Matt Besler confirms Fulham, Sunderland bids, chase for US defender intensifies

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U.S. national team defender Matt Besler is a wanted man.

On Tuesday PST’s Kyle Bonn wrote about up to 10 teams in Europe chasing the Sporting Kansas City star, as nine English clubs and one German team are in the mix.

More details have since leaked out about the clubs involved, as Besler himself went on Sports Radio 810 and confirmed to “The Border Patrol” show that both Fulham and Sunderland have put in offers for him.

This just got very interesting.

In the interview there was some pretty juicy stuff, as Besler confirmed that Premier League side Sunderland are in the process of biding for his services, while recently relegated Fulham have already put in an offer. Besler also confirmed that he has been in close contact with U.S. national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann over the past few weeks and also reiterated the USMNT’s coaches stance on wanting his players to test themselves in Europe, but only in the right situations.

Speaking about the initial report from Greg Seltzer, MLSsoccer.com’s American Exports chief who is based in Amsterdam, Besler said the following.

“I did see the report. I know that Fulham have put in an offer to Sporting Kansas City,” Besler said. “I know that Sunderland has put in an offer or is putting in an offer.”

Reports have also suggested that Besler was hoping to make a decision by Monday but he insisted that there is no specific time-frame set for any deal, although “as soon as possible” would be his preference.

“It’s a situation which needs to get resolved. I want to be staying in Kansas City if I’m going to stay. But if they’re going to sell me, then I want to know as soon as possible. It’s not just my decision. It’s the club’s decision if they want to sell or not. But I would definitely have an input on a team.”

The U.S. defender performed superbly at the 2014 World Cup in central defense and started in all four of the USA’s matches as the made the round of 16.

In England reports are also suggesting that Aston Villa and Bundesliga side Stuttgart are the other interested parties, as Besler has plenty of options overseas this summer.

Will he stay in MLS as Sporting Kansas City’s captain or will the U.S. national team star seek his fortune in Europe?

Report: Chelsea line up Tuchel to replace Conte

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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

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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

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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

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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.