Wednesday, June 30, 2004

BBC SPORT | Football | My Club | Leeds United | Barmby set to leave Leeds: "Barmby set to leave Leeds


Barmby would be one of several players leaving Elland Road
Leeds have confirmed that they are in talks with Nick Barmby over the early termination of his contract.
The 30-year-old midfielder was signed by then manager Terry Venables in August 2002 for £2.75m.
But an Achilles injury hampered his start at the club and, after only three appearance for United last season, he was loaned out to Nottingham Forest.
'Leeds confirm they are in talks with Nick over his future with the club,' said a statement on the club website.
'Discussions are under way with regard to the early termination of his contract,' it added.
And it said that they hope to conclude the matter by the end of the week.
Leeds have been restructuring their squad since their relegation from the Premiership.
And the sale of their top players is necessary to help reduce the wage bill as they struggle with massive debts. "
Leeds United Football Club - Leeds Spring For Duo: "Leeds Spring For Duo
Ipswich Town's Jermaine Wright and Matthew Spring of Luton Town are undergoing medicals today as Kevin Blackwell looks to strengthen the squad even further ahead of pre-season training.
A club spokesman confirmed to Leedsunited.com that both players are currently at the Thorp Arch training ground, and if all goes well their deals should be signed later this week.
28-year-old Wright is out of contract at Portman Road after rejecting Ipswich's latest offer at the end of last season. The midfielder was an ever-present in the Blue's run to the play-offs, and he collected five goals along the way. In an epic 51-game season Jermaine can boast to never having been cautioned during the campaign.
The Greenwich-born player has been with Ipswich for five years, and it was thought that Everton and Portsmouth had also expressed an interest in buying him.
Jermaine Wright Fact File
Real nameJermaine Wright
Height5' 9'
Weight10st 3lbs
Date of birth21-10-1975
Place of birthGreenwich
PositionMidfielder
NationalityEnglish
Games 03/0451
Goals 03/045
Cards 03/040 y 0 r


Spring, who also plies his trade in midfield, has been with Luton since signing for them as a schoolboy. Nottingham Forest were also linked with him once his contract expired, with Hatters manager Mike Newell being quoted that he was resigned to losing him to a bigger club.
A combative, hard-working and hard-tackling midfielder, Spring loves to drive forward and although never a prolific goalscorer throughout his career, he has been known to score some spectacular long-range shots.
Matthew Spring Fact File
Real nameMatthew Spring
Height5' 11'
W"
Milner exit inches closer: "Milner exit inches closer
by Sports reporter



PETER Lorimer admits hard-up Leeds United can do no more to keep James Milner.
With Newcastle ready to swoop for the 18-year-old striker, director Lorimer said: 'We have gone as far as we can in terms of what we can offer James.
'We've almost doubled his salary and in the present situation it would be impossible to offer him more.
'We hope the kid will stay, but we appreciate he is a much wanted young player and if he wants to go and gets a better offer there is not much we can do about it.
'This club has lived well beyond its means in the past and we cannot go down that road again. We are trying to rescue the club, not make the cash situation worse.'
Leeds are parting company with Nick Barmby after agreeing to pay up around half his contract, which has two years to run.
'He will get a lot of money and we will save a lot of money. We just have to accept that,' said Lorimer.
'We inherited some ludicrous contracts and we are hoping Mark Viduka, Danny Mills, Michael Duberry and Dominic Matteo will all get fixed up with other clubs in the near future.'
Midfielders Jermaine Wright from Ipswich and Matthew Spring from Luton are expected to be manager Kevin Blackwell's next captures. Added Lorimer: 'I think the fans will be pleasantly surprised by the type of players we bring in and I think there is a good chance we will have a successful season.'
Managing director Shaun Harvey has confirmed that he is leaving Bradford City to start a new job as chief operating officer at Leeds on July 6.
Harvey said: 'After over ten years at Bradford City I felt it was the right time for a change and I am excited about the new challenges that await me at Leeds United.
'I appreciate after the period of time I have spe"
Leeds Today
STATEMENT OF INTENT
Blackwell hails the arrival of striker Ricketts

