Soccer Wiretap

MLS, MLSPA Close To Agreement On CBA Deal To Avoid Lockout

Jun 2, 2020 1:46 PM

Major League Soccer and the MLS Players Association appear to be heading toward an agreement on economic concessions for 2020.

The deal will help MLS gain some economic relief from the damage suffered during the coronavirus pandemic, which prompted the league to shut down on March 12.

The deal will also pave the way for MLS teams to take part in a tournament in Orlando that will mark the league's return to play.

The MLS backed down from having a force majeure clause tied to attendance and instead opted for a proposal from the MLSPA that used a more industry-standard approach patterned after the NBA.

Sources tell ESPN that the two sides are expected to find a middle ground on the issues of salary cuts and revenue sharing of broadcast rights. The latest offer from MLS was for an 8.75% pay cut, while the MLSPA had offered 7.5%.

Jeff Carlisle/ESPN

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PSG Interested In U.S. Right-Back Sergino Dest

Jun 2, 2020 10:54 AM

Paris Saint-Germain have interest in signing Sergino Dest of Ajax.

The right-back from the United States could command a €20 million fee.

Barcelona and Bayern Munich also have interest in Dest.

Dest has made 36 appearances in all competitions for Ajax this season, scoring two goals. He also received Ajax's Talent of the Year of the award last month, which is given annually to the club's best young player.

PSG has interest in a right-back after deciding not to extend the contract of Thomas Meunier. 

Julien Laurens/ESPN

Tags: Ajax, Paris Saint-Germain, Misc Rumor, Transfer Rumor

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Olivier Giroud Signed Chelsea Extension Due To Pandemic

Jun 2, 2020 10:51 AM

Olivier Giroud signed an extension with Chelsea due the uncertainty on the market because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Giroud almost left the club in January and was still expected to leave in the summer with Inter Milan mentioned as a possibility. 

"I simply seized my opportunity and I repaid the faith that the manager had shown in me," he told the club's website. "That's why the club ultimately offered me the chance to continue my time at Chelsea and I accepted immediately because I like it here. I want to keep winning trophies and I want to continue to show the manager that he can count on me.

"Plus, with the whole coronavirus lockdown situation, I didn't really feel comfortable with the idea of moving abroad and uprooting my family. I think a lot about our quality of life and we have a great setup here. I think a lot about my family now."

James Olley/ESPN

Tags: Chelsea, Misc Rumor

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Lionel Messi's Exit Clause With Barcelona Expires

Jun 1, 2020 4:43 PM

The exit clause of Lionel Messi has expired and he will remain with Barcelona for at least another 12 months.

Messi signed terms that run until the end of the 2020-21 campaign in 2017. At the time, a clause was included that he could leave for nothing in summer 2020 as long as he communicated his decision to Barcelona before June.

The actual deadline was May 30th, which coincided with when the Champions League final was set to take place in Istanbul.

El Pais first revealed the details of Messi's contract situation last September and they were later confirmed by teammate Gerard Pique, who said Messi has "earned the right to be able to choose what he does with his future after everything he's given the club."

Moises Llorens, Sam Marsden/ESPN

Tags: Barcelona, Misc Rumor, Transfer Rumor

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Philippe Coutinho Seeks Return To Premier League

Jun 1, 2020 1:02 PM

Philippe Coutinho wants to return to the Premier League, according to his agent.

Kia Joorabchian has said he would also be willing to stay at Bayern Munich.

Bayern can sign Coutinho permanently in the summer for €120 million but sources have told ESPN they will not take up that option.

"It's up to Bayern Munich whether or not they want to extend the loan," Joorabchian added. "It's purely Bayern's decision, we have a will to stay, and we will see about next season when we get back to this 'new normal.' We've had some conversations with Bayern about next season [already]."

Sam Marsden/ESPN

Tags: Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Misc Rumor, Transfer Rumor

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Chelsea To Join Liverpool, United In Pursuit Of Timo Werner

Jun 1, 2020 12:40 PM

Chelsea are considering a pursuit of Timo Werner of RB Leipzig if he signals he's willing to join their club.

Chelsea would like to buy a striker this summer and have identified Moussa Dembele as their preferred target. Lyon was seeking an £80 million fee for Dembele in January. That asking price is certain to be lower now, in part as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

By contrast, Werner's valuation is simple due to his £49m release clause. Liverpool and Manchester United have also expressed an interest in Werner, whose preference is a move to Anfield.

