Shad Khan

Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan set to buy Fulham for $225 million?

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Is the Mohamed Al Fayed dynasty close to an end at Fulham Football Club?

If you believe reports from London this morning then it is edging near, as the mega-rich owner has apparently put Fulham up for sale.

The potential buyer may surprise you, but also excite you. Jacksonville Jaguar owner Shad Khan is apparently in pole position to buy the swish West London side.

Any potential deal is being closely guarded by Fulham, but sources suggest a fee of $225 million would be enough to make Khan the sixth US owner of an EPL side. The Pakistani-American has already agreed for the Jaguars to play at Wembley in each of the next four seasons, maybe his roots in London will strengthen by adding Fulham to his portfolio?

But focusing on the current owner, Al Fayed is deemed a “legend” in many respects across English soccer and the business world. The Egyptian businessmen formerly owned the luxury, world-renowned department story Harrods in London’s swanky Kensington neighborhood but many soccer fans have seen his familiar face in the stands following Fulham’s promotion to the English Premier League side back in 2001.

But after 16 years in charge and pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into the West London club, Al Fayed is set to sale his beloved club with Fulham now an established Premier League outfit.

(MORE: Considering Fulham’s parade of Yanks through the years)

The project has been an incredible one from start to finish, as Al Fayed proved his strong business acumen once more by buying struggling fourth division Fulham for just $10 million back in 1997. He then helped steer the club to the EPL and poured over $300 million into the side by adding top players over the years such as Edwin Van Der Sar, Clint Dempsey and Dimitar Berbatov.

Al Fayed has also renovated Craven Cottage into a top class stadium while still keeping its charm and quaint nature. (Hence the famous Cottage remaining in one corner of the ground.) A statue of Michael Jackson outside the venue also gives you an idea of the high circles Al Fayed moves in. He really is a hugely powerful man who may believe now is the best time to sell.

source: Getty Images
Will Fulham’s owner Al-Fayed sell his beloved club to Khan?

Also, let us not forget the huge American influence at Craven Cottage since they joined the EPL. US internationals Carlos Bocanegra and Brian McBride have captained Fulham, while current Seattle forward Eddie Johnson has also played for Cottagers. And how can we forget the most notable US star to shine brightly down by the banks of the River Thames: Clint Dempsey.

So with all these links to the US, it would be a pretty smart move for a US businessmen or owner to look into acquiring Fulham. And that is apparently in the cards.

Khan, owner of the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars, is friendly with Al Fayed and is said to be extremely interested in buying the club. If this did happen, more US stars could soon be flocking to West London and the return of “Fuhamerica” could take place.

We’d all love that.

The report seems to be close to the mark, we shall see how it pans out. But Al Fayed’s illustrious legacy in the EPL and at Fulham will always be remembered fondly, regardless of any potential new owner.

But exciting times will lie ahead at Craven Cottage if Khan gets his hands on the EPL side. Watch this space.

Argentine star Messi leaves Honduras match with back injury

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 08:  (L-R) Jose Juan Vazquez #23 of Mexico and Lionel Messi #10 of Argentina during a international friendly at AT&T Stadium on September 8, 2015 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) Argentine soccer superstar Lionel Messi left the field with a back injury in the second half of a 1-0 victory over Honduras in a friendly Friday night.

The Argentine team captain and Barcelona star was hit on an apparently inconsequential play and immediately went to the locker room. He was replaced at the 62-minute mark by Sevilla midfielder Ever Banega and never returned to the field.

“Messi suffered a trauma to the left side of his lower back and rib cage,” the Argentine Football (Soccer) Association said in a statement, adding that doctors were looking at the injury.

[ MORE: Hull City snares last PL spot for 2016-17 ]

Messi is not a player who leaves the field with minor injuries like he did Friday at San Juan’s Bicentenario stadium.

“I would not dare to venture a diagnosis,” said a concerned Argentine manager, Gerardo Martino.

Gonzalo Higuain, who scored for Argentina, said it “was an important win and here’s hoping that what happened to Leo is nothing.”

