Arsenal add Spanish international

7 August 2012 12:04

Arsenal have completed the signing of Spain international Santi Cazorla from Malaga on a long-term contract.

The 27-year-old attacking midfielder becomes the third new arrival at the Emirates this summer, following the arrivals of Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud.

“I’m so happy to be joining Arsenal,” Cazorla told Arsenal’s official website.

“This is a club with great players, a fantastic stadium and huge support. The club has one of the best managers in football and their style of play is recognised and admired all over the world.

“I’m so excited to be joining one of the greatest teams in Europe and also in the Premier League. I will do my best to help Arsenal challenge for trophies and make all the supporters happy.”

Manager, Arsene Wenger was also delighted after seeing the move finalised, hailing the ex-Villarreal man as a great player who will add significant quality to his squad for the new season.

“Santi Cazorla is a great signing for us,” he said.

“He is a player with good experience at both club and international level, who will add significant quality to our squad.

“He is a versatile, attacking midfield player who can play comfortably on either side of the pitch or centrally.

“He has good pace, is technically gifted and will be a huge asset to Arsenal. We are delighted that he is joining us.”

Arsenal are currently in Germany for a pre-season training camp and have been joined by captain Robin van Persie – a player still subject of intense transfer speculation – as they prepare to open their Premier League campaign against Sunderland on August 18.

Adriano back in Barca fold

7 August 2012 10:53

Barcelona full-back Adriano has resumed full training ahead of his side’s midweek friendly with Manchester United.

The full-back sustained an ankle injury prior to the friendly match with Paris Saint-Germain, and consequently missed the 2-2 draw.

The Spanish giants have confirmed that Adriano has returned to full fitness, and took part in Monday’s training session without any noteworthy problems.

The 27-year-old is expected to be included in coach Tito Vilanova’s squad for Wednesday’s club friendly with Premier League giants Manchester United.

Meanwhile, midfielder Jonathan dos Santos missed training on Monday and has been forced to stay home in Catalunya with a thigh strain, rather than travel with the rest of the side to Girona.

Bolt wants Man United trial

7 August 2012 09:53

Sprinting icon Usain Bolt insists that he is serious about wanting a trial with Manchester United.

The 25-year-old Jamaican, the fastest man in history, dashed into sporting legend on Sunday by defending his Olympic 100 metres title at London in a Games record of 9.63 seconds.

But, as a passionate Red Devils fan who has met up with the team and manager Sir Alex Ferguson before, he is hoping that his running glory might prompt his dream career change.

“People think I am joking, but if Alex Ferguson called me up and said: ‘OK, let’s do this, come and have a trial,’ it would be impossible for me to say no,” Bolt told The Sun.

“I would not take up the challenge if I didn’t think I was good enough. I am a very accomplished player and know I could make a difference.

“I would be the fastest player in the team, but I can play as well.

“I am in Britain for a few more days,” added the gold medallist, who will seek to retain his 200m crown in Thursday’s final. “If Alex Ferguson wants to give me a call he knows where I am.”

A spokesman for the Premier League club good-humouredly observed to the paper: “As the fastest man on earth he would undoubtedly add speed to the team.”

Bolt has expressed his desire to play football before, declaring in 2011: “I definitely want to see what I could do. I think I could step up to the [Wayne] Rooneys.”

Wigan holding out for Moses offer

7 August 2012 09:21

Wigan chairman Dave Whelan says the club have set Chelsea a price for Victor Moses and will not accept bids below their valuation.

The Nigerian forward’s progress impressed Premier League observers last term and the Champions League holders are looking to add him to their squad.

“I have spoken to Chelsea’s chief executive and they are easy to deal with. We have told them the price and they will come back and agree it or not,” Whelan told ESPN.

“We would much prefer the player to sign a new contract and stay but he wants to go to Chelsea and it’s a good club so we cannot stand in his way.”

The 21-year-old former Crystal Palace starlet has a year left on his deal at the DW Stadium but is reluctant to extend that as a result of the Blues’ interest.

Wigan are reportedly holding out for an offer around the 10-million-pound mark.

Carroll gets Shelvey support

7 August 2012 08:30

Jonjo Shelvey is confident that Andy Carroll has the ability to succeed at Liverpool, despite uncertainty over the striker’s future.

The 35-million-pound signing has attracted interest from West Ham and former club Newcastle after Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said the Anfield club would consider offers for Carroll.

But Reds midfielder Shelvey insists that Carroll has plenty to offer at the Champions League hopefuls next season.

“Obviously, I’ve only played with Andy a few times last season but I know what he’s about,” Shelvey told Goal.com.

“It’s not down to me whether or not he stays, it’s down to the boss but Andy is a great player. I think he can fit in.”

Shelvey broke into first-team thoughts under Kenny Dalglish and is looking forward to featuring alongside Steven Gerrard this term.

“It’s a lot of guys fighting for three positions, it’s going to be tough this season. But it’s a challenge that I’m relishing,” the 20-year-old added.

“Stevie’s had such a big impact for the club and country, the way he plays in the midfield is magnificent. To be on the same team as him is great.”

Rodgers’ appointment at Liverpool has seen the Ulsterman look to implement his passing style at the Reds after finding great success with a similar ethos at Swansea.

Shelvey is delighted to be playing in a system that suits him.

“It’s been good because obviously, he likes to pass the ball around,” Shelvey said. “It fits the way how I play and the way some of the other guys play, so it’s exciting.”