Atletico Madrid and Borussia Dortmund, his former club, have been on alert as Shinji Kagawa observes the arrival of Juan Mata to Old Trafford. His place in the team and use have often been questioned under new boss David Moyes, but the player’s agent says “cool it” with the exit talk for the 24-year-old.
Edinson Cavani is not happy playing wide man to Zlatan Ibrahimovic and may be ready to leave Paris Saint-Germain after only months on the job, though reports imply a summer move. The Daily Mail says this is a matter for Manchester United. No big deal, he only cost 54 million pounds.
Romulo, though, is a different story for Premier League sides. The 23-year-old Brazilian could be tempted away from Russia as Liverpool enters a fray that’s said to already include Arsenal and Chelsea. He’s been capped eight times for the 2014 World Cup hosts and signed for Spartak Moscow for 8 million Euros in 2012.
There was a brief bit of Hulk-related chaos that did not involve smashing, rather his landing in England… as a stopover on a trip to Portugal. The Zenit star is traveling during Russia’s winter break and just happened to post a picture in England. Spurs, Chelsea, Arsenal are all presumably bummed at the presumed false alarm.
Sam Allardyce is looking toward Italy for loan help in West Ham’s relegation scrap. How would Andy Carroll and company be affected by the additions of veterans Marco Borriello (AS Roma) and Antonio Nocerino (AC Milan)?
Sky Sports understands that Emmanuel Frimpong is not long for Arsenal, suggesting that the 22-year-old Ghanian will be gone from the Emirates by the end of the January transfer window.
There are two Icelandic folks in the news, as Liverpool is being linked with Ajax striker Kolbeinn Sigþórsson and Crystal Palace is attempting to pry Iceland national team captain Aron Einar Gunnarsson away from Cardiff City. In the case of the former, Harry Redknapp and Queens Park Rangers wanted him but the player’s representatives said they don’t want any part of the Championship. Poor Harry.
Finally, Fabio Quagliarella from Juventus to Tottenham?
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, 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.
In today’s Euro Pod Edition, the Robbies breakdown the latest Champions League action. Man United lose at Basel, Chelsea cruise at Qarabag, Spurs impress against Dortmund, Man City continue to win, Liverpool surrender a 3-goal lead against Sevilla. Plus, the guys weigh in on the Oumar Niasse ban for diving and the Tony Pulis sacking.
Join Earle & Mustoe on The 2 Robbies Football Show, Saturdays at 5pm ET. Listen on the NBCSports Radio App and call 855-323-4622 in the U.S. for lively passionate debate.
All of the The 2 Robbies content can be accessed by clicking on this link:
[ Click here for The 2 Robbies archive ]
Listen to the latest pod by clicking play below.
Follow them on Twitter @The2Robbies
While several teams have already booked their place in the knockout phase, the Europa League reaches its penultimate round on Thursday with many big matches in hand.
[ MORE: Yannick Bolasie finally returns to Everton training ]
Of the two Premier League sides in the competition, only one will advance to the Round of 32, as Arsenal have all but assured themselves of the top spot in Group H. The Gunners can do so tomorrow with a win over Koln or a Red Star Belgrade defeat.
The other end of the spectrum features Everton, who has already been eliminated from reaching the next round after acquiring just one point in its first four matches.
European giants AC Milan can lock up a spot in the knockout phase on Thursday despite the club’s ongoing struggles in Serie A, while fellow Italian side Atalanta can move a step closer to the Round of 32 in Group E along with Lyon.
Here’s the full rundown of Thursday’s UEL matches.
Astana vs. Villareal — 11 a.m. ET
Konyaspor vs. Marseille — 1 p.m. ET
Rosenborg vs. Real Sociedad — 1 p.m. ET
Lazio vs. Vitesse — 1 p.m. ET
Viktoria Plzen vs. Steaua Bucuresti — 1 p.m. ET
Lokomotiv vs. Copenhagen — 1 p.m. ET
Zenit vs. Vardar — 1 p.m. ET
Red Bull Salzburg vs. Vitoria — 1 p.m. ET
Athletic Bilbao vs. Hertha Berlin — 1 p.m. ET
BATE vs. Red Star Belgrade — 1 p.m. ET
Ostersund vs. Zorya — 1 p.m. ET
Koln vs. Arsenal — 1 p.m. ET
Nice vs. Zulte Waregem — 1 p.m. ET
Lugano vs. Beer-Sheva — 1 p.m. ET
Ludogorets vs. Istanbul — 3:05 p.m. ET
Braga vs. Hoffenheim — 3:05 p.m. ET
AEK vs. Rijeka — 3:05 p.m. ET
AC Milan vs. Austria Wien — 3:05 p.m. ET
Lyon vs. Apollon — 3:05 p.m. ET
Maccabi Tel Aviv vs. Slavia Praha — 3:05 p.m. ET
Sheriff vs. Zlin — 3:05 p.m. ET
Partizan vs. Young Boys — 3:05 p.m. ET
Skenderbeu vs. Dynamo Kyiv — 3:05 p.m. ET
Everton vs. Atalanta — 3:05 p.m. ET