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Article about Raiola in de Volkskrant (Dutch paper, translated)
The Raiola method: 'He walks off the table four times to make the best deal'. During each transfer period, Mino Raiola is the conductor. Ajax has been waiting months for the departure of Matthijs de Ligt. Raiola couldn't care less. How does the dealmaker play the game that should lead to big rewards for footballer and broker? Step 1 The attraction You can say a lot about Mino Raiola, but he's not a flatterer. Many club directors of the Haarlemmer become crazy when they try to enter into a (new) contract with a player he supervises. He tries to manipulate everything, bets ridiculously high, keeps coming up with additional demands', says a director of a Dutch Eredivisie club, who prefers to remain anonymous. It makes you crazy. Until at a certain moment you say: let's do it, because then we'll be rid of the bullshit. Or: fuck off. But then he has his way. Then he can go shopping with that player. The power lies with the player, especially if Raiola (51) accompanies him. Ajax has long since decided what it wants to receive for captain Matthijs de Ligt (about 75 million euros), but has been waiting for months for the coveted defender and his business advisor Raiola to come to an agreement with a club about the desired contract terms. Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus are pushing up the signature of the teenager's salary in a megalomaniacal game. The counter would already be at 12 million euros. The fact that Raiola will also be cashing a lot is no secret. Ajax is experiencing another turbulent Raiola summer. A year ago Ajax director Edwin van der Sar complained that Raiola 'pushed' another growth brilliant, Justin Kluivert, to the exit. Kluivert went to AS Roma, where he had an unstable season, while Ajax conquered Europe. The top talent of the next generation has also joined Raiola, 17-year-old Ryan Gravenberch. And not because he wants to earn many millions before the age of 20, his father emphasizes by phone. But because of Raiola's personal approach, or rather his partner José Fortes Rodriguez. José is really interested in man Ryan. Other agents want to profit most of all. The fact that Raiola often arranges top salaries and has contacts with numerous top clubs is a bonus, says Gravenberch senior. In the media he is often portrayed negatively, as someone who only thinks of his own money. But everyone knows that he can do great things for a player. Raiola started out on his own in 1996 after first assisting other agents. 23 years later, with reportedly hundreds of millions in his pocket, he's still a key player. A recent short suspension for still unexplained grounds by the Fifa has not detracted from his popularity. All parents of top talents want their children to be accompanied by him,' says Gravenberch senior. The son of Italian immigrants established his name mainly through his collaboration with Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The Swedish striker proved that extravagance, brutality and top performance go hand in hand at many dream clubs. In his book Ik, Zlatan (I, Zlatan) Ibrahimovic tells us in abundance about his first meeting with Raiola. The 'go fuck yourself's flew over a mountain of sushi back and forth over the table. The bad-boy collaboration that resulted in many titles and sky-high salaries is to the liking of many young footballers. The fact that Raiola is condemned by many clubs, colleagues, trainers and journalists because of his barbaric style - the nickname 'Rioola' often sounds - does not interest them. They meet up with him once and allow themselves to be guided by the privateer, who studied law and speaks seven languages. Footballer Oussama Assaidi (30) about his first meeting with Raiola in 2012: 'He turned it so that I should be happy that he wanted to represent me. Yet he intrigued me. He looks tough, but is really concerned about you. When it comes to signing contracts, he goes through fire for you. And that's what it's all about. Step 2: Demanding work ethics Dream big. Sacrifice. Believe in it. Dream big. Sacrifice. Believe in it. One cannot do without the other, according to the football agent who currently represents some sixty players of varying name and fame. Raiola himself gives the best example. Anyone who is ever in his company sees a man whose mouth never takes a break. He talks to football players or other important people in football, or he calls them. This summer he is not only working on a deal for De Ligt, but also for Manchester United player Paul Pogba, Feyenoorder Steven Berghuis and many other agreements. He also demands this work ethic from the players he accompanies. Raiola in de Volkskrant, three years ago: 'That's the recipe to become the best in your profession; work hard, stay focused'. Twenty-player Assaidi: 'He was pushing me. More assists, more goals: then I can take you away even better," he said. Gravenberch senior: 'It is emphasized that Ryan improves tactically, technically and in terms of mentality.' Raiola passes on lessons from his best players to other clients. The training work of Pavel Nedved on Ibrahimovic, the winning mentality of Ibrahimovic on Pogba. It's not that strange that the decent De Ligt joined forces with street fighter Raiola; he wants to know exactly what the top players do to get this far. De Ligt, who was still called 'fatty' in the youth, invests every moment of the day to get better in all areas. He is a power station with an excellent pass, captain of the CL semi-finalist Ajax, strong in front of the enemy goal. All the big clubs want such a player, even if only to show their supporters that they have hooked the biggest fish. Step 3 Awareness With players making progress, there are two options according to the Raiola method: a substantially improved contract with the current club or a substantially improved contract with a new club. This is met with incomprehension. AD columnist Hugo Borst called De Ligt a money wolf. Raiola tells his players: what the outside world thinks doesn't count. Football careers are short. Many young players are already signing at big clubs for nice salaries before their breakthrough. This often leads to nothing. From a sporting point of view, then. This is not always the case, by the way. Gravenberch junior could already sign at Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus, clubs that could have made him a millionaire, says his father. Mino gave the options and his opinion. He thinks: you can break your leg tomorrow, so make sure you are financially independent as soon as possible. It's easier to switch from there. We thought that Ryan should stick to Ajax in terms of development. Well then that just happens. Mino always lets the player choose for himself. Assaidi was able to go to Ajax, Galatasaray and Liverpool in 2012 after a strong season with Heerenveen. He chose the English superpower, where he didn't play much, but made millions. No regrets. Mino had arranged a top contract. If I would get all my bonuses, I would be one of the best paid players. While I was coming from Heerenveen! Assaidi didn't pay Raiola a penny for his services. It is common knowledge that the Haarlemmer stipulates percentages of a (future) transfer fee. When Paul Pogba went from Juventus to Manchester United for 105 million in 2016, Raiola would have paid more than 20 million, although he denies it. Years of work and expensive external expertise precede a top deal, he argues. In addition: For one Pogba there are nineteen non-Pogbas. And you often don't earn anything from that, but they expect me to represent them well. Assaidi: 'I thought it was fine that he also took good care of himself. It was good for both of us. He is open to criticism. If I thought it would take too long for a new club to arrive, he would get down to work. In 2015, I arranged my own club in Dubai. Then we broke up, no hard feelings. Gravenberch also has no contract with Raiola. Gravenberch senior: 'It is based on mutual trust. If he arranges extra money for himself in a deal, then he has done well. It just shouldn't be at the expense of my son's money. Step 4 Never be satisfied Raiola doesn't slide a pillow under the backs of club directors to first talk a few words. He gets straight to the point and doesn't shy away from confrontation. He fought with Johan Cruijff, Pep Guardiola, Sepp Blatter, Silvio Berlusconi and Sir Alex Ferguson ('if he has become sir, there is still hope for me'). Assaidi: 'He fights for you. He walks off the table four times to make the best deal. Other agents I had really wanted to keep clubs friendly, which could be at your expense. Mino's doesn't give a shit about that. Raiola in the Volkskrant: 'I'm never satisfied. When I walk away and they have said yes, I think for a moment: they have very easily said yes. Commonly used means is fencing with an offer from another club. Or negotiating all kinds of extras (bonuses, fringe benefits, limited transfer fee) for the player. Club directors suspect that they are aiming for an impasse. If the player's value threatens to drop, Raiola can increase the pressure or involve another club in the game. Clubs benefit from him too', says fellow business manager Hakim Slimani. Believe me: they ask for Mino. He's a great dealmaker. His broad player portfolio gives him power. Clubs have a hard time getting around him. If a club closes the door because of what they consider to be unreasonable demands, it often opens again because they want to do business with another Raiola player. In this way you sometimes see a bundle of Raiola players end up at the same club (PEC Zwolle, AZ, Paris SG, Juventus). Although Raiola may be one of the most persistent negotiators, in fact all the agents are like that. They all want the best,' says Earnest Stewart, former director of NAC and AZ. He describes the relationship he had with Raiola as 'excellent'. An agent wants the best for his client. I never found him unreasonable or aggressive in his approach. Step 5 The network Raiola has connections everywhere, with some clubs he has been doing extensive business for years, he even thinks about strategies. He's been in the business for so long that players he's supervised have become club directors themselves, like Nedved (Juventus) and Maxwell (Paris Saint-Germain). That offers advantages. Manager Slimani: 'Everyone knows that he has excellent contacts. That he is good at bringing players away. Slimani himself lost client Gregory van der Wiel to Raiola in the summer of 2012. The defender panicked, according to Slimani, because he had previously rejected nice clubs and suddenly became second choice with Ajax. Then players think that Mino can deliver. In Gregory's case he succeeded, he brought him to PSG where more of his players were already walking around. Mino did a good job, I don't blame him. He's a dealmaker on a different playing field than I operate on. I learned from it, you shouldn't just think: a good player sells himself. You also have to enthuse clubs. In the meantime, Gregory has returned to me. Step 6 The first team guarantee The reputation of De Ligt will change. Several players went down on their hefty price tag and ditto salary. However, the expensive newcomer often has the advantage that he is assured of a starting spot for at least the first season because of the enormous investment that the club has made in him. Slimani: 'Nobody wants capital destruction and loss of face. The club will do everything it can to make the new star succeed. In his time with Real Madrid (2008-2010), Rafael van der Vaart went mad about the fact that competitor Kaká remained the preferred choice, while he himself had the feeling that he would fit in better with the team. However, Van der Vaart was bought for 13 million euros and Kaká for 65 million euros, their salaries also varied widely. Ibrahimovic could only not let Barcelona dance to his liking, at all the other clubs he served, teams were set up according to his needs. He took the free kicks and the penalty kicks. So his star continued to shine. Just like that of Raiola, the man who initially shouted at him. Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator Original article
