Fri, 26 Jul 2013 23:21:00 – Arsene Wenger has revealed he is prepared to wait for his transfer targets as he claims Arsenal can win the Premier League title with or without new signings.
The Gunners have already put in a Â£40,000,001 bid for Liverpool striker Luis Suarez but Wenger is relaxed about the lack of progress on the deal and is not expecting transfer activity ahead of the Emirates Cup next weekend.
"We are ready to do quick deals but all the transfers do not depend only on us," said Wenger, quoted in the Daily Mirror. "But we are prepared to wait. It looks unlikely before the Emirates Cup.
"We still have a strong squad but we are there on the market to try to strengthen our team. With or without additions we can be title challengers next season."
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has publicly questioned the wisdom of Suarez leaving Anfield to join Arsenal as he insists it would be a sideways step - but Wenger would not be drawn on the matter.
"He must explain that," added the Arsenal boss. "I don't know. We are not close to signing Suarez or anybody else so there's no reason why I should talk about it.
"There is nothing to say. I have been away now for two or the weeks and it's hard to see how things are advanced because everyone is on tour at the moment and it's very difficult to get in touch with people.
"What has changed recently is that in Europe some countries like France suddenly have bought some very talented players who two or three years ago would all have come to England. It makes the chase for talent very difficult.
"What we want is not a name but a good player. The name is less important. What is more important is the quality of the player. At the moment I must tell you we are not close to signing anybody.
"We try to do the job and we will try to do it well. But that is in front of us. We have worked a lot but nothing has been concluded with anybody.
"Of course we want to do as many top players as we can. But we also have to focus on the players we have and develop them."
Former England number one Woods replaced Eric Steele in the backroom shake-up that accompanied manager David Moyes' arrival as Sir Alex Ferguson's replacement.
And while Steele has been credited with coaxing the dramatic improvement from David de Gea, Lindegaard is delighted with the work Woods has been doing as well.
"It is very different with Chris compared to what we are used to," said Lindegaard, after featuring in Friday's 2-2 draw with J League outfit Cerezo Osaka. "All I can say is that I have had a very good impression of him.
"I don't want to go into details but everything is different.
"It has been a very good experience because he has done a brilliant job.
"He slid into his new role in Manchester really well. I am enjoying working with him."
Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas had hoped the Welsh winger would be fit to face South China FC in the Barclays Asia Trophy match in Hong Kong, however he continues to be troubled by a knock sustained in training.
Villas-Boas has revealed there are ongoing talks with Bale's agent regarding a new contract at White Hart Lane.
However reports in Spain have claimed Bale is eager to move to Madrid, with sports newspaper Marca even reporting dialogue from a conversation they claim he had with Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy.
According to Marca, Bale told Levy he wanted Spurs to negotiate a deal and said: "I'm not interested in Manchester United or any other team. I just want to play for Madrid."
Reports in Spain earlier this week also suggested the player has already agreed terms on a six-year deal.
Whatever Bale did or did not say to Levy, Villas-Boas is optimistic the 24-year-old, who is currently contracted until 2016, will extend his stay at White Hart Lane.
The Portuguese coach said on Friday: "There was contact between the club and his agent last year and there is ongoing contact between the club and his agent.
"We renewed his contract at the beginning of last season, if you remember, and it's something that is being dealt with by the chairman and the agent.
"Talks are ongoing but that doesn't mean there is an agreement. At the moment we're confident that the player is under contract at Tottenham, as was done last year.
"It's something that we're speaking about, but there aren't any developments."
Villas-Boas also reiterated his liking of Valencia striker Roberto Soldado despite Spurs' director of football Franco Baldini failing to agree a fee with the Primera Division club on a recent visit to Spain.
One player who seems certain to start the season in a Tottenham shirt is Belgian winger Nacer Chadli who formally joined from FC Twente on Friday and could feature in their pre-season friendly against Monaco on August 3.
Chadli's move to White Hart Lane, for a reported Â£7million, was confirmed by Spurs after the 23-year-old agreed personal terms and passed a medical. He has been training with Tottenham on their tour of Asia.
Cahill's bid for a place in Jose Mourinho's first competitive game in charge will be challenged by David Luiz when the squad reconvenes next week following the Asia tour and ahead of the trip to the United States.
Terry endured struggles with his fitness last season and, in a congested campaign, was not guaranteed a start.
But Mourinho believes the team talisman is fit and flourishing in pre-season and Cahill hopes he can play alongside the former England captain.
"Last year he had a couple of niggles and hopefully they're behind him, not just for him but the team," Cahill said.
"It seems like I've only played with him in bits and bobs, with him being in and out, and we've not really had a run of games.
"It would be great if he could stay fit so we can have consistency."
Cahill joined from Bolton in January 2012 and is enjoying life under Mourinho, a man Terry knows well having captained the Blues during the Portuguese's first spell in charge.
"It's been exciting to work for Mourinho and we're slowly getting to know him," Cahill said.
