Coutinho gets loan deal at Bayern
MUNICH • Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich have signed Barcelona midfielder Philippe Coutinho on loan for the season, the two clubs confirmed yesterday, with the player hoping for better times than his Barca stint.
Bayern will pay a loan fee of €8.5 million (S$13.07 million) and pay his full wages. They have the option of making the deal permanent for €120 million.
Coutinho joined Barcelona in January last year for £142 million (S$238.8 million), then the world's third-most expensive transfer, but failed to hit the heights at the Nou Camp as he did with Liverpool.
Young Harimoto earns first title of the year
TOKYO • Japan's Tomokazu Harimoto defeated China's Zhao Zihao in the men's final of the Bulgaria Open on Sunday, claiming his first title on the ITTF World Tour this season.
After losing a close exchange in the fifth game, the top-seeded Harimoto came back strongly to wrap up the contest with an aggressive "chiquita" backhand return to beat Zhao 11-6, 12-14, 11-5, 13-11, 13-15, 11-4.
The 16-year-old had been struggling since becoming the youngest player to win the ITTF World Tour Grand Finals last year and intends to rely on the confidence boost to rack up vital qualification points towards next year's 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Trio to make history in Presidents Cup
MELBOURNE • Li Haotong, Pan Cheng-tsung and Abraham Ancer will make Presidents Cup history when they line up against Tiger Woods' formidable United States team in December.
They will be the first players from China, Chinese Taipei and Mexico at the biennial event when they represent the Internationals at Australia's Royal Melbourne from Dec 12-15 against an American team that have a combined 11 PGA Tour victories this season, organisers said yesterday.
Li, Pan and Ancer were among the top eight qualifiers at the weekend deadline for captain Ernie Els' Internationals team seeking their first victory since 1998.