Transfer talk: Barcelona confirm Thomas Vermaelen still injured; Chelsea’s Marko Marin on the move
Barcelona have confirmed that new £15 million signing Thomas Vermaelen is still carrying a hamstring injury and will have to wait before he starts training with his new team.
The 28-year-old was presented at the Nou Camp on Sunday after completing his move from Arsenal to the Catalan side and admitted he was not yet 100 percent fit after getting injured during Belgium’s 1-0 win over Russia in the World Cup, which meant the defender played just 29 minutes of football in Brazil.
The former Arsenal captain added he hoped to “start from zero” after missing most of last season with the Gunners due to a series of injuries but joins Barca as an injured player.
A statement from Barcelona said: “Thomas Vermaelen injured his right hamstring during the World Cup in June. The player will undergo physiotherapy, and the evolution of the injury will determine when he returns to training.”
Chelsea winger Marko Marin is undergoing a medical with Fiorentina with a view to joining the Serie A club on a season-long loan.
The 25-year-old German has made a limited impact at Stamford Bridge since arriving from Werder Bremen in 2012 and spent the 2013-14 campaign on loan with Sevilla.
A statement published through Fiorentina’s official Twitter account on Monday said the player was in Florence to undergo medical examinations ahead of a prospective move to Florence.
Should Marin link up with the side that finished fourth in Serie A last term, his arrival will cast doubt on the long-term future of Fiorentina’s right winger Juan Cuadrado, who has been linked to Manchester United and Barcelona.
Manchester City have completed the protracted signing of Porto defender Eliaquim Mangala.
The 23-year old central defender was a target for Manuel Pellegrini in the January transfer window but they could not get the deal done.
However, having returned to negotiations at the end of the season City have now secured their sixth signing of the summer and Mangala will link up with Brazilian midfielder Fernando, whom the club signed from Porto in June.
“City is a top club in Europe. For me, it was an important step to leave Porto and join Manchester City in order to continue my progress,” Mangala told mcfc.co.uk.
“I want to win titles and I believe I can do this. I am ambitious and this is why I am here.
“I’m very happy to come to England because for me, the Premier League is the best league in the world.
“It is a very intense and very aggressive competition. There are plenty of goals, so it is also really nice to watch and I can’t wait to get started.
“The fact that Fernando is here is better because I played with him at Porto but there are also other players that I know like (Bacary) Sagna, (Gael) Clichy and (Samir) Nasri.”
Queens Park Rangers
Glenn Hoddle is considering a return to football coaching with QPR, but it is understood any role would likely be on a part-time basis as the former England manager juggles numerous other commitments.
Rangers boss Harry Redknapp is interested in adding Hoddle to his support staff and the former Chelsea, Tottenham, Southampton and Wolves boss is considering whether to accept the offer.
The possibility of returning to the Premier League appeals to Hoddle - considered last December as successor to Andre Villas-Boas at Tottenham only for Tim Sherwood to be appointed instead - as a route to returning to the game.
However, Hoddle also has to manage his television commitments with Sky, among others.
A source close to Hoddle told Press Association Sport: “It’s 50-50 as to whether he’ll come back with QPR. He’s thinking about it.
“If he does come back it’s very likely it would be on a part-time basis.”
Redknapp has been looking to add to his coaching staff since Steve McClaren, another former England boss, left to become boss of Derby last season.
Huddersfield have appointed academy manager Mark Lillis as caretaker boss following Sunday’s departure of Mark Robins.
Town lost 4-0 at home to Bournemouth in their opening league game and Robins left the club by mutual consent following a meeting with chairman Dean Hoyle.
Lillis, a former player with the club, will be assisted by coaches Steve Thompson and Steve Eyre and takes on the role for the third time at the John Smith’s Stadium following the departures of previous managers Simon Grayson and Lee Clark.
Lillis told the club’s official website: “As a club - staff, players and fans alike - we have to pull together and move on.
“Due to the integration of the club’s first team and academy set-up at PPG Canalside, the first-team players see me every day.
“That makes it as smooth a transition for them as possible, which is a positive.
“We have a Capital One Cup game at Chesterfield on Tuesday, which is an important one for the club and players after the performance and result on Saturday.
“We must go into the cup game to win and play how we can. A win could kick-off a run.
“I know that the fans will get behind the players if they put a shift in and we’ve challenged the players to do that.”
Robins’ assistant Thompson, Coventry manager Steven Pressley, former Leeds boss Brian McDermott, MK Dons manager Karl Robinson, Malky Mackay and ex-Town boss Neil Warnock are all high on the bookies’ list of possible successors.
United States international Mark Offerdahl has become Bradford’s latest signing for their 2015 Championship campaign.
The 26-year-old forward, who was in the US Tomahawks team that reached the World Cup quarter-finals last November, has signed a 12-month deal with the relegated Super League club.
Queensland-born Offerdahl, who burst onto the scene with French club Carcassonne, began the 2014 season in the Championship with North Wales Crusaders before securing a move to St George Illawarra, where he has yet to break into the Dragons’ NRL team.
Bulls coach James Lowes, who has also signed Dan Fleming (Castleford), Jake Mullaney (Salford), Dave Peterson (Mackay Cutters) and Etu Uaisele (Featherstone) for next year, believes Offerdahl can provide his pack with “another dimension”.
“Mark will add a lot of power, size and energy to our front line next year,” Lowes said. “He is a player who has really impressed me and I am pleased with the homework we have done on him.
“Mark is keen to come over and have a crack at Super League with us. But, in order to do that, he knows he will have to play his part in helping us earn promotion in 2015.
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Published: August 11, 2014 04:00 AM