by Tim Stannard
No transfer change says Lopetegui
In a way it was quite endearing. Real Madrid’s manager Julen Lopetegui has been talking about the club’s transfer policy as if he had some kind of choice in the matter. “I don’t think there were will be a big change in the policy of signings,” claimed the Spaniard just minutes after the team’s unfortunate 4-2 defeat to Atletico in the European Super Cup final in Tallinn.
Over the years, the general policy at the club is for a Real Madrid manger to hand in a list of transfer requests at the beginning of the summer to Florentino Perez, only for it to be plonked gently into a trash can. After that, a hugely expensive and often not-needed player arrives instead to be crow-barred into an unwieldly tactical system. Looking at you here James Rodriguez.
However, the list of footballers who can both a) replace the footballing talents of He who must not be named playing in Serie A and b) be available to replace He who must not be named playing in Serie A at this late stage is pretty small. Gareth Bale basically. Which means that Madrid faces a season of uncertainty both at the back over who will be in goal and up front over whether the team can beat the individual in terms of filling a goal-scoring vacuum.
Tune into the XTRA at 7PM ET / 4PM PT for a full preview and prediction of La Liga. Whoo hoo!
La Liga promises Stateside games
Well this is exciting! If you live in North American, anyway. The greatest show on earth with the greatest stars – La Liga! – is heading to our New World shores as early as this season. It a model following the NFL’s adventures outside American shores, a top-flight game will take place on this side of the Atlantic as early as this season.
Although fixed plans are not yet in place, the announcement was made a day ahead of La Liga’s restart which sees a double header between Girona and Real Valladolid and Real Betis and Levante, both of which are live on beIN SPORTS from 2:15PM ET / 11:15AM PT
#LaLiga and RELEVENT partner to promote soccer in the US and Canada. 🇺🇸🇨🇦— LaLiga (@LaLigaEN) August 16, 2018
However, not everyone is skipping through the streets over the announcement with the Spanish Footballers’ Federation issuing a statement saying that the players were not consulted in this decision nor the fans who will miss out on seeing their home teams.
PSG poach Bundesliga star for backline
Transfer Tracker time!
And let’s kick things off with the completion of what was a rumor at the weekend with PSG heading to the Bundesliga to reinforce its backline with the purchase of Schalke defender, Thilo Kehrer for around $40 million. The next buy for PSG could well be Alex Sandro, although Juventus seem unwilling to part with its Brazilian fullback so close to the transfer window closing in Italy on Friday.
After a round of she-loves-me-she-loves-me-not over the summer, Napoli has finally plumped for a goalkeeper with the season start just around the corner. Arsenal and Colombia keeper, David Ospina, is in Roma taking a medical ahead of what is expected to be a loan move for a season.
Over in France and Marseille is reportedly looking for another striker to boost the goal tally a touch. Mario Balotelli, currently at Nice, is one option as is Valencia’s Simone Zaza who is looking increasingly unwanted in Mestalla.
Sports Burst would like to usher you towards our beIN SPORTS Facebook page at 12PM ET / 9AM PT for the daily TRANSFER TRACKER show – or watch it back at your leisure. Either way works.
France rules FIFA’s world
For once, a FIFA world rankings list that we can all get behind and salute as the results rise slowly up the flag pole. France has risen seven places to the top of the global tree after winning the actual World Cup – which certainly helps.
That’s certainly the boost that Croatia got, a team that has risen 16 spots into fourth. But what comes up must also come down. And that means Germany, a team that has fallen a whopping 14 places down from 1stand into 15, just ahead of Wales, Netherlands, two teams that weren’t even in the competition. Which actually looks a little harsh on Germany. Oh well.
Russia, England and Uruguay are big movers too, while Spain managed to shift up a place despite being largely hopeless in Russia 2018. FIFA has printed some blurb about a new formula to calculate the rankings but it is far too incomprehensible for the simple workings of Sports Burst’s meek mind.
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The life philosophy of Sports Burst is that if you are not upsetting someone, then you are not trying hard enough. Sports Burst is a daily trawl and troll through the morning's sports news to bring you fact-nuggets to make you both smile and swear. Hopefully at the same time.