Gael Clichy

Getty Images

Transfer Rumor Roundup: Rooney has future decided, Navas, Clichy leave Man City

Leave a comment

Wayne Rooney appears to have made up his mind about his footballing future.

Speaking to reporters in Stockholm, Sweden following Manchester United’s 2-0 Europa League final victory over Ajax, Rooney revealed that he has numerous offers, both at home and abroad, and that he had “more or less” made up his mind.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

“There are lots of offers on the table, both in England and abroad, and that’s what I have to decide on,” Rooney said, via The Guardian. “I’ve got some decisions to make now over the next few weeks so I will talk with my family and then I’ll decide. I think I have to make a decision in terms of a football decision, and that’s what I’ll do, I’ll do that the next few weeks with my family while I’m away and as soon as I know what’s going on I’m sure you will.”

If Rooney does call time on his Manchester United stay, it will end a 13-year run with the club, having signed as a teenager from Everton in 2004. Despite being Manchester United’s leading scorer with 253 goals in 559 appearances, he never really won over the fans and won’t be remembered necessarily in the legendary status along with Ryan Giggs and Sir Bobby Charlton. Although he had seasons of 26 and 27 league goals, he was never able to keep up that goal-scoring consistency, although some of that can be chalked up to sacrificing his forward position for a deeper role to help defensively.

[ MORE: Sanchez linked with Bayern

Rooney, now 31-years old, won the Premier League five times with Manchester United as well as the UEFA Champions League and now Europa League once each. Rooney’s current Manchester United contract runs through June 2019, having signed an extension in 2014.


As Wayne Rooney continues to ponder his future, across town at Manchester City, the club has parted ways with four first-team players.

Man City announced Thursday that left back Gael Clichy, winger Jesus Navas, right back Bacary Sagna and goalkeeper Willy Caballero have all left the club. All four are at the end of their contracts and the quartet can leave on free transfers.

“It’s been a special six years for me at City,” Clichy said in a statement. “To win four major trophies and help establish the Club as one of the top teams in English football has been an incredible journey that I’m proud to have been a part of.

Clichy joined Man City in 2011 as it began its spending-spree to join the British and European elite soccer clubs while Navas joined in 2013 and both Caballero and Sagna a year later.

The three departures are not surprising and are likely part of a plan between manager Pep Guardiola and sporting director Txiki Begiristain to bolster the squad with younger players who can play in Guardiola’s high-intensity and high-pressure system.

Guardiola is expected to have a large transfer budget to upgrade his team this summer following a third-place finish in the Premier League and with three highly-paid players off the books, there’s also now more room in the wage budget to accommodate new signings.

Man City 2-1 Burnley: 10-man win for Pep

Martin Rickett/PA via AP
Leave a comment
  • Fernandinho sees third red card
  • Clichy scores with 10 men
  • Aguero adds insurance
  • Mee pulls one back

Gael Clichy and Sergio Aguero scored as Manchester City overcame a first half red card to beat Burnley 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium on Monday.

All goals came after Fernandinho was sent off barely a half-hour into the match, as Ben Mee nabbed a late goal for the visitors.

The win pushes Man City back into third with 42 points, while Burnley sits 11th with 23.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

City wasted a magnificent chance when Kelechi Iheanacho was stymied on a break by Burnley backstop Tom Heaton, and Raheem Sterling couldn’t maneuver Yaya Toure’s pass around the sliding keeper.

Iheanacho barely missed converted another pass from Toure in the eighth minute, seeing his shot take a slight deflection high and wide of the frame for a corner that came to nothing.

Burnley had a free kick from inside 20 yards in the 16th minute, but the wall did its job and an ensuing corner saw Man City on a quick counter attack. Jesus Navas bungled a chance from Raheem Sterling, and Toure called Heaton into duty again.

Fernandinho was sent off by Lee Mason for a two-footed challenge on Johann Berg Gudmundsson.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

The 10-man hosts were still in control despite the disadvantage in numbers, and Gael Clichy’s seeing-eye shot off a Bacary Sagna cross went by five sets of legs before beating Heaton.

Aguero then scored from an improbable angle. Raheem Sterling dove past Tom Heaton in an attempt to win a penalty, but Aguero raced onto the loose ball and laced a shot off the inside of the near post and into the goal.

