Mid-Day Ticker: Van Persie set for debut, Bale's status in doubt & more

Mid-Day Ticker: Van Persie set for debut, Bale's status in doubt & more

International Soccer

Mid-Day Ticker: Van Persie set for debut, Bale's status in doubt & more

Van Persie (Getty)

By THOMAS FLOYD

Manchester United fans won't have to wait long to see Robin Van Persie in a Red Devils uniform.

Manager Sir Alex Ferguson said he is confident Van Persie, signed Wednesday on a transfer from Arsenal, will be cleared and ready to play when United kick off their English Premier League season Monday against Everton.

"We hope all the things will be tied up, although sometimes medicals do take a bit longer," Ferguson said. "I am sure he will be available for Monday's game."

With a wealth of talent up top, including Van Persie, Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez, Ferguson said the club now boasts "a fantastic collection of players, and hopefully I pick the right combinations."

Here are some more items to keep your Thursday going:

BALE'S STATUS IN DOUBT FOR OPENER

Tottenham winger Gareth Bale's availability for the club's EPL opener Saturday at Newcastle is in doubt after he left Wale's 2-0 loss against Bosnia-Herzegovina with a back injury.

The player, though, remains optimistic.

"It was a bit sore when I landed on it, but it wasn’t too bad," he said. "I will be fine and I just have to get myself ready for the weekend."

BARCA OFFICIALS IN LONDON TO NEGOTIATE SONG DEAL

Barcelona officials have reportedly traveled to London to negotiate a deal to acquire Arsenal midfielder Alex Song.

The price for the Cameroon international, who has three years remaining on his contract and has been pushing for a pay raise, is said to be nearly $20 million.

STRIKER SAHA SIGNS WITH SUNDERLAND

Sunderland bolstered its forward corps Thursday, adding 34-year-old free agent striker Louis Saha, a former French national team regular who has spent time with Everton and Tottenham.

"Louis is a striker whose abilities have been proven at the very highest level and he brings with him a raft of experience of top-flight football,'' manager Martin O'Neill said.

MANCHESTER CITY TO OPEN STATISTICS ARCHIVE

Manchester City on Friday will open the clubs' in-depth, Bill James-inspired statistical archive, providing data on every player on every team from every game in the Premier League last season.

"Somewhere in the world there is football's Bill James, who has all the skills and wants to use them but hasn't got the data," said Gavin Fleig, the head of performance analysis at City. "We want to help find that Bill James, not necessarily for Manchester City but for the benefit of analytics in football."

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Are you excited to see Van Persie make his Manchester United debut? Should Tottenham fans be worried about Bale? How much of a boost does Saha give Sunderland?

Share your thoughts below.

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