Can Lamela sparkle at Spurs?

Gareth Bale fallout: Roma’s Erik Lamela appears headed for Tottenham

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After earlier reporting from NBC Sports Insider Neil Ashton saying Gareth Bale’s transfer to Real Madrid is imminent (Sky Sports’ Guillem Balague, The Guardian’s Sid Lowe, Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl have confirmed the report), Daniel Levy’s replacement pieces are starting to come together. Willian’s expensive move from Anzhi Makhachkala is practically done, with the Brazilian attacker having undergone a physical in London today.

But Willian’s far from the only piece Spurs are likely to bring in with their $120 million booty. Fabio Coentrao could possibly be included in the deal — the Portuguese international potentially becoming André Villas-Boas’s new left back — while on the other flank, the long-rumored move of Erik Lamela could finally happen.

Earlier today, reports from the U.K. rekindled the Lamela-to-Spurs connection, but after news of Bale’s probable news broke, the 21-year-old Argentine’s potential transfer was also considered probable. Lamela’s brother was even spotted on Twitter telling friends his brother “more than surely is going to England.”

Coming off a breakout season for Roma (15 league goals), the River Plate product would compete with Aaron Lennon for the right winger’s spot in Villas Boas’s starting XI. Garnering a transfer fee of just under $47 million, Lamela should be round out an attacking three that also features Roberto Soldado and Willian, provided he makes a smooth adjustment to his new club.

Lamela would be the second major loss for Roma within a week, with Pablo Osvaldo having already moved to Southampton. And Miralem Pjanic’s name has also been floating around the papers, though will Lamela’s salary off the books, the talented Bosnian will likely stay under Rudi Garcia’s watch.

Beyond losing the salary commitment, Roma would see a huge boon from a Lamela sale. As a 19-year-old, the Argentine attacker was purchased from River Plate for $16 million, with an additional $2-$3 million in potential bonuses. If Lamela’s current reported price is true, Roma stands to make around $30 million less salary paid for their two-year investment in the potential Spur.

Depending on how much money comes with Coentrao (or, if Coentrao goes to Tottenham at all), Spurs’ Bale money may be gone after their Willian and Lamela purchases. Together, they’ll got Tottenham $77 million, and while Bale’s valuation is said to be anywhere from $120 to $134 million, a big chunk of that might be Coentrao. The Étienne Capoué could have also been made with the Bale money in mind.

In all likelihood, though, Spurs could have another major purchase in them. At least they have the flexibility to go out and add another defender, if they’re so inclined. But with Willian, Lamela, and Coentrao potentially coming in, Villas-Boas’s could have a surprisingly enviable squad, considering he’ll have just lost his best player.

There may yet be life after Bale.

Ronaldo shows no sign of injury while hanging with Conor McGregor

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Cristiano Ronaldo may not be ready for the UEFA Super Cup, but he’s no longer limping around.

To explore the Real Madrid superstar’s Instagram is to see Ronaldo, sometimes clothed, hanging out with celebrities.

In the last couple weeks we’ve seen him with Eva Longoria, Jennifer Lopez, and now his “bro” Conor McGregor.

[ MORE: Who wins the League of Hate? ]

Wait, what?

Yeah, Ronaldo is friends with the MMA star, and showed no ill form (and no brace of any kind) in several posed photos with McGregor.

Although admittedly, McGregor’s IG game is a bit better: The Irish fighter posted a photo of himself sunning in his briefs with the caption, “I’m gonna get him on the Forbes list by next year. But I’m gonna get him on the tan by next week.”

Good luck with both, bro.

Great to see you bro!!💪🏽🔝

A photo posted by Cristiano Ronaldo (@cristiano) on Jul 24, 2016 at 3:48pm PD

Bruce pens letter to Hull fans: “Desperately wanted to make it work”

YORK, ENGLAND - JULY 23: Steve Bruce manager of  Hull City ahead of the pre-season friendly match between York City and Hull City at Bootham Cresent on July 23, 2014  in York, England. (Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images)
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Many Hull City fans didn’t want Steve Bruce to leave the club, and this open letter shows why.

After leaving the club by “mutual consent” on Friday — it was first widely reported that he quit — fans protested at Hull’s game on Monday.

[ MORE: Who wins the League of Hate? ]

Bruce may’ve had his problems with Hull’s ownership, but he certainly got his supporters’ feelings right down to the core.

From the Hull Daily Mail:

My biggest regret is having to walk away but it was a decision I had to make for the sake of the club. The last 12 months have been very tough and it felt like the right step for the club to move forward in a different direction and with someone else in charge.

I desperately wanted to make it work this summer and be a Premier League manager again but, sadly, it wasn’t to be. Nevertheless, I’ve left Hull City with some fantastic memories that I’ll always cherish, including just eight weeks ago in the Championship play-off final at Wembley.

Class from the longtime boss, and we imagine he’ll have a job very soon if he wants it.

Report: Everton to activate release clause of Stoke’s Arnautovic

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 28: Marko Arnautovic (1st L) of Stoke City competes for the ball against Seamus Coleman (2nd L) and Gareth Barry (1st Rof Everton during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Stoke City at Goodison Park on December 28, 2015 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Dave Thompson/Getty Images)
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Everton is going to activate Marko Arnautovic‘s $16 million release clause to bring the Stoke City striker to Goodison Park, according to a report out of Austria.

Stoke had been trying to sign Arnautovic to a contract extension, but the player was reportedly prepared to play out the final year of his deal.

[ MORE: Who wins the League of Hate? ]

The huge 27-year-old Austrian has been with Stoke since 2013, and broke through with 11 Premier League goals last season.

Arnautovic would give Everton support behind Romelu Lukaku, and insurance in case the Toffees do wind up selling their Belgian striker. Everton also has Arouna Kone as a potential target forward, but Oumar Niasse is expecting to leave after less than a year at Goodison Park.

Chelsea wins the League… of Hate; Bournemouth, Leicester not hated

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 27:  Diego Costa of Chelsea celebrates his team's second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Chelsea at St Mary's Stadium on February 27, 2016 in Southampton, England.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
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A family of English newspapers conducted its annual survey of which teams are the most hated in the Premier League, and there’s a new champion.

Manchester United has dropped to second in the table to Chelsea in what the Manchester Evening News called the “League of Hate”.

[ MORE: Rooney’s England position not set ]

According to the MEN, 10,000 fans were quizzed on their love and hate:

A national survey asked fans of each top flight club which sides they hate, and which they love, and the west London club came out as the most disliked club overall.

United, who won the dubious accolade last year, have been revealed to be the next most reviled side.

It’s no surprise that the league’s more successful sides sit atop the table while newer PL clubs like Bournemouth and Burnley are not reviled. That said, Leicester’s dream story has them 19th. How much more success do they need to have before shooting up the hate table?

Here’s the Top Five, and all results:

1) Chelsea
2) Manchester United
3) Liverpool
4) Manchester City
5) Arsenal