Thursday Kickoff: Dortmund eying Costa; French clubs postpone strike; and more

Thursday Kickoff: Dortmund eying Costa; French clubs postpone strike; and more

South American Soccer

Thursday Kickoff: Dortmund eying Costa; French clubs postpone strike; and more

DiegoCostaAtleticoMadrid1-AustriaViennaUCL (AP)

By DAN KARELL

It’s no secret that Borussia Dortmund are looking for a replacement next season for Robert Lewandowski, and according to reports in Germany, they have their eyes on one of the most in-form forwards in Spain.

Diego Costa, who has 13 goals in 13 La Liga games this season, is a summer target of Dortmund’s, according to German publication BILD. The report states that although Costa has a contract with Atletico Madrid through 2018, he has a release clause of €24 million to leave the club this coming summer.

The 25-year-old forward has been on a torrid pace since taking over Radamel Falcao’s place as star striker in the Atletico side, though he’s been in the headlines recently more for choosing to play for Spain over his native Brazil than any of his goals. If Dortmund can’t sign Costa, they have Porto’s Jackson Martinez, Manchester City’s Edin Dzeko, and Aston Villa’s Christian Benteke on their radar, according to the report.

Here are some more stories to start your Thursday:

FRENCH CLUBS POSTPONE STRIKE

The planned protest by French clubs of the new 75 percent tax on earners of more than €1 million has been postponed indefinitely, according to reports in France.

The Union of Professional Football Clubs (UCFP), which makes up the clubs in Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 had planned on protesting the proposed tax that could go into effect next year by striking on the last weekend of November and refusing to play games that weekend. However, the games will now go on as planned, as the UCFP have postponed the strike to a later date after recent talks with French government officials. The UCFP has warned that they could strike at a future date but for now they’ll continue to negotiate an exception to the proposed tax.

If the new law is passed in France, employers with people earning more than €1 million would have to pay a 75 percent tax on the earnings. The proposed tax is only supposed to be in effect for two years, but soccer clubs in France are worried that it could drive all the top talent out of the country due to some team’s inability to cope with the extra payments they’d have to make.

SUBOTIC UNDERGOES SUCCESSFUL KNEE SURGERY

Following a terrific season with Borussia Dortmund, defender Neven Subotic’s 2013-2014 season has taken a sharp turn for the worse after he suffered torn ligaments in his right knee last Saturday.

The 24-year-old Serbian international underwent successful knee surgery on Wednesday evening in Dortmund according to the club, though there is no immediate timetable for a return. The club will assess in two months time whether or not his torn PCL will also need to be operated on.

Most torn ACL injuries take at least six months to recover to full fitness from, which leaves Subotic in a race against time to be fit for the final matches of the Bundesliga season. Perhaps luckily for Subotic, with Serbia out of next summer’s World Cup, he’ll have the entire summer available to regain his fitness and strength in his knee.

QUICK KICKS

Brazilian side Cruzeiro have wrapped up the Brazilian Serie A title with four rounds to go, after defeating Vitoria, 3-1, on Wednesday. (REPORT)

Manchester United have announced a 29 percent increase in total revenue from one year ago after they released their first quarter earnings. (REPORT)

Giuseppe Rossi returned to Italy training on Thursday but he’s likely to start on the bench, alongside AS Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi. (REPORT)

Bayern Munich have announced record sales of €432.8 million ($582 million) over the last year. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you see Costa moving to Dortmund? Do you feel he could be successful in Germany? Do you see the French clubs finding another day to strike? Do you believe Subotic can return before the end of the season?

Share your thoughts below.

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