Sporting Clube de Portugal centre-forward Ricardo Sá Pinto has reneged on his decision to retire this summer and will play on for another season with the Lisbon outfit. The 34-year-old team captain said his change of heart was prompted by the "encouragement of the Sporting players and fans". "I feel perfect both physically and mentally," said Sa Pinto, scorer of two goals in 27 league games this term.
Elsewhere in Portugal, A. Académica de Coimbra have announced they have parted company with coach Nelo Vingada despite achieving their target of avoiding relegation from the Liga. "Nelo Vingada is an excellent coach and a wonderful person," said president José Eduardo Simões. "The second half of the season was very good."
Premiership side Manchester City FC have released ten players including defender David Sommeil and midfielders Kiki Musampa and Albert Riera. Sommeil, a €5m signing from FC Girondins de Bordeaux in 2003, is not having his contract renewed while City manager Stuart Pearce has decided against extending the loans of Musampa and Riera from Club Atlético de Madrid and RCD Espanyol respectively.
Former Dutch international goalkeeper Sander Westerveld has been released by Portsmouth FC after a solitary season with the English Premiership club. The 31-year-old made only seven appearances for Portsmouth and joined Everton FC on a short-term loan. With his contract expiring this summer, the former Liverpool FC and Real Sociedad de Fútbol man will become a free agent.
Promoted Sheffield United FC have signed defender Chris Lucketti for €440,000 from Preston North End FC. Lucketti joined Sheffield United on loan in March and will now get a first taste of the Premiership at the age of 34.
In Spain, Real Zaragoza defender César Jiménez must undergo surgery after damaging cartilage in his left knee in training on Wednesday. The 28-year-old centre-back only returned from a 16-month injury lay-off with a substitute appearance against Deportivo Alavés at the weekend. This new problem is likely to set him back two months.
UEFA Cup qualifiers AS Nancy-Lorraine have agreed new contracts with five members of their French League Cup winning-squad. Midfielders Emmanuel Duchemin (27), Benjamin Gavanon (25) and Pascal Berenguer (24) will remain at the club until 2010. Meanwhile, defenders Frédéric Biancalani (31) and Cédric Lécluse (34) have signed two and one-year deals respectively.
FC Stal Alchevsk coach Anatoliy Volobuev is to be replaced at the helm of the Ukrainian club by Mykola Pavlov. The new man is Volobuev's choice to succeed him in a job he has done since 1988. "I would like to point out that it is Volobuev's decision to leave and invite me to become coach," said the experienced Pavlov, whose previous coaching assignment at FC Illychivets Mariupil ended 18 months ago. Stal finished eleventh in the Premier League.
Aleksandr Ryabokon has resigned as FC Dinamo Minsk coach. The 42-year-old stepped down after his side lost 3-1 at home to local rivals FC MTZ-RIPO Minsk, a defeat which caused last season's runners-up to slip to 12th in the Belarussian table.
F91 Dudelange and AS Jeunesse Esch will contest the Luxembourg Cup final at the Stade Josy Barthel on Saturday week. Newly-crowned champions Dudelange won 3-1 at FC Racing Union Luxembourg while Jeunesse Esch prevailed 1-0 at FC Victoria Rosport. In European terms, Dudelange will play in the UEFA Champions League while Jeunesse Esch and FC Etzella Ettelbrück will enter the UEFA Cup. CS Grevenmacher go into the UEFA Intertoto Cup.
FC Metz will start next season with a new coach after academy boss Francis de Taddeo replaced Joël Muller, who will become the French club's general manager. "We have two good coaches on our staff - why look elsewhere?" said president Carlo Molinari. Metz are destined to finish bottom of Ligue 1 and be relegated.
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