Now Fábregas interests Mourinho? This is already the most rumory rumor of the summer

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The short history of this rumor has been an active one, with news linking Cesc Fábregas to Chelsea only about 72 hours old. In the time we’ve heard:

Now comes another twist, though with Mourinho’s actual words backing this turn, it appears as Chelsea is making a move for the Spanish international. From reporting by The Guardian:

“We have some interest [in Fábregas],” said Mourinho. “I have interest in analysing the situation.

“I think it looks like he’s really interested in leaving Barcelona and is very, very interested in coming back to England. This, I think, is clear. There is a process where he wants to leave, [and] he wants to come to England because it’s the country where he wants to be, where he prefers to play. We are interested in monitoring the situation.”

Also in The Guardian’s report: Chelsea have opened formal negotiations with Barcelona; No fee has been set, but the price is expected to be just north of $50 million (£30 million); Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United are all prioritizing other deals, paving the road for Chelsea; Barcelona is intent on making a move for Atlético Madrid’s Koke, ostensibly with some of its Fábregas money.

Koke’s role in the move is an interesting one. The Atleti midfielder has also been linked with Chelsea, with Tuesday reports hinting Mourinho preferred the Atlético star to Fábregas. Two days later, however, that view has either changed, been proven wrong, or been re-prioritized. While both Fábregas and Koke could move to Chelsea, in a world of Financial Fair Play, most clubs don’t have room for such redundancies.

Then again, Mourinho’s only saying the club is “monitoring the situation.” Perhaps Chelsea is negotiating with both Barcelona and Atlético, but because of Fábregas’s history in England, one deal is getting more attention than the other.

Regardless, it’s clear Chelsea are at least mildly interesting in bringing in the former Gunner. With Diego Costa all but fitted for a uniform, Chelsea’s acting quickly to address the weaknesses in last season’s squad.

2-year doping ban upheld for Finland, CSKA Moscow player

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) The Court of Arbitration for Sport has upheld a two-year ban for CSKA Moscow midfielder Roman Eremenko for a positive test for cocaine.

[ MORE: Morata signs five-year contract at Chelsea ]

CAS says the ban imposed by UEFA was “appropriate” and dismissed the Finland international’s appeal.

[ MORE: Vertonghen says Spurs need to “level up” like rest of PL contenders ]

The ban will expire on Oct. 5, 2018, when Eremenko will be 31.

Eremenko tested positive after playing in a Champions League game for CSKA Moscow against Bayer Leverkusen last September. The 2-2 result was not affected despite Eremenko scoring CSKA’s second goal.

Born in Moscow, Eremenko grew up in Finland and has represented its national team 73 times.

Webb says De Jong would have been sent off with video review

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NEW YORK (AP) Howard Webb says he would have given Dutch midfielder Nigel De Jong a red card in the 2010 World Cup final if a video assistant referee had been in place.

The retired English referee showed De Jong a yellow card in the 28th minute for his karate kick into the chest of Spain’s Xabi Alonso. Hired in March to oversee video technology for professional soccer in the U.S. and Canada, Webb held a media seminar Friday ahead of its Aug. 5 launch in Major League Soccer.

Webb says: “Yes, it was a clear red card. It was a clear and obvious error on my part not to send the player off, and VAR would have been able to recommend a review to me, and I would have been able to make the right call.”

Now 46, Webb was a Premier League referee from 2003-14. He worked the Champions League and World Cup finals in 2010, became director of referees at the Saudi Arabian Football Federation, and started in March as manager of video assistant referee operations for the Professional Referee Organization.

MLS Snapshot: Orlando City 0-1 Atlanta United (video)

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The game in 100 words (or less): Friday night’s effort at Orlando City Stadium wasn’t the prettiest for either side but Atlanta United will gladly take three points from the fixture as the Central Florida venue proved to be a fortress once more. The Lions were far superior in their attacking threats throughout the match, testing USMNT and Atlanta goalkeeper Brad Guzan on multiple occasions. However, it was Hector Villalba that proved to be the difference when he blasted a long-distance effort to beat Joe Bendik in the 86th minute. Atlanta extends its unbeaten streak to four matches with Friday’s decision, keeping Tata Martino’s side in fourth place in the Eastern Conference, while Orlando City moves into fifth.

Three moments that mattered

36′ — Guzan stands tall, denies Rivas — Carlos Rivas thought he scorched this one (and he did…), but Brad Guzan acted like it was nothing as he held his ground to make the stop.

39′ — Spector gets ripped off by Guzan — The U.S. goalkeeper is at it again… What a save!

86′ — Villalba unleashes stunner to propel Atlanta — Sometimes it just takes one good hit as a striker.

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Man of the match: Brad Guzan

Goalscorers: Hector Villalba (86′)

Report: Man City adding Mendy to continue backline restoration

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Fresh off of completing a record deal to help bolster the club’s back line this summer, Manchester City is back at it with the Premier League season looming.

[ MORE: Alvaro Morata signs five-year contract at Chelsea ]

The Citizens are reportedly on the brink of signing Monaco left back Benjamin Mendy to yet another world-record fee — which will total over $67 million.

Confirmation of the deal has yet to be announced by either team, but L’Equipe is reporting that the Citizens are hot on the 23-year-old’s trail in adding to their pricy back four.

Manager Pep Guardiola and Man City have not been shy readjusting their defensive unit over the past year, adding expensive first-team choices John Stones and Kyle Walker.