$410 million Las Vegas soccer stadium deal closer; next stop, Major League Soccer…

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The long rumored soccer stadium in Las Vegas looks to be back on the agenda.

On Wednesday NBC News 3 reported that a preliminary deal has been struck between The city of Las Vegas, The Cordish Companies and Findlay Sports & Entertainment for a $410 million downtown stadium in Sin City. The plan is to have an MLS team in downtown Las Vegas by 2017.

In that report the capacity of the stadium is said to be 24,000 and it will be specifically designed for a Major League Soccer franchise. However the Dan Patrick Show also revealed details about the potential stadium housing an NHL franchise, watch that above. The stadium is likely to be an indoor arena, due to the intense heat in Vegas throughout the summer, so having MLS and NHL teams share the venue isn’t the craziest idea we’ve ever heard.

After reports first surfaced about Las Vegas trying to house an expansion franchise many months ago, MLS certainly haven’t been shy when speaking about potentially having a team in Nevada.

[RELATED: MLS heading to Vegas?]

Back in May MLS Deputy Commissioner and President Mark Abbott spoke on the topic and confirmed the league have been in talks with the city about potential expansion. Here’s what Abbott said about Vegas’ MLS prospects.

“We recently met with Justin Findlay and Blake Cordish at the MLS League office in New York and were very impressed with their vision to pursue building a new soccer stadium and acquiring an MLS expansion club for Las Vegas,” Abbott said. “We look forward to continuing discussions as they work to further develop their plans with Mayor [Carolyn] Goodman and the City of Las Vegas.”

The stadium would be situated in the “Symphony Park area, north of the Smith Center for Performing Arts” and would become a multi-purpose arena for the many other events which take place in Las Vegas year-round.

Financially, according to this report, public funds would be used for 31 percent of the $300 million venue, which is expected to rise to $410 million, equating to $123 million of the tax-payers money. The Findlay-Cordish group was set up specifically to bring soccer to South Nevada and will foot all the bills for an MLS team and it is also worth noting that the stadium will not be built until Las Vegas is awarded an MLS franchise.

Cordish Companies is one of the largest real estate developers in the nation and their joint-proposal will be voted on by officials from the city of Las Vegas at their next meeting on Sept. 3.

It seems like having a pro soccer team in Sin City is edging closer to becoming a reality. Stay tuned.

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.