With Gareth Bale’s holiday in Marbella ruined, he returns to London frustrated and unhappy

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Last Saturday Gareth Bale was chilling.

Sunglasses on, feet up, Bale lounged on a sun-drenched beach in Marbella, sipping an ice-cold concoction of fruit in wine that beat the pants off of any shandy he’d tasted before.

Life was good. It was about to be great. After months of protracted talks and haggling over a transfer from Tottenham to Real Madrid, the stage was set. Quite literally, in fact, as his would be new employers had actually erected a stage at the Bernabéu where, on Tuesday, they were prepared to unveil their new high-powered toy.

Bale had already agreed to a package with Madrid that would see him sign a six year contract in exchange for an annual salary of close to $13.4 million (€10m). All that remained to do was for Spurs to finalize that darned transfer fee. Madrid wanted $121.5 (€90.8m). Tottenham wanted $133.8 million (€100m).

Meet half-way and be done with it, Gazza probably thought. Either way it felt like a done deal.

But as the ice in his sangria began to melt, the taste began to change. The beverage had morphed from a beach cocktail into something that tasted like it had been whipped up by a bunch of frat boys who had come across a bottle of grain, powdered flavor, a trash can and a garden hose.

By Sunday, a deal still hadn’t gotten done and even worse, Spurs claimed that another bid had been received. Although unconfirmed, the prevailing thought was that Manchester United had now become a player. As the situation spiraled and the transfer that seemed so close was now once again acres apart, Bale jetted back to London.

And now, on Tuesday, it’s safe to say that Bale is no chilling. Reports from Sky Sports claim the player is “unhappy and frustrated” with how White Hart Lane has handled his transfer. With his arms crossed and a pouty look, Bale has taken his ball and is refusing to meet up with his Spurs teammates to train.

As for that other bid, after the nil-nil draw with Chelsea on Monday night, United boss David Moyes was asked if the Red Devils made the bid and the Scotsman responded, “no.” But few believe the denial. Despite promises to the contrary, the United boss has yet to make a splash in the summer transfer window. Could we be in line for a sensational ending to a summer-long saga?

The transfer window closes on September 2nd.

Alexis Sanchez says he “expected better” from himself at Manchester United

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Alexis Sanchez isn’t happy with his performance so far at Manchester United.

The Chilean superstar has scored just one goal for the Red Devils in 10 appearances since joining from Arsenal, and the club has lost three of those games and has been knocked out of the Champions League by Sevilla.

Speaking with Chilean media on national team duty in Sweden, Sanchez said he expects more of himself and that he’s so far let himself down. “As I am self-demanding, I expected something better,” Sanchez said. “After my arrival at United, it was hard to change everything very quickly. I even hesitated to come here [to join the national team].”

Chile missed out on World Cup qualification, and has friendlies with Sweden and Denmark scheduled over the next week. With so little at stake, Sanchez was poised to take time off from the national team, but says he was convinced by Manchester City goalkeeper and Chilean captain Claudio Bravo to stick it out.

“The change of club was something that was very abrupt – it was the first time I’ve changed clubs in January – but many things have happened in my life that are difficult,” Sanchez said. “I had asked permission to miss these games, but then I thought better and spoke with Claudio and told him that we should all be united.”

Once the international break is over, Manchester United resumes Premier League play against Swansea at the end of March before an April 7th derby meeting with Manchester City.

James Collins injured in West Ham friendly

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West Ham defender James Collins hobbled off the field in the 29th minute of the Hammers’ friendly against Dagenham & Redbridge on Wednesday, a big blow to the club’s already paper-thin back line.

With the league on an international break, West Ham agreed to play a friendly against Dagenham & Redbridge to help raise money for National League club that could be in serious financial trouble. However, it could be detrimental to the short-term future of the Hammers, who are hoping to stave off relegation, sitting just two points above the drop.

The 34-year-old defender has missed significant time this season due to injury, with an ankle injury keeping Collins out for nearly three months in 2017. West Ham has lost just four of the 12 Premier League matches Collins has appeared in this season, with three clean sheets. However, two of those have come in the club’s last three games, thrashed by a combined 7-1 scoreline between 90 minutes against Liverpool and Burnley.

The injury comes at the worst possible time, with West Ham set to play Southampton in a critical relegation matchup between teams in the in 17th and 18th in the Premier League table. The Hammers are already without defender Winston Reid who remains out for the season with a knee injury, while the club sold center-back Jose Fonte to Chinese club Dalian Yifang F.C. in late February.

West Ham was hoping to do its part to help save the London club. Former director Glyn Hopkin abruptly resigned and pulled all financial backing in early February, leaving the club fearing for its immediate future. They reportedly need $353,000 just to stay afloat the rest of the season, even with zero club debt.

Men In Blazers podcast: Mohamed Salah continues to shine

Men In Blazers
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Rog and Davo marvel at Mo Salah’s four goal, one dime haul in Liverpool’s 5-0 beatdown of Watford, analyze Jose Mourinho’s recent rants about football heritage at Manchester United, and recap Rog’s family trip to Stoke vs. Everton.

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1912 FA Cup winner’s medal stolen

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A 106-year-old footballing relic has been snatched from a house in England.

The home of the 82-year-old grandson of former Barnsley player Philip Bratley was burglarized last weekend according to the BBC and other reports, and among the items stolen was an “invaluable” FA Cup winner’s medal from 1912.

That year, Barnsley defeated West Bromwich Albion in the finals of the 41st FA Cup, with Bratley scoring the winning goal in the semifinal replay over Swindon Town. He went on to make over 100 appearances for Barnsley between 1910 and 1014 before moving transferring to Liverpool, where he spent one season before he left during the first World War.

“This item is of great sentimental value to the family and belonged to the 82-year-old victim’s grandfather who, at the time, played for Barnsley,” the South Yorkshire police said. “The family is extremely upset that this, along with many of their belongings, have been stolen. If you have any information please get in touch so we can try and reunite this invaluable item with its rightful owner.”

Barnsley has offered to assist the South Yorkshire police in their search for the stolen artifact, as those with any information are encouraged to contact either entity to share what they may know.