Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 29th 2013 Contents A59
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LONDON---Gareth Bale is close
to becoming the world s most
expensive footballer after Totten-
ham manager Andre Villas-Boas
said yesterday that the forward s
drawn-out transfer to Real
Madrid could happen "very, very
The Wales international has until
Monday to complete his move to
the Spanish capital during the
summer transfer window.
But, despite Bale having around
three years remaining on his Tot-
tenham contract, the Premier
League club is willing to sell its
star player having spent the off-
season strengthening the squad in
readiness for his exit.
Villas-Boas said Bale s deal is
likely to be "the biggest transfer
in world football," exceeding the
93 million euros (US$124 million)
Madrid paid for Cristiano Ronaldo
four years ago.
"At the moment, the two clubs
are speaking---Tottenham and Real
Madrid---to outline the final deci-
sions or statements of contracts,"
Villas-Boas said. "I am not sure
how much time it will take. It could
happen very, very soon.
"But it might not happen so
soon, so I suppose it could go to
the last days or it could happen in
the next two days."
It was the first time Tottenham
had publicly acknowledged that
the widely anticipated move is
drawing to a conclusion.
Although Villas-Boas said "if it
happens, we wish him all the best,"
Tottenham is unhappy that Bale
hasn t attended training as required
on Tuesday and yesterday.
"The fact that he hasn t turned
up is not the correct behavior ...
and it s up to the club to decide
if it s a fineable offense," Villas-
Bale has not played for Totten-
ham this season, with Villas-Boas
previously saying that a foot injury
kept him out of the three matches
But Wales coach Chris Coleman
yesterday named Bale in the squad
for a pair of upcoming World Cup
"Unless we re told he s unavail-
able, then he s very much in our
plans," Coleman said.
Wales will play at Macedonia
on September 6 and then host Ser-
bia four days later.
"It s not been easy for (Bale),
there s a lot of pressure on him,"
Coleman said. "But he s the type
of lad that is very unassuming, he
has a calm personality, he s very
grounded. I would imagine he
wants it concluded like everybody
striker Erik Lamela is
joining Tottenham in a
move that could see the
Premier League club
break its transfer record.
Roma announced yes-
terday that it had agreed
to sell the Argentina
international to Totten-
ham for 30 million euros
(US$40 million), with the
fee potentially rising by
5 million euros (US$7
million) depending on his
success at the London
Lamela joined Roma
two years ago and while
he excelled at times in
front of goal, he had to
endure two rocky sea-
sons marked by multiple
coaching changes and
changing styles of play.
"Perhaps I wasn t able
to do everything that I
could have and would
have wanted to, although
it s also true that in terms
ZURICH---Two years after a Turk-
ish match-fixing scandal broke,
Fenerbahce has been expelled from
the Europa League and barred from
qualifying for next season s Cham-
The Court of Arbitration for Sport
said yesterday it dismissed the 18-
time Turkish champion s appeal
against a two-year competition ban
imposed by UEFA.
"Pursuant to the UEFA decision,
which is now confirmed by the CAS,
Fenerbahce is excluded from two edi-
tions of the UEFA club competitions,"
the court said in a statement.
CAS also confirmed Metalist
Kharkiv s expulsion from the Cham-
pions League in another old fixing
case involving national league matches.
Detailed reasons for the urgent rulings
will be published later.
Fenerbahce pledged to challenge the
verdict at Switzerland s supreme court,
where Metalist has already filed an
appeal. Swiss federal judges can inter-
vene if legal process was abused.
"We are determined to continue our
legal struggle until the end at every
(available) platform," the Istanbul club
said in a statement.
Still, the CAS panel s judgment
immediately removes Fenerbahce from
the group stage of the Europa League.
Fenerbahce was due to join the sec-
ond-tier competition after being elim-
inated by Arsenal in the Champions
League playoffs on Tuesday.
UEFA said its emergency panel,
chaired by President Michel Platini,
will meet today in Monaco to "decide
on the consequences" of Fenerbahce s
expulsion from the Europa League.
UEFA expelled Fenerbahce in June
after judging that club officials, who
were convicted of corruption in a crim-
inal trial, helped fix matches to win
the 2011 Turkish league title.
Fenerbache s president, Aziz
Yildirim, and others continue to deny
wrongdoing and have appealed their
Fenerbahce hinted yesterday at a
plot against the club, suggesting "a
bargaining process took place on the
penalty Fenerbahce should receive."
Platini has long warned of the threat
match-fixing poses to football s integri-
ty, and UEFA rules bar clubs from its
competitions which are implicated in
fixing matches played since April 2007.
UEFA agreed to let Fenerbahce play
Champions League matches this sea-
son pending the CAS verdict.
Two years ago, the Turkish Football
Federation---reportedly under pressure
from UEFA---withdrew Fenerbahce
from the group stage of the Champions
League as detailed allegations emerged.
Metalist was disqualified by UEFA
this month after advancing to the play-
off round. Its previous opponent,
PAOK Thessaloniki, was reinstated
and then eliminated on Tuesday by
Schalke. PAOK now enters the Europa
of the squad we lacked
something," Lamela said,
speaking to reporters at
an airport in Rome
before boarding a flight
Tottenham first broke
its transfer record in July
to sign Brazil midfielder
Paulinho from Corinthi-
ans for 20 million euros
(then US$26 million).
That fee was eclipsed
by Tottenham meeting
the 30 million euros ($40
million) release clause to
sign Spain striker Rober-
to Soldado from Valen-
cia.France defensive mid-
fielder Etienne Capoue
has also signed for
around 11 million euros
(US$15 million) from
Toulouse, and winger
Nacer Chadli arrived for
around 8 million euros
(US$11 million) from FC
Tottenham s spending
is just short of 100 mil-
lion euros (US$133 mil-
lion), the amount Real
Madrid could pay to
bring Gareth Bale from
White Hart Lane in a
that is being negotiated.
CAS expels Fenerbahce
from Europa League
Roma agrees to sell striker
Lamela to Tottenham
Villas-Boas: Bale could
be at Madrid 'very soon'
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