July 2018 - Soccer Wiretap

Barcelona Hope To Sign 20-Year, $350M Naming Rights Deal For Camp Nou

Jul 31, 2018 6:06 PM

Barcelona are in the final stages of a naming rights deal for Camp Nou as they're targeting a €300 million deal over 20 years.

The sponsor's name will appear after "Camp Nou," effectively becoming the stadium's surname.

The money will go towards the renovation of Camp Nou, Barca's base since 1957.

Sam Marsden/ESPN

Tags: Barcelona

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AC Milan Takes Gonzalo Higuain Loan, Leonardo Bonucci Returns To Juve

Jul 31, 2018 1:42 PM

Gonzalo Higuain has agreed to join AC Milan on a season-long loan from Juventus with Leonardo Bonucci returning to Turin after one season.

Mattia Caldara will also join Higuain with Milan.

Higuain moved to Juventus in 2016 for €90 million (£75 million) and scored 40 goals in 76 Serie A appearances, but his future with the club was uncertain following the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ed Aarons, Fabrizio Romano/The Guardian

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

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Liverpool Optimistic Of Signing Sadio Mane To Extension

Jul 30, 2018 8:19 PM

Jugen Klopp is hopeful of Liverpool signing Sadio Mane to an extension.

Liverpool has signed Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino to new five-year deals in recent months in which their salaries were doubled.

Mane has three seasons remaining on his current deal.

Klopp said: “When I speak about the good mood in the club, that is not only in the stands. We are Liverpool as a team and the boys want to be part of it. That’s really cool and it’s a big achievement for the club because these boys, Bobby Firmino, Mo Salah and Sadio Mané, and a lot of the others as well, could play for pretty much any team in the world. That’s how it is and a good sign for the club that they want to stay. It is an improved situation that these players don’t use us and then go. It’s cool but now we all together have to deliver. Sign your contracts but now, go again – play and fight, run and shoot, all that stuff. That’s football.”

Andy Hunter/The Guardian

Tags: Liverpool, Misc Rumor

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Cristiano Ronaldo Has First Practice With Juventus

Jul 30, 2018 3:12 PM

Cristiano Ronaldo arrived for his first training session with Juventus.

Ronaldo and his family arrived in Turin on Sunday via private jet.

Ronaldo won't travel with Juventus to Atlanta to the play the MLS All-Stars. 

The entire Juve squad should train together in Turin on Aug. 8, ahead of Ronaldo's first outing in a black-and-white striped shirt four days later, in the Serie A club's traditional season-opener at Villar Perosa.

Ben Gladwell/ESPN

Tags: Juventus

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Juan Carlos Osorio Steps Down As Manager Of Mexico

Jul 29, 2018 8:40 PM

Juan Carlos Osorio has quit after three years as manager of Mexico.

Osorio, 56, had rejected offers from the Mexican Football Federation (FMF) to extend his contract.

He said: "In my own name and in that of my backroom staff, many thanks to everyone for this unique and unparalleled professional and life experience."

Mexico were knocked out of the World Cup in the last 16, losing 2-0 to Brazil.

BBC

Tags: Mexico, Misc Rumor

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Juve Considering Sale Of Gonzalo Higuain

Jul 27, 2018 10:09 AM

Juventus is considering a sale of Gonzalo Higuain following the purchase of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Milan and Chelsea have been linked to Higuain, who scored 36 goals last season. Juve purchased Higuain from Napoli for €90 million.

"He is still an important player for us, but now we obviously have greater competition [up front], but he is a professional and we are evaluating his future together with the people who represent him," Beppe Marotta told Sky Sport Italia. "We have a great deal of respect for him."

Ben Gladwell/ESPN

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

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Kylian Mbappe Switches To No. 7 With PSG

Jul 26, 2018 2:58 PM

Kylian Mbappe has changed his number with Paris Saint-Germain to No. 7 that was vacated by Lucas Moura.

Mbappe wore No. 29 previously and wears No. 10 for France.

"For a long time, I said that numbers were unimportant and that it was something that only matters on the pitch," Mbappe told the PSG website.

"However, it is an indication of your ambitions -- the player you want to become. I keep trying to progress on the pitch and I think that, for me, it was the right time to change number.

It is something of an affirmation. The No. 7 shirt is a legendary one -- many greats have worn it. I hope that I will be able to do this number justice on the pitch."

Jonathan Johnson/ESPN

Tags: Paris Saint-Germain

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Aston Villa Could Fire Steve Bruce To Hire Thierry Henry

Jul 25, 2018 10:18 AM

Thierry Henry has a "verbal" agreement to become manager of Aston Villa, according to reports.

Current manager Steve Bruce is scheduled to meet with Villa's owners.

Bruce has made it clear he hopes to persuade the Egyptian billionaire Nassef Sawiris and the American financier Wes Edens to retain him, but he does not seem overly optimistic.

Henry most recently was one of Roberto Martinez's assistants with Belgium.

Louise Taylor/The Guardian

Tags: Aston Villa, Misc Rumor

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Liverpool Giving Daniel Sturridge Another Chance To Play

Jul 25, 2018 10:16 AM

With Daniel Sturridge having an impressive preseason, Liverpool is prepared to give him another chance.