I opened my first bottle around noon, a Canadian beer called La Fin Du Monde. It was a Belgian Trippel brewed with fruit and spices. It was thick and strong and sweet. I was hungover, and when I originally climbed out of bed around 10, I knew I wouldn't last very long. I chugged water, desperate, and I felt sick. I didn't feel nauseated from the alcohol. I just felt like my sinuses were stuffed with cotton and wasabi. I coughed deep and ejected black and green and red specks into the white bathroom sink. I coughed again and it was just red this time, small globs of blood immersed in spit. I ate a banana and a bagel with some cream cheese, and that's when I felt good to start drinking again. It was beautiful outside, so I went onto the back veranda, lit up a cigarette, and cried a little bit. I didn't even smoke, but my friend from college, Charlize, had given me these cigarettes she rolled herself. She was an exchange student from Paris, and her mother would send her these cute packages with stuff she couldn't get here, bags of tobacco and canisters of this Nestle instant coffee I had never seen before, all kinds of European bullshit. She even had little filters for the cigarettes, and that was cute too. The tobacco smelled and tasted great, not the chemical shit you buy in stores here. I'm not saying France is perfect, but they know how to smoke. I was in love with Charlize back then. Well, I thought I was, which is really the same thing, so I had been saving these cigarettes, trying to hold onto some sentimental idea. I didn't want to lose her or lose what that time was for me, sitting in her apartment that her dad paid for, drinking and smoking cigarettes with her just because she had them. Today, though, I didn't want to care about that or anything else. The feeling hit me hard, instantly high, and I took another sip of my beer. It was too cold outside, even with the sun, but I felt like I needed to experience it a little bit. I hit the cigarette and stared blankly at the canal. Patches of what I think is called burhead or hyacinth or something like that (I'm not a god damn scientist) floated along, sometimes in massive clusters. Every so often you'd seen an egret, which is really just a type of heron, standing on one of these patches. As one sailed past, the wind was blowing so hard against him that it looked like a supermodel posing in front of a huge fan, feathers flapping crazily, his neck an S curled tightly into itself, bracing himself for whatever was to come. He was just accepting it, and I felt like him. He sailed on. By 1 or 2 pm I was pretty drunk, trying to pace myself and failing because I didn't eat enough, and the alcohol was hitting me harder than it should have. I drank a lot, but to be fair, La Fin Du Monde is a 9% ABV monster of a beer, exactly what I needed on a day like this. By 3 I had collapsed onto my bed and fallen back asleep. I woke up again with a pounding headache. I ate a bunch of Ibuprofen and drank some water. Droplets fell through my beard and I wiped them away and dried my hands on my black pants. I went back into my room, sat at my computer, and opened a bottle of Pinot Noir. I poured a glass and watched a bit of a Drake interview. My phone started ringing, so I threw it in the general direction of my closet. Deciding I needed to eat, I put on a tattered pair of Nikes and left my apartment. The building I lived in was small and smelled like mildew, which was very common for the houses uptown, but this place was a fucking dump. The hallway smelled like weed and cigarettes. I could hear my neighbors carrying out some unclear stage of their daily routine: fight, fuck, fight, discuss a breakup, then go to bed. I tried not to listen, but I always waited to catch a bit of dialogue before I actually walked down the stairs. “You're a fucking asshole, Justin! I knew you were fucking that bitch!” “Fuck you, Tina! You were the one eating my brother's ass a month ago! I love you! Why can't we make this work?” “The only thing that works around here is me, cocksucker!” This was enough for me, so I shook my head, disappointed, sad, hungover, and continued out of the building. I walked down the street to the bar where I spent a lot of my time. For being such a beautiful part of the city, I didn't feel beautiful. It was interesting around here because it had a lot of history, a lot of money and a lot of misery, a lot of darkness. You'd walk past what were basically mansions and see beggars right on the corner. There was one guy that stood around the corners of the main street playing an old saxophone, playing really well, and no one gave him any money. He just wandered, yelling and playing. I always wondered if he wrote the songs. I walked past him like everyone else. I reached into my pocket for my phone, already aggravated that I left it at home. Home, a shitty apartment in a part of the city I could barely afford because I wanted to feel good about myself. What a fucking joke. This bar had food, honestly decent shit, but it was overpriced, so you had to be really drunk or really hungry to pay for it. I fit both categories, so I scanned the menu: the standard burger, pulled pork, a cheese plate (how fucking pretentious), etc. I ordered a glass of Jameson before deciding on a quesadilla with added chicken and cheese. You had to order your food at a separate section than the actual bar, so I walked over, ordered nervously, and made my way to a table in the corner, the table I always sat at. I sat there, hunched over like an animal, my face buried in my left palm, eyes closed, almost all the way until I got my food. I took small sips and tried my best to save the Jameson for after my meal, and I did well. I earned my drink. That was the rule. When my food and my Jameson was gone, I figured I should get something else. I walked to the bar and grabbed one of their clipboard menus, flipping the pages as if I gave a fuck. I ordered a beer, black shit, a snifter filled to the brim with oil, because I really liked to drink that around this time of year. Something about cold weather made me want to fill my body with syrupy beer and cry. The bar had an upstairs area and a back patio, so when it was nice out, there was no one inside, and I loved that. The walkway to both of those areas, as well as the bathrooms, was to my right, so while I waited at the bar, I couldn't help but look at the people passing through. I eyed a tall, thin, dark skinned girl as she came into the building from the back patio area and I didn't think I had ever seen anything like it. I was lying to myself because I immediately recognized her. She had these long legs and her dark, curly hair was pulled back. Her skin was smooth and her lips were full and I couldn't believe it. I knew her because she was a waitress at a vegan restaurant close by, but I could never speak. I wouldn't approach a girl at her job. I probably wouldn't approach a girl without a proper introduction anyway. And she was too beautiful for me. I used to tell my friend that I usually ate at the restaurant with, “This is the girl, man. This is the exact girl I'm attracted to.” She wore red lipstick at work, but she didn't have any makeup on today, just her glasses, and I saw her go into the bathroom. I shook my head and buried my face into both hands this time. I started to regret leaving my phone, so I closed out and made my way back to the apartment. My roommate was home now. I fucking hated him. He was too cool, way too fucking cool, and his girlfriend was a stupid bitch. I heard her talking about some bullshit as soon as I walked in the front door and I couldn't help but say, out loud, “Jesus Christ.” They came out shortly after. “Hey, man. What's going on? You off today?” “Yeah so I'm getting trashed.” Actually, I quit, but I didn't tell anyone. “What happened last night? You good?” Like he gave a fuck. What a dickhead. “Yeah, man. It just didn't go anywhere. But it's all good.” I was already pouring a glass of wine from the bottle I opened before I left. “Y'all want some?” Of course his girl did. I'm pretty sure drinking other people's shit was one of her best traits. Actually, she was a little better when she got good and drunk, only if it was because she started focusing on what was in front of her and not what she saw on Instagram that morning, she was better, and I started to like her then. It's easier to talk to people when everyone starts drinking. That's not some grand observation; it's real life. When your inhibitions are lowered and you are lowered, you talk a bit more, and for a girl like this, she probably thought a bit more too. “Y'all off today too?” “Finally! I'm sick of that job. They treat me like a dog.” Alright, I didn't hate him. His girl nodded, pouring herself another glass already. This fucking bitch, I thought, but I didn't say anything. I had enough to go around. I always do. “They always do.” “So what happened with that girl, anyway?” Last night I met up with this girl. She was younger than me, but she was cool. Crazy, probably, but cool enough. She knew some weird shit. She had her own personality. I always feel like people are recycled, some amalgamation of shit they found online or whatever. Again, that's not some grand observation, but this was a time in life when people could borrow or steal or buy personalities off the internet, and you could always tell when they did. It's not inherently wrong to find new things and get into them. I think that's what every curious person does, isn't it? But the explosion of social media came at a cost, and it made me sick. This girl knew some real shit, though. She was crazy, but she had her own desires and needs and her interests were her own. I didn't have to like whatever she liked to appreciate that. Well, anyway, really, we had met before through mutual friends, and I thought she was interesting, and I thought she was interested, but on this day, I didn't feel that anymore. “I don't know. I don't think she was feeling it. Nothing bad happened, but I could tell she wasn't interested in pushing it any further. That's fine, you know? I get it. I probably just won't talk to her. We had a good time, regardless.” I poured another glass because I felt bad about it. “Well, fuck it. Can I have some of that wine actually?” “Yeah, man, of course.” Alright, I loved him. He was a good roommate and a good friend. And more importantly, he was right. Fuck it. I just wish I believed that. Our other roommates, a young married couple, came home shortly after that, and we hung out for a while. As the day began to wind down, I began to wonder what else I could get into. I got a text from an old friend, a friend from when I was a teenager, who I had been hanging out with again recently. He wanted to know what I had planned, and it was perfect timing, so I invited him over. He made it pretty clear in our texts that he didn't plan on drinking, but I already was, so I made sure he understood that. I didn't want him to feel obligated to drink or uncomfortable about how much I had already been drinking, but he didn't seem to care at all. I needed to sleep again before he got to the house, so I collapsed again, and I woke up to my phone vibrating: it was a text from him saying he was close. I got up, and my cat was running all over. He had a daily routine where he took a shit and he started running around the house. Then he would just drop down and start yelling at me. I just lit a stick of incense and waited. When Tucker got to the house, we sat down in my room. I was at the computer, and he sat in a dining chair opposite me, and we spent a long time talking. For context, I should explain that he had a long and ultimately tumultuous relationship with a girl who I had later become friends with, nothing serious, but her fixation on him long after their breakup made me sick and I couldn't be there for her. To make matters worse, her new boyfriend looked exactly like my friend but sicker and uglier, and I hated him on principle. He's got this smart, cool girl because he looks like an ex. What a fucker! That's cheating, and there should be some kind of punishment. I guess his life was the punishment because they got arrested. “It's crazy, like, she came to me basically trying to discuss you. I can be a friend but I don't want to talk about you every day. She thought she had a man on the inside. I was literally receiving paragraphs about you, pretty much daily, and it got to be ridiculous. It wasn't a friendship. It wasn't anything.” “Yeah, she really needs to move on. She's got this attachment that she obviously never let go of. It's weird. We broke up years ago at this point. She keeps dating dudes that look like me.” “That is fucking weird.” I took a sip of my wine before I continued, “I tried my best to encourage her to move forward and work through her pain in a positive way. Everyone goes through shit, and I understand that relationships, especially when you're so young, can feel really intense