January 2017 - Soccer Wiretap

Dimitri Payet Pays West Ham Back January Wages With Move To Marseille

Jan 31, 2017 2:11 PM

Dimitri Payet didn't speak to his West Ham teammates for eight weeks before his £25 million move back to Marseille, according to co-chairman David Sullivan.

The Hammers were initially unwilling to sell their talisman but Sullivan admitted it became near-impossible to keep Payet at the London Stadium.

“I think for the last six or eight weeks, he's not been talking to anybody in the squad,” Sullivan told BBC Radio 5Live.

“He's gone to the corner of a room for his meals and isolated himself from everybody. Before that, he was bubbly and happy, shakes everyone's hand before the match.

“Either it was a tactic or something in his head had changed. The team wanted him out. The manager, with the greatest reluctance, wanted him out. And as much as we didn't want him out, you can't go against the consensus of the team and manager.”

Payet also paid West Ham back his January wages.

Jack Austin/The Independent

Tags: Marseille, West Ham United, Misc Rumor, Transfer Rumor

Wayne Rooney Won't Be Allowed To Leave United This Season

Jan 31, 2017 11:31 AM

Wayne Rooney will not be allowed to leave Manchester United before the end of the current season.

Rooney has been the subject of interest from clubs in China's Super League.

After Morgan Schneiderlin was sold to Everton and Memphis Depay to Lyon, Mourinho does not want his squad to be further depleted, especially as United are still competing in four competitions.

Asked if the captain will still be at the club at the campaign’s close, Mourinho said: “Yeah. We don’t have players in, we don’t have players out, we lost two players from the squad. You can say Memphis Depay and Morgan Schneiderlin did not play a lot, but the reality is they played some matches, and when they did, others didn’t, and when they played, others were rested. When Schneiderlin played, it meant [Paul] Pogba, [Michael] Carrick or [Ander] Herrera didn’t.

“You lose players and sometimes it does not look important because they were not first-choice players, but in the end they’re important if someone is going to have a difficult season. I hope that’s us and we’re in the cup competitions.

“We have the Manchester City match postponed [because of the EFL Cup final], we have the Blackburn Rovers match [in the FA Cup] and if we win we will have another match to be postponed. We are in the Europa League with more matches, so our situation is really difficult.”

Jamison Hensley/ESPN

Tags: Manchester United, Misc Rumor, Transfer Rumor

Jese Rodriguez Will Take Pay Cut On Loan From PSG To Las Palmas

Jan 30, 2017 2:18 PM

Jese Rodriguez will take a huge pay cut in order join Las Palmas on loan from Paris Saint-Germain for the remainder of the season.

Las Palmas president Miguel Angel Ramirez announced on Monday that his club are on the verge of signing the Spanish forward, who is under contract with PSG until June 2021, on a six-month deal.

"Our intention is to unveil Jese on Tuesday afternoon at the Gran Canaria stadium," Ramirez told his club's official radio UD. "Jese's deal is almost completed. There is a total agreement."

Jese, 23, has made just nine Ligue 1 appearances for PSG, with only one of those a start.

Adriana Garcia/ESPN

Tags: Las Palmas, Paris Saint-Germain, Loan, Misc Rumor

Southampton Signs Manolo Gabbiadini From Napoli For $18.2M

Jan 30, 2017 12:38 PM

Southampton have agreed a deal with Napoli to sign Manolo Gabbiadini for £14.6 million ($18.2 million) with a further £2.6 million in performance-related bonuses.

The 25-year-old Gabbiadini has found his opportunities limited at Napoli this season.

Gabbiadini joined Napoli from Sampdoria in 2015 and has scored 15 goals in 55 league appearances for them.

Southampton have been in need of a striker since Charlie Austin was ruled out in mid-December for three to four months with a shoulder injury.

Fabrizio Romano/The Guardian

Tags: Southampton, Misc Rumor, Transfer Rumor

Jose Mourinho Turned Down 'Big Offer' To Manage In China

Jan 30, 2017 11:44 AM

Jose Mourinho alleges he rejected "a big offer" to manage in China.

Mourinho said: "If you are negotiating a new contract with one of your players and you offer him £5 million per year and they offer £25 million then you have a big problem. Maybe the player takes £5m because he prefers football. Or £25m because he prefers money.

"I have already refused a big offer to go to China, but I don't criticise anyone who decides to do it. It's their choice, their life. Only they can decide what they need for their future.

