Report: Liverpool make $25 million bid for Spanish star Alberto Moreno

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Liverpool are set to be busy bee’s in the transfer market this summer, as reports from Spain state they have a made massive bid for Sevilla left back Alberto Moreno.

The Spanish international is just 21 years old and impressed for the Europa League winners in 2013-14, so much so that Liverpool have tabled a $25 million offer to test Sevilla’s resolve and have also chucked in midfielder Suso as part of the deal. Moreno is currenlty part of Vicente del Bosque’s preliminary 30-man Spain squad for the World Cup and is one of the rising stars of Spanish soccer.

Moreno has attracted interest from Napoli, Chelsea and Real Madrid in recent months but it is thought Liverpool are trying to nip in ahead of the pack before the World Cup. Moreno still isn’t assured of a spot on the plane to Brazil with the Spanish national team, so Sevilla are said to be waiting for the outcome of that before deciding whether or not to sell their academy product on.

Right now Liverpool do need some extra depth defensively, with Jon Flanagan playing at left back all of last season following Jose Enrique’s time on the sidelines and on-loan Valencia full back Aly Sissokho returning to his parent club after some lackluster displays.

Getting back into the UEFA Champions League after a four-year exodus means Liverpool must strengthen their squad considerably and defense is the one area where they struggled considerably last season. After conceding 50 goals in the Premier League, the worst in the top five, they need help at the back. Big time.

With Liverpool still trying to buy midfielders Adam Lallana and Emre Can, from Southampton and Bayer Leverkusen respectively, both deals will be complex and the asking prices seem to be somewhat of a stumbling block.

Signing Moreno should be the priority over two midfielders, as the Reds desperately need reinforcements at the back with a hectic schedule coming their way next season domestically and in Europe. If Rodgers can pull this one of it would be a real coup for Liverpool as the top teams in Europe are chasing the hugely talented Moreno.

Sanchez, Mkhitaryan transfer still up in the air

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The player-swap/trade/transfer between Arsenal and Manchester United still appears to be heading towards completion, but it was further delayed Friday.

Multiple reports in England state that while Alexis Sanchez seems set to move to Manchester United, Henrik Mkhitaryan has yet to agree to move the other way, as talks between the player’s agent and Arsenal continue. Mkhitaryan was seen training at Manchester United’s practice facility on Friday, and because the latest delay, both players would be unable to debut for their new teams this weekend after missing the Premier League registration deadline.

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Arsenal hosts Crystal Palace Manchester United travels to Burnley, both on Saturday at 10 a.m. (Watch Arsenal live on CNBC, Manchester United live on NBCSN, and both live on NBCSports.com)

The London Evening Standard reports that Mkhitaryan would command a $242,000-per-week salary but that as of Friday morning he had yet to undergo a medical for the transfer. Arsenal reportedly still wants a transfer fee included for Sanchez, while Manchester United would prefer to just swap the two players.

It’s also looking as if that won’t be Arsenal’s only business in the transfer market. While it seemed like a far-fetched rumor at first, the links between Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Arsenal have only grown stronger in the past few days, and the Gabon international appears to be in the Gunners sights. It appears that Bordeaux’s young striker Malcolm is now off the table.

Vancouver adds versatile Juarez, formerly of Monterrey, Celtic

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Efrain Juarez is bringing his game to Major League Soccer.

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The 39-times capped Mexico veteran has inked a deal with the Vancouver Whitecaps, joining a strengthened unit which came within a point of winning the West last season.

Juarez, 29, was unveiled as a midfielder by the ‘Caps, though he’s primarily played right back in his club career. He’s played at Celtic, Real Zaragoza, Club America, Monterrey, and Pumas.

Last capped by El Tri in 2012, Juarez has played every position except goal, center attacking mid, and center forward in his career (picture a ‘U’ on the pitch).

“I’m so happy and excited for this new stage in my career,” Juarez said. “It’s an opportunity for me to keep growing in a new league and to be a part of an amazing club in Vancouver. From the moment they showed interest me, Carl Robinson and the Whitecaps staff have made me feel very important. I promise to put all my effort into this club and do my best to help us achieve our goals.”

VIDEO: Asensio goal ends Real Madrid’s winless run

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Marco Asensio’s eighth goal of the season and second of this Copa del Rey put an end to an unlikely Real Madrid winless run in a 1-0 victory at Leganes.

[ MLS: 2018 Mock SuperDraft ]

The 21-year-old darted in front of a defender to volley home from in-tight, giving Real Madrid a first leg lead in the tournament quarterfinals.

More importantly, perhaps, it gives struggling Real a boost in morale after draws with Celta Vigo and Numancia, and a loss to Villarreal.

Real is home to Deportivo de la Coruna in La Liga before hosting Leganes in the second leg.

Hopeful Newcastle buyer Staveley: Offer still on the table

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Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley is probably happy that his for-sale club is away this weekend, even though his side’s up against Manchester City.

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That’s because hopeful buyer Amanda Staveley has responded to claims that her hopeful takeover of the team won’t be happening any time soon.

Talks had stalled, said Tuesday reports, much to the chagrin of an #AshleyOut brigade that at times can make Arsenal’s #WengerOut brigade look like a yard full of happy puppies.

A “source” had said, “Attempts to reach a deal have proved to be exhaustive, frustrating and a complete waste of time,” but Staveley shot back on Thursday to reignite the fire. From the BBC, taken from The Times:

“Our bid remains on the table. This is an investment, but it has to be a long-term investment. Newcastle would be run as a business, but we want it to be a successful, thriving business that is an absolutely integral part of the city.”

She also said that popular manager Rafa Benitez is integral to her interest in the team, and that fact combined with her insistence that an offer remains on the table will have many Newcastle fans seething with current ownership (and there have been protests for years). It’s Ashley’s move now.