Monday’s Transfer Rumor Roundup: Tottenham want Croatian revival and Peter Crouch to West Ham

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With the first day of July comes a plethora of interesting Premier League transfer rumors to wet your whistle.

We start in North London where Tottenham is reportedly in talks with Dinamo Zagreb teenage talents Alen Halilovic and Tin Jedvaj. Halilovic, touted as the new Luka Modric, and Jedvaj, a 6’2″ center-back, are both 17 years old and would cost Spurs £17.1 million ($26m) for the pair.

In other words, so long, Scotty Parker. Enjoy Sunderland.

Down the road at Arsenal, the Gunners have been denied in their recent pursuit of Bayer Leverkusen midfielder, Lars Bender. The German outfit, having already sold right-back Dani Carvajal to Real Madrid and Andre Schurrle to Chelsea, rejected a bid reported to be in the range of £12.8-19.7 million ($19.6-30.2m).

More: Arsenal’s bid for Bayer Leverkusen’s Lars Bender is rejected

Over in West London, it appears Chelsea have bid £42.7 million ($65m) for the second coming of Jesus, more commonly known as Edinson Cavani. Napoli quickly shot down the bid, noting they were “puzzled” as to why the bid was £11.2m short of Cavani’s release clause.

Sensing some tension here on the part of Napoli. Better call Monaco.

Speaking of which, Liverpool appears like they may miss out on left-back Lucas Digne, who looks destined for the vast riches of French Riviera. The 19 year old Frenchman has made 48 appearances for Lille since making his first team debut in 2011.

That deep sigh of relief you just heard? Just Jose Enrique, reclining back on his loveseat.

Over in Manchester, City continues its hunt for a new striker to replace the departed Carlos Tevez. The flavor of the day is Benfica front-man, Oscar Cardozo, who scored 17 goals in 21 appearances in last season’s Primeira Liga. The 30 year old Paraguayan international is likely to cost the Citizens upwards of £13 million ($19.8m), which is £3 million ($4.6m) more than what they commanded from Juventus for Tevez.

Yeah, that deal makes sense. Very, very little sense.

On the red side of town, rumors that Nemandja Vidic is set to quit Old Trafford for AC Milan have been rubbished by the player’s agent, Silvano Martina, who told Italian newspaper Fantagazzetta: “We are talking with no-one. This is all pub talk.”

Wait a minute, Silvano. Are you implying that pub talk has no merit? Someone please remind this guy how much we love the pubs.

At Stoke, we may have witnessed Peter Crouch‘s last match in a Potters kit after the tall drink of water admitted that he is unsure of his future at the Britannia: “With my history, you just don’t know,” Crouchy said. “I’ve never really had a lot of contact with Mark Hughes.”

But that’s a good thing, right? If the robot dancing sensation does leave Stoke, reports claim he could team up with Andy Carroll at West Ham. The thought alone has Sam Allardyce in hog-heaven over the prospect of having a combined 13 foot tall strike-partnership to head home 60 yard bombs from the defense.

Meanwhile, over in the West Midlands, Paul Lambert looks to continue his youth revolution but is having major problems pushing bloated Darren Bent through the door. Newcastle and Fulham look to be suitors but both appear turned off by Lambert’s £8 million ($12.2m) asking price for the 29 year old.

New rule – whatever club takes on Bent for anything more than a free transfer should be immediately relegated.

Finally, up in Sunderland, Paulo di Canio is looking to bring in more than just a disgruntled Scotty Parker, he wants that young, fresh face everyone has been swooning over since the FA Cup final, Wigan’s Callum McManaman.

The winger is valued around £8million ($12.2m) and would fit in well with the Black Cats having already tried to snap the leg of Newcastle midfielder Massadio Haidara.

USSF says nominations submitted for 8 president candidates

AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File
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CHICAGO (AP) The U.S. Soccer Federation says it received the required three letters of nomination for eight candidates in its presidential election, one fewer than the total of people who announced their intention to run.

The USSF is conducting background checks on the candidates whose nominations were received by Tuesday night’s deadline. The governing body said the check is to ascertain that a candidate has “no conviction or no contest plea to a felony or crime of moral turpitude” and it will announce the candidate slate after completing the process.

[ MORE: Atlanta acquires Nagbe ]

Sunil Gulati, the USSF president since 2006, decided after the Americans failed to qualify for the World Cup that he will not seek a fourth four-year term.

The nine people who announced they are running include former men’s national team players Paul Caligiuri, Eric Wynalda and Kyle Martino; U.S. women’s goalkeeper Hope Solo; Soccer United Marketing president Kathy Carter; USSF vice president Carlos Cordeiro; Boston lawyer Steve Gans; New York lawyer Michael Winograd; and Paul LaPointe, Northeast Conference manager of the United Premier Soccer League.

The election will be held in February.

Madrid rallies to beat Al Jazira, reach Club World Cup final (video)

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ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) Gareth Bale scored an 81st-minute winner as Real Madrid came from behind to beat Emirates club Al Jazira 2-1 on Wednesday and reach the Club World Cup final.

Madrid will try to win its third world title in four seasons when its faces South American champion Gremio on Saturday.

[ MORE: Premier League Weds. roundup ]

The match had two goals disallowed by video review, one for each team.

Madrid struggled early and allowed the local league winners to open the scoring with a goal by Brazilian forward Romarinho just before halftime.

But Cristiano Ronaldo equalized early in the second half and Bale netted the winner less than a minute after entering the match as a substitute for Karim Benzema.

Paul Clement admits helplessness at facing Man City

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Swansea City manager Paul Clement may have the enduring quote of the season so far when it comes to facing the behemoth that is Manchester City.

