JULY 20 – SHORT CORNERS: INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS NOTES AND RUMORS

JULY 20 – SHORT CORNERS: INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS NOTES AND RUMORS

LIVERPOOL SIGN JOE COLE

Joe Cole has picked Liverpool over Tottenham and Arsenal.

The out-of-contract England international has settled his personal wage demands with the Anfield club and, barring a medical, will sign a four-year contract with the club in the next 48 hours.

Reds boss Roy Hodgson has been attempting to prevent Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard from bolting to other clubs and the Cole signing will certainly help convince the current the existing Liverpool players that the new boss has designs of returning to the Champions League.

Though out of contract, Cole’s arrival will cross over with Yosssi Benayoun who is heading to Stamford Bridge, though Liverpool stands to gain $7.5 million swap.

The extra cash will help as Hodgson is facing the exit’s of Fabio Aurelio and Emiliano Insua, the former Fulham manager will be looking for a left back as soon as possible.

WERDER BREMEN TRYING TO LOCK DOWN OZIL

Bundesliga side Werder Bremen are still trying to work a deal out with sensation Mesut Ozil, but the giants of European football are waiting in the wings to snap up the German international.

Bremen are hoping to lock the World Cup Golden Ball nominee in spite of the fact that could sell the player for a fee in the range of  $26 million to Europe’s elite clubs.

The club have been trying to secure a new deal for the 21-year-old

“We were trying to find a solution on a new contract with Mesut Ozil up until the start of the World Cup, but we couldn’t,” Bremen general manager Klaus Allofs told German paper Kreiszeitung. “In the meantime we made good progress and were confident that we could fill in the final blanks with the right figures. We had our ideas but we have not been able to bring this to an end. We are not angry, no way. We intend to keep on trying.”

CELTIC BULLARD ROLLERCOASTER

At any time in the last 24 hours you could have read news articles from reliable media outlets that would have told you a myriad of radically opposing facts about Hull City striker Jimmy Bullard and Glasgow superclub Celtic.

‘Bullard finally joins Celtic’, ‘Bullard Celtic deal is definitely dead’ and ‘Bullard switch may be back on’.

These are just a sample of the confusion surrounding a seemingly straightforward switch that has been anything but.  Celtic initially contacted Hull City to secure Bullard’s services on loan for the season, but the 31-year-old striker’s wage demands were more than he makes at Hull.

Celtic apparently attempted to work a deal out to share some of the wage bill for the player, but the deal fell apart.

The Tigers cannot afford to pay Bullard since being relegated to the Championship and teams don’t seem to be lining up to take the player off their hands.

Hull City manager Nigel Pearson has left Bullard out of the team that will travel to Portugal this weekend for more pre-season matches, clearly indicating that Hull is moving forward in their plans. Plans that the Tigers record signing player is not a part of.

“We’ll look at it as we get closer to the end of the [transfer] window but I’m not going to make statements that will close the door totally.” Pearson told the BBC. “We have to be sensible on that.”

BARCELONA GRAB BRAZILIAN ADRIANO

Spanish Champions Barcelona have grabbed full back Adriano Correia from Sevilla for $11 million, though the price could increase depending on results.

The 25-year-old Brazilian is set to sign a four-year deal with the Catalan superclub pending a medical.

“I was very excited. I didn’t think twice about it and now I’m really pleased to have the chance to defend the Barca colors. This was something I couldn’t let pass by,” the player told reporters during his official presentation. “I’m very happy. I have worked hard to achieve this.”

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER CLUBS RAID MEXICAN NATIONAL TEAM

Two Major League Soccer teams have made designated player signings of Mexican internationals over the weekend.

Chicago Fire landed playmaker Nery Castillo. The versatile 26-year-old Castillo joins the club as a designated player on loan from Ukraine club Shakthar Donetsk where he is under contract.

Castillo, who has 6 goals in 21 appearances for Mexico played last season on loan to Manchester City.

The Kansas City Wizards have signed Guadalajara legend Omar Bravo to a designated player contract. The striker played 290 times over nine years for the club scoring 106 goals. Bravo also managed to play two seasons for Deportiva la Coruna in Spain where he saw limited action.

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