Cristian Pavon's loan deal with LA Galaxy has been extended for another year, the Major League Soccer side have announced.

The 23-year-old joined Galaxy on a short-term deal from Boca Juniors in August, contributing three goals and eight assists in 11 outings during the regular season.

Pavon will return to Los Angeles for a full season in 2020, the Argentina international becoming the Designated Player for the Galaxy following the departure of Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Galaxy, who travel to Inter Miami for their first game of the new 2020 MLS season on March 14, have also been linked with Paris Saint-Germain striker Edinson Cavani.

Thierry Henry is hoping to learn from his mistakes at Monaco after taking charge of MLS club Montreal Impact.

After assisting Roberto Martinez with Belgium, former Arsenal and Barcelona star Henry took up his first head coach role at Ligue 1 club Monaco in October 2018.

However, despite signing a three-year deal, Henry was dismissed in January, with his predecessor Leonardo Jardim coming in as his replacement. 

Montreal, meanwhile, finished ninth in the Eastern Conference in 2019, with Wilmer Cabrera - who only took charge in August - not offered the chance to stay on as coach.

On his official unveiling as the Impact's new coach, Henry insisted he has put his poor spell at Monaco behind him and is hoping to prove his quality as a coach with Montreal, who will play in the 2020 CONCACAF Champions League.

"You have to start somewhere, that's how you acquire experience," Henry, who has signed a two-year deal with Montreal, told a news conference on Monday.

"For me it came with Belgium and Monaco, where I learned a lot about myself. It's about fighting. This isn't my story but the story of everyone in life. Everyone falls. It's about how you get up.

"It didn't work out at Monaco. I can give you a lot of excuses but at the end of the day it didn't work out and I am here as coach of Montreal.

"I learned a lot there. The only mistake you can make is not learning from what happened. You have to confront it."

Inter have a fight on their hands to retain the services of star forward Lautaro Martinez.

Martinez has been heavily linked to LaLiga champions Barcelona as they search for Luis Suarez's long-term replacement.

But Manchester City and United are both reportedly interested in the Argentina international.

 

TOP STORY – CITY & UNITED TARGET MARTINEZ

Manchester City and Premier League neighbours United want to sign Inter star Martinez, according to The Mirror.

Martinez – who is only in his second season in Milan after joining from Racing Club in 2018 – has flourished this term with eight goals across all competitions for Antonio Conte's Inter.

LaLiga champions Barcelona have been linked, while the two Manchester clubs are also reportedly targeting the 22-year-old forward.

 

ROUND-UP

- Unhappy at Barcelona, Ivan Rakitic could remain in LaLiga. The Croatia international has attracted interest from the likes of Inter, United and Paris Saint-Germain in his pursuit of more game time. However, Movistar+ claims Atletico Madrid are willing to meet Barca's €40million valuation of Rakitic. Marca adds that Atletico do not plan to replace Diego Costa due to salary constraints.

- The Mirror says Arsenal scouted Leicester City defender Caglar Soyuncu during Turkey's Euro 2020 qualifier against Iceland on Thursday. Soyuncu moved to Leicester from Freiburg in 2018 and the 23-year-old has stepped up to fill the void left by Harry Maguire, who joined United in a world-record deal.

- Zlatan Ibrahimovic out and Edinson Cavani in for LA Galaxy? According to Gianluca Di Marzio, MLS side the Galaxy are targeting Paris Saint-Germain's Cavani following Ibrahimovic's exit. The Uruguay forward is out of contract at the end of the season and has been linked to David Beckham's Inter Miami franchise, who will open their inaugural season against the Galaxy next year.

Inter will need to fork out €30m if they want to sign Udinese's Rodrigo de Paul in January, reports Calciomercato. The Express also reports that Inter are ready to offer out-of-favour Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud an 18-month contract. Conte is determined to add depth up front, with Martinez and Romelu Lukaku leading the way in the absence of injured loanee Alexis Sanchez.

