International News - 23rd - 29th August

Southampton Sign Highly Rated Osvaldo. New Southampton record signing Pablo Osvaldo has revealed he was blown over by Mauricio Pochettino’s desire to bring him to St. Mary’s. The Italian international was officially paraded by the Saints after completing his £15million move from Roma. Tottenham were also monitoring the 27-year-old striker, but Osvaldo says it was Pochettino’s will that convinced him to move to the South Coast club. “I chose Southampton because they showed the most interest in me and I know Mauricio. It is my dream to play in Premier League,” said Osvaldo. “Working with Mauricio is fantastic, he is a great motivator and appreciates me and how I work. For some years I’ve been working with people who don’t appreciate how I work as a player, so it’s great for me to be working with people who do appreciate it.” Osvaldo previously worked with Pochettino at Espanyol.

Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez has snubbed the chance to quit the club for Spanish side Valencia, his agent has confirmed. Hernandez could be behind Robin van Persie and Danny Welbeck in the United pecking order this term, with both forwards hitting two goals apiece in Saturday’s 4-1 victory over Swansea, while Wayne Rooney looks set to stay at Old Trafford. The Mexican international made 36 appearances for the Premier League champions last term, scoring 18 goals, but his chances under new boss David Moyes may be more limited. However, the 25-year-old appears determined to roll his sleeves up at Old Trafford, after his agent Eduardo Harnandez confirmed the striker rejected an offer from Valencia. “Of course he wants to play more, to have more minutes, to participate more, but he wants to do it at United, he wants to defend the title and go far in the Champions League,” he said. “The interest from Valencia was real. He had the chance to speak with the sporting director [Braulio Vazquez] but Javier, I reiterate, wants to stay at Manchester United, this is the challenge. He was very grateful to Valencia and the other clubs who called him.”

Samuel Eto’o has turned down the opportunity to move to Chelsea this summer after committing his future to Anzhi. Eto’o has been increasingly linked with a move away from Anzhi in recent weeks, after the Russian club revealed they are desperate to trim their wage bill. However, despite Chelsea making approaches to sign the player, Anzhi coach Gadzhi Gadzhiev says the striker has agreed to stay put. “Eto’o will stay,” said Gadzhiev. “He has reached an agreement with the owner and will continue his career with Anzhi.” The news will come as a big blow to Blues boss Jose Mourinho, who had been hopeful of landing Eto’o after failing to sign Wayne Rooney from Manchester United.

Fulham have signed midfielder Scott Parker from Tottenham on a three-year deal, the west London club have announced. Parker joins the Cottagers for an undisclosed fee, following summer-long rumours circulating about his Spurs future, with the 32-year-old appearing surplus to requirements in Andre Villas-Boas’ plans. The England international was left out of the Spurs squad for Sunday’s 1-0 victory over newly-promoted Crystal Palace, despite making 30 appearances for the club last term. “I’m delighted to be joining Fulham and I’m looking forward to meeting my new team-mates at training Tuesday morning,” said Parker. “Fulham is an established Premier League club and I look forward to trying to help the team progress even further over the next three years.” Having previously represented Charlton, Chelsea, West Ham and Spurs, Parker becomes the first player to represent five different London clubs. The midfielder joins Darren Bent, Adel Taarabt, Maarten Stekelenburg, Sascha Riether, Fernando Amorebieta and Derek Boateng among the new faces at Craven Cottage this summer.

André Villas-Boas is poised to break the Tottenham Hotspur transfer record for the third time this summer with the £30m capture of the Brazilian forward Willian from Anzhi Makhachkala. In a deal that will push Spurs' summer spending to almost £90m, Willian was in London on Tuesday and he is thought to have begun his medical at Tottenham. Yet he might not be Villas-Boas' final big money signing. The manager is also chasing the £25m-rated Roma forward Erik Lamela, as he seeks to overhaul his starting XI. Villas-Boas has spent £59.5m on four players, including the midfielder Paulinho at £17m and the striker Roberto Soldado at £26m, who each represented increases on the club's previous transfer record – the £16.5m that they spent to take Luka Modric from Dynamo Zagreb. The outlay has reinforced the feeling that the chairman Daniel Levy is finally prepared to accept Real Madrid's offer for Gareth Bale and he is effectively spending against the anticipated windfall from the Wales forward's sale. Real have offered £86m for him, which would eclipse the world record – Cristiano Ronaldo's £80m move from Manchester United to Real. Bale has his heart set on the transfer and he has not trained or played in more than a month as he has struggled with minor injuries. Villas-Boas wanted Willian in January, when the player was at Shakhtar Donetsk, only for him to join Anzhi for €35m. He was lured by the grand plans of the Anzhi owner Suleiman Kerimov, and his ability to pay tempting salaries, but things have changed at the Dagastan club, with Kerimov embarking on a series of cost-cutting measures. Villas-Boas has overseen the sales of Scott Parker, Tom Huddlestone, Steven Caulker and Clint Dempsey for a combined £23m, although that stands to be put in the shade by Bale's proposed move to Real.