Burnley pulled one back through Mee, whose shot hit the underside of the bar during a scrum in which it appeared the Clarets scored twice (the second bulled out of Claudio Bravo‘s hands).

Follow @NicholasMendola

Pep Guardiola says he benched Samir Nasri because he’s “a little bit overweight”

Getty Images
1 Comment

Samir Nasri‘s soccer career has taken a nosedive since his seven-goal, nine-assist season in 2012/13, both internationally and domestically.

The 29-year-old winger has retired from the French national team after to being frozen out by Didier Deschamps, and has seen a decline in playing time for Manchester City two seasons in a row. Now with a new manager and a fresh start at the Etihad, things aren’t exactly off with flying colors out of the gates.

Nasri hasn’t featured thus far in Manchester City’s preseason, and manager Pep Guardiola said it’s because of his fitness. “Samir arrived a little bit overweight,” Guardiola said following the team’s win over Borrusia Dortmund in International Champions Cup play from China. “He’s much better now, but still there is a little bit of weight. Last season he was injured and we want to avoid that.”

City took down Dortmund on penalties following a 1-1 draw. The squad fell 1-0 to Bayern Munich last week in the team’s first pre-season match. Nasri did not appear in either, and defender Gael Clichy – without naming names – said that Guardiola has forced those with fitness issues to train on their own.

“We have a few players who are not training with the team yet,” Clichy, a former teammate of Nasri’s at Arsenal, said on Wednesday. “If your weight is too high, you’re not training with the team. You have to know that if your weight is 60 kilos and you are on 70 kilos, then you cannot play football.”

Guardiola backed up his policy on Wednesday following Clichy’s comments. “The weight is so important. When you are not fit, danger is coming. You’re not fast enough or quick enough in the head. That’s why you need to be fit.”

Clichy, Delph rave about education under Pep at Man City

Photo by Barrington Coombs/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Fabian Delph means no offense to Martin O’Neill, Paul Lambert, and Manuel Pellegrini, but he’s never seen anything like the management of Man City boss Pep Guardiola.

“The first three weeks have been amazing. I’ve learned more than I have throughout my whole career,” he said to the BBC. “It is a big statement but it is the truth.”

[ MORE: Wenger open to big spending ]

He’s not alone in his praise for Guardiola, as defender Gael Clichy is thrilled at what’s transpiring in front of him at training.

From MCFC.com:

“That’s something new as before we were quite open and if you look at our games from last year we were conceding a lot of goals on the counter-attack because we were an offensive team and open. I guess he’s trying to make us as offensive as previous years but just as solid at the back.”

Later in the article, Clichy talked about his friendship with Delph (which really ties our post together). City’s site even used the term “bromance”. So they’ve got that going for them, which is nice.

Pablo Zabaleta out a month for Manchester City with knee injury

Leave a comment

Pablo Zabaleta has yet to feature for Manchester City this season, and he’ll have to wait another month to do so after suffering a knee injury in training.

The right-back has been a fixture in City’s back-line for the past seven seasons, but has not played in the opening two matches as he has been given some extra rest after playing for Argentina in the Copa America this summer.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Bacary Sagna has filled in during Zabaleta’s absence, and will now remain the starter as he is the only other true right-back on the roster.

The club released a statement on the defender’s situation on it’s official website:

The City defender, yet to start a game this season, will hope to be in contention for the Blues’ opening Champions League game in mid-September but could miss up to six games.

It’s the first real injury Zabaleta has suffered in his career – though he has had numerous head and facial wounds over the past seven years – and it leaves Bacary Sagna as the Blues’ only recognised first-team right-back.

“It happened in training,” confirmed the Argentina defender. “It’s the first time in 12 years of senior football that I’ve ever been injured like this so it’s a blow, especially at the start of the season.”

City has started the season flying high with two 3-0 wins, including last weekend’s thorough beating of defending champs Chelsea. While both of those wins have come without Zabaleta in the lineup, his absence for an extended period of time could hurt the side.

[ RELATED: Prince-Wright’s Week 3 Premier League picks ]

If Bacary Sagna goes down, Manuel Pellegrini will have to find an option at outside-back. Gael Clichy has yet to debut for City as he continues to come back from an injury, and new signing Nicolas Otamendi will stay in the center of the defense.