Morning Ticker: Still no deal for Podolski, Diarra out for season, Three-way tie in Argentina

Morning Ticker: Still no deal for Podolski, Diarra out for season, Three-way tie in Argentina

South American Soccer

Morning Ticker: Still no deal for Podolski, Diarra out for season, Three-way tie in Argentina

Lukas Podolski (AFP) 

The long and drawn-out Lukas Podolski transfer saga rages on, with no transfer in sight and still no official word on what it will mean to Landon Donovan's potential move to Bayern Munich.

The German champions rejected an undisclosed offer for Podolski from Cologne, Podolski's old club. Bayern Munich wouldn't reveal what the offer was, saying only that it was well below the $12.7 million Bayern Munich paid for Podolski in 2006.

As far as Donovan is concerned, neither Bayern Munich or MLS has made any official statement regarding the expected loan move he is set to make this January, with Bayern only going as far as to say that the club is in talks with MLS about a longer-term deal than a potential two-month stay.

Something tells me Bayern Munich won't pull the trigger on a Donovan offer until and unless the club succeeds in selling Podolski for the right price.

Here are some other stories to get your day started:

Diarra out for season as Real Madrid woes mount

Real Madrid's nightmare season continued last weekend after word that Malian midfielder Mahamadou Diarra will miss the rest of the season, and between six-to-nine months, after major knee surgery.

Diarra's right knee injury is not only a major blow to Real Madrid, which sits a disappointing fifth in La Liga, but also for Mali, which could be without his services for several World Cup qualifying matches.

Boca ties, San Lorenzo and Tigres win

If you are a fan of late-season drama, then look no further than the Argentine League, where three teams head into the final week of the Apertura season tied on points. Boca Juniors settled for a scoreless draw against Gimnasia La Plata, while San Lorenzo posted a 4-1 victory against Independiente.

Tigres pulled of the most stunning result of the weekend, fighting back from a two-goal deficit to post a 3-2 victory and give itself a chance at winning the championship next weekend.

Boca Juniors meets Colon next weekend while San Lorenzo faces Argentinos Juniors. Tigres meets Banfield. San Lorenzo holds the edge in goal difference heading into the final weekend.

Toluca and Cruz Azul reach Mexican final

In the end, Cuauhtemoc Blanco couldn't muster any magic and Santos Laguna couldn't manage one more upset to reach the Mexican Apertura final as the No. 8 seed.

Toluca's stalwart defense proved too much for Santos as goals from Edgar Duenas and Hector Mancilla cancelled out an Edgar Castillo goal and provided the difference in a 2-1 second-leg victory for Toluca after the team's tied, 0-0, in the first leg.

Cruz Azul, which list in the Clausura final earlier this year to Santos Laguna, posted a 1-1 tie for a 4-2 aggregate series victory against Atlante on Saturday.

The two-leg final will begin later this week.

He said what?

From the "No he didn't really say that" department comes this comment from Bayern Munich general manager Uli Hoeness about upstart Bundesliga leaders TSG Hoffenheim.

"They have done some sensational work, but without the financial support, they would still be in the second or third division," Hoeness said of Hoffenheim, referring to billionaire owner Dietmar Hopp.

"You can only employ scouts when you have the money for it."

Is that Bayern Munich complaining about a team spending its way to the top? Really? How do you say "Pot calling the kettle black" in German?

What do you think of the above stories? Do you think Podolski will move this winter? Have you given up on a permanent Donovan move to Bayern? Are you starting to believe that Sir Alex Ferguson put a voodoo hex on Real Madrid because of all the Cristiano Ronaldo tampering? Who do you see finishing on top in the crazy Argentine League race?

Share your thoughts below.

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