The right-back is on the verge of transferring to the Nerazzurri after being pictured with club president Erick Thohir
Asian markets tracked global stocks higher Thursday on hopes for a deal to keep Greece in the eurozone as the country prepares for a crucial weekend referendum, but Shanghai tumbled again despite authorities relaxing trading rules to temper recent volatility. Buying was also supported by a healthy pick-up on Wall Street that came after another strong batch of US data suggesting the world's top economy is on the recovery path.
James McMath of the Express previously reported that United would “demand” €50 million (£35 million), having already rejected an €18 million (£13 million) offer from Real. AS suggests United are willing to compromise over the stopper, who will be available for free at the end of the 2015-16 season:
This transfer has been speculated for months, but progress has been slow. Although the power rests in United’s hands—they can dictate whether De Gea sees out the final year of his contract—the player has shown no indication that he wants to extend his deal at Old Trafford.
From a separate AS report, Sport Witness translated a further point of contention that may arise between De Gea and his current club:
United already possess a ready-made replacement in former Barcelona ‘keeper Victor Valdes, who put in an excellent performance during the 0-0 draw with Hull City at the 2014-15 season’s end. The club are also said to be pursuing Madrid centre-back Sergio Ramos, per Sky Sports, although B/R UK’s Tim Collins suspects this has initiated a “power struggle” between the two sides:
It’s become a transfer saga that’s incredibly difficult to predict, a tangled political and financial mess. De Gea might eventually depart and Ramos stay. It’s possible that a swap deal could be struck between the clubs.
Or De Gea might simply follow the path forged by [David] Beckham, [Ruud] Van Nistelrooy, [Gabriel] Heinze and [Cristiano] Ronaldo next summer when his contract expires—remember, United don’t truly need the money and could view losing the goalkeeper for free in 2016 as a necessary cost to push for trophies next season.
De Gea would be an excellent alternative to Iker Casillas, who has seemingly outstayed his welcome in Madrid. The stopper hasn’t posted a consistent run of quality form over the last few years and has become slow to react between the posts. He has found out the hard way that if you’re past your sell-by date and no longer performing to the level needed, no amount of loyalty can stop the Madridistas’ handkerchiefs from waving.
It’s likely Casillas’ place in the Spain national team will also be under threat if De Gea moves to the capital. He is 10 years older than the former Atletico Madrid star and becoming less revered as the years roll on. De Gea posted a tremendous season for United—winning the club multiple points along the road to Champions League qualification—and is steadily progressing toward his peak.
United’s participation in Europe’s elite club competition lowers their need to sell. Having returned to the big time and secured a £75 million-per-year kit deal with Adidas, reported by the Independent, this isn’t a club that needs funds. Madrid will know this and could be clever enough to wait another year to nab De Gea for nothing.
The AS-reported price can be considered fair, but only because De Gea’s contract isn’t far from its expiration date. If he was sitting on a three-year deal, it’s likely he’d usurp Gianluigi Buffon as the costliest ‘keeper of all time.
Madrid fans will take faith from De Gea’s lack of public commitment to United, and with a potential transfer fee outlined, this long-lasting saga could finally be gearing up for a conclusion.
This ain’t some dainty floral tattoo!
The rose tattoo on this actress’ hip means business! But can you guess who the star in question is?
If you’re old enough, you probably watched her as a teenager in the halls of West Beverly Hills High, fighting over Dylan with her best frenemy Brenda.
Later you may have seen her acting opposite Amanda Bynes in What I Like About You.
This is the first time we can recall seeing her rose tattoo, however!
It’s Jennie Garth, AKA Kelly Taylor, AKA a mom of three enjoying some surf and sun in Honolulu on June 27!
And, look, she has a ribbon tattoo on the opposite hip!
Livin’ on the edge, y’all!
[Image via AKM-GSI.]
Upon being recognized as GQ‘s 2014 Best New Menswear Designer, John Elliott has continued to impress with his casual cool deliveries throughout 2015. With styles meant to be modern, clean and effortless, we see much of the same heat for the label’s upcoming fall/winter collection.
