Sun, 07 Jul 2013 11:21:00 – Ricky van Wolfswinkel is in no doubt he can plunder plenty of goals for Norwich City and is not fazed by his hefty price-tag.
Canaries boss Chris Hughton has signed the 24-year-old Netherlands international striker for a reported Â£8.5million from Sporting Lisbon.
Hughton believes the signing of Van Wolfswinkel could be "the one that turns some of our draws into wins".
Norwich were short on firepower last season, with the team averaging just over a goal a game in the Premier League.
Van Wolfswinkel weighed in with 14 strikes for Sporting - the fourth highest of any player in Portugal's Primeira Liga - and notched three in their Europa League campaign.
His transfer fee is almost three times the amount Norwich paid Crewe Alexandra to sign Dean Ashton over eight years ago, but Van Wolfswinkel is not feeling any additional pressure.
"It shows me Norwich have a lot of confidence in me," he said in the Daily Star Sunday. "If anything, I see it more as a motivation.
"I'm confident of scoring goals. That's part and parcel of my job, but the most important thing for me is I am a team player."
Huth has been a regular in the Potters' back four since joining them from Middlesbrough in 2009, but he faces increased competition for a starting spot next season under new boss Mark Hughes.
Although primarily a left-back, Pieters can play as a centre-back, while Muniesa has stated his preference to play in the centre of defence.
Huth told the club's official website: "It's always good to have someone to hopefully improve your game.
"Game on - everyone's place is up for grabs. All the positions that were occupied last season are there to be taken with a new manager. I've got to keep my head together and stay fit and see what happens.
"I've seen both Erik and Marc play on TV and I'm looking forward to meeting them on Monday when we report back."
Huth is raring to go as he prepares to return to training after doing some additional fitness work over the summer.
The 28-year-old Germany international added: "I like to do a bit of hard work before we report back, so next week when we do start officially I won't get the aches and pains that I normally get.
"I personally look forward to pre-season. It's a chance to get away with the lads, we are going to the United States for almost two weeks and to France as well I think. It will be hard work, but it's something to enjoy as well."
Jol has already brought in Venezuela centre-back Fernando Amorebieta, Ghana midfielder Derek Boateng and Holland goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg on free transfers so far this summer.
The Cottagers boss has been heavily linked with moves for Tottenham midfielder Tom Huddlestone and is expected to seal a swoop soon for Wolves winger Bakary Sako, with talks already confirmed by the League One club.
In addition, Jol could bring Cameroon international Eyong Enoh back to west London after the defensive midfielder impressed on loan from Ajax in the second half of last season.
Jol said: "We were quite early getting Amorebieta and the others - we are very happy to have them on board. It's always nice to integrate them, and take the new players away with us.
"We are still working on one or two - we want them going with us as well. There will be one or two coming back, because we had a few loan players. I'll try to get them in now, because 14 players are left and we're still working on five or six players to come to this club.
"Three are already here so that was good, because most of the time you do your business late. This was quite early, so that was a positive sign."
Fulham will play three pre-season friendlies against Costa Rican Primera Division clubs at the Estadio Nacional in the capital of San Jose.
Next Sunday, they meet last season's Verano championship runners-up Cartagines, followed by a midweek clash against Bryan Ruiz's former club Alajuelense who were Invierno champions in December.
The tour concludes with Fulham taking on the most successful club in Costa Rican football history, Deportivo Saprissa, on Saturday 20 July.
The Belgium international joined from Sunderland last month and is not afraid of the battle for the number one jersey.
"That's always what has happened when there's competition," Mignolet said. "I've had competition in Sunderland and in Belgium with the national team.
"It's not only Pepe - there's a lot of good goalies at Liverpool, like Brad Jones for example - and it's not only the position of the goalie where there is competition. It's every single position on the field.
"There are only 11 players who can play and it is something that is normal with being a football player. You have to deal with that. Competition can only make you as an individual better and let you perform better. It can only be a positive thing.
"From the talks I had with the manager and the goalkeeping coach I felt they were very ambitious and the club wants to get forward.
"The signings they'd already done before July showed they really wanted to get going. They want to push on again in the Premier League. It was obvious that they are an ambitious club and a big club.
"I know how big a club this is but I think I'm only going to feel it once the games get going. The first few training sessions went okay. I'm very happy to be here and train."
The 29-year-old has rejoined Russian outfit Anzhi Makhachkala, with Rangers recouping almost all the Â£12.5million fee they spent on him in January.
With such a considerable boost to Harry Redknapp's transfer coffers, and with the parachute payments from the Premier League, Samba hopes his old club can spend wisely and return to the top flight at the first attempt.
