Alderweireld

Transfer Rumor Roundup: Deadline Day Morning edition

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It’s that day again, and it’s time to bring you all the smattering of news this morning as the English transfer window slams shut later tonight.

There are rumors across the entirety of the league, so we’ll run down them here.

The closest to completion at the moment appears to be Southampton‘s acquisition of Atletico Madrid and World Cup defender Toby Alderweireld (pictured).

The Belgian was a big – and successful – part of Marc Wilmots’ push to the World Cup quarterfinals and ESPN is reporting Ronald Koeman has tied up a season-long loan for the Madrid defender.  At 25 years old, he moved from Ajax to the Spanish capital last summer on the Spanish Deadline Day but he’s been in and out of the squad.

French media outlet RMC Sport is reporting that Marseille striker Andre Ayew is a wanted man in the Premier League, and that the club is looking to sell now that the Ghanan is in the last year of his contract.  The report says the 24-year-old has rejected Hull City, but is in serious negotiations with both Swansea City and Queens Park Rangers.

There’s been much talk of Southampton being done with their firesale (much to the chagrin of Morgan Schneiderlin) but Spurs aren’t done trying. According to The Independent as well as our very own Joe Prince-Wright, Tottenham have increased their offer for Jay Rodriguez in a last-ditch attempt to pry him away from his current club. The 25-year-old Burnley native is coming off ACL surgery, but that reportedly hasn’t warded off his former manager Mauricio Pochettino, who has apparently offered Andros Townsend in an improved offer. There is no word on exactly how much the new offer is for in addition to Townsend, but the report says the old offer was $23 million.  Townsend is reportedly fine with the move.

Crystal Palace is rumored to be bringing Wigan’s James McArthur back to the Premier League on a club record $11 million deal.  Multiple outlets are reporting the deal, and there is a picture that has surfaced of McArthur stepping out of a car at Palace’s Beckenham training ground.

Rumors yesterday were confirmed by the club that Toronto FC striker Jermain Defoe is a wanted man in the Premier League, and there is news that he’s currently in England. Sky Sports says he “doesn’t want to go back to Toronto.” Ouch.

It appears likely that Manchester City will be selling wantaway defender Matija Nastasic today, but the destination is yet unknown.  The Mirror‘s David Anderson has called Nastasic “hot property,” no surprise given the 21-year-old’s young age and performance in Manchester City’s runner-up season two years ago.  According to Anderson, teams in for him include Tottenham, Newcastle, Marseille, and Arsenal.

Another sale that could rock Manchester City is one involving Alvaro NegredoThere are reports that he could complete a season-long loan move to Valencia that would essentially act as a sale thanks to the “obligation” – not option – to buy for around $40 million. The Spaniard was a main component of City’s title-winning season, making 32 league appearances last year and scoring nine goals – plus five more in the Champions League – in a supporting role to Sergio Aguero.  He only joined City last summer as one of Manuel Pellegrini’s first signings.

Speaking of Arsenal, the BBC continues to maintain they are done with business for the transfer window, but that’s not stopping other media from linking them with just about every player out there.  The most recent one appears to be Swansea’s Wilfried Bony, according to the Daily Star‘s Duncan Wright.

Don’t forget to tune in to the “Transfer Deadline Day Show” on NBCSN (Monday, 6-8 p.m. ET).

Ranieri criticizes Leicester for lacking “desire and heart”

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 18:  Claudio Ranieri, Manager of Leicester City looks dejected during The Emirates FA Cup Fifth Round match between Millwall and Leicester City at The Den on February 18, 2017 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
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LONDON (AP) Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri criticized his players for lacking “desire and heart” in a 1-0 loss at third-tier Millwall in the FA Cup fifth round on Saturday, the latest setback for the stuttering English champion.

[ MORE: FA Cup roundup — Premier League sides underwhelm in 5th round ]

Leicester, which is one point above the relegation zone in a woeful defense of its Premier League title, is without a victory in its last eight matches.

Millwall played most of the second half with 10 men and won thanks to a 90th-minute goal.

“I want to speak again with the players and say we have to fight every match,” an animated Ranieri said. “Who wants to fight? Tell me. I need the soldiers, I need the gladiators.

[ MORE: Fifth-division Lincoln City shock PL side Burnley in FA Cup ]

“It is strange because last season we won for this, to be more determined than the opponent and play with more heart than the opponent. We could also lose but we would fight every match. I want to see this, the fight until the end.”

Leicester’s next match is against Sevilla in the first leg of the Champions League last 16 on Wednesday.

