Wednesday Kickoff: Man United closing in on Mata transfer; Inter pull plug on Guarin-Vucinic deal; and more

Juan Mata of Chelsea

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

David Moyes is ready to open up the checkbook to keep his club’s place in the UEFA Champions League next season.

With Juan Mata remaining second choice for Jose Mourinho at Chelsea, speculation has increased that Manchester United is nearing a deal for the Spaniard. The latest reports say that Man United would have to pay at least £40 million ($66.2 million) to acquire the 25-year-old, and that Mata would have to agree to the transfer before Chelsea would allow him to leave.

According to The Guardian, negotiations between Man United and Chelsea are at an advanced stage, though a formal offer has not yet been made. A separate report in The Telegraph states that Atletico Madrid has contacted Man United and offered them the first option to sign Diego Costa and Felipe Luis in exchange for leaving the race to sign Mata.

Man United has also been linked with signing Bayern Munich defender Dante, though the Brazilian has brushed off speculation, saying he’d only leave Bayern if they told him to do so.

Here are some more stories to kick off your Wednesday:

INTER PULL OUT OF GUARIN-VUCINIC TRANSFER

Just when it seemed like Fredy Guarin and Mirko Vucinic were set to swap clubs, Inter Milan owner Erick Thohir pulled the plug on the deal.

Thohir released a statement on Inter’s website on Tuesday evening stating that after discussing the transfer with former president Massimo Moratti and his son, he decided that the benefits to Inter were not enough to go through with the deal.

“I felt it was not possible to reach an agreement (with Juventus) on a deal in which the opinions of the two parties differed and which did not offer a clear financial or technical benefit to the club,” Thohir said in the statement.

It was the first of a double blow for Juventus, who later on Tuesday were knocked out of the Coppa Italia by AS Roma at the Stadio Olimpico.

FIFA THREATENS TO REMOVE WORLD CUP VENUE

Brazil’s World Cup stadium delays could cost them dearly next month.

FIFA has ordered Curitiba officials to finish their stadium by Feb. 18 or the venue will be removed from the World Cup schedule. According to officials in Brazil, the stadium is 88 percent finished but even though it’s an existing stadium that is only being refurbished, it has been besieged by red tape and delays.

“As you can imagine, the current situation of the stadium is not something we really appreciate,” FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke told Reuters of the 43,000 seat stadium. “The stadium is not only late, it is very, very late. If you don’t have a stadium you can’t have games. It is an emergency situation.”

Curitiba is currently scheduled to host four games and be the home base for Spain.

In addition, in the Northeastern Brazil city of Fortaleza, fans arriving at the international airport will enter a terminal with a canvas roof instead of a solid one, as it’s not expected to be finished on time.

QUICK KICKS

AS Roma advanced to the Coppa Italia semifinals with a 1-0 victory at home against Juventus. (REPORT)

Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva is set to miss the next two months of action with a knee ligament injury. (REPORT)

Forward Diego Forlan has reportedly mutually terminated his contract with Internacional SC, allowing him to move to J-League club Cerezo Osaka. (REPORT)

Former German national team goalkeeper Tim Weise has agreed to mutually terminate his contract with Hoffenheim, after making just 10 appearances since arriving in July 2012. (REPORT)

Manchester United fullback Fabio is nearing a loan to Freiburg until the end of the season. (REPORT)

Former Egyptian national team forward Mido has taken over as manager of Zamalek in his native country. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you feel Mata is the right signing for Man United? Do you see Dante moving to England? Think that Inter made the right decision?

Share your thoughts below.

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14 Responses to Wednesday Kickoff: Man United closing in on Mata transfer; Inter pull plug on Guarin-Vucinic deal; and more

  1. drew11 says:

    That Inter stuff is laughable. Wny is Thohir making sporting decisions for Inter? What could he possibly know about Italian football.

  2. ATX_Colin says:

    Was the US set to play in Curitiba?

    • Strider257 says:

      No. But I keep hoping this happens to the stadium in Maunas so we can get out of that insane travel between our first and third games on the coast

      • Venicebeachbull says:

        Screw that, it better not change! I’m flying in to that jungle for the Portugal match!

    • Strider257 says:

      Our three matches are: first at Estadio Dunas in Natal, second at Arena Amazonia in Manaus, and third Arena Pernambuco in Recife. While Natal and Recife are both on the NE coast of Brazil and pretty close to each other, Manaus is in the Amazonian interior.

      • froboy says:

        US is coming and going from SP for all games so even though Natal and Recife are relatively close for the team’s traveling purposes it doesn’t matter much. I am depressed, living in São Paulo and likely won’t go to any US games…

    • Sharkbait says:

      No, US is playing in Natal, Manaus, and Recife.

  3. DCUnitedWillRiseAgain says:

    If ManU signs Mata, we will never see Kagawa again. Which is OK, because Mata is better. Maybe Kagawa will come to DCUnited?

    • Increase says:

      Apparently, according to Moyes the reason for not playing Kagawa is that he doesn’t have the work rate to do things defensively.

      He used to play for Dortmund and they are a perpetual motion machine. I refused to believe that Kagawa doesn’t have the motor to play for manu.

      • Anthony says:

        well, is the same coach that starts Ashley Young every single week, can’t really take anything he says seriously

  4. DCUnitedWillRiseAgain says:

    Stadium Nonsense: “So I know a crane collapsed and killed a bunch of workers, but HURRY UP!”

    • Sharkbait says:

      Different stadium though if memory serves. Sad though all of the issues revolving around countries hosting an event like the World Cup. The crane collapse in Brazil was tragic but what’s already happening in Qatar is way worse in my opinion.

    • SoccerSchool says:

      This is a bad situation for Brazil. All the money spent, all the strife with their citizens, and FIFA playing the heavy handed a-holes. The Brazilian govermenent must rue the day they ever dealt with FIFA to win the bid to host.

      • Joamiq says:

        Bad situation for Brazil? The government created that strife in the first place. You have to have your stadiums finished if you’re going to host a World Cup. If they didn’t have the capacity to host, they shouldn’t have bid.