March 2017 - Soccer Wiretap

Thierry Henry Not Ruling Out Becoming Manager Of Arsenal

Mar 27, 2017 1:04 PM

Thierry Henry has refused to rule out the possibility of becoming manager of Arsenal should Arsene Wenger not return.

Wenger's tactics have been called into question in recent months after losing four of their last five league matches and exiting the Champions League round of 16 at the hands of Bayern Munich.

Henry currently serves as assistant coach to Roberto Martinez with the Belgium national team and said that he has no right to replace Wenger just because of what he achieved during his playing career.

"I just try to gather information, a lot of information, to perhaps eventually be a good coach," Henry told Canal Plus. "But it's not an objective. I've never set a goal in my head.

"I would like to be a coach, and I'll do everything to be that, but I don't say to myself that I'll be a coach in two years or that I'll be a coach in a year. I don't know. Now, I'm in a learning phase."

On the prospect of becoming Arsenal boss, Henry added: "Yes, but it's not up to me. There are things you have to respect. When I say I want to coach them ... it's the club of my heart, yes, but that doesn't mean you have a right, that it's due to you.

"I hear [my name linked to replacing Arsene Wenger], but it's difficult for me to talk about that -- once again I come back to the same thing -- I have enormous respect for the coach and what he has done.

"People are going to speak, you can't stop people speaking. I'm preparing myself with the Belgium team. Will I be ready or not ready? I don't know, no-one knows. I have to learn the job."

ESPN

Tags: Arsenal, Belgium, Misc Rumor

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Jermain Defoe Credits Vegan Diet For Longevity

Mar 27, 2017 7:14 PM

Jermain Defoe has credited a recent switch to a vegan diet as being partly behind his continued excellence at the top level.

Defoe made his first England appearance in three and a half years on Sunday.

Defoe has used ice chambers at his own expense and, since Sunderland purchased a cryotherapy unit, at his club. “The way the game has gone, the demands on the players are so high given the intensity of games but, with advances in sports science, if you do things right and look after yourself then you have a chance,” he said. “The key thing for me is recovery, giving yourself the best opportunity to perform in the next game, and I seem to have got that down to a T. There’s a lot of things I do away from training and away from match-day that help me perform, so I’ll just keep doing that.

“I have a better understanding of my body now. When I’m at the club I know what days I need to have a rest day. Everyone knows I do a lot of that cryotherapy stuff. It’s not enjoyable but it’s a matter of trying to do it like you’re loving it. Everyone wants to feel fresh in the game – there’s no better feeling – so I just make sure I’m doing the right things and trying to tick every box: cryotherapy, massage, eating the right things ... I’m trying to turn vegan. That’s a funny one because, when I go to my mum’s, she’s got every kind of meat you can imagine out on the table.

“I think I’ve managed [to adopt veganism] successfully. My girlfriend suggested I gave it a go. Well, she said to me: ‘You’ve got to do it’ and she’s always showing me documentaries on it. It’s always nice to have someone around you who helps you and drives you on and wants you to do well. I don’t find anything hard to give up, as such, because I know the feeling scoring goals gives me. So, while getting in an ice bath isn’t nice, I just think: ‘You know what? I’m going to do this and be rewarded.’ It’s hard but in another way it’s easy because all I want to do is play well and score goals.”

Dominic Fifield/The Guardian

Tags: Sunderland

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Mesut Ozil Doesn't Expect To Be Sold By Arsenal

Mar 27, 2017 7:13 PM

Mesut Ozil has said he does not believe there is any truth to a report that Arsene Wenger is looking to sell him.

Ozil and Arsenal have put their extension talks on hold until after the current season.

When asked about the report, Ozil replied: "And you believe that Wenger would go to journalists before telling me? I know him differently."

On Friday, the former Real Madrid playmaker said he is still "very happy" at Arsenal but "something is not working with the team" at the moment.


