Tuesday Kickoff: Costa and Torres called up for Spain; Luiz linked again with Barca; and more

DiegoCostaSpain1-Italy2014 (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

Spain will be bringing one of Europe’s most prolific strikers with them to Brazil this summer.

On the day of FIFA’s deadline to name a maximum 30-man provisional World Cup squad, Spain released their 30-player squad, which included all of the usuals plus Atletico Madrid forward Diego Costa. The Brazilian native became a naturalized citizen of Spain in 2013 and last fall declared his international future for Spain, despite having played for Brazil in the past in two friendlies.

Costa made his first appearance for Spain in a March friendly match against Italy and is expected to lead the line ahead of Fernando Torres, Alvaro Negredo, Fernando Llorente, and teammate David Villa this summer.

The 25-year-old Costa is also closing in on a £32 million move to Chelsea, with Jose Mourinho having activated his release clause some time in the last few weeks, according to reports in England. Including Costa’s salary, the whole deal to bring him to Stamford Bridge is expected to cost Chelsea at least £80 million.

Here are some more stories to start off your Tuesday:

LUIZ HEADING TO BARCELONA

Barcelona are pursuing David Luiz for the second season in a row, and according to reports in England and Spain, Barca might be more successful the second time around.

The Times of London is reporting that Barcelona and David Luiz have agreed contract terms and all that’s needed now is confirmation from Barcelona’s manager, whether it be Gerardo Martino or his potential replacement. Reports in Spain believe that Luis Enrique is the man who will be taking the Argentine’s job following the La Liga finale next Sunday.

Luiz’s transfer is expected to cost Barcelona somewhere in the region of £30 million, much more than they could have acquired Luiz for last summer had they been able to agree a deal. The deal would be subject to FIFA’s transfer ban on Barcelona, which has been lifted temporarily on appeal.

The Brazilian international was second-choice for Chelsea in the second half of the season, despite being a starter for the Brazilian National Team. Luiz played just 19 English Premier League matches and an additional 15 matches in all competitions this season.

SHERWOOD SACKED BY TOTTENHAM

In a move that should surprise no one, Tottenham activated a release clause in Tim Sherwood’s contract on Tuesday, parting ways with the former reserve team manager after barely five months in charge.

Sherwood took over for the departed Andre Villas-Boas on Dec. 23, 2013, but was unable to take the expensively assembled squad into the UEFA Champions League, settling for a sixth-place finish.

The search for a new manager has begun, with the English media reporting that Southampton’s Mauricio Pochettino at the top of Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy’s list.

QUICK KICKS

Diego Forlan, Luis Suarez, and Edinson Cavani will lead the line for Uruguay at the World Cup after being included in Uruguay’s 28-man provisional squad. (REPORT)

Didier Drogba and the Toure brothers, Yaya and Kolo, headline the 28-man preliminary World Cup squad for the Ivory Coast. (REPORT)

Adnan Januzaj has made Belgium’s World Cup squad alongside Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard, and Vincent Kompany. (REPORT)

Manchester United will lose both of their long-term centerbacks after deciding against giving Rio Ferdinand a new contract, allowing him to leave the club as a free agent. (REPORT)

West Bromwich Albion have parted ways with Spanish manager Pepe Mel. (REPORT)

Lyon manager Remi Garde has stepped down from his position with the club for personal reasons. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you see Costa starting for Spain in Brazil? Think that Luiz should move to Barcelona? Do you see the transfer even being completed before the World Cup? Who do you see becoming Tottenham manager next?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in European Soccer, Featured, FIFA World Cup, World Cup 2014. Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Tuesday Kickoff: Costa and Torres called up for Spain; Luiz linked again with Barca; and more

  1. Increase says:

    Don’t you dare win the Golden Boot again Torres…. Padding your stats vs Ireland is not cool.

  2. Bach's Thumb says:

    If Barcelona add both David Luiz and Javi Martinez? Come on, now. Potentially Aguero as well….

    • Jim says:

      Transfer ban, hahahaha.

    • reignman says:

      I honestly think those two might be a recipe for disaster for Barca, they need a true CB. Not a CB/CDM hybrid which both of those are, and Martinez has said repeatedly he doesn’t want to play CB.

      • Bach's Thumb says:

        Don’t think he’ll have to. Remember, they have Pique and Montoya already.

        • reignman says:

          They have a clear need at CB and have for a couple years. Pique has been living off reputation recently, he hasn’t been all that good for the last year or two and Montoya is hardly ready. Luiz and Martinez aren’t the answer for them, they should make a run at Vertonghen, he might be a good fit there.

  3. Jim says:

    So Chelsea gets paid 30 mil for a substitute and turns around and spends that 30 mil for one of the top 5 strikers in the game and addresses their top weakness – a quality striker?

    Well done.

  4. Matt C says:

    That Belgium squad looks good…on paper. Should have no problem getting out of it’s group.(Russia, Algeria and S. Korea). And depending on how we do in Group G, we could end up facing them after we finish second in our group.

    • reignman says:

      I would not be shocked to see them fall on their face at all, they only have one player with major international competition experience and they have called in a couple of people with no caps for their side. They are clearly a talented side but experience counts a lot in international tournaments and they have none of it. The average age of their squad is 24, they could really be a force at the next Eurors

    • slowleftarm says:

      Belgium’s squad is stacked. With that easy group, I don’t think they’ll have any problems advancing. At this point I would certainly settle for a second round game for the US against Belgium though.

  5. A.S. says:

    As a Chelsea fan, I would be more than OK effectively trading Luiz for Costa. I love Luiz, and think he should have played ahead of Terry, but they’ve effectively got 5 really good defenders for 3 spots right now (Terry, Cahill, Luiz, Ivanovic and Azpilicueta). Going forward, I would like Azpilicueta to move back to his preferred right back position, move Ivanovic to center back and pair him with Cahill. Terry needs to begin moving into the Lampard-type role of spot starter. Maybe pick up Luke Shaw for left back.

  6. Daft says:

    the question is : is Costa good enough defender to play for Mou?

  7. ormama says:

    TORRESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

  8. ormama says:

    DIEGO FORLAN? dude is like 35. retire dude. Suarez and Cavani got this.

    • Increase says:

      Impact Subs are important. He can play 20 minutes and be dangerous after Cavani runs himself into the ground.

  9. 2 dragons says:

    costa will flop at chelsea

    • Sly says:

      Atleast the first season I see him figuring it out next one. I expect 15 goals all competition. Twenty plus the seasons after. Mou just doesnt play the style that will see him fed the way he would elsewhere to get acclimated in half a season.