Summer 2018 European Transfer Discussion Thread

The 2017-18 European Leagues have wrapped up and now it's time for the silly season. This is the place to discuss the transfers of the biggest leagues on the continent and share some juicy gossip and jovial ribbing of our competitors.

Done deals:

Geoffrey Kondogbia (Internazionale) to Valencia CF - €25m - May 24 2018
Fabinho (AS Monaco) to Liverpool FC - £39.3m - May 28 2018
Stephan Lichsteiner (Juventus) to Arsenal - free - May 30 2018
Fred (Shakhtar Donetsk) to Manchester United FC - £47m - June 5 2018
Diogo Dalot (FC Porto) to Manchester United FC - £19m - June 6 2018
Douglas Costa (Bayern Munich) to Juventus - €40m - June 8 2018
Emre Can (Liverpool FC) to Juventus - free - June 8 2018
Sokratis Papastathopolous (Borussia Dortmund) to Arsenal FC - £16m - June 9 2018
Gerard Deulofeu (FC Barcelona) to Watford - €13m - June 10 2018
Ramadhan Sobhi (Stoke City) to Huddersfield Town - £5.7m - June 12 2018
Thomas Lemar (Monaco) to Atletico Madrid - £63.2m - June 18 2018
Rui Patricio (Sporting Lisbon) to Wolverhampton Wanderers - free - June 18 2018
Bernd Leno (Bayer Leverkusen) to Arsenal - €25m - June 19 2018
Issa Diop (Toulouse) to West Ham United - £21.9m - June 19 2018
Lukas Fabianski (Swansea City) to West Ham United - £7m - June 20 2018
James Maddison (Norwich City) to Leicester City - £22m - June 20 2018
Lucas Torreira (Sampdoria) to Arsenal - €30m - June 20 2018
Radja Nainggolan (AS Roma) to Internazionale - £21m+(2 players) - June 22 2018
Justin Kluivert (Ajax) to AS Roma - £15m - June 22 2018
Javier Pastore (PSG) to AS Roma - €20m - June 26 2018
Vinicus Junior (Flamengo) to Real Madrid - £38m - June 26 2018
Joao Cancelo (Valencia) to Juventus - €40m - June 27 2018
Dusan Tadic (Southampton) to Ajax - undisclosed - June 27 2018
Jack Wilshere (Arsenal) to West Ham United - free - July 9 2018
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) to Juventus - £88m - July 10 2018
Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City) to Manchester City - £60m - July 10 2018

DISCLAIMER: Forum topics may not have been written or edited by The Key Play staff.


From the title I thought we were getting an overseas basketball transfer or something like that.
But it's just soccer.
Oh well.

I had the exact same reaction.

I was really hopeful we landed some massive Scandinavian or Russian dude who was going to come in and wreck people.

Liverpool wasted no time with that Fabinho deal, we didn't even have to sit through two weeks of bullshit articles claiming it's a done deal or that it's off the table.

Why can't they all be like that? This Bale to United shit is going to kill me.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

Well, for us Reds, the whole VVD saga last summer meant that the club has set a precedent of not revealing anything. The only reason no one heard about it until it was done is because Monaco, presumably, kept their lips shut too.

It sort of sucks as I liked hearing the rumors from our reputable sources but now I have to get rumored information from foreign sources and have to decipher how reliable they are.

I think Fab deal was great, but if we don't sign another keeper, my hopes for next season are about the same as they were at the beginning of this season (challenge for the EPL early on, yet lose it down the stretch).

As heartbreaking as that CL final loss was, I'm wondering if it might work in our favor, and finally put a capable keeper in between the sticks.

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

I'm not trying to be some super optimist here but even if Karius was our starter, if you take away those two mistakes he has been incredibly solid. That being said we have loads of cash from coutinho, champions league, etc. and have no reason to not be fully in for oblak or alisson.

I think it will be tough (or at least very expensive) to wrestle away Oblak from Atletico, but it wouldn't be the first time they sold a great keeper.

His release clause is about $100m...and we've got it...just get it done and that's the position sorted for the next 15 years. No WC for Oblak so the negotiations need to begin stat.

Props to Liverpool for getting a deal done quickly. It rarely happens for Arsenal.

An unpopular opinion holder amongst Arsenal fans right now, but I'm going to be happy with our start to the window if we can wrap up Sokratis and Lichtsteiner soon. Still need a better GK and probably another CB and ideally a CDM to close out the window, but those two vets would be a good start for the rumored money (16M and free respectively).

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

Additional rumors so far:

- Gk (Leno, Rico)
- CB (Soyunc)
- CAM (Seri....he only makes sense if Ramsey leaves right?)
- CDM (Pellegrini)

Lichtsteiner a done deal.

One-year contract, which was all I'd be comfy with (he's way older than I thought) but he and Sokratis (nothing official yet but seems imminent) would be value added vets at least in the short term. I don't mind us getting a little older on the back end - I'm a firm believer in savvy over youth re defense.

You're the only ones that I can talk to about this, you guys.

Well this certainly shakes the landscape up:

Zidane Resigns as Real Madrid Manager

Don't see Bale leaving now.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

Watch Arsene Wenger go there.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

Pochettino pls

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Eff Real Madrid. Real Madrid is basically our Penn State.

Why does Real Madrid always have to take away our nice things?

I just cant see that working not with a bunch of players likely to go and come in if your gonna start to usher in the post ronaldo era or the end of it you want a manger with a few years vision to build something.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

So can we please sack mourinho and bring in Zidane please?
Also a huge sidenote is if they bring in a new manager Bale will most likely stay cause what manager in his right mind would come in and let him go so hopefully this will end the Bale to Utd garbage that tabloids love so much.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

I had a really long reply written but it is all conjecture. I am going to take the side of Zidane inherited a RM side that was super talented and is resigning because of the rebuild. RM (And him since he was on the board at the time) fired Benitez because some of the players didn't like his style. Benitez is someone who is tactically astute and makes demands of his players. I think Zidane stepped in, had some good coaching/fitness going on with the team, picked a good formation and rolled with it. He seems to be resigning to go back to the board--but I could be wrong.

I think United would be taking a huge risk with Zidane, one that could pay off but also one that could be Moyes-esque. And I realize that is almost sensationalism for me to say as Moyes never won anything.

Edit: To be clear I am not writing this because I am salty about losing the CL to RM. I just have to wonder how 'in-charge' of that team Zidane was.

Long post alert:
You're correct in that he inherited a God Tier level squad worth of talent, and his own status as an "Idol" for many of the players helped him navigate the first year despite his lack of tactical know-how. As he got comfortable with the role of a "manager" you saw him try different tactics, players, and youth call-ups work flawlessly. Year 2 of the Zidane era can be heralded as one of the best because they had tremendous depth, world class players, a coach willing to try risky maneuvers with tactics, and of course a lot of Luck (no major injury plagues for example). All while not having a major signing. This is where Year 3 is possibly the biggest accomplishment as far as him as a "manager" in the tactical and team management style. Yet again he was against bringing in big money signings, and instead tried to develop the talent from within and mesh it with the current staff. This is where we ultimately saw him at his managerial chops; he limited minutes to players who didn't fit his way, he had squad choices in mind that were probably against managements wishes, and certainly against the fans as the season didn't start so well. He was finally in full control of the team HE wanted to manage, while also trying to live up to the major expectations being the boss at Madrid. I mean, who else in the world would survive benching Bale, Isco, Asensio when he was peaking at the season, etc? I think this is the key point to to whole Zidane leaving on his terms. I feel as though he knows Madrid will be the club with the big signings, despite his wishes against getting certain players, and while he navigated the years he was the manager shockingly well by having Perez in his back pocket on player signings...I feel like he knew that would no longer fly moving forward because his "hand picked" team failed to live up to expectations domestically, and struggled mightily at times in Europe.

