December 2015 - Soccer Wiretap

Pellegrini Dismisses City Links To Isco, Calls Squad 'Complete'

Dec 31, 2015 11:31 AM

Manchester City has been linked to a January transfer for Isco.

Manuel Pellegrini said City already has a "complete squad."

Isco played for Pellegrini with Malaga.

"I don't talk about rumors," Pellegrini said in a news conference. "I am telling you what I am thinking about for our squad in this moment."

Pellegrini has appeared to rule out any major moves.

"Really I think the squad is complete. As always, I said that we are not going to close the window [now] but we are not really thinking of any special players to bring in."

Richard Jolly/ESPN

Tags: Manchester City, Real Madrid, Misc Rumor, Transfer Rumor

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Cristiano Ronaldo Credits Arrogance For Part Of His Success

Dec 31, 2015 11:29 AM

Cristiano Ronaldo credits his supreme confidence for part of the reason why he's so successful.

"There are people who hate me, who say I'm vain, or arrogant, or this or that," Ronaldo said in an interview to be published in Sunday's El Mundo newspaper in Spain. "That's part of my success. I was born to be the best. That's the way I am, and if all my achievements in football are down to that, then I wouldn't change a thing. I go to bed every night with a clear conscience and sleep perfectly well."

Ronaldo will turn 31 in February and has shown some signs of slowing down.

"You can't live obsessing about what other people think about you, if you did, you wouldn't live. Not even God can please everyone," Ronaldo said in the interview.

ESPN

Tags: Real Madrid

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Wenger Promises 'Busy' January Window For Arsenal

Dec 30, 2015 11:12 AM

Arsene Wenger is promising a "busy" January transfer window after failing to sign a single outfield player in the summer.

Arsenal has suffered a run of injuries this season, particularly in central midfield.

"I will be busy that is for sure. I have already said we are short."

Francis Coquelin, Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere all sidelined.

ESPN

Tags: Arsenal, Misc Rumor, Transfer Rumor

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Vincent Kompany Out Another 3-4 Weeks With Calf Injury

Dec 29, 2015 11:07 PM

Manchester City will be without Vincent Kompany for another 3-4 weeks with a calf injury.

Kompany returned on Boxing Day after a month out with a calf injury but only lasted nine minutes before re-aggravating his muscle.

"Vincent has an injury, a second degree tear of the calf. It is the same calf but a different part," said Manuel Pellegrini. "We will see how long he will be out, but I don't think it will be less than three to four weeks.

"I am not a doctor, but with a muscle injury, it will be very difficult for him to be back in less than four weeks. But without him, we must continue to defend as did tonight."


ESPN

Tags: Manchester City, Injury

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Rafa Benitez Believes There's Campaign Against Him

Dec 29, 2015 11:05 PM

Rafa Benitez believes there is a campaign against him, Florentino Perez and Real Madrid.

“There is a campaign against [the president] Florentino [Pérez], Real Madrid and me,” said Benítez. “Everything is criticised that can be and where not it is manipulated which anyone can see. This is particularly clear if you look at the situation from the outside.”

Real Madrid have struggled against stronger sides this season, including a 4-0 loss to Barcelona in November.

But the club remains just two points behind Barcelona and Atletico.

“Everything is being magnified and I have a lot of experience coaching so I know to be distracted as little as possible,” Benítez said. “I have 24 players in the squad but when I leave out one player then it is made out that it is something personal and a load of speculation is built up. The team is a lot better than people think.

“My relationship with the players is infinitely better than what you read in the press. There is a communications department that keeps me informed. The team is doing some things well and others not so much.”

 

Reuters

Tags: Real Madrid, Misc Rumor

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Barcelona Interested In January Move For Denis Suarez

Dec 29, 2015 12:33 PM

Luis Enrique has hinted at the possibility of Barcelona acquiring Denis Suarez of Villarreal during the January transfer window.

Barcelona have been linked with moves in the January transfer market with Celta Vigo's former Barca-B attacker Nolito a long-time target of Enrique, although reports have claimed that the club cannot currently afford his €19 million release clause.

