Kyle Walker

Wednesday Transfer Rumor Roundup: Remy, Guarin, Salah and premium prices

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Who’s going where (in theory) today? Oh, goodness me, it’s Wednesday’s Transfer Rumor Roundup!

— Does the world need a Mario Balotelli who isn’t calm? He sure doesn’t think so, and as such he’s putting an end to rumors that he could leave AC Milan for the blue pastures of Stamford Bridge.

–If Chelsea is really interested in dynamic attacker Fredy Guarin, they’re going to have to prove it with 15 million pounds. Jose Mourinho offered 13 million to start but saw the bid rejected, as Inter Milan says their star isn’t for sale. The 27-year-old is out of contract after this season and has 7 goals in 47 matches for Inter and has appeared 47 times for Colombia.

Guarin is No. 5 in PST’s Top 20 to watch in this window. Have you checked out the list?

— Harry Redknapp’s really coming out of his shell lately, isn’t he? The rarely-reserved QPR manager is shocked that Newcastle United haven’t dropped 16 million pounds to outright buy now-on-loan Loic Remy. The Frenchmen has been a revelation at Newcastle, the club that nearly purchased him last January before QPR burst through the door with an eight million pound transfer after an agreement with the Magpies and Remy seemed in place.

Well, NUFC manager Alan Pardew has been keen on keeping Remy around full-time, but not at twice the price of last year’s figure. Newcastle haven’t reportedly made any offers yet, and QPR would like to keep their Remy options open should they get promoted again, but Redknapp said 15 or 16 million would be his magic number. Ever shy about speaking his mind, Redknapp also has laughed off swapping London jobs should Sam Allardyce find himself out of the West Ham United gig.

— Kyle Walker is a constant starter at White Hart Lane and it’s difficult to believe Spurs have an interest in unloading the England back, but when the vast currency of PSG and Monaco comes calling, can they — or he — resist? Staying with Spurs, as mentioned yesterday, it looks like Erik Lamela wants out of Tottenham. At 21, he’s failed to have the impact expected by Spurs nor the player and may prefer a return to Italy. Oh… and Michael Bradley to WHL?

— Liverpool was ready to land Mohamad Salah in what could’ve been the move of the period, but Zenit St. Petersberg looks set to double the Reds bid. Double. The linked report makes the point that Basel worries more about the highest bid than anything else, which could spell disaster for the Reds, Spurs, Manchester United and anyone else thinking they could land the Egyptian star at a cheaper rate.

— Much has been made of Paul Lambert’s desire to bring Wes Hoolahan to Villa Park, but Norwich City says that desire for the 31-year-old will go unrequited (especially after a very low bid). The Canaries won’t be losing their ace, and a big factor may be how Lambert left Norwich.

— Could Arsenal be ready and willing to spend upwards of 33 million to get Jackson Martinez from Porto?

Bayern’s Vidal says “ugly” Atletico not deserved UCL finalists

MADRID, SPAIN - APRIL 27: Juanfran of Atletico Madrid and Arturo Vidal of Bayern Munich argue during the UEFA Champions League semi final first leg match between Club Atletico de Madrid and FC Bayern Muenchen at Vincente Calderon on April 27, 2016 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
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Bayern Munich midfielder Arturo Vidal has declared “ugly” Atletico Madrid unworthy finalists in the UEFA Champions League.

Bayern was eliminated in the Champions League semifinal by Atleti on Tuesday, with Diego Simeone’s Spanish side advancing on away goals.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s UCL coverage ]

However, Vidal believed Bayern were the better team in the second leg, saying Atletico played “ugly football” to get through.

Today ugly football – Atletico – played against the best football in the world. The only time they saw the ball was for the goal.

They are going to be dreaming about us right up to the final. They did not have the ball, they took on the best team in the world, they took their chances and got to the final.

The best does not always win in football, like today. They are not deserved finalists.

Bayern Munich controlled more than 70-percent of possession and had 33 shots compared to Atletico’s nine, but those stats mean little as Antoine Griezmann’s away goal was enough to send Atleti to the final.

[ MORE: Former England striker Joe Cole headed to NASL’s Tampa Bay Rowdies ]

Atletico may not play the most attractive football, but after eliminating Barcelona and Bayern Munich in consecutive legs, it’s hard to argue anyone deserves this more than Simeone’s men.

Europa League preview: Liverpool, Shakhtar look to overcome Spanish foes

VILLARREAL, SPAIN - APRIL 28:  Cedric Bakambu of Villarreal is watched by the Liverpool defence during the UEFA Europa League semi final first leg match between Villarreal CF and Liverpool at Estadio El Madrigal on April 28, 2016 in Villarreal, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
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The second leg of the Europa League semifinals kick off tomorrow, with two La Liga sides looking to make it an all-Spanish final.

[ MORE: Premier League Playback ]

Villarreal holds a 1-0 lead over Liverpool, while Sevilla scored two away goals in their 2-2 draw at Shakhtar Donetsk.

Liverpool vs. Villarreal – 3:05 p.m. ET
Villarreal won first leg 1-0

Adrian Lopez’s late winner in the first leg has given Villarreal a slight lead, while the Spanish side did well not to concede an away goal. However, Liverpool have overcome deficits at Anfield before, including their memorable 4-3 victory over Borussia Dortmund in the quarterfinals. Emre Can is back fit for the Reds, as manager Jurgen Klopp will hope his fellow German can help the team to a cup final in his first year in charge.

[ RELATED: Liverpool preparing for another big Thursday night at Anfield ]

Sevilla vs. Shakhtar Donetsk – 3:05 p.m. ET
First leg ended 2-2 draw 

Sevilla are looking to become the first team to win three consecutive Europa League titles as the two-time defending champions face off against Shakhtar Donetsk. Sevilla are in the driver’s seat after scoring two away goals in Ukraine, and will feel confident of advancing to the final with a great home record at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium.

Men in Blazers podcast: Celebrating Leicester’s title with Arlo White

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In the latest Men in Blazers podcast, Rog and Davo celebrate Leicester City’s improbable Premier League title with Leicester’s own Arlo White.

All of the MiB content — pods, videos and stories can be seen here, but to really stay in touch, follow, subscribe, click here:

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European police say Russian mafia infiltrating soccer clubs

LISBON, PORTUGAL - NOVEMBER 04:  Sporting Lisbon fans celebrate after their team score a goal during the Portuguese Liga match between Sporting Lisbon and Uniao Leiria at the Alvalade XXI Stadium on November 4, 2005 in Lisbon, Portugal.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
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LISBON, Portugal (AP) Portuguese and European police say they have broken up a cell of an important Russian mafia group that allegedly laundered money through European football clubs.

Europol, the European Union’s law enforcement agency, said in a statement Wednesday the group identified EU football clubs in financial distress and infiltrated them with benefactors who brought much-needed cash.

[ MORE: Man City bounced from UCL ]

Once they were in control, the mobsters allegedly laundered millions of euros (dollars) through player transfers, TV rights deals and betting.

Portuguese and European police on Tuesday raided third-division Portuguese club Uniao de Leiria and arrested three key members of the Russian gang. Three other Portuguese clubs’ premises were searched.

Europol said the operation helped identify serious crimes in Austria, Germany, and the United Kingdom, though it gave no details.