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Wayne Rooney wants out but where will he end up?


Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed that Wayne Rooney has put in a transfer request to leave Manchester United.

Following United’s 2-1 win against Swansea on Sunday, Ferguson admitted that Rooney has asked to leave the club although the manager still holds out hopes the striker will change his mind.

“I don’t think Wayne was keen to play, simply because he’s asked for a transfer,” the Scot told Sky Sports. “I think he wants to think things through in his own mind. I think that’s a good idea. We’re not going to let him go.”

Ferguson feels Rooney’s desire to leave stems from being left out of the Champions League defeat to Real Madrid and the reduced role he has played in United’s run in since. Rooney has played a full 90 minutes just once (against Stoke City) in United’s last nine matches. “I think he’s maybe a bit frustrated at being taken off once or twice in the past few weeks,” Ferguson said.

If Rooney is, in fact, seriously looking to leave Old Trafford, there are three clubs being mentioned as possible destinations.

Chelsea is one possibility. The Blues could certainly satisfy Rooney’s wage demands as they look to rebuild their squad following this season’s woes. Playing under Jose Mourinho could also have its appeal for Rooney although it’s not certain whether the Portuguese manager is definitely headed to Stamford Bridge or whether he would want the United striker in his squad.

The biggest issue is whether the Blues even need Rooney. Chelsea already employs Fernando Torres and Demba Ba, and is likely to bring Romelu Lukaku into the fold next year. Furthermore, Roman Abramovich is a long time admirer of strikers like Radamel Falcao and Edinson Cavani meaning a splurge for either one isn’t out of the question. Factor in Chelsea’s use of the 4-2-3-1 formation and there simply may not be any space for Wazza at the Bridge.

Munich is another place Rooney could end up with the player himself noting his desire to end up there. With both Champions League finalists hailing from the Bundesliga, it’s a league that’s becoming an increasingly popular destination for Europe’s top players. Plus, the lure of playing for Pep Guardiola can’t be understated.

Questions remain, however, as to how Rooney would fit in at Munich. The Bavarian giants already employ a host of world class attackers including Thomas Mueller, Mario Mandzukic, Franc Ribery, Arjen Robben, Mario Gomez, Toni Kroos, Claudio Pizarro and (this summer) Mario Gotze. Tough to see why the Bundesliga champions would have a need for Rooney.

Paris St. Germain is the third club being linked with Rooney. PSG’s Qatari owners could easily afford Rooney’s wage demands while moving to Paris wouldn’t take Rooney too far away from his English roots. David Beckham has already made the move to PSG while Joey Barton’s move to Marseille has proven that Englishmen can do quite well in Ligue 1. Plus, there’s something very intriguing about Rooney playing alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the kind of fiery partnership they could form. The project at PSG, however, continues to grow and an aging striker may be the last thing they want to add to their roster.

Finally, although they have yet to be linked to Rooney, Manchester City has to be an option as the striker attempted to engineer a move to the Etihad in October 2010. All things considered, however, there’s no better place for Rooney than United. For years he’s carried the club as a striker and this past year he did the dirty work dropping back into midfield when the likes of Paul Scholes, Tom Cleverley and Anderson couldn’t get the job done. United would do well to buy a proper midfielder or two and allow Rooney to play where he’s hungry to play, in the hole behind Robin van Persie.

Defoe: Sunderland’s Duncan Watmore reminds me of Gareth Bale

during the Barclays Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Sunderland at Selhurst Park on November 23, 2015 in London, England.
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Duncan Watmore is highly regarded at Sunderland, as the 21-year-old was rewarded with a new four-year contract with the club earlier this week.

While the club has high hopes for the young winger, his teammates are taking notice as well.

[ MORE: Transfer Rumor Roundup ]

Watmore’s teammate Jermain Defoe, a seasoned veteran who knows all about succeeding in the Premier League, praised the 21-year-old’s play, comparing him to one of his former teammates at Tottenham, Gareth Bale.

In a funny way he reminds me of Gareth [Bale]. When he came on the scene at Tottenham, he used to just get the ball and glide.

He’s such a nice boy, I don’t think he’s bothered about signing new contracts and stuff, all he wants to do is play football and do well for the club.

If he can go on to do what Gareth has done then he’ll be fantastic. He’s the future of this club.

That’s quite the comparison, as Watmore has only made six Premier League appearances in his young career. Bale was twice named the Premier League Player of the Year before being sold to Real Madrid for a world record transfer fee in 2013.

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While it’s a bit too soon to be calling Watmore the next Gareth Bale, there’s no denying he could be a huge talent for Sunderland. After coming on as a substitute in the Black Cats’ win over Crystal Palace on Monday, Watmore showed his speed and willingness to run at defenders, something the club is in desperate need of. He made his debut for the England U21 side this fall, which shows his form has impressed many outside of just the North East.

