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UEFA Champions League update: briefs, Manchester City, Barcelona, Arsenal and Spurs

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Manchester United,  Manchester City and Real Madrid are all tracking young Everton midfielder Jack Rodwell.
 
Barcelona are reportedly interested in a summer move for Arsenal midfielder Samir Nasri.
 
Aston Villa want Barcelona defender Gabriel Milito.
 
Russia and CSKA Moscow keeper Igor Akinfeev is the latest candidate to replace Edwin van der Sar at Manchester United.
 
Chelsea fancy Borussia Dortmund’s Serbian centre-back Neven Subotic.
 
Russian side Krasnodar want Spurs midfielder Niko Kranjcar and Barcelona winger Alexander Hleb, currently on loan at Birmingham.
 
Former Liverpool striker Djibril Cisse wants to return to England from Greece.
 
New Liverpool striker Andy Carroll could finally make his debut against West Ham this weekend.
 
Stoke’s Matthew Etherington is a doubt for Wednesday’s EPL clash with Arsenal.
 
Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti has again been linked with a move to Serie A side Roma in the summer.
 
Wolves winger Michael Kightly is finally ready to return to training after 15 months out with knee injuries.

Manchester City can be bigger than Barcelona says Toures

Manchester City star Yaya Toure claims his new club can become even bigger than the Barcelona side he left behind in Spain.

Midfielder Toure has claimed that the financial power of the club’s Middle-East owners will see dominate European football within a couple of years.

The former Barca star reckons Pep Guardiola’s team are the yardstick for all clubs in Europe right now.
But he is adamant that City’s financial clout will see them surpass the Catalan giants.

“You cannot compare Barcelona with City right now because Barca are at the top and have top-quality players,” said Toure.

“They have Leo Messi, Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Dani Alves, who are fantastic. But we are still signing new players.

“In a couple of years we could be better than Barcelona. What we need to do is continue to work hard and improve with every game.

“I keep saying to my brother Kolo and my family that City have great players but we need to continue to work hard to become great.”

City will find it hard to catch EPL leaders and bitter rivals Manchester United in the title race, currently trailing by eight points with a game more played.

But the Ivory Coast star insists the Blues team currently third in the EPL table can qualify for the Champions League next season.

“Our target is still to be in the Champions League next year - that is very important for this club,” added Toure.

“But it will be tough to stay in there because Liverpool are coming and I’m sure Chelsea will be back.”

Nasri Banks Arsenal Kids for Cup glory

Arsenal midfielder Samir Nasri has urged his young team-mates to kick-on and win the trophy that will keep him at the Emirates.

The Gunners return to Premier League action on Wednesday, fresh from their Champions League win over Barcelona last week and the FA Cup draw with Orient.

Currently second to Manchester United, they face Stoke at home on Wednesday night before Sunday’s Carling Cup final date with Nasri ready to commit his long term future to the London club.

Talks on a new deal have been put on ice until the end of the season as Arsenal chase a first piece of silverware since 2005.

“One of the reasons I came to Arsenal was to win titles and I’m not expecting to leave without one,” declared the Frenchman.

“We promised each other to speak about this contract subject after the season ends.

“I have seen speculation about my future and I’m always flattered when my name is mentioned in connection with any big club.

“But I also know how things work. I don’t think about these things. If there was any offer it would be different, then I would have to make a choice.

“As things are right now, I feel happy here and I have the confidence from the manager.

“But things can change quickly in football and then we could have a new situation.

“It takes time for a team to develop into a winning side, but I think the time is right now.”
 
David Beckham could finish career at Spurs

David Beckham has left Spurs for Los Angeles – but could yet finish his career with the English Premier League side.

Beckham’s six week training spell at White Hart Lane, as part of his preparations for the new American season, ended on Monday.

He will step up his training with the Los Angeles Galaxy in California this week ahead of the start of his final campaign with the West Coast outfit.

Contractual problems meant Beckham never got to sign for Spurs on loan during his spell with Harry Redknapp’s side.

But Redknapp believes Beckham could return in November to see out his playing career with the club he supported as a boy.

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