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Rediff.com  » Sports » Football Briefs: Bolt likely to sign with Aussie football club

Football Briefs: Bolt likely to sign with Aussie football club

July 17, 2018 16:02 IST

Usain Bolt at a training session at Borussia Dortmund in March this year

IMAGE: Usain Bolt at a training session at Borussia Dortmund in March this year. Photograph: Kind courtesy Borussia Dortmund/Twitter

Usain Bolt is on the verge of sealing a deal to trial with the A-League's Central Coast Mariners, the Australian club said on Tuesday.

Eight-time Olympic champion Bolt, 31, who retired from athletics after August's World Championships in London, trained with Norwegian club Stromsgodset last month and Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund in March.

 

According to AFP, the planned arrangement will see him take part in a six-week trial starting next month at the Mariners' base in Gosford, some 75 kilometres (47 miles) north of Sydney, chief executive Shaun Mielekamp said.

A season-long deal could follow if it goes well, he told commercial broadcaster Channel Seven.

Bolt has dominated sprinting since taking double individual gold at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and went on to win a further six Olympic golds and pick up 11 world titles.

The A-League season starts in October.

Australia's Cahill announces international retirement

Tim Cahill is Australia's highest goal-scorer

IMAGE: Tim Cahill is Australia's highest goal-scorer. Photograph: Alexey Nasyrov/Reuters

Australia's leading goal scorer Tim Cahill has retired from international soccer after a frustrating fourth World Cup tournament in Russia.

The 38-year-old Cahill, who has scored 50 international goals in 107 caps, only made a substitute appearance for the Socceroos in their final group game at the World Cup in Russia, which ended in a 2-0 loss to Peru.

"Today's the day that I'm officially hanging up my boots on my international career with the Socceroos," Cahill said on his Twitter account on Tuesday. "No words can describe what it has meant to represent my country.

"Massive thank you to everyone for the support throughout all my years wearing the Australian badge."

Cahill's decision was hardly unexpected given his age and the fact the Socceroos have a new coach in Graham Arnold as they head into the defence of their Asian Cup title next year in the United Arab Emirates.

He had also struggled to get playing time at club level in the last year, leaving A-league side Melbourne City last December before he signed with English second tier side Millwall -- where he first came to prominence -- in January.

The forward played just 10 games for the south-London side, mostly from the bench and former Socceroos' coach Bert van Marwijk said that while Cahill's talisman presence would be valuable, he was not guaranteed a spot in his World Cup squad.

Cahill's ability to score goals at crucial times had emphasised his importance to the side throughout his 14-year international career.

As a substitute he scored twice as the Socceroos beat Japan at the 2006 World Cup in Germany, earning the side their first win at the global showpiece.

Cahill spent much of the tournament in Russia on the bench, but did earn his 107th cap when he replaced Tomi Juric in the second half of their 2-0 loss to the Peruvians.

At the end of the game he was photographed tapping his wrist, which Australian media presciently suggested that "Timmy time" was over.

Alderweireld slams Spurs for unfair snub

Belgium's Toby Alderweireld made just six appearances for Tottenham Hotspur since  November

IMAGE: Belgium's Toby Alderweireld made just six appearances for Tottenham Hotspur since November. Photograph: Dylan Martinez/Reuters

Belgium defender Toby Alderweireld says he was motivated to impress at the World Cup to prove that his prolonged exclusion from Tottenham Hotspur's first team last season was "unjustified."

The 29-year-old played a majority of Tottenham's matches in the opening stages of last campaign before a hamstring injury disrupted his season and, despite declaring himself fit in January, Alderweireld made just six appearances since November.

Despite his Premier League snub, Alderweireld featured in six of Belgium's seven World Cup matches in Russia as manager Roberto Martinez's side secured a historic third-placed finish at the tournament.

"I was very focused on this tournament," Alderweireld told British media. "I wanted to prove something to me, show that the period before the tournament in which I, for whatever reason, did not play, it was unjustified.

"I wanted to show that I'm still Toby, same as in November."

Alderweireld has been linked with a move to several European clubs and the full-back says he is uncertain about his future although he is planning to start next season at Tottenham.

The north London club play AS Roma, Barcelona and AC Milan in the pre-season International Champions Cup tournament along with a friendly against Girona before their Premier League opener against Newcastle United on August 11.

Sanchez misses start of United's US tour over visa problem

Manchester United's Chile forward Alexis Sanchez has missed the start of the Premier League club's pre-season tour of the United States due to a visa problem.

Speaking from Los Angeles, a spokeswoman for the club said United still hoped the 29-year-old would be able to join them once his "personal administrative issue" had been resolved.

British media reported on Monday that Sanchez was understood to have failed to get a U.S. visa due to a 16-month suspended jail sentence imposed by a Spanish court in February for tax fraud.

He was accused of defrauding the Spanish state of a combined 983,000 euros ($1.2 million) in image rights when playing for Barcelona in 2012 and 2013 by using a shell company in Malta and omitting the earnings from tax returns.

Spanish law is such that any sentence under two years for a non-violent crime rarely requires a defendant without previous convictions to serve jail time.

The BBC reported that Sanchez, who was training with United last week after a summer break without any World Cup action, was working with his lawyers to secure entry to the U.S. under a waiver scheme.

The rest of the squad, without the club's World Cup players, departed on Sunday.

United's opener in their five-match tour is against Mexico's Club America in Los Angeles on Friday.

They will also play Major League Soccer (MLS) side San Jose Earthquakes on July 22 before taking on AC Milan, Liverpool and Real Madrid in the International Champions Cup (ICC) tournament on July 26, 28 and Aug 1 respectively.

If Sanchez fails to secure entry to the US, United have a friendly at Bayern Munich on Aug. 5 before their league opener against Leicester City at Old Trafford on Aug. 10.

Blind heading back to Ajax after United agree terms

Manchester United have agreed terms with Ajax Amsterdam for Netherlands international Daley Blind to return to the Dutch club, the Premier League team announced on Monday.

The 28-year-old, who came through Ajax's youth ranks and played over 100 games for the club, joined United in 2014 but has fallen out of favour under manager Jose Mourinho.

British media reported that Blind would move for an initial fee of 14.1 million pounds ($18.66 million), which could rise to 18.5 million based on performance, a club record for Ajax.

The versatile Blind, who can play in several positions at the back and in midfield, joined United for about 14 million pounds after featuring for his country at the 2014 World Cup.

However, he has struggled to hold down a first-team spot at left back against England's Ashley Young and there has also been a lot of competition for places in central defence.

Blind, who has 54 caps, won the FA Cup in 2016 plus the Europa league and League Cup last year but he missed out on United's FA Cup final defeat by Chelsea this year.

The Dutchman was entering the final season of his five-year deal at United having made 90 league appearances in four years at Old Trafford, though he only featured seven times last term.

Blind, who played a total of 141 games for United, scoring six goals, was not part of the squad that flew to Los Angeles on Sunday for the pre-season tour of the United States.

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