The Club Atlético de Madrid defender Cosmin Contra faces an extended spell on the sidelines after it was revealed he needs surgery to cure a persistent ankle problem.
Contra absence continues
The 27-year-old Romanian international has not played for Atlético this season after stretching tendons in his right ankle in an August friendly against AS Roma. With the player making slow progress with the injury, the Atlético medical staff have decided to send him for an operation. It will be several weeks before he can look to resume training.
Wicky saga concludes
Atlético, meanwhile, have finally handed over the second, €500,000 instalment of Swiss international Raphael Wicky's transfer fee to SV Werder Bremen. Midfield player Wicky joined the Spanish club from Bremen during the 2000/01 winter break. Atlético paid half of the agreed €1m fee but then failed to produce the rest. Bremen took their case to world governing body FIFA and won. Wicky has since returned to German football, signing for Hamburger SV in January 2002.
Universitatea in crisis
In Romania, FC Universitatea Craiova president Dinel Staicu has resigned after the club were knocked out of the Romanian Cup on Wednesday by second division Jiul Petrosani. His move follows the departure four days earlier of coach Sorin Cartu, with the team having won just two of their opening seven games in the First Division. Staicu, who has been replaced as president by Adrian Mititelu, also intends to sell his majority shareholding in the club.
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