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Football Briefs: Barcelona's Coutinho ruled out for three weeks

Last updated on: January 08, 2018 22:27 IST
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FC Barcelona's new record signing Philippe Coutinho (right) puts pen on paper in presence of club president Josep Maria Bartomeu on Monday

IMAGE: FC Barcelona's new record signing Philippe Coutinho (right) puts pen on paper in presence of club president Josep Maria Bartomeu on Monday. Photograph: FC Barcelona/Twitter

Philippe Coutinho will not be able to make his Barcelona debut for about three weeks because of a thigh injury he sustained while at Liverpool.


The Brazilian playmaker passed a medical on Monday during which Barcelona doctors analysed the injury that kept him out of Liverpool's Premier League win over Burnley on Jan. 1.

"Coutinho has an injury in his right thigh. He will be out for 20 days," Barcelona said in a statement, meaning he is likely to make his debut in the Catalan derby against Espanyol on Feb. 4.

Barcelona agreed a 142 million-pound ($192 million) deal with Liverpool on Saturday to buy Coutinho, who became their record signing.

I-League: Koffi helps Churchill Brothers secure draw with EB

Ivory Coast striker Mechac Koffi saved Churchill Brothers from defeat as they came from behind to hold East Bengal to a 1-1 draw in the Hero I-League in Vasco on Monday.

The match was hotly contested with East Bengal taking the lead in the 26th minute through Jobby Justin. But Churchill Brothers rode on Koffi's brilliance to restore parity in the 75th minute.

After this draw, East Bengal remained at the top with 18 points from nine matches.

Earlier on Monday, Shillong Lajong FC registered their first win of the year as they beat Indian Arrows 1-0 and moved up a place in the I-League in Shillong.

Lajong's foreign recruit Koffi (80') scored the only goal of the match at the JLN Stadium.

Kane happy to stay at Tottenham but is hungry for trophies

Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane is happy to remain at the London club as long as they win silverware and provide him with the environment to improve as a player.

Kane scored a quickfire double on Sunday to take his goal tally for the season in all competitions to 26 as Tottenham defeated third tier AFC Wimbledon in the FA Cup third round at Wembley.

The 24-year-old has attracted interest from major European clubs in recent seasons, with Real Madrid's former president Ramon Calderon stating in October that he expected the Spanish club to try to sign the forward.

Asked what Tottenham needed to do to ensure he commits his long-term future to the club, Kane said: "We want to start winning trophies so that's the aim. As long as the club keeps doing that then I'm happy here.

"I've always said, just keep progressing, keep getting better."

The Londoners sit 21 points behind Premier League leaders ManchesterCity with 41 points from 22 games and Kane believes the FA Cup offers them a realistic chance of a trophy.

"We want to win a trophy somehow and this is a competition we're looking at to do that," he said.

Tottenham return to league action on Saturday with the visit of ninth-placed Everton.

Germany investigates shots fired at German-Turkish soccer player's car

German prosecutors are investigating shots fired at the car of a German-Turkish soccer player who was an outspoken critic of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, while he was driving near the west German city of Aachen late on Sunday, the prosecutors said on Monday.

Deniz Naki, 28 was given a suspended sentence of 18 months by a Turkish court in April 2017 for "terrorist propaganda" in support of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

He told Die Welt newspaper he assumed the shots were fired by a Turkish agent or someone else who opposed his views.

Katja Schlenkermann-Pitts, a senior prosecutor in Aachen, said authorities were investigating the incident as an attempted homicide, but said her office could not confirm Naki's concerns. She said prosecutors were looking "in all directions."

"I could have died," Naki told the newspaper.

"It was so close. I was scared to death."

He said the shots were fired from a black station wagon that was diagonally behind him, and two bullets struck his car.

Naki, a former national youth soccer player for Germany, now plays for a Kurdish team in Turkey.

Sneijder joins Qatari side Al-Gharafa on 18-month deal

Dutch international Wesley Sneijder has joined Qatar's Al-Gharafa after a brief spell with French side Nice, the Middle Eastern club announced on its official Twitter account.

Former Inter Milan and Real Madrid midfielder Sneijder was released by Turkish club Galatasaray in July and played five games for Ligue 1 outfit Nice this season.

"Welcome @sneijder101010," the Qatari club said on Twitter alongside a picture of the midfielder.

The 33-year-old, who is the most capped Dutch player of all time (133), has signed an 18-month deal with the club.

Sneijder won the Champions League with Inter Milan in 2010, the same year he helped his country finish as runners-up at the World Cup. He has also won league titles in the Netherlands, Italy and Spain. 

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