Mid-Day Ticker: Martinez to Bayern done; Barca, Madrid hit with bans & more

JaviMartinez (Getty Images)

Javi Martinez is officially a Bayern Munich player.

After an on-again, off-again transfer saga, the Spanish international has completed his move from Athletic Bilbao to the German giants for a €40 million fee that was necessary to trigger a buy-out clause in his contract.

Martinez, a member of Spain's most recent World Cup, European championship and Olympic teams, signed a five-year deal with his new club and will provide a significant boost in central defense for a club looking to regain its place atop Germany after watching Borussia Dortmund win the Bundesliga title the last two seasons.

Here are a few more stories from around the soccer world:

VILANOVA, COENTRAO HIT WITH BANS

It has taken only a few games into Tito Vilanova's tenure as Barcelona manager for him to get well acquainted with the Spanish federation's disciplinary board.

Vilanova was given a two-match ban for being sent off after protesting a foul call in Barcelona's victory over Osasuna over the weekend. Barcelona is set to lodge an appeal for the ban, that will reportedly not prevent Vilanova from coaching in today's second leg of the Spanish SuperCopa against Real Madrid for it not being considered a serious offense.

The same cannot be said for Real Madrid left back Fabio Coentrao, who was given a four-match ban for his incident of dissent with a referee in the club's surprise loss to Getafe over the weekend. His actions were deemed to be serious, and he will be forced to miss the return leg at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, where Barcelona carries a 3-2 edge.

JUVENTUS MAKE LATE PLAY FOR BERBATOV

Just when it appeared that Dimitar Berbatov was headed to Fiorentina, Juventus have reportedly swooped in at the last minute to make a play for the Manchester United striker.

With new signing and Italian international Sebastian Giovinco being sidelined with an ankle injury suffered in last weekend's season opener, Juventus is in need of depth up top, making Berbatov a fit for the club. Reports earlier on Wednesday had suggested that Fiorentina and Manchester United had reached an agreement for Berbatov's transfer, but nothing was officially completed, and Juventus had an opportunity to come in with a better offer.

LUCAS OUT UP TO 3 MONTHS

Liverpool central midfielder Lucas is set for another long spell on the sidelines after suffering another knee injury that will keep him out for up to the next three months.

The 25-year-old Lucas missed a good portion of last season after undergoing knee surgery following a run of form that was his best since joining the club.

"It looks like he's going to be out for a few months – the indications are between 2-to-3. "It's quite a unique injury at the top of his right fem [femur]," Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers told the club's website. "He's had his scan, and he will see a specialist this evening and we'll see whether he needs an operation or whether it's just recuperation and we'll see how that evolves from there."

AC MILAN CLOSE IN ON BOJAN MOVE

With Brazilian forwards Alexandre Pato and Robinho on the shelf with injuries and Zlatan Ibrahimovic sold to Paris St.-Germain, AC Milan is in need an injection of talent up top, and the club has turned to former Barcelona product and current AS Roma forward Bojan Krkic.

Milan and Roma are reportedly deep into talks over the 22-year-old Bojan, who scored seven goals in his first season with Roma. 

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What do you think of the move for Bayern Munich? Are they the favorites to win the Bundesliga now? What do you make of the bans to Vilanova and Coentrao? What do you think of Juventus making a move for Berbatov? Disappointed to see Lucas on the shelf for an extended period of time yet again? Would Bojan be a good signing for Milan?

Share your thoughts below.

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16 Responses to Mid-Day Ticker: Martinez to Bayern done; Barca, Madrid hit with bans & more

  1. BSU SC says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see Bayern Munich make a run at the Champions League title again. They’re stacked! It’s just a question of whether the team can stay healthy.

  2. DynaMatt says:

    It’s never a good day to wake up a Liverpool fan anymore. . .

  3. biff says:

    Clint Dempsey

  4. Eurosnob says:

    I would put them among the top 3 contenders along with Barcelona and Real, but I think that the two Spanish teams have more top notch quality. Bayern has several terrific players, but none of them is the discussion for Ballon D’Or. Chelsea will not repeat.

  5. Dancy says:

    Coentrao is barely less evil than Pepe. Either of them missing any amount of time on the field is a victory for the game everywhere and the health of their opponents.

  6. Old School says:

    I really enjoyed watching Athletic Bilbao play last season but never in my wildest dreams would I imagine Martinez going for this amount of money.

    Value is relative, I suppose and if someone is willing to pay it, that’s his price. That said, I think Bayern spent WAY too much, regardless of his buyout clause price.

  7. Nate Dollars says:

    “Chelsea will not repeat.”

    …Really going out on a limb there. :)

  8. Nate Dollars says:

    Cite sources for Coentrao’s “evil”?

    Pepe’s a disgrace, but I can’t recall seeing anything egregious from Coentrao.

  9. Eurosnob says:

    Nate, I just could not resist. :-)

  10. Alex says:

    He gets really good in FIFA…

  11. gtv says:

    Clint Dempsey

  12. John says:

    It is over priced. Bayern wanted to be spending that amount on Khedira, but that’s not enough to get him away from Real. They took the next best player available to fill the CDM spot next to Schweiny.

    One could also say they over spent on Neuer last year, but he’s definitely proven worth it.

  13. John says:

    Have you really watched the guy play? He’s kind of a spaz when it comes to hunting down players. Purposely stepping on Messi last year is one example, but he roughs it up pretty much every game.

  14. sly says:

    yeah… ynwa

    I only hope joe allen moving into thaty hole and jonjo shelvey starting here will lead to results somehow. But and im ready for the pelting losing him killed our top 4 finish more than andy carroll not scoring anything and stewart downing doing a pretty good impression of batmans parents.

  15. Old School says:

    Fair point.

  16. ld says:

    nobody wants him