Soccer Wiretap

Lionel Messi Continues To Evade Questions On Barcelona Extension

Nov 24, 2017 3:24 PM

Lionel Messi has continued to avoid questions about his contract with Barcelona. Messi was presented with his fourth Golden Shoe award on Friday.

Marca director Juan Ignacio Gallardo, who introduced the ceremony, confirmed that "it is not the day to talk about [Messi's] contract situation."

Barcelona announced in July that Messi had agreed upon a contract extension but nothing official has been announced.

Messi could begin negotiating with other clubs in January.

Samuel Marsden/ESPN

Tags: Barcelona, Misc Rumor, Transfer Rumor

Eden Hazard: Chelsea Didn't Give Mohamed Salah Enough Of A Chance

Nov 24, 2017 11:44 AM

Eden Hazard said Chelsea didn't give Mohamed Salah enough of a chance to make it with the club.

Salah has emerged this season with Liverpool following his transfer from Roma.

Chelsea bought Salah for £11 million in 2014, outbidding Liverpool.

“He is still my friend and we are still in contact,” said Hazard. “He’s a top, top, top player. He did not get his chance at Chelsea – maybe because of the manager, because of the other players? I don’t know.

“He has quality but in that period I remember we had me, Willian, Oscar, so for him it was not easy. But he’s a top player, for sure, and we know as a team the quality he has. He is a fantastic striker and this season he has scored a lot of goals. It is always good to play against a friend but Liverpool is not only about Salah. They have a lot of quality players.”

Dominic Fifield/The Guardian

Tags: Chelsea, Liverpool

Thibaut Courtois Tables Extension Talks With Chelsea Until Summer

Nov 21, 2017 6:56 PM

Thibaut Courtois and Chelsea have paused contract extension talks until the end of the season. Courtois will be entering the final season of his contract in 18-19.

Courtois is seeking wages closer to the £200,000 a week level that Eden Hazard and David De Gea earn.

Courtois came back to Chelsea from Atletico Madrid in 2014.

Courtois has received interest by Real Madrid and his former girlfriend has returned to Spain with their two children.

“Regarding my contract, that’s something where Chelsea must deal with my agent," said Courtois. "I don’t think there have been any new developments. We have so many games at the moment, and I prefer to focus on the team’s matches, my own performances, and there will be time enough towards the end of the season to have talks.”

Dominic Fifield/The Guardian

Tags: Chelsea, Misc Rumor, Transfer Rumor

Sergi Roberto Intends To Sign Extension With Barcelona

Nov 21, 2017 11:13 AM

Sergi Roberto has no plans to leave Barcelona and hopes to remain with the club for the rest of his career.

Roberto has been linked to Manchester City and Juventus.

"Barca is the club of my life and I want to stay here forever, so it's clear that nobody should worry about my renewal," he told Sport.

"I am at the best club in the world and I was lucky to have moved from the academy to the first team.

"I never stopped working to help the first team and now I am happy to be consolidated, it has not been easy."

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

Sven Mislintat: Fall-Out With Thomas Tuchel Led To Dortmund Exit

Nov 21, 2017 10:30 AM

Sven Mislintat has cited a training ground ban under Thomas Tuchel as the main reason he considered a move away from Borussia Dortmund. Mislintat was hired by Arsenal this week.

Mislintat has now admitted that a row with BVB's former head coach Tuchel over a move for Atletico Madrid midfielder Oliver Torres in January 2016 made him consider other offers, and ultimately led to his decision to leave the club.

"I probably never would have considered thinking about other clubs," Mislintat said. "But the training ground ban, initiated by the club's former coach, as well as the instructions to keep away from the inner circle, from players, from the staff, from many friends with whom I worked so closely throughout the years, all of that influenced my thinking.

"I already had offers in the past years, but I never really considered making changes."

Stephan Uersfeld/ESPN

Tags: Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund

Antoine Griezmann Doesn't Regret Remaining With Atleti

Nov 20, 2017 11:35 PM

Antoine Griezmann says he doesn't regret remaining with Atletico Madrid despite his struggles this season.

Griezmann was close to leaving Atleti for Manchester United in the summer before he decided to remain with the club.

“I don't regret staying at Atleti," said Griezmann. "It was my decision and I'm happy with what I chose to do - even if I have gone seven games without scoring."

Griezmann was asked about the possibility of leaving Atleti in January.

“No. And besides, Diego Costa and Vitolo will both be able to play so we are trying to keep the team's performance levels high and those two reinforcements will do us good. Me leaving? I haven't spoken to the president about that.”

Tags: Atlético Madrid, Manchester United, Misc Rumor, Transfer Rumor

Zlatan Ibrahimovic: Injury Was More Significant Than Reported

Nov 20, 2017 7:27 PM

Zlatan Ibrahimovic says his injury in April was more significant than it was described at the time.

Ibrahimovic returned to action this past weekend for the first time since sustaining the injury.

While the problem was considered grave enough to question whether Ibrahimovic would play again, he stated it was actually more dire than previously known. “If people knew the real injury, they would be in shock that I was even playing. It was more than the knee but I will keep it personal – that’s why I choose not to talk of it,” he said.

“In my recovery I have not rushed anything; I have been out for six and half months. I have been following protocol and my schedule day by day. The only secret has been working hard. Those close to me know what I have been doing. I was working five, six hours a day.

“When it happened I said giving up was not an option. My only focus was on coming back and coming back better. I know it’s my head playing, not my knee; my knee has to follow. With my experience and career I know what I have to do but I feel good. I am very proud of the moment to play again and for everyone around me because I wouldn’t have done it alone. Thanks to the supporters for keeping me motivated, the coach who’s trusted me, the club that believes in me and my family obviously.”