"Rangers already have a great squad," said Samba. "But it's true that with the money they've got, I hope they do some smart recruitment to get the players they need to face the battle for promotion."
Samba has paid tribute to QPR chairman Tony Fernandes, who was keen to retain the giant defender's services at Loftus Road.
"Tony Fernandes is a great man," Samba added to the Sunday Mirror. "He wanted to keep me and help him back up, but I believe the offer from Russia was too good to let it pass by.
"It was a big decision and not one that was easy to make. I wanted to help the club to get straight back into the Premier League, where they should be.
"I was not planning to go anywhere. I wanted to reward the club for their support. I was getting mentally prepared for the battle in the Championship."
Samba was plagued by knee problems during his six-month spell in west London, meaning he only made 10 starts in the Premier League, the last being a 2-0 home defeat by Stoke City on April 20th.
"I wasn't 100 per cent fit," said the former Blackburn Rovers man, "So, I couldn't give my best to the club and the fans who deserved better. They are great fans and then stood by the team despite the results."
The Latics will now discuss personal terms with the 32-year-old, who has been with the Canaries since 2009.
Holt netted 15 league goals in Norwich's first season back in the top flight in 2011/12, but he only scored eight Premier League goals last term and City manager Chris Hughton has been actively seeking reinforcements up front.
The former Sheffield Wednesday, Rochdale, Nottingham Forest and Shrewsbury striker does have a prolific record in the Football League, though, and new Latics boss Owen Coyle wants Holt to spearhead his strike-force in the Championship as Wigan seek an immediate return to the Premier League.
Sky Bet had earlier suspended their betting on Holt's next club after he was repeatedly backed at 1/5 to join Wigan.
Sky Bet football trader Chris Spicer said: "We had to pull the plug on Holt's market due to the sheer volume of bets we've taken on.
"Our customers have been queuing up to back the move, which was an even-money price just two days ago and as long as 8/1 last week."
The Dutch left-back has agreed his third spell with the Eredivisie club having also spent time in his homeland in the second half of the 2011/2012 season, along with all of the last campaign.
Van Aanholt, 22, is highly rated at Chelsea, who on Friday signed midfielder Marco van Ginkel from Vitesse, but he would face tough competition for places with Ashley Cole and Ryan Bertrand.
A statement on Vitesse's official website read: "Patrick van Aanholt will play again next season at Vitesse.
"The 22-year-old defender is hired for a season from Chelsea Football Club. Van Aanholt begins his third season in Arnhem."
Lukas Podolski hopes Arsenal can take advantage of the managerial changes at several of their Premier League rivals.
The Germany international striker helped the Gunners finish in the top four once again in his first campaign at the Emirates since moving from Cologne last summer.
Podolski netted 11 times and also weighed in with 10 assists in 2012/13, putting him in the Premier League's top 10 performers in terms of goal contributions.
With last season's top three, Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea, having switched bosses, Podolski is determined to see Arsenal make the most of their stability and mount a sustained challenge.
"The hope is that this season Arsenal will be at the top of the league. English football, thankfully, is not like Spain where you only have two teams - Barcelona and Real Madrid - who fight at the top," said the 28-year-old in The Sun.
"In the Premier League, you have five, six, even seven top, top teams. It's very difficult but I know that Arsenal are one of those top teams who will be involved
"You don't know how the season will work out. A few of the other teams all have new managers, so it's difficult to say.
"But they will be strong and equally, Arsenal will be strong."
Podolski will be back for pre-season training at London Colney on Monday having been given an extended break due to his participation in Germany's friendlies in America in late May and early June. On Thursday, he will be heading for Indonesia and the start of the club's pre-season tour of the Far East.
"It will be good to be back in training and I feel fit," he added. "This is a very important time of the year.
"This will be my first tour with Arsenal and I'm really looking forward to it. I hope Arsenal can have a good pre-season and, hopefully, all of us can be injury free. It's good to have Jack Wilshere back but we need all our players to be available.
"Last season was a good season for me. I scored a lot of goals and made a lot of assists so I was happy.
"I came from a small team like Cologne so it wasn't easy but, hopefully, this year will be better."
A month ago, Podolski was being linked with a return to the Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund, but he was quick to deny the transfer talk.
The striker is likely to face increased competition for places in north London next season, with Gonzalo Higuain expected to arrive from Real Madrid for a fee of around Â£23million, but he is not fazed by the prospect.
"It's always good when good players come in. I don't worry about a specific player. And it's certainly not a problem," said Podolski.
"I'm strong enough and I have qualities. And when good players come in, I'll play with good players.
"Every season, players come in and players go. But I think it's good news if top players come in."