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Football News: Watford And Norwich Make Transfer Market Splash And More News

Watford And Norwich Make Transfer Market Splash And More News
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1. Sounders get Morris boost
MLS side Seattle Sounders have received good news today after US international Jordan Morris rejected a contract offered to him by Bundesliga side Werder Bremen. The Sounders own the Major League Soccer rights to Jordan Morris, but now they feel confident of signing the youngster on a homegrown contract. Bremen's sporting director Thomas Eichin has admitted that Morris will not be signing with them, though he made it clear they would like him to sign, after he spent time there on a trial basis. "The player has made it clear that he sees his future in America," Eichin said in a statement released by the club. "We respect this decision, of course. We are in a situation where we need players who identify themselves completely with Werder and who are able to completely focus on the task here."

2. SPFL keen on facial recognition software to monitor crowds
With Scottish football currently seeing a rash of smoke bombs and flares being used by the fans, the Scottish Premier Football League are considering the use of facial recognition software to monitor the crowd. Teams are against the introduction of liability rules, which would put the blame on the clubs for any misbehaviour amongst the fans. Instead, they are looking to other measures in order to combat the troublemakers amongst the crowd, with facial recognition software being considered to allow the clubs to identify those fans causing the trouble and deny them future entry to grounds. The issue is that the technology would cost so much to implement that the SPFL have had to find ways to fund the idea, with preliminary talks already having been held with the Scottish Government in the hope of receiving grants.


3. Watford sign giant keeper
Watford have completed their second signing in as many days as they add the giant frame of Costel Pantilimon on a 3 and a half year deal, to add to the arrival of Nordin Amrabat from Malaga. Pantilimon is most famous for being the tallest player in the Premier League at 6ft 8 inches, and he has arrived to push Brazilian stopper Heurelho Gomes. Pantilimon recently lost his place in the Sunderland side, after joining them from Manchester City because he was unable to dislodge Joe Hart as first choice. Watford suffered their fourth consecutive defeat on Monday night, but they are hoping the new signings will stop the rot and return them to form.

4. St Johnstone rule out O'Halloran sale
With Rangers chasing hard after 25 year old Michael O'Halloran, St Johnstone chairman Steve Brown has insisted his club do not want to sell, though he did admit that the player does have a price. Mark Warburton's Glaswegians have made two bids so far for O'Halloran and the speculation led to him being left out by Saints boss Tommy Wright for their clash with Hamilton Academical at the weekend. Wright felt that O'Halloran was not mentally prepared to play for Saints, but Brown maintains that the club are looking to hold on to the striker and that no further offers have been received since the two that have already been rejected. They expect him to be ready to face Rangers' bitter rivals Celtic at the weekend.


5. Norwich clinch Naismith signing
Norwich City's January shopping spree shows no sign of abating as they add their 5th new face in the window. This time Alex Neil has gone to Everton to get Scotland international Steven Naismith. Naismith joins Ben Godfrey, Timm Klose, Ivo Pinto and Matt Jarvis in joining the Canaries as they look to invest in order to maintain their place in the Premier League. Naismith had been relegated to the bench at the Toffees, though he managed to notch a hat-trick against Chelsea after coming on as a sub. Naismith told the club's official website: "I'm very happy to have signed because now I can concentrate on the football side of things. Norwich have displayed class in the way they've done their business all the way through. They've shown how much they wanted me, which is great, and I'm delighted to be here." Alex Neil was pleased with his new signing: "We are delighted to conclude this deal and bring Steven to the club. He's a proven performer at Premier League level and an established international with Scotland so arrives with excellent pedigree."

