Thiago Alcantara close to Manchester United move


Maybe there was actually something to David de Gea’s message to Thiago after his U-21 Euro Championship hat trick.

Sky Italy’s Tancredi Palmeri, Graham Hunter of Sky Sports Revista, and Quim Domenech of Intereconomía TV in Barcelona all tweeted today that the want-away Barcelona midfielder is already in discussions for a new contract with Manchester United.

The transfer could move very quickly, especially if the Daily Mail is correct in their claim that the 21-year-old’s release clause is just £17 million ($26.2 million) and not the £77 million ($119.4 million) Barcelona had originally spread around.  This, according to the Mail, is because he didn’t receive enough first-team action last season.

The report claims his contract stipulated Thiago must receive at least 30 minutes in 60% of his appearances, but he fell short of that in 15 of his 36 appearances.  He averaged 52 minutes per appearance, but was used as a substitute 16 times.

The new revelation could cause Manchester United to act much quicker in an attempt to secure Thiago before other teams take advantage of the enormous cut-price deal.

The Mirror reports that Chelsea and Bayern Munich are in on the midfielder now that the new price has been set, but it seems David Moyes still holds the yellow jersey.

VIDEO: Marco Verratti plays a brilliant pass to Eder for Italy goal

PALERMO, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 06:  Marco Verratti of Italy in action during the UEFA EURO 2016 Qualifier match between Italy and Bulgaria on September 6, 2015 in Palermo, Italy.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
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Italy took a 1-0 lead over Azerbaijan through the in-form Eder in the 11th minute, but the true leg-work (see what I did there) came from bite-sized midfielder Marco Verratti.

The PSG playmaker pinged a beautiful long ball over the top of the Azerbaijan defense that fell right at the feet of Eder, who let the ball settle itself and touched home confidently past Kamran Arhayev for a 1-0 lead.

The goal is the second of Eder’s national career in just five caps, having scored on debut against Bulgaria back in March. He has six goals in seven matches for Sampdoria so far this Serie A season.

Italy needs three points in this match to ensure qualification to Euro 2016. A win would guarantee them a place in the field, while anything less would mean there is work to do in the final match on Tuesday against Norway.


Later in the match, Stephan El Shaarawy gave Italy a 2-1 lead just before halftime, his second career international goal and his first since September of 2012 which came in his third career start.

Agent: Liverpool contacted Klopp only after Rodgers firing

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 09:  Jurgen Klopp arrives to be unveiled as the new manager of Liverpool FC at a press conference at Anfield on October 9, 2015 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
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As soon as Brendan Rodgers was dismissed by Liverpool on Sunday, Jurgen Klopp’s name was tossed around as the likely successor to the then-vacant Liverpool managerial position.

However, according to Klopp’s representatve Marc Kosicke, Liverpool did not make contact with the German until after Rodgers had been officially let go.

“The first call from Liverpool came after the dismissal as coach of Rodgers,” Kosicke told Bild. “Before Liverpool there were naturally quite a few inquiries. But Jurgen always asked me not to take it any further.”

Club management was less committal than Klopp’s rep, but did say they had their eye on the German for some time. “We have learned to keep certain matters confidential. We had a meeting recently with Jurgen that he has talked about and I don’t want to talk too much about these conversations. But we have thought about him for a long time and everyone who knows football knows he is an outstanding manager.”

It’s relatively hard to believe Liverpool would have canned Rodgers without knowing for sure that a top-level target such as Klopp or Carlo Ancelotti were on board to replace him. It also would mean discussions of the contract terms and logistics would have moved at lightning speed, with just four days between the Rodgers dismissal and Klopp’s official unveiling.