– The Canadiens have signed RFA G Carey Price to a 6-year/$39M contract extension. Price played 65 games for the Habs last season, posting a 26-28-11 record with a 2.43 GAA, a .916 SV% and four shutouts.
“It kind of made sense to me, It will take me to until I’m 30 years old and generally that’s about the peak of goaltenders, so I’m hoping by then to have a couple of Stanley Cups and have a good re-negotiation when I’m 30.”
– Updating a previous item, CSKA Moscow has reportedly signed F Alexander Radulov to a 4-year/$36.8M contract worth $9.2M per year.The 25-year-old re-joined the Preds in the final weeks of the 2011-2012 season after spending four years with Ufa Salavat Yulayev of the KHL. Radulov went on to appear in nine regular season games, contributing three goals and seven points. He also played in eight playoff games scoring once and adding five assists. He was also suspended for one second round playoff game by the Predators along-side teammate Andrei Kostitsyn for a violation of team rules. GM Sergei Federov said in a statement:
“Without any doubt Alexander is one of the most exciting Russian hockey players of the last few years. On the ice he differs from the rest with his great dedication, high speed, excellent vision of the ice and the goal scoring intelligence of an extra class sniper. “
– The Stars have acquired F Derek Roy from the Sabres for F Steve Ott and D Adam Pardy. Roy is entering the final year of his contract after underperforming last season for Buffalo. Following season-ending surgery to repair a torn quadriceps tendon in 2010-2011, Roy had 17 goals and 27 assists in 80 games last season. Ott had 11 goals and 28 assists in 74 games with the Stars last season. Pardy spent his first three seasons with Calgary before joining the Stars in 2011-12, recording four goals, 25 assists and 157 penalty minutes in 183 NHL games.
– The Jets have signed F Olli Jokinen to a 2-year/$9M contract. The 33-year-old had 23 goals and 38 assists this past season with the Flames. The market is thin on centres, and Winnipeg secured a top-six centre at a decent price. Jokinen has scored 20 or more goals in seven of his 14 NHL seasons.
– The Flames have signed F Jiri Hudler to a 4-year/$16M contract. Calgary continues to push for the playoffs, rather than rebuild. He scored 25 goals and 50 points in 81 games for the Red Wings last season.
– Free agent D Ryan Suter will not sign by Monday night, and may not make a decision in the immediate future. His agent, Neil Sheeshy said, “There will be no decision tonight out of Ryan and there’s no timetable for his contract signing at this time. He’s considering his opportunities and taking the necessary time and giving each one proper consideration.” Stay tuned.
– According to reports, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has reportedly decided to reduce Coyotes’ F Raffi Torres’ suspension by 4 games. Torres was originally given a 25-game suspension for his hit to the head of Blackhawks’ F Marian Hossa. When the Coyotes were eliminated from the playoffs, Torres had 12 games remaining on his suspension. He’ll now miss the first eight games of the 2012-13 season, causing him to forfeit $170,731.68 in salary. Bettman said in a statement:
“This type of on-ice conduct cannot and will not be tolerated in the National Hockey League. We have seen similar behaviour before from Mr. Torres and, particularly given the league’s heightened scrutiny on hits to the head, I believe that a very significant penalty is warranted in this case.
“We hope and expect that the severity of this incident, and the league’s response to it, will help prevent any similar incident from occurring in the future.”
– According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, UFA F Jaromir Jagr is interested in playing for the Canadiens. Jagr is reportedly seeking a 1-year/$4M contract.
– The Devils have re-signed G Johan Hedberg to a 2-year/$2.8M contract. The 39-year-old posted a 17-7-2 record with a 2.23 GAA and .918 SV% in 27 appearances with the Devils last season.
– The Flames have signed F Ben Street to a 2-year/2-way contract. Street spent the past two seasons with the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins of the AHL. The former ECHL rookie of the year recorded 27 goals and 57 points in 71 games last season.
