FBL-ESP-LIGA-REALMADRID-BETIS

Done Deal: Transfer activity from Deadline Day, September 2

Leave a comment

It’s over, finally, and here’s the carnage – today’s transfers from Europe’s top five leagues. Good luck, and see you in January:

ENGLAND

Arsenal – Özil. Arsenal bought Mesut Özil, shattering their transfer record to do so. They also secured a loan deal for Palermo’s Emiliano Viviano, who will compete for playing time in goal.

Aston Villa – Libor Kozák, a 24-year-old forward from the Czech Republic, makes his way from Lazio to Villa Park. The $7.8 million move sees the international arrive on a four-year deal.

Cardiff City – Peter Odemwingie has finally found a new home. Having never regained West Brom’s trust after showing up on QPR’s doorstep last January, the Nigerian international moves to Wales for $3.9 million.

Chelsea – In addition to loaning out Romelu Lukaku, the club sent defender Sam Hutchinson to the Eredivisie, where he will spend the year on loan at Vitesse. From late Sunday: Former Porto speedster Christian Atsu was purchased from Porto and immediately joined Hutchinson on loan at Vitesse.

Crystal Palace – One day after taking on Jimmy Kebe from Reading, the Eagles have added 26-year-old Aaron Mariappa from the Royals. Palace also added Scottish creator Barry Bannan from Aston Villa and 22-year-old defender Jack Hunt from Huddersfield Town. Peter Ramage moves from the Eagles to Barnsley on a one-year loan.

Everton – Former Wigan midfielder and Irish international James McCarthy rejoins his former coach, moving from the Latics. Everton gives up $20 million to get him. The Toffees also added Gareth Barry and Romelu Lukaku, snagging them on one-year loans. Francisco Júnior, a 21-year-old midfielder, goes on loan to Vitesse of the Eredivisie.

Fulham – Elsad Zverotic, a 26-year-old Montenegrin defender/defensive midfielder, joins the Cottagers from Switzerland’s Young Boys. He’s made over 30 appearances for this national team. The club also loaned prospect Cauley Woodrow to Southend United and 20-year-old forward Marcello Trotta to Brentford.

Hull City – 20-year-old defender Conor Townsend will spend the season at Carlisle United, sent out on a year-long loan.

Liverpool – In what may be one of the most significant deals of the window’s last day, Liverpool added Paris Saint-Germain’s Mamadou Sakho, somebody with the talent to slot right in to Brendan Rodgers’ back line. The reported price was $20 million. Tiago Ilori cost slightly less from Sporting Lisbon, the 20-year-old defender moving to Anfield for $10.9 million. Victor Moses, not a part of José Mourinho’s plans at Chelsea, arrives on loan, while Daniel Pacheco was loaned to Alcorcon.

Manchester City – Abdul Razak got some time last year under Roberto Mancini. This year, that time will have to come in Dagestan, with the  20-year-old midfielder loaned out to the Russian Premier League side.  Harry Bunn, a 20-year-old forward, will spend the season at Sheffield United.

Manchester United – Marouane Fellaini’s deal got done. The Everton midfielder joins for a reported $42.5 million. The Red Devils also found a home for Bebé, with Paços de Ferreira taking on the Portuguese for the season. Nick Powell, one year after being purchased by the club, goes out on loan to Wigan. Fabio Coentrao’s move, however, does not appear to have gone through.

Norwich City – Jacob Butterfield, a 23-year-old defender who was not in Chris Hughton’s plans, takes a step down, landing at Middlesborough of the English Championship.

Stoke City – In one of the more curious signings of the day, the Potters added Austrian enigma Marko Arnautovic, paying $3.1 million for the 24-year-old attacker who has also had spells at Twente and Inter Milan. He moves to the Britannia from Werder Bremen, joining Stephen Ireland, who played for Mark Hughes at Manchester City. The Potters lost Ryan Shotton, however, allowing the young defender to leave for Wigan Athletic, with Michael Knightly also departing on a loan to Burnley.

