Mid-Day Ticker: Pepe faces discipline, Shangai pursuing Drogba and more

Mid-Day Ticker: Pepe faces discipline, Shangai pursuing Drogba and more

European Soccer

Mid-Day Ticker: Pepe faces discipline, Shangai pursuing Drogba and more

Pepe reuters

It's no wonder why Pepe is nicknamed "The Butcher."

The Real Madrid defender, who is either known for physical play or malicious attacks on his opponents depending on who you talk to, could face disciplinary action for deliberately stomping on Lionel Messi's hand during yesterday's Clasico. The Portuguese international had already been booked in the first half of the quarterfinals of the Copa del Rey.

Neither Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola or Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho said they saw the incident but Mourinho is willing to discipline Pepe if he deems the stamp intentional.

Pepe was sent off in last season's Champions League semifinal against Barcelona and could be in danger of missing the return leg of the quarterfinal, which kicks off next Wednesday. Yesterday's defeat was the ninth loss in 13 matches for Madrid against their bitter rivals.

Here are some more stories to kick off your Thursday.

SHANGHAI CONFIDENT OF DROBA DEAL

The clearance sale at Chelsea could continue this January as reports out of China suggest Shanghai Shenhua are in serious talks to sign Didier Drogba. Shenhua and Chelsea have already done business during the winter transfer window when Nicolas Anelka left to become the highest-paid player in the Chinese Super League.

Drogba is in the final year of his contract and his future at Stamford Bridge has been uncertain since talks to extend his deal broke down a few weeks ago. Drogba, who is currently playing in the African Cup of Nations, has had to share playing time with striker Fernando Torres and has scored only six goals in all competitions this season. A deal could be in place as early as Monday.

SIMPSON JOINS YOUNG BOYS

Canadian midfielder Josh Simpson has signed with Swiss club Young Boys on a free transfer and is already training with the club. The 28-year-old terminated his contract with Turkish club Manisaspor after they failed to pay his wages. Simpson has appeared in three Gold Cups for Canada.

COLEMAN APPOINTED WALES MANAGER

Chris Coleman has officially taken over as Wales manager, the Welsh FA announced Thursday. The former Fulham manager replaces the late Gary Speed after his untimely death in November. Coleman said the appointment was bittersweet and he will hope to carry on Wales recent resurgence. The appointment has been met with some resistence as captain Aaron Ramsey expressed concern that the players were not consulted on the appointment.

LEVERKUSEN DENY BERBATOV INTEREST

Bayer Leverkusen have dismissed rumors they are interested in signing Dimitar Berbatov during the January transfer window. The Manchester United striker had been heavily linked with a move to the Bundesliga with Leverkusen and Bayern Munich the most likely targets.  Berbatov's agent, Emil Danchev, has said no transfer is likely during the next two weeks.

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What do you think of today's news? Should Pepe be punished? Can you see Drogba leaving Chelsea so suddenly? Still expect Berbatov to leave despite the dismissal?

Share your thoughts below.

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