The 21-year-old has established himself as one of Germany’s most exciting young talents since joining Leverkusen from Mainz last year and has already won 16 caps for Germany. Leverkusen chief executive Wolfgang Holzhauser was quoted as saying by German news agency SID: “We were presented with a very concrete offer from Chelsea. He has made it clear he would like to stay with us.”
Norwegian league match called off over ‘fix’ fears
A NORWEGIAN second division match was called off shortly before kick-off yesterday after the authorities suspected efforts had been made to fix the result. The Norwegian FA ruled the game between Ullensaker/Kisa and Ham Kam should not be played, saying it had “received information” which gave it reason to suspect the outcome was fixed. The FA also said it was probing circumstances surrounding the third division game between Ostsiden IL and Follo FK played in the city of Fredrikstad. Ostsiden won 4-3 on 24 June after trailing 3-0.
Spurs get their man as Vertonghen agrees terms
Tottenham are set to complete the signing of Ajax captain Jan Vertonghen after agreeing terms. Spurs have been tracking the Belgium defender since last season as he helped Ajax claim their second consecutive Eredivisie title. Vertonghen is due to undergo a medical this week before completing a deal that will make him the second arrival since Andre Villas-Boas took over as Spurs boss. Vertonghen said of his impending switch: “I feel ready to play in the Premier League.”
No joy for Boyd as Timbers are felled again
THERE was more disappointment for Kris Boyd’s Portland Timbers at the weekend as they went down 3-0 in Utah to Real Salt Lake, with Alvaro Saborio scoring a hat-trick in the second half. It was a third straight away defeat for John Spencer’s side and they have yet to win on the road this season. It was Real Salt Lake’s first win in four and moves them within a point of Western Conference leaders San Jose Earthquakes, who drew 0-0 with Dallas in Frisco, Texas. Ramiro Corrales was sent off for the Earthquakes.
Brazil flex new financial muscles with signings
Two of Brazil’s biggest clubs presented newly-hired foreign imports at the weekend, in the latest manifestation of the new-found spending power that has recently helped keep some of the country’s own talent from moving abroad. Clarence Seedorf and Diego Forlan debuted for Botafogo and Internacional, respectively, as the Dutch and Uruguayan veterans, long past their prime in the marquee leagues of Europe, keep their careers going in a Brazilian league that has been reinvigorated in recent years because of a recent economic boom.