QPR target Peter Odemwingie is 'not for sale' insists West Brom boss Clarke

West Brom manager Steve Clarke has issued a hands off warning to QPR after Harry Redknapp admitted they made an enquiry for Peter Odemwingie.

Reports have emerged that the west London club, who remain bottom of the Premier League despite drawing with Tottenham, have had a bid rejected for the Nigerian forward.

The 49-year-old did not comment on whether there had been a formal bid by the Rs but affirmed the Midlands club’s position on their striker, insisting: “[Odemwingie] is not for sale.”

The Scot was speaking after his side’s 3-2 loss to Reading on Sunday, where they led 2-0 with just eight minutes remaining, before conceding three late goals to leave them with nothing.

Clarke admitted that the finale was unbelievable and rued his team’s missed chances, notably from Romelu Lukaku who hit the woodwork twice before the their late capitulation.

“You never think the points are in the bag in the Premier League,” he told reporters. “I thought we had good control of the game though.

“I certainly couldn’t see the finish to the game that actually happened. I’m not sure [what went wrong].  

“We could have been out of sight but we lost the goal on 81 minutes and for some reason we lost our shape and composure and conceded the two late goals that cost us the game.

“Sometimes football’s a strange game and today was one of those days. I’m disappointed more than angry.”

The Baggies seemed in control before the flurry of late action, with the hosts unable to create much of note, making Reading’s winner even harder to take.

However Clarke assured fans that his players will find no trouble in bouncing back, indicating they will not dwell on the defeat.

When asked if it will be hard to lift the players, he replied: “No they are professionals.

“We’ve got a big game on Tuesday night (FA Cup third-round replay with QPR). We want to progress in the FA Cup and stay in as long as possible.”

He also revealed that Shane Long, who missed the clash against his former club with a dead leg, is again “doubtful” for the replay with the Rs.

Reading manager Brian McDermott was naturally pleased with the outcome of the clash at the Madejski, praising his side’s “resilience and desire” for the win that keeps them off the bottom of the table.
 
“You don’t normally win games when you’re two goals down with eight minutes to go,” he said.

“They didn’t get the third goal [and] once we scored, the crowd really got into the game and we had a chance. You have to stay in the game at this level.

“What we’ve got is great resilience and desire.”

The win keeps the Royals in 19th place in the league table, with 16 points and 16 game remaining, but moves them to within three points of safety. The 51-year-old indicated, though, that he is not aiming for any specific final tally.

“I have no points tally in mind, no long term targets,” he added. “My only target is to try and win the next game.”

Sahin pleased with experience of playing with Gerrard at Liverpool

On-loan Borussia Dortmund midfielder Nuri Sahin says that he has no regrets about his short spell at Liverpool.


The 24-year old joined the Merseyside outfit in the summer transfer window on loan from Real Madrid but failed to make a significant impact at the club, making just 12 appearances under Brendan Rodgers.

Sahin, however, claims that his time in the Premier League was worthwhile due to the experience he gained from playing alongside Steven Gerrard. He believes the England international has helped him improve his all-round midfield game.

“I have matured as a player after playing alongside the best players in my position,” Sahin told the club’s official website.

“Xabi Alonso when I was at Real Madrid, but especially Steven Gerrard at Liverpool – even though I didn’t get to play a lot with him.”

Sahin is on his second spell at the German club after coming through the youth team before departing to Spain in 2011.

He was a crucial member of the side which dethroned Bayern Munich to win Dortmund’s first Bundesliga title in almost a decade, becoming the Bundesliga’s Player of the Season in 2010/2011.

The loan deal will see the Sahin, still a Real Madrid player, stay with Jurgen Klopp’s side until the end of the season.

Fiorentina boss Montella: I'd love to work with Lampard

Fiorentina boss Vincenzo Montella has revealed he would “love” to bring Frank Lampard to the club.

The Viola currently sit fourth in Serie A and with Lampard’s contract due to run out in the summer, speculation is rife as to where the 34-year-old may end up.

