Khedira to leave Madrid
Midfielder Sami Khedira on Wednesday said he would leave Real Madrid when his contract expires at the end of the season. “There is nothing more to say than what I told the sports magazine [Kicker], when there’s anything more I’ll say it,” the 27-year-old said. Having joined Real in 2010 from VfB Stuttgart, Khedira won last season’s UEFA Champions League with the Spanish giants and has been linked to Bundesliga side Schalke 04. “This is not a decision against Real, I just want to spice up my career and evolve,” Khedira told yesterday’s edition of Kicker. “There is no absolutely no agreement with anyone or a preference at the moment.” Premier League sides Chelsea and Arsenal have also been linked to the Real star, who was denied a place in last year’s World Cup final after suffering an injury in the pre-match warmup having played a key role in Germany’s 7-1 demolition of hosts Brazil in the semi-finals.
Stindl to join ’Gladbach
Hannover 96 captain Lars Stindl announced on Wednesday that he will leave the club in the summer to join Bundesliga rivals Borussia Moenchengladbach. The 26-year-old’s deal with Hannover was not due to expire until 2016, but a clause in the contract allows him to move on this year. “I decided not to renew my contract with Hannover and to leave for Moenchengladbach this summer,” Stindl wrote in a letter posted on Twitter, adding that he wished “to take on a new challenge at Borussia.” “We had stiff competition, so I’m glad that he chose us,” Moenchengladbach sporting director Max Eberl said. “He is a midfielder who can play in different positions and, as captain of Hannover, he knows about taking responsibility.”
Forster out for the season
Southampton’s England international goalkeeper Fraser Forster is to miss the rest of the season after undergoing surgery on a knee injury, the Premier League club announced on Wednesday. The 27-year-old injured his left knee after colliding with Sam Vokes in the early stages of Southampton’s 2-0 defeat of Burnley on Saturday and a subsequent scan revealed that he had damaged his patellar tendon. In a statement on their Web site, the club said: “A scan on Monday showed that the goalkeeper had suffered damage to his left patellar tendon, with the injury and resultant surgery ruling him out for the remainder of this season.” Veteran goalkeeper Kelvin Davis, 38, is set to deputize for Forster, having replaced him during the win over Burnley at St Mary’s. “No one will be any sadder than Kelvin Davis, who did an outstanding job replacing Fraser in such circumstances,” Southampton executive director Les Reed said. “Nobody could be better placed to step into the fray in terms of experience and ability.”
Camp Nou to host Copa final
The Copa del Rey final between record winners Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao on May 30 is to be held at Barca’s Camp Nou, the Spanish soccer federation (RFEF) said on Wednesday. Barca and Bilbao wanted to play the match at Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu as a neutral venue, but Real declined to make the arena available. Representatives from the two finalists met with RFEF officials on Wednesday and the federation decided to stage the final at the Camp Nou, which holds almost 100,000, for the first time since 2010. Stadiums in Bilbao, Valencia and Sevilla were also considered. Barca have won the Copa a record 26 times, with Bilbao second on 23.
Olivier Giroud’s bicycle-kick on Tuesday broke Atletico Madrid’s resistance and earned Chelsea a crucial away goal, a 1-0 victory giving Thomas Tuchel’s side a slender advantage in the UEFA Champions League last 16. Giroud’s acrobatic strike was initially ruled out for offside, but stood after the video assistant referee showed that Mario Hermoso had the final touch, delivering a huge blow to Atletico’s hopes of reaching the quarter-finals. Diego Simeone’s side had put on a typically disciplined defensive performance until that point, but Giroud’s moment of genius means that they must score in London on March 17 if they are to avoid
Tiger Woods has had surgery for multiple fractures of his right leg after a car accident that a Los Angeles police officer said he was “very fortunate” to have survived. The golfer was “awake and responsive” after the operation to insert a rod into his tibia and stabilize his ankle with pins, his TGR foundation said on Tuesday night. Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff Carlos Gonzalez, the first to respond after Woods’ car went off the road in a single-vehicle accident, said that the sports star was “calm and lucid,” despite being trapped inside his vehicle. Woods was removed from the crash by
‘INTIMIDATING’: Andy Murray said that players on the ATP Tour face a difficult challenge going from semi-finals to facing 17-time Grand Slam winners in a final Naomi Osaka’s Australian Open championship moved her up one spot to No. 2 in the WTA rankings on Monday, while men’s finalist Daniil Medvedev rose to a career-best No. 3 behind winner Novak Djokovic on the ATP list as Andy Murray said that the “young guns” on the men’s tour have not closed the gap on the “Big Three.” Jennifer Brady, the 25-year-old American who was the runner-up to Osaka, jumped 11 spots to No. 13, her first time inside the top 20. Aslan Karatsev’s historic run from qualifying to the final four before losing to nine-time Australian Open champion Djokovic allowed
‘ESCAPE FROM JUSTICE’: A US gymnast who trained under Geddert for more than 10 years and was assaulted by Larry Nassar called his suicide ‘an admission of guilt’ A former US Olympics gymnastics coach with ties to disgraced sports doctor Larry Nassar on Thursday killed himself, hours after being charged with turning his Michigan gym into a hub of human trafficking by coercing girls to train and then abusing them. John Geddert faced 24 charges that could have carried years in prison had he been convicted. He was supposed to appear in an Eaton County court, near Lansing, Michigan, but his body was found at a rest area along Interstate 96, state police said. “This is a tragic end to a tragic story for everyone involved,” Michigan Attorney General Dana