Swansea City – Swans turned to one of Michael Laudrup’s old stomping grounds, Getafe, to take Álvaro Vásquez, a 22-year-old striker, on loan.

Sunderland – Andrea Dossena is back in the Premier League after the man who brought him in for his failed spell at Liverpool, Rafa Benítez, sold him to the Black Cats. Whether Dossena’s ready to play a conventional left back, let alone in the Premier League, will be tested. Manager Paolo Di Canio also brought in Fabio Borini, another Italian, who moves on a season-long loan from Liverpool.

Tottenham – Fans will be sorry to see Benoit Assou-Ekotto go, the Cameroonian sent on loan to Queens Park Rangers for the season. Thomas Carroll will join Assou-Ekotto at Loftus Road.

West Bromwich Albion – Now Steve Clarke can throw numbers at the problem. The Baggies didn’t add a center forward upgrade, but they did get Victor Anichebe from Everton, giving West Brom another attacking option. Stephane Sessegnon also arrives, the Malian international moving from Sunderland. The Baggies also added 29-year-old goakeeper Lee Camp on a free from Norwich as well as Morgan Amalfitano, a surprise loan acquisition from Marseille.

SPAIN

Atlético Madrid – Toby Alderweireld had been linked to a number of Premier League clubs, yet the former Ajax defender ends up at the Vicente Calderon, with the fee undisclosed.

Getafe – After being bought from Arsenal de Sarandi last monthBenfica has loaned 24-year-old Argentine Lisandro López to the Madrid-based club. López has appeared four times for his country.

Sevilla – Talented Russian international Denis Cheryshev will get his first prolonged taste of senior-level competition with the Rojiblancos, the young attacker set to spend the season on loan from Real Madrid.

GERMANY

Eintracht Frankfurt – Attacking midifelder Tranquillo Barnetta, squeezed out at Schalke, will spent the campaign at Eintracht, the clubs having agreed to a year-long loan.

Hamburg – Part of a virtual loan swap between the teams, HSV get 21-year-old striker Pierre-Michel Lasogga. The Bayer 04 youth product has yet to appear at the senior level.

Hertha Berlin – Norwegian midfielder Per Skjelbred, who moved to Hamburg from Rosenborg in 2011, will spend the year in Berlin, on loan from HSV. Hertha also secured a loan deal for Tolga Cigerci, Woflsburg’s 21-year-old midfielder.

Nürnberg – Makoto Hasebe, a Japanese international who’d been out of favor at Wolfsburg, found a new home on deadline day, the defensive midfielder set to replace Serdar Tasci on a two-year deal.

Stuttgart – 19-year-old Bosnian striker Mark Maletic moves to the Dutch second division, Stuttgart having loaned the prospect to FC Oss.

Werder Bremen – 20-year-old defender Florian Hartherz has been sold to SC Paderborn, currently sitting near the bottom of the Germany second division. He’ll be joined there by Johannes Wurtz, the 21-year-old forward sent to Paderborn on loan.

ITALY

Catania – It will be strange to see Jaroslav Plasil  in something other than a Bordeaux kit, but the Czech midfielder moves to the Serie A on loan.

Hella Verona – Young forward Juan Manuel Iturbe joins the newly-promoted side on a one-year loan from FC Porto, the Argentine attacker having been loaned to River Plate earlier this year.

Milan – The Kaka deal from Real Madrid, agreed between clubs yesterday, became official on Monday.

Parma – Joel Obi needs playing time, which he was unlikely to get at Inter Milan. He’ll spend the season on loan at Parma.

Sampdoria – Midfielder Birkir Bjarnson moves to Sampdoria, the 25-year-old Icelandic international having spent last season at Pescara, who’d just recently secured his full rights from Belgium’s Standard Liege. Samp also took 18-year-old Andrea Petagna on loan from Milan.

