SportsNet - April 2013
In a move that has gone mainly under the radar of most of the media this weekend, it has emerged that FIFA are looking at re-wording their article 17, which previously meant that a player could buy himself out of his contract, but there were a raft of conditions that made it almost an impossibility to comply.
There was a previous case where a player went from Hibernian to Wigan by buying out his contract and leaving for free, however, that loophole was quickly closed by FIFA rule makers.
In their new reworking of their article 17 rule, it would mean that a player who is 28 or over, in at least the third year of his contract, he can buy himself out of the final year by paying the value of his wages in that final year. In essence, as Rooney will be earning £240,000 a week by that stage, he would have to fork out around £12m of his own money, but he would then be a free agent and would surely make double that from any deal.
Sir Alex has made clear that Rooney will be offered a new contract in the summer, but will he want to play in midfield, if as expected, United sign striker Robert Lewandowski from Dortmund?
Earlier this week, the media in both the UK and Germany boldly announced that Bayern Munich had a deal in place already to sign Robert Lewandowski from Borussia Dortmund. This follows on from the story about the impending transfer of Mario Gotze from the same club to Bayern. Whilst we now know that the Gotze story is in fact correct, we also have found that the Lewandowski story is not!
The upshot from that disclosure is that Bayern, having lost out on the Lewandowski transfer are now closing in on a deal for Luis Suarez. Whilst Liverpool will not welcome such a development they may be powerless to stop it, especially as the player feels that he is being victimised by the English FA and the media.
This may also account for the ardent support of Suarez from the Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers. Liverpool knows that the player was unhappy with the media circus surrounding the Evra affair and whilst the club overtly supported him on that occasion, he was still banned for a number of games.
In his recent press conference, Sir Alex Ferguson said that Manchester United would push on, meaning that they would not sit on their laurels just because they have won the Premier League title so easily. However, he will not make the same mistake that Mancini has made at Manchester City. Sir Alex knows that you have to continually improve your team and that will means exits for players as well as new arrivals.
Whilst it is unusual for Sir Alex to talk openly about transfer matters, he has been bolstered by a number of high profile and high value sponsorship deals done by the club that will add a massive bankroll of which a major portion will be available as transfer funds. He has said that he thinks that there will be two new arrivals, but also added that should a high profile player become available who fits the Manchester United profile, the Glazers would be willing to sanction a big transfer fee. With that in mind, let`s have a look at the realistic sorts of players who would improve the Manchester United squad.
The Chicago Bulls have a chance to take a commanding 3-1 lead in their first-round playoff series as they host the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday. After an ugly defensive win in Game 3, Tom Thibodeau’s team would be happy with more of the same as they try to outslug Brook Lopez and company.
These four players will have huge roles in determining which team comes out on top at the United Center in Game 4:
MarShon Brooks, Nets
Jerry Stackhouse was useless off the bench on Thursday, and P.J. Carlesimo absolutely must have some offensive weapons to throw out there when Lopez or Deron Williams sits. Brooks is a pure scorer, and while he didn’t cover himself with glory in Game 3, he didn’t look as lost as Stackhouse, either.
At 6’5”, Brooks has the size and athleticism to make Chicago’s Jimmy Butler work on defense. The less Butler can drift around double-teaming and jumping into passing lanes, the better off Brooklyn will be.
Nazr Mohammed, Bulls
We expected the first day of the NFL Draft to be dramatic and it did not disappoint. It was a sensational few hours that left most viewing breathless at times. Here is a pick-by-pick recap and summary of Day one of the draft.
1. Kansas City Chiefs:
Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan.
The Chiefs started the evening of with somewhat of a shock. I was widely expected that they would take Luke Joeckel with the number one pick but there had been gathering rumours throughout the day that new Head Coach Andy Reid was smitten with Fisher and he was the choice. The reason they went for Fisher is that he plays a little nastier and the Chiefs think he has more upside. They couldn't have gone wrong with either selection, they now have an insurance policy as Miami contibues to work with Branden Albert over a trade for a second round pick. If Albert stays, they now have two quality tackles that should give Alex Smith enough time to utilise the weapons available to him.
Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M