by Phil Hay
LEEDS UNITED boss Kevin Blackwell today claimed his shock capture of Michael Ricketts has "raised a few eyebrows" in the football world.
The Middlesbrough striker agreed a three-year deal at Elland Road last week and Blackwell insists the signing is a clear statement that the relegated club are intent on making an immediate return to the Premiership.
Ricketts – signed for £2.5m from Bolton by Steve McClaren – has endured a difficult 18-month spell on Teesside where he failed to establish himself as a first-team regular.
Ricketts was expected to reproduce the form which earned him an England cap two years ago, but quickly fell behind Joseph-Desire Job and Massimo Maccarone in the Boro pecking order.
But Blackwell witnessed the forward's ability at Elland Road in January, when Ricketts scored
during Boro's emphatic 3-0 victory, and the 25-year-old has previously thrived at first division level.
Bolton boss Sam Allardyce worked 24 goals out of Ricketts during the 2000/1 season when Wanderers won promotion to the Premiership and Blackwell is
confident of earning a similar return.
Blackwell said: "I know that us signing Michael surprised a lot of people in football. It's certainly raised a few eyebrows.
"He was in the England squad less than two years ago and we have to try and get him back up to that level.
"We know he can score goals and we also know that's he's done it before at this level.
"Signing Michael shows everyone the intent of Leeds United and he will be a real asset next season."
United are still to finalise the deal for Ricketts, who has already passed a medical and accepted terms with the West Yorkshire club.
Ricketts will form part of Blackwell's newly-constructed strikeforce after the recent acquisition of Coventry forward Julian Joachim and Bradford City's Danny Cadamarteri.
The trio took the number of Blackwell's summer purchases to six, and the Leeds boss is hoping to unveil another two players tomorrow as the influx continues.
He said: "It'll be great when I've got everyone in who I want. There are still two or three major signings to be made and the irons are in the fire."

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Leeds United Football Club - Ricketts Signs!

Leeds United manager Kevin Blackwell has completed his fifth signing of the summer by capturing Michael Ricketts from Middlesbrough.
Ricketts has signed a three-year deal, subject to a medical and will form part of an exciting new frontline with fellow new striker Julian Joachim.
Michael began his career at Walsall in 1996 and scored 14 goals in 31 games before his style of play attracted interest from bigger clubs.
He then joined Bolton for a fee of £400,000 after Walsall had been relegated in 2000 and had a fantastic season during Bolton's promotion winning campaign, scoring 24 goals.
The following season though saw him fall out with Sam Allardyce but he still managed to score 15 goals in his debut season in the Premiership before International honours beckoned.
He made his England debut against Holland and is still looking to add to his International cap.
He signed for Middlesbrough in the January transfer window of 2003 for a fee of £3.5m but never really settled on Teeside and he will be looking to rekindle his career at Elland Road.
One reson the Elland Road faithful might remember Michael for is that his last goal in the league for Middlesbrough was against Leeds in January!
Boro boss Steve McLaren is still looking to take Mark Viduka away from Elland Road but the Ricketts deal has been completed without any reference to the Australian.
It is understood that there is a clause in the contract that if Leeds have a successful season and are promoted back to The Premiership then The Whites will have to pay a specified fee.

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Leeds Today

United step up striker search
by Phil Hay
Leeds United pulled out of a move for Liam Lawrence after the Mansfield striker missed the club's deadline to accept a switch to Elland Road.
United had asked the 22-year-old to confirm his decision before the end of the week, but Lawrence failed to meet their demands and the club withdrew their interest last night.
The deal is believed to be dead and Leeds are not intending to return to the forward, who now looks likely to seal a switch to United's Coca-Cola Championship rivals Sunderland.
Lawrence had spoken to both clubs and is understood to have favoured the offer from Leeds, but yesterday's announcement has opened the way for the Black Cats to complete the signing.
The striker – scorer of 23 goals in Division Three last season – is out of contract at Mansfield but will command a fee due to his age.
Leeds boss Kevin Blackwell is now assessing other options after a difficult week in the transfer
market.
Blackwell agreed the signings of Paul Butler and Julian Joachim but decided not to follow up approaches to goalkeeper Paul Gerrard and striker David Graham, while Barry Hayles was also ruled out as an option up front.
But Blackwell's efforts are set to be aided by the departure of Dominic Matteo, who is making progress on a transfer to Blackburn after hitting problems this week.
Rovers were struggling to match Matteo's current salary, but the Lancashire club have moved closer to a deal following fresh discussions with the player's agent and the deal could be completed within the next seven days.
Michael Duberry, Mark Viduka and Danny Mills are also attempting to finalise exits from Elland Road, but chairman Gerald Krasner admitted the exodus will end once United's highest earners depart.
"We have in our minds a definite number we want to go, and after that it will stop," he said.