Per usual, sportswear-inspired pieces will keep you comfortable, all while looking tastefully stylish. The fall and winter seasons are no doubt all about outerwear, and with that John Elliott + Co presents bombers, wool stadium jackets and overcoats, fishtail raincoats and leather jackets, all interspersed with various sweat options, technical pants, sweaters, hoodies and stretch tees. Another common theme that we see is layering, as is also ever-important during the colder months.
For some Spring/Summer 2015 goodness from John Elliott + Co, follow here.
The post John Elliott + Co Highlights Clean and Effortless Style in Fall/Winter 2015 Lookbook appeared first on Highsnobiety.
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Sprint and Dixon’s Carphone Warehouse have announced a new partnership, pairing the US carrier with the European retailer. It’s expected this deal will accelerate Sprint’s retail transformation, an effort to increase the number of retail stores dedicated to pushing out hardware and wireless plans.
Despite growing in every direction and packing in more active safety tech, the new Chevrolet Cruze has managed to shed 250 pounds (113 kg) from its predecessor’s kerb weight.
.. Continue Reading Chevy Cruze goes on a diet
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- 60 years of Corvette
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Organisers of Roskilde festival plan to collect 25,000 litres of waste liquid to fertilise barley crops that will ultimately be ‘beercycled’ into pilsner
Under a cloudless sky, shirtless Vikings with plastic cups of beer in hand are queuing excitedly along a patch of sawdust-covered earth to urinate in a metal trough. Their “contributions” are being collected in specially designed storage tanks, which will then be transported to nearby fields to fertilise malting barley for brewing beer.
“From piss to pilsner” is a new initiative being launched at Roskilde – northern Europe’s largest music festival – in Zealand, Denmark, this week. Organisers hope to collect 25,000 litres of urine from more than 100,000 festivalgoers.
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The Sacramento Kings bolstered their frontcourt with the addition of Willie Cauley-Stein in the 2015 NBA draft. The big man from Kentucky will join another former Wildcat in DeMarcus Cousins to form an effective duo.rc="//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js">
Cousins is known for his offensive prowess, and that shouldn’t change just because Cauley-Stein’s on board. With Cousins’ versatility, the two will be able to coexist without detracting from one another on the offensive end.
But it’s on defense where Cauley-Stein will really help the Kings. In recent years, Cousins has made himself into a formidable defensive player, but there wasn’t another front-line player who could match his ability. That changes with Cauley-Stein, and it could change the whole dynamic in Sacramento.
The Elephant in the Room
Before we delve into how Cauley-Stein complements Cousins, it would be prudent to mention that the two of them may not play together. That’s because of the turmoil in the organization and the chatter of Sacramento potentially trading away Cousins.
Prior to the draft, ESPN’s Marc Stein reported the Los Angeles Lakers were trying to acquire Cousins.
There was also the report from Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski that head coach George Karl had been talking to other teams and players about trading away the big man.
Throughout all of this, Sacramento has remained steadfast in its refusal to move Cousins, with both vice president of basketball operations Vlade Divac and majority owner Vivek Ranadive saying the team won’t trade him.
For now, all we can do is take the organization at its word. Cousins is a King until we hear otherwise. With that being the case, the possibility of pairing him with Cauley-Stein is intriguing.
The Defensive Dynamic
Cauley-Stein will make his most profound impact on defense.
Part of that is because the Kings simply aren’t a good defensive team. They finished the season 27th in defensive rating, allowing 106.5 points per 100 possessions. The Kings were even worse after Karl took over as head coach, dropping to 28th and seeing their defensive rating increase to 107.2.
While the overall defense struggled, one area where it was particularly porous is around the basket.
Opponents shot 63.0 percent within five feet of the hoop. Only the Minnesota Timberwolves allowed a higher percentage (63.2). Teams who normally shot 59.7 percent within six feet saw that percentage increase to 63.0 percent against the Kings.
Defending the hoop was a problem for the team, but it’s an area where Cousins was actually pretty robust. Among centers who played in at least 40 games and faced at least two shots per contest within six feet, Cousins held opponents to 51.7 percent shooting. Only six players were better.
That’s important to note because the Kings are getting another player in Cauley-Stein who is a bona fide rim protector.
He averaged 3.6 blocks per 40 minutes during his three years at Kentucky, while his career block percentage of 9.2 is the 10th best in the SEC since the stat was first recorded in the 1997-98 season.
