February 2017 - Soccer Wiretap

Ronald Koeman Opens Door For Wayne Rooney To Return To Everton

Feb 28, 2017 4:20 PM

Ronald Koeman has opened the door for Wayne Rooney to return to Everton.

Rooney's agent was in China this month, assessing the player's options, but the 31-year-old last week issued a statement insisting he was staying at Manchester United.

"I believe that Wayne Rooney is still playing at a high level," said Koeman on Sky Sports. "I think he made a good choice to stay at Manchester United and in the Premier League because he has still two or three years in front of him to play on a high level.

"What will happen at the end of the season? I don't know but in my opinion he is one of the players who can make Everton more stronger.

"It's all about what the player likes, what Manchester United needs to do, and we are not involved in that project.

Rooney made his debut with Everton at 16 on the opening day of the 2002-03 campaign.

PA Sport

Tags: Everton, Misc Rumor, Transfer Rumor

Mario Gotze Out Indefinitely With Metabolic Disorder

Feb 27, 2017 11:25 AM

Mario Gotze will be out for Borussia Dortmund indefinitely.

Those investigations revealed the player has metabolic disturbances, rendering it absolutely necessary to withdraw him from team training for the time being.

"I'm currently undergoing treatment and will do everything in my power to be back in training and helping my team to achieve our common goals as soon as possible," Götze said.

"We're happy to have now uncovered the reasons for Mario's difficulties and are convinced that his extraordinary abilities will give us additional quality once he has completely recovered from this," emphasised Borussia Dortmund's Sporting Director Michael Zorc, who continued: "Mario has the full backing and maximum support of everyone at BVB during his recovery!"

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: Borussia Dortmund, Injury

Romelu Lukaku Close To Extension With Everton

Feb 27, 2017 11:16 AM

Romelu Lukaku is on the verge of signing an extension with Everton.

Lukaku's current deal expires in 2019 and he's been linked with a move away from Everton.

When asked if Lukaku was going to sign a new contract, his agent, Mino Raiola, replied: "Yes."

And when pressed on whether an agreement is close to being secured, Raiola added: "99.99999999!

"We are signing a longer contract, so that is for sure the intention [to stay].

"In football, contracts are not there to be going until the end sometimes, but there is always two parties in the deal.

"If everybody thinks it is better to move on, then that will be done at that moment. But for this moment, he is signing a contract with Everton."


Tags: Everton, Misc Rumor

Wolfsburg Hires Academy Manager Andries Jonker As Manager

Feb 27, 2017 11:07 AM

Wolfsburg have confirmed that Arsenal’s academy manager, Andries Jonker, will take over as their new coach.

Jonker previously served as an assistant at Wolfsburg and also worked until Louis van Gaal at Barcelona, Bayern and Holland.

At a press conference, Jonker revealed that former Arsenal and Sweden midfielder Freddie Ljungberg, who worked with him at the Gunners academy, would be joining him as an assistant coach.

Jonker said: “I have remained in contact with Wolfsburg over the years, but the enquiry did come as a bit of a surprise. There are only a few clubs with the possibilities available to them that VfL have. This is a huge challenge.

“I know a lot of the players and during this week I will be looking to prepare the team for the game against Mainz. All the players start from scratch. They all have the opportunity to prove themselves. It’s not about which system I prefer. All that counts is getting the 40 points as quickly as possible.”

“Andries Jonker knows VFL Wolfsburg and kept regular contact with the club even after his move to London,” added Wolfsburg’s sporting director, Olaf Rebbe, in a statement. “Both factors were decisive for the fact that we were able to find this solution in such a short time. He is an internationally experienced coach and a proven tactician who has the best conditions to quickly and sustainably bring VFL back into the track.”

The Guardian

Tags: Arsenal, VfL Wolfsburg, Misc Rumor

Donnarumma Waiting To Hear Plans Of Milan's Owners Before New Deal

Feb 27, 2017 11:04 AM

Gianluigi Donnarumma won't commit his future to AC Milan until he knows the plans of the club's new owners.

Donnarumma turned 18 on Saturday and is now able to sign his first full professional contract. 

Donnarumma had been on youth terms.

