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Álvaro Morata swapping Madrid for Turin, on his way to Juventus

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After scoring nine goals in his first full campaign with Real Madrid’s senior squad, Álvaro Morata, one of the brightest forward prospects in Spain, is on his way to Italy. After agreeing to a four-year deal with Juventus, the 21-year-old striker will move to Turin, leaving the European champions to further his career at Juventus.

According to various reports, Real Madrid will receive a $29.9 million (€22 million) fee, with Morata set to earn $3 million per season. After two years, El Real can exercise a buy-back option, with reported fees ranging from $40.7 to $44.8 million.

“I’m really looking forward to touching down in Turin,” Morata told MARCA. “I’ve heard it’s a lovely city and I can’t wait to get to know it.”

It’s a steep investment for a player who has 11 goals in 52 career career appearances, but given what Morata’s accomplished at youth levels, it’s difficult to image him moving for less. In 2013, he was the Golden Boot winner at the Euro U-21 championships. Two years earlier, Morata won the same award at the U-19 tournaments. Thanks to the highly skilled target man, Spain won both competitions, building an early reputation for their aspiring star.

At club-level, Morata already has winners medals from this year’s Champions League and Copa del Rey, though his first full year with Real Madrid’s first team wasn’t an easy one. Though he scored eight goals in 23 league appearances (nine in 34, overall), Morata’s form was occasionally drew the scrutiny of the Spanish press, particularly in light of the contributions fellow 21-year-olds Isco and Jesé Rodríguez were making for the club. Given his exploits at U-level and Real Madrid Castilla (where he was scoring goals as an 18-year-old), Morata had built expectations, ones too high for a nine-goal season to meet.

Away from the pressure cookers of Real Madrid and his home country, Morata should have room to grow, though leaving the competition of Karim Benzema is no guarantee of increased playing time. With Fernando Llorente, Carlos Tévez, Sebastian Giovinco, and Fabio Quagliarella in tow (as of now), Juventus already has a stockpile of forwards.

Given head coach Antonio Conte plays a system with two strikers (as opposed to Real Madrid’s one), the 6’3″ Morata will have more spots to compete for in Juventus’s lineups. And with the Juventus boss reportedly pushing for the move, Morata should have every opportunity to win playing time in Turin.

Fabregas sent off as Chelsea beat Liverpool in fiery friendly

PASADENA, CA - JULY 27:  Cesc Fabregas #4 of Chelsea receives a red card from referee Baldomero Toledo after a hard challenge to Ragnar Klavan #17 of Liverpool in the second half during the 2016 International Champions Cup at Rose Bowl on July 27, 2016 in Pasadena, California. Chelsea defeated Liverpool 1-0. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
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Liverpool vs. Chelsea is never a friendly encounter.

That was proved correct on Wednesday as Chelsea beat Liverpool 1-0 at the Pasadena Rose Bowl in their opening 2016 International Champions Cup clash.

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The lone goal of a feisty match came in the first half as Gary Cahill headed home Cesc Fabregas’ corner, but the latter was sent off in the second half for an awful lunging tackle on Ragnar Klavan.

There were six yellow cards — five to Liverpool players — dished out in the game in front of 53,117 in California.

Fabregas apologized to Liverpool after the game for his 70th minute tackle (see video below) according to Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp,

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Both Klopp and Antonio Conte acknowledged this game was more combative than most friendlies and given the recent history between the two clubs you can understand why.

Chelsea’s new manager was pleased with the reaction of his side when they went down to 10-men but urged his team to play more

“I saw a lot of positive things about the defensive situation but we must improve when we have the ball because I love to play the ball, but we are improving,” Conte said.

Liverpool’s biggest concern was an injury to Marko Grujic who clashed heads with Bertrand Traore and was taken to hospital.

“The biggest problem for me in this moment is that Marko Grujic is in hospital, because he can’t remember anything. That’s not too cool,” Klopp told the media. “Hopefully it’s not too serious. Injuries after games like this in pre-season is the biggest problem obviously.”

Liverpool now head to Santa Clara, Calif. to play against AC Milan on Saturday before flying to St. Louis and playing AS Roma on Aug. 1 on their way back to England. Chelsea will fly to Michigan as they take on Real Madrid at “The Big House” on Saturday.

Follow Live: Chelsea vs. Liverpool at the Rose Bowl

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 11:  Roberto Firmino of Liverpool is closed down by Nemanja Matic of Chelsea during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Chelsea at Anfield on May 11, 2016 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images)
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Premier League powers Chelsea and Liverpool tangle Wednesday in the Rose Bowl as both clubs prepare for their first full seasons under two coaches.

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Sadio Mane, Loris Karius and Marko Grujic start for Liverpool, while Chelsea has a lot of familiar names in the fold for the International Champions Cup match.

Liverpool: Karius, Randall, Lovren, Klavan, Moreno, Stewart, Ejaria, Grujic, Mane, Coutinho, Firmino.

Chelsea: Begovic; Azpilicueta, Cahill, Terry, Aina; Fabregas, Matic; Willian, Traore, Loftus-Cheek, Moses. Subs:

Borja goal leads Atletico Nacional to Copa Libertadores title (video)

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Get into space and good things will happen.

That’s how Miguel Borja scored the goal that gave Atletico Nacional an edge that would stand up in the Copa Libertadores final on Wednesday in Medellin.

Borja’s goal gave Atletico Nacional a 1-0 win over Independiente del Valle in Wednesday’s second leg after a 1-1 first leg in Quito.

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Colombia’s Los Verdolagas hadn’t won a Copa Libertadores title since 1989, and the match was its first final since 1995. It was Ecuadorian side Independiente del Valle’s first final.

Atletico Nacional’s Orlando Berrio traded goals with Independiente’s Arturo Mina in the first leg.

Two Newcastle players set for combined $60 million from Barca, Real Madrid?

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 28:  Newcastle player Jack Colback (r) celebrates his goal with Ayoze Perez (l) and Moussa Sissoko during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Everton at St James' Park on December 28, 2014 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
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Newcastle United purchased Moussa Sissoko and Ayoze Perez from Toulose and Tenerife for combined fees of approximately $4 million.

They stand to make a whole lot more if Wednesday’s rumors are true.

Multiple reports say Real Madrid is set to bid $40 million to pry French international Sissoko from St. James Park, while Barcelona is ready to spend about $20 million to get Ayoze Perez as the fourth fiddle to its MSN attacking trio.

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Perez, 22, has scored 13 goals in two Premier League seasons with the Magpies after arriving from Segunda Division side Tenerfie in 2014, and was linked to Spurs amongst other locales.

But Barca has had trouble finding a player interested in being its fourth striker. Pedro left for Chelsea before last season, and players like Robin Van Persie and Luciano Vietto were tipped to join Barca earlier this summer.

Sissoko, meanwhile, was a feast or famine player at Newcastle this season but brought his A-game under the bright lights of EURO 2016 this summer. Real is reported to be giving up on Paul Pogba to focus on his French midfield mate.

As for Newcastle, Rafa Benitez probably planned on losing Sisssoko but Perez had worked well in preseason with new signing Dwight Gayle and was expected to be a factor this year. It could send Rafa back to the transfer mill, and he’d sure have some profit to spend.