Additions of James McCarthy, Gareth Barry help Everton offset Fellaini loss

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For a team reputed to be a bit cash-strapped, Everton had an active deadline day, one fueled by Manchester United’s quest to sign their two most-prominent players: Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini. Bill Kenwright and Roberto Martínez were ultimately able to hold on to the one they truly wanted to keep, Baines, while getting a heavy chunk of change for the Belgian always destined to go. That however, left the Toffees with some work to replace the quality Fellaini took from the squad, and it was no surprise Martínez looked to his old stomping grounds to strengthen.

James McCarthy had been linked with Everton ever since his former boss took the Toffees’ job in early summer. The move just made sense. Dave Whelan, however, had Wigan hold out, at times approaching the same rebuking tone that Everton took while rejecting Manchester United. Ultimately, however, the Ireland international moved to Goodison Park for just over $20 million, though Whelan, always good for an honest evaluation, offered the obvious about Monday’s pomp:

“Why they leave it so late, I do not understand. But we have accepted the offer from Everton for James McCarthy.”

Earlier in the day, Whelan was equally candid (and more expansive) to the Irish Independent:

“Roberto is chasing James. If Everton sell Fellaini, they are going to come in again for our boy.

“It depends whether Fellaini goes today. I have heard that he’s definitely going.

“If Fellaini goes, Everton are going to get their £30m or whatever. Roberto knows what James is valued at, so they’ve got to come back in with the right amount. You’ve got to be talking £14m or maybe a little more.”

I suppose that’s the circumstance to go with McCarthy’s pomp.

The now former Latic isn’t the only midfield reinforcement Martínez was able to snag with his Fellaini money. Gareth Barry, a former regular at Manchester City who had missed out on the first three games of this season, heads for Everton, albeit on loan. Making City-level money, he would have otherwise been a poor fit for Everton, but with a deal worked out between the Toffees and the Sky Blues, Barry should help replace some of the defensive value lost with the Fellaini sale.

This is about as good Everton could have hoped for, should they lose one of their big two. In McCarthy, Barry, and Romelu Lukaku, Everton could even be better than they were Monday morning. Players have to bed in, and only one of them is on a permanent deal, but although the Toffees have lost Marouane Fellaini, there’s isn’t reason to think they’re worse for it.

Retailer removes T-shirt from sale over Hillsborough links

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LONDON (AP) A British retailer has withdrawn a T-shirt from sale in its stores and online following complaints that its design could be associated with the Hillsborough soccer disaster.

[ MORE: Liverpool, Man City drawn in UCL quarterfinals ]

Topman had on sale a red shirt with a large “96” on the back and the phrase “what goes around comes around” underneath. The word “Karma” is written on one of the sleeves.

Ninety-six people were crushed to death in the Hillsborough stadium disaster, which happened in Sheffield in April 1989 at an FA Cup semifinal match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.

Topman said it “apologizes unreservedly for any offense caused by this T-shirt” and that the “garment has been removed from sale online and in stores.”

The retailer said the design was inspired by a Bob Marley track, with the number referring to the year of the re-release.

Cosmos, Miami FC petition USSF for 2018 U.S. Open Cup entry

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NASL’s decision to cancel the 2018 regular season has caused significant ramifications, with the latest forcing several clubs to be excluded from the U.S. Open Cup.

The New York Cosmos and Miami FC — both of whom participated in the 2017 U.S. Open Cup have not been named among the eligible teams for the 2018 edition following NASL’s cancellation of the league season.

Now, the two teams have petitioned to U.S. Soccer and its new president, Carlos Cordeiro, to rethink its decision and allow the clubs to play despite not belonging to a professional league.

Both clubs do boast reserve teams though — New York Cosmos B and Miami 2 — which is the lead argument from each organization as to why U.S. Soccer should grant the teams an exemption and a spot in the tournament.

Cosmos B and Miami FC 2 will both play in the NPSL once again in 2018, with both rosters largely comprised of senior team players.

As it stands, 94 teams have been placed in the 2018 Open Cup field, as announced by U.S. Soccer on Wednesday.

Both open letters from the respective clubs can be found below.

Brazil’s Luis could miss World Cup after leg fracture

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MADRID (AP) Brazilian left back Filipe Luis has a leg fracture that could stop him going to the World Cup in Russia.

[ MORE: Arsenal draws CSKA Moscow in Europa quarters ]

Atletico Madrid said Friday that Luis sustained the injury to his left leg in the second half of the Spanish team’s 5-1 rout of Lokomotiv Moscow in the Europa League round-of-16 match on Thursday.

The club did not say how long Luis will be sidelined. Similar injuries have required at least six weeks of recovery time and longer if surgery is required.

The 32-year-old Luis was called up by Brazil coach Tite for friendlies against Russia in Moscow on March 23 and against Germany in Berlin on March 27. Brazil’s first game at the World Cup is against Switzerland on June 17.

Luis was injured while trying to prevent Lokomotiv forward Eder taking a shot from inside the area in the 60th minute. He successfully cleared the ball but his leg was hit from behind.

Luis left the field on a stretcher and tests Friday in Madrid confirmed the fracture in his lower leg.

Atletico advanced 8-1 on aggregate after the victory in Russia.

More AP Spanish soccer coverage:

Casemiro: Neymar “would get along very well with Cristiano” at Real

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The speculation (transfer) train keeps chugging along as domestic seasons near their conclusion, and one rumor continues to be fueled linking one of the world’s top players to Real Madrid.

[ MORE: FA Cup preview ]

Neymar’s time at Paris Saint-Germain has been short, less than a season to be precise, but the Brazil international could be moving on from the Parc des Princes sooner rather than later after his side crashed out of the UEFA Champions League recently against Real.

Nothing concrete has been determined about Neymar’s future, but Real Madrid continues to be linked with the South American star, and one current Real player feels Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo would get along “very well.”

“[Neymar] has always been spectacular, since he was 11 years old. He does crazy things,” Real midfielder Casemiro told El Partidazo .l”I don’t think there is any chance that he will come to Real, but you have to ask [Madrid president] Florentino Perez.

“He knows that the door is always open for him in Madrid, but he is happy in Paris. He always says that he is happy there, that he is comfortable in Paris. There are many Brazilians there too, it is very quiet there, but whether it’s possible you have to ask Florentino.

“With the quality that he has, I would sign him for sure. I hope he comes this season.

“He is a great player, one of the top three in the world. He can do whatever he wants off the pitch if he continues to do what he does on it.

“He would get along very well with Cristiano, very well.”

Real is currently in the midst of a historic run in the Champions League, having won the competition three times in the last four seasons.

Casemiro isn’t the only Real player eager to bring in a talent such as Neymar though.

Defender Dani Carvajal also recently told the media that he would be ecstatic to have a teammate like the Brazilian come into the fold at the Santiago Bernabeu.