“Since the first day I joined this club, I knew something special was happening,” said the German, who joined the club in 2011. “I have been at a number of clubs, but the feeling here between the players, staff and supporters is different. “I feel very, very good here. Of course, last season I didn’t play the amount of games I had hoped for, but this season has been a completely different story on the pitch for me. “I have played in a lot more games and big matches against the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool to name but a few. “I think it has been good for myself and the supporters. I’ve been able to build momentum with a consecutive run of games this season, while the fans can now see what I am capable of. “I am contributing a lot more, which is great, and when the opportunity came along to sign a new deal here I was very happy to do that. “The club has been on a remarkable rise over the last few years, and it really is a nice story – I was keen to be a part of that story, so the new contract is great news for me because I feel I have a lot more to give this club.” The 34-year-old’s new contract, which includes the option of a further year, comes in the same week as midfielder Leon Britton and defender Garry Monk put pen to paper on extensions with the south Wales club. Tremmel only made a handful of first-team appearances under Brendan Rodgers, but has deputised admirably for Michel Vorm during the current campaign and has helped the Swans reach their first major cup final after keeping two clean sheets in the Capital One Cup semi-final success over European champions Chelsea. Press Association Goalkeeper Gerhard Tremmel has become the latest player to commit his future to Swansea after signing a new two-and-a-half-year deal at the Liberty Stadium.
For fans of Rory McIlroy, it was difficult to know what to make of the mixed messages coming from the world number two during his unfortunately brief appearance at the Irish Open. The 24-year-old conceded his tournament schedule this year had been “light” and that a new Nike driver was still not 100 per cent what he was looking for, yet proceeded to confirm a cousin’s wedding and sponsor commitments meant he would not add the French or Scottish Opens to his schedule before Muirfield. “If I did not have those commitments I probably would, but as long as I play rounds and be competitive myself – play with one ball – it’s the same sort of thing,” said McIlroy, who did add the Texas Open to his schedule before the Masters and finished second behind Scotland’s Martin Laird. “My schedule has been light, but from the Open onwards I am playing seven events in nine or 10 weeks. I still have a lot of golf to play. Two weeks is a lot of time to try and get something right and hopefully I will be ready for Muirfield.” Whether that is enough preparation remains to be seen and McIlroy’s critics will no doubt continue to lay the blame for his poor form at his off-course activities. Last year he gave US President Barack Obama swing tips during a state banquet at the White House, met the Queen at Newbury races and was invited on court to hit a few shots with Maria Sharapova. He also threw the opening pitch at the Major League Baseball game between the San Francisco Giants and Houston Astros. There have been four top-10s but finishes of 25th and 41st in the year’s first two majors, the US Open also bringing incidents of club throwing and bending a nine iron out of shape in a final round of 76 at Merion. It is therefore no wonder that three-time major winner Padraig Harrington believes an “erratic genius” like McIlroy must learn to accept the highs and not worry about the lows in his game for the good of his career. “If he does that, there will be fewer lows and more highs,” Harrington said. McIlroy fans will be hoping another high is just around the corner. Press Association First came the confession that he was feeling “a little lost” after an opening round of 74 that had him unsure of whether errant drives would be sprayed to the right or left of Carton House’s lush fairways. Then came a second round of 72 in which McIlroy insisted he saw a few positive signs – signs which were somewhat harder to see from outside the ropes – but still resulted in a fourth missed cut of the year.
