Juventus eye Ranieri as coach


Milan : Juventus are close to signing Claudio Ranieri to replace Didier Deschamps, the French coach who resigned after steering the club back to the Serie A.

Support TwoCircles

Juventus were relegated to the Serie B last year for their leading role in a wide match-fixing affair and were stripped of the two titles won in 2005 and 2006. They secured promotion May 19 with three games to go despite a nine-point penalty.

Ranieri, 55, took over struggling Parma at mid-season, managing to rescue them from relegation thanks to five wins clinched in the last seven games. In his career, he coached Cagliari, Napoli and Fiorentina before stints abroad at Valencia, Atletico Madrid and, for four years, Chelsea.


Saviola to leave Barcelona

Javier Saviola has confirmed that he will leave Barcelona this summer, but will not announce where he will go until the end of the Spanish league season.

The diminutive Argentinian striker has been linked with a move to several clubs, including Liverpool, Valencia, Real Zaragoza and Real Madrid, and is set to study all his available options.

Saviola joined Barca from River Plate as a teenage prodigy in 2001. He made a good start at the Camp Nou but things started to go wrong in 2003 when he was the only Barca player to refuse to a accept the salary reductions imposed by new president Joan Laporta.


Swiss coach Favre joins Hertha Berlin

Hertha Berlin have turned to Swiss coach Lucien Favre to improve the fortunes of the German Bundesliga club after a disappointing season.

The 49-year-old former Swiss international will be the long-term successor to Falko Goetz who was dismissed towards the end of last season, both clubs said Friday. Favre, who led FC Zurich to a second successive league title, will join Hertha on a three-year contract.


Ukraine opens probe into police attack on fans

Ukrainian law enforcers have begun a high-profile criminal investigation into a police attack on football fans, Korrespondent magazine reported Friday.

Viktor Shemchiuk, acting prosecutor general in the former Soviet republic, said his office was gathering evidence to support charges that members of an anti-riot police used excessive force during a national cup match last week.

More than 60 troopers from the Berkut police squad, a formation specially trained in martial arts and breaking up hostile crowds, charged and clubbed hundreds of supporters of Dynamo Kiev, after the side scored a goal against its traditional rivals Shakhtar Donetsk.


Bochum sign Sestak as replacement for Gekas

German side Bochum have signed Slovak striker Stanislav Sestak as a replacement for Greek striker Theofanis Gekas who has left the club for Bayer Leverkusen, Bochum said Friday.

Sestak, 24, has just won the Slovakian league title with MSK Zilina and joins Bochum on a four-year contract for a fee reported to be under 1 million euros ($1.3 million). Gekas was Bundesliga's top goalscorer last season with 20