Getty Images

Report: Man United to pay Alexis Sanchez $15 million a season to leave

Leave a comment

Alexis Sanchez has already apologized for his form at Manchester United, and it seems he will now be leaving Old Trafford.

But there’s a catch: United will have to pay him close to $15.5 million a season for him not to play for them.

Yep, that’s right.

Sanchez, 30, is reportedly wanted by Inter Milan on loan for next season, as the Chilean scored just one Premier League goal in his first full season at Old Trafford as he struggled to get into the team.

Multiple injuries curtailed any chance he had of getting back to his best form, and Sanchez is very much on the outside looking in as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer aims to dramatically rebuild his United squad this summer.

Sanchez signed a huge $645,000 per week contract in January 2018 and still has three more years left on that deal which saw him arrive from Arsenal in a swap deal with Henrikh Mkhitaryan. At the time it seemed like a very good deal (the eye watering numbers aside) as Sanchez had been one of the best players in the PL for multiple seasons and would give United’s attack a cutting edge with his driving runs and eye for goal.

He has never settled at Old Trafford.

Multiple reports state that Inter, who are on the verge of qualifying for the Champions League next season, is a likely destination for Sanchez and they would be willing to pay around half of his wages. Given Sanchez’s shocking form over the last 18 months, United would be lucky if a club was willing to pay that percentage of his wages. A return to Italy could suit Sanchez and help him rebuild his career after a horror last 18 months.

When a star player is out of form it is always an interesting dilemma for a club. Do you keep him around and hope he can provide something and regain his previous incredible form? Or do you take the hit, get half of his wages paid for and then hope somebody will sign him permanently if regular minutes solve his problems on the pitch?

The biggest issue for United is the problems Sanchez’s arrival has caused off the pitch.

Every single star at United (Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford and David De Gea to name a few) now wants to be paid somewhere close, or at least equal, to the wages their top earner, Sanchez, is on. That is the big issue here. Sanchez is earning the big bucks but is hardly playing. What type of message does that send out to the rest of the squad? In this situation it is better for United to take the $15.5 million hit, at least for next season, and move Sanchez out on loan if they can’t sell him permanently over the summer.

Nobody is going to want to pay Sanchez anywhere near what he is on at United, so it’s unlikely he will leave the lucrative deal he was handed in January 2018. A loan move beckons, as United’s recruitment policy will once again be rightly questioned and ridiculed.

Kane, Sterling star as England rout Bulgaria

Getty Images
Leave a comment

On a night where racist abuse from the stands in Bulgaria marred the overall spectacle, England’s players produced an incredible result and spectacle for the visiting fans, with all things considered.

Harry Kane scored once and assisted on three others as England rolled over Bulgaria, winning 6-0 on Monday evening in the Vasil Levski Stadium in Sofia, Bulgaria. Raheem Sterling and Ross Barkley both scored a brace for the Three Lions and Marcus Rashford’s thunderbolt from a tight angle gave England the opening goal it needed.

The blowout result was the perfect response after England had suffered its first loss in qualifying for a decade, losing on Friday, 2-1 at the Czech Republic. The six goals England put past Bulgaria was also the fourth time out of six games that England had scored at least five goals in a match. The only other time, aside from the defeat, was a 4-0 win last month at Wembley Stadium over Bulgaria.

This story will be updated.

 

Racist abuse delays England v. Bulgaria qualifier

Getty Images
Leave a comment

England raced out to an impressive 4-0 lead at Bulgaria by halftime, but the wonderful attacking display was marred by horrendous incidents from the crowd.

The match in the Vasil Levski Stadium in Sofia, Bulgaria was stopped on two occasions with announcements being made to ask sections of the crowd to stop their abusive language. This comes with the stadium already serving a partial stadium closure due to racist chanting from the crowd in previous qualifiers.

Below is UEFA’s protocol on how to intervene in these situations, and what transpired from lead writer Joe Prince-Wright.

Tottenham re-signs goalkeeper Vorm

Getty Images
Leave a comment

With Hugo Lloris set to miss at least another two months of action with a broken elbow, Tottenham has turned to a familiar face to provide some cover between the pipes.

Tottenham announced Monday it had re-signed goalkeeper Michel Vorm to a contract through the end of the 2019-2020 Premier League season. Vorm spent five seasons with Tottenham after signing from Swansea City in 2014. However, after playing second-fiddle to Lloris and later serving as the third backup behind current Tottenham No. 2, Paulo Gazzaniga for the past couple of seasons, Vorm was released at the end of last season.

Its certainly a boost for Tottenham that a player with a long history at the club and plenty of experience was available to help in this situation. Similar to Liverpool picking up Adrian after Alisson Becker’s injury, Tottenham know what it’s getting in Vorm and may play him a few times if Gazzaniga needs a night off in the next few months.

According to Vorm, he had been home in his native Netherlands and was watching the game when he saw Lloris get injured.

“Obviously I saw straight away that he had a bad injury and at the time I thought about how bad it was, Vorm told Tottenham’s website. “After the game I spoke with Jan (Vertonghen), he told me what was going on and I spoke also with Toni (Jimenez, our goalkeeping coach) and, yes, during the week I got the phone call to ask if I was open to come back and help out. I’ve kept in contact with a lot of the players and also with Toni. We were speaking quite regularly and on Thursday he called me, we had the conversation and from there on, it went very quickly.”

In his five seasons with Tottenham, Vorm made a total of 47 appearances in all competitions. He saw plenty of time in the League Cup, FA Cup, UEFA Europa League and Champions League during his stay at White Hart Lane.

In-form striker Duvan Zapata injured on international duty

Getty Images
Leave a comment

This international break has been particularly brutal to clubs who have seen a host of key players go down with injuries, and there’s still a few days of matches remaining.

The latest player to succumb to injury is Atalanta striker Duvan Zapata who returned from Colombia duty with an adductor strain and will miss at least three weeks, according to Sky Sports Italia (via FootballItalia). Zapata went down 23 minutes into Colombia’s 0-0 friendly draw with Chile on Friday and was sent back to Italy for tests at his club.

Those tests have reportedly confirmed the initial fears. The loss of Zapata is a massive one for Atalanta, as the 28-year-old has been steadily building for years and is having a breakout start to this campaign, scoring six Serie A goals in seven matches plus one more in Champions League play, currently on a run of four consecutive games with a goal across all competitions. With Zapata’s help, Atalanta sits third in the Serie A table, having bagged the most goals of any team with 18 through seven games.

Zapata becomes the latest high-profile injury from this international break, joining Colombia teammate Alexis Sanchez who went down late in the same match and is reportedly out until 2020 with a serious ankle injury. Chelsea has been hit the hardest, with Andreas Christensen, Mateo Kovacic, and Reese James all pulling up while N’Golo Kante was injured in France warmups but he is expected to be fit for the weekend. Luka Modric may miss time after going down in a Euro qualifier against Wales, while Gareth Bale also picked up a knock in that match. Neymar went down in Brazil’s match against against Nigeria, which forced manager Tite to explain his reasoning for the selection in a friendly. Sergio Aguero is apparently struggling to train with Argentina thanks to a mystery injury confirmed by Lionel Scaloni. Arsenal’s Dani Ceballos withdrew from Spain training earlier in the week with “hamstring overload.” Atlanta United defender Miles Robinson left USMNT camp with a hamstring problem with the MLS playoffs on the horizon.