Thursday, 17 July 2014

LIVE UPDATES AND transfer COVERAGE, inclu van Gaal's first press conference at United:

Hello again everyone and welcome to my latest blog post, where I have LIVE Coverage of Manchester United's new manager Louis van Gaal starting at 3pm GMT as he has his first press conference in-front of the media in the Premier League; this will be interesting.

30 days to go until the Premier League starts again; today I will have a LIVE update blog post with the latest news including of-course van Gaal's first press conference as United manager.

The whole point of the first press conference is to outline your goals and objectives for the new season, and given van Gaal's experience you would expect nothing less than clear goals to be set for his team for the new campaign.

Manchester United have gone through a transition period without Sir Alex Ferguson in charge, and van Gaal has been brought in to "steady the ship" as it were which is hardly surprising given his successes with other top European clubs.

He has won the league title in every country that he has managed; Holland, Germany and Spain with Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich. Can he do the same again with United? 

He has also already signed two new players - young full-back Luke Shaw and midfield talent Ander Herrera while on World Cup duty, so it's a clear signal of intent. 

van Gaal finished his tenure as Holland manager at the World Cup; the Dutch finished in a very respectable 3rd place and he will be hoping that he can push United further up the table than they were last season, their worst ever finish to a Premier League season since records began in 1992.

Respectable finish: van Gaal's men finished in 3rd place in the World Cup this year

15:00 - Only a matter of time before van Gaal is set to take his first press conference as United manager, the media and United supporters around the world are eagerly anticipating this. 

15:05 - And he's there now! van Gaal calmly walks to his seat, accompanied by United legend Sir Bobby Charlton. 

15:07 - Two minutes of camera flashing from the media photographers, and now van Gaal will open the conference.

15:08 - van Gaal thanks Sir Bobby Charlton as a boyhood hero, making him feel involved in the club.

15:09 - van Gaal says that United are "the biggest club in the world" and within 2 days he realises "how big United are" - saying that he has to adapt to the big club and the future shall show if he can win more trophies in England.

15:10 - Question asked as to what he can achieve: he says that United need to keep proving themselves despite the fact that they are a big club. "Last season - You are 7th."

15:11 - "I manage Barcelona, biggest club in Spain; I manage Ajax, biggest club in Holland; I manage Bayern, biggest club in Germany." 
"So now, I manage United - biggest club in England."

15:12 - When asked whether he still needs to buy more players; he replied: "I want to see what my players can do in the first 3/4 weeks, then maybe we will sign more players."

15:13 - "Shaw and Herrera were already on the list, I have given my approval because I like them."

15:14 - When asked about the captaincy: "Everyone is a ready candidate for the captain's armband, but I will need time to choose because it is very important."

15:15 - "The owners and the CEO have a lot of confidence in me, that is why they have come to me. I explained my philosophy to them, but in football you cannot predict.

15:17 - Whether he should have taken a quick holiday after the World Cup finished: "I am not allowed - when there is a chance to join someone like Manchester United you cannot refuse."

15:19 - His strong personality and how to describe his management: "I don't know the words but I am empathetic to human feelings, but other characteristics are also important."

15:20 - His targets and what he would class as success: "I don't know - I will have to see how the players play and then I will see, I have not worked with many of them before so there has to be a click first."

15:21 - How the Bundesliga and the Spanish League compare to the Premier League: "I'm sorry, but when I was managing both those clubs the leagues were the best - hopefully it can be the same when I am here."

15:23 - "I hope that I can achieve some of what Sir Alex has done here."

15:24 - Sir Alex and whether he has spoken to him: "We know each other very well and I shall drink coffee and drink wine with him, maybe the better wine I imagine."

15:27 - Following the departures, how big a role do the other players have on the team going forward: 

"You have to know that I am not always convinced on the experience on the players; I have said a lot of times in the media about Seedorf (who was 16 at the time), and I let him play his debut for Ajax. He was more experienced than some 30-year-olds. 

