Manchester United cuts debt costs
Manchester United has struck a new loan deal to cut the amount of interest it pays on its huge debts.
The Premier League club, which is owned by the Glazer family, has refinanced £178m of outstanding debt, a move that should save it £10m a year.
The Glazers bought Manchester United in 2005, taking out hundreds of millions of pounds' worth of loans to fund the takeover.
That has prompted concerns over the financial stability of the club.
It still has about £307m in debts, but has continued to enjoy on-field success under the Glazers, with five Premier League titles and one Champions League victory.
The club has also spent significant amounts of money on big name signings, including Robin van Persie from Arsenal last year.
Its finances continue to be bolstered by TV revenues. In the 2012-13 season, it is reported to have made more than £60m - more than any other club.
The refinancing deal has been struck with Bank of America and means that interest rates on the loans of between 8.75% and 8.38% will be cut to a variable rate.
Last year, the club paid about £50m in interest alone.
David Bick, chairman of Square1 consulting, told Radio 5 live that the deal meant Manchester United would now be paying off their debts "on more reasonable terms".
He said the club still had "a long way to go" in paying off its debts, but said the Glazers appeared to have made the most of the club's global presence, which has drawn revenue in from places such as East Asia.
"It's a massive global brand, they have extracted commercial income from all corners of the globe," he said.http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-22651038
Good to hear that. This step would facilitate better transfers in the upcoming seasons.
Rodgers is man to make Liverpool great again: Callaghan
Liverpool's greatest servant Ian Callaghan is confident that Brendan Rodgers is on the right track after completing his first season as boss at Anfield.
In what was a mixed campaign, Liverpool, who played attractive football and scored plenty of goals, finished in seventh place in the Premier League, were knocked out early in the domestic cup competitions and reached the last 32 of the Europa League.
As Rodgers pointed out there was 'disappointment and delight' but Kop icon Callaghan says he saw enough over the past 10 months to suggest the future can be bright for the Reds with the Ulsterman at the helm.
“I've met Brendan and he's a really nice guy. The impression I get from him is that he loves being at Liverpool,” Callaghan told the Belfast Telegraph.
“From the team's point of view some of the games that I attended last season we warranted better results than we got because we played so well, especially against the big teams. I can see he wants to play good football and his style is to push the ball around, like he did when he was at Swansea.
“I was at a dinner some weeks ago and Brendan was the guest speaker and he said that he would like another four or five players to come in during the summer to add more quality to the squad.
“He seems to be a very thorough man in everything that he does and I look forward to his signings and I have every confidence that the team will do well next season.”
At the start of each of the last four seasons Liverpool have had a different manager — Rafael Benitez, Roy Hodgson, Kenny Dalglish and Rodgers as they search for consistency and a top four place in the Premier League.
Callaghan, who remains Liverpool's record appearance holder, hopes and believes the Carnlough native will be given the time to make the Merseyside outfit title challengers again, having last won the championship in 1990.
“The one thing that every Liverpool supporter wants is to see the team challenging for the title again because we haven't won one for over 20 years,” says Callaghan.http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league/rodgers-is-man-to-make-liverpool-great-again-callaghan-29291609.html
Rodgers should be happy with so many appreciations from the team members he's managing. It's time to look forward and make the next season great for the red camp.
Arsenal agree terms with Swansea City defender Williams
Arsene Wenger has prioritised a move for the 28-year-old as the Gunners look to tie up the deal that will cost the club between £8 million and £10m
Ashley Williams has agreed terms to join Arsenal from Swansea City this summer, Goal can reveal.
Arsene Wenger has prioritised signing the central defender and is hopeful that an offer between £8 million and £10m can close the deal after reaching a basic agreement with the player.
ARSENAL'S PRIORITY TARGET
It is understood that Arsenal have agreed a three-year contract with Williams' camp that is worth £60,000-a-week.
Preliminary negotiations have taken place between Arsenal and Swansea on a fee for the Wales captain, with the Londoners confident of completing the signing in the next two weeks.
As revealed by Goal, Arsenal stepped up their interest in Williams in April and moved in to pole position to capture him ahead of Liverpool after holding two rounds of talks with the player’s representatives.
The 28-year-old’s desire to move to an elite club had not been dependent upon the guarantee of Champions League football, which Arsene Wenger’s team secured on the final day of the season.
