Mid-Day Ticker: Martinez to Bayern done; Barca, Madrid hit with bans & more

Mid-Day Ticker: Martinez to Bayern done; Barca, Madrid hit with bans & more

European Soccer

Mid-Day Ticker: Martinez to Bayern done; Barca, Madrid hit with bans & more

JaviMartinez (Getty Images)

Javi Martinez is officially a Bayern Munich player.

After an on-again, off-again transfer saga, the Spanish international has completed his move from Athletic Bilbao to the German giants for a €40 million fee that was necessary to trigger a buy-out clause in his contract.

Martinez, a member of Spain's most recent World Cup, European championship and Olympic teams, signed a five-year deal with his new club and will provide a significant boost in central defense for a club looking to regain its place atop Germany after watching Borussia Dortmund win the Bundesliga title the last two seasons.

Here are a few more stories from around the soccer world:

VILANOVA, COENTRAO HIT WITH BANS

It has taken only a few games into Tito Vilanova's tenure as Barcelona manager for him to get well acquainted with the Spanish federation's disciplinary board.

Vilanova was given a two-match ban for being sent off after protesting a foul call in Barcelona's victory over Osasuna over the weekend. Barcelona is set to lodge an appeal for the ban, that will reportedly not prevent Vilanova from coaching in today's second leg of the Spanish SuperCopa against Real Madrid for it not being considered a serious offense.

The same cannot be said for Real Madrid left back Fabio Coentrao, who was given a four-match ban for his incident of dissent with a referee in the club's surprise loss to Getafe over the weekend. His actions were deemed to be serious, and he will be forced to miss the return leg at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, where Barcelona carries a 3-2 edge.

JUVENTUS MAKE LATE PLAY FOR BERBATOV

Just when it appeared that Dimitar Berbatov was headed to Fiorentina, Juventus have reportedly swooped in at the last minute to make a play for the Manchester United striker.

With new signing and Italian international Sebastian Giovinco being sidelined with an ankle injury suffered in last weekend's season opener, Juventus is in need of depth up top, making Berbatov a fit for the club. Reports earlier on Wednesday had suggested that Fiorentina and Manchester United had reached an agreement for Berbatov's transfer, but nothing was officially completed, and Juventus had an opportunity to come in with a better offer.

LUCAS OUT UP TO 3 MONTHS

Liverpool central midfielder Lucas is set for another long spell on the sidelines after suffering another knee injury that will keep him out for up to the next three months.

The 25-year-old Lucas missed a good portion of last season after undergoing knee surgery following a run of form that was his best since joining the club.

"It looks like he's going to be out for a few months – the indications are between 2-to-3. "It's quite a unique injury at the top of his right fem [femur]," Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers told the club's website. "He's had his scan, and he will see a specialist this evening and we'll see whether he needs an operation or whether it's just recuperation and we'll see how that evolves from there."

AC MILAN CLOSE IN ON BOJAN MOVE

With Brazilian forwards Alexandre Pato and Robinho on the shelf with injuries and Zlatan Ibrahimovic sold to Paris St.-Germain, AC Milan is in need an injection of talent up top, and the club has turned to former Barcelona product and current AS Roma forward Bojan Krkic.

Milan and Roma are reportedly deep into talks over the 22-year-old Bojan, who scored seven goals in his first season with Roma. 

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What do you think of the move for Bayern Munich? Are they the favorites to win the Bundesliga now? What do you make of the bans to Vilanova and Coentrao? What do you think of Juventus making a move for Berbatov? Disappointed to see Lucas on the shelf for an extended period of time yet again? Would Bojan be a good signing for Milan?

Share your thoughts below.

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