Football News: Neymar Wants To Play For Pep, Vassell Announces Retirement After Not Playing In Over 3 Years And More

Neymar Wants To Play For Pep, Vassell Announces Retirement After Not Playing In Over 3 Years And More
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1. Supporters trust launch bid to buy Bolton
Bolton Wanderers Supporters' Trust have written to current owner Eddie Davis in a step towards them buying the heavily in-debt Championship club. Currently bottom of the table, Davies already has a bid from the 'Sports Shield' consortium to mull over, though no deal has yet been struck. Sports Shield has former Bolton player Dean Holdsworth as the face leading the bid. The supporters' trust has now stepped in, pledging to "raise sufficient funding to secure the future of the club for the benefit of the supporters". The club's accounts have been frozen after it was served with a winding-up petition by HMRC over £2.2m of unpaid tax, the court case is currently adjourned for five weeks to allow the club time to sell an asset to cover the bill. Bolton have also revealed that their staff were not paid on time in January. "We have written to the owner, Eddie Davies," read a statement on "We have expressed our commitment to help lead an acquisition, in conjunction with local institutions and businesses, from whom we have received a very positive response. Our objective is to raise sufficient funding to secure the future of the club for the benefit of the supporters, the community and the town. We would not engage with anyone who didn't share our commitment to a community investment."

2. FA chairman to stand down in the summer
Greg Dyke, the current chairman of the English FA, has confirmed he will leave the post in July after 3 years in the position. Dyke has set in motion a series of measures in governance reform, and he has stated it will need a different kind of leadership from the one he provides to "pick up the pieces" afterwards. Dyke said "whichever way the vote goes on reform, I think the FA will need more of a conciliatory figure than me to build on what has been achieved."

3. Ronaldinho backing for Firmino
Legendary Brazilian superstar Ronaldinho, he of the broad toothy grin, has given his backing to compatriot Roberto Firmino to be a great player for Liverpool. The 24 year old was purchased from Hoffenheim in the summer for a big fee, but started off slowly as he struggled to overcome a back niggle. Now Firmino has, mainly playing as a striker, started to come good, with four goals in his last four games and Ronaldinho has compared his fellow Brazilian with Arsenal's Mesut Ozil, Barcelona's Andres Iniesta and Manchester City's David Silva. "I didn't ever question if he would be a great player for Liverpool, I knew that he would be," Ronaldinho told the Daily Mirror. "He's one of the best at what he does in the world. He's in the same class as Ozil, [David] Silva, Iniesta, and all the other great players who play that role. He's the player that I'm sure Klopp will build his new Liverpool team around. Klopp is one of the best coaches in the world, he will know that Liverpool need better players, he will know that Firmino will need better players around him to get the most out of his game. I'm sure when he joined Liverpool, Klopp was promised he could bring in his own players, and with Firmino at the centre of the team, there's no reason Liverpool cannot challenge once again."

4. Chelsea U21 player scores from the halfway line!
No wonder Chelsea fans are screaming out for the club to play the youngsters, when you see things like this goal by Ola Aina:

5. Vassell announces retirement
In a surprise move, mainly because no one realised he was still playing, former England striker (which says more about the state of England than how good he was) Darius Vassell has announced his retirement from playing at the age of 35. The former Aston Villa, Manchester City, Ankaragucu and Leicester City forward had been without a club since 2012, so it does seem he was already retired anyway and the announcement was more about publicising his plan to write a book about his career. Just hope he shows more intelligence in his writing that he did in his runs, or the books will make the Janet and John series seem like high brow stuff! Hard to believe that his career took in the 2002 World Cup and Euro 2004. Vassell said: 'I have enjoyed my career in football playing at the highest level, doing something I genuinely loved, and I felt that now was the right time to announce my retirement and look to the next phase of my life.'

