Tuesday Kickoff: Lewandowski staying put, Rangers face liquidation and more

Lewandowski (Getty Images)

Put a halt to the Robert Lewandowski-to-Manchester United talk.

Days after Poland national team coach Franciszek Smuda reportedly said that the star Polish and Borussia Dortmund striker was on his way to joining the Red Devils, Dortmund has refuted those claims, saying they do not plan to sell Lewandowski and that he will be with the club this upcoming season.

With Lewandowski and Poland slated for their second Euro 2012 match against Group A-leading Russia on Tuesday, Dortmund executive Hans-Joachim Watzke asserted that Smuda's comments were either off base or fabricated by Polish media and that the club's leading scorer would remain with the two-time defending Bundesliga champions.

Here are a few other stories to get your day going:

RANGERS FACE LIQUIDATION

The situation at Rangers is getting dire.

The legendary Scottish club is facing liquidation and a three-year European ban after Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs rejected the club's Company Voluntary Agreement plan — a partial payment plan that would have allowed Rangers to repay its massive debts over time.

Instead, HMRC is reportedly pushing for liquidation in an effort to recover the money that is owed. All of this comes a couple of months after it appeared that American businessman Bill Miller was set to purchase the club and bring it out of the red before pulling out of the deal. According to reports, liquidation would not mean the end of Rangers as a club, but the remainder of the Scottish Premier League teams would have to approve their place in the top flight.

Depending on how this plays out, Americans Carlos Bocanegra, Maurice Edu and Alejandro Bedoya could have new homes sooner rather than later.

QPR LINES UP OFFER FOR GIVEN

The door could be opening for Brad Guzan at Aston Villa after all.

According to reports from England, Queens Park Rangers are lining up a £3 million offer for Villa No. 1 Shay Given, one that would leave an opening at Villa for a starting goalkeeper. Guzan's contract expired at the end of the season, and while he did not rule out a return to Villa, he has also expressed his desire to be a consistent starter after backing up Brad Friedel and Given in his time with Villa. While Given was injured this season, Guzan was the fill-in starter and was praised by since-fired manager Alex McLeish for his work in goal.

It is unclear whether Villa would accept QPR's initial offer for Given.

PARAGUAY FIRES COACH

Paraguay's struggles in CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying have led to a change at the top.

Francisco Arce was fired from his post as Paraguay coach after the team's 3-1 loss to Bolivia. Paraguay sits second-to-least in the nine-team qualifying table through five matches, securing just one win and one draw in that time.

Arce had taken over for Gerardo Martino, who guided Paraguay to the knockout round in the 2010 FIFA World Cup following the shooting of star striker Salvador Cabanas and also led the team to the final of last year's Copa America before stepping down.

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Happy to hear Lewandowski is staying put? What do you make of everything going on at Rangers? Would it be ideal for Guzan to return to Aston Villa as a starter? Do you see Paraguay overcoming its slow start and qualifying for the World Cup?

Share your thoughts below.

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31 Responses to Tuesday Kickoff: Lewandowski staying put, Rangers face liquidation and more

  1. Mig22 says:

    Yeah, Miller pulled out after the fans immediately protested his bid. Just desserts frankly. I understand that the supporters were bitterly disappointed and angry with the mismanagement of the club but it surely wasn’t Miller’s fault.

    Also, I can’t imagine that Paraguay doesn’t get things straightened out. There is talent on that roster. I don’t know if they’ll recover but there are plenty of games for them to get back into it.

  2. neilla says:

    Shay Given is still better than Guzan, IMHO, but Villa are so terrible they might as well take QPR’s money, re-sign Guzan, and reinvest those funds at other positions.

  3. Josh says:

    Rangers fans aren’t known for being the most rational lot, so it was no shock that they ran Miller off. Still, it’s hard to argue against foreign millions/billions nowadays (I don’t think City and Chelsea fans are in a hurry to return their trophies!). I wouldn’t be shocked if Rangers loses its guaranteed spot in the top two to Romanov’s Hearts.

