Lucas Torreira has been heavily linked with a summer transfer to AC Milan (Picture: Getty)AC Milan are set to drop their interest in Lucas Torreira and switch their focus to Sampdoria’s Dennis Praet.Torreira enjoyed an impressive debut campaign following his move to Arsenal last summer, but fueled speculation surrounding his future by conceding he had struggled to acclimatise to life in England.The Uruguay international’s admission has prompted Milan to test the waters and tempt Arsenal, who need to sell players in order to boost their measly £40million transfer budget, to part company with the 23-year-old.New Milan manager Marco Giampaolo worked with Torreira during their time together at Sampdoria and had hoped to make the player the centre piece of a new-look midfield engine room.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTMore: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityThe Serie A club, who on Friday were forced to withdraw from next season’s Europa League due to FFP breaches, are reported to have put together an audacious £4.5m two-season loan deal, with an additional fee of around £25m to make his move permanent at the end of that period.Arsenal have dismissed that proposal out of hand and given their determination to resist any offers for Torreira, Milan will now look elsewhere, according to Sky Italia.Praet was reported to have been the subject of join £41m bid from Arsenal, who also want his Sampdoria teammate Joachim Andersen, earlier in the summer window.MORE: How Sampdoria duo Dennis Praet and Joachim Andersen can solve two of Unai Emery’s biggest issues at ArsenalSampdoria value the creative midfielder at around £25m and the player’s agent had hoped that his client’s future would be resolved imminently when he spoke earlier this month.‘Everybody knows what Giampaolo thinks of Dennis. For now, I can’t say anything else,’ said Martin Riha.‘AC Milan is an important brand, it’s a big name. But there are also other clubs that want to sign him, especially abroad, they’ve already shown their interest.’On whether Arsenal specifically had lodge a formal interest in Praet, he said: ‘I can’t add anything else now, I think you can understand.‘Dennis is a complete footballer and he is ready to join a big club. ‘There are many clubs interested, we’ll know everything in a few weeks.’More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal Advertisement Metro Sport ReporterSaturday 29 Jun 2019 2:57 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link AC Milan drop Lucas Torreira pusruit to focus on Arsenal transfer target Dennis Praet Comment Advertisement
JAY LAPRETE/Associated PressThe Big Ten’s hope of placing a team in the national championship game took a huge hit when the conference’s top three teams, Ohio State, Michigan and Iowa, all lost this past Saturday.While some college football analysts and writers have already written off the Big Ten, most coaches have yet to hit the panic button.”I don’t think any team is out of anything unless you have two losses,” Michigan head coach Lloyd Carr said.Wisconsin’s Barry Alvarez isn’t worried about the Big Ten yet either.”It’s very, very early to make those kinds of statements,” he said. “The voters recognize the best teams at the end of the year.”It will be a tough road for any of those three teams to make it to the championship game, judging from last year, when Auburn finished undefeated and was left out of the Orange Bowl. Furthermore, all three teams will also have to face each other before the end of the season.Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz doesn’t like to talk about the BCS at any point of the season, but especially not this early.”I never worry about the BCS and I hope our players don’t either,” Ferentz said.Many of the Big Ten coaches echoed Ferentz’s comments, saying they let other people worry about the race for the National Championship and simply concentrate on winning the games in front of them.”There’s a lot more people outside of this building that talk about it than inside our building,” Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel said. “Right now you can’t worry about what will go on at the end of the year.”Big Ten elite look to bounce back: Last weekend’s losses have left Ohio State, Michigan, and Iowa in the unfamiliar position of having to recover from an early season loss.”You win, you lose, you still have to move on to your next opponent,” Ferentz said. “The worst thing you can do is let the loss carry over to the next game.”Carr said the key is to forget about last week’s game.”The most important thing is to stay focused and be ready to play,” Carr said. “You can’t sit around and feel sorry for yourself because no one else will.”Tressel said his team simply needs to get back to winning games, but with the structure of the college football season, needs to do so quickly.”This isn’t baseball,” Tressel said. “We only get a certain amount of opportunities.”Wildcats claim two Big Ten honors: The Northwestern Wildcats, off to a 2-0 start this season, claimed the offensive and co-special teams players of the week after defeating Northern Illinois last weekend.True freshman running back Tyrell Sutton was named offensive player of the week after rushing for 214 yards and four touchdowns, including the game-winning score.Junior defensive back Marquice Cole earned co-special teams honors after returning two punts for 101 yards, including an 81-yard touchdown scamper.Ohio State linebacker A.J. Hawk was named defensive player of the week for his work in the Buckeyes’ loss to No. 2 Texas. Hawk had 12 tackles, two sacks, an interception, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.Wisconsin senior wide receiver Brandon Williams shared the co-special teams honors with Cole following the Badgers’ 65-0 blowout win over Temple. Williams returned one kickoff for 38 yards, and four punts for 105 yards, including a 66-yard touchdown.