Enrique told his pregame news conference ahead of Wednesday's game against Real Betis that the under-21 playmaker Suarez had impressed him, saying: "[Suarez] has been doing well. At Sevilla [on loan last season] he did not get playing time, and at Villarreal he is doing very well. He could be an interesting player."

Dermot Corrigan/ESPN

Tags: Barcelona, Villarreal, Misc Rumor, Transfer Rumor

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Sergio Aguero Doubts City Can Acquire Lionel Messi

Dec 29, 2015 12:30 PM

Sergio Aguero doubts Lionel Messi will leave Barcelona for Manchester City.

Aguero and Messi are close friends and Argentina teammates.

Messi has often been linked to a move to Manchester City.

City goalkeeper Willy Caballero said last week that bringing his fellow Argentine to the club was "possible."

"It's very difficult for Leo to leave Barcelona, because he's played there since he was very young and it's not easy for him to think about another team," Aguergo said.

"So no... hopefully he can be here at City obviously, but of course it's always the player's decision and I think he's very comfortable and very calm in Barcelona."

Richard Jolly/ESPN

Tags: Barcelona, Manchester City, Misc Rumor, Transfer Rumor

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Louis Van Gaal Defiant Following Chelsea Tie

Dec 28, 2015 5:12 PM

Louis van Gaal was defiant following another winless match by Manchester United.

United drew Chelsea 0-0 at Old Trafford with the job of Van Gaal reportedly hanging in the balance.

Van Gaal claimed his comments following United's 2-0 loss to Stoke City two days prior were taken out of context when he mentioned possibly stepping down.

Van Gaal said: “I think I didn’t say that. I have said that a club can sack you but that a manager can also resign by himself. When a colleague of you then writes it in another context, no, I have given you in a press conference a [comment] that it is not only part of the decision, also the manager can take that decision.

“I have said also in all my press conferences, they are asking all the time: ‘Are you concerned that maybe they sack you?’ Of course I am concerned but I am more concerned to prepare my players.

“Then I read things in the press. They are lies, not based on facts. They are the reasons I walk away in a press conference and not angrily. No, I walk with quietness because I want to make my point.

“For me, it [his future] is not an interesting subject because I cannot have any influence on that, I can only work with my players and you can see they are fighting for me. Even after this result the fans were applauding so I cannot say I’m very much concerned. In this football world you never know but I’m fully confident in the board and my players.

“Will I resign? On the contrary. When the players can give such a performance with a lot of pressure, there is not any reason to resign for me. Maybe the media wants me to but I shall not resign. It’s not a question of staying. It’s a question of fulfilling my contract.”

Jamie Jackson/The Guardian

Tags: Manchester United, Misc Rumor

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Andrea Pirlo Rules Out Loan Return To Serie A

Dec 28, 2015 11:16 AM

Andrea Pirlo has ruled out returning to Serie A for a loan this winter.

Antonio Conte had suggested Pirlo's odds of making Italy's Euro 2016 roster would be improved if he played in Serie A.

Pirlo has vowed to see out his 18-month contract with New York City FC.

"I want to finish my contract in America," he said in Gazzetta dello Sport at the Globe Soccer Awards in Dubai, where he was given the Player Career Award along with teammate Frank Lampard. "New York City are an ambitious club and I didn't go to America for a holiday, but for a winning experience. Our aim is always to go out there on the field to win.

"I'm not bothered by the transfer rumours -- I'm used to them. Lots of clubs have enquired about me, but I have a contract with New York City and I want to respect it.

"They have shown a lot of faith in me and, from January, we want to start preparation for the new season all together with a new coach [Patrick Vieira], doing things well to realise important ambitions."

Ben Gladwell/ESPN

Tags: New York City FC, Loan, Misc Rumor

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Louis Van Gaal Likely Done With United If Club Loses To Chelsea

Dec 28, 2015 12:24 AM

A defeat by Manchester United at home against Chelsea on Monday would likely result in the departure of Louis van Gaal.

United lost to Stoke City on Boxing Day, their fourth straight defeat and seventh match without a win.

It is believed Ed Woodward and Van Gaal held talks over the weekend.

Despite the dire recent results he denied his oft-mentioned “philosophy” is not working at United.

