Morning Ticker: Still no deal for Podolski, Diarra out for season, Three-way tie in Argentina

Lukas Podolski (AFP) 

The long and drawn-out Lukas Podolski transfer saga rages on, with no transfer in sight and still no official word on what it will mean to Landon Donovan's potential move to Bayern Munich.

The German champions rejected an undisclosed offer for Podolski from Cologne, Podolski's old club. Bayern Munich wouldn't reveal what the offer was, saying only that it was well below the $12.7 million Bayern Munich paid for Podolski in 2006.

As far as Donovan is concerned, neither Bayern Munich or MLS has made any official statement regarding the expected loan move he is set to make this January, with Bayern only going as far as to say that the club is in talks with MLS about a longer-term deal than a potential two-month stay.

Something tells me Bayern Munich won't pull the trigger on a Donovan offer until and unless the club succeeds in selling Podolski for the right price.

Here are some other stories to get your day started:


Diarra out for season as Real Madrid woes mount

Real Madrid's nightmare season continued last weekend after word that Malian midfielder Mahamadou Diarra will miss the rest of the season, and between six-to-nine months, after major knee surgery.

Diarra's right knee injury is not only a major blow to Real Madrid, which sits a disappointing fifth in La Liga, but also for Mali, which could be without his services for several World Cup qualifying matches.


Boca ties, San Lorenzo and Tigres win

If you are a fan of late-season drama, then look no further than the Argentine League, where three teams head into the final week of the Apertura season tied on points. Boca Juniors settled for a scoreless draw against Gimnasia La Plata, while San Lorenzo posted a 4-1 victory against Independiente.

Tigres pulled of the most stunning result of the weekend, fighting back from a two-goal deficit to post a 3-2 victory and give itself a chance at winning the championship next weekend.

Boca Juniors meets Colon next weekend while San Lorenzo faces Argentinos Juniors. Tigres meets Banfield. San Lorenzo holds the edge in goal difference heading into the final weekend.


Toluca and Cruz Azul reach Mexican final

In the end, Cuauhtemoc Blanco couldn't muster any magic and Santos Laguna couldn't manage one more upset to reach the Mexican Apertura final as the No. 8 seed.

Toluca's stalwart defense proved too much for Santos as goals from Edgar Duenas and Hector Mancilla cancelled out an Edgar Castillo goal and provided the difference in a 2-1 second-leg victory for Toluca after the team's tied, 0-0, in the first leg.

Cruz Azul, which list in the Clausura final earlier this year to Santos Laguna, posted a 1-1 tie for a 4-2 aggregate series victory against Atlante on Saturday.

The two-leg final will begin later this week.


He said what?

From the "No he didn't really say that" department comes this comment from Bayern Munich general manager Uli Hoeness about upstart Bundesliga leaders TSG Hoffenheim.

"They have done some sensational work, but without the financial support, they would still be in the second or third division," Hoeness said of Hoffenheim, referring to billionaire owner Dietmar Hopp.

"You can only employ scouts when you have the money for it."

Is that Bayern Munich complaining about a team spending its way to the top? Really? How do you say "Pot calling the kettle black" in German?

What do you think of the above stories? Do you think Podolski will move this winter? Have you given up on a permanent Donovan move to Bayern? Are you starting to believe that Sir Alex Ferguson put a voodoo hex on Real Madrid because of all the Cristiano Ronaldo tampering? Who do you see finishing on top in the crazy Argentine League race?

Share your thoughts below.

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22 Responses to Morning Ticker: Still no deal for Podolski, Diarra out for season, Three-way tie in Argentina

  1. biological says:

    straight up trade: podolski for donovan. that way, podo can learn where being a baby will get you a ticket to… soccer hell.

  2. Nick says:

    Hoffenheim really haven’t spent all that much, especially considering how many good young players they’ve acquired. They’ve spent less than 30M euros for all the players in their squad.