15:28 - "Unfortunately, Michael Carrick has injured himself in training over the past 2 days and he will be missed for his experience."

15:30 - And that concludes the press conference for van Gaal, that was an intriguing one!

15:32 - There is obviously a lot to take from that media conference, van Gaal looks like a man on a mission to bring United back up to the successful times they were before Sir Alex retired.

15:35 - 16:15.

Anyways, time for some done deals over the past two weeks:

Tom Ince (Blackpool) - Hull City, contract expiry

Thorgan Hazard (Chelsea) - Borussia Monchengladbach, loan

Eden Hazard's younger brother Thorgan is off on-loan again; to Borussia Monchengladbach
Gareth Barry (Manchester City) - Everton, £2million

Done: Barry has signed for Everton on a three-year-deal from City, after a successful loan spell
Dusan Tadic (FC Twente) - Southampton, £11million 

Tadic signals Southampton's first summer signing of the transfer window, what a deal!
Alexis Sanchez (Barcelona) - Arsenal, £35million

Intent: Arsenal announced the deal for Sanchez last Friday, as they unveiled their new kit
Graziano Pelle (Feyenoord) - Southampton, undisclosed fee

Tin Jedvaj (Roma) - Bayer Leverkusen, loan deal

Yann M'Vila (Rubin Kazan) - Inter Milan, loan deal

Sébastien Pocognoli (Hannover) - West Brom, undisclosed fee

Rémy Cabella (Montpellier) - Newcastle, £7million

Matthias Ginter (Freiburg) - Dortmund, £6million

Adil Rami (Valencia) - AC Milan, undisclosed fee

Lazar Markovic (Benfica) - Liverpool, £20million

Ashley Cole (Chelsea) - Roma, contract expiry
Chelsea full-back Ashley Cole has joined Italian side Roma, his first club outside of London!
Filipe Luis (Atletico Madrid) - Chelsea, £20million

Emmanuel Riviere (AS Monaco) - Newcastle, £6million

French revolution: Riviere becomes the 10th Frenchman in Newcastle's squad, signing for £6m
16:30 - BREAKING NEWS: Bayern Munich central midfielder Toni Kroos is about to join Spanish giants and Champions League winners Real Madrid in a £25million pound move; he has already undergone a medical and is set to be unveiled in-front of his new supporters today. 

Here are the latest pictures from Spain:

16:35 - Kroos' presentation is online, and I am watching it currently. Any news, I will bring it to you all.

16:36 - As he flew to Spain earlier, he was quoted as saying: "I'm excited to join Real, they have a number of great players and I am happy to be joining."

16:37 - Nothing really is happening, just showing his highlights at Bayern and Germany at the moment as well as him greeting new manager Carlo Ancelotti. 

16:40 - BREAKING NEWS: Swansea striker Michu has joined Italian side Napoli on a season-long loan deal. 

 Napoli have announced the signing of Swansea striker Michu for the 2014-15 season
16:42 - I hope Swansea know what they are doing, loaning out Michu. Napoli will happily take him to partner up with the likes of Higuain and Callejon next season but despite his injury problems in this past year he is still a solid striker who could do a real job. 

16:45 - The Real Madrid fans are waiting patiently in the stadium itself, as Kroos watches some of his standout highlights in his career.

16:46 - Including his two stunning strikes against Arsenal in the Champions League, I might add. 

16:48 - 

16:50 - I don't think Kroos speaks much Spanish at the moment, he has to use a headset and a translator to understand what's going on at the moment.

16:51 - Some more transfer news coming in; it has been reported that Juventus have confirmed that they will NOT sell Chilean defensive-midfielder Arturo Vidal, because he is too valuable to them.

16:52 - If that is true, that's a big blow for Manchester United. They need someone like Vidal in their midfield right now, and Kroos was linked with a move to Old Trafford two seasons ago but now look at him.

16:55 - Back to Kroos' unveiling, and you can tell that the Real Madrid supporters are absolutely delighted with their new arrival.

