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Sunderland have rejected a bid for striker Connor Wickham from West Ham, BBC Newcastle understands.

West Ham are believed to have offered £4m for 21-year-old Wickham, who helped Gus Poyet's side avoid Premier League relegation last season. The deal would be to replace the injured Andy Carroll, but Sunderland have rejected the bid, despite the fact Wickham is entering the final year of his deal meaning and could leave for a reduced fee next summer if he fails to sign a contract extension.
Source: BBC Sport
Fri, Aug 15, 2014 03:56:00 AM

New Aston Villa signing Carles Gil was phenomenal in Aston VIlla's 2-1 win over Bournemouth in the FA Cup.

Gil made his Premier League debut off the bench against Liverpool and showed some flair in his first match, but it was his FA Cup appearance that flashed brilliance. Aston Villa are desperate for goals and could use the creativity of the youngster. The 22-year old makes for an interesting stash in season-long and dynasty leagues and could be a great bench option in the Yahoo! game for the rest of the season.
Jan 27 - 12:21 PM

The latest reports from Spain suggest Stoke City striker Bojan Krkic ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament during last nights’ 4-1 victory over Rochdale at Spotland in the FA Cup.

Bojan went down unchallenged and despite the striker seemingly wanting to stay on the ensuing pitch assessment deemed the in-form Spanish star unfit to continue. It was hoped that his withdrawal was more of a precautionary measure but it now seems that the clubs worst fears have been confirmed - a scan revealed an ACL tear Bojan's left knee although there is no official news. A rupture will almost certainly mean around 9 months out leaving Mark Hughes in a dilemma with Peter Odemwingie suffering a similar fate back in August leaving the Potters a little lightweight up front with Mame Biram Diouf currently away on AFCoN duty.
Jan 27 - 9:41 AM

Sunderland boss Gus Poyet is expecting Adam Johnson to recover from a calf injury in time to face Burnley at the Stadium of Light in game week 23 but the Black Cats do have a number of concerns ahead of the match.

Defender Wes Brown and midfielder Lee Cattermole [both knee] missed out last weekend and Poyet is sweating over the fitness of the pair although it is hoped they will be back with the group at some-point over the next few days. Anthony Reveillere hasn’t featured since limping out of the derby warm-up at St James’ Park back in December but the veteran full-back is close having recovered from an Achilles issue. However Sunderland will be without Jack Rodwell who serves a one game suspension – Ricardo Alvarez or Emanuele Giaccherini are likely to deputise for Saturdays’ crucial game.
Jan 27 - 6:34 AM

Stoke striker Bojan Krkic had an eventful 30 minute cameo during Monday nights’ FA Cup fourth round tie as Stoke City took on League One side Rochdale at Spotland.

A crisp volley within 4 minutes opened the scoring as the Spanish summer signing made it 3 goals from the last 5 games as he continued his rich vein of form. Bojan then picked up his third yellow card of the season – unsporting behaviour – before going down unchallenged holding his knee. Mark Hughes was taking no risks and despite Bojan insisting he was okay to continue the physio signalled to the bench that a change would need to be made. Hopefully his withdrawal was only precautionary with Mame Biram Diouf currently away on AFCoN duty and Peter Odemwingie [ACL] expected to miss the remainder of the campaign – Peter Crouch is the only out-and-out striker currently available although Jon Walters and Marko Arnautovic are able to play in more advanced roles.
Jan 26 - 4:18 PM

Jason Burt of the Telegraph is reporting that Darren Fletcher has been granted a free transfer away from Manchester United. West Ham is a rumored destination.

Darren Fletcher has been linked with a number of potential destinations including West Ham United and West Brom and Manchester United have made the rumored move easier allowing Fletcher to leave on a free. Fletcher has played infrequently since recovering from a long-term bowel issue and is looking for a move away from Old Trafford to secure more regular playing time. West Ham has a solid central midfield group with Alex Song, Mark Noble and Cheikhou Kouyate but Song is only around on loan and Fletcher would be a nice back-up plan should Song not sign a permanent deal at Upton Park.
Jan 26 - 5:03 PM

With Cheick Tiote away to play for Ivory Coast in the Africa Cup of Nations, Vurnon Anita looks poised to earn his third straight start for Newcastle United when they travel to Hull City next.