Press Association All the proceeds from the event will be divided between three charities close to the 38-year-old Hull keeper’s heart – the Great North Children’s Hospital, the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and the Newcastle United Foundation. Harper, who made his 199th and final appearance for Newcastle against Arsenal on the final day of last season, said: “This match is a massive honour for me. “I had a fantastic send-off against Arsenal at the end of last season, so this is really my opportunity to say thank you to a region which has given me so much support and to use my time to raise as much money as possible for three incredible causes. “To have some of the best players to have ever worn the black and white shirt back at St James’ Park alongside some of the greatest names from Milan is fantastic, and with every penny raised going to three important north-east charities, I hope as many people as possible can come along and enjoy it. “I’m sure it will be a special night.” Baresi, who will captain the Milan side said: “I would like to firstly congratulate Mr Steve Harper on his 20 years with Newcastle United. “I was very happy to hear of the possibility of AC Milan Glorie travelling and playing against a Newcastle United legends team at such a famous stadium. “I know the passion of Newcastle fans and I know of the club’s history and the love of football in the city, so I congratulate Steve and wish the fans and Newcastle United a magnificent occasion.” Steve Harper will celebrate his 20 years as a Newcastle player when a team of former Magpies superstars meets an AC Milan Legends side. Alan Shearer, Les Ferdinand, Rob Lee and Faustino Asprilla will pull on the black and white stripes once again for a charity game at St James’ Park on Wednesday, September 11. They will be in good company too with the AC Milan Glorie squad featuring Franco Baresi, Paolo Maldini, Alessandro Costacurta and Andriy Shevchenko.
Press Association Martin Jol has confirmed QPR playmaker Adel Taarabt will undergo a medical at Fulham on Tuesday ahead of a proposed loan move. A firm fans’ favourite at Loftus Road, the 24-year-old last summer extended his contract with the Hoops amid reported interest from Paris St Germain. However, Taarabt has had a tumultuous summer at relegated QPR and is now set to join west London rivals Fulham. “Then I was too late after that because he went to QPR, where he did ever so well. “Remember the fact he was an over £10million player 12 months ago, so I think you have to take them when they are bad and hopefully he will show his potential here.” Jol suggested a much-speculated move for Roma striker Pablo Osvaldo would prove too costly and was coy when asked about Aston Villa striker Darren Bent. “I don’t speculate on things that are not 100 per cent,” he said. “The only thing with Adel is his medical so I can inform you. Darren Bent, hopefully we can tell you something on another player by the end of the week. “We’ve got several doors open, so for us it is only us to make a decision and get the player.” “We agreed everything with the club so the only thing we have to do is a medical,” Jol said. “If that is sound and good, he will join us. The medical will be tomorrow. “I like his creativity and, of course, sometimes it comes off when he scores a lot of goals and I think he was involved in 40 goals [during the 2010/11 Championship promotion season]. “It is like Dimitar Berbatov – sometimes these fantastic talents will be blamed but I hope to find a way to gel him in together with the boys we’ve got. “I think he can do a hell of a job for us because he is a tremendous player on the ball.” Taarabt moved to England from Lens in 2007, linking up with a Tottenham side then managed by Jol. “I have known him now for a long time,” the Dutchman added. “When I was at Hamburg, I wanted him but thought the money Daniel Levy asked for was too much. “Then I went to Ajax and I thought it was too much for a player that never played.
He guided his BMW 1 Series home by a three-second winning margin in race one, taking the lead from lap two and then setting a scorching pace. Worcestershire driver Rob Austin, who held pole position, had to settle for third following a thrilling battle with runner-up Gordon Shedden. Turkington took pole for race two, and after building a steady early lead he never looked back. Austin and Shedden, meanwhile, swapped finishing positions from race one. “The car was just a pleasure to drive. It just got better and better ,” Turkington told www.autosport.com After his race two win he added: “The car is really on rails today. “It was good at Croft and we thought that was something like peak performance but it feels even better today. There’s no feeling like being out at the front.” Race three saw Turkington complete a fine day with fourth place as Andrew Jordan led from start to finish. Jordan produced a flawless drive ahead of series leader Matt Neal to now trail him by nine points in the standings. The final podium place went to Rob Collard. Northern Ireland’s Colin Turkington dominated the seventh round of the British Touring Car Championship by winning the first two races at Knockhill in Scotland. Press Association
New Liverpool defender Tiago Ilori would consider an offer to play for England – although he says playing for Portugal remains his ambition. Ilori told the Liverpool Echo: “I think I would like to stay loyal to Portugal as I’ve played in every age group for them. “But I would never close any doors and there is no decision to make yet. If I have the choice then it is not a bad choice to have. “I lived in a few places around Kentish Town. I was eight when we moved to Portugal. My mum is Portuguese. I didn’t play in any football league when I was in London but just played with my friends. “My English family are originally from Manchester and they all moved to London. My dad was born in London as well.” Press Association Ilori has represented Portugal at various youth levels but he was born in London and could still switch allegiance having not been capped at senior level. The 20-year-old joined Liverpool from Sporting Lisbon in a £7million deal on transfer deadline day last week.
