Private Line 88 Football News
» Friday 26th May 2017 - 3:05pm
» McInnes refusing to rule out Sunderland switch
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes insists he is happy at the club but has refused to rule out a potential move to Sunderland.
McInnes helped Aberdeen finish second in the Scottish Premiership and his side still has the chance to win silverware.
They will take on Celtic in the Scottish Cup final on Saturday but that could be his final game in charge.
The 45-year-old has helped Aberdeen secure three consecutive second-place finishes in the last three seasons and Sunderland's board are hoping to open talks in the wake of David Moyes' resignation.
When asked about his future, McInnes insists he is focused on the cup final but he refused to rule out a move to the Stadium of Light.
He told TalkSport: "Iâm aware of the speculation but Iâm thinking about winning this game. I have demanded focus from the players.
"Iâm really happy at Aberdeen and Iâve had great experiences here and still believe there could be more to come.
"There has been a lot of speculation surrounding the players in recent weeks and weâve still been getting good results, and for now our complete focus is on this game." » Saints join Braithwaite race
According to reports in France, Southampton have joined West Ham in the race to sign Toulouse striker Martin Braithwaite.
The 25-year-old has continued to be linked with an exit for the last few months and Toulouse face a real battle to keep hold of him.
Since moving to the club in 2013, the Dane has made 136 appearances, scoring 35 goals for the French outfit.
He scored 11 of those goals last season and his durability has tempted Claude Puel into making a bid for his services.
Braithwaite's contract expires in 2019 but Southampton are confident an Â£8million bid will force Toulouse's hand.
West Ham are on the lookout for more strikers but the Saints are hoping to move quickly in order to get their man. » Zieler linked with Bundesliga return
Leicester City goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler could be on his way back to the Bundesliga, with Stuttgart interested in his services.
The former Hannover star enjoyed six years at the German giants before moving to Leicester last summer.
Zieler has only made nine appearances for the Foxes since the switch, with Kasper Schmeichel continuing to impress as the club's number one.
Stuttgart are on the lookout for competition for Australian international Mitchell Langerak and they are currently considering a move for Zieler or FC Augsburg's Marwin Hitz.
Zieler has three years left on his current contract and reports suggest the 28-year-old could move to the recently-promoted side on loan.
» Luiz - My decision paid off
Chelsea's David Luiz insists his decision to return to the club has been vindicated as he prepares to help the club win the FA Cup.
The Brazil international reportedly took a pay cut to return to Stamford Bridge last summer in what was a surprise move.
He left the Blues in June 2014 to join Paris Saint-Germain for Â£50million and he won two domestic trebles with the French giants.
Critics expected Luiz to struggle on his return to London but he helped the club win the Premier League title earlier this month and is set to start Saturday's FA Cup final against Arsenal, and Luiz is delighted his move has paid off.
He told reporters: "I went to Paris for two years and won all the titles in France.
"I had a great life. I had everything in Paris and then I took a risk to come back to one country that was not that happy with me. That's why it was a risk. And I love the risk. In your life if you don't take a risk you're not going to taste something new. Not just in your professional life, I think it's every day.
"I cut my salary to come back here. But it's okay. God has given me a lot so I'm very happy with this.
"I don't like to stay always with the easy life so that's why I took the risk, and today I am very happy. It was the right decision." » Makelele extends Swansea deal
Former Chelsea midfielder Claude Makelele has signed a new contract to stay on as Swansea City's assistant manager.
The Frenchman only joined the club in January as he moved to Wales to help Paul Clement following his appointment.
Both Clement and Makelele worked their magic to help the Swans stay in the Premier League and the club are now planning ahead for next season.
The 44-year-old, who won 71 caps for France during his playing days, is now set to stay after penning a new deal and manager Clement admits he is delighted with the news.
He told reporters: "We are very happy that he is going to be staying on because he is very popular.