I take him at his word that he wants to leave Madrid for the "betterment" of the club, as it needs a fresh vision and voice. I do also think it's because he knows that he will not be able to do certain things his way to the extent he had done so before. Because of this, I think it's the biggest allure for him to coach at the National level, and I do think he'll become France's next coach after the WC. He even said it himself that it's his dream to coach his mother country's team, and after stepping down today he said that he's in no rush to find the next job. To me this screams at the notion that he's waiting for Deschamps to be sacked or step down. As France's manager, he would have say in EVERY player selection, potentially be involved at the youth level, and would be able to make his own team. This is what he wants I think. We know France, on paper, is great, but they will of course be underwhelming and fizzle out as they have been doing under Deschamps. I don't know why that guy is still the coach...but I think the timing is suspiciously perfect, and the writing is on the wall for Zidane to manage France.


Well said, and I will be the first to admit I have not followed Zidane much at all--and it clearly pales to your knowledge of the team. His struggles domestically and, to a smaller extend, in Europe while inheriting tremendous talent were red flags for me. Pep Guardiola inherits teams with tremendous talent and keeps them operating at a tremendous level both domestically and in Europe, as one example.

I see what you are saying about him managing France and I could see that as well--I hadn't looked at it from that angle though.

Excellent perspecitves from both sides. Being a United fan, I get the hate for Mourinho from our own. But Zidane isn't the answer. I'm giving Mourinho one more year, but I definitely agree with vtae's take on Zidane at United.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

As a Real Madrid fan who watches every match I can, this is a solid assessment. The short version is that Zidane likes to leave things on top, including his own playing career, rather than waiting for the steep decline to come, and that simply the stress of being the RM manager is enormous and he was tired. Why not step away while you're at the peak? Nobody had ever won back to back Champion's Leagues (in the current format) and he won three in a row. Plus, his loyalties to his players were obvious and he didn't want to deal with offloading players he trusted and was close to.

Additionally, I'm glad you acknowledge his tactical savvy as well. He wasn't the greatest tactical manager but he created a team that was incredibly flexible in how we could play and still win big matches. He would make formation and style adjustments from match to match to best match our opponents and sometimes would even make these switches mid-match. He wasn't always right, there were many times the diamond wasn't working and he insisted on using it, but there were many times that we came out of nowhere with a different tactical style in a big match and it paid off. Some matches it was possession football, sometimes we absorbed pressure and countered, sometimes we played through the middle, sometimes we played through the wings. This past season we damn near changed formation and lineup every single match the last few months, it was a rollercoaster but it kept working. Truly a master of controlled chaos.

I am very sad to see him go but I was not altogether surprised. When things were going really poorly in the league, and it was unclear that we were going to win a third consecutive CL, there were rumors that he was going to step down whether we won the CL or not at the end of the season. I have to admit, as of recently, I had assumed that was no longer the case but that's why it didn't take me completely by surprise.

Whoops meant an /s there on my original post I feel Zidanes a good manager but nobody can be a long term mangaer at madrid quite simply and he noticed the signs of a big summer and did the smart thing to move on.

I give mourinho 6 months this season to show he can get it done before I begin scheduling activities on game days again as I did through the later LVG days as I'd rather go do sidework and make money then sit around the house all morning to watch god awful football. I always try to be an optimist in every sporting sense but Jose is sucking my optimism right out some days.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

I think you are right to be skeptical of Zidane being able to plug into any team and have the success he had at Real Madrid. He is definitely best suited to handle a dressing room of great players, big talent, and possible big egos. However, as a RM fan, I can assure you that your assessment of the dressing room between Benitez and Zidane isn't quite right.

Benitez was not respected by the elite players in the squad because he didn't relate to them, there are stories about him trying to give free kick advice to Ronaldo and everyone in the dressing room making fun of Benitez for doing so. They didn't respect him and therefore he had little control over the dressing room. Zidane on the other hand, had the immense respect of all the members of the squad, he was revered and respected because he himself was a club legend, and one of the greatest footballers in history, they all loved and trusted him so much (with perhaps the exception of Bale). He was in total control and the squad was completely behind him.

All but like 2 of the players in the entire team posted very emotional pictures and words today on social media expressing their immense gratitude towards Zidane, it was pretty mind blowing. I've had a pretty emotional day myself as I woke up to all of this and his press conference. Here is a link to all the different social media posts.

I gotta be honest, that paragraph about making fun of Benitez hurts me somewhere deep. I think that portrays one of the many reasons I could never support RM. Benitez is a Liverpudlian hero with what he did here and with the amount of chaos going on in the back ground (Hicks&Gillette). He won the CL and went back again in 2007 and lost, he fielded what is widely presumed the best Liverpool team in the modern era (2008-2009).

But he goes to Real Madrid and gets laughed at because he gives some free kick advice to CR? To me that is the epitome of disrespect and arrogance on a level that very few can achieve. I am not saying his advice was good or not, but to have a dressing room making fun of that man is simply appalling to me. It just reminds me so much of a bunch of kids who know they are great and rich and bully the hell out of anyone who challenges them.

I am not coming after you so I hope you don't think I am upset with you...I am not, I just feel so , so bad for Rafa if that is true.

We lost to Milan in 2007, not 2006. FYI.

I wouldn't feel too bad for him, there are plenty of quotes about what an incredibly harsh person he is, though he attempts to be warm he is just very coarse. There were lots of reports that he was unwilling to handle issues with the players face to face, among other things that went wrong. At the end of the day, he just wasn't the right fit for Real Madrid, but I still think he is a fantastic manager overall.

The actual incidents are rumors and 2nd hand information at the end of the day, and I think it's fine to feel he was mistreated by the squad if they are true, but these things always go both ways and there were lots of reports about Benitez being hard to deal with and not vibing with the players.

No I understand that most of this stuff is speculation and reading between the lines. Based on following him at Liverpool and Newcastle, I don't see him being a harsh person--he is very easily loved by many. But if those reports came out of RM then I wouldn't be surprised in the least bit. It is no secret he didn't get along with the players.

At the end of the day I just think he simply wasn't the right fit for Real Madrid and that dressing room. Real Madrid is notoriously one of (if not) the hardest managerial positions to hold with the highest of expectations and the shortest of leashes. Outside of his time at Madrid, I am quite a big fan of Benitez and I always expect good things from the teams he manages. I find Newcastle very easy to root for casually, and enjoy the style of play. I also respect him for getting them out of the Championship and straight to a 10th(?) finish in the PL.

As a side note, I'm sure as an LFC fan (it seems we have a healthy contingent here on TKP) you have a lot to be excited about this summer. Already made some big moves and are being linked to lots of others. Looks like your management are trying to build a squad with the talent and depth needed to make a strong push for the PL and another run in the CL. I'm all for anyone unseating City (though it seems a tall task) as you can imagine I have absolutely zero love for Guardiola.

Yeah Fabinho came out of nowhere...we were all looking to see if we could beat city to Jorginho but from what I have read Hendo is more like Jorginho and Fabinho is more of a CDM destroyer which is something we have been begging for. Klopp and Edwards (head of transfers) seem to really have gotten in sync well. It has been almost frustratingly slow with bringing in key pieces: Mane/Karius/Matip 2016, Salah/Robertson/Ox 2017, Keita/VVD/Jorginho 2018.

While frustrating this is the right way to do it. I am hoping for a GK--not because of the final but simply because of Alisson and Oblak are available, it would be ridiculous to not go after them. I genuinely like Karius and hope that he can use what happened in the final as motivation and would be happy to have him between the sticks...but the improvement would be immense, if possible to sign Alisson or Oblak. Maybe another winger, another CB and we are in a very good place.

I'm right there with you, I think get a capable GK, some depth at the winger position, and a pairing CB for VVD and I think we'll give MC a good run for their money.

