Written by @samjsneddon
It's evident to say that it would be almost arduous to refuse the chance to sign a player like Kevin De Bruyne if you were a prestigious club like Real Madrid, and it looks like Real's president, Florentino Perez thinks likewise. Spanish newspaper, Don Balon writes that Perez has a plan to improve the club if they fail to retain their position as Champions League holders, suggesting that even Zinedine Zidane could be out of the door in the summer. His plan also includes obtaining some new players in the transfer window and sitting at the top of the shortlist is De Bruyne.
Kevin De Bruyne currently sits at the top of the Premier Leauge assists table with 14, very distant from his competition. His pacy, skilful play is so difficult to describe - instead, watch it for yourself.
In 88 league appearances for Manchester City, De Bruyne has grabbed 21 goals and 41 assists, and improvement can easily be recognised as years progress.
One thing many fans might think is how he may fit into the squad at Los Blancos after his rumoured £177m move in the summer. Well, he'd obviously be a substantial player in the starting XI but it's not clear who he could replace. That being said, if City is up for it, Madrid is in for a treat, as the lad still has bags of potential.
Madrid does have a massive obstacle in the way, though, as the 26-year-old signed a new 5-year deal last month, showing his commitment to the club. If City were silly enough to approve the move, Kevin might not.
Another problem could be that Real aren't the only ones trying to land the Belgian. De Bruyne's agent, Patrick de Koster, claims that Barcelona is also interested, yet he insists his commitment still lies with The Sky Blues. He also says that his client 'fell in love' with the lifestyle in America, and wouldn't mind finishing his career at the MLS.
For now, De Bruyne looks like he's staying at City, probably for the long run, but if Real Madrid fails to obtain their target, it will be very challenging to lower their expectations for his alternative.
Recently we had the pleasure of asking Zak Drake some questions about his new side, Las Vegas Lights, as well as his football career as a whole and the work he does off the pitch.
What’s your journey been like so far as a footballer?
It's best explained on my website, but basically: youth in Canada, pro exposure in Brazil at age 15-16,
college scholarship to school in USA, after graduating played in Germany Australia and Portugal,
now I’m here in Vegas. It's been a real grind.
How did you become involved with Las Vegas Lights - what attracted you to the club?
I’m really looking to set the culture of the team and support the community as much as I can. This blank slate is a new opportunity.
What’s it like to be part of a brand new football team?
It’s great. The blank slate feeling almost gives you confidence because there are no previous failures, no bad habits, no negativity. It’s fresh and new.
What did you make of Las Vegas Lights’ first game against Montreal Impact?
It was so great to play in the first match in club history. It was also really cool that it was against a Canadian team! It was an honour. The fans made for a great atmosphere.
Are you personally confident about the strength of Las Vegas Lights going into next season?
Definitely. We have a lot of talent from Mexico and America. The coaches really know their stuff and I have full faith that by March, we’ll have it all sorted out!
What are your thoughts on your recently unveiled kit?
They're flashy. I think it represents the city well. The tag for the post was “we don’t do ordinary” and that shows with the unique style and the emoji on the inside!
As well as being a pro player, you also have your own website with tips to help people go pro. To give our readers a flavour of what you're about, what’s your number one piece of advice to a young player who wants to go pro?
Get clear on your goal, remind yourself of it often, and take tiny steps each day towards achieving it. When you get off track (and you will) start it over again.
Written by @khanna1905
Deadline Day. A day of immense excitement as football fans around the globe anticipate if their club is going to make a signing. Known to be one of the most exciting days in a football calendar. Or is it?
Although Deadline Day would be exciting as it’s the last day where clubs are desperate to make their business go through, the only big name signings that happen are ones that we are all expecting to happen, for example Pierre Emmerick Aubameyang. An agreement has been reached in principal between Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund for the Gabon international and is most likely to become official in deadline day. Does this really mean it’s a deadline day major signing although it is already known that it’s going to happen? I don’t really think so. It would be more of a shock now if it didn’t happen than if it happened.
There is no argument that on deadline day, deals you are not expecting to happen do happen but it’s never a major signing, for example on deadline day in the summer, Chelsea signed Davide Zappacosta having not been a mention of him during the whole transfer window. So it’s a signing that you are not expecting but you are not exactly jumping for joy as they are not even first team regulars half the time.
