Manchester City Eyeing Nicolas Otamendi Transfer to Benfica

Nicolas Otamendi could be switching sides soon…

The 32-year-old Argentine professional footballer, who plays for Manchester City, could be heading to Portugal’s Benfica team.

Nicolas Otamendi

Manchester City is reportedly close to signing Benfica defender Ruben Dias, according to ESPN, that would send Otamendi to Benfica.

Pep Guardiola is hoping to bolster ManCity’s defense with Dias’ arrival. The 23-year-old, who has been capped 19 times by Portugal, is set to arrive in Manchester this week to finalize the move.

Otamendi has yet to feature for Guardiola’s side this season. City are prepared to let the Argentina international leave after five years at the club following his move from Valencia in 2015.

Otamendi has been selected for the Argentina team by coach Lionel Scaloni for next month’s World Cup qualifiers.

David Silva Signs with Real Sociedad

David Silva is ready to kick things up in Spain…

Real Sociedad have signed the 34-year-old Spanish footballer and former Manchester City midfielder as a free agent, the La Liga side has announced.

David Silva

Silva recently left Man City after a decade of service, in which he won 11 major trophies including four Premier League titles.

Manchester City had recently announced that they’d be honoring Ruiz by building a statue of him outside the Etihad Stadium.

La Real, who finished sixth in La Liga, were searching for a new playmaker after Martin Odegaard ended a one-year loan spell to return to Real Madrid.

Silva had been linked with a move to Italian club Lazio, but instead returns to his home country, having begun his professional career at Valencia.

In a social media post, Silva said goodbye to Man City fans:

“I look back and it’s clear I could not have made a better decision than to accept City’s proposal to join their project back in 2010,” he said.

“Manchester City and I have grown together. In 10 years, I have developed personally and professionally. I have celebrated many victories and titles and lived through epic moments.

“I have seen my lovely child, Mateo, born and I have even started to feel comfortable under heavy rain! City are a fantastic family. I won’t ever forget the way they threw themselves into helping me when I suffered the hardest moments of my life, offering me support and empathy.”

Manchester City Nearing Deal for Valencia’s Ferran Torres

Ferran Torres is thisclose to heading to England.

Manchester City is close to agreeing a fee with Valencia for the 20-year-old Spanish professional footballer, according to ESPN.

Ferran Torres

Man City is set to pay €23 million plus add-ons for the right winger, a SpainUnder-21 international. Negotiations are ongoing but Manchester City is hopeful a deal will be concluded.

Torres was made a prime target for manager Pep Guardiola and director of football Txiki Begiristain following the sale of Leroy Sane to Bayern Munich.

Valencia has been resigned to losing Torres, who had just one year left on his contract. He has made 97 appearances for the La Liga side, scoring nine times. He has won six caps for Spain’s U21s.

Man City has moved quickly for Torres, who has also attracted interest from a host of Europe’s top clubs. Personal terms should not be a problem with Torres keen to link up with Guardiola at the Etihad Stadium.

David Villa & Investment Group to Launch Queensboro FC as a United Soccer League Franchise

David Villais bringing futbolto Queens… 

An investment group including the 37-year-old Spanish professional footballer and former World Cup champion has been granted a United Soccer League( USL) franchise in New York City.

David Villa

Queensboro FC will begin play in 2021 in the USL Championship, the second division of professional soccer in the United States. It will host its home matches in a new, modular stadium at York Collegein Queens that will have a capacity of around 7,500. The new team will also play select home matches at Citi Field, home of MLB‘s New York Mets.

“Bringing professional football to Queens’ diverse community is an exciting and unique opportunity,” Villa said in a statement to ESPN. “The beautiful game already lives here, thanks to the melting pot of cultures who are so passionate about the sport. I can’t think of a better place for QBFC to grow. I’m proud to be part of this project.”

Rumors that the USL was planning to place a team in New York City, as well as Villa’s involvement, emerged last summer. Now those plans have come to fruition for the former New York City FCforward and 2016 MLS MVP.

Villa, who counts Sporting GijonReal ZaragozaValenciaBarcelonaand Atletico Madridamong the clubs he’s played for, spent the 2019 campaign in Japan with J1 Leagueside Vissel Kobe.

“I’m proud to say I’ve had a long-running connection to Queens,” said Villa. “I lived here for four years while I was developing my football academies, teaching kids not just how to play the sport but to appreciate the game’s values, too. Queens is — and always has been — special. You feel the passion for football walking the streets.

