Wednesday’s Transfer Rumor Roundup: Tevez to Juventus, El Shaarawy to Madrid

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Once again this morning, some pretty hefty rumors are circling around European soccer.

With the likes of Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain confirming their new managers yesterday, there is sure to be a knock on effect in the transfer market.

Squad’s are set to begin filtering back through the training ground doors and into preseason, so which players are on the move to new clubs? Let’s take a look.

Carlos Tevez is almost certainly on his way out of Manchester City, with a fee agreed with Juventus for the Argentinian striker. Tevez, 29, has spent the last seven seasons in the Premier League, however it seems as though he’s swapping Manchester for Turin. Juve’s bid is an initial $15 million but there are plenty of add ons that could see the fee rise. Would Tevez be missed at City? Not really. With Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and plenty of other attacking midfielders preferred, now was probably the right time for Carlitos to move on. He will score regularly at Juventus as they aim for European glory to go alongside domestic dominance. Tevez’ pace and power will cause plenty of problems in Serie A. Arrivederci, Carlos. (The Independent)

With Simon Mignolet finalizing his $14 million move to Liverpool last night, Sunderland boss Paolo Di Canio has vowed to spend the money. According to reports from the North East, Jozy Altidore is top of Di Canio’s wishlist as the AZ Alkmaar striker has caught the eye with his performances and shed load of goals over the past 12 months. Altidore, 23, will be paired up top with Steven Fletcher if he does arrive on Wearside. This Sunderland rumor has been dragging on for a while now, and I think Altidore would do extremely well in the EPL second-time around, after floundering at Hull City as a youngster. (Shields Gazette)

Barcelona youngster Gerard Deulofeu is on the radar of Tottenham and Liverpool, as the 19-year-old midfielder could move away from the Nou Camp on loan. The Barca star has shone at the U-20 World Cup, scoring twice against the USA, and is itching for first-team action. It seems as if plenty of clubs are set to offer the playmaker a leading role, with Neymar taking his place in the Catalan capital. Deulofeu would add a creative spark to Liverpool and Spurs, while Brendan Rodgers is hoping the recent capture of Deulofeu’s old team-mate, Luis Alberto, can help persuade the promising youngster to join his revolution on Merseyside.  (Daily Mail)

Premier League clubs are checking in on the status of Wigan striker Arouna Kone,  but the Ivorian has made it clear that he only wants to join Everton. Kone scored 13 goals last season and wants to be reunited with former boss Roberto Martinez at the Toffees. Norwich and Swansea City have already met the $10.5 million release clause in his contract but Kone, 29, is holding out for Everton to make a move. Do the Blues really need another striker? Kone and Victor Anichebe are very similar players and Martinez has some tough choices to make with strikers Nikica Jelavic and Kevin Mirallas also at the club. Strengthening in defense and in midfield should come first. (The Sun)

Carlo Ancelotti could look to one of his former clubs to bring in his first signing as Real Madrid boss. Ancelotti only took over at Real yesterday, but has already earmarked Italian international Stephan El Shaarawy as the man he wants. Know as the “Pharaoh” in Italy, El Shaarawy shone at AC Milan last season after scoring 19 goals in a breakout campaign. But where would the attacker fit in at the Santiago Bernabeu? If Gonzalo Higuain does leave he could slot in nicely. 20-year-old El Shaarawy is a huge talent and Ancelotti wants the Italian star to spearhead his attack alongside Cristiano Ronaldo. (Gazzetta Dello Sport)

More: Tuesday’s Transfer Rumor Roundup; Cavani to Chelsea, Rooney to Barcelona

Willian proves he’s Chelsea’s x-factor against Brighton

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There’s a considerable difference when watching a Chelsea team that plays with and without one of its Brazilian influences in the attacking part of the field.

Willian — who first debuted for the Blues back in 2013 — hasn’t always managed to be a regular starter for Chelsea, whether it was Jose Mourinho, Guus Hiddink or current manager Antonio Conte at the helm, though.

[ SOURCES: Jack Harrison expected to join Stoke City this winter ]

The 29-year-old plays with considerable flair, something that certainly isn’t uncommon amongst many players that have grown up in Brazil.

At times Willian’s overconfidence is a significant blessing, and at others it can be considered a curse, however, the former Corinthians player’s presence is something that Chelsea needs now more than ever.

That was on display on Saturday during the side’s 4-0 win at Brighton, a match in which Chelsea dominated from start to finish with Willian on the pitch. While the performance cannot solely be attributed to the attacking midfielder’s showing, it’s easy to argue that the Blues midfielder is becoming the club’s biggest x factor — one that can determine the outcome of a match.

Just look six minutes into the match, when the Blues put together one of the best team goals you’ll see in a match this year (or any year for that matter), which of course, was started and finished by none other than Willian.

What stands out about the play isn’t the brilliant slicing shot into the near post corner by the veteran playmaker, but instead the confidence that Willian exudes and brings to a Chelsea lineup that has plenty of talent to be considered one of the best teams in England and all of Europe.

After all, Conte’s group is just a season removed from winning the Premier League and still sits inside the top three in the world’s top league.

Then, there’s the Blues’ third goal against Brighton, which was set up by a smart, and instinctive, through ball played into the path of Eden Hazard by Willian (below).

