Summer Transfers 2012

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Germany striker Lukas Podolski will join Arsenal from Cologne for the start of next season for an undisclosed fee.

The 26-year-old international began his career at Cologne in 2002 and joined Bayern Munich four years later before returning to his first club in 2009.

Podolski, who has 95 caps, said: "I'm so happy to be joining Arsenal and the Premier League. They are one of the top clubs in Europe with a huge history.

"There are many top-quality players at Arsenal and their style is fantastic."

He added: "I have made this decision not against FC Cologne but because it is a great opportunity.

"This was not an easy decision for me at all, as Cologne, our fans and the city are something special for me."

The Poland-born forward, who had one year left on his contract, has scored 18 league goals so far this season for a side battling relegation, which is his best ever top-flight return.

He added: "I will always carry FC Cologne in my heart. We need to pool our strengths now and have to be fully focused on our survival in the Bundesliga."

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said: "He is a top-class player, a very good finisher and a proven performer at club and international level. He is a very strong player and will provide us with good attacking options."

Arsenal are looking to add to their striking options. While although Robin van Persie has netted 28 to become the Premier League's leading scorer, their next highest scorer is Theo Walcott on eight goals.

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I think RVP will stay if Arsenal have a good end to the season and Wenger is aggressive in the transfer market and get some experience in the squad. RVP is proof what experienced players can do for a team.

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Chelsea interim first-team coach Roberto Di Matteo had little say over the decision to sign Werder Bremen playmaker Marko Marin.

It was on Saturday that it was confirmed the UEFA Champions League and FA Cup finalists had agreed a deal for the Germany international, despite at present not having a permanent manager.

Di Matteo has worked wonders since March having been appointed on a temporary basis until the summer and Sunday's 6-1 thrashing of QPR boosted his long-term credentials.

But whether or not the Italian does get the job, the signing of Marin should not be taken as any indicator.

It solely seems to represent more free-thinking from Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, as Di Matteo said of the acquisition of Marin: "I tend to give my recommendation but, ultimately, the club decides who they want to sign.

"He's a very good player, technically very good, skilful.

"He will add some qualities to this team."

Abramovich has in the past been rumoured to have gone over the head of his Chelsea managers and the decision to sign Fernando Torres, who scored a hat-trick against QPR, in January 2011 is considered one of the signs of a breakdown in his relationship with Carlo Ancelotti.

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Borussia Dortmund midfielder Shinji Kagawa looks set to join Manchester United in the summer.

Despite being quoted as saying that he would not begin to discuss his future until after the German Cup final next weekend, the Japan international is certain he will be playing at Old Trafford next season.

"May 12 will be my last game for Dortmund and then I will start a new chapter in Manchester United," Kagawa told TV Osaka.

Dortmund president Michael Zorc confirmed on Thursday that Kagawa would not sign a new contract. He said: "Shinji is going to play in England because he has officially rejected our offer of a new contract."

Kagawa's 13 league goals this season has helped Dortmund secure back-to-back Bundesliga titles and they remain on course for a league and cup Double when they face Bayern next weekend.

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  • 2 weeks later...


Eden Hazard's future will be decided after Lille hold talks with Manchester City and Manchester United next week.

No formal offers have been made but the Premier League rivals are both interested in signing Hazard.

Belgium forward Hazard, 21, recently said he would be playing in Manchester next season.

Lille are unwilling to enter negotiations until after Sunday's final Ligue 1 match against Nancy, although they cannot finish higher than third.

The French club want to strike a deal on their terms and maximise the return on one of Europe's leading talents.

Hazard has scored 17 goals in 37 league games this season, with a further 16 assists, and featured in all six of Lille's Champions League group games.

He scored his first goal for Belgium, was named Ligue 1 player of the year for the second successive campaign, and has also been linked with Chelsea, Tottenham and Real Madrid.

But Premier League champions City and runners-up United have emerged as the only realistic candidates, and both have been in dialogue with Lille for some time.

