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Babayaro move forces Jose into market
By Ken Dyer and Steve Stammers, Evening Standard
30 December 2004

Celestine Babayaro's imminent move to Newcastle increases the chances of Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho dipping into the transfer market place when the window opens this weekend.

Babayaro, who joined Chelsea from Anderlecht in June 1997 and is Chelsea's longest-serving player, was today given permission to discuss terms with Newcastle.

Although Mourinho has cover in Babayaro's left-back position with Wayne Bridge and William Gallas able to rotate, the departure will leave him with 17 outfield players and they may ask for Olivier Bernard as part of the deal when the transfer window opens on Saturday.

Babayaro has played 197 times for Chelsea during his seven years at Stamford Bridge, winning the FA Cup, the League Cup and the European Super Cup with the Londoners, but has found himself surplus to requirements since Roman Abramovich took control of the club.

Glen Johnson, Paulo Ferreira and Ricardo Carvalho have all been recruited to strengthen the defence, with the Nigerian international left on the sidelines.

Newcastle boss Graeme Souness has made no secret of his intention to patch the holes in a defence which has conceded 38 goals in 20 Premiership games this season.

ThisisLondon
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This cant be wrong, so many papers confirming the move for January 1st.

Didnt expect him to go. Now that he is moving, JM surely goes to the Transfer Market.

Heard a Rumour.... Kahka Kaladze the AC Milan LB could be moving to Chelsea in order to 'sweeten' the sale of Crespo to ACM. A Georgian group mentioned about it. While ACM are very close to getting Jankulovski for that spot.
 

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lol i heard him say that he wouldnt leave chelsea and would see out his contract as they stuck by him for so long and while he was injured.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
JM won't replace Babayaro

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has revealed that he will not be seeking a replacement for Newcastle-bound Celestine Babayaro as he wished the defender well on Tyneside.

Babayaro, who joined Chelsea from Anderlecht in 1997, now has to finalise terms for his move to go through once the transfer window officially opens in two days' time.

Mourinho said the transfer was a brilliant move for the left-back who played 197 times for Chelsea during his seven-year stay.

He also insisted that the Londoners had acted unselfishly in letting the defender quit Stamford Bridge.

Mourinho will have a squad of just 17 fit players for the New Year's Day trip to Liverpool and next Tuesday's home game with Middlesbrough.

The Chelsea manager said: "It was a decision made in the interests of the player, not for us.

"It was not a selfish decision by me or the club.

"It was a decision taken in relation to the player's future and the best for his career. We had several offers for him but none like the one from Newcastle.

"Their offer givers him a fantastic future. Babayaro is at the end of his contract and we could not, at this time, give him a three-and-a-half-year contract.

"Newcastle are a great club and the conditions are good. Babayaro wants to stay in English football and so he will go to Newcastle.

"We will miss him both as a player and a person. Our decision to co-operate with him was, I think, very fair.

"They are a big club and they play for big things. They have offered him three and a half years so he has a future there."

Babayaro won the FA Cup and League Cup, as well as the European Super Cup, with the Londoners.

But he has found it hard to gain regular first-team football since Mourinho arrived as a successor to former manager Claudio Ranieri.

However Mourinho is adamant that he has enough cover in Paulo Ferreira, William Gallas and Wayne Bridge and will not seek a replacement for the Nigerian.

SportingLife
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There is still a Glen Johnson for back up.
 

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Souness confirms Babayaro as first buy


Newcastle have today confirmed that Chelsea full-back Celestine Babayaro will become Graeme Souness' first transfer window signing on New Year's Day.

Babayaro: Eligible for the Uefa Cup (BenRadford/Allsport)

The 26-year-old Nigerian international, who would have been out of contract at Stamford Bridge at the end of the season, has been on Tyneside this week to thrash out a deal which will see him move to St James' Park for an undisclosed fee on Saturday.


Babayaro will be available for selection from January 4, meaning that his debut could come in the FA Cup third round clash with Ryman League Yeading five days later, and he is also eligible for the club's European campaign because he has not played for Chelsea in this season's Champions League.

'Newcastle United confirmed today that, following negotiations with Celestine Babayaro, agreement has been reached that he will join Newcastle United on January 1, 2005,' said a club spokesman. 'The player will be transferred from Chelsea for an undisclosed fee. 'Newcastle United record their thanks to everybody involved at Chelsea for their co-operation and goodwill.

'Under FAPL rules, the player will be eligible for selection from Tuesday, January 4. He also qualifies to appear in the FA Cup and UEFA Cup for Newcastle United this season, the latter being because although nominated as a substitute, he has not taken the field for Chelsea in European competition this season.'

Babayaro's arrival leaves a question mark over the future of Frenchman Olivier Bernard, who is yet to agree a new deal with the Magpies and will be out of contract at the end of the current campaign.

Whether or not the newcomer's presence represents an admission that the club has given up on Bernard remains to be seen, but there are sure to be further arrivals, and more defenders among them, next month.

Rangers boss Alex McLeish was among the crowd for last night's 1-0 home defeat by Arsenal amid suggestions that he was surveying possibilities for a player-plus-cash deal in exchange for Jean-Alain Boumsong with Newcastle also having expressed an interest in Manchester City's Sylvain Distin.

But whatever else happens over the coming weeks, Souness has at least started the ball rolling with a man who represented the last Ruud Gullit signing still on the books at Chelsea.

Babayaro won the FA Cup, League Cup, Charity Shield and European Super Cup during his seven-and-a-half years in London, but has increasingly found himself in the wilderness since Roman Abramovich's millions allowed first Claudio Ranieri and then Jose Mourinho to invest heavily in new talent.

www.seccernet.com
 
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