May 2018 - Soccer Wiretap

Chelsea Continue Talks With Maurizio Sarri

May 31, 2018 7:57 PM

Maurizio Sarri and Chelsea continue to make progress on a two-year deal.

But Chelsea has made it clear they will not meet the £7 million release clause in Sarri's contract with Napoli. Sarri was replaced as manager of Napoli but his contract was not terminated.

Antonio Conte has been left in limbo as he has yet to be fired by Chelsea.

Dominic Fifield/The Guardian

Tags: Chelsea, Napoli, Misc Rumor

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City Close To Transfers For Riyad Mahrez, Jorginho

May 31, 2018 7:52 PM

Manchester City are close to signing Riyad Mahrez of Leicester City and Jorginho of Napoli.

City will reportedly pay approximately £60 million for Mahrez and £42 million for Jorginho.

The deals could be done as soon as the end of next week.

Mahrez handed in a transfer request and had a 10-day absence from the club before returning to training with them on Feb. 9. 

ESPN

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

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Mauricio Pochettino Emerges As Real Madrid's Top Target

May 31, 2018 7:48 PM

Mauricio Pochettino has been identified as Real Madrid's top candidate to replace Zinedine Zidane.

Pochettino recently signed a five-year extension and it is believed that he does not contain a clause that allows him to leave. 

Pochettino’s contract is worth a reported £8 million a year, making him the fourth-best paid manager in the Premier League.

Pochettino previously managed in La Liga for Espanyol.

Sid Lowe, Ed Aarons/The Guardian

Tags: Real Madrid, Tottenham Hotspur, Misc Rumor

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Everton Hires Marco Silva As Manager

May 31, 2018 2:33 PM

Everton has hired Marco Silva as manager to replace Sam Allardyce.

Silvas has signed a three-year contract with Everton.

Farhad Moshiri had wanted Silva to succeed Ronald Koeman in October but Watford rejected Everton’s advances and potential compensation of over £10m.

Andy Hunter/The Guardian

Tags: Everton, Misc Rumor

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Chelsea Postpones Stamford Bridge Renovation

May 31, 2018 11:54 AM

Roman Abramovich has put his £1 billion redevelopment plan for Stamford Bridge on hold after suffering continued delays of his visa.

A 49-word statement published on their website pointed to the “current unfavorable investment climate” as a key factor in their reasoning.

But the delay is understood to be prompted by Abramovic's visa issues.

Abramovich is apparently reluctant to invest heavily in a major project in the capital of a country where he is not allowed to work. 

The Jerusalem Post reported on Thursday that the 51-year-old had withdrawn his request for a British investor visa, with his previous tier-1 visa, which allows anyone who invests more than £2 million in the British economy to stay for 40 months, having been granted before tighter regulations were introduced in April 2015.

Chelsea are insistent Abramovich remains as committed to the football club as ever.

Dominic Fifield/The Guardian

Tags: Chelsea

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Zinedine Zidane Steps Down As Manager Of Real Madrid

May 31, 2018 11:27 AM

Zinedine Zidane has stepped down as manager of Real Madrid.

Zidane had won six major trophies since taking over the job in January of 2016, including three straight Champions Leagues.

The club’s president, Florentino Pérez, described it as a “sad day” and said the decision was “totally unexpected.”

Zidane had been due to discuss plans for the coming season.

“I would have liked to convince him [to stay] but I know how he is,” Pérez said at the start of the press conference.

“I have taken the decision not continue as coach of Real Madrid next year,” Zidane said. “I spoke to the president to explain what I thought. I think it is the moment, for me and for the squad. I know it is a bit of a strange moment but I think it is the right moment. This is a team that should keep on winning and it needs a change for that. After three years, it needs another discourse, another working methodology, and that’s why I took this decision.”

“There are complicated moments in the season when you ask: ‘Am I still the right person? I don’t forget the hard moments too. There are lovely moments and we ended with a spectacular moment but there are hard moments that make you reflect.”

Sid Lowe/The Guardian

Tags: Real Madrid, Misc Rumor

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Mohamed Salah Expected To Play In World Cup

May 30, 2018 7:29 PM

Mohamed Salah will be fit to feature in the World Cup group stages, according to the Egyptian Football Association.

Salah suffered a shoulder injury in the Champions League Final last Saturday.

A post on the federation’s Facebook page read: “The delegation of the national team was briefed on the recovery programme for the player, who is walking well and aims to join the squad in the World Cup, as well as the determination of the great player to catch up with his team-mates. For his part, Mohamed Abou El-Ela said that the period of absence of Salah due to injury will not exceed three weeks.”

Mark Dobson/The Guardian

Tags: Liverpool, Injury, World Cup

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PSG To Pursue Transfer For Cristiano Ronaldo

May 30, 2018 1:41 PM

Paris Saint-Germain plan on pursuing a transfer for Cristiano Ronaldo this summer.

PSG will offer Ronaldo a net salary of €45 million ($52.5 million), which would rival what Lionel Messi earns with Barcelona.

