Chelsea, Barcelona and Manchester City all want Miralem Pjanic


first_imgChelsea, Barcelona and Manchester City all want Miralem Pjanic, but it’d take a bid of over €80m to bring Juventus to to the table, reports say.The Bosnian international is a key part of Massimiliano Allegri’s side, and has so far given no indication that he wants to be sold.Indeed, this morning’s Gazzetta dello Sport reports that the midfielder is excited to play with Cristiano Ronaldo, and has been offered a new €6m per season deal in Turin.That doesn’t completely rule out a sale though, with interest from Chelsea, Manchester City and Barcelona.Juve don’t want to sell, but would at least listen to offers above €80m.If Pjanic were to leave, the Bianconeri would look at Adrien Rabiot of Paris Saint-Germain, whose contract expires in the summer of 2019.(Source: klix)last_img read more

How the Buccaneers became Tom Brady’s best fit in his quest to win a Super Bowl without the Patriots


first_imgMORE: Why Tom Brady is joining the BuccaneersThe Bucs weren’t the obvious choice when it became apparent Brady could leave New England. But they reportedly were willing to give him the most bucks — potentially $30 million per season over two years, according to NFL Media — on top of selling him on the winning potential of a team that finished 7-9 last season.As with most moves in NFL free agency, a familiar face helped make the deal possible for Brady — Bucs general manager Jason Licht, who once served as Patriots director of.player personnel under Bill Belichick. Licht was intent on working with Brady again, so much so that he gave Brady a $7 million raise despite his coming off a down season at age 42.The next layer was a respected coach with whom Brady could mesh as well as he did with Belichick. That’s Bruce Arians, who is exactly the same age (67) with the same confidence in his own football philosophies and zero tolerance for players not doing their jobs.MORE: Fantasy analysis of Brady to Bucs (Getty Images) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/db/ab/bruce-arians-09222019-getty-ftr_1l3v9t5bwygz816pznd9v2hgsj.jpg?t=-349703496&w=500&quality=80 (Getty Images) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/27/74/tom-brady-021220-getty-ftrjpg_u82zfrkhip2c1j8ik5xe3uvvx.jpg?t=989915864&w=500&quality=80 Tom Brady to Tampa Bay will soon be a reality.Hours after the greatest NFL quarterback of all time officially parted ways with the Patriots, reports indicate the 42-year-old has made his long-awaited NFL free agency decision to join the Buccaneers. When digging deeper into the Bucs, it was clear that of all the QB-needy teams, they offered the best resume with the most upside. It doesn’t hurt that they are in the NFC, which just crowned an unpredictable big-turnaround champion in the 49ers last season.There was some talk of Brady fitting in a place such as Los Angeles with the Chargers, Las Vegas with the Raiders and even Nashville with the Titans. But in the end, throughout his career, his favorite landing spot has been the Super Bowl.Guess where Super Bowl 55 will be played: In Tampa. Outside of New England, for Brady, the Bucs represented both the extended journey and the destination no other team could match. (SN Illustration) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/1b/7d/tom-brady-bucs-031720-getty-ftr_174e708jcyg8q141y3obmutxvi.png?t=-352271920&w=500&quality=80 The bonus is that Arians is offensive-minded, a QB guru at heart who has worked to get the best out of Ben Roethlisberger, Andrew Luck, Carson Palmer and, yes, despite those interceptions, Jameis Winston. Both Arians and his offensive coordinator protege Byron Leftwich will be malleable to adjust their offense to Brady’s strengths and style. At only 40 and as a former NFL QB, Leftwich can be more of a peer to Brady, much like Josh McDaniels was in New England.While Brady saw the cupboard go bare in New England with tight end Rob Gronkowski retiring and makeshift wide receivers beyond Julian Edelman, Tampa Bay is fully stocked for his convenience. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are now the best staring duo in the league, and the potential re-signing of Breshard Perriman — even without the crazy wild card of bringing in Antonio Brown — might give the Bucs the best trio, too. That’s before getting to the fact the Bucs have not one, but two Gronk-light receiving tight ends in O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate.The Bucs did see Winston throw for 5,109 yards and 33 TDs last season. But he had 30 interceptions to lead the league, while Brady, even in a grind of a season physically, had only eight. Arians likes his QBs flinging it in the downfield passing game. Brady likes to be efficient in his distribution of the ball all over the field. With the receiving personnel the Bucs have, including some strong after-the-catch skills, they can find a happy medium of enough big plays with much fewer big mistakes. The Bucs’ defense was No. 1 against the run in a vast improvement last year. The key now is re-signing Ndamukong Suh. Their pass rush got going in the first year of Todd Bowles’ 3-4 scheme, with Shaquil Barrett (19.5 sacks) leading the league and Jason Pierre-Paul rejuvenated. Both of those players will be back. As the season progressed, the Bucs found more answers in the secondary to back that up.During his last season with the Patriots, Brady was supported by the No. 1 total defense in the NFL. The Buccaneers finished 15th, but that was an amazing improvement from being a terrible No. 27 the season before. The arrow is pointing up for Bowles’ defense to push into the top 10.You can bet Brady, beyond hearing the money the Bucs were willing to pay him, made sure Tampa Bay was the best possible place for him to try to win a championship apart from Belichick and the Patriots.MORE: Patriots among losers of NFL free agency The Bucs have more to do on offense. They must get better at right tackle and right guard, but they’re better than you think at left tackle through center. Brady will make the protection look better regardless with his ability to shuffle in the pocket and get the ball out quickly instead of holding it and looking for the deep shot. Regardless, the Bucs should aim to land a dominant edge blocker in the first round of the draft.The Buccaneers ranked only 24th in rushing offense last year. But the Patriots were only a few notches better at No. 18. If the Bucs don’t replace Ronald Jones as the power back, too, they at least need a strong pass-catching back from either the rest of free agency or in the draft. At this point, no one will be surprised if Melvin Gordon is sharing the backfield with Brady soon.When the Bucs make a big short-term “all in” move like signing Brady, with their ample salary cap space, their next move is doing everything they can to support their big investment with smart smaller ones tailored to the QB.last_img read more