"Other managers in the Premier League have been critical, but I am no critic. I am worried, because they can offer contracts that are impossible to offer in Europe. But, in the end, the player who wants to go is a player that maybe you don't want to keep."


Tags: Manchester United, Misc Rumor

Michael Bradley Condemns Trump's Travel Ban

Jan 29, 2017 3:26 PM

Michael Bradley, captain of the United States, has criticized Donald Trump's executive order banning travel to the US from seven Muslim-majority countries.

When Trump won the presidential election in November, Bradley said it was important “to give our president support”. However, Trump’s latest decision caused Bradley to speak out in an interview with Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl and then on his Instagram page.

“A few hours ago ago I gave an interview to Grant Wahl,” wrote Bradley, who has made more than 125 appearances for the men’s national team. “After 15 minutes of an interview that was centered around soccer and our national team, he asked me my thoughts on President Trump’s ban on Muslims ... I gave an answer where I tried to make it clear that while I understand the need for safety, the values and ideals of our country should never be sacrificed. I believe what I said, but it was too soft.

“The part I left out is how sad and embarrassed I am. When Trump was elected, I only hoped that ... President Trump would be different than the campaigner Trump. That the xenophobic, misogynistic and narcissistic rhetoric would be replaced with a more humble and measured approach to leading our country. I was wrong. And the Muslim ban is just the latest example of someone who couldn’t be more out of touch with our country and the right way to move forward.”

Tom Lutz/The Guardian

Tags: United States

Arsene Wenger Given Four-Match Ban By FA

Jan 27, 2017 1:56 PM

Arsene Wenger has been given an immediate four-match touchline ban for remonstrating with officials in Arsenal's 2-1 win over Burnley.

Wenger will now be forced to sit in the stands for Arsenal’s FA Cup trip to Southampton on Saturday.

“It was alleged that in or around the 92nd minute, he [Wenger] used abusive and/or insulting words towards the fourth official,” read an FA statement. “It was further alleged that following his dismissal from the technical area, his behaviour in remaining in the tunnel area and making physical contact with the fourth official amounted to improper conduct.

“The Arsenal manager, who was also fined £25,000, admitted the charge and requested a personal hearing which took place before an Independent Regulatory Commission today [Friday 27 January 2017].”

Press Association

Tags: Arsenal, Suspension

Sebastian Giovinco Wasn't Interested In Being 'Ball Boy' At Barcelona

Jan 27, 2017 1:54 PM

Sebastian Giovinco has confirmed that Barcelona were once interested in signing him, but he wasn't interested in joining a team where he would rarely play.

Giovinco told Sky Sports Italia that he did not want to serve as a reserve at Barcelona while also ruling out a return to his native Italy. Giovinco does have interest, however, in China.

"It's true, in the past there was interest from Barcelona, but I'd have been a ball boy there. With those three stars in attack, I wouldn't play at all," Giovinco said.

"I wasn't interested because I wanted to play. Neymar, Leo Messi and Luis Suarez would've played even with one leg and still made the difference, so there was no point in me being there."

Selene Scarsi/ESPN

Tags: Barcelona, Toronto FC, Misc Rumor

Spurs Will Only Sign 'Special Player' During January Window

Jan 26, 2017 4:45 PM

Mauricio Pochettino insists Tottenham Hotspur will only dip into the January transfer market if a “special player” becomes available.

He told reporters:  “I told you from the first day of the month that we are not thinking to sign players.

“If some special player becomes available who is a very good option, then maybe, but it hasn’t happened yet.

“Nothing is impossible because a player can arrive at the last moment but I don’t believe we will sign anyone.”


Tags: Tottenham Hotspur, Misc Rumor, Transfer Rumor

Jose Mourinho Warns Anthony Martial To Improve Performance

Jan 26, 2017 1:38 PM

Jose Mourinho issue a stark warning that Anthony Martial must improve his performances.

Martial was not even among United’s substitutes in their 1-1 draw at Stoke City on Saturday and Mourinho admitted being dissatisfied with the player’s form since challenging him in November to re-establish himself as a mandatory first-team pick.

“I don’t think he lost his focus,” said Mourinho, preparing for the second leg of United’s EFL Cup semi-final against Hull City. “I just think he didn’t catch with both hands a big opportunity he had. When we spoke about Memphis Depay [leaving United] we spoke about it being the only position where we have an over-booking of players.