    Source:

    link to bundesliga.theoffside.com

  3. Jeff says:

    Hoeness was actually trying to take a jab at Hoffenheim’s coach. The two have been going at for awhile. They had put the question to him as to weather Hoffenheim’s good fortune this season was a reflection of their coach, Rangnick. He went on to put down Rangnick and suggest that they were doing better because of the money. At one point he clarified and said that to Bayern Munchen a war of money is no problem.

  4. Jeff says:

    This new article on ESPN suggest Podolski is staying until the summer. I would think the Donovan deal would not hinge on Podolski. He has not proven himself to be an adequate replacement.

    link to soccernet.espn.go.com

  5. Joamiq says:

    Hey people, don’t forget to vote for SBI – today’s the last day to vote!

    link to bestof2008-ussoccer.blogspot.com

  6. Jim says:

    wait, Santos Laguna was the 8th seed? Where is everyone screaming that it just shows how bad the Mexican league/playoffs are because an 8th seed made it that far?

  7. SoulShad0w says:

    Ives,

    While I don’t know how much it matters if three teams finish tied on top of the Argentine standings, goal difference does not enter the equation if it is two teams. If they are tied on points, there is a one-game playoff for the title. That’s how Estudiantes won the title over Boca a couple of seasons ago.

    Mike

  8. Nicole says:

    I don’t know, Jeff, I don’t read that article and come to the same conclusion.

    It could be that MLS is holding on to LD and won’t sell him unless they get a good offer from Munich – and Munich won’t offer a whole lot unless they get a whole lot for Podolski.

    They can’t put LD on the CL roster if he’s not going to stay for the remainder of the season; perhaps MLS won’t let him stay past March 15 on loan but would be willing to sell him for 10 Mil. Munich won’t pay 10 Mil but maybe would pay 8 Mil but won’t do that unless they get 12 mil for Poldi.

    These are just scenarios.

  9. Nicole says:

    Plus, there has to be something going on with the Donovan loan. Otherwise, why won’t MLS just announce it already. They had no trouble announcing Blanco’s loan or Fred’s loan or Beckham’s loan.

    And yet they are stone silent on Donovan’s loan, even though Bayern Munich have mentioned it’s happening and that it’s a done deal at least until march 15.

    Something is not adding up.

  10. Travis in Miami says:

    Biological – great idea! I find the situation so thick with irony.

  11. Hincha Tim says:

    Soulshadow, you’re right, the Argentine Primera is not settled on goal differential in case of a tie. And by the way, there could be 4 teams tied at the end of the last games next week. No matter what it is done by the teams playing each other.

    Per the Argie Newspapaer Ole and Hasta El Gol Siempre Blog:

    “Two teams tied on points:

    A final match to be played on neutral ground on Wednesday, 17 December. In case of a draw, extra-time will follow and if they are still tied a penalty-kicks shoot-out to decide the champion.

    Three teams tied on points: Many ways of ending the season with three teams tied at the top.

    San Lorenzo, Boca and Tigre all winning in the final round.

    Or…all of them getting draws and Lanús losing.

    Or…all of them losing and Lanús losing too.

    Or…two of them getting only one point, the other one losing and Lanús winning.

    How do they decide the title if there are three teams tied at the top?

    Each team play each other once on neutral ground.

    Possible dates are: Wednesday 17; Saturday 20 and Tuesday 23.

    The order of play will be determined by a draw (in which we know for a fact that will have as a result a Boca v. San Lorenzo fixture in the latest possible date).

    This triple tie never happened in the history of the short tournaments. The only precedent was the 1968 Nacional. River, Racing and Velez (the eventual champion) finished with the same number of points and had to decide with three additional matches.

    If after that three-way tie-breaker two or more teams are equal on points and goal-difference and goals scored, the decisive factor would be the results between them during the Apertura.

    Tigre would have the advantage over both, San Lorenzo and Boca as they defeated both 1-0 and 3-2 respectively.

