November 2018 - Soccer Wiretap

Zinedine Zidane Could Be Close To Returning To Managing

Nov 30, 2018 3:21 PM

Zinedine Zidane may be close to returning to managing, according to his oldest son Enzo Zidane.

Zidane stepped down as manager of Real Madrid after last year's Champions League Final.

"We all know that my father loves football and loves to coach," Enzo, who plays for Rayo Majadahonda on loan from Swiss club Lausanne, told Diario AS.

"It's most likely that he will return to coaching soon."

Zidane has been linked with both the Manchester United and Bayern Munich jobs.

Adriana Garcia/ESPN

Tags: Bayern Munich, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Misc Rumor

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Timbers, Atlanta United To Meet In The 2018 MLS Cup Final

Nov 30, 2018 1:46 PM

The Portland Timbers and Atlanta United will play for the MLS Cup on December 8th at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. 

The Timbers beat SKC 3-2 on aggregate in the Western Conference finals, while Atlanta United defeated the NY Red Bulls 3-1 on aggregate in the Eastern Conference finals. 

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: Atlanta United, Portland Timbers, Game Recap

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United Activates One-Year Extension In David De Gea's Contract

Nov 29, 2018 3:22 PM

Manchester United has activated their one-year extension on the contract of David De Gea.

De Gea is now under contract until 2020.

De Gea would have been free to talk to other clubs had they not triggered their clause.

At 28, De Gea could still have a future away from United, presumably in his native Spain.

Paul Wilson/The Guardian

Tags: Manchester United, Misc Rumor, Signing, Transfer Rumor

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Maurizio Sarri Has One-On-One Meetings Following Loss To Spurs

Nov 28, 2018 10:18 AM

Maurizio Sarri conducted one-on-one meetings with his Chelsea players as he sought an explanation for a perceived lack of “determination” in their loss to Spurs.

“I talked to them player by player, a meeting of five to 10 minutes with the individuals,” said Sarri, who will rest Eden Hazard against PAOK after the Belgian suffered an ankle injury at the weekend. “I had to think about everything because, on Saturday, we played very badly, a match without determination.

“That’s not normal. We’ve lost one match after three and a half months, 110 days, but we have to understand why, especially from the mental point of view. It’s very difficult for me to understand why we played without determination in such an important match.

“If you don’t have determination, you have no motivation. If you have no motivation, maybe you don’t have clear targets in your mind. I wanted to understand this. The problem was also with the approach to the match in the previous three matches [against Crystal Palace, BATE Borisov and Everton], but if you go on to the pitch with that approach and the opponents are very strong, like Tottenham, and determined like Tottenham were, the problem is bigger. So they were able to destroy us in 15 minutes. But I’d seen the same problems also in the matches before.”

Dominic Fifield/The Guardian

Tags: Chelsea

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Barcelona To Target Adrien Rabiot, Frenkie De Jong In January

Nov 27, 2018 10:24 PM

Barcelona could look to replace Rafinha during the January transfer window.

Rafinha will undergo surgery next week for his injured ACL.

"It's something we have to analyse," Valverde said when asked if the club would look to sign a replacement for Rafinha in January. "The injury came as a surprise, because of how it happened. He was able to finish the game against Atletico, then on Sunday [we find out the extent of the problem].

"We will have to look at everything. The January transfer window is close, so we will have to look at the circumstances and see what we do."

Sources have confirmed to ESPN FC that Paris Saint-Germain's Adrien Rabiot and Ajax's Frenkie de Jong are both being considered, while Manchester United's Paul Pogba has split opinion at the club.

Sam Marsden/ESPN

Tags: Ajax, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, Misc Rumor, Transfer Rumor

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Santi Solari Calls Isco's Absence 'Sporting Decision'

Nov 27, 2018 10:22 PM

The absence of Isco from Real Madrid's bench in Tuesday's 2-0 win at Roma was described by Santi Solari as a "sporting decision."

"These are calls that you make in a certain moment," Solari said of Isco, who was fit and available for selection. "We are here to do that, nothing else. It was a sporting decision, nothing else. There are no starters, or substitutes, in football. It is up to all players to be at 100 percent, so the coaches pick them."

Solari said he was happy with his surprise decision to give Marcos Llorente, 23, a first Champions League start in holding midfield after just 11 minutes of domestic play until Tuesday this season.

"We are here to take decisions, sometimes you get it right, sometimes not," he said. "Always easier to talk after the game, but we must do it before. I am very happy for how he played, he is an example as a professional with a lot of discipline, works very well, and played a spectacular game today. He trains very well everyday, which is why he can play like this."

Dermot Corrigan/ESPN

Tags: Real Madrid

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Sergio Ramos Won't Face Discipline Over Doping Claims

Nov 27, 2018 10:43 AM

Sergio Ramos won't face any disciplinary action following a report alleging he had been involved in irregularities during anti-doping controls on two occasions.

Football Leaks documents claimed Ramos tested positive for a prohibited substance after the 2017 Champions League final and did not follow correct procedures when called for a routine test after a game at Malaga in April.

After Ramos tweeted on Saturday that an "official allowed me to shower," Der Spiegel published what it said was a letter sent to Madrid by AEPSAD in September, in which a doping official said no such permission had been given.

Ramos described the Football Leaks claims as "lies."

