CONMEBOL & Concacaf strike partnership for Copa America, W Gold Cup and new tournament

CONMEBOL and Concacaf announced the signing of a strategic collaboration agreement that includes the 2024 Copa America, 2024 W Gold Cup and a new competition that boasts teams from both federations. 

“CONMEBOL and Concacaf are united by historical and affective ties. But above all, we are united by the passion, characteristic of all the Americas, for football and sports. We are determined to renew and expand our joint initiatives and projects,” said Alejandro Domínguez, president of CONMEBOL. 

“We want this passion to translate into more and better competitions and for football and its values to grow and strengthen throughout the hemisphere. Without a doubt, both confederations believe in big, and we will work with this orientation.”

To kick off, the 2024 Copa America will now include six concacaf nations in addition to all 10 CONMEBOL participants, and is set to be played in the United States. The competition’s format will not change, to preserve the traditional structure. The six Concacaf national teams will have the opportunity to qualify for this competition through the 2023/24 Concacaf Nations League.

The Concacaf W Gold Cup will then host the top four CONMEBOL national teams, to compete alongside the Concacaf participants. The inaugural edition of this 12-team tournament is set to be a key part of ‘Concacaf’s new women’s national team ecosystem’.

This competition will also be played in the United States.

“This is a partnership to support the ongoing growth of men’s and women’s football in Concacaf and CONMEBOL, and will truly be of mutual benefit to both Confederations,” added Victor Montagliani, president of Concacaf. 

Working hand in hand with CONMEBOL, we will deliver elite competitions that will provide more opportunities for our federations, and that we know passionate fans want to see. We look forward to working together to ensure that football in both regions continues to thrive.”

Lastly, the deal will see the creation of a brand new tournament that boasts the participation of  ‘the best men’s club in South America and Concacaf’ in a ‘final four’ style. The four participants, two from each confederation, will qualify through existing CONMEBOL and Concacaf club competitions.

The first edition is set to be played in 2024. 

The agreement was created to support all teams, and ‘provide more high-quality competition for its men’s and women’s national teams over the next two years’.

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Roberto De Zerbi’s update on Moises Caicedo future after £60m Arsenal bid

Roberto De Zerbi has declared that Brighton are keen to keep hold of Moises Caicedo for ‘a few more months’ after Arsenal tabled a bid for the midfielder.

The 21-year-old was the subject of a £60m bid from the table-topping Gunners on Friday, but 90min understands that the bid was swiftly rejected as Brighton have no intention of allowing Caicedo to leave this January.

When asked about the bid during his pre-match press conference, manager De Zerbi revealed that he had had discussions with Caicedo about his future on Wednesday.

“[Caicedo] is a good guy,” the boss said. “He is focused on Brighton. I hope he can stay with us until the end of the season. In my opinion that is the best solution for us. I can understand other big teams want Caicedo, [Alexis] Mac Allister, [Kaoru] Mitoma and [Solly] March.

“I spoke with him on Wednesday and I told him my opinion. It is always difficult to change during the season. For our way, it is important for him to stay a few more months.

“He is relaxed. I spoke with him like a father, not a coach. I understand when one player has the possibility to change to a very big team. But my work is to give the style of play but also advice for his career and his life.”

Harry Symeou“I like Moises Caicedo, I think he’s very much someone who adds to the Arsenal midfield options. He feels like a natural replacement for Thomas Partey as and when that time comes, but also someone who can back him up at a very, very high level.

“He can also probably play as one of the eights as well if you needed him to, I don’t think flare and creativity are necessarily right at the top of his lists of strengths but its not really in Granit Xhaka’s either. I think Caicedo would give you the versatility in midfield that Mikel Arteta is looking for.”

Harry Symeou reacts to the breaking news Arsenal have submitted an offer to Brighton for midfielder Moises Caicedo. If you can’t see this embed, clickhereto listen to the podcast!

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Wolves finally set to sign Brazilian talent from Flamengo

Wolves are finally set to conclude the signing of Joao Gomes after winning their stand-off with Flamengo, sources have confirmed to 90min.

90min revealed earlier in January that Wolves had agreed terms with Flamengo, but at the point of exchanging contracts the Brazilian club did not return documents at their end.

Wolves then struggled to communicate with Flamengo and it emerged that talks had begun with French side Lyon, who made a bid worth €19m (£16.7m) – that was €2m more than Wolves offered.

However, despite Lyon’s determination to persuade Gomes otherwise, the player refused to move to France. Instead, he insisted he wanted to move to the Premier League and even new Lyon owner John Textor made a personal trip to try and convince him to no avail.

Now, after accepting the Lyon move won’t happen, Flamengo have greenlighted the Wolves deal and given permission for Gomes to join them. The transfer is on course to be finalised over the weekend.

On this edition of Talking Transfers, Scott Saunders hosts Toby Cudworth & Graeme Bailey to discuss some of the latest transfer news. On today’s agenda: Dusan Vlahovic, Anthony Gordon, Enzo Fernandes, Amadou Onana, Malo Gusto, Nicolo Zaniolo, Pedro Porro, Weston McKennie, Milan Skriniar, Maiximo Perrone & more! If you can’t see this embed, click here to listen to the podcast!

