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Troubled Toni returns to Italy

Bayern Munich's Italian World Cup winner Luca Toni is being lent to Serie A club AS Roma for the rest of the season, the German football giants have announced.

Troubled Toni returns to Italy
Photo: DPA

“Luca Toni asked the board of Bayern Munich in personal talks to lend him to AS Roma until the end of the season for personal reasons,” Bayern said in a statement.

“He wants to realise his biggest aim, playing for Italy in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, with regular appearances in Serie A.”

The 32-year-old’s move comes as little surprise, with the Italian saying publicly on numerous occasions that he wanted to leave Bayern following a breakdown in relations with Bayern’s Dutch trainer Louis van Gaal.

Signed from Italian side Fiorentina in 2007, Toni was the Bundesliga’s top scorer in his first season, with 24 goals in 31 league games on the way to Bayern winning the German title.

But since van Gaal’s arrival on July 1, he has made just four league appearances, and has failed to score all season.

He stormed out of Bayern’s 1-1 draw with Schalke 04 in the Bundesliga on November 7 after the coach replaced him at half-time and the Italian was later fined for his conduct and apologised.

“The Bayern Munich board thanked Luca Toni … and wished him all the best at AS Roma, lots of success and above all a place in the World Cup,” it said.

The Bayern Munich president meanwhile denied on Thursday press reports that the German giants’ French international Franck Ribery was going to move to Real Madrid in a €55 million deal next summer.

“There are no offers at the moment, no options and no talks at all either about him or with him,” Uli Hoeneß told the Süddeutsche Zeitung daily.

German specialist website ran.de had reported on Wednesday that the 26-year-old winger’s move was hammered out in August between Bayern and the Spanish club at the time of Dutch star Arjen Robben’s transfer to Munich.

Bayern did not pay Real the agreed €25 million price tag for the Dutch winger, instead sitting on the cash in anticipation of the Ribery deal, said ran.de, which is owned by German private broadcaster Sat.1.

But Hoeneß, club manager at Bayern for 30 years who replaced Germany legend Franz Beckenbauer as president in November, said this was wide of the mark. “There is no deal with Real. We paid for Robben quite normally,” he said.

He also said that the club wanted Ribery to stay once his contract expires in 2011: “That is our first option. Only if we see no chance of this will we start talking to other clubs.”

Ribery, who has been out of action through injury for over two months, has made no secret in the past of his desire to join Real.

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MUNICH

Four injured as WWII bomb explodes near Munich train station

Four people were injured, one of them seriously, when a World War II bomb exploded at a building site near Munich's main train station on Wednesday, emergency services said.

Smoke rises after the WWII bomb exploded on a building site in Munich.
Smoke rises after the WWII bomb exploded on a building site in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Privat

Construction workers had been drilling into the ground when the bomb exploded, a spokesman for the fire department said in a statement.

The blast was heard several kilometres away and scattered debris hundreds of metres, according to local media reports.

Images showed a plume of smoke rising directly next to the train tracks.

Bavaria interior minister Joachim Herrmann told Bild that the whole area was being searched.

Deutsche Bahn suspended its services on the affected lines in the afternoon.

Although trains started up again from 3pm, the rail operator said there would still be delays and cancellations to long-distance and local travel in the Munich area until evening. 

According to the fire service, the explosion happened near a bridge that must be passed by all trains travelling to or from the station.

The exact cause of the explosion is unclear, police said. So far, there are no indications of a criminal act.

WWII bombs are common in Germany

Some 75 years after the war, Germany remains littered with unexploded ordnance, often uncovered during construction work.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about WWII bomb disposals in Germany

However, most bombs are defused by experts before they explode.

Last year, seven World War II bombs were found on the future location of Tesla’s first European factory, just outside Berlin.

Sizeable bombs were also defused in Cologne and Dortmund last year.

In 2017, the discovery of a 1.4-tonne bomb in Frankfurt prompted the evacuation of 65,000 people — the largest such operation since the end of the war in Europe in 1945.

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