Dermot Corrigan/ESPN

Tags: Real Madrid, Suspension

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Barcelona Not Considering January Sale Of Ousmane Dembele

Nov 27, 2018 10:32 AM

Ousmane Dembele has not told Barcelona that he wants to leave in January and the club have no plans to sell him.

Dembele cost €145 million from Borussia Dortmund last year and has been in and out of Barcelona's lineup.

Barca officials met Dembele's agents during the international break, but general manager Pep Segura said it was a routine meeting.

Ernesto Valverde has called the 21-year-old "a huge talent who brings qualities which no-one else can."

Sam Marsden/ESPN

Tags: Barcelona, Misc Rumor, Transfer Rumor

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Jose Mourinho Again Interested In Axel Witsel

Nov 26, 2018 10:18 AM

Jose Mourinho is revisiting his interest in Axel Witsel of Borussia Dortmund.

Mourinho told reporters on Friday that he had travelled to Brussels for the UEFA Nations League clash with Iceland in order to monitor Romelu Lukaku's fitness following a hamstring injury. 

Mourinho has been a long-term admirer of Witsel and had been keen to sign the former Benfica and Zenit St Petersburg player last summer.

United instead spent £52 million to sign Fred from Shakhtar Donetsk.

Mark Ogden/ESPN

Tags: Borussia Dortmund, Manchester United, Misc Rumor, Transfer Rumor

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Eden Hazard Calls January Transfer 'Impossibe'

Nov 26, 2018 10:04 AM

Eden Hazard said it is "impossible" for him to leave Chelsea in January, but is keeping his options open for the summer.

Chelsea are desperate to sign Hazard to an extension as he enters the final season of his contract. The club is prepared to make him the richest player in club history.

Hazard said in September that a move to Real Madrid was his "dream."

"Impossible. I don't see myself leaving in January, for the club, for the fans," said Hazard about leaving Chelsea for Real Madrid in January.

"It's possible [that he could leave in the summer], as I repeat every time, but it's also possible I stay at Chelsea for my whole career.

"For the moment, as I have already said, I'm focusing on Chelsea this year. I have a year on my contract after this year. If there is no contract extension, of course [he would be sold]."

Liam Twomey/ESPN

Tags: Chelsea, Real Madrid, Misc Rumor, Transfer Rumor

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Barca Becomes First Team To Average More Than 10M Per Year In Wages
Lionel Messi's pay alone is more than 50 million per season.

Sean Ingle/The Guardian

N'Golo Kante Signs Extension With Chelsea Through 2023
The deal is worth approximately 290,000 per week.

Dominic Fifield/The Guardian

Jose Mourinho Still Targeting Top-4 Finish
United is currently eighth in the Premier League.

Rob Dawson/ESPN

LA Galaxy Denies Report Of Zlatan Ibrahimovic Joining AC Milan
Zlatan Ibrahimovic signed a two-year contract with the Galaxy in March that won't expire until December 2019.

Jeff Carlisle/ESPN

Manchester United Loses $384M In Value
The club's share price dropped 8.68 percent in trading on Tuesday.

Mark Ogden/ESPN

Christian Pulisic Honored To Be Youngest Captain Of USMNT
Christian Pulisic is just 20 years and 63 days old.

Jeff Carlisle/ESPN

Aurelio De Laurentiis Interested In Purchasing Club In England
Aurelio De Laurentiis is president of Napoli.

Ben Gladwell/ESPN

Barcelona Scouting Long-Term Replacement For Luis Suarez
Barcelona have Krzysztof Piatek, Nicolas Pepe and Luka Jovic this season.

Sam Marsden/ESPN

Bayern Unlikely To Keep James Rodriguez On Permanent Transfer
James Rodriguez could join Bayern for 42 million should they exercise their buy clause.

Stephan Uersfeld/ESPN

Kingsley Coman Calls On Bayern To Sign Younger Players
Bayern president Uli Hoeness has said that most players will be under close scrutiny in the next couple of months.

Stephan Uersfeld/ESPN

Richard Scudamore To Receive $6.4M Exit Payment From Premier League
Susanna Dinnage will replace Richard Scudamore, who was in the post for 19 years.

The Guardian

Marko Arnautovic Would Like To Leave West Ham To Play In UCL
Marko Arnautovic moved from Stoke to West Ham for 25 million in 2017.

Ed Aarons/The Guardian

Paul Pogba Rules Out Juve Return, Calls United 'Home'
Paul Pogba joined United's youth academy in 2009 and then went to Juventus in 2012 before returning to United in 2016.

ESPN

Fulham Hires Claudio Ranieri As Manager
Claudio Ranieri led Leicester City to the Premier League title in 15-16.

ESPN

UEFA Could Reopen FFP Investigation Against City
City accepted a 49 million fine for breaching FFP in 2014.

The Guardian

Real Madrid Appoint Santiago Solari As Permanent Manager
Santiago Solari has won all four of his games in caretaker charge.

Dermot Corrigan/ESPN

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

Stephan Uersfeld/ESPN

Real Madrid Hasn't Reached Out To Arsene Wenger
Arsene Wenger has also been linked to AC Milan, but he dismissed those reports as "fake news."

Jaime Candil/As.com

Pep Guardiola: Manchester Derby Not Most Important Match Of Season
City are nine points clear of Manchester United heading into Sunday's match.

Jonathan Smith/ESPN

Report Reveals Ethnic Profiling By PSG Scouts
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.

Jonathan Johnson/ESPN