Friday Kickoff: Rooney suffers injury; Chelsea near De Rossi transfer; and more

WayneRooneyReading (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

Wayne Rooney’s season at Manchester United likely couldn’t have started worse.

The forward, constantly dogged by swirling rumors over a potential transfer away from the club, has returned home from Man United’s tour of Asia due to an injured hamstring, putting in doubt his health for the start of the 2013/2014 campaign. The injury will reportedly keep Rooney out of action for up to four weeks.

Manager David Moyes, who sent Rooney back to Manchester, said that he was injured before he left for Asia, but the injury ended up more serious than expected.

“It’s disappointing,” Moyes told BBC Sport. “After the long flight we decided we’d get him tested and scanned and have a look at things, and there is just a small grade one injury there.”

Moyes has also continued to deny that the 27-year-old England international will be sold, rejecting the rumors of offers from Chelsea, Arsenal, and clubs abroad.

Here are some more stories to start your Friday:

DE ROSSI NEARS ENGLAND MOVE

While Jose Mourinho still continues to try and tempt Wayne Rooney to move south to London, Chelsea is nearing a move for another long-time Mourinho target.

According to reports in England, AS Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi is very close to completing an £11 million transfer to Stamford Bridge. If the deal goes through, it would make Chelsea the first club other than Roma for De Rossi.

The 29-year-old Italian international has continued to represent his country at the highest level at every major competition, starting with the 2006 World Cup all the way through the Confederations Cup in Brazil this past summer. De Rossi holds 90 international caps to his name.

Last season, De Rossi featured 29 times for Roma, scoring no goals. At the Confederations Cup, De Rossi played in four of Italy’s five games, scoring one goal in the 4-3 victory over Japan.

REAL MADRID OPEN CHECKBOOK FOR ILLARRAMENDI

Like their La Liga rivals, Real Madrid have not been afraid to spend some serious cash this summer.

After signing Isco from Malaga for €24 million, Real Madrid announced the signing of Isco’s Spain Under-21 teammate, Asier Illarramendi from Real Sociedad for a whopping €39 million. The high price tag is the due to the buy-out clause in the midfielder’s contract.

The 23-year-old rose to prominence this past season in his defensive midfield role for Sociedad, helping lead them to a fourth-place finish in last season’s La Liga and a place in this season’s UEFA Champions League. Illarramendi also helped Spain Under-21 win their second consecutive European Under-21 Championship.

Last season, Illarramendi started all 32 matches he played for Sociedad, failing to score in league play. Many of the reports on the transfer state that Illarramendi’s signing is a passing of the guard from Xabi Alonso in central midfield.

QUICK KICKS

Robinho’s proposed move from AC Milan to Santos in Brazil has been shelved due to the striker’s wage demands. (REPORT)

FIFA says that money spent on transfers has increased 40 percent from one year ago. (REPORT)

Southampton confirm the signing of Kenyan midfielder Victor Wanyama from Celtic for a fee of £12.5 million ($18.9 million). (REPORT)

Manchester City have announced plans to expand the Etihad Stadium to include 60,000 seats. (REPORT)

Juventus have announced the signing of Torino defender Angelo Ogbonna for €13 million. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you see Rooney being fit for the start of the season? Do you see De Rossi becoming a success at Chelsea? Do you like the Illarramendi signing at Real Madrid.

Share your thoughts below.

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22 Responses to Friday Kickoff: Rooney suffers injury; Chelsea near De Rossi transfer; and more

  1. THomas says:

    Does the De Rossi move make room for Bradley? Or do they play different positions? I’m not familiar with Roma’ set up.

    • chuck says:

      I can’t see any way it would hurt bradley’s chances at playing time.

    • elgringorico says:

      It would definitely make room

    • Nate Dollars says:

      only if roma doesn’t decide to buy a younger, more expensive player to fill de rossi’s spot. though i think they’re more likely to buy a striker (or nani, maybe?).

