For Napoli, hairstyle part of Marouane Fellaini’s appeal

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Two days after rumors connecting Marouane Fellaini to Napoli surfaced, the Serie A club has confirmed the Manchester United midfielder is “on the table.” Club president Aurelio De Laurentiis verified his team’s interest in Thursday, with the filmmaker/soccer executive telling an Italian radio station that the Belgian’s hairstyle helps make him an attractive options for the club.

Fellaini, know for his characteristic large, dark afro, has been linked with moves away Old Trafford, with new manager Louis van Gaal reportedly hoping to trim him from the Red Devils’ roster. Though United gave Everton $42.8 million for the 26-year-old last September, the club is willing to cut its losses to find a new home for David Moyes’s first major acquisition.

Though Napoli won’t be able to approach last year’s fee, the club’s still been Fellaini’s most prominent suitor, with the possibility of a season on loan reported on Monday.

Per De Laurentiis, Fellaini is one of a number of options, though the Belgian has one edge on the field. From England’s Press Association

“Fellaini is one of the names on the table, but not the only one,” the Napoli president told the Italian radio station Kiss Kiss when asked about potential transfers for the upcoming season.

De Laurentiis thinks Fellaini and Gökhan Inler would make a good centre-midfield pairing for Napoli, not because of their playing styles but because of their respective hair styles …

“Fellaini has long hair and the Swiss [Inler] is shaven. Together they have a hairstyle that looks like a lion’s mane and three years ago I presented Inler with the mask of a lion!”

Assuming Fellaini can move on from last year’s struggles, a holding tandem of him and Inler in Napoli’s double-pivot should be very effective. But De Laurentiis, being the entertainer he is, sees beyond that potential. Effective is one thing. Attractive is another.

How much is that worth to United, though? The Red Devils are going to have to take a hit on Fellaini’s sale, but are the aesthetics of a deal enough to get Napoli’s commitment? At this point, it’s difficult to imagine the Belgian international being with the club come Sept. 1.

At long last, Butland returns to full training with Stoke

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Stoke City’s long-coming goalkeeping dilemma will come to a head soon, as Jack Butland is back in training.

A year ago today, the Potters confirmed that star backstop Butland would miss EURO 2016 with a broken ankle. He’d need multiple surgeries as recovery dragged on and on.

[ MORE: Complete Panama-USMNT preview ]

That was more palatable thanks to the play of Lee Grant, who arrived on loan from Derby County but became a permanent Potter in January. Grant has been a key part of Stoke’s season.

Butland is contracted to Stoke through 2021, and he’ll ascend to the starting gig sooner rather than later. But Grant is in the catbird seat for now, and at least will have made himself attractive to other clubs seeking a keeper.

Report: Everton linked with $4 million swoop for Canada’s Larin

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The Sun only hits on a few of the many transfer rumors it tosses around, but this one bears a second look for fans of Everton, MLS, and Canada.

Everton is already eyeing replacements for Romelu Lukaku, according to the report, and is hunting for a bargain in Canadian national teamer Cyle Larin.

Larin, 21, was the first overall pick in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft by Orlando City SC after an electric career at UConn.

[ MORE: Complete Panama-USMNT preview ]

He’s since scored 35 goals in 63 matches for the Lions, picking up three in his first two matches of the 2017 season. The 6-foot-1 Ontario native has five goals for Canada in 19 caps.

The Sun says Larin would cost close to $4 million, a fraction of what the Toffees will get if they sell Lukaku.

Fan dies after falling off football stadium in Brazil

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SAO PAULO (AP) A Brazilian football fan has died after falling 25 meters from the top of Morumbi Stadium in Sao Paulo onto a parking lot.

The height is equivalent to an eight-story building.

Bruno Pereira da Silva, aged 23, suffered head injuries and died upon arrival at a local hospital on Sunday.

[ MORE: Complete Panama-USMNT preview ]

He and other fans were attempting to jump to a section of the stadium where they could get a better view of the Sao Paulo state championship match between Sao Paulo and archrival Corinthians. The game ended 1-1.

Friends of da Silva told Brazilian media Silva was attending his first football match.

CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers: CRC, Honduras get off the mat

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The two traditional CONCACAF powers are riding high following Friday’s round of World Cup qualifiers, while the two other sides to qualify for Brazil 2014 are licking their wounds.

Honduras and Costa Rica both found themselves on the wrong side of shutout losses to the United States and Mexico, while Trinidad and Tobago injected itself into the discussion with a home win over Panama.

[ WATCH: CONCACAF qualifiers on Telemundo ]

What’s cooking for Tuesday? Read on:

Honduras vs. Costa Rica — 5 p.m. EDT Tuesday

Two sides which love to play physical, on-the-edge soccer meet on the heels of Friday losses. Expect Jorge Luis Pinto’s Catrachos to adapt after a 6-0 beatdown at the hands of the U.S., but they’ll have to do much, much better at home.

The dates at Estadio Morazan have to be the key for Honduras to climb into the Top Three, and it’ll be buoyed by memories of its 3-1 win over T&T two rounds ago. As for Costa Rica, Los Ticos aim to respond from conceding their first two goals of the Hex.

Trinidad and Tobago vs. Mexico — 7 p.m. EDT Tuesday

Kevin Molino’s strike gave T&T its first three points of qualifying, but its odds of getting a result against visiting Mexico aren’t nearly as good. The Soca Warriors desperation will be easy to see, as June’s qualifiers include trips to the U.S. and Costa Rica.

El Tri now has wins in two of its trickier Hex matches after adding Friday’s 2-0 win over Costa Rica to its upset of the Yanks in Columbus. Ten points through four matches would be exemplary; A draw or loss leaves the door open for Costa Rica to summit the Hex table.

United States vs. Panama — 10:05 p.m. EDT Tuesday

Read our extensive preview here, but the upshot is this: The United States can rise into the Top Three by beating Panama, while Los Canaleros will be happy to scoop a draw to stem any bleeding cause by Molino and T&T.