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Wednesday Kickoff: Man City announce Wilfried Bony signing; Agent says Paul Pogba move is a possibility; and more

bony-Getty

By RYAN TOLMICH

Manchester City have added another scoring threat to their ranks.

The club announced the addition of forward Wilfried Bony from Swansea on Wednesday, as the Ivorian striker joins the reigning champions as the highest scorer of the 2014 calendar year.

“As a player it’s always good to be part of one of the biggest clubs in the world and it’s a good opportunity for me to be in that situation now,” Bony said. “I’m really proud. I felt excited to wait for this moment and now it’s come, it’s fantastic. I think it’s a great decision for me – Manchester City is in the Champions League.

“You remember at the end of last season I said that if I want to move it will be to a team in the competition because it’s a great tournament that I really want to play in and one that I want to win. It’s a motivation for me to give my maximum to be in that place. City is a big club with great players with a lot of experience; I believe we can do it.”

Here are some more of Wednesday morning’s news and notes:

AGENT REVEALS POGBA COULD LEAVE JUVENTUS

Midfielder Paul Pogba pledged his long-term future to Juventus by signing a new deal in October, but that extension may not be enough to keep him in Serie A.

Pogba’s agent, Mino Raiola, insists the 21-year-old midfielder is willing to leave the club if the right situation arises, as Raiola believes that the Italian game cannot afford to hold onto the French star.

“No. We are happy with Juve, we have extended the contract,” Raiola said. “It’s all fine [but] whether this season or the next, when the right moment comes [to leave], we’ll take it.”

LAHM HOPING TO RETIRE WITH BAYERN IN 2018

Phillip Lahm is expecting to retire as a Bayern Munich player.

The German international says he will call it a career at the expiration of his contract in 2018 and is hoping to secure one more Champions League title before retiring.

“My contract with Bayern expires in 2018. I will be 34 by then, that will be the right time to end my career,” Lahm said. “I don’t see myself making the move to Qatar or the USA. I want to end my active career while I’m still on top of my game.

“I want to win another Champions League title with Bayern. It’s the biggest goal I have now and I think we can even win it this season. Our main rivals are Real Madrid, Chelsea and Barcelona. PSG? I’d like to see them against Chelsea. They make progress every year, so we will have to wait and see whether they can also challenge for the Champions League.”

QUICK KICKS

Thierry Henry “thought it was a joke” when he heard of Arsenal fans’ criticism of Arsene Wenger in December. (REPORT)

Paris Saint-Germain’s League Cup match at St. Etienne was halted for 15 minutes after home fans threw objects onto the pitch following what turned out to be the game-winning goal from Zlatan Ibrahimovic. (REPORT)

Inter Milan manager Roberto Mancini says Mario Balotelli “is weaker in every aspect” following his departure from Manchester City. (REPORT)

Newcastle United players are pushing the club to announce a new manager. (REPORT)

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How will Bony fare at Man City? Which clubs do you expect to chase after Pogba? What do you expect from Lahm for the remainder of his career?

Share your thoughts below.

Comments

  1. I always see Bony’s development as what Altidore could have been. The year Jozy and AZ won the KNVB Cup and Altidore was the top scorer in that competition, he and Bony were neck and neck for the golden boot in the Eredivisie. Bony, who is younger than Altidore, eventually took the boot and both moved to the BPL. Both had a disappointing first year, but Bony has proven his worth and now moves to Man City, while Jozy heads back to the MLS to play with Toronto.

    Sigh.

    Reply
    • I don’t know why Swansea didn’t try to get Altidore on loan to replace Bony until the summer? Swansea play pretty attractive soccer compared to the kick and run style of Sunderlund.

      Reply
    • it’s interesting to think of the whole butterfly effect thing. bony also took most of the pks at vitesse, so his non-pk goal tally was a lot closer to jozy’s.

      bony, like altidore, needs a lot of chances to score regularly. he was the epl’s leading scorer for the calendar year of 2014, but his goal-to-shot ratio was one of the worst in the top 20 scorers.

      bony moves to a team that creates a lot of chances, he scores goals, he gets a dream move (to another team that creates a lot of chances). jozy moves to a team that creates f— all, he does not score goals, and he gets chased out of town.

      Reply
  2. Is anybody else experiencing a problem when you click on an article it opens a new page at soccer.com? I have ad block and pop-ups blocked, so it is a little strange this is happening.

    Reply
  3. BPL – the weak get weaker and the strong (and rich) get stronger.
    I really do wonder why fans of 15 of the 20 teams even follow the league. Supporting the home team so they don’t get relegated? No chance of ever winning, only not losing.
    I hope MLS does not get caught in the Euro Model, even though LA, NY are trying.

    Reply
    • Are you suggesting that we should pick our favorite teams based on their records?

      It is called an emotional bond based on some connection such as place of birth, tradition, heritage, etc.

      Reply
      • I agree with you both. But it’s mainly a cultural thing. In America we demand winning and just cheering to cheer is a non starter. But in England they accept there place and enjoy it. Here we dream of winning it all and that’s how we model our sports leagues to make it a semi reality for everyone.

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