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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

MLS Cup: Toronto FC all about the team

Toronto FC defender Nick Hagglund, center, celebrates his goal against the Montreal Impact with teammates Michael Bradley, right, and Steven Beitashour (33) during the second half of the second leg of MLS Eastern Conference championship series, in Toronto on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)
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Toronto, Ontario (AP) Team has been the theme for Toronto FC in the buildup to the MLS Cup final.

From boisterous practices to team-first media interviews, the All for One club motto has been plain to see ahead of the championship game Saturday against the visiting Seattle Sounders.

“You don’t get to this point by mistake or by accident. You get here because a group of special guys who have all bought into a philosophy, an identity,” said Toronto midfielder Will Johnson, an MLS Cup winner with Real Salt Lake and Portland.

“I say the same about Seattle. They’re bought into what they’re good at. We’re bought in, very motivated and want to sacrifice and put aside egos to get to a point as a team to compete for the big trophy.”

[ MORE: Designing the best UCL Round of 16 ]

Star striker Jozy Altidore, no fan of chatting with the media, was downright prickly when a reporter asked him if he had taken time to reflect on his personal journey to the championship game.

“No,” he said definitively. “This isn’t personal, this is a team game. We’re here to try to help Toronto to be a winning team. This has nothing to do with individuals. So it has nothing to do with what I’ve been through. This is what the city’s been through, what the fans have been through, what this club has been through. That’s far more important.”

Fullback Justin Morrow, a seven-year MLS veteran, has never played this deep into the season before.

“Each week we build on top of each other and we get closer as the year goes on. It really feels like it’s a culmination this week,” he said.

[ UCL: Who can Arsenal, Man City, Leicester draw? ]

Coach Greg Vanney has made a point of praising the entire squad, including reserves who function as the scout team in practice. While he has done soccer’s equivalent of shortening his bench for the playoffs, the squad has stayed on point. If anyone has beefs, they have been kept to themselves.

That’s no small feat considering the salaries on the squad range from $7.12 million for star striker Sebastian Giovinco to $51,500 for youngsters Mo Babouli and Tsubasa Endoh.

For Morrow, being part of a tight-knit group allows you to forget that it is your job.

“When teams aren’t doing well, players tend to focus on that – their job and not about the other people on the team,” Morrow said. “And I think when teams are doing well, it becomes about the relationships between the players.”

Report: Atlanta United to acquire Parkhurst; Guardado hopes fading

COLUMBUS, OH - MARCH 12:  Michael Parkhurst #4 of the Columbus Crew SC controls the ball against against the Philadelphia Union on March 12, 2016 at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
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Atlanta United is adding MLS experience to its high-flying international acquisitions.

The expansion side is set to acquire Michael Parkhurst from the Columbus Crew, according to a report from The Sporting News.

[ MORE: Mourinho worried about Zorya pitch ]

Parkhurst, 32, has been a fixture for the Crew since returning to MLS after stints with Nordsjælland and FC Augsburg. The 25-times capped American defender would join a relatively loaded expansion unit that reportedly will also add veteran Chicago goalkeeper Sean Johnson.

Unfortunately for Atlanta, it seems the first-year club’s hopes of landing Mexican star Andres Guardado are fading.

From Ives Galarcep for The Sporting News:

The club has one remaining designated player slot it is expected to fill ahead of its inaugural 2017 season, but transfer target Andres Guardado appears less likely to be the player to fill that slot, sources have told Goal USA.

The Crew was a massive disappointment last season, failing to make the playoffs one season after making a run to the MLS Cup Final. Is Parkhurst a good gamble for Atlanta?

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Men in Blazers podcast: Conte v. Pep, Cherries comeback, Spurs-Swans

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Rog and Davo relive the tactical battle between Antonio Conte and Pep Guardiola, marvel at tiny Bournemouth’s comeback win over high-flying Liverpool and duck-and-cover while recapping Spurs 5-0 Swansea.

All of the MiB content — pods, videos and stories can be seen here, but to really stay in touch, follow, subscribe, click here:

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Mourinho accepts Zorya compliment, but says best coach “doesn’t exist”

Manchester United's coach Jose Mourinho, centre, attends a training session with his team at Chernomorets stadium in Odessa, Ukraine, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, ahead of Thursday's Europa League group A soccer match against FC Zorya Luhansk. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
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On the eve of his side playing Manchester United in the UEFA Europa League, Zorya Luhansk boss Yuriy Vernydub called counterpart Jose Mourinho the best manager in the world.

And Mourinho disagreed.

Well, in principle.

[ MORE: Designing the best UCL Round of 16 ]

The Portuguese was flattered by Vernydub’s compliments and isn’t one to turn down praise. Yet at the same time, Mourinho thinks a coach’s success is year-to-year. There’s no clear best in the sport, according to Mou.

From ManUtd.com:

“He was nice by saying that but I don’t think he is right. I don’t think there is a best coach in the world. It doesn’t exist in my opinion. Every season one has to win the FIFA Gold Ball but I don’t think there is the best. You can say the best of the year and that I agree. Every year there is one with the most important result. So he is just being nice, no more than that.”

That’s almost meta, Mou.

Conceptually we understand, and Mourinho would feel he was the best in the world three seasons ago but not last year or this year (yet). Yet it’s difficult to say that the bodies of work from Pep Guardiola, Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti, Unai Emery, Antonio Conte, Luis Enrique, and Jurgen Klopp couldn’t be measured against each other, right?

[ MORE: United, Saints advancement scenarios ]

Onto the little picture Mourinho is worried about a potentially rock hard pitch at Zorya affecting the game. This, from the BBC:

“The pitch is very hard, the pitch is very icy,” said United boss Mourinho.

“They are putting warmth on the top of it, but the pitch is very difficult and people cannot make miracles. Let’s hope everything goes well.”

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