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Report: Larin’s strange saga ends with move from Orlando to Besiktas

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Following weeks of he-said-she-said back-and-forth over the immediate future of Cyle Larin, the details of the Canadian international’s move from Orlando City SC to Turkish giant Besiktas has reportedly been agreed by all parties, according to a report from Pro Soccer USA.

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Before delving into the details, a quick refresher: Larin began garnering interest from Europe around this time last year; interest ramped up during the summer, but Orlando City refused to sell before the end of the season due to service time with the team (their percentage of transfer fee retained would go up after three full seasons); Besiktas approached Orlando and Larin this winter; having believed a deal was done, Besiktas flew Larin to Turkey where he underwent a medical evaluation and photos, along with an announcement of sorts, were shared by the club; Orlando insisted that no deal had been finalized; Besiktas contended that Larin’s contract with MLS, which included unilateral option years, was invalid by FIFA standards.

Fast-forward to Monday, and the final piece of the messy puzzle has reportedly been resolved: Orlando and the MLS league office have agreed on an unprecedented percentage split of Larin’s transfer fee — Orlando will keep 100 percent, as opposed to the league’s stand two-thirds share (for non-Generation adidas players) — from Pro Soccer USA:

Orlando City will keep the full amount of the transfer fee because of the lengthy ordeal instead of giving 30 percent to the league and 10 percent to the player as is usual for a third-year Generation adidas player, per sources.

[ MORE: Monday’s transfer rumor roundupSunday | Friday ]

This, of course, leaves MLS in yet another confusing gray area: previously, only outgoing transfers of homegrown players (Larin was drafted first overall in the 2015 Super Draft) were to net a team 100 percent of a fee paid; the league’s single-entity structure would absorb the other one-third after two-thirds went to the team (a few examples: Kei Kamara, to Middlesbrough; Fabian Castillo, to Trabzonspor; Uri Rosell, to Sporting CP).

Now, for the first time, Orlando will keep the entire fee for a non-homegrown player, which will lead to every team wanting and expecting the same treatment upon future sales. Take, for instance, Jack Harrison, who’s widely expected to leave New York City FC for either Stoke City Middlesbrough, for anywhere between $5 million and $8.5 million, in the next 48 hours.

[ MORE: USMNT draws first friendly of 2018 | Player ratings ]

What’s the threshold for time and messiness that a transfer saga must meet in order for a team to maximize that transfer revenue? It’s an absurd question to consider, but because MLS continues to fly by the seat of their pants when it comes to roster rules and regulations, here we are.

One day — soon, hopefully — a departing player caught up in a similar situation will follow through and contest MLS’s practice of unilateral option years, which is what this entire saga comes back to, in front of FIFA. That player will, hopefully, score a massive victory for every non-Designated Player in the league, many of whom live year-to-year without the financial security of a guaranteed contract. Within the current setup, power lies in the hands of the league, and the league only. It’s a toxic, but lucrative, way of doing business.

Rochdale 2-2 Tottenham: Davies stuns Spurs late

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A valiant effort from a League One side has rewarded the minnows with a replay set to be played at Wembley Stadium.

Tottenham Hotspur looked on its way towards the FA Cup sixth round on Sunday, but a late finish by Steven Davies gave Rochdale a 2-2 draw with the Premier League club at the Spotland Stadium.

[ MORE: Willian stars as Chelsea routs Hull in FA Cup ]

Harry Kane — who scored his 34th goal on the season in all competitions — converted from the penalty spot in the 88th minute, however, Davies had the final say deep into stoppage time to send the two sides towards a replay.

Ian Henderson’s finish in the 45th minute gave Rochdale a gift at the conclusion of the first stanza, after the hosts capitalized on a Spurs giveaway near midfield.

Meanwhile, Tottenham managed to level the match at 1-1 on the hour mark when Lucas Moura calmly slotted his close-range shot past goalkeeper Josh Lillis after a timely through ball from Moussa Sissoko picked out the former PSG man.

The visitors began pressing on in the second half, with Mauricio Pochettino‘s side having trailed at the halftime break.

The two sides will now meet on either Feb. 27 or 28 in the reverse fixture to decide which team advances. The winner will either meet Sheffield Wednesday or Swansea City in the quarterfinals.

Scholes: Pogba didn’t earn Man United spot in 2012 before Juve stint

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Paul Pogba‘s young career has been bright, but a former Manchester United legend suggests that there was a time where the Frenchman struggled to find his way at Old Trafford.

[ MORE: Man United draws Brighton, Chelsea gets Leicester in FA Cup quarters

The 24-year-old Pogba is now in his second stint with the Red Devils, after spending four seasons in Italy with giants Juventus.

Former United midfielder Paul Scholes says though that back in 2012 — prior to Pogba’s move to Juve — that the physical player wasn’t pleased with the fact that he wasn’t getting regular minutes with the first team.

“Ferguson wanted me initially to come back and coach the reserve team with Warren Joyce,” he told BT Sport. “I said in September I’d come back. So I started helping Joycey, and I was training with the reserves.

“I was training every day with the likes of Pogba, Lingard, all these types of players. They were a really good side and I was really enjoying training. I was getting fit, I felt great, and it got to December time and the team was struggling a bit.

“They had a load of injuries, no central midfield players were fit. They ended up playing Phil Jones and Fabio da Silva in central midfield in a game against Blackburn at Old Trafford.

“Funnily enough that was the end of Pogba, because he thought he should have been playing instead of them. But he wasn’t doing well enough.”

Scholes, who had retired briefly in 2011, came back after just six months for the Red Devils, and ended up playing a year-and-a-half more following the decision to end his playing career.

It is widely believed that Pogba’s decision to head to Juventus was largely due to the impact of Scholes in the United squad.

Video: Rochdale puts Tottenham on upset alert at the half

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It’s been a tremendous season for Ian Henderson, particularly in the FA Cup, and now he and his side are one half away from upsetting one of the Premier League giants.

Henderson’s finish on the brink of halftime has put League One side Rochdale up 1-0 against Tottenham Hotspur, as the minnows aim to become the first non-PL side to advance to the quarterfinals in this season’s tournament.

A sloppy giveaway from Spurs near midfield created the attack for the hosts, and allowed Rochdale to capitalize on one of its few attacks during the opening stanza.

Benfica routs Boavista 4-0 to take lead in Portugal

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LISBON, Portugal (AP) Benfica routed Boavista 4-0 to move ahead of FC Porto at the top of the Portuguese league on Saturday.

Benfica is one point in front of Porto, which has two games to play.

[ MORE: Man United gets Brighton in FA Cup quarters, Chelsea draws Leicester ]

Ruben Dias opened the scoring for Benfica in the 18th minute when he headed in a pass from Jardel.

Jardel added a goal just before halftime. Boavista’s Nuno Henrique also scored an own goal before Raul Jimenez polished off the victory in the 90th.

Jonas had a penalty saved by Boavista goalkeeper Vagner with the score 0-0.

Porto hosts Rio Ave on Sunday. Sporting Lisbon is three points behind Benfica before visiting Tondela on Monday.