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

I think its gonna be city and liverpool next year all the way, if you guys can find some consistency (I do not understand your weird performances against bottom of the table clubs) itll be a fun year next year

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

It's funny you mention that because 16/17 season we were undefeated against the top-6 but terrible against the bottom 10. This past season we didn't do well against the top-6 but actually had a significant improvement on the bottom 10.

What plagued us this season, early on, is that when Coutinho was on the field it swallowed up Mane and gave teams one outlet to shut down because almost all balls went through Coutinho. We had tied something like 9 or 10 times with him in the line-up before he was sold. Move forward to the end of the season and we finish with 12 ties. Without Coutinho the attack was more balanced and slightly less predictable. The ending (EPL, not CL) to our season was strictly because we no longer had the depth to compete in CL and EPL.

Not to go too in depth here...Ox, Lallana can both play wing but Lallana is old, Ox is injured til Nov. so we need depth there. Midfield options of Hendo, Ox, Lallana, Wij, Milner, Can was OK but next season it will be Keita, Fabinho, Hendo, Ox, Lallana, Wij, Milner and maybe even Fekir (who can also play wing).

Lovren's second half of the season was great but the drop off from him to Klavan/Gomez/Matip is too large at the moment. Need to either bring in someone that makes Lovren the bench CB or a solid backup. CLyne should be back and the debate is should he take over for TAA who had an amazing season. Clyne can play both left and right effectively so with Clyne, Moreno, TAA, Robertson, our full backs seem to be set.

Karius. Is he a back up? do we sign Alisson/Oblak? I am ok with him starting so long as his response to what happened is positive. If he is wallowing then I expect Klopp to not stand for that. Mignolet is out for sure, Danny Ward is good but not great and certainly not EPL proven at this point. We know we have the cash...have to think we are going to be after a GK.

And now silly season has begun some spanish media reporting Mou is being considered for the RM job ahhhhhh gotta love the wacky times summer brings us

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Pulisic to Fulham makes a lot of sense, but will never happen. Back in the Premier League. Play attractive football. American owner who would love to make a splash in the American market/get a good player.

**yes I'm a Fulham fan and will now put down the whiskey**

Always choose joy.

I would love to see Pulisic in the EPL. A lot of Liverpool fans want him because Klopp/BvB relation. I don't think it will happen for us and for you guys as the price would be too high. Just signed an extension too if I am not mistaken.

I hope he stays in Germany.

But if he doesn't, Arsenal has the front office man that found him initially and keeps buying up Dortmund stars so...

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

There have been some rumors (to go along with many of them) that he is linked with Spurs.
Young team, young coach who plays a lot of youth, play in an NFL stadium, history with American players - not a huge stretch.

It's really not a huge stretch to connect him to Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal, for lots of reasons. Liverpool who has Klopp (who was there when he was signed) and is playing some of the most attractive attacking football in the EPL still can't lure him over--we've tried and even made offers, reportedly. His contract is until 2020 which means he won't come cheap either. Combined with the fact that he probably wants to be starting, you have to question who he starts over? Mane, Salah, Eriksen, Son, Alli, etc.

I guess since we're speculating, he played along side Aubameyang, Arsenal would make since. I haven't sen or heard any rumors linking him to Arsenal though. Looks as if Arsenal are going after a you french kid Mateo Guendouzi.


I'm surprised at how quiet it's been on the Pulisic front. From a prior conversation on here, it seems like it might be hard to get him out of the Bundesliga. My money's on Bayern.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

His dad just came out and said all transfer talk is hogwash so I'd imagine he'll stay for a year atleast

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

I wouldn't be against this because he would play a lot. For Pulisic, what is absolutely best for him right now is to be somewhere (Dortmund or wherever) where he will be playing a lot of minutes and playing in the biggest matches. If he went to a huge club right now to be a rotation player and sit out the biggest games I'm not sure that is the best for him.

That said, I think Pulisic, as America's best talent in a long time (maybe ever), will be linked to a million of these transfer rumors every window. It's important to remember European football media is on a different level from other sports as far as speculation and wild rumor mongering goes. Almost all the stuff you will see has no substance to it.

I'd love to see Liverpool sign him (per Grant Wahl we're favorites) and then loan him out to Fulham so he could cut his teeth in the EPL. Makes the most sense as he wouldn't play regularly for us next year unless Klopp can figure something out.

He may not have guaranteed starting time with us but with EPL, and was clear midseason we were having to rotate mane and salah to get them rest. A third capable winger would be immense. I still think if he came to the EPL a loan to a team like Fulham or Newcastle or Huddersfield would make sense, first.

I think his career would be better served where he is already.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

I pretty much lean towards him staying in Dortmund until he is 21/22 and then maybe consider a move. The exact age isn't important, but several more years of first team football in Bundesliga will be very helpful towards his development, which as an American is all I really care about. As a club fan, I doubt he will ever play for my team (though it would be amazing if he turned out that good).

LFC supporters, what do you think about Karius now that it's been confirmed that Ramos actually did give him a concussion before the Benzema goal? I'd love to keep him as a backup keeper, I still want to go after a quality keeper though.

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

No way a goalie that young wants to go from champions league final starter to bench option. I think all the stories are just filler, since Klopp likes to improve from within unless it's a glaring need. And I just don't see it as a glaring need, Karius does all the things Klopp ask him to do. So either Karius and Migs are gone and we get "insert 'quality keeper'" or this is all just fluff to get through silly season.
My preference is Karius and Ward/Grabara.

He's still basically a goner, Oblak or Alisson will be the starter next season.

Whats funny is seeing the fans who want a replay cause of this test feel for the guy but if nobody else noticed he had gotten a concussion its up to him if he feels because of his injury hed let his team down he has to make the call to the bench to say hey im hurt and since he didnt let anyone know thats on him, again feel bad for him but he stayed on and the rest is history.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

2 things.

First fans that want a replay, that are still crying about Ramos being the dirty player we all know him to be, etc....they have to get over it. It sucks, the wound has been reopened, but its 5-June. We can't go back. I do hope we get to face them in teh UCL again and give them payback.

Second, concussions are not as simple as you have put it and there are a multitude of factors in Karius not coming off the field. First, and most obvious, Karius may have felt a bit woozy but with the adrenaline of being in the final he may not have noticed. I think the fact that his test for concussion coming 5 days after the final is pretty indicative that he didn't feel the noticeable symptoms until much later. Next, Karius is our UCL keeper and has played pretty great. No one in the pinnacle game is going to go to their coach and willingly put themselves on the bench--Liverpool fans would lambaste a player for doing such a thing. There is a reason in the NFL players helmets literally have to be taken away to keep them out of the game.

You can never blame the concussed player for any subsequent actions. It's like saying--"listen I know you bell just got rung and you aren't thinking straight at all--but come on man, be logical!"

My first reaction was that it makes the final feel worse to me. One player was responsible for removing our best attacking option and our keeper who had played so well for us. The report from the hospital mentioned spacial/visual dysfunction as an immediate symptom so the two mistakes he made could be linked. If we had gone toe-to-toe with our best line up and lost then I can accept that. But knowing that two player's nights were ended early (although Karius stayed in) and one if not both were arguably intentional given Ramos' history...I've accepted the loss but it sort of reopens the wound.

As far as fans wanting a replay, it's ridiculous. It's nice to have a reason behind Karius' woeful display--he has been pretty consistent except for that game.

As for Oblak/Alisson...if they are available then I don't have an issue with the club going for them but it isn't because of Karius--it is simply because the club has a chance to be even better. If we can't get them for the right price or if we get them but it is on a delayed deal (like Keita), I won't be upset. Karius has synergized well with VVD and with the addition of Keita, Fabinho to the midfield I think he will be more than enough for us.

Karius was tabbed to be the next great German Keeper and was voted second best to him (Neuer) at 22 years of age. He is still extremely young but it is nonsense to write him off at this point and try to sell him. He will stay at the least as a back up to Alisson/Oblak.

