Argentinian midfielder Ariel Ibagaza has agreed a new two-year deal with Club Atlético de Madrid following a long period of negotiations. The 30-year-old's existing contract was due to expire in the summer, but 'Caño', who joined the club in 2003, has now agreed to stay with Atlético until the summer of 2008.
VfL Wolfsburg have agreed a new contract with Christopher Lamprecht until 30 June 2009. The 20-year-old defender has broken into the Bundesliga club's first team this season, playing eight league matches. "This is the right signal to give a player a chance for the future," said Wolfsburg manager Klaus Fuchs.
Malik Fathi and Christopher Samba have both signed two-year extensions to their contracts at Hertha BSC Berlin, tying them to the club until 2008. Defender Malik, 22, has become a regular in the Hertha defence since graduating from the youth teams while 21-year-old Samba has impressed since joining the club from French side CS Sedan-Ardennes in January 2005.
Birmingham City FC manager Steve Bruce has revealed that his side are likely to face their relegation battle without key midfielders David Dunn and Muzzy Izzet. "It's so frustrating," said Bruce, whose side lie three points adrift of safety in the Premiership. "I'm convinced we would stay up if players like those two were available but we have got to be realistic now. In my head I'm just dismissing them." Dunn has suffered a recurrence of a long-standing hamstring problem while Izzet has been beset by calf injuries.
Aleksandr Kerzhakov may miss the start of the Russian season after picking up an injury in the second leg of FC Zenit St. Petersburg's UEFA Cup last-16 tie against Olympique de Marseille. After scoring the goal that helped Zenit earn a 2-1 aggregate win, the striker was brought off in the final minutes. "The early reports from our doctors are worrying," said Zenit coach Vlastimil Petržela. "He will probably have to miss our first league fixture against [FC] Saturn [Moskovskaya Oblast]."
Celtic FC could be without striker Craig Beattie for the rest of the season after he suffered a recurrence of a hamstring injury. The 22-year-old Scotland international was close to a first-team comeback having been out of action since October but has now tweaked his hamstring close to where the original injury was. "It's not the same injury but similar," said manager Gordon Strachan.
Meanwhile, Falkirk FC have signed Australian centre-back Karl Dodd from Romanian side FC Universitatea Craiova for the rest of the season. The 25-year-old, who previously played for Brisbane Strikers SC and Queensland Roar FC in his native country, is a free agent having recently been released by the Romanian club.
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