Juventus and Roma swap left backs


Juventus and Roma have exchanged left backs as Leonardo Spinazzola is headed to the Italian Capital, while Luca Pellegrini moves to Turin. The ex-Atalanta man has been valued €29M, the former Cagliari loanee €22M, therefore the Bianconeri receive some cash compensation. Both defenders inked a four-year contract.

With this trade, the Giallorossi get somebody who is ready to take over in case Aleksandar Kolarov leaves and can potentially be used on both flanks, while the Old Lady acquire a youngster with higher upside to back up Alex Sandro, if they decide to keep him on rthe roster. Both clubs register a full net profit since the two players are homegrown. Continue reading

Wayne Rooney is turning into a legend in America with DC United


It’s fair to say that when Wayne Rooney left England and the Premier League after a fantastic career which saw him play for Manchester United and Everton and win trophies for United, one could have thought that Rooney’s next project would have been inspired by money and an easy life. But what the ex England international has done is actually open up a brand new chapter into his legacy in football. America love him.

And why wouldn’t the MLS love Rooney? Instead of playing out his days what Rooney did when he joined DC United is that he took it 100% seriously and this paid dividends. Firstly because the MLS is not a pushover league like it may have been a decade ago and secondly seeing the desire and passion in Rooney and his work rate attracted him to the hearts of the DC United fans. They have taken him in and he has become a local hero for the club.

Take last season when DC United were close to the bottom of the league as they waited on Rooney’s appearance. Once he played the team shot up the standings, the confidence grew and so did the wins. This is down to Rooney who has always been a great motivator.

Rooney scores goals too even at 33 he is showing no signs of slowing down and has bagged 23 goals from 40 games. What has been remarkable is that Rooney has had his own personal problems while in America. Settling down was one, and then he was arrested for being drunk last year- usually this could have meant the beginning of the end for a career in America, but Rooney has been able to sail through all of that and is showing the fans the goals.

Just last week Rooney scored a goal from inside his own half against Orlando some 70 yards out, and it was no fluke and this is the second time he has done this.

Rooney was evidently born to play football but with his success in America one can ask is he having a better impact than golden boy David Beckham? Both utter professionals of course but a little less is expected of Rooney who is delivering the goods week in and week out.

As for winning trophies in America, that is up in the air. Currently DC United are in 2nd place in the Eastern Conference and are just 1 point behind league leaders Philadelphia Union. They will make the play-offs that is for sure and they should be regarded with a fit Rooney on board as one of the favourites to claim the overall title.


Napoli sign Kostas Manolas from Roma


Napoli have acquired Kostas Manolas from Roma by activating his €36M release clause. He will replace the staple Raul Albiol, who will move to Villarreal for €6M, as already confirmed by president Aurelio De Laurentiis. The 27-year-old defender has reportedly agreed to a four-year contract. La Lupa needed to complete the sale by today for financial reasons. Amadou Diawara will later join the Giallorossi as part of the deal and will be valued at around €20M.  

While the two centre-backs are quite different, Napoli will now be able to rely on one of the best and most explosive pairs in Serie A by putting the Greek international next to Kalidou Koulibaly. Like most of Roma, Manolas is coming off a pretty inconsistent campaign, but he has squarely been in the top echelon of League’s defenders in the last few years. Continue reading

Rodri the signing Manchester City need

Just days after Manchester United spent £50 million on Aaron Wan-Bissaka, it appears as though neighbours Manchester City are about to land their first multi-million-pound transfer target in Atletico Madrid midfielder Rodri. Although not yet official, Atletico practically confirmed the deal after unveiling new signing Marcos Llorente in Rodri’s No. 14 shirt. Continue reading

The different approaches Roma, Inter & Milan took to comply with FFP


In many ways June 30th is an even more significant deadline than the last day of the transfer window since that is when the fiscal year for many clubs ends. For the clubs who also have to meet Financial Fair parameters, or who want to avoid having FFP restrictions in the first place, it’s an especially important deadline to get their houses in order. We have seen Inter, Roma and Milan- three clubs who have FFP restrictions- and Juventus, who want to avoid having parameters set upon them, handle this deadline in very different ways. 

Let’s start with Inter who thanks to their very strong youth system have been able to remain complaint without having to sell any significant starters in recent years. This strategy has worked very well for the nerazzurri since the only time sacrificing a prospect has really come back to haunt them is with Nicolo’ Zaniolo, so despite that setback the club decided to continue with this approach.

This year they sold Andrea Pinamonti to Genoa for 18 million (with a gentleman’s agreement for a buy back), Zinho Vanheudsen to Standard Liege as well as Andrea Adorante to Parma and Marco Sala to Sassuolo as part of the Sensi deal- interesting only the Sala part of the transaction was announced on June 30th for fiscal reasons.

Roma on the other hand continued to sell established players in an effort to comply with Financial Fair Play, since they won’t be able to count on the Champions League revenues after failing to qualify for the next edition, they had even more urgency to shed some of their higher salaries. 

