Wednesday's big stories

Abraham transfer makes no sense

The fact that Chelsea have made 93 million quid in player sales in the current market is nothing short of remarkable.
Ronaldo wants to leave Man Utd with Bayern interested if Lewandowski moves – Paper Round
23/06/2022 AT 22:14
The fact that they squeezed £34 million from a Jose Mourinho-coached AS Roma for Tammy Abraham is beyond remarkable. This is no slight on Abraham, who has 90 goals in 209 games. He is a fine player.
However, he isn't the archetypal Mourinho signing. This has nothing to do with the style or substance of his play, but more his profile. The England international is 23 years old, and Mourinho, generally speaking, does not make marquee signings that are of Abraham's profile.
The Portuguese coach prefers to sign the 'finished article' - now, this is not to say he doesn't sign young-ish players or give them opportunity. For example, Paul Pogba was Abraham's age when he re-signed for United, but he had won four league titles at Juventus and played a crucial role in the Italian's run to the 2015 Champions League final. Mourinho may now be of the opinion that Pogba was - and remains - a work in progress, but upon his signing, the Frenchman was more of a sure bet than Abraham now represents.
Of the 74 league goals that Abraham has scored, 26 have come in the top flight. He is very much still a work in progress, and far from the finished article. The Portuguese coach has rarely - if ever - shown a willingness or patience to nurture a player of his profile. The England international is undoubtedly a talented player and that talent could - probably should - see him excel at Roma. However, that does not mean the move makes sense for the player, the club, and, most of all, the manager.

It is a no from Carlo and from Ronnie too

It defies logic that the transfer window remains open past the start of the season. This means that unnecessary rumour and counter rumour circulate when clubs attempt to make a solid start to their seasons.
For prospective selling clubs, it can - no names mentioned - lead to situations where teams are without their star players for crucial games. Also, at prospective buying clubs, rumours - substantiated or not - can unsettle those whose position may be under threat by said potential incoming. Often, managers keep their powder dry and will when, asked directly, offer no comment.
Not Carlo Ancelotti. Nope. The Real Madrid manager took to social media on Tuesday to close down rumours of a potential Bernabeu return for Cristiano Ronaldo.
It makes absolute sense if there is no basis in the rumour. However, intentionally or otherwise, the "we look forward" was a fairly brutal assessment of Ronaldo's standing in the game. He remains a force of nature but for how much longer? By Ancelotti's reckoning, old father time is closing in.
Ronaldo - given his propensity for a fifth and final penalty in a shootout - is a man who is not against having the last word, so he also took to social media to pass his own comment on the rumours.
"Anyone who knows me is aware of how focused I am on my work. Less talk and more action, this has been my guiding motto since the start of my career. However, in view of everything that’s been said and written recently, I have to set out my position.
More than the disrespect for me as a man and as a player, the frivolous way that my future is covered in the media is disrespectful to all the clubs involved in these rumours, as well as to their players and staff.
”"My story at Real Madrid has been written. It’s been recorded. In words and numbers, in trophies and titles, in records and in headlines. It’s in the Museum at the Bernabeu Stadium and it’s also in the minds of every fan of the club. And beyond what I achieved, I remember that in those nine years I had a relationship of deep affection and respect for “merengue aficion”, and affection and respect that I retain to this day, and that I will always cherish. I know that the true Real Madrid fans will continue to have me in their hearts, and I will have them in mine.
"As well as this most recent episode in Spain, there have been frequent news and stories associating me with a number of clubs in many different Leagues, with nobody ever being concerned about trying to find out the actual truth.
"I’m breaking my silence now to say that I can’t allow people to keep playing around with my name. I remain focused on my career and in my work, committed and prepared for all the challenges that I have to face. Everything else? Everything else is just talk."

Barcelona ready 'to terminate Umtiti's contract'

Barcelona want to reduce their wage bill. That means riding themselves of players who are unlikely to play and are on substantial wages. That seems reasonable. However, while the Warm-Up is no contract lawyer, this policy us contingent on agreement of three parties: the two clubs and the player.
Barcelona want Samuel Umtiti off their wage bill, which, given his substantial wages and his insubstantial playing time, seems reasonable. However, according to widespread reports, Umtiti does not want to leave, which, given he has a contract, also seems reasonable.
However, Sport claim Barca are considering terminating his contract unilaterally, which appears to mean giving him the sack. This seems, well, an optimistic approach to contract law. Sport add such a decision could see the player in dispute with the club. Quite.
Other outlets report that Barcelona intend on releasing the player, which seems more reasonable and likely, to be fair.


Judas FC won their seven-aside league and celebrated in style.
Fair play.


Inter Miami have struggled in MLS. Here, The Athletic break down the tumultuous behind-the-scenes goings on.
The Athletic spoke with 11 people in and around the organization since its launch, as well as multiple league sources in order to determine what went wrong and how Inter Miami might climb out of the hole it now faces. Jorge Mas was also interviewed in June for a separate story on the MLS investigation. The sources, who requested anonymity to speak bluntly about Miami without risking their careers in soccer, describe a club that has been stymied at times by ego and ambition, but also naïveté, inexperience and a lack of one singular vision for how to build the team.


Much more transfer chat on our live blog, some fallout from the German Super Cup won by Bayern and some Europe and Champions League play-off action.
Andi Thomas will be here to pick through the remnants of that.
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23/06/2022 AT 17:13
La Liga
‘It was Real Madrid or nothing’ – Rudiger unveiled by Spanish giants
20/06/2022 AT 15:28