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Kieran Trippier signs new Newcastle contract

Kieran Trippier has committed his future to Newcastle with a new two-and-a-half-year contract.

The 32-year-old England international was the first signing made by Newcastle following the Saudi Arabia-backed takeover, joining from Aletico Madrid in a £15m deal in January 2022.

Trippier’s previous deal was due to expire in 2024 but he is now tied to the club until 2025.

After putting pen to paper, Trippier said: “I’m absolutely delighted that I’ve extended my contract here. I’ve got a lot of thank yous to make to the manager, owners, fans and my team-mates.

“When I first arrived here, they made me feel so welcome and I want to help the club achieve great things. It’s a positive moment for us players in the club and there’s no place I’d rather be.”

Newcastle United head coach, Eddie Howe, added: “It’s a fitting reward for the season he’s had. He’s been outstanding both on and off the pitch, showing real leadership at a difficult moment when he first arrived, and now he’s excelled in a team that’s doing well.

“I can’t praise him enough for everything he’s given the club.”

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How many points did Arsenal’s Invincibles get?

In a season where Arsenal are sat at the top of the Premier League table and look on course to win a first Premier League title since 2003/04, there is a lot of reminiscing over the Invincibles going on.

They achieved something that had never been done before and never been done since almost two decades on. They went an entire Premier League season without losing a single game, part of a run that lasted for an incredible 49 games across three different seasons.

On this edition of TCOAG, Harry Symeou is joined by Arsenal presenter Nicole Holliday to preview Man City vs Arsenal in the FA Cup, discuss the transfer window, our midfield needs, Leandro Trossard & more! A more informal preview show than usual but it was plenty of fun! If you can’t see this embed, click here to listen to the podcast!

The side coached by Arsene Wenger, who were current Premier League champions already, managed to post a points tally of 90, which may not actually seem too extreme. That is because while they did not lose a game, they did draw 12.

Despite those draws, Arsenal had the league wrapped up by late April after a draw at White Hart Lane against Tottenham, eventually finishing 11 points ahead of Chelsea and 15 ahead of Manchester United.

The Gunners were the top scorers that season with 73, 30 of which were scored by Thierry Henry. They also had the best defence as they only conceded 26 times.

A curiosity of Arsenal’s Invincible campaign is that their final points tally has been bested on numerous occasions by teams he may have suffered a defeat or two, but kept the draws to a minimum. We’re not here to start discrediting the achievement of not losing a single game, but it is clear why some people argue that other Premier League sides have been more impressive since.

Their points tally of 90 was equalled by Manchester United in 2008/09, but it has been bettered on 11 different occasions by four different teams. It could perhaps be a testament to the fact that the gap between rich and poor in the Premier League has widened significantly in recent years, meaning points tallies for league winners need to be higher than they were in the past.

It is certainly no secret that Sir Alex Ferguson used to allow his Manchester United sides to take their foot off the gas once the title had been secured.

Here is the list of highest Premier League points tallies.

Team

Season

Points

Manchester City

2017/18

100

Liverpool

2019/20

99

Manchester City

2018/19

98

Liverpool

2018/19

97

Chelsea

2004/05

95

Manchester City and Chelsea

2021/22 (City) and 2016/17 (Chelsea)

93

Manchester United and Liverpool

1993/94 (United) and 2021/22 (Liverpool)

92

Manchester United and Chelsea

1999/00 (United) and 2005/06 (Chelsea)

91

Manchester United and Arsenal

2008/09 (United) and 2003/04 (Arsenal)

90

While the points tallies could lead you to believe that the achievement is cheapened, the fact that this team went as long as 49 games without losing is something that defies belief. Even with these robotic teams reaching the high 90s multiple times on points, no one, relatively speaking, has come close to beating the record.

The closest that anyone has come was Liverpool between January 2019 and February 2020 as they made it to 44 games. Contextually though, five games is a long way to go. Below you can find the longest unbeaten runs in the Premier League era.

Team

Dates

Matches unbeaten

Arsenal

May 2003 – October 2004

49

Liverpool

January 2019 – February 2020

44

Chelsea

October 2004 – October 2005

40

Arsenal

December 2001 – October 2002

30

Manchester City

April 2017 – January 2018

30

Chelsea

December 2007 – October 2008

29

Manchester United

December 1998 – October 1999

29

Manchester United

April 2010 – February 2011

29

Manchester United

October 2016 – April 2017

25

Nottingham Forest

February 1995 – November 1995

25

In terms of who could break the current record from this season’s crop of sides, the best placed is actually Newcastle United. They were beaten back in August by Liverpool but have not lost since, meaning their run stands at 15 games.

That leaves an incredibly long way to go before they can start entertaining the idea of reaching 50 and becoming the record-breakers, but they are the closest as it currently stands.

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