Author Topic: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (01/06/11)...  (Read 5014 times)


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Wednesday Fulham Stuff (01/06/11)...
« on: June 01, 2011, 12:49:19 AM »

Espanyol want £17m for Spurs and Fulham target
Published 23:00 31/05/11 By Neil McLeman   Recommend

Fulham have been told they must pay £17million to sign Espanyol striker Pablo Osvaldo.

The Craven Cottage club have offered £10m for the Argentine, 25, who is also being chased by Tottenham.

But with Spanish rivals Villarreal, Atletico Madrid and Sevilla also interested, Espanyol are determined to hold out for the €20million buyout clause in his contract.

Osvaldo signed a five-year contract when he joined the Barcelona-based club on a permanent deal last summer.

Osvaldo’s agent Dario Dacoud said: “I have been called by many people from Spain and England. Lots of English clubs have called me.

"He is very happy at Espanyol, but this is a job, and sometimes there are things to which you cannot say yes or no because it’s your future.

"We will see. There is plenty of time.”


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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (01/06/11)...
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2011, 01:19:02 AM »

Young and Downing to follow Houllier out of the door at Villa
By Sam Wallace
Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Mark Hughes is first choice to be the new Aston Villa manager

While talks continued yesterday over a resolution to end Gérard Houllier's short reign as Aston Villa manager, both Ashley Young and Stewart Downing signalled that they will be leaving the club this summer.

Houllier, who has not managed the team since he was diagnosed with another aortic dissection in April, is understood to be in talks over a severance deal with the club that is expected to be resolved this week. The Fulham manager Mark Hughes is thought to be the chosen successor but the delay in appointing him means that he will cost about £2 million in compensation to leave his contract with Fulham.

In the meantime, Steve McClaren, the former England manager and currently out of work, is understood to be another possibility for Villa if a deal for Hughes falls through. However, the Welshman is the club's first choice and would have liked the job when Martin O'Neill quit in September – but had already agreed a deal with Fulham then.

A deal for Young to Manchester United for £15m is thought to be all but done. He has just one year left on his contract and Villa have no choice but to sell. Yesterday, Young, on duty with England ahead of Saturday's Euro 2012 qualifier against Switzerland, all but confirmed his ambitions lay beyond Villa.

Asked if he enjoyed watching United in the Champions League final against Barcelona, Young said: "I did find myself sat there thinking 'I wish I was out there'. I think it is great for the neutral to watch such a great game.

"[On Villa] I've always said I am going to talk to the chairman, talk to the manager after this game. That's where we are. I've always said the same thing. I have given 100 per cent in every game I have played for Aston Villa.

"It's always nice to have speculation. But I just have to concentrate and focus on England's game and prepare as I always do for a game. We know it's going to be a massive game."

As for Downing, who has been linked with Arsenal and Liverpool, there is no chance, he said yesterday, that he would be signing a new contract at Villa. He has two years left on his existing deal and, like Young, the likelihood is that he will leave in the summer.

Downing said: "I'm not sure [about my future]. We had the meeting with the club, we expressed our feelings and they said to me they're going to improve the team and the squad. So, as far as I know, I'll still be reporting back for pre-season because I've heard nothing.

"If I don't move, I'll get on with the job as normal. I'll do my best and give 100 per cent. It's up to their fans and their opinions of me. If they want to be loud and clear with what they think of me then that's fine. I'll still give my best because I'm employed to do so.

"It's my ambition to play in the Champions League and I would like to do that at some stage in my career. It does help if you're playing at the highest level. I'm not sure if it influences Fabio's decision if you're in the Champions League or if you're not. I think the main thing for him is that you're playing well."


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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (01/06/11)...
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2011, 01:20:12 AM »

Sparky can take heat off Houll
Published: Today

MARK HUGHES is top of Aston Villa's hitlist to replace the outgoing Gerard Houllier.
The Fulham manager could announce his intent to walk away from the Cottagers today having failed to agree a new deal.