- Corriere dello Sport claims Roma have joined the chase for Everton forward Moise Kean. The 19-year-old has struggled since moving to the Premier League from Juventus, and the likes of Sampdoria and AC Milan are lining up to bring the teenager back to Serie A on loan.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic wants to see out his career in Italy, according to LA Galaxy head coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto.

Ibrahimovic revealed on Wednesday that he will not be renewing his contract with MLS side the Galaxy, where the 38-year-old arrived from Manchester United in 2018.

The ex-Paris Saint-Germain striker has been strongly linked with a return to Europe, with MLS commissioner Don Garber last week suggesting former club AC Milan are the frontrunners to re-sign the soon-to-be free agent.

Napoli, Bologna and Roma have also been touted as possible options for the former Sweden international should he return to Serie A, while A-League team Perth Glory have confirmed their interest in bringing Ibrahimovic to Australia on a guest deal.

Asked about Ibrahimovic's future, Galaxy boss Schelotto told Radio Kiss Kiss: "He does not know what he will do now.

"He is a wonderful player, but I don't know what his next step will be - perhaps he'll finish his career in Naples or with Milan. 

"I don't know where he will go but he deserves and wants to finish his career in Italy."

Ibrahimovic spent two seasons with Milan – winning the Serie A and Supercoppa Italiana – before leaving in 2012 for French giants PSG, where he worked under current Napoli coach Carlo Ancelotti.

"They know each other well," Schelotto said. "Zlatan evidently has the characteristics that Napoli needs."

Thierry Henry has been named the new head coach of MLS side Montreal Impact.

The former Arsenal and France star has signed an initial two-year deal, with the option of a third.

It is Henry's first coaching job since a troubled 20 games in charge of former club Monaco in Ligue 1 last season.

"We are extremely happy to announce the nomination of this legend of the game," said Impact president and CEO Kevin Gilmore via the club's website.

"Henry will bring a new energy to our club. He shares our vision to elevate this club and will help us achieve our goals on and off the field. He is a competitor and a leader who has proven himself at the highest level throughout his career. He now brings these qualities with him to Montreal, a place he wants to be."

Henry, 42, said: "It's an honour to coach the Montreal Impact and return to MLS.

"It's a league I know well, in which I had some very nice moments. To be in Quebec, in Montreal, which has an enormous multicultural heritage, it's extraordinary. I've always kept an eye on the club and now I'm here."

Henry spent four years with New York Red Bulls after leaving Barcelona in 2010, winning the Supporters' Shield in 2013 after helping his side finish top of the Eastern Conference.

After taking a coaching role with the Arsenal academy following his retirement in 2014, Henry then enjoyed a successful two-year spell as assistant to Roberto Martinez with Belgium.

He took charge of Monaco in October 2018 after the dismissal of Leonardo Jardim, but he was sacked in January this year after managing only four wins in his brief tenure.

Impact, who will play in the 2020 CONCACAF Champions League, finished ninth in the Eastern Conference in 2019.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic's LA Galaxy departure appears imminent after he made a typically grandiose statement on Wednesday, telling MLS fans they can 'go back to watching baseball' now that he will be leaving. 

Bundesliga leaders Borussia Monchengladbach have signed 16-year-old Joe Scally from New York City, sending the defender back to the MLS club on loan for the 2020 season.

The right-back has yet to appear in MLS but was the second youngest player in league history – after Freddy Adu – to sign a professional contract when he did so in March 2018, aged 15.

Scally, who will move to Germany in January 2021, made his professional debut in the US Open Cup against rivals New York Red Bulls in June 2018, replacing then NYCFC captain David Villa.

The MLS club reported the undisclosed fee for Scally's transfer, depending on bonuses, "could rise significantly to become one of the highest transfer fees received for a MLS player being transferred to a European club".

Scally said: "I was very excited when I heard the news about the transfer to Borussia Monchengladbach. As a kid you always want to play in Europe and in one of the best leagues in the world. I couldn't be happier."

Gladbach are top of the Bundesliga heading into the international break, four points clear of second-placed RB Leipzig with 25 points after 11 matches.

