Morning Ticker: Berbatov sweepstakes begin, no Olympics for ref slapper and Ronaldo has ankle surgery

Morning Ticker: Berbatov sweepstakes begin, no Olympics for ref slapper and Ronaldo has ankle surgery

European Soccer

Morning Ticker: Berbatov sweepstakes begin, no Olympics for ref slapper and Ronaldo has ankle surgery

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Dmitar_berbatov_ap

Good morning folks. I’m coming to you from sunny Florida and while this is technically a vacation, SBI never really goes on vacation so you can rest assured the posts will keep coming.

Let’s start the day off with some news and notes from the soccer world:

Chase for Berbatov in full swing

There have been plenty of big-money transfers already this summer but the most highly-sought-after forward on the market just might be Dimitar Berbatov, who looks set to leave Tottenham. The list of suitors includes Manchester United, Real Madrid and Barcelona.

His move is a key domino in what could be a chain reaction of transfers. If Berbatov leaves then Tottenham will be less likely to sell Robbie Keane, who appears poised to join Liverpool. Berbatov could also wind up being a consolation prize for the team that Cristiano Ronaldo doesn’t end up with between Man U and Real Madrid. Then there is Barcelona, which still needs to sell Ronaldinho and Samuel Eto’o to generate the transfer funds for a serious bid for either Berbatov or Emmanuel Adebayor.

Aussie keeper ban upheld

Australian goalkeeper Danny Vukovic will miss the Olympics after having his ban for striking (more like high-fiving) a referee in the Australian League final last winter. The final decision by the Court for Arbitration of Sport upheld FIFA’s decision to step in and enforce Vukovic’s 15-month suspension after the Australian federation had agreed to let Vukovic play in the Olympics.

For those of you who don’t remember the incidence in question, or never saw it, here it is:

Talk about harmless. The sad thing is that, as far as I know, the referee from that Australian League final was never reprimanded for completely blowing a late call that cost the Central Coast Mariners the title in that game (it was that call that led to that fracas that culminated with ‘The Hand Slap’.

Surgery for Cristiano Ronaldo

With the Man U-Real Madrid tug-of-war for his services still going on, Ronaldo has undergone right ankle surgery in the Netherlands and he may not be back in time for the start of the EPL (or La Liga) season.

Ramon Calderon continues to spend more time talking about Ronaldo than actual players on his current team, telling media on Sunday that he thinks Ronaldo will stay at Man U, but pointing out that there is still time for a deal to be made. All I know is that I wish I could be in the same room the next time Alex Ferguson and Calderon cross paths because it could be fun to watch.

There are plenty of other stories to discuss today so feel free to share your thoughts on these and any other soccer stories from this morning (or the weekend) in the comments section below.

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