FBL-EUR-C1-DORTMUND-BAYERN

Wednesday’s Transfer Rumor Roundup: Rodrigo to Arsenal, Dante to Manchester United

Leave a comment

.

Bayern Munich defender Dante, 30, claims Manchester United are interested in signing him. The Brazilian center back is good on the ball and brings a calming influence to proceedings with his stylish range of passing. Think David Luiz, but a little less flamboyant. Apparently he would rather stay at Bayern but it seems as though David Moyes is looking to strengthen defensively as well as in midfield. Is Dante the right man to come in at United? Apparently he’s been a long-term target for the Old Trafford team and if he does arrive it could spell the end for Nemanja Vidic’s career with the Red Devils. Watch this space, and oh yeah Wayne Rooney could be on his way out of Old Trafford to join Real Madrid…. Read more on that potential blockbuster deal, here.

Liverpool are considering adding Nigel de Jong to their midfield on loan, as the 29-year-old Dutch midfielder has struggled to settle at AC Milan since switching to Italian soccer two years ago. De Jong won the Premier League title with Manchester City in the 2011-12 season and made his name as a tough-tackling midfielder for the Citizens. Liverpool need a short-term replacement as Lucas Leiva is out injured, so de Jong is seen as the ideal quick-fix for Brendan Rodgers’ side.

MORE: Monday’s Transfer Rumor Roundup
MORE: Tuesday’s Transfer Rumor Roundup

Arsenal is still on the lookout for a new striker, and it seem as though Benfica’s Rodrigo has jumped to the top of the list. Arsene Wenger is desperate to add reinforcements to his frontline but is only willing to spend if the players are better than what he has. Rodrigo, 22, is being chased by Zenit St. Petersburg but his move to the Russian giants has hit a snag so Arsenal may step in to tie up a deal before the window slams shut. It is thought $37 million could land him, as the Brazilian-born Spaniard prefers a move to Arsenal or Valencia over moving to Zenit. The youngster has scored seven goals in 14 games this season and previously spent a short stint on loan at Bolton as a teenager. Arsenal hope to tie up a loan deal but Benfica prefer a straight purchase.

The Gunners could also be in the hunt for a new full back, as Bacary Sagna continues to stall on a new deal at the Emirates. Sochaux full back Sebastien Corchia, 23, is under contract until 2015 but has hinted he wants to move on to  a bigger European club and French side Lille have been knocked back with an offer. With Wenger’s close connections in France, the young defender could pop up at Arsenal with a cut-price deal likely either this January or in the summer.

Finally, Sporting Lisbon and Juventus are the latest sides to be linked with a move for Manchester United’s out of favor winger Nani. The Portuguese flyer, 27, could join his old side Sporting on loan with a view to a permanent deal in the summer. Nani has seen himself fall way down the pecking order at United with the emergence of youngster Adnan Januzaj. A quick deal could be done to free up some space in David  Moyes’ squad.

Ranieri criticizes Leicester for lacking “desire and heart”

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 18:  Claudio Ranieri, Manager of Leicester City looks dejected during The Emirates FA Cup Fifth Round match between Millwall and Leicester City at The Den on February 18, 2017 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images
Leave a comment

LONDON (AP) Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri criticized his players for lacking “desire and heart” in a 1-0 loss at third-tier Millwall in the FA Cup fifth round on Saturday, the latest setback for the stuttering English champion.

[ MORE: FA Cup roundup — Premier League sides underwhelm in 5th round ]

Leicester, which is one point above the relegation zone in a woeful defense of its Premier League title, is without a victory in its last eight matches.

Millwall played most of the second half with 10 men and won thanks to a 90th-minute goal.

“I want to speak again with the players and say we have to fight every match,” an animated Ranieri said. “Who wants to fight? Tell me. I need the soldiers, I need the gladiators.

[ MORE: Fifth-division Lincoln City shock PL side Burnley in FA Cup ]

“It is strange because last season we won for this, to be more determined than the opponent and play with more heart than the opponent. We could also lose but we would fight every match. I want to see this, the fight until the end.”

Leicester’s next match is against Sevilla in the first leg of the Champions League last 16 on Wednesday.

