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Manchester United in for Özil?

Reports in Spain today are linking Manchester United with a bid for Real Madrid playmaker Mesut Özil.

The Old Trafford club have been linked with a long line of midfielders throughout this transfer window, with two bids for Barcelona’s Cesc Fabregas both being rejected, but it now seems Özil is the man they will turn to.

The German international, 24, scored 10 and assisted 29 goals in 49 appearances for Real last season and could now become the successor to Paul Scholes in the United midfield.

With Gareth Bale still being linked to the La Liga side and United seemingly desperate for a marquee signing to show support for new manager David Moyes, the timing might be perfect for a move away from Spain for Özil. Reports from Spain suggest a bid of £40 million would be enough to tempt Madrid into parting with their man, three years after signing… Continue reading →

Football’s Forgotten Men: Fred Pentland

Fred Pentland, aka ‘El Bombín‘- The Bowler Hat.

It is one of football’s quirky yet surprisingly well-known myths that the famous red and white stripes of Athletic Bilbao were inspired by the colours of two English clubs. The kit’s design, chosen in 1914, was a tribute to the shipyard workers from Southampton, and coal-miners from Sunderland, who first introduced the game to the Basques at the end of the 19th century.

It is a club with a firm Basque nationalist stance and a policy of ‘Cantera’ (only selecting Basque nationals to play), and yet it has an indelible link to a foreign country -England- and this link is preserved through the striped shirt.

However, it is not just in the team’s attire that Athletic have been influenced by la Inglesa. The club have referred to England as la Madre del fútbol (the mother of football), and… Continue reading →

Carlo Ancelotti – The New Man at Madrid

After the departure of Jose Mourinho from the Bernabeu hot seat, there was only one man that Florentino Perez wanted to replace the ‘Special One’ – Carlo Ancelotti. The former AC Milan, Chelsea and most recently Paris Saint Germain manager has joined an executive club of managers to take over at the Bernabeu and knows that all the man at the top wants is success.

After guiding PSG to the French Ligue 1 title, Ancelotti is a manager suited to the job, he knows the expectations of the club and had dealt with many of the world’s leading players including Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Didier Drogba.  On the other hand, he knows that Barcelona will once again be as strong as ever and will be determined to do what Mourinho didn’t last season. Win the title.  

Ancelotti has already began to shape his new squad for the season with the… Continue reading →

Valencia striker Roberto Soldado a wanted man

Tottenham continue to negotiate the signing of striker Roberto Soldado from Valencia.


The cash-strapped La Liga side appear to be holding out for Tottenham to meet the player’s £25m buy-out clause; a hefty fee for a 28 year old, especially considering Valencia manager Miroslav Djukic has publicly admitted Soldado is heading for the exit.


Tottenham find themselves short of firepower, with manager Andre Villas-Boas looking to recruit competition for Jermaine Defoe and the enigmatic Emmanuel Adebayor.


A return of 59 goals in 101 appearances for Valencia has earned the forward 11 caps for Spain; no mean feat in such a golden era for Spanish football.


However, the conclusion of the Luis Suarez transfer saga could still play a part in the striker’s future, as Liverpool may move to secure a replacement for the unsettled Uruguayan or Arsenal may be forced to turn their attention towards Spain… Continue reading →

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