Primera División side Real Zaragoza have signed Real Madrid CF goalkeeper César Sánchez on a free transfer. Since being replaced by Iker Casillas due to injury near the end of the 2002 UEFA Champions League final, the 33-year-old César has had to play second fiddle to the Spanish international at the Santiago Bernabéu, making a total of just three league appearances. He has signed a three-year contract.
Also departing the Spanish capital is Horacio Pínola, the Club Atlético de Madrid defender currently on loan at Argentina's Racing Club de Avellaneda, who has agreed to play for 1. FC Nürnberg next season. The 23-year-old has signed a one-year loan deal with a 12-month extension clause and will move to Germany at the end of July.
As one promising youngster agrees to join the Bundesliga, former German Under-21 international Selim Teber, now 24, is heading in the other direction on a free transfer after accepting a three-year deal with Turkish SuperLeague outfit Denizlispor.
Former SC Beira-Mar coach Manuel Cajuda has signed a one-year deal to take charge of Portuguese SuperLiga newcomers Associação Naval 1º de Maio. "I hope he will stay here many years," said club president Aprígio Santos, who failed to agree a new contract with former coach Rogério Gonçalves before he left to join second division Leixões SC.
Tottenham Hotspur FC defender Noureddine Naybet has announced his intention to sign a new one-year deal with the Premiership club. The 35-year-old former RC Deportivo La Coruña centre-half, who moved to White Hart Lane for €1m last summer, said: "I've made up my mind to stay for another season. I am happy in London and do not want to change. I still have enough years left in me in England." Naybet's presence helped the club to ninth place, their highest finish in nine seasons.
Elsewhere in England, Portsmouth FC have completed the signing of Republic of Ireland centre-back Andy O'Brien from Newcastle United FC for €3m, a fee just short of the Fratton Park club record. The 25-year-old, who has 18 international caps, has agreed a four-season deal. He joined Newcastle from Bradford City AFC in 2001.
Newly promoted to the Premiership, Sunderland AFC have signed Blackburn Rovers FC striker Jonathan Stead for €2.7m. The 22-year-old arrives on a four-year contract.
One player staying put is Heart of Midlothian FC defender Lee Wallace. The 17-year-old left-back has put pen to paper on a contract extension that will keep him at Tynecastle until the summer of 2008.
Former Celtic FC winger Jamie Smith has signed a pre-contract agreement to join Aberdeen FC on a two-year deal. The 24-year-old Scottish international moved to ADO Den Haag last summer but turned down the offer of a new contract with the Eredivisie side to return to Scotland.
Scottish Premier League newcomers Falkirk FC have completed the acquisition of 29-year-old former Aberdeen and Dunfermline AFC defender Craig Ireland on a two-year deal. Also, former Kilmarnock FC striker Craig Dargo, 27, has signed a two-year contract with Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC.
PSV Eindhoven have agreed to part company with 18-year-old Lasse Qvist, the Danish Under-19 international the Dutch club took on from Lyngby FC. Outgoing Danish champions FC København are the beneficiaries and the club's sports director Niels Christian Holmstrøm said: "We were watching Lasse Qvist before he went to the Netherlands and we are extremely happy to have got a strong forward with a lot of potential."
The final day of the Moldovan First Division season on Sunday saw a solitary goal from Vitaly Gluhenchi clinch victory for third-placed FC Dacia Chisinau against CSF Zimbru Chisinau and seal a UEFA Cup qualification berth. At the wrong end of the table, CS Steaua Chisinau have been relegated and could be joined by FC Unisport-Auto Chisinau if they fail to overcome city rivals FC Politechnica Chisinau in the promotion/relegation play-off on 16 June. FC Dinamo Benderi have been promoted automatically.
In F.Y.R. Macedonia, two clubs secured top-flight status for next season by winning their play-off matches thanks to late goals at the weekend. Dean Ristovski's 89th-minute strike gave top-flight FK Cementarnica 55 a 2-1 win against FK Turnovo while FK Makedonija Skopje's Vladimir Tunevski scored in the second minute of added time to seal a 2-1 victory against FK Madzari Solidarnost 92, who finished tenth in the First League.
Finally, former Birkirkara FC defender Lucian Dronca has agreed a deal in Singapore with S-League side Woodlands Wellington but said: "I leave Birkirkara FC and Malta with the fondest memories."
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