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Fiorentina striker and Romanian international Adrian Mutu was on the receiving end of the largest fine in the history of football: he was ordered to pay former club Chelsea 17.2 million euro in damages after the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) rejected his appeal following the initial decision last year.

Fifa’s dispute resolution chamber ruled in May 2008 that Mutu had committed a breach of contract during his tenure at Chelsea by he failed a doping test in 2004.

Mutu subsequently had appealed to the CAS against the ruling, but the panel eventually upheld the original judgment, ruling on July 31 in favour of the London club and setting a precedent in the world of football.

According to an official statement on the Fifa website: “The claim for compensation of Chelsea Football Club, regarding the breach of a contract which was signed between the two parties on 12 August 2003, has been accepted. The player Adrian Mutu will have to pay the amount of 17 173 990 euro to Chelsea Football Club.”
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This was confirmed by a succinct statement on the CAS official website, which said: “The Court of Arbitration for Sport has today dismissed the appeal filed by the Romanian football player, Adrian Mutu, against the decision rendered by the Fifa Dispute Resolution Chamber (DRC) on 7 May 2008 in which he was ordered to pay 17 173 990 euro in compensation to his former club, Chelsea FC, for breach of contract.”

In turn, Chelsea FC have said in a statement on their website: “Chelsea is delighted with the Dispute Resolution Chamber (DRC) decision”.

Mutu tested positive for cocaine and was handed a seven-month ban, during which period he was released by Chelsea. After his ban expired he signed on with Serie A club Juventus and later Fiorentina, with Chelsea receiving no transfer fee for the player. Chelsea argued that it was due compensation because it was Mutu who breached the contract.

Mutu’s fortune is listed at 10 million. Thus he must seek financial aid in some interesting ways. Report Continues

Former England manager Sir Bobby Robson has died at the age of 76, following a long battle with cancer
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United’s players and staff held a minute’s silence at the training ground on Friday morning.

Flags at the Football Association headquarters in London’s Soho Square and at Wembley Stadium will fly at half mast.

Ipswich flags are also flying at half mast at Portman Road and there will be two minutes’ silence before Friday evening’s friendly against Real Valladolid which kicks off at 1930 BST.

Robson, who was first diagnosed with cancer 18 years ago in 1991, fought a brave battle against the disease. He beat bowel cancer in 1992, a malignant melanoma in 1995 and a tumour in his right lung and a brain tumour, both in 2006.

In 2007 he vowed to “battle as I’ve always done” following the start of chemotherapy treatment after being diagnosed with cancer for the fifth time.

He made his final public appearance at a charity match at St James’ Park on Sunday

A statement issued on behalf of Robson’s family said: “It is with great sadness that it has been announced today that Sir Bobby Robson has lost his long and courageous battle with cancer.

“He died very peacefully this morning (Friday) at his home in County Durham with his wife and family beside him.

“Sir Bobby’s funeral will be private and for family members only.

“A thanksgiving service in celebration of Sir Bobby’s life will be held at a later date for his many friends and colleagues.

“Lady Robson and the family would very much appreciate it if their privacy could be respected at this difficult time.”

Robson is survived by his wife Elsie, and their three children.
Source : BBC Sport

Manager targets £30m Roma deal to add steel in Arsenal’s midfield

Wenger said yesterday: “I feel we are strong enough, but if we can add we will do it. In England people think that all the problems can be sorted out by buying players. I believe the biggest target is to work hard in training, improve what we can improve and have confidence in the players we have.

“If we need to add then we will. We have money available so for us. It is now [important] to spend it in the right way when we do it or if we do it.”

Arsene Wenger’s preferred midfield target this summer is the Roma and Italy midfielder Daniele De Rossi, and despite the Italian club’s reluctance to sell Arsenal have not given up hope that Roma’s perilous financial position could force a sale.

derossi_22850tLike Liverpool’s pursuit of De Rossi’s Roma team-mate Alberto Aquilani, the player’s future is bound up with the financial problems of the club and the long-term plans of the Sensi family who own it. De Rossi, 26, is regarded as the most important player at the club behind Francisco Totti and is valued at around £30m, which is far in excess of any transfer fee paid by Arsenal in the past.