“There has been progression,” he said. “A month ago we were first in the Premier League, maybe you remember that? But we lost important games and now we have to come back, in more difficult situations than last season. We were there and we have fallen back. And that’s different. Everybody is judging differently, and that is what’s happening now, and you have to cope with it.”

Jamie Jackson/The Guardian

Tags: Manchester United, Misc Rumor

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Arsenal Hope To Sign Basel's Mohamed Elneny In January
Arsenal are confident they can agree a fee in the region of 7 million for Mohamed Elneny.

Peter O'Rourke/ESPN

Neymar Optimistic On Barcelona Extension But Doesn't Rule Out Exit
Neymar was linked to Manchester United during the summer transfer window, while Real Madrid and Manchester City also have interest.

ESPN

Louis Van Gaal Suggests He May Step Down As United Manager
United have now lost four straight matches in all competitions.

ESPN

Steven Gerrard Won't Join Liverpool On Loan
Steven Gerrard has trained with Liverpool during the MLS offseason.

FourFourTwo

Figo: Zidane's Goal Is To Manage Real Madrid Someday
Zinedine Zidane and Luis Figo were teammates during the original Galacticos era.

ESPN

Wayne Rooney: United Players 'Fighting' For Louis Van Gaal
United have not won since they beat Watford on 21 November to go top of the Premier League.

Press Association

Jurgen Klopp Prefers Not To Do Business During January Window
Jurgen Klopp is not particularly fond of doing business during the January transfer window but circumstances may make it necessary.

Melissa Reddy/Goal.com

Report: Pep Guardiola To Earn $27.4M Per Season With City
According to Blid in Germany, Manchester City have reached agreement with Pep Guardiola on a contract that will make him the richest coach in history in any sport.

Bild

Messi, Ronaldo, Neymar, Suarez Headline Guardian's Top 100
Barcelona had 12 players in total compared to 11 for Real Madrid, but Bayern Munich had the most with 13.

The Guardian

Germany Wants American Players To Improve TV Reach In Country
The quality of play in the Bundesliga is incredibly high but isn't as popular globally due to the dominance of Bayern Munich and they haven't invested internationally as much as other leagues.

Terrance F. Ross/The Guardian

Cesc Fabregas: We Can Make Chelsea Great Again
Cesc Fabregas issued a statement in regards to reports from Pat Nevin suggested he said he would rather lose than play for Jose Mourinho.

RealGM Staff Report

Pellegrini Doesn't Believe Guardiola Talk Impacts City Players
Manuel Pellegrini has seemed reticent of the likelihood Pep Guardiola ends up with City to begin the 16-17 season.

Paul Wilson/The Guardian

Mendes: Jose Mourinho Doesn't Have Provisional Deal With United
United have been made aware, however, that Jose Mourinho has interest in the job.

Daniel Taylor/The Guardian

Louis Van Gaal Storms Out Of Press Conference
Louis Van Gaal claimed he only appeared at the press conference to not break Premier League rules.

Joe Prince-Wright/ProSoccerTalk

Louis Van Gaal To Address Media As Normal Before Next Match
Louis Van Gaal's job is in danger after their poor run of form and the recent availability of Jose Mourinho.

Press Association

Galaxy Sell Omar Gonzalez To Pachuca
Omar Gonzalez had the highest salary of any defender in the MLS at $1.45 million.

ESPN

Mesut Ozil: My Decision To Leave Madrid For Arsenal Was Right One
Mesut Ozil is in no rush to sign an extension with Arsenal but he insists he's happy with the club.

FourTwoTwo

Wesley Sneijder Would Be Mourinho's First Target At United
Jose Mourinho and Wesley Sneijder won the treble together in 2010 with Inter Milan.

The Sun

Arsenal Given 65 Percent Odds Of Winning EPL Title
While Arsenal has a 65 percent chance of winning the EPL, City is at 25 percent, followed by Leicester, Spurs and United with three percent apiece.

Michael Caley/SB Nation

Mesut Ozil Credits Form To More Sleep, Better Diet
Mesut Ozil has spoken about his successful year, saying that he has looked after "the small details", such as having more sleep and more physiotherapy.

Marcus Christenson/The Guardian