Here’s the top transfer-related stories in Thursday’s newspapers…Telephone conversations with José Mourinho and Cesc Fàbregas persuaded the Barcelona forward Pedro Rodríguez to snub long-standing interest from Manchester United and move instead to Chelsea in a deal that will be worth £21.2m. (Guardian)Manchester City are a step closer to completing the £32million transfer of Valencia central defender Nicolas Otamendi. It is understood that the Argentine stopper has undergone his medical in Manchester and agreed terms on a five-year contract. (Daily Mail)Bayern Munich have slammed the door on Manchester United’s hopes of signing German World Cup winning striker Thomas Muller. United had reportedly lodged a £60m bid for the 25-year-old but Bayern insist he will not be sold at any price. (Manchester Evening News)Southampton face a fight to hold to another two of their top stars with Tottenham targeting Victor Wanyama and Manchester United interested in Sadio Mane. (Daily Mirror)West Ham have had a £3.5million bid for Galatasaray striker Burak Yilmaz turned down. (Daily Mirror)West Ham have also pulled out of a surprise deal to sign Emmanuel Adebayor from Tottenham Hotspur. (Daily Telegraph)Everton have agreed a £5.5m fee for River Plate defender Ramiro Funes Mori. (Liverpool Echo)Liverpool will not consider bids for defender Mamadou Sakho – despite the Frenchman’s unrest at being axed from the squad. (Daily Mirror)West Brom are ploughing on with their bid to sign Tottenham defender Federico Fazio, despite snubbing Spurs’ opening bid for Saido Berahino. (Daily Mirror)Sunderland winger Emanuele Giaccherini is a target for Bologna. The 30-year-old, who joined for £6.5million two years ago, is set to decide his future in the next 48 hours with Sunderland willing to sell to fund other moves. (Daily Mail)Shaun Maloney is expected to join Hull from Chicago Fire in the next 48 hours. (Daily Mail)Wolves have rejected a bid from Norwich City for striker Benik Afobe. (Daily Mail)And here’s the latest talkSPORT.com headlines…Reports: Manchester United table £60m bid for Germany striker Thomas MullerBayer Leverkusen want Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho in £7m dealJulian Draxler latest – Juventus offer £21m to land long-term Arsenal targetSunderland star Emanuele Giaccherini could leave the Stadium of Light, reveals agentManchester United stunned as Chelsea win race for Barcelona winger PedroBenzema breakthough! Arsenal have £48m bid accepted by Real Madrid, talkSPORT toldEverton to move for Inter Milan defender if John Stones completes Chelsea switchDavid De Gea told by teammate to stay at Manchester UnitedReal Madrid join Chelsea in eyeing Brazilian defender Alex Telles
Manchester United have made Raphael Varane their top transfer target for next summer, according to reports in France.The Premier League club were locked in negotiations with Real Madrid during the recent transfer window over David de Gea and Sergio Ramos.Neither of those deals came off, with both players in the end agreeing to extend their contracts with the clubs.However, according to Le 10 Sport, United are not worried about a potential breakdown in the relationship with Real Madrid and hope to sign Varane next summer.Louis van Gaal is a huge fan of the Frenchman and wants the centre-back at the heart of his defence next season.Real Madrid, who signed the 22-year-old for around £7m from Lens in 2011, reportedly have no desire to sell. Raphael Varane 1
Arsenal travel to unbeaten Leicester City on Saturday as they look to get their Premier League campaign back on track. The Gunners suffered a damaging defeat to rivals Chelsea last time out and could be eight points adrift of the leaders by kick-off. However, Arsene Wenger’s much-changed side did secure a heartening win over north London neighbours Tottenham in midweek, so the Frenchman will have a few selection dilemmas ahead of the trip to King Power Stadium. After his match-winning display against Spurs, Mathieu Flamini will be hoping to earn his first league start of the season, while Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud will be battling for the nod to play up front. Do you agree with this predicted line up? Let us know your thoughts below… 6. Laurent Koscielny (centre-back) 14. Theo Walcott (striker) 11 11 11 17. Alexis Sanchez (left wing) 11 11 11 33. Petr Cech 11. Mesut Ozil (centre-midfield) 11 18. Nacho Monreal (left back) 11 24. Hector Bellerin (right back) 19. Santi Cazorla (centre midfield) 16. Aaron Ramsey (right wing) 4. Per Mertesacker (centre-back) – take a look at the full line up, in squad number order, by clicking the arrow above! And let us know what you think of our predicted Arsenal team by leaving a comment below… 11 11 20. Mathieu Flamini (centre midfield) 11
