Manchester United set to bid $50 million for Southampton’s star duo

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As David Moyes continues to reconstruct Manchester United’s squad ahead of a title charge next season, the Red Devils boss is eying two England international’s from Southampton.

According to reports from the Daily Express, amongst others, United are set to bid £30 million ($50 million) for Saints’ academy products Adam Lallana and Luke Shaw.

Saints’ captain Lallana, 25, has dazzled for England since bursting onto the scene for the Three Lions in recent months. Able to operate in a variety of attacking midfield roles on the left, right and in the center, Lallana’s box of tricks constantly bamboozles opposition defenders. As for Shaw, the 18-year-old made his full England debut last Wednesday against Denmark and looks made for the international game, with solid defending and marauding runs forward from left back.

Splashing that kind of cash on two of England’s brightest young talents could well cost United more than $50 million if they’re successful.

(MORE: Is Adam Lallana the man England should build their World Cup dreams around?)

The Saints are extremely wealthy themselves and have no need to sell their prizes assets. Along with Rickie Lambert and Jay Rodriguez, Lallana and Shaw wrote club history last week as four Southampton players had never been called up for England at the same time in the clubs 129 year history.

With the strongest squad in living history, Saints are reluctant to break it up with Mauricio Pochettino’s target to deliver UEFA Champions League soccer in the next few years.

Would Shaw and Lallana be foolish to turn down a potential move to Old Trafford? Shaw would likely benefit more, as United’s long-term left back Patrice Evra is set to leave this summer when he’s contract expires, so Shaw is likely to grab a starting spot straightaway. Lallana’s decision would be trickier, as he’d have to battle with the likes of Juan Mata and Adnan Januzaj for the central or wide playmaker role and both would have to give up legendary status with fans of the South Coast club they’ve both been at since extremely young ages.

Both players are tied down to long-term contracts at St. Mary’s and with Saints’ resurgence seeing them likely finish just below Man United in the PL standings this season, is it really much of an upgrade?

United’s fans would love to see young English talent arrive. But, unlike the past, are those feelings still reciprocated by talented English youngsters like Lallana and Shaw?

Report: Man City, Guardiola to discuss new contract this summer

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Manchester City does not want to let Pep Guardiola start the third year with the club without signing on for longer term.

Guardiola enters the third and final year of his deal in August, and the BBC reports that Man City plans to negotiate a new deal with the Catalan wizard this summer.

[ MORE: Making sense of the PL table ]

This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise given City’s outstanding sophomore season under Guardiola.

Unbeaten City has an 11-point lead on the Premier League table after 18 weeks, with one draw and a PL record 16-straight wins. They have 56 goals scored, conceding just 12.

They’ve won five of six UEFA Champions League matches, only losing a match their opposition needed and they did not, 2-1 to Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine. City faces Basel next, and visits Leicester City in the League Cup quarterfinals Wednesday.

Lanzini charged by FA for fooling ref with dive

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Manuel Lanzini dove to earn a penalty in West Ham’s 3-0 win over Stoke City on Saturday at the bet365 Stadium, and he may pay for it.

Lanzini, who also posted an assist in an influential performance, drew the penalty converted by Mark Noble when he hit the deck under minimal contact from Erik Pieters.

[ MORE: Making sense of the PL table ]

He could miss two matches for “successful deception of a match official,” the same penalty given to Everton’s Oumar Niasse for a similar offense.

West Ham pulled out of the drop zone with the win, but has three bottom-half battles coming up over the festive fixtures: Saturday versus Newcastle, Dec. 26 at Bournemouth, and Jan. 2 versus West Brom.

Griezmann backtracks over ‘insensitive’ blackface tweet

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MADRID (AP) Soccer star Antoine Griezmann has apologized for any offense caused after posting an image of himself on social media in blackface as part of an NBA party costume on Sunday.

Griezmann, who is white, was also wearing a wig and holding a basketball in the photo which had “NBA 69 ALLSTARS” on the jersey.

[ MORE: Making sense of the PL table ]

The photo on his official Twitter account was accompanied by the message “80’s Party” followed by basketball and laughing emojis.

One response called the photo a “bad idea” with others urging the France forward to delete the tweet.

Griezmann at first reacted to the criticism by tweeting: “Calm down friends, I’m a fan of the Harlem Globetrotters and of this great era… It’s a tribute.”

He later tweeted an apology to those he had offended.

“I recognize that’s it’s insensitive on my part. If I offended some people I’m sorry,” he wrote.

The 26-year-old Griezmann plays for Spanish team Atletico Madrid but has been linked to a move to Barcelona.

Alex Morgan named CONCACAF Female POY, Navas wins Male POY

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CONCACAF awarded some of its finest players and coaches on Sunday night, and two familiar faces took home the evening’s most notable awards.

[ MORE: Making sense of table in Man City’s world ]

U.S. Women’s National Team forward Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride) and Keylor Navas of Costa Rica and Real Madrid each earned Female and Male Player of the Year honors, after boasting tremendous 2017 seasons.

Morgan who primarily plays for Orlando in the NWSL, was also a member of Lyon, who went on to win the Women’s Champions League this past season.

Navas, on the other hand, played a key role in Real Madrid’s UEFA Champions League run, as well as Los Blancos’ La Liga title.

For Morgan, the award is her third since CONCACAF began handing out its annual awards in 2013. Meanwhile, Navas has now won Male Player of the Year on two occasions.