Multiple sources are reporting that, come January, Manchester United will succeed in wooing Leighton Baines away from Everton. The Red Devils have made two previous attempts, over the last two summers, to sign the left back — but it seems that the Englishman is now poised to join up with former manager David Moyes.
Apparently, Patrice Evra, who’s been with United since 2006, is set to move back to his native France in the summer. With Moyes eager to install Baines at left back, he wants to snap up the 29 year old at the best possible time — during the January transfer window, when prices for Englishmen with Proven Premier League Experience are at their peak. And since Moyes made it perfectly clear during the summer that he was anxious to be reunited with his former player, it’s quite likely that Everton are going to make a pretty penny should the deal go through.
Adding Manchester United to his resume might increase Baines’s chances of snatching a starting spot on the England squad away from Ashley Cole. Baines missed out on a trip to South Africa but has had many more opportunities since that time, including involvement in England’s World Cup qualifying process. However, the Everton man failed to impress against Chile on Friday night, practically inviting Alexis Sánchez to steal the ball and score the opening goal, so Baines will be looking for any opportunity that boosts his chances of starting in Brazil.
Of course, it’s necessary to remember that this rumor is circulating in the middle of an international break. There’s not much to talk about when there’s not any top-flight football going on. Even a whisper from a not-quite-credible source can gain plenty of traction when there’s little else to focus on.
It isn’t Dortmund, but that’s a good thing for Liverpool.
Our own Joe Prince-Wright was on the scene for Jurgen Klopp’s unveiling as the latest Reds manager, and the 48-year-old German had a lot to say.
Perhaps most poignant for Liverpool fans are Klopp’s words on the talent he inherits from Brendan Rodgers. Sure there are quips that will hit the headlines, but how about Klopp’s assertion that success shouldn’t take nearly as long as his dramatic work at BVB.
From JPW on Merseyside:
“We did in Dortmund what we had to do, to improve the players, to work for a common idea of play. That is what we did and its the same thing we want to do here. They are not the same players of course,” Klopp told NBC Sports ProSoccerTalk. “These players from Liverpool are better, more experienced in some ways and younger in other cases. Everything is okay, I am here. I am not here only because LFC was calling. I believe in the potential of this team. Four or five strikers you can work with when they are not injured, midfielders is really good, defenders experienced and very young, goalkeeper is really good. Everything is there.”
Everything. A powerful word and one that doesn’t get lost in translation. Liverpool has a batch of world class talent, and Klopp’s is anxious to organize it in world class fashion. Strap in, Anfield.
So here we go: the biggest rivalry in U.S. Soccer, the one that sends fans racing for the stadia for a glimpse of history.
It’s the U.S. and Mexico for the right to go to the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia, and it will play out at the Rose Bowl on Saturday night.
National pride is on the line, and national jobs may rightly be in jeopardy. Let’s swing through our coverage, and what’s at stake in just over 24 hours time.
Who is the key to Saturday’s match? Is it Michael Bradley? Fabian Johnson? Andres Guardado? Will Klinsmann opt for players with Liga MX experience, stay Euro Heavy, or appease the domestic set? Read more here.
So how will Klinsmann line ’em up? JPW has his preference, some options, and a prediction of what the manager will do.
What are the chances this one finds its way into the upper echelon of matches in the Mexico/U.S. rivalry? This is the company it could join.
The folks in the anti-Klinsmann brigade seethe with pure detestation of the USMNT boss. Any quote from him is self-serving and dishonest, any success accidental. Beat Germany or the Netherlands in friendlies on the road? Coincidental and Unimportant. Lose a friendly to Brazil? The worst thing ever.
[ MORE: The case for firing Klinsmann after a loss ]
So this match, being meaningful and testing his unbeaten mark vs Mexico, is going to be a clarion call for U.S. Soccer fans. Barring a cataclysmic loss in horrific blowout fashion, he won’t be canned. But a win will be validation for his supporters while a loss would cue a genuine hot seat. And for his detractors, already foaming at the mouth from the words of icon Landon Donovan? Kablammo.