Wednesday’s Transfer Rumor Roundup: Mata to Spurs, Ozil to Arsenal

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Tottenham and Arsenal are said to be battling it out for Chelsea’s Juan Mata, after the Spanish international was left on the bench during Monday’s 0-0 draw with Manchester United. José Mourinho stated Mata would not leave, but the 25-year-old midfielder may want to move elsewhere in London to become the focal point of Arsenal or Spurs’ attack. Mata’s father, also his agent, watched Arsenal’s win over Fenerbache at the Emirates on Tuesday night. Have the Gunners jumped ahead of Spurs?

German international Mesut Ozil, 24, is edging closer to the exit door at Real Madrid after throwing a tantrum when substituted on Monday against Granada. Ozil is reportedly top of Arsenal’s wishlist but the Gunners must be prepared to pay Ozil’s wage demands of $300,000 per week. The attacking midfielder would certainly shine in North London, but is he worth breaking the bank for?

Eliaquim Mangala could arrive at Old Trafford this week, as David Moyes aims to strengthen Manchester United’s defense. The 22-year-old FC Porto defender would add extra cover and competition across the backline, with Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic both injury prone in recent years, it might not be a bad idea to add the highly-rated French international.

Another player Real Madrid and Arsenal are reportedly chasing is Sevilla midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia. However the 20 year-old could be heading to Monaco for $25 million, according to these reports in France. The French international holding midfeilder has said to have bought out his contract at Sevilla, as he’s part owned by Doyen Sports Investments – the same company who have a stake in Radamel Falcao. So a move to Monaco would make sense.

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Will Ozil join Arsenal?

Elsewhere Manchester United are giving Chelsea a taste of their own medicine, by offering a deal worth $45 million for Brazilian defender David Luiz. The 26-year-old attack-minded center back would be a highly unlikely addition to Moyes’ United squad, however he is looking to strengthen at the back and stranger things have happened.

Sam Allardyce continues to wheel and deal in the transfer market and Honduran international striker Roger Rojas, 23, could join on loan from Club Deportivo Olimpia. Rojas has impressed for Honduras in their recent World Cup qualifying campaign and the Hammers need extra cover up front to challenge Andy Carroll. Big Sam loves a big bargain, and Rojas could become a star at Upton Park.

If Newcastle United do lose French midfielder Yohan Cabaye to Arsenal this week, Alan Pardew has Wigan’s Irish international James McCarthy lined up. The 22-year-old midfielder would love a return to the Premier League following Wigan’s relegation and move to the Magpies would suit everyone. Will the Latics let him leave for $15 million?

Real Madrid winger Angel Di Maria could be heading to Turkish giants Galatasaray, after the two clubs have reportedly agreed a fee for the Argentinian international. Di Maria, 25, may see his minutes diminish considerably at Madrid when Gareth Bale arrives. Seems like a lucrative switch to Istanbul could be on the way.

Crystal Palace may turn to QPR’s controversial midfielder Joey Barton, with the 30-year-old Englishman set to cost $5 million. Barton excelled on loan at Marseille last season but the hotheaded Liverpudlian has not yet received an offer from the French club to return to Ligue 1 and Everton were rumored to be interested. He will want a move away from QPR and the Championship if possible, but are Palace the right club?

CCL: Toronto wins; Wild Herediano comeback

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On a single-digit Tuesday that severely limited the attendance at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, where the Colorado Rapids and Toronto FC dueled in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals.

Jonathan Osorio’s second half goal put the Reds in front and Sebastian Giovinco had a goal and an assist and the visitors take a 2-0 decision back to Ontario.

The best chance of a preseason quality first half saw Dominique Badji flub the best chance of the stage into the feet of Alex Bono.

Toronto took the lead, nabbing the away goal through Osorio’s header of a Sebastian Giovinco cross. And the Atomic Ant got on the board with a goal of his own off an Auro assist with 17 minutes to play.

[ MORE: Georgia teen heading to Schalke ]

Tuesday’s other first leg saw Herediano and Tigres play to a 2-2 draw in Costa Rica, with the Liga MX visitors taking a pair of away goals but shocked by a pair of stoppage time concessions.

Francisco Meza scored in the 15th minute and Lucas Zelarayan seemingly put it to bed with 15 minutes to play.

But Yendrick Ruiz converted a 90th minute penalty kick before ex-DC United forward Jairo Arrieta did this ahead of the Feb. 22 second leg in Mexico.

Another American heads to Schalke: Zyen Jones

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Schalkamerica?

Bundesliga mainstays Schalke have added yet another American, this one 17-year-old Zyen Jones of Atlanta United. Jones is a forward with the U.S. U-17 national team.

Like Josh Sargent, who signed his deal with Werder Bremen on Tuesday, he’ll head overseas and sign a pro contract on Aug. 25, his 18th birthday.

[ MORE: Chelsea-Barca recap | JPW’s 3 things ]

Jones will join several potential USMNT teammates in Gelsenkirchen, including injured senior team midfielder Weston McKennie and youngster Nick Taitague (19). Forward Haji Wright is on loan at Sandhausen.

Report: Simon Dawkins making move to Minnesota

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The Loons are taking a flier on Simon Dawkins.

The London-born Jamaican international hasn’t done a ton since returning to MLS from Derby County, and turned 30 over the offseason, and Paul Tenorio says the player is on his way to Minnesota United.

[ MORE: Chelsea-Barca recap | JPW’s 3 things ]

Dawkins scored 14 goals between 2011-12 with San Jose, but scored just five times in his return to California and was blanked in 14 appearances last season. He registered just 10 shots in those matches.

The left winger would join an attack with Christian Ramirez, Kevin Molino, Ethan Finlay, and a pair of Generations Adidas forwards: Abu Danladi (2017 SuperDraft) and Mason Toye (2018).

Champions League Weds. preview: Sevilla-Man Utd, Shakhtar-Roma

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Jose Mourinho says Manchester United is one round away from having legitimate hopes of winning the UEFA Champions League.

[ MORE: Chelsea-Barca recap | JPW’s 3 things ]

That makes the Round of 16 tie against Sevilla — beginning Wednesday in Spain — a bit of a dream qualifier for the Red Devils.

“I normally say that Champions League dreams start around the quarter-finals and not yet in the last 16,” Mourinho said on ManUtd.com. “Last 16 still looks a long way to go. When a team reaches the quarter-finals, I think it’s the moment where even the teams that are not favourites – which is our case – they start realising that anything is possible.

The injury-hit side got a bit of a boost on Tuesday in Sevilla, where Paul Pogba, Antonio Valencia, Marcus Rashford and Ander Herrera all trained ahead of the first leg.

As for the hosts, manager Vincenzo Montella admitted that he hopes Pogba won’t play, and joked that he’d prefer to tie up and “padlock” Alexis Sanchez in a bid to defend against the Chilean star.

The final Round of 16 tie to start will be Roma’s pairing with Shakhtar Donetsk, with the first leg taking place in Ukraine.

Shakhtar hasn’t played in some time, but the great equalizer is the bitter cold at Donbass Arena, where the temperature is set to be between 21 and 28 degrees Fahrenheit come kickoff.

Don’t worry, Roma fans, Daniele De Rossi is busy breathing fire into any teammates angling for excuses:

“The cold weather could affect things a little because we’re not used to it but at the end of the day it comes down to how well you perform out there. We must be mentally ready from the get-go because the cold might hit us in the opening minutes.

“If it was that much of a factor, these teams would win the Champions League every year. You don’t go through because of the weather.”