FRANCE

Bastia – One day after getting Milos Krasic on loan, Bastia have added Ryad Boudebouz from Sochaux, the Algerian winger another injection of talent for the Corsican club.

Marseille – OM finally completed the much-discussed purchase of Florian Thauvin, signing the young attacker to a five-year deal after the 20-year-old had held out from Lille to force a deal. The reported fee is $19.8 million.

Monaco – Another victim of Monaco’s buildup, Greek international Giorgios Tzavellas moves back to his home country, completing a move to Europa League-bound POAK, who finished runners-up to Olympiakos last season.

Nantes – The French side agreed to take 28-year-old midfielder Banel Nicolita on loan from St. Etienne. The right-sider spend six seasons at Steaua Bucharest.

Rennes – Silvio Romero, a 25-year-old Argentine attacker, moves to France, ending his three-plus seasons with Lanús. Over his 105 Primera Division games, Romero scored 28 goals.

Sochaux – Thomas Guerbert, a 24-year-old midfielder from Meaux, moves to this third club in four years, leaving Dijon. The club also takes on 22-year-old Emmanuel Mayuka on loan from Southampton.

Toulouse – 23-year-old Swiss defender François Moubandje makes the step up from Servette FC , the Swiss club having been relegated from the country’s first division.

Valenciennes – Another club benefitting from Monaco’s overstock, Valenciennes will have 25-year-old defender Gary Kagelmacher for the year on loan.

Pardew says Crystal Palace need a “big name” signing this summer

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 21:  Alan Pardew manager of Crystal Palace gives a thumbs up during The Emirates FA Cup Final match between Manchester United and Crystal Palace at Wembley Stadium on May 21, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

After losing to Manchester United in the FA Cup final on Sunday, Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew is already looking ahead to next season.

The Eagles’ boss was happy with his team’s performance against United, but admitted that the club needs to bring in some more talent over the summer transfer window.

MORE: All 2015-16 PL season reviews ]

Speaking about his summer plans, Pardew said he wants to bring a “big name” to Selhurst Park to help Palace continue their plan of growth.

We have shown that we have got talent in the group. We need to refine it a little bit, and we are going to try to do that in the transfer market. But we were a force to be reckoned with against Manchester United. We have given a real good, honest account of ourselves.

I think we have got to get players who are better than this. There is no point in getting players who are not potentially better than the ones we have got. Well, then they have got to be good players. So will there be a big name in there? There’s going to need to be.

After a hot start to the 2015-16 Premier League season, many believed Pardew had a Palace side that was able to compete in the top half of the table for a spot in Europe. However, after sitting fifth on Boxing Day, Palace won just two of their final 21 matches and slid all the way down to 15th on the table.

[ MORE: The best moments of LVG’s memorable yet bizzare tenure at Man United ]

Palace has far too much talent to be languishing near the relegation zone, but Pardew is right that work must be done over the summer. If the club’s new American ownership is willing to spend, a quality striker will be Pardew’s first target.

Last summer’s striker signing Connor Wickham finished the season tied for the team lead with five goals, level with Yohan Cabaye and Scott Dann. When considering that four of Cabaye’s five goals came from the penalty spot and that Dann is a center-back, the Eagles’ lack of attacking depth is quite clear.

FIFA fires finance director Kattner over bonus payments

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND - FEBRUARY 26:  FIFA Acting Secretary General Markus Kattner looks on prior to the Extraordinary FIFA Congress at Hallenstadion on February 26, 2016 in Zurich, Switzerland.  (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)
Getty Images
1 Comment

GENEVA (AP) FIFA has fired finance director and interim secretary general Markus Kattner after an internal investigation revealed he got irregular bonus payments worth millions of dollars.

Kattner was due the payments over a six-year period from 2008-14 from additions to his employment contract, a person familiar with the FIFA investigation said Monday.