– The Sharks have signed D Danny Groulx and F Bracken Kearns to 1-year contracts, and have re-signed D Matt Irwin and G Alex Stalock to 1-year deals. Groulx spent the past two seasons playing in Russia. He was named the top defender in the AHL in 2009-10 before leaving for the KHL. Kearns played five games with Florida last season. He also had 22 goals and 30 assists for San Antonio in the AHL. Irwin had 11 goals and 31 assists for Worcester last season and was picked for the AHL All-Star game. Stalock missed most of last season with an injured left leg. He played six games with Stockton in the ECHL and five games with Worcester and Peoria in the AHL. He went 8-2 overall.
– With WrestleMania 29 approximately 9 months away, WWE officials continue to lay out plans for the card’s top matches, including who current WWE Champion CM Punk will wrestle. Punk has been pushing hard behind the scenes to wrestle WWE Hall of Famer Steve Austin, but the latest is that there are no guarantees the match will take place. Austin has been very outspoken over the past year about the fact that he’s healthy to wrestle again–and if he did return, he’d want to wrestle CM Punk. That said, it’s far from a lock that Austin will return to the year. In fact, a WWE source recently stated that the possibility of Austin wrestling at WrestleMania 29 next year is still “more likely a no than a yes.”
– According to the F4WOnline, WWE is reportedly interested in wrestling legend Bruno Sammartino being the headline inductee for the 2013 Hall of Fame Class. WWE has already reached out to Sammartino, but no word yet as to whether the 76 year old former WWWF champion is interested. Sammartino has been very outspoken against Vince McMahon and WWE since the two sides had a bad falling out in the late 1980′s. WWE has reached out to Sammartino several times over the years (DVD projects, Hall of Fame, etc.) but so far, he’s been unwilling to bury the hatchet and has wanted nothing to do with WWE. Another name discussed for the 2013 Hall of Fame is Rena “Sable” Lesnar, wife of Brock Lesnar.
In regards to the report, wrestling convention promoter Sal Corrente issued the following statement on behalf of the legendary grappler to PWInsider.com:
“We understand that word has broken on the Internet regarding “The Living Legend” Bruno Sammartino being inducted in to the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013. Since word has broken publicly, I can confirm that we have been contacted. I have been asked by Bruno Sammartino to announce that he will NOT be inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013.”
– Kenn Doane clarified remarks he made during an interview with SEScoops.com where he implicated Lisa Marie Varon (currently known as Tara in TNA Wrestling and formerly known as Victoria in WWE) as being involved in an extramarital affair with John Cena while all three simultaneously worked on the Raw brand. As Varon stated last week during an interview with F4WOnline.com, she dated Cena in 2002 (when both were were single), not 2006 or 2007 (when both were not single) as Doane had implied.
“People keep asking bout the tara deal. Me confused why read my interview and realize the time frame in which I wrote it sounded like she was with [John Cena] then. I know she dated him in  and that’s what I meant to say. I’ve known tara since I first got to wwe and she wasn’t with him at the time when all my shiz was going down. I should of put more thought into her part of my story. I didn’t cuz didn’t think it needed to be elaborated. Tara never dated [John Cena] when I was there only in 02 which I should of made clear.”
“Granted nobody should ever think anything negative of tara. Why the fuck do we call her tara? Her name is lisa.”
Doane said that after girlfriend Mickie James admitted to him in 2007 that she was involved in an affair with Cena, he asked who he believed was Cena’s Diva “road” girlfriend at the time if she was aware of the matter (who he then implicated as Varon in the interview). According to Doane, the woman told him she believed the affair to be true after having been ‘recently’ dumped by Cena.
– Former WWE star Armando Estrada has announced that he was released from his WWE contract last week. He issued the following statement on Monday and acknowledged that many fans were probably not even aware that he had been working for WWE for the past year and a half.