Everton's David Moyes, ex-Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti, Liverpool old boy Rafa Benitez and former Spurs supremo Martin Jol are also on a list of names as Villa seek to grab a manager with Premier League experience.

Houllier, 63, is all set to leave after the decision was made that the risk over returning with his heart condition was too great.

The Frenchman wanted to return to his desk this week and continue as manager.

But after consultation with the club - and considering the views of his family - talks are now underway to bring an end to a troubled eight-month reign.

The former Liverpool manager, who took over from Martin O'Neill in September, is now in discussions over severance pay.

'Sparky' Hughes, 47, signed a one-year deal at Fulham which he can terminate today and then, in theory, leave on June 30.

He had agreed a three-year deal with a one-year get-out clause which he will now activate having led Fulham to a superb eighth-place finish this season.

If he does announce his intention to leave - and Villa owner Randy Lerner makes his move - Fulham are powerless to stop him.

Houllier had another two years of an £8million three-year deal to run and although Villa will have had a medical clause written into a deal, he could walk away with around £2.5m. He will not be kept on as a footballing director or any similar role, but could still be used in an advisory capacity to benefit from his wealth of knowledge of European football depending on the views of the new boss.

Assistant Gary McAllister, fitness coach Robert Duverne and first-team coach Gordon Cowans will also discuss their futures this week.

Houllier's health problems concerned a tear in the aortic wall - not a heart attack.

McAllister made it clear last week Houllier wanted to return to work and medics indicated the chances of another setback would not be affected by football management. In other words, it could happen at any time.

Houllier's season will be largely remembered as tumultuous, but ultimately he did steady what was an increasingly rocky ship.

The £24m signing of hotshot Darren Bent from Sunderland in January was the defining moment with results picking up thanks to his goals.

Villa climbed away from the danger zone as Houllier's training methods, along with his efforts to play better football, started to take effect.

He had to deal with dressing room bust-ups, notably between members of his coaching staff and centre-backs Richard Dunne and James Collins.

But the players did eventually take to the change in regime following O'Neill's walkout five days before the start of the new season.

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (01/06/11)...
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2011, 01:21:46 AM »

Aston Villa target Mark Hughes to replace Gérard Houllier as manager
• Confirmation expected of Houllier's exit by mutual consent
• Steve McClaren and Martin Jol also contenders for Villa post
Stuart James,    Tuesday 31 May 2011 22.31 BST
Article history

Fulham's manager, Mark Hughes, is believed to be a frontrunner to step into the shoes of Gérard Houllier at Aston Villa. Photograph: Paul Thomas/AP
Mark Hughes has emerged as the frontrunner to take over as Aston Villa manager as the Midlands club step up their search for a successor to Gérard Houllier. Villa are expected to confirm within the next 24 hours that Houllier's turbulent nine‑month reign in charge has come to an end by mutual consent, although there remains a possibility that the announcement will be delayed because of a wrangle over his severance package.

Houllier's role has been in doubt since he was admitted to hospital on 20 April with chest pains. He was discharged eight days later, after being diagnosed with a dissection of the descending aorta – a condition related to the 11 hours of open‑heart surgery he underwent 10 years ago – and although Houllier was determined to return to frontline management, within Villa there were grave reservations about how a 63‑year‑old with his medical history could be expected to handle the pressure.

Those concerns were articulated to Houllier over the weekend, when Randy Lerner, the Villa owner, and Paul Faulkner, the club's chief executive, came to the conclusion that it was a risky strategy to continue with the former Liverpool manager in charge. Houllier, who had two years remaining on the £2.5m‑per‑year contract he signed when he supplanted Martin O'Neill last September, seems certain to walk away with a sizeable sum from his settlement, which could take longer to resolve than Villa had initially hoped.

Those Villa supporters that had become disillusioned with life under Houllier will believe that a seven-figure pay-out is a price worth paying if the club can appoint an experienced Premier League manager capable of re‑energising a squad that badly underachieved last season. Hughes, who is in charge of Fulham, is likely to relish that task and would have been a certainty to get the Villa job before Houllier, had he not agreed to take over at Craven Cottage 12 days before O'Neill resigned.