I guess what I am saying is I don't hold him accountable whatsoever for the final but would still be OK going after a world class keeper. I think Karius could become world class, but Alisson/Oblak are only a year older and already looking world class.

Totally agree with all you're saying. I haven't done much research on Karius, so when LFC first signed him, I kind of just trusted Klopp's ability to assess low cost young talent. Up until the CL final, it seemed to be a great gamble on his part. Like you though, I think LFC has a chance to be great, and I think the only way they can get there is with more consistent play between the sticks. So many of our ties this year came from last minute defensive blunders. Part of that blame goes to the back four, but a big part of it, goes to the inability to track side to side ball movements from set pieces and corners.

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

No offense, but you are buying into the narrative that portrays Liverpool being fragile against set pieces and your post is influenced by recency bias. I had to do some digging to get all the statistics but here you go:

*PK's not included in set piece stats

15/16 - 15 set piece goals - 5th (aka only 4 teams conceded more!)
16/17 - 12 set piece goals - 9th (aka only 8 teams conceded more!)
17/18 - 8 set piece goals - 15th (aka only 4 teams conceded less!)

Now for the ties. We had 12 in the EPL this season. Of those ties 8 out of 12 came before the new year, aka before Coutinho was sold and VVD was bought. Those two transactions played a huge influence in formation and how teams chose to attack us.

Of the 12 ties, Karius played in 6 and Mignolet played in 6, so that is a wash.

Of the 12 ties, 5 had goals scored after the 75th minute. Of those 5 goals:

Watford 3-3, clear offside and blocking the GK from making a save
Chelsea 1-1, Willian amazing cross turned goal
Everton 1-1, BS penalty given to Calvert Lewis after he jumps into Lovren to instigate contact
Tottenham 2-2, BS penalty given because linesman somehow feels he should overrule the ref
West Brom 2-2, just not a good game. 2 set piece goals after 79 minutes.

So of the 5 ties where late goals were scored, only two were set piece goals. Of the two, West Brom was the only legitimate one.

All that being said, it frustrated me to no end that of all the premier league teams liverpool, 14 teams conceded more than us...but every time Liverpool conceded, the reporters/commentators were going on and on about how frail we were at set pieces and it was a constant vulnerability that Klopp needs to address etc. etc.

It has been addressed, and GK was not the largest issue in most cases.

You've just taken the mantle from Arsenal. For years all we heard was ZoNaL mArKiNg etc etc. Last season set pieces were actually one of our bright spots for once.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

Classic Liverpool supporters blaming the officials instead of just saying "yeah there were five draws where we conceded late and that shouldn't happen". Has there ever been a Liverpool supporter who wasn't either irrationally optimistic where the team could do no wrong or irrationally pessimistic where the team could do no right?

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

OK then let me help you out: yeah there were five draws where we conceded late and that shouldn't happen...

But in those five draws, the watford goal was clearly offside and goal keeper interference, the everton goal was a clear dive by calvert lewis, and the tottenham PK with lamela is probably the closest of all to being a legitimate PK. But even then, VVD plays the ball and Lamela just dives in front to take the kick--is it a PK? Maybe, but I don't have to like it. I am not trying to be the "classic liverpool fan where the team can do no wrong" I am simply pointing out that of the 12 ties, 5 were after the 75th minute, 2 were PKs that I disagree with, 1 was clearly offside, then the other two were clearly mistakes.

In short, I am saying of the five that occurred in the closing stages, Karius and the defense can only truly be held liable for two of those games, and of those two games only one was a set piece. I am not sitting here lamenting our point total and pointing out all the times we are hard done, I am simply defending the notion that our defense was fragile against set pieces, when they have improved tremendously.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

LOL. That is gold coming from a United fan.

I'm just here for the beef man. Obviously he struck a chord with you so there must be some conviction there. Just tired of these soccer threads becoming a Liverpool circle jerk. I can't say anything without Liverpool fans getting their panties twisted. It gets old as hell, and I'm just glad someone has called it out.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

No I actually laughed when I saw your meme, i meant it as lighthearted banter... When 2_Hokie_5 brought up the notion that "so many of our ties came from last minute defensive blunders" it was the same thing I heard all season long from pundits.

I know the stats and pulled them and was just trying to show that of the 5 draws that came in the last minute, the defense can't be held culpable for all of them. It isn't me bemoaning the amount of PKs we should or should not have received--I am just pointing out objectively that a few of those ties can't be held against our team. It's part of the game, it happens.

2_Hokie_5 himself is a Liverpool fan and it is already hard enough with pundits spouting off "Liverpool are vulnerable at set pieces" so I wanted to disabuse him of this notion as well. We have been improving well in this regard over the past two seasons.

I interpreted it as you claiming I was hypocritical. Either way, my point about it being a Liverpool Echo Chamber remains. I'm not mad about it, just pointing it out.


I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

The irony of supporting a team coached by Mourinho but then posting that meme on a comment referring to me as a "Classic liverpool supporter who always blames the officials," when two of the calls were legit poor calls and one is debatable. But I am a Liverpool fan and so I know I see it in our bias...

But yeah I feel like maybe there are more liverpool fans on this site? Not sure, but that is just the vibe I get sometimes too. I do make an effort to be as even keeled as possible...but I know I am not perfect as well. Cheers to you as well.

Mourinho is the worst.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

My meme was more saying like tuning into the debate and wanting to see some beef haha.

As for the amount of Liverpool fans, yeah there's definitely more. Most everyone stays even keeled.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

VVD very clearly shoved Ramos into Karius, and at this point there are so many videos that make it clear that Salah hooked Ramos' arm that I'm really tired of these insinuations that Ramos was out there intentionally injuring players in these bang bang moments. Ramos can be a cunt but there's a reason the players themselves aren't accusing him of anything,

I am done with this argument. 2_Hokie_5 simply asked what we feel knowing Karius was concussed and I stated my opinions. I would like to think that if it weren't for the dislocated shoulder and concussion we could compete but instead that was taken from us in what I see as dirty tactics.

I don't, for the record, think Ramos' original intent was to injure. But there are reels of videos that show he will take advantage of any situation to impose extra contact on opposing players (arm tackle on dani alves? dive against cuadrado?). I think he did intent to tackle salah hard after salah instigated contact and that he did intent to make contact with Karius after the push by VVD. I just think the results of the contact are what he did not intend for.

I have since edited what I typed originally. I know I am biased towards Liverpool and you towards RM. I feel hard done by his tactics, you clearly don't think he's done anything wrong. It's over, it has been for a while, we said our words and I thought had moved past this.

Ramos intended to injure both Salah and Karius. There's a very long history of him and his old partner in central defense, Pepe, practicing the dark arts. Arguing otherwise is like pretending Suarez doesn't dive or toe the line of legality. That said, we have to accept the result...we weren't good enough on the day.

Next year, WE GO AGAIN!

Next year, WE GO AGAIN!

This reminds me of a drunk Louis Van Gaal moment:

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

This is delusional

Fred and now Dalot things starting to pick up now for united.

Really like Fred think he will be a starter quickly has good pace and can get around and dissrupt defensively very happy on signing him.
Dalot I have no idea on only watched the available film and looks young and raw can play both full back positions but seems to favor RB so always nice to get a flexible full back whos young and pacey will be interesting to see him on a big stage since he only started playing first team action 6 months ago. That all said Porto were desperate to try and redo his contract to get the release clause far higher which speaks well of what they saw in him.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Looks like Emery convinced PSG academy midfielder Yacine Adli to move to Arsenal on a professional contract rather than sign with PSG. Deal to be completed when allowed in July.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

From what I've heard, Sven was in touch with Adli before Emery was in the fold. Might have helped though. From what I've seen/heard, kid sounds like the real deal and could be a bigger version of Cazorla with time. Very good with both feet and plays the 8 position well.

Gotta say, Sven is really impressing me so far.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

Transfer News: Liverpool reportedly considering move for Xherdan Shaqiri. He has a reduced fee due to be relegated.

