Reports: AC Milan headline Serie A clubs chasing Landon Donovan

16 Comments

About a day after Landon Donovan revealed he would consider a move abroad, clubs in one of Europe’s top leagues are after him.

Donovan, 31, spoke about his future earlier this week as his current contract with Major League Soccer is set to run out in January 2014.

Serie A sides Genoa, Sassulo and Hellas Verona have all made their interest clear to Donovan’s camp, while European giants AC Milan are also intrigued by Donovan’s situation. Milan are said to want a deal this summer but Donovan will likely stay in MLS until January.

It seems as if the LA Galaxy attacker will certainly have plenty of options if he does decide to leave MLS for Europe. But despite all this interest from European giants, which league or which club would suit Donovan best?

Milan could well be in the Champions League and boast a whole array of attacking talent, with Stephan El Shaarawy, Mario Balotelli and Kevin-Prince Boateng leading the way. But would Donovan’s style of play suit the Italian league? I think so. More so than the Premier League, at this point of his career.

(MORE: Are their hints of Landon Donovan leaving MLS?)

Don’t get me wrong, whatever league Donovan joins he would do well. Class is permanent. But if he did leave MLS, playing in Italy or maybe Spain would suit his style of play more. Quick one-two’s and a possession based game would allow him to get on the ball and dictate games.

The Premier League has become more and more physical in recent years, and I struggle to see Donovan keeping up with the pace of the current incarnation of the PL. Donovan had adapted his game to suit his age and how he can best manipulate the situations, he’s still quick over the first 10-15 yards but the pace of England’s top-flight is relentless.

So what options would he have in the PL? Maybe Everton where he was on loan in 2010 and 2012, as he won plenty of friends. And what about a reunion with David Moyes at Manchester United? Now that would be something. And aren’t we forgetting that despite Donovan’s stellar Gold Cup campaign this summer, his place in Jurgen Klinsmann’s World Cup squad is by no means guaranteed.

Not at all.

So a move to a big European team or league would certainly help boost Donovan’s chances of making the plane to Brazil. Klinsmann would be a huge fan of seeing Donovan in Europe. But is all this transfer talk a bit ‘pie in the sky?’ Well, if Milan is linked with Donovan, why not United?

Between now and the end of the MLS season, a potential new destination for Donovan will likely arrive every day. This is just the start of it.

Serie A, AC Milan, maybe a move back to England… Not bad for a player many chucked on the scrapheap after his self-imposed sabbatical last offseason.

Wigan player races off for son’s birth after scoring 2 goals

Twitter/@talkSPORT
Leave a comment

WIGAN, England (AP) It was better than a hat trick.

A player for English soccer team Wigan had a night to remember when he scored his second goal before dashing off the field and to the local hospital, where his girlfriend was in labor.

[ MORE: Chelsea advances to UCL Round of 16 after win over Qarabag ]

A picture of Ryan Colclough holding his new-born baby, Harley, while still in his soccer uniform was shared on social media by Wigan chairman David Sharpe.

Colclough said his father, sitting in the stands on Tuesday for Wigan’s 3-0 win over Doncaster in the second division, “gave me the action that the waters had broken,” but he didn’t want to come off until the ball was out of play.

“My head was a little bit battered, but I went and scored, looked at the manager and he said we’ll bring you off now,” Colclough said Wednesday of his 58th-minute goal, which he celebrated by pretending to rock a baby. “I came off and was straight down the tunnel, grabbed my keys and my phone, and went to hospital.”

Colclough had visited the midwife that day, and was told the baby was unlikely to arrive for “another couple of days.”

Lille suspends coach Marcelo Bielsa

Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images
Leave a comment

LILLE, France (AP) French club Lille has provisionally suspended coach Marcelo Bielsa following a string of poor results in the top tier.

[ MORE: Basel stuns Man United late to keep UCL hopes alive ]

The northern side said in a statement that Bielsa has been suspended “as part of a procedure started by the club.” Lille did not elaborate.

Bielsa joined Lille this season but has failed to make the club competitive again, with the team second to last after 13 matches.

The 2 Robbies podcast: PL sides in the UCL, Pulis sacking and more

Twitter/@SkyFootball
Leave a comment

In today’s Euro Pod Edition, the Robbies breakdown the latest Champions League action. Man United lose at Basel, Chelsea cruise at Qarabag, Spurs impress against Dortmund, Man City continue to win, Liverpool surrender a 3-goal lead against Sevilla. Plus, the guys weigh in on the Oumar Niasse ban for diving and the Tony Pulis sacking.

Join Earle & Mustoe on The 2 Robbies Football Show, Saturdays at 5pm ET. Listen on the NBCSports Radio App and call 855-323-4622 in the U.S. for lively passionate debate.

All of the The 2 Robbies content can be accessed by clicking on this link:

[ Click here for The 2 Robbies archive ]

Listen to the latest pod by clicking play below.

Follow them on Twitter @The2Robbies

Europa League preview: Arsenal looks to wrap up Group H and more

Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
Leave a comment

While several teams have already booked their place in the knockout phase, the Europa League reaches its penultimate round on Thursday with many big matches in hand.

[ MORE: Yannick Bolasie finally returns to Everton training ]

Of the two Premier League sides in the competition, only one will advance to the Round of 32, as Arsenal have all but assured themselves of the top spot in Group H. The Gunners can do so tomorrow with a win over Koln or a Red Star Belgrade defeat.

The other end of the spectrum features Everton, who has already been eliminated from reaching the next round after acquiring just one point in its first four matches.

European giants AC Milan can lock up a spot in the knockout phase on Thursday despite the club’s ongoing struggles in Serie A, while fellow Italian side Atalanta can move a step closer to the Round of 32 in Group E along with Lyon.

Here’s the full rundown of Thursday’s UEL matches.

Astana vs. Villareal — 11 a.m. ET
Konyaspor vs. Marseille — 1 p.m. ET
Rosenborg vs. Real Sociedad¬†— 1 p.m. ET
Lazio vs. Vitesse¬†— 1 p.m. ET
Viktoria Plzen vs. Steaua Bucuresti¬†— 1 p.m. ET
Lokomotiv vs. Copenhagen¬†— 1 p.m. ET
Zenit vs. Vardar¬†— 1 p.m. ET
Red Bull Salzburg vs. Vitoria¬†— 1 p.m. ET
Athletic Bilbao vs. Hertha Berlin¬†— 1 p.m. ET
BATE vs. Red Star Belgrade¬†— 1 p.m. ET
Ostersund vs. Zorya¬†— 1 p.m. ET
Koln vs. Arsenal¬†— 1 p.m. ET
Nice vs. Zulte Waregem — 1 p.m. ET
Lugano vs. Beer-Sheva¬†— 1 p.m. ET
Ludogorets vs. Istanbul¬†— 3:05 p.m. ET
Braga vs. Hoffenheim¬†— 3:05 p.m. ET
AEK vs. Rijeka¬†— 3:05 p.m. ET
AC Milan vs. Austria Wien¬†— 3:05 p.m. ET
Lyon vs. Apollon¬†— 3:05 p.m. ET
Maccabi Tel Aviv vs. Slavia Praha¬†— 3:05 p.m. ET
Sheriff vs. Zlin¬†— 3:05 p.m. ET
Partizan vs. Young Boys¬†— 3:05 p.m. ET
Skenderbeu vs. Dynamo Kyiv¬†— 3:05 p.m. ET
Everton vs. Atalanta — 3:05 p.m. ET