Press Association “The penny has dropped with him,” Allardyce added. “It has dropped in lifestyle and attitude and his timekeeping, all of a sudden there is a belief that he doesn’t want to do anything other than break into our first team. “I think that 12-month spell at Birmingham gave him a time to reflect on what it takes to be a player on a week in and out basis.” Allardyce revealed that former United boss and close friend Sir Alex Ferguson told him he was getting a potential star when he signed Morrison in a deal that was reported to cost the London club just £1million. The West Ham boss said: “When I signed him Sir Alex said ‘I hope you can sort him out because if you can he will be a genius’. “He needed to get away from Manchester and start a new life and it looks like it is paying off for us. “The fans at Tottenham today thought it was going to be a nice easy breeze today, a nice comfortable three points. “But the Premier League will tell you that if you think like that you are going to get your backside kicked and they got their backside kicked today.” A shell-shocked Andre Villas-Boas looked like a man who had just had his backside kicked when he sat down to sum up his feelings after the game. Tottenham had only conceded two goals prior to today’s game, but Andros Townsend looked the only player capable of making a difference for the north London club and the fans who were left inside the stadium at the final whistle made their feelings known by booing the team off the pitch. Villas-Boas, who had claimed four wins from six games prior to the derby, called for a bit of perspective, though. “It’s a wake up call that we have to react to, we have to bounce back and I trust the team to do that,” the Spurs boss said. “I think we can’t undermine what we have been doing up to now. “Obviously it’s a defeat. Had we won this game we would have been just one point behind. It’s something we don’t like, but we have to put into perspective of what we’ve done before.” West Ham manager Sam Allardyce paid tribute to Ravel Morrison, the “genius” who gave Tottenham the runaround at White Hart Lane on Sunday. The former Manchester United man picked the ball up inside his own half and slalomed past Jan Vertonghen and Michael Dawson before cleverly lifting the ball over Hugo Lloris. West Ham had struggled without the injured Andy Carroll so far this season, but Morrison performed admirably up front, much to Allardyce’s delight. “That was a genius goal,” the West Ham boss said. “Tottenham had conceded two goals before today, but he just headed directly to Vertonghen and Dawson, slipped them like they weren’t there and he used his outstanding ability to dink the goalkeeper. “For me you will struggle to see a better goal this season.” Many questioned Allardyce’s decision to sign Morrison from United last year. The midfielder was convicted of two counts of witness intimidation and he was also fined £7,000 by the Football Association for a homophobic tweet. The player failed to settle originally at West Ham and was loaned out to Birmingham last season, but 12 months on, Allardyce says the 20-year-old is a changed man. Andre Villas-Boas suffered the biggest home defeat of his reign as Tottenham manager on Sunday evening as West Ham ran riot, claiming a fine 3-0 victory in north London thanks to three goals in 13 second-half minutes. Ricardo Vaz Te doubled West Ham’s lead after Winston Reid’s opener and Morrison then brought the away fans to their feet with a fantastic solo goal.
