Chelsea are reportedly keen on hijacking Manchester United’s move for Raphael Varane this summer and that could lead them into using a new defensive pairing next season. The Real Madrid defender is considering quitting the Bernabeu as he has just one year left on his contract.
Varane is apparently demanding an increase on his £170,000-a-week wages but Real are in financial trouble and want to cut costs.
Sergio Ramos has already departed for Paris Saint-Germain and Varane could be the next out of the exit door.
United are holding talks with the La Liga giants over a blockbuster summer switch but reports in Spain suggest Chelsea are also keeping close tabs on the situation.
Thiago Silva, 36, is unlikely to feature in every Premier League match as he comes towards the tail end of his career.
So Thomas Tuchel may trust a younger Kurt Zouma to play alongside his fellow Frenchman Varane.
Six years ago Mourinho predicted that Zouma and Varane would be a powerful partnership after he managed both of the youngster at club level.
“I think the French Federation should write me a letter to thank me because I think they have now the best two young central defenders in the world,” Mourinho said during his second stint in charge of Chelsea in 2015.
“I’m not saying the best because there are young, there are obviously end products, mature players 24, 25, 28, 30-year’s-old.
“But as young defenders can you imagine what Varane and Zouma can represent in football in a couple of years.
“I think Didier [Deschamps] must be very happy with that.”
Meanwhile, former Liverpool ace Steve Nicol has concerns over whether Varane can still cut it in the Premier League.
“I think the worrying thing is that Varane’s coming off a season where he made a lot of high-profile mistakes,” he said.
“You wonder whether: is last season an indicator he’s beginning to drop a little bit? That would be my worry.
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“It’s going to be a lot of money. It might be spending a lot of money who, actually for his age is pretty early going the other way.”
Chelsea also have Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen among their ranks so it is likely there would be departures if Varane arrived at Stamford Bridge.
So, on the anniversary of his £30m signing for Manchester United, he was able to laugh off the fact that Jose Mourinho still seems on a one-man mission to destroy him. Three years ago, Shaw revealed on England duty that a horror tackle in 2015 nearly caused him to lose his right leg.
His chance to win over the Old Trafford fans had barely got started, and by the time he was in contention for a first team place again, Jose Mourinho had taken over the reins.
To this day, Shaw still does not know why he seemed immediately to take against him.
However, two-and-a-half years after Mourinho was sacked due to poor results, the 25-year-old just wishes that the sniping would stop now that he himself is excelling at a major tournament about to go into the biggest match of his life.
“I don’t really understand it, to be honest,” he said.
HOUSTON, Texas — Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker capped his 72nd birthday in grand fashion, thanks to a slam by Jose Altuve in the 10th inning on Tuesday night.
“That was a wonderful birthday present,” Baker said.
Altuve belted a grand slam and the Houston Astros, saved by Carlos Correa’s tying homer in the ninth, beat the Texas Rangers 6-3.
After Texas drove in the automatic runner in the top of the 10th for a 3-2 lead, Rangers rookie reliever Demarcus Evans (0-2) walked Myles Straw and pinch-hitter Jason Castro to load the bases with no outs in the bottom half.
Altuve then launched his soaring shot into left field to put the Astros on top and start the party.
Altuve was doused with water at home plate before sharing a hug with Baker, who noted that he’s had terrible luck in games on his birthday in the past.
“The first thing Altuve said to me was: ‘Happy birthday, Skip,'” Baker said. “And that certainly was a happy birthday.”
Added Altuve: “I know he wants to win on his birthday, so I’m happy that I did something to make that happen.”
It was the first walk-off grand slam in the majors this season. The Astros hadn’t had a last at-bat grand slam since Aug. 16, 2011, when Brian Bogusevic, who was at the park Tuesday as a television analyst, connected off Carlos Marmol in a 6-5 win over the Cubs.
Texas manager Chris Woodward said things began to unravel for Evans way before Altuve’s shot.
“You put the winning run on first base and you’re asking for it,” he said. “He has good enough stuff that he could have punched out Castro and maybe gotten Altuve. (Evans) has got to be better than that.”
