Afellay signs up with Barca
Barca sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta told a news conference that Ibrahim Afellay would be the only player brought in during the January transfer window and the Spanish champions' squad was now complete.sports Updated: Dec 24, 2010 22:50 IST
Netherlands midfielder Ibrahim Afellay completed his transfer to Barcelona from PSV Eindhoven when he signed a 4-1/2 year contract on Friday.
Barca sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta told a news conference the 24-year-old would be the only player brought in during the January transfer window and the Spanish champions' squad was now complete.
PSV received three million euros ($3.9 million) for Afellay and the attacking midfielder's new contract includes a buyout clause worth 100 million euros, Barcelona said on their website (www.fcbarcelona.cat).
The Dutch club would also get an unidentified percentage of any future transfer fee if Afellay was sold on, the statement added.
Afellay, who is the latest in a long line of Dutch players at the Catalan club, will wear the number 20 shirt.
He will be eligible to make his first appearance for Barca in the La Liga match at home to Levante on Jan. 2.
"He is a player who has the characteristics of FC Barcelona," Zubizarreta said.
"He can play in every position in the centre of the pitch, is in superb physical condition and of an age that mixes youth with experience."
'Arsenal fear Drogba'
London: Brief news ahead of a busy schedule of holiday fixtures in the Premier League starting on Sunday:
Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti believes Arsenal will fear Didier Drogba when the sides meet at the Emirates on Monday.
Drogba impressed during the second half of Chelsea's 1-1 draw at Tottenham Hotspur and has been a thorn in the side of Arsenal, scoring 13 times in as many games against them.
"I think that they are a little bit afraid about the performance of Drogba because he did very well against them," Ancelotti told Chelsea's website (www.chelseafc.com).
"But this cannot decide the game, though obviously if Drogba plays at his best we have more opportunity to win."
Fourth-placed Chelsea are without a league win since Nov 10.
Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard will return for Sunday's trip to Blackpool, providing the Bloomfield Road pitch thaws out in time. With Liverpool down in ninth place, Gerrard's return from a hamstring injury is a huge boost as they try to kickstart their season over the hectic Christmas and New Year fixtures.
Berlin: Argentine defender Martin Demichelis will go on loan to Spanish club Malaga from Germany's Bayern Munich for six months with an option to extend, he told Bild newspaper on Friday.
Bild reported that Malaga would take over Demichelis' salary and pay a 3 million euros transfer fee at the end of the season if the club stays in Spain's top division. Demichelis, who played in the World Cup in South Africa, lost his starting spot this season and has been keen on a move to get regular playing time. "Yes, it's a done deal," said the 30-year-old. "I've already said goodbye .... in the dressing room," he said.