Today in The Premiership

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William Gallas does not think the club will rush into signing anyone, believing they will be able to cope with the loss of Kolo Tour, Emmanuel Ebou and Alex Song to the African Nations Cup. "I don't really expect us to sign anyone," the Frenchman said. "I think everything is fine."

Aston Villa

Martin Laursen said he will postpone contract talks with the club until after this weekend's FA Cup match with Manchester United. "When we have got the United game out of the way, then we will meet up again," the defender said. "I told my agent to take care of everything. I trust him."

Birmingham City

Manager Alex McLeish said he will not focus solely on Scottish players when looking at options to strengthen his squad during the transfer window. "I think people misunderstood me when I said I would only bring in players I know," he said. "That doesn't mean they are all Scottish players."

Blackburn Rovers

Mark Hughes has challenged his team to start sharing the goals around the team. Striker Roque Santa Cruz and midfielder David Bentley have scored 11 of Blackburn's last 12 goals and Hughes feels Rovers could push for a European place if more midfielders start to get on the scoresheet.

Bolton Wanderers

Negotiations with out-of-contract players have been postponed by manager Gary Megson while the prospect of relegation remains. "We are not in a position where we can plan long term because we have short term problems," he said. The club face losing goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen on a free transfer this summer as his contract expires.


The midfielder Michael Ballack has revealed a half-time dressing down by manager Avram Grant and his coaching staff helped inspire the side to turn a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 victory against Fulham on New Year's Day. "It was a little bit loud in the dressing room," the 31-year-old German international said. "But we needed it."

Derby County

Manager Paul Jewell said a deal for Argentine striker Emanuel Villa is "almost completed". The 25-year-old will fly in from Mexican side UAG Tecos to undergo a medical today. "Barring any hitches he will sign," Jewell said, before revealing a deal for another player was "99 per cent certain".


Plans for the club's new 400m stadium in Kirkby were officially submitted to the local authority yesterday. Proposals for the 50,000-seat ground have been met with some opposition, though the club maintain the project will allow for widespread regeneration of the surrounding area.


The manager Roy Hodgson believes his new club has enough experience to stay in the Premier League. "You won't hear from me that the team is not good enough to stay up," he said. Hodgson's first game in charge of the Cottagers, against Chelsea on New Year's Day, ended in a 2-1 defeat.


The Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini has warned the club off making a move for the striker Amauri. "I know some foreign clubs are interested in him but until June nothing will happen," Zamparini said of the 27-year-old forward. "For sure, I will do everything to make him stay."

Manchester City

Joe Hart said he always believed he could become the club's No 1 goalkeeper after displacing the summer signing Andreas Isaksson last month. "I've always felt settled in the side," the England Under-21 international said. "There's no point if you don't believe in yourself."

Manchester United

Scans have shown the striker Carlos Tevez suffered no more than bruising to the ankle during the New Year's Day victory over Birmingham City. "Nothing is broken," a club spokesman said. "Carlos has just got a badly bruised right ankle." Tevez had scored the only goal of the game.


The striker Mido could make a first team return in the home match with Liverpool on 12 January. "We've got to take it step by step," manager Gareth Southgate said. "I don't think he will be ready to start, but if we can have him in the squad it will certainly strengthen the bench."

Newcastle United

Damien Duff said he was looking forward to playing first team football after returning from a foot injury. "We have got some big games in the new year and I am looking forward to it," the Ireland international said. "When you have been out for so long, you really appreciate playing again."


Sol Campbell said he was grateful for team-mate Papa Bouba Diop's inaccuracy after scoring the opening goal of Pompey's 2-0 win at Reading on New Year's Day. "It was an open goal and Papa managed to head the ball straight at the guy's head," he said. "It landed near me and I stuck a leg out."


The defender Peter Mate has returned to Hungarian side Debrecen after completing a 16-month loan spell at the Madejski Stadium. Injury restricted the 23-year-old to just one appearance for the Royals, Mate scoring in a cup game against Darlington last season.


Kieran Richardson believes the club's positive attitude will see them survive any potential relegation trouble. "We know we can do it," the England midfielder said. "The gaffer said everyone is worrying around us, but as long as we are focused and keep positive, we will have no problem."

Tottenham Hotspur

The club has been linked with a move for Atletico Madrid midfielder Maniche, although the Spanish club has played down the reports. "He is an excellent player," Atletico sporting director Jorge Mendes said. "I am not surprised there is interest. But there is nothing concrete."

West Ham United

The manager Alan Curbishley said striker Dean Ashton will be eased back into the first team as he recovers from a knee ligament injury. Ashton played 19 minutes as a substitute during the 2-0 defeat at Arsenal on New Year's Day. "He understands," Curbishley said. "I have just been making sure we get him through it."

Wigan Athletic

Titus Bramble believes a simple approach from new manager Steve Bruce is the reason behind the club's recent improvement in form. "All he's done is gone back to basics and made sure we're a harder team to beat," the defender said. "I don't see any reason why we can't get out of this. We've the players and the coaching staff to do it."