It's odd because our most recent targets and signings have the the likes of: Keita, Ox, Robertson, VVD, Fabinho, etc. This feels a bit underwhelming. But on the other hand, he would be coming in knowing exactly where his place is in the team, it provides an option for him to rehabilitate his career, and he is true out-and-out winger which would provide some much needed depth.

For the price...I think this is a smart move. Low risk, possible high return.

I can't think of a player less suited to Klopp and his style than this guy. If Klopp goes for him he's totally lost the plot. Nowhere near the required standard look for someone like West Ham to sign him (no disrespect to West Ham).

Still some smoke about Dembele coming over (the one from Barca), now THAT is quality though I don't see how Dembele's ego would mesh with Klopp, either.

Fekir, Oblak (or Alisson), a quality central defender and maybe Malcom from Bordeaux and that's job done for this summer. Fabinho and Keita are already stellar signings.

Paul Joyce and Melissa Reddy seem to think otherwise.

He isn't bought to be a starter, and the Fekir deal is still on. But for 12m to be a squad player? Nothing wrong with that. He is viable off the bench, would have been a much better option to Lallana in the final--although I would like to think if we are back in the final it wouldn't have to come down to Shaqiri. I think his price-tag and ability will really shine when we are facing the bottom-8 and want to rotate out Salah or Mane.

I know it's silly season, but this is kind of ridiculous.

If Fabinho, Keita, Fekir, Oblak/Alisson, "a quality central defender", and "maybe Malcom" come in, who leaves? Remember that Keita and Fabinho are already costing something like 105m euros and Pool's transfer business is at a deficit over the last several windows.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Supposedly Keita's sale went against the 2017 transfer window. But where are you getting your stats that our transfer business has been at a deficit the past several windows? The biggest frustration for many fans is the club advertising positive net spends in each of the last several windows.

Not a deficit for for each of the windows, but a net deficit over last few including this one.

Per Transfermarkt

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

That is what I was looking at too. Haven't been in a spending deficit since the 15/16 transfer window and even then that was 30m deficit. We have a new main stand, just went to the UCL final, and it was even advertised that if we needed it, the club had over 100m to spend out of their pockets. With Keita/Fabinho done, I really only expect a GK, Fekir, and some depth (like shaqiri).

"only" but you keep referencing Oblak/Alisson who are both going to cost over 50M easily. And if your depth players are running 12M a piece, stuff adds up.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

"Only" as opposed to plenty of fans who want GK, CB, CAM, a third winger like pulisic, winger depth etc.

I don't think we sign Oblak or Alisson if we get gouged to do so, much to the consternation of many supporters. To me--Fabinho, Keita, Fekir, Shaqiri (or some other winger) would be a realistic and necessary haul. I (unpopular maybe) am OK with Karius for another season.

We are in a much different financial place than we were just a few seasons ago.

Haven't been in a spending deficit since the 15/16 transfer window and even then that was 30m deficit.

Either you're 105m in the hole already this window, before "GK, Fekir, and some depth" with out any current outgoings, or Keita counted against last summer and you're 59m in the hole last summer and 45m in the hole already this summer. Sum the last five windows including this one (ie, two full seasons plus this current window, in light of FFP's rolling 3 year window) and Liverpool is 98m euros in the red right now.

Yes there's more to club revenue than just transfer business, and trying to run a transfer surplus as a way to run your club is a losing proposition. But if Keita, Fabinho, a GK, and "some depth" are coming in, important players are probably going to have to leave to help maintain that balance.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

I confess I don't know much about the finances. What I do know is Liverpool turned a club profit of around 30-40 million pounds from the 16/17 season for the first time in a long time. Combined with the UCL revenue, profits should increase as well, and we have never been close to incurring FFP sanctions as it stands right now. I am not all that concerned, but I agree with you that I don't think signing half a team of top talent is going to happen. I could see it coming down to Fekir vs. GK in the end.

I admit I'm pretty new to the soccer scene, I've only been watching for about 10 years or so. The quest I always have though, is where do RM, Barca, PSG and other clubs get the $ for these super teams? I know they have bigger stadiums, and the TV deals are different from league to league, but just the thought of RM being able to spend so much on Bale, Ronaldo, and a Neymar or Salah is comical to me.

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

OK, this could get really long:

Real is a sporting club with membership (Barca is similar) but I don't think it's a publicly traded company and there may be some government-related funding (due to the "Real" in their name) and both are strongly linked to the regional nature of Spanish nationalism (or lack thereof).
PSG is owned by a wealthy middle-eastern sheikh (as is Man City).
MUFC is owned by Malcolm Glazer, Juventus is owned by the family that owns Fiat. LFC is owned by Fenway Sports Group (who also own the Red Sox) whilst Arsenal's majority owner is Sam Kroenke (who also owns an NFL team). Chelsea is owned by a Russian oligarch.
I'm not sure of Bayern's ownership structure but believe it's similar to the Spanish super-clubs.

I'm sure not all of this is accurate so please fix if you're so inclined.

LFC made nearly $90m on the UCL run, something like $175m on Coutinho's departure, the new EPL TV contract is worth at least $100m per season and we are a massive club with huge finances. Our payroll is nowhere near the Manchester clubs nor Chelsea's...we have plenty of money to spend.

Outgoings will be: Sturridge, Can, Moreno, Origi, Ings, Solanke (loan), Markovic, Flanagan, Bogdan, Randall, Chirivella, Mignolet, Karius (maybe), Ward (probably), Clyne (maybe)

Plus the main stand provides a huge extra source of revenue (as vtae mentioned) as well (with the Anfield Road end to be expanded over the next few years). We're not Real or MUFC as far as spending power but we're in the top 10 in the world.

We're in great shape currently and joining LFC right now is an exciting prospect for players worldwide, certainly in the last 20 years, if ever.

It's comments like these that give rise to the idea of the "irrationally optimistic Liverpool supporter" I mentioned above. I understand being way bullish on your team, but it just seems like so many Liverpool supporters take "best case dream scenario" and discuss it as if it's a "clear and obvious outcome" instead.

The Coutinho money is already spent, plain and simple. Clearing the squad of non-contributors on low wages who are unlikely to fetch much of a fee doesn't really do much for the books, but every little bit helps. It just means that big money signings have an outsized effect in terms of percentages on wage bills. Getting Sturridge's wages out will be a big help, though, I agree. There is upgrading the squad and bringing in top-end talent to fit the squad needs, but bringing in four or five first weekly regulars in one window without any current first-XI regulars (besides GK, and maybe Can?) leaving is something else entirely, though, and that seems to be what you think is going to happen.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Can left on a free which blows. His wages are cleared, but still--not getting anything for the transfer really hurt. He could have been about 30m at least.

As far as the irrational optimism, do you know much about the history of Hicks and Gillette? (honest question, it explains a lot).

I started following EPL way more closely in 2007 or so when I got to college and had the time for it. I'll be honest and say I didn't quite understand the outrage as it was happening, but definitely understood and followed everything surrounding the sale to FSG. Yes, there's reason to be optimistic about your club, its direction, its trajectory, its squad, and its manager.

But there's a difference between optimism about the direction of your club, and pie-in-the-sky idealism manifested in speaking comments that marginalize at best (or ignore at worse) the reality of the sport. Unless you're paying massive massive wages, or winning titles and competing for trebles/quadruples every single year, it simply doesn't work to bring in four or five first-XI quality players each year and not expect outfield players to leave as their situation changes (whether that is contract running down, wages no longer attractive relative to squad, reduced role/diminished playing time, etc).

Edited for clarity

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

It's fair, I wouldn't hold you accountable to the in depth knowledge of our history. From nearly having to file bankruptcy and sell the squad to pay the debts, being lied to about new stadiums, etc. to having new stands, UCL final, Klopp, big signings, attractive football. There is an endless source of optimism and it is hard to not get carried way by it. I try to stay grounded but the transfer windows are always so fun to speculate and dream. I agree I don't think we are signing 5 starting XI players, I only see about two in our lineup who I would say could even be replaced and I don't think they will during this window.

