French Revolution: Newcastle close in on Lyon striker Bafetimbi Gomis

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Newcastle United continue to chase down a partner for Papiss Cisse, with Lyon striker Bafetimbi Gomis looking likely to head Tyneside.

It’s been a summer to forget for the Toon Army with discord bursting at the seems after owner Mike Ashley made the controversial decision to hire Joe Kinnear as the Director of Football. The hiring placed a cloud over manager Alan Pardew’s hold on his squad and prompted Newcastle legend Alan Shearer to voice his concern.

Yet amidst the turmoil, the Magpies remain a side in desperate need of some new blood to join Cisse up top. The Senegalese international remains the club’s crown jewel but is in desperate need of a companion who can reduce the scoring burden since Demba Ba’s departure for Stamford Bridge last January.

By far and away, Gomis appears to be the man for the job. Newcastle submitted an initial $9.2 million (£6m) bid for the French international that Lyon promptly denied. But the Ligue 1 side looks poised to deal, informing Newcastle yesterday that raising the bid to $13.2 million (£8.6m) will get the deal done.

Sources at Sky Sports now claim that Newcastle have returned with a bid of $10.6 million (£6.9m) for the 27 year old. At that number, this is looking like a deal that’s destined to get done, although Lyon will likely push for the Magpies to meet them half way.

Gomis’ presence would not only bring a goal-scoring threat – the striker bagged 16 goals in 37 Ligue 1 appearances last year – but would go a long way to reducing the physical impact Cisse has endured since Ba’s departure.

Gomis would continue the French Revolution at Newcastle, becoming the club’s 12th French player on the roster. That number could soon jump to 13 as the Mapgies are also rumored to be in line for Frenchman Loic Remy, who would come to St. James’ Park on a year long loan deal from Queens Park Rangers.



EURO 2016: Ireland shock Germany, Northern Ireland qualify

Shane Long, Ireland
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A recap of Thursday’s action in 2016 European Championship qualifying:

Ireland 1-0 Germany

Southampton striker Shane Long scored the goal that knocked off the defending world champions and pushed Ireland one step closer to next summer’s European Championship in France. Long, who entered the game in the 65th minute, latched onto Darren Randolph‘s ball over the top in the 70th minute, took one touch to settle and fired for the far post, beating Manuel Neuer for the game’s only goal.

With one game still to play, Ireland (18 points) sit third in Group D, level on points with Sunday’s opponent Poland. While the winner of Sunday’s clash could leapfrog Germany (19), they will more likely finish second in the group and qualify automatically. A draw on Sunday could still see both sides qualify automatically through the ranking of third-place finishers (the top third-place finishers from group play earns an automatic berth at EURO 2016).

Northern Ireland 3-1 Greece

Norther Ireland (20 points) topped Greece (3), 3-1 on Thursday to officially book their place at EURO 2016. Steven Davis scored twice and Josh Magennis added the third for Michael O’Neill’s side.

With one game still to play (Sunday, at Finland), Northern Ireland can finish no lower than second. A draw against Finland, or any points dropped by Romania (17) would see Northern Ireland finish top of Group F.

Portugal 1-0 Denmark

Joao Moutinho scored the only goal of the game to secure Portugal’s (18 points from just seven games) place at next summer’s tournament. The defeat sees Denmark remain second in Group I, a point ahead of third-place Albania, who lost to Serbia on Thursday. Having played all eight of their group games, Denmark can go no higher than 12 points, meaning they would fail to qualify if Albania beat Armenia on Sunday. A draw between Albania and Armenia would see Denmark qualify based on tiebreakers.

Elsewhere in EURO 2016 qualifying action

Group D

Scotland 2-2 Poland
Georgia 4-0 Gibraltar

Group F

Hungary 2-1 Faroe Islands
Romania 1-1 Finland

Group I

Albania 0-2 Serbia

Jurgen Klopp announced as new Liverpool manager

Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool FC
Liverpool Football Club/Getty Images
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Enough with the speculation and reports already, because it’s finally officially official: Jurgen Klopp has been appointed the newest manager of Liverpool Football Club, the Merseyside club announced on Thursday.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Klopp will be unveiled to the world at an introductory press conference at Anfield on Friday.

According to early reports, Klopp’s three-year contract could pay him as much as $10 million per season.

[ QUOTE KING: Top 10 “Klopp-isms” from his time at Dortmund ]

The 48-year-old German has been out of work since stepping down at Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund following a seventh-place finish to the 2014-15 season. Klopp’s seven seasons in charge of Dortmund weren’t without success and silverware, though, as he led Der BVB to back-to-back league titles in 2011 and 2012, a German Cup triumph in 2012 and a UEFA Champions League final appearance in 2013.

PST’s Joe Prince-Wright will be at Anfield on Friday for Klopp’s unveiling, so be sure to follow JPW on Twitter and check back to PST for wall-to-wall coverage of Klopp’s first press conference as Liverpool manager.