Southampton continue to be a major player in the summer transfer market by agreeing to a fee with Hull City to acquire Shane Long and accepting a bid from Crystal Palace for Jack Cork.
The Long fee is for $20 million and will see the Republic of Ireland striker move from the KC Stadium to St. Mary’s just eight months after arriving at Hull from West Bromwich Albion. The striker scored seven Premier League goals in total last season, three with West Brom in 15 matches and four with Hull City in the same amount of appearances.
Assuming Long completes his medical and agrees to personal terms with Southampton he will be expected to challenge for the starting striker role alongside Graziano Pelle, who arrived at Southampton earlier this season from Feyenoord. Both men will look to fill the void left by Rickie Lambert, who left the Saints earlier this season on an $8 million deal to Liverpool.
Cork is poised to become the seventh player sold by Southampton this summer after the club accepted Palace’s $5 million bid. The relatively small transfer fee reflects the breakdown in negotiations between the Saints and Cork, who has one year left on his contract. Fearing he would leave the club on a free next summer, Southampton decided to accepted the fee and move on.
Assuming Cork passes his medical and agrees to personal terms, expect him to slot in nicely alongside Mile Jedinak in the Eagles midfield after Kagisho Dikgacoi left the club for Cardiff City earlier this summer.
Thus far this summer Southampton has sold Lambert, Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren, Luke Shaw, Calum Chambers and Dani Osvaldo but have acquired Pelle, Dusan Tadic, Ryan Bertrand, Saphir Taider, Fraser Forster and, if all goes well, Long. There’s no sign of business slowing down at St. Mary’s, however, as Tottenham are pressing hard to acquire Morgan Schneiderlin and striker Jay Rodriguez.
Super agent Mino Raiola has injected a ray of light into the hopes of both Juventus and Real Madrid fans when it comes to Paul Pogba.
The terrific midfielder has been widely reported as an imminent arrival at Manchester United, but Raiola has taken to Twitter to blast journalists who’ve reported the move and medical as done.
[ RANIERI: Mahrez will stay at LCFC ]
Pogba was photographed in Los Angeles amid claims he was undergoing a physical at United. Multiple reports have said he passed the medical and that Juventus has agreed to sell Pogba to United for a world record fee.
Raiola says different, though taken with the grain of salt that he’s set to make as much as $30 million on the deal and his job is to squeeze every possibly penny from suitors.
Claudio Ranieri seems to be genuine and honest in his evaluations, as we’ve seen in his dealings with Jamie Vardy and N'Golo Kante amongst others.
And the manager is making no bones about what he thinks is best for another Leicester City star in Riyad Mahrez.
[ MORE: Gameiro joins new club ]
Ranieri says the Algerian will face far more pressure at a new club then he will face still competing in the UEFA Champions League with the Foxes.
In other words, the 25-year-old should stick around. From Sky Sports:
“I speak often with him and say stay with us, it’s much better for your future, I think he is an intelligent man and he will stay,” Ranieri told Sky Sports News HQ.
“We support him very well, this is important, when you change teams maybe you don’t find team-mates who help you at the same level.
“He improves more if he stays with us for another year, maybe next year he can think about another solution. If he goes for a lot of money, everybody will be expecting something special. He can do something special, but with us.”
We tend to agree. Whereas N’Golo Kante was prepared to use Leicester as a stepping stone — and it seems Ranieri knew it — Mahrez has been with the Foxes since 2014 and seen his stature skyrocket.
Let’s see what happens, Riyad. Cool?
MADRID (AP) Atletico Madrid says it has acquired French striker Kevin Gameiro from rival Spanish club Sevilla.
In exchange, Atletico has agreed to loan Argentine striker Luciano Vietto to Sevilla for one season.
Atletico says Gameiro will sign a four-year contract after undergoing a standard medical exam.
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The 29-year-old Gameiro scored 67 goals during three seasons with Sevilla, helping it win three Europa League titles.
Gameiro will join countryman Antoine Griezmann and Fernando Torres to form the attack of an Atletico side that reached the final of the Champions League last season.
Atletico did not reveal the financial details of Gameiro’s transfer.
NEW YORK (AP) A former Guatemalan soccer federation president has pleaded guilty in New York to charges related to a sprawling corruption investigation of world soccer.
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Brayan Jimenez pleaded guilty Friday to federal racketeering conspiracy and wire fraud conspiracy charges, each carrying up to 20 years in prison. It’s unclear when he’ll be sentenced.
The 62-year-old Jimenez is among 40 people from around the world charged in a FIFA bribery scandal over lucrative broadcasting rights.
Prosecutors say Jimenez accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from a Florida-based sports marketing company. They say in exchange for the money Jimenez awarded the company media marketing rights to the Guatemalan soccer team’s World Cup qualifying matches in 2018 and 2022.
Jimenez’s attorneys haven’t returned a message seeking comment on his guilty plea.