Liverpool agree $20 million deal to sign Spanish left back Alberto Moreno

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Liverpool are close to the signing of Sevilla’s highly-rated left back Alberto Moreno.

The 22-year-old Spaniard, who made Spain’s initial 30-man World Cup squad but didn’t make the final cut, is set to have a medical and will agree personal terms at Anfield in the coming days.

Brendan Rodgers’ side will pay $20 million for Moreno who has come through the academy at Sevilla and shone over the past two seasons in La Liga. On Tuesday he was in Cardiff as Sevilla lost 2-0 to Real Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup and the entire squad and coaching staff said an emotional goodbye to Moreno who was said to be extremely popular after coming through the youth and reserve teams in Andalucia.

A short statement announcing the deal had been agreed for Moreno’s transfer was placed on Liverpool’s website.

Liverpool can confirm they have reached an agreement with Sevilla for the transfer of Spain international full-back Alberto Moreno.

The Reds will proceed with the formalities of finalizing the deal for the 22-year-old over the coming days and will make no further announcement until it is complete.

Moreno’s signing fits in with Rodgers’ philosophy and the way he has bolstered his ranks this summer. Alongside the likes of Lazar Markovic, Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren, Divock Origi and Javier Manquillo, Moreno is young, has experience at the top level under his belt and plays the ‘Liverpool way’ which Rodgers has fostered over the past two seasons. The aforementioned quintet are all under the age of 26 and Rodgers will now sculpt them into playing the attacking, free flowing soccer fans of the Reds love to watch.

Liverpool’s problem area last season was in defense as they conceded 50 goals in 38 PL games but with the addition of Lovren and now Moreno set to join, Rodgers has addressed where he needed to strengthen. Defense. The only question now is as to what Liverpool’s best back four looks like. Glen Johnson or Jon Flanagan at right back? Lovren, Mamadou Sakho, Kolo Toure, Daniel Agger or Martin Skrtel at center back? Moreno or Jose Enrique at left back?

Whoever lines up at the back for Liverpool, this season they have plenty of options in defense. That certainly wasn’t the case last term.

Independiente and Flamengo meet for South American trophy

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SAO PAULO (AP) Independiente, relegated for the first time in its history in 2013, can complete a remarkable turnaround by winning the Copa Sudamericana at the Maracana Stadium on Wednesday.

[ MORE: LA FC selects Urena, four others in MLS Expansion Draft ]

The Argentine team will go into the second leg of the final holding a 2-1 lead over Brazilian club Flamengo from the first leg.

Independiente, which has won multiple titles in South American tournaments, will be counting on 18-year-old midfielder Ezequiel Barco, one of the best players in this year’s competition.

Flamengo is also seeking to restore some pride in Rio de Janeiro. The big-spending Brazilian club, playing in its first Copa Sudamericana final, finished its domestic championship in a disappointing sixth place.

The Rio team will be without Peru striker Paolo Guerrero, who is serving a one-year doping ban.

Instead, veteran midfielder Diego will be the key player as Flamengo looks to claim its first regional title since winning the now-defunct Copa Mercosur in 1999.

After Independiente won the first leg, the club posted on its social media channels a picture of its players celebrating at the Maracana in 1995 when the two teams played for the Supercopa.

If the Argentines lose 1-0 on Wednesday, there will be a penalty shootout to decide the winner.

Last year, Brazilian club Chapecoense was awarded the title before the final after 19 players, plus club directors and several members of staff, died in an air crash.

The Copa Sudamericana is the continent’s second most prestigious tournament after the Copa Libertadores.

Bundesliga wrap: Dortmund wins in Stoger’s managerial debut

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For the first time since late September, Borussia Dortmund has won a league match, while Leipzig’s slip up opens the door for Bayern Munich to extend its lead in Germany’s top flight.

[ MORE: Chelsea tops Huddersfield, level on points with Man United ]

Here’s a brief look at all of Tuesday’s Bundesliga action.

Mainz 0-2 Borussia Dortmund

10 points separates Dortmund from league leaders Bayern Munich, who also have a match in hand, but for the moment, the bleeding his stopped. BVB picked up a crucial win on Tuesday to end its domestic woes upon manager Peter Stoger’s debut. The side’s drought stretched over an eight-match winless period. Second-half goals from Sokratis and Shinji Kagawa moved Dortmund into the top four, while Mainz remains 15th in the league table.

 

Wolfsburg 1-1 Red Bull Leipzig

Meanwhile, RB Leipzig’s form continues to slide downward after the second-place side dropped points in its fourth straight match across all competitions. The road side’s fortunes were dampened early on when Paul Verhaegh converted from the penalty spot, however, Marcel Halstenberg did manage to pull a goal back for Leipzig in the 52nd minute. Leipzig’s misfortunes carried on in stoppage time though when Dayot Upamecano was sent off after picking up his second yellow card of the day.


The rest of Tuesday’s scores

Hamburg 1-2 Frankfurt
Freiburg 1-0 Borussia Monchengladbach

Inter beats 3rd-division Pordenone 5-4 on penalties in Cup

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MILAN (AP) Inter Milan scraped into the Italian Cup quarterfinals after the Serie A leader was taken to penalties by third-division Pordenone on Tuesday.

[ MORE: Chelsea tops Huddersfield, moves level on points with Man United ]

Pordenone goalkeeper Simone Perilli pulled off several saves in regulation time to keep the game scoreless, and he almost proved to be the hero during the shootout, stopping two penalties.

But Inter prevailed 5-4, with Yuto Nagatomo tucking away the final spot kick.

Both sides hit the woodwork during the 120 minutes.

Inter coach Luciano Spalletti rang the changes, and only Milan Skriniar and Matias Vecino remained in the starting 11 from Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Juventus.

[ MORE: Burnley moves into top four after win over Stoke ]

However, he was forced by desperation to bring on Marcelo Brozovic at halftime as well as star forwards Ivan Perisic and Mauro Icardi.

Report: Cosmos coach Savarese to be named new Timbers manager

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In a time where NASL’s status moving forward is hanging in the balance, one of the league’s top managers is set to make the jump to Major League Soccer.

[ MORE: LA FC close to acquiring Red Bulls captain Sacha Kljestan ]

According to ESPN soccer analyst Taylor Twellman, New York Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese is set to be named the next Portland Timbers manager.

Savarese will take over for the recently departed Caleb Porter, who stepped down from his head coaching role with the Timbers in November.

The former professional player spent five seasons in MLS during his career, including stints with the New York/New Jersey MetroStars (now the Red Bulls), as well as the New England Revolution and the San Jose Earthquakes.

The 46-year-old has managed the Cosmos from 2013 to present, and guided the NASL side to three Soccer Bowl titles in that span.