Now that Keisuke Honda and AC Milan have, according to Sky Italia, come to an agreement on personal terms, it’s just a matter of when the Japanese international will join the Rossoneri. With six months left on his contract in Russia, Honda is free to sign a pre-contract deal with anybody. Now it’s just a matter of whether he moves before his deal expires in December or he plays out the first half of the season for CSKA Moscow.
There is another reported caveat before Honda can move to Milan. Adriano Galliani apparently needs to find a new home for Brazilian attacker Robinho, a player whose slowly become an albatross on the Milan payroll since his 2010 acquisition from Manchester City. Milan, however, seem confident that Santos, a team that has already had Robinho for two spells, would be willing to pay north of $10 million to get him back. (PS, Milan, what are you waiting for? Sell!)
If that happens, Milan may be more inclined to meet CSKA’s asking price, reportedly just over $9 million to let Honda tack on an extra six months to a 4-year, $13 million deal. Expect that asking price to go down, though. To some’s eyes, $9 million is too much for a 27-year-old who can join the team in December for free. The only danger for Milan is Honda potentially being cup-tied for Champions League, with CSKA having also qualified for the competition.
Regardless, expect Mario Balotelli to be one happier Rossonero at hearing this news. Likewise, expect Stephan El Shaarawy and M’Baye Niang to crack a smile at the idea of Honda slotted in behind Balotelli, pulling the strings at the top of a midfield triangle. It’s exactly the kind of presence they need after Balotelli’s January arrival (the extent to which a team that surged to third can be said to have needed anything).
For Honda, it’s the type of move that’s been a long time coming. Though he has battled injuries since moving to Russia from Holland’s VVV in 2010, the time’s he’s spent on the field has shown a player capable of performing in one of the few leagues that can offer a higher quality of play. Italy’s Serie A may be one of those leagues.
Now we wait and see how Honda will perform. But does that wait end in August? Or January?
Marek Hamsik hit a ball with such momentous force that we’re not sure it rotated more than three full turns on its 20-yard flight into the goal.
The Slovakia star’s goal equalized a friendly with Germany at 1, and Repre went on to hammer the reigning World Cup champs by a 3-1 score.
[ USMNT-BOLIVIA: Recap | 3 things | Player ratings ]
I mean, really, what a hit. Bernd Leno had little hope of touching it.
Longtime Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick spoke glowingly of new boss Jose Mourinho amidst rumors he’ll sign a one-year extension with the Old Trafford set.
Carrick, 34, joined United from Tottenham in 2006, and has won major trophy after major trophy with the club. He wants more, and he doesn’t care how.
[ MORE: United hires Mourinho | Things he must do ]
The 34-times capped English midfielder has 421 appearances for United, and could fit neatly into a Mourinho system.
From The Mirror:
“You have to be number one and winning trophies and if you can do that with a bit of style and a bit of flair then that is the perfect match but first and foremost it is about winning and getting back on top.
“There is going to be change without a doubt because he is coming in and he is his own man.
“He has got an unbelievable track record and everyone is looking for quick results and that’s how it is.”
We have to wonder how the United fans who booed Louis Van Gaal after every turn will react to these comments, although wins cure everything, right?
There were many rumors than N'Golo Kante had a deal that would allow him to leave Leicester City, but the midfielder doesn’t sound like the leaving type.
According to L’Equipe, Kante isn’t looking to leave the Premier League champions, and is content to play in the UEFA Champions League with the Foxes next season.
[ UCL: Real Madrid wins | CR7 reacts | Bale, too ]
He’s been tipped to move to Real Madrid and Manchester City amongst other potential stops.
“For now, I am happy at Leicester,” he said. “I do not pay too much attention to everything that is said.”
That vibe is running through the headlines today, as UEFA Champions League winners Karim Benzema and James Rodriguez say they want to stay at Real Madrid, and Isco is also happy to come back to the Bernabeu to make a run at a first La Liga title since the 2011-12 season.
Steve Bruce saw Hull City go down to the Championship, and pulled the Tigers right back up the Premier League.
Hull won promotion at the first time of asking after defeating Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 on Saturday, but Bruce wants to see stability at the KC Stadium.
[ USMNT-BOLIVIA: Recap | 3 things | Player ratings ]
The club remains up for sale after owner Assem Allam saw his request to change the team name to Hull Tigers denied by the English Football Association.
From the BBC:
“I’ll sit down with the owners. It’s not often you walk away from the Premier League – that’s where I want to manage,” Bruce told BBC Radio 5 live.
“But I have to be given certain assurances that we’re all moving in the right direction.
“I keep hearing too many stories that there’s a takeover imminent. We’ll see what develops,” added the 55-year-old.
The longtime Manchester United back has been around the managerial block a few times, and it’d be nice to see him stay at Hull for the long term. He’s led the Tigers into the Premier League on two occasions, and is — seriously — the seventh longest tenured manager in the Football League. He would enter the Premier League as the second-longest serving manager, to Arsene Wenger.