Bastian Schweinsteiger would be a perfect signing for Manchester United

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As the transfer rumors continue to swirl, the latest name being whispered around the red half of Manchester is that of German national team captain Bastian Schweinsteiger.

Schweinsteiger, 30, is said to be on the radar of Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal and the Red Devils could be preparing a swoop for the Bayern Munich midfielder this summer.

[ RELATED: Ramos to United? ]

With just one-year left on his deal at Bayern, it is believed that Schweinsteiger could be picked up for relatively cheap — a ballpark figure of $15-20 million has been mooted — and his experience in the engine room could prove hugely beneficial to United. Yes, he is soon to be 31, but with LVG’s short-term project to return United to glory, acquiring Schweinsteiger’s considerable experience would be massively beneficial on many levels.

Last season United struggled to find a consistent starter in the engine room with new signings Ander Herrera and Daley Blind having varying degrees of success at shielding the back four. However, when veteran midfielder Michael Carrick was fit then he used all of his nous and superb positional sense to provide a wall in front of United’s defense. Carrick’s ability to keep the ball and start attacks with a pin-point long-range were also crucial but due to injury he played just 22 times for the Red Devils. At the age of 33, he probably has one or two more seasons left in the tank.

As for Schweinsteiger, he is 30 and could carry on for another five years as he’s adapted his game to become a destroyer in the engine room who can use the ball well and help spring attacks. When he burst onto the scene as a teenager he often played out wide or just behind the striker but under van Gaal at Bayern in 2009-10 he excelled in a deeper role and has played there ever since. He is superb at shuffling across the pitch and not only winning the ball, but using it well when he gets it. You have to think that a player of Schweinsteiger’s intelligence would relish the chance to link up with Wayne Rooney and if he sat in the center of the pitch he would help link everything together seamlessly.

United saw that first hand in 2014 when Schweinsteiger scored against them at Old Trafford in the quarterfinals of the Champions League and put in a dominant display in the center of midfield but also saw red for a challenge on Rooney. He has that desire to succeed which sometimes spills over but van Gaal needs a general in midfield and Schweinsteiger fits the bill perfectly.

[ RELATED: Pirlo in talks with NYCFC ]

source: AP
World Cup winner Schweinsteiger would have a huge impact at United.

Schweinsteiger has been at Bayern his entire career but after 13 years in the first team and eight Bundesliga titles and a UEFA Champions League crown in 2013, perhaps now is the time for the German national team captain to move on and test himself overseas. There is a chance that Schweinsteiger is generating interest from United purely to boost what will likely be his final contract as a pro with Bayern, but there seems to be genuine interest from both parties. With Thiago Alcantara, Javi Martinez and Xabi Alonso around for Bayern in the central midfield area, the German giants could actually afford to lose Schweinsteiger and not be impacted too much.

That said, Schweinsteiger would have an incredible impact on United’s side as the German has the physicality to prosper in the Premier League but also a sublime footballing brain to help lock down United’s midfield and allow the mercurial talents of Angel di Maria, Juan Mata, Ashley Young and Memphis Depay to support Rooney in attack.

If United can seal a deal for Schweinsteiger, plus add a top class center back and either keep David de Gea or replace him adequately, they may just find the final piece of the jigsaw they need to challenge for the Premier League title and be a force in the UEFA Champions League once again.

Russell hat trick snaps Sporting KC’s win streak (video)

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Struggling, short-handed Sporting KC needed a star show to kickstart its summer, and Johnny Russell was ready to go.

Maybe the 29-year-old Scotsman was feeding off the buzz of his old club Derby County preparing for the Championship Playoff Final, but Russell scored thrice as Sporting took care of Seattle 3-2 in Washington on Sunday.

[ MORE: USWNT wins final match before World Cup (video) ]

The right winger scored his fifth, sixth, and seventh goals of the MLS season as Sporting won its first match since March 30.

Russell scored 35 goals with 34 assists in 205 matches with the Rams, but has destroyed that mark with KC. He now has 19 and 16 in 55.

Seattle loses ground on LAFC in the race for the Supporters’ Shield, while KC is now within four points of the playoff places.

 

 

Report: Newcastle in takeover talks with UAE billionaire

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Reports out of Northeast England say Newcastle United supporters who want owner Mike Ashley out at all costs have new hope.

United Arab Emirates billionaire Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan is said to be in talks with Ashley about a takeover of the St. James’ Park-based club, though there’s a lot of work to do for a deal to be complete.

[ MORE: USWNT wins final match before World Cup (video) ]

One report goes as far as to say Ashley has agreed to accept $444 million for the Premier League club.

Sheikh Khaled, 61, was educated at American colleges Boston University and Michigan State. He’s the cousin of Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and was turned down with a $2.5 billion bid for Liverpool last season.

From The Chronicle:

NUFC have confirmed some talks with Sheikh Khaled. But say there is still “some way” to go on a deal. Newcastle United refusing to make any further comment at this time.

Takeover talks are nothing new at Newcastle, and there does seem to be some heat to these reports, but Ashley and his crew have spun these stories of interest in the past. And with Magpies supporters waiting for news on Rafa Benitez‘s new deal, some will be way of a smoke screen for an inability to reach an agreement with the celebrated Newcastle manager.

Wondolowski scores 149th, 150th goals; Earthquakes win

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TORONTO (AP) Chris Wondolowski scored his 149th and 150th MLS goals in the San Jose Earthquakes’ 2-1 victory over Toronto FC on Sunday night.

The MLS career goals leader scored both from close range.

[ MORE: Kante to miss Europa League final ]

Wondolowski got a yard’s separation from Drew Moor and deftly redirected in Cristian Espinoza’s cross in the 37th minute to tie it at 1. The go-ahead goal in the 81st minute was a virtual replay, with Espinoza finding Wondolowski in space.

The San Jose striker has six goals in two games. He scored all four goals in a 4-1 victory over Chicago last weekend to surpass Landon Donovan’s league record of 145 goals and up his career total to 148.

Richie Laryea opened the scoring for Toronto (5-6-2) in the 28th minute

San Jose (5-6-2) won for the first time in six road games this season.

Chairman Mubarak: Other clubs are ‘jealous’ of Man City’s success

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Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak believes that other clubs — namely those who have fallen miles back of the back-to-back Premier League champions — are “jealous” of the club’s success.

[ MORE: Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante to miss Europa League final with new injury ]

The root of the perceived jealousy is, of course, Man City’s seemingly unlimited spending power which dwarves that of just about — if not — every other club in the PL. There’s a growing sense around the league — and around the world — that clubs like City, just to name one, are doing the game a disservice by distorting the transfer market and building an infallible super-team with the aid of unprecedented financial resources.

Mubarak believes that these feelings also stem from other clubs’ failed dealings in the transfer market: spending comparable — if not more — money on players who don’t justify that price tag the same way some of City’s big-money buys have done — quotes from the BBC:

“With success, there is a certain level of jealousy, envy, whatever you call it. That’s part of the game.

“It’s not easy for our competition, we know that. But the reality is, we didn’t buy the most expensive player in the Premier League [Paul Pogba], we didn’t buy the most expensive goalkeeper [Kepa Arrizabalaga], we didn’t buy the most expensive midfielder, we didn’t buy the most expensive striker [Romelu Lukaku].

“People make decisions, they’ve got to live by them. This is a well-run club.”

City’s financial dealings have regularly been in the headlines of late, as they are believed to have circumvented FFP rules by lying about sponsorship deals so as to balance a larger expenditure on transfer fees and player wages with revenue generated by the club.