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Jose Mourinho irate, as Ashley Cole to New York Red Bulls rumors resurface

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Ashely Cole joining the New York Red Bulls is one of those rumors that just won’t die down.

On Friday Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho waded into the debate on Cole’s future, as the England international left back has spent the majority of the 2013-14 campaign on the sidelines behind Cesar Azpilicueta in the Chelsea team.

Many believe Cole will be on the move this summer, and Mourinho admitted the 33-year-old does have a future at Stamford Bridge beyond this season. However, the ‘Special One’ also stated that Cole may want to move on and discussed New York’s apparent interest in the veteran defender.

Asked about Thierry Henry (Cole’s former Arsenal teammate) apparently sounding out Cole for a switch Stateside to MLS, Mourinho got a little touchy and said the following, as reported by a good pal of mine, the Telegraph’s Jeremy Wilson.

“You have to ask Thierry Henry,” Mourinho said. “You are speaking about Thierry Henry, so speak with Thierry Henry. Maybe Thierry is doing with Red Bulls the same as David Beckham is doing in Miami. Maybe he’s buying Red Bulls. Yes, Cole has (got a future at Chelsea), but maybe Thierry has a better proposal.”

Mourinho was winding the media up a little with the comment about Henry owning the Red Bulls, but his irritation levels were apparently quite high after also being asked why he always persists with mind games. To which he replied, “With me, it’s always mind-games. Everything I say and do is mind-games. No? The only thing that is not mind-games is the result. That’s not mind-games.”

(MORE: Why the “Ashley Cole to Red Bulls” story is just silly)

So with Jose in a spiky mood and further rumors of Cole’s departure away from Chelsea this summer agitating him, could there be truth behind this never-ending story?

It would be quite surprising to see Cole stick around in West London past this summer, as he will be offered a new one-year deal by the Blues but I doubt he will accept it as he’ll likely sit on the bench behind Azpilicueta for the whole of next season too. I’ve also got wind of Red Bulls Sporting Director Andy Roxburgh being at Chelsea’s Cobham Training ground to speak with Cole earlier on this season, as New York try to add another DP to the mix at Red Bull Arena. But I don’t think Cole would actually be a DP in New York, most likely his wages would be significantly less than if he stayed at Chelsea, so that’s a big indicator that he may remain in London.

Many believe this move would be bad for RBNY, and see little worth in paying an aging left back top dollar in MLS.

But with these rumors persisting for so long, it looks like everything will shake out at the end of this PL season. Then we will see if Cole is willing to pop across the pond for the final few years of his career, or spend his twilight warming his butt cheeks on the bench at Chelsea.

Report: West Ham offer $22 million for AC Milan striker Carlos Bacca

MILAN, ITALY - MARCH 20:  Carlos Bacca of AC Milan celebrates his goal during the Serie A match between AC Milan and SS Lazio at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on March 20, 2016 in Milan, Italy.  (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)
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West Ham’s search for an elite striker continues, with their newest target AC Milan’s Carlos Bacca.

According to Sky Sports, the Hammers have bid $22 million for the striker, who led Milan with 18 goals in Serie A play last season.

However, after paying $34 million to sign the striker last summer, it is believed Milan would be unwilling to sell their top scorer for less than $30 million.

MORE: All 2015-16 PL season reviews ]

At 29-years-old, Bacca has been one of Europe’s most consistent forwards over the past few seasons. After bagging 49 goals in 108 appearances for Sevilla, he earned a move to Milan last July, finishing third in Serie A scoring in his first year with the club.

West Ham’s chairman David Gold has been open about his desire to sign a world-class striker, with Lyon confirming that they rejected a $45 million bid from the Hammers for Alexandre Lacazette.

VIDEO: Neymar takes batting practice before New York Mets game

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 31:  Brazilian soccer player  Neymar Jr stands in the New York Mets dugout before the game against the Chicago White Sox at Citi Field on May 31, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
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We all know Neymar’s skills with a soccer ball, but what about with a baseball bat?

Spoiler alert: He’s better with his feet.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s Copa coverage ]

The Barcelona and Brazil superstar was in New York on Tuesday night and hit up the batting cages at Citi Field before the Mets game against the Chicago White Sox.

