News round-up: Brazilian forward França has left Bayer 04 Leverkusen for Japanese club Kashiwa Reysol.
Brazilian forward França has left German Bundesliga side Bayer 04 Leverkusen for a new challenge in the Japanese J-League with Kashiwa Reysol. The 2001 UEFA Champions League finalists will receive a transfer fee of €2.5 million for the 29-year-old who had fallen out of favour with coach Klaus Augenthaler and had two years left on his Leverkusen contract.
FC Schalke 04 will be without playmaker Lincoln for four weeks in domestic competition. The German Football Association (DFB) handed out the ban after he spat at Thomas Hitzlsperger during Schalke's 1-0 League Cup final win against VfB Stuttgart last ngith. Lincoln will also be banned for the next two League Cup matches for which he could be involved, while team-mate Kevin Kuranyi, also red-carded last night, received a three-match League Cup suspension.
Also in Germany, VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach have given a three-year professional contract to 18-year-old youth international defender Robert Flessers. He has been on the club's books since 1995.
FC Girondins de Bordeaux
English Premier League newcomers West Ham United FC have completed the signing of Petr Mikolanda from Czech Second Division side FK Viktoria Zizkow for an undisclosed fee. The Czech Republic Under-21 international has signed a three-year contract with Alan Pardew's side after impressing during a trial spell, where the 20-year-old scored three goals in three games during pre-season.
In Belgium, Serbia and Montenegro forward Goran Drulic has left Real Zaragoza to join KSC Lokeren OV for an undisclosed fee. The 28-year-old has signed a one-year-contract with the Jupiler League outfit having previously become the most expensive recruit in Zaragoza's history when he arrived at the Primera División club in the summer of 2001 from FK Crvena Zvezda for €12.8m. However, the former FC Barcelona trainee scored just three times during four seasons at Zaragoza, although he did net 24 goals in 52 games during his four-year stay with Crvena Zvezda.
FC National Bucuresti have signed the 37-year-old former Romania goalkeeper Florin Prunea, replacing the departed Cristian Munteanu, as one of eleven new recruits. The club have become a public limited company for the 2005/06 campaign under president Constantin Iacov, with his predecessor Gino Iorgulescu remaining as executive president. Roberto Landi remains as coach with other new arrivals including defender Ovidiu Burca, midfielders Ciprian Mozacu and Zeno Bundea. Mircea Oprea and Ucha López are new names in attack.
Scottish top-flight newcomers Falkirk FC have signed 19-year-old Irish midfielder Stephen O'Donnell after his release by English Premiership side Arsenal FC.