It’s been known for a while that Manchester United just needs to hash out the details with Thiago Alcantara and the move is complete.
One of those details is apparently keeping the whole deal on hold.
According to Graham Hunter, a Sky Sports correspondent in Spain, Thiago and his camp are demanding United include the same clause in his contract that lowered his release with Barcelona to a staggering amount.
Originally with a £77 million ($117 million) release clause, Thiago’s contract with Barcelona contained a clause in fine-print that required a certain amount of playing time. With the playing time not met, his release clause plummeted to a measly £17 million ($25.9 million).
With United believed to have triggered Thiago’s now insanely low release clause, they are far and away the leaders in the chase for Thiago. David Moyes was willing to pay that amount in a heartbeat – as he should – for the 21-year-old midfielder.
Hunter claims that Thiago wishes this be the case at United as well, to ensure playing time to continue his growth as a player.
Graham continues to tweet that Thiago has a very close relationship with the Dos Santos family, and that the Brazilian youngster is heavily influenced by Gio Dos Santos’s story at Tottenham Hotspur. The Mexican made just 15 appearances with Spurs over the course of a 4-year stint at White Hart Lane, being loaned out to Ipswich Town, Galatasaray, and Racing Santander.
Thiago appears to be very affected by this, and therefore wants to somehow guarantee playing minutes. Manchester United so far are unwilling to give in to the demand, or else there would be no story really.
In a transfer that honestly seemed like a foregone conclusion a week ago, this one little hiccup could potentially throw things out of whack.
PRAGUE (AP) Czech champion Viktoria Plzen is close to signing Austrian midfielder Andreas Ivanschitz.
Plzen says Ivanschitz agreed terms for a contract lasting 1 + seasons and will sign it when the team returns from a training camp in Spain. Ivanschitz has already joined the squad at the Oliva Nova resort, the club says.
Ivanschitz helped the Seattle Sounders win their first MLS Cup in December.
[ NEW HOMES: Fonte | Berahino ]
No financial details were given.
The 33-year-old Ivanschitz also played for Rapid Vienna and Red Bull Salzburg in Austria, Mainz in the Bundesliga, Levante in Spain and Panathinaikos in Athens.
Ivanschitz played 69 games for Austria in 2003-14, scoring 12 goals.
Joel Matip is going to get to play for Liverpool during AFCON after all.
The center back had turned down the chance to represent Cameroon at the Africa Cup of Nations, and Liverpool was forced to apply to FIFA for a waiver.
[ PL PREVIEW: Swansea vs. Liverpool ]
Matip suffered an ankle injury in December, adding to his desire to stay at Anfield. He declared himself internationally retired and was one of six Cameroon players who refused call-ups for AFCON.
He last played for the Reds on Dec. 11, and can be selected by Jurgen Klopp against Swansea City on Saturday.
MANCHESTER, England (AP) Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney says he raised 1.2 million pounds ($1.5 million) from a friendly game against former club Everton last year.
That represents the profits, after operational costs, from August’s sellout match at Old Trafford and goes toward the Wayne Rooney Foundation’s target of raising 5 million pounds for children’s charities.
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Rooney said: “I’d like to thank all the fans who came to the testimonial and made it such a special night. They’ve raised a huge amount of money for children who are disadvantaged and it will make a real difference to their lives.”
Rooney is one goal from breaking Manchester United’s scoring record, with the striker currently tied with Bobby Charlton on 249 goals.
Rooney joined United from Everton in 2004.
Robert Lewandowski picked up where he left off.
The Polish striker scored twice for Bayern Munich, once in stoppage time, as the Bavarians improved their Bundesliga lead to six points after toppling Freiburg 2-1 on Friday.
[ MORE: Bundesliga second half preview ]
And what a winner it was, Lewandowski taking a Douglas Costa cross with two juggling touches before hitting an offspeed bouncer inside the post.
It was the league’s first match following the winter/holiday break, giving Bayern a cushion before RB Leipzig takes the pitch against Eintracht Frankfurt in a Top Five tilt on Saturday.
Lewandowski moves closer to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on the goal scoring chart. His 13th and 14th goals have him two back of Borussia Dortmund’s striker, as Lewandowski pursues a third Golden Boot in four seasons.
Full Weekend Schedule
Freiburg 1-2 Bayern Munich — Friday
Augsburg vs. Hoffenheim — Saturday
Schalke vs. Ingolstadt — Saturday
Darmstadt vs. Borussia Monchengladbach — Saturday
Werder Bremen vs. Borussia Dortmund — Saturday
Wolfsburg vs. Hamburger SV — Saturday
RB Leipzig vs. Eintracht Frankfurt — Saturday
Bayer Leverkusen vs. Hertha Berlin — Sunday
Mainz vs. Koln — Sunday