Taking swings lefty, Neymar made some contact but didn’t necessarily have the smoothest stroke…

He then hit the field and got back to his roots, showing off some footskills while juggling a baseball.

I’m not too sure if Neymar is a baseball fan, but this may make him the Mets’ newest, most famous supporter (sorry Jerry Seinfeld).

Neymar is in the United States as he has some time off after the long Barcelona season. He is not playing in the Copa America with Brazil, but will instead play in the Olympics in August.

Messi’s tax fraud case begins with player avoiding court

BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 17:  Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona looks on  during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Valencia CF at Camp Nou on April 17, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
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MADRID (AP) Lionel Messi’s tax trial began Tuesday with the player deciding not to appear in court for early proceedings.

Messi is facing a prison sentence of nearly two years on charges he failed to properly pay taxes for part of his earnings from Barcelona from 2007-09.

[ FOLLOW: All of PSTS’s Copa coverage ]

The Argentina playmaker is not obligated to appear in the Barcelona court until Thursday, when he is scheduled to testify before a judge. Sentencing is not expected until next week.

Messi and his father, Jorge Horacio Messi, have been charged with three counts of tax fraud for allegedly defrauding Spain’s tax office of 4.1 million euros ($4.5 million).

Because of the trial, Messi is missing Argentina’s preparation for the Copa America Centenario, which begins Saturday in the United States. He is expected to fly straight to the U.S. to join his teammates after the trial ends. Argentina debuts in the tournament on Monday against defending champion Chile.

Even if found guilty, it is highly unlikely that Messi or his father will face any jail time. They have denied wrongdoing.

[ COPA AMERICA PREVIEWS: Group A | BC | D ]

“Everything is good. Everybody is calm,” said Messi’s lawyer, Enrique Bacigalupo, as he arrived at the Barcelona court on Tuesday.

The trial is centered on alleged unlawful activities of Messi’s father, but authorities said the player knew enough to also be named in the case. Officials said that although Messi was mostly unfamiliar with tax issues, there was sufficient evidence to believe he could have known and consented to the creation of a fictitious corporate structure to avoid paying taxes on income from his image rights.

In addition to each facing a prison sentence of 22 months and 15 days, Messi and his father could also be fined in the amount defrauded and ordered to pay all legal proceedings and the loss of any possible tax benefits for a year and a half.

Messi is just the latest high-profile player to have to deal with Spain’s tough tax system. Neymar, Javier Mascherano, Adriano and Xabi Alonso also were targeted by authorities recently.

[ MORE: Marcelo giving away UCL winners’ medal…on Facebook ]

Mascherano, Messi’s teammate with Argentina and Barcelona, earlier this year was handed a suspended one-year prison sentence for not paying nearly 1.5 million euros ($1.6 million) in taxes for 2011 and 2012. Brazil striker Neymar recently had to testify before a judge because of alleged irregularities involving his transfer to Barcelona. He and the club were accused of withholding the real amount of the transfer fee, in part to avoid paying the full amount of taxes.

Messi was also being investigated by Spanish tax authorities after his name was among those released in the probe of international offshore accounts, known as the Panama Papers, although he was not charged for those allegations.

VIDEO: Bayern’s David Alaba scores brutal own goal for Austria

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David Alaba is going to want this one back…

While playing in a friendly for Austria, the Bayern Munich left-back scored a cringe-worthy own-goal that his teammates will surely never let him forget.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s EURO coverage ]

With Austria leading Malta 2-0, goalkeeper Ramazan Ozcan played out of the back to Alaba. As pressure come from Malta’s strikers, Alaba turned and played a blind pass back to his keeper.

The only problem is, his keeper wasn’t there.

Ozcan did the right thing and moved outside of his goal to give Alaba support, only the defender never picked up his head to realize. Austria would hold on to win the match 2-1.

[ MORE: Klinsmann treating USMNT’s Copa opener vs. Colombia like a final ]

After winning their EURO qualification group with nine wins from ten matches, Austria has high hopes of making a run in the tournament. They will play in Group F with Portugal, Iceland, and Hungary.