  4. Old School says:

    I’m all for Guzan getting starts but Aston Villa strikes me as unclear in their objectives with questionable leadership starting from the American owner all the way down to their managers.

    I’d rather he find his starts elsewhere, personally.

  5. Mike says:

    Couldn’t have happened to a nicer group of fans.

  6. Good Jeremy says:

    Didn’t know Maher was looking at Rangers. Not sure where he gets that kind of money from being the host of a show that few watch, but good on him. This makes me dislike him somewhat less intensely.

  7. timmytwoshoezzz says:

    Look again. That’s Bill Miller, business owner in Chattanooga, TN. It’s not Bill Maher, tv talking head and joke artist

  8. Mike says:

    Few = 4.1 million an episode on HBO?

    This comment reeks of partisan bs.

  9. Aaron in StL says:

    Given’s on the wrong side of the career arc, I’d think Guzan is a much better option longterm. I know Given “has a knock” but he certainly wasn’t overly impressive in Ireland’s opener.

  10. HoboMike says:

    Thank god for this. I hope this means that all Americans leave Rangers. The SPL is an absolute terrible league that discourages the kind of skill necessary to compete world-wide. Edu and Bedoya were much better prior to their arrival. In Beasley’s case, he was better before he came and after he left.

  11. Tyler says:

    Smh Rangers had a chance to end this and their boneheaded fans drove him away. Idiots. They don’t have a problem with us taking the field for them but I guess not having any money, and a transfer embargo is a more favorable alternative to having a bank account full of American dollars :/

  12. Tyler says:

    Oh and if it’s not too much trouble would someone be kind enough to supply a link to the game tonight?

  13. HoboMike says:

    ^ This.

  14. al17 says:

    AMEN!!!!

  15. BrianK says:

    Yeah,….and he showed that against Croatia…..

  16. Vic says:

    Why does QPR have to offer a transfer fee for Guzan if his contract expired?

  17. NE Matt says:

    My predictions for our Rangers players + Guzan

    Bedoya – Chievo Verona
    Boca – Reading/West Ham/Southampton
    Edu – Sochaux
    Guzan – Starter at Villa

  18. happyjuggler0 says:

    The QPR offer is for Shay Given.

  19. abc says:

    The stats show that Guzan was better than Given, last year, with the same Aston Villa team.

    Guzan was 10th in the EPL in minutes per goal conceded at 74, ahead of guys like Szczesny and Schwarzer.
    Given was 20th, behind QPR’s Cerny and both goalkeepers for Stoke City.

    Guzan was 12th in save percentage at 71.4%, ahead of Tim Howard by a percent.
    Given was 18th, behind Wolverhampton’s Hennessey.

    Plus Given is far more expensive and much older…

  20. Allouez86 says:

    Stop

  21. solles says:

    Given to QPR is pretty much dead, QPR have been linked with tons of keepers this offseason and now seems to be about to sign Robert Green after West Ham wouldn’t give him the new contract he wanted.

    Guzan needs to move on, perhaps to the Championship or to another country. Villa will be relegated this year anyway:)

  22. solles says:

    no offer, really just rumor, and has been unlikely for some days as Villa apparently dont want to sell, SBI is behind the 8 ball on this one.

  23. Tyler K. says:

    Why would Chievo purchase Ale if he has not been playing?

  24. solles says:

    …and now reports are surfacing that Green to QPR is finalized pending the physical.

    SBI definitely behind the curve on this one.

  25. bryan says:

    truth.

  26. bryan says:

    good, anything that gets our guys out of the SPL.

    as for Guzan, i don’t understand why someone won’t make an offer for him! no one wants to take a chance on him?! US goalies have a good reputation and Guzan has shown well when he plays. i just don’t understand it.

  27. bryan says:

    aside from the Edu one, why do you predict those other moves?

  28. Old School says:

    There’s nothing for Mike to “stop”, he’s responding a statement.

    …and he’s 100% accurate in his statement.

  29. Old School says:

    Names out of a hat?

  30. eddie says:

    Ranger’s fans are terrible and their organization as a hold, just really sucks. Their fans don’t appreciate anything.

  31. NE Matt says:

    Total guesses lol