Borussia Dortmund beat fierce rivals Schalke at the weekend in a thrilling derby at the Westfalenstadion.And ahead of kick-off, the home fans were in full voice, as they belted out You’ll Never Walk Alone before winning 3-2 (see video above).It’s a song British fans are very familiar with, given it is heard regularly at Celtic Park and Anfield, but which fans’ version is best?Scroll down to see Liverpool and Celtic’s versions, and let us know which you prefer here. And here’s Celtic… Here’s an example of Liverpool’s version…
Adrian Durham and Darren Gough With the Drivetime hosts pictured with a snake and a tiger respectively, we want to know your thoughts… 1
Seydou Doumbia Newcastle have completed the loan signing of Roma forward Seydou Doumbia.The 28-year-old Roma will spend the rest of the campaign at St James’ Park, subject to being awarded a visa, and the Magpies have an option to make the transfer permanent in the summer.Doumbia has been a prolific marksman in Switzerland and Russia, with Young Boys and CSKA Moscow respectively.He moved to Roma in a €15m deal last January but made just 13 Serie A appearances before rejoining CSKA on loan in AugustThe Ivory Coast international has scored eight goals in 19 appearances for the Russian top-flight side and they were keen to land him on permanent deal.But Newcastle made their move last week and have now wrapped up a deal after Doumbia underwent a successful medical on Tyneside.Doumbia said: “I’m delighted to be a Newcastle United player. I’ve already started to prepare. I’ve arrived and I’m ready to go.“It has always been a dream to play in the Premier League and now that dream has come true, so I’m absolutely delighted. I am looking forward to helping the club get some wins and climb the table.” 1
1 West Ham have confirmed they have opened contract talks with star playmaker Dimitri Payet, amid reports he was demanding a huge pay increase.The 28-year-old only joined the Hammers in the summer but has proved to be one of the stand-out stars in the Premier League this season, and has been hailed by manager Slaven Bilic as the club’s best player.Payet, who signed from Marseille for around £10million, has scored six league goals in 18 appearances and has also laid on four assists to help West Ham to sixth in the tableIt was claimed Payet had made demands for a bumper new deal due to his considerable impact this season. And while West Ham denied the reports, they did reveal they have entered negotiations over a new contract.“Following reports in today’s media, West Ham United would like to clarify that at no time have Dimitri Payet or his agent made any demands to the club over a new contract,” the statement released by the club read.“However, the club can confirm that due to Dimitri’s outstanding impact since his arrival at the Boleyn Ground, they have initiated amicable and productive talks about an improvement and extension to his contract. Those talks are progressing well and it is hoped they can be concluded shortly.“Dimitri would like to make clear that he is very proud to play for West Ham United and he appreciates the support he has received from the board, manager and fans since he joined the club in the summer.”Payet soon tweeted a link to the statement and stressed he wants to stay at the club for the foreseeable future.“I say and I repeat I’m proud to wear the shirt of West Ham. My future is here and I hope for many years,” he wrote.Payet’s consistently impressive displays had already seen him linked with a host of other clubs, with Arsenal the latest side reportedly preparing a bid.But, with the move to the Olympic Stadium coming in the summer, West Ham will be keen to keep hold of a man Bilic is clearly very fond of.“The club is moving, with the new stadium and everything, and the most important move is to keep your best players,” he said ahead of Tuesday night’s FA Cup fourth-round replay against Liverpool.“Dimitri Payet is our best player. And of course I would love to have him happy, long-term, at the club.“He only signed a few months ago, but he has made a huge impact and while he has a long contract he is in a good position. We all want to keep him for a long, long time.” Dimitri Payet
