West Ham United v Manchester City - Capital One Cup Semi Final Second Leg

Any games on today?

How many Coupe de France and Coppa Italia rounds have there been? It’s endless. And today you can add the Dutch Cup and the Copa del Rey. Levante vs Barca ‘rematch’ at 4:00 PM. And if you can find it, there’s Ajax vs Feyenoord at 2:45 PM EST. Oh and there’s the League Cup second leg semi between Man United and Sunderland, 2:45 PM EST.

What’s the big story?

It’s going to happen: Mata from Chelsea to Man United for a ghastly sum of money–£40m–if only the Spanish winger would say, “Let me go!”:

Chelsea and Manchester United have provisionally agreed a £40m fee for Juan Mata, though the champions are yet to make a formal bid and any deal to take the 25-year-old to Old Trafford remains dependent on him personally informing José Mourinho of his desire to move.

Negotiations between officials from the two clubs are at an advanced stage, with the transfer said to be “almost complete” by sources close to the discussions.

Despite the lack of an official offer from United for Mata, who has found first-team opportunities relatively limited at Stamford Bridge this season under Mourinho, the London club anticipate that situation changing soon as there is a little over a week of the current window remaining.

I will simply say, this will happen. Though this bit of transfer news is even more delightful, with the Telegraph reporting Real Madrid are after Wayne Rooney for £25 million. Mata worth £15 million more than Rooney. That’s a million pounds shy of what City paid for Alvaro Negredo. The market makes no sense, and yet it still never ceases to amaze.

Any other news?

Roberto Mancini claims he is responsible for Manchester City’s current success, which isn’t entirely untrue you know.

Liverpool’s Lucas Leiva looks like he could be out for up to two months.

Bayern’s Dante admits Moyes’ United has been showing interest in him lately. Not romantically though. For football. Playing football.

FIFA warns that the World Cup 2014 host city Curitiba could lose its scheduled World Cup matches unless work progressed significantly.

Any fun stuff?

How is Milan preparing to roar back up the Serie A table? DODGE BALL!

Any good reads today?

This from Put Niels in Goal is pretty great:

Reading or writing about football, then, is reliant on an account of a past that is incomplete. Even a trained journalist, sat at a match and writing contemporaneous notes will produce an incomplete record. This does not matter, especially, for the writing of a report that picks the bones of ninety plus minutes to claw out five hundred words. But it does mean that the two major historical records of a game, the visual recording of it if that exists, and the match report if that exists, are both missing lots and lots. And that is for a game that, it was decided, merited recording. What of the millions of games per year that do not?