Transfer Rumor Roundup: Who’s going where?

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This morning we are going to take a quick look around Europe to see which transfer rumors have surfaced.

With plenty of big money deals already flying around, and new managers building their squads hurriedly behind the scenes, this summer is set to see plenty of transfer activity.

Let us begin.

Wesley Sneijder could be Jose Mourinho’s first signing at Chelsea, as the 28-year-old Dutchman looks to get away from Galatasaray. Sneijder played under Mourinho at Inter Milan, where they won the Champions League together. But would he fit in with the plethora of similar talents at Chelsea? He is very much in the same mold as Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Oscar. Maybe one of those star players will have to leave to accommodate Sneijder? (The Sun)

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is considering a bid for Swansea City striker Michu. The Spaniard scored 22 times in his debut EPL campaign and Wenger is keen to add more goals to his attack. The 27-year-old would fit in with Arsenal’s possession based style, as he often set up plenty of chances for teammates and finished superbly when given the chance. Could he slot straight into the Gunners forward line? (Daily Mail)

Pepe could move following Jose Mourinho out of Real Madrid, with the Portuguese defender set for a shock $38 million move to Manchester City. Incoming City boss, Manuel Pellegrini is a huge admirer of Pepe, with the two working together at Madrid in the past. Could Pepe really be better than City’s current defensive options? I’m not so sure about that. But it does seem that Pellegrini will not hesitate to shake things up, when he finally arrives at the Etihad. Pepe has a checkered disciplinary record to say the least, and the 28-year-old defender has been in and out of the Madrid side during Mourinho’s time in charge. Jury is out on this one. (AS)

Liverpool are set to spend big money on Shaktar Donetsk midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan. The 24-year-old scored a record 25 goals in the Ukrainian Premier League last season, even though he plays in an attacking midfield role. The Armenian playmaker has attracted interest from the likes of Barcelona, Chelsea and Manchester City but Liverpool are set to be the favorites to acquire Mkhitaryan. A fee of around $33 million has been discussed, with Brendan Rodgers keen to get the Armenian international pulling the string alongside Gerrard and Philippe Coutinho. (The Guardian)

Celtic striker Gary Hooper is a wanted man, as Sunderland have now joined his long list of admirers. The English striker has not signed a new deal with the Scottish champions and Southampton, Norwich and Hull City have all been sniffing around for a while. Hooper has scored 82 goals in 137 games since joining Celtic in 2010. His workrate is phenomenal and Di Canio is said to be a huge fan. However Celtic manager Neil Lennon is hugely reluctant to see Hooper leave, but the Glasgow side may have to cash in now, or risk losing the 25-year-old prolific hitman for nothing. (Daily Mail)

AS Roma goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg is close to sealing a move to English Premier League side Fulham. The 30-year-old Dutch stopper will apparently replace Mark Schwarzer as the Cottagers No. 1, with Martin Jol set to start his summer shopping early. Would Stekelenburg be a good choice for Fulham? Well, they’ve had plenty of success with Dutch ‘keepers in the past, remember Edwin van der Sar? Schwarzer is 40 and has had plenty of good season in the EPL, but even he has admitted his time could be up. Seems like Jol already has a replacement in mind. (The Guardian)

Barcelona’s Twitter hacked to claim Di Maria signing

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FC Barcelona had eyeballs popping across the Twitterverse for a solid 90 seconds there.

La Liga’s giants Tweeted out a welcome to Angel Di Maria, the current PSG and former Real Madrid star, with the hashtag #DiMariaFCB.

[ MORE: EFL Cup Tues. wrap ]

It was an odd Tweet for 4 a.m. local time, as humourously pointed out by our Andy Edwards, and the hackers were quick to claim credit before any Tweets could be deleted.

So if someone tells you Angel Di Maria is the latest member of Barcelona, be sure to stop the spread of fake news.

On a day where Barca’s reportedly ready to up their bid for Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho, something tells us someone at the Camp Nou is turning over their keys to the club’s social media.

