Only a couple of days ago, the media was awash with reports that Manchester United had belatedly joined the race to sign the Napoli striker, Edison Cavani. In what looks likely to be the transfer saga of this summer, the plot has more twists than an Agatha Christie novel!
In the first place, it was assumed that clubs with billionaire owners would be the likely destination for the gifted striker, however, one by one they have been dropping out like flies. Firstly the usual culprits like PSG and Monaco had already spent vast sums on players, so they were ruled out, especially after a tap on the shoulder from M. Platini and his FFP squad.
This last week, we have heard that Manchester City have officially pulled out from dealings because they are unwilling to pay the buyout clause of £53m. That left Chelsea in the driving seat, but yesterday they too announced that they will not pay over £40m for the player; not surprising really, given the number of costly flops they have bought in the striker department. Real Madrid seems to have their attention elsewhere, with new manager Ancelotti looking at Luis Suarez as a cheaper option.
The Miami Heat have now won two consecutive NBA Championships and will be looking for the elusive 'three-peat', something that hasn't been achieved since the Shaq and Kobe Bryant-led Lakers in 2002. It is the Holy Grail in the pursuit of a dynasty, which is what LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh predicted when they controversially joined forces in the summer of 2010.
If they thought back-to-back titles was hard, then the 'three-peat' will be a monumental task. There are so many challengers to the Heat's throne that are set for improvement next season, making their quest fraught with danger.
Here are the main obstacles standing between them and immortality:
1. Chicago Bulls:
The Bulls did remarkably well last season when you consider their talisman, Derrick Rose, missed the entire season with an ACL injury. There was talk that Rose would return for the Playoffs, but the Bulls decided not to risk him and they were defeated in the conference semi-finals by the Heat in five games.
Carlos Tevez`s time at Manchester City is finally coming to a close after the club accepted a £10m bid from Juventus today. The player will travel to Italy to finalise a medical and sing contracts. This may appear to have been done very quickly, but it looks like it was always the intention of Tevez to force a move nearer to the end of his contract which finishes in 2014. Tevez had made clear that he would not sign a further contract as long ago as 2011-12 season when he fell out with the then manager Roberto Mancini and went back to his home in Argentina for weeks until the club enticed him back with various promises. One of those promises was that they would let him leave last season.
The last time these two teams met was back in 2009 in a World Cup qualifier. The result? A one-sided 4-0 smackdown by Brazil. This rivalry is full of history and fierce passion and on Wednesday, South American pride is on the line in what is sure to be a physical affair. Let's take a closer look at where some of the value might lie.
For Brazil, Paulinho is set to return in the midfield after taking some time to rest up and heal his ankle injury. David Luiz suffered a broken nose against Mexico and a bruised leg vs Italy, but he's fit and ready to play.
Uruguay get their captain, Diego Lugano, back after a one game suspension. Defender Andres Scotti is not as lucky as he will serve his own suspension after getting sent off vs Tahiti.
Neymar, Neymar, Neymar?
Neymar entered this tournament with a lot of expectations, but he also came with a bit of baggage as there are many Brazilian fans who aren't enamoured with his attitude. Does three goals in three games on home soil change that perception?
If reports are to be believed, the Chicago Bulls are actively pursuing a trade involving their All-Star Small Forward Luol Deng, a deal that could possibly be concluded before Thursday's NBA Draft. Sources suggest the Cleveland Cavaliers and Washington Wizards are putting together packages involving the number one and three picks respectively. With no obvious quality atop the draft this year, this would be a small price to pay for a player of Deng's ability.
The former Duke Blue Devil has long been one of the most underrated players in the league. An efficient scorer who has evolved into one of the better perimeter defenders in the NBA, swingmen like Deng are hard to find. This makes the decision by the Bulls to explore possible trade possibilities an extremely strange one.