Russia lifts World Cup ban on German journalist


first_img0Shares0000“The Russian side has since informed us that @hajoseppelt can at least travel to the World Cup. Let’s continue to push for free reporting,” Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Twitter.BERLIN, Germany, May 15 – Russia has granted a football World Cup visa to the German journalist banned after he broke the story on Russia’s state-sponsored doping scandal, Berlin said Tuesday.“The Russian side has since informed us that @hajoseppelt can at least travel to the World Cup. Let’s continue to push for free reporting,” Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Twitter. German journalist Hajo Seppelt’s documentaries on doping among Russian athletes sparked a storm and ended up with Russia being banned from this winter’s Pyeongchang Olympic games.On Friday, it emerged that his application for a visa, submitted by public regional broadcaster SWR, was rejected as he was apparently on a persona non grata list in Russia.Moscow did not specify the reason but Seppelt himself said the “uncovering of the state doping system has had such great impact for Russia that it felt that it needed to take such measures”.News of the ban sparked an outcry in Germany, and Berlin on Monday called Moscow’s decision to ban Seppelt “wrong”.The German government also warned that it “puts Russia as a host in a bad light if the freedom of the press and of opinion is curtailed before the eyes of the world.”Earlier Tuesday, German Football Federation chief Reinhard Grindel said he had spoken with FIFA boss Gianni Infantino to take up the case personally with Russia.“I told him that I hoped that he would personally get in touch with the Russian government,” Grindel said.Russia was already a disputed choice when it was handed the World Cup in a closely-watched 2010 vote that has since been tainted by bribery charges.But the row over Seppelt’s visa had further roiled an already controversial tournament which kicks off in June.FIFA said on Monday that it had already approved Seppelt’s accreditation request to cover the World Cup.“Generally speaking, the freedom of the press is of paramount importance to FIFA and we always aim to provide media representatives with the best possible conditions for coverage of all FIFA events,” FIFA said in a statement.The dispute also came just days before German Chancellor Angela Merkel is due to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin, who in recent years has clashed repeatedly with Western leaders on a litany of issues including the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more