Here’s the top transfer-related stories in Monday’s newspapers…Liverpool will open discussions with the former Borussia Dortmund coach Jürgen Klopp after ending Brendan Rodgers’s three?year reign at Anfield. (Daily Telegraph)Carlo Ancelotti, the former Chelsea manager, is also in the frame for the Liverpool job and was in London on Sunday night having flown in from Italy. But the early signs are pointing towards Klopp being the man FSG want. (Daily Mail)Barcelona are ready to launch a move for Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho when their transfer ban is lifted in January. (Sport)Jose Mourinho survived a crisis meeting at Chelsea on Saturday night – after insisting he will only quit if he loses the dressing room. (Daily Mail)Sunderland’s search for a manager is in disarray — with Sean Dyche joining Sam Allardyce in distancing himself from the job. (The Sun)Arsene Wenger is weighing up a £14million January bid for Celta Vigo striker Nolito. Spain international Nolito – whose full name is Manuel Agudo Duran – has got a buy-out clause in his contract which expires in 2017. (Daily Mirror)And here’s the latest talkSPORT.com headlines…Exclusive – Not even Carlo Ancelotti could win the Premier League with this Liverpool side, claims Anfield legendArsene Wenger expects to see Brendan Rodgers back in a job soon after Liverpool sackingEx-Premier League star claims Jurgen Klopp will be the new Liverpool bossBrendan Rodgers sacked as manager of LiverpoolLouis van Gaal ‘amazed’ by Manchester United performance in defeat to Arsenal Transfer rumours and paper review 1
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Rocelyn Gabriel, 20, was found dying at a recycling depot in Portage la Prairie, Man., Sunday. She later died in hospital. Gabriel’s family is upset with the RCMP over the initial handling of her case. Facebook photoBy Jorge Barrera APTN National NewsIn her final hours early Sunday morning, Rocelyn Gabriel desperately tried to flag down passing cars before darting back behind bins at the recycling depot in Portage la Prairie, Man., according to her aunt Loretta Traverse.Gabriel, 20, entered the depot at about 4:45 a.m. Sunday and was found nearly frozen to death at 8 a.m. in the snow. She later died at the Portage General Hospital.The RCMP said in a terse statement that Gabriel died from frigid temperatures that morning. The temperature with the wind-chill dropped to -34C at the time. Gabriel was wearing only a sweater when she was found.The RCMP statement said “foul play is not suspected.”Gabriel was a recent high school graduate and was planning to study nursing.Traverse said RCMP investigators who arrived when Gabriel was found did not secure the area as a possible crime scene.“They did nothing, they did not close off the area. They weren’t doing their jobs and that leads me to believe, well, I don’t like bringing up the Aboriginal fact,” said Traverse. “She was indeed an Aboriginal young lady. She didn’t end up there because she wanted to pass out.”Traverse said she doesn’t believe Gabriel went to the depot alone.“Someone took her there,” she said.Traverse said Gabriel was at a house party the night before she died. Gabriel’s house sits between the house where the party was held and the depot. The location of the house party is about three kilometres from the depot.“Nobody walks miles through their community to end up at a secluded location, bypassing her home, her cousins, everyone lives there,” said Traverse. “She was cold, she would have knocked on the first door to get that kind of help. She didn’t have that opportunity.”Gabriel went to the party wearing a coat. Her cousin and sister also attended the party but did not see her leave, said Traverse.Traverse said she asked RCMP Cpl. Darcy Paul why they weren’t treating the death as suspicious.“When I asked him why they didn’t do a rape kit or investigate further, his words were, ‘We didn’t think there was a need for that,’” said Traverse. “It’s common sense, if you find a young lady somewhere in an industrial area, I would think that is the first thing you would do.”Traverse said the RCMP told her they saw footage of Gabriel captured by the depot’s security cameras.“I am told she hid behind some bins and would run out to try to flag vehicles to stop,” said Traverse.Traverse also said the RCMP told her that Gabriel’s purse, which contained her cell phone, was found down the road from the depot.The RCMP requested an autopsy which has not yet been completed.Traverse said she is frustrated with the RCMP’s initial handling of Gabriel’s case. She said investigators have yet to conduct interviews in relation to the death and that the lead investigator on the file is now on holiday.A spokesperson for the RCMP said the case is still under investigation, but that the officers’ initial reaction to the scene would have been based on years of experience.