Wednesday’s Transfer Rumor Roundup: Bent to Newcastle, Soldado to Spurs

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Darren Bent is clear for a move to Newcastle, after Fulham pulled out of a deal for Aston Villa’s forgotten striker. Bent, 29, has been completely left out of Paul Lambert’s plans out Villa and desperately wants to leave this summer. Newcastle could snap him up for just $8 million but his huge $120,000 wages are the stumbling block in any deal. On his day, Bent is a cool customer who can finish. He felt out with Lambert at Villa¬† but the Midlands side paid Sunderland a club record $36 million in January 2011 and has scored 25 goals in 64 games since. But Bent scored just six times in 23 appearances, mostly from the bench, last year. Newcastle manager Alan Pardew knows Bent from his days at Charlton and with Papiss Cisse looking for a move away from St. James’ Park, Bent would be a cheap and decent replacement.

Tottenham Hotspur are locked into a battle with Valencia, with Spanish striker Roberto Soldado in the middle. Spurs have been chasing the Spanish international, but have had several bids rejected by Valencia. And now the Spanish side have give Tottenham an ultimatum as they must reach Soldado’s release clause of $40 million. Your move, Spurs. So does Andre Villas-Boas need a new striker? Yes. And the 28-year-old predatory forward is what they need, he would finish the many chances Spurs create with aplomb. Now Tottenham just need to put their money where their mouth is.

West Ham want Loic Remy as Championship side Queens Park Rangers look to get the French international off the wage bill. The former Marseille striker was one of the bright spots in QPR’s dismal Premier League campaign last year, as Remy’s January arrival and subsequent goals gave them some hope of survival. But now Sam Allardyce wants to bolster his attack further, and the Hammers could grab Remy for just $12 million, and can afford his $100,000 a week wages. He scored six goals in 14 games for QPR last season and in a better team he would definitely scored more. Should West Ham link him up with Andy Carroll in a new striker partnership?

Sunderland’s versatile player Craig Gardner could be heading to West Bromwich Albion, with the Midlands club contemplating a $3.5 million deal for the former Aston Villa man. Gardner excelled at right back last season, but Paolo Di Canio has added extensively to his squad this summer and Gardner may be one of the casualties. Gardner, 26, may fancy a return to the West Midlands after playing for Villa for several seasons. He could do a great job in a variety of positions for the Baggies and would be a bargain. You know Gardner will give his all and can whip in a great cross and is a dead ball specialist. This move could suit everyone.

Arsenal may finally sell striker Gervinho, after the Ivory Coast international has failed to impress during his time at the Emirates. The languid forward has often been deployed out wide to varying degrees of success, and as Arsenal try to strengthen up front, it seems as though Gervinho’s days with the Gunners are numbered. The 26-year-old hasn’t traveled with Arsenal on their preseason tour of Asia, which is a huge indicator on his future. Lyon are also interested, but Roma could buy him for $12 million.

MORE: Tuesday’s Transfer Rumor Roundup, Bernard to Arsenal, Nani to Monaco

Wigan player races off for son’s birth after scoring 2 goals

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WIGAN, England (AP) It was better than a hat trick.

A player for English soccer team Wigan had a night to remember when he scored his second goal before dashing off the field and to the local hospital, where his girlfriend was in labor.

[ MORE: Chelsea advances to UCL Round of 16 after win over Qarabag ]

A picture of Ryan Colclough holding his new-born baby, Harley, while still in his soccer uniform was shared on social media by Wigan chairman David Sharpe.

Colclough said his father, sitting in the stands on Tuesday for Wigan’s 3-0 win over Doncaster in the second division, “gave me the action that the waters had broken,” but he didn’t want to come off until the ball was out of play.

“My head was a little bit battered, but I went and scored, looked at the manager and he said we’ll bring you off now,” Colclough said Wednesday of his 58th-minute goal, which he celebrated by pretending to rock a baby. “I came off and was straight down the tunnel, grabbed my keys and my phone, and went to hospital.”