“Espérate … Espérate … Espérate …
Everybody, listen to me!
I would like to take this opportunity to let everyone in the wrestling world know that on 6/27/12, I was released from my contract with WWE.
What’s that you say??? OH, you didn’t know (Road Dogg) I was under contract to WWE? Apparently, a lot of people (including members of creative) were not privy to that information. I have been “working” with World Wrestling Entertainment for almost 18 months. I was only used once during that time period, making a brief cameo as Tyson Kidd’s manager in May of last year. I was told I did a great job and to be patient. I have been patient for quite some time now while sitting at home “waiting for the call”.
It’s not fun, trust me. Numerous creative ideas/scenarios were submitted during my tenure and unfortunately nothing materialized for me. And although my talents were not utilized this time around, should I decide to return to WWE in the future, I firmly believe that door will be open. Timing is everything, not just in showbiz, but in life. Thank you to everyone in WWE!
For those promoters that would like to utilize my talents, believe me when I say, I am the MOST ENTERTAINING individual to step foot into the wrestling industry in the last decade (toot-toot)! If you would like to book me for wrestling shows, autograph signings/appearances, please do so at email@example.com (serious inquiries only). I will show up on time, in shape, and ready to perform for your audience.
You can also follow me on Twitter @RealArmandoHaHa. Thanks for your time….Oh yeah, 1 last thing. My name es ARMANDO ALEJANDRO ESTRRRADA and I will be making an #Impact soon………HA-HA! “
– To update the news of Brock Lesnar responding to Triple H’s SummerSlam challenge tonight on RAW, WWE is now advertising that Lesnar’s “camp” will respond on his behalf. As noted earlier in our RAW preview, neither Lesnar or Triple H are advertised/expected to appear live tonight.
– Maxine’s profile on WWE.com has been removed from the NXT talent index after the Tampa, Florida native announced Friday on Twitter that both parties have come to terms on her contract release. The profile now resides in the Alumni section. WWE, however, has not released an official statement regarding her departure from the organization. According to PWInsider.com, Maxine quit WWE due to frustrations with “not being offered a guaranteed deal and not having the chance to prove herself on TV beyond the WWE NXT level.” She continues a trend that began last year of female talent leaving WWE on their own accord, which includes Michelle McCool, Gail Kim, Maryse, Brie Bella and Nikki Bella.
– According to F4WOnline, there was talk in recent weeks of Cody Rhodes winning the SmackDown brand’s upcoming Money in the Bank match. Cody did not qualify on Friday’s SmackDown, but he is currently protesting WWE’s Board of Directors for a spot in the match. With more qualifying matches taking place on Tuesday’s live SmackDown special, expect to see Rhodes qualify tomorrow night.
– WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross has updated his blog, which you can read in its entirety at JRsBarBQ.com. Here are some highlights of what JR wrote about:
Pro Wrestling Bias: “I strongly dislike this unflattering trait that many in our society have. Perhaps that’s why acting, for some wrestlers, is a viable alternative for performers leaving the business. Society isn’t geared to afford many other opportunities for former wrestlers without them having a marketable skill set and especially without an education. ”
WWE’s Wellness Policy: “I’m not against two strikes and out being the benchmark.”
Austin, Goldberg & Batista Returning To WWE: “I get these Tweets daily, will @steveaustinBSR or @Goldberg ever return to WWE? I’m wondering why those asking don’t Tweet the talents themselves. Not everyone that has had a wrestling career wants to return to the grind. It’s not that glamorous. Same goes for @DaveBautista who’s also building a film career.”
– Christian recently spoke with the Corpus-Christi Caller to hype Tuesday’s live Smackdown from the city and spoke about the recent ankle sprain that kept him out of action for months and forced him to miss WrestleMania 28:
“After talking with a couple different doctors, they said that on a scale of 1-10 of the severity of the sprain, it was a 10. It was as bad as it could have possibly been,” Christian told the Corpus-Christi Caller newspaper promoting Tuesday’s live Smackdown taping. “It was a little bit frustrating to say the least, but it’s just one of those things where you got to get through it.”