and traumatic, but you have to draw the line somewhere. I'm not sure she even wants to move on. Well, I'm sure she doesn't because she didn't listen to me. It's this insane fixation, and I started to realize she just wanted me to dump her shit on and to suck information out of. That sucks. It started to bother me a lot. So one day I quit replying to her and that was basically that.” “She paired up with my ex, which I genuinely think says more about them than it says about anything I'm capable of doing to them.” He was right. People have to want to grow, and these girls obviously didn't. That's why I quit talking to her to begin with. “What's crazy is that one night I was out with Therese (the most recent girlfriend) and Winona (the one from years ago) threw a fucking beer bottle at us. We were walking back to my car, holding hands, and she just emerged from behind two cars, screaming all this shit. Therese didn't even realize who she was until I explained it. And now they're best friends. Someone showed me Therese's Instagram recently, and she looks like she's having a breakdown. I really don't believe that can all be put on me. People are still responsible for themselves.” We spent a lot of time talking about sobriety and depression and the lifestyle we didn't mean to slip into. Tucker told me he spent 8 months sober last year and that he felt amazing. I recounted back in 2015, when we worked at a pizza place together, that I quit drinking for probably the same amount of time, if not a little longer. “I don't know if I can even do that again.” “Me neither.” As of late, I had been thinking very seriously about getting sober, possibly for good, but I failed today. I really failed today. Tucker worked at a clinic where he saw addicts every day. He was Tucker the Psychology Fucker, and he wanted to help people. He could and he did, though. I had known Tucker for at least 11 years, probably close to 12, and he had a pretty huge influence on who I grew up to be. A lot of our humor, musical interests, etc. guided me when he wasn't around. It was interesting that, although we spent years apart at a time, we were dealing with almost exactly the same problems. We couldn't stop, but it did make me feel good that we had the same mindset about trying. I think developing the ability to admit your faults is basically the only way you'll ever actually be able to change and grow into someone better. At least we were there. We were trying, even if I knew I wasn't trying hard enough. “I'm talking to people about their substance abuse problems at work every day, then I leave the job and spend my afternoons in a dingy neighborhood bar full of sad old men. It's fucked up.” Maybe that was the best way, though. It's worse when people don't know what the hell they're talking about and then try to tell you what's best. How could they know? It's insulting. Those people needed someone like Tucker, someone who really lived the shit too. Absolutely no addict wants to listen to some Christian kid with an ego he hides behind his button downs and overpriced slacks. They need a guy who looked and talked and felt like them, someone who was suffering but maintaining in a way they hadn't learned how to yet. Tucker told me about his new girl, who he seemed really excited about, and I liked to hear that. It was genuine. He posted some shit on his Instagram story about her, and I brought that up. He said people were telling him he should take it down, but I respected that he was learning to be so comfortable about his feelings and expressing them. If it was too much for the girl, maybe she wasn't right for him. And maybe she felt the same way. People are just fucking insecure. “So what are you trying to get into tonight?” I wasn't sure, but I did have one idea. “I know a guy that's playing at the techno spot downtown, right next to Democracy. Another friend wanted me to go. I didn't know if you would be into it, but I really wanted to go, even just to show my face. I think it'll be fun” “Yeah, we should go. Hector works at that pizza place next door, actually. I'm going to call him. I think he usually gets off around 9.” Hector was in a band with Tucker, and I figured expanding the group could definitely lead us to a good time. “I think the show starts at 11, so we have time.” Hector said he wanted to go home and shower and everything, so it worked out perfectly. After we made our plans, we sat for a minute, and Tucker said dryly, “I guess I might need something to drink.” “Do you want some of this wine? There's also half of a bottle of Evan Williams that my roommate's girl left here on New Year's Eve if you would prefer that.” “Yeah, that's more my speed,” he said with a confident nod, referring to the whiskey. I went to the kitchen, grabbed that bottle and a glass, and brought it to him. I expected him to take a couple of shots, but he effortlessly drank the rest of what was in the bottle. For his first glass, he didn't pour a shot. He filled the glass to the brim, drank it quickly, and poured another. When the whiskey was gone, he poured himself the last of what was in the wine bottle. I wanted more to drink, so I got some tequila and took a few shots of that before asking my roommate for one of his beers. Tucker and I tried our best to calculate how the night might play out, maintaining even then, that we intended to be home in a few hours. We sincerely believed that we didn't want to get too crazy or do anything too serious. And soon enough, we were on our way downtown. We drove and parked separately then met up on the street. As we passed some bar that I had never been to, Tucker began telling me a story about a guy from a band we loved and bonded over when we were kids. I still remembered the text he sent me when he met him. I couldn't believe it. One of our musical heroes. Tucker was with Therese at the time, and they were walking by this same spot when they heard someone singing a familiar song, so they looked in the open French doors, only to see that a drunk, fattened, depressed, and arguably the most famous member of that band was actually the one playing it on an acoustic guitar on a small stage where it seemed as though no one knew him. Tucker bought him a beer, talked to him for a while about his love for the city and the band that meant so much to us, and then the guy just left in an Uber. What blew me away, and I think Tucker would agree, is that someone we used to idolize was right here, doing the same shit as us, in a lot of ways feeling exactly the same as we did tonight. We stood on the sidewalk for a little while, bothering passersby, for whatever reason. Tucker stopped someone who was blatantly not famous and asked them if they were a rapper. The guy said no, and Tucker kept a straight face while telling him he thought he was someone else. I went along with it, but when he walked away we started cackling like children. I saw a group of beautiful girls standing and talking in front of the club we were going to, and I immediately realized one of them was the same girl from the bar earlier, from the restaurant I loved. I didn't say anything, just looked at her for a minute then put my head down, still hoping I might see her inside. Tucker revealed a bottle of Tito's that was about halfway empty. “We have to finish this. I can't bring it inside.” “Oh no way, man. I hate vodka.” I was serious, but we proceeded to finish the bottle in huge, sickening swigs anyway. On the way to the entrance, I saw the guy who I knew that was playing, and we talked a while, then finally went in. The front door opened into a small foyer that was completely black inside, nothing visible but strobes coming from a doorway across the room, and I followed Tucker through. The club was small and rectangular with the DJ setup on the left hand side, large subwoofers on the right, and the bar at the far end. We made our way through the crowd to go get some beers. I guess the vodka still wasn't enough because I was ready for more, not even considering how much I drank throughout the day. On the dance floor, everything came together. I hadn't felt that good in a long time, and I was drunk enough to not give a fuck and just dance. It was great. There was a fog machine that released huge thick clouds every so often, and in those moments, you couldn't see anything but the lasers in front of you. You couldn't even see the people next to you. You just felt the pounding kick drums from the subs behind you. I was sipping my can of beer in one hand, never stopping dancing, and I could see Tucker jumping around like a maniac. It struck me as funny because I wasn't sure he would even be into it, and here he was having more fun than the dickheads that looked like they came here all the time. A few times, I lost my balance, but when I fell back I was caught by these black leather couches lining the wall. I didn't even realize they were there. The very first time I collapsed and fell right into the empty seat. It happened a couple more times, the safety net I needed. I'd sit for a minute, look around the room to get a sense of what the fuck was happening, and that moment was all I needed to get back up and go again. I could see that Tucker was having the time of his life. What had we gotten ourselves into? I saw a skinny guy in the corner wearing a bucket hat and a massive long-sleeved t-shirt and tight pants, just dancing alone, clearly tripping because he was also having a full conversation, but he wasn't talking to anyone. He was just yelling over the music and bouncing around. As the room started to crowd up, he just kept dancing in between everyone. I saw him pull a flip phone out of his pocket and answer a call, all while jumping up and down in between crowds of people who were obviously together. He didn't give a fuck. At one point the strobes exposed the details of his face to reveal a massive scar across his jawline and huge, dilated pupils set into white contacts. All this was exhausting, so I made my way back to the bar, got another Holy Roller, this local IPA, and I rolled my holy ass back to the dance floor. I felt amazing. I danced like this alone in my room but never in public, and I was actually proud of myself for not caring. It was around this point that I realized all those pretty girls I had seen enter the club before weren't anywhere to be found. How could they vanish like that? The club was small enough that you could keep track of who was coming and going, and there weren't very many people in there to begin with. I didn't even see them when I walked in, so my chance at talking to that girl was fucked. Tucker brought it up to me too. He was like, “There must be something we don't know.” He was right again, and that's when shit got funny. Hector showed up, and I heard Tucker asking him, “So where's the blow?” “You said you had it!” He did, but that was the joke. Hector was the way to it. When they were on the phone earlier, I heard Tucker tell him he had blow and wanted him to come out, then he turned to me and whispered that Hector could always find it. Then Tucker grabbed me, “Rosa's here!” We just started laughing. Rosa was Winona's sister. After all that shit we were talking about earlier, Winona's fucking sister is just in the same place as us. Why would that even happen? And sure enough, I was following Hector, Tucker, Rosa, and her friend that I didn't recognize to the stock room of the club because the blow had at some point materialized. Rosa was to my left, and when she leaned against me, she got a little bit of lipstick on my white shirt and I pretended to be mad. The last time I saw her was devastating. I tried to push it out of my mind, but it resurfaced seeing her again. I was out one night at this vaguely gay karaoke spot, so fucked, already gone too deep. A friend showed up at random with her, and around 2 am the group I came with was going home, so he invited me to go back to Rosa's house with them and smoke some weed. I didn't want to, but I went with them. At the time, Rosa was sharing an apartment with Winona, who was out of town with the fucker that needed to be punished, after I had already cut contact with her, so at least that problem was out of the way. We sat in the living room, passing around this weed that I didn't even want to smoke. I was maxed out and I kept going. Like clockwork, this intense, horrible anxiety came on as soon as I got high. Smoking weed in social situations makes me want to kill myself, especially when I'm so drunk. Then I had to take a shit. Rosa was in the kitchen, so I'm not sure if she heard me, but I stood up and said, “I have to take