Les Dogues are in no rush to complete Hazard's sale but accept he will leave this summer.

Meanwhile, they also expect contact from Liverpool next week to discuss the future of midfielder Joe Cole, who has spent the season on loan from Anfield.

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Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy has flown to Amsterdam to try and conclude a deal for Ajax defender Jan Vertonghen.

A host of Premier League clubs have been tracking the Belgian international, but he has indicated his preference is to move to White Hart Lane.

He has called on Ajax not to stand in his way and to come to agreement with Spurs, and now talks are on-going - although the two clubs appear to be some way apart in their valuations.

Levy has been pictured by the Dutch media at the Amsterdam ArenA, where he is holding talks, along with Vertonghen's agent Mustapha Nakhli.

Ajax financial director Jeroen Slop and commercial director Henri van der Aat met with Levy to continue talks over the Belgian.

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West Ham co-chairman David Gold has played down suggestions Joe Cole could make a 'romantic' return to Upton Park this summer.

Liverpool midfielder Cole's future looks set to be discussed again this summer following the end of a season-long loan at French club Lille.

The 30-year-old insists he has unfinished business at Anfield amid speculation linking him with a second spell at the recently-promoted Hammers.

However, Gold is unsure whether boss Sam Allardyce is interested in Cole as he plots their return to the Premier League next season.

"It's going to be a busy summer," Gold said. "Joe Cole moving to West Ham would be a fantastic and romantic thing to happen but I would be very, very surprised.

"He didn't come up on Sam Allardyce's list of players he wants to sign a couple of months ago.

"Whether that's still the case, only time will tell."

Cole made 150 appearances for the East London club before leaving for Chelsea in a ?6.6m deal in August 2003.

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Newcastle United have bolstered their French contingent after announcing the signing of Romain Amalfitano from Reims.

The 22-year-old midfielder is the younger brother of Marseille's Morgan Amalfitano and is regarded as an exciting prospect for the future.

He will officially join the Magpies on 1st July with his contract with Reims ending on 30th June, having helped the club earn promotion to Ligue 1 this season.

Amalfitano will now be hoping to emulate compatriots such as Yohan Cabaye and Hatem Ben Arfa by making an impact on Tyneside.

He told the club's official website: "I am very happy to be a Newcastle player. I have seen a bit of the city already and it is a change from France but one I am really looking forward to.

"When a club like Newcastle wants you to play for them it can only be a good thing. I have taken the opportunity to play in the Premier League and cannot wait to get going."

Alan Pardew has also plundered the French market for the likes of Sylvain Marveaux and youngster Mehdi Abeid, and has been linked with further moves for Lille full-back Mathieu Debuchy and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa of Montpellier this summer.

Newcastle reaped the benefits of their transfer policy as they finished fifth in the Premier League, with a new-look team that also featured the likes of Pa**** Cisse and Demba Ba impressing throughout the campaign.

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Chelsea set to release Salomon Kalou and Jose Bosingwa

Chelsea are set to release both Salomon Kalou and Jose Bosingwa when their contracts expire in the summer.

The club will announce their retained list later on Thursday and both names are likely to be omitted along with that of striker Didier Drogba .

Kalou, 26, signed from Feyenoord in 2006 for around ?8m. Bosingwa, 29, was a ?16.2m signing from Porto in 2008.

Both started the Champions League final victory against Bayern Munich on Saturday.

Bosingwa, who made 127 appearances for Chelsea, had a one-year option on his contract at Stamford Bridge but the club have opted not to take it up.

Kalou, meanwhile, made more than 250 appearances and scored 60 goals for the Blues.

Florent Malouda, Michael Essien and Paulo Ferreira all have one year remaining at the club and are likely to be invited for new contract talks over the summer.

Frank Lampard also has 12 months remaining, but is expected to agree a new deal.

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Burnley have accepted a ?7m bid from Southampton for striker Jay Rodriguez, BBC Sport understands.

