Soccer Wiretap

Amazon, Facebook Expected To Bid For Premier League Streaming Rights

Sep 21, 2017 10:04 PM

Ed Woodward said it is likely Amazon and Facebook will bid for streaming rights to the Premier League.

In his quarterly call with bank executives who invest in United’s shares on the New York stock exchange, Woodward said the pair were very interested in the last round of rights deals for 2016-19, which the Premier League sold primarily to BSkyB and BT for £8.4 billion.

Last month Amazon outbid Sky, paying a reported £10 million a year, for the UK rights to the ATP tennis tour, its first major live sport acquisition outside the United States.

"Absolutely, I think they will enter the mix; anecdotally, there was incredibly strong interest in the last cycle," said Woodward. "We are hearing that around the Premier League table and we are also hearing that from a European perspective in terms of interest in the Champions League and Europa rights. I do think we are going to see an increasing engagement from these and we would welcome the interest.”

David Conn/The Guardian

Tags: Manchester United

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Atleti Agrees To Buy Diego Costa From Chelsea For Club Record $78.7M

Sep 21, 2017 1:06 PM

Chelsea has agreed to sell Diego Costa to Atletico Madrid for $78.7 million.

Costa will sign a contract through June 2021 and will be Atletico's most expensive signing, with El Mundo reporting Atletico will pay €55 million (£48.5m), plus €10 million (£8.8 million) in variables, surpassing the €40 million they paid Porto for Radamel Falcao in the summer of 2011.

The total fee is around £58 million, which is the same price Chelsea paid Real Madrid for Alvaro Morata.

Atletico can officially register Costa on Jan. 1 when their transfer ban is lifted.

Liam Twomey/ESPN

Tags: Atlético Madrid, Chelsea, Misc Rumor, Transfer Rumor

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Jurgen Klopp: No Reason For Liverpool To Panic

Sep 21, 2017 10:07 PM

Jurgen Klopp says he's not "in panic" after a poor run of results for Liverpool.

Liverpool haven't won in their past four matches.

"You really think there would be one percent of a reason that I would panic?" Klopp said.

"It's football. We have eight points. In four games we were the clear better side but we didn't get the results.

"Now we could panic because of not getting the results or we say 'It's still not good enough playing football.' Do you think any team in the world loves playing against us in this moment?

"Or hope like Burnley that they only have to go for set-pieces and you get whatever you want and you can concede 35 shots on target or whatever and it's clear you will be lucky? It's not like this.

"It's always the same, 'playing good football you have no results,' 'the same defending problems like 500 years ago.' You can talk about this but I cannot think like this.

"I'm not in panic. I don't think that is the main message at the moment, not to get in panic because I cannot imagine that anybody thinks about this."

ESPN

Tags: Liverpool

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Wenger Denies Trying To Make Example Out Of Alexis Sanchez

Sep 21, 2017 1:32 PM

Arsene Wenger insists he hasn't been attempting to make a point to Alexis Sanchez with his selections.

Sanchez tried to force a move to Manchester City this summer.

Wenger has since used Sanchez as a starter in the Europa League and Carabao Cup but only as a substitute in the Premier League.

“Alexis is not distracted, not at all – I think that is coming to very quick conclusions," Wenger said. “He has been out and injured. I thought he was still a bit short physically on Sunday [at Chelsea] and I played him against Doncaster to give him more competition. Is he happy at the club? That is the impression I have, yes.

“There is no disguised attitude on my side [over the selection policy]. I just try to get him back to full fitness and for me the Europa League and the League Cup is important, as well.

“I just try to give him competition and to get him back to his best because I gave him a long holiday. He came back not really fit and it took us time to get him back and then he got injured. If you add the injury plus the rest time it was a bit long but against Doncaster, you could see that he is coming back sharp now. I left him on the pitch, as well, for 90 minutes because I wanted him to have a real go.”

David Hytner/The Guardian

Tags: Arsenal

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Arsenal Draws Smallest Crowd Since Opening Emirates Stadium

Sep 20, 2017 8:24 PM

Arsenal defeated Doncaster by a final score of 1-0 in the Carabao Cup in what was the lowest recorded crowd since Emirates Stadium opened. 

