Manchester United table $40 million bid for Luke Shaw. Is he worth it?

7 Comments

A few hours after Manchester United drew 1-1 with Southampton in the final game of their miserable Premier League season, the Red Devils are looking to cherry-pick one of England’s brightest talents.

Saints’ 18-year-old left back Luke Shaw is a man in demand as Chelsea and Manchester City have been sniffing around the England international but according to various reports United have tabled a $40 million bid on Sunday.

With Patrice Evra out of contract and a monumental rebuild underway at Old Trafford this summer, it seems as though Shaw is top of United’s wish-list as they aim to freshen up their defense and bring a more youthful approach.

However, $40 million is a lot of money for a teenager who has only played one full season in the PL. Is Shaw worth it?

Shaw will be heading to Brazil as part of England’s 23-man squad at the World Cup this summer and many of the PL big boys want to try and seal his signature before he heads to South America. The teenager is the jewel in the crown of an extremely talented crop of youngsters at St. Mary’s who have all come through the famed Staplewood academy.

With the future of Saints skipper and Shaw’s fellow England international Adam Lallana also uncertain, plus manager Mauricio Pochettino failing to commit himself to the club until he knows the plans of the new chairman and board, we could see a clean sweep of Southampton’s staff this summer. That would be a huge shame as Shaw, Lallana and others have achieved Southampton’s best-ever PL season in 2013-14 with an eighth place finish and 56 points on the board.

As for Shaw’s future, he signed a new long-term deal with Saints at the start of the current season and has shone in his first full season in the PL after appearing for half the season as a 17-year-old in the 2013-13 campaign. At the age of 18 he already has 57 appearances in the PL under his belt an dis likely to be a star of the future with his level headed approach and confident displays clear for all to see. This year he was named to the PFA Team of the Season at left back and was a nominee for PFA Young Player of the Year. His marauding runs down the left flank see his deceptive pace bamboozle opposition defenders and the teenage sensation never seems to put a foot wrong. As good as he is going forward, there are a few question marks about his defending but he is sure to improve that side of his game with experience.

It is likely Saints will try to hold onto their star youngster and demand in excess of $50 million for his services but if United get the chance to snap Shaw up, they should do it. This kid, just like Theo Walcott, Gareth Bale and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from Saints’ academy in the past, is going right to the top.

In fact, he’s almost there already.

Report: Chelsea line up Tuchel to replace Conte

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Reports in Germany claim Chelsea have met with Thomas Tuchel about replacing Antonio Conte as their manager.

[ MORE: 5 new stars in the PL ]

With relations said to be strained between Conte and Chelsea’s board following a summer of unrest regarding a lack of transfers, the Diego Costa situation and more for the reigning Premier League champions, losing to Arsenal in the Community Shield and then their Premier League opening to Burnley was far from an ideal start.

Still, Conte led Chelsea to the PL title last season, his first in England, with a record 30 wins from 38 games. How is he the bookies favorite to be the next PL manager to leave his job?

Tuchel, 43, has been out of work since leaving Borussia Dortmund at the end of last season and Sport Bild is reporting that Chelsea’s director Marina Granovskaia has approached Tuchel about replacing Conte, while it is also stated that former Barca boss Luis Enrique is a contender.

Could Tuchel succeed at Chelsea and in the Premier League? Of course he could.

At Borussia Dortmund he developed one of the finest attacking teams in Europe with talented youngsters playing in a fluid system. Tuchel didn’t leave Dortmund on good terms and although he was linked with plenty of vacant jobs across Europe, including the Arsenal job if Arsene Wenger stepped down, he remains without a club.

Tuchel is a very good coach but what Conte has done at Chelsea over the past 12 months is a borderline miracle.

The situation regarding Conte and Chelsea does appear to have been blown out of proportion, particularly with the Nemanja Matic situation as Conte was reportedly unwilling to lose his Serbian midfielder but the deal was sanctioned by those above him. Given the fact that Conte signed a new contract this summer but only for improved terms and not for an extended period of time past 2019 also raised alarm bells.

Chelsea fans have, understandably, not reacted too kindly to reports that a successor is being lined up for Conte. The Italian coach is adored by the Blues faithful after leading a rapid rebuild of their squad in his famed 3-4-3 formation last season. His passion on the sidelines is now a hallmark of Chelsea matchdays and if he does leave anytime soon due to issues behind-the-scenes, expect a mutiny from the fans.

Yes, managers have come and gone and frequently and success has remained under Roman Abramovich but hooking Conte may even be a step too far for the notoriously expectant owner.

Barcelona’s Twitter hacked to claim Di Maria signing

Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images
Leave a comment

FC Barcelona had eyeballs popping across the Twitterverse for a solid 90 seconds there.

La Liga’s giants Tweeted out a welcome to Angel Di Maria, the current PSG and former Real Madrid star, with the hashtag #DiMariaFCB.

[ MORE: EFL Cup Tues. wrap ]

It was an odd Tweet for 4 a.m. local time, as humourously pointed out by our Andy Edwards, and the hackers were quick to claim credit before any Tweets could be deleted.

So if someone tells you Angel Di Maria is the latest member of Barcelona, be sure to stop the spread of fake news.

On a day where Barca’s reportedly ready to up their bid for Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho, something tells us someone at the Camp Nou is turning over their keys to the club’s social media.

Rescheduled Yankees game moves NYCFC-Houston to Connecticut

Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images
1 Comment

A rescheduled New York Yankees game is moving New York City FC to Connecticut.

Relax, it’s only for a day.

NYCFC will entertain the Houston Dynamo at Rentschler Field at 3 p.m. on Sept. 23 instead of their regular home of Yankee Stadium.

[ MORE: EFL Cup Tues. wrap ]

The club will offer tickets to another match to current ticket holders, and will also discount tickets to the game in East Hartford for fans who hold tickets to the Yankee Stadium game and want to travel for the Dynamo match (More info here, if you are in either of those camps).

This is the third of three scheduled seasons NYCFC will play at Yankee Stadium, and it doesn’t look like it’ll find a new home any time soon.

Given the everyday nature of Major League Baseball, it’s surprising there have not been more conflicts for NYCFC. We just remain hopeful for the day we can watch NYC’s star-studded roster play on a bigger home field.

“Injustice.” “Incomprehensible.” Ronaldo again protests suspension

Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images
3 Comments

The five-game suspension Cristiano Ronaldo received for making contact with an official is not sitting well with the forward.

Better put: it’s still not sitting well.

Six days ago, Ronaldo took to Instagram to say he was being persecuted after his red card in the Spanish Super Cup.

[ MORE: EFL Cup Tues. wrap ]

Tuesday afternoon, he kept up the strong words by saying the suspension is “incomprehensible” and “an injustice.”

Roughly translated, Ronaldo posted, “One more incomprehensible decision. From injustice to injustive, they will never overcome me. And as always I will come back stronger. Thank you to all who have supported me.”

We’ll say this: He’s a really good soccer player.