Manchester City FC goalkeeper Geert De Vlieger could miss the entire 2004/05 season after tearing his achilles tendon during a pre-season friendly against Wolverhampton Wanderers FC last Friday. The injury came in the 32-year-old Belgian international's third game for the Premiership outfit since joining from Dutch club Willem II. With De Vlieger out, City may look to sign another goalkeeper as manager Kevin Keegan has only the inexperienced Kevin Ellegaard and Kasper Schmeichel as cover for No1 David James.
Spanish Primera División newcomers Getafe CF have secured the services of Real Madrid CF B team striker Iván Sánchez Rico and CD Leganés defender Martín Vitali. 'Riki' has penned a three-year deal after the clubs agreed a reported €300,000 fee for the 24-year-old. Meanwhile, 28-year-old Argentinian right-back Vitali arrives on a two-year contract.
Norwegian Tippeligaen side Ham-Kam Fotball have signed Nigerian striker Oluwasegun Abiodun as they mount a challenge for the league title. The talented 19-year-old has joined for the remainder of the 2004 season but must wait two to three weeks for a work permit. Ham-Kam are fourth in the table, four points behind leaders Rosenborg BK.
Slovenia Under-21 midfield player Luka Zinko has moved to newly promoted French team FC Istres on a season's loan. The 21-year-old had been on trial at the Ligue 1 club for several weeks from NK Olimpija Ljubljana.
Hannover 96 have loaned out-of-favour striker Stanko Svitlica to second division side LR Ahlen for the coming campaign. The 28-year-old Serbo-Montenegrin had failed to impress in the Bundesliga, making just three appearances since arriving from Legia Warszawa last January for an estimated €200,000.
Elsewhere in Germany, Werner Hackmann has been re-elected as chairman of the German Football League by a unanimous vote. Bayer 04 Leverkusen's managing director Wolfgang Holzhäuser was elected vice-chairman.
Despite interest from English first division rivals Sunderland AFC, Leicester City FC have clinched the signature of Wales forward Nathan Blake. The 32-year-old was released by Wolverhampton Wanderers FC at the end of last season and has agreed a one-year deal with Leicester.
The Grazer derby between Grazer AK and SK Sturm Graz has been brought forward 24 hours to Friday 6 August, to give GAK an extra day to prepare for their UEFA Champions League third qualifying round tie against Liverpool FC the following Tuesday. Friday's derby match will kick off at 20.30CET.
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