Hughes, significantly, is yet to sign a new two-year contract at Fulham despite lengthy discussions with the club. It is also understood that his current deal has a one-month break clause, which can be activated from Wednesday and would allow him to walk away on 30 June. Fulham, however, remain bullish about their prospects of keeping Hughes, who recovered from a difficult first half of the season to secure an eighth-placed finish and qualify for the Europa League.

Steve McClaren, Martin Jol and David Moyes are the other leading contenders for the Villa job. Moyes has long been linked with Villa and would be a popular choice among the club's fans, but prising him out of Everton promises to be extremely difficult. He is particularly close with Bill Kenwright, the chairman at Goodison Park, and has two years remaining on his contract. He may also feel that Villa, despite their increased spending power, represents a sideways move.

Any approach for McClaren or Jol would be much more straightforward for Villa, given that both men are out of work. McClaren was sacked by Wolfsburg in February and has been holding out for the right job in the Premier League ever since, which is why he quickly ruled himself out of the running for the West Ham United position. Villa would tick all the boxes, although it is also easy to imagine McClaren stepping into Hughes's shoes at Craven Cottage if the Welshman is lured to the Midlands.

Jol has yet to return to management since he resigned from his post at Ajax in December. The Dutchman managed in the Premier League with Tottenham Hotspur, between 2004 and 2007, and featured prominently in Villa's thoughts before they turned to Houllier. He is fond of life in England and was close to returning last summer, when he was offered the chance to take over from Roy Hodgson at Fulham before deciding to stay at Ajax.

Villa's third manager in 10 months will take over a side that flirted with relegation before back-to-back victories in the final two matches lifted them to ninth place. In many ways that league position hides a multitude of sins and paints a rose-tinted picture of Houllier's time in charge at the club, which will largely be remembered for a series of public relations gaffes, poor results and constant stories of player unrest.

Houllier was arguably hindered by the timing of his arrival at the club, which followed an unsettling period during which O'Neill walked out five days before the opening Premier League match. He oversaw an improvement in Stewart Downing and can feel vindicated that the club-record signing of Darren Bent has proved to be money well spent, but those were rare bright spots in a season that many of Villa's supporters will be only too keen to forget.


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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (01/06/11)...
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2011, 01:23:18 AM »

Aston Villa in the hunt for Fulham boss Hughes as Houllier chases £5m pay-off
Last updated at 12:39 AM on 1st June 2011

Fulham boss Mark Hughes is the man Aston Villa want to replace Gerard Houllier, heading a five-man short list drawn up by the Midlands club's owner Randy Lerner.

Fulham chief executive Alistair Mackintosh tried to head off the move by issuing a stern 'hands-off' warning to Villa but if Hughes fails to activate his rolling contract at Fulham in the next 24 hours, he will become a free agent and make himself the clear favourite to succeed Houllier.
Should Hughes decide to stay at Fulham, Lerner will turn to others he has identified to take Villa forward. Everton's David Moyes and Wigan's Roberto Martinez are in the frame, while Steve McClaren and Martin Jol have also been mentioned.

Marked man: Fulham manager Hughes (right) is wanted by Aston Villa to replace Gerard Houllier
Senior figures at Villa were tied up with more pressing matters as Houllier hampered the club's search for a replacement with legal wrangling over the size of his pay-off. As reported in Sportsmail, Houllier has medical reports that state he is fit to return. Villa contest those.
Clauses in the manager's contract protect the club from a pay-out in excess of £5million if the Frenchman is forced out by ill-health.
What is in dispute is whether his employment is being terminated because of that or if he is being sacked.

