Reports: AC Milan headline Serie A clubs chasing Landon Donovan

16 Comments

About a day after Landon Donovan revealed he would consider a move abroad, clubs in one of Europe’s top leagues are after him.

Donovan, 31, spoke about his future earlier this week as his current contract with Major League Soccer is set to run out in January 2014.

Serie A sides Genoa, Sassulo and Hellas Verona have all made their interest clear to Donovan’s camp, while European giants AC Milan are also intrigued by Donovan’s situation. Milan are said to want a deal this summer but Donovan will likely stay in MLS until January.

It seems as if the LA Galaxy attacker will certainly have plenty of options if he does decide to leave MLS for Europe. But despite all this interest from European giants, which league or which club would suit Donovan best?

Milan could well be in the Champions League and boast a whole array of attacking talent, with Stephan El Shaarawy, Mario Balotelli and Kevin-Prince Boateng leading the way. But would Donovan’s style of play suit the Italian league? I think so. More so than the Premier League, at this point of his career.

(MORE: Are their hints of Landon Donovan leaving MLS?)

Don’t get me wrong, whatever league Donovan joins he would do well. Class is permanent. But if he did leave MLS, playing in Italy or maybe Spain would suit his style of play more. Quick one-two’s and a possession based game would allow him to get on the ball and dictate games.

The Premier League has become more and more physical in recent years, and I struggle to see Donovan keeping up with the pace of the current incarnation of the PL. Donovan had adapted his game to suit his age and how he can best manipulate the situations, he’s still quick over the first 10-15 yards but the pace of England’s top-flight is relentless.

So what options would he have in the PL? Maybe Everton where he was on loan in 2010 and 2012, as he won plenty of friends. And what about a reunion with David Moyes at Manchester United? Now that would be something. And aren’t we forgetting that despite Donovan’s stellar Gold Cup campaign this summer, his place in Jurgen Klinsmann’s World Cup squad is by no means guaranteed.

Not at all.

So a move to a big European team or league would certainly help boost Donovan’s chances of making the plane to Brazil. Klinsmann would be a huge fan of seeing Donovan in Europe. But is all this transfer talk a bit ‘pie in the sky?’ Well, if Milan is linked with Donovan, why not United?

Between now and the end of the MLS season, a potential new destination for Donovan will likely arrive every day. This is just the start of it.

Serie A, AC Milan, maybe a move back to England… Not bad for a player many chucked on the scrapheap after his self-imposed sabbatical last offseason.

Croatia smashes disheveled Argentina

AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan
Leave a comment

Ante Rebic, Luka Modric, and Ivan Rakitic have Croatia in the knockout rounds and Argentina on the verge of World Cup disaster.

Croatia scored a pair of second half goals, one aided by a Willy Caballero howler, in a 2-0 win in Nizhny Novgorod on Thursday.

Argentina will enter its final match against Nigeria on the outskirts of the knockout rounds regardless of how Nigeria-Iceland ends on Friday.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

Ivan Perisic forced a big save out of Wily Caballero for an early Croatia corner kick that came to nothing.

Messi had a chance stopped inside of 10 minutes, then started a play that Dejan Lovren blocked for a corner in the 13th.

Enzo Perez missed an open goal off a poor Croatia giveaway in the 30th minute.

There were a pair of fouls not out of place on a red card lowlight reel, one for each team, but neither resulting in a sending off.

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

Croatia took the lead through Caballero’s gaffe and Rebic’s smash in the 54th.

Argentina nearly answered moments later. After a mazy Messi dribble, Argentina regained possession in the 64th minute, spearheaded by a Gonzalo Higuain run that led to a corner.

Croatia came close to making it 2-0, as Mario Mandzukic couldn’t turn a flick on frame and instead saw it glide into the outside of the goal.

Then Modric put the match to bed as the clock hit 80, an absolute beauty. Another huge defensive mistake allowed Mateo Kovacic to cue up Rakitic for the third.

[ LIVE: World Cup scores ]

WATCH: Caballero blunder punished as Rebic rip puts Argentina on ropes

AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin
Leave a comment

Willy Caballero has made one of the bigger blunders in recent World Cup history.

His Argentina side needs at least a point from Thursday’s match-up with Croatia, and the match remained scoreless into halftime.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

But 10 minutes after the break, Caballero flubbed a clearance in a big way.

The Argentina goalkeeper then could only watch as Ante Rebic kept his composure to blast a side volley into the goal.

It was a fine finish, to be sure, but not possible without such a terrible gaffe.

Transfer rumor roundup: Chelsea in for Pjanic; Lozano to Juventus?

Paolo Bruno/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Pro Soccer Talk examines some of Thursday’s top transfer stories, including a Premier League giant looking to add to its midfield.

[ MORE: Uruguay reaches Round of 16 courtesy of Luis Suarez ]


Chelsea could be set to join Barcelona in the race for Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic, according to the Daily Mail.

The Blues and new manager Maurizio Sarri are said to be open to looking to Serie A to solve some of the team’s troubled areas, including in the center of the park to join France international N'Golo Kante.

Sarri is already said to be keen on signing Napoli star Dries Mertens, whom he has coached for several years at the Stadio San Paolo


Meanwhile, Juve has interest in a World Cup star, with Mexico’s Hirving Lozano attracting significant looks from around the world.

Lozano scored for El Tri in their 1-0 victory over Germany to open their 2018 World Cup campaign, and has become an instant star in the Dutch Eredivisie with PSV Eindhoven.

PSV would reportedly be willing to complete a deal if the Serie A champions shell out over $40 million.


Sticking with Juve, Emre Can‘s move to the Turin side appears to be close to finalization.

Can is set to have a medical in Italy on Thursday, as the 24-year-old anticipates completing a five-year contract with the Serie A giants.


Finally, West Ham United is looking to add to its attacking options next season, and the club could be nearing a record move.

Lazio winger Felipe Anderson is reportedly set to come to the London Stadium in 2018/19 as the Hammers prepare a $46 million deal.

Anderson tallied four goals in 21 Serie A matches last season for the Biancocelesti.

RB Leipzig names Julian Nagelsmann future manager

Dominik Fluegel/dpa via AP
Leave a comment

Julian Nagelsmann won’t take over at his new club until the 2019/20 season, but Red Bull Leipzig has put a lot of confidence in one of the youngest managers in global football.

[ MORE: Ronaldo’s tally gives Portugal win over Morocco ]

On Thursday, the Bundesliga side announced the appointment of the Hoffenheim coach, who will continue in his current capacity for the upcoming 2018/19 German campaign.

Nagelsmann signs on with Leipzig until the conclusion of the 2022/23 season.

The 30-year-old has spent two seasons managing Hoffenheim, guiding the club to back-to-back top-four finishes in the Bundesliga.

Leipzig is currently without a manager ahead of the next season, so it remains unclear who will take over until Nagelsmann assumes his role in 2019.