Correa hit a solo homer to the opposite field shot with two outs and two strikes in the ninth off Josh Sborz, making it 2-all.
“We fight through the last out,” Altuve said. “Correa hit that homer, which was the key to the game for me.”
Nate Lowe’s RBI single off Ryan Pressly (3-1) with two outs in the 10th put the Rangers up.
Joey Gallo had an RBI double off Lance McCullers Jr. in the fourth and a bases-loaded walk in the fifth to give the Rangers a 2-0 lead.
A sacrifice fly by Yuli Gurriel got the Astros within a run in the sixth.
Kyle Gibson allowed seven hits and a run over six innings in his 13th start and third since coming off the injured list for Texas.
McCullers yielded three hits and one earned run in 4 1/3 innings in his return from the injured list. He had been out since May 23 because of soreness in his right shoulder.
“I felt solid,” McCullers said. “It just got away from me a little bit in the fifth with the two walks. I did a good job of keeping it close.”
Altuve hit an infield single with no outs in the sixth before Michael Brantley singled on a comebacker that hit Gibson on the back of the right leg. Gibson was a bit shaken up on the play and was checked on by a trainer before throwing a few warmup pitches and remaining in the game.
Texas right-hander Jordan Lyles (2-4, 5.37 ERA) will oppose Zack Greinke (6-2, 3.68) when the series wraps up on Wednesday night.
SAN JOSE, Calif. — The first reports of gunfire at the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority light rail yard near downtown San Jose, Calif., came in at 6:34 a.m. on Wednesday, about half an hour into a morning shift.
Inside the complex, terrified employees flooded into a parking lot. The gunman might be on the third floor, a dispatcher told San Jose firefighters, though it was not clear from the 911 calls coming in which building he was in. Shots kept ringing out. Send more ambulances, the dispatcher said.
Three minutes later, another call came in. Eight miles from the rail yard, heavy smoke billowed from a single-story home in a suburban neighborhood. Firefighters headed out to combat the flames.
Only later would the authorities realize that the shooting and the fire were related: The gunman, identified by officials as a 57-year-old man named Samuel Cassidy, who had worked in maintenance at the transportation authority for many years, lived in the burning house.
He might have set off a device to start the blaze at the same time that he opened fire on his co-workers, armed with three semiautomatic handguns and 32 high-capacity magazines, each holding 12 rounds, the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office said on Thursday. Deputy Cian Jackson, a spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office, said a witness reported that the gunman told someone at the scene that he was not going to hurt the person, suggesting that he might have selected his victims.
Indications that Mr. Cassidy held anger toward his workplace had been discovered by federal officials years earlier, after Customs and Border Protection stopped him as he returned from a trip to the Philippines in 2016. When officers searched his bags, they found books about terrorism, manifestoes and a notebook detailing how he detested the transportation authority, known as the V.T.A., according to an official who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe the contents of an internal message sent around the agency after the shooting.
The Homeland Security Department, which includes Customs and Border Protection, declined to comment, citing an investigation into the shooting in San Jose. The 2016 incident was earlier reported by The Wall Street Journal.
“Based on recent developments in the investigation we can say that the suspect has been a highly disgruntled V.T.A. employee for many years, which may have contributed to why he targeted V.T.A. employees,” Deputy Russell Davis of the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
Sheriff Laurie Smith of Santa Clara County described the gunman’s killings as deliberate, though it was unclear whether he chose his victims. None of the people who were shot survived. The sheriff suggested that the carnage, spread out over two buildings, could have been worse if deputies, whose headquarters is next door to the rail yard, had not arrived quickly.
Sheriff Smith said in an interview that the gunman turned to a union representative who was at the site for an impromptu visit and said something like “I’m not going to shoot you” immediately before he began killing his colleagues.
“He was very deliberate, very fast,” she said. “He knew where employees would be.”