“It’s why we’re proud to bring a professional team to this borough. It’s the obvious next step following the clinics, summer camps, academies and various other programs for boys and girls we’ve held in Astoria, Flushing and at Queens College.”

The investment group is led by Jonathan Krane, CEO of New York City-based asset management companyKraneShares. Krane has previously been involved with the USL. This past season KraneShares was the away jersey sponsor of USL Championship side New Mexico United.

“The opportunity to bring professional soccer to Queens has long been a dream of mine and I can’t wait to deliver a USL Championship club that Queens can be proud of,” he said. “I’m thrilled to work with David and represent the borough to the fullest as we look forward to kickoff in 2021.”

In order to focus on his ownership responsibilities, as well as leading the day-to-day soccer operations, Villa will have retired from professional soccer by the time the team begins playing in 2021. Among his goals is to build an academy for local and international talent to develop.

“We will recruit the best players in Queens as we become the home team,” said Villa. “We have a built-in advantage in the number of talented players in the borough. The sporting level in USL is high, which means we have to be demanding in the quality of our athletes. But our goal is to have as many Queens-bred players as possible.”

The USL Championship currently has 34 teams, with San Diego set to come on board next season. Oakland East Bay will join alongside QBFC in 2021.

“Announcing a USL Championship club in Queens is a big moment for our league,” said USL CEO Alec Papadakis. “When we consider expansion, we’re primarily looking for three things: A community who is passionate about soccer, a strong local ownership group, and a pathway towards a soccer-specific stadium. With QBFC, we have all three, and with Jon and David at the helm, we believe this has the potential to be something very special.”

Lionel Messi Claims His Fourth European Golden Shoe Award

Lionel Messi is soccer’s Golden boy…

The 30-year-old soccer star received his fourth European Golden Shoe on Friday after netting 37 times in La Liga play during the 2016-17 season.

Lionel Messi

Messi beat out Sporting CP‘s Bas Dost (34 goals in Portugal‘s Primeira Liga) and Borussia Dortmund‘s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (31 in the Bundesliga) in the top three to claim the prize, which is presented to Europe’s top goal scorer.

After also winning the award in 2012-13 (46 league goals), 2011-12 (50) and 2009-10 (34), Messi is tied with Real Madrid‘s Cristiano Ronaldo for most regular winner of the Golden Shoe.

Messi’s 37 goals last season came in 34 Spanish top-flight appearances, but they were delivered as part of losing cause, as Real Madrid beat out Barca to the title.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has netted 12 goals in 12 games in the 2017-18 La Liga campaign.

He’s trailing Lazio‘s Ciro Immobile and Paris Saint-Germain‘s Edinson Cavani, who have netted 15 goals in Serie A and Ligue 1, respectively, in the race for this year’s Golden Shoe. Meanwhile, Bayern Munich‘s Robert Lewandowski, AS Monaco‘s Radamel Falcao and Inter Milan‘s Mauro Icardi have all netted 13 times.

Ronaldo, though, does not look like troubling the upper echelon of the European Golden Shoe rankings anytime soon, as he has netted just once in La Liga this season.

Messi will be looking to add to his tally on Sunday when top-of-the-table Barca travel to face second-place Valencia at the Mestalla.

Messi Nets 500th Career Goal in Barcelona Loss to Valencia

It’s another miraculous milestone for Lionel Messi

The 28-year-old Argentine soccer superstar scored Barcelona‘s only goal in Sunday’s 2-1 loss to Valencia; it was his 500th career goal.

Lionel Messi

The milestone goal arrived after Messi had gone 515 minutes without netting one for his club, ending his five-game drought.

Messi slotted home Jordi Alba‘s cross to make it 2-1 Valencia for his 450th Barca goal in 525 appearances.

The five-time World Player of the Year has also scored 50 times in 108 caps for Argentina.

It’s the latest landmark in a remarkable career and comes less than 11 years after the then 17-year-old’s first senior goal against Albacete in May 2005.

“The figure is from another galaxy,” said Barca boss Luis Enrique when asked about the achievement.

Messi Records His 400th Goal for FC Barcelona

Lionel Messi is making history once again…

The 27-year-old Argentine soccer star reached another career milestone in an FC Barcelona uniform when he notched his 400th goal for the team in Saturday’s La Liga meeting with Valencia at the Camp Nou.

