Is David Moyes conceding defeat in his pursuit of Cesc Fabregas?

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It’s looking like Manchester United boss David Moyes may finally be giving up on his pursuit of Cesc Fabregas.

The Red Devils have failed with two bids for the Spanish playmaker, the latest of which is understood to be $46.2 million (£30m), plus add-ons.

The Old Trafford boss hinted at a pull-out earlier in the day. “I couldn’t tell you if there will be another bid,” Moyes said. “Obviously we will take stock of it and consider what we are going to do next.”

Earlier in the week, Moyes appeared poised to submit a third bid for the former Arsenal midfielder, noting that the Premier League champions attempts at signing Fabregas were “ongoing.”

That intent appears to have been dulled by new Barcelona manager Gerardo Martino, who spoke on the Fabregas issue on Friday. “I’m not going to get into the economic interests but, if the club rejected it twice, I add a third one right now,” Martino said. “He will be staying here.”

Previous to Martino’s statement, Moyes, perhaps unrealistically, believed United still had some wiggle room to get a deal for Fabregas done. He not only disregarded the assertions from Gerard Pique, Alex Song and other Barcelona ‘sources’ who claimed that the 26 year old would be playing at the Camp Nou in 2013-14, but he also turned a dull ear to Fabregas’ own expressed desire made earlier this summer to remain at his boyhood club.

Instead of risking the embarrassment of a third rejected bid, Moyes is now talking up his club’s pre-existing talent. “What we have here is a really good squad of players already. You mustn’t forget about the quality that is already here at Manchester United.”

Yet even with that talent, Moyes is still hoping to do some business. “Undoubtedly we are hoping to add to the squad. I am quite confident we will do, certainly before the window shuts.”

With Fabregas (mostly) out of the picture, most expect Moyes to turn his focus to Real Madrid deep lying playmaker Luka Modric. Other candidates to bring into the middle of the park include Newcastle’s Yohan Cabaye, Everton’s Marouane Fellaini and PSG’s Marco Verratti.

 

Europa League Preview: Everton, Milan look to make group stage

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Everton look to make it back into the Europa League group stage for the first time since the 2014-2015 season and it has a two-goal advantage heading into the second leg of its tie.

Ronald Koeman and co. travel to Croatia to face Hadjuk Split Thursday having won the first leg at Goodison Park, 2-0. Everton is coming off a hard-fought draw on Monday with Manchester City and will be on short rest heading into the match.

Elsewhere in Europa League action, AC Milan take its 6-0 aggregate lead to Skopje, Macedonia as the legendary club looks to return to the group stage of a European competition for the first time since 2013-2014.

Here’s a look at all of Thursday’s Europa League matches, with the current aggregate scores:

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EFL Cup Rewind: Southampton, Newcastle knocked out by Championship sides

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Last season, Southampton made it to the EFL Cup final. This year, it’s a different story.

The Saints were bounced by Wolverhampton Wanderers, 2-0 at home on Wednesday in the second round of the cup. Joining Southampton of Premier League sides going home early was Newcastle, which lost 3-2 after extra time at home against Nottingham Forest.

Four other Premier League sides did advance to the third round, as Stoke City, Huddersfield Town, West Ham United and Burnley all won their fixtures.

Here’s a look at the rest of Wednesday’s EFL Cup action:

Blackburn 0-2 Burnley

Cheltenham 0-2 West Ham

Huddersfield 2-1 Rotherham

Newcastle 2-3 Nottingham Forest

Southampton 0-2 Wolverhampton

Stoke City 4-0 Rochdale

Breaking down who each Premier League team could face in the UCL Group Stage

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The UEFA Champions League group stage lineup is complete, with five Premier League clubs making the list.

On Wednesday, Liverpool joined Chelsea, Tottenham, Manchester City and Manchester United in the group stage after beating Hoffenheim, 6-3 on aggregate in the playoff qualification round.

Thursday’s Champions League draw (2 p.m. ET) will place clubs into groups of four, where they’ll play three matches at home and away.

Here’s a look at the four coefficient pots and who each Premier League club could face:

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Follow Live – Texas Derby, Cascadia Cup headline busy night of MLS action

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Welcome to MLS Rivalry Week.

The surging Houston Dynamo could move to first place in the Western Conference with a win over rivals FC Dallas while the current first-place side, the Seattle Sounders travel north and across the border to face Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

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The Dynamo have made an impressive turnaround under coach Wilmer Cabrera and he’ll have the trio of Ricardo Clark, Alberth Elis and star forward Erick Torres available to face Dallas after missing the Dynamo’s match at Vancouver last weekend, which ended 2-1 in favor of the Whitecaps.

FC Dallas are in its worst form of the season, winless in its last four games, but the team will be extra motivated to beat its rivals.

El Capitan is on the line after draws between FC Dallas and the Dynamo in two matches earlier this season.

Meanwhile up in Vancouver, the Whitecaps host a Sounders squad that pulled out a last-gasp victory last weekend over Minnesota United. While the team is in great form on the road recently (two wins and two draws), the top story heading into the game is the unexpected absence of Joevin Jones, who left the Sounders for his home in Trinidad and Tobago ahead of the upcoming international break.

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On the other side, Fredy Montero faces his former club and carries an interesting record into Wednesday’s match. Of his 35 MLS goals, 11 have been scored against Cascadia Cup competition.

Here’s a look at Wednesday’s action:

Full schedule

Columbus Crew vs. LA Galaxy – 7:30 p.m. ET

D.C. United vs. Atlanta United – 7:30 p.m.ET

FC Dallas vs. Houston Dynamo – 8 p.m. ET

Toronto FC vs. Philadelphia Union – 8 p.m. ET

Real Salt Lake vs. San Jose Earthquakes – 10 p.m. ET

Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Seattle Sounders – 10 p.m. ET

Portland Timbers vs. Colorado Rapids – 10:30 p.m. ET