“We have still five players for this position. I cannot give one player chances to play and kill the others. To kill the others, I think I already did that with Memphis by considering him the last option and by not giving him any option. But with the other guys I think you would be asking me why Mata is not playing or why Marcus Rashford doesn’t have a chance, or why Jesse Lingard, a national team player, is not playing.

“We have Rashford, Lingard, Mata, Mkhitaryan and Martial, and I cannot give the same player chance after chance after chance and not consider the effort of the others.

“Anthony played against Liverpool, a big match for us and a big match for him, too. Then the next game I went to Mata and Mkhitaryan. This is the situation.”

Martial signed for an initial €36 million from Monaco in 2015.

Daniel Taylor/The Guardian

Tags: Manchester United

Pepe Close To Deal With Hebei China Fortune
Pepe is being offered €15 million per season.


Luis Enrique Avoids Questions About Future With Barcelona
Luis Enrique insisted his relationship with the squad is as good as ever.


Philippe Coutinho Close To Five-Year Extension With Liverpool
Philippe Coutinho has been linked to a summer move with Barcelona.

Andy Hunter/The Guardian

Barcelona 'Very Calm' About Extension Talks With Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi's current deal will expire in 2018.


Alex Ferguson Expects Wayne Rooney's Goal Record With United To Stand
Wayne Rooney has been with Old Trafford since 2004.

PA Sport

Jese Rejects Loan Move From PSG To Middlesbrough
Las Palmas are keen to bring Jese in on loan and a return to his native island is the player’s preferred move.

Diego Felix/As.com

Christian Pulisic Extends Deal With Dortmund Until 2020
Christian Pulisic joined Dortmund in early 2015 and made his first-team debut a year later.

Stephan Uersfeld/ESPN

Crystal Palace Close To Deal With Sunderland For Patrick Van Aanholt
Patrick Van Aanholt, a £1.5 million signing from Chelsea in the summer of 2014, has been a regular in the Sunderland side since he joined but has not convinced David Moyes.

Dominic Fifield/The Guardian

Liverpool Frustrated By Inability To Sign January Targets
Despite interest in Mahmoud Dahoud of Gladbach and Dortmund winger Christian Pulisic, Jurgen Klopp does not expect to make significant signings this month.

Andy Hunter/The Guardian

Dortmund Beats Real Madrid To Sign Alexander Isak Of AIK For $10.7M
Alexander Isak recently became Sweden's youngest ever goalscorer at the age of 17.

Marcus Christenson/The Guardian

Guardiola Denies Discussing Contract With Sergio Aguero
There is a lack of clarity regarding Sergio Aguero's future with City as his deal expires in 2019.

Jamie Jackson/The Guardian

United Regains Top Slot On Deloitte's Rich List From Real Madrid
United had been atop the list for 11 straight seasons.

Ed Aarons/The Guardian

Marseille Pivots To Yohan Cabaye
Marseille are sixth in Ligue 1 but, having been purchased by the American businessman Frank McCourt in October, are seeking to add to Rudi Garcia’s options this month.

Dominic Fifield/The Guardian

City Registers Gabriel Jesus, Eligible To Play Saturday
Gabriel Jesus joined City in a reported £27 million deal from Palmeiras in the summer but he remained with the Sao Paulo club on loan.

Jonathan Smith/ESPN

Diego Simeone On Griezmann: I Don't Tie Anyone Down
Diego Simeone commented on speculation about the future of Antoine Griezmann, who has been linked with both Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain.

Manu de Juan/As.com

Real Madrid Remains Interested In Gianluigi Donnarumma
Gianluigi Donnarumma has yet to sign an extension with Milan.


Xabi Alonso Plans To Retire At End Of Season
Xabi Alonso is planning on retiring at the end of the current season when his contract with Bayern Munich expires.


Lyon Close To Buying Memphis Depay From United For $18M
The fee would represent nearly a 50 percent loss after United paid PSV Eindhoven €34 million for Depay in May of 2015.

Jamie Jackson/The Guardian

Chelsea To Pursue Alvaro Morata, Romelu Lukaku, Christian Benteke
Chelsea came close to buying Morata from Real Madrid last summer.

Dominic Fifield/The Guardian

Diego Costa Returns To Chelsea Training, Will Seek Summer Exit
Diego Costa is expected to receive interest in the summer from the Chinese Super League as well as Atletico Madrid.

Dominic Fifield/The Guardian