Author: Richard Farley

Leaked transfer agreement shows Real Madrid have limited buy-back clause for Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil

If Arsenal ever sell Mesut Ozil to a club in the Spanish league, Real Madrid have the right to match the transfer fee. And if they decline, Ozil’s former club would still be entitled to 33% of the playmaker’s final price. Those are some of the revelations from a leaked version of Mesut Ozil’s transfer agreement that has been posted to the site Football Leaks, the same outlet that published a version of Gareth Bale’s contract last week. That leak debunked Real Madrid’s continued contention that Bale’s summer 2013 transfer fee was less than the price paid for Cristiano Ronaldo ... Read more

Jurgen Klinsmann’s US January camp squad is a sharp contrast between young and old

Long-time United States international Jermaine Jones joins Toronto FC stars Micheal Bradley and Jozy Alitidore in a US January camp squad divided between Major League Soccer stalwarts and national team prospects getting their first shots at a long-term camp. US Soccer announced the 23-man squad on Wednesday, with players set to report to Carson, Calif. on July 11 for the senior program’s annual winter training camp. This year’s camp runs through Feb. 6, with the near-month-long evaluation culminating with friendlies against Iceland (Jan. 31) and Canada (Feb. 6). Both matches will take place at StubHub Center in Carson. “As we ... Read more

Manchester United’s 0-0 draw with Chelsea paints over cracks of a grim reality

“Is that the best you’ve got?” Ed Woodward should spit those words out the moment Louis van Gaal picks up his phone. Manchester United’s executive vice chairman and manager reportedly talked after the team’s loss at Stoke City, with some outlets reporting today’s visit from Chelsea represented Van Gaal’s last shot. Although today’s shot was closer to its target, United still missed their mark. When a team of United’s resources must comfort itself with “good” 0-0 draws, something is wildly amiss. But we knew that before today’s game against Chelsea. We knew it before United threatened to reach its first four-match ... Read more

Cuco Martina versus Xherdan Shaqiri: Who finished it better? [VIDEO]

Is it too romantic, to see these goals by Southampton’s Cuco Martina and Stoke City’s Xherdan Shaqiri as the range that soccer has to offer? One, a powerful strike demanding the instincts and execution of a top-level player. The other, a touch a 12-year-old could execute, but only if that child’s feet extended from the mind and reactions of a near-world class talent. We’ll start with the latter, the more recent, a goal that left Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard with little recourse on Monday at Goodison Park. How often do you see an attacker hit this on the half-volley, trying ... Read more

MLS’s rules and the Galaxy’s choices have landed Omar Gonzalez in Mexico

United States international Omar Gonzalez has been transferred from Major League Soccer’s LA Galaxy to Liga MX’s Pachuca, the Galaxy announced on Wednesday. The move ends the defender’s seven-year stay at the MLS club. “We thank Omar for his contribution and dedication to this club throughout the past seven years,” Galaxy head coach and general manager Bruce Arena said in a statement published by the club. “We wish Omar the best of luck with Pachuca.” Gonzalez, 27, is a 30-time US international who helped the Galaxy to three MLS Cups and two Supporters’ Shields during his time in Los Angeles. ... Read more

Manchester City are stuck in neutral until Vincent Kompany and Pablo Zabaleta return

This time last year, talk of Vincent Kompany’s inconsistency began defining his reputation, with the once vaunted central defender reduced to a precarious place among soccer’s elite. Now, with Manchester City undefeated in the league when the imposing Belgian is in the lineup, the debate about his value has gone silent. Whatever ground Kompany gave last year to the world’s best defenders, he made up during a dominant start to City’s season. Unfortunately for City, performances like Monday’s 1-2 loss to Arsenal make that start evermore irrelevant. With an injured Kompany watching from the stands at the Emirates, City fell ... Read more

What Chelsea would get with the return of Guus Hiddink

Expect the main criticism of Chelsea’s parting with Jose Mourinho to center on turnover, a word only used when “change” is not ominous enough. But that kind of cynicism’s to be expected after another managerial change at Stamford Bridge. Since Roman Abramovich assumed control of the club 12 years ago, 11 men with 12 tenures of varying lengths have managed the club. When Mourinho’s replacement is named, Abramovich will have as many managerial changes as seasons in charge. That the next manager will likely be Guus Hiddink will only fuel criticism, with critics pointing to the lack of stability — ... Read more

Ramos a surprise candidate to replace Mourinho at Chelsea

Former Sevilla, Tottenham and Real Madrid manager Juande Ramos has emerged as a potential replacement at Chelsea for Jose Mourinho, according to reports out of England. The 61-year-old Spaniard, whose most recent job was with Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, has been unemployed since the end of Ukraine’s 2013-14 season, but he has surfaced as a surprise short-term option as Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich considers Mourinho’s future. According to The Times, Abramovich is holding emergency meetings on Wednesday to consider the future of his current manager, whose job has become the source of increased speculation in the wake of Chelsea’s 2-1 loss Monday ... Read more