Stephan Uersfeld/ESPN

Tags: Arsenal, Misc Rumor, Transfer Rumor

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Real Madrid Paid Double Liverpool's Asking Price For Xabi Alonso

Mar 27, 2017 1:20 PM

Xabi Alonso confessed he could have signed for Arsenal or Juventus when he left Liverpool in 2009 for Real Madrid.

There was a £3 million difference from Liverpool's asking price.

"[Rafa] Benítez was quite open and he showed me his cards clearly. I said to him as well, of course I need to accept this, you are the ones who make the decisions but in the end, nothing happened," said Alonso.

"I was really close to signing for Juventus and I was close to joining Arsenal, but I think Liverpool were asking for 18 million [pounds] and they both offered 15...that's why it didn't happen".

Real Madrid paid €35.4 million for Alonso.

Jaime Candil/As.com

Tags: Liverpool, Real Madrid, Misc Rumor

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Report: United Preparing Massive Offer For Neymar

Mar 27, 2017 1:16 PM

According to a report in Catalonia, Manchester United are preparing a massive offer to sign Neymar.

United is willing to double Neymar's salary with Barcelona to make him the highest paid player in England at €25 million per year. United also have strong interest in signing Antoine Griezmann of Atletico.

Chelsea also have interest in signing Neymar.

As.com

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

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Real Madrid Hope To Sign Alan By 2019

Mar 27, 2017 1:14 PM

Real Madrid have entered the transfer market for Alan Souza Guimaraes, a 17-year-old midfielder for Palmeiras.

Madrid have employed the services of agent Juan Figer to register their interest in Alan.

Real Madrid would like to sign Alan in 2019.

AS.com

Tags: Real Madrid, Misc Rumor, Transfer Rumor

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Ronaldo Earning $95.3M In 16-17 Compared To $76.5M For Messi

Mar 27, 2017 1:13 PM

Cristiano Ronaldo was the best paid soccer player in the world for 16-17, earning $95.3 million compared to $76.5 million for Lionel Messi.

Neymar finished third with $60.3 million, followed by Gareth Bale with $44.6 million.

Jose Mourinho is the best paid manager for 16-17 with $30.4 million.

The figures are based on salary, bonuses and advertising income.

AFP

Tags: Barcelona, Real Madrid

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Netherlands Fires Danny Blind As Manager

Mar 27, 2017 1:08 PM

The Netherlands have fired Danny Blind as manager following their qualifying defeat by Bulgaria.

Blind was manager of the team for just 20 months and 18 matches.

Blind took over the national team from Guus Hiddink in July 2015 but was unable to lead the team to Euro 2016.

Blind said it was “a pity” his stint in charge of the national team had come to such a sorry end.

Blind’s son Daley, the Manchester United defender, paid tribute to his father in a post on Instagram. “Worked at the highest level, a dream for both of us as father and son,” he said. “It was not easy and it has not always been that, but I’m proud of how you’ve always taken responsibility and never gave up!”

Press Association

Tags: Netherlands, Misc Rumor

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Fabinho: Kylian Mbappe Destined For Real Madrid Or Barcelona

Mar 26, 2017 2:58 PM

Kylian Mbappe will move to a club like Real Madrid or Barcelona at some point in his career, according to his Monaco teammate Fabinho.

Mbappe has become one of Europe's top young transfer targets.

"We know that sooner or later he'll go to a club like Real Madrid, Barcelona, or another club of that calibre," Fabinho told Chuteira F.C. "But until then we're going to enjoy him at Monaco.

"Mbappe's tremendous. For an 18-year-old, he has such maturity both on and off the pitch. He's playing a decisive role and scoring lots of goals."


ESPN

Tags: Barcelona, Monaco, Real Madrid, Misc Rumor, Transfer Rumor

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Antoine Griezmann Remains Happy In Madrid

Mar 26, 2017 2:56 PM

Amid interest from Manchester United, Antoine Griezmann has again insisted he is "happy" at Atletico Madrid.