6. Bilic dismisses talk of selling Payet
With Dimitri Payet starring for West Ham United as they battle away aiming for European football next season, interest in him has begun to grow. Seeing how the Hammers struggled while Payet was missing with an ankle injury he suffered against Everton in November, West Ham manager Slaven Bilic was quick to rubbish talk of selling him. Bilic said: "From my point of view there is no money in the world that we would let him go for. The things he does on the pitch, he also does in training. He is great to have in the squad and at the club. At this club there have been big players, but I think the last player who made such a big impact, in basically no time, is Paolo Di Canio."

7. Football Leaks does it again
In the new batch of contracts leaked by the Football Leaks website is the contract pertaining for Ryan Gauld's transfer from Dundee United to Sporting, which has a clear example of third party ownership, as the Scottish side held on to 20% of his economic rights.
Clause 3 explains that the transfer is for the player's playing registration and 80% of his Economic Rights.
Clause 4 sets out the payments terms for the £2.2m with the final instalment of £660,000 to be paid on 15th February 2015.
Clause 5 a) allows them to buy a further 10% of his economic rights by paying £500,000 before 31st July 2015
Clause 5 b) allows them to buy the final 10% of his economic rights by paying another £500,000 before 31st July 2016
Clause 6 gives Dundee United a sell on fee of 15% of any future sale for an amount over 5m Euros if Sporting have paid for all 100% of his economic rights
Clause 9 specifies a friendly match between the two to be played in Scotland

8. Villareal confirm attempts to re-sign Cheryshev
Real Madrid attacker Denis Cheryshev is struggling to break into the first team in the capital, after last season's successful loan spell with Villareal. The president of Villareal has confirmed that they are trying to bring the forward back to the club in the January window. Cheryshev's name is probably best known for his role in Real Madrid being thrown out of the Copa del Rey, after he was fielded against Cadiz despite being suspended. "We have tried to re-sign Cheryshev, but have not reached an agreement for now," Roig was quoted as saying by Marca. "He was an important player for us last season. He enjoyed getting playing time and re-establishing himself as a player. We have made an effort to bring him back, we tried everything within our powers to get him this transfer market, but it is very difficult."

9. Neymar admits he wants to play for Pep
Barcelona forward Neymar Jr has revealed a desire to play under manager Pep Guardiola. Guardiola left Barca before Brazil captain Neymar joined the Catalans, but Neymar has admitted he would love to play for the current Bayern Munich head coach. Neymar also admitted he would like to play in the USA and return back home to Brazil later in his career. Neymar told Red Bull: "Yes, there is one [coach]: Guardiola is a guy who I really admire and who I would love to work with. It is tough to say if I want to play in other countries. Nobody knows tomorrow, but I am very happy where I am right now at Barcelona. I have the will to go back to Brazil some day and I also would like to play in USA - those two countries are two where I want to play later on in my career. [USA] is a place where the game is growing and attracting the interest of lots of players, who are becoming more and more popular there. So this makes me curious, it makes me interested to see it closely." Neymar has also been fined over unpaid taxes in his home country of Brazil.

10. European Golden Boot standings
1. Gonzalo Higuain, Napoli, 21 goals, 42 points
2. Jonas, Benfica, 19 goals, 38 points
3= Luis Suarez, Barcelona, 18 goals, 36 points
3= Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Borussia Dortmund, 18 goals, 36 points
5= Robert Lewandowski, Bayern Munich, 17 goals, 34 points
5= Karim Benzema, Real Madrid, 17 goals, 34 points
7= Alex Teixeira, Shakhtar Donetsk, 22 goals, 33 points
7= Nemanja Nikolic, Legia Warsaw, 22 goals, 33 points
7= Eran Zahavi, Maccabi Tel Aviv, 22 goals, 33 points
10= Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid, 16 goals, 32 points
10= Neymar Jr, Barcelona, 16 goals, 32 points
10= Jamie Vardy, Leicester City, 16 goals, 32 points
10= Islam Slimani, Sporting, 16 goals, 32 points

Written by Tris Burke January 29 2016 10:30:17