JUNE 26-SHORT CORNERS:SOCCER NEWS NOTES AND RUMORS

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JUNE 26 – SHORT CORNERS-INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS NOTES AND RUMORS

BALLACK RETURNS TO LEVERKUSEN

Michael Ballack has returned to his former club, Bayer Leverkusen, on a two-year contract.

The German International is returning to his old Bundesliga side, with whom he reached the Champions League final in 2002.

“With my transfer to Bayer Leverkusen a circle is complete. I had a beautiful and successful time here, on which I like to look back on a lot,” Ballack told the club’s website. “That was a factor in my decision.”

“But above all the good sporting potential of this young and attractive team were persuasive.

“I am especially looking forward to the great fans, who naturally have been key in my decision to return to Bayer.”

Rudi Völller, Bayer sporting director, is excited to see what a player of Ballack’s experience can bring to such a young side.

“With Michael Ballack our team is getting an enormous boost in quality,” he said. “Especially our many young players will benefit from his abilities and his experience.

“We did everything to convince Michael. That his preference was for Bayer despite our limited financial possibilities in comparison to the competition, shows his emotional attachment to the club.”

ALLEGRI TAKES HELM AT MILAN

AC Milan confirmed Massimiliano Allegri as their new manager replacing Leonardo who quit after just one season in charge at the San Siro.

Allegri, who has signed a two-year contract with Milan, comes from a Cagliari club he had great success with, but was released after a disagreement with the club in April.

Milan had been pursuing the 42-year-old Allegri as their first choice but had to wait as the manager had to negotiate the close of his contract with the Sardinian club.

ANELKA SIGNS ONE-YEAR EXTENSION AT CHELSEA

Chelsea has confirmed that striker Nicolas Anelka has signed a one-year contract extension to keep him at Stamford Bridge until summer 2012

Fresh from the debacle of the French team in South Africa, Anelka was all too happy to wrap up his club life with Chelsea.

“When I first came to Chelsea I wanted to stay much longer than what I did in the past with other clubs,” Anelka told the club’s official website. “It is a big club, you play with big players and I like this club, I like London.

“There is no need to move anymore and so I am very glad to sign a new contract and I know we will play in big games and win titles. I am very glad.”

Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti was also happy with the signing.

“Nicolas is a fantastic player who has good technical qualities and movement,” Ancelotti said. “When I was coach at Juventus I wanted to buy him, so it is good now he has signed for me and I think Chelsea is his home. I look forward to working with him for one year more.”

REDKNAPP WANTS COLE AT SPURS

Despite rumors of moves to Manchester United and Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp is still focused on signing out-of-contract Cole.

Redknapp is in touch with Cole’s representatives but has been told that there will be no deal until the England International returns from the World Cup.

Cole got his start at West Ham United under Redknapp.

“We’ve declared our interest in Joe to his agent but that is as far as it has gone.” Redknapp told Soccernet. “We are told Joe doesn’t want to talk to anyone about any move until after the World Cup is over.”

BAYERN SIGN FABIO COENTRAO FROM BENFICA

Reports out of Spain have Benfica winger Fabio Coentrao agreeing to terms with Champions League finalists Bayern Munich.

The Portuguese International had been linked to a number of big European Clubs but according to Spanish publication AS, the Bundesliga giants are winning the battle for the 22-year-old, even after having an $18.5 million bid turned down two weeks earlier.

Coentrao, in South Africa with Portugal for the World Cup, said “I now think only of the national team and having a good World Cup.”

VALENCIA SELL ANOTHER STAR TO BARCELONA

Barcelona have completed the signing of Valencia winger Juan Mata to a five-year contract, according to Spanish radio station Onda Cero.

Barcelona has paid a $27 million fee for the Spanish International after failing to sign Mata last summer. Valencia refused the bid, but this season debt still haunts the Mestalla and the club was forced to sell.

Cash strapped Valencia put a big-money deal to sell the 22-year-old to Premier League side Manchester City fell through as Mata wanted to remain in his homeland.

Mata becomes the second Valencia player to move to Barcelona in a month, as the club sold David Villa to the Catalan giants in May for $50 million.

The signing will boost the left side at the Camp Nou this season, but all but confirms that Thierry Henry will be surplus to requirements for the Spanish Champions.

READ THE JUNE 25 SHORT CORNERS

READ THE JUNE 24 SHORT CORNERS

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2 Responses to “JUNE 26-SHORT CORNERS:SOCCER NEWS NOTES AND RUMORS”

  1. MONDAY SHORT CORNERS – INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS, NOTES AND RUMORS « GOODMAN BROWNE ON THE PITCH Says:

    […] SATURDAY’S SHORT CORNERS […]

  2. GOODMAN BROWNE ON THE PITCH Says:

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