Monday’s Transfer Rumor Roundup: Dani Osvaldo loan to West Ham in cards

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Leading the transfer headlines today is the proposed swap deal that is allegedly in place between Chelsea and Atletico Madrid. The deal, which was discussed at length earlier today, would see Thibaut Courtois and Diego Costa swap parent clubs next summer handing Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho the closest thing to a replacement of his beloved Didier Drogba.

At Old Trafford, David Moyes is finally reaping the benefits of managing a deep-pocketed club after shelling out £37.1M for Juan Mata and is supposedly poised to do the same thing for Borussia Dortmund striker Maro Reus. If you’re thinking such a deal is highly unlikely, I’m with you. The idea of selling Reus during the same year BVB sells Robert Lewandowski to Bayern Munich would be a crippling loss for Dortmund and one that their financial sharps are unlikely to take.

A player United have been linked to for a few weeks now is Southampton left-back, Luke Shaw. The 18-year old  star has reportedly piqued the interest of Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, who has lost so much faith in Ashley Cole that he’s using the right-footed Cesar Azpilicueta in his place. Still, ‘The Special One’ has hinted that their January business has come to a close meaning any move for Shaw wouldn’t likely happen until the summer.

One way a player can manufacture a transfer move for himself is by head-butting his teammate directly in the face. Such a decision generally pits the rest of the club, managers and fans against you in a rage thereby necessitating a change of venue. Enter Dani Osvaldo, who smashed teammate Jose Fonte in the face last week. And wouldn’t you know it? Rumors today have Osvaldo heading to West Ham on a loan move. This deal could happen simply because the Hammers have no more money for purchases and are still desperate for healthy strikers.

Over at Everton the double leg break suffered by Costa Rican defender-come-midfielder Bryan Oviedo means Bobby Martinez may take another stroll through the market, this time to buy Feyenoord defender Bruno Martins Indi. BMI, as we here at Pro Soccer Talk like to call him, would reportedly cost £8M which is about enough money to make chairman Bill Kenwright shed tears. Where’s the next £60K Seamus Coleman? That’s the real question.

The most annoying potential transfer in the cards involves Blackpool’s Tom Ince. Since Daddy got canned as manager last week, the young winger looks poised to finally make his move to the Prem. Everton had a fleeting interest but now it’s down to Swansea and Liverpool to see which side can overpay for what will undoubtedly be the biggest primadonna transfer of the winter.

Finally, the most likely deal to go down is Cardiff City’s imminent loan signings of Manchester United players Wilfried Zaha and Fabio da Silva. Bluebirds manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be thanking his lucky stars if this agreement is struck because Zaha and Fabio are the types of players who just might be able to have Cardiff from relegation.

The 2 Robbies: North London Runs Rampant On Merseyside

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In today’s podcast, Robbie Mustoe and Robbie Earle talk two exciting Premier League matches. First, they discuss Tottenham Hotspur’s 4-1 win against Liverpool (0:24). Mustoe thought Spurs were gifted the win by the Reds (0:50), while Earle thought they were very impressive indeed. Then, they break down Arsenal’s 5-2 win at Goodison Park (17:38).

Join Earle & Mustoe on The 2 Robbies Football Show, Saturdays at 5pm ET. Listen on the NBCSports Radio App and call 855-323-4622 in the U.S. for lively passionate debate.

All of the The 2 Robbies content can be accessed by clicking on this link:

Click here for The 2 Robbies archive ]

Follow them on Twitter @The2Robbies

Vote of confidence: Bilic expected to remain West Ham manager

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Nine games into the 2017-18 Premier League season, Slaven Bilic and Ronald Koeman find themselves in a neck-and-neck race to (not) be this campaign’s first manager fired.

[ MORE: Spurs break the hoodoo, thrash Liverpool at Wembley ]

After suffering home defeats of 3-0 (to Brighton) and 5-2 (to Arsenal), respectively, this weekend, from this point forward every breath taken could be their last in their current job — unless the results begin to change, quickly. With Everton having only played on Sunday, no final decision is believed to have been made regarding Koeman’s future.

