Thursday Kickoff: Juventus chase Lamela; Del Bosque backs Casillas; and more

Thursday Kickoff: Juventus chase Lamela; Del Bosque backs Casillas; and more

Mexican Soccer

Thursday Kickoff: Juventus chase Lamela; Del Bosque backs Casillas; and more

Tottenham Hotspur's Erik Lamela

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

Erik Lamela’s disappointing start in the English Premier League could be over after just six months.

After making a £30 million (nearly $50 million) move from AS Roma to Tottenham last August, Lamela has struggled to settle in London, and is reportedly being chased by a number of clubs in Italy, including Juventus. The Serie A leaders are offering Tottenham reserve forward Mirko Vucinic in a trade for Lamela, according to Italian paper Gazzetta Dello Sport.

Tottenham are reportedly unwilling to loan Lamela out, but they may be more willing to complete a deal for the 21-year-old Argentine in either January or June. Lamela was one of seven signings that Andre Villas-Boas made this past summer, though he’s made just nine Premier League appearances this season and 17 in all competitions. Lamela scored 15 goals in 33 games for Roma last season.

Here are some more stories to kick off your Thursday:

DEL BOSQUE BACKS CASILLAS

Starting or not with Real Madrid, Iker Casillas won’t lose his place in the Spanish National Team.

With Casillas remaining the second option in goal for Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti, it would be easy for Spain head coach Vicente Del Bosque to go for Victor Valdes, Pepe Reina, or David De Gea in net instead of Casillas. Instead, Del Bosque is backing the Spain and Real Madrid legend.

“He’s active, he’s training, and he playing in the Champions League,” Del Bosque told Libertad FM in Spain. “I don’t see a problem to call him up. Physically, he’s fine.”

As mentioned before, Casillas hasn’t started a La Liga match since January 20 of last year, instead playing the cup matches, whether Copa Del Rey or Champions League. Casillas, who recently welcomed his first child this past week, has only played eight games in the 2013/2014 season.

SMALL GESTURE GOES A LONG WAY

Bayern Munich are stepping in to help out their fans in an unexpected way.

With Arsenal setting prices for their upcoming UEFA Champions League match at the Emirates Stadium at €75 ($102) for away supporters, Bayern have decided to subsidize the price of tickets for their fans. The German club have paid €90,000 ($122,490) of their own money to pay down the tickets, giving Bayern a 30 Euro price cut (€45).

“This is intended to represent a small thank you for the great support of the followers in the past calendar year 2013,” a statement on Bayern’s website read.

18,000 Bayern fans have applied for 2,974 tickets available.

DORTMUND LINKED WITH KAGAWA, KHEDIRA SIGNINGS

Shinji Kagawa could be playing in Germany next season instead of with Manchester United.

The Japanese international is reportedly a target of former club Borussia Dortmund as they look to replace Robert Lewandowski for next season. Lewandowski signed a five-year contract with Bayern Munich last Saturday, leaving Dortmund for Munich on a free transfer.

In addition, with Ilkay Gundogan’s contract nearing it’s end (summer of 2015) and increased speculation of a move to Real Madrid, reports in Germany are speculating that Dortmund could go after Sami Khedira. Additional reports in England claim that Arsenal youngster Serge Gnabry is also on Jurgen Klopp’s radar.

QUICK KICKS

Barcelona winger Neymar returned to full training today after missing their Copa Del Rey match on Wednesday due to illness. (REPORT)

England will play Ecuador and Honduras in pre-World Cup friendly matches in Miami this summer before traveling to Brazil. (REPORT)

Real Madrid winger Angel Di Maria won’t be sanctioned for an inappropriate gesture he made when he was substituted last Monday. (REPORT)

On officially signing a three-year contract with AC Milan, Keisuke Honda believes that it was his destiny to join Milan. (REPORT)

15,000 fans attended an open training session at Napoli’s Stadio San Paolo. (REPORT)

Italian club Parma are interested in signing Tigres UANL forward Alan Pulido, but Manchester United are reportedly eyeing the 22-year-old as well. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you see Lamela leaving Tottenham so soon? Think that Casillas can be on form at the World Cup this summer? What do you think of Bayern’s gesture?

Share your thoughts below.

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