The manager Arsène Wenger remains confident the French midfielder Mathieu Flamini will renew his contract with the Gunners. "Mathieu is free to talk, but talks are ongoing," the manager said. "I am hopeful on it. I am not concerned." Flamini has been linked with a move from the Emirates.
Manager Martin O'Neill said he has been working hard to get his team playing attractive football. "It's important we try to entertain the supporters," he said. "People pay a lot of money to go and watch games. It is great to win matches and it is important we make the football we produce enjoyable."
The club hope to complete the signings of James McFadden and David Murphy this week. The manager Alex McLeish had a £3m bid for Everton's McFadden turned down last week but has now returned with a higher offer. The Hibernian defender Murphy would cost £2m.
The Republic of Ireland midfielder Steven Reid said he was pleased to last 90 minutes against Bolton last weekend after recovering from a calf strain. "I was delighted to be back out there," he said. "Hopefully I can train consistently and get a few weeks of training and just kick on."
The new signing Gretar Steinsson said he was looking forward to linking up with his new team-mates at the Reebok Stadium. "I am looking to contribute to the team," the 26-year-old defender said. "Gretar is a versatile footballer who will give us a number of options and strengthen the squad," the manager Gary Megson said.
The Serbia international Branislav Ivanovic said he is looking forward to playing at Stamford Bridge. "It is the dream of every footballer to want to move on and improve yourself," the 23-year-old full-back said. "The ultimate is to play for such a big team as this." Ivanovic signed for the Blues from Lokomotiv Moscow this week.
The club have turned down a bid from Israeli side Maccabi Tel-Aviv for midfielder Benny Feilhaber. "Maccabi showed an interest in Benny," the Derby chairman Adam Pearson said. "However we have now rejected their latest bid." Feilhaber has made just one start for the club.
Leon Osman admits he is desperate to return after recovering from a broken toe. "I am trying to push as hard as I can every day without injuring myself again," Osman said. "Certain days I have pushed a little bit too hard, so the physios have to pull the reins in and slow me down."
Midfielder Jimmy Bullard has admitted there were times during his 16-month recovery from a knee injury when he considered quitting football. "Definitely at the start you get those thoughts going through your head," the 29-year-old said. "But you have got to be strong and keep working at it."
Ryan Babel said the club must not take Aston Villa lightly in next Monday's league match. "The game will be a different level than the Cup match [against Luton this week] but we will be ready," he said. "It's good we have a week to prepare. The win against Luton should give us a lot of confidence."
Andreas Isaksson admits his national coach Lars Lagerback has urged him to leave the club after the goalkeeper lost his first-team place to Joe Hart. "I must play, I feel bad when I do not get to play," the Swede said. "I must change club. But nothing has come up so far."
The former United defender Denis Irwin has warned the current side of the threat posed by Tottenham in the FA Cup fourth round. "Spurs gave us a tough game in the league back in August," the Irishman said. "I think we were quite fortunate to win that day."
The defender Andrew Taylor has been ruled out for two months after having surgery on an ankle injury. "It's obviously a blow for Andrew," the manager Gareth Southgate said of the 23-year-old. "But the important thing is that we get him right and we feel this is the best way forward."
The midfielder Joey Barton has been bailed until March after appearing in court yesterday charged with assault and affray. The 25-year-old was arrested on 27 December in Liverpool City Centre and will now re-appear before magistrates on Wednesday 12 March.
The club are to appeal against Fareham Council's decision to block plans for a new training ground. "We are disappointed at the decision and plan to appeal as soon as possible," chief executive Peter Storrie said. "There are a number of huge benefits to the council and community."
Simon Cox was satisfied with his performance in his full debut for the club against Tottenham this week. "I came back from Swindon and set my sights on making a few appearances, so it was nice to get out there," he said. "It was a night for enjoying it and I thought we were unlucky."
New signing Jean-Yves Mvoto has expressed his enthusiasm at joining the club, and said he is hoping to feature against Tottenham on Saturday. "I already know Armand [Traoré] and Adel [Taarabt], who are doing well in England," he said. "I am happy to play in this League."
Ben Alnwick has admitted he may have to join Leicester permanently for first-team football. "[Leicester] is a club I would love to be at," he said. "If something permanent came of it, then I would be happy. I am just here to get my games. Whatever comes of it is out of my hands."
West Ham United
The midfielder Matt Etherington has signed a contract extension that will keep him with the club until 2012. The 26-year-old's current deal runs out in June 2009. "I have always been happy here since the day I arrived," the former Tottenham player said. "And I look forward to the next four-and-a-half years."
Steve Bruce has brought 24-year-old defender Maynor Figueroa to the JJB Stadium on a loan deal. The Deportivo Olimpia player impressed during training with the Latics. "It's difficult for a player from Honduras to make an impact in a short trial," Bruce said. "But he has done well and has been desperate to earn a contract."Reuse content