Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Is Eric Dier worth Tottenham’s $64 million asking price?

2 Comments

There’s no question that Tottenham has become one of Europe’s most talented sides when considering the club’s youth and budding stardom throughout the squad.

[ MORE: The ramifications of a Ronaldo move away from Real Madrid ]

One player in particular though is gaining significant interest from another top Premier League side though, and that’s midfielder Eric Dier.

The 23-year-old just finished his third year with Spurs since joining last season’s second-place finishers from Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon, and now Manchester United has come calling for the defensive midfielder’s services as Michael Carrick nears the end of his illustrious career.

The Telegraph is reporting that Spurs is holding out for nearly $64 million in order to allow Dier to leave the club, and Jose Mourinho and the Red Devils appear content on adding the youngster.

With Dier being a holding midfielder though, would United or another club be crazy to spend that sort of money?

Chelsea acquired Leicester’s N'Golo Kante a season ago for nearly $27 million less than Dier’s reported fee, and the Frenchman is now a two-time Premier League Player of the Year.

It’s not to say that Dier or other holding midfielders aren’t valuable because Kante has shown what a tremendous signing at the position he has been, however, given the lack of goalscoring prowess a team typically gets from it it’s difficult to see a team warranting that sort of spending.

With United spending over $114 million on Paul Pogba last summer the club will be surely looking for somebody to step in and fill a holding midfield role properly in order to allow the Frenchman to sit higher on the field and potentially create and score more goals.

Dier has proven to be more than valuable because of his versatility in terms of where Spurs have been able to play him under Mauricio Pochettino. The Englishman has predominantly deployed as a defensive mid throughout his career but also pushed up the field and been sent to the defensive back four when Tottenham has needed him to fill that role.

There’s no doubting that Dier could be a useful asset for Mourinho and Co. as the club prepares for a push at top-four next season and begins a UEFA Champions League campaign, but the price tag for Dier remains a bit steep.

VIDEO: Portugal lead Iran at HT; Spain 1-1 Morocco

Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images
1 Comment

We’re through the first 45 minutes of Monday’s Group B finales at the 2018 World Cup, and things are happening. A quick rundown…

[ SCENARIOS: Who needs what, to finish where, in final round of group games ]

Andres Iniesta and Sergio Ramos combined to commit a disastrous gaffe at midfield, resulting in a goal for Khalid Boutaib in the 14th minute. At this point, Spain would have finished second, behind Portugal, and headed to the far more difficult side of the knockout bracket.

Five minutes later, it was Iniesta who, with a little help from some slightly lesser geniuses, unlocked the Moroccan defense to set up Isco for an emphatic finish. La Furia Roja moved back to the top of the group, on goals scored.

Click here for live and on demand coverage of the World Cup online and via the NBC Sports App.

In the afternoon’s other game, Portugal and Iran appeared destined for a 0-0 scoreline at halftime, until Ricardo Quaresma unleashed a stunning, outside-of-the-foot curler from outside the box to beat the goalkeeper and put Portugal ahead — both on the day, and in the table. As things currently stand, Portugal would win the group and Spain would finish second.

Layla’s Occasionally Unbiased Football Show: Episode 4

Leave a comment

In the fourth episode of Layla’s Occasionally Unbiased Football Show, England players have been preparing for their next match in an unusual way, Argentina has a huge meltdown, and more.

[ LIVE: World Cup scores ] 

Click play on the video above to watch the fourth episode in full.

Atlanta leads way with six All-Star Fan XI selections

Atlanta United on Twitter/@ATLUTD
Leave a comment

It may be hard to believe with all the World Cup festivities going on, but the Major League Soccer season is nearly halfway over.

[ MORE: Toronto FC’s 2018 has been far from their cup-winning 2017 ]

And that means it’s almost All-Star time.

The MLS All-Stars will continue their recent tradition of facing a European superpower in August, with Juventus being welcomed to the United States in early August.

But, which players from MLS will we see in action?

Last season’s expansion sweetheart Atlanta United leads the way in the fan voting with six players from the Eastern Conference side voted into the Fan XI, including attackers Miguel Almiron, Ezequiel Barco, Darlington Nagbe and Josef Martinez.

Goalkeeper Brad Guzan and defender/captain Michael Parkhurst also made the team from Atlanta.

In all, only five clubs were represented based on the Fan XI, with the LA Galaxy’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Los Angeles FC’s Carlos Vela and Laurent Ciman, Sporting KC’s Graham Zusi and Portland Timbers star Diego Valeri each rounding out the squad.


Goalkeeper: Brad Guzan (Atlanta United)

Defenders: Michael Parkhurst (Atlanta United), Laurent Ciman (Los Angeles Football Club), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)

Midfielders: Miguel Almirón (Atlanta United), Ezequiel Barco (Atlanta United), Darlington Nagbe (Atlanta United), Diego Valeri (Portland Timbers)

Forwards: Josef Martínez (Atlanta United), Zlatan Ibrahimović (LA Galaxy), Carlos Vela (Los Angeles Football Club – EA SPORTS™ “More Than a Vote” Challenge)

Saudi Arabia steals late win over Egypt in Group A finale

Getty Images
1 Comment

Saudi Arabia pulled off a late 2-1 win against Egypt on Monday in their Group A finale, as the two nations ended their 2018 World Cup run in the group stage.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ]

Salem Al Sawsari scored in the fifth minute of second half stoppage time to give the Saudis a late winner in the match, as the attacker struck the post in the dying moments before the ball crossed the line.

The Pharaohs took the lead in the 22nd minute, after a tremendous run from Mohamed Salah and lob over the Saudi Arabia goalkeeper.

Salah has two goals at the World Cup for Egypt, who were already eliminated heading into Monday’s match.

Saudi Arabia was granted a chance to equalize prior to halftime, however, goalkeeper Essam El Hadary brilliantly stopped Hattan Bahebri’s penalty kick in the 41st minute to preserve the Egypt advantage.

El Hadary became the oldest player in World Cup history to appear in a match at the age of 45.

Click here for live and on demand coverage of the World Cup online and via the NBC Sports App.

The Egypt keeper wasn’t as lucky the second time around though, with Salmon Al Faraj converting a penalty kick in the 51st minute.

Saudi Arabia finishes group play in third place on three points, while Egypt goes winless in its three matches.