Baggie Odemwingie breaks ranks


Transfer round-up:West Brom striker Peter Odemwingie arrived in London for talks with QPR tonight, but his club deny giving him permission to do so. Rangers boss Harry Redknapp was interested in the Nigerian and when the player was interviewed in London speaking of his excitement about a move, it looked as though a deal was on.

However, West Brom reacted quickly by releasing a statement which read: "Albion have moved to clarify developments regarding Peter Odemwingie after the striker was filmed a short while ago arriving at Loftus Road. The club can confirm they have held further discussions with QPR today but those talks have so far proven fruitless and no agreement has been reached.

"Albion would also like to make clear that Peter has not been given permission to speak to QPR about a potential move."

Albion's words came just minutes after Sky Sports News interviewed the 31-year-old as he drove into London. He has been critical of West Brom on Twitter over recent weeks but he tonight gave a nod to that being in the past, saying:

"It's fine. West Brom was my home but this is a new chapter. I love West Brom and always will.

"I am optimistic. A few good players have arrived here (at QPR) and I am happy with the trust Harry Redknapp has in me. The last few results have given us a chance to stay up. I don't think the owners will bring in so many players if they don't think it will happen. I hope West Brom are happy with what they will get and they hope to get players themselves."

While Odemwingie was in front of the cameras, Redknapp was giving an interview to London Call-In, during which he confirmed his interest in Odemwingie, Jermaine Jenas and Andros Townsend.

"Peter Odemwingie has pace, great movement," Redknapp said. "I like him and is a player that has always given us problems when I was at Tottenham. I think if we can get Odemwingie he would be a great signing for us, but whether we can pull it off I am not sure."

A QPR spokesman later insisted Odemwingie was denied access to Loftus Road.

The acquisition of Jenas looks like being an easier one for Redknapp, with the Tottenham midfielder also turning up at Loftus Road ahead of what he expects to be an 18-month deal.

He told reporters: "That's initially. I am fit and ready to go, it's a top club and I am confident the manager can make sure the club stays up. I know Harry well, spent a lot of time with him at Tottenham and know him well enough. It's a top club, has some good players and not in that bad a position. They're four points off safety and can definitely claw that back."

Earlier in the day, Rangers broke their club transfer record when they signed Christopher Sambafrom Anzhi Makhachkalaafter triggering a release clause believed to be more than £10 million.

"This is an unbelievable signing," Redknapp told the club's official website. "[Chairman] Tony Fernandes deserves a lot of credit for this one - he has worked so hard on bringing him in. I was speaking with him a month ago and he asked me who I would want to sign if Ryan Nelsen left, he asked me to give him a couple of names.

"I said to him 'Well, these aren't possible to get but if you're asking me who I'd have, I'll give you a couple of players'. One of them was Chris Samba. The next thing I know he's telling me that he's working on bringing him in! It's amazing. Chris is just what we need. He's a monster. Great in the air, quick, a leader, strong, fantastic in both boxes, hard as nails.

"He's a proper centre-half."

Gary Hooperlooks set to stay at Celticafter Neil Lennon insisted any fresh bid for the striker will be rejected.

Norwich are believed to have made four bids for the Englishman and had all rejected by the SPL champions. But with talk of a potential fifth attempt by Canaries boss Chris Hughton to prise Hooper from Parkhead, Lennon took to Twitter to clarify the situation.

He said: "Contrary to reports there have been no fresh bids for Gary (Hooper) and even if there are they will be rejected..he is NOT for sale."

David Beckhamhas joined Paris St Germaintoday on a five-month contract after passing a medical at the French club. The former England captain was unveiled at a news conference this afternoon.

Aston Villahave confirmed the signing of French midfielder Yacouba Syllafrom Ligue 2 outfit Clermont Footon a three-and-a-half year contract.

Arriving on transfer deadline day, Sylla becomes the first new arrival of the January transfer window for Villa, who are currently 19th in the Barclays Premier League.

The defensive-minded player passed a medical this morning and is eligible to make his debut in Saturday’s league clash with Everton at Goodison Park.

Sylla, who has represented France at Under-21 level, said: “I’m very excited about the prospect of playing for Aston Villa and also to be playing in the Premier League.

Sylla signed for Clermont in 2009 having played for a number of lower league sides in France.

Lambert said of his new recruit: “Yacouba will add a bit of steel into the midfield which will help the other lads in there. Even though he’s still a young guy, there were a few teams interested and closely monitoring him. I think he’ll do well. Hopefully, he adapts quickly and gives us something to complement the guys around him. Physically, he’s strong for it and, although he’ll be new to it, he’s raring to go.”

Villa have allowed full-back Alan Huttonleave for Mallorcaon loan.

Former Republic of Ireland midfielder Rory Delaphas joined Barnsley on loan from Stoke City, who will welcome England goalkeeper Jack Butlandinto their ranks before the day is out after a £4m fee and loan back agreement was agreed with Birmingham City.

Norwichhave signed striker Luciano Becchiofrom Leeds with Steve Morisonmoving in the opposite direction.

Argentinian forward Becchio, who has scored 19 goals for Leeds this season, handed in a transfer request at Elland Road last week after talks over a new deal faltered.

Norwich hope the deal will be completed in time for Becchio, 29, to feature at QPR on Saturday.

A club statement read: "Becchio has agreed a three-and-a-half year deal with the Canaries' ending a five-and-a-half-year stint at the Yorkshire club, joining fellow former Leeds men Jonny Howson, Robert Snodgrass and Bradley Johnson in the City ranks."

Former Boca Juniors player Becchio feels he is ready to make the step up to the challenges of the English top flight.

He told Canaries Player: "I am really happy about having the chance to play in the Premier League, it is brilliant for me personally and for my career.

"The Premier League has some brilliant players including people like (Sergio) Aguero and (Carlos) Tevez (Becchio's compatriots) and it will be a great experience for me to play against players of that quality."

Sunderlandhave confirmed the £5 million signing of Danny Grahamfrom Swansea.

The striker has signed a three-and-a-half-year deal at the Stadium of Light, just days after he was booed by some of the Black Cats fans when he appeared against them for the Swans.

"As soon as I heard about the interest from Sunderland I didn't even have to consider any of the other options that were on the table," the 27-year-old told "I was born and brought up in the north east so I know first-hand the intense passion that people have for their football in this part of the world - it's special and there's nowhere else like it."

Wiganhave confirmed the signing of Paul Scharneron loan from Hamburg for the rest of the season. Scharner is returning to the DW Stadium having spent more than four years with the Latics before leaving for West Brom in the summer of 2010.

AC Milan's Urby Emanuelsonhas joined Fulhamon loan until the end of the season.

The 26-year-old has 16 caps for Holland and played for Cottagers boss Martin Jol during his time at the Ajax helm.

Emanuelson is a left-sided player that can play at either full-back or in midfield and will stay with Fulham until the end of the 2012-13 season.

"It is not easy to get players from AC Milan on a permanent basis," Jol said of him after Fulham's 3-1 defeat of West Ham. "I coached him at Ajax. He is a skilful player, very agile. He is very mobile, quick. He can play left midfield, wide, play number 10 so I feel we need fresh legs."

Fulham have also been linked with Spurs midfielder Tom Huddlestone, while PSV Eindhoven right-back Stanislav Manolevis another man Jol hopes to lure to Craven Cottage following Stephen Kelly's move to Reading.

Fulham are also trying to tie up a loan deal for Romagoalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg, according to the player's agent.

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