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.AB 1471 by Assemblyman Mike Feuer, D-Los Angeles, will require semiautomatic handguns made and sold in California to include crime-fighting technology that will microstamp each bullet fired from the gun. It’s also the first such measure in the nation. The NRA and other foes argued that the technique is not reliable and could be used to implicate innocent people. Schwarzenegger said, in his signing message, that he understands the technology is not perfect, but hopes it will provide law enforcement with a new tool to solve violent crimes. The law won’t take effect until 2010. The governor also signed AB 821 by Assemblyman Pedro Nava, D-San Barbara, banning lead ammunition in certain areas of the state where lead bullets are believed to be the source of poisoning of endangered condors. Copper ammunition will instead be allowed. Audubon California representatives praised the governor’s decision, calling the legislation a creative solution that allows wildlife protection and hunting to coexist. SACRAMENTO – Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed legislation Sunday making California the first state in the nation to ban use of a toxic chemical in baby toys, forging a theme of defying conservative interests as he pushed toward a midnight deadline to deal with more than 950 bills sent to his desk by state lawmakers. Despite industry opposition, the Republican governor signed AB 1108 by Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, D-San Francisco, prohibiting the use of phthalates to make plastic flexible. “When a child puts a phthalate-laden teether in her mouth,” said Rachel Gibson of Environment California, “it’s like sucking on a toxic lollipop.” Perhaps the biggest news over the weekend came when the governor signed two ammunition-related bills vigorously opposed by the National Rifle Association. But Lawrence Keane, of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, said that Schwarzenegger “has proven to gun owners and sportsmen that he is just another liberal anti-gun Hollywood actor.” And even though the governor, as expected, vetoed the most significant gay rights legislation – a marriage bill by Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco – he signed eight other measures backed by gay rights advocates. They include implementing joint tax filing by domestic partners and reinforcing anti-discrimination laws for gay youth in schools. Ultimately, this year’s session paled in comparison with the session last year, when he teamed with Democrats to produce unprecedented legislation to curb global emissions and get $43 billion in infrastructure bonds approved by voters. A budget standoff eroded legislative efforts and a bipartisan atmosphere. Left out were such issues as health care reform, sentencing and parole reform as well as assisted suicide, water storage and redistricting reform. firstname.lastname@example.org (916) 447-9302160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.“It’s a bomb, but as to what kind of bomb, we are still trying to determine,” national police chief Avelino Razon told The Associated Press. “Likely it’s a terrorist attack, but what terrorist group, we have no indicator.” Al-Qaida-linked Abu Sayyaf militants have waged a yearslong bombing campaign in the southern Philippines in their aim to establish a separate state for the majority Muslims in the region. Abu Sayyaf and the Indonesia-based Jemaah Islamiyah network have also launched attacks in Manila. National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales stopped short of directly blaming Abu Sayyaf, but noted that the group has aired appeals on the Internet for international support from jihadist groups. “What is more ominous here is they may be planning a bigger attack,” Gonzales said on local radio. “They will first show a sample. That means that while the bomb yesterday already was powerful, it is still just a sample.” By Oliver Teves THE ASSOCIATED PRESS MANILA, Philippines – A powerful blast ripped through three floors of a shopping mall in the heart of Manila’s financial district Friday, killing nine people and wounding more than 100, authorities said. Police investigators told President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo at a Cabinet security meeting covered live on local radio that they had detected the high explosive RDX at the site. