Tuesday’s Transfer Rumor Roundup: Mata, Salah, Muntari and one last stop for Eto’o

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Samuel Eto’o scored a bunch of goals the other day in Chelsea’s rout of Manchester United, but the 32-year-old striker was talking about Spain just one day later. Eto’o, who scored 108 goals in 145 matches for Barcelona, is being encouraged by his son to return to one of his other former La Liga homes. Will Eto’o finish his career at Real Mallorca?

Gary Lineker has a way with words, and as rumors continue to swirl regarding Juan Mata’s potential move from Chelsea to Manchester United, the English pundit says the move adds plenty of optimism for attractive football from David Moyes struggling and injured side.

Modibo Maiga was a hot commodity before arriving at Upton Park, with Newcastle one of the teams “missing out” on the Malian with a decent strike record in France. With just three goals in 31 Premier League appearances for West Ham, Big Sam Allardyce is ready to move on from the disappointing transfer. Turkey’s the rumored destination.

AC Milan midfielder Sulley Muntari is only 29 years old. Don’t know about you, but it kinda surprised us he wasn’t older. The former teen star with Udinese is being rumored as on the move to Hull City to join the Tigers. After picking up two striking threats in Nikita Jelavic and Shane Long, Steve Bruce is looking for more of an enforcer type.

The Yohan Cabaye story lingers in the Newcastle press and Magpies supporters are surely hoping the resolution waits for the summer. Newcastle’s dynamic midfielder has been mentioned for an exit for ages and this January’s mostly been PSG as the destination. As the Northeast club may have reached an agreement to ply Remy Cabella from Montpellier in the summer, Cabaye uses the phrase “Champions League” like its going out of style.

Montpellier is now said to want a Hatem Ben Arfa loan move through the end of the season in order to get Cabella immediately. NUFC supporters can hope he leads the Magpies into Europe, fulfilling both sides desires, and that director of football Joe Kinnear isn’t lying when he says, ” “I will not let any player leave Newcastle United in this transfer window.”

Speaking of Newcastle, they’ve entered the fray for Basel star Mohamed Salah according to Sky Sports. In December it seemed the “Egyptian Messi” was all but Liverpool’s, but as time moves on more teams are getting the Salah itch.

Julio Cesar isn’t seeing time for QPR (!!) as Rob Green has played well, and the 34-year-old is pretty much gone from Loftus Road, admits QPR chairman Tony Fernandes. The player casually mentioned Sardinia and Cagliari as options, as the 77-times capped Brazilian wants playing time before his homeland’s World Cup.

Antoine Griezmann reveals desire to play in MLS

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Antoine Griezmann is being chased by the biggest clubs in Europe and is the main attacking talent for the French national team.

He just signed a new deal with La Liga giants Atletico Madrid through the 2022 season and despite Manchester United and Barcelona, among others, linked with a move for the predatory striker, nobody really knows where the Frenchman will be beyond this season.

But which league does he want to play in, for sure? Major League Soccer. Yep. That’s right.

In his new book titled “Behind a Smile: The life of the Little Prince” Griezmann says that he wants to follow in the footsteps of his idol, David Beckham, and finish his career in MLS. Griezmann also stated his love for NBA star Derrick Rose and his admiration for David Villa, captain of NYCFC.

Given the fact that Griezmann is 26 years old, it could be some time before he arrives in MLS but maybe he will do so in time to become one of Beckham’s first handful of Designated Players at his long-awaited Miami franchise?

Given the fact that whenever he discusses a potential move to Man United he cites the cold weather as an issue against the transfer, it’s likely Griezmann would want to be in a warmer climate in MLS. His good friend from their time together at Real Sociedad, Carlos Vela, is swapping Spain for Los Angeles in a few months as LAFC’s first DP.

Take your pick, Antoine. LAFC? Miami? NYCFC? LA Galaxy? Atlanta United?

I’m sure anyone would want to sign in a few years on DP-level money if you keep scoring goals like this one last night against AS Roma in the UEFA Champions League…

USMNT move up in latest FIFA rankings

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The latest batch of FIFA World Rankings arrived on Thanksgiving Day and the U.S. men’s national team can be thankful for moving up three places.

Despite their failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, the managerless USMNT rose three spots to 24th in the latest rankings and are the fifth-highest ranked nation to not qualify for the World Cup.

Mexico remain the top team in CONCACAF and stay in 16th place, while the U.S. has jumped ahead of Costa Rica who fell four places to 26th.

Germany remain in top spot in the rankings, while there were no other movers in the top five with Brazil in second, Portugal third, Argentina fourth and Belgium fifth. Spain moved up two spots to sixth, while Chile is back in the top 10 despite failing to make the World Cup and Switzerland moves into eighth place.

In total, four teams in the top 20, Chile, Italy,Wales and the Netherlands, failed to reach the World Cup. Senegal are the big climbers after their World Cup qualification as they rose nine places to 23, while Sweden moved up seven spots to 18th.

Below is a look at the top 25 nations on the planet, according to FIFA, as the 2017 international season comes to a close.


1. Germany
2. Brazil
3. Portugal
4. Argentina
5. Belgium
6. Spain
7. Poland
8. Switzerland
9. France
10. Chile
11. Peru
12. Denmark
13. Colombia
14. Italy
15. England
16. Mexico
17. Croatia
18. Sweden
19. Wales
20. Netherlands
21. Uruguay
22. Iceland
23. Senegal
= 24. USA
= 24. Northern Ireland

Wigan player races off for son’s birth after scoring 2 goals

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WIGAN, England (AP) It was better than a hat trick.

A player for English soccer team Wigan had a night to remember when he scored his second goal before dashing off the field and to the local hospital, where his girlfriend was in labor.

[ MORE: Chelsea advances to UCL Round of 16 after win over Qarabag ]

A picture of Ryan Colclough holding his new-born baby, Harley, while still in his soccer uniform was shared on social media by Wigan chairman David Sharpe.

Colclough said his father, sitting in the stands on Tuesday for Wigan’s 3-0 win over Doncaster in the second division, “gave me the action that the waters had broken,” but he didn’t want to come off until the ball was out of play.

“My head was a little bit battered, but I went and scored, looked at the manager and he said we’ll bring you off now,” Colclough said Wednesday of his 58th-minute goal, which he celebrated by pretending to rock a baby. “I came off and was straight down the tunnel, grabbed my keys and my phone, and went to hospital.”

Colclough had visited the midwife that day, and was told the baby was unlikely to arrive for “another couple of days.”

Lille suspends coach Marcelo Bielsa

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LILLE, France (AP) French club Lille has provisionally suspended coach Marcelo Bielsa following a string of poor results in the top tier.

[ MORE: Basel stuns Man United late to keep UCL hopes alive ]

The northern side said in a statement that Bielsa has been suspended “as part of a procedure started by the club.” Lille did not elaborate.

Bielsa joined Lille this season but has failed to make the club competitive again, with the team second to last after 13 matches.