Gareth Bale is staying at Spurs, insists Andre Villas-Boas

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It’s been at least five posts since we’ve written about Gareth Bale, so here’s your fix.

Fresh off his diss of Paris Saint-Germain’s offer of trophy hoisting, Champions League football, vast riches and becoming a pawn in Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s ploy for world domination, Andre Villas-Boas is now insisting that Gareth Bale will not be leaving White Hart Lane this summer.

“We have the pledge of the chairman that Bale is not going to leave the club,” Villas-Boas told Madrid-based newspaper Marca.

The pledge refers to Spurs chariman Daniel Levy’s statement that he will not be letting go of Tottenham’s leading performers this summer, and by ‘performers’ he means ‘performer’, i.e. Bale.

Levy made the statement amidst the public flattery that has been thrown Bale’s way by Real Madrid ambassador Zinedine Zidane. The Frenchman has spent much of the summer heaping praise on Bale, calling him the best player in Europe this season and describing him as “frightening” and “a cut above the rest,” as in, everyone but Zidane Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Zidane has also said Bale would fit in well at Real and last weekend intimated that the Welshman could speed up a transfer if he asked to leave Tottenham. It’s a move that Bale isn’t expected to make.

So while things look good for Lillywhite supporters at the moment, Madrid still has yet to introduce Levy to what £60 million ($92.7m) smells like. Once a bid like that is made, the entire situation surrounding Bale will become much more clear.

Until then, AVB is backing Levy and the chairman is sticking to his guns and reassuring Bale that help is coming quickly. Leandro Damião, David Villa, Paulinho and Bernard are all reportedly on Spurs’ radar although it is understood that the club are unlikely to announce any signings in the next couple of weeks.

Feel like you’ve seen this situation before?

Of course you have.

It was just two years ago that Arsenal promised Robin van Persie more reinforcements than he could possibly imagine in his wildest dreams. And after about 11 months of dilly-dallying the Gunners finally brought in Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla. But it was too late.

Hopefully, Spurs won’t be making the same mistake as their rivals.

 

Rashford’s childhood hero played for USMNT (Take one guess)

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But can he grow a beard?

Manchester United attacker Marcus Rashford is known for his darting runs and clever finishes, but he grew up begging to get between the sticks with a lot of love for an American.

“Howard was my idol. I used to have a little Tim Howard shirt.”

[ MORE: Dempsey still wants USMNT role ]

Rashford said he’d ask his youth coach to allow him to play goal so he could mimic his hero, who at the time was the Manchester United backstop and now USMNT legend.

The 20-year-old was nine when Howard left Old Trafford, but it hasn’t changed his enjoyment for tending goal. Rashford joked that he’s got to be the choice to replace David De Gea in case of a post-sub emergency.

Watch Live: Watford vs. West Ham United

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David Moyes‘ first match in charge of West Ham United sees a striker change at Vicarage Road against testy Watford (Watch live at 11 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE

Andy Carroll will be up top, and Andre Ayew is hurt to boot.

Marco Silva leads Watford’s hosts with Adrian Mariappa, Christian Kabasele, and Miguel Britos at the back of a 3-5-2.

LINEUPS

Watford: Gomes; Mariappa, Kabasele, Britos; Femenía, Cleverley, Doucouré, Zeegelaar; Hughes, Richarlison; Gray. Subs: Karnezis, Prödl, Holebas, Capoue, Pereyra, Carrillo, Okaka.

West Ham United: Hart, Zabaleta, Reid, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Noble, Kouyate, Obiang, Arnautovic, Lanzini, Carroll. Subs: Adrian, Masuaku, Rice, Fernandes, Quina, Sakho, Martinez.

Dempsey still happy to accept USMNT role (which is good)

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Clint Dempsey is tied with Landon Donovan for the most goals in USMNT history, and seems set to continue with the side in some capacity as he threatens to stand alone in American history.

[ MLS: Steve Bruce to Miami? ]

The 34-year-old striker spoke with Steve Zakuani on the Sounders’ web site (video below) and said he’s happy to accept continued call-ups should they arrive from USSF headquarters.

From SoundersFC.com:

“We’ll see what happens,” Dempsey said.” I mean, in terms of what I’ve been able to accomplish with the national team, I’m at peace with it. It’s not really about me. It’s about a group of guys that want to be moving forward.

“If there’s an opportunity that comes where you get to play a role and try to help and I’m feeling good and I’m playing well, then yeah, you’ll never say no. But you know, if the call never comes I’m still happy, still at peace, and focused on being here and trying to make the most of the time I have left.”

There are a number of players whose national team futures should be in question, but Dempsey is in a different class. No one has debated his motor or fuel, and his engine is still there (to complete the Springsteen-esque car comparisons, he remains one of the only things that qualifiers as chrome-wheeled, fuel-injected, and steppin’ out over the line).

If anything, he plays too close to the edge. That’s not something I see as one of the Yanks’ problems right now, so perhaps Dempsey needs to be viewed like Cuauhtemoc Blanco or Carlos Ruiz as a CONCACAF guy who’s around as long as he wants to be a part of it.

I mean, shoot, if Dempsey wants to keep passing the fire to Christian Pulisic and now Weston McKennie, there are far worse ambassadors for the program. He’s the most accomplished field player in recent history, and will be able to share so much when it comes to balancing club and country.

Heck, maybe he needs to be the late era Ryan Giggs of the 2018-2022 USMNT.

Beckham reportedly wants Steve Bruce in Miami

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He’s got the same initials as South Beach, you know?

Steve Bruce is being tipped to be the first manager of David Beckham’s Miami MLS outfit, according to The Sun.

[ MORE: Saturday’s PL roundup ]

It’s going to be some time before Bruce would have the opportunity. The 56-year-old former Manchester United star has Aston Villa in a Football League Championship promotion push, and Miami does not even have a start date for life on an MLS pitch.

Of course, managerial life tends to be short, so there’s no guarantee Bruce will have a job at any point during the build-up to Miami in MLS. And several expansion clubs have named their coach very early in the team building process (Jason Kreis and Bob Bradley amongst others).

Bruce on MLS’ parity-driven playing field, if not as one of the big spenders, would be intriguing to watch. He’s a terrific man motivator and has the connections to combine with Beckham to make something special happen in terms of personnel.