October 2018 - Soccer Wiretap

Arsene Wenger: Managing In England Again Would Be 'Odd'

Oct 31, 2018 7:22 PM

Arsene Wenger expects to return to managing in January.

Wenger, however, said it would be "odd" to manage in England again.

"I said many times maybe the best way is not to be in England, because I spent so much time at the same club it would seem odd to go somewhere else," Wenger said at the launch of the Twinning Project at Wembley. "But at the moment I cannot tell you that, because I don't even know where I'll be. But I'll be somewhere."

Wenger said he remains supportive of Arsenal despite his departure.

"I am a supporter. When Arsenal win I'm happy," he said. "I felt I worked very hard for this club, I dedicated my whole life for this club to be in good shape when I leave it. And I think that's what I did. And after that, I'm a supporter like everybody else. I want Arsenal to be happy and to win football games."

Mattias Karen/ESPN

Tags: Arsenal, Misc Rumor

Antoine Griezmann Planning On Finishing Career In MLS

Oct 31, 2018 7:07 PM

Antoine Griezmann would like to end his professional career in the MLS.

Griezmann, 27, is under contract with Atletico through June 2022, when he will be 30, and hopes to one day travel the same path.

"I want to play in MLS," he told ESPN FC. "I'd like to finish my career there."

Griezmann has frequently expressed an affinity for American culture.


Tags: Atlético Madrid, Misc Rumor

Real Madrid Has Yet To Approach Roberto Martinez

Oct 31, 2018 3:04 PM

Real Madrid have yet to make an official approach to Roberto Martinez about their manager vacancy.

Martinez is currently manager of Belgium.

Real Madrid fired Julen Lopetegui following their loss to Barcelona in the Clasico.

At his first news conference as interim Madrid coach Santi Solari appeared very confident and suggested he would like to remain in the role long term.

Dermot Corrigan/ESPN

Tags: Belgium, Real Madrid, Misc Rumor

FIFA Wants To Expand World Cup To 48 Teams By 2022

Oct 31, 2018 1:02 PM

Gianni Infantino has said that he hopes the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will be expanded to 48 teams, saying such an expansion is “possible” and “feasible.”

“We have decided … to increase the number of teams participating in the World Cup final tournaments from 32 to 48. It will happen in 2026. Will it happen in 2022? You know me. It is possible. It is possible. Why not?” he added.

Infantino told the Asian Football Confederation's national football associations that expanding the tournament would see the number of Asian countries’ teams qualifying for the World Cup finals rise from 4.5 (four guaranteed and one play-off place) in a 32-nation tournament, to 8.5.

“You will have (a bigger) chance,” he said. “It is possible... It is feasible. We are discussing with our Qatari friends. We are discussing with many other friends in the region. We hope we have it happen. We always have to try.”

David Conn/The Guardian

Tags: World Cup

Dele Alli Signs Extension With Spurs Through 2024

Oct 30, 2018 4:50 PM

Dele Alli has signed a six-year contract extension with Tottenham Hotspur through 2024.

Alli will have an increase in salary as part of the deal.

Alli joined Spurs in a £5 million deal from MK Dons in 2015.

David Hytner/The Guardian

Tags: Tottenham Hotspur, Misc Rumor, Signing

Real Madrid Fires Julen Lopetegui As Manager

Oct 30, 2018 4:49 PM

Real Madrid has fired Julen Lopetegui as manager after just 14 matches.

Santiago Solari has been promoted from the club’s youth team to replace him temporarily.

Antonio Conte has been linked to the job on a permanent basis.

Lopetegui took the job as manager of Real Madrid while preparing Spain for the 2018 World Cup. Spain quickly fired him as manager and Fernando Hierro took over on an interim basis.

Rory Smith/New York Times

Tags: Real Madrid, Misc Rumor

Cristiano Ronaldo Cites Florentino Perez For Real Madrid Exit

Oct 29, 2018 1:07 PM

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

The club claimed the transfer had been instigated “at the will and the request of the player.”

“I felt it inside the club, especially from the president, that they no longer considered me the same way that they did in the start,” he said. “In the first four or five years there, I had the feeling of being ‘Cristiano Ronaldo’. Less afterwards. The president looked at me through eyes that didn’t want to say the same thing, as if I was no longer indispensable to them, if you know what I mean.

“That’s what made me think about leaving. Sometimes I’d look at the news, where they were saying I was asking to leave. There was a bit of that, but the truth is that I always had the impression that the president would not hold me back. If it had all been about money, I’d have moved to China, where I would have earned five times as much than here [at Juventus] or at Real. I did not come to Juve for the money. I earned the same in Madrid, if not more. The difference is that, at Juve, they really wanted me. They told me that and made it clear. They showed me that.”

He added: “The truth is that the president wanted me but, at the same time, he made it known to me that my departure would not constitute a problem.”

Ronaldo said Zinedine Zidane's departure was not a factor.

“My decision to leave was not based on his departure. That being the case, it’s one of those little things that made me feel a bit better in terms of what I thought of the situation at the club.”

Dominic Fifield/The Guardian

Tags: Juventus, Real Madrid, Misc Rumor

Report: Real Madrid To Fire Julen Lopetegui, Hire Antonio Conte

Oct 29, 2018 1:04 PM

According to multiple reports in Spain, Real Madrid will fire Julen Lopetegui and replace him with Antonio Conte.

