Brazil’s Xandao set to join Lazio
Brazilian defender Xandao is on the verge of signing for Lazio as the player’s agent yesterday arrived in Italy for talks to wrap up the deal.
The Desportivo Brasil centre-half is likely to cost Lazio some €3 million as new coach Vladimir Petkovic is looking to strengthen his squad ahead of the new season.
Xandao, 24, would be particularly useful for Lazio, as he already has an Italian passport and therefore will not take up a non-EU place. He is currently training with Sporting Lisbon, but the Portuguese side cannot afford to take up their option.
Modric situation worsens – AVB
Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas has criticised midfielder Luka Modric as rumours of a departure from the club intensify.
Modric tried to quit Spurs for Chelsea a year ago and this summer appears keen on a switch to Spanish champions Real Madrid.
Reports have suggested that the Croatia international has failed to travel with Spurs on the tour of America – something Villas-Boas alluded to in the Spanish press yesterday.
Speaking to AS, he said: “I think Modric is wrong. This will go against him. He has worsened the situation with what he’s doing and now the chairman is very angry.”
Modest De Jong
New B. M’gladbach striker Luuk de Jong does not feel he has joined a side who can win the Bundesliga next season, although he has set his sights on silverware with the Foals.
The Dutch striker joined Gladbach from FC Twente last week, but when asked if he would rather win the title or the top goalscorer’s award, he reacted with amazement.
“The title? Are you kidding? That would be a bit too much to ask at the moment,” he said.
“The club has taken the next step forward but we must keep our feet on the ground.”
Gladbach finished a surprise fourth last season having only just avoided relegation to the second division in a play-off 12 months before.
Agbonlahor sinks Chicago Fire
Gabriel Agbonlahor scored the winner for Aston Villa in their pre-season friendly against the Chicago Fire on Saturday night before being forced off with an ankle injury.
The 25-year-old headed home Chris Herd’s cross in the 29th minute to secure the Premier League club a second straight 1-0 success on their US tour.
He left in the second half after taking a knock, but Villa swiftly allayed concerns over the severity of the problem by posting on Twitter: “Agbonlahor injury not as bad as first feared. Out for two weeks.”
Paul Lambert’s side now head to Portland for a game tomorrow.
Tevez the caddy flops at the Open
Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez made his debut as a pro caddy at the British Open yesterday but judging by his player’s score it may well be his last carry.
The Argentine was on the bag in the final round for countryman Andres Romero. The two have become friends since Romero helped Tevez slash his handicap to a respectable 13 last season.
That was when the controversial forward took several months unsanctioned home leave in the wake of his bust-up with City manager Roberto Mancini.
Yesterday, Tevez was on the bag, but it did Romero no favours at all as the 31-year-old plummeted to the bottom of the leaderboard with an ugly round of 12-over par 82.
De Gea wants Spain-GB final
Manchester United’s Spanish goalkeeper David de Gea says he would like the football final at the 2012 Olympics to be between Spain and Great Britain.
“First of all I think of us reaching the final. Then, if it is against Britain, that would be great,” the 21-year-old said.
“You imagine the national anthem playing and you are there, winning a gold medal.
“We are very determined and I hope that this is what will happen, but we know it will be very complicated.”
Spain have been drawn alongside Japan, Honduras and Morocco in Group D at the Olympics, with their first match scheduled for July 26 against the Asian side.
Heynckes went ‘off-message’
Bayer Leverkusen general manager Wolfgang Holzhauser has accused Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes of tapping up Lars Bender after speaking highly of him last week.
Heynckes said that he had sent a text message to Bender during Euro 2012, congratulating him on his goal against Denmark.
“Maybe something will come out of it,” he added with a grin, but Holzhauser has found nothing to smile about in his remarks.
“I am annoyed that Heynckes has indirectly brought the Bender issue up in public,” he said.
According to Holzhauser, Bayern made an official approach for Bender last week, but this was rejected “immediately” with the two clubs “agreeing not to make the issue public”.