English Premiership newcomers Portsmouth FC have finally completed the €2.65m signing of Serbia and Montenegro defender Dejan Stefanovic from Dutch side SBV Vitesse.
The former Sheffield Wednesday FC player's move had been thrown into doubt when the British Home Office rejected an initial application for a work permit. However, Portsmouth appealed against the decision and a permit was granted on Friday afternoon and all the paperwork has now been completed.
BV Borussia Dortmund captain Christoph Metzelder will be sidelined for three weeks after undergoing surgery on his achilles tendon. The 22-year-old Germany defender will miss Dortmund's opening Bundesliga matches of the 2003/04 season against FC Schalke 04 and and VfL Wolfsburg.
Tottenham Hotspur FC's German international defender Christian Ziege has been forced on to the sidelines again. Ziege needs another operation on an injury to his left thigh and does not know when he will play again. "The doctors noticed that two muscles were stuck together," said Ziege, who first suffered the injury last December. Then surgeons operated after his thigh had swelled to twice its normal size. He returned to action for the final game of last season but now faces another long lay-off.
In Spain, Athletic Club Bilbao have suffered a serious blow with the news that defender Ander Murillo will miss the beginning of the season after colliding with team-mate Javi González in training and breaking his leg.
"He will be out of action for three or three weeks before he can start to recover and train," said the club's doctor Sabino Padilla. With Murillo out Athletic's defensive options are seriously affected with only Aitor Karanka, Luis Mari Lacruz and Luis Prieto to choose from in the centre of defence.
Club Atlético de Madrid have signed Argentinian defender Matías Lequi on a one-year loan from CA River Plate. Atlético have the option of signing the 22-year-old at the end of the season.
Balili bound for Turkey
Another man on the move is Pini Balili. The forward has completed his move from Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC in his native Israel to Turkish outfit Istanbulspor after signing a three-year deal. "I have signed a new deal with the best possible team," he said.
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