At the end of the day as a football fan you still do get a thrill when you see the timer ticking away to the deadline and the entertainment of Jim White in his yellow tie going crazy and the reporters at the grounds of each clubs giving out information as they get it. But if you do think about it hard, do you find yourself feeling disappointment as your club hasn’t done anything exciting? I feel that is the case with most fans and clubs and being a Chelsea fan, it doesn’t seem that there will be any big names heading to Stamford Bridge at 11pm on January 31st.
Who knows, maybe I will be proven wrong and something big an unexpected will happen tomorrow, all we can do is sit back, turn on Sky Sports News and wait.
Written by @transferfeed
Manchester City have signed Mix Diskerud from fellow City Group club New York City FC on a free transfer as confirmed by Umbro although the Premier League league leaders have yet to confirm the deal.
Diskerud, 27, was voted as “the most overrated Major League Soccer player” last year in an anonymous poll take ESPN took out with Major League Soccer players voting & now he’s found himself at the Etihad...
Manchester City have such talent as Kevin De Bruyne, Fernandinho, David Silva, Yaya Toure, Brahim Diaz, Fabian Delph, Ilkay Gundogan, Phil Foden & Oleksandr Zinchenko in the central attacking midfield/central midfield roles yet they sign a washed up central midfielder in his late 20s who hasn’t been getting regular USMNT call ups since World Cup 2014 (where he failed to make an appearance).
To me it’s a move more for the commercial side of things & to keep New York City FC happy rather than it being for footballing matters. In saying that, if Manchester City want to utilise they’re partnership with the New York based side why not buy highly rated English youngster Jack Harrison who is being heavily linked with a £7m move to his hometown team Stoke City.
It would certainly be a better move to bring in Harrison than Diskerud, who is already being linked with a loan move away from the Cityzens although Manchester City themselves having yet to confirm the transfer!
It’s a very bizarre one & will most likely not affect Manchester City at all. Some may say he’s the next Aaron Mooy but I don’t see Diskerud tearing up the Premier League next year for a side sitting near the middle of the table. Maybe he’ll be ripping up Sky Bet League One for a side near the middle of the table, not the Premier League.
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Written by @transferfeed
December 20th 2017, Nashville Soccer Club were named as the 24th MLS franchise, an early Christmas present to many.
The city is more commonly known for their Music culture or even the hit American TV show Nashville which has racked up a very respectable 92% rating on Rotten Tomatoes but all eyes will be on the newest team in Major League Soccer, Nashville.
It was announced that the City of Music would get it’s on team on May 19th 2016. The team got their logo, name & colours from amateur side Nashville FC who were established in 2013. They were founded by David Dill - chief operating officer of LifePoint Health, Christopher Redhage - co founder of ProviderTrust & former soccer player & Marcus Whitney - president of Jumpstart foundry & former chairman of amateur side Nashville FC. Former MLS Cup winner with Colorado Rapids Nashville impressively appointed Gary Smith as their head coach on April 12th 2017 although by that point the former Fulham boss had been out of work for a year & didn’t exactly set the world alight after his stint at the Rapids going onto manage Stevenage & Atlanta Silverbacks.
On March 14th 2017 John Ingram bought over Nashville SC with an aspiration for the club to compete in the countries top league, Major League Soccer. Ingram’s bid was successful despite many claiming FC Cincinnati should’ve been the MLS expansion team with the club breaking several attendance records in the USL & US Open Cup even making it to the Semi-Finals of the US Open Cup (America’s equivalent of trophies like DFB Pokal, Copa Del Rey, Scottish Cup, FA Cup etc.)
Nashville will compete in a pre season friendly against MLS’ attendance breaking Atlanta United in their first ever official game on the 10th February 2018. The “5 stripes” as they are known boast stars such as Ezequiel Barco, Josef Martinez & Miguel Almiron & will surely be a big test for Nashville. Nashville then come up against Lousville City FC away in their first competitive match as they experience their first season in the USL ahead of their entry into the MLS in either 2019 or 2020. On the 24th March Nashville then face Pittsburgh Riverhounds in their first ever home game at First Tennessee Park.
It is unclear wether Nashville wi keep the name “Nashville Soccer Club” for their inaugural MLS season in either 2019 or 2020 & it is also unclear wether there will be 2 franchises - a USL team & a MLS team.
