What’s going on in the transfer window recently described by West Ham manager Sam Allardyce as the “most ruthless” one he’s seen? Let’s take a spin through Rumor Town (their FC is nicknamed ‘The Bidders’).
The latest on Julian Draxler from Schalke to Arsenal is that the Gunners have sent a delegation to Germany to try and reach an agreement. The rub has been that Arsene Wenger and his bosses didn’t want to meet Draxler’s high contract release fee, but between 30-37 million pounds is the territory. The 20-year-old has five goals and six assists this year.
Is Brendan Rodgers desired “major signing” Ukrainian winger Yehven Konoplyanka? It appears more and more likely as the day wears on.
Meanwhile, Newcastle are hoping to fill the hole left by Yohan Cabaye’s departure to PSG with another French midfielder: thrice-capped young Lyon attacker Laurent Grenier.
Andreas Cornelius was Cardiff City’s record-signing, and it remains to be seen if he’ll be one of their record sales as he’s tipped to return to FC Copenhagen. The striker hasn’t scored in 11 appearances for the club under two managers (and also looks a lot like villainous Todd Alquist from Breaking Bad).
It wasn’t long ago that Adel Taarabt was among the Premier League’s hottest commodities, but yet another English team is ready to send him a way for a while as Taarabt is being linked with a loan to AC Milan in exchange for defender Cristiano Zaccardo. Meanwhile, as our own Kyle Bonn has been saying for a bit, the Cottagers may be working out a 4-year deal with Greek star Kostas Mitroglou. Newcastle and Liverpool were both linked with the prolific Olympiacos striker.
Speaking of Italy, reports say Serie A giants Inter Milan could be bringing Nani on loan from Manchester United. This on the heels of whispers that Jose Mourinho wanted Nani as part of the deal that sent Juan Mata to Old Trafford and Sky’s talk that AC Milan could be his destination. Nani signed a five-year deal with United this summer.
Jamie Vardy has joined several Leicester City voices in refuting claims that he helped usher in the dismissal of championship-winning manager Claudio Ranieri.
Vardy led the Foxes in scoring during last season’s run to the Premier League title, but has struggled to follow that success this season. He has five goals in 22 matches.
[ MORE: Ranieri – “My dream died” ]
Ranieri was fired this week with Leicester on the verge of dipping into the relegation zone, where they now sit ahead of Monday’s match against Liverpool.
Vardy wants the world to know this wasn’t his preference, saying, “There is speculation I was involved in his dismissal and this is completely untrue, unfounded and is extremely hurtful!”
Harry Kane spent the first half hour of Sunday’s tilt versus Stoke torturing the visiting Potters.
Kane opened the scoring in the 14th minute. Christian Eriksen bobbled Dele Alli‘s pass into the 18, but Ryan Shawcross‘ barely hit his clearance and Kane took a touch before belting home for the advantage.
[ WATCH: Spurs-Stoke live, replay ]
His second was lovely, bounding a low volley between the legs of Victor Wanyama and by a diving Lee Grant.
The third carried a bit of luck, with his low free kick taking a turn off the leg of wall end Peter Crouch to elude a lunging Grant. 3-0.
Here are the first and third, too:
The EFL Cup has named its team of the tournament ahead of Sunday morning’s final between Southampton and Manchester United at Wembley Stadium.
Liverpool and Southampton lead the way with two players each, while finalists Manchester United have just one player in the team.
[ MORE: Whitecaps acquire Brek Shea ]
That’s Ander Herrera, who joins a midfield with Sofiane Boufal (Saints), Mohamed Diame (Newcastle United), and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal).
Up top are Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge and Chelsea loanee Tammy Abraham, the latter for his work at Bristol City.
The back four is led by Saints’ Maya Yoshida and Hull City’s Harry Maguire, with Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool) and Matty Pearson (Accrington Stanley) joining the unit.
The backstop is Leeds United’s Marco Silvestri.
The penultimate Premier League match of the weekend pits Stoke City against third-place Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane on Sunday (Watch live at 8:30 a.m. EDT on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).
Jan Vertonghen is back alongside Toby Alderweireld in the heart of Spurs’ back line, and it’s no surprise that PL Download stars Harry Kane and Hugo Lloris also start.
Geoff Cameron‘s four-month layoff appears to be reaching its end, as the USMNT back is on the subs bench for Stoke City. He last played on Oct. 22.
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris, Walker, Dier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Davies, Wanyama, Dembele, Eriksen, Alli, Kane. Subs: Vorm, Trippier, Wimmer, Winks, Sissoko, Son, Janssen.
Stoke City: Grant; Bardsley, Shawcross, Martins Indi, Pieters; Whelan, Adam; Arnautovic, Allen, Ramadan; Crouch. Subs: Given; Muniesa, Berahino, Afellay, Diouf, Cameron, Imbula.