While De Rossi’s reputation in England is not distinguished because of some of Roma’s less than impressive Champions League performances in recent years, he is regarded in Italy as one of the country’s finest players.

The Arsenal manager has made just one signing this summer, the £10m purchase of the Ajax centre-back Thomas Vermaelen, 23, who had been scouted by a number of the Premier League’s top clubs.

Source : The Independent

the Premier League champions will wait two weeks before weighing in so that a clause in Ribery’s Bayern Munich contract is active.

The French winger is due a loyalty bonus on August 14, after which he is expected to request a transfer.

Bayern have fended off interest from Real Madrid whose arrogance and lack of respect infuriated the German giants.

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But Ribery has indicated he would be willing to move to Old Trafford and wants to quit Germany.

United believe Ribery, 26, is prepared to force the issue but would not do so until any financial issues have been sorted.

Bayern are understood to be more willing to negotiate with United but are likely to demand nearer £50m.

United boss Alex Ferguson sees Ribery as Cristiano Ronaldo’s replacement.

Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti also revealed his admiration for the Frenchman.

More Info Coming…

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says he will not rush to spend the money raised from the sales of Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Adebayor to Manchester City.

Wenger has generated in the region of £40m from the transfers but has made only one summer signing so far, Thomas Vermaelen from Ajax for £10m.

Thumbs Up.. Or Thumbs Down?

Thumbs Up.. Or Thumbs Down?

“I feel we are strong enough but if we can add then we will do it,” Wenger told the club’s official website.

“In England, people think all problems can be sorted out by buying players.”

Arsenal have been linked with a host of players this summer but Wenger says the club are not “close to signing anyone at the moment”.

Defenders Brede Hangeland of Fulham and Newcastle’s Sebastien Bassong as well as strikers Klaas-Jan Huntelaar of Real Madrid, Bordeaux’s Marouane Chamakh, have been linked with moves to the Emirates Stadium.

Former skipper Patrick Vieira, 33, is also rumoured to be on Wenger’s radar after falling out of favour at Inter Milan.

“We have money available so for us it is now (important) to spend it in the right way when we do it or if we do it,” added Wenger after Arsenal’s 1-0 friendly win over German side Hannover on Wednesday.

“The biggest target is to work hard in training, improve what we can improve and have confidence in the players that we have.”

The lack of summer signings, the departures of defender Toure and striker Adebayor and the serious injury to Samir Nasri has put the spotlight on the club’s transfer policy.

The Gunners lost out in their bid to sign Felipe Melo from Fiorentina, with the Brazil midfielder opting to sign for Juventus instead.

Since moving to the Emirates Stadium in 2006, the Gunners boss has focused on nurturing young players rather than capturing experienced stars.
The likes of Mathieu Flamini, Gilberto Silva and Alexander Hleb have all left the club.  Similar talent is still present with starlets such as, Theo Walcott, Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere.

In a league of purchased ready-made stars this could spell trouble for their place in the top four this coming season.

-Penalty List Below-

Bayern Munich 0-0 Manchester United
(7-6 after pens)

Manchester United and Bayern Munich’s participation in the Audi Cup was concluded earlier this evening, but the winner did not emerge until the game’s death as no difference-maker could break the stalemate that dogged the initial 90 minutes. The German powerhouse required nerves of steel to fend off the United threat and eventually triumphed after a protracted penalty shoot-out saga.

evra-the-offside

A bout of surprising swordmanship ensued from the off where each team not only eyed the other upm but began striking, in fierce play that belied the friendly status of the tie. Perhaps the manner in which Manchester United fought back in an epic Champions League final in 1999 was still fresh in Die Bayern’s minds, and the Red Devils too wanted to repeat their psychological advantage.