Even though Hazard ends up with a ton of time on the ball to make his next decision, which was ultimately to cut inside on his preferred right foot, the run by Willian towards the end line dragged a defender away from the Belgian international — allowing the sequence to progress.

Arguing Willian’s importance isn’t a knock on Hazard — a world-class player in his own right — or Alvaro Morata, who has had the intolerable task of replacing a key player like Diego Costa.

Instead, it simply shows that Chelsea has a plethora of talent, and that some of the club’s attacking struggles throughout the 2017/18 season can be chalked up to Willian being left out of the starting XI on a regular basis.

[ MORE: Sergio Aguero continues to display brilliance for Man City ]

The Brazilian international has scored eight goals and added seven assists this season in all competitions for the Blues, despite only starting 19 matches.

The mind of manager Conte is an ever-changing one, so maybe Willian still doesn’t get the starting nod on an every week basis, but just by watching the team’s performance at the Amex Stadium it’s quite hard to argue against the player being on the field as much as possible.

Premier League Preview: Southampton vs. Tottenham

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Southampton will host Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday (Watch live, 11 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) with both sides hoping to pick up three points for very different reasons.

The Saints are currently in the midst of a fierce relegation battle through 23 matches, and sit in 18th place in the Premier League, while Spurs are hoping challenge for a top-four position.

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Mauricio Pellegrino‘s Southampton could get defender Maya Yoshida back in time for Sunday’s match, however, the side will be without Charlie Austin once more, who is currently nursing a hamstring injury.

Meanwhile, a number of key figures will miss the match for Tottenham, including goalkeeper Hugo Lloris and Harry Winks. Also, Danny Rose and Toby Alderweireld remain sidelined with injuries, although the latter is expected to be back soon.

What they’re saying

Mauricio Pellegrino on state of the Saints: “We are not happy with our position but in three or four weeks’ time everything can change. It’s part of our competition. I feel in our team the spirit is really good and everybody is conscious about what we need. I receive these messages from players every day, and we have to convert these feelings into stats.”

Mauricio Pochettino on potential January moves: “To be honest it will be difficult. At some point you always dream but not too much exciting [is happening]. If it happens, it happens. If not, then it doesn’t happen. We are happy with the squad.”

Prediction

Harry Kane is firing at an absurd rate recently, and Southampton’s current form is worrisome to say the least. With just four wins all season, it’s hard to imagine the Saints coming out in front in their clash. Southampton 0-3 Tottenham

La Liga: Las Palmas stuns nine-man Valencia, Atleti settles for draw

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A roundup of Saturday’s action in Spain’s top flight…

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s La Liga coverage ]

Las Palmas 2-1 Valencia

It’s never ideal when you finish a match with nine men, and that was the case on the day for third-place Valencia. Things were going according to plan for the visitors early on at the Gran Canaria when Santi Mina scored five minutes into the match.

However, goals from Jonathan Viera (22nd minute) and Jonathan Calleri (53rd minute) brought Las Palmas in front, and they wouldn’t relinquish the advantage.

Gabriel Paulista‘s second yellow card, which set up Las Palmas’ penalty kick in the second half was the first sending off for Valencia, while Ruben Vezo joined his teammate in the locker room with three minutes remaining in regulation.

The victory moves Las Palmas into 19th place in La Liga.

Atletico Madrid 1-1 Girona

Barcelona’s lead at the top of La Liga will likely grow courtesy of Atletico’s inability to apply pressure on the Blaugrana. Antoine Griezmann’s first-half strike wasn’t enough to cushion the Atleti lead, and in turn, Girona equalized with 17 minutes left in regulation when Portu scored off of a great take out of the air.

Espanyol 0-3 Sevilla

Franco Vasquez got things started for the visiting side after just 15 minutes, and before halftime Sevilla managed to double their lead through Pablo Sarabia. For good measure, the sixth-place side added a third goal in the 90th minute as Luis Muriel finished off a pass from Sarabia.


Elsewhere in La Liga

Villareal 2-1 Levante


Sunday’s La Liga matches

Alaves vs. Leganes — 6 a.m. ET
Real Madrid vs. Deportivo La Coruna — 10:15 a.m. ET
Real Sociedad vs. Celta Vigo — 12:30 p.m. ET
Real Betis vs. Barcelona — 2:45 p.m. ET

Blockbuster trade sends Kamara to Galaxy, Zardes to Columbus

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The MLS offseason has been in full force for some time now, and the blockbuster moves continue to take shape.

On Saturday, the Columbus Crew finalized a deal with the LA Galaxy to send striker Ola Kamara to the Western Conference side.

[ MORE: All of the picks from Friday’s MLS SuperDraft first & second rounds ]

In exchange for Kamara, the Galaxy have sent U.S. Men’s National Team attacker Gyasi Zardes and $400,000 in Targeted Allocation Money to the Crew. The amount of TAM could increase to $500,000 if Kamara scores 12 or more goals in 2018.

Since arriving on the MLS scene in 2016, the Norwegian had scored 34 regular season goals for the Crew, while adding five assists.

Meanwhile, Zardes has spent his entire professional career with the Galaxy up until this point, after having signed a Homegrown contract with the club over five years ago.

The USMNT winger has scored 34 goals in 131 regular season appearances since making his senior team debut for the Galaxy.