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."

CSKA to sign Matias Suarez from Anderlecht

CSKA Moscow are close to completing the signing of Anderlecht forward Matias Suarez.

The Argentine has agreed personal terms with the Russian side, and is set to undergo a medical today before completing his move from Belgium.

In the summer, Suarez has agreed a deal with CSKA for his permanent transfer, only for it all to all fall through due to him failing a medical due to chronic knee problems.

It is thought the twenty-four year old, who was named Player of the year in Belgium last year has overcome his problems, and will join for a fee believed to be around £13 million.

The player scored 12 goals in Anderlechts title winning season last year, and helped fill the void left by Romelu Lukaku’s transfer to Chelsea.

Formerly, Suarez has been strongly linked with a move to Arsenal, with Manager Arsene Wenger showing a strong interest in the player, before being put off by price tag with his previous ligament injuries.

CSKA General director Roman Babaev told R-Sport:

"The decisive physical examination will happen in the middle of February,"

"He's a top-level player, he can play in a variety of positions."

 

Rubin Kazan sign Yann M'Vila

Russian side Rubin Kazan have this evening completed the signing of defensive midfielder Yann M'Vila from Ligue 1 side Rennes.

The French International has penned a four and a half year contract with Rubin and moves for a fee of around £10 million.

His new contract is set to earn him around £3.75 million a year after tax, which is a massive increase on what he is earning currently in France.

The player, who has a temperamental attitude after being banned from the French National Team until 2014 after an unauthorized night out during their Euro 2012 competition, rejected overtures from England.

The likes of Queens Park Rangers, Fulham and Tottenham all held a strong interest in the player, with Harry Redknapp flying over to watch him a number of times during his recent performances in January.

For a player who has unquestionable talent, it is a shame to see a player of his talent not move to England, with offers of upto £28 million being rejected for his services only a year ago.

Rennes confirmed the deal on their Official Website:

"Stade Rennes, Rubin Kazan and Yann M'Vila have found an agreement for the transfer of Yann M'Vila,"

"After passing his medical, Yann M'Vila officially joins, on Wednesday evening, the Russian club."

Yann M'Vila to join Rubin Kazan?

Rennes midfielder Yann M'Vila looks set to leave the club after they finally accepted a bid for the player.

Russian giants Rubin Kazan have had an offer of £9.6 million accepted for the French International, with the possibility of moving to the club being currently weighed up by the player.

M'Vila ideally wants to move to the Premier League, although the likes of QPR, Fulham and one other side believed to be Reading, aren't likely to match the offer which has been accepted for his services.

Rubin can offer the player a reported four year contract, worth almost £4 million a year after tax, which is significantly higher than any contract he would receive elsewhere.

The player is unquestionably talented, and had offers of £28 million rejected for his services only a year or so ago, until he hit the headlines recently by attending an unathourised night out when on duty with France, which has led to his ban from International football until 2014.

The defensive midfielder will be a strong aquisiton to any club, if he can keep his attitude and temperament focused on club football, it is just whether he decides to join Rubin, or force a move to England in the near future.

Daily Football Round-Up Friday 28th December

Good evening all,

 

The ruthless world of football doesn’t rest over the Christmas period, as many teams show the exit door to managers and players alike. The last few days has seen Henning berg sacked by Blackburn Rovers with Mark Hughes emerging as the favourite to replace him and Sean O’Driscoll replaced as quickly as you could blink by Alex MacLeish at Nottingham Forest.

 

The FA has written to managers Harry Redknapp and Roberto Mancini regarding the comments they made after the Boxing Day clashes. Both were unhappy with decisions made, or not made, by match officials and weren’t afraid to vent their anger to the media in the post-match interviews.

 

Radamel Falcao has crushed the hopes of his many suitors ahead of the transfer window by saying he expects to stay at Atletico Madrid until the end of the season. He said the club have worked very hard to keep hold of him and is more than happy to finish the current campaign in Spain before he moves.

 

Arsene Wenger has said he is still considering whether or not to sign Thierry Henry on loan in January. He stated that he is worried it could be ‘one too many times’ although refused to completely rule out the move for the talismanic frontman. Wenger seems intent on signing a striker in January and has also been linked with Barcelona star David Villa and Newcastle’s want-away striker Demba Ba.

