Monday Kickoff: Ferguson confirms Rooney transfer request; Santos Laguna advance in playoffs; and more

Monday Kickoff: Ferguson confirms Rooney transfer request; Santos Laguna advance in playoffs; and more

Mexican Soccer

Monday Kickoff: Ferguson confirms Rooney transfer request; Santos Laguna advance in playoffs; and more

WayneRooney1-WestHam (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

David Moyes hasn’t even officially taken over at Manchester United, and he’s already been handed a huge blow to his title aspirations.

Following Manchester United’s 2-1 victory at Old Trafford in Sir Alex Ferguson’s home send off, the current United manager confirmed the transfer rumors about forward Wayne Rooney, admitting that the England international didn’t take part in Sunday’s league match because his head wasn’t in the right place.

“I don’t think Wayne was keen to play, simply because he has asked for a transfer,” Ferguson told The Telegraph. “I think he wants to think it through in his mind and I think that is a good idea. We have refused it. I think he should go away and think about it again, but it’s not my decision now.”

Moyes first job now while transitioning into his new job will be to try and convince Rooney to stay with the club, or potentially lose him to a European rival like Paris Saint-Germain or Bayern Munich, clubs that Rooney has been linked with previously.

Here are some more stories to kick off your week:

SANTOS LAGUNA, CRUZ AZUL MOVE ON TO THE SEMIFINALS

The semifinals of the Liga MX playoffs is set after Santos Laguna and Cruz Azul played Atlas and Monarcas Morelia, respectively, on Sunday.

A scoreless first leg in Torreon preceded a trip to Guadalajara for Santos, where they defeated Atlas, 3-1, in thrilling fashion. Atlas took the lead in just the 5th minute as forward Omar Bravo’s shot just crossed the line off a corner kick. Santos struck back soon after, as forward Andres Renteria scored inside the box in the 15th minute after Atlas goalkeeper Miguel Pinto failed to secure a loose ball in the area.

It wasn’t the only mistake Pinto made during the match as he was given his marching orders in the 25th minute after handling the ball outside the box, forcing Atlas manager Tomas Boy to bring in backup goalkeeper Alan Lopez. Los Guerreros finally took the lead in the 63rd minute through forward Darwin Quintero, finishing from close range to make the scoreline 2-1. Quintero added the side’s third goal in the 90th minute to lead his side to the semifinals.

In the other quarterfinal matchup on Sunday, Cruz Azul fell to Monarcas, 1-0, but went through to the next round with a 4-3 victory on aggregate. Monarcas midfielder Rodrigo Salinas scored the lone goal of the match in the 44th minute, though it wasn’t enough to continue on tot he next round. Cruz Azul will face Santos Laguna and Club America will face Monterrey in the semifinals.

PELLIGRINI DENIES AGREEMENT TO TAKE OVER MAN CITY

Malaga manager Manuel Pelligrini denied any reports that he would take over for Roberto Mancini at Manchester City for next season.

Mancini is thought to be close to sacking after his side fell, 1-0, to Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup on Saturday, an embarrassing defeat in a season of disappointing results. The loss left the club with just the Community Shield as the only piece of silverware won this season after a banner season winning the Premier League a year ago.

However, regardless of Mancini’s status, Pelligrini refuted any reports of him moving to City, releasing a statement on Malaga’s website saying that he has an agreement with Malaga and hasn’t signed or spoken to anyone associated with City. Pelligrini lead Malaga to the quarterfinals of the Champions League this season with an aging overachieving side, nearly taking out finalists Borussia Dortmund.

VARANE TO MISS COPA DEL REY FINAL

Real Madrid were handed a double blow on Sunday, as the league title officially went to rivals Barcelona and starting defender Raphael Varane was diagnosed with a torn meniscus.

The injury will keep the French international out for a span of four to six weeks, meaning that Varane won’t be available for the Copa Del Rey final this Friday against Atletico Madrid. The 20-year-old won a place in the starting lineup last winter over established Portugal international Pepe, which has caused some friction in the locker room.

Pepe is likely now to take Varane’s place in the lineup for the cup final match, the last chance for Real Madrid to take home silverware this season. Varane has made 33 appearances in all competitions this season, playing the majority of the time in the cup competitions.

IBRAHIMOVIC ANNOUNCES INTENTION TO STAY AT PSG

In his first season in Ligue 1, Paris Saint-Germain forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic proved his worth, scoring a league-best 27 goals in 32 matches, leading the capital club to their first league title in 18 years.

Following the win, Ibrahimovic stated that he was looking forward to defending the title next season, and was hoping that manager Carlo Ancelotti would remain at the club as well.

“It is incredible. Paris has not won the title for such a long time,” the Sweden international forward said to Ligue1.com following PSG’s 1-0 victory over Lyon on Sunday. “To be here at the beginning of all this, for the first title, it couldn’t be better. I have two years remaining on my contract and I am a professional. I respect my contracts.

“I hope that Carlo Ancelotti will still be with us. He has done an incredible job this year and is a very good coach.”

In addition, Ibrahimovic dedicated the victory and league title to Nick Broad, the team’s club performance director until his tragic passing last January after a car accident.

QUICK KICKS

Sunday’s Milan vs. Roma match was halted for two minutes at the start of the second half because of racist chanting from the away Roma supporters. (REPORT)

Borussia Dortmund have made an official inquiry to sign Ajax’s Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen, who announced he had played his final game for the Amsterdam club after Sunday’s season-ending match. (REPORT)

Wigan chairman Dave Whelan believes manager Roberto Martinez won’t move to Everton, saying that Everton isn’t a big enough club. (REPORT)

Juventus have made a bid to acquire Italy international Alessandro Diamanti this summer. (REPORT)

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What do you make of these reports? Do you believe Moyes can convince Rooney to stay? Do you like Santos Laguna’s chances against Cruz Azul? Do you see Pelligrini taking over at City?

Share your thoughts below.

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