Monaco will finish the season second in Ligue 1, heading to the Champions League next year. When you considering that they were in Ligue 2 just last year, that’s pretty impressive
But it’s not enough for high-rolling Monaco, who have huge dreams, backed by the Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, who bought the club in December 2011. As such, they’re set to sack Claudio Ranieri, who’s been in charge for the past three seasons, and bring in someone that can boost the club even higher.
First came the rumor that Ranieri was on the verge of being fired. Then came the rumors of possible replacements. Antonio Conte of Juventus. Jorge Jesus of Benfica. And Arsène Wenger of Arsenal.
And Monaco were prepared to pay upwards of $16m to secure the services of Arsenal’s manager.
But worry not, Arsenal fans. Wenger gave an interview (in French) to Eurosport this weekend, saying, “(The contact at Arsenal) is not totally done but it should be sorted soon.” He’s also given no indication that he’s open to taking up the post of Monaco boss.
It’s believed that the contract will be sorted after next Saturday, when the Gunners face Hull in the FA Cup. Should Wenger end Arsenal’s long trophy drought, there’s even more reason to think that an announcement of the manager’s stay will come shortly thereafter.
Ranieri’s replacement looks most likely to be Jesus, who’s been at Benfica since 2009. During that time, he’s won the Primeira Liga twice, the Portuguese League Cup four times, and took his side to the Europa League final last year. This time around, they’ll meet Sevilla in the final in Turin – and maybe Jesus will add another trophy to his list of accomplishments before he heads off to see what he can do at Monaco.
Marek Hamsik hit a ball with such momentous force that we’re not sure it rotated more than three full turns on its 20-yard flight into the goal.
The Slovakia star’s goal equalized a friendly with Germany at 1, and Repre went on to hammer the reigning World Cup champs by a 3-1 score.
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I mean, really, what a hit. Bernd Leno had little hope of touching it.
Longtime Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick spoke glowingly of new boss Jose Mourinho amidst rumors he’ll sign a one-year extension with the Old Trafford set.
Carrick, 34, joined United from Tottenham in 2006, and has won major trophy after major trophy with the club. He wants more, and he doesn’t care how.
[ MORE: United hires Mourinho | Things he must do ]
The 34-times capped English midfielder has 421 appearances for United, and could fit neatly into a Mourinho system.
From The Mirror:
“You have to be number one and winning trophies and if you can do that with a bit of style and a bit of flair then that is the perfect match but first and foremost it is about winning and getting back on top.
“There is going to be change without a doubt because he is coming in and he is his own man.
“He has got an unbelievable track record and everyone is looking for quick results and that’s how it is.”
We have to wonder how the United fans who booed Louis Van Gaal after every turn will react to these comments, although wins cure everything, right?
There were many rumors than N'Golo Kante had a deal that would allow him to leave Leicester City, but the midfielder doesn’t sound like the leaving type.
According to L’Equipe, Kante isn’t looking to leave the Premier League champions, and is content to play in the UEFA Champions League with the Foxes next season.
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He’s been tipped to move to Real Madrid and Manchester City amongst other potential stops.
“For now, I am happy at Leicester,” he said. “I do not pay too much attention to everything that is said.”
That vibe is running through the headlines today, as UEFA Champions League winners Karim Benzema and James Rodriguez say they want to stay at Real Madrid, and Isco is also happy to come back to the Bernabeu to make a run at a first La Liga title since the 2011-12 season.
Steve Bruce saw Hull City go down to the Championship, and pulled the Tigers right back up the Premier League.
Hull won promotion at the first time of asking after defeating Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 on Saturday, but Bruce wants to see stability at the KC Stadium.
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The club remains up for sale after owner Assem Allam saw his request to change the team name to Hull Tigers denied by the English Football Association.
From the BBC:
“I’ll sit down with the owners. It’s not often you walk away from the Premier League – that’s where I want to manage,” Bruce told BBC Radio 5 live.
“But I have to be given certain assurances that we’re all moving in the right direction.
“I keep hearing too many stories that there’s a takeover imminent. We’ll see what develops,” added the 55-year-old.
The longtime Manchester United back has been around the managerial block a few times, and it’d be nice to see him stay at Hull for the long term. He’s led the Tigers into the Premier League on two occasions, and is — seriously — the seventh longest tenured manager in the Football League. He would enter the Premier League as the second-longest serving manager, to Arsene Wenger.