MADRID (AP) A referee briefly stopped Sunday’s Spanish league match between Sporting Gijon and visiting Athletic Bilbao because of racist chants aimed at Bilbao player Inaki Williams.
Referee Clos Gomez wrote in his match report that he suspended play for a minute in the first half when he heard racist chants imitating what he said were “monkey calls” from one section of El Molinon Stadium directed at Williams.
Gomez says that a warning was then given by the public announcer and that the abusive insults stopped.
If you believe the reports — and maybe you shouldn’t — Manchester United remain the most desperate club in the world just dying to spend another cool $100 million on one or two superstars, on top of the $350 million or so they’ve already spent with Louis Van Gaal at the helm. Today, it’s Real Madrid attacker James Rodriguez to whom the Red Devils are linked, by the Express, for a fee of nearly $90 million.
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Updating a rumor from Saturday, Chelsea are now believed to be interested in Paris Saint-Germain defender Thiago Silva this season, on loan, according to the Daily Star. Despite currently holding a 21-point lead in Ligue 1, PSG might be hesitant to send their most experienced defender on loan to the Blues, as the two sides are set to square off in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 next month. The Daily Mail is reporting the Blues’ loan move for Alexandre Pato is also in the works.
Also from the Express, Manchester City are said to be closing in on the signing of Spain under-21 striker Ianki Williams from Athletic Bilbao. Man City are said to be undeterred by Williams’ contract buyout clause of nearly $65 million. Liverpool and Arsenal are reportedly Williams’ other suitors.
[ MORE: Saturday’s rumor roundup | Friday | Thursday | Wednesday
Leicester City’s quest for Champions League qualification continues, as the Foxes once again sit atop the Premier League table with 23 of 38 games played. Rather than selling in January, or simply standing pat, Sky Sport Italia is reporting Leicester are ready to pay $12 million for Sampdoria striker Eder in an attempt to provide proper cover for leading goalscorers Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez.
U.S. national team defender John Brooks is in high demand himself, as Champions League regulars Schalke are said to be lining up the 22-year-old as a possible replacement for Joel Matip, who is reportedly nearing a move to Liverpool.
After Southampton scooped up Charlie Austin from QPR on a shockingly low $6.5 million fee which begs oh-so-many questions, what else could be cooking this active January window?
Let’s start off with a weird one that could get some backing because of the Austin move. The Sun is a wild ride for gossip, but claims that Liverpool could be looking to take Shane Long from Southampton. To take a joke from The Football Ramble, is Liverpool’s only English scout stationed at St. Mary’s and unwilling to travel?
[ MORE: Angry Martinez slams “diabolic” refereeing in Chelsea draw ]
Saints could also sell Graziano Pelle, who won’t be talking new contract until this summer and is wanted by Juventus according to The Daily Echo. Ronald Koeman has said Southampton won’t sell anyone in January, but could Saints be tempted to cash-in given Pelle’s age (30)?
The Reds, however, are also linked with a younger and perhaps more intriguing striker in Athletic Bilbao striker Inaki Williams. The Guardian says Williams is also wanted by ban-facing Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid, with the Telegraph throwing Arsenal in the mix. The price tag looks to be $22 million for the 21-year-old Spaniard with 10 goals across all competitions this season.
Newcastle United and West Ham are looking towards a Leeds United back despite Everton already agreeing a $5 million fee for Sam Byram. The 22-year-old is out-of-contract this summer, and has 130 Championship appearances despite his young age. Byram can also function as a right winger.
Italian outlet Tuttomercado says Arsenal might be ready to splash the cash needed to pry Alvaro Morata from Juventus. Morata is well-liked in Italy and on a two-year loan to Juve from Real Madrid, but the latter’s looming transfer ban could change things. What does Arsenal have to do with this? You’ll have to ask Tuttomercado.
You know what they say about London buses. You wait around forever and then two come along at once. Well, how about three?
[ MORE: Spurs ready for top 4 challenge ]
In Spain on Sunday it was a day of fine goals in La Liga as three stunners stole the show.
Neymar scored this beauty to lead Barcelona past Villarreal, Sergio Ramos injured himself to score an acrobatic overhead kick in Real Madrid’s defeat at Sevilla and Inaki Williams scored a sensational volley for Atheltic Bilbao in their win over Espanyol.
So, which was the best?
Take a look at video of all three goals below and let us know which one you think is the top strike. It is incredibly rare to see three goals of this quality on the same day in the same league.
First up, Ramos’ overhead kick which forced him to be subbed out…
Then, Neymar’s wonderful flick and finish…
And Williams’ fine flick and powerful volley brought down the house in the San Mames…