The Santa Clara County medical examiner’s office identified the victims as Paul Delacruz Megia, 42; Taptejdeep Singh, 36; Adrian Balleza, 29; Jose Dejesus Hernandez III, 35; Timothy Michael Romo, 49; Michael Joseph Rudometkin, 40; Alex Ward Fritch, 49; Abdolvahab Alaghmandan, 63; and Lars Kepler Lane, 63.
They were part of a close-knit group of workers who helped keep the transit agency’s buses and light rail trains moving. Several were fathers, and they included immigrants from the Philippines, India and Iran.
Mr. Balleza, the father of a 2-year-old son, had worked at the V.T.A. since 2014. He had been excited to go fishing with his son one day, his wife said. Mr. Singh enjoyed playing volleyball and had moved to the United States from India in 2005. Mr. Megia had moved to the United States from the Philippines when he was a toddler and loved to take his two sons, daughter and stepson wakeboarding, his father said. They had planned to leave for a trip to Disneyland on Thursday.
“We don’t know the relationships or the correlations between the victims and the shooter,” said Arturo E. Aguilar, the chairman of the California Conference Board of the Amalgamated Transit Union, a labor group that represented the workers who died. The people who died worked in various departments, he added in an interview on the lawn outside the union’s San Jose office on Thursday.
As the shooting began, Mr. Singh, who would become one of the victims, alerted colleagues: At 6:36 a.m., he called Sukhvir Singh, another employee, with an urgent warning. “Hey! There’s an active shooter,” Sukhvir Singh recalled Taptejdeep Singh saying. “Get out.”
Sukhvir Singh, who specializes in repairing and maintaining the light-rail trains that run through San Jose and is not related to Taptejdeep Singh, fled with crew members to a windowless building that houses antique railroad vehicles. They waited there until it was over.
“He is the hero for everyone,” said Sukhvir Singh, who described Taptejdeep Singh as unfailingly gracious and helpful.
He said Mr. Cassidy barely knew Taptejdeep Singh, who worked in a different department as a light-rail operator, and in a different building. “They didn’t have any connection at all,” he said.
For a time, Sukhvir Singh worked in the same building as Mr. Cassidy. He would pass him in the halls and say hello, he recalled, and Mr. Cassidy might acknowledge him with a grunt. “He didn’t really communicate with other people,” Sukhvir Singh said. “He was in his own world.”
In Santa Cruz, Calif., Mr. Cassidy’s ex-wife, Cecilia Nelms, 64, said on Thursday that he was depressed and angry throughout their 10-year marriage. They had not spoken in 13 years, she said.
He proposed three months after they met at a nightclub in Cupertino, Calif., when Mr. Cassidy worked as a mechanic for a Mazda dealership. He loved cars and pets and kept several boa constrictors in addition to the couple’s two dogs. He later began working for the V.T.A.
Over the years, Ms. Nelms said, Mr. Cassidy’s personality changed, and he grew meaner, angrier and more impatient. He struggled with depression and took medication for it. He complained about his co-workers at the V.T.A., grumbling that some were lazy or had easier jobs than he did.
Occasionally, Ms. Nelms said, Mr. Cassidy would say, “I wish I could kill them.” She said she did not think he was serious.
The couple, who had no children, broke up in 2004 and divorced.
Mr. Cassidy lived in a one-story home with white trim and a patchy lawn in the Evergreen neighborhood in a suburban corner of southeastern San Jose. After the shooting, the neighborhood was swarmed with fire and police vehicles, federal agents and a boxy blue truck from the San Jose bomb squad. Men with gas masks and oxygen tanks stood amid the flashing lights in the cul-de-sacs of what they all described as a quiet suburban neighborhood that is home largely to Vietnamese and Filipino immigrants.
Doug Suh, who lives across the street, said Mr. Cassidy lived alone and rarely had visitors.
“I was afraid of him,” Mr. Suh said. “My wife was scared of him, too.”
Mr. Suh recalled Mr. Cassidy once lashing out at him when Mr. Suh turned his car around in Mr. Cassidy’s driveway. “He yelled, ‘Do not come onto my driveway.’”
