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Tuesday 12 December 2017

Holt next for Hughton as Ruddy inks new deal

NORWICH manager Chris Hughton is likely to step up his bid to resolve the future of captain Grant Holt after securing goalkeeper John Ruddy on a new four-year-deal at Carrow Road.

Ruddy, 25, impressed for the Canaries on their return to the Premier League last season, earning himself a call-up into England's squad for Euro 2012, which he had to then miss after breaking a finger in training.

Hughton took charge at the Norfolk club after Paul Lambert moved to Aston Villa, but has been away on holiday in Florida.

Before he went away Hughton is understood to have talked on the phone with Holt, having stated after being installed as the new Norwich manager his "main priority" was to keep the striker at Carrow Road.

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Olivier Giroud looked likely to be confirmed as an Arsenal player later today after Montpellier president Louis Nicollin revealed a deal had been completed for the in-demand France forward.

Giroud (pictured) was part of Laurent Blanc's Euro 2012 squad which was knocked out by Spain in the quarter-finals on Saturday, and now his domestic future is set to be resolved.

The 25-year-old scored 25 goals for his club last season to help Montpellier win the Ligue 1 title, igniting the interest of several top clubs.

Last week, Gunners boss Arsene Wenger revealed a deal was "90 per cent" complete as he looked to add the promising Frenchman to his squad, which has already been bolstered by the arrival of Germany forward Lukas Podolski.

Once the transfer for Giroud is formally complete, Arsenal could look to offload some of their fringe players, including Denmark striker Nicklas Bendtner and Morocco international Marouane Chamakh as well as Mexican Carlos Vela and Brazilian Denilson.

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Chelsea midfielder Raul Meireles could be on the move again with Napoli interested in signing him.

The Italian club are looking to strengthen their midfield and have plenty of transfer funds after selling star attacker Ezequiel Lavezzi to Paris Saint-Germain.

Meireles only joined Chelsea last summer on transfer deadline day and played a key role in helping the Blues win the Champions League for the first time, beating Napoli on the way.

Meireles (pictured right) has impressed for Portugal at Euro 2012 prompting Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis to make his move. Meireles, who is preparing for the semi-final against Spain, refused to commit his future to Chelsea, saying: "I am focused on the Euros and cannot think about my future now."

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Fulham have targeted Aaron Ramsey as their replacement for Danny Murphy who completed his free transfer move to Blackburn.

Fulham boss Martin Jol is a long-time admirer of Ramsey who finally got an extended run in the Arsenal side last year after a serious of injuries curtailed the early part of his career.

The Wales captain seems settled at Arsenal and Arsene Wenger would be reluctant to let his young midfielder leave, but he may find increased competition at Arsenal with Wenger still eager to sign French international Yann M'Villa.

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Sunderland will turn their attention towards Steven Fletcher of Wolves as they look certain to miss out on Arsenal's Nicklas Bendtner.

Wolves look set to off-load heavy big earners as they adjust to life in the Championship and Sunderland are ready to make a move for Fletcher with the future of Stephane Sessegnon also in doubt.

Sunderland have also resumed talks with former Villa defender Carlos Cuellar.

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Edin Dzeko will not be moving to Bayern Munich after the German giants opted to bid for Croatia star Mario Mandzukic.

Munich were interested in bringing the Bosnian back to the Bundesliga but have switched their attention to Wolfsburg's Mandzukic who impressed scoring three goals at Euro 2012, two against Ireland.

City wants to sell some strikers such as Carlos Tevez and Dzeko to free up wages as they chase a star striker this summer.

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