Déjà vu: Wage demands foil Nicklas Bendtner’s transfer away from Arsenal

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Arsenal fans, fear not. Nicklas Bendtner looks set to stay at the Emirates.

The self-confident striker’s proposed transfer to German side Eintracht Frankfurt, which appeared to be done and dusted, has been thrown into doubt after Eintracht chairman Heribert Bruchhagen questioned whether his club could afford Bendtner.

With Arsenal and Eintracht apparently in agreement over the fee for Bendtner, the Danish striker flew in to Frankfurt to discuss personal terms. What Bruchhagen somehow failed to recognize before sitting down with the 25 year old, was just how much he valued himself.

“After weighing up all the arguments, Bendtner turned out not to be a realistic prospect,” Bruchhagen told kicker.de. “Now it’s up to us. There are no problems with Arsenal. We have to see if it’s financially viable.”

Since joining the Gunners as a 16 year old with bags of promise, Bendtner has failed to live up to his billing as a top talent. After three league cup appearances in 2005-06 he was sent on loan to Birmingham City where he arguably had his most successful stint in English football, notching 11 goals and 7 assists in 42 Championship matches.

The performance was enough for manager Arsene Wenger to recall Bendtner to North London, where he spent the following four seasons making regular substitute appearances for the Gunners and notching 22 goals in 98 Premier League matches.

In 2011-12 Wenger sent Bendtner on his loan stint, this time to Sunderland. The move to the Stadium of Light failed to pan out, despite his managing 8 goals and 5 assists in 28 league appearances. This past season, Wenger sent him to Juventus on a season long loan deal where he failed to score a single goal in 11 total appearances.

Throughout the last three years Arsenal have tried desperately to move the Dane, to no avail. Clubs come and go without a deal getting done and inevitably the reason seems to be Bendtner’s high wage demands. Under his current deal at Arsenal the striker makes £50,000 per week ($75,420) and if you ask him, he’s worth every penny.

“There is a price to pay as well for us players” Bendtner said in 2011. “Personally, I think I pay a big price with my body, my time and with never being able to have privacy when I am out and around other people.”

Whether £50,000 per week is the quote he’s given to Eintracht, nobody knows. But fortunately for Arsenal, the man who hasn’t scored a Premier League goal since April 2012 is still happily planted on their bench.

Just in case.

Yaya Toure talks future, wants to play with Paul Pogba

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There is very little debate: Yaya Toure is his own special case.

The longtime Manchester City midfielder does what he wants, flies his own flag, has the worst agent in the game, and is pleased or dismayed in unusual ways.

[ UCL: What would Real 3-peat mean? ]

Toure, 35, has been linked with a move to NYCFC now that he’s leaving Man City, but the Ivorian still wants to play two more seasons for a Champions League or Europa League club.

And he wants to get together with Paul Pogba. You can see where this is going… (from The Manchester Evening News):

“Pogba is the same size, power – but different in the way he wants to go. Technically as well, the ability to score goals as well. It is a player I want to play with, to be honest, just to teach him some things.”

That must mean both are going to Paris Saint-Germain because… Yaya at Manchester United? No way, right? Right? Even with last year’s reports from his — again — terrible agent that it was an option, that still seems too villainous.

“I don’t rule big teams out. The big teams are very important for me. What they want to achieve, the way they want to go, for me is very important. … I want to go somewhere I can win and achieve. It’s going to be hard one day to play against City, but I have to do that. It is part of my job.”

Toure later said he was “no good in an office,” which had us thinking, well, what if they properly celebrated your birthday, Yaya?

WATCH: Miami United midfield unleashes Open Cup laser

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Tomas Granitto, have yourself an extra plate at the postgame buffet.

The Miami United midfielder scored a gorgeous goal in Wednesday’s 2-0 win over fellow NPSL side Jacksonville Armada in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup’s third round.

[ MORE: 3 Key Battles for UCL Final ]

Complete with aesthetically-pleasing post-ping, the former El Salvador U-20 player laid into a 25-yard shot to open the scoring in Florida.

Granitto, 24, has played for Timbers 2, Swope Park Rangers, FC Edmonton, since leaving NCAA side Florida Gulf Coast.

Rondon wanted by Atleti, Inter Milan, and West Ham

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The big boys are looking to Salomon Rondon as a bargain striker.

Yes, $22 million is a bargain in the striker market these days.

[ MORE: Napoli hires Ancelotti ]

West Brom’s Venezuelan international, 28, stands 6’2″ and has a relegation release clause that is reportedly interesting Inter Milan, Atletico Madrid, and West Ham United.

Atleti and Inter are in the Champions League next season, but Rondon played for new West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini at Malaga, posting 25 league goals in two seasons.

He’s scored 24 goals in three Premier League seasons at West Brom, almost a quarter of the 104 produced by the Baggies.

He also picked up three assists this season as the target man for Tony Pulis, Alan Pardew, and Darren Moore (and was fouled more often than any other Baggie (Baggy?)).

Rondon and Marko Arnautovic next to each other would be a real handful for PL defenses. Then again, maybe he’ll stay loyal to West Brom and set the Championship scoring record next season.

Three German organizers of 2006 World Cup indicted for tax evasion

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FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) Three German organizers of the 2006 World Cup have been charged with tax evasion linked to a payment to FIFA.

German news agency dpa reported that Theo Zwanziger, Wolfgang Niersbach and Horst R. Schmidt confirmed Wednesday they are indicted by Frankfurt prosecutors in a long-running investigation.

[ MORE: 3 Key Battles for UCL Final ]

They are accused of falsifying tax returns on behalf of the Germany soccer federation (DFB) in 2006. The DFB has already paid 19.2 million euros ($22.4 million) in back taxes. All three deny the charges, which were first reported by German daily Bild

The allegations are also being investigated by Swiss federal prosecutors and FIFA’s ethics committee. They have targeted German soccer great Franz Beckenbauer, who led the 2006 tournament organizing committee.

Beckenbauer, Zwanziger and Niersbach were members of FIFA’s executive committee in turn from 2007 through 2016.

In 2016, the DFB published an inquiry report into a complex payments trail including 6.7 million euros ($7.8 million) to FIFA in April 2005. Zwanziger and the DFB claimed the money was for a World Cup opening gala and therefore tax-deductible.

However, the payment went through FIFA and ended in a Swiss account belonging to former Adidas chief Robert Louis-Dreyfus, who died in 2009.

The inquiry report did not rule out, but could not prove, that votes were bought when Germany beat a Nelson Mandela-supported South Africa bid for the hosting rights in a 12-11 vote of FIFA executive committee members in 2000.

Swiss prosecutors said in 2016 they had opened a criminal proceeding against the four German officials the previous year, on suspicion of fraud, money laundering, criminal mismanagement and misappropriation. That case spun off from a wider Swiss investigation of suspected corruption linked to FIFA and World Cup hosting votes that is ongoing.

Niersbach lost his seat on FIFA’s ruling committee when he was banned for one year for failing to disclose possible unethical conduct.

The various investigations have tarnished the reputation of the 2006 World Cup that was a popular success in the host nation, which called it the “Summer Fairytale.”