Messi was scheduled to fly to Spain to resolve a tax issue and then rejoin the team in Santa Clara, California.

Hull City secures PL position next season

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 28: Ross Wallace of Sheffield Wednesday make a break during Sky Bet Championship Play Off Final match between Hull City and Sheffield Wednesday at Wembley Stadium on May 28, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
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Mohamed Diame was the hero on the day for Hull City, as the Tigers gain promotion to the Premier League next season.

The Senegalese attacker sent Sheffield Wednesday packing on Saturday afternoon at Wembley Stadium after hitting a scorching long-distance effort past goalkeeper Kieren Westwood in the second half.

After an initial back-and-forth spell of chances over the opening half hour-plus, Sheffield was drastically taken out of the match as Hull began to gain their composure on the ball.

Hull City will join Championship winners Burnley and Middlesbrough in the Premier League in 2016-17 after being promoted. Relegated clubs Newcastle, Norwich City and Aston Villa will take their place in England’s second flight.

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UCL FOLLOW LIVE: Lineups as Atleti, Real duel in finale

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo, right, fights for the ball with Atletico Madrid's Tiago Mendes during a Spanish La Liga soccer match between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid at the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid, Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015. The match ended in a 1-1 draw. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
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After their devastating defeat two seasons ago, Atletico Madrid looks for revenge and their first UEFA Champions League title on Saturday against Real Madrid.

Milan will be the site for the action, as Zinedine Zidane and Real are seeking their 11th title in the competition and have the opportunity to knock Atleti out in the title match for the second time in three seasons.

To follow live, click here.

LINEUPS

Real Madrid: Navas, Marcelo, Ramos, Pepe, Carvajal, Casemiro, Kroos, Modric, Ronaldo, Bale, Benzema Subs: Casilla, James, Nacho, Lucas Vasquez, Jese, Isco, Danilo

Atletico Madrid: Oblak; Filipe Luis, Godin, Savic, Juanfran; Gabi, Fernandez, Koke, Saul Niguez; Griezmann, Torres. Subs: Moya, Tiago, Correa, Hernandez, Thomas, Ferreira-Carrasco, Gimenez.

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Atlanta United actively pursuing Mexican duo Guardado, Vela

ATLANTA, GA - JULY 07:  (L-R) Former professional soccer player Carlos Bocanegra, MLS Atlanta owner Arthur Blank, rapper Ludacris, Commissioner of MLS Don Garber, and former professional soccer player Darren Eales attend the MLS Atlanta Launch Event at SOHO on July 7, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for MLS Atlanta)
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With Atlanta United FC set to make their MLS debut in 2017, the club is reportedly set to make a major splash with one or possibly two Mexican stars.

[ MORE: Agent: Zlatan Ibrahimovic may not join Man United ]

ESPN FC‘s John Sutcliffe reported from the team’s future home, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, on Friday, saying that the team is targeting both Andres Guardado and Carlos Vela.

[ MORE: Edgar Castillo to replace Timmy Chandler for USMNT ]

Guardado, who currently plays for PSV Eindhoven, has long been a staple of the El Tri midfield, making 124 appearances for the Mexican national team.

While Vela wasn’t included in Mexico’s Copa America Centenario roster, the Real Sociedad striker has every bit of talent you’d want from a future Designated Player, which is likely what either Guardado or Vela would be.

Atlanta currently has three players on their roster. Greek goalkeeper Alexandros Tabakis, Junior Burgos and Jeffery Otoo currently round out the squad.

The potential addition(s) of an Andres Guardado or Carlos Vela would prove to be not only big for Atlanta but for MLS as a whole, more so with Vela though. MLS’ growth over recent years has brought young DPs like Sebastian Giovinco and Giovani Dos Santos to Toronto FC and the LA Galaxy, respectively.

Another league addition who is in the prime of their career will only continue to build the league’s reputation, and immediately put Atlanta on the map next season.

Follow @MattReedFutbol