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Rising star Antonio Rudiger would be best served by Bundesliga stay

Tall, physical and composed in possession, Stuttgart's Antonio Rudiger has all the makings to be a great defender for Germany for years to come.
Tall, physical and composed in possession, Stuttgart's Antonio Rudiger has all the makings to be a great defender for Germany for years to come.

Antonio Rudiger recently hopped aboard the transfer rumour merry-go-round when his agent confirmed that both Chelsea and Wolfsburg have shown an interest in signing his client. While the veracity of the former link is yet to be verified, there can be no doubt that the young Stuttgart defender is an interesting prospect, who is likely to attract interest this summer.

Rudiger was born in Berlin to a German father and Sierra Leonean mother, and moved through various youth clubs before being spotted...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Christian Benteke to force Villa into Liverpool deal; City close on Sterling

ESPN FC's Janusz Michallik and Alexis Nunes discuss Liverpool's strong interest in Christian Benteke, who Janusz says is well worth his price tag.

Most players in Europe have now made their way back to their clubs for the start of preseason training, meaning that the rumour mill has cranked up a gear as teams plan their campaigns in earnest. As always, Transfer Talk has its finger on the pulse when it comes to all the latest rumours and gossip.

TOP STORY: Benteke wants out

Liverpool's summer recruitment drive has been impressive -- the club have made six senior signings so far, including Roberto Firmino from Hoffenheim for £29 million...

Costa Rica could be Gold Cup dark horse contenders

Joel Campbell, left, and Bryan Ruiz, right, aim to lead Costa Rica to its first CONCACAF title since 1989.

It seems like it would be too soon to forget Costa Rica's inspiring and exciting run in the 2014 World Cup, but that remains the most plausible explanation for the team being so lightly regarded in the upcoming Gold Cup tournament. Many, including the Mexico and United States squads themselves, seem to believe that these two are destined to meet in the final yet again and have dismissed the chances of any other CONCACAF team to claim the title.

It's odd partly because besides impressing with a run...

In Gold Cup opener, Mexico must be wary of Cuba danger

Yenier Marquez and Cuba hope to repeat their surprising success from the 2013 Gold Cup and reach the knockout stages again.

On paper, Mexico should have no trouble against Cuba this Thursday in its opening match of the 2015 Gold Cup. The Leones del Caribe have recently fallen out of the early stages of the 2018 World Cup qualifying competition and also lost 4-1 to the New York Cosmos in a friendly last month. Going into the Gold Cup, the Cubans also find themselves as the likely candidates to finish in last place of Group C.

While Mexico has had its own share of recent struggles, it's difficult to imagine that arguably...

CONCACAF's attempt at reform raises serious questions

ESPN FC's Ross Dyer questions the impact CONCACAF's new reform will have.

CONCACAF announced a reform framework earlier on Monday, but a former member of FIFA's independent governance committee remains unimpressed, saying the announcement lacks sufficient detail to tell if it will result in real reform.

CONCACAF's proposed framework -- made in the wake of federal indictments to some of its top officials -- covers three areas including governance, fraud prevention and transparency. The governance section includes proposals for such things as an as yet unspecified number...

 By Mina Rzouki

Andrea Pirlo improved Juventus' culture and will be missed

The ESPN FC crew discuss the impact Andrea Pirlo will have in Major League Soccer after Juventus recently confirmed the midfielder's move.

"Being a Juventino is to carry oneself with pride and dignity. Till the very end as President [Andrea] Agnelli would say," wrote Andrea Pirlo in his book I Think Therefore I Play.

A player of immense ability, a magician with the ball and a leader off it, Italy's great playmaker has waved goodbye to Juventus and its adoring fans to begin a new adventure with New York City FC in MLS.

A man who arrived from the red and black side of Milan, Juventus were once the enemy. However, having landed in Turin,...