Leading the transfer headlines today is the proposed swap deal that is allegedly in place between Chelsea and Atletico Madrid. The deal, which was discussed at length earlier today, would see Thibaut Courtois and Diego Costa swap parent clubs next summer handing Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho the closest thing to a replacement of his beloved Didier Drogba.
At Old Trafford, David Moyes is finally reaping the benefits of managing a deep-pocketed club after shelling out £37.1M for Juan Mata and is supposedly poised to do the same thing for Borussia Dortmund striker Maro Reus. If you’re thinking such a deal is highly unlikely, I’m with you. The idea of selling Reus during the same year BVB sells Robert Lewandowski to Bayern Munich would be a crippling loss for Dortmund and one that their financial sharps are unlikely to take.
A player United have been linked to for a few weeks now is Southampton left-back, Luke Shaw. The 18-year old star has reportedly piqued the interest of Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, who has lost so much faith in Ashley Cole that he’s using the right-footed Cesar Azpilicueta in his place. Still, ‘The Special One’ has hinted that their January business has come to a close meaning any move for Shaw wouldn’t likely happen until the summer.
One way a player can manufacture a transfer move for himself is by head-butting his teammate directly in the face. Such a decision generally pits the rest of the club, managers and fans against you in a rage thereby necessitating a change of venue. Enter Dani Osvaldo, who smashed teammate Jose Fonte in the face last week. And wouldn’t you know it? Rumors today have Osvaldo heading to West Ham on a loan move. This deal could happen simply because the Hammers have no more money for purchases and are still desperate for healthy strikers.
Over at Everton the double leg break suffered by Costa Rican defender-come-midfielder Bryan Oviedo means Bobby Martinez may take another stroll through the market, this time to buy Feyenoord defender Bruno Martins Indi. BMI, as we here at Pro Soccer Talk like to call him, would reportedly cost £8M which is about enough money to make chairman Bill Kenwright shed tears. Where’s the next £60K Seamus Coleman? That’s the real question.
The most annoying potential transfer in the cards involves Blackpool’s Tom Ince. Since Daddy got canned as manager last week, the young winger looks poised to finally make his move to the Prem. Everton had a fleeting interest but now it’s down to Swansea and Liverpool to see which side can overpay for what will undoubtedly be the biggest primadonna transfer of the winter.
Finally, the most likely deal to go down is Cardiff City’s imminent loan signings of Manchester United players Wilfried Zaha and Fabio da Silva. Bluebirds manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be thanking his lucky stars if this agreement is struck because Zaha and Fabio are the types of players who just might be able to have Cardiff from relegation.
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.
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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 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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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.
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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