Christian also said he hopes to hold the World Heavyweight championship again before he retires.
– WWE Hall of Famer Bret Hart is 55 years old today. He was born on July 2, 1957. Hart was asked by a fan on Twitter if he’ll be appearing at the upcoming RAW 1,000th episode celebration. He replied:
@ATweetFromScott Haven’t heard from them yet, but I expect a call soon
– WWE.com has posted the infamous video clip of Charlie Haas inadvertently knocking Lilian Garcia off the ring apron on the June 5, 2006 episode of Raw. Also featured in the video is Garcia screaming in pain before she is escorted to the backstage area by medical personnel. Garcia legitimately suffered a sprained wrist from the accident. One week later, the mishap was turned into a storyline, with Haas incurring the wrath of Viscera.
– According to F4WOnline, despite Dolph Ziggler jobbing to World Heavyweight champion Sheamus several times over the past few weeks, WWE reportedly has big things planned for Ziggler in the second half of 2012, and he is viewed as one of the top WWE superstars with breakout potential.
– According to the PWInsider, WWE has reached out to Hall of Famer Tammy “Sunny” Sytch in the last week about making an appearance building to or for the historic 1000th episode of Raw.
– The WWE Legend appearing on tonight’s RAW in a match against Heath Slater will be Diamond Dallas Page. After the DDP Yoga Facebook page teased that DDP was headed to Texas (RAW is from Laredo Texas), DDP is now telling fans on Twitter to “Watch Tonight.”
@RealDDP what have u been doing away from the ring. It been a long time since I seen u in a wrestling ring. Will u be back in a ring later.
@zach_longmire Watch tonight
The PWInsider is also reporting that DDP took American Airlines flight 3355 early today and landed in Laredo.
– The final part of “Cut That Promo” featuring former WWE superstar John Morrison and TNA Gutcheck reject Joey Ryan is now online. The footage was originally Filmed on June 7th during the 10th Annual Los Angeles Improv Comedy Festival at IO West. The earlier parts can be viewed at host Christian Rosenberg’s Youtube channel. Here’s the 6th and final part:
– According to F4WOnline, expect to see at least one more wrestler added to the RAW brand’s Money in the Bank match. WWE.com is teasing:
“Thus far, John Cena, Big Show, Chris Jericho and Kane are the only competitors announced for the contest, but we’d be surprised if a former champion or two didn’t rear his head from an unexpected location and throw his hat (so to speak) into the mix.”
– Yoshi Tatsu turned 35 years old on Sunday.
– In Episode 23 of “WWE Download” with Dolph Ziggler: “Dolph Ziggler explores Kieth Apicary’s dating methods and admits that Zack Ryder might be a little less of a nerd. #WWEDOWNLOAD”
– According to reports, the Nets and Hawks have agreed to a trade sending F Joe Johnson to the Nets, and the deal is not contingent upon G Deron Williams signing with Brooklyn. Yahoo! Sports and CBSSports.com are both reporting that the deal will go through with or without Williams, but Nets’ officials were meeting with him and told him about the trade as it was completed. The Nets will give up the expiring contracts of F Jordan Williams, F Johan Petro, G Jordan Farmar and F Anthony Morrow, a signed-and-traded G DeShawn Stevenson, and a protected 2013 1st-round pick. Atlanta was desperately trying to drop JJ’s remaining 4-years/$90M, while the Nets did well to retain G MarShon Brooks and G Gerald Green–both of whom Atlanta wanted–all while keeping their mid-level exception to use on coveted prospect Mirza Teletovic.