Au revoir: Frenchman Houllier's time as Villa boss is up after health problems and poor form
Lerner wants to avoid a repeat of the Martin O'Neill affair. The American billionaire had to face a Premier League arbitration panel last week after O'Neill contested the terms of his exit.
When Houllier's departure is finally confirmed, 'mutual consent' will be listed as the reason but there can be no doubt that from Villa's viewpoint this is a divorce of convenience. The marriage has always been an uneasy one and even Houllier's unveiling ended in little more than a public-relations disaster when he was unable to confirm his release from his job with the France Football Federation.
Since then the club have been troubled by on-field problems, off-field squabbles and fights. The French manager has battled with his players, including Stephen Ireland, John Carew, Richard Dunne and Stephen Warnock, as Villa lurched through their league campaign.

Wantaway? Villa's star men Ashley Young (left) and Stewart Downing (right) could be ready to leave the club
As if the club did not have enough problems, two of their England players - Ashley Young and Stewart Downing - refused to commit their futures to Villa.
Young's position is unsurprising after Manchester United made tentative contact for the winger. He said: 'I did find myself sat (watching the Champions League final) thinking, "I wish I was out there". My opinion is that I can play in the biggest and best competitions.
'To challenge myself is to play in big competitions and hopefully one day I'll be able to do that.'
Downing's utterances were little short of a come-and-get-me plea. 'You sit at home and watch the Champions League, you hear the music come on and you see the teams and you think, "This is where I want to be. It's my ambition to play in it and I'd like to do that at some stage in my career".'
Asked whether he will be a Villa player next season, he added: 'I'm not sure. If I don't move and I stay, I'll get on with the job.'

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (01/06/11)...
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2011, 01:24:18 AM »

Hughes set to take over Villa reins?
May 31, 2011
Email Print
By Harry Harris, Football Correspondent
Mark Hughes is on Aston Villa's radar as a potential successor to Gerard Houllier, according to ESPNsoccernet sources.

Mark Hughes: Contract clause may allow him to join Midlands club
• Houllier set to leave Villa - report

Hughes' contract expires on July 1, as the former Manchester City boss took on the Fulham post on a year-long rolling deal.

The Welshman was linked to the Villa vacancy when Martin O'Neill unexpectedly quit on the eve of the 2010-11 season, but by that time Hughes had accepted the Fulham job, and the vacancy eventually went to Houllier. With Houllier expected to leave Villa shortly after ill-health curtailed what had been an unsuccessful spell at Villa Park, Hughes will again be high on owner Randy Lerner's wish-list.

The source said: "Mark Hughes will be wanted by Villa, that seems a certainty.

"A big club like Villa would also certainly be a huge temptation for Mark, and it it was offered to him, it would be no surprise if he accepted it."

It would be a big shock to Fulham if Hughes walked out for another club, with the Cottagers trying to tempt Hughes to sign a new more long-term contract and a Europa League campaign beckoning.


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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (01/06/11)...
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2011, 01:25:30 AM »
It’s not a Dan deal yet
Published: Today
 Add a comment (1)

FULHAM and Spurs have been told they will need £17.5million to land Espanyol's Dani Osvaldo.
Both clubs are monitoring the Argentina-born striker and sources say Fulham have had a £10.5m offer snubbed

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (01/06/11)...
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2011, 01:31:09 AM »

Fulham Target Priced At 3m
31 May 2011 - 20:16:34

Fulham Target Priced At 3m

Sheffield United are battling to keep hold of striker Jordan Slew. The Sun report that the Blades have put a £3m price tag on young striker Slew, 18, to scare off Premier League clubs. Fulham already have had a £500,000 bid rejected. Slew helped the Blades to the FA Youth Cup final this season and also tasted first team football in the Championship.


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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (01/06/11)...
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2011, 01:33:46 AM »


ABOVE: Mark Hughes is the man Randy Lerner wants at Villa Park Mark Hughes will be offered a bumper deal to take up the reins at Villa Park.
1st June 2011 By Dave Armitage
Your Shout ( 0 )

ASTON VILLA are ready to launch a smash- and-grab raid on Fulham to get Mark Hughes as their new boss.

Mark Hughes is top of Aston Villa’s wish list as they prepare for the imminent departure of Gerard Houllier.

