February 2022 - Soccer Wiretap

Romelu Lukaku Not Thinking About Chelsea Exit, Wants To Win Back Spot

Feb 24, 2022 4:58 PM

Romelu Lukaku is not thinking about leaving Chelsea this summer and is committed to winning back his place in their lineup.

Lukaku has struggled since his £97.5 million transfer from Inter Milan.

Thomas Tuchel dropped Lukaku in Tuesday's match against Lille with Kai Havertz leading the line. 

Lukaku had only seven touches when Chelsea beat Crystal Palace last weekend and has scored only 10 goals this season.

Jacob Steinberg/The Guardian

Tags: Chelsea, Misc Rumor, Transfer Rumor

UEFA To Move Champions League Final From Russia

Feb 24, 2022 1:25 PM

UEFA will move its Champions League final from Saint Petersburg in response to Russia's attack on Ukraine. 

The Krestovsky Stadium, a host venue for the 2018 World Cup, was due to stage the Champions League final on May 28 after initially being awarded the game in 2021 before it was moved back a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

UEFA said in a statement: "Following the evolution of the situation between Russia and Ukraine, the UEFA president has called an extraordinary meeting of the Executive Committee for 10 a.m. CET [4 a.m. ET] on Friday 25 February, in order to evaluate the situation and take all necessary decisions.

"Further communication will be made after the meeting of the UEFA Executive Committee."

Mark Ogden/ESPN

Spurs Hoping To Sign Harry Kane To Extension

Feb 22, 2022 4:04 PM

Tottenham Hotspur plan on staving off transfer interest in Harry Kane by opening up a fresh round of contract talks.

Kane pushed to leave Spurs last summer after becoming frustrated at the club's failure to win silverware. Manchester City and other clubs who were expressing a desire to sign Kane were unwilling to meet the £150 million asking price.

Champions League qualification would ensure Kane could play in Europe's top tier competition once again and sources claim he has been impressed by Antonio Conte's determination to aggressively overhaul the Spurs squad in a bid to turn them into title challengers.

James Olley/ESPN

Tags: Tottenham Hotspur, Misc Rumor, Transfer Rumor

Neymar Interested In Playing In MLS Before Retiring

Feb 21, 2022 8:28 AM

Neymar would like to play in the MLS before his career is over.

Asked if he would like to retire in Brazil, Neymar, 30, said on a podcast: "I don't know. I have some doubts about that. I don't know if I'll play in Brazil again.

"I'd love to play in the U.S., actually. I'd love to play there at least for a season."

When asked why, Neymar said: "First of all, their season is shorter, so I'd get three months' vacation" and then he said laughing that would mean "I'd play many more years."

Adriana Garcia/ESPN

Tags: Paris Saint-Germain, Misc Rumor

La Liga President: Real Madrid Will Sign Kylian Mbappe, Erling Haaland

Feb 17, 2022 10:50 AM

LaLiga president Javier Tebas has said he is certain that Kylian Mbappe will join Real Madrid this summer.

"Madrid will get Mbappe and [Erling] Haaland as the others [Barcelona and Juventus] are half [financially] ruined," he said.

"That Mbappe comes is great news for LaLiga. It would be a joy for LaLiga. It's the best thing that could happen to LaLiga."

Tebas later clarified his comments regarding Mbappe and said that while he does not have any facts, there is strong indication that the Franceinternational will leave PSG at the end of the season.

"I have no information regarding Mbappe," Tebas said.

"But I've seen few cases of players who have six months left on their contracts that have not renewed their contracts and then went on to continue at the club."

Adriana Garcia/ESPN

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

Kylian Mbappe Remains Undecided On Future

Feb 16, 2022 8:23 AM

Kylian Mbappe said he's happy at Paris Saint-Germain but remains undecided on his future amid rumors of him signing with Real Madrid in the summer.

Mbappe scored a late winner as PSG defeated Real Madrid 1-0 in the first leg of their Champions League tie.

Mbappe will be a free agent this summer.

“I’ve not decided my future,” Mbappé told the broadcaster Movistar after Tuesday’s match. “I play for Paris Saint-Germain, one of the best clubs in the world.”

Mbappé was asked whether that acclaim might play a part in shaping his decision. “No, I’ve not decided,” he replied. “I give my best and then we will see what happens next season.”

PSG turned down the offer of about £170 million from Madrid for Mbappe last August.


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

LA Galaxy Signs Douglas Costa

Feb 10, 2022 4:26 PM

The LA Galaxy have signed Douglas Costa.

Costa, 31, had been on loan at boyhood club Gremio from Italian giants Juventus, but, after relegation to Serie B last month, the Brazilian side is facing a significant cut to its finances. 

Costa has played for some of the world's biggest clubs. In addition to his time at Juve, he had two separate stints with Bayern Munich.

Jeff Carlisle/ESPN

Tags: LA Galaxy, Misc Rumor, Transfer Rumor

Chelsea Won't Stand In Way Of Kepa Arrizabalaga Exit In Summer

Feb 10, 2022 4:12 PM

Chelsea are braced for bids for Kepa Arrizabalaga this summer and will likely to let him leave.

Arrizabalaga has had mixed results since joining Chelsea from Athletic Bilbao for £71.6 million.

Arrizabalaga’s form has improved since Tomas Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard last year and Chelsea believe he could be a summer target for one of the big Spanish clubs. 

Jacob Steinberg/The Guardian

Tags: Chelsea, Misc Rumor, Transfer Rumor

Barcelona CEO Steps Down Amid Spotify Sponsorship Deal

Feb 8, 2022 12:22 PM

Barcelona chief executive officer Ferran Reverter has resigned, with sources telling ESPN that the club's sponsorship deal with Spotify was the latest in a series of contentious issues between the CEO and president Joan Laporta.

A statement on Barcelona's website on Tuesday cited "personal and family reasons" for Reverter's exit, which will come into effect as soon as a new CEO is appointed.

Reverter had disagreed with Laporta over a number of issues ever since he took the job at Camp Nou.

The agreement with Spotify was seen as the last straw, sources said.

Reverter had played a fundamental role in negotiations with the Swedish company, but he was unhappy with the final terms of the deal, many of which had been revised at the last minute.

Alex Kirkland, Moises Llorens/ESPN

Tags: Barcelona

Top Clubs In Europe Lost $4.6 Billion Last Season

Feb 3, 2022 3:44 PM

The top clubs in Europe lost €4 billion ($4.6 billion) last season as player wages increased.

In total, wage costs – and agents’ fees – accounted for spending that equalled 91% of revenue. This led to an increase in outside lending, with clubs taking on more than €750 million in new debt.

There are qualifications in the report, with some of the 2020-21 figures based on the accounts of 95 “early reporting” clubs.

Paul MacInnes/The Guardian

Inter Miami Acquires DeAndre Yedlin

Jeff Carlisle/ESPN

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Joins Barcelona On Free Transfer

David Hytner, Fabrizio Romano, Sid Lowe/The Guardian

Dele Alli Joins Everton From Spurs On Free Initial Transfer

James Olley/ESPN

Everton Hires Frank Lampard As Manager