Life after Suarez: Klaas-Jan Huntelaar heading to Liverpool?

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It seems as though Liverpool are already preparing for life after Luis Suarez, as Dutch international striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar has been linked with a move to Anfield.

Plenty of rumors have had Huntelaar, 30, heading to the Premier League over the years, as the Schalke forward has been reportedly courted by Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United in the past.

[ RELATED: Suarez to Barca for $137 million ]

Now Liverpool, who will only possess Daniel Sturridge and Rickie Lambert as recognized PL strikers if Suarez does leave for Barca, look set to snatch the predatory Dutchman (nicknamed ‘The Hunter’) in a cut-price deal as he enters the final year of his contract with Schalke.

The former Ajax, Real Madrid and AC Milan striker addressed the Liverpool rumors with German newspaper Bild and revealed that he plans to speak with Schalke when the World Cup is over.

“Regarding rumors about Liverpool it’d only be fair to speak to Schalke first. The negotiations with the club have been running for some time.”

Will getting Huntelaar on board be a good move for Liverpool?

Like the Rickie Lambert signing, it screams stop-gap. Over the past two seasons Brendan Rodgers has had to get creative with signings as their has been a lack of cash at Anfield after previous regime’s spent flamboyantly. Schalke would likely sell Huntelaar for less than $15 million as he only has one-year left on his deal.

Now that they have UEFA Champions League soccer to look forward to and they have returned to the upper echelons of the PL, you’d think Liverpool would be heading for more expensive forwards than Huntelaar. Yes, he is good in the air, can score when given the chance and has a good track record in European competitions and for the Dutch national side, but it doesn’t seem like a forward-thinking move.

That said, I can see it happening. Huntelaar has scored 91 goals in 139 games in German soccer since joining Schalke from AC Milan in 2010. He is prolific, has experience and has shown at the 2014 World Cup that he can came off the bench to change games. The Netherlands were trailing Mexico 1-0 in the final stages of their last 16 match against Mexico, Hunterlaar then came off the bench to set up the equalizer and the score the winner from the penalty spot.

If Liverpool want to sign him as an impact player of the bench and someone who can add depth to a squad challenging for PL and UCL success, this is a good move. Let’s see if they can agree a fee with Schalke.

VIDEO: Pedro scores stunning goal for Chelsea

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Not a bad way to start the Premier League weekend…

12 minutes into the first game of Matchweek 9, Chelsea’s Pedro curled home a stunning effort into the far corner and off the far post after a corner was played short to him.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

A simply stunning goal from the Spaniard which you can watch in the video above.

Watch Live: Chelsea v. Watford in top five clash

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Chelsea host Watford at Stamford Bridge on Saturday (Watch live, 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) as fifth and fourth clash.

WATCH LIVE ONLINE, HERE

Antonio Conte‘s Chelsea are without a win in three games in all competitions and some pressure is starting to build on the Blues as they’ve fallen further behind the two Manchester clubs atop the PL table.

As for Watford, Marco Silva‘s men are in fourth place and aiming to keep up their impressive away form in the PL this season with three of their four wins coming on the road.

In team news Chelsea’s injuries are piling up with Victor Moses and N'Golo Kante missing but Alvaro Morata does start after recovering from his hamstring injury, while Watford start Troy Deeney up top after his impressive cameo against Arsenal last week.

LINEUPS

Chelsea: Courtois; Rudiger, David Luiz, Cahill; Azpilicueta, Bakayoko, Fabregas, Alonso; Pedro, Morata, Hazard. Subs: Caballero, Christensen, Ampadu, Zappacosta, Musonda, Willian, Batshuayi

Watford: Gomes; Mariappa, Kabasele, Britos; Femenia, Cleverley, Doucoure, Holebas; Pereyra, Deeney, Richarlison. Subs:

Sky Blue’s Sam Kerr named NWSL league MVP for 2017

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CHICAGO (AP) Sky Blue FC forward Sam Kerr has been named the National Women’s Soccer League’s Most Valuable Player for this season.

Kerr, a standout on the Australian national team, had a league-record 17 goals and became the league’s fifth Golden Boot winner to also be named MVP.

[ MORE: MLS Decision Day preview ]

She became the first NWSL player to score four goals in a game on Aug. 19 against the Seattle Reign. Kerr rallied Sky Blue from a 3-goal deficit to beat the Reign 5-4.

Kerr’s award was announced Friday. The league had earlier announced the season’s other award winners: North Carolina’s Abby Dahlkemper was named Defender of the Year, teammate Ashley Hatch was named Rookie of the Year, Portland’s Adrianna Franch was named Goalkeeper of the Year and the Thorns’ Mark Parsons was named Coach of the Year.

The Mendy Effect: Pep praises injured back

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Full back Benjamin Mendy cost Pep Guardiola and Manchester City $68 million, but perhaps he’ll be just as valuable as a very expensive sports psychologist.

The “Shark Team” member was amusing on social media even before his ACL injury sent him to the sidelines until at least April, but he’s become a must-follow Twitter fixture with his in-game messages (See some of his work below).

[ MORE: MLS Decision Day preview ]

City faces Burnley at 10 a.m. ET Saturday (Watch live on CNBC and online via NBCSports.com).

It’s fairly clear his act has translated in private, too, as apparently Mendy is just as good in group messages (Let us in, Pep. We won’t tell anyone). From ManCity.com:

“Usually, players who are out for a long time with injury are sad. They sometimes train apart and feel isolated.

“Mendy decided to be present. He is communicating on social media, WhatsApp and he calls his teammates and messages me. He is going to be so important outside the pitch because people like him make the atmosphere much better.”

It’s not surprising for anyone who’s been following the former Le Havre, Marseille and Monaco man.

Keep in mind, these Tweets below are from the last few days alone!