Photo by ISIphotos.com
Good afternoon folks. If you are at work trying to catch up on everything you were supposed to be doing when you were watching Argentina-Brazil, don’t worry. We will catch you up on some of the other news in the soccer world.
SBI correspondent Carl Setterlund gives us the latest on what’s going on in England with his afternoon ticker:
Terry regains England armband
After sweating it out since the Fabio Capello era began, John Terry can, at last, breathe a sigh of relief as he’s been named England’s permanent skipper once again. Following the Steve McClaren era and England’s disasterous failure to qualify for Euro 2008, Terry’s post was in jeopardy as Capello was open about the team captaincy being up for grabs. Terry, Rio Ferdinand, Steven Gerrard and even former captain David Beckham were given trials with the armband, with Ferdinand believed to be the stiffest competition.
Things reached a low point for Terry when Ferdinand skippered Manchester United past Chelsea, also captained by Terry, in penalty kicks in the Champions League final in Moscow. Terry, of course, slipped slightly and missed his kick. Ferdinand, Capello decided, will play the part as vice-captain. The move comes ahead of England’s friendly against the Czech Republic tomorrow.
“I think everybody realizes it means the world to me, to retain the armband,” Terry commented. “To get the armband back is a huge achievement for me.”
Manchester City take out £30 million loan
How does a team get even deeper into financial trouble? Well, Manchester City’s plan is to loan roughly $56 million, secured against expected TV revenue, to put toward transfers make sure new manager Mark Hughes remains a happy camper. Seriously though, while Thaksin Shinawatra’s considerable assets remain frozen in Thailand, City had to find a way to come through on their promise to Hughes that they would be a buyer, and in the new age of EPL finances, it’s a safe bet to make back the money on television revenues as long as the Blues stay in the top flight (which they should have no trouble doing, especially now with $56 million to put toward players).
Over the offseason, Hughes brought in Brazilian striker JÃ´ from CSKA Moskow and Israeli defender Tal Ben Haim from Chelsea, but it was believed, after Shinawatra’s assets were frozen, that Man City had turned into sellers. Several rumors had teams eyeballing Vedran Corluka and Stephen Ireland, but it now looks like the Blues will not sell off any key squad members and could themselves be late players in the waning summer transfer market. With Benjani, Valeri Bojinov and Darius Vassell all out with injuries, a new forward could be a target at City of Manchester Stadium.
Mbia keen on Everton, Sunderland on the hunt for the other Ferdinand
At least one American will be playing alongside Stephane Mbia next season as the Rennes midfielder spoke openly about his desire to join Everton. Whether he ends up alongside Carlos Bocanegra or in front of Tim Howard, the 22-year-old Cameroon international is in high demand. Mbia himself proclaimed that the Toffees launched a $12 million bid for him earlier this summer. Recently returned from Olympic duty, Mbia’s coming out party came in the African Cup of Nations when he scored a brace against Tunisia. Mbia, who is also capable of playing right back and centre half, sustained a knee injury in Beijing, the extent of which is not yet known. He would be the first player brought to the Merseyside this offseason as manager David Moyes has so far come up empty on every target he’s chosen.
In other EPL transfer news, Sunderland have reportedly bid $15 million on West Ham center back Anton Ferdinand. The 23-year-old younger brother of Rio Ferdinand has already shut down a move to Newcastle this summer and it is believed he will give Roy Keane and answer on whether he faces the same fate within the next two days. It’s been a successful offseason thus far for Sunderland as Keane has already brought in El Hadji-Diouf, Steed Malbranque, Pascal Chimbonda and Teemu Tainio to the Stadium of Light.
Think Terry was the right choice as England skipper? Does more transfer money mean Mark Hughes makes another attempt at Roque Santa Cruz? Was the loan a smart move for Manchester City? How badly does Everton need to bring in someone, anyone? Share your thoughts below.