Jamie Jackson/The Guardian

Tags: Manchester United, Injury

Arsenal Hires Sven Mislintat As Head Of Recruitment

Nov 20, 2017 5:51 PM

Arsenal hired Sven Mislintat as their new head of recruitment. 

Mislintat has become one of the most sought-after talent spotters in Europe after helping Dortmund sign the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Shinji Kagawa, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Raphael Guerreiro and Ousmane Dembele in recent years.

"We are delighted that Sven is joining us," Arsene Wenger told the club website. "Identifying and developing talent is a core part of our philosophy and Sven has an outstanding track record over many years. We look forward to him taking our existing recruitment approach forwards.

"We would like to thank Steve Rowley for all his hard work over many years for the club. He has been a key figure in our recruitment of so many top players and has travelled thousands and thousands of miles, watching hundreds of games for us during his time at the club. We wish him well for the future."

Mattias Karen/ESPN

Tags: Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund, Misc Rumor

West Brom Fries Tony Pulis As Manager

Nov 20, 2017 10:25 AM

West Brom has fired Tony Pulis as manager with Gary Megson replacing him on an interim basis.

The club is one place and one point above the relegation zone.

“These decisions are never taken lightly but always in the interests of the club,” said the chairman, John Williams, in a statement on Monday. “We are in a results business and over the back end of last season and this season to date, ours have been very disappointing. We would like to place on record our appreciation of Tony’s contribution and hard work during a period of transition for the club which included a change of ownership. We wish him well in his future endeavours.”

Pulis was hired by West Brom in January of 2015.

The Guardian

Tags: West Bromwich Albion, Misc Rumor

United Intend To Again Pursue Gareth Bale

Nov 18, 2017 10:26 AM

Manchester United again want to sign Gareth Bale from Real Madrid and are not concerned by his injury history.

Bale has missed 40 of Real Madrid's past 60 matches because of injury and has yet to play since late September. Bale is expected to miss another month and a half after suffering a thigh problem last week.

Bale was sold by Tottenham Hotspur to Real Madrid in 2013 for £85 million.

Jose Mourinho previously tried to buy Bale for United.

A deal is more likely to occur in the summer than in January.

Jamie Jackson/The Guardian

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

Barcelona Interested In Antoine Griezmann
While Barcelona is prioritizing their pursuit of Philippe Coutinho, they have interest in Antoine Griezmann.

Samuel Marsden/ESPN

Caleb Porter Steps Down As Timbers' Manager
Caleb Porter has been manager of the Timbers for the past five seasons and helped lead them to the MLS Cup title in 2015.


Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic Return From Injury
Both Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be available for Sunday's match against Newcastle United.

Jamie Jackson/The Guardian

Zlatan Ibrahimovic Wants No. 10 Role When He Returns To United
Zlatan Ibrahimovic suffered a torn ACL last April and Romelu Lukaku has become United's No. 9 this season.


CONCACAF Launching League Of Nations Competition
The matches will be played on FIFA fixture dates in place of many friendlies and will feature all 41 member associations in North America, Central America and the Caribbean.

Jeff Carlisle/ESPN

Sandro Wagner Likely To Be Sold To Bayern
Sandro Wagner made his Bundesliga debut with Bayern in 2007.

Stephan Uersfeld/ESPN

Pots For 2018 World Cup Set, Draw To Take Place Dec. 1st
The 32 countries participating were set this week following a round of playoffs.

Dale Johnson/ESPN

Italy Fires Gian Piero Ventura As Manager
Italy suffered a 1-0 aggregate defeat to Sweden in the World Cup playoffs.

The Guardian

United Won't Sell Marouane Fellaini During January Window
Jose Mourinho will not sanction a sale of Marouane Fellaini during the January window and will risk losing him for free.

Jamie Jackson/The Guardian

Jurgen Klopp Admitted To Hospital
Jurgen Klopp missed Liverpool's training on Wednesday and was admitted to the hospital.

Press Association

USA Interested In Friendlies Against Other Non-World Cup Nations
The United States had qualified for every World Cup since 1990.

Jeff Carlisle/ESPN

Gianluigi Buffon 'Sorry For Italy' Not Himself After Missing World Cup
Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1958.

The Guardian

Sweden Rules Out Zlatan Ibrahimovic Returning For World Cup
Zlatan Ibrahimovic announced his retirement from international play following the European Championship in France.


Arsene Wenger Interested In Managing At 2022 World Cup
Arsene Wenger has interest in moving to international soccer with a chance to manage at the 2022 World Cup.

The Guardian

Julian Draxler Denies Report Of Leaving PSG For Bayern
Julian Draxler joined PSG from Wolfsburg last January, but the club has since added both Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.

Christian Pulisic Questions System Of Developing US Players
Christian Pulisic has played in Europe since he was 16, which he credits for his development.

The Guardian

Ander Herrera Hopes To Remain With United Despite Barca, Atleti Links
United have triggered Ander Herrera's one-year extension that will keep him at the club until 2019.

Rob Dawson/ESPN

Jose Mourinho, United Have Yet To Make Progress On Extension Talks
Jose Mourinho signed a three-year deal with United when he was hired in 2016.

Rob Dawson/ESPN

Morata Focused On Winning Everything At Chelsea, Not Return To Madrid
Alvaro Morata signed a five-year deal with Chelsea.

Adriana Garcia/ESPN

Miguel Almiron Has Top-Selling MLS Jersey For 2017
Miguel Almiron of Atlanta United has the top-selling jersey in Major League Soccer for the 2017 season.

Jeff Carlisle/ESPN