Manchester City Completes Five-Year Deal with Sávio

Sávio is headed to England.

Manchester City has completed a deal for the 20-year-old Brazil winger, whose full name is Sávio Moreira de Oliveira, on a five-year-deal, the club has confirmed.

SávioSources told ESPN that Manchester City has paid an initial transfer fee of €25 million ($27.3m), plus a potential €15m ($16.4m) in add-ons.

Sávio joins the team from French side Troyes after loan spells at PSV Eindhoven and Girona.

Both Troyes and Girona are part of the City Football Group (CFG), which is headed by Manchester City.

“I’m so happy to be joining Manchester City, the Premier League champions and Club World Cup winners,” Sávio said.

“Everyone knows they are the best team in the world right now, so to be here is very exciting for me.

“I’m excited about the chance to work under Pep Guardiola, one of the greatest coaches ever, and someone I know will help me improve even more.

“I had an amazing time in Spain and I’m looking forward to a new challenge of playing in the Premier League and alongside some of the best players in the world.

“I can’t wait to meet the fans and my new team-mates and hopefully be a part of bringing more success to City.”

Sávio scored 11 goals in 41 games for Girona last season as they earned qualification for the Champions League for the first time in their history.

He played for Brazil in this year’s Copa América and scored one goal while playing in each of their four games until they were knocked out by Uruguay in the quarterfinals.

Lautaro Martinez Wins 2024 Copa America Golden Boot Award

Lautaro Martinez is getting the boot!

The 26-year-old Argentine professional footballer, who scored the sole goal to lead Argentina to the title in the Copa America final against Colombia, has been awarded the tournament’s Golden Boot award.

Lautaro MartínezCopa America 2024 Golden Boot winner: Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan):
Martinez, who plays as a striker for Serie A club Inter Milan, earned some redemption at this year’s Copa America. After tons of criticism in Qatar and fans around the world saying they won in spite of his performances, the Inter Milan striker lifted the Golden Boot after scoring five goals this summer, including the tournament winner in extra time against Los Cafeteros.

Martinez has been one of the best strikers in Europe for years winning Serie A, Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana titles with Inter Milan. His performances at the 2022 World Cup, along with the rise of Manchester City‘s Julian Alvarez saw the striker lose his starting position. Though, after this summer, he’s quieted the doubters and haters whether starting or off the bench.

Copa America 2024 Golden Glove winner: Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa):
Another international tournament, another Golden Glove for Emiliano Martinez. Three straight Golden Gloves at international competitions for the 31-year-old Argentine professional footballer and Aston Villa player has cemented himself as an Argentinian legend.

The meteoric rise he’s been on since his last season at Arsenal winning the FA Cup and Community Shield to helping Aston Villa qualify for the Champions League this past Premier League season has been one of the best stories in the sport.

Copa America 2024 Golden Ball winner: James Rodriguez (Sao Paulo):
If James Rodriguez announced himself to the world at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, this summer he reminded the world why he’s such a talented and special player.

The 33-year-old Colombian professional footballer and Sao Paulo player won the Golden Ball signifying himself as the best player of the tournament, a consolation prize after heartbreak in the final.

James assisted six times in the tournament, four more than Nicolas de la Cruz and Alexis Mac Allister.

He also overtook Radamel Falcao this tournament as the fourth-most capped player in Los Cafeteros history. A remarkable tournament for the player despite it ending in disappointment.

Nacho Fernandez Set to Sign with Saudi Pro League’s Al Qadsiah

Nacho Fernandez is heading to the Middle East

The 34-year-old Spanish professional footballer and Real Madrid captain is set to sign with Al Qadsiah in the Saudi Pro League, per ESPN sources.

Nacho FernandezESPN reported earlier this month that defender Nacho — who is on international duty with Spain at Euro 2024 — was in advanced talks with another Saudi sideAl Ittihad.

However, the centre-back was then offered a deal by Al Qadsiah and, keen to have his future resolved as soon as possible, has decided to accept, a source said.

Nacho has won a joint-club record 26 trophies with Madrid, having joined the club at the age of 11 and come through the academy.

His contract at Madrid is due to expire at the end of this month and he had spent recent weeks considering his future.

Nacho captained Madrid to a Champions League and LaLiga double this season, having come close to leaving the club in the summer of 2023 before opting to stay.

The defender had a strong end to the season and was rewarded with a Spain call-up, starting their Euro 2024 opening win against Croatia last week, before missing their victory over Italy on Thursday with a minor injury.

Nacho is one of just five players — with Madrid’s Luka ModricToni Kroos, Dani Carvajal and Paco Gento — to have won six

He had previously been linked with a switch to Major League Soccer (MLS), but has now chosen to move to Saudi Arabia.