[ RECAP – City hammer Swansea ]

The suffering Swans have had their share of poor performances this season — Clement later said January transfer spending “is a must” if the club wants to stay up — but he’s throwing his hands up in the air when it comes to Wednesday’s loss at the Liberty Stadium.

The man sounds exasperated, and sorry for his team. From the BBC:

“At times it was horrible to be on the sideline watching that, seeing my side trying but suffering for long periods. They’re not the games that will decide our season but it was hard to watch at times because they were so dominant. For me, one of the best sides I’ve ever come across. So many good athletes, so many intelligent footballers and it’s really hard to pin them down. We actually had some attempts on their goal so I’m disappointed we didn’t get on the score sheet but they were a far superior side to us. We’ve got to put it aside that game. We’ve got Everton away (next) and we’ve got to try and pick something up there.”

All that’s left is for Clement to pick up a clarinet, awkwardly blow into it, then point at Pep Guardiola and say, “He’s good.”

Free message board points to the first one to name the reference.

Premier League roundup: Reds, Gunners stumble

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The Top Four looks set for tumult on a weekly basis, and this week’s seen clubs move in-and-out at the lash of a whip.

[ MORE: Atlanta acquires Nagbe ]

Tottenham’s back in. Leicester City would like to come closer.

Burnley’s out. Liverpool and Arsenal, too.

First place might be out of the question, with unbeatable looking Man City 11 points clear of the pack. But nearly everything else is in play.

Manchester United 1-0 Bournemouth — RECAP

United didn’t have it’s A-game, but that was okay thanks to fine defensive play from star backstop David De Gea and some gutsy tackles from Phil Jones. The goal came when Juan Mata‘s cross was nodded home by Romelu Lukaku in the 25th minute, and United rode that marker for all it was worth to stay three points ahead of third place Chelsea.

Swansea City 0-4 Manchester City — RECAP

How good is Man City? Pep Guardiola‘s bunch have now won a Premier League record 15-straight in a single season, and have scored 52 goals while conceding just 11. Markers 49-52 came from David Silva (two), Kevin De Bruyne, and Sergio Aguero. Tottenham is next.

Liverpool 0-0 West Bromwich Albion — RECAP

A ball bounded off Ahmed Hegazi’s body, and off Dominic Solanke‘s body and forearm to give Liverpool its presumed breakthrough, but the call was intentional handball. The Reds had myriad chances to score before that, but instead hand a point to the visiting Baggies.

Newcastle United 0-1 Everton — RECAP

Mikel Merino and Matt Ritchie both hit goal posts as Sam Allardyce‘s Everton rode its luck and a Karl Darlow spillage to a 1-0 win. Wayne Rooney poked home the rebound, and the Toffees’ relegation worries are officially a thing of the past. Newcastle? Not so much, but money’s a-coming to Rafa Benitez at St. James’ Park.

West Ham United 0-0 Arsenal — RECAP

The chances were there for dominant Arsenal, but the winning goal did not materialize at the London Stadium. Marko Arnautovic did everything but score when West Ham did manage the ball, and Javier Hernandez rattled the cage late, but David Moyes men had to settle for a well-earned point.

Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Brighton and Hove Albion — RECAP

Spurs are back in the Top Four thanks to a long Serge Aurier cross that fooled Mat Ryan and a Heung-Min Son deflection of a Christian Eriksen offering. Brighton’s just three points away from the drop zone with the loss.

Southampton 1-4 Leicester City — RECAP

Claude Puel‘s Foxes are flying, scoring goals for fun and encroaching on the Top Four after a horrible start to the Premier League season. Shinji Okazaki bagged his first Premier League brace, while Andy King and Riyad Mahrez also scored for Leicester, who is within five points of fourth and next faces Crystal Palace. Southampton’s goal came from Maya Yoshida.

STANDINGS

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Manchester City 17 16 1 0 52 11 41 7-1-0 9-0-0 49
 Manchester United 17 12 2 3 37 11 26 8-0-1 4-2-2 38
 Chelsea 17 11 2 4 31 14 17 5-1-2 6-1-2 35
 Tottenham Hotspur 17 9 4 4 30 14 16 5-3-1 4-1-3 31
 Liverpool 17 8 7 2 34 20 14 4-5-0 4-2-2 31
 Burnley 17 9 4 4 16 12 4 5-2-2 4-2-2 31
 Arsenal 17 9 3 5 30 20 10 7-0-1 2-3-4 30
 Leicester City 17 7 5 5 27 23 4 4-1-3 3-4-2 26
 Watford 17 6 4 7 26 29 -3 2-3-3 4-1-4 22
 Everton 17 6 4 7 21 29 -8 5-0-3 1-4-4 22
 Southampton 17 4 6 7 17 23 -6 3-3-4 1-3-3 18
 Huddersfield Town 17 5 3 9 12 29 -17 4-2-3 1-1-6 18
 Brighton & Hove Albion 17 4 5 8 14 23 -9 2-4-2 2-1-6 17
 Bournemouth 17 4 4 9 15 20 -5 2-2-4 2-2-5 16
 Stoke City 17 4 4 9 19 36 -17 3-2-3 1-2-6 16
 Newcastle United 17 4 3 10 16 26 -10 3-1-5 1-2-5 15
 West Bromwich Albion 17 2 8 7 12 22 -10 1-5-2 1-3-5 14

 Crystal Palace 17 3 5 9 12 28 -16 3-3-3 0-2-6 14
 West Ham United 17 3 5 9 14 32 -18 3-2-3 0-3-6 14
 Swansea City 17 3 3 11 9 22 -13 2-1-6 1-2-5 12