Wednesday Kickoff: Barcelona linked with Müller; Van Persie criticizes teammates; and more

ThomasMullerBayernMunich1-ManCityUCL2013 (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

Bayern Munich have some competition ahead if they want to keep hold of midfielder Thomas Müller.

The impressive 24-year-old midfielder has been linked with a summer move to FC Barcelona, according to German publication SportBild. The report states that Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has “given the green light” for the club to move forward on the transfer.

Despite the interest, the report states that Bayern intend to move forward with Müller into the future and that they’ll reject any bid for the German international. The report seems a bit dubious because one position that Barcelona don’t need to improve for next year is attacking midfielder, while they are desperate to sign some top-level defenders.

Müller has scored 20 goals in all competitions this season for Bayern, including one against Arsenal last week in the UEFA Champions League.

Here are some more stories to get your Wednesday started:

VAN PERSIE LOSES COOL, CRITICIZES TEAMMATES

Manchester United’s disappointing season has been wearing thin on the patience of the players, as referenced by Robin Van Persie’s comments on Tuesday evening.

Following Man United’s 2-0 defeat at Olympiakos, the Dutch international forward claimed that his teammates were getting in his way, forcing him to change his game to the detriment of the team.

“Our fellow players are sometimes occupying the spaces I want to play in,” Van Persie told Dutch TV station NOS. “And when I see that it makes it difficult for me to come to those spaces as well. So that forces me to adjust my runs, based on the position of my fellow players. And unfortunately, they’re often playing in my zones. I think that’s a shame.”

Van Persie has fallen back to earth after two seasons in a row totaling 67 goals with Arsenal and Man United, scoring just 14 goals this season while moving in and out of the lineup due to a variety of injuries.

Despite the defeat, manager David Moyes’ job as Man United manager is reportedly still secure.

CRUZEIRO THRASHES UNIVERSIDAD DE CHILE IN GOAL-HEAVY COPA LIBERTADORES EVENING

There were plenty of goals to see in Copa Libertadores action on Tuesday night.

The defending Brazilian champions, Cruzeiro, hosted Universidad de Chile in Belo Horizonte and ran the Chilean side off the park with a 5-1 victory. Cruzeiro midfielder Ricardo Goulart, playing in the traditional No. 10 role, scored a hat-trick and added an assist in the rout, while Dagoberto and Willian scored the team’s two other goals.

Cruzeiro built up a 3-0 lead at the half before Universidad de Chile cut the deficit by one in the 66th minute. However, Goulart and Willian scored within the final five minutes to complete the rout.

Elsewhere in action in South America, Argentine side Velez Sarsfield topped Brazilian club Atletico Paranaense, 2-0, Argentina’s Arsenal de Sarandi defeated Venezuela’s Deportivo Anzoategui, and Brazilian side Gremio defeated Atletico Nacional of Colombia, 3-0.

QUICK KICKS

Bayern Munich sporting director Matias Sammer has backed midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger to be 100 percent fit at the World Cup this summer. (REPORT)

Chelsea and the British Consulate in Istanbul are investigating reports that two visiting Chelsea fans were stabbed by Galatasaray supporters. (REPORT)

Barcelona target Marc-Andre ter Stegen has reportedly passed a secret medical to join the Spanish club this summer. (REPORT)

Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Blaise Matuidi has renewed his contract with the club through 2018. (REPORT)

Samuel Eto’o is reportedly very unhappy with Jose Mourinho’s dig at the Chelsea forward’s age, after Mourinho was taped unknowingly before an interview with Canal Plus in France. (REPORT)

Tottenham youngster Nabil Bentaleb has officially been selected in Algeria’s squad for their March friendly against Slovenia. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you see Müller leaving Bayern this summer? Worried about Van Persie’s comments? Impressed with Cruzeiro’s performance?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in European Soccer, Featured, South American Soccer. Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Wednesday Kickoff: Barcelona linked with Müller; Van Persie criticizes teammates; and more

  1. Increase0 says:

    Müller is better than the forwards not named Alexis but like why…. He can pass etc but he is not at all a tiki taka man. Maybe Barsca are bitter about Thiago.

    • TomG says:

      Yeah, Muller is not just a CAM by any means. He can play either striker role as well as either wing. Not a pure tiki taka guy but Barca looking to play a little more direct this season so not completely out of the question that they reach out to him.

  2. MiamiAl says:

    LOL. This is a Barca head fake. Muller is not going anywhere.

  3. Scott says:

    Looks like the little bot inside RVP is a bit whiny.

  4. pgloerse says:

    Are these our World Cup Away jersey’s?
    link to twitter.com

  5. Alexandria says:

    Man U s problem is they have too many youngish players who have been given keys to the world without actually earning it. And I truly believe Fergie saw this coming.

    • arsenal says:

      Too many youngish players? Him… Rio, Vidic, Carrick, Evra, Fletcher, Giggs, and RVP are in their 30′s (Giggs 40). Rooney, Nani, Valencia, Young, Fellini, Mata, and Evans are between 25-29…that is half their squad. So, their are not youngish at all. They were involved in a good system under Fergie, and now that they have been given more freedom on the field their lack of talent in certain areas are showing through. The CB pairing is terrible and when you call on a player like chicarito to help you…well, he is not going to create anything for himself.

      • TomG says:

        They’re too slow all around the pitch IMO. Carrick and Rio are glacial. Rooney and RVP are not quick. Smalley, Cleverly, Vidic are below average. Most of the so called speed guys (Young, Giggs, Evra) are older and have lost a step or five. The only youngish speed they have is in their backup/ borderline starting striker role (Chicharito, Wellbeck). Having Carrick and Rio lining up right at the back of your spine is deadly. They can’t get the ball, they can’t close out shooters, and there’s not enough speed around them to cover. Opposing attackers are running crazy right in the heart of your defense. That’s where the offense starts too. If eevryone is hanging back trying to cover for those guys, it kills the whole flow.

        • Arsenal says:

          I agree with you 100%. Almost everyone at that team has lost a step, and that contract for Rooney was not worth it, IMO. They are in trouble, not for just this year, but for the next several years. Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City, Totenham and Liverpool all have fairly young teams and will be difficult for United to compete with them over the next few, unless they spend a ton of my over the summer — 75+ million pounds. Also, Southampton are extremely young and on the rise as well.

          • TomG says:

            Yeah, Vidic is gone as probably is Young, so they need to fill those spots. Eva looks like he doesn’t have it anymore, Carrick and Rio obviously need upgrades so you’re looking at 2 new fullbacks, 2 CBs and a dmid. Smalling and Cleverly might be able to hold their own in one or two of of those spots but they’re league average at best. You need to pay Adnan and figure out how to get him, Rooney, RVP, and Welbeck all on the pitch at the same time, and you probably need at least one more midfielder on top of that. I always liked Fellaini but he’s also slow so if you’re going to play him somewhere, you have to surround him with speed.

        • TomG says:

          Oops Smalling not Smalley

  6. Soccer Blood says:

    Man U look very ave this year. No real bite or anger in their play. Time to retire Ferdinand &Evra for starters Then retool Smalling and Cleverly. These guys need help in vital areas. The D looks a shamble Smalling cannot cross or stay cool on the ball without going backwards . Cleverly dives in and misses a lot of tackles, Too many times Man U plodded forwrd then back again giving the Greek team plenty of time to regroup Then Man U would actually give away the ball?. The old Manu U attacked with a vengence and purpose always with at least a shot on goal. Lastly let Chicarito play more and let kick and run Wellbeck warm the bench.