Dunne set for Man City departure

FOOTBALL 2005-2006 Premiership Manchester City Richard Dunne - 0

Manchester City are resigned to losing captain Richard Dunne after he turned down a new contract - with Spurs leading the chase to sign the defender.

BBC Sport understands Dunne has rejected a long-term deal, leaving City facing the prospect of him leaving on a free transfer at the end of next term.

Spurs are now closing in on a £5m deal for the Republic of Ireland star.

£5?!?! That's a HUGE bargain and it would be a great bit of business for Spurs. Dunne and Woody could be a spectacular pairing and will make Spurs' new keeper even more of a +10 player than he would have otherwise been.

McBride leaves Fulham

Photo 1 - PORTSMOUTH, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 11: Brian McBride of Fulham is... Getty Images
Too fond a farewell.

Veteran USA striker and Fulham captain Brian McBride is set to return to his homeland after deciding to leave Craven Cottage.

The 36-year-old former Everton, Preston, Wolfsburg and Chicago Fire hit-man was expected to leave the West London club after his contract expired at the end of the 2007/8 season.

And, despite helping the Cottagers avoid relegation on the last day of the campaign, McBride has called time on his four-and-a-half years at the club.

"After much consideration with my family, we have decided to leave Fulham after four and a half fantastic years," McBride stated. "I have always stated my intention to return to America at some stage and this seems like the right moment in my career to move on...

McBride is the second USA international to leave Fulham this summer, after defender Carlos Bocanegra was told by Hodgson that he no longer featured in the club's plans.

Hopefully he'll be jumping from one fantasy game to another. He will be a big draw for MLS and should still be a class above most strikers in the league - especially this season. It will be interesting to see where he ends up. The sentimental choice would be Columbus, but I believe that Houston is sitting on a designated player allocation and they could certainly use some firepower. The question would be if McBride and Brian Ching are too much alike to play together. Though they said that - albeit for different reasons - about Tevez and Rooney and look how their season turned out.

Drogba to Manchester United

Chelsea's Drogba
We're all on the same team.

Let's get the rumour mill spinning today. As Neal writes over on the mother-ship:
Jeremy very rightly pointed out that ManYoo are in desperate need of a striker. My take on the situation is that Rooney should move back to replace the Corpse of Paul Scholes at the top of midfield (he's best dropping back a little deeper and running at defenders). CRon moves up to become a fulltime striker and then ManYoo need to find a target man for him to work off of. Berbs would be ideal, Huntelaar could certainly be that guy as well if he can translate his success in Holland to the Prem. Jeremy put an interesting option out there as well, how about Drogba in Red? Santa Cruz would be a pretty interesting option as well.
Wouldn't Drogs be the perfect upgrade from Saha? Big, physical, certainly skilled if a bit petulant. Drogs/Saha and Rooney/Tevez would be SAF's perfect foursome. And CRon could move back to the wing opposite Nani, with Giggs and Park backing them up.

Wow, SAF would have two world-class players in every position! Midfielders Scholes/Anderson, Carrick/Hargreaves with such spare parts as Fletcher in reserve. Perhaps they would still need a new right back and someone to replace the player that was Mikel Silvestre. But otherwise they are well positioned to remain the premier team in the Premier League and Europe. Arsenal, Liverpool, and even Chelsea, have a lot of catching up to do.

Manchester United - Champions of Europe again


Well, that had a little bit of everything, didn't it? Penalty kicks, of course. With the incumbent saves and misses. But with extra drama as CRon's "little" stutter cost him dearly. Luckily for ManU, Terry pings the post and they can go on to win.

Red cards. Phantom yellows and goal kicks. Lovely goals from CRon - showing again that he is as good in the air as he is with the ball at his feet, and Lampard -- showing why he is among the best midfielders in the world in supporting the attack and arriving into the box late to finish. More thoughts and analysis as it sinks in, but congratulations to the Red Devils who have combined the best of age and experience - EvdS, Giggs, Scholes - with youth and vitality - Tevez, Rooney, CRon, etc - and are, at least in my mind, deserved champions.

