Today in the Premier League

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The manager Arsène Wenger believes a 39th Premier League game could have a "domino effect" on other European leagues. "Let us accept that England organise a 39th game," the Frenchman said. "Then tomorrow, Italy will organise one, France will organise one, Spain maybe as well."

Aston Villa

Striker Luke Moore was last night close to completing a transfer to West Bromwich Albion. Moore could move to the Hawthorns on a loan deal until the end of the season with a view to a permanent switch in the summer. The forward has scored two goals in 18 appearances for Villa this season.

Birmingham City

Steve McManaman has confirmed he will not stand for election to the Birmingham City board to represent Carson Yeung's 29.9 per cent stake in the club. "I am not standing anymore and don't want to be nominated," the former Liverpool midfielder said. "It was all a bit of a mistake."

Blackburn Rovers

The manager Mark Hughes believes the club's recent training camp in America will prove beneficial to their league performances. "We were able to get away, recuperate and refresh ourselves," Hughes said. "To prepare for one more big effort to achieve European qualification."

Bolton Wanderers

Kevin Davies said the club will not underestimate the task facing them at Atletico Madrid in the Uefa Cup tonight. "We were delighted with the [first-leg] win, but know we've only done half a job," he said. "It will be tough, but with the squad we've got we can go through. There's a lot of pressure for them to come and have a go at us."


Reggina have lodged an official complaint with the Italian Football Federation over the Blues' signing of 15-year-old Vincenzo Camilleri. "This happened because it was a club of Chelsea's size," the Reggina president, Lillo Foti, said. "Chelsea think that with money they can take away values from Reggina and Italian football."

Derby County

Midfielder Robbie Savage has declared his fitness ahead of Saturday's trip to Wigan. "Sav had a week off from training after taking quite a nasty knock on his foot," manager Paul Jewell said. "We are hoping to get him playing pain-free and get him playing somewhere near his potential."


Midfielder Tim Cahill believes the club can prosper in the Champions League. "We have a lot of footballers at this club that could play in the Champions League," he said. "Over the last four years the club has done something special. The club isn't going backward or sideways, it's going forward."


Daniel Cousin's protracted move from Rangers appears no closer to completion after the player admitted he expects to stay at Ibrox until at least the summer. "There are three months left until the end of the season," the Gabon striker said. "In my head I'm staying in Glasgow."


Former Reds goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar has criticised Rafael Benitez's rotational policy. "We played three times a week too," he said. "But Kenny Dalglish never changed five players without reason. Changes should be made only when there are injuries and suspensions."

Manchester City

Manager Sven Goran Eriksson has said he is pleased by the return of striker Valeri Bojinov, who has had only 49 minutes of first-team action since a £5.75m transfer last summer. "He sees things and can link up well with people," Eriksson said. "It's like having a new signing."

Manchester United

The defender Gerard Pique has been linked with a return to the Nou Camp after Barcelona held talks with his representatives. The 21-year-old, signed on a five-year deal in 2004, has failed to earn a regular starting place this season behind first-choice pairing Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand.


Midfielder Stewart Downing believes Brazilian forward Afonso Alves will prove a success at the Riverside as the £12m signing awaits his full debut for the club. "He is a quality player and an international," Downing said. "He will hopefully bang a few goals in for us."

Newcastle United

Manager Kevin Keegan has said he is considering 19-year-old striker Andy Carroll for Saturday's visit of Manchester United, with Obafemi Martins a doubt due to an ankle injury. "He's done very well," Keegan said. "He's something different to what we've got in the forward department."


The Ipswich manager, Jim Magilton, has expressed interest in striker David Nugent, who has struggled for a regular game at Fratton Park after signing from Preston last year. "It is a possibility," Magilton said. "We asked Portsmouth about a loan and they have not ruled it out."


Captain Graeme Murty believes the club's battle to avoid relegation will be their "biggest challenge for four to five years". "Relegation would be a massive hit to everyone," the defender said. "We've got to get the fans behind us and give them something to cheer about."


Kieran Richardson will not return from a hamstring injury for the trip to Portsmouth on Saturday. "The break has done me good," he said of a three-week lay-off. "It would have been great to have played [this weekend], but the main thing now is to get a good run in the side without injury."

Tottenham Hotspur

Former Tottenham midfielder and manager Glenn Hoddle has backed Spurs to beat Chelsea in Sunday's Carling Cup final. "At Wembley, in a one-off game, anything can happen," Hoddle said. "It's about the performance on the day, and Spurs on their day can trouble anybody."

West Ham United

Former Hammers midfielder Paolo Di Canio has revealed his dreams of managing the Upton Park side. "To manage in the Premier League would be a dream as English football is the best in the world," the Italian, who spent four seasons at Upton Park between 1999 and 2003, said. "To manage at West Ham would be perfect."

Wigan Athletic

Kevin Kilbane said the players will not allow sentiment to enter their minds ahead of Saturday's visit of Derby, former manager Paul Jewell's side. "The fans will talk about it on the day," Kilbane said. "Rightly so as he achieved great things here. But we have bigger issues to consider than any personalities who may be here on the day."