Wednesday’s 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.

The race for Christian Benteke is heating up as several clubs aim to sign Aston Villa’s 22-year-old Belgian international striker. Tottenham have offered Jermain Defoe plus cash for Villa’s top scorer, while Atletico Madrid have put in a $37.5 million bid. It seems as if these offers may be too good to turn down for Benteke, who has been extremely quite in the press on his future. But should he stay in the EPL or move abroad? A step up to Spurs or maybe even Arsenal would be a good move in my book, Benteke is made for the EPL and with better service, he should score plenty more goals, wherever he plays next season. (The Mirror)

Despite Jose Mourinho returning to Stamford Bridge, John Terry‘s time in West London could be coming to an end. The Chelsea captain is rumored to be subject of a $12 million bid from mega-rich AS Monaco, where former Chelsea boss Claudio Ranieri is in charge. Many thought Mourinho’s return would see 32-year-old Terry return as a regular for the Blues, but it could be the opposite. And oh yeah, Terry was spotted in Portugal yacht-shopping today, just a coincidence? A luxury yacht would be more at home in Monaco than on the River Thames. Perhaps. (Telegraph)

Meanwhile Mourinho has already angered Arsene Wenger by hijacking Arsenal’s bid to sign Fiorentina’s Stefan Jovetic. The new Chelsea boss has wasted no time identifying targets, and the $35 million rated forward is top of Mourinho’s wanted list. The Montenegro striker has been tracked by Arsenal and Manchester United, but the 23-year-old would be a great signing for Chelsea. Where would he fit into their vast array of attacking talents? Your guess is as good as mine. (The Times)

Elsewhere Argentinian winger Ignacio Scocco has been linked with a moved to Sunderland. The 28-year-old Al-Ain player has been looking to move away from the United Arab Emirates and could get his wish as Black Cats boss Paolo Di Canio overhauls his squad this summer. He spent last season on loan at Newell’s Old Boys in Argentina, scoring 27 goals in 36 games. Sunderland were woeful in front of goal last year, scoring just 41 in 38 games, so his attacking intent excite fans. The only stumbling block could be his $90,000 weekly wage. (Sunderland Echo)

Edin Dzeko could be joining Mourinho at Chelsea too, as the 27-year-old Manchester City striker is just the type of player Chelsea’s new manager is looking for. Dzeko has found himself often coming off the bench at City, but with his tall powerful frame and impressive hold up play, he could resemble something similar to Didier Drogba in his prime. With Chelsea taking Dzeko they would step aside from the race for Edinson Cavani, to sweeten the deal for City as they’ve been chasing Napoli’s Uruguayan forward intently. (Daily Star)

In Spain, reports this morning have Real Madrid forward Gonzalo Higuain joining Arsenal. Newspaper AS say that Tottenham, Liverpool and Juventus are also interested but Arsenal are in the driving seat for the 25-year-old Argentinian forward. He has recently stated his intent to leave Madrid this summer for a fresh challenge and Arsene Wenger certainly needs a proven goalscorer to help his young Gunners squad push on to challenge for the EPL title next season. Is Higuain the missing piece in the puzzle for Arsenal? (AS)

Jonas nets 2 late goals to keep Benfica in title hunt

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LISBON, Portugal (AP) Jonas scored two late goals to lead Benfica’s 3-1 comeback win at Pacos Ferreira on Saturday, keeping it close to Portuguese league leader FC Porto.

Jonas equalized in the 72nd minute and gave the defending champion the lead in the 88th.

[ MORE: Man United-Chelsea meet in giant Sunday PL clash ]

Rafa Silva added a third goal after the host was reduced to 10 men in stoppage time when Gian dos Santos was shown a direct red card.

Luiz Phellype gave Pacos Ferreira the lead in the ninth.

The double increased Jonas’ league-leading tally to 27 goals.

Benfica moved to within two points of Porto before the pacesetter visits Portimonense on Sunday.

Sporting Lisbon is third at five points behind Porto. It hosts Moreirense on Monday.

Orlando City trades defender Jose Aja to Whitecaps for allocation money

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The Vancouver Whitecaps have struck a deal with an Eastern Conference side to help solidify their back line.

