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USMNT’s Weah confirms loan from PSG; linked with Celtic

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Tim Weah is heading out on loan in January, and it appears he is on his way to Scotland.

Weah, 18, sent out a message on his Instagram page confirming he will leave Paris Saints-Germain on loan for six months in January.

Loosely translated, Weah said his goodbyes to his teammates and fans after spending the last few months training with the first team but getting very few playing minutes as he’s scored twice in three appearances (one start) so far this season, but both of his goals came way back in August.

“I just want to take the time to talk to everyone about the decision that my family and I have taken with regard to leaving on loan this winter. First of all, I would like to thank the supporters for their constant support, as well as the coaching staff and my teammates, for strengthening me in my mind and for me to always feel a part of this family. These few months have been great even though I haven’t played much, I’ve always been grateful for the opportunities I had at the beginning of the season because it opened me many doors this winter… I hope after these six months, I will be ready to return to the Parc des Princes and give everything for you, proud to be Parisian.”

It has seen been reported that Weah is heading to Scottish champions Celtic for the second half of the season. Brendan Rodgers’ side are top of the Scottish Premiership and are in the UEFA Europa League Round of 32.

Weah’s chances of playing at PSG are limited, with Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani the undisputed top choices at the forward position.

Despite his lack of minutes at PSG, Weah has been a regular for the U.S. over the past 12 months, playing eight times and scoring against Bolivia in May. Alongside Christian Pulisic, Josh Sargent, Weston McKennie and Tyler Adams he is one of the leading lights for the USMNT’s future.

The teenager has yet to go out on loan after moving into PSG’s first team from their academy last season, and heading to play for Celtic will help him develop in many ways. Rodgers’ attractive style of play will allow Weah to express himself in an attacking sense, while playing in Scotland in the winter will no doubt “toughen him up” upon his return to PSG.

Weah is highly regarded at PSG and his time will come. Until then, getting this experience and playing regularly makes perfect sense and it will help him feature for the USMNT under Gregg Berhalter in the coming months.

FOLLOW LIVE: Southampton v. Derby County

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Southampton and Derby County chase the final spot in the fourth round proper of the 2018-19 FA Cup with a replay at St. Mary’s on Wednesday.

[ FOLLOW: FA Cup scoreboard ]

The clubs drew 2-2 at Pride Park on Jan. 5, with a Nathan Redmond 2-0 lead going to waste for the Premier League visitors.

The victor gets a trip to the Crown Ground to face League One’s Accrington Stanley on Jan. 26.

Full fourth round fixture list

Jan. 25
Arsenal v. Manchester United

Jan. 26
Accrington Stanley v. Derby County or Southampton
Brighton and Hove Albion v. West Bromwich Albion
Bristol City v. Bolton
Doncaster Rovers v. Oldham Athletic
Man City v. Burnley
Middlesbrough v. Newport County
Newcastle United v. Watford
Portsmouth v. Queens Park Rangers
Swansea City v. Gillingham
Shrewsbury Town v. Wolves
Millwall v. Everton
AFC Wimbledon v. West Ham United

Jan. 27
Crystal Palace v. Spurs
Chelsea v. Sheffield Wednesday

Jan. 28
Barnet v. Brentford

Leeds’ Bielsa admits he spied “all the rivals”; How widespread is spying?

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Managerial darling Marcelo Bielsa spoke out Wednesday as fallout continues from a Leeds United scout caught spying on Derby County last week.

Bielsa says he’s spied on every team the club has played in the Championship this season.

[ MORE: Neymar praises Weah ]

How rare is this? And how big of a role has it played in Leeds’ 4-point lead in the race for automatic promotion to the Premier League? From the BBC:

“I observed all the rivals we played against and watched the training sessions of all opponents,” he said. “All the information I need to clarify, I gather it without watching the training session of the opponent, so why did I send someone to watch them? Just because I thought I wasn’t violating the norm. I gathered information that I can obtain in another way.

“We feel guilty if we don’t work enough, it [watching the opponents train] allows us to have less anxiety and in my case I am stupid enough to allow this kind of behavior.”

The 63-year-old Argentine has spent time at Lille, Lazio, Marseille, Athletic Bilbao, and Espanyol in addition to running the national teams of Argentina and Chile.

It does raise the question of how much spying is done in soccer. We know that the NFL’s New England Patriots cheated during a game against the New York Jets and that MLB teams try to steal signals, but sneaking around a training session… is that okay? Should it be?

55-goal Martinez re-ups with Atlanta through 2023

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Josef Martinez has signed a new deal with Atlanta United, with a contract tying him to the club through the 2023 Major League Soccer season.

Martinez, 25, has 55 goals in 61 games for the Five Stripes since arriving from Torino in 2017, a strike rate unlike anything the Venezuelan had been able to do in his career with the Serie A club, Young Boys, or Caracas.

[ MORE: Neymar praises Weah ]

That development has him happy to lock down a new Designated Player deal in Georgia, one that certainly would raise his transfer value. From AtlUtd.com:

“This means a lot to me because of the affection that the fans have shown me, that the fans show all of the players. It’s unique,” Martinez said. “They recognize the effort that you give and they know you did everything to win, and I think that’s why we love playing here. I have to thank everyone. My teammates, the city, my family and friends, because this is a dream I’ve always had. I’ve said before that I don’t want to go anywhere because this is my home. You can expect more work, more intensity, because that’s who I am. I want to win. I want to do everything for my teammates and for the city.”

With neither Newcastle nor Real Betis ready to meet Atlanta’s transfer fee for Miguel Almiron, the Five Stripes are in a bit of a bind with a reported deal for expected DP Pity Martinez despite having the league maximum three DPs in Martinez, Almiron, and Ezequiel Barco. Perhaps the European clubs are trying to force Atlanta’s hand.

Men In Blazers Podcast: De Gea heroics; Liverpool, Man City wins

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Rog and Davo applaud David De Gea‘s goalkeeping heroics in Manchester United’s 1-0 victory over Tottenham. Plus, wins for Liverpool and City in the title race.

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