Rescheduled Yankees game moves NYCFC-Houston to Connecticut

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A rescheduled New York Yankees game is moving New York City FC to Connecticut.

Relax, it’s only for a day.

NYCFC will entertain the Houston Dynamo at Rentschler Field at 3 p.m. on Sept. 23 instead of their regular home of Yankee Stadium.

[ MORE: EFL Cup Tues. wrap ]

The club will offer tickets to another match to current ticket holders, and will also discount tickets to the game in East Hartford for fans who hold tickets to the Yankee Stadium game and want to travel for the Dynamo match (More info here, if you are in either of those camps).

This is the third of three scheduled seasons NYCFC will play at Yankee Stadium, and it doesn’t look like it’ll find a new home any time soon.

Given the everyday nature of Major League Baseball, it’s surprising there have not been more conflicts for NYCFC. We just remain hopeful for the day we can watch NYC’s star-studded roster play on a bigger home field.

“Injustice.” “Incomprehensible.” Ronaldo again protests suspension

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The five-game suspension Cristiano Ronaldo received for making contact with an official is not sitting well with the forward.

Better put: it’s still not sitting well.

Six days ago, Ronaldo took to Instagram to say he was being persecuted after his red card in the Spanish Super Cup.

[ MORE: EFL Cup Tues. wrap ]

Tuesday afternoon, he kept up the strong words by saying the suspension is “incomprehensible” and “an injustice.”

Roughly translated, Ronaldo posted, “One more incomprehensible decision. From injustice to injustive, they will never overcome me. And as always I will come back stronger. Thank you to all who have supported me.”

We’ll say this: He’s a really good soccer player.

Barca to offer Liverpool $176M for Coutinho

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Barcelona is insane.

Desperate following a rough two-legged loss to Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup, the Blaugranas are reportedly ready to offer $176 million to Liverpool for Philippe Coutinho.

Read it again: $176 million for Philippe Coutinho. It’s about $126 million with $12 million more when Barca clinches a UCL spot over the next four seasons (which they have done every year since finishing sixth in 2002-03).

[ MORE: EFL Cup Tues. wrap ]

Even in this transfer market, that’s nuts. Crazy to offer, and maybe even crazier not to accept.

That’s pretty much two-thirds of the Neymar money. Two-thirds (I keep repeating myself with this story)

It’s even a convenient out for Jurgen Klopp, who’s said Liverpool is not a selling club. Here, he can say with a straight face that the club can improve with this money by selling a player who has — and I recognize it’s not all about goals and assists — one double-digit goal season in his career and a career single-season high of seven PL assists (done thrice).

Almost anyone who’s had the audacity to say the Reds should accept the bid has often been shot down by the Anfield faithful online. “It’ll ruin our season” and “How do we replace him this late?” are the common cries.

To the first question: No, it won’t. To the second: Easy?

It’s not like-for-like, but nearly every player in the world is available for $176 million. It’s not like-for-like, but here’s a short list: Antoine Griezmann, Gareth Bale, Paulo Dybala, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Marco Reus… Shoot! Klopp could sign 2-3 of his favorite BVB alums.

With this fee, Coutinho would become the second-highest transfer fee of all-time, behind only Neymar. There are makeweights Barcelona could offer that would make the deal even more intriguing to the Reds: Arda Turan, Andre Gomes, Denis Suarez.

Look at it from a neutral’s eyes — which I know is hard from the number of times I’ve read @ Tweets that say, “The only people who would like this deal are fans of Chelsea or United!” — at some point, it becomes unreasonable to not take advantage of Barcelona’s desperation. Maybe Coutinho is worth the “fit” for Barca, but rejecting this fee is more illogical than the offer itself.

At the risk of inflaming every more Liverpool supporters, Ross Barkley is probably going to cost someone $35 million and he’s a year and a half younger (Coutinho is a superior player right now, but we’re talking about the market here).

And, lastly, at some point you’re telling your entire team room that you’re willing to turn down near record money — it would be the highest non-buyout clause transfer ever — to keep a player from his dream club.

Take the money. Use it. Move on.