The 22-year-old striker scored 21 goals for the Clarets last season and was named in the Championship team of the year by the Professional Footballers' Association last month.

Cardiff were also reported to be interested in the forward.

The Clarets have refused to comment but BBC Radio Lancashire reports that the Southampton bid has been accepted.

Last month Southampton manager Nigel Adkins said he was already looking for players to improve his squad after they were promoted to the Premier League.

Burnley-born Rodriguez started his career at his hometown club, scoring 41 goals in 128 appearances overall. He has made one appearance for the England under-21 side.

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That is good news. I read this morning about this in the paper and at the time it was mentioned that they might have to also swap a player (Chaplow) for him. Hopefully this is true and we won't have to lose Chaplow as he has been quality for us.

Glad Eden Hazard has gone to Chelsea. Man City and Man Utd have dodged a bullet with that one.

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Glad Eden Hazard has gone to Chelsea. Man City and Man Utd have dodged a bullet with that one.

yeah he'll fit in well there with his massive ego

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Sky Sports understands that Chelsea are close to agreeing a deal for Porto star Hulk.

The Brazilian international is currently with the national team following another highly successful campaign in Portugal.

He insists he remains happy at the Estadio do Dragao, but he has also suggested that he would look at any offers and his agent has been quoted as hinting the time is now right to move on.

Chelsea have long been admirers of the dynamic forward, who can play through the middle or out wide.

Porto have previously insisted that any club wanting him would need to pay his release clause of around ?80million - but with that an unrealistic prospect they are believed to be ready to relent.

And Sky Sports has learnt that a deal worth around ?38million is close to being struck between the two clubs.

It is widely reported that Hulk's representative is now on his way to Europe to talk to Chelsea, along with any other interested parties.

Real Madrid and Barcelona are also long-term admirers, but Chelsea now very much appear to be in pole position to secure his signature.

The European champions are wasting little time in making an impact in the transfer market having already agreed a deal for Marko Marin, while they are also widely understood to have won the battle to sign Eden Hazard.

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Is this correct? If so, wow!!

Chelsea will pay a fee of around ?40?million (?35.3 million) to Lille, with Hazard having demanded wages of ?4.6 million a year net of tax, so around ?9? million a year for his new employer. That averages out at ?170,000 a week.

In addition his agent, John Bico, who has conducted an aggressive auction has made it clear that he wants a fee of ?6 million. :|

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Hazard didn't impress me last night, me thinks he might struggle in the EPL


Goalkeeper Rob Green will leave West Ham this summer, joint-chairman David Gold has said.

England international Green, 32, is out of contract at the end of June and has not agreed new terms despite the club's promotion back to the Premier League.

"Robert Green is a free agent, he has chosen to move on," Gold wrote on Twitter.

"Nobody wants Rob to leave but nothing is forever, he must do what's best for him and we must do what's best for us."

Green's departure is a disappointment to Gold as he believed the player would stay at Upton Park after the club clinched promotion last month with victory over Blackpool in the Championship play-off final at Wembley.

The former Norwich keeper was an unused substitute as England beat Belgium 1-0 at Wembley on Saturday in their final warm-up ahead of Euro 2012.

Green, who has 12 England caps, is expected to provide cover for Manchester City's Joe Hart at the tournament in Poland and Ukraine.

He joined the Hammers from Norwich for ?2m in 2006 and made 241 appearances.

Reports have linked Bolton keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen, who played under West Ham manager Sam Allardyce at Bolton, with a move to West Ham.

Thanks Green for everything! :(

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Fenerbahce have announced they have signed Liverpool forward Dirk Kuyt on a three-year deal.

The Turkish giants are believed to have paid a fee in the region of ?1million for the Holland international.

Kuyt's future at Liverpool has been the subject of speculation for some time with the 31-year-old failing to hold down a regular place in the starting line-up last season.