Naturally Nashville may have rivalries with the closest MLS teams Atlanta United, Sporting Kansas City & Houston Dynamo although in the USL their is Louisville, Cincinnati & St. Louis all nearby. The clubs star players include goalkeeper Matt Pickens who is a former MLS Cup winner under Gary Smith at Colorado Rapids, former Houston Dynamo player Oumar Mallo & former Minnesota United player Justin Davis.
Will Nashville take US Soccer by storm in their first years like Atlanta United & FC Cincinnati or will they settle for mid table obscurity in their first years like Minnesota United & Orlando City?
Send me your thoughts on Nashville SC via my Instagram @transferfeed!
Written by @transferfeed
When Hungary made it to the Last 16 of the European Championship last summer you may have thought it was one of the country's greatest footballing achievements but they were once, surprisingly, a footballing powerhouse.
Hungary made the World Cup 1938 Final where they faced the holders Italy but unfortunately lost out with the Italians retaining their title after an exciting 4-2 win!
14 years later Hungary found themselves as favourites for the 1954 World Cup as they went into the tournament as current Olympic champions & being led by the best player in the world at that time, Ferenc Puskás it looked like nothing could go wrong. Hungary strolled through the group defeating South Korea 9-0 & West Germany 8-3 with Honvéd star Sándor Kocsis scoring 4 of the 8 goals against the West Germans. The Hungarians then beat 1950 World Cup Runners up Brazil 4-2 in the Quarter Finals with Kocsis scoring a brace, that being his 8th goal of the tournament in just 3 games. South Americans Uruguay gave Hungary a scare in the Semi's with the game levelled at 2-2 it went to extra time. Kocsis came to the rescue once more scoring an Extra Time Second Half brace! Then it came to the final where Hungary came up against West Germany, the team they had dismantled 8-3 in the group stages. They went into the game as heavy favourites but the West Germans managed to pull of "The Miracle of Berne" winning the game 3-2! The Hungary side of the 1950s are now seen as many as the "greatest team to never win a World Cup."
2 years after the World Cup thousands protested in the country's capital of Budapest against Soviet Rule. The USSR sent in "the red army" to deal with the rebellion. Thousands were killed in what is now know as "The Hungarian Uprising." This led to many Hungarian clubs' best talents leaving the country & the national teams stars to stop representing their country. Hungary's greatest ever player, Ferenc Puskás added insult to injury when he got the all clear to play for Spain in the 1962 World Cup. Despite all of this, players like Bozsik & Hidegkuti stayed with the Hungarian national team & their Hungarian clubs.
With a new flock of talented Hungarians coming through they made it to the 1958 World Cup & even made it as far as the Quarter Finals in the 1962 & 1966 World Cup's! They took it one step further in the Euro's making it to the Semi's in 1964 & 1972.
In 1982 Hungary even beat their own record of biggest win in a World Cup match, previously their 9-0 win over South Korea they blew it out of the water in 1982 whilst legendary Hungarian manager Mészöly was at the helm as they beat El Salvador 10-1. Domestic clubs continued to flirt with Europe's elite with MTK Budapest making the final of the European Cup Winners Cup only to lose out to Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon but the following year Ferencvaros managed to win the competition! Ferencvaros won the Inter-Fairs Cup in 1967 defeating AS Roma & Manchester United along the way before, ultimately beating Juventus in the final. Albert was Ferencvaros star player that season with the Hungarian winning the 1967 Ballon D'or!
In 1989 Hungary faced another political crisis. Many thought "if they could face a political crisis in 1956 then they can face it now." They were wrong. With its own ministry, its own minister and government officials, and alas its own budget, sports in Hungary was at an all time low. The communist regime in the country fell apart & Hungarian sport was completely neglected. During the communist regime the government funded sport but without the regime many footballing teams went to ruins [or almost].
In recent times Hungary came close to qualifying for France 98' but lost to Yugoslavia with an aggregate score of 12-1. The last time Hungary qualified for a World Cup was in 1986 & the last time before Euro 2016 they had qualified for a European Championships was 1972. The Hungarian Top Flight or the Nemzeti Bajnokság has attracted foreign players like current Burnley defender Matthew Lowton - who spent a season on loan at Ferencvaros during his time at Sheffield United - & former Italian international Guisseppe Signori who joined MFC Sopron in 2005, at the age of 37. Although all of this, Hungary have never been able to attract the calibre of player they used too & have been unable to produce world class stars anymore.
