The path has been paved for Didier Drogba to land in MLS, in the city of his choosing.
[ MORE: Sunday’s transfer rumor roundup ]
The 37-year-old Ivorian striker, who scored more than 160 goals (all competitions) in nine seasons and won the 2012 UEFA Champions League title with Premier League side Chelsea, has reportedly expressed a strong to desire to land in French-speaking Montreal and play fot the Impact, as opposed to the Chicago Fire, who currently hold his MLS rights through the league’s discovery process.
On Saturday it was reported that the two sides were deep in negotiations for the Impact to acquire Drogba’s MLS rights. On Sunday, ESPN FC’s Jeffrey Carlisle reported that a deal has been struck between the Impact and Fire that will see the former Ivory Coast captain sign an 18-month contract “in excess of $3 million per year.”
[ MORE: New York Red Bulls sign ex-Chelsea, Man City winger Shaun Wright-Phillips ]
As for the Fire’s compensation, it sounds like they’ve made out like bandits, considering they never paid a penny to/for Drogba and will still receive a hefty chunk of allocation money (multiple types, too) in return.
On the Fire’s compensation, from ESPN FC:
When Drogba indicated his preference was to be in Montreal, the Fire traded his rights to the Impact in exchange for what one source with knowledge of the deal described as a “substantial amount of targeted and regular allocation money” well in excess of $100,000.
If the deal comes to fruition, Drogba will immediately fill the greatest need — center forward capable of holding the ball up and finishing chances — for an Impact side currently holding onto the sixth and final playoff place in the Eastern Conference. With ample talent around him, Drogba will almost certainly score goals and lead Montreal back into the MLS Cup Playoffs.
Nuno Espirito Santo issued the definitive quote of the VAR era after Wolves’ equalizer withstood video review in a 1-1 draw with Manchester United on Monday at the Molineux.
“I was hoping to stay happy.”
[ RECAP: Wolves 1-1 Man Utd ]
Espirito Santo saw VAR dramatically play a role in Wolves fortunes for the second-straight week, and the manager was not too happy with it on opening weekend when Willy Boly‘s handball was found to have assisted Leander Dendoncker‘s goal.
This time, VAR held up its end of the bargain in Wolves favor, as the cross that led to Ruben Neves’ incredible goal was found to be onside. From the BBC:
“I don’t know how they will solve it – it’s the emotion, you celebrate a goal so much and then you stay in silence. Don’t take that away from the people.”
The problem, of course, is money. So much is riding on qualifying for Europe, staying in the Premier League, etc. When sports became a big business, and managers aren’t complaining about their salaries, the science overtook the spirit.
Espirito Santo is correct that the wait to confirm a goal takes away from the joy of sport. It also will deny of us of the next “Hand of God” (and England would not have won its lone World Cup had goal line technology been around).
But ultimately, it will keep the correct score on the board. And that matters.
Ruben Neves scored an amazing goal and Rui Patricio stopped a Paul Pogba penalty as Wolves took a point from Manchester United in a 1-1 match at the Molineux on Monday.
[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]
United had two-thirds possession but could not find what would’ve been a deserved winner as Wolves flummoxed the Red Devils attack.
Anthony Martial scored for the second-straight match for United, who failed in a bid to go atop the Premier League.
Three things we learned
- Paul Pogba is to penalties as Shaquille O’Neal is to free throws – You just can’t understand how someone so good at his sport is so poor at what should be the easiest part of his game.
- Martial is a beauty, and is fully released from the shackles of Jose Mourinho. Whether he can take the next step is another story, but the Frenchman is a fitting winger for a Champions League club (even if United isn’t quite in the UCL).
- Patricio didn’t show the Premier League his very best last season, but has looked more like the Portugal national team goalkeeper so far in his sophomore PL campaign.
Nuno Espirito Santo‘s men were content to let the visitors have the ball and work on the counter, and United quickly moved the ball in possession over the first stages of the game.
United took a deserved lead through Martial who ran onto a Marcus Rashford through ball and belted a rocket over a flailing Rui Patricio.
[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]
Neves brought Wolves level with a sublime bit of shooting, curling a majestic shot above and around the United back line to make it 1-1.
Watching the footage as it was being reviewed showed the margins so thin, but the goal held up and anyone hoping for some semblance of sanity was relieved.
United looked set to go back in front when Pogba drew a penalty off Conor Coady with a cutthroat move in the 18, but the Frenchman slammed his effort into the path of a diving Patricio.
Let us introduce you to your latest Goal of the Season contender.
Ruben Neves, who seemingly only scores beauties, struck again on Monday at the Molineux.
[ MORE: Neymar to Barca ]
The 22-year-old Portuguese playmaker loves to shoot as much as anyone, and set himself up clinically for his latest amazing marker.
Once Neves collected the ball atop the 18, he spun this magnificent effort over the flying David De Gea and off the underside of the bar to restore the deadlock in Wolverhampton.
De Gea may well have responded to this goal by quoting Ron Burgundy when Baxter ate the entire wheel of cheese.
Manchester United has a stylish opening goal in its quest to go a perfect 2-for-2 in Premier League play.
After quality passing in traffic ended with Marcus Rashford slipping a through ball in to
both Luke Shaw and Anthony Martial, the Frenchman bolted a ball into the upper reaches of the net.
[ STREAM: Wolves – Man Utd ]
To be honest, Rui Patricio had little recourse.
The goal is Martial’s second of the season, and United is 45 minutes away from moving atop the league.