Barcelona sign Alba from Valencia on five-year deal

 

NEWS ROUND-UP:BARCELONA have agreed a fee of €14 million with Valencia to sign Spain full back Jordi Alba. The 23-year-old Alba, who is on international duty at Euro 2012, will pen a five-year contract once he has passed his medical, Barca have confirmed.

A Barcelona statement on the club’s website read: “Barcelona announce that today they reached an agreement with Valencia for the transfer of Jordi Alba, who will undergo his medical next week. The cost of the operation will be €14 million and the player will sign a contract for the next five seasons.”

Attacking left back Alba was born in the Catalan city of L’Hospitalet and spent seven years at Barca’s famous La Masia youth academy from 1998 to 2005.

Afterwards he played for local lower-league side Cornella for two years before joining Valencia in 2007. At the Mestalla, Alba was part of the Valencia reserve side that was promoted to Segunda B before spending the 2008/09 season on loan at Gimnastic Tarragona. On returning to Valencia he soon became a regular in coach Unai Emery’s first team, making 74 league appearances in three seasons, scoring five goals.

That earned him international recognition, with his debut coming against Scotland last October. He has won 10 caps to date and has been an ever-present in Spain’s five Euro 2012 matches so far, helping them through to Sunday’s final.

David Beckham has not been picked for the British Olympic football squad, the player revealed. The 37-year-old had hoped to be named as one of three over-age players but has not been selected by team coach Stuart Pearce. It is understood Ryan Giggs, Craig Bellamy and Micah Richards will be the three over-age players confirmed by Pearce next week.

Beckham said in a statement: “Naturally I am very disappointed, but there will be no bigger supporter of the team than me. And like everyone, I will be hoping they can win the gold.”

Tottenham have parted company with assistant coaches Kevin Bond and Joe Jordan. Bond and Jordan have exited White Hart Lane in the wake of Harry Redknapp’s departure as manager last week.

Fulham have completed the signing of forward Mladen Petric. The 31-year-old Croatia international has joined on a free transfer, signing a one-year deal. He had been a free agent since his contract with Hamburg recently expired.

Gary Deegan has been suspended by Coventry for two weeks while the League One club investigate alleged pro-IRA comments made by the midfielder on Twitter.

The 24-year-old Irishman, signed from Bohemians in January 2010, is reported to have made controversial comments on the social networking site in an online conversation with team-mate James McPake, who has been called up by Northern Ireland. Deegan apologised, but a club statement said:

“Coventry City confirm that Gary Deegan has been suspended from training for a period of two weeks while further investigations take place into comments on Twitter social networking site.”

Drogheda United’s Shane Grimes has admitted to taking an energy drink containing a banned stimulant but insisted he did not knowingly do so. The defender has written to the Irish Sports Council, who will hear the case on July 17th, to clarify his stance. His defence will rely on Article 10.3.1 of the Irish doping regulations, which allows a player “to adduce evidence that he did not intend to enhance sporting performance.”

Grimes approached the Professional Footballers’ Association of Ireland on Tuesday after recent media speculation “surrounding an allegation of doping” at the 1-1 draw with Bohemians on May 11th last, according to the PFAI. He has claimed he drank an “energy supplement known as Jack3d” but was not aware it contained banned substance “methylhexaneamine”, otherwise known as MHA. “He believed he was consuming an energy drink and is both shocked and dismayed to find that it contains a banned substance,” the statement continued.

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