16:56 - Kroos, Modric, di Maria, Bale and Ronaldo in an attacking midfield/forward line looks very dangerous!

16:57 - Kroos could be the perfect replacement for Sami Khedira in the centre of midfield, his fellow German team-mate is reported to be travelling to London in the next week to sign for Arsenal after the World Cup celebrations in Munich are finished and his holiday is over.

17:00 - He is jogging onto the pitch now, where a dozen balls are placed on the pitch for him to throw or kick into the crowd for his new supporters to claim.

17:05 - I think that his signing for Real Madrid is some good business on the club's part; obviously Bayern will not have been happy to lose such a key player but it was evident that he wanted to leave and you cannot really blame him.

17:07 - He will need time to settle in, find a new house and learn the language, but this signing has potential to be a very good one.

17:08 - He does not have many German compatriots alongside him, but that will not bother him too much, playing with the likes of Ronaldo, Bale and Benzema will help him to settle in easily I'm sure.

17:09 - And don't worry! You will be able to see a lot of him and the rest of Liga BBVA on my blog from the start of the season, with extended coverage, match reports, previews and more LIVE Commentaries throughout the season than ever before.

17:10 - And here is the picture you've probably been waiting for: 

DONE DEAL: Toni Kroos has left Bayern for Real Madrid, in a £25million move.
17:13 - Just a few more transfer rumours and news updates before I sign off for the rest of the day. 

17:14 - I should have one or two blog posts out tomorrow aswell, so stay tuned for that...

17:15 - Louis van Gaal has a task on his hands, he is reportedly ready to "axe" up to 10 of his first-team players to clear up the wage bill and gain more transfer funds before the start of the season.

17:16 - Among those linked with moves away from Old Trafford are; Ashley Young, Anderson, Marouane Fellaini, Tom Cleverley, Nani, Bebe and Wilfried Zaha.

17:17 - Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen is reportedly set to hand in a transfer request, as he wants to leave the club to play Champions League football. Barcelona remain heavily linked.

17:18 - Sunderland are desperate to sign players, among those is USA defender Matt Besler who impressed on World Cup duty for the Americans. 

17:19 - Cardiff City defender Steven Caulker is reportedly unsettled and wants to STAY in the Premier League, meaning that a possible move in the region of £10million pounds is on the cards.

17:20 - Arsenal are set to announce the signing of Newcastle full-back Mathieu Debuchy either today or Friday afternoon, he has already completed his medical and personal terms have been agreed - but they were unable to unveil him before Newcastle complete the signing of Dutch full-back Janmaat.

17:21 - Porto have confirmed the signing of Holland centre-back Bruno Martins Indi, and have already put a £31.5million pound buy-out clause on the defender, with Manchester United interested in him.

17:22 - Tottenham and Liverpool are both ready to fight for Swansea's young full-back Ben Davies, who is reportedly set to join either one of the top 6 clubs this summer for up to £10million pounds. 

17:23 - Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand will arrive at Loftus Road later this evening, to finalise his move to newly-promoted QPR.

17:24 - Ferdinand had previously undergone a medical at QPR, and he prepares to sign a one-year-deal at the club. 

17:25 - Napoli are ready to make a formal approach for Tottenham midfielder Sandro, and could use Switzerland midfielder Valon Behrami as a make-weight in the deal.

17:26 - Stoke City have confirmed that they are close to signing Liverpool's Moroccan winger Oussama Assaidi, in a £7million pound move after his successful loan spell last season.

17:27 - Southampton striker Dani Osvaldo is reportedly ready to sign for Serie A champions Juventus on a permanent deal after his loan spell from January of this year. 

17:28 - And finally, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has vowed that the club will cope without Luis Suarez this season.

17:29 - He said this: "We can be even stronger."

17:30 - What do you think about Liverpool's chances next season, especially with a new competition to focus on, the UEFA Champions League?

I will be back with more footballing content on the blog tomorrow, until then - have a good day! Speak to you later, thanks for reading as always. 

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