    Boca would have the advantage over San Lorenzo after they 1-0 win at La Bombonera in round 13.

    Four teams tied at the top:

    If Boca, San Lorenzo and Tigre all draw in the final round and Lanús win, they will all finish with 37 points and will have to face each other to decide the winner.

    The dates would be the same as if it was a three-way tie but there would be 2 matches each day (Wednesday 17; Saturday 20 and Tuesday 23).”

  12. Chrös says:

    To be fair, Bayern has a lot of money more as a result of years of success, whereas Hoffenheim is having a year of success as a result of a lot of money.

  13. Bob says:

    Here you go Ives,

    in german pot calling the kettle black is

    Topf rufend den Kesselschwarz

  14. Travis in Miami says:

    Hincha Tim – I’ve never been an avid fan of the Argetine league but – thanks to your post – I will be glued to it this week hoping for a 3 or four way tie at the top! Great stuff.

  15. JB says:

    The old guard clubs of Europe always get uppity when new clubs challenge their supremacy. They believe they have rigged a financial situation that ensures their competitive advantage forever. But, they are finding that there are newer owners and emerging leagues especially in Eastern Europe that aren’t willing to just accept the traditional power structure. Just wait to see how quickly they lose their rhetoric and turn nasty over the 6+5 rule when clubs in the Western hemisphere start directly competing with them over the best talents from Brazil and Argentina.

  16. Nick says:

    These players could play in Europe according to Ives.

    Check this out by Ives.

  17. NIck says:

    link to soccernet.espn.go.com

    Read this artilce by ives very good artilce.

  18. eric says:

    Losing Diarra is HUGE for Madrid (and Mali). They haven’t had their midfield engine since Makelele was rashly sold, and Diarra was such a big part of the surprise championship last year. The pressure will really be on the young dreadlocked Dutchman Royston Drenthe.

    La Liga is so deep this year that spots 2-4 will really be a dog fight to make CL. I’m rooting for Madrid, since they are the last bastion of Dutch football on the club level.

  19. jspot says:

    Podo would score about 500 goals if he played in the MLS!

  20. BlueWhiteLion says:

    Bob, nice stab at German.

    Rumenigge has said on their website that they are getting Landon. Of course is that OFFICIAL official, or just an official? Anyway, I don’t see a connection between Podolski’s leaving and Landon’s coming on loan. All along, at least publically, Bayern has maintained that they do not want to sell Poldi, that he needs to “step up”. Even if they did sell him, they were planning to keep him until the summer.

    The only person they planned to bring on in the winter transfer is Landon, which Rumenigge this last week said WOULD happen, and that he was coming till March 15.

    That is the drift I have gotten all along form reading German media (sportbild, FCB German language site, Suddeutsche Zeitung, etc), as they quote Klinsmann and Rumenigge, etc.

    I DO see a potential connection if they want to keep Landon longer than a loan. Then what happens with Poldi might come into play.

  21. SonicDeathMonkey says:

    Of course there’s something going on with Donovan’s loan……it hasn’t happened yet. Why would the league announce anything until AFTER its done?

  22. daleMatador says:

    Its Tigre, without the “s”, named after the port city of the same name just north of Buenos Aires (even though they play in the city of Victoria). If Tigre were to win the title it would historic not only as it would be at the expense of San Lorenzo and Boca Juniors but because, as recently as 2006, they were in the third division of Argentine soccer and hadn’t been in the top flight for 27 years.

    It has really been exciting stuff in the past weeks, with Tigre winning their past two after being down 1-0 and 2-0 respectively. I was actually at the match two weeks ago where they came from behind to beat River Plate and the atmosphere was unbelievable. Picture RFK on good day times a hundred.

    They like to play the important games in Argentina at the same time to prevent corruption I suppose. So if you get a chance find an internet stream and watch. It’ll be “edge of your seat” kind of stuff.