January 2018 - Soccer Wiretap

Carlo Ancelotti Prefers Club Job Over Italian National Team

Jan 31, 2018 5:33 PM

Carlo Ancelotti wants to continue to coach on the club level and is not interested in a potential offer to manage the Italian national team.

Ancelotti was fired by Bayern Munich in October.

"My reply is this: the federation, with the help of CONI [Italian Olympic Committee], needs to create a new structure," he said when asked about succeeding Giampiero Ventura as Italy coach. "After this, they will take a decision, and I am sticking to my idea that clarity is needed first, even if my objective remains to coach a club.

"Which one? I don't know yet -- it's all wide open. We've got to wait at least a few months. Now the Champions League returns and, unless they change the rules, there's only going to be one team who wins it, so what will the others do?"

Ben Gladwell/ESPN

Tags: Misc Rumor

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City Walk Away From 'Crazy' Asking Price For Riyad Mahrez

Jan 31, 2018 3:16 PM

Manchester City have ended their pursuit of Riyad Mahrez following Leicester City's request of £95 million.

City had turned to the 26-year-old after they decided against signing Alexis Sánchez from Arsenal because of his proposed fee. 

City valued Mahrez at no more than £60 million.

Txiki Begiristain, City’s sporting director, balked at the price and decided Mahrez, who is contracted until 2020, was not worth the fee. The City executive felt the valuation was “crazy”.

Jamie Jackson, Stuart James/The Guardian

Tags: Leicester City, Manchester City, Misc Rumor, Transfer Rumor

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Barcelona To Pursue David Alaba In Summer

Jan 31, 2018 12:29 PM

Barcelona will pursue David Alaba of Bayern Munich during the summer transfer window.

Alaba can play left-back, center back or midfield.

Alaba signed a five-year extension with Bayern in 2016.

Moises Llorens/As.com

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

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Mesut Ozil Signs Three-Year Extension With Arsenal

Jan 31, 2018 12:17 PM

Mesut Ozil has agreed upon a new three-year deal with Arsenal £350,000 per week.

Ozil has been free to discuss terms with rival clubs this month as his contract was set to expire.

Arsenal had been pushing hard to secure a commitment from Ozil.

David Hytner/The Guardian

Tags: Arsenal, Misc Rumor, Signing

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Leicester City Seeking $142M From City For Riyad Mahrez

Jan 30, 2018 7:04 PM

Manchester City has interest in signing Riyad Mahrez, but Leicester City has responded that it would only take a huge offer for them to accept.

Reports in France suggest City have submitted a bid of €68 million for Mahrez.

Mahrez has tried to leave Leicester previously, but was unsuccessful. 

Claude Puel has said it would take a bid of £100 million ($142 million) to sell Mahrez, who was bought in 2014 for £450,000.

Jaime Jackson, Stuart James/The Guardian

Tags: Leicester City, Manchester City, Misc Rumor, Transfer Rumor

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Arsenal, Dortmund, Chelsea Agree Upon Three-Way Transfer

Jan 30, 2018 6:56 PM

Arsenal, Chelsea and Borussia Dortmund have agreed in principle to what is effectively a three-way transfer.

With Dortmund previously agreeing to sell Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to Arsenal for £55.5 million, they needed a replacement striker and were interested in Michy Batshuayi of Chelsea. But Chelsea needed a backup striker behind Alvaro Morata to replace Batshuayi and have agreed to buy Olivier Giroud for £17.5 million. The £17.5m fee for Giroud is inclusive of add-ons.

Dortmund previously had interest in Giroud before moving onto Batshuayi. 

David Hytner, Dominic Fifield/The Guardian

Tags: Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund, Chelsea, Misc Rumor, Transfer Rumor

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City Buys Aymeric Laporte For Club Record $80.8M

Jan 30, 2018 10:00 AM

Manchester City have signed Aymeric Laporte of Athletic Bilbao for £57.2 million ($80.8 million). The transfer fee becomes a new record for City, eclipsing their £55 million transfer in 2015 with Wolfsburg for Kevin de Bruyne.

Laporte has long been a target for Pep Guardiola.

“I am very happy to be here,” said Laporte. “City are a club with a lot of ambition and they are one of the best teams in Europe. I am looking forward to working under Pep Guardiola and trying to help the club to achieve success. It means a lot that the club have shown faith in me and I am excited to get started.”

“We have assessed defensive options and he is a player we have admired for a long time,” said Txiki Begiristain, City’s director of football. “With his quality and ability to play out from the back, we feel Aymeric will fit in perfectly with Pep Guardiola’s playing style.”

“He’s played since a young age in La Liga so at a high level," said Guardiola. "He’s strong in the air and fast. He’s got good quality and we are delighted.”

The Guardian

Tags: Athletic Bilbao, Manchester City, Misc Rumor, Transfer Rumor

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Spurs Buy Lucas Moura From PSG For $35.3M

Jan 30, 2018 9:52 AM

Tottenham Hotspur have bought Lucas Moura from Paris Saint-germain for £25 million ($35.3 million).

Spurs and PSG held talks for several weeks over the 25-year-old forward.