 

Leicester City have agreed a deal for West Brom striker Chris Woods for an undisclosed fee. The deal is expected to be finalised in the next few days just in time for the start of the New Year.

 

Barnet joint head coach Mark Robson has left the club leaving Edgar Davids in sole charge.

 

An un-named Russian club have met the £250 million buy-out clause of Lionel Messi and offered him around £450,000 a week but the Argentinian has, perhaps inevitably, turned down the offer. While the club haven’t been officially named the talk in the back rooms point firmly at FC Anzhi Makhachkala, who are currently captained by another ex-Barcelona star, Samuel Eto’o.

 

Carlo Ancelotti has rubbished reports that Paris Saint Germain are preparing a January swoop for Real Madrid superstar Christiano Ronaldo. He has continually been quoted as saying he will only sign Lucas Moura in January but also admitted that the Portuguese ace would be too expensive for almost every club on the planet.

 

Neymar da Silva is planning on moving to Barcelona according to his father, but not until after the World Cup in 2014. His current contract has been reduced in length by a year in preparation for a move to Europe but he is determined to stay in Brazil to help the league continue to grow.

Russia: Matchday 19 - CSKA Lead Before Winter Break

CSKA top the league going into the winter break in the RPL. They defeated bottom of the league Mordovia on Sunday 2-1, goals from Mamaev and Honda gave them a win despite a scare when Anton Bober equalised 10 minutes into the second half.
It may be argued that with no European competition distraction that both Anzhi and Zenit have to compete with has greatly benefited the Moscow side in their title challenge. However with Anzhi only two points behind and an improving Zenit side only 5 points behind them, nothing is set in stone with it all play for in the remaining 11 games.

Meanwhile it is extremely close in mid-table with only 4 points separating 4th to 10th in the hunt for a Europa League place. In form Dinamo will no doubt look to hold their advantage as Spartak stutter under new management and Rubin, Kuban and Terek all suffer from inconsistency. With Terek not having much experience in competing for a European place, the experience that Rubin hold and the experience Kuban have in their manager Yury Krasnozhan may be the telling difference that will eventually separate these sides.

Down at the bottom, Mordovia are well adrift in last place and are 8 points from safety,  their current run of 9 games without  a win doesn’t look like changing despite an improved performance against CSKA. Meanwhile just above them Alania are also on a terrible run of their own and are without a win in an incredible 14 games.  A change of Gazzaev from father to son in management has also done little to spur on the side from Vladikavkaz. Elsewhere, Krylya, Volga, Rostov and Amkar look set to fight it out in an attempt to avoid the relegation play off place with Volga and Rostov currently in the best form.

Matchday 19 Results:

Rostov 2-3 Krasnodar
Amkar 0-2 Krylya
Kuban 0-0 Alania
Lokomotiv 0-1 Volga
Terek  1-2 Dinamo
CSKA 2-1 Mordovia Saransk
Rubin Kazan 0-1 Spartak
Zenit  1-1 Anzhi

 

Twitter - @FootRussiaLive

 

Europa League To Be Axed?

UEFA President Michel Platini has today revealed talks are taking place to discuss the biggest issues in European football. The main subject on the agenda is how to rejuvenate European club competitions with one idea being discussed the dissolution of the Europa League and to expand the Champions League to involve 64 teams instead. This would see England have seven representatives in Europe’s elite competition.

 

The idea is to have one competition that everyone strives to qualify for but many fear it would devalue the competition preferring the idea of the reintroduction of a Cup Winners Cup style tournament instead.

 

Platini said: “There is a debate to determine what form European competitions will have between 2015 and 2018, we will make a decision in 2014.”

 

The 57-year-old Frenchman moved to rubbish the on-going claims that Europe’s biggest clubs are planning on forming a breakaway competition too. “It is a question that is regularly brought up, I can’t see how it would work outside the UEFA framework.”

 

Also up for discussion is the introduction of video technology to football with Platini saying: “There is one complicated thing for which we might, and I say might, need video and that’s offside.” This is a decision that would offer as much controversy as it would a solution though, with many arguing it goes against the nature of the beautiful game.

