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Report: NYCFC seeking Yaya Toure move ahead of 2018 season

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New York City FC’s partnership with parent club Manchester City has already had its perks, and another potential move is in the works between the two City Football Group entities.

[ MORE: USMNT players with the most to gain against Portugal ]

The Major League Soccer side is reportedly in talks Man City over the services of veteran midfielder Yaya Toure, per MLS reporter Jeff Rueter.

Toure, who has been with the Premier League side since 2010 when his brother — Kolo — was also in the squad, has appeared in just four matches this season for the Cityzens.

A source close to the situation told Pro Soccer Talk that if a move were to be completed that “Man City would prefer if the player moves in July” in order to “accommodate the club’s busy fixture list once 2018 hits.”

The three-time World Cup attendee would not require a Designated Player roster spot, according to a source, which has peaked NYCFC’s interest in the player.

Toure is under contract with the Cityzens until the end of June 2018, and by moving then it would allow NYCFC to acquire the Ivorian international on a free transfer.

Man City has already reached the knockout phase of the UEFA Champions League, which will compound the club’s schedule in January and beyond as Pep Guardiola‘s side gears up for the second half of the PL season and other domestic competitions.

Toure will turn 35 in May, and has previously spent time with top sides across Europe, including Barcelona and Monaco prior to joining Man City.

NYCFC and Man City have worked together in the past as part of their CFG ties, with the latter loaning youth players to the MLS side during its inaugural season in 2015. Man City academy talents Angelino and Shay Facey each spent the entire 2015 campaign in the Bronx before returning to England at the season’s conclusion.

Additionally, NYCFC players have had the opportunity to train in Manchester during the offseason and manager Patrick Vieira has close ties with the Cityzens finishing his playing career with the English side and coaching the club’s Elite Development Squad (U-21 PL side).

Report: City Football Group set to expand outreach with Girona deal

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City Football Group appears on the verge of adding to its global outreach, and it’s next destination looks to be in Spain.

[ MORE: Are Southampton’s days of selling behind the club? ]

The group of investors, which are known for controlling Premier League side Manchester City, are reportedly nearing a deal to purchase a partial stake in Spanish club Girona — which is set to make its La Liga debut in 2017/18.

CFG is said to be gaining a near “50 percent” stake in the club, with the rest of the club owned by Media Base, a company owned by Pep Guardiola‘s brother, Pere.

Over recent years, CFG has vastly expanded its ownership outreach and currently has a stake in five clubs around the world, with Girona set to be the sixth.

MLS side New York City FC, Australian A-League side Melbourne City FC, Japan’s Yokohama F. Marinos and Club Atletico Torque in Uruguay are all part of the CFG enterprise, alongside Man City.

UEFA Champions League roundup: Juventus, Barcelona hold advantages

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Well, that was a fine day of soccer.

Provided you’re not a Manchester City fan, there’s something quite encouraging for each team — winners and losers — to take away from Tuesday’s first leg of the UEFA Champions League’s Round of 16.

And even in the case of City, Joe Hart’s stoppage time PK denial of Lionel Messi kept the club within a goal, albeit with a Camp Nou-sized mountain to climb next month.

Let’s dig in.

Juventus 2-1 Borussia DortmundRECAP

So Alvaro Morata’s failure to land a space at Real Madrid continues to bear fruit for Italian powerhouse Juventus, as the 22-year-old Spaniard set-up the first goal and scored the second in The Old Lady’s 2-1 win over Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday.

And while Juve may’ve been lucky to have a 2-1 lead at half — Dortmund was strong in possession — the home side was unfortunate not to add to its lead several times in the late goings.

BVB takes away a valuable away goal courtesy of superstar Marco Reus. With the Westfalenstadion looming as the backdrop for the second leg, there’s still plenty to come in this tie.