"He is a quiet, humble man considering what he did as a player. He has great experience and he has passed that on to the players." » Swans linked to Bundesliga hitman
Swansea have been linked to RB Leipzig striker Davie Selke but face competition from Everton, West Ham and Werder Bremen.
German magazine Kicker claims Selke's agent has been over to the UK recently to discuss a move for his client to the Premier League.
However, his former club Werder Bremen seem the most keen to sign him at the moment, although the report claims the two Bundesliga sides are "far apart" over the transfer fee.
Werder have reportedly offered 8m euros - the same fee they received from Leipzig just under two years ago.
Kicker state Swansea have scouted the 22-year-old forward this past season, during which he scored four Bundesliga goals with limited opportunities in Leipzig. » Willian ready to stay put
Chelsea playmaker Willian has confirmed he wants to stay at Stamford Bridge despite rumours linking him with Manchester United.
The 28-year-old has been at the club since 2013 and has continued to play a key role for the Blues under a number of different managers.
He has made 180 appearances since joining from Anzhi Makhachkala but the Brazil international has had to play a bit-part role in recent months.
Willian only made 15 Premier League starts under Antonio Conte this season and he has been linked with the Red Devils but the midfielder is happy to remain with the Blues.
"Yes [I will be a Chelsea player next season]," Willian told the Evening Standard. "I have a contract with Chelsea until 2020 and I am very happy here.
"I have a great relationship with all the people that work at Chelsea and the fans too. They have been great to me since I joined.
"Chelsea are back in the Champions League next season and I am looking forward to playing in it again. It is a big, big target for us and we have to look to win that trophy next year." » Duo pen new deals at Stoke
Stoke City have announced that Geoff Cameron and Phil Bardsley have signed contract extensions at the bet365 Stadium.
Cameron, a United States international, had just 12 months to run on his deal with the Potters but he has now extended his stay until 2020.
He has become a first-team regular under manager Mark Hughes ever since he joined the club from MLS side Houston Dynamo in 2012.
The 31-year-old has made 165 appearances for the club and he is currently away on international duty for the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers against Trinidad & Tobago and Mexico.
The club have also decided to tie down Bardsley who has put pen-to-paper on a one-year deal. Bardsley has made 63 appearances since arriving from Sunderland in 2014 and both players will be hoping to kick on again next season.
Goalkeeper Shay Given had been hoping to stay put but the Potters have released him after a two-year stay. » Black Cats tie down Honeyman
Sunderland have confirmed midfielder George Honeyman has signed a new two-year deal with the club.
The 22-year-old has been at the club since the age of 10, after signing for the club's academy following a trial.
After progressing through the club's youth ranks he was then handed his debut in 2015 by former boss Gus Poyet.
He made five appearances this season under David Moyes and the club have now rewarded him with a new deal.
Honeyman will remain at the club until 2019 and he insists he is delighted to have agreed a new deal.
"I am delighted to commit my future to the club where I have spent most of my football life. I am now looking forward to working hard over the summer in preparation for the new season," he said. » Cook checked on Howe before signing
Bournemouth defender Steve Cook checked that boss Eddie Howe would be staying with the club before he signed his new contract.
Cook revealed he had other options open to him but said as long as Howe was going to remain in charge then he too wanted to stay with the Cherries and the 26-year-old signed a new deal which will take him until the summer of 2021
Cook was an ever-present for Howe last season and played every minute of the Premier League campaign which ended with a record ninth-placed finish for the Cherries.
He told the Echo: "I have had numerous chats with the manager over the past month or two and I would not have signed a contract if I felt he was going to leave.
"For the club to continue to improve we need to keep our best players and the staff who are in charge. I am sure that will happen for many years to come and that was why I was so eager to sign.
"It was great that the club approached me so soon after the season had finished. They wanted to get things done as quickly as possible.
"I was more than happy to do that and show how committed I was to the club, otherwise it could have been a long summer and, maybe, other things would have materialised." » Reds in keeper link
Liverpool have no plans to sign veteran goalkeeper Iker Casillas in the summer, according to reports.