Monday, June 14, 2004

Sky Sports - The Best Sport Coverage From Around The World

Harte linked with Spain move
Monday, 14 June 2004
by Francisco Acedo
Spanish champions Valencia are being linked with an unlikely move for Leeds United full back Ian Harte, according to reports in Spain.
Che's new manager Claudio Ranieri is well aware of the Republic of Ireland international's ability from his time in English football.
Harte's reputation has dipped somewhat over the past years, after once being linked with Italian giants Internazionale when The Whites were all conquering in Europe.
However, following relegation from The Premiership, the side are keen to trim their wage bill and offload a number of stars including the set-piece expert.
Harte is just a number of players at Elland Road on high wages - with Mark Viduka, Dominic Matteo and Seth Johnson all being tipped to leave the club this summer.
Despite winning La Liga last term, Ranieri is believed to be keen to strengthen his defensive options and is also targeting the likes of Michael Reiziger and Patrice Evra.
Leeds United Football Club - JJ Seals United Move

Leeds United have added former Aston Villa and Leicester striker Julian Joachim to the squad after the 29-year-old successfully passed a medical.
Joachim will officially sign a two-year contract on July 1st at Elland Road, and having now resolved his future, has flown out on holiday before returning to the club for the start of pre-season training.
He turned down the offer of a new contract with Coventry City, who he joined from Villa in July 2001 Joachim as part of the deal that saw Mustapha Hadji move in the opposite direction.
Kevin Blackwell is delighted to be able to call on the former England under-21 international next season.
"He is a proven scorer in the First Division and offers us something we have not had for a while - lightning quick pace.
"I spoke to Eric Black (former Coventry boss) about him and he said Julian was one of the reasons Coventry did as well as they did last season.
"He had a strong finish to the season and we will just be happy for him to carry on where he left off."
Joachim's return to form last season will have come as a relief to the player himself after spending most of his time with the Sky Blues injured. An ankle injury put him out for most of the 2002/03 season and his first two seasons saw him play in just 27 league games.
He helped an England under-18 side, also containing Liverpool's Robbie Fowler, to the European Youth Championship in 1993.

Mirror.co.uk - MILNER'S £7M TAG

By Alan Nixon
NEWCASTLE have been quoted a stunning £7million price tag for James Milner by relegated Leeds United.
Chairman Freddy Shepherd was shocked when Leeds re-opened talks about the teenage striker and came up with the new figure.
Leeds are willing to sell Milner because they still have to pay off large debts, but the price has increased from that agreed with Tottenham over a month ago.
Milner did not want to join Spurs but would be interested in joining Sir Bobby Robson's squad. However the fee will have to fall considerably.
The deal, first revealed in mid-May, could be revived quickly if Newcastle find a buyer for temperamental Frenchman Laurent Robert.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Leeds Today

TOON IN FOR JAMES

As Rovers close in on Matteo

LEEDS UNITED'S teenage star James Milner today emerged as a target for Newcastle United.
Toon boss Sir Bobby Robson is understood to be a long-time admirer of the 18-year-old and sources in the north east insist the Magpies are preparing a swoop for the player.

Leeds accepted an offer for Milner from Spurs some weeks ago – but the homegrown youngster snubbed a move to London.
United maintain that they do not want to lose the England youth international, but are unlikely to reject any substantial bid for the player.
Newcastle could offer a cash plus player deal in the hope of encouraging Leeds into doing business.
The Horsforth-born star, however, is keen to open talks with United about a new contract and would take some persuading to leave.
Meanwhile, as revealed in last night's YEP, Blackburn Rovers are set to step up their interest in Leeds skipper Dominic Matteo.
United have given Blackburn permission to speak with Matteo and, by doing so, have effectively told him they are unable to keep him at Elland Road.
But he is one of the few big earners to attract serious interest and Leeds are desperate to reduce their wage bill ahead of the new campaign.
The 30-year-old would be a reluctant departee. He is settled in the area and was keen to see out his career with Leeds.
Manchester City, Fulham and Everton have all expressed an interest in Matteo, but Blackburn appear to be in pole position to capture his signature.
Leeds Today