NYCFC lost in the Eastern Conference semi-finals in the 2019 MLS season and are looking for a new head coach following Dome Torrent's departure.

They have been linked with former Feyenoord coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst.

Inter Miami co-owner David Beckham will welcome his former club LA Galaxy to Florida for the new franchise's MLS home opener.

MLS is welcoming two new teams for the 2020 season, with Inter and Nashville SC taking the league to 26 franchises.

The full schedule for the next campaign is still to be confirmed, with the 2019 season only ending on Sunday as Seattle Sounders defeated Toronto FC in the MLS Cup final.

But Inter have announced their first official home fixture, with Beckham's team to come up against Galaxy at their temporary stadium in Fort Lauderdale on March 14.

Galaxy have a statue of Beckham outside their own stadium in southern California.

The former England captain made 98 regular season appearances for the club, scoring 40 times, and won the MLS Cup twice, in 2011 and 2012, and the Supporters' Shield twice, in 2010 and 2011.

MLS announced in 2014 that Beckham had exercised his option for an expansion franchise – built into his Galaxy contract – resulting in his involvement with Miami.

Inter have been linked with former Barcelona and Liverpool midfielder Javier Mascherano, who is currently at Hebei China Fortune, as they build their first squad.

AC Milan are desperate to add some firepower, but the Serie A side may not be opting for Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Ibrahimovic, 38, has been linked with a return to San Siro as the superstar prepares to leave LA Galaxy at the end of his contract.

However, Milan are considering their options.

 

TOP STORY – MILAN LOOK ELSEWHERE AMID IBRAHIMOVIC LINKS

AC Milan are eyeing Napoli star Dries Mertens and Juventus striker Mario Mandzukic, according to Tuttosport.

Stefano Pioli's men are struggling in 14th in Serie A, having scored just 11 goals in 12 league games.

Krzysztof Piatek is Milan's leading goalscorer in the league, but he has managed just three in 12.

The report says Ibrahimovic remains an option in the background.

ROUND-UP

- Juventus stars are expecting an apology from Cristiano Ronaldo after his outburst on Sunday, according to Gazzetta dello Sport. Ronaldo reportedly left the stadium after being substituted in the second half of Juve's 1-0 win over Milan.

- Expect movement at Barcelona in January. Sport reports the LaLiga champions could sell Ivan Rakitic, Carles Alena and Moussa Wague without making any additions. Meanwhile, ESPN FC says Barcelona consider €100million too high a price to pay for Salzburg star Erling Haaland.

- Dani Olmo is still attracting interest from Europe's biggest clubs. CalcioMercato reports the Spanish attacker is ready to leave Dinamo Zagreb, who want €40m amid interest from Manchester City, AC Milan and Roma.

- Amid a lack of playing time at Real Madrid, Brahim Diaz and Mariano have been offered to Espanyol, according to Sport. Brahim has played just 18 LaLiga minutes this season, while Mariano is yet to feature in 2019-20.

- Andrea Belotti is set to re-sign with Torino. The striker – who has scored seven goals in 12 Serie A games this season – will get higher wages and a release clause of €100m, which will apply only for foreign clubs, according to CalcioMercato.

- Inter want to make as many as three signings in January, according to Tuttosport. Second in the Serie A table, one of those additions is set to depend on how much Inter bring in from the sale of Gabriel Barbosa – the forward is on loan at Flamengo.

AC Milan, Bologna, Perth Glory, Inter and even Juventus have been linked to Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Ibrahimovic's LA Galaxy contract is set to expire before the end of the year and the veteran striker is not short of suitors.

And a return to Old Trafford could be on the cards for the 38-year-old.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED TARGETING IBRAHIMOVIC

Manchester United are preparing to make a move for former striker Ibrahimovic, reports Mail Online.

Ibrahimovic left United for MLS outfit LA Galaxy in 2018 and he has flourished in the United States, where he has scored 53 goals across two seasons.

But with Ibrahimovic – who has been linked to AC Milan, Bologna and A-League side Perth Glory – coming off contract and United looking to bolster their attacking options following the departures of Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez, a Manchester comeback has been mooted.