The extra payments were signed off by then-President Sepp Blatter and then-secretary general Jerome Valcke, Kattner’s immediate boss in that period.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s FIFA coverage ]

“We don’t yet understand why these payments were made,” the person said on condition of anonymity as details of the investigation are confidential. “These contract provisions were not known widely and not to the appropriate officers at FIFA.”

It is unclear if the contracted payments which came to light last week could form part of a wider investigation of criminal mismanagement at FIFA conducted by Swiss federal prosecutors.

“We are not in a position to determine the legality of the contracts,” the person said, adding that “the appropriate authorities are aware of the issue.”

FIFA’s ethics committee is likely to now open an investigation against the 45-year-old German official, with charges of conflict of interest and disloyalty to FIFA among potential outcomes.

[ MORE: Louis van Gaal officially sacked at Manchester United ]

Kattner joined FIFA as director of finance in 2003 and took the deputy secretary general title in 2007, the year Blatter hired Valcke for the top administrative job of world soccer’s governing body. Kattner was promoted in an interim role when Valcke was suspended last September for financial wrongdoing and then fired in January.

“Markus Kattner has been dismissed from his position effective immediately,” FIFA said in a statement Monday. “FIFA’s internal investigation uncovered breaches of his fiduciary responsibilities in connection with his employment contract.”

FIFA has already announced that United Nations official Fatma Samoura is due to start work next month as the new permanent secretary general.

Kattner’s alleged wrongdoing came to light last Friday, the person said, one week after Samoura’s hiring was announced by President Gianni Infantino.

The 45-year-old German official was at FIFA headquarters on Monday before his firing was announced.

His exit is unconnected with the timing of Samoura’s hiring and expected arrival at FIFA in June, the person said.

[ MORE: Frank Lampard responds after being booed by NYCFC supporters ]

“This is based on documentary evidence that is information which emerged in the last three days,” the person said, with no whistleblower involved in revealing the case.

FIFA is being subjected to an internal investigation led by United States-based legal firm Quinn Emanuel, which is working separately from investigations by federal prosecutors in the U.S. and Switzerland.

As a central figure overseeing FIFA finances for more than 12 years of Blatter’s presidency, Kattner’s name has been linked to allegations in the American and Swiss cases, and investigations of other officials by FIFA’s ethics committee.

Michel Platini has said that his invoice requesting a $2 million payment for backdated salary from FIFA was sent to Kattner in 2010. The now-banned UEFA president got the money approved by Blatter in February 2011.

[ MORE: Uruguay sweating Suarez’s fitness ahead of Copa America Centenario ]

In that case, Platini had a four-year ban confirmed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport this month, and Blatter awaits an appeal at CAS to challenge his six-year ban. They deny wrongdoing.

Kattner is also expected to be sought as a witness in German and Swiss investigations of unexplained payments between German organizers of the 2006 World Cup and FIFA.

When questioned at FIFA news conferences since October, Kattner has said he has been advised by FIFA not to comment on ongoing criminal and ethics cases.

Looking ahead for the USMNT: Two key friendlies before Copa 100

PORT OF SPAIN, TRINIDAD & TOBAGO - NOVEMBER 17: USA's #3 DeAndre Yedlin brings the ball under control as T&T's # 3 Joevin Jones looks on during a World Cup Qualifier between Trinidad and Tobago and USA as part of the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers for Russia 2018 at Hasely Crawford Stadium on November 17, 2015 in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago. (Photo by Ashley Allen Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

With the Copa America Centenario kicking off next week across the United States, what can we expect from the USMNT in their two upcoming friendlies?

After defeating Puerto Rico in a glorified scrimmage on Sunday, the U.S. has two more matches before the tournament that will pose a much tougher challenge for Klinsmann’s men.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s USMNT coverage ]

The USMNT faces Ecuador on Wednesday, May 25 in Texas before traveling to Kansas City to take on Bolivia on Saturday, May 28. Both of those South American sides will be competing in the Copa America.

