Leading the transfer rumor charge for Tuesday is the continued talk of Tottenham landing Steaua Bucharest defender Vlad Chiriches.
Spurs are currently rolling with a center-back pairing of Jan Vertonghen and Michael Dawson and looking quite strong in doing so. Younes Kaboul is back healthy and providing cover but manager Andre Villas-Boas, sensing his squad can make a long-shot run at the Premier League title, is looking for greater depth.
Chiriches would provide just that and more. The 23 year old is known as a quick, ball-playing defender who is viewed in Romania as the next coming of legend Christian Chivu. With Steven Caulker being sold to Cardiff City and William Gallas’ retirement, this is a deal we can expect to get done, likely for around $11 million (£7m).
But Spurs aren’t stopping there as AVB is also seeking additional cover for the expected departure of Gareth Bale. Since missing out on Brazilian midfielder Willian the North London club has narrowed their focus on Roma attacking midfielder Erik Lamela, who scored 15 goals and notched 5 assists in 33 Serie A competitions last season. This deal will cost Spurs a bit of a prettier penny, however, and is expected to get done at $47 million (£30m).
At Manchester United, manager David Moyes finally looks ready to make a legitimate offer for Everton’s Marouane Fellaini after two lowball bids were immediately rejected by the Merseyside club. Rumors out from the Mirror say that Moyes is ready to offer a $39 million (£25m) for the Belgian and that the bid will be submitted in the next 24 hours. If Everton accept the offer, expect Roberto Martinez to turn around and snap up his former midfielder at Wigan, James McCarthy.
It’s been a little over a year since we’ve seen Joey Barton in the Premier League and Crystal Palace feel that’s just about long enough. Manager Ian Holloway has moaned endlessly (and poetically) about his club’s struggles in the transfer market but expect that to stop later this week when the Eagles bring in the QPR midfielder on a $1.2 million (£750k) move from Loftus Road.
One Sunderland player who is not on board with Paulo Di Canio is attacking midfielder Stephane Sessegnon. The manager has taken note and looks poised to bring in Inter Milan midfielder Zdravko Kuzmanovic on a season long loan deal. The arrival of the 25 year old Serbian would allow Di Canio to move forward on the sale of Sessegnon, who could be on his way to a number of clubs including Paris Saint-Germain, Arsenal and Marseille.
Following Sunday’s 1-0 loss to Tottenham, Swansea City manager Michael Laudrup noted his intent to bring in a new attacking player. From all indications, that man is none other than West Bromwich Albion misfit Peter Odemwingie. The Russian-born Nigerian international is said to be keen on a move to The Liberty but the Swans have only offered $2.8 million (£1.8m) while Stoke City and Cardiff City are both rumored to have bid $3.1 million (£2m).
Former Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini thought it was the right thing to do; His club was reportedly looking for his successor, so why not let them do it in the open.
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What followed Pellegrini’s announcement that he would leave at the end of season were three straight losses and, arguably, City’s chances at a Premier League title.
From Sky Sports:
“After Guardiola said he was coming to England it was my decision [to go public] because all the media was talking about Guardiola here, Guardiola in Arsenal, Guardiola in Manchester United,” he told The Guardian.
“It was not fair for all managers – when everyone knew he was coming here. If I ask if I would do that again… I have some doubts.”
Pellegrini said the announcement didn’t make it difficult for him, but for his players.
The Argentine also said he’ll wait for an interesting job to come calling, and that he could be done managing forever if such an opportunity doesn’t present itself. That said, we think he’ll find a job that’s to his liking given this comment:
“Of course, I would miss it. The challenge keeps me alive.”
Life is a good motivator.
The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup hits the third round on Wednesday, with NASL teams entering the fray and at least one fourth-tier or lower side guaranteed to advance to face MLS competition.
The USASA had three teams win second round matches, and two will face each other on Wednesday. The L.A. Wolves knocked off the USL’s Orange County Blues, while L Maquina FC handed the NPSL’s Sacramento Gold an ouster. They will tangle for the right to a high-profile match-up with the L.A. Galaxy.
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We’ll also see NASL vs. USL geographical rivalries when Carolina faces Charlotte and Rayo OKC meets Oklahoma City.
Wednesday’s third round matches
Chattanooga FC (NPSL) vs. Harrisburg City Islanders (USL)
Fort Lauderdale Strikers (NASL) vs. Richmond Kickers (USL)
Jacksonville Armada (NASL) vs. Charleston Battery (USL)
New York Cosmos (NASL) vs. Jersey Express (PDL)
Carolina RailHawks (NASL) vs. Charlotte Independence (USL)
Miami FC (NASL) vs. Wilmington Hammerheads (USL)
Tampa Bay Rowdies (NASL) vs FC Cincinnati (USL)
Rochester Rhinos (USL) vs. Lansdowne Bhoys FC (USASA)
Indy Eleven (NASL) vs. Louisville City FC (USL)
Saint Louis FC (USL) vs. Minnesota United (NASL)
Rayo OKC (NASL) vs Oklahoma City Energy (USL)
Des Moines Menace (PD) vs. San Antonio FC (USL)
Arizona United (USL) vs. Colorado Springs Switchbacks (USL)
La Maquina (USASA) vs. L.A. Wolves (USASA)
Kitsap Pumas (PDL) vs. Sacramento Republic (USL)
An Iranian woman wanted to see her favorite team play badly, but knew well the unspoken rule: no females at the stadium.
The Independent has the story of a woman who dressed in layers and filmed herself in case trouble came from her attendance.
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Persepolis FC is the name of the club, and they play in the Persian Gulf Pro League.
From The Independent:
There is no official ban on women attending sports events in Iran, but they are often refused entry so it is rare for women to attend.
In a third video, the woman explains that she layered five T-shirts and five pairs of trousers to hide her figure and covered her face with face paint.
I recognize that this is the norm over there, but it’s still a striking story.
It’s a $40 million question for Manchester United: Will Juan Mata and Jose Mourinho work well together?
Their time at Chelsea was fractured when Mourinho deemed Mata surplus to requirement and shipped the Spaniard to Old Trafford.
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Mata, 28, has been a consistent performer for United, but will his reunion with Mourinho be short-lived? It’s easy to imagine both as ready to move on and Barcelona could be an option if that happens.
Mundo Deportivo says Barcelona could make a bid of close to $40 million in order to help the midfield continue to tick. Mata was a key part of United’s possession-based approach under Louis Van Gaal, and as a player really does fit the bill of a Mourinho-minded mid.
We’re just hoping that if Mata moves, he doesn’t switch anywhere that would change his English language blog posts.