Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Colombia striker James Rodriguez, top scorer at World Cup, signs six-year deal with Real Madrid

The 23-year-old Monaco forward scored six goals in Brazil, including a spectacular volley against Uruguay in the second round.
The 23-year-old Monaco forward scored six goals in Brazil, including a
spectacular volley against Uruguay in the second round.
MADRID, SPAIN — A week after finishing the World Cup as the tournament’s top scorer with six goals, Colombia forward James Rodriguez signed a six-year deal with Real Madrid on Tuesday.
The 23-year-old Rodriguez, who helped Colombia reach the quarter-finals in Brazil, passed a medical examination at the Sanitas Clinic in the northern suburb of La Moraleja and will be presented to fans at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium on Tuesday afternoon.
“I’m very happy,” Rodriguez said as he left the clinic. “Everything went well.”
Sports newspapers Marca and As said Madrid agreed to pay Monaco 80 million euros (US$108-million) for Rodriguez. He is expected to join the squad on Aug. 1.
Rodriguez’s goal against Uruguay in the second round of the World Cup, when he chested the ball down and then volleyed it in, was voted the best goal of the tournament.
Robert Cianflone/Getty Images
Spanish sports newspaper As said Monday that Monaco had agreed terms with Madrid, whose president Florentino Perez had delayed his flight to Los Angeles where the club's squad has some preseason training.

Rodriguez will strengthen Madrid’s offensive lineup by joining Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema in attack.
The Colombia forward will likely wear the No. 10 shirt, vacated when Mesut Ozil left Madrid for Arsenal.
Rodriguez, who had joined Monaco from FC Porto last year, is Madrid’s second signing after Germany midfielder Toni Kroos joined Thursday from Bayern Munich.
National Post

Monday, 21 July 2014

Manchester United ‘beat Barcelona to signing of Borussia Dortmund’s Mats Hummels’

United 'beat Barca' to Mats Hummels signing
Mats Hummels could be on his way to Manchester United (Picture: Getty)
Manchester United have beaten Barcelona in the race for Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels, according to reports in Spain.
Daily newspaper Sport are today reporting that Barca have conceded defeat in their attempts to sign the German international, with the player set for a move to Old Trafford.
The £16m deal is expected to be completed this week, with Dortmund having already moved to replace Hummels by signing Matthias Ginter from Freiburg.
If Sport’s claims prove to be accurate, Hummels will become United’s third signing of the summer, following Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera to Louis van Gaal’s side.
But the new United boss is unlikely to be finished in the transfer market, with the club’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward yesterday insisting they are prepared to spend big.
‘We are willing to invest. There is no fixed budget. Financially we are extremely strong and funds are available,’ he said.

‘Louis is assessing what’s going on and there is a lot of work going on behind the scenes, so watch this space.’

Juventus sign Patrice Evra from Manchester United on two-year deal

• Frenchman moves to Italy on two-year deal for initial £1.2m
• Evra joined United from Monaco in 2006
Patrice Evra
Patrice Evra has signed a two-year deal to join Italian champions Juventus after eight years at Manchester United.
Photograph: Charles Platiau/REUTERS

Juventus have confirmed the signing of Patrice Evra on a two-year deal from Manchester United for £1.2m, with the left-back being paid around £55,000-a-week.
A statement from the Italian club said: “Juventus can today announce that Patrice Evra has signed a two-year contract with the club after a fee of £1.2 million, to be paid in two separate instalments, was agreed with Manchester United.
“A further payment of £0.3 million will be made to Manchester United in the event of Juventus qualifying for the 2015-16 Champions League.”
At the close of last season United exercised an option on Evra’s contract to extend his stay a further year. While the 33-year-old did not make an official transfer request, Evra asked that United should not stand in his way, a request to which the club reluctantly agreed.
The left-back decided that, due to his wife wishing to move away from the area, the time was right to end a United career in which he has won five Premier Leagues, the Champions League and three League Cups.
In a message to fans on United’s official website, Evra said: “After a great deal of thought I have decided the time is right for me to leave Manchester United. It is the biggest decision of my career as this club is, and will always remain, in my heart.”
The Guardian

