Fri, Dec 21, 2012, 00:00

A round-up of today's other stories in brief

Wenger says he's happy to pay Walcott money he deserves

Arsene Wenger says he is happy to give Theo Walcott “the money he deserves” following his ongoing contract wrangle but has insisted the forward must repay the faith shown in him by Arsenal.

Walcott’s negotiations over a €123,000-a-week extension is not expected to be resolved in the immediate future, although Wenger says the 23-year-old will not leave the club during the January transfer window.

“I am happy to pay Theo the money he deserves. You feel as well I bought Theo at 17 years of age and spent a lot of money for him, gave him big support as well. I believe he’s happy here, he’s always looked to me like he’s an Arsenal man,” said Wenger.

“You want the players to stay because they love where they are and they are committed to the club . . . When they are ready to produce you would like to say: ‘Okay let’s stay together and win together, and give back to the club what the club has given to us’.

“My gut feeling is that he belongs to this club and I hope he will sign for us. Once he has made up his mind it will be very quick.”

Walcott, who joined the club from Southampton in 2006, could potentially sign a pre-contract agreement with other clubs in January.

Guardian Service

Martinez relieved McCarthy injury not as bad as feared

Roberto Martinez is hoping for a much-needed lift against Arsenal tomorrow as Wigan battle an ongoing injury crisis from a familiar position in the Premier League table.

Last weekend’s 2-1 defeat at Norwich proved costly on two fronts, with midfielder James McCarthy and centre-back Adrian Lopez picking up injuries.

Martinez was furious after Republic of Ireland international McCarthy was hurt in a tackle by Bradley Johnson but the news is better on his ankle injury and, along with captain Gary Caldwell he should feature over the Christmas period.

“Straight away I knew James was hurt and that is a really bad sensation,” said Martinez. “Fortunately now the scan has revealed it’s only grade one (damage) in his ankle so we’ll get him back on the pitch as quickly as we can.”

Lopez could be missing for up to 10 weeks with a hamstring tear.

Qatar deal to help PSG meet Uefa's fair-play rules

Qatar will pour up to €200 million a year into Paris Saint-Germain under an advertising contract designed to help the French club meet Uefa’s financial fair-play rules, according to French media.

The deal, already submitted to French footballs controlling body (DNCG), has been struck with the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) and will run until 2016, daily Le Parisien said yesterday.

PSG have spent more than €250 million in transfers since the Qatari fund QSI bought the club in June 2011 and must comply with new financial fair play regulations, which require clubs not to spend more than they earn. PSG are playing in the Champions League for the first time since 2004 and broadcasting rights for the French top flight are the lowest in the top European leagues, so the club were looking for a new revenue source.

According to Le Parisien, QTA will pay between €150 and €200 million a year to PSG for the club’s help in promoting the country abroad. QTA is linked to the Qatari state, as are the club’s owners QSI.

The deal is retroactive, meaning QTA will put the money in the club for 2012 to help PSG bear the cost of their latest signings. 

Barcelona confirm Vilanova has had his surgery

Surgery on Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova’s saliva glands went to plan yesterday, the La Liga club said, as assistant Jordi Roura oversaw his first training session since taking charge on a temporary basis.

Barca announced on Wednesday that Villanova needed a second round of surgery following an operation to remove a tumour in November 2011.

The latest procedure would be followed by chemotherapy and radiotherapy over the next six weeks and Roura would step in until Vilanova was well enough to return, the club said. In a brief statement on their website yesterday, Barca said Vilanova’s progress would determine how long he remained in hospital but it was likely to be the three or four days originally expected. The 44-year-old was sidelined for around three weeks after the surgery last year before returning to his job as assistant to Pep Guardiola and then taking over from his close friend at the end of last season. 


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