United miss out on Coentrao deal

first_img But Press Association Sport understands the paperwork was not completed in time and Coentrao will remain at the Santiago Bernabeu. The news will be greeted with dismay by United fans, who have been less than impressed with the club’s dealings during the window. And it leaves Moyes in the tricky position of needing to explain to Patrice Evra why he felt another left-back was required. One theory was that Coentrao would have operated at left-back, with Evra in a more advanced role, which he played during his early years as a professional. Nevertheless, Evra’s form last season and the early weeks of the current one was not that of a man who needed replacing. Now the France star will remain in his favoured role, with Alex Buttner also set to stay at Old Trafford as his deputy following talks over loan deals with both Besiktas and Celtic. Press Association Manchester United have failed in their attempt to sign Fabio Coentrao on loan from Real Madrid.center_img Having missed out on Leighton Baines, Red Devils manager David Moyes turned his attentions to Coentrao. It seemed he had pulled off an amazing last-ditch coup. last_img read more

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Marlon Tuipulotu, top defensive tackle recruit, flips to USC

first_imgThe top defensive tackle in the nation for the class of 2017, Marlon Tuipulotu, announced Monday night via Twitter that he will be decommitting from Washington and joining the USC football team next fall as a freshman. The announcement comes nine days before National Signing Day.USC hosted Tuipulotu on an official visit this weekend before the five-star defensive lineman announced his decision Monday. “This was a tough decision for me, and I have nothing but love for the players, the school and the coaches at the [University of Washington] … I honestly wish them nothing but the best in everything they do,” Tuipulotu said on Twitter. “I am still planning to graduate early and will be attending the University of Southern California.”Tuipulotu will be graduating from Central High School in Independence, Ore. this week; he will enroll early at USC and arrive on campus this semester. The 6-foot-2, 295-pound defensive lineman was selected to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in his senior season. Recruiting sites such 247Sports have rated Tuipulotu as a five-star tackle, while Rivals projected him as a four-star prospect. Tuipulotu was rated the top recruit from the state of Oregon this season. He is ranked the No. 60 player overall nationally in the composite rankings. The acquisition of Tuipulotu is crucial for USC. Tuipulotu will aid in filling a large hole at defensive tackle for USC after the team lost players such as Noah Jefferson to transfer and Rose Bowl MVP Stevie Tu’ikolovatu to graduation. Tuipulotu, a long time Washington commit, made his initial verbal commitment to play for the Huskies back in April 2016. In addition to recruiting Tuipulotu, USC also hosted the No. 2 rated defensive tackle in the nation, Jay Tufele,  on an official visit this past weekend.last_img read more

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Lakers need to answer some questions

first_imgSame as it’s always been since NBA Commissioner David Stern nixed the Chris Paul deal more than two years ago. Gasol likely will hear his name linked to trade discussions nearly every day leading to the Feb. 20 deadline. A Gasol trade actually will materialize if the Lakers can attract enough assets in young talent and draft picks for Gasol’s expiring $19.3 million contract as a centerpiece. But the Lakers won’t ship Gasol if it just involves shaving player salary and luxury tax money off the team’s ledger sheet. Consider Gasol’s nine lives with the Lakers likely expended by the end of this season. He hasn’t felt the comfort level in coach Mike D’Antoni’s system. And unlike the past seasons, sentiments suggest Gasol’s struggles beyond his health issues have more to do with him than whether he’s being put in a position to succeed. 4. Will the Lakers tank? Short answer yes with an ‘if.’ Long answer no with a ‘but.’ Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak recently told this newspaper he considered tanking “un-American” and contradicting the Lakers’ winning culture even if it puts them in a better position for NBA lottery ping pong balls. But if the Lakers are losing continuously, does it really matter?The Lakers won’t ever intentionally lose games. They have NBA castoffs on one-year contracts fighting for their futures. The Lakers also want fans to have reasons to attend Staples Center and/or watch games on Time Warner Cable SportsNet. But if it’s clear the Lakers have absolutely no shot at making the playoffs, will those sentiments change? The biggest need would involve both securing draft picks for this year’s star-studded class and beyond as well as reducing player salaries. The Lakers’ payroll remains at $78.9 million and the luxury tax threshold stays at $71.7 million. Kupchak said staying below the luxury tax isn’t a “driving force” over sound basketball decisions. But doing so would allow the Lakers to avoid the so-called “repeater’s tax.” That penalty applies to teams that spend over the luxury tax in four of five seasons since the NBA’s new labor deal was constructed in 2011.5. Will D’Antoni stick around to coach the Lakers? Any question about D’Antoni’s flimsy job security has been quickly battered down in seven seconds or less. Kupchak recently said he would’ve considered D’Antoni a coach of the year candidate if not for all these injuries souring the Lakers’ season. The Lakers remain convinced their struggles have more to do with injuries than any of D’Antoni’s coaching tactics. In fact, they remain impressed with D’Antoni pulling a MacGyver in some sorts in handling a decimated roster featuring few stars and plenty of castoffs. It’s also necessary to keep in mind D’Antoni is under contract next season for a guaranteed $4 million. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error The most immediate return involves Xavier Henry, whose bone bruise in his right knee will be re-evaluated Monday. The Lakers likely will have to wait another month before Steve Blake (hyperextended right elbow) and Jordan Farmar (torn left hamstring) can come back. 2. What are the Lakers’ chances of making the postseason? If Laker fans want to watch playoff basketball, they’re better off securing Clippers tickets. The Lakers (14-23) have lost 10 of their last 11 games for the first time since the 2004-05 season and currently sit in 13th place in the Western Conference. Considering the Lakers still field a roster for another month that only remains competitive enough for a D-League squad, it’s conceivable the Lakers could lose the next eight games, including Tuesday versus Cleveland at Staples Center followed by a 12-day, seven-game trip before Bryant and/or Nash touch the floor. That surely would put the Lakers in the Western Conference cellar behind Sacramento (12-22) and Utah (12-26). The Lakers showed last year they could climb out of big holes by closing out the season 28-12 after crawling through January with a 19-23 mark. There are two problems. The Lakers overcame their locker-room issues with talent. They also had a healthy Bryant leading the way up until his potentially career-ending Achilles tendon injury in mid-April. 3. What does Pau Gasol’s future entail? center_img It turns out the Clippers aren’t the only ones covering up the Lakers’ championship banners and retired jerseys. The Lakers’ play has provided a stark contrast from their glorious past to their bleak future.The following five questions attempt to sort out the Lakers issues that have made the 2013-14 season play out like a Greek tragedy.1. When will the Lakers field healthy players?Perhaps never, considering the Lakers have not had a full roster for nearly two seasons. But they are holding out hope Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash will return from their respective left knee and back injuries on Jan. 28 against Indiana or shortly after. last_img read more

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