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

WayneRooney1-WestHam (Getty)


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:


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.


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.


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.


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 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.


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)


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.


      • yeah it would. after the FA Cup win, teams like Everton and Aston Villa are going to get pushed down because bigger clubs are going to want him. and i bet Madrid is contacting him to at least talk. especially now that Madrid know Ancelotti has a year on his contract left and PSG made it clear they would essentially need to pay a ton to break the contract.

        and if Wigan beat Arsenal tomorrow, oh man…

  1. Man U should get Lewandowski or Cavani

    they’re young and talented but will cost them 25 million pounds

    • Do you see Van Persie and either of these two thriving together up top?

      As a neutral, I think they need more help in the midfield/wings, not forward.

      • I actually think they need more help in the center midfield and at center back. Cleverly is not doing the job. Anderson will be sold. Carrick needs some help and Kagawa is not a box-to-box type guy. On the wings, they still have Valencia, Young, Kagawa, and sometimes Welbeck.

        At center back, I think Evans, Vidic and Rio need cover. Jones is not a center back.

      • Seems right to me.

        Admittedly, I’m a bit out of my depth as I don’t really care for United.

    • Keep chicharito definately go for Gomez. Lukaku will probably get loaned again next season to a club in european competition since I figure no Wigan (if they drop) he could do well at the Swans.

      Striker brigade of Van Pirsie,Chicharito, and Gomez would be ne of the best in Europe surely up there if not better than Dzeko, Aguero, and Tevez. This would leave Welbeck (sp) as the Ballotelli of this trio… apologies to Ballotelli.

      I remember last season when the Welbeck/Sturridge debate was something could be heard in every EPL pub in my neighborhood. Glad thats been put to rest.

  2. Pretty terrible timing for Moyes. If he sells Rooney, most will think it’s because of their legal spat they had almost a decade ago, when actually it’s in Man U’s best interest to sell him.

    • I kind of thought that if he was sold it would be because he has asked for or hinted about transferring for a couple years now. That plus he is not the “go to” guy anymore and that it seems he needs a new environment/challenge to get properly motivated.

  3. Rooney leaving ManU will make way for Jozy and the creation of a future great North American striker duo – Jozy and Chicharito.

      • Mexico is in North America. For example, NAFTA (North America Free Trade Agreement) is between Canada, the US and Mexico–which doesn’t really depend if you like the politics behind it or not…

      • surprised you are an MLSsnob rather than a eurosnob because it is Europeans who commonly make this mistake, probably because they see it along racial lines.

        Mexico is part of North America both as a geographical region but most importantly as part of the North American continent. There is no central american continent.

      • I could be wrong, but I think this is probably an age issue. I think a few decades ago Central America was sort of a concept taught in geography lessons… particularly in England and Canada that seemed to be more interested in “sub-continent” groupings rather than massive continent chapters. (Totally guessing here, but maybe because of the importance of the Indian sub-continent to British history???). In any case, people remember learning about Central America as a topic and somehow that has become a continent in their mind.

        But no, Central America is not a continent anymore than the Middle East is a continent. For once, just follow FIFA’s lead on what makes a continent and you will be okay (except Australia is of course, not really a part of Asia).

      • Something I never understood was how the Mexican announcers referred to the US players are north american (norte americanos) during the US vs Mex games. Did they forget they’re part of North America? What would they call canadiens?

      • Kevin — norteamericanos or estadounidenses are from the U.S. Canadienses are from Canada, mexicanos from Mexico.

        “americano” is the broad Spanish word (encompassing anyone from North, Central, and South America) and “norteamericano” is specific to the U.S.
        Kind of the opposite of English, where “American” is understood to mean “from the U.S.” while “North American” encompasses people from Canada, U.S. and Mexico.

      • Right. But what was being said was, and what I was taught as well in school when a youngster is that Central America was Panama to Guatemala. Semantics.

      • right, but central america is a section of north america. no matter what your boundaries for central america are, it is still north america from a continental viewpoint. that’s all i’m saying.

        no need to even argue about what is and isn’t a part of central america, because in the end, it’s all a part of north america.

      • You are incorrect. There is a Central American continent. I mean, really, folks, this is 4th grade stuff here. At least, google before you type.

      • please list the 7 continents as you know them. i’ll start:

        asia, africa, north america, south america, antarctica, europe, australia

        that is from Google. and common knowledge. so, if i didn’t miss a sarcasm alert, where does central america fit into the 7 continents?

      • Reminds me of having a conversation with someone suggesting that MLS would be the best league in the Western Hemisphere before long, to which I replied that while that’s a great goal, it might take a while to surpass La Liga and the EPL. Which sparked some vague argument about how Europe isn’t “really” in the Western Hemisphere. Whatever. Unlike so many things in life, for this one there’s a line. It’s drawn and it’s clear.

  4. If Manu lose Rooney it won’t be a big loss. They still have Van Persie and Chicarito. They will get significant cash and it may be a good time to cash out since Rooney is 28.

    • I’m not a United fan. I’m not some kind of front runner that loves England.

      However, personally, I’d love to have Rooney as a teammate. The amount of passion (and ability) he has is awesome. I’ve always been a huge fan of his. I may be in the minority but I believe his loss would be big, if nothing else, in the lockerroom.

      However, spinning things for the positive, these funds would allow Moyes to develop and mold United going forward with players he chooses to bring in and getting rid of dead weight and older bodies.


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