Friday Kickoff: Rooney suffers injury; Chelsea near De Rossi transfer; and more

Friday Kickoff: Rooney suffers injury; Chelsea near De Rossi transfer; and more

South American Soccer

Friday Kickoff: Rooney suffers injury; Chelsea near De Rossi transfer; and more

WayneRooneyReading (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

Wayne Rooney’s season at Manchester United likely couldn’t have started worse.

The forward, constantly dogged by swirling rumors over a potential transfer away from the club, has returned home from Man United’s tour of Asia due to an injured hamstring, putting in doubt his health for the start of the 2013/2014 campaign. The injury will reportedly keep Rooney out of action for up to four weeks.

Manager David Moyes, who sent Rooney back to Manchester, said that he was injured before he left for Asia, but the injury ended up more serious than expected.

“It’s disappointing,” Moyes told BBC Sport. “After the long flight we decided we’d get him tested and scanned and have a look at things, and there is just a small grade one injury there.”

Moyes has also continued to deny that the 27-year-old England international will be sold, rejecting the rumors of offers from Chelsea, Arsenal, and clubs abroad.

Here are some more stories to start your Friday:

DE ROSSI NEARS ENGLAND MOVE

While Jose Mourinho still continues to try and tempt Wayne Rooney to move south to London, Chelsea is nearing a move for another long-time Mourinho target.

According to reports in England, AS Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi is very close to completing an £11 million transfer to Stamford Bridge. If the deal goes through, it would make Chelsea the first club other than Roma for De Rossi.

The 29-year-old Italian international has continued to represent his country at the highest level at every major competition, starting with the 2006 World Cup all the way through the Confederations Cup in Brazil this past summer. De Rossi holds 90 international caps to his name.

Last season, De Rossi featured 29 times for Roma, scoring no goals. At the Confederations Cup, De Rossi played in four of Italy’s five games, scoring one goal in the 4-3 victory over Japan.

REAL MADRID OPEN CHECKBOOK FOR ILLARRAMENDI

Like their La Liga rivals, Real Madrid have not been afraid to spend some serious cash this summer.

After signing Isco from Malaga for €24 million, Real Madrid announced the signing of Isco’s Spain Under-21 teammate, Asier Illarramendi from Real Sociedad for a whopping €39 million. The high price tag is the due to the buy-out clause in the midfielder’s contract.

The 23-year-old rose to prominence this past season in his defensive midfield role for Sociedad, helping lead them to a fourth-place finish in last season’s La Liga and a place in this season’s UEFA Champions League. Illarramendi also helped Spain Under-21 win their second consecutive European Under-21 Championship.

Last season, Illarramendi started all 32 matches he played for Sociedad, failing to score in league play. Many of the reports on the transfer state that Illarramendi’s signing is a passing of the guard from Xabi Alonso in central midfield.

QUICK KICKS

Robinho’s proposed move from AC Milan to Santos in Brazil has been shelved due to the striker’s wage demands. (REPORT)

FIFA says that money spent on transfers has increased 40 percent from one year ago. (REPORT)

Southampton confirm the signing of Kenyan midfielder Victor Wanyama from Celtic for a fee of £12.5 million ($18.9 million). (REPORT)

Manchester City have announced plans to expand the Etihad Stadium to include 60,000 seats. (REPORT)

Juventus have announced the signing of Torino defender Angelo Ogbonna for €13 million. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you see Rooney being fit for the start of the season? Do you see De Rossi becoming a success at Chelsea? Do you like the Illarramendi signing at Real Madrid.

Share your thoughts below.

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