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Football News: Liverpool Make First Summer Signing, NZ Make Mess Of Transfer, Shaq reveals Cobbler Love And Debuchy Blocked From Prem Rival Move By Arsenal Plus More

Liverpool Make First Summer Signing, NZ Make Mess Of Transfer, Shaq reveals Cobbler Love And Debuchy Blocked From Prem Rival Move By Arsenal Plus More
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1. Transfer round up
Nikica Jelavic, West Ham United to Beijing Renhe, £8.7m
Burak Yilmaz, Galatasaray to Beijing Guoan, £6m
Gen Li, Wuhan Zall to Zhejiang Yiteng, free
Cristian Bud, Milsami Orhei to CFR Cluj, free
Thiago Santos, Maccabi Netanya to Clube Atletico Juventus, free
Jianwen Wang, Jiangxi Liansheng to Qingdao Jonoon, free
Guido Di Vanni, Luqueno to Santa Fe, free
Vitinho, Guarani to America, on loan
Gary Martin, KR Reykjavik to Vikingur, free
Jeanderson, Taboao Serra to Sampaio Correa, on loan
Wanderson, Penapolense to Paysandu, on loan
Jesse Ahonen, HIFK to FC Haka, free
Jaakko Rantanen, Ilves to FC Haka, free
Jefferson Renan, CA Porto to Uberlandia, on loan
Marvin Meresi, FC St Gallen to SC Bruhl SG, free
Marcelin Ngando, Apejes to Levadia Tallinn, free
Dennis Salanovic, NK Istra 1961 to FC Balzers, free
Daniel Ivanovski, Mjallby AIF to Fjolnir, undisclosed fee
Weichao Ye, Ghuangzhou Evergrande to Zhejiang Yiteng, undisclosed fee
Ivan-Anton Vasilj, NK Zadar to RNK Split, undisclosed fee
Mineiro, Santa Rita to Tombense, undisclosed fee
Sebastian Holmqvist, Jonkoping to Nest-Sotra IL, on loan
Luciano Acosta, Boca Juniors to DC United, on loan
Christos Donis, Panathinaikos to FC Lugano, on loan
Zvonimir Milic, Hajduk Split to HNK Sibenik, on loan
Denis Davydov, Spartak Moscow to Mlada Boleslav, on loan
Manel Minicucci, Bari to Hrvatski Dragovoljac, on loan
Jonathan Augustinsson, Brommapojkarna to Djurgardens IF, undisclosed fee
Kristian Nushi, unattached to FC Tuggen
William, unattached to ?
Lloyd Dyer, unattached to Burnley FC
Fabian Estoyanoff, unattached to Fenix
Camacho, released by Monte Azul
Emanuele Orlandi, unattached to Montevarchi Calcio Aquila 1902
Raffaele Alcibiade, released by FC Tatabanya
Batuhan Karadeniz, unattached to FC St Gallen
Cristian Alex, unattached to Sorocaba
Ayrton Victor, unattached to Corinthians

2. Van Gaal admits he convinced United to sign Schweinsteiger
The signing of German legend Bastian Schweinsteiger in the summer from Bayern Munich was hailed in many quarters as a master stroke by Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal. While he was clearly past his best, at 31 the midfielder was thought by many to have plenty of miles in the tank. Schweinsteiger has struggled badly all season, with even van Gaal moved to comment on how disappointed he was with the midfielder's form. Van Gaal still believes Schweinsteiger can get back to his best, telling the Red Devils' official website: "Manchester United has bought him even though he is now 31, so I had to convince the board to buy him, because he's a very good player and he always gives a team more balance. He played very well at Wolfsburg and then began to reach the level he showed at Munich - I think he can [get back to it]." Van Gaal added: "Bastian has been unlucky because he picked up an injury at a time that he was playing very well - he was improving. However, during December I said that I expect more and he was very disappointed I said that, but I think I can say that because my expectation is higher."


3. Liverpool make first summer signing
After a 6-0 win at the weekend, Liverpool fans were not really in need of a boost, but the club has provided one anyway in the form of a new defensive signing for the summer. Schalke 04 defender Joel Matip will move on a Bosman transfer to the Reds, after an impressive spell in the Bundesliga. With Liverpool's main weakness being an inability to defend aerially against set pieces, the 6'4" frame of Matip should be an extremely useful acquisition. The 24 year old is also comfortable in a defensive midfield role, which increases the options available to Jurgen Klopp. Schalke manager Horst Heldt revealed to the club's official website: "We have had many intensive discussions since May last year with both Joel and his advisor. It was soon clear that factors we ultimately could not influence would be decisive for Joel's decision. His decision is nothing against Schalke. He wants to try something new." Matip added: "I have always said that I would only leave Schalke for one reason: to try something new. Therefore, a change within the Bundesliga never came into consideration. Although my decision is definitely not easy, I am convinced that now is the right time to take this step. Schalke 04 will remain a big family for me. I was always proud to play for this great club. Therefore, I will do everything possible in the coming months to get the most out of this season."