Your mileage may vary.

Photo courtesy REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach and Yahoo! Eurosport

Who is K2?

A handy guide to blog nicknames and shorthand

  • AJAndrew Johnson
  • ArbAlvaro Arbeloa
  • The BeastJulio Baptista
  • BenchtnerNiclas Bendtner. So named for his habit of being stuck on the bench when picked for one's fantasy team.
  • BFARBig Fat Andy Reid
  • BFAYBlog Favorite Ashley Young
  • BFDBBlog Favorite David Bentley
  • BFFLBig Fat Frank Lampard
  • Captain Kirk(also The Capt. or Capt. Kirk) Chris Kirkland.
  • CarlitoCarlos Tevez
  • CescCesc Fabregas. See also, Fab
  • CletusClint Dempsey, See also, The Duece
  • CletusClint Mathis. The original Cletus.
  • CRonCristiano Ronaldo
  • DogboyDidier Drogba. See also, Drogs
  • DrogsDidier Drogba. See also, Dogboy
  • The DeuceClint Dempsey, See also, Cletus
  • Duff Duff DuffDamien Duff. See also, Duffman
  • DuffmanDamien Duff. See also, Duff Duff Duff
  • EdSEduardo da Silva. Not to be confused with...
  • EvdSEdwin van der Sar
  • FabCesc Fabregas. Now confused by the emergence of reserve keeper Lukas Fabianski.
  • FaddyJames McFadden
  • FASDAFuture Arsenal Striker (in Neal's fondest wishes) Dean Ashton
  • GabbyGabriel Agbonlahor
  • The GoatShaun Goater
  • The ElkNicolas "Le Sulk" Anelka
  • JARJohn Arne Riise
  • JRobJason Roberts
  • JummyJimmy Bullard
  • K2Emmanuel Adebayor. He is tall as a mountain, and reminiscent of former Arsenal striker Kanu in his stature and playing style. Hence K2 or K2.0, or K2.6.
  • KaboomYounes Kaboul
  • KJKenwyne Jones. See also KWyne and Wyn-e the Pooh
  • KWyne(pronounced K-Win) Kenwyne Jones. See also KJ and Wyn-e the Pooh
  • LMO(Little Mikey Owen) Michael Owen
  • LRobLaurent Robert, formerly of Newcastle United and Derby County; now with Toronto FC in Major League Soccer.
  • MPetMartin Petrov
  • MTayMatthew Taylor
  • MGPMorten Gamst Pedersen
  • NandoFernando Torres
  • NRCNigel Reo-Coker
  • paR-TayRyan Taylor. See also, RTay
  • PRobboPaul Robinson. See also, Robbo
  • RobboPaul Robinson. See also, PRobbo
  • RSCRoque Santa Cruz
  • RTayRyan Taylor. See also, paR-Tay
  • RVNRuud van Nistlerooy
  • RVPor RvP, Robin van Persie
  • SAFSir Alex Ferguson
  • SGESven Goran Eriksson
  • SickyTomas Rosicky
  • SPetStyllian Petrov
  • StevieGSteven Gerrard
  • SWPShaun Wright-Phillips
  • THThierry Henry, the man so good he needed a nickname, and began this whole thing
  • TheoTheo Walcott
  • THoTim Howard
  • THudTom Huddlestone
  • Wyn-e the PoohKenwyne Jones. See also KJ and KWyne
  • The YakAgbyeni Yakubu

Global Village getting out of hand

Iraqi government forces roll into the Shiite enclave of Sadr City in Baghdad Saturday, May 17, 2008. Sadr City appeared to be calm Saturday after weeks of bloody clashes between the US forces and Mahdi army fighters. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)

Is that a Pires Valencia jersey? Or some knock off of the Arsenal red currant jersey? It's truly a small world.