6. Transfer round up
Ante Rebic Fiorentina to Hellas Verona on loan
Fabio Espinho Malaga CF to Moreirense on loan
Jermaine Pennant unattached to Tampines Rovers
Humberto Suazo retired
Brian Ferreira CA Velez Sarsfield to Olimpo free
Christian Bekamenga Troyes to FC Metz on loan
Stephan Schrock Greuther Furth to Ceres-La Salle on loan
Valentin Viola Sporting to Apollon Limassol undisclosed fee
Kike Sola Athletic Bilbao to Middlesbrough on loan
Stefan Babovic released by FK Partizan Belgrade
Hyun-Jun Suk Vitoria Setubal to Fc Porto £1.05m
Michael Barrantes Shanghai Shenxin to Wuhan Zall free
Vincenzo Rennella Real Betis to Real Vallodolid on loan
Medo released by Bolton Wanderers
Rhayner Tombense to Ponte Preta on loan
Pablo released by Tombense
Niko Kranjcar released by Dynamo Kiev
Ciro Immobile Sevilla to Torino on loan (£595,000 fee)
Gianluca Frontino FC Thun to FC Schaffhausen on loan
Ciprian Marica unattached to Steaua Bucharest
Berat Tosun Genclerbirligi to Balikesirspor on loan
Felipe Figueirense to Bragantino free
Joao Carlos Vasco Da Gama to KSC Lokeren free
Sergey Politevich Dinamo Minsk to Genclerbirligi free
Vitor Hugo Tombense to Palmeiras undisclosed fee
Anderson Conceicao Tombense to Philadelphia Union on loan
Dame N'Doye Trabzonspor to Sunderland on loan (£980,000 fee)
Akram Djahnit Al-Arabi SC to ES Setif undisclosed fee
Danilo Carando Garcilaso to Al-Ahli free
Alex Colon Pachuca to Delfin SC undisclosed fee
Renan Botafogo to Avai free
Nico Lopez Granada to Udinese loan return
Souza Cruzeiro to Cerezo Osaka undisclosed fee


7. Zelalem believes Otis has helped him mature
Arsenal youngster Gedion Zelalem is spending the season on loan with Scottish Championship club Rangers and the US U23 international believes it is helping him to mature, along with caring for his new pet, a hamster called Otis. The 18 year old is learning to live alone, shopping and cooking for himself and learning about adult life. Zelalem has told Rangers TV that the responsibility of caring for himself and his new pet has really helped him to grow up. The hamster was a (not so) Secret Santa gift from team mate Andy Halliday.

8. Fry leaves Norwich board
Norwich City's most famous celebrity fan Stephen Fry has stepped down from the board. The comedian/actor/TV presenter has been in the role since 2010 will be replaced by his nephew Thomas Smith. Fry will continue as a club ambassador for the Canaries. Fry, said: "My five years in the role have been an honour and a privilege beyond almost anything I can remember. I wish I could take credit for ushering the club up from League One to the Premiership during that time on the board. Actually, I'm going to. It was all me. It can't have been a coincidence. But now I'm so happy to relinquish my seat on the board to Thomas Smith and to engage as fully as I can in the role of ambassador for Norwich City. We have so much to proud of, both on and off the pitch, and I hope to welcome many new fans to the greatest club of all. On the ball, City!" Fry also recently stepped down from his role as presenter of popular BBC TV show QI after 13 years in that position.


9. Sampaoli buys out his Chile contract
Chile's head coach Jorge Sampaoli led them to the Copa America title last year, but since then he has been engaged in a bitter battle with the Chilean football federation. The two sides have been locked in discussions over a contract termination, with the Chile FA initially wanting the Argentine to buy out his entire contract. Now the two sides have agreed a deal, which includes Sampaoli forfeiting his Copa America bonuses and paying a lesser fee to end the deal. Sampaoli had complained that he was 'being held hostage' last week. Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has ruled himself out of the running to replace Sampaoli.

10. Musonda gets Chelsea call
Belgian wonderkid Charly Musonda has caught the eye of Guus Hiddink, who has now brought the youngster into the Chelsea first team squad. Hiddink had arranged a behind closed doors friendly for the U21s to face QPR, so that the interim manager could take a look at the youngsters. Musonda scored a free kick and did enough to impress Hiddink. Now the 19 year old will get a taste of first team football as he joins the squad for Sunday's Premier League clash with table topping London rival's Arsenal.

Written by Tris Burke January 19 2016 21:42:12