Kroos addresses Real Madrid speculation, says no deal is done

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Three days after Spanish media giant Marca reported Real Madrid’s $34 million move for Bayern Munich midfielder Toni Kroos is near, the German international has said no decision on his future will be made until after the World Cup. One day ahead of die Nationalmannschaft’s quarterfinal meeting with France, the 24-year-old insisted to assembled media that no deal in place, reiterating his desire to focus on Brazil 2014.

“Why are you taking so many pictures suddenly,” Kroos asked the media on Thursday, via reporting by Eurosport. “Sorry, I can’t help you … Not every story I can comment on.”

Kroos, who is entering the final year of his deal, has started all four matches for his country in Brazil, registering one assist as Germany’s reached its 15th straight final eight. In last season’s Bundesliga, Kroos made 29 appearances and 24 starts while accumulating two goals, four assists, and a 91.9 pass completion percentage.

“I said quite clearly that, during World Cup, no decision will be made,” Kroos reiterated. “I want to concentrate on World Cup. Nothing has been agreed.”

Germany head coach Joachim Löw was more explicit when talking about Kroos’s club status.

“Toni Kroos has had no personal contact with Real Madrid …” Löw explained. “[I]f a decision is to made it will be after the World Cup.”

Speculation was ignited on Monday when Marca’s front page announced Real Madrid’s €25 million deal for Kroos was close. English titans Manchester United were also reported to be interested in the midfielder, though the appointment for Dutch national team boss Louis van Gaal as the club’s new manager may have cooled the Red Devils’ pursuit.

Bayern has been attempted to sign Kroos to a new deal but, according to reports, are unwilling to meet the midfielder’s salary demands. With the player entering the final year of his deal, Bayern’s faced with potentially losing Kroos for nothing, should they fail to sell him in the next two transfer windows.

As the end of his contract approaches, however, Kroos’s market value will continue to diminish. Having established himself as a regular starter for both club and country, Kroos’s value would normal command a transfer fee of double the reported price. With more leverage in the buyers’ hands, however, Bayern club rich in midfielders may be forced to accept Real Madrid’s diminished offer.

Cristiano Ronaldo announces birth of twin sons via surrogate

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Cristiano Ronaldo will not play in Portugal’s third-place match at the 2017 Confederations Cup this Sunday.

He has bigger things to sort out.

Ronaldo, 32, was released from Portugal’s squad late Wednesday after their defeat on penalty kicks to Chile in the Confed Cup semifinals in Russia.  The Real Madrid and Portugal superstar will now travel to visit his new twin sons, who were born via a surrogate earlier this month, with Ronaldo set to meet them for the first time after captaining Portugal in Russia over the past few weeks.

According to reports from Portuguese TV channel SIC, the surrogate mother was based on the west coast of the U.S. (I can already hear you guys asking ‘does that mean they’re eligible to play for the USMNT?’). Ronaldo is now the father of three children after already having a seven-year-old son, Cristiano Ronaldo Jr.

Reports also suggest that his 22-year-old girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez is five months pregnant, so soon he could be a father for the fourth time. He would then be able to field a five-a-side team of Ronaldo’s for indoor games…

Below is the post from Ronaldo confirming his departure from Portugal’s squad, which the national team also confirmed, as he is set to meet his new children for the first time.

“I was in the service of the national team, as always, body and soul, even though my two sons were born. Unfortunately, we have not been able to achieve the main sporting objective that we wanted, but I am sure we will continue to give joy to the Portuguese.

“The President of the Portuguese Football Federation and the national picker have today had an attitude that has touched me and I will not forget. I’m very happy to finally be with my children for the first time.”

Open Cup roundup: Poku lifts Miami; Red Bulls, Cincy win on PKs

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While MLS represents the majority of the remaining clubs in this year’s U.S. Open Cup, one side continues to defy the odds.

[ MORE: Minnesota United adds Hearts midfielder Sam Nicholson ]

Miami FC reached their first quarterfinal in club history after knocking off Atlanta United late on Wednesday, behind a goal and an assist from Kwadwo Poku. The victory for Miami sets up a date with FC Cincinnati — who pulled off an unbelievable shootout win against the Chicago Fire.

Meanwhile, the New York Red Bulls and New England Revolution both advanced on the night with wins over the Philadelphia Union and D.C. United, respectively. The Red Bulls and Revs will meet in the final eight as well.

Sporting KC kept its hope of hoisting a fourth U.S. Open Cup title alive on Wednesday with a 2-0 win over the Houston Dynamo. The 2015 winners will take on FC Dallas — who defeated the Colorado Rapids on Tuesday night.

Here are all the results from tonight’s Open Cup action.

Houston Dynamo 0-2 Sporting KC
New England Revolution 2-1 D.C. United
Miami FC 3-2 Atlanta United
New York Red Bulls 1-1 (5-3 on PKs) Philadelphia Union
FC Cincinnati 0-0 (3-1 on PKs) Chicago Fire
San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 Seattle Sounders
LA Galaxy 2-0 Sacramento Republic

Report: City Football Group set to expand outreach with Girona deal

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City Football Group appears on the verge of adding to its global outreach, and it’s next destination looks to be in Spain.

[ MORE: Are Southampton’s days of selling behind the club? ]

The group of investors, which are known for controlling Premier League side Manchester City, are reportedly nearing a deal to purchase a partial stake in Spanish club Girona — which is set to make its La Liga debut in 2017/18.

CFG is said to be gaining a near “50 percent” stake in the club, with the rest of the club owned by Media Base, a company owned by Pep Guardiola‘s brother, Pere.

Over recent years, CFG has vastly expanded its ownership outreach and currently has a stake in five clubs around the world, with Girona set to be the sixth.

MLS side New York City FC, Australian A-League side Melbourne City FC, Japan’s Yokohama F. Marinos and Club Atletico Torque in Uruguay are all part of the CFG enterprise, alongside Man City.

New York Red Bulls ink goalkeeper Luis Robles to new deal

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The “Iron Man” will keep up his amazing journey with the New York Red Bulls, after signing a new deal with the club on Wednesday.

[ MORE: Wesley Sneijder on verge of joining Los Angeles FC ]

Goalkeeper Luis Robles has extended his contract with the reigning Eastern Conference champions, as the American continues to raise his consecutive starts streak, which stands at 157.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed in the club’s release.

Robles joined the Red Bulls back in 2012 after playing in Germany, and the shot-stopper hasn’t missed a start ever since.