Darren Bent has spoken of his anger and frustration at being ‘alienated’ at Aston Villa by manager Paul Lambert. Former Sunderland, Charlton and Tottenham striker Bent has joined Fulham on a season-long loan deal and intends to revive his Premier League career at Craven Cottage. Bent, who played just seven times for Villa in the top flight last term, as Christian Benteke and Andreas Weismann surged in front of him, wants to regain his place in the England squad. “It was really difficult at Villa. A few of us were kind of alienated to train with the kids. It has been difficult,” said the 29-year-old Bent. “There were times when I was thinking, ‘Do I really deserve this?’ It’s all well and good not being part of the squad – but to be treated like we have been is bad. It was horrible. It wasn’t so much the injuries – although they certainly didn’t help – it was just the uncertainty. There were times I was in the squad and times I wasn’t, and there was just no explanation why. “I understand that not every player can be every manager’s cup of tea but to be alienated like that, to be kicked out of the first-team dressing room, when I’ve played a long time, when I’m an international, just felt a bit disappointing.” Bent can’t wait to turn the page and start afresh with Fulham: “I’m not just hungry to play football again, I’m absolutely starving. I’ve missed out on a couple of major competitions with England, but I just hope this is my year.”

Jose Mourinho claims he has back-up options should Chelsea fail in their attempt to prise Wayne Rooney away from Manchester United. The Blues boss admitted he would be in for the England striker until the last day of the transfer window, but with United showing no sign of weakening their stance over Rooney, Mourinho accepts he may soon be forced to look at other options. When asked if he has a Plan B if he can’t get Rooney, Mourinho quipped: ‘And C!’

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is set to be sidelined for six weeks, after sustaining a knee injury in Saturday’s 3-1 loss to Aston Villa. The England midfielder damaged his knee in the opening day defeat, prompting fears he could be ruled out for up to six months with ligament damage. While initial scans this week have not been encouraging and the exact prognosis is still being assessed, Gunners boss Wenger has confirmed he will be without the 20-year-old until at least the end of September.


Arsenal provoked fury and ridicule from Newcastle United yesterday when they finally re-entered the transfer market and tabled a £10.2 million offer for Yohan Cabaye just hours before his first game of the season. With Cabaye keen to leave, Newcastle manager Alan Pardew withdrew the France midfielder from Monday night’s squad to face Manchester City. “We have prepared with the lad for three days and for him to have his head turned by this bid by Arsenal is just disrespectful in my view,” said Pardew after his side were beaten 4-0 at the Etihad Stadium. “Why it couldn’t have waited until tomorrow I don’t know. The result wouldn’t have been the same if he’d played in my view.” Arsenal have also reacted to their 3-1 defeat against Aston Villa on Saturday by tabling an offer for Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba. But the timing of the bid for Cabaye has caused particular anger at Newcastle. “I think it is just a very difficult situation when a player gets news like that, and it wasn’t us who gave him the news. It is very hard to get your head around to play a game of this magnitude,” Pardew said. “It is pretty obvious I am upset about that and I would rather focus on what for us has been a tough day. We have 37 games to go and we need to make sure we don’t let this game emotionally scar us. “I am not sure of the exact terms of it [the bid] but it is below our valuation of the player for sure This is a terrific player.” Newcastle immediately turned down Arsenal’s offer for Cabaye and made it known they considered Arsène Wenger’s valuation to be “derisory”. In a direct conversation with Dick Law, Arsenal’s contract negotiator, it is understood that Newcastle owner Mike Ashley responded to the offer with the words: “Which part of him do you want to buy?” When Law assured him that Arsenal’s offer was genuine, Ashley then apparently said that they should come back with at least £20 million if they were serious about starting negotiations. As well as a midfielder, a new striker is at the top of Wenger’s list of priorities and Arsenal have still not completely given up hope on Suárez or even Manchester United’s Rooney. They would also like to add a right-sided defender and there is interest in Manchester City’s Micah Richards. Another option is Mathieu Flamini, who left Arsenal for AC Milan in 2009 but is now a free agent and back training at the club. Flamini can play at full-back as well as central midfield.

Liverpool have signed defender Aly Cissokho from Valencia on a loan-deal. Speaking to the club's official website, Cissokho said: "I'm very happy to be here. I think we have a great team and great fans and together we can achieve big things. It's going to be a great experience to be able to rub shoulders with the club's top-quality players. I have experience in the game, but coming here there will still be lots of things to learn and discover as I work with everyone every day.”

Tickets for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil have gone on sale– with a ticket to the final costing R10,000 – and FIFA are hoping for better sales than for South Africa 2010. The football governing body is expecting demand to at least match that of Germany 2006, when there were roughly seven applicants for every ticket for the 64-match tournament, and over 3.3-million fans attending. When South Africa hosted the tournament in 2010 there was a slight dip in sales. Around 3.3 million tickets will be available for the tournament in Brazil, ranging from US $90 (R900) for first-round matches to $990 (R10,000) for the final at Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. Brazilian citizens over 60, local students and members of some social programmes will be able to buy tickets for $23 (R230). The first period of ticket sales stretches from August 20 to October 10. The tournament begins on 12 June, with Brazil playing the opener in Sao Paulo.

Bundesliga side Wolfsburg have signed midfielder Luiz Gustavo from Bayern Munich. The Brazil international, who signed a five-year deal, was linked with a possible move to English Premiership side Arsenal at one stage. Gustavo will welcome the move after he was deemed surplus to requirements by Bayern coach Pep Guardiola since Thiago Alcantara joined from Barcelona. The Brazilian joins compatriots Naldo, Diego and Felipe Lopes at Wolfsburg.