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Wayne Rooney will not hand in transfer request

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The Roo looks likely to stay in Manchester.

Sky Sports is reporting that less than a day after Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho issued Wayne Rooney a 48 hour ultimatum to make his mind up on a move to Stamford Bridge, the Manchester United striker has decided against handing in a transfer request.

Following the nil-nil draw between United and Chelsea the Portuguese manager said: “We are not so silly as to try to get a player from a big club, a club that doesn’t sell what they don’t want to sell; we are not so silly as to try to do something if somebody didn’t start it.

“The person that started the story has to finish the story. For the good of everyone it is time to finish the story. One way or another he has to say ‘I want to leave’ or ‘I want to stay’.”

When further questioned how long he’d be willing to wait before moving onto other targets, Mourinho said: “Twenty-four hours, 48 hours.”

More: Jose Mourinho gives Wayne Rooney Chelsea ultimatum

As is standard operating procedure for Wazza, he has yet to come out and actually speak on the matter but Sky is nevertheless confident in their “sources” that Rooney won’t be leaving the friendly confines of Old Trafford.

And friendly they certainly were last night where the 27 year old’s every move was cheered on by the United faithful. Rooney’s display was a jolt of electricity amongst an otherwise dark and dull night, save perhaps a few John Terry interceptions and Nemanja Vidic tackles.

With Rooney seemingly out of the picture, the focus for Mourinho will turn to bringing in one more piece before the transfer window slams shut on September 2nd. From all indications that piece will be a striker and his name is Samuel Eto’o.

The move will come as a blow to Fernando Torres, Romelu Lukaku and Demba Ba, who received powerful insight on their manager’s opinion of them last night when he chose to start the match in a 4-2-4 striker-less formation.

A move for Eto’o will not only reunite Mourinho with a player who helped his Inter Milan side claim the treble in 2010 but will also mark the second deal done with Anzhi Makhachkala following last week’s scoop of Brazilian attacking midfielder, Willian.

The move for Eto’o will likely mean curtains for Torres or Ba at Stamford Bridge. Expect that move to come, at the latest, by the 2014 January transfer window.

FOLLOW LIVE: 2016 MLS Cup Playoffs knockout round

Sporting Kansas City forward Dom Dwyer, center, is congratulated by teammates, including midfielder Roger Espinoza (27), following his goal during the first half of an MLS soccer match against the Houston Dynamo in Kansas City, Kan., Saturday, Aug. 1, 2015. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
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The knockout round of the 2016 MLS Cup Playoffs concludes on Thursday, as four teams vie for the final two places — one in the Eastern Conference, one in the Western Conference — in the conference semifinals, which begin on Sunday.

[ FOLLOW LIVE: MLS Cup Playoffs knockout round ]

Up first, the East’s fourth-seeded D.C. United welcome the five-seed Montreal Impact to RFK Stadium for the two sides’ third meeting of the 2016 season. Each of the year’s first two clashes finished a 1-1 draw, in July and August. Didier Drogba is expected to be unavailable for the win-or-go-home tie. United finished the regular season with four wins in the last five games, while the Impact won just two of their last eight.

[ MORE: Preivewing Thursday night’s knockout-round games ]

In the nightcap, the West’s fourth-seeded Seattle Sounders will take on the five-side, Sporting Kansas City, at CenturyLink Field. Sporting were victorious in both regular-season meetings this year — 1-0 on opening day, and 3-0 in late-July, the day the Sounders essentially quit on Sigi Schmid. Since that blistering hot day in KC, the Soudners have lost just twice in 14 games (eight wins, four draws).

Thursday’s MLS Cup Playoffs schedule

D.C. United vs. Montreal Impact — 7:30 p.m. ET
Seattle Sounders vs. Sporting KC — 10 p.m. ET

Cristiano Ronaldo says Ashley Cole is the toughest player he faced

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Cristiano Ronaldo has faced the best defenders in the world during his time with Manchester United, Real Madrid and the Portuguese national team.

He has also caused fits for most of those defenders with goal after goal for club and country. But, there have been some players who have at least made it difficult for the all-time leading goal scorer in Real Madrid and Champions League history.

According to Ronaldo, former Chelsea and Arsenal defender Ashley Cole was the toughest player he has faced in his career.

[ MORE: VIDEO: Incredible Pelle goal in China ]

“Over the years I had some great battles with Ashley Cole, he does not give you a second to breathe,” Ronaldo told Coach Mag. “He was such a tenacious player when he was at his peak, quick, tough in the tackle. You knew it would never be an easy game.”

During his time with Manchester United, Ronaldo faced Cole on numerous occasions while Cole was with Arsenal and Chelsea. The two have also faced off in international competition between Ronaldo’s Portugal and Cole’s England.

It’s certainly high praise for Cole, who now plays in MLS for the LA Galaxy. At the age of 35, Cole has started 25 matches for the Galaxy this season, scoring one goal.

Phil Neville praises Juan Mata’s play to Manchester United

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Juan Mata has appeared in 116 matches for Manchester United since moving to Old Trafford in 2014. In that time, Mata has scored 29 goals and recorded 18 assists.

Despite his performance for the team, some thought Mata would be moved when Jose Mourinho came to town, including former United player and assistant coach Phil Neville.

Neville told Sky Sports, “I actually thought he would be the first out of the door when Jose came, but he’s actually becoming one of the most important players.”

Neville praised Mata’s contributions and versatility for United. “He is never injured, he provides a lot of assists, he plays in two or three different positions, and he scores important goals.”

Manchester United has lacked an identity under Mourinho and recently faltered in the Premier League as the team is winless in its last three matches.

[ MORE: Mourinho gets FA charge ]

Could Mata be the answer to some of United’s problems?

The Spaniard is a classic No. 10 with the ability to dictate his team’s attack and create scoring opportunities for his teammates. Mata can also put the ball in the back of the net as evidenced by his winner against Manchester City in the EFL Cup.

Mourinho has options in the center midfield with the likes of Paul Pogba, Ander Herrera and Michael Carrick in addition to Mata on the roster.

However, given the team’s Premier League struggles, it could be worth giving Mata a chance as the team’s No. 10.

David Moyes faces FA charges after being sent off during EFL Cup

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David Moyes and Sunderland have gotten off to one of the worst starts in Premier League history.

If they fail to earn a point against Arsenal this weekend, they will tie the 1995-96 Manchester City team for the worst start ever through 10 matches with two points.

It appears those frustrations carried over to the EFL Cup for Moyes. On Wednesday, the manager was forced to leave the dugout toward the end of Sunderland’s 1-0 loss to Southampton after he protested a no-call from referee Chris Kavanagh.

Moyes was charged by the FA for his protests, saying the manager “used abusive and/or insulting words towards a match official”.

It’s just another thing to add to Moyes’ plate as he looks to keep Sunderland’s hopes of safety alive in the Premier League.