Reports: Toronto FC to grab Brazilian national team ‘keeper Julio Cesar on loan

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Up in Toronto, they continue to make big moves over the Major League Soccer offseason, as another big name could be on the way if you believe reports out of Brazil.

On Friday various reports from suggest Ryan Nelsen’s Toronto FC have struck a deal with his former club Queens Park Rangers for Nelsen’s ex-teammate Julio Cesar, Brazil’s starting goalkeeper.

TFC’s President and CEO Tim Lieweke is really backing Nelsen this offseason, that’s for sure.

Cesar, 34, has been out of favor for QPR this season as they battle it out at the top of the Championship to get back into the Premier League at the first time of asking. Last season he dazzled in the PL, but has since lost his spot to Robert Green after QPR tried to ship Cesar out of the club over the past two transfer windows to get his huge wages off their payroll. It’s not that he is a bad player, far from it, but manager Harry Redknapp needs him out of the club to ease the already bulging wage bill.

(MORE: Michael Bradley and Jermain Defoe unveiled at Toronto FC)

However now an option that would suit everyone may have been found, as Cesar could join TFC on loan for the 2014 MLS season and play a few months before he jets off to his homeland to be the host nations starting GK. Cesar needs regular soccer, Toronto could do with a top class ‘keeper to compliment the huge signings of Michael Bradley and Jermain Defoe earlier this offseason, and QPR would love to get a good chunk of Cesar’s salary off the already hefty wage bill at Loftus Road.

Everyone’s a winner.

The long-time Inter Milan ‘keeper, who has 77 caps for Brazil and excelled in the Confederations Cup victory last summer, would be a real feather in the cap for Nelsen and no disrespect to Joe Bendik, Cesar would be a huge upgrade between the sticks. But can Toronto really pull off yet another stunning signing? If Cesar does join, he would be one of, if not the best, goalkeepers in MLS. No doubt.

Lets see how this one pans out, but Nelsen and Leiweke aren’t messing around up in Toronto, are they?

Mane undergoes hand surgery

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The “FIFA virus” is hitting Liverpool hard this month.

Sadio Mane, who reportedly broke his left thumb on international duty for Senegal, underwent surgery on Wednesday, Liverpool confirmed. The club did not include a timetable for Mane’s return in its press release, only saying, “Mane’s recovery will be monitored over the next couple of days ahead of the Reds’ return to action at Huddersfield Town on Saturday.”

With the injury, Mane joins Mo Salah, Naby Keita and Virgil Van Dijk as Reds to be injured during the international break.

As an attacker, it’s unlikely Mane really needs the use of his left hand other than to protect himself on aerial challenges on bumps from defenders, but depending on the recovery, it may just be a decision of how much pain Mane could tolerate. With matches against Huddersfield, Red Star Belgrade and Cardiff City to come, maybe this is a good time for Jurgen Klopp to rest some of his starters, including the walking wounded like Mane.

Fulham owner withdraws offer to purchase Wembley Stadium

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Wembley Stadium is set to stay in the FA’s hands.

[READ: USMNT 1-1 Peru: Player Ratings]

The FA announced in a press release Wednesday that Fulham owner Shahid Kahn had withdrawn his offer of $790 million to purchase Wembley Stadium. Kahn first became interested in buying the stadium in February 2017, when he and FA CEO Martin Glenn met at the Superbowl. What followed was an informal offer to the FA Board of Directors before a formal offer was made.

The offer has been valued at anywhere from nearly $800 million to nearly $1.2 billion. In a statement, Kahn said that his goal to purchase the stadium was to provide the FA with a large amount of capital which it could use to improve grassroots soccer around the country.

“The intent of my efforts was, and is, to do right by everyone in a manner that strengthens the English game and brings people together, not divides them,” Khan said. “Unfortunately, given where we are today, I’ve concluded that the outcome of a vote next week would be far from sufficient in expressing the broad support favored by the FA chairman to sell Wembley Stadium.”

The FA council was set to vote on the sale next week.

Although it cost the FA and British government more than $1.4 billion (adjusted for inflation) to renovate and rebuild Wembley Stadium, the arena hosted 33 events between July 2016 and June 2017 and in its latest published financial records, the FA recorded an after-tax profit of $21 million. So it seems that along with the sponsorships and broadcast deals, Wembley Stadium is a money maker, which makes it important for the FA to hold on to.

That being said, it’s hard to turn down a deal worth close to $1 billion, even if that’s a lump sum and they won’t receive further investments from stadium revenues in the future. In the future, maybe Kahn or another owner may make another offer, one that the FA council could accept.

Report: La Liga chief going to court to compel U.S. based games to happen

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The head of La Liga is considering taking extraordinary action to ensure that a planned match this year in the U.S. goes off as expected.

[READ: What did we learn about the USMNT?]

According to Spanish radio station Cadena Cope, La Liga president Javier Tebas is set to bring a lawsuit against the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) and its chief, Luis Rubiales to compel the federation to approve Barcelona’s match against Girona on January 26, which has been scheduled to be moved to Miami, Fla.’s Hard Rock Stadium.

In a way, it makes sense that Tebas and the Spanish league is considering every possible avenue to ensure that their 15-year marketing rights agreement with Relevant Sports, including league matches played abroad, can move forward as expected. However, it was clear after the announcement in August that all parties involved – especially La Liga, had not thought this through. FIFA, the RFEF, local fans and the Spanish league’s player’s union have all opposed the news, and on Wednesday Real Madrid formally sent a letter of it’s disapproval in moving La Liga matches abroad.

Tebas and La Liga would prefer for this to be resolved legally sooner rather than later, so they can market the Barcelona match in Miami and begin negotiating with the other federations that need to approve. But there’s a decent chance that the other parties – FIFA, and U.S. Soccer – could fail to rubber stamp what would be a first-of-its-kind event. In any case, watch this space.

What did we learn about USMNT during international break

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The U.S. Men’s National Team finished the October FIFA international slate with a somewhat demoralizing loss and an uplifting draw, if there is such a thing.

The young U.S. core continues to show flashes of great talent, but overall the team still seems to be stuttering along under caretaker manager Dave Sarachan, who just managed his 10th game and could likely finish out the calendar year as USMNT boss.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ]

Below is a look at the key takeaways from the USMNT’s October friendlies:


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