Report: DeAndre Yedlin close to Tottenham switch, urged to stay at Seattle

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One of the U.S. national teams’ stars of the summer could soon be suiting up for Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane.

Reports from various outlets suggest Spurs are closing in on Seattle Sounders right back DeAndre Yedlin and hope to have the deal completed in the next few days.

Goal.com believe that Yedlin will play out the remainder of the 2014 Major League Soccer season with Seattle and then move to the Premier League in January. Yedlin was not present at Sounders practice on Friday and according to reports head coach Sigi Schmid confirmed the youngster was “overseas right now.”

Since then Adrian Hanauer has spoke about Yedlin’s trip overseas and a club spokesman confirmed to ProSoccerTalk that Yedlin is “in talks with a major European team” and that he will arrive back this week and spend the rest of this season with Seattle. ProSoccerTalk have also been in contact with Tottenham but have yet to get an official comment.

The deal for Yedlin is thought to be the largest ever fee paid for a Homegrown MLS players, as Spurs are expected to pay $4.5 million for the pacey right back. Yedlin, 21, may be loaned out to another European club to start with but it is expected that Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino would give him a chance to establish himself in the first team.

Former Seattle and Tottenham ‘keeper Kasey Keller isn’t over the moon about the prospect of Yedlin following in the footsteps of Keller and Clint Dempsey as Americans to ply their trade in North London. According to the London Evening Standard, Keller believes Yedlin stick around in Seattle for the foreseeable future.

“Spurs is a tricky place to play,” Keller said. “They’re a team that has a lot of turnover in players. Spurs are a team that has the money, and they are always looking for a bargain, but it’s a tough place to go. I just want to see young American players play regularly, week in and week out. If that’s at Tottenham, great. But if it’s not, then it’s not the right move. It’s hard to develop if you don’t play. I’m not sure DeAndre would even qualify for a work permit. He’s never started a game for the national team, [England] is a tough place to get a work permit. My guess would be that if Tottenham is in the race, it would be to sign DeAndre and loan him out somewhere.”

Keller does bring up a great point. How often will Yedlin play?

Time and time again we have seen young American players move overseas and then a lack of opportunities to play have followed, stunting their development, even though their bank balance may look a lot healthier.

Yedlin could likely command a very large boost in wages from MLS after his stellar performances at the 2014 World Cup and you do have to question what he would gain at sitting on the bench at Spurs, who already have Kyle Walker locked in at right back, than staying and playing regularly for the Sounders.

Lets see how this one plays out as rumors about Yedlin’s future persist.

Europa League final: Man United too tough for Ajax, qualify for UCL

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Though it may have required a minor detour in the journey to the intended destination, Jose Mourinho’s first season as Manchester United manager ultimately reached the promised land: qualification for next season’s UEFA Champions League.

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Once it became clear that Man United’s season was unlikely to result in a top-four finish in the Premier League (they eventually wound up sixth), Mourinho put every Mancunian egg into the Europa League basket, and it paid off on Wednesday, as United topped Ajax, 2-0, in the Europa League final inside the Friends Arena in Stockholm, Sweden.

Paul Pogba put United 1-0 ahead after just 18 minutes (WATCH HERE), benefitting from a wicked deflection off a defender’s shin, and Mourinho’s famously rigid, organized midfield and defensive structure frustrated a young Ajax side (a starting lineup with an average age of just under 23 years old) that reached the final on the back of a free-flowing, attacking tidal wave.

[ WATCH: Pogba gives United an early lead ]

Down just a goal, Ajax needed little more than a moment of brilliance from any number of rising stars sure to fetch massive transfer fees and land big-money contracts elsewhere in Europe, in the not-so-distant future.

That hope lasted less than 180 seconds into the second half, though, as Henrikh Mkhitaryan doubled the lead, thanks to some unbelievably quick reflexes and a tidy overhead kick from three yards out. Ajax would manage just two shots on goal all night (four for United).

Not only did Mourinho deliver Champions League qualification, alongside a European trophy, United also claimed the EFL Cup back in February. With the allure of UCL football next season, expect another busy (and expensive) summer of spending at Old Trafford.

AT THE HALF: Man Utd lead Ajax in UEL final, thanks to Pogba (video)

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After 45 minutes of Wednesday’s Europa League final, between Manchester United and Ajax, in Stockholm, Sweden, Jose Mourinho’s Red Devils have one foot in next season’s UEFA Champions League.

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After a cagey opening 15 minutes that saw neither side create anything of consequence, Man United pulled ahead on a fair bit of luck in the 18th minute. Paul Pogba received the ball 25 yards from goal, took a touch toward goal and fired a low shot toward goal. Davinson Sanchez did everything he could to get his body in front of the strike, but the ball glanced off his shin, sending it one direction and goalkeeper Andre Onana the other.

[ FOLLOW LIVE: Europa League final ] 

Having conceded just eight goals in 14.5 Europa League games thus far this season, would you bet on United conceding an equalizer in the final 45 minutes? Hit the link above to follow along, live.

Valverde dismisses deal to coach Barcelona

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MADRID (AP) Departing Athletic Bilbao coach Ernesto Valverde has been avoiding talk about a possible move to Barcelona, saying he has not entered into negotiations with any club.

Valverde did not confirm reports that he has already reached a deal to coach Barcelona next season, and did not dismiss taking a year off after four seasons at Athletic.

“I haven’t committed to any club, I haven’t talked to anybody,” Valverde said. “I have an agent and there are teams that have shown interest in me. Now I have to decide whether I will take on a new adventure, and it would have to be a challenging one.”

The 53-year-old Valverde has been widely touted to replace Luis Enrique, who announced earlier this year that he was tired and would not continue as Barcelona’s coach.

The Catalan club ends its season after the Copa del Rey final against Alaves on Saturday.

The Mundo Deportivo newspaper reported this week that Valverde has already reached a two-year deal with Barcelona, with an option for a third season. The newspaper said the announcement would be made next week.

“I don’t know what’s been published,” Valverde said. “I never talk about negotiations with clubs and that won’t change. This wouldn’t be the first time that I have offers from important clubs.”

He said there was still the possibility of taking some time off and not immediately taking over another club.

“Why not?” he said. “In the end I can do whatever I want, no?”

A former forward, Valverde played two seasons with Barcelona in the late 1980s. He spent six years with Athletic from 1990-96.

Valverde didn’t hide that he will be hoping Barcelona wins the Copa del Rey title this weekend, which would guarantee Athletic a spot in the Europa League next season. Athletic finished seventh in the Spanish league, but will play in the second-tier European competition with a Barcelona victory because the Catalan club will play in the Champions League. Only the teams in fifth and sixth places automatically qualify for the Europa League.

Valverde led Athletic to victory over Barcelona in the final of the Spanish Super Cup in 2015, which marked the team’s first title in more than three decades. He also coached the club from 2003-05.

Valverde has also coached Espanyol, Olympiakos, Villarreal and Valencia.

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

LIVE: Man United face Ajax in Europa League final

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Manchester United and Ajax square off in Stockholm, Sweden on Wednesday for the UEFA Europa League trophy and a place in the Champions League next season.

[ LIVE: Europa League final ] 

This a huge game for Jose Mourinho and United bad coming less than 48 hours after a suicide bomber killed 22 people in Manchester, this game has taken an entirely different complexion.

The mood around the Friends Arena is a somber one as Manchester United’s fans mourn those lost in the terror attack and people around the world send their love and prayers to Manchester.

Black armbands will be worn by both teams and there will be a minute’s silence before the game to honor the victims.

United have never won this trophy and they will have their work cut out against a young, talented Ajax side.

Click no the link above to follow the action live from Stockholm, while here at ProSoccerTalk we will have all the analysis, reaction and more from the final.