Trio of Dutch defenders find themselves nearing moves after bright World Cup

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Dutch defenders Daryl Janmaat, Bruno Martins Indi, and Stefan De Vrij are all in different stages of transfer negotiations after the World Cup put the youngsters on the map.

The trio, all of Eredivisie club Feyenoord, could be leading an exodus from the club after the young Netherlands squad finished a surprising third in the major tournament.

22 year old Martins Indi has completed a switch from the Dutch side to Portuguese giants FC Porto, Feyenoord confirmed.

Indi didn’t have as good a performance in Brazil as some of his young teammates, but it was enough to convince Porto to splash nearly $10 million, according to Goal.com’s Stefan Coerts.

Also according to Coerts, Indi’s contract with Porto includes a $54 million release clause should he make the jump to among the world’s elite defenders.

Indi was born in Portugal, but moved to the Netherlands when he was just three months old.

He made six appearances in the World Cup with the Dutch side, missing one match after getting knocked unconscious by Australia’s Tim Cahill.  However, he recovered in time to make the knockout stage and helped the Netherlands to a third-place finish. However, he was subbed off in three of his five starts, a poor mark for a defender even if one of those is due to injury.

The central defender made over 100 appearances with Feyenoord, joining the senior side from its academy in the 2010/11 season at just 18 years old.

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Daryl Janmaat (center) and Stefan de Vrij (right) could both be headed to big clubs after a successful World Cup.

Right-back Daryl Janmaat is nearing a move to Newcastle United, multiple reports in England are corroborating. For a reported fee of around $8.5 million, Janmaat is headed to St. James Park pending a medical today.

The medical would have taken place earlier, but apparently he got sick from the long flight back to Europe from the World Cup, where the 24-year-old made five appearances, including three full-90’s.

Janmaat would be a direct replacement for Mathieu Debuchy at right-back, after the French defender leaves for Arsenal.  Debuchy’s departure has not been made official yet, but it’s just about a foregone conclusion at this point.

Finally, Feyenoord could also lose World Cup standout Stefan de Vrij, who is rumored to be on a number of teams’ shortlists.

Dutch paper De Telegraaf quoted Feyenoord sporting director Martin van Geel as saying, “Stefan is a player who came through our youth academy and played in the first team for five years. He played an amazing World Cup and his contract is due to expire in one year. “If the right club comes along and puts in a good offer, we will definitely look at it.”

The 22-year-old was the Netherlands’ best defender in Brazil outside of standout Ron Vlaar, playing in all seven matches and picking up a goal in their opener against Spain.

De Vrij was stellar in the air, winning 18 of his 21 aerial duels according to Squawka statistics.  He also was exceptional on the ball, winning all six of his attempted take-ons.

He is rumored to be the most coveted by Manchester United, where his national team boss Louis van Gaal is taking over this season.  Also reportedly interested is Serie A side Lazio.

Transfer rumor roundup: PL clubs losing ground for Dembele and more

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With all the major leagues across Europe either closing or already have finished it’s the season of transfer rumors once again.

[ MORE: Three things we learned from Arsenal’s FA Cup win vs. Chelsea ]

Here are several of the juiciest pieces from Sunday:

Three London sides could potentially miss out on Celtic star Moussa Dembele as AC Milan has emerged as a favorite to sign the top-rated Frenchman. Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham have all expressed great interest in the promising attacker, who scored 17 goals this season for the Scottish champions.

After struggling at times this season to keep goals out, Liverpool could turn to France as a potential outlet to fix the cracks in their back line. AS Monaco’s Benjamin Mendy already has significant PL interest from Manchester United and Manchester City, but Jurgen Klopp‘s side could also put up a fight.

West Ham is looking to bolster its attack this summer, and with Pep Guardiola likely making significant changes at the Etihad Stadium, Kelechi Iheanacho could be on his way to the Hammers ahead of the 2017/18 PL season.

Manchester City higher ups are keen on having Guardiola bring back goalkeeper Joe Hart from Torino this summer. Hart spent last season on loan with the Italian club after Guardiola sent him away from England early in his managing tenure at the club.

Luis Enrique leaves with feeling of mission accomplished

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MADRID (AP) Luis Enrique leaves Barcelona with no regrets and the feeling of mission accomplished.

[ MORE: Arsenal edges Chelsea to earn FA Cup crown ]

The coach capped his three-year stint with the Catalan club by winning the Copa del Rey title with a 3-1 win over Alaves on Saturday.

