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Transfer Rumor Roundup: Barkley to Spurs; Koke to Man City

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Ross Barkley has been in and out of the Everton team under new manager Ronald Koeman so reports linking him with a move away from Goodison Park aren’t too surprising.

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Barkley, 23, has failed to regain the form he showed when he burst on the scene as a teenager and the London Evening Standard is reporting that Tottenham Hotspur are monitoring his situation closely and have inquired about his availability.

Per the report, Everton value Barkley at over $43 million but with the academy product out of contract at the end of the 2017-18 season Spurs may be able to get Everton to back down on their asking price.

Why Barkley?

Well, on his form in 2016-17 it is a bit of a head-scratcher. Barkley has two goals and two assists in 14 Premier League games so far this season, and although he has been to both the 2014 World Cup and 2016 European Championships, he’s fallen out of favor with the English national team. The thought is that Barkley could be able to provide ammunition for Harry Kane in the years to come and with Koeman obviously not a big fan of the playmaker, maybe the Toffees would be better off cashing in this January while his value is still high enough?

Spurs have Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen, Heung-Min Son, Erik Lamela and Moussa Sissoko in attacking midfield areas but Barkley would bring something a bit different and has more pace than Eriksen and Alli.


With Ilkay Gundogan out for several months with a new knee injury, Manchester City’s manager Pep Guardiola could be on the hunt for a new two-way midfielder.

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According to Spanish outlet Marca, Guardiola is looking at Koke to become the hub of City’s midfield. The 24-year-old Spanish international has been a star at Atletico Madrid in recent seasons and is able to play out wide or in both attacking or defensive central midfield positions.

It is in the deep-lying playmaking role where City has experienced some issues. Fernandinho has been good in patches but isn’t as good on the ball as Koke, while Gundogan’s long-term injury leaves a huge hole in Guardiola’s midfield for a player who can link midfield and attack seamlessly. That’s where Koke comes in.

The biggest issue here is that Koke is said to have a huge $155 million release clause in his current five-year contract which he signed in 2014, so any deal may have to wait until the summer. With Aleti currently struggling in sixth place in the La Liga table and 12 points off leaders Real Madrid, perhaps there will be a mass exodus in the summer if they can’t qualify for the UEFA Champions League. If there is, Koke would be a great fit and just the man City is looking for. Plus, when it comes to money it’s not like they won’t pay top dollar for a player who would be key for Guardiola’s philosophy to work.

Landon Donovan unveiled by Club Leon

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Landon Donovan was unveiled to Club Leon fans at Estadio Leon on Monday night.

The former USMNT star and longtime LA Galaxy forward came out of retirement for the second time to sign with the Liga MX side this past weekend. Leon finished 7th in the Apertura table, losing to Tigres in the first round of the playoffs. They currently have a perfect six points through the first two Clausura matches, sitting second in the table with a +3 goal differential.

Fans were allowed into the stadium for free, and they packed the lower stand on one end, waving USA flags and holding large “L” and “D” cutouts, and the fans faced a massive board on the field that read “I DON’T BELIEVE IN WALLS.” Chants of “U-S-A” rang out through the stadium before the unveiling.

ESPN reporter Tom Marshall pointed out that the last time the club had such a large event to welcome a player, it was in January of 2013 when the club brought Mexico captain Rafa Marquez in from the New York Red Bulls.

Donovan will don the number 20 for Club Leon.

Report: Rimando to return to RSL

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USMNT veteran and current MLS free agent Nick Rimando will reportedly return to Real Salt Lake for a 12th season with the club, according to a report by Goal.com’s Ives Galarcep.

The report states he received interest on the free agent market from both Los Angeles clubs, but the 38-year-old will return to the club he has made 350 appearances for.

Rimando came to Real Salt Lake from D.C. United in 2006, and has made at least 24 league appearances in every single season since. He has also made 22 playoff appearances for the club across eight playoff campaigns.

He last received a USMNT cap in January of 2017 in a friendly against Serbia, but was part of the 2018 World Cup qualification squad throughout 2017 backing up Tim Howard. Overall, Rimando has played 22 times for the US national team, with 14 goals conceded and nine clean sheets.

The report also states that Kyle Beckerman will return to Rio Tinto Stadium, with the veteran also testing the free agent waters but deciding to re-sign. The pair will be two of just four players left on the roster from the 2009 MLS Cup winning team.

Report: Aubameyang hands in transfer request at Dortmund

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According to German publication Bild, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has handed a transfer request to the Borussia Dortmund hierarchy.

Arsenal is the latest club linked with the Gabonese striker, with reports earlier this month of a deal to send Aubameyang to China. He has reportedly asked to leave Dortmund multiple times this January, and has been turned down thus far, and it’s causing problems. Aubameyang was suspended by the club for one match for missing a meeting last week, a match that ended in a goalless draw with Wolfsburg.

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“We had a very heated discussion,” said Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc after the suspension was announced. “He hasn’t behaved like this for years, he’s always been very professional. What has happened is very tolerable, there will be some fines, too. It’s not necessary to talk about a transfer, but it’s clear that things can’t continue like this because some important things are in jeopardy, and that there is tension inside the squad.”

The price tag, according to recent reports, would be around $76 million, and he would be purchased with money from the likely outgoing transfer of Alexis Sanchez.

Arsenal transfer guru Sven Mislintat is reportedly driving the deal, having signed Aubameyang at Dortmund during his days as a scout from Westfalinstadion. However, there is buzz among the British media that Arsene Wenger is unimpressed by Aubameyang’s recent insubordination and has expressed his concerns.

Emre Can says new Liverpool contract still a possibility

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Liverpool midfielder Emre Can is out of contract this summer, but says he could still sign back on at Anfield despite heavy rumors of his departure.

Still just 24 years old, the German came over from Bayer Leverkusen in the summer of 2014 and has improved in each of his four years at Liverpool, flourishing under Jurgen Klopp as a strong passer and versatile player who can be used in midfield or defense. With that, he has reportedly turned down a number of new contract offers, and Juventus is reportedly in the lead to sign him to a free transfer.

[ MORE: Arsenal should follow Liverpool’s rebuilding example ]

Can is eligible to sign a pre-contract agreement with anyone from now until the end of the season, but he says that doesn’t mean he will leave.

“My agent is looking after everything but I am here until the summer,” Can said. “I haven’t signed anything with anyone. I am talking with everyone. Of course I am talking with Liverpool. Why not? I still have a contract here. It is an amazing club. What can I say? My agent does the rest. I just concentrate on the scene, on my performance and the football. I will give everything for this team.”

The loss of Philippe Coutinho this winter is an obvious blow to the Reds, but an argument could be made that the loss of Can would hurt just as much if not more, as stout defensive midfielders are hard to come by. However, the arrival of Naby Kieta this summer could ease the blow of the German’s potential departure. Should Can stay, partnering with Keita in midfield could prove masterful as Liverpool looks to continue building towards a title challenge. Currently, Can has paired with Giorgino Wijnaldum in Liverpool’s midfield in recent weeks, and the club is on a five-match win streak that has seen them shoot into third place in the Premier League table.