November 2021 - Soccer Wiretap

Lionel Messi Wins Ballon D'Or For 7th Time

Nov 29, 2021 4:13 PM

Lionel Messi has won the Ballon d'Or for a seventh time, beating out Robert Lewandowski.

Messi led Argentina to their first major trophy since 1993.

Messi now has two more Ballon d'Or awards than Cristiano Ronaldo. 

ESPN

Tags: Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, Personal Award

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Neymar Out 6-8 Weeks With Ankle Injury

Nov 29, 2021 10:25 AM

Neymar will miss six to eight weeks after sustaining ligament damage in his left ankle on Sunday.

Neymar was stretchered off the field on 85 minutes.

Neymar took to Instagram after the game and promised to come back stronger from the injury.

"Unfortunately, these setbacks are a part of an athlete's life," he said on Instagram.

"Now you have to raise your head and move on. I will come back better and stronger."

ESPN

Tags: Paris Saint-Germain, Injury

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United Hires Ralf Rangnick As Interim Manager

Nov 26, 2021 8:51 AM

Manchester United has hired Ralf Rangnick as interim manager. 

Rangnick is leaving his job as head of sports and development at Lokomotiv Moscow to take up the role.

Rangnick has agreed a six-month deal until the end of May. He will have a further two years in a consultancy role.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was fired earlier this week.

Laurie Whitwell, David Ornstein/ESPN

Tags: Manchester United, Misc Rumor

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Mauricio Pochettino Emerges As Manchester United's Top Target

Nov 23, 2021 10:57 PM

Mauricio Pochettino has emerged as the top target for Manchester United as their next permanent manager.

Pochettino, however, is under contract with Paris Saint-Germain until 2023 after signing an extension this summer.

Pochettino would be interested in the job if he can get out of his contract.

"I am very focused on football," said Pochettino when asked about the United job. "I am not a kid, I'm not a child; I spent my whole life playing football and now 12 years being a coach, we are in a business and the rumors are there.

"I completely understand what is going on -- sometimes it is a positive or sometimes negative, but this kind of thing cannot distract me.

"What another club is doing's not my business, and I am not going to make the mistake to talk. Things get misunderstood and out of context."

Rob Dawson/ESPN

Tags: Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain, Misc Rumor

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United In Talks With Ernesto Valverde On Interim Role

Nov 23, 2021 10:55 PM

Manchester United have held discussions with Ernesto Valverde about the possibility of becoming interim manager.

After Solskjaer's departure, Michael Carrick was put in charge temporarily, and despite his winning his first game 2-0 against Villarreal on Tuesday, sources say that the club remain committed to bringing in someone else between now and the summer.

Valverde has previously managed Barcelona and Bilbao. 

Rob Dawson/ESPN

Tags: Manchester United, Misc Rumor

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PSG Reaches Out To Zinedine Zidane About Potential Interest In Job

Nov 22, 2021 10:16 PM

Paris Saint-Germain have reached out to Zinedine Zidane about his interest in their managerial job should they part ways with Mauricio Pochettino.

Zidane left Real Madrid last summer after his second tenure with the club.

PSG believes Zidane would be well suited to manage their star-studded club. 

Julien Laurens/ESPN

Tags: Paris Saint-Germain, Misc Rumor

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Gareth Southgate Signs Extension With England Through 2024

Nov 22, 2021 10:03 AM

Gareth Southgate has signed a contract extension to remain as manager of England until the end of 2024.

Southgate's previous deal would have expired after the World Cup in Qatar. 

Southgate will receive a significant increase on his old £3 million-a-year deal.

"I am delighted that Steve and I have been able to extend our stay in our respective roles," Southgate said in a statement.

"It remains an incredible privilege to lead this team.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mark [Bullingham], John [McDermott] and the board for their support -- and of course the players and support team for their hard work.

"We have a great opportunity in front of us and I know they and the fans are all excited about what this squad could achieve in future."

James Olley/ESPN

Tags: England, Misc Rumor

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United Fires Ole Gunnar Solskjaer As Manager

Nov 21, 2021 7:50 AM

Manchester United has fired Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as manager.

"Ole will always be a legend at Manchester United and it is with regret that we have reached this difficult decision. While the past few weeks have been disappointing, they should not obscure all the work he has done over the past three years to rebuild the foundations for long-term success.

"Ole leaves with our sincerest thanks for his tireless efforts as Manager and our very best wishes for the future. His place in the club's history will always be secure, not just for his story as a player, but as a great man and a Manager who gave us many great moments. He will forever be welcome back at Old Trafford as part of the Manchester United family."

Michael Carrick will take charge as caretaker. 

United's 4-1 defeat to Watford was the final straw for Solskjaer, who had nearly been fired several teams previously. 

ESPN

Tags: Manchester United, Misc Rumor

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Jesse Lingard Ends Extension Talks With United

Nov 18, 2021 4:05 PM

Jesse Lingard has walked away from extension talks with Manchester United as he continues to struggle for playing time.

Lingard has started just one match this season as his contract expires in seven months.

Lingard wants to be a regular starter in order to have a chance to earn a place in England's 2022 World Cup squad. 

Rob Dawson/ESPN

Tags: Manchester United, Misc Rumor, Transfer Rumor

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Joan Laporta Hints Barcelona Could Bring Back Lionel Messi

Nov 17, 2021 3:36 PM

Joan Laporta hinted that Barcelona could potentially bring back Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta. 

Messi left on a free transfer in the summer to join Paris Saint-Germain.

"I can't rule it out," Laporta said at Alves' presentation when asked whether Messi and Iniesta could follow the defender back to the club in the future.

"It's happened with Dani Alves, who has seen the situation and wanted to help. We're grateful for the financial sacrifice he's made. He wants to help us turn things around.

"Leo and Andres are two spectacular players. I can't predict the future. They are Barca greats and who made this club what it is and they will always be present, but they're players with contracts with other clubs. That must be respected, but in life you never know."

Iniesta, 37, joined Japanese side Vissel Kobe in 2018.

Sam Marsden, Moises Llorens/ESPN

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

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Several United Players Feel Misled By Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Rob Dawson/ESPN

Dani Alves Signs With Barcelona

ESPN

Steven Gerrard Hired As Manager Of Aston Villa

ESPN

Paul Pogba Out Up To Two Months With Thigh Injury

Rob Dawson/ESPN

Newcastle Hires Eddie Howe As Manager

ESPN

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Expected To Remain With United Through Break

Rob Dawson/ESPN

Barcelona Hires Xavi Hernandez As Manager

Sam Marsden, Moises Llorens/ESPN

Roberto Firmino Likely Out At Least Four Weeks With Hamstring Injury

Aramide Oladipo/ESPN

Thomas Tuchel Wants To Remain With Chelsea Long-Term

Jacob Steinberg/The Guardian

Barcelona On Verge Of Hiring Xavi As Manager

Sam Marsden, Moises Llorens/ESPN

Antonio Conte Hired As Manager Of Tottenham

ESPN

Antonio Conte, Tottenham In Advanced Talks

Spurs Fire Nuno Espirito Santo As Manager After 17 Matches

ESPN