Jose Suarez’s rocky start sinks Angels in loss to Astros Angels’ Shohei Ohtani spending downtime working in outfield CLEVELAND — With the passing of the trade deadline, the Angels’ roster is essentially set for the rest of this season, which makes this a good time to take stock of where they are and where they’re going.After losing five of seven in a frustrating homestand, they are 56-54, six games back in the race for the second American League wild-card berth.We took your questions on Twitter and our Angels Facebook page.Q: Are we throwing in the towel with no new pitching? — @ds8106 Angels’ poor pitching spoils an Albert Pujols milestone Angels offense breaks out to split doubleheader with Astros A: For this season, it seems like it. However, the towel was probably thrown in a while ago. General Manager Billy Eppler knew they had a long way to go to catch the Houston Astros last winter, so he chose a conservative approach. He held on to all the top prospects and avoided any long-term contracts that could affect future spending. He took a few short-term chances with the hope that, if some things broke right, they could grab a wild card. But all three of their free-agent pitching signings (Matt Harvey, Trevor Cahill and Cody Allen) were whiffs. Given that none of that worked, and along with the tragic passing of Tyler Skaggs, the Angels have been stuck on the fringes of the playoff race. There was little Eppler could do at the deadline that would significantly help the 2019 team make the playoffs, and he didn’t feel the prospect cost for players controllable beyond 2019 was appropriate.Q: Why a catcher and why not (Dustin) Garneau? — John ClarkeA: Many fans were puzzled when the Angels acquired Max Stassi at the deadline. The Angels didn’t really have a true defensive specialist at catcher going forward. Jonathan Lucroy is going to be a free agent at the end of the year. Kevan Smith is more of an offensive catcher. Their top catching prospect, Jack Kruger, is in Double-A and probably wouldn’t be ready next season. As for Garneau, clearly the Angels feel Stassi is a defensive upgrade. The Angels also have Stassi for three more seasons. It’s clear the Angels feel getting a defensive whiz behind the plate can help their pitchers, which is obviously a need. Stassi is perhaps a poor man’s version of Martín Maldonado, who had also been a backup catcher known as an elite defender without much success at the plate when the Angels got him.Q: What is the plan with Lucroy, Smith, and Stassi all out of options? — @ZacharyMLangA: That’s an excellent question. I don’t know the answer, but we’ll find out by Friday, when the Angels will have to add Stassi to the 25-man roster. The Angels won’t have three catchers on the roster, and they can’t option any of them. So either one is going on the injured list – and none were hurt as of Wednesday – or one of them is going to be gone. Obviously, the Angels just got Stassi, so the choice will be between Lucroy and Smith. The Angels have viewed Lucroy as the starter when both have been healthy, but Smith is the one who is still under control beyond this season. Q: Jeff, will they at least spend huge in the offseason for an actual ACE? (Madison) Bumgarner?? They are wasting Mike Trout’s prime years … — @irishzorro2010A: Eppler has said that spending on free agents has to be coordinated with the development of the rest of the team, and the young core is actually going to be in better shape this winter than in previous years. Young players like David Fletcher, Luís Rengifo, Griffin Canning, José Suarez, Jaime Barría and Ty Buttrey will all be making around the big league minimum next year, with Jo Adell likely also in the mix. Last winter, the Angels didn’t have any minimum-salary players they could comfortably pencil into prominent roles. So instead of having to spread their payroll to fill five or six holes, they can use it for two or three. That means aiming for better players. Obviously, pitching is their primary need. All of that is a long-winded way of saying, yes, I expect the Angels to compete at the top of the free-agent pitching market, starting with Gerrit Cole, who is a native of Orange County and a former UCLA star.Q: Will they still be afraid and refuse to break the luxury tax threshold in the offseason?? That seems to be the exact reason they go dumpster diving every winter. They need to do whatever it takes to A. Bring Gerrit Cole home and B. sign a second top-line starter (i.e. Hyun-Jin Ryu /Bumgarner) — @TheRealArt_BA: Just two teams exceeded the luxury tax threshold in 2018. The Angels’ payroll, depending on how you calculate it, is around the top quarter of major league teams. Plus, as I said in the previous answer, Eppler is more interested in spending when it can make a difference. If a team has a 75-win core of young players, you can’t just throw money at it and add a bunch of 30-year-old free agents and make it a 90-win team. If you have an 85-win core, you can