In addition to Kostas Manolas joining Napoli (a deal expected to be announced on June 30th) for his full exit clause and Gerson being sold to Dinamo Moscow for 10 million, the giallorossi also rekindled their relationship with Juventus, which had been rather frosty since the bianconeri exercised Miralem Pjanic’s exit clause a few years ago, with the interesting Leonardo Spinazzola for Luca Pellegrini swap.

Just like with Inter announcing the Sala transaction right before their fiscal year ended, Roma using timing to their advantage. As part of the deal for Manolas, the giallorossi will also acquire Amadou Diawara to replace Daniele De Rossi- but his acquisition for 18 million will be announced after the sale of the Greek defender so they can get the incoming plusvalenza at end of fiscal year 2019 and place the expense to acquire the Napoli midfielder in next year’s.


Let’s move on to Milan who recently struck a deal with UEFA to get more time to balance their financial books after the disastrous Chinese era. In exchange for sitting out this edition of the Europa League, the rossoneri have now an extra year to get their balance sheet in order, this will allow them to not have to rush the sale of some players who can bring in some significant plusvalenze, especially goal keeper Gigio Donnarumma, whose departure would also save Milan 24 million in wages before taxes the next two years.

In addition to Donnarumma, new sporting director Massara will work with Maldini and Boban on selling players who failed to live to expectations (Rodriguez, Laxalt, Biglia) and those who can bring in a big plusvalenza like Kessie, Cutrone and Suso (to be clear not all of the players listed in this paragraph will be sold)

While they failed to land promising Turkish defender Kabak, we can expect Milan to continue targeting players with significant upside who also have fairly low salaries like Theo Hernandez, Gianluca Mancini and Dani Ceballos- this will help Milan keep their payroll in check while also landing players who can either be an important part of their future or a candidate to net a big plusvalenza down the road.


Juventus continue to look for ways to avoid having Financial Fair Play parameters slapped on them to begin with by selling some of the prospects they had acquired in previous years. The end of the co ownership provision a few years ago, started the trend of young players being sold with options to buy and counter options to buy back like in the cases of Emil Audero (whom Sampdoria just kept) and Roberto Mandragora, whom Udinese bought for 20 million while Juventus had right to buy him back for 24 million.

While Juventus didn’t have to sell Dybala and/or Pjanic after acquiring Ronaldo, they ended up paying for the former Real Madrid striker by selling Audero, Mandragora, Orsolini, Cerri and Sturaro- they are starting to make a down payment for their next big addition (likely De Ligt) by selling Spinazzola to Roma- look for Paratici to continue this trend.


Has there ever been a better Premier League midfielder than David Silva?

At the time, it was considered a good signing, but the transfer of David Silva to Manchester City wasn’t given the sort of reaction the likes of Robinho and Sergio Aguero received. The Spaniard had shown his quality at Valencia, but nobody predicted that he’d become the face of the Etihad Stadium side.

Some might argue that 10  years later Silva has never been the face of Man City. At times, Silva has flown under the radar, never receiving the credit he probably deserves. With the 33-year-old now preparing for his final season as a City player, there is a question worth asking – has there ever been a better Premier League midfielder?

David Silva

“This is the last one,” Silva explained in an interview. “Ten years for me is enough. It’s the perfect time for me. Initially, City were talking about two [more] years. It completes the cycle. It’s a nice round figure. I can never see myself playing against City for another team. So 10 years – that’s it.”

Of course, some will put forward the likes of Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Paul Scholes as contenders for that unofficial accolade – best midfielder in the history of the Premier League. There’s also a case of classification – how can someone like Roy Keane or Ngolo Kante be compared to Robert Pires, for instance? And what about wingers? Do they count as midfielders?

Nonetheless, it’s worth considering the legacy Silva will leave behind at Manchester City and in the Premier League. The technical level he has brought to the English game has raised the water level of the whole league. Now, midfielders in particular are expected to be able to dictate the pace of games in the way Silva does and has done for the past decade.

The exit of Silva will mark the end of an era at the Etihad. He was central to the first phase of the Abu Dhabi project at Manchester City, helping to establish the club as a force. City made a habit of making statement signings in the early days of the Abu Dhabi takeoever (see Robinho, Aguero and Samir Nasri), but it was Silva who set a precedent on the pitch for the club.

Finding a replacement for Silva won’t be easy. City will hope Phil Foden can step into the void left by the Spaniard, but there’s no guarantee that the teenager will continue his development. Otherwise, they will have to spend big to find a successor for a player who holds a claim to being the Premier League’s best ever midfielder.

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Liverpool should stay clear of Philippe Coutinho

When Jurgen Klopp leaves Liverpool, whenever that may be, his tenure at Anfield will have two classifications – before Philippe Coutinho and after Philippe Coutinho. Indeed, while the German made significant progress in his first two-and-a-half seasons as Reds manager, it was the sale of the Brazilian playmaker that acted as a catalyst for acceleration.

It was after Coutinho’s departure to Barcelona that Liverpool became the team we see in front of us today. While there was no doubting his quality during his time at Anfield, Coutinho wasn’t a Klopp type of player. While the German coach favoured a fast and furious approach, particularly in the attacking third, the Brazilian had a tendency for slowing things down.

