x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Premier League notebook: Simpson edges closer to Hull City move as Ancelotti reveals admiration for Balotelli

Jay Simpson, the Arsenal striker, is keen on a permanent move to the Tigers if the two clubs can agree a fee.

Jay Simpson, the Arsenal striker, is keen on a permanent move to Hull City if the two clubs can agree a fee, according to the player's agent. Leon Callender, the owner of Straight Ace Sports Management, confirmed the 21-year-old travelled to Hull, who were relegated from the Premier League last season, for talks with Nigel Pearson, the club's manager, and that the deal would amount to £1 million (Dh5.8m) including add-ons. Callender told the Hull Daily Mail: "Should the two clubs come to an agreement on a deal, I can't see there being any problem in the deal going through."

Carlo Ancelotti, the Chelsea manager, is another admirer of Manchester City's new striker Mario Balotelli, who arrived at Eastlands in a reported £22.5m deal. "Mario is a great player who comes into a team that was already strong last year and has improved in the transfer window," Ancelotti told Italian newspaper Il Corriere dello Sport. "Balotelli is a player suited to this league. He is very strong physically and technically. He will slot into his new team in a hurry."

John Terry insists retaining the double must be Chelsea's "minimum" target this season. "Last season was great for us - no team had ever won the double for this club before and that means this group going down in Chelsea history. Now, we go again," Terry said. "The winning mentality isn't just something we talk about - we hate to see any other team lifting trophies and it is up to us to make sure we don't have that feeling we had when Man United lifted the Premier League three years running. "

Dimitar Berbatov is confident Manchester United will feel the benefit of his decision to retire from international duty with Bulgaria. However, his mind was made up long ago. And, after registering two goals in United's opening couple of fixtures this season, including the opener in Monday night's 3-0 win over Newcastle at Old Trafford, Berbatov is confident he has made the correct decision. "Everything comes to an end at some point," Berbatov told United Review. "I said to myself a long time ago that when I got nearer to 30 I would step down and let the younger guys take over. Now I can concentrate fully on my football with United, have a bit more rest during the season and enjoy watching my country."

Wolves have signed teenage striker Jake Cassidy from Welsh Premier League club Airbus UK Broughton after he impressed in a trial. The clubs agreed an undisclosed fee and the 17-year-old has signed a two-year deal. Cassidy only joined Airbus UK this summer from Llandudno Junction but leaves without playing a competitive game for the club after his seven goals in pre-season caught the attention of Wolves. Chief executive Jez Moxey told www.wolves.co.uk: "We are always interested in signing good, young players and Jake certainly fits into that category."

Chris Hughton, the Newcastle manager, is convinced Andy Carroll will shine this season. Carroll, 21, found life tough against Manchester United on Monday night after impressing in Newcastle's Championship-winning campaign last term. Yet Hughton's believes such tests will see the striker emerge as a better player. "It was a wonderful experience for the young man," said Hughton. "He is nowhere near the finished article but he is prepared to work hard and wants to learn. There is no fear in his game." * Agencies