"I know a lot of things, but it's difficult to predict the future. Nobody knows it," agent Mino Raiola said. "We have a pact that we are going to leave him be. In fact, we're not going to talk about it at all -- we have agreed this.

"I've not spoken to anybody from the new Milan yet. For me, Milan are still represented by [general manager Adriano] Galliani, so I don't have any contact in the new Milan. The lad is just concentrating on doing his job and I am doing mine.

"This is a clear division of roles and I am the one looking at his future and the possibilities, and then it is the player who takes the final decision. But first I think it is my duty to see what Milan are going to become.

"That is the most important question and you are not asking it because you are focusing only on his contract renewal and not what Milan are going to become. Nobody can tell you, not least I. Until I see the new owners and start to talk with them, I cannot get a clear picture in my mind."

Ben Gladwell/ESPN

Tags: A.C. Milan, Misc Rumor, Transfer Rumor

Ashley Young Turns Down Offer From China

Feb 27, 2017 10:56 AM

Ashley Young has turned down an offer in China but will reconsider his options in the summer.

Chinese Super League club Shandong Luneng had been hoping to sign Young from Old Trafford before the close of the Chinese transfer window on Tuesday, but the player has opted to stay at United.

Young will be in the final year of his contract at United in the summer.

Young has been used sparingly by manager Jose Mourinho this season.

Peter O'Rourke/ESPN

Tags: Manchester United, Misc Rumor, Transfer Rumor

Zlatan Ibrahimovic Won't Make Decision Based On Champions League

Feb 27, 2017 10:54 AM

Zlatan Ibrahimovic insists his future with Manchester United isn't dependent on whether the club qualifies for the Champions League.

Ibrahimovic hasn't committed to a 12-month extension with United.

Jose Mourinho joked after Sunday's cup win that United's supporters should "spend all night" at Ibrahimovic's house in an effort to persuade him to commit his future to the club.

"No, it's not about that [Champions League]," Ibrahimovic told reporters after the game at Wembley. "I came here and the club wasn't in the Champions League, so it had nothing to do with the Champions League.

"So somebody made up a story that if they don't qualify for the Champions League I will not extend. It has nothing to do with that.

"Let's see what happens. I mean the moment, how I feel, the situation, we have another two months of the season to go, because according to many I could not do what I've been doing."

Mark Ogden/ESPN

Tags: Manchester United, Misc Rumor, Transfer Rumor

Turner Buys Champions League TV Rights For $60M Per Year

Feb 27, 2017 10:17 AM

Turner Sports have purchased the English-language media rights in the United States to the UEFA Champions League beginning in the fall of 2018.

The Champions League is currently on FS1 though some matches are also picked up by ESPN.

Turner committed more than $60 million per year as part of a three-year deal.

Univision agreed to pay around $35 million per year for Spanish-language rights.

John Ourand/Sports Business Journal

Tags: UEFA Champions League

Leicester City Seeking Deal With Guus Hiddink

Feb 26, 2017 6:39 PM

Leicester City would like Guus Hiddink to replace Claudio Ranieri as manager until the end of the season.

Hiddink is reluctant to take on the job on such short notice.

Representatives of Hiddink, who has been out of work since leaving his second spell as Chelsea’s interim manager last May, are believed to have been approached over the weekend by Leicester officials to gauge his interest.

Nigel Pearson, the manager who led Leicester to safety in the 2014‑15 season with seven victories from their final nine matches, has emerged as the bookmakers’ favorite. 

Ed Aarons/The Guardian

Tags: Leicester City, Misc Rumor

Leicester City Fire Claudio Ranieri

Feb 23, 2017 3:18 PM

Leicester have sacked manager Claudio Ranieri, less than a year he guided the club to an improbable Premier League title.

Leicester has struggled in the Champions League and trail 2-1 to Sevilla in the first leg of their Champions League tie.

“This has been the most difficult decision we have had to make in nearly seven years since King Power took ownership of Leicester City,” said a statement from vice chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha. “But we are duty-bound to put the club’s long-term interests above all sense of personal sentiment, no matter how strong that might be.

“Claudio has brought outstanding qualities to his office. His skilful management, powers of motivation and measured approach have been reflective of the rich experience we always knew he would bring to Leicester City. His warmth, charm and charisma have helped transform perceptions of the Club and develop its profile on a global scale. We will forever be grateful to him for what he has helped us to achieve.