Last summer, Liverpool was prepared to sell Sturridge to any club willing to pay £20 million. Sturridge went to West Brom on loan but was injured early on and only made six appearances. 

Sturridge is in the final season of his contract.

“We’re not in doubt – and nobody was ever in doubt – about his quality,” he said. “In this moment he looks really good to be honest. That’s cool – really cool for him and cool for us.

“[It’s] a very important moment for him. I am in talks with him, what he feels. I don’t want to make him the most physically strong player in the squad or whatever. The most physically strong player in the squad cannot play football like Daniel Sturridge and he has no possibility to be that, to be the marathon man of the team, but he can be a very decisive player.”

The Guardian

Tags: Liverpool

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Bayern Buys Canadian Phenom Alphonso Davies For MLS Record $13M

Jul 25, 2018 9:59 AM

Bayern Munich have agreed to buy 17-year-old Canadian phenom Alphonso Davies from the Vancouver Whitecaps for $13 million, which is a record for an MLS export. The transfer could hit $17 million if certain bonuses are hit.

Because Davies is a homegrown player, the Whitecaps will likely be able to keep all of the transfer fee, rather than share a sizable portion with MLS.

Davies will remain with the Whitecaps until the end of the MLS season, as he would not be able to play for Bayern in an official game until he turns 18 in November.

New Bayern coach Niko Kovac said at a news conference that he liked what he had seen from Davies.

"Nothing is final yet but it's looking good," Kovac said. "He is a big talent, he's young and very fast."

Davies has three goals and eight assists in 20 games this season.

ESPN

Tags: Bayern Munich, Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Misc Rumor, Transfer Rumor

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Everton Buys Richarlison From Watford For $52.6M
Richarlison joined Watford from Fluminense last summer.

The Guardian

Barcelona Buys Malcom From Bordeaux For $47.9M
Malcom agreed a five-year deal to move to the Camp Nou, with a release clause expected to be fixed at 400m.

Sam Marsden/ESPN

Kylian Mbappe Hid Back Injury During World Cup Semis, Final
Kylian Mbappe hurt three vertebrae in his back when picking his things up to go for a shower.

Jonathan Johnson/ESPN

Jose Mourinho: World Cup Is 'Perfect Habitat' For Paul Pogba
Jose Mourinho hopes Paul Pogba's play in the World Cup carries over to United.

Mark Ogden/ESPN

Clasicos For 18-19 Set For Oct. 28, Mar. 3
La Liga announced their fixture list for the 18-19 season, which begins on the weekend of Aug. 18th.

Adriana Garcia/ESPN

Jurgen Klopp: We Have The Highest Ambitions
Despite Liverpool's success under Jurgen Klopp, they have yet to win any silverware during his tenure.

Andy Hunter/The Guardian

United Will Only Sell Anthony Martial Outside Premier League
Chelsea has been linked with a move for Anthony Martial.

Jamie Jackson/The Guardian

Jose Mourinho Pessimistic On United Signing More Transfers
United have signed Fred, Diogo Dalot and Lee Grant this summer while also adding Alexis Sanchez in January.

Rob Dawson/ESPN

Mesut Ozil Retires From Germany Team
Mesut Ozil retired from the national team citing "racism and disrespect."

Tom Bryant/The Guardian

United Will Resist Anthony Martial's Attempts To Leave
United would like to wait until 2020 to sell Anthony Martial.

Jamie Jackson/The Guardian

Real Madrid Preparing $147M Transfer Bid For Eden Hazard
Chelsea will hold out for a deal worth 200 million and intend to offer Eden Hazard a new contract.

ESPN

2018 World Cup Final Drew Approximately 900M Viewers Worldwide
In the United States, the final was watched by 11.8 million on Fox compared to 17.3 on ABC in 2014.

Elsa Keslassy/Variety

Neymar Confirms He Will Remain With PSG
Paris Saint-Germain bought Neymar for 222 million last summer.

ESPN

Maurizio Sarri Will Wait To Hold Talks With Eden Hazard, Courtois
Real Madrid are in talks with Chelsea over a possible 35 million transfer for Thibaut Courtois.

Jacob Steinberg/The Guardian

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain Out For Season With Knee Surgery
Liverpool expects Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to make a recovery.

Andy Hunter/The Guardian

Liverpool Signs Alisson From Roma For $87.3M
Alisson joined Roma from Internacional in 2016 for 7.5 million.

Fabrizio Romano/The Guardian

Thierry Henry Leaves Sky To Concentrate On Coaching Career
Thierry Henry was assistant manager of Belgium at the World Cup.

Press Association

Chelsea To Resist Real Madrid's Pursuit Of Eden Hazard
Eden Hazard is contracted until 2020 and Chelsea had hoped to tie him to new terms worth a club-record 300,000 a week.

Dominic Fifield/The Guardian

James Rodriguez Won't Return To Real Madrid Early
Several reports indicated James Rodriguez was hoping to return to Real Madrid.

Dermot Corrigan/ESPN

Gareth Bale To Become Featured Member Of Real Madrid
Gareth Bale will seek assurances that he will become a starter again, having spent much of last season on the bench under Zinedine Zidane.

Jamie Jackson/The Guardian