, and reports breaking from Fulham have stated the club have had an offer for Brede Hangeland rejected this afternoon.

Samba has spent time in the Premier League with Blackburn Rovers, before moving to Russia last January, and would be a strong defensive signing for the club.

Anzhi Manager Guus Hiddink confirmed in the Russian newspaper, Sport Express: "It's not a very good situation,"

"Samba was with us during this season, began preparations for the winter training camps and suddenly this opportunity arose with an English club."

"Yesterday he left for England. Unfortunately we didn't even have a chance to say goodbye to him. Everything has developed very quickly."