 

What do you think of the proposed changes? Would you like to see more teams in the Champions League or do you have any other solutions that could help the profile of The Europa League?

Also are you for or against the idea of video technology?

 

Follow: @andrew_willcox

 

 

 

Champions League Results Wednesday 21st November

Tonight saw the penultimate group games played in The Champions League with teams from groups A to D competing. Today saw its biggest casualties so far with Manchester City and Ajax both failing to qualify from the ‘Group of death’ leaving Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid to battle it out for top spot. Below I have posted all of tonight’s results and the tables as they stand with one game to go.

 

Group A

Dynamo Kiev 0 – 2 Paris Saint Germain

FC Porto 3 – 0 Dinamo Zagreb

 

Group B

Arsenal 2 – 0 Montpellier

Schalke 1 – 0 Olympiakos Piraeus

 

Group C

Zenit St. Petersburg 2 – 2 Malaga

Anderlecht 1 – 3 AC Milan

 

Group D

Ajax Amsterdam 1 – 4 Borussia Dortmund

Manchester City 1 – 1 Real Madrid

 

 

Group A

Home

Away

Total

Clubs

P

W

D

L

W

D

L

W

D

L

F

A

+/-

Pts

1

 FC Porto

5

3

0

0

1

1

0

4

1

0

9

2

7

13

2

 Paris Saint-Germain FC

5

2

0

0

2

0

1

4

0

1

12

2

10

12

3

 FC Dynamo Kyiv

5

1

1

1

0

0

2

1

1

3

5

9

-4

4

4

 Dinamo Zagreb

5

0

0

2

0

0

3

0

0

5

0

13

-13

0

 

Group B

Home

Away

Total

Clubs

P

W

D

L

W

D

L

W

D

L

F

A

+/-

Pts

1

 FC Schalke 04

5

1

2

0

2

0

0

3

2

0

9

5

4

11

2

 Arsenal FC

5

2

0

1

1

1

0

3

1

1

9

6

3

10

3

 Olympiacos FC

5

1

0

1

1

0

2

2

0

3

7

8

-1

6

4

 Montpellier Hérault SC

5

0

0

2

0

1

2

0

1

4

5

11

-6

1

 

Group C

Home

Away

Total

Clubs

P

W

D

L

W

D

L

W

D

L

F

A

+/-

Pts

1

 Málaga CF

5

2

0

0

1

2

0

3

2

0

10

3

7

11

2

 AC Milan

5

0

2

0

2

0

1

2

2

1

7

5

2

8

3

 FC Zenit St Petersburg

5

1

1

1

0

0

2

1

1

3

5

9

-4

4

4

 RSC Anderlecht

5

1

0

2

0

1

1

1

1

3

2

7

-5

4

 

Group D

Home

Away

Total

Clubs

P

W

D

L

W

D

L

W

D

L

F

A

+/-

Pts

1

 Borussia Dortmund

5

2

0

0

1

2

0

3

2

0

10

5

5

11

2

 Real Madrid CF

5

1

1

0

1

1

1

2

2

1

11

8

3

8

3

 AFC Ajax

5

1

0

2

0

1

1

1

1

3

7

12

-5

4

4

 Manchester City FC

5

0

3

0

0

0

2

0

3

2

7

10

-3

3

 

 

Follow: @andrew_willcox

 

 

