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.

Carlos Vela scored a celestial goal. We are blessed to have seen it

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Carlos Vela is making all other spectacular individual MLS seasons look run of the mill.

I mean, look at the gumption on this guy.

[ VIDEO: Rooney sent off, Kamara scores golazo ]

The Cancun-born playmaker left the San Jose Earthquakes back line on the beach with a soft shoe routine to give LAFC its third goal in a 4-0 win on Thursday

Vela, 30, now has 25 goals and 11 assists in 25 league matches for LAFC this season. He added two goals and an assist in Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup play.

But this one, yeah, this one takes the cake.

First, there’s Vela’s non-chalant dummy before picking up the pass.

Then, there’s Florian Jungwirth’s body language during and after his being cooked with a nutmeg. That’s an entire mood.

Next, Vela dribbles around the keeper and allows a slide tackler so glide past him before finishing with aplomb, the magic touch his going near post as if to say, “Can I beat this guy a second time, or do I have to use the easier route?”

Diego Rossi also had a goal and an assist, while Mark-Anthony Kaye continued his strong season with an assist to ex-Fiorentina prospect Joshua Perez. It’s a first MLS goal for the California-born Perez, now 21.

WATCH: Rooney sees red for forearm shiver, Kamara scores golazo

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Midweek MLS provided plenty to talk about on Wednesday, with two red cards and a golazo in one match alone.

The two main talking points from the New York Red Bulls’ 2-1 win over DC United weren’t really part of what led the victors to three points.

[ MORE: Europa League preview ]

How? Well, one of the world’s marquee names earned a red card via VAR and a returning star scores an absolute stunner, that’s how.

Here’s Ola Kamara’s debut marker for the Black-and-Red, adding to a record which included 49 goals in 97 matches between Columbus and the LA Galaxy before moving to the Chinese Super League for a wildly disappointing time with Shenzhen FC.

All of that is forgotten.

As for the Rooney incident, the Red Bulls already led 1-0 when DC’s star striker went forearm shiver on Cristian Casseres Jr.

It’s the second red of the season for Rooney, who is set for Derby County in January.

Amro Tarek was later sent off for the Red Bulls, who moved ahead of DC in the standings. Kaku and Daniel Royer had RBNY’s goals.

Newcastle takeover could be back on if in holiday relegation battle

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How much do Newcastle United supporters dislike their owner Mike Ashley right now?

Enough that this report is likely to condemn many to hoping their favorite club in the world is in the Bottom 3 come Christmas.

[ MORE: Europa League preview ]

The Chronicle’s Mark Douglas speculates that Ashley will lower his asking price for the club if it is in a relegation fight come December — something that looks certain after the Steve Bruce-led Magpies got bossed around by promoted Norwich City.

Nothing But Newcastle transcribed Douglas’ chatter from his podcast, in which he says,

“It wouldn’t surprise me if we hear more in December because there are still people sniffing around that football club and if the team are in the bottom three, there’ll be people thinking they can get a bargain out of Mike Ashley again. … He will probably more open to listening to lower offers in January and December which is what happened last December. He was basically saying ‘take it off my hands, you now have to take the risk’'”

This is notable for two reasons. First: the social experiment of wondering how many fans could see themselves rooting for their team to take a major and perilous back step just to see the back of a man they perceive is at the root of their failures (and that perception is widespread in this case).

But second, we can see if this rumor comes true because it’s difficult to imagine Newcastle as comfortably mid table by Christmas.

Fan protests and anger are nothing new, but here’s an effort to show how wobbly Ashley’s reputation is on Tyneside: Fans have taken to selling a black and white striped shirt with player name and number but no sponsor just so they can have a Newcastle jersey that doesn’t put money into Ashley’s pockets. And this is after he broke the club’s transfer record twice in one year.

If we’ve learned anything from the past few seasons, though, it’s that boycotts and anger will spur Ashley into insisting that he’s willing to sell and just conveniently enough it will be before the January transfer window. He “won’t be able to buy any players” with the takeover in play, and talks will hit a wall come late January, when they’ll loan a couple young players from Top Six sides.

Yes he spent significant money on Joelinton, Allen Saint-Maximin, and others this summer, but one decent window doesn’t make a culture. Count us amongst the skeptical, for now.

Messi back in training, could be fit for Betis

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BARCELONA, Spain (AP) Lionel Messi was back in full training again on Wednesday and may be fit to face Real Betis in the Spanish league on Sunday.

Messi had been training separately from the squad since injuring his right calf in the preseason.

He missed the team’s 1-0 loss to Athletic Bilbao in the league opener on Friday.

Barcelona has not said how long it expects Messi to be sidelined.

[ MORE: Europa League preview ]

Coach Ernesto Valverde is also dealing with injuries to forwards Luiz Suarez and Ousmane Dembele.

Dembele is certain to miss Sunday’s match at the Camp Nou because of a left thigh injury that should keep him out for about five weeks.

Suarez also isn’t likely to play this weekend because of a muscle injury sustained before halftime of Friday’s game in Bilbao.

Two-time defending champion Barcelona hadn’t loss a league opener in 10 seasons.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports