Sunday Transfer Rumor Roundup: Papiss Cisse to Qatar, Luuk de Jong wants out

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Reports have surfaced prior to Newcastle’s match today that embattled Magpies striker Papiss Cisse could be on his way to the future site of the World Cup.

The Mirror reported the Senegalese striker is the subject of a £9 million ($14.8 million) bid from an unnamed Qatari club, but other reports suggest the bid was turned down.

Later, the Daily Mail reported Newcastle manager Alan Pardew won’t allow Cisse to leave for anything under £10 million ($16.5 million).

Since bursting onto the Premier League scene last year with 13 goals in his first 12 matches, things have gone downhill fast for the 28-year-old.  He has just six starts on the Premier League season (none since early October), and just a single goal since last April.

Borussia Monchengladbach striker Luuk De Jong reportedly wants out of the Bundesliga club.  Having joined Monchengladbach in the summer of 2012 in a big-money move from FC Twente, the 23-year-old has struggled to make the starting lineup ever since arthroscopic knee surgery last October.

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Luuk De Jong has struggled mightily to find the pitch at the Dusseldorf club this season, and would welcome a move elsewhere.

This season, De Jong has made 13 league appearances, but all have come off the bench and only amount to 85 total minutes.  He has not logged a goal yet.  The frustration has boiled over for the Dutch striker, who told Bild that his manager Lucien Favre “does not give me the impression that he wants to build with me.”

He has been linked to Newcastle, although any Premier League club in need of goals with some cash to spend could benefit from a move for the Dutchman. Back in December, Stoke’s Dutch defender Erik Pieters endorsed a move for his countryman.

Today David Moyes was spotted in Sardinia watching the Serie A match between Juventus and Cagliari.  It’s reported the Manchester United manager was interested in scouting Cagliari central defender Davide Astori as well as Juventus midfielder Claudio Marchisio, who scored in the match.

Manchester City goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon impressed in his understudy duties for Joe Hart, and it’s alerted clubs who wish to make him a starter.  La Liga bottomfeeders Real Betis are reportedly the first to make a move, hoping to lure the Romanian shot-stopper with a spot in their starting eleven.

Pantilimon’s defensive teammate Jolean Lescott was rumored to be on his way out after a long spell on the bench, but manager Manuel Pellegrini shot that down in the media.  “When this transfer window is over at the end of January, we will see what happens. At the moment, Joleon will stay here with the team.” Pellegrini also confirmed no bids have been submitted for his services.

The rumors of Kevin De Bruyne‘s move to Wolfsburg took another step forward with reports that the move is near completion. The Daiy Star quoted Wolfsburg director of sport Klaus Allofs as declaring, “It’s not that we can confirm the deal just yet, but we are no longer so far apart with Chelsea that we can’t bridge the differences.”

Barcelona’s Twitter hacked to claim Di Maria signing

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FC Barcelona had eyeballs popping across the Twitterverse for a solid 90 seconds there.

La Liga’s giants Tweeted out a welcome to Angel Di Maria, the current PSG and former Real Madrid star, with the hashtag #DiMariaFCB.

[ MORE: EFL Cup Tues. wrap ]

It was an odd Tweet for 4 a.m. local time, as humourously pointed out by our Andy Edwards, and the hackers were quick to claim credit before any Tweets could be deleted.

So if someone tells you Angel Di Maria is the latest member of Barcelona, be sure to stop the spread of fake news.

On a day where Barca’s reportedly ready to up their bid for Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho, something tells us someone at the Camp Nou is turning over their keys to the club’s social media.

Rescheduled Yankees game moves NYCFC-Houston to Connecticut

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A rescheduled New York Yankees game is moving New York City FC to Connecticut.

Relax, it’s only for a day.

NYCFC will entertain the Houston Dynamo at Rentschler Field at 3 p.m. on Sept. 23 instead of their regular home of Yankee Stadium.

[ MORE: EFL Cup Tues. wrap ]

The club will offer tickets to another match to current ticket holders, and will also discount tickets to the game in East Hartford for fans who hold tickets to the Yankee Stadium game and want to travel for the Dynamo match (More info here, if you are in either of those camps).

This is the third of three scheduled seasons NYCFC will play at Yankee Stadium, and it doesn’t look like it’ll find a new home any time soon.

Given the everyday nature of Major League Baseball, it’s surprising there have not been more conflicts for NYCFC. We just remain hopeful for the day we can watch NYC’s star-studded roster play on a bigger home field.

“Injustice.” “Incomprehensible.” Ronaldo again protests suspension

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The five-game suspension Cristiano Ronaldo received for making contact with an official is not sitting well with the forward.

Better put: it’s still not sitting well.

Six days ago, Ronaldo took to Instagram to say he was being persecuted after his red card in the Spanish Super Cup.

[ MORE: EFL Cup Tues. wrap ]

Tuesday afternoon, he kept up the strong words by saying the suspension is “incomprehensible” and “an injustice.”

Roughly translated, Ronaldo posted, “One more incomprehensible decision. From injustice to injustive, they will never overcome me. And as always I will come back stronger. Thank you to all who have supported me.”

We’ll say this: He’s a really good soccer player.

Barca to offer Liverpool $176m for Coutinho

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Barcelona is insane.

Desperate following a rough two-legged loss to Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup, the Blaugranas are reportedly ready to offer $176 million to Liverpool for Philippe Coutinho.

Read it again: $176 million for Philippe Coutinho. It’s about $126 million with $12 million more when Barca clinches a UCL spot over the next four seasons (which they have done every year since finishing sixth in 2002-03).

[ MORE: EFL Cup Tues. wrap ]

Even in this transfer market, that’s nuts. Crazy to offer, and maybe even crazier not to accept.

That’s pretty much two-thirds of the Neymar money. Two-thirds (I keep repeating myself with this story)

It’s even a convenient out for Jurgen Klopp, who’s said Liverpool is not a selling club. Here, he can say with a straight face that the club can improve with this money by selling a player who has — and I recognize it’s not all about goals and assists — one double-digit goal season in his career and a career single-season high of seven PL assists (done thrice).

Almost anyone who’s had the audacity to say the Reds should accept the bid has often been shot down by the Anfield faithful online. “It’ll ruin our season” and “How do we replace him this late?” are the common cries.

To the first question: No, it won’t. To the second: Easy?

It’s not like-for-like, but nearly every player in the world is available for $176 million. It’s not like-for-like, but here’s a short list: Antoine Griezmann, Gareth Bale, Paulo Dybala, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Marco Reus… Shoot! Klopp could sign 2-3 of his favorite BVB alums.

With this fee, Coutinho would become the second-highest transfer fee of all-time, behind only Neymar. There are makeweights Barcelona could offer that would make the deal even more intriguing to the Reds: Arda Turan, Andre Gomes, Denis Suarez.

Look at it from a neutral’s eyes — which I know is hard from the number of times I’ve read @ Tweets that say, “The only people who would like this deal are fans of Chelsea or United!” — at some point, it becomes unreasonable to not take advantage of Barcelona’s desperation. Maybe Coutinho is worth the “fit” for Barca, but rejecting this fee is more illogical than the offer itself.

At the risk of inflaming every more Liverpool supporters, Ross Barkley is probably going to cost someone $35 million and he’s a year and a half younger (Coutinho is a superior player right now, but we’re talking about the market here).

And, lastly, at some point you’re telling your entire team room that you’re willing to turn down near record money — it would be the highest non-buyout clause transfer ever — to keep a player from his dream club.

Take the money. Use it. Move on.