The Jermaine Jones transfer saga took its latest turn late Saturday night, as Chicago Fire coach Frank Yallop admitted that the club has made a big offer for the USMNT midfielder.
As for the claims that Jones has rejected the contract, a notion that the player himself denied earlier that day, Yallop said they haven’t heard anything of the sort from the 32-year-old.
Speaking after Chicago’s 1-1 draw with Columbus, Yallop spoke candidly about his desire for Jones to join up with the Fire. He also said the club is prepared to go in any number of alternative directions.
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“I spoke to Jermaine yesterday and wanted to put forward our club and what we thought of him and we would love [for] him to join us,” Yallop told reporters at Toyota Park.
“So I’ve done that, he hasn’t officially turned down our offer because we’ve not had anything back, so we’re still waiting. It was a big offer, Andrew [Hauptman, club owner] stepped up and put out a good contract offer, he’s thinking about it and we’ll probably find out about it in the next couple of days.”
While the 46-time capped Jones is the Fire’s priority signing this window, Yallop and technical director Brian Bliss have a number of potential signings lined up should their offer to the German-American come up short.
“We have a few guys we have lined up in a sort of domino effect, if you like,” said Yallop. “If one doesn’t go, then we have to move to the next one. We have interest in some players and I’m sure we’ll get something hopefully done in this window for sure.”
If you follow Jones on Twitter, or read our earlier post, you’ll know the midfielder disputed both the contraction rejection and the reported dollars with the following, “Good Morning my fans! The offer of chicago fire honors me! There are rumours in the news. But all the figures mentioned are not the truth.”
You’ll also know that he’s been hanging out with Charlie Sheen and Chuck Liddell.
Now that Liverpool have selected and named their new manager, it appears Sunderland are finally ready to move forward with their own managerial search. (That’s clearly a joke, because it implies Liverpool and Sunderland ever duke it out for the same managerial candidate.)
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Anyway, the Black Cats will have to hire someone to replace the recently-departed Dick Advocaat at some point. We all knew that, despite the fact he’s probably earned a shot at that level, Bob Bradley was never really going to be considered for the job. With that in mind, if you’re not going to endear yourself to the entire United States of America with this hire, you might as well go for the best unemployed manager who’ll actually consider your approach.
That’s what Sunderland chairman Ellis Short appears to have done, as it was reported Thursday that despite an initial reluctance from Sam Allardyce — let’s be honest, he actually was holding out hope for the Liverpool job — the 60-year-old most recently in charge of West Ham United was willing and ready to enter into negotiations with the northeastern club.
One of the major sticking points during Sunderland’s courting of Allardyce is expected to be his demand for autonomy in the transfer market as well as a sizable transfer budget to sign his own players during the January window.
[ MORE: Advocaat: Sunderland squad too thin, chairman to blame ]
Allardyce seems like the no. 1 guy you’d like to bring in to steady a capsized ship — cough Sunderland cough — in any situation. Not only does he have a successful track record in the Premier League, but he’s the kind of no-nonsense leader a club like Sunderland so desperately needs as they find themselves in yet another relegation battle just eight games into the new season.
Short hopes to have Allardyce signed, sealed and delivered when the Premier League returns to action next weekend. In that event, Allardyce’s first game in charge of Sunderland would be a trip to West Bromwich Albion. His first home fixture? Home to Tyne-Wear derby rivals Newcastle United, a club whose boisterous fanbase still holds a great deal of disdain for Big Sam. Sometimes the football gods really are looking out for us.
Statement from suspended UEFA President Michel Platini:
Early this afternoon, I was informed of the FIFA ethics committee’s decision to impose on me a provisional 90-day suspension with immediate effect. That decision, which I will of course contest in the appropriate manner at the appropriate time, had already been the subject of a deliberate leak, and I gave my opinion on that earlier in the day.
I reject all of the allegations that have been made against me, which are based on mere semblances and are astonishingly vague. Indeed, the wording of those allegations merely states that a breach of the FIFA Code of Ethics “seems to have been committed” and that a decision on the substance of the matter cannot be taken immediately.
Despite the farcical nature of these events, I refuse to believe that this is a political decision taken in haste in order to taint a lifelong devotee of the game or crush my candidacy for the FIFA presidency.
I want everyone to know my state of mind: more than a sense of injustice or a desire for revenge, I am driven by a profound feeling of staunch defiance. I am more determined than ever to defend myself before the relevant judicial bodies.
I want to reiterate in the strongest possible terms that I will devote myself to ensuring that my good faith prevails. I have received numerous messages of support today from UEFA’s member associations and the other confederations encouraging me to continue my work serving football’s interests. Nothing will make me give up on that commitment.