Archive | July 12, 2015

Casillas to join Porto from Madrid….

Iker Casillas

Porto have agreed a deal to sign Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas from Real Madrid. Casillas, 34, who had one year left on his contract, leaves Real after 25 years, during which time he won three Champions Leagues and five Liga titles. He holds the record for Spanish caps (162) and has won two European Championships and the World Cup. Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea, 24, has been linked with a move to Madrid to replace Casillas. Casillas joined Real’s youth academy in 1990, made his first team debut in 1999 and has spent his career at the club, winning 17 major honours. He was dropped by Jose Mourinho in 2012-13, with the Portuguese manager favouring Diego Lopez. In the 2013-14 season manager Carlo Ancelotti played Casillas only in the Champions League and Copa del Rey as Real Madrid won their 10th European Cup. Last season he was restored as first-choice keeper but De Gea is expected to replace him as Real and Spain’s number one.

Gerrard makes LA Galaxy debut….

Steven Gerrard

Steven Gerrard “looked like he belonged” as he played his first game for LA Galaxy in a friendly, the MLS side’s manager Bruce Arena said. Ex-Liverpool captain Gerrard featured in the first half of a 2-1 victory over Mexican side Club America on Saturday, forcing a save from 35 yards. Captain Robbie Keane equalised after Carlos Darwin Quintero put America ahead, before Alan Gordon’s winner. Arena said the 35-year-old’s Galaxy debut was “very encouraging”. “His passing was very good,” the 63-year-old added. “His partnership with Juninho was good. He won some tackles, helped create some chances. He could have had a goal. Steven played well.”

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Van Persie set for Fenerbahce talks….

Robin van Persie

Manchester United striker Robin van Persie will arrive in Turkey tonight for talks with Fenerbahce. The 31-year-old joined United for £24m from Arsenal in 2012 but struggled with injury last season, scoring 10 goals. Fenerbahce said on Thursday they had entered into negotiations with United over the Dutchman, who has one year left on his contract. A statement on Fenerbahce’s website  read: “On the evening of Sunday, 12 July, he is coming to Istanbul.” Ex-United team-mate Nani joined Fenerbahce, runners-up in the Super Lig last season, for £4.25m on Monday. The departure of Van Persie, who scored 26 goals in the Premier League as United won the title in 2012-13, would leave boss and fellow Dutchman Louis van Gaal with just two fit first-choice strikers in Wayne Rooney and James Wilson. Colombia forward Radamel Falcao, who spent last season on loan at Old Trafford, has joined Chelsea while Javier Hernandez is recovering from a fractured collarbone. Recent £31m signing Memphis Depay, though primarily a winger, can play a central role. He finished last season as the top scorer in the Dutch Eredivisie with 22 goals for PSV Eindhoven. While Fenerbahce seem confident that a deal will be completed shortly, on Friday Van Gaal refused to confirm Van Persie was on his way out of Old Trafford. Asked whether he was looking for a another striker because Van Persie was leaving, Van Gaal said: “When we feel we can say he is gone you shall hear it from Manchester United. We don’t have the feeling yet.” Van Persie is the Netherlands’ all-time top scorer with 49 goals in 98 games, a tally which includes his superb diving header in their World Cup opener against Spain in 2014. His career in England began when he joined Arsenal from Feyenoord in 2004 for £2.75m. He scored 132 goals in 278 appearances for the Gunners and has netted 58 times in 105 games for United.

Serena wins 2015 Wimbledon title….

Serena Williams beat Spain’s Garbine Muguruza to win Wimbledon for the sixth time and became the holder of all four major titles. The 33-year-old American won 6-4 6-4 on Centre Court to claim her 21st Grand Slam title and third of 2015. Williams withstood a late fightback from 20th seed Muguruza, 21, to come through in one hour and 23 minutes. She will head to the US Open next month aiming to complete the first calendar year Grand Slam of her career. Muguruza was playing in her first Grand Slam final and took a 4-2 lead, before giving the top seed a mighty scare by battling back from a set and 5-1 down with two breaks of serve. She could not quite complete the comeback, however, with an error-strewn service game setting up Williams to clinch a landmark win when the Spaniard found the tramlines. “There was definitely pressure towards the end,” said Williams, who also won all major titles in 2003. “Garbine started playing really well and I just had to think to stay out there and work really hard. “I am having so much fun out on the court. Everyday is a pleasure to be playing and winning Wimbledon.”

