Jose Mourinho Manchester bound?

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As the final whistle blew for full-time at Goodison Park this afternoon, Jose Mourinho picked up his cell phone, dialed his travel agent, his realtor and his kids principal. He then sat back in his comfy sofa and waited for the phone to ring and begin negoatiatinng with his agent and Manchester City owner, His Highness Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The self-proclaimed ‘Special One’ likes to play games with the press and with the host of clubs that crave his services however his exit from Real Madrid is all but assured even if he brings home the trophy, the European Cup, that the club most desires.

Sack or let a manager go that brings home the biggest club trophy, madness you say, but Real has a track record. Juup Heynckes and Vicente del Bosque both won the Champions League and both were replaced before the champagne had stopped flowing.

Other than the Chelsea experience, Mourinho doesn’t get sacked, he chooses his own exit. He goes to clubs that are well-funded, stocked with world-class players. City is the perfect situation for him and it provides another opportunity to tweak the nose of his rival Roberto Mancini who he followed at Inter Milan.

Mourinho has expressed more than a passing desire to return to the Premiership. He knows the pitfalls of working with Blues owner, Roman Abramovich, he also knows the City job takes him into the direct eye line of Manchester United and a man he claims to have massive respect for, Sir Alex Ferguson.

Jose is known to have a ‘Machiavellian mind’ and perhaps is already thinking about the next job after he’s done the business with City. No need to call the travel agent, realtor and kids principal next time eh!

Report: Newcastle activates $12m release clause of ex-Arsenal youth

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Reports out of Turkey say Newcastle United have finally struck the transfer market for a new No. 10.

[ MORE: West Ham adds Diop ]

Aksam reports that Rafa Benitez got the Magpies hierarchy to activate a near $12 million release clause for Besiktas midfielder Oguzhan Ozyakup.

The 25-year-old was part of Arsenal’s youth set-up until 2012, making two League Cup appearances in 2011-12 before moving to Besiktas.

Dutch-born Ozyakup is 35-times capped with a goal for Turkey, twice captaining the Crescent-Stars.

Ozyakup lost playing time to Talisca this season, and registered just four assists in 24 appearances. In 219 appearances for Besiktas, he’s posted 27 goals with 50 assists.

Like the move for Newcastle?

Lukaku pens inspiring post on hard-scrabble upbringing

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Manchester United and Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku has an inspiring and emotional post in The Players’ Tribune which tugs at the heart strings and explains his competitive fire.

[ MORE: West Ham adds Diop ]

Lukaku talks about how his family’s poverty caused him to become a fierce competitor in the hopes of meeting his dreams head-on and providing for his family.

The Belgian, 25, scored twice in his side’s 3-0 World Cup-opening win over Panama earlier this week, and is now far removed from his youth, but he tells his story as if it lives fresh in his mind.

From The Players’ Tribune:

There were even times when my mum had to “borrow” bread from the bakery down the street. The bakers knew me and my little brother, so they’d let her take a loaf of bread on Monday and pay them back on Friday.

Lukaku also talks about racism in football, his debut for Anderlecht, and that aforementioned competitive drive. It’s 100 percent worth the read.

West Ham signs club record center back from Toulouse

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West Ham has reportedly set a club record with its latest signing under new manager Manuel Pellegrini.

Issa Diop is the player, the 21-year-old Toulouse captain and center back costing the Irons around $29 million.

[ MORE: Arsenal signs Leno ]

Diop scored three goals with an assist and eight yellow cards in 31 Ligue 1 matches this season, giving the young defender 95 apps, six goals, three assists, and 23 yellows since debuting with the senior team at 18.

Capped by France at every level below the senior team, Diop’s 2.2 interceptions per game ranked sixth in Ligue 1.

Toulose finished 18th in Ligue 1, but won its promotion/relegation playoff to stay in the French top flight.

From WHUFC.com:

“I am very happy to sign for such a historic, English club, and I hope to show my best here. I am a very ambitious player and West Ham is a very ambitious club, as we’ve seen with the appointment of the new coach. I hope to help the team win lots of games and make the fans happy.”

Layla’s Occasionally Unbiased Football Show: Episode 3

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In the third episode of Layla’s Occasionally Unbiased Football Show, England pulls out a massive win while VAR finds its way into the World Cup spotlight.

[ LIVE: World Cup scores ] 

There will be plenty more to come over the next few weeks, with the show coming via the Men In Blazers.

Click play on the video above to watch the first episode in full.