Liverpool inquires about Falcao, learns he’s Real Madrid-bound

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If Radamel Falcao is going to Real Madrid, why hasn’t he moved to the Bernabéu? That’s that lingering question after reading today’s reports that the Colombian striker, coming off a January injury that cost him a place at this summer’s World Cup, is destined for the European champions. After a recent inquiry from another prominent club’s been rebuked, it seems the 28-year-old’s return to Madrid is inevitable.

That club was Liverpool, according to recent reports, with manager Brendan Rodgers still looking for a way to replace the departed Luis Suárez. Ricky Lambert has been brought in from Southampton, as has attacking midfielder Adam Lallana, but despite over $150 million in summer spending (in transfer fees, only), the Reds are still in the market.

Unfortunately, though he’s reportedly set to be sold, Falcao is not part of that market. From The Guardian:

The Colombia striker was subject to an inquiry from Liverpool several days ago as Brendan Rodgers attempts to secure a replacement for Luis Suárez. Liverpool’s approach revealed the 28-year-old … is set to follow James Rodríguez out of Monaco but that a deal with European champions Real is close to being agreed. The inquiry from Liverpool has gone no further.

The idea of Falcao, such a distinct presence in the penalty area, being at Rodgers’ disposal is tantalizing, particularly with the likes of Daniel Sturridge, Raheem Sterling, and Lallana in support. Given the tactical flexibility Rodgers has shown during his managerial career, Falcao could end up one of England’s most prolific scorer, with the Colombia providing a both a target and a predator when teams try to keep Liverpool from building through the middle.

Unfortunately, that’s not meant to be. Instead, Falcao seems intent on joining a team that already has French international Karim Benzema playing between Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale.

Again, from The Guardian:

He left that [Atlético Madrid] for a reported £50m last summer but has not settled in Monaco and suffered the knee injury that destroyed his World Cup hopes in a French cup tie in January.

For so many South American players, joining Real Madrid is the dream, even if playing time’s not assured. Regardless, Falcao seems intent on moving to back to Spain, with Real Madrid’s fee likely to alleviate Monaco from the any serious effects from last summer’s exorbitant spending.

Men in Blazers: Jurgen Klopp talks loss of Coutinho and more

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Roger Bennett talks with manager Jurgen Klopp about revolutionizing Liverpool, his Greatest Show on Turf-esque offense, the loss of Philippe Coutinho and how he keeps football in perspective.

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MLS: Higuain extends with Crew, Royer gets new deal with Red Bulls

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Two key midfielders earned new deals on Thursday, as two of the Eastern Conference’s recent successes helped solidify for their attacks for the next few years.

The Columbus Crew extended Designated Player attacker Federico Higuain through the 2019 MLS season.

Higuain has been with the Crew since 2012, when the Argentine joined the club from Colon de Santa Fe in his native country.

Meanwhile, the New York Red Bulls extended Daniel Royer’s contract, as the Austrian winger in the midst of his third season with Jesse Marsch’s group.

Thus far, Royer has tallied 17 goals in all competitions for the Red Bulls, including 15 during the 2017 campaign, where the former Midtjylland player finished second on the team in goals behind Bradley Wright-Phillips.

UEL: Griezmann nabs crucial away goal vs. Arsenal, Marseille cruises

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A game of back-and-forth at the Emirates Stadium set up an enticing second leg in the UEFA Europa League semifinals, while a Ligue 1 side positioned itself well to move into the final.

[ MORE: Prince-Wright’s Premier League picks ]

Arsenal and Atletico Madrid settled for a 1-1 draw in London, as Antoine Griezmann’s late strike leveled the match for the Spanish side.

The Gunners looked on their way to a victory when Alexandre Lacazette‘s goal just beyond the hour mark put Arsene Wenger‘s men in front.

The result sets up a strong showdown for the two giants in a week’s time, although Arsenal will feel it left something on the table after racking up 26 shots (seven on target) on the day, particularly after Sime Vrsaljko was sent off after 10 minutes for the visitors when he picked up a second yellow card.

Meanwhile, Florian Thauvin and Clinton Njie gave Marseille a 2-0 win over Red Bull Leipzig, giving the French side the edge it sought out ahead of the competition finale.

The two clubs will meet again at Red Bull Arena Salzburg for the second leg.


Arsenal 1-1 Atletico Madrid
Marseille 2-0 Red Bull Salzburg

Europa League, LIVE: Arsenal, Marseille host first legs

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Diego Costa brings a solid career record against Arsenal back to London in a bid to ruin Arsene Wenger‘s farewell season at the Emirates Stadium.

[ FOLLOW: Arsenal vs. Atleti ]

The now-Atletico Madrid forward returns to England on Thursday as his La Liga outfit aims to stop Arsenal from reaching next month’s Europa League Final in Lyon.

[ FOLLOW: Marseille vs. Red Bull Salzburg ]

That’s a 3:05 p.m. ET kickoff, the same as Marseille’s date with Red Bull Salzburg in France.

ARSENAL-ATLETICO MADRID LINEUPS

Arsenal: Ospina, Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Xhaka, Wilshere, Ramsey, Welbeck, Ozil, Lacazette. Subs: Cech, Maitland-Niles, Holding, Chambers, Kolasinac, Iwobi, Nketiah.

Atleti: Oblak, Lucas, Godin, Gimenez, Vrsaljko, Saul, Thomas, Koke, Correa, Griezmann, Gameiro. Subs: Werner, Savic, Gabi, Vitolo, Olabe, Torres, Costa.