Sterling to miss Liverpool tour….

Raheem Sterling

Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling has been withdrawn from the club’s pre-season tour, with the Reds in talks over a transfer with Manchester City. Sterling has asked to leave Anfield and was the subject of two bids from City in June, which were rejected. The 20-year-old is under contract until 2017, but has turned down a new £100,000-a-week deal at Liverpool. He had asked to be left out of the tour of Thailand, Australia and Malaysia but was named on a 30-man list on Saturday. Several former Liverpool players have criticised Sterling since he told manager Brendan Rodgers and chief executive Ian Ayre he wanted to leave the club this summer. Former captain Steven Gerrard said he is “disappointed” in the England international. “You don’t have to throw in illness, or refuse to go on tour,” LA Galaxy midfielder Gerrard added. “The fans have shown him great support, they want him to stay and I believe that he should too.” However, it is understood the Reds decided to leave him out of the tour after the player reported for duty.

Manchester United medical for Schweinsteiger….

Bastian Schweinsteiger

Bastian Schweinsteiger will have a medical today before moving from Bayern Munich to Manchester United. The 30-year-old Germany midfielder is believed to have told Bayern he does not want to extend his contract, which runs to 2016. United announced in a club statement  on Saturday that they had reached an agreement to sign him. The Old Trafford club hope to complete the medical to enable Schweinsteiger to be involved in their tour of the US. Louis van Gaal’s men fly out to America on Monday afternoon and will be based in Seattle for their first game against Mexican team Club America on Friday. Bayern’s chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge  said: “It’s regrettable because Bastian meant a great deal to the club. “He achieved great things but he wants to do something new at the end of his career. He asked that we meet his wishes. “We tried to convince him to stay with Bayern Munich. But I also understand that a player who has spent 17 years at Bayern Munich still wants to gain a new experience.” Schweinsteiger has made 536 appearances for Bayern since his debut in 2002 and played under Van Gaal while the Dutchman was in charge at Bayern between 2009 and 2011. He helped his country win the 2014 World Cup and has one Champions League, eight Bundesliga titles and seven domestic cup triumphs to his name while at the German club.

UAE club Al Ain seal Emenike deal….

Emmanuel Emenike

UAE side Al Ain have completed the loan signing of Nigeria striker Emmanuel Emenike from Turkish giants Fenerbahce. Emenike replaces Ghana striker Asamoah Gyan who has joined Chinese Super League side Shanghai SIPG on a two-year deal. The deal includes an option for Al Ain to buy Emenike at the end of the loan. The 28-year-old, who scored 4 league goals in 27 matches last season, knows he has much to live up to after Gyan’s 128 goals in four years in the UAE. “This is a big club with high expectations and I promise to give my best,” he told BBC Sport. “It is true that [Asamoah] Gyan has done a remarkable job here so I understand there will be expectations. “But I also want to succeed alongside the fantastic players here and win trophies because that is what the club is all about. “On a personal note this is a fresh challenge that I need in my career and I hope to make a great contribution at Al Ain. “I’ve been given an amazing welcome by the club and my focus now is to deliver on the pitch.” Emenike endured a turbulent period at Fenerbahce having initially transferred to the Turkish side in 2011. However, a match-fixing scandal, for which he was later cleared, prompted the Istanbul club to sell him to Russian side Spartak Moscow less than two months later. He re-joined Fenerbahce in 2013 and helped propel them to the 2013/14 Super Lig title and the 2014 Turkish Cup crown. But Emenike, who made his Nigeria debut in 2011 and was top scorer at the 2013 African Cup of Nations, suffered a dramatic dip in form last season which attracted negative reactions from Fenerbahce fans. He demanded to be substituted after he was booed by his own fans during their 1-0 home win over rivals Besiktas in March. A Nations Cup winner with Nigeria in 2013, Emenike started all four of the Super Eagles’ matches at last summer’s World Cup in Brazil.