Bolton defender Alonso dismisses talk of January move to Swansea

Bolton Wanderers defender Marcus Alonso has dismissed speculation linking him with a move to Swansea City during the January transfer window.

With the 22-year-old’s contract set to expire in the summer, Michael Laudrup’s side are rumoured to be preparing a bid to bring the ex-Real Madrid youngster back to the Premier League, with first-choice left-back Neil Taylor still sidelined with a broken ankle.

However, Alonso has rejected talk of a move to south Wales, or any other club, insisting that, if he is to return to the Premier League, he fully intends to do so with the Trotters.

“I don’t read anything [about transfer speculation]. My head is in Bolton and I just want to get back with Bolton to the Premier League,” Alonso told The Bolton News.

“As for Swansea, I have not spoken to anyone and from the club, and they haven’t told me anything.

“I am happy now. The manager is doing a great job and, as I said, if we win two or three games, we will get our confidence back and the fans back.

“The rest of the season will be better and we will be in the fight to be in the Premier League.”

Alonso has established himself in the Trotters’ side in recent weeks and is determined to remain a key part of Dougie Freedman’s plans.

“Now Stephen [Warnock] has gone, it is my chance and I want to keep my place. I will keep working hard,” Alonso said.

“I am really pleased as it is the first time I have played four games in a row. Everything is going all right and I am just trying to keep going.

“It has been hard with so many injuries, but football changes quickly and now I am really happy. I am working hard, as I have over the last three years, to stay in the team. That is my main focus.”

Sunderland inform Saha he is free to leave

Louis Saha will leave Sunderland after the club agreed to cancel the remainder of the striker’s contract, manager Martin O’Neill has revealed.

The former Fulham, Manchester United, Tottenham and Everton striker signed for the Black Cats on a one-year deal last summer but has not started a Premier League match since.

And Sunderland boss O’Neill has confirmed that Saha is now free to leave the club, although he may remain with the squad as cover until the end of the month.

“As of today, we have told Louis he is free to speak to other clubs and to leave if he can fix himself up somewhere,” O’Neill told the Shields Gazette.

“We have come to an agreement whereby we will cancel the remainder of his contract, shake hands and go our separate ways.

“That said, we are still a bit short in terms of numbers, and Louis may stay with us until the end of the month until such time as hopefully we have strengthened the squad a little more.

“But we agreed that he could go as early as today, if he wishes to.”

O’Neill also revealed that Saha is the subject of interest from an unnamed South African club, while he went on to speak of the Frenchman’s disappointment at his failure to make an impact at the Stadium of Light.

“I have heard that there is some interest in South Africa for Louis, and it might be of some interest to him,” he said.

“I wasn’t expecting him to be starting 20 Premier League games on the trot or anything like that. But I think he’s been disappointed.

“In fairness, I think he’s been disappointed when he’s come on to the field. I think he feels he might have been making a bigger impact.

“He’s had a chat to me, and I understand that. This man has had a really good career, and he didn’t want to be a bit-part in things.”

QPR confirm Remy signing

QPR have confirmed the signing of Loic Remy from Marseille on a four-and-a-half-year deal.

The France international will wear the No.18 shirt and Loftus Road and is eligible to make his Hoops debut against West Ham on Saturday, subject to receiving international clearance.

Harry Redknapp told the club’s official website: “I’m delighted to bring him in – he’s a great buy for us.

“I didn’t think we’d get him to be honest but Tony Fernandes worked ever so hard on this. He wouldn’t give up on it, and it’s great that we now have him here with us.

“He’s always been a player I’ve admired. I’ve watched him on so many occasions throughout the last few years. I actually spent three or four hours with him last year so he knew what I thought of him, and I think that was important.

“He’s quick, can score goals and makes great runs. His movement is excellent. He’s got the potential to be a really outstanding striker.”

Remy had looked set to join Newcastle United but has opted for west London instead, with the former Nice man hailing Redknapp as being key to his decision.

The striker added: Harry played a big part in me coming here. I spoke to him and Tony Fernandes at length and they made it clear they wanted me here. They gave me the right motivation to join QPR.