a huge shit.” I went into the bathroom and released a sloppy mess into this poor girl's toilet. I felt ashamed, so I just walked out. My friend had driven me there, but I wasn't thinking about that at all. I started walking down the street, then I started running, and I couldn't stop. I turned some corners and just kept going. I realized I didn't even know where I was. She lived in a shitty neighborhood in a part of the city I'm not familiar with, and to this day I have no idea where I was. My friend started calling me, asking me if I was okay, and I lied. I told him I was on my way back, that I thought I was going to throw up and went outside. That part was true, but I didn't throw up. I was just walking. I tried to retrace my steps. I had no idea where I was or where I was going and I couldn't even remember which way I came from. Somehow I made it back. I saw my friend's car. I still didn't know which house it was, but I guess my subconscious saved me that night. I picked a door and went in. I went up the stairs and sat down on the couch like nothing happened. I could tell they were concerned but it didn't matter now. Anyway, I was leaning against some stacked cases of beer in the stock room, and for some reason, I slipped my hand in, grabbed a can, and stuck it in my pocket. I hated stealing, especially from a place I liked and respected. Stealing was shitty, especially when I was buying beer from the bar to begin with. I was being sucked into something else, another dimension, sinking deeper. I watched these fucking scoundrels arrange their lines of Caucasia on a cardboard box. I shook my head at the offer, as I always had when blow was presented. The look in their eyes made me think of the old Disney characters from the '90s. You know Walt Disney was fucking miserable by the way he drew those eyes. I had never done blow before and wasn't very interested in trying it, but when Rosa leaned right up against me, holding a key up to my left nostril with a little bump, I couldn't help but snort deep. Jesus fuck. I started thinking maybe we should have been professional fisherman in Alaska, catching salmon, fighting salmon on the open water. I liked the idea of being out on a boat with nothing but cigarettes and bottles of liquor, me and the boys, battling. The taste in the back of my throat brought on a sense of regret, excitement, and self hatred. I was engulfed now, and it didn't matter. I thought of the tall, dark skinned girl with her curly hair pulled back and the way the light reflected off her glasses, the way her sweater and high waisted jeans and boots seemed to be painted onto her slender figure, and I buried my face in my hands again. I followed the pirates, our pitiful, happenstance crew, through the club. We sailed through the night, red and purple and green and blue strobes flashing through thick clouds of sweet smelling fog from the machine I couldn't seem to locate. At some point someone handed me a tall can of Guinness and it was only then that I realized I stole a beer from inside. I didn't even like to steal. I held both cans in front of me, staring at them, trying to make sense of everything. I couldn't. Then things got serious. Tucker had this wild look in his eyes like he saw a ghost. He said he wanted to talk to Rosa about cutting ties. From what we had talked about earlier, it was clear that he had been thinking that the only way for Winona to move on was to distance himself entirely. He told her he knew he probably would never see her again and he said she seemed to understand. He came back, explained what they talked about, and we decided to head to another bar. We walked to Hector's car, then he started driving us to our next destination. We parked up and started walking to the bar. Two guys stopped us, saying we seemed 'cool,' but I know we fucking didn't, and we were all blackout drunk. One guy kept asking us if we fucked with 'the boy,' and I didn't know what the hell that meant, but Tucker did. He had a serious look, saying, “No, no, we don't fuck with the Boy.” The context of their conversation made me realize that the Boy was heroin, but these two guys were persistent anyway. We probably did look like dope heads, but we were just three idiots. “How do you feel about putting people on that shit? Does it ever bother you?” Tucker asked, interested in opening a genuine dialogue about the situation we were in. His rationale was completely fucked. He literally just said, “Hey, I take care of my people, man.” His fat friend disappeared into a bar at some point and returned with a white styrofoam go-box filled with food: a messy hot dog, chips, etc. He was just diving in while they tried to sell us any drugs we'd buy. Something about that was hilarious to me, but it was disgusting too. For some reason I took the guy's number, and he nudged me to give me something. He did it again, and I realized I had two bags in my pocket when we left. Tucker had one too. Drug guys always do that sampling shit. They don't care. They want you to come back, but I didn't even do these drugs, really. For all they knew I was a cop. I wasn't, though. I clutched the bags tight in my pocket because there were cops everywhere. Shit, for all I knew, those fuckers were cops, and we were about to get slammed. Not me, though, I would run and dump this shit in a heartbeat. I don't care. I'd rather piss off a cop than get caught with drugs I didn't even want. When we got far enough, Tucker made a good point. “Wait, let me see what he gave you. I bet one of those bags is brown.” It made sense, too. Why would he give me two bags anyway? Sure enough, I opened my palm, and showed them the two bags: one white, one brown. Tucker grabbed the brown one and threw it over a fence into this courtyard, and we just all started laughing. That's fucked. I guess I looked like the heroin addict. Or maybe whatever I said led that guy to believe I was down. Down to do whatever, down to try. I just liked agreeing with strangers on the street. I always thought that if real life was an RPG I'd have a really high speech skill. I'm not strong, and I'm probably not wise enough to do any magic. I'm a bitch, so I could probably sneak around, and I could talk my way out of anything. I knew that for sure. When the time came, I'd probably fucking run. I'd like to believe I'd fight. Everyone would like to believe that, but I've always known deep down that I would run. In medieval times I'd have to be an archer because I'm way too skinny to swing an axe. Maybe a sword and shield or something, but face to face combat was reserved for real men and I never felt like one. I'd be a bard, writing songs and gambling and trying to fuck a hard man's woman while he was at war and drinking wine, manipulating people into thinking I'm someone better. I wasn't, though. After that, these two weirdos started following us. I think they wanted to sell us drugs too but they were a lot worse at it. They were just trying to make conversation. It was a guy and a woman who said they were just friends, which was a pointless lie, and they never overtly offered any drugs. The woman seemed pretty desperate. I kept telling the guy his dreads were really nice. He probably thought I was gay, but I was just drunk and thought it was funny to compliment him like that. He seemed aggravated with the woman, probably because she kept pursuing us, but it didn't matter. At one point we broke away from them, then they found us again. Maybe they were just trying to rob us, but it was really hard to tell. As we approached the new location, an old building with a shitty interior and bad music and bad lighting, there she was. Rosa walked up with her little friend whose name I still didn't know, and Tucker seemed both shocked and defeated. How did she even get here? He kept asking who invited her, but I definitely didn't, so I knew it was Hector. It didn't matter, I guess, but it was weird as fuck. Our stay at this bar didn't last long because once Rosa and her little guy realized we had two more grams of blow, they changed their tune. We made our away to this park and sat on these stone benches surrounding some plants, and the five of us were back at it. I said no again this time, but Rosa made sure I got my bump just like before. I tasted the taste again. I didn't regret it but I felt like a genuine asshole. And just like that, we were off to Rosa's apartment. I worried a bit about how far I was getting away from my car, but it's not like I could drive anywhere at this point anyway. To be fair, neither could Hector. He just did it anyway. My mind flashed back to the last time I had been where she lived, and I pushed it away. We went through the shotgun all the way to the back where the kitchen was and sat down. They started breaking up the rest of the blow on an old dirty decadent handheld mirror, singing songs I didn't know, and I was done now. I was really done. I was exhausted. I had experienced too much. My excitement was gone. Tucker took the words out of my mouth as he just openly said, “I'm fucking depressed.” Rosa divided the blow into five lines, but I turned mine down, for real this time, and she didn't care one way or another anymore. She seemed to be in a bit of a bad mood. She wasn't wearing a bra, and I kept looking at her titties, her nipples through her shirt when she wasn't looking. She probably noticed, but I was too fucked up too tell one way or another. That instinct took me over. I kept looking at her legs, thinking I wanted to just grab a thigh and a tit and kiss her on the neck. That filled me with shame and I didn't speak much for the rest of the night. Then I realized it wasn't night at all. It was somehow past 6 am. We left my house around 11, I think. What happened? How did it turn out like this? We made our way back through the house, I looked at the bed in one of the rooms as I passed through, and I felt the heat of this old piece of shit fire starter in the first room. It felt great but I couldn't believe people used these without worrying it might all burn away at any second. Hector drove Tucker back to his car, then drove me back to mine, and it was daytime now. The city was awake once again, the sun had come up, and I drove home pondering everything. I listened to Drake and thought about Tucker and Hector and Rosa and my shame and the techno. I wished I stayed longer and danced longer, but the darkness sucked me in like when you flush a nice, healthy shit. I had a text from one of my roommates asking if I went to jail and if I was okay and all this other shit. I didn't go to jail, so I lied and said I was fine. I pulled my car up onto the grass, next to a tree and went inside. Even my cats looked disappointed. I collapsed and sunk into my bed once more, the finality of everything really setting in, now. I felt too much and I thought too little and I knew I wouldn't recover from this for a very long time.
...it is now! That concludes tonight’s helping of transfer news and gossip. Be sure to join us again from 7am as continue the countdown to the August 9 deadline. Until then, thank you and good night. 21:53
BAUDRY LEAVES DONCASTER FOR DONS
MK Dons have signed former Doncaster defender Mathieu Baudry, the Sky Bet League Two club have announced. The 30-year-old has signed a two-year deal with the Dons, having been without a club since leaving Rovers at the end of last season. Baudry made 53 league appearances for Doncaster after joining from Leyton Orient in 2016. 21:45
WATCH: TRANSFER CENTRE
A round-up of the day's transfer news brought to you straight from Sky Sports News... 21:30
O’GRADY BACK AT OLDHAM
Oldham have brought striker Chris O'Grady back to the club on a one-year deal. The 32-year-old has impressed on trial and now re-joins the Sky Bet League Two club 10 years after his first spell. O'Grady had his contract at Chesterfield terminated by mutual consent at the end of the 2017/18 season. 21:13
BALDOCK LEAVES BRIGHTON FOR READING
Reading have signed striker Sam Baldock from Brighton for an undisclosed fee. The 29-year-old has put pen to paper on a three-year deal with the Royals to keep him at the Madejski Stadium until the summer of 2021. “I’m very happy that Sam has joined us here at Reading, having pursued his signature throughout the summer,” Royals boss Paul Clement told the club’s official website. “I always felt he was the right striker for us to bring to this club in terms of his age, his experience and his quality. "Now, I look forward to working with Sam on the training field in preparation for Friday night’s home game against Derby County.” 20:57
WEST HAM RETURN FOR MARIO?