The former Real Madrid star has been at FC Porto this season but his deal has come to an end and he is free to find a new club, with some reports in Spain claiming he had signed a pre-contract agreement with Jurgen Klopp's side.
The German is adamant that he's not in the market for a keeper after Belgium ace Simon Mignolet re-established himself as the club's number one during the second half of the season with his form key to Liverpool's top-four finish.
The Reds believe they have plenty of quality cover in the form of Loris Karius and Danny Ward, so a move to bring in Casillas appears to be a non-starter. » Watford ace linked with move
The first job for the incoming manager at Watford will be to persuade star striker Troy Deeney to stay at Vicarage Road.
Deeney has had an up and down season and reports claim he did not hit it off with Walter Mazzarri and, despite the fact the manager has now left, it's claimed the striker would be open to a move, although Watford have let it be known they would not entertain anything less the Â£35m.
The 28-year-old signed a bumper five-year deal last summer to ward off interest from then champions Leicester City - and they may be back in for him - but it is West Brom that appear to be leading the chase for his signature.
Baggies boss Tony Pulis would have to offer a club transfer record for the Birmingham-born striker because he is desperate to add to his squad - and specifically the striking department, which managed only 11 goals last season. » Pulis eyes Watford ace
West Brom boss Tony Pulis would have to offer a club transfer record to try and persuade Watford to offload star striker Troy Deeney.
The Baggies are keen on the Birmingham-born striker, although they are not alone with a host of other clubs keen on the front man, but Watford are determined to keep hold of him and have slapped a Â£35m price tag on his head.
The 28-year-old signed a bumper five-year deal last summer to ward off interest from then champions Leicester City but they may well move again, although a return to the West Midlands would apparently be his preferred destination of he was to move.
Pulis is desperate to add to his squad and strikers in particular - he currently has only two forwards, Salomon Rondon and Hal Robson-Kanu, who managed 11 goals between them last season so the need for a proven goalscorer is paramount. » United pay-off to help Everton land Rooney
Manchester United are preparing to hand Wayne Rooney an Â£8m pay-off to show him the door this summer.
The Old Trafford skipper was axed on Thursday for next month's England games against Scotland and France.
And the curtain is also poised to come down on his 13 years at United, with the club's top brass currently crunching the numbers on a massive severance package.
Rooney has stated he will only play for the Red Devils or his boyhood club Everton, should he continue in the Premier League next season, but United officials are making sure his departure with be smoothed at their end.
It's understood the 31-year-old is owed around Â£12.5m in wages and bonuses over the remaining year left on his contract and the club are willing to get close to that figure to encourage the Toffees to make the numbers work for them on their former academy graduate.
Rooney reportedly has offers on the table from at least two clubs in China, enticing him with a tax free salary of Â£480,000 a week - Â£200,000 a week more than he presently earns in Manchester.
United are unsure what else Rooney's camp currently have in terms of options, but they hope a golden handshake will speed up the exit process. » Mangala knows offers are coming
Besikas target Eliaquim Mangala knows offers will be coming in for him, despite Valencia's first-option to buy him expiring this week.
The France international defender will meet with Manchester City officials in the next few days to discuss his options, with the La Liga outfit unable to afford the Â£18m price tag.
The Spaniards do remain keen on Mangala, who spent last season on loan at the Mestalla, and they are trying to convince the Citizens to lower the 26-year-old's current valuation.
Valencia are understood to have proposed a deal of around Â£13m but Mangala insists he has plenty to offer any of his potential suitors - with Besiktas the latest to be linked.
Mangala said: "I tell you that my best years are before me. I've never felt so strong.
"But for now, I don't know what my future will hold. Today I am on the market and there will be offers this summer."
Mangala joined City from Porto for Â£32m back in the summer of 2014 but failed to come to grips with life in the Premier League, falling quickly down the pecking order at the Etihad Stadium.
