WEDNESDAY’S TOP STORIES

Davy Propper retirement should represent a moment

Davy Propper has retired from football. He was a PSV Eindhoven player who had represented his country, the Netherlands, on 19 occasions.
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In essence, he has fallen out of love with the game. And the primary reason for that, as noted in his statement below, is football's hectic schedule.
Here is his statement in full:
"I made the decision before Christmas and it feels like a relief. Because of this I know it is the right choice.
“During the period that I was abroad, I noticed that I slowly lost the pleasure of football.
I found it extremely difficult to muster the discipline necessary to perform optimally and to let my life completely be determined by the busy football schedule.
"The corona period and the lack of visits from family and friends did me no good then either.
“I am very grateful to the club that they have brought me in this summer. I hoped that with my return to the Netherlands, the fun in football would return. Unfortunately, that has not turned out to be so easy, partly because I don't feel comfortable in football culture. Still, I have adapted to it for a long time and sometimes closed it off. I don't want that anymore and that's why I'm done with it now.
“I'm going to find out exactly what I want, where my passions and interests lie and what I want to pick up. Of course I also had many beautiful moments that I cherish. Will I miss playing football? We'll all see. For now I would like to thank my family, relatives and friends for all the support I have received from them. Now I have time to invest in them.”
Propper's retirement is a direct consequence of the gatekeepers of the game's obsession with more. Those who bear the brunt of the incessant calendar - players and managers - have consistently voiced their concerns on the negative impact on player welfare and also the detrimental impact it will have on the 'product' the suits are intent on bleeding dry.
The midfielder's decision is a brave one, and feels like a moment. Perhaps his decisiveness will empower others who don’t feel comfortable in the perpetuality of modern football culture to speak out and/or push for change.
The way players are currently being overused with limited consideration of the long-term - both physical and mental - impacts can't continue. It feels like football and its main actors - the players - are nearing a breaking point.

Barcelona losing patience with Umtiti for honouring contract

Barcelona want rid of Samuel Umtiti. The France defender has a contract that runs until 2023. He is, according to reports, well remunerated through that period. The reason he was offered such wages was - presumably - the club, when offering him that contract, valued him highly as an asset. It appears that they miscalculated his value. And having re-done the maths, they want him off their books as he is offering little value to them.
For his part, according to reports, Umtiti is reluctant to leave unless a suitable offer is forthcoming. However, AS are reporting that the club are losing patience with him. This, to the Warm-Up, is ridiculous. Why should Umtiti act against what he deems are his own best interests and accept offers that are unacceptable to him? Clubs and fans are up in arms when a player does not respect the sanctity of contracts. Does that sense of righteousness only extend one way?
He has a contract and it is his right to see it out if that is best for him.

A big MLS move

The imminent signing of Lorenzo Insigne by Major League Soccer team Toronto FC feels a substantial moment.
Yes, MLS has housed some excellent players over the years. Arguments can be constructed either way on whether Insigne will be the first truly elite player to move to MLS while still in his prime. The facts of the situation are that he is 30, an Italian international and a cornerstone of one of European football's pre-eminent teams, Napoli. This deal represents a coup for the ever-expanding league.
He is reported to be on the verge of signing a five-year, $11m-per-season deal and will move at the end of the current European season.

IN THE CHANNELS

The world and its dog has probably seen this reducer-heavy highlights reel of Whitehawk FC's 1-0 loss to Three Bridges but if you haven't, here is the beautiful game at its vengeful finest.

IN THE CHANNELS II

Jack Wilshire + Paddy Power = quite something.

COMING UP

Eurosport is your home of European football and as such we have minute-by-minute lives from Linares Deportivo v Barcelona and Alcoyano v Real Madrid. There will also be coverage of the Antonio Conte derby: Chelsea v Spurs.
There is also our transfer blog, bringing together all the latest news and stories from around Europe.
Bringing you all the fallout from that will be Andi Thomas.
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