On Wednesday after the shooting, Mr. Suh scanned through his security camera footage. The camera captured Mr. Cassidy at 5:40 a.m. — less than 45 minutes before he opened fire at the rail yard — loading his white pickup truck with a black bag. He was wearing a uniform with reflective stripes.
“What about all these families that lost sons and fathers?” Anthony Nguyen asked in an interview in his driveway. “I’m so sorry for them. It’s not right. All these broken hearts.”
Thomas Fuller reported from San Jose, and Kellen Browning from San Jose and Santa Cruz, Calif. Reporting was contributed by Shawn Hubler in Sacramento and Eileen Sullivan in Washington. Also contributing reporting were Maria Cramer, Adeel Hassan, Giulia McDonnell Nieto del Rio, Frances Robles, Daniel Victor and Neil Vigdor. Susan C. Beachy and Kitty Bennett contributed research.
Author: Thomas Fuller, Kellen Browning, Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs and Patricia Mazzei
This post originally appeared on NYT > U.S. News
SAN JOSE, Calif. — A gunman who killed nine people at a California rail yard where he worked appeared to target some of the victims, a sheriff told The Associated Press on Thursday, while a Biden administration official said the shooter spoke of hating his workplace when customs officers detained him after a 2016 trip to the Philippines.Samuel Cassidy, 57, arrived at the light rail facility for the Valley Transportation Authority in San Jose around 6 a.m. Wednesday with a duffel bag filled with semi-automatic handguns and high-capacity magazines, Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith said.
“It appears to us at this point that he said to one of the people there: ‘I’m not going to shoot you,'” Smith said. “And then he shot other people. So I imagine there was some kind of thought on who he wanted to shoot.”
While there are no cameras inside the rail yard’s two buildings, Smith said footage captured him moving from one location to the next. It took deputies six minutes from the first 911 calls to find Cassidy on the third floor of one of the buildings, Smith said.
He killed himself as deputies closed in on the facility serving the county of more than one million people in the heart of Silicon Valley. More than 100 people were there at the time, and authorities found five victims in one building and two in another, Smith said.
Authorities do not yet know whether Cassidy worked regularly with any of the victims. Sheriff’s officials described him as “a highly disgruntled VTA employee for many years,” which may have contributed to him targeting those workers.
“I’m not sure we’ll ever actually find the real motive, but we’ll piece it together as much as we can from witnesses,” Smith said.
After being detained in 2016, Cassidy was found to have a memo book with notes on how he hated the Valley Transportation Authority, according to a Biden administration official who described a Department of Homeland Security memo laying out Cassidy’s statements. The official saw the memo and detailed its contents to The Associated Press but was not authorized to speak publicly about an ongoing investigation.
The Wall Street Journal first reported the memo.
The memo doesn’t say why he was stopped by customs officers. It said he had books about “terrorism and fear and manifestos” but when he was asked whether he had issues with people at work, he said no. It notes that Cassidy had a “minor criminal history” and cites a 1983 arrest in San Jose and charges of “misdemeanor obstruction/resisting a peace officer.”
Cassidy’s ex-wife said he had talked about killing people at work more than a decade ago. Documents show he had worked at the transit authority since at least 2012.
“I never believed him, and it never happened. Until now,” a tearful Cecilia Nelms told the AP on Wednesday.
She said he used to come home from work resentful and angry over what he perceived as unfair assignments.
“He could dwell on things,” she said. The two were married for about 10 years until a 2005 divorce filing, and she had not been in touch with Cassidy for about 13 years, Nelms said.The three 9 mm handguns he had appear to be legal, sheriff’s officials said. Authorities do not yet know how he obtained them.
He also had 32 high-capacity magazines, some with 12 rounds. In California, it is illegal to buy magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. However, if Cassidy obtained them before Jan. 1, 2000, he would have been allowed to have them unless he was otherwise prohibited from possessing firearms.
The sheriff said authorities found explosives at the gunman’s home, where investigators believe he had set a timer or slow-burn device so that a fire would occur at the same time as the shooting. Flames were reported minutes after the first 911 calls came in from the rail facility.