Anita has been partnering Jack Colback as central defensive midfielders for the Magpies lately, and while Colback has been one of the pleasant surprises of the fantasy season, Anita offers very little in production. His only redeeming quality in comparison to Tiote is that he is not nearly as prone to being carded, but he will also come nowhere near Tiote's numbers when it comes to winning tackles.
Jan 26 - 3:47 PM

Liverpool's recent defensive improvement may have more to do with the presence of Lucas in the XI than anything else.

Liverpool kept only two clean sheets in their first twelve league matches this season, with Lucas starting just one of them. He has started the following ten matches since and the Reds have racked up five cleanies, with their most recent coming on the road at Villa Park. His defensive efforts combined with Phillipe Coutinho's creative contributions has given the Reds midfield the necessary spark to compensate for what as been disappointing production at the striker and defender positions. Unfortunately, Lucas' style does not translate to fantasy production and will probably remain an afterthought for those purposes.
Jan 26 - 3:32 PM

Looking for anything positive to build off of, Everton's defense surely received a morale boost after keeping West Brom from scoring in their last league mach.A

A solid 14 points from Seamus Coleman in the Yahoo game against the Baggies, reminiscent of potential from season's past, but not nearly common enough this term. Leighton Baines would have 17 himself and would have doubled that score in all likelihood were it not for the stinginess of Kevin Mirallas. Their next match against Crystal Palace looked promising enough a couple weeks ago, with Mile Jedinak and Yannick Bolasie off on international duty, but the Eagles have scored five times over their past two as Alan Pardew has changed the club philosophy and Jason Puncheon is hitting form again. Still, with an increase in scoring has impacted their defending negatively and an attacking fullback like Coleman can still deliver the goods even if Everton concede.
Jan 26 - 3:19 PM

The changing of the Michaels appears to be official as Michael Keane continues to start instead of the now-fit veteran Michael Duff.

With Keane's loan spell at Turf Moor having become a permanent deal, it is clear Sean Dyche sees the youngster as the future for the Clarets at center back. The veteran Duff had a nice run starting twelve straight in the top flight, but will need to adjust to spending time on the bench and waiting for another chance. Keane is a budget option in fantasy relative to his defensive teammates, Kieran Trippier, Ben Mee and Jason Shackell.
Jan 26 - 3:03 PM

Arsenal transfer target Gabriel Paulista was granted a work permit ahead of a proposed move from Villarreal.

The Brazilian central defender has only played half a season as a starter in La Liga but has been highly rated for his performances this season. He has been compared to Laurent Koscielny as something of a no-nonsense, athletic center back who is strong with his positioning and solid in the air. The only weakness that has been pointed out at this stage in his development is an inability to ignite the attack with most of his passes going sideways rather than up the field. Assuming that the deal goes through as expected this week this will be a huge boost to a defense currently lacking a starting-quality center back.
Jan 26 - 10:53 AM

Fabian Delph has signed a new four-and-a-half year contract with Aston Villa.

Delph, who made his England debut in September last year, had been linked with Liverpool and Tottenham with the suggestion Villa may look to sell in January rather than lose him for nothing when his previous contract was due to expire at the end of this season. Delph's new contract will keep him at Villa Park until the summer of 2019, much to the delight of head coach Paul Lambert. "When you get someone like Fabian - who might have had the possibility of going elsewhere to pastures new - to have him commit is a massive, massive coup for us. No-one expected it. I think everyone thought Fabian was going to go and we would have to get someone else in. I don't think anyone saw this coming. But it's been something we've been trying to do, as I have always said. It's great for Aston Villa. It's great for Fabian. I think this is a massive, massive step."
Source: Sky Sports
Jan 26 - 1:24 AM

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