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Monday Kickoff: Rooney expected to sign this week; Conte hits back at Capello; and more

Wayne Rooney of Manchester United running

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Manchester United may be struggling on the field this season but their financial strength looks stronger than ever.

By the end of this week, Wayne Rooney is expected to sign a new five and a half year contract to remain with Manchester United, according to multiple reports in England. The reports state that the deal will pay Rooney a base salary of nearly $22 million per season with performance-based incentives worth around $4 million.

The news that Rooney will remain at Man United is surprising after the 28-year-old England international was clearly angling for a move away from Old Trafford last summer in the wake of his benching late last season and Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure. Man United manager David Moyes and the front office staff manager to hold on to Rooney though through all the turmoil and are set to reward him with an improved deal.

As Rooney likely heads into his third World Cup appearance, he currently has just nine goals in 21 English Premier League matches and just two more goals in the UEFA Champions League. Man United face Olympiakos in the Round of 16 on Feb. 25.

Here are some more stories to start off your week:


Juventus head coach Antonio Conte didn’t take too kindly to Fabio Capello’s criticism.

After the former Juventus, and England National Team head coach criticized Conte for forcing players to train the day after a poor performance, Conte continued the war of words by calling Capello’s comment’s “stupid” and commenting that no one remembers Capello’s accomplishments at Juventus, a reference to the two Serie A titles that were vacated after the Calciopoli scandal.

“All people remember of his two years here were the two titles revoked,” Conte told reporters after Juventus’ 3-1 victory against Chievo Verona. “Strangely, Capello likes to stick his nose in where it’s not wanted. He won two scudetti, but nobody really remembers anything of them. I remember the scudetti won by [Marcello] Lippi and [Giovanni] Trapattoni, but I can’t remember Capello’s Juventus. I just remember that, with the troop he had, he was knocked out in the quarterfinals of the Champions League.

“If I were him, I’d take a look at myself before saying stupid things. I’d prefer it if people would mind their own business. Maybe somebody is worried by the fact that this Juve is getting more points and better numbers than during those two years.”

Conte’s Juventus are currently nine points clear of second-place AS Roma and are looking poised to win their third straight Serie A title.


Manchester City have received a huge boost ahead of their crucial first-leg match against Barcelona.

With the Spanish giants coming to town, Man City welcomed Fernandinho back to full training on Monday, giving him a chance to take the field on Tuesday against Barcelona. The Brazilian midfield engine has missed the last three matches for Man City but could be back faster than expected. Man City have won, drawn, and lost one game each since Fernandinho was sidelined with a thigh muscle problem.

Fernandinho has made a seamless transition to the EPL, playing 20 times and scoring three goals in league matches.


Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has slammed Howard Webb for not awarding a second penalty during Liverpool’s 2-1 FA Cup defeat to Arsenal.

An inspector will investigate whether a fire in Cuiaba’s World Cup stadium caused more structural damage than originally reported. (REPORT)

Relegation-threatened Hamburg have sacked Bert Van Marwijk and hired former Hannover coach Mirko Slomka as Hamburg’s new head coach on a two and a half year contract. (REPORT)

Police in Bulgaria have opened an investigation into match-fixing in the domestic league. (REPORT)


What do you think of these reports? Surprised to see Rooney remain at Man United? Think Conte was right to respond to Capello? Do you expect to see Fernandinho play against Barcelona?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. “Just 9 goals in 21 games”

    Let’s ignore the fact he’s leading the league in assists and add a ‘just’ instead for good measure.

  2. Conte is a funny man. Talks about Capello “I just remember that, with the troop he had, he was knocked out in the quarterfinals of the Champions League”.

    Yet his team didn’t even make out of their group! haha.

  3. I hope Hamurg go down and St. Pauli go up. If by chance we don’t get promoted, then I look forward to pummeling their asses into the ground nxt season

  4. I don’t understand staying on a team where your foothold is slipping somewhat and you’d be playing for a coach who sued you (and took a settlement). Especially on a long term deal. Especially with them not playing particularly United-like.

    • Agreed. Possible that these stories are wishful thinking by Man U management, who seems to be planting stories everyday about yet another world-class player they intend to bring aboard this summer. Or maybe Rooney has something up his sleeve and Moyes will be shown the door sooner rather than later.

    • Despite all that though, and the fans ambiguity regarding him, the most valuable franchise in English football and the most valuable player in English football do make quite a natural pairing

    • Mr. IV,

      “I don’t understand staying on a team…….. ”

      Of course you don’t understand. You should be angry.

      It looks like Rooney and Moyes discussed what the options are for both the player and the team going forward without including you. Sure they have have had their petty differences but hey, right now they are both need each other more than they hate each other, always a good formula for professional harmony.
      And Rooney and his agent sat down and figured out just how limited the market is for him and his bloated salary at his age, without telling you about their meeting
      And Moyes and Rooney neglected to include you in the discussion about exactly what his role will be with Mata and whoever else comes in. Maybe they can replicate the three amigos Chelsea had with Hazard, Mata and Oscar , three very similar players who successfully played together. And sure they aren’t doing well right now but they are still Man U. with money. And lots of money brought good players to PSG a year or two ago and whoever heard of them before that?

      You and Rooney, his agent and Moyes need to work things out so this does not happen in the future and leave enquiring SBI minds out of the loop.

      • Whoever heard of PSG before they splashed the transfer market in the last few years? I think many people would say they’ve heard of them. I may be wrong, but Paris is quite the major city I have heard.

      • Major city?

        Yeah if you like tornadoes and railroads.

        Paris, Texas only has about 25,000 people in it.

        As for PSG tell me again it was a major player on the European scene comparable to Real, Barca, Bayern and Man U. before this last infusion of cash. .

      • So the guy that once moved from Everton to ManU has no moves left in him? No one in Europe who’d either pay better or have stronger team prospects? Just going to stay put at a team playing him less, in exchange for a fat paycheck, who knows if they get their stuff together, or if this becomes like Liverpool or Newcastle headed into a few years in the wilderness?

        He also expressed upset in the summer and we’re just supposed to pretend he’s happy playing for Moyes now? Maybe everyone has their price, and god knows what buttons they pushed, but I won’t be surprised if there’s a transfer within a few years.

      • Mr Voice,

        Rooney will be 29 in October.

        He has 505 club games and 88 England games under his belt.
        Translation: a lot of mileage, a lot of age. Most of the big clubs I can think of would probably be better served taking that money and finding younger players.

        His annual revenue is about 20 million and his transfer market valuation is about 39.5 million.

        So tell me who needs this guy and who can afford him? And then tell me if Rooney really wants to go there.

        As far as I can tell he is not particularly interested in going abroad, a trait he shares with many English players. Chelsea seems to be his preferred destination but that or any other EPL club does not seem to make sense for Man U.

        Rooney waited too long. If he were 25 and was more open to going outside the UK (it seems he has a lot of off the field business interests in the UK) sure, he might not get Bale money but it might be close.

        And until Man U actually do get another 2 or 3 star players in the door they really can’t afford to let Rooney walk if they can stop him.

        Therefore, as unappetizing as it seems to both sides, it could be that the best bet for both is to stay together at least for the next year or two.

  5. As far as Liverpool, Rodgers should be quiet. Yes, Webb missed a penalty for Liverpool. But he missed a second yellow on Gerrard, a penalty and card on Skrtel, a possible straight red on Sterling, So a bad day for Webb, but Liverpool got their share of advantage from the mistakes.

  6. LOL at ManU. The Mata deal only looks good if Rooney is gone. Now they have their money sunk in 3 number 10s (Shinji), and play a 4-4-2!


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