On Saturday, Ryan Giggs will be in charge of Manchester United, hoping to guide his club to victory at Old Trafford against a struggling Norwich City. But is there already an agreement in place that ensures Giggs’ time will be up come summer?
According to De Telegraaf, Holland’s biggest newspaper, a deal is in place to bring Louis van Gaal to Manchester United after the World Cup. The exact timing of the appointment is not known, as van Gaal is currently managing the Netherlands national team, but the report says he will take over after the oranje are eliminated from the tournament.
Manchester United refused to outright deny the story, saying “”There is nothing to report. We have not signed a new manager. When we have something to report, we will announce it.”
Nothing official. But quite possibly, the foundation of a deal has been laid for the next United manager. van Gaal, 62, managed Ajax, Barcelona, the national side, AZ Alkmaar and Bayern Munich before returning to the oranje after the dismal failure of Euro 2012, in which Bert van Marwijk’s side earned zero points before crashing out at the group stages. There’s been greater success for van Gaal so far, with the Netherlands winning nine and drawing one of their World Cup qualifying matches, putting them top of their group.
If there is a deal in place with van Gaal, United fans might do well to root against the Dutch in Brazil. After all, the sooner their campaign is over, the sooner the new manager can head to England to assume the reigns – and supervise the transfer deals that will carry such importance this summer.
The alleged agreement would demonstrate that Manchester United are no longer willing to follow the advice of Sir Alex Ferguson alone when it comes to managerial candidates. Earlier this week, Ferguson spoke out about his belief that Ryan Giggs was the right man for the job.
Los Angeles FC selected five players in the MLS Expansion Draft, including Costa Rican national team star Marco Urena.
Whether they’ll make their way to the City of Angels is another story.
The first pick from general manager John Thorrington was goalkeeper Tyler Miller from Seattle Sounders.
[ MORE: Benitez on NUFC struggles ]
Going next was Latif Blessing from Sporting KC, an electric attacker who netted thrice with an assist last season.
Next was Urena from San Jose and the Costa Rican national team, a huge addition, and then Columbus left back Jukka Raitala before closing up the draft with Raheem Edwards from Toronto FC.
LAFC has already announced the signings or acquisitions of Carlos Vela, Walker Zimmerman, Carlos Alvarez, Monday Etim, and Guillermo Vizcarra.
The club will also loan Omar Gaber from Basel and Rodrigo Pacheco from Lanus.
Chelsea visits the John Smith’s Stadium to face Huddersfield Town in one of three Premier League fixtures this chilly Tuesday in December (Watch live at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).
The Blues are now 14 points back of Manchester City, and three points clear of fifth place.
Meanwhile there are a pair of matches on NBC Sports Gold: Burnley looks to keep pace with its Top Four ambitions when it hosts struggling Stoke City, while in-form Crystal Palace seeks a home win that would move it out of the drop zone. In its way? Dangerous, attack-minded Watford.
Burnley vs. Stoke City — 2:45 p.m. ET [ STREAM ]
Huddersfield Town vs. Chelsea — 3 p.m. ET [ STREAM ]
Crystal Palace vs. Watford — 3 p.m. ET [ STREAM ]
ZURICH (AP) FIFA has banned Colombia midfielder Edwin Cardona for five matches for making a discriminatory gesture with his eyes toward a South Korean opponent.
FIFA will allow Cardona to serve the ban in friendly games, so he should be available for Colombia’s World Cup opener against Japan on June 19.
[ MORE: Pep on post-derby celebrations ]
Cardona has also been fined 20,000 Swiss francs ($20,150) because of the incident last month in a friendly in Seoul.
Cardona apologized at the time, saying he “didn’t mean to disrespect anyone, a country or a race, but if anyone felt offended, or interpreted it in that way, I am sorry.”
Spurs finally got a bit of good news this weekend with a blowout of Stoke City.
That was a followed by a tough draw against Juventus in the UEFA Champions League, and bad news on an old injury.
[ MORE: Benitez on NUFC struggles ]
Center back Toby Alderweireld is going to be gone into February, extending his time on the sidelines with a hamstring injury suffered Nov. 1 against Real Madrid.
Spurs were 6-2-2 in league when Alderweireld went down, and are just 2-2-2 since the injury. The Belgian has missed losses at Arsenal and Leicester, draws against Watford and West Brom, and wins over Crystal Palace and Stoke.
Tottenham did win both of its UCL matches since the injury.