"There's a handful of players who knew what to expect from him, but for players like me it's just exciting."
Mourinho gave youth a chance on the tour to Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta.
Striker Romelu Lukaku scored in each contest, completing the tour with a double in the 8-1 defeat of the BNI Indonesia All-Stars to take his tour tally to four.
"He had a great loan spell at West Brom last season, has been flying in training and scored two great goals," Cahill said.
"I play against him in training a lot and he's a handful just with his pace and power. His finishing is great too."
Another player who impressed was 17-year-old Burkina Faso international Bertrand Traore, who, due to regulations, is not yet a Chelsea player.
Traore scored in Malaysia and a spectacular goal in Indonesia to announce his ability, with Chelsea poised to sign him as soon as he reaches his 18th birthday in September.
"He's a young lad, but I'm sure he's got a bright future at Chelsea," Cahill added.
FSG, headed by Liverpool's principal owner John W Henry, was reported today to be ready to consider offers for the Barclays Premier League club.
The group completed its purchase of Liverpool in October 2010, after a turbulent period under previous owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks.
Liverpool have been unable to play their way into the Champions League places since the new owners moved in, despite heavy investment in the playing staff, with manager Brendan Rodgers guiding his side to seventh place last season.
The Sun newspaper claims Liverpool is "unofficially" on the market with a price tag of Â£350million, however Liverpool and their owners state that is not the case.
A club spokesperson said in a statement: "Fenway Sports Group has made its position clear, Liverpool Football Club is not for sale. There is no truth in this story."
A spokesperson for Fenway Sports Group said: "Like so many rumours in the past about a sale of LIverpool Football Club, there is absolutely no truth in this. We have had no meetings with anyone about a sale, we don't know who the source of the rumour is."
The Sun reports that Fenway Sports Group received a takeover proposal from Saudi Arabian oil firm Saudi Aramco recently, and states that City banking sources claim two American billionaires could also be potential buyers.
McManus walked off gingerly with a hip problem early in the second half of the Fir Park friendly against Nottingham Forest while midfielder Vigurs and Hutchinson followed as precautionary measures.
But McCall was not ruling anyone out of Thursday's third qualifying round tie against Russian side Kuban Krasnodar.
"Stephen was just an impact," McCall said. "The boy ran into him and 10 seconds later the ball was shot at him and he was just off balance.
"I think if it had been a league game he would have carried on. You can't afford to take any chances.
"Hopefully Hutchy just has a bit of cramp in the calf rather than a strain. Again, the ball hit him.
"Vigurs had a tight groin but we're hopeful all of them will be fine for Thursday."
James McFadden was substituted midway through the second half and went off rather reluctantly as he wanted his first full game of pre-season ahead of the Russian side's visit.
McCall said: "He had 45 (minutes) against Newcastle and only 25 last week. As much as he wanted to stay on, he had 63 minutes there.
"You can't just go from playing 25 minutes to 90 because there's a chance, when you're tired, that's when your muscles can strain.
"But he's working towards it so he'll be fine."
Motherwell will have Henri Anier in their squad for the Europa League tie after the Estonian striker agreed a six-month loan from Viking Stavanger.
McCall said: "Henri Anier will join us on Monday and if I can manage to get a wide player in, it won't be before Thursday - but I'll be more than happy with what we have got."
While Motherwell are adding to their squad, news came through from Russia that Kuban had lost midfielder Aras Ozbiliz to Spartak Moscow in a big-money move.
"It's good news in one way if it's true," McCall said. "It's bad news because I had done an hour's edit on him and highlighted him as the danger man who was going to rip us apart.
"But, seriously, if he has definitely gone, it will be good news."
Motherwell recovered from a slow start against the Championship side, who took an early lead through Matt Derbyshire, with Bob McHugh going close on several occasions before firing a late equaliser from 12 yards after good work from substitute Zaine Francis-Angol.
The Barclays Premier League newcomers confirmed they had signed Sagbo on a two-year deal for an undisclosed fee, after the French club revealed they had reached an agreement with Hull earlier today.
"I am so happy to have signed for Hull City, and I am very grateful for the opportunity," Sagbo told his new club's official website.
"I can't wait to get going, and I look forward to meeting my new team-mates this weekend.
"I want to show the coaches and the fans what I'm all about, but not just with my physical presence. I also hope that my mobility and technical skills can add to what is already a good footballing team."
France-born Sagbo, an Ivory Coast international, had previously been linked to Celtic and West Ham, the club of his half-brother Guy Demel.
Tigers boss Steve Bruce had spoken of his admiration for the forward, who has previously played for Monaco, and of a desire to push through a deal.
Hull have already signed George Boyd, Maynor Figueroa, Curtis Davies, Ahmed Elmohamady, Allan McGregor and Steve Harper as they prepare for their return to the top flight.
Bruce has also been linked with a move for his former Wigan midfielder Wilson Palacios, who is currently at Stoke.