The Europa League final often has subplots aside from the final match score, as do most major European matches.However, the one that came from the stands of yesterday’s match between Sevilla and Benfica is an odd one.
Former Manchester United manager and current board member Sir Alex Ferguson was spotted chatting with Juventus manager Antonio Conte, and the Italian media instantly cooked up a few fresh transfer rumors for us to munch on.
The most notable of these just-add-water rumors is that apparently the two discussed bringing midfield rock Arturo Vidal to Manchester United, for around $55 million.
All things considered, it makes sense in some ways but there are also significant hurdles that would have to be overcome. First, Vidal reportedly rejected a number of high-profile moves as recently as March, with Real Madrid and Barcelona apparently circling.
And if he’s happy enough to stay in Turin despite the best efforts of two of the top teams in the world right now, it would be shocking to see him move to Old Trafford which won’t be seeing any European play at all next season. He also signed a contract extension in December keeping him at Juventus until 2017.
Another possibility raised by the media is the idea of a transfer for midfielder Paul Pogba. United has rued the day they sold the youngster to Juventus, but the player in early May told the public how Ferguson himself failed to give him playing time and therefore resigned himself to a departure.
Something else that many will want to keep in mind are the late-April reports that the United board were looking into Conte as a possible option for long-term manager. However, that also seems a bit farfetched, especially with Louis van Gaal reportedly already in the driver’s seat for the position.
Despite sitting at the top of the table in the Premier League, things are not going well for Manchester City.
Star striker and leading goalscorer Sergio Aguero suffered a torn hamstring while playing for Argentina, and now he is joined by David Silva on the injured list.
Silva lasted nine minutes in Spain’s EURO qualifying match against Luxembourg, forced off after taking a bad challenge from behind. Silva went down in pain and tried to play on, but asked for a substitution just minutes later.
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Spanish news outlet AS is reporting that Silva has suffered “lateral internal ligament damage in his right ankle,” and could face 2-3 weeks on the sidelines.
With Aguero set to miss at least a month, Silva’s injury could leave Manchester City without two of their top players in the coming weeks.
Silva has arguably been the best player in the Premier League this season, the quarterback of the City attack, which has scored a league-leading 19 goals through eight matches.
City travels to Old Trafford for the Manchester derby on October 25, which falls into that 2-3 week range for Silva’s recovery. In a match that could decide who sits top of the table, Manuel Pellegrini would be very shorthanded without Silva and Aguero.
Alejandro Bedoya will not feature for the United States in the CONCACAF playoff against Mexico on Saturday, and has been replaced on the roster by Bobby Wood.
Bedoya traveled to Los Angeles from his club team Nantes in France, but Jurgen Klinsmann has announced he will be unable to play after falling ill.
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Without Bedoya, Union Berlin midfielder Bobby Wood has been added to the USMNT side. Wood scored the first two goals of his international career this summer in wins over the Netherlands and Germany, and has scored four goals in ten matches for Union Berlin this season. Wood has been training with the U.S. camp throughout the week for the upcoming friendly against Costa Rica.
Bedoya has played well for the USMNT, discounting his short performance against Brazil in September. In that match, Klinsmann played Bedoya out of position against a potent Brazil attack, and he was substituted before halftime. However, playing in his more natural role as a winger or attacking midfielder, many believed Bedoya could be in line for a start against Mexico.