January 16th, 2015

wink (white)

Carles Puyol's Italian Adventures

Here I am making a stellar return to ONTD-FB with a post about.... a blaugrana?? Say what??

Anyway, I tried to look for a mention of this in the past news round-ups but I didn't see anything. (Sorry if I missed it in the comments, though.) But I don't blame you guys for missing out on this... because apparently a lot of the media didn't pick up on it either. Except maybe the Catalan media outlets.

As you are all well aware, Puyi has resigned from his post as Assistant Sports Director. (Sport offers an explanation as to why this happened.) And as the title to this post suggests, Puyi paid a little visit to Italy very recently together with former teammate, Iván de la Peña. He visited AC Milan which is not surprising since he's never really hid his love for them. (And what self-respecting modern defender doesn't look up to Paolo Maldini?) But wait. What's he doing visiting the rival club, Inter Milan? And Juve, too? What is the meaning of all this??

Is the former Barcelona captain looking for a new job in Serie A? Maybe try to get his coaching badges? (Why just a few months ago, he rejected an offer from Inter manager Roberto Mancini to be his assistant.) Or am I reading too much into this and this is just Puyi being a huge Serie A fan?

But here's another angle to explore: could we see him working with the RFEF soon? According to the article (which is in Spanish), he was apparently offered the position of sporting director, the same position Fernando Hierro held for four years. (The article also suggests that Puyi visited Italy to see a doctor that could possibly work on his nagging knee injury.)

I'm not even a Barca fan but I personally find this all very intriguing and I'm surprised the English-language news sites seem to not have picked up on this yet.
Aaron #1

Hallelujah! Arsenal signs two new players (but not a defender).

The fetus in question. Born in 1998.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has confirmed that a fee has been agreed for Legia Warsaw midfielder Krystian Bielik.

Wenger said at his news conference that the player was to undergo a medical on Friday and, asked if everything else was agreed for the deal to go through, he replied: "Yes."

Legia had earlier announced that the 17-year-old was set for a move to the Emirates Stadium, with the player telling the Polish club's official website: "I'm going to London to fulfil my dreams. I hope I will become an Arsenal player soon."

The Guardian had reported that the fee for Bielik, who had also attracted interest from Hamburg, was likely to be around 2.5 million pounds.


Arsenal have clinched a deal for Viktoria Plzen striker Martin Graiciar.

The 15 year-old Czech Republic prospect will join the Gunners officially in 2015 when he turns 16 years of age.

Chelsea and Real Madrid also made approaches for Graiciar, but Arsenal were willing to meet Viktoria Plzen's asking price.

The teen is moving to London Colney for a fee of around £200,000.

In other news:

- Debuchy and Arteta out for three months. Can Arnautovic and the rest of Stoke (except for Bojan and Begovic) just die already?

- "We are not getting Gündo." sez Grandpère.

- Flop no-more Yaya Sanogo will be going on loan to Crystal Palace! You better take good care of him, Pards!

- Grandpère: I don't like the Ballon D'Or, I only like teams! You tell 'em, Grandpère!

Intersting articles:

David Hynter (who's usually crap) has a very nice article about Alexis being this season's best player. Cesc who?

Amy Lawrence: 2015 is the year of Bug Eyes.

Asian Cup - Jan. 17th Games

Group A - Australia, South Korea, Oman, Kuwait
Game 3 of 3

17 Jan 2015
08:00pm/07:00pm* (9am UTC)
Australia v South Korea
Brisbane Stadium

17 Jan 2015
08:00pm (9am UTC)
Oman v Kuwait
Newcastle Stadium

Original Game Times are AEDT (UTC+11) / *AEST (UTC+10). Times in parentheses are UTC.
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