Bayern managed to begin to exert their footballing game onto the Premier League title-winners, though, yet had it not been for some woeful play in the final third, Bayern could have been a goal to good inside ten minutes.

Netherlands international Mark Van Bommel attempted to thread Mario Gomez through, but his pass had too much weight on and Gomez failed to get the connection. Just nine minutes later and Gomez again was in on the action, this time with a shot the struck the frame of Edwin van der Sar’s goal. Van Bommel again acting as the playmaker, who managed to split Rio Ferdinand and Jonny Evans with his pass.

Bayern were on top of United for much of the opening stages of the first-half, and also indeed the greater of chances. Muller, half-way through the opening 45 minutes, could only tamely shoot at United’s veteran glovesman, after tearing away from the opposition’s midfield and defence.

Just before the break and there was one strong chance per team as creative Bulgarian striker Dimitar Berbatov ensured Bayern were not the only team lamenting the position of the goal-posts as the former Tottenham Hotshot took advantage of some confused box-play that followed a corner-kick, only to be denied an opener by Michael Rensing’s stick.

Just moments later Gomez could have ensured that FC Hollywood went into the break the happier of the sides but again his woeful productivity in front of goal let him down.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s half-time team talk must have proved inspirational as his side came out the blocks with far more effectiveness in the concluding half.

On the hour-mark, free acquisition Michael Owen forced a strong save from Rensing after a good passage of play from ageing midfielder Paul Scholes.

Each manager tried to change the game with a flurry of substitutions, and it was England’s golden boy Wayne Rooney – earmarked this season to occupy more of a central role as he has done in superb fashion under the national tutelage of Fabio Capello – who could have stolen the win, and the Audi Cup on the 86th minute prior to an epic penalty showdown.

Penalties

Ryan Giggs 1-1 Alexander Baumjohann
Anderson 2-2 Edson Braafheid
Nani 3-3 Hamit Altintop
Patrice Evra 3-3 Danijel Pranjic
Wayne Rooney 4-4 Jose Ernesto Sosa
Darren Fletcher 5-5 Andreas Ottl
Paul Scholes 6-6 Holger Badstuber
Jonathan Evans 6-7 Daniel Van Buyten

Line Ups

Bayern Munich – Rensing; Lahm, Demichelis, Breno, Braafheid; Tymoschuk; Mark van Bommel, Schweinsteger; Baumjohann; Muller, Gomez.

Manchester United – Van der Sar; Fletcher, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra; Nani, Scholes, Gibson, Giggs; Berbatov; Owen.

SANDY, Utah — Tim Howard made six saves in regulation and stopped three shots on penalty kicks to lead Everton over the Major League Soccer team in the MLS All-Star Game on Wednesday night.

BRITAIN SOCCER

Howard, the U.S. national team goalkeeper, was voted the most valuable player after stopping Seattle Sounders midfielder Freddie Ljunberg on the final penalty kick.

The Premier League club wrapped up its North American preseason tour by becoming the first international team to win in the MLS All-Star Game.

Louis Saha scored the only regulation goal for Everton in the 12th minute. Brad Davis of the Houston Dynamo scored for the MLS stars, who held a 21-11 shots advantage.

Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti insists he hasn’t forgotten about England star Joe Cole, as he continues his comeback from injury.
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Cole managed just 19 appearances last season after a persistent knee problem required surgery in January
Now new coach Ancelotti has maintained Cole has a important role to play this season.

“I like football so know everything about Joe Cole,” he said. “I know all about the top players. He’s perfect to play behind the strikers and has the maturity.

“He’s very good at playing in a small space and is a good dribbler. I will wait until he’s recovered from injury and then try him.”

Ancelotti has employed a diamond formation in midfield during Chelsea’s pre-season tour of the US and is confident Cole can slot into the system.
Source : Espn

–How do you feel about Joe Coles injury woes and what he can contribute? —


This time last year, Hull City was gearing up for its first season in the top flight. The Tigers’ fans had waited over 100 years for this moment and it had finally arrived.

He look's a lot like Hugh Laurie from House. Just not as talented.