add a couple of free agents to get above 90.Q: Will Fletcher, Rengifo and Andrelton Simmons be our everyday infield next season? — @RePLAY619Q: Does Zack Cozart get another chance to be an everyday player next year for the Angels? Or have the young guys (Fletcher, Rengifo, Taylor Ward, Matt Thaiss, etc) done enough to push Cozart off the roster? — Greg LuttrellA: These questions obviously are worth being combined. As for Cozart, he is not going anywhere this winter. The Angels are going to have to pay him, so they might as well bring him to spring training and see if his most recent shoulder surgery has helped make him an effective player again, even if that’s as a bench player. If not, they now have more alternatives than they did last year or even at the start of this season, thanks to the development of Fletcher, Rengifo and Tommy La Stella. So I expect them to go into spring training with Simmons at shortstop and Fletcher, Rengifo, La Stella and Cozart all in the mix for playing time at second and third. Whoever plays the best will play.Q: With the Albert Pujols contract running through 2021 and the emergence of Thaiss looking like a Major Leaguer and (Shohei) Ohtani being the obvious DH, what do the Angels do with the situation? Pujols is the obvious out, but it’s tough to let 25M sit on the bench all year for multiple seasons. — @LTBU271A: First, it’s a little early to say Thaiss has established himself as a major league player after 49 plate appearances. Like the Cozart situation, this is one the Angels can let play out on the field. Unless the Angels trade Thaiss or Pujols unexpectedly retires, they will have both players in spring training, and they will play according to their production. The Angels also still might have Justin Bour, who is arbitration-eligible. Don’t forget that Ohtani will be pitching next season, which will open up the DH spot more often for Pujols or anyone else. Plus, next season, rosters are expanding to 26 players, which makes it a little easier to carry any position player who isn’t playing as much.Q: Any idea what’s the plan for Ohtani next year. He’s really turning into a great hitter but I think he needs consistent at-bats not just hitting three times a week. — @CesarCM13A: This is a good question. Since Ohtani still has a ways to go in his pitching rehab, it’s a little early for the Angels to figure out if they want him pitching once a week, as they did last year, or on a normal five-day rotation, like other starters. It’ll probably be something in between. If he pitches once a week, and gets the day off before and after, that’s four days a week at the plate. However, as he gets going and they get more comfortable with what he can handle physically, I would not be surprised to see them let him hit the day after he pitches. It’s tougher to let him hit the day before, because if he gets hurt they’d be in a bind for a starting pitcher the next day.Q: Chances Jo Adell is called up this season and how soon? — @d_leycoA: He was just moved to Triple-A on Thursday, which certainly increases the chances. Eppler said he sees value in players going to Triple-A before the majors. Even though the raw talent at Double-A is similar to Triple-A, the players at the higher level have more big-league experience and provide a different challenge to help add polish to a prospect. If Adell performs well enough at Triple-A that they feel he’s ready for significant playing time in the majors in September, he could be up. I don’t think they’d bring him up just to sit on the bench, though. Once they add him to the 40-man roster, he’ll take up a spot all winter that could have gone to someone else. Each year that the Angels’ system gets deeper, their 40-man roster gets a little tighter.Q: Out of all our top prospects, including those who graduated this year (Canning, Rengifo, Buttrey) who would you say is expendable? I know Eppler said he tried to trade from the surplus of position players. Just curious if they value some over others, say Thaiss over Rengifo or Fletcher? — Ruben J. RosasRelated Articles Angels’ Mike Trout working on his defense, thanks to Twitter A: Eppler said they had trade discussions involving all of their top prospects except one, which was presumably Adell. It seems like the best prospect they have who could be traded is Brandon Marsh. Marsh is an outfielder who is only a year or two from the majors, and between Trout, Adell and Justin Upton, the outfield is going to be full for a while. The only opening for Marsh would be if Upton needs to move to first base or DH, which seems like a longshot since they have players at those spots too. It also seems as if Taylor Ward has been passed on the depth chart by Thaiss, and they play the same positions, so perhaps Ward could be moved in a trade.UP NEXTAngels (LHP Dillon Peters, 2-0, 3.06) at Indians (RHP Mike Clevinger, 5-2, 3.28), Friday, 4:10 p.m., Fox Sports West, 830 AM Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error