By footballfans1, Oct 29 2015 02:38PM

HAKAN CALHANOGLU will not be leaving Bayer Leverkusen for any less than £29million, according to the club's chief executive Michael Schade.

Both Premier League clubs have watched the Turkish international this season and have been impressed with his performances for club and country.

Leverkusen are desperate to hang onto the dead-ball specialist, who has been hailed as the 'next Mesut Ozil.’

The midfielder is also attracting interest from Spanish giants Barcelona and Atletico Madrid

However Leverkusen chief executive Schade has admitted the Bundesliga side might have no option but to sell the 21-year-old.

He told German newspaper Bild: "We want to keep Hakan, but with us there is a pain threshold."

It has been suggested that a fee of £29m would be enough for Leverkusen to sell their star man, and when asked about the reported interest from England, Schade added: "I see that and I am calm and relaxed."

By footballfans1, Sep 18 2015 08:28AM

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger claimed his side were "a bit unlucky" after a 2-1 defeat by Dinamo Zagreb in their Champions League opener.

Wenger made six changes for the game after Saturday's Premier League win over Stoke.

Striker Olivier Giroud was sent off after 40 minutes and Wenger also blamed "exceptional circumstances".

"I believe the first goal is offside and after the sending off is very harsh," said Wenger.

Arsenal went behind to an Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain own goal before Giroud's dismissal for picking up two bookings.

The France international was cautioned for dissent by Romanian referee Ovidiu Hategan before a second yellow card for a foul on Ivo Pinto.

"We were not at our best, but nor was the referee," added Wenger.

"The first yellow is Giroud's fault because he protested, even if it was not a foul against him.

"The second yellow card, he is unlucky to touch the guy - he did not see him. It was accidental completely, but it happened.

"I don't understand the referee. It has to be on purpose, a foul on purpose. Then the referee should have given many yellows."

Wenger dropped keeper Petr Cech, left-back Nacho Monreal, midfielder Francis Coquelin and forward Theo Walcott to the bench for the game, while midfielder Aaron Ramsey and right-back Hector Bellerin were not in the squad.

"When you don't win the game you have to look at yourself and think you haven't got it right," said Wenger, whose side travel to Chelsea in the Premier League on Saturday.

"I don't believe the players who came in had a bad game but it didn't work.

"I have to analyse that well. It is very difficult to give a definite answer straight after the game."

Wenger remains confident

Arsenal began the Premier League season with a 2-0 defeat by West Ham and have again made a losing start to their Champions League campaign following a 2-0 defeat by Borussia Dortmund this time last year.

However, Wenger - who did not sign one outfield player during the summer - is still confident his side can qualify from a group currently topped by Bayern Munich after their win over Olympiakos.

"Overall, I believe we have problems to start in every competition this season. But I am confident we can put that right in the next five [Champions League group] games."

He added: "Mathematically, we can qualify without any problem if we produce our performances that we want at home."

By footballfans1, Sep 18 2015 07:33AM

The Welshman couldn't resist the opportunity to get one over on his long-time Manchester United team-mate in Eindhoven

They may not be in the same dressing room anymore - but it appears Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes are still up for a laugh with each other.

Scholes was pitchside ahead of Manchester United's Champions League tie at PSV Eindhoven earlier this week, in his role as a pundit with BT Sport.

Giggs, taking part in the Red Devils' warm-up as Louis van Gaal's right-hand man, couldn't resist the urge to curl an inch-perfect ball to Scholes' feet, as he had done in United red on countless occasions.

The former England man saw the funny side, but we reckon he might be ready to get one back on his long-time Old Trafford team-mate.

Both United legends will have been upset with what they saw in Eindhoven, as the Premier League outfit crashed to a 2-1 defeat, and defender Luke Shaw suffered a horrific double leg break.

By footballfans1, Sep 3 2015 12:41PM

Wales are above England in the Fifa rankings for the first time as they prepare for Thursday's Euro 2016 qualifier against Cyprus in Nicosia.

Chris Coleman's team held on to ninth - their highest-ever position - while England fell two places to 10th.

Beating Cyprus would leave Wales within one win of qualifying for next year's European Championship in France.

Wales boss Coleman said the rankings would be a "confidence boost" but said success was reaching Euro 2016.

Scotland have risen one place to 31st while Northern Ireland (41st) and Republic of Ireland (51st) have both fallen one position.

By footballfans1, Feb 6 2015 05:56AM

The Crystal Palace manager, Alan Pardew, will throw the non-league signing Keshi Anderson straight into the squad for Saturday’s Premier League relegation clash at Leicester. Anderson, 19, joined Palace on deadline day from Barton Rovers, who play in Southern League Division One Central – seven tiers below the top flight.

The striker has scored 19 goals for Rovers this season but secured his move, for only £7,000, after netting a six-minute hat-trick against Palace in a trial match for Brentford.

“Six minutes isn’t bad is it? He’s just got a chance, that’s what it is,” Pardew said. “It’s an opportunity for him, he trained with us today and I’ve put him in the squad tomorrow. It’ll be good experience for him to come to see what goes on and his headlights are still full on.

“I told him this morning to forget where he has come from, to forget about the fee. He’s now a Crystal Palace footballer and he’ll be classed the same as Jordon Mutch who has cost £4.5m.”

Pardew himself made the leap from non-league football when he joined Palace from Yeovil Town in 1987. “Keshi is a player that came to our attention very late – there was a little bit of interest in him from other clubs,” Pardew added.

“He played against us and just caught our eye. It’s a great opportunity for him and a similar route that I took myself, coming from non-league, so he’ll have great, sympathetic eyes from me looking for him to progress.”

Palace also re-signed Wilfried Zaha on deadline day, making permanent the winger’s loan move from Manchester United. Zaha left Palace for United two years ago but has returned to Selhurst Park after failing to establish himself at Old Trafford.

“The most important thing is to have a player that you are going to enhance and bring value to the football club and not to somebody else,” Pardew said. “I thought it was important we secured his future here and kick-started his career. He has fabulous technical ability and he needs to bring that on a consistent basis to the first team.”

Palace will be without their captain, Mile Jedinak, for the trip to Leicester after the midfielder returned from helping Australia win the Asian Cup with a sore ankle. Yannick Bolasie is also unavailable. The winger is at the Africa Cup of Nations with DR Congo, who play a third-place play-off on Saturday.

By footballfans1, Jan 28 2015 05:08PM

The midfielder drops down to the Championship to join Russell Slade's side on a two-and-a-half-year contract.

O'Keefe, 23, spent time on loan in the division with Blackpool earlier this season and featured just once for Palace after Alan Pardew's appointment.

He told the Cardiff website: "I'm really happy to be a Cardiff City player. I enjoyed my four years at Palace, but I wanted to come here now for a new challenge. I’m 23 and I felt it was the right time to take the next step in my career.

"I like to bring a bit of energy to midfield and keep the ball moving in that area of the park. That’s what my game is about and the gaffer has asked me to come in and contribute to the side in that way."

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