BY DAN KARELL
The same month that another American left Danish side Nordsjaelland for greener pastures, a new American has stepped in to join the Danish champions.
Midfielder Conor O’Brien has signed a two-year contract with Nordsjaelland, joining the club on a free transfer after having his contract with Norwegian side Sonderjyske expire.
O’Brien had been linked to another Danish side, Odense BK, but ultimately chose to sign for the team that was the former home to U.S. Men’s National Team defender Michael Parkhurst, who left Nordsjaelland for German Bundesliga side Augsburg on a free transfer earlier this month. Nordsjaelland currently sit in second place in the Danish Superliga, 12 points behind league leaders FC Copenhagen.
The 24-year-old midfielder scored seven goals in 45 appearances for Sonderjyske.
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GUARDIOLA SET TO SPEND BIG FOR BAYERN
New Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola will be given £240 million in available cash to shape his squad for next season when he takes over in July, according to a report from French publication L’Equipe.
According to the report, Guardiola’s top two targets are Liverpool’s Luis Suarez, and Radamel Falcao of Atletico Madrid. Both South American forwards have been in terrific form this season, with Suarez having scored 16 goals in 22 English Premier League matches, and Falcao having scored 18 goals in 18 La Liga matches.
Bayern have already agreed one transfer for next season, having signed Mainz defender Jan Kirchkoff to a three-year-contract on a Bosman transfer.
BECKHAM TRAINING WITH ARSENAL
In a bid to keep fit, former MLS Champion David Beckham has decided to train with Arsenal at their London Colney training ground, while he waits to decide his future.
The 37-year-old midfielder, who has reportedly turned down interest from London clubs West Ham United and Queens Park Rangers, is still a free-agent at the moment, after finishing his contract with the Los Angeles Galaxy last November.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, still on the lookout for new signings before the January transfer window closes, has confirmed that Beckham is only there for training purposes, and that Wenger has no interest in signing the former England international.
AC MILAN BACK IN BALOTELLI RACE
Manchester City forward Mario Balotelli may be getting his dream move back to Italy after all.
Though his transfer seemed unlikely to occur just a few days ago, it seems that Italian clubs AC Milan and Juventus have jumped back in the race to sign the temperamental 22-year-old. Earlier in January, the Manchester club had been holding out for a transfer fee of £30 million or more, but it seems now that they are willing to listen to lower offers, and have settled on a a price between £22 and £24 million.
The Italian starlet has played just twice since the middle of December, both of them substitute appearances, and has been reportedly getting his personal items ready for a return to his native country.
COPA CLASICO HYSTERIA KEEPS GROWING
As the entire world, and everyone in the cities of Barcelona and Madrid gear up for the Copa Clasico on Wednesday, F.C. Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets has admitted that winning is the only option.
Speaking to journalists ahead of the match, the 24-year-old stated that his side needed a good result, and the only good result would be a win.
Meanwhile, talismanic midfielder Cristiano Ronaldo has claimed that his Real Madrid side cannot use injuries as an excuse if they don’t win against their arch rivals. Madrid will be missing five key players, including their starting defensive tandem Sergio Ramos and Pepe, as well as their captain, goalkeeper Iker Casillas, for the match on Wednesday night.
Barcelona and Real Madrid also faced off in last year’s Copa Del Rey, with Barcelona triumphant, beating Madrid 4-3 on aggregate, on their way to winning the cup.
ALDO DE NIGRIS ATTRACTING PREMIER LEAGUE INTEREST
Monterrey forward Aldo de Nigris has attracted the attention of Wigan Athletic from the English Premier League, according to reports out of Mexico.
The 29-year-old de Nigris, who has only played in Mexico during his professional career, has intrigued Wigan manager Roberto Martinez, who is looking for a striker to replace Mauro Boselli.
According to the reports, Monterrey is asking for a €5 million transfer fee, though the English side are unable to pay at amount at the moment.
De Nigris has scored eight goals in 20 appearances for the Mexico National Team, who he is currently training with ahead of their friendly match against Denmark on Tuesday night.
COPA LIBERTADORES SECOND LEGS COMMENCE TONIGHT
The second legs of the first stage in the 2013 Copa Libertadores will begin tonight with two matches; Venezuela’s Deportivo Anzoátegui hosting Argentine side Tigre, and Chilean club Iquique hosting Mexico’s León.
Tigre enters their match ahead, as they defeated Anzoátegui last week by a score of 2-1, and the Argentine squad would likely only need one goal to ensure their progress to the second stage. Meanwhile, in Chile, Iquique and León are on a nearly level playing field, with the only advantage going to the Chilean side for their away goal in last week’s 1-1 draw.
Something to note are the incredible distances the away clubs must travel. Deportivo Anzoátegui and Club Atletico Tigre are separated by roughly 3,126 miles, while Club León and Deportivo Iquique are separated by around 3,565 miles.
Manchester United forward Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez believes Manchester United can complete the treble this season. (REPORT)
Borussia Mönchengladbach have denied that twice capped goalkeeping starlet Marc-Andre Ter Stegen is signing with Real Madrid. (REPORT)
One day after selling Lewis Holtby to Tottenham, FC Schalke have signed Brazilian winger Michel Bastos from Lyon for €1.8 million. (REPORT)
What do you think of these reports? See O’Brien getting a national team call-up soon? Think Guardiola could build a powerhouse at Bayern? Where do you see Beckham winding up?
Share your thoughts below.