Montella hopes his destination is Florence, as he sees him as a useful addition to the squad.

“I’d love to work with Lampard. The fact that he likes Fiorentina is something to be proud of. He is a professional and in good shape. If he accepted the bench every now and again, he’d be useful to us…”

Meanwhile, the Viola have also been linked with striker Antonio Di Natale, with Montella’s charges are set to face Udinese this weekend. However, the Italian trainer feels it is unlikely that the Zebrette forward will leave his current club.

He added: “As for Di Natale, we’ve been friends for a long time and I realise he’d like to work with me, but he doesn’t feel he should leave Udine. I understand his position and really he’s right, especially as it’s not certain he’d play all the time in Florence.

“Udinese are a great team with talented players in fine form right now. Perhaps we didn’t deserve to beat them last time out, so they’ll be angrier tomorrow.”

Fiorentina suffered a shock 2-0 defeat against Pescara last weekend, but Montella insists his side are raring to go against Udinese, and says there is still a long way to go in the league before anything is decided.

He continued: “I already had a response during training, so I know the team is alive and kicking without suffering any psychological blowback.

“It was a new experience for me, as I’d never lost a game like that before. Nobody thought Pescara could score. When you can’t break through in the second half, it is important not to get too unbalanced. We must remain clear-headed.

“This Serie A tournament remains wide open. A team can easily arrive second or seventh. Would I prefer to get a Champions League place or win the Coppa Italia? Why choose when you can have both…”

Official: Calaio completes Napoli return

Napoli have clinched the signing of Siena forward Emanuele Calaio on loan until the end of the season.

The 31-year-old becomes the second Partenopei arrival in a matter of days, following in the footsteps of Colombian wing-back Pablo Armero earlier in the week.

He will initially ply his trade at the San Paolo on a temporary basis for the next six months, but the southern Italian club have the option to make his stay permanent in the summer.

Walter Mazzarri’s side are understood to have beaten Torino and Palermo to Calaio’s signature, and his arrival is expected to speed up Eduardo Vargas’ return to South America.

The Sicily-born hitman originally joined Napoli in the 2004-2005 season and went onto score 44 goals in 128 appearances before falling out of favour and joining Siena three years later.

However, he regained his form at the Artemio Franchi, netting a further 50 times during his spell in Tuscany, and will now likely serve as Edinson Cavani’s deputy.

Redknapp confirms QPR working on Odemwingie & Livermore deals

QPR manager Harry Redknapp has confirmed the club are lining up moves for West Brom forward Peter Odemwingie and Tottenham midfielder Jake Livermore this month.

Livermore broke into the Spurs first team under Redknapp, but his game time has been significantly more limited under new boss Andre Villas-Boas.

“Yeah, we’re taking Livermore,” Redknapp told reporters.

“We’re doing a deal to take Jake on loan. I like Jake, I’m a big fan of Jake’s. Good, young player. It will be good experience for him, I think.”

But Tottenham’s Portuguese boss was less committal on Livermore’s potential loan move, stating that the deal was yet to be concluded.

“There’s nothing confirmed yet,” Villas-Boas said after watching his side draw 0-0 against QPR. “I think when we announce it, it will be official from all three parties.”

Redknapp – currently short of quality strikers on his roster – also confirmed his interest in bringing West Brom’s Nigerian forward Odemwingie to Loftus Road, a player he has long admired.

“We made an enquiry for Odemwingie, yes,” the QPR boss revealed.

“I don’t know whether [chief executive] Philip Beard has put an offer in, but he was a player that we spoke about and he’s someone that I was interested in making an offer for.

“And there’s every chance we have made an offer for him, but I haven’t spoke to him [Beard] today. Probably an offer may well have gone in.

“I don’t know what’s happened with the offer, if there is one. He’s just a player that I spoke about, I said he was an interesting player, find out if West Brom would sell him and that’s how I left it with the chief executive to try to find out for me.”