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.

Liverpool, Roma ride major emotions into the UCL semifinals

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Four clubs remain in this season’s UEFA Champions League competition, and while two of the teams have been considered heavy dogs in the fight all year long the other two sides look to continue on their storybook run.

Liverpool, Roma, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid have found themselves in the semifinals of this season’s UCL, creating a strong mix of storylines as the tournament heads towards its most critical point.

[ MORE: Everton gets past Newcastle behind Theo Walcott’s strike ]

Anfield will be the site for Tuesday’s first leg between Liverpool and Roma, with both sides still riding major highs from their victories in the last round.

The Reds enter the final four after having disposed of fellow Premier League side Manchester City in relatively dominating fashion. Meanwhile, Roma completed a seemingly impossible comeback against Barcelona to progress in the competition.

Liverpool is led by three of the year’s top goalscorers, including Mohamed Salah — who has scored eight goals in the UCL and 41 across all competitions.

For Roma, much of the side’s success has been predicated on finding defensive strength at the right moments throughout the tournament.

Despite falling behind 4-1 in their first leg defeat to Barca in the previous round, Edin Dzeko and Co. rallied for a 3-0 win at the Stade Olimpico to stun the Catalan club by holding Lionel Messi and his side in check.

Manager Eusebio Di Francesco will have to find creative ways to halt the Liverpool attack though over the course of two legs, with the Reds boasting the top attack in this year’s UCL.

Liverpool has scored 33 goals in 10 UCL matches, while only conceding seven in the process.

Keeper Ederson hopeful he can score this season for Man City

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The prospects for a goalkeeper scoring during a match are usually uncommon, but that hasn’t halted Manchester City’s number one choice from aiming to break the trend this season.

Ederson — who has moved into the starting role at the Etihad Stadium with relative ease in 2017/18 — has dreamt of scoring a goal of his own for the Premier League champions in waiting.

“I heard the fans chanting my name, asking me to take the penalty but Gabriel went there,” Ederson said. “Unfortunately he missed it and Bernardo happily scored. But if the manager have asked me to go there, definitely I’d score.

“I’m not sure if I would be able to do set-pieces, but I’m good at penalties, either using power or technique on shooting it. But City have [their] regular penalty-takers and we are well-served.

Citizen supporters chanted for the goalkeeper to take a penalty kick over the weekend in the team’s 5-0 win over Swansea City.

However, Gabriel Jesus was the man selected for the opportunity, but had his attempt saved by Lukasz Fabianski before Bernardo Silva was in the right spot to score the game’s fifth goal.

“If Pep asks me to take it, I’m there,” Ederson said of the penalty kick. “Hopefully it will happen [before the end of the season], I’d like to score.”

This isn’t the first time Ederson has discussed exploring opportunities outside of the net, though.

The Brazilian shot-stopper has long been a fan of former Brazil international goalkeeper Rogero Ceni — who scored 65 goals for club side Sao Paolo.

Earlier this season, the 24-year-old joked around with the media, saying that he’d be more than happy to fill a role in the midfield when City was experiencing some injury issues within the squad.

Everton 1-0 Newcastle: Walcott blast has Toffees up to eighth

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Everton earned a 1-0 win against Newcastle on Monday behind Theo Walcott‘s second-half strike at Goodison Park.

The victory puts the Toffees into eighth place, leaping over Leicester City for the time being — as the Foxes have an extra game in hand.

[ MORE: Sweden coach says Ibra must reach out to have shot at World Cup ]

The former Arsenal man broke the deadlock six minutes into the second half when Walcott blasted the ball into the roof of the net following a lofted cross from Yannick Bolasie.

For Walcott, it’s his third goal since joining Everton in 2017/18 from the Gunners.

The visitors had their fair share of opportunities on the day, particularly through Ayoze Pérez, who was active all throughout the match.

Perez nearly broke the deadlock after the half hour mark when he tested goalkeeper Jordan Pickford in the 31st minute with a diving save in the bottom left corner.

Phil Jagielka came close four minutes later when his close-range attempt narrowly missed the top left corner after Michael Keane‘s flicked header off a corner kick.

The Spanish forward was at it again in the second stanza, and nearly found the back of the net when his header was saved in the center of the goal off of a cross from Kenedy.

Newcastle pushed hard for an equalizer in the dying moments, and even played up a man for a few minutes when Leighton Baines was tended to for a head injury, but the Magpies couldn’t even the score.

Sweden coach: Ibrahimovic must call in order to have chance at World Cup

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic recently raised the stakes when he said, “I am going to the World Cup, yes!” despite having previously declared his retirement from international soccer.

Although the LA Galaxy forward’s comments on Jimmy Kimmel’s late-night show may not be a clear indication of his involvement in this summer’s World Cup in Russia, Ibrahimovic certainly has an interest in representing his native Sweden once again.

[ MORE: FIFA subjects Morocco 2026 bid to scrutiny ]

Now, all the veteran goalscorer has to do is pick up the phone and call Sweden coach Janne Andersson, according to the manager.

“He can do it,” Andersson told kicker. “But If he changes his opinion, contacts me and tells me ‘yes, I want to be part of it,’ then we’ll sit down and discuss what that would mean, how we play these days and so on. But that’s all speculation.

“I don’t know [if he’d still fit into the team]. But I also don’t think about it. I take the things as they come if they come. If you want to be part of it, you must call me. Easy as that.”

The 36-year-old retired from the international game following Sweden’s involvement in EURO 2016, and Andersson says that he had no intention of calling up Ibrahimovic prior to the media-driven questions surrounding the striker.

Ibrahimovic ranks first all-time for his homeland in goals scored (62) since debuting for Sweden back in 2001.

“Not him, or anyone else who retired. But there’s this media noise,” he said. “I have no problem with those questions [about a possible return]. Not with what he says or what is written in media.”

Several of Sweden’s current players, including goalkeeper Karl-Johan Johnsson recently stated that bringing Ibrahimovic back into the fold may disrupt the rhythm created within the squad — who handled Italy in their World Cup qualifying playoff to reach the final tournament in June.