FOLLOW LIVE: Spurs, Man United away in FA Cup 5th round

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 16:  Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Manchester United celebrates after scoring his third and his sides third goal during the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 first leg match between Manchester United and AS Saint-Etienne at Old Trafford on February 16, 2017 in Manchester, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
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Saturday’s FA Cup fifth-rounders served up the biggest Cupset of them all — fifth-division side Lincoln City knocking off Burnley of the Premier League — as well as two moderately shocking results — Leicester City losing to 10-man Millwall (League One) and Manchester City drawing 0-0 with Huddersfield Town (Championship).

[ FOLLOW LIVE: Sunday’s FA Cup 5th-rounders ]

On Sunday, two more of the PL’s big boys hope to avoid upsets and reach the quarterfinals of the 2016-17 tournament. First up, Tottenham Hotspur visit Fulham’s Craven Cottage in a renewed London derby, followed by Manchester United’s trip to Blackburn Rovers’ Ewood Park. For live scores and updates, hit the above link, or click right here.

Saturday’s FA Cup results

Burnley 0-1 Lincoln City — RECAP | REACTION
Huddersfield 0-0 Manchester City
Millwall 1-0 Leicester City
Middlesbrough 3-0 Oxford United
Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-2 Chelsea

Sunday’s FA Cup schedule

Fulham vs. Tottenham Hotspur — 9 a.m. ET
Blackburn Rovers vs. Manchester United — 11:15 a.m. ET

Monday’s FA Cup schedule

Sutton United vs. Arsenal — 2:55 p.m. ET

Report: AC Milan negotiating new deal for keeper Donnaumma

ROME, ITALY - FEBRUARY 13:  AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma gestures during the Serie A match between SS Lazio and AC Milan at Stadio Olimpico on February 13, 2017 in Rome, Italy.  (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)
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Gianluigi Donnarumma has quickly become one of the most coveted goalkeepers in the world, and he’s only 17 years old.

[ MORE: Gameiro nets hat-trick in five minutes for Atletico ]

And that’s why AC Milan plans on doing everything in its power to hold on to the Italy international.

[ MORE: U.S. U-20s fall to Panama to begin CONCACAF Championship ]

According to CalcioMercato, the Rossoneri are preparing to lock up Donnarumma to a big deal once he turns 18 next week in order to fend off the likes of Premier League duo Chelsea and Manchester United, as well as Real Madrid.

However, agent Mino Raiola could stand in the way of Milan as they attempt to negotiate with the promising shot stopper out of fear that the club won’t be able to compete with Europe’s best teams.

Also, it has been suggested that Raiola is seeking at least $4.25 million per season for Donnarumma plus add ons, while Milan is said to be willing to go as high as $2.1 million annually.

Donnarumma is currently in his second professional season with Milan and has risen to the Italian national team level over the past year as well. The young keeper is seen as the logical successor to Gianluigi Buffon once his international career concludes.

Baggio marks 50th birthday by visiting quake victims

ROME, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 01: Roberto Baggio (L) is challenged by Diego Lugano during the Interreligious Match For Peace at Olimpico Stadium on September 1, 2014 in Rome, Italy.  (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)
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AMATRICE, Italy (AP) Italian great Roberto Baggio marked his 50th birthday on Saturday by visiting towns devastated by earthquakes last year.

[ MORE: FA Cup Saturday wrap — Man City held against Huddersfield ]

Baggio opted not to celebrate his milestone surrounded by celebrities, and instead spent the day in Amatrice, which was almost wiped out by the Aug. 24 earthquake.

The former world footballer of the year, who met children and others from the central Italy region, said “it was very emotional,” and he went there with his family “to fully understand what so many people are going through.”

Baggio also met the mayor of Amatrice, Sergio Pirozzi, and said they will remain in contact, “and we will try to do something concrete.”

Baggio was moving on to nearby Norcia, which was also damaged, and there was a party organized with a birthday cake.

The Aug. 24 quake killed nearly 300 people and left a further 4,000 homeless. There were aftershocks for several days as well as more quakes in October and January.

Baggio, who was nicknamed “Il Divin Codino” (The Divine Ponytail) for the hairstyle he wore for most of his career, scored 27 goals in 57 appearances for Italy and helped the Azzurri to third place in the 1990 World Cup and runner-up four years later, when he famously missed the last penalty kick of the shootout in the final with Brazil.

He won the Serie A title with Juventus in 1995 and with AC Milan the following year.