When you’re 35 years old, have chronic back problems, and weren’t able to play regularly for your club last season, you have to take what you can get if you’re looking to continue a career in the top flight. In that sense, we shouldn’t be too surprised to see Rio Ferdinand on his way to Queens Park Rangers.
But shouldn’t and aren’t are two different things. On Thursday, QPR manager Harry Redknapp confirmed that Ferdinand has agreed to join the recently promoted club next season, with the sides set to make it official when the defender returns from spending time in Brazil. At Loftus Road, Ferdinand will likely partner long-time Aston Villa stalwart Richard Dunne, with former Manchester United prospect Danny Simpson also a mainstay in Redknapp’s defense.
Those names won’t make the appearance of Ferdinand in hoops seem any less surreal. Not only are we used to seeing him in United red, but we’re used to seeing him with a certain level of quality around him. We’re used to seeing him play in big games. Even going back to his time at West Ham (over 14 years ago), Ferdinand has only once played on a team that finished outside the Premier League’s top half. Now he’s going to club that wasn’t even in the first division two months ago.
But if you’re past your prime and keep playing, this is your fate, especially when your former club needs to rebuild. Here’s Redknapp, speaking to The Telegraph:
“Rio has agreed to join us and we’re hopeful of getting that one over the line when he gets back from the World Cup.
“I can’t foresee any problems with it and we’d be delighted if we can get it done soon. He’s been a player at the top of the list since he left Manchester United and he would give the whole place a lift with his quality and experience.”
Undoubtedly so. Ferdinand has had his notorious moments, but he’s also a well-respected player. QPR’s not exactly a hive of young, maturing talents, but even for the crew of wayward veterans they’ve assembled, Ferdinand could be an ideal foreman.
They don’t get much bigger, or more heated, than this one in MLS — it’s Portland versus Seattle, the Timbers versus the Sounders, tonight at Providence Park (10 p.m. ET).
[ FOLLOW LIVE: Timbers vs. Sounders ]
To keep up-to-the-second informed on proceedings in Portland this evening, hit the above link, or click right here.
Seattle won the first meeting between these sides, 1-0 back on May 27, on their home turf at CenturyLink Field. Cristian Roldan, who’ll depart for U.S. national team camp following Sunday’s game, scored the only goal that afternoon in Seattle, a 4th-minute header from three yards out.
Shkodran Mustafi admits that he, along with his Arsenal teammates, feels helpless with over the ongoing transfer saga of Alexis Sanchez.
[ MORE: Sunday’s transfer rumor roundup | Saturday | Friday ]
The Chilean superstar is linked with a move away from Arsenal this summer, as the Gunners fell out of the Premier League’s top-four and the 28-year-old’s contract is set to expire next summer. Perhaps most importantly, Sanchez hasn’t so much as publicly stated a desire to remain at the club, which, from the outside, appears to have left his future in even greater doubt.
Mustafi admits he hasn’t a clue how things will shake out in the coming weeks, but he’s quick with a pleading sales pitch for Sanchez to stay — quotes from Goal.com:
“I have no idea. Obviously the other players cannot make that decision, he has to make that decision.
“I’m not too much involved. I hope he stays because he is a really brilliant football player but there’s nothing in my hands that I can do.”
[ MORE: De Boer set to be named new Crystal Palace boss ]
Arsenal would likely have to double (if not more) Sanchez’s current $180,000 weekly wages in order to convince him to forego a season in the UEFA Champions League and commit his long-term future to a club presently trending in the wrong direction.
Frank de Boer is widely expected to be named new Crystal Palace manager this week, as he has reportedly accepted the job after having been offered the position this week.
[ MORE: Sunday’s transfer rumor roundup | Saturday | Friday ]
The 47-year-old Dutchman has been out of work since he was fired by Inter Milan in November. He lasted just 84 days at the San Siro, where he managed to win just five of 14 games. Inter Milan is Inter Milan, though, and that’s something worth remembering when critiquing Palace’s impending appointment of De Boer.
Palace are also widely expected to back De Boer in the transfer market this summer, in a big way. Kelechi Iheanacho is the biggest name linked with a move to Selhurst Park, as the 20-year-old Nigerian striker is reportedly unwanted by Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola.
Dominic Kinnear is out after two and a half seasons as head coach of the San Jose Earthquakes, despite leading the club to a hugely improved standing 17 games into the 2017 season.
[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverage ]
The move comes 17 hours after San Jose put to bed a three-game winless skid with a 2-1 win over Real Salt Lake on Saturday, a result which propelled them into fifth place in the Western Conference, just two points off second place. After seventh- and ninth-place finishes in Kinnear’s first two seasons back in Northern California (he managed the club in 2004 and 2005 before the club was relocated to Houston, where he would remain for nine seasons, through the 2014 season), this year’s team seemed to be moving in a positive direction quicker than most had previously expected.
[ MORE: Accam scores a backheel (video) | Opara scores a CB bicycle ]
The club has named Chris Leitch head coach and Alex Covelo as assistant coach. Current assistant coach Steve Ralston and goalkeeper coach Tim Hanley will remain in their current roles.
“First and foremost, we would like to thank Dominic for his hard work, professionalism and contributions to this club over the years,” Earthquakes general manager Jesse Fioranelli said in a release. “He worked hard this year and was a first-class person all the way. This decision was made after a lot of thought and evaluation. We decided that we wanted to go in a different direction as we continue to build the identity of this club.”
Kinnear is the second MLS coach to be relieved of his duties this season, suffering the same fate as RSL’s Jeff Cassar, who lasted just three games before being fired in March.