Chelsea confirm season-long loan deal for Radamel Falcao

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“El Tigre” will call Stamford Bridge home for the 2015-16 season.

Radamel Falcao has joined reigning Premier League champions Chelsea, with the 29-year-old Colombian striker adding significant firepower to Jose Mourinho’s attack.

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But which Falcao will show up? The lethal predtaor we saw devour opposition defenses on a weekly basis at FC Porto and Atletico Madrid or the frustrated striker who suited up for Manchester United last season?

Falcao’s ill-fated loan spell with Manchester United last season yielded just four goals in 29 appearances and the Red Devils decided to not buy him permanently from parent club AS Monaco. But following the horrific ACL injury to his left knee in January 2014, many believe he only needs a consistent run of games to get back to his best.

Falcao has been handed a shot at redemption in the Premier League and Chelsea, via a release on their official website, are pretty happy to have him on loan from Monaco next season.

“Chelsea Football Club is delighted to announce we have agreed terms with Monaco for the season-long loan of Radamel Falcao. The Colombian international will link up with Jose Mourinho’s squad for the 2015-16 campaign.”

On signing for Chelsea, Falcao will link up with three former teammates at Atletico — Diego Costa, Filipe Luis and Thibaut Courtois — as well as fellow countryman Juan Cuadrado.

“I am very happy to be joining Chelsea,” Falcao said. “And I can’t wait to start training and help with our aim of retaining the league title and being successful in Europe.”

With Didier Drogba out of the picture and Loic Remy unsure whether he wants to remain warming the bench at Stamford Bridge next season, Mourinho desperately needed another striker on board who could step in for Costa whenever the Spanish international is missing. Falcao, if he regains his sharpness and touch in front of goal following a frustrating season at United last year, can become more than a fill-in for Costa.

Mourinho has previously spoken about his admiration for Falcao, saying he wanted to give him a chance to flourish if he could.

“It hurts me that people in England think that the real Falcao is the one we saw at Manchester United,” Mourinho said.

Now, Falcao has the chance to repay the faith Mourinho has shown in him. If this transfer comes off, Mourinho and Chelsea will look like masterminds for taking a punt on the Colombian forward who has seen his reputation as one of the great poachers in world soccer take a hit over the past 12 months.

With Eden Hazard, Willian, Oscar and Cesc Fabregas laying chances on a plate for you every single game, Falcao couldn’t have landed in a better place in terms of getting chances to score. That’s something that couldn’t exactly be said for United for most of last season. Now, all he has to do is put the ball in the back of the net and prove his predatory instincts are still intact.

Finlay goal gives Minnesota win over former club Columbus (video)

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It had to be him.

As Columbus continues to search for itself under new management, it’s no surprise that one of its old heroes broke its heart on Saturday.

[ RECAP: Man City 6-0 Watford ]

Ethan Finlay, he of the 166 Crew appearances before being traded to Minnesota United, said earlier this week, “I’d be lying to you if I said I didn’t want to beat up on them pretty bad.”

So of course Finlay scored a 70th minute tap-in to give his Loons a 1-0 win over Columbus on Saturday in St. Paul. It wasn’t “pretty bad,” but it probably felt pretty good.

The goal was Finlay’s first of the season for United, keeping the hosts unbeaten at home.

Columbus falls to 1-5 away from home under Caleb Porter, and has won just once in its last seven outings.

Brighton ready to pay release clause for Swans manager

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Brighton and Hove Albion is ready to bring one of England’s brightest managerial prospects into the Premier League.

The Seagulls are set to pay a $3 million release clause to lure Graham Potter away from Swansea City, one year after the manager left Swedish club Ostersunds FK.

[ RECAP: Man City 6-0 Watford ]

Potter was 35 when he was hired by the Swedish club in 2010, and helped Ostersunds to three promotions before moving to Wales in 2018.

Swans finished 10th this season, its first in the Championship after relegation from the Premier League.

Brighton regressed in a big way during the second half of this season, and remains in the top flight largely because Cardiff City was unable to take advantage of the Seagulls’ huge struggles.

The report says Swansea offered Potter a new deal to stay at the Liberty Stadium, but the manager wants to try the Premier League.

If he takes the job, Potter will manage against one of his former clubs; Potter played eight times for Southampton in the Premier League.

Pep: Domestic treble harder than winning Champions League

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Manchester City won its third tournament of the season on Saturday, battering Watford 6-0 at Wembley Stadium to add an FA Cup to its League Cup and Premier League titles.

[ RECAP: Man City 6-0 Watford ]

In doing so, City is the first club to win a domestic treble. Manager Pep Guardiola wants to win every competition he enters, but said winning all three is extra special.

“I love the Champions League but it is more difficult to do what we have done than to win the Champions League,” Guardiola said.

Wait, what?

From ManCity.com:

“It’s not easy being there every three days. We lacked a little bit of energy but it’s normal. It’s been so tough this week. We could not have had more energy but we kept it at the right time.”

Well, that makes sense. Whereas Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp risked less with his cup lineups, knowing his desire for the Premier League and Champions League, Guardiola’s lineups were aimed at winning everything.

And that’s largely why they’ve done it. City might’ve needed penalty kicks to beat Chelsea in the League Cup Final and a John Stones clearance to win the Premier League (or a Vincent Kompany thunderbolt), but the treble is impressive.

AC Milan boss Gattuso insists fifth “not a failure”

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For a solid four months, it appeared AC Milan was on track for a return to the Champions League for the first time in six years. Then, it all fell apart.

Still, manager Gennaro Gattuso is insisting their season is not a failure, adamant that a fifth-placed finish would not be considered a disappointment for the club. His reasoning will not be exactly endearing to fans.

“Fifth place absolutely wouldn’t be a failure, not because I want credit myself, plus what would Roma and Lazio say?” Gattuso said during his pre-match press conference ahead of Sunday’s game against Frosinone. “There’s regret because for two months we’ve had our fate in our hands and we dropped so many points, but it’s not a failure.”

Milan was as high as third place in the Serie A table in mid-March and seemed close to wrapping up a return to Champions League play, but a stretch of one win in seven league matches saw them tumble down into the crowded battle below, with Atalanta, Roma, Torino, and Lazio all in a pack. AC Milan now sits sixth, and while they still remain in the mix for the fourth position, they would need to make up a three-point deficit in just two matches. Fifth-placed Roma drew today, so they can jump to fifth with a win against Frosinone.

Milan was a European powerhouse for decades until the club declined following its 2007 Champions League victory, ultimately falling out of the running for Europe’s top competition, with just a few Europa League appearances since 2014. Gattuso’s comparison to Lazio and Roma, two strong Italian clubs without Milan’s history, is bound to infuriate fans, along with his acceptance of the club’s shortcomings.

The late-season collapse has called Gattuso’s job security into question, but he said that will wait until the end of the season. “Both the club and I have put aside our small talk to reach our objective,” Gattuso said during the presser. “There will be time to talk about the future.”

“There are two games left and we’re still playing for our objective.”