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Unhappy Thomas Muller could leave Bayern Munich this summer


Thomas Muller has become an unhappy figure under Pep Guardiola’s regime at Bayern Munich and could reportedly seek a transfer this summer with Premier League clubs on high alert.

Since exploding onto the scene in 2009-10, the Bayern youth product has been a surefire starter and key component to the Bavarian club’s success. Those fortunes have gone lost under Guardiola, however, with the 24-year-old’s being handed less playing time this year than in season’s past. 

Muller’s impatience at being left out came to a head a few weeks ago when he found himself riding pine in the Champions League semi-final first leg at Real Madrid. When asked about his failure to make the starting lineup after the match Muller said he was “certainly not happy” before waving away further questions.

The German international has since been linked with a number of clubs with Manchester United leading the charge, a move that would reunite him with prospective new manager Louis van Gaal, who coached Muller at Bayern handing him his first ever start.

But don’t expect Bayern to let Muller go without a fight. Upon being asked about the situation Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told German publication Bild that if a player wants to leave he’ll need to persuade him first: “Muller’s situation? If a player does not feel well at Bayern Munich, he should come to my office. We will have to talk about things like that.”

Muller is valued around $45.5 million (£37million) and would represent a major coup for United. The versatile midfielder could work on the outside or in behind a lead striker and could prove a major asset to United’s strikeforce. Known for fantastic vision and composure, Muller creates goals as well as scores them and would prove a major upgrade to the likes of Ashley Young, Antonio Valencia and Nani, and a major compliment to Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie. 

Muller joins fellow Bayern teammate Toni Kroos on United’s wish list while Arsenal represents another destination for the wantaway winger. Muller has scored 13 goals in 30 Bundesliga matches and is contracted with Bayern through 2017.


Sam Allardyce to open talks with Sunderland

Sam Allardyce, West Ham United FC
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Now that Liverpool have selected and named their new manager, it appears Sunderland are finally ready to move forward with their own managerial search. (That’s clearly a joke, because it implies Liverpool and Sunderland ever duke it out for the same managerial candidate.)

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Anyway, the Black Cats will have to hire someone to replace the recently-departed Dick Advocaat at some point. We all knew that, despite the fact he’s probably earned a shot at that level, Bob Bradley was never really going to be considered for the job. With that in mind, if you’re not going to endear yourself to the entire United States of America with this hire, you might as well go for the best unemployed manager who’ll actually consider your approach.

That’s what Sunderland chairman Ellis Short appears to have done, as it was reported Thursday that despite an initial reluctance from Sam Allardyce — let’s be honest, he actually was holding out hope for the Liverpool job — the 60-year-old most recently in charge of West Ham United was willing and ready to enter into negotiations with the northeastern club.

One of the major sticking points during Sunderland’s courting of Allardyce is expected to be his demand for autonomy in the transfer market as well as a sizable transfer budget to sign his own players during the January window.

[ MORE: Advocaat: Sunderland squad too thin, chairman to blame ]

Allardyce seems like the no. 1 guy you’d like to bring in to steady a capsized ship — cough Sunderland cough — in any situation. Not only does he have a successful track record in the Premier League, but he’s the kind of no-nonsense leader a club like Sunderland so desperately needs as they find themselves in yet another relegation battle just eight games into the new season.

Short hopes to have Allardyce signed, sealed and delivered when the Premier League returns to action next weekend. In that event, Allardyce’s first game in charge of Sunderland would be a trip to West Bromwich Albion. His first home fixture? Home to Tyne-Wear derby rivals Newcastle United, a club whose boisterous fanbase still holds a great deal of disdain for Big Sam. Sometimes the football gods really are looking out for us.

Statement from suspended UEFA president Michel Platini

Michel Platini, UEFA & FIFA
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Statement from suspended UEFA President Michel Platini:

Early this afternoon, I was informed of the FIFA ethics committee’s decision to impose on me a provisional 90-day suspension with immediate effect. That decision, which I will of course contest in the appropriate manner at the appropriate time, had already been the subject of a deliberate leak, and I gave my opinion on that earlier in the day.

I reject all of the allegations that have been made against me, which are based on mere semblances and are astonishingly vague. Indeed, the wording of those allegations merely states that a breach of the FIFA Code of Ethics “seems to have been committed” and that a decision on the substance of the matter cannot be taken immediately.

Despite the farcical nature of these events, I refuse to believe that this is a political decision taken in haste in order to taint a lifelong devotee of the game or crush my candidacy for the FIFA presidency.

I want everyone to know my state of mind: more than a sense of injustice or a desire for revenge, I am driven by a profound feeling of staunch defiance. I am more determined than ever to defend myself before the relevant judicial bodies.

I want to reiterate in the strongest possible terms that I will devote myself to ensuring that my good faith prevails. I have received numerous messages of support today from UEFA’s member associations and the other confederations encouraging me to continue my work serving football’s interests. Nothing will make me give up on that commitment.