Meanwhile, the Nets’ trade for Johnson has essentially eliminated them from acquiring Magic’ F Dwight Howard. Brooklyn shed a number of expiring contracts, as well as a 1st-rounder, limiting the number of assets they can move in the deal. The team is also up against the cap with the moves they’ve made–and are still to make–via free agency. Howard has said that he won’t sign an extension with anyone other than the Nets, and would rather play out the season and become a UFA next summer. Still, Orlando will likely auction him off to the highest bidder to maximize their return. Stay tuned.
– The Hawks have reportedly reached an agreement with the Jazz that will send F Marvin Williams to Utah for G Devin Harris. Atlanta successfully shed some salary in the move. Harris will challenge Jeff Teague for the starting point guard job. Harris’ health remains the key to this trade, as he’s solid when healthy, but is often sitting on the sidelines. Harris, an All-Star in 2009, played in 63 games for Utah last year and averaged 11.4 points and 5.0 assists per game–his lowest totals since the 2006-07 season. Williams, the second overall pick in the 2005 draft, has spent his entire seven-year career in Atlanta and owns career overages of 11.5 points and 5.3 rebounds.
– The Pacers and RFA G George Hill have agreed to a 5-year contract. Hill is expected to serve in a similar role that he did last season.
– Free agent Nicolas Batum has narrowed his choices down to the Timberwolves and Blazers, and has postponed all future visits, according to CSNNW. Batum’s had a positive meeting with the Wolves, but Portland can match any offer Batum signs.
– Clippers’ F Lamar Odom (rest) has opted against playing in the Olympics this summer, and will prepare for next season instead. The 32-year-old is coming off his worst season in the league.
– Hornets’ F Anthony Davis (sprained left ankle) has a left ankle sprain that must be evaluated later this week before he can be cleared to practice with the U.S. team. Davis hurt his ankle at the team’s training centre in Westwego on Saturday, and Hornets spokesman Harold Kaufman said on Monday that the club considers Davis status for resuming training as day to day.
– The Cavaliers have waived G Manny Harris. Harris made five starts for Cleveland last season, averaging 6.7 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 26 games.
– Phillies’ GM Ruben Amaro Jr. told FOX Sports that he’s still hoping to sign LHP Cole Hamels to a long-term deal. ”Our goal is the same as it has been from the beginning. To sign him and keep him long-term in a Phillies uniform.” Hamels is currently scheduled to become a free agent five days after the conclusion of the 2012 World Series. His current return price is believed to be a four or five-prospect package.
– Dodgers’ OF Matt Kemp (hamstring) will begin a rehab assignment with High-A Rancho Cucamonga Tuesday. Kemp has been running on the field without incident. Kemp should be ready immediately after the All-Star break.
– Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch told a local radio program Monday morning that Cardinals’ OF Lance Bekrman (meniscus tear in right knee) is targeting a return shortly after the All-Star break. Berkman has been on the DL since undergoing surgery in late May. He’s been working out at his home in Houston for the past month, and doesn’t feel like he’ll need a minor league rehab assignment.
– Braves’ RHP Ben Sheets could be added to the starting rotation shortly after the All-Star break, according to the Atlanta Constitution-Journal. Sheets is scheduled to throw 75 pitches in his debut for Double-A Mississippi on Wednesday, then roughly 90 pitches in a start after that. The 34-year-old signed a minor league contract with Atlanta over the weekend. He hasn’t appeared in a major league game since 2010.
– Orioles’ LHP Dontrelle Willis has announced his retirement. Willis, 30, has posted an ugly 8.53 ERA in four appearances (one start) this season with the O’s Triple-A affiliate. The two two-time All-Star and 2003 Rookie of the Year award winner will finish his career at age 30 with 72 wins and a 4.17 ERA. Willis won just 26 games and had 5.02 ERA over his final six seasons in the majors pitching for Florida, Detroit, Arizona and Cincinnati. His final appearance in the majors came on Sept. 25, 2011, when he beat Pittsburgh 5-4 for his only victory of the 2011 season with the Reds. Willis had a 72-69 career record with a 4.17 ERA. He was also one of baseball’s best hitting pitchers during his time in the majors, batting .244 with nine homers and 39 RBIs Manager Buck Showalter said,
“(It’s) kind of sad in a way because of how good he was. I look at it from the game of baseball. We’ll see what the future holds for him. I appreciate him giving it a shot with us.”
