Portugese international Abel Xavier has signed a new deal with Middlesbrough after his one year drug ban. While I wish him nothing but the best of luck, I’d have been more impressed had Boro pursued Abel Ferrera.

While Paul Gardener labors under the delusion a David Beckham transfer from Real Madrid to MLS would do anything for the latter’s bottom line, at least the Fiver’s Rob Smyth and Sean Ingle have a passing familiarity with reality.

“This is a marketing opportunity,” no-$hit-Sherlocked the MLS commissioner Don Garber, before offering his opinions on what bears do in woods. “We’re doing analysis and we should complete that in the next 30 days,” garbled Garber, leering needily at a nearby abacus. “Beckham is a cultural world icon – and if we can get him in this league, people will care and they’ll come out and see our games. If we could have him here we think it would be terrific.”

It would also be terrific for Beckham, who wouldn’t have to rack up such monstrous phone bills chatting to Tom and Katie, and who could finally prioritise his first love, celebrity, over his second, football. “This is a guy who was one of the better players on the English national team during the World Cup,” concluded Garber, efficiently shredding the smidgen of credibility he had, “so he is a player we think is very strong.” Which is more than can be said for Beckham’s career prospects, clearly.

The Mirror
reports that Peter Martin, 38, “a professional Sol Campbell impersonator,” has been charged with the murder of his ex-girlfriend. There were no further details of the case, but I’ll assume Martin was distraught over crummy career prospects.