Lilian Thuram, the former France defender who played in the 1998 World Cup-winning team, announced his retirement yesterday. The 36-year-old had expected to join Paris St-Germain on a one-year deal but a heart problem was spotted during a medical examination in June.
"The doctors thought I had a heart problem, it is not the case. I do not have the illness. However, it is difficult for me to continue. I would have liked to sign with PSG [but] I prefer not to take risks," he said. Despite being reassured about his medical condition, Thuram, pictured, ended his career. "I talked to my mother, who advised me not to continue. My family wants me to stop. I did not want them to worry."
Last month, Thuram explained that one of his brothers, Antonio, had died of a heart attack while playing basketball and that other members of his family suffered from heart problems. "I was not expecting to end my career like this. I would have liked to have been the Paolo Maldini of PSG but sadly it will not be possible," he said, referring to the 40-year-old Milan captain who is set to play for one more season. Thuram announced his international retirement after France's group-stage exit from Euro 2008 this summer. He won a record 142 caps.
Guzan lays down Friedel challenge
American goalkeeper Brad Guzan is ready to fight countryman Brad Friedel for the goalkeeper's jersey at Aston Villa this season after being granted a work permit to complete his move to the Premier League. Villa agreed the deal for the 23-year-old United States international last month and he will join from Chivas USA. He is expected to begin his career in England as deputy to Friedel, who moved to Villa Park from Blackburn last weekend. Guzan believes he can challenge Friedel for selection despite the 37-year-old having amassed over 250 top-flight appearances for Blackburn and Liverpool. "I am going to go in there and work as hard as I can, learn as much as I can and try and become a better player and help the team in any way I can," Guzan said.
Ipswich revive interest in Nugent
*Portsmouth misfit David Nugent will be given another chance to join Ipswich Town. Pompey have yet to receive a bid for the striker, who cost £6m last summer but made only eight first-team starts and did not score a goal in the Premier League. The Ipswich manager, Jim Magilton, said he is reviving his interest despite Nugent turning down a loan move to Portman Road last season. Magilton said: "He is someone I know could take us to where we want to go."
Palacios signs deal to stay at Wigan
Wigan midfielder Wilson Palacios has signed a new deal at the JJB Stadium. The Honduran impressed after following manager Steve Bruce from Birmingham in January and, along with team-mate Antonio Valencia, was rumoured to be attracting attention from the Premier League's big guns. But Palacios yesterday signed a new deal. The 24-year-old said: "Why would I want to leave Wigan? I've enjoyed every minute and I love the fans."
*YESTERDAY'S COMPLETED MOVES
Luciano Becchio (Merida) to Leeds: Undisclosed
Luke Daniels (West Bromwich) to Shrewsbury: Loan
Rhys Evans (unattached) to Bradford: Signed
Scott Guyett (unattached) to Bournemouth: Signed
Andy Kirk (Yeovil) to Dunfermline: Free
Chris Palmer (unattached) to Walsall: Signed
Tommy Lee (unattached) to Chesterfield: Signed
Marco Reich (unattached) to Walsall: Signed
Shwan Jalal (Peterborough) to Bournemouth: Loan
Jason Lee (unattached) to Mansfield: Signed
Gary Silk (unattached) to Mansfield: Signed
Matt Somner (unattached) to Mansfield: Signed
Curtis Weston (Leeds) to Gillingham: Loan