Arsenal on the verge of signing Calum Chambers from Southampton

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As Dejan Lovren inches toward Anfield, another Southampton player is making his way toward the door, with 19-year-old defender Calum Chambers about to add his name to the list of Saints who’ve left St. Mary’s this summer. Following in the footsteps of Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert, Luke Shaw, and head coach Mauricio Pochettino, Chambers is the subject of a bid north of $24 million from Arsenal, with the England youth-level right back having undergone a medical with the Gunners on Friday.

Chambers made 22 league appearances for Pochettino last year, starting 18 times as Southampton surged to eighth in the Premier League. Having featured prominently at youth levels for England, Chambers is expected to break into the Three Lions set up soon, though it’s unclear whether his long-term future will be at right back or in the middle. Regardless, the 19-year-old is a player who’s destined to move away from Southampton, be it this summer or in the future.

Arsenal’s elected to jump to the front of the line, tabling a bid that will be difficult to turn down. In North London, Chambers would provide depth wide or in the middle, with the newly acquired Mathieu Debuchy expected to replace the departed Bacary Sagna to the right of Per Mertsacker and Laurent Koscielny. According to The Telegraph, incumbent right back Carl Jenkinson could move if the Chambers deal is completed, with West Ham reportedly interested.

From the BBC’s David Ornstein, with similar reports appearing at other English outlets:


From Southampton’s point of view, an eight-figure fee is hard to ignore in the face of the player’s inexperience, and while Saints are reportedly eager to halt their players’ exodus, the sale represents good value for a slightly unproven right back. While supporters surely want to see some of their stars stay at St. Mary’s, Chambers is not going to be a make-or-break player this season. If Saints are going to cash in on him eventually, why not now, especially when they can put that money back into the squad?

Regardless, you have to pity Ronald Koeman, whose success coaching Feyenoord earned the former Ajax and Barcelona star a shot in England. But upon his arrival on the south coast, he’s seen the team’s sale prolonged. Three weeks before the season starts, the new boss may be wondering who’ll still be around when his squad travels to Anfield on Aug. 17.

Report: New Arsenal manager will have small budget to re-shape squad

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Whoever takes the helm as Arsenal’s next manager will have to do some math gymnastics this summer to stretch every penny available.

According to a report from The Telegraph, Arsenal is giving Arsene Wenger‘s successor a little less than $70 million to work with in this summer’s transfer market, citing back-to-back transfer windows with club-record signings (Alexandre Lacazette last summer and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in January) and three raises given to players. Arsenal paid around $78 million alone to sign Aubameyang and around $65 million for Lacazette.

[READ: UCL Preview: Liverpool vs. Roma]

That means whoever comes in next to lead Arsenal will likely have to sell one or two players this summer to raise additional money for world-class signings.

For the last decade, Arsenal has been crying out for a new pair of centerbacks and a holding midfielder in the mould of Patrick Vieira. In addition, with Petr Cech getting older, the prospect of needing a new goalkeeper is also on the horizon.

Luckily for Arsenal, they seem to be just fine up front. From Aubameyang and Lacazette to Mesut Ozil, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Aaron Ramsey, the club has the talent to challenge for a title next season in that department.

A dozen different names have been bandied about as to who will be Arsenal’s next manager, with out-of-contract and former Barcelona manager Luis Enrique reportedly on the shortlist. Vieira, former Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta, Germany National Team coach Joachim Low, Juventus boss Max Allegri and Hoffenheim’s Julian Nagelsman have all also been linked with the job.

Tunisian player who collapsed in Spain regains consciousness

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MADRID (AP) Spanish third-division club Toledo says a Tunisian player who collapsed from heart failure during practice 10 days ago has regained consciousness.

The club says doctors removed sedative medication and Lassad Nouioui was responding well to treatment on Monday.

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They will consider removing the 32-year-old Nouioui from the intensive care unit if his condition keeps improving. Nouioui has played for a number of clubs during his 14-year professional career, notably a four-year stay at Deportivo La Coruna and a one-year spell with Celtic.

Nouioui collapsed on April 14.

The game against Real Madrid B the following day was postponed because of the problem with Nouioui.

FIFA force pace on $25B Club World Cup, global league plan

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GENEVA (AP) FIFA is forcing the pace on talks over a $25 billion offer to revamp the Club World Cup and create a global national team competition.

FIFA says President Gianni Infantino hosted a meeting last Friday with invited officials from some top European clubs.

[ MORE: Everton gets past Newcastle behind Walcott strike ]

The European Club Association has strongly opposed FIFA’s hope for a four-yearly club tournament starting in 2021, which could rival the UEFA-organized Champions League.

UEFA has also proposed a Global Nations League. A similar project is tied to the FIFA-controlled $25 billion, 12-year offer from a consortium including investors from Saudi Arabia and China.

FIFA says it’s holding “informal ongoing discussions with different stakeholders on the topic of the future Club World Cups.”

Infantino is set to meet confederation presidents and general secretaries “in the near future,” FIFA says.

Video: De Rossi, Roma make classy visit to Hillsborough memorial

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On many occasions there are instances where teams and individuals exemplify the fact that real-life occurrences are more meaningful than sports.

Ahead of Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League meeting, Italian giants AS Roma visited Anfield –where they will face Liverpool in the competition’s semifinals.

After walking around the venue where the two sides will compete in less than 24 hours, Roma captain Daniele de Rossi and the rest of the Roma squad visited the Hillsborough memorial at Anfield to pay tribute to the 96 victims lost in the 1989 event that rocked the entire country.

De Rossi was seen laying a floral arrangement on the site, along with a note from the club that read, “In memoria delle vittime di Hillsborough AS Rome.”