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Written by @transferfeed
Steaua Bucharest, or as you may know them now as FCSB are the biggest team in Romania having won Liga I a record 29 times, Cupa României a record 22 times, Cupa Ligii a record 2 times, Supercupa României a record 6 times. But the biggest achievement in their history has to be their European Cup triumph in 1986 winning in the final against FC Barcelona. Following their success the European Champions won the 1986 UEFA Super Cup & 1986 Intercontinental Cup. Their former parent club CSA Steaua Bucuresti also claim FCSB's honours between 1947 & 2003 but this is where the confusion just begins.
CSA Steaua where founded in 1947 & are, in theory, also FCSB. They were founded by soldiers of the Romanian Military (hence the nickname "The Military Men"). The clubs footballing department was thought to have separated in 1998 but this was proven false in 2017 by former employee Tica Danilescu. The team re opened their footballing department in July 2017 & currently play in Liga IV - the 4th tier of Romanian football. Sections of FCSB that currently belong to CSA Steaua are Rugby, Ice hockey, Handball - which they have became European champions in twice, Water Polo, youth Basketball, Volleyball, Athletics, Swimming, Gymnastics, Boxing, Rowing, Canoe, Shooting, Weightlifting, Fencing, Tennis, Cycling and Judo.
So now we get onto Steaua Bucharest's name change to FC FCSB. Following a disputes with the Romanian army lasting from around 2014-2017 the club officially changed their name to FCSB in May of this year. The clubs owner Gigi Becali announced in court that the club had lost it's rights to using a military identity. This wasn't the first time the clubs name had been questioned as in 2011 Romanian defence military officers accused the club of using the Steaua Bucharest brand illegally since 2004. Beforehand many names had been thrown about, all of which angered the fans. Names included FC Star & even FC Becali. Before the clubs name change to "FCSB" they had to cover their badge, all signs of their name & change the score board from saying "FC Steaua Bucharest" to simply "Hosts."
The clubs ultras flocked away to support CSA Steaua's new footballing team and Steaua Bucharest's Basketball & Rugby teams as they saw FCSB as not their club but felt CSA Steaua and the Basketball & Rugby teams would never be the same to them.
But Steaua Bucharest isn't the only isn't the only flaw in Romanian football, it has been a complete Riches to Rags story. Not so long ago, in 1998 the Romanians where competing in the World Cup as one of the top nations with world renowned players like Hagi, Popescu, Ilie and Petrescu. Now they'd be lucky to qualify for a tournament of the Balkan nations if it ever was a thing! In more recent times, a 2006 UEFA Cup Quarter Final was contested by 2 Romanian sides: Dinamo Bucharest & Steaua Bucharest but now it's a rare occasion to find a Romanian side making it out of the groups! You come to ask yourself: Where did it all go wrong?
Many of Romania's top sides saw themselves in dire financial positions in the early 2000s with the clubs being owned by fraudulent businessmen, prisoners, tax evaders - the whole lot! This did see fairy tales like Unirea Urziceni first title in 2009 & Oțelul Galați league triumph in 2011 but Urziceni's owner pulled out of investment the following year seeing the club in massive debt & Oțelul Galați's owner pocketed all of the money from their UCL campaign leaving the club without a penny to spare. Corruption is nothing new to the league either with many matches being fixed since the 90's. Former Romanian football club owner Dumitru Sechelariu admitted he was heavily involved in match fixing during an interview on a Romanian TV show in 2003. Romanian club merchandising available for sale started to become non-existent, attendances were spiralling down & TV broadcasting brought in minimal money.
The best players & prospects in the country don't want to be there: they will often leave to countries like Italy, Spain, England, Germany, France, Portugal etc. CFR Cluj are now banned any the Romanian Football Federation as their owner, Pászkány Árpád is unable to pay their debts but only 5 years ago they were beating Manchester United in the UEFA Champions League. Rapid Bucharest were relegated due to financial trouble. Otelul Galati, a small lower league team won the league but fell into financial trouble & are now back to being a small lower league team.
A new broadcasting deal came in 3 years ago but, as you can see, it hasn't helped much & teams certainly aren't spending more. No club, bar Steaua Bucharest, made a signing that cost money in the summer of 2015. In the last 4 season no Romanian side has qualified for the UEFA Champions League. The average attendance is still falling, now sitting at an unhealthy 2,400. Players have begun to protest over not being paid. In a survey by FIFA 75% of Romanian players said they were not paid on the right time.
So, as the great Gheorghe Hagi once said, "Romanian football is a ticking bomb, waiting to implode on itself."
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