The summer’s most likely transfer has been confirmed five months ahead of schedule, with Spanish radio reporting Barcelona and Borussia Mönchengladbach have agreed on a fee for goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen. The 21-year-old, set to turn 22 in April, will move to the Spanish champions this summer for €11-12 ($$14.8-16.2) million fee after seeing out the remainder of the 2013-14 season with Gladbach.
The fee had previously been reported by other outlets, with with today’s confirmation, the thin veil that obscured the move has been almost completely pulled off. After helping his current club try to secure a second consecutive top-four finish, the three-time German international will move to Catalonia to replace Víctor Váldes.
The current Barcelona goalkeeper will complete his 12th season with the Blaugrana in May, at which time he’ll be a free agent. Intent on playing out the last year of his deal, Váldes has been linked with a move to Ligue 1’s AS Monaco, who he could join after this summer’s World Cup.
As Váldes transitions out of the one shirt, he’s set to be replaced by another goalkeeper lined up for along spell in goal, with ter Stegen’s deal running through the 2018-19 season. Barcelona’s planning to hold off on his unveiling until Váldes has signed with another club.
Only 21, ter Stegen has already made 92 Bundesliga starts for Gladbach, for whom he’s debuted as an 18-year-old. Since then ter Stegen has grown into one of the best stop-stoppers in Germany, earning his first international appearance for Germany as a 20-year-old in May 2012.
Enough with the speculation and reports already, because it’s finally officially official: Jurgen Klopp has been appointed the newest manager of Liverpool Football Club, the Merseyside club announced on Thursday.
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Klopp will be unveiled to the world at an introductory press conference at Anfield on Friday.
According to early reports, Klopp’s three-year contract could pay him as much as $10 million per season.
[ QUOTE KING: Top 10 “Klopp-isms” from his time at Dortmund ]
The 48-year-old German has been out of work since stepping down at Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund following a seventh-place finish to the 2014-15 season. Klopp’s seven seasons in charge of Dortmund weren’t without success and silverware, though, as he led Der BVB to back-to-back league titles in 2011 and 2012, a German Cup triumph in 2012 and a UEFA Champions League final appearance in 2013.
PST’s Joe Prince-Wright will be at Anfield on Friday for Klopp’s unveiling, so be sure to follow JPW on Twitter and check back to PST for wall-to-wall coverage of Klopp’s first press conference as Liverpool manager.
Jose Mourinho got the
dreaded much-needed vote of confidence from Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich last weekend, seemingly giving the Portuguese manager a temporary stay of execution despite the Blues’ worst start to a season in 37 years.
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Speaking this week, Mourinho has revealed that while he’s thankful to have been kept on at the club for which he regularly professes his love, he still thinks it was no-brainer for Abramovich. In other words, Mourinho’s not backing down from his incredible, seven-minute rant to one question following Saturday’s defeat to Southampton.
Mourinho, on what he’s doing to turn Chelsea around — quotes from the Guardian:
“It shows the confidence of Abramovich in the manager who has won three Premier League titles with this club. I thank him and I keep working.
“What’s going on? I do not know. The results with Chelsea at the moment have been really bad. I cannot hide that reality, and I don’t want to. And I struggle to find an explanation. But I assure you: I’m working like never before and we will come out of this. And there is also the Champions League that we will not neglect, for certain.”
What did you expect from Mourinho? Well, you know, I should probably be fired, but thanks to Mr. Abramovich for not realizing this and keeping me employed? It’s simultaneously interesting and the least surprising thing ever, though, that Mourinho claims to not know what’s wrong with Chelsea at the moment. Of course he has a theory (or five), and of course he’s “working like never before” to correct it.
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The most fascinating thing about Chelsea’s sluggish start to the season is to see, hear and read Mourinho speaking from a position of powerlessness. Always the clever one, the one dictating where the discussion goes, the one in charge of every press interaction, Saturday’s rant felt like watching a desperate Mourinho grasping for anything by which to pull himself back up.