The Frenchman will reluctantly stand down on health grounds in the next couple of days after just eight months in the Villa hotseat.

In his place, ‘Sparky’ Hughes, 47, will be offered a bumper deal to take up the reins at Villa Park.

Villa’s American owner Randy Lerner singled out the ex-Blackburn and Manchester City boss following the departure of Martin O’Neill in August. But Hughes had committed himself to Fulham just a couple of months earlier so they turned to former Liverpool boss Houllier instead.

Hughes can walk from Fulham without any compensation being paid as he only signed a one-year contract with a year’s option when he took over last July.

Fulham still hope to keep the man who guided them to ninth place in the Premier League and tie him to a new deal this week. But in Lerner’s eyes he fi ts the bill perfectly as the man to rebuild Villa.

Houllier has been sidelined for the past two months after being taken to hospital suffering from chest pains. He had torn the wall of his heart and was detained in hospital for a week as he underwent stringent tests.

Houllier is feeling well again and was adamant that he was fi t enough to return to the job. But Villa’s medical experts do not agree.

Offline nevzter

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (01/06/11)...
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2011, 01:34:57 AM »
Thanks RR for the Wed. updates - whilst, it's still only Tuesday at 5:30 pm in our time zone!!!   082.gif

Regardless, thank you!


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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (01/06/11)...
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2011, 01:38:00 AM »

Fulham have £10.5m bid rejected for Espanyol striker Pablo Osvaldo - report
West London club reportedly had an ambitious attempt to sign the Argentinean turned down as the La Liga side believe they can get significantly more for their prized-asset

By Ryan Benson
31 May 2011 23:48:00
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Pablo Osvaldo, Espanyol, Racing Santander (Marc Ibáñez,
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Find the best odds and bet on La Liga.
Espanyol have reportedly rejected a bid from Fulham for their star striker Pablo Osvaldo, according to SkySports.

The Argentine is subject to a lot of interest around Europe, particularly in the Premier League as Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham have all been linked with the 25 year-old.

However, it is understood that Fulham are the latest club to express an interest in the former Fiorentina man after they apparently had a €12 million [£10.5m] bid rejected, with the club labelling the offer as "unsatisfactory".

Espanyol, like many Spanish clubs, are believed to be in a less than enviable position financially, however it is understood that they are nevertheless holding out for a bid closer to €20m [£17.5m], the sort of money the Cottagers are unlikely to be able to stump up.

Another potential stumbling block is the claim of Osvaldo's agent Dario Decoud that the former Italy Under-21 international is happy in Catalunia, suggesting he will only move for a considerable offer.

Decoud said: "Osvaldo is happy with Espanyol. Only a big offer could change his mind.”

This season, Osvaldo enjoyed his most fruitful season in front of goal, scoring 13 times in 24 league appearances.


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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (01/06/11)...
« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2011, 01:40:13 AM »
Thanks RR for the Wed. updates - whilst, it's still only Tuesday at 5:30 pm in our time zone!!!   082.gif

Regardless, thank you!

You're welcome. I know I haven't had dinner yet. It's Wednesday over there though and WhiteNoise is taking a much needed break so I offered to pitch in and help keep this thread going from time to time.


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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (01/06/11)...
« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2011, 01:45:00 AM »
You won't have to wait Long to play in the top flight, Tardelli tells Reading striker
Last updated at 12:45 AM on 1st June 2011

Heartbreak: Shane Long was distraught after his Reading side lost in the Championship play-off final
Republic of Ireland striker Shane Long has been reassured he will be a Barclays Premier League player next season, despite Reading's heart-breaking play-off final defeat.
The Cork man was reunited with the Irish squad on Tuesday afternoon, 24 hours after his Royals top flight dream was killed off by Swansea City.
And Ireland's assistant manager Marco Tardelli, who has witnessed at close hand Long's transformation over the last 18 months, has told the 24-year-old he is convinced the striker will be one of the big movers in the summer transfer window.
Long is likely to have his choice of clubs during the close season if they can match Reading's £4million valuation.
For months he has been linked with moves to Newcastle, Everton, Wolves and Fulham and Celtic manager Neil Lennon was among the crowd at Wembley.
Tardelli said: 'I think he will be the key man in the transfer window. I see him as a Premier League player now and I think one team will come and buy him.