I think the reality here is that no one actually knows what FSG has in their pockets to spend. If there is one thing FSG has beaten into our optimistic skulls is that they will not, under any circumstances, make a financial decision that will incur FFP sanctions or harm the well being of FSG. That is why we can throw around the 4-6 names we would love to sign and have that pie-in-the-sky optimism and just not care...we know the club won't do something so foolish as to incur FFP sanctions.

A few tid bits out of La Liga per Spanish pub Marca (pro Madrid newspaper, can be wrong at times about transfers regarding the team but provides decent insight):

Pochettino is a "no way in hell" candidate at this point as Levy basically said they wouldn't allow Poch to leave "not even for 100m euros" (a direct shot at RM).

Will be interesting to see who they go after. Lots of pundits still peg Wegner, but I just don't see it happening. As a RM fan, I'd prefer to have them continue this home grown talent of coaching and let Guti be the next guy. Not as sexy as Zidane, but still played in the galacticos era and has been in the Madrid coaching youth system for a while. Also on the younger side which is the current trend with a lot of the managers being hired these days, and Wegner is on the wrong side of the bill. Still, sometimes you just never know what Florentino Perez is gonna do.

Toko Ekambi signs with Villareal for 20m Euros from Angers (Ligue 1). For those who don't watch much football outside of EPL, Villareal is always a top 10 team in La Liga and usually can cause headaches to the powerhouses (comparable to the Liverpools and Arsenals of recent memory). They usually build from within and spend money on stars closer to the twilight of their careers, so it's interesting to see them spend on a younger guy who had a decent run in the French league.


Fekir to LFC pending medical tomorrow...oh baby

Now just get me a new keeper and MAYBE a CB to pair with VVD and I would say, let's go knock MC off the mountaintop next campaign.

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

The statement reads: "The information on the transfer of Nabil Fekir is false. Olympique Lyonnais categorically denies the false information disseminated by many media about the transfer of Nabil Fekir to Liverpool.

"In this period of transfers where the slightest rumour is often presented as a reality, Olympique Lyonnais recalls that only the information disseminated by the club on its website is authentic."

I still expect it to happen, but don't call it a done deal til it's a done deal. Lyon might yet squeeze some more money out of Pool the way Pool did to Manchester City for Sterling

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

A few reputable reporters I follow have stated that Liverpool's medical team was in france, completed medical, and signing will be announced today. However, apparently, Groupe OL (Lyon) are a publicly traded group and in France, you are not allowed to announce major news which could affect trading during stock market hours. Further the denial of 'false information' is having to do with the wildly different transfer fees being reported in England and France. Certainly a pen has not been put to paper but all expectations are that an announcement will come around or after 12pm EST.

tl;dr fingers cross for another day

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Remember when delph was staying?

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

Of course it's negotiating, looks like Liverpool tried to reduce the agreed upon fee after his medical. Anything can happen at WC from an injury to okaying out of his mind and seeing that value rise. He'll probably move when all is said and done, but just seems silly to consider it a "done deal" with a quoted price when it's anything but.

Also, lol:

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Deal is likely off unless Lyon agree to lower fee. Reputable sources (i.e. journalists who don't post unless they know facts) say that the clubs agreed for a deal but Fekir failed his medical. He had a pretty bad knee injury and they picked up something on the MRI that cause Liverpool to raise a red flag. When I posted, it was a done deal ready to announce at market closing in France but the plug was pulled when they called for an additional MRI.

This really sucks but with the intensity of Klopps system and the EPL--it maybe better for both parties.

EDIT: anyone saying shaqiri is better than Fekir is not even worth posting considering how delusional that opinion is. the smallest amount of maybe, Shaqiri could be better if he lived up to his pre-Bayern hype.

To all the LFC followers in here, found this link this morning:
Seems like they're holding back the information on t he Fekir signing, so that they'll abide by stock trading regulations since Lyon is a publicly traded club. I did hear though that there was some concerns about his knee and that they had to seek a second opinion. I'm hoping that the green light that was given for that second opinion is legit, he had a ruptured knee tendon recently. I'd like to spend this amount on a player that'll stay on the pitch.

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

Kane with a Very Large Extension, 6 years and rumored wages of 200k/week

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

shoot. was really hoping the RM rumors for him were true...good for him though, not a lot of players who are getting that kind of attention are willing to sign extensions like that. good for the EPL in general too.

Hopefully the new stadium being finished coupled with the only champions league in London, we can start to pay the boys what they deserve. That and build actual depth to battle on more than one front

VB born, class of '14

Sorry if this isn't the best thread for this, but if anyone is interested, there's a buy 1, get 1 free promotion on the upcoming international champions cup games on:

I know it probably won't have all the stars/starters, but the price is right.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Thanks for this, actually! I work ~6 minutes from MetLife stadium, and the games there are Madrid-Roma and Manchester City-Liverpool

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Oh man I hope these Lucas Torreira to Arsenal rumors have some weight. He's precisely what we need in the midfield.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

I got a nice laugh from this

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Heh. Someone's going all Penn State over there.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

They followed up stating that it's all in good fun. Obviously Mislintat and BVB are gonna have same ideas as to what players to sign.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Oh no, I get it. I don't get the impression that Dortmund feels wronged by us yet. Hope the relationship stays healthy, as they always have a few younger players I'd like to see with the cannon one day.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

Appears Gunners have agreed a fee with Sampdoria. Paying more than his release clause for the ability to pay the fee in installments rather than as a lump sum. Would love for this to be wrapped up before the World Cup begins.

Also, Ainsley Maitland-Niles extended this contract on a long term deal, reportedly through 2023.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Assuming we can work through the agent fees, this is a fantastic signing. Better than I could have hoped.

The AMN news is also welcome. Think he's going to play a significant role going forward, likely followed by Reiss-Nelson and Eddie Nketiah. Would wager we'll see all 3 (plus Adli if we do sign him) plenty this coming season.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

I wouldn't sleep on Jeff Reine-Adelaide either. I thought his development with Arsenal had stalled but he evidently made 10 appearances in Ligue 1 after a winter loan to Angers.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Orny (and many others) have chimed in. Sounds like this thing is done! Great business from Arsenal here. 30m Euros for one of the best young CDMs out there.

Also Ornstein says we're aiming for a young GK (and stealth confirmed Sokratis is done, btw). This window is really shaping up for us!

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

In a move completely out of left field, Real Madrid hire Julen Lopetegui as their new head coach lol...I don't know how this will work out if I'm being completely honest. He meshes well with the younger guys so that part is good, but with the major egos and older vets, he might have a problem with because I feel like he's too "push-over" prone.


Was not expecting this, but I was expecting to be surprised at this stage. It's likely a very good sign for our young Spanish players and Isco. Not sure exactly how he will mesh but Real Madrid doesn't need a genius, if he can handle the dressing room and rotate somewhat effectively he will be fine.

However, years ago (fwiw) he had some less than stellar things to say about Bale, so this is potentially going to affect Bale's decision.

That's exactly my thinking. You'll see Isco, Asensio, Vázquez amongst all the younger players to thrive, but I'm concerned he'll let the bigger egos take advantage of him. It'll be interesting to see how the transfer market will play out now, and who stays (like Bales situation as you mentioned)


To make the whole thing even more bizarre, Spain just fired him as manager of national team. The world cup starts tomorrow.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller Not ideal and I have no idea who will take charge. Lopetegui's staff is still there, but my money is on Pepe Reina just randomly taking charge haha


Fernando Hierro

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

He's one of the ones on staff right now, it's between he and Celades. I was saying the Reina bit mostly in jest because he's the cheerleader of the team, the class clown, all around good guy lol.