The attack was the 15th mass killing in the U.S. this year, all shootings that claimed at least four lives each for a total of 87 deaths, according to a database compiled by The Associated Press, USA Today and Northeastern University.
President Joe Biden urged Congress to act on legislation to curb gun violence, saying, “Every life that is taken by a bullet pierces the soul of our nation. We can, and we must, do more.”
Several long-time employees were killed, many of whom worked together.
“Whatever happened yesterday, it shows the character of these guys how they tried to save others while going through that chaotic situation,” light rail superintendent Naunihal Singh said.
The victims were Alex Ward Fritch, 49; Paul Delacruz Megia, 42; Taptejdeep Singh, 36; Adrian Balleza, 29; Jose Dejesus Hernandez, 35; Timothy Michael Romo, 49; Michael Joseph Rudometkin, 40; Abdolvahab Alaghmandan, 63, and Lars Kepler Lane, 63.
Family and friends remembered Taptejdeep Singh as a hero. He called another transit employee to warn him about Cassidy, saying he needed to get out or hide.
“He told me he was with Paul, another victim, at the time,” co-worker Sukhvir Singh, who is not related to Taptejdeep Singh, said in a statement. “From what I’ve heard, he spent the last moments of his life making sure that others – in the building and elsewhere – would be able to stay safe.”
Transit authority officials held a tearful moment of silence Thursday, reading aloud the the names of the victims next to a giant poster board with their photos.
“I, unfortunately, get to know personally how these nine families have felt this past night, this morning with just a sense of disbelief, with a hope that your loved one is still going to come home and knowing that that’s just never going to happen again,” said Raul Peralez, a San Jose councilman and lifelong friend of Rudometkin, one of the victims.
A vigil for the victims was planned Thursday evening in San Jose.While public records show Cassidy faced nothing more serious than a traffic ticket in 2019, an ex-girlfriend described him in court documents filed in 2009 as volatile and violent, with major mood swings because of bipolar disorder that became worse when he drank heavily.
Several times while he was drunk, Cassidy forced himself on her sexually despite her refusals, pinning her arms with his body weight, the woman said in a sworn statement filed after Cassidy sought a restraining order against her. The documents were obtained by the San Francisco Chronicle.
Cassidy had worked for Valley Transportation Authority since at least 2012, according to the public payroll and pension database Transparent California, first as a mechanic from 2012 to 2014, then maintaining substations.
Officials investigated a house fire that broke out shortly before the shooting, sheriff’s Deputy Russell Davis said. Public records show Cassidy owned the two-story home where firefighters responded after being notified by a passerby.
The gunman probably “set some kind of a device to go off at a certain time probably to coincide with the shooting,” the sheriff told “Today.”
Doug Suh, who lives across the street, told The Mercury News in San Jose that Cassidy seemed “strange” and that he never saw anyone visit.
“I’d say hello, and he’d just look at me without saying anything,” Suh said. Once, Cassidy yelled at him to stay away as he was backing up his car. “After that, I never talked to him again.”
Wednesday’s attack was the deadliest shooting in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1993, when a gunman attacked law offices in San Francisco’s Financial District, killing eight people before taking his own life.
It also was Santa Clara County’s second mass shooting in less than two years. A gunman killed three people and then himself at a popular garlic festival in Gilroy in July 2019.
Associated Press video journalist Terry Chea in San Jose and writers Janie Har in San Francisco, John Antczak and Stefanie Dazio in Los Angeles, and Michael Balsamo and Colleen Long in Washington contributed to this report.
“V.T.A. is a family,” Mr. Hendricks said, his voice shaking. “Everyone in the organization knows everyone.”
As multiple 911 calls came in Wednesday morning, officers were dispatched from the San Jose Police Department and the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office, which is headquartered next door to the rail yard. Local fire crews, meanwhile, raced to Mr. Cassidy’s home in the Evergreen neighborhood of San Jose, a quiet suburban enclave populated largely by Vietnamese and Filipino immigrants.