West Ham are interested in re-signing Portugal midfielder Joao Mario on loan, reports Gazzetta dello Sport. Mario, who spent the second half of last season on loan at the London Stadium, has been given permission by Inter Milan to sort out his future as he is not in manager Luciano Spalletti’s plans for this season. The 25-year-old has no shortage of his suitors, as his former club Sporting Lisbon and Real Betis are also keen on him. Betis have asked to take him on loan, but Inter want to include an obligatory €30m purchase clause in the deal 20:37
SVEN HOLDS CAMEROON TALKS
Sven-Goran Eriksson has held discussions to become the coach of Cameroon. The Cameroon Football Federation has confirmed talks were held with the 70-year-old former England manager about the role, which has been vacant since Hugo Broos’ contract was not renewed in February. "After spending 72 hours, Sven-Goran Eriksson left Yaounde on Saturday 28, July 2018,” a statement on the Federation’s official Twitter account read. “The Swedish manager was invited to Cameroon for a discussion in connection with the recruitment of a head coach for the senior national side - the Indomitable Lions. "After the interview with Sven-Goran Eriksson and taking into account the other existing offers, Fecafoot will reveal in the next few days its choice of permanent coach for our national team." 20:11
‘LEWANDOWSKI STAYING AT BAYERN’
Bayern Munich boss Niko Kovac admits Robert Lewandowski has thought about a move away from the club, but insists he will not be allowed to leave. 19:55
WOLVES WANT TRAORE
Wolves are interested in signing Middlesbrough attacker Adama Traore, according to Sky sources. It is understood the former Barcelona youth has an £18m release clause and Boro would not sell for less. 19:46
LEMAR ‘VERY HAPPY’ TO JOIN ATLETICO
Thomas Lemar has described himself as "very happy" to be at Atletico Madrid after the La Liga side confirmed his transfer from Monaco. The La Liga club announced last month that they had agreed to sign Lemar, and he was finally presented as an Atletico player on Monday. Speaking at his unveiling, the 22-year-old said: "I'm very happy with the decision I made. I know this team demands hard work and I'll give it my all. If I need to run more, I'll do it without a problem." Liverpool and Arsenal have both made offers for Lemar in the past, but on both occasions he stayed with Monaco. 19:25
LIVERPOOL’S NEW-LOOK MIDFIELD
Liverpool have done well under Jurgen Klopp but the signings of Naby Keita and Fabinho could take them to the next level, writes Adam Bate. Read the feature here. 19:06
VILLA WANT WOODBURN
Aston Villa want to sign Liverpool midfielder Ben Woodburn on a season long loan, according to Sky sources. Reds boss Jurgen Klopp is a big fan of the player but also thinks a season at the right club would help his development. Villa aren't the only club interested in Woodburn, Sky Sports News understand Sheffield United are keen while an approach from Wigan was rejected. 18:49
FULHAM AGREE MAWSON FEE
Fulham and Swansea have agree fee for defender Alfie Mawson, according to Sky sources. Mawson will take a medical tomorrow and discuss personal terms with the newly-promoted Premier League club. Sky Sports News understands Fulham will pay an initial £15m that could rise to £20m for the 24-year-old. 18:45
Fulham and Swansea agree fee for defender Alfie Mawson, Sky Sports News understands. 18:22
PUEL CONFIDENT OF MAGUIRE STAY
Leicester manager Claude Puel is confident defender Harry Maguire will remain at the club amid interest from Manchester United. "I am confident about the presence of Harry for this season. He is a very good player for us," Puel told Sky Sports News. "I was not surprised about his performance during this World Cup. We saw his progress during the second half of the season. "He was great and played very well. It was not a surprise to see him perform well at this level in the international game. "Of course for us he is a very good player - I wait for him with impatience because we need Harry and we need also Jamie [Vardy] because they are Leicester." 18:19
LEEDS LOAN FOR HARRISON
More now the news we brought you early that Leeds have signed England U21 winger Jack Harrison on a season-long loan from Manchester City. The 21-year-old, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Middlesbrough, is looking to make an impression at Elland Road under manager Marcelo Bielsa, who has been given City boss Pep Guardiola's approval. "I spoke with Pep about him and he had a lot of encouraging words," Harrison told LUTV. "A lot of (Guardiola's) ideals and philosophy are built around some of the same ones (as Bielsa's) so those similarities are helpful and I'm looking forward to it. “For him to say that about Marcelo is really encouraging and motivating for me. "Being at Middlesbrough I didn't exactly have a good spell of games or anything like that so I'm just looking forward to getting on to the pitch, playing in front of the fans at Elland Road and showing everyone what I can do." 18:09
BAKINSON LOANED TO NEWPORT
Newport have signed Bristol City midfielder Tyreeq Bakinson on a six-month loan deal. After completing his move to the Sky Bet League Two club, the 19-year-old told iFollowExiles: “I really like the vision of this football club. “They are always trying to improve on what they have done before. “I spoke to the manager and I like how he wants to keep on improving.” 17:55
BIRMINGHAM CONFIRM TRANSFER BAN
Birmingham City have issued a statement confirming they are under transfer embargo. The Sky Bet Championship club failed in their attempts to resolve their Financial Fair Play obligations and overturn a temporary transfer ban. "The club has spent several months working diligently to satisfy the EFL,” a club statement read. “Unfortunately and disappointingly the EFL are currently refusing to allow us to make additions which would enable us to strengthen the manager's squad. "We are hopeful that a satisfactory agreement can be reached with the EFL as soon as possible to help ensure our continued competitiveness in the Championship.” Read the full story here. 17:40
WEST BROM IN TALKS FOR JAMES
West Brom have opened talks with Yeovil over a deal to sign full-back Tom James, according to Sky sources. Sky Sports News reported in June that Swansea and Hull had both made inquiries about the 22-year-old, but the Swans need to move on players such as Kyle Naughton, while Hull signed Eric Lichaj. The versatile defender, who has a year left to run on his Yeovil contract, has represented Wales at U19 level and has made made 50 senior appearances, including one for Cardiff in the Premier League. 17:30
Sunderland have signed midfielder Luke O’Nien from Wycombe. The 23-year-old, who only had a year left on his contract at Adams Park, becomes the 10th signing Sunderland have made this summer. O’Nein scored eight goals in all competitions for Wycombe last season as the Chairboys sealed promotion to Sky Bet League One. 17:07
Aleksandar Mitrovic's arrival at Fulham in January proved significant in the club’s promotion from the Championship. Here’s a look back at some of his best moments - moments both parties will hope are replicated in the Premier League. 16:58
READING CLOSE ON BALDOCK
Brighton striker Sam Baldock is close to joining Reading, according to Sky sources. The two clubs have agreed a fee for the former Bristol City forward and it’s understood he underwent a medical on Monday morning. 16:54
‘HAPPY TO THE MOON AND BACK’
Fresh from sealing his return to Fulham, striker Aleksandar Mitrovic told fulhamfctv: “I’m very glad and happy and proud to finally be here and officially become a Fulham player. “I’m happy to the moon and back. I have love for the fans. They’re amazing fans and I have a really good connection with them. “This is a big club and last year we made history, we did big things, and I want to continue this. We want to keep making big things, and with all the fans behind us I think we can go far.” 16:49
MITROVIC SEALS FULHAM RETURN
So Fulham have finally got their man, completing the permanent signing of Aleksandar Mitrovic from Newcastle. The 23-year-old Serbia international, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Craven Cottage as Fulham secured promotion, has signed a five-year deal with the Premier League new boys. Sky Sports News understands Fulham will cost Fulham an initial £22m, rising to £27m with performance-based incentives. Mitrovic was Fulham’s top summer target after scoring 12 goals in 17 starts to help the club seal promotion to the Premier League via the Championship play-offs. 16:35
Brentford have signed defender Julian Jeanvier from Reims on a four-year contract, subject to international clearance. The 26-year-old centre-back completed his medical on Monday and is a direct replacement for John Egan, who joined Sheffield United earlier this month. The transfer fee is undisclosed but Sky sources say Jeanvier cost the Bees £1.8m. The club have the option to extend his contract for another year. 16:24
HOWKINS BACK AT VALE PARK?
Port Vale boss Neil Aspin is keen on signing West Brom defender Kyle Howkins on loan. The 22-year-old played 10 times for the Valiants last season, and clearly impressed his temporary boss. “Kyle has had a knee operation and he’s due to play his first game soon. He has been training and West Brom know we’ve expressed interest to take him on loan,” Aspin told the club’s website. “If he comes through that match all right, it might be a case that we can take him. We would like to sign him, but it’s always down to his parent club as well." 16:17
MAGENNIS ON ‘MASSIVE MOVE’
New Bolton striker Josh Magennis told the club’s official website: "It's a massive move for myself and when I found out about the club's initial interest, I was itching to get here. "I'm absolutely delighted to be a Bolton Wanderers player though and hopefully we can make this season a successful one." 16:09
Click play below to stay across the latest edition of the Transfer Centre, brought to you straight from Sky Sports News... 15:56
LAZIO LOWER MILINKOVIC-SAVIC PRICE
Lazio have lowered their asking price for Chelsea target Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, reports Gazzetta dello Sport. The Serie A side were initially seeking a fee of €150m for the Serbia international but would now accept a bid between €110m and €120m. Lazio have not received an offer for Milinkovic-Savic yet, but Chelsea, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus have all contacted the player’s camp to register their interest. Lazio have highlighted Barcelona’s Rafinha as a replacement for Milinkovic-Savic, should he leave this summer. 15:30
‘EVERTON MUST KEEP HOLD OF PICKFORD’
Victor Anichebe insists his former club Everton my do all they can to keep hold of Jordan Pickford and build a team around the England goalkeeper. 15:21
‘WE CAN PUSH ONE ANOTHER’
Everton goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg: “Jordan had a very good 2017/18 season and played superbly as well for England at the World Cup," he told evertontv. "I understand my role and I will try to compete with Jordan and push him to continue to get better as well. “I'm fit now, I've played in our pre-season games and I'm very much looking forward to Jordan getting back here so we can push one another." 15:19
STEKELENBURG TO COMPETE WITH PICKFORD
Fresh from signing a new contract until 2020, Everton goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg has vowed to challenge Jordan Pickford for the No 1 shirt at Goodison Park. The 35-year-old Dutchman joined the Toffees from Fulham in 2016 and made 24 appearances in his debut season. Pickford's arrival on Merseyside saw Stekelenburg restricted to just two Europa League appearances and one in the EFL Cup. However, after having a good pre-season under his belt, Stekelenburg is looking forward to competing with Pickford for a starting spot. 15:08
New signing Kasey Palmer told Blackburn’s official website: “I’m happy to be here and want to be a part of something exciting in the Championship next season. “Moving forward I want to achieve something special here. “I want to bring my past experiences from the last couple of seasons to the group, but we have a squad full of experience already and that can only help us. “It’s a very good team and the dressing room will be full of confidence from promotion last season and hopefully I can add to that.” 15:04
CHELSEA LOAN PALMER TO BLACKBURN
More now on the breaking we just brought you that Blackburn have signed Chelsea youngster Kasey Palmer on a season-long loan. The 21-year-old, Rovers’ third summer signing, brings a wealth of Championship experience to Ewood Park. Palmer played a role in Huddersfield’s promotion-winning campaign in 2016/17 and helped guide Derby to the play-off semi-finals while on loan in the second half of last season. 14:56
MARNEY MOVES TO FLEETWOOD
Fleetwood Town have completed the signing of former Burnley midfielder Dean Marney. The experienced 34-year-old, who was released by the Clarets at the end of last season, has signed a two-year contract at Highbury. The move sees Marney reunite with for Burnley team-mate Joey Barton, who it embarking on his first season in management with the Sky Bet League One club. https://twitter.com/ftfc/status/1023938768301187081 14:51
‘I CANNOT WAIT TO GET STARTED’
New Bolton signing Jack Hobbs told the club’s official website: “I'm delighted to get the deal over the line. "Obviously I've been up here with the team training for a few weeks now and to have agreed a year-long contract is fantastic. I just can't wait to get started now." 14:50
HOBBS JOINS BOLTON
Boltonhave completed the free signing of former Liverpool youngster Jack Hobbs. The 29-year-old signs a one-year deal at the Macron Stadium having impressed at the Sky Bet Championship club during pre-season. Hobbs has been a free against since being released by Nottingham Forest at the end of the 2017/18 season. 14:44
Fabian Schar says he came to Newcastle to play under Rafa Benitez, and is looking forward to testing himself in the "best league in the world." The Switzerland international, who signed for Newcastle on a three-year deal from Deportivo La Coruna for £3m, is excited by the prospect of testing himself in the Premier League. Speaking to Sky Sports News, Schar said: "The Premier League is the best league in the world, you have so many good players and many good teams. “Almost everybody can beat everybody so that is what I am looking forward to. "With the great stadiums and all the fans it's going to be fantastic next season. I'm really happy to be here. England is the best league in the world.” 14:20
Goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg has agreed a new deal with Everton until the end of June 2020. 14:03
HIGUAIN SET FOR EXIT TALKS
Gonzalo Higuain’s brother and agent Nicolas is set to meet with Juventus executives to talk about the striker’s future, according to Sky in Italy. It is understood that Higuain wants to establish exit terms with Juventus before seeking an agreement with other clubs this summer. Sky in Italy are reporting that while there has been no direct contact from Chelsea with Higuain, Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund have shown an interest. Higuain's future could also affect what happens with Leonardo Bonucci, Mattia Caldara and Alvaro Morata. Head here to have a read of the full story. 13:48
'WOLVES BID FOR TRAORE'
Wolves have reportedly seen a bid for Adama Traore rejected by Middlesbrough. The Express & Star say Traore has emerged as Wolves' top target in their chase for a new forward. However, it is reported that Wolves don't think Traore's £18m release clause represents his value. 13:27
Leeds midfielder Ronaldo Vieira will travel to Genoa tonight ahead of his 7m euro move to Sampdoria, according to Sky in Italy. He’s due to have a medical tomorrow morning. 13:16
POSH MOVE FOR COOKE
Midfielder Callum Cooke has left Middlesbrough and joined Peterborough on a free transfer. The 21-year-old had been with Boro for over a decade. 13:01
NEW DEAL FOR WOOD
Rotherham defender Richard Wood has signed a contract extension until 2020. The club captain made 42 appearances in all competitions last season. 12:51
WATCH: TRANSFER CENTRE
Here's are all the latest updates from the Transfer Centre on Sky Sports News... 12:32
Riyad Mahrez has been given the all-clear to return to training after suffering an ankle injury in the pre-season friendly against Bayern Munich, Man City have announced. The Algeria international only joined the Premier League champions from Leicester this summer. 12:09
LEVY CRITICISM 'GROSSLY UNFAIR'
Spurs executive director Donna-Maria Cullen insists criticism of Daniel Levy over the club’s transfer dealings is “grossly unfair”. A large portion of the club’s fanbase believe the chairman is reluctant to commit large funds in the transfer window, with the club yet to sign any players with less than two weeks remaining until the deadline. But Cullen told reporters in the US on their pre-season tour: “That is a misconception. Daniel works closely with the managers and always has done. “He clearly identifies targets, works to get them, and we are no different to other clubs in not necessarily being able to acquire who might be top of your list for whatever reason. There are so many other moving parts in that whole scenario." 12:06
CARDOSO LEAVES RANGERS
Rangers have confirmed that Fabio Cardoso has left the club following the “mutual termination” of the defender’s contract. Cardoso only joined from Vitoria Setubal last summer, going on to make 18 appearances for the Scottish Premiership club. 11:57
CHIRIVELLA SET FOR MOVE
Liverpool have accepted a bid in the region of £3.5m including add-ons from Rosenborg for Pedro Chirivella. 11:52
VYDRA MOVE COLLAPSES
Sky Sports News understands Matej Vydra’s £11m move to Leeds from Derby has collapsed because personal terms could not be agreed. Vydra has ambitions to play in the Premier League, and we’ve been told he had concerns about moving to a club in the Championship that finished below Derby last season. Meanwhile, Kayden Jackson is close to completing a move to Ipswich, which could free up Martyn Waghorn’s transfer to Derby. However, we’ve been told Derby owner Mel Morris remains reluctant to buy Waghorn, until and unless he can offload Vydra first as Derby are under pressure to stay within the FFP laws. 11:48
MACEY JOINS PILGRIMS
And the Plymouth signing is goalkeeper Matt Macey, who has joined on a season-long loan from Arsenal. Macey made his first-team debut for Arsenal in the Carabao Cup last season and also played in the Europa League. 11:43
Sky Sports News understands Josh Magennis has agreed to join Bolton after Charlton accepted an offer worth around £200,000. The move could go through as early as this afternoon. 11:15
MAWSON-FULHAM TALKS ONGOING
Some more Swansea news as we understand talks continue over the transfer of defender Alfie Mawson to Fulham. Discussions are at an advanced stage over a deal expected to be worth a total of £20m. Kyle Naughton and Jordan Ayew also face uncertain futures at the Swans with less than two weeks left of the transfer window remaining. 11:08
SWANSEA TO SIGN CELINA
Swansea have agreed a £3m deal rising to £4m to sign Manchester City youngster Bersant Celina, Sky Sports News understands. The 21-year-old Kosovo international, who has made four first-team appearances for City, scored seven league goals in 35 appearances with Ipswich last season. 11:00
ROYALS MOVE FOR BALDOCK
Striker Sam Baldock is reportedly on the verge of moving from Brighton to Reading. Football London say the 29-year-old is having a medical with the Royals today. 10:32
GOMES INJURY SETBACK
A hamstring injury sustained by Andre Gomes in a pre-season game has complicated his departure from Barcelona, according to Sport. The midfielder was expected to leave the Camp Nou this summer, but offers reportedly might now be sparse. 10:00
LOOKMAN'S SOCIAL HINTS
Is Ademola Lookman on the move? The Everton youngster has posted a picture on Instragram that includes aeroplane emojis. He has also removed "Everton" from his Twitter bio. 09:36
HARRISON SET FOR LEEDS
Sky sources understand Manchester City winger Jack Harrison is undergoing a medical at Leeds ahead of a season-long loan deal. 09:25
'LEWANDOWSKI IS STAYING'
Bayern Munich head coach Niko Kovac does not think Robert Lewandowski will leave this summer. The striker's agent has claimed Lewandowski is reading to call time on his spell with Bayern. However, Kovac told Sky Germany: "There's nothing new with Robert, it's clear that he will not leave this club because we have a top striker and we certainly do not want to relinquish him or give him away. "We want to achieve a lot with him. He is a great footballer, who has achieved a lot in the Bundesliga, scored many goals and now in the new season certainly will score many goals." 09:08
WATCH: TRANSFER CENTRE
Hit play for a round-up of all the latest news from the Transfer Centre on Sky Sports News... 08:39
We understand Chelsea will not resume talks with Real Madrid over a deal for goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois until they find a suitable replacement. Real Madrid value Courtois at around £32m as he is out of contract next summer. Personal terms are not expected to be a problem but Courtois will start the season at Stamford Bridge if no successor is bought by Chelsea. Should that happen, unless the Belgium keeper signs a new contract, he would be able to leave for free next summer. 08:32
Juventus want to re-sign Paul Pogba, according to the Daily Mirror. Pogba joined Manchester United from Juve for £89m in 2016, but has struggled to consistently live up to his price tag. The Mirror say Juve, who have already splashed out on Cristiano Ronaldo this summer, could sell a host of players to finance a deal that would "test United's resolve" over Pogba. Apparently they "believe the 25-year-old midfielder is open to a return to Turin". 07:38
Sean McConville has signed a new three-year deal at Accrington Stanley. The 29-year-old had one year left on his contract, but has now committed until 2021 07:01
'REAL BID FOR CHELSEA DUO'
Real Madrid have reportedly made a £100m offer to Chelsea for Thibaut Courtois and Willian. The Daily Mail say Willian makes up around £65m of the combined fee and Chelsea will "seriously consider" the bid. It is also added that the Real Madrid board are "convinced they will get Courtois as soon as Chelsea have signed a replacement". Courtois has just one year left on his contract with Chelsea. 06:46
GERRARD COOL ON LAFFERTY
Steven Gerrard says he is still on the lookout for a centre-half before transfer deadline day, but would not be drawn on Rangers' interest in Hearts striker Kyle Lafferty. Sky Sports News understands Rangers have had a bid in the region of £200,000 rejected by Hearts for Lafferty. "I have nothing to say about it - he is a Hearts player. In terms of number of bids I am not aware." Read more from Gerrard here. 06:23
HAMMERS TO HOLD OFF BARCA?
Sky sources understand West Ham want to give Domingos Quina a new contract after he helped Portugal win the Under 19 European Championship yesterday. Barcelona are trying to sign the 18-year-old and watched him in the final. 06:09
Brighton have just announced that defender Liam Rosenior has retired. After a 17-year playing career, Rosenior will be taking up a role with Brighton's academy. 06:02
Hello there. Time to dive back into the transfer world... Join the discussion on Discord. I am a bot. Found any errors? Contact /Football Mods
We're turning our attention to tonight's Carabao Cup and Europa League action now. Join us first thing tomorrow for more news and rumours from the market. Until then... 16:44
PUEL LAUGHS OFF SACK TALK
Claude Puel has laughed off the speculation about his job at Leicester City being under threat. Reports at the weekend suggested Belgium coach Roberto Martinez was being lined up as a replacement for the Frenchman, who guided the Foxes to ninth place in the Premier League last season. Puel said at his press conference on Thursday: “I would be happy for my successor because he would have a good team and a good squad. “I cannot make comments about speculation in the newspapers. I’m happy to give my best and see the progress and the management of the team. "I’m just focused about this. Speculation from outside the club is not my concern.” 16:37
WILL CAZORLA BRING BACK THE MAGIC?
“He interprets football as Mozart plays music, Picasso paints or Leonardo da Vinci creates a sculpture. He is a genius.” Santi Cazorla has been earning positive reviews in pre-season, but after numerous surgeries and almost losing a foot, will he bring the magic back to Villarreal? James Walker-Roberts takes a look HERE... 16:34
HUGHES HAPPY WITH STRIKER OPTIONS
Southampton manager Mark Hughes says Danny Ings' arrival makes his side more dynamic in attack. 16:27
EDMUNDSSON SIGNS NEW DEAL
Oldham Athletic have announced that defender George Edmundson has signed a two-year contract extension with the club. The 21-year-old joined Latics aged 15 as a youth team scholar, and he has gone on to play 28 times for the League Two club. He told the official website: “I’m delighted to be here for another two years and hopefully I can make a big impact. “I’ve played the first three games this season and I feel like I’ve done well but I’m still only young and I need to keep learning and improving. “To come through the youth team here and to be in the first team is a big thing for me.” 16:13
BALOTELLI INTERESTS WEST HAM
West Ham will target Nice striker Mario Balotelli in the January transfer window, according to L'Equipe. Nice boss Patrick Vieira said earlier this month that he expects the Italian striker to leave having gone AWOL, but no club is yet to meet his £8.75million valuation. Balotelli scored 26 goals across all competitions last season, and he could be set for his third stint in England having previously played for Manchester City and Liverpool. 15:56
LEVEIN: LAFFERTY TALKS ONGOING
Hearts manager Craig Levein says it's not inevitable that Kyle Lafferty will leave the club. Hearts have already turned down a £200,000 offer from Rangers for the striker. He scored the winner against Celtic at Tynecastle last weekend. We understand Lafferty is keen on a return to Ibrox. 15:45
CABELLA JOINS SAINT-ETIENNE
Former Newcastle winger Remy Cabella has joined Ligue 1 club Saint-Etienne on a permanent deal. Cabella, who scored seven goals in 28 games during a loan spell last season, has put pen to paper on a four-year deal after leaving Marseille. The 28-year-old said: "I am very happy to come back to Saint-Etienne, I was looking forward to this moment and finally feel liberated!" https://twitter.com/ASSEofficiel/status/1030099601544695808 15:44
BORDEAUX STILL KEEN ON MORELOS
Bordeaux are in negotiations with Rangers over their striker Alfredo Morelos, according to Sky sources. It is understood Rangers rejected a initial bid from Bordeaux in excess of £3.75million. Fenerbahce had a bid in the region of £2.6m turned down for Morelos last month. 15:30
MAGUIRE CLOSE TO NEW CONTRACT
Harry Maguire is close to signing a new contract at Leicester City worth £75,000 a week, according to the Daily Telegraph. The England defender was heavily linked with a move to Manchester United during the summer, but he remained at the King Power Stadium. It is reported that he is now in advanced talks over improved terms with the Foxes. 15:14
ROBERTS JOINS GIRONA
Manchester City have sent 21-year-old winger Patrick Roberts on loan to La Liga club Girona. Roberts has spent the past two-and-a-half years at Celtic, winning seven trophies in his time in Scotland. The England youth international was plagued by injuries last season, limiting him to eight appearances in the Scottish Premiership. https://twitter.com/GironaFC/status/1030107233802182656 15:08
BOWYER EYES FURTHER ADDITIONS
Charlton Athletic manager Lee Bowyer is hopeful of strengthening his squad further with one more loan signing before the close of the transfer window. The Addicks bolstered their numbers with the loan arrival of Arsenal midfielder Krystian Bielik on Thursday, and Bowyer aims to dip back into the loan market before the deadline. He said: "Yeah, we need at least one more, two would be a bonus but at the moment let's just take each step as it comes. "In an ideal world we'd bring in another midfielder, that's definitely somewhere where we need strengthening because the demand that I'm asking of our midfielders, in and out of possession, we're going to need more cover than what we've got." 15:00
OXFORD TO STAY AT HAMMERS
West Ham midfielder Reece Oxford has been linked with another loan spell at Borussia Monchengladbach, but the versatile 19-year-old will form part of his club's plans this term. Manager Manuel Pellegrini said: "When we built up a squad we knew that some players had to go out, especially young players who need to play. They knew from the beginning they would go out on loan. "The squad is the squad I want for the season. I don't think any other players are going out at the moment." 14:46
BONY TO LEAVE SWANS?