– Yankees’ 2B Robinson Cano has asked Blue Jays’ OF Jose Bautista, Tigers’ 1B Prince Fielder and Angels’ DH Mark Trumbo to join him on the AL side for the All-Star home run derby. Cano announced the invitations Monday, a day after rosters were announced for the All-Star game July 10 in Kansas City. Dodgers’ OF Matt Kemp said Sunday he invited Cardinals’ OF Carlos Beltran, Rockies’ OF Carlos Gonzalez and Marlins’ OF Giancarlo Stanton to join him on the NL side. Kemp is on the disabled list because of a strained left hamstring. He is unlikely to play in the game, but is the NL captain for the derby and wants to take part.
– Yankees’ RHP Joba Chamberlain (left ankle) said he is scheduled to throw in a simulated game on Friday. Chamberlain threw a pair of 20-pitch segments Monday during his third batting practice session at the team’s minor league complex.
“Especially after today with the way I felt, the way my command was, I 100 per cent believe I can get big league hitters out right now. That’s half the battle, saying you can do it. We’re over that hump. I felt like today was my best day, overall.”
“Everything is good. The ankle is taken care of. The ankle is fine. My elbow is, obviously, great. I just have to continue to maintain those two good feelings and get back into some games.”
Chamberlain dislocated his right ankle bouncing on a trampoline with his son March 22 and expects to see game action within two weeks. The right-hander was coming back from elbow ligament-replacement surgery at the time of the ankle injury.
– Orioles’ OF Nick Markakis (hamate bone surgery) took batting practice Monday in Aberdeen, Maryland. It was his first batting practice session since undergoing hamate bone surgery on June 1. He’s still expected to be out until after the All-Star break.
– Cubs’ RHP Ryan Dempster (lat) threw 40 pitches during a bullpen session Monday. Barring setbacks, he should return right after the All-Star break. He remains a trade candidate entering the July 31 non-waiver deadline.
– Athletics’ LHP Dallas Braden (shoulder) threw a 20-pitch bullpen session Monday. It’s the first time he’s thrown from a mound since he had a setback during spring training. Braden threw all fastballs and looked “real good,” according to manager Bob Melvin. Braden could return as early as August.
– Cubs’ 3B Ian Stewart (left wrist) will undergo surgery and miss 6-10 weeks, likely ending his season. Stewart struggled in 55 games this season, batting just .201/.292/.335 with five home runs and 17 RBI. He’s eligible for arbitration heading into 2013.
– The Mariners have signed 1st-round pick C Mike Zunino. The 21-year-old was selected No. 3 overall in June’s First-Year Player Draft. Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports that he’ll get a $4M bonus, which is $1.2M under MLB’s slot recommendation for the pick. Zunino helped Florida reach the College World Series and concluded the season hitting .322 with 19 homers and 67 RBIs.
– Angelina Love, who was granted a release from TNA over the weekend, thanked her fans on Twitter on Monday morning:
Wow!!! Woke up to an overwhelming outpour of love and support from my fans and peers! I appreciate (cont) tl.gd/i4p1do
Hulk Hogan also tweeted the following about Love’s TNA departure:
@MizzHogan @HulkHogan How could you let Angelina Love go? She’s the best…you’re really killing the Knockouts division.