My money is on Celdades taking charge, though I love Hierro. Unless you've seen otherwise?

Just saw they confirmed it being Hierro


"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Atletico Madrid signs Lemar for 65m Euros.

Always liked him. This came out of nowhere. Would have liked him at Arsenal as was the hot rumor last year, but man that's some cash.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

Seems like Atleti is seeing the writing on the wall regarding Griezmann's future


Yeah, the whole Arsenal season could have been different if Sanchez went out and Lemar came in during the summer. As it stands, I'm not sure the outcome from a personnel perspective is worse though. I'd rather have Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan for less money than Monaco wanted for Lemar at the end of last summer's window. I think Lemar will be a great fit at Atletico and this probably means that Griezmann is as good as gone.

This Liverpool-centric post from the January thread just makes me chuckle. Pretty good guess at his price this summer though!

I don't truly now where he would play or who he would push out. Monaco wanted 90mil because they were approached so late. We turned them down, but Arsenal was willing. Lemar turned Arsenal down and presumably wants to play for Liverpool. Liverpool also turned Monaco down this winter because, again they wanted 90mil because January. So we will wait until the summer to make a more realistic bid of 55-60 million.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Griezmann went on tv to announce he's staying after all

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Appears Arsenal have agreed a fee with Leverkusen for GK Bernd Leno

Edit: is official

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

I wanted him badly before we signed Cech. Optimistic the change of scenery can get him back to that level again. Even if it doesn't, he's still an improvement over what we currently have on the roster.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

God I want jorginho to finally sign the damn deal

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

Atleti making moves today couple of contract extensions and adding lemar not an awful day at all

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Confirmed that Wilshere is leaving Arsenal. Very happy about this as he was going to be very expensive depth player with too much of a history with injuries. Rumors (that I can't find now) said that he was offered 100k/week base salary plus 65k if he played in a game that week.

talk about a what-could-have-been

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

In his farewell post he said he was going to sign a new deal and take a pay cut, but after talking with Emery decided he needed more playing time than he would get at the Arsenal. It's best for everyone that he finds a new home.

He's a true Gunner though and I'll miss him. Hope he finds a place he can thrive because he truly has loads of talent if he can just get some consistency with his health and form.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

So assuming we don't lose anyone unexpected (Ramsey in particular) I have to think Arsenal's window is just about done for incoming players. Just the announcements for Sokratis and Torreira left to come it seems. Combine this with January's signings of Auba and Mkhi and I'm liking this look.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

I think so too. I could see another player or two head out - Ospina is as good as gone and I could see one of the defenders head out if they feel that they won't get playing time. Maybe Chambers. I think midfield is pretty sorted as of now with WIlshere out, Torreira in, and AMN, Xhaka, and Elneny all extending.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

The only other incoming I could see is a direct winger. There had been rumors around a few of those, weak rumors but I could see it happening if a player came available.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

Still rumors floating around about Soyuncu, but I just don't know why unless the Sokratis deal is off or Mustafi is for sure out.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

The majority of those Soyuncu rumors are coming from his camp, and Arsenal has been used as a scare tactic to get a bigger contract from the current club in the past. This has that feel to me.

Banega is the more believable rumor swirling right now, but I still don't know if I'm buying it yet.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

I clicked on this post expecting information about UVA recruiting, and now I'm just confused AF.

If you're not sure if my comment warrants a "/s", it probably does.

Emre Can to Juventus on a free is official

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Sokratis to Arsenal is official

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Things have been fairly quiet on the transfer front due to World Cup, but shockwaves in the last two days as it appears that Cristiano Ronaldo is flirting with Juventus. Reports vary wildly, some stating that he has already agreed personal terms for a contract and undergone a medical, others saying that Juventus hasn't even spoken to Real about a transfer, and some even saying both. My first thought was contract posturing, but i thought the same thing regarding Neymar last summer and he wound up moving to PSG.

see tweets below from respected journalist Guillem Balague, who primarily covers La Liga:

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Romano is also reporting it. He is very sharp when it comes to Italian based transfers. This has some serious steam between Romano and Balague:

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

More steam than in the past, but Jorge Mendes is an absolute masterclass of an agent (and that is annoying for everyone involved except he and his clients) so this kind of shit storm can be created by him and his people quickly. I'll believe it when I see it but as a Real Madrid fan I am more nervous than usual.

Right, my take away from it is that maybe the move won't actually happen, but it's not just fabricated tabloid fodder that Ronaldo could move to Juventus

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Thats my view one hundred percent EVERY FREAKING YEAR we gotta listen to this garbage and he always just gets a new big contract the issue is eventually Perez is gonna call his bluff especially if he thinks he can get Mbappe or Neymar I cant imagine perez would turn down a chance to get one back at Mendes he always uses these tactics with his higher level clients. I still dont buy this stuff but who knows mayeb he isnt bluffing for once.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Interestingly enough, it actually doesn't happen every year in the contract sense. Yes the rumors happen every year, but Ronaldo has only been given 2 contract extensions in his 9 years at the club. In contrast, Messi is averaging a new contract roughly a bit less than every two years. Now, I'm glad we didn't completely wreck our wage structure and put ourselves in a precarious position financially with our wage bill like Barcelona has, but Ronaldo deserves to be paid more than he is. He's been the best player on a team that won 4 of the last 5 CL's and has personally won 4 of the last 5 Ballon D'Ors and will likely win 5 of the last 6 come December. He deserves to be paid more relative to what Messi and Neymar are currently making (not more than them, but should be in the same ballpark).

Wilshere to West Ham on a free is complete. Happy for Jack that he's found a club close to home and heart, and that he's got a good manager there who will play him if he stays healthy. Beats moving to Fenerbahce any day. Also, looks like West Ham are looking to have Yarmolenko (winger at BVB) in for a medical ahead of a move. Would be good business if the price is right and a strong showing in the window for Pellegrini.

Also, Lucas Torreira to Arsenal is complete.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Wow, it actually happened.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

105million pounds sterling for a 33 year old and 4 year contract worth 30m euros a season?

One word: whoops!

Yeah but when 30+ year old legends sign with Juve they get 10 years younger.

And don't underestimate the amount of cash they're about to bring in just from marketing and merchandise alone.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

Don't underestimate the walk-out at the FIAT plant. And Juve finishing 7th in Serie A because they can't afford to get anyone else to play with CR7. (And Buffon just retired...)

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

Actually, they just got Emre Can from Liverpool on a free and are set to sell a few key players (rumors are Paulo Dybala is now available for a huge fee). They're doing fine, but I don't think this means they're a shoe-in for the Champions League next season. Maybe a semi-final appearance. Buffon is going to PSG, by the way.

Buffon signed with PSG, no?

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

He might wish he retired...time will tell.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

where are you seeing 105m pounds quoted as the price? everything I've read says 100m euros (88.5m pounds). 88m pounds isn't chump change, but neither is the 17m difference between the two

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

So this kinda pisses me off. I'm a Roma fan and like the rest of Italian fans I've had to see Juventus win 7 straight league titles. And now they sign Ronaldo. I get it, he wants to bring a Champions League to Turin. But CL is only 13 games at an absolute maximum (if you make the final). The league is 38 games. If you're Ronaldo, why not take on more of a challenge? It's reminiscent of Neymar to PSG, though not quite as lame.

I don't think it's lame at all, and specifically nothing like Neymar. Neymar left to be the main man in a weaker league in his prime. Ronaldo has given us 4 of the last 5 CL's and 3 straight. He's 33 and leaving Madrid at the absolute top. Also I actually thInk Serie A is on the rise with teams like Roma, Inter, Napoli, and Lazio on the rise and Roma and Inter making big moves to improve.

Yeah Serie A is definitely on the rise, but it still bothers me that he went to Juventus, the Golden State Warriors of Italian football, of all teams.

