Lallana deal is almost complete, but Liverpool still eyeing potential transfers

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Most fans’ attention remains focused on the World Cup, but meanwhile, clubs are quietly going about their business. Manchester United splashed out for Luke Shaw, Manchester City reinforced their squad with the signing of Fernando, and Liverpool … well, Liverpool are in pursuit of a whole host of players.

The Reds, looking to both compete for the Premier League title and to make a deep run in the Champions League, are doing their best to reinforce their already-talented squad (and, perhaps, to make up for the four-month absence of Luis Suárez). Liverpool opened their summer signings by bringing Rickie Lambert back to Anfield. Emre Can will complete his move from Bayer Leverkusen come July 1, and Adam Lallana’s transfer is expected to be finalized after he completes a medical.

That’s two midfielders and a striker thus far. But Liverpool aren’t yet through. Here’s a quick look at a few targets they’re hoping to hit:

Dejan Lovren
The Croatia centerback returned all too quickly from the World Cup, where his primary claim to fame was being the man who nudged Fred, causing the forward to go down in a heap and prompting a penalty for Brazil. Lovren is, of course, another Southampton player. He joined the Saints just last season, moving from Lyon on a four-year deal. However, the 24-year-old has caught the eye of many a suitor, including Arsenal, so Liverpool could miss out.

Alberto Moreno
The Reds are keen on the right-back – and most fans are likely to have had enough of Glen Johnson – but Sevilla are saying it isn’t going to happen. Apparently Liverpool’s £16m (~$27m) offer wasn’t nearly enough, especially now that Sevilla have really cashed in on Ivan Rakitić’s sale to Barcelona. Moreno has also said Sevilla is the “club of my life,” but that’s not likely to dissuade Liverpool from pursuing him.

Lazar Marković
Liverpool may have scored an absurd number of goals last season, but they’re still looking to add to their firepower. The young Marković would bring impressive pace to the squad, and he’s got a knack for a dribble. But considering he’s been at Benfica just one year, scoring five goals, should Liverpool take a risk on meeting his  £20m (~$34m) release clause?

Divock Origi
Romelu Lukaku has been a major disappointment at this World Cup, but that’s allowed yet another young, talented Belgian striker to step into the spotlight. Origi scored the late winner against Russia, keeping Belgium top of the group, and set up Jan Vertonghen’s winner against South Korea, when his low shot was spilled. Belgium are hoping to have a few more matches left at this World Cup, while Liverpool are eager for Origi to return home so they can open talks.

CONCACAF: USMNT, Trinidad & Tobago seek first points of Hexagonal

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Through two rounds of play in the Hexagonal, everything has gone according to plan for Mexico and Costa Rica.

Not so much though for the U.S. Men’s National Team.

[ MORE: Shorthanded USMNT hosts Honduras as WCQ resumes ]

While Los Ticos and El Tri currently sit in the top two positions of the final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying, the U.S. is left at the bottom and faces a difficult match against Honduras when play resumes on Friday night.

[ MORE: Five questions for USMNT ahead of Honduras match ]

Mexico and Costa Rica will face off at the Estadio Azteca in the second of Friday’s three slated qualifiers, and while both nations surely expect to reach the World Cup in Russia, both CONCACAF heavyweights have the opportunity to put their stamp on the group.

For Costa Rica, a victory could potentially open up a five-point gap over El Tri, while a win for Mexico would bring Juan Carlos Osorio’s side the opportunity leap over their Central American foes.

Friday’s action will kick off at 7 p.m. though when third place Panama travels to Trinidad & Tobago, who seeks its first points of the Hex. Trinidad will be led by captain Kenwyne Jones of Atlanta United as well as Minnesota United midfielder Kevin Molino, with the duo scoring a combined 39 international goals for the Soca Warriors.

Below is the schedule and current table ahead of Friday’s CONCACAF matches as the region turns its attention to Matchday 3 of the Hexagonal.


Trinidad & Tobago vs. Panama — 7 p.m. ET

Mexico vs. Costa Rica — 9:50 p.m. ET

USMNT vs. Honduras — 10:30 p.m. ET (PREVIEW)


1. Costa Rica — 2-0-0 — 6 pts.
2. Mexico — 1-1-0 — 4 pts.
3. Panama — 1-1-0 — 4 pts.
4. Honduras — 1-0-1 — 3 pts.
5. Trinidad & Tobago — 0-0-2 — 0 pts.
6. USMNT — 0-0-2 — 0 pts.

Spurs allowed to play all home matches at Wembley next season

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Tottenham was granted the right to play all of its home matches at Wembley Stadium for the 2017/18 season, but the club must now make a decision whether or not to remain at White Hart Lane for another year.

[ MORE: Man City weighing massive offer for Milan’s Donnarumma ]

The club’s application was granted on Thursday by Brent Council’s planning committee, giving Spurs the option to move into Wembley next season for all 27 home Premier League fixtures.

Spurs must decide if it will go ahead with that move though by March 31.

Tottenham continues to play at White Hart Lane while its new stadium, located next door to its current venue, is being constructed. The current plan is that the new venue will be open ahead of the 2019/2020 campaign, but the club is said to be weighing all of its options in the event that it could be ready for the 2018/19 season.

Prosecutors question Beckenbauer in World Cup fraud case

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BERN, Switzerland (AP) Swiss authorities say prosecutors have questioned Germany soccer great Franz Beckenbauer in their ongoing World Cup fraud case.

[ MORE: Shorthanded USMNT looks to build momentum vs. Honduras ]

Criminal proceedings against Beckenbauer and three other German members of the 2006 World Cup organizing committee were opened in 2015. The four are suspected of fraud, money laundering, criminal mismanagement, and misappropriation relating to a payment of 6.7 million euros ($7 million) to FIFA in 2005.

[ MORE: Five questions for USMNT ahead of Honduras WCQ ]

The Swiss attorney general’s office said in a statement to The Associated Press on Thursday that federal prosecutors questioned Beckenbauer earlier in the day in Bern, adding that “Beckenbauer was cooperative.”

Beckenbauer’s home in Austria was raided last year for evidence on behalf of Swiss federal prosecutors investigating corruption linked to FIFA.

Report: Man City launching massive bid for AC Milan’s Donnarumma

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Gianluigi Donnarumma has quickly established himself as the best young goalkeeper in European soccer, and AC Milan won’t be letting the 18-year-old go without a pretty penny in return.

[ MORE: Schedule, preview for UEFA World Cup qualifying ]

According to Sky Sport Italia, Manchester City is preparing a massive bid in the range of $130 to $160 million to acquire the AC Milan shot-stopper as the English side’s goalkeeping situation is still unsettled.

The Citizens have failed to hunker down at the goalkeeper position this season despite spending big to bring in Barcelona’s Claudio Bravo, who has underperformed. Willy Caballero has also been shaky at times for the English giants, while on-loan keeper Joe Hart will almost certainly move on from the club over the summer.

Donnarumma is currently second in Serie A in saves (110), trailing only Crotone’s Alex Cordaz, who has stopped two more shots.

Since turning professional in 2015, Donnarumma has quickly enjoyed his rise through Italian football for both AC Milan and with the national team. After previously featuring for the Under-15, U-17 and U-21 sides, Donnarumma has established himself as the surefire replacement for Gianluigi Buffon once he retires from the international game.