ROUND-UP

Inter are set to back Antonio Conte in the January transfer window. Following Conte's outburst over a lack of squad planning after Inter's Champions League defeat to Borussia Dortmund, Calciomercato says the Nerazzurri are ready to sign Parma duo Matteo Darmian and Dejan Kulusevski. Darmian only arrived from Manchester United at the start of the season, while teenage midfielder Kulusevski is on loan from Atalanta.

- Pressure is mounting on Unai Emery but Arsenal are not worried. According to the Mail, the Gunners will not be panicked into sacking head coach Emery – whose side have gone four league games without a win and sit sixth, eight points outside of the top four. Former Spain and Barcelona boss Luis Enrique has emerged as a possible replacement.

- Despite Southampton's poor form, the Premier League strugglers are still behind boss Ralph Hasenhuttl according to The Sun. The Saints are 19th and three points adrift of safety amid a seven-match winless streak in the league – highlighted by a record 9-0 humiliation against Leicester City.

Dries Mertens could be set to leave Napoli. Second on the club's all-time scoring list, Corriere dello Sport and Gazzetta dello Sport claim Mertens has agreed to join Inter as a free agent at the end of the season. The 32-year-old has called Naples home since arriving from PSV in 2013.

Seattle Sounders won the MLS Cup for the second time in their history after goals from Kelvin Leerdam, Victor Rodriguez and Raul Ruidiaz earned them a 3-1 victory over Toronto FC.

Brian Schmetzer's side were second best for much of the game at CenturyLink Field but triumphed after a stroke of luck gifted Leerdam a deflected opening goal.

Rodriguez lit up the game with a tremendous solo effort 14 minutes from time and Ruidiaz added a third as the Western Conference Final winners were crowned champions for the first time since 2016.

The result was cruel on Toronto, who scored late through Jozy Altidore and played the better football, but Seattle claimed revenge for their defeat to the same opponents in the 2017 final.

Roman Torres lifted a shot over the crossbar from 12 yards as the Sounders pressed hard early on, but Toronto grew in confidence and the hosts needed a good one-handed save from goalkeeper Stefan Frei to keep Jonathan Osorio from grabbing the opener.

The best chance of a goalless first half fell to Ruidiaz when he controlled Nicolas Lodeiro's cross from the right but could only shoot straight at Quentin Westberg, who parried his angled drive away.

Seattle broke the deadlock against the run of play after surviving a period of intense Toronto pressure, Leerdam controlling Ruidiaz's pass and turning Nicolas Benezet before scoring with a low shot that took a wicked deflection off Justin Morrow's foot.

Toronto sent on Altidore for his debut in these play-offs but moments after his introduction Rodriguez, on as a substitute just after the hour mark, collected the ball just outside the box and hammered a powerful right-footed strike into the far corner of the net.

Ruidiaz missed a golden chance to make it three moments later but made amends when he powered past Chris Mavinga and latched onto Gustav Svensson's long pass before clipping a shot over Westberg to start the celebrations.

Playing for pride in the dying seconds, Toronto mustered a consolation when Altidore met Alejandro Pozuelo's cross with a powerful header beyond Frei but it was too little, too late for the visitors.

Five months on from the Raptors' stunning NBA Finals triumph in Oakland, the city of Toronto will hope to be celebrating further success after the MLS Cup final.

The Raptors defeated two-time defending champions the Golden State Warriors for their first title, and Toronto FC can add another championship by beating Seattle Sounders on Sunday.

Toronto and Seattle are facing one another in the season decider in MLS for the third time in four years, winning a title apiece at BMO Field before this showdown at CenturyLink Field.

Victory would cap a sensational 2019 for sports in Toronto, but other cities have similarly been able to hail two or more major championships in the same year previously. We take a look at the seven most recent examples.
 

1998: CHICAGO - Bulls (NBA), Fire (MLS)

Michael Jordan's NBA dominance with the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s gave the city's other sports teams plenty of opportunities to complete a double. In 1998, two years after the introduction of MLS, early force Chicago Fire were able to deliver.

