transfer news

Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

Kaka urges Neymar to stay at PSG, lead Champions League push

1 Comment

LONDON (AP) From lifting the World Cup to being named the world’s best player, Kaka ascended the highs Neymar is still chasing.

So after more tumult in Neymar’s career, Kaka has some advice for his fellow Brazilian:

  • Stay at Paris Saint-Germain to lead the pursuit of Champions League glory, and the world player of the year accolades will follow.
  • Keep on maturing and maybe the forward can win a World Cup to avoid being viewed as a failure for Brazil.

“Everybody wants to give some advice or an opinion about his life,” Kaka said in an interview with The Associated Press. “He’s just a 27-year-old guy, a lot of people of the same age make mistakes and improve with that.”

[ MORE: Top Premier League storylines: Week 6 ]

But Kaka’s opinions and advice could be worth listening to, even for Neymar.

After all, Kaka won the game’s top individual honors in 2007 when he was named FIFA world player of the year and collected the Ballon d’Or after winning the Champions League with AC Milan.

Neymar, the world’s most expensive player, is reeling from being jeered on his return to the PSG side last weekend after sitting out the opening four league games of the season as he pushed for a move back to Barcelona during the summer transfer window. He won’t play in the Champions League until the third group-stage game because of a suspension.

“For him I think it’s good to stay there in PSG for now,” Kaka said at the FIFA20 video game launch. “I think it’s good for him, for the club. I think PSG is always trying to build a great team to win a Champions League, so he can be the leader for this project and in my opinion, it’s good. It will be a great year for him.”

When the FIFA player awards are handed out on Monday, though, Neymar will be far from the Milan ceremony. He has never finished higher than third in the vote for the Ballon D’Or, and still lives in the shadow of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

“What I believe that lacks in Neymar to accomplish the world’s best player award is a big team accomplishment,” Kaka said in London. “When he achieves this big team accomplishment, being the leader of this accomplishment — and he has a big chance for it, I am sure of — Neymar will be chosen to be announced as the world’s best player.”

Neymar is starting a third season in Paris after Barcelona could not strike a deal to re-sign the player it sold two year ago for $246 million.

“Maybe at 27, I could have made the same mistakes,” Kaka said. “And so I think this is a great opportunity for him to improve himself and to be better and mature.”

[ MORE: Man City’s David Silva in “likely” Inter Miami move ]

While Neymar has won the French league twice — the minimum expected for a team with lavish Qatari funding — he has not won a European title with the French capital club as he did with Barcelona in the 2015 Champions League final.

Neymar’s only titles with Brazil so far are gold at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics and the Confederations Cup on home soil in 2013. Neymar missed the 7-1 loss to Germany in the 2014 World Cup semifinals through injury and was part of the team knocked out the 2018 quarterfinals by Belgium. He also missed this summer’s Copa America, which Brazil won without him.

Kaka was part of the squad that won the 2002 World Cup, and Brazil hasn’t reached the final since then.

“Always for Brazil we have this pressure,” Kaka said. “Because we have won five World Cups, so everyone thinks about the World Cup. So, if you do a lot of good things for the national team but you don’t win a World Cup, maybe you fail.

“I don’t think it’s fair but it’s like this and this is the situation. And Neymar had an opportunity to play in two World Cups and didn’t win one with Brazil. So, our expectation with him is for him to be the guy for the next World Cup for us. I think it’s hard for him but I think every year he’s more mature, he understands his position in the national team better as well and it’s good.”

Report: Man City’s David Silva in ‘likely’ Inter Miami move

Photo by Matt McNulty - Manchester City/Man City via Getty Images
Leave a comment

Arguably the greatest player in Manchester City history could become the first star player of Inter Miami.

That’s the story coming out of England, where The Independent reports that David Silva will “likely” join Inter Miami CF for its inaugural MLS run in 2020.

It’s well-known that Silva is leaving Man City this summer after one last-go at his first UEFA Champions League title.

[ MORE: Man City bests Shakhtar ]

David Beckham has been recruiting some of the top names in the game, and has been linked with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Silva, 33, checks all the boxes. The Spanish star won two EUROs and a World Cup, and is still playing at a very high level. He has five assists in six matches for City this season.

If healthy, it would be foolish to expect anything but dominance out of Silva, though beware the think pieces out there about how he “might find it tougher than he thinks.” We’re talking about a world beater who posted 10 goals and 14 assists for City last season.

Even at his age, he’d carry one of the top resumes of any player to join Major League Soccer (Beckham, Steven Gerrard, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic would like a word).

He has 71 goals and 134 assists in 402 matches for City, and would eventually line up against fellow City Football Group club NYCFC.

