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Rediff.com  » Sports » Football Briefs: Higuain undergoes medical at Milan, Bonucci at Juve

Football Briefs: Higuain undergoes medical at Milan, Bonucci at Juve

Last updated on: August 02, 2018 15:43 IST

Gonzalo Higuain

IMAGE: AC Milan striker Gonzalo Higuain arrives at a hotel downtown in Milan. Photograph: Daniele Mascolo/Reuters

Italy defender Leonardo Bonucci has arrived in Turin for a medical ahead of a return to Juventus from AC Milan while Argentina striker Gonzalo Higuain is set to move in the opposite direction, the Serie A clubs said Thursday.

Milan said that Higuain, who has spent two seasons at Juventus, had also arrived for his medical.

"Look who's in Milan ready for medicals..." the club said on Twitter in a post accompanied by a photograph of Higuain in a Milan training shirt.

Several dozen fans waited outside the clinic where Higuain was pictured arriving at 0930 local time (0730 GMT).

Juventus said on their website that Bonucci, who spent seven seasons at the club before joining Milan a year ago in a 40-million euro move, had arrived in Turin for his medical.

Higuain moved to Juventus in 2016 for 90 million euros ($105 million) after scoring a record 36 Serie A goals in the previous season for Napoli and his sudden departure infuriated that team's supporters.

The 30-year-old has won Serie A and Coppa Italia titles in each of his two seasons with Juventus and scored 55 goals in 105 appearances in all competitions, including 40 goals in 73 outings in Serie A.

Critics, however, say he has failed to make an impact on the big occasion.

He had a subdued World Cup where he started one game, appeared as a substitute in two more and failed to score a goal. He was left on the bench for the second round match against France as Argentina lost 4-3 and were knocked out.

Bonucci's return to Juve would reunite him with Andrea Barzagli and Giorgio Chiellini, who together formed the so-called 'BBC' defence, which proved to be one of Europe's most formidable rearguards.

Barzagli, 37, extended his contract for another season in June.

Juventus, who signed World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo last month, have won the last seven Serie A titles and their main ambition is now to win the Champions League, after finishing runners-up in 2015 and 2017.

Seven-times European champions AC Milan have had a series of disappointing seasons since they won their last Serie A title in 2011.

Juventus defender Mattia Caldara, who spent last season on loan at Atalanta, is also expected to move to Milan as part of the deal.

Alisson to make Liverpool debut in Napoli friendly, says Klopp

Alisson Becker

IMAGE: Brazil's Alisson Becker during training. Photograph: Craig Brough/Reuters

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker will make his debut in Saturday's friendly against Napoli, manager Juergen Klopp has said.

Liverpool signed the 25-year-old Brazil international from AS Roma, smashing the world record for a goalkeeper in a deal worth up to 72.5 million euros ($84 million).

Alisson started training with Liverpool earlier this week following a break after Brazil's World Cup campaign.

"It's pretty likely (he'll make his debut). We should not waste time," Klopp told Liverpool's website.

"Then it'll be nearly a week, or six days in training, since he (started) and yes, he will play."

Liverpool play their final pre-season friendly against Italians Torino on Aug. 7, five days before hosting West Ham United in their Premier League opener.

Nasri doping ban increased to 18-months after appeal

Former Manchester City midfielder Samir Nasri has had his doping ban increased to 18 months following an appeal against the original six-month sanction, European football's governing body UEFA has said.

The Frenchman was handed the original suspension in February after UEFA found the 31-year-old "guilty of using a prohibited method in accordance with the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) prohibited list".

The former France international's lawyer had said Nasri was sanctioned for receiving an intravenous drip treatment at a clinic in Los Angeles in 2016, when he was on loan at Sevilla from City.

"The player Samir Nasri is suspended for eighteen (18) months. This suspension will start running on 1 July 2017," UEFA said in a statement on their website.

"The player Samir Nasri is allowed to return to training, with any football club starting from 1 November 2018."

UEFA said Nasri's amended suspension was a result of negotiations between the player, WADA, the French Anti-Doping Agency and UEFA's Ethics and Disciplinary inspector, who originally believed a two-year suspension was warranted.

Palace sign midfielder Kouyate from West Ham

Crystal Palace have signed midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate on a four-year contract from Premier League rivals West Ham United, the club said on Wednesday.

The Senegal international, who featured in all three of their matches at the World Cup, made 147 appearances for West Ham after joining them from Belgium's RSC Anderlecht in 2014.

The transfer fee was not disclosed but local media said Palace paid an initial 9.5 million pounds ($12.46 million) for the 28-year-old.

"This is the right time to move because I needed a new challenge. I have good memories of West Ham but I need to come here and give my best because I like the Crystal Palace project," Kouyate told the club's website.

Palace, who play Toulouse in a friendly on Saturday, open their new Premier League campaign at Fulham on Aug. 11.

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