Now it’s time to enjoy some much-needed time off after three “intense” seasons, and let the club move on under fresh leadership.

“There is no sadness at all, just happiness,” Luis Enrique said. “I’m the one who decided to stop, and I think that it was a wonderful decision for me, for the players and for the team as well. The intensity of this profession demands maximum dedication every single day and there is a natural wear out.”

He said players always need new challenges and will benefit from a change in leadership, and the club will certainly keep winning despite his departure.

After missing out on the league this season, the Copa del Rey was Barcelona’s second title of the campaign to go along with the Spanish Super Cup, but Luis Enrique has won nearly everything since replacing Gerard Martino in 2014. The former midfielder led Barcelona to the treble of the Spanish league, Copa del Rey and Champions League in 2015. He also managed the league-Copa double in 2016, and also won the European Super Cup and the Club World Cup in 2015.

He said he was “proud” to have helped Barcelona fans celebrate so many accomplishments during his time at the helm.

“If someone had told me when I arrived that I would have the opportunity to help my team win nine titles out of 13 that we played, I’d say that these would be good numbers,” he said. “It would have been nice to have won La Liga and contended for the Champions League title this season, but it just wasn’t meant to be. I believe that the fans recognized the effort and the sacrifice of all the players throughout the season. I have enjoyed the opportunity to make them happy.”

Luis Enrique said he was also lucky to have had the chance to coach a player like Lionel Messi.

“He is extraordinary, extraterrestrial,” Luis Enrique said about the Argentina forward, who scored the team’s first goal on Saturday. “I’ve had the opportunity to enjoy Messi at his best, performing at the highest level. He is the very best, without a doubt.”

Neymar and Paco Alcacer also scored at the Vicente Calderon Stadium to help Barcelona win its third straight Copa del Rey title, and 29th all-time.

Luis Enrique celebrated with his seven-year-old daughter by his side, waving his winner’s trophy and singing the club’s anthem in front of the Barcelona fans who traveled to Madrid.

Barcelona is expected to announce this week that its new coach will be Ernesto Valverde, who left Athletic Bilbao a few days ago.

Luis Enrique’s future remains up in the air.

“I don’t know what I’ll be doing, really. I’m open to every possibility, including changing sports,” the 47-year-old Luis Enrique said, with a smile on his face. “I do know that I’m very competitive and it’s been like this since I was born. Right now I’m looking forward to the opportunity of enjoying my friends and my family.”

Tales Azzoni on Twitter: http://twitter.com/tazzoni

Report: Reus could miss six months after sustaining knee damage

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Marco Reus missed much of the 2016/17 season with injuries, and the Borussia Dortmund attacker had that unfortunate spell continue on Saturday.

[ MORE: USMNT tops Group F and more from the U-20 World Cup ]

The 27-year-old exited the club’s DFB Pokal final win against Eintracht Frankfurt at halftime after suffering a knee injury.

According to German outlet Bild, Reus will miss at least six months as he rehabs and prepares to make a comeback.

Despite the bad news for Dortmund, Thomas Tuchel’s men captured the title behind goals from Ousmane Dembélé and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Day 9: USMNT tops Group F and more from the U20 World Cup

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Five teams booked their place in the knockout phase at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup on Sunday, including Tab Ramos and the U.S. after the Americans picked up a valuable point to finish atop Group F.

[ MORE: Allardyce steps down at Palace ]

USMNT U-20s 1-1 Saudi Arabia

An unbeaten record in group play has Ramos and Co. moving on to the Round of 16, where the U.S. will meet New Zealand. Brooks Lennon inked his name on the scoresheet for the first time at this month’s World Cup just prior to halftime, before Abdulelah Alamri equalized with almost a quarter hour left to play.

Senegal 0-0 Ecuador

A draw was all Senegal needed to ensure it would continue its run at the World Cup, while Ecuador fell short of a final 16 bid after only managing two draws during Group F play.

New Zealand 0-2 France

With nine goals for and none conceded during Group E play, France remains one of the heavy hitters at the conclusion of the group phase. Les Bleus received a strong contribution from Bastia winger Allan Saint-Maximin, who netted twice in the first half.

Honduras 2-0 Vietnam

Honduras scored twice in the final 14 minutes-plus added time but neither nation reaches the Round of 16 with Sunday’s result.