Liverpool to sign Degen

Liverpool began their close season recruitment drive with confirmation that Borussia Dortmund defender Philipp Degen will sign this summer.
FOOTBALL 2007-2008 Bundesliga Borussia Dortmund Philipp Degen - 0

The Switzerland international right-back will pen a deal with the Anfield club on July 1 when his current deal with the Bundesliga side expires.

Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez told the club's official website: "Philipp is still young but has gained great experience from playing in the Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund and on the international stage with Switzerland.

"He also played in the Champions League during his time with Basel and so is used to top level football.

"He is an offensive player with great energy and a winning mentality. His strength is going forward and I am confident he will be prove to be a quality addition to our squad."

The 25-year-old, who will now provide competition for Steve Finnan and Alvaro Arbeloa on the right hand side of the Reds' defence, is set to feature for his country at next month's European championships.

While Swiss defenders haven't had the best of luck in the Premier League -- yes, we're looking towards North London here -- an attacking fullback on a top 4 side... that's exciting stuff for fantasy managers.

Barton jailed for six months

Newcastle United's Joey Barton celebrates the equalising goal

Happier times.

Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton has been jailed for six months after being convicted at Liverpool Crown Court of assault and affray.

The England international was arrested in Liverpool city centre in the early hours of December 27 after becoming involved in a confrontation outside a McDonald's restaurant.

The 25-year-old admitted charges of affray and assault occasioning actual bodily harm after CCTV cameras caught him knocking an unidentified man to the ground.

He then straddled the man, and punched him four or five times as his cousin threw food at the victim before Barton punched him up to 15 times more.

Minutes later, the player attacked a 16-year-old, punching him and leaving him with broken teeth.

It followed a series of verbal confrontations inside the restaurant after a night out during which he had consumed 10 pints of lager and five bottles of lager.

The implications for Barton's career are as yet unclear, although he is certain to miss the start of the Magpies' new season.

Carsley to join Birmingham

Lee Carsley, Everton

Midfielder Lee Carsley is set to sign a two-year contract with his home-town club Birmingham once his current deal with Everton officially expires at the end of the month.

The Republic of Ireland international rejected the offer of a one-year extension to his contract at Goodison Park as the 34-year-old wanted a move closer to his Midlands home.

This means that Moyes may be looking for a new right back as Hibbert has been in and out of the team, and without Carsley, he'll no longer be able to afford to move Neville out of central midfield.

cross posted to Yahoo! Eurosport Fantasy Football Blog

Hot Stove

Top 10 best buys

Top 10 worst buys

Can't argue, but I would have to add Jari Litmanen to Fulham to the list.

Litmanen pelasi runsaan tunnin Fulhamin reservijoukkueessa

Yes, he signed on a free, but I'm not sure he ever saw the substitutes bench, much less the pitch. One gets the impression that Hodgson brought him over to help him out with some medical care rather than in any expectation that he would actually play football.

Chelsea close in on Boswinga deal

FOOTBALL 2007-2008 Porto Jose Bosingwa - 0

Chelsea have beaten Manchester United to the signature of Porto full-back Jose Bosingwa, according to reports emerging in Portugal.The talented defender has demonstrated in the Champions League over the past few seasons that he is one of the continent's finest in his position...

However, it has now come to light that Chelsea are desperate to add the player to their ranks and have stolen a march on their Premier League rivals.

A fee of €20million (£15.8million) is thought to have been concurred between Porto and Chelsea, with Bosingwa to pen a five-year deal with the west London club.

Bosingwa +10!


Chivas USA defender Lawson Vaughn is expected to be sidelined for up to six weeks after undergoing surgery over the weekend for a fractured nose.

Vaughn, in his third season with Chivas USA, was injured in the 9th minute of Saturday’s game against the Dynamo in Houston that ended in a scoreless tie. He jumped to try a header and was kicked in the face by Houston midfielder Dwayne De Rosario, who was attempting a bicycle kick.

The surgery performed Sunday was to surgically repair Vaughn’s nose, which was broken in several places, as well as a laceration on his right cheek that required 32 stitches.