[ MORE: USMNT’s Johannsson leads Werder Bremen to win ]

On Saturday, the Cascadia club finalized a deal to acquire Orlando City defender Jose Aja in exchange for $125,000 in Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) for 2019.

Additionally, Orlando could receive another $100,000 in TAM if Aja remains on the Whitecaps roster next season and a 2021 second-round MLS SuperDraft pick if Aja is in Canada for the 2020 campaign.

Aja has made 25 appearances for Orlando since coming to MLS in 2016 from his native Uruguay.

The timing of the deal is intriguing, given Tim Parker’s willingness to exit the Whitecaps ahead of the 2018 MLS season.

PST reported on Thursday that Parker is seeking a move back to the East Coast, and the New York-native is being tracked by several Eastern Conference sides, including the New York Red Bulls, D.C. United and the Montreal Impact.

Parker is considered one of the top American defenders in MLS, and is actively seeking a massive pay raise ahead of the new season, after making just under $100,000 in 2017.

PL Sunday preview: Red Devils battle Chelsea at Old Trafford

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It will surely be one of the biggest fixtures of the season when Manchester United and Chelsea get together on Sunday, and for both clubs a victory could be vital in projecting their form for the rest of the 2017/18 campaign.

Meanwhile, a crucial meeting at Selhurst Park pits teams on opposite ends of the table against one another. Crystal Palace enters the weekend levels on points with 18th-place Swansea, while Tottenham could leap Chelsea for fourth if results go in favor of Spurs.

[ MORE: Liverpool continues to score at lightning pace against West Ham ]

Crystal Palace vs. Tottenham Hotspur — 7 a.m. ET on NBCSN

The injury bug has hit Palace hard as of late, with a total of 12 senior team players being left out of Roy Hodgson‘s squad. The list includes Wilfried Zaha, Yohan Cabaye and Mamadou Sakho, which won’t make things easy against a talented Spurs side.

Tottenham have had a ton of success in this fixture recently, winning the last five encounters and only allowing one goal in the process.

Mauricio Pochettino‘s men have hit the ground running in the second half of the season thus far, picking up a league-high 15 points in the Premier League since the start of 2018.

If there is a saving grace for the Eagles though, it is that Palace has been solid at home this season, and gone unbeaten in nine of its last 10 fixtures at Selhurst.

Manchester United vs. Chelsea — 9:05 a.m. ET on NBCSN

After a pair of draws from the PL sides kicked off their Champions League Round of 16 campaigns midweek, United and Chelsea can now focus their attention back to England; at least for the time being.

Jose Mourinho’s team came away from Seville with a crucial scoreless draw after the hosts tested goalkeeper David De Gea on numerous occasions, while Chelsea were close to pulling out a victory against Barcelona had it not been for a big-time mistake from Andreas Christensen late in the match.

Nonetheless, this is a fixture that always garners significant attention, especially from the Blues, who tend to have a better go of it. United has won just once against Chelsea in their last 14 fixtures, with the lone victory coming last season.

That said, Antonio Conte and his side have failed to exemplify consistency this year, and that includes road matches. The Blues have just two road wins in their last nine attempts across all competitions, which bodes well for the Red Devils.

The good news for Chelsea is the recent form of attacking duo Willian and Eden Hazard. The Brazilian was constantly in dangerous positions up the pitch against the Blaugrana in their recent UCL encounter, nabbing the lone goal for the Blues, while Hazard has scored six times in his last six PL matches.

The 2 Robbies: Unstoppable Liverpool, Man United-Chelsea and more

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In today’s episode, Robbie Earle and Robbie Mustoe discuss Liverpool’s emphatic win over West Ham (0:17), breakdown an extremely complicated relegation situation where nearly half of the league is in jeopardy of going down (10:05), before closing the show with a preview of tomorrow’s Man United v. Chelsea match (28:10).

Join Earle & Mustoe on The 2 Robbies Football Show, Saturdays at 5pm ET. Listen on the NBCSports Radio App and call 855-323-4622 in the U.S. for lively passionate debate.

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