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Sneijder seals move to Galatasaray
Dutch playmaker Wesley Sneijder signed a 3-1/2 year contract with Istanbul club Galatasaray on Tuesday after leaving Inter Milan and rejecting moves to higher-profile leagues. Reports said teams including Premier League Liverpool were also interested in the 28-year-old, who inspired Inter Milan to a Champions League, Serie A and Italian Cup treble in 2010 before helping the Netherlands finish as World Cup runner-up.
Yanga Mbiwa to join Newcastle United
Newcastle United's French shopping spree continued on Tuesday when it signed France and Montpellier defender Mapou Yanga Mbiwa and Girondins Bordeaux forward Yoan Gouffran. French champion Montpellier said on its website that Yanga Mbiwa's transfer to the Premier League side was agreed pending the completion of a medical. Yanga Mbiwa, 23, has won three caps and is regarded as one of the top centerbacks in France.
Boca gains Martinez after losing Riquelme
Boca Juniors has made up for the permanent loss of Juan Roman Riquelme with the biggest signing of Argentina's mid-season recess. Argentina forward Juan Manuel "Burrito" Martinez completed his transfer from South American champion Corinthians of Brazil when he was presented officially to the media in Buenos Aires on Tuesday. The 27-year-old Martinez won three Argentine league titles with Velez Sarsfield between 2005 and 2011.
Federer skips Swiss Davis Cup opener
Davis Cup champion the Czech Republic will not have to worry about facing Roger Federer in the opening round of its defense after he was left out of Switzerland's team for the Geneva tie. The 17-time Grand Slam champion played twice for his country last year but has decided to sit out the Czech clash. Tomas Berdych will spearhead the Czech challenge in the tie taking place from Feb 1-3.
Froome likely to lead Sky on Tour: Wiggins
Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins has hinted that fellow Briton Chris Froome is likely to replace him as Team Sky leader for this year's race, which is expected to favor the pure climbers. Wiggins, whose main target in 2013 is to add the Giro d'Italia title to his list of honors in his quest to retire having won all three grand Tours (France, Italy and Spain), insisted he would not race as Froome's domestique, however.
China Grand Rally set for September
Aimed at becoming China's version of the Dakar Rally, the China Grand Rally, organized by the Federation of Automobile Sports of China, CCTV and China Equity Group, will roar off in September and last 16 days. Covering 10,000 km, the off-road rally will stretch from Beijing through Hebei, Shanxi, Inner Mongolia, Gansu, Qinghai and Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region and include 10 special stages that will be a combined total length of 4,000 km. About 300 vehicles will traverse desert, wasteland, dry river beds and valleys.
Reuters - China Daily
(China Daily 01/24/2013 page23)