“We have police with a lot of experience who are arriving on scene and they are going with their reaction on that,” said RCMP spokesperson Tara Seel.Seel said she would be looking into Traverse’s belief that the lead investigator was going on holidays.Seel said RCMP investigators have interviewed people who were in contact with Gabriel that night before her death.“There are interviews being done. I can’t confirm how many or who we spoke to,” said Seel.A candlelight vigil is set for Tuesday at 6 p.m. local time at the depot where Gabriel was found.On Dec. 24, 2013, Gabriel posted a photo of a highway at dusk on her Facebook page with words inscribed across the front: “Sooner or later the things you love, you lose.”On Sunday, several of her Facebook friends posted messages of sorrow beneath it.“Never thought it would be you,” wrote one Facebook [email protected]@JorgeBarrera
Every year, we look back on preseason win totals produced by forecasters and betting markets and chuckle at some of the more egregious misses. Last season, the Chicago Bears were initially forecast for seven wins by Las Vegas, then traded for Khalil Mack and somehow won 12. The Green Bay Packers’s predicted win total was 10, but they melted down in spectacular fashion and ultimately ended up winning just six games.We’ve already published our Elo projections, and we think they’re the best we’ve ever produced for the NFL, but there will still be lots of misses to grouse about come January. Forecasting a sport as luck-driven as the NFL is rough that way.It raises the question: How good are betting markets at predicting team wins? To find out, I got my hands on a tranche of win prediction data stretching back to 1989, courtesy of Sports Odds History, and checked how well Vegas preseason win totals predict actual team wins. While Vegas overall does a good job identifying good and bad teams, it turns out that at the lower end of the range of projected wins, Vegas predictions don’t seem particularly well calibrated — though the confidence intervals at the lower end are large because of the small sample size, so the results aren’t statistically significant. ExpectedActual2019 teams Which NFL teams might beat expectations?Average actual wins (1989-2018) by Vegas preseason expected wins, and the 2019 teams at each number of expected wins 5.04.6Arizona, Miami Projected win totals of six and fewer undersell teams’ prospects by about a win on average, with the exception of teams forecast for five wins.Win totals don’t change as frequently as the moneyline odds, so we probably shouldn’t take win totals at face value — at least for teams with low projected wins. What does this mean for non-bettors? It should be decent news for the Cincinnati Bengals, New York Giants, Oakland Raiders and Washington Redskins — teams that both Elo and Vegas have pegged for six wins in 2019 — since we should be more bullish on their chances than we currently are.Optimism for these probable cellar dwellers might feel forced. But we should fight the urge toward overconfidence, especially in the face of history. A few of these teams will end up surprising us — in a good way — at the end of the year for reasons inscrutable to us now. 6.56.4Detroit, Tampa Bay 9.08.5Cleveland, Dallas, Indianapolis, Minnesota, Pittsburgh 8.58.9Atlanta, Baltimore, Houston, Seattle Sources: SportsOddsHistory.com, Greg Guglielmo, Pinnacle, Betfair, William Hill, Bet365, BetOnline 11.010.2New England 9.59.0Chicago, Green Bay, L.A. Chargers 8.07.4Jacksonville, San Francisco, Tennessee 10.59.9Kansas City, L.A. Rams, New Orleans 7.06.9Buffalo, Denver, N.Y. Jets 10.08.8Philadelphia 6.06.7Cincinnati, N.Y. Giants, Oakland, Washington wins 7.57.6Carolina Well … maybe not the Bengals. Not only is Cincinnati saddled with an injured A.J. Green, who appears to be out until around Week 8, the Bengals have an offense that is bereft of top talent at nearly every position. Cincinnati replaced head coach Marvin Lewis after 16 seasons of on-again, off-again contention and turned instead to Zac Taylor, a coach best known for being friends with L.A. Rams wunderkind Sean McVay. The hope must be that Taylor can revitalize the career of quarterback Andy Dalton, who sports a middling career yards per attempt of 7.2 and is one of the few starting quarterbacks who Vegas believes wouldn’t move a line if he were to be replaced in the lineup. The defense doesn’t offer a compelling reason for optimism: The Bengals ranked 28th in defensive Defense-adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA) last season. Perhaps