West Ham United have reached agreement with Barcelona for the permanent signature of midfielder Alex Song. Co-owner David Sullivan tells the KUMB (Knees Up Mother Brown) Podcast: “We have a deal in place with Alex Song subject to a medical. If the medical is ok, we’ll take him. He’s injured at the moment, which is something you’ve got to weight up. But we’ve got until 1 September to make a decision.”
Oscar Pistorius will not be released from prison on Friday as planned, after South Africa’s justice ministry announced its decision to review the decision. In a statement, the ministry said the decision to release Pistorius 10 months into his five-year sentence was made “prematurely” and with “no legal basis”. Pistorius was found guilty of culpable homicide in October last year after shooting dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. She would have celebrated her 32nd birthday on Wednesday. The decorated Paralympic athlete now looks set to stay in prison at least until the case has been looked over by South Africa’s correctional supervision and parole review board.
Chelsea have agreed a deal with Barcelona to sign winger Pedro for a fee of £21m. The 28-year-old, who was a target for Manchester United, is flying to London to finalise terms on the transfer. The Spain international is a product of the La Liga club’s academy and has scored 99 goals in 326 appearances since his debut in 2008. He will be Chelsea’s second signing in less than a week after the arrival of Ghana defender Baba Rahman.
Real Madrid have signed midfielder Mateo Kovacic from Inter Milan for an undisclosed fee. The 21-year-old Croatia international has signed a six-year contract at the Bernabeu, where he will be presented to the Real fans on Wednesday. Kovacic scored eight goals and provided 11 assists in 97 games for Inter, whom he joined from Dinamo Zagreb in 2013. Real, who finished second behind Barcelona in La Liga last season, begin the new campaign on Sunday. Kovacic, who has played 21 times for his country, will join countryman Luka Modric at the club.
Barcelona centre back Gerard Pique has been banned for four matches after he was sent off for insulting a linesman in Monday’s Spanish Super Cup second leg against Athletic Bilbao. Barca can appeal and may get the sanction reduced, but if that fails the Spain international will miss the the club’s opening four La Liga matches, including Sunday’s trip to play Bilbao and the game at Atletico Madrid on 12 September. Pique apologised for his dismissal via his Twitter account on Tuesday, but denied using insulting language.
Leicester have confirmed they have signed Napoli midfielder Gokhan Inler. The 31-year-old, who will cost the Foxes a reported £3m, signed for Napoli from Udinese in 2011. Inler has more than 80 caps for Switzerland and has played for his country at two World Cups and Euro 2008. Foxes boss Claudio Ranieri has been chasing a new midfielder after failing to persuade Esteban Cambiasso to stay at the club, and has already signed N’Golo Kante from Caen to beef up his options.
Former Olympic 1500m champion Lord Coe is the new president of the IAAF, the body that governs world athletics. The 58-year-old Briton beat rival Sergey Bubka, a former Olympic pole vault champion, by 115 votes to 92. One of Coe’s first tasks will be to deal with the fall-out from a series of doping allegations to hit athletics. Double Olympic champion Mo Farah and Olympic 1500m silver medallist Steve Cram have backed their countryman to make a positive impact. Following his election, Coe tweeted that, after the birth of his children, this was the most “momentous moment” of his life. The former chairman of London 2012, Coe replaces 82-year-old Senegalese Lamine Diack, who has been in charge for 16 years.