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).
Bastian Schweinsteiger is waiting on a visa to make his trip to Chicago official.
It’s a formality, albeit a bit trickier now given the political climate in the United States. The former Manchester United midfielder is training at Real Mallorca ahead of the move.
The transfer was announced one week ago, and Schweinsteiger is anxious to get back on the pitch. Set for a 1-year, $4.5 million deal, the midfielder has not missed any Chicago matches yet.
[ MORE: Under-the-radar Premier League XI ]
The Fire is 1-1-1 to start the new season under Veljko Paunovic, and has three home matches next: Montreal (Saturday), Columbus (Apr. 8), and New England (Apr. 15)
According to a report by The Sun, Arsenal is monitoring the progress of Leicester City goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel.
The rumor does make sense. With Petr Cech at 34 years old and having a poor season in front of net and backup David Ospina failing to challenge him for the starting job, the Gunners are looking elsewhere to bring in a potential future starter.
Schmeichel has been one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League the past two seasons. Last season he led the Foxes to the Premier League title, organizing a stunningly good defensive line of patchwork players. This season, the defense has largely regressed and let Schmeichel down, but he has still performed well and has the metrics to remain one of the league’s top shot-stoppers.
The Danish keeper is 30 years old himself, but that puts him in his prime for a goalkeeper. He has been with Leicester City since 2011, and he will tick 250 appearances for the club with his next match. Schmeichel was rumored to be a member of the secret player delegation that worked hard to see Claudio Ranieri pushed out of the club, a sentiment which he and the other players have strongly denied.
Still, with an improbable Premier League title in hand and an appearance in the Champions League quarterfinals now on the cards, there probably isn’t much else for him at Leicester City. It’s possible Schmeichel could look to bank on his past performances and secure a move to a bigger club this summer.
Should Arsene Wenger stay with Arsenal past this season, a possibility that looks more and more likely, he could look to move on from Cech despite signing the former Chelsea goalkeeper just two summers ago.
Chelsea striker Diego Costa pulled up in Spain training on Sunday, and with the Blues in first in the Premier League and Costa in great form, there were obvious concerns.
With Costa struggling with leg and ankle injuries, the RFEF informed Chelsea that there was an issue, and Costa was pulled from training and sent for tests. X-Rays at the local hospital in Madrid were negative, and he’s rejoined the squad.
According to the RFEF, doctors will continue to monitor the 28-year-old and he will continue with the national team for the rest of the international break. With a World Cup qualification win over Israel already in the books and just a friendly against France to go on Tuesday, it’s odd that Spain would risk Costa moving forward, but they will continue to keep him around.
Costa has scored 18 goals this season to lead the Blues, and he scored in the win over Israel. Spain takes on France in Saint-Denis on Tuesday, with both teams leading their World Cup qualification groups. Spain has a goal-differential lead on Italy with both teams miles above the rest of the Group G, and France is ahead of Sweden by three points in Group A, with the Netherlands back in fourth.
Well, there must be something in the water down in Brasilia, because things got a little weird this evening.
Flamengo drew with Vasco da Gama 2-2, but that was just the start.
In the 54th minute, with Vasco da Gama leading 1-0 at Estadio Nacional Mané Garrincha, 36-year-old Luis Fabiano was sent off for “headbutting” the referee. Headbutting is in quotes because looking at the video, it certainly appears there was little to no contact, and the referee flops.
Yes, the referee flopped. Take a look:
To be fair, Fabiano was already on a yellow, so getting in the referee’s face even without the headbutt/pelvic thrust would likely still have seen him sent to an early shower.
So the former Porto and Sevilla man was sent off, and Vasco da Gama was down to 10 men. Immediately after the red card, Flamengo took advantage, powering in a pair of goals via Willian Arao and Orlando Berrio to take the lead 2-1. But Vasco wouldn’t quit, and they earned a penalty five minutes into stoppage time, which Nene buried for the 2-2 draw.
To top things off, a player named Yago Pikachu scored the opener for Vasco da Gama, which was followed by a delay in the game seven minutes later after a power surge in the stadium. Go figure.