English League 1

Orient boss expected more

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Wed, 23 Jan 2013 11:33:00

Roma midfielder Miralem Pjanic has distanced himself from reports linking him with a move to Primera Division leaders Barcelona.

The Bosnia international was on Tuesday quoted as telling Spanish news agency EFE that Barca scouts had watched him at the Stadio Olimpico and that he would be open to any subsequent approach from the Catalan giants.

The 22-year-old on Wednesday denied speaking to journalists, though, instead committing his future to Roma, for whom he has been a first-team regular since leaving Lyon in 2011.

Quoted in the Corriere dello Sport, he told ANSA: "I respect Barcelona, but my team is Roma and I'm happy where I am.

"I've not spoken with any journalists. I have two and a half years on my contract and I've never thought about leaving."

The 26-year-old forward has taken the Premier League by storm since joining from Rayo Vallecano for just ?2million in the summer, scoring 13 top-flight goals so far this term.

His exploits had seen the Spaniard linked with a big-money move away from the Swans, but he has penned a deal to keep him in south Wales until 2016.

He told the official club website: "It was an easy decision for me. I am living a dream here at Swansea."

Full-back Dumbuya, 25, agreed a deal until the end of the season on Tuesday night after leaving troubled Portsmouth last week.

Now 20-year-old centre-half Essam arrives from the Gills on a two-and-a-half year contract.

Manager Richie Barker brought the duo in after Claude Davis joined Rotherham, while Kyle McFadzean is linked with a move to Bristol City.

Barker told Town's website: "We are delighted to have Connor at the club. He fits the template of players I want to work with. He is young with lots of potential and has a real appetite to learn and improve.

"Losing Claude Davis this week meant we had to strengthen this area of the team and we now have, in my opinion, four excellent central defenders."

Goals either side of the break from Paul Hayes and Clayton Donaldson had put the hosts ahead after ex-Bee Martin Rowlands fired home a 30-yard free-kick eight minutes into Tuesday night's League One clash at Villa Park.

Brentford then had left-back Jake Bidwell sent off, and David Mooney missed the chance to equalise when his penalty was saved by Simon Moore.

But Lee Cook secured a point for the O's with a superb curler from outside the box with four minutes left.

However, Slade said: "If Mooney scores the penalty we win the game.

"We created six wonderful opportunities and their keeper was man of the match, but we were bullied in our box for their goals and we have to be more ruthless in both boxes.

"We scored with two great strikes but when you look at the goals scored against us it meant we had to work very, very hard to get back in the game."

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