Inter's McDonald Mariga joins Parma on loan

EXCLUSIVE
By David Kwalimwa

Inter midfielder McDonald Mariga is returning to Parma on a short term loan deal.

The 25 year-old has seen limited playing time at the San Siro outfit since recovering from a long term injury in November, and in a move aimed at offering the Kenyan valuable playing time, the two Serie A sides have agreed a deal in principle that will see the anchorman return to play for Roberto Donadoni’s charges for the next six months.

“I am joining Parma. I thank everyone who made this deal happen. I really need playing time and playing at the Stadio Tardini is always an exciting prospect,” Mariga told Goal.com.

This will be the third stint for the Kenyan player the Gialloblu who brought him to Italy from Sweden six years ago. Sources suggest that Parma have inserted a clause in this deal to buy the player outright at the end of the current campaign.

As reported by Goal.com early this week, Mariga was likely to leave the San Siro in January as a host of European clubs including English sides Reading and Fulham were leading the chase for his signature, but it seems Parma jumped to the front of the queue on the eve of transfer deadline day to seal the move.

Yoon Suk-Young: Redknapp really wanted me at QPR

New QPR signing Yoon Suk-Young has revealed that he chose to join the club after speaking to Harry Redknapp, revealing that the Hoops’ boss wants him to become a big star in the Premier League.

The left-back signed for QPR signed from Chunnam Dragons for an undisclosed fee following talks with Redknapp.
Speaking with reporters, Suk-Young said: “I chose QPR because Redknapp really wanted me. And I thought I could learn many things in bigger stage.

“I asked QPR to talk to Redknapp before signing and he came to see me right away. I wanted to know what he thinks of me. He said many things like he wants to make me a big star.”

The South Korean also admitted that he is not fully fit and will not be rushed into action ahead of QPR’s relegation fight.

“I’m not 100 per cent fit yet,” he said. “I’m working hard to be fit but I should not rush too much.”

BREAKING NEWS: Anelka joins Juventus

Greetings one and all! As promised, Livio Caferoglu is here to take you through the next eight hours of the January transfer window’s 30th day!

It’s also a perfect opportunity to announce TWO breaking deals from the Premier League which have been confirmed in the last few minutes!

Liverpool have announced the signing of Brazilian forward Philippe Coutinho from Inter.

And on the blue side of Merseyside… Everton have confirmed that the deal to take Twente midfielder Leroy Fer to Goodison Park has collapsed.

What do you think about those pair of scoops? Have your say on Twitter @goal_intl or use the interactive comments section on the right-hand side!

Everton confirm Leroy Fer move from Twente has collapsed

Everton have confirmed that their deal to sign FC Twente midfielder Leroy Fer is off, following problems with the Dutchman’s medical.

The Premier League side had an 10 million bid for the 23-year-old accepted by their Eredivisie counterparts, but after finding that he had suffered a serious knee injury while on international duty in September, the Toffees wanted to restructure the deal with part of the fee based on appearances made for the club.

The Merseysiders were in talks with Twente, and were still keen on taking the midfielder, but the Dutch club’s apparent refusal to negotiate the terms of the deal have put paid to any hope of the deal being resurrected.

Twente chairman Joop Munsterman had previously stated to Dutch journalists that: “[Everton] can come up with any demand they wish but we’re not playing along with their demands.”

Everton chief executive Robert Elstone told Sky Sports News: “It’s a real shame, we were very excited about the prospect of Leroy Fer coming to Goodison and the combination of a lot of hard work. We thought only 24 hours ago we’d got a very talented young Dutch international player coming to Goodison.

“The transfer didn’t go smoothly and there were some issues in the end but as our fans would expect we have to put the club first, the club’s interests first and the club’s finances first. Our track record shows we do that pretty well and we thought long and hard about it and unfortunately it didn’t work out.

“Of course, we’re still looking there are other options for us, we’ll continue to work very very hard on it. We’re hopeful, we will work hard and it won’t be for a lack of trying. There will be plenty more activity to see if we can succeed with one of those other options.”

'Skilful Coutinho could be perfect for the Premier League' – everything you need to know about Liverpool €13.7m signing

PROFILE
By Chris Myson & Matt Scott

Liverpool have bolstered their attacking ranks in January with the signing of Daniel Sturridge and Inter starlet Philippe Coutinho, who officially signed for the Anfield club on Wednesday afternoon.

