Advice to Spurs: Sell Bale and take the money

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Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy is messing around, and it’s hurting his team.

With every journalist known to man reporting that Real Madrid are ready, willing, and able to pay Tottenham Hotspur to pair Gareth Bale alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, Spurs have found their spark.

The club has missed out on the Champions League just barely – and I mean just barely – the last two seasons.  They need to do something to get them over the hump.

With Gareth Bale’s bursting onto the superstar scene, many believed he would lead them to the Champions League and beyond.  That didn’t happen.

As much as Bale did last year, the lesson should have been learned by Levy that Bale is just one player, and can only do so much – even if that is 21 league goals.

The fact that Real Madrid are willing to pay such a high sum of money for just one player is a whole other topic, but with them apparently digging into their pockets for a massive wad of cash, it’s Levy’s chance to make his squad much better.

And yet he’s simply refusing to cooperate.

He is refusing acknowledge the bid from Real Madrid, and with Gareth Bale’s head turned by the club that wants him so badly, Levy won’t even chat with his player. It’s a whole lot of nothing from the chairman as the world continues to turn around him.

Madrid director of football Zinedine Zidane has vowed not to quit, which pretty much hands Levy all the leverage. But eventually, enough will be enough.

If that time comes, all Levy will be left with is a frustrated and angry Gareth Bale who doesn’t want to play anymore.  His contract doesn’t expire until 2016, so there’s no worry that he’ll leave on a free, but you can be sure he doesn’t want to play at White Hart Lane anymore.

It’s Luka Modric all over again.  If you remember, Spurs were essentially forced to sell the Croatian central midfielder to Real when Modric all but stopped caring at White Hart Lane and became a shell of his former self. After a host of rumors for years the sale was completed quite unceremoniously.

What Levy can’t see is that as world-class as Gareth Bale is, £100 million ($151 million) is way way better.

You could purchase an entire Europa League squad with that kind of money.  And with the players already in place, a few top-class signings with that money would do the trick.

$151 million could buy you: the Premier League top-scorer in Robin van Persie, Angel Di Maria who Spurs have coveted, another Jan Vertonghnen who performed so well last season in defense, and have about $40 million left over for wages, if not more.

You get the point.  There’s about a thousand combinations that would work for Spurs.  But there’s not much time left in the window to make the Bale sale and turn the money around to better the club.

Real are ready. Bale is ready. The only thing they need now is for Daniel Levy to wake up and smell the coffee.

Ronaldo explains his new chin hair at World Cup

AP Photo/Hassan Ammar
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Now that Cristiano Ronaldo has taken to sporting a reasonable hairstyle atop his head, people are talking about the foliage on his face.

[ RECAP: Morocco 0-1 Portugal ]

Ronaldo, 33, drew speculation when he stroked his chin following a goal in his hat trick performance against Spain in the World Cup opener. Some said he was demonstrating defiance against Lionel Messi posing with a goat (Greatest Of All Time) in a recent photograph.

Ronaldo scored again on Wednesday, and there was seemingly little doubt his goatee was a wink to the speculators. But what did it mean, CR7? From ESPN:

“This goatee? It’s a joke I had with [Ricardo] Quaresma. “We were in the sauna [before Friday’s match against Spain] and I started to shave and I left the goatee. I said if I score tomorrow, I would leave it for the rest of the tournament. And it gave me luck.

“I scored in that game, I scored in this one, so it stays.”

Personally, I like to imagine Ronaldo starting to get as wild with his facial hair as he did his head hair.

Perhaps a beatnik style, or something like Serj Tankian from System of a Down. Get nuts, C-Ron.

Report: Southampton could sell Tadic to Ajax for $20m

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Could Southampton be selling one of its most creative forces?

Dusan Tadic, 29, is in the middle of a World Cup run with dark horse Serbia, but the Saints star is also being talked about as a purchase item for Ajax.

[ MORE: Serbia tops Costa Rica ]

The celebrated Eredivisie has traditionally been a selling club for the Premier League, but could be a $20 million buy for Ajax.

The report says director of players Marc Overmars and financial director Jeroen Slop have flown to Southampton to work out a deal.

Tadic starred for Dutch sides Groningen and Twente between 2010-14 before moving to St. Mary’s for a reported $12 million.

He’s scored 24 goals with 35 assists in 162 appearances for Saints, 21 and 30 of which came in the Premier League.

Toronto locks down USMNT backstop Bono with extension

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Toronto FC goalkeeper Alex Bono is going to stay Toronto FC goalkeeper Alex Bono.

[ RECAP: Morocco 0-1 Portugal ]

The newly-capped USMNT backstop, 24, has been attracting interest from abroad since breaking past Clint Irwin to win the TFC job and guiding the club to multiple MLS Cup Finals.

Now general manager Tim Bezbatchenko has locked down his young goalkeeper to an undisclosed contract extension. From TorontoFC.com:

“Alex was a big part of our success last season. He set club records for wins and clean sheets and was a critical piece of our championship team,” said Toronto FC Sr. Vice-President, Soccer Operations & General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko. “Since joining the club as a first round pick in 2015, Alex’s ability to make key saves in big moments has been critical to our success.”

The Syracuse-born product of Syracuse University has made 64 appearances for the Reds.

WATCH: World Cup, Day 8 — Argentina on the edge; France aims for berth

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France, Denmark, and Croatia can clinch knockout round berths on Thursday in Russia, the last nation also holding the opportunity to help deprive the World Cup of an extended Lionel Messi run.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

Messi’s Argentina drew Iceland in its opener, the megastar infamously missing a penalty, and will look to beat a Croatian side that looked quite good in dispatching Nigeria.

That’s the final match of the day, which begins with Denmark facing Australia and continues with a tasty match-up between France and Peru.

Below is Thursday’s schedule in full.

Click here for live and on demand coverage of the World Cup online and via the NBC Sports App.


2018 World Cup schedule – Wednesday, June 20

Group C
Denmark vs. Australia: Samara, 8 a.m. ET – LIVE COVERAGE
France vs. Peru: Yekaterinburg, 11 a.m. ET – LIVE COVERAGE

Group D
Argentina vs. Croatia: Nizhny Novgorod, 2 p.m. ET – LIVE COVERAGE