Football in Brief: Stephen Pearson makes move to Bristol City permanent

BRISTOL CITY have completed the permanent signing of Stephen Pearson on a contract until the end of the season.

The Scottish midfielder arrived at Ashton Gate on loan from Derby in November and has scored two goals in nine appearances for Derek McInnes’ men. Pearson agreed to leave Pride Park by mutual consent on Friday after 127 appearances for the Rams and City have moved quickly to snap up the 29-year-old. McInnes told his club’s website: “He’s done well for us and I still think there’s more to come from him.”

Jordan Rhodes named player of the month for December

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SCOTLAND international Jordan Rhodes collected yet another accolade yesterday when he was named League One player of the month. Award winners were Tony Mowbray (Middlesbrough), Danny Wilson (Sheffield United) and Phil Parkinson (Bradford) who were all named the manager of the month for December for the Championship, League One and League Two respectively while Alex Pearce (Reading) and Bryan Hughes (Accrington) collected the other player awards.

Fulham reject QPR’s approach for Andrew Johnson

Fulham are understood to have rejected an offer from QPR for striker Andrew Johnson.

The 30-year-old’s contract expires at the end of the season and he has been linked with a move away from Craven Cottage during the January transfer window.

It is understood three clubs are interested in Johnson, but Fulham have rejected the only firm offer for the striker from QPR after it was deemed unacceptable.

Michael Ballack poised to leave Leverkusen in summer

MICHAEL Ballack looks set to leave Bayer Leverkusen when his contract expires at the end of the season. The former Chelsea midfielder has revealed he never intended to remain at the club, which he joined 18 months ago, for more than two years.

The 35-year-old took time to settle in his second spell at Leverkusen, but has emerged as a key player this season. “It was clear for both parties from the very beginning that it was only planned for this period of time,” he told Germany’s Sky Sports News channel.

Shakhtar coach injured in Bucharest car crash

Shakhtar Donetsk’s Romanian coach Mircea Lucescu was hurt in a car accident in Bucharest yesterday but a doctor said his injuries were not life-threatening. “He suffered a strong thoracic trauma following a car accident,” doctor Mircea Georgescu told Realitatea TV from the emergency hospital where Lucescu was admitted. “He is in stable condition, his state is good. Examination has shown that Lucescu’s life is not in danger – he is speaking,” the doctor said of the 66-year-old coach of the Ukrainian champions.