It's back to front

United line up double raid
JULIAN JOACHIM and Paul Butler are set to become the next players to join Kevin Blackwell's Leeds United revolution.
The out-of-contract duo are understood to have held talks with the new Elland Road boss and are expected to sign up early next week after undergoing medicals.
It would take Blackwell's tally of new recruits to four, following the signings of Danny Pugh and Clarke Carlisle, and the manager is slowly moulding the nucleus of a new squad.
Striker Joachim is out of contract at Coventry and, with his ability to play wide on the right, his capture would boost United's attacking options.
The 29-year-old averaged one goal every two games during a prolific spell with former club Aston Villa and his experience will be vital.
Centre-back Butler, 31, who has made 445 league appearances and won two promotions, has turned down a new deal at Wolves.
Talks are ongoing with a host of potential signings and Blackwell is closing in on another striker and a goalkeeper.
He has already confirmed his interest in Fulham attacker Barry Hayles and Everton's out-of-contract keeper Paul Gerrard.
The Leeds boss is doing his best to steer clear of speculation until his targets have put pen to paper, but Ipswich manager Joe Royle could have blown his cover with midfielder Jermaine Wright.
The 28-year-old is available on a free from Portman Road and Royle has revealed that Leeds and Everton are keen to snap the player up.
Leeds United Football Club - Hayles To Mull Over Move

United target Barry Hayles has confirmed he has held talks with the Whites but will bide his time before deciding on a move to Elland Road.
The Fulham forward is out of contract and is one of a number of players boss Kevin Blackwell has targeted to form a new strikeforce at Elland Road after the departure of Alan Smith and the likely transfer of Mark Viduka.
Hayles has scored 57 goals in 143 starting appearances for The Cottagers, and netted 38 times in 79 starts for former club Bristol Rovers.
The 32-year-old though is not in a rush to make a move and Leeds are not the only club interested in his services.
"I have spoken to Leeds but it's early stages," said Hayles.
"They are a massive, massive club, there are no doubts about that. They are a club that should be in the Premiership and I would have no qualms moving there.
"But I am going to take my time and go through the options before hopefully making the right choice.
"I have had a few offers from clubs and I am looking forward to a new challenge now."
Similarly Kevin Blackwell is prepared to wait for the right players to become available and will not rush into making signings, but he has already lined up players to arrive at the club on July 1st.
Centre-half Clarke Carlisle will sign a two year contract at the club next month, whilst two other players available on free transfers, Coventry's Julian Joachim and Wolves Paul Butler, are due at Thorp Arch for a medical next week. If the medicals are successful then they too will be able to sign next month.
Meanwhile, skipper Dominic Matteo is in discussions with Blackburn Rovers after the Premiership club were given permission to speak to the former Scotland international.
Matteo has a number of options available to him and his departure from Elland Road appears inevitable with United looking to significantly reduce their wage bill to manageable proportions.

Sunday, June 06, 2004

Leeds United Football Club - Whites To Try Again For Striker


United are set to keep trying as they look to land Port Vale's prolific, out of contract striker, Steve McPhee - despite having an initial bid rejected.
McPhee, who found the net 27 times for the Valiants last season, is out of contract this summer but is not available on a Bosman free transfer as he is under 23, and as such any British club looking to sign the forward would have to pay compensation.
But if McPhee opts for a move abroad then they will get nothing, and the player is understood to have been speaking to Portuguese side Beira Mar, managed by Mick Wadsworth.
Leeds have made a sensible and realistic offer, but Vale Chairman Bill Bratt is still hopeful his club can hang onto McPhee and has rejected the initial bid.
"The amount Leeds offered was, in my opinion, not even worth considering," he told the Stoke Evening Sentinel.
"We want to keep Steve McPhee because we believe his future is with us."
Port Vale have offered the striker a new contract, and a decision is expected in the next week, by which time Leeds will know whether the player is keen on a move to Elland Road.