There are five teams in the world that could afford Ronaldo and I didn't think Juve was even on that list. Real Madrid, where he was, Barcelona (no chance he went there, obviously), Man City (no way Pep would go for him), PSG (who couldn't buy him because of FFP), Manchester United which was the only other viable option where he's already been. Most people including myself didn't even think Juventus was a viable option but they pulled out all the stops.

I don't see how this is anything like going to the Warriors because Real Madrid and several other teams are stronger than Juventus. It was a step down, unless he makes the difference in them winning the CL. I don't see any parallels to the Warriors. Juventus is a relatively old team and he did more than anyone could have even imagined at Real Madrid. Juventus is the best team in Italy but if he wanted to go to Italy it was the only option. I gave a list of factors that almost certainly played into his decision in some capacity. He didn't really have many options, this isn't Ronaldo using a free transfer to "chase rings," which is essentially the equivalent of free agency. He has 5 CL's more than anyone but Maldini and Gento(I believe) who have 6. He will likely have 6 Ballon D'Ors come December, more than anyone else. Hard to see any parallels.

The NBA isn't very comparable to European soccer. There are 32 teams in the NBA there are 20 teams in each top flight division in each major footballing country besides Germany. Also, stacking a team in soccer doesn't guarantee you anything, every top team in every league stockpiles and it still doesn't lead to international hardware, or even domestic hardware in the tougher leagues. Until Real's recent run of dominance in the last five years, no team had even managed back to back CL's since it took its current format in 1992. Even Pep's Barca, widely regarded as one of the greatest sides of all time, couldn't do it because less talented sides made incredible runs like Inter in 2010 and Chelsea in 2012. At the end of the day the comparison between him joining Juventus and the Warriors incommensurable.

Juventus have won SEVEN league titles in a row. That's why they are the Warriors of Italy. Yeah I get it because of Champions League and stuff it's not perfectly comparable to NBA but you get the point. I never said he wasn't a great player, I just wish he didn't go to Juventus, especially as a Serie A viewer. I'm probably just biased since I hate Juve, but I stand by what I said.

Dangit Ronaldo soaking up the transfer news on Torreira Tuesday.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

Unbelievably sad, but incredibly gratetful for the last 9 years. Ronaldo joined in the darkest depths of Pep's Barca and helped lead us back to the top with 3 straight CL's and 4 of the last 5 CL's. He gave us more than we ever imagined when he joined in 2009, the mad man even finished with more than a goal a game average in 9 years at Madrid. Hala Madrid, gracias por todo.

Who does RM go after with that 100m?

Hazard, Coutinho and Neymar have been mentioned

I think every 'big' name has been mentioned - Kane, Salah, Sane, Hazard, Neymar, Mbappe, etc. etc. etc. Everyone is throwing it all at the wall right now.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

I follow RM closely but it's impossible to know what Flo will do. My guess is one of Mbappe, Neymar, Hazard, Kane, etc. but I have no idea who it will be, there's arguments to be made why each of those players won't leave this summer.

Chelsea need to actually officially announce Sarri. There's a universe where Hazard and Belgium win the world cup and then Hazard leaves for Madrid. I could see similar situation with Mbappe. I don't think Kane ever leaves EPL.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Guess Hazard has time to explore now.


Mbappe for sure.

I think the Lopetegui hire will have a lot to say with that. For me, I think he sticks with Asensio, who has already been touted as the heir apparent to Ronaldo. So depending on the Bale/Isco/Benzema situation, it might not be anyone. Lopetegui was brought in because he relates better to the youth Spanish players he coached, so I think you'll be seeing a lot more Isco and Asensio, possibly Vazques (Zidane tinkered with them, but I think Lopetegui will keep their minutes high). Plus, they have two young Brazilians coming in (one this summer, another next). They've attempted to keep a youth movement pipeline, and I think it'll continue even further with Lopetegui. Ceballos will most likely stay and see more consistent minutes (or be loaned out until he's further seasoned). They just signed Orizobal, another Spanish youth product to a long term deal to be Carvajal's possible replacement (love him, but he's just getting hurt a lot more often and has lost a step).

I just don't see any big name signings happening UNLESS you see both Bale and Benzema shipped out of town (which could very possibly happen). If that happens, I think it'll be someone like Dybala, or possibly Mbappe. My heart would love to see Kane, as he'd be the perfect fit, but the Spurs will make him virtually impossible to buy. RM's biggest issue last year was quality depth, and another seasoned year with younger players getting more mintues this year will be huge.

But as mentioned above, you just never know with Perez. For all we know, he could be lining up offers for Neymar, Mbappe AND Kane.


how much of the decision to go do you think is tied to Zidane's departure?

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

I'm not sure which circumstances were most important, but I think there are a lot of factors

1) Ronaldo feels personally attacked by the Hacienda (tax authority) in Spain. He isn't wrong to feel this way, they changed their tax laws and have retroactively come after a lot of big name foreign players/managers. It's a pretty messed up move but Spain has been going through a rough patch. He didn't like being depicted as a criminal and is probably worried they may come after him again.

2) He wanted to be paid more out of respect for what he has done for the club, such as winning 4 of the last 5 CL's and 4 of the last 5 Ballon D'Ors. He is paid significantly less than Messi and Neymar and Ronaldo has actually only gotten two new contracts in his 9 years at the club. Also rumors that he also wanted RM to assist with paying his tax bill through a signing bonus on the new contract. This isn't confirmed, but it would make sense to feel backed by the club as Barcelona used a signing bonus on a new contract for Messi to essentially pay his tax fine for him.

3) He simply wanted to leave at the top. 4 of the last 5, historic and first ever back to back and 3peat CL's.

4) He felt Real Madrid was turning a page, and he wanted to allow the club to move on to its next phase and invest in younger players so he took an opportunity for his own next chapter. Zidane leaving likely played a role in feeling this way if he did.

I feel it was some combination of these factors.

I think Hazard to RM has to be close to a lock at this point given the money available and the fact that it seems like Hazard is miserable at Chelsea.

Noise around that Jean-Michael Seri is headed to .... Fulham???????? *Nick Young face*

Also, reports that Juventus are selling Daniele Rugani to Chelsea

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Stupid Messi hot take:

It got me thinking, I feel like Messi will never be the greatest because of his lack of international hardware. In my eyes he's like Lebron (lacks that lethal instinct to win on the biggest stage when opposition punches him in the mouth). Ronaldo is more like Kobe (revels the fight with opposition, but still not mentioned as the greatest). Not trying to insert the LB/Jordan comparison theme, but just started to think this way after listening to this hot take. Granted a 5 time BdOr winner will never be a fraud in my eyes. It just sucks that Argentina has always had the individualistic talent, but never has played like a team. Portugal on the other hand lack world class talent, but they find a way to capitalize having one of the best players of all time in Ronaldo, and they have the international hardware to show for it.

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

I think the basketball goat comparisons are difficult to make between Messi and Ronaldo as there aren't any perfect comparisons. As a Real Madrid fan I have spent a lot of time around really annoying fanboys of both sides so there's no need to bring that tired argument to TKP. Both Messi and Ronaldo have strong, defensible cases that they are better than the other or the greatest of all time, there will always be some level of subjectivity involved. I think both are insanely great and both opinions are fair and defensible.

Mahrez to City official

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Bout damn time. Fricken Leicester with their 90 million price tag. Wound up getting him for 60 while selling them patty Robert's for 10

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

I need this Alisson transfer to go successfully! (62m) Please get this done LFC, before Chelsea swoop in if Courtouis leaves for "whiter" pastures.

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

But there was talk just yesterday of Cillessen to Liverpool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Trust me GB, I'm holding my breath. After that VVD flight path fiasco last summer, I'm tailoring my expectations of this actually going through.

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

does GB stand for GobBle?

PS: there's a part 2 thread

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Yeah, was being lazy, didn't want to type it out. Will move there.

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

Is Alisson to Liverpool really going to happen?? That would be incredible