Swansea boss Graham Potter says Wilfried Bony's future at Swansea remains undecided as the striker recovers from injury. The Ivorian has not enjoyed the same same success in his second spell as he did in his first, when he scored 25 league goals in 54 appearances. He managed to score just twice in 15 league games last season, which was cut short by an anterior cruciate ligament injury in February. Potter said: "It's nice to have someone like him around, but we know the situation on the restructuring of the squad and he is aware of that too. "It will depend on how his rehabilitation goes but he is getting closer and closer. I imagine we’ll see him in the group soon so it’s a case of seeing from there." 14:32
HURST GIVES DOZZELL UPDATE
Ipswich Town manager Paul Hurst is keen to keep Andre Dozzell this season at Portman Road, but concedes the player's return from a cruciate ligament injury means he might face a 'frustrating period.' Dozzell missed the entire of last campaign following the setback on the opening day, and a temporary move has been discussed. Hurst told the East Anglian Daily Times: “Our suggestion is probably that it’s best for him to stay here where he’s under our eyes and can get the attention we feel he requires. “Andre is desperate to play football and I fully understand that – I’d much rather have someone like that rather than someone who says ‘I’ll just stay here and have the easy life’. “But it’s for him and what’s best for Andre.” 14:17
MARTINA SET FOR STOKE LOAN
Everton defender Cuco Martina is set to join Stoke City on a season long loan, according to Sky sources. Martina made 21 Premier League appearances for Everton last season having joined on a three-year deal from Southampton. 14:14
BRANDS: MORE PLAYERS COULD LEAVE
Everton could offload more players before the European transfer window closes, according to the club's sporting director Marcel Brands. Brands has assured supporters that Marco Silva's key players will not be leaving the club, but that those on the fringes of the first team may be loaned or sold to streamline the squad. When asked in an interview with talkSPORT if more players could leave Goodison Park before the August 31 deadline, he said: “Yeah, it’s possible. “I’m still busy with a few things.You never know, there still can be something happening in our squad.” 14:00
Manchester City midfielder Oleksandr Zinchenko is in talks with La Liga sides Real Betis and Girona over a possible transfer, according to Mundo Deportivo. Zinchenko's €18m (£16.1m) move to Wolves fell through last week and agent Poere Guardiola has been exploring options in Spain, although both clubs are likely to only propose a loan switch. 12:59
Marseille are preparing a €15m (£13.4m) offer for Celtic striker Moussa Dembele after the anticipated transfer of Mario Balotelli fell through, according to L'Equipe. France U21 international Dembele is under contract until 2020 but Marseille hope to take advantage of Celtic's exit from the Champions League. Valencia striker Simone Zaza is another option for the Ligue 1 club. 12:22
PELLEGRINI: NO YAYA MOVE
West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini has ruled out an imminent move for Yaya Toure. The Hammers have been linked with veteran midfielder Toure, with whom Pellegrini won the Premier League at Manchester City. However, Pellegrini said: "Yaya Toure is a good player, he will always be a good player, but for the moment he is not for West Ham. For the moment, the squad is complete." 12:12
Chesterfield have announced the signing of Kyel Reid until the end of the season. The winger has been a free agent since being released by Coventry at the end of the last campaign. 11:49
LEVEIN WANTS DEFENDER
Craig Levein has confirmed he will attempt to add to his Hearts squad following Christophe Berra’s injury which will see him sidelined for six months. “Yes. I’m working on that (bringing in another defender) now," he told the club's official website. “I’ll probably need another centre-half for the season, by the time Christophe gets himself back and up to full speed. “There’s every chance we’ll be looking for a player to come in for the year. The situation is not desperate. Aaron came on and did very well against Celtic. He’ll be involved on Saturday." 11:38
‘THANKS FOR KEEPING GRIEZMANN’
Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa has thanks the club’s hierarchy for their efforts in the summer transfer window – which is still ongoing – including keeping Antoine Griezmann at the club. "Atletico continue to grow, not just on the pitch but off it too and you have to thank the people who run the club for bringing important players in and for keeping Griezmann," he told reporters. "If we keep working so hard on and off the pitch we will continue to grow as we have in the last six years." 11:25
Former Portugal boss Paulo Bento will be unveiled as South Korea's new coach on Friday, the Yonhap news agency reports. Bento took the Portuguese reins in 2010 after four seasons in charge of Sporting Lisbon and guided the national side to the Euro 2012 semi-finals, but was sacked two years later after an ignominious home defeat to Albania. He later had stints in charge of Brazil's Cruzeiro and Olympiakos in Greece, and was appointed coach of Chinese Super League club Chongqing Lifan in December last year. The CSL side sacked him last month after he failed to improve the side's fortunes. 10:59
WATCH: 'NO JOSE-POGBA RIFT'
Manchester United have rubbished reports that Jose Mourinho and Paul Pogba have had a bust-up. 10:44
‘I WASN’T WRONG ABOUT ATLETI’
Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann has said his side's 4-2 win over Real Madrid to win the UEFA Super Cup on Wednesday vindicates his decision to reject a move to Barcelona and remain with Diego Simeone's side. The France striker was close to joining double winners Barca for €100m (£89.5m) at the end of last season but chose to stay at Atletico. "I stayed because I could see they were building a great project here, I had confidence in this club and in Simeone, and today we saw that I was not wrong," Griezmann told reporters. "It was our first game back and we worked really hard and put in a huge effort and we have to continue like this because we are a great group." 10:32
PSG SIGN KEHRER
Young German defender Thilo Kehrer has completed his move to Paris Saint-Germain, signing a five-year contract, the French champions have announced. Schalke announced on Sunday that they had agreed to sell the 21-year-old to PSG for €37m (£33.1m). Kehrer was part of the Germany team which won the U21 Euros last month and played 27 Bundesliga matches last year for Schalke. He becomes PSG's second signing of the summer after veteran Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon. https://twitter.com/PSG_inside/status/1030031413771350016 10:20
OSPINA ARRIVES FOR MEDICAL
David Ospina has arrived for his medical at Villa Stuart in Rome ahead of his move to Serie A side Napoli. The current Arsenal goalkeeper is going to sign a season-long loan deal believed to be worth €1m (£895,240) with an option to buy. 10:17
CHARLTON LOAN FOR BIELIK
Charlton Athletic have signed Krystian Bielik on a season-long loan deal from Arsenal. The 20-year-old is Lee Bowyer’s fourth signing of the summer and someone who Charlton have been pursuing for nearly a month. He played 10 games in the Sky Bet Championship with Birmingham City in the 2016/17 season. https://twitter.com/CAFCofficial/status/1030031504766894080 10:05
'I WANT TO GIVE MY BEST'
Steven Nzonzi has given his first interview since joining Roma from Sevilla, and says he wants to give his best to the Serie A club. He told the club's official website: "I am very happy and satisfied to be here and to be a new player of Roma. I always want to learn, I always want to improve myself: this is the most important thing for a player. "The age does not count, what counts is always giving the best of oneself and working hard. I hope to give my contribution to the team also in terms of experience. "Monchi took me to Seville. He helped me a lot during my stay in Seville. There is great mutual respect between us, I am very happy to be able to work with him again ". 09:52
SAIVET TO COMPLETE MOVE
Newcastle midfielder Henri Saivet will complete his season-long loan to Bursaspor today. The Senegal midfielder will train with his new team mates after undergoing a medical this morning. Saivet spent last season on loan at fellow Turkish side Sivasspor. He is not part of Rafa Benitez’s plans, but still has three years left on his Newcastle contract. 09:45
'RONALDO LOSS NO EXCUSE'
Real Madrid cannot use the loss of Cristiano Ronaldo as an excuse for underachieving this season, midfielder Casemiro said after losing the UEFA Super Cup 4-2 to Atletico Madrid. "Of course we miss Cristiano, but that's in the past now," Casemiro told reporters. "We cannot talk about Cristiano to cover things up, because any team would miss Cristiano. We are upset about losing a trophy but this is just the start. We have total confidence in our coach and giving excuses is not what Real Madrid do." Real have not yet signed a replacement for the man who scored 451 goals and led them to four Champions League titles in the last five seasons. Casemiro, however, said the loss to Atletico did not mean his side had to go out and make urgent signings, adding: "One result doesn't mean we have a better or worse squad, those in charge of the club will decide whether or not we need more signings." 09:33
LAFFERTY TALKS 'ONGOING'
Talks over Kyle Lafferty's potential move to Rangers remain ongoing, according to Hearts manager Craig Levein. Rangers boss Steven Gerrard reported progress in the situation on Wednesday after Hearts rejected an initial £200,000 offer three weeks ago. "We're still speaking to Rangers about the situation," Levein said. "I don't want to go into any details. He seems happy enough. I've not had any problems with him. He certainly looked to be smiling on Saturday anyway, that's for sure. "We're in discussions all the time. Obviously the situation is not of our making and we'll see what happens. There's no point in me going over any details. Things are ongoing. It's not inevitable." 09:22
Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek is hoping to make the advanced third-man midfield spot his own under Maurizio Sarri. “I’ve played in a few positions, mostly on the left of midfield [at Palace] last season,” he told Chelsea’s official website. “Playing in a 4-3-3 in an attacking midfield position is kind of my position really, my suited position, so hopefully I can bring my best football to the team. “The boys are working really hard trying to understand how the boss wants us to play, on and off the ball, and it will only get better." 08:50
Mohamed Elyounoussi joined Southampton in June after the club had tracked him for six years. 08:25
NDOYE RETURNS TO ANGERS
Birmingham midfielder Cheikh Ndoye has returned to Angers on a season-long loan. It is return to his former club for the 32-year-old Senegalese international who left Angers at the end of the 2016/17 campaign at the conclusion of his contract Ndoye was signed by Blues in July 2017 under the management of former boss Harry Redknapp and has amassed 42 appearances for Blues. He has figured in both of Birmingham's Sky Bet Championship matches so far this season. 08:13
'WE HAD TO PAY A LITTLE MORE'
Everton sporting director Marcel Brands admits the club paid over the odds for Richarlison. "We thought it would be a very difficult one because of the history of the clubs," the Dutchman told The Guardian. "We were both convinced about him [but] I think with the situation with Watford, we had to pay a little bit more. I think maybe the market value was a little bit lower but, at the end, we are happy with him. "We think he can be very special. He has a lot of speed, the capability to work; he is strong, he is tall. There are a lot of qualities for all the competitions in Europe. They are important qualities." 07:50
NEWCASTLE BUCKING TRANSFER TREND
It has been a week since the transfer window closed with 124 players transferring in to Premier League clubs at a combined cost of £1.24bn - and with the European window still open there could be even more big-money moves to come. In total, 11 of the 20 Premier League clubs broke their transfer record this summer, while seven more have set a new benchmark over the past two years. However, Newcastle are one of the club bucking this trend. Head HERE to read how... 07:37
ALDERWEIRELD TO BAYERN?