Griezmann is United's top transfer target this summer.

"My future? I only care about what happens on the pitch," Griezmann said.

"I am happy in Madrid. Nothing changes."

ESPN

Tags: Atlético Madrid, Manchester United, Misc Rumor

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Mesut Ozil Remains 'Very Happy' With Arsenal
Mesut Ozil's contract talks with Arsenal are on hold until the summer.

Mattias Karen/ESPN

Andres Iniesta Would Welcome Isco At Barcelona
Andres Iniesta and Denis Suarez would welcome Isco at Barcelona should he decide to be the first player since Luis Enrique in 1996 to leave Real Madrid for their rivals.

Adriana Garcia/ESPN

Arsene Wenger: Luis Suarez Wanted To Join Arsenal In 2013
Liverpool refused to sell Luis Suarez at the time and sold him to Barcelona for £75 million a season later.

Mattias Karen/ESPN

Real Madrid Preparing Summer Pursuit Of Eden Hazard, Thibaut Courtois
Real Madrid believes Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo can co-exist with Eden Hazard.

Sid Lowe/The Guardian

Landon Donovan Returning To Retirement
Landon Donovan declined an offer to play for Real Salt Lake in January.

ESPN

Bayern Becomes First Club With Office In Mainland China
Bayern plans to open a second soccer school in China later in the year, after the first one in the northeastern port city of Qingdao began operating earlier in 2017.

Bloomberg

Diego Simeone: I Had 35 Million Reasons To Leave Atleti
Following Atletico Madrid's loss in the Champions League Final to Real Madrid, Diego Simeone said he wanted to reflect on his future with the club.

Marco Ruiz/AS.com

Cologne Reject €50M Bid From China For Anthony Modeste
Anthony Modeste's contract runs until 2021.

AFP

Juan Carlos Unzue 'Very Enthusiastic' About Possibly Managing Barca
Juan Carlos Unzue became Enrique's No. 2 at Celta Vigo in 2013 and has limited experience as a first-team manager.

ESPN

Antoine Griezmann Could Leave Atleti This Summer
Manchester United are prepared to pay Antoine Griezmann's €100 million buyout clause.

Adriana Garcia/ESPN

Chelsea, Real Madrid To Compete For Alex Sandro Of Juventus
Juventus has said Alex Sandro will not leave for less than €45 million.

Ignacio Camacho/As.com

Real Madrid Interested In Theo Hernandez
Real Madrid would like to strengthen their depth at left-back.

As.com

Marco Verratti Interested In Leaving PSG For A 'Top European Club'
Marco Verratti's agent rated his chances of remaining with Paris Saint Germain next season as "very complicated."

AFP

Thiago Uninterested In Barcelona Return, Wants To Extend With Bayern
Barcelona sold Thiago to Bayern in 2013.

Ignacio Camacho/As.com

Barcelona Wants Isco On Free Transfer In 2018 With €20M Sweetner
Barcelona is offering €20 million to Isco to let his contract with Real Madrid run down to join their club in 2018 when his contract is up.

As.com

Arsenal Put Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil Extension Talks On Hold
Arsene Wenger said no further talks would take place before the end of the season.

Mattias Karen/ESPN

Diego Simeone Promises To Never Manage Real Madrid
Diego Simeone revealed that his dream is to manage the Argentina national team before retiring.

ESPN

Radja Nainggolan Doesn't Want To Leave Roma
Radja Nainggolan has become one of the most sought after players in Europe.

The Guardian

Thibaut Courtois Prefers Extension With Chelsea Over Real Madrid Move
Thibaut Courtois has dismissed speculation he could join Real Madrid in the summer.

The Guardian

Bastian Schweinsteiger Signs $4.5M Deal With Chicago Fire
Bastian Schweinsteiger has signed a designated player contract that will give pay him $4.5 million in 2017.

ESPN