we should view that as a reason to be bullish on their prospects in 2019 simply due to regression, since defensive performance year to year isn’t terribly stable. If that seems like a bridge too far, magic might be the answer: Taylor may give lip service to the notion that he isn’t trying to be like his mentor McVay, but McVay’s brand of QB sorcery seems like the best hope for the Bengals to crest seven wins this year.The Giants are more interesting. After a promising preseason performance by first-round pick Daniel Jones, New York fans are clamoring for a change of the guard at quarterback. As big of a reach as many believed Jones to be, I still see him as a better use of first-round draft capital than “generational talent” Saquon Barkley. Hailed as a potential savior and the missing piece for Eli Manning’s final championship push, Barkley helped the Giants improve from a terrible three-win team in 2017 to a merely bad five-win unit in 2018.The Giants were second-worst in the league on Expected Points Added per play on first-down play-action passes after adding Saquon to the backfield,1On a play call that averaged a robust 0.21 EPA per play for the rest of the league last year, the Giants were one of only two teams to average negative expected value, with -0.06 EPA per play. and prospects for a bounceback in play-action efficiency seem bleak. After trading all-world wideout Odell Beckham Jr. to the Browns, the Giants lost free agent acquisition Golden Tate to a four-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs and their expected No. 3 wideout Corey Coleman to a season-ending ACL injury. Their best hope for a productive season may rest in ownership’s willingness to bench Manning for good this time.The other team to somehow accumulate negative value on first-down play action was Oakland. In what seems to be a pattern for teams at the bottom of the win total forecast, Vegas sees Derek Carr as a quarterback worth just 1 point to the spread. The stats back up that view. Carr’s career yards per attempt is, at 6.7, below league average, and his best season as judged by QBR is an anemic 54.6. His weapons are improved from a year ago, but they are volatile. New Raiders wideout Antonio Brown sat out of practice because he wasn’t allowed to wear a helmet the NFL deems dangerous and is now likely to be suspended for some period of time, and Tyrell Williams is a boom or bust weapon who likes to be targeted deep — something Carr may be reluctant to do given his career average depth of target of just 7.7 yards. Meanwhile “Hard Knocks” captured head coach Jon Gruden disparaging “all the football stats and all the fantasy bullshit” in favor of running backs that will “BOOF” the opposing team in pass protection. Of all the six-win teams, Oakland may be the most unpredictable — and that unpredictability could manifest itself in good ways, as well as bad. Brown’s antics could end with a fashionable and safe new helmet, Carr might be coaxed into throwing the deep ball to a talented field stretcher, and Gruden might use rookie running back Josh Jacobs optimally, leading to wins we simply can’t foresee at this point.The final team projected for six wins in 2019 is Washington, a team that somehow came to the determination that Mark Sanchez and Josh Johnson were better choices than Colin Kaepernick to take over for quarterback Alex Smith when his 2018 season — and perhaps his career — ended with a gruesome leg injury.In the draft, Washington team president Bruce Allen added Ohio State QB Dwayne Haskins in the first round but then failed to surround him with receiving weapons. Jamison Crowder left via free agency, former first-round bust Josh Doctson was released at the end of the preseason and tight end Jordan Reed suffered another concussion heading into Week 1. Their current starting wide receivers are third-round pick Terry McLaurin — also from Ohio State — and Paul Richardson.The outlook at running back is brighter with the return of Derrius Guice from an ACL tear that derailed his rookie season, but there is little evidence to suggest they will put him in advantageous spots to run the ball. With the ageless, tackle-breaking cyborg Adrian Peterson in 2018, Washington lined up against neutral or stacked boxes on first-and-10 or second and long 174 times, decided they liked the look and ran right into the scrum 72 percent of the time. But if Washington can flip the script on downs tailor-made for passing and eke out some yards where they should come easy, the duo of Guice and Peterson could be enough to protect current starter Case Keenum or rookie Haskins while he learns on the job — and possibly beat the team’s six-win projection.Check out our latest NFL predictions.