While Klinsmann may have given some of his younger players minutes against Puerto Rico, you would expect a much stronger lineup to be fielded in the friendlies against Ecuador and Bolivia.

However, as all U.S. Soccer fans know, you can never predict what Jurgen Klinsmann is going to do.

[ MORE: Louis van Gaal sacked after two years at Manchester United ]

Klinsmann confirmed that Brad Guzan will be his number-one goalkeeper at Copa America, which means we will likely see the Aston Villa man in net for both upcoming friendlies.

The USMNT will also get some reinforcements on the back-line with both Geoff Cameron and Matt Besler joining up with the team ahead of the Ecuador match. Cameron and Besler have worked together well as a solid center-back pairing in the past, but Besler will likely find himself behind John Brooks, who is coming off of a great season with Hertha Berlin.

The midfield is probably the biggest question in this team, as Klinsmann has endlessly tinkered with both formation and player selection. Michael Bradley is a surefire pick, but the other spots are much harder to determine. Klinsmann has recalled one of his personal favorites Jermaine Jones to the squad, a veteran who has found some good form in Colorado this season. Jones could slot into the middle alongside Bradley, but at 34-years-old, his lack of pace could cost the U.S. when facing a side like Colombia in the Copa America.

[ MORE: Liverpool set to sign Mainz goalkeeper Loris Karius ]

Borussia Dortmund’s Christian Pulisic is the youngest player in the side, with the 17-year-old entering this week with just one cap to his name. While Klinsmann may have brought the teenager just for the learning experience, fans will want to see Pulisic on the pitch and these friendlies could be a time for the midfielder to earn valuable minutes for his progression. However, if Klinsmann has no plans to play Pulisic at the Copa, it would be better for the team’s consistency if he does not feature in the pre-tournament matches.

Up top, Bobby Wood may have finally done enough to lock down a starting position. With Jozy Altidore out injured, this is Wood’s time to shine and prove he should be Klinsmann’s first choice striker every match.

The USMNT kicks off the Copa America Centenario on June 3 in Santa Clara, California, facing Colombia at Levis Stadium.

Arnautovic’s Stoke future up in the air ahead of EURO 2016

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 23:  Marko Arnautovic of Stoke City looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Stoke City at Etihad Stadium on April 23, 2016 in Manchester, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

After leading Stoke City in scoring this season, Marko Arnautovic may be on his way out.

Despite being under contract for another year, Arnautovic has yet to sign an extension with the Potters as he takes some time to decide on his future.

MORE: All 2015-16 PL season reviews ]

Arnautovic’s current contract contains a release clause of about $18 million, a price many top European clubs would be willing to pay after the winger scored 11 Premier League goals this season.

Speaking with the Stoke Sentinel, Potters’ CEO Tony Scholes said that while they want to sign Arnautovic to a new deal, the player and his agent are holding out.

I would love to appear more knowledgeable than anyone else on this, but the truth is it’s in Marko’s hands. And at the moment, the decision he’s taken is that he doesn’t want to sign yet.

He’s not out of contract for another year, albeit there is a release clause in his contract. We hope he will sign, but as I sit here now I can’t give you a definitive answer on that.

We want him to sign. He knows what we are prepared to pay. We believe this is the best place for him given the season he’s had, but at this moment in time Marko and his agent are biding their time.

Arnautovic is likely waiting to sign a new deal until after the European Championship, which runs from June 10-July 10. A starter for an Austrian team that went undefeated during qualifying, Arnautovic could see his value rise even more if he puts in a good showing in France.

[ MORE: Pirlo, Giovinco left off of Italy’s provisional roster for EURO 2016 ]

Losing Arnautovic would be a huge blow for the Potters, as he was their best player this season and a key piece in the club’s growth moving forward. Stoke is surely a club on the rise, but it’s up to Arnautovic to decide whether his future lies at the Britannia Stadium.