“Some teams have already played twice against one opponent and some others not. “I think if you want to respect the fairness for everybody exactly the same, that should not happen.” It has been suggested that the possible Mata sale could be a move by Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho to damage other title rivals, as United still have to play Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool. But Wenger said: “I wouldn’t go as far as that. I just think you would want everybody on the same level. “I can understand completely what Chelsea are doing. They do not make the rules, but maybe the rules should be a bit more adapted for more fairness.” United manager David Moyes did not discuss the Mata situation when asked about it after his side’s Capital One Cup semi-final loss to Sunderland. United were beaten on penalties at Old Trafford after winning the second leg 2-1 after extra time. Bringing in a high-profile new signing could give the club a lift after what has been a difficult spell but Wenger expects Moyes to ride through the storm. Wenger said: “I don’t want to give advice to David Moyes. “Many young managers come and ask me for some advice when they start their career. “Part of that, I tell them, is that you have to survive massive disappointments and keep your belief high in what you do because to win is easy for everybody. “How to live with defeat, that is what managers are about and David Moyes is strong enough. “For me he deals with the situation very well. They go through a difficult moment in their season but they can still come back and are in a strong position in the Champions League, and have just bought a great player. “So, Man United have still to be considered a threat.” Mata is expected to undergo a medical at United ahead of a potential club record move to Old Trafford. A source close to negotiations has told Press Association Sport that a deal is “close” to being completed and Mata could be in the United squad to face Cardiff next Tuesday. Press Association Mata, 25, has fallen out of favour at Chelsea this season but Wenger is still amazed he could be allowed to join a traditional title rival. Asked if he was surprised, Wenger said: “Yes I am because Juan Mata is a great player and they sell a great player to a direct opponent.” Wenger does note, however, the timing of the move with Mata now unable to affect Chelsea directly this season as they have already played United twice in the Barclays Premier League. Chelsea beat the champions 3-1 at Stamford Bridge last weekend, a result that left United seventh in the table. Chelsea could still come up against United in the Champions League but Mata would be ineligible. With the Premier League fixture list in mind, Wenger is not sure the January transfer window is a fair concept. The Gunners boss said: “Chelsea had already played twice against Man United so they don’t play again any more. “They could have sold him last week but it opens up again questions about the dates of this transfer window. Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has voiced surprise that Chelsea could sell playmaker Juan Mata to Manchester United.
Press Association The 28-year-old has 18 months left on his current deal, but Press Association Sport understands moves have been made to look at extending that with an improved offer. Rooney’s agent Paul Stretford was pictured attending the club’s Carrington training ground this week. Manchester United have begun negotiations over a new contract for striker Wayne Rooney. The England international is reportedly still a target for Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, whose decision to allow midfielder Juan Mata to move to Old Trafford may actually improve the Red Devils’ chances of securing Rooney on a longer-term contract. Prior to Rooney signing his previous deal, the player expressed his unhappiness with the direction the club appeared to be taking and the lack of top-class talent they were recruiting. Mata arrived at Carrington on Saturday to undergo his medical ahead of the completion of his club-record £38million move from Stamford Bridge. The Spain international is expected to train with his new team-mates on Sunday, with United set to conclude the deal on Monday when the paperwork can be submitted to the Premier League.
An American investment firm has acquired a quarter of all Manchester United shares available on the New York Stock Exchange, it has been confirmed. Press Association Baron Capital has been buying up stock and now owns 24 per cent of all the United shares that were sold by the Glazer family in 2012, though that still only represents 2.5 per cent of the club. Analysts believe the accumulation of shares reflects the firm viewing United as a good long-term investment, rather than Baron Capital making any bid to secure a controlling interest in the club. The Glazer family only released 10 per cent of the club on to the stock market – they still retain 90 per cent and control the vast majority of votes. Nevertheless, Baron Capital’s actions explain why the share price has been slowly rising despite the club’s struggles on the pitch. This has also been fuelled by expectation of an announcement of a new Nike kit deal worth hundreds of millions of pounds. Baron Capital’s United shareholding was confirmed in a securities and exchange commission filing on the Manchester United investor relations website. It says Baron Capital now owns 9,581,636 shares, which were worth 151million US dollars (£90million) at the close of the market on Monday. Baron Capital says on its website the company remains positive about United’s future. It said: “Shares of Manchester United dropped… due to a delay in the signing of a new global merchandise deal with Nike and the team’s poor performance on the field. The Nike deal is still expected to be signed, but has been pushed out from this fiscal year. We remain positive on the company’s prospects going forward.” London-based financial analyst Andy Green, who writes a blog on football finance and advises the Manchester United Supporters’ Trust, said the move by Baron Capital appeared to be purely an investment strategy and was not the start of a takeover bid. Green said: “This is absolutely not the start of any takeover. You could buy all the shares available on the stock market and you would still only have 10 per cent of the club and about 1.3 per cent of the votes. “I am sure they are looking at the investment opportunities and rumours of the new Nike deal. They have a reputation as a long-term investment company.” The United share price closed at 15.84 US dollars on Monday – the highest level since November.