Guille

NO DEAL: David de Gea’s transfer to Real Madrid falls through as Man United paperwork arrives too late

7 Comments

What in the world is going on at Manchester United? Whatever is happening, “Fergie time” got a new meaning on Monday.

[ MORE Monday’s transfer rumor roundup ]

According to multiple reports earlier in the day — like, well before noon ET — the two clubs had agreed a deal in which United would send De Gea, who has just one year left on his current contract and desperately wants a move back to his hometown, to Madrid for a fee of $44 million as well as Costa Rican goalkeeper Keylor Navas.

[ DONE DEALS: Recapping Man United (and others’) very busy Monday ]

It seemed a win-win for everybody involved after what has been a summer-long saga — United not only receive a hefty fee for a player in the final year of his contract, but they receive a capable replacement for said player, as well; and Madrid finally land a superstar to fill the one Galactico-less position in their starting XI, goalkeeper.

[ JPW’S PL Playback: It’s time to change the rules of the transfer window ]

Fast forward eight hours to Monday evening, and the Spanish transfer window has officially closed with the necessary paperwork for De Gea to complete his dream move having not been submitted before the transfer deadline in Spain. Thus, the deal is off and De Gea will remain at United until January, at least.

This is a colossal blunder by chief executive Ed Woodward and Co., as Louis van Gaal would be forced to either play a miserably unhappy player for the next four months, or continue to leave one of world’s best goalkeepers out of his gameday squad week after week until he can be sold at long last during the January transfer window.

Madrid will, presumably, appeal to the Spanish football authorities to have the decision overturned.

Report: De Gea moving to Madrid as Costa Rican hero Navas heads to Old Trafford

5 Comments

Well, this has worked out incredibly well for Manchester United.

If respected journalist Guillem Balague’s Tweets are true, Real Madrid has sealed a deal to bring David De Gea to the Bernabeu for a remarkable for $44 million.

[ MORE: Draxler, Januzaj find new homes ]

Moving the other way? Keylor Navas, one of the many Costa Rican heroes of the 2014 World Cup. Navas left Levante for Madrid after the tournament, but only 13 appearances in two years.

So Manchester United brings in a good deal of dough for De Gea, who climbs into the driver’s seat for what could be a long career at one of Europe’s most-accomplished clubs.

It hinged on Navas accepting a move to Old Trafford. And he did.

Angel di Maria pens open letter to Manchester United fans following PSG move

Leave a comment

After coming to Manchester United last season for $99 million, Angel di Maria scored just four goals in 32 appearances for the Red Devils.

He had trouble with some injuries, but maybe his biggest problem was adjusting to life in Manchester and the style of play in the Premier League.

[ MORE: All of PST’s PL season previews

Di Maria’s time at Old Trafford was obviously a disappointment, and will likely be considered one of the biggest flops of recent times. Last week he completed a move to Paris Saint-Germain for $70 million, ending his one-year experiment in Manchester.

Following his move to Paris, Di Maria wrote an open letter to Manchester United fans in which he said he was “really sorry” about the way things worked out. The letter was released on Spanish soccer journalist Guillem Balague’s website.

I write this note to thank all the Manchester United family for the great support received during the year I’ve been part of this club.

When Manchester United chose me as part of their team, I felt extremely honoured because I knew what this club means and how it trusted me.

Nevertheless, I’m aware things didn’t work as we all expected and believe me, I feel really sorry about it.

However, in the career of a football player, sometimes the unexpected and unwanted may happen.

I can guarantee you it was not for trying. I did my best but football is not like maths: often a lot of things out of our control affect the way we feel and the way things turn out. I am sorry it did not work out as I would have wished in this amazing, huge club.

I want to give special thanks to all the directors and management of Manchester United as well as to every member of the staff and colleagues as they gave me all their support. Also a special mention to all the fans who always trusted me and showed me their respect and love.

Now is time to move to PSG but the Glorious Manchester United club will be forever in my memory!

Wish you all the best in the world. With best regards, Angel di Maria.”

[ PHOTOS: Take a tour of all 20 Premier League stadiums ]

The way Di Maria acted this summer by failing to communicate with United during their summer tour was wrong, but it’s hard not to feel for him after reading this letter. He seems honest in his disappointment with how things went, as sometimes, things just don’t work out.

Report: Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez has $10 million offer from MLS, 24 hours to decide his future

17 Comments

Hold onto your butts, because Major League Soccer’s summer transfer window closes Thursday, Aug. 6, and the next 24 hours are shaping up to be perhaps the craziest in league history.

[ MORE: Wednesday’s transfer rumor roundup ]

There’s a report out there right now, from Univision journalist Gibran Araige, that says Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, currently of Premier League side Manchester United, has a contract offer from MLS worth $10 million per season. Araige also reports that Hernandez, who has just one year left on his deal at Man United and looks all but certain to leave the club this summer, has 24 hours to decide whether or not he will accept the offer.

