Transfer talk: Norwich City sign Liverpool defender

Norwich sign 20-year-old Ayala from Liverpool, and Robin Van Persie is given the captaincy of Arsenal after Fabregas' departure.


Steve Round, the Everton assistant manager, was pleased to see Mikel Arteta step up his recovery from a foot injury in Monday's friendly against the Irish side Bohemians - arranged after their match against Tottenham Hotspur was postponed because of the London riots. The Spanish midfielder played 68 minutes of the 1-1 draw. "He has missed most of pre-season with a foot injury and now he has got those minutes under his belt, which is important," Round said.

Bolton Wanderers

Bild has reported that Schalke have received an offer Bolton for the former Real Madrid striker Raul. Horst Heldt, the Schalke general manager, told the German daily yesterday that the Bundesliga club received an offer from Bolton on Monday and would "meet with Raul and his agent today to talk about it". Heldt said: "We don't actually want to let him go, but if he tells us he wants to go we will deal with it and enter negotiations. There will be a prompt decision in the matter, by tomorrow at 1pm at the latest." The 34-year-old Raul is under contract with Schalke until 2012.

Norwich City

Norwich have completed the signing of the Liverpool defender Daniel Ayala. The 20 year old spent four years at Anfield but made only five first-team appearances. Paul Lambert, the Norwich manager, said Ayala will add some much-needed depth for the challenges ahead.


Nigerian police yesterday urged people with information about the disappearance of the father of Chelsea's John Obi Mikel to contact them as the authorities struggled for clues in the kidnapping. Michael Obi, who runs a transport company in Jos, the capital of Plateau State in central Nigeria, has not been seen since Friday when he failed to return home from work. The Nigeria midfielder, 24, pleaded on Monday for his father's kidnappers to free him, begging: "Please just let him go."

Queens Park Rangers

Kieron Dyer will return to training in "days rather than weeks", according to Nigel Cox, the head physio. The 32-year-old midfielder has been beset by injuries in recent years and was forced off less than five minutes into his QPR debut against Bolton Wanderers on Saturday. Cox said: "There has been a lot of swelling, but it is moving forward quite rapidly. We are cautiously optimistic at this stage. If it does prove to be what we believe it is, we are looking at him returning to training in days rather than weeks."


Robin van Persie succeeded Cesc Fabregas as Arsenal's captain yesterday, but was unable to lead the team out against Udinese in the first leg of their Champions League play-off last night because he is suspended. The 28-year-old Dutch forward will have to wait until Saturday, when Arsenal play Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium, for the armband to pass to him. Gervinho, the striker, has been banned for three matches by the Football Association after being sent off on his Premier League debut at Newcastle United on Saturday for hitting Joey Barton. Meanwhile, Galatasaray have signed Emmanuel Eboue from Arsenal on a four-year contract. The Turkish club say they will pay Arsenal €3.5 million (Dh18.3m) for the Ivory Coast defender. Galatasaray finished eighth in the Turkish league last season, their worst result in years. Eboue, 28, joined Arsenal in 2005.

Published: August 17, 2011 04:00 AM


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