Thursday Kickoff: PSG offer to match Rooney’s current wages; Higuain nears Juventus move; and more

WayneRooney1-FulhamFACup (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

David Moyes has just begun his term as Manchester United manager, but it’s becoming clearer and clearer that he’ll have to start next season without Wayne Rooney.

The former Everton youth graduate has been linked with a transfer to French club Paris Saint-Germain, and according to reports in England, PSG told Rooney’s representatives that they would be willing to match his wages if he agrees a transfer to France.

The England international is currently on a reported $22.5 million per season contract, a number that is currently hurting Rooney’s chances of leaving due to the lack of teams willing to match that number. But if the latest reports are accurate, Rooney’s days at United could be numbered.

PSG are hoping to put Rooney up top with Ligue 1 Player of the Year Zlatan Ibrahimovic next season, creating a formidable strike force that can contend in the Champions League. After a season where Rooney scored 27 Premier League goals, including the famous scissor kick goal against Manchester City, the 27-year-old managed just 16 goals across all competitions this season.

Here are some more stories to get your Thursday kicked off:

HIGUAIN AGREES PERSONAL TERMS WITH JUVENTUS

Though Real Madrid and Juventus have yet to agree on a transfer fee, Gonzalo Higuain is very close to a move from Spain to Italy.

The Argentine forward has agreed to personal terms with Juventus, according to reports out of Italy, signing a four-year contract worth nearly $5.8 million per season. Higuain is reportedly currently on a $4.9 million contract at Real Madrid, and it’s thought that Madrid is looking to cash in on their backup forward while his value is at it’s peak.

The two sides have yet to agree a transfer fee yet due to a disagreement over the amount. Real Madrid have valued Higuain at $38 million, but Juventus are currently only willing to spend $28 million to sign him. The Serie A champions are looking to bolster their forward line by signing multiple strikers this summer, with Higuain at the top of the list.

The 25-year-old scored 16 goals across all competitions, but only earned 17 starts in La Liga, fighting for a place in the squad with Karim Benzema.

CHELSEA INTERESTED IN GALATASARAY’S YILMAZ

One of the best forwards in this season’s Champions League could be playing at Stamford Bridge next season.

Galatasaray forward Burak Yilmaz is currently being watched by Chelsea, and according to reports in England and Turkey, the London club has sent the Istanbul giants an official inquiry over the forward’s potential transfer. The reports state that Chelsea would have to offer a fee of at least $30 million to pry Yilmaz away from Galatasaray.

Yilmaz delighted his side’s fans and caught the attention of soccer fans around the world by scoring eight goals and for a time, standing as top scorer of the Champions League. The 27-year-old scored against Manchester United in a 1-0 victory, four goals against CFR Cluj also in the group stage, and then one each against Schalke 04 in the Round of 16.

A late bloomer, Yilmaz burst on to the scene two years ago with Trabzonspor, scoring 19 goals in the Turkish league, and following that up with 33 goals a year ago. This season, in all competitions in his first season at Galatasaray, the Turkish international has bagged 33 goals in all competitions, 24 in the club’s title winning season.

SANTA FE SCORES THREE IN FIRST LEG VICTORY

Real Garcilaso’s fairy-tale journey may be approaching it’s end.

The Peruvian side were thoroughly defeated on Wednesday night in the quarterfinals of the Copa Libertadores by Colombia’s Independiente Santa Fe, 3-1, in Cuzco, Peru. Francisco Meza put the visiting side in front in the 20th minute with a close range finish into the roof of the net, stunning the home fans at the Estadio Garcilaso.

Just three minutes later, Santa Fe pounced again to go up 2-0. A mistake by the Garcilaso defense allowed Santa Fe forward Jefferson Cuero to run onto a through ball. Cuero then played the talismanic Wilmer Medina into the box with a nifty back heel, and Medina couldn’t miss in a one-on-one situation with Garcilaso goalkeeper Diego Carranza.

