Injury-free Rodwell relishing fight for places at Man City and England

Jack Rodwell is looking forwards to establishing himself as an England international and Manchester City regular now he is fit and injury-free, the Daily Mail has reported, with the former Everton midfielder equally keen to take England U-21s to the 2013 European Championships.

Rodwell made his senior England bow in late 2011 but was struck down by injury shortly after, missing much of the latter half of the Premier League season with Everton and missing out on a chance to go to Euro 2012 with the full national team.

A summer departure from Goodison Park to league champions City has brought questions as to how often Rodwell will feature in the first team, such is the depth of Roberto Mancini’s squad, but Rodwell insists he is not concerned about that.

He said: “I have not got a bad word to say about the club. If Manchester City want you and they sign you, then they have got intent for you. Young players have got a choice then and if they go, they will be managed in the right direction. You can’t turn the league champions down.

Rodwell added that he has recently been hampered by a succession of muscle injuries, dating back to his time at Everton, which led the Toffees to send their academy product to one of Europe’s leading specialists to correct the issue. Now fully fit, Rodwell believes he can again make an impact on the national scene.

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Bursaspor near to Toure deal

Turkish side Bursaspor are being strongly linked with a move for Manchester City central defender Kolo Toure.

The manager, Ertugrul Saglam told Dogan News Agency: “We have been talking with Kolo Toure for two days: we’re talking about the most important operation by a Turkish club. Obviously we can’t say anything is certain until we put pen on paper, but we are working hard to complete the deal.”

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Man City eye Liverpool defender Skrtel

Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel has emerged as a suprise target for newly crowned Premier League champions Manchester City.

The Reds centre-back has been in talks with the Merseyside club over a renewal of his contract, and the player will now have the opportunity to decide whether he sees his long-term future at Anfield.

Man City are thought to be looking for depth for their defence, which this season has seen Vincent Kompany and Joleon Lescott impress.

The interest in Skrtel, reported in the Daily Post, will worry Reds fans who were disappointed with their eight place finish last season, and are looking for an increase of quality, rather than losing their best players.


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Nasri taunts Arsenal over dream City start

Samir Nasri has said he has already won trophies in one season at Manchester City that Arsenal can only dream about, according to the Daily Mail.

The France international moved from the Emirates Stadium to the Etihad Stadium in summer 2011 after stalling over signing a new contract with the Gunners. Nasri was criticised for the perception that he made the switch for reasons of finances, rather than football, but the 24-year-old pointed to City’s success in the Premier League as evidence he left Arsenal for the right reasons.

I’m glad I left because City are far more competitive and are winning titles, not dreaming about it,” Nasri said, adding: “I have said 300 times I did not leave Arsenal for money, only for sporting aspirations and if people don’t believe me that’s their problem.

Nasri made 46 appearances in all competitions for City last season, scoring seven goals, as Roberto Mancini’s side edged out Manchester United at the top of the Premier League table. City were eventually crowned champions by a margin of eight goals after the two sides finished level on points. The midfielder is also expected to line up for France when they meet England in their opening match of Euro 2012 on Monday. See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on England v France


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Loyalty shown from Newcastle number 9

Newcastle were given some good news today as star striker Papiss Cisse reaffirmed his intention to stay at St James’ Park. The Sun have reported that despite growing interest from Europe’s elite, the Senegalese striker wants to stay in the North-East for ‘many years’ after coming so close to Champions League qualification last year.

It is no wonder teams like Manchester City, Manchester United and Real Madrid are keen to bring the 27-year-old to their respective clubs. After signing for £10-million in January, Cisse went on to score 13 goals in 14 games including a wonder volley at Stamford Bridge in May. The same hope cannot be kept for strike partner Demba Ba as a £7 million release clause attracts interest from around Europe.


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Interest grows as Van Persie and Arsenal stall contract talks

Arsenal fans have been told to prepare themselves for another summer of uncertainty after chief executive Ivan Gazidis has warned that Robin Van Persie’s contract issues are far from over. The Daily Mirror report that Arsene Wenger wanted to tie up the Dutch international’s contract before the European Championships but after weeks of negotiations Gazidis has claimed a solution is ‘weeks away’.

This comes just a day after the 30-year-old was quoted in The Sun praising Serie A side, Juventus. It is thought that the Italian champions are favourites to sign Van Persie and this latest development is sure to alert them. Reports last week suggested Manchester City were keen to make the PFA player of the year their fifth Arsenal signing in 3 years.


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Premier League Champions look to Coloccini

Manchester City are lining up a shock move for Newcastle defender Fabricio Coloccini. According to reports in the Metro and Daily Star, Roberto Mancini is looking at the 30-year-old to provide back-up to his current first team defenders, Vincent Kompany and Joleon Lescott. However it is extremely unlikely that Alan Pardew would be wiling to let the Argentine leave as is he a crucial part of the first eleven that helped Newcastle to their best league position in 8 years.

Coloccini had his strongest season in English football in the last campaign, playing 31 league games and earning himself a spot in the PFA team of the year. The Newcastle captain only signed a four-year deal recently so a move to the champions could be an expensive one.

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Mancini declares interest in Van Persie

Roberto Mancini has responded to talk that he is weighing up an offer for Robin Van Persie. The Daily Mail have the Manchester City manager quoted as saying that he believes a deal for the Arsenal striker, in the region of £25 million, is possible given the current contract issues he is having with the club.

The English champions are no strangers to the Arsenal transfer list having signed Samir Nasri, Gael Clichy, Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Adebayor in the previous few seasons from the North London club. But this time it could prove a little more difficult with Arsene Wenger fighting tooth and nail to keep Van Persie at the Emirates. The striker found the net 30 times last season in 38 league games.


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Manchester City and Tottenham just two clubs battling for Ramirez

The agent of Bologna playmaker Gaston Ramirez has suggested that Manchester City are not the only side interested in signing the player. The London Evening Standard are today reporting that the 21-year-old Uruguayan is wanted by numerous clubs, the Premier League champions being one of them. This report comes on the same day that the Daily Mail claim Tottenham are in the hunt for Ramirez should Van Der Vaart leave for Schalke this summer.

Ramirez has played 58 times for Bologna since arriving in 2010, scoring 12 times. He is yet to find the net at international level but has played 9 games for his country. Valued at £15 million, the midfielder only signed a contract extension this season, extending his deal until 2016.

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Manchester United, Sunderland and Newcastle are after Adam Johnson of Manchester City

Caughtoffside have reported that Manchester United are eyeing a move for Adam Johnson. While According to Mirror and Metro both Sunderland and Newcastle are also interested in Manchester City winger.

Adam Johnson is looking for more assurance from Mancini that he will feature in his plans next season, having started only 10 games in the last season. His lack of playing time has cost him his place in the England national squad. Mancini is said to be unhappy with the winger’s lack of consistency and defensive discipline. He might let him go if he receives a good offer. The Italian has always preferred Silva and Nasri over Johnson.

According to Caughoffside, Sir Alex is a long time admirer of Johnson and might consider a bid for him. But this looks highly unlikely since United already have a host of wingers in Nani, Young and Valencia. But the rumours about Sunderland and Newcastle are more enticing. Martin O’Neil, according to reports, wants the Englishman on loan primarily but he might also consider a permanent deal. But Johnson’s high wages of £50,000 a week will be a problem for Sunderland. Mancini might consider any bid above £10million, but a loan deal looks most likelier.

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