Author Topic: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (25/05/10)...  (Read 4547 times)

White Noise

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (25/05/10)...
« Reply #20 on: May 25, 2010, 03:43:34 PM »

Stoke stars told to be patient as they eye up new deals

Published 22:45 24/05/10

By Football Spy
Stoke stars Ricardo Fuller and Matthew Etherington have been told to be patient as chairman Peter Coates admits the club is in no hurry to offer them new deals.

Striker Fuller, 30, and winger Etherington, 28, are keen for extensions on their present contracts to ensure they are on a level playing field with the club's top earners.

Coates insists he does not fear either player leaving the Britannia Stadium this summer, despite Fuller attracting interest from Fulham.

Coates said: "They have two years left of their present contracts. Whether we extend them or not, let's see how things progress between now and the start of the season.

"We look at these things and take a view so we have the comfort of them both having two years on their contracts.

"That is very good for Stoke City - there is no pressure there for us.

"They are both very fine players and both highly valued by the club. That is why they have the contracts they have.

"That is what you do to protect your interests."

White Noise

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (25/05/10)...
« Reply #21 on: May 25, 2010, 03:45:08 PM »

Birmingham planning £6m swoop for Valencia strike star

Published 23:00 24/05/10

By James Nursey

Birmingham are confident of making Valencia striker Nikola Zigic their second major summer signing in a £6million swoop.

Who the hell is Nikola Zigic? Everything you need to know about the Birmingham transfer target   

Brum last week bought goalkeeper Ben Foster from Manchester United for £5million.

And they now hope to tie up 6ft 8in Serbian Zigic on a bumper three-year deal.

City are believed to have agreed a fee of around £6m with the forward's Spanish club and hope Zigic will agree to join before the World Cup.

Birmingham have been trailing Zigic since last November when their interest was first revealed by Mirror Sport.

Brum boss Alex McLeish is still after another striker as well, with Fulham's Bobby Zamora his first choice.

But Zamora wants more than £40,000-a-week in personal terms and City have other choices, including free agent Kris Boyd and Burnley's Steven Fletcher.

McLeish has cooled his interest in West Ham's Carlton Cole after being quoted £15m by former Brum owner David Sullivan.

But McLeish remains keen on a new left-back with Fulham's Paul Konchesky firmly in his sights.

While Birmingham also hope to lure Wigan's Charles N'Zogbia to play on the left flank and Celtic's Aiden McGeady on the right.

White Noise

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (25/05/10)...
« Reply #22 on: May 25, 2010, 03:46:19 PM »

Duff is on a wing and a prayer for Ireland

Published 22:45 24/05/10

By MirrorFootball

Giovanni Trapattoni will reach for the prayer mat after conceding that an injury-free Damien Duff is the key to Ireland's Euro 2012 assault.

The winger is coming off the back of a magnificent but exhausting season where Fulham defied all the odds by swaggering their way to the Europa League final - only to fall at the final hurdle and allow Atletico Madrid pip them to the line.

That extended campaign saw Duff play 52 club games - a remarkable statistic considering the injury problems the fit-again 31-year-old has battled in recent seasons.

Duff could have taken the easy option this week by withdrawing from Ireland's games against Paraguay tonight and Algeria as his participation in the Europa League final was in doubt until the 11th hour owing to a calf injury. But he pulled through and gave it his all as Fulham fell agonisingly short.

That drive and ambition, not to mention the manner of his performances, also serves notice that tales of the winger's demise are greatly exaggerated. Granted the legs are not quite what they used to be, but Duff could easily have fallen off the radar after leaving Newcastle and Chelsea behind him.

Instead, the Dubliner is reborn under Roy Hodgson - his former Blackburn manager - and Ireland gaffer Trapattoni will be saying plenty of prayers this summer that Duff remains injury-free ahead of the big Euro 2012 kick-off in September.

"I monitored Damien a lot this year and we pray to God that he doesn't get injured because, like Robbie Keane, Kevin Doyle and three or four others, he is very important to us," said the Italian.

Trapattoni knows that Duff, more than most, will appreciate the summer break after such a gruelling season and, for that reason, he won't overwork him against Paraguay tonight or Algeria on Friday.

"I will look out for him tonight and when it is possible I will give him a rest. In the Europa League final he was fantastic, one of the best players on the pitch, and I hope he keeps that mentality.

"Since he arrived for training, he doesn't look like a player finishing up the season. He has been enthusiastic and isn't showing that he's under performing, injured or tired."

Duff starts on the left wing tonight in a strong Irish team. Trapattoni - in typical style - has no intention of throwing caution to the wind by including a host of fringe and emerging players from the very outset.

Rep of Ireland: Westwood (Coventry); Kelly (Fulham), McShane (Hull), St Ledger (Preson), O'Shea (Manchester United); Lawrence (Stoke), Andrews (Blackburn), Whelan (Stoke), Duff (Fulham); Keane (Tottenham), Doyle (Wolves).