Transfer rumours and paper review – Friday, October 17

first_imgHere’s the top transfer-related stories in Friday’s newspapers…Manchester United have been told that Aston Villa captain and centre-back Ron Vlaar, 29, will cost them upwards of £12m, but face stiff competition from Arsenal. (Daily Express) Arsenal are targeting Celtic’s 23-year-old centre-half Virgil van Dijk in the January transfer window. (Daily Telegraph)  Juventus have upped their asking price for 27-year-old midfielder Arturo Vidal, a Manchester United target, following strong interest from Real Madrid. (Daily Express) Manchester United are considering re-signing Stoke captain and centre-half Ryan Shawcross, 27, who came through the youth ranks of the Old Trafford club. (Daily Star) Spanish champions Atletico Madrid have signed-up former Manchester United and Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon as an advisor, with a remit to expand the club’s international presence. (AS)Manchester City midfielder James Milner, 28, says he wants to sign a new contract with the Premier League champions. (The Sun)Arsenal wanted to sign Lionel Messi, Gerard Pique and Cesc Fabregas, all 27, when the trio were teenagers at Barcelona’s academy. (Daily Star) And here are the latest talkSPORT.com transfer tales…Arsenal can forget about signing Real Madrid star as Ancelotti rules out moveWarnock to decide on Hunt’s Crystal Palace futureWarnock plays down talk of a permanent Reading switch for MurrayTottenham ponder recalling US World Cup star in JanuaryBlow for Chelsea’s rivals as Hazard announces he has no desire to join PSGLiverpool striker blow! Belgian star will not join in JanuaryExclusive – Former England captain slams Sterling’s tired excuseExclusive – Newcastle legend’s gloomy verdict: ‘It’s a long hard season ahead’Exclusive – QPR legend warns against sacking RedknappExclusive – Anfield shock! Liverpool are better than I thought, admits BalotelliExclusive – Gerrard is as good as Pirlo, claims Balotellilast_img read more

‘I’m really comfortable!’ Sunderland ace convinced club will survive this season

first_imgSunderland midfielder Jan Kirchhoff has urged his team-mates to keep the faith after suffering yet another late blow in their efforts to crawl out of relegation trouble.The Black Cats came within seven minutes of a seventh successive derby victory over Newcastle at St James’ Park on Sunday, a result which would have lifted them out of the Barclays Premier League drop zone, albeit only on goal difference.However, Aleksandar Mitrovic’s late equaliser, which cancelled out Jermain Defoe’s 44th-minute opener, denied them two extra points for the second time in as many games and left them in great peril once again.Manager Sam Allardyce could not disguise his frustration after watching his side dominate the first half, but January signing Kirchhoff is convinced Sunderland will get themselves out of trouble if they continue to play as they have in recent weeks.The 25-year-old German said: “We are still above Newcastle, we are still in a position to stay in the league. We are two points behind Norwich, who have one game fewer, so it’s all in our own hands.“We can stay in this mentality, to be sharp, to be focused and believe in winning our games. That’s how we can go on.“I am really comfortable and I have the feeling we can stay in the league and are good enough to stay in the league.”The international break means the Black Cats do not play again for a fortnight, and successive home games against West Brom and leaders Leicester are likely to have a major say in their destiny this season with Allardyce having set his players a target of four wins from their remaining eight fixtures, one of which takes them to Carrow Road on April 16.With the Tyne-Wear duo both failing to collect the three points they craved at the expense of the other, Norwich were the weekend’s big winners after their 1-0 away victory over the Baggies.Kirchhoff said: “They won their last game, so it’s a good feeling for them, but we have got a game more so if we win it, we will go above them. We will have one point more than them, so it’s in our hands.“We don’t have to focus on Norwich. We still have to play against them in a really tight, big important game, so we can do it. It’s in our hands, we can go on, we can believe in it and just work hard.“If we go into the next game and get a clean sheet, I am sure it will be enough to win the game.”A clean sheet, however, is something the Black Cats have managed only three times during Allardyce’s five-and-a-half-month reign to date, the last of them on November 28, and the 61-year-old is acutely aware of how costly that has been.Allardyce said: “I know that we have got to keep clean sheets. If we don’t start, it’s going to go right to the very wire, and if we need two goals to win every game, that means that we need to score 16 goals at least in the next eight.“We are going to have to score two goals to win any game. There are eight games to go, that’s 16 goals minimum we have got to score. We can’t do that.“We could have won two games 1-0 now, and should have won two games 1-0 now and be sat on 30 points instead of 26.” 1 Jan Kirchhoff in action for Sunderland against Newcastle last_img read more