By DAN KARELL
Germany head coach Joachim Löw received a huge boost on Wednesday when Sami Khedira and Bastian Schweinsteiger returned to training with the full squad.
Löw’s central midfielder depth is stretched thin, especially with the injury to Lars Bender that’s ruled him out of the World Cup. However, on Wednesday, Löw welcomed Khedira back from a few days off after the UEFA Champions League final while Schweinsteiger has recovered from tendonitis in his knee.
According to reports out of Italy, both players “moved freely” during the training and showed no signs of pain.
“It is difficult to estimate in percentages but I am fit,” Khedira told reporters after training. “There are some details I need to continue working on but that was clear from the start. It was always going to be a long process but my aim was always to be fit for the World Cup.
“It is extremely important that I train with the team and I also do extra training. Things are looking up and I will be fully fit by June. We want to be world champions and will do everything to achieve it.”
With Bender out, Löw’s only other holding midfield option is Toni Kroos, who operated from there at times for Bayern Munich last season. In this sense, Löw needs a fit Schweinsteiger and Khedira, who is coming back from a torn anterior cruciate ligament, to be fully fit for the World Cup.
Here are some more stories to start off your Wednesday:
TOTTENHAM APPOINT POCHETTINO
Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy has found his club’s next manager.
After reports emerged late last week that Southampton boss Mauricio Pochettino was high atop Daniel Levy’s coaching wish list, the London club made the signing official, hiring Pochettino on a five-year contract to be the club’s newest head coach. Pochettino takes over for interim manager Tim Sherwood, who left the club at the end of the season.
“This is a Club with tremendous history and prestige and I am honored to have been given this opportunity to be its Head Coach,” Pochettino said in a club statement. “There is an abundance of top-class talent at the Club and I am looking forward to starting work with the squad. Tottenham Hotspur has a huge following across the world and I have great admiration for the passion the fans show for this team. We are determined to give the supporters the kind of attacking football and success that we are all looking to achieve.”
Now in charge, reports in England state that Pochettino will have a starting transfer budget of £30 million in addition to sales made from other transfers out of the club.
ATLETICO SIGN ARGENTINE STARLET
One of South America’s most promising youngsters is on his way to Europe.
Following in the footsteps of fellow Argentine Sergio Aguero, San Lorenzo forward Angel Correa has agreed a transfer move to Atletico Madrid. The deal is reportedly worth €7.5 million plus a number of friendly matches to take place between the Argentine club and Atletico Madrid in the coming years.
Just 19-years old, the Rosario-native has had a huge impact for San Lorenzo over the past season, including leading them to the Copa Libertadores semifinals. This past season, Correa started 32 of 36 Argentine Primera Division matches as well as nine of the club’s Copa Libertadores matches, scoring a combined eight goals.
Correa won’t officially make the move to Madrid until San Lorenzo finishes their Copa Libertadores campaign, which resumes after the World Cup this summer. It’s also unknown yet whether Correa will be in head coach Diego Simeone’s plans this year or whether he will spend time on loan with another club.
Spain National Team head coach Vicente Del Bosque has admitted that he was offered the Manchester United job last month but he declined. (REPORT)
UEFA have cited Diego Simeone, Real Madrid, and Atletico Madrid with a number of charges, which will be heard at disciplinary hearings in July. (REPORT)
Marcelo Bielsa has officially been announced as Marseille’s next head coach after weeks of reports on the matter. (REPORT)
The Netherlands have suffered a big blow to their squad as veteran midfielder Rafael van der Vaart was ruled out of the World Cup with a calf injury. (REPORT)
Barcelona have contact Atletico Madrid centerback Miranda’s agent over a possible move to the Camp Nou. (REPORT)
Chelsea meanwhile have sounded out a €24 million bid for Atletico Madrid left back Felipe Luis, presumably if Luke Shaw does not agree to go to Stamford Bridge this summer. (REPORT)
The Italian Football Federation is abolishing the practice of co-ownership in Italian soccer. (REPORT)
Olivier Giroud scored twice while Paul Pogba and Loic Remy each scored once in France’s 4-0 rout of Norway. (REPORT)
What do you think of these reports? Do you see Khedira and Schweinsteiger starting for Germany in their World Cup opener? Do you believe Pochettino is the right hire for Tottenham? What have you heard about Correa?
Share your thoughts below.