By TRAVIS CLARK
It didn't take long for Barcelona to jump head-first into the transfer market. With the offseason in its infancy, the Catalan club has already made a massive move with the acquisition of Spanish international David Villa.
The deal with Valencia, in the range of €40 million, comes with a four-year contract for the striker as Barcelona hopes to maintain its position at the top of La Liga.
Villa will arrive in Barcelona on Thursday evening, prior to undergoing a medical, and will be introduced on Friday.
Here are a few other stories for Wednesday evening:
Maradona names 23-man roster
After surprising some with his 30-man roster selection last week, Diego Maradona has wasted little time in whittling down his list of 23 players to take to South Africa. Leading the attack will be the usual suspects — Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuain and Carlos Tevez. Argentina will play Canada on Monday, May 24 before heading to South Africa on May 28.
Juventus names new coach
A seventh-place finish in Serie A meant that massive changes were on the horizons at Juventus, and those began in earnest Wednesday as former Sampdoria coach Luigi Del Neri was named manager. Del Neri takes over for Alberto Zaccheroni, who acted as caretaker after Ciro Ferrera was fired in January. Del Neri successfully led Sampdoria to fourth place in Serie A this past season and a spot in Champions League qualifying.
Essien hopes to be healthy for World Cup
Ghana's midfield linchpin Michael Essien is fighting to be healthy in time for the opener of his country's World Cup campaign. The Chelsea midfielder, injured during the African Cup of Nations, hasn't played since January, and his fate could be determined over the next few days as the Ghana FA is expected to meet with Chelsea to determine his fitness. Ghana is in Group D with Australia, Germany and Serbia.
What do you think of Barcelona's move for Villa? Is Fabregas on his way next? Can Juventus' new coach dig them out of the rut? What do you make of Maradona's roster? Can Essien get healthy?
Share your thoughts below.