Jordan ended his final season in Chicago a champion once again, the MVP and Finals MVP as the Utah Jazz were beaten 4-2 in June. Fire then defeated DC United 2-0 at the Rose Bowl in October, capping a fine year for the Windy City.
 

2000: NEW JERSEY/NEW YORK - Devils (NHL), Yankees (MLB)

The sports teams in the greater New York area brought in the millennium in real style as both the New Jersey Devils and the New York Yankees were able to clinch championships.

The second of the Devils' three Stanley Cup successes to date came against the Dallas Stars in June's Game 6, before a New York victory at the World Series was guaranteed as the Yankees faced the Mets four months later. The Yankees won inside five games for a third straight title.
 

2002: LOS ANGELES - Lakers (NBA), Galaxy (MLS), Angels (MLB)

Few cities have enjoyed a year as dominant as Los Angeles did in 2002, with the Los Angeles Lakers, LA Galaxy and Anaheim Angels all triumphing.

The Lakers won the NBA Finals for a third consecutive year in June, crushing the New Jersey Nets 4-0, before October brought double delight for the city's sports fans, with Galaxy beating New England Revolution 1-0 as the Angels began their World Series campaign, ultimately edging out the San Francisco Giants in seven games.
 

2004: NEW ENGLAND/BOSTON - Patriots (NFL), Red Sox (MLB)

It should have surprised no one to see the New England Patriots win the Super Bowl, their second of three in four years, but it was a far bigger deal to see the Boston Red Sox come out on top in the World Series.

Tom Brady earned his second ring as the Carolina Panthers were edged out in a dramatic fourth quarter in February, before neighbours the Red Sox ended the 'Curse of the Bambino' and an 86-year wait for a championship by thrashing the St Louis Cardinals in October, having earlier come from 3-0 down against the Yankees.

2009: PITTSBURGH - Steelers (NFL), Penguins (NHL)

Pittsburgh sports fans have had plenty to celebrate since the turn of the century. The Pirates have largely toiled in MLB, but the NFL Steelers and NHL Penguins have each seen success - and did so in the same year in 2009.

The Steelers became the first franchise to win six Super Bowls when they held off a fourth-quarter fightback from the Arizona Cardinals in February, while the Penguins avenged their 2008 Stanley Cup defeat to the Detroit Red Wings against the same team in Game 7 in June.
 

2012: LOS ANGELES - Kings (NHL), Galaxy (MLS)

If Toronto can win a second MLS Cup in three years, they will then hope to kick on and pursue Galaxy's record of five titles - the fourth of which came in December 2012, six months after the Los Angeles Kings broke their Stanley Cup duck.

Playing just the second Finals in their history, the Kings dealt established winners the Devils a six-game defeat. Galaxy, far more accustomed with success, then defeated Houston Dynamo for the second year running in the MLS Cup final.


2014: LOS ANGELES - Kings (NHL), Galaxy (MLS)

Having waited so long for a first triumph, the Kings wasted little time at all to double their tally - much like Toronto FC, the Reds will hope.

Another New York outfit, the New York Rangers, were dispatched 4-1 in June, setting up another magnificent double with Galaxy when Bruce Arena's men beat New England thanks to an extra-time Robbie Keane strike in December.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is "being recruited by AC Milan", according to Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber.

The 38-year-old has spent the past 18 months in MLS, but his contract with LA Galaxy expires in December and he has been linked with a return to European football.

Ibrahimovic played for Milan for two seasons before leaving for Paris Saint-Germain in 2012 and Garber has suggested a return is on the cards.

"Zlatan is such an interesting guy," he told ESPN. "He keeps my hands full and my inbox full, but he's a thrill-a-minute. 

"You need to have those guys that break through the clutter like [David] Beckham did in our early days. He is a 38-year-old guy who is being recruited by AC Milan, one of the top clubs in the world."

Ibrahimovic was named in the MLS Best XI in 2018 and 2019 after scoring a combined 53 goals, and Garber has not entirely ruled out the Swedish striker agreeing a new contract to stay in Los Angeles.