“It was never our expectation that the extraordinary feats of last season should be replicated this season. Indeed, survival in the Premier League was our first and only target at the start of the campaign. But we are now faced with a fight to reach that objective and feel a change is necessary to maximise the opportunity presented by the final 13 games.”

Ed Aaron/The Guardian

Tags: Leicester City, Misc Rumor

United States Could Host Friendly Manchester Derby
Jose Mourinho is understood to want to take his players to California to avoid the chaotic preseason preparations endured by his players in China earlier this year.

Jonathan Smith/ESPN

Hector Bellerin Will Consider Barcelona If Wenger Leaves Arsenal
Barcelona have indicated that money would be no object in a prospective deal for Hector Bellerin, who began his career in their youth system.

David Hytner/The Guardian

Wayne Rooney Wants To Remain With United Through End Of Season
Sources have insisted that Wayne Rooney retains a healthy working relationship with Jose Mourinho.

Mark Ogden/ESPN

Adam Lallana Signs Extension With Liverpool Through 2020
Adam Lallana initially struggled at Anfield following a 25 million transfer from Southampton in 2014 but has developed impressively since Jurgen Klopp took over as manager.

Andy Hunter/The Guardian

Jose Mourinho Won't Force Wayne Rooney From United
Wayne Rooney is being linked to a number of Chinese Super League clubs.


Juventus Monitoring Andre Gomes' Situation With Barcelona
Andre Gomes was courted by Real Madrid and Manchester United prior to his move to Barcelona.


Rayo Vallecano Fires Ruben Baraja As Manager
Rayo Vallecano were relegated after the 15-16 season and are in danger of dropping down below the second division.

Maite Martin/As.com

Lille Hires Marcelo Bielsa As Manager
Lille last won the title in 2011 and they are currently 14th and 30 points behind leaders Monaco.


Carlo Ancelotti Flips Off Hertha Berlin Fans After Being Spat Upon
The DFB will contact Carlo Ancelotti for more information about the incident.

The Guardian

Isco Suggests He May Leave Real Madrid For More Playing Time
Isco's contract with Real Madrid currently expires in 2018.


Arsene Wenger Wants To Manage At Least Four More Seasons
Arsene Wenger's 20-year reign at Arsenal reached a crisis point on Wednesday with the 5-1 loss at Bayern Munich.

Paul Doyle/The Guardian

Dortmund, Chelsea Pursuing Gladbach's Mahmoud Dahoud
Antonio Conte's side have been in the market for a box-to-box midfielder for several months.

Ed Aarons/The Guardian

Carlo Ancelotti: Joshua Kimmich Can Become 'New Philipp Lahm'
Joshua Kimmich is just 22 and has quickly established himself for Bayern and the German national team.

Mark Lovell/ESPN

Monaco Hoping To Extend Kylian Mbappe Amid Arsenal, Liverpool Interest
Kylian Mbappe has scored seven goals in 17 Ligue 1 appearances for Monaco.


Red Bulls End MLS Mystery By Firing Ali Curtis
Since his abrupt departure from the MLS Combine was reported on Jan. 12, Ali Curtis had not been seen or heard from throughout a period of significant offseason activity.

Jack Williams/New York Times

Cristiano Ronaldo Provided $500M In Value For Nike In 2016
Cristiano Ronaldo has a lifetime deal with Nike worth as much as $1 billion.

Kurt Badenhausen/Forbes

Real Madrid Considering Changing From Adidas To Under Armour
Real Madrid has reportedly told Under Armour that they would only leave Adidas for a deal worth $160 million per season.


Joan Laporta Criticizes Bartomeu's Silence Following Barca's 4-0 Loss
Joan Laporta lost to Josep Maria Bartomeu in the presidential election in 2015.

Adriana Garcia/ESPN

Arsene Wenger Will Decide Future In March Or April
Arsene Wenger is considering whether to accept a contract extension or leave Arsenal at the end of the season.

The Guardian

Mauricio Pochettino 'Happy' With Spurs Amid Barcelona Links
Mauricio Pochettino spent over a decade in Barcelona as a player and manager with Barca's city rivals Espanyol and he still owns a home there.

Dan Kilpatrick/ESPN