Soccer Wiretap

Real Madrid Appoint Santiago Solari As Permanent Manager

Nov 12, 2018 3:16 PM

Real Madrid have appointed Santiago Solari as their permanent manager.

Solari has won all four of his games in caretaker charge.

Florentino Perez had been considering options that included ex-Chelsea manager Antonio Conte, Belgium coach Roberto Martinez and former Monaco boss Leonardo Jardim.

Dermot Corrigan/ESPN

Tags: Real Madrid, Misc Rumor

Franck Ribery Slaps Reporter In Face

Nov 12, 2018 12:40 PM

Bayern Munich have confirmed that Franck Ribery got into a physical altercation with pundit Patrick Guillou following their 3-2 loss at Dortmund.

"Franck Ribery has informed us that he had an altercation with his countrymen Patrick Guillou, whom he has known for many years," sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic told Bild.

"We have agreed with Patrick Guillou on Saturday that we will hold a timely meeting to discuss how to clear up the matter for good. Mr. Guillou has already signalled his interest."

Eyewitnesses said Ribery had railed at Guillou before slapping him in the face and pushing him, Bild reported.

Stephan Uersfeld/ESPN

Tags: Bayern Munich

Real Madrid Hasn't Reached Out To Arsene Wenger

Nov 9, 2018 10:06 AM

Arsene Wenger commented on rumors about him potentially becoming manager of Real Madrid.

“Real Madrid haven’t been in touch with me, so I haven’t been able to say no to them,” Wenger said.

Wenger left Arsenal at the end of last season.

“I haven’t yet made any decision about my future,” Wenger, whose 22-year tenure at Arsenal came to an end last season, said. “Normally I confront problems when I find them in front of me and try to find a solution but at this moment in time I don’t have any problems to resolve. In January I’ll decide what to do.”

Wenger has also been linked to AC Milan, but he dismissed those reports as "fake news."

Jaime Candil/

Tags: A.C. Milan, Real Madrid, Misc Rumor

Pep Guardiola: Manchester Derby Not Most Important Match Of Season

Nov 9, 2018 9:43 AM

The Manchester derby is no longer the biggest match of the season for Manchester City.

City are nine points clear of Manchester United heading into Sunday's match.

"All derbies are special, I think in Spain there is more noise than here but special, special for everybody," Pep Guardiola said. "Of course it means a lot to the supporters, they are special but we are in November, maybe the game at Old Trafford will be more important but it's a good one for us and United.

"Like all the games are so tight, last minutes no team controlled the game and you have to defend well and try to attack like we've done in the last few games."

Jonathan Smith/ESPN

Tags: Manchester City, Manchester United

Report Reveals Ethnic Profiling By PSG Scouts

Nov 9, 2018 9:41 AM

Paris Saint-Germain has admitted instances of ethnic profiling in scouting materials for youth players.

PSG's recruiters outside of the Paris region included an "origin" section in their scouting reports that listed "African, Caribbean, French and Maghreb" as options.

PSG reiterated their "fight against all forms of discrimination" and the fact that the club has been "fighting against all forms of stadium violence and racism" for the past 10 years.

Under French law, "collecting or processing personal data that directly or indirectly reveals the racial or ethnic origin of a person" is an offence punishable by five years in prison and a €300,000 fine.

Jonathan Johnson/ESPN

Tags: Paris Saint-Germain, Legal

City Paid Roberto Mancini Additional Secret Salary

Nov 8, 2018 10:28 AM

Roberto Mancini had two contracts while manager of Manchester City as he was also paid via the club Sheikh Mansour owns in Abu Dhabi.

On signing for the club, Mancini allegedly not only agreed an annual salary there but also a further, more lucrative basic deal as a consultant with Al Jazira Sports and Cultural Club, which is controlled by City’s owner.

Mancini agreed a £1.45 million annual salary with City when he joined in 2009, plus bonuses and incentives, but also – according to the allegations – agreed a £1.75 million salary with Al Jazira.

In 2014, City were fined £20 million by Uefa for breaking FFP regulations after the club was found to have overvalued sponsorship deals provided by companies associated with Abu Dhabi’s ruling family.

Paul MacInnes/The Guardian

Tags: Manchester City, Legal, Misc Rumor

David Beckham Interested In Someday Signing Antoine Griezmann

Nov 8, 2018 9:50 AM

David Beckham has interest in signing Antoine Griezmann in the future.

Inter Miami won approval on Tuesday to move forward with plans to build a soccer-specific stadium. Inter Miami will begin playing in MLS in 2020.

"It's always nice to have great players want to come and play for our team," Beckham told ESPN FC. "He's such a great player. I'm a fan of his, he's a fan of mine, so maybe one day he will be gracing the building in Miami and that's what we want."

Griezmann has repeatedly said he would like to one day join the MLS.

Franco Panizo/ESPN

Tags: Atlético Madrid, Miami, Misc Rumor

FIFA Threatens To Ban European Super League Players From World Cup

Nov 7, 2018 7:27 PM

FIFA is threatening to ban players from participating in the World Cup if they also play in a breakaway European Super League.

Both FIFA and UEFA are opposed to the proposed European Super League.

"Either you are in or you are out," Gianni Infantino said, listing the World Cup, European Championship and national leagues as competitions that players from breakaway teams could be excluded from. "This includes everything."