Player transformed: Long has become a potent threat for the Republic of Ireland
'He's very good now. Shane physically has become very strong, he's not scared, he's very fast, he reads the game better and he has changed. He has improved.
'He is like Aiden McGeady. When we arrived here they were very shy but now they are very strong. The experience in Russia has been very good for McGeady.
'Shane will be very sad. We saw the match and he played well but football is fantastic because after two or three days everything can change. We know Shane Long will be sad but he will be fine.'

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (01/06/11)...
« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2011, 03:23:53 AM »
Great job RR!  082.gif

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (01/06/11)...
« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2011, 06:07:54 AM »
Cheers I love reading the paper stuff early

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (01/06/11)...
« Reply #15 on: June 01, 2011, 06:08:57 AM »
Then I go and buy the paper!!!!

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (01/06/11)...
« Reply #16 on: June 01, 2011, 07:59:13 AM »

Givemefootball's season review: Fulham
Mark Hughes has carried on where Roy Hodgson left off

Fulham have enjoyed another successful campaign and they have been rewarded for their eighth-place finish with a spot in the Europa League via the Fair Play award.

Manager Mark Hughes has carried on the good work started by Roy Hodgson and they now appear to have established themselves as a top half Barclays Premier League side.

They are not a squad brimming with top flight stars but the Cottagers are a well-drilled, effective unit with strength down the spine of the team.

Mark Schwarzer is a steady, reliable influence in goal, Brede Hangeland is one of the most consistent central defenders in the Barclays Premier League and Dickson Etuhu gives them bite in midfield.

The signing of Steve Sidwell in the centre of the park has added energy and Hughes will have more options up front next term with 13-goal striker Clint Dempsey playing alongside either Bobby Zamora or Andy Johnson, with the later pair now back after long-term injuries.

The return to full fitness of Zamora, in particular, is a huge boost to the club and Fulham's final league position is even more impressive given the fact they were without the 30-year-old England international for almost the entire campaign.

Furthermore, there are creative players on the flanks with Damien Duff and Simon Davies providing the firepower for the strikers.

Fulham reached the Europa League final under Hodgson a couple of seasons ago and Sidwell is looking forward to another crack at European football.

"Playing in Europe tests you and at any stage of your career it is a highlight," he said. "I have been fortunate enough to experience Champions League football when I was at Chelsea and also played in the Europa League with Aston Villa.

"It is a good competition and, with the achievements the club made last season, I am sure we will want to go far in it again."

Offline whitejc

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (01/06/11)...
« Reply #17 on: June 01, 2011, 08:00:23 AM »

Fulham Ready For Fehr

Fulham are close to a North American signing.

The People report that Mark Hughes is ready to snap up young American defender Mobi Fehr. The under-17 international, whose family are Japanese and Swiss, must wait for a work permit to play in England. Hughes intends to send him out on loan to Scandinavia.

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (01/06/11)...
« Reply #18 on: June 01, 2011, 08:01:56 AM »

Cherries: Premier League Fulham could launch Ings bid

Cherries’ hot prospect Danny Ings could be in line for a dream move to the Premier League – providing the price was right.

Daily Echo sources claim Fulham are leading the chase for the teenage striker, with at least one other top-flight club believed to be tracking him.

Ings is understood to have impressed Fulham representatives when they watched Cherries last season to keep tabs on loan striker Lauri Dalla Valle.

And with the transfer window now open, the Cottagers could be ready to test Cherries’ resolve by tabling a bid for the homegrown youngster.

Ings shot to prominence during the second half of last season when he netted seven times to help Cherries reach the League One play-offs.

His stock rose further when he also starred on the big stage and scored his eighth goal during Cherries’ epic play-off semi-final at Huddersfield.