Andy and Alice Abad said they called 911 when they saw a funnel of smoke pouring out of Mr. Cassidy’s home, a one-story gray house with white trim and a patchy lawn. “The flames were above the rooftop,” Mr. Abad said.
He took a picture on his cellphone before leaving with his wife to a doctor’s appointment. When he returned home at noon, the cul-de-sacs were swarming with multiple emergency vehicles, federal agents and a boxy blue truck from the San Jose bomb squad. Men with gas masks and oxygen tanks stood amid the flashing lights.
Family court records show that Mr. Cassidy was married for 10 years to a dental assistant; the couple had no children and broke up in 2004, citing irreconcilable differences. In 2009, he sought a restraining order against his former girlfriend, Connie Wang.
In papers filed with family court, he accused her of vandalizing his roommate’s car, calling at late hours, hurling insults and suggesting she had him under surveillance. She responded at the time that he had tried to force himself on her sexually, and that he had “major mood swings due to bipolar disorder” that were exacerbated when he drank to excess. The court ordered Ms. Wang to stay at least 300 yards from him, his parents and his new girlfriend for three years.
In an interview, Ms. Wang said that she had met Mr. Cassidy on Match.com in 2008, and that he proposed after just two months. When she refused, she said, the relationship “went downhill” and he became physically abusive.
Author: Thomas Fuller, Shawn Hubler and Kellen Browning
This post originally appeared on NYT > U.S. News
Transfer news: Who could be on the move this summer?
Jose Mourinho’s shock appointment at Roma, just 15 days after his sacking by Tottenham, will carry greater significance for some of the Italian club’s players. Mourinho has managed a lot of players across stints with Porto, Chelsea, Real Madrid, Inter Milan, Manchester United and Tottenham and he has left his mark at every club.
The Portuguese manager has won trophies at every club he has been in charge of apart from Spurs, so many of his former players will have fond memories of working with him.
That is not the case for everyone though, with Mourinho carrying a reputation for falling out with players, as well as winning trophies.
Plenty at Spurs will attest to his blunt and sometimes confrontational management style and his spell at Manchester United between 2016 and 2018 had many other examples of disillusioned players.
Unfortunately for Mourinho, two of those he had awkward relationships with now ply their trade in the Italian capital.
Mourinho is set to be reunited with two of his former players (Image: GETTY)
It may have been his predecessor Louis van Gaal who famously called Smalling “Mike” in an interview, but the England centre-back also had his fair share of incidents with Mourinho at United.
Mourinho frequently questioned Smalling’s professionalism and willingness to suffer for the team during the 2016/17 season.
With Smalling and Phil Jones often sidelined due to injuries, Mourinho felt the need to publicly call out the severity of his defenders’ problems, describing their mentalities in April 2017 as “cautious, cautious, cautious”.
“It’s not just about them,” he said. “It’s about the philosophy and mentality around them.”
It later emerged that Smalling had played with a broken toe, taking two pain-killer injections just to get through a 4-0 defeat by Chelsea. Thankfully for Mourinho, Smalling refused to bite back when asked about his comments in the summer of 2017 while on England duty.
“No, it’s just professional,” Smalling said when asked if Mourinho had apologised for questioning him.
Smalling and Mkhitaryan had frosty relationships with Mourinho at United (Image: GETTY)
“All of us are professionals and no player wants not to play. That was all just [him being] professional – get on with the rehab and then get out as quickly as you can.
“I think that was directed at everybody. We had a lot of injuries at that time and he was frustrated that quite a lot of players weren’t available.”
It didn’t end there, either. Smalling played in United’s Europa League final win over Ajax in 2017, helping secure Mourinho this third and final trophy with the club. However, his performance still became the butt of a joke from his manager.
“I told my players that for me, beautiful is not giving our opponents what they want,” Mourinho later explained to Expresso of his approach in that game.
“I even joked with Smalling, ‘With your feet, we’re for sure not playing out from the back!”
Mourinho’s relationship with Mkhitaryan had similar frictions, too.