Report: Newcastle United tracking Atlanta United’s Martinez

Photo by John Adams/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
1 Comment

A report out of Newcastle says the Magpies may be returning to Atlanta United’s ranks for a January transfer swoop.

MLS record goal scorer Josef Martinez is the name mentioned as among Newcastle’s targets, though journalist Lee Ryder says there may be trepidation given Miguel Almiron’s failure to find goals at St. James’ Park.

[ MORE: Hex watch sees Canada move closer ]

Martinez, 26, scored twice more Wednesday evening for the Five Stripes, including a sensational solo goal. He has scored in 15-straight league matches and is five goals away from matching his MLS single season record set last season.

Atlanta signed Martinez through the 2023 season. Transfermarkt puts his market value around $11 million, comparing him with players like Jurgen Locadia, Yoshinori Muto, and Manolo Gabbiadini.

Newcastle broke its transfer record to land Almiron last season, then smashed it sign Joelinton from Hoffenheim in August. The Magpies have also splashed cash on Allan Saint-Maximin and there’s a clear focus on upgrading the attack.

Maybe the Magpies would view the move as a bargain which could help Almiron get back to his form of last season, but it seems there would be numerous hurdles to clear before a firm bid would be made for Martinez. If Saint-Maximin or Almiron finds form, would there be room for Martinez running underneath Joelinton? Or maybe we’re wrong and Mike Ashley is ready to spend to provide adequate depth?

Lots of questions here.

Neymar set to make PSG return after being included in squad

FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images
Leave a comment

PARIS (AP) Neymar is set to make his Paris Saint-Germain return after being included in the squad for Saturday’s French league game at home to Strasbourg.

PSG coach Thomas Tuchel said Friday that “he’s available for tomorrow and ready to play.”

Neymar has played for Brazil but not for PSG this season. The 27-year-old forward sat out four league games as he pushed for a move back to Barcelona during the summer transfer window.

PSG and Barcelona – which two years ago sold Neymar for a world record 222 million euros ($246 million) – could not reach an agreement over his transfer following lengthy talks, and Neymar is now starting his third season with the French champion.

“I’m counting on him,” Tuchel said. “It’s necessary that he comes back.”

It could be a tense atmosphere in some sections of the crowd at Parc des Princes on Saturday, however.

Neymar’s public desire to re-join his former club, along with an interview recounting how much he enjoyed playing in Barca’s 6-1 humiliation of PSG in the Champions League in 2017, led to hostile chanting against him by PSG’s ultras in a home game last month.

One banner held aloft during that game urged him to “Get Lost”.

Neymar may also not relish facing Strasbourg again. When the teams met in the French Cup in January, he limped off injured in a physical contest.

Meanwhile, new signing Mauro Icardi could make his debut after joining on a season’s loan from Serie A side Inter Milan, after a difficult last season with the Italian team. The problems began in January in a contract dispute, and he was then stripped of the captaincy.

Tuchel said the Argentina striker lacks match fitness and is not likely to start the game.

“Maybe we can use him tomorrow,” Tuchel said. “But I’m not sure he can play 90 minutes or even 60 minutes.”

PSG forwards Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe are still recovering from minor leg-muscle injuries.

Report: LAFC hot in pursuit of Juventus, Croatia star Mandzukic

Photo by Nicolò Campo/LightRocket via Getty Images
Leave a comment

The rich are (reportedly) about to get much richer.

[ MORE: Chicago Fire announce sale of club, stadium move to Soldier Field ]

Los Angeles FC, the team set to claim the MLS Supporters’ Shield by a record margin in the next few weeks, are in “advanced negotiations” with star Juventus and Croatia forward Mario Mandzukic, according to a report from Sky Sport Italia.

Because, if there is a team that needs to add a veteran of two World Cups and two European Championships with 33 career international goals to his name, it is the team that needs 10 more goals (in five games) to break the league’s single-season goals record. Mandzukic retired from the national team shortly after helping Croatia to final of the 2018 World Cup. He scored three goals during the tournament, including one each in the semifinals and final.

[ MORE: Lionel Messi still out injured, makes cryptic comments about future ]

According to the report, Mandzukic, who Juventus desperately tried to sell during the recently completed transfer window, has received a few gaudy offers from clubs in Qatar, but it would appear that the 33-year-old feels he still has more to give in a more competitive league. Mandzukic’s highly productive career has taken him from NK Zagreb and Dinamo Zagreb in Croatia, to Wolfsburg and Bayern Munich in Germany, to Juventus in Italy.

While Mandzukic has not appeared in either of Juve’s two competitive fixtures this season and they would be happy to move his salary off the books tomorrow, MLS’s secondary transfer window recently closed as well, therefore he wouldn’t be able to join LAFC until preseason 2020.

12 months from now, we might be counting down the goals needed for LAFC to break their own record.