Coutinho came through the youth system of Brazilian heavyweights Vasco da Gama, a club he initially joined at just seven years of age.

Before he even made his debut for the club, the playmaker was already making waves. His exceptional performances in the youth team and internationally for Brazil under-16 and 17s ensured he was quickly developing an impressive reputation.

Real Madrid were amongst the big European clubs who circled for his signature, although it was Inter who eventually won the race, paying 4.2 million euros for the then 16-year-old in 2008.

COURTING COUTINHO

PHILIPPE COUTINHO FACTS
AGE
CAREER APPS
CAREER GOALS
TRANSFER FEES
BRAZIL DEBUT
20
96
15
£3.4m
v Iran Oct 7 2010

The Serie A club allowed him to stay with Vasco da Gama on loan until he turned 18 in 2010, when they made his transfer official and brought him to San Siro.

By that point he had played over two seasons for the first team at his boyhood club, in the second campaign becoming a regular and important contributor to the side.

He spent an initial 18 months in and around the Inter squad, making his debut in the Uefa Super Cup defeat to Atletico Madrid, although he never really established himself as a first-team regular.

“Coutinho has always impressed with his technical qualities, but he’s always been considered too inexperienced to make a real mark during his time in Italian football,” explains Goal.com Italy’s Maurizio Piano.

“That means a lot of his most brilliant performances have come during friendly matches in pre-season. In senior games, he didn’t get picked to play too often and, when he did, it tended to be from the substitutes’ bench.”

For the second half of the 2011-12 season, Coutinho was loaned to La Liga outfit Espanyol and he impressed under Mauricio Pochettino, now manager of Southampton.

He played 16 matches as he helped the Catalan side to a mid-table finish and scored five times, two of which were particularly spectacular efforts –a  free-kick against Malaga and a volley against Racing Santander.

Since returning from Spain, Coutinho would have hoped to improve his fortunes with Inter on the back of the confidence gained in La Liga, but most recently, an injury has also hindered his progress as he tries to force his way into the team.

Now, despite the player’s stated wish to remain at Inter, it seems the club are determined to move him on, as they have done with Wesley Sneijder, to raise funds for new pursuits in the market.

Maurizio added: “Coutinho has never really been seen as a certain starter for Inter. Now, the Nerazzurri need money to try and buy Paulinho from Corinthians.

“Just like Ricky Alvarez, Coutinho is seen as one of the expendable players Inter are prepared to sell in order to raise money that allows them to buy in this transfer window.”

The Reds have been in the market for an attacking midfielder this month after allowing Nuri Sahin to leave Merseyside and rejoin his former club Dortmund, the Turkey international having failed to make an impact at Anfield.

Wesley Sneijder was a Liverpool target until the Netherlands playmaker chose to leave Inter for Galatasaray.

The 28-year-old was thought to be holding out for an offer from the Premier League, but could not be persuaded to wait for an offer from Anfield and joined the Turkish giants in a €7.5 million (£6.3m) deal.

Where Sneijder is a pass-master, Coutinho is a completely different kind of player, but is not lacking the kind of creative spark that saw the Dutchman regarded so highly.

The Brazilian has often found himself lining up on the left-hand side at Inter and Espanyol, a position that has been rotated between youngsters Raheem Sterling and Suso at Anfield for much of this term.

Possessing a lightning-quick burst of speed, but typically South American close-control, Coutinho is a flair player who will not think twice when taking a man on, with a penchant for lobbing his man.

When cutting inside on to his right foot, the 20-year-old is an accurate finisher; indeed, his return of 15 goals from 96 career games is impressive for a youngster who has featured in a wide role in most of those appearances.

With the teenaged Sterling feeling signs of burn-out after a whirlwind introduction to the Premier League, and Suso seeming to lack the speed required for the top-flight, Coutinho could be a happy medium between the two.

Maurizio certainly feels he could be a success story at Anfield if the deal goes ahead, saying: “Even if at Inter he has been used at times as a midfielder, he really is more like an attacking midfielder or even outright attacker.

“He may not be particularly physically strong but he is certainly fast and agile. He has good vision, strong dribbling skills and can certainly be a prolific creator of chances. I think he could do well in the Premier League, since he is quick and has great skills.”

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