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FOOTBALL

Bayern’s Van Bommel transfers to AC Milan

FC Bayern Munich captain Mark van Bommel has joined Italian side AC Milan, five months before his contract was due to expire, the German giants announced on Tuesday.

Bayern's Van Bommel transfers to AC Milan
Photo: DPA

“It was Mark’s express wish to be released from his contract early for sporting reasons, in order to be able to move to AC Milan immediately,” Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said.

“Mark was always a model professional, an important and successful player for Bayern Munich, and also a fantastic captain.”

Bayern gave no financial details, but reports said that with van Bommel’s contract due to expire at the end of the season, his move to the Italian giants was a free transfer.

The Bild daily said that van Bommel’s relations with Bayern coach, compatriot Louis van Gaal, had hit an all-time low.

He had become worried that he could spend a lot of the second half of the

Bundesliga season on the bench and could lose his captain’s armband because he no longer fitted in with van Gaal’s plans, Bild said.

Van Bommel joined Bayern in 2006 in a €6 million move from Barcelona, playing 123 times, scoring 11 goals and helping the Bavarians to two Bundesliga and cup titles.

“I am leaving Bayern Munich with a heavy heart but with my head held high,” the 33-year-old Dutch midfielder said.

“I have spent four and a half very nice and successful years here and would like to thank the club and the fans for this.

“Bayern Munich will always have a place in my heart.”

AFP/rm

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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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