Al Qadsiah won promotion to the Saudi top flight last season and are coached by the former Real Madrid player Michel Gonzalez.

Juventus Close to Wrapping Up Deal for Aston Villa Midfielder Douglas Luiz

Douglas Luiz is thisclose to kickin’ it in Italy…

Juventus is close to wrapping up a deal for the 26-year-old Brazilian professional footballer and Aston Villa midfielder, per ESPN sources.

Douglas Luiz, Luiz, a Brazil international is set to move to Turin for a fee of around £43 million ($54m). Juventus pair Samuel Iling-Junior and Enzo Barrenechea are set to move to Aston Villa in a separate deal worth £18.6m.

A source has told ESPN that the deals are progressing and should be formally completed by the end of next week. United States midfielder Weston McKennie was initially part of the discussions between Juventus and Aston Villa, but has not been included in the move.

Luiz, who moved to Villa Park from Manchester City in 2019, was a key part of Unai Emery‘s team last season as they finished fourth in the Premier League and secured a place in the Champions League.

Villa have been under pressure to raise funds after reporting a loss of nearly £120m in March.

Luiz leaves Villa having made 204 appearances in five years, scoring 22 goals.

Villa have also agreed deals for Tim Iroegbunam to join Everton and for Omari Kellyman to join Chelsea.

Iling-Junior will move back to England after spending time in Chelsea’s youth set-up before joining Juventus.

The 20-year-old has represented England at Under-21 level and has made 45 appearances for Juventus since making his senior debut in 2022.

Barrenechea, 23, spent time on loan at Frosinone last season.

Raúl Sanllehí to Join Inter Miami CF as Co-President

Raúl Sanllehí is heading to Miami.

The 57-year-old Spanish football administrator and former Head of Football at Arsenal and Director of Football at FC Barcelona will join Inter Miami CF as co-president alongside Xavier Asensi, overseeing aspects of the sporting side and executing the ownership’s strategy of player development from the academy to the first team.

Raúl SanllehíSanllehí will officially serve as president of football operations upon receipt of his U.S. work authorization.

“I have a blend of experience between leagues with LaLiga and the Premier League, and kinds of elite clubs that play Champions League every year, like Barcelona or Arsenal, so I have a vast vision about football,” Sanllehí told ESPN. “I have a very clear model in which I believe that clubs should be based and grow from there. The ownership wants to turn this club into a global football powerhouse, and that’s something that I embrace completely.”

Sanllehí previously worked as the director of football at Barcelona from 2008-2019, playing an integral role in the team during the development of current Miami players Lionel MessiSergio Busquets, Luis Suárez and Jordi Alba. Sanllehí will also reunite with head coach Gerardo Martino, after being part of the team that hired the Argentine at Barcelona in 2013.

Sanllehí also served as head of football at Arsenal from 2018-2020, and most recently as CEO of Spanish club Real Zaragoza from 2022-2024.

Now, Sanllehí wants to develop Inter Miami’s academy to produce the kind of side he saw while at Barcelona.

“I remember Johan Cruyff in a press conference when he was explaining the reasons why he believed so much in the academy,” Sanllehí recalled. “One reporter asked him, ‘so what you’re saying is that the academy needs to play like the first team?’ And he said, ‘no, actually I’m saying the opposite. I’m saying that the first team needs to play like the academy.’

“And you don’t achieve that in two or three years. That’s over time, because you need to plant the seeds and then protect them so they grow.

“And that was the secret of success of probably the best team in the history of Barcelona with all the players that you know, Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba, Messi, all of them were there. And they were all coming from the academy.

“If you look in history, again, all the main clubs that have been legendary in Europe, they were all based on the academy players. So I really believe that that’s the path.”

The Herons currently boast multiple academy players in the senior team, with Leo Alfonso most recently making headlines for scoring the team’s winning goal in extra time against the Philadelphia Union on June 15.

Benjamin Cremaschi and David Ruiz also played an integral role in the victory, while regularly featuring in Inter Miami’s starting XI under Martino.

On the other end, Asensi will continue to manage the team’s commercial aspect as president of business operations. He joined Inter Miami in 2021 from Barcelona, helping the club triple revenues. His promotion allows for the two to work in unison on different ends of the team’s growth.

Alexia Putellas Helps Lead Barcelona to Champions League Title Win Over Lyon

Alexia Putellas is being hailed as the “Queen of Barcelona”…

The 30-year-old Spanish professional footballer and two-time Ballon d’Or winner’s teammate Lucy Bronze made that declaration after Putellas came off the bench to score the second goal in Barcelona‘s 2-0 Champions League final win over Lyon on Saturday.

Alexia PutellasPutellas fired home in stoppage time after Aitana Bonmatí had opened the scoring earlier in the second half as Barça sealed back-to-back Champions League trophies, winning the competition for a third time in four years.

