Mittal set to offload CSKA
Indian businessman Pramod Mittal is on the verge of selling top Bulgarian club CSKA Sofia, the club announced on its Web site on Wednesday. Mittal, the brother of steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, is reported to have agreed terms of the sale with Bulgarian company Titan. No financial details of the deal, which is set to be finalized in the next two months, were made available. Pramod Mittal bought the club two years ago but his spell as club owner was marked principally by a series of financial problems. CSKA, 31-time and current Bulgarian champions, were forced to sell several players last year in a bid to cushion debts.
Ronaldinho’s villa burgled
Brazilian superstar Ronaldinho’s Italian home was burgled this week with thieves making off with jewelry estimated at tens of thousands of euros, police and media reported on Wednesday. Two burglars broke into the 28-year-old AC Milan player’s villa in Galliate Lombardo on Monday night, police in Varese, north of Milan, said. Caretakers disturbed the robbers and fired into the air but the duo escaped, according to a report in the Corriere della Sera. Ronaldinho, twice footballer of the year, was not at home, having left for his Christmas break in Brazil. Corriere della Sera valued the haul of jewelry and watches at several thousand euros but they overlooked his trophy medals which were left untouched in a cabinet. Riccardo Sogliano, a former player who used to live in the house, was himself the victim of a robbery there in 2002, the paper noted.
Ronaldo becomes dad again
Ronaldo’s fiancee, Maria Beatriz Antony, on Wednesday gave birth to the striker’s second child, a hospital spokeswoman said. Antony gave birth to Maria Sofia in Rio de Janeiro’s Clinica Perinatal, hospital spokeswoman Ana Maria Funky said by telephone, adding the baby was born weighing 2.98kg. She said Ronaldo was present when his daughter was born and cut the umbilical cord. Funky said both mother and daughter were in perfect health and should leave the hospital no later than today. Ronaldo, who is recovering from knee surgery and recently signed with Brazilian club Corinthians, already has an eight-year-old boy, Ronald, from a previous relationship. The three-time FIFA player of the year hasn’t played since injuring his knee in February while playing for AC Milan. Ronaldo led Brazil to the 2002 World Cup title in South Korea and Japan, scoring twice in the final against Germany.
Hammers reject Bellamy bid
Tottenham have reportedly had a £6 million (US$8.8 million) bid for striker Craig Bellamy turned down by West Ham. The Hammers are rumored to be open to offers for all their players because of the financial problems facing their Icelandic owner, but Sky Sports News said on Wednesday that they had dismissed Spurs’ offer for Bellamy. Sky also reported that Manchester City had made an inquiry about Bellamy. Tottenham need another striker to compete with Darren Bent, Roman Pavlyuchenko and Fraizer Campbell. Pavlyuchenko cannot play for the club in the UEFA Cup and Campbell is only on loan from Manchester United. Tottenham would be Bellamy’s eighth club in eight years following spells with Liverpool, Blackburn, Celtic, Newcastle, Coventry and Norwich. The Wales international has scored four goals in 22 Premier League matches for West Ham.