Tuesday Kickoff: Costa decision to come at last minute; Van Gaal identifies targets; and more

DiegoCostaSpain1-Italy2014 (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

Diego Costa’s gamble to play in the UEFA Champions League final was unsuccessful, leaving him sidelined for another two weeks as he rehabs his hamstring injury.

Costa is included in Spain’s 30-man roster for the World Cup, but a decision whether to keep him on the final 23-man roster will come at the last minute, according to Spain head coach Vicente Del Bosque.

“All the squad lists are difficult to make. We will try to make the best decisions for the country”, Del Bosque told Cadena SER. “We know nothing more about Diego Costa than the medical report. We will take the decision at the last minute.”

If Costa is fit, he’s expected to lead the line for Spain as they attempt to win the World Cup for the second time in a row. If he isn’t fit, Spain will likely turn once more to Fernando Torres.

Here are some more stories to start your day:

VAN GAAL BRINGING DUTCH INFLUENCE TO MANCHESTER

Louis Van Gaal hasn’t officially taken over at Manchester United, but he already has a wish list of players he’d like to have in his squad.

At the top of the list is AS Roma midfielder Kevin Strootman, who enjoyed a breakout season in Italy before tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, ending his World Cup hopes. He quickly became a favorite of Van Gaal with the Netherlands National Team, with Van Gaal last year even going so far as to say that the only player with a guaranteed spot in Brazil was Strootman.

Reports in England state that it would take a bid of at least €30 million for Roma to let Strootman leave for England. In addition, Van Gaal is interested in midfielder Jordy Clasie and defender Bruno Martens Indi during the summer transfer window.

TOURE FANS THE TRANSFER FLAMES ONCE MORE

Yaya Toure has once more opened speculation that he could leave Manchester City this summer.

The 31-year-old Ivory Coast international said in an interview with France Football that he would be honored to play for Paris Saint-Germain someday, despite still being under contract with Man City. The comments come not long after Toure wasn’t acknowledged on his birthday, something that irked him and his agent.

“Given the goals of Paris, how could you not be interested in a club like that?” Touré told France Football. “PSG have become one of the strongest teams in Europe. It would be a honour to one day play for a club like that. If I can be of service [then good].״

Toure said recently and repeated that he would take care of his club situation after the World Cup. He scored 20 goals in 35 English Premier League games this past season, leading Man City to the league title.

BLANCO TO START VS. ISRAEL

Mexico National Team head coach Miguel Herrera is giving Cuauhtémoc Blanco one last hurrah with El Tri.

In naming his squad for Tuesday’s friendly match against Israel at Estadio Azteca, Herrera included Blanco in El Tri’s starting lineup, replacing Javier Hernandez. The match will serve as a tribute to the 41-year-old Blanco, who scored 39 times in 119 games for Mexico.

Blanco recently signed a contract with Puebla, likely ending his 22-year professional career in Liga MX after three years in the second division.

QUICK KICKS

Borussia Dortmund have offered Torino a €22 million bid and a four-year contract to Ciro Immobile, eying him as a replacement for Robert Lewandowski. (REPORT)

AC Milan have reportedly decided to make Filippo Inzaghi their new manager, replacing Clarence Seedorf after just a half-season. (REPORT)

Gareth Bale has withdrawn from Wales’ upcoming friendly match against the Netherlands. (REPORT)

220 Bundesliga players took part in a poll and the majority voted Borussia Dortmund winger Marco Reus as the player of the season, scoring 16 goals and 14 assists. (REPORT)

Belgium defeated Luxembourg in a World Cup tune-up in Genk, 5-1. Romelu Lukaku scored a hat-trick. (REPORT)

Belgium defender Daniel Van Buyten has revealed that he is leaving Bayern Munich as the two parties were unable to come to a new contractual agreement. (REPORT)

Bayern however have re-signed Peruvian forward Claudio Pizarro for another season. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you think Costa can recover in time play in the World Cup? Do you see Van Gaal signing Strootman this summer? Think that Toure could join PSG this summer as well?

Share your thoughts below.

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

11 Responses to Tuesday Kickoff: Costa decision to come at last minute; Van Gaal identifies targets; and more

  1. KMac says:

    Herrera’s treatment of Blanco is classy. As much (or more) should have been done for another CONCACAF legend, at minimum. Bare minimum. End of rant, GO USMNT!

    • John says:

      I think it’s ridiculous bordering on the pathetic. At 41 Blanco should just retire from the nats already. The 2010 World Cup was his send off.

      • Maykol says:

        Not sure how its ridiculous. He hasnt played since the world cup so he kinda has beeen retired from international. This is just a send-off for a lomg-time fan favorite

        • jones says:

          Seems like an odd time for a send-off, no? Right when you should be focusing on your team’s WC readiness?

          I guess it probably won’t matter much and perhaps it’s been done to give the much shamed national team a boost from the fans (Lol that the only way they can do this is to bring back a 41 year old player).

  2. MMV says:

    I’m curious……… Are the Dutch press, KNVB (their federation), or fans the least bit concerned that Van Gaal has decided to take the Man U — right now during WC preparations?? It seems to me that he has made more comments about Man U than the Dutch WC preparations. Plus, the rumor mill is swirling everyday with players he’s supposedly eyeing or wanting to releas and he’s responded to some of those rumors.. Is his hiring a distraction for the Dutch?? Is Van Gaal looking over his shoulder giving more attention to Man U?? I would not be happy if I were the KNVB. The Dutch are notorious for under achieving in international tournaments and always self implode. This can’t be good for them.

    • jones says:

      Very much agree – I’ve been wondering this since he was rumored to take over the job. Juggling a top national team program with high expectations about to go into a World Cup along with a management position at a top $$ club in need of a serious overhaul seems like a terrible idea (for both sides but especially the Dutch team). It is impossible he would be able to give both his full attention.

  3. Aguinaga says:

    Feels like Pizarro first signed for Bayern when Pele was on the Cosmos.

  4. Karls says:

    i never thought I’d use Blanco Mexico and class in the same sentence but there it is.
    Much better than lies and cheap shots from you family members,

  5. MLSsnob says:

    I was shocked, SHOCKED, to see that the horse placenta treatments didn’t work. In what world does rubbing some horse placenta on an injury not heal the wound? No world I want to live in I tell you.

  6. Joamiq says:

    Mexico is using a WC tuneup match as a tribute match? OK then.

    Didn’t City release a video or something showing that they had indeed presented a cake to Toure on his birthday? Relatedly, why am I commenting on this? Can’t believe this became a story.

    • John says:

      It’s not a tribute match. Blanco will play about 15 mins according to Herrera since this is the only game Mexico will play at Azteca before going to Brazil.