Kaka and Sebastian Giovinco are currently highest the highest-paid players in MLS at $7.1 million per year, which puts $10 million per season well into “this makes my head hurt” territory. On its own, that part of the rumor is crazy enough.

[ MORE: Predicting the final league standings — Who wins? CL places? Relegation? ]

What we’ve not touched on yet, though, is for which of MLS’s 20 teams Hernandez will/might end up playing. That’s where things will most likely get really, really crazy.

As a non-US national team or MLS returning player, Hernandez is not subject to the league’s allocation order, meaning he would be a “discovery” signing while earning a Designated Player contract. Multiple teams — Orlando City SC and Chicago Fire have long been linked to the player — are rumored to be interested in Hernandez, even at that astronomical price, apparently.

Per MLS roster rules and regulations, this is how a player’s discovery rights are allocated when multiple teams are interested:

If one or more clubs try to add the same player to their Discovery Lists, the club that filed the claim first will have the priority right to sign the player.  If one or more clubs submit a discovery request on the same day, then the club with the lowest points-per-game in the current MLS regular season (all clubs must have played a minimum of three regular season games) will have the priority right to sign the player.

If a club wants to sign a player on the Discovery List of another team, it may offer the team $50,000 in Allocation Money in exchange for the right to sign the player.  The team with the player on its Discovery List will then either (i) have to accept the Allocation Money and give up the right to sign the player or (ii) make the player a genuine, objectively reasonable offer.

It is currently unknown which MLS team holds Hernandez’s discovery rights. It is unlikely that the team holding Hernandez’s discovery rights would not want to acquire him should he agree to come to MLS. The option for two sides to agree a deal to ship out and acquire his rights remains a possibility, as occurred when the Montreal Impact picked up Didier Drogba last week.

Buckle up, folks, transfer deadline day (MLS style) is going to be a wild one.

UPDATE: Guillermo Rivera reports that the Fire are not involved in negotiations with Hernandez:

Mexico 1-0 Costa Rica: Questionable penalty in the 120th minute sends El Tri through to Gold Cup semis

29 Comments

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — After 120 minutes of scoreless soccer between Mexico and Costa Rica, the referee decided Mexico should score.

El Tri had been pressing all game but couldn’t find the back of the net until the last tick of the clock, when referee Walter Lopez called a mystery penalty on Costa Rica. Andres Guardado buried the shot and Mexico will now face Panama in the Gold Cup semifinals.

The attendance was announced at 74,187 at MetLife Stadium tonight, and while all enjoyed a fantastic match, Costa Rican fans will leave feeling robbed.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s Gold Cup coverage ]

The first match of the day started slowly, but the nightcap was the exact opposite. Both Mexico and Costa Rica came out flying, with end-to-end action as both sides created chances.

With such a quick pace, both goalkeepers had to stay on their toes to keep the match scoreless. First, Mexico’s Guillermo Ochoa backtracked to get his fingertips to a curling ball headed for the top corner. Not to be outdone, Costa Rica’s Esteban Alvarado made a strong save on a long-range strike from Andres Guardado to keep things level.

Mexico could have taken the lead just before halftime, but Oribe Peralta’s shot was deflected just over the bar by a sliding defender as the teams went into the break deadlocked in a scoreless draw.

[ RECAP: Panama outlasts Trinidad & Tobago in shootout to earn a berth in the Gold Cup semis ]

Peralta should have put El Tri ahead right after the break in the 51st minute. Carlos Vela headed a ball through to Peralta who beat Alvarado with his shot, only to be rejected by the post.

Alvarado was called on again in the 64th minute and made the save of the match, this time on Carlos Esquivel. Esquivel jumped to get a foot on a cross from Andres Guardado, and as Alvarado was moving across to the left, he reached out with his right hand, somehow tipping the shot off the crossbar.

Mexico controlled the second half and had multiple chances to find a goal, but a combination of strong play by Alvarado and brutal finishing by El Tri meant fans at MetLife Stadium got more extra-time Gold Cup action.

Extra-time was more of Mexico, but the best chance came for Costa Rica from Joel Campbell. After a forgettable first 109 minutes, the Arsenal striker came out of nowhere with a ridiculous run down the left, cutting by defenders as they tried to drag him down. He finally got a shot off, forcing Guillermo Ochoa to make a massive one-handed stop. The referee’s flag was up which would have cancelled out the goal had it gone in, but a brilliant individual effort nonetheless.

Then as the clock struck 120 with another shootout looming, referee Walter Lopez called a ghost penalty on Roy Miller for “bringing down” Oribe Peralta. The Costa Rican team went wild as the call was in essence, a disgrace. Peralta, in fact, escaped a red card earlier in extra-time for a wild tackle at midfield, somehow seeing just yellow. Andres Guardado converted the penalty as El Tri move on to the semis. A brutal loss for Costa Rica.