“Alexia is the captain of the team and she’s the queen of Barcelona for a reason,” England defender Bronze told DAZN after the game. She’s always so confident in the team and she showed today why she is a back-to-back Ballon d’Or winner. She’s got the quality to do that in the last minute of the Champions League final when we were up against it at the end and it just sealed the win for us. It was amazing.”

Barça — who boasted the lion’s share of the 50,827 attendees at San Mamés in Bilbao, which was a record for a Women’s Champions League final — had never beaten French champions Lyon in four previous attempts.

Two of those defeats came in Champions League finals, in 2019 and 2022, and there was a feeling they needed to beat the eight-time European champions to really establish themselves as one of the best teams ever.

“We knew that’s what we needed to be a club that really made history,” Bronze said.

“It’s hard to win it once, but to do it back-to-back, Lyon showed how difficult it is and this team has finally done that. I think we go down in history as one of the best teams in Europe.”

Success in Europe follows a domestic treble — Liga F, the Copa de la Reina and the Spanish Supercopa — as Barça win the quadruple for the first time in the club’s history.

Putellas, who signed a new two-year contract earlier this week, said winning back-to-back European trophies and all four trophies was the target set at the start of the campaign.

“Our objective was to win four out of four,” the Spain international told TVE. “After the Champions League final last season, we said we wanted to be here in Bilbao because we knew what it would mean. We can’t ask for anything else. We have achieved everything we wanted. Every minute of sacrifice has been worth the effort — and I’d say that not after the game, but before, just entering in the stadium, with all the support we had here, it was worth it.”

Ballon d’Or owner Bonmatí also praised the role of the travelling support in the north of Spain.

“It’s incredible … just incredible,” she told TVE. “It feels like Camp Nou, [the Olympic Stadium in] Montjuic or the Johan [Cruyff Stadium]. All we can say is thanks to the fans, we love them so much. No, [winning the quadruple has not sunk in yet]. I am on cloud nine right now. It is an historic day which we will remember forever.”

Victory over Lyon also signals the end of an era for coach Jonatan Giráldez, who will join NWSL side Washington Spirit next month.

Giráldez leaves after winning 10 trophies out of 12 during three years in charge, reaching the Champions League final in each of those seasons.

“It’s impossible [to imagine a better send off],” he told TVE. “It’s a dream day. It is difficult to explain with words the feeling I have right now. It is such a special moment. I am proud of all the players, the staff and fans that have been here. It is one of happiest days of my life.”

“I hope the night goes on for a long time,” Giráldez continued. “That we can enjoy it and celebrate with everyone who is here because it’s an unforgettable day.”

Pep Guardiola Named Premier League Manager of the Year

Pep Guardiola is in a premier class all his own…

The 53-year-old Spanish professional football manager and former player has been named Premier League Manager of the Year after guiding Manchester City to an unprecedented fourth successive title.

Pep Guardiola,Guardiola has previously won the award four times since he joined the club in 2016.

With six league titles, he’s now the joint second-most successful coach in the history of English football.

Only former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, with 11, has won the award more times.

Guardiola saw off competition from Arsenal‘s Mikel ArtetaAston Villa’s Unai EmeryBournemouth‘s Andoni Iraola and Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp.

“I want to share it, yes, oh yes! Especially with Mikel for the incredible job he has done until the last game, bringing us to our limits,” Guardiola said.

“Of course, for Jurgen, for the unforgettable battles for many, many years. And Unai Emery, making something unbelievable again to bring Aston Villa to the Champions League.

“And Andoni Iraola, with Bournemouth, being his first season in the Premier League, doing what he has done, coming back from the tough start of the season.

“It is an honor to be alongside all of them and to win this trophy. We will defend this award as best as possible in the future.”

Added Guardiola: “Winning four titles in a row is one of the proudest achievements of my career. This is the toughest league in the world and our competitors have played some incredible football.”

Lionel Messi Named The Best FIFA Men’s Player for Third Time

Lionel Messi is the best… again.

The 36-year-old Argentine soccer superstar has won his third FIFA The Best men’s award, beating Manchester City‘s Erling Haaland and Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappé for the honor.

Lionel Messi The timeline for the award was between December 19, 2022 — the day after Messi led Argentina to win the World Cup in Qatar — and August 20, 2023. 

Messi won the award mostly for his work at PSG and Inter Miami, having helped the French giants to another Ligue 1 title before moving to MLS in July and inspiring Interm Miami to their first-ever trophy, the Leagues Cup.

On the international level, Messi helped Argentina top CONMEBOL‘s 2026 FIFA World Cup qualification table after six games.

Messi was not in attendance in London to collect the award.