Having played on Friday and had the weekend to mull things over, though, West Ham United’s owners have reportedly decided that Bilic will remain in the job for at least another two games, a period during which he must secure his job long-term, according to a report from Sky Sports.

Up next for 16th-place West Ham is a trip to Selhurst Park to take on bottom-of-the-league Crystal Palace on Saturday. 18th-place Everton visit Leicester City on Sunday.

Pochettino’s Spurs put on show for Maradona, Kobe

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Post writers, us included, were drawn to Liverpool’s continued defensive woes following Tottenham Hotspur’s 4-1 demolition of the Reds at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.

With Jurgen Klopp‘s personality and post-match quotes regarding uncapitalized goat Dejan Lovren, that’s understandable, but it would be a big mistake to not celebrate the class of Spurs on Sunday.

[ MORE: Match recap | Klopp, Matip reaction ]

Harry Kane is world class, scoring twice and providing a clever assist on another goal as Mauricio Pochettino‘s men showed the well-oiled nature of their machine.

And he was glowing on a match day that saw Kobe Bryant and one of Pochettino’s Argentine heroes, Diego Maradona, at Wembley:

“I spoke to Diego Maradona before the game, it was very emotional. He brings very good energy. He is the best player ever in football history.”

That the win is coming after a draw with Real Madrid at the Bernabeu is even more notable, considering the manners of each match. Hugo Lloris joined Kane as a star of the show of a more defensive-minded away midweek, but was merely a component as Spurs went for the jugular against the dicey defense of Liverpool.

Margins are small in the Premier League, but you could easily make an argument that Spurs are unlucky to sit five points behind Manchester City. Their star goalkeeper Hugo Lloris made gaffes in their lone league loss, to Chelsea, and a failure to finish myriad chances allowed Chris Wood‘s late goal to stand as an equalizer against Burnley.

“It is the third season that we are trying to catch someone. Manchester City are doing very well, they have an amazing squad and one of the best managers in the world. We see what happens, we believe, we will try to catch them. We are focused every day.

There’s another rough stretch ahead for Pochettino’s men, who don’t face City until Dec. 16. Presumably it’ll be second choice at West Ham in the League Cup this week before a trip to Old Trafford, and Spurs have the luxury of making that tough visit without fearing Paul Pogba on the other side of the pitch.

Then, it’s Real Madrid at home in the Champions League, a visit from Palace, and the international break. The North London Derby follows away, and Spurs will hope to have the UCL group sewn up before a trip to BVB days later.

The remaining schedule, save a trip to currently tricky Watford, would set them up to move within touching distance of City following the Dec. 16 match at the Etihad. The interim sees Man City facing Arsenal and Manchester United, so it wouldn’t be absurd to think Spurs could make up ground should City stumble (as unlikely as that looks right now).

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Klopp, Matip react to another rough Liverpool defensive showing

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Joel Matip is shouldering the blame for Liverpool’s defensive collapse against Tottenham Hotspur, while the Reds’ manager is placing it on at least partially on Matip’s partner for the first half hour.

“Most teams at home with the stand in their back are always stronger,” Matip said after the 4-1 loss at Wembley Stadium.

[ RECAP: Spurs 4-1 Liverpool ]

“I am a defender and I should take care of this. We don’t think about the title race at the moment, we only try to get back in a good mood for next week.”

As for Klopp, he’s angry as expected following the shipping of four goals to Spurs. That verb works doubly here, as giveaways and mistakes were common place amongst the Reds’ backs and midfield.

Dejan Lovren had a rough day, subbing out after 31 minutes. The injured center back played a big part in Spurs first two goals, including leaping for and missing a Hugo Lloris long ball. From the BBC:

“If I am involved in this situation on the pitch, then Harry cannot get the ball.”

“We have to realize that we are responsible for this and nobody else. Of course we can fix it and we have to fix it as well.”

Klopp also detailed what went wrong with each of the four goals, then proffering that “the game was finished then.” Right.

There’s a lot to love about Klopp, who can be a tactical wizard. But he’s also struggled to convince players of their roles, and has shipped some very decent center back depth out-of-town. The latter is the reason Klopp used a less than fit Lovren on Sunday, and it burned them against a well-oiled Spurs side.

Follow @NicholasMendola