After years of playing it cool in the free-agency game, the San Antonio Spurs entered the market this month and were the clear-cut winners. That probably shouldn’t be a surprise: Winning is pretty much what the Spurs do. And these summer victories have them poised for many more once the season starts.The Spurs nabbed LaMarcus Aldridge, the best (realistically)1There was little chance that Memphis’s Marc Gasol or San Antonio’s own Kawhi Leonard would switch teams, and while Cleveland’s LeBron James hasn’t officially re-signed, it’s basically a foregone conclusion that he’ll be back with the Cavs. available free agent of the summer, negotiated new contracts for essential wings Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green, convinced Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili to each forgo retirement in favor of another crack at a championship, and even managed to snag veteran forward David West for $11 million less than he would have made had he opted into the final season of his contract with the Indiana Pacers.In other words, it was a good week for Gregg Popovich.To measure just how good it was — or how dominant next season’s Spurs figure to be, I dusted off last year’s preseason projection system (fueled by Real Plus-Minus), plugged projected RPM values into Rotoworld’s depth charts, and (unscientifically) estimated how much playing time each player will receive.2Basically, I looked at last year’s minutes per game for each player, as well as how many minutes per game were logged by others who will be at the same position on his 2015-16 team, eventually ballparking a reasonable figure. (In other words, it was definitely not scientific.) Here’s a first pass at how good San Antonio could be next season:That predicted power rating of +8.9 means the Spurs are talented enough to win about 60 games,3That estimate is based on the Spurs’ being in the Western Conference. Because the West is (somewhat significantly) better than the East, it takes more talent for a team to get the same number of wins out West than it would if they were in the East. which is very high for a true talent projection. A lot of luck and variance lurks out there, ready to make a team’s record different from its underlying skill, so most teams that win 60 or more games don’t actually possess 60-win talent. (Using Statistical Plus/Minus talent ratings, I found that only 18 percent of teams that won 60 or more games in a season4If a season was shorter than 82 games, I prorated it. since 1979-80 truly had 60-win talent on their rosters.) But this Spurs roster appears to really have that much talent.It’s a formidable group that stacks up against any of the other teams across the league — even the defending champions in Oakland. To test this, I ran similar projections for a handful of other notable teams that were either good last season and didn’t lose much talent over the offseason (like the Warriors) or have enjoyed an eventful offseason thus far.5The official list of teams I checked, in order of projected 2015-16 quality: the Spurs, Warriors, Cavaliers, Thunder, Rockets, Raptors, Grizzlies, Clippers, Wizards, Mavericks, Bucks, Hawks and — just for fun — the Knicks. (As a sanity check: Yes, the Knicks are projected to be very bad.) Here were the best of those squads:According to these preliminary projections, the Spurs are excellent, although they’re not a super-team. (In other words, they’re not a juggernaut that looks poised to blow away the rest of the league.) In the eyes of RPM, they’re essentially tied with Golden State now as the best team in basketball, closing the gap that existed between the two teams last season.But San Antonio and Golden State do seem to be well ahead of the rest of the league. Cleveland ranks third among teams I checked but is still four to five wins behind the leaders, according to the power ratings. (Oklahoma City is two to three wins behind Cleveland; Houston is one to two wins behind Oklahoma City; and then there’s Toronto and a distant group containing Memphis and the Clippers.)The Spurs were already among the class of the league before strengthening their roster this summer. While San Antonio may not shatter any records, its surgical dissection of the free-agent market has left it with arguably the best team in basketball.