FIFA is proposing a Club World Cup project that would be played every four years.

"The Club World Cup is the answer to any attempt to think even about any sort of breakaway leagues," he said.


Tags: UEFA Champions League, World Cup

Zlatan Ibrahimovic Hopes To Return To Galaxy

Nov 7, 2018 11:53 AM

Zlatan Ibrahimovic would like to remain with the LA Galaxy if a few concessions are made.

"I have some wishes and demands which [are] simple things," Ibrahimovic said Tuesday as players had end-of-season meetings.

"There is interest in Europe, but my priority is Galaxy. They have wishes, I have wishes, but I'm optimistic and I'm positive."

Ibrahimovic made $1.5 million this season, according to MLS's Players Association contract figures. In order for him to earn more next year, the Galaxy would have to part ways with one of their three designated players.

Ibrahimovic had a successful first season in the MLS individually. 

"I think the season was like a roller coaster. Hopefully we make it better because that is the target," Ibrahimovic said. "I want to be able to challenge for the trophy.

"Like I said, I'm not here for a vacation, I'm here for the challenge and I want to feel my team has a chance to be the best in MLS. I am the best, but I want to feel like my team can compete against the others."


Tags: LA Galaxy, Misc Rumor

UEFA To Fight Against European Super League

Nov 5, 2018 12:21 PM

UEFA vows to fight against the idea of a European Super League.

The league would have 11 founding members: Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus and Bayern Munich.

The report added that, from as early as November 2018, the 11 teams could sign a "binding team sheet" and commit to the new European Super League from 2021.

"It would damage football worldwide," UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin told kicker. "It would be boring.

"To see Juve vs. Bayern every week would be more boring than let's say Juve vs. Torino. It's no question for me that I will fight and do all I can against such a league for as long as I am here.

"If we are talking about a closed system, we can forget about solidarity and the development of football. In the long run, the clubs would be the losers."

Stephan Uersfeld/ESPN

Tags: UEFA Champions League

United Could Sell Eric Bailly, Marcos Rojo During January Window
Eric Bailly was a £30 million signing from Villarreal in June 2016.

Mark Ogden/ESPN

Wayne Rooney To Play One Final Match With England
Wayne Rooney is likely to start among the substitutes but the intention is to bring him on to earn his 120th cap.

The Guardian

Jose Mourinho Expects United To Return To Top-4
United are in eighth place with 17 points, five behind Arsenal.

Jamie Jackson/The Guardian

Luis Suarez: It's Normal Barcelona Looking For My Replacement
Munir El Haddadi is the only other natural striker in Ernesto Valverde's Barcelona squad.


Kevin De Bruyne Out Six Weeks With Left Knee Injury
Kevin De Bruyne was making only his second start since a three-month absence following ligament damage to his right knee.

Jamie Jackson/The Guardian

Paul Pogba Still Considers Turin 'Home'
Paul Pogba expected United to be drawn with Juventus in the group stage of the Champions League.


Dele Alli Explains Why He Signed Six-Year Extension With Spurs
Dele Alli believes Spurs can "achieve something great."

The Guardian

Xavi Concerned With Direction Of La Masia
La Masia players have been struggling to join Barcelona's first team with the club preferring established talent bought on the transfer market.


Raheem Sterling Agrees To Five-Year Extension With City
Pep Guardiola has made no secret of his desire to keep Raheem Sterling.

Jonathan Smith/ESPN

Arsene Wenger: Managing In England Again Would Be 'Odd'
Arsene Wenger expects to return to managing in January.

Mattias Karen/ESPN

Antoine Griezmann Planning On Finishing Career In MLS
Antoine Griezmann is under contract with Atletico through June 2022.


Real Madrid Has Yet To Approach Roberto Martinez
Roberto Martinez is currently manager of Belgium.

Dermot Corrigan/ESPN

FIFA Wants To Expand World Cup To 48 Teams By 2022
The World Cup was previously expected to be expanded to 48 teams in 2026.

David Conn/The Guardian

Dele Alli Signs Extension With Spurs Through 2024
Dele Alli joined Spurs in a £5 million deal from MK Dons in 2015.

David Hytner/The Guardian

Real Madrid Fires Julen Lopetegui As Manager
Santiago Solari has been promoted from the club's youth team to replace him temporarily.

Rory Smith/New York Times

Cristiano Ronaldo Cites Florentino Perez For Real Madrid Exit
Cristiano Ronaldo revealed that a shift in his relationship with Florentino Perez convinced him to leave Real Madrid for Juventus.

Dominic Fifield/The Guardian

Report: Real Madrid To Fire Julen Lopetegui, Hire Antonio Conte
Julen Lopetegui spoke with his players following the loss and said goodbye to them "just in case."


Marcos Alonso Signs Extension With Chelsea Through 2023
Marcos Alonso signed with Chelsea on a £24 million deal in 2014.

Eduardo Fernandez-Abascal, Liam Twomey/ESPN

Jose Mourinho: United Must Spend To Rejoin Elite Status
United lost to Juventus 1-0 in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Rob Dawson/ESPN

FIFA Proposes Annual Club World Cup To Rival Champions League
Gianni Infantino has submitted a potentially explosive proposal for a lucrative, revamped Club World Cup.

David Conn/The Guardian