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The Corner: Pre-season tours, tantalizing transfers and managerial musical chairs


The Corner: Pre-season tours, tantalizing transfers and managerial musical chairs


The new season is just around the corner and some European heavyweight clubs are busy with pre-season tours across the globe.

Some club’s have hit the ground running but certain others have just hit the ground.

Manchester United – with new coach Louis Van Gaal – followed up their 7-0 thrashing of the LA Galaxy with a laboured 3-2 win over AS Roma in the International Champions Cup in Denver.

Van Gaal however was underwhelmed by his team’s performance and will be keen to bolster his ranks as the United revolution continues.

The other Pool A match of teh International Champions Cup saw Real Madrid lose on penalties after a 1-1 draw with Inter Milan in California.

Gareth Bale’s stunning opener was cancelled out by Mauro Icardi from the spot before the Italians squeezed through in a penalty shootout.

In Pool B English champions Manchester City opened up their account with a 5-1 thrashing of AC Milan in Pittsburgh.

Manuel Pellegrini’s men next visit the Yankee Stadium in New York where on Wednesday they’ll play Liverpool who beat Olympiakos 1-0 in their first group game in Chicago.

Looking through the transfer window

The summer transfer market continues and during the last week there have been some interesting switches of allegiance, such as Didier Drogba’s return to Chelsea, Patrice Evra heading to Juventus and Antoine Griezmann confirmed at Atletico Madrid.

But for the majority of the past week the media has been talking about two key players.

Wantaway Real Madrid player Angel Di Maria of Argentina and Uruguay’s Edison Cavani have dominated the press this week with Paris Saint Germain and Manchester United at the centre.

Di Maria looks set to snub Man United and join PSG although it could just be on a season-long loan-deal which will then be made permanent next summer.

But it could all hinge on whether Manchester United swoop in for PSG’s Edison Cavani.

Financial Fair Play rules have threatened to derail PSG’s bid for winger Di Maria after falling foul of the rules last season.

But funds raised by the possible sale of Cavani to United could pave the way for the French Champions’ to free up the necessary cash for their Argentina World Cup star target – who has also been linked with United.

Managerial musical chairs

The managerial musical chairs continues to play on.

Claudio Ranieri signed a contract with the Greece national team, Dick Advocaat took the Serbia reins while World Cup winning boss Joachim Loew announced his long-term plans to stay with Die Nationalmannschaft.

There are a few high-profile names, though, who could be without a seat when the music stops – one has been standing without a chair for four years.

Antonio Conte left his position as Juventus coach earlier this month and was later replaced by Massimiliano Allegri.

Conte has not resurfaced in a new position as yet and this week PSG strongly denied reports he would be taking over from Laurent Blanc at the French champions.

Luiz Felipe Scolari led his Brazil side to the semi-finals of the World Cup on home soil this summer but it ended with a 7-1 humiliation by the all-conquering Germans.

That defeat proved to much for the football-crazy Brazilian’s and the coach himself, who later resigned.

Seen by most French as the worst coach in the country’s footballing history, the nation’s former manager Raymond Domenech remains in the footballing wilderness and has been there since a disastrous 2010 World Cup campaign.

He is now one of several candidates for the Ivory Coast job following the departure of Sabri Lamouchi, who left after the Elephants’ World Cup flop, although former Italy and Republic of Ireland coach Giovanni Trapattoni earlier this month proclaimed his is favourite for the post.

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