He was also one of the nation’s premier all-around defenders. The center led the NCAA in defensive win shares in 2014-15, with 3.4. He also averaged more than a steal per game in each of his last two seasons at Kentucky.
Where Cauley-Stein will really help Cousins and the Kings is with his versatility. Despite his 7’0″, 242-pound frame, he’s athletic enough to guard perimeter players. This dynamic already has Karl thinking about pairing Cousins with Cauley-Stein.
One area the coach specifically cited is Cauley-Stein’s ability to contest pick-and-rolls, particularly when switching on the ball-handler.
As Bill Herenda of Comcast California points out, that defensive versatility is one of the main reasons Divac targeted Cauley-Stein in the first place.
It means the Kings will be able to pair Cauley-Stein with Cousins without having to worry about each other’s strengths. Essentially, they can placate the defense to whatever DMC does best and have the rookie fill in the gaps.
Ability on Offense
How Cauley-Stein complements Cousins on offense isn’t as clear.
At least at Kentucky, Cauley-Stein was seen as a limited offensive player. He never averaged more than 8.9 points per game or 14.2 per 40 minutes. Part of that can be explained by his 17.2 career usage percentage since Cauley-Stein was never a focal part of the Wildcats offense.
But it’s fair to note Cauley-Stein didn’t show much creativity in his chances either. According to Hoop-Math.com, 60.6 percent of his field-goal attempts were at the rim, with 69.2 percent of his baskets at the tin coming off assists.
For the Kings, there are two things on their side in terms of how this will mesh with Cousins. The first is that DMC has versatility to his offensive game.
Granted, throughout his career, 67.6 percent of Cousins’ field-goal attempts have come within 10 feet of the hoop. But he can also stretch his offense to the mid-range and knock down jumpers, knocking down 38.3 percent of his 253 attempts between 16 feet and the three-point line in 2014-15.
Cousins is also a willing passer, averaging a career-high 3.6 assists last season. That’s important because he’s going to continually command double-teams, and finding open teammates is the best way to counteract it.
Speaking of which, one of Cauley-Stein’s strengths on offense is moving without the ball. As noted by Jonathan Givony of Draft Express:
He’s also a significant weapon to have as a cutter and roller off the ball, where he finishes 61 percent of his attempts around the basket in non-post-up situations. This was his most frequent source of production in college, especially off lob plays, and will likely continue to be so in the NBA, particularly in pick and roll situations where his ability to just spring up off the floor off two feet for emphatic finishes is a highly coveted skill.
Herenda seems to think it’s an area where the two can complement each other.
However, the Kings probably aren’t expecting much from Cauley-Stein on offense, nor does he need to provide much to be an effective player. As long as he knows his limitations and keeps to them, he should be fine.
After all, while he never scored much at Kentucky, he finished his career with a 59.3 percent field-goal percentage and an above-average 23.3 player efficiency rating. Think of Tyson Chandler and DeAndre Jordan—two players who don’t score a lot of points but who stick to their skill sets and are efficient. The Kings would be more than content with that sort of offensive output from Cauley-Stein if they got a similar return on the defensive end.
An Intriguing Future
If nothing else, it will be interesting to see how Cousins and Cauley-Stein play together. For his part, Cousins has already reached out to the rookie and expressed he’s looking forward to playing with him.
The argument can be made that the Kings would have been better off adding a big man with the capability to stretch the floor, thereby giving Cousins more room to work on offense. But that may not be necessary with DMC‘s offensive versatility. He’s not confined strictly to the paint and should still be effective regardless.
Not to mention the Kings have drafted floor-spacers in the past in Jimmer Fredette, Ben McLemore and Nik Stauskas, who all failed to make an impact from the get-go. In fact, according to Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Sacramento traded Stauskas to the Philadelphia 76ers, along with Carl Landry, Jason Thompson and draft considerations in order to clear cap space.
The Kings are also reportedly pursuing Rajon Rondo, Wes Matthews and Monta Ellis with their cap space.
Assuming the Kings can sign a combination of that trio, or players who can make an immediate impact, they could have a pretty formidable roster. There will be plenty of players who can put the ball in the basket. But there may not be many who can make an impact on defense.
That makes the addition of Cauley-Stein even more important.