As I tabulated these averages, another trend became apparent: Week 1 blowouts have become more rare of late. There were 31 between 1970 and 1996, an average of 1.1 per season. But between 1997 and 2018, there were 15 — only 0.7 per season.What’s more, opening-week blowouts used to be much stronger indicators of success. Before 1997, teams that delivered a Week 1 walloping won almost twice as many of their subsequent games as their victims did, and the victors went on to make the playoffs a whopping 83.9 percent of the time. Keep in mind that the wild-card round wasn’t introduced until the 1978 season, so earlier teams had a shorter road to the Super Bowl. Still, it’s impossible not to see the chasm in the postseason returns of blowout winners and losers: The difference in win percentage is much smaller in recent years than in the older sample.4The average win percentage for Week 1 blowout winners is now .144 higher than blowout losers. Prior to 1997, the difference in win percentage was .305. In fact, the number of Week 1 blowouts has been so small in recent years that we run into sample size concerns; the 6.7 percent rate of Super Bowl appearances for blowout winners and losers since 1997 represents one team each.Ideally, we would only examine blowouts that took place after the 2002 realignment, as that standardized divisions and playoff seeding across the league. That leaves us only nine data points, but the resulting gap between the winners’ win percentage (.531) and the losers’ (.438) continued to shrink.So what happened? Why did winning a season opener by 30-plus points before 1997 give an NFL team about a 5-in-6 chance of making the playoffs, but winning teams after that have had worse than even odds? Why did the blowouts occur more frequently than once a year over that first stretch, and significantly less often since?It’s probably a confluence of several factors, rather than any one switch being flipped. The advent of free agency in the early 1990s, a slate of player-protection rules passed a few years later and the concurrent evolution of more dynamic, three-wideout offenses all contributed to more seasonlong parity between teams despite more in-game scoring volatility.But there are still reasons to believe that a 59-10 drubbing means something. Only a handful of modern-era teams have been blown up in Week 1, as Miami was, and gone on to have any kind of success. Even though dominating a team in Week 1 isn’t nearly as strong an indicator of success as it used to be, Baltimore is still likely in decent shape for this season. Oh, and the Ravens are all but certainly better than the Dolphins.Then again, if any of these trends were ironclad, Milloy and the Bills would have won Super Bowl XXXVIII while Tom Brady and the Patriots watched from their couches.Check out our latest NFL predictions. Blowout losers.367184.108.40.206.0 Share that made it to … Blowout winners.62871.7%65.2%32.6%21.7% Blowout losers.39620.013.313.36.7 Blowout winners.54046.7%33.3%20.0%6.7% Source: Pro-Football-Reference.com Source: Pro-Football-Reference.com Blowout winners before the last 20ish years did even betterAverage end-of-year winning percentage and playoff success rate for NFL teams involved in Week 1 blowouts, 1970-96 TeamYear-end Win %PlayoffsDiv. RoundConf. Champ.Super Bowl Blowout winners.67183.9%80.6%38.7%29.0% Share that made it to … Share that made it to … The Baltimore Ravens’ 59-10 Week 1 demolition of the Miami Dolphins seemed to mark the arrival of Lamar Jackson as a complete quarterback, the establishment of the Ravens as serious AFC contenders and a death knell for the Dolphins — who reportedly had a flurry of players turn in trade requests the night of the loss.1The Dolphins have denied this. But other than dropping Miami from being tied for 31st to dead last in the FiveThirtyEight Elo rankings, did the third-biggest Week 1 beatdown since the AFL-NFL merger actually mean anything?Back in 2003, the Buffalo Bills baited the football-watching world into a massive Week 1 overreaction when they walloped the rival New England Patriots, 31-0. The win came with a neat narrative — new Bills safety Lawyer Milloy was surprisingly released by the Patriots in the preseason— and seemed to signal a changing of the guard in the AFC East. But the Bills finished the season 6-10, out of the playoffs — and the Patriots won 17 of their next 18 games, including the Super Bowl.Both participants in the biggest Week 1 blowout ever, the 1973 Atlanta Falcons’ 62-7 win over the New Orleans Saints, missed the playoffs. Meanwhile, Washington shut out Detroit 45-0 in 1991, only for the teams to meet again in the NFC Championship Game.2Notably, Washington blew Detroit out again, 41-10, to end up in the Super Bowl.So we know there’s no guarantee that the winner of a Week 1 blowout will have a better season than the loser. But how have the teams on either side of the ledger fared overall? We looked at all Week 1 blowouts — any game since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger in which the margin of victory was at least 30 points3This doesn’t