Real Madrid lost to Barcelona 5-1 in Sunday's Clasico.

According to Marca, Lopetegui spoke with his players following the loss and said goodbye to them "just in case."

Conte left Chelsea this past summer.


Tags: Real Madrid, Misc Rumor

Marcos Alonso Signs Extension With Chelsea Through 2023

Oct 24, 2018 7:59 AM

Marcos Alonso has signed an extension with Chelsea through 2023.

"I am so happy to stay here longer and to keep playing for one of the best teams in the world," Alonso told Chelsea's website. "It's been a very good two seasons and I am looking forward to more."

Alonso was a relatively unheralded signing for Chelsea, in a £24 million deal from Fiorentina, in August 2016 but has established himself as a key contributor, operating effectively at left wing-back under Antonio Conte and transitioning well to the left of a back four since Maurizio Sarri's arrival.

Eduardo Fernandez-Abascal, Liam Twomey/ESPN

Tags: Chelsea, Misc Rumor, Signing

Jose Mourinho: United Must Spend To Rejoin Elite Status

Oct 24, 2018 7:57 AM

Jose Mourinho has called upon Manchester United to spend money on transfers if they want to rejoin the elite clubs of Europe.

United lost to Juventus 1-0 in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Mourinho spent £68 million to sign three players but was unable to bring in another center back.

"To go to the Juventus level? Barcelona level? Real Madrid level? How can you reach that level? Manchester City level? How can you reach this level?" he pondered.

"Juventus is champions for seven years, I think seven years in a row," Mourinho told a news conference. "Two Champions League finals in the last four or five years and not happy with what they have.

"They want more, they want more. They had [Gonzalo] Higuain, [Mario] Mandzukic, [Paulo] Dybala, they want more. They want Ronaldo. They had [Andrea] Barzagli, [Giorgio] Chiellini, [Danieli] Rugani, they are not happy, they want more. They want Bonucci and they go for the best players in the world.

"So a big, big club with a big past, but with also a big desire to have a big future and everything they put there to try to win, I don't say the Champions League, I think to win the treble. That's what they want because normally they win at home."

Rob Dawson/ESPN

Tags: Manchester United, Misc Rumor, Transfer Rumor

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

Tata Martino Announces Atlanta United Exit At End Of Season
Tata Martino is expected to become manager of Mexico.

RealGM Staff Report

Sergio Ramos Plays Down Altercation With Teammate
Sergio Ramos had an altercation on the training ground with Real Madrid teammate Sergio Reguilon.

Dermot Corrigan/ESPN

Jose Mourinho Denies Having Interest In Real Madrid
Jose Mourinho's deal currently ends in the summer of 2020.

Jamie Jackson/The Guardian

Lionel Messi Out Three Weeks With Fractured Arm
Lionel Messi will miss next week's El Clasico, which he hasn't missed since 2007.

The Guardian

Julen Lopetegui Not Fearing Being Fired By Real Madrid
Real Madrid continue to struggle under Julen Lopetegui.

Dermot Corrigan/ESPN

Mauricio Pochettino Calls On Spurs To Sign Players In January Window
Spurs didn't add a single player during the summer window.

Ben Pearce/ESPN

Tata Martino To Become Manager Of Mexico
Tata Martino is currently manager of Atlanta United.

Eric Gomez/ESPN

Bayern President Criticizes 'Disrespectful' Germany Reporting
Some in the media suggested Manuel Neuer, Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels had become part of Germany's current problems.

Stephan Uersfeld/ESPN

Kylian Mbappe Interested In Playing In Olympics
Kylian Mbappe would like to participate in the Olympics in Tokyo in 2020.

Jonathan Johnson/ESPN

Luke Shaw Signs Five-Year Extension With United
Luke Shaw has been given a significant increase on his £100,000-a-week wages.

Rob Dawson/ESPN

Shad Khan Backs Out Of Deal To Buy Wembley Stadium
Shahid Khan has canceled a proposed £600 million acquisition of Wembley.

David Conn/The Guardian

Arsene Wenger Prepared To Begin Managing Again In January
Arsene Wenger says he's received inquiries from clubs all over the world.

The Guardian

Romelu Lukaku Open To Playing In Italy Someday
Romelu Lukaku is in his second season with Manchester United following his £75 million move from Everton.

Rob Dawson/ESPN

Luke Shaw Discussing Extension With United
Luke Shaw's deal expires in the summer and the club do not hold any extension clause.

Jamie Jackson/The Guardian

Usain Bolt Offered Two-Year Contract From Unnamed European Club
Usain Bolt scored two goals for Central Coast Mariners of Australia's A-League.

Stephanie Brantz/ESPN

PSG Interested In Arsene Wenger, Monchi For Sporting Director Job
Antero Henrique's future as sporting director is in jeopardy.

Jonathan Johnson/ESPN

Monaco Hires Thierry Henry As Manager
Thierry Henry had previously been linked with the job at Aston Villa.

Julien Laurens/ESPN

Crew To Be Sold To Group Keeping Club In Columbus
Anthony Precourt will reportedly continue to pursue launching an MLS club in Austin.

Ian Thomas/Sports Business Journal

Eden Hazard Rules Out Leaving Chelsea For Real Madrid In January
Chelsea is attempting to sign Eden Hazard to an extension.

Liam Twomey/ESPN