Ronaldo has a €1 billion release clause in his current contract with Real Madrid and PSG will not exceed a transfer fee of €150 million.

PSG must also comply with Financial Fair Play in order to sign Ronaldo while keeping Neymar and Kylian Mbappe as they intend.

Manu Sainz/As.com

Tags: Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid, Misc Rumor, Transfer Rumor

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Pep Guardiola: Barcelona Are Still Best Club In World

May 30, 2018 1:24 PM

Barcelona hasn't won the Champions League since 2015 and Pep Guardiola hasn't been with the club since 2012, but he believes they remain the best team in the world.

Guardiola offered the sentiment in an unsolicited way when asked about Andres Iniesta leaving Barcelona.

"You have to do it again and find the players to do it again," said Guardiola. "A team isn't finished when one, two or three people are gone. Barcelona are still the best team in the world, Champions League or no Champions League."

Juan Jimenez/As.com

Tags: Barcelona, Manchester City

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Spanish Tax Authorities Reject Cristiano Ronaldo's Settlement Offer

May 30, 2018 1:20 PM

Spanish tax authorities have rejected an offer of €14 million from Cristiano Ronaldo to settle his tax fraud case.

Ronaldo offered the amount plus an admission of guilt in exchanged for a prison sentence of two years. Ronaldo would not serve any actual time in jail.

But Spanish tax authorities are demanding €28 million from Ronaldo. Ronaldo can either play this amount before June 15th or stand trial for tax fraud following the World Cup.

This situation may explain to some extent the player’s reaction after the Champions League final in Kiev.

Joaquin Maroto/As.com

Tags: Real Madrid

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Robert Lewandowski Formally Requests Transfer From Bayern
Robert Lewandowski has scored 151 goals in 195 matches since joining Bayern from Borussia Dortmund in 2014.

Mark Lovell/ESPN

FC Cincinnati Becomes 26th Team In MLS
FC Cincinnati will join the MLS as an expansion team next year.

ESPN

Cristiano Ronaldo Considering All Options
A decision is unlikely to be reached until after the World Cup.

Dermot Corrigan/ESPN

Egypt 'Optimistic' Mohamed Salah Will Be Healthy For World Cup
Mohamed Salah left the pitch in tears after landing awkwardly on his left shoulder following a duel with Sergio Ramos.

Glenn Price/ESPN

Cristiano Ronaldo Puts Future With Real Madrid In Doubt
Cristiano Ronaldo said it has been nice being at Real Madrid.

Dermot Corrigan/ESPN

Real Madrid Wins Third Straight Champions League
Real Madrid have won their third straight Champions League and fourth in five seasons after beating Liverpool 3-1 in the final.

RealGM Staff Report

Southampton Signs Mark Hughes To Three-Year Contract
Saints were just one point above the drop zone when Mark Hughes replaced Mauricio Pellegrino.

Press Association

Chelsea To Meet With Maurizio Sarri
Antonio Conte has yet to be fired but he is widely expected to by Chelsea.

Fabrizio Romano/The Guardian

Arsenal Interested In Stephan Lichtsteiner
Stephan Lichtsteiner is on Unai Emery's list of targets.

Fabrizio Romano/The Guardian

United Will Resist Selling Martial To Spurs In Deal For Alderweireld
Anthony Martial is interested in leaving United in hopes of more regular playing time.

Rob Dawson/ESPN

Carlo Ancelotti Hired As Manager Of Napoli
Carlo Ancelotti had been out of work since leaving Bayern Munich last September.

PA Sport

Dortmund Hires Lucien Favre As Manager
Dortmund triggered a 3 million release clause in Lucien Favre's contract with Nice.

Stephan Uersfeld/ESPN

Harry Kane Named Captain Of England
Gareth Southgate spread the captain responsibilities around during qualifying.

Domin

Manuel Pellegrini Agrees To Three-Year, $40.2M Deal With West Ham
Manuel Pellegrini will also be given full control of their transfer decisions.

Jacob Steinberg/The Guardian

United Seeks Summer Transfer For Toby Alderweireld
Toby Alderweireld is said to be open to a move to United.

Jamie Jackson/The Guardian

Arsenal Hires Unai Emery As Manager
Unai Emery spent one season with Paris Saint-Germain before his dismissal this month.

David Ornstein/BBC

Santi Cazorla To Leave Arsenal
Santi Cazorla has not played since suffering an Achilles injury in October 2016.

RealGM Staff Report

Alvaro Morata, Fabregas, Marcos Alonso Left Off Spain's WC Roster
Diego Costa is amongst Spain's forwards instead of Alvaro Morata.

Adriana Garcia/ESPN

Massimiliano Allegri Informs Juventus He Will Remain As Manager
Max Allegri had been linked to Arsenal's managerial vacancy.

Fabrizio Romano, Sachin Nakrani/The Guardian

Emre Can Agrees To Join Juventus
Emre Can has not played for Liverpool since sustaining a back injury in mid-March.

Fabrizio Romano, Sachin Nakrani/The Guardian