Transfer Talk: Bruce hails 'fantastic new asset' in Bramble

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The Sunderland manager, Steve Bruce, has spoken of his delight in capturing Titus Bramble from Wigan. "It's a cracking deal," the manager said of the £1m swoop. "I'm delighted he is going to be a part of what we are trying to achieve at this football club." The 28-year-old defender flew to Portugal last night to join his new team-mates before finalising the move. "He's going to be a huge asset to us, it's fantastic," added Bruce.

Algeria's World Cup goalkeeper Rais M'Bolhi is on his way to West Ham's training camp in Bavaria to have a trial with the club. The 23-year-old plays for Bulgarian side Slavia Sofia.

The Leicester goalkeeper Chris Weale has also interested the Hammers' new manager, Avram Grant, as he looks to provide cover for Rob Green this season. The 28-year-old played a key role for the Foxes last season.

With James Milner looking more likely he will depart for Eastlands, Martin O'Neill spoke yesterday of his admiration for the Celtic midfielder Aiden McGeady. "I think Aiden has the ability to play in the Premier League, without question," he said of the 24-year-old. "I had him as a kid at Celtic and played him without worrying too much about his youth." The Scottish club are bracing themselves for a £7m bid for the player as a replacement for Milner.

The Schalke coach, Felix Magath, is "convinced" the former Real Madrid striker Raul will be playing at the Veltins-Arena next season. "Raul has shown in every moment his interest in signing for our team and we believe he will arrive, be it in days or weeks," Magath said.

The coach is aware the 33-year-old forward is much in demand for a move on a free transfer and has attracted the interest of Tottenham, Blackburn and Hamburg. "We are aware he is receiving other offers, but we also know he is turning them down," Magath added.

The drawn-out saga of Internazionale's Mario Balotelli and his lucrative move away from San Siro took another turn yesterday when the Inter defender Ivan Cordoba advised his team-mate to make the move. "Balotelli is having tantrums and he doesn't know what to do," Cordoba said. "I advise him to find himself another team so he can rediscover his motivation."

The Barcelona striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic's agent has dismissed speculation that the 28-year-old will move away from the Nou Camp this summer after the club signed David Villa. "He will start the season as a Barça player," Mino Raiola said.


The Paraguayan defender Antolin Alcaraz has finally gained a work permit to complete his move from Club Brugge. "It's fantastic news that we can finally confirm the arrival of Alcaraz," Latics' manager Roberto Martinez said yesterday.

West Bromwich

Frenchman Youssuf Mulumbu, 23, has signed a one-year contract extension at the Hawthorns keeping him at the club until 2013. "I'm delighted that another of our talented young players has committed his future to the club," said Baggies' coach Roberto di Matteo.


The South Africa international Bongani Khumalo has claimed he is on his way to Spurs for a trial. The 23-year-old had a successful World Cup and scored against France in the 2-1 win. "We are working on it at the moment," he said. "It would be a dream come true." The defender plays for South African side Supersport United.


Free agent Andranik Teymourian has turned down an extended trial with Blackburn Rovers. The former Fulham and Bolton Wanderers midfielder, released from Craven Cottage this summer, is still yet to find a club for the new season.


The Lions have rewarded manager Kenny Jackett with a new three-year deal after securing promotion via the League One play-offs last season. The 48-year-old, who joined Millwall in 2007, said: "I really want to build on what we've achieved going into the Championship."


The 2006 Italian World Cup winner Gianluca Zambrotta has committed himself to Milan after agreeing a one-year contract extension. The 33-year-old full-back is now contracted at San Siro until at least 2012 and follows team-mate Massimo Oddo in committing his short-term future to the Rossoneri.