The three nominees for the award were compiled, FIFA said, in collaboration with its “football stakeholders,” with short lists determined by two separate panels of former players and coaches. The winner of the award was then voted between journalists, fans, national team captains and managers.

The award is Messi’s third FIFA The Best title — his first coming in 2019 and second coming last year. He’s the only player to win the award three times.

He has also won a record eight Ballon d’Or awards.

Messi had a whirlwind 2023. In the first half, he won the French top flight for a second time but was booed by fans in his final games following a second successive round-of-16 exit from the Champions League.

The height of Messi’s season came after he joined Miami in July, when he swiftly inspired the franchise to win the Leagues Cup with a series of individual heroics, although the club missed out on the MLS Playoffs.

Here’s the full list of men’s awards:

The Best FIFA Men’s Player: Lionel Messi
Puskás Award: Guilherme Madruga (Botafogo-SP)
FIFA Fair Play AwardBrazil senior men’s players
FIFA Fan Award: Hugo Miguel Iñiguez
Men’s Coach of the Year: Pep Guardiola
Men’s Goalkeeper of the Year: Éderson (Man City) 

Men’s World XI:
Goalkeeper: Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid)
Defence: John Stones (Man City), Kyle Walker (Man City), Rúben Dias (Man City)
Midfield: Bernardo Silva (Man City), Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid), Kevin De Bruyne (Man City)
Forwards: Erling Haaland (Man City), Kylian Mbappé (PSG), Lionel Messi (Inter Miami), Vinícius Júnior (Real Madrid)

Manchester City ThisClose to Signing Argentina’s Claudio Echeverri

Claudio Echeverri is the Man (City) of the hour…

Manchester City are closing in on the signing of the 17-year-old Argentine professional footballer, a midfielder, from River Plate, according to ESPN.

Claudio EcheverriMan City have held formal talks with Echeverri and are nearing an agreement for the midfielder.

If a deal is reached, it’s likely that Echeverri would be loaned back to River Plate until at least the end of the Premier League season. It would be a similar arrangement to the one which eventually brought Julián Álvarez to Man City.

Álvarez was signed from River Plate in January 2022 but remained in South America until the following summer. He made his Premier League debut in August 2022 and has gone on to win the Premier League title, FA CupChampions LeagueSuper Cup and Club World Cup.

He was also part of the Argentina team which won the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Echeverri, who sources have told ESPN was also receiving interest from Barcelona, is highly-rated and starred for Argentina at the under-17 World Cup earlier this month.

He has indicated to River Plate that he is unlikely to sign a new contract with his existing deal set to expire in December 2024.

City are not expected to make first-team signings during the January window but there could be departures from Pep Guardiola’s squad.

Kalvin Phillips is keen to move to find regular first-team football and is wanted by both Juventus and Newcastle. There has also been interest in defender Sergio Gómez and goalkeeper Zack Steffen.

The return of Kevin De Bruyne is set to give City a boost in January. The midfielder hasn’t played since the opening weekend of the season because of a hamstring injury but returned to training during the trip to Saudi Arabia for the Club World Cup.

Luis Suárez Becomes Latest High-Profile Talent to Join MLS Outfit Inter Miami

It’s official… Luis Suárez is reuniting with Lionel Messi in South Florida.

The 36-year-old Uruguayan striker has completed his move to Inter Miami, sealing a reunion with former Barcelona teammate Messi, the MLS club confirmed Friday.

Luis SuarezSuárez moves to Inter Miami as a free agent after departing Brazilian club Grêmio, where he played 53 matches in all competitions last season and scored 26 goals. 

His 17 league goals helped Grêmio finish second in the Brazilian Serie A and saw him win the Golden Ball as the best player in the division.

Suárez signed a one-year contract with Inter Miami, taking him through the end of the 2024 season.

“We promised our fans we would pursue the world’s best players to build a squad that can compete at the highest echelons in the Americas,” managing owner Jorge Mas said in the statement put out by the club.

“Coming off an award-winning season in Brazil, Luis will be a key addition to our roster. We will continue to be ambitious and always strive to pursue the freedom to dream.”

The move to Inter Miami, which sees Suárez cut short the two-year deal he signed with Grêmio, reunites him with former Barcelona teammates MessiJordi Alba and Sergio Busquets. The quartet spent six seasons together at Camp Nou between 2014 and 2020, winning four LaLiga titles and one Champions League.

“I’m very happy and excited to take on this new challenge with Inter Miami,” Suárez said in the statement. “I can’t wait to get started, and I’m ready to work to make the dream of winning more titles with this great Club a reality. I’m optimistic about what we can achieve together with our shared ambition.

“I will give my all to bring joy to these great fans I’ve heard so much about while I wear Inter Miami colors, and look forward to reuniting with great friends and players. I’m also eager to meet my new teammates and coaches.”