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Norwich City look set to land Gary Hooper from Celtic

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Norwich City look to have beaten Queens Park Rangers to signing Glasgow Celtic’s Gary Hooper.

Reports indicate that Norwich and Celtic have agreed to a fee for Hooper and that the striker has penned a four year deal with the Canaries. Hooper’s transfer to the Premier League side will be complete after the Englishman undergoes a medical on Thursday.

A deal to bring Hooper to QPR appeared to be done-and-dusted when reports emerged on Wednesday that the Canaries and Hoops had agreed to a $8.4 million (£5.5m) transfer fee. R’s manager Harry Redknapp sounded confident that the deal was done.

“It looks like it’s on its way to being done. Negotiations have gone well,” Redknapp said. “He’s in the last year of his contract, so it’s a good deal for everybody. It’s good for Celtic to get the kind of money they are getting and hopefully it will be a great deal for QPR.”

But in a matter of 24 hours, the tide appears to have turned in the favor of the Canaries.

Earlier this morning Norwich manager Chris Hughton spoke of the transfer to the Eastern Daily Press: “We are still working very hard,” Hughton said. “It is very difficult for me with the eight-hour time difference, but even with the conversations I am having with the chief scout it is trying to find the right times. Nothing imminent, but we are still working.”

And now, that work has apparently paid off as the Canaries and Celtic agreed to the same $8.4 million fee that QPR had offered.

For Norwich, the deal for Hooper represents the latest in a summer of impressive transfer deals that includes Ricky von Wolfsfinkle, Leroy Fer, Nathan Redmond, Martin Olsson and Javier Garrido. Expect Hughton to pair Hooper up top with the clever van Wolfsfinkle, which could form one of more underrated strike-partnerships in this year’s Premier League.

For QPR, they will feel hard-done by losing out on a player they came so close to signing. But with new-boy Grant Holt as well as Loic Remy, Jamie Mackie and Bobby Zamora still on the books, Redknapp still possesses the firepower to get his side promoted back into the Premier League.

Klopp’s Liverpool squad enthusiasm: “Everything is there”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 09:  Jurgen Klopp is unveiled as the new manager of Liverpool FC during a press conference at Anfield on October 9, 2015 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
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It isn’t Dortmund, but that’s a good thing for Liverpool.

Our own Joe Prince-Wright was on the scene for Jurgen Klopp’s unveiling as the latest Reds manager, and the 48-year-old German had a lot to say.

Perhaps most poignant for Liverpool fans are Klopp’s words on the talent he inherits from Brendan Rodgers. Sure there are quips that will hit the headlines, but how about Klopp’s assertion that success shouldn’t take nearly as long as his dramatic work at BVB.

From JPW on Merseyside:

“We did in Dortmund what we had to do, to improve the players, to work for a common idea of play. That is what we did and its the same thing we want to do here. They are not the same players of course,” Klopp told NBC Sports ProSoccerTalk. “These players from Liverpool are better, more experienced in some ways and younger in other cases. Everything is okay, I am here. I am not here only because LFC was calling. I believe in the potential of this team. Four or five strikers you can work with when they are not injured, midfielders is really good, defenders experienced and very young, goalkeeper is really good. Everything is there.”

Everything. A powerful word and one that doesn’t get lost in translation. Liverpool has a batch of world class talent, and Klopp’s is anxious to organize it in world class fashion. Strap in, Anfield.

CONCACAF Cup preview: Ultimate guide to USMNT vs Mexico

Beasley, and other US veterans, have been asked to take the young guys under their wing.
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So here we go: the biggest rivalry in U.S. Soccer, the one that sends fans racing for the stadia for a glimpse of history.

It’s the U.S. and Mexico for the right to go to the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia, and it will play out at the Rose Bowl on Saturday night.

National pride is on the line, and national jobs may rightly be in jeopardy. Let’s swing through our coverage, and what’s at stake in just over 24 hours time.

The Battles

Who is the key to Saturday’s match? Is it Michael Bradley? Fabian Johnson? Andres Guardado? Will Klinsmann opt for players with Liga MX experience, stay Euro Heavy, or appease the domestic set? Read more here.

The XI

So how will Klinsmann line ’em up? JPW has his preference, some options, and a prediction of what the manager will do.

The history

What are the chances this one finds its way into the upper echelon of matches in the Mexico/U.S. rivalry? This is the company it could join.

Klinsmann’s future

The folks in the anti-Klinsmann brigade seethe with pure detestation of the USMNT boss. Any quote from him is self-serving and dishonest, any success accidental. Beat Germany or the Netherlands in friendlies on the road? Coincidental and Unimportant. Lose a friendly to Brazil? The worst thing ever.

[ MORE: The case for firing Klinsmann after a loss ]

So this match, being meaningful and testing his unbeaten mark vs Mexico, is going to be a clarion call for U.S. Soccer fans. Barring a cataclysmic loss in horrific blowout fashion, he won’t be canned. But a win will be validation for his supporters while a loss would cue a genuine hot seat. And for his detractors, already foaming at the mouth from the words of icon Landon Donovan? Kablammo.