He look's a lot like Hugh Laurie from House. Just not as talented.

With a mixture of free agents and hungry young players keen to cut their teeth in the Premier League, manager Phil Brown managed to keep Hull up on the last day of the season, following Newcastle’s failure to win at Aston Villa.

Brown was hailed a hero and the fans of the East Yorkshire club thought that the hard  part was done.

Wrong.

Survival is merely the start, the second season has seen a number of teams that came up, go down, just ask the fans of Reading.

Twelve months on and the club’s position hasn’t really changed. Brown has the money to spend, but can’t sign the players.

But what most fans of the club won’t say is that it is arguably the most successful manager in the club’s history’s fault.

Brown is targeting all the wrong players, he is trying to compete for established Premier League players. They won’t risk coming to a club that could be relegated come what May.

Owen, Zamora, Fortune, Campbell. All of them have no desire to be fighting for survival when they have offers from other more established clubs.

The best option open to Brown would be to sign the best players in the Championship, all would come at reasonable prices and all would have something to prove.

They don’t have to benefit the club in the long term, just long enough for the Tigers to establish themselves as Premier League main-stayers, then the better players will be more likely to take an offer from Hull more seriously.

But It seems that Brown is becoming a desperate man, a man who is likely to become the first managerial casualty of the Premier League this season, because rather than looking at his options, he would rather argue the odds over the transfer windows.

Everyone knows that the transfer window system is a poor idea, which encourages panic buying and puts more money in agent’s pockets. But until that system is changed you just have to get on with it.

Source : A contributor from the Bleacher Report

MADRID – Liverpool defender Alvaro Arbeloa has passed a medical and will sign a five-year contract with Real Madrid, the Primera Liga club said on their website on Wednesday.
Liverpool had earlier confirmed the agreement in a statement.

The versatile Spanish international returns to the club he originally joined as 16-year-old from Real Zaragoza.

He developed through the Real youth system but found his opportunities limited in the first team and left for Deportivo Coruna in 2006, and then Liverpool in January 2007. He had one year left to run on his contract.

Arbeloa_Benitez
The 26-year-old won his first full international cap in March last year and was a member of Spain’s victorious Euro 2008 squad.

Arbeloa becomes Real’s seventh signing after Kaka, Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, Raul Albiol, Alvaro Negredo and Esteban Granero.

Spanish media reported the deal was worth around 4 million euros, taking Real’s close-season spending up towards the 220 million euro mark.

Real Madrid are also chasing Arbeloa’s Liverpool team mate Xabi Alonso.
Source : FourFourTwo

The recent signing of Glen Johnson was the signal for many supporters that Arbeloa was heading for the exit door, but there are some who believe this would be the wrong time for the Spanish International to leave Anfield.
After a solid display last season, Arbeloa was one of the more regular starters during a well fought title run by Liverpool. The right back position was a weak link for Benitez, after Philipp Degan missed his entire first season with injuries.
Javier Mascherano, Jamie Carragher, and Martin Skrtel were all utilized as cover for Arbeloa when he needed to be rested.
This season many were hoping that Arbeloa would become a very worthy backup to Glen Johnson, and the position was now an area that could be considered complete. But with Arbeloa’s departure seeming a certainty, Benitez may be back to square one with only the 20-year-old Steven Darby as the recognised right back.
Jay Spearing has spent some time during preseason playing in Arbeloa’s position and has looked pretty good going forward. It may be an area Benitez feels he can give his young reserve players the chance they deserve.
But the Liverpool manager has always claimed the fullback areas are key in attacking teams who are compact; and get everyone behind the ball, something that halted Liverpool’s dominance of the Premier League last season.
Benitez has recently said there may be another signing or two before the window closes, and it now looks like the right back position will need to be addressed once again. Liverpool lacks a little quality in depth in some areas of the pitch and losing Arbeloa could be a step backwards.
Not a great thing, when this coming Premier League season requires a step forward.

