Newly reappointed Chelsea manager Mourinho speaks during a news conference at Stamford Bridge stadium in London

José Mourinho on Rooney: “He is a player I like very much”

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After Wayne Rooney returned home from Manchester United’s preseason tour to Thailand, speculation around his future at Old Trafford has intensified.

Rooney, 27, has made it clear that he wants to leave United and a $38 million move to Chelsea could be an incredibly tempting offer.

Especially after these kinds words from new Blues manager José Mourinho, when asked if he wanted to sign Rooney.

“It’s a tricky question because I cannot speak about. But you know me and it’s not my kind of character to speak with a bit of hypocrisy and I always say what I think. He is a player I like very much but I can say no more than that. Being fast and direct, I like that, but he’s a Manchester United player.”

Hint taken, José.

But as Rooney jets back to the UK, away from his Manchester United teammates and David Moyes, you do have to wonder if we’ll ever see him wear the famous red jersey again. United’s new manager Moyes spoke earlier today about Rooney’s injury and still doesn’t envisage the England international moving away from Old Trafford.

“It’s a blow that we’ve lost him because he’s been training well and looking very good,” said Moyes. “But unfortunately he just felt something in his hamstring. He’s got a slight grade one injury that will keep him out for about two to three weeks. So I don’t foresee any problem with Wayne and he will be fit for the start of the season.”

(MORE: Rooney leaves Manchester United tour due to injury)

Moyes then seemed to let off some steam regarding the whole situation, as Rooney’s exit from their preseason tour of the Far East has cast further doubt on his United future.

source: AP
Will Rooney join Torres at Chelsea next season?

“Unless I was speaking double Dutch, I’ve said that Wayne Rooney is not for sale. I have answered lots of questions about Wayne and it’s getting repetitive. I don’t want to talk about it all day.”

Luckily, we do.

And Rooney’s soccer future could hinge on any potential move this summer. A switch to Chelsea could see his hunger return and trophies stack up under Mourinho. But if it doesn’t go well, then everyone will point to Rooney leaving Manchester as the catalyst for his downfall. But if he is forced to stay at United, will his form go rapidly downhill?

For club and country this is a huge year for Rooney, England need him fit and on top form if they have any chance of reaching the World Cup, let alone doing well in Brazil. This saga rolls on and on.

Think about this. On the day Rooney returns to England, thousands of miles away from Manchester United’s players and staff, Chelsea manager Mourinho states his admiration for the player. You connect the dots.

Bayern’s Vidal says “ugly” Atletico not deserved UCL finalists

MADRID, SPAIN - APRIL 27: Juanfran of Atletico Madrid and Arturo Vidal of Bayern Munich argue during the UEFA Champions League semi final first leg match between Club Atletico de Madrid and FC Bayern Muenchen at Vincente Calderon on April 27, 2016 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
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Bayern Munich midfielder Arturo Vidal has declared “ugly” Atletico Madrid unworthy finalists in the UEFA Champions League.

Bayern was eliminated in the Champions League semifinal by Atleti on Tuesday, with Diego Simeone’s Spanish side advancing on away goals.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s UCL coverage ]

However, Vidal believed Bayern were the better team in the second leg, saying Atletico played “ugly football” to get through.

Today ugly football – Atletico – played against the best football in the world. The only time they saw the ball was for the goal.

They are going to be dreaming about us right up to the final. They did not have the ball, they took on the best team in the world, they took their chances and got to the final.

The best does not always win in football, like today. They are not deserved finalists.

Bayern Munich controlled more than 70-percent of possession and had 33 shots compared to Atletico’s nine, but those stats mean little as Antoine Griezmann’s away goal was enough to send Atleti to the final.

[ MORE: Former England striker Joe Cole headed to NASL’s Tampa Bay Rowdies ]

Atletico may not play the most attractive football, but after eliminating Barcelona and Bayern Munich in consecutive legs, it’s hard to argue anyone deserves this more than Simeone’s men.

Europa League preview: Liverpool, Shakhtar look to overcome Spanish foes

VILLARREAL, SPAIN - APRIL 28:  Cedric Bakambu of Villarreal is watched by the Liverpool defence during the UEFA Europa League semi final first leg match between Villarreal CF and Liverpool at Estadio El Madrigal on April 28, 2016 in Villarreal, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
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The second leg of the Europa League semifinals kick off tomorrow, with two La Liga sides looking to make it an all-Spanish final.

[ MORE: Premier League Playback ]

Villarreal holds a 1-0 lead over Liverpool, while Sevilla scored two away goals in their 2-2 draw at Shakhtar Donetsk.

Liverpool vs. Villarreal – 3:05 p.m. ET
Villarreal won first leg 1-0

Adrian Lopez’s late winner in the first leg has given Villarreal a slight lead, while the Spanish side did well not to concede an away goal. However, Liverpool have overcome deficits at Anfield before, including their memorable 4-3 victory over Borussia Dortmund in the quarterfinals. Emre Can is back fit for the Reds, as manager Jurgen Klopp will hope his fellow German can help the team to a cup final in his first year in charge.

[ RELATED: Liverpool preparing for another big Thursday night at Anfield ]

Sevilla vs. Shakhtar Donetsk – 3:05 p.m. ET
First leg ended 2-2 draw 

Sevilla are looking to become the first team to win three consecutive Europa League titles as the two-time defending champions face off against Shakhtar Donetsk. Sevilla are in the driver’s seat after scoring two away goals in Ukraine, and will feel confident of advancing to the final with a great home record at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium.

Men in Blazers podcast: Celebrating Leicester’s title with Arlo White

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In the latest Men in Blazers podcast, Rog and Davo celebrate Leicester City’s improbable Premier League title with Leicester’s own Arlo White.

All of the MiB content — pods, videos and stories can be seen here, but to really stay in touch, follow, subscribe, click here:

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European police say Russian mafia infiltrating soccer clubs

LISBON, PORTUGAL - NOVEMBER 04:  Sporting Lisbon fans celebrate after their team score a goal during the Portuguese Liga match between Sporting Lisbon and Uniao Leiria at the Alvalade XXI Stadium on November 4, 2005 in Lisbon, Portugal.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
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LISBON, Portugal (AP) Portuguese and European police say they have broken up a cell of an important Russian mafia group that allegedly laundered money through European football clubs.

Europol, the European Union’s law enforcement agency, said in a statement Wednesday the group identified EU football clubs in financial distress and infiltrated them with benefactors who brought much-needed cash.

[ MORE: Man City bounced from UCL ]

Once they were in control, the mobsters allegedly laundered millions of euros (dollars) through player transfers, TV rights deals and betting.

Portuguese and European police on Tuesday raided third-division Portuguese club Uniao de Leiria and arrested three key members of the Russian gang. Three other Portuguese clubs’ premises were searched.

Europol said the operation helped identify serious crimes in Austria, Germany, and the United Kingdom, though it gave no details.