Manchester City 1-2 BarcelonaRECAP

source: APManuel Pellegrini thought he could play ball with Barcelona straight-up, and was fortunate to only be down by a pair of Luis Suarez goals after a half-hour. Luis Enrique’s energized side showed they still have plenty of possession and fire power in the tank, and Lionel Messi was a playmaking wizard for most of the match despite having his late PK saved.

City did, however, look a lot better in the second half, and the addition of Yaya Toure will help (The Ivorian served the final match of a three-game suspension for a UCL red card against CSKA Moscow in the group stage). Will they be able to rebound at the Camp Nou? That’s a mighty tall task for the flagship of the City Football Group.

Wednesday
Arsenal vs. Monaco
Bayer Leverkusen vs. Atletico Madrid

SI report: Garber “sensed” Lampard loan extension was coming, says NYCFC not a farm team

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Grant Wahl has scored another exclusive interview with Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber, and the ensuing Sports Illustrated reported lays out plenty of interesting points when it comes to the league’s two biggest recent stories.

Frank Lampard’s loan extension at Manchester City and Steven Gerrard’s expected move to the L.A. Galaxy both are focal points of the report. Garber said “Nothing is signed” with regards to the latter and, as expected, puts a solid spin on the Lampard news.

[ MLS: How will Gerrard fit in L.A.? ]

NYCFC and Manchester City, of course, are both owned by City Football Group, and the former’s fans are feeling a bit played by the loan extension. They bought season tickets under the impression that Lampard would be there on Opening Day, and now he’s gone until “July” (And some have taken Man City boss Manuel Pellegrini’s words to mean he may never arrive in MLS).

From Sports Illustrated’s Planet Futbol:

“I could understand why their fans are unhappy, and I do believe [NYCFC] will work hard to build back that trust,” Garber told SI.com from Florida on Saturday night. “They’ve started that process already. I sensed this was coming, and it didn’t surprise me when they ultimately made their decision. You’re dealing with a very unusual set of circumstances. Frank has become one of the most important players in Man City’s season, and he’s scored critical goals to have them tied for first place in the Premier League.”

Perhaps most telling is that Garber said he had a feeling the loan extension would happen. Lampard’s agent shot down rumors of a loan extension as recently as November. NYCFC sporting director Claudio Reyna took a trip to Man City in December to discuss Lampard’s arrival date. If Garber had such prescient feelings, he’s way ahead of the player, his agent, and both teams.

Here’s another interesting question: When NYCFC heads to Manchester City for its 10-day preseason training session, with Lampard spend any time in the NYCFC XI?

Italian reports say Roma legend Daniele De Rossi interested in MLS move, NYCFC a front runner

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Here’s a reason for MLS fans, and all the new New York City FC fans, to root for AS Roma.

Multiple reports in Italy say AS Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi, 31, is interested in a move away from the club after falling down the depth chart.

De Rossi reportedly considers Major League Soccer, specifically the newest club in New York, as an option.

[ MORE: Monday’s transfer rumor roundup ]

One report, though, says he’ll only leave the club where he’s made 467 appearances if Roma chases down Juventus for the scudetto, and i Lupi are currently three points back of the Old Lady on the Serie A table.

Compiled by EmpireOfSoccer.com:

New York City FC are said to be the front runner, with his agent sharing closes ties to Sheik Mansour’s Manchester City Group.  According to Soccer Italia, however, the Red Bulls would also be interested in a mid-year swoop for his services.

Football Italia adds a caveat; De Rossi would only consider a move if Roma won the Scudetto.  They are currently three points behind Juventus for the top spot in Serie A.  This would fall in line with the player’s previous career decisions.  Two years ago, he was heavily rumored to join Manchester City, but stayed with Roma after a Coppa Italia Final defeat to Lazio.

De Rossi, Frank Lampard and David Villa would be a pretty lethal ‘expansion team’ spine for NYCFC. Big name to MLS reports are nothing new at any time of year, but do you find some credibility in these reports? Or are you quickly brushing them off? Seems to me De Rossi could make a load of dough in the States and follow the City Football Group loan model to participate in winter European soccer if need be.