Lehmann staying put
Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann will not be signing for Borussia Dortmund due to "personal reasons," the German Bundesliga club announced on Friday. Germany goalkeeper Lehmann is out of favor at Arsenal and looked to be heading back to his former club, who had offered him a contract until the end of the season. But it now appears Lehmann has changed his mind. The 38-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season and the Gunners are believed to be ready to offer him a free transfer.
Reds sign Slovakian
Slovakian defender Martin Skrtel has joined Liverpool from Russian champions Zenit St Petersburg. The 23-year-old has agreed to a four-and-a-half-year deal and will provide cover at center-back with Daniel Agger still working his way back from injury and the 34-year-old Sami Hyypia coming to the end of his Anfield career. Skrtel, who has 15 international caps, is believed to have cost the Reds a fee in the region of £6.5million -- (US$12.7 million) a club record for a defender. "I think he is a player maybe not many people know about but he played against Everton for Zenit St Petersburg and he is a center-half who knows the English style," coach Rafa Benitez said.
Solskjaer to be knighted
Former Manchester United star Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be knighted by King Harald V in March for being a role model to children. Solskjaer will be presented with a medal designating him a Knight Class 1 of the Royal Norwegian Order of St Olav in his hometown of Kristiansund on March 29, the royal palace said on Friday. "What is being honored are his attitudes, his way of being. He is a role model for children and young people," said Egil Vindorum, head of the Oslo place chancellery.
Blackwell to leave Luton
Luton Town manager Kevin Blackwell announced on Friday he would be leaving the financially stricken club next month. The news that Blackwell, his assistant Sam Ellis and head coach John Carver would all be departing came less than a week after Luton sprung a major surprise by holding Liverpool to a 1-1 draw in the FA Cup. But the money-spinning replay that result set-up couldn't disguise the cash problems at the League One club. "We came to Luton Town Football Club last spring with a clear mission," read a statement from the trio. "Very quickly we found that Luton Town Football Club did not do what it said on the tin."
Motherwell honor O'Donnell
Motherwell are to re-name the main stand at their Fir Park home ground the Phil O'Donnell Stand as a tribute to their club captain who died last month. The club announced the move on Friday after talks with O'Donnell's family and Motherwell fans. O'Donnell died aged 35 from heart failure after collapsing during a match on Dec. 29. Motherwell owner John Boyle said: "Since Phil's death there has been a heartfelt desire by everyone associated with Motherwell and throughout the football world to create a lasting memorial to Phil at Fir Park ... The club and our supporters believe the renaming of the main stand as the Phil O'Donnell Stand is entirely fitting in view of the outstanding contribution Phil made to the club over many years."