Friday, January 27, 2006 

Hamburger SV signed Nigel de Jong

Bundesliga title chasers Hamburger SV have continued to strengthen their squad, following Tuesday's loan signing of Ailton with the €1.5m capture of Nigel de Jong from AFC Ajax.

Dutch exiles
The versatile Netherlands midfielder has agreed a three-and-a-half year deal with the UEFA Cup hopefuls, ending a four-year spell in the first team at the Amsterdam ArenA. The 21-year-old, whose contract was due to expire in July, joins a growing number of Dutch exiles at the AOL Arena, with fellow internationals Rafael van der Vaart and Khalid Boulahrouz already impressing with the Bundesliga outfit.

Squad strengthening
Coming so soon after the arrival of Ailton, the move will send a clear message of intent to both Bundesliga leaders FC Bayern München and UEFA Cup Round of 32 opponents FC Thun. Meanwhile, the side that helped knock the Swiss team out of the UEFA Champions League, Ajax will go into their last-16 tie in that competition against FC Internazionale Milano shorn of a key player.


Thursday, January 26, 2006 

Hamburg offer for Patrick Kluivert.

The Bundesliga outfit offered around €2 million for the Dutch international who arrived at The Mestalla last summer after an ill-fated spell at Newcastle.

He has struggled to make much of an impact at Valencia also despite scoring in last weekend's 2-2 draw with Zaragoza.

However, the Che are keen to keep hold of him for the second half of the season and have informed Hamburg, flying high in Die Bundesliga, that they are not willing to do business.


Wednesday, January 25, 2006 

Hamburger SV captured Ailton

The Bundesliga is welcoming back one of its favourite foreign players after Brazilian striker Ailton agreed to join Hamburger SV.

Short-term deal
The 32-year-old will move to the title-chasers on loan until the end of the season after the payment of an alleged €450,000 fee to his Turkish club, Beşiktaş JK. The side from the north of Germany will then have the option of signing the former Werder Bremen and FC Schalke 04 forward on a permanent basis in the summer. "He will arrive in Hamburg tonight and will start to train with his new team-mates tomorrow morning," Hamburg spokesman Joern Wolf told yesterday as he looked forward to unveiling a striker whose 28 goals helped Bremen win the German title in 2003/04.

Schalke criticism
Ailton scored 14 times the following season for Schalke, but following criticism of his easygoing lifestyle, he elected to move to Beşiktaş last summer. However, he was unable to forge a good working relationship with the club's French coach Jean Tigana and was homesick for German football. In 14 games in the autumn, Ailton scored just five goals for Beşiktaş and received a red card to boot. He further annoyed Tigana when he scored a hat-trick in a friendly game against Bremen this winter in Belek, with the coach claiming he was only playing at his best to earn himself a ticket back to Germany.

'Really thirsty'
Whether or not that was really Ailton's intention, German clubs maintained an interest in him and Hamburg sporting director Dietmar Beiersdorfer was delighted to secure his services. "He is really thirsty to prove his class again here in Germany," he said. "I don't think that he is too old." Ailton will join Sergej Barbarez and Rafael van der Vaart in a stellar multinational forward line at Hamburg, and the club are certain that they can keep the occasionally wayward striker in line. "We will definitely handle him and I am certain that we will make him adjust to the team," said Hamburg marketing director Katja Kraus.

Magath wary
However, not everyone in Germany is so optimistic about the move. FC Bayern München coach Felix Magath, Ailton's boss at Bremen, was not convinced, telling Kicker magazine: "If they were really certain of his qualities, they would have signed him earlier." Should Ailton manage to silence such dissenting voices, it will be great news for Hamburg as they attempt to overhaul Bayern and win the German title for the first time since 1983.


Thursday, January 19, 2006 

Fiorentina signed Krøldrup

ACF Fiorentina say they have signed Danish international Per Krøldrup from Everton FC for an undisclosed fee. The 26-year-old centre-back heads back to Italy only six months after joining the Premiership side from Udinese Calcio for €6.8m.

Injury woe
Krøldrup, who spent four seasons with Udinese after leaving his first club B 93 København in 2001, made 91 Serie A appearances before moving to Goodison Park. He missed the opening two months of the campaign after undergoing a hernia operation and then struggled to earn a first-team place.