The Frenchman, however, admits he enjoyed the short time he spent working under City boss Pep Guardiola before he left for Spain, adding to L'Equipe: "I'm lucky to have spent a month with him. I can tell you that I progressed more, especially tactically and with my pressing, in a month than in two years previously." » Spurs eye striker swoop
Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino is being linked with a summer swoop for Samdoria star Patrick Schick but faces strong competition.
Spurs are still on the lookout for a quality frontman to take some of the burden off Golden Boot winner Harry Kane because last summer's signing Vincent Jansen has not stepped up to the mark.
Now Spurs are being linked with Schick, who has netted 11 goals in 31 appearances in Serie A this season from only 13 starts, and he wouldn't cost the earth either.
Schick would cost any interested club Â£21.6m in the summer, given that it's the figure his release clause stands at, but Borussia Dortmund are also said to be keen, as well as a host of Premier League clubs, so Pochettino may have to move fast. » Pep to pip Mou for Monaco ace
Manchester City are favourites to pull off a Â£60m plus swoop for Monaco star Bernardo Silva after he arrived in Manchester for talks.
The Portugal international has been strongly linked with a switch to both Manchester clubs but, with United boss Jose Mourinho believed to be away from the city, City are leading the way to secure his services.
United were rumoured to be in advanced talks with Silva's representatives over a possible transfer to Old Trafford earlier this week, though City have supposedly stolen a march on their rivals in the reported Â£60million pursuit of the attacking midfielder.
City boss Pep Guardiola praised the Monaco forward line, calling them the best attack in Europe, before taking them on in the Champions League last 16.
Silva played a key role in knocking City out and would suit Guardiola's pressing style, having won possession in the attacking third more times than any other player in Ligue 1 this season. » Hammers linked with City striker
West Ham are hoping to land Kelechi Iheanacho from Manchester City and are ready to offer in the region of Â£25m for his services.
The Hammers hope the imminent arrival of former City defender Pablo Zabaleta will help them land the Nigerian who appears to have a limited future at the Etihad at best.
West Ham believe the Argentine, who was a mentor to the youngster at City, can help persuade 20-year-old Iheanacho to come to the London Stadium as Slaven Bilic searches for a forward.
The Hammers are said to be willing to double Iheanacho's wages in an effort to get him, while reports claim he is currently earning Â£35,000 a week at City. » Hornets eye Monk swoop
Watford are now being linked with former Leeds United boss Gary Monk after he walked out on the Whites on Thursday.
The Hornets are on the lookout for a new manager after dispensing with the services of Walter Mazzarri at the end of the season and Monk could be a suitable replacement.
Monk said he wanted to stay at Leeds for the long term but claimed he and new owner, Andrea Radrizzani, had been "unable to agree a suitable way to move forward".
Radrizzani refuted those claims and later suggested that "at no time did Garry wish to discuss terms for a longer contract".
It means there could be a potential scramble for the former Swansea boss Monk, who impressed in his one season at Leeds despite failing to guide the Whites to a play-off place.
As well as Watford, Crystal Palace are bidding to replace Sam Allardyce, while Championship clubs Middlesbrough, Sunderland and Hull City are also looking for a new manager. » Allam understands Silva decision
Hull City vice chairman Ehab Allam has admitted it was always going to be a tall order to persuade Marco Silva to stay.
The relegated Tigers admitted defeat in their bid to keep hold of Silva, who made an impression after replacing Mike Phelan in January.
Following meetings with the club's owners on Wednesday, Silva opted to walk away and is already heavily favoured to replace Sam Allardyce at Selhurst Park.
Tigers vice-chairman Ehab Allam told Sky Sports News: "The way the contract was structured meant there would be one year left on his contract had we stayed in the Premier League - but with relegation unfortunately he had the option to go.
"He's been fantastic for us but I accept he's a better calibre manager than the Championship. I understand why he wants to stay in the Premier League or go to a big European club with the prospect of Champions League football."
Hull are now searching for their fourth manager in less than 12 months following the departures of Steve Bruce, Phelan and Silva.