Manchester United leads way for di María after PSG moves on

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Paris Saint-Germain’s not waiting any longer, be if for Real Madrid to come down in price or the club to decide on Ángel Di María’s future. With the team’s season starting this weekend, the Ligue champions have decided to move on, ending a pursuit of the Argentine midfielder that was expected to end in $80 to $87 million transfer fee.

“We spoke to Real about Di María but he was too expensive,” PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi revealed on Thursday, with various reports confirming the French titans had called off their pursuit.

Already paying over $80 million (£50 million) for former Chelsea defender David Luiz, the Parisians are already at the limits of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations. Having been sanctioned by its confederation, Paris Saint-Germain risks further Champions League restricts if its overspending continues.

One buyer that doesn’t have those limitations: Manchester United, who has filled another room for Scrooge McDuck with all the sponsorships they’ve booked in the last year. They may have golden hood ornaments on their kits, but the Red Devils also have enough money to push PSG off this sale.

According to England’s Press Association, United’s now considered the favorite to land the Argentine international, whose injury at this summer’s World Cup prevented him from meeting manager Louis van Gaal and the Netherlands in the tournament’s semifinals.

Van Gaal, whose team has played a 3-5-2 formation this summer, has hinted he’d also like to play 4-3-3, a system in which di María could serve a number of roles. Last year with Real Madrid, the 26-year-old often played on top of a middle three, even though most of his career’s seen the former Benfica player star featured in a wider role.

Even in a system that uses three central defenders, di María could serve a number of purposes, with his versatility allowing him to play a wing back’s role, should options become limited.

If van Gaal wants the option of playing two formations, no player may enable that as well as Ángel di María.

Contest to crown “Best American Bar” for Premier League fans

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For most of the weekend mornings, bars across the United States of America turn into places filled with jerseys of every color imaginable and either screams of despair or yelps of delight fill the air.

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Fans of the Premier League in the U.S. flock to plenty of pubs and bars across the nation to watch all the action and now NBC Sports wants to crown the “Best Premier League Bar in America” with your help.

Below are the details on how to get involved in the contest, as you can submit a nomination by visiting NBCSports.com/BestPLBarContest.

Oh, and by the way, the winning bar will receive $50,000 and an exclusive viewing party hosted by NBC Sports, plus be featured in a national commercial.

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Also, hit play in the video above to get a flavor of the competition.

STAMFORD, Conn. – October, 2015 – This week, NBC Sports Group introduced a contest searching for the best Premier League bar in America.

From now through December 6, NBC Sports Group is asking fans to “show their pub some love” by submitting nominations  to help their bar take the throne at NBCSports.com/BestPLBarContest. Additionally, fans can support their pub by:

  • Checking in on the NBC Sports Matchmaker App
  • Sharing stories, images and videos by tagging their bar and using #BestPLBarContest on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
  • Describing how much their Premier League pub means to them here.

The contest site also features a full list of participating bars, a list of trending bars, a social media feed with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts with the hashtag #BestPLBarContest, and a schedule of upcoming Premier League fixtures.

Following are the 10 bars currently trending:

  • The Londoner, Dallas, TX
  • Maggie McGarrys, San Francisco, CA
  • Irish Channel, Washington, DC
  • Carragher’s, New York, NY
  • Lucky Bar, Washington, DC
  • Boston Beer Garden, Boston, MA
  • 11th Street Bar, New York, NY
  • Beef & Barley, Chicago, Ill.
  • George and Dragon Pub, Seattle, WA
  • The Blind Pig, New York, NY

2015 MLS playoff scenarios heading into penultimate week

Michael Bradley, Toronto FC
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This is it, we have arrived at the penultimate week of the 2015 Major League Soccer season and there is still a lot to be decided.

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Only five teams, the New York Red Bulls, D.C. United, FC Dallas, LA Galaxy and the Vancouver Whitecaps have booked their spot in the postseason so far and the regular season Western and Eastern Conference titles are still up for grabs.

That, coupled with teams on the bubble (Orlando, Houston, Portland and RSL, I’m looking at you) for the playoffs is adding up to an enthralling final few games of the season as teams currently in the playoffs are only separated by a few points here and there.

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Below, courtesy of the league office, are the scenarios for each MLS team to clinch a berth in the playoffs. Study. Worry. Repeat.

We will have an updated list of the scenarios later this week after the next batch of games are played on Wednesday.


Columbus Crew SC will clinch a berth in the Audi 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs IF

  • Columbus Crew SC win or tie vs. Toronto FC on Saturday


  • Orlando City SC lose or tie vs. New York City FC on Friday

New England Revolution will clinch a berth in the Audi 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs IF

  • New England Revolution win or tie vs. Montreal Impact on Saturday


  • Orlando City SC lose or tie vs. New York City FC on Friday

Toronto FC will clinch a berth in the Audi 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs IF

  • Toronto FC win or tie vs. New York Red Bulls on Wednesday


  • Orlando City SC lose or tie vs. New York City FC on Friday

Montreal Impact will clinch a berth in the Audi 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs IF

  • Montreal Impact win vs. New England Revolution on Saturday


  • Orlando City SC lose or tie vs. New York City FC on Friday

New York Red Bulls will clinch first place in the Eastern Conference IF

  • New York Red Bulls win or tie vs. Toronto FC on Wednesday