include the three blowouts that took place Week 1 of this season, as we don’t yet know how the teams involved will finish. — to see what the Ravens and Dolphins might expect for the rest of their seasons, if history proves a guide.Across the 46 games in question, it’s inescapable: Teams that opened their season with a statement victory had, on average, a higher regular-season winning percentage — and advanced farther in the playoffs — than the teams on the receiving end of a blowout. A total of 38 of the 46 blowout winners finished with a higher winning percentage than the losers did. But of course, if blowouts were both more frequent and more significant before 1997, that means they’ve been less frequent and less significant since: TeamYear-end Win%PlayoffsDiv. RoundConf. Champ.Super Bowl Blowout losers have been catching up in the last 20ish yearsAverage end-of-year winning percentage and playoff success rate for NFL teams involved in Week 1 blowouts, 1997-2018 Blowout losers can make the playoffs, but more winners doAverage end-of-year winning percentage and playoff success rate for NFL teams involved in Week 1 blowouts, 1970-2018 Blowout losers.376220.127.116.11.2 TeamYear-end Win %playoffsdiv. roundConf. Champ.Super Bowl Source: Pro-Football-Reference.com
Then-freshman linebacker Raekwon McMillan (2) attempts to make a tackle during a game against Wisconsin on Dec. 6 in Indianapolis. OSU won, 59-0.Credit: Mark Batke / Photo EditorWith the Ohio State Spring Game just days away, there are still a few positions with vacancies.Defensive linemen Michael Bennett and Steve Miller join linebacker Curtis Grant and cornerback Doran Grant as members of the OSU defense who will not return after the title run in 2014.With that in mind, I took a look at five players you should watch in Saturday’s game to either replace the former Buckeyes or at least get some playing time in 2015 on the defensive side of the ball.1. Redshirt-sophomore cornerback Gareon ConleyThe Massillon, Ohio, native was the first person mentioned by cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs as the likely cornerback counterpart next to returning starter redshirt-sophomore Eli Apple.Conley earned one start in 2014 against the Michigan State Spartans, but after giving up big plays and a touchdown on the first drive of the game, was quickly replaced by a less-than-healthy Apple.With a spot open after Doran Grant’s departure, it is likely that the spot will be filled by either Conley or sophomore Damon Webb.Conley seemingly has the upper hand and a good showing in the Spring Game can only help his chances.2. Sophomore cornerback Damon Webb While Webb is behind Conley for the corner spot, there is a good chance he will still see significant playing time in 2015 at the nickel position.With Armani Reeves not returning because of health issues related to concussions, the nickel spot, which is usually reserved for passing downs, is wide open and it’s Webb’s job for the taking.Webb must have the skill to play, as he did not redshirt last season behind players like Doran Grant, Reeves, Apple and Conley.He appeared in nine games in 2014, and is sure to make an impact in 2015.3. Sophomore linebacker Raekwon McMillanMcMillan made an instant impact last season as a true freshman, collecting 54 total tackles and playing in all but one game in 2014.He is the odds-on favorite to take over for Curtis Grant at the middle linebacker position and could possibly be even better than the graduating senior.McMillan was constantly subbed in for Curtis Grant on passing downs last season and was clearly the better athlete. Don’t expect him to get too much playing time on Saturday, but watch to see how he communicates with his teammates as the new signal caller on defense.4. Senior defensive lineman Tommy SchuttCoach Urban Meyer said Monday that Schutt is currently the favorite to replace Bennett on the interior defensive line.Not quite yet the starter, Schutt has struggled throughout his OSU career battling injuries along with a lack of playing time. He has accumulated just 17 total tackles in his first three years as a Buckeye.The reason to watch him is not because he is going to be an impact player in the Spring Game, but rather to see how he reacts to being on the cusp of earning a starting job.5. Sophomore defensive lineman Jalyn HolmesMeyer said Monday that redshirt-sophomore Tyquan Lewis is the front-runner to replace Miller at defensive end, but Lewis will not play in the Spring Game because of a shoulder injury.That opens the door for a player like Holmes, who came to OSU as a four-star prospect out of Norfolk, Va.Holmes played in nine games last season, including the national title win over Oregon, and accumulated 11 tackles in those appearances.There is a good chance Holmes will play most of the game on Saturday, and a good showing could put make him a dark horse to unseat Lewis from the starting lineup.Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m., and is set to follow the OSU lacrosse game against Maryland, which is set to start at 11 a.m. at Ohio Stadium.