Toby Alderweireld could be offered an immediate route out of Tottenham by Bayern Munich, according to The Mirror. He is being eyed as a replacement for Jerome Boateng, who looks set for a move to PSG. 07:21
WATCH: ROONEY STARS AGAIN
Wayne Rooney is denied a sizzling hat-trick by the crossbar as the DC United striker stars again on the MLS stage. Hit play to watch... 07:05
POGBA 'HAS HEART SET' ON BARCA
According to the Daily Mail, Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has his heart set on pushing through a transfer to Barcelona. The World Cup winner had reportedly wanted a move to Spain before returning to Old Trafford, but Barcelona and Real Madrid could not be tempted at the time. 06:50
MAGIC BACK FOR CAZORLA?
“He interprets football as Mozart plays music, Picasso paints or Leonardo da Vinci creates a sculpture. He is a genius.” Santi Cazorla has been earning positive reviews in pre-season, but after numerous surgeries and almost losing a foot, will he bring the magic back to Villarreal? Here, James Walker-Roberts takes a look… 06:28
Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has his heart set on pushing through a transfer to Barcelona. (Daily Mail)
Jose Mourinho and Paul Pogba's relationship has hit a new low after an extraordinary bust-up. (The Sun)
Everton sporting director Marcel Brands admits the club paid over the odds for Richarlison. (The Guardian)
Toby Alderweireld could be offered an immediate route out of Tottenham by Bayern Munich. (Daily Mirror)
Kyle Lafferty is edging closer to a return to Rangers - as they knocked back a Bordeaux bid for Alfredo Morelos. (The Scottish Sun)
Hello and welcome to another day on the Transfer Centre. The European window closes in just over two weeks and we'll have all the latest right here. First up, Paper Talk! Join the discussion on Discord. I am a bot. Found any errors? Contact /Football Mods
So glad you found us! This is the 2nd album we've fan funded, our last was via Kickstarter and it's completely nerve-racking before we reach the goal. BUT after doing it a couple times and having such a great response I think it'll be easier next time. It's WAY more fun making albums like this... including fans from the start with studio updates and demos and shizz. The shipping can get a little nuts... and so much of ours is personalized we can't hire someone to do it so that's the hardest part.
1) But probably "I Love Rock & Roll". And then have Joan Jett sing it! 2) A supergroup comprised of Dave Grohl on drums, Chris Burney on guitar, and Kathleen Hannah on keys. We'd probably make awful music though! 3) Kelly: Billy Idol "Mony Mony" 7" Single, Luis: Lenny Kravitz "Are You Gonna Go My Way" (don't judge me!) 4) Paul McCartney. Is there any other answer to this?? THANK YOU! -River.
I would probably still be working with animals... some sort of conservation work. Went to school for Biology. Even wrote a thesis on the depletion of sea turtle nesting habitat in Sarasota, FL. DOOORK. Luis would be a depressed doctor with a bunch of musical equipment he would never get to play.
I do think crowdfunding is the way to go. At least for somewhat established bands. BUT we wouldn't be so successful at it had we not released albums through indy labels and toured for so long. So I think there still needs to be a way for young bands to get a lift at the start. Hope that makes sense.
Hmmm, Chicago... one of my LEAST cool moments. A venue in Wicker Park playing the International Pop Overthrow. The sound was terrible, we played like crap and had driven ALL THE WAY FROM LA to get there in time. When the set was over, out of disgust I beat my Fender Jazz bass against the brick wall like a maniac. I had to play my crappy backup the rest of the tour.
Yay! I think there's definitely some hints with the whole lock and key thing BUT I guess that could've been an accident. You know... we have a song called Hysteria... I thought I was being all coy about the lyrics by saying "the only thing that makes me calm" and people think its "the only thing that makes me cum." EEEW. I would've never sung that. So maybe Melanie feels that way about her song!
It was awesome, because everything that band does is so well-done, professional, and fun. They exude positivity and that carries over into the tone of the music. We'll definitely do more in the future. If you work with friends and have mutual respect for each other those good vibes carry over into how folks who listen hear it.
We could really use another version of each of us! The band is what we do all day everyday and with the PledgeMusic Campaign wrapping up and pre-orders to ship it's a madhouse here right now. We're lucky to have great friends who can help out! And I had to bring a breast pump to our record release show. HAHAHAHA. That was weird. So of course I had to talk about it on stage and make everyone feel awkward.
Actually it's kind of the opposite. We're hoping to do some touring while he's still portable and not in school or anything. We're so lucky we get to spend this time together as a little family and LOVE to travel so we would really like to do more of it while he's little.
Yep. We self-released our first album "Eat My Heart Out" and then it got picked up. Lookout Records had just bought Panic Button Records from Ben Weasel (Screeching Weasel) so we were technically the first album released through Panic Button on Lookout. Lookout was heading in a more indy rock direction so Panic Button was supposed to be their avenue for releasing good old fashioned pop punk.
We had a list of 6 or so names and couldn't decide. Right after he was born Luis was holding him and handed him back and said "Okay, I know what his name is. Hold him for a while and tell me what you think." So I looked into his little puffy blue eyes and knew he was River. I told Luis and he said "YES! Exactly." So that was it. Then we were like... uh, can we really name him River? And we did.
Oops... keep forgetting to answer the next parts...
And you're the first! But she's cute so thanks. ;)
We really want to take him around until he's school age... but then well just have to spend our summers wisely. We really want to give him the chance to experience the world and other cultures... as much as we can.
We're still gonna tour, it'll just be in shorter spurts. The days of living in a "van down by the river" for months on end on the road are over BECAUSE of baby River coming along, ironically. So the plan is to fly into different regions and do short 1-2 week stints. TX next month, East Coast US up after that!
Never saw them live... Man that would've been cool. And yep! They totally played it that night, and it's the only time (and 100s of shows) I ever heard them play it! We like doing covers that point people to the music we like. That's how we learned about The Vaselines (Nirvana) Jesus and The Mary Chain (Pixies) etc...
Hahha. We have some really good ones. One of my fav memories... Wal-Mart stop in the middle of the night post show. We were on the bus with Bowling for Soup (for like 2 years) and all ran in like nerds at GameStop on Call of Duty release day. We bought LOTS of snacks. I introduced them to Morning Star Farms unchicken nuggets that night. We also bought a slingshot and paintballs. Then proceeded to shoot each other in the back with them on a median in the middle of TX somewhere. I still have a scar. Luis is finding a photo.. hang tight.
Songs usually start with a guitar riff or chord progression then I grunt out a melody on top of it. Then comes bass or lyrics, sometimes drums. OR sometimes a song will start with bass or drums. They all just kinda grow from one instrument part. There have only been a couple times we started with a lyric. :) Thank you!
It was a great experience. Everyone at Blackheart was great and we really learned a ton. We left because we'd heard of this new thing called Kickstarter and wanted to see if we might be able to make music that way. And you know, own our own music!
We usually hang out in Jaret's pool or in Chris' closet but Denton is a great little town. Sweetwater is a yummy restaurant and hang. And we usually play in Deep Ellum lotsa places to get into trouble there. ;)
Done :) And yep - totally remember that show - it was with BFS, right? At that big giant place downtown that had multiple rooms and what looked like a theatre attached? Hope to be back soon! We'll def be in Corpus next month though.
The "Barefoot and Pregnant" one was probably the most fun yet. I was SO pregnant and our friend Harry Jerkface played the big baby. He had us cracking up the whole time. And knowing River was in there was pretty cool. 'Because I'm Awesome" was fun too but I had a TERRIBLE hangover and was so sick all day!
"Get Weird" is really fun... I get to sing/talk then belt so it doesn't get boring! And I love the lyrics. 1st World Anarchist is a close second but MAN is it hard to spit it all out! And I'm a little out of singing shape after having a baby 12 weeks ago!
Yeah! Definitely possible. Now that River is here it seems crazy to lie so far away from family. We want him and them to know each other. And I loved growing up there... Alligators, turtles, armadillos, frogs. snakes, raccoons! Camping, floating on the rivers... The BEACH! It's just so beautiful.
I grew up singing along to Cyndi Lauper and although I sing with my own voice her success made me realize it's cool to have a different voice. Same thing with Melanie Safka or Tiny Tim! Ha! And aren't mix tapes the coolest?! My friend Alli made me one when I was 16 and it was the first time I heard Brand New Key. You know how that turned out!
That's a pretty funny story... we were feeling pretty paranoid at that time. I can't remember why exactly must have been that whole war, climate change, pollution etc thing. ;) So anyway we were listening to a lot of Coast to Coast and reading a lot of conspiracy so... the album cover is a paranoid bunny in front of a city with a HUGE mushroom cloud in the background. Blackheart thought it was too disturbing so they edited out the mushroom cloud, leaving just the paranoid bunny. The song SOS on that album explains thing a bit.. Link to www.youtube.com
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Philippe Germond: Fixed-odds betting and parimutuel betting
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