By DAN KARELL
Manchester City couldn’t have asked for a better start to the English Premier League season, but they face a difficult road ahead without their captain for the next month.
Centerback Vincent Kompany has been ruled out for at least four weeks due to a groin injury suffered in the second half of Monday’s 4-0 rout against Newcastle. The Belgian was forced off the field in the 71st minute, and faces a lengthy spell away from the pitch.
“I prefer the doctor has the final word on this but I think he will be out for at least one month,” Man City boss Manuel Pellegrini told the club’s website. “Today or tomorrow we will know exactly how long Vincent will be out for.”
The injury also surely will keep Kompany out of the Belgium National Team’s upcoming World Cup qualifier at Scotland on September 6. Belgium are the only nation in UEFA World Cup 2014 qualifying that have assured at least second place in their group.
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CHELSEA SEAL WILLIAN TRANSFER FROM TOTTENHAM’S GRASP
With Brazilian midfielder Willian just moments away from signing for Tottenham, London rivals Chelsea have stunned the footballing world with a late £30 million bid, putting the move to Spurs in disarray.
The Anzhi Makhachkala player, who is being sold by the club as a way for them to reduce payroll, had already arrived in London and completed a medical with the Tottenham doctors before Chelsea came involved. On Friday, during Jose Mourinho’s press conference at Stamford Bridge, the manager hinted that Willian had agreed to join Chelsea, and the transfer could be completed in a matter of days.
The news is a huge blow to Tottenham, who were so close to sealing another talented midfield signing to add to their ever burgeoning squad. Last season, Willian split his time between Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine and Anzhi, making a total of 35 appearances in all competitions. In a Champions League match last year, Willian scored two goals in a 3-2 defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
RAUL RETURNS TO REAL IN STYLE DURING FRIENDLY MATCH
Taking a page out of Pele’s book, Real Madrid legend Raul played one half with his former and current team on Thursday night, returning to the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium for the first time as a player since he left the club in 2010.
In a friendly match between Real Madrid and Raul’s current side Al-Sadd from Qatar, the hosts won, 5-0, with Raul scoring a goal on his return. The former Spanish international was handed his former No. 7 jersey from Cristiano Ronaldo for the match, and Raul was given a standing ovation following the match from the Madridista fans.
Raul had to wipe away tears as he was given a commemorative plaque, and posed for pictures next to the dozens of trophies he won during his time at Real Madrid.
SCHALKE INTERESTED IN PODOLSKI LOAN
After just one season in London, Lukas Podolski is rumored to be on his way back to Germany.
According to reports in Germany, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is ready to offload the German international, with FC Schalke 04 interested in bringing Podolski to the club on loan. The 28-year-old forward, who started 25 Premier League matches last season, has opened the season for the Gunners on the fringes, with two appearances off the bench, both of them with just minutes remaining in the Aston Villa and Fenerbahce matches.
The reports in Germany state that Podolski is looking for a place where he can be a first team regular, so he can ensure a place in the Germany squad at next summer’s World Cup, assuming they qualify.
Former France international Nicolas Anelka walked out of training on Thusday due to a personal bereavement, and is contemplating retirement. (REPORT)
Although it hasn’t been officially announced by the FMF, Valencia CF announced on their website that winger Andres Guardado has been called up by El Tri to face Honduras and the United States. (REPORT)
Barcelona midfielder Ibrahim Afellay is set for yet another long-term spell on the sidelines, as he’s had surgery on the troublesome right thigh and has been ruled out for four months. (REPORT)
Animal rights organization PETA has written to UEFA President Michel Platini to urge him to stop the slaughter of animals in stadiums, after Kazakhstan side Shakhter Karagandy sacrificed a sheep before their 2-0 victory against Celtic in a UEFA Champions League match. (REPORT)
The Hungarian Football Federation has fined club Ferencvaros just €2,700 for raising a banner of a Nazi war criminal during a match against rivals MTK, who historically were supported by a Jewish minority. (REPORT)
What do you think of this news? How much of an impact does Kompany’s injury have on Man City? Surprised that Chelsea was able to bid late for Willian? Happy to see Raul receive the send-off he never had?
Share your thoughts below.