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Schweinsteiger done at Man Utd, signs 1-year deal in MLS

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Bastian Schweinsteiger‘s disappointing Manchester United career is officially finished, as the 32-year-old World Cup winner has signed a one-year deal with MLS side Chicago Fire.

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According to the Chicago Tribune, which broke the story late Monday night with quotes from Chicago general manager Nelson Rodriguez, head coach Veljko Paunovic and Schweinsteiger himself, the deal will pay the German international $4.5 million for the 2017 season. Reports over the winter stated Chicago and Schweinsteiger were discussing a three-year, $16.5-million deal. This is much better than that would have been, but maybe still not great.

[ MORE: Sat. (afternoon) roundup — NYCFC dominate, disappoint; ATL roll ]

For starters, he’s 32, while the rest of the league spent the entire offseason shedding the “retirement league” stigma which dogged it ever since David Beckham arrived to the creation of the Designated Player rule. While going against the grain is far from a crippling blow, he’s still 32 and has started all of two games (six total appearances for club and country, none of which came in the Premier League — 134 total minutes) since the start of the current PL season in August.

[ MORE: Sat. (late-night) roundup — FCD, PDX emerge as early favorites ]

Secondly, where’s he going to play? This is kind of like when Steven Gerrard came to the LA Galaxy, and no one knew how he’d fit into that team. (Spoiler: Not great.) Dax McCarty and Juninho were both acquired during the offseason to play together as deep-sitting midfielders who on occasion push forward to support more attack-minded players. That’s basically Schweinsteiger’s game (at least it was), except they can run a little bit. To play all three would be to play without a single creative bone in an extraordinarily immobile, limited midfield. To play two of the three would be to sit either the team’s most expensive, famous star, or sit one of its two best players. Neither makes a whole lot of any sense.

[ MORE: RSL fire Cassar after three seasons, three games ]

Finally, the Fire are the Fire again. The Fire are the Fire.

Pique: Copa-losing Barca still “really hurting” from UCL exit

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Barcelona was the favorite to win La Liga, the UEFA Champions League, and the Copa del Rey for the majority of the season, but only claimed one.

Liverpool’s amazing comeback to beat Barca in the second leg of the UCL semifinals met Saturday’s loss to Valencia in the Copa del Rey Final to give Barca a league title alone.

[ MORE: Real, Chelsea debate Hazard fee ]

Even with that La Liga advantage being decisive — Barca carried the table by 11 points over Atletico Madrid and finished 19 ahead of Real Madrid — there’s a very dour mood and promised change for the Camp Nou set.

And Gerard Pique says it all traces back to the loss against Liverpool. From The Liverpool Echo:

“I believe that if we had gotten through at Liverpool, we would have won the treble. We would have come here [to the Copa del Rey final] with a different mood, and I’m convinced we would have won the Champions League final, but that is football. We are really, really hurting.”

There are hints of a massive clear-out at Barcelona, with Lionel Messi and Pique two of the only safe bets to stay. When will Barca get over it?

Brazilian team tangles in locker room futmesa (video)

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It was defense versus attack in the Brazil dressing room.

Neymar and Gabriel Jesus squared off with international teammates Filipe Luis and Ederson in a game of futmesa/table soccer this week.

[ MORE: Real, Chelsea debate Hazard fee ]

Neymar and Filipe Luis are used to be on different sides of the field from their time in La Liga, while Jesus and Ederson are teammates at Manchester City.

Brazil is hosting this summer’s Copa America and is the favorite to win its first tournament since 2007, when it claimed its fourth in five tries.

It’s really impressive stuff for us normal to subpar athletes, even if standard for those with such deft talent.

Quite a winner from Man City’s young striker.

Jovic could see himself in Premier League, Serie A

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Maybe Luka Jovic’s presumed move to Real Madrid won’t happen this summer.

Or at all.

[ MORE: Real, Chelsea debate Hazard fee ]

The Eintracht Frankfurt striker has been tipped for a move away from the Bundesliga after another strong campaign, and taking the center forward reins from Karim Benzema at Real Madrid.

Several outlets reported the deal as done, but Jovic isn’t speaking that way (or at least the Serbian is throwing us off the scent.

From Goal.com:

“In terms of the physique, the Bundesliga is very demanding, but after the games against Chelsea or Inter Milan, I personally had the feeling that I could feel even better [playing] in the Premier League or Serie A. … The way the teams play there suits me better.”

Jovic scored 27 times in 48 appearances for Frankfurt, adding seven assists at the tender age of 21. Ten of those came in the Europa League, and we’re not talking about flooding the nets of minnows; Jovic scored against Chelsea (twice), Marseille (three), Lazio (two), and Inter Milan (once).

Report: Chelsea, Real $38M apart on Hazard

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How much for Hazard?

Real Madrid are willing to pay $127 million, no small fee, to bring Eden Hazard from Chelsea, but that’s well off the Blues’ evaluation according to Sky Sports.

Chelsea sees Hazard’s price as $165 million. Belgian writer Kristof Terreur told Sky that Hazard wants his future sorted by June 4.

[ MORE: Bayern wins double ]

The Blues’ superstar is entering the final year of his contract, and could begin negotiating with other clubs in January and leave on a free transfer.

Hazard turns 29 in January. He recorded 19 goals and 16 assists in 51 matches this season, his best output in a Blues uniform.

The report says Chelsea feels no pressure to sell Hazard, but it would be a surprise if it dug in its heels too deeply considering the state of the Belgian’s contract.

Even for Chelsea, letting over $100 million walk out the door is wild, and for all Hazard’s won with Chelsea there’s also been consternation under several managers and a more than occasional habit of disappointing on the table.