Philippe Coutinho

Of course, while Liverpool improved post-Coutinho the playmaker himself struggled to find a place at Barcelona. Signed as the most expensive player in the Catalan club’s history, Coutinho has been a peripheral figure for Ernesto Valverde with reports suggesting he could be sold this summer.

This has led to hints that Coutinho could make a dramatic return to Liverpool just 18 months after he left the club. Financially, any deal could make sense for the Reds such is the discount Barcelona are willing to offer any club willing to take a look at Coutinho. Having been a success at Anfield before, why wouldn’t he a success in a second spell?

It’s true that Liverpool still require a central, attacking midfielder, missing out on Nabil Fekir last summer. But they should avoid the temptation to re-sign Coutinho this summer. The addition of the Brazilian to their squad could risk what the Reds have built and established over the past year-and-a-half.

Liverpool’s greatest strength comes from their reflection of Klopp’s coaching identity. They are so difficult to play against because of the speed and directness they offer. Where would Coutinho fit in, both in terms of Liverpool’s footballing philosophy under Klopp and the starting lineup favoured by the German?

What’s more, Liverpool have other areas that require strengthening before they spend big money on Coutinho. They are light in the centre of defence, for instance, where injuries to Joe Gomez and Dejan Lovren really tested them last season. Wingers and a centre forward would also give them a depth they have lacked at times over the past two years.

Coutinho was a hero at Liverpool. He was their best player for a time and deserves credit for what he did at Anfield. But the Reds have moved on since he left for Barcelona in January 2018. Going back for him could compromise what they have achieved in that time.

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Kylian Mbappe should be Real Madrid’s number one long term target

Eden Hazard’s transfer to Real Madrid was a number of years in the making. The Belgian had been eyed up by the Spanish club for a long time before Florentino Perez finally sanctioned the £100 million fee to take him to the Santiago Bernabeu this summer. This is often the way of the mega-money deals Real Madrid have a long history of.

Take their pursuit of Cristiano Ronaldo, for instance. Originally, Real Madrid wanted to sign the Portuguese forward from Manchester United in the summer of 2008 just after he’d led the Old Trafford club to the Champions League title. Instead, they had to wait until the following summer to get their man.


These transfers are not easy to pull off and take time to put together. This goes some way to explaining why just weeks after the signing of Hazard talk has already turned to who Real Madrid could target as their next long term addition. Many see Neymar as the man destined to one day pull on the famous white shirt.

Indeed, Real Madrid’s interest in the Brazilian has been well documented with speculation heightened following the news that Neymar wants to leave Paris Saint-Germain this summer. But is he really who Real Madrid should be lining up as their number one target for the long term?

Kylian Mbappe has also been linked with a move to the Santiago Bernabeu and he, over Neymar, should be who Real Madrid prioritise. While there are questions over Neymar’s character and attitude, with his form suffering as a consequence over the past two seasons, Mbappe is widely seen as the face of the future of the sport.

What’s more, Mbappe is a Real Madrid fan, supporting the club since childhood. There have been suggestions that he would be willing to force through a move to the Santiago Bernabeu with the forward reportedly refusing to enter renegotiation talks over a new contract with PSG. This puts Real Madrid in a good position.

Not so long ago, Neymar looked like the future of the sport. At Barcelona, he was the next best player in the world. PSG broke the Brazilian, though. Mbappe, however, has kept his star rising. He is already a World Cup winner and one of the best strikers in the game, but his upward trajectory could still carry him much further.

Real Madrid is a club that prides itself on signing the best players on the planet. They have forged a whole identity from this notion and for many Neymar fits the bill. But does he fit the bill as well as Mbappe? If Real Madrid are drawing up a transfer plan for the long term, they should target the latter over the former.

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Serie A Coaches’ and Directors’ Carousel Recap


The last open spot on the benches was filled last Saturday when Eusebio Di Francesco was appointed by Sampdoria, while, in terms of main directors, Roma and Torino got their guys earlier this week, so now all almost all the teams are set ahead of the transfer market window, which should be pretty busy considering all the changes. Here is the recap of the new coaches and officials.

Juventus picked former Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri to replace Massimiliano Allegri, while Inter brought in Antonio Conte after the ousting of Luciano Spalletti. The Nerazzurri added Gabriele Oriali to help out Giuseppe Marotta and Piero Ausilio and he will pull double duty with his role in the Italian national team. Continue reading

Antoine Griezmann to Barcelona – more questions than answers


When June turns into July, it is highly anticipated that Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann will leave the club and complete his long-awaited move to Barcelona. It was mid-May when the French forward confirmed he would be leaving the capital club, with the Camp Nou widely spoken of as being his next destination.

On 1 July, the 28-year-old’s release clause will drop from a whopping €200m to ‘just’ €120m – making him affordable for the world’s leading clubs. His proposed transfer is not without its complications, with many members of Barca’s squad said to be uncomfortable with signing a player who publicly rejected the switch just 12 months ago. Continue reading