By DAN KARELL
Spain will be bringing one of Europe’s most prolific strikers with them to Brazil this summer.
On the day of FIFA’s deadline to name a maximum 30-man provisional World Cup squad, Spain released their 30-player squad, which included all of the usuals plus Atletico Madrid forward Diego Costa. The Brazilian native became a naturalized citizen of Spain in 2013 and last fall declared his international future for Spain, despite having played for Brazil in the past in two friendlies.
Costa made his first appearance for Spain in a March friendly match against Italy and is expected to lead the line ahead of Fernando Torres, Alvaro Negredo, Fernando Llorente, and teammate David Villa this summer.
The 25-year-old Costa is also closing in on a £32 million move to Chelsea, with Jose Mourinho having activated his release clause some time in the last few weeks, according to reports in England. Including Costa’s salary, the whole deal to bring him to Stamford Bridge is expected to cost Chelsea at least £80 million.
Here are some more stories to start off your Tuesday:
LUIZ HEADING TO BARCELONA
Barcelona are pursuing David Luiz for the second season in a row, and according to reports in England and Spain, Barca might be more successful the second time around.
The Times of London is reporting that Barcelona and David Luiz have agreed contract terms and all that’s needed now is confirmation from Barcelona’s manager, whether it be Gerardo Martino or his potential replacement. Reports in Spain believe that Luis Enrique is the man who will be taking the Argentine’s job following the La Liga finale next Sunday.
Luiz’s transfer is expected to cost Barcelona somewhere in the region of £30 million, much more than they could have acquired Luiz for last summer had they been able to agree a deal. The deal would be subject to FIFA’s transfer ban on Barcelona, which has been lifted temporarily on appeal.
The Brazilian international was second-choice for Chelsea in the second half of the season, despite being a starter for the Brazilian National Team. Luiz played just 19 English Premier League matches and an additional 15 matches in all competitions this season.
SHERWOOD SACKED BY TOTTENHAM
In a move that should surprise no one, Tottenham activated a release clause in Tim Sherwood’s contract on Tuesday, parting ways with the former reserve team manager after barely five months in charge.
Sherwood took over for the departed Andre Villas-Boas on Dec. 23, 2013, but was unable to take the expensively assembled squad into the UEFA Champions League, settling for a sixth-place finish.
The search for a new manager has begun, with the English media reporting that Southampton’s Mauricio Pochettino at the top of Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy’s list.
Diego Forlan, Luis Suarez, and Edinson Cavani will lead the line for Uruguay at the World Cup after being included in Uruguay’s 28-man provisional squad. (REPORT)
Didier Drogba and the Toure brothers, Yaya and Kolo, headline the 28-man preliminary World Cup squad for the Ivory Coast. (REPORT)
Adnan Januzaj has made Belgium’s World Cup squad alongside Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard, and Vincent Kompany. (REPORT)
Manchester United will lose both of their long-term centerbacks after deciding against giving Rio Ferdinand a new contract, allowing him to leave the club as a free agent. (REPORT)
West Bromwich Albion have parted ways with Spanish manager Pepe Mel. (REPORT)
Lyon manager Remi Garde has stepped down from his position with the club for personal reasons. (REPORT)
What do you think of these reports? Do you see Costa starting for Spain in Brazil? Think that Luiz should move to Barcelona? Do you see the transfer even being completed before the World Cup? Who do you see becoming Tottenham manager next?
Share your thoughts below.