Lionel Messi

Messi completed his fourth ton for the Blaugrana with the very last kick of the match, latching onto a long ball over the top and landing the milestone after tucking home the rebound after his initial shot was saved by Diego Alves.

It was Messi’s 278th league goal for the Primera Division leaders, with a further 75 coming in the Champions League, 32 in the Copa Del Rey, 10 in the Spanish Super Cup, four in the Club World Cup as well as one strike in the UEFA Super Cup.

Messi had become Barca‘s all-time leading goalscorer in March last year when he exceeded Paulino Alcantara‘s 369 goals for the club scored between 1912 and 1927.

The Argentina forward, who has won the Ballon d’Or on four occasions, also holds the record for leading goalscorer in a single La Liga season, with 50 in 2011-12.

Among a host of other records, he’is also the joint record scorer in European Cup history on 75 goals, level with Cristiano Ronaldo. And he’s also tied with Ronaldo for the most La Liga hat tricks, with both forwards having scored 24.

Hernandez Joining Real Madrid on Season-Long Loan from Manchester United

Javier Hernandez is leaving the United Kingdom…

The 26-year-old Mexican soccer star, known simply as Chicharito, is set to join Real Madrid on a season-long loan from Manchester United with an option for a permanent deal.

Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez

United had received offers from Juventus and Valencia for Hernandez last week, but he opted to move to Real Madrid.

The Mexico international sealed the loan to the European champion after passing a medical on Monday.

A statement on the Spanish club’s official website reads: “Real Madrid and Manchester United have reached an agreement for the loan of the player Javier Hernandez Chicharito, who will be attached to the club for the current season. Real Madrid retains an option to purchase the player.

“Javier Hernandez Chicharito will give a news conference at the Santiago Bernabeu today Monday at 4:30 p.m.”

The former Premier League champions allowed Hernandez to leave after they agreed to bring in Monaco forward Radamel Falcao, another reported target of Real, on loan.

Hernandez has slipped further down the pecking order at Old Trafford in recent years after the arrivals of Robin van Persie, Juan Mata and now Falcao.

He signed for 6.9 million pounds from Guadalajara in 2010 and was named United’s player of the year in his debut season, when he scored 20 goals.

He has gone on to score 59 goals in 154 games for the club but started only six league matches last season. While he began the current campaign in the team, he was substituted at halftime in the 2-1 defeat to Swansea.

Hernandez, who has scored 36 times in 66 caps for his country, becomes the third Mexican to play for Real after Jose Luis Borbolla and Hugo Sanchez, who scored 208 goals for the 32-time champions of Spain.

Mexico boss Miguel Herrera had earlier tweeted: “Going to Real Madrid is a big opportunity for [Hernandez], for whom I wish the best of success.”

 

Hernandez is expected to understudy first-choice striker Karim Benzema at the Bernabeu. In the past five years, no player has scored more goals as a substitute in the top five European leagues than Hernandez, who has struck 14 times after coming off the bench.

Hernandez will join James Rodriguez, Toni Kroos and Keylor Navas among Real’s summer signings.

López Signs Lucrative Deal to Return to Real Madrid…

Diego López Rodríguez is getting Real again…

The 31-year-old Spanish footballer will be returning as a goalkeeper to Real Madrid, López’s team from 2000-2007, after agreeing to a $4.7 million dollar contract. He’d most recently played 172 games with Villarreal from 2007-2012 and about 8 games with Sevilla in 2012-2013.

Diego López Rodríguez

López’s hiring comes as the team aimed to secure an extra goalkeeper in light of an injury that’ll sideline the team’s netminder and captain Iker Casillas for up to 12 weeks.

News of the deal came as Casillas underwent surgery to repair damage to his left hand suffered when one of his teammates accidentally clipped him during Real Madrid’s Copa del Rey quarterfinal match against Valencia.

The operation went “very well,” surgeon Miguel del Cerro said, while urging that Casillas approach his recovery at a measured pace.

“We will follow the rehabilitation steps set out by Dr. del Cerro,” said Real Madrid’s director of medical services Carlos Diez.

Meanwhile, Lopez is expected to serve as backup to Antonio Adan, who had begun to move into the role of starting goalkeeper before a two-match suspension that opened the door for Casillas to return.

While out of contention for the 2012-2013 La Liga title, Real Madrid has a berth in the Copa del Rey semis and qualified for the knockout stage of the Champions League.