Liverpool right back Alvaro Arbeloa has told a Spanish newspaper that a move to Real Madrid could be completed this week.

The former Madrid player has publicly stated his desire to move back to Spain and play for the club he left in 2005.

The Spaniard tells Marca, “I insist that everything is going forwards and everyone is in agreement, I am the one who has the most desire to sign for Madrid.”

Currently on holiday in his native country, he insists the deal could be finalised in the next few days.
arbeloa

The switch to the Bernabeu looks imminent in a deal believed to be around £3.5 million, resulting in another tidy profit for the Liverpool manager, Rafa Benitez.

Arbeloa goes on to say, “I don’t know what the likelihood is in percentages, it’s a question more for the clubs. But, as I understand, it seems everything is going well and there is little left to resolve.”

The recent signing of Glen Johnson was the signal for many supporters that Arbeloa was heading for the exit door, but there are some who believe this would be the wrong time for the Spanish International to leave Anfield.

After a solid display last season, Arbeloa was one of the more regular starters during a well fought title run by Liverpool. The right back position was a weak link for Benitez, after Philipp Degan missed his entire first season with injuries.

Javier Mascherano, Jamie Carragher, and Martin Skrtel were all utilized as cover for Arbeloa when he needed to be rested.

This season many were hoping that Arbeloa would become a very worthy backup to Glen Johnson, and the position was now an area that could be considered complete. But with Arbeloa’s departure seeming a certainty, Benitez may be back to square one with only the 20-year-old Steven Darby as the recognised right back.

Jay Spearing has spent some time during preseason playing in Arbeloa’s position and has looked pretty good going forward. It may be an area Benitez feels he can give his young reserve players the chance they deserve.

But the Liverpool manager has always claimed the fullback areas are key in attacking teams who are compact; and get everyone behind the ball, something that halted Liverpool’s dominance of the Premier League last season.

Benitez has recently said there may be another signing or two before the window closes, and it now looks like the right back position will need to be addressed once again. Liverpool lacks a little quality in depth in some areas of the pitch and losing Arbeloa could be a step backwards.

Not a great thing, when this coming Premier League season requires a step forward.
Source : The bleacher Report

Kolo Toure is due at Manchester City on Wednesday to complete a medical on his £14million move from Arsenal, with Arsene Wenger adamant that he has plenty of defensive options to cope without one of his most experienced players.

ArseneWengerPA_468x647
The sale of Toure, who will receive wages of about £120,000 a week, would follow the departure of Emmanuel Adebayor and will mean Arsenal have banked some £39million from Manchester City over the past two weeks.

At least £30million is understood to be available to Wenger, the Arsenal manager, although there is concern from Alisher Usmanov, the club’s second largest shareholder, at the wisdom of selling to one of their biggest rivals.

Wenger himself has admitted that City will challenge the established ‘Big Four’ next season but will look to reinvest in other players.

The chances of signing Real Madrid forward Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, who is available for £16million, have increased now that Tottenham have bought Peter Crouch and Stuttgart could not reach agreement with the Dutch forward over his wages.

Fulham defender Brede Hangeland would also provide the imposing presence at centre-back that Arsenal lacked at important moments last season, although manager Roy Hodgson would be extremely reluctant to sell.

Wenger is prepared to let Philippe Senderos leave following his loan spell last season at AC Milan but will consider using Alex Song as a centre-back. Other options include William Gallas, Johan Djourou, Thomas Vermaelen and Mikael Silvestre.

The departure of Toure, 28, whom Wenger signed for just £150,000, represents the end of an era as he is the only member of the present squad to have been a regular in the ‘Invincible’ team of 2003-04.

Toure, though, handed in a transfer request in January and, despite playing regularly in the second half of last season, his relationship with Gallas was particularly strained.

“We have seven centre-backs and I am in the position where I have to play some in midfield, but of course Kolo is a very good player,” Wenger said.

“I am more focused on getting everybody fit for the start of the season but we are looking at opportunities as well. When the time comes we will do something.”

