Will United surge towards the top four with 14 games to go?

Real Madrid to bid $38 million for Wayne Rooney? Manchester United forward entering final year of deal


Real Madrid have a penchant for taking Manchester United’s best players off their hands in their prime.

The likes of David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo have been lured to the Santiago Bernabeu in the past.

Is it now Wayne Rooney’s turn to switch Manchester for Madrid?

Rumors circulating in the British Press on Wednesday state that Real Madrid President Florentino Perez is a huge admirer of Rooney, 28, and believes the United forward is attainable this summer due to the Red Devils struggles on the pitch and his current deal expiring in the summer of 2015.

The likes of Sergio Aguero, Radamel Falcao and Luis Suarez are all being chased by Madrid, but it’s thought that Perez is especially keen to land Rooney as the England international will be the cheaper option and this may be the perfect time for all parties.

Currently Madrid only have one top international recognized striker on the books, Karim Benzema, and Carlo Ancelotti is keen to add Rooney to his forward line. It is believed Man United are extremely reluctant to let Rooney leave, but instead of getting nothing for him next January or in the summer it’s believed they’re willing to strike a deal of $38 million with Real this summer.

(MORE: Wednesday’s Transfer Rumor Roundup – Rodrigo to Arsenal, Dante to Manchester United)

Rooney has recently stalled on a new contract and with just 18-months remaining on his current deal, the United forward is said to be contemplating renewing the great partnership he had with Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo when they led the line together at United. The duo tore it up for the Red Devils and if you throw Gareth Bale into the mix, that’s quite the attacking trio that Madrid could have at their disposal.

Aguero is thought to be Real’s first-choice but with the Argentine striker playing so well for Manchester City and the Premier League club not wanting to sell at any price, Rooney looks like a better option. United want to open contract talks with Rooney following the end of the season, as they want to tie him down to a long-term deal before the World Cup in Brazil.

But as the Red Devils languish in seventh spot and David Moyes’ bumpy transition sees them in real danger of not qualifying for the Champions League, maybe this is the perfect time for the creative masterpiece of United’s attack to jump ship and protect his legendary status at Old Trafford?

If Real do come calling, it would be hard for Rooney to turn them down.

EFL Cup Tues. preview: Spurs-Reds, plenty of non-PL participants

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 27:  Dele Alli of Tottenham Hotspur in action during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool at White Hart Lane on August 27, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images
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Sixteen teams remain in the battle to clinch the Premier League’s first European place of next season’s tournament, and we have some tremendous battles on tap for Tuesday and Wednesday in the EFL Cup (formerly the League Cup).

Today we focus on the 24 hours ahead of us, focusing on Tuesday’s five matches and allowing the Manchester Derby, West Ham-Chelsea, and Southampton-Sunderland to percolate a bit.

[ MORE: Finland’s “Leicester” gets it done ]

That’s not to say we don’t have a pair of giants dueling on Tuesday. Liverpool is three wins away from a return to the final, where the Reds fell in penalties last season. Standing in their way is Tottenham Hotspur, a deep squad which won’t have to worry much about a quick turnaround from Saturday.

That said, the Reds didn’t have to play at all last week, while this will be Spurs third match in a week. Spurs have been to the EFL Cup final thrice since 2008, and one of two teams (Chelsea) to make three finals this decade. Liverpool will start Simon Mignolet between the sticks.

The remaining four EFL Cup matches include at least one team outside the Premier League.

Arsenal will host USMNT midfielder Danny Williams and Reading.

— Hull City is off to Ashton Gate to face Bristol City.

— Newcastle United is leading the Championship, and will get a visit from Preston North End in the first of two matches between the two sides this week.

— Norwich City will pay a visit to Elland Road and Garry Monk‘s Leeds United.

FC Dallas gave injured Mauro Diaz a home champagne shower (video)

FRISCO, TX - APRIL 12:  Mauro Diaz #10 of the FC Dallas controls the ball against the Seattle Sounders FC on April 12, 2014 at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.  (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
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FC Dallas has two jewels of its triple crown all set, having claimed the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and the Supporters’ Shield.

One of the key reasons the club was able to sustain its pace this season was Mauro Diaz, 25, who shone even as Fabian Castillo shockingly left the club before the stretch run.

[ MORE: MLS Cup predictions ]

A River Plate product, Diaz gave FCD seven goals and 15 assists over 32 appearances before tearing an achilles tendon last week.

Diaz underwent season-ending surgery, but his teammates made sure he was a part of the champagne celebration by heading to his very nice-looking house for an early morning visit.

[ MORE: Pre-playoff power rankings ]


VIDEO: Premier League Player of the Week – Matchday 9

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There was some eye-popping moments in the Premier League this weekend, yet still very little debate who shone brightest.

Stoke City’s Xherdan Shaqiri scored a pair of Goal of the Month competitors in the same day in the Potters’ 2-0 win at Hull City on Monday.

[ MORE: MLS Cup predictions ]

The first was a curling wonder from distance, while the second came from a bit closer as the big-calfed Swiss attacker bamboozled the Hull wall and goalkeeper.

The Potters are up to 16th in the Premier League table with nine points.

Finnish fans celebrate surprise title for IFK Mariehamn

IFK Mariehamm
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HELSINKI (AP) Fans of IFK Mariehamn have gathered in the main square of the remote Finnish town to celebrate their team’s surprise league title.

“I feel very proud,” the club’s managing director, Peter Mattsson, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview on Monday, adding that “thousands” were expected to turn up for the party.

Watched by more than 4,000, Mariehamn clinched the Finnish title on Sunday with a 2-1 home victory over Ilves, from the industrial city of Tampere.

[ MORE: Full MLS Cup bracket ]

Mariehamn held off 11 other teams, including the traditionally strong Helsinki club, HJK, and defending champion SJK from western Finland. It ended three points clear of second-placed HJK for its first league title.

Local media dubbed the team “Leicester” after the surprise English Premier League champions last season.

Mariehamn, which has a population of 11,500, is the capital of the Aland islands off the southwestern Finnish coast