On Friday, social media lit up with the news that Paris Saint-Germain were willing to pay over the odds for Chelsea defender David Luiz. By the time night fell, the word was that the clubs had already agreed a deal, worth about $67m – almost double what Chelsea had paid Benfica in January 2011.
That in itself is a great bit of business for the Blues. PSG have put themselves in a bit of a sticky situation – everyone knows the Ligue 1 side have money to spare, so they’re going to drive up the prices of players PSG are hoping to buy. Chelsea, meanwhile, needs to fulfill its Financial Fair Play obligations, so if they’re wanting to purchase more players (and they are) they’ll need to have money coming in.
Plus, it looks like Chelsea already have a replacement lined up: Raphaël Varane, the French centerback currently plying his trade at Real Madrid. He’s just 21 years old, but with Pepe injured, he’s likely to start alongside Sergio Ramos in the Champions League final.
Varane, hampered by his own injury, hasn’t seen as much of the pitch this season as he did under José Mourinho. But his talents impressed the manager when he was in charge at Real, which could lead to him being brought to Stamford Bridge.
The young defender could be brought in for$35m, although his stock could rise if Real believe Chelsea have money to spare. Still, this would leave the Blues with money to spend to fill that great, gaping hole at striker.
One thing’s for sure: Mourinho will be watching intently as Real and Atlético battle it out on Saturday night.
LIMA, Peru (AP) Peru has extradited the country’s former soccer boss to the United States for his alleged involvement in a multibillion-dollar FIFA bribery scandal involving marketing and broadcasting rights.
Manuel Burga was sent to New York on a commercial flight before dawn on Friday.
He has been in jail since December 2015 as part of the investigation. Peru’s Supreme Court in June cleared the way for his extradition and President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski signed a decree authorizing the move a week ago.
Burga oversaw Peru’s football federation for more than a decade until 2014. He has denied any wrongdoing.
While the battle for MLS Cup 2016 has been dwindled down to two sides, the rest of the league continues to make roster transactions in preparation for next season.
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The San Jose Earthquakes announced on Friday that the club has exercised options on six players, including goalkeeper David Bingham, Fatai Alashe, Kip Colvey and Victor Bernardez.
Additionally, the Earthquakes have released nine players, including U.S. Men’s National Team defender Clarence Goodson, Marc Pelosi and Tommy Thompson, however, the latter two are reportedly in talks to return to the club in 2017.
NAPLES, Italy (AP) Napoli eased to a 3-0 win over Inter Milan in Serie A on Friday, with two goals in the opening five minutes.
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The home side got off to a lightning start as, following a wonderful team move, Jose Callejon headed back Marek Hamsik’s chipped pass for Piotr Zielinski to volley into the bottom left corner.
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Zielinski turned provider moments later as Hamsik beat the offside trap to run onto his pass and fire into the bottom right corner.
It was Hamsik’s 104th goal for Napoli, moving him level with Edinson Cavani in third in the clubs’ goalscoring charts. The Slovakia forward needs 11 more to equal Diego Maradona’s record.
Inter started the second half aggressively but hopes of getting back into the match were scuppered six minutes after the restart when Lorenzo Insigne netted his fourth goal in three league matches after visiting goalkeeper Samir Handanovic only flapped at a corner.
Napoli moved level on points with Atalanta, which visits league leader Juventus on Saturday, and fourth-placed Lazio, which hosts Roma in the capital derby on Sunday.
Inter, which beat Fiorentina 4-2 on Monday for its first win under coach Stefano Pioli, remained eighth ahead of the rest of the weekend’s fixtures.
On a day where Atlanta United added another young talent, the 2017 MLS expansion side could be preparing to make a major splash for a South American playmaker.
According to numerous Argentine media outlets, Atlanta is closing in on signing Paraguay international Miguel Almiron for an MLS-record fee of $13 million from Lanus at the end of 2016.
Almiron, 22, has scored three goals in 34 appearances for Lanus since joining the Argentine club in 2015. The young winger began his professional career back in 2013 with Cerro Porteno, where Almiron also played for the club’s youth academy.
On the international stage, Almiron has already earned seven caps for Paraguay after previously representing the nation’s Under-17 and U-20 national teams.