The addition of Toure will take City manager Mark Hughes’s spending this summer to almost £100million and his total outlay over the past year to about £200million.

It also represents some consolation for the failure to sign John Terry from Chelsea. Hughes still wants to add a centre-back and, despite having had one offer of £15million rejected, remains hopeful that a deal can be done for Everton’s Joleon Lescott.
Source : The Telegraph

Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s official unveiling at Barcelona was delayed by two hours at the Nou Camp as the Spanish side was forced to wait for a fax from Inter Milan to officially confirm the move.

Zlatan is unveiled for the first time

Zlatan is unveiled for the first time

More than 55,000 fans had gathered in the club’s stadium and were left waiting while details over Samuel Eto’o’s move to Ibrahimovic’s old club Inter Milan were finalised.

Their frustration and excitment resulted in a pitch invasion which further delayed the Swede taking to the field in a full Barcelona strip for the first time wearing the number nine shirt.

When the 27-year-old finally emerged on the pitch, fans were seen charging towards him only to be held back by security.

The striker signed a five-year contract with Barcelona after passing a medical earier this week to complete the Euopean Champions’ most expensive transfer – understood to be 46 million euros. Contracted to the club until 2014, his contract is also said to have a 250 million euro buy out clause.
Eto’o will now join Inter as part of the deal, while Belarus midfielder Aleksandr Hleb will go on loan to the Italian club for one season.

Adamant he will prove himself worthy of becoming the club’s most expensive transfer, Ibrahimovic said: “I haven’t come to replace Eto’o because I’m a very different player. I’m going to work to the maximum to demonstrate you haven’t made a mistake in signing me.
“Thanks to Inter Milan for allowing me to sign for Barcelona. This is a very big day for me.”
Barcelona said Ibrahimovic has a broken finger on his left hand and will require surgery. The injury happened during Inter’s last friendly, against Chelsea in Los Angeles last week.
“It will require setting surgically, which will be done tomorrow at noon,” technical secretary Txiki Beguiristain said.

Ibrahimovic became Barcelona’s third signing this summer as part of coach Pep Guardiola’s bid to strengthen a team that last season won an unprecedented treble of Spanish, Champions League and Copa del Rey titles.
The other two new players are both from Brazil — Maxwell also moved from Inter, while Keirrison signed from Palmeiras.
(Source : the telegraph)

Jose Mourinho last night said he wants to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson as manager of Manchester United.

The former Chelsea coach, who lifted last season’s Serie A title at Inter Milan, issued a come-and-getme plea to the Old Trafford hierarchy when Fergie retires.

BRITAIN SOCCER
Mourinho, who last night exchanged striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic for Barcelona’s Samuel Eto’o plus £40million and former Arsenal winger Alexander Hleb in the deal of the summer, said: “I would consider going to Manchester United. but United have to consider if they want me to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson. If they do, then of course.

“I like England, where the fans are very passionate and make a game a beautiful occasion with such an incredible atmosphere.”

But ref lecting on his acrimonious departure from Chelsea in 2005 after two League titles, the Special One could not resist a dig.

He said: “I had many conversations before Chelsea and I decided on a divorce.

“It was difficult for me because we loved each other, but the relationship went in one direction and it was best for everyone.

“Since I left I became champion again but they have not been champions again. I keep winning and they don’t.”

Mourinho now has his sights set on bringing the Champions League to Inter – they last won Europe’s premier trophy way back in 1965.

He said: “I have a project in hand and I am very excited. When I went to Chelsea the big obsession was to win the Premier League after half a century.

“At Inter, winning the Italian League is very important but we have something else on our minds.”
Source : The Daily

Man City moved on from the disappointment of missing out on England captain John Terry by striking a £15million deal for Arsenal defender Kolo Toure.
The 28-year-old has agreed personal terms of around £120,000 per week — doubling his wages at Arsenal. He is expected to be unveiled later this week and could even figure in Saturday’s friendly at Barnsley.

Toure 'wanted out of Arsenal'

Toure 'wanted out of Arsenal'


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