The Gunners are poised to start the bidding at around the £8m mark and, although Swansea are likely to hold out for a fee closer to £12m, it is not expected that the final cost will be much beyond £10m.
Wenger is a big admirer of Williams, who he believes has the calibre and battle-hardened Premier League experience to beef up a defence that had been found wanting at times last season.
He is expected to be a like-for-like replacement for skipper Thomas Vermaelen, who is attracting strong interest from Barcelona despite losing his place in the Arsenal team.
Arsenal will listen to offers for Vermaelen from the Continent, but are adamant that he will not be sold to a Premier League rival.
Arsenal are preparing for an overhaul of their back line this summer, with a new goalkeeper, right-back and central defensive leader their main priorities. As revealed by Goal, Arsenal have already made an enquiry to sign Sochaux right-back Sebastien Corchia.
Williams has played the best football of his career over the last two seasons, playing an instrumental role in both establishing Swansea as a Premier League club and in their Capital One Cup triumph this season.
Liverpool were the early favourites to land Williams as they attempt to reinforce a defence that is likely to be deprived of Martin Skrtel and Sebastian Coates this summer, as well as the retired Jamie Carragher.
But the hand of Williams' former manager Brendan Rodgers has partly been forced by the Anfield club's transfer committee, which has the final say on recruitment decisions.
Arsenal, who will allow veteran Sebastien Squillaci to leave on a free at the end of the season, have no plans to sell Per Mertesacker or Laurent Koscielny, who has been the subject of an enquiry from Bayern Munich.
Barcelona are in the market for a left-sided centre-back and Arsenal club captain Vermaelen is believed to be one of those on their shortlist.
The Belgian, who is rated in the £15m bracket, was axed from the Arsenal team in March following a series of mixed displays and only started one match in the final two months of the season.http://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/2892/transfer-zone/2013/05/24/4000198/swansea-city-defender-williams-agrees-terms-with-arsenal
Great to see him on board. The defense has turned out to be a great-wall now.
I wish Mourinho would join Chelsea, says Torres
After speaking to his team mates, the 29-year-old has revealed that he too wants to have 'good memories' of playing under the Portuguese manager, and wishes it would happen
Chelsea striker Fernando Torres insists he would welcome the chance to work under Jose Mourinho at Stamford Bridge.
The 29-year-old has given an indication he wants to stay at the club, by backing the man who could potentially take over from Rafa Benitez.
Torres only scored once in the Premier League in 2013, but proved to be a vital player in the Europa League, scoring six goals in nine matches as the Blues eventually triumphed in Amsterdam.
And the Spaniard, who has endured a difficult time at Stamford Bridge since his big money move from Liverpool, admits he would relish a chance to work with the former Chelsea manager.
"Obviously the top managers in the world are linked with the top clubs in the world," Torres told reporters.
"This is the situation now. Chelsea is looking for a new manager, Jose Mourinho is free, so everyone links Mourinho with Chelsea because he is famous and because of what he’s been saying in the last few months.
"We have players that have been working with him so they have good memories with him at Chelsea.
"I wish it would happen. I wish to have the chance to be under Mourinho’s management. It’s a challenge, a big motivation, so I wish it would happen."http://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/2892/transfer-zone/2013/05/23/4000018/i-wish-mourinho-would-join-chelsea-says-torres
It's official now. Everyone should be happy at the blues. I wish Mourinho the best of luck in his second journey at Chelsea.
« Last post by YidArmy on Today at 12:09 »
Marcel Desailly believes Gareth Bale should leave Tottenham to play for a club that "has a culture of victory".
Welshman Bale, 23, is touted as a summer transfer target for Real Madrid.
Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas says it is vital for the club to keep the double Player of the Year.
But Desailly, the former France and AC Milan star, told BBC Sport Wales: "He should go, he should just go. Tottenham will not give him the opportunity to play at a very high level."
Tottenham's failure to secure a Champions League place is seen as opening the door for Europe's biggest clubs to make a bid for Bale.
The winger's 21 goals helped propel Tottenham to a club record total of 72 points in the Premier League.
Marcel Desailly's pedigree
But they were pipped to fourth place and Champions League qualification by arch-rivals Arsenal, who beat Newcastle 1-0 on the final day of the season.
Bale, who is under contract until 2016, scored 31 goals in all competitions during the 2012-13 season, including four in six World Cup qualifying matches for Wales.