Cuero put the game away for good in the 54th minute, latching on to an unlucky clearance attempt from the Garcilaso defense before finishing inside the six-yard box with a sliding shot. The hosts managed to get one goal back int he 63rd minute when midfielder Alfredo Ramua launched a 35-yard-rocket that screamed into the net, but the two goal deficit remained as the final whistle blew.

Also in the Copa Libertadores on Wednesday evening, Brazilian side Fluminense drew at home with Paraguayan club Olimpia, 0-0, on a night where Olimpia goalkeeper Martin Silva made many excellent saves and took home man of the match honors.

QUICK KICKS

Borussia Dortmund midfielder Mario Götze has been ruled out of the Champions League finals due to his hamstring injury. (REPORT)

Spain U21 have called up talents Isco and Thiago for their squad ahead of the U-21 Championship next month in Israel. (REPORT)

AC Milan forward Giampaolo Pazzini will be sidelined until December after undergoing surgery on his right knee, with a four to six month recovery timetable. (REPORT)

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez will decide his future at the club by Thursday night. (REPORT)

Bundesliga CEO Christian Seifert has warned FIFA and UEFA of the legal ramifications of potentially moving the 2022 World Cup to winter. (REPORT)

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What do you make of these reports? Do you see Rooney moving to Paris? Do you think any team should pay him that much? Do you see Higuain succeeding in Serie A. What did you think of Santa Fe’s victory?

Share your thoughts below.

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16 Responses to Thursday Kickoff: PSG offer to match Rooney’s current wages; Higuain nears Juventus move; and more

  1. MemRook says:

    Wouldn’t PSG have to match considerably more than Rooney’s current wages so he could take home the equivalent he did at ManUnited? What I mean is France has a ludicrous 75% tax on footballe’rs wages and I don’t think England is that high. I don’t know if how I’m asking is making sense, but I would figure PSG would have to offer MORE for Rooney to break even.

    • Daniel Karell says:

      Basically, PSG can promise Rooney his $22.5 million after taxes. So if my math is correct, PSG would “offer” Rooney a contract of $150 million, with 75% going to taxes and 22.5 million remaining. Food for thought.

  2. Reid says:

    I heard that the 75% never actually went through, that the rate is more like 60%, which is still crazy, but not 75%.

    I could be wrong but remember seeing something like that.

  3. BCC says:

    I would hate to see Higuain go, but I don’t think Madrid will fight it much. I think he could do well in Italy. The strange thing is that Juve is pretty deep at forward; how is the situation considerably better for him at Juventus? As long as he stays healthy he still has several good years left, so why not go to a club with problems at forward?

    • Almost, Not Really says:

      I think Juve does have some problems at striker. They have depth but not a lot of quality. They stretched on the Anelka & Bendtner signings as both have offered little. Vicinic & Giovinco both had decent seasons, but neither lit the world on fire. Matri looks to have some potential as well. Quagliarella played well for them in the Champions League as well. None of those guys strike me as irreplaceable. I think that Higuain could become a fixture up top for them. Juve needs a better finisher for the great through balls that come from that midfield.

      • Sly says:

        +1 Agreement I think he walks in and after 4 games is the number 1. Pipita makes them champions of Seria A for the next 2 years. He is basically 22 goals a season.

        With that backline plus Pogba and bearded Pirlo dropping in 10 each jesus.

        Im going to go cry into my Inter jersey if anyong needs me.

  4. The Imperative Voice says:

    Personal terms with Rooney would only be part of the puzzle….ManU has to want to sell.

    • Grubbsbl says:

      I’d imagine for 40 mil United would send him packing. Rooney is a fantastic talent when motivated but you don’t ask to leave the club twice and get away with it. The irony is that Rooney wanted to leave originally cause he thought the club wasn’t matching his ambition. The club went out and signed Chicharito, Kagawa and RVP, plus brought Wellbeck through the academy. Now Rooney doesn’t want to compete for his own place…