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Return of the King! Chelsea hero Didier Drogba set for Stamford Bridge comeback

Chelsea hero Drogba set for Blues return
Returning hero: Drogba during this year’s World Cup (Picture: AFP PHOTO)
Chelsea’s Champions League winning legend Didier Drogba is set to sign a one year deal to return to West London as a player-coach at the start of next week.
Ten years to the day since Drogba initially joined the Blues from Marseille in a £24m deal,French newspaper L’Equipe have reported that the Ivorian will make a sensational return to Stamford Bridge.
The 36-year-old is a free agent after his 18-month stint in Turkey with Galatasaray and is expected to be integrated into Jose Mourinho’s coaching staff as well as playing on for one more season.
Demba Ba and Samuel Eto’o have both left the club this summer, and Romelu Lukaku is constantly being linked with a departure, meaning the much-maligned Fernando Torres would be the only alternative to new boy Diego Costa should nobody else arrive.
Drogba spent eight years at Stamford Bridge, famously signing off by scoring the winning penalty and equalising goal in the 2012 Champions League final against Bayern Munich.
He initially moved to China’s Shanghai Shenhua but returned to Europe with Galatasaray after just six months.
Mourinho will be counting on the charismatic striker to bring some vital experience and leadership to the Chelsea dressing room, especially following the departures of veteran trio Eto’o, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole.

Despite his age, Drogba has scored 28 goals in 64 competitive club games since leaving the Blues and he will be eager to display that he can still make an impact on the pitch in the Premier League.

Arsenal transfer target William Carvalho will cost at least £24m up front warn Sporting Lisbon

Car chase: Arsenal are eyeing William Carvalho after his World Cup exploits in Brazil
Arsenal have been told they will have to splash out at least £24million up front for Sporting Lisbon midfielder William Carvalho.
Claims in Portugal that the Gunners have already made an offer for the defensive midfielder – but want to stagger the payments – were played down by the Londoners.
But Sporting, who have a buy-out clause in the player’s contract of £35m, want any compromise fee up front.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is a big admirer of 22-year-old Carvalho, who played for Portugal at this summer's World Cup finals.
The player is also keen for a move to the Emirates, following the breakdown of talks with another target, Real Madrid's Germany World Cup winner Sami Khedira.
 Wenger is currently on course to go into the season with one of his strongest-ever squads, having already landed £33m Chile forward Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona.
A £3m move for Colombia World Cup goalkeeper David Ospina is close to completion. And, despite already landing right-back Mathieu Debuchy from Newcastle, the Gunners boss is also after further strength in that position.
Catania's Gino Peruzzi, 22, has emerged as a possible solution if Arsenal do not land Javier Manquillo of Atletico Madrid.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Kroos to emul-eight Breitner and Schuster

Kroos to emul-eight Breitner and Schuster
Toni Kroos
As already revealed in MARCA, Real Madrid's new signing Toni Kroos will sport the number eight shirt, which has been available since Kaká's departure from the club. The number has been worn by various important players in the club's illustrious history. The former Bayern star completes a hat-trick of German number eights following in the footsteps of Breitner and Schuster. There is no doubt that Kroos has a tough act to follow given that his predecessors really made their mark at the Bernabéu.

The number has always been associated with top quality footballers such as Amancio, Mijatović and McManaman, all of whom scored in successful Champions League final exploits for Real Madrid, as well as Míchel, a member of the renowned 'Quinta del Buitre'.

Going further back in time, Brazilian great Didi was also a Real Madrid number eight, although he only spent the 1959-60 season at the club just after being named player of the tournament at the 1958 World Cup. Two other midfielders to have worn number eight for 'Los Blancos' in recent times without quite reaching the heights of others include Brazilian Emerson and Argentine Gago.

Toni Kroos became a World Cup winner wearing number 18 and sported number 39 last season for Bayern Munich. The player did not hesitate when his new club suggested he become the third German to don the number eight. It is the perfect fit.