Russia: Shunin Attack Overshadows Matchday 16

It was an incident that was reported on around Europe and that shocked many in the footballing community but it was completely played down by the St Petersburg club. The totally unprovoked attack on the Dinamo keeper Anton Shunin overshadowed the recent RPL weekend.
With Dinamo 1-0 up against the title challengers, a pyrotechnic, whether it was smoke bomb, firecracker or firework it is unsure, was thrown from the away end, where the Zenit fans were housed, into the face of the Dinamo goalkeeper. Shunin instantly went down in a cloud of smoke clutching his face. Play was stopped by the referee before eventually abandoning the game due to obvious player safety concerns.
This decision was later criticised by Zenit goalkeeper Vyacheslav Malafeev who clearly didn't feel empathetic towards his counterpart who felt the game should have carried on after Shunin had received treatment.
Zenit also played down the incident and in fact blamed Dinamo for the incident, saying it is their responsibility because it happened in their stadium. That is despite the official RPL ruling stating that the away club is responsible for away fans, a lesson in sympathy and PR is clearly required.
Dinamo also released a statement criticising Zenit in their attempt to shift responsibility, citing their lack of fan punishments as a reason behind the attack. Dinamo also stated that Zenit’s claim for a default win was “absurd”.
Three women have been arrested over the incident with one thought to be the missile thrower however it is unclear whether they are Zenit fans or not.
Shunin meanwhile was hospitalised over the attack and is reported to have suffered burnt cornea’s with one eye in a poor condition, teammate Christian Noboa also said Shunin was “in shock”.
We will find out on Thursday what action the RPL disciplinary committee will take after this incident.

Other results:

Volga 1-1 Spartak Moscow – Volga continued their recently improved form with a very credible draw at home to Spartak.  The away side took the lead via Dmitri Kombarov in the 14th minute with a sweetly struck freekick. Volga equalised with the last kick of the first half via Alexsandr Salugin after a goalmouth scramble from a freekick. Volga had the opportunity to win the game on several occasions but struggled to take their chances as has often been the case for them this season.
Volga are in the relegation playoff in 14th with Spartak in the final Europa League place in 5th.

Alania 0-2 Rubin Kazan – Rubin go on a run of 4 straight league victories after two goals in 5 minutes from Marcano and Kasaev earned them a victory against strugglers Alania on Valery Gazzaev’s return to management. Alania in the relegation zone in 15th with Rubin up to 4th.

CSKA Moscow 3-0 Amkar – CSKA extended their lead at the top to 5 points with a convincing win against mid-table Amkar. A Rasmus Elm penalty, a neat passing move ended by Musa and a quick counter attack finished by Cauna secured the win.

Mordovia 0-3 Kuban – Kuban kept up their European push with a win at bottom club Mordovia, the result saw the Mordovia boss sacked on Monday after 5 straight defeats and only picking up 8 points in 16 games.

Anzhi 0-0 Rostov – Ex-Spurs goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa frustrated the home side with save after save to get a well needed point for Rostov at 2nd place Anzhi. Rostov in 12th, two points clear of the relegation zone.

Krylya Sovetov 0-1 Lokomotiv Moscow – A 4th minute goal from Dame N’Doye gave Lokomotiv the win against a poor Krylya side who have now lost 5 on the bounce and are without a win in their last 8. The win relieves some pressure on Lokomotiv boss Slaven Bilic. Lokomotiv in 8th and Krylya are in 13th.

Krasnodar 3-0 Terek – Inconsistent Terek were on the end of a big defeat in Krasnodar, Joaozinho, Wanderson and Shipitsin with the goals for the home side. Krasnodar up to 9th, Terek fall out of the European places in 7th.

 

Twitter - @FootRussiaLive

 

Europa League Roundup - Thursday

Liverpool were unlucky the lose to the cash rich Russian side Anzhi Mackhachkala in this evenings Europa League. After Rodgers once again named a largely inexperienced side, they were undone by a clever finish by 6ft 8in giant Lacina Traore on the cusp of half time.

They move down to 2nd in the group after tonights defeat, and take on Swiss side Young Boys in their next fixture at Anfield.

Newcastle United came from 2-0 down in Belgium to earn a 2-2 draw with Club Bruges. The Magpies were 2-0 down in just twenty minutes, although two quick fire goals from Vurnon Anita and Shola Ameobi before half time earned Alan Pardew's side a draw who sit a point clear at the top of Group D.

Tottenham Hotspur overcame NK Maribor 3 - 1 after a hat-trick from Jermain Defoe. Hugo Lloris started in goal for Spurs and gifted a goal to the visitors by kicking the ball directly at the opposition striker who turned it in to make the score 1-1 before half time. A bright moment was at half time as an emotional Fabrice Muamba walked onto The White Hart Lane pitch to a huge round of applause after the former Bolton midfielder encountered a heart attack on the pitch earlier in the year. Spurs sit in 2nd place in the group on 6 points after 4 games.