The Winchester-born 18-year-old, released by Southampton when he was a schoolboy, only graduated from the Cherries youth ranks a year ago when he signed a short-term deal.

However, both Eddie Howe and Lee Bradbury soon realised he had the potential to make the grade and tied him to longer contracts, his current one running until 2014.

At the start of last month, Cherries chairman Eddie Mitchell steadfastly insisted the club did not need to sell any of its prized assets during the close season.

But although Mitchell maintains the club’s finances are far healthier than they were a year ago, the board would be hard pushed to turn down a significant offer for Ings and subsequently stand in his way should a Premier League club back up any interest.

However, to tempt the Cherries board and prise away Ings, any potential suitor would probably have to shell out in excess of the club record £800,000 received for Joe Parkinson and Matt Holland.

When contacted by the Daily Echo last night, chairman Mitchell confirmed the club had received no firm bids for any of its players.

Asked to comment on the speculation surrounding Ings, Mitchell replied: “We don’t have to sell, that is a fact.

“Danny is only 18 and didn’t look out of place mixing it with some good players last season. In the current climate, he would be worth more than £1m.

“If he were to score 20 goals for us next season, and there is every chance he will, he would be a £2m player.

“We have got more than one player who would be worth more than £1m.”

Echo sources also understand Cherries could be forced to fend off interest in skipper Jason Pearce, with Championship new boys Peterborough ready to make a move.

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (01/06/11)...
« Reply #19 on: June 01, 2011, 08:39:40 AM »

Fulham manager Mark Hughes targeted as replacement for Gérard Houllier at Aston Villa
Aston Villa have targeted Fulham manager Mark Hughes to succeed Gérard Houllier, who will confirm this week that he is standing down for health reasons.

Randy Lerner, Aston Villa’s American owner, intends to pursue Hughes despite being warned off by Fulham, who are in the process of trying to tie the 47 year-old to a new contract.

In the event that Fulham succeed, Lerner will turn to Rafael Benítez, whose desire for another Premier League position was behind his decision this week to reject the chance to return to his homeland with Atletico Madrid.

Sources close to the club, however, have told Telegraph Sport that Villa are optimistic of securing Hughes, who was identified by Lerner last summer as the ideal replacement for Martin O’Neill when the Irishman resigned five days before the start of the season.

At that time Hughes had just joined Fulham but the former Manchester City manager can activate a break clause in his two-year contract today. He would then be able to leave Fulham as a free agent on June 30.

Hughes is understood to have grown disillusioned with the running of the club and is frustrated at the delay in talks with his board.

Villa, meanwhile, want to have Houllier’s replacement installed by the end of the month at the latest.

They cannot afford to drift rudderless through another summer transfer window, especially with plenty of dead wood to be chopped from the squad, and reinforcements brought in if, as expected, Ashley Young and Stewart Downing leave.

Their search will now begin formally after finally appearing to accept that Houllier will be stood down.

The Frenchman has two-thirds of his £8 million three-year deal to run, but medical reports revealed that a return to management would put his health at too great a risk.

The delay over announcing Houllier’s departure is not thought to be because of a hold-up over how to resolve the termination of his contract, but over timing.

Villa are anxious to convey a harmonious end to Houllier’s regime — the club’s image has suffered last season with O’Neill’s high-profile resignation, the spate of shocking results and the departure of their main sponsor, FxPro, just a year into their three-year contract.

Villa finalised O’Neill’s settlement only last week, with the help of a Premier League arbitration panel.

Lerner and his chief executive, Paul Faulkner, decided to split with Houllier in conjunction with their manager after meeting doctors.

The 63 year-old had been hoping to return to his desk this week – his assistant, Gary McAllister, had even been privately briefing to that effect — but he has been told he is unfit to do so.

It has been coming ever since Houllier was admitted to Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital with chest pains, later diagnosed as a dissection of the descending aorta, on April 20.

Although Houllier did instil a more professional approach in the dressing room, he took the club into the relegation zone until an eight-game run at the end of the season lifted the team to a ninth-place finish.