Wayne Rooney is on PSG’s radar – but will his salary deter?

1 Comment

Despite running away with the Premier League title Manchester United will likely undergo a major overhaul this summer. But could that reshuffle include sending Wayne Rooney to Paris Saint-Germain?

Rumors of Rooney to Paris have swirled for weeks, with nothing more than mere speculation propelling the chatter. But today PSG’s president, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, confirmed there’s more to it than merely conjecture although no approaches have been made.

“There’s a lot of players really interested in the club. That was not the case when we bought the club,’ Al-Khelaifi told Sky Sports. “[Rooney’s] a great player, one of the best strikers in the world. I think everybody would like to have him. But if you want to talk about the facts, we have not approached him.”

At the beginning of the season few could have contemplated the possibility of Rooney being shipped off this summer. But with the insertion of Robin van Persie into the squad, Rooney has been deployed further back on the pitch, increasing his role as provider but decreasing his effectiveness as a goalscorer. The 27 year old has managed another strong season, with 12 goals and 9 assists in 21 matches, but others appear quite capable of doing that job just as well, if not better. Namely, Shinji Kagawa.

The Japanese international is a younger, shiftier player who is more acclimated to the role of playmaker than Rooney. In his first season since coming over from Borussia Dortmund, Kagawa started the season slow but is now firing on all cylinders and few doubt that he’ll be pulling the strings at Old Trafford for years to come.

Hindering Rooney’s future at United more than anything else, however, is his bloated wage bill. At the rumored rate of $378,200/£250,000 per week, it’s a salary that United will be desperate to rid itself from, especially considering the club’s desire to bring in new blood like Robert Lewandowski, Mario Gotze, Leighton Baines and a whole host of other potential transfers.

The question then becomes – who is willing to take on Rooney’s wages?

Even the deep pockets of PSG, which currently pay Zlatan Ibrahimovic $18/€14 million a year, are unlikely to pay a similar bill for Rooney’s services as doing so would raise red flags for Michel Platini and the Fair Play police. In fact, all of Wazza’s potential suitors (which includes Chelsea, Manchester City, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Anzhi Makhachkala) will be forced to contemplate the same issue – is the player worth the pay?

The deliberations continue this weekend when Rooney and the Red Devils welcome City to Old Trafford for this season’s second installment of the Manchester Derby.

Eibar routs Betis 5-0 to snap 8-game winless streak in Spain

Twitter/@LaLigaSantndr
Leave a comment

MADRID (AP) Eibar routed 10-man Real Betis 5-0 in the Spanish league on Monday, ending an eight-match winless streak in all competitions.

Eibar hadn’t won since Sept. 15. It had lost six of its eight matches since then.

[ MORE: Brighton, Stoke finish level after Izquierdo’s second-half finish ]

The hosts got on the board with an own goal by Betis defender Jordi Amat just six minutes in, and midfielder Gonzalo Escalante scored with a header near halftime.

Striker Charles Dias scored twice in the second half, and Sergi Enrich closed the scoring in front of less than 5,000 fans at Ipurua Stadium.

“We deserved a victory like this to help us regain our confidence,” Enrich said.

Betis played with 10 men from the 55th as Aissa Mandi was red-carded for the foul that prompted a penalty kick converted by Dias.

“It was difficult to recover after we went a man down and they scored the third goal,” Betis midfielder Joaquin Sanchez said.

Eibar remained 17th in the 20-team standings, just outside the relegation zone.

Betis, winless in three matches, dropped to ninth place.

Barcelona leads by four points over second-place Valencia.

More AP Spanish soccer coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/LaLiga

Pogba believes Man United can win Premier League if squad stays fit

Dan Mullan/Getty Images
Leave a comment

There’s no doubt that on paper Manchester United has all the workings of a Premier League contender, and Paul Pogba certainly agrees.

[ MORE: Brighton, Stoke settle for draw in back-and-forth affair ]

The influential midfielder made his return to the Red Devils lineup this weekend in United’s 4-1 beatdown of Newcastle, along with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcos Rojo.

With Jose Mourinho’s squad finally getting healthy, Pogba believes that the sky is the limit for his side as they look to chase down league leaders and cross-town rivals Manchester City.

“To win the league we need all our players,” Pogba told MUTV. “When you have one injured here, one injured there, it doesn’t help. It’s always better to have a full team.

“Zlatan’s back and Marcos after a long injury. It was hard for them but they kept believing and worked hard to come back. We need them to win the league and we’re really glad they’re here.”

Pogba’s presence was certainly missed in his absence, and he wasted no time in making an impact upon his return, scoring a goal and adding an assist against the Magpies.

The French international also spoke about his struggles last season with several minor injuries, but he’s hoping to remain in his United side for the rest of the 2017/18 campaign.

“Most of last season I had injuries but small ones. You just have to recover well because the Premier League is different to Italy — it’s more intense and you just have to think about recovery, then you have more games. Otherwise, I just feel good, just to come back.

“I’ve trained very hard to come back fit. The season is really long so we have to be fit — not only me but all the players. To come back, to play again, to see Old Trafford, to see the fans again, to score at Old Trafford on my comeback, I feel blessed. But we had to win — that was the most important thing.”

Red Bulls freestyler shows off dribbling skills… on a treadmill (Video)

Twitter/@djdiveny
Leave a comment

Players from around the world display their skills on social media on a regular basis, but they’re usually on a soccer field or blacktop when they do so.

[ MORE: Almiron wins MLS Newcomer of the Year, beats out Nikolic, Martinez ]

This New York Red Bulls freestyler had a different interpretation of how he’d show off his ball control on Monday.

DJ Diveny (@djdiveny on Twitter) posted this video — below — across his social media platforms today dribbling a soccer ball on a treadmill, while his colleagues appear to introduce cones at random points as obstacles.

In addition to his talents as a freestyler, Diveny is also a youth coach with Student Athlete Coaching & Consulting, based out of New Jersey.

Again… he’s on a treadmill while doing this. Pretty cool stuff.

Watch below.

Villa: Seeing Pirlo retire showed me that I have to train harder

Alex Menendez/Getty Images
Leave a comment

New York City FC has quickly become one of Major League Soccer’s most exciting clubs in three short seasons, and a lot of its success can be attributed to be David Villa.

[ MORE: Miguel Almiron named MLS Newcomer of the Year ]

The Spanish international has been with the club since completing a move to MLS in 2014, and has easily been NYCFC’s most important signing since the team’s inception.

Despite boasting an impressive 22 goals in 2017 for Patrick Vieira’s side, Villa knows that his days in MLS are starting to count down after one of the legends of the international game recently announced his retirement.

“[Seeing Andrea Pirlo retire showed me] that I have to train harder every day if I want to continue extending my career. Someday I will leave, as will everyone, it’s a fact of life. But I’m going to fight to make it as late as possible,” Villa told Marca.

Villa, 35, received a one-year extension to his contract in 2017, leaving his future with NYCFC up in the air beyond next season.

Additionally, the forward says that he constantly receives positive feedback about MLS and he knows that there is a lot of interest from players outside the United States in the developing league.

“Really, quite a few [have reached out],” he said. “The MLS is growing a lot and is having more and more global impact. Many have called me and are interested in what’s going on here.”