The versatile attacker was entering the final year of his contract at Anfield and new Reds boss Brendan Rodgers has decided to let Kuyt move on.

A host of clubs, including his old side Feyenoord and German outfit Hamburg had expressed an interest in signing Kuyt, but Fenerbahce have managed to lure him to Turkey.

The move ends Kuyt's six-year spell on Merseyside following his arrival from Feyenoord in a ?10million deal in 2006 with the player scoring 71 goals in 276 appearances for the club.

Kuyt scored in Liverpool's Carling Cup final victory over Cardiff last season as he won his only trophy with the club.

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Jay Rodriguez has opened talks with Southampton about a ?7m transfer from Burnley.

The newly-promoted Saints had an offer for the Clarets striker, 22, accepted at the end of May.

He returned from a holiday in Mexico on Thursday and has held discussions with the Championship champions.

Further talks between the St Mary's club, Rodriguez, who scored 21 goals last season, and his representatives are due to take place over the weekend.

A string of Premier League clubs, including Everton, Aston Villa and Wigan, have been linked to the former England under 21 international over recent months.

But Southampton are the only club to have met Burnley's valuation for the youngster, who has a year left on his contract.

They have been pursuing the striker for more than a year and failed with bids last summer and in January.

Burnley-born Rodriguez started his career at his hometown club, scoring 41 goals in 128 appearances overall.

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Jay Rodriguez has become Southampton's first signing since the club's return to the Premier League after making a record-breaking move from Burnley.

The 22-year-old has penned a four-year contract at St Mary's after joining for a reported ?7million - breaking the Saints' transfer record.

The England Under-21 international, who scored 21 goals for the Clarets last season, was part of the Burnley side that won promotion to the Premier League in 2009 but did not featured once in their top-flight campaign.

That's a frustration Rodriguez is keen to put behind him and he is thrilled by the opportunity to shine with the Saints.

Rodriguez told Southampton's official club website: "I'm really relieved that we've got it sorted now and it's done. I really can't wait for the start of the season, and the start of pre-season.

"This is a great club, a massive club and they're where they belong. It's a squad I want to be a part of and it's really exciting."


The signing represents a significant chunk of Southampton's summer transfer budget and manager Nigel Adkins is delighted by his first addition.

Adkins said: "Jay is an exciting young English prospect, so I am really happy he is our first signing of the summer.

"He is an excellent forward thinking player who has already scored a lot of goals at a young age over the past couple of years.

"His characteristics are what we have been looking for."

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Sky Sports understands that Manchester United are in pole position to seal the signing Crewe starlet Nick Powell.

United are one of four Premier League sides that Sky Sports understand have held talks with Crewe with the others being Arsenal, Liverpool and Everton.

A proposed bid from Manchester City has never materialised, and now United are firm favourites.

Dynamic forward Powell, 18, had a hugely impressive campaign for Alex - helping them to promotion to League One via the play-offs.

Powell and his representatives are believed to have met all interested parties, but United are firmly heading the chase.

Sky Sports has been told the deal is '90 per cent' done and that barring any last-minute issues United will tie up a deal.

It is also understood that the deal could be worth as much as ?8million based on appearances and achievments.

Talks ongoing

Crewe boss Steve Davis admitted talks were ongoing over Powell's future.

"Nick is still with us, but I am sure talks are still ongoing with his agent

and clubs," Davis told Crewe's official website.

"These things take time and rightly so because all parties have to be satisfied with any deal.

"I still envisage him leaving us this summer, but if it doesn't happen then we would welcome him back for pre-season.

"We'll see what happens this week because obviously I would like to know as soon as possible if we are moving forward without him or not."

The move away from Crewe would be final for Powell, with Davis ruling out the

prospect of an immediate loan return being part of any transfer deal.

He added: "One thing I can confirm is that he won't be coming back here on


"That wouldn't be part of it because we want to bring in a replacement of our

own and give our own players, such as (fellow England Under-18 forward) Max

Clayton, a chance."

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