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.

MLS Snapshot: New York City FC 2-1 New England Revolution (video)

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The game in 100 words (or less): For nearly 75 minutes, NYCFC couldn’t muster up any chances in the attacking third, but thankfully their captain did what he does best. David Villa scored his 19th goal of the season on Sunday night to pull out a 2-1 win against the New England Revolution, but it was rookie Jonathan Lewis that notched the winner. The visitors took the lead 20 minutes prior after Sean Johnson spilled a shot in front of his own goal, allowing Teal Bunbury to pounce on the rebound. NYCFC now moves to within four points of Eastern Conference leaders Toronto FC with nine matches remaining in the regular season.

Three four moments that mattered

16′ — Harrison breaks ankles, but Villa can’t finish — This might be the only time all see you’ll see David Villa miss a chance like this…

38′ — Johnson gets a finger tip to Rowe’s blast — Sean Johnson had no work to do in the first half, at least until Kelyn Rowe decided to rip a shot from distance just before halftime.

57′ — Johnson’s error grants Bunbury, Revs the lead — Look away, NYCFC fans.

77′ — Villa find the back of the net — When you need a goal, who you gonna call? That’s right. David Villa. The NYCFC captain is now up to 19 this season.

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Man of the match: David Villa

Goalscorers: Teal Bunbury (57′), David Villa (77′), Jonathan Lewis (90+4′)

Honoring victims of attacks, Barcelona wins league opener

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BARCELONA, Spain (AP) Wearing shirts honoring victims of the recent attacks in Spain, Barcelona opened its Spanish league season with a comfortable 2-0 win over Real Betis on Sunday.

[ MORE: Neymar double helps PSG cruise past Toulouse ]

Players had the word “Barcelona” instead of their names on the back of their shirts, and the Catalan hashtag “TOTSSOMBARCELONA” (We are all Barcelona) was on display around the Camp Nou stadium. The message was also shown on the stadium’s large screens, as well as on many banners carried by fans.

An emotional minute’s silence was held before the game as the music of Catalan cellist Pau Casals played in the background.

Before the minute was up, the more than 55,000 fans at the stadium broke into a round of applause and began chanting “No tinc por” (I’m not afraid), a chant which has become a symbol of people’s reactions to the attacks that killed 14 people and injured more than 120 in Barcelona and the nearby seaside resort of Cambrils.

Extra security was implemented in and around Camp Nou.

There was a minute’s silence before every Spanish league match this weekend.

Without Neymar and the injured Luis Suarez, Barcelona got off to a winning start in the league after consecutive losses to rival Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup final.

It scored two goals three minutes apart near the end of the first half – an own-goal by Betis defender Alin Tosca and a close-range shot by Sergi Roberto. Both goals came after plays started by Gerard Deulofeu, one of the players expected to try to replace Neymar after his world record transfer to Paris Saint-Germain.

“We lost depth with Neymar’s departure and we have to find a way to overcome that,” Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said.

Lionel Messi looked lively but wasn’t able to score his 350th goal in La Liga. He came close, though, being denied by the woodwork three different times.

AP Sports Writer Tales Azzoni contributed to this report.

More AP Spanish soccer coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/LaLiga

Brighton breaks club record with signing of winger Jose Izquierdo

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Brighton hasn’t gotten off to the ideal start in its debut season in the Premier League, but a key reinforcement is on the way.

[ MORE: Chelsea tops Spurs at Wembley behind Alonso’s brace ]

After starting the 2017/18 campaign with back-to-back defeats, the Seagulls announced on Sunday the signing of Colombian winger Jose Izquierdo from Club Brugge in Belgium for a record fee.

The 25-year-old spent three seasons in Belgium’s top flight and totaled 38 goals across all competitions for Brugge, prior to making the move to England.

Additionally, Izquierdo has worked his way into the Colombia squad as of late, and scored his first international goal for his country in June 2017 in a friendly against Cameroon.

MLS Follow Live — NYCFC hosts Revs, Minnesota meets Sounders

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Only two matches will feature on the MLS docket Sunday evening, but luckily two of the league’s most exciting teams will take to the pitch.

[ MORE: Toronto tops Fire as East leaders reach 50 points on season ]

First, New York City FC will attempt to continue its ascent up the Eastern Conference ladder when they host Kei Kamara and the New England Revolution.

In the night cap, the Seattle Sounders look to extend their unbeaten streak to nine matches when they welcome newcomers Minnesota United to CenturyLink Field.

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Here’s the schedule and kick-off times for Sunday’s two MLS fixtures.

New York City FC vs. New England Revolution — 6 p.m. ET
Seattle Sounders vs. Minnesota United — 10 p.m. ET