His performances saw him voted Professional Footballers' Association Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year, only the third time both awards have gone to the same player. He also won the Football Writers' award.
And Desailly, who is taking part in a Football Association of Wales coaching school in Newport, believes the time is right for Bale to sample top-flight football on the continent.
"There's no price for experience. I think it's the time for him to go," said the 116-times capped France international.
"He needs to discover, as [David] Beckham has done, that an English guy or a Welsh guy has the capacity to export himself.
"It's not a matter of money because he has [money] where he is at Tottenham - it's just the experience.
"Experience to play at a very high level at a club that has the culture of victory, a club that has trophies in the cupboard - not one or two, but plenty.
"To experience playing with other big players, to be maybe a second choice.
"To face difficulty, a new language for his family.
"It's a real change of life and an approach to life as a human being and as a soccer player."http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/22648898
It just sounds like another controversy to me. Don't know about the upcoming seasons, but in this summer, we have Bale with us.
« Last post by YidArmy on Yesterday at 22:33 »
FRANCO BALDINI will not move to Tottenham this summer, according to Roma’s president.
Spurs are reportedly keen to bring the Italian to White Hart Lane as their new director of football.
Boss Andre Villas-Boas is desperate for somebody to work above him to help bridge the gap between the coaching staff and the boardroom.
But Roma chief James Pallotta is determined to keep hold of Baldini.
He said: “As far as I’m concerned, Franco is staying.
“We still need to talk about it in detail but I like Franco.”
Villas-Boas is used to working with a director of football having enjoyed a fruitful relationship with Antero Henrique during his time as Porto boss.
The Portuguese recently said: “We have been outlining the route ahead for what we want to do in terms of the club structure.
“Hopefully there will be the arrival of somebody else in the structure for the recruitment side, a technical director.
“It is a position I am used to working with and ideally it is someone that will help us to move forward.”
Baldini, 52, is currently Roma’s director general having previously worked with England as Fabio Capello’s assistant.http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/sport/football/4939473/Franco-Baldini-wont-move-to-Tottenham-says-Roma-chief.html#ixzz2U8K9bQ6W
I thought, Spurs Boss would finalize the transfer in a day or two. Disappointed with this NEWS.
Chelsea ask Galatasaray if Turkey striker Burak Yilmaz is for sale
• Turkish champions value Yilmaz at more than £20m
• Romelu Lukaku may be loaned out again by Chelsea
Chelsea's pursuit of a striker to add to their forward options has led the reigning European champions and Europa League winners to lodge an inquiry with Galatasaray about the availability of their Turkey international Burak Yilmaz.
Yilmaz, whose career has taken in spells at Besiktas, Fenerbahce and Trabzonspor, has enjoyed an impressive first year with Galatasaray and registered eight goals in this season's Champions League. That haul included a winner against Manchester United in November, a hat-trick in Cluj and goals in both legs of the knockout-round victory over Schalke.
Chelsea, who should confirm the reappointment of José Mourinho as manager by the middle of next month, contacted Galatasaray to discover whether the 27-year-old was available. They were informed it would take a bid in excess of £20m to prise away the forward, who signed a four-year deal with an option for a further season when joining from Trabzonspor last summer. He had scored 33 goals in 34 league games for Trabzonspor the previous season.
That fee may prove prohibitive for a player who has not played for a club outside Turkey, even if he comes highly regarded by the former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba, who is a team-mate at Galatasaray.
Yet Chelsea's other options in the market appear relatively limited. Their long-standing target, Radamel Falcao, may yet opt for a move to Monaco, having indicated he will leave Atlético Madrid this summer, while Edinson Cavani is attracting interest from Manchester City. Robert Lewandowski, the prolific Borussia Dortmund forward, is expected to join Mario Götze at Bayern Munich after Saturday's Champions League final between the clubs.
Chelsea are seeking another established forward to compete with Fernando Torres, Demba Ba and, possibly, Romelu Lukaku next season. The young Belgian may be loaned out again to a rival Premier League club who are competing in European competition – Swansea have been mooted – to gain further experience after a successful arrangement at West Bromwich Albion last season.
Mourinho witnessed Yilmaz first-hand in the first leg of Real's Champions League quarter-final at the Bernabéu – the Turk was booked and missed the second leg through suspension – and will liaise with Chelsea's recruitment and scouting department over potential targets.