FOLLOW LIVE: Spurs, Man United away in FA Cup 5th round

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 16:  Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Manchester United celebrates after scoring his third and his sides third goal during the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 first leg match between Manchester United and AS Saint-Etienne at Old Trafford on February 16, 2017 in Manchester, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Saturday’s FA Cup fifth-rounders served up the biggest Cupset of them all — fifth-division side Lincoln City knocking off Burnley of the Premier League — as well as two moderately shocking results — Leicester City losing to 10-man Millwall (League One) and Manchester City drawing 0-0 with Huddersfield Town (Championship).

[ FOLLOW LIVE: Sunday’s FA Cup 5th-rounders ]

On Sunday, two more of the PL’s big boys hope to avoid upsets and reach the quarterfinals of the 2016-17 tournament. First up, Tottenham Hotspur visit Fulham’s Craven Cottage in a renewed London derby, followed by Manchester United’s trip to Blackburn Rovers’ Ewood Park. For live scores and updates, hit the above link, or click right here.

Saturday’s FA Cup results

Burnley 0-1 Lincoln City — RECAP | REACTION
Huddersfield 0-0 Manchester City
Millwall 1-0 Leicester City
Middlesbrough 3-0 Oxford United
Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-2 Chelsea

Sunday’s FA Cup schedule

Fulham vs. Tottenham Hotspur — 9 a.m. ET
Blackburn Rovers vs. Manchester United — 11:15 a.m. ET

Monday’s FA Cup schedule

Sutton United vs. Arsenal — 2:55 p.m. ET

Report: AC Milan negotiating new deal for keeper Donnaumma

ROME, ITALY - FEBRUARY 13:  AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma gestures during the Serie A match between SS Lazio and AC Milan at Stadio Olimpico on February 13, 2017 in Rome, Italy.  (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)
Paolo Bruno/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Gianluigi Donnarumma has quickly become one of the most coveted goalkeepers in the world, and he’s only 17 years old.

[ MORE: Gameiro nets hat-trick in five minutes for Atletico ]

And that’s why AC Milan plans on doing everything in its power to hold on to the Italy international.

[ MORE: U.S. U-20s fall to Panama to begin CONCACAF Championship ]

According to CalcioMercato, the Rossoneri are preparing to lock up Donnarumma to a big deal once he turns 18 next week in order to fend off the likes of Premier League duo Chelsea and Manchester United, as well as Real Madrid.

However, agent Mino Raiola could stand in the way of Milan as they attempt to negotiate with the promising shot stopper out of fear that the club won’t be able to compete with Europe’s best teams.

Also, it has been suggested that Raiola is seeking at least $4.25 million per season for Donnarumma plus add ons, while Milan is said to be willing to go as high as $2.1 million annually.

Donnarumma is currently in his second professional season with Milan and has risen to the Italian national team level over the past year as well. The young keeper is seen as the logical successor to Gianluigi Buffon once his international career concludes.

Baggio marks 50th birthday by visiting quake victims

ROME, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 01: Roberto Baggio (L) is challenged by Diego Lugano during the Interreligious Match For Peace at Olimpico Stadium on September 1, 2014 in Rome, Italy.  (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)
Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images
Leave a comment

AMATRICE, Italy (AP) Italian great Roberto Baggio marked his 50th birthday on Saturday by visiting towns devastated by earthquakes last year.

[ MORE: FA Cup Saturday wrap — Man City held against Huddersfield ]

Baggio opted not to celebrate his milestone surrounded by celebrities, and instead spent the day in Amatrice, which was almost wiped out by the Aug. 24 earthquake.

The former world footballer of the year, who met children and others from the central Italy region, said “it was very emotional,” and he went there with his family “to fully understand what so many people are going through.”

Baggio also met the mayor of Amatrice, Sergio Pirozzi, and said they will remain in contact, “and we will try to do something concrete.”

Baggio was moving on to nearby Norcia, which was also damaged, and there was a party organized with a birthday cake.

The Aug. 24 quake killed nearly 300 people and left a further 4,000 homeless. There were aftershocks for several days as well as more quakes in October and January.

Baggio, who was nicknamed “Il Divin Codino” (The Divine Ponytail) for the hairstyle he wore for most of his career, scored 27 goals in 57 appearances for Italy and helped the Azzurri to third place in the 1990 World Cup and runner-up four years later, when he famously missed the last penalty kick of the shootout in the final with Brazil.

He won the Serie A title with Juventus in 1995 and with AC Milan the following year.