"He has almost set records for the number of goals he's scored in the last two years and is exciting on and off the field. 

"He keeps our hands full but I'd love to see him back - that's up to LA Galaxy. I've enjoyed the Zlatan moments, especially when he speaks to me in third person."

One star name may appear to be on his way out of MLS, but Garber hopes others will follow in the steps of Ibrahimovic, Beckham and Thierry Henry.

Beckham spent five years with Galaxy and is now the co-owner of new club Inter Miami, who will make their MLS debut in 2020.

Asked about Beckham's influence in luring others to America, Garber said: "We saw Henry come to this league because he had a conversation with Beckham five or six years ago.

"David is out there speaking to lots of players and, just as importantly, he is very involved in the academy down at Miami. 

"They are recruiting young players and their academy has been open for a year now with a team that's not playing until next year. They have a combination of young players and some international guys that David will bring in."

Romelu Lukaku's two-goal showing for Inter at Bologna has earned him a place in the FUT Team of the Week, though Timo Werner's inclusion is arguably the most deserved of this week's selection.

Werner lit up the Bundesliga at the weekend with a hat-trick and a treble of assists in RB Leipzig's 8-0 demolition of Mainz, having a hand in all but two of Leipzig's goals in a remarkable win.

The Germany international became only the second player to be involved in six goals in a single Bundesliga match since detailed Opta data collection began in 2004-05 – the first being Claudio Pizarro with four goals and two assists in May 2013.

He is partnered in attack by Lukaku after his goals secured 2-1 comeback win on the road, while a forward-thinking back three includes Juventus star Matthijs de Ligt and Manchester City full-back Kyle Walker.

Below, we examine the entire squad that is set to be up for grabs online.

FUT Team of the Week

GK: Yann Sommer (Borussia Monchengladbach) – 86

RB: Kyle Walker (Manchester City) – 86

CB: Matthijs de Ligt (Piemonte Calcio/Juventus) – 86

LB: Alex Grimaldo (Benfica) – 85

LM: Filip Kostic (Eintracht Frankfurt) – 84

CAM: Iker Muniain (Athletic Bilbao) – 84

CM: Luis Alberto (Lazio) – 86

LM: Thorgan Hazard (Borussia Dortmund) – 84

CAM: Hakim Ziyech (Ajax) – 86

ST: Timo Werner (RB Leipzig) – 85

ST: Romelu Lukaku (Inter) – 86

SUBSTITUTES

GK: Walter Benitez (Nice) – 83

CB: Chris Smalling (Roma) – 83

LB: Frank Fabra (Boca Juniors/Buenos Aires) – 82

RM: Fabian Orellana (Eibar) – 82

CAM: Nicolas Lodeiro (Seattle Sounders) – 82

ST: Tammy Abraham (Chelsea) – 84

ST: Joao Pedro (Cagliari) – 81

RESERVES

CB: Harry Ashcroft (Finn Harps) – 69

ST: Camillo Ciano (Frosinone) – 80

CM: John Lundstram (Sheffield United) – 76

ST: Mohamed Buya Turay (Djurgardens) – 77

ST: Rushian Hepburn-Murphy (Tranmere Rovers) – 71

Carlos Vela has been named the 2019 MLS MVP after a record-breaking season with Los Angeles FC.

Vela received 69 per cent of the weighted vote to beat LA Galaxy star Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Atlanta United's Josef Martinez, and New York City pair Maxi Moralez and Heber to the award.

The 30-year-old Vela scored an unprecedented 34 goals in 31 regular-season appearances as LAFC claimed the Supporters' Shield.

Mexican forward Vela also supplied 15 assists to set a new MLS benchmark for goal involvements, surpassing Sebastian Giovinco's total of 38 (22 goals, 16 assists) for Toronto in 2015.

Despite taking his goal tally for the year to 36 with a double in the Western Conference semi-final victory over rivals the Galaxy, Vela drew a blank as Bob Bradley's team were eliminated from the MLS Cup play-offs by Seattle Sounders.

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