Transfer talk: Etherington wants Ashton

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Etherington wants Ashton

Stoke midfielder Matthew Etherington believes the club would benefit if they sign his former West Ham team-mate Dean Ashton. "Dean will score goals, there's no shadow of doubt about that," Etherington said of the injury-plagued 25-year-old. "His injury has set him back, but I really do believe he can be a great asset if we sign him." Potters goalkeeper Danzelle St Louis-Hamilton has joined Vauxhall Motors until the new year.

Hleb returns?

Alexander Hleb may turn down a move to Internazionale and return to former club Stuttgart. The 28-year-old Barcelona midfielder played for the German side between 2000 and 2005 before joining Arsenal.

Bremen beckoning Pizarro

Chelsea striker Claudio Pizarro is still interesting Werder Bremen, where he spent last season on loan. "We are going to open up talks in the next few days," Bremen general manager Klaus Allofs said of the 30-year-old Peruvian.

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Arbeloa the Real thing

Liverpool defender Alvaro Arbeloa has completed a £3.5m move to Real Madrid after passing a medical yesterday. "He is delighted to play for Madrid," Real's medical chief Carlos Diez said. "[It] has been his lifelong dream." The Spanish side's move for fellow Reds player Xabi Alonso remains close, although defender Andrea Dossena's move to Napoli has broken down.

Niemi out of retirement

Former Southampton and Fulham goalkeeper Antti Niemi has agreed to come out of retirement to provide competition to David James at Portsmouth. The 37-year-old former Finland international retired following a wrist injury last season.

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Cattermole vital to Latics

Roberto Martinez has reiterated Wigan's desire to hold onto Lee Cattermole. Liverpool, Sunderland and Arsenal have all been linked with the England Under-21 international. "You look at him as a player," the Latics manager said of Cattermole. "Technically, physically, he is a leader, we need him in our squad."

'Black Cats not big enough'

Bordeaux manager Laurent Blanc has warned Sunderland away from Moroccan striker Marouane Chamakh, insisting the 25-year-old will only join "a big club". "After the season he's had, if he has to go, it will be to a big club," Blanc stated. "I am standing in the way of a departure to Sunderland."

Brown not for Turner-ing

Hull manager Phil Brown says it will take a "ridiculous" bid for defender Michael Turner to be sold. "It would be difficult to hang on if a ridiculous bid came in," Brown said. "But no bids are on the table." The Tigers have been linked with Portsmouth defender Nadir Belhadj.