Colclough had visited the midwife that day, and was told the baby was unlikely to arrive for “another couple of days.”

Lille suspends coach Marcelo Bielsa

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LILLE, France (AP) French club Lille has provisionally suspended coach Marcelo Bielsa following a string of poor results in the top tier.

[ MORE: Basel stuns Man United late to keep UCL hopes alive ]

The northern side said in a statement that Bielsa has been suspended “as part of a procedure started by the club.” Lille did not elaborate.

Bielsa joined Lille this season but has failed to make the club competitive again, with the team second to last after 13 matches.

The 2 Robbies podcast: PL sides in the UCL, Pulis sacking and more

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In today’s Euro Pod Edition, the Robbies breakdown the latest Champions League action. Man United lose at Basel, Chelsea cruise at Qarabag, Spurs impress against Dortmund, Man City continue to win, Liverpool surrender a 3-goal lead against Sevilla. Plus, the guys weigh in on the Oumar Niasse ban for diving and the Tony Pulis sacking.

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.

All of the The 2 Robbies content can be accessed by clicking on this link:

[ Click here for The 2 Robbies archive ]

Listen to the latest pod by clicking play below.

Follow them on Twitter @The2Robbies

Europa League preview: Arsenal looks to wrap up Group H and more

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While several teams have already booked their place in the knockout phase, the Europa League reaches its penultimate round on Thursday with many big matches in hand.

[ MORE: Yannick Bolasie finally returns to Everton training ]

Of the two Premier League sides in the competition, only one will advance to the Round of 32, as Arsenal have all but assured themselves of the top spot in Group H. The Gunners can do so tomorrow with a win over Koln or a Red Star Belgrade defeat.

The other end of the spectrum features Everton, who has already been eliminated from reaching the next round after acquiring just one point in its first four matches.

European giants AC Milan can lock up a spot in the knockout phase on Thursday despite the club’s ongoing struggles in Serie A, while fellow Italian side Atalanta can move a step closer to the Round of 32 in Group E along with Lyon.

Here’s the full rundown of Thursday’s UEL matches.

Astana vs. Villareal — 11 a.m. ET
Konyaspor vs. Marseille — 1 p.m. ET
Rosenborg vs. Real Sociedad¬†— 1 p.m. ET
Lazio vs. Vitesse¬†— 1 p.m. ET
Viktoria Plzen vs. Steaua Bucuresti¬†— 1 p.m. ET
Lokomotiv vs. Copenhagen¬†— 1 p.m. ET
Zenit vs. Vardar¬†— 1 p.m. ET
Red Bull Salzburg vs. Vitoria¬†— 1 p.m. ET
Athletic Bilbao vs. Hertha Berlin¬†— 1 p.m. ET
BATE vs. Red Star Belgrade¬†— 1 p.m. ET
Ostersund vs. Zorya¬†— 1 p.m. ET
Koln vs. Arsenal¬†— 1 p.m. ET
Nice vs. Zulte Waregem — 1 p.m. ET
Lugano vs. Beer-Sheva¬†— 1 p.m. ET
Ludogorets vs. Istanbul¬†— 3:05 p.m. ET
Braga vs. Hoffenheim¬†— 3:05 p.m. ET
AEK vs. Rijeka¬†— 3:05 p.m. ET
AC Milan vs. Austria Wien¬†— 3:05 p.m. ET
Lyon vs. Apollon¬†— 3:05 p.m. ET
Maccabi Tel Aviv vs. Slavia Praha¬†— 3:05 p.m. ET
Sheriff vs. Zlin¬†— 3:05 p.m. ET
Partizan vs. Young Boys¬†— 3:05 p.m. ET
Skenderbeu vs. Dynamo Kyiv¬†— 3:05 p.m. ET
Everton vs. Atalanta — 3:05 p.m. ET