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Wayne Rooney wants out but where will he end up?

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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.

Klopp hopes for speedy solution in club, fans’ ticket-price dispute

Liverpool's fans wave flags during the English League Cup semifinal second leg soccer match between Liverpool and Stoke City at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, England, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
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From his time at Borussia Dortmund, Jurgen Klopp is used to a much more positive, family-like, everyone-pulling-in-the-same-direction atmosphere at his club of employment, so the present goings-on at Liverpool understandably have the Reds’ first-year manager feeling more than a little uneasy.

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Saturday’s late 2-2 draw with Sunderland wasn’t the first time Liverpool fans have headed for the exit before the final whistle, leaving Klopp feeling all alone, but it was the first time the fans have departed from Anfield early in a pre-planned, organized manner (Klopp missed the game himself with appendicitis). The Anfield faithful didn’t walk out on 77 minutes due to their team’s poor performance — Liverpool were 2-0 ahead at the time — but in protest of steadily rising ticket prices, which were unveiled at $111 per game to sit in the 132-year-old stadium’s new main stand next season.

Klopp, coming from the Bundesliga, where a season ticket at clubs the size of Bayern Munich and Dortmund doesn’t cost much more than a single-game ticket at many Premier League grounds, understands the fans’ frustration. At the end of the day, though, he works for the club, which is why he just wants the whole thing settled quickly, for the sake of his squad — quotes from the BBC:

“It’s not what we want. What I know is everyone in the club has a big interest in finding a solution for this. We don’t want people to leave the stadium before the game is finished.”

An LFC TV appearance by Liverpool chief executive Ian Ayre, in which he was expected to answer fan-submitted questions, was consequently canceled on Monday due to the ongoing dispute.

West Ham want Payet to sign new contract for fear of losing him this summer

Dimitri Payet, West Ham United FC (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
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Dimitri Payet is going to be a red-hot commodity during this summer’s transfer window, there’s no doubt about it.

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Given he’s currently contracted to one of the Premier League’s “smaller” clubs — in comparison to some of the giants which are bound to be interested — West Ham United, there’s a decent-to-good chance he could be wearing a different club’s shirt come August. Especially if the 28-year-old attacker shows up and shows out at this summer’s European Championship in his native France.

If I can foresee the interest in Payet, then so too can the executives at West Ham, which is why manager Slaven Bilic took to the press on Monday to convey his desire for Payet to consider signing a new, increased contract at his earliest convenience — quotes from the Guardian:

“We are moving, the club is moving, with the new stadium, with the revenue and everything. We have to move and the most important move is to keep your best players and to add some new players who are needed and Dimitri Payet is our best player — I have no problem whatsoever to say that. Of course, I would love to have him happy, long term, at the club.”

Of course West Ham want Payet to sign a new deal immediately — doing so would accomplish two things in the club’s eyes: 1) increase the likelihood he remains at the club next season, or 2) insure the club receives a higher transfer fee for the player if he leaves in the summer anyway. The more total money remaining on his West Ham contract, the more they can demand of a prospective buyer.

[ MORE: Ronaldo commits himself to Real Madrid through 2018 ]

From Payet’s side — unless he has absolutely zero desire to move to a club like Liverpool, Chelsea or Manchester United, where he’d likely be paid close to $200,000 per week — he’d be crazy to sign a new contract at this point. Not only would it make a move this summer more difficult, but a strong showing at EURO 2016 could be worth another $15,000 or $20,000 per week on a new contract with West Ham (his current contract is rumored to be close to $100,000 per week).

With as many as five seasons still remaining on his current contract (a one-year club option can be exercised at any point), and his stock perhaps at an all-time high, the next six months could hold Payet’s last chance to get really, really paid before he hits the downside of his career.

USWNT players’ union responds in USSF lawsuit

FILE - In this Sunday, July 5, 2015 file photo, the United States Women's National Team celebrates with the trophy after they beat Japan 5-2 in the FIFA Women's World Cup soccer championship in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The U.S. Soccer Federation’s original lawsuit against the union for its champion women’s national team has been sealed after the governing body realized it had disclosed the home addresses and email accounts of many players, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016.(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
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(AP) — The union that represents the Women’s World Cup-winning American national team opposed an expedited schedule in the lawsuit filed against it by the U.S. Soccer Federation last week, insisting no collective bargaining agreement exists.

The federation sued in an attempt to establish it has a contract with the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team Players Association that runs through this year’s Olympics until Dec. 31. The union maintains the memorandum of understanding agreed to in March 2013 can be terminated at any time.

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The USSF filed a motion Friday in U.S. District Court in Chicago asking for an expedited schedule, and the submitted opposition papers Monday that claim “facts asserted in the motion are nowhere near accurate and are hotly disputed.”

The union also maintains the USSF knew about the disagreement since July but did nothing about it.

An initial status conference is set for April 4.

Lionel Messi to undergo tests for lingering kidney problems

FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi holds the ball during a quarterfinal, second leg, Copa del Rey soccer match against Athletic Bilbao at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
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BARCELONA, Spain (AP) Barcelona says Lionel Messi is to undergo medical tests to assess a recurrence of kidney problems.

[ MORE: Saturday’s La Liga roundup | Barca win on Sunday

Messi missed the Club World Cup semifinal in December due to a renal colic, an abdominal ailment often related to the presence of kidney stones within renal ducts.

Barcelona says in a statement Monday that the tests to be conducted by Tuesday at the latest, are “to assess the evolution of the kidney problem he suffered last December.”

[ MORE: Champions League returns next week — KO round matchups ]

The statement says Messi will resume training with the squad on Wednesday, when Barcelona travels to Valencia for the return leg of the Copa del Rey semifinals in which it carries a 7-0 lead.