After Arsenal’s interest in Chilean forward Alexis Sanchez rose throughout this summer’s World Cup, it has been revealed that their also hot on the heels of his countryman Arturo Vidal.
Juventus midfielder Vidal, 27, is said to be at the top of Arsene Wenger’s wishlist as the Arsenal boss has been in Brazil working for French TV at the World Cup. Manchester United are also said to be tracking Vidal and could fight the Gunners for the central midfielder.
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The trip to South America has been fruitful in scouting potential targets, as Wenger has made a wishlist of signings to bolster the Gunners’ squad for the 2014-15 campaign. Vidal will be one of the most expensive options, as Juve are said to be holding out for close to $60 million for the combative fielder. That is according to a good friend from the Telegraph in the UK, Jeremy Wilson.
Other options in midfield that Wenger is pursuing, all of them cheaper, are Real Madrid’s Sami Khedira, Southampton’s Morgan Schneiderlin, Borussia Dortmund’s Lars Bender and Wolfsburg’s Luis Gustavo.
All would add extra steel to Arsenal’s engine room, as they came unstuck against top teams in the PL plenty of times last season after being overrun in midfield. Mathieu Flamini is somewhat of a stop-gap option and the continued absence of Abou Diaby through injury and Jack Wilshere’s fitness issues may force Wenger to look elsewhere. Vidal’s physicality would suit England’s top-flight and even though he was struggling with injury throughout the World Cup, his presence in a high-pressing team was pivotal in Chile reaching the last 16 and coming so close to shocking hosts Brazil.
If Arsenal are set to splash the cash, Vidal can add goals as well as his all-action displays. He scored five times in 11 appearances during Chile’s World Cup qualifying campaign and has bagged 38 goals in over 100 appearances for Juventus since he signed from Bayer Leverkusen in 2011.
A goal scoring box-to-box midfielder is something Arsenal have been lacking since Patrick Vieira and Cesc Fabregas both left. Vidal would certainly add much needed steel to their silky midfield.
New York City FC has quickly become one of Major League Soccer’s most exciting clubs in three short seasons, and a lot of its success can be attributed to be David Villa.
[ MORE: Miguel Almiron named MLS Newcomer of the Year ]
The Spanish international has been with the club since completing a move to MLS in 2014, and has easily been NYCFC’s most important signing since the team’s inception.
Despite boasting an impressive 22 goals in 2017 for Patrick Vieira’s side, Villa knows that his days in MLS are starting to count down after one of the legends of the international game recently announced his retirement.
“[Seeing Andrea Pirlo retire showed me] that I have to train harder every day if I want to continue extending my career. Someday I will leave, as will everyone, it’s a fact of life. But I’m going to fight to make it as late as possible,” Villa told Marca.
Villa, 35, received a one-year extension to his contract in 2017, leaving his future with NYCFC up in the air beyond next season.
Additionally, the forward says that he constantly receives positive feedback about MLS and he knows that there is a lot of interest from players outside the United States in the developing league.
“Really, quite a few [have reached out],” he said. “The MLS is growing a lot and is having more and more global impact. Many have called me and are interested in what’s going on here.”
Three Premier League newcomers remain in close contention with one another after 12 weeks, one of which picked up another positive result today.
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Brighton & Hove Albion earned a 2-2 draw against Stoke City at the Amex Stadium on Monday after Jose Izquierdo’s persistence gave the home side the leveler in the 60th minute from Glenn Murray‘s clever pass inside the box.
The result made for Brighton’s sixth consecutive match unbeaten at home this season.
A back-and-forth first half saw the on-loan Chelsea defender give Stoke the lead heading into the halftime break after a disappointing spell of defending by Brighton allowed Zouma to finish of a corner kick.
Pascal Gross gave Brighton an equalizer one minute from halftime after Davy Propper had done superbly to create space for himself down the right wing.
The visitors struck in the 28th minute after Shaqiri delivered a perfect long ball into the path of Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting.
The Cameroonian proceeded to control the pass beautifully from his Stoke teammate, before tucking his shot from close range into the near corner past Brighton goalkeeper Maty Ryan.
Brighton thought they had the chance to level the score prior to the equalizer when the hosts appeared to have a penalty appeal after Murray went down inside the Stoke area. However, referee Lee Mason opted against spot kick.
The two sides will both be in action on Saturday when Brighton travels to Old Trafford to face Manchester United and Stoke takes on Crystal Palace.
It’s been a wild one thus far at the Amex Stadium, and we’ve still got 45 minutes left to play.
Stoke City holds a 2-1 advantage against newcomer Brighton & Hove Albion after Kurt Zouma gave the visitors the lead on the stroke of halftime.
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Zouma headed home close range in first-half stoppage time to restore the Potters’ advantage, after Pascal Gross had equalized in the 44th minute for Brighton.
Stoke opened the scoring just prior to the half hour mark when Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting finished off a stellar move that originated from a Xherdan Shaqiri long ball over the Brighton back line.
Brighton were fortunate not to be reduced to 10 men after Glenn Murray went in late on a challenge against Stoke defender Kevin Wimmer.
Murray thought he had won himself a penalty kick minutes prior, but referee Lee Mason decided to continue play.
Unsurprisingly, one of Atlanta United’s biggest stars took home some hardware on Monday after a stellar first season in Major League Soccer.
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Atlanta attacker Miguel Almiron was named MLS Newcomer of the Year today, beating out Chicago Fire forward Nemanja Nikolic and teammate Josef Martinez for the honor.
Almiron, who joined Atlanta from Argentine side Lanus, netted nine goals and added 14 assists for the Eastern Conference squad in 2017 and helped guide the club to the MLS Cup Playoffs after finishing fifth in the East.
The 23-year-old received an 37.38% average of the vote for the award, which was compiled based on votes from a combination of media members, MLS players and executives. Nikolic finished second with 24.92 percent, while Martinez checked in at number three.