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Everton striker Nikica Jelavic catching interest from Hamburg

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Nikica Jelavic could be on the move out of Goodison Park as Hamburg are keen on signing the Croatian striker.

Oliver Kreuzer, sporting director at Hamburg, informed the Hamburger Morgenpost that the Bundesliga club are interested in signing the 27 year old and promising talks have been held with Everton.

Kreuzer is a long-time admirer of Jelavic. “He is a great player,” the director said. “I know him very well. I wanted to get him out of Rapid Vienna and to Graz in 2010 before he went to Rangers. That transfer only just failed.”

The issue for Hamburg, who finished 7th in last year’s Bundesliga table, is one of finances as Kreuzer claims the club may need to sell before they can buy.

“Day in, day out, I talk to all the agents, but nothing has come up yet,” Kreuzer said. “If we manage that [to sell two or three players] we could work out if a loan or a payment in instalments would be possible.”

After arriving on Merseyside in January 2012, Jelavic wowed crowds scoring nine goals in 13 Premier League contests. His second season, however, was another story as he struggled mightily, netting just seven goals in 37 Premier League starts.

The issue for Everton is whether last year’s form has deemed Jelavic surplus requirements. This summer has already seen the Toffees bring in two strikers, buying Arouna Kone from Wigan and signing Barcelona starlet Gerard Deulofeu to a one year loan deal.

Competition up front thickens when considering the emergence of Victor Anichebe, who was Everton’s best striker last year, bulling his way to a six goal four assist haul over 26 Premier League competitions.

Everton’s great young hope, Ross Barkley, is another player more than capable of making an impact up front. The Toffees youth product, now 19 years old, has shown glimpses of stardom and could be poised for a major breakout in 2013-14.

Another factor in the potential sale of Jelavic is the value the Toffees can command from dealing him.

If manager Roberto Martinez needs to bring in additional players (a center midfielder is certainly in the cards) and Toffees chairman Bill Kenwright financially stonewalls him (which tends to be the case at Goodison Park) then the revenue from a Jelavic deal could come in handy.

The club would be smart, however, to spend some hard time thinking this one through. Merely because Jelavic endured a sophomore slump doesn’t mean he can’t recapture the form that endured him to Toffees supporters in 2012.

 

Pogba’s agent pumps brakes hard on imminent Manchester United move

PARIS, FRANCE - JULY 10: Paul Pogba of France wins the ball from Joao Mario of Portugal during the UEFA EURO 2016 Final match between Portugal and France at Stade de France on July 10, 2016 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)
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Super agent Mino Raiola has injected a ray of light into the hopes of both Juventus and Real Madrid fans when it comes to Paul Pogba.

The terrific midfielder has been widely reported as an imminent arrival at Manchester United, but Raiola has taken to Twitter to blast journalists who’ve reported the move and medical as done.

[ RANIERI: Mahrez will stay at LCFC ]

Pogba was photographed in Los Angeles amid claims he was undergoing a physical at United. Multiple reports have said he passed the medical and that Juventus has agreed to sell Pogba to United for a world record fee.

Raiola says different, though taken with the grain of salt that he’s set to make as much as $30 million on the deal and his job is to squeeze every possibly penny from suitors.

Ranieri says “intelligent man” Mahrez will stay at Leicester City

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 07:  Claudio Ranieri Manager of Leicester City instructs Riyad Mahrez during the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Everton at The King Power Stadium on May 7, 2016 in Leicester, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
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Claudio Ranieri seems to be genuine and honest in his evaluations, as we’ve seen in his dealings with Jamie Vardy and N'Golo Kante amongst others.

And the manager is making no bones about what he thinks is best for another Leicester City star in Riyad Mahrez.

[ MORE: Gameiro joins new club ]

Ranieri says the Algerian will face far more pressure at a new club then he will face still competing in the UEFA Champions League with the Foxes.

In other words, the 25-year-old should stick around. From Sky Sports:

“I speak often with him and say stay with us, it’s much better for your future, I think he is an intelligent man and he will stay,” Ranieri told Sky Sports News HQ.

“We support him very well, this is important, when you change teams maybe you don’t find team-mates who help you at the same level.

“He improves more if he stays with us for another year, maybe next year he can think about another solution. If he goes for a lot of money, everybody will be expecting something special. He can do something special, but with us.”

We tend to agree. Whereas N’Golo Kante was prepared to use Leicester as a stepping stone — and it seems Ranieri knew it — Mahrez has been with the Foxes since 2014 and seen his stature skyrocket.

Let’s see what happens, Riyad. Cool?

Atletico signs striker Kevin Gameiro from Sevilla

BASEL, SWITZERLAND - MAY 18:  Kevin Gameiro of Sevilla celebrates scoring his team's first goal during the UEFA Europa League Final match between Liverpool and Sevilla at St. Jakob-Park on May 18, 2016 in Basel, Switzerland.  (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)
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MADRID (AP) Atletico Madrid says it has acquired French striker Kevin Gameiro from rival Spanish club Sevilla.

In exchange, Atletico has agreed to loan Argentine striker Luciano Vietto to Sevilla for one season.

Atletico says Gameiro will sign a four-year contract after undergoing a standard medical exam.

[ MORE: NYCFC, Rapids meet in Bronx on Saturday ]

The 29-year-old Gameiro scored 67 goals during three seasons with Sevilla, helping it win three Europa League titles.

Gameiro will join countryman Antoine Griezmann and Fernando Torres to form the attack of an Atletico side that reached the final of the Champions League last season.

Atletico did not reveal the financial details of Gameiro’s transfer.

Ex-Guatemalan soccer chief pleads guilty in FIFA bribe case

PRATO, ITALY - APRIL 13: General view during the FIFA Futsal playoff match between Italy and Hungary on April 13, 2016 in Prato, Italy.  (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images)
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NEW YORK (AP) A former Guatemalan soccer federation president has pleaded guilty in New York to charges related to a sprawling corruption investigation of world soccer.

[ MORE: Christian Vieri ready for return, pursuing Chinese Super League ]

Brayan Jimenez pleaded guilty Friday to federal racketeering conspiracy and wire fraud conspiracy charges, each carrying up to 20 years in prison. It’s unclear when he’ll be sentenced.

The 62-year-old Jimenez is among 40 people from around the world charged in a FIFA bribery scandal over lucrative broadcasting rights.

Prosecutors say Jimenez accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from a Florida-based sports marketing company. They say in exchange for the money Jimenez awarded the company media marketing rights to the Guatemalan soccer team’s World Cup qualifying matches in 2018 and 2022.

Jimenez’s attorneys haven’t returned a message seeking comment on his guilty plea.