@VonErichVIP @JayCharles24 it’s not our decision,who works at TNA is a decision that comes from the TNA office in Nashville, HH
FUCK YOU @HulkHogan you have ruined TNA, @TNADixie I CANT BELIEVE YOU STAND BY AND LET THIS HAPPEN bring back Angelina Love
@shanedraper92 Love leaving is not my decision. HH
– Bucs’ RCB Eric Wright was arrested on suspicion of DUI early Monday morning in Los Angeles. According to the LA Times, Wright was involved in an “injury accident,” but he himself escaped without injury. He was arrested after refusing to submit to a breathalyzer or field sobriety test. The driver of the other vehicle isn’t believed to be seriously hurt. He joins Tampa’s other starting corner, LCB Aqib Talib, as suspension risks entering the season.
– The Broncos have agreed to terms with franchise player K Matt Prater on a 4-year contract worth more than $3M per season. Prater hit four walkoff field goals, and converted 3-of-4 kicks from beyond 50 yards.
– Falcons’ RBs coach Gerald Brown hinted that RB Michael Turner’s workload will be reduced this season. Since coming to Atlanta four years ago, Turner has averaged 20.1 carries per game. After turning 30 in February and showing signs of wear in each of the last two seasons, his touches should drop considerably in order to keep him effective. “We discussed the possibility of making sure that we monitor his reps so that he can stay strong for us through the season and into December. We feel very good about Jason Snelling and Jacquizz (Rodgers), too.”
– According to the Palm Beach Post, Dolphins’ rookie QB Ryan Tannehill is “not in the running” for the starting quarterback job heading to training camp. Beat writer Brian Biggane notes that Tannehill has been making “untimely mistakes, particularly when throwing into traffic.” Biggane also expects Tannehill to “continue his apprenticeship as the No. 3 guy.” The Week 1 job will likely come down to David Garrard and Matt Moore.
– According to the MLSSoccer, the Impact have confirmed making an offer to Italian defender Alessandro Nesta, who spent the past 10 seasons with AC Milan of Italy’s Serie A, one of the top soccer leagues in the world. An earlier report from Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport suggesting a deal for the centre-back was already completed was denied by the Impact, according to MLS. If Nesta joins Montreal, he would once again team up with recent Impact acquisition Marco Di Vaio. The two broke into professional football together with Italian club Lazio in 1993. Nesta has appeared in 417 Serie A games with Lazio and Milan between 1993 and 2012. He has also made 78 appearance with Italy’s national team. He was part of Italy’s 2006 World Cup-winning squad, however an injury earlier in the tournament kept him out of the final game.
– AC Milan defender Thiago Silva has signed a 5-year contract extension worth C6 million euros ($7.6M) annually, keeping him at the Serie A club until June 2017. Silva appeared to be on the verge of a big-money transfer to Paris Saint-Germain last month. However, Milan confirmed the Brazil international signed a new contract on Monday. The 27-year-old’s previous contract was set to run out in 2016. Milan turned down an offer from PSG for a reported C40 million ($5M), plus C10 million ($12.5M) in bonuses for him. He has been at Milan since 2009 and helped the team win the Serie A title in 2011.
– Brazilian right back Rafael Da Silva has signed a new 4-year contract with Manchester United through the summer of 2016. The 21-year-old established himself as a regular in United’s first team by the end of last season, earning him a call-up to his national squad. United manager Alex Ferguson described Rafael on Monday as “one of the club’s brightest young prospects” and tipped him to “become one of the best full backs in the world.” Rafael, who moved to Old Trafford in 2008, says “my time here has been unbelievable; winning two league titles, a League Cup and a Club World Cup has made me hungry for more trophies.”
– Aston Villa has signed Morocco international midfielder Karim El Ahmadi on a 3-year contract from Dutch league runner-up Feyenoord. The 27-year-old has agreed a deal at Villa Park until the end of the 2014-15 season and says he’s “looking forward to doing good things with the team and with the club this year.” He says Aston Villa “should be competing in the top half of the table.” Villa finished a disappointed 16th in the Premier League last season, leading to Alex McLeish being fired as manager by American owner Randy Lerner and replaced with Lambert.