PSG bought Moura from Sao Paulo in 2013 for approximately £38 million.

Moura played sparingly by Unai Emery with PSG.

Ed Aarons/The Guardian

Tags: Paris Saint-Germain, Tottenham Hotspur, Misc Rumor, Transfer Rumor

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Arsenal Agrees To $78.1M Transfer For Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Jan 29, 2018 10:16 AM

Arsenal has agreed upon a £55.5 million ($78.1 million) transfer with Borussia Dortmund for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

The deal is contingent on Dortmund finding a replacement before the end of the transfer window.

Aubameyang will sign a three-year deal worth £180,000-a-week.

Anthony Modeste, who joined the Chinese Super League club Tianjin Quanjian from Cologne last summer, has been mooted as a potential addition, but would cost around €30m(£26.4m).

Dominic Fifield/The Guardian

Tags: Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund, Misc Rumor, Transfer Rumor

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Monaco Pays $24.8M For 16-Year-Old Pietro Pellegri Of Monaco

Jan 29, 2018 12:45 AM

Monaco has made Pietro Pellegri the second most expensive 16-year-old in history, signing him from Genoa for an initial fee of €20 million ($24.8 million).

“I am very happy to join Monaco,” Pellegri said. “I was very quickly convinced of the project that allows young people like me to progress and flourish in the future.”

Only Real Madrid has paid more for a 16-year-old when they signed Vinicius Junior from Flamengo last year for £39.6 million.

Pellegri became the joint-youngest player to play in Serie A when he made his debut in December 2016 at the age of 15 years and 280 days.

Ed Aarons/The Guardian

Tags: Genoa, Monaco, Misc Rumor, Transfer Rumor

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic Close To Deal With LA Galaxy
Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be signed with the help of Targeted Allocation Money.

Jeff Carlisle/ESPN

Arsenal Takes Blame For Alexis Sanchez's Missed Doping Test
Arsene Wenger said exceptional circumstances had led to Alexis Sanchez missing the test.

The Guardian

Jose Mourinho Extends Contract With United Through 2020
Jose Mourinho joined United in 2016.

Paul Wilson/The Guardian

Mauricio Pochettino Refuses To Rule Out Managing Real Madrid
Mauricio Pochettino joined Spurs as manager in 2014 and turns 46 in March.

Dan Kilpatrick/ESPN

Jose Mourinho: United Unlikely To Sign Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo joined Real Madrid from United in 2009.

Rob Dawson/ESPN

Nations League Groups Announced
The first ever UEFA Nations League has drawn their Group Stage pairings.

ESPN

City Close To Transfer For Aymeric Laporte
Aymeric Laporte is known for his ability on the ball, which suits Pep Guardiola's system.

Jamie Gordon/The Sun

Antonio Conte Calls Chelsea's 16-17 Title 'Minor Miracle'
Antonio Conte doubts Chelsea can financially compete with Manchester United and Manchester City.

Dominic Fifield/The Guardian

Arsenal, Dortmund Talk Aubameyang For Giroud Swap
Dortmund reportedly want Olivier Giroud as part of any deal.

Mattias Karen/ESPN

Barcelona Confirms Javier Mascherano Will Depart Club
Javier Mascherano's place this season has been taken by Samuel Umtiti.

Sam Marsden/ESPN

Premier League Has 14 Of Top-30 Richest Clubs In World
Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool were among the 10 richest clubs in the world alongside Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain.

David Conn/The Guardian

Inter Milan, Sevilla Interested In Daniel Sturridge
Liverpool is considering a loan offer from Inter Milan for Daniel Sturridge.

Glenn Price/ESPN

Kevin De Bruyne Signs Extension With City Through 2023
Kevin De Bruyne joined City from Wolfsburg in 2015 for £54 million.

Jonathan Smith/ESPN

Real Madrid Target Kepa Arrizabalaga Signs Extension With Athletic
Kepa Arrizabalaga's release clause has been increased to €80 million.

Alfonso Herran/As.com

City Pursuing $55.7M Transfer For Fred
Fred would give City competition at holding midfield with Fernandinho.

Jonathan Smith/ESPN

United, Arsenal Agree Upon Alexis Sanchez For Henrikh Mkhitaryan Swap
Alexis Sanchez could earn as much as £14 million-a-year after tax or £500,000-per-week.

Jamie Jackson/The Guardian

Spurs Won't Sell Harry Kane Despite Potential $277M Real Madrid Bid
Spurs want Harry Kane to remain on their squad as they move into their new stadium.

Dan Kilpatrick/ESPN

Barcelona Denies Report Of Transfer Deal With Antoine Griezmann
Philippe Coutinho reportedly won't take Barcelona's No. 7 shirt because it is being reserved for Antoine Griezmann.

Sam Marsden/ESPN

Henrikh Mkhitaryan Discussing Final Details Of Arsenal Transfer
Alexis Sanchez will go to Manchester United as part of the transfer.

Fabrizio Romano/The Guardian

Robin Van Persie Returns To Feyenoord
Robin van Persie scored 22 goals in three seasons for Feyenoord before joining Arsene Wenger’s side in 2004.

Reuters