4. New Zealand football mess up international transfer
Despite New Zealand Football having the completed paperwork in their hands three days before the international transfer window shut, they still managed to make a mess of the deal that was meant to see Birmingham City youngster Alex Jones go on loan to Wellington Phoenix of the A-League. While clubs around the world can often get deals through in the closing seconds, New Zealand have shown that Real Madrid are not the only ones who can make a mess of transfers. With three days and the lightning fast speed of modern internet connections, you would think that there was time to get the deal done. In fact, they could have used a courier to deliver the paperwork personally in those 3 days, so the excuses have come trotting out from NZL head of national competitions Daniel Farrow. "Our primary staff member, who was responsible for international transfers, left New Zealand Football to take up a new role on Friday the 29th of January and the transfer request from the Wellington Phoenix was loaded into the FIFA system on the Saturday," said Farrow. "Our nominated staff member replacement at that time was out of regular internet access and staff then acted immediately after the Auckland Anniversary weekend to process the transfer via the online system on the Tuesday. But they were unable to complete the final step in that process and sought to clarify the issue." It is not uncommon for administrative errors to happen in New Zealand football, even resulting in the Olympics side being kicked out of the OFC Olympic qualifying tournament on the day of the final. The defeated semi-final side Vanuatu had complained about defender Deklan Wynne, casting doubt on his eligibility to play for the Kiwis. They found that the defender was one of 16 players representing the country that were ineligible under FIFA rules.


5. Kiernan calls for plastic pitch ban
Rangers defender Rob Kiernan has added his voice to the growing chorus of discontent over the use of plastic pitches in professional football. Players regularly complain about the them, not just because of the difficulty in playing on them, but because of the harder nature of the pitches causing injury and general wear and tear on the joints. Just last week PFA Scotland chief executive Fraser Wishart claimed that players disliked playing on the plastic pitches, though the SFA tried to dismiss Wishart's claim that 'the vast majority [of players] wanted to avoid astroturf.' When asked if he would like to ban plastic pitches Kiernan replied: "I would, definitely," said the former Wigan and Watford centre-back. "It would be better for the game. I don't see any advantage to them at all. I know there are arguments about having them but that's my opinion. I don't agree with them at all. I think it's a home advantage for the team that train on them every day. It's so different - the flight of the ball, the roll of it, everything is so different. Injury-wise, it causes nightmares. I'm not a fan of them. But, again, I can't use it as an excuse because everybody's doing it. We don't have them down south and there are reasons for that. I find it harder the day after playing on them. The joints and your back - there's a lot of impact on you."

6. Butt takes charge of United Academy
Manchester United have appointed former graduate Nicky Butt to take charge of their youth academy. The 41 year old has been coaching with the reserves and U19s in recent years, and the former England midfielder is delighted to be appointed head of academy during the ongoing restructuring of the Red Devils' youth set-up. "It's a privilege to take on this role," Butt told the club's official website. "As someone who learned his trade in the United youth set-up, it's a huge honour now to be given the chance to lead the academy and to instil its values and attitudes to continue to create future generations of Manchester United players. It's a big challenge but I am fortunate to be taking over a dedicated, first-class team. Our aim remains the same - to keep supplying the first team with well-coached, rounded players that understand the responsibility of playing for the biggest club in the world." Former director of youth academy Brian McClair left in the summer and under-18s coach Paul McGuiness left the club this week.


7. Is Shaq a Cobbler?
Basketball legend Shaquille O'Neal, who (between recording rap records) won NBA championships with Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat, has realised a video suggesting he is, of all things, a Northampton Town supporter. While soccer (saw-ker) is growing in popularity in the USA, it is usually just Premier League teams that get a look in. Apparently though, Shaq has foregone the delights of the Prem for a League Two side:

8. Brazil freeze Neymar Jr's assets
The Sao Paulo federal court has started issuing warrants to freeze the assets of national team captain Neymer Jr. The Barcelona star has lost the use of a yacht, a jet and several homes after Neymar, his family and related businesses were found guilty of evading 63 million reals of Brazilian taxes between 2011 and 2013, while Neymar was a player for Santos. An appeal against the judgement was rejected last week.


9. Debuchy nearly joined Manchester United in January
France international right back Mathieu Debuchy has revealed that he nearly joined Manchester United on loan in January. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger blocked the move as he did not want to strengthen a rival. The former Newcastle man instead left the Gooners for Ligue 1 side Bordeaux on loan for the rest of the season. Debuchy told Canal Plus: "Yes, at the end of the transfer window they [Manchester United] came in. They contacted my agents. I was disappointed obviously. If I had the chance to go to Manchester United it would have been magnificent. Unfortunately it wasn't the case. I discussed it with the coach too, who said that obviously he couldn't help out a rival. I'm a little bit annoyed by him [Arsene Wenger]. It's his choice. I came back well this summer. I had a good preseason. I was able to talk to him to know my future at Arsenal. He said that I would have game time and that we would discuss it in December. Unfortunately, I didn't have this game time."

10. Luiz tells Chelsea that they should give Terry a new contract
Former Chelsea defender (I use the word loosely) David Luiz has said he is confused by the London club's treatment of John Terry. With Terry claiming he is set to leave the club in the summer as no new contract has been offered to him, though Chelsea claim that no decision has been made on his future, Luiz has said the club lack respect in their treatment of Terry. "John is probably Chelsea's greatest ever player, the club need to show him some more respect," Luiz told the Daily Mirror. "He has been clear that he wants to stay at the club, and they are making him wait for an answer. That is not how you treat a player who has given you so much and been a big part of so much success. The fans love John - if this is not handled well, they are not going to be happy. I am confused why John hasn't been offered a new contract. He is still the best central defender at the club and one of the best in England, there should be no question about him being offered another a year. I really don't know what to say, the whole situation has confused me. I think it's obvious to everybody he deserves an extension."

Written by Tris Burke February 16 2016 06:32:03