Sunday’s transfer rumor roundup: Blind to Barca, Vargas to Arsenal?

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With Thomas Vermaelen officially a member of Barcelona and Southampton adding Celtic keeper Fraser Forster, who’s next to make their run through the rumor mill and onto a new team?

Dutch back Daley Blind has spilled his guts regarding a transfer move away from Ajax. The 24-year-old has admitted that it would be hard to turn down a move to Manchester United or Barcelona, but said he thinks the Spanish way of play works a lot better for his non-physical game.

Meanwhile, the Daily Star is saying that Blind is United’s second hope, and that Louis van Gaal is readying an improved bid of $50 million for German back Mats Hummels of Borussia Dortmund. Of course, they’ve been linked up in the rumor mill for a long time with no real movement outside of the mill.

[ ELSEWHERE: Arsenal lifts Community Shield after 3-0 defeat of Man City ]

Part of Arturo Vidal’s rumored move from Juventus to Manchester United has often included Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez going the other way, but Ronald Koeman is hoping that the Mexican forward will consider Southampton a better option for him. Koeman needs reinforcements after the great Southampton sell-off this summer.

Staying with United — aren’t we always during silly season — the latest on Fiorentina winger Juan Cuadrado is that the Italian club would sell him for $42 million. Surely the Red Devils can rifle through their couch cushions for that fee. Va Gaal has also dropped a hint on Angel Di Maria, according to some soothsayers.

source: Reuters
Remy

Metro cites Chilean sources saying Alexis Sanchez wants $16 million Chile teammate and attacker Eduardo Vargas to join him at the Emirates Stadium. Vargas has a year left on his contract at Napoli.

Loic Remy could be staying put at QPR, as Harry Redknapp says his player is ready to fight for his starting spot in the team. And by fight for, we mean have it given when healthy.

Go to jail for hitting your girlfriend and her family? Maybe there’s a spot for you at Cardiff City, where Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is said to be keen on West Ham United’s Ravel Morrison. Cardiff is also interested in a non-leaguer named Danny Johnson.

Sky Sports sources say Samuel Eto’o is being offered around the Eredivisie, with Ajax and PSV Eindhoven paying attention.

[ MORE RUMORS FROM THE WEEKEND ]

The Metro says Newcastle is the clubhouse leader to steal Wilfried Zaha away from Manchester United, though Crystal Palace and Nottingham Forest are also interested in the 21-year-old.

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.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

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.”

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.