Mexico striker Javier Hernandez has joined Major League Soccer team LA Galaxy from Sevilla, the La Liga club announced yesterday. Hernandez, who has also played for Manchester United and Real Madrid, has left after only five months with Sevilla, who signed him from West Ham last summer.
The 31-year-old had become a fringe player under coach Julen Lopetegui, making only 15 appearances this season and scoring three goals. “I say goodbye to a club where I spent a short time but enough to hold it in special affection and know what it means in the world of football,” wrote Hernandez in a message on Twitter. “It is a goodbye with some sadness because I am sure that if I had had more minutes, I would not have had to leave so soon.”
At LA Galaxy, Hernandez will be tasked with filling the void left by Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who left to join AC Milan in December. According to reports, Hernandez will earn $6mn (5.41mn euros) a year at his new club and become the highest paid player in MLS, alongside Toronto’s Michael Bradley.
Lazio demand fans repay
Fascist salute fine
Italian Serie A side Lazio has ordered 16 fans caught making Fascists salutes at a home game to contribute to paying a fine imposed by UEFA over the incident. Italian sports paper Corriere dello Sport said individual letters had been sent to the fans banning them for three matches and demanding a contribution to financial losses incurred by the club.
Lazio said the letters were “authentic” after a photograph of one letter appeared in several news outlets. Lazio were fined 20,000 euros by European football’s governing body after home fans were caught on video making Fascist salutes during the Europa tie against Rennes on October 3.
A section of the Stadio Olympico stand was ordered closed for the next home Europa tie, reducing income from ticket sales. “From the footage taken by UEFA and the consequent police investigation, it emerged that you are responsible for the sanctionable behaviour...,” the letter read. It estimated economic damage to the club through lost ticket sales and the fine at “at least 50,000 euros”.
Keita double pilots Monaco into French Cup last 16
A first-half double from Keita Balde helped AS Monaco through to the last 16 of the French Cup on Monday with a 3-1 win at fourth tier giant-killers Saint-Pryve Saint-Hilaire. The home side, who beat Ligue 1 side Toulouse 1-0 in the round of 64, were 3-0 down at halftime in Orleans but pulled one back eight minutes from time through Carnejy Antoine.
Spanish-born Senegalese winger Keita scored in the 11th and 28th minutes, the first coming when he struck on the rebound after Stevan Jovetic’s header was parried by goalkeeper Charles-Henri Chatelin. France international Wissam Ben Yedder then added his name to the scoresheet in the 36th minute. Roberto Moreno’s side will play Saint-Etienne in the next round on Jan. 29.
Podolski to work for
Cologne after retirement
Bundesliga side Cologne confirmed they plan to work with cult club figure and 2014 World Cup winner Lukas Podolski when the ex-Germany striker finishes his career. Cologne president Werner Wolf told the club’s website they are in talks with Podolski about a future role with a “concept and a time frame” to be decided.
Podolski last played for Cologne in 2012, but as a product of their youth academy, the striker is still highly regarded at the Rhineland club, for whom he scored 86 goals and made 181 appearances in two separate stints.
Podolski, who made 130 appearances for Germany, said he had “a comfortable and open discussion” with the club’s board and is “looking forward to planning how I can support FC (Cologne) in the future”.
The 34-year-old helped Japanese club Vissel Kobe win the national cup title for their first time in their history this month, Podolski is negotiating with Turkish club Antalyaspor as his Kobe contract expires shortly.
The German forward with a deadly shot has played for Bayern Munich, Arsenal, Galatasaray and Inter Milan in a glittering career. He was part of the Germany squad which won the 2014 World Cup, without featuring in the final, and retired from international duty in March 2017 after he scored the only goal in a 1-0 friendly win over England.
Newcastle sign Bentaleb
on loan from Schalke
Newcastle have signed Algeria midfielder Nabil Bentaleb on loan from Schalke for the rest of the season, the club announced. Newcastle have negotiated an option to make the move permanent at the end of the season for a fee reported to be around £8.5mn ($11mn).
The 25-year-old has not played for the Bundesliga club this season after being dropped from the first-team squad due to disciplinary issues. A knee injury has also hampered his chances but Newcastle manager Steve Bruce believes the former Tottenham youngster will be revitalised by a return to the Premier League. Bentaleb’s arrival at Newcastle is well-timed for Bruce, who has seen his team hit by a series of injuries to key players.
West Ham’s Anderson
ruled out for a month
West Ham manager David Moyes will be without injured Brazilian winger Felipe Anderson for a month. Anderson missed last weekend’s draw against Everton after suffering a back injury when he fell awkwardly in a defeat against Sheffield United earlier in January.
Moyes revealed yesterday that Anderson is set to be absent for longer than first expected. “Felipe’s got a problem with his back, which looks like it’s going to keep him out for about four weeks,” Moyes said.
Ukraine winger Andriy Yarmolenko has also been ruled out until February but the Hammers could be boosted by the return of forward Michail Antonio, who has been missing since December with a hamstring issue.
West Ham head to Leicester today with just one victory from their previous five Premier League games. They sit only one point above the relegation zone as they fight to secure their top-flight status. Moyes has taken four points from his opening three matches since he returned to the club to replace the sacked Manuel Pellegrini but said they were heading in the right direction.
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