“I want to develop my game here. This season the objective is to stay up but beyond that we have greater objectives.

“After seven years in France, this is the right time for me to pursue a new challenge in the Premier League – the best League in the world.

“I am confident I can adapt to the Premier League. My main characteristics have taken me to the level I am at today but I am keen to keep improving in the Premier League.”

BREAKING NEWS: QPR confirm Remy signing

QPR have confirmed the signing in Loic Remy from Marseille on a four-and-a-half-year deal.

Harry Redknapp told the club’s official website: “I’m delighted to bring him in – he’s a great buy for us.

“I didn’t think we’d get him to be honest but Tony Fernandes worked ever so hard on this. He wouldn’t give up on it, and it’s great that we now have him here with us.


“He’s always been a player I’ve admired. I’ve watched him on so many occasions throughout the last few years. I actually spent three or four hours with him last year so he knew what I thought of him, and I think that was important.

“He’s quick, can score goals and makes great runs. His movement is excellent. He’s got the potential to be a really outstanding striker.”

The striker added: Harry played a big part in me coming here. I spoke to him and Tony Fernandes at length and they made it clear they wanted me here. They gave me the right motivation to join QPR.

“I want to develop my game here. This season the objective is to stay up but beyond that we have greater objectives.

“After seven years in France, this is the right time for me to pursue a new challenge in the Premier League – the best League in the world.

“I am confident I can adapt to the Premier League. My main characteristics have taken me to the level I am at today but I am keen to keep improving in the Premier League.”

More to follow…

Liverpool step up Sneijder pursuit as Inter star stalls on Galatasaray move

EXCLUSIVE
By Greg Stobart

Liverpool are set to ramp up their efforts to sign Inter star Wesley Sneijder as the Dutch playmaker continues to stall on a transfer to Galatasaray, Goal.com understands.

The midfielder has been holding out for a transfer to the Premier League and Liverpool are now trying to put together a financial package after stepping up their pursuit of the 28-year-old.

Inter agreed a €10 million [£8.3m] fee with Galatasaray a week previously but Sneijder has delayed a decision on signing for the Turkish club as he waits for offers from English sides.

“A number of meetings are scheduled in the next 24 hours but there is serious interest from Liverpool and Wesley would like to see if they follow that through,” a source close to the deal told Goal.com. “This is a big decision at this moment in his career from a football and personal perspective.”

The Reds held talks with Sneijder’s representatives on Monday, which have been described as “constructive”, as they look to make use of the wages freed up by the departures of high-earners Joe Cole and Nuri Sahin in January.

WESLEY SNEIJDER | ALL-TIME INTER STATS

Arsenal, Tottenham, Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea have all been sounded out over moves for Sneijder during the winter window by third parties but rejected a deal due to the player’s £200,000-a-week wages.

The Nerazzurri star currently earns £9m a year at the San Siro and is considering a £1.6m annual pay cut to join Galatasaray as Inter try and force their unsettled midfielder out of the club.

While Liverpool’s offer is likely to fall well below that of Galatasaray, Sneijder is eager to test himself in the Premier League and has made it clear to his agent that he would favour a switch to Anfield.

The Turkish giants and Inter are, however, pushing the player for a final answer, with the former Real Madrid and Ajax man unhappy at the way that he feels treated by Massimo Moratti, the Italian club’s president.

“All players on the move in this transfer window must decide what to do and where to go by the end of January. I’ll do the same,” Sneijder told Gazzetta dello Sport.

“I am in no hurry and I don’t want to rush this decision. After what has happened in the last few months, in the context of having made football history with my team-mates, well, I don’t want to feel pressured,” he added.

“After what I did, I don’t want to feel this way – practically obliged to make such an important step in my life in a short space of time. It’s not a money matter.”

Sneijder played a vital role in guiding Inter to an historic treble in 2010 under Jose Mourinho but has fallen out of favour under current coach Andrea Stramaccioni, making just five Serie A appearances this season before being frozen out of the squad.

Follow Greg Stobart on