Napoli and Mainz are interested in signing Aaron Martin from Espanyol, according to Football Espana.The Spanish club could be willing to let defender Aaron Paul leave the club this summer if they receive an offer they deem acceptable.The highly rated left-back has been with a host of European clubs all year long but it seems Italian side Napoli and German Bundesliga outfit Mainz have moved to the front of the queue.Napoli are keen to add a left-back to their team and were believed to be after Barcelona’s Lucas Digne but club president Aurelio De Laurentis has switched his attention to bringing Aaron to the Stadio San Paulo.Best Under-21 footballers in La Liga (Part 2) Milan Gjorgjevikj – March 25, 2018 Part 1, which included the likes of Carlos Soler, Dani Ceballos and Maxi Gomez, is followed by Part 2, headlined by Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele.AGE:…Mainz are also interested in securing the services of the Spanish player but have seen their bid of €8million rebuffed by the Catalan club who believe the player is worth more than that.Aaron, 21, has a buyout clause of €40million in his contract which was increased from €30million on July 1. But sources at the club believe a fee of around €12million will force the Spanish La Liga side to sell the player.Real Sociedad are also believed to be monitoring the situation, more so after seeing initial transfer target Diego Rico sign for English side Bournemouth from Leganes.
Cagliari boss Rolando Maran “was expecting a different debut” following the 2-0 defeat to newly-promoted Empoli.The Sardinians strived to impress in games throughout at the Stadio Castellani and were beaten by Rade Krunic and Ciccio Caputo goals.“I was expecting a different debut, as we didn’t show in a match situation what we’d been working on in training,” the Coach told Rai Sport via Football Italia.Transfer: Africa Cup of Nations winner joins Milan George Patchias – August 5, 2019 AC Milan has signed Algerian star Ismael Bennacer.The African Cup of Nations winner and a key member of the Algerian national team has completed…“In certain moments we tried to build the play, but for the most part we were very different to our usual approach.“You can have an off day in a prestigious friendly, but this is a competitive match and we’ve got to make sure we learn from this so it never happens again.“We got stretched out, our passing was off kilter and we lost our shape. We must learn from the errors we made this evening.”
Spanish journalist Josep Pedrerol of El Chiringuito says that Real Madrid president Florentino Perez will sack Julen Lopetegui after Tuesday’s match against Viktoria Plzen, irrespective of what happens in that game.“Lopetegui will coach Madrid this Tuesday and it all points towards him not doing so at the Camp Nou. Mourinho is the favorite for the board and the club is thinking about appointing Solari until Mourinho is free to return to the Spanish capital. Solari would be a temporary option,” said Pedrerol via Managing Madrid.Mourinho: “Lionel Messi made me a better coach” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Jose Mourinho believes the experience of going up against Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi at Real Madrid made him a greater coach.“Roberto Martinez is also a candidate but Conte is also ahead of him,” added the reporter.Following the consecutive poor performance of the team, it looks obvious that Lopetegui’s time as Real Madrid’s coach is coming to an end. It seems as though Madrid has decided to be patient and wait until right after El Clasico next Sunday as to decide the fate of Lopetegui’s future. The only victory for Madrid over Barcelona could save Lopetegui.