After starting his career in the Manchester United youth setup, Watmore was released and played with non-league side Altrincham before signing with Sunderland in 2013. He scored 11 goals in 18 appearances last year with the U21 side, being named the Under 21 Premier League Player of the Season.

Five Premier League players make UEFA Team of the Year shortlist

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 03:  Kevin de Bruyne of Manchester City celebrates scoring his team's fourth goal with his team mate Sergio Aguero (L) during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Newcastle United at Etihad Stadium on October 3, 2015 in Manchester, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
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UEFA has released the 40-man shortlist for the 2015 Team of the Year, with five Premier League players making the cut.

[ MORE: Champions League roundup ]

Chelsea’s Eden Hazard is on the list after being named the Premier League Player of the Year last season, as is Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez.

Manchester City accounts for the other three players, as Joe Hart, Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne have been selected. However, De Bruyne makes the list mainly based off his play for Wolfsburg last season.

Three teams have more players selected than the entire Premier League combined. Barcelona leads the list with eight players, while Bayern Munich and Juventus each have six.

[ MORE: FIFA Ethics Committee seeks lifetime ban for Sepp Blatter ]

Cristiano Ronaldo already has the most appearances on the final list with nine, and is looking to make his ninth consecutive Team of the Year. No other player has been selected more than six times since the beginning of the award, which was started in 2001.

Below is the complete 40-man shortlist.

Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (Manchester City), Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Denys Boyko (Dnipro).

Defenders: Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), David Alaba (Bayern Munich), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), David Luiz (Paris St-Germain), Dani Alves (Barcelona), Thiago Silva (Paris St-Germain), Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich), Ricardo Rodriguez (Wolfsburg), Javier Mascherano (Barcelona), Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid), Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid).

Midfielders: Grzegorz Krychowiak (Sevilla), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona), Arturo Vidal (Bayern Munich), Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Claudio Marchisio (Juventus), Marco Verratti (Paris St-Germain), Yevhen Konoplyanka (Sevilla), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), James Rodriguez (Real Madrid), Paul Pogba (Juventus), Hakan Calhanoglu (Bayer Leverkusen).

Forwards: Gareth Bale (Real Madrid), Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Paris St-Germain), Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich), Neymar (Barcelona), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Alvaro Morata (Juventus), Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Luis Suarez (Barcelona), Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid).

New York Red Bulls’ Jesse Marsch voted MLS Coach of the Year

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NEW YORK (AP) — The Red Bulls’ Jesse Marsch has been voted Major League Soccer’s Coach of the Year, the first to earn the honor in the two-decade history of the New York team.

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The Red Bulls went a league-best 18-10-6 in Marsch’s first season after replacing Mike Petke, winning 14 of their last 20 games with one tie. They trail Columbus 2-0 going into Sunday’s second leg of their Eastern Conference final.

MLS said Tuesday that from combined team, media and player votes, Marsch received a weighted total of 152 out of a possible 300.

Dallas’ Oscar Pareja was second with 91 and Vancouver’s Carl Robinson third with 24.

How can Chelsea qualify for last 16 of Champions League?

HAIFA, ISRAEL - NOVEMBER 24: Willian of Chelsea celebrates scoring his teams second goal during the UEFA Champions League Group G match between Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC and Chelsea FC at Sammy Ofer Stadium on November 24, 2015 in Haifa, Israel.  (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
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With one match left in UEFA Champions League group play, Chelsea control their own destiny.

After beating Maccabi Tel-Aviv 4-0, the Blues sit tied with FC Porto on ten points at the top of Group G.

[ MORE: Champions League standings

However, with Dynamo Kyiv earning a big win over Porto on Tuesday, Chelsea must wait until the final matchday to qualify for the knockout round, as there is a possibility of a three-way tie for the top spot in Group G.

With Chelsea hosting Porto on December 9, here are the scenarios for Jose Mourinho’s men to assure advancement.

  • A win over Porto will clinch Chelsea the top spot and a place in the last 16.
  • A draw against Porto will see Chelsea advance.
    • Chelsea draw/Dynamo win: Chelsea win group, Dynamo finish second
    • Chelsea draw/Dynamo draw or loss: Porto win group, Chelsea finish second
  • A loss to Porto and a Dynamo Kyiv draw/loss to Maccabi Tel-Aviv will see Chelsea finish second in the group and advance to the last 16.
  • The Blues have secured at least a berth in the Europa League, regardless of the result in their final match.

Simply put, get a point at Stamford Bridge and Chelsea advance.