Mid-Day Ticker: Galatasaray sign Drogba, Xavi inks extension, and more

BY JUSTIN FERGUSON

Turkish Super Lig club Galatasaray has reportedly captured their second massive signing of the January transfer window, signing former Chelsea star Didier Drogba from China’s Shanghai Shenhua.

The 18-month deal for Drogba comes a week after Galatasaray finalized a transfer for Inter Milan’s Wesley Sneijder.

Drogba, who was denied of a special loan move from Shanghai Shenhua by FIFA late last year, spent a little over six months with the Chinese club. Reports of issues with club executives dominated Drogba’s stay in Shanghai.

Galatasaray may still be looking to boost its squad even more for their upcoming UCL Round of 16 tie with German club Schalke. Reports indicate that the club has reopened negotiations with Manchester City for another Ivorian, defender Kolo Toure.

Here are some more stories to get you through your Monday:

XAVI SIGNS EXTENSION WITH BARCELONA

FC Barcelona locked down one of its stars for the next few years, agreeing to terms on a contract extension with midfielder Xavi.

The 33-year-old Xavi is the third Barcelona starter to commit his future with the Catalan giant, joining attack partner Lionel Messi and team captain Carlos Puyol in signing extensions. The new extension will keep him at the club until June 2016.

Xavi, who has been with the club since his arrival at Barcelona’s academy in 1991, has been key to the club’s incredible run in recent years. The midfielder has won six La Liga titles, three Champions League trophies, two FIFA Club World Cups and two Copa del Rey crowns.

AFRICA NATIONS CUP: GHANA, MALI ADVANCE TO QUARTERFINALS

Ghana defeated Niger 3-0 earlier today to win Group B and advance to the final eight in this year’s Africa Nations Cup. Asamoah Gyan got the Black Stars off to a quick start in the win, scoring the opening goal just six minutes into the match.

In the other game in Group B, Mamadou Samassa’s first-half equalizer ensured Mali’s advancement into the final eight. Mali began the day with just a one-point lead over opponents Congo, meaning the Eagles just needed to avoid defeat to move on. Although Congo grabbed the lead just three minutes in via a┬áDeiudonne Mbokani penalty, Mali brought the match level later in the half and hung on for the 1-1 result.

CONTE SUSPENDED AFTER REFEREE CONFRONTATION

Juventus manager Antonio Conte has been handed a two-match suspension for his actions following Juventus’s 1-1 draw versus Genoa on Saturday.

Conte stormed the field and argued with the match referees after a penalty was not called for Genoa defender Andreas Granqvist’s handball in the box. He called the refereeing “shameful” in post-match interviews.

Juventus sporting director Giuseppe Marotta and player Leonardo Bonucci were also given suspensions. Marotta received a three-week ban for his outburst that included references to the fact that referee Marco Guida was from Naples, and Bonucci received a one-match ban for insulting Guida and the fourth official post-match.

QUICK KICKS

Former Schalke midfielder Lewis Holtby’s transfer to Tottenham Hotspur has now been moved up from a July move to an immediate one. (REPORT)

Manchester United is now worth $3.3 billion according to Forbes, making the Premier League club the first sports team to break the $3 billion mark in value. (REPORT)

USMNT manager Jurgen Klinsmann has found a way to get around busy LA traffic: he is now a licensed helicopter pilot. (REPORT)

All 12 Scottish Premier League clubs have backed the SFA’s plan to change the structure of the nation’s football pyramid. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Excited to see a Sneijder-Drogba attack in the Champions League next month? What do you think of Ghana and Mali’s chances in the ANC quarterfinals? What are your thoughts on Conte’s suspension?

Share your thoughts below.

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14 Responses to Mid-Day Ticker: Galatasaray sign Drogba, Xavi inks extension, and more

  1. biff says:

    Drogba to Galatasaray is so cooool, linking up with Wesley Sneijder. We now will get to see Jermaine Jones and Schalke going up against those two World Class stars next month in the Champions League and even Maurice Edu will get the pleasure of playing against them.

    Speaking of Edu, I saw a news item that the Bursaspor coach resigned (was fired?) over the weekend. So we have another case of an American player going to a new team only to have the coach leave soon thereafter. But I got faith that Mo will be able to please the new coach.

  2. MiamiAl says:

    Is Klinsmann crazy? The last thing we need is our coach with a plan going up in smoke like John Denver….

  3. Jeb says:

    that’s awesome. I wish I had the money to buy a helicopter and fly it around.

  4. Old School says:

    Another “star” bolting from the Chinese League. This is shocking.

    -Sepp Blatter

  5. el paso texas says:

    Wow, so no MLS team try to lure Drogba to their team, so sad for MLS. I expected Seattle to go after Drogba but another good soccer player runs away from Garber’s super cheap salary cap and not even Seattle, Chicago, Red Bull or Montreal or some big market with cash could get Drogba, so sad for MLS. At the end of the day, Galaxy will win again and we will have to wait, IF some team can beat the Galaxy.

    • Yogi says:

      Not that sad really, don’t be such a fatalist. If you were Drogba and the options were

      1)America and a decent paycheck or 2)Europe, Champions League, a decent paycheck and STILL the option to hit up America in the summer

      Why NOT take one last shot in the CL? Seems to make sense to me.

    • Michael Stypulkoski says:

      Who said no MLS team tried to lure Drogba?

  6. Michael F. SBI Mafia Original says:

    Xavi got an extension? What has he done lately?

  7. liam says:

    Mali? Loads of fighting going on there

    • Good Jeremy says:

      Yeah, it would be great to see them keep winning, the population could use something to be happy about.

  8. Bob says:

    No one talking about how holtby is coming to steal dempseys spot?? I’m panicking.