January 2022 - Soccer Wiretap

United Move On From Erling Haaland, Real Madrid Considered Favorites

Jan 21, 2022 8:33 AM

Real Madrid has emerged as the favorites to sign Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund. Haaland is expected to leave Dortmund at the end of the season due to a €75 million release clause becoming active in his contract at the Bundesliga club this summer.

Manchester United, who had interest in Haaland, are ready to shift to other attacking options.

Real Madrid would like to sign booth Haaland and Kylian Mbappe this summer.

Sources said that although the Haaland camp are admirers of the work done by United interim manager Ralf Rangnick at previous clubs, the prospect of signing for United while they remain in a period of transition, and potentially out of the Champions League, has made the 20-time English champions an unappealing proposition considering the other teams in the race to sign Haaland.

Mark Ogden/ESPN

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

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PSG In Touch With Zinedine Zidane In Case Mauricio Pochettino Leaves

Jan 18, 2022 11:12 AM

Paris Saint-Germain have made contact with Zinedine Zidane about their managerial job in case Mauricio Pochettino departs the club for Manchester United.

Zidane stepped down as manager of Real Madrid for a second time after the 20-21 season.

The potential arrival of Zidane could help convince Kylian Mbappe to remain with the club.

Tags: Paris Saint-Germain, Misc Rumor

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Kylian Mbappe, PSG Hold Positive Extension Talks

Jan 18, 2022 11:08 AM

Kylian Mbappe and Paris Saint-Germain are holding talks on a short-term contract extension.

Mbappe's current deal runs out in June and there had been widespread speculation that he would join Real Madrid. Real Madrid were close to recruiting him last summer, but sources told ESPN that PSG rejected a €200 million offer from Madrid in August.

One main factor in convincing Mbappe to stay is that despite being in a dressing room with star names such as Neymar, Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos, Mbappe has now found the role that he always wanted at the club. 

Zinedine Zidane's potential arrival to the Parc des Princes next season is another factor that could influence Mbappe to extend his stay. 

Julien Laurens/ESPN

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

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Roberto Martinez Considered Leading Candidate For Everton Job

Jan 17, 2022 10:32 AM

Roberto Martinez has emerged as the leading candidate to replace Rafael Benitez as manager of Everton.

Former Everton forward Wayne Rooney, now managing Championship club Derby County, is being linked with a return to Goodison, but sources have told ESPN that Martinez is the leading contender at this stage.

Martinez is currently manager of Belgium and wants to see the position through the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. 

Assistant manager Duncan Ferguson is expected to take charge of Everton against Aston Villa next Saturday, enabling the club to spend time during the international break which follows to appoint an interim or permanent manager.

Mark Ogden/ESPN

Tags: Belgium, Everton, Misc Rumor

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Brentford In Talks To Sign Christian Eriksen

Jan 17, 2022 10:30 AM

Brentford are in talks to sign Christian Eriksen on an initial six-month contract.

Eriksen, 29, is a free agent after his contract with Inter Milan was terminated last month following the Italian medical authority's refusal to allow him to play with a cardiac device implant.

Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest during Denmark's opening game of Euro 2020 against Finland in June last year and received life-saving treatment on the pitch before being taken to hospital.

Brentford manager Thomas Frank previously coached the midfielder while working for Denmark with the under-17 team.

James Olley/ESPN

Tags: Brentford, Misc Rumor

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Everton Fires Rafa Benitez As Manager

Jan 17, 2022 10:29 AM

Everton has fired Rafa Benitez after six months in the job.

The decision was made following a 2-1 defeat by Everton to Norwich City.

"Everton Football Club can confirm the departure of Rafael Benitez as first team manager," an Everton statement read. "Benitez, who joined Everton in June 2021, has left the club with immediate effect.

"An update on a permanent replacement will be made in due course."

Benitez joined Everton in June, replacing Carlo Ancelotti, who left after 12 months in charge to join Real Madrid.

ESPN

Tags: Everton, Misc Rumor

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Newcastle Attempting To Sign Hugo Ekitike From Reims

Jan 11, 2022 7:41 AM

Newcastle has made an offer to Reims for 19-year-old striker Hugo Ekitike from Reims, but the offer will likely be rejected.

Reims values Ekitike at around $34 million and would like a sell-on clause in any deal.

Ekitike has scored eight goals and provided two assists in 17 Ligue 1 appearances this season in a team 14th in the table. 

Fabrizio Romano/The Guardian

Tags: Newcastle United, Reims, Misc Rumor, Transfer Rumor

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Aston Villa Reaches Loan Deal With Barcelona For Philippe Coutinho

Jan 7, 2022 11:01 AM

Aston Villa has agreed to sign Philippe Coutinho on a loan from Barcelona until the end of the season.

Five Premier League talks held talks with Coutinho's camp.

Coutinho will play for his former Liverpool teammate Steven Gerrard.

Sam Marsden, Moises Llorens/ESPN

Tags: Aston Villa, Barcelona, Loan, Misc Rumor

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David Blitzer, Ryan Smith Buy Real Salt Lake

Jan 6, 2022 10:21 AM

David Blitzer and Smith Entertainment Group have partnered to buy Real Salt Lake.

Blitzer also has ownership stakes in the Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Devils and Crystal Palace.

Smith Entertainment Group, led by Ryan Smith, owns the NBA's Utah Jazz. 

ESPN

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Pep Guardiola Amongst City's 21 Positive COVID-19 Cases

Jan 6, 2022 10:19 AM

Pep Guardiola is amongst 21 players and staff of Manchester City to test positive for COVID-19.

Guardiola's mother died from COVID-19 complications in April 2020, but he is believed to have a mild case.

City is still scheduled to play Friday's FA Cup tie at Swindon Town.

Rob Dawson/ESPN

Tags: Manchester City

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Aston Villa, Everton Among Clubs Interested In Philippe Coutinho

Sam Marsden, Moises Llorens/ESPN

Romelu Lukaku Set For Return To Chelsea After Talk With Thomas Tuchel

Jacob Steinberg/The Guardian

Newcastle Close To Transfer With Atletico For Kieran Trippier

Alex Kirkland, Rodrigo Faez/ESPN

FC Dallas Sells Ricardo Pepi To Augsburg For MLS Record $20M

ESPN

LAFC Hires Steve Cherundolo As Manager

Jeff Carlisle/ESPN

Future Of Romelu Lukaku At Chelsea In Doubt

James Olley/ESPN

Lionel Messi Tests Positive For COVID-19

ESPN