x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Arjen Robben opts for Bayern Munich over Manchester United

New signings for Leeds United.

Arjen Robben says he is staying with Bayern Munich. Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images
Arjen Robben says he is staying with Bayern Munich. Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images

MANCHESTER UNITED

Arjen Robben has ruled out the possibility of joining Manchester United.

Robben has been linked with United ever since it was announced that Louis van Gaal would be taking over at Old Trafford after the World Cup.

Robben told Dutch broadcaster NOS following Holland’s 3-0 win over Brazil that Van Gaal had offered him a place in the United squad next season.

The winger says he shares a “special bond” with Van Gaal, but that does not mean he will be following the new United boss to Old Trafford for the new season.

“I have a special bond with him. He is the most important coach in my career,” Robben said.

“[Moving to United] is not an option though. I will stay at Bayern Munich.”

BARCELONA

Barcelona will not be allowed to publicly introduce new signing Luis Suarez while he remains banned for biting, Fifa has confirmed.

Suarez is due to complete his move from Liverpool in the next few days, and the Catalan club has previously introduced star signings including Neymar and Cesc Fabregas to packed stadiums.

There have been suggestions Barcelona could hold a similar event for Suarez in a non-football venue to get around the four-month ban imposed on the Uruguay striker for biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini, but Fifa has now confirmed that any such event will not be permitted while the ban remains in force.

Fifa’s head of media Delia Fischer told Press Association Sport: “The ban relates to all football-related activity. He cannot be in a football-related public event irrespective of the venue.

“He cannot even be involved in a football-related charity event.”

Suarez, 27, had his appeal against the four-month ban, plus a nine-match international and an 100,000 Swiss franc (£66,000) fine, rejected outright by Fifa’s appeals committee.

He is expected to take his appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in a final bid to reduce the sanctions that, as they stand, will keep him out of club football until the end of October.

Suarez can also ask CAS to put his ban on hold pending their final decision but that would risk him missing more matches rather than a chunk of the close season if the court upholds the sanctions.

LEEDS UNITED

Leeds have announced the double signing of midfielder Tommaso Bianchi and striker Souleymane Doukara.

The duo’s arrival takes president Massimo Cellino’s summer signing spree to four following the captures of goalkeeping pair Marco Silvestri and Stuart Taylor.

Cellino has been making waves ever since his arrival at Elland Road in January and, after selling captain Ross McCormack to Fulham for a fee understood to be £11million, is now building a squad for new head coach Dave Hockaday to select from.

Bianchi has signed a four-year deal with Leeds from Serie A side Sassuolo – achieving promotion with them in 2013.

The 25-year-old is an age-grade Italian international and Hockaday believes he can occupy a number of roles.

“He can play on the left, right or in the number 10 position and he can score goals,” he said of Bianchi, who spent last season on loan with Modena.

Cellino has also moved to try and fill McCormack’s position with the season-long loan of Senegalese striker Doukara.

TRABZONSPOR

Vahid Halilhodzic, who led Algeria to the second round of the World Cup in Brazil, has been appointed coach of Turkish club Trabzonspor, the club said.

Details of the deal with the 61-year-old Bosnian, who last week turned down pleas from Algeria’s president to stay with the North African nation, were not disclosed.

Halilhodzic, a former Yugoslav international striker, had a testy relationship with the Algerian federation and the country’s media but emerged a folk hero after Algeria got past the group stage of the World Cup for the first time in four attempts.

It will be Halilhodzic’s second spell at Trabzonspor, where he worked previously in 2005. He has also coached in Croatia, France, the Ivory Coast, Morocco and Saudi Arabia.