      • span16 says:

        Roma is currently chasing PSV and Dutch intermational mid Kevin Strootman (23 years old). DeRossi’s sale would finance this purchase. It would certainly open up space for Bradley. He featured a lot at the beginning of the season (when Zeman was coach) and not quite as much under Andreazzoli. Who knows what will happen under the new regime.

        Roma has a bunch of young mids (including MB) to throw in the mix. They are linked with selling Osvaldo, Lamela and Marquinhos who are being chased by the wealthy elites (Barca, RM, CFC, PSG). Bradley’s spot seems safe.

  2. Shark says:

    He already lost his job to Bradley last season.

  3. SanFran415 says:

    Illaramendi is so good.

    Going to need a new font to talk about him though.

    • Nate Dollars says:

      agreed, but $40M just seems like so much…he’s no javi martinez (yet?).

      • biff says:

        Unbelievably, a chance that Javi Martinez will not be playing midfield next season for FC Bayern but center back to make room for Thiago Alcantara in the midfield. That is what Pep Guardiola said yesterday at a press conference. If this Thiago deal goes through is going to really rock the boat hard at FC Bayern. Guardiola said all sorts of stuff and also went on a 5-minute rant against Barcelona making vague accusations and basically burning the bridge with Barca. And no dobut the honeymoon at Bayern is now officially over. Will be fun to watch how this plays out.

        • SanFran415 says:

          If he actually plans on benching German first team players in favor of his own Spanish countrymen he’ll be run out of town before midseason.

          This is crazy stuff he’s doing. He’s benching several German national team starters just to bring in Thiago.

          • biff says:

            Apparently there was a news story in a Brazil newspaper quoting a Santos assistant coach alleging some things Guardiola told Neymar’s father to try to get Neymar to FC Bayern and that kind of got things going for yesterday’s press conference. And it sort of makes it seem like Guardiola now wants Thiago to hit back. This whole story is not going away soon, will only get bigger. A good story in English with all Pep’s quotes and details of the Brazil story can be found, but by a news source that I don’t think SBI allows to be linked here. But if you do an internet search for Pep look for sunny blue *** news.

          • Eurosnob says:

            Guardiola has enough clout to be able to make decision as to tactics, playing time, formations, etc. If Bayern starts losing, which I doubt, then he’ll be on a hot seat.

            • Steevens says:

              Clearly you are not very familiar with Bayern and the culture there. NO ONE has enough clout to come to Bayern and bench DFB Mannschaft starters in favor of un-proven kids and not get an earful immediately from Hoeness, Rummenigge, Beckenbauer, etc.

    • Jersey2Colorado says:

      How about Illaramendi

  4. A.S. says:

    Oh, no. As a Chelsea fan, do I really have to now root for De Rossi??? Ugh. That’s not good.

  5. span16 says:

    I think this is the beginning of the decline of Rooney. MU should cash in now….his Michael Owen years are approaching.

    • biff says:

      Not sure about the beginning of decline, but if Rooney wants to go would really be foolish of Man. U to hold on to him. It could be that Moyes intends to sell him and is only talkin’ tuff to up the transfer fee.

      Speaking of Man U, doesn’t Moyse like Clint Dempsey, wanted him at Everton? I actually think Dempsey would fit in better at Man U than Tottenham. And I also think Dempsey is good enough to play at Man U.

      • Josh D says:

        As a US fanatic with equal fanaticism for Man United, Dempsey isn’t anywhere close to being good enough to make United’s bench. Arsenal, maybe. But any other top four team is a no.

        He’s better off going to Everton.

    • Dos says:

      He’s a lot more versatile than Owen, who was as North/South as a poacher can be. Rooney can drop into midfield and make a pass, as well as play underneath another striker. Doesn’t need primary service.

  6. fischy says:

    40% increase in transfer fees in one year? How’s that Financial Fair Play initiative working out?

  7. Sly says:

    Southhampton and Norwich and Sunderland have definetly done what it takes to be mid table clubs. I wonder who the next few are who will be fighting the relegation battle.