Arsenal drew just 44,064 fans for the match.

Theo Walcott scored in the 25th minute to give Arsenal the only goal they needed.

Amy Lawrence/The Guardian

Tags: Arsenal

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Chelsea Again Under FIFA Investigation For Signing Youth Players

Sep 20, 2017 12:28 PM

Chelsea is under investigation by FIFA for a third time in eight years over the signing of foreign players under the age of 18.

Chelsea have said they comply with “all FIFA statutes and regulations when recruiting players” but the world governing body has been alerted to alleged impropriety and says it is looking into it.

“We can confirm that an investigation is ongoing,” Fifa said in a statement. “We cannot provide any details concerning the matters under investigation.”

Atletico Madrid are currently under a transfer ban for signing youth players while Real Madrid recently had a ban as well.

David Hytner/The Guardian

Tags: Chelsea, Legal

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Karim Benzema Signs Extension With Real Madrid Through 2021

Sep 20, 2017 10:53 AM

Karim Benzema has agreed upon a contract extension with Real Madrid through 2021.

Benzema joined Madrid from Lyon for €35 million in 2009 and has won 14 trophies at the Bernabeu.

Benzema's deal was set to expire in 2019. Benzema will now remain with Real Madrid past his 33rd birthday.

Benzema's net salary has been increased to more than €7.5 million a year and that the new arrangement includes a release clause of €1 billion.

Dermot Corrigan/ESPN

Tags: Real Madrid, Misc Rumor, Signing

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Rashford, Mbappe, Pulisic Headline Golden Boy Award Nominees

Sep 19, 2017 12:08 PM

Marcus Rashford, Kylian Mbappé, Christian Pulisic and Ousmane Dembélé are among the 25 contenders to win the 2017 Golden Boy award.

The award goes to Europe's most impressive player under the age of 21.

Rashford finished second last season to Renato Sanches. 

Aarón Martin Espanyol; Jean-Kévin Augustin RB Leipzig; Rodrigo Bentacur Juventus; Steven Bergwijn PSV Eindhoven; Dominic Calvert-Lewin Everton; Federico Chiesa Fiorentina; Ousmane Dembélé Barcelona; Amadou Diawara Napoli; Kasper Dolberg Ajax; Gianluigi Donnarumma Milan; Gabriel Jesus Manchester City; Joe Gomez Liverpool; Benjamin Henrichs Bayer Leverkusen; Borja Mayoral Real Madrid; Kylian Mbappé Paris Saint-Germain; Emre Mor Celta Vigo; Reece Oxford Borussia Mönchengladbach; Christian Pulisic Borussia Dortmund; Marcus Rashford Manchester United; Allan Saint-Maximim Nice; Dominic Solanke Liverpool; Theo Hernández Real Madrid; Youri Tielemans Monaco; Enes Unal Villarreal; Kyle Walker-Peters Tottenham.

Ed Aarons/The Guardian

Tags: Borussia Dortmund, Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain, Personal Award

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Ousmane Dembele Out Four Months With Hamstring Surgery

Sep 18, 2017 11:12 AM

Ousmane Dembele has travelled to Finland for surgery on the ruptured tendon in his hamstring that will force him to miss four months.

Barcelona bought Dembele from Dortmund for an initial €105 million.

Dembele was making only his third appearance for Barca, and his first La Liga start, when he pulled up after 25 minutes of Saturday's 2-1 win over Getafe.

Samuel Marsden/ESPN

Tags: Barcelona, Injury

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Philippe Coutinho: Everyone Knows I Got Interested In Barcelona

Sep 18, 2017 11:04 AM

Philippe Coutinho has claimed he has no agreement to join Barcelona next summer.

Coutinho was given a positive reception from the Liverpool crowd when he made his first appearance at Anfield since he nearly left the club for Barcelona.

Liverpool refused to even consider selling Coutinho despite an offer of £119 million.

“What happened was a job offer and, in life, sometimes you get interested; sometimes you don’t and, in my case, everyone knows that I got interested, my family too,” said Coutinho.