Yilmaz, whose 24 league goals helped secure the Turkish league title, has indicated a willingness to stay in Istanbul, though the ultimate decision over his future would remain with Galatasaray. "I'm really happy here," he said this month. "I have a long-term contract here. If an offer is put on the table then it's the club's decision which will matter, not mine."http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2013/may/22/chelsea-galatasaray-burak-yilmaz
I am not too sure about this transfer. Don't know why it got the hype!
Italian giants enter chase for Real Madrid striker.
Italian news source La Repubblica reports that Juventus are now favourites to sign Gonzalo Higuain from under the noses of Arsenal.
The Argentine striker has been put up for sale by Real Madrid this summer, and Arsenal were told to pay around £22million to bring him to the Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners are known to be on the lookout for a striker in this transfer window, as the likes of Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud have not quite helped fill the void left by Robin van Persie.
Higuain is said to be a main target, though Arsenal have also had their eye on Stevan Jovetic of Fiorentina, who may be available for cheaper, at around £15million.
Juventus have also shown an interest in Jovetic, though Fiorentina’s reluctance to sell to another Serie A club has seen the Italian champions make their move for Higuain instead.
The talented finisher has 120 goals for the Bernebeu club in 264 appearances, but has fallen down the pecking order this season and could make way as the club look to reel in bigger targets, such as Tottenham’s Gareth Bale.http://www.caughtoffside.com/2013/05/23/juventus-reach-agreement-to-sign-arsenal-target-gonzalo-higuain/
I am eagerly waiting to get Higuain on board. Eagerly waiting to see him rock for the gunners.
« Last post by EddieC on Yesterday at 22:05 »
He won't be missed. Unlike some he actually seemed to try when he was at Liverpool - so fair play to him for that - but he just isn't the type of player we have any use for now.
« Last post by LFC Lover on Yesterday at 22:03 »
Liverpool FC boss: Andy Carroll's future will be resolved soon
Striker may dream of a move back to Newcastle United, but deal agreed between Reds and West Ham
BRENDAN RODGERS is convinced Andy Carroll’s future will be resolved soon – although the Liverpool striker’s hopes of a dream return to Newcastle United appear to be fading.
The Anfield outfit this week accepted a £15m bid from West Ham United for Carroll, who this week completed a season-long loan at Upton Park.
Despite his stay being affected by injury, the 24-year-old proved hugely popular with Hammers manager Sam Allardyce and the club’s supporters.
While Carroll spoke this week of enjoying his time at West Ham, where he netted seven goals in 24 appearances, he is stalling on making permanent his move down south.
The England international is understood to have set his heart on a return to Newcastle, the boyhood club where he began his career before joining Liverpool for £35m in January 2011.
However, with Rodgers having now cooled interest in one-time target Hatem Ben Arfa, Liverpool have no interest in any potential swap deal.
And that would leave Newcastle having to stump up the asking price which, with Magpies manager Alan Pardew having spent the massive windfall from Carroll’s sale, appears unlikely.
Rodgers has held meetings with Carroll during which he has reminded the striker he cannot expect to be a regular starter under his stewardship.
And the Liverpool manager is keen to avoid speculation over the forward’s future to drag on into the summer as he looks to raise funds for another round of squad strengthening during the transfer window.
“It’s a difficult one,” said Rodgers. “We have had a good chat, and it’s just something we need to assess between now and the end of window.
“In terms of the money, that’s something out of my control. But he’s a talent so we will assess the whole situation.
“The objective at the beginning of the season was for him to go out and play.
“He’s gone away to think of what we spoke about and we will talk again through the weeks.
“It’s one of those situations where it will probably be resolved a lot quicker than that for both parties.”
Asked what the talks with Carroll entailed, Rodgers added: “It was just a general conversation in terms of the experience of getting out and playing. He enjoyed that, apart from the injury.
“At the start of the season the whole thing was about going and getting games because he wasn’t going to be a starter here.
“We will talk again with him and the club to see how it all evolves.”
Carroll’s situation is unlikely to be jeopardised by the heel injury which forced him to pull out of England’s forthcoming friendly double-header against the Republic of Ireland and Brazil.
The problem had initially been expected to sideline him for six weeks until it emerged he will be out for a least double that length of time, making him a major doubt to be fit for the start of next season.http://www.dailypost.co.uk/sport/football/transfer-news/liverpool-fc-boss-andy-carrolls-4005120
It really feels bad. His heel injury lagged him back for a while.