Real Madrid CF v Real Betis Balompie - La Liga

Friday’s Transfer Rumor Roundup: Morata to Arsenal, Kalou to Tottenham

Leave a comment

Arsenal are still in the hunt for Real Madrid youngster Alvaro Morata, but they now face competition from Inter Milan and Juventus as they try to gatecrash the Gunners. Morata, 21, is said to be available for $16 million and despite Arsenal playing it cool with regards to a new striker arriving in January, it’s believed Morata is the man they want. A clinical finisher who has always looked sharp coming off the bench for Real, Morata would be a perfect poacher to grab some important goals for the Gunners. Can Arsenal tie him down to a deal before the Serie A giants sneak in?

Salomon Kalou‘s name is still floating about, as the former Chelsea forward is linked with a move to Tottenham Hotspur. Kalou, 28, is currently playing for Ligue 1 side Lille but fancies a return back to England and spurs boss Tim Sherwood believes the Ivorian attacker could be the perfect replacement for Toronto-bound Jermain Defoe. A deal for Kalou could see him cost just $4.5 million and he’s expected in London over the next few days.

Everton are still chasing striker Michy Batshuayi from Standard Liege, as the 20-year-old forward is attracting interest from Benfica. Batshuayi has apparently been training on his own this week, as the Belgian international’s agent revealed to Everton that his client was available for $10 million. Liege weren’t happy with that and it seems as though Batshuayi could be a great replacement for Nikita Jelavic who left for Hull City earlier this week.

West Ham are continuing their search for a new striker, and with a move for Southampton’s Rickie Lambert stalling the Hammers have turned their attentions to former AC Milan star Alberto Gilardino. Currently playing for Genoa in Serie A Gilardino, 31, could help solve Sam Allardyce’s problems up front and give the East London club some extra punch up top to stave off the lingering threat of relegation. The Hammers failed in a loan bid for Gilardino this summer, but seem set to nip back in and snatch up the former Italian international during the January window.

Newcastle United are braced for a monster bid from AC Milan for goalkeeper Tim Krul. The Dutch international has been earmarked by his countryman and new Milan boss Clarence Seedorf, after the 25-year-old ‘keeper has excelled in the Premier League this season. Valued at $12 million by the Magpies, it would be a massive blow if Krul left Tyneside but with a chance to play for one of Europe’s biggest teams, it’s difficult to see Alan Pardew standing in the Dutchman’s way. Let’s see how this one plays out.

MORE: Tuesday’s Transfer Rumor Roundup
MORE: Wednesday’s Transfer Roundup

MLS Snapshot: Orlando City SC 2-1 Montreal Impact

Cyle Larin, Orlando City SC

The game in 100 words (or less): For weeks, it was a widely held belief that the Montreal Impact would snatch up the sixth and final playoff place in the Eastern Conference with little or no resistance from their opposition. As they went six games unbeaten (four wins), all looked to be setting up perfect for the club that fired Frank Klopas midseason, but there was another team in the race for sixth that kept winning themselves: Orlando City SC. On Saturday night, Montreal and Orlando City faced off at the Citrus, with the expansion Lions claiming their fourth-straight victory with a 2-1 triumph. Montreal now holds a one-point lead on Orlando in the race for sixth, and have two games in hand, but it’s no longer a foregone conclusion L’Impact will qualify for the playoffs no resistance whatsoever.

[ MORE: | Week 30 TOTW | POTW ]

Three moments that mattered

33′ — Bush’s mistake gifts Larin the opening goal — Larin did what your taught to do as a striker — “put it on frame, test the goalkeeper” — but in no universe does a shot so feeble have any business finding the back of the net. Evan Bush has been great this year. Hopefully (for Montreal’s sake), this howler doesn’t turn into the yips with the playoffs looming.

43′ — Hall’s “mistake” gifts Oduro an equalizer — Dominic Oduro equalized in the 43rd minute, when he took the ball out of the hands of Tally Hall and smashed it into the back of the net, but the goal should have been disallowed due to Hall having full control of the ball.

80′ — Hines hits the winner for Orlando — Seb Hines put the ball back into the mixer and just so happened to find the back of the net in the 80th minute. Sometimes that’s all it takes.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Seb Hines

Goalscorers: Larin (33′), Oduro (43′), Hines (80′)

MLS Snapshot: NY Red Bulls 2-1 Columbus Crew SC

Bradley Wright-Phillips, New York Red Bulls
Leave a comment

The game in 100 words (or less): Two weeks in a row Columbus Crew SC have had a chance to go top of the Eastern Conference with a victory, and two weeks in a row Crew SC have failed to take a single point from massively important fixtures. Their latest defeat, a 2-1 humbling at the hands of the East-leading New York Red Bulls, started so well for Gregg Berhalter’s side, but was undone by a pair of costly, comedic defensive errors that allowed Lloyd Sam and Bradley Wright-Phillips (15th of the season) to erase an early deficit (Justin Meram) and win all three points. The result not only keeps the Red Bulls top of the East, but gives them a three- and four-point cushion with three and two games in hand on their nearest competitors., D.C. United and New England Revoltion respectively. For Crew SC, they’re four points back of the Red Bulls in fourth place, one point ahead of fifth-place Toronto FC, who have a game in hand.

[ MORE: | Week 30 TOTW | POTW ]

Three moments that mattered

9′ — Meram pokes it past Robles for an early lead — Meram “earned” his goal all the way back in midfield, when the Iraqi international’s mazy run took a routine turnover inside Crew SC’s defensive half and turned it into a dangerous counter-attacking opportunity. Harrison Afful overlapped and provided the cross for Meram to send home.

12′ — Sam capitalizes on multiple mistakes to equalize — Crew SC pass the ball out of the back. They don’t boot it forward to clear. It’s just what they do. Sometimes, that’ll bite you. When your goalkeeper and right back both have blunders clearing the ball 10 seconds apart, you probably deserve to concede an ugly, scrappy goal.

21′ — Wright-Phillips capitalizes on more defensive gaffes — See the above description for Red Bulls goal no. 1.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Damien Perrinelle

Goalscorers: Meram (9′), Sam (12′), Wright-Phillips (21′)