Rare appearance
He played one league match on 26 December in a 4-0 defeat at Aston Villa FC, before a cameo as a substitute in the FA Cup win against Millwall FC last night. Fiorentina, who lost 3-1 at UC Sampdoria on Wednesday, are fourth in Serie A with 40 points from 20 games.


Wednesday, January 18, 2006 

Benfica: Marcel Adds To Encarnado Artillery

Benfica have signed Brazilian striker Marcel from fellow Superliga club Académica, who still reserve part of the player’s federative rights, for the next four and a half years. The official presentation should take place at Luz this afternoon.

The deal makes Marcel Benfica’s fifth reinforcement since the winter transfer window opened, the deal confirmed by Académica President José Eduardo Simões and is valued at around 2.5 million Euros. Marcel is already in Lisbon in the company of agents Cristiano Miller & Paulo Afonso.

In the wake of Moretto, Marco Ferreira, Manduca and Robert, Marcel should be Ronald Koeman’s last new face for Benfica 2006. The Encarnados are on a roll, eight games unbeaten and with a thrilling and lucrative CL tie against Liverpool coming up.

Name: MARCEL Augusto Ortolan
Date of Birth: 12/11/1981 (24 years old)
Birth Place: Mirassol, São Paulo
Nationality: Brazilian
Height: 1.87m
Weight: 82 kg
Position: Striker
Titles: Paranaense State Champion (2003) , South Korean Champion (2004)
Caps: 8

2000-3 Coritiba (Brazil) 50 games, 40 goals
2004 Suwon Bluewings (South Korea) 23 games 11 goals
2004/05 Académica de Coimbra 16 games 4 goals


Tuesday, January 17, 2006 

HSV's Doll Pleased With Podolski Rumours

Hamburger SV coach Thomas Doll believes the mooted signing of Lukas Podolski would be a huge step forward for the Red Shorts.

The 20-year-old Köln striker is the hottest property in German football and has been linked with a move to the Hamburg Arena. Doll told the club's official Web site: "It would be great if we could sign such a player. It would be a further signal following the signing of Rafael van der Vaart. Lukas is a regular in the German national team and I think it is a positive thing when his name is being discussed in Hamburg."

HSV face competition from champions Bayern Munich and Podolski's current club Köln for the signature of the striker who is contracted to his home-town club until 2008.

HSV currently lie second in the Bundesliga table as the German game enters the winter break.



D’Alessandro From Wolfsburg To Benfica?

Argentinean ‘Cabezón’ Andrés D’Alessandro seems to be on the verge of an exit from current team Wolfsburg. According to respected German paper ‘Bild’, the player is feeling unappreciated and is listening to the siren calls emanating from Ronald Koeman’s Benfica in Portugal.

The straw that broke the camel’s back was apparently Wolfsburg Coach Klaus Augenthaler’s insistence that D’Alessandro “should help more in defense”. The Argentinean wasn’t amused, commenting that “I’m sick and tired of this subject.”

D’Alessandro’s agent is en route to Germany from Argentina to mediate either an agreement between the player and coach that allows the skilful ex-River Plate midfielder the free reign that he’s asking for – or a transfer.

Apart from the Benfica interest reported here at last week, there is a slim chance that the player could return to River Plate. The Millonarios want a trusty alternative for Captain Marcelo Gallardo. D’Alessandro’s main objective is to play as many minutes as possible – in the role he prefers – to convince José Pekerman that he’s worthy of a spot in the Albiceleste World Cup squad.


Sunday, January 15, 2006 

Passarella Appointed New Manager Of River Plate

After River’s goalless draw against San Lorenzo in Sunday's pre-season match Merlo announced his resignation, a decision that was forced after a feud between the River directors and club captain Marcelo Gallardo.

Former River and Argentine national team captain Daniel Passarella has replaced Merlo as River Plate’s manager and will be officially presented on Tuesday during a press conference that will be held at midday. The highly rated Argentine manager will make a return to the club after an absence of twelve years and will sign a one year contract.

River Plate president Jose Maria Aguilar has cut his Brazil holiday short and will attend the conference that is likely to reveal certain important issues facing the club, including news of possible incorporations for the new season.

In just over two weeks River Plate faces Bolivian side Oriente Petrolero in a vital two legged play-off that will decide whether the ‘Millionarios’ will qualify for the 2006 Copa Libertadores.



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