James Olley/ESPN

Tags: Chelsea, RB Leipzig, Liverpool, Manchester United, Misc Rumor, Transfer Rumor

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Liverpool Players Kneel At Anfield In Tribute To George Floyd

Jun 1, 2020 11:10 AM

Liverpool players knelt at Anfield in a tribute to George Floyd and the image was shared on social media.

The kneeling was similar to a gesture made by former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who in 2016 began kneeling during the U.S. national anthem to protest police brutality.

ESPN

Tags: Liverpool

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PSG Permanently Sign Mauro Icardi For $55.6 Million

May 31, 2020 9:43 PM

PSG have permanently signed Mauro Icardi, who was previously on a loan from Inter.

The transfer fee is believed to be around $55.6 million. Inter reportedly lowered their initial transfer valuation on Icardi due to the current pandemic.

Icardi signed a four-year deal with PSG.

The 27-year-old striker has scored 20 goals this season for PSG.

ESPN

Tags: Internazionale, Paris Saint-Germain, Official Transfer

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Lionel Messi: Football, Life Will Never Be The Same Following Pandemic

May 31, 2020 9:38 PM

Lionel Messi said that he believes that both life and football will forever be changed by the pandemic.

"I don't think football will ever be the same. But beyond football, I don't think life, in general, will ever be the same, either.

"All of us that have experienced this situation will remember what happened in one way or another. In my case, it's with a feeling of sorrow and frustration for those that have suffered the most due to the loss of loved ones," said Messi in an interview.

Messi also spoke of the strangeness upon returning to training amid the pandemic.

The La Liga season is set to return on June 11th.

"I am sure that football and sport, in general, will be affected. Financially, because there are companies linked with the world of sport that will maybe experience some difficulties because of the coronavirus.

"But also professionally, because with the return to training and competing, what was normal before now is going to be different. It will be a strange situation for us as athletes but also for anyone that has to change their usual work dynamic."

ESPN

Tags: Barcelona, Suspension

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Zero Premier League Players, Staff Test Positive For COVID-19

May 31, 2020 7:18 PM

A widespread test of Premier League players and staff returned zero positive tests for COVID-19.

"The Premier League can today confirm that on Thursday 28 May and Friday 29 May, 1,130 players and club staff were tested for COVID-19. Of these, zero have tested positive," said the league in a statement.

12 players have tested positive in the previous three rounds combined.

The testing revealed 10 positive results from Championship clubs.

The Premier League is currently set to restart on June 17th. 

ESPNFC

Tags: Brighton & Hove Albion, Arsenal, Aston Villa, Bournemouth, Burnley, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Everton, Leicester City, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Newcastle United, Norwich City, Sheffield United, Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur, Watford, West Ham United, Wolverhampton Wanderers, IQ

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Joachim Low: Bundesliga Is 'The Leader In Europe'

Marca

Liverpool's Title-Winning Match Could Be Moved To Neutral Ground

James Olley/ESPN

Liverpool Still Hope To Sign Timo Werner From RB Leipzig

Fabrizio Romano/The Guardian

Brendan Rodgers Reveals He Survived COVID-19

Paul Doyle/The Guardian

La Liga To Resume Matches On June 11th

Alex Kirkland/ESPN

Barcelona To Cut Scouting Staff By 50 Percent

Moises Llorens, Sam Marsden/ESPN

Premier League Will Return On June 17th With City/Arsenal

James Olley/ESPN

Banc Of California Pays $20.1M To End Stadium Sponsorship With LAFC

Eben Novy-Williams

Premier League Clubs Agree To Resume Contact Training

James Olley/ESPN

MLS Shortening Time Frame For Return-To-Play Tournament

Jeff Carlisle/ESPN

Jose Mourinho Predicts Fewer 'Crazy' Transfers Due To COVID-19

PA Media

Arsenal Delays Contract Decision On David Luiz

James Olley/ESPN

Bayern Goes Up Seven Points With 1-0 Win Over Dortmund

RealGM Staff Report

Zlatan Ibrahimovic Suffers Calf Injury, Escapes Achilles Tear

Sky Sports

Barcelona Needs $76.8M In Player Sales Before End Of June

Sam Marsden, Moises Llorens/ESPN

Mario Gotze To Leave Dortmund This Summer On Free Transfer

ESPN

La Liga Able To Resume Season On June 8th

BBC Sport

Premier League Confident Of June Restart

ESPN

Premier League Clubs Fear Major Rebates To TV Companies

Jacob Steinberg/The Guardian

Manuel Neuer Extends Contract With Bayern Through 2023

Stephan Uersfeld/ESPN