Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Spain’s Nolito hints Man City move is in the works — “I don’t lie; we’ll see”


Chances are quite good that Pep Guardiola will spend a significant amount of money (the plummeting-in-value British pound, to be specific) this summer, as the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager prepares for his debut season in the Premier League, at Manchester City.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage | Transfer news | EURO 2016 ]

With no doubt, Guardiola will — like every manager in the world — lean heavily on players with whom he’s familiar and/or previously worked. (Translation: expect a handful of Spaniards and/or Germans to arrive at the Etihad Stadium in the coming weeks and months.

One such player, Celta Vigo and Spanish national team attacker Nolito — Manuel Agudo Duran is his legal name — is reportedly close to making the move to the northwest of England after Guardiola and Co. satisfied the 29-year-old’s $20-million release clause. Nolito went so far as to imply a deal is in the works, but stopped short of calling himself a City player — quotes from the Guardian:

“We’ll see what happens with my future, but I’m not complaining about how things are going on the pitch for me. For now, I’ve not signed for City, I don’t lie – we’ll see.”

When asked if he had spoken to Guardiola, Nolito added: “No. In life you have to be brave and make decisions and I dedicate myself to playing football, which is my passion.”

Nolito is currently with the Spanish national team at EURO 2016, where he started all three of the two-time defending champions’ group stage games — scoring once and assisting once in the process — after notching 12 goals and seven assists (in 29 appearances) for Celta during the 2015-16 La Liga season. Nolito made two first-team appearances for Barcelona under Guardiola before leaving the club for Benfica in the summer of 2011. He would join former Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan in Guardiola’s inaugural transfer window class.

MLS Three Things: RBNY beats Atlanta, is a special club right now

Photo by Refugio Ruiz/Getty Images
Leave a comment

At this point, Jesse Marsch could take the USMNT job, Tyler Adams could bolt for the Bundesliga, and we’d still have to select the New York Red Bulls to finish with a home playoff game.

[ MORE: Willian’s shot at Conte ]

That’s how well run RBNY is these days, which is to take nothing away from their coach and 19-year-old star, but considering they navigated a solid CONCACAF Champions League run en route to this start… well…. wow.

On a night when Luis Robles’ ironman streak ended, Kaku recorded two assists, and Ezequiel Barco bagged his second goal in three matches, they don’t even meet the requirements of our three things.

Form giants deliver more goals

Marsch’s men have been shutout once this season, and most multiple goals in four-consecutive wins. Three of those four wins have come on the road, at LA, Colorado, and now Atlanta.

RBNY has the best points-per-game in Major League Soccer, has scored the joint-most goals despite playing in the second-fewest games, and is allowing barely more than a goal-a-game.

Bet against ’em. We dare ya.

BWP delivers the goods

RBNY’s 33-year-old English star scored twice and won a penalty that Daniel Royer converted as he continued his assault on all future Red Bulls’ hopes of becoming the club’s leading scorer.

Bradley Wright-Phillips has almost 50 more goals than his nearest competitor, Juan Pablo Angel, and he makes headers look like child’s play.

Victory comes with a price

Kemar Lawrence was lost with a scary-looking face-plant on a clearance, and needed to be stretchered off the pitch. Hopefully it’s not long-term for the Jamaican back.

Willian “edits” Conte out of FA Cup champions photo

John Walton/PA via AP
Leave a comment

Willian is not a fan of Antonio Conte.

Come to another conclusion if you like, but it’s hard to argue the Brazilian wizard’s feelings following his Instagram post after Chelsea beat Manchester United in the FA Cup Final.

[ MORE: Matic wants squad changes at Man Utd ]

Willian covered his manager in trophies following the win, and it’d be a stretch to call that a tribute to the Italian’s tactical brilliance.

The player recorded seven goals and six assists despite playing less than all but 12 Chelsea players in league play (12th place Alvaro Morata had 11 and 6).

We’re accepting alternative explanations for the since-deleted Instagram photo below:

Elis scores twice as Dynamo beat Fire 3-2

Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images
Leave a comment

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. (AP) Alberth Elis scored two second-half goals to help the Houston Dynamo beat the Chicago Fire 3-2 on Sunday for their first road win of the season.

Elis, on a one-on-one breakaway, cut back to evade defender Johan Kappelhof and ripped a right-footer from the center of the box into the back of the net to give Houston (4-3-3) a 3-2 lead in the 74th minute.

[ MORE: Man Utd youngster gets USMNT call-up ]

The Dynamo’s Romell Quioto opened the scoring in the fourth, running onto a long through ball from Tomas Martinez and rolling the finish past sliding goalkeeper Richard Sanchez. Nemanja Nikolic tied it in the 14th minute and then fed Diego Campos for a goal about two minutes later. Elis converted from the spot to make it 2-2 early in the second half after Mauro Manotas drew a foul in the area conceded by Sanchez.

Chicago (3-6-2) has lost three of its last four games.


Inter Milan back in the Champions League after late heroics (video)

Giuseppe Lami/ANSA via AP
Leave a comment

It’s been more than a half-decade since Inter Milan qualified for the UEFA Champions League, an infamous run that ended on Sunday.

Inter scored twice in the final 13 minutes to beat fifth-place Lazio and advance into the Top Four via head-to-head record.

[ MORE: Man Utd youngster gets USMNT call-up ]

Lazio held 1-0 and 2-1 leads, but could not get the job done at home, collecting red cards in the 79th minute and stoppage time.

Uruguayan midfielder Matias Vecino scored his third goal of the season, redirecting a corner kick home in the 81st minute, as Inter clinched fourth place in Serie A.