“As I have always said, it is great to receive an offer from such a great club like that. But it is also a great honour being here. Liverpool is a great club worldwide. I’m here and I will give my best as always.

“It was a complicated month for me but as I have said, it is an honour to receive that offer but it is also an honour to wear this shirt, so what I can do is work hard and honour that on the field. It is all cool. I’m working hard, my thoughts are on the team’s goals, making a good season, with the national team too, doing my best to get there.”

Andy Hunter/The Guardian

Tags: Barcelona, Liverpool, Misc Rumor, Transfer Rumor

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Robert Lewandowski Continues To Seek Transfer To Real Madrid
The board of Real Madrid have not sanctioned the purchases of players over 30 and are not interested in Robert Lewandowski.

Guillem Balagué/As.com

Ousmane Dembele Could Miss Some Time With Hamstring Injury
Ousmane Dembele fell to the ground clutching his hamstring after sprinting for the ball after the 20-minute mark of Saturday's match.

Samuel Marsden/ESPN

Billy Beane Part Of Group To Purchase Barnsley
Barnsley last played in the Premier League two decades ago, in the 1997-98 season.

Murad Ahmed, Arash Massoudi/Financial Times

Karim Benzema Expects To Remain With Real Madrid
Karim Benzema expects to remain with Real Madrid for as long as he's regularly in their starting XI.

As.com

Bartomeu: Lionel Messi's Father Signed Contract Renewal For Him
Barcelona announced in July that Lionel Messi had agreed upon a four-year extension.

PA Sport

United Unsure On Severity Of Paul Pogba's Hamstring Injury
Paul Pogba could be out through the Liverpool match on Oct. 14th, according to sources.

Rob Dawson/ESPN

Isco Signs Extension With Real Madrid Through 2022
Isco reportedly has a €700 million release clause in his new deal with Real Madrid.

ESPN

Carlo Ancelotti Interested In Premier League Return
Carlo Ancelotti replaced Pep Guardiola at Bayern in 2016.

Mark Ogden/ESPN

Jose Mourinho: United Returns To 'Natural Habitat' In Champions League
Jose Mourinho said Manchester United will be back in their "natural habitat" with their first Champions League match in 644 days.

Louise Taylor/The Guardian

Marco Asensio Has No Intention Of Leaving Real Madrid
Marco Asensio has an €80 million release clause in his contract with Real Madrid.

Dermot Corrigan/ESPN

Thomas Muller Considered United In 2015, Open To Bayern Exit
Thomas Muller was the subject of a €100 million bid in 2015 when Louis van Gaal was manager of United.

Mark Lovell/ESPN

Crystal Palace Fires Frank De Boer, Hires Roy Hodgson
Roy Hodgson hasn't managed since he stepped down of his post with England after Euro 2016.

Dominic Fifield/The Guardian

Arsene Wenger Explains Why He Turned Down United Offer In 2001
Arsene Wenger says Manchester United pursued him in 2001 but he decided he preferred the culture of Arsenal.

Nick Ames/The Guardian

Arsenal's Chief Transfer Negotiator Leaves Club
Dick Law has been in charge of Arsenal's transfers for eight years and previously worked as a scout in South America.

Mattias Karen/ESPN

Real Madrid Interested In Timo Werner
Timo Werner is a 21-year-old striker who scored 21 goals in 31 matches last season.

As.com

Philippe Coutinho Left Out Liverpool's Lineup At City
Philippe Coutinho was the subject of transfer speculation throughout the summer as he sought a transfer to Barcelona.

The Guardian

La Liga Considering Hosting Matches Abroad
The United States and China are potential destinations for the matches.

Niall McVeigh/The Guardian

Spurs Unveil Plans For Stadium With Retractable Pitch
The grass pitch will give way for a synthetic pitch underneath for NFL games, music concerts and other events.

ESPN

Messi, Aguero, Sanchez, Others Could Miss Club Match Due To Playoff
Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and Alexis Sanchez are amongst a group of players that could miss a match with their club team due to a World Cup playoff in November.

ESPN

Liverpool Preparing Long-Term Extension Offer To Ben Woodburn
Ben Woodburn played a starring role for Wales during the international break.

Andy Hunter/The Guardian