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Matsuzaka was still staring into his locker more than an hour after his Game 3 loss, barely moving except to clasp his fingers behind his neck and cup his chin in his left hand. But he was smiling and playing long toss in the outfield during Friday’s workout day. And he has his success on the big stage to fall back on. “Whether or not we had won or lost, immediately following the game is a very important time period for me,” he said. “Although I might have appeared very upset, I wasn’t as upset as everybody thought.” He threw 250 pitches to win a 17-inning game in Japan’s Koshien high school tournament. He played on his country’s Olympic teams in 2000 and 2004. Then in March 2006, he was the MVP of the first World Baseball Classic, a tournament with star pitchers such as Jake Peavy, Carlos Zambrano and Johan Santana. “I can’t make a simple comparison to those other games,” Matsuzaka said, “but I just hope that I can pitch the same way as I did in those other opportunities.” His late-season struggles have him on a short leash should he falter in Game 7. Josh Beckett would likely relieve on short rest – he threw four innings of relief for Florida against the Chicago Cubs in the seventh game of the 2003 NLCS. Beckett had won Game 5 – just as he would do for the Red Sox this year – and came back on two days rest to throw 45 pitches against the Cubs. Pitch imperfect That’s Fausto, as in oust-o. And like one of their supposed aces, the Cleveland Indians could soon be kicked out of the postseason. Maybe they should be. Because the pitiful-playing squad that showed up Saturday night for Game 6 of the AL Championship Series at Fenway Park doesn’t deserve to go anywhere else this October but home. Fausto Carmona, Cleveland’s No. 1A starter, couldn’t get past the third inning and the Indians, once in control of this series, missed their second chance at securing a spot in the World Series with their 12-2 loss Saturday night. Fenway Park and it’s rabid fans closed in on Carmona, and now he and the Indians are in a series as tight as can be. “That was a tough one,” third baseman Casey Blake said. “But I think we’re fine. It’s kind of do or die for both teams. Fortunately, the series isn’t over. What happened out there has to be water off a duck’s back.” The Indians were bad, and then some. Instead of clinching a sixth trip to the Series – and first since 1997 – they looked more like the fictional version of themselves from the film “Major League.” Was that Willie Mays Hayes and Roger Dorn out there? By the third inning, Aaron Laffey was on the mound for Cleveland. Laffey, indeed. The Indians made two errors – on consecutive plays – and Travis Hafner went 0-for-4 and is now batting .130 (3-for-23) with 10 strikeouts, eight in the past three games. The way Hafner’s flailing, you’d think Cleveland’s DH was covered with those infamous midges off Lake Erie. Just like fellow 19-game winner C.C. Sabathia in Game 5, Carmona failed to get the job done, and now the Indians need Jake Westbrook to bail them out in Game 7 or they’ll join that long list of Cleveland sports teams who collapsed with a championship at their fingertips. Rockies’ Cook wants in Aaron Cook pronounced himself ready to return to the Colorado Rockies rotation after pitching a simulated game Saturday. Whether the Rockies decide to add him to their World Series roster is still uncertain. Cook hasn’t pitched in a major league game since Aug. 10, sidelined by a strained muscle in his side, and had mixed results against the Rockies’ regulars. He walked the first two batters he faced and surrendered a home run to Kaz Matsui. Cook, who faced 16 batters and allowed four hits, didn’t see his performance in the simulated game as an audition for the playoff roster. “No, I feel like I’ve done enough to audition,” Cook said. “I was the opening-day starter this year. I’ve been in the organization 12 years now. So, today is just going out there and proving that I’m still healthy.” The Rockies, who successfully reinserted Willy Taveras into the lineup for the NLCS, are contemplating adding Cook to the rotation and bumping rookie Franklin Morales to the bullpen. That would give Manager Clint Hurdle a third left-handed reliever to go with Jeremy Affeldt and Brian Fuentes. The odd man out in all this would be reliever Taylor Buchholz, who hasn’t pitched in the playoffs yet. The Rockies decided against adding Cook to the roster for the last round, a decision that Hurdle called the toughest of his managerial career. Hurdle said the Rockies have to guard against an emotional decision. Cook has been in the organization longer than anybody on the roster except Todd Helton and made a comeback after developing life-threatening blood clots in his lungs during a game against the Cincinnati Reds three years ago.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.“I’m going into (tonight) very excited,” he said through a translator after Boston’s 12-2 win in Game 6 Saturday night. Matsuzaka was a sensation at the start of the season after the Red Sox spent $51,111,111 to acquire his rights from the Seibu Lions, then signed him to a $52 million, six-year contract. But he faded late and lasted just 4