Thursday’s Transfer Rumor Roundup: Agudelo to Stoke, David Luiz to Barcelona


Stoke City have their eye on yet another American import, as New England forward Juan Agudelo could join three USMNT players already at the Britannia Stadium. Agudelo, 20, has scored five goals in 11 games this season, but the former New York Red Bulls and Chivas USA striker could certainly do with a fresh start. He impressed Celtic whilst on trial last year, nothing came of that, but Mark Hughes has monitored Agudelo for quite some time. With Agudelo’s pace and eye for goal, the young US national team star could get his career back on track in the Premier League. If Stoke offer MLS a good deal, it would be wrong of them to stand in Agudelo’s way. He could play on the last shoulder of defenders and use his pace to great effect in Stoke’s direct style of play. Intriguing to see this one play out.

Barcelona are apparently making a “last ditch” attempt to sign Chelsea’s David Luiz. The 26-year-old Brazilian defender has been a long-term target for the Catalan club and with their defensive options thin on the ground, new manager Gerardo “Tata” Martino has made Luiz his top target according to this report. A deal of $60 million has been offered for Luiz, and it should force Chelsea to seriously consider selling the eccentric central defender. Luiz is a top quality player, but with Gary Cahill and Branislav Ivanovic already at Chelsea and John Terry sniffing around, do the Blues really need four top quality center backs?

Brazil’s Atletico Mineiro have apparently accepted a $32 million offer from Shakhtar Donetsk for Bernard. But the player is said to be unsure about a move to the Ukraine. Arsenal and Porto are the other frontrunners for the 20-year-old Brazilian international, with Arsenal particularly keen to add the youngster to their ranks. But with Donetsk having a fine record in elevating Brazilian stars on the European stage and offering almost guaranteed Champions League soccer each season, money talks. But if Arsenal make a similar bid for the diminutive attacker, surely Bernard would head to the Emirates? They play his style of quick, possession based soccer and he would be playing in one of the world’s best leagues ahead of the 2014 World Cup.

Fulham are closing in on Sunderland’s former captain Lee Cattermole. The fiery midfielder is no longer needed at the Stadium of Light and Martin Jol could snap up the 25-year-old midfielder. Injured for most of last season, Cattermole’s influence in the Black Cats engine room was severely missed. However new manager Paolo Di Canio doesn’t seem to have Cattermole in his plans, and Fulham could pick up the combative player for just $4.5 million. An absolute bargain for an experienced Premier League midfielder who cleans up the space in front of the back four superbly. He would add an extra bite to Fulham’s midfield as the Cottagers aim to kick on after a stagnate 2012-13 season.

Diego Lugano is set to talk with West Bromwich Albion this week, as the 32-year-old Uruguayan captain is surplus to requirements at Paris Saint-Germain. Lugano could be available for a paltry sum of $1.5 million and would add extra competition to West Brom’s central defenders. He can also slot in at full back and his vast experience at World Cups and in European competition would help Steve Clarke’s men try to step up to the next level. This could be another shrewd signing by the Baggies as they add experience and quality.

More: Monday’s Transfer Rumor Roundup, David Luiz to Bayern, Gustavo to Chelsea

More: Wednesday’s Transfer Rumor Roundup, Torres to Valencia, Barton to Everton

Former Sevilla player Diego Capel training with Sounders

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A former Sevilla star is training in MLS, as the veteran midfielder looks to continue his career stateside.

Diego Capel was spotted training with the Seattle Sounders on Thursday, despite club manager Brian Schmetzer initially playing coy on who the player was.

[ MORE: Where does Zlatan rank in MLS superstar signings? ]

“We have a player that’s in camp,” Schmetzer said. “He’s a good player. He’s probably worn the number 10 in his career. Maybe as a youth player. Maybe it’s just a player borrowing Nico’s jersey.”

The Sounders have suffered several major injuries in their attack to start the 2018 MLS season, which also contributed to the team’s derailment in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals.

While Capel traditionally has played on the wing throughout his career, the Sounders could use all the help they can get in the attacking third.

Jordan Morris has already been ruled out for the season with an ACL tear, while Nicolas Lodeiro and Will Bruin are currently sidelined for the club with respective injuries.

Capel came up through the ranks of Sevilla, while also playing for notable European sides such as Sporting Lisbon and Anderlecht.

The 30-year-old last played for the Belgian side in 2017, but has been a free agent since.

Int’l friendlies: Lingard guides England; Colombia tops France

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A roundup of Friday’s international friendlies….

England suffered an early setback in Holland after Joe Gomez limped off the pitch with an injury. However, the Three Lions bounced back with a 1-0 victory when Jesse Lingard struck after halftime.

[ MORE: USMNT reveals new kits ahead of Paraguay friendly ]

A drastic second-half turnaround for Colombia gave the South American side a 3-2 victory over France. Olivier Giroud and Thomas Lemar had Les Bleus out in front in the first half with a 2-0 lead, but the Colombians responded with three unanswered finishes to grab the win.

Mohamed Salah‘s second-half strike wasn’t enough to pace Egypt due to Cristiano Ronaldo’s late brace for Portugal (his 80th and 81st international goals), while Victor Moses‘ penalty kick helped Nigeria top Poland.

Meanwhile, Brazil picked up a convincing 3-0 win over this summer’s hosts Russia. Barcelona teammates Philippe Coutinho and Paulinho each scored in the second half, after Miranda opened the scoring for the Selecao.

Germany and Spain settled for an exciting 1-1 draw, while Argentina topped Italy, 2-0, without Lionel Messi or Sergio Aguero in the lineup.

Below are all the scores from today’s friendlies involving teams that will play in Russia this summer.

Portugal 2-1 Egypt
Argentina 2-0 Italy
Germany 1-1 Spain
Netherlands 0-1 England
Poland 0-1 Nigeria
Scotland 0-1 Costa Rica
France 2-3 Colombia
Uruguay 2-0 Czech Republic
Japan 1-1 Mali
Russia 0-3 Brazil
Saudi Arabia 1-1 Ukraine
Greece 0-1 Switzerland
Tunisia 1-0 Iran
Serbia 1-2 Morocco
Peru vs. Croatia — 8:30 p.m. ET
Mexico vs. Iceland — 10 p.m. ET

Joe Gomez exits Holland match after 10 minutes with injury

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Joe Gomez‘s World Cup hopes may have taken a major hit on Friday after the Liverpool defender exited England’s match against Holland after just 10 minutes.

[ MORE: USMNT releases new kits ahead of Paraguay friendly ]

The extent of the 20-year-old’s injury is unknown at this point, but the Reds defender was in noticeable pain as he limped off the pitch at the Amsterdam Arena.

Gomez was replaced by Leicester City center back Harry McGuire following the stoppage.

Osorio: Jonathan Gonzalez has a “promising future” with El Tri

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The Jonathan Gonzalez situation still stings for many U.S. Men’s National Team supporters, and the encouragement from Mexico’s camp regarding the midfielder’s bright future isn’t making things better for Americans.

[ MORE: Where does Zlatan rank among stars to come to MLS? ]

El Tri manager Juan Carlos Osorio reaffirmed his belief that Gonzalez is one of the many promising prospects within the Mexican national team ahead of the country’s friendly against Iceland on Friday.

Gonzalez, who switched his national team allegiance to Mexico from the U.S. earlier this year, has been called up for the match after the 18-year-old made his Mexico senior team debut against Bosnia back in January.

“Jonathan, to start with, is part of a group of Mexican players that I’ve referred as having a good present and a promising future and that excites me to continue, along with Edson Alvarez, Omar Govea and others that aren’t here like Orbelin [Pineda] and Erick [Gutierrez],” Osorio said at a news conference on Thursday.

“Gonzalez is a good midfielder and can fight for a place with anyone. Like everyone, he has to improve a lot of things to win a place.

“After deciding to play for Mexico, it is our responsibility to give him a platform to develop and consolidate himself as a player.

“That’s why he’s in this call-up, and hopefully he can establish himself and show the qualities I mentioned.”

The former USMNT youth prospect has quickly become a regular for club side Monterrey, who currently sits sixth in the Liga MX table.

Gonzalez has appeared in 38 matches across all competitions for the four-time league champions and earned honors in the Liga MX Best XI following the 2017 Apertura season.