MF2000 proposals go in

first_imgAPRIL 15 was the deadline for tenders to supply up to 1400 steel-wheeled metro cars to Paris Transport Authority, under an invitation to bid published in the Official Journal of the European Community on February 12. The MF2000 project covers a fleet of five-car trainsets to replace the existing MF67 stock supplied in 1967-76, at a rate of 90 vehicles a year. RATP expects to decide by the end of this month which companies have met the terms of the invitation. A shortlist will then be drawn up and detailed negotiations started with the aim of selecting a winning bidder around the end of this year. The contract is due to be signed in the second quarter of 1999, with a pre-series trainset scheduled to start trial running in Paris by the end of 2001. Series deliveries would begin at the end of 2004.RATP plans to split the work into five elements: conceptual design and systems integration, including construction of a car mock-up; definition, design and production of the running gear, bodyshells and electrical equipment; and final assembly, delivery and commissioning. RATP has already retained design consultancy Avant-Première to develop the interior and exterior image for the vehicles.The first series build of 120 MF2000 trainsets (600 cars) is due for delivery in 2004-11. At RATP’s target maximum price of Fr21m per set, this order would be worth around Fr2·5bn. The option for up to 800 more cars would bring the potential value of the total package to Fr5·8bn. olast_img read more

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Chelsea’s possible starting XI after the transfer window, with £48m of new signings

first_img 9. Attacking midfield: Alex Teixeira – Liverpool are reportedly the frontrunners to sign the Shakhtar Donetsk player this month, but it wouldn’t be the first time that Roman Abramovich has landed his man ahead of a Premier League rival. If the Blues manage to seal a deal, Teixeira could be the no.10 that they have craved, stepping in for the inconsistent Oscar. Their defence has been woeful this season, but equally so, their attack has been short of ideas. With 22 domestic goals already this season, the Brazilian could be just the man required. 11 3. Centre back: Kurt Zouma – It has been somewhat of a breakthrough season for the Frenchman. Jose Mourinho utilised the defender sparingly last term, but this time around he has emerged as one of the first names on the team sheet, at the expense of Gary Cahill. Question marks still remain over his ability in possession, with a worrying amount of his energy used on atoning for his own errors, but it’s clear that he is the long-term project at centre back. The only issue remains who will settle as his regular partner, with John Terry reaching the end of his career and Cahill out of favour. 7. Centre midfield: John Obi Mikel – Nemanja Matic’s confidence has taken a worrying hit this season, and it could be some time before he rediscovers the form that saw him dominate the centre of the park for Chelsea in their title-winning campaign. Hiddink simply cannot afford to see if the Serb turns up or not. But one player who has surprisingly impressed under the Dutchman is Mikel. Having been frozen out under Mourinho, the Nigerian has relished the opportunity to play and could be a regular in the side over the next four months. 6. Centre midfield: Cesc Fabregas – Fabregas has been one of the most disappointing performers for Chelsea this season, but he has expressed significant signs of improvement since the departure of Mourinho, with his man-of-the-match display in the victory over Arsenal his best 90 minutes for some time. While the Spaniard is at his finest in an attacking position, with so much competition in this area and others offering more pace, he is expected to resume his deeper role. 11 11 Chelsea are yet to make any significant movement in the January transfer window, but with a week still to go, late drama cannot be ruled out.If new signings are to be completed, Guus Hiddink could therefore experiment with a new line up next month in a bid to lift Chelsea into the top half of the Premier League table.Could Diego Costa find his position under threat? Is a new no. 10 on his way to Stamford Bridge?Including a few new additions, take a look at a potential XI that the Blues could deploy over the next four months of the season by clicking the yellow arrow above, right. 2. Right back: Branislav Ivanovic – Ivanovic was recently handed a one-year contract extension by Chelsea, and many have raised a judgemental ‘brow over the decision, lamenting his poor performances this season. While the new deal will have been agreed largely on his influence in the dressing room, it’s clear that the Blues must begin to look at other options at right back, if they are not already. Despite this, however, the Serb is expected to remain top pick in his position, as Hiddink has few other options available. 11 5. Left back: Cesar Azpilicueta – Last season, the ever-presence of the Spaniard forced the exit of newly-signed Filipe Luis, and a similar narrative could follow with Abdul Baba Rahman, bought in the summer for £21.7m. The chances of the Ghanaian, who has made just three Premier League starts, ousting Azpilicueta are slim, unless Hiddink opts for a reshuffle and moves the latter to his preferred right back position. 11 8. Right wing: Willian – Such has been his form this season that he may have even jumped ahead of Eden Hazard in the pecking order. While those around him have been sulking, the Brazilian has let his football do the talking, not getting dragged into the furore surrounding former manager Mourinho. When Pedro was signed in the summer, the expectance was that Willian would become a regular on the bench, but this has been far from the case. 11 11 10. Left wing: Eden Hazard – The Stamford Bridge faithful have been left frustrated by the Belgian’s lack of interest this season. His performances, at times, have suggested that he would rather be anywhere else than on the pitch. Despite this, though, he remains Chelsea’s most exciting player in the final third, on his day. His recent injury could turn out to be a blessing in disguise, if his confidence quickly returns and he puts the past six months behind him. 11 4. Centre back: John Terry – Terry’s form over the past six months has been a complete contrast to his commanding performances last season, but it’s his leadership that remains so crucial to Chelsea on and off the pitch. It’s such qualities as these that money simply cannot buy, and Hiddink will know how influential the former England international will be if the club are to improve their miserable domestic position. 11 11 1. Goalkeeper: Thibaut Courtois – to see the XI that Hiddink could use after the January transfer window click the arrow above – Asmir Begovic deputised admirably when Courtois missed a large chunk of the first half of the season through injury, but there’s no question who the number one shot stopper is at Stamford Bridge. Bar a tremendous dip in form or fitness problems, the Belgium international is guaranteed to remain in between the posts until the end of the campaign. 11 11. Striker: Alexandre Pato – Many are torn over whether the former AC Milan hit-man is the player Chelsea need to get out of their current slump. It’s clear, though, that the Blues do require more options in attack. Diego Costa has little competition up top, with Loic Remy